Bits and ficlets by Nath

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Author's Chapter Notes:

Originally written for the January 2015 Gfic Challlenge

Theme: June 2014, Bunny Hutch
Elements: Challenge: Third Age, Ring War: Resting after a day's journey in the Dead Marshes, Sam and Frodo discuss the nature of the marsh (libbstarz)

Summary: Sam has some ideas about the Dead Marshes


I'm glad to be out of there, Sam thought as he turned to look behind. Frodo had called a rest and had sat down to eat a bite.

It was close to a day since the flying Wraith had passed overhead and they had left the Dead Marshes. To Sam's mind, the terrain had not improved, even if they were now on solid ground again. All that morning they had followed Gollum through a barren wasteland, with the mountains that bordered the Black Land ever drawing closer.

I suppose this is better than those Marshes, even if my nose still won't believe we've actually left them behind. He rubbed at a stubborn mud stain on his sleeve.

"Sam, sit down and take some rest as well." Frodo sounded almost stern, and continued to look at him until he did sit down. "That's better," he said. "My neck hurt looking up at you like that. But something's bothering you."

"It's nothing," Sam mumbled.

"It's not nothing if it has you frowning like that," Frodo replied. "Come on, out with it."

"I've been thinking some more about those Marshes, Mr. Frodo. The people we saw, I don't think were they real, that you could touch them, I mean. The battle Gollum said happened here was a very long time ago; there can't be whole bodies still in the water, can there?"

"I don't know," Frodo said. "It's unlikely that what we saw was real; I can't imagine there would be more than bones left after three thousand years. Yet we did see something …" He was silent for some time before he went on. "The lights and flames we saw burning over the water I might even say were natural – mere will-o'-the-wisps – if it hadn't been for the faces."

"We might have imagined them," Sam considered, "except that Gollum says he has seen them before." And tried to touch them, he added silently, and I shudder to think why. "Could the Marshes be like the Barrow-downs?"

"What do you mean, Sam?" Frodo asked.

"Well… the wights in the Barrow-downs; those were not the people who were buried there, but spirits that Strider said were sent by the…the Witch-King of Angmar. Perhaps the faces we saw back in the Marshes were that kind of wight as well, but sent from Mordor?"

Frodo nodded. "You may be right, Sam."

"I hope I am," Sam replied. Frodo laughed and Sam blushed as he went on, "Not because I want to be right. But it would be awful if all those Men and Elves who fought so bravely against the Enemy were trapped in there."

Frodo shivered. "Yes, that would be awful, and I hope you're right too. Though the arm of the Enemy is long, and I certainly don't know what he would have been capable of then."

He did not say more, but in thought Sam added, when he still had It.

They sat in silence for a few more minutes before Frodo got up again. "We'd best be going on."

Sam sighed as he followed suit. And the sooner we're done, the better.




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