Chapter One: Captured
Frodo opened his eyes, wondering as he lay naked on a cold stone surface, where was he? What had happened? Where was Sam? What is this place and how had he gotten there? Nothing, he could remember nothing. His memory seemed to be enveloped in a fog. All Frodo knew was that he was cold, sore and his head hurt. He lifted his hand and reached for his forehead, a sharp pain emanated from under his right arm. Frodo reached over and felt under his arm and discovered a long stinging scourge mark caked in blood. He felt his forehead, he had a large gash over his left eye and a bump on the right side of his head. His lip was swollen and that was bleeding too. What had happened to him? Frodo could remember nothing.
As Frodo sat up to survey his surroundings, he became aware of a great pain on his back. A sharp stinging pain much like the one under his arm and he feared there were scourge marks on his back as well. Every muscle in his body was screaming in agony.
Frodo began to look around the room. It was very dark save one red lantern hanging from the ceiling. It was a cold, damp, stark place and there was a revolting stench hanging in the air. The room was round with one small window behind him, high up the wall. It was so dirt-encrusted that no light could penetrate the glass. Frodo could not tell if it was day or night. He Tried to stand but found that his legs were too weak to bear his own weight collapsing back onto the stone surface he looked around, to no avail, for something to cover himself with. He was cold, so very cold. He didn't think he could remember a time he was ever so cold.
Frodo tried desperately to remember the events that brought him to this place, but It seemed impossible to clear the fog that surrounded his memory. What was the last thing he could remember?
Sam, he had been with Sam. Frodo remembered a long dark tunnel, a foul rancid smell, and they were running. Running from what? He couldn’t remember. He knew he had been afraid. He felt the awkward scared tumble of his heartbeat as he ran. Sam was right behind him. He heard Sam yell. “Look out master! I’m…” Sam’s voice drifted away. Then Frodo heard no more, he felt a sharp stinging pain in his neck. Then rope, a sticky rope enveloped him. He couldn’t move his arms and legs. Was he being dragged? Oh this was too much. Suddenly everything became black and his mind faded.
That was all Frodo could remember. He had a horrible sinking feeling in the pit of his stomach. He feared the worst for Sam. What if Sam was dead? It was so horrible that Frodo didn’t even want to think about it. He couldn’t, however, shake the awful feeling from his mind and he seemed to know somewhere deep inside his heart that Sam was gone, gone forever and would not be coming for him. Suddenly the tears began to flow, and Frodo lay down on the cold hard stone surface and sobbed uncontrollably.
Frodo roused himself from sleep feeling drained and not at all rested. He sat up and looked around him, he was still in the same place, this dark, dank, dungeon. He wondered again how long he had been there, and who was keeping him. He felt his stomach growl and wondered how long it had been since he had eaten. He stood up, his weak leg muscles quivered but they held his weight and he began to walk around to room to investigate. Walking toward the red lantern he noticed it was almost out of fuel. He stumbled, his legs began to wobble, Frodo reached for something to steady himself grabbing hold of a wall for support. The wall was cold and not at all smooth, its jagged surface bore into Frodo’s all to raw right forearm and he winced from the pain of it. He stood for a moment catching his breath, clutching at his breast. His fingers were fumbling for something that wasn’t there, something important, something precious to him. What it was he couldn’t remember but Frodo couldn’t shake the feeling that this object was the reason for his imprisonment.
Frodo began to walk the spherical shaped room, still clutching the wall for support. He noticed there appeared to be no doors in the room, and he wondered where the entrance was. He didn’t have to wonder very long. There was a sudden scraping sound and he distinctly heard a bolt being drawn back. Frodo turned and saw a wooden trap door in the floor of the room suddenly fly open and slam against the cold stone floor. It created a thunderous sound, which resonated off the pallid stone walls. Ascending the ladder was a hideous Orc grasping a sword in one hand and a whip in the other. Frodo, terror-stricken instinctively reached for Sting, remembering it wasn’t there, began to shrink away, his heart seized in fear! The Orc reached the top rung of the ladder and stepped into the room. A second even more hideous larger Orc entered the room behind the first. Frodo felt his blood rush to his head and felt an intense pressure began to build around his brain. He could see the Orc’s mouth moving. He was speaking, saying something. Frodo could not understand him. all Frodo could hear was the vigorous pounding of his heart echoing in his ears!
The Orc slowly began to move toward Frodo, holding something in his hands! Frodo, wild with fear and trembling recoiled against the stone wall! He felt a scream rising within him but it fell dead at his throat, for who would hear him? Who would come to help him now? No one, there was no one left.
