Captive in Cirith Ungol: 1. Captive in Cirith Ungol

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1. Captive in Cirith Ungol

The great doors slammed to. Boom. The bars of iron fell into place inside. Clang. The gate was shut. Sam hurled himself against the bolted brazen plates and fell senseless to the ground. He was out in the darkness. Frodo was alive but taken by the enemy.
[The Lord of the Rings - The Two Towers; The Choices Of Master Samwise]

 

~~~~~~

 

Darkness; captured in freezing darkness. Not one ray of light; not one glimpse of hope; night.

Where am I? I escaped the darkness and the stench, didn't I? Or was it just a dream? Now everything seems even darker and the malodour still lingers. Rottenness and death; and the darkness; No shapes, no colours; even my own hands I can't see; nothing.

Frodo sat desperately on the ground, surrounded by a blackness he didn't even dare to think of. It was darker than he thought anything could be. His skin was wet and he shivered.

Gandalf. Why did you lead me here? Why to this darkness? Why me?

He could answer his question on his own, when he remembered the very morning at Bag End when Gandalf told him about his heirloom. The One Ring, forged by Sauron himself.

I agreed to bring the Ring to Rivendell. I was the one who imposed this burden on me. I didn't have to do this, but I did. And then, once again I chose to bear the burden. In Rivendell; Lord Elrond felt that it would be my task to destroy it, and so did I. I decided to fulfil the task, to destroy the Ring. But if I had known what was to come… Moria… Gandalf. Why did you have to leave us?

There was a hissing sound behind him. Frodo turned around in horror. Innumerable eyes were staring at him. He wanted to run but his entire body seemed to protest and he couldn't move. His eyes grew wide and he trembled even worse than before. Finally he got to his feet and started to run. He ran as fast as he could but the dreadful eyes were ever behind him. Frodo felt their cold gaze upon him.

Sweet Elbereth, please save me! 'Mr. Frodo?' It's Sam. He is calling for me. He's searching for me. Sam! Sam!

He cried desperately for his friend but no sound would leave his lips. He stumbled and fell. Sudden warmth ran through his body. Again he heard a sharp hiss and turned around anxiously, when suddenly a cold claw grabbed his shoulder.

 

~~~~~~

 

Frodo awoke, screaming and struggling hard. Five orcs grasped him immediately so he couldn't move.

"Hold him tight! I said you've got to hold him!"

Orcs! Frodo looked around frantically. Two orcs were bent over him, one of them holding a flagon in his hands. Frodo backed away in terror.

Orcs! Where am I? Sweet Elbereth, please help me! Save me from this place! Everything but no orcs; then all was in vain and my task cannot be done. I'm so tired, so terribly tired. And what's that awful taste on my tongue? It burns like fire. What happened? Sam, where is he?

Frodo yelled as one orc seized his neck with a rough hand. Fierce pain went through his body and for a moment everything went bleary.

It hurts so much! Take your fingers away from my neck! I must have been wounded - but when? Who hurt me? The chain! The Ring! They mustn't get It! Leave me alone! Let me be!

Frodo struggled hard to free himself from the orcs' strong grip but he was too weary and weak. Besides there were far too many of them; if he could free himself from the grabbing hands of one there would be three to take his place.

"If I were you, I would stop that, little one!" An orc stood before him holding a knife in his hands, ready to strike. All of a sudden Frodo froze, not daring to move again.

"Strip him! It's everything for Lugbúrz."

"What if he bridles?"

"He won't bridle, will you?" The orc let his blade slide skilfully over his fingers sending a cunning look to Frodo, who shuddered anxiously. "And if he does, silence him but don't kill him. Lugbúrz wants him alive."

Lugbúrz? Who's that? Why does he want my clothes? Everything…? They don't mean the clothes, they mean everything. The Ring! Lugbúrz has to be Sauron!

The orc disappeared in a corner and started to rummage Frodo's backpack. One of the others ripped open Frodo's shirt. Only now Frodo became aware of the fact that he was only wearing his shirt and breeches. His other things must have been taken away earlier.

"No!" Frodo lashed about in despair but was quieted with a blow on his head. He thought he would fall but a nearby orc caught him, holding him tight.

