Afternoon, October 1, 3019
Bracegirdle home, the Shire

Mary - Eowyn
Peter - Hobbitness
Voices of the Nine/Angmar - Quiet Wraith


Peter: *After weeks of running from Mordor's army, Peter Bracegirdle has finally reached the Shire*
Peter: *Through his blurry wraith vision he can discern all the familiar sights and thinks it strange that they have not changed at all*
Peter: *To avoid frightening the hobbits, he has taken some of his old clothes*
Peter: *Now he wears a shirt, trousers, gloves, boots, and a hooded grey cloak to hide his invisible face*
Peter: *The hobbits of the Shire know what happened to him*
Peter: *but they did not expect to see him again, for they do not know of his escape*
Peter: *Mary, his fiancee, still works as the Bracegirdle's cook, and her father is still their gardener. She bends over a rose bush in the front yard, pruning it*
Peter: *After taking the clothes, Peter walks into the front yard and stops short when he sees her. She does not see him yet*
Mary: *prunes the rosebush in the yard, lost in her own thoughts*
Mary: *the smell of flowers in bloom fills the air with heavenly scent*
Mary: *her thoughts drift to peter, as they often do, and she wonders what horrible things have befallen him in mordor.*
Mary: *how miserable he must be, forced to serve the dark lord. that is what she heard rudigar his father say at the shire-moot*
Mary: *for he went to elrond-halfelven, who was very wise... a strange thing for a hobbit to do, to go talk with elves, but he could be forgiven for his crime of "adventure" for the hobbits were discovering
Mary: the true danger of the times in which they lived*
Peter: *Peter watches her, unable to believe that she is really before him, finally, as he had called her image up in his mind to sustain him through the torments he endured in Mordor*
Mary: *even the shire now was in danger of the evil of mordor*
Mary: *mary wonders what will befall the hobbits and the beloved shire*
Peter: *Her image was beginning to fade in his mind, but here she is, more beautiful than he remembered*
Mary: *continues tending to the roses as she thinks*
Peter: *Peter softly makes his way along the wall, wanting to speak to her, to touch her, but afraid to startle her*
Mary: *takes no notice of him yet*
Peter: *As he impetuously moves toward her, Peter comes close enough for her to feel the chill and aura of fear that emanate from him*
Mary: *suddenly the air around her becomes cold, despite the fact it is june ... a vague feeling of anxiety descends upon her*
Mary: *she looks around to see what might be the source of this*
Peter: *Peter holds his breath*
Mary: *she sees a hobbit dressed warmly, even though it is summer*
Mary: hullo ... good day to you.
Peter: *He pulls the hood down to hide his invisible face from her*
Mary: *she senses something strange about this hobbit, but waits for him to speak*
Peter: *Peter can hardly speak. His voice trembles. It is still his own voice, but it sounds rougher* Good day, lass.
Peter: *waits to see if she recognizes his voice*
Mary: *the voice sounds familiar but different somehow. she cannot place it*
Mary: pardon me, sir, but who might you be? *she smiles courteously*
Peter: *He cannot decide whether or not to reveal himself, for he does not want to distress her* I am a traveller. I come from very far away
Peter: ...very far away....*his hand goes involuntarily to his heart*
Mary: *she looks to him with surprise* far away? like buckland or bree?
Peter: No, much farther
Peter: ...but I was born here
Mary: but that is beyond the borders of the shire
Mary: oh?
Peter: I come from here. I am back to see my home, which I never thought to see again, for I did travel far beyond the borders of the Shire
Mary: you went on an adventure? *an enthusiastic look on her face, but she tries to hide it... unhobbitly*
Peter: No, not an adventure
Mary: well, it is good that you are back. strange things happen out there, in the wild.
Peter: That is, not like the adventuresome Tooks, who go on adventures willingly
Peter: I went with great reluctance
Peter: *His whole body trembles. He longs to take her in his arms and stay here forever*
Mary: why did you go, sir?
Peter: *He kneels next to her and touches a buttercup plant* I was made to go
Peter: .....where did you get this lovely plant?
Mary: oh, that is horrible! *she notices him touch the buttercup*
Mary: my fiancee, peter, gave it to me, and i planted it
Mary: *sad look comes to her face*
Peter: *Peter smiles. So she still remembers him*
Peter: Your fiancee....
Peter: *trails off*
Peter: Buttercup, such an unusual flower. Why did he give you this and not a rose plant?
