Beyond Regrets

by Eonwe-(Valar)
May 3, 2004

Stories

“’By Elbereth and Luthien the Fair, you shall have neither the Ring nor me!’
...
The black horses were filled with madness, and leaping forward in terror they bore their riders into the rushing flood...”


   
He emerged from the throne room where his master held an eternal vigil. Nothing escaped his master’s watchful gaze, including his greatest servant’s most recent failure.
    He shuddered, his ghostly shirt clinging to him as if he was sweating.  He was forever naked before his master.  No longer did he have the privacy of his own mind.  His thoughts were laid bare before the piercing eye of his lord.  No longer was his will his own.  His master’s will came before all pleasure, all vengeance, all pain. A mighty king he was, once.  Once there were those who lived to please him.  His past was no more. His humanity was no more.  Now he existed... existed, to please his master; and his master had been displeased.
    Shutting the door behind him, he fought the agony of his... punishment, a torture that could not be described or perceived in the minds of living Men, and sought to regain the composure befitting the Lord of the Nazgul.  In this temporary moment of weakness, only one servant of the Dark Lord dared stand near the door, or in the corridor.
    “You failed greatly this time, old friend,” said a tall, almost wraithlike shape leaning against a column.  He spoke the last words in disgust, almost taunting with them.  “Even for his highest servants, Lord Sauron has only so much patience.”
    The Witch-king stood a moment.  Unarmored, with no vesture of earthly raiment, few would see him, let alone perceive him.  This man, this Black Numenorean, was one of those few.  No wraith was he, but the tutelage of Sauron gave him powers beyond that of mere mortals.  The Witch-king, too, remembered the lessons taught by his master.  He was relearning them every day.
    “I have no friends, Fuinur.  I am the Lord of the Nazgul.”  A cold look he gave the man, a piercing look rivaling all but his master’s.
    “That man is dead, Herumor!” The man snarled with disgust, almost spitting that name out.  “I am the Mouth of Sauron!  Think not to recall thoughts of the past with the name of a man long dead.  I am the Mouth of Sauron, Lieutenant of Barad-Dur!  There is none greater under the Lord Sauron than I!”
    A faint sound issued from the mouth of the Witch-King, almost a sigh. “So you have said.  And yet in regions of your heart hidden even from you, you long for more.  Still a voice speaks to you of love, of life, of joy.”
    “That voice died long ago as well.  Only the voice of Sauron speaks in me now.”
    “You ignore it, but it is there, stirring you to go into the light once more.  Long ago you forsook the world for the darkness of this tower.  Do you not remember the smell of grass?  The taste of a newly ripened apple? The warm embrace of your lover?”  The Witch-king’s voice almost seemed to grow warm, and his eyes brightened, as if he could experience these things once again by naming them.  “These things are lost to me, my old friend. I am beyond hope, but you are yet alive, and are not beyond salvation.”
    The Mouth of Sauron wavered only slightly before steeling up once again.  Broadly he smiled. “I too am beyond these things.  I am the Mouth of Sauron.  I have no friends, no lovers.  I am beyond regret, and if these things are salvation, I am beyond that as well.  I pass the test.”
    As suddenly as he had softened, the Witch-king steeled up once more, the Lord of the Nazgul.  He had opened his heart for the last time, and the man he would’ve died in life to protect, a man he would’ve called brother, had decided it was a test given by Sauron. In fairness, however, even the Witch-king could not be sure it was not.  The cold sureness of a Nazgul was once more his.  His eyes darkened, and once more they gave a dark glare to the Mouth of Sauron.
    “The Day comes soon, Lieutenant, when we shall not have these talks ever again.”  Pulling a cloak from a hook on the wall, the Witch-king threw it over his shoulders as he took a few paces past the Mouth of Sauron.  Then he stopped.
     “Know this.  You may be the Mouth of Sauron, but I am his Hand.”  The Lord of the Nazgul continued his walk down the corridor as it began to fill once again with life and movement.

The End

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