The air in his lungs burned as he dove even deeper. In a reflex he closed his hand in a fist around the Ring.
Making sure the Ring was secure on his finger, he scrambled on to the western shore of the Great River, automatically checking for enemies. Where was he? The current had taken him further than he thought it would.
Evading the Orcs he knew were there, he at last collapsed to his knees in exhaustion. He had escaped, but at what price? Elendur, Aratan, Ciryon; lost to his arrogant folly. Weregild, he had said, weregild the Ring, now drenched in the blood of his sons, would be for his father and his brother. Precious, he had called it; paid for twice-over now in what was more precious than any gold could ever be. He should have listened to Elrond and Círdan.
He nearly turned around to fling the Ring into the river, but that would be folly compounded. Should he go on to Imladris? He already knew Elrond's counsel.
With a strangled sound halfway between a sigh and a sob, Isildur, High King of Arnor and Gondor, turned south and started the journey back to Mount Doom.
Double drabble; originally written for the May 2008 Birthday Workshop for Dwimordene's birthday.
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.