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Old 03-01-2004, 01:45 PM   #10
mark12_30
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Seventh Star, part 6

mark12_30

She rolled over with a groan, and sat up, peering into the shaft of sunlight that Raefindan had just let into the room. "Must you? Oh, it's you."

"Good morning to you, too."

She sniffed, and then mumbled "Thank you."

"How about some fresh air?"

"Please."

He stepped out and returned a moment later. She had risen and hastily donned a tunic and a cloak. "Oh, dear, I certainly need a bath. No, don't get too close."

He snorted. "Why do you think I wanted to open a window? I have questions to ask you. You can answer them through the washroom door if you like, but I need answers."

"That would hardly be modest. But I can bathe in the stables."

"That's modest?"

"If I hang enough horse-blankets and you promise to be honorable, yes."

"You're incorrigible."

"In-- Incorr--" They turned towards the back stair and headed down for the stables.

"Incorrigible means that you are terribly annoying and stubborn! Now tell me about Nimrodel. And Amroth. And--"

She gasped, eyes wild with hope, and Raefindan turned a hard stare on her.

"Mellondu! You have dreamed about Mellondu!"

"What? Your brother? No, I haven't--"

"Yes you have!" she accused, siezing his arm. "Tell me! Hide nothing from me!"

littlemanpoet

He wrinkled his nose. "I will, but first you need to get cleaned up. And you need to tell me about your dreams, too. I insist, you first. Be a dear."

"Be a deer? But I'm a human. What do you mean, be a deer?"

Raefindan shook his head. "Not deer as in animal, but dear as in a kindly, caring - oh, never mind! Do you wish for me to wait outside, or do we go to the stables?"

mark12_30

Mellonin considered Raefindan, and with a sigh, regained her composure. "For three days I have dreamt of my brother. Mingled with my dreams of him, have been dreams of Nimrodel and Amroth. They are woven together, somehow, like one of the banners in the Great Hall. I do not understand it."

She could go back to the Inn, she reasoned, or she could wash here on the stone floor; they had arrived at the stables. It was early enough that there weren't many about, and she wanted the fresh air anyway; she chose a place to hang four blankets for privacy. Raefindan lent a hand.

"The dreams of Amroth are restless, full of searching. The dreams of Nimrodel are drenched in despair. And the dreams of Mellondu are dark, and confusing, and... sad."

She filled a bucket of water at the well, and brought it to the stone floor, and chose the cleanest rag available.

Raefindan blinked. "Don't you want some hot water?"

She laughed, a little, as she went within the curtains. "Of course I do. But there isn't a fireplace out here, and I don't have all day... Ugh."

He turned his back to the curtains, and stood guard as she scrubbed. She talked on, rambling for quite a while about fog and snow and forests and darkness and locks of hair swirling in the water, and Raefindan rubbed his forehead as he struggled to follow it all.

"What I don't understand, " she finished petulantly, "is what all these dreams about Nimrodel and Amroth have to do with my brother. They lived a thousand years ago. Amroth is dead. They're both dead. What does that mean? That my brother is dead too?" She bit back the temptation to cry that had been eating away at her for three days now. "I've never been to Rohan, or to Lothlorien, or even to Belfalas or -- well, I have't been down the river beyond where it bends around south of the city. But in my dreams, I think that is where I have been. I am not sure. I have seen rolling plains filled with horses, and I have seen golden trees in the snow, and I have seen.... I think in my dreams I have seen the sea." She fought for composure again. "But I don't understand in all of this where Mellondu is. If you have been dreaming of Amroth and Nimrodel, then you must understand where he is. That must be why you came here. Tell me, do you not know where he is?"

Raefindan shook his head. "Mellonin, I am sorry. No, I don't know where he is. My dreams ..." he shook his head. "No, I haven't dreamt about your brother. My dreams have been very different. What do your dreams tell you about a man named Imrazor?"

"Imrazor?"

"Or Mithrellas."

"Isn't that a woman's name?"

"Yes, of course."

"You said what do I know about a man named Imrazor--"

"I take it you don't know about either of them."

"No. What do you know about them? ...I'm almost out of water. I need anther bucket, please."

He looked around, found another bucket, and went to the well, and came back. Her teeth were chattering.

"Mellonin, you've been sick, and here you are taking a cold sponge-bath in a stable in early winter. I hope you don’t get worse."

