The nature of darkness
 

The nature of good & evil is a theme which runs consistently through Tolkien's Middle-earth writings.

Journey to another of the Perilous Realms
 

"Two figures running hand in hand at the bottom of a deep ditch. It is Stitch and Denny and they are in the moat defending the approach to Penbalcrag. They keep looking up to the path above where two charvas are hounding and taunting them. A can lobbed with casual accuracy explodes at Stitch's feet. She skids to a halt, Denny careering into her. A cider bottle follows. Arching gracefully through the air it strikes Denny to the ground." In the epic four part story Playing at darkness meet Malcolm, Devon, Denny, Shy Stephen and the rest of the Tolkien-loving Gothrim in their archetypal struggle with the charva horde. Read on and the realisation may dawn that things are not always as straightforward as they appear. A truly chilling tale for the modern age.
 

Next we have Emma Teoni's disturbing story The truth of ugliness. Iím very interested in the early history of the Elves. And Iíve always wondered how such beautiful creatures could be corrupted. Hence the strange concept of how beauty is perceived. Beauty does not necessarily mean fairness, as is the case here. And the tormented protagonist (maybe antagonist is a better word) certainly changes his perceptions.
 

No more comfort is afforded by Lara Sookoo's Broken in which we witness in graphic detail the ruination in body and spirit of one of the Firstborn.
 

"And I learned the most shameful secret: that there is no evil." In The next step, presented as a discourse between one of the Avari and Mandos, Emma Teoni tells of the early years of the Elves in Middle-earth, their entrapment by the Dark (and the Light), the corruption of innocence - and how resolution may come in the very end.
 


To be continued ...