Challenge: Written for the Livejournal Lotr_Community challenge “Celebrate!”. All stories submitted were to be exactly 144 words.
COMPANIONS OF THE HEART
Then one rode forward, a tall man, taller than all the rest; from his helm as a crest a white horsetail flowed. He advanced until the point of his spear was within a foot of Aragorn's breast.
‘The Riders of Rohan’, The Two Towers
“His name was Westwind.” Éomer removed the helm Frodo had asked about, and sat in the grass with the hobbits grouped about him. “Long ago, he gave his life to save me from great peril. There is no greater gift.” He stroked the tail affixed to his helm, his eyes soft with memory. “Thus do we celebrate and honor those great hearts whose lives intertwine with our own. Among my people, it is believed that the spirits of our noble steeds live on, watching over us and guiding our path.”
“I’d be that grateful to see my Bill again,” Sam said wistfully, “but there’d be no cutting of any tails. Not that this tradition of yours ain’t a fine one, sir,” he hastily added to Éomer.
“Should you someday be reunited with your gallant steed, Samwise,” Éomer said gently, “that will be celebration enough.”