[personal profile] martasfic
Title: Curse Us and Crush Us
Word Count: 300 + Notes
Rating: Teen (for violence, angst)
Challenge: b2wm 2011 #9
Fandom: The Silmarillion
Characters: Gorlim (companion of Beren)
Beta: [personal profile] just_ann_now

Summary: "Gorlim returning from the war upon the marches found his house plundered and forsaken, and his wife gone; whether slain or taken he knew not."


He squatted in the undergrowth. 'Twas his turn at watch and he would take it willingly. Gladly, even, in happier days. He had always welcomed this time alone beneath the forest's eaves, for the quiet hours had always been as dear as kin to him.

Now, though, the memories...

Gorlim was plagued by what he had seen on returning home from the wars, in his nightmares and waking dreams alike. The door hanging off its hinge and the door-jamb nearly broken in half. The rough-hewn chairs upended on the floor, the busted crockery all around the floor. Worst of all, the cradle turned on its side by the fire burning low. That last image was a lie, a horrible lie – he and Eiliniel had neither babe nor cradle when he'd left with Barahir – but his mind always insisted on adding it somehow. And always, always, the blood-streak on the table's corner.

Where was she now, his wife? Was she dead in the woods, these woods, or killed by orcs, or worse than that? What could be worse? Gorlim had seen too much, he knew that worse could be a chasm without bottom, and he wondered.

A few feet away, Barahir slept like the daughter Gorlim feared he would never have. Gorlim imagined Nargothrond's fell ring glistening in the moonlight: twin serpents beneath their golden crown, always upholding, always devouring. What madness had driven his captain to ally himself with that house? What had he doomed them to? For any man who had marched with Barahir knew Finrod's tales about the dark elves who came out of the west. Finrod had put Manwë's doom on Fëanor's line alone, but Gorlim was not so sure.

That doubt gnawed at him. What could be done, what could he do? And where was she?
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