Back next

Thoughts

Section LXVIII-Gandalf Lost

“Put me down. Put me down!”

The cold stone touches my feet, and a firm hand steadies me. Boromir’s voice cuts through the haze in my mind. He is reminding me, we are not yet free of this accursed place. As though mired in mud, one foot steps in front of the other. They finally move faster and faster, with an occasional gentle nudge of encouragement from behind.

I step from the dark of Moria into the cruel light of day. The sapphire sky and bright sun mock the night filling my heart. Close, so close, our escape mere moments away... No matter now... No matter...

I feel no warmth, only biting cold turning to numbness. The sun-warmed rocks beneath my feet, tell me I am still continuing to move forward, for from time to time my step finds some stray pebble, but there is no discomfort. Never knew I pain such as courses through me now...

A vast open land spreads before me, but I do not know if there are trees or bushes or grass. All I see, over and over and over, is my wise old friend battling the beast and then falling into the abyss after it...

What might I have done differently? Is there anything I could change to make it right? Was there another way not considered? What of the Gap of Rohan, as Boromir suggested? If that had been the way chosen, would Gandalf be with us still?

Some corner of my mind whispers, Gandalf endeavored to warn me, but I did not -- do not understand. Yet, we would not be here at all, but for me. If not for me, he would not be lost. What evil follows me, taking away those I hold dear?

I wander forward as darkness grasps my inner most thoughts and tears at my heart. He did not cry out when he fell, except to urge us on... It seemed almost as though he surrendered by choice, and let go...

Still, I scream his name in my mind. If only the great rushing in my ears could silence it.

If Gandalf, a great wizard, is now lost to the Balrog, a demon unable to strike fear in me as the Ring-wraiths do, and the eye -- the eye wreathed in flames... What hope have I against the power of Mordor?

I am certain now, I shall not return from the Quest. I may only hope against hope, mayhap by some odd bit of luck, I will at last be able to see the deed done, but I am not certain of even that, now.

Something stops me. What is it? My name... Someone is calling my name... Aragorn... Aragorn calls...

“Frodo!”

An unexpected effort is required to turn, and gaze back at the Ranger. I must meet his eyes. I feel one tear, followed by another, trickle down my cheek...