Note: Juvenilia, written when I was a teenager. I'm now a bit embarrassed by it, but am leaving it up here because a number of people were kind enough to read it and say complimentary things. Feel free to enjoy it, but don't judge me on it. ;-) - May 2020.

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The First Dawn

The young elf peeps from the shadowed canopy. He balances with perfect ease, the slender bough a pale shape in the darkness. One slim brown hand rests lightly upon the trunk of the tree, and he feels its heartbeat quicken, stirring the sap to life so that the leaves rustle in the keen wind. High above, the cold stars glimmer, illuminating nothing but his bright eyes. Not even the wild creatures will know him, masked as he is by the shivering hemlock leaves. Not that he knows them as hemlock. The grey elves have their own names for things.

He is a creature of the twilight. He was born here, long ago by the reckoning of beast and bird, though to himself it is but a fleeting time. The dark wood, the Avari called it then. He has never seen the light, though he has heard the rumours. He was not yet born when the eldest of his race left seeking the light in the West across the sea, and he does not remember. Once, he thought he saw Orome, riding upon his high white horse Nahar, so bright that the orcs and evil things crept away into the darkness and were afraid.

Slowly, far off in the East a strange light grows and Celeborn watches warily, wondering. The light grows stronger, piercingly bright it seems to him, and the elf shields his eyes before the glare. The eastern sky lightens now, and he stands as if stricken, torn between curiosity and terror. With a blush of pink and gold, a great shining orb breaks free of the horizon and the clouds all around are kindled to crimson flame. The world before him is a sudden blaze of unimagined colours, myriad and wonderful, for which he has no names. The fields and plains are bright and warm and overwhelmingly alive; the great river sparkles deep and clear, reflecting a sky suddenly ablaze with light. All about him, a host of birds break into song. He gasps, and shrinks back against the trunk of the tree, hiding his face in awe from the terror and beauty of the first dawn. Far below him upon the earth, the secondborn children of Illuvatar are awakening.