Inside Samwise's Head

by Lothithil

One of my favourite moments in LOTR, between one sentence and the next, a lot can happen inside your head...

Book Four, The Two Towers, The Stairs of Cirith Ungol

"Sleep then, Master! Lay your head in my lap."

I looked down at Frodo, as he lay sleeping with his head pillowed on my lap. That white light was shining again in his face, as it had in the fern back at Ithilien, the day I saw the Oliphant. How many days ago... it seems like years. I wish we were still surrounded by those trees and shrubs, instead of all this bleak, cold and unwholesome stone.

Mr. Frodo stirs in his sleep a little, his eyes move beneath their lids, as if he were looking for something. I feel him relax as deeper sleep finally takes him. His hands are scored by the long climb up those treacherous stairs, his nails broken and bleeding. And we've no water to spare to clean his hurts, drat this wretched mountain!

His face is calm and peaceful. The last time I saw him like that was in Lothlorien, and before that, Rivendell. But then, after he was so sick... I don't want to remember those long nights, and how icy cold his hand lay in mine, limp and dead! He just lay upon that white pillow, so pale and fragile, like a broken doll. I was afraid that he would never wake up; just as I am afraid now. It goes against everything that I ever learned, going into this foul land! How can I keep Frodo safe in such a dangerous place? He's got his mail shirt, and we both have our swords, but he is being hurt by something that goes right through armour, and can't be hewn or cut away. I don't understand what it is, but I can see him becoming weaker and paler. Every sleep he takes gives him back less, and he doesn't eat enough... even when we do have ought to eat.

And that wretched Stinker! Where's he got to now? I know he's doing more than rootin' under rocks for food. He's up to some devilry; Mr Frodo said as much, but I can't help worrying. I'll be pleased to be rid of the both of them, Slinker and Stinker, when we get through to...

Mr Frodo is dreaming again. He turned and muttered in his sleep just now. It breaks my heart, the way he calls to Gandalf as if he still sees him in the land of dreams. He's always had such dreams, talked in his sleep, even back in Hobbiton. Hobbiton...

I can still see in my mind's eye the Water, with sun setting beyond the hills. If I were home right now, I'd just have finished a day's work in the garden of Bag End, and be heading down to the Green Dragon for a pint with Mr Frodo. I'd go and see Rosie. Ahh... I do miss her bright smile, though she always made me blush when she turned it upon me... next time I see her, I will not look away. I will say to her...

Whoa! "Easy, Mr Frodo!" He about jumped right out of my lap! Still sleeping, bless him. "It's all right, I am here. Everythings fine, Mr Frodo." He's settling back down now. He's not fevered; his brow is not too warm, but his heart is beating like a rabbit's beneath my hand on his chest. Maybe he is dreaming of home, too.

I sure wish I knew how the Gaffer was doing. I don't like to think about that glimpse of him I saw in the Lady's mirror. She said it might not happen, and yet I think that it may. All this badness in the world is reaching right into our heart and mucking things up. I'll be glad when the Thing is gone!

But what will become of us? Mr Frodo doesn't think we'll ever get to the fiery mountain; he thinks we'll be captured or cut down long before. But we haven't been yet, and we've come a fair distance. I think we just might make it, if that Sneak doesn't bring back a bunch of goblins or tip a rock over upon us. And then we'll go home, finally, where we belong! We'll round up Mr Merry and Mr Pippin, and head back to the Shire. It'll be late summer before we get home, I imagine, or autumn. It would be nice to be back before Mr Frodo's birthday, so we can celebrate it properly. Crickhollow will have a nice garden, if I ever get a chance to get back to it... if I close my eyes, I can just see the lawn... need to plant some rosemary by the gate... and some catmint next to the cellar door... *zzzzzzz*

And so Gollum found them hours later, crawling and creeping down the path out of the gloom ahead.