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Of Shoes and Ships and Sealing Wax

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Relief envelopes her as she sinks to the bottom of the Sea. Now, maybe, she will find rest. And maybe she will be admitted to her mother's kin, here as she dies.

The water flows over her, caresses her, swirls over her arms and legs and whispers on her breasts, her thin gown no barrier to it, and she lets it fill her throat in a kiss. A kiss so gentle, a kiss so mild. And she will die, here,  and have peace.

 


 

There is light, and she is still under the water. She thinks, is this what death feels like?

"You are not dead, child," a voice says.

She looks up. The woman who stands above her is tall, and carries herself as a queen. Stormy blue-grey eyes are set in a brown face framed by flowing black hair. And around her is the water. There is water, but she lies on a soft bed, and the water does not even attempt to tug her away.

She looks around; it is not a room she lies in, but there is a roof supported by four pillars, and, around it—the sea. Fish swimming, corals, and—glimpses of people? She shakes her head in wonderment and turns, again, to the woman.

"You are, indeed, here on the ocean floor," the woman smiles. "Welcome to my abode, Princess Gilmith of Dol Amroth. "

"But how?" And she finds she can speak, even though it should be impossible, in the water.

"I saved you," the woman says gently. "I took you from your ship, and you are here in  my abode. As was Erendis before you, but she did not have enough of the blood of immortals for me to keep her long. Your heritage is stronger, and you—you can stay here much longer."

She cannot understand this. What—immortality? She has chased it to the ends of the world, yes, but it has ever been a dream. And now?

One question rises above all the others bubbling in her head. "Who…who are you?"

The woman looks at her with those great grey eyes, and their depths are unfathomable. "I am Uinen."