The Popular Crowd - Chapter 2

Recap:The three stupid teenagers followed the class geek to Middle Earth, and she has been kind enough to let them follow her.

Ruby: I think what happened is that after I went through the porthole, I forgot to close it. That's never happened before. This is very strange.

Danny: So, you control the portholes?

Ruby: Yes, strangly enough, ever since I was eight. I was eight, wasn't I Fro?

Frodo: If memory serves, yes.

Ruby: Yeah, I thought so. When I was eight I discovered I had the ability to open portholes from the Shire to America and visa versa.

Zack: So why don't you just open another one now and send us home?

Ruby: I tried but for some reason my power seems to be gone. That's happened before but, never when I really needed to open one badly. This is terrible. It wouldn't be so bad if it wasn't you three.

Laura: What's that supposed to mean?

Ruby: I don't mean to be rude, Its just you three aren't exactly fantasy material. I not sure you can even survive. And I don't have time to look after you. I have these four good looking lads to take care of. They are my family.

Danny: So what do you suggest we do?

Ruby: I really don't know. It would be dangerous to follow us but it could be even more dangerous to just wonder around. I guess the safest thing would be to come with us until we get somewhere safe where we can leave you till our mission is done. Hopefully my power will be back by then. But don't expect me or my lads to risk our lives for you. Not to be unkind, but it is much more important for them to survive than you. If you do survive you'll understand when its all over. And just so you know, it would still be that way even if you three had not been jerks to me my whole life.

Pippin: Do we have to take them, Ruby?

Ruby: Sorry lads. We'll have to put up with them for awhile

The hobbits all groaned and continued to trudge on through the Old Forest. They were quiet most of the way. The only sounds to be heard was the rustle of the wind and occasional bird chirping.

Laura: Hey Ruby.

Ruby: Yes?

Laura:I can't take this quietness. Could you finish the story you were telling earlier, just before we showed up?

Ruby: Um....well I don't think you'd like it very much. Its a story of forbidden love and magic curses and all that sort of thing.

Laura:But I thought you said it was about you. Were you the one the guy saw?

Ruby: No. I'm not.

Laura: Well, then what does the story have to do with you?

Ruby: The first part really doesnt have that much to do with me. But you won't understand the part that is about me till you've heard the first part. Maybe I'll tell you later. But not now.

Laura: Well, okay. but please do something about this quietness. I'm starting to get scared. .

Ruby: You're going to get a lot more scared before this is over. If you really want me to lighten the mood you'll have to put up with my singing.

Laura: I didnt know you could sing.

Ruby: Yeah, I can carry a tune.

Laura: So sing already.

Ruby: Fine, fine. but dont complane to much.
I know you think that I shouldn't still love you
I'll tell you that
But if I didn't say it
Well, I'd still have felt it
Where's the sense in that?

I promise I'm not trying to make your life harder
Or return to where we were

Well I will go down with this ship
And I won't put my hands up and surrender
There will be no white flag above my door
I'm in love and always will be

I know I left too much mess
And destruction to come back again
And I caused but nothing but trouble
I understand if you can't talk to me again
And if you live by the rules of "It's over"
Then I'm sure that that makes sense

Well I will go down with this ship
And I won't put my hands up and surrender
There will be no white flag above my door
I'm in love and always will be

And when we meet
As I'm sure we will
All that was then
Will be there still
I'll let it pass
And hold my tongue
And you will think
That I've moved on

Well I will go down with this ship
And I won't put my hands up and surrender
There will be no white flag above my door
I'm in love and always will be

Ruby: So, I'm not to bad, am I?

Laura: Not bad at all. That was beautiful. I'm not a big fan of the song, but yeah, that was great.

Ruby: That has to be the nicest thing you've said to me in all the years we've known each other.

Laura: Yeah, well, don't think its gunna be a regular thing.

Ruby: I wont.

Zack: Dude, Ruby. Where you get that set of pipes?

Ruby: My Mom.

Danny: I thought you didnt know your real mom. Arnt you an orphan?

Ruby: Yeah, but I do know who my real mom was. Its just my adopted mother doesnt know that I know.

Laura: So, your real mother could sing too?

Ruby: Like an angel. Why are you interested anyway? You guys have never willingly asked me questions about my life before, except that time Zack asked if my sister would possibly date him.

Zack: Hey, she's hot.

Ruby: She's six years older than you.

Zack: And? I mean, are you kidding? Look at me. I'm so hot, snowmen run away from me.

Ruby: If it makes you happy, go on believing that. Speaking of hot guys, you four havent said a word for a long time now.

Frodo: What is there to say?

Ruby: Just for my sake join in the conversation once in awhile. I know these idiots make you feel uncomfertable,they make me uncomfertable too, but we'll be spending a awful amount of time with them. And you have to break the ice sometime.

Merry: Cant we just pretend their not here?

