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Reflections from the Paradise of Elves  by Bodkin

The Paradise of Elves – Part 31:  Holiday 

‘I must thank Elerrina appropriately for arranging this,’ Legolas said, as he rested against the rail and admired the stars. 

‘It is certainly a different begetting day gift,’ Elrohir commented. ‘Most wives content themselves with a book or a cloak pin.’

‘It cannot have been easy to get your adar to agree,’ Elladan remarked.  ‘I do not believe he enjoyed the voyage here.  He seemed to spend a large amount of time leaning over the side – and I do not think he held down a single meal.’

‘He did not understand,’ Legolas admitted.  ‘My wife said that he asked incredulously if she was sure I would not prefer to journey to the forest to spend time with the trees – and when she told him she was certain I would enjoy a week sailing the coast and exploring the rivers and islands, he shook his head and muttered that Mithrandir was responsible for much.’

The water rolled like black satin in the light of the rising moon and Legolas’s small grey ship rocked comfortingly.  ‘I shall miss this,’ he said to the night.

‘Yes,’ Elrohir agreed.  ‘I have spent nearly all my years far from the sea, but its song eats into your soul, does it not?  It becomes like the beat of your heart.’

‘It no longer consumes me,’ Legolas said consideringly.  ‘As soon as we took ship, the aching hunger for it left me.  I love the sound of the waves and the cry of the gulls, but it is a love that can be satisfied with occasional visits to remind me of its beauty and power.’

‘Do you not feel it at all, Elladan?’ his brother asked curiously.

His twin shrugged apologetically.  ‘I prefer the music of the Bruinen or the laughter of the Nimrodel,’ he said.  ‘I am afraid the sea-longing never became a reality for me.  I can see the ocean is impressive, but, like your adar, I could live without it.’

‘Which is just as well,’ Legolas observed.  ‘Considering how far we will be from its waters.’

Elladan’s eyes blazed with excitement. ‘I cannot wait,’ he said.  ‘I have enjoyed our time here far more than I thought I would, but to move to our own lands – it is like being reborn.’

‘It must have been somewhat like this for Oropher and my adar,’ Legolas said.  ‘Going from the lands of another, where they lived on sufferance, to a new life full of promise. Only, then they watched it turn sour as the evil spread, until they fought to hold every piece of ground.’

‘We will be spared that,’ Elrohir pointed out. ‘Although, even here, elves seem able to cast unnecessary shadows over their lives.’

‘There is not enough to do,’ Elladan shrugged.  ‘If there were more like Adar and Thranduil, there would be less trouble – I do not believe our elders have let us have more than a day free in the last month.  It is one of the reasons that Miriwen was happy for me to come with you.  She said she and Elrin would like to see me in daylight, but she knew that I would only be working if I stayed at home, so I might as well have a few days away.’

Elrohir laughed.  ‘Sirithiel’s message was rather similar – if less clearly expressed. Although she said that, if I was going to be away, she was taking Aewlin and Nimloth to stay with her parents – she felt that maybe, just maybe, if each of them had two alert adults on constant duty, they might be able to get through a few days without disaster.’  He put his head back and let the moon shine on his face, bathing in its cool light.  ‘She also made me promise that, once we got back, I would look after them for a week, so that she could enjoy a peaceful visit with her friends.’

‘Ouch – that sounds a high price to pay,’ his brother commented.  ‘I am pleased to say that Miriwen failed to exploit the opportunity to extort a similar promise.’

‘Elerrina, on the other hand, my friend –,’ Legolas said ruefully, leaving the end of the sentence for him to work out.

Elladan fixed his silver-grey eyes on him.  ‘You, too?’ he asked. ‘Oh well, we might as well make it the full set.  At least Elrin is just about old enough to be helpful.  What shall we do with them?’

‘Make sure we stay very close to the more senior and intimidating members of our families,’ Legolas suggested.  ‘Rope Thranduil into controlling Elrohir’s little terrors, set Galadriel on to Eleniel and Galenthil – and take Elrin fishing with us.’

‘It will not work,’ Elrohir disagreed. ‘Daernaneth indulges their every whim – and gives them lessons in how to circumvent their parents’ perfectly reasonable requests.’

Elladan eyed him cynically.  ‘Just because she told them stories about how we used to confuse everyone to avoid tasks we were set,’ he said. ‘It is not as if they needed instruction. They have been doing the same thing since they learned to talk.’

Legolas laughed.  ‘Actually, Thranduil is also ridiculously indulgent – he seems to enjoy making me play the ogre.  He says it is only justice.’

Elrohir stretched, cat-like.  ‘All the more reason to enjoy every moment of this excursion, my friend.  No elflings, no responsibilities, no-one looking over our shoulders – just good weather and open water.’

‘I do not know about that,’ Legolas replied with some foreboding.  ‘Those have the sound of famous last words, my friend.’


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