Pippin Takes the Ring

by Eruvanne

Red light illuminated the interior of the tunnel. Sulfur scented the air. Ash flew about in the hot wind and at the end of the tunnel stood a lone figure. His feet were bare. His clothes and cloak tattered by long and hard usage. His face, once youthful, now had lines of care deeply etched. A long slanting gash ran from the center of his forehead to the top of his right ear. His eyes held deep sorrow as well as strong determination. In his right hand, a chain holding a golden ring was tightly held.

As he gazed into the flowing lava below him, Pippin saw scenes from his past journey flow by. He saw Boromir fall, covered in orc arrows; the orcs pursuing Merry and him as they dodged their way amongst trees and bushes. Painfully, he remembered finding Frodo on the shore of the Anduin and the ambush of the orc. He and Merry had then killed the orc who had slain their Ring-bearer only to see the still form of Sam behind it. It was then that he and Merry took the quest upon themselves feeling it was their duty to their friend and relative. So had the journey begun.

The following months went by in a dark blur of agony and hardship. The one scene that alone stood out was on their progress across the plains of Gorgorath. He and Merry had been trekking across that grotesque plateau when they heard the snuffling of something close at hand. They had turned just in time to see a lingering orc coming toward them. They ran as fast as their feeble bodies could allow. But the orc soon caught up to them. It reached Merry first. With a swift, malicious stroke of its horrid weapon, Merry’s life ended. Horror-struck, Pippin nearly missed meeting his friend’s fate. He had then escaped with the gash to his head, leaving behind both dead orc and dead friend. Hot tears of anger and grief had streamed down Pippin’s cheeks as he struggled up Mount Doom.

Finally, he had reached the summit and now prepared to finish his task. Raising his hand so that the Ring was at eye-level, he said, “You’re the cause of everything that’s gone wrong. Now you will never hurt anyone again.” He stretched his arm over the crack to drop it. In his head, he heard the Ring speak to him of how he could change everything that had happened if he only took the Ring as his own. But Pippin’s heart had been hardened by the memory of his departed friends and countrymen. Releasing his grip on the chain, he watched as the Ring fell to its doom.