fileg (fileg) wrote,
fileg
fileg

Breaking Strain

This was a small idea for one last drabble in the minor character challenge. It got away from me. Unbetaed -- Inside, the title is linked to the Kipling...


The voice is Bergil's

Breaking Strain


When I was younger, it was hard for me to understand how my father, the truest man I knew, should be remembered – celebrated – for an act of disobedience that had become a legend.

When I was younger, it was hard for him to explain to a child he hoped would learn to value loyalty and faith, and their keeping, why this was not true.

There was a hand of darkness that brought to bear all its power upon the heart of the city that day. The burden of its oppression, the fury of its fear prodded along the street, searching everywhere for the weakness that would let the first fissure form, knowing the terror in our own minds would allow the flood to follow.

Under the weight of that testing, my father accepted the penalty of death, and stood firm in his own beliefs. He deserted his post, drew his weapon and spilled the blood of his comrades in the hallows. But he never broke faith, with his city or his steward and he fulfilled the charge the steward had given him when he first put on the livery of the guard - to safeguard and secure the White City.

My Father did not allow the unrushing darkness to sweep him into its current. He stood, a dead man fighting, for all that kept the light alive in him. He stood between madness and the life of the Captain who had taken the same risk, for the same reason.

The dark pressed down upon us, and the sound of destruction echoed in our ears. But my father broke a man's law when he could not break his faith — it was the steward who fell under the breaking strain.



I know it is the pride of a son to think his father stemmed the tide that day. I am old enough now to realize that all over the city, men felt the crushing weight – and pushed back, with all their might. It gladdens my heart, and it does not diminish my pride.




The terrors and wonders and sacrifices of that day are memorialized in a great ceremony every year. But on the following day, my father and the man he still calls his Captain, find time to share a quiet hour, a glass of wine and the reasons they are grateful to be alive. They never speak about the incident that brought my family to live in the hills of Emyn Arnen.

But when the Captain leaves, he always takes my hand and tells me that my father is the truest kind of hero. He calls it their day of reckoning.

Later, beside me by the fire, my father will simply call it the day the captain did not die.
Tags: arda, drabble, fiction
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  • Shall I shoot?

    I've mentioned before that there are things I understand (or think I understand) in Tolkien that I have just incorporated into myself without ever…

  • howard shaw

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