This is part of the One Hundred Drabble challenge by NirCele, please visit her profile for more info! By her permission, I have taken the opportunity to make these one-shots as well as drabbles.
Challenge - Justice
It is dark. I know not how long I have been here. It has been a long time since I have ever thought of time; in fact, it has been a long time since I have even thought of anything at all. Rather, I feel as though I have been sleeping for a long time, though I cannot think why.
"Indeed, you have." The smooth, dark voice reaches my ears in the soothing absence of light, and I curl into a ball, terror welling in my heart. I remember that voice from a long time ago: hearing it echo with words of doom as I pass with my father and brothers underneath the shadow of an ominous cliff.
"There is no need to be afraid. Come." And a large but gentle hand lands on my shoulder. I strain my eyes, but I cannot see anything, cannot feel anything but that hand on my shoulder.
The hand surprises me. It seems to me as though it should be harsh and firm, not soft and caring in its touch. I reach up blindly to grasp for it, not knowing what else to do. My fingers find what they seek, and I feel startled. The hand is soft and feels creamy under my calloused fingers. It is so unlike what I think it should be.
"But things are never as they seem, haven't you learned that already, Maedhros?" The voice asked. I cringe, fingers balling around the hand. I do not like to hear that name. The memories that come with it are not nice.
"But it is your name, and shall remain so until you have been judged." Came the calm reply to my thoughts. I feel panic begin to well up. Judged?
"There is no need to fear, Maedhros. We do not judge because we hate; we judge because we love. And indeed, we do not judge: you judge yourself." Says the voice cryptically, and then the hand I was holding pulls me up. I stand shakily, and after I regain my balance there is a gentle tug on my hand, to which demand I capitulate, allowing it to lead me where it will.
After a while of walking through the dark and peaceful silence, we arrive in a large ring I remember well from a long time ago. There are fourteen thrones set in it, and each one is soon filled with the Valar as I am left by my escort in the very center.
I look down miserably, seeing the tiles underneath my feet, not wishing to look up for shame and fear. Then the silence is broke by a voice whose sound I have almost forgotten. It is like the soft breezes, caressing my ears teasingly before floating away and dissipating.
"Maedhros Feänorion. Long have ye slept in the halls of mine brother, to allow thy battered feä to heal enough to come before I and mine brethren to be judged, so that wrongs that should never have happened may be set right. Have ye anything to say?" It asks me formally. I close my eyes, feeling, for once in a long time, helpless and speechless.
My mind scrambles for words. Where has my grasp of speech gone? It has deserted me in the face of this trial that has been long coming. I slowly manage to piece together a reply. I am too tired for arguments or defenses any longer.
"No. I have nothing to say. Please, do what you will; I have no strength left. I only wish for the loss of feeling, to lessen my misery." I finish in barely a whisper, eyes closing in exhaustion at the attempt to formulate the answer.
There is a heavy silence. "Then let it begin." Was Manwë's answer, accompanied by a sigh. I can feel almost nothing any longer- there is nothing but agonizing pain as my memories are dragged before the cruel light, unvarnished and glaring in their naked hideousness.
It is a long time before they are over, and the world is tilting before my eyes as black spots dot my vision. I do not even realize that I am lying down until I vaguely register the feeling of being held in someone's arms. Opening my tear-filled eyes, I see that Manwë is holding me gently, looking down with tenderness in his gaze as one would look upon a child.
I weep bitterly. Why does he look upon me so? I deserve the same fate as Moringotto for my crimes, not to be looked upon with any form of fondness. I turn away weakly, ashamed.
"Nay, Nelyafinwë. All is well now. Sleep, and next time you awake you shall have taken the first step towards being healed once more." Manwë tells me in a soft voice, his pale blue hair fluttering about my face as his blue eyes ringed with gold look down at me, a small smile curving the firm but gentle lips.
I fall asleep, too weak to do or say anything more.
840 words for those interested.