6. From Hell's Heart
Screaming - someone is screaming, screaming to burst their very
lungs. I lay back on the hard, uncomfortable cot- really more of a
ledge with a rough cloth over it- and listen in mute horror to the
I am all too aware of my surroundings, I know exactly where I am, but
it is not a pleasant knowledge.
I came back to awareness after crossing over the Black Gate- as we
flew over it, everything swam back into dreadful focus.
Saruman! I leap up from the cot, and strain to hear the voice again-
it is the sound of a nightmare, tortured, and in its last extremity.
I have tried the bars, many times, in desperate need to find a way
out. Of course, there is none. My magick will not avail me in Mordor,
as I have found, at least not as far as breaking out of this cell.
Ah, so this is how it feels, I think gloomily, to be imprisoned.
No wonder Saruman went mad ( but he was ALREADY going mad - that was the problem )-
Alas! If only I had not been waylaid, and had to send Legolas in my
place. None of this would have happened.
I hear footfalls - two Uruk-Hai are bringing in a large, bundled
shape- they handle it carefully, almost reverently, and deposit it in
the cell next to mine. They look at it for a moment, and then leave,
I realize the shape is moving - writhing - tossing slowly about.
Soft, muffled sounds emanate, and a hand drops limply to the ground,
shrouded in the gray cloth. I look more closely: with a shiver, I
recognize the long tapered fingernails, and I know it is Saruman in
What have they done to him!
He thrashes in slow, weak movements, arching up, and then sinking
Anguished, I try to force the bars apart yet again, using all my
magick, as well as pure physical strength. No effect at all.
I whisper as loudly as I dare: "Saruman! Curumo? Do you hear me?"
But there is no response, only the quiet moaning, and the agonized
One of the Uruks returns, and I take a chance: "You there! I must go
into that cell- you must transfer me to it, now!"
The Uruk looks at me as if I am insane, and then laughs an ugly,
unfriendly laugh - "Are you mad, Wizard? I take my orders from the
true boss around here, and besides that, you are not fit to be in the
same cell as - as Lord Saruman!" He says the name with unapologetic reverence- and I realize the Uruks still feel a great allegiance to Saruman, despite being forced to obey Sauron.
I try again: "Do you not know what is being done to him? Let me in
there with him- I need to try to help him!"
The Uruk snorts, amused - "Kill him, you mean?"
I fight my anger at the obvious ridiculousness: "You allow him to be
tortured, and yet you will not trust me to try to help him? How have
you been protecting him, in all your great loyalty? He does not look
well, to me!"
The Uruk looks at me hard, and yet I see I have reached him, somehow -
"Do not lecture me on loyalty to Saruman, Wizard - I never wanted any
harm to come to him. This is not my doing. Should I join the two of
you in your doom?"
"So, you will let him die, slowly, and in agony? Even if I did kill
him, I would do it quickly! Where is your sense of honor? I thought
Uruks were better than mere Orcs, a higher sort!"- I goad him
dangerously, praying for success.
The Uruk walks up to me, very close, and looks me in the eyes - for a
long moment we simply stare at one another- and then he shakes his
great shaggy head, and does the unthinkable: with deft movements, he unlocks first my cell, then the adjoining one.
Then he looks at me again, and snarls: "You had better save him,
then, Wizard! My fate is most likely sealed now, so don't let it be
for nothing!" - and before I can speak, he leaves, turning around
abruptly and closing- but not locking- the heavy black door.
I waste no time, and rush to the cell - my heart is thundering in my
throat, and I kneel down by the still moving, heavily cloaked form on
the ground - my hands are trembling, as I carefully move aside the
layers of cloth, somewhat in dread of what I may find.
Suddenly Saruman comes to life, and grasps my robe, gasping,
clutching me with a terrified grip :
"Gandalf! Oh, is it you? Is it really you? Help me, please, please -"
his nails dig into my arm painfully, and I am overcome with horror at
seeing him like this; I wrap my arms around him and hold him tightly,
"Don't let them take me again- don't let them, please, Gandalf,
don't -" his voice is broken, devastated - I rock slowly back and
forth, holding him as tightly as I dare without hurting him even
more. He clings to me, gasping, clutching me in a deathgrip. He is
shaking so badly, and I take off my outer robe and wrap it around
him. Still, he trembles violently.
I will not ask him what they have done to him, if he feels he can
tell me, he will, but I will not ask him.
"It's alright now, see - I am here with you, we are together, I will
protect you, no matter what." I whisper to him quietly, firmly - he
seems to relax slightly, and I try to think what to do, how to get us
out of here.
There is, of course, the option of which I had spoken to Saruman:
that fatal spell, which would carry us both painlessly away from
Sauron's power. But will it even work here, in Mordor? I had very
little luck with the bars of the cell. And if a mistake was made with
a spell meant to end a life - well- that could end very badly indeed.
I don't want to risk it.
"We have to get out of here, now, right now! Can you- do you think
you can walk?" I ask him. "I will try." he answers, and I slowly help
him to his feet - but he is far too weak , and too badly hurt, and
his legs give way. I gently lay him back down on the ground again -
and again ponder our desperate situation.
And now, like a living nightmare, Sauron himself walks into the
dungeon room, driving away all my rational thought, and causing
Saruman to nearly break my spine, with his terrified grip around me.
"Oh no, no, no " Saruman is nearly moaning, and I can only stare
in awe and horror at the magnificent and wicked Being in front of us:
Seven or eight feet tall, eyes of glittering violet fire, and a face
of shocking, unspeakable beauty. Annatar the Fair.
"Olorin, my old friend. So nice to see you again."
He smiles, showing beautiful white teeth, and advances on us.
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.