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Old 11-27-2002, 10:42 AM   #47
VanimaEdhel
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Silmaril

Menelduliniel closed her eyes a second and took a ragged sigh.

"Fine," she said, "Yes...fine. I am fine. The stories he could tell you if you had gone within the last, oh, say twenty years. Even if you had gone within the last fifty years, he would have had plenty of stories. Yes, so many stories he could have told you. I have not been welcomed peacefully to Mirkwood in fifty years, but I saw it about twenty years ago. So-" she broke off a second, her voice shaking, then continued, "So much had changed."

Susan looked at her closely.

"And," Menelduliniel said, praying that she would not break down in a fit of rage or tears, she knew not which, "Yes. I have met the Prince. He is more of a 'piece of work', as you labelled him, than you could ever imagine. He was to be married once. Did you know that? To Lady Poldorawen. She was a trainer of shieldmaidens, actually. It would not have been much of a marriage. She was too headstrong. The Prince is so strong-minded that, if he were to marry an equally strong woman, the kingdom would be torn apart. But he claimed he loved her. None know if he truly did or not. I do not believe he did. I believe he loved m-...a person of quite a different rank."

"And of you?" Susan asked the Elf.

"I...I was...am...the daughter of two servants of Thranduil. Laeron and Draugien are their names. They are good and faithful to the King. That, I suppose, is why they did not leave when I did. The King loved them. I think he liked me as well. He allowed me to rise above my station and train with other shieldmaidens of noble birth. Poldorawen was my master. She worked us too hard. I believe she killed a few maidens in the process, but none believe me since I have no proof. They say it is just my jealousy. Well, I am no longer jealous of her. She is dead and gone. She will no longer plague anyone."

"What were you jealous of?" Susan asked Menelduliniel.

"Of what she had in life," Menelduliniel said, sighing and fighting her emotions.

She could tell that Susan knew of what she spoke.

"Yes, he is a 'piece of work'," Menelduliniel continued, "He is a good man, but he does not realize his charisma. I suppose I may have mistook kindness for love, but could I make such a serious folly?" She paused, "Yes...I suppose I may have. I have made many errors over the past decades. He made it quite clear to me upon our last meeting that he holds me in no higher esteem than he would an Orc. No, he did not say those words, but I knew it. He still claimed to love Poldorawen. Could you imagine that?" Menelduliniel laughed bitterly, "Ai, well, Estelarion tells me I must move on. I suppose I shall. But, how can I move on when I am here and everything I see reminds me of him? In Harad it was different. Everything was so very different. The language and even the culture was foreign. I never even thought of him. But here...I know he is merely many days away. But, we must remain here, I suppose. Estelarion wishes to journey to Rivendell at some time to visit his kin. I wonder if I shall be able to journey there? Well, we shall soon see."

Menelduliniel fell quiet into a mass of self-pity, as she was wont to do, even when the occasion did not demand it.

At that time, Estelarion came over. He seemed to no longer be mad.

"Suilannon, hiril nn," he said, addressing Susan.

"Greetings," she replied.

He sat down next to Menelduliniel.

"Is she getting melodramatic again?" Estelarion asked Susan.

"I am not melodramatic," Menelduliniel argued.

"You do not know how lucky you are to be free, hn nn," Estelarion said.

"I would be better off dead," Menelduliniel pouted.

"We shall soon be off to Harad again, Menelduliniel," Estelarion said, "And you would have been better off dead had the Orcs kept you prisoner. Think of your blessings. I know you told this beautiful lady all about estel and how you cannot see how I could be named hope and all that you complain to me, for you tell all that, but I am a realist Menelduliniel. I believe in hope where hope dwells. I can see no hope in what you strive for. I do, however, see hope in you moving on. You will find your own place someday, Menelduliniel. It will most likely be in Harad, for you adapted to that culture more quickly than I could ever have thought. You will return there and your life will be good again. You will see that someday."

"How can you be so pessimistic, yet so optimistic?" Menelduliniel complained, "It is just not right!"

"Did you listen to what I said at all?" Estelarion asked. He then realized that Susan was still listening. He turned to her and said, "And what of you, kind lady? What of your tale? Or do you know any, even if they are of other people, that might cheer this cold heart that sits next to me, denying yet desperately grasping at a love that does not exist?"

Estelarion looked at Susan with pleading eyes as Menelduliniel continued to pout like an infant.

"Please," he mouthed, "She needs this merriment if you can provide it."

[ November 27, 2002: Message edited by: VanimaEdhel ]
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