How to Die in Middle-earth
A collection of short stories – part 1
Rating: PG-ish, because the main character always dies. That’s the point, really.
— and why getting everything you want isn’t always what you want.
Rusty always got everything she wanted. Her read name wasn’t actually “Rusty,” of course. It was Clarintine. But the brat didn’t really like that name, so she would change it periodically. It was unlikely that there was any name in the world Rusty had yet to use at one time or another. But woe to those who called her by a name she had discarded. Rusty would throw a tantrum and order him out. And she always got everything she wanted.
After a particularly pleasurable pout, on rainy afternoon, Rusty sat staring at the ceiling. “Entertain me!” she ordered it. The ceiling, being very intelligent and magical as ceilings go, immediately obeyed the girl’s command and transported her to Middle-earth. That, at least, was sure to be . . . interesting.
Rusty looked around her in confusion. She was standing in a very strange place: where were all the buildings? The McDonalds and such? Oh! Of course! She could explore. That would be entertaining. The ceiling must have obeyed her. Rusty never had any doubts about that. She always got what she wanted.
Suddenly, from the tress at her right, Rusty heard the clear call of a horn. “Heralding my arrival, of course,” she said importantly to herself. “Sure took them long enough. I’ve been here almost two minutes! What rude people.” The girl took of in a manner she must have thought looked proud and stately. It may have . . . if she had been a leading scientist in the studies of adrenaline-pumped penguin movement. Sadly, she was not.
Rushing into a slight clearing with some kind of architecture (“Humph! They should have cleaned it more! Even if they didn’t know I was coming!” ) Rusty saw several figures in front of her. “Legolas!” she exclaimed, hopping over dead Uruk-hai bodies. “Kiss me!” Turning around in surprise that he could have missed a single foul beast, Legolas obeyed Rusty’s last command. His arrow kissed her heart a second later. After all, Rusty always got everything she wanted.
The First and Last Orc Turned Good
— And the real reason I don’t like bad speeches.
Niin was a bright orc, as his people went, but a terrible judge of orkish nature. He was convinced that converting Sauron and his troops to an idealism of kindness and mercy could be achieved by talking to them in a compassionate manner. That, and giving a speech about the evils of . . . well . . . evil.
So one day, Niin approached his master, Sauron, and requested permission to speak to the troops. Sauron, being an eye and not having very good hearing (his ears were elsewhere) agreed, thinking a pep talk could to them some good. Well, good in an evil sort of way.
Niin went away happily, thinking that if his short request had been so in favor with Sauron, talking would surely work elsewhere. Climbing to a high place, and taking out a sort of Middle-earth version of a megaphone (magical, that is) Niin began his speech.
“Dear people!” he exclaimed. “Fellow orcs and men! It has come to my attention that of late our peoples have become vicious and uncaring. We have neglected our duty of kindness towards our peers! This must stop!”
And stop it did. Or, at least, his speech did, as he was mobbed by thousands of very murderous and very well armed orcs.
Sauron thought it was the best pep talk he had ever heard. It had certainly gotten his troops aroused. Maybe he could get another one organized for next year.
Why It’s a Good Idea to Know that English and Westron are NOT In Fact the Same Language.
And how you can suffer from lack of that knowledge.
“No, really!” Albert said, putting away his math homework for another day. “I’ve found a passageway to Middle-earth!”
“Oh stuff it,” his best friend, Ron said. “You know as well as I do that’s one of the poorest yarns you’ve spun for years. There’s no such thing as Middle-earth. It’s a fairy tale. Duh.”
“I’m serious!” Albert exclaimed, almost pleadingly. “I’ll show you, just come with me!”
Sighing the long-suffering sigh of one who has known Albert for way too long, Ron followed him to the former’s garage. “Oh, yeah. Ha, ha. So you haven’t cleaned it yet — I’m not helping, imaginary portal or no.”
Albert shook his head, and showed his friend a little hole in the wall. “It goes to Middle-earth,” he said, look, you can crawl through!”
“You go first,” Ron answered, quickly adapting to the idea that maybe — just maybe! — it could be real. But if it was, it was better if it were Albert who went through first. Who knew what dangers there could be?
Excitedly, Albert scrambled through, the hole in the wall closing behind him. Ron stared at it for a moment the blank spot in the garage for a moment, then shrugged. Typical– Albert was always leaving him behind.
As for Albert, he emerged into thin air right above the Battle of Helm’s deep, near Aragorn. He fell rapidly down towards the Uruks, but Aragorn, seeing Albert was in danger, grabbed his hand to keep him from falling to his doom some five hundred feet below. “Friend or Foe?” Aragorn called to him in Westron.
Albert stared at him for a moment, not understanding, and then began to rapidly explain his situation. But to Aragorn, it was a strange language, and probably one of the enemies. In any case, he had to fight, and this boy was holding him up. Letting go of Albert to his death by falling below, Aragorn went back to the fight, to quickly forget the strange boy being trampled by Uruks. After all, it was war, and no place for (live) children jabbering in strange languages.