Frolijah -- part 24 - In which hobbits act and actors hobbit. Um.
In which hobbits act and actors hobbit. Um.
Despite this story being really long, the author just keeps going. And going. And going. And this subtitle really has nothing to do with the actual plot, just in case you wondered.
Disclaimer: I did not write the Lord of the Rings, invent any of its characters, story line, or potency. This is probably partially because I wasn?t even alive back then. Anyway, only most of the people on Earth (dear, sweet home) are mine . . . or theirs, if you like to think about it that way. TLOTR is all Tolkien?s. Go him.
Recap: in the last part Alice?s legs dragged her up to the Fellowship where she found them playing Mao, and then fainted. Elijodo is going into make-up. Poor guy.
When I came to, I?m not sure how much later, the first thing I noticed was that someone really needed to brush his teeth. I know that sounds a stupid thing to think after all I had gone through. I mean, it should have been ?where am I?? or even ?huh?? of even Frodo?s own ?what is the time?? But no. Not me. I had to think ?somebody needs to brush his teeth.?
I have no life.
You?d have thought I would have stopped walking around by now.
Anyway, on to the story.
?Alice? Alice? Are you awake??
?Yep, sis, and I?m not in Kansas anymore, either,? I snapped, rubbing my head. ?Sorry,? I added to Sam, who was obviously just trying to be nice. ?I thought you were . . . someone else.?
?Me?? Frolijah guessed from over Sam?s shoulder.
?Um, maybe.? I should have probably thought up a better answer than that, but ? and it?s the funniest thing, I know ? I couldn?t stop wondering whose breath I had thought was so rancid. Sam was closer at the moment, though he sat back. But surely it would be wiser to blame it on Frolijah. Oh, well.
?Alice Smallburrow, explain yourself,? Gandalf demanded, suddenly casting a shadow of the hobbits. I giggled slightly.
Somehow, I don?t think that was the answer he wanted ? or expected.
It was a moment the Random Elf would have given me a Look for. As he wasn?t there, some Random Bird Flying Way High Above Me had to suffice. I couldn?t actually see his eyes, but there was just something in the way he flew that told me I was getting yet another Look for my bizarre behavior.
Gandalf was looking so explosive I was afraid he might be a danger to the others. So, despite the fact that if he exploded it might take the Ring with the rest of us and do more good than harm anyway, I decided I?d better talk.
?I admit it! I did it! It?s all my fault! It was I who took the cookies from the cookie jar!?
Frolijah snorted slightly. Gandalf turned to him in surprise, but Frolijah just put a hand over his mouth and shook his head. Hmpf. No help there.
?I am not to be taken lightly, young hobbit. Tell me what purpose has brought you here??
?I took the mushrooms also. Or mush-ROOMs as Frolijah ? Frodo ? would say. Oh, yeah. Um. And then I ran here. All the way. I got lots of weird Looks. Can you imagine that? No, I confess! Don?t look at me like that! I drank out of the stream! I know it?s unsanitary but ? please don?t hurt me! Your eyebrows are scary!?
This last exclamation is what really pushed Gandalf?s eyebrows high. In a normal case they reached past the brim of his hat (which was impressive, but kinda gross also), but now they threatened to beat the top of his pointed hat! Well, would have if the stupid hat ever stood up straight instead of flopping down like bunny ears.
?Miss Sma-? Gandalf began, but Frolijah, to my surprise, cut him off.
?Gandalf,? he said, ?there is no harm in her. I?ve known Alice for longer than you have. Although she may seem?? he hesitated.
?Unusual?? I offered.
?Thick-skulled and peculiar at times? (I rolled my eyes) ?there is no harm in her. Let her come along.?
?Nine walkers,? Gandalf replied. ?Nine walkers to the nine riders.?
Frolijah seemed at a loss for words, so I jumped in with my usually brilliant solutions.
?I could ride Bill.?
?That is not the purpose ?? Aragorn began, probably sensibly, but Frolijah cut him off.
