In the gathering dusk Frodo and Sam
slipped their numerous empty dishes into what appeared to be a mail
slot for the kitchen and followed the meandering Elves who were
drifting towards a Hall. Smoke billowed up from the top of its
multiple chimneys and steam clouds rolled out when the door was opened.
A large thermometer mounted on the front announced the internal
temperature to passerby. It was...very hot. A damp Elf
rolling laundry cart heaped with white towels past them.
"What is this place?" asked Frodo. He looked up to see an
scripty sign hanging overhead. "HALL OF FIRE" it said.
"Hall of Fire? Why are we going here?"
"'Cause it's where they all hang out in the evenin's Mr. Frodo. They
sing and tell tales and sweat buckets. S'posed to be good for you. Mr.
Bilbo's in there someplace too, though I 'spect he's as wrinkled up as
a raisin from it."
From behind them in the dusk of the valley came a strange sound
hear that 'sproing-sproing-sproing, Mr. Frodo? It sounded just like
that time that Lobelia Sackville-Baggins bought a girdle two sizes too
Merry gazed over the bridge.
"All that sproinging sounds like the day that Lobelia Sackville-Baggins
bought a girdle two sizes too small and..."
Sam glared in the general direction of the bridge.
"I can do without the ironic interludes, Mr. Merry!" he yelled.
Pippin gazed past his feet as Merry's face retreated and approached
over the edge of the Bridge above him...
"Hey shall we do one more each and then find a bar?"
"Hang on, did I hear Sam get him to have a go! Ha, ha! Geddit 'Hang on'
Bilbo sat with a towel over his head in
the Hall of Fire, sweating buckets. The Elves were in high form
tonight, dumping water onto the hot rocks and cavorting and singing in
the steam. There was so much steam he couldn't even see the other end
of the hall.
He held up one pruny hand and examined it. "I'm getting wrinkled as a
raisin in here!"
Frodo reluctantly allowed himself to be
drawn through the doors of the Hall of Fire. The steam was so
couldn't see a thing and felt like he was trying to breathe water.
Elf handed him a fluffy white towel, which he tucked under his arm for
now, trying to navigate the benches and to see where Sam had gone.
heat was incredible and he began to sweat buckets, pulling off his coat
and rolling up his sleeves. All of the curl left his hair.
There were Elves singing in the steam, and the glow of hot fires.
Buckets of water stood ready to dump onto the hot rocks that were
regular intervals around the Hall. The smell of hot cedar filled the
room. He bumped into a short Elf with a towel over his head.
Sam looked at Mr. Frodo's hair and gasped.
"Don't worry, sir, I brought your Re-Curl Hair Treatment with me! I'll
just go get it out of my pack, along with that fluffy robe you
accidentally brought with you from the Prancing Pony."
Sam started out of the Hall, and then looked around at all the Elves
toasting merrily by the fire.
"I guess they can sweat, at that," he wondered, scratching his head.
"Who'da thought it?"
The thought strayed through his head that perhaps there were Lady Elves
somewhere nearby doing the same thing, but he shook his head fiercely
and firmly planted an image of Rosie in his mind. Then he quickly left
the Hall to get the supplies he needed to make Mr. Frodo look beautiful
The pruny little Elf peered out from under his towel at Frodo.
"Bilbo! Bilbo! Dear old Bilbo!" cried Frodo with great delight. "I say,
you're very...pruny. Are you always like that now, or is it the
"Oh. Hello there, Frodo." Bilbo said
with a smile, causing his face to look just like a smiling pink raisin,
slightly disturbing when it came down to it, but Frodo didn't seem to
"But my dear boy!" he said with a chuckle in response to Frodo's
question, "Look at yourself!"
Frodo's fingers and toes were getting wrinklier by the
minute from all
the steam - besides the fact that he was right in the middle of a
Bilbo laughed again and sat down on one of the benches.
"You get used to it. Unfortunately, writing's no good in here. The
pages get soaked, and you can hardly see them anyhow. Most of it's
oral. The Dunadude and I have sung a few songs here. He's not a bad
fellow. Here, sit down."
Bilbo swung his feet under the bench like a little kid and looked
"Where is he, anyway?"
Just then, a man came out of the mist and sat down next to Bilbo.
"Ah! Dunadude! I was wondering where you had gotten off to. Arwen,
'Dunadude' blushed and Bilbo grinned.
"Frodo, this is the Dunadude." He stated, as was already obvious.
Frodo gaped at the Dunadude. "Strider!
You seem to have a lot of names. Indecisive parents? Federal
He turned to Bilbo. "You see, I know him already but as Strider, or
Aragorn, or Hey You. He's been our guide since Bree! I'm glad to
you got here all right, Strider. I'm afraid I don't remember much
that last bit, so I wasn't sure what had happened to you. What
helping Bilbo with?"
Marty Feldman left Boromir at the
stables. Boromir was unhappy with the stable arrangments,
to a supremely uninterested Elven hostler that Blackie could hardly be
put in the same stall as some dumpy little pony named Bill.
(What Bill thought we don't know, but Blackie seemed embarassed by his
Still, Boromir finally walked away, muttering under his breath.
tired and hungry, but most of all he wanted a bath. A bath in hot
A little searching led him to the Steamroom and he stripped down and
found his way into the sauna.
He wasn't quite used to the democratic approach taken here, for he was
not to have the bath to himself. No. There seemed to be a
little guys around, and one large guy with long, stringy dark hair.
Boromir looked the large guy up and down. "Seek for the sword
broken....." these odd words came into his mind just then.....and he
recalled that they, too, had been in his weird dream.
