Things That Have Not Yet Come To Pass
Nominator: Thundera Tiger
2011 Award Category: Horror: General
Story Type: Story ✧ Length: Short Story
Rating: Teen ✧ Reason for Rating: Disturbing Imagery/Themes
Summary: Some things come back that really would have been better left alone. Life in Imladris is not as it should be, but what is causing the strange events? A tale to send shivers down your spine of CelebrÃan's recovery after being waylaid at the pass.
Reviewed by: Thundera Tiger ✧ Score: 10
When I first read this story, I was utterly and completely spellbound. It's a tragedy within a tragedy, and really it's the story of many wounded souls: one who suffered much longer than Celebrian, Celebrian herself, and Celebrian's family/friends who love her a little too much to realize what's going on. Levade paints this story with absolute brilliance, keeping the POV in the hands of those removed enough from Celebrian that they are able to grudgingly contemplate the unthinkable. I love the way the story starts small, beginning with birds, progressing to cats, and then culminating in a terrible crime that turns Imladris upside down. And in the meantime, skirting the back of this poor reader's mind, was the knowledge of who was doing it but also the knowledge that this person couldn't possibly be responsible. Gildor's translation of one fateful Avarin word unlocks the entire mystery, which up until then had me completely baffled. The climactic explanation/showdown is something I've never seen before in a Celebrian story, and it makes so much sense that I'm wondering why this angle hasn't been explored before. In addition to great explorations of under-utilized themes, I love the way Levade does the characterizations. Elrond is simply heart-breaking in a determined, fatalistic sense. Arwen, Elladan, and Elrohir are confused and alarmed, seeing a bit more than their father but still reluctant to consider what it all means. Erestor and Bronwe are brilliant, and Gildor gets some stunning characterization from a very small scene. But far and away my favorite character was Glorfindel. Levade makes the most of the fact that he's faced off against a Balrog and straddles the world of seen and unseen. A thoroughly engrossing read complete with beautiful tone, fascinating characters, and one of the best uses of a Tolkien villain/tragedy that really needs more exploration.
Reviewed by: Dwimordene ✧ Score: 10
It seems that usually, writers skip the trauma of recovery with CelebrÃan: usually, the focus is on Elrond, and what he endures. Levade gives us an ensemble of characters, each of whom is deeply affected by CelebrÃan's health and a wound that seems unable to be healed. She also gives an unusual interpretation of what happened to CelebrÃan in the caves with the Orcs: the reader starts out thinking this is psychological trauma of the worst sort, possibly assisted by a morgul-blade, but slowly, one goes down other, disturbing tracts of Arda and Tolkien's legendarium. No one wants to believe CelebrÃan could be dangerous, but slowly, the actors are forced to the realization that all that hasn't been right in Imladris - and which has been growing in scope and severity - has one source. I love the way Glorfindel figures into this story as someone who, having died and been reborn, is the only one in the end capable of confronting CelebrÃan, and compelling an answer. The aftermath of that encounter returns us to the more familiar story, but with an added dimension of horror and tragedy for all concerned, and Levade makes you feel the uncertainty of CelebrÃan's fate: Aman may be the only hope left, but it's a hope, not a certainty, and after everything that has happened, it seems a very dim hope indeed. Well done, Levade!
Reviewed by: Keiliss ✧ Score: 9
I have no idea what to say to this, it's just brilliant. It's the quality of story I'd expect to find in a really fine horror anthology. I knew it would be good, and Levade didn't disappoint. I think this is what fan fiction should be, your favourite characters turning up in a story that grabs you by the neck and drags you in. The story starts slow and builds up to its unlikely and startling climax masterfully. It's not so much what she says, you have to understand, it's the way she says it, or doesn't say it, it's in the words she chooses, the pauses. Possession. An old, familiar but enthralling theme, not often encountered in fan fiction more's the pity *g*. And all those dead animals. And - oh lord, the doll!!!1 I have a box of soft toys in the room right next to me and they are LOOKING at me now. That doll was just plain creepy. Yes, I knew Celebrian would have to 'be' somewhere, but... Chilling. Final word - I love Levade's Glorfindel. He feels so old and certain (oh, and I adored Gildor, the rogue!) And hey, this writer is not afraid to take the story where it needs to go, even if bad things have to happen to good people. Wonderful, wonderful work. As always.
