Welcome Back, Mr. Frodo

by Fellowshipfan

Sam awoke with a sick feeling in his mind. Sweat trickled down his neck from the intense heat that was all around him. He could feel a crashing pain in the back of his head and he reached back to rub it with his grimy hand.

Sam could remember nothing; why he was there, nor where he was, nor how long he had been there. He could remember nothing, that is, except the touch of cold stone beneath him. Fear and rage boiled up in him, though, when he looked up to see a strange sight before him. Frodo was nowhere to be seen but that cursed Gollum was right in front of Sam, fighting some unseen thing. Suddenly, a cry of pain rose up above the roar that filled the air; Frodo!

Sam jumped up when he saw his master fall on his knees before him. Blood was flowing from the stub of a finger that the Ring of Doom had once rested upon. Sam wanted to run to him and kiss him; comfort Frodo’s pain. But Sam could not make himself move. He felt he had been turned to stone and was helpless only to watch the scene that took place next.

Gollum was jumping around as if the joy of having the Ring once again had driven him mad. Sam saw a crazed look flash in Frodo’s eyes as he struggled to his feet. Frodo took slow, unsteady steps toward the creature that had stolen the Ring from him. He hated Gollum, he hated the Ring, and but mostly he hated himself for not fighting its temptations. With energy not his own, Frodo jumped at Gollum.

Time seemed to stop as Sam watched in horror; Frodo and Gollum had toppled over the edge and had fallen out of sight. Sam’s heart stopped beating. His mind went blank. His whole body was numb. Sam could not think, only stare and gasp for breath that would not come. Then he started running. He knew there was nothing he could do, but he would not leave without Frodo. Sam would rather die a thousand deaths first. He could not run as fast and he wanted; his legs wouldn’t hold him. It seemed like years before he reached the edge. Sam dropped to his knees. He didn’t want to look, but he had to--he had to look for Frodo.

Sam gazed down and saw Frodo, hanging by his one good hand. He was looking down at a small circle of gold far below. Sam wanted to laugh and cry, his Frodo was not dead-he was alive! But fear froze Sam’s heart the next moment when Frodo turned his eyes toward him. His eyes were dull and beaten, and drained of all Sam had once known them to be. Sam could read the look in them.

Quickly Sam put his hand down as far as he could reach.

“Here, take my hand!”

Frodo’s eyes turned to Sam. His thoughts could be plainly seen in them.

“No, Sam. This is the end of our story. Goodbye.”

Sam only stretched his hand down farther.

“Reach!” he cried.

“I’m so tired, Sam,” Frodo’s eyes said.

“Frodo!” Sam tried to call.

“Just let me go, Sam. The Ring has taken me. I can’t fight it any longer.”

Sam at last understood the look in Frodo’s eyes. He had given up. Frodo had never before quit at anything he did, but he had now. The Ring was calling Frodo away from him. It wanted Frodo; it was trying to steal him away from Sam.

“I won’t loose him to you!” Sam thought at the Ring. “You can’t have him!” To Frodo he whispered, “Don’t you let go.”

“Oh Sam, I don’t want to go on. The Ring is gone. There is nothing here for me.”

“Don’t you let go,” Sam said again, tears coming to his eyes. Sam let his eyes say, “I’m still here for you.”

Frodo felt one of Sam’s tears fall on his hand that was clutching at the rock cliff. For a brief moment he was deaf to the Ring, he was Frodo Baggins of the Shire once again. He could see Sam was trying to save him once again. So many times Sam had saved him. Even here, Sam wanted to help him--just one more time. Then the Ring called to him again, telling him of the rest he would find in death. Frodo hesitated.

“Reach!” Sam screamed.

Frodo looked at Sam’s face and knew he had to go on; not for himself, but for his Sam. He threw his hand into Sam’s. The blood that covered it made it slip. Frodo’s will weakened.

“No,” Sam whispered, “you can’t give in.”

Frodo tried again and this time Sam caught him and pulled him up. Frodo glanced down in time to see the Ring disappear forever, and then he and Sam turned and fled.

They ran until the lava had them trapped on a large, jetting rock. It was over. But, amid it all, Frodo stood up tall and with a look of bliss said, “It’s gone. I’m free!” Sam looked at Frodo and even at the end of all things, he cried for pure joy.

“Welcome back, Mr. Frodo,” Sam said quietly.