Challenge: Reflections; mirror,silver, glass, eyes, thought, still water.
Characters: Arwen, Aragorn
Disclaimer: The characters in this story do not belong to me, but are being used for amusement only, and all rights remain with the estate of JRR Tolkien.
She studied her face in the mirror. It looked the same as it always did. As it had these past hundreds, these thousands, of years.
Somehow, she had expected wrinkles once she had chosen mortality.
She had looked forward to some obvious changes to mark her decision and yet, fifty years on, the face in the mirror was unchanged; as was the body beneath it.
Her husband came to stand behind her, hair and beard greying, smile lines at his eyes.
“Beautiful as ever…” he said, and wondered why his words had brought a brief frown to Arwen’s usual serenity.
It seemed to Arwen that her husband didn’t really understand that she regretted the unchanging image in her mirror.
Did he notice that he no longer looked as he had when they first met? That his hair was now streaked with silver? His beard, too. She liked the changes; he was as if touched by moonlight.
Her hair remained black. Black as pitch he had told her after his time at sea; black as velvet he said, black as the darkest night…
But Arwen did not want to be the darkest night; she wanted moonbeams and tiny streaks of starlight.
Éowyn understood. They had sat one night over glasses of wine and Éowyn said she had worried, once, about ageing faster than Faramir. Had worried that he might think her a hag.
But Faramir said the marks of childbearing (which Arwen also envied) were badges of office, the lines on her face showed how much she smiled or, sometimes, frowned, and the streaks in her hair were lines of wisdom.
Éowyn understood that Arwen did not want to look as if nothing had ever stirred or angered her, as if she didn’t care; she wanted to show a life well-lived.
Aragorn was not old as elves counted age, nor did he seem old when Arwen thought of aged mortals with faltering gait and clouded eyes; as she thought of Éowyn or Faramir before they passed beyond the circles of the world.
But on days when he paused in speech to remember someone’s name, or rose twice in one night to pass water, he would stare pensively out a window and she knew he thought of his end of days.
Then she would reflect that their time together here was much too short but comfort herself that they would leave together.
He had gone and she was left for he had not told her how to die.
She fled to somewhere that matched her sorrow.
Grandfather had followed, and his presence comforted her.
As the season passed she ate less, roamed less and spoke little. Now he carried her to what remained of grandmother’s garden.
The water in the pool lay still as a mirror, reflecting the stars. Arwen wondered if she was as translucent as she felt; would they show through her if she looked?
But then she heard a beloved voice ; “I am waiting. It is time. Come…!”
I think that, afterwards, Celeborn would take her body and bury it on Cerin Amroth as they had decided.