Frolijah — Part 13
An unlucky number + an part 13 = midges . . .
Disclaimer: I “own” Alice and Lea. The rest are real people in our continuum or that of Tolkien. Slavery is outlawed, I believe, so even my characters are only partly mine. Sigh. Life is hard for a writer.
“I’m being eaten alive “
“‘Drinken’ isn’t a word. It should be `drunk.'”
“I’m being drunken alive.”
“You have a very odd sense of humour.”
“Um, thank you?”
“Not really. It’s still just `drunk.'”
Strider was really a good guide. We had seen no one following us, and had been making pretty good time for a bunch of hobbits guided by Mr. Rugged. I didn’t care. There was no excuse — absolutely none — for leading us through midgewater. Even if it did happen in the book. In Pippins words, there were more midges than water. I repeated this several times, while Frolijah rolled his eyes in growing irritation.
“You know,” he said. “I think that if we walk through here long enough, then we’ll all die.”
“Well yes,” I retorted. “I imagine we’d run out of food.”
“I think he means we’d be eaten alive,” put in Merry. “By the midges. Well, eventually, in any case.”
“Oh,” I said, taken aback. “That’s what you mean. Um, how?” They were just bugs, for heaven sakes Well, flying things with teeth, at the least.
“Couldn’t they just suck out all of our blood? I saw that on a show once. Maybe – um, never mind.”
“What was it?” Sam asked, not noticing my panic. Frolijah did, however, and he said no more about it. Sam saw he wasn’t going to get an answer, so changed the subject back: “I wonder what they eat when they can’t get hobbit,” he said helpfully, scratching the back of his neck.
“I think we would live if all of them bit us,” said Pippin. “But I don’t want to try.”
“We could work it out mathematically,” I suggested.
“What? How?” Frolijah slapped off yet another midge. I took momentary glee in the decrease of midge population, before I remember that another hundred had probably just spawned. Goody.
“Well,” I said, because I could, and that was as fine as a reason as any other I had. Except that I was in an unusually good mood. I mean, I was already so pink and bloated from thousand of midge bites, the rest couldn’t possibly eat me much more. Yes, I know that was odd — but I take those rare, well-tempered moments when I can get them. “We can calculate how much they can drink from each of us, then extrapolate how much blood our bodies produce with how much we can lose before we die.”
“How in the Shire can we get those numbers?”
“There are about 24,000,000 midges in a hectare of ground here,” said Sam, to the surprise of us all. When had he learned that?
“Okay,” Ahh Bad, non-Middle-earthy slang Must stop “If a midge considers 1/10,000,000 of a liter of blood a good meal, and there are about 24 million of them — and we travel one hectare a day for two days – “
“That’s 48 million midges so far at one ten millionth of a liter each,” said Pippin, who had a surprisingly good head for math. “How much is a liter?”
“Don’t know, I’ve never worked with them — Frodo?” he shrugged.
“Um, not much. Wait, I think there are .88 quarts per liter. And don’t ask me how much a quart is either “
“Your calculations are incorrect,” Strider informed me calmly, showing up somewhere on my right.
“We have actually traveled rather less than one hectare a day,” he answered.
“Hmphf. Tough bunnies, I’m using it anyway.”
“Tough bunnies?” Pippin asked incredulously. “I have never heard that expression before. Why would a bunny be tough?”
“I think that’s the point, Pip,” Merry answered. I rolled my eyes. Who cared?
“So each of us loses about 2.4 liters of blood — or 2.73 quarts?”
“So — shouldn’t we be dead already?” Frolijah asked. “If hobbits have maybe 4 quarts in them?”
“Well, that’s only if all of them could get us B which I doubt.”
“Knock, knock, Alice. That’s a lot of blood.” Frolijah made a `knocking’ motion by my head. “Who’s there?”
“Yeah — but Alice who?”
“Alice N. Tew if you listen to me. No, really Frodo — “
“That was a terrible joke.”
“You have a better one?”
Well, you can guess that it went down hill from there. Frolijah kept arguing that his ending to the joke was better than mine (I’m Alice chased by Black Riders) which I thought was absolutely ridiculous. You decide with was better — well, at least not as bad. Sometimes I think that might be more accurate . . . and then —
“Will you two please stop bickering?” Sam asked. ANo offense, Mr. Frodo sir, but you haven’t been yourself lately — and neither has Miss Alice — but I’m getting a headache.”
