Frolijah -- Part 18 - A Random Change for the better . . .?
A Random Change for the better . . . ?
Has it been so long? Yes . . .
Recap: Frodo has told the others Alice is a wraith, and yes, he is certain: who else would have such a bad sense of humour? Frodo has decided to leave Lea while she's away. Oh, and yeah: Time is messing up the story and creating Technical Difficulties.
Disclaimer: There are many things in this world which I have had opportunity and fair ability to claim as my own. Fortunately, (or not, depending how you look at it) Tolkien's works are not, and no infringement upon his property is meant. I hope to return all his characters to him in good time and, hopefully, shape.
Note: I respect E.W. in (almost) every fashion, and do not wish to offend him. If I do, just think of it as the animated character in the first RotK movie. He had a big nose.
For your convenience, the addresses for all parts are at the bottom
From The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, Book 2, Chapter 2: The Council of Elrond:
At last with an effort [Frodo] spoke, and wondered to hear his own words, as if some other will was using his small voice.
`I will take the Ring,' he said, `though I do not know the way.'
Somehow, in less time than it strictly should have taken, the author skimmed Frolijah and me past the Nazgûl, over the river and through the woods to Elrond's house, and past me explaining to everyone that I was a wraith, so deal with it. I was mortified, naturally. It wasn't right! Time wasn't supposed to move like that! But a lot of things that were happening weren't supposed to happen, so I suppose it had an excuse.
In any case, so it was that I found myself sitting on the edge of Frolijah's bed pondering the meaning of death, the powers of invisibility, and why Elrond looked nothing like he had in the movie. Oh, yeah: and when that lazy, no-good injured excuse for a body-snatching actor felt like he could just die on me and not even wake up when I mocked his acting in random movies. Now that was just wrong. He groaned.
"Ah ha!" I exclaimed. "I knew my grousing would wake you! Wakey, wakey!" Elrond glared in my general direction. You see, I had explained it all to Aragorn and he, in turn, to Elrond. What, don't you remember, gentle readers? I, like Frolijah, was stabbed on Weathertop . . . only my hobbit body was rather less resilient, so I was transformed into a `subservient' wraith. But years of television do strange things to a mind, and if I could hold against commercials, no Nazgûl was going to order me around. So, basically I was invisible, blind, and really bored most of the time.
Let's just say Elrond doesn't take very well to practical jokes, the other hobbits were less than happy with me and I wasn't allowed to speak to Random Elves. I couldn't even hold a (semi) decent conversation with Frolijah! Because, of course, he was asleep.
You know, the funny thing was, I actually kind of cared that Frolijah was ill. It was weird, `cause you'd think I really didn't like him, but that made me feel guilty. Plus, how would I get back without him? This whole Middle-earth thing wasn't turning out to be that fun, and I didn't want him dying on my and possibly stopping me from ever getting back!
That would be just like him, too. Cheating me out of my trip home by dying.
I leaned back against the post of his bed and yawned. Hey, if he could sleep, maybe I could just shut my eyes for a moment . . .
"Dude, I can see you!" Frolijah exclaimed, finally noticing me sleeping on the floor, having fallen from my sitting position. I glared at him. "You're not invisible anymore!"
I sighed and stood up, glancing about the room. Something was different. What was it? "I can see! I'm not blind!! You're alive!!! You're alive? But . . . but . . . it hasn't been three days! I just went to sleep!! I . . .!!" I stopped, noticing the look on Frolijah's face.
"And you said I was the sleepy one?"
"But you weren't conscious when I said that . . ." I muttered.
"It has been three days - more!" Frolijah answered, raising his eyebrows in the plura-versal `duh, didn't you know that?' expression. "Elrond healed me, and you a little also, by the looks of it. You've been fading in all day, though it's seemed to have stopped now. You look fuzzy."
I jumped up, glancing at my hands to see what he meant. What, did I have little floating hairs all over me? (I could see!! And no, I didn't, by the way.) But no, it was something different. Walking over to a way-to-well decorated mirror, I looked at myself in it. It was me - well, the Alice me, that is. But Frolijah was right: my refection wavered a bit, as if it wasn't sure it really wanted to stay there. There was a certain . . . indefinite quality about it. I didn't like the look, but what choice did I have?
