Radiance



Thestin sits on the edge of the rock atop the small 'almost-hill' overlooking the old farm his grandfather and him used to live on. He watches the young yellow haired lass that he once fancied dote around a new farmhand. A cathartic smile comes to match his sunken, half-closed eyes, and he exhales nostalgia. As the sun draws close to the evening of that day, he licks his lips and prepares to speak to no one up there in particular.

 "Hey gran'pa. Sorry it's been a while. There was so much to do after I got back to Bree that I just...didn't have the time to make the trek out here. I know you won't be mad, you were never very good at it... Boy, have I got some stories for you! Remember the last time I told you about...about uhm...well you know, the girl? And how she sort of left me for someone else, rather suddenly. I know, I know, should've seen it coming. Everyone warned me. Still, I trusted her more than that, and I won't make that mistake again."

Thestin pauses as the yellow haired girl leads the farm hand to the chicken coop for more chores, happy as could be to live a simple and normal life. Thestin perks up again and starts back up.

"Oop. Sorry gran'pa. Guess I got lost in my own little world. So, I left Bree, and I went all the way to The Forsaken Inn. Place is spooky, gran'pa, just like you said your father said. All kinds of dark corridors and strange noises. Folks weren't so bad though, just a little rough around the edges. I met a man who didn't speak a word and wore some kind of bird mask made of metal. How 'bout that, huh? And there was a girl there, carrying a spear with a blade that could actually probably cut me in half. There was a few hobbits too, not sure what they were up to. Ah well, I got what I was supposed to get, and next time the caravan came around..."

Thestin whistles and points his thumb to the distant Bree-Town.

"I came right back. I've been back a while but...I hadn't found much to be excited about, until last night. I bumped into this woman, and she was gorgeous, gran'pa. Now I know, I know, I'm not gonna let this get to me. I don't think someone like me is ready or even meant to be with someone, but I learned that she likes to read, and I was finally able to make that old library a place for some new memories. So much pain kept me away from it, but now...now it can be good for me again, which is a relief cause sleeping there is pretty safe. And knowing what I know right now about that maniac running around hurting folk, that's a good thing. I digress, gran'pa, I'm sorry. I know you hate that. Still, she was great, kind of reserved, but witty, pretty insightful, and very kind. I think we're friends, and I'm happy with that, you know?"

He pauses again as the girl and the farm hand are called to dinner in the farmhouse. Thestin looks at the sky as it begins to paint in different colors. He puffs air out of his pursed lips, then looks at the crumblign remains of the planks he had planted in the ground that year and a half ago. He smiles and speaks as he stands up and dusts himself off.

"Promise I'll fix that next time I'm here, gran'pa. Must be driving you crazy. And dont'chu worry yourself, I won't let this all get to me. I won't be hurt again. There's nothing wrong with closeness that doesn't go to far. Last thing I want is to hurt someone again so bad they never speak to me...again..."

An uncertain look crosses his face then.

"Grandfather...did I...I mean was I in the wrong last time? I don't really know what I did, right, so I probably shouldn't chance hurting someone else until I do."

The wind pulls at his hair and chills his face. The silence becomes deafening.

"What...What exactly did I do to make that happen, grandfather?"

Without a reply, Thestin simply gives his buried relative a farewell and ponders on his way back through the south gate of Bree. Yet when his foot hits the cobblestone of the streets of Bree, he looks up and smiles. It doesn't matter, he won't let tht happen again, one way or another.