All Hallow's Eve

by Dinledhwen

After enjoying a delicious spread of savory and sweet dishes along with the Gaffer’s hard cider the Fellowship had then gathered at Frodo’s urging before the fire place in Bag End’s spacious front room.

“I do believe the time has come for the telling of tales that will send shivers of fright down our spines,’ he said while he looked hopefully at Aragorn since the former Ranger had some that would do just that.

“I too am eager to hear them. Especially the most recent one about the frightening encounter someone so well versed in the way of the woods had with poison ivy leaves,” Legolas said softly while a mischievous smile appeared on his lips and in his ever expressive blue eyes.

Aragorn shifted uneasily in his smallish chair as if it had suddenly become uncomfortable. Then he glared at the elf. “I told you it was dark,” he snapped. “And since we were in a hurry to get here I also didn’t have the luxury of taking my time to study the leaves around me during that…um…private moment!”

By now Merry and Pippin had caught on to what Aragorn was trying to say in his round about way and it sent them into coughing fits behind their hands as they tried not to laugh out loud at him. Meanwhile Frodo and Sam cringed at the thought of being so itchy down there while Gandalf only shook his head in admonishment at Legolas while he lit his pipe.

“I told you the elf wouldn’t let you forget that!” Gimli snorted.

“That is not true! I only wanted to hear again the frightening details is all,” Legolas replied innocently although his eyes still had a mischievous glint to them.

“Can we change the subject?” Aragorn pleaded while he again shifted uneasily.

“Yes let’s do that!” Frodo wholeheartedly agreed as he gave the former Ranger a sympathetic look.

Suddenly a low unearthly moan filled the air around the Fellowship which startled them and fixed their attention on nothing else but it.

“What in the world was that?!” Merry and Pippin exclaimed in unison after it had faded away.

“Maybe the Gaffer’s old milk cow died…She’s been feeling poorly of late,” Sam stammered although he didn’t sound very convinced of what he was saying.

Then the moan came again during which Legolas felt someone tugging playfully on the larger braid he wore down the back of his head.

Instantly this had the startled elf swiftly standing and then pivoting around on one heel. It was then that his elvish eyesight could discern behind him the subtle out line of a ghostly figure standing in the shadows beyond the fire’s light. And when he recognized who it was the now surprised elf raised his eyebrows.

Meanwhile the combination of the moaning and his sudden movement had startled everyone else anew.

“Legolas what in the world are you doing?!” Aragorn demanded and when he noticed that the elf was gazing intently at something in the dark he added “And what are you looking at?!”

By now the ghostly figure was placing one index finger to its lips in a silent appeal for the Prince to not answer the former Ranger’s second question. And the elf complied with the request by nodding his head slightly because he knew no harm would come from his granting of it.

“I just thought I heard a mouse squeak,” he then lied to Aragorn while he turned around and sat back down his face now a mask of complete calm.

“There are no such vermin in Bag End!” Sam said indignantly.

“One could have snuck in today. We did have the front door open for much of it,” Frodo reminded his faithful companion.

But Aragorn wasn’t buying Legolas’ excuse. “I’ve never known you to be so startled by a mouse’s squeak before so out with it elf! What had you so spooked?!”

Suddenly the vase full of colorful fall leaves and flowers slowly rose up into the air above the center of the feasting table where it had been placed earlier. Then it proceeded to float at the same speed over to the wide eyed former Ranger. And when it came to rest in his lap he instinctively grabbed a hold of it when it started to topple off to one side which sloshed some of the water out onto his hands and lap.

Meanwhile an equally wide eyed Frodo, Sam, Merry, and Pippin each received from the feasting table in the same manner as the vase a popcorn ball, a caramel apple, a large pumpkin shaped sugar cookie, and a slice of cake respectively. However none of the hobbits made a move to pick up the food items from their laps while they stared at them.

As for Gimli and Gandalf they too were gifted with items from the same table which left the uneasy dwarf with a ceramic pitcher of hard cider in one hand and the muttering wizard the platter containing half of the roasted chicken he had praised earlier as being delicious in both.

Then the moaning started up again.

Now even the stoutest of hearts can be unnerved by something so strange as this and that was why the hobbits nearly fell all over themselves as they tried to make a mad dash for the round front door their goodies falling off their laps and onto the floor where they were trampled in the process. Nor was it long before Gimli, Aragorn, and Gandalf followed after them although they absentmindedly clung on to their gifts. And it wasn’t until they all had gathered down on the dirt road running past Bag End did they overcome their fright.

Nor was this how Frodo had imagined what his party would be like at all and the hobbit were at a loss as to how to deal with it.

“Now that was the most hilarious thing I’ve ever seen! What say you Legolas?” those down on the road suddenly heard a familiar voice say behind them. But it was a voice of some one who should be resting in peace. And after they had spun around almost as one and saw that Boromir was indeed standing up by the front door all they could do was stare back in stunned disbelief while the dwarf, wizard, and the former Ranger continued to hold onto the pitcher of hard cider, platter of roasted chicken, and the vase of leaves and flowers respectively.

“Yes it was as you said,” Legolas replied with a bigger smile while he stepped out from behind the ghost. “Although I must say the stunned looks on everyone’s faces now is rivaling it.”

“Why are you looking at me in such a way my friends? After all it is all Hallows Eve and surely you all knew that this is the night for us ghosts to be out and about scaring everyone!” Boromir added while laughing.

Then he moaned like the earlier moaning before laughing again.

“If he wasn’t already dead I would kill him,” Gimli grumped under his breath.

“Well Gimli you do have to admit he is right,” Aragorn said while he looked down at the vase in his hands. “Let me guess this is a reference to my earlier problem?”

“Of course! The leaves in that arrangement are perfectly safe for you to use!”

Aragorn glared at Legolas. “See what you’ve done! Now even the dead know what I did!”

“Now don’t go blaming our elvish friend! I was following after you three so I knew all about that before this tonight.”

“You were? How is it that I didn’t see you?” Legolas asked curiously while the rest of the Fellowship began to trudge back up the front steps.

“It wasn’t easy. I had to do some hiding inside of trees, and I was afraid they would let you know I was in them.”

“Here we go with the talking tree stuff again!” grumbled Gimli whose mood wasn’t improving.

“Is that why you didn’t give Legolas something from the feasting table because he would see you doing it?” Pippin asked while the ghost solidified enough so he could give him and Merry a greeting hug since his dying for them had made their bond of friendship all the more stronger than what a simple handshake could express.

“Yes that is why. I figured I could do no better than being able to pull one of his braids without him noticing me first.”

“So that is what spooked you!” Aragorn chimed in almost gleefully. “I will have to remember that one.”

“Remember it if you want. But you know you can never catch me off guard my friend,” the elf replied with a smug smile.

“I seem to remember how much nicer it was in Bag End before we ended up out here in the cold,” Gandalf interjected with this not so subtle hint that now was the time to go back inside.

“Come on everyone there’s still plenty of food and drink! And maybe Boromir will also tell us what ghost stories he knows!” Frodo urged before running through the wide open round door.

After that the remaining part of the Fellowship trooped on inside and once the spilled food had been cleared up and those things that had been held onto all this time set back down they then gathered before the fire once more. There they enjoying food, drink, and the pleasant feeling of being with friends while Aragorn and Boromir entertained them with stories of things that went bump in the night.

Now this was how Frodo had imagined what his party would’ve been like although it had never occurred to him earlier that Boromir’s ghost would show up. And when it was over just before dawn they all had agreed that it had been the best all Hallows Eve party they had ever had!