"A little water never hurt anyone, " she replied through still-chattering teeth. "I'm almost done."

"I still don't have any answers, and it'll be time to go to work soon. Morien knew more about Mithrellas then you do, " Raefindan replied.

"Well I'm sorry, " she snapped. "You haven't been very helpful about my brother, either."

"Hey, take it easy, " Raefindan said.

"I haven't taken anything!"

He put one hand to his head. "Don't be upset. What is the matter with you? You weren't like this before!"

Dripping, but dressed and cloaked and fully modest, she reappeared and began taking down the blankets. He helped her fold them.

"I don't mean to be rude. I am worried about my brother; I have done so little to find him. I have enjoyed working here at the Inn, and he is out there somewhere, lost, maybe hurt. Maybe dying for all I know. I must find him!"

Raefindan nodded, but said nothing. They put the buckets and blankets back where they belonged, and headed back to the inn for a hot breakfast and a day's work.

The morning's porridge held little appeal, but it was hot, and neither complained. Between mouthfulls, Raefindan said, "There's something else I don't understand."

"Mmmm?"

"Why do you think that taking a sponge bath out in the stables was more modest than taking a proper bath in the Inn?"

"What's a sponge?"

He sighed, and wearily stirred his porridge. She dropped the question.

"Sorry. In a proper Inn, it would hardly have been mannerly for a man to stand outside the door while I shouted about my dreams from the bath, would it? But in a stable yard, early in the morning, no one will care."

"Stables have ears too, " Raefindan said wryly. The barn had not been as empty as Mellonin had supposed, and he had been glad that he had stood guard for her. “Maybe this stable is different than the one you were used to, “ he replied. “Can we meet for lunch too? Maybe then we can get to the bottom of some of these dreams."

Mellonin agreed. They finished their porridge, and got to work.

littlemanpoet

Lunch time could not come soon enough for Raefindan. Melonnin's company was the only reprieve he had from the drudgery, which he was certain he was not used to, what ever iot was he had done wherever he had been before he lost his memory.

And then there were the dead ends of his own thoughts. On one hand there were the dreams of Imrazor and Mithrellas. On the other was his failed memory. His throat caught whenever he thougth of Mithrellas; there was a connection between his dream and his past, and he could not piece it together. Why can't I remember anything before I showed up here?

It was exasperating. Which is a word nobody around here uses. That was another thing. He had many words in his head that Mellonin and the others simply did not comprehend, always taking them at the face value meaning, which led to all kinds of strange misunderstandings. What's a sponge? He laughed to himself as he rubbed the same spot on the floor for what seemed the hundredth time.

At last it was time for lunch, and the guests had been served. Raefindan knew to wait for his lunch until after Mellonin had served all the guests. They sat at table eating what was left of the mid day cold roast and brown bread.

"You spoke of Amroth as restless and searching, of Nimrodel as despairing, and of Mellondu as confused." Raefindan paused to drink some water. "Imrazor's dreams are filled with wonder at having to wife an elf as beautiful as Mithrellas, who bears him children that take after her in beauty; but every dream ends in loss, for she has left him, and he is heartbroken. It is as if she has died, for she might as well have, since she wants nothing so much as the sea and her friend, Nimrodel. For me, Mellonin, it is like having something I was supposed to have had, and was denied. I do not know how that is. What I can tell you is that the loss in the end is bittersweet either way, for there is some recompense in the dreams, with Imrazor's children, and in my past, I think, in some way I cannot remember."

"Reckon pence? What is that? It sounds like counting money."

Raefindan shook his head. "I am sorry. I mean to say that it is like receiving payment for having suffered."

"Have you suffered, then, Raefindan?" Melonnin's tone was soft.

"So it would seem, though in what way I cannot say. If I could only gain my memory back!"

"Maybe a way will be found in the dreams."

"One can only hope."

"Did you ever recall who Jorje was?"

Raefindan laughed. "You remember that. By George, I think you've got it! No, I don't remember who George was. But I don't think it was important. It would be like saying, By the sword of the King! or something like that."

"Maybe this Jorje is the king where you come from."

"Why not?" Raefindan laughed again. Mellonin eyed him over her plate of food, wondering just how sane this young man was.

Last edited by mark12_30; 03-22-2004 at 09:22 PM.
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