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Angels on Earth - Written By: Eeva

SUMMARY: Pre-Rings. Sam falls seriously ill and all hope for his recovery seems lost. Frodo tried to come up with a way to save him…


CHARACTERS: Frodo, Sam, Bilbo, Gaffer, Others...

At first, neither of them truly believed in the existence of spirits. Of course, they had heard stories and fairytales about them, when they were children, but they just never took the time to think about it… they never believed in their hearts. But on a beautiful, blessed night, both Frodo and Sam witnessed something special, something they were both a big part of… something that would change their lives forever…

Sam looked up from the flowers he was tending to in their garden to see the Gaffer standing on the front steps of their small hobbit hole. “Sam my boy… I have something to tell you” said the Gaffer quietly. “W-what is it, Gaffer?” Sam asked with concern in his voice. As he looked at his father, he couldn’t help but notice the traces of deep worry in his face. What was going on? The Gaffer hardly ever worried about anything… Now he motioned for Sam to follow him inside. Hesitantly Sam followed him into the kitchen. “Please sit down, Sam” said the Gaffer and Sam pulled slowly up a chair from beside the table and looked questioningly at his father. The Gaffer sighed and laid his hand upon Sam’s own hand, which he was resting on the table. “Yes?” Sam whispered quietly. “My lad…” said the Gaffer, “I… I am not so young anymore… time is slowly taking away my strength… I cannot work anymore as well as I once used to”, and here he let out a deep sigh. “Sam… we are poor… very, very poor. I have not worked for ages, and your dear mother has been ill… Sam, do you understand what I am trying to say? We are in desperate need of money! Soon we will starve!” Sam let out a small gasp, and was completely speechless for a moment. Then, he looked his father in the eyes, and said doubtfully, “You… you are playing some trick on me, aren’t you, Gaffer? It cannot be true! Tell me! Tell me it isn’t true! G-Gaffer…?” The Gaffer just looked at his son with grief, without uttering a word. Suddenly Sam understood it all… he understood it all too well…  He held out his hand and laid it on his father’s shoulder in comfort. And together they sat in silence for a long time.

Frodo covered his mouth with his hand in shock. He had been standing outside the Gamgees’ kitchen window, just about to pop up and say hello. But he had stopped dead in his tracks when he accidentally overheard the Gaffer’s words. Not wanting to hear more, Frodo retreated from the window as quietly as he could, and ran like the wind back to Bag End. He did not stop until he reached the round front door, opened it and ran inside. There, he slammed the door shut behind him and slumped down on the floor with his back resting against the door. He and his uncle Bilbo had not known the Gamgees for very long, and yet, Frodo felt like they were the nicest hobbits ever, and he had especially taken a liking to young Samwise. But now it pained his heart to hear how bad things actually were for them. This wasn’t right at all. Something had to be done… And that was when he decided that the Gamgees would not have to suffer, not if he could help it!

He got up and determinedly made his way towards Bilbo’s study. He knocked carefully at the door. “Uncle Bilbo? May I come in?” he called softly. The only answer he got was a quiet “mm-hmm” from inside the study. Frodo opened the door and entered. He had only been living a short time at Bag End, and had never actually been inside Bilbo’s study before. As he looked around him at all the books and piles of parchment, Bilbo lifted his head from a piece of parchment he had been writing on. He appeared to have been deep in thought. “Yes, Frodo, dear boy, what is it?” he asked. “Uh… I’m sorry to interrupt your work, uncle…” Frodo began timidly, but Bilbo just gave a small wave with his hand. “Oh, no need to apologize, my lad, it’s quite all right. Now, what do you have in mind?” “Uncle Bilbo… I’ve only just heard… the Gamgees are not well. Not well at all. We have to help them.” And he told Bilbo everything he had overheard by the window. When he had finished, Bilbo did not say anything for a long while and just seemed lost deep in thought again. “Uncle?” Frodo had to give him a slight nudge to make sure he hadn’t fallen asleep, as he sometimes used to. “Yes, Frodo… yes, what do you suggest?” Frodo thought for a while, and then he said, “We should let the Gaffer and Samwise work for us here at Bag End. They could work in the garden, and we could pay them for it. Then they will not have to starve. Please, uncle Bilbo, say you will agree to this… the Gamgees are honourable and decent hobbits. They are our dear friends and we both want what’s best for them… so what do you say, uncle?” Bilbo nodded and said, “You are an amazing young hobbit, Frodo Baggins, do you know that? You always have everybody else’s best interests at heart… and that is a quality very few of us here possess. Treasure that quality, Frodo, and always remember that goodness is rewarded. I would be honoured to have the Gamgees work for us… nothing would make me more happy.” Frodo’s eyes brightened at the sound of Bilbo’s words and he threw his arms around his uncle and hugged him warmly. “Thank you, Bilbo” he whispered before he let go of him.