"Say," he said, with a diffident smile, "could you guys pass me a
During his last stretch of road into
Rivendell, Legolas tried to recall all the things his ada had warned
him about the Elves of Rivendell.
"They're not your regular batch of cupcakes, son" his father had said.
"They council alot... and most of them wander around looking
and thoughtful. Try not to stay in the Steamroom too long... it
This was going to be a bummer trip, Legolas was thinking.
He wondered if somewhere in this crazy valley, there wasn't some folks
who liked fights, ale, and getting into counting contests to see who
drank the most pints. He shook his head. "Not bloody likely," he
He watched idly as two small figures walked
across a narrow bridge, then one of them suddenly yodeled and leapt
into the air...
A slow wide smile crossed Legolas's face...
Bilbo smiled up at the sweating Ranger,
who had swathed himself in additional towels until he looked like a
grease-topped Michelin Man.
"Oh yes, the Dunadude has many names. He's been helping me write a
ballad, about a mariner. Would you like to hear it? "
He gave a wrinkly frown. "Who's that man behind you, Dunadude,
and where are his clothes?"
Frodo followed Bilbo's gaze then his
eyes widened and he quickly whipped the towel he was still carrying
under his arm out, holding it up for the stranger.
"Here - please! You can have my jacket too, if it will help."
He turned back to Bilbo, wiping his wet hair out of his eyes. "A
Mariner? Well, I suppose so, if it isn't too long? I'm not sure I can
stand being in this place much longer. How do you do it?"
Merry continued looking over the bridge.
"Um, Pippin? Are you planning on 'sproinging' back up here and giving
me a turn? Plus, I'm getting tired of standing up here and delivering
one-liners with nobody really answering me..."
Merry gasped when he felt a pair of hands cover his eyes and a voice
say playfully, "Guess who??"
Merry gulped. Usually it was only Pippin who did things like that, and
his cousin was currently gleefully "sproinging" up and down on the
"Frodo?" he asked tentatively.
"Nope, nope, nope, and nope!"
Merry reached up and felt long arms covered in a silken material.
"All right, now I am seriously creeped out," he muttered. "I give, who
At the same moment, Sam was hurrying
down the path toward the Hall of Fire, clutching Mr. Frodo's fluffy
robe, favorite towel, and jar of Jeri-Curl, when he spotted Merry
standing on the bridge playing peekaboo with a tall, blonde Elf who was
giggling madly and Pippin squealing happily somewhere out of sight
"The sooner we leave this place, the better," Sam muttered as he
hurried on. "Makin' good, sensible hobbits act strange and unnatural!"
Then he realized this was a Took and a Brandybuck he was talking about,
and then realized it was probably all right, given those circumstances.
Legolas released Merry and let him turn
to look at him. He posed, so that the sun struck his face and
to cause a glow about his head, enhanced by his fine blonde-white hair
and newly buffed ears. Then he tipped the stuttering halfling
bridge to go *spronging!* beside his conferate.
, thought Legolas as Merry screamed all the way
down, I guess I should have told him I tied him off before I pushed
"... and here we have "The Fall of
Sauron" by Rembrandir, a truly lovely piece of work from the late
Second Age, representing Isildur defeating Sauron..."
The Dwarves lifted their sunglasses and leafed through their brochures
and muttered exitedly amongst each other. The Elven guide smiled
serenely. "No pictures please. Now if you just follow me, I will lead
you to the Hall of Fire where you will hear many poems and songs..."
"Daaahaaad, can we have a snack now? I'm hungry, and this is
Gloín went red in the face. "Excuse my son, he's just in a very
difficult phase," he stammered to the Elf. Turning to his son, he said:
"now Gimli, Daddy really wants to see this stuff. If you don't like it,
take your axe and go outside to make some friends. Here's some mithril
to buy a snack."
He really wished he had brought his wife with him, she was much better
Gimli grunted, took his axe and walked out into the square. Lots of
Elves were hanging out under the pillars, gazing stupidly about them
and looking Elvish. Some others were doing the same on balconies and in
trees. One was standing on a bridge.
The bridge caught
Gimli's attention because it had no fences, looked terribly unsafe and
there was a little child standing on it. The tall Elf behind it had a
gentle yet firm grip on its shoulders, and tears came to Gimli's eyes
as he thought of his mother and how she used to do that with him when
he was a wee Dwarf wanting to see just how deep the bottomless pit in
their backyard was and how her beard always used to sting the back of
He was just starting to think that Elves might
not be as bad as they were pretty, that there was perhaps a reason for
him to be brought here and witness this, and that this world would be a
better place if they all would be nice to each other...
...until he saw the Elf shove the little one off the bridge.
Arwen frowned as she stuck her head out of the bushes in mid-snog.
"Hmph, just look at that show-off Legolas, prancing around like he owns
the place. That hairstyle is soooo last Age, don't you think so
Honey-Dunny? And is he wearing a silken poncho? Honestly, the people
you choose as your friends..."
From out of the bushes came
some incoherent muttering, but seeing as how that was nothing new,
Arwen just ignored it and continued her rant.
"Now look how
he gets his hands on my new pet Perian Pooky! He was like that when
Uncle Thrandy used to come to visit, always stealing my toys and later
my clothes and make-up... I heard he's seeing a therapist for his
kleptomania. Oh, there he goes, throwing Pooky off the bridge. Typical,
he used to do that as a child also, breaking all my stuff. Well, don't
just sit there being greasy, Gorny, do something!"
got shoved into view, looking dazed and covered in Maybellendil
lipstick, just in time to see a small bearded guy with a rather large
axe storming at Legolas.
