Castles in the Air: the Farewell Between Brothers

by Dandy
Castles In The Air: The Farewell Between Brothers
Story by Dandy Baggins; Italics Song by Don MacLean.

And if she asks you why,
you can tell her that I told you.
That I'm tired of castles in the air,
I've got a dream I want the world to share.
And castle walls just lead me to despair.

I stood in the livery stable making the last preparations for the journey. My mind was running through the list of supplies that I normally took on an extended trip by horseback. Most of my supplies fell along the lines of survival skills learned at Osgiliath. My shield, horn, and sword being the key ingredients needed there. The bits of twine and hook for fishing in the rivers. The flint and steel against the cold of nights, the bedroll that I could bundle everything up into; and a bit of traveling food to use when hunting and fishing game was scarce. A change or two of clothes that would see me through the best and worst of times, I had learned long ago that one could not be worrying about possessions when the orcs patrolled the shores. I had just finishing the storing of my gear when Faramir arrived. Was I surprised? Not really. My brother saw many things hidden to normal men. He had entered quietly as was his way. But as sure as I knew my own hands in front of my face; I knew that he stood behind me.

“So he gave you the quest?” His question was filled with remorse.

“Yes, I convinced him that I was better suited for the journey than you. One of us must seek an answer to the riddling words. The orcs have done little more than patrol the shores since we pushed them back at Osgiliath.”

“Since you pushed them back, you mean.”

“Well I did have a hand in it. As did you.”

“Father will never see it that way. Either way, I am glad we won in the end.”

We walked out of the stable together, leading the horse, down the long silent road towards the gate. The flush of pride in our victory at Osgiliath, and the winning of the crossing back from the enemy still preyed upon my mind.

Hills of forest green where the mountains touch the sky
a dream come true, I'll live there till I die.
I'm asking you to say my last goodbye.
The love we knew ain't worth another try.

I had a few final things to take care of before I rode out on my quest.

“Faramir,” I stopped walking and turned towards him. “You know why I need to go don’t you? As soon as I heard those words in my dream, I knew it was a call to me. I know you had the dream several times before, but you are always had the gift of seeing things that aren’t there. This one was aimed at me! I can feel it! When you first told me about the dream it was as if my whole life had been designed around this one quest! Everything I have done in the past will be nothing compared to this.”

He nodded. “I knew you were going to go as soon as I saw how your eyes lit up when I told you about it. I also knew that father would choose you over me. He always does.”

The joy at the thought of the quest left my face, and we resumed our trek. That was true. I was always the one chosen by Father. The first born, the first in his heart, little love did he spare for poor Faramir. They were too much alike, Father and him. Both were thinkers, while I was a doer. This seemed to be one battle that I could not fight with a sword.

“You will take care of him while I am away, he will have need of you, though he doesn’t realize it?” I asked.

More slowly, and painfully he nodded again.
Save me from all the trouble and the pain.
I know I'm weak, but I can't face that girl again.
Tell her the reasons why I can't remain,
Perhaps she'll understand if you tell it to her plain.

“Are you going to tell the Lady D’Mira?” His words broke through my thoughts and I shook my head at his question.

That was the furthest thing from my mind. It didn’t matter anyways; she would find out soon enough that I was gone. As it was I couldn’t tolerate any of her clinging ways for very long. Another reason to go on this quest, the ladies of the court. Father was continually trying to remind me of my Stewart’s duty to provide him with an heir. Bah! I had a lifetime to do that. I glanced at my brother.

“Would you do me the honors of saying farewell for me? I couldn’t handle it if she broke down in tears over me riding out again. Just make sure you tell her when I am well away from Gondor. I definitely don’t need her following behind.”

He chuckled. Seems he too remembered the last bit of chaos that erupted in the Hall of Denethor that day. What a nightmare of a scene she made. No, it was better to just slip off and disappear.

But how can words express the feel of sunlight in the morning.
In the hills, away from city strife,
I need a countrywoman for my wife;
I'm city born, but I love the country life.

My mind was frantically searching for the right words to speak to my brother. How could I tell him that I understood what he was going through? Another vision of his, trampled under our father’s stern feet. How could I tell him I believed that he could hold our men together and how that belief allowed me to take this chance? At least, this time, Father was willing to permit one of us to ride out to search out the answer to the riddling words. Seek the sword that was broken. How could a broken sword help us? Did it matter? The quest was the thing. I was feeling idle again, and the walls felt like they were closing in on me. What if I were able to bring back great armies of elves to aid us? Like Elendil of old? Boromir! Of the Great Alliance! That would be me. We would sweep old Sauron and his orcs back to his black land to shiver in fear! What a splendid dream, no one would then deny that a mere Stewart wasn’t equal to a King. If only we were like the Men of Rohan and didn’t shut ourselves up behind walls of stone. How can one be King if he doesn’t even travel about to see what his people were doing? That was something that Father never could explain to me.
Unfortunately we continued our trek in silence.

For I cannot be part of the cocktail generation:
Partners waltz, devoid of all romance.
The music plays and everyone must dance.
I'm bowing out. I need a second chance.

To soon we reached the quarter house near the gate. I tied the horse to the post and we went up the stairs towards my chamber. Now at last I might be able to get at least some of the words to come out. Normally I had no problem expressing my thoughts. Why had it suddenly gotten so difficult to tell him what I needed to? Well most of it will have to wait until I get back, the sense of urgency that I felt seemed to increasing.

“Faramir, hold strong to your beliefs. Father will come to understand in the end. Take care of the lands and our people while I am away. And mostly take care of yourself. I would not have you lost before my return.”

“I will, take care of yourself too, Boromir.”

The final rituals of my quests were drawing steadily to a conclusion. I went to my locker and withdrew my horn and greatcoat. I also drew out the papers that I had filled out a quarter century ago, when I left on my first quest, the scroll of my last will and testament. Once again I placed them into his safe keeping. As reverently as he took them when he was ten and I was fifteen, he accepted their charge again.

Save me from all the trouble and the pain.
I know I'm weak, but I can't face that girl again.
Tell her the reasons why I can't remain,
Perhaps she'll understand if you tell it to her plain.

We returned back to the courtyard. I nearly leaped on my horse when I paused again. Tears filled our eyes as I hugged Faramir goodbye. Placing my hands on his shoulders I pushed him away to take a good look at him. Yes, he was a good man.

“Tell me with your Sight, little brother, that you will see me again.”

With a hint of sorrow he spoke the words. “Yes, Boromir. I will see you again”

"Well then cheer up little brother."

That was all I needed! Cheerfully I lifted the Horn to my lips and blew a loud blast that echoed across the courtyard. With the last of the parting ritual completed, I climbed upon my horse and rode away.

And if she asks you why, you can tell her that I told you.
That I'm tired of castles in the air,
I've got a dream I want the world to share.
And castle walls just lead me to despair.