?I?m the Ringbearer, okay? I just have a feeling . . . she?ll be useful. And this way, if one of us dies, they?ll still be nine. Happy? Anyway, you need someone else to take the Ring if I snuff it, and there isn?t anyone else here I would want to inflict that on.?
Well, that definitely caught their attention. I don?t know if the others were flattered or insulted, but if he hadn?t been standing up for the others not killing me, I would have easily been leaning toward the second. As the case was, I thought it smart to keep my mouth shut.
Gandalf began giving Aragorn and the others significant looks over my head, and they went off to talk about me for a while, but it might have ended all right, because in the end they let me come.
I really don?t know why. I mean, it wasn?t respectable for one lass to travel alone with a bunch of guys, and they were suspicious of me. Maybe what saved me in the end was that they were too honorable to leave me alone.
But you know what? I think the real reason was something Frolijah said.
Bother the no swearing thing. Ack, what is Tolkien?s world coming to? --------- Tolkien as well.
I didn?t really mean that, big writer dude, if you can hear this. Please don?t wreak revenge on me.
?So,? I said, cheerfully, ?where are we??
I knew I?d have to get alone to saying it in the end. Stupid, cliche line.
?Just outside of Moria,? it was Legolas who answered.
?You?re back from Caradhras?? I asked. The others exchanged suspicious glances.
?Frodo didn?t want to go there. Funny, how you both know something that ended so badly.?
?Uh, huh. Says the guy with some snow still plastered in his boots that still hasn?t melted. You people have the weirdest snow. That is just not natural.?
Legolas glanced down and saw that I was right. Call me Sherlock Homes. ?Course, Sherlock wouldn?t have had to ask where we were. But then again, he?s also dead, so I think I have the better end of the bargain anyway.
Aragorn intervened gently. ?Be that as it may,? he said, ?your story is still unknown to us. Would you tell the tale?
?Well, it went like this,? I summarized once more. ?It was a dark and stormy night. Suddenly, from out the darkness came a roar unlike any other heard in this land. And then an accursed spirit possessed my legs and they rushed to life in all the strangeness that can be found. And then, good sirs, I began to run.
?But not run as the ordinary folk do. For I had no power over my own body, and were it not for a mysteriously handy store of mushrooms I had with me, I would have surely starved.?
?What, in only four days?? I ignored Merry.
?And so I ran. And ran. I had to sleep on my feet and scavenge the quickly-passing forest to eat ??
?I thought you brought mushrooms with you,? Pippin interrupted. ?What happened to them??
?Do you have any left?? Merry added, and Frolijah?s eyes gleamed with a look that had seldom before been used for anything but the One Ring.
?Uh ?? I stopped. ?Oh, fine. Here. Ruin my story, why don?t you.?
?And then you saw Gandalf singing and thought it was something scary and impressive. And each time you tell it, it gets more scary and impressive,? Frolijah commented, chewing on a mushroom. His eyes darted around for more. I was very thankful he didn?t say anything about it, though. Not even Mush-ROOMs.
?Something like that.? At first, the others had wanted to hear my story. I guess it just got old after a while.
I sighed, and gave up on telling my embellished tale. It even lost some of the spice to me, after about the fifth time in telling.
?So,? said I, ?where are we now??
?Nigh unto the gates of Moria,? one of the big folk who walked behind me said. Boromir, maybe. They all had such deep voices that they sounded kind of alike.
"Oh. That explains why everything has suddenly gotten eerie and ominous. It's uncanny, how things here change." I paused, and listened. A gentle dripping in the background gave the whole place new meaning: it was old, damp, and cold.
Aside from the hobbits -- and I still wasn't too sure about Sam -- the others didn't really seem to have accepted me as one of them yet. I mean, once they had a group meeting, and guess who wasn't invited? That's right: Frolijah.
No, seriously, it was me. I wasn't sure whether to be embarrassed or angry or just glad that they had lifted my burden.
