Inklets - Light...2

Serious 1  2  3  4 Light or Humorous 1  2  3  4 
Collections of vignette tales, too long for drabbles and too short for shorts.

A Spring Inkling - Firiel
Always Room For... - jan-u-wine
An Elvish Prank - Silivren Ithildin
The Babysitters - Silivren Ithildin
The Cast Offs - Dinledhwen
Elves at the Havens - Primula
The Final Time - Silivren Ithildin
Hobbits and Horehound - Lothithil
Lords of the Dance - Agape4Rivendell
Nazgul in the Library - Primula

Hobbits and Horehound
 a Pippin inklet for Aunt Kimby     

Merry was swatting at the annoying midges and hadn't even noticed that I'd fallen into the water. My foot had slipped in the slimey mud, and though I had thrown both arms forward to catch myself, my hands sank deep and I was soaked. I pushed myself up and shook the water from my hair.

Merry turned around then, and I could see he was trying not to laugh. "Pip! Here's my hand, ol' boy. Up you get! Are you all right?"

"Yes, Merry. I just slipped." I shook my hands and tried to wring out my coat, but it did little good. "Let's keep moving. I don't want to fall behind."

We walked on, and as the afternoon faded we came to slightly firmer ground. Here our guide paused, motioning for us to wait while he went on ahead and looked around. I gratefully slid my pack off of my shoulders. My coat and scarf were still wet, and I felt the chill of the wind as I removed them and tried to wring out the swampwater. I got my cloak out of my pack-- mercifully the contents were still dry-- and wrapped it around myself.

My stomach was growling at me, but I wasn't thinking of food, for once. I looked at my friends faces; Merry was weary, and so was Sam. Frodo looked worried and tired enough to sleep where he was sitting. I felt like I should say something, something witty or silly or stupid, to make them laugh and forget for a moment our troubles, but when I opened my mouth to speak, I was taken instead in a great sneeze. I groped in my pocket for a handkerchief, damp but clean, and sneezed again.

Frodo looked at me with concern. "Pippin, are you all right? How did you get all wet?"

"I was trying to escape from the midges," I answered cheekily, shivering a little. "It worked too! Appearantly they don't care for soggy hobbits!"

Frodo smiled, then removed his own coat and draped it around my shoulders. I wanted to refuse, but it was so nice and warm. "You wear this for now, Pip. I've a cloak, too, and I'm not all wet."

Sam removed his own pack and fished around in its crowded pockets, finally bringing out what looked like a bag. "Here, Mr Pippin. You can wear my hat if you want. It'll keep your ears warm, at least."

Merry chuckled as I put on the felt hat. My face flushed. I could feel the heat run down my collar. "Thanks, Sam," I mumbled, "just until I get warm."

Strider came back then, and he urged us to follow him again. Luckily, he had found a path that led a winding course through the murky pools, so we stayed dry, even if there were plagues of midges hovering over the paths like little thunderclouds. By evening we had made our way almost out of the marshes. Strider brought us to a little dell to camp, where we built a fire and huddled gratefully around its warmth.

The cold had me in a good grip by then. I tried to hide it from the others, but there is not much you can hide from your friends, who know you so well that they can tell how you feel by what you don't say more than by what you do say. Sam brought me heated soup, Frodo insisted that I keep his coat on even after mine had dried, and Merry gave me half of his supper, saying that he was full and didn't want it to go to waste.

I pulled the collar of Frodo's coat up more snuggly around my ears, grateful for the darkness that concealed my tears. We weren't even to Rivendell yet, and I was already sick. How was I going to help Frodo? I couldn't even take care of myself!

The others had fallen asleep, but I was awake still, shivering a little in spite of the warmth of the fire on my face. I muffled a cough in my hands, and when I looked up, Strider was sitting next to me.

"Here, eat this," he said, handing me something small and slightly sticky.

I held it up and looked at it by the firelight. It was about the size of the tip of my finger, yellowish, and smooth. It smelled strangely fragrant. "What is it?" I asked warily.

