Elijah walked through the lobby of the hotel with Frodo in tow. Frodo was wearing sunglasses, a hat, and normal clothes that were much too big for him but looked like they would fit Elijah. Elijah was still lugging the accursed suitcase. They headed for the elevator. Just then, his breath caught in his throat. There was Sean Astin! At first he raised a hand to wave, but then remembered Frodo. Of course! The reunion! They couldn’t see Frodo! Quickly, Elijah steered away from the elevator and the conference-room Peter had rented. They headed for the stairs.
“So,” said Frodo when they were alone in the cold white stairwell, “you’re saying that I have gone to a world six thousand years in the future where there are no elves, everything’s all grey, boxy and ugly, and nobody believes in magic?”
“I did not say everything’s grey, boxy and ugly,” Elijah exclaimed. “What makes you think that?”
“Well, it is,” Frodo said. “I have only seen five trees since I got here. The air smells thick. Everything’s loud and raucous. The only living creatures are Men, and most of them ride around in ugly square carriages that spit out smoke and ashes. If I had seen a single orc, I would have sworn this was Mordor.”
With a pang, Elijah realized the hobbit was right. He had just never really seen the city as something tainted or tasteless because he had dwelt there for so long. But with a shock, he saw the truth in Frodo’s words. Compared to the verdant, tree-studded Iowa countryside of his youth, the city was humbled. But Elijah stopped thinking about it and absorbed the tears coming to his eyes. They were on the fourth floor. He opened the door, and they went to room 466. He dropped his suitcase. Frodo went and sat on the bed.
“You, stay there,” said Elijah. “You can’t be seen by anyone.”
“Fine,” Frodo sighed, looking down. Elijah sighed too. He felt a little guilty. But Frodo had to get back somehow, and until then, well, he couldn’t be seen. Elijah sighed again and closed the door, then headed for the elevator.
Elijah had barely walked out of the elevator when Sean, Billy and Dom were upon him in a gigantic bear hug. He laughed and hugged them back, pretending that he wasn’t suffocating. When he was finally let free, he laughed. “Glad to see you too,” he said. They laughed a little. No words needed to pass between them to say how glad they were to see each other.
“So, what’ve you been up to?” asked Sean. “I haven’t seen you in a thousand years!”
“Well… not much,” admitted Elijah. “I’ve been looking forward to the premiere.”
“Well, what else?” asked Billy. “Anything?”
“Not really. I slipped on a banana the other day.” They all laughed.
They continued to talk. Nagging on Elijah’s mind was the thought of Frodo up in his room. Something about hobbits made him think that Frodo would not stay put so easily. But he ignored it. Time went on. Some people served them dinner, and they continued talking, late into the night.
“So, here I was, riding as fast as I could on this Razor scooter,” Dom was making motions to go with his story, “and this screaming bunch of teenage girls chasing me in this car! I mean, they were just whooping and shrieking, and I’m trying to get away…”
Somewhere behind him, Elijah heard the creak of a door opening. He turned slowly around. His worst fears were confirmed. There was Frodo, peeking through the door!
“Ahm… I have to go,” Elijah said. “I’ll just… um… bye!” His friends watched him incredulously as he ran out the door.
As soon as he got out, he shoved Frodo against the wall. “What are you doing here?” he hissed.
“That room is too boring,” Frodo said casually. “I decided to come and explore.”
“Explore?” cried Elijah. “You can’t bee seen! Nobody thinks you’re alive!”
“So?” said Frodo. “All the more reason to let them know.”
“You… they can’t know! They don’t think your story ever happened! They don’t believe in you!”
“Oh, so this is what my quest amounts to?” said Frodo, starting to get irked. “A children’s story to be told by the bards? After all that hardship?”
Elijah sighed. “Don’t get all nostalgic like that,” he said. “Your quest can’t have been all that hard.”
“Oh, you think so?” said Frodo in a deadly whisper. “You’ve no idea what it’s like! Everywhere you go people bow to you and lick your shoes! You’ve never been hunted, never been pulled away from things you loved, never slept on the ground without a bed! Don’t tell me my quest is easy!”
“Oh, and you think I have the perfect life?” Elijah exclaimed. “How about making speeches? Being hounded wherever you go? How about girls following you around drooling? You can walk around like normal person! You can fit into a crowd! You can walk into a room without having everyone just be quiet and stare at you like a monkey with two heads at the zoo!”
“Well, you are a monkey with two heads!” yelled Frodo. “I’d rather have everyone recognize me than backpack through armies of orcs to a volcano so I can destroy a piece of jewelry I never even asked for, monkeyhead – or shall I say, monkeyheads!”
Elijah just stared, his mouth opening and closing in rage. “Why, you…” Not knowing why, he seized the pendant from Frodo’s hand. But Frodo wouldn’t let go. In fury, he gave an enormous yank. The pendant flew out of both of their hands and went flying high in the air. Somewhere in the air, the pendant cracked. The diamond spun around as it was rent, and then it fell. The one piece, the piece that Elijah had been holding, landed in Frodo’s hands, and the other, Frodo’s, was caught by Elijah. For a moment, they stared at the shard of diamond in each other’s hands.
Then their world gave a horrific jolt as magic exploded all around them. Elijah yelled. It seemed like an earthquake. They grasped at the wall for support. Then suddenly the world spun freshly. Elijah felt like he was floating. Then he felt his own weight again. But before he could look for Frodo or figure out what was going on, his knees buckled and he fell into a dream-world of oblivion.
When Elijah woke up, everything was dark around him. It took a moment for his eyes to adjust to the gloom. Where was he? He was cold. In fact, the ground under him was stony and hard. He looked around. At last his eyes were beginning to adjust. He seemed to be in a cavern of sorts. Ruined pillars were strewn across the floor, and to his left three or so passageways snaked up into the wall. Opposite of them the plateau dropped away to a deep gorge. Elijah rubbed his eyes. Hey! What happened to his contacts? He could still see perfectly well…how odd. Again he surveyed his surroundings. They seemed familiar from somewhere.
“So you awaken,” came a deep voice. Elijah spun around. A tall man in grey robes with a long grey beard stood nearby. He had a pointed hat and a tall, wooden staff which cast the only light around the chamber. “Ian?” Elijah asked, confused.
“I beg pardon?” said the man. “What did you say?”
“Who are you?” Elijah asked.
“Ah, Frodo,” laughed the man. “Always such a jester. Even in this foul place you can find fun.”
Only then did Elijah realize what was going on…
-TO BE CONTINUED-
P.S. I know this feels like a rip-off of Frolijah, but don’t worry, it’ll be better. (No offense, Nienna…) well, I hope you liked the next chapter, even though it was short. Now that they’ve switched places the chapters will probably get longer. And hopefully Elijah’s character will strengthen. So, please comment! (Again, I’m serious. Comment.)