No, they mustn't get It! Not now that I've come this far. I must stay awake. The darkness shall not again catch hold of my being. I have to stay awake and stop them. I must stay awake…

Frodo's body tensed when he felt the cold hands of the orcs pawing him. Their fingers seemed to be everywhere at once. He barely realised his clothes and all his belongings being taken from him.

For a long time, so it seemed, staying awake was the only thing Frodo could think of. He succeeded in not passing out, but he wasn't able to defend himself, couldn't even move. The only thing he realised was being pushed on the floor. He crouched; the chill and fear made him quiver.

~~~

They are gone. I'm still alive. I survived but for all that I believe that there is worse still to come. What if they return? What if Sauron regains the Ring? Middle-earth will perish.

Frodo heard a dull noise. Warily he turned around. His backpack was cast on the floor and the orc that had rummaged it was now gone. Blinking away the dizziness he felt he recognised that all the things he had brought with him, even the cloak of Galadriel and his other clothes, were lying there.

The Ring! There is still a chance to get it back. I have to try. I must succeed.

He gathered all his strength and crawled wearily towards his clothes. "What did I tell you, Gorbag?" laughed Shagrat. "There's still some life in this little creature."

Two big, black orcs planted themselves between Frodo and his aim. Shagrat gripped his arm coarsely pulling him to his feet. Frodo stumbled and fell with his back against the wall. Again he huddled on the floor.

"And what'll you do with him now?" Shagrat sent a furtive look to the trembling form on the ground.

Frodo cringed when glinting eyes met his.

What can they want? They already have everything I possessed. My clothes, my sword, the Ring…

"Well, he has to be unspoiled. Nevertheless I wanna know more about this elvish warrior you think is still roaming about. And of course, I wanna find out how he came here. Your guard is no good but the Nazgûl should have stopped him."

"My lads are good. Just you look that yours do their job right."

Shagrat no longer heeded Gorbag but turned towards Frodo.

"You've heard him, little one. How did you get here?"

Frodo kept silent.

Shagrat roughly seized Frodo at his shoulder and sat him down upright.

"Don't try to trick us! Your chances don't look that bright. Who charged you with spying on us? Speak quickly!"

I mustn't say anything. Nothing can happen to me. Lugbúrz wants me unspoiled. Besides I don't know where Sam is, and if he is all right. I hope they didn't capture him as well. If I speak I won't only put myself at risk and the task I carry out, but also Sam. Why do I worry about my task? It is over. But Sam; I have to remain silent until I found out what happened to him.

Four glinting eyes stared at him waiting for an answer. He tried to sustain eye contact but couldn't stand the evil flash of their eyes. Shuddering he averted his gaze.

"You won't get far if you go on like this," teased Gorbag.

"Then let me see if you can do any better!" snarled Shagrat.

Gorbag smiled wickedly and drew his sword. Before Frodo even realised what happened the sword was near his throat.

"What do you prefer? Me cutting off your head, or you talking?"

Frodo swallowed hard, closing his eyes and biting his lip.

"Look at me when I'm talking to you!"

The blade came closer.

The hobbit looked straight into the orc's gloating eyes, fear flickering in his own.

"What's that elvish warrior that came with you? You don't look elf-like."

Frodo averted his gaze again, feeling hope spreading in his mind.

An elvish warrior? They didn't capture Sam, then. He's alive. But he really isn't an elvish warrior.

Frodo couldn't help chuckling at the thought of Sam as a warrior. Also he was very relieved that his friend was alright. But the smile faded as quickly as it had come in this dark hour.

"Don't take me for a fool, you filthy little rat! So there was a warrior! Where is he now and what did he want here?"

"Whence should I know where he is now? It was you that took me captive to a place I don't even know!" answered Frodo in a sullen tone.

"I will drive out your insolence, you little maggot!"

A tough punch hit Frodo's stomach. The halfling groaned with pain and twisted in agony.

The orcs grinned maliciously, not once averting their dark, gloating eyes from the poor creature lying on the ground in front of them.

Am I mad? I'm not in the position to talk like that. I should remain silent and not encourage them to hurt me.

"Look, this is how you go about making captives talk."

"He's speaking, but I don't think he knows who he's dealing with" laughed Shagrat and gripped Frodo's hair. "Do you know who you're dealing with?"

With orcs! O, I wish I had never woken.

"What about that warrior?" hissed Gorbag. "Speak, you filthy little maggot!" Shagrat's blade came awfully close.

Frodo shivered. He closed his eyes fearfully.

They will hurt me nevertheless. Sauron doesn't need me unspoiled - he needs me alive. But I will not speak in order to protect Sam.

"Answer!"

Frodo felt the tip of the sword touching his left shoulder. Sudden weakness overcame him und he grew limp. His old wound pained him and his side and shoulder hurt as if icy claws were laid upon them. His arm was lifeless. He moaned, looking around blearily. Shadows were dancing in front of his eyes, wailing voices called him; ghostly fingers reached out to catch him. Frodo thought he would pass out, but instead of the welcomed darkness, the rough hand of an orc clutched him.

"I won't wait for an answer much longer!"

Frodo worked up his strength to flinch back, but didn't get far. Tremulously he crouched against the wall. The orc ran his blade over Frodo's shoulder to his neck, where it stopped, pressing ever firmer into the soft skin. Frodo quivered violently fearing to harm himself by trembling so hard. His breath stopped as he squeezed his eyes shut, hoping for this moment to end.

I will kill myself by doing so! I have to calm down and stop shaking! How could that happen? How could all this happen? I need to get away from here! How can I escape? Away… get away!

Frodo could hear himself whimpering when suddenly the blade was removed.

It's gone. Will they let me be?

Hesitantly he opened his eyes. It was just then when one orc gripped his hair and brought him to his feet, kicking him hard and slamming him back to the ground. Frodo cried out in pain. Before he could recover a strong arm pulled him up again, pressing him against the wall.

Now the sword again rested on his throat, ready to slay him. The orc's face was close to his own, so Frodo could smell his stinking breath. A nauseous feeling overcame him.

"I could kill you whenever I wish to, little rat! Orders or not!"

Frodo was dazed when Gorbag growled and threw him back on the floor. He didn't dare to move, for he knew whatever he did would be in vain. He only begged for one thing.

Darkness; o most welcomed darkness, will you take me in? Let me return. Return.

"Return," Frodo was unaware that he was speaking the word out loud. "

Return? Where to?" Gorbag and Shagrat exchanged knowing glances. They knelt down beside the halfling, one on the left and one on his right. "Where to, little one?" they whispered into his ear.

"Darkness… Moria… Gandalf…," murmured Frodo, almost unconscious. He whimpered and frowned and then he said no more.

Shagrat was content. "I dunno any of these names, but I'm sure Lugbúrz does."

"Your right. But the rat hasn't said anything about this Elf-warrior yet. Or do you think it could be Gandalf? The name doesn't sound elf-like to me."

 

