waters of the Anduin rippled against the side of the grey Elven boat,
caressing the smooth wood even as the current swept in onwards gently.
Grey trees passed by on the banks, not mallorns, but bearing a slight
resemblance to those trees of the Golden Wood. A wispy mist danced
lightly across the water’s surface.
Frodo reached out and touched the water. It rippled between his fingers
like cool silk, reminding him of soft Elven garments. Like the cloak he
carried on his shoulders now. An elven garment, an elven gift. And not
the only Elven gift he carried.
He opened his hand, gazing at the softly glowing phial of liquid
resting on his palm. It shone slightly muted in the daylight, yet with
a clearness that spoke to him of starlight in the darkness. The Light
of Earendil, the Lady had said. The Elves’ most beloved of stars.
Frodo remembered Rivendell, and the song of an Elf, telling the tale of
Earendil. He remembered it not as words, but as music, constant and
soothing, rising and falling as it told of the man of old who sailed
the sky, bearing a Silmaril upon his brow.
A light in dark places, when all other lights go out, the Lady had said.
Frodo closed his fingers about the phial and watched as the light
penetrated his fingers, turning his skin red. As if from the phial, a
little, but very strong streak of courage and determination ran through
On the bank of the river Anduin, a white figure stood. Her golden hair
shone in the mist-blurred sunlight; and her hand was raised in farewell.
For a rare moment on his Quest, Frodo felt the peace of the Elves seep
into him and envelop him. Whatever lay ahead, he would carry this
moment and this gift with him, to light dark places, when all other
lights went out.