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A New Day Will Come - Written By: Eeva
SUMMARY: Shortly after Aragorn’s coronation, Frodo falls ill…
CHARACTERS: Frodo Sam Merry Pippin Aragorn

There comes a moment in life when everything seems to be in vain...every little deed seems all wrong and all hope is lost. Life seems like one big story of old. It’s as Samwise Gamgee once said, “Sometimes you didn’t want to know the end. Because how could the end be happy?” How indeed? Sam had no idea how right he had been. Not so very long ago Frodo and Sam stood at the top of Mount Doom in Mordor, at the edge of desperation, unwilling to know how it would end. And now…it was suddenly over…the One Ring was no more…they were standing at the end. And yet…it was a completely new beginning after all…and nothing would ever be the same again…

So it was, at the turn of the tide, that at the gates of Minas Tirith trumpets sounded and people cheered. The Dark Lord was at last defeated and there was once again a king in Gondor! As Aragorn received his crown and turned to face the crowd, Frodo bowed low with his hand on his heart and quietly slinked away through the crowd. Although the sight of Aragorn standing there in all his glory was a joy to behold, Frodo still needed a moment of solitude…a moment to reflect on all the things that had happened during the year. And yet…he would much rather forget all about it, but every memory kept haunting him…and somehow he knew that they would never leave him alone again…

He wandered off a small bit towards the outskirts of a small forest. There he stopped for a moment. He closed his eyes and breathed the cool air, listening to the singing of the birds and the wind blowing through the trees. It was so quiet and calm now. He stood there for a long time lost deep in thought. All at once he could see a tall shadow coming up from behind him. Threatening memories of old suddenly came back to him and made him automatically clutch at a non-existent Ring around his neck and turn quickly around in fright. But before he could see who it was, he suddenly felt an indescribable pain in the wound on his shoulder. The only thing he was aware of was the pain…the horrible horrible pain…at last he could feel his feet give way and he fell to the ground unconscious.

As Sam was strolling around before the gates of the citadel together with Merry and Pippin, he suddenly thought of Frodo. But the thought was somehow alarming…he got the strange feeling that Frodo might be in trouble. He turned quickly around and shouted, “Merry! Pippin! Come with me, hurry!” and with that the three started to run as fast as they could towards the direction where Frodo had collapsed, with Merry and Pippin constantly exchanging confused looks.

“Mr. Frodo?!” cried Sam in shock as he stooped down beside Frodo’s small weak body. “What happened…?” whispered Pippin quietly. Then, a hand was laid on Sam’s shoulder which gave him a small fright. He looked up to see Aragorn standing there with a look of concern on his face, and before the hobbits could say anything, he spoke. “The threatening memories of all the things he has been through have come back to him. It was my own shadow that frightened him as I approached him. He must have imagined me as a shadow of a Nazgūl…” “What will happen to him?” asked Pippin in a whisper, for his voice had betrayed him. Trembling a little he reached out and took Merry’s hand…they all feared to hear the answer…”He is experiencing the same danger as he did on Weathertop. His wound is indeed perilous…I fear greatly that it will be fatal…”

Merry and Pippin could listen no longer. “No! No, it can’t be true!” shouted Pippin both terrified and angry. With tears running down his cheeks Merry sank slowly to his knees before Aragorn and looked at him with pleading eyes. “Sire…not long ago you cured me with the help of the blessed weed Athelas…and I know I have no right to ask you this…but I do ask you for the sake of our dear Frodo…please, please cure him like you cured me once! Only you can help him! Only through your hands can his life be saved…my lord, I implore you…for the sake of the love that we all hold for him…please help him…!” Merry could say no more through his tears and cupped his face in his hands. Such a speech Aragorn had never heard before. He was deeply moved and he would have done anything to help the poor desperate hobbits, but…he had to break the sad news…in a voice both sad and broken he spoke the shocking words, “Dear Merry…your beautiful words have touched my heart deeply…but…we are out of Athelas. Even our most clever herbmasters have not been able to find it anywhere. My hands alone cannot do anything to spare Frodo’s life…I am so sorry…” A single silent tear rolled down his cheek. So this was what things had come to. There was nothing more to be done…and nothing more left to say…

