Bucklebury's LotR Parody

An ongoing role-play parody by various fans on Bucklebury.net

Many Meetings & Interludes at Isengard

The Witchking never saw the floodwaters coming. . . .  
 
It was an odd mess sorting through their water-logged memories to find the truth, but the truth finally formed through the watery dreams.
 
And the truth was that Bubba and Beuford were IDIOTS!
 
They had been tracking the party towards Rivendell, and had followed them.  Someone must have cast a spell on them, as they were suddenly in their skivvies.  Not knowing what to do about THAT little surprise, they began advancing on the ford (rolling with the punches) and Vogue-ing all the while singing (woefully out of tune!) 

I'm a Nazgul,  
you know what I mean?
And I'll chase these little twirps to the boardwalk.
 
To the boardwalk,  
yeah the boardwalk.
And we'll catch these little fools on the boardwalk."

 
They knew that Bubba, Buford and Basil were on the shoreline and would snatch them and the Ring when they drew near.  As they looked ahead, they saw their three partners looming behind the jello-like blobs, and the Ringbearer, who was becoming more clear as the Morgul Mallow worked its way deeper towards overcoming the hobbit.
 
Then, there came flashes of light, as though a hundred miniature lightning bolts had sprung out of the crowd.  This might have been ok, except that in the midst of these flashes stood the figure of Glorfindel, whose golden tresses caught the light, and sent it swirling around like a disco ball . . . until . . . Arwen started speaking the words of the spell.  
 
She had hoped for water releasing, but Aragorn stumbled into her, and she said the word for Wind instead.  Suddenly, the water churned as the air around the river whipped in from the mountians.  The wraiths were sure of their victory and lunged forward . . .
 
Into the blinding glare of Glorfindel's BALD HEAD!!

 
Few are the dark spirits in Middle Earth that can withstand the light of one who has lived in the Blessed Realm when they are revealed in their full Glory.  Fewer still who could withstand that plus the light of a hundred miniature lightning bolts reflected off of Glorfindel's shiny pate.  
 
There are forces in the world for Good, as well as Evil.   Something desired that the Nair Shampoo intended for the twins should bald Glorfindel instead, that this strange serendipity should come to fruition in the nick of time.  In that we should take comfort.  For had it not been so, all might have been lost.
 
The wraiths, blinded by the light, flung themselves into the river to escape the searing glow surrounding Glorfindel.  They were battered and blown by the water and wind, stripped of thier forms, they headed back to Mordor to let their master know they had failed.
 
Angmar didn't look forward to telling this tale . . .

In Rohan...

King Theoden and Marty raced to Isengard.  Snowmane kept to a furious pace and Marty's legs really had to work pedalling that bike!  Still, the King shouted encouragement at him now and again, and with a pair of goggles on, the dust of Snowmane's passage wasn't so bad.
 
The King was always happy ahorse.  His blond locks flowed from beneath his helm, and the wind of his passage blew the last vestiges of his glued-on beard clippings off his face.  Birds from everywhere flocked behind the King, picking up the Royal Beard Clippings to use building their nests.
 
He spied the Tower of Orthanc and pulled sharply on the reins, causing Snowmane to rear picturesquely.  Just then, he noticed another horseman, a biggish chap on a black horse.
 
"What ho?" he muttered.  "Has Saruman taken on another client?  But, lo!  I am the King, and no mere Lordling can go ahead of me."
 
Marty braked to a stop beside the King.  "Wow," he said.  "That's some Tower!  Check out the Neon Sign up top!  What does it say, Sire?  I am unlettered, as you know."
 
"Saruman's Salon," The King answered.  "Look, Marty, you just hang on to Snowmane, while I go in."
 
He swung down, and straightened his cloak and made sure his sword hung nicely.  As he walked past the other horseman, he nodded regally.  "Good day, sirrah," he said.
 
"Sirrah!  Who are you calling Sirrah!  I am the Lord Boromir of Minas Tirith!"  
 
"Oh," Theoden said, abashed.  "I sorta thought I oughta know you.  How's your old man?  Keeping well?"
 
"Middling, sir, middling.  Tell me, is this Isengard?"
 
"It is, " Theoden replied.
 
"Well," the Lord Boromir said, "I see Saruman's Salon, and I see the stables and all, but I don't see the Gap.  And I really need new clothes, I've been wearing this outfit for three weeks now, and I'm just dying to get some new duds!"
 
