Highlighting Winners of The Gathering Writing Contest. - Reflections of a Strawberry Shampooed Elf ~ by Lothlauren
Reflections of a Strawberry Shampooed Elf
He whistled a melodious tune and a beautiful horse came galloping towards us whinnying in response. His luminous coat shone silver as he held his head up with pride. As though he were anxious to meet us, he gracefully ran across the vast meadow quickly picking up speed. It was as if he were leading the wind. As he got closer I saw the light of reason in his eyes and I could swear that he winked slightly at me as I caught sight of my reflection in them. It was as if he acknowledged that I, as an elf could understand him if he chose to speak to me, but his full attention was given instead to Gandalf, in spite of my own handsome appearance. I merely faded into the background with the others and made a mental note to shampoo my hair again as soon as possible.
Gandalf gazed admiringly at the horse. Observing his face I could tell that there was a certain bond they shared.
"Shadowfax has been my friend through many dangers, we are going to war together," Gandalf said still gazing at the horse. It was as if Gandalf had become another person. I had never seen him so happy since the war of the Ring began.
As the sun hid behind the mountain and the stars came out to play, Shadowfax approached me from out of the mist. Gandalf, Gimli and Aragorn were by the fire and I was out gathering wood. I turned slowly to look at the magnificent creature when bowing his head, he spoke to me not through words but feelings. He told me many things, including how nice my own 'mane' smelled, for he was a wise king amongst horses. He also talked about how he was slightly ashamed that a man once owned him and how he felt undying gratitude for Gandalf, for through his eyes, the old wizard had rescued him. To my surprise he even let me braid his forelock into an elven masterpiece and I promised to shampoo him thoroughly whenever my own supplies were replenished.
We set out early the next morning for Rohan at a quick pace. We expected to get there by noon. Sadly, the king's mind was no longer his own, and he was under a spell by Saruman's man, Wormtongue. As Gandalf talked of these things, I shivered, for though I am a brave and handsome warrior with hair to die for, I know that Saruman is a real threat.
When we arrived at Edoras, the people of Rohan were hooded and cloaked in black as if awaiting their doom.
"You'd find more cheer in a graveyard," Gimli whispered hoping that only we three had heard his remark, but one of the women turned and looked at him with disgust.
On the steps of Meduseld we handed over our weapons to stony faced soldiers at their request.
"Sir, your staff," one of them reasoned to Gandalf.
"You wouldn't part an old man from his walking stick?" he replied innocently. Nodding his head, the guard turned and we followed with Gandalf leaning on my arm as part of a charade. I tried not to laugh, which was quite difficult as I look my best when I laugh and instead wore my face as a handsome mask. Even when I am sober, I cannot help but turn a few heads. Some of them were turning now, as we entered the hall.
I looked at Theoden seated upon his throne and then at Aragorn who walked on the other side of Gandalf. Aragorn looked as good as any forty year old, when I knew his true age to be eighty seven. "Hmm...must be that lavender scented moisturiser I gave him a while back. Looks like it is working. But I must do something about his hair. Perhaps a final rinse in cider vinegar to keep the oil at bay? That should do the trick nicely," I mused to myself. "Speaking of hair....I must also do something about Gandalf's split ends. A conditioning rinse for him...and as for Gimli? I think I will let the Fab Five give him a complete makeover. Tha's a job that even this fabulous elf can't do alone......"
Gandalf might have spoken to me, but honestly I hadn't heard him, as I hadn't been listening and instead had strayed into my own deep thoughts. Kicking, punching, and shoving suddenly became my activity. Aragorn, Gimli and I defended Gandalf as he slowly walked over to Theoden. The old king could only slightly move in response. Wormtongue struggled to get away but Gimli was too quick and leaped on him. He whispered something to the little runt, but I was not paying too much attention as it didn't concern me and my name wasn't mentioned.
My full attention was given to Gandalf who released Theoden from the spell that Saruman had cast upon him. As Theoden held his sword above his head I sighed, for indeed I could see my reflection in the blade, and Gandalf was my brother in arms, for he was powerful and I learned knew things about him everyday eg. the fact that he was badly in need of a trim for one.
Dinner was served by a lovely lass with dazzling eyes and hair almost as fair as mine, named Eowyn. I was rather jealous of Aragorn for it seemed she had eyes only for him and pondered deeply what attraction he could hold for her whilst I ate my soup. Gimli interrupted my thoughts with an uncouth burp, and an uncomfortable silence followed. I thought that the culture guy from the Fab Five would have quite a job on his hands.
The conversation turned to whether we should flee or not as I rebraided my hair. Eons of practice have enabled me to do so without the aid of a mirror, though I longed to see my fair face again with all my might. Well, an elf learns to make do when necessary. It was decided that we should leave for Helm's Deep along with all the women and children of Edoras.
"Not so bad," I thought."At least one of them should have a mirror."
As we got ready to leave, Gandalf made a negative comment regarding something about Theoden's choice of Helm's Deep, but I really wasn't paying too much attention as I found my reflection staring back at me from Gamling's breast plate. I know he said something about looking for him on the 5th morning at Dawn, but I didn't catch it all as I adjusted my braids.
"Where on earth am I going to get some more strawberry shampoo from?" I mused sadly as I went to take my position on the battlements of Helm's Deep. Suddenly there was the sound of a horn.
"That is no orc horn!" I cried. In fact I almost wept tears of joy but had no wish to greet my fellow elves with red swollen eyes. I had my reputation to think of.
Haldir had arrived. Thank Eru. Now I could get that shampoo and treatment I had so longed for.