Frolijah – part 11
More little oddities, in this world and the next.
Recap: Frolijah and Alice have met Strider in Bree. Elijodo is being tormented by the movie-hobbits who are forcing him to do ridiculous things and make a fool of himself. And he still can’t a copy of The Return of the King to read.
As you may remember, the last time I left you, I was laughing hysterically at Frolijah, who actually had the nerve to say “Elijah Bond.” I’m telling you this because, frankly, I don’t remember what happened next. I mean, I do – from what I remember of the book, though it all seems so different, somehow, in real life – but it’s not the same. I am told, that I was laughing so hard that I nearly threw up, and Strider – with the help of Sam – stuffed me in a bed and sat there until I laughed/ cried/ convulsed myself into sleep. I suppose Frolijah was convinced – or remembered – that Strider should come along; and Butterbur showed him the letter; (assuming Frolijah could not only speak, but now read Westron) and Merry had come back safely; and everything was fine. After all, the Nazgûl had already come. So why did I feel so awful?
I asked rhetorically.
“Honestly, Frolijah,” I hissed at him in an attempt not to wake the other sleeping hobbits. “I mean, chewing and spitting your fingernails is bad enough – but your toenails? I mean, how gross can you get! Anyway, I thought you had stopped – something about a New Year’s resolution.
When I said that, he did stop, no doubt to ask me just how much I knew about him, but Strider – who seemed to need no sleep – got there first: “Lady Alice, what do you mean by gross? I thought myself well-versed, but that word I have never before heard.”
“It means disgusting,” Frolijah answered. Profane, nasty, loathsome, nauseating, sickening. Gross.” What’d he do, swallow a thesaurus?
“One Gross is also 144,” I added helpfully – “but it’s considered a rather vulgar term when referring to people.”
“What does a gross have anything to do with gross?” Frolijah asked, `innocently.’
“Nothing, that’s the point.”
“I must agree with Lady Alice,” Strider said thoughtfully, as if he had not just heard our rather pointless bout. “That is . . . `gross’ as you put it. Especially after walking barefoot all day.” Frolijah glared at him. “I do not mean any offense! But that is a habit I had not before seen in the hobbit folk!”
“Well, mate, that’s cause – ” he broke off, then started anew, stifling a long-suffering sigh. “I’m practicing for flexibility. I can’t actually do it yet – I used to – and it’s a good trick to get yourself in shape.”
“Right . . .” I added slowly. Strider looked questioningly at me. “Oh, yes – it’s taught very early on as a good tool for learning?” He didn’t notice my punctuation. Probably because I said it out loud.
“I see,” he answered, “please excuse me; I have some things to attend to.” With that, the ranger stalked out the door, looking around carefully before slipping out.
“At least you’ve given up swearing,” I told Frolijah, rolling my eyes. “Now that was a nasty habit.”
“Oh –!” Frolijah stopped abruptly, then tried again. “That’s what you think, you — !”
“Er, is something wrong?”
He glared at me. “Shut up, — !”
“Are you going to say it, or just mock me?” I taunted him, more playfully than cruelly this time.
“I can’t!” Frolijah exclaimed in response. “I’m trying to, I swear! But the — — just won’t — come out! — it!”
“Oh. Weird.” I answered. “Honestly? Maybe it’s some sort of bizarre Tolkien thing.”
“Right,” he said. Then paused a moment, biting his lip – something I had never before seen him do. “Why are we even here, for that matter?”
“Huh? Look, if this is one of those `why do I exist’ things – ”
“No! I’m serious. I mean, how could we possibly get here? It’s not natural! Me being in this body – and you in that – and I can’t even say certain things, and I think differently – and I think I’m losing my mind!!”
“Calm down, Frodo!” I exclaimed; “You’re making me itchy about it too. All I know is – ”
“Yes?” he asked, eagerly, a strange glint in his eye.
“I don’t know; it was nothing.” I ended lamely. Why didn’t I want to tell him about the `voice over’ or whatever it was I had heard? I mean, he might think me crazy – he would be the first – but, but . . . well, he had the Ring and all, and it just wasn’t fair! I mean, I know we were stuck in it together, but that didn’t mean I had to tell him anything!! He had stolen It from me! “I was just wondering also. How did we get here?”
The next few hours we both stayed awake – until Strider came back – and – I know this is bizarre – but that was probably the first good time I ever had in Frolijah’s company. The next would no doubt be long in coming. We spent the entire time making up ridiculous ways we could have gotten to Middle Earth.
“Oh! I know – an advanced alien species wanted to study how humans worked in different places, to adapt and so on, so they put us here?”*
“Yeah, but why even bother? I mean, like, just put us in Japan, or something.”
“Fine, I see your point.”
“Wait! I have one – what if we had a special magical field around us that interacted with Middle Earth’s and tore us over there?”
“How can we speak the lingo then, explain that one!”
“I don’t know! Maybe – no, well I did say it was magical, didn’t I?”
“But magic doesn’t exist in our world, just this one.”
“You have a better idea? Like aliens?”
“Like the alien one?”
“Hey! That was a good one. No – I know! What if we – uh – I know! What if we were sent here because scientists on Earth were curious and wanted to learn more – without us pushing things!”
“With our technology? We’re not that advanced – how exactly are they going to do that? With quantum?”
“What’s quantum? I mean, I heard of it and all, but have no real clue what it is.”
“Um, a tiny piece of energy? I don’t know!”
