"………..you shall have neither the Ring nor me!"
and with a last effort, Frodo turned (though oft it had been his habit to kindly whirl about and wait upon his pursuers, gentle-hobbit that he was) and spurred the mighty elf-horse towards the bank. His head fair swam with the effort, tiny golden circlets streaking his vision. With a sharp pang, Frodo realized his blood pressure had risen most precipitously.
This would not do. It would not do at all. Those nasty dead ……..things would not dare ride their horses into Lord Elrond's pretty pond.
They would……..they could…….they…….
With what Frodo assures me really and truly was his last effort (and I've not known the Master to lie, though intense prevarication is certainly not beyond him), he turned to face the onslaught of Nine horrendous figures…….
Somehow……..somehow, there were TEN mounted riders within the dangerous swirl of current.
One of them raised a curved sword.
"…….if you want him, come and claim him!!!"
Exhaustion was rapidly overcoming the limbs he had willed to carry him across the Ford (and the Chevy, too, but that is another story). Though he well knew it was yet day, darkness obscured his vision. With a Really Supreme Effort, he faced the Riders, summoning his voice:
"Begone, foul Dwimmer…………."**
A fair hand, followed by a silk-clad arm, swam into Frodo's confused line of sight. He followed the curve of the arm to where it met milk-white shoulder (paler than his own!) and plunged down to……to……..
the words rippled from his mouth before ever he could call them back…..
Full well Frodo knew he had made a mistake. He felt the blood rising to his checks. This was NOT good, all things considered. Drawing himself up to his not-very-substantial height, he took a deep breath and faced the lovely apparition.
"Errrrr…..beg pardon, miss……miss…..Miss Elf-thing. Ah……really DO appreciate the help, you know, but the Professor insists I handle this bit on my own. So, ummm….if you wouldn't mind, I really and TRULY must make a Stupendously Heroic Last and Final Effort. Solo."
Elf eyes shot fire.
"I'm telling my Ada!!!" she wailed. "You're going to be sorry!"
"You'll never know," he muttered, and whirled about to find that the Nine had kindly kept their exact places whilst he and whomever-she-was-that-was-now-thankfully-absent had their little chat.
"Where were we, dead dudes?" he intoned.
Hissing with malice, the deadest-looking of the group spurred his mount forward. Frodo recognized the hiss and the distinct absence of facial features. Most of all, he glommed onto the tattered robe………
The hem bore the mark of a blade.
"and THIS time, my friend, I'll make of it a wee small kiltie!"
TWKOA^ pulled his less-than-fiery steed to a halt.
"That's hardly fair," he whined.
"Aw. And my shoulder……was that fair?" (and Frodo grabbed said shoulder, swaying most appallingly in the saddle).
"I'm waiting," Frodo said, striking Asfaloth with the flat of his blade so that the horse started forward, "and I'm NOT known for my patience!"
TWK looked down. Obviously, a wraith in distress.
"All right, all right…..For THIS time, Baggins, you may depart. The will of my Master shall yet over-power yours, of that be well assured!"
And, turning in great wrath, struck blood from his mount's flank as he spurred him up the bank, followed by the Crazy Eight.
Really, thought Frodo, as he neatly avoided a wall of white water decorated with (of all things!) frothy horses, really,he gets on my LAST nerve!
And suddenly realizing that he'd gone at LEAST fifteen thousand frames without falling, he turned, and with what in this story SHALL be The Last Supreme Effort( and I know this, because I'm the writer, darn it), cast himself from the bejeweled saddle, falling at once (or maybe twice, since he had a "falling quota" to meet) into a deep and dreamless hobbit-nap.
Thankfully, The End.
**if PJ can put one character's lines in another character's mouth……
^The Witch King of Angmar. Or Witchie. Witchever you prefer.