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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: The calm before the storm …

A Trabble (300 words)

Chapter Seven: Anticipation

Churning, burning, turning …

Was that the fiery fury of Lake Doom in the chasm below, sensing the pivotal battle playing out on the precipice above? Did it perceive the presence of that One terrible child of its own creation? Did it yearn once again to hold its offspring in a warm caress, as any mother would her babe? Did it realise that in doing so, it would silence that child forever?

Or was the motion naught more than the protestations of one shrivelled hobbit stomach, more queasy now with the thought of what its owner must do than it had ever been with lack of food these long days past?

Smoke clouds swirled in hedonistic delight around the Sammath Naur, thrilling as much in the deadly confrontation above as in the fiery lake below. Thick plumes stung his abused throat as Sam staggered towards the traitorous pool of blood that dripped from the crook of Ring-Frodo’s knee. Ash settled on the wound at his temple; burning, mingling, and ran thereafter in a river of dark gore down his face. It struck at the deep laceration running up his abdomen and chest; biting, clawing, searing its way through parted flesh and settling into the wound below.

But the pain it caused was nothing compared to that inflicted by the gasps of agony from the invisible figure ahead. Sam could almost see him clutching desperately at his ruined knee and willing the flesh to knit together once more.

Yet who was it that cried? Sam’s beloved master, come to himself once more, only to find himself enveloped by the terrible pain his servant had caused him? Or Ring-Frodo, incandescent with rage that his leg would not support him enough to flee before the next assault?

He would know soon enough …

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