Mary: aye, he disappeared in the fall... something horrible happened to him, and no one knows his fate
Mary: it symbolizes a childhood memory that was dear to us
Peter: *He stares mesmerized at the buttercup plant*
Peter: *He begins to talk to himself under his breath*
Mary: so what brings you back to the shire?
Peter: ...She was kneeling right there, planting this. She was singing...
Mary: *strains to listen to him talk under his breath*
Peter: She was so happy, the embodiment of Spring....
Mary: who was? *she asks softly with concern*
Peter: I crept up behind her and knelt next to her like this
Mary: *she remembers... gasps*
Mary: peter...?
Peter: *Peter turns to her, careful to hide his face, and nods*
Peter: Then I helped you plant this
Peter: and when it was planted I gave you a flower and kissed you
Peter: and you agreed to be my wife.
Mary: but you... but you... you were stabbed by one of those horrible knives your father talked about
Peter: *He nods again and his hand returns to his heart*
Mary: you escaped from the dark lands...?
Mary: *in shock*
Peter: I couldn't stand it any longer
Peter: I had to come back
Peter: They would have made me kill men and hobbits
Mary: oh peter! *gets up and embraces him*
Peter: *backs away knowing the cold will frighten her*
Mary: *gasps her body in shock from the cold*
Peter: *quietly* I'm sorry
Peter: *makes a despearate gesture* I can't help it...wraiths are always cold like this
Mary: it is all right .... i still love you.
Peter: *stammers, in shock*
Peter: But why?
Mary: i am so glad you got away from them! they are cruel folk, so ive been told
Peter: They are, and they made me one of them
Mary: because you are still my peter, no matter what they did to you.
Peter: *Peter bursts into tears*
Mary: *she approaches him and puts a hand on his shoulder, bracing herself for the cold*
Mary: please do not cry
Peter: I thought I would never see you again!
Peter: I can't believe that you still love me. I'm not a hobbit anymore!
Mary: i thought the same, but now you are back
Mary: *tears of happiness roll down her face*
Peter: *hesitantly, he reaches out to wipe her tears*
Mary: you are still a hobbit!
Mary: *she smiles at him, even though his touch is cold upon her cheek*
Peter: *He takes her face in his hands and kisses her forehead*
Peter: I love you. I never stopped loving you and I never will
Mary: *she shivers slightly, cannot help it*
Peter: But I cannot stay. I'm so sorry
Peter: It is not my choice
Mary: *smiles* i will always love you. *expression turns sad again* but why can't you stay?
Peter: *He sits on the ground and sighs heavily* Because I'm not really a hobbit. I'm a wraith. The poison still works at me
Peter: and someday it will take over me completely
Mary: fight it, peter! fight it as long as you can *she says fiercely, her hands clenched at what they have done to her love*
Peter: and I will be evil like them if I cannot find a way out.
Peter: *His voice becomes very grave* Oh, I have fought it. You don't know what it has cost me
Mary: *she frowns* did they hurt you?
Mary: we thought you had been lost to mordor forever, that we would never see you again.
Peter: *He smiles at her concern though she cannot see it*
Peter: Well, at least I'm back now
Mary: we have all missed you very much
Peter: and they are not hurting me anymore
Peter: It's so hard to believe, that I'm not there anymore
Peter: It seems like this is all another lifetime
Peter: I'm afraid it may just be a vision and I will wake up back in Mordor
Mary: no *she smiles and takes his hand, bracing herself once again* it is not a dream. this is real
Peter: I wish you could see me smile at you
Mary: you are not in that wicked evil place anymore. you are here, you are back home.
Mary: can you eat? *concern* you must be famished
Peter: Well, I don't need food anymore...
Peter: But what I wouldn't give for some ale or mushrooms!
Mary: *she smiles at him* then come inside and i will get you something to eat.
Peter: *He follows her inside. This all seems so surreal*
Mary: a hobbit not needing to eat! now that is a strange thing indeed! *laughs*
Peter: *Peter is staring all around the house, going through all the rooms and taking a good look at everything*
Mary: *she motions for him to sit at the table*
Peter: *He accepts her invitation as he returns to the kitchen*
Mary: *bustles about the kitchen preparing food*
Peter: *He starts laughing to himself* I'm so glad! I couldn't remember all this anymore
Mary: mr. and mrs. bracegirdle are not home today... mrs. bracegirdle went to the market and mr. bracegirdle is going to help out in the big war
Peter: but now so much is coming back to me
Peter: Oh, that's too bad! I would like to see my mother
Peter: I met my father on the road
Mary: *sets the table, with all kinds of delacies for hobbit tastes*
Peter: He told me about his trip to Rivendell and the Shire-moot
Peter: That's why I wasn't surprised when you recognized me
Mary: oh you did! that's wonderful! *sits down across from him at table*
Peter: *Peter's invsible features grin at the laden table. He only wishes Sam and Frodo could eat it too*
Peter: Yes. It was sad, though. I don't think I will see him again.
