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Minas Tirith drabble challenge - Sing Until Your Lungs Give Out
August 2013
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Isn't moral anarchy kind of the point?
Mon, Apr. 5th, 2004 05:34 pm
Minas Tirith drabble challenge

So ase said "Faramir's ride past the people of Minas Tirith strikes me as good inspiration for fic - who are these people? Who called them out to see their knights ride by? Are their brothers, husbands, sons riding out? A hundred little OC drabbles waiting to happen." (here)

So this is the challenge - reply to this post with a drabble-length (or thereabouts) story detailing the life, character, or thoughts of one of the people watching as Faramir's men ride out. Once we're done, I'll create an archive to hold them all. Writers are not restricted to only one response; do as many as you like. If we can reach a hundred, that will be fabulous.

lame_pegasus has written one here. If there are any others hiding in people's journals which they want to submit, let me know.

And please don't be afraid to participate - this is a writing exercise, not the entrance exam to a select and secret society. If you've got an idea, go for it. If you don't, start writing and one might come to you.

edited to add: longer than a drabble is a-okay too! More than okay! Please! Everything is good!


Isn't moral anarchy kind of the point?
Mon, Apr. 5th, 2004 12:50 am (UTC)
My own contribution

Her brother's touch on her shoulder steadies her, provides some small tether to the world. She does not watch the procession, instead fixing her eyes on the progress of a small beetle across the flagstones. It is green-black, gleaming like oil slick in the flat light.

She remembers her brother catching such a beetle as a child, tying a thread around it as the tiny legs kicked and flailed. This thread he looped around a nail, watching as the beetle crawled in ever-tightening circles to escape.

"It can only go one way, do you see?" he said to her.

Now, she pulls at the folds of her skirt, plucking at the warp and weft with the pads of thumb and forefinger. The threads which hold her, trap her like an insect pinned with nail and curious childish malice.

The last of the clattering hoofsteps fades away, and she wonders if the echo of that sound shall ever leave her thoughts.

Mon, Apr. 5th, 2004 01:01 am (UTC)


I found your entry on my friends' friends' page and thought I'd try it...

by crediniaeth

I have my two small children to take care of now. No father to hold them or tuck them in at night. I watch him as he follows Faramir, youngest son of the Steward, out to an almost certain end.

I watched him leave, his armor shining in the disappearing sunlight. He had kissed our children and embraced me before he left our home.

He knew he was never coming home.

I knew it too... but I still had hope.

The children and I followed him to the procession. His armor shone and I saw him no more.

redefining success as just showing up
Mon, Apr. 5th, 2004 01:46 am (UTC)

Horses and Caterpillars.
By baggers

The clip-clop of the horsies' feet were loud this close. Everybody was quiet; maybe the horsies were scared of noise. The dust made her sneeze.

Her daddy had woken her early that morning, and taken her for a ride.

If she looked up, a lot of people were crying. Her mamma was crying.

But she didn't know why, so she ducked under people's arms and legs, and sat by a flower pot outside auntie's home. There was a capertillar on the flower, which she let crawl on her finger.

She would show it to her daddy when he came home.

Wibbley-wobbley timey-wimey...stuff
Mon, Apr. 5th, 2004 01:56 am (UTC)

Great idea, Mary. Here's my attempt.

"Baker's Daughter"

Nearly everyone had watched the near-disastrous retreat from the city walls, and those who hadn’t had known of it only moments after Captain Faramir’s men were safely within the gates. Yet somehow, news of the retaliation force travels even swifter through the streets, and people begin to gather. And so even though her father is just a baker and she has no brother or sweetheart, she dusts the flour from her hands, goes to her window-box and cuts a handful of blooms before going down to the street.

When the men approach, riding so slowly, so solemnly, like the other young women she casts the flowers before them. She recognizes one of the men, who’d used to come buy sweetbreads and cookies for his wife while she was expecting.

Tears prick her eyes as the long line of horses and men parade by, and the scent of the flowers rises as they are crushed between steel and stone.

Mon, Apr. 5th, 2004 02:12 am (UTC)

My husband was young when we wed, younger even than I, and my son was born sixteen years ago.

I watch our soldiers ride into an impossible battle, and I think that either of them might have been in the procession, had they not both been long dead of fever.

