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The Ashes of Twilight  by Tinuviel ylf maegden

"Spirits of the Earth, come nigh to me." Their voices rose and fell on the wind, like the tide. I stood still as a temple pillar, receiving their every tingling vibration.

I was engulfed by the Spirit fire. I was theirs to move and behold, as I manifested their thought and will. Their warm light passed over me and then through me, as a wave rushes over the shore, sliding down my spine and licking my every sense like cool flame.
Emotions' un accounted for I felt; my body was swept up by their light. I was being swayed like the trees in the wind, nodding lilies, dancing creeks. My spirit soared with them on pinions of starlight.

The ghosts circled me, like the light that encompassed my body. We reeled in balance even as the cosmos, their hands linked to form a sacred circle. For them, by them, I was wind in the heather.
This grassy knoll was our great hall, and above in the glittering womb of Elbereth our audience reposed in her inky, indigo waters. Lost souls now found, they burned their crystalline delight with stone cold fire.
Once we had all slept within her Great belie, unaware of the world that we would live to grace...or destroy. We were but avatars of the thought of Illuvatar, as the spirits were avatars of moonlight.
Faery child. I was their child, fated to one day return to the heavens of her womb, no more or less than their beloved child like all that was or will be.

 Elves are as ancient as the Sea. Ancient as the Moon. We live as part of the Earth, fated to die only when it dies in some dim, unseen end. "I will not pass from this world for many, many years," I thought. The spirits stopped.
No longer did we dance or laugh. I perceived a still flash of unease pass through them, like lightning. Their once bright light became jade green. A corps light. The light that is born upon the funeral procession, showing the way to the silent mourners. They knew what it was I had been thinking, they knew my every thought and emotion through my aura. I fell to the ground. "What? What is it?" I cried out in thought to the throng that circled me. I already knew.

Ere I had proclaimed my immortal life to them, as it was my birth right given to my people, I could fell there was discord with their answer. "What do you see?" A sad horror began to creep through my veins.
Whenever I had tried to see my future, all that came to my minds eye was a dense fog. If it was the will of the Valar to keep my fate hidden, then I accepted it, and thought no more. Now the spirits had given me reason to fear.

I cried out into the night , sad as the lament the gulls sing as they mourn. Will I die?" The fire inside me faded. They faded into the web of night, as the stars fade from sight as morning rushes upon us. The silver moonlight left the glade with a shudder, wrapping us in icy darkness. 

A sudden wind passed over us, thrilling me, filling me with terror. It bore the fell scent of rain. I had danced with the winds attached to my palms, and now the West wind brought with it tattered, filmy clouds. The ground beneath me and the sky above pulsed with electrum.  

Like wind and rain their voices rose, the sound of whispering leaves fadeing from life. Everything about them said, "Luthien Tinuviel, we can see right through you...into your very soul".

I ran, following the yellow lightning home. I did not want to hear their answer, though to Elves, physical ears are not what we hear with. I could never run from my soul, to which they answered. The rusty rain and wind stirred my spirit, the spirits slowly watched me go. They dissapeared in the electric flashes. 

In their sorrowful understanding they called out to me, and the answer strummed my inner being and vibrated like harp strings, " Thou shalt exist for thousands and thousands of years . . . thousands and thousands of years...for thousands and thousands of years*." And they were gone.

*That part was taken from the Egyptian "Book of Coming forth by Day by Night" a.k.a "The Book of the Dead"


The Fire of dawn. It entangled itself in the branching hair of the trees, like the one I reclined under. I slid my palm along the ruff surface of the gnarled roots, desperate to feel something. Anything. Anything to let me know I still lived.

I let the crystal gold of morning wash over me, warm my frozen blood. I gazed down upon her, the lady born of this light. Galadriel, whose very blood flowed in mine own veins.

She was still and poised in a graceful arch like a cat, bowing with love and respect to the sun she worshipped. Golden sheets of silky sunbeams and moon’s breath tumbled from her head and trailed sorrowfully in the long grass of Lorien.

Strange, above many things, was the length of her tress, long as willow reeds. They carried the image of her wisdom, great and undimmed as it blazed with golden luster.

The sun was rising. Gently, gracefully, she rose with it, straightening her spine and unfolding her arms, palms upward, to receive the sun’s radiance, a lotus blossom called from under it's shadowy chamber below the foam. "Jevo…Jevo…Jevo…" this word alone did she lisp. It spilled o’er her lips like water o’er the rocks, and hung mistily in the air, the memory from a dream.

At last, she was erect as a collumn, wreathed in the blazing radiance of the sun. Proud and tall, yet supple and lithe as the wind. She reminded me of a tree; steady and strong, with deep roots, yet graceful and pliable. Not so grand they could not ride the wind like the seed from whence they were born.

"You see, Undomiel," she said to me, soaking in the light, "every dawn brings change. The whole world is made new, and all life with it. Creation repeats itself. That first day…" she turned to look at me.

With her steady, sure gait, she glided toward me and knelt beside on the grass. "That first day, is today. What has been has passed and will never be again. Tomorrow has not yet come to pass. All that is…" she placed her hand over my heart, "…is now. It is today. It is you. You are a part of all that is, of all the spirit that manifests all the earth. The day, time, eternity, it exists in you."

She gazed at me with pained love. Her glance was keen as the star fields of heaven, set within her milky skin that no temple of grand alabaster can match. All around her, summer followed. Stargazing, lazy evenings, rivers and waterfalls.

"How much longer do I have?" I sadly questioned. "It is tearing me apart…the unknowing." My eyes were glossed with sudden tears. "By the sword would be swift, easy, and soon…"my voice trailed off, sad as winters chills through the autumn leaves. " I fear that, in the end, it will be no less painful if…" I was lost for words, and could only lisp with windy, broken words, my thoughts that could not truly be manifest through speech.

She pulled me close to her. "Tell me, child." I took a shaky breath, fighting back the water that stung my eyes. "In the end…whatever end," I choked out, "will it then be no less gone? I can feel it, the winter, freezing me inside. There is no escape, for it exists within."

She smiled with the wisdom she had wintered into. "Yes, Undomiel, my child. Your time here on Arda will, at length, reach it’s winter. Everything dies, and when the world ends, will it matter who passed first and who still lives?" The dams behind my salty orbs broke, and a deluge of lost, ancient sea water rushed out, pouring down my cheeks in streaming rivers, dousing the fire under my skin. "And then?" I implored in my shattered voice. "What comes after the winter?" She smiled and stroked my raven hair. "Why, after winter," she cooed, "there is always spring."


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