Mary: what all happened to you in the dark land? or do you not wish to speak of it? i can understand if you do not.
Mary: do not talk that way! he will come back. he's a sturdy gentlehobbit.
Peter: I know...yes, he is. *cannot bring himself to tell her of his own fate yet*
Peter: In the black land...well, I hesitate to speak of it here...
Mary: i certainly hope the war does not come here... the worry lies on our minds
Peter: but I was servant to the Nine. I think my father told you about them?
Mary: aye. they are dreadful big people, servants of the evil one
Peter: They are more like demons
Peter: But one of them seems less evil than the others
Peter: or he did to me at first
Mary: *she pours herself a cup of tea*
Peter: He was my master. His name is Khamul
Peter: He didn't make me do terrible things, at least not for a long time
Peter: I fetched wine for him and his lady
Mary: *listens to his tale*
Peter: There was a mortal woman living with him
Peter: She was in love with him
Peter: *thinks of the ironic parallel between Madurz and Mary*
Peter: She was not like you, though
Peter: She was tainted with evil
Peter: She would torture prisoners with him
Mary: the nine have lady friends? but aren't they too terrible to behold?
Mary: *gasps* that's awful!
Peter: Yes, they are terrible, but you can only see their robes
Peter: They are invisible
Peter: *he hates to say it* and I am invisible too
Peter: That's why I've been hiding my face from you
Mary: you are!
Peter: because you couldn't see it if I uncovered it
Mary: *looks at him with curiosity*
Peter: You want to see, don't you *he says amused at her curiosity*
Mary: well, you are here now, and no longer with those evil folks.
Peter: But I'm afraid you would be scared
Mary: aye, i would like to see it with my own eyes... i will not be afraid.
Peter: Well, I'll start small. *He pulls his glove up a little, exposing his wrist, but there appears to be nothing there*
Peter: *covers the wrist quickly*
Mary: *stares at the nothingness*
Mary: they did that to you?
Peter: Oh they did that and much more
Peter: Khamul could read my mind
Mary: evil devils!
Mary: he could? *gasp*
Peter: and every time I thought of the Shire he would cast a spell on me
Peter: to make me feel like I was burning up
Peter: But I still wouldn't forget it
Mary: what an evil beast! and he did that to you, just for thinking of your home?
Peter: and I wouldn't forget you. *He is smiling at her again, forgetting that she can't see it*
Mary: *she smiles at him*
Peter: I'm not sure how to explain the way it is in Mordor
Peter: It is so foreign to us here in the Shire
Mary: i have heard rumors, dark ones that frightened me
Peter: They are concerned with power and nothing else
Mary: not many like to discuss it, or even mention its name.
Peter: You're right, I shouldn't have mentioned it here
Peter: But the Dark Lord draws all his thralls to himself
Peter: The Nine are like lesser versions of him
Mary: i understand.
Peter: They all want everyone to be loyal to--that land.
Peter: and to the Nameless Enemy.
Peter: It is so strange to call him that again
Peter: when I have called him Master for so long
Peter: *he says guiltily*
Mary: there is a growing fear, tainting the peace of our land, the fear of war and invasion.
Mary: though many find it hard to beleive.
Peter: *laughs softly* Perhaps I could convince them!
Mary: *eyes widen* i hope that none of the hobbits will be afraid of you!
Peter: I wouldn't blame them if they are
Peter: See, I can't help making everyone who sees me afraid
Peter: You were afraid, too, when I came, weren't you?
Mary: i try not to be, because i know underneath it all, you are still my peter. you still have the heart of a true gentlehobbit.
Mary: *looks down* a feeling of fear came over me, and of coldness.
Peter: *He kisses her hand*
Peter: I know, I'm sorry about the cold too
Peter: They are all effects of the poison that was on the blade
Mary: *smiles when he kisses her hand, though his touch is cold as ice* but how can they do this to someone?
Mary: to make them invisible slaves?
Peter: How can they? They have no conscience
Peter: They want slaves, they want us all to be slaves
Peter: and they want to strip us of ourselves!
Mary: *she gulps*
Peter: They want to make us forget everything, who we are, what we love, where we're from
Mary: how do they have that power, the power to control people, against their will?
Mary: some magic or devilry?
