3. A Hole in the Hill
Sam roamed among the trees, munching on ripe fruit. It tasted like nothing on earth, he thought with a grin. A funny expression, that, and perfectly true in this case. It tasted better than anything in Middle Earth, or Tol Eressea either. The juice dripped down his chin and he wiped it on the back of his hand and jumped to pluck another piece from the nearest tree.
He jumped for the sheer joy of it; there was plenty of fruit within easy reach, but his knees would bend and send him leaping up among the branches, just for the delight of doing it. He threw away the fruit pit and jumped again, catching hold of a branch far above the ground and swinging back and forth.
He looked down. Pretty high up, Sam Gamgee. Suppose you’ll break a leg if you let go? Can’t kill yourself, old lad – you’re dead already! He laughed and dropped lightly to the ground.
Ah, well. He could amuse himself for a long time, jumping in and out of these trees, but he really wanted to find Frodo. And Rosie! Rosie should be somewhere about. Suddenly he was in a hurry, and he loaded his pockets with as much fruit as he could fit in them – he wasn’t really hungry, but it never hurt to have a supply of food at hand -- and strode away from the river toward whatever lay beyond this grove of trees.
At the end of the trees the ground rose up in a grassy bank higher than his head. He walked along the bottom, looking for a path, and stumbled suddenly over a stone. A little square of rough paving stones, and set into the hill was a round blue door. A door, and next to it a small, round window.
A hobbit hole? What else could it be? Well, he had hoped to find other hobbits, and seemingly now he had. Suddenly he felt unaccountably shy. He wiped his still-sticky hands on his breeches and ran his fingers through his hair. Then he stepped up and knocked on the door.
It flew open as if his very knock had pushed it, and a whirlwind blew out the door and into his arms.
“Sam, Sam, Sam, Sam!” the whirlwind cried breathlessly, and spun him around until they fell in a dizzy heap on the grass.
“Yes, well, I’m glad to see you too, Rosie!” he said from flat on his back. He looked up at her and marveled. This was not the Rosie he had tended through her last illness, wrinkled and pale and old, the suffering she would not admit plain in her eyes. Even then she had been beautiful to him.
Nor this wasn’t the Rose he’d wed, neither, standing by the little mallorn in the old Party Field back home. Young and lovely, she had been, glowing, like any bride. But this Rosie…..
Ageless. Deathless. Radiant and tender, shining, glorious – oh, he’d never be able to put it into words, not if he kept at it all day. His Rosie.
Well, no. Not his Rosie, not anymore. Only one Master here, and he had an idea that applied to more than just him and Frodo. He felt a qualm for the first time since he’d awakened to the music. What about him and Rosie?
“It’s not less, Sam,” she said quietly. “It’s more.”
“What is, lass?”
“The – the closeness, Sam. It’s because we’re all wedded to Him, all of us, and so we’re wedded to each other too. He makes us all one, and the love goes through everyone and everything…. oh, you’ll see. Wait; you’ll see.”
He picked up her hand and traced his fingertip over it, down each of her fingers; turned it over and softly traced the lines in her palm. He lifted her hand to his lips and kissed the palm.
“Better, lassie? For true?”
“For true, Sam. You’ll see.” She stood up and tugged at his hand, and he got up. “You just missed Frodo,” she said. “He was here, with Pippin. They came to get him some clothes.”
Sam stared at her. “Clothes? Why didn’t they wait?”
“Well, I suppose they didn’t know you’d be coming so soon. They went off looking for you, into the City. You and Merry.” She laughed delightedly. “Frodo was that funny! ‘Don’t you say a word, Rosie,’ he said. ‘I am the way He made me. Have you got anything here I can put on?’ He looked a lot more comfortable when he got some clothes on!”
“You mean to say he was walking around naked? I’d just bet he was uncomfortable! But why?”
Rose shrugged. “That’s how he found himself when he woke up, is all. The Son told him not to be ashamed – oh, and Sam, his hand is healed! His finger has grown back!”
“Has it now!” Sam grabbed her and spun her around again. “That’ll make him happy, that will, more than anything! Come on, Rosie, where did you say they’d gone? Let’s go after them.”
This is a work of fan fiction, written because the author has an abiding love for the works of J R R Tolkien. The characters, settings, places, and languages used in this work are the property of the Tolkien Estate, Tolkien Enterprises, and possibly New Line Cinema, except for certain original characters who belong to the author of the said work. The author will not receive any money or other remuneration for presenting the work on this archive site. The work is the intellectual property of the author, is available solely for the enjoyment of Henneth Annûn Story Archive readers, and may not be copied or redistributed by any means without the explicit written consent of the author.