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Old 09-05-2003, 12:35 PM   #189
Shade of Carn Dûm
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Alethea rose from her bed slowly, her hair fell idly to her waist and her speckled eyes glistened with tears. Her cheeks and pillows were damp from the salty tears she had cried during the night, they flowed as if they had a mind of their own and she could not stop them. Her night had been a restless one and she had drifted in and out of dreaming frequently plagued by the thoughts of her sister, mother, the Corsairs and Rhir. She walked to the large curtains and drew them, the sun immersed the room in warm forgiving light and the tears that still lingered on Alethea’s cheeks shimmered in the rays.

She sat herself down on the windowsill and looked out over the front gates. It was rather late and the early morning dew was grasping on to the blades of grass on the front grounds. The fog hung lightly in the air now and allowed the main gate to be obscured from her view slightly, but she did not miss the messenger who entered the gate. Her eyes followed him carefully as he drew closer to the main door; he was from Minas Tirith. Probably for another guest she assured herself; maybe a wedding invitation or another Ball.

Alethea eyed the messenger as he dismounted his horse and was met in halfway to the door by Rheaite. They conversed for a while and then she covered her mouth with her hand as if in shock. The messenger nodded and mounted the horse again and he was off leaving Rhe by herself. Slowly she made her way back inside. Alethea frowned; she had received some sort of grievous news; that was established by the expression upon her face. But what I wonder?

Alethea’s bare feet softly hit the floor and she found a sudden haste inside of her, she quickly threw he dressing gown over her nightclothes and pulled open her door. She ran down the dim corridor and to a small set of stairs. She had already missed Rhe but Meirelle was at the bottom of the stairs. Her expression was blank until she saw Alethea running down the stairs towards her.

“Alethea!” She called.

“Meirelle, what is it. What news did that messenger bring?”

Alethea was only halfway down the stairs when Meirelle told her, “It is Rhircyn Isindil, he is…dead…”, Alethea stopped; a look of disbelief took over her.

“No…” Alethea whispered confused, “no….” this time she need the banister for support, she reached out and caught it. Tears formed in her eyes again and she shook her head staring at the now blurry carpet.

“Are…do you?” Stuttered Meirelle, she was at a loss of what to do. But it Alethea shook her head.

“You can go….” She managed to say as her grip tightened on the banister. Meirelle did not question her again, but left her in the shadowy hall. When she had gone Alethea slid slowly to the floor, she wrapped her arms around her bent knees and her head leaned against the banister pole. Tears started to flow again, they were slow but persistent and though she tried hard to put them at bay she was unable. He had died? But how and what of Dryea? And now the guilt flooded in again; that guilt of her hatred for Dryea.

Don’t really hate her; she is my sister. And what a thing to happen to Rhir! All that I have put her through; my petty moaning and arguments with her. All that she has had to cope with, and now this.

Her tears still flowed, and even if she did not know it she was lying to herself. She still hated Dryea and everything she stood for; and she did not regret the arguments they had. For they were the opener to her. Even if she would not admit it. Even if she cried and cried in pity for her sister, and no matter how much she told herself those things deep inside she was glad Rhir had died. It is a horrific thing to think and that is why Alethea tried to subdue it, but in the back of her mind as she sat on the stair she could not help thinking: Serves her right!

[ September 06, 2003: Message edited by: Arien ]
"...still, we lay under the emptiness and drifted slowly outward, and somewhere in the wilderness we found salvation scratched into the earth like a message."
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