Chapter Two: Terror in the Night
Frodo, paralyzed with fear, clenched his fists as one of the large Orc’s drew closer; the second Orc remained at the door standing guard. “Lugbúrz says you eat!” Sneered the Orc as he threw something on the floor at Frodo’s feet. Frodo did not look down, did not dare to take his eyes off the orc, fearing the worst. He leaned in closer, Frodo could feel his foul, hot breath on his face, “its not fair I haven’t eaten yet…shouldn’t feed food, to food!” The Orc laughed, turned on his heals, walked back to the door and descended the ladder. The second Orc just stood there staring at Frodo menacingly. His black eyes peering at him sizing him up, Frodo heard the unmistakable sound of metal scraping metal as the orc began to unsheathe his sword. The Orc licked his lips and said something about ”fresh meat”. Frodo heard the first orc holler “Gorbag, get down here!” Gorbag muttered something inaudible, replaced his sword and climbed back down the stairs, watching Frodo with a menacing look. The trap door slammed shut and Frodo heard the bolt slid back into place.
Frodo breathed a sigh of relief at their departure, and looked down to see a plate and a flask lying at his feet. Frodo wondered who or what Lugbúrz was and why he felt it necessary to provide Frodo with provisions. He sat down to discover what they had brought him. On the plate there was foul smelling meat and some stale bread, he contemplated if the food had been poisoned and hesitated eating it. He finally determined that poisoning food was not in orc fashion, they would rather spear their prey with a sword, Frodo decided to chance that the food was safe.
He was especially glad to have the water he did not realize how thirsty he had been. His lips were caked with a film and his tongue seemed thick and swollen. He picked up the flask and poured some water into his hand, it was dark in color but it did not smell offensive, he took a sip and it tasted good, and he began to drink. He stopped when it was about half gone, deciding to save the rest not knowing when he would receive more, if ever. Frodo looked at the plate of food pushed the meat aside there was no telling what kind of meat was on the plate. He knew better that to eat meat offered by Orc’s and decided the bread was the safest choice.
Frodo sat back and began to eat the hard, stale bread. He oddly found himself wishing for Lembas bread. His thoughts returned to the day he and Sam were in Emyn Muil sharing the stale bread and how glad Sam had been to have it. “Nothing ever dampens your spirits does it Sam?” Frodo had said, meanwhile wincing at the staleness of it. How glad he would be to have that Lembas now, he would never complain again, but the Lembas had been taken with all his other things. His clothes, his pack, his Sam, how much he missed Sam. He must be dead , for Frodo knew that nothing short of death would keep Sam from his Masters side. Frodo felt a tear rolling down his cheek, there was such a pain and emptiness inside him. There was a longing Frodo could not describe, for Sam yes, but there was something more, something that he could not remember gnawed at his very soul. Frodo’s right hand was again clutching his breast fumbling for something that wasn’t there. What was he looking for? What had he lost? He still could not remember.
Frodo wondered what day it was, perhaps it was night, light still did not penetrate filthy window. He began to think about Bag End and how much he missed his home. Frodo’s eyelids began to grow heavy and his body felt light. A weariness began to take a hold of him “I wonder what was in that water” he thought to himself as he lay down and sleep quickly began to take a hold of him.
Frodo woke suddenly, there was a brightness in the room and a voice he recognized.
“Good morning Master Frodo, I was beginning to think you were going to sleep the day away. You must be awfully tired. Too much ale with Mr. Merry and Mr. Pippin at the Green Dragon last night I reckon.”
Sam!! It was Sam! Frodo bolted straight up in bed just as Sam was pulling back the curtains in Frodo’s bedroom. Sam turned around
“Why Master Frodo, what’s the matter? you look as if you’ve just seen a ghost. Come on I’ve got breakfast ready. It’s getting to be near ten am. You’ve wasted almost the whole day away now. I thought I might do some Strawberry picking today if you have a mind to join me. Only a week or so left of strawberry season you know.” Frodo just sat there unable to move or speak. He was home at Bag End, in his own room, in his soft feather bed, with his lovely feather pillow. He felt euphoric, his eyes began to fill with tears “ I am so glad to see you Sam! “ he said
“Why Master Frodo, What ever is the matter with you today? You just saw me yesterday?”
“Oh Sam!” cried Frodo, as he ran to embrace his friend “ I have just had the most awful nightmare ever, you were there, Merry, Pippin, there were Elves”
Frodo’s voice drifted off not sure he could put this dream into words.
