Night on a Bare Mountain


by Jay of Lasgalen
February 5, 2008
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He had been declared well enough to travel by both Elladan and Nindamos, but there was one last task Elrohir had to do before he could leave.  Mornaur’s body still lay on the barren mountainside, exposed now that the blanketing snow had finally melted, and he could not bear to think of wolves and vultures scavenging on such a loyal steed. 

Straw drenched in lamp oil had been piled around Mornaur, and now Elladan stood ready to fire a blazing arrow down to ignite the pyre.  Elrohir wished he could perform the task himself, but he still lacked the strength to draw the powerful bow.  Instead he touched a burning taper to the oil-soaked cloth wrapped around the head of the arrow, stepping back as it began to blaze.

Elladan loosed the arrow.  Trailing smoke and fire, it sank deep into the straw surrounding Mornaur, and the pyre burst into flames.  Thick, acrid smoke billowed up into the still air and a wave of heat hit them.

Elrohir stood in silence with Elladan and Glorfindel until the flames began to die.  Then at last Glorfindel stirred, placing one hand on Elrohir’s shoulder.  “Come, elfling.  It is time to go.”

Elrohir nodded.  “I know.”  He gazed down the mountain one last time.  “Farewell, Mornaur.  You were a loyal friend.”    He turned to the quiet, gentle mare Glorfindel had brought for him; a strange contrast to the spirited Mornaur.  Aided by Elladan and Glorfindel he mounted, settling into the saddle that Elladan had carefully adapted to enable him to ride while his leg was still splinted.

Then, without a backward glance, they rode across Glorfindel’s new bridge and along the track to where Nindamos and the warriors waited.  Behind them, smoke and flame still curled slowly into the clear sky.


The End

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