I sat beside my wife and watched as she wove. So nimble and quick are her fingers that the tapestry was completed in seconds. If front us was a battlefield, quiet and still, except for the crows picking for bloodied food in the trudged and broken soil. A soft rain fell, as if blessing the land with its cleansing innocence. I had seen such a sight many times before and each time I have been filled with dismay. Moving a little closer, I put my arm around her waist, wishing to never let go.
"When will that happen?"
"Tomorrow, after the battle and all the dead are cleared away," VairŽ replied. "Elves and men will have fought Sauron, as he has become known to them."
Dread entered my heart. "Who will win?"
"Sauron will be defeated, but I have no death to weave for him yet. Many will die. Oropher and his army will go out early. They are sacrificing themselves so the other realms have a chance at winning the battle. They are ready to die, so that others might succeed. They know that every life in Middle-earth depends on them weakening the enemy ready for the main battle."
"Such bravery." It was all I could say, so awed was I by their altruistic heroism.
We sat silent for a few minutes. My arm around my wife's waist, while her hand rubbed my back.
"Many will die tomorrow, and the course of Middle-earth will be changed forever. Collecting the fŽar of the dead will be awful for you, but I will be there, giving you hope in the darkness."
How I adore VairŽ. "You are the shining light of my existence," I said softly, not wishing to lose the moment. "You are Anor and I am Ithil. Your light illuminates me and floods my being with all that is good. I am Valinor and you are the sea. You encompass me with your never ending embrace. You are all that I am and more. I love you so very much."
VairŽ looked at me, eyes shining, before placing her hand upon the back of my neck. I leant in to give her a kiss. "I am always by your side. Many times you walk in the darkness, yet I am always with you. When your heart grieves I hold it within my own. Tomorrow I will be with you, as I always am, because I love you and that will never change."
"I truly wish that you could be with me in substance and not just in my heart." My wife wove the events and I attended them. She hardly ever left the Halls of Awaiting.
"I tell you, my only one, I will be with you." VairŽ smiled enigmatically and I knew not to question her further. A new tapestry spread out before us. "Look, this little one is called Legolas. He is two years old and dancing with Thranduil, his father, at his birthday party."
"Thranduil doesn't have any elflings." How happy and carefree the two seemed as they whirled around, laughing and shouting to each other. Maybe VairŽ and I could know such happiness one day.
"Thranduil will have elflings. Legolas will be his eldest. The others I have not seen yet."
A previously elusive perception filled my mind and my heart rang with joy. VairŽ would be with me, just as she said she would; tomorrow's future was already woven.
The next day I walked on the battlefield, my heart sunken to its very depths at the carnage. Thousands of elves lay dead, while their fŽar stood waiting aimlessly and without direction. Such was the weight of compassion in my heart that I wondered at the futility of their existence.
The fŽa of the King of The Greenwood called to his warriors and they turned to face him. "We are ready to leave, my Lord," Oropher said softly. "Do not grieve for our loss. We gave up our bodies willingly so that others might live."
"Were your families ready to give you up?"
"They made the greatest sacrifice, but they will know peace. Today the combined forces of elves and men will taste victory." Oropher looked away, as if his heart was broken.
"I am in awe at all of you."
"We did what any elf would do." Oropher turned away and walked towards the thousands of elven fŽar that had comprised a major portion of his army.
My heart mourned the loss of such brave elves, and a terrible anguish filled my being. But there, at the edges of my perception, I could feel her presence and a hand holding onto mine. "I am with you," she whispered. VairŽ's light overwhelmed me and filled my heart with joy, while Oropher and his army looked on. They knew the nature of love more than anyone, and I felt humbled by their knowing smiles.
I turned to face them. "Let us go to my halls, where pain ceases to exist and all cares are forgotten. Your memories will stay with you, but they will not hurt anymore."
The army of elves moved silently with Oropher at their head. I followed from behind. As they walked they rose up into the air and crossed the invisible bridge linking their reality to mine.
VairŽ walked beside me, her face unmoving and stricken with grief. I held onto her. "It never gets any easier."
"I thank Lord Eru that it does not," she replied, before wiping a tear away.
Soon we were back in front of her tapestries. The battle would be raging in Middle-earth that afternoon, but neither of us allowed ourselves to think of that.
"Show me something that will fill us with joy before I have to go back."
My wife grinned and showed me the tapestry of Legolas dancing with Thranduil. They moved close to a table filled with cakes and Thranduil gave one to his son, who took such a large bite that he could not close his mouth.
"Lord Eru will not keep Oropher and his army here for long." VairŽ smiled. Her fingers stroked the surface of the tapestry, causing it to still. "Who does Thranduil's son remind you of?"
My face lit up into a huge grin. "Oh yes!" A moment of foreshadowing filled my brain before disappearing completely. "He will fight Sauron again."
"Yes, he will, but this time there will be a happy ending."
"I wonder if Oropher realised just how far reaching his actions would be."
"I doubt it. He gave his life for the elves of today so they might have a future. I do not suppose that he expects to be part of it." VairŽ shrugged and turned away from the tapestry. "You have a busy evening ahead. Let us spend the meantime in EstŽ's garden. Perhaps we can find a hidden part where nobody goes?"
"How I love you, my only one." I took my wife's hand and led her into the sunlight.
Written for Huinare's Doom and Gloom in June Challenge.
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