I was nearly there, now, to the source of the gibbering and cackling laughter in my wood.
Nay, it is not my wood, truly, but I like to think of it so.
I would not always dwell there, and had not always dwelt there.
But Fate decreed I should be living there today, on this eventful morning.
I cautiously broke through the tangle of brush into a sunlit grove, and there beheld a hideous sight:
A group of Men were encircling a prone figure on the ground, kicking and prodding him with their boots- one of them raised a sword, as I watched- and regarded the motionless victim with a look of great hatred.
I decided to intervene, ere it would soon be too late.
I stepped forward, shouting at them to cease- they looked at me in shock, and the one with the sword- apparently the leader- hailed me and spoke:
“Greetings, great Radagast! You have stumbled upon us at a most opportune time, I see!”
They knew me.
“What are you doing? Who is this?”
I looked down at the pitiful creature on the grass, face down. Long shimmering hair spilled about his bare shoulders, and he was twisted strangely. His robes-
I suddenly understood, as I saw the condition of his garment and the position of his body.
They had brutalized him sexually- I did not know any more details, but of that, I could be certain.
I raised my Staff, and faced the leader.
“Ill met, my friend! Leave this place! Now!”
The Man looked at me in sincere wonder, and spoke again:
“No! No- you do not understand! This is--”
“I care not who this is! No one deserves this! Begone!”
“But- this is the ‘Necromancer’- Sau--”
I think I knew what he was going to say, but at that moment, it had nothing to do with my viewpoint. No one deserved this.
I very rarely lose my temper, but this time, I was sore pressed. I aimed the Staff and shot a bolt at a tree near one of the Men, and they turned and fled.
I knelt by the still body, and then gently turned him over, wondering at the lightness of him. He seemed more ethereal than physical, and yet, he was embodied enough to be harmed.
His hair fell into his face, and yet obscured it. I moved it away, seeking a clear view.
As the hair was swept back, I heard myself gasp softly.
The face was fair, but fair in a cruel way, a terrible way, that I had never beheld before on Arda.
There was a cold and pitiless aura about it, and a feeling of great age, as well.
Yet, it was a young face, and heartbreakingly beautiful.
Long dark brows slanted upwards, almost Elf-like, and yet not- in striking contrast to the radiant fall of hair.
Yes, it was him.
I recognized him, though I had not seen him for many countless years- had it been before we came to Arda? I believe so.
But his features were much the same, although he seemed to have refined and perfected them somewhat.
I smiled to myself, remembering his deep vanity- when he was not with Aule, he was always near a mirror, always combing out the long liquid gold of his hair.
Olórin and Curumo had seen this, as well, and while Olórin had been amused, Curumo had been angry, even jealous perhaps.
No Maia was like unto this one.
Olórin and I liked him. We loved him, as well- he was our brother- though he held himself above and better than us.
Curumo never liked him- and certainly never loved him.
And now...O Sauron, what have you brought to pass upon yourself?
I traced a finger gently across his face, and he slowly opened his eyes- I had forgotten this, how vividly blue they were- he looked at me, and suddenly flinched back violently-
“Olórin! No, no! Leave me alone!”
I shook my head, seeking to calm.
“Sauron! It is not Olórin! It is Aiwendil! Remember?”
He still shrank back, and then he seemed to understand, and he whispered, in a voice cracked with pain, “Help me, Aiwendil--” – and then, he again lost consciousness.
I lifted him up in my arms- so light, he was! – and carrying him like an overgrown child, began the journey back to my humble cottage.
I surveyed the ruin of Dol Guldur- Sauron had escaped, but only by the thinnest of margins.
I had come very close to securing him- I actually caught a glimpse of him, as he was about to flee into the fastness of the dark woods-
I had shouted at him to stop, surrender- that I would not harm him- and he shot me a glance of pure hatred and fear, and turned away again-
I lifted my Staff- reluctantly- and sent a blast at his feet as he fled- he stumbled, and fell, and then picked himself up, cursing me with some very colorful language.
I- could have ended it.
He was still in range of the Staff, yet- I could have brought him down, with a well-aimed strike.
I would not have been able to be accurate enough to aim only for a disabling shot- I would have had to kill him.
I did not do it.
And he disappeared into the dark woods.
Then, as the folly of my kindness became apparent to Curumo, we searched the woods for him.
But nothing, no trace.
Curumo turned to me, in scathing anger-
“Mithrandir! I beheld that you had him! What stayed your hand?”
I did not know what to answer- any answer I gave, would only bring contempt- and perhaps worse- censure.
“I- did not believe he was within distance--”
“So you did not even try? Once, I saw, you did- and he fell- but it was poorly aimed, as he still was able to get up!”
