The Good Earth


 Disclaimer - These characters all belong to the estate of J.R.R. Tolkien. This story was written for pleasure and not for financial gain. 



 

“Come, I have something to show you.” Taking his wife’s hand, Aragorn led her through long neglected paths of the Citadel. “Close your eyes!” They rounded a corner. Arwen almost stumbled and was steadied by Aragorn’s strong hands. “You can look now.”

 

Arwen opened her eyes and gasped in wonder. Elanor and niphredil grew in abundance amongst lush grass. A clear stream trickled past beneath the shade of verdant limes. Rosebushes hedged the secluded garden, red and white blossoms releasing heady scents.

 

Arwen  joyfully embraced her husband. Here she could feel at home within the bleak stones of Minas Tirith.

 



  

Aragorn placed one weary foot in front of the other. Both tired and thirsty, he dared not rest, or risk more than a sip of his precious water supply. The next oasis was many leagues hither. He could seek aid from none, lest he betray his true origins.

 

What was he doing here in the enemy’s burning deserts? Many times he asked himself that question.

 

He was here to learn all he could, the better that he might eventually triumph.

 

Aragorn knew only that if he did not achieve his destiny, his heart would be more barren than this wasteland.

 


Eldarion laughed as the waves washed over his toes. He splashed happily in the shallow water. His sister, more cautious, clutched tightly at her father’s hand and tentatively dipped her toes in the water.

Arwen smiled indulgently at her children. The wind whipped her hair, swirling it around her face. The sand felt warm under her bare feet.

The waves gently lapped over the sand. Overhead, the gulls wheeled and screamed mournfully before flying towards the western horizon and vanishing from sight.

If the sea still called to Arwen, she heard it not; her children’s laughter had drowned its summons.

Ring
 

A cold mist swirled around him, chilling him to the very bone. No birdsong broke the silence. The stench was hideous. Sightless eyes stared up from the water. No birdsong broke the silence. Unearthly lights blazed, flickered and died in the distance. 

The Midgewater Marshes seemed as blissful as the Undying Lands compared with these! Then they had honest Strider guiding them in sunlight. Frodo had looked a proper Hobbit then, not the walking shadow he had become. Merry and Pippin had chattered while they swatted the midges droning round them. In this desolate place, Sam even missed the midges!




“Go, Shadowfax, and make your farewells. I would speak with Éomer.” Gandalf gently pats my neck and dismisses me.

The wind sings in the long grass that gently brushes against my flanks as I gallop past. A pretty young filly catches my eye. Soon we are running together with the herd, the breeze blowing in our manes. The ground echoes to the sound of thundering hoof beats.

My master tells me that Valinor is fairer than any place I have yet seen, but how could it compare with the plains of the Riddermark? Could any other grass taste as sweet?
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1_nom_100x100respite.png picture by lindahoyland


Mighty oaks and graceful birches mingled with verdant lime and willow. A thrush sang sweetly as he sought his mate. Lush ferns grew beneath the trees; shelter for many a small creature.

Dappled sunlight pierced the leafy canopy, scattering shafts of golden light.

Small fish darted in the clear stream, snatching at midges hovering above the water’s surface.

Aragorn sighed blissfully as he cast himself down upon a mossy bank. He drank deeply from the stream, easing his aching feet in the cool water. The woodland was a peaceful haven, offering respite from the summer heat to the weary Ranger. 
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