The Ghost

by Dinledhwen

The inky blackness of the cold night had descended over the forest. It seemed to crowd in around Frodo, Sam, Merry, and Pippin as they sat close to their little campfire listening intently for any sound of approaching danger. But all they heard was the crackling of the wood burning over the sound of their own hearts pounding with fear within their ears.

“Do you think there are ghosts out here Mr. Frodo?” Sam suddenly whispered although his voice still seemed loud in the inky silence.

“No Sam there aren’t,” Frodo replied trying to sound convincing but falling short.

“We weren’t be in this predicament Pippin if we hadn’t followed another one of YOUR wild ideas,” Merry grumbled while throwing an angry look Pippin’s way.

As for Pippin he said nothing but the expression on his face showed that he was feeling miserable about it.

“Well it’s not fair to pick on Pippin now Merry. After all if I remember right you were just as keen as he was to do this in the beginning,” Frodo said while smiling at the younger Hobbit who quickly returned it with one of his own.

Now Merry didn’t reply but still he shot an angry glance back at Pippin before staring into the fire’s flames again.

So the four Hobbits sat in silence for several more minutes. Then suddenly Sam leaped to his feet and with a trembling finger pointed behind Merry. But no word escaped his scared white face.

“Sam what is it?!” Frodo demanded while getting to his feet and looking in the direction his friend was still pointing to.

“I…I….just seen….a ghost Mr. Frodo,” was all Sam could stammer out.

By now all the Hobbits were standing and staring in that direction but there seemed to be nothing there but the silent inky blackness.

“My dear Sam please sit back down. No doubt it was just your imagination playing tricks on you,” Frodo said while gently taking a hold of Sam’s arm for he was still pointing and pulling him back down to his spot by the fire. Soon all four Hobbits were seated again.

“I’m sorry Mr. Frodo. It’s just that Rivendell is so spooky now. It wasn’t like this at all in the daylight,” Sam muttered.

“You have nothing to be sorry for Sam,” Frodo said gently. “And I agree it’s spooky here.”

Suddenly Merry jumped to his feet and pointed behind Frodo to a tree. “There IS something out there and it’s behind that tree! I saw it!” he exclaimed his voice tinged with fear.

“Well don’t keep us in suspense Merry! Tell us what you saw!” Pippin demanded as he and everyone else once again got quickly to their feet while looking in the same direction as their friend. This time their hands came to rest on the hilts of their swords.

“All I saw was something tall and dark like a shadow except for whatever it wore on its head that was slightly lighter than it and hung down around its shoulders and chest,” he said excitedly. “Then it darted behind that tree.”

“I’m sorry I got you all into this mess!” Pippin whimpered as the four Hobbits closed ranks and huddled together next to the fire not taking their eyes off the tree where this something was hiding behind. “I never been on a snipe hunt before. Aragorn made it sound like so much fun. How was I to know that we get lost while we were doing it?!”

Suddenly the four Hobbits heard a familiar elvish voice laughing at them from behind the tree. Then that which Merry had seen earlier stepped out from behind the tree and came towards them until it stopped within the circle of light from the dying campfire.

It was Legolas.

Immediately the four Hobbits sighed in relief.

“Aragorn and his snipe hunts. I though he had out grown such childish games a long time ago,” Legolas said shaking his head in disbelief. “Nor are you lost Master Hobbit. If you four had continued but a little further you would have been able to see Lord Elrond’s house quite plainly. Come now it is late and time for all of you to be resting.”

“You mean there ARE no such things as snipes?” Pippin asked clearly disappointed as the Hobbits fell in behind Legolas as he turned to leave after they had put out their fire.

“Nor are there ghosts here in the forest of Rivendell.”

“Legolas what were YOU doing out here so late?” Frodo couldn’t help asking.

Now the Elf stopped and in the darkness smiled down at the Hobbit his blonde hair a slightly lighter shade of black than his body just as Merry had seen it.

“Listening to a different type of spirit that lives in all wooded areas,” was all the Elf would say before leading the four Hobbits back to their cozy beds.