Hamlet is your ordinary, everyday prince of Denmark. His father’s been murdered, he’s going insane (or not), and he needs to shame his mother, kill the scheming uncle who has usurped his throne, and wipe out half the people in his vicinity to regain his kingdom. But when zombies erupt in Elsinore, his goal become even more improbable. Humorous fiction.
A\N. This is based on book canon, not movie. Disclaimer: Parody is protected by law.
Pippin’s Diary by Hilary Thomson
Uncle Bilbo’s having a birthday party! Promptly invited self. Then Uncle Bilbo cracked that he needed dishwashers. Forced to decline my Baggins 2nd cousin twice removed.
Slipped into party anyway. Thought Bilbo kind of exploded and stuff mid-way through (hey, serves him right for eating too much), but Merry assured me he was fine. Fine, my arse. Frodo didn’t seem to care too much, but then, he’s the heir.
Stupid Bilbo didn’t even give me a present, so sort of glad he atomized. Felt sympathy for the Sackville-Bagginses when they came round whining, and I let them in Bag End to give Frodo a hard time (snicker!). After Frodo shoved them out the door he revived himself (and his helpers) with Old Winyards. Clever me!
Evening with Merry at the Green Dragon. He started saying stuff about a ring and a conspiracy and what not, but he was obviously drunk, so I ignored him. Agreed to go along with whatever-it-was just to get him to shut up. Guess I was sort of drunk too, heh heh.
Frodo and Sam invited me along on a walking tour to Crickhollow. No way, I said, too much exercise. Then Sam said their real purpose was an ale sampling tour of the Shire. Whoo hoo! Changed mind.
Celebrated last night in Bag End with Old Winyards.
Began unspeakably hideous journey with monstrous hangover. After vomiting for a while, was able to stagger off after S and F. Trip sucks already, wish I were in bed with aspirin and a toddy (medicinal only, of course).
Spent night in woods. No comfy inns yet, no beer. Am beginning to be suspicious of F and S.
The light is dawning. Almost ran into funny guy in black cloak on horse, F very edgy about him. F is on the lam, drat it. Non-payment of taxes? A bad date? Every time we’re supposedly ‘hiding’ from this stranger, F keeps sticking his hand inside his shirt to fondle something, lets his mouth fall open and goes glassy-eyed, then climbs out to ogle the guy. Figure it must be the latter.
Met elves. Wish I knew what they’re on. I could use some of it. Black rider getting on my nerves, too.
There’s another black rider! What did F do? Give them both the pox? They keep sniffing as if they have colds. Suggested decoying them with a pile of hankies but neither of my companions thought well of the idea. Jerks!
Made it to Crickhollow. F finally admitted he’s fleeing Shire. Merry, after a few pints, was blabbing more nonsense about some ring and a journey. Didn’t want to go along, but those riders made me uneasy. Maybe it WAS time to go visiting friends outside the Shire.
Stupid cousin M suggested traveling through Old Forest. Doesn’t he remember that time many years ago with the matches and oil? We nearly turned the whole place to charcoal. Possible that denizens still P. O.’d.
Denizens still P.O.’d. Big time. Nearly got squeezed in two by some pervert tree. Am buying Shire-full of weed killer if I survive this.
Rescued by strange hopping guy and his wife. Forget elves, I’d like to know what this pair is on. I have to have 20 pints of bitter before I sing songs that bad. Had 20 pints of bitter tonight, and later had weird dreams of being stalked by pervert trees.
Traveled to Barrow-downs. Fell asleep. As bad as the last time I had my cousins at Took Hall for a sleep-over. Who’s pinching me, no, who’s pinching me? Etc. Woke, found myself dressed in fruity fashion. Barely covered enough for decency, too many jewels, etc. Suspect old Bombadil of slipping us something and playing us all a prank. Then Bombadil urged us to get naked and run across the grass. Uh-huh. Picked up dagger from mound and fully intended to use it on the old creep if necessary.
Whew. Finally got away from weird guy. Quoth Sam, ‘we may go a good deal further and see naught queerer.’ Apprehensive about this ‘Prancing Pony’ Bombadil recommended. ‘Prancing?’ May need dagger.
Found inn filled with usual lot of sods and belching drunks. Reassured.