Bilbo turned around again.
"Why don't you recite it for them, Duna- where'd he go?"
After peering through the mist for a few moments, he shrugged.
"Ah well. I suppose it's just as well. He gets stage fright. If I
remember, though, it goes something like this-
'Twas an ancient mariner
Who stoppeth one of three.
The two unstoppeth carrieth on;
The stoppeth cried 'Why me?'
Brilliant little piece of work, if you ask me, but he doesn't seem to
think so. Where is he anyhow?"
At just that moment, Aragorn was being thankful that he'd managed to
find his clothes when leaving the hall. Last time the twins had stolen
them to make a scarecrow for some unknown reason, resulting in a rather
embarassing incident in which he ran screaming at them all over
Rivendell dressed in nothing but a pink towel.
He looked around, rather confused, until Arwen gave him a shove from
behind and he stumbled towards the bridge.
A tall, blonde elf was bent over with laughter, and sproinging sounds
accompanied by screaming came from below.
Aragorn peered over the edge of the bridge. It was Merry and Pippin, of
course, bungie jumping.
'Odd...' he thought, 'I didn't know that hobbits liked to bungie jump.
Actually, it looks like fun...'
He glanced up to see the blonde elf grinning at him with a mischievous
gleam in his eye which looked quite out of place when it came down to
"Em...can I help you?" Aragorn laughed nervously.
"Whoah - AAAAAAAAAAAAAAIIIIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!"
He didn't have a chance.
For a moment, the folk sweating in the
Fire Hall were not sure what to make of it. Here it was in the
of the afternoon, and in walks a cleaning man, looking for the life of
him like an Elven "Mr. Clean" -- Shiney pate and all gleaming in the
moist air. And he was headed right for Elrond . . .
"OK, Rondo! Time to get things under control. You have a
hiding out in the bushes with the walking hairball, two hobbits hanging
off a bridge like furry windchimes and the other two eating us out of
house and home. Bilbo has some manners, but these young ones
know how to behave in the company of elves.
Then there is
the battle between the Mountain and Mirkwood which seems to be fanning
out on the bridge between Gloin's son and Legolas.
mention the Gondorian Goon here who was planning to come in here NAKED
had I not quickly grabbed the towel off of my head and wrapped it
around him. (though of all of your wigged-out guests, he has my
vote--he tipped me a quarter and called me 'buddy.' Some folk
Elrond!!! What are you going to do about this?"
As Glorfindel got madder, his bald head began to glow . . .
Legolas was having a great time, watching the periannath and the
slowly twisting in the gentle wind beneath the bridge, the rushing
water of the Bruinen flowing musically behind their screams and
Just as he was about to reel them in, a person
who was short and squat, and very hairy stomped up to him and swung
about 80 pounds of sharpened steel in the exact place that Legolas's
bellybutton had been a few seconds before....
butter-blade you got there, Captain Cuisineart!" exclaimed Legolas,
dodging another swing. "Can we talk?" The tall WoodElf
hand on Gimli's hard, round head and held him at arm's length while the
Dwarf continued to swing at him, missing by nanometers. "Hello?
this Dwarf belong to anyone?"
Frodo applauded Bilbo's effort.
"Excellent! I don't know how you do it, Bilbo. The "stoppeth" part was
especially brilliant. Nothing like a hobbit for good Shire
Bilbo looked pleased, smiling until his wrinkles had wrinkles. Frodo
smiled, then fanned his face with his hand. "I'd ask for a
it's so hot in here...!"
He unbuttoned the top couple of buttons on his shirt. The Ring shone on
its chain in the steamy gloom.
Gently swinging under the bridge, Pippin
was looking to hook himself onto the Ronco Patent Bungee Retractr when
a scram form above made hime look past his feet.
Merry's face so small in the disance above a mere minute or so ago, was
rapidly getting larger as the shrieking cousin plummeted.
"Don't windmill you arms! You'll twist the cord up and it might snap!"
Luckily his cousin's spinning corrected itself naturally just in time
for Merry to reach the end of the cord and start his ascent. Leaving
him to oscillate, hyperventilate and whatever else it was he wanted to
do Pip, returned his attention to swinging across to the lever.
Having grabbed and missed twice now, he thought he had it right. Just
in time for Aragorn to come screaming over the drop
Being larger and more surprised than Merry he was
flailing and yelling
even more. Hang on, hadn't the el-twins said blue cord for hobbits,
green for elves and yellow for men. What was the hairball doing with a
blue cord tied to his ankle?
As Merry spun around and desperately tried to keep his breakfast where
it belonged, he pulled out his copy of Fifty Days and Ways to Exact Revenge on
Annoying Yet Excruciating Pretty Fair Folk.
He grabbed at his cousin for stability and glared at the top of the
"You know, you could at least tell me your name!" he shouted up at the
"Its Pippin, you daft pudden"
(Thinks: oh dear obviously his wits have gone with all the blood
rushing from one end to the other, poor old Merry)
Sam brought Mr. Frodo his required
items, and then pulled his rolled-up copy of Cooking Light out of his
trouser pocket and went outside for a pipe and to finish the Miss
"My Gaffer always said that stories of Elves and their steam baths are
not for the likes of us," he remarked aloud. "Of course, he also said
there was nothing that couldn't be fixed with a squirt of Windex and a
piece of duck tape, so who's to know?"
So, with one ear listening
for the girlylike squeal or screech that meant Mr. Frodo was in
distress, Sam soon was deep in his magazine.
