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[personal profile] claudia603
In May 2008, right after what happened to me in Tobago, I wrote these LOTR drabbles, all with the theme of darkness, many different points of views from different characters. They are actually some of my favorite gen fic writing. They were scattered in different entries, so this morning I decided to put them all in one entry and to share in case you may never have seen them.

Anyway, for those of you who may have never seen them or forgotten about them, enjoy! All of them are gen fic, all rated G.




I.

Bilbo had grown quite accustomed to the complete dark that lay at the heart of Mirkwood Forest. Off the path, scattered from his friends and lost, the dark seeped through him and chilled his heart. Then came the hissing, flickering shadows with spindly legs and yellow bulging eyes, blacker than black. They blotted out any foolish notion that Bilbo might have had about just how dark the forest could get. Bilbo clutched his yet unnamed sword and straightened his shoulders with grim determination. If he was to die in this wretched forest, at least he would not make it easy.

II.

A whimpering woke Primula from her light sleep. She had not slept a full night since her dear boy had been born three years earlier. Such was a mother’s fate.

“Frodo, what is it, sweetpea?”

“Dark.” Frodo’s eyes were wet and wide with fear.

“Dark? Fie on the dark.” Primula kissed Frodo’s brow. “I’d never let anything hurt you.”

“Bad dream,” Frodo said.

“Let us sing our song then,” Primula said.

She lay beside Frodo in the bed, and she cuddled him to her. She sang, and soon his wavering voice joined hers. Together they kept the darkness at bay.

III.

Following the deaths of his parents, Frodo did not dare sleep a full night. If he went to sleep with a light heart and thus allowed his body to betray him by carrying him into unawareness, he might again be brutally awakened by horror and change. This he could not bear, so he tried not to sleep. Instead, he stared into the darkness and listened to the constant whisper of the river.

“Dear heart,” his Aunt Esme said. “You must sleep or you will fall ill.”

“No,“ Frodo said. “I must listen. I must make sure it claims nobody else.”

IV.

“Why must the Elves travel at dusk?” Frodo asked.

He and Bilbo were wandering near the woods at twilight. Fireflies had begun to flicker over the field, and the stars were pale in the violet sky. The air smelled of freshly harvested earth. So far they had seen no Elves.

“Their time in Middle-earth is fading, and so they make their way to the Gray Havens as daylight fades.”

“It’s a pity they must leave,” Frodo said, and a great sadness clenched his heart.

“Such as it must be in troubling times,” Bilbo said. “Darkness grows and light must fade.”

V.

Frodo only began to dread the encroaching dark after they ran into the Black Rider on the road. Before that, darkness had been a safe cloak that allowed them sleep and peace from nosy Shirefolk. The sniffing Black Rider had rattled him more than he cared to admit to his friends. He did not know how, but he suspected that these riders were related to all Gandalf had told him about the Ring. The idea of running into one of them in darkness twisted his insides with molten fear. He wondered of what use he would be if they attacked.


VI.

It was the longest night of Nob’s life. The shrieking and galloping, the chill that filled his heart. Would the sun never rise? He cowered in his bed, clutching his sheets, paralyzed from the fear, wondering if there was any corner of the world that still remained safe. He dreamed about finding Mr. Brandybuck lying in the street, only in his dream, when he helped him to his feet, Mr. Brandybuck no longer had a face. These dreams were brief, interrupted by shrieks that filled the night. Nob twisted and turned in his blankets.

There was no sign of dawn.

VII.

Frodo watched the last streaks of orange fade from the sky. From the vantage point of Weathertop, the sky stretched into infinity. Since Frodo had seen the Black Riders on the road earlier, a sense of dread had clotted in his stomach. He felt vulnerable and exposed. The Black Riders knew exactly where they were. They waited only for the last bits of daylight to fade. Frodo was surrounded by friends but he nearly wished he were alone. He would not be able to bear it if anything happened to his young friends.

The last of the light slipped away.


VIII.

Aragorn held Frodo. The hobbit was chilled and fading. Aragorn’s mind drifted to another time in a distant world of peace, Lothlorien, when Arwen had held his hand and spoke of hope. Elanor blooms had surrounded their bare feet.

I am sorry, I have failed.

Aragorn did not speak these words aloud. Frodo and his friends should hear nothing but words of hope.

Frodo opened his eyes and his gaze was gentle and trusting despite his pain.

“Thank you,” he whispered. There was a gleam to his eyes, like Elvish starlight.

