2. Willow's Gambit
The tree had swallowed Pippin and was doing a fine job on Merry. When Frodo and Sam saw what had happened to their friends, they ran at the tree, yelling, then beat the tree, trying to get it to release its captives.
“Help!” came Merry’s muffled cry from within the terrible bower.
“We’re trying!” Frodo told him.
“We’ll get you out of there,” Sam yelled, “Even if I have to gnaw the tree down.”
Getting an idea, Frodo ran to his pack and got a small hatchet. He started hacking at the branch, taking small pieces off but not really accomplishing much.
“Stop! Stop!” Merry yelled, “You’re hurting him. Ow! He’ll crush me!”
Frodo dropped the hatchet, but looked helpless. “Then what do I do?”
They tugged and pulled with all their might to loosen the grip the trunk and roots had on their friend, but it didn’t budge. Sam heaved and pushed and sweat beaded on his forehead at the exertion. Frodo let go again, paused to think of a better way. But Sam pressed on. It was as if he thought he could force the tree into submission by sheer force of will. Funny thing is, he was almost right.
He didn’t notice, but Frodo watched curiously as the bark around Sam’s hands started to glow. With no idea what it was or what it could mean, he just stared as the luminescence spread until it covered the whole tree. The glow grew brighter and he heard screams from within the tree.
“Sam...” he said at last.
It was enough to distract Sam, who lost his grip and tumbled backwards. The moment he did so, something altogether unexpected happened. The tree exploded.
Shards, branches and leaves flew everywhere and the hobbits shielded themselves with their arms. The sound was deafening, a boom and crack and wail all rolled into one terrible, unnatural clash. When the pieces stopped falling, Sam and Frodo both had a few bruises and splinters, but had mostly gotten away unscathed. They turned their wondrous eyes to where the tree had been.
“Oh, dear.” Sam muttered.
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.