Gollum was lying under the wooden steps. I saw his twisted figure through the boards writhing on the broken rocks far below. His skin was bleached white by darkness and his body was shrunken with starvation, yet his hallow face held eyes full and mesmerizing; staring up at me unblinking and whispering so slowly, so carefully; looking for another to latch onto that would carry him further into rebellion. Oh, how weak he was! Oh, how sad! It was such a hypnotic gaze and through it I was compelled to help him, but I would not dare touch him. Instead, and this I’m so ashamed to admit, I helped him find another.
Above us the goblins were so fixated on vanity. They were so purposeless! So amused! They weren’t even able to see us standing on their level! Without hesitation he pounced on the closest one standing; like a wretched and naked lion, and then twisted his skinny legs around him. Gollum was so weak he looked almost weightless, and when his body slammed against the goblin it was pushed forward as if pushed by a strong gust of wind, as it could not feel his body. Immediately Gollum went to whispering right into his left ear so the thing would be so dumb about his presence. “Steady now. Yesss, steady, my love. The floor is uneven here; we must be careful!” The goblin had no idea Gollum was there, and his whispers were only more anxious voices in an already stressed mind.
But this goblin he’d found was so weak! All the creatures on that level were so simple-minded! I imagined if he were to attach himself onto something stronger he might be unstoppable. I imagined something with brutish and big muscles, and a chest outfitted with dazzlingly thick armor, holding up a master’s degree. Then, even with some giddiness, I thought how respected I might be if only I could help him find such a monster. So, as if this wasn’t reality, as if this was only a game, I set out to find him something up on the higher levels.
The downstairs lights had nearly all been turned out. On the fireplace mantle was a single candle burning dim by an electric flame. I walked towards it and soon found my hands on the mantle as my face was brought up over the flickering bulb. It whispered to me and said, “Please don’t do this, Jason. It’s so wrong. Don’t you know how wrong? You’d never be able to look into the light again without feeling such immense shame.” My heart was turned that moment. I knew the voice was absolutely right, and I had awoken as if out of a dream. Behind me I saw the spirit of God sitting on a bench in the living room with His back towards me. He was slumped forward and brooding, fully aware of what Gollum was up to out in the dark, and He was grieving. I remember thinking how ridiculous we had been to think God could not know; as if our plans were hidden in the shadow and we might pounce on Him when His back was turned. He had known all along, and my heart was pricked knowing even I had contributed to this great sadness; this immense disappointment of His soul. I walked over to Him, determined in my heart not to be one of those who would betray, even in ignorance, and as I approached a small seat opened beside Him.
Copyright 2015 Jason S Cooper