Merry glared at his cousin.
"Unfortunately, I know all too well who you are, you nutty Took! The
narrator clearly stated that I was shouting up at the Elf! You know,
the tall pretty one with the can of Dwarf-Be-Gone in his hand! Now hold
still and let's climb back up there and have a look...what do you mean,
why do I always have to look?"
No you need to grab that hook!
See, one hook per cord. Pull that and you get sorted out to get back to
the top. I don't know how but its some elven magic or somesuch.
Anyway, that Elf ofyours seems to be trying to get his armpits trimmed
by a dwarf... funny folk around here aren't they?
Busy dancing around the sniveling,
snarling, white-hot ball of Dwarven terror, the mischievous Elf had no
more that a few seconds to shout to the annoyed hobbits below,
"The name's Greenleaf... Legolas Greenleaf. I'll help you up in a
moment. I have my hands full right now, you might say!"
To the Dwarf he said, "Look, if you want a turn, stand in line!
cuts in the queue and you must be at least three feet tall for this
Merry sat on the bridge wall next to Pippin, watching the proceedings
It was at that moment he glanced down at his green jacket and saw with
a gasp that someone had used a Glitter Pen to write the words
over the left pocket.
"Oh, that does it!" he yelled, jumping down. "I don't care whose
Squeezy-Pooh she is, I'm going to have a word with Miss
Gauzy-Gown-Who-Likes-Wind-Machines-For-Dramatic-Effect! I had this
jacket CUSTOM MADE, since it brings out my eyes so well!"
followed the sound of Arwen's personal orchestra to the shrubs, leaving
Pippin alone with Mr. Greenjeans and Short Hairy Guy.
As soon as Bilbo saw the glint of gold a shadow came between them. He
eyed it cautiously and then poked it.
It jumped and ran off, muttering something about the Ring, which Frodo
had luckily now covered up again.
Aragorn struggled to reach the hook. He'd seen the hobbits do it, and
he was getting a bit muddled upside-down.
After several failed tries in which he heaved himself up and flopped
back, still upside-down, he finally caught the hook.
The blue cords were most certainly made for hobbits.
With a snapping sound the cord writhed and shot him into the air.
Bored with watching the ranger yoyo-ing
wildly below, and with Merry gone in a huff to find his owner Pippin
turned to the watch the raging dwarf still fanning Legobricks armpits
with his axe.
A shadow fleeing pokey fingers in the Hall of Fire passed across his
face and slipping the bungee cord from his ankle he attached it to the
pre-occupied dwarf's leg.
Merry came to a halt, and folded his arms.
"Now, I know I'm losing it," he muttered. "I thought
Strider-Aragorn-DunnyBunny-Greasyhead was over in the bushes having a
cuddle with his lady, and now I thought I heard him right behind us,
bungeeing off the bridge. Well, this gaffe certainly equals, if not
beats, my trying to saddle Bill back on the Barrow-Downs when we hadn't
even gotten to Bree yet."
Feeling justified and gratified, though
still slightly confused, Merry went in search of the Lady Arwen. As he
did so, he passed the Hall of Fire, and saw Sam sitting out front,
reading a magazine and puffing on his pipe.
Merry's eyes brightened. "Hey Sam, is that the Miss Muffin Pan 1418
Sam slid over to make room for Merry on the bench. "Aye,
it is," he said, and held it open so Merry could see.
"She's pretty, but the Buckland lasses are prettier yet," Merry
"Oh really?" Sam asked. "Then how come no Buckland lass has ever
the title of Miss Muffin Pan? The closest one was Mr. Frodo's mum
Primula bein' a runner-up back in 1360. 'Course that was before she
married Mr. Frodo's da, but..."
Merry waved a hand. "Our time is
coming," he said airily. "My cousin Gentian almost made it last year,
and this might be her year to get it."
He glanced over his
shoulder. "What's going on in there anyway, Sam? I hear someone
singing, "Here's to Frodo, Elf-Friend Numero Uno."
Sam shrugged. "I dunno, Mr Merry...hey, what are you doing?"
"Let's go in and find out!" Merry said eagerly. "Come on!"
And with that, he dragged the protesting Gamgee through the
steam-filled door, which clanged shut ominously behind them.
Frodo hadn't been aware of the shadow at
first, but he had been most disturbed to see Bilbo looking at him
a sudden intensity. The old hobbit's eyes bugged out a little and he
suddenly leaned forward and poked his fingers forward, towards...
Frodo pulled his shirt closed, hiding the Ring. Some sort of
seemed to jump with surprise and pass; all was well again.
"How about we take a stroll back to your room, Bilbo? I'm sure the
Elves may enjoy stewing like overdone pasta, but I'm out of here!"
Frodo and Bilbo made their way thorugh the crowded hall until they
found the doors. Dropping their towels into the laundry bin, they
entirely missed Sam and Merry going past them into the gloom. The
doors clanged shut behind them and the air felt chill after all that
heat. Frodo looked around as they headed to Bilbo's room.
"Wonder where that Sam's got to? And what are those strange
sproinging, grunting and yelling noises? These Elven places sure
A letter to Lord Elrond from the
Numenorian Acadamy for Uncurabley Mischievous Half-Elven Deliquents
Dear Mr Half-Elven,
We are pleased to inform you that your sons, Elladan and
arrived safely to our acadamy and are adusting well to the new demands
upon their attention. We have hopes that we can re-educate them
become contributing members of Elvish society, or at the very least,
impressive semi-mortal compatriots. This is by no means an easy
as you can well imagine, but we are confident that the good sense that
they inhereted from yourself will eventually surface, given the right
'encouragement' and discipline.
