Frolijah – Part 8
Lost and Alone with No Way Home.
“Well,” Frolijah said. “Personally, I’m staying single. I mean I look for a lot in a girl. She has to be kind, intelligent, and beautiful. Internal and external, that is. She has to be the real and honest kind. Of course, on the more shallow side, I prefer dark hair. Accents are really cool – but I suppose just about everyone around here has one anyway.”
“How many girls do you know, Lij?” Pippin asked disbelieving. “I mean, I knew you travel quite a bit, but not that far.” We had left Bombadil and were now walking toward the north-gate of the Barrow-downs.
“I’m not sure,” answered Frolijah. “People say I’m charismatic, but I tend just to draw them to me. They always mention something about gorgeous blue eyes.”
“But Mr. Frodo,” Sam said, confused, “your eyes aren’t blue!”
“They aren’t?” Frolijah asked, lifting one eyebrow at me. He did that all the time now, ever since he found his Frodo body could. “Maybe it’s the cooking or movies, then. Who knows. Girls are a mystery.”
“Really,” I asked skeptically. “I would think that after number 100, you would understand us. Spent a little too much time collecting Star Wars junk and playing video games, have you? You spent too way little time on fencing.”
“How did you know that?” Frolijah asked. “I never told you.”
“What’s a video game?” Merry said.
“And Star Wars,” Pippin piped in. Frolijah gave me a `you’ve done it now’ look.
I ignored him. “Want to know more? You think Trekkies are strange – which I take offense at – first on-screen-though-cut kiss was in Flipper. You hate the movie Godzilla, like Batman, and throw candy at cars. You started acting when you were six, and got beat up for bossing people -”
“THANK you,” said Frolijah. “That’s enough. Have you been snooping in my files or something? I mean, almost no one knows about that last one.”
“You also have nightmares about that kid and snakes,” I said, rubbing it into his face. “I know all about you, Elwood. You started in commercials and modeling. You modeled!! Ahahahahaha!!! Oh, geez. I have the worst headache. Sorry, I guess I went a little hysterical there. Ignore me, please.”
But by that time, all the hobbits – Frolijah included – were staring at me in disbelief. I could hardly believe I went off on that tangent. Worst of all, I didn’t really care. Besides, he was wrong: `Plan 9 From Outer Space” was the worst movie ever made, not Godzilla. Sometimes, I felt like my head was going to burst from too much information. So his greatest (public) wish was to save the rainforests from mass destruction. Mine was to save myself from political propaganda. Actually, we might get along . . . But he bugged me.
“Man,” Frolijah said. “I need a smoke.”
I groaned. “If you even touch one of those nasty cigarettes, I’ll pull your lungs out before you ruin them, actor-boy.”
“It’s really none of your business.”
“It is if I have to smell it. Do you have any idea what’s in those things?” I was speaking quickly. Hopefully they wouldn’t try to stop my tangent. “My dad was a doctor. I know about those things. They use cyanide. That’s rat poison, Elwood. I just saw a murder mystery where – ”
“Please, Miss Alice,” Sam said in a kindly voice. “I know you aren’t feeling well, but we’ll get to Bree soon, then you can rest.” I nodded mutely. Sam turned to Frolijah. “Still, what’s a cigarette? And why are there wars in the stars?” Me and my big mouth. I deserved to eat fish. Bleech. No doubt Frolijah would like them.
Our going was very slow – they made me lead. I wonder very much what they were talking about that I couldn’t hear. I hope it wasn’t me – but eventually, I saw the gap in the hills where we could get out of the seemingly endless valley.
“Come on! Follow me!” I called back over my shoulder, and hurried forward. And stopped. And turned. And looked around. And wrote multiple sentence fragments all starting with “and.” They were gone! Fool of an Alice! “Sam, Merry, Pippin? Frodo? Where are you? I’m sorry, I . . oh, no. The Barrow Wights!”
It was getting cold. I love the cold; but not like this. My brain started to freeze. For the life of me, I couldn’t remember the book. Something about Barrow Wights, but the rest of my memory was just not there. I sat down, wondering what to do.
“Ho! Tom Bombadil, Tom Bombadillo!
By water, wood and hill, by the reed and willow,
By fire, sun and moon, hearken now and hear us!
Come, Tom Bombadil, for our need is near us!”
I looked up startled. Who had that been singing? A fine voice, but definitely not that of any of the hobbits. It was strange – almost humanly. “Hello?” I asked, standing up. “Is someone there?”
“Dang it, Nienna, I told you – no voice overs.”
“But it wasn’t going right! The book would have been messed up!”
“Aaah! You’re still on the speaker! Turn it off. Here, let me – ” Beeeep.
Then all was silent.
“`Lijah! You’re here, come on,” Dominic Monighan said, slapping Elijodo on the back. “Took you long enough! Who’s the chick?”
“The girl? Who called us,” said Billy Boyd. “Come on, don’t be stupid. Whoa, hello there,” he added, after being nearly turned into pumpkin goo by a rather over-excitable fan.
“OMG, u r Pip! ive always wanted 2 meet u!”
“Don’t mind her, blue eyes,” said a black-dyed-haired girl in an obviously fake accent. “She spends too much time on chat. Can I get your autograph”
Elijodo looked unsurely at Dom, Sean, and Billy as they handed out a few signatures while hauling the former-hobbit into the mall. “What was that all about?” he asked.
“You are sick, Elijah. What’s wrong?” asked Sean in his concerned `Sam’ voice. “Not turning Frodo on us, are you?”
“But I am Frodo . . . Underhill.”
“Right, we all know that one, Mr. Baggins,” Billy said, laughing. “So you want to get the Return of the King? About time you read the books after being Frodo.”
“Right,” said Elijodo. He was confused, but didn’t want to give himself away. “You’ve gotten my joke, I suppose. I only wish to find the book and return to Bag End – home.”
“You’re even speaking like a hobbit!” Sean said, “Come on, if it was those fans, they’re crazy.”
Elijodo followed them, dizzied by the swirling colors and lights. It was so unlike home here – so hostile and exotic. He wished nothing more than to return to the Shire. But then again, the Sackville-Bagginses already had Bag End. It was time to go on. But how to get back? Elijodo had never heard of “New York” and had no experience in cities. He relied wholly on Lea and these strange people who claimed to be his friends.
“What do you mean you don’t have it?” Dom asked, unbelieving, to the shop owner. “I thought they sold `Lord of the Rings’ everywhere?”
“We do, but there has been such a run because of the movie – say, do I know you?” The book shopkeeper squinted at the four of them.
“I do not believe we have met,” Elijodo said.
“I know who you are! You played Frodo! You guys are the hobbits! Oh, man, that is soo cool. Just wait until I tell my wife who I met! May I shake your hands? Awesome,” the fat, though young, man came out to shake each of their hands violently. “I am so happy to meet you. Was it nice in New Zealand?”
After a time, he got all of them laughing – including Elijodo who had very little idea just what he was laughing about. Sean showed him an action figure of him as Sam, holding a sword. Elijodo relaxed slightly. He suddenly felt very glad he had seen the movie.
I beg you all upon my father’s future grave (he isn’t dead yet) to comment!