Sauron looks down from his tower across the blasted land.
Looking down is all he can do, now.
When he was younger, he dreamed of looking down
from just such a tower
and watching those who had laughed at him writhe in pain,
or scream and wet themselves in fear,
or run away,
or finally, finally, FINALLY
just
Stop.
Laughing.
At.
Him.
for being scared of the dark.

Everyone had thought he was slow when he was young.
Not sleeping does that, destroys the ability to think.
Things hide in the dark, and they wait for sleep so they can
insinuate through nose ears mouth,
eat you toes and fingers first,
and you know that the blanket isn’t invincible armor but it’s all you’ve got.
The priest said that if you understand something, really truly understand it,
you won’t be as afraid of it.
So Sauron (whose birth name I don’t recall and neither does he) studied as best he could.
He learned about the dark, and about the Dark, and the Dark learned about him.

His favorite spell, then and always, was fire.
A simple spark, to light a candle and hold back the dark.
But not the Dark.

And in the end, it all came true.
The blanket armor wasn’t invincible.
The Dark ate him toes and fingers first.
It bled in through his ears and his nose and mouth, and through the pores in his skin, and it ate him.
Until all that was left was a single flame, cast in his left eye so that he could always see.
One light burning in the Dark.

When that small creature came, and threw away the Ring, at last, at long weary last,
Sauron understood the Dark.
And at long, weary last,
he could sleep.

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