"Angel of Music" - part 15 - An angel of joy and a fiend of crime
An angel of joy and a fiend of crime
Recap: Eæric, Meg and Vywien are in Gondor. Carolyn, Bûrzash and Rindel are in Lothlorien. The Fellowship has continued on its way. We have heard the fable of Thalion.
The poem is from an unknown American author.
"Mother! Mother! It's her! I found her - the girl, Carolyn! She has it! I just realized! Mother, where are you!" Eæric shook his head in excitement. Pacing energetically up and down the floor, he snapped his fingers, whistling occasionally. Around him radiated a sort of exuberant glow, which seemed to be impossible to defeat - and no one would wish to. "Mother! She has it! We can come out again - in the open, just like the old days! Oh, it'll be wonderful! Mother, where are you? Did you here me? There you are!!"
"What is it this time, little one? I need to get some rest, you've been up all night! Look at you - and think of your poor mother."
"No! Mother - I found it!"
"What?" Vywien stood up quickly from where she had lowered her weary body only a moment before. "Where? Who? How? Do we get to go on another adventure?"
"No, mother - it's Carolyn, she has it!" Eæric strode easily up to his mother. "Don't you see - we can get our real names back! Elven names! Everything will be as it was!"
"What about the girl?"
"Who cares about her?"
"Thalion," Vywien said slowly, shaking her head. "It's hers now. You know I would do anything for you, but not if it hurts another! Let it go. You had your three, and now it is her turn. There is no way you could get it back anyway!" Vywien sounded tired, more tired than Eæric had ever seen her. But he couldn't give up now!
"Mother, I know I can get it back!"
"And at what expense to the girl?"
"I don't know!" Eæric exclaimed. "I don't care! she's just a child! She can't even sing anymore! It's all sucked out of her! pitiful creature should die! And now with that nincompoop Rindel - "
"He's a very nice elf, and I don't think you should speak about him that way," Vywien said quietly, putting one hand on Eæric's shoulder. "Listen to yourself - you are no more important than anyone else. Little one-"
"Don't call me that!"
"Thalion, you need to be more considerate toward her. After all, it is not her fault -"
"No," he said slowly, stepping to the side and staring up into Vywien's face. "No, it is not her fault. It is yours."
"What? Mine? No!"
"You never did want me to have it, `mother.' Yes, I know you're not really. Why did you ever even take me in? Fool." Eæric circled around her like a vulture waiting to eat another's kill. He watched her face spin through the color spectrum - from white to red and finally, green. But on his own face, no sign of emotion showed. There were just Eæric's eyes - cold and uncaring.
"I . . . loved you!"
"You did, did you? I see. But not anymore. Not for a long time now. I understand it all now."
"Thalion, what are you doing? Thalion?!" Now there was an edge of panic to Vywien's voice as she backed away from her `son.'
"You know, mother. You know very well. I am Eæric."
"No . . ."
"I suppose that would make me a killer now," muttered Eæric, dragging himself to a nearby pool of water. "I do wonder when they'll find her."
He looked down into his own reflection, and moaned at the face he saw . . .
Two pictures hung on the dingy wall
Of a grand old Florentine hall-
One of a child of beauty rare,
With a cherub face and golden hair;
The lovely look of whose radiant eyes
Filled the soul with thoughts of Paradise.
The other was a visage vile
Marked with the lines of lust and guile,
A loathsome being, whose features fell
Brought to the soul weird thoughts of hell.
Side by side in their frames of gold,
Dingy and dusty and cracked and old,
This is the solemn tale they told:
A youthful painter found one day,
In the streets of Rome, a child at play,
And, moved by the beauty it bore,
The heavenly look that its features wore,
On a canvas radiant and grand,
He painted its face with a master hand.
Year after year on his wall it hung;
`Twas ever joyful and always young -
Driving away all thoughts of gloom
While the painter toiled in his dingy room.
Like an angel of light it met his gaze,
Bringing him dreams of his boyhood days,
Filling his soul with a sense of praise.
His raven ringlets grew thin and gray,
His young ambition all passed away;
Yet he looked for years in many a place,
To find a contrast to that sweet face.
Through haunts of vice in the night he stayed
To find some ruin that crime had made.
At last in a prison cell he caught
A glimpse of the hideous fiend he sought.
On a canvas weird and wild but grand,
He pained the face with a master hand.
His task was done; `twas a work sublime -
An angel of joy and a fiend of crime -
A lesson of life from the wrecks of time.
O Crime: with ruin they road is strewn;
The brightest beauty the world has known
Thy power has wasted, till in the mind
No trace of its presence is left behind.
The loathsome wretch in the dungeon low,
With a face of a fiend and a look of woe,
Ruined by revels of crime and sin,
A pitiful wreck of what might have been,
Hated and shunned, and without a home,
Was the child that played in the streets of Rome.
That, then, finally is me, thought Eæric in angry despair. I am the fiend, now I must find this "angel" to both redeem and condemn myself. He sunk to the ground, hand on his head. Why the sudden outburst? Why, even now, couldn't he control his emotions? They weren't natural . . . they didn't used to be like that . . .
Carolyn stood at the very back of the aisle. There were hard-backed chairs around here, but they were all full of uncomfortable-looking people, all waiting eagerly for the trial to start.
Legolas banged the desk with his gavel, looking very bored. "Christoph Slecht please step forward. You are accused of torturing, starving and putting to death several peoples of the following . . ."
Carolyn looked quickly for a way out. Not his trial! Not now! Too late - she stared into Christoph's eyes. He could find a way out! He would get her! Wait - no he couldn't. She wasn't here - that wasn't real! He was just human, after all. You are overreacting, Carolyn told herself.
But then he met her eyes, and she knew - she knew! - that Christoph was not done. Oh, no. Did he regret it! He couldn't! He was evil! But nothing can be entirely evil; it is impossible. There was something very wrong. These people - they were dressed in the strangest style! They were . . . she was . . . She should be in . . . in . . .
"What? yes, you are in Middle-earth. Were you having a bad dream? So sorry, go back to sleep, girl." Obediently Carolyn closed her eyes again. Yes, she was . . . safe . . . here . . . . . . . .. . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Bûrzash hurriedly clawed away at the last segment of material that seperated her from escaping. Finally, it was done. Smiling to herself evilly, Bûrzash bounded off into the night - the stopped instantly, without even bothering to slow down first.
"I am back for you," the shadow behind her said. "I have a new master for you to follow now."
"Who is it?" she asked eagerly. "Whom may I serve?"
"Do as I order, then return to the little hobbit you have picked up, it will not take long."
"Do you remember a young elf called Thalion? He is back and just outside of Gondor. Bring him here, then await further orders. Go!"
"Yes master!" Bûrzash cried, running off in a slightly different direction than before. Gondor! She would be there in only a couple mornings! Let the day begin, she was obeying her first master again now. Everything was as it should be. Of course, she would have to go back to that hobbit later - but not before evil had been done.
Burzash never felt any true liking for Frodo Baggins, but he had been her master for a short time. Somehow, she did not wish to harm him.
But that was really not her choice.
Yes, it has been a while. Forgive me - these parts continue to get stranger and stranger, but they will come together soon. Enjoy, and please comment.
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
Part 14: http://www.theonering.com/docs/12320.html