~~~~~~

 

Blackness. I never thought I could be that happy to find myself surrounded by darkness. Gandalf? Who is speaking about him? I know that voice. The orcs! Do they know him? Gandalf…

All at once he was standing in front of him. Gandalf, all clad in white. Frodo looked at him in astonishment, pleading for help. But Gandalf wouldn't come any closer. Tears were streaming down Frodo's face when he saw his presumed dead friend.

No, that's not true! I am dreaming. The darkness, it came back… I'm dreaming.

But still Gandalf stood there. The sun went down behind him, plunging the sky into a bright glow of red.

 

~~~~~~

 

Slowly consciousness returned and with it did the pain. Frodo blinked, moaning quietly.

"Gandalf?" he whispered looking around bleary-eyed. But Gandalf wasn't here. Only a red lamp was hanging from the roof of the chamber.

"How long have I been held captive at this dreadful place? It must have been days."

"Not days! Not even hours! Come here, maggot!" Before Frodo knew what was happening Shagrat grasped his shoulder roughly and sat him against the wall.

"Now you will open your mouth! There won't be any darkness for you, I can tell you. I will be careful in tormenting you. You will stay conscious and tell me everything. You can believe me, before the end you'll beg for darkness to come back, but it won't come. You'll stay awake and feel every pain my knife will cause you. Before long, you will talk your head off."

What do you think I did before? And it did come. It will come again! I won't tell anything about Sam, the Ring or any of my purposes.

Frodo looked him straight in the eye, but Shagrat wasn't bothered, for he saw the fear in Frodo's face. Besides Frodo couldn't face the smouldering eyes of the orc and soon stared at the floor, biting his lip.

"Take that!" Shagrat threw a piece of bread on the ground.

Frodo was taken aback by the sudden change of heart. Surprised he looked up.

I don't understand. He threatens with torture while giving me something to eat? It must be poisoned.

When Frodo made no attempt to eat the bread, Shagrat snarled angrily. Frodo drew back with a start.

"What do you think? That I would poison you? Did you think you would get away that easily? I can assure you, you won't!"

Frodo hesitated, but finally he reached for the bread and started to nibble.

When was it I last had anything to eat? It must have been the morning before we entered this stifling cave. That seems ages ago.

 

