Sam struck the web again. Just as before, his sword only bounced off the thread. He tried again and again as Frodo held the star-glass high in his three-fingered hand. The light of Eärendil shone brightly down the passage and cast an eerie glow on Frodo’s blue skin. He was dark enough that even with the light he could have hidden, if he wished, but what hunted them did not rely on sight. He saw the glint of eyes behind him and knew the spider was not far off. Frodo turned from the tunnel to look out through the webs. He could see the outer world beyond, just past the impassable netting.
“It’s no use,” Sam told him, “We can’t get through.”
“But it’s the only way,” Frodo said, fear rising in his voice.
There was a long pause as Sam stopped chopping at the webs. He turned and looked seriously at Frodo, brown eyes meeting yellow ones in a wordless suggestion.
“No, Sam,” Frodo told him, his voice almost a whisper, “I can’t.”
“You must, Mr. Frodo,” Sam insisted, “It’s the only way.”
“But I couldn’t take you with me,” Frodo continued, “I don’t know how.”
“Never mind that,” said Sam, “You just do what you must. It’s most important that you get through.”
Frodo put his hand on his friend’s shoulder, his tail unconsciously wrapping around Sam’s back in a strange gesture of comfort. “I won’t leave you, Sam,” he said firmly, “Now help me think of a way through–”
A string of webbing shot out through the tunnel, hitting Sam, knocking him back into the webs that blocked their path. Startled, Frodo dropped the phial. He spun to see Shelob barreling down on them. He could scarce raise his sword before she was upon him.
He didn’t mean to do it. It was a reaction, an instinct he could no more control at that moment than to blink if a bug flew in his eye. The great she-spider lunged to bite him when there was a loud *bamf!* and the smell of sulfur filled the tunnel, and he was gone. It wasn’t until he found himself outside the tunnel, on the other side of the web passage, that he realized what had happened.
“No! Sam!” he shouted, and ran the dozen or so yards back to the cave entrance. He could see his friend through the webs, trapped, but the light still shone, however dimly and ill-aimed. It was just barely enough to keep Shelob at bay as he struggled in her web. Knowing he’d be killed if he tried to teleport back in, Frodo did the only thing he could think of. He started hacking away at the webs from his side with Sting. To his surprise, it worked. The cords were cut by the elvish blade as easily as hair by a barber’s scissors.
“Mr. Frodo! Help!” Sam yelled, despite his previous insisting that Frodo go on without him.
“I’m coming, Sam,” Frodo called back to him as he slashed his way through the webs, “I’m coming!”
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.