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Chapter Five: Stars
“The stars are far brighter than gems without measure.” ~ The Hobbit
Year of the Trees 1363:
Darkness was falling.
Tyelko griped his brother's tunic harder and glanced over at Írissë. She too was in the saddle of a horse, also seated behind her eldest brother. He thought she looked scared but then, she was thirty two weeks younger than him. Tyelko was already almost a year and a half old. And she was a girl. Nelyo had told him that girls were scared of things that were not really scary at all, like spiders and mice. He did not know her very well. He only saw Írissë and his other cousins when they went to see his grandfather Finwë in his very large house at the very top of Tirion. He did not know why, but his father did not like it when he spent much time with his cousins.
Tyelko glanced behind him at the blaze of golden light that shone from the Calacirya. They had passed through the cleft not long ago and were heading north along the road that lead to Alqualondë. Nelyo had told him they were not really going that far, they just needed to be far enough away so that the light did not hide the stars. Tyelko had never seen stars. He heard his parents and brothers talk about them sometimes but whenever he had asked to go see them, he had been told that he was too young and they were too busy. It had been a surprise when Nelyo had said he was talking him to see the stars.
He had been so excited he almost forgot he had spent an uncomfortable 8th hour trying to sleep in his mother’s workshop in the front of the house. It was the only place he could not hear his parents arguing, not even when they were yelling, because the room had a door and windows that opened out onto the street. Even during the sleeping hours, the street was noisy with carts, wagons, horses and dogs. Nelyo had found him curled up with his blanked underneath a workbench, covered with marble dust. Tyelko had thought he was going to be in trouble, or worse, loose the only place he could sleep in peace.
But his brother had only looked at him sadly before telling him to go get cleaned up because he was taking him to see the stars. It was well into Ancalima Laurë by the time they finally departed because his brother had wanted to visit his friend and cousin Findekáno first. Much to his annoyance, Findekáno had wanted to come too and had insisted on taking his sister, Írissë. Tyelko had been unhappy. He had wanted to spend the day with his brother not with his cousins. But he did not say anything in case Nelyo though him ungrateful and changed his mind.
He shifted in the saddle to peer around his brother’s back. They were nearing the end of the Bay of Eldamar and he could see that the road led into a forest of mulberry trees. It was now very dark. The distant light behind them made their shadow in front of them appear like some strange, fearsome beast. By the time they entered into the woods, the light was gone. Tyelko clung to his brother’s waist, telling himself that he was not afraid. He had only seen it this dark once before when he had hidden from Kano in a windowless storeroom while playing seek-and-find.
He heard Írissë gasp beside him and he turned to look at her, half wondering if she and her brother were being attacked by some creature. To his surprise, Tyelko saw that she was looking upward at the sky. He glanced up himself and herd himself gasp. The sky was not blue as he was expecting or even gray with clouds. It was black as pitch and covered with bright pinpoints of multicolored lights. It was like someone had strewn tiny gems on a black blanket, the kind his father made, the ones that glowed with their own radiance.
“I have never seen anything so beautiful!” Írissë cried.
Tyelko felt the same way.
Tyelco (Quenya): shortened form of Tyelkormo. His Sindarin name is Celegorm.
Írissë (Quenya): the Quenya form of the name Aredhel.
Nelyo (Quenya): shortened form of ‘Nelyafinwë’.His Sindarin name is ‘Maedhros’.
Ancalima Laurë (Quenya): ‘brightest light of Laurelin’. A term of my own invention to describe the 9th hour of the Trees.
Findekáno (Quenya): the Quenya form of the name‘Fingon’.
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