By the time six months have
passed, we are reasonably certain we can guarantee that your sons will
have integrated with the Dúnadan Task Force, under the absentee
of Estel, who is also Aragorn son of Arathorn (Esq.).
We shall keep you up to date on their progress.
Merry glanced at Sam.
"You know, I think whoever writes Frodo and Bilbo enjoys trying to trip
us up," he said. "I expressly brought us in here to see what they were
up to, and then they just passed us, and I heard Frodo say, 'Gee, I
wonder where Sam got to? And where's all that sproinging coming from'?
As if he didn't know..."
"And you dragged me away from my mag
just for that," Sam grumbled. "Well, I guess we'd better grab Mr.
Pippin and catch up to them, because I think we're getting to an
important part of the script soon. Besides, all the curl's comin' out
of my hair, and if my Gaffer could see me now in an Elven steam bath,
he'd have a thing or two to say."
"And I hope Elrond's check
doesn't bounce, or Estella will have a thing or two to say to me when I
get back," Merry said grimly. "With that daughter of his such a free
spender, it's a wonder he hasn't had to convert Rivendell to time
shares to make ends meet."
"That might explain their presence," Sam said, nodding toward the Elf
and the Dwarf on the bridge.
Merry's eyes widened. "Hey!" he shouted at the Elf. "What are you doing
to my cousin! You take him down from there this minute!"
Legolas looked up innocently from his
task, then he looked down again, because there was an incredibly short
person squeaking at him and pointing at the other short person he had
been idly swinging around at the end of a bungee cord like a bolo, to
keep the rabid Dwarf from carving off his kneecaps.
"I'm sorry," said Legolas, "You'll have to squeak up... I can't hear
you over the screaming.... " and as he backs away from Gimli,
foot accidently knocks the coil of the bungee cord now looped around
the Dwarf's ankle, sending it within reach of the gyrating Ranger below.
Saruman's Isengard School of the
1 Isengard Lane
Dear Master Wormtoungue:
Wuz tryink 2 see if son ug luk cud b tot by u.
Him gud at killing elfs n stuf.
Wud u plz get him in 2 yur sh... shc.. skool?
O for get it.
Although Pippin had succeded in ataching
the correct bungee to the dwarf, his attempt to do likewise for the elf
While swinging rapidly in circles had been fun at first, it was all
geting to much, and the elf seemed oblivious to his attempts at
"Argh! Argh! Argh I'm
Arwen, growing tired of sitting in the
bushes, decided to stand up for herself, as her knight had just
disappeared from sight. She brushed the leaves out of her hair and
repaired her damaged make-up before getting up and floating towards the
"Why hello Leggy, darling!" she squealed as she gave the Elf-prince
three kisses in the air, gracefully avoiding the axe of the fuming
Dwarf. "How ab-so-lute-ly lovely to see you here! It's been quite a
while, eh? Looking good, dear! I see Mirkwood is still managing to keep
its own... interesting way of fashion," she added with a poisonous
smile and a meaningful glance at his muumuu.
"And you have
a Dwarf! Dear Legs, always the nostalgic type. Well, look what I have
here!" she said as she deftly caught a somewhat green-looking Pippin
out of the air in mid-swing.
"The newest thing. A perian. Cute,
eh? A gift from one of my many, many admirers. I have another one, but
your bearded pet seems to have scared him off."
hugged Pippin so tight that his eyes popped a little. "Well, it's been
swell, but Tooky and I must get going. Yes," she cooed at the
suffocating Hobbit. "Let's go find your little friend. I have a little
surprise for you both that you will simply love."
floated off again, one perfectly pedicured foot with baby-blue toenails
appeared from under her dress, skilfully tripping the raging Dwarf and
sending him head-first into the abyss, yelling and flapping his arms as
"Oh oops," she said as she covered her evilly
smiling mouth with her hand and blinked in quasi-shock. "I can be sooo
clumsy sometimes. I hope you weren't too attached to it. Well bye!"
Blowing a kiss to her childhood 'friend' she wandered off into the
direction of the Hall of Fire.
Merry stopped in midstride.
"Uh oh, Evil-Smiling-Elf-Princess Sense is tingling," he muttered. "I
have to hide, and quick!"
Sam was puzzled. "Evil-Smiling-Elf-Princess Sense? Is that another
Merry grabbed Sam's arm. "Come on, let's hide in those bushes!"
Sam held back. "There might be thorns!" he protested.
"Aw come on, Sam, we've all gotten lots of practice diving into ditches
and under trees. It's time we practiced "Hiding In the Bushes So We Can
See What's Going On Without Getting Caught or Being Accused of
With his Princess sense now going crazy, Merry and Sam dove into the
bushes...just a trifle too late.
Aragorn had just gotten a good hold and
began climbing back up to the bridge when something short but wide
plummeted past him with strange gargling noises coming out of its
throat. A blue streak followed it down.
His bungee cord narrowly missed being severed by the axe the thing had
and he bobbed up and down a little. He began climbing again,
desperately hoping when whatever it was hit the end and came back up
that it wouldn't collide with him!
Somewhere above him he
heard the voice of his beloved, and with renewed strength and
determination he soon was able to hook a hand over the edge.
Legolas grabbed the Dunadude's hand and
helped him back on firm ground, then he reeled in the Dwarf, who was
keeping his eyes tight shut and slowly counting the seconds of his life
that were passing before his eyes. He set Gimli on the ground
pat on his head.