~~~~~~

'I wonder what sort of tale we've fallen into?'

A horrible tale, Sam.

'You and I, Sam, are still stuck in the worse places of the story, and it is all too likely that some will say at this point: "Shut the book now, dad; we don't want to read any more."'

~~~~~~

 

Frodo remembered the very evening in the crevice; the evening before all his memory had gone black. He didn't realise that he had already eaten the piece of bread given to him. Now Shagrat stood in front of him, his eyes full of expectation.

"What are you waiting for? Speak!"

'Shut the book now, dad; we don't want to read any more.' Yes, they are most unlikely to read on.

A knife blade flashed; Frodo could hear himself screaming. He felt blood trickle down his arm, out of a deep scar on his upper arm.

"I told you once and I will tell you again. This is not a game! Speak, or I'll forget all my orders! How did you get here?"

Again Frodo could see the blade flashing. He winced squeezing his eyes shut. Shagrat gripped his neck abrasively. He kept the vulnerability of that spot in mind. Also he knew why his victim's neck was so sensitive. Shelob made a good job of it.

A wailing scream echoed in the room. Frodo tried to struggle to get free, but his limbs wouldn't obey him.

"How did you get here?" Shagrat asked again, increasing the pressure on Frodo's neck.

"Alone," Frodo whined in a daze.

"I don't believe you! Who cut the cords? You chuckled when we mentioned the Elf-warrior. Why? Because you weren't alone! Who is he?"

Cord? What cord? No, Sam, I will not betray you. I won't give anything away.

He desperately tried to find an answer for his reaction when they mentioned a warrior, but he couldn't think of anything better than: "I don't know."

"You don't know it?! Tell me another!" He knocked Frodo down, where the hobbit lay crouched, his eyes still shut.

Darkness! Sweet Elbereth, make it return!

"Who's Gandalf?"

Gandalf?

Frodo looked up, eyes wide with astonishment.

"It's him, is it not? You came with him." Shagrat fingered his knife, while bending down to Frodo.

Perhaps that's what I would have, if we hadn't gone to Moria.

The hobbit fought back his tears.

"Is it not?"

Again Frodo could feel the cold steel of the orc's-blade pressing against his neck. His fearful nod was barely visible. He didn't dare to speak, for he knew, it was most likely that he would burst into tears.

"Do I have to worm everything out of you, you filthy little maggot? Who's he? If he isn't here, then is he the one who sent you?"

For a moment Frodo's eyes lit up.

Yes, he was the one who sent me. I came here on my own, for that wouldn't attract too much attention, if I'd be careful enough. I don't know anything about an elvish warrior. I was on my own, sent to spy. No one would learn about Sam. No one would know of the Ring and my task at least not for the moment.

Yet again the blade flashed up. For a moment Frodo thought the orc would kill him and he yelped, unable to control himself. But the blade stopped just an instant before touching his neck. It stroked over his flesh cautiously, avoiding carving the soft skin. Frodo trembled violently, not daring to move. The blade pressed firmer and Frodo could feel the cold steel scribing ever deeper into his flesh.

"Yes," he panted at length. "He was the one who sent me. Please… please stop!"

An abrasive claw clutched his hair and got him to his feet.

"We know now who sent you, but what about the Elf-warrior?" another voice wanted to know.

Frodo looked around, startled. Out of the shadow stepped Gorbag, gnawing on a piece of raw meat. In his other hand he was holding a bloodstained knife. Slowly he bent down to Frodo, who pressed himself against the wall, eyes wide with fear.

"I don't know anything about an Elf-warrior," he said, his voice barely a whisper. "Please, let me go."

"Let you go? You should be grateful that you're still here. Lugbúrz will do many a thing with you, when he finds out that you spied on him."

Frodo shuddered when Gorbag licked his rotten teeth.

"So Gandalf sent you. You're a spy, or at least should be. But still you are keeping quiet about something."

Shagrat seemed to look daggers at him.

