Format: 400 word FLF
Characters: Aragorn, Gollum
Summary: Aragorn ponders Gollum’s obsession with the Ring
Disclaimer: The characters are the property of the Tolkien Estate. No profit has been, nor will be made from this story.
With thanks to Raksha for editing and huinare for the idea.
Aragorn tied Gollum securely to a tree and walked briskly towards the stream to perform his ablutions. One more moment in that creature’s company and he would most surely strangle him!
He looked ruefully at the bite mark upon his arm where Gollum had bitten him. He was not feeding him again until he learned better manners. He had tried treating the creature kindly, but to no avail. At least, now he was gagged, he was spared his incessant rambling about Gollum’s lost “precious”.
Did the wretch think of nothing else save his lost ring? It seemed to dominate every moment of his existence, even in sleep, he mumbled about it.
Aragorn rummaged in his pack for a salve to apply to his arm. Then after a quick glance around him, he pulled off his clothes and washed himself thoroughly in the stream. The water was clear and refreshing. Now this was something that was truly precious. Water, together with sunlight and stars. The song of the birds, the graceful birches; the healing herbs and the sweet scented blossoms that filled the air once he had left the foulness of the marches behind.
What else was precious to him? The shards of Narsil, the Ring of Barahir that he had given to Arwen, the Elendilmir? They were priceless heirlooms and he treasured them, but they were as nothing compared with his beloved Arwen, his foster father, or his loyal band of Rangers.
What must it be like to find only one thing in all of Arda precious a mere ring? Had Sauron’s bauble affected Isildur thus as well? Had he not called it precious too? Would he have become like Gollum had he lived? Aragorn shuddered. How could a piece of jewellery possess such power? The Dark Lord’s fea must indeed be embodied deeply within it.
And why should anyone, even a Maia, wish to mingle their very spirit with an object? Maybe he had become ensnared with his own creation just as the wretched Gollum was now ensnared?
Aragorn shook his head uncomprehendingly. Suddenly he pitied Gollum. Aragorn decided today he would go fishing and share his catch with the creature. Then he would take him to the Elves. Maybe one day, the wretch would learn there were other precious things to enjoy in Arda besides his lost Ring. Aragorn sighed. He doubted it. Gollum loved only his precious.