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Darkness Falls  by Kara's Aunty

Disclaimer: Lord of the Rings is owned by J.R.R. Tolkien, his family, New Line cinema, etc. I have written this for my own enjoyment.

Credit: Wikipaedia

Summary: After her unexpected defeat by a furious Gamgee, Shelob retreats to lick her wounds, but will that be enough to save her?

The Doom of Shelob

Pain!

The fire of it began at the ugly wound gaping in her belly and licked its way through her body, kissing her nerve endings with a passion she had never before known.

Agony!

Spread its way from those very nerve endings to every last fibre of her being. It was a feeling she had never experienced in all the long years of her dark existence.

Torture!

Oh, such torture it was, not to have hands with which to grip the wound that hurt, or tears to let fall as she did so! No feasible way of squeezing the savage gash back together again in the vain hope that the flesh would reassemble itself as if it had never been sundered in the first place!

No, she had no hands to offer false comfort. And though her eyes numbered many, the only liquid that fell there was from that which the insolent creature had pierced with his weapon. Even those that remained whole had not been saved from his wrath, blinded as they yet were by the remnant agony of the light.

The light!!

Was it not enough that the little creature - the lesser of them both - had dared to stand in defiance of her? Launched an assault that had deprived her of a claw before she could turn to defend herself? Ripped that which should remain whole, so that the contents of her sacs - her very life’s blood - spilled upon the stone gardens outside her cavernous home?

No!

He had to deliver a final blow, to shame her into retreat from him! He, whom she should have crushed without a second thought! He, who should even now be filling her belly with his own sweet flesh!

What manner of creature was this, who would defy her? Cow her? Defeat her?

What manner of creature spoke as the Firstborn, yet resembled their kind less than a weed did a tree? What manner of being was it that appeared so delightfully unthreatening, so insignificant, yet fought with such relentless passion as to ensure the retreat of Ungoliant’s last child?

How could such a one hold the power of the stars in his very hand and make it bend to his will?

Oh, the exquisite, exquisite agony of it! Even now, hours later, in the safety of her own dark palace, she could still feel Eärendil’s foulness lingering in the very roots of her remaining eyes. It hung and clung and stung with a power that might drive her mad! It was the only thing capable of diverting her attention from the scorching fire burning in her poor belly!

Is this what it felt like to die?

Was she dying?

No! It could not be! She, who had reigned in the labyrinthine halls of Torech Ungol before the rise of Mordor‘s master! She, whom even Sauron himself had no command over! She, from whom no man of might and no elven lord were safe!

Dying?

It could not be!

Could it?

For here, in the greatest cavern of her home, her life was leaking from her. Even though she denied the possibility of it, the ichors pooled around her bristled limbs, mingling with rock and with bones of her former repasts, draining her, weakening her.

And for the first time in all the millennia of her existence, she knew true fear.

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