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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: Orodruin explodes and the hobbits race for their lives …

A double-Droubble and a half (450 words)

Chapter Seventeen: Deliverance

Sam raced down the shaking mountain as the crown of Mount Doom shattered, shooting lava hundreds of metres high in a deadly fountain of fire, rock and ash that reached up towards the blackened sky before tumbling back to earth in terrible wrath. An angry red river spurted from the dark doorway of Sammath Naur; it ran down the mountain, sweeping rock, slag and stone along with it, and burning all in its path.

Carried by little more than sheer determination to see his master out of danger, the gardener laboured to keep one step ahead of his new adversary; leaping, dodging, running, running, running.

"Get off the path!" yelled Frodo frantically. "It's following the path!"

With a great leap, Sam sprang from Sauron's Road onto a narrow ledge that ran along the cliff-side. He followed it along its length for fifty yards before it petered into nothingness, leaving them stranded at the side of the shaking mountain. Spotting a jutting rock ten feet down he gripped Frodo's arm tightly.

"Hold on now, sir. We're going to have to jump for it."

Frodo hooked his legs firmly under Sam's arms and the gardener leaped the distance onto flat rock. The force jarred their bodies, and Frodo slipped from his back onto the boulder. Sam sank to his knees beside him and they huddled together, exhausted and breathless, while they watched the ruination of Mordor.

And mighty that ruin was. Thirty miles to their east, the Tower of Barad-dúr came crashing down to earth, sending smoke and steam billowing and hissing into the air before they, too, smote themselves upon land. A terrible rumble issued from the wasteland of Gorgoroth, rising to a deafening crash and roar; the earth shook as the plain heaved and cracked.

Orodruin reeled. More fire belched from its summit, and the skies burst with thunder and lightning before disgorging their contents in a heavy black rain which whipped and lashed at craters, fissures and hobbit skin alike.

"It's the end of the world," gasped Sam dazedly.

"But we face it together, my dear Sam."

The gardener dragged his gaze from the destruction ahead and settled it upon his master's face instead. Clear bright orbs locked on his brown ones and Sam, though dizzy and fatigued, rejoiced to see his friend free of the Ring's influence.

"You're back!" he croaked.

Frodo smiled wanly. "Yes, Sam. I'm back."

But his joy receded when Sam caught sight of Frodo's maimed hand. "I'm sorry, sir."

Fingers touched Sam's ravaged wrist. "As am I."

And as the world around them screamed in fury, two small hobbits huddled together, arms entwined, foreheads touching, and eyes closed, before darkness finally claimed them both.

THE END

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Author's Note: Some text lifted from The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, Book Six, Chapter 3: Mount Doom.

Yes! Done and dusted, folks. Hope it's been as much fun for you as it has been for me. There will be a sequel, but not for a while, and definitely not in any form of drabbles, which I'm obviously rubbish at. It's prose pour moi from henceforth. Prose, prose, prose!

Thanks to all for reading, and especially to those of you who left reviews!

Kara's Aunty ;)





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