Peter: I think they have many ways of doing it
Peter: You know the Nameless Enemy is very powerful
Peter: but it was done to me with that special poisoned blade
Peter: I saw the three Black Riders in the woods
Mary: we're all hobbits, we dont know much of the outside world. it seems big and scary, and full of danger.
Peter: I heard them talking about Frodo. They said they were looking for him.
Mary: but now it seems the world is coming to us, the evil parts of it.
Peter: So I told them he was gone. I told them to leave the Shire. Yes, the evil is coming here, and they were the first of it
Peter: It was a foolish thing for me to do
Peter: but I was afraid
Mary: i remember hearing of them... they came into the shire last fall. everyone was all afraid.
Mary: no, i think it is very brave.
Peter: Thank you *he smiles at her* but they were much more powerful than I was
Mary: and.... they stabbed you with their accursed blade, right? *she says sadly*
Peter: That's right
Peter: Khamul was one of them and he grew angry at me
Peter: so he stabbed me. I think he even meant to use a normal sword and just kill me
Mary: *listens in horror*
Voices of the Nine: *Darkness has arrived. Peter begins hearing the voices of the Nine in his mind.*
Peter: I had fallen to the ground, and he stood over me. It went through me and pinned me to the ground. It shattered inside of me, so the poison stayed.
Mary: *puts her hand to her mouth in horror*
Peter: See, that's why I'm invisible. It was enough to kill anyone
Mary: and you were forced to serve the monster that did this to you?
Peter: The only thing that's keeping me alive is the poison. It's one of their spells
Peter: Yes, I found my way to Mordor, and I became his page
Mary: oh peter! i am so sorry!
Mary: *takes his hand again squeezing it*
Peter: *Peter feels more comforted than he has since this all happened to him*
Mary: that must have been horrid, having to serve the beast who hurt you like that.
Peter: Thank you. You know, I'm starting to believe that I really am here.
Mary: *she smiles at him* yes, you are here peter. you are back home, in the shire. *look of concern* but can you stay? can you stay here with your people?
Peter: *He bows his head and struggles to keep from tearing up again*
Mary: *realisation* are.... they calling to you, peter?
Mary: *grave look*
Peter: Oh Mary, I don't want to talk about that, I don't want to tell you....*His shoulders heave and he presses his hand to his heart*
Peter: *He regains control of himself*
Peter: They are always calling to me
Peter: They will never stop
Mary: *she looks at him sadly... his wound must be hurting him. she would like to say a thing or to to the one who did it!*
Mary: how long... how long do you think you can stay?
Peter: It is so loud! It just keeps growing louder, all this time, no matter how much I fight it
Peter: I don't know
Voices of the Nine: *We deny our maker.
We cling to the darkness.*
Quiet Wraith: *We grasp for ourselves power and glory.
Now we come, the Nine,
Lords of Eternal Life.*
Mary: fight it, peter. fight it as long as you can!
Mary: is there any way you can escape them, forever?
Mary: and be free again?
Peter: *loses the battle and tears up* No, there isn't. They will make me like them.
Mary: *the food on the table momentarly forgotten as she listens to his every word with grave concern*
Peter: Someday the call will grow too strong and I will have to go back there, whether I want to or not
Voices of the Nine: *The words flood Peter's brain suddenly..... Now we come, the Nine, Lords of Eternal Life.*
Mary: *she, too, begins to cry again*
Peter: *Peter hears his former masters' voices in his head and sits upright again as though listening*
Mary: there should be some way out, some escape. this all too frightening
Mary: *watches him sit upright and wonders what is wrong*
Peter: *He almost can't hear her*
Voices of the Nine: *The words echo in his brain..... we come for you, Peter, known as Ashgaz. We come, we come!*
Mary: peter...?
Peter: *He fumbles for her hand on the table*
Peter: They're coming for me!
Mary: *she grabs it tightly though it brings her pain, fearing he may disappear forever before her eyes*
Peter: Mary, are you still there?
Voices of the Nine: *In Peter's mind, he can see Mordor. He can hear the words.... come back, come back, Ashgaz, come back, to Mordor we will take you!*
Mary: yes, peter! im still here!
Peter: *Peter puts up a hand as though to shield his face, then covers his ears* No, no, no, no!
Mary: they are coming for you? *look of horror* are they close?
Mary: *gets up from her seat across from him and goes to his chair, putting her hands on his shoulders*
Peter: No, I won't come back! I won't! You thought I couldn't escape you but I did, and I won't come back!
