Drabbles and Inklets for the Dark Places of Middle-earth

by various


Learn a lot from a rat you can.

Take that big black one over there. Been workin' his way through that door for a while now. He knows.

Gorbag knew too. “They can make mistakes. Even the Top Ones,” he said.

Shoulda listened. Weren’t much real chance of us slipping off on our own, not if He was watchin'. But it woulda been a sight better than windin' up like that maggot Ufthak.

Saving that pretty shirt shoulda earned me a choice assignment in the Tower, but no. What does I get for doin' my duty? Grrr, a knife in the gut would have been better than to be left hangin' on a hook in the Black Pits.

Ain’t even gonna have the rats to keep company with soon. See, they know. That’s why they’re leavin'.

Disaster’s got a stench to it. Rats can smell it. Old Gorbag could too.

Shoulda listened to him.

- Sevilodorf


The streets faded in darkening haze, a grey mist rose from the ground, crept out along the stones beneath him. He could barely see. Tendrils brushed across him; cobwebs of ice. It was so very cold. He knew he should be weary, but numbness filled his sight, his hearing, his soul. The funeral procession lights ahead flickered and went out; ghostly specters danced on the edge of his failing sight. He was no longer following the procession, he was a part of it. It was for him.

Within the mist, one face he knew: Pippin.

"Are you going to bury me?"

Under the Earth

Cold it was, and dark, not with the natural cold of winter. Many were the treasures there, many were the bones of men who had borne them in battle and in fealty. Gold there was, chains, brooches, rings. Ever it brooded under the earth, ever recalling betrayals and deaths of old.

Deaths gloriously terrible; fear at treachery had been like meat and drink to behold, but it had been so very long ago. Blood gone to dust. The arm pulled itself along by its fingers toward the waiting sword. Again, to be slaked in eternal repetition of that moment... again...


Michel Delving's white chalk earth was packed, cold and hard. Fatty knew no matter how he shifted he would sit in water that dripped down the walls with nowhere to go. It was no wonder that his cell, little more than a storage closet, had been abandoned long ago. The darkness was unbearable, the food scarce. He sat with bowed head, listening to the weeping of other prisoners, newer ones. There was a movement from the cell next to his. Something poked him; something hard, pointy, like the end of an umbrella.

"Don't worry, youngster. They'll soon get theirs."

- Primula

A Drabble

"Come on Pip, we've got to go in there. I'll be with you the whole time."

Pippin shuddered as the stale air seeped from the dark, cavernous opening.
"I don't know Merry. There's probably spiders and dust, and who know's what creeping around down there. I've even heard it's haunted."

"Nonsense," replied Merry. "Besides, Frodo would do the same for you and we are definately well armed."

And with that, Merry grabbed up his mop and pail and marched down the steps into the cellar at Bag End to begin spring cleaning. Pippin reluctantly followed behind.

The End.
- mousechief

The Tale of the Garlic – A Drabble

While the Fellowship was making their way through Moria Gandalf’s staff suddenly went out plunging them all into inky darkness.

“Darn batteries!” the Wizard mumbled irritably under his breath while he fumbled to put new ones in.

Suddenly there came the sound of a brief scuffle which was followed by someone being punched.

“Keep your hands off of the Ring Bearer Boromir!” Legolas then said sternly.

“What right do you have to haul off and slug me Elf when it could have been anyone of us in this darkness?”

“Every right! Only you had the garlic bread at lunch today.”
- Dinledhwen