Tolkien´s characters don´t belong to me, but they will never leave me.

Thanks to Rosie26 for her support and encouragement.

The Nightmares of Master Samwise

Sam awoke at dawn with a strange feeling but he was too drowsy to be concerned with it and he turned round and tried to sleep again. His thoughts began to fade away, but then he started again because he heard a strange noise. Carefully he got out of his bed not wanting to wake Rosie, who lay curled by his side, smiling in her sleep.

He left their bedroom and went into the kitchen, where the strange noise had come from. The first thing he saw, was a bowl, lying in pieces on the floor. And he saw one of the kittens, which was licking the rest of the baby´s mash from the bowl. Sam laughed - it was such a cute sight! And he also laughed at his own silliness, for having been scared by his own cat. He decided to tidy up later and returned to bed.

Rosie hadn´t moved and he lay down and closed his eyes. He loved the moment before falling asleep, being half-conscious and without worries. Finally he completely dozed – and then awoke with dismay once more. He sighed: so he had returned - after a break of almost three years – Gollum had visited him again in his dreams.

He had never told anyone about his nightmares. Samwise Gamgee always took care of others, especially Frodo and he would never complain about his own worries. The dreams came to him following their return to the Shire, but at first he only saw two glowing lights in the darkness. Later he heard the familiar hissing and in the end he relived again and again those horrible scenes, when Gollum tried to throttle his master to reclaim the Ring. Sam could not feel even the tiniest scrap of pity for the creature - he only felt hot with flaming wrath and hatred, when he thought about the treacherous villain and the harm he had done to his master.

In some dreams Sam fought Shelob again and he awoke with his face wet all over when he relived the moment he found Frodo lifeless after the huge spider had stung him. Night after night he considered what would have happened if he had surrendered to temptation and had killed Gollum in Emyl Muin. His mind spun, and he was shivering and trembling, but of course he never came to a conclusion.

In the end he was scared by the nightfall because he knew that he would go to bed soon. He tried to stay awake as he had done during the endless darkness in Mordor and he sneaked through the house like a ghost, but he couldn´t fight the weariness all the time. Finally he dozed for some hours only to be pursued again by the tormenting memories. During the day he felt exhausted and depressed, but he hid his feelings behind a merry surface. No-one, Frodo least of all, should notice what he was going through.

Eventually he lost his appetite - more than a worrying symptom for a Hobbit - because the worst nightmare of all plagued him and attacked his mental and emotional sanity: the memory of his master´s torture. His nice and gentle master, who increasingly changed under the powerful influence of the Ring, till Sam could hardly recognize him. The Ring was finally destroyed and Gollum had died, but the quest has left its traces on Frodo´s physical and spiritual health. Frodo tried not to show his pain, but Sam couldn´t be deceived. His master still longed for the Ring and he was tormented by the knowledge that it was beyond his reach forever. Frodo refused to talk about it and he tried to ignore the scars that the Morgul blade and Shelob´s sting had left and live a normal Hobbit´s life.

Sam had carried the Ring only for a very short time and used it briefly to save his master from the Orcs. A hundred times he had looked at his index finger and had made sure that nothing could be seen, but he still felt a slight pain where the Ring had been for some minutes.

Sam´s nightmares had completely vanished since he married Rosie, the love of his life. He wondered why they had returned to him last night and hoped that this was an exception. He looked at sleeping Rosie. How beautiful she was! She was a wonderful woman and he would have done anything to make her happy. Sam heard the children awaking and swept away his worries. Soon he would have his family around and he was needed.

The following night Sam dreamt that he had killed Gollum on the slope of Mount Doom. Then he saw Frodo standing at the brink of the Crack of Doom deciding to keep the Ring for himself. Middle-Earth was in danger and Sauron´s victory close at hand - he approached his master...he had no other choice...he did the unthinkable...and pushed him... He awoke with a cry and stared into the dark during the rest of the night. He wished for nothing but peace and a calm life with his family.

The baby started to cry. Rosie still slept and Sam got up. He felt dizzy and his head ached because of his lack of sleep after the worst dream he ever had. After some moments he regained his composure and went to the cradle to bring the baby to Rosie. He stroked the little head gently and took his son into his arms, mumuring soothing words. The baby smiled at him, but Sam knew that he was hungry. He couldn´t avoid waking Rosie, so he kissed her on her cheek and tickled her nose. Rosie stirred and opened her eyes.

"Thank you, darling", she said and stretched her arms to take the baby. "Now it´s time for breakfast", Sam said to his son and lay him aside his mother. Soon the baby found his mother´s breast and drank eagerly with large gulps. Sam watched this peaceful scene for some minutes and swore to himself not to say a word to Rosie about his dreams. He wondered why they had returned - it had something to do with his master – was he ill again?

Later they had tea together and Sam realised that Frodo was even more pale than usual. His hands were slightly trembling as he held his cup. "Don´t you feel well, Mr. Frodo?"Sam asked. Frodo couldn´t look straight into Sam´s eyes, when he answered: "I´m fine, Sam."

After a while he said: "Bilbo and Gandalf are going to sail to the Undying Lands. Tomorrow I will set out to accompany them to the Grey Havens. Merry and Pippin will come too. Will you come with us to say farewell?"

Suddenly a dark foreboding befell Sam and he knew that something was going to happen that would affect him forever.