Mary: no, peter! you are here, you are back in the shire
Mary: you are safe, do not listen to them. they are not real, they are not here.
Voices of the Nine: *more words in Peter's head.... he cannot escape them. We are the Lords of Immortality. We are your masters. Deny us and die*
Mary: you have escaped, peter. do not go back to them
Mary: i fear for certain they would kill you if you did! for you defied them once.
Peter: *Peter is so caught up in the struggle that he can see nothing only hear the competing voices of the Nine and Mary*
Voices of the Nine: *The words continue.... Ashgaz.... we see you.... we know where you are... come back*
Peter: *Peter defies the call of the Nine* No! Don't ever come here! I am not yours anymore
Peter: You are not my masters!
Mary: *her hands become numb but she does not care. she holds onto his shoulders tightly, fearing that the nine will come to drag him away from her again*
Peter: You must leave the Shire, you must leave the Shire
Mary: no, you are free from them now. do not go back to them, or they will surely kill you!
Peter: I denied you once and I will deny you forever
Mary: they are not here, peter. you are safe
Peter: Deny you and die? Then I will die!
Peter: *He falls back into the chair with a sob*
Voices of the Nine: *The words are stronger and louder in a cloying manner of evil beyond all knowledge. WE WANT YOU... ASHGAZ... COME TO US*
Mary: oh peter!
Mary: fight them, they seak to destroy you.
Peter: *He holds desperately onto her hand* that you?
Mary: they only are in your mind. you are in your hobbit hole now, safe from the dark lands
Mary: yes, peter! it is your mary!
Peter: Oh, Mary help me
Peter: Please
Peter: I can't stop it, they're calling me
Voices of the Nine: *In his mind's eye, he can see their capes and hoods becoming clearer... they come for him*
Mary: oh, peter, what can i do!
Peter: *He buries his head on her shoulder to escape the vision*
Voices of the Nine: *We are the Lords of Darkness... darker than your darkest dreams. We come. now we come*
Mary: *she embraces him, holding him tightly fearing she will lose him*
Mary: do not listen to them! they haunt your mind, but they are not here now. not yet
Peter: *He has not allowed himself to embrace her yet, and the feeling of her body makes her seem more real to him than before, when she was a distant memory*
Voices of the Nine: *....The Darkness will put out the strongest light and enfold all in its cloak. There is no escape*
Peter: *He tries to block out the voices of Mordor and listen only to her*
Peter: *Now she is here, now she is real, and he is here to defend her, and all that is dear to him*
Mary: do not talk to them! they are not really here
Mary: *she sobs too*
Mary: oh, peter! speak to me, and come out of the darkness they have brought you into
Peter: *His love for Mary gives Peter new strength and he rises from the chair, looks around the blurry vision of the wraith world, and speaks to whoever of them are listening*
Peter: *He does not tremble and his voice is clear* Go, leave me alone, for it will do you no good.
Peter: I will not let you do this to me and my beloved
Peter: I will not listen to you! Leave me!
Peter: *He turns and sees Mary as though for the first time*
Voices of the Nine: *We are your masters. You belong to Sauron, your soul, your body, your mind, your all. we come, we come!*
Peter: *She is crying. He feels terrible. He ignores the voices and goes to comfort her*
Mary: oh peter! *feels helpless, her love being torn from her*
Peter: Mary. I'm so sorry. *He hugs her, hoping it will not pain her*
Peter: You shouldn't have to see this.
Peter: You should never have this evil come into your life.
Mary: *she feels cold and shivers slightly* i understand... you have been through awful torment.
Peter: Perhaps I should not have come here
Mary: no no!
Peter: I hate them, I hate them so much!
Mary: it brings me hope, for i know that even if the dark land does take over the world, there will still be some who oppose it
Mary: oh, i hate them too, for what they have done to you... for what they may yet do to us all.
Voices of the Nine: *Once again, the all too familiar voices.... ASHGAZ.... ASHGAZ.... YOU ARE COLD.... YOUR BODY IS AS ICE....*
Peter: I think that is why I fell in love with you---you were always so cheerful. You were so wise in always seeing the good----*he begins to hear the voices again and silently defies them*
Voices of the Nine: *ASHGAZ..... ASHGAZZZZZZZZ.....
Peter: *He falls back into the chair feeling weak*
Mary: *she kneels beside him and takes his hand*
Peter: *He turns to her gravely* Mary...I want you to listen to me now. You won't believe me...I don't believe this myself...
Mary: yes, peter? *looks up with grave concern*
Peter: They are calling me again, but they're telling me to hurt you
Peter: and I won't do it
Mary: *gasps*
Mary: they can do that to you, even here in the shire?