And no, I didn't punch the mirror.
"By the way," Frolijah added, a bit smugly. "The council was today."
I stared at him in growing trepidation. "What do you mean `was today.' What did you do?"
"I went," he answered.
"What happened?" I asked, becoming a little less forgiving every moment I stared into that face. And to think, I used to believe Frodo would have been handsome! Too bad it was ruined like this for me. Of course, Frodo probably didn't usually use his face for mocking innocent people! Well, innocent . . .
"It was interesting," Frolijah said, examining his chewed nails. "A lot of long -----ing (dang it, I said -----!) speeches, mostly. I fell asleep at one point."
"And . . ."
"And you'll have to ask Gandalf what happened. I don't think they really want me talking about it. Anyway, the Fellowship still has to be chosen." He grinned. I had been wrong; I didn't miss talking to him. Any feelings of guilt were far gone.
I ran after Gandalf . . . yeah, right, as if I knew my way around this place. Frolijah followed me in amusement. He thought it was funny! Actually, it kind of was, if you thought about it . . .
But no, that was the kind of positive thinking that got you into trouble.
"You did the council without me?" I demanded. Yes, you can demand a question. Gandalf looked up from his conversation with Lord Elrond. Somehow, I just knew it was him. I had met him before, right? I mean, I was sort of wraithy, but still . . .
"Ah - you are awake and visible, I see," Gandalf said mildly. "I've been meaning to speak with you about that. How it may have been possible for you to not die, I do not know." He looked down at me, and I suddenly realized that no, I hadn't met him before - and I was being very rude. Plus . . . I suddenly felt very shy, like he was looking inside of me.
"Mimblewimble," I mumbled, feeling incredibly small and stupid.
"What did you say?" Gandalf asked, loath to believe his own - and rather too sharp, if I may say so myself - ears. "Mimblewimble? What strange language is this?"
"I believe she wishes to be introduced," Elrond said, correctly interpreting my terrified expression. He was a very kind man - elf, thing - at heart, and had no wish for me to suffer. He himself bowed, identifying himself, and then making some excuse to why he had to go. I didn't really hear him . . . my brain was still thinking *Mimblewimble.*
"I said `Mimblewimble,'" I suddenly replied, smiling politely, and extending one hand. "I suppose you already know me. My name is Alice -" here I paused. What was my last name again? I couldn't remember! "My name is Alice."
Gandalf ignored my hand (or perhaps chose not to see it) "Then, Alice Smallburrow," he said. "If you already know about this secret council - and I have no doubt Frodo informed you - perhaps you had better see him and ask! You did not come here to see me, and I have no doubt your master is in need of assistance." He smiled. Wait a minute . . . master? Frolijah!
Still smiling in my oh-so-polite-I've-got-to-get-out-of-here way, I said: "Um, thanks - bye!" and ran away as quickly as I could. Geez, that man - wizard - scared me. But even as I felt my fear diminish as Gandalf standing alone, his grey cloak drifting lightly on the breeze that whispered through it, my anger grew.
Rounding a corner, I ran straight into an elf, who had been walking stately down the passageway. Had been, that is, until I knocked him down with less than hobbity grace. I rolled to the side quickly to avoid landing on him, but then froze.
"Bonk" said the elf's head, hitting the wall. I winced.
"Sorry!" I exclaimed. "I'm sorry! I didn't mean to . . ." I trailed off, blushing. Great. Maybe he hadn't noticed me, and I could just tiptoe away . . .
"Do not let it bother you," the elf said, standing up (and up, and up) without even rubbing his head (that could wait for the privacy of his room.) "I am not injured, and have no hard feelings for it. But may I ask where you were going so very quickly?"