Today, it is my sister’s husband we wave on to his death.

We stand strong as the company moves through the city, but once the last horse passes the gates my sister presses her face into my bosom and cries.

Her husband is a good man.

I should shed tears for her loss. I should feel hope in my heart. I should tell her comforting lies.

I wonder that, instead, I only feel less lonely.

Mon, Apr. 5th, 2004 02:16 am (UTC)
I'll give it a try as well.

I found out about this challenge via lame_pegasus . :) Here's my little attempt:


by Nivina

It's so quiet, despite all the people on the streets.

Wasted flowers shower onto their path, wasted and dead, the horses trampling them down unnoticed. The allegory strikes me, but I feel numb. What can we all do? We watch them ride to certain death, and yet hope won't fade.

My younger brother rides out to Osgiliath, already beyond my sight. Barely old enough to hold a sword, to wear such heavy armour. He will follow Captain Faramir, despairing, but with last remainders of trust, to whatever end.

The last flowers fall onto the ground, unnoticed by the Doomed, wasted.

(Please note that English isn't my first language.)

Mon, Apr. 5th, 2004 11:08 am (UTC)
Re: I'll give it a try as well.

It's so quiet, despite all the people on the streets.

Sorry, of course it should be "all the people in the streets".


ReplyThread Parent
Mon, Apr. 5th, 2004 03:38 am (UTC)

you can bounce this if you wish - it's not really a drabble at 240 words, but I wrote it recently from a challenge where people asked me to write about one of my icons - I had this loaded, but I have two more planned..

Snow Thorn (fileg)

Aeglos. Icicle, some render it in the common tongue. It was the name of the spear that Gil-Galad wielded in defense of all the lands and hearts that fought to be free. He paid a terrible price, possibly even more terrible than any he had considered. But I do not believe he would have faltered had he known. Sometimes you are left without choice, and all you can do is rise or fall as a man.

Snow-thorn we render it here, as well. An early plant, sharp as a spear that pushes up through the snow before the Spring is really underway, a gift of remembrance that it is coming. Its white blossoms on the frozen ground might be mistaken for a late snow by those who do not take the time to look carefully, to see the promise in the soil.

Nothing has yet robbed Ithilien of that gift, that first knife-sharp leaf that is willing to fight its way through the frost, that risks the penalty of exposing itself to an unexpected storm because something has to take that first step back toward the light.

And nothing can make the men of this moon-drenched land turn away from that blade or that risk.

Only Ithilien would take so much thought for her sons as this – that we should have flowers for our funeral procession, even as Winter tries to deny that there will ever be a Spring.

The Nat That Walks By Herself
Fri, Apr. 9th, 2004 01:11 am (UTC)

*sniffs, worships*

ReplyThread Parent
seven minute dance party
Mon, Apr. 5th, 2004 10:10 am (UTC)

He had only just returned. After watching, again and again, as he rode to battle for Osgiliath, she had learned to let hope die in her heart.

This last reunion, as every other, was laden with joy.

They had spent hours in each other's arms, panting with love, tears bathing their faces.

So few had returned. She did not count the faces absent when the gate closed.

Now, her husband leaves again, despair radiant in his eyes. She kisses him farewell, and they do not bother to make false promises.

They both know what awaits him.

She lets hope die.

Greeking the Text
Mon, Apr. 5th, 2004 09:27 pm (UTC)


ReplyThread Parent
Mon, Apr. 5th, 2004 10:14 am (UTC)

My mother is calm as they ride by. She cried when he returned, but now she does not weep, nor does she cling to my hand like the last time we watched them go.

It will not be for long. Take care of your mother and your sister, until I return.

My little sister asked me why he was leaving again and if it was dangerous where he was going. I told her that he was strong and that his armour was going to protect him. She gave me a small smile and showed me the flower she had picked for him.

Our uncle wore the same armour. But she is still very young - maybe she does not remember.

Mon, Apr. 5th, 2004 10:39 am (UTC)

Came here from voleuse
Here's mine

She had loved him, all her life, and never told him. Now he was riding to battle behind Faramir, son of Denethor.
His armor bearing the White Tree shone brilliantly in the sun, but it was not that brightness that made the tears creep into the corners of her eyes.
"If he comes back, I shall tell him. If he comes back, it will be a sign that he should know of my love," she promised herself, watching the Men of Gondor ride to defend their people from the countless number of enemies waiting for them.

