Th'Expense of Spirit

by P. R. Zed

Th'expense of spirit in a waste of shame
Is lust in action

Sonnet 129, Shakespeare

He tries to move around the pain, but it pins him in place. He will fight no more, love no more, live no more. All that's left is death and failure.

He has failed again, failed all: his father, his brother, his city. Failed Frodo, failed Merry, failed Pippin. Most of all has he failed Aragorn and his good lady.

Shame burns his cheeks, in spite of the pain, as he thinks of nights shared with his city's future king. Tears prick the corners of his eyes as he remembers Aragorn straining above him in passion, the jewel at his throat a constant reminder of a promise made to another.

He cannot help but love Aragorn, though he knows that love is tainted. Aragorn is pledged to Arwen, Elrond's gracious daughter. And he, Boromir, Captain of the White Tower, a man for whom honour is everything, has brought them both to this vice, this weakness.

His only hope is that his death will expunge all. Will restore his king's honour; will remove his trespass.

As Aragorn approaches him, grief in his face and comfort in his hands, Boromir struggles to find the words that will release his king, that will give him the strength to defend their city and allow him to return to his lady freed from the stain of infidelity.

And as he takes in a laboured breath and begins to speak, Boromir bleeds for them both.


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