"Pride is still aiming at the best houses: Men would be angels, angels would be gods. Aspiring to be gods, if angels fell; aspiring to be angels men rebel."
How would a character not allowed to express his or her thoughts, creativity, or opinion act out? Capture this in a story, poem or piece of
Title: The Sacrifice
Author: Linda Hoyland
Characters/Pairing: Aragorn, Faramir, Denethor
Word count: 864 approx
Book/Source: LOTR book-verse
Disclaimer - These characters all belong to the estate of J.R.R. Tolkien. This story was written for pleasure and not for financial gain.
With thanks to Raksha
My love, your eyes shine
Brighter than Elbereth's jewels.
Your hair is softer than thistledown,
Your lips redder than cherries,but far sweeter.
Your kisses will set me afire
With burning flame,
That you alone can quench.
Faramir chewed his quill thoughtfully. He had not yet met the lady to whom he would dedicate this poem, but he was certain this was how he would feel about her. This was what love should be like, a true union of souls. To dream of such a love and write about it helped make his life all the more bearable for one who would much liefer be a scholar than a soldier.
He tucked the half finished poem between the pages of the military report he knew he should be concentrating upon and resolutely returned to his task. His father expected a detailed review of Ithilien's defences first thing the next morning. Faramir worked late into the night and when he finally finished the report and placed it on his father's desk, he had forgotten all about the poem.
“Captain Faramir, the Lord Steward wishes to see you at once.”
Faramir handed his bow to one of his squires and left the practice butts wondering why his father was summoning him now. He was not due to see him until the evening meal when they would dine together and make their farewells before he returned to his Rangers the next day.
Denethor was pacing his office clutching a sheet of parchment. “What is the meaning of this,boy?” he demanded, thrusting the paper under Faramir's nose.
Faramir regarded it with dismay and flushed scarlet. It was his poem.
“I am sorry,father. It was a mere flight of fancy. There is no lady.”
“About the only matter in your favour, boy, is that your moral conduct has never given me cause for concern!” Denethor snapped. “It displeases me greatly,though, that you should waste your time writing this nonsense! You are a soldier,boy, not a poet! All your time and energy must be dedicated towards your duty. I never want to catch you engaged such foolishness again or you will feel the full weight of my wrath. Do I have your word that you will not write poetry again?”
Faramir wanted to tell his father how writing poetry helped him while away the long nights at Ithilien. He yearned to explain that writing down his dreams for the future, however hopeless, gave him greater strength to fight for them against an ever increasing enemy. Why should he not write in what little free time he had? What harm did it do to anyone? He wanted to rage against his father and tell him he was being unfair. He never wanted to be a soldier, but he did his duty and served Gondor wholeheartedly. Why could he not write poetry too. Faramir knew all too well that it was futile to argue. Denethor was not only his father, but his liege lord and he was sworn to obey him.
“You have my word,sire,”Faramir said bleakly.
“It is for your own good, boy,” said Denethor, his tone softening slightly. “The enemy is ruthless. We can only defeat him with sword and bow and dedicating ourselves entirely to that task. We will speak no more of it. Now go!”
Faramir returned to the training ground and for the next hour fired arrows at the practise butts with such ferocity that those who saw him were perplexed. Inside he felt as if part of himself had been destroyed, a part that he had cherished and nurtured.
Twenty years later.
“We have done enough work for today, Faramir.” Aragorn put aside the scroll he was working on and turned to his Steward. “Arwen and I hope you will dine with us tonight, we always enjoy your company.”
“I should like that very much,Aragorn, thank you. I will just go and make myself presentable to your lady.”
“Before you leave, I found this. It is your handwriting is it not?” The King handed Faramir a yellowing piece of parchment.
Puzzled, the Steward studied it and flushed.
“I did not know you wrote poetry, Faramir. Indeed, you seemed unable to, that day we were composing poems to our wives on the river bank.”
“My father forbade me to write poetry and I forced myself to lose the art. Where did you find this?I believed that my father had thrown it away.”
“I found it inside a book of lays that belonged to him that I was perusing in the library earlier today.”
“How strange!” said Faramir. “He was so angry that I had been writing poems. I assumed he had burnt it. Throw it away, it is just doggerel!”
“I think it is very good,” said Aragorn. “I believe your father thought so as well which was why he kept it the poem . Why not copy it out on a fresh parchment and give it to Éowyn? It will delight her that you dreamed of her before you two ever met.You should never have stopped writing, Faramir.”
“I had to, my lord demanded that sacrifice of me.”
Aragorn smiled and clapped Faramir on the shoulder. “Well your present lord would like you to write poems if you feel so inspired. I count myself most fortunate to have a Steward with so many talents!”