Middle-Earth Fanfiction Awards

Windchimes

Author: rhyselle
Nominator: Fiondil
2011 Award Category: Drabble: Elves - Honorable Mention

Story Type: Drabble : Length: True Drabble
Rating: General -- Reason for Rating: N/A
Summary: 100 word per Microsoft Word's count A victim of the First Kinslaying transforms symbols of a shattered life into a thing of beauty. Inspired by a poem by Glenda Mitchel Palmer.


Reviewed by: Elleth -- Score: 8

With [Windchimes], Rhyselle has managed to write a mirror of something that the character in her story also accomplishes: To take something, break it, and rework it into something beautiful. Not only does this story glow with rich descriptions and poetic diction, the acts of destruction and renewal are so charged with symbolism and analogy in both the real world and Tolkien's secondary creation that this is a story that could fill a book with interpretations. From the significance of the motives of sea and fish to the fisherman's life, to the translation of said life shattered at Alqualonde into an artist's work, to a celebration of return from Mandos, to the more fundamental Ardaic nature of reworking trauma into beauty (in fact this even finds its echo in the Silmarillion proper, in Eru's words to Morgoth that even all dark deeds will contribute their part to the beauty of the world), there are lots of directions this could be taken in. Keep in mind that this story is just a drabble in length. To pack a hundred words so full of meaning takes a lot of skill.

Reviewed by: The Lauderdale -- Score: 8

I clicked this one on impulse and read, not expecting to be nearly as impressed as I was afterward. Reading this drabble, I was presented with an image of beauty, only to be disconcerted at its wanton destruction by an apparent lunatic. A bizarre command to his apprentice only made me more confused. It is the final line that reveals the purpose behind the breaking, and the special significance of the piece that Elellindo chose to shatter. So I must thank rhyselle for the lovely image, even if she did have her character smash it, and for the accompanying mystery that made it beautiful again. Secondly, I must thank her for the poem by Glenda Mitchel Palmer, when I had not read before, and which is as beautiful as it is brief. Finally, I must thank her for the gift of Elellindo, the glassmaker, who practices one of the most surprising, yet appropriate, and peculiarly lovely avocations imaginable in Tolkien's Valinor. Whether she chooses to write more with him or not, he is a wonderful creation in just these one hundred words alone. [Windchimes] is a remarkable accomplishment.

Reviewed by: Fiondil -- Score: 4

I don’t care for drabbles that much, but every once in a while I come across one that is simply exquisite. Rhyselle is a definitely a master in evoking images and emotions from so few words and this is probably one of her best. The poem is absolutely apropos and one that I think I will memorize for myself to remind myself that God is making a lovely windchime out of my life as well.

Reviewed by: Russandol -- Score: 4

I'm usually a long story reader, but I enjoyed this drabble a lot. In very few words it managed to surprise me when the glass pane was broken on purpose. And I liked the analogy inspired by the poem: the image of taking something broken, like shards of glass, and making something beautiful with it again seems like very appropriate analogy to the reembodiment of the elves in Mandos.

Reviewed by: elfscribe -- Score: 4

An excellent drabble about an artisan who breaks a glass pane into pieces in order to construct windchimes for those newly returned from Mandos. The glass is well described and the moment of breaking it a surprise. The addition of the lines from the poem added another dimension to the piece. I really liked the whole concept and would love to see more of this character.

Reviewed by: Ragnelle -- Score: 3

This is a beautiful little drabble. The description of the glass at the beginning particularly caught my eye, and then the breaking and the remaking into something new... I liked it very much.

Reviewed by: Dwimordene -- Score: 3

A lovely translation of the poem into Middle-earth's tumultuous legendarium, Rhyselle! I like the transformation of beautiful but static images into notes that change with the wind instead of breaking - stasis to dynamism. Well done!

Reviewed by: Levade -- Score: 3

Nicely done! I wonder if Namo has some hanging in Mandos? I like the idea, but without the explanation and poem the drabble itself definitely doesn't have as much power. Might be better as a short story? Still, a lovely idea.

Reviewed by: Darkover -- Score: 2

This drabble makes it clear that art, like grief, can take some interesting and unusual forms. As a metaphor, this story utilizes a most appropriate one. Read it, and be intrigued.

Reviewed by: Adonnen Estenniel -- Score: 2

A beautiful look at the continuance of life and the healing of past hurts. The strength and caring of this character is evident.

Reviewed by: Independence1776 (Crystal113) -- Score: 2

An examination of how beauty can come from tragedy, wonderfully encapsulated in drabble form.