Rain. Wet rain. The kind of rain that will dampen anybody’s spirits. Aragorn let out a long, depressed sigh. It had been raining for four days straight. There was nothing to do, either. He had beaten Gimli in chess, checkers, and Candy Land seven times each; Legolas had dug his nose into a book entitled “The Idiot’s Guide to Mortals”; Gandalf was busy writing his newest debate against Harry Potter; Frodo was already sooo depressed; Sam was always making cookies; Pippin and Merry were engulfed in studying for their final exam in Elvish on Monday; Boromir was constantly talking about that stupid new movie, “Star Wars”; and Arwen was working Real Estate. Then, Theoden, Eomer, and Eowyn had all been busy with the “The Brethren of Rohan Lodge”, which was nice, but rather crowded. Besides, they had too much horseplay for Aragorn’s liking. Yes, today was going to be very boring…again.
At least that’s what Aragorn thought. After they had finished breakfast, everyone started going back to their boring ways. Gandalf got onto his lap-top and began typing out a speech, Legolas grabbed his book, Gimli turned on Sonic the Hedgehog, Frodo slumped out on the recliner and griped, Boromir stared at his posters of Padme, and Arwen gave Aragorn a quick peck of a kiss as she shot through the door. ” I’ve got somebody interested in that old Victorian; I’ll try to be back by ten. Kay? Bye, sweetie!” SLAM!
Silence reigned over the house. Aragorn slowly counted down the seconds. He soon found himself at numbers with more syllables than “Mississippi”. Just then, a noise echoed in his ears. “THUD!”
He turned to face Pippin and Merry, who had slammed their pencils down. Merry looked at everyone.”I don’t know about any of you, but I’m fed up with studying! Aren’t we going to do anything? It IS a Friday, you know.”
” What would you like to do?” asked Sam, who was washing the morning’s silverware.
” I want to see a movie!” shouted Boromir. Nobody needed to ask what movie.
” We could go to Toys R Us and get that awesome video game by EA,” suggested Gimli.
” I don’t want to do anything! I like rain!” Frodo pushed his lip out and began pouting.
” For goodness sake no! I can’t stand sitting around here anymore!” Aragorn exclaimed.
At Aragorn’s shout, Legolas’s head came up.
” Oh yeah, I forgot to tell you. We got a letter three days ago with some free invitation to the roller-rink is today,” he said. ” We could drop by there and skate around for a while, if you want. I guess it’s quite a hobby for you mortals.”
“OH YES!!!” shouted Pippin and Merry in unison.”The Snack Bar has really good hot-dogs!”
Everyone else agreed as well. It sounded pretty fun, kind of. Aragorn was especially anxious, for this was his first time ever at roller-skating. He watched with envy as Legolas and Boromir pulled out fancy skates of their own. Legolas even had roller-blades. Aragorn would have to rent his skates at the rink. But then again, so would everyone else, so he didn’t feel too bad. Not too much, anyway.
Merry, meanwhile, had just ran through the door with a hammer, meeting Pippin in the kitchen with a piggy bank.
“Well, we’ve definitely saved this for a rainy day,” Merry chirped.” Here let me hit it.”
“No! I want to smash it! It’s my piggy-bank,” Pippin recoiled and hugged the piggy-bank closely.
“Yes, but who’s money is in it? ” Merry pulled the bank out of Pippin’s hug over to himself.
“I contributed three cents!” objected Pippin, who tugged the ceramic piglet back.
“Would you two just shut-up!” Boromir hollered. “I’ll pay the fees as long as you two are quiet!”
Pippin and Merry both bounced with glee, deciding that this was fair enough. They ran off, calculating how many hot-dogs they would each eat.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
“You’re going where!?!”, the voice of Arwen nearly blared Aragorn’s ear-drums out. He held the cell-phone farther away from his face. ” The guys and I are all going down to the roller-rink for the day, dear. We’ll be back by around three or so.” Another loud wave of disapproval rang though the phone. Aragorn used his most soothing voice, in hopes of calming her down. ” I know, I know; but just because I’ve never been skating before doesn’t mean I can’t go, though.” Anticipating it this time, Aragorn quickly held the phone away from him just in time to dodge another withering scolding.
“Boy, I’m sure glad I’m not engaged to Arwen,” muttered Legolas, who was driving his silver Jaguar down the highway. He turned up the volume on the car’s stereo. Frodo, who was sitting in the back, giggled. Aragorn frowned at them, but said nothing; he was too busy trying to get Arwen to pipe down. ” Yeah, I promise… Uh-huh… When I get back, we’ll go out somewhere… Where? I don’t care; wherever you would like, sweetest… Uh-huh… The Olive Garden?” Aragorn pulled out his wallet and stared at his scant sum and gulped ” Okay, if that’s what you want… No, no! That’s fine with me… Yup… Uh-huh… Kay, see you then. Bye!”
Aragorn, leaving no margin for a reply, pushed the “end” button quickly and turned off the cell-phone. Frodo snickered a bit. Legolas did his best to hold the smile growing on his face. Aragorn scowled at them both. ” What? And I suppose you two could have done better!” They could no longer contain themselves and both burst out laughing. Watching Aragorn sap-up to Arwen was a real kick. ” Just wait until you’re in these shoes, and then we’ll see who’s laughing,” Aragorn retorted. Legolas laughed. “Yeah, like that will happen. We may be handsome devils, but we aren’t stupid. Right Frodo? Frodo???” Aragorn and Legolas glanced to the back seat, where they saw Frodo making puppy-dog faces to the girl driving next to them. Aragorn smirked at Legolas. “Alright, alright,” the Elf sighed, “Disregard the usage of “we” in my statement.”