The hobbit shook his head.

"Do you conceal anything?" Shagrat repeated in a demanding voice, his knife thrusting forward.

"No!" Frodo cried out frantically, tears streaming involuntary down his cheeks. His legs gave way and he sank to his knees.

"A spy? You are a spy?" Gorbag burst into laughter. "They didn't truly think that an ugly little maggot like you could come into Mordor unnoticed? And what's even better, getting out again! To get captured by me and my lads was the best thing that could happen to you. The world of Men will fall without you to witness it, except Lugbúrz wants you to."

Shagrat kicked the huddled up halfling, who twisted in agony.

"Let's go! He won't say any more."

Go! Leave me alone! Let me stay here waiting for darkness, for I don't dare to hope for other help.

Woefully Frodo watched Shagrat taking his clothes with him.

That's torn it! All is lost. Sauron will regain the Ring; Middle-earth will perish. I failed miserably.

Time passed by and everything stood silent. Frodo looked around warily, finally daring to get to his feet. There was a high and dark window-slit and Frodo tiptoed, trying if he could see where he was, and what was going on. However, he saw nothing but dark clouds. Suddenly his head was swimming and he felt a stabbing pain in his neck. He staggered ere sitting down again.

One single window and even there I can't see anything. Darkness; it will spread and soon it will engulf all Middle-earth, destroying all that was once good. Maybe Gorbag is right. Being captured was the best thing for me to happen. Still I would like to know how it came to it, and why my neck is hurting. Sam, dear Sam, I hope you are alright.

The trap-door in the middle of the room was thrown open violently. Frightened, Frodo flinched back, pressing against the wall.

No, not again! Please don't let them come back. Sweet Elbereth, please make them go away! Not again!

Gorbag trudged towards him. Frodo eyed him critically when the orc dropped himself to the ground beside him.

Run away! But would that be of any use? I'm sure down there will be many a thousand orcs only waiting for me, taking me back with delight. Things would only get worse. Should I try anyhow? Or is it already too late?

Before Frodo could think through his thoughts any longer, Gorbag gripped his hair and jerked his head backwards. Frodo gasped for breath. Again he could feel the cold steel of a knife resting on his throat. Frodo tried to escape but the orc's swift hand grabbed one of his own. The hobbit lashed about in despair, when suddenly he felt a heavy knee resting upon his chest, pressing him on the ground. Barely able to move he panted.

"Keep quiet, or I'll cut your throat!"

Frodo froze; another movement would mean death for him. He looked up fearfully, while Gorbag's smouldering eyes were facing him.

"I don't believe your story! The sword you bore couldn't cut Shelob's cords. There was an elvish warrior with you and you will tell me who he is!"

I will not say anything about Sam!

A fist pushed hard into Frodo's chest. The halfling panted heavily gasping for breath.

"You're a tough fellow and no mistake, but I'll make you squeal again!"

"What're you doing up there, Gorbag? Come down again! We have more important things to do than amuse ourselves with this little maggot!" Shagrat's raspy voice echoed from beneath.

Gorbag bent down to Frodo, their faces almost touching.

"If I were you, I wouldn't move!"

Then he went away.

Anxiously and shivering all over Frodo lay on the floor trying desperately to breathe evenly, but now every gasp hurt.

I can't remain silent any longer. My will weakens every time they come. I don't know how long I can conceal that Sam was with me. If they return, asking me questions about the Elf-warrior, threatening with their knives.

He shivered at the thought of Gorbag; shivered at his fear to stir; shivered at the thought of being helpless in the face of the two great brutes. His eyes filled with tears, which he tried to fight back with great effort.

~~~~

A long time passed. It was quiet. Only from time to time Frodo could hear roughhousing noises from beneath. He still didn't dare to move, as sudden fear clutched his heart.