There was light yet. Darkness did not yet reign.

IX.

“What foolishness is this?” Boromir hissed. They were trapped inside Moria and there was nowhere else to go but forward. Boromir was not used to following, especially not Elves and wizards. And Men of Gondor did not walk inside the dark bowels of the earth. They blazed forth in battle.

Boromir shivered, curled on the cold stone, wishing he could sleep that first night, smothered by the heavy dark. There would be no sunlit morning.

“Boromir.” It was a small voice, the youngest Halfling.

“Pippin?”

“Are you all right? I heard you cry out.”

Boromir no longer felt so cold.

X.

“I do not fear the coming night here,” Frodo said. He sat with Aragorn on Cerin Amroth as the daylight dimmed. He glanced at the shadows that nestled among the golden-leaved mallorn trees. “Here the shadows are kind.”

“In this land we can rest,” Aragorn said. “For a time.”

“Tell me again of your fairest memory here,” Frodo said.

Aragorn began to speak in a gentle voice, full of love and nostalgia. Faint jewels twinkled in the twilight sky. Distant chords of ethereal music were woven naturally into Aragorn’s tale. Frodo breathed in the sweet air.

Gandalf should be here.

XI.

For Eowyn the night seemed to go ever on, for to her it was still night if the nightmares failed to scatter upon waking, which they never did. Hope had been crushed and she was at the mercy of Grima and the men he controlled. She kept her senses intact by practicing her sword skill night after night as the cage closed around her heart.

Then came the White Wizard and Aragorn and she remembered what the hope of dawn felt like again. She would follow Aragorn unto the ends of the earth, in battle, in body, and in heart.


XII.

“The final night has fallen,” Gandalf said. He set his hand on Pippin’s trembling shoulder. They faced the East, where flashes of lightning revealed brief glances of poisonous smoke. “There will be no sunrise.”

“And Frodo?” Pippin asked.

That was the question that Gandalf could not bear to contemplate. Frodo was out of his hands. He had stepped willingly into the darkest land and there would be no more light until he fulfilled his quest.

“He lives still,” Gandalf said. “This I know.” He sought ever the song from Frodo’s heart, and some days it was more faint than others.

XIII.

It had come, the final days of reckoning. All that Aragorn had labored for had gathered like the cresting of the mighty wave that had crushed ancient Numenor. Aragorn held the globe, the palantir, and stared into its murky shadows, the same that Pippin had gazed into. Aragorn’s heart quaked, but in his eyes, the Enemy would find his match. Sauron would find that taking Minas Tirith would be no trifling matter. The shadows shifted within the globe and there came a whispering. Aragorn gathered his resolve. He had withstood the call of the Ring and he knew his strength.

IXV.

Frodo stumbled forward in the dark, blindfolded, at the mercy of the Gondorian men who pushed him forward, lifting him at rough places in the road, pushing him along at a speed that was taxing on his shorter legs. Faramir had been wise and had spoken with skill, and sometimes friends were found in unlikely places. Frodo wanted to trust him, to lay down his burden. But then a chill would come over him as he remembered Boromir, his noble face flushed with craving. The Ring twisted the hearts of anyone who came near, even the wise and kind.

XV.


He cursed the moon and the sun more, but he had been burned by the Eye and the Eye burned far crueler than the sun. The sun burned eyes and skin. He burned your senses, your will to live. Stupid hobbits stumbled forward through the Dark Land, toward Him, toward the Eye. He wanted the Ring, craved it. This Smeagol understood.

Gollum…Gollum…

Ah, the blessed night of the tunnel which had seen neither the sun nor the moon nor the Eye. Only Her. She understood hunger and the need for darkness.

“Are you hungry, Smeagol?” Frodo asked.

Smeagol blinked. “Yes.”

XVI.

Merry bowed his head and wept. He had never felt such cold despair. King Theoden was dead. Eowyn’s face had been waxy. If she was not dead, she would be soon. The sun would never again rise, the battle went on and on. It did not matter that the Lady Eowyn had slain the Witchking. A dark veil passed before his eyes. His arm felt like ice, and he remembered how Frodo had shivered in pain after Weathertop.

Somewhere in that Black Land Frodo and Sam stumbled their way on quiet feet into the heart of evil.

He wanted Pippin.

XVII.