Oh, good, a question I could answer. "I have heard that a Mr. Frodo Baggins has recovered," I said, as diplomatically as I could. "And I have some business to complete with him. Is his room not this way?" I looked around the elf to notice that no, it obviously wasn't. And, by the way, I had never been here - and probably wasn't supposed to be. But the elf just smiled politely.
"I do not believe so," he said. "You may wish to try the passage there -" he pointed. "It gladdens my heart to hear you care so much for that hobbit, for I had heard he was not well, and needs friends."
"He's not my -" I began, but stopped as another, much too familiar voice interrupted.
"I'm glad you think so much of me, Alice. Sir, thank you for escorting my friend this far; her mind is rather ill, and she cannot often remember her way. Come along, Alice." Frolijah pulled me away before I had a chance to catch my voice and say some rather nasty things about him. But though I didn't, I had the strange feeling (backed up by a very nicely shiny and reflective place ahead of me that acted as a mirror) that the elf was still watching us with perhaps more than vaguely curious eyes.
"What wasss that for?" I hissed in my best hissing voice. I've read in books it's a good idea to hiss when pretending to be quiet - no whisper carries better. "Ill? Were you saying I was crazy?" I forgot to hiss. "That'sss crazy! I can't believe anyone would believe that!"
"He seemed to," Frolijah answered, jerking his head in the direction of the elf. "Any more questions?" I glared. Then, suddenly, Frolijah's little hobbit face became absolutely serious. It kind of scared me. "Okay, listen, this is very important. Sorry about earlier; I was just joking. I really do need your help." He looked a bit panicked.
"Help with what? What are you talking about?"
"You know how I told you earlier about the council just being a lot of talk? Well it wasn't, and - I don't know why, it was like I couldn't stop from saying it - I volunteered to take the Ring. There, no it's out." He looked positively miserable. "I didn't mean to! I was just going to let them decide! But . . ."
"The storyline kicked in and made you do it?" I supplied. Frolijah nodded.
"I need your help," he repeated. "There's going to be another meeting later - Merry and Pippin want to hear all about the council - and I need you there. Okay?"
Ha! Why should I do him any favors? He had forced me into this place and had been annoying me the whole time! I would just say `no', that'd teach him to be nice. Thought you could get away with it, did you? Well guess what? "Okay," I answered. "I can't wait to hear all about it. What time is it? Did they serve you lunch?"
Stupid storyline. Stupid author. Stupid me.
Later that day, we all (the hobbits and Gandalf) assembled in Bilbo's room. To my great misfortune, the previous hour had been spent, by me, wondering if all would go wrong. After all, who knew Frodo Baggins better than Bilbo and Gandalf? (The test had already been passed by Sam, Merry, and Pippin: they did not seem to suspect him for being a rat. Or, at least, an actor.)
I was especially nervous for another reason: I didn't know whether or not I was supposed to know Bilbo (though I hadn't for Gandalf) or if I had switched bodies also, or just been transported, or, for that matter, what Bilbo looked like. Probably not as just an older Frodo, unfortunately, though the Baggins resemblance must surely be there. Furthermore, you must understand that, in general, I was quite confused; being unconscious for days can do that to you.
So, as you may imagine, by the time we actually got together, I would have broken into a `cold sweat' except that was cliché and stinky. So instead, I settled on helping Lord Elrond with his floors by trodding back and forth . . . back and forth . . . back and forth . . . back and . . . ugh, I feel sick.
"Are you coming?" Frolijah asked impatiently, looking at my slightly green face. "Or am I going to have to drag you in - Bilbo! Nice to see you!" he suddenly exclaimed as the older hobbit came out from his room, looking for his younger cousin. What he found was us. Smiling brightly at Bilbo, Frolijah dragged me in.
Well, after my brief spurt of nervousness (yeah, you could call it that) everything seemed to go all right. It was much like in the book, in fact, save for my presence: Pippin and Merry exclaimed that they'd follow "Frodo" anywhere, and it was a punishment to be left behind (and they had no doubt that I felt the same way) and it wasn't fair that Sam was allowed to go and they weren't! And Gandalf said that, yes, maybe he was coming.
