Gellalaer turned and smiled. “Hello, little one.” Although her son was no longer little, she reminded herself with a bittersweet pang; he was as tall as his father now.
Celebrimbor grimaced. “Must you still call me that?”
“Forgive me,” she laughed, “but even when you are grown, with your own family, that is how I will think of you.”
He rolled his eyes and moved to stand beside her, his sensitive fingers travelling over the riot of colourful stones on her workbench. “Tell me again how they speak to you, Naneth.”
Gellalaer picked up an uncut opal, holding it gently between her finger and thumb, turning it this way and that so the light caught its jagged edges. Clouds of pink and blue and green swirled in its depths, soft-edged like morning mist, shimmering like flames behind silk. “Each one has a story hiding under those rough edges. When I cut a stone, my task is to find that story and release it, without imposing my wishes and will.”
“And what will this one be?” He picked up a piece of red quartz, shaped like a shattered rose and threaded with veins of yellow and green.
Gellalaer laid aside the opal and closed her hand over her son's, listening. “It will need a complex cut,” she murmured, “and the finest of polishes. If my work goes as it should, each colour will shine under a different light.” She smiled up at him. “Like the three sons of Finwë.”
Reverently, Celebrimbor laid it aside and picked up another crystal, this one clear and flecked with scarlet. “And this?”
Gellalaer brushed it with her fingertips and softened her gaze – and cried out as it came to her.
Droplets of blood in clear, cool water, hanging like beads and then curling outwards until the bay turned red...the weight in her belly, her aching back...the screams...
She turned away and laid her hand across her stomach, as though her child still waited inside. “Put it away, my dear. I will not cut that stone.”
“Naneth, what did you see?”
She laid a piece of frit paper across her cutting board and picked up her saw. “Alqualondë.”
Celebrimbor set the crystal back on the bench, away from the others, and slipped one arm around his mother's waist.
Gabriel asked for her OC, Gellalaer, who in her upcoming series is Curufin's wife. The prompt was Alqualondë. Gabriel, I hope you like this little piece.
You must login () to review.