By twos and threes they came, the children of Ilúvatar, treading through the warm summer night, glittering like fireflies, silky robes billowing. With gentle laughter they gathered to hear Daeron, the master harper, who, it was said, could charm a song from the wind.
Tall, silver-haired Elu Thingol came, holding his queen, fair Melian by the hand, their ancient love shiny as spring leaves. They nodded at Daeron, who sat on the dais, hands poised over the strings of his harp, yearning for what they wore so lightly.
Last came Lúthien, beloved of her people, cloud of black hair falling untamed about her shoulders, eyes brighter than the evening star. Briefly, she glanced at Daeron, holding him enthralled. Just for her, he had crafted a new song, laboring long into the night. It must be perfect.
Tenderly, he plucked the strings, releasing a cascade of crystal notes and the crowd sighed. In a voice purer than silver, sweeter than a nightingale, he sang of Cuiviénen in the morning of the world, of shining waterfalls that widened into clear pools, and foamed, flower-laden, towards the sea. There, in the hidden dells the awakening Firstborn touched their own faces and knew they were alive. The gladsome tune changed to a minor key and Daeron sang of a fair maid dwelling by the waters, who had captured a youth’s heart, and because she knew it not, paid him no heed. Overhead wheeled the canopy of stars, as he sang of longing and love unrequited until his listeners’ hearts were wounded and their cheeks wet.
He bowed his head, his song ended. A beat of silence, then, a tumult of applause.
He sought her approving glance, but of all those admiring faces, only she looked past him, perceiving another melody from afar.
First Place winner: 2010 Middle-earth Fanfiction Awards in Genres: Fixed Length Ficlet, General.
A triple drabble (300 words exactly)
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