A Long-Anticipated Reunion

Fiction By Julie // 3/14/2009

Fred Hill stepped out of his car and breathed deeply. No matter where he’d been, coming here—to the Wisconsin Dells Retreat Center—always felt like arriving home.
“Hello, my boy.”
“Uncle Bill!” Fred ran forward and hugged his uncle. “How are you?”
“Good, good.” Bill pulled a pipe from his mouth and blew out a smoke ring. “Have you seen my blog recently?”
“No, you’ll have to show me. Is anyone else here yet?”
“Edward, Golda, Larry, Cyril and Gerald arrived a few days ago. Gary hasn’t come yet. I hope he can make it,”
A gray station pulled into the parking lot. “That’s him now.” Fred waited for Gary to step out of his vehicle. “Gary White, you’re late.”
“Fredrick Hill, I am never late. I arrive precisely when I intend to.” Fred grinned, then burst out laughing.
“It’s so good to see you again. What have you been up to?”
“This and that,” Gary’s eyes twinkled. “Last semister, I taught an English course on The Lord of the Rings.”
“What?” Bill raised his eyebrows.
“Middle-Earth, elves, wizards, dwarves— hobbits. ” Gary reminded him.
“Oh, hobbits,” Fred grinned. “I don’t have a clue where Tolkien came up with those creatures. Really, elves and dwarves are one thing, but hobbits?
Gary’s mouth twitched. “Where is Edward?”
“He said you’d be arriving soon. I suppose he’s out in the garden with everyone else.”

The three friends strolled merrily to the garden. A circle of chairs had been arranged. Edward stood at the circle’s head. “Welcome, Gary White. I believe you are the last to arrive. Friends, neighbors from distant lands, you have been summoned here—“
“To meet with old friends.” Gary interrupted. “Let us dispense with pretense, Elrond, son of Earendil”
“You always did speak plainly, Gandalf” the White. Very well, so be it.”
Fred—Frodo—smiled. He did enjoy these semifrequent reunions. No matter how busy the others were, they always managed to fit it into their schedules. He glanced about the garden. Off to one side were Cirdan and some of the Elves from the long voyage across the sea. I never expected Valinor to be quite like this, Frodo thought.
But one night, a sudden storm came upon, blocking out even the light of Gil-Estel. When morning came and the sea calmed, nothing was familiar. And that night, there were new constellations in the heavens. Only Valacirca , the Sickle of the Valar, was in its same position. Even Cirdan, master navigator that he was, could not determine their course aright. And so they arrived here. “America,” Frodo whispered, the once foreign name rolling easily off his tongue.
The world had changed many times since that day. Many wars and revolutions had shaken the globe, yet he had remained untouched by time. Once, he had served as a spy in the American Revolution—but he refused to do so ever after. War was war, and just as bloody here as in Middle-Earth.
He had been an actor, a cook, even a sideshow freak for a short time before the others had rescued him. The memory of those dark days still gave him nightmares. He wondered if any of those imprisoned with him were, like him, lost out of their own stories. Frodo shook his head. He did not wish to dwell on those memories.
“Mammoth Caves, they say! Ah, to see again Khazad-Dum or the glistening caves of Helm’s Deep. Ah, there a dwarf could live in peace and splender.” Gimli proclaimed.
Galadriel smiled wistfully. “Fair though the woods of West Virginia be, yet my heart still yearns for the woods of Lothlorien; the mallorns and the elanor.”
Frodo sighed. “I used to be able to close my eyes and see the Shire. But it’s been so long…”
“It was wise, small one, to record again the saga of the Ring so all was not forgotten.” Elrond said quietly. “Though I never imagined the public would be interested.”

Frodo nodded. When he had sent a copy of the Red Book of Westmarch to a British author by the name of J.R.R. Tolkien, the reception was lukewarm at best. Yet Tolkien seemed enthralled, and had requested more. Frodo had responded with Bilbo’s Translations from the Elvish. The Silmarillion had not been published until after Tolkien’s death. But now…
“Did you see the movie?” Bilbo asked.
“Who didn’t?” Frodo smiled. “But Elijah Wood looks nothing like me.”