Meanwhile, in the other vehicle, Pippin, Merry, Gandalf, Boromir, and Sam sat in perfect silence. Then, finally, Boromir, who was cramped into the back of the van, spoke: ” Sam, where are we going? I don’t see Legolas’ Jaguar anywhere. Are you sure we’re going the right way?” Sam gave a unconcerned shrug. “I don’t know. Can’t see over the steering wheel.” ….
To make a long story short, they finally all made it to the Roller Rink… there were a few interesting happenings along the way, such as how Sam was driving in the wrong lane, going eighty-five miles per hour, and headed towards the province of Quebec, but as I said, that could make the story long. In the end they all met at the Roller Rink, and the true fun of the story just started to begin.
As the fellowship began to enter the roller rink, named “Flames and Games” ( a pair of balrogs ran the place) , Aragorn began to get nervous. He had never skated before, in all his extended Númenorean life! Out of a nervous habit, he began popping his fingers. Boromir stared at him. ” Dunedain are so weird. What the heck is your problem? We’re going into a roller rink, not the pit of Mt. Doom!” Aragorn persisted his popping.
Pippin came over. ” Strider! Stop that noise!”
“I know, it sounds disgusting,” said Boromir.
” No, that’s not it,” said Pippin. “It reminds my empty stomach of popcorn.” Boromir slapped his forehead.
The goblin at the ticket booth handed the nine companions their tickets at last, and they entered the rink. Giggling elf maidens, nerdy little halflings, and hulky Uruk-hai all were whiling across the floor. Aragorn stared in amazement at their skill and grace. Sam looked at Gandalf, worried. ” Looks like they already stared skating. I hope we’re not too late for the Hokey-Pokey.”
Gandalf looked down at the hobbits. ” A wizard is never late, nor is he early. He arrives precisely when he means to.”
While Legolas and Boromir put on their own skates, the other seven went to the rental stand. Frodo gasped in disbelief. For who other than Bilbo should come bustling up from inside the rental booth to assist them! ” Come on, come here! Welcome, welcome! I’m afraid you’ve caught me a bit unprepared. Let’s see here; here’s a pair for you and you and you and you and you and you. And here Galdalf, I’ve got a pair of old Wineyards left! 1296; very good year!” He turned to Frodo. ” Here, my old skates, Stings” he pulled out shiny silver skates, obviously Elven blades ” Made by the elves, you know. They glow blue when you’re about to fall.” Frodo at last threw off his frown and smiled, delighted with his gift. He held the Stings up so he could look at them glinting in the light. He was ready for anything, now.
Everyone strapped on their skates and then the Fellowship split up. Boromir went off searching for babes; Frodo and Sam cautiously edged their way into the mainstream crowd of skaters in the rink, and Pippin and Merry zoomed off to the Snack Bar. Gimli pulled out a gigantic sac of quarters and rolled his way over to the arcade corner. Gandalf caught sight of Harry Potter, and, in a rage of fury, made after the little snipe as fast as the old Wineyards would take him.
” Guess that leaves you and me, Aragorn,” said Legolas. Just then, the doors swung open and in roared thirty raging Uruk-hai with the white hand of Saruman imprinted on their blades. They were mean, vicious, slobbering, hulky, muscular, rowdy, and not a sight for sore eyes. Legolas gulped. ” Say, I’d better go check on Frodo. Wouldn’t want anything to happen to him, would we? Heh-heh… See you, Aragorn!” Legolas zipped into the mass of skaters quicker than an arrow from the string. Now it was Aragorn’s turn to get nervous.
” Hey! You, puny man!” one of the Uruks caught sight of the trembling ranger. “Y-y-y-y-yes?” said Aragorn, nearly falling over as he attempted to stand up from his seat. The orcs snickered. “Have you seen any… uh… what was the word, boss?”
“Halflings!” snarled a large Uruk who pushed his way to the head of the crowd. “Halflings! They are small, adorable, and have fuzzy feet.” He grabbed Aragorn by the cuff of his tunic, and pulled the mortal’s face mere inches to his own. ” I am Ugluk; I am a fighting Uruk-hai! What say you, stupid North-man?”
“I-I-I-I th-think he might know,” stuttered Aragorn, pointing out Boromir. The hunk of a Gondorian was trying to hit on some Elvish dame, and was far from succeeding. Ugluk sneered contemptuously. ” Thanks,” he growled at Aragorn, then turned to his rabble. “Lurtz! You are second only to me; go, catch that Gondorian and make him talk. This sniveling rat says he knows of the halflings.” Lurtz, an even bigger, meaner looking uruk that Ugluk, made a wicked smile and skated off towards Boromir.
“And as for you,” said Ugluk, turning back to Aragorn. ” You – what? Where did he go! Find him! Find him, my fighting Uruk-hai!”
Aragorn had managed to get to his feet while Ugluk wasn’t watching, and slid all the way into the Snack Bar, entering with a loud crash. Dazed but unhurt, he was safe for the moment.
TO BE CONTINUED…