He rode into the encampment, his eyes
searching, but not finding his brother. “He is yonder,” one of the men
standing at attention said in answer to his query, “there.” Boromir
acknowledged the direction pointed out to him with a nod, left his
horse in the care of his brother’s men, then strode purposefully
towards the small hill north of the encampment, grateful for the moment
to be doing something with purpose instead of thinking. The long ride
from Minas Tirith had deteriorated from one of peace at the thought of
the ride, into one of sorrow at the thought of what he must now say.
Faramir stood, tall, straight and confident, his arm lifted and his
hand pointed eastward. Damrod listened in profound respect. Boromir
noted the crease in Faramir’s brow and knew he spoke not of simple
things, but of war. He bit his lip, then shrugged. He had never wanted
Faramir to go to war. Nor had his father, of that he was certain, but
here they all were; in the midst of the most hideous war ever he might
have imagined. That he and Faramir had even survived the destruction of
the bridge less than a fortnight ago still amazed him. There was no
staying this moment. ‘Twould not be the first time he interrupted
Faramir in matters of import.
It was Faramir who noticed him as he walked up the hill. The brow’s
crease deepened. “That is all for now, Damrod. I will return to camp
shortly. We leave for Henneth Annûn on the morrow.”
Damrod saluted, turned – and stared in surprise. “Captain-General.”
He gave a crisp salute, looked back towards Faramir, then nodded his
head and left them.
“You are still angry.”
Faramir clenched his fists and turned towards the Anduin.
“Tell me what angers you most – father’s giving me the quest or me taking it?”
“Neither. My own inability to budge either of you. For all my long
years.” He collapsed his legs under him and sat hard on the green
expanse. He took a tuft of the long grass in his hands and began to
shred the unfortunate stalks.
“That is not entirely true. What else angers you?”
Faramir began to weep. “I see things, yet you will not listen.”
“I know,” Boromir sat next to him. “I would that you would keep
such thoughts to yourself, at least where it concerns me. I must go,
firm in myself, not quaking at what might be.”
Faramir swallowed. “I know, but if I went in your stead, mayhap what I see would not come to pass.”
“I did not come to speak upon a matter which is already decided. It
was my hope you would have stayed in Minas Tirith until I left.”
“I could not. I could not bear to look at you, nor father.”
“Faramir. You cannot, you must not think you are all that lies
between life and death. Father is failing. The years have not dealt
kindly with him. I do not know if he will be alive when I…” He stole a
quick glance at his brother. “If I return.” His brow knotted. “There is
naught you can do for him, beyond giving him the love you have always
shown him. I have spoken, in the past, of your friendship with
Mithrandir. I have asked you to discontinue it, for father’s sake. I
was wrong. The last time he was here, I saw his deep regard for father
and his love for you. Whatever father might think of wizards, I believe
this one is a good one. Keep him close, if you can, and heed him.” He
took a deep breath.
“As for father, every now and again, I see fear in his eyes. And
knowing your penchant for astute observation, I know you have seen it
too. I know not what will happen whilst I am away, but I must caution
you – do not take to heart anything he says or does if fear shines in
his eyes. I have seen men driven mad by fear; my hope is in father’s
great mind. I hope he will fight any such madness. Faramir,” he took
his brother’s hand in his. “He loves you deeply. Not as he loves me,
but deeply, nonetheless. He respects you. Give him what council you
may, but then step away – I do not want you caught if he is. You have
ever shown your respect and love – and obedience – to him. If he falls,
I do not want you to fall with him.”
“Faramir,” he dropped the hand and knelt in front of him, taking
his face in his hands and holding it. His great gray eyes bore into his
brother’s “Protect yourself. You cannot save him if madness wins, but
you can save yourself.” Great tears coursed down his cheeks. “I cannot
bear leaving you with this burden, but you are better able to handle it
“Come,” Faramir whispered. “Stay the night with me.”
Boromir nodded; they walked back to the encampment. After supper,
pickets were relieved and the men sat around the fire. Though they were
glad and proud to have their Captain-General with them, sharing their
meal and their fire, his demeanor and that of their captain’s showed
great strain. Long before the usual hour, the men dispersed to their
Faramir offered his to Boromir. “Nay, little brother,” Boromir
smiled. “I would share it with you, if you do not mind, as we shared my
bed on the nights right after mother’s death.”
Faramir nodded and crawled in next to Boromir. He laid his head on
his brother’s chest and felt Boromir’s warm arm about his shoulder.
Sometime, right before dawn, he felt Boromir’s hold tighten.
“I love you, Faramir. Always remember that and know I am and have always been proud to have you as my brother.”
Faramir felt a tear fall as Boromir leaned over and kissed his brow.
“Farewell,” Boromir whispered and left him.
I don't know if this is going to become part of 10,000 years, but the
moment dwelt so much in my mind, that I thought I would share it now...
and something else.
Once again, I must say things here that I never say aloud. That
your love and support have ever helped me through hard times. My
chldren are in the midst of suffering and I would see them freed from
it. But life is not like that and, though I love them, they must fight
their own battles. But I still hug them.... so this thought came and I
share it with my dear friends here at this board...