Challenge: Plants; Weeds, Shrubs, Trees.
Characters: Those who lingered
It was quiet, too quiet in all honesty.
Gandalf had called Imladris ‘The Last Homely House’, but it had actually been a whole settlement with The House at its heart.
Now there was little more inhabited than the house. There were still horses in the stable, a smith still worked the forge if required, and there were sufficient cows, sheep, and hens for the needs of those elves who remained; a handful of stock for a handful of elves.
More and more greenery and grass covered previously pristine paths and paving; not so much weeds, Elladan thought, as a reclamation.
When Arwen fled to the Golden Wood, unable to grasp the Gift of Men as her husband had, she had not faded totally alone. Celeborn had followed her, Glorfindel at his side.
Together they had supported Arwen – and each other.
Now that they recognised they must soon sail, Celeborn refused to consider a final visit there; for it had not only been the death of his granddaughter that had brought him to tears at that time. The trees had been almost silent and, where his beloved Galadriel’s garden had glowed with flowers, there was nothing but briars and wayward shrubs.
Standing in a glade, little more than a league from the stronghold, all Thranduil could hear was the song of birds and the rustling of small animals in the undergrowth. He could not hear the voices of the trees around him.
More and more of the forest, his forest, was silent. The trees no longer recognised even him; they lived, flourished even, but it was as if their souls had died.
He could not bear the thought of living in a totally silent forest; if only he knew there were forests in the West he might even chose to sail.