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Sculptress by Alquien

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Story notes:
Posted in honor of Mother's Day 2014.
When Mahtan found Nerdanel, a statue was emerging from the marble. He marveled at her skill; the hard unforgiving stone fell from her chisel as easily and smoothly as though she were carving freshly churned butter.



“Who gave you this commission, daughter?” he asked. “I do not recognize this person. Someone from your travels?”



“It is my son,” she replied dreamily. “My firstborn.”



“Ah, yes.” Mahtan knew that she had the gift of foresight as did many of the others but it had never manifested itself in this way before. He peered closely at the finely featured face and marveled at the unusual height. As he ran his hand along the statue's right arm and reached the statue's wrist, he sensed a flaw in the marble and frowned. It was very slight and he wondered if she had even noticed it, with the work entrancing her as it did.



“Do you approve, Atar?”



“Yes, he is truly well-shaped.” Mahtan noted that five other blocks of marble were arrayed in a loose semi-circle. A second block stood next to the first statue while three more were grouped very near each other. The fifth block was at a distance, seeming slightly different from the other four. He frowned again, his eye trying to discern the exact difference he felt from it.



“What of these?” he asked. “Commissions you will work on after this one is finished?”



“No, Atar. I am taking no further commissions until all are complete. They are mine too.”



“I see.” He did see and he felt a great uneasiness stir in his heart. “Will you sup at the house tonight, daughter?”



“Perhaps,” she answered distractedly. “Is it family or do you host a guest?”



“It is my new student. Perhaps you should travel more often, if this is the quality of apprentice that you attract to us.”



“FŽanor,” she smiled as she tested the name. “Yes, he will rival you one day.”



“Indeed,” her father replied dryly. “Well, we shall see.”



Mahtan turned once more to the statue. It was her finest work and yet he felt slightly uneasy at the sight of all those marble blocks, waiting only for her chisel to release the spirit within.



“I will look for you then, daughter, and try – do try – not to be late.”



“I will not be late, Atar.” she replied. “Now go.”



Nerdanel watched her father leave her workshop and rubbed her face tiredly. She would leave with FŽanor one day but that was a long time in the future. She rested her hand against the cool marble and imagined that she felt it was as warm as life under her touch.



“Maitimo,” she whispered. “Maitimo.”


~end~
Chapter end notes:
Atar (Quenya): father

Originally posted at SWG for B2MeM 2013.