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
their skivvies. Not knowing what to do about THAT little
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
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.
came flashes of light, as though a hundred miniature lightning bolts
had sprung out of the crowd. This might have been ok, except that
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
air around the river whipped in from the mountians. The wraiths
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
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.
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.
it not been so, all might have been lost.
blinded by the light, flung themselves into the river to escape the
searing glow surrounding Glorfindel. They were battered and blown
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 . . .
King Theoden and Marty raced to
Isengard. Snowmane kept to a furious pace and Marty's legs really
to work pedalling that bike! Still, the King shouted
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
his helm, and the wind of his passage blew the last vestiges of his
glued-on beard clippings off his face. Birds from everywhere
behind the King, picking up the Royal Beard Clippings to use building
He spied the Tower of Orthanc and pulled
sharply on the reins, causing Snowmane to rear picturesquely.
then, he noticed another horseman, a biggish chap on a black horse.
"What ho?" he muttered. "Has Saruman taken on another client?
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.
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!"
"I cannot say, Lord Boromir. Now, if you will forgive me, I
business with Saruman." He strode majestically through the great
"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,
got his clothes washed, while his horse was given new shoes and a
Boromir mooched around the courtyard, waiting to see the Wizard.
were a number of others waiting, as well. A girl named Dorothy
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
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
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."
went into the salon where Saruman was busy wrapping foil around
Theoden's hair. "Listen," he whispered to Saruman, "you know how
were looking for a sorta signature symbol for your plans to Conquer the
Western World? Well, what about using only black horses?
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
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.
fluffed up Theoden's hair, and said, "Well, Your Majestic
What do you think? Are those streaks fabuloso, or not?"
Theoden grunted in a kingly manner. He had not been enthusiastic
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
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
yet, dozing in the reek and mirk of my hall!"
Theoden's shoulder cape from his Kingly shoulders and shook hair
clippings onto the floor. An orc scuttled forth with a broom and
the clippings up. (But they were not incinerated, oh no!
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
Black Hair Dye, instead of a box of Gross Black Orc Dye.
cheapskates at Miss Clairol won't take it back! What on earth
think I'm going to do with it, I really couldn't say. I do have
more important things on my mind, after all." He was admiring
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
phrase, to be sure! How was The Boss to know that those wretched
would EAT horses? It took Lurtzie days and days to bring that
problem under control. But there's no denying that we've been
the Lurch, so to speak. 'Tis really unfortunate, Theo Royale,
have so few black horses in Rohan. You and The Boss might
able to do each other a favour."
"Well,"Theoden said, "It's
really odd that you should say that. For a herdsman from the
Hairnet or whatever has just informed my Royal Ears that he has
discovered a mighty herd of Black Steeds! Is that not
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
to see a buddy get stuck like that."
"Well, bless your
bones!" Troy said, patting Theoden's shoulder. "I just knew
count on you to be The Boss's true friend, O Kingly Bingly
He wiped a few tears from his bright yellow eyes. "There
enough of that sort of thing these days, is there? Now, what'll
give my boss for the Dye?"
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
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
and picked up the poor creature and carried him to the Elven
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
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'.
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
night, for three days, bringing healing and texture to the brave
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
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
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,
meat-breath'd, bow-legged, coarse, stinking, grubby, tedious,...
Legolas reined in his horse suddenly, his super-sharp
caught a sound below the fair elvish singing. A rowdy song sung
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
like vanilla. He tried saying something to see if his voice
"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.
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
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
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.
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.
ferocity on such a small face had never been seen. Her eyes
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
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
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
playing in a band called "Crooked Crows" or some such name. I'll
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. . .
Frodo listened very hard, but there was
no reply to his query. Maybe his voice hadn't really worked?
had been softer than he thought? He cleared his throat a couple
and tried again, a little louder.
"In the name of all creation, where in the world AM I and what is
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."
half past ten Rivendell time, you're in Rivendell, and you're also
interruptin' my article. Go back to sleep, Mr. Frodo."
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
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
There was that horrible laundry, and Bill wouldn't move and...
I'm not a marshmallow
! None of you are peeping or wobbling or
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.
wondered what the old folks at home were doing, or, more specifically,
his dad and his younger brother. Probably lying about in comfort
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,
bounciness.....no! No, he wouldn't."
But he knew it was
wrong to repine, and besides, he saw a signpost ahead. "Two days
Rivendell," the sign read. And, in brackets, it said, "Imladris."
he knew he was on the right track. He saw the signs of much
now on the track, for there were empty Coke cans and chip bags
Blackie's ears twitched forward and
he whinnied. Boromir, who had been daydreaming, came back to
with a start. "What in tarnation!?!" he exclaimed.
before him on the road was a man astride a "contraption". It was
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 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
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.
you were terrific in Beau Geste, and Young Frankenstein! I
Lord Boromir. Where are you bound on that strange device?"
"I'm heading to Imladris, or Rivendell as some have named
replied. "For I would take speech with Master Elrond. For
lately been much troubled with Dreams."
"Well, I'll be switched," he said, "that is QUITE the
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
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,
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
Marty shook his head rather sadly. "I fear not, Lord
Boromir. The only poem I know begins, "In Xanadu did Kublai Khan
stately pleasure dome decree...."
He went on to recite the
whole poem, while Boromir stared in awe. He felt a great respect
this odd little man on his odd little machine. And he felt, too,
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
Scantily Clad Maidens in Minas Tirith? "Tell you what, Marty," he
said, "why don't we sorta join forces and travel together? It's
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
: Almost two feet (yay!)
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.
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
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
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
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
"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.
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
about his gripes against Gandalf.
"Where are we going? This place is a mouse maze! And why are
leaves everywhere? Don't they ever close the windows or sweep?"
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
"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
were briefly seem reaching up. They grabbed a warm loaf of bread,
large bowl of salad and a platter of cut fruit before disappearing
again. There were small voices as a potholder suddenly appeared
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
stabbed his radish. By the time he had composed something
blistering to say to a dwarf, the kitchen invaders were gone.
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
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?
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
Families! Theoden swore that in his next incarnation he would be
Meanwhile, Aragorn and Arwen were taking
a walk in Rivendell's gardens. Suddenly Aragorn turned and knelt before
"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
Girl Arwen girl my little Arwen girl
Girl Arwen girl my little Arwen girl
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
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
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
nearly uncontrollable impulse to do something Masculine, such as Belch
or Break Wind. Marty Feldman, also made uneasy by all the
rode his bicycle in silence, casting his gaze from side to side.
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
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.