The heat was sweltering. Frodo licked his chapped lips, knowing it would somehow only make them drier. How close was he now? He could see the flames. They were so bright in the forever night of this land. He could feel their heat.
The chain bit into his neck. It had grown so heavy now. He wanted so badly to be rid of it...and yet he didn’t. He’d come so far and now so close, on the very mountain itself, he doubted himself.
So weak now...so very weak. His strength seemed to drain from him with the blood that dripped from the wound in his neck. Could he make it the last few hundred meters? Where was Sam?
He turned his head and saw that his friend had gone. Here, now, at his moment of direst need and import, his companion had abandoned him. How could he do this? This wasn’t like him. But, wait...what was that?
The body of Sam lay on the rock of the mountain. His skin was pale as a ghost, his eyes stared upward at the ash that spewed from the volcano as it fell to the ground. In his neck, so slight as to be near invisible, were two small holes. A tiny trail of blood trickled from them.
“Sam?” Frodo asked. What had happened? Why wasn’t Sam moving? He took a step toward him when he felt a great weight suddenly upon his back.
Gollum. The fiend had leaped on him from some hidden crevice. Frodo grasped and struggled with Gollum, but soon felt another piercing pain in his neck, teeth sinking into his flesh. With a cry, he stumbled backward and tumbled down the mountain.
He landed with a thud. The pain was gone, as was the one causing it. He was back in his own clothes and felt a cool breeze around him. The fire and rock was gone, replaced by water and grass. He saw a pedestal before him and he recognized the place. Galadriel stood there, looking down on him.
“I know what it is you saw,” she told him, “for it is also in my mind.”
“Will it come to pass?” Frodo asked, speaking unnaturally slowly.
She turned to face him fully, and her eyes grew dark, “It already has.”
With that, another figure appeared from somewhere in the trees. It was a being that seemed to throw the whole forest into darkness. A creature of nightmare and shadow. It was a Ringwraith.
“No...” Frodo wanted to shout, but his voice could not get above a whisper. He backed away in terror, never taking his eyes off the wraith. But it was not toward him that it was moving.
She didn’t even see it. Somehow, it avoided her perception. She didn’t see it as it approached her. She didn’t see it as it drew itself to her, practically into the very folds of her dress in its closeness. And she didn’t see it as it leaned it’s darkened hood down toward her neck.
Her mouth opened in a silent scream, her eyes bulged, and her body went stiff and slack at the same time. The wraith grabbed her harshly around the stomach as it clamped itself onto her jugular. A thick stream of blood trailed down her neck, matting bits of her golden hair and staining her ivory dress.
Frodo wanted to pull his sword and tear the wraith away from her, but he had no sword, and he was frozen to the spot. He could not save the Lady, could not protect that which was most beautiful. He could do nothing but fear what would happen when the wraith was done with her.
And soon enough it was. As her body slackened, knees buckling, the wraith lowered her body to the ground. It was almost gentle, the way it did it, almost like death itself. Frodo watched in terror as the wraith finally released it’s grip on her now-still form. Still kneeled beside her, it raised it’s head to look at him, and for the first time ever, Frodo saw a face within the hood.
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.