And then Frolijah had to open his mouth. "I do not ask any of you to go with me," he said. The elegance of his speech surprised me - as it should have earlier. Surely I had remembered his talking style to be more crude and modern than that. But wasn't I doing the same thing? This place was affecting us both! Verbally and mentally.
Or maybe he was just acting again and I was going crazy . . . er.
"However," Frolijah continued, turning to Gandalf. "It is my understanding that in this endeavor, we shall need a pony or mule of sorts to assist with the luggage, at least for the first step of our journey."
Sam stepped forward. "Bill'll go," he said. "He's a good pony, and he'll want to, I know it." But Gandalf just frowned at Frolijah, wondering why he brought this up.
"Yes, Sam," Frodo said. "I'm sure he will. But why take him away from the lovely Rivendell when we have another that will do just as well?" I froze. Oh, no - he couldn't be about to say what I think he was! But that strange glitter in his eyes told me I had everything to fear . . . elegance of speech or no. "Why not take Alice?"
"That's ridiculous!" I exclaimed. "I am no pony any more than I am an elf! And the Fellowship should be of Nine - not Ten!" But already, a mist was growing over Gandalf's eyes, as the author of the story took hold, and forced his mind to look at me differently.
When Frolijah had completed this rather cruel and unexected suggestion, I waited hopefully for Gandalf's answer. Put him down! I silently ordered. Tell him how inappropriate and NOT funny that was! Show him his place!
But Gandalf did none of these things. Rather, he watched Frolijah intensely, as if sensing this was not the same hobbit he had known for so many years. The wizard had, of course, spoken to Frolijah when he had first awakened, and heard him speak in his sleep and at the council. But apparently, Frolijah had been wiser then. All in all, Gandalf's stare went on way past the comfort zone, and onto "uh, oh."
When Gandalf finally did speak, it was not in the long, elegant manner that so usually befitted the wizard. Instead, he simply said "No," and continued his study of the hobbit.
Frolijah muttered something about a joke, and Gandalf needing to lighten up. Pippin hid his smirk.
Elijodo had the wonderful ability of anyone met with strange times, to quickly adapt to them, and learn how to use each minute of the strangeness to improve himself and those around him. Surely if, according to the books, he really could have done all those things, then this difficulty would be no problem. But the street looked so wide! And surely nothing could travel as quickly as those - what were they called? - cars did. Yet he himself had been in one, and knew that this was all too real.
Taking a deep breath of the polluted air (and coughing it out again) Elijodo dashed across the street. And made it. Possibly because, just for a moment, Time for everyone else slowed down and let him survive, despite numerous honks. Actually, no one really noticed him specifically: it was National Jaywalking Day (which didn't exist until that day) and everyone was doing it. Well, when I say "No one really noticed him," that's not quite true. One person did: someone who knew the real Mr. Wood well enough to need to contact him and knew exactly what he looked like.
"Hey, Elijah!" exclaimed Mr. Jay Walker (an instantly appearing fictional character.) "I've been looking for you! You promised to audition for the new production of "Plan Ten from Outer Space in a 2005 Space Odyssey!"
Elijodo turned to Walker, confusion writing itself all over his face in blue ink (it had loopy handwriting.) "I'm sorry?" he asked, in a slightly more-modern-that-should-have-been dialect.
"Yeah," Walker answered, consulting a yellow pad. "I can see that. Where have you been? You promised you'd meet me at my place half-an-hour ago!" he paused, staring at Elijodo. "Say, why do you have `Confusion' written all over your face?"
Elijodo touched his cheek with one hand. "I don't know," he said slowly. "And I am sorry about our appointment - I have not been myself as late. Ever since . . . an accident, I have been having slight lapses in my memory." He looked at Walker intensely, hoping the other wouldn't think much on it. He didn't.
Rather, Walker was turning over a strange notion in his mind that perhaps - just perhaps - something else was wrong with this Mr. Wood. There was something funny about his speech. Oh, it wasn't one of his accents on `old speak' (though Walker had to admit, Elijodo's accent was not exactly Iowan) but that . . . it was that he hadn't said a single foul word since they had met. In fact, this Elijodo seemed to not even know how to swear!