 
Theoden frowned.  "I cannot say, Lord Boromir.  Now, if you will forgive me, I have business with Saruman."  He strode majestically through the great door.  "Saruman!  Saruman!  It's me, Theoden King. "
 
Then he stopped in surprise.  "Grima?  Grima, is that you?  what are you doing here?"

Boromir was much cast down at learning there was no Gap store at Isengard.   But he found a launderette, and got his clothes washed, while his horse was given new shoes and a shampoo.
 
Boromir mooched around the courtyard, waiting to see the Wizard.  There were a number of others waiting, as well.  A girl named Dorothy and her dog Toto, and some fellow in a suit of tin armour, and a scarecrow.
 
The Wizard sent word that he was too busy to see Boromir that day, but would be glad to see him in the morning.  But Boromir, fed up with the waiting, and the lack of entertainment, decided that upon reflection he would continue North to Isengard.
 
He chucked some Granola into his saddlebags and made sure the lid was tight on his travel mugful of coffee.  "Hiyo, Blackie, away!" he shouted, and he and his horse set out at a brisk pace for the North.
 
Up in the tower, Grima looked down and thought, "Gee, that's a nice horse."  He went into the salon where Saruman was busy wrapping foil around Theoden's hair.  "Listen," he whispered to Saruman, "you know how you were looking for a sorta signature symbol for your plans to Conquer the Western World?  Well, what about using only black horses?  Sorta sets you apart from the common herd, if you get my drift!"

Oft it is seen that evil will doth evil mar..or something.  In other words, sometimes the bad guys are so busy plotting Evil that they get tangled up in their own nets....
 
Theoden gazed into the mirror as a minion of Saruman, a hulking Uruk-hai with lime-green dreadlocks named Troy hovered over him.  Troy fluffed up Theoden's hair, and said, "Well,  Your Majestic Theoness?  What do you think?  Are those streaks fabuloso, or not?"
 
Theoden grunted in a kingly manner.  He had not been enthusiastic about having a Minion of Saruman's do the hair thing, but Saruman was 'too busy', he was told. "Forsooth, Troy," he said, his dentures shifting.  All those s's and th's!  "You speak sooth, Troy," he went on.  "The streaks are, indeed, fabuloso!  Youthful. Not that I need to look younger, you know, for am I not in the prime of my life?  No dotard yet, dozing in the reek and mirk of my hall!"
 
Troy flicked Theoden's shoulder cape from his Kingly shoulders and shook hair clippings onto the floor.  An orc scuttled forth with a broom and swept the clippings up.  (But they were not incinerated, oh no!  Saruman had a use for bits of Men.)
 
Theoden grew thoughtful.  "By the way, O mincing minion of the white wizard, what is the scoop on all those boxes I tripped over in the foyer?"
 
Troy sighed and rolled his eyes.  "Oh, that darn dimwitted Lurtz  ordered a Gross of Black Hair Dye, instead of a  box of Gross Black Orc Dye.  And those cheapskates at Miss Clairol won't take it back!  What on earth they think I'm going to do with it, I really couldn't say.  I do have rather more important things on my mind, after all."  He was admiring himself in the mirror, running a dampened finger over his unruly brows.  "Mmmmmmm..." he murmured.  "Time to dig out those tweezers!"
 
Theoden grew even more thoughtful.  Black hair dye, eh?  The germ of a plan germinated in his brain.
 
Troy  sighed again.  "For one thing, we're awfully short on horseflesh."  He giggled.  "Well, that was an unfortunate turn of phrase, to be sure!  How was The Boss to know that those wretched Orcs would EAT horses?  It took Lurtzie days and days to bring that little problem under control.   But there's no denying that we've been left in the Lurch, so to speak.  'Tis really unfortunate, Theo Royale, that you have so few black horses in Rohan.    You and The Boss might have been able to do each other a favour."
 
"Well,"Theoden said, "It's really odd that you should say that.  For a herdsman from the Middle Hairnet or whatever has just informed my Royal Ears that he has discovered a mighty herd of Black Steeds!  Is that not fortuitous?"  He watched the Wizard's minion closely, and went on, "By the way, tell Saruman, I'lltake those boxes of Black Hair Dye off his hands.  I hate to see a buddy get stuck like that."
 