I looked away from his accusing dark eyes.
Curumo suddenly took hold of my shoulder roughly, and spun me around.
“You- spared- him! You idiot! You let him go!”
I turned then to face him, and the accusation.
“I did not seek to ‘let him go’! I- am sorry, Curumo.”
Curumo grew very cold, and his eyes took on a perilous look.
“What shall I tell the Council, Gandalf? That you purposely allowed him to flee?”
He smiled, then, bitterly, and finished:
“I always knew you had a weakness for him, Gandalf. Even before we came here. You were a very poor choice for this mission.”
I replied very carefully, restraining the anger I felt:
“I am guilty of no more unwarranted warm feeling towards him, than you are of unwarranted hatred.”
My superior looked at me in the eyes, and murmured softly:
“Then, we understand each other, at last.”
We resumed our fruitless search, in silence.
Hard my road has been, of late.
Out of nowhere, came my long lost brethren Olórin and Curumo, and they drove me from my home in Dol Guldur.
Perhaps that is the incorrect way to put it- they came to capture me- kill me?- I do not know- and so I fled from them.
I toyed with the idea of giving battle- and then thought better of it. I do not fare very well in battle, and in single combat I have had few victories- save for Gil-Galad the Elf, who I slew with my sheer body heat--ah, sweet memory of rare triumph.
I can still recall the look on his face, as I seared him to death.
Even as they took me down with their combined and cowardly might, severing my finger and driving weapons into my dying body, I took great pleasure in his death.
It was very nearly worth the dying.
Except..losing my treasure.
But now, after the attack at daybreak, I had fled on weary legs through brush and thornbush, fleeing in a kind of mad despair, and I realized I had not even had time to take up a weapon.
Or food, or water, or any provision at all.
Deeper into Mirkwood Forest I ran, until my legs were about to give way.
Exhausted, I broke through into a stand of trees, and into a group of Men- soldiers- their alliance I could not tell- I did not recognize their shield standards- but unfortunately for me, they did recognize me.
They hailed me – by name, yet!- and I warily approached, suspicious- but so very weary.
“Sauron! My good friend!”, the leader said, smiling warmly. I could not remember him.
“And I know you from...where, exactly..'friend’?”
He threw back his head and laughed coarsely, and I suddenly had a very bad feeling.
Perhaps I had traded one fate for an even worse one.
“Pretty Sauron! I mean...the 'Necromancer'-that’s what they call you, isn’t it? Ah, you have not changed at all. You do not recall me? We met last year, you summoned some local clans to your keep- to talk treaty, to talk alliance. But you never told us who you really were- I had to hear that from a- a wizard!”
I looked at him in wonder and confusion, and he finished his explanation:
“The old wandering conjurer, Gandalf, I think it is. Oh, he did not tell me directly, but it found its way to me. So it was Sauron himself, the great Abhorrence, that called us to him in Dol Guldur! And what an honor for us!”
Without even realizing it, I began backing away.
The Man smiled with sudden coldness, and I saw hate creeping into his face.
“How many of my race died at your behest, pretty one, hmm? How many thousands- or is it millions, by now, over long ages? And so subtle, so sly, to call us to your side, in our ignorance, as you used yet another false identity!”
Usually, having attention paid to my looks pleases me no end- I am shamefully conceited, I fear.
But his references to me made me extremely nervous. I sensed great danger, and I was so weary of it.
I tried to soothe the anger, before it was too late- his men had surrounded me, and were slowly drawing their swords. I became very frightened, but tried to maintain myself.
“Look here, I do not know what you may have heard, but it is not true. I—“
And my words were silenced, as a rough and fell hand came up from behind, and clamped over my mouth.
I did try to fight back, by Melkor, I did, but there were too many of them, and I was already drained and weakened.
They threw me to the ground, and the leader stood over me, and began to unbuckle his leggings- I understood what they had in mind for me, then.
When a male wants to hurt another male- truly wishes to hurt him- there is nothing so horrific, I think.
Perhaps it is the same for a female, I do not know.
I love the act, normally. Cannot get enough of it, in fact. The rougher the better.
But this was- a nightmare.
Their cocks were slicked by my blood, and there was more than enough. They tore me as badly as they could manage, opening me until I nearly ripped, taking me two at a time, as they saw how severe the pain was that way.
One after another, and I counted seven, in my delirium.
In my mind I called for my Nazgul, uselessly.
But they did not come.
At last I could scream no more, and they were spent, and weary of me.
It was time to die, I knew then, and I passed out, my only escape.
I did not want to see.
I knew no more until I opened my eyes and saw a venerable and wise face looking intently at me, eyes bright with compassion and concern.
It was ..the Walker in the Wood.
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.