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(Written for Great Tales, challenge 202: "love for a thing", February 2013)
"Oh my lovely precious!" Sméagol sat upon the ground, his eyes fixed on the beautiful thing in the palm of his hand. He ran his fingers over it, and held it up to look through its perfect golden circle. "You're mine," he crooned, "you're mine!"
He lost track of time as he caressed his beautiful new present--his birthday present! It came to him on his birthday, it was meant to be his present. It sang to him in a low whisper, sang his name, told him how wonderful he was, told him of the power it would give him to have everything he wanted. Its song was sweet and seductive.
But the gleam of sunlight glittering off the gold began to fade, and Sméagol looked round to realise he had been sitting there for hours. The Sun was setting.
The Sun. She'd seen it all, she had. He glanced over to the body that lay upon the ground next to him, and for a brief instant he felt a wave of both grief and terror pass up his spine, his heart pounded, his stomach burned. But then he heard the whispers again. "Yes, you're right," he muttered. "Not my fault. Not my fault!"
Déagol didn't look like himself anymore. It wasn't a real person now. It was just cold flesh. But something had to be done. He puzzled for a moment, and then got up and began to find some good-sized stones. He loaded them in the pockets. But what if the clothes came off? After a moment's thought, he took some of the fishing line, and carefully wound it around and around. Then he took it by the heels to the little boat. He put it in the boat. Then he found a good sized rock. He hopped into the boat and pushed off and paddled into the middle of the river. Taking the rock, he smashed a hole in the bottom of the boat, then dove out and swam to the bank.
"Into the water, and down it will sink," he said, and he watched it do just that. When no more bubbles rose to the surface, he sighed and turned his back.
He put his hand into his pocket and took out his treasure. "You are so beautiful, my love. I will never love anything more than you."
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