"Good Dwarf! Now, run and play. Leggy doesn't have any more
play 'tag' today." The Dwarf did not respond, so Legolas
picked up a
rock and showed it to him. "See the rock? See it boy? Okay,
fetch!" and he threw the rock toward the garden. Dusting his
"Where's the registration desk for this resort?"
Frodo and Bilbo reached the nice
hobbit-sized room and settled down for a proper hobbit talk. This was
unfortunately cut short when Frodo looked up and saw his own reflection
in Bilbo's mirror.
"My hair! What happened to my hair?" he cried. It was hanging straight
and long giving him the appearance of a sheepdog.
Bilbo gave him a closer look. "Oh, it's just the steam. Does that
to me too."
"But your hair is still curly!"
"Elven perms." said Bilbo with a nod. "They hold up better than those
homemade ones. I gave that young Gamgee lad one of my insta-curl
earlier today, figuring you might be wanting it."
looked out the window at the impenetrable maze of Rivendell and buried
his face in his hands with despair. His hair swung forward like a
"Oh, where is Sam when I need him?"
Gimli had begun a long and boring rant
to the Elf about so carelessly tossing that rock while there might be a
treasure of metals and minerals inside it and that he sure would never
believe all that nonsense about Elves caring for all things again,
because rocks have feelings too, you see, and...
Then he noticed that he was all alone on the bridge and that the Elf
and the greasy Man had taken a stroll to the nearest check-in desk.
Arwen, in the meantime, had spotted Merry's bright yellow
not-so-very-camouflage shape in some very very green bushes and grabbed
him by the scruff of his neck, shaking him roughly to get rid of Sam,
whom she was reluctant to touch because of all the soil and sweat.
"Now then," she said, poking the gardener with a long stick while
holding Merry and Pippin in a death grip with her other arm. "You just
run along, Fatty, go play."
"As for you two sweeties," she
cooed while hugging the poor Hobbits even tighter, "you are coming to
my room. We are going to have soooo much fun!"
And so, in the arms of the scary Elf-Lady, the brave Hobbits were
dragged off to a dreadful Fate...
Sam looked up with alarm. "Oh no, my Mr.
Frodo's-Hair-is-Straight-As-a-Curtain sense is tingling! I have to get
to him right away! Miss Arwen, could I borrow your Dramatic Orchestra
for some more 'running to save Frodo again' music?"
He dashed off, with Arwen's orchestra frantically gathering their
instruments and sheet music as they ran after him.
"No, Sam, don't leave us!" Merry wailed. "She keeps poking us and
saying, 'Are you a squishy? Do you want to be my squishy'? Plus now she
smells like Strider's cheap cologne and greasy pomade!"
He winced as Arwen covered him with kisses, and then blinked when a
flash went off in his face.
Pippin was holding a camera and grinning, and Merry frantically grabbed
for it. "You wouldn't DARE!"
Pippin grinned at his lipstick smothered
cousin, luckily being sick had meant that while Princess Pert may have
poked him and called him a 'squishy' she hadn't kissed him.
"Too late I already did. At least now we have a paddle up this creek!"
Pippin squirmed in the grip the elven maid had around his waists and
smiled up at her. "Princess! Look camera! You want to pose against the
backdrop of the mountains for a cover spread to go on Eriador Vanity
(Silently hoping this would give him and Merry a chance to leg it
before getting to her room)
"Legolas, son of Thranduil. Is my room
ready?" Legolas laid his bow on the countertop and picked up the
quill, signing his name on the registration book with a flourish.
I required to register my smile as well as my bow, as they are both
considered 'lethal weapons'?" he asked the Elfmaiden, offering her a
The Elfmaiden blushed and handed him his
key. After he turned away, she tore the page with his name on it
of the book, wondering how much she could get on MEbay for the
autograph of the Greatest Archer Middle Earth Has Ever Known. She
off giggling to find her girlfriends.
Elrond paced frantically, mind whirling
at this unexpected twist. No one had prepared him for this! When he
agreed to hold the council at his place all the guest lists he'd seen
up until last week showed only the regular group, Gandalf, Saruman, the
Ambassadors from Lorien, Mirkwood and Mithlond and a few other elves.
Just another boring committee meeting, talk about the ring a lot and
pass a few resolutions that didn't really do anything about it, fling a
few refreshments at them and send them on their way, or so he thought.
Now he had Humans and Dwarves and of course, these hobbit folk. The
Hobbits in a council was weird and should have made him suspicious, but
Gandalf had always had his daft moments.
Elrond had no idea
they were dumping such an ugly surprise on him. His gift of foresight
had been seriously limited since his script had disappeared, and
honestly he had merely skimmed it. It was the size of War And Peace,
Gone With The Wind, and the Oxford English Dictionary combined! He had
a Homely House to run and hundreds of jobless elves to feed, it's not
like he had unlimited leisure time to sit by the fire and READ, for
crying out loud!
He whirled on Gandalf. "What exactly do
you expect me to do about the ring? Hide it in a cookie jar? Lose it
down the sink? It's not a CrackerJack toy, you know. Sauron wants it
back, he'll go to any lengths to get it, and every doofus mortal who
lays eyes on it will want to keep it for himself, too." Elrond was not
tempted by the idea of becoming a Dark Lord himself; wearing black all
the time was too goth for his taste, not to mention boooooring, and the
accessories were terrible. But he remembered all too well the effect
the ring had on lesser beings...
Elrond assumes a
thoughtful pose as he tells Gandalf, "I was there Gandalf, I was there
when the strength of men failed ..." fade to Mount Doom ...
