Helcaraxë

by Agape4Rivendell


Winter has been dismal and hard here on the banks of the Erie. It is now frozen. As I drove along this morning, seeing the cold, white expanse staring back at me, I thought of the Helcaraxe and could do naught but write. Forgive me if my 'people' are incorrect. I do not dwell with Elves....
http://www.tednasmith.com/silmarillion/TN-Fingolfin_Leads_the_Host_Across_the_Helcaraxe.html

Helcaraxë

The cold and mists were what his fëa remembered, though there were other things of more import. But Finrod could not look at those now. He would not. He put his head in his hands and sat in mournful silence. Tears fell as remembrance o’ercame resolve.

The water was not frozen when Fëanor set out on the accursed boats. A shudder ran through Finrod as he thought of the price of those vessels. The dead faces looked at him in silent reproach. The living – his sister, Galadrial, his friend, Turgon and Glorfindel – all looked at him. But what was he to do?

He waited with the others, waited to see the masts coming back for them. A sickening feeling caused him to lean over and retch until he thought he would lose himself as well. He looked up and east; the red glow in the sky told him what his stomach had discerned just moments before.

Through his tears, he found himself bent over, retching again and again. His sister would not believe him, nor her own eyes, at least not at first, but finally, she too cried out in horror. The cry echoed down the long column. All had waited patiently for the ships to return; all shared in the terror that now assailed the exiles.

Fëanor had betrayed them!

The waters near the shore, for a furlong and further, had now frozen over. ‘What matters it?’ Finrod thought disconsolately. ‘The boats will not return.’

He waited, as all those in the column waited, for Fingolfin to accept his fate and lead them. His brother had deserted them. Finrod looked back at the column and wept as Fingolfin led them northward. Finrod kept to the front. He could not look back, for when he did, he saw his people stepping over the bodies of the frozen. The youngest died first, most in their mothers’ arms. The mothers would lie down and close their eyes, cradling their dead babies. They would not re-enter the column. Then the old succumbed. He choked and retched again. The silence of death was deafening. None cried aloud; none screamed. Only soft moans filled the cold, heavy air.

He felt his sister’s hand on his back, but he batted it away and growled low. “Do not ever touch me again!” He had not wanted to leave their father; he had not wanted to come. She had; she dreamed of power. He hated her; for a moment, he hated her as he hated himself.

At last, Elenwë was lost. Turgon would not go on. Finrod watched as his cousin sat in the icy snow, holding her body close to his and moaning piteously. Finrod’s ears hurt at the low keening wail. But there was nothing he could do. Nothing any of them could do but push on northward. They could not even pray to the Valar for they had been cursed.

His hatred kindled in the cold, icy waste of Helcaraxë and would not be appeased.