Reviewed by: The Lauderdale ✧ Score: 8
The tale of Celebrian's torment among the Orcs is dark enough, but Levade finds a way to make it darker still. There was something more than Orcs in the cave where Elrond's wife was tormented, something more that happened to her than anyone could possibly have guessed...and it has come back with her. The result is a genuinely terrifying story, and a suspenseful one, employing the kind of disturbing elements to send a shiver down any spine: mysterious dolls, animal mutilation, isolation, and incipient madness allowed to grow unchecked, in part because those who most love the sufferer do not want to recognize what is happening, or persist in imputing it to other causes. There is one plot point that takes this story outside the realm of Could Have Been, making it expressly AU, and I seized upon that point of departure as a source of reassurance. If *that* did not happen, than neither did the rest of it - or that is what I tell myself. The tale of Celebrian, and the unhappiness of her family, is dark enough. Those who do not like horror, be aware. This story is haunting, and it lingers.
Author response: Hi Lauderdale, This was the first review I got on this story during the MEFAs and I was blown away by your words. I set out to write a chilling story but didn't realize people would react so strongly. Poor Celebrian. I'll have to be kind to her in something else! Thank you _so_ much for the amazing review. I read and think you can't be talking about *my* story! I appreciate it so much. Peace, Levade
Reviewed by: Red Lasbelin ✧ Score: 7
Perfect for Halloween, but really for any season, those who like well written horror and aren't afraid of some angst concerning their beloved characters! It's hard to read such a haunting tale about the characters I love so much, but it's easy to slip into this alternate world because it is just so well done. It has left goosebumps on my arms and I cannot help but wonder about Celebrian's time in Aman, if she healed, and if so, the journey back to sanity. I think scars have been left on her family - husband and children, and those close friends as well. Bonus points for an absolutely gorgeous Glorfindel and Gildor too. I liked Bronwe, her OC, as well though I think there was some backstory to her I missed. If you'd like a throughly engaging, chilling story about Celebrian after her trauma, you definitely have to read this. Levade's work is creative, compelling and I am exceptionally character driven as well enjoying good plots and her body of work I've enjoyed very much.
Author response: Red, I don't think this kind of story is your normal cuppa? So it means doubly more than you took time to read it. *hugs* It was meant to be chilling and creepy but not without hope, but I guess I didn't quite hit that last part. Oops! Well, I leave it to the reader to decide then. Thank you for your words about my stories. I appreciate it _so_ much, and really am thankful for having you as a friend. *hugs* Peace, Levade
Reviewed by: curiouswombat ✧ Score: 5
Ah poor Celebrian... This story is not sweet or pretty - it is a well written horror story, that draws the reader in as we see Celebrian recovering, in part, after her torment at the hands of the orcs; but only in part. The bruises are fading - but she is slowly descending into madness, or so it seems. The unfolding story shows things definitely going awry in Imladris - something evil is afoot - the sense of horror, of unknowing, grows as Levade leads us further and further into the tale. And then the realisation - the 'cure' - which is no real cure... Not a story to read at bed-time if you are of a nervous disposition - but certainly one to savour otherwise.
Author response: Hi Wombat, This definitely is a departure from what I usually write! Poor Celebrian, I think that she certainly fared better with the original tale, and that should give anyone hope. :) I went for chills and spooky, so thank you for letting me know I achieved that! I appreciate the review so much! Peace, Levade
Reviewed by: Branwyn (Lady Branwyn) ✧ Score: 3
If you are a fan of horror, this story will be a treat. The premise is believable and the chain of events is carefully developed. I am no expert on elves, but their personalities and actions seem consistent with canon. This story left me feeling vaguely disturbed which is the mark of a good tale of terror.
Author response: Hi Lady Branwyn, Thank you so much for your review! I set out to write a creepy tale that would send chills down a reader's spine, so it's nice to know that was accomplished. Good luck with your writing endeavours this coming year! Peace, Levade
Reviewed by: Adonnen Estenniel ✧ Score: 3
In this piece, Levade offers a chilling possibility to the missing pieces of CelebrÃan's time after her attack. This gap filler is vivid with imagery and things gone wrong, and is effective in achieving its purpose.
Author response: Hi Adonnen, Thank you so much for the lovely review! I really appreciate it. :) Peace, Levade
Reviewed by: Ellynn ✧ Score: 2
Truly chilling, scary tale. It makes the readers hold their breath; at the same time, they know this can't end well - Celebrian can't be truly healed and will sail west. Well done.
Author response: Hi Ellynn, Thank you so much for the lovely review. I appreciate it! :) Peace, Levade
Reviewed by: grey_gazania ✧ Score: 2
This story is very well-written, and the best possible kind of creepy. It made my skin crawl. Well done!
Author response: Hi Grey, I was definitely going for the chills up the spine on this story, so I'm really happy it achieved that! That sounds awful, doesn't it? Well, you see what I mean, I hope. Thank you so much for your review! I appreciate it very much. :) Peace, Levade