The Popular Crowd - Chapter 7

Recap: Ruby has been stabbed at Weathertop, in place of Frodo. They continued their trek to Rivendell, which was somewhat harder, because of Ruby's wound.

Ruby was getting extremely bored. She sat upon Bill the pony, watching the road ahead of her. It had been a week since she was wounded. She did feel better but she still had to avoid walking as much as possible. She let out a sad sigh and shook her head. Why did her life have to be so complicated? All she ever wanted to get married, have a lot of kids, go on little adventures every once in awhile, and live happily ever after. But no, the hobbit she loved had to be the Ringbearer, didn't he?.

Happily Ever After no longer seemed to be an option. Her only options were suffer with him, or suffer without him. She had made a promise a long time ago to stick by him no matter what. When she made that promise she had no idea what that meant, but she kept it anyway.

Ruby looked up at the sky and saw that it was no longer raining. Her instinct was to pull down her hood with her right arm. After attempting such a thing she cursed herself for being stabbed in that arm. She was right handed. How was she supposed to do any thing with a right arm that didn't work? So, she pulled down her hood with her left arm. That worked, oh goody.


She wished there was some way to get to Rivendell sooner. Maybe a miracle would happen and Glorfindel would show up early. Not likely. Poor Ruby had to endure this undeserved wound for about a week. And the aftermath of it for years. No, must think positive thoughts. Puppies, kittens, fur coats, diamonds, Barns and Noble. These are a few of Ruby's favorite things. When the orc bites, when the giant spider stings, when she's feeling sad, she'll simply remember her favorite things and then she won't feel so bad. Okay, that was random. MOVING ON!

As you all know nothing exciting happens during the next week. Ruby suffers, everyone else pities her. Blah blah. So, for everyone's sake, including mine, I'll skip to where something exciting does happen. I know everyone's looking forward to some poetry by S. Gamgee himself. So, here we go.

Pippin: Surely this is a troll-hole, if ever there was one! Come out, you two, and let us get away. Now we know who made the path, and we had better get off it quick.

Strider: There is no need, I think. It is certainly a troll hole, but it seems to have been long forsaken. I don't think we need be afraid. But let us go down warily, and we shall see.

Laura: What does warily mean?

Ruby: Shhhh!

They continued down the path cautiously. Ruby was of course enjoying watching their frightened faces, since she knew that there was indeed nothing to be afraid of. She didn't say anything though. That wouldn't be any fun.

They hadn't gone very far when Pippin came running back, followed by Merry. They both looked terrified.

Pippin: There are trolls! Down in the clearing in the woods not far below. We got a sight of them through the tree trunks. They are very large!

Strider: We will come and look at them.

Zack: Oh crap! We're all gunna die. I'm too handsome to die.

They went further, much more cautiously this time. Then suddenly right before their eyes, were the trolls! Laura screamed as if she were in a horror film. Strider walked forward and broke his stick on the figure.

Strider: Get up, old stone!

When nothing happened, the teens cocked their heads in wonder and Ruby and Frodo laughed.

Frodo: Well! We are forgetting our family history! These must be the very three that were caught by Gandalf, quarreling over the right way to cook thirteen dwarves and one hobbit.

Danny: I have no idea what your talking about. But then, I never do.

Ruby: We'll explain later, Danny. Its an old family story.

Pippin: I had no idea we were anywhere near the place.

The hobbits and the teens still looked up at the stones as if they could still hurt them somehow.

Strider: You are forgetting not only your family history, but all you ever knew about trolls. It is broad daylight with a bright sun, and yet you come back trying to scare me with a tale of live trolls waiting for us in this glade! In any case you might have noticed that one of them has an old birds nest behind his ear. That would be a most unusual ornament for a live troll!

They all laughed, including the Teens. They all had a feeling that for a little while, at least, they were safe here in the glade. They relaxed and ate their mid-day meal together in peace.

Merry: Won't somebody give us a bit of a song, while the sun is high?

Ruby was always ready to sing but she didn't want to take Sam's moment away. Honestly, you'd think she was Disney princess with how often she sang.

Merry: We haven't had a song or tale in days.

Frodo: Not since Weathertop.

At the mention of Weathertop the others all looked at Ruby. Ruby sighed remembering that it was her cue. This is where her acting abilities came in handy.

