The Well

Author: Keiliss

Nominator: Ellynn

2011 Award Category: Mystery: General - Second Place

Story Type: Story  ✧  Length: Short Story

Rating: Teen  ✧  Reason for Rating: Disturbing Imagery/Themes

Summary: A shadowy apparition helps Arwen and her brothers resolve an old mystery, and an unquiet soul finds peace.

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Reviewed by: Oshun  ✧  Score: 10

I read this story before, but I must have been nervous or in a bad mood, because I didn’t remember how much humor it had in it. I love it also when the ending turns serious. I loved Arwen and her brothers. I grew up in a big family and the range of sibling relationships never ceases to engage me. On their stakeout for the ghost, the picture of Arwen with an apple frozen half-way to her lips caught me as an almost photographic memory. (Because of the vividness of the characterization, she looked a lot like one of older sisters to me.) When they race off to find information and reassurance from, who else, but Erestor—calm and well-informed, absolutely cracked up to find they interrupted him and Glorfindel. How could they possibly have expected Erestor, one of those old people who no longer have a life, would be entertaining Glorfindel. {His hair was tousled and his shirt partly untucked, but none of the young elves was in any state of mind to take note of this or question his presence.} Loved the details. I am not a great aficionado of the unhoused-elf genre, but this one totally worked for me. So glad I took the time to re-read it. It is warm, sad, tender and generous to the characters and the readers. I liked this world very much. Bad things happen, but there is forgiveness and resolution.

Author response: If two years ago you'd told me I'd be writing and loving Arwen and her brothers plus Erestor and Glorfindel just a little past the hand holding stage, I'd have laughed. Funny how it goes. I love playing in this world, so getting a review like this is just -- hey, I don't have words, just makes me very happy. I'm glad you found and liked the touches of humour in the story, love that you enjoyed the young ones interrupting their elders and not even realising -- Arwen in particular would be so mad at herself. And I'm thrilled if readers find the family dynamic works for them, specially those who come from large families. Thank you for a great review!

Reviewed by: Red Lasbelin  ✧  Score: 10

After reading several of your works with Arwen, I think that your development of her has grown into a really stunning protrayal of Arwen. She was so unfleshed in the books, so it's a joy to see a look into her early years. The conversations between her and the twins are perfect. The sibling banter is impeccable (I would know). You nailed the tone and the teasing and the voices exactly. Your twins are truly lovely, each distinct. Elladan's full of potential for the warrior and heir he'll become, and I have quite a soft spot for Elrohir and his love of animals. You have such a clear vision of this time in Imladris. I think it's one of my favorite universes. And you're absolutely sneaky with Glorfindel and Erestor. *grins* I got a chill when the bones were discovered. I sort of expected the development but when I read it, it still hit me quite strongly... I'm so glad the elf has peace now. It was a truly awful accident and the guilt must have been neigh unbearable. I'm glad to know his soul has gone onto the Halls of Mandos. The thought of staying in that in between worlds place is an upsetting fate. Also, this is what you write on the year of the least amount of writing you've ever done. Would that I had half your creativity then. :|

Author response: I'm not sure how to explain it, but writing in this 'verse is like comfort food. Even if the story is difficult to unwind and fights me in places, it's because I know how it needs to feel and sound, I'm not flailing blindly. Does that make sense? I can hate it the way I could hate Doubt, because I understand it. Of the three, Elladan's the one who needs a little more attention, Elrohir's had his moments of fame *g* and Arwen is - Arwen. I have a very strong mental picture of her, something I'd never have expected/ This story -- I don't remember how much drama was involved in the writing, but I suppose apologies are due as usual, lol. It's become one I'm very fond of, so getting reviews for it makes me happy - it's like watching a loved child being petter. Um -- I think I'm missing the point of the response here but - thank you for the lovely long review, dear :)

Reviewed by: Fiondil  ✧  Score: 4

I was reading this while listening on Youtube to Gregorian Masters of Chant’s version of the Vangelis song “I'll Find My Way Home” (and playing it over and over again) and by the time I was finished with the story, I was literally in tears, the words of the song resonating so beautifully with the story, especially at the end with Arwen. This was so sad, yet beautifully written and I highly recommend it, especially for this time of year. But make sure you have a hanky on hand, just in case.

Author response: What beautiful background music, I can imagine how well that would fit with the story. Thank you for being so kind and complimentary about The Well. This was a lovely review and really touched me.

Reviewed by: Himring  ✧  Score: 4

Keiliss continues to explore the characters and youthful adventures of the children of Elrond, as she did previously in her lovely story about a stray dragon in Imladris. This one foregrounds Arwen's intuitive sensitivity in particular and concerns the Middle-earth equivalent of the laying of a ghost. I am enjoying this series and looking forward to seeing where Keiliss takes it next.

Author response: Small correction: I don't take this series anywhere, it takes me *g*. No, literally. Actually it's my guilty indulgence, the place I go when I want to be comfortable rather than stretched and frazzled. I'm always thrilled when someone likes one of these stories so thank you for the review and -- yes, there'll be more, just no idea where it'll go next. There's actually a huge gap in the storyline that needs filling, but in their own good time I suppose.

Reviewed by: Dreamflower  ✧  Score: 4

Keiliss has a talent for constructing intriguing little mysteries. This one, involving Elrond's three children being instrumental in bringing a long ago tragedy to light has a touch of the supernatural about it. I love Keiliss's characterizations of Elrohir, Elladan and Arwen-- we can easily see the younger versions of the people they will grow to be one day. Arwen is especially memorable; I love her compassion in this.

Author response: I enjoy writing these three but particularly young Arwen, someone I would never have thought of working a story around a few years ago. I loved the prompt for this story, it meant I got to try something different and challenge myself a little. I'm glad you enjoyed it, thank you so much for the lovely review.

Reviewed by: Melusine  ✧  Score: 3

This is a spooky tale of a guilt-ridden spirit and his quest to set the results of his negligence right. With the Twins and Arwen's help, he can finally take his place in Namo's halls. It's written deftly, with a sure hand and an eye to detail. Lovely, in spite of the dark subject matter.

Author response: And once again, the perfect summary :) Thank you so much for reviewing this fic, I really appreciate it. I'm happy you enjoyed the story despite the dark subject matter.

Reviewed by: goldleaves  ✧  Score: 2

A ghostly story that shows the interaction between Elladan, Elhroir and Arwen as well as glimpses of Elrond, Glorfindel and Erestor. A beautiful little story.

Author response: Thank you so much for the review, I appreciate it. Calling the story beautiful was most kind of you :)

Reviewed by: Ellynn  ✧  Score: 2

In The Well, Keiliss gives us a truly wonderful, chilling, touching story. I really love the poignant background tale. So beautifully done.

Author response: Hi Ellynn dear :) Thank you so much for nominating The Well and for your review. You have been more than kind.