The innkeeper squinted at him, but took the coins and drew a
half-pint of ale
and slid it across the bar to Frodo. He took it and looked about for a place to
sit. Then he saw her, sitting alone, an Elf maiden, and she was looking his way.
As his limpid blue eyes gazed upon her, Frodo realized with
a strangely pleasant
tingly sort of feeling that the Elf maiden was smiling at him. She was indeed fair,
even for an Elf maiden, dressed as she was in her Dr. Martens and
bell-bottomed jeans, her Elven locks braided into dreads.
Frodo looked about. No sign of the Wizard, no sign of Sam.
Alone for once.
He drew a deep, uneven breath and, sitting down, shifted closer to her along the
bench. “So,” he said, “come here often?"
Too late he realized how hopeless it was. Too late he
realized that her
welcoming smile was directed over his head (he was pretty short after all),
directed to the tall Ranger who stood in the doorway. Frodo felt the strangely
pleasant tingly feeling fade away, to be replaced by a longing to be six foot tall
and built like a brick whatsit.
Aragorn stalked into the room, his keen eyes searching the
corners. He jerked
his head once, and Frodo understood the silent signal. Frodo crept away int
the shadows and Aragorn slipped onto the bench beside the beauteous Elf.
“So,” he said, “come here often?”
There was a sudden commotion. A warrior maiden burst into
the room, her
lovely countenance twisted with fury. “Strider, you rat!” she screamed, her
Elven voice shrill as the screeching of a chicken hawk. “Why are you hitting on
Aragorn’s lean face was flushed with emotion. He fingered
the hilts of Anduril,
then tugged at his collar and made a half-hearted attempt to laugh. “Arwen, light
of my days! This is a pleasant surprise indeed! Do you bear tidings from Elrond
“No,” she said, whacking him on the side of his head. “I do
not bear tidings
from Elrond my father. I bear a grudge, Aragorn. A great journey I have made,
through many perils, only to find you two-timing me!”
Aragorn rose to his full height, his bearing suddenly
altered. Gone was the
grim-faced Ranger. In his place was Aragorn the Faithless, stammering excuses.
“Arwen, Evening Star of your people! Two-timing you? No, no, Undomiel!
You mistake! For I was merely seeking information that would aid the Quest!”
“Ha!” Arwen uttered. Her eyes glinted with scorn, her
shoulders flashed with
disbelief, her ankles shone with suspicion. In other words her whole body
expressed her certainty that Aragorn son of Arathorn was tracking in strange
regions, hot on the scent of Another.
The strange Elf maiden arose. There was a sudden burst of red flame, her
shapely form shifted, grew great with menace, shot about with blackness and
fury. The wind howled through the open windows and she vanished in a puff of
Arwen’s eyes fell on the face of her beloved. “My lord!” she
murmured in her
musical Elven voice. “Aragorn! How I misjudged you, Elfstone. Forgive me for
doubting you. All the time you were under the horrid spell of that Witch!”
Aragorn embraced her chastely, and pressed his kingly lips
to hers. He sighed.
Another close call. He hoped she never got to Edoras. It was nice, having two
strings to his bow.