Ruby: Don't worry about me! I feel much better, but I don't think I could sing. Perhaps Sam could dig something out of his memory.

Frodo: That's what I was about to say.

Ruby: I know. Sam?

Merry: Come on Sam! There's more stored in your head than you let on about.

Sam: I don't know about that. But how would this suit? it aint what I call proper poetry, if you understand me: just a bit of nonsense. But these old images here brought it to my mind.

Danny: Lets here it then.

Sam stood up, with his hands behind his back, as if was at school, he began to sing to an old tune.

Sam: Troll sat alone on his seat f stone,
And munched and mumbled a bare old bone;
For many a year he had gnawed it near,
For meat was hard to come by.
Done by! Gum by!
In a cave in the hills he dwelt alone,
And meat was hard to come by.

Up came Tom with his big boots on.
Said he to Troll: `Pray, what is yon?
For it looks to the shin o' my nuncle Tim,
As should be a-lyin' in the grave yard.
Cave yard! Pave yard!
this many a year has Tim been gone,
And I thought he were luin' in graveyard.'

`My lad,' said Troll, `this bone I stole.
But what be bones that lie in a hole?
Thy nuncle was dead as a lump o' lead,
Afore I found his shinbones.
Tinbone! Thinbone!
He can spare a share for a poor old troll,
For he don't need his shinbone.'

Said Tom: `I don't see why the likes o' thee
Without axin' leave should go makin' free
With the shank or the shin o' my fathers kin;
So hand the old bone over!
Rover! Trover!
Though dead he be, it belongs to he;
So hand the old bone over!

`For a couple o' pins', says Troll, and grins,
`I'll eat thee too, and gnaw thy shins.
A bit o' fresh meat will go down sweet!
I'll try my teeth on thee now.
Hee now! see now!
I'm tired o' gnawing old bones and skins;
I've a mind to dine on thee now'

But just as he thought his dinner was caught,
He found his hands had hold of naught.
Before he could mind, Tom slipped behind
And gave him the boot to larn him.
Warn him! Darn him!
A bump o' the boot on the seat, Tom thought,
Would be the way to larn him.

But harder than stone is the flesh and bone
Of a troll that sits in the hills alone.
As well set your boot to the mountain's root,
For the seat of a troll don't feel it.
Peel it! Heal it!
Old Troll laughed, when he heard Tom groan,
And he knew his toes could feel it.

Tom's leg is game, since home he came,
And his bootless foot is lasting lame;
But Troll don't care, and he's still there
With the bone he boned from it's owner.
Doner! Boner!
Troll's old seat is still the same,
And the bone he boned from it's owner!

Merry: Well, that's a warning to us all! It is well you used a stick, and not your hand, Strider!

Zack: That was really funny. I liked it.

Pippin: Where did you come by that, Sam? I've never heard those words before.

Sam muttered something under his breath.

Ruby: He made it up himself. I think its awsome!

Frodo: I am learning a lot about Sam Gamgee on this journey. First he was a conspirator, now he's a jester. He'll end up by becoming a wizard......or a warrior!

Sam: I hope not, I don't want to be neither!

Laura: What's a conspirator?
*****

And so they continued on. It was a rather interesting journey for the hobbits, since they guessed that the road they were taking was the very one Bilbo had taken all those years before. At this point the teens were growing very curious about Bilbo and his journeys. So once they asked to be told the tale, all five hobbits could not be shut up. They all knew every detail from the day Bilbo invited Gandalf for tea, to the day he came home right in the middle of the auction. They knew every song and the tune to go with it. They knew every riddle. They could describe every character exactly the way Bilbo had described them.

For the most part Ruby let the boys do the telling. She was just a little anxious for Glorfindel to arrive. "Any minute now" she kept reminding herself. They had stopped for the night when they heard the sound of a horse approaching. Everyone went silent afraid that it was another Black Rider. Ruby couldn't contain herself any longer. Her arm hurt and she wanted to go NOW!

Ruby: Oh, Thank God!!!!!!!

They all looked at Ruby as if she had lost her mind. She blushed a little not quite believing she had done that. She was so anxious she had been biting her nails for a week. She had quite that habbit years ago. Her sister told her men didn't like that kind of thing. but now She had a man. What did it matter?

They all sat silent waiting as the sound grew louder. Ruby made a little moaning noise in her throat, as she continued to destroy her finger nails.

