I do not own The Lord of the Rings or any of the characters

This is the start of my version of the fourth book of The Lord of the Rings. Although this story may not follow the Appendixes in the back of Return of the King, I tried to keep as close to the story as I could. Please let me know what you think, ideas and constructive critisism are always appreciated.

Mount Doom. A complete wreckage, a pile of crumbled rocks billowing with thick clouds of black, poisonous gases. The whole place is beyond repair - deserted, ugly and silent, reeking of the evil things that came to pass only two years before.

But contrary to what the people of Gondor believe and indeed spread throughout the Middle Earth, the barren wasteland of Mordor is not completely deserted, and neither is it entirely silent.

Amidst the rubble, in a cave that was crafted from the fragmented boulders, a creature still dwells. It spends its days hunched up in the pitch darkness of its repulsive home, unhealthily thin with no company except for the muddled thoughts that spin in its decaying mind.

It sits, its long, lank hair hanging like rat tails around its hideous face so that only the creature's large, bulbous eyes are visible.

The creature turns something over and over in its long, thin fingers. The something is golden, glinting in the dim light that filters through the cracks in the rocks.

If anyone had been happening to pass through Mordor on that particular night, the eighth of April, the fourteenth after New Year,and they had walked through the place where not long ago the cracks of doom had proudly stood, they would have heard the creature mutter two, single words,

"My...precious..."

And hundreds of miles away, lying in his cabin on a tall and beautiful ship, the hobbit Frodo Baggins awoke from a restless sleep with a cry.

***

To Samwise Gamgee, the Shire was looking better than he'd seen it for many years. He wandered through the garden of Bag End, proudly inspecting the fox gloves he had planted in honour of his master's depart, nearly two weeks ago.

The garden was always calming to Sam, and he was seeking calm that morning, for he had suffered a uneasy night.

His dreams had been plagued with thoughts of his master, for some reason unknown to him.

Still plainly in his mind Sam could see how Frodo had appeared in his dream, shaking, white and sweating as if just awoken from a nightmare, and in his head Sam could hear a voice, though he could not distinguish the words. The voice was hissing and low, and though Sam didn't want to think of it, he knew the voice belonged to Gollum.

Shaking his head as if to clear his thoughts, Sam moved to another part of the garden. He was just bending down to pull up a weed that was sprouting in the flower bed when his ears detected hoof beats on the path beside his garden.

A puzzled expression on his face, Sam peered over his fence and saw that a tall palamino steed was approaching, with a rider that seemed terribly familiar to Sam. The horse was travelling at great speed and soon the rider was almost beside Sam, and the hobbit gave a cry of recognition

"Well, bless me!" Sam exclaimed, running to meet the rider as he dismounted, "Legolas! Why, it's been months!"

The fair haired elf smiled, "Longer than that Master Gamgee, nearly two years to be precise!"

He embraced the hobbit and then held him at arm's length to look him over,

"You are well I see!"

"Oh very, Sir," Sam replied with a smile, "Been keeping busy since my master left. You knew of his departure of course?"

"Yes, and that is partly why I am here Sam," Legolas told him, his expression changing to a frown, "But before I tell my tale, I would like to sit down in the warmth. For I have ridden hard from Rivendell and I am weary."

Sam nodded apologetically,

"Of course, where are my manners? Come in, come in, I'll tell Rosie to put the tea on..."

Next chapter up soon