The Last Hobbit

That was when he first saw her: standing still, her bare feet hardly imprinting the velvet grass. She gazed out across the sea and the stars. Her brown eyes, shining with starlight, suddenly looked right at him. Frodo had never seen a more enchanting sight. She was clothed in a rich silk gown, the darkest of blues, edged with silver. Her hair fell in dark ripples to her waist, moving softly in the breeze. She was a young elf; only about 200 years old, or thirty in hobbit years, Frodo reckoned. But the fact was, no matter how many years she had lived for, she had never looked at Frodo before, and he was wishing she had kept it that way. He couldn't just stand there staring though. So he stepped out from the trees he'd been lurking under, and shyly called out a greeting in Elvish. She returned it, and then asked, "Why have you avoided me, my little friend?"

"I feared to speak with one so lovely," stammered Frodo.

"Be afraid no longer," said the elf. "Come, we shall talk." She beckoned him over. He came, slowly.

"I can see that you are sad, Frodo," she said.

"Yes I am, in fact," he answered shortly. "But I do not see how you can know this; I don't even know who you are."

"I am Miriel, and I can see things many others can't. I have aided many souls."

Frodo was slowly growing more comfortable. He dared to ask a question. "So you find people in need, and help them?" he queried.

"Most often the ones who seek me need more help than those who do not, even though they may not know it," Miriel advised. "I see that you have come to me with a heart full of sorrow and longing. Perhaps for someone or something to come. Please tell me, Frodo."

So Frodo told her. He told her about the growing feeling that had been troubling him so. He was worried; worried about an old friend whom he cared about deeply and longed to see. He knew that the friend would come to him, but he was worried that he something unexpected had happened. I mean, how long can a hobbit live, he asked himself. Frodo, of course, like everyone else in the Undying Lands, was immortal. But an ordinary hobbit wasn't, and didn't live forever. He sighed, and confessed to Miriel his deepest fear: Sam should have been here by now.

"I, too, fear that a dark fate has befallen the ship bearing your friend and others," said Miriel, and her starry eyes dimmed. "Come, let me show you something."

Frodo followed her along a hidden path that wound down the cliffside to the sandy shores below. There she took from behind a rock two objects. Frodo came closer to peer at them. One looked like part of a ship's sail; the other was made of white wood, and looked like part of an Elven ship's mast.

"I found these three days ago, washed up on the shore," Miriel said quietly.

Suddenly, Frodo wished with all his heart that he could do something, anything, to find his dear Sam.

"I wish also to find them, for I desire news of Middle-Earth, and of my brother, Gloren," Miriel said with passion. "That is why I have found a small ship to sail out and search for them. Lierdan the sailor has agreed to take me, but I will need your help, Frodo."

Frodo would be glad to go sailing, and said so. However, the elf needed a different kind of help.

"Frodo," she said, "I need for you to stand on the clifftops of Beregil's Point, and each night hold up your star-glass until I return. It will guide me."

Frodo took out the phial Galadriel had given him, and it glowed brilliantly. Inside it was the light of EƤrendil, most beloved star of the Elves.

With that, Miriel ran off along the shore and 'round the point, calling farewell behind her. Frodo stood looking out at the waves and the sparkling constellations. Then he turned away and began to climb up the cliffs.

***

The trees glittered with morning dew as Frodo woke. Rubbing his vivid blue eyes, he tried to figure out where he was. It turned out that he was hanging off the edge of a cliff. He quickly pulled back, and stood up. Then he remembered the happenings of the previous night. Well, he thought, off to Beregil's Point. Wherever that was.

***

Frodo had been marching for an hour when he first felt that someone was following him. He continued walking for a while before resting. Then, sitting on a tree trunk, he called out, "Is anyone there?"

"No, but Gandalf is," answered a white bearded man, coming up behind Frodo.

"Well, hello!" said Frodo, jumping up with delight. "Gandalf, could you tell me where Beregil's Point is?"

"Ah, I see you've been talking with Miriel," said Gandalf, his eyes twinkling. "Yes, Frodo, I am in fact on my way there now, and would be glad of some company."

So the two headed out, chatting merrily, and so for a while, Frodo forgot his loneliness.

***

For three nights now, Frodo had been holding his phial aloft 'til daybreak. This meant he had to sleep during the day. He wasn't alone though. Gandalf was there, with a dozen or so Elves from Rivendell and Lorien. They all sang songs or told tales throughout the night. Sometimes Frodo joined in, but usually he just sat there, holding his star-glass and dreaming. And waiting.

***

Five days later, Frodo and the four Elves that remained lay sleeping amongst the long grass. They were soon awakened by the sound of splashing. Frodo's heart leapt as he saw what was approaching. It was a small Elven boat, rowed slowly by many, many hands.

Behind it was being towed the saddest thing Frodo had ever laid eyes on. It was a grand Elven ship, shaped like a giant ivory swan. But it was hardly recognizable. The mast was broken halfway, ragged shreds of a lost sail still clinging. It was chipped, torn, and ravaged, sunken partly in the water. Covered from bow to stern with filth, Frodo thought it would never be white again.

The smaller ship reached the shore, and ground to a halt. Out jumped Lierdan, followed by Miriel. Then came others, many Elves of different ages and races.

Leaving the sailor to deal with the boat, Miriel ascended the stony path that lead along the cliff face, slowly rising. At the top, the Elves assembled. Their clothes were torn, their bodies streaked with dirt, and on some, blood. But they had made it.

The pounding of swift hooves announced the arrival of Gandalf, mounted atop the mighty Shadowfax. Less quickly came Elrond and Galadriel to view the company. Two Elves stepped forward, a cloth stretcher held between them.

On the cloth rested what many would take to be a child. This was a hobbit; the last hobbit to ever arrive in the Undying Lands. Beams of sunlight danced across his face as he slowly opened his eyes. The Elves helped him down onto the ground, where he stood silently, gazing around.

Frodo, recovering from shock, stepped forward and walked up to the hobbit. The hobbit gasped, wide-eyed. Then he cried "Mr. Frodo!" and ran up to him, and the two hobbits hugged each other. Both were crying.

"Oh, Sam," said Frodo softly, tears trickling from his dazzling blue eyes. " I'm so glad you made it."



THE END

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