Autumn Is Coming

Just got word from Mike Davis that my story "Cul Du-Sac Virus" is going to be included in his Autumn Cthulhu anthology. As an avowed lover of Autumn (there really is no better season) I'm both honored and excited to have one of my stories among the leaves.





« Ode to an Ungrateful Author | Main | Cross Another One off the Bucket List… »

Once More With Feeling: J.R.R Tolkein's Lord of the Rings and My Fifth Trip to Mount Doom.

Alright, so I love fantasy fiction more than is right or proper; and you can't even dip a toe into western cannon without at least a grudging nod to Tolkien--whatever you think of his work. Many times in my life (five, to be exact) I've tried to digest his penultimate opus, Lord of the Rings, and found its legendemain too rich for my thin, mannish blood. I'm sure the fault lies within me, and so, with the determination of a fifty-year old hobbit I've packed my mental bags, saddled my proverbial Bill the Pony, and set myself a quest to return the ring, king, the pieces of a sword, a couple hobbits, and whatever else needs put back.

Thus far, I've reached the Council at Rivendell. Still going strong, and yet, I can't help but think the Fellowship would've gone smoother if Elrond had any HR training...

ELROND: "The Company of the Ring shall be nine; and the Nine Walkers shall be set against the Nine Riders, who are evil." 

FRODO: "Who's coming with me?"


ELROND: "Alright, alright, you've got a pretty good CV, not to mention adventure experience. My only concern, and I'm sorry for not bringing this up in private, is your ability to pass a drug test."

GANDALF: "Ah, man, I KNEW you'd say that. You White Council suits are all alike. Loosen up, half-elven, have a toke of old Toby."

ELROND: "Sorry, this is SUPER important. I can't have you wandering off for months or years at a time, only to reappear whenever you feel like turning some trolls to stone or whatever. So, I'm afraid that's a HARD pass. Anyone else?"

SAM: "Oh mister Frodo, you'll not be leaving old Sam behind!"

ELROND: "Okay, so wait, TWO hobbits? I really feel like we're doubling up on skill-sets, here. Sam, what do you bring to the table?"

SAM: "I'm a gardener and I have a pony."

ELROND: "Wonderful, the pony might be useful, especially if you give him a name. But I've got, like, a-hundred elf ponies--which are basically like regular ponies only they live forever and have magic powers."

SAM {mutters}: "The power to condescend."

ELROND: "I'm sorry, what?"

SAM: "Nothing, mister Elrond."

ELROND: "It's LORD Elrond, and I'm afraid this isn't going to work out."

SAM: "Half-elven, more like half-ass...en."

ELROND: "Okay, we're going there? Hey, Sam, I was wondering about something: Why DID you come all this way--are you Frodo's slave, his lover...?"

SAM: "Fuck off."

ELROND: "Okay then, NEXT!"

ARAGORN: "I, Aragorn son of Arathorn, will accompany the hobbit!"

ELROND: "So, is that BEFORE or AFTER you marry my daughter? You've been stringing Arwin along for what, a century? I mean, up until now you've just basically been hanging around Rivende
ll, eating my food, touching my stuff, sleeping with--"

ARAGORN: "I am Isildur's heir. The sword has been reforged!"

ELROND: "So, shouldn't you be popping off straight to Gondor, then? I mean, it would be SUPER useful if you could shore up Minas Tirith and Osgiliath, you know, keep Sauron occupied while the fellowship sneaks into Mordor."

ARAGORN: "That's sort of what I was planning on doing, anyway."

ELROND: "Good, then. It's settled."

LEGOLAS: "Methinks a Prince of Mirkwood shall be of use in this fellowship."

ELROND: "Yeah, about that. Isn't your dad the guy who got all butt-hurt about Dwarves 'stealing his treasure' and tried to kill everyone?"

LEGOLAS: "That was decades ago!"

ELROND: "We're elves, mate. It was, like, yesterday."

LEGOLAS: "I am not my father."

ELROND: "Fair enough. There are a couple other candidates from the race of elves, I'll put your resume in the mix."

LEGOLAS: "Really, who else applied?"

ELROND: "No one much, just Elrohir, Elladan, Glorfindel--"

LEGOLAS: "So, your twin sons and the guy who killed a balrog."

ELROND: "Very strong candidates."

LEGOLAS: "Nepotism much?"

ELROND: "I'm sorry, did the son of the King of Mirkwood just call me out for playing favorites? Do you really think you got your position as Captain of the Forest Wardens on merit?"

LEGOLAS: "I'm a hero, they call me Greenleaf."

ELROND: "Seriously, what does it even mean? Might as well call a dwarf Graystone, or a human Browndirt."

LEGOLAS: "It's a STRONG name...strong, yet supple, like a--"

ELROND: "We'll be in touch."

GIMLI: "I, Gimli son of Gloin shall lend my axe to this endeavor."