"Well, bless your bones!" Troy said, patting Theoden's shoulder.  "I just knew I could count on you to be The Boss's  true friend,  O Kingly Bingly Theoden."  He wiped a few tears from his bright yellow eyes.  "There just isn't enough of that sort of thing these days, is there?   Now, what'll you give my boss for the Dye?"

Near Imladris...

Pippin struggled to work the catch on Merry's pink maribou muzzle. He was still a bit dazed by the screaming and sudden blaze of light, wind and a water; especially after such a comfy warm (and above all muffled) ride.
 
"Coz, will you stop shaking your head like that... Look if you don't stop all this buggering about I'll end up making it tighter not looser. And there's only so many minutes that elf-princess can last with her tongue in smelly socks mouth, she'll need to breath soon..."  
 
His frown brightened "Mind you that may give us a few more minutes to slip this off you!"

Once Merry regained the feeling in his hands (they had fallen asleep in his efforts to remove his muzzle and collar) he joined his efforts with Pippin's and the muzzle was removed. Merry rubbed his jaw with relief and said, "Thanks, Pip, I owe you one. Or rather, I'll deduct one pint of ale from the thirty that you have yet to pay me back for."
Merry looked around curiously. "Where did Venus the Princess of Platitudes drop us anyway? And have you seen Frodo lately? He'll need another application of cellulite cream to hold him together, or we'll be taking him into Rivendell in a cup of cocoa."

Arwen was quite indignant about the whole thing.  
She had messed up the water-horse-spell-thingy, which was really a pity because now she could not be the cinematic heroine.  
 
On the other hand it might have been a stroke of luck, as she found out when checking her spellbook again. She had been mispronouncing some words in the spell and what they would have gotten would be Water Goats, which would have been an epic disaster for her perfect image.  
 
And her brothers would never, EVER let her forget it.
 
So instead of yelling at Aragorn again, she did the most natural thing for her to do whenever he was in less than a foot distance of her.
Purely a reflex, really.
 
She only paused to see Glory totally stealing the moment, and had to press her face into Aragorn's again, this time to stifle her most unelvish laughter.
She quickly pulled herself together though, and tearing herself loose from the Ranger she walked up to Glofindel.
 
"Hiya Glorf-man!" she said cheerfully. "You sure got here pretty fast. Doesn't Elvish telephathy like, totally rock? I mean, you know, you knew exactly how to perfectly blend into my perfect plan of scaring those wraiths into the water. Boy, did you scare them good! They were, like, horrified just to look at you, really. Love the new look, by the way," she added sweetly.

Glorfindel smiled, patted Arwen on the cheek, and said, "Who loves ya, Baby?" then turned and pulled a lollypop out of his pocket.  
 
This sugary candy called to the peeping Hobbit at his feet, causing the marshmallowy hobbit (Blobbit?) to heave and sigh.  He thought quickly, and  picked up the poor creature and carried him to the Elven Medical Services to see if anything could be done to save him . . . humming under his breath as he stode down the hall . . .  
 
Who can take a rainbow . . .

Aragorn was once again in a daze of Arwen-ness. He vaguely directed the white horse across the water after the rest of the party. Rivendell wasn't that far away from here. Hopefully Frodo would still have enough resemblence to a hobbit when they got there to solidify him again. It would truly be a tragedy were they to accidentally fix him in the wrong shape!

Frodo's only recollections of this terrible time were vaguely gauzy dreams of Elven architecture drifting by, like slowly melting marshmallows in hot milk....

As per Elrond's foresightful instruction, Captain Willy Wonka-Sparrow was prepared for what came next.  He whistled through his weird gold teeth and four orange-skinned, green-haired halflings appeared and hustled toward the slowly spreading Ringbearer.  
 
They gently scooped him up onto a graham-cracker stretcher and covered him warmly with a blanket of chocolate silk.  Carefully they bore him to Rivendell while Captain Wonka tried to banish his Keith Richards muse and channel Julia Childs (or someone more useful in the healing/cooking department), for his 'motivation'.
 
"Look on the bright side," leered Captain Wonka as he motioned for Strider and the hobbits to follow him, "If he doesn't pull through, there'll be plenty of s'mores for everyone, savvy?"
 
He scratched his head under his dreadlock-wig and wondered, "Now, how did we de-blueberry that dratted girl?"
 
