"Angel of Music" - Part 14 - Silent Music
Split - but not the Fellowship - Into happier hands and lands.
Recap: Rindel and Carolyn have been separated from the Fellowship. We left them begging Haldir to tell them stories. Bûrzash remains in the talan where Frodo is; Haldir does not suspect she is more than Frodo's servant. He probably assumes her to be another hobbit. The orcs have come and gone, as have the early hour of night. We pick up again the next day.
Disclaimer: I repudiate any and all proprietorship of this composition that is not mine. Please differentiate the eminence of my labor from that of the renowned Tolkien.
The pale butter sun melted the steaming biscuit sky with its cool rays. ( Albeit, a blue biscuit.) It was a slow dawn, flooding the wood of Lothlórien with the care and placidity of molten syrup. Carolyn's eyes opened in a leisurely, peaceful manner. They no longer had the black, milky look of one who has too long hidden in shadow; nor were had they the melted, rotten look of burning cheese; they were as blue and clear as freshly-squeezed huckleberry juice.
Carolyn lazily listened to the cheerful gurgling of the Nimrodel, flowing through the vegetation-covered banks. The sound was distant, though, and she soon took to the closer sound of the mint-platter-sized mallorn leaves encompassing her talan. Everything was alive here.
There was a faint scent in the air. Carolyn could not quite place it: it was the warm mornings at breakfast time, when the eggs were still hot and the smell of freshly-cooked bread wafted through the air; the gentle laughter of young children who do not wish to squabble, for grandmother is nearby. It was the old woman watches them, hiding a special blackberry cobbler between her oven mitts and cooking-stained apron. It was the closeness of a kitchen. It was a dream.
Needless to say, Carolyn was hungry, and not entirely awake - but wholly peaceful. Almost.
No nightmares had visited her that first night in Lórien - she had had no dreams at all! - but there was always that feeling of something missing, lost. Carolyn lazily searched her mind and memory - what was it? Why couldn't she grasp the thoughts that bothered her? Wait, there it was -
"Good morning," a cheerful voice exclaimed. Rindel's blithe head popped up from the talan's entrance. "Ready to take on the world, impress the Lady, and smile?"
Carolyn blinked, forgetting any morbid thoughts that may have crept in. "Smile? Alas! what a challenge is this? Shall I make it out alive?" She raised her eyebrows with such a comic suspiciousness, Rindel thought it nothing less than his duty to laugh in reply.
"Oh! Indeed. Come, then, if you wish to finish everything in a single day!"
"We are not going with the Fellowship?"
"Do you wish to?" Rindel asked in surprise. "Of all the dreary groups, why pick them? Oh, I know why: Legolas."
"No! Well, I mean, he's nice . . ." Carolyn faltered slightly, blushing. "But he frightened me, being so close to . . . never mind. I was asking because, after all, I did come with them."
"Thus I am forced to ask for the honor of escorting you, my Lady," Rindel answered, a childish smile forming on his elven face. Then again, he was very youthful as far as his people were concerned. "Into Lothlórien and away from nightmares!"
"I wasn't planning to have any." And they went off, Carolyn never remembering her sorely trying dream. It was better that way: some things are better left unknown. Especially if they smell of Spam.
"Ash, go with them," Frodo said sternly, though not without compassion. "That is an order."
Over her darkened glasses, Bûrzash glanced one last time at her master. Were she not bound to him, and unable to do so, black fire would have burned in her eyes, matching her thoughts: Master, you have betrayed me! But I will return. I will always return.
The elves dragged her away to be held in Lórien. The Fellowship went on without her to meet the Lord and Lady of the Wood. But Frodo did not forget her as quickly as the others, for he could feel the seething anger and hatred that tore Bûrzash. Turning his thoughts away, Frodo let himself be bound by a blindfold and led away, further into Lothlórien.
Carolyn woke abruptly, sitting up as though from a unpleasant dream, though if it had been, she could not remember. She smiled; after all, it didn't really matter now: this was a place of peace and happiness - no ill would come of any of it. Let dreams come and go! They could not harm her here.
"I'll be myself," Carolyn muttered to herself. "The past can be what it may - but it is no part of me! Begone false spirits, for I am free! Free of everything - and most especially the Music that trapped me not once but twice! What a silly child I have been for so very long. After all, it was like a dream; nothing could really hurt me."
So saying, she suddenly grinned and raced out of her room, barely taking a minute to dress. After all, this was the time of her life, and it wasn't there to waste. And she had an idea that the elves would have many tales to tell, and few listeners who had not heard them several times before.
Fairy tales were so wonderful: all those things - good and bad - happened to someone else and weren't her problem. Let the world collapse! Carolyn was safe in her mind, and that was all that mattered to her.
Soon, Carolyn was joined by Rindel, and they went to hear the pasts and stories of the elves.
Thalion Arnatuilë was by no means normal for an elf. Oh he, like the rest of his people, loved the woods and forests of Middle-earth, and he, too, yearned for the sea. But Thalion could not be content in anything but travel.
There were many reasons for this, I suppose. But the most important of which, was that Thalion was searching for a thing of myth, of legend beyond his understanding. He supposed, as I guess is true in all things, that all myth has a base in history. And this was something that called to him more than anything had before: silent music.
Now this "Silent Music" as it was called, was not really music at all. But what it was has long been lost in the passing of tales through peoples and generations; for its true purpose and makers were long gone.
What did remain, however, was the truth that this silent music was something of extraordinary power and charm, something that could change the course of all living things without altering them. Little sense as this seemed to make, Thalion searched for it.
He looked in many places, everywhere in Middle-earth, as the case was. But never did he cross the sea, for he knew that over there, it could not be used.
