Interviews With a Woodelf

Two Letters

The second time that David arrived, he stayed a few weeks. My neighbors thought I had a new boyfriend and was living in sin, or something like that, but not so. I was typing out transcripts with Legrists help. This next bit contains two letters and a questionnaire that we exchanged.

David,

If you must leave, as you were telling me yesterday, could you answer a few of my questions? I have to go to work, so I can't ask you them. I wrote them down on this paper. Could you answer them please? Put them under my keyboard if you have to leave while I'm gone. If you don't want to answer them, just leave the papers blank and put them under my keyboard.

Rachel

Dear Rachel,

You're correct; I must leave while you are away. Perhaps I will come back, perhaps not. We will see what fate gives me.

You confided to me that you thought yourself an obsessive fan, maybe a little too obsessive. The reason I am here, in your gracious home, is because there are fans being too obsessive. As you recall, I'd been kidnapped. That tape would be longer if I hadn't managed to escape their hideout. They underestimated the power of an old Elf to recover quickly from being poisoned. I have been hiding in your house for the past few weeks, planning to infiltrate their hideout. Tonight, I am going to try to do some sabotage, so I may not return in the near future. I don't believe you are in any danger, but it would be wise to keep the interviews a secret.

I feel much more willing to give an interview to a kind woman, who would take a bum into her home than a group of kidnappers.

Sincerely,

(He signed it in tengwar. Also, his hand-writing is really, really good. I had a translator look at it, and she says that it says, "Son of Black-arrow Keensword, whom they call Redcloak".)

Pilimorion Legrist, i Carangol estar.

How would you compare Elven and human imaginations and creativity?

Well, humans have the power to create works of the imagination; Eru gave it to them. But, by no means are we without the power of creativity. It comes with a price though; we must be more careful with this power than men; our creations can control us.

What would Fëanor have done if someone said to him, "I have seen jewels with brilliance greater than your Silmarilli."?

I think he would have accused that someone of being a liar.

What do you think happened to the Avari?

I have no idea, but I never found them in my travels.

Do you think the Avari are evil for having refused the summons of the Valar? Why?

No, I do not. They were afraid, and I can understand that very well. You could call me a refuser for not going to Valinor with my family and friends, and I would agree.

Has anyone ever flirted with you before? If so, do tell the tale!

Why is everyone so interested in this detail? Believe it as you wish: my manner and unusual appearance has attracted women in ages before now. The problem is, they seem to want me as a possession, or perhaps bragging rights. It never has anything to do with love to my eyes.

The most interesting one I can remember was an encounter with a rich noble woman who promised to help me get a good start as a black smith in Spain. She invited me to her bedchamber to help her gather an item that she said she'd need to settle the deal, (I figured a vault was hidden in her room and that she need to retrieve money from it.) and it soon became clear that the journey's purpose was a little more risqué. I backed politely from her and tried to open the door, but found her servants had locked me in with her, and were having a laugh over it. I told her that I had no interest in her, and I will not repeat her words, for they sickened me so much that I have forced myself to forget them. She made a grab for me, so I dodged her, jumped out her second story window, and fled the city, nursing a broken ankle from the fall. After that, I was careful to refuse any requests to go into private living quarters, realizing that someday I might not be so lucky to escape with nothing but a broken ankle. You see, unwilling participation in sex would kill me, and as it already has been noted, I'm not fond of death.

Where were you when the Bubonic Plague struck Europe?

I was in Rome, living in a "hotel". I write that hesitantly because I'm not sure you'd understand what I mean when I speak of the word. Hotels in that time were not like they are now, as most easily noted by the lack of cleanliness. People slept in flea and lice ridden beds that hadn't been cleaned in years. Customer service didn't exist. People were robbed, murdered, and raped in hotels often, so I had to be very careful.

Despite all of this, I was living fairly comfortably, searching for a place to start my next blacksmith shop. Then the world came tumbling down upon everyone. The plague struck in the hotels by the ports first, and spread like wildfire. Every day there was more weeping in the streets and more bodies being taken to burial. It created a panic, and people fled the city. When the bodies were so numerous that they would be dumped in the street to be buried in a mass grave, people started to believe that the world was ending. I was terrified. This horrible illness struck everyone but me, for I am an Elf and I cannot contract an illness. It almost looked as though I would be the only person left in the city. Then, just as suddenly as it had started, it stopped. Opportunists looted houses that belonged to the dead. I walked in mourning, singing for the dead people in the empty streets in broad daylight. Normally, the streets would be packed with people, selling and buying goods. Now there was nothing but waste. That is the sign of true devastation: the evil scent of the dead and the lonely cries of children.

Why are you so afraid of death? I thought you would be happy to see long lost relatives again.

Unfortunately, it's not that simple. Remember in the first tape, what I said about Cuiviénen? I was not supposed to go back. My friends, Gilorn and Mirgalen, weren't supposed to either. In fact, I was part of a large group of Elves. The Valar wanted us to go to Balandor… Valinor. I said that I could call myself an Avar for refusing to go to Balandor. However, the Belain didn't like our decision, they did their best to stop us from reaching Cuiviénen. Ulmo destroyed our ships as we crossed the water; Tulkas sent beasts to bar our way. In the end, only a few of us made it to the shore of Cuiviénen without turning back or being slain. Now I know the Belain's reasons, for Cuiviénen had become England, a place of wild mortals who didn't know the Belain. I do not know what awaits me when I am in the custody of the Belain again.

How do you keep your sanity after seeing so much death?

I have a rare gift of being able to remember joy in life. Tragedies, times when I've almost lost myself to the halls of Mandos, and witnessing deeds of horror all have a terrific toll on me, but, in it all I see the light of the cycle. It has been my experience that the world cannot live in horror forever. It must return to joy and prosperity someday.

Do/Did you have any brothers or sisters?

I'm sorry, never. I was an only child.

Did Elves have pets like my pet hamster Mowsey?

We didn't choose rodents as pets, but we would domesticate dogs and birds. I'm not certain if horses could be called pets, but every family in the country had at least one at all times. They were our transportation.

What is your favorite season of the year?

Late Spring. That is when everything interesting starts to happen; change is the most rapid. The most magical scenes in nature are found in this time.

What is your favorite time of day?

I love watching the sunrise. Animals start to awaken and the world has a sense of renewal.

Harthon de i ad-'ovanathangid. ("I hope we will meet again." It's in tengwar.)

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