He delivered Frodo to Elronds hands, and they worked long into the night, for three days, bringing healing and texture to the brave halfling.
 
Nearby...

Legolas urged his horse to a canter, coming down the High Pass toward the green valley of Rivendell, where sweet music was rising like the aroma of baking bread.
 
It had been an arduous journey from Mirkwood, especially with this lazy, good-for-naught escort he had been provided with.  All they talked about was skin-tone and accessories, and whether or not they should be wearing 'autumn' when they entered Rivendell or dressing in 'winter-chic'.
 
Legolas couldn't care less.  Life immortal was granted to the Eldar, and the last thing that the son of the King of Mirkwood was worried about was if his quiver matched his shoes!  Really! he thought with annoyance, glancing back at them, No wonder all the female elves have sailed west and not returned.  What a bunch of sissies!
 
He spoke to his horse and increased his canter to a gallup.  Maybe if he arrived well ahead of these losers, he wouldn't be associated with them.  Besides, the smell of vanilla and chocolate came to his hyper-sensitive nostrils, and his stomach rumbled.  Many days of eating poptarts and beefjerky had left him rather hungry for real food.   I'd even settle for a wafer of cram!"
 
He was looking forward to the Council, even though his tidings were ill.  A vacation was what he had needed.  And just think... no Dwarves!  No short, hairy, stubborn, greedy, beer-swilling, grasping, meat-breath'd, bow-legged, coarse, stinking, grubby, tedious,...
 
Legolas reined in his horse suddenly, his super-sharp ears having caught a sound below the fair elvish singing.  A rowdy song sung in rough voices reached his ears, and he almost turned his horse around and rode back to Mirkwood, his heart sinking.
 
"Heigh ho!  Heigh ho!  To Rivendell we go!  
We'll crash their party and drink up hearty
Heigh ho! Heigh ho! Heigh ho, heigh ho..."

 
Legolas sighed and growled, "A curse on Dwarves and their interfering ways!"  He hoped they had not drank all the cider, yet.

Frodo dreamed of chocolate waterfalls, edible flowers and other sights too strange for words but at least it wasn't jello, of which he was heartily weary, nor of marshmallows which he never ever wanted to eat again as long as he lived.
 
He slowly became aware of birds chirping, fountains trickling and the distant sound of his cousins laughing with one another about something.  He was in a bed, but there was sunlight slanting nearby.  What in tarnation...?  He experimentally tried opening his eyes and found to his surprise that his lashes didn't stick together.  He shifted his hand and it didn't stick to the coverlet.  He didn't smell anything even remotely like vanilla.  He tried saying something to see if his voice worked.
 
"Where the heck am I and what is the time?"

Note in Merry's journal, Rivendell.
 
Dear Ralph the Journal,
Rode into Rivendell today with one vanilla-scented Cousin Blob, a Ranger with a concussion, a diaphanous dame named Arwen, one annoying cousin, and Cousin Blob's gardener riding a horse without a license. I think we might have left some other Pointy-Ears scattered along the way, either stunned by Sam's bad riding or Arwen's potent perfume.  
I have to hunt down Elrond and give him Estella's special delivery, and also I have instructions to make sure I collect payment in cash, as she got stiffed on his last purchase because his Gold Mallorn Card was maxed out. If Estella ain't happy, then nobody's happy.
I don't know what I'd do without you, Ralph the JOurnal, because it's the only time I can practice talking like Sam Spade. I wonder what I did with my fedora...
I guess I should go see what they're going to do with my marshmallowy cousin, because I like that squishy little hobbit, and want to make sure he's treated right. I sincerely hope there's more to this place than marshmallow-tending and map-reading, though. What do they do for kicks- play checkers? This place would win the Pillsbury Bore-Off.
I hear Arwen has a couple fun loving siblings running around-bet me and Pippin could hunt them up and have some REAL fun.  
Here's looking at you, kid.
Meriadoc B.

Meanwhile on the marshmallow-strewn banks of the Ford....

Tiffany, Queen of the Aphids, brushed a glob of marshmallow off of her brow, and adjusted her tiny tiara.  Such ferocity on such a small face had never been seen.  Her eyes flashed, as she surveyed what was left of the host of Aphids who had set out for the "Old Forest" to get away from it all.
 
