"Awaken."

I hear the insistent voice echo within my mind; it is the first sound I hear.

"Awaken."

Time passes, and gradually I become aware of another sound; it is water, water trickling among stones, dancing down narrow rocky channels. There is much of it, and some is nearby, but I cannot yet tell where.

"Awaken."

Time passes. A new sound begins now: I cannot identify it yet, but it is the sound of feet passing lightly over soft grass around me. They are very few at first; but as I lie listening, my stillness absolute, their numbers slowly increase.

"Awaken."

And at last, I open my eyes; and I see. I see a vast curving grassy hillside, bathed in silent twilight. I see many forms upon the turf; many are lying still, as I do. Some sit in pairs, and some stand and walk in small groups. I long to move, to join them, but I cannot. I know not why. As I watch, one among those standing nearby points upwards; my wistful gaze follows as best it can, and I see the stars for the first time. "Ele," I hear them murmur, and I weep for the wonder and beauty of the precious starlight, and desperately wish I could move to see more.

No longer does the voice echo within my mind; its work is done. And as I continue to watch the beings on the hillside before me, I realise that it is another who must complete my awakening. So I wait.

Time passes, and before long, I sense that I am being watched. I cannot see him, for I am lying on my side and he is behind me; yet of a certainty do I know that it is he who will both free me and capture me forever.

Time passes; and soon I feel a warm hand on my hip, gently pressuring me to roll onto my back, towards him. And the sleeping spell is at last shattered, and I know I could so move if I desired to. Yet, at first, I resist. For I have only just awoken, become myself, and I know that as soon as I see him, I will change and become something else. But I have not the will to resist for long, and with a soft sigh I succumb to the insistent pressure of his hand. As I move, I stretch luxuriously, raising my arms above my head, and come to rest again, gazing up at him.

Indeed, it is as I knew it would be; my heart is no longer my own. For he is beautiful, this creature who leans over me now, intently studying me as if he would memorise my features. His long gleaming fair hair falls in twin curtains, obscuring his view of me, and mine of him; impatiently he tosses it to one side and glances skyward, and reflected starlight glimmers in his dark eyes.

His gaze returns to my face again, hungrily devouring every detail until I am sure there can be nothing left to discover; and he tenderly touches my cheek with one finger. Finally he regards the soft curves of my body, so different to the hard taut planes of his own; and his scrutiny has all the warmth and passion of a physical caress, and I shiver beneath it, and he smiles fiercely at me.

He draws me up gently to sit beside him, and together we look out over the vast and dark expanse of the silent lake, fed by rivulets and streams coursing down the hillside.

Time passes, and we gaze at the stars, innumerable and lovely; and we watch the others, knowing that we will join them soon enough.

There is time aplenty for us: the Firstborn of Ilúvatar, the Quendi.