Children of the Boards
“I pronounce this meeting opened!” cried The Muse, banging her
chairwoman’s hammer on the table. The many strange assembled figures
slowly settled down.
“Everyone here? Yes? All right! Now, Children of the Boards, the reason why you were summoned here is…”
“Excuse me, Muse?” said a charming Elf politely, raising his perfectly manicured hand.
“It seems to me that Varda’s children haven’t arrived yet.”
“Just something for them to come in late and make a big entrance,” muttered NorthStar’s Gríma.
“Shut up, Worm!” said Peregrine’s Éomer, whacking the young version of his hated enemy on the head with his sword-hilt.
“Order, now!” cried The Muse. “This matter cannot be discussed if you all keep arguing amongst yourselves.”
Just then the door of the Palace Of The Muse opened, and a group of very rugged-looking figures came stumbling in.
“Sorry we’re late!” said Marfach, panting. “Just came here straight from the battle and…”
“Yes, yes, we know,” said The Muse impatiently. “Sit down.”
But just as Varda’s characters had fetched themselves some chairs, the
doors opened again, and Legolas dragged himself in, pushing Linaewen’s
Boromir in a wheelchair.
“Honestly!” said the Son of Gondor when The Muse glared at him. “Why
are there no elevators in the Palace Of The Muse? You know very well
that I am wounded right now, and cannot climb all these stairs!”
Legolas, too tired to even speak, collapsed in a chair next to Adulas,
who immediately started dabbing his forehead with a wet cloth.
“I agree with Boromir!” said a very indignant Belladonna Took, rolling
in behind them in her Hobbit-scooter. “Many characters are wounded in
Inklings, O Muse!”
“Listen, I have not summoned you here to discuss my Palace’s wheelchair
facilities!” cried The Muse, going red. “This is much more important!
This is about your birthground!”
A silence fell among the characters, except for Auntkimby’s Pippin, who
was desperately trying to restrain his wolf, which he had on a leash,
since it was hungrily looking at the rather uncomfortable Frodent, who
was settled on Morlothiel’s lap.
“How many times have we told you, Pippin?” said Avondster’s Warrior
Merry exasperatedly. “No pets allowed in the Palace Of The Muse!”
“This is no pet!” said Pippin indignantly. “Greyling is also a Board
Character, just as much as you are, Merry! And anyway he was here
“Yes, but that is not the POINT!” said The Muse. “You are all Children
of the Board, and The Powers That Be have revealed to me that those
Boards will soon cease to be.”
There was much disruption.
“But where then will we go?” cried Minuiel.
“To a new and improved Board,” said The Muse sadly.
“Then they will not ‘cease to be’, Miss Muse,” said Ladyhawk’s Frodo
politely. “They will just be changed. We will call ourselves the
Children of the Old Board from now on.”
“Right you are, Frodo my lad,” said Prim’s Bilbo cheerfully. “And
anyway we may come into existence on the Boards, but our home is my
mistress’s beautiful Scrapbook.”
“Hear, hear!” said Strider, Man of Mystery.
“Perhaps, but the Boards are our writers’ home,” countered Veronica Sandyman. “They must be very upset about all this.”
“Yes,” said Avondster’s Merry. “I don’t know about you, but my Mistress
hasn’t worked on her story since she heard about the old Boards
shutting down, which I find alarming.”
“What if they all get writer’s block?” cried Agape’s Denethor. “That
would be disastrous! We are all doomed! Ahh!” He waved his torch for
“Is it time for coffee break yet?” asked NescaFrodo. Rosemary poked him in the ribs.
Vison’s Éowyn and Evermind's Éowyn carefully wrestled the
torch from Denethor before he would set fire to either Faramir, Firtle
and Stint, or the assembled Entwives.
“Honestly, I came back from Valinor for THIS?” said Ancalimë wearily.
“Please, do not panic, everyone,” said a commanding voice, but it was
not The Muse who spoke. The characters turned to see an older gentleman
sitting by the fire, puffing a pipe contentedly. They looked at one
another questioningly. From whose story was he? They had never read him
before. But somehow they felt like they knew him, and they all turned
to him and listened.
“Honestly, why all the sad faces?” said he. “Yes, changes are coming,
but all your stories are set in a time and world that is changing.
Isn’t that the essence of the story? The world is changing, and we must
learn how to cope with that. We must stand together especially in times
“Who are you, Master?” asked Samrendiel.
He smiled at every one of them. “What, don’t you know my name yet?
Eldest, that’s what I am. I was here before the Fanclub and the Boards.
I remember the first Inklings and the first books. I made paths for the
writers and saw the fanfiction arrive.” He smiled mysteriously at them,
and suddenly they knew, and they bowed to him.
The Muse cleared her throat and said: “right people, I think that’s it.
Back to work now! Go back to your writers, or the Scrapbook. Don’t hang
around here, I’ve got a lot of work to do. And so do you, we need loads
of stuff to fill that new Board of us and make it home for our writers!
Go on now, shoo!” She gave Boromir a push, so that he plummeted
unceremoniously down the stairs, Legolas racing after him.
Before leaving the room, some of the characters looked back one more
time, but the old man by the fireplace was gone. There wasn’t even a
fireplace in the Palace Of The Muse, now that they thought of it…