The Walls of Gold

By Le Chat Noir

- Part two

Ease my sorrow. Aye, so they said.

Weighed down by the burden of unshed tears. Light, soundless steps, yet still too heavy to be borne in silence. Lively chatter, nothing said. Screams denied their voice.

"And all this has been built in less than two hundred years?"

"Aye. But most the edifices are still unachieved. Gondolin is a growing city that reaches always higher towards the sky. Father says he shall be finished with her only the day when perfection will be her image. So he thinks."

White towers, golden roofs, silver doors; monstrously high windows of tainted glass. Image of nothing made excess.

"It is handsome artwork."

"It looks beautiful, doesn't it?"

A presence at my side, shadow of bitterness. I look at her, and she is light, but for the absent hint of something in her words. Cannot be earnest. Not with such an aura of sadness when I take my eyes away.

And she thinks I cannot see.

Not beneath the sun, I can't, yet within the shadows better than any other.

Wide streets, paved with white stones, marble and alabaster statues sprouting here and there within the teeming swarm, buzzing chatter breaking their flood against their eternal silence. Stillness. Perfection reached and frozen. Never had a thought about what lies beyond. What brings the passing to the dead who never lived. Over the brink of perfection.

"And what would your name be, cousin?"

True name?

Maeglin! Where did you go? I have no time to loose with young idiots such as you…

No time to loose.

Huddle tighter in the darkness, because shadows within the shadow are no more than patches of nothing in the Void.

"Maeglin, my Lady. At your service."

Lady, let us depart while there is time! What hope is there in this wood for you or for me?

None. Somewhere else at least we can hope for the years to pass and the days to end.

"But it is such a strange name!"

And then the darkness comes; the candle in daylight cannot shine.

"Yet it is the one I was given."

Handsome face. Large, grey eyes. Grey. Color of iron and of steel. Color of the storm. Of the Void. Placidity, rebellion brewing. Flattened discord and harmony, mixed thoughts unspeakable; mingling of black and white.

Sometimes a silence can cry, can scream, and kill.

Lòmion, the child of twilight. The forbidden language. Lòmion, Lòmion. Mouth it but do not speak. A finger on her lips, a small smile. Lòmion. Do not fear. You are not his son. This name is not for him, only for you and me. Lòmion. You are his son no more, but a prince among your kin. A young prince of darkness among the people of the light.

Lòmion.

Shush. Drink your tears. Salty liquid to quench your thirst.

Shush.

Lòm…

Not your name. It cannot be. Has to be something else, something else, something else… for naught to answer to naught, meaning all but naught.

Kindly smiles around us. A soft radiance, an uneasy brightness that wavers and shies.

Doors opening and shutting, and most of all the others, walking around us, so close, and light… talking, laughing, yelling, all together, all alone, in a great meaningless cry rising towards the heavens.

Maybe if they are a city now then in the fourth dimension no more than a peck of sand.

The chosen people. Those meant to live, to love; those meant to remember then forget.

So easy. Not even very heavy, when one learn to wield it well. Only a second away.

Locked up in a room. Days and days, weeks. Maybe several months. A knife in my hand. And the table, ebony. Slow work. Nothing at the end.

They look, want to stare, cannot. Hurried whispers among the shouts.

Lost a queen, gained a prince. The two scions of royalty walking side by side. A touching sight maybe. Two orphans, adults made of children. Bitter sunray and burning shadow. Side by side with measured steps.

Wide street. Low stairway. Slight bows to passing royalty.

"Hail to you, my Lady, and good day!" Passing faces, yet unknown, whirlwind of strange smiles and greetings.

A slight nod, with an open smile. "And to you, my Lord." Curt bow. Curious, uneasy look; who are they speaking to? The orphan or the prince? The child not yet grown?

The father's son?

"We will have to be back soon. My father is waiting you."

No need to look; I can feel the prying eyes burning into my face.

"He seems to like you very much."

"My mother and him adored each other." But what does it all mean? I look like her. Back then the child sat on the waterside and bent his face down to play with his reflection in the lake. Threw stones and branches in to trouble the limpid surface, and then waited for it to settle again. Always placid again. Always.

Staring away. "You look like her."

"Yes." What to say.

Let's not speak. Let's not.

"She was as a mother to me."

"Yes."

Tell me, Mother, tell me more. Aredhel, Aredhel! Why won't you take me away with you over the mountains?

"She was strong for three. I do not remember much, but this I remember."

What do you know?

What do you know, child, child with no name?

"She is very strong."

"Yes."

At least she was.

What do you know?

And your name shall be Maeglin, Sharp Glance, for I see that your eyes are more piercing than even my own, and you will know great things beyond the mist of words.

Great things.

"I am sorry." Behind? "I am deeply sorry."

See, see? See the pure white wall standing over there, somewhere west, somewhere south, somewhere east.

She has stopped. She is there at my side no more, but ten steps behind me already, standing still as I spin around in surprise. Standing still like one of the statues of marble bordering the way. Standing still like a frozen sunbeam never could. Still like a drop of molten gold hanging for a second before falling to the ground, still like the flash of light that blinds the eye when one stares at the Sun, still like a young girl who feels guilty for having broken her mother's favourite vase.

There can be no silence.

Things beyond the mist of words.

~