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The Cusp of Victory  by Kara's Aunty

Disclaimer: Lord of the Rings is owned by J.R.R. Tolkien, his family, New Line cinema, etc. I have written this for my own enjoyment.

Summary: Gollum‘s death leaves Sam shaken.

A double-Droubble (400 words)

Chapter Two: Aftermath

Sam’s eyes remained fixed on the haggard figure lying crumpled at his feet. Slowly, he pulled his blade from the thin, still chest, fighting nausea when it disturbed hands clasped uselessly over the fatal wound which he had inflicted. Light was forever dimmed from Gollum’s lamp-like eyes, though shock and disbelief lingered yet like a lover’s kiss on his slackened jaw.

Death had caught the feral creature by surprise.

Although the confrontation was over, Sam’s heart still hammered frantically in his chest: thump-thump, thump-thump! It was so loud, that he half-expected the noise to draw the Eye’s gaze from the north and settle malevolently upon him, before all the orcs of Arda came rushing to rip him from the mountain-side and bring him forthwith to Barad-dúr. Or maybe the Dark Lord would send them Black Riders instead, all the better to hasten his interrogation and torture while he demanded his Precious.

Alarming thoughts indeed; though try as he might, Sam still couldn’t tear his eyes from the prone form of Gollum.

He should feel relieved that the murdering sneak was finally disposed of. What had Slinker ever brought his dear, tormented master other than tribulation and treachery? Had he lightened Frodo’s burden with tale or song? No! He’d weighed it down with lies and deceit! Had he offered Frodo the safest passage to lands so black, that no peaceable folks would think on them, let alone traverse them? No! He’d led his weary master up endless, wicked stairs and straight into the lair of a hobbit-eating spider!

A huge hobbit-eating spider!

He should feel relieved.

But he didn‘t.

For Slinker had not always been evil. There was a time when he had been little more than a simple, hobbit-like creature called Sméagol who lived by the river, delighting in sunshine and all growing things; who had been content with good food and family and laughter. And so he would have remained; living and dying in blissful ignorance of the horrors in the world, were it not for one unlucky fishing trip with his friend …

A sudden gust of wind blew chill round the mountain, pulling Sam from his shock. Setting his jaw, he wiped his sticky temple, then his bloody blade, and sheathed it.

“What’s done is done,” he whispered, turning on his heel and speeding up the rocky path. Sméagol was beyond his aid.

But Frodo was not.

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