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Thoughts

Section XCVI-Just a Dream

Even sleep does not afford me any escape from the Quest. My dreams are haunted by shadows of the past... and a darkness... I fear... a dark foretelling of what yet may come.

Dear Sam, how he worries for me... Only this morning, I woke with a frightful start. I regret I must have disturbed his sleep as well, for he tells me I cried out Gandalf’s name.

He wishes I would share with him the disquieting images...

Such a fine, solid sort of hobbit he is... his Rosie would be proud... He does not know the horror touching my mind and heart, nor should he, not ever. Is this not why I continue? To spare him, and all I love, from the encroaching nightmare? He believes if I speak of it, the pain might diminish...

But how? How could I explain such a dream? Was it a dream at all? Or simple memory rendered more vivid in sleep?

The images were easily recognizable. We stood the far side of the Bridge of Khazad-Dûm, glancing back. Almost free...

Gandalf crossed last, but stopped, part way. Turning, he forbade the onslaught of the Balrog, the beastly creature of smoke and flame. Gandalf, the Grey, my old friend, allowed us to escape the depths of Moria. But we were already safe... were we not? Why did he linger?

It matters not, now...

It was a horrific battle to behold. How could even a wizard evade such a monster? Yet, I did not doubt he could, or mayhap it is closer to the truth to say I dared not believe otherwise.

Then the victory appeared well in hand, for remarkably only a section of the bridge collapsed, and the Balrog began to fall into the chasm. I thought I might breathe again... but no...

Suddenly, the fiery whip snaked up... Even now, I would close my eyes to banish the sight, but it does not vanquish the image... it only burns more bright and terrible...

And then they were falling and falling and falling...

Hope flared in my heart, for Gandalf did not seem lost, not at all... he fought the beast as they fell... mayhap he would conquer after all...

But it was a dream... just a dream...

No... no dreams for me now, only nightmares. Shall this torment never cease?

Immediately, I regret the question, for It is far too willing to answer me, and Its answers ever chill my heart.

I glance about me gloomily. Still another day shall be spent wandering in the Emyn Muil. Do these rocks never end?