Ash to Ash

Author: Dawn Felagund

Nominator: Elleth

2010 Award Category: Races: Elves: Drabbles - First Place

Story Type: Drabble  ✧  Length: True Drabble

Rating: General  ✧  Reason for Rating: N/A

Summary: After Fëanor's death, Curufin experiences his own form of denial in grief. A drabble.(100 words, written for Back to Middle-earth Month ', 2010)

Read the Story

Reviewed by: Elleth  ✧  Score: 10

Am I ever glad for issuing Dawn Felagund this challenge during SWG's Back to Middle-earth Month 2010 - the outcome was entirely unexpected and more moving than I could have ever imagined. Shoes seem like such mundane objects to me, and this was a prompt that left me staring at the blank page for a while, so any outcome at all would have been welcome. This was much better than just "any outcome". In a finely crafted drabble, Dawn Felagund describes Curufin's grief after the death of Feanor in battle not through grand outpourings of woe, but rather through the far more real touching observation of daily routines, in this case Curufin's recurring visit to the forge and the taking care of Feanor's boots by the door. Even though this is only a drabble in length, it speaks volumes about characterization; Feanor's relentless perfectionism in all things and his devotion to smithcraft is as easily visible as Curufin's similarity to and love for his father in carrying out his legacy and trying to force a strictly linear and somewhat logical attempt to fashion Feanor's return: [Observe the ash gathering within, imagine him rebuilt in opposing manner to which he departed.] Original, poetical and astute in language, thoughtful, wonderful and ultimately very sad. Dawn Felagund crafted a masterpiece here.

Reviewed by: Tanaqui  ✧  Score: 7

Sometimes you can feel like you've seen everything under the sun when it comes to Tolkien-based stories -- and then you encounter a piece like this drabble that jolt you out of the usual path by offering a new perspective that is as right as it is surprising. Rather than focusing on the artefacts of power or the weapons and armour more commonly associated with the Feanorians, Dawn has turned her lens on something as simple and unremarkable as a pair of shoes, and the daily rituals surrounding them, and in doing so has created an incredibly powerful portrait of Curunir's grief for his father, Feanor. The power comes not just from the choice of subject, however, but in Dawn's skill in putting together just the right words in just the right ways: using careful repetition and rhythm and capturing the spirit of her technically-minded protagonist in the exactness of the details she describes. A gem that any of the Feanorians would have been proud to have crafted -- well done!

Reviewed by: Oshun  ✧  Score: 5

Whew! This is a killer drabble. It is an incredible comment on that quite incredible and rather bizarre description in canon of the death of Feanor and I agree with your interepretation here as well that Curufin, aka "little father," is probably a little teched by then as they say where I grew up (touched = in the sense of more than a little crazy). I love/hate it when you do that! It kills me in the sense that you intend it to. Such loss, such excess, such passion in his work and as a father as well and all of it just too, too much for those he left behind. Anyway. I still adore Feanor and I can absolutely relate to Curufin in this story. This is an excellent drabble. (Or is it a poem?)

Reviewed by: Eärillë (AiedailWing)  ✧  Score: 5

An intense drabble with an unusual anchor to a very sensitive topic for the character. Dawn Felagund presented a unique snippet and an unexpected answer to the theme “shoes.” Curufinwë Fëanárion imagined his father rebuild from ashes like a phoenix, as ashes from the forge gathered in his boots, which he had been using since his living in Tirion to Mithrim – by his father’s side, by implication. And from that only, one could detect a tone of wild hope and hopelessness to his character, both at once. – A morbid but good read, poiniently worded, entertaining in its own way.

Reviewed by: Virtuella  ✧  Score: 4

This is an impressive miniature that shows with the help of one simple motif how someone is - coping perhaps, or not coping with his bereavement? The boots by the door speak of the one who has departed, of his determination as well as of his regular habits. To imagine that the boots could be refilled, that ash could rebuilt the body that combusted, is a very powerful image indeed.

Reviewed by: Elfique  ✧  Score: 4

How lovely, yet in a very sad way! Since its Curufin it feels like a lot of a stronger reflection on Feanor, especially since its situated with him in his father's forge. I love the slight change in repetition in in the second line, its very clever. Actually, I love the first word repetitions in general for each line, they bind the piece together so well and create a really relentless feel. A really nice and well executed concept!

Reviewed by: SurgicalSteel  ✧  Score: 4

This was a really intriguing look into Curufin's mind. The precision with which he thinks and acts speak to the scientific side of his mind. On the other hand, leaving his father's boots in place and imagining that ashes from the forge might somehow bring him back - that gives us a hint of that 'bargaining' phase in the grieving process, in which there's an almost childlike magical thinking. Really well done!

Reviewed by: Raksha the Demon  ✧  Score: 4

We all cope differently with grief, but whether human, hobbit, elf or dwarf or ent, we all must grapple with it at some time in our lives. Dawn Felagund has written a powerful piece about Curufin's reaction to his father's death. The use of repetition and the recitation of precise details show Curufin is haunted by his father's presence, or rather the lack of it, in his life. An intriguing glimpse into the mind of one of Feanor's less accessible sons.

Reviewed by: Dwimordene  ✧  Score: 3

There's a nice attention to quantitative detail in this drabble that suggests a smith's mind, a crafter's mind. Curufin's grief is understated, but it is present and enclosing, like the stuffy forge itself. Nicely done!

Reviewed by: Larner  ✧  Score: 3

Quite the image to ponder--Feanor's boots standing still by the door as they've always done, as Curufin finds himself hoping that drifting ash from the forge may somehow bring his father back from death to fill them once more. A powerful testament to the grief of Feanor's son for the loss of his fire-spirited father.

Reviewed by: Beruthiel's Cat  ✧  Score: 2

I love the way this author thinks. An absolutely gripping vignette, capturing perfectly the strange way grief manifests itself in objects left behind. Perfect.