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This Side Of Paradise


The river was relentless in pursuing her whether in her dreams or waking hours. She heard its whispers and beseeching moans, beckoning her to enter its waters one more time. It was beginning to become impossible to breathe yet again. She loved Adurant and hated it much the same as she loved and hated the life she led now. She knew there should be no complaints. This was her choice despite warnings from those who knew her best. She could not go back, she had to keep her part of the bargain.

The sand was fine and silky, slipping through her fingers like a particularly sly snake. It slithered and wove around her, tucking her snugly in a cape that could prove to be deathly. She stretched out, her long black hair fanning out, her white gown making her look like a struck down bird. Her lips twisted in a wry smile. It has been so long. She missed him, she needed him now more than ever. Perhaps to convince her that the decision she made had been the right one.

The young woman attempted to chase away the bitter thoughts that always brought tears lasting more and more with each visit. The anguish did not abate; it continued to eat away at her with no relief in sight. The images of happiness that was taken away all too soon persisted in haunting her time and time again. Nothing helped. Only death would bring that long awaited comfort and perhaps a reunion with her beloved. When and where that would be she did not know. No one knew. It was not given to the Valar to know where the mortals went after death.

She continued lying on the sandy beach, closing her eyes and listening to the wind hum his eternal lullaby. The gulls screamed to each other of their grief while the waves broke time and time again on the shore in a futile attempt to gain what they once lost.

She was alone. For the past months the adored one of her people, the legend of the Sindar Elves was spending her days on the lonely shore with nothing but the elements to keep her company. Her one beloved, her husband left to the isle of Tol Galen never to return and never again to walk among the Elves he had once so loved. She followed, not thinking of what would come, not wanting to realize then what she would have to undergo.

She had paid the price in full. She knew what the end would be, she realized full well what was to come. Yet, now that it was here at last, the realization of her situation sunk her spirits time and time again. Soon it would be over, soon the end would finally reach her but before that time came, days dragged on like centuries, ages of her people long gone and perhaps forgotten.

She shielded her eyes from the sun, which even though hidden behind the grey veil of the clouds still managed to shine brightly if somewhat mutely. Musing about her past did little good. It could no longer be changed and reminiscing only made the pain sharper.

Lúthien Tinúviel rose slowly, almost like an ancient woman. The wind flattened the dress against her body, playing with the skirt, making the now mortal Elf resemble a bird more than ever before. Her gaze did not waver in the slightest from the horizon. The blue expanse stretched as far as the eye could see. It looked so peaceful and serene, everything that she wished she felt now instead of bitterness and anger.

Each day since that fateful night, which carried off her husband, she came to the shore, hoping that perhaps this day would be her last. Each night she turned her back to Adurant and made her way slowly up the shore. Her time would come, there was no doubt about that. She only wished it would be now...
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