Frodo insisted on registering incognito with the landlord. Then he sang like an idiot, fell off a table, and latched on to some filthy tramp in a corner. Beginning to understand how he met those black riders in the first place.
Discovered filthy tramp hiding in our bedroom for F. He talked to F about ‘his price,’ and tried to scare us. Instead of pitching him out, F dealt. He’s taking this guy along with us!? Then Merry interrupted, running in. Afraid M’s been molested, and has caught black rider pox. What in the Shire was he prowling the alleys for, anyway? If he’d just gone to bed with Frodo, he’d be fine and we’d be tramp-less. Then Butterbur brought in letter from Gandalf. Unfortunately dumb wizard has stuck us with this ‘Strider’ guy. Couldn’t Gandalf find anyone else in Middle-Earth who actually bathed and shaved? Sam’s unhappy about Strider, and I think I know why (nudge-nudge).
Left town. Strider said something about shortcuts, then zig-zagged and backtracked so much I know this boy ain’t taken geometry in tramp school. Went through marshes. Went through midges. Ready to fire our guide. Unfortunately, stupid F still smitten. Sam still sulking. Guide raving about evil birds. Am one big midge bite right now, and wish I’d stayed home.
Strider finds highest point in miles, insists we camp there, loudly sings ballad and lights fire. Beginning to wonder which side he’s on. Then he tells wraith stories, and scares others so badly they won’t even consider getting rid of him. While we’re all quaking with fear, riders pounce. Four of them! I was really eyeing F by now. What’s his thing for men in black cloaks? Made note to self never to dress that way. Did sensible thing during attack and buried face in dirt, letting others fight. Got through fine, but F was skewered. He was not so badly injured that he wasn’t able to capture a souvenir black cloak, I notice.
Met some elf called Glorfindel. Not sure what use he’ll be, except to eat our shortening food supply. Apropos of the latter, I suggested we could cook Asfaloth as a backup. Glorfindel and Aragorn gave me dirty looks. Others (ahem, hobbits) looked at me with sympathy.
Rations very short. Dizzy. Considered eating Samwise (he’s the fattest) but remembered just in time he owed me money. Pinched flank of elfhorse to test for steak quality and got bitten. Ouch. Selfish bogger.
Reached river, got jumped by 9!? friggin’ riders. Frodo! How could you? Sensibly, the elf slapped his horse, which sent a certain Baggins on to his fate (and away from us, thankfully).
Reached Rivendell. Sampled lots of elf wines, sang a parody of ‘Beren and Luthien,’ and got slapped by elf-chick. Found out elf-chick’s name is Arwen, and she’s engaged to Aragorn. What is it with that guy? Wasn’t being chased by those Nazgul thingies pain enough?
There was some sort of council held and F, S, and a few others are going to Mordor. As the travelers were just about to leave, (and everything safely decided) I slapped F on the back and said stoutly that I wished I were going along. And then that elf bastard Elrond volunteered me! Hey, it was just rhetoric! I was perfectly happy here at Rivendell discovering vinous proof levels and living at someone else’s expense. I suppose I shall be forced to learn the names of some of my companions. They’re not all hobbits, humph.
Boromir let loose with a horn blast as we left. I hate him already. Has that man no respect for hangovers? Elrond was pronouncing gloom and doom. Hate him ditto. Aragorn still raving on about evil birds, and is adding clouds to his delusions. It is beginning to snow. This sucks.
Saw mountains for the first time, hey! Cheered up a little. Then stupid Gandalf said something about traveling OVER mountains. Lost cheer. Snowing harder. This REALLY sucks.
Climbing slowly up mountain called Caradhras, which Gimli seems to know personally in some weird dwarf way judging from his cursing. Can barely move. Snowing so hard can’t see hand in front of face. Then monster snowdrift. Then rockslide. Seems Caradhras doesn’t like Gimli, either. This REALLY REALLY sucks. On positive side, got piggy-back ride from Boromir.
Chased by Wargs. Wasn’t sure burying face in dirt (snow?) was going to work this time. Fortunately, Gandalf made barbeque. Hm. Am eyeballing wizard staff, as seems to be useful.