What if he returns? I can't bear it. The stink. Their eyes: smouldering, piercing. They will find out. They will find out everything about Sam, about my task, about the Ring. I failed.

"Now you will open your mouth! There won't be any darkness for you, I can tell you. I will be careful in tormenting you. You will stay conscious and tell me everything. You can believe me, before the end you'll beg for darkness to come back, but it won't come. You'll stay awake and feel every pain my knife will cause you. Before long, you will talk your head off."

He is right. No one will ever save me. I will speak, telling them all I know. Forgive me, Sam, but I can't do otherwise. I fear them, them and their knives. I know that I just as well should keep silent, I will die anyhow. But I fear them, I fear them so much; the orcs, the pain they cause me. I can't bear it any longer! Forgive me, Sam!

Frodo was rudely pulled back to reality by a loud, rumbling noise. He trembled violently, wanted to cry, like when he was young and dark dreams were hunting him. But would that be of any use? An orc climbed into the chamber, but it was neither of the two brutes. This one was smaller and he carried a whip with him.

"You lie quiet or I'll come down on you like a ton of bricks!"

Frodo tried hard to lessen his tremor. The orc headed for Frodo's backpack, which was still lying on the floor a few feet away. He took out a piece of lembas and sniffed it. Disgusted he threw it on the ground, trampling it down before casting a quick glance at the halfling, who still made desperate efforts not to tremble. Cursing and snarling he climbed down the ladder again.

Frodo didn't move any more. It must have been hours that he had been lying tensely on the cold floor of his prison, until his body relaxed again. But the peace didn't last long, for suddenly he heard loud noises from beneath.

They are coming! Why can't they leave me alone just for a while? Why doesn't anybody take me away from here? Please, help me!

Frodo tensed anew, his eyes staring into emptiness. He listened to every sound. Clamour, snarling and gurgling sounds; swords were unsheathed and clashed; shields seemed to burst. Frodo tried to find out what they were fighting about, but couldn't hear anything for a long time, except shrill shrieks and clashing swords. At length he could make out voices, but he didn't catch more than pieces of what was said.

"Give it to me!"

"No,... my lads found…!"

"… not for you… Lugbúrrz…"

They are quarrelling because of me. If only I could make out exactly why.

But Frodo couldn't hear any more, for the voices were drowned by even more clamour and clashing swords.

Frodo listened fearfully to the baneful noises, always reckoning that the trap-door would open again and an Orc would seize him. But no such thing happened. The noises died away and finally they became silent.

~~~

It took some time until Frodo abandoned the idea of making out any more voices, for nothing was to be heard. Momentarily Frodo thought he fell back into comfortable darkness but soon he felt that he wasn't, for a dreadful fear gnawed at his heart: anxiety to be found; fear to be questioned again, while claws were fingering knives in a threatening way. The silence seemed to spread in the chamber and so did his angst. Before long he thought he couldn't think of anything else but of the return of the Orcs. Every little noise agonised him; every silent creak aroused by his own movements, curdled his blood. With every breath cold sweat poured down his brow until at last Frodo thought the stillness would crush him, and he wanted to scream. He wanted to call for help; he just wished to shout, only to hear a voice calling.

"You lie quiet or I'll come down to you like a ton of bricks!"

What if he is still there? I must remain silent, even if I think I can't bear the quiet any longer I need to try.

Frodo tried to banish his fear by thinking of the Shire. But it seemed that all images of his beloved home were expelled from his memory. Only darkness, fear, death and malodour were left in his mind. He sighed, his eyes fixed on the ground.

Will I ever escape this place? I don't remember anything but darkness. Does the Shire still exist? Is there anything good, anything beautiful left in this world? Is it only me who can't see it? Sam, if only I knew that you are alright, dear Sam; if only I knew where you are. How long has it been, since we lost each other? How long, since you last made me laugh with your words? Laugh; I don't think I will ever laugh again.

Woefully Frodo glanced into the darkness of his prison. Only now did he become aware of the chillness in the chamber. He curled up, hoping to get some warmth by doing so. He looked around shivering, when suddenly he discovered some tatters lying on the ground near his backpack. Carefully he crept towards it. A loud crunch echoed in the chamber and Frodo froze, pressing himself on the ground, quivering hard. Anxiously he listened for further sounds, but couldn't hear anything but his own rapid breathing. Nevertheless Frodo didn't dare to move again. Never did he consider it possible that simple sounds would scare him so much. In his mind he could see orcs gloating at him, almost stabbing him with their eyes. He felt cold steel at his skin. Curling up even more, Frodo squeezed his eyes shut, hoping to escape the terrible images.

