Author: Branwyn (Lady Branwyn)

Nominator: Raksha the Demon

2008 Award Category: Genres: Alternate Universe: Drabbles - Honorable Mention

Story Type: Fixed-Length Ficlet  ✧  Length: True Drabble

Rating: General  ✧  Reason for Rating: N/A

Summary: A New England fisherman tells the tale of a ghost who sings along the water's edge.(100 words)

Read the Story

Reviewed by: Raksha the Demon  ✧  Score: 8

A lovely, sad drabble that haunts the reader as much as the narrator is haunted by the drabble's subject. Branwyn has chosen an unusual milieu for her mini-ghost story - Colonial, or at least pre-industrial, New England, in the Northeastern United States, at a time when the Micmac Indians and white men still interacted. A settler is the narrator, speaking of a ghost who appears on a lake, dressed [all queer] but with his hair in Indian-like braids. Kudos to Branwyn for picking this setting, so far away from Tolkien's Middle-earth, for a visit from someone that Silmarillion readers know and love. The settler's earthy language contrasts with the eerie, fey quality of the haunting vision, and makes the latter all the more effective. It is a measure of both Branwyn's skill and the power of Tolkien's creation that the settler is awed by and has pity for the ghostly singer. The last line is powerful and one of which Tolkien himself would have approved. Personally, I find the line hard to forget; it lingers, along with the sorrow of the singer and the almost grudging sympathy of the narrator.

Reviewed by: Keiliss  ✧  Score: 5

This sent ice cold chills down my spine and raised gooseflesh on my arms. It is an an excellent piece of writing and I'm sure it would stand on its own really well even completely divorced from Tolkien’s universe, but of course the fact that it gives us a tiny glimpse into a well-documented life after many-thousands of years of wandering alone is what makes it complete. The word choices throughout are immaculate, the speakers are so well defined I could probably describe them, and the picture of him singing his sorrow on the shore - utterly alone for all time - will stay with me for a very long time. This was quite wonderful.

Reviewed by: Dawn Felagund  ✧  Score: 4

This is a simply wonderful drabble that shows what a skilled writer can do with just a limited form. Branwyn immediately creates a sense of character and place using just the dialogue of her narrator. The structure of the piece allows for implied dialogue that lets her use the drabble to its fullest form. But what works the best for me is that final line: I love drabbles that carry a punch in their final moments, and this one does just that incredibly well. I am glad to have discovered this and give it my highest recommendation!

Reviewed by: annmarwalk  ✧  Score: 3

I'm not sure I've encountered anything quite like this before! Unique and haunting, as is to be expected with Branwyn's writing, but also suitably creepy, as befits a Halloween challenge. *shivers* ["Looked like a brave with his hair in long braids, but he was dressed all queer, not how you’d expect for a Redman. "] Lovely imagery! A nicely subtle crossover between mythologies of the Old and New Worlds.

Reviewed by: Larner  ✧  Score: 3

Well, he took ship, but did not end up on Tol Eressea. A momentary glimpse of Tolkien's most tragic of heroes, singing [as if he'd lost everything] in a land he'd perhaps never thought to see, apparently haunting an eastern rather than a western shore now. A beautiful blending of Tolkien and Amerindian legends. A worthy tale.

Reviewed by: dkpalaska  ✧  Score: 3

This is a nicely done take on one of my favorite Silm characters! Branwyn chooses an unusual PoV and blends some of our own legends into one of Tolkien's, with a result that is enjoyable and believable both. I can just see the old man telling his tale to a group of spellbound listeners...

Reviewed by: Elen Kortirion  ✧  Score: 3

Aaah, I think I remember this from a previous Hallowe'en - and I loved the concept then that the last of the Feanorians still walked beside the sea singing of all he had lost. Your last line is particularly plaintive and wonderfully expressive in so very few words.

Reviewed by: Angelica  ✧  Score: 3

Despite the passing of time (millenia) and the change of continent Maglor has retained his skill to move his listeners even if they cannot begin to imagine who they have met. Who among Silmarillion readers, Feanorian lovers hasn't at some time hoped to run into Maglor singing by the sea? We may still hope.

Reviewed by: Dwimordene  ✧  Score: 3

While the spirit involved remains nameless, or at least, we don't know what he was called before the Dominion of Men, I have my guesses. Beautiful last line - gives the whole piece its punch, just as a last line should for a drabble.

Reviewed by: Linda Hoyland  ✧  Score: 2

A Moving interpretation of what Maglor's fate might have been, which leaves the imaginative reader hoping to one day encounter him upon the beach!.

Reviewed by: Robinka  ✧  Score: 2

An evocative glimpse at what might have been Maglor's ultimate fate. Powerful writing, and I love the narrator's voice in this drabble.