Peter: But if I were in their presence, they could take possession of me and force me to do what I would not
Peter: I don't know if they can do it in the Shire
Peter: But I don't want to take the chance
Voices of the Nine: *ASHGAZZZZZZZZZ... WE COMMAND.... KILL HER... KILL HER....*
Peter: Leave me, quickly!
Mary: but peter! *she cries*
Peter: I will find you when the fit passes
Peter: Hurry!
Mary: *she gets up quickly and backs away from him*
Mary: but what should i do?
Peter: *Peter doesn't hear her. He falls to the floor as though in a seizure*
Peter: *He lies there shaking, caught in an immense inner battle*
Mary: *she jumps in shock, looking at his prone form. should she go to him, or stay away? her heart tells her to go to him and comfort him*
Mary: peter...?
Peter: *Finally he sits up with a violent cry, as though chasing off a horde of enemies*
Peter: *He rubs his face and looks up to see her*
Mary: *his cry frightens her, and she backs away, against the wall*
Peter: *panting* I think it's over
Peter: I think they might have left me
Peter: I told them to
Peter: I told them to leave me alone
Voices of the Nine: *ASHGAZZZZZ.... SAURON HAS YOUR SOUL.... YOUR BODY...*
Voices of the Nine: *KILL HER*
Mary: but will they leave you alone? *she says shaken*
Mary: you cannot command them, can you? you do not have the power.
Peter: *He starts trembling again* No, they're calling me again! *groans*
Peter: on the Lady of the Stars!
Mary: what are they saying? *urgency*
Peter: That will stop them
Mary: you mean from the elvish tales?
Peter: *sobbing* They say to kill you! And I won't, I won't!
Mary: oh peter!
Peter: Call on the Lady, I can't say her name, and they'll stop
Mary: defy them!
Mary: gilithonel a elbereth!
Mary: *the words come upon her through her memories of elvish tales, clear as day*
Peter: *Peter lets out a cry of pain, but then slumps against the wall sighing with relief*
Voices of the Nine: *The voices fade into a low, haunting wail*
Mary: peter!
Mary: did i hurt you! i am sorry!
Peter: *takes her hand gently* I'm here.
Mary: *unsure whether to go to him or stay away*
Mary: oh peter! how can i protect myself, should the madness come upon you again?
Mary: how can we protect ourselves?
Peter: *strained* We can't
Peter: Perhaps you won't see me again
Mary: but i want to see you again! i have not seen you since your disapperance.
Peter: Here is what I have been meaning to tell you, but I couldn't bring myself to do it....
Mary: the name of the Lady hurts you, does it not? *bites lip*
Peter: When I ran away, it was considered treason
Peter: Yes, it does, but not nearly as much as the fell voices do now
Mary: oh peter!
Peter: You saved me, for now. I thank you! Don't feel guilty
Peter: But only for now.
Peter: *Peter struggles against the voices and clings to Mary's hand again*
Peter: They consider me a traitor
Mary: *a feeling of fear seizes mary and she drops down and cowers on the floor*
Mary: what was that, peter?
Peter: That was them, coming for me
Mary: the noise, the terrible noise, that made me feel afraid?
Peter: and for all of us *he speaks as though in a daze*
Peter: They want the Shire
Mary: oh, peter! no!
Peter: They want me. They think I'm a traitor
Mary: you are in grave danger!
Peter: Their scouts patrol the skies over the Shire even now
Mary: is there any escape from them?
Peter: I have no chance.
Peter: The Nine are much more powerful than I am
Peter: Sooner or later they will find me and kill me. I'm so sorry! That's why I can't stay
Mary: *she breaks down sobbing, and clings to his legs as she cowers on the floor*
Peter: *He gently places a hand on her hair*
Mary: oh peter! i wish it werent tis way!
Mary: where will you go?
Peter: I wish we were still planting buttercups in the garden
Peter: I wish we could get married
Mary: *looks up to him and smiles weakly* i fear soon everyone will think that way, too, peter.
Peter: *sighs* I'm sorry I stood up to them
Peter: I'm sorry I thought I could drive them out. It was hopeless.
Mary: i wish we could too.... maybe we still can, though it be..... horribly unnatural.
Mary: maybe, but i still think you were very brave
Peter: Thank you, dear
Mary: *she gets up and straightens out her skirts*
Peter: *Peter gets up too*
Mary: *smiles* it is the truth.
Peter: It would be horribly unnatrual *smiles wryly* You're right.
