Pestilential Prose

Bad Writing by onone


Once upon a time, a long, long time ago in the not-so-distant future, three hobbits named Frodo, Sam, Merry and Pippin, left there homes and came on a venture of no small merit, although the hobbits themselves often were thought of as small, being no larger than the children of men, if you consider that small – of course, if you’re one of the children, that’s not small at all, but these kinds of stories are so often written by adults, don’t ask me why, and so hobbits are considered small, although we should probably say vertically challenged, although that challenge was nothing compared to the challenge that would await them on this venture, of which I already spoke. These five, because one of them came but stayed behind when it came to going into the dark, foreboding – foreboding… that’s a good word that isn’t much used any more, sadly enough – dark, foreboding woods, were all friends, having grown up in different towns together, but most of them were somehow related as only hobbits can tell you, they having the most incredible genealogical accounting going back generations and keeping track of thirds and fourths and fifths, not only of cousins and generations, but also of helpings of mushrooms, of which they are almost as fond as they are of their cousins… and sometimes much more so. But at Crickhollow the five became four because the four could not persuade the fifth, Fatty, that it was far less fearful in the forest with friends than waiting around to get clobbered by who knows what by yourself, which is something none of us like to contemplate, although some people are more disturbed by it than others. Not Fatty, though… and he really did deserve his name, because he was more than usually fond of mushrooms, and not just mushrooms, but seed cakes, ale and sausages, too. What he wasn’t fond of was the idea of going into the forest, because as a small hobbit (hobbits are small, yes, but children of hobbits are even smaller, and that’s what Fatty was when I referred to him as a “small hobbit” – a young hobbit, or, to put it in another way, a hobbit lad, or a hobbit-ling if you prefer, although I don’t really know why you would) when he was a small hobbit (or hobbit lad) he had been told stories about the trees in the forest and how they would come to life and how sinister (a word that originally meant left-handed, although how it came to mean something foreboding – there’s that word again! – foreboding and dangerous, I don’t know) how sinister and dangerous they (the trees, I mean… not left-handed people – or hobbits, although I don’t know if hobbits are left-handed….) how dangerous the trees become when anyone went into the forest. So he stayed behind and the others forged on ahead into the dark, foreboding, sinister forest. Hence (another good word gone forever from the average vocabulary) Frodo and company (or should I say “crowd” since two is company and three – which there are now, if you don’t count Frodo, because Fatty stayed behind – three is a crowd) – Frodo and crowd embark thither (yet another antiquated word) into the forest. And so, as the sun slowly rises over the tree-tops, we stand with Fatty as he waves a fond farewell to Merry, Frodo, Pippin and Sam (the only one with a normal name!), although not fond enough to face the fearsome foreboding of the forest. Fatty turned and returned to the cottage that had just recently been so full of hobbits and breakfast, although now the hobbits were full of the breakfast and they were gone, so the cottage seemed very empty to Fatty. And Fatty felt empty, too… having had to share his breakfast with the other four: Merry, Sam, Pippin and Frodo. And Fatty was lonely… but not for long as later on in the day he was called upon by several dark and mysterious strangers without faces and with dark and sinister horses (if horses can be left-handed… or is it left-hoofed?). And that just about scared Fatty silly. And so my story ends (thankfully!).