"It is a kind of resin-candy made from herbs. The Rangers use them when traveling, to stave off chills and sickness. Let it melt on your tongue, if you can bear the flavour. They don't taste very good, but it will ease your throat and make you feel better."

Hesitantly, I placed the thing on my tongue. It tasted like a raw tealeaf, bitter and pungent. I nearly coughed it out, but very quickly I felt relief from my stuffy head and nose. I could breathe easier!

Strider nodded at me, then wrapped his thick, wax-treated cloak around me and bade me lay down. The bitter candy melted away and before sleep covered me, I looked again toward where he sat, watching over us through the night.

Frodo had been right. Strider wasn't so bad as he looked.
- Lothithil

A Spring Inkling

The delicate teacup was grasped in strong, worn hands. The aroma of freshly brewed tea filled the hobbit hole, while outside rain fell in the garden.

It was a warm spring rain, one that would make the crops grow well, and would ornament every newly furled leaf with jewelled drops that would sparkle once the sun reappeared, he thought to himself. Smiling a little, he sipped the hot tea thoughtfully. What a delightful day! So perfect for being indoors, and having a cup of tea. And a few teacakes, he thought suddenly. Nodding to himself, he rose from the table, and moved across to the pantry, where he rummaged around looking for victuals. "Just to fill up the corners", he murmured.

Emerging from the pantry, he was moving past the kitchen window, when a sudden sound stopped him. Leaning on the window sill, he looked out. There, on the path outside the garden, several young hobbits danced in the rain, shrieking with delight, and performing a wild variation of the Springle-ring. They slipped and skidded in the mud, trying valiantly to stay upright, until finally one of them slipped, and tripped up the whole lot of them. Wild confusion followed, and in a trice, the Springle-ring transformed into a mud fight, which threatened to spill over into the very garden itself.

All at once, one of the urchins happened to look up, and he yelped, skidding off down the road. The others jerked around, and seeing something that obviously filled them with dismay, they, too, fled after their companion. A moment later, old Gaffer Gamgee came clumping around the corner, frustration etched on his face. He surveyed the mud-spattered garden in an annoyed fashion, then turning toward the window, he took his cap off, and spoke.

"Well, Mister Bilbo, those young 'uns have made a mess, and no mistake. Begging your pardon, seeing as 'ow young Mister Frodo was one of them, but they really ought to be talked to! My Sam will hear of it, you can be sure."

Bilbo's face crinkled into an amused smile. "Don't mind them at all, Master Gamgee! I must say, I was enjoying watching the young scamps. Don't worry about the garden - it's much to wet to be bothering about it right now, anyways. I'm sure you'll have no problem repairing the damage after it stops raining. Go ahead and go home for the day, if you like."

The Gaffer wiped his rain spattered face. "Well, sir, I must say I don't mind if I do. A cup of tea sounds like just the thing on a day like today."

Bilbo smiled to himself as the solid figure of Gaffer Gamgee disappeared down the lane. He almost felt like finding those "young scamps" and joining in on the fun himself. Then he looked down, realizing he was still holding a plate of teacakes. On second thought, tea and teacakes might be a better way to spend the afternoon..
- Firiel

The Babysitters

Merry came running when Pippin had sent for him.

"What's wrong, Pip?" Merry asked a bit out of breath as he entered Pippin's front door, "it sounded like you're desperate!"

Stopping short at the sound of a baby crying, Merry called out, "Do you have a baby in here?"

"What do you think?" Pippin asked appearing while carrying a very unhappy baby, "yes, I have a baby in here! I've tried everything I know to try and she won't stop!"

"Let me have her," Merry said, "Elanor likes her Uncle Merry."

"Well," Pippin said a bit grumpy and frazzled, "she usually likes her Uncle Pippin too, but, she doesn't seem happy tonight."

"Where's Sam and Rosie?" Merry asked while pacing around the room rocking Elanor in his arms.

