By Amanda Pizzolatto
Word Count: 2752
Summary: Having accompanied Frodo and Sam to Mount Doom, Pearl Took gives her version of the end of the tale.
Chapter 1: The End of All Things
This was it, this was the end of the line, and we had finally made it. Why was he hesitating?
“Frodo?” He turned, and our eyes locked. Something was wrong, very wrong.
“I’m here,” he said, but the way he said it triggered a sensor in my head that said, ‘not for long’. He turned back to the precipice dangling over the river of fire.
“What are you waiting for, throw it into the fire!” Sam shouted.
I inched forward; Frodo was looking at the ring rather hard, as if fighting with it for control of his mind. Despite the heat bouncing off the walls, I shivered. How could somebody make something so malicious, so controlling? But somebody did, and it was taking Frodo from me. If Frodo couldn’t fight the ring any longer, I would fight it for him. He turned around, and I could see in his eyes when he looked at me, the ring had all but won. He really was trying, if only just for my sake, but he was weakening, that much I knew, and losing fast.
I had to do something, say something, but when I opened my mouth, nothing came out. What could I say that would banish all thought of the ring? What could I do? This was Frodo’s burden, Frodo’s battle, and nothing Sam or I did before ever deterred him from his duty. He would see it done, even if it cost him his life, an option I knew was playing through his head, an option I refused to consider. Frodo glanced at Sam then, and I knew I had to do something quick.
“What are you waiting for?” muttered Sam; the poor fellow was finally catching on to what I had figured out.
A strange smile curled on Frodo’s lips, frightening me, and no doubt Sam. “The ring is mine,” he stated, pulling the ring off the chain. I watched in horror as the piece got closer to his finger.
“No!” screamed Sam and I in unison, but I acted.
I don’t why or how I even did it without knocking both Frodo and myself into the lava, but I ran up to him and kissed him. He gasped when I released him, but I didn’t stop to think about it and kissed him again.
“You are not going to lose to this thing,” I said, “do you hear me? You are not going to lose. If you must, look at me as you let go.”
“Pearl . . .”
I could feel the tears streaming down my face. “You are not going to lose; we’ll defeat this thing, together.” The next thing I knew, a pair of hands wrapped around my throat and began to squeeze.
“No! Smeagol! Let her go!”
“Not until Master gives us Precious!”
With a cry, Frodo disappeared and the hands around my throat came off me. I fell to the ground, choking, my vision becoming blurry. I could hear Frodo and Gollum struggling, but my body refused to move. I could barely even open my eyes; my mouth was busy getting air for my lungs.
Suddenly, I heard Frodo cry out in pain, and my heart just about stopped. I tried to see what had happened, but my vision was only just starting to clear up, so I had to settle for listening. I could hear Frodo still gasping in pain and Gollum cheering; he apparently got the ring. I was able to see a little bit better at that moment and I gasped with horror at what I saw. Gollum had bitten off Frodo’s finger!
“Frodo!” I gasped as I reached for him, but he had already risen and was walking towards Gollum. “No, don’t!”
But Frodo didn’t hear me and began to fight again with Gollum. My vision started to get blurry again, and I had to struggle to keep from falling asleep right then and there. I could still hear the battle, but my mind wasn’t thinking straight.
“No, please, stop! Sam, h-help!” I tried to rise, but I couldn’t get my legs to work. I felt a pair of arms steady me and help me into a sitting position.
“Stay here, Miss Pearl, I’ll help him!”
I could sense more than see Sam moving towards the battle. I paused; I couldn’t hear a struggle anymore. “Give me your hand!” I cried out in fear and worry. “Don’t let go. Reach!” I finally got up on my legs, only to be met by two pairs of arms.
“Let’s go, Pearl.”
I nodded, overjoyed that Frodo was back in our midst. With him between us, we ran out as fast as we could, the lava not far behind. We made it to a rock ledge, the lava surrounding us not long afterwards.
“It’s over. It’s done,” Frodo quietly said.
“Yes, Mr. Frodo, it’s done.”
Frodo smiled, and tears sprang to my eyes; we got him back, just like I told him we would. The ground shook beneath us, causing us to go higher on the ledge. Frodo lay down and closed his eyes, remembering the Shire while I tore off a piece of my skirt to tend to his finger.
“Rosie Cotton with ribbons in her hair,” muttered Sam.
Frodo opened his eyes and glanced at me before turning his eyes on Sam.
“If there was ever a girl I was to marry,” Sam said, “it would have been her.”
Slowly Frodo sat up and put an arm around his weeping friend. “I’m glad you’re with me, Samwise Gamgee, here, at the end of all things.”
He turned to me and wrapped his other arm around me. “And I’m glad you’re here, too, Pearl Took, though I also wish you were far away from here.”
I could only smile at him, for the next thing I remember was that I had blacked out.