Through a Glass, Darkly

Author: Beruthiel's Cat

Nominator: Encairion

2010 Award Category: Genres: Romance - Second Place

Story Type: Story  ✧  Length: Short Story

Rating: Mature  ✧  Reason for Rating: Rated for mention of M/M relationship and adult themes. Non-explicit.

Summary: A window into Time, and what passed there.

Read the Story

Reviewed by: Erulisse  ✧  Score: 10

I wish I had Beruthiel's Cat's imagination and internal vision. Fortunately she brings her vision out in sparse, perfectly crafted stories such as this one. Without mentioning her characters by name, and limiting them to only two, she has written a story here that makes me wish for a longer and more detailed tale. Would more detail or length be necessary? Not at all. But I would like it nonetheless. So the tale revolves around the ability to see the actions occur from an outside point of view. And in this vision, a tenderness is evinced and a joy is felt that transcends the mirror being looked at and becomes the full focus of the viewer. The two riders, sharing a single horse, approach. Their clothing depicts them as not from this time frame, and compliments their demeanor completely. As they dismount, it becomes apparent that here are two who love each other completely. No words are heard, yet they are spoken and responded to with joy. Tenderness becomes passion and love expressed becomes love bonded. And then the vision fades and reality once again intrudes. Yet, one vision of this quality could easily keep a person going throughout their life. Therefore, I envy Beruthiel's Cat her vision, and I am grateful that she shared it with all of us. - Erulisse (one L)

Reviewed by: Spiced Wine  ✧  Score: 8

A dreamlike, beautiful piece, which evokes a feeling of soporific summer afternoons and something seen on the edge of waking and sleeping. A reader can imagine themselves seeing this as they rest somewhere, in this case, as if the author herself witnessed it. It is not heavily sexual, rather, it is more magical, devotional, worshipful - all those words fit this 'time-out-of-time' moment. We read of light and looks of love and music, so that the trees about this forest clearing become the pillars of a cathedral, the music that of a choir singing a paean of love, the light like the descending of the Holy Spirit. The place itself becomes sanctified by a sacred vow and the presence of the lovers themselves. It is a quite different tone from most stories, more mystical and gentle than any slash work I have ever read. It is a spiritual piece, a melding of souls rather than bodies, and at the end the pair vanish into light, which is a very beautiful touch. I love the 'otherness' and the story told as if the writer had indeed seen it one summer afternoon

Reviewed by: Encairion  ✧  Score: 5

The words explode off the page. Beruthiel's_cat’s writing is so potent, the imagery so intensely beautiful, so lyrical and poetic it leaves one breathless. One can taste the realness of the scene as if it were you who were actually experiencing this mystical moment. It’s a haunting and lovely piece. Powerful in its subtle gentleness. It is everything one loves about Glorfindel/Erestor and so much more. It has passion, and gentle love and a unique magical quality. Very dreamlike, and mystical. We are given a glimpse of a beautiful love though a little wrinkle in time, and it is just beautiful.

Reviewed by: Esteliel  ✧  Score: 5

Cat's skill with language really makes this story shine. I was trying to choose a line in order to demonstrate, but the truth is that every single line of this story is outstanding and together, serves to create an atmosphere that lets the reader experience for himself the holiness of love here described. Cat never mentions her characters' names, leaving their identities in the reader's mind as well, and in the end, I would argue that it is not about identity at all, but about the strength and the beauty of love itself - [a shard of holy enchantment] that Cat allows her readers to share in.

Reviewed by: pandemonium_213  ✧  Score: 5

Cat takes the reader into a vision from another time, another history, one that is erotic yet subtle with not a fumbling cliché to be found. The atmospheric language used through the story calls to mind paintings by pre-Raphaelites John Collier or John William Waterhouse. Cat effectively creates the feel of the borderland that exists between reality and dream. The voice of the narration maintains a certain detachment, a distance that conveys what is seen is also elusive as any glimpse into Faerie should be. This is an enchanting ficlet.

Reviewed by: Oshun  ✧  Score: 3

The wrinkle in time element and the hazy romantic quality worked in this short piece. This is an example of when atmosphere alone is sufficient to carry a ficlet. Not surprised to see that it won an award in a competitive area of the fandom, because it is unique among the majority of Glorfindel/Erestor stories I have read.

Reviewed by: Raksha the Demon  ✧  Score: 3

I'm not a huge fan of slash or, when I do read slash, of this pairing; but this particular piece is exquisitely written, with poetic pacing and wonderful usage of language. There's just enough description to enchant, without making the prose too purple.

Reviewed by: The Lauderdale  ✧  Score: 3

There is such a thing as a tesseract. In drunken, limpid prose a scene is conjured up so filled with loveliness, and happiness for the two characters involved, that the land preserves it as a moment out of time for other eyes to witness. (Including, though it is not stated, ours.)

Reviewed by: SurgicalSteel  ✧  Score: 1

Absolutely gorgeous imagery in this, Cat!

Reviewed by: Larner  ✧  Score: 1

The setting is gorgeous and the descriptions are vivid.