"They needed a bit of a break to go on a date and so I said I would watch her, but,. then she started crying and wouldn't quit," Pippin replied.

Merry started looking a bit frazzled himself as Elanor continued crying, right beside his ear.

Both Hobbits looked a bit startled as Elanor let out a burb that would have made any adult male Hobbit proud.

Immediately she quit crying and started laughing. Looking at each other, Merry and Pippin joined in with her laughter.

At that moment, Sam and Rosie stepped in the front door.

Seeing the three of them laughing, Sam and Rosie quit worrying about how Pippin was getting along with Elanor.

Collecting the now happy Elanor, Sam and Rosie left behind Merry and Pippin who were still chuckling.
- Silivren Ithildin

An Elvish Prank

"What on Middle-earth is going on around here?" Pippin asked coming to a stop in front of Merry. "Everyone is acting strange today. As I was walking here whenever I would pass someone they would point at me and laugh. Do I have green teeth or something?"

"Well, I don't see green teeth," Merry replied trying to quietly snicker, "but, I think I might know what is going on."

"Ok, so, what is it?" Pippin asked growing quite grumpy.

"This is something I think you have to see," Merry answered.

Looking at his reflection, Pippin shrieked, "That sneaky Elf! When I get ahold of him I'm going to clobber him!"

"Now, now, Pippin," Merry tried to calm Pippin, "I'm sure he didn't mean any harm."

"Didn't mean any harm?" Pippin gasped, "have you looked at my hair?"

"Well, I know it is different from how you usually wear it, but it isn't bad," Merry replied trying to see the positive in the situation.

"Not bad?!" Pippin said, "well considering I look like I have thousands of worms all over my head, I think it actually does look bad! How on Middle-earth can an Elf with such large hands braid hair in such tiny sections?"

"That is an excellent question," Merry said, vaguely in awe of Legolas' braiding expertise, "but, haven't we had a talk before where I warned you not to fall asleep while you were near him?"

"Well," Pippin mumbled, "yeah, I remember. But, even so, when I find him he is going to have to undo each and every tiny braid he put in my hair!"

"Well," Merry warned, "make sure you have a bucket of water at hand, for when he gets done taking them out, your hair is going to look fluffier than the long-haired sheep right before they are ready to clip!"

Pippin just groaned turning around to find a bucket and an Elf, in that order.

- Silivren Ithildin

'.....Bilbo stood amazed at the array (for array it was, the sun glancing rainbows and prisms from the jewelled mass before him)of colour:

greens like the very First Forest, reds the colour (he imagined) of a dragon's undercrackers, yellows like daisies in Spring......and, atop, a vast whiteness, like Caradhras in winter buried deep.

Well he knew (Bilbo's Yoda impression) he'd not wish to share this bounty with Frodo, and well he knew that share it he *would*.

With great care, he decanted one of each of the sweetly shaking squares into two tall goblets.

 They *had* just eaten.

Frodo's eyes met his. "Uncle. They say......."

 ".......there's always room for jello. Yes, lad....."


"Yes, dear boy?"

"Don't bogart the Redi-Whip."
 - jan-u-wine

The Final Time

Reaching up feeling his hair, Frodo grinned. So, he hadn't been dreaming after all. Legolas really had braided his hair!

Getting ready, Frodo ran down to breakfast to show his braids off.

Walking into the Great Hall he was amused to see the stunned looks on the faces of the other Hobbits.

Spying Legolas Frodo hurried over to talk with him.

"I wasn't sure if I had dreamed talking with you last night while you were braiding my hair or not until I woke up this morning and ran my hands through my hair," Frodo said quietly.

"Well," Legolas said just as quietly, "I wanted to braid your hair too, but, you have been through so much I wasn't sure you would want me to so I decided I would ask you first."

"I appreciate that," Frodo responded, "having it done makes me feel like I'm a bit closer again to the other Fellowship members. We have all needed this little bit of fun. Thank you!"

"You are most welcome," Legolas replied.