Frodo: That does not sound like a Black Rider's horse!

Ruby: It's not! It's not!

Strider listened very carefully and smiled realizing what it was. It was then that the rider came into view. His long blond hair shimmered brightly. He appeared to glowing. Needless to say Laura was in love. She just sat there with her mouth wide open and her eyes wide and he gracefully rode toward them on his white horse.

Strider ran from their spot toward him laughing and crying out. The Elf came down from his horse and ran to meet Strider.

Glorfindel: Ai na vendui Dunadan! Mae govannen!

Strider beckoned to the hobbits. And they all excitedly ran down to meet them. Needless to say Ruby couldn't quite keep up but she made it without falling on her face.

Strider: This is Glorfindel, who dwells in the house of Elrond.

Ruby wanted to just say "Yeah, yeah. I'm hurt! I'm in pain! Can we go NOW?" But she held her tongue and listened as Glorfindell jabbered on. But the longer he jabbered the worse she felt. The sun was setting and she always felt worse at night. Her vision was blurring. She felt as though she had been stabbed with a oversized piece of ice. But she didn't want to interrupt Glorfindel, he was giving them important information. She felt herself shivering slightly. But she stood her ground. But just as Glorfindel was informing them that he didn't know where all of the Black Riders were, Ruby felt the pain completely taking over her and she didn't even bother to try to stay standing. She just through herself on the ground. Typical Drama Queen.


Frodo: Ruby!!!!

Sam: Miss Ruby is hurt! She can't go on riding after nightfall. She needs rest.

The Elf picked Ruby up his arms and studied her face. You have no idea how jealous Laura was. Strider told him what had happened at Weathertop. He drew out the hilt of the knife and handed it to Glorfindel, who didn't in the least bit enjoy holding it. But he studied it intently.

Glorfindel: There are evil things written on this hilt, though maybe your eyes cannot see them. Keep it Aragorn, till we reach the house of Elrond! But be wary, and handle it as little as you may! Alas! The wounds of this weapon are beyond my skill to heal. I will do what I can, but all the more do I urge you now to go on without rest.

Danny: Oh, crap.

Glorfindel searched the wound on Ruby's shoulder and he grew even more afraid. Although his touch did ease the pain and Ruby felt a little bit of life returning to her arm.

Glorfindel: You shall ride my horse. I will shorten the stirrups up to the saddle skirts, and you must sit as tight as you can. But you need not fear: my horse will not let any rider fall that I command him to bear. His pace is light and smooth; and if danger presses too near, he will bear you away with a speed that even the black steeds of the enemy cannot rival.

Ruby didn't say it but in her head she was thinking "Oh, goody!". Frodo didn't say anything either but he didn't like the idea of her riding off without him. He had always come to her rescue when they were younger and now when he thought she would need him most he doubted he would be allowed to go with her. It was more than he could take.

They went on tiredly the next few days. Glorfindell hardly allowed them to rest at all, since was not much familiar with the concept of getting tired. Ruby hardly said a word during the time. She felt as though she was fazing in and out of a nightmare and she couldn't tell what was real and what wasn't. The other tried to keep up with Strider and the Elf but it was very difficult especially for poor Laura. But Danny had learned something about being a gentleman in that past month. It came to Laura as a surprise when he offered to carry her on his back. She was surprised but indeed pleased and gladly accepted his offer.

Finally after all that time they heard the Black Riders coming up behind them. Fear come upon all of them and Glorfindel sprang forward with a cry.

Glorfindel: Fly! Fly! The enemy is upon us!

The horse leaped forward, shocking Ruby out of her nightmare while she held on for not-so-dear life. They ran down the slope as fast as they could. They saw four riders appear ready to charge.

Glorfindel: Ride forward! Ride!

Ruby: Wait! I can't go without Frodo!

Glorfindel: Ride now!

Ruby: I CANT GO WITHOUT FRODO!!!!!!!

Even elves know that when a woman want something, she wants it now! And when she's that angry its safer for all of us if you give it to her. So he quickly lifted Frodo onto the horse and Ruby's anger was appeased. Unfortunately the Riders were still preparing to fly up their tail.

Glorfindel: Ride on! Ride on! Noro lim, noro lim, Asfaloth!

The horse sprang away with the two hobbits holding on tightly. Frodo had one arm tightly around Ruby and the other holing onto the reins. Ruby tightly griped his arm and closed her eyes praying that they would make it.

