Frodo at Cirith Ungol

by Annie Bayly

Pain. He hurt everywhere. He was aware of nothing else. 

Then they shook him. Cruel hands. Black and crooked nails digging into his flesh. Questioned him. Over and over and over again. 

They had stripped him of everything. Everything! After all that had happened, and everyone he had lost, he had failed. They had taken the ring. What did it matter any more?

But they would not leave him to die (for that is what he wanted to do). Why did they not stop questioning him? They had what they wanted didn’t they? Didn’t they? Despair and blackness overcame him.

He awoke again, to a burning in his mouth, his stomach, but he was awake. More questions – they hurt him. Let it stop. Please. Then blackness again. Blessedly.

He was dimly aware of the sounds of fighting. A battle raged below him, but he did not care. Blackness again. 

From terrible dreams, he awoke, or thought he had, but this must be a dream. He heard a voice, softly singing something from another time. There were green fields and blue skies once, he thought, though he could not see them in his mind. But still the singing. A small spark of hope burst aflame in his heart. In his pain and despair, he started to sing too. The voices intertwining, creating a small, beautiful moment.

But another grating voice came, and the nails grabbed, and the whip bit. He shrank into the corner, pulling rags about him. Throwing up his arm to protect himself against the pain he knew would come again. But it didn’t!

He felt soft hands, then, caressing his brow, felt tears on his skin, heard someone weeping! Was this another torture they had devised for him? He dared to look, and saw Sam. Dear Sam! When all hope had died, here at the end was Sam. He sighed, closed his eyes, and for a moment remembered summer mornings at Bag End.

Then he bowed his head – “They’ve taken everything Sam, Everything! The quest has failed! We can’t escape” Sauron has won.

“No” said Sam, “it hasn’t failed, not yet”. And he pulled out the ring.