"You do know however," Frodo said mock-sternly, loudly enough to be heard, "you are going to have to undo all of these braids!"

"Of course," Legolas said with a bow.

Running over to the Hobbits, Frodo said, "Can you believe he got me? But, don't worry, I got after him!"

"Good for you, Mister Frodo!" Sam said not entirely sure Frodo was all that upset, "I'll help you find a bucket to dunk your head in after he gets them all out."

"Thank you, Sam," Frodo said, "we'll go get it after I finish breakfast."

So, for the final time, the bucket was located and then the Elf.

- Silivren Ithildin

The Cast Offs

When Aragorn joined the Fellowship at the gate, he immediately noticed that all he could see was poor Bill the Pony’s trembling legs from under the huge heavy pack on his back.

“Gentlemen I thought I had made myself perfectly clear that we must travel light,” he said in a no nonsense tone of voice as he pulled off the tarp which revealed nine large crates of mushrooms.

“We didn’t think a light snack on the road would hurt,” Pippin said as he and the other hobbits watched sadly, as their “snack” was stacked off to one side.

Next under the crates, Aragorn discovered a tall stack of magazines featuring pictures of little hairy women in bikinis cavorting in various bodies of water, which Gimli quickly snatched from his hands and hid behind his back.

“Let me guess that was your idea of some light reading for along the way,” Aragorn said with a smile as he teased the dwarf whose face was now a bright shade of red in embarrassment.

“I didn’t know dwarves could read,” Legolas said softly to the dwarf which made Gimli turn even redder now with anger.

Meanwhile the next thing that Aragorn discovered on Bill was a large box of autographed pictures of Boromir striking a kingly pose. “Aren’t you wasting you money on these things?” Aragorn said as he handed the box to the disappointed man from Gondor. “We both know that the script calls for you to kick the bucket later on and for me to become King.”

“Well I just thought that if I left hints along the way for the writers that they would change their minds,” Boromir replied. Then he looked at the picture on top and smiled. “My but I’m dashing in that pose!” he muttered to himself as he began to hand them out to the elves who had gathered to see the Fellowship off.

“Definitely delusional,” Legolas whispered to Gandalf who nodded back knowingly. “A chip off the old fruitcake block,” Gandalf whispered back.

After that, Aragorn took off Bill a square package wrapped in brown paper. Quickly Gandalf snatched this out of his hands before he proceeded to stuff it into a large pocket in his voluminous grey robes. However, Legolas’ keen eyesight had seen through a rip in the paper the word “Depends”. Instantly the Elf knew what it was the Wizard was trying to hide but he knew better then to say anything for he did not want to become something unnatural permanently.

“Here now the Elf here must have hid something on Bill too since everyone else had!” Gimli demanded.

“I’m afraid not Gimli,” Aragorn said. “What’s left on Bill is all that we need.”

Now this did not set well with the Dwarf who grumbled that elves could not be trusted.

“You may think that now Master Dwarf. However, I have a strong hunch you will think otherwise when the situation is most dire,” Gandalf said to which Gimli only gave a snort of disbelief.

Then the Fellowship was on their way with Legolas bringing up the rear with Bill. It was at that moment when the elf slipped his elvish toiletries kit unseen in amongst the items left in the pony’s pack and hid it in such a way that it would remain undiscovered.

“Elves can be trusted Bill,” he said softly to the pony while he rubbed its neck in a friendly manner. “We just prefer to not be so obvious with some of our actions.”

To this, Bill gave the elf a conspiratorial wink and from that, moment on the pair kept their secret to themselves.

- Dinledhwen

Lords of the Dance

For Linaewen and Sir Ada and whomever loves the men of Gondor

“Come, little brother. Let us show these poor excuses for dancers how this is supposed to be done!”

