West of the Moon

A Tolkien Fanfiction Archive



A Letter Unwritten
Sam stands watch in the Emyn Muil, thinking.
Author: Bill The Pony
Rating: PG


It's late at night, and that Mount Doom's belching up an ugly light over the teeth of the mountains far away, turning that black cloud that lies over the East to the color of blood. These hills are empty except for the wind, and I've watched the night through, just getting my head in order. I don't have no paper, Mr. Frodo, and even if I did, I was never so good at putting my thoughts down on it as you were. You'll understand why I can't write down these things I can't speak up about, but I've got to tell them to you in my head so that I'll have a bit of peace.

I waited too late, if you follow me. On a bright summer morning in the Shire, darkness seems so far away it could never catch you up, and the flowers blow all bright in the breeze from the garden, and after all, what's another day of keeping what you have and putting off the risk of tearing apart something such as can't be put back together?

For I always knew that I wasn't good enough for you, Mr. Frodo. Who could have been? Not plain Sam Gamgee, the Gaffer's son, and that's a fact. I'm fit enough to work in your garden, pour your tea, and do a bit about the house for you, but with you a gentle-hobbit, Mr. Bilbo's heir and all... "Don't go settin' your sights on the stars, Sam Gamgee, but keep your fingers in the soil where they belong!" my Gaffer always said. He knew his place, and he thought he knew mine.

So I waited too late, and it's cruel hard, Mr. Frodo, to think how you mightn't have said me no if I hadn't. For it's just as clear as the nose on your face, begging your pardon, that now you couldn't say me yes, not even if you wanted, and I can't see no way out of darkness and back to hope again.

But since things have come down to it, it's best that I didn't speak out, I guess. If I'd spoke up and you'd sent me away... who'd be here for you now? Nobody who'd keep you as well as I do, I'll warrant. Who would have ever guessed that so much hung in the balance when I'd stand in the kitchen at Bag End digging my toes against the tile, and never find my tongue? It's a good thing I didn't put myself forward, knowing now what I didn't know then: how much you'd need me, in a pinch.

So here you lie sleeping in my arms, though not the way I'd have wanted, as beautiful as any elf and bigger than mountains on the inside like you always were, and nothing's changed inside of me in spite of everything. It never will, seemingly. I wouldn't want it to, and I wouldn't know how to make it if I did.

I reckon there's just some people as is made to suffer, and if I've learned nothing else from all of this, it's that them that's least likely to deserve it is the most likely to find it laid in wait for them. I didn't understand that till too late neither. I couldn't know you were made to suffer even more than me for something as there was no escaping.

It's plain that there won't be no help for Sam Gamgee, not when it comes to time wasted. Once a chance is past, it's past, and crying over a broken egg won't see it mended. But as for you, master... there's one last thing that I can do to make up for having failed us both before the darkness came.

While there's breath in my body, I'll see you suffer as little as you may, Mr. Frodo.

-The end-


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