"That is the LIMIT!!  First, those beavers show up in the forset, and interrupt our party with a mandate from the Old Forest to go find Smokey the Bear and eat two of my guards in a moment of shock. THEN they crash our 'Swampfest' in the Marshes.  And now they drown half of my company with Marshmallow Goo!  I may be small, but they have crushed the Wrong Queen's Coiffe!!!"
 
She sat on a pebble and hatched a wicked plan.
 
"I will go to see my cousin, Princess Heather, who hangs out in the southern reaches of the Misty Mountians.  Last time I heard, she was playing in a band called "Crooked Crows" or some such name.  I'll see if we can get the whole flock of them stirred up and perhaps we can "drop" a little something on these Beavers from Brandywine . . .  
 
She took flight, hoping against hope that her tiny wings would get her there and back before these Beavers left, unaware that she had not seen the last chapter of the Morgul Marshmallow Massacre. . .

In Imladris...

Frodo listened very hard, but there was no reply to his query.  Maybe his voice hadn't really worked? Maybe it had been softer than he thought?  He cleared his throat a couple times and tried again, a little louder.

"In the name of all creation, where in the world AM I and what is the time?  Hullo?"

Sam glanced up from the copy of  Cooking Light magazine in which he was reading an article titled, "Just in Case You Set Out on an Epic Journey with Someone Who Wouldn't Have Thought to Prepare Ahead: Rationing and Backpacking on the Trail."
"It's half past ten Rivendell time, you're in Rivendell, and you're also interruptin' my article. Go back to sleep, Mr. Frodo."  
Sam tucked Frodo's marshmallowy skin back under the blankets, fluffed both his master and the pillow, and went back to his magazine.

Pippin, poked his head in the door just as Sam made himself comfy again.
 
"Have you seen Merry at all today? Only we're supposed to be going bungee jumping off that bridge, with the twins!"

Frodo closed his eyes and snugged into the covers for a minute.  Then the words that had been spoken replayed across his mind and he sat bolt upright, undoing all the tucking that Sam had just finished.
 
"Rivendell?  What are we doing here?  I don't remember getting here.  There was that horrible laundry, and Bill wouldn't move and... and.... I'm not a marshmallow! None of you are peeping or wobbling or anything!"
 
They blankly looked at him, then at each other.  
 
"Delirious still.  Tsk." said  Pippin.
 
Sam gently pushed him back down and re-tucked the covers.  "I think you better just get some more rest, Mr. Frodo."
 
"Frodo obediently lay back on the pillow. "What was that you said about... bungee jumping?  Maybe I am delirious."

Boromir was glum.  Riding along alone, with only a very non-verbal animal companion, was dull and boring.  He wondered what the old folks at home were doing, or, more specifically, his dad and his younger brother.  Probably lying about in comfort being waited on by scantily clad maidens!   Daddy Denethor was big on scantily clad maidens, and Boromir had once been the chief Scantily Clad Maiden Scout of Minas Tirith.  
 
"Probably that wimpy brother of mine has taken over," Boromir thought resentfully.  "And what does he know about Scantily Clad Maidens, anyway?  Would he know what to look for?  Conformation, general bounciness.....no!  No, he wouldn't."
 
But he knew it was wrong to repine, and besides, he saw a signpost ahead.  "Two days to Rivendell," the sign read.  And, in brackets, it said, "Imladris."  So he knew he was on the right track.  He saw the signs of much traffic now on the track, for there were empty Coke cans and chip bags scattered everywhere.  
 
Blackie's ears twitched forward and he whinnied.  Boromir, who had been daydreaming, came back to reality with a start.  "What in tarnation!?!" he exclaimed.
 
For before him on the road was a man astride a "contraption".   It was a two-wheeled device of some sort and the man rode it as another man might ride a horse, and in some fashion he propelled it forward with his feet.  The rider turned it and sped back to where Boromir and Blackie were.
 
Blackie took exception to this machine and began to rear and buck and in moments the Lord Boromir, son of the Lord Denethor, Steward of Gondor, was lying flat on his Noble Back in the roadway, and maybe not so flat as there was a quite substantial amount of Horse Dung beneath him.
 
He looked up at a face notable chiefly for a pair of wandering, prominent eyes.  "You look just like Marty Feldman," Boromir said.
 
