To Sam

By Talking Hawk

Author's Note: I took some artistic license in this fanfic, as you shall see. After Frodo awakens after being poisoned by the spider in The Two Towers, as opposed to waking up in the tower, he wakes up in the forest. Please don't send me e-mails telling me I'm factually inaccurate; just realize that it's a fictional story about Lord of the Rings written by a fellow fan. Enjoy.

The dark forest crowds around me and the frosty air threatens to reach its bitter hand down my throat and take the breath out of me. I trudge through the forest, the mud intermingling with my feet hairs. I bend over as I walk, trying to shield my body from the frigid wind, bits of spider web still hanging from my coat sleeves.

The tall trees gave me unforgiving glares, praying to the god of the forest to mercilessly swallow me up in the night. I closed my eyes, trying to stop the tears from falling. I couldn't care less about the unsympathetic spirit of the woods, but being without you, my friend, the journey is all the more painful. The full meaning of Galadriel's words finally hit me. "To be a ring bearer means to be alone." Now, I am truly alone, for you are no longer in the mortal realm.

I met you decades ago, which merely seem like moments ago. Hobbiton was in an uproar, for it was the first birth in quite awhile. The other men, including my own father were crowding around your father. He received enthusiastic pats on the back, and was handed a mug of ale. The women ran in and out of the house, carrying towels and other labor things. The other children my age didn't give much attention to the pandemonium at the Gamgee house; they were too busy playing with a ball out on the grassy hills.

I was pretty curious about the whole event, actually. My parents had talked about the event for weeks in advance, because my mother was going to be helping the village midwife. She would say, tapping my nose, "You know, I'm probably not going to have another one of these." Another one of what?

Out of the house, a baby's voice started wailing, and everyone became silent. I took this opportunity to squeeze past a lady through the doorway. After a few minutes, I was able to pinpoint the crying to an upstairs room. When I walked into the room, the father was there, holding a clothed baby I have never seen before. "Who's that?" I asked my mother, who was cleaning up around the bed.

"That's their new little baby, Sam," my mother said tenderly, touched by the scene. I nodded my head, though I didn't quite understand. She hadn't told me about the birds and the bees yet.

"Can I hold it-erm, him?" I asked curiously. The father looked at his wife, who gave him a reassuring nod. Reluctantly, he put the newborn baby into my arms. As my mother instructed, I made sure my arm supported the baby's curly-haired head.

You looked up into my eyes and laughed. I didn't know what you thought was so funny, but I looked up at your parents and laughed too. I looked back down at you and said, "So, you're Sam? My name's Frodo."

About five years later, I was walking through the village to my Uncle Bilbo's house with a shovel on my shoulder. I trotted through the nearly empty street, without a care in the world. "Mr. Frodo!" a youthful voice cried out. I turned around, and a younger version of yourself stood in the middle of the road, a zealous look on your face.

"What are you doing?"

"I'm goin' gardening." I paused for a moment then asked, "Would you like to come?"

You nodded excitedly, took my hand, and pulled me down the path quicker than I initially had walked. When we got to Bilbo's, I started pulling up the weeds beneath the windows. You followed suit, but not being able to tell the difference between a weed and a flower, you began pulling up the tulips too.

I was just about to tell you to stop, but I bit my lip. I didn't want to hurt your tender feelings, so I let you continue about your business. A few hours later, I announced that it was about time you got back home, and waved fondly goodbye. I smiled, and when he had walked down the path a ways, I went to work replanting the flowers

Bilbo came out on the porch, and gave me a questioning look. I looked up at him and smiled. "Sam's thorough in his work." "I see," Bilbo laughed. "He's a good kid," I said, continuing. "Yes, I know."

To say the least, you DID get better at gardening. So good, in fact, that I insisted that you become my gardener – for a living. In years since, our relationship bloomed into the best friendship that a hobbit – or any manner of living creature – could ever ask for. That's why I now grieve for you so earnestly. You're the best friend I've ever had, or ever could have. I don't think I can ever say goodbye, but maybe I'll be fortunate enough that it'll just be a "see you later."