ELROND: "Excellent, I was hoping a dwarf would apply--didn't want this to be a total tall-fest, right?"

GIMLI: "I don't think I like what you're implying."

ELROND: "Sorry, all I meant was it's good to see candidates from all the free races of Middle-Earth."

GIMLI: "Okayyyy, so why are you making that face?"

ELROND: "Sorry, it's says here on your resume that you're a 'Grand Dragon' in the Longbeards."

GIMLI: "Indeed, the Longbeards are a doughty order of Khazad, famed for--"

ELROND: "You know they're on the White Council's list of designated hate groups, right?"

GIMLI: "Not our fault men keep trying to steal our gold. Killing them has been perfectly legal since King Dain passed that Stand Your Ground law."

ELROND: "It's just..."

GIMLI: "Everyone pats you on the back when you behead a goblin or warg, but chop up an elf? No, they're OBJECTIVELY good. Let me tell you about Thranduil, let me tell you what he did to my dad."

ELROND: "Didn't he imprison Gloin for like, a day?"

GIMLI: "More elven propaganda, it's in their nature to lie--"

ELROND: "Dude, my grandfather was human, but you know I totally identify as elven."

GIMLI: "FINE. I don't want to go on your stupid quest anyway."

BOROMIR: "I am the son of the Steward of Gondor, and have much experience in the lands through which we must travel, not to mention I have battled the Great Enemy since I could hold a sword. You will find none as brave or as dedicated to this quest as--"

ELROND: "Let me stop you right there. Aren't you the same guy who, just five minutes ago, talked about taking the ring for himself?"

BOROMIR: "Um, no?"

ELROND: "Yeah, YEAH, you are the guy. I'd recognize that horn anywhere."

BOROMIR: "Oh, I get it, humans all look alike to you elves, lucky I'm dressed different."

ELROND: "That's not what this is about. Didn't you LITERALLY just say you wanted to claim the power of the ring for yourself?"

BOROMIR: "I don't remember."

ELROND: "And won't the Fellowship's path take it conveniently through Gondor--where your dad just HAPPENS to have an army. You've got to admit, if someone wanted to steal the ring, that would be a pretty good opportunity."

BOROMIR: "Okay, but you HAVE to at least acknowledge the possibility that the ring could be--"

ELROND: "I already DID, the LAST time Sauron tried to take over the world. You know, when Isildur and I were literally inside Mount Doom, ready to toss the ring into the fire? Oh wait, you don't, because that was, like, three-milennia ago. I let that greasy bastard talk me into letting the ring endure, now look, Arnor is ruins, Gondor is on the brink of destruction, and the last heir to the throne of men is basically a murder-hobo. Nope, won't make that mistake again."

BOROMIR: "But, the race of men--"

ELROND: "I try not to generalize, but you men's rights activists are just ridiculous. I'm not going to have this argument, again. Goodbye."

MERRY AND PIPPIN: "We're coming, too!"

ELROND: "Seriously? Seriously."

MERRY AND PIPPIN: "We won't be left behind!"

ELROND: "I mean, I was going to send Glorfindel, but whatever, he's only been fighting against Sauron longer than your species has existed. But okay, sure."


ELROND: "Oh, abso-lutely! Instead of dispatching a half-dozen indescribably powerful and experienced Sindarin lords to shepherd your mouth-breathing friend to Mordor I'm going to send not one, but TWO hobbits who literally just pitched a fit because they couldn't eat seven meals a day. C'mon, you're not trackers, you're not scouts, you're not even fighters--"

PIPPIN: "Not true. My great-great-greatilly-greedle-grandfather once killed a goblin. You see, there was a field with a lot of rabbit holes, and he had this axe, and--"

ELROND: "I just don't think a trip to Mount Doom is the right venue for two more child--"

MERRY: "Watch it, half-elf."

ELROND: "Child-SIZED people. I can't help but feel you're going to spend most of the time captured by something…or being carried by the rest of the party."

MERRY: "How else are you supposed to get places if someone's not carrying you?"

PIPPIN: "Same principle as riding a horse, right?"

ELROND: {looking around} "See what I mean? Anyone? Anyone?"

MERRY AND PIPPIN: "If you don't let us go, we'll follow anyway."

ELROND: "THAT, I'd like to see."

GANDALF: "Don't underestimate the strength of shire-folk, when roused they are--"

ELROND: "A bunch of tiny, racist hillbillies. Listen, I subcontracted this shit last time around, and we all know how THAT turned out. Ellodan, Elrohir, pack up some lembas and make sure Frodo doesn't get eaten by a balrog."

MERRY AND PIPPIN: "But what about--?"

ELROND: "I'm sorry, did I fucking stutter?"

….and so the One Ring was delivered into the flames of Mount Doom with the absolute minimum of fuss.

Reader Comments

There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>