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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 Star-glass wreaks its greatest damage yet …

A double-Droubble and a half (450 words)

Chapter Thirteen: Injury

Within the Sammath Naur, a macabre orchestra of sound assaulted Sam as he lay quivering in fright upon the ground. Ring-Frodo's high-pitched wails cut him to the bone; the screeching of Nazgūl pierced his heart as they writhed in impotent rage upon their steeds; and always the same hateful shrieks echoed through his mind as the One Ring voiced its fury:


Within seconds, there was a deep rumble from outside the chamber. Rock began to vibrate beneath him as the rumble grew to a roar that seemed to sweep steadily inwards like a dark wave of malice.

And with its arrival a new voice rose above the cacophony.


Though he had never heard it before, Sam knew there was but one being with the power to shake the earth thus …

The Dark Lord Sauron!

Their master's ire drove the seething Nazgūl to new heights of rage and, incredibly, their voices rose as one, bouncing off the rocky walls of the chamber until they shook; drowning out the roar of fire until Sam thought he might go mad.

"Move, Samwise! Move!" he urged himself, terrified that their master's voice would break whatever spell the Star-glass had inadvertently cast upon the Nazgūl. With shaking limbs, he pulled himself to his feet.

As one, the Riders locked on the movement, their cowled heads following every step as Sam stumbled backwards away from them.

"Frodo! Frodo!" he yelled, trying to locate his stricken friend over the terrible din. He could feel the eyes of the Black Riders boring into his back as surely as he heard their unearthly screeches calling out his name, and it terrified him. With hands stretching blindly before him, Sam staggered unsteadily across the rumbling ground. But before he could locate his master …


Dread clutched his heart. He knew that voice!

"Mr Frodo! You have to take it off. Destroy it! Do it now!"

"NO! My Precious!"

The air before him seemed to shimmer and dance, whirling on one spot not four feet away as if yearning to take shape.

A hobbit shape.

Sam's eyes widened incredulously when it coalesced into a familiar form and, with one final, ghastly shriek, a body appeared from thin air and crashed to the ground.


The air stilled: chants and shrieks and dark accusations - all fell away as every eye within the chamber landed upon the sobbing hobbit clutching at the smoking ruin of his finger. And lying innocently at his side, tarnished, yet still whole …

The One Ring.

Seeing it freed from torment, the spell on the Nazgūl fell asunder and, with a screech of triumph, they made their move …


Author's Note: I have tried to determine if the Eye of Sauron was capable of (even limited) vocalisations, but have been unable to do so. I believe it can communicate telepathically with the Nazgūl, and that is my validation for its knowledge of Sam's name; but blast! if I can find anything to verify if it is capable of actual speech. So I'll just have to hope it is, and use it thus, and pray it doesn't come over as 'movie-verse' (which I always avoid).

Also, I think we can pretty much forget the 'drabble' chapters I had hoped to include in this fic. I just can't seem to nail anything respectable under 300 words …

Kara's Aunty ;)

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