“Elves you say Mr. Frodo, well I have always wanted to go see the Elves, come on then you can tell me all about it at breakfast” and with that Sam left the room.
Frodo sat back down on the bed and breathed a sigh of relief it had all been a horrible nightmare. He caught the aroma of sausages and eggs coming from the kitchen and he rushed to get dressed, he didn’t ever remember being so hungry. Frodo ran to the kitchen and began to tell Sam all about his dream. Sam just sat on the other side of the table wide eyed in amazement. When Frodo got to the part about Shelob, Sam’s eyes became wild with terror.
“Stop Master Frodo, I don’t think I can hear anymore! I’ve always wanted to go see the Elves I have, but Orc creatures, gigantic spiders, and black riders it's just too much Mr. Frodo I can’t bear to hear anymore!”
Frodo began to laugh “alright Sam, “I’ll spare you anymore details. I’m just glad to be here, I am sure it is an awful thing to hear. I was terrified mind you, and I suppose its no conversation for the breakfast table. And Frodo began to eat.
Just then there was a knock at the front door and before Sam could answer it Merry and Pippin came tumbling through the door.
“Good morning cousin Frodo!” said Merry
“Yes, good morning cousin” chimed Pippin “ooh sausages, lucky for us were just in time for second breakfast!”
Pippin quickly sat down opposite Frodo at the kitchen table grabbing a plate and helping himself to four sausages and two eggs. Sam shot Pippin a look of disdain, thinking him very rude to just help himself, but thought it better not to say anything. After all this was Master Frodo’s house and he didn’t seem to mind. Merry came up behind Frodo grabbing him about the neck.
“That was some time we had last night wasn’t it Frodo? Where on earth did you ever hear that song you were singing? Something about a man named Tom Bombadil? Never heard such a strange song. Come on lets have it again Frodo” said Merry as he reached up and tussled Frodo’s hair.
Tom Bombadil? Tom Bombadil? Where had Frodo heard this name before? Suddenly there was a shiver in his spine and he felt uneasy. Frodo reached up to remove Merry’s hand from his head, When all of a sudden there was a sharp pain!
“Ouch!!!!” Cried Frodo
Merry had stabbed him with something, Frodo grabbed Merry’s hand it was soft, and furry, Frodo flung it off his head and heard a dull thud and a hissing sound.
Frodo opened his eyes, it was pitch black . It took a moment for him to remember where he was. He was in the tower, the lantern had gone out and it was as black and cold as a moonless winter night. Frodo was frightened, it had all been a dream! Sam, Merry, Pippin the sausages it was all a dream! It had seemed so real and that made the emptiness of this place seem even darker. Frodo held his hand it was bleeding, something had bit him. It could only be one thing Frodo thought to himself, a rat, a horrible rat!
As he lay there quietly he could hear the sound of many tiny claws scurrying across the stone floor. What could he do with no light in the room there was nothing to keep the rats from crawling on him! Frodo was terrified, he lay there as quiet and as still as he could. His resolve was to not move a muscle, maybe they would not know he was there. He tried to calm his breathing and relax. Something brushed past his foot, then something past his arm! His mind was spinning, everything started to go foggy, he started to feel himself falling, and he felt like he was suffocating! Suddenly he heard a voice singing quietly at first but it steadily got louder.
Ho! Tom Bombadil, Tom Bombadillo
By the water, wood and hill, by the reed and willow
By fire, sun and moon, harken now and hear us!
Come, Tom Bombadil, for our need is near us.
It was Frodo’s own voice, he was singing, he knew that ol’ Tom Bombadil was too far away to hear him, but it seemed to ease his spirits, and for some reason it seemed to be keeping the rats away for the moment.
Frodo lay there singing into the black night as loud as his feeble, worn, cracked voice would allow him. Listening to the sounds of claws scurrying across the cold stone floor. Wondering how long his singing would keep them at bay? Wondering how long his singing would keep them at bay? Not very long it seemed and he felt something crawl up his leg, then something on his arm! Frodo closed his eyes tight, tried to breathe and sang even louder!
Ho! Tom Bombadil, Tom Bombadillo...
Frodo lay there in the darkness singing till his throat was horse and
his frail voice was barely echoing off the stone walls. He tried to
keep the horror of what was happening out of his mind but it was impossible!
He could feel the mangy vile creatures enveloping his body like a blanket.
