Cleansing Water

by May 4, 2003Stories

Cleansing Water

“The Black Sword was my beloved and my husband. To seek him only I go. What else could you think?” A single figure stood by the water, clad only in a white dress; she could have been but an illusion in the mists that swirled around her. Desolation and death surrounded her; blood stained the ground. Her beloved, dead. The dragon bleeding, the Black Sword embedded in his flesh, his black blood flowed.
“Turambar! Turambar!” her heart-wrenching cries split the air. Not caring for her clothing she fell at his side, her tears falling like stars. His hand was burned and withered; she bathed it with her salty tears, and bound it with a strip of cloth from her shift. Crying her grief to all who would hear it, she kissed her beloved one last time.
“Awake! My love, will you not come back to me? Wake! Do not accept the gift of men just yet. Oh my husband, my lover.” As she knelt there in sorrow, the wind whipped around her, drying her tears and played with her golden hair. Glaurung summoned the last of his strength and spoke:
“Hail, Nienor daughter of Hurin. We meet again ere the end. I give thee joy that thou hast found thy brother at last. And now thou shalt know him: a stabber in the dark, treacherous to foes, faithless to friends, and a curse unto his kin. Turin son of Hurin! But the worst of all his deeds thou shalt feel in thyself.” She who had been called Niniel sat in silence while the Dragon died, her every memory rushed though her mind. Her mother’s face came before her closed eyes, the time spent with the elves, the hours of waiting for news of her brother. Her brother! The Black Sword! Her husband, her lover, her Brother! A new cry of anguish fell from her lips. Her husband, her lover, her brother! The full weight of what had happened struck her and she cried aloud:
“Farewell, O twice beloved! A Turin Turambarturun ambartanne: master of doom by doom mastered! O happy to be dead!” Nienor and Niniel, she who was twice loved and had loved twice, ran. The sound of water led her on. Her husband, her brother, her lover. Indeed happy and dead she would soon be. The sound of footsteps behind her spurred her on; she would not face anyone right now, for the shame was too great. She came to the edge of Cabed-en-Aras, and looked on the flowing water. “O cleansing water,” she thought to herself, “would you wash this stain from me? Will you bear me far from here? Will you give me the Gift of Men?” She closed her blue eyes and cast her self into the river. The water gently cradled her as one would a small child and granted her requests.

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