Frolijah – part 15
Of TV and mushrooms, and their effects on the human – and hobbit – mind.
We plodded on. Plod. You know, plod is a funny word. Not funny `ha, ha,’ more like funny weird. I looked it up once, the exact definition is:
plod (plod), v., plodded, plodding, n.
- to walk heavily or move laboriously; trudge: to plod under the weight of a burden.
- to proceed in a tediously slow manner: The play just plodded along in the second act. When Alice was dragged in to be tortured . . . no that wasn’t in the original definition. But it’s true! I mean, this one school play back in fifth grade . . . oh, sorry, I’m getting off subject.
- to work with constant and monotonous perseverance; drudge.
- The Act of Tormented fictional people inside of fan fiction.
Well, that’s all well and good, but the synonyms of plod are more accurate to my situation: slave, toil, grub, grind, slog, drudge, and trudge.
So, I not only plodded, I slaved, toiled, grubbed, grinded, slogged, drudged and trudged across dry land for the sole reason that it would allow me to suffer even more later on when I actually had to climb up Weathertop. At least Frolijah didn’t look happy anymore either.
Anyway, it was 5th October, and we had been walking for six centuries. I mean days. Right. In any case, we had come to a path. It was one of those places that, while easy to follow when on, had the appearance of nonexistence to any who attempted to look upon it from the outside. It dived into dells and hugged the steep banks. When we came to a point where we were on flat land (yeah!) the path was surrounded by large rocks and boulders that hid us as well as a hedge. They were also, I soon noticed, pleasant to lean up against or let my hand run along while walking. It kept me occupied, while the others talked.
“I wonder who made this path, and what for,” Merry said to the others, at a point where the rocks were especially high. “I am not sure that I like it: it has a – well, rather a barrow-wightish look. Is there any barrow on Weathertop?” I rolled my eyes and kicked a stone. Who cared? I just wanted to sit down.
“No. There is no barrow on Weathertop, nor on any of these hills,” answered Strider, glancing at me. “The Men of the West did not live here; though in their latter days they defended the hills for a while against the evil that came out of Angmar. This path was made to serve the forts along the walls. But long before, in the first days of the North Kingdom, they build a great watch tower on Weathertop, Amon Sûl they called it. It was burned and broken, and nothing remains of it now but a tumbled ring, like a rough crown on the old hill’s head. Yet once it was tall and fair. It is told that Elendil stood there watchingfor the coming of Gil-galad out of the West, in the days of the Last Alliance.”
The hobbits gazed at Strider. The name Gil-galad had awoken me from my stupor, and I was desperately trying to remember everything I could from the Unofficial TLOTR movie script. There was something funny about Gil-galad, but I couldn’t quite remember what.
“Who was Gil-galad?” asked Merry, and Sam answered him:
“Gil-galad was an Elven-king.
Of him the harpers sadly sing:
the last whose realm was fair and free
between the Mountains and the Sea.
His sword was long, his lance was keen,
his shining helm afar was seen;
the countless stars of heaven’s fild
were mirrored in his silver shield.
But long ago he rode away,
and where he dwelleth none can say;
for into darkness fell his star
in Mordor where the shadows are.”
While the others stared at Sam in amazement, I groaned. Why did everyone in Middle-earth have to sing? Was it some kind of disease? Did they just get these impulses?
“No!” cried Merry, “don’t stop!”
“That’s all I know,” stammered Sam, blushing. “I learned it from Mr. Bilbo when I was a lad. He used to tell me tales like that, knowing how I was always one for hearing about Elves. It was Mr. Bilbo as taught me my letters. He was mighty book-learned was dear old Bilbo. And he wrote poetry. He wrote what I have just said.
So Bilbo was the culprit! Well, I would see him soon enough, come Rivendell! Well, not soon enough, but eventually, anyway. Ha! See how much he liked poetry then!
“He did not make it up,” said Strider. “It is part of the lay that is called The Fall of Gil-galad, which is in an ancient tongue. Bilbo must hav translated it. I never knew that.”
Dang. Old poetry was a hard enemy.
“There was a lot more,” said Sam, “all about Mordor. I didn’t learn that part, it gave me the shivers. I never thought I should be going that way myself!”
“Going to Mordor!” cried Pippin. “I hope it won’t come to that!”
“Do not speak that name so loudly!” said Strider.
“Oh for heaven sakes, man,” I burst out, still tired and annoyed that we hadn’t stopped walking along some boring road. “It’s just a name. What’s in a name? And you’d better not go Shakespere on me!” All the music, the singing! It was intolerable! At least there wasn’t background music. I shook my fist at the sky. “And don’t you dare even start!”
The sky looked a bit bashful (is that possible?), while the others stared at me. I stomped ahead of them. Wretched people in a wretched place making me walk along a wretched road. ——-! Ach! Arg! and Urg! I paused a moment to wonder why the sky had looked bashful. Maybe that was who had taken the last of my chocolate last month. No, wait . . .
Around noon, we finally made it to Weathertop. While it was nice, bright, hot and miserable, and I was already tired, we – meaning not me – decided to climb to the top of Weathertop. Stupids. You know, if they would listen to me for a change as much as the author listens to her beta, this wouldn’t be a problem. We’d just sit around and watch Frolijah drive himself crazy. It was not only tiring, but extremely boring, until –
“Mushrooms?” Strider looked at Frolijah, shaking his head. “This place hasn’t supported life like mushrooms in years . . .” he trailed off, looking to where Frolijah held several Death Angels among his edible mushrooms. I felt an urge to tell him to eat up . . .