Mon, Apr. 5th, 2004 10:46 am (UTC)
not a drabble

Pointed here by serabut. Thanks to petronelle for looking at it.


She will remember this later, when her mother is dead and her father a blind wreck of a man, scarred by war and darkness. The glitter of armour, the smell of the horses strong in her nostrils. It is so quiet.

She knows something is wrong but she doesn't know what it is. Her mother has given her a flower to throw at the men's feet, but she forgets to let go of it when the men ride by, shining and unfamiliar. She shrinks back against her mother's skirt, afraid, but her mother puts her hands on her shoulders, steadying her (nothing to fear), so that when her father passes he sees her trusting brown eyes uplifted to him.

When he is old, he will tell her that the memory of her eyes was with him throughout the battle, that they were the last thing he remembers seeing. He will never know that she did not recognise him that day, a stranger as he was in his armour. She will not remember what he looked like when he was young and brave and certain he was about to die.

This she will remember when she is old: the flower still in her hand, the petals crushed by her grip. Her fingers smell of green. She drops the blossom on the ground, but the men have passed.

Recovering Igor
Mon, Apr. 5th, 2004 11:09 am (UTC)
Almost, but not quite, a drabble.

I should probably practice more. Or get more sleep. Something.

The flowers fall like snow, to be crushed under steel-shod hooves.

They are riding to their deaths, these men of Gondor. But the hooves of their mounts ring defiantly against the cobbles, and each man sits tall in his saddle, wearing the armor of the White City.

I pass a bloom silently to one as he rides by. His fingers brush mine as he takes it, gravely acknowledging the gift with a nod. In his face I see what is in my own heart; pride and courage and despair.

I stand by the place where they passed long after they have gone. The wind carries the sound of battle from Osgiliath and stirs the scent of bruised blossoms, soft and bitter like tears that will not fall.

Mon, Apr. 5th, 2004 11:39 am (UTC)

And I can't go.

I can forget the ache in my bones, I am that used to it, but I remember strength and youth and the horse underneath and the metal against my skin and the leather and the smells and the breaking bodies, turned to horror and meat, and I remember glory and I remember the bastard monster's head cracking and the death and the kill and the glory, the victory, the relief, the tiredness like a century.

They toss flowers on the soldiers' path. They crush and break and scatter and become something else. Something else. And I can't go with them, because my bones are fragile and aching and my body is hurt and aged and decayed.

This is what I toss before them instead. I toss my memory, my living ghost. I see it - see it against the grey and against the silent crowd - a light, my light, my will. It will go with them, instead of my body.

Fight. Fight.


peeps wanna see peeps boink
Mon, Apr. 5th, 2004 12:18 pm (UTC)

Er, over 142 words, and rather sucktastic, but...

The Bitter Dregs of Strife

They say it is glorious, to die in war, in old tales sung of ageless Elves and the Men of Numenor.

She sees no glory in such waste.

She watches with bitterness as they ride past, eyes forward, backs straight, armor gleaming in the sun.

The city mourns her sons sent graciously off to die, with flowers ‘neath their hooves. The land cries out for its king, long lost but never forgotten. She wonders if Lord Denethor weeps for his son, who will be dead ere day has ended, dead, and all his men with him.

She throws the flowers on the ground, angry at the waste, at the tears she cannot stop from falling, dashing at them with the back of her hand. She had hoped it would not come to this.

They ride out, and hope withers in her breast.


Stephen King's Sockpuppet
Mon, Apr. 5th, 2004 12:34 pm (UTC)

Death walks the cobblestone streets of Minas Tirith, boney feet making the same clip-clop noise as the horse’s hooves. Those flowers not crushed by steel-shod hooves are wilted by the dragging black robes.

Nessa watches her brother ride off into battle. She wants him to come stand beside her, share her peppermints and hug her tightly. Past her brother’s shoulder, she sees Death walking behind the men. Her fingers loosen and the peppermints drop like rain from her little fingers as empty sockets stare into her eyes.

When she is an old woman, she will smell peppermints as she dies