Gandalf had also begun to interrogate me on the subject of what had happened. Why my legs had suddenly started on their own. I'm not sure if he completely believed me on that point -- and if I was, then what had really happened. I mean, things like that just aren't normal.
My theory? He was just embarrassed about the singing incident that he wanted to pressure me into forgetting. Not gonna work. Gandalf had had the stupid song stuck in his head all day and keeps humming it.
Last night, Frolijah suggested playing Mao again, but he was vetoed.
I kept walking, my head not very full of anything. Actually, I was trying to remember a scene from the movie, so I knew what happened next. It had been weeks, and I had forgotten most of it. Still, a sense of foreboding hit me.
Those things are heavy.
Elijodo looked in the mirror and nearly passed out.
He had gotten used to ? almost ? the new and strange human appearance of his body. But it was one thing to be human. It was quite another to be . . .
Whatever he was.
In his Middle-earth attuned mind, Elijodo tried desperately to think what he reminded himself of, and failed. Then he reached into the slowly, but steadily (and scarily) growing part of his brain that seemed to understand the Earth.
There, he found an answer.
He looked like a Klingon who had been bred with a half-slug, half-dinosaur and then put through the blender and pieced back together by an Igor.
Except for his eyes. Those were still a clear-crystal blue, shining from behind the masses of decaying skin that were designed to fit his face. Only those eyes gave him hope that maybe he really was still himself.
A lot had happened over the last three hours ? time which seemed far longer to Elijodo than it really was. The make-up and plaster on his face hadn?t originally been designed for him, but the other actor had backed out. If Elijodo had known that, he might have copied him.
As it was, Elijodo wondered how he could have gotten in such a situation so quickly. Wasn?t it only a week or two ago that he was planning on leaving the Shire on an adventure? He had been so sorry to go ? but never had he expected that this would be his destination! A hideous monster resembling nothing on Middle-earth in the slightest!
As Elijodo gazed at himself in the mirror, a sudden longing came over him to be back in the Shire, with his friends. He wondered what had become of Merry and Pippin . . . and Sam. Poor Samwise. What was he thinking? Was he worried that Elijodo had suddenly gone? Or was some monster taking Elijodo?s place, pretending he was Frodo Baggins?
?They?re ready for you out on the set,?
Elijodo jumped when the voice behind him spoke. It was the orange-haired woman who had brought him into this room hours ago. He stared at her.
?I just love what they?ve done with the slime. But your eyes are still so hot,? she added.
Elijodo narrowed his eyes at her slightly. What was that supposed to mean?
He entered the room where the director, Mr. Gingivitis, was still sitting. Carlos, the creature who had so changed Elijodo?s poor face, stood by, admiring his work.
?Here he is,? the orange-haired woman said, and departed. She really had no point in the story except to escort Elijodo places and be generally weird.
?Marvelous!? Mr. Gingivitis said, seeing Elijodo. He sprung up to wring Carlos?s hand. ?I love it! He?s just perfect for the character of the Great gAhN! Absolutely perfect!?
Elijodo wasn?t sure whether to be complimented or insulted. He considered just fleeing and saving himself the trouble of coming up with an answer. In the end, he settled with doing nothing.
?But we?re late now, quite late,? Gingivitis went on, not wanting to stop talking. ?Let?s go.?
For what seemed like the thousandth time that day, Elijodo followed someone around. It really was getting to be quite repetitive, and the author yawned. Yawn. This is getting repetitive, the author thought. Something more interesting should happen.
Boom, crash, the lightning flashed.
?Hello, Earthlings, we come in Peace,? a voice from behind Elijodo said.
Thanks to my editor, dear Jeanlily, who keeps catching those annoying typos, I have to write an author?s note. Ahem:
Isn?t it wonderful? Anyway, I got this one out a little faster. I?m improving. Kinda. Here you go. Kinda amusing story. I need to finish it already, though. Sigh. Here goes another part in the wonderful land of the weird.