Character: King Elessar
Source: Fourth Age
Disclaimer: Tolkien’s world... Kortiion’s extrapolation.
Notes: For Hallowe'en... and admittedly only a tenuous link with sport and leisure! Dedicated to lady_branwyn - who gifted me a pen. :)
It brought it all back. Sweetness… a slight roughness as teeth grazed the hard, white shell... Sugar skulls... not tasted since his youthful travels to the south. In northern homesteads they lit candles in turnips, drank cider, roasted apples; to seemingly make sport of the remembered dead, arranged in chairs as mannequins at the feast, was unnerving... and eating sugar bones...?
At this liminal time of remembrance, southern delegates to Court brought gifts to the king’s autumn feast. A table laden with elaborate sugar skeletons made Elessar’s heart skip... taunted by memories of pale skulls still ploughed from the Pelennor.
It was midnight when King Elessar retired to his rooms, becoming Aragorn again. His Queen adjourned to her chambers with her own thoughts; she walked leisurely in memory on paths he could not, would not, follow.
He placed the small, white sweetmeat on a table, strangely unwilling to bite into the sculpted jaw... Instead he poured red wine, went out onto the balcony high above his city, quietly toasting the clear night, the stars... and those he once had called his own... until finally he tasted salt. Tears mixed with the wine, as he drank to one now far away.