It had taken forever, but I finally had an interview with Elijah Wood. As an adamant Tolkien-fan, I had, several weeks prior, volunteered for the job. I worked for the Falling Leaf autumn magazine; but this was big job.
Pulling out my car keys, I stepped into my blue Cadillac and drove to the apartment where Wood was staying. It was a new building, clean and white washed. I straightened my hair and walked to the door, where I was met by two strange men.
“You’re the reporter for the Falling Leaf?” One of them asked in a gruff voice. I agreed that I was, and where was Mr. Wood? “Right this way please.” The two men- bodyguards- lead me up several sets of stairs to room 217, then stopped.
“He’s in here, miss,” said the guard who seemed to be doing the talking. “We’ll wait right outside. Don’t give us any trouble.” I nodded, mutely. After all it had taken to get this interview, there was no way I was going to mess it up now. I knocked on the door.
A young man let me in, who I assumed to be Elijah Wood, though he looked quite different- and not as handsome by far?- without his Frodo wig. He smiled at me, and invited me in, nodding at the guards to signal it was all right.
When the door was closed, I turned to Mr Wood, and held out my hand, to shake. He took it, smiling. But then, all of a sudden, his expression changed drastically. An instant later, I learned why.
I was overcome by a powerful nausea that made me bend double. Elijah looked just as sick as I felt. Then I became dizzy, and my sight was black. I blinked rapidly to clear my eyes.
And then stared hard and pinched myself, because, unless I was hallucinating, in front of me was a kitchen that looked very little like the Bag End in the movie. I turned to Elijah and stared. He was about my height still, but looked very little like himself. He appeared to be- a hobbit?
Frolijah stared back at me until I wondered what I looked like, and then burst out laughing.
I don’t know why he did that, but some people react in strange ways. Including myself, for when he was bent over laughing, I saw something hanging from his pocket that made all the Tolkien-lover in me freeze in horror. A plain gold ring.
In shock and desperation at the situation and the sight of the Ring, I did the only thing I could think of: grab the Ring and stare at it. Frolijah stopped laughing. For several minutes, the two of us gaped at it, stunned. Then, finally, reality dawned on us.
“Oh, my, gosh,” Frolijah said slowly, unable to speak more clearly.
“You are Frodo!!” I replied, with an equally limited vocabulary. “And this is before the books, or at the very start! You have to take the Ring.” Slowly, I brought my hand with the Ring in it back to Frolijah. Somehow, I didn’t really feel like giving it back. But that turned out not to be a problem.
“No, way,” he said, lifting his hands, “I am not taking that thing!”
“But you have to!” I replied, “It’s that way in the book.”
“No. I saw the movie- I was in it, remember?- I know what that thing will do if I take it back. I’m not touching it. It’s yours.”
“Uh, uh. Keep it. You’re the fan- you know what to do. There is No Way I am going to end up like in the move.”
“Are you joking?”
“No!” he shook his head. Then stopped, hearing the sound of clippers in the yard. Frolijah leaned out the window to see Sam. “Is that Sam?” he whispered to me, not recognizing the hobbit. I nodded.
“I don’t know. Sam was pretty important, right?” I looked at him, eyes wide. Of course Sam was important! Everyone knew that! But then I got an idea.
“Sam!” I called out the window. He stopped his cutting to look at me.
“Hello, Miss Alice, how are you?” Alice? My name wasn’t Alice! I didn’t even particularly like the name Alice! Oh, well.
“Fine. Sam, what is the day?”
“What is today, the date?”
“It’s September the 22nd, of course. You knew that Miss Alice. It’s Mr’s Frodo’s and Bilbo’s birthday today!” Sam shook his head, laughing. “Wanted to give him a bit of a surprise, eh? Well never mind. He’ll be leaving tonight, no doubt. Take care!” And with that, Sam went back to his cutting.
I turned back to Frolijah. 22nd September! And I had the Ring! “You are going tonight, Frolijah, to your new home!”
“What did you call me?”
“Frolijah. You know . . . Oh, come on. Don’t you ever go to fan sites?”
“Oh. What do you mean new home?” I sighed. This was going to take some explaining, so I decided to simplify it.
“We are walking to the house you bought across the Brandywine. You are coming.”
“Wait . . . was that the part of the movie with the Black Riders?” He asked, eyes wide.
“I’m not going!”
“Fine! Then die, see if I care!” I half-yelled at him, irritated at his ignorance. “But first you have to move to your new house- this one is sold to the Sackville-Bagginses!”
Frolijah looked a me for a moment, stunned. I shoved the Ring in my pocket (trying not to think of what happened to Frodo in the books) and sat down. Frolijah backed away, stumbling into a chair, defeated after almost no trial.
“Okay, okay. Just let me get through this, and then do you promise to leave me?”
“But you are the Ring-Bearer!”
“Not any more I’m not. Have fun with the Ring Alice I will stay at this new home in peace.” I opened my mouth to protest, then changed my mind. This would be a very interesting year.