“I know these are poisonous,” Frolijah said, dropping the Angels. Dang. I mean, no, I’m a nice compassionate person.
But boy did he get on my nerves.
“But the others should be fine.” He looked at them eagerly, and with a strange, yet somehow cliche, glint in his eyes. “Absolutely fine to eat. Nothing wrong with them, oh no.”
“Frodo?” I said, “Maybe you shouldn’t.”
“Mr. Frodo, sir, the others are waiting for us on top.” I looked at Sam, and then back to Frolijah. Already? That much time hadn’t even passed.
“Well, Sam, maybe we could just try the mushrooms . . .” I suggested. What was I doing? Well, they did look good. Maybe Frolijah was right. “They do look good, and I’m starving.” Sam looked at me oddly, possibly because I had earlier hated the roots. He started toward Frolijah, who just threw me a mushroom, and we started walking up Weathertop together, eating and laughing. Sam walked behind us, looking confused.
Those were some mushrooms. They weren’t drugged, if that’s what you’re thinking, in fact, I have no idea what they were. We were all tired and I felt odd, that’s what it must have been. Anyway, Frolijah was being nice, which was an improvement. And he kept eating the mushrooms, occasionally saying: “Mmm, mushrooms. Rooms. Mush. Shooms. Shrooms. Mush-rooms.”
A short couple minutes later, we were at the top, and I felt quite normal again, though Frolijah keep eating the mushrooms. And eating. And eating until he looked a bit green. I wondered where he had found all of them.
Time passed, and this part of the story progressed to get longer, until nightfall came and we were all huddled, cold and hungry in a cave on one side of the hill. Well, I was cold and hungry, Frolijah got to be right next to the fire that Sam said was sure to signal the Black Riders. He blocked the heat. Hmpf. Maybe if I pushed him . . . Frolijah didn’t seem to mind the cold anyway, he just kept asking Strider if he could get more mushrooms.
Strider said no.
Frolijah said Mushrooms. Mush-rooms. Rooms. Shrooms. Mush-rooms.
I felt a little sick. Of mushrooms. Of sentence fragments. Of Frolijah. Of one line paragraphs. Of –
Suddenly, Frolijah sprang to his feet as only a mushroom-driven, hyper hobbit-actor can do. “Did you see that?” he asked excitedly.
“No sir,” answered Sam. “I saw nothing, but I didn’t look.”
“I saw something,” said Merry; “or I thought I did – away westwards where the moonlight was falling on the flats beyond the shadow of the hill-tops, I thought there were two or three black shapes. They seemed to be moving this way.”
“Keep close to the fire, with your faces outward!” cried Strider. “Get some of the longer sticks ready in your hands!”
For a time that may have been any time or none, he crouched there, my legs quickly going numb under the weight of my body. I could just imagine the pins and needles that were to come. Frolijah gave me a lopsided grin.
“And again . . .” he said. I think he meant that the Riders were after us again, but considering his condition, it may have just been a random comment.
“Hush!” whispered Strider. “What’s that?” gasped Pippin at the same moment.
And then they came.
Three or four tall black (but NOT handsome) figures stood on the slope above us, looking down. They felt like . . . well, like I’ve always imagined a black hole: there was nothing behind those sightless holes of eyes but more darkness.
I was terrified. Frolijah grinned. But to my surprise – through the horror, even I could still feel surprise – it was not the grin of panic, but that of one who thinks he has stumbled into a dream, so it may as well be funny. Suddenly, as I could feel the darkness come closer still, Frolijah jumped up and ran outside our little circle.
I came after him, stupid as I am, and tried to grab a hold of his shirt. But he tripped. Of all the times! Right at the foot of one of the Black Riders. “O Elbereth! Gilthoniel!” I cried, more as an exclamation that I had used even back on earth than to shield away the wraiths. “Oh —–! Not again!!”
But Frolijah wasn’t listening, he just slipped on the Ring . . .
. . . And came to his senses, screaming “She pushed me, she aaaaahhh–! . . .” and then was abruptly cut off, I stepped forward, forgetting the Riders for a moment, and tripped over Frolijah’s body. Later, I found out that Strider found us only a few minutes later, me lying cold over an invisible body; Frolijah barely conscious. But right then, all my cold and dying brain could think was: They stabbed both of us. And with me, they didn’t miss. . . .
“Why Fan Fiction Writing Should Be Banned”
~A totally serious essay by a fictional character
“See,” she said, “this is the way to do it. I’m being reasonable and rational, but letting people know also that the writer who has been telling stories about us has absolutely no right to do so.”
Elijodo looked at her questioningly, but didn’t say anything, instead, he read as Lea wrote. He then clicked on the link that lead him here.
Note: click on that link if you want to read Lea’s essay!
There is a point when you are neither truly asleep nor awake; you are neither dark nor light. Perhaps a lamp gleams dimly on the edge of your conscience, but you do not recognize its presence. You are elsewhere, and aware only of what is nowhere but inside your own mind.