A very sweet reviewer named Kitty Katty asked me if I could dramatize a movie scene.  It turned out to be a challenge… and great fun!  Thank you, Kitty Katty!  I enjoyed this, and I hope others enjoy reading it.

Several lines in this ficlet are from The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien.

DISCLAIMER:  Of course.  The characters don't belong to me, I just get to think about them day and night.  The scene is the brainchild of Peter Jackson; the hobbits belong, now and forever, to Professor Tolkien.

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AT THE BLACK GATE

Dramatization of a scene from the film "The Two Towers"

Crack!  One moment Sam was there, next to him, and the next, the boulder on which he had been perched cracked like a weathered branch and plummeted downward, taking the hobbit with him.  It happened so fast, Frodo couldn't even reach out for his friend before he had vanished.  Sam!

Sam would be found!  How could one of the thousands of soldiers below, or someone at that dreadful, inpenetrable gate, not see him?  Not since Weathertop had Frodo been so terrified, but to abandon Sam to certain capture was unthinkable.  Vaulting past Gollum, he threw himself down the gravelled slope trying to catch sight of where Sam had fallen.  He dared not call out, not with the marching troops so close.  So very close.  Had they seen him?  Frodo threw himself flat against the nearly vertical slope, sliding another few feet before coming to a stop, sharp bits of rock cutting into his hands and legs.  It was agonizing for any hobbit, able to move soundlessly through any terrain, to be making so much noise.

Frodo forced himself to continue, sliding all the way to the bottom.  Where was… there!  But even as he ran to Sam's side, on the edge of his vision he saw two soldiers detaching from the group and heading in their direction.  At least they would die together, Sam and he.

Sam tumbled downwards, unable to stop his downward slide.  The shattered boulder on which he had been lying flew past, missing him by inches, and fell with a thud to the bottom of the slope.  Caught in an avalanche, Sam finally came to a stop at the bottom of the slope, sunk deep in dirt and debris.  Dust rose in choking waves, but the crushing mass of rocks held him so tightly that he couldn't catch a full enough breath to even cough.  He struggled to free himself, but he knew there wouldn't be time.  Two of the soldiers had started towards where he was trapped, half buried and as-yet unseen.  Don't follow, Mr. Frodo, he thought desperately… don't…

Frodo stumbled to his friend's side and pulled at Sam's arms, lost his footing, slipped, tried again.  They were so close… it couldn't end here, it couldn't.  And suddenly he heard voices, faint yet clear… Pippin…

"Are these magic cloaks?"  asked Pippin.

"Leaf and branch, water and stone," answered the elf who fastened the cloaks about them, "they have the hue and beauty of all these things that we love… you will find them a great aid in keeping out of the sight of unfriendly eyes, whether you walk among the stones or the trees…"

"Lady, help us," Frodo whispered, and threw one arm around Sam, the other flinging his cloak over them both.  He willed himself to stay still, to quiet his frantic breathing, to hold the fabric motionless.  He wanted to close his eyes as the Men drew closer, but he was mesmerized by the sight of the heavy boots approaching, coming closer… stopping.  He could see the cruel blades fastened to the spears each man carried, could imagine the blade slicing down, just the briefest pain, and it would be over.  There would be no more hiding, no more terror-filled sleep… no more thirst and hunger, he could rest… it would be over, oh yes…  No.  It's the Ring, I won't listen.  "It wants to be found."  No.  Stay still, stay still, Sam…

Sam was growing dizzy from the weight of stones surrounding him, but he forced himself to stay conscious.  He concentrated not on the Men standing not two feet in front of them, but on Frodo's warm breath, the hand around his shoulders.  He wanted to leap up, draw his sword, and hold off the Men so Frodo could escape, but he couldn't move.  They could only wait.  Suddenly he felt Frodo's fingers clutch him more tightly… they were leaving!  The crunch of boots on gravel tapered off, faded away…

Frodo flung the cloak away and pulled at Sam with every ounce of strength he had left.  He felt his friend's trapped body shift, then suddenly he was free, scrambling out of the pile of debris, gasping for breath.  Frodo grabbed Sam and pulled them both to the safety of a nearby pile of boulders, where they collapsed, clinging to each other, trembling with fear and the shock of still being alive and uncaptured.  They were still free.

Not yet, Frodo whispered to the Ring, not yet.  You don't have me yet.  I'm still free.