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Through the Eyes of Maia and Wizard  by Larner

My Easter gift to all.  And who better to embody the nature of Resurrection?

Finding Warmth

            It was confusing to find himself once more clad in the body of a Man, for it seemed that he’d been free of such limitations for ages of the world.  The energy needed to renew a fána for him to wear and to see him within it had been considerable, and he felt desperately weak at first.  How was it that this body functioned once more?  Oh, yes!  These were lungs, designed to take in breath and to release it again.  And the heart, which was there, needed to beat that the blood within his renewed body might circulate properly.  But how was it that one caused them to begin to function correctly?  There was a portion of the brain that controlled them under normal circumstances….  Ah, here, in the stem to the brain!  Yes, tweak this particular unit and….

            He felt the heart begin beating anew.

            A gasping breath, a great one as his eyes opened, looking down on a single crystal of snow, no longer a perfect six-sided structure, damaged and broken by the battle that had waged over it.

            Oh, but yes—there had been a battle here, between his old self and the Balrog, until he had managed to throw it down, its ability to rise up again destroyed, its back broken in its fall, its body’s integrity failed, and his former brother was freed at last of the shape he’d held for well over three ages of the Sun.  Confused and robbed of the fury that had fueled his being for so long, the Balrog had risen up as a tall shadow, staring bemused at the unaccustomed sight of Arien overhead in her fiery chariot until the last wind of their battle blew him apart and what remained of his fëa fled the Circles of Arda.  And he himself had followed after….

            A second gasping breath, and pain assaulted him from the cold air he'd just taken into his lungs.  That awoke the realization that the heat of his reawakening was swiftly dissipating, and that it was freezing all about him.  His head moved slightly, and he realized he did not lie on the ice and snow that had comprised the glacier that had covered this place when he’d fought his fallen brother, for the heat of their battle had melted and boiled that away for the most part.  No wonder the single snowflake he’d seen so far was no longer perfect as it had been!  But where along the edges of the cleared rock ice had formed to mark the event, under him what little moisture had begun to gather anew was escaping upwards in rapid columns of steam.

            But the stone was still stubbornly cold, and his new skin was shrinking from it!  I must rise, his mind told him.  His body would not abide growing too cold, and he was certain that the one of his Masters who welcomed those who left their bodies would be most aggrieved to find him returning anew before he’d quite become accustomed to living as an incarnate being once more!  Almost he laughed, but he found he was shivering too much for the laugh to quite escape his lips.

            His hand twitched, and his fingers were reaching.  When his old life had burned away he’d been holding what remained of his staff, and he’d been wearing a source of warmth.  Almost he could remember its shape.  If his new body had been returned to the same place, as seemed evident, he should find it, whatever it had been.

            Hard and cold.  All he lay upon was hard and cold, and it was stealing the warmth of his body away from him.  But, no—not all was cold beneath him!  There was something that was warm, and growing warmer swiftly under his hip even as he focused on its presence.  Yes!  It was there!  He must grasp it!

            He struggled to sit up, to shift himself enough to take it into his hand.  His fingers were cold and clumsy, however, and it still lay beneath the flesh clothing his buttocks as he fought to change his position.  I must hold it in my hand!  At least his thoughts were growing clearer as he realized what it was he must do next.  With renewed determination he finally sat up straight, and his shivering increased as the freezing breeze assaulted more of his skin.  I must rise to my knees! he realized with a sinking feeling.  I cannot hold it in my hand if I am sitting upon it!  Unless I think to brood upon it like a hen.  This time the laugh engendered by the thought was uttered, although it sounded a bit cackling to his ear, considering how violently he was shivering by this time.

            It took so much effort to shift his knees beneath him, but finally it was done, and he scrabbled ineffectively at the ground before his almost frozen fingers encountered it.  At last he managed to hold it on his palm, and his hand began to warm.  But what is it?  What am I to do with it? his awareness demanded.  He lifted it up, looking down at the brightness of its golden, circular shape, at the great red stone that it held.

            A ring!  It is a Ring!  But there were memories of the horror that was associated with rings—or at least with a particular Ring.  He must have nothing to do with that Ring!

            But this one was familiar to him, and sought to reassure him.  Do not hesitate to take Me to yourself, to use Me, to warm yourself by My power!  I was intended for you, to your use in particular.  Do you not know Me?  So long have I abided upon your hand!

            And he found himself setting it upon the finger that had replaced the one on which he had worn this Ring, and knew its familiar shape upon it, felt its acceptance of his mastery.  Narya!  I wear Narya again, the Ring of Fire!  And with it I shall again kindle hearts anew to hope and action—starting with my own!

            And the ring he now wore delighted to spread its warmth throughout his body even as a shadow spread itself over him, and he looked up to see the reassuring warmth of the feathers adorning the body of Gwaihir as the Great Eagle descended over him.  Automatically he reached out for the staff that lay beside where he’d lain upon the cold of the mountaintop.  It was time to be up and doing----

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