Old Man Willow

by Jay of Lasgalen

Stories > Jay's Quick List

Slowly, Legolas approached the willow. Enchantment hung thickly in the air, but he was no stranger to enchantment and stepped between the long, trailing branches that hung into the water. They seemed to twine around his feet and legs, and he pulled them free carefully before placing his hands against the tree gently. Feeling a shiver run through it, he leaned closer, resting his head against the trunk, ignoring the twisting fronds that now attempted to wind around his neck.

He could feel the darkness at the heart of the ancient willow, a wellspring of loneliness and long abandonment. His heart wept for the tree's sorrow, and softly he began to sing. A shudder ran through the tree as his song continued, and he felt the coils wrapped around his throat slowly loosen and fall away.

Still he sang.

Finally he felt the tree stirring and waking beneath his touch, and a soft, whispering voice drifted through his mind.

" … elf? …"

"Aye, an elf," he thought back. "You are no longer alone, my friend."

The trailing branches writhed again, lifting to brush gently against his face. "Elf." With a sigh, the willow shivered in contentment, and slept again.