How to Die in Middle-earth
A collection of short stories — part 5
An Innocent Abroad — or, “The Language Man.”
Cody was relatively intelligent. That is to say, he was completely average at everything save languages. Everyone said he would have an excellent and very fulfilling future as a translator for organizations such as the United Nations. He was that good.
The truth was, at the age of forty, Cody had just discovered his skill, being unable to afford education when younger. And now, just two years later, the man had already learned two dozen languages. He was a genius at it, there was no doubt. Cody could spend as little as a week or two immersed in a language before he learned it . . . it always took longer when there was someone around to help, which explained why it had taken him much longer than most boys to learn his home tongue.
In his spare time, Cody would do the only things he knew how to: explore, learn new languages, and tinker. During the nights, Cody had a part-time job working for a car-maintenance store, at least until he was officially tested for the translators’ board. It wasn’t much, but it was his life.
Cody had not visited many places in the few decades he had been alive, so when an opportunity for him to take a hot air balloon arrived, he took it almost without question! Alas, he should have asked: will I live to see my home again?
Two tornadoes, a rainbow, 100 million munchkins with painfully high voices as painfully (for one’s neck) low statures, Cody came to Middle-earth where he was quickly recognized as having a skill for languages, very odd trinkets and a knowledge about the future by one of the least friendly people around . . . Saruman.
Oh, the wizard used him for a time, but not long. After he had learned all he would, he `took care of’ Cody. After all, one couldn’t have the man running off to talk to the elves!
But the magic of Middle-earth does strange things to people, and not so far off, in a land called “The Shire” a young lad of 7 suddenly developed a wonderful knack for languages. Maybe he would see the home the other had unwittingly left behind.
Stand up for what you believe it — or not – A.K.A. “Women’s rights to the absurd.”
Marty-sam brushed back his wavy blond hair. In the past it had been described with such adjectives as “hott,” “cool,” “sweet,” and, by this author: “lukewarm with a spicy tinge of ginger . . . but in a very misspelled way.” One would imagine that all those temperature alterations would cause a bit of brain damage, but . . . well, maybe they already had. Never mind.
In any case, Marty strode into the private Council of Elrond with Marty-sam pride, an arrogantly confident air, wavy hair, and a (five-time) award-winning smile. “I have come!” he announced, interrupting a rather put-out Elrond in mid-sentence. It was a nice effect, Marty though — having him all stare like that at him. How glorious to have so many admirers.
“I know why all of you are here, and how to destroy the Rings!” As one might have predicted, this proclamation was followed by a short silence and some worried whispers throughout the group. Each elf, half-elf, wizard, dwarf, man, hobbit, snake, vampire, fly, flea, maggot, tapeworm, bee, atom and quark tensed, ready to fight this unwelcome visitor. . . . whether or not they actually resided in that universe. But all of their thoughts were approximately the same: “Who is this crazy guy?” Only with differing dialects.
Happily absorbing the attention given him, Marty continued: “I also know of your great sin; you have no women in the Fellowship!” (Which had already been formed, thanks to a plothole.) “So I have brought you a wrench to complete your Fellowship of ten! Or you can leave Legolas out if you like, he’s trying to beat me out on the `who-has-the-most-fangirls’ list. My point is, this weak little lady will prove your worth to you! No more suppression! No more chauvinism!! No more sanity!!!”
Marty-sam winked down at Éowyn, who had suddenly appeared behind him, gagged and bound. Without any assistance, or becoming untied, the warrior quickly disposed of the . . . nuisance. Elrond was so pleased that he didn’t even make Éowyn clean up her . . . mess . . . afterwards. He just got her back home as quickly as possible.
How to Make an Evil Ring – or, “Ruling the World for — Dummies.”
Host: Good morning, ladies and gentlemen, ghouls and goblins, evil-doers off all kinds — beginners and experts! Welcome to this mid-night’s episode of “Ruling the World — for Dummies.” Tonight we have a special guest all the way from Middle-earth! Let’s show our appreciation for . . . Sauron! Hello, Sauron. We’re told you have a rather, ah, *unique* way of taking over the world. Why don’t you tell us about it?
Sauron: Well, thanks, it’s an honor to be on the show. How did I try to take over the world? Some five hundred plus years ago, I decided it was time for me to be in charge. It was easy, really; I just made “friends” with the elves, then betrayed them.
Host: Is it true you made a bracelet to do this with?
Sauron: No! Fool! I made a Ring of pure gold, like the lesser Rings of Power. But into this one, I poured my strength and evilness.
[Sauron takes a puff on an enormous dynamite stick that says “Cigarettes kill” then throws it into the audience where it explodes. Laughter.]
I love Disney, it’s almost as sadistic as I am!
Host: Thank you for that wonderful demonstration of evilness. Do you mind telling us a little more about this Ring now?
Sauron: Not at all. It all started back at the top of Mount Doom . . .
[The televisions behind the Host and Sauron switch from evil-looking faces to ariel pictures of said volcano. “Ooh’s” and “Aah’s” are heard from the audience.]
Hey, Nazgûl #6 did a good job on those pictures . . . in an evil sort of way, of course.
Host: Yeah, nice special effects.
[The Nazgûl exchange high-fives, and #6 blushes.]
Sauron: In the fiery furnaces of that ferocious mountain of fury I wrought the Ring. In it, I inscribed the figures that you see before you.
[Televisions switch to the One Ring inscription.]
It reads: Ash nazg durbatulûk, ash nazg gimbatul, ash nazg thrakutulûk, ash burzem-ishi krimpatul. In the common tongue, that means: “This is a really evil Ring, so bow down and obey me.̋ It’s not very poetic, but poetry is out-dated in the world of evil.
[Audience member – especially the beginners – quickly scribble down this new information for future reference.]
Host: That sounds like a wonderful idea — what ever could have gone wrong?
Sauron: That’s exactly what I thought. Then this little *hobbit* came along and destroyed my Ring!
Host: Talk about a major set back! Well, folks, that’s all the time we have for tonight. Come back next week for “If you look like a snake and you talk like a snake . . .” with Lord Voldermort. And remember: “To err is human, to make it blow up in their faces at the most embarrassing moments is our job.” Happy evilness!
Author’s Notes: I know Sauron was a little OOC in the last one, but it was supposed to be funny (sorry if not) and it would be pretty hard to have him talking: “Ashdatus vrasubatlat . . . mitdatus vras, Host.” If you know what I mean. Oh, and if you were wondering who died, aside from the past, I imagine some audience members . . .
It was all boys this time, as I promised. Have a nice day.