Peter: *clutches at the chair*
Mary: but they will hunt you down, hunt you down like an animal.
Peter: It can't be now, though
Peter: *nods*
Mary: they call to you, don't they? *concern*
Peter: *nods*
Peter: Always they call to me
Mary: i wish there were something i could do.
Peter: Embrace me one last time.
Mary: oh peter! *she embraces him tightly, tears once again filling her eyes*
Peter: *Peter clings to her, his mind filling with the shrieks, sensing the presence of the fell beast near*
Mary: *she ignores the coldness that grips her body and sobs into his shoulder*
Peter: *Peter tries to comfort her*
Peter: *He hums an old lullaby his mother used to sing, trying to drown out the cries in his head*
Mary: *she smiles at the lullaby, peters attempt to relieve the tragedy of their lives*
Peter: *Instead, he hugs her tighter*
Peter: *He rocks as though she were a little child. He finishes humming the lullaby*
Mary: oh peter, i never want to let you go, but they are coming for you... they hunt you even now as we speak. i hear their evil screeches
Mary: and i am terrified, for you, for myself
Peter: I'm sorry. I have to go. Just remember, when they find me, I will be free
Peter: I won't be a wraith anymore
Mary: oh peter!
Peter: I'll be a hobbit again, and many years from now when you die, you will see me again
Mary: you seek freedom from them in death?
Peter: Yes...
Mary: perhaps it is the only way *sad look turns away crying*
Peter: but I have no choice now
Peter: They will find me and kill me no matter what I do
Peter: But I'm not afraid
Voices of the Nine: *KILL HER AND WE WILL SPARE YOU......*
Peter: Oh! *He covers his ears and falls to his knees, disgusted at the command*
Mary: peter! *watches him fall* what are they telling you now?
Mary: how do they torment you this time?
Mary: *places her hand on his shoulder, trying to bring him back to reality*
Peter: *He looks up at her silently for a while* Nothing of importance. *places his hand over hers*
Peter: It doesn't matter.
Peter: *leans back against her*
Mary: *she places her hand on his hooded head trying to comfort him*
Peter: I'm glad to have seen you
Mary: they want you to hurt me again, don't they? *quietly*
Peter: It doesn't matter
Mary: oh peter. my heart has ached since you disappeared.
Peter: I'm sorry. But it means so much to me that you still care for me.
Peter: But I want you to listen to me now.......
Peter: It's all right to marry someone else.
Peter: I know you don't want to do that now.
Mary: i would still hold you dear in my heart, even if you became a monster like them.
Mary: oh peter! do not think of such things.
Peter: But maybe someday you will feel better and find some hobbit to marry. I'll be happy for you if that happens
Mary: *once more her eyes well up with tears*
Peter: I don't want you touched by this evil
Mary: i do not want to think about that, not now.
Peter: No, not now *gently* It's all right
Peter: You don't have to think about that now.
Mary: you have come back to me after long lonely months. do not talk about any others. you are dear to my heart
Voices of the Nine: *Through the window, they see a shadow landing on the ground....*
Peter: And you are dear, so dear to me! *He kisses her passionately*
Peter: *He feels the approach of the shadow and buries his head in her shoulder as though that will save him*
Mary: *she kissses him back passionately, his touch not bringing her pain this time, but welcome coolness in the fetid heat of the summer*
Mary: *she pats his back trying to comfort him*
Mary: peter.... they have landed
Mary: they come for you
Mary: run now and save yourself
Mary: *he can feel her begin to tremble with terror but she tries to master herself and have courage*
Peter: *sobbing* There is no escape. They will find me anywhere
Peter: I love you, I love you!
Peter: I'm sorry
Mary: oh peter! i love you!
Peter: *crying so hard he is almost unintelligible* Goodbye!
Mary: i will always love you, though they drag you from my arms and take you from me forever
Mary: *her sobbing matches the intensity of his*
Mary: farewell my beloved! we shall meet again, someday, i pray to the stars above.
Peter: *dries his tears*
Peter: We will meet again.
Mary: *she holds him tighter and kisses his face desparately knowing this will be the last time they touch*
Angmar: *In his mind, Peter can hear.... IT IS I, ANGMAR..... THE MORGUL LORD. I HAVE COME FOR THEE*
Mary: *at least in the circles of the world*
Peter: *He takes her face in his hands and says gently* It's time, Mary.
Peter: Don't remember me like this
Peter: Remember me as a hobbit
Peter: for I shall soon be a hobbit again.
