Ion Nin by Cassie Hughes

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Again you are missing ion nin and my advisors tell me you should be confined to the halls, but how can I?  Born of the forest, for the forest, that is where you belong and it is not for me to say nay, you may not dwell where your heart lies.


Cold I may appear to all who worry for you, yet in my heart I know that you are safe, the forest will protect its golden child, my only son, allowing no harm. Doubtless others will disagree, will try to urge me to curb your wayward nature, tell me there are dangers out there that you are yet too young to face but they do not know you, or do not choose to. Ergo, I sit and wait for you to re-appear, doubtless with some exciting tale to tell of the forest, your eyes gleaming with life and love.


Far into the evening it is when you finally grace us once more with your lively presence, a chattering, joyous little elfling, full of the wonders you have this day been shown and I can not help but listen and smile, happy in the knowledge that you are back in my care once more. Gradually, your energy spent, you begin to tire, the long day roaming within the canopy, learning the ways of the wild taking its toll and you creep into my lap, resting your head gently upon my chest. Hearing the beating of my heart has ever soothed you, from the first time I found you and held you tightly to my breast, and this time is no different. I pull you close, revelling in your small, warm, loving form, running my long fingers through your golden locks to tease out the tangles, thanking the valar with all my heart for the gift that you are.


Just as I think reverie has taken you, you turn your face up to mine with an expression of such love and trust that it steals the very breath from my lungs and I lose myself again within the ever changing deep pools that are your eyes. Kissing your pale forehead softly I tell you it is time for bed and know how the day has tired you by the way you nod in meek acceptance, instead of reeling out a myriad reasons why you should  remain awake with me to watch the stars.


Light as a feather within my arms, I rise and bear you along the high ceilinged, carven corridors, which almost fool us into thinking we are under the canopy rather than skulking within these stone walls, where my father thought we would be safe. Making my way to our rooms, I wonder for how much longer I will be allowed this privilege, how soon you will decide that you are too old to be carried along and insist upon making your own way and I hug you a little tighter against that day. 


None will disturb us during this, our special time, when I can be father, not king. Only I am allowed to help you bathe away the traces of a day spent in the wilds, comb your soft, golden hair and fold  you gently into the fresh, soft covers of your bed before settling beside you in readiness for the request I know will come.


"Please will you tell me one more story, Ada."


Quelling the urge to laugh at your predictability, I lean back against the head of the bed, wait for you to wriggle into place, snuggling yourself into my body then begin your favourite tale. Rarely do you ask for any other.


Stroking your beautiful, golden hair whilst recounting once more the tale of Beleg Cuthalion, the archer you so admire, I watch your face as sleep gently overcomes you, hardly daring to move until I know you are deep in reverie. Then, as softly as possible I ease my way from your side, pull the covers up under your chin, plant a loving kiss upon your pale forehead and exit the room, the sigh of your soft, 'goodnight ada'  drawing a smile upon my face.


Under the moonlight, on the balcony to my room I stand, swirling the ruby wine around in my goblet and contemplating your future. Various pictures I have foreseen, of fire, and dwarves, of snow and men and creatures I have never before seen but over them all stands a dark shadow I can not penetrate and this brings an ache to my heart I can not bear. When, or if this all comes to pass I do not know, but of one thing I am certain, you will be strong, your light and innocence will keep you from falling into shadow and whatever trials you face, you will not face them alone.


Xerophillic spoors tickle my nose as I move closer to the edge of the balcony to stare out upon the starlit Greenwood that is so much more than just our home and I wonder that this small sign of decay may be a warning of what is to come. Yet, as long as we have each other and the forest I know we will survive, together we will face the future side by side and as I ponder my eyes are caught by movement upon the forest floor. Zinnia bloom brightly beneath my room and in the moonlight's kiss, glow with joyful abandon, gently bobbing their heads in the warm evening breeze just as we elves of the wood, will dance until the breaking of the world and for this my heart sings.







xerophile - moulds  that can grow and reproduce with little or no water


zinnia - genus of 20 species of annual and perenial plants bearing a variety of brightly coloured flowers on long single stems.

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