With that he grabbed Faramir’s forearm and hauled him to his feet. Faramir grinned. Both men drew their swords from their scabbards and placed them on the ground. Suddenly, stillness filled the night air. The stars themselves seemed to pause in their flight. The tension was palpable. Everyone knew this was a contest, for, though great was the love brother for brother, great also was the love of competition. The men started singing, accompanied by a slow steady clapping; they knew they were in for a treat. The brothers smiled and started circling their swords and each other. Slowly, they moved to the dance. The men’s clapping grew faster. The brothers’ feet flew, hands held high in the air one moment, then reaching for their swords in the next. The clapping spurred both brothers’ feet into faster movement. Laughter was warm upon Faramir’s face, but Boromir’s, though a smile covered it, showed deep concentration. Faramir danced much better Boromir knew, but at speed, none could match him. As the clapping got faster and stronger, shouts roared from men caught up in the excitement that was before them. Suddenly, Faramir stumbled and fell backwards. Hoots of laughter went up from the men, but a look of consternation covered Boromir’s face. He growled at the men who immediately ceased their taunting. Faramir started to get up, but Boromir was quickly at his side with his arm outstretched.

“Forgive me, brother. I should have stopped moments ago.”

Faramir smiled and clapped Boromir on the shoulder as he was pulled upright. “That was fun. You always did best me when the dance raised its speed, though perhaps…”

“None dance as gracefully as you, little brother,” Boromir interrupted. “Any great brute can move his feet quickly. It takes skills to move them well. I am sorry!” He hugged him fiercely and with great pride. The men strode forward and pounded them both on their backs congratulating them.

But then silence shattered the moment. The men quickly parted and Denethor stood before them. An embarrassed smile spread across Boromir’s face as he moved forward to greet his father.

“So, I send you on patrol and what do I find?” The scowl hid the twinkle in his eye. “You won, of course?”

“Only because I tripped Faramir!” Boromir grinned.
- Agape4Rivendell

Nazgul in the Library

Nine nervous Nazgûl stood hesitantly before the librarian's desk, a charred and mouldering tome laying before them.

"We're sorry...." whispered the first one, "we really thought it had been returned...."

The librarian pushed her glasses up on her nose and took a long look at the offendingly overdue item. "Where has this been? Didn't your mothers ever teach you to wrap your books in a bag before going out in the rain? Or was it read in the bathtub, perhaps? For shame! And what are these marks? Reading too near the fire?"

"Errr....something like that," dithered the second one. "We lent it to a, er, friend...."

"You should never lend out your library books, they don't belong to you," she said with a stern shake of her head that made her tight bun of hair bob from side to side. "Next time, you need to return it and let them check it out themselves."

"But, he can't..." said the third.

"Why not? Hasn't he a library card?"

"No, he hasn't any... hands..."

She flipped through a small stack of cards. "This was checked out in the last Age - I'm afraid I'll have to charge you not only for it being overdue, but for the damage to the book. That will be ten golden rings, please."

"Uh....what did you say? Rings?"

"Ten golden rings. All currency was converted to the Golden Ring standard fifty years ago. You should know that."

"But, we only have nine...." they hoarsely chorused together.

"Well, you'll just have to come back when you have enough to pay your fine. I can't let you check out anything else until then, I'm sorry."

"Not even...." they chorused, each pointing to a different murder mystery on the nearby rack of New Arrivals.

"No, not even that. Good-day."


Gandalf turned to the hobbits. "Well, here at last, dear friends, on the shores of the Sea comes the end of our fellowship in Middle-earth. Go in peace! I will not say do not weep; for not all tears are... OOOF! ow ow ow ow ow."

Eight eager Elves elbowed past like a rugby team, knocking the old wizard down and trampling his white robes as they jostled onto the waiting ship.

Frodo laughed down at him, extending a hand to help him to his knees. "They're going with us?"

"The grace and delicacy of Elves is highly overrated," grumbled Gandalf, dusting himself off. "Especially when they're near the sea. It's not unlike a cat in a patch of catnip, something I always intended to study but never got around to it. Now, what was I saying?"

"Ow ow ow ow ow," offered Pippin helpfully.
- Primula


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