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Old 04-04-2005, 03:08 AM   #251
The Perilous Poet
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Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Heart of the matter
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Rimbaud has just left Hobbiton.
In his father's house

Hal shook himself, for the world seemed to turn, like a coin on a string. His head span.

He shook himself again. He was home. He thought of that in wonderment, for always it had been his father’s house, but now he thought of it as home. He felt indescribably warm inside.

“Halfemption!” cried his father, coming down the central staircase, sunbeams behind him from the great bay window of the first floor landing. “Great days are these, where the valiant Halfemption Gormlessar returns to his father’s house.”

“Greetings, sire,” said Halfemption, uncertainly. His father had never spoken to him thus, nor greeted him so warmly. If he had addressed him in the past, it had been by the name ‘Empty’, as a counter to his noble brother’s diminutive, Halfie.

“Why so subdued?” cried his father, approaching now, and clapping him on the shoulder. Halfemption nearly burst with pride. “Come, we must eat! Your exploits are the talk of all the land, but still I want the details! Come, come!” he boomed.

And so through to the great dining hall they went, and a feast was laid out in Halfemption’s honour, and servants were there, dressed in white. The Lords and Ladies of the surrounding estates, who were seated at the long table, rose as one to applaud the returning hero.

“Your coat?” lisped a curious voice at his elbow. Halfemption turned, and gasped. His brother, the grand, admittedly self-titled, Bravest Half-Elf in the World Ever, simpered at his side, hunched and with his eyes downcast. His bearing was slumped and not possessed of the same testosterone-fuelled arrogance of his true demeanour. His hair, once a thing of such beauty that there were more paintings of Halfullion in hairdresser’s shops across the land than any other living man, was lank and even straggly.

The strangest thing of all was that Halfemption felt no shame, next to his brother, he felt tall, broad-shouldered and strong compared to him. Moreover, in this strange world that seemed to have grown around him, Halfemption saw truly that his brother was not wise, and not truly noble, and that he was the better man. And his father believed this too, and he was loved.

“My lord!” said Halfemption, to the shadow of his brother. “What ails thee?”

His father pushed between them, a strong arm bringing Halfemption to the head of the table. “Don’t waste your time with Halfie, my boy! A waste of space and always has been. You know we caught him cutting the cook’s hair last week?”

Halfemption grinned despite himself. Although this didn’t seem right, it felt very good. He sat and looked down, and at the beaten silver platter, yet empty.

A face looked back at him. His face…yet, the eyes were bright, the hair was perfectly tousled and the teeth! The teeth were white and straight. He looked more like Halfullion than Halfullion did!

He frowned slightly. Over the shoulder of his reflection he saw something dark lurking, a cold figure of fear behind him. He turned, suddenly, but nothing was there.

Slowly, Hal returned to the feast, as his father passed an apple to him.

“Eat!” cried the huge man. “Eat, and be strong!”

Halfemption Gormlessar lifted the luscious red apple towards his mouth. It was so bright, and round and firm. Something did not smell quite right, but he closed his eyes and opened wide for the first bite…
And all the rest is literature

Last edited by Rimbaud; 04-04-2005 at 03:33 AM.
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