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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: Will the Light of Eärendil be enough to help Sam free Frodo from the One Ring’s thrall ..?

A double-Droubble and a half (450 words)

Chapter Twelve: Insult

For a moment, it was as if nothing had happened. Sam’s heart sank all the way to his toes as Ring-Frodo cried out in protest and jerked his hand free to punch at his ear.

Reeling, he fell to the ground. His vision swam, and the oncoming figures of the Nazgűl appeared to the gardener as no more than dark blurs hurtling through air, their manic hisses reaching into his ears as if through a deep lake of foul water.

Sam had failed.

He had failed his master, he had failed Gandalf and he had failed Mr Bilbo. Samwise the Fool was no match for the power of the One Ring. Now he would die; though whether before or after Ring-Frodo depended entirely on whether the Dark Lord’s servants reached him first …

Just as that thought faded from his mind, and as he was determining whether or not he had the strength to rob them of this pleasure by grabbing Ring-Frodo by the waist and taking them both over the edge of the precipice before it was too late, it happened.

A slow, gurgling wail began to rise from behind the gardener.


The wails carried above the loud whooshing of swirling ash and the screeches and hisses of beasts and Riders alike. As the blurs of the Nazgűl came slowly into focus, Sam could see that they had stopped dead in their tracks and were beginning to sway - no, writhe on their terrible mounts.

Was his desperate gamble paying off? Had the Lady Elbereth heard his prayer after all?

Hope flared from spark into roaring flame as the wails increased: higher and higher they rose, into a shrill staccato that stung his ears worse than anything he had ever heard in his life.

Gamgee! screeched a voice in his mind, and Sam knew its hateful touch instantly.

The Ring.

GAMGEE! it screamed over and over while Ring-Frodo’s wails escalated to an almost unbearable pitch. Shaking with fright, Sam put his hands to his ears in a futile attempt to shut out the terrible sounds of his master‘s pain, but they could not still the accusatory voice shrieking in his mind.


The chant was soon taken up by the Nazgűl:


Black Riders writhed on steeds, alternately clutching at their right hands and clawing at their heads as they screamed. No move was made now to approach the hobbits, the Nazgűl rendered seemingly immobile by whatever injury the Water of Light had inflicted upon the Ring; but their cries rose in kind with Ring-Frodo’s wails - terrible ululations that combined with the stricken hobbit’s into a dark symphony of disbelief, pain and …



Author’s Note: A nod to Larner, from whom I pinched the phrase ‘Water of Light’. Hope you don’t mind …

Crikey, this was the fastest chapter I’ve ever whipped up! Hope the quality hasn’t suffered as a result, but I just couldn’t bear to keep my faithful reviewers and readers hanging on.

Well, not too much, anyway!

Kara’s Aunty ;)

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