A Hobbits in the Closet story
It was five o’clock in the afternoon when the door of the small apartment in Amsterdam opened and Mara stumbled in, soaked with rain and tired from work.
“Well, what a day this has been!” she said to Merry, who was sitting on the bed eating, as usual, and watching the Extended DVD of The Two Towers. “First I had mrs. Whatshername nagging me about that bad root canal some guy had done in Spain, then mrs. Chinese whatever nagged me about her prosthetic having broken, again, mind you, and to top it all off I took half the day off for that concert and now Sting has got a sore throat and can’t play!”
Merry frowned and shot a look at the small sword replica on the wall, raising an eyebrow, and Mara smiled again already, despite everything. “Not THAT Sting, Merry you ninny!”
She dramatically let herself fall down on the bed next to the Hobbit. “So… where’s Pippin? He can’t be far off, there’s still food left.”
Merry looked up at her with a worried face. “He doesn’t want to see you anymore,” he said earnestly. “Hasn’t come out all day.”
Merry took a deep breath. “He read your Inkling.”
“Oh?” said Mara, and then it dawned on her. “Oh… I see.”
She was silent for a while and then looked sideways to Merry. “Did you read it, too?”
“And what do you think?” she asked apprehensively.
“It’s good. I like it.”
She frowned, a bit puzzled. “Oh, really?”
“Yes, but… you have to talk to Pippin, Mara. He’s very upset. He thinks you don’t like him, because… well, you know why…”
“I’m not dead!” came a muffled, angry yell from inside the closet.
“Ooh, dear…” said Mara, and sat down in front of the double doors, Merry at her side.
“Pippin?” She opened one door a little bit, and was rewarded with a sore finger as the door slammed shut with it in between.
“Pippin Took, you come out of that closet right now and talk to me!”
The closet doors opened again, and for a moment Mara thought this was definitely too easy, and braced herself for the impact of any items that Pippin might throw, but someone emerged from the closet who was quite a bit larger than Pippin.
Indeed, the figure worming himself ungraciously out of Mara’s small wardrobe was none other than Boromir, son of Gondor.
Mara stared up in shock, feeling suddenly aware of her untidy hair and ‘rainy’ appearance, when the handsome Man got up and bowed to her. “Greetings, Lady Mara.”
She stared dumbly back at him with saucer eyes and her mouth hanging slighly open.
“Uh… hi,” was all she could manage.
He smiled at her. “I came over immediately when young Peregrin telephoned me at Linaewen’s house, sounding highly distressed. And of course, when one of my little ones is in need of me, I come.”
“Of… of course,” said Mara breathlessly, regaining her composure after a few jabs in the ribs from Merry. “What has he told you?”
“Well, he has let me read your Inkling,” said Boromir, pulling out a bundle of printed sheets and leafing through it. “He told me he has looked into your palantír… I mean computer, and saw a glimpse of your plan.”
Mara sighed at the closet. “Why did you look? Why do you always have to look, Pippin?”
“I’m not dead, Mara,” said the voice from behind the doors stubbornly.
“Of course you’re not dead, Pippin! Professor Tolkien wrote you, so you won’t die until his books die. I mean, look at Boromir over here!”
“But you let me live,” said Boromir, looking somewhat smug at having cheated death.
“That’s not the point,” said Mara, silencing the untactful Son of Gondor with a stern look. “The point is, Pippin, that you will live on forever anyway.”
“You know what I mean,” said Pippin sullenly. “You killed me off.”
“No I didn’t… well, not really.”
“Actually, you did,” said Boromir matter-of-factly, leafing through his copy. “You have Merry saying it in Part 16, and quite bluntly too, if I may be so bold, Mylady. On page 48 here, see? Yes, said Merry, Pippin is dead…”
Mara snatched the papers out of Boromir’s hands. “Don’t read that! It hasn’t even been posted yet! Pippin, how can you be mad at me when you don’t know how the story continues? You don’t even know what happens next!”
‘But then again, neither do I,’ she thought.
The door opened and Pippin came out, looking anxious. “Does that mean…?” he said hopefully.
Mara laughed at his face and tweaked his nose. “You’ll see, Pippin.”
But she winked at him, putting her finger to her lips, and his anxious face broke into a conspiratory smile.
“All right then,” he said, playfully hitting Merry on his arm. “I suppose being dead isn’t all that bad. I can let you do all of the hard work!”
Merry made a pouty face. “I will miss you though, Pip,” he said sadly.
“I’ll tell you what,” said Mara, looking from one to the other. “I will continue my story as it rolls along, and in the meantime I will write a very cheerful, happy story about you two together for Merry’s theme day!”
Pippin rolled his eyes as Merry’s entire face lit up at the sound of the Magic Words.
“Oh no, not that again!”
Boromir sat down on the bed, forgotten for the moment.
“Why look, my scene is on,” he said casually, and surprisingly quickly figured out how to turn up the sound of the TV with the remote control, thus drowning out all sounds in the chanting of ‘Boromir! Boromir!’ that echoed through the room.
Mara and Pippin disappeared silently into the kitchen ‘to make some tea’ they said, but they did not let Merry join them, and when they came out there was a knowing smile on Pippin’s lips.