On his way out, his eyes suddenly fell on a small green bottle on a shelf. He reached out and held it up, and when beams of light hit its surface, it glittered like it was covered with hundreds of small jewels. “What is this?” he asked Bilbo. “Oh, that, dear child, is a rare gift from the elves”. Frodo looked at Bilbo in amazement. “Yes” Bilbo continued, “Elrond of Rivendell gave it to me once. And he said that one small drop of this will give you strength and make you feel so much better, even if you were very ill”. “This is amazing!” Frodo exclaimed, to which Bilbo just sighed and said, “Yes, well, I really don’t think that it will be of any use to me. You take it, go on”. Frodo was just about to say that he couldn’t take it, but Bilbo insisted on it. “Well… if you say so, uncle Bilbo… I’ll take it. Thank you”. Bilbo simply smiled and nodded.  Then, Frodo left the study and gently closed the door behind him, once again leaving Bilbo to his own thoughts and memories.

The next morning, Frodo made his way towards the Gamgees’ hobbit hole to tell them about his plans to help them, and to ask them if they would agree. But as he neared his destination, he suddenly got the feeling that something was wrong… and the feeling started to get stronger and stronger all the while. By the time he had reached the Gamgees’ beautiful garden, he hesitated and stopped. As he looked at the small hobbit hole, he could almost sense a deep grief that was surrounding the house. The very air of it was different, so full of sorrow. Slowly, Frodo approached the front door and knocked on it a few times. At first, nothing happened for a while, and he had to knock loudly several times to announce his arrival. He was just about to turn around and leave, when the door slowly opened. But it wasn’t Samwise or the Gaffer behind the door. “Doctor Burrows?” Frodo exclaimed in amazement, “What are you doing here, sir?” The doctor just gave Frodo a sad look and said, “You had better follow me, young master Baggins…” Frodo felt as if he was going to faint. What was this? He quickly picked up the pace alongside doctor Burrows as they made their way towards the bedroom. Before the doctor opened the bedroom door, he turned to Frodo and said, “I must warn you, master Baggins… young Samwise is very ill… He has got a fever the likes I have never seen before in my life… He has been delirious for hours and has been calling out your name. I will have to ask you to stay calm and be strong for him. Can you do that?” Frodo swallowed hard and simply nodded. He was completely lost for words. Slowly they opened the door and entered.

The bedroom was dimly lit and the curtains were drawn. Frodo gasped at the sight of Sam lying in bed, feverishly muttering inaudible words. At his bedside sat the Gaffer with his head bowed, holding Sam by the hand. Frodo walked slowly to stand beside the Gaffer and laid a hand on his shoulder. “Gaffer… how is he?” Frodo’s words got somehow stuck in his throat and they came out merely as a quiet whisper. The Gaffer turned to look at Frodo, “He is not well at all… doctor Burrows says that… h-he says that…” he could not go on anymore and closed his eyes in sorrow.  Shocked, Frodo turned to face the doctor, “What? What is it, doctor? He’s going t-to be all right, isn’t he?” When the doctor did not answer, Frodo grew impatient. “Isn’t he?! Why isn’t anyone telling me anything?! Please, doctor…” Doctor Burrows laid his hand on Frodo’s shoulder and looked him in the eyes. But Frodo had already begun to understand. His blue eyes widened and tears started to well up in them. Sam was going away… “No…” Frodo gasped, “Oh no! Doctor… tell me you can help him! Tell me he will be all right again! Tell me…” The doctor held unto Frodo with both hands to make him stand still. “Shhhh… calm down, Frodo… calm down…” Frodo obeyed immediately but his breathing was still fast as if he had been running at great speed. He looked at the doctor intensively, waiting for an answer. Doctor Burrows looked away for a second, as if it was very hard for him to speak, but when he at length spoke, it was with a great effort. “I have done all that I can. I am so sorry.”

A few hours had now passed since doctor Burrows had broken the devastating news to Frodo. It was now past noon and Frodo was sitting alone at Sam’s bedside, watching over him, gently stroking his hair and speaking soft comforting words. Doctor Burrows had ordered the Gaffer to get some sleep, while he himself had had to travel to Bywater. The Gaffer had trusted Frodo to take care of Sam for as long as it took, but if things started to look far worse, he would have to be summoned immediately. While Frodo sat there beside Sam’s bed, he understood that all he could do now was wait. He wanted nothing more than to help his dearest friend in any way that he could, but he knew that there was nothing he could do. How he had prayed the valar for help… How he had unsuccessfully searched in old books about the healing of old deceases… How he had wished for things to be well again. As he sat there in silence, he suddenly started to softly sing Sam a lullaby he remembered his mother singing to him once…so long ago…

Leave your sorrow behind
Fall into slumber deep
Just close your weary eyes
‘Tis now time to sleep
Let gentle winds take you
Wherever you may please
Where all is well and beautiful
Where you can be at peace
Sleep well, don’t shed a tear
Now mists and dreams unfurl
And close your tired heart
To the worries of this world
Far beyond the stars and moon
The winds of sleep will take you
Don’t be afraid, for you are safe
No evil will now break you
Let guarding spirits guide you
And bless your heart with light
In prayers I will remember you
For always, day and night
So close your eyes and do not weep
For I am always near you
Just fly, fly, let your heart be free
In dreams that softly carry you

During the song, Sam suddenly grew very calm and still. He no longer muttered inaudible words, and no longer did his hands twitch. Frodo’s voice trailed off and he broke down in bitter tears. It was so quiet now… Sobbing softly, Frodo leaned over Sam’s still body and tenderly kissed his hair as his tears fell over Sam’s pale cheeks.