"You might say I AM Marty Feldman," the apparition said, "Marty Feldman as he might have been."
 
"You don't say," Boromir mused.    He struggled to his feet.  "Well, you were terrific in Beau Geste, and Young Frankenstein!    I am the Lord Boromir.  Where are you bound on that strange device?"
 
"I'm heading to Imladris, or Rivendell as some have named it," Marty replied.  "For I would take speech with Master Elrond.   For I have lately been much troubled with Dreams."
 
Boromir stared.  "Well, I'll be switched," he said, "that is QUITE the coincidence!  I'm going to talk to Master Elrond about a dream, too!"
 
Now Marty stared.  Well, it was rather hard to tell for sure, but Boromir THOUGHT he stared.  "And did your dream feature Scantily  Clad Maidens?"  he asked, somewhat shyly.
 
"Nay, nay," Boromir said.  "My dream, and that of my brother, was about some old poem.  Now, how did it go?   Jack and Jill went up the hill.....no, it was......ah........let's see..Humpty Dumpty..no, that's not it either.  Oh!  Now I remember!  It was Hey, Diddle Diddle!  Do you know that one?"
 
Marty shook his head rather sadly.  "I fear not, Lord Boromir.  The only poem I know begins, "In Xanadu did Kublai Khan a stately pleasure dome decree...."
 
He went on to recite the whole poem, while Boromir stared in awe.  He felt a great respect for this odd little man on his odd little machine.  And he felt, too, a queer sort of inkling that the Dream of the Scantily Clad Maiden must have some reference to him.  For had he not been the Chief Scout for Scantily Clad Maidens in Minas Tirith?  "Tell you what, Marty," he said, "why don't we sorta join forces and travel together?  It's been pretty lonely, just me and Blackie."
 
Thus it fell out that the Lord Boromir and Marty Feldman rode on together, and they reached the Last Homely House, the House of Master Elrond Halfelven, on the evening of the second day........

Gimli Gloín's son's Diary
 
October 24th, 3018
 
Beard: Almost two feet (yay!)
Roaring fires: None
Malt beers: 0
Orcs killed: None, but threatened several Elves
 
Rivendell, 10.31 am
Elf-house boring on first impression. No fun to be had. Hate Dad for dragging me along.  
Rivendell full of Elves. Keep axe at ready. Elves never to be trusted.
10.40 am
Just saw some Elves bungee-jumping off tower. Okay, so not all Elves boring, still annoyingly pretty.

Merry stood with an extremely aggravated look on his face as he tried to explain the pink bag in his hands to two tall, snickering elves at the door of Elrond's house.
"Look, um, par-lay Westron? I need to take this in to your boss, Elrond, by order, er, request of my fiancee Estella Bolger! And she wants to be paid in cash this time...yes, he DID, in fact, order the 3 in 1 moisturizer and Simply Natural Lip Gloss and Eye Liner...look, he needs them for some big meeting he's having here, and I just want to drop the durn things off and go meet my cousin on the bridge for a bungee jumping lesson! Oh, yeah, and there's sunblock too, for when his mother in law visits and she gets one of her freaky glow in the dark moments...aw, come on, you two! Lemme in! I've carried this stuff since we left home  and I want it out of my bag!"
"Yo, Adrianalus, listen to Master Bag here," one of the elves laughed.
Merry flushed. "I resent that! Now, for the last time take me to your Maharajah! Flet Commander! Prince of the Practically Perfect People! Whatever he calls himself!"

Frodo dozed a bit longer then opened his eyes again.  
 
"Did I imagine it, or is Gandalf around here somewhere? I'm sure I heard him earlier..."
 
He sat up, then clambered out of bed ranting randomly while Sam read his magazine.   "I refuse to stay in this bed one more minute.  Whereever that dratted wizard has got off to, he better have a darn good reason for abandoning us like that.  I mean - I could've been doomed to being a confection for the rest of my life! And I still don't know what happened. It's just "bang" here I am in an Elven bed and I don't even know how I got here.  Hmph!"  He pulled on the clothes that were laid out for him.
 
"Come on Sam - I'm starving. Let's go find some food!"

The Morgul-Mallow Peeps, having been cast out of Frodo by the power of Willy-Wonka, Elrond, and Gandalf's magic, hung in the air, trying to remember how to fly.
 