The Lady Galadriel knew that Mr. Frodo would be walking into the darkest pockets of the world when she had given him his gift. Sam clung to the phial and pressed forward, just another step closer to his master. Nobody at home would believe what he was doing just now. If they didn’t say he was crazy, they’d say he was brave, but that he wasn’t. It was only that he had to continue. He’d been given a second chance, that he had. If he didn’t rescue Frodo, then nobody would.

“Hold on, Mr. Frodo, your Sam’s coming. Hold on!”

XVIII.


The sky was black. Even in fair Rivendell, where harps still accompanied delicate voices lifted in song, a grim, waiting despair hung over all. Arwen stood on her balcony and peered into the sky, seeking a sign. This was her fate, her destiny. Most of her kin had already sailed and were not witness to this darkness. It was not too late. She could sail. She need not be swallowed by the black wave. She caught the phantom whiff of the sea and her heart was moved.

Just then a faint silver light caught her eye, a rising star.

Estel.


IXX.

Claiming the Ring filled Frodo with relief. He could surrender to the foul whisperings in his mind. Sam’s mouth moved, but Frodo cared not what he said. The fool wanted him to destroy it. Gandalf had been wrong, the Elves had been wrong. The wise failed to understand the truth that Frodo now perceived, that when the Ring lay in the right hands, it could wield no harm. It healed all wounds and burdens. Frodo would command the sun and stars and moon to overrule the darkness, and their brilliance would burn the eyes of all who looked upon them.


XX

Smothered deep in the folds of the foul troll skin, Pippin struggled for breath. With each breath, he evoked a pleasant memory. Breath one he remembered eating steamed mushrooms with Frodo, Merry, and Fatty back in Crickhollow before the quest got serious and danger was only an idea. Breath two he found himself in Bag End the last night when he and Frodo drank red wine and Pippin had laughed so hard his sides hurt. Breathing grew more difficult and the memories faded into vague outlines of shadow, and as darkness fell, he imagined the gentle timber of Frodo’s voice.


XXI.

Sauron knew the dark. He thrived in it, craved it, for only in the dark could he keep the vision of his ring of gold shining before him. Only in the dark could he bend his will to it, seeking, sending forth fire into the broken mind of the halfling thief.

The rumbling of the mountain, his mountain, spewed fire and ash, severing the core of his being and shattering him. The gloom that shrouded the sky rained down into glittering black pieces, and for the first time, the Dark Land was bathed in the golden warmth of the sun.

XXII.

Night falls in Minas Tirith and the stars spread over a black sky that has never been so clear. All the same, Merry’s heart sinks with every sunset. He knows that the Enemy has been vanquished and that in time the nightmare will be put to rest. He knows this, and yet each time the sun vanishes, he cannot help but quail with fear, that the sun will fail to rise the next morning. Out of all the horrors he witnessed during the war, it is the longest night that haunts him most.

He pulls the drapes closed and sleeps.


XXIII.

Frodo knows how to laugh at the right times, to eat just the right amount, to jest with his friends. Small joys like the laughter of Shire children and the blooming of wildflowers make him smile. But it is a numb smile. Always there lies the shadowy veil between himself and the others. Others go to market and marry and take pleasure in a meal. Frodo shudders that he, too, was once so ignorant of the terrors that roamed the world outside the Shire. They are all saved now through blind luck, but for him there is no coming home.

IXXV.

Twilight sank the rippling sea into somber grey. Mist danced over the waves. Sam strained his eyes into the curtain of rain, but he could not see the phial's light. The last of Frodo had passed. The sorrow crushed his heart until he could not breathe. It was unfair that they had gone through so much and now Frodo could not enjoy all that he had saved. But as the last of daylight slipped away, Sam came to understood that while darkness always came, so then did daylight. Frodo’s future sunrises would be in a land of healing and hope.



END

Date: 2017-05-07 09:46 pm (UTC)
febobe: (Fears)
From: [personal profile] febobe
I'm not sure but what this might be your finest work ever.

Writing is always the answer to the darkness. You of all people know that, and so do I. Writing sometimes feels like the only chance for there to be anything but darkness.

Thank you for sharing this lovely roundup of these precious pieces here, now. Thank you so much. <3

*hugs snugs loves*

Date: 2017-05-08 01:19 pm (UTC)
wallace_trust: Me and my plum tree (Default)
From: [personal profile] wallace_trust
Very beautiful, and well done! Writing can be so healing.

Date: 2017-05-14 07:47 pm (UTC)
msilverstar: (Default)
From: [personal profile] msilverstar
lovely

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