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erlo

July 2010

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Cowboy

zhie in nanoerlo

35018

First things first... title change. Do not look for Sono Luminus.

Is now Citius, Altius, Fortius.

Secondly... this is more like it! I was seriously doubting on my word count.

And now... excerpts from tonight!

We shall have... two! Two I say!

And the story itself... first 8 chapters are DONE. Ready for posting... not sure if I will start yet or not.



The pair continued on, turned a corner, and climbed down a set of stairs, arriving in the basement. Here there were three elves in long robes silently standing at large vats with long wooden sticks that they were using to mix whatever they were making. “This is where the magic happens,” said Turgon excitedly. He brought Elenwe right up to one of the vats, which smelled heavily of alcohol. “This is where Airenen is made. Only these three know the actual recipe for it. So, if something happened and they all drowned at sea that the same time, the secret would be lost. I suppose that is why they never go boating together, or ever, for that matter,” reasoned Turgon as he took Elenwe to another vat. “This one is a cooling vat, after they put all the spices into it. And that one over there… oh, nevermind, that one there is just soap. They make soap here, too. I guess because that way it helps get rid of the smell of the liquor. Really would be inappropriate for them to go out and minister smelling of alcohol.”

“I can see how that would be a concern,” said Elenwe. She walked up to the one who was stirring the soap and asked, “What scent are you making?”

The elf said nothing, but looked to Turgon calmly and bowed his head slightly toward him.

“He cannot answer you,” apologized Turgon. “He, and his brethren, have all taken a vow of silence.”

Elenwe’s jaw dropped. “Should we be talking in here, then?” she whispered to him.

“Oh, sure. We never took a vow of silence. At least, I never did. I thought about it – I really agree with the rest of their teachings,” admitted Turgon. “My father was for it as well. My mother was a little concerned, but it was the silence that really was not going to work well for me. You see, I like to talk.”

“Really?”

“Oh, yes,” Turgon informed her. “Talking is a wonderful thing. Voice inflection, accents, different languages – talking is a lot of fun. I know some people disdain it, but as for me, I love it. I love debates, too,” he added. “I wish I had more opportunity to make speeches, but I never seem to get asked back to places… I think I must impart all knowledge upon them, and it makes other speakers look bad…” He watched her drift to the rows of bottles along the wall.

“Can I ask you what might be a stupid question?” Elenwe looked over her shoulder to see if Turgon was still paying attention or even in the room.

“Of course. What is your question?”

“Why are we here?” She pulled one of the bottles that was crimson colored from the spot where it was stored. It was slightly smaller than a regular bottle of wine, but more ornately designed.

Turgon walked up to her and pulled the bottle from her hands. “I help them here. This is my other home, I suppose. My other job, without a doubt, but this is also something of a home for me. I wanted to join them, although, as you know, I would have ruined it in the first hour by talking – either to someone else or myself.” He replaced the bottle on the shelf. “I just thought… well, I wanted it to be somewhere special, so that years from now when we talked about it, you would remember this really interesting place. I guess because I thought, well, I hoped you might understand. Or, at least, not run away. You probably are bored of being here already,” he sighed.

“No, not at all. Just… curious,” admitted Elenwe. “This is just not the sort of place I would consider for a date. It seems so… religious.”

“Monasteries tend to be.”

Elenwe was unable not to burst out laughing. The monks, startled by this reaction, looked to one another in confusion. “Sorry,” she apologized to them and to Turgon. “I… yes, it is very religious. Very nice, yes.” She walked back to the vat with the soap in it. “Smells like lilacs.”

“It might be.” Turgon leaned over to get a good sniff. “Yes, definitely lilac. Maybe with a little vanilla in it?” He stood up and looked at the elf stirring the concoction. The elf smiled and nodded. “Nice. Very nice. Oh… is it alright if we… go up…?” Turgon waited for the monk to nod again before looping his arm around Elenwe’s. “I have another place to show you. You are going to like this one even more.” He began to leave the room but circled back around to select a bottle from the shelves. “We should take this with us,” he decided, and they left the basement and headed back up the stairs again. From there, Turgon took Elenwe to another flight, and then again to another, until they arrived at the top of the building. There was a set of doors at the top of a short flight, and these led out to a platform.

