The Fellowship of the Toys

by Peregrine

Chapter 2: Stairs Scaled

 
It was like standing atop a mountain and staring down its flank. The ground--pale white and blue tile--stretched out of sight to the right and ran in a narrow hallway away to the left. Just across from the bottom of the seemingly unscalable stairs was a second small sea of pale gray carpet. The Fellowship of Toys stood atop the towering staircase, gazing down in awe. Brego snorted and pawed the carpet impatiently. Aragorn patted his neck.

"This will take very long." Treebeard said slowly. The strange man-like toy was mounted atop a two-foot tall black stallion, the horse just big enough to support his girth. Camel stood beside his horse, Third Legolas and Unmounted Aragorn perched atop the creature's back.

"It shall not take long for us." The Legolases said as one and, without any urging, Aravan spread his leather wings, leaped into the air, and easily sailed down towards the bottom of the stairs. He turned gracefully and landed lightly upon the tiled floor below.

"It will not be hard for me, either." Frodo said. Taking a firm grip upon Dirk's silver and blue mane, the Hobbit whistled. The wee dragon leapt high into the air and landed upon the banister. Then he slid down and down and down, dropping gracefully to the floor beside Aravan. The two Elves and the Hobbit waved cheerfully up at the others yet standing atop the landing.

"We shall go scout for a way outside." Legolases chimed. Aravan leaped out of sight and disappeared around a corner--into the shade-darkened family room. Frodo agreed and he and Dirk went to search the kitchen for possible escape routes.

Aragorn, perched atop Brego, sighed. Then, gently heeling Brego in the rubber flanks, he urged the stallion forward. Brego, with a mighty jump, landed two steps down. He took a second jump and landed two steps further. In three more jumps he was upon the cool floor, his plastic hooves ringing dully upon the ground.

Camel, disgruntled already at having been removed from his airy perch, groaned loudly, voicing his opinion upon the whole matter. Beside him, Treebeard's large horse snorted and tossed his head in agreement. Only the dragons and Brego had really seemed to want to go anywhere.

"Well, I shall take these steps . . . just one step . . . at a time . . ." Treebeard said thoughfully. "We mustn't be . . . too hasty now . . . should we . . . ?"
His great black horse stepped forward, eyed the steep drop, and snorted in irritation.

he snorted angrily, seeing the full drop for just the first time.

"And horses should not talk." Treebeard put in snappishly, his slow-manneredness worn thin already by the horse's pessimistic attitude. "You know, I do not truly *need* a horse."

The horse agreed, bucked and Treebeard was thrown foot over shoulder. He landed upon a step, bounced, landed, rolled, bounced and conitnued to bounce until he landed with a springy thud next to Brego, the horse side-stepping quicky out of the way.

"Treebeard!" Aragorn cried in alarm, dismounting and running quickly to the wee Ents side. "Are you hurt?"

"I am fine." Treebeard huffed, raising himself to his root-like feet. "I simply know now why horses are no good for Ents: too hasty."

Camel, yet standing upon the stairs, seemed to want to do the same as the horse, though he would find some other way to do it that would not result in any sort of physical movement other than to walk back into his room. But Third Legolas and Aragorn would have nothing of it. Urging the camel forward, Camel plodded forward.

"Simply take the steps one at a time." Legolas suggested, sitting nearly upon Camel's neck, Aragorn perched behind him upon his humped back. "We shall not rush you."

Camel, groaning and grunting with ire, took one step down. He so unbalanced himself that he nearly threw Legolas--Legolas!--right over his head. He was slightly disappointed that he hadn't! The left foot followed, with the hind quarters coming sluggishly after. Again, nearly throwing the riders off, and again and again, ever so slowly and ever so clumsily, the camel made his way down the mountian of stairs, groaning and grumbling the entire way. When he finally reached the bottom, Legolas and Aragorn were clinging to him as though they were burrs. Camel managed a smug smile.

"Where have Legolases gone?" Aragorn asked of Aragorn.

"What?" Legolas turned to face the one behind him. Aragorns rolled their eyes and together said, "OTHER Legolases."

"Oh."

"We are here." Two voices sounded at once. Aravan bounded up from the family room and landed gracefully upon the slick tiled floor once again. Dirk appeared from the kitchen. Both Legolases and Frodo shook their heads.

"I could not find a way out." Frodo said. Legolases agreed--as one, of course.

"Well, we cannot have this adventure end before it has even begun." Aragorn protested. He did a quick sweep of where they were standing and saw the patio door--locked and barred with no patio outside it, but there it was.

"There is our means of escape, gentle. . . beings." He said, pointing towars the closed doors, the blinds pulled tight in front of it.

"Are you mad!?" Frodo cried in alarm. "That is a six foot drop! SIX FEET! I am only four inches tall! Do you know what six feet would do to me?"

"It is the only way out." Aragorn protested. Frodo sighed and nodded. The adventure had but just begun, and already it was well over his head.