One of them caught sight of a tiny flash of rhinestone in the sunlight, heading south along the Misty Mountains.  The form had wings, and by quick observance, they remembered wings and took off, hoping not to loose the tiny creature before dusk.  
 
"If she lands before we can see how she does it, we might be stuck here in the air for good!" they Peeped.

Sam groaned. He had just gotten to the best part of the magazine- a two page photo spread featuring Miss Muffin Pan 1418- and now Mr. Marsh-Frodo decided he wanted something to eat.  
"All right, sir, just keep your shirt on. I'm sure we can find something that tempts your appetite."
He wondered where Merry and Pippin had gotten to; he shook his head. He surely worried about those two; Mr. Merry sneaking around with pink bags and a rhinestone collar, and Mr. Pippin wanting to jump off bridges...and that same blood ran in Mr. Frodo's veins.
Sam shivered, and wondered again exactly what he'd gotten himself into. Oh well, only a couple more days to get Mr. Frodo fixed up, and then they could hand over that Ring to the elves and call it a day. Good thing, too, because Rosie's letters were getting a touch huffier each day, and dropping hints that she just might say yes to Mug Banks the next time he asked her to dance.
He took his master's arm and said, "I smell somethin' cookin that way sir, it must be the kitchens."

As Sam led him down some stairs and around corners, up stairs, under overpasses, through shortcuts, around hedges, up and through a gazebo, around a windy garden path, over a bridge, around a couple bends, over another bridge and then around several more turns into yet another building Frodo was completely lost and discombobulated.  But at least he had also completely forgotten about his gripes against Gandalf.
 
"Where are we going?  This place is a mouse maze! And why are there leaves everywhere? Don't they ever close the windows or sweep?"  They turned another bend and went through a wide metal swinging door that said "KITCHEN" on it.

Sam scratched his head as he read the post above this one.
"Bless my bunions, I had no idea my sense of smell was so keen, if I smelled cookin' from that far away. Guess that Gamgee sense of smell is more highly developed than I reckoned it to be....oh, come on, Mr. Frodo, I've seen way too much of that 'poochie lip' lately. We're here now, an' we can get you some food...Mr. Frodo! Don't ever grasp a pot handle that's facin' outwards while it's on the stove! If that spills, you'll nowt have any foot hair for a year at least!"

An Elven cook glanced up from the radishes he was carving into elaborate little ships to see something hairy going past just on the other side of the counter.  Small hands were briefly seem reaching  up. They grabbed a warm loaf of bread, a large bowl of salad and a platter of cut fruit before disappearing again.  There were small voices as a potholder suddenly appeared and took down the pot of soup that was warming.  
 
Either the rats were getting bigger than ever before or those dratted dwarves were stealing food again.  Little difference.  He scowled and stabbed his radish.  By the time he had composed something suitably blistering to say to a dwarf, the kitchen invaders were gone.


In Isengard...

King Theoden was really cheesed off when found that Marty Feldman had ridden away from Orthanc on his bicycle.  How was he going to transport all this Black Hair Dye to Edoras?
 
He huffed and he puffed, and hired a wagon, but Snowmane wouldn't pull it.  Pulling it himself Theoden found that the wagon rolled quite smoothly, but with no brakes it tended to go really fast downhill.  Still, he toiled on.
 
He saw the roof of the Golden Hall from afar, and sighed.  If he whistled, would anyone hear?  Who was that, standing on the porch, wearing a white dress blowing in the wind?  Was it Eomer again, or had Eowyn decided to get her dress back from her brother?
 
Families!   Theoden swore that in his next incarnation he would be a fish.


In Rivendell...

Meanwhile, Aragorn and Arwen were taking a walk in Rivendell's gardens. Suddenly Aragorn turned and knelt before his love.
"Gorny? What in Arda are you doing?" she asked him, so he began to sing (to the tune of "Surfer Girl" by the Beach Boys):
 
Little Arwen little one
Made my heart come all undone
Do you love me, do you Arwen girl
Arwen girl my little Arwen girl
 
I have watched you toss your head
Make the Els wish they were dead, but
Do you love me do you Arwen girl
Arwen girl Arwen girl
 
We could ride my horse together
While our love would grow
Without Muffy you could still go where you want to go
 
So I say from me to you
I might make your dreams come true
Do you love me do you Arwen girl
Arwen girl my little Arwen girl
Little one
Girl Arwen girl my little Arwen girl
Little one
Girl Arwen girl my little Arwen girl
Little one
Girl Arwen girl my little Arwen girl

 
Arwen rolled her eyes and sighed...and then giggled at Aragorn's dismayed look.
"That's like, so cute!"  
He smiled again and they wandered off.