And it was then, at that moment when everything seemed lost, that a spark of hope was ignited in Sam’s heart. How could he have been so foolish? In his concern over Frodo he had forgotten all about it! Taking a firm grip of Frodo’s limp hand, he leaned down and whispered in his ear, “Don’t worry anymore, Frodo, you are going to be alright now. Forgive your foolish Sam, you know how simpleminded he is!” Then he stuck his hand into his vest pocket and pulled out a small truss of weed. He looked back at the others. Pippin and Merry were sitting on the ground in each others’ arms, weeping, as Aragorn stooped and held his arms about them in comfort. Sam laid gently Frodo’s hand on the ground and got up and went to stand beside Aragorn, taking his hand and placing the truss of weed on his palm. “Sir…” Sam said, “I found this in those woods earlier this day. This truss was all I could find and then I thought that it might be of use. It’s not much…but I hope it will help” Aragorn looked at Sam in amazement. “Athelas! This is more than enough! Master Samwise, you are truly a gem among hobbits!”

Merry and Pippin watched in awe as Aragorn knelt down beside Frodo and taking his small hand he placed some powder of the healing plant on his wound. “Frodo…hear my voice…come back to the light…” he whispered as Sam held Frodo’s other hand and repeatedly called him by name. After a little while Aragorn fell silent and looked at the hobbits and said in a quiet voice, “I have done all that I can…the rest is up to the grace of the valar” With watery eyes Sam looked up to the heavens and whispered silently with all of his heart in prayer, “Oh mighty valar…spare his life…please…let him live…”

And then, as if his prayer was immediately heard, he felt his hand being squeezed weakly. “Sam…? Are you alright? Why are you weeping?” Sam had to rub his eyes twice to make sure, and yes, it was Frodo’s voice he heard speaking to him. “Frodo? Oh Frodo, you’re alright! Thank goodness…you have nothing to fear anymore!” and the three hobbits embraced their dear friend with everything they had in them and Frodo smiled from the bottom of his heart. “My dear friends…tell me…what happened?”

And they told him everything…how Sam had felt in his heart that Frodo was in peril, how they had first thought they had lost him…how Aragorn had saved him. At last Frodo stood up and placed his hand over his wound and said, “It doesn’t hurt anymore. I can feel no pain at all!” Then he turned around and saw Aragorn approach him, smiling with affection. “Strider!” Frodo cried out joyously, but it was first then when he remembered his place and who he was talking to. “I-I mean…my lord Aragorn…please forgive me, I intended no disrespect…!” he stammered and bowed low. But Aragorn raised his hand and said, “No, please stop. Do not bow before me, Frodo, for I am no greater than anyone else here. There is nothing to forgive, my dear friend. I will always be the same old Strider to all of you”.

Frodo looked up at him with tears once more filling his eyes. “Kind sir…” he said in a quiet voice, “I can not ever express my gratitude for what you have done for me…I thank you most humbly with all of my heart. Sir, there are no words…” His voice trailed off and he broke down overcome with emotion. Merry, Pippin and Sam all stood beside Frodo and looked at Aragorn with great love and awe. Then Merry cried out, “Hail king Elessar!” and the other three hobbits joined in the praise and as if on cue, they all knelt at Aragorn’s feet in respect and gratitude. And Aragorn, deeply moved, smiled with affection, and gently laid his hand on each of their heads in turn and blessed them. And after a long time they all still remembered that day with love, and cherished the memory of it forever.

Later that night Frodo went back alone to that very same spot. He felt the cool night air brush softly against his cheek. But suddenly it seemed to Frodo as if even the wind stopped blowing and as if a thousand voices were silenced. And then…as a faint memory from somewhere in the past he heard it. That horrible dark voice again! But how could it be…? It was impossible! “Frodo…” it whispered faintly, “Frodo…hear my voice…surrender to me…” But there was something different about that voice now. It did not seem powerful and commanding anymore, but rather desperate and distant. And Frodo understood that what he was hearing was an echo of the past…a dreadful memory buried somewhere deep inside his mind. But it had no power over him now. “No” Frodo said resolutely, “It is now over. You cannot hurt me anymore. It is over” and he turned away and held his head up high in the evening breeze as the last echo of the Ring’s spell floated away on the chilly night wind.

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