Still weeping heartbreakingly, Frodo dashed out of the room and out the front door. When he reached the garden, he stopped, took a deep breath and let out an agonised cry, which came from the very bottom of his broken heart. “This is not fair!” he shouted through his tears, looking up to the heavens. “Why?! Why are you taking him, he who hasn’t done anything wrong!”, and calming down a bit, he then whispered, “He means so much to me… do not let him die…” All of a sudden Frodo turned around and to his amazement saw a blinding light emerging from inside Sam’s bedroom. Startled, he ran back inside and, following the light, made his way back to the bedroom, where the light came from. Suddenly he noticed how quiet and dark everything was. Only minutes ago the sun had been shining, but now dark clouds covered the sun. No birds were singing outside any longer… time itself seemed to stand still. Slowly, Frodo re-entered the bedroom, and there he witnessed something extraordinary. The sight that met his eyes there would alter his view on life for all eternity

There, surrounded by a bright halo of light, carried by a strong, cool breeze, as beautiful and frightening as the day and night, and more powerful than eternity, stood a beautiful woman, clad in white robes. Her hair was also white, and it was swaying lightly in the breeze. At first, Frodo thought she was an elf, but when he looked closer, he noticed that she seemed to be floating in the air. Her hands were outstretched towards Sam’s lifeless body on the bed. Gasping, Frodo backed away against the wall, not being able to believe his eyes. After a while, he finally got the courage to speak. “W-what is going on…? Who are you?” Slowly the spirit turned to look at Frodo. And when she spoke, it was like her voice came from everywhere around Frodo, and it was frightening. “The time has come for this young hobbit to go. I have come to take him with me”. Frodo’s vision was blurred by the tears in his eyes. “He has been brave”, the spirit said, “he has fought hard, but he is losing the battle. He will be at peace soon”. “Spare him…” Frodo pleaded in a whisper, “Do not take him yet, please… I-I will do anything, I promise, take me instead, but let him live…!” The spirit paid no heed to his words, but extended her hands over Sam again. “No…” Frodo gasped through his sobs. If only he could do something to save Sam… if only there was a way… In his desperation, he accidentally brushed with his hand against his vest pocket, and felt a small lump there. He reached his hand into the pocket and pulled out the small green bottle Bilbo had given him the day before. He had forgotten all about it, and now, as he looked at it as it glittered in his hand, something woke up inside of him. An insane, desperate idea, which was still worth a try

Gathering up all the courage he could muster, Frodo ran over to Sam, sat down on the bed beside him, and quickly opened the bottle. Then he gently poured some of the liquid into Sam’s throat and held his arms about him to protect him. “Come back to me, Sam…” he whispered as the breeze in the room started to grow into a small storm, “Come back… please come back…” He squeezed his eyes shut, holding a firm grip of Sam, but despite his eyes were closed, he could still see how the light behind him grew stronger and stronger, until he no longer dared to look behind him again.

And all of a sudden everything went quiet and dark again.

Slowly, Frodo opened his eyes and carefully looked over his shoulder. The room was back to normal, and no sign of anything out of the ordinary could be seen. He was so bewildered by what had just happened that he didn’t realize that Sam was talking to him. “What’s the matter, Frodo?” “Nothing, Sam…” Frodo began to say dismissively, but it wasn’t until then, when he realized that Sam had actually just spoken. “What?!” Frodo shouted in amazement and turned to look at Sam. He was sitting up in bed and his eyes were bright and his lips wore a smile. Completely lost for words, Frodo couldn’t at first believe what he was seeing, and slowly he reached out his hands and gently touched Sam’s cheeks. Sam looked at him quizzically, “Are you all right, Frodo?” And like he had woken up from a nightmare, Frodo suddenly embraced Sam and wept once more. “You are alive…” he said quietly. “I feel so much better” Sam reassured him, “Only a while ago I didn’t know if I would have the strength to fight anymore… but then I tasted something that I can’t explain… it was like the nectar of the rarest and most beautiful flowers in the world, and it gave me strength and hope…”

And all at once Sam noticed the small bottle in Frodo’s hand. He looked at Frodo in deep gratitude, for he now understood that it was he who had saved him. “You are a very lucky hobbit, Samwise Gamgee” said Frodo, “You must have a guardian angel up there somewhere…” But Sam simply took Frodo by the hand and said, “It seems now that I have my very own guardian angel right here with me”.

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