Everywhere he could feel their razor-sharp claws prodding, climbing over
his bare skin. He tried standing and moving but it did not help they
clung to him like leaches. He was terrified and thought this nightmare
would never end! Just when he thought he could bear no more and darkness
began to take him, he heard the bolt on the trap door being pulled, the door
swung open and came to a halt on the floor with a tremendous thud.
There was a bright light in the room and Gorbag stood there staring at Frodo,
a lit torch blazing in his hand.
“Stop your sqeekin’ or I’ll learn you good!” sneered the Orc. “I see you’ve had some visitors,” he jeered as he watched the rats scurry from the light. “That’s alright, they don’t eat much,” Gorbag laughed. He then replaced the extinguished lantern with a lit one and turned to leave. “Now be quiet, or I’ll chain you up for good!” he growled and the door once again slammed shut and Frodo heard the bolt slide back into place.
It was quiet again, the rats had disappeared, but Frodo could still feel the sensation of their claws against his skin.
The new lantern seemed brighter; he could see much more of the room than before. He still sat upon a cold stone ledge at the far edge of the room. Attached to the wall, farthest from the door, were rows of chains with shackles hanging from the ends. He shivered at the thought of being chained up, he would be quiet as ordered, Frodo glanced at the lantern wondering how many hours of fuel were in it. How long did he have until the veil of darkness resumed, and the rats returned?
Frodo continued his glance around the room, he noticed something lying in a heap in the corner, he walked over to investigate. He at last discovered the source of the foul stench in the room; it was a pile of dirty rotting rags. The smell made him nauseas and he reeled backward collapsing onto the floor.
Frodo, drew his knees to his chest and wrapped his arms around them for warmth. He sat there thinking and desperately trying to recall what had brought him to this place. He remembered a great black monster surrounding him, its many black, piercing, baleful eyes peered down at him, he was trapped between the great arches of her many legs. He had been bound from his shoulders to his feet, he was being lifted off the ground and dragged, he remembered Sam yelling something and then everything went black. He knew nothing till he woke up in this place.
Orcs there were horrible orcs all around, they gave him a gruesome drink and it burned his throat. Then they stripped him of everything, and questioned him. Hours, days, weeks, he did not know He thought would go insane from all the questioning. They were looking for something, they wanted something of his! Their fingers pointing, prodding, poking, jabbing! What had they wanted? Frodo sat there frustrated at himself, feeling the need to remember something he could not. He felt a yearning for something that he no longer possessed. His head began to hurt, his right hand again fluttered toward his breast in a vain attempt to seek for something that was no longer there. Frodo closed his eyes searching the deep recesses of his mind, trying to discover what it was he was missing. His mind drifted back, back to a place of darkness.
Five tall, dark figures loomed over him, black robes swirling in the air, their white, ghostly drawn faces burning, piercing the darkness that surrounded them, and their sullen eyes peering out from under black robes, searching, yet not really seeing. A white, pellucid, gaunt hand was reaching, grasping for something. A flash of something gold on Frodo’s finger, Frodo’s hand not being able to resist the force was being pulled, lifted toward the looming figure. With desperate strength Frodo pulled back, a long dagger pierced his left shoulder pinning him to the ground. Frodo cried out in agony, reached over and removed an object from his left hand!
The Ring! Frodo suddenly remember the ring! It was gone! His ring, the purpose for the quest it was the reason that he was here! Terror seized him, it was gone they had taken the ring, he had failed! The one task he had been given to do he had failed at. Frodo’s heart was sickened, all hope was lost! Frodo remembered Galadriel’s words to him in Lothlórien; “This task was appointed to you, and if you do not find a way, no one will.”
What will happen now? What was to become of him? Locked away in this dungeon, the ring now in the hands of the Enemy! Frodo couldn’t help but feel that if Gandalf had lived none of this would have happened. The Fellowship would not have been broken, he and Sam would have never followed Gollum, Sam would still be alive and Frodo not locked up in this horrible place! Frodo began to weep, all was now lost!
What had Gandalf ever seen in him, why had he been entrusted to such a task? He was just a small hobbit from the shire. Such things were beyond him. The entire fate of Middle Earth had rested on his shoulders and he had failed! Frodo’s grief consumed him he was sickened by the thought of his failure!
A feeling began to well up inside of him, something he had never felt before, he was grieved over the failure yes, but this was something more, something deeper, a desire he had never felt before. It was so strong that he felt as if it would devour his very soul. He heard a voice speaking, he looked around, despite the fact he knew no one was there. “Who’s there?” cried Frodo!
