Sunday, August 14, 2011

Unfinished Beginnings: Fararir

(I was reading through the Simarillion when I first started writing this, and was playing with some names similar to Tolkien's. I failed miserably in my opinion. Scribbled all over the margins of this beginning are various variations: Fararir, Faratir, Faramir, Faralir, Fara, Faralyr, Fararere, Farirer, Farareer, Farireer, Farirere... 

I know I had some plan for writing a story about the long-lost son of a king who wasn't actually the heir, but I never was able to figure out the details.)

Fararir looked up from his planting and wiped his sweaty brow to regard the strangers clustered on the road. There were four of them, maybe five, all on horseback and in dark cloaks; unseasonable for the weather. Curious, he came closer when he saw Farmer Goldon come out. They spoke for a minute and then one of the strangers gave the Farmer some money and he left.

"Are you sure he's the one, Ranger?" Someone asked.

"Certain as if his name was written on his forehead," the one called Ranger replied.

Fararir stared unabashedly. He was silent, gradually letting himself come to terms withw hat he had seen happen. The men stared in turn, evaluating him.

"What's your name?" the first one asked; he made no answer.

"Let him alone, Walker," another said, stirring restlessly. "We have far to go."

"Don't speak of distance to me," Walker retorted. "You're the one who let the horses slip."

"Enough," Ranger said. He was not harsh but they fell silent at his voice. "I suppose you know who we are," he continued, addressing the youth.

He knew all right, but still he said nothing. He had been sold, of course. It was not uncommon. These men were his masters now. He wasn't even curious as to what they wanted him for. They might even be slaves themselves. He'd known it would happen sooner or later. All over Griston children were being sold; no one could afford to feed them, not even the Goldon's. Especially not a half-grown orphan boy.

His rational mind told him that all this was normal and expected, but though the thought never crossed his concious thinking he felt he had been betrayed.

"Have you no tongue?" a fourth stirred restlessly. "You know we're your masters; you saw us pay Farmer Goldon. You've heard us ask your name and yet you stand there like a dumb statue."

Still Fararir said nothing. The wound had struck more deeply than he realized. HIs life had been hard, even crule. The land was merciless, the crops poor, the work endless and exhausting, and the food short, yet he far preferred it to riding off with these Northeners to a land far off and a purpose unknown.

"Lad," Ranger stirred uneasily. "We are anxious to be off. But first you must answer one important question. What is your proper name, given you at birth and yours alone to bear until your death?"

He took a deep breath and answered. "Fararir."

The men sighed in relief. "He's the one," Walker said.

No comments:

Post a Comment