Strangers From a Distant Land

The End of the First Part

(Maggie POV)

The small trio entered the woods on the eastern bank of the Anduin. The slopes of Amon Law loomed up before them, looking much less inviting than Amon Hen had. With a bit of a sigh, Frodo began to lead the way up the rocky slope. Maggie and Sam followed him. They walked in silence, passing like shadows up the hill. About half way to the summit, they paused, resting with their backs to a large tree, one of the few that they had come across. It was near suppertime, and already the sun was making its way out of the sky on their left.

Sam dug some of the lembas cakes out of his pack before resting it against a small boulder. He broke them into pieces before passing them to Maggie and Frodo. The unnaturally still air was filled with the sounds of quiet munching. They were soon finished. Maggie licked the last crumbs off of her fingers, groaned, and stretched. Slinging their packs on their shoulders, the three began the last bit of climb to reach the top.

As they crested the ridge, a wind that had so far been sheltered by the hill picked up their Lorien cloaks and blew them back gently. The sky was already dark, and in the distance loomed the tall, distant black walls of Mordor. Dark clouds hung heavy about it, flashes of red light from Mt. Doom glancing off of them like sudden burst of lightening. All in all the sight filled the hearts of the hobbits with foreboding.

Frodo spoke, breaking the silence they had kept since crossing the river.

"Mordor," he said. "I hope the others find a safer road."

Maggie thought of poor Merry and Pippin, and the Uruk-hai, and Sarah. And Boromir. Did Sarah succeed? She didn't know.

"Strider will look after them," Sam replied, looking at the distant mountains.

"I don't think I'll ever see her-them again," Maggie said, a tear rolling down her cheek. It was true, she didn't know what would happen. So many things had changed.

"We may yet, Maggie," Frodo told her.

Sam echoed him, placing a hand on her shoulder. "We may."

Maggie blinked back her tears and turned to the two. Two hobbits from the Shire who ought never to have gotten mixed up in this mess. She shouldn't have either. By rights she should be sitting at home, reading a book or playing a board game with Christopher. Christopher. She missed him. She sighed.

"I'm glad you guys are here with me," she told them, and she meant it.

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