There was no answer just a menacing laugh. Frodo shrank away in fear.
“Who are you he cried?” The cackling laugh just got louder.
“What do you want?” asked Frodo
The voice responded “We wants it, no, we needs it, must have precious!”
“Who are you?” demanded Frodo.
“Why Frodo, don’t you know? the voice laughed “you should recognize me! I am you! They stole if from us must have it back, must have precious!”
Frodo recognized his own voice speaking these words and yet somehow his voice was different. A deeper, gruff violent voice, he knew couldn’t be his and yet somehow it was familiar. Frodo suddenly realized who he sounded like. Sam’s words came flashing back in his mind.
“Can’t you hear yourself? Don’t you know who you sound like?”
Frodo had shrugged off Sam’s words that day. He knew it wasn’t possible, he would never become like Gollum. The ring would never have the same affect on Frodo that it had on Gollum, would it?
His heart sank, now Frodo knew it was possible, the ring had taken him, it had consumed him, the quest was over, his life was finished. He only wished Sam was there, Frodo would tell him he was sorry. Sam had been right about so many things especially Gollum, but Frodo wouldn’t listen.
Frodo wondered was what was to become of him now? He knew that he was destined become a slave to Sauron. Frodo remembered Gandalf’s words to Frodo in Rivendell about being stabbed with the Morgul blade
“If they had succeeded you would have become like they are, only weaker and under their command. You would have become a wraith under the dominion of the Dark Lord and he would have tormented you for trying to keep his ring.”
Frodo knew what was in store for him, he would forever be under the Dark Lords control and power now. He didn’t care so much for himself but for his friends he was worried. He knew that they had depended on him and he had failed!
Frodo completely drained of strength collapsed upon the heap of stinking, rotting rags. The stench was vile and all consuming, but he didn’t care, his tiny frail body could take no more. He lay down his head and prayed for death, for that was the only thing that could truly save him now! Death was the only escape left.
Frodo was not sure how long he lay there but he thought he heard Elves singing. Was he dreaming? Had death finally come for him?
In western lands beneath the sun
the flowers may rise in the spring.
The trees may bud, the waters may run,
The merry finches sing.
Or there maybe ‘tis cloudless night
And swaying beeches bear,
The elven-stars as jewels white
Amid their branching hair.
Though here at journey’s end I lie
In darkness buried deep,
Beyond all towers strong and high,
Beyond all mountains steep,
Above all shadows rides the sun
And stars forever dwell:
I will not say the Day is done,
Nor bid the stars farewell.
Suddenly a feeling began to well up in Frodo’s heart, he knew this song. Bilbo had taught it to him, Frodo lifted his voice and began to sing along with the Elves. His faint quiet voice was feeble at first but gradually grew stronger. Before too long Frodo sensed someone in the room.
“ I told you to lie quiet or you’d pay for it! You’ve not got long to live in peace, I guess; but if you don’t want the fun to start right now, keep your trap shut, see?”
Frodo heard the crack of a whip and felt a great stinging pain, he didn’t care, maybe death would come for him now. He instinctively shielded his face but secretly wanted death to take him. Frodo heard a scream, was it him? He didn’t think so, everything was growing so foggy and distant. He heard a struggle occurring and then a great thud! He felt his body going light like he was beginning to float away, his arms and legs began to go numb. This was it, he thought, death coming for him, he was glad, he was tired and was ready to die. His last thoughts were of Sam, he hoped that with death he would be able to see his beloved Sam again, on the other side, wherever that was. And with that thought Frodo faded into blackness.
“Frodo! Mr. Frodo, my dear! Frodo!” Frodo opened his eyes, kneeling before him was Sam!
“It’s Sam, I’ve come!” Sam was sobbing and holding Frodo to his breast.
“Oh Mr. Frodo, hold on I’m here, it’s your Sam!”
“Sam?” replied Frodo “Sam are we dead?” Sam continued to cry, stroking Frodo’s furrowed brow.
“No Mr. Frodo we are not dead, we are very much alive, and I’ve come for you!”
“Am I dreaming? The other dreams were all so horrible.”
“No Mr. Frodo you’re not dreaming! Said Sam half laughing half crying Tis’ I tis’ your Sam and I’m really here!
Frodo lay back in Sam's gentle arms, closing his eyes.
“I’m glad you’re here Sam, oh how I have missed you, I think you shall never know.”
“Come Mr. Frodo, I need to get you somewhere safe.”
Sam gently picked Frodo up and headed toward the door.