“Same here,” said Merry.
“And here,” added Pippin. Strider didn’t say anything, but smiled to himself. Arrogant little ——! Wait, I can’t even swear in my own story? There’s something wrong with this. I was going to say `ranger,’ I promise . . .
“Sorry about that,” Frolijah said. “My feet have goo on them,” he added in an undertone to me. Yeah, as if it were my fault.
In stories (well, many stories. Unfortunately for those in it, not this one) the heroes either a) know exactly what they are doing, b) haven’t a clue, but it works out anyway, c) do things differently than in the stories they have read, or d) all of the above. Don’t ask how that works, trust me.
My point, is that none of these things were happening with Lea right at that moment. She had decided to take a . . . well, let’s just say an interesting approach. As in, messing with Frodo by showing him the one truly unique part of the 21st century which consisted half of lies, half of truth, and half of the infamous half-truth. Yes, I know that’s too many halves. In hyperspace, those things happened. Uh, huh, that’s right: Lea began to introduce Elijodo to [please cue dramatic music composed by John Williams in his “Kazoos are good” phase] the Internet.
In science, this is known as the “Really Stupid Method,” or RSM for short. (Which also stood for Real Smart Mouths, but that was in the mother district, not the science one. You may also know it as the dRowning SuperMan if you are into swimming.) The best thing to do, in most circumstances such as this one, would not be to show Frodo–
“I do not think of Sam that way ” Elijodo exclaimed. AThat’s disgusting The folk of the Shire are honorable and good What Rosie would think, I don’t know . . . why?”
“You get the easy side of it,” Lea answered. AHave you seen what they do to Legolas? I mean, slash is bad, but really . . .”
“Yes, slash. All those . . . original pairings, they are called `slash.’ But there is an even worse demon than the slash one.”
“A worse one? How is this possible?”
“Ah, I see you have not met the shockingly vile Mary-Sue yet. The badly written ones, that is. I’ve read a couple good ones on Tolkienonline. But there are a few–no, you’d better see for yourself.”
“Yes, I’ll see this new sickness in a moment. But I need to know–do your people really think of me like that? Like . . . and Elrohir and Elladan, and Legolas/ Gimli, Merry/ Pippin, and, and . . .”
“I don’t. It’s wrong. But that’s not why we’re here–I just thought there might be something on the internet that might be of use to us.” Lea scrolled down, trying to ignore the horrified looks Elijodo was still giving the screen. Of all the sites . . .
“But how did it all get started? I mean, certainly there was nothing in the books I saw . . . how did people draw the conclusion? And all the stuff about me being a `wimp’–whatever that is–and hobbits being weak, and all these perfect girls that keep popping up somehow “
“Ah, so you have read the Mary-Sue.”
“That is their name? I see.” Elijodo pondered this for a moment, before adding: “How can you have red hair that is somehow also brown, golden, purple and black?”
“Um . . .”
“And why do I fall in love with someone with such a disgusting hair color?”
“Er . . .”
“Who has a bad temper, used impolite language, and calls me “Frodi-boy?”
“Well . . .”
“And has so much hair it’s a wonder her neck doesn’t break.”
“You see . . .”
“And is very cruel to us all?”
“I don’t know . . .”
“And somehow seduces all of the Fellowship except Gimli, including Boromir who suddenly turned evil?”
“That’s a good question.”
Elijodo gazed at Lea with baleful eyes, wishing he could understand this strange world — and what it had done to him. An honorable hobbit, performing a task that no other could, put down and disgraced in the most despicable manner. What was Middle-earth coming to? Lea didn’t want to know.
I do imagine what you’ve read is not the best quality, there are several very good stories — hey ” Lea quickly covered Elijodo’s eyes with her hand, clicking the `Back’ button. Thank goodness he hadn’t read that. What was the likelihood he would have found that story of all of them? Really . . . Lea removed her hand and attempted to concentrate on finding a way back for Elijodo again.
On what might have been some kind of odd instinct, or perhaps a fate placed there by the Universal Laws of Irony, Lea typed in “How do I get to Middle-earth?” There was only one link. It was coloured purple as if someone had already accessed it on that computer. How odd. Ignoring the oddity of it, Lea clicked . . .
Well, there you have it. Please do review. Lady Coralie has asked me whether this should be entirely in the humour or story section (not half and half ) I said I’d ask you readers. Majority wins