by Eglerio Hyn

    Why was I chosen? Why was I to be the one to bear this Ring? Those thoughts bounce through my mind like the little balls babies throw about in play.
But this is no game.   I feel barely conscious. Shapes move and touch me.
Someone is holding my hand. A warm gritty hand, stroking my cold one.  I think it is Sam. I know it is.
A streak of pain runs through me. I hear myself cry out, a cry that would have terrified me before, but I have changed.

    I can feel them, the Wraiths in my dreams and from out there. They reach for it, try to clutch it and wrench it from my grasp. I won’t let  them take it! I won’t!  
I’m cold. Never before have I been this cold, this chilled. It comes from my shoulder. The cold is spreading, pushing, freezing all of me.  Something sharp is creeping through my body, getting closer to my heart. I will sleep now. I will try to go to sleep. Perhaps when I wake up  this all will be gone. A nightmare, a scary story….anything but the truth.

     Strider has come back. It is morning now.  He lifted up the knife that pierced me. It melted. I watched him through hazy, blurry eyes. I cannot seem to clear them. Why is this accursed pain and cold still in me.  He uttered something over the  remaining hilt, causing all us hobbits to stare at him in wonder. Who is he, I still wonder. Why is he so kind to us? Is he doing this to be kind, or could he be one of them?

    He is coming toward me. I instinctively shrink back, then chasten myself for doing so.  Words so soft and melodic he spoke over me. I do not know what he said. Something nice, it somehow eased my fears.
    He drew some long leaves out of his pouch and told about them. I hope they can take away this pain, this creeping coldness. I know now what is piercing through me. It is the knife tip. It’s going toward my heart.
   He threw the leaves into the boiling water. Strider’s rough fingers peel away the fabric of my shirt and bandage. The hot water feels good and took away some of the chill.  Coldness still remains deep inside, where the healing herb water cannot reach.
     I cannot move my arm and hand. Why did I ever put the Ring on? I did what they wanted me to, I obeyed and now must endure this. Will it  always be this way? Will I never again be able to use my arm and fingers?    
     The pain is a continual ache. Like a flowing river, it hasn’t stopped. The current more painful and hurtful with every minute, I want it to go away.  
     They are all speaking together, I can hear them saying we will leave Weathertop. But I cannot stand. I am too weak. I am shaking, and I feel tears dripping down my face, tasting the saltiness.  
     Why must I be the one to suffer? Why must I endure the pain, the torture, the undying chill creeping closer to my heart? Why was I chosen to be the one?

     There must be some reason for this, some explanation. Even I, as a simple hobbit, must be able to understand. Why did Dark Lords even have to invent such terrible things as the Ring? Who made Dark Lords anyway? I think I am dying. The Ring and the pain are taking me.  

      Sam is holding my hand again. I remember why I am doing this, why I am here in this painful state.  I am doing this for him, for all of the Shire. I don’t want it destroyed, I don’t want our simple lives to be broken and all of us killed or cursed with slavery. That is why I am here. I feel I must carry on. The Ring must be rid of, or I will never live with myself.  I feel the words ringing through my head. For Sam…for the Shire…for Hobbits…for the babies
to come…
    I long to cry and curl up alone. I am so cold, nothing will make me warm again. I fear I will cry now. Sam is still beside me. Dear Sam. So faithful and true, I must not cry for his sake. He will worry too much. I cannot have him worried. He is already. I opened my eyes, and saw tears trickling down his kind face. He is frightened for me.
    Why must we travel? I just want to sleep, just want to rest. Is there something wrong with that?  Every step of Bill beneath me brings a fresh wave of pain. Make it stop. Please make it stop! I hear myself screaming. My voice seems foreign. Everything is now a cloudy haze. I can’t see. I can’t think. It hurts too much.
     Sam? Bilbo? Where are you? Are you there?  Please answer me.
     I want to sleep. No more pain. I cannot take anymore. No more suffering.  Please let this all be a bad dream.