Walker rebuked himself. He wasn't usually one for making up bizarre (and, of course, impossible) conspiracy theories! Elijah wasn't an alien bounty hunter in disguise waiting to jump out and eat his lungs! He was just an ordinary actor (or, as the fan girls would say, `extraordinary',) and didn't deserve to be thought of in such a ludicrous manner. This was not, after all, a story. Walker wondered where he could find handcuffs.
Lea was having the sort of time most people describe as "Undeniably either the worst or best experience conceivable. Totally awful, with room for bad, though romantic, poetry." Actually, no one person would put it as that, because it made little or no sense, and employed a sentence fragment. But I think you get my point - as Charles Dickens may have written it: "It was the best of times; it was the worst of times." With various punctuation where the semi-colon was (some said it was an ellipsis, some a comma, and some forgot that little dots meant anything in writing.)
You see, they went to an Italian restaurant. It was really a simple equation from there: sauce = messy; noodles = sloppy; sauce and noodles = yummy; yummy = Italian restaurant. Italian = trouble. And, at this point, if you're asking: couldn't she have gotten something not messy? I answer you: yes, but then it wouldn't equal yummy.
So you see her problem, her dire situation, her thoughts that maybe Frodo will be in big trouble by now . . . `no, of course not: he can take care of himself, and he's safely and home' and Dr. Wilson's endless jabber (to be louder than Lea's slurping) caused Lea the worst of times. On the other hand . . . It was kind of interesting and funny jabber. It went something like this:
"Now, Lea, at this point you must find me very strange indeed! Who out there would actually climb up onto the roof to get down his neighbor's son's volleyball? But I knew, in my own way, that this, at last, for a moment, was a chance to get away from the little brat for just a moment.
"So, being rather a fool, and not knowing what else to do, I climbed up and grabbed it, enjoying the relative silence of the wind and faint screams of the highway. They'd be all right - I was a doctor. And, you know, at that moment the fact of my schooling came back to me in the most humorous manner, and I begun to laugh until I merely fell down.
"Now you are thinking that was quite silly of me, and I admit, it was! But right then all I could think of is - is that Elijah Wood?"
"What?" Lea asked, sitting up straight. "What does that have to do with anything?"
"No! There, look--" Wilson pointed out the window beside him, and Lea squinted to get a better look. No, it couldn't be! Elijodo wouldn't be that stupid, would he? And who in the world was he talking to? Not . . . Jay Walker?!
Author's Notes: Thank you, anyone who is still reading this, for still reading it, and also to my beta, Jeanlily, who has faithfully looked it over. I know very well it has been a long while since I wrote, but I think the story is going all the better for it. It makes more sense now.
I hope you enjoyed this part, and ask that you put any comments/ suggestions etc. below. If you don't have any, you can comment anyway, because I'm writing blather about now and I like comments. You faithful readers are what keep me going.
I have only one more thing to say to you all: Mimblewimble.
Part 1: http://www.theonering.com/docs/9902.html
Part 2: http://www.theonering.com/docs/10143.html
Part 3: http://www.theonering.com/docs/10355.html
Part 4: http://www.theonering.com/docs/10482.html
Part 5: http://www.theonering.com/docs/10757.html
Part 6: http://www.theonering.com/docs/10954.html
Part 7: http://www.theonering.com/docs/11150.html
Part 8: http://www.theonering.com/docs/11304.html
Part 9: http://www.theonering.com/docs/11439.html
Part 10: http://www.theonering.com/docs/11595.html
Part 11: http://www.theonering.com/docs/11798.html
Part 12: http://www.theonering.com/docs/12295.html
Part 13: http://www.tolkienonlien.com/docs/12515.html
Part 14: http://www.theonering.com/docs/12955.html
Part 15: http://www.theonering.com/docs/12955.html
Part 16: http://www.theonering.com/docs/13251.html
Part 17: http://www.theonering.com/docs/13606.html