Thalion did find it one day, a few centuries ago, and he took it for his own, and used its powers, which were both more and less than he had ever dreamed. You see, the truth is that silent music was indeed both everything and nothing - and for every time it worked, he who held it payed an equal price in the end.
Yet there was one more thing that legend did not mention, and this was that silent music could not be held by one person forever, and could only be used three times.
Thalion lost it soon after that third time, and everything he had gained from it was lost at that time. Still, he lived on and did not cross over the sea. He is in Middle-earth to this day, and does nothing but search for his lost music, surely in the hands of another - and he wishes for nothing but that music, or so it is believed. For with the loss of the music, everything else he cherished was gone as well.
Thalion changed his name, and I do not know what it is now, and ever moved. One day, he will find the one given the silent-music, and he will follow it. But Thalion can never regain what was lost to him. For it is no longer his, and cannot aid him.
The power of silent-music, and how it affects others is different each time and in each circumstance. But each time, its might is no more and no less than the mental affect on the listener - whether it is to strike fear or relieve tears. Not all can hear it, and once it is lost, as it was for Thalion, the listener can not have even the comfort of its sound.
"Is that a true story?" Carolyn demanded, hugging her knees tightly in hope to hear more. "Thalion really does live around here? Have you ever met him?"
"Yes," answered the old elf. "I have met him, and would recognize him if I ever saw him - for he was my best friend at one point. But I will not betray his secrets, and neither can you. For you, too, know him. I can see it in your eyes - you have met the seeker of music."
"Like the Angel?"
"I have never heard him called that - but I suppose so, for he had great talent, even without the silent music . . ."
Time passed. It was difficult to say how much, for that which is steady and beating for humans, takes on a different meaning and rhythm with the immortal beings. It may have been two weeks by the clocks out of Lórien, though they were the ones who knew nothing of what happened within. But I shall tell you, in part and in summery.
Bûrzash was locked in a comfortable, though confined area. The elves who had taken her did not forget; yet to them the wait meant nothing, and she was paid no heed. Still, in that short time, she did not forget her master or her duty to him; she would always go back. Every day she waited for her master's return. Hitherto Frodo had not arrived, and had been quite happy with her absence.
And so she waited.
Carolyn spent many happy days with Rindel and the other elves haunted by nothing save forgotten dreams in the early hours of the morning. They danced and sang - or at least the elves sang, for Carolyn would only listen, forgetting that music was hers to have. She learned many stories and songs there, but none would ever leave Lothlórien through her mouth, for she would never say.
The Fellowship rested in peace for that short time, but they, like the elves, eventually had to leave. And soon - much too soon for he who bore the Ring and his companions - time was up, and the quest had to be continued.
But before they went, a most curious thing happened that would change each of their lives in a small, ordinary, but significant way, though none of them knew when it occurred - nor even knew that something beyond the ordinary happened.
There is a something that is not,
A sight invisible,
A smell that comes from nothing,
A touch that is not there,
A taste from which no tingle touches the tongue,
There is a music that is silent,
And this music is rare.
It is not from our world,
Nor is it from theirs -
Or anyplace at all.
It is from nowhere, and looks like nothing,
It has no taste and leaves no touch.
The ear cannot hear it, yet it knows it's there;
For the soul can sense it in a way
That is not a sense.
It is not a touch, a taste, a smell and a sight
And none of those all the same.
But more than anything it is not a sound;
It is the opposite.
It is Silent Music
The music of the soul -
And of nothingness.
A strange person - a girl perhaps, or a woman, Carolyn could not tell - with a wise face and ancient eyes on the figure of a child barely old enough to be on her own stepped out of nothing and bestowed a gift upon the girl of Germany - of Middle-earth, of the past and the future.
She handed the harp to Carolyn saying only: "It is time to finish what you have begun. Use it wisely," though she must have known the Carolyn could not play it.
Yet she could.
Three times may silent music be used, and the first took Carolyn to Middle-earth to begin with. The strange woman - if that she was - merely gave the instrument to Carolyn so she might complete the tree. And Carolyn could play this harp despite any deformity or injury that stopped her from touching any other instrument. So Carolyn Müller chose to forget, at least for a little while, her past.
Yet this story is not done, and memories cannot so easily be forgotten. They would return, as surely as the assassin locked below and alone would return to her master. For these things cannot be stopped; they will go on forever until reunited with their proper owners.
This part is odd. Serves me right for watching "A.I." right before I wrote the second half. Good movie, by the way; I recommend it. Sorry this part is so short, also.
Sorry for the delay, please insert an excuse here. I would appreciate any comments you have!
Ah, yes: in case anyone was wondering, I actually wasn't hungry when I wrote this. I just like to . . . experiment. Anyway, tell me what you thought of all the food descriptions. Personally, that's how my mind works when I haven't eaten much for the last few days.
Um, right. Sorry for the hold up on all my works - and also in the future.
Part 1: http://www.theonering.com/docs/9591.html
Part 2: http://www.theonering.com/docs/9599.html
Part 3: http://www.theonering.com/docs/9619.html
Part 4: http://www.theonering.com/docs/9671.html
Part 5: http://www.theonering.com/docs/9791.html
Part 6: http://www.theonering.com/docs/10080.html
Part 7: http://www.theonering.com/docs/10374.html
Part 8: http://www.theonering.com/docs/10709.html
Part 9: http://www.theonering.com/docs/10813.html
Part 10: http://www.theonering.com/docs/11066.html
Part 11: http://www.theonering.com/docs/11366.html
Part 12: http://www.theonering.com/docs/11533.html
Part 13: http://www.theonering.com/docs/11746.html