Elrond led Isildur (who was just a slightly cleaner and better dressed
version of Aragorn) up the path to the Cracks of Doom. "Hurry up, you
lazy mortal!" he shouted behind him. "We haven't got all day." Not only
was Elrond in a hurry to destroy the ring once and for all, but he was
thoroughly looking forward to a long soak in a hot cucumber-melon
bubble bath. The fumes in that place were wreaking havoc on his skin!
Elrond knew he had to hurry home to his moisturizer. And Orc-blood was
not his accessory of choice. "Cast it into the fire!" he shouted to
Isildur. "Destroy it!"
Isildur did not seem inclined to
follow Elrond's orders, which was more evidence of the stupidity of the
race of men in Elrond's view. He waved his hand in front of Isildur's
face, "Cast it into the fire!" Isildur gave him dumb look and again
failed to comply.
"Destroy it!" Elrond shrieked, waving his hand again,
silently cursing the jedi who taught him that trick. Some trick, never
works when it was supposed to anyway .
Gandalf watched in concern as Elrond
took a jump in the deep end, mentally, as he babbled about being ripped
off by charaltan jedis and the stupidness of humans. He gave a sigh of
relief when Elrond came back to himself. Gandalf chuckled now as he
realized his rant had turned the old, well covered complaint of his
beloved wife taking all the best robes with her to Valinor and he'd not
been able to find anything as good since then, as she'd also took the
best weaver with her.
"My dear Elrond, I understand about wanting new Robes
for this auspicious occasion. And I have just the thing!" Gandalf
fished about in a deep pocket and finally brought out a little plain
bag, holding it up like a trophy. "Here it is!"
the small pouch and stuck his hand in, then his forearm and before long
his shoulder disappeared into the bag. "Now where is the confounded
thing," he mumbled aloud. He took out his arm and grabbing two sides of
the bag's mouth he pulled it wide, and stuck his head in it to get a
"Mpherf sda kuthd phng. HH dpherf sss." His
arm disappeared into the bag as well and in a moment both head and arm
popped out and in his hand was a small box. Gandalf chuckled again at
Elrond's confused look and walked to the fireplace.
all you do is take a pinch and throw it into the fire, step in and say
aloud where you want to go. If its connected to the Floo system it'll
take you there. Just make sure you speak clearly, now where we want to
go is Diagon Alley. I found this place recently (an owl told me about
it) and they have just THE best robe shop there - Madam Malkin's.
Radagast loves the Magical Menagerie." Gandalf held out the box to the
Elrond hesitantly took the box from
Gandalf. He turned it over in his hands looking at the inticate
designs. "Well, it's not elvish, but if it works, I'm game"
Besides being a fashion genius Elrond was also decisive. Once he made
up his mind about something, no elf, man or wizard could keep him from
it. So, with images of beautiful robes swimming in his head he tossed
the magical dust into the fireplace and said with firm conviction.
"Madam.....now what in Valinor's name was that place called?"
But Gandalf didn't hear the rest of that sentence because as soon as
Elrond uttered the word "Valinor", he vanished taking the box of magic
dust with him.
"Confound it!" Gandalf yiped as he
realized what had happened. But Valinor was not on the Floo
Gandalf looked about quickly to see if anyone had noticed him and the
now disappeared Lord of Imladris. The wizard had no idea where he'd
gone and said a few pointed words that made his beard curl and his hat
scramble for saftey atop a bookshelf. Elrond had taken the entire box
of Floo powder - he couldn't even follow him to where ever he'd gone!
Taking a quiet look out the door making sure no one was nearby he
quietly snuck out of the room.
"Psst. Peter. Over here," Gandalf motioned trying to get the director's
A tall hobbit-man with glasses turned about and saw the grey robed
wizard standing near the edge of a trailer montioning for him to come
closer. He came over to find out why his lead wizard had no hat and
seemed worried and good gracious! why he was here when he was supposed
to be shooting scenes with the elf.
"Um. Peter? We have a small, teensy weensy, itty bitty problem."
"Well, spit it out man! What's up?"
Gandalf was twisting his robe in his hands and looking about making
sure no one was too near before whispering, "I lost the elf."
The mighty wizard looked like a boy caught with his hand in the cookie
jar and said a little louder, "I lost the elf."
"Lost the el- WHAT?!!" he yelled as he realized the significance of
what he'd just heard. "What do you mean you lost him?"
Gandalf haltingly explained about Elrond wanting new robes and the Floo
Powder and that he said a destination that wasn't on the system and
that he'd taken the entire box of powder. Gandalf quickly explained
that he could get more powder, but had to wait for Hedwig to find him
again, then send her back with an order and wait for delivery. Anyway
you looked at it a replacement Elrond would have to be found.
"As if bored Rohhirim, dealing with Gollum who ate too much bad sushi
and was getting sick in the extra's prothestics applications trailer
and keeping Faramir away from Denethor who kept forgetting that he was
to try and kill Faramir until nearly the end, not the beginning wasn't
enough now I have to find a replacement..." Gandalf heard no more as he
slunk behind the trailer as Peter ranted about the stupidity of vain
elf lords and the incompetence of wizards.
Sam burst into Bilbo's room panting and
waving his pack. "Don't worry, Mr. Frodo, I've got the instant-curl
right here! We'll have that windblown look back in no time."
He set to work right away, dunking Frodo's head into a basin of water
and vigorously scrubbing his scalp with shampoo to get those last
remnants of marshmallow out.
"What's that, sir? Where are Merry
and Pippin? Well, last I saw them, they were being dragged off by Miss
Arwen an' screamin' about not wanting to be her squishy...oh, no
worries about that, sir. This curl will be set an' ready by suppertime.
