A Cold Night in June
2010 Award Category: Genres: Humor: Gondor - Second Place
Story Type: Story ✧ Length: Ficlet
Rating: General ✧ Reason for Rating: N/A
Summary: Faramir's dream has him befuddled.
Reviewed by: Thundera Tiger ✧ Score: 9
This story made me feel warm. I wasn't expecting it, either, and that's part of what makes it so good. The ending follows the action naturally and believably, but it comes unexpectedly. The surprise is as enjoyable as the words exchanged. But I'm getting ahead of myself. From the beginning, I love the tone Agape4Gondor sets. It's dark and dismal and very, very cold. The contrast works beautifully to set up the dilemma of papers flying all over the Citadel. It's such a normal, commonplace accident that it seems even more hilarious imagining Faramir, Beregond, and the Chief Archivist running after all those flying papers. The situation comes full circle after they put all the papers in order, and Denethor's appearance puts some excellent closure on it all. Agape4Gondor's best strengths in this ficlet are the tone contrasts and the characterizations. Through the tone contrasts, ordinary situations become naturally exaggerated and poignant endings hit even deeper. Through the characterizations, the entire story feels real and genuine and we as readers get a chance to truly connect with and care about those involved. A lovely bit of writing!
Reviewed by: Larner ✧ Score: 7
Agape has set the tone for this ficlet with great skill--a cool night with what almost appears to be snow drifting down upon the White City--save that it's not snow after all, but ash sent their way by the Lord of Mordor. Against this grim backdrop we have the son of the Steward, a Guardsman, and an archivist all scurrying across the pavement before the Citadel, seeking to catch all the sheets of documents the poor archivist had been carrying that he'd dropped and that the wind seems intent on carrying over the walls to the lower city. The surprise when Faramir realizes the subject of the documents requested by his father and what this reveals of Denethor's appreciation for his dream is clearly shown. I like that Faramir accepts freely that his father loves him, but is uncertain that he will be able to avoid the criticism that still seems to come his way all too often. It makes the realization that this time there is no criticism the more satisfying. A good gapfiller for Agape's epic "A Thousand Years."
Reviewed by: Linaewen ✧ Score: 6
This was quite a fun little story, even though the incident described is too close to some I've experienced myself to be totally light-hearted! I love the picture of Faramir and his two helpers scurrying after blowing papers, not realizing Denethor is watching. I was sure some of them were going to go over the parapet! I was glad to discover after all the papers were retrieved that they were copies of other documents -- no one would actually be laughing to have such important originals crushed and trampled in an attempt to stop them from flying up and over the wall. Best of all, though, is the way the chasing of the papers leads to a warm moment between father and son. I imagine Denethor was just waiting for an opportunity like that to remind Faramir that he is not quite the cold father his son was beginning to think him.
Reviewed by: Ainu Laire ✧ Score: 5
I really enjoyed this! It is quite the sight to imagine the son of the Steward running after a bunch of papers. But, hey, what use are the guards if they cannot help in the chase? *grin* At least good old Beregond was able to be of some assistance. I liked the scene with Denethor and Faramir at the end, and Faramir joining him to look over the papers; I also believe that, while he did like Boromir more, I don't think he outright hated his younger son, either, just was a rather stern guy. Anyways, this was quite the enjoyable little ficlet about one of those unwritten 'adventures' with Gondor's ruling family.
Reviewed by: Lindelea ✧ Score: 4
Excellent! I like this characterization of the relationship between Denethor and his younger son. To see Beregond in the scene was a treat in itself. (I can certainly see the guardsman appreciating the quality of wine served on that occasion, probably quite different from what he was used to!) There is a bit of foreshadowing here, too, I think, with the guards standing frozen to their posts, unable to help, and then Beregond entering the scene. Nicely done!
Reviewed by: NeumeIndil ✧ Score: 4
Oh god does this sound familiar! (I once had just enough time to yell "Heads!" before a 300 page theatre history binder popped like a pinata after falling 3 stories over a stairwell.) I also like your characterization of Denethor here, and of Faramir knowing so well how to soothe rattled nerves among the staff. They are both good men, which I think is how it was meant to be.
Reviewed by: Virtuella ✧ Score: 3
What a piece of slapstick! Faramir does well to laugh; it's the best way to maintain his dignity in that situation! It's a good take on Denethor, too; I can well imagine that he would proceed in such a methodical way.
Reviewed by: Raksha the Demon ✧ Score: 3
A funny and gentle tale take on the interaction between Denethor and Faramir regarding the famous dream about Isildur's Bane. Even in fabled Minas Tirith among the powerful and perceptive Numenorean lords of Gondor, accidents happen. Good narrative, and a sense of everyday happenstance enliven this short story.
Reviewed by: Ellynn ✧ Score: 2
Lovely ficlet; I like the mix between the serious and the humorous parts. And I agree that Denethor was not evil, so I think that you portray him well.
Reviewed by: Linda Hoyland ✧ Score: 2
A delightfully vivid glimpse of Faramir, Beregond and the archivist chasing after papers on a windy day with a somewhat unexpected glimpse of Denethor at the end.