The platform was circular in shape, and had a low railing all the way around it. At the center of the platform, someone had set out a picnic blanket, a basket, wineglasses, plates, and a vase with a single blue rose in it. “Did you do all of this?” asked Elenwe.

Turgon blushed and shrugged. He watched Elenwe walk to the blanket spread across the floor and kneel down on the edge of it. She bent her head slightly to smell the rose in the vase. “I wanted to get a red one, but I was told that someone bought them out.”

Elenwe giggled and motioned Turgon over to join her. He did so, and opened the basket to pull out a corkscrew and reveal the treats within. “Are those chocolate covered strawberries?” she asked as the cork popped out of the bottle and shot over the side of the railing, arcing down into the pews below.

“Yes. I asked your mother what you liked to eat. Research,” he reminded her as she disbelievingly watched him pour the wine.

“You are incredible,” she remarked as one of the wineglasses was handed to her.

“I know,” he said as he lifted his glass up. “But then, so are you.” He winked and clinked his glass against hers. “Do you know what is even better than strawberries and chocolate?”

“What?”

“Look up.”

Elenwe did so, and gasped as she saw the view through the domed glass ceiling. It was Telperin’s turn to light the sky, and the stars glittered and gleamed brightly above. “They are so beautiful,” she whispered.

“They pale in comparison to you,” answered Turgon.

It was Elenwe’s turn to blush as she lowered her head and looked across the blanket at him. “Is it too early in our relationship for me to kiss you?”

“It is never too early for that,” declared Turgon as he leaned forward -- stars, wine, and strawberries forgotten.




-I’m Through With the Show-

There was a note waiting for Fingon when he came to the gym that morning. He had been arriving early and staying late nearly every day he worked, and even came in a day or two when he had been scheduled not to be there. Somehow, he managed to have time for his dancing lessons in the forest. If anything, the busy schedule had kept him on track. It also kept him from being lonely at home, where the silence without Maglor there was a little creepy.

This morning, he could see that there was light in the office, but the door was closed. The note specified that he was not to stray too far or get too involved in anything, for he was expected to be available for a brief meeting at Ardim’s convenience. Fingon went about his morning ritual of opening the high windows and stocking the talc. He took a little extra time to go to his shelves and pack everything that was his neatly into two sacks. In the case that this was his last day, Fingon did not want to have to shamefully pack his things up after being let go.

Two of the trainees, a pair of Telerin brothers, entered and waved to Fingon in greeting as he turned around. As soon as they had stowed their things and changed into their gymnastic clothing, the brothers stretched and warmed up their muscles. The door had not yet opened by the time they were finished, so Fingon offered to give them some tips on the routines they were working on. Besides the individual competitions, there were group routines on the floor. Not every team participated in rhythmic competition, but those who did tended to get a higher amount of funding from patrons.

This routine used a staff as the apparatus. Though staves were less dangerous and therefore less challenging than swords, it meant that the routine could be faster and more intricate without risk of serious injury to either competitor. It began fairly simply, but as they practiced, Fingon suggested way to make things more interesting. A vault by one over the other, as the one without the staff did a back flip was the first addition. Next, they learned how to bounce the staff upon its end on the floor in order to pass it to one another while executing other elements. Before Fingon could teach them to pass the staff off as they spun it in their hands, he heard someone call his name.

He turned to see Ardim standing at the door of his office. There was a gymnast roughly his own age inside the office. As Fingon got closer, he recognized the occupant as someone he had competed against recently. It was not in the very last competition, but perhaps a year or two previously. “You wished to see me, sir?” he asked Ardim.

Ardim motioned into the office, and Fingon entered. He sat down next to the unknown gymnast when directed to and as Adrim sat down in his own seat. “Fingon, do you know insertnameofothergymnastguyhere?”

“I think we might have met.” Fingon clasped insertnameofothergymnastguyhere’s arm and asked, “Were you with the Empty Jug team?”

“Not for many years,” replied insertnameofothergymnastguyhere. “I used to be; my father donates to the team. He runs a pub. I competed with One-two-three Jump until last year when my time ran out.”

“Ah. I know how that is,” answered Fingon.

“I am going to get right to the point,” Ardim assured Fingon. “I just hired insertnameofothergymnastguyhere. He is going to be the new assistant coach.”

“I did not know there was another position open,” said Fingon, though he was fairly certain what was coming.

Ardim leaned back in his chair. “He is taking your position.”

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