Flowers

by Avondster

A Hobbits in the Closet story

It was three in the afternoon on thursday, when Merry and Pippin crawled out of Mara’s closet, where they lived.

“Finally, we’re home!” exclaimed Pippin, shrugging off his pack and grabbing the first food item within reach, which happened to be an unopened (until now) pack of chocolate easter eggs.

Merry looked around the room, trying to locate his landlady, and finally found her at the most obvious of places: the computer. He nudged Pippin.

“Look, she’s writing! Could it be…”

“I most certainly hope so,” said Pippin around a mouthful of chocolate. “We’ve been stuck in there for over a month.”

“I’ve been stuck, you mean, Pip, you don’t have to do anything in the story anyway,” Merry pointed out.

Pippin made a hurt face. “Must you keep reminding me…?”

Merry ignored him and walked over to where Mara was hunched over the computer. However, what he saw was not an Inkling about to be finished, but a colourful webpage and a long document, of which he caught a few words. He wrinkled his nose in disappointment.

“Flowers? You’re writing about flowers?”

Mara started, whirled around in her deskchair, and seeing who it was caught Merry in a big hug. “Oh my goodness, you’re back!”

“Of course we’re back,” came Merry’s voice, muffled in her sweater.

“Yes, we’re quite tired of being stuck,” said Pippin, coming for his own share of hugs. “Or rather, we’re tired of Merry being stuck,” he added sardonically, with a look at his cousin.

Mara made a face. “I’m sorry, boys. The real world just got in the way and all that… and then you two went away… and oh I missed you so much!” She hugged them again.

“Yes, all right, all right, very well,” said Merry. “We’re back now, so start writing!”

“And I will,” said Mara, “right after I finish this.” And to their astonishment she turned back to her computer.

“Are you kidding?” exclaimed Pippin. “You don’t just turn your back on us, we’re your muses! What could possibly be more important than us?”

“This!” said Mara, indicating the flowers on her computer screen.

Pippin studied the page for a second. “Are you thinking about taking up gardening? If so, don’t bother. You don’t have a backyard and all your potted plants are plastic.”

“No, you ninny!” laughed Mara. “I’m studying flower meanings!”

“Really?” said Merry. “Which flower means: ‘take up your writing again before you and your hero go insane’? I’ll get Sam to grow those all around the house as a hint.”

Mara looked hurt. “Oh Merry, I really want to, you know that. But I’ve been to see people and then the computer broke and…”

“… and now you’re back and it’s back and you’re writing about flowers,” Pippin finished smoothly.

“That’s got nothing to do with… oh but of course, you guys don’t know that yet!” Mara was beaming. “I’m this year’s Valentine Matchmaker!”

“You are?” they both exclaimed. “That’s wonderful!”

“So now you finally get to date me after not catching me for three years in a row,” said Merry smugly.

Mara suddenly blushed and seemed embarassed. “Well, Merry, you see, about that… you’re one of the more important characters and I didn’t want to keep you out of the game, that would be unfair to the others, wouldn’t it, so…”

Comprehension dawned on Merry. “You’re giving me away?”

“Well, it’s just for one day, you know… I got myself a date for the day, too, one who can’t compete.”

“Who?” said Merry, frowning.

Mara gestured vaguely towards her couch, and there, sure enough, sat Gil-Galad, the Elven King, of whom the harpers sadly sing. He was dressed in full armour, Aiglos was sitting awkwardly in the umbrella stand, and his silver shield was on the bed.

“Gil’s not eligible for the game because he wasn’t alive during the Lord of the Rings,” explained Mara, “so I asked him to be my date. He’s quite nice, really.”

Gil-Galad picked up his own action figure and began playing with it, adding his own sound effects and whacking miniature Sauron on the head with the plastic spear, muttering “ha, not so tough now, are you? Take that!”

Merry turned back to Mara, raising an eyebrow.

Mara shrugged. “I didn’t have much choice, you know.”

“Well, whatever,” said Merry. “This Valentine stuff is all jolly good, and I may forgive you for giving me away, but only if you start writing again afterwards at once, young lady!”

“Yes, sir!” she said, saluting. “Now that my muses are back, that won’t be a problem.”

Merry grinned happily at her and settled down beside her, while Pippin, having finished everything edible in a ten-meter radius of him, went to the couch to play Last Alliance with Gil-Galad, who was having some trouble playing all the different parts simultaneously.

Merry gave Mara his most charming smile. “May I know which flower I am?”

Mara smiled and tapped him on the nose. “Now that, my dearest, would be telling.”