Mr. Merry an' I went to the House of Steam- oh, Halls of Fire, sorry
sir- to look for you an' you'd left, or I'd have been here a lot
Sam took a bag of tiny steel rollers from his pack and
carefully rolled Frodo's hair with them, liberally dousing his hair
with the perm solution. He wrinkled his nose. "Ewww, smells like rotten
eggs," he said, "but my master must appear the perfect gentlehobbit or
my name's not Samwise Gamgee."
Bob was bored. Bored, bored, bored.
was playing a Rohirim warrior, but the scenes with the Rohirim were a
long way off and after about 5 dozen games of chess and LOTR Monopoly
with the stunt guys, he'd had enough.
Bored, bored, bored. "Why didn't I get a role as an Elf, they get to do
stuff in the first part of the film and I hear they get a really cool
part at the battle of Helm's deep."
Bob made celtic knots in the dirt at
his feet. He was bored.
Frodo endured the perming with patience,
though he wished the stuff came with nose-clips or something. At
this Elven stuff wasn't half-bad - it worked a lot quicker than Old
Toby's Cut-n-Curl back home.
"Squishy? Please, Sam, don't mention squishiness to me. Brrrrr. "
He was grateful when the rollers could be taken back out, but now it
was nearly bedtime and there still was no sign of Merry or Pippin
anywhere. There was supposed to be some sort of big meeting in
morning - he hoped wherever they were they got some sleep... Merry sat
in a chair, his arms folded
and a scowl on his face, as Princess Perpetually Annoying braided his
hair and kept up a running commentary about her latest shopping trip
and her last twenty-seven boyfriends.
"I hope wherever Frodo is, he's getting some sleep, because he'll need
to be well rested for what I'm going to do to him for dragging us
here," Merry muttered. "And Pippin is going to get the biggest noogie
of his life. Where is he, anyway?"
Having been dropped on the floor on
entering the bedroom (obviously not as cute as Merry after the failed
camera incident) Pippin had scuttled under the bed and had found a
handy loose section of wainscot.
The continued inane babbling of the crazy elf-princess provided
sufficient noise to cover the creaking of the wood as the board
Hmm, by the heaps of junk, hair care products and discarded copies of
Playelf this must be the El-lads room.
Now how to get Merry out too?
Pippin snuck back through the gap and under the bed. Great! The
Princess was busy rooting through some drawers on the other side of the
room, looking for more tassle and beads.
"Psst, Merry" he whispered and waved, "Under here!" and ducked back
quickly just in case.
"... and then I dated Bonnilas for a
while, but I was like 'No. Way. I am ever going to be Leggy's
sis-in-law', so I dumped him and then..."
Arwen knew that Pooky couldn't understand a word she was saying,
obviously. She wasn't dumb, you know. She was quite aware of the fact
that, in spite of being cute, periannath just liked the sound of your
voice, but were in fact really really simple. Her brothers had told her
so and they hung out by the Shire all the time.
had finished thinking that, she found herself ranting on another of her
fav subjects, having already gone through boyfriends, make-up, the
latest gossip, and her ever-gnawing envy of her grandmother for being
prettier. Her Daddy.
"... and he is all up in arms for his
big Secret Council Party, and now he tells me Gorny is invited and that
means I'm not. Well, we'll see about that, Mr.
'I-don't-want-any-low-displays-of-affection-at-my-Council'! Cause you
see Pooky, Wennie knows a secret door to the Council terrace you see,
it's right in the rose hedge behind Glorfindel's life-size bonsai tree
The key is in Wennie's dancing ballerina hair clip
box there, see? So when Daddy's going to have his Council, Wennie's
gonna sneak in and join the party anyway, because there's no way Gorny
Still standing with her back to the Hobbit, she failed to see the
malicious gleam of mischief that had appeared in his eyes...
Merry saw Pippin furtively waving at him
from under the elaborate four poster bed decorated with a Sailor Moon
motif, and looked back at the cheerily-babbling Arwen, with her back oh
so conveniently toward him...while she rooted in the closet and babbled
about hair clips.
Merry's bright little Brandybuck eyes gleamed mischievously. He held a
finger to his lips to shush Pippin in case a typically-ill timed
Tookian outburst might be forthcoming, and slipped on silent hobbit
tootsies to Arwen.
With one quick shove, he pushed the princess into the closet, and
quickly slammed and bolted the door.
"We're off then, Princess!" he called. "It's been nice, and it's been
real, but it hasn't been real nice!"
The liberated Pet Perians, er, hobbits, raced out of Arwen's room
joyously, leaving their collars and muzzles in forlorn yet colorful
piles on the immaculately trimmed lawn.
An email from the Undying Lands
To: Elrond Halfelven Elrond (webmaster@ rivendell.org)
From: Manwë Sulimo (no1vala@ arda.eru)
Subject: Who do you think you're fooling?
It has come to my attention, as everything eventually does, that you
have attempted to come to Valinor without your proper visa and
This will not do. Owing to your
'perianthropic' activities, we are willing to overlook this little
incident for now, but be assured that Mandos is taking notes, and you
know what a stickler he can be.
Do not attempt to come to
Valinor again without submitting the proper applications, in
triplicate, to the Valinor Imigration Agent in your area, viz. Cirdan.
The Lord of the West, yadda yadda yadda,
PS: when you do come, please bring the silver-backed hairbrushes and
the non-stick cookware you gave Celebrian for her 1056th wedding
anniversary. And tell Winnie Mum said 'Hi!'