Ruby: That would be nice, but no, we cant.

Danny: I feel so loved.

Ruby: Oh, what did you expect? They know every rude thing you've ever done to me. And there have been several, so don't expect to make any friends while your here.

Danny: Dont worry, I wont.
Very few words were spoken the next little while. The teens were constantly begging to stop and rest. After a while the hobbits just ignored ever syllable that left their mouths.

Laura: Okay, you guys have to want to stop now. I'm boiling.

Zack: I'm melting. My hair is going flat. Can we please stop?

Pippin: Maybe they are right. I dont know if can much further either.

Pippin fell to his knees and Frodo halted.

Merry: It's no good. can't go another step without rest. must have nap. Its cool under these willows. Less flies.

Danny: Yeah, I can't move.

Ruby: I think we should keep.........Whoa! It does feel better under here. But still we should....I forgot what I was gunna say. I hate that.

Frodo: Come on! We can't have a nap yet. We must get clear of the forest first.

Nobody paid much attentian to what Frodo had said. Ruby had a look on her face like she was trying to remember something but was too tired to think. Sam just yawned and blinked. Frodo nearly gave in, but decided to go wash his feet. Sam sat down and scratched his head and yawned. Ruby finally laid down, she planned , for only a minute. Soon eveyone was asleep except Sam. He went to look for the ponies.
While he was gone Ruby woke suddenly with a start wondering what had woken her. Then she noticed a strange light coming from her necklace. The light was coming from the stone of the ring she always wore around her neck. It had done that before. It seemed to her the ring had a way of telling her when danger was nearby. We'll find out more about this ring later. But in the meantime, the tiredness had left her and memory came back to her of what this tree was trying to do. So she stood just in time to hear a sound like a lock clicking. She turned around to face the tree and Pippin and Zack were gone and Merry was halfway hanging out of the tree.
Danny woke up and awakend Laura in time to keep the tree from getting them. But they were so frightened, they couldnt move.

Ruby: Well, dont just do something, sit there! I'm surrounded by fools. Frodo! Sam! Come quick!

A second later, Frodo and Sam came round from the other side of the tree. They immediatly tried to beat at the tree, but nothing worked. They tried everything they could think of but nothing helped.Then adaring, bold,and genious idea came into Dannys mind and he acted on it immediatly.

Danny: Help! Help! Help! Help!

The others followed Danny's lead and soon they heard what they thought to be an answer.

Hey do! merry dol! ring a dong dillo!
Ring a dong! hop along! fal lal the willow!
Tom Bom, jolly Tom, Tom Bambadillo!

Danny: Somebody is on something out there.

They all stood still as the voice continued to sing. Finally he came into view. To Danny and Laura he just looked like some old nut case dressed like one of Santa's helpers or something like that. Either way, they needed help and were willing to converse with a phycatic escapee from Disney land, to get it.

Tom: Whoa! Whoa! Steady there! Now my little fellows and lasses, where be you a-going to, puffing like a bellows? Whats the matter here then? Do you know who I am? I'm Tom Bombadil. Tell me what's your trouble! Tom's in a hurry now. Don't you crush my lilies!

Frodo: My friends are caught in a willow tree!
Sam: Master Merry's being squeezed in a crack!

Laura: One of my boy friends is in there! You have to help!

Tom: What? Old man willow? Naught worse than that, eh? That can soon be mended. I know the tune for him. Old Willow-man! I'll freeze his marrow cold, if he don't behave himself. I'll sing his roots off. I'll sing a wind up and blow leaf and branch away. Old Man Willow!

Danny: Yep! He's nuts.

Tom sang to the tree and soon Merry and Pippen and Zack were all out. They werent hurt thankfully, but Zack looked like he wouldnt be able to think for a while, so no real damage was done. The members of the party who had maners thanked Tom.

Tom: Well, my little little friends! You shall come home with me! The table is laden with yellow cream, honey comb, and white bread and butter. Goldberry is waiting. Time enough for questions around the supper table. You follow after me as quick as you are able!

With that he sprang away and after awhile thay could no longer see him.

Laura: Is it such a good idea to follow that guy? I mean for all we know he could be a kidnapper or worse. And besides all that food he was talking about sounds so fattening.

Ruby: Would you rather sleep out here in the woods?

Laura just glared at her and didnt say anything else. The teens followed tiredly and grumpily behind. They had learned by now not to complane, but they had looks on their faces that would frighten goblins. It had been an entire day practicaly and they werent used to walking that far, much less nearly being eaten by trees. They were hungry, they were tired, they were dirty, and they were following the biggest geek in the tenth grade and her four little boy friends, and a phyco flower obsessed elf thing. So, in their minds, they had every reason to be grumpy.
Ruby had made it very clear that she didnt care if they followed or not. But yet she kept looking back at them to make sure they were okay. She knew perfectly well they werent her responsibillity, but she also knew that if any thing happened to them she would feel guilty about it, whether it were her fault or no. She had always had a guilt problem.
It wasnt long before thay reached Toms house. They walked in and it seemed to the teens that they had entered a house that they had visited before in their dreams, but had long forgotten until now. They would never admit that though.
They were greeted by a fair lady with long blond hair that shamed Lauras. She walked toward them, smiling and lauging.

