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Grace and Memory  by Larner

The Seduction

            “And why do you hold your hand from the desired sacrifice to the Destroyer of Death?” whispered Zigur.  “It is only a tree, when all is said and done,” he added firmly.

             But Ar-Pharazôn was not as certain of that as his dread advisor would have him be.

            “Let it burn upon the altar within the Temple,” Zigur continued.  “When you prove yourself faithful to Him, our Lord will teach you how it is you can wrest immortality from the Powers.”

            The King of Númenor felt his resolve waver once more.  He grew older, after all, and the day must come when he must face dissolution at last.

            But yet he held his hand, still unwilling to raise such a challenge toward the Belain.

            “Not yet,” he murmured aloud to himself.

            He who had once been known as Annatar and Sauron hissed under his breath, growing impatient with this mortal’s lack of resolution.

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