Sirion, for the cowardice challenge, and Erech for weather.
edit: Since the LOTR100 was later deleted without warning anyone in the community, many of us lost drabbles and comments. I am going to try to replace that older work here as I find copies of it, but the comments from the days before comments were mailed to us are, alas, gone forever....
I know that this has gone far enough, that however bright the light the cursed things bear, it is shadow we reach for.
Is it the fear of what I have bound myself to, the thought of cold and void, the heart-freezing loneliness of the outermost dark? Or is it the fear of my brother's fear? Is it his loneliness, his disappointment that drives me to do once more what I understand will never be over unless I am strong enough to say no now?
What does it matter? I know that I do it out of fear, not love.
Tattered shreds of cloud streak the sky where the dark rends the heavens in its spectral hands. The dead pour through the rents like drops of oily rain.
Terror rises in the bitter wind that wraps shredded grave goods across our faces, the taste of ash cloying in the mouth, choking in the back of the throat.
Why ride on to destruction when we might surrender here, bodies dissolving, souls scattered on a storm that howls with the mouths of the dishonorable dead.
But the darkness is no match for the power concealed in the black banner of the king.