And if this were a movie here is the song that would be playing while the two of them rode together. I know it's kind of random, but I couldn't resist.

Where have all the good men gone
And where are all the gods?
Where's the street-wise Hercules
To fight the rising odds?
Isn't there a white knight upon a fiery steed?
Late at night toss and turn and dream of what I need

I need a hero
I'm holding out for a hero 'til the end of the night
He's gotta be strong
And he's gotta be fast
And he's gotta be fresh from the fight
I need a hero
I'm holding out for a hero 'til the morning light
He's gotta be sure
And it's gotta be soon
And he's gotta be larger than life

Somewhere after midnight
In my wildest fantasy
Somewhere just beyond my reach
There's someone reaching back for me
Racing on the thunder and rising with the heat
It's gonna take a superman to sweep me off my feet

I need a hero
I'm holding out for a hero 'til the end of the night
He's gotta be strong
And he's gotta be fast
And he's gotta be fresh from the fight
I need a hero
I'm holding out for a hero 'til the morning light
He's gotta be sure
And it's gotta be soon
And he's gotta be larger than life

Up where the mountains meet the heavens above
Out where the lightning splits the sea
I would swear that there's someone somewhere
Watching me

Through the wind and the chill and the rain
And the storm and the flood
I can feel his approach
Like the fire in my blood

I need a hero
I'm holding out for a hero 'til the end of the night
He's gotta be strong
And he's gotta be fast
And he's gotta be fresh from the fight
I need a hero
I'm holding out for a hero 'til the morning light
He's gotta be sure
And it's gotta be soon
And he's gotta be larger than life
I need a hero!

I know that was weird, but it seemed to fit the scene.

Ruby felt like she was going to faint. She just tried to hold on to Frodo and the horse as tight as she could. She heard the cry of the Black Riders from behind them. They sounded close. Too close! She could see the ford ahead of her and she knew she was going to make it, but it didn't appears so. It looked like the Riders were going to cut them off just before they reached their destination.

Ruby's mind went back to the day when she and Frodo were 12 and 8 and they were running away on Frodo's pony. But Frodo's Uncle Saradoc had been looking for them. They knew they couldn't escape him but still the two of them rode as fast as they could just for the sake of the chase. They were heading toward the river. If they made it across they would be out of the Shire and they could go a adventure just Bilbo had. But they were only children and they knew it wouldn't have worked, so they turned around turn themselves over to the adults.

But things were different this time. They couldn't just stop. They had to keep going. They had to be brave. They had to make a stand.

Ruby and Frodo could hear the Riders calling out to them. Ruby looked back at them and saw them as they really were. She saw their glowing white forms. She saw their dark eyes starring at her full of anger. Their swords were in their hands prepared to strike when the opportunity arrived. She was so afraid and shocked that she clung to the horse and closed her eyes. She felt that the horse was going faster. So fast you'd think he was flying.

They heard the splash of the water and felt it about their feet. They felt the horse lift itself up onto the path, out of the river. They had made it. Ruby opened her eyes and saw the Riders on the other side of the river. They sat angrily. Unsure of what to do.

Frodo and Ruby sat up straight. Frodo pulled out his sword defiantly. Ruby would have but like I said before, she was right handed and it wouldn't work. Frodo put his other arm tightly, protectively around her. Ruby gave the Riders her most defiant and angry look she had.

Frodo: Go back! Go back to the Land of Mordor, and follow us no more!

Riders: Come back! Come back! To Mordor we will take you!

Frodo: Go back!

Riders: The Ring! The Ring!

Ruby: If you want him, come and claim him!!!

Frodo: By Elbereth and Luthien the Fair, you shall have neither the Ring nor us!

The leader raised up his hand and Ruby was stricken dumb, and Frodo's sword broke and fell. Ruby was too out of it to see things clearly. She just saw what appeared to be white horses flood over the steeds of the Black Riders. That was the last thing she remembered before she fell from the horse to the ground.

Frodo quickly jumped down to her side and held her in his arms. Ruby was breathing heavily and she could fell herself fading.

Ruby: Fro, I can't.....

Frodo: Ruby, please!! Just hold on a little longer, please!!

Ruby: Frodo, I......

Then Ruby felt her strength give out completely, and her eyes faded shut and she knew no more.


To be continued......

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