You Can Read Me Anything

by raenarcam

In a tower in the south it seemed that most things became possible. The wind whipped through the open windows on occasion, bringing with it the sands, but at night it wasn’t so bad. One hardly noticed the bit of sand. She turned on her side on the little wooden lounging chair, her head in the crook of her arm. Behind her silvery hair fell loose down her back, she would braid it before the morning had come but now in the dark it was fine as it was. Damp from the little bowl of water she had used to get some of the filth from it, and from her cheeks, and her hands.

The knight though, he might have slept where he stood if she had not sat him down on the bed. He’d gotten half a glass of some local wine down, eaten a few pieces of thin bread, and collapsed to snore on the blanket-covered platform that served as a bed. She had taken off his boots at least, that seemed the kindest thing to do, and now where she faced him the brilliant moonlight of the desert made him entirely too visible.

Eldufin was not a knight, not really, his family could afford armor and martial training but he was still just a soldier with a better kit. On the road some weeks ago they had sat by the fire and he had corrected her. “I’m not a knight, just along with a sword, knights have squires and all that proper shit.” They had laughed and Raenarcam had said he could be her knight. It was better suited to him than a swan-knight, really, he would have looked ridiculous in their high helms.

Her knight, here lying on this bed, snoring gently. She watched him, so absurdly hairy looking, but when they traveled along the road he sang her songs she hadn’t heard in years, stories of places that no longer existed, that she had heard a million times or more but in his voice bone and ash became living flesh again. Closing her eyes she inhaled slowly the smell of the room, spices and fire and the evening chill of the desert. It was too cold in here, she walked with light steps toward the bed and drew a blanket over the sleeping knight. He looked, sleeping, like a statue of some forgotten king, or the drawing in the edge of a book, or… or like Eldufin of Dol Amroth. That was all. That was quite enough really. Her hand hovered over his face, dirt-caked and unshaven. That was quite enough. He would freeze in the desert air and that would not do at all. She carefully shuttered the windows and latched them, returning over to her lounge.

She laid back to rest, looking at the ceiling, she had blown out the candles and they had laughed, looking at each other through the smoke like a witch’s spell. That was all any of this was, a witch’s spell, fleeting and sickly.