Are You Thinking of Me?
For a moment she felt herself suspended in absolute light. She was, it occurred to her, a thing made of light. Like the wind had done it moved through her but it settled. There was a rush, she felt the pieces of herself fall into place, all the memories settled where they belonged. She could watch them, strands falling into place, pieces of a thousand puzzles.
She heard, or rather felt, a voice. Only it was not a voice at all, it sounded somewhere in her chest or… or where her chest should be. Where the part of her spirit had once inhabited a chest. Lights moved about her, one rushed at another, the others hovered, the voice came from somewhere distant.
“No, just a moment longer,” she plead and tried to focus on the world about her. They were fighting. That had interrupted the Man’s draw. If she didn’t follow the voice now she might end up as one of the void things.
She had to wait.
“One moment more,” she protested.
One of the brightest lights broke away. It sat beside her body. She didn’t understand. All of a sudden she was somewhere else.
“Halgruith,” she said, cheerfully, over the top of her book. She sat on a cushion on the floor of the flet, her father’s brother was bent over his desk working on his book. His most important book.
“What, Lomerinde?” He asked back. His voice was not quite harsh, simply irritable. He did not like being disturbed while they were reading.
She chose her words carefully. She was very young but she understood she had to keep these conversations short lest he lose interest in answering them. “Mother says you are… foresighted. What does that mean?” She spoke quickly but not so quickly as to be in danger of a reprimand from her father’s older brother.
“Your mother’s people would say it means I can see the future,” Halgruith responded, still bent over his book.
“Can you? See the future?”
“I can see that you will not stop pestering me,” he murmured over his book. “I can see the twisting paths and branches of the world. I can see how he will die.” This last piece came out strangely, not in his normal tone at all he seemed almost surprised by it himself.
She felt herself perplexed for one of the first times in her young life and sat back on her cushion. “When will you die?” she asked, with a frown.
“On the same day you are born, Lomerinde,” he replied. When she asked another question he did not answer. He had lost interest in the conversation, she supposed.
On the flet again the light of the moon was blinding after the darkness of the cell. She could hear his voice but not see him. She could feel his arm around her. “It is not so bad, I will take the worst of it,” he explained and she felt the twinge of forgetfulness.
She dug through the fallen wall in this villa in Eregion but she was not her at all but him. These hands were strange and dug without her bidding. To find the gems he had made before it was too late, but was she him or her?
At the gate of Dol Amroth she had waved her knight away. She loved him and the way the sun touched his hair. The way he sang under his breath when he thought no one could hear and she wondered if he knew she could and so was singing just for her.
There was a woman in Numenor who baked bread in small batches. He had sailed away from her with a piece of it still in hand when the politics grew too dangerous. But he would have stayed if the paths had been different, but they converged in a different place and he could only follow them.
Her mother braided her hair, she would never cut it. Halgruith said not to be too fond of it. He said that of everything but he seemed more certain of this. Halgruith was strange, her mother never cut her hair and neither would she.
“I love you,” she told her husband and Osric of Dale who had made his living robbing graves. “I love you,” said Halgruith as her body sprang to life and the lights contained themselves. There were strings upon the people and pathways that twisted. The memories faded already, of Gondolin forgotten, of Numenor, of Eregion. Those memories had belonged to Halgruith. So had the twisting paths she now felt.
“I can see you will not stop pestering me,” he said.
She took in her first breath as a thing born.