At this juncture (just what is a juncture, anyway?) the Lord Boromir and Marty Feldman arrived on the romantic bridge at Rivendell.  They heard some guy caterwauling in the bushes, then heard the sound of major making out, but they carried on.
 
Rivendell was a Magical Place.  Everything was white and lacy and pretty and within minutes Boromir's head started to ache.  He had a nearly uncontrollable impulse to do something Masculine, such as Belch or Break Wind.  Marty Feldman, also made uneasy by all the prettiness, rode his bicycle in silence, casting his gaze from side to side.  And from side to side again.
 
Over the bridge and up the hill and now, adding to Boromir's discomfort, he heard Harps twanging and the sweet, melancholy song of the Elves.  "Holy cats," he moaned.  "This is awful!  would you just listen to that?  It makes me think of the Orcs at Osgiliath!"
 
They dismounted, Boromir from his horse, Marty Feldman from his bike.  They drew deep breaths.
 
Boromir turned to Marty with a puzzled look on his face.  "Do you smell Marshmallow?"  he asked

Having at last collected his fee from Elrond's House Elf (having been told that the Lord and Master of Rivendell was scolding his daughter about a credit card statement that measured fifty feet in length) Merry hid the money in his pack in an envelope that read BELLY BUTTON LINT in order to discourage any nosey younger cousins. Then he went in search of Pippin. As he meandered through the gardens of Rivendell, he wondered again what these Fair Folk did for fun. For that matter, did they ever even SMILE?
Merry wondered if somewhere in the world, there wasn't an Elf who liked fights, ale, and getting into counting contests to see who drank the most pints. He shook his head. "Not bloody likely," he muttered.

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 pushed a rolling laundry cart heaped with white towels past them.
 
"What is this place?" asked Frodo.  He looked up to see an elaborately 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

"Wooooaaaaaahhhhhh
eeeeeeeeeyaaayyyyyyeeeyey
yyyyyyyyywooowhoohoohooo
wwwowwww"

 
 
Sproing! sproing!  
sproing! sproing!  
sproing! sproing!  
sproing!
sproing!  
 
sproing!  ...

Sam jumped.  
"Did you hear that 'sproing-sproing-sproing, Mr. Frodo? It sounded just like that time that Lobelia Sackville-Baggins bought a girdle two sizes too small and..."

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 thick he couldn't see a thing and felt like he was trying to breathe water.  An 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.  The 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 at 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.  "Sorry!"

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 once more.

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 steam? "
"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 notice.
 
"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 puddle.
 
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 around.
"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, maybe?"
 
'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 Witness Protection Program?"
 
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 see you got here all right, Strider.  I'm afraid I don't remember much of that last bit, so I wasn't sure what had happened to you.  What are you helping Bilbo with?"
 

Marty Feldman left Boromir at the stables.  Boromir was unhappy with the stable arrangments, pointing out 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 master's rudeness.)
 
Still, Boromir finally walked away, muttering under his breath.  He was tired and hungry, but most of all he wanted a bath.  A bath in hot water, preferably.
 
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 lot of little guys around, and one large guy with long, stringy dark hair.
 
Boromir looked the large guy up and down.  "Seek for the sword that was 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 towel?"

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 remote and thoughtful.  Try not to stay in the Steamroom too long... it melts your brain."
 

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 muttered.  
 
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 bungee cord.
"Frodo?" he asked tentatively.
"Nope!"
"Um, Sam?"
"Nope!"
"Um, Bilbo?"
"Nope!"
"Um, Strider/Aragorn/Greasyhead/Dunny-Bunny?"
"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 is it?"

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 below.  
"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 seemed to cause a glow about his head, enhanced by his fine blonde-white hair and newly buffed ears.  Then he tipped the stuttering halfling over the bridge to go *spronging!* beside his conferate.  
 
Ai!, thought Legolas as Merry screamed all the way down, I guess I should have told him I tied him off before I pushed him over....

"... 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 booooring!"
 
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 at this.
 
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 his neck.
 
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.