~~~

It took long until Frodo opened his eyes again. Had he fallen asleep? The thought was impossible for him. No one could find sleep in a place like this. His eyes met the window-slit. Still he only saw dark clouds and couldn't tell how much time had passed. He listened but couldn't hear anything. The abominable darkness still lingered, and again a horrifying uncertainty clutched his heart.

All of a sudden he could make out a voice again. Frodo cringed, prepared for the worst. But that wasn't the voice of an orc. It was the voice of a hobbit, singing one of Bilbo's old songs, only the lyrics were different. Frodo lifted his head hesitantly.

Sam? Is it you? Did you come at last?

Desperately Frodo tried to remember Bilbo's song and finally he began to croon. With every sound leaving his lips, his hope of being saved increased. His eyes shone.

A shrill creak silenced his tongue. A door closed with a dull thud.

"Ho la! You up there, you dunghill rat! Stop your squeaking, or I'll come and deal with you. D'you hear?"

The snarling voice of the orc made Frodo freeze. He curled up on the floor again and tensed.

What did I think I was doing? My imagination must have played a trick on me. No one will come except orcs. Nobody will ever help me out of here.

Steps approached and with every single pace Frodo's fear increased. What would they do with him this time? Slowly the bolt of the trap-door was drawn back. Frodo squeezed his eyes shut.

"You lie quiet, or you'll pay for it! You've not got long to live in peace, I guess; but if you don't want the fun to begin right now, keep your trap shut, see? Here's a reminder for you!"

A crack of the whip cut through the silence. Frodo's side burnt like fire. He wanted to scream, wanted to cry out all his pain, all his fear, but he didn't dare to. Instead only anguish and pain filled his whole being. A throbbing pain in his side seemed to spread over his whole body. Frodo felt as if he was going to burn. At the same time yet another horrifying fear clasped his heart: dread of another crack; fear of moving, but still he knew he had to protect himself. He lifted a quivering hand, when he felt a new blow was about to come. But it never did.

A cry echoed in the chamber, followed by a second one. It was the pained cry of an orc. Noises of a fight met Frodo's ear, but he neither dared to open his eyes, nor to move. Too great was his fear of another blow. He heard a cry and a thud and then everything fell silent again.

 

~~~~

 

"Frodo! Mr. Frodo, my dear!" cried Sam, tears almost blinding him. "It's Sam, I've come!" He half lifted his master and hugged him to his breast. Frodo opened his eyes.

"Am I still dreaming?" he muttered. "But the other dreams were horrible."

"You're not dreaming at all, Master," said Sam. "It's real. It's me. I've come."

"I can hardly believe it," said Frodo, clutching him. "There was an orc with a whip, and then it turns into Sam! Then I wasn't dreaming after all when I heard that singing down below, and I tried to answer? Was that you?"

"It was indeed, Mr. Frodo. I'd given up hope, almost. I couldn't find you."

"Well, you have now, Sam, dear Sam," said Frodo, and he lay back in Sam's gentle arms, closing his eyes, like a child at rest when night-fears are driven away by some loved voice or hand.

[The Lord of the Rings - The Return of the King; The Tower of Cirith Ungol]


This is a work of fan fiction, written because the author has an abiding love for the works of J R R Tolkien. The characters, settings, places, and languages used in this work are the property of the Tolkien Estate, Tolkien Enterprises, and possibly New Line Cinema, except for certain original characters who belong to the author of the said work. The author will not receive any money or other remuneration for presenting the work on this archive site. The work is the intellectual property of the author, is available solely for the enjoyment of Henneth Annûn Story Archive readers, and may not be copied or redistributed by any means without the explicit written consent of the author.

Story Information

Author: Lily

Status: General

Completion: Complete

Era: 3rd Age - Ring War

Genre: Drama

Rating: General

Last Updated: 04/28/04

Original Post: 03/03/04

Go to Captive in Cirith Ungol overview

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