Unseen, Unheard, Not Forgotten

Author: Windsurfbabe

Nominator: Eärillë (Virodeil)

2011 Award Category: Drama: Family - Third Place

Story Type: Story  ✧  Length: Short Story

Rating: General  ✧  Reason for Rating: N/A

Summary: One need not be a house to be haunted - E. Dickinson. 3rd place in July 2010 Teitho challenge "Five Ingredients".

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Reviewed by: Spiced Wine  ✧  Score: 10

This was an amazing story, so beautiful and so sad. I am so happy to have found it on Faerie, as I had not heard of the author before, and to review it here. I love this because it shows one of my favorite characters long after he slipped out of canon, and into the mists. Windsurfbabe wove such a poignant tale here, and at first I did not know who this character could be, as I believed it an Elf, but 'scars' are spoken of, and in my own fanon, Elves don't carry scars, unless perhaps from some weapon of incredible power, so of course that coloured my reading. But then, the penny dropped, and I was thrilled. Maglor had walked out of the mists into latter ages, and it *felt* like Maglor as I imagine him. The scars were explained because of the Silmaril he carried and threw into the sea. Of course! I have never read any stories of Maglor in this time, I think, save for Esteliel's Mirror of Fire, which I also adore and for the same reasons. I want to thank Windsurfbabe so much for writing and sharing this lovely story, with such lovely language and a feeling to it that I could totally embrace. I do love Maglor, but for that very reason, if I read a story and is not the Maglor of my imagination, I cannot continue to read. Windsurfbabe's Maglor is gorgeous, deep, sorrowful and in fact, all I believe him to be. I thoroughly recommend this story. This will always be a favorite.

Author response: Thank you, thank you so much for this (lengthy :P and) wonderful review! I am very flattered that you liked the story and, above all, that my portrayal of Maglor is appreciated. There are not so many stories about him indeed, and he could not have simply disappeared off the face of the earth! Where did he go, what did he become? Those are the questions I always had. I hope he found peace, as here he is bringing some to another soul who needs it. Thank you again for reading, for reviewing and for the continued appreciation of my works!! It is readers like you who keep me motivated when I feel that inspiration is fading. Take care, WSB

Reviewed by: Eärillë (Virodeil)  ✧  Score: 8

A bittersweet story of winter yule-time, told from the point of view of an old beggar, bereft of joy a long time ago yet still trying to survive a harsh life in the streets of Minas Tirith after the War of the Ring. Windsurfbabe spun the story in a rather matter-of-fact tone that somehow heightened the feelings and experiences portrayed in this piece, and told it from the quite realistic and tangible point of view of an old man unwilling to either live or die. The mixture of senses the author used to illustrate the character’s experience, blended with the show of emotions we can relate to ourselves in one way or another and maintained from the very start till the end, would suck readers in and keep them riveted. The piece is chest-clenching worthy, if not more, although it is not for those who seek proper naming of original characters and a ‘happy’ ending. It shows the core spirit of Yuletide celebration, and the last paragraph of the story speaks volumes on that, in hindsight. – [“He smiled in his rest. Everyone must be happy on Yule’s Eve.”] – Highly recommended!

Author response: Thank you, Virodeil, for this wonderful review full of compliments that made me blush, and for nominating the piece in the first place! I am, once again, very glad and flattered that you enjoyed it enough to do so.

Reviewed by: Erulisse  ✧  Score: 8

I remember when I first read this story. It had tears in my eyes and did so again when I read it before writing this review. Windsurfbabe has written a Holiday Season classic here. The blind man who has lost everything, including his faith in his fellow man. Those who will save him - the Twins, Elladan and Elrohir, and playing a more major part, Legolas and, from left field, Maglor. Any story with Maglor always hits me because his character calls to me, but the four of them, banding together to feed an old beggar man who makes his few daily pennies by playing a broken lute, it just breaks my heart. And, at the same time, it rebuilds my faith, because in the depths of his despair, he is taught, by Maglor - a kinslayer doomed by his oath - of the power of love and the fact that those whom he loved and lost are there to be found again. I found the lines detailing that Benn should remember his loved ones at their brightest moment, their most glorious time rather than at the moment of their death to be a good lesson for us all. This is a story that should be read each Yuletide. But have a box of tissues handy, you'll need them.

Author response: Hello Erulisse, and thank you so much for your vote! I am very flattered that you took the time to leave such a long and wonderful review for this piece, and also that you enjoyed it enough to do so. Thanks a bunch again! WSB

Reviewed by: The Lauderdale  ✧  Score: 5

This one's a tearjerker, both for the cruel treatment of an elderly homeless man and for the deeper grief he carries with him. Benn is shown kindness by passing strangers, one of whom was an honest surprise for me: we know that it is only months after the War of the Ring, and I was expecting the owner of that dreamy voice to be...Frodo? No, wait, he wasn't burned. Faramir maybe? The identity of Benn's third angel may have taken me off guard, but I suspect this story derives some meaning from other fiction by Windsurfbabe that I have not read. In any event, it is a touching story with an enigmatic ending that leaves you to wonder about the kind of rest Benn found.

Author response: Thank you so much for this lovely review! I am happy that you enjoyed the story, and that I managed to provoke emotion - this is the ultimate goal of writing, is it not? :) It seems that the firstly unnamed speaker's identity was a surprise to many... And I admit that writing him was a pleasure I may try again. Thanks again for reading and reviewing. Take care, WSB

Reviewed by: curiouswombat  ✧  Score: 4

This is well written and from an unusual point of view; we are 'seeing' post-Ring War Minas Tirith and its inhabitants through the senses of a blind busker. The man himself, the city's inhabitants, and his less usual Yuletide benefactors, are all well drawn. Clearly, given the point of view, we have no indication of why the fourth elf should be with the three we would expect to find there - but, for this story, his presence works.

Author response: Thank you for your reviey, curiouswombat! I am glad you enjoyed this piece enough to vote for it. Thanks again for reading! WSB