Aragorn Longshanks and the Case of the Missing Plot
The trip across town was fairly quick at this
time of the morning; the few people they did encounter were huddled in
doorways and alleys unsuccessfully making sure they weren’t seen. To
the detriment of Aragorn’s health, Hillside Rise was in the south of
the city, halfway up the tall hills that populated the southern
boundary. A clean and respectable part of town, the south was populated
by the rich merchants, nobles and others with more money than sense. It
was also too expensive to hire a horse.
Panting and groaning from the stitch in his side, Aragorn mumbled
as Shingles ran unhindered ahead of him to the large house at the end
of the road. Why did these people have to live the furthest possible
distance from everything else? As he grunted along the road to the
front door, he also thought of a few choice words to say to Elrond the
next time he lost something important.
Bent nearly doubled to try and catch his breath, Aragorn rested
against the doorframe trying to compose himself. No hills, ever. That
was his new motto, unless going downhill with a full pack of cool
Shingles bounced up and down as he rang the doorbell excitedly.
“This place is so down!” He said with uncontrollable glee. “pom-pom
socks my crib!”
Aragorn had lost the will to understand the nonsense babbling as
the front door opened with a creak that sounded like his back after a
long uphill climb.
Standing resplendent in the doorway was a beautiful young lady,
seductively attired in a deep red dress that accentuated her curves so
much that he thought the hill had gain another 2 feet.
“Gentlemen?” She said with a soft voice, her long blonde hair
curling around her head like a golden crown. “To what do I owe the
“Shingles, err.. that’s me!” Shingles said with a dumbstruck smile
plastered across his face. “And this is, ummm… err, Eragon. Shawshanks.
Errr… Longsnake, wait…”
“Aragorn Longshanks, ma’am.” Aragorn said between clenched teeth. No. Hills. Ever. “We are here to see the Baron.”
“Come in, come in.” The radiant young lady said, beckoning them
inside the house with a sway of her elegant arm. “You are in luck, for
the Baron returned only last night from important matters in the
Shingles bound through the door with that smile still stuck to his
ridiculous face, never taking his eyes of the hostess in case he
accidentally missed her doing something mundane.
Aragorn followed shortly after, having finally regained a
semblance of composure, which had absolutely nothing to do with the
appearance of the seductively attired young woman. Ahmm. As he stepped
inside, he marvelled at the lavishly decorated interior, with gold and
silver horse motifs dancing along the walls.
“If you shall follow me, gentlemen, the Baron is in his study.” The
young lady said with a mischievous smile and a wink as she led the way
further into the glittering house. Someone had spent far too much time
watching home make-over shows for Aragorn’s liking. Shingles bouncing
along after her like a lapdog as he attempted to dazzle her with his
strange streetwise lingo. In Aragorn’s opinion Shingles had no chance,
since from the first moment she’d seen Aragorn, she was obviously
infatuated with him. He could read women like a book.
The short walk through the house behind her swaying red dress
finished at a large doorway that she dutifully opened for them. Seated
at a large desk in the middle of the room was an older man in a white
fluffy dressing gown adorned with rabbits, slowly pushing around piles
“One hundred and fifty-eight, one hundred and fifty-nine… Hmmm...”
He murmured, looking up from his accumulated wealth. “Is that you,
“Yes uncle.” She replied curtly with a bow that left her chest
just a little too exposed. “And you have guests – Sir Shingles of the
Crib and his manservant Aragorn Longshanks.”
Aragorn barely contained his shock at the introductions, but was
suddenly struck by a desire to see what Shingles would look like face
down in a pile of horse manure.
“What is it!” Théoden grumbled loudly. “I’m very busy today and
have not got time for your charity! If this is about that incident with
the banana, then I have already paid the fine and won’t apologise
“My Lord Baron…” Aragorn began, trying to sway the conversation in some sort of decent direction.
“Have you been stealing sum important midget dude’s stuff?”
Shingles suddenly blurted out, deciding that tact was just a word in
the dictionary that no-one knew how to spell properly. “Coz if you
have, then you’d better give it us back!”
That pile of horse manure was looking even better right about now.
Théoden quickly exploded into a tirade of words that no honest merchant
should have known about, including some that no dishonest merchant
should know either.
Feeling that they may have overstayed their welcome somehow,
Aragorn intercepted Shingles by the scruff of his neck and quickly
yanked him out of the path of the belligerent banker. Offering profuse
apologies about the “Lord” and his bouts of alcoholic delusions,
coupled with the lack of mental healthcare in the region and the
magical pixie dust, Aragorn dragged Shingles out of the study making
sure to ‘accidently’ bump into every hard surface on the way.
“Well you’ve done it now, Shingles.” Aragorn bemoaned with just a
little too much enjoyment. “Next time, keep that big mouth of yours
“What? What I say?” Shingles kept arguing in-between various yelps of pain as he struck another piece of furniture.
As they rapidly exited the expensive house, a sharp “Wait” from
behind caused Aragorn to turn round as Éowyn came rushing up towards
them, her remarkable assets obviously not safely secured. Dropping
Shingles hard on the stone pathway outside the house, Aragorn stopped
and waited for the bouncy lady to catch up to them.
“I may know some information.” She said slowly, her heavy
breathing from the running making her voice sound huskier. “But I have
Women and conditions did not go well together, in Aragorn’s
opinion. They always had to have the upper hand, and usually that meant
that the man ended up worse off then before.
Reluctantly, he decided that they had no other leads to go on; and
besides, if anyone was going to come off worse, then it was going to be
Shingles. He was going to make sure of it.
“What is your condition?” He finally asked, trying to contain his growing sense of anxiety.
“I want to come with you.” She said. “Live free in the wind, catch
the excitement and thrill of the hunt, the exhilaration of the kill!
Life with Uncle is fine if your only aspiration in life is to cook,
clean and serve – but I want more! I want to see the world! My brother
escaped to the army, chasing his dream of horses, leather and burly
men. Where’s my dream?! What chance does a girl like me have? Take me
with you! Take me away! Lift me up where I belong!”
“Ahah,” Aragorn said wondering what on earth she was talking
about. Although he really didn’t have much choice if he was to get the
information out of her. Women were indeed a tricky folk, made even
worse by the fact that they knew it.
“OK then, you’re in.” He said a sigh; she might balance out the
idiocy that he was lumbered with in the shape of Shingles. Well,
hopefully, it couldn’t get much worse, could it?
She clapped excitedly and gave off a small squeal, then fiddling
around inside her well-filled bra, Éowyn dexterously removed a slip of
folded paper and handed it to Aragorn with a wink.
“His name is Gríma ‘Wormtongue’ Lapsang-Souchong, a slimy thief
whose hands are far too friendly for my liking.” She said with a
shiver. “He lives on the thirteenth floor of Orthanc Towers, Isengard
district. He met with Uncle the day before he went up North, shut away
inside for hours talking. I’d bet real money that he was involved in
your villainous plot.”
Aragorn examined the piece of paper which detailed everything she’d just said. If only he’d got the piece of paper first!
“Come on Shingles, we’re off again…” At least this time it was downhill.