“Their portrayal of Elves was completely inaccurate.” Elrond replied. “The Firstborn Children of Iluvatar reduced to the appearance of Men: the Engwar , the Hildor, and the Firimar !”
“I didn’t see you auditioning,” Gimli huffed.
“Neither did I,” Legolas pointed out. “But I must say, Orlando Bloom did a surprisingly good job with the longbow. It took me half a century to become accustomed to the compound bow. “
“Peter Jackson changed the plot quite a bit. He left out Tom Bombadil. I did like the fellow, I must say.” Frodo commented.
"But so many believe that is the true story! And have you seen all the spoofs flying around?” Bilbo commented. “There are entire sites dedicated to mocking Lord of the Rings. Why, I found one site with clips from the movie and humorous subtitles attached to them. I believe I showed Frodo the one where Aragorn says ‘He will soon become a wrath like one of them,’ and the last line is, ‘only shorter.’”
Frodo was struck with a fit of laughter. Even Elrond smiled.
"You should laugh more often, old friend.” Gandalf commented.
“Do not speak to me of laughter. What have I to laugh about? Exiled from Valinor, trapped in this strange world of machines and noises, and…my daughter…Arwen…gone forever. When the funeral boat arrived…I would have saved her. If she had but come with me…”
“Arwen’s death was not a waste. She loved Aragorn, and chose of her own free will.” Gandalf comforted.
“Never shall we met, not even in the halls of Mandos beyond the world.” Elrond spoke bitterly.
“But you haven’t aged. None of us have.” Frodo fingered the chain Arwen had given him. “But this is not the Undying Lands…”
“Time flows strangely here, and perhaps like Lothlorien of old we have been caught outside its stream. But the sun and moon still shine, as does the Sickle of the Valar, even under a different name. Hope is never lost. Who among you knows hopelessness as I do? As one of the Noldar, I fell under the Doom of Mandos. For many long centuries not even the echo of our prayers reached Valimar. Yet Earendil dared sail to the Blessed Land, and won pardon for Elves and Men. And did we not despair of victory in the Wars of the Ring? Yet help came from the hands of the small when the Wise faltered. Sauron was destroyed.”
Frodo lowered his head. “Speak no more of it, I beg you. Even now, its memory lives on. Sometimes, when I wake in the darkness of the night, I can still hear its malice taunting me.”

Galadriel knelt down and looked Frodo in the eye. “All Middle Earth thanks you for your sacrifice. Yet that cannot replace what was lost. But someday you shall find peace. Though the Valar be not here, there is nowhere beyond the reach of Iluvatar. After the End of Days, all shall join in the music of Aunir and find the themes of Iluvatar aright.”

Galadriel rose and began to sing.
Snow-white! Snow-white! O Lady clear!
O Queen beyond the Western Seas!
O Light to us that wander here
Amid the world of woven trees!

Gilthoniel! O Elbereth!
Clear are thy eyes and bright thy breath!
Snow-white! Snow-white! We sing to thee
In a far land beyond the Sea.

O stars that in the Sunless Year
With shining hand by her were sown,
In windy fields now bright and clear
We see your silver blossom blown!

The other elves took up the refrain, their voices full of longing.

O Elbereth! Gilthoniel!
We still remember, we who dwell
In this far land beneath the trees,
Thy starlight on the Western Seas.

A Elbereth Gilthoniel,
silivren penna míriel
o menel aglar elenath!
Na-chaered palan-díriel
o galadhremmin ennorath,
Fanuilos, le linnathon
nef aear, si nef aearon!

A Elbereth Gilthoniel!
o menel palan-díriel
le nallon sí di'nguruthos!
A tiro nin, Fanuilos!

A! Elbereth Gilthoniel!
silivren penna míriel
o menel aglar elenath!
We still remember, we who dwell
In this far land beneath the trees,
Thy starlight on the Western Seas.

Frodo gazed up at the sky. The stars had come out, shining against the black velvet of sky. He heard the swift hiss of a rocket, and Gandalf’s fireworks exploded overhead in a vibrant kaleidoscope of scarlet and indigo, evergreen and cerulean For a moment, he was home again.
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Comments

That was great! I especially

That was great!
I especially love when they're talking about the movies and spoof sites... I've seen that one icon of Aragorn, actually... I laughed so hard...
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Chaos.
Panic.
Disorder.
My work here is done.

Anna | Mon, 03/16/2009

I have hated the words and I have loved them, and I hope I have made them right. --The Book Thief

Wow! This is great! You

Wow!
This is great! You should make it longer, I'd love to read more of it. ;) I read it quickly, but I'm going to come back and read it more thoroughly.
Great job!

Sarah B. | Fri, 03/20/2009

I smile

Oh, don't you just wish? This is amazing, Kestral. Keep up the good work.

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"I am a dreamer, take me higher, open the sky up, start a fire...I beleive, even if it's just a dream." -Bethany Dillon

LoriAnn | Tue, 03/24/2009