Moving Day

by Linaewen

Moving Day approaches, and seeing as how I don't know when Mr. Lin will decide to pack up the computer prior to our move, I thought I'd better share this little conversation/parody thing I had recently with Boromir, before it was too late. I realized recently that I haven't done one of these since April, so I guess it's about time.

This conversation is based upon the passage from FOTR where the Fellowship contemplates climbing Mount Caradhras...


***

While Mr. Lin was finishing his second breakfast, Linaewen and Boromir went aside together and stood looking at the steep staircase down which they would be carrying all the luggage and packed boxes.

"I fear that the amount of packing that remains to be done is mind-boggling," said Linaewen. "I have doubts concerning the number of empty boxes available to get the job done in the short amount of time that remains before we must leave. We must go with all the speed that we can. Even so it will take us dozens of marches before we reach the top of the pass and return to the bottom carrying burdensome boxes. Darkness will come early this evening, since we went off daylight savings time. We must begin as soon as you two men with the muscles can get ready."

"I will add a word of advice, if I may," said Boromir. "I was born in a city with lots of stairs and steep places and know something of journeys up and down in the high places. We shall meet shortness of breath and aching knees, if no worse, before we come down for the final time. It will not help us to go up empty-handed and have to come down again to fetch boxes we forgot, and so waste our energy. When we leave the ground floor, where there are still a few empty boxes and plastic shopping bags, each of us should carry an empty receptacle, as large as he (or she) can bear."

"And Linaewen could take a bit more, couldn't you, dear?" said Mr. Linaewen. Linaewen looked at him mournfully.

"Very well," sighed Linaewen. "But we must not use all the boxes, in case I need some for last minute frantic packing of things I didn't have time to sort."

The three of them set about their packing and hauling up and down with good speed at first; but soon their way became steep and difficult. The twisting and climbing staircase had in many places almost disappeared under stray socks that had fallen from overstuffed suitcases and papers still waiting to be sorted, and was blocked with many empty boxes. The day waned and the night grew deadly dark under the shadow of stacked packing crates. The sound of bitter complaining swirled among the suitcases. By midnight they had climbed up and down so many times they hardly knew which floor they were on, and they were very confused.

The narrow path now wound under a sheer wall of stacked boxes and cartons to the left, above which the grim flanks of clothing still waiting to be packed towered up invisible in the gloom; on the right was a gulf of darkness where the steep stairs down which they must travel yet again fell suddenly into a deep ravine.

Laboriously they climbed the landing yet again and halted for a moment at the top.

"I don't like this at all," panted Linaewen, feeling extremely puffed and out of breath. "Packing's all right on a fine morning for a short weekend trip, but I like to be done with it after an hour or so. I wish this lot would magically move straight into the moving van and be done with it! But wait -- what's this box doing here? It's supposed to be downstairs!"

Boromir halted. Boxes were thick about his feet and a heavy suitcase was on his shoulder; more stray socks were already ankle-deep about his boots.

"This is what I feared," he said. "What do you say now, Mr. Lin?"

"That I feared it too," Mr. Lin answered, "I knew the risk of getting turned around, though it seldom happens when I am in charge of the moving. But we are weary and easily confused in these days. We have mistakenly moved all the empty boxes downstairs and the full ones upstairs, instead of the other way around. We shall have to begin again!"

"I wonder if this is a contrivance of the Enemy," said Boromir, ignoring Linaewen's wail of dismay. "They say in my land that he can govern the minds of those who are moving so that they become confused and incapable of making decisions, thus becoming angry and losing all hope of being able to finish the packing on time."

"Indeed!" replied Mr. Lin. "Well, let's not waste time talking about it. Everyone grab a load and take it down as you go."

"But how am I to get down again, now that I am too weary to continue?" wailed Linaewen, very much upset that the work would have to begin again.

"Have hope!" said Boromir. "I am weary, but I still have some strength left, and Mr. Lin, too -- though I see that he is already halfway down the stairs in his eagerness to keep working. He has much energy, does he not?"

"Yes! Too much for me to keep up with him sometimes!"

"Then we must make shift to tread the path behind him. Come, my dear Linaewen!" He lifted up the weary Lin.

"Cling to my back! I shall need my arms," he said, and strode forward. Linaewen marvelled at his strength, seeing the passage through the boxes that he was forcing with no other tool than his great limbs and a few well-placed kicks with his foot. Even now, burdened as he was (for Lin was no longer as light as she once had been), he was picking up already packed bags and suitcases to take along, and thrusting empty cartons aside as he went.

At last they were gathered again on the ground floor, the night now far advanced. From the bottom of the stairs they looked back upwards to the top of the staircase. Far away in the tumble of luggage that lay at every turning of the stairs was the landing from which they had started their day's work.

"Well, I say we call it a day, then," suggested Linaewen, in the hopes that she could avoid further strenuous lifting and tramping up and down. "What about a coffee break?"

"Ah, coffee!" answered Mr. Lin, brightening. "With cookies!"

"Yes, coffee and cookies," nodded Boromir, looking suddenly more cheerful. "And a bit of cheese -- sharp cheddar, if you have it."

"Cheese is a good idea," replied Linaewen as she climbed over stacked boxes to get to the refrigerator. "It is a very powerful snack, providing great energy to those who eat it. Speaking of energy, why don't you two go ahead and just fetch down a couple of the heavier boxes while I prepare a little something to keep your strength up...?"