“Then why did you bring it up?”
“Okay – just how much do you know about physics?”
“Maybe it’s a secret conspiracy.”
“What, in America? I didn’t think there was any such thing. I don’t know about you, but stuff isn’t that secret any more.”
“Well, yes, but that’s not the point.”
“Anyway, who said they had to be American scientists?”
“We were in New York.”
“So! It could be the . . . the Middle Earth people! Or New Zealanders or something! I know, the (fill in a country that you think could do that here.)”
“Yes, but why? And how could Middle Earth know about quantum either?”
“I don’t know! Maybe they used magic and our scientists used the quantum!”
“Little small energy particles? I don’t see how that gets us anywhere.”
“The funny farm maybe.”
“With trees and flowers and chirping birds? And basket weavers who sit and smile and twiddle their thumbs and toes – “**
“And their coming to take me away, ha, ha! Right, gottcha.”
“Uh, huh. Nut house.”
“That’s the name of a movie.”
“Maybe that’s where we are!”
“Where? You mean the two of us could be locked away in some padded room?”
“To the happy home!”
“Where life is beautiful all day long!”
“And I’ll be happy to see those nice young men in their clean white coats!”
“And they’re coming to take me away, ha, ha!”
“You know, I never thought nuttiness would be so interesting.”
“Maybe we’re just driving ourselves crazy – and we’re not!”
“Don’t go Brittany Spears on me! Can’t stand her! Wait, do you mean quantum really did get us here?”
“Hey, it’s always possible . . .”
Elijodo wasn’t drunk. He probably would have been gladder if he had been, because everyone else was – and some things are better not to do sober. Curse that drink – coffee, had it been called?
“Excuse me,” Elijodo said a little timidly. “I must go back home – or at least back.”
“Dude,” said one reveler jauntily. “You are joking, man. We’ve just started!”
“No, I think I am quite finished. Farewell until next time.”
“As you wish, oh great king, sir,” he answered. Elijodo wondered at this, for it seemed the man’s attitude and manner of speech had changed entirely since he had had that foul-tasting beer. “You used to be more fun.”
“I agree,” said Lea, eager to get out. She wasn’t nearly as stiff as her sister, but the woman was getting tired, and crankiness on too little sleep seemed to run in the family. Speaking of her sister, she hadn’t shown. Lea was going to met her after the woman’s interview with Elijah Wood, but her sister hadn’t shown. Lea hadn’t heard her since, in fact. “Let’s go.”
The two of them climbed in the car and returned to Wood’s flat. There were no body guards – Wood had never even hired them for “Alice” in the first place. They had actually been two of his friends with a rather odd sense of humour – in fact the area leading to his flat was all but empty. Yet Elijodo didn’t care about any of that. He just wanted to go home! This wasn’t anything like the adventure he had planned, and less like the ones Bilbo had had! What was he doing here? How could he have gotten to this strange land? It could have been some strange kind of magic, yes. But what evil force would have sent him here?
“Lea,” Elijodo said finally, turning to her. “I need to speak with you; I’m not who you think I am.”
“You’re Elijah Wood! Don’t try anything funny on me unless you want to be sent to the nut house or something.”
“No,” he said quietly. “I am not. I’m really Frodo Baggins. No! Let me speak. Listen to me closely; I can only hope you will understand – for I do not! I do not know what is going on. After Bilbo’s birthday party – and mine – I had the Ring for sixteen years. Then, on the very day of my fiftieth birthday, I found myself here. I don’t now what is going on. This ring,” he held up the gold band, “is not the right one. Lea, I need it! Who knows what will happen! I do not trust that strange . . . movie . . . That you showed me. I must have you’re help – for all of Middle Earth, and especially the Shire!”
Lea looked at him pityingly. She had not been quite as much of a Tolkien fan as her sister, nor had she written the Tolkien fan-fictions. Lea didn’t know some parts as well, perhaps, but still, the woman had worked her way through the books. What if . . . well, it was always possible. And there were, after all, things Elijah Wood couldn’t possibly have known!
“Say something in Elvish for me,” she whispered. “Something not in the movie.”
Elijodo looked at her curiously, then said: Ve lisse lótse surië melda Anar.***
*Okay, near the end of Frolijah, I didn’t have who said each thing, because it wasn’t really important. I don’t know myself – the important thing is the flow, if you follow me. If any of you didn’t like that, feel free to tell me!
** The song excerpts are from “They’re Coming to Take Me Away, ha, ha.”
*** I found that Elvish somewhere else – can’t recall where, maybe in Mushrooms – but I wrote it down. As a sweet, small flower seeks the beautiful sun.
Hey, if you’re there, please comment – I hope I didn’t loose anyone in the move from humour to stories! In any case, here are the addresses:
Part 1: https://www.theonering.com/docs/9902.html
Part 2: https://www.theonering.com/docs/10143.html
Part 3: https://www.theonering.com/docs/10355.html
Part 4: https://www.theonering.com/docs/10482.html
Part 5: https://www.theonering.com/docs/10757.html
Part 6: https://www.theonering.com/docs/10954.html
Part 7: https://www.theonering.com/docs/11150.html
Part 8: https://www.theonering.com/docs/11304.html
Part 9: https://www.theonering.com/docs/11439.html
Part 10: https://www.theonering.com/docs/11595.html
This part is dedicated to Ms “Samwise” who was so kind as to give me some Elijah Wood information!