Only a Dream

by Eruvanne

The darkness began to fade. Color slowly returned to his vision. Frodo rubbed his eyes to clear away the remaining darkness and gazed in amazement. His bed? He looked at the covers intently, studying them to make sure they were his. Then, slowly, he touched them. Their soft texture insured him that the covers were indeed his. But a question quickly rose to the young hobbit’s mind.

Had he been dreaming? Was the terrible affair with the Ring and the Dark Lord all a nightmare? He checked his shoulder to see his wound from the Morgul blade. There was not even a scratch upon it. Frodo was amazed. It must have been; it must. He looked out the window and could see the green hills of Hobbiton rambling on and on until they ended at the river. As he listened, he heard birds singing merrily and children laughing gaily.

Frodo then heard a familiar voice coming from the kitchen. Could it be? He jumped out of bed and scampered out to the kitchen where he was met with a familiar face. Bilbo was just checking the kettle while whistling when Frodo burst in.

“Ah, Frodo, my lad,” greeted Bilbo cheerfully, “you’re just in time for breakfast. I was hoping you would wake up in time.” The older hobbit began to pour the tea. As he poured, Frodo studied him. Bilbo seemed to be the same age as the day of his disappearance. However, before Frodo could learn more, Bilbo caught him gawking at him.

“What are you looking at? Come sit down before the food and tea get cold.” Readily, Frodo sat down to a meal with his uncle. Together they talked about the ways of the community and how the garden was doing and other hobbit-ish things. Frodo enjoyed every minute of it. Not for several months had he ever felt so free.

He then left Bilbo to wander down almost forgotten paths and byways. Soon he met up with Sam, Merry, and Pippin on their way to the Green Dragon. Frodo joined them and they spent the afternoon at the pub. Soon the sun began to fall behind the rolling hills and Frodo began his journey home.

As he reached Bag End, he could see a small light coming from the side garden. He turned down the garden path and came upon Bilbo next to a campfire. The old hobbit’s back was to him as he approached so Bilbo was unaware of Frodo’s presence until he entered the ring of firelight.

“Frodo, you’re back,” he cried greeting his nephew. “I was just enjoying some time under the stars. They remind of my adventures with the dwarves. Come,” he motioned to the space beside him, “let’s share this moment together.” So Frodo sat side by side with Bilbo staring into the small fire.

But as he looked into the flames, things began to change. For some reason, the fire seemed to grow in size. He turned to Bilbo to ask him if the fire had seemed to grow. However, when he looked to where his uncle had been sitting just moments before, there was merely empty space. Suddenly, his gaze was brought back to the fire for he thought he heard something. He saw the forms of horses in the fire, black horses with riders. Then, to Frodo’s horror, the shapes grew into the forms of the Black Riders and they were galloping towards him. Trying to back away, he found that he could not. But soon the Black riders merged into a single line and stood upright. The fire, as well, had grown to tremendous size. Finally, Frodo recognized what the fire had become. The small campfire had grown to the Great Eye. Quickly, he closed his eyes and cried out in terror.

Suddenly, he felt cool air on the back of his neck. Frodo dared to open his eyes. He was lying in a nook in the Emyn Muil. Sam was bending over him.

“Mr. Frodo, are you alright. I heard you cry out so I came to check on you.”

“It’s alright, Sam. I’m fine now. It was only a dream, only a dream.”