Angmar: *Ashgaz..... the voice continues.... Take her, and bring her with us to Minas Morgul, to die there, like you, forgotten..... WE COMMAND!*
Mary: i shall remember you as you always were, since you were a child
Mary: and i will hold the memories of you dear to my heart for ever and ever
Mary: and i shall mourn always what they have done to you. i forgive you for anything they make you do
Peter: *Peter replies vindictively to the voice in his head: Not forgotten!*
Peter: Thank you my love, thank you so much
Angmar: *Forgotten.... forgotten, lost, to all. to the light. BRING HER TO US*
Peter: I'll remember you too
Peter: Be happy
Mary: i will always remember you, and i shall always love you
Peter: *He pulls away and blows her a kiss*
Mary: should i run, peter? terror and dread are heavy upon me but i fight it to have this one last moment with you
Peter: You should run!
Peter: This is a dangerous time
Peter: You should go home
Peter: I love you! Goodbye
Peter: Run fast!
Mary: *she blows a kiss to him, her eyes swollen with tears*
Angmar: *Angmar waits at the front door*
Peter: Hurry!
Mary: farewell, my love! i love you! may the lady of the stars protect you to the end of your days!
Mary: *she runs*
Angmar: *The evening darkness has fallen. A wind swirls Angmar's robes as he stands there waiting*
Peter: *Peter wipes his tears away and braces himself*
Mary: *she runs through the hole out the back door, not looking back*
Peter: *He stands erect and strides purposefully to the front door*
Peter: *He sets his face in an expression of defiance and opens the door to meet Angmar*
Mary: *she runs as fast as she can, her fear consuming her now, runs as fast as her feet can take her, her heart pounding, her breath coming in gasps*
Angmar: ASHGAZ, the she-halfling comes not!
Peter: She shall not come
Peter: She is not bound to you
Peter: Only I am
Mary: *through the mirky dusk she runs, where she does not know... terror and grief gripping her soul*
Peter: And I am here. Take your vengeance.
Peter: *His voice is dark and heavy. He does not sound like himself* I am ready, do what you will.
Angmar: *Angmar lifts his hand and from the fingertips comes a blinding burst of fire, causing the door to explode into flames*
Peter: *Peter stands his ground*
Mary: *she collapses in exhaustion for the time upon the ground, far, far away from the hobbit hole.... weeping for her love, weeping for all*
Angmar: *Angmar hisses at Ashgaz* You fool! You seek to taunt me......
Angmar: COME NOW!
Mary: *darkness has come to the shire. darkness will take over the world, and subjegate everyone to be slaves to sauron.... her sobs wrack her small body*
Angmar: Ashagz..... come with me, get on my beast NOW
Peter: *Peter steps out the flaming doorway and stands before the fell beast*
Angmar: *The fire on the doorway hisses and crackles*
Angmar: *Angmar strides to Ashgaz, picks him up by the neck and tosses him on the beast*
Mary: *she wishes she could do something, but she is helpless. they are all helpless against this evil that threatens to consume the world, and all that is beautiful and good*
Mary: *she pulls herself into a sitting position, hugging her knees to her chest, rocking slowly and sobbing*
Peter: *Peter sits rigid on the fell beast, his face devoid of expression*
Peter: *He is resigned*
Angmar: *Angmar is silent as he commands the beast to mount into the air*
Angmar: *its powerful wings pump up and down and take them into the air*
Peter: *Peter looks down as the beast mounts, to take one last look at the Shire*
Mary: *a feeling of cold dread seizes her and she looks up through her tears and sees in the distance the fell beast aloft in the evening sky*
Peter: *Peter sees Mary and his heart fills with pity*
Mary: *she watches it.... hoping that its evil rider will not spot her*
Mary: *she waves at peter as they fly over her*
Peter: *safely behind Angmar, Peter risks returning the wave*
Peter: *He blows her a kiss*
Mary: *she weeps and cries to herself* oh peter, oh peter. i will always love you. and i shall meet you again. may the lady of the stars look over your paths though they may tread in the dark lands once more
Mary: *she watches as the black shape, darker than the darkness of the twilight, speeds into the eastern sky beyond her sight*
Peter: *Peter uses his power as a wraith on her, for just this one time. He sends her a thought message* I go to the dark lands, but not for long, and you will see me again
Mary: *she smiles, stands up and faces east and waves her hand....* farewell peter. at least for now.
Peter: *He cranes his neck to look back at the Shire until they are too far away to see it*
Angmar: *Minas Morgul with its glowing white tower, revolving in the night, awaits Ashgaz. Death also waits him there*

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