Golberry: Enter, good guests. Come dear folk! Laugh and be merry! I am Goldberry, the daughter of the River.

Zack and Danny felt entranced by her beauty. They had never in their lives seen anyone or anything so lovely. Their eyes did not leave her as she went to close the door behind them.

Goldberry: Let us shut out the night! For you are still afraid, perhaps, of mist and tree shadows and deep water, and untame things. Fear nothing! For tonight you are under the roof of Tom Bombadil.

Frodo: Fair Lady Golberry!

Frodo stood scilent for a moment, also entranced. The teens looked at him wondering if he was going to say something or just stand there like a dummy.

Frodo: Fair Lady Goldberry! Now the joy that was hidden in the songs we heard is made plain to me.
O slender as a willow wand! O clearer than clear water!
O reed by the living pool! Fair river daughter!
O spring time and summer time, and spring time again, after!
O wind on the waterfall, and the leaves' laughter!
Ruby Looked at Frodo and then at Goldberry again. She couldnt help but be somewhat jealous. Goldberry laughed.

Goldberry: Welcome! I had not heard that folk of the Shire were so sweet tongued. But I see you are an elf friend; the light in your eyes and the ring in your voice tells it. This is a merry meeting! Sit now, and wait for the master of the house! He will not be long. He is tending your tired beasts.

They sat in peace for a while. When Tom came back they washed and ate and were merry. The Teens couldnt remeber ever feeling so relaxed. But part of them was still afraid to let down their gaurds. Goldberry noticed this and spoke to them.

Goldberry: You three young ones. Set your hearts at rest. Perhaps where you come from it is only natural to hide your feelings and not allow yourselves to be free. But the only way to be truly happy is to let yourselves be as children if that is what you truly desire. I see that deep down you want to be young and free again but are afraid to do so. But be not afaid. Be as merry as the day is long while you are here.

The teens werent sure what she meant, but they felt that there was truth to her words. They wanted to, for just a moment act like little kids again. they wanted to laugh and be wild. But what would their friends at home think if they came back changed? They couldnt allow that to happen, so they closed their hearts to all the joy and peace that was offered to them in this new land.

Not long after dinner they went to bed and were indeed grateful to be doing so. Tom bade them good night and they all crawled into their beds and fell fast asleep.
That night Danny awake from some nightmare he didnt remember. He snuggled back into the pillows hoping to fall asleep again. But then to his suprise he saw Ruby stand from her bed and walk to Frodo's. Her dark curls hung tangled over her white nightgown and her face was illuminated by the moonlight. Ruby snuggled up beside Frodo and spoke in whisper to him, just loud enough for Danny to hear.

Ruby: Did you really make up that poem off the top of your head right there?

Frodo: Yes. I dont know how. The words just poured from me, as though it were not me speaking them.

Ruby: You've never made up a poem for me off the top of your head like that.

Frodo: I have, I'm sure of it.

Ruby: Not that I remember. Do it now.

Frodo: Well, I'm not ready.

Ruby: But I am. I want it and I want it now.

Frodo: Allright, allright! Heres goes. dont expect it to be a masterpiece.
Fallow brown dancing curls
Bright brown eyes of chocolate
Bright smile that shames the rose.
Voice clear as crystal
Ruby, the fairy child.

Ruby giggled playfully and snuggled closer.

Ruby: Not bad Mr. Shakespear, not bad.

Frodo: Thank you very much.

Ruby: Now, my love, what are we going to do about those teenagers? Just one day with them is making me go crazy. I cant stand the idea of putting up with them all the way to Rivendell. I know they could be kind, and happy if they wanted to be, but they seem to think that the only way they will ever be happy is if they are miserable and unkind. Thats just twisted.

Frodo: That it is.

Ruby: Their afraid of changing, I think. That I understand. Do you remeber the I first came back to the Shire after disapearing all those years ago?

Frodo: How could I forget. You were like a untame little wild nimph or something like that.

Ruby: I was afraid that you were only faking , when you were so kind to me. I was afraid that if I accepted your kindness, I would regret it later. But eventually you got me to open my heart to you and I did change, but it was for the better. So what if I did loose some of my friends, I gained new ones, better ones. If those three would open their hearts then maybe they'd be happy and not so sad and unkind all the time. They'd learn to be happy simply because they are alive. That is my prayer for them.

Frodo: I hope your prayers are answered. But for now I think you should go back to sleep. I love you, pleasant dreams, Princess.

Ruby: Love you too. Good-night my handsome prince.

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