574 words. Saves an awful lot of that questing stuff on the way.
His eyes were streaming, though not from the wind in his face. Every one of his sneezes carried a curse for the stubborn little so and so that made this journey necessary. His great admiration and even love for Gwaihir did nothing to assuage his allergy to anything feathered and nothing could be considered more feathered than the greatest of the Eagles.
Two days he had argued, persuaded, cajoled even threatened but what they lacked in height your average Hobbit more than made up for in stubborn. They were impossible to shift once set on a course or task and unfortunately the task Frodo was set on was entirely concerned with the Shire and the coming celebrations. One Hobbit obsessing over a party had thwarted the plan he had nurtured for over a year. It would have united every race and tribe against Sauron and had been rendered useless by one insolent Hobbit. No other race would have suited as the ring bearer. There would have been far too much resentment and competition between the races of men with none prepared to accept a subordinate role. Elves wouldn't do it and considered themselves above such things. Dwarves? Even the thought of letting their aggression and obduracy loose made him shiver. No only a Hobbit would have united them, triggering that innate desire in all species to protect the apparently young.
Avoiding Sauron's ground forces had been relatively easy, Gandalf's main concern was the Nazgul and even their attention was directed goundward. Gwaihir was capable of such height that Gandalf nearly lost conciousness due to the thinness of the air and they would have passed over them but for another sneeze at just the wrong moment. Suddenly the Nazgul became aware that what they sought was above them. A frightening chase ensued and was still in progress for the rest of the Eagles that had massed around him. Wheeling and diving, one moment together like a flock of starlings and then bursting apart like one of Gandalf's own fireworks. In the confusion Gwaihir had folded his wings and dropped from the melee like a stone. Gandalf only survived by locking his arms round the eagles neck and burying himself as close as possible into the creatures neck, more violent sneezing. The drop succeeded and Gwaihir managed to disappear from the Nazgul's sight pulling out at treetop height and putting considerable distance between them and their pursuers by hugging the contours of the valley.
Gwaihir soared up the slope of Mount Doom to a rising, earth shaking roar as Sauron became aware of his imminent defeat. Gandalf let the ring fall from his fingers and watched it disappear from sight into the fires below. The roar turned into a wail and merged with the sound of splitting rock and explosions of lava as the mountain tore itself apart.
The final act had been surprisingly easy. Sauron had never expected Gandalf to succeed, confident that his massed forces would have dealt with the annoying wizard well before he was anywhere near the end. The few arrows from confused Orcs on the last approach to the mountain had been no more annoying than a wasps at a summer picnic.
Picnic. Yes. Now to return to the Shire and deal severely with a certain young Hobbit. Even more severely than he originally planned if there was no cake left.
Gandalf sneezed. And a handkerchief. The sleeve of his cloak was reverting from white to grey.