Boromir suggested we play some card game called Osgiliath Hold ‘Em. Merry said we had nothing to bet with, and Boromir replied we’d think of something. I ended up winning everyone’s waybread, Anduril, Sam’s cooking gear, Sting, some ring thingie on a chain, and a wizard’s staff. Told them it was due to my dazzling technique. Gandalf said, yes, known as ‘Cheating,’ and he made me give everything back. Didn’t know how to make the wizard’s staff turn him into a toad, so was forced to comply. Boromir seemed miffed for some reason.
Found Gate of Moria, which wasn’t open. Must indeed be the staff, because it’s sure not the wizard. Watched Gandalf make fool of himself for three hours, yelling ‘spells’. It wasn’t until Merry gave him a broad hint that he finally figured it out. Then F got seized by icky thing with tentacles. What IS it with creepy forms of life going absolutely nutzo over my distant cousin? Fortunately Sam was able to carve sushi out of it and we were able to run inside Moria. Sulking over its rejection, what was left of the tentacled thing slammed the doors shut on us.
Don’t like this. Sort of dark. Big cracks and fissures. Gimli thrilled, of course. Stupid dwarf. Dropped stone down well, which got treated like big-wackety-doo deal by others, like it would alert some enemy. Gandalf says he’s lost, which is not treated like big-wackety-doo deal by others. I’d think that was a far more serious crime, okay? Then Gimli chanted some dwarf song so loud it made the roof quake. And that’s not a big deal either? I think there’s a certain prejudice against Pippin here.
While lingering stupidly for an hour or so by tomb instead of getting our arses out of there, orcs attack. But instead of running away like hell, some of our brave idiots wanted to show off and chop around a bit. THEN we ran like hell. I mean, 9 against 10,000? Be realistic. Were they stupid or what? (Cough, men, cough. And Frodo-for which he got whacked again.)
Lost Gandalf to Balrog thingie (I can’t keep all these evil guys straight, so not sure what it was). G went out in the noble spirit of throwing a piece of meat (namely himself) behind to stop the wolves. Sort of futile though, as it only stopped the Balrog. 10,000 P.O.’d orcs left to chase after us.
Big cry fest. Sort of missed crabby old wizard. And his more useful staff. All of us wasted precious time bawling. And still in the spirit of lingering-stupidly-until-our-pursuers-land on top of us, Gimli wanted to make a detour to go see some pretty pool called Mirrormere. And they call me irresponsible.
Turns out F saved by spiffy (and sort of fruity) mithril coat. Almost reached Lothlorien, when Legolas sang a song. I have finally figured out this song business. As soon as someone sings one, we get attacked. Sing a song in the Shire, and boom, black rider jumps us. Aragorn sings on Weathertop, boom, more black riders. Gimli yodeling in Moria, 10,000 orcs. Now Legolas, and more orcs. Oh yeah, my song in Rivendell and that crazy elf-chick.
Meet suspicious, stupid elves. Hey, we’re being chased by 10,000 orcs, can’t they figure it out? Finally, elves let us stay in their tree. Then stupid Lorien elves, much in the spirit of Gandalf, lead orcs away from us.
Stupid elf Haldir wants to play silly game of blindfold. No wonder elvenkind is doing so poorly in this age. Finally got blindfold off and saw Lorien. S’okay. Have yet to discover if these weird elves brew anything, so Rivendell still has my vote as swankiest tavern.
Met elven babe Galadriel and her sidekick Celeborn. Had hopes this ‘Mirror of Galadriel’ liquid I heard about from Sam is a beer, but he says it smokes if you touch it. Maybe G just bad at brewing.
Left Lorien. Sort of relieved. I think there’s beer in Rohan. Galadriel gave me a cloak and pretty brooch, and a silver belt, but that’s so typical of women. They always think it’s neat to give you clothes and jewelry. What’s she worried about, my pants will fall down? On a serious quest like this, sturdy weaponry and armor would be more useful. And booze, of course. Sam did get a box of dirt (like, really useful there against Sauron, Galadriel) and Frodo a night-light, so the poor dear won’t trip on the way to the bathroom. Frankly, she should have left this gift business to Celeborn. Hey, she just gave a bow and arrow to Legolas! Maybe you have to be an elf to get the good stuff. Or else this is a comment about how useless she thinks we hobbits are in battle. So we’re just scream-and-fall-hostage fodder, huh? We’ll show her! Just wait till we meet the next batch of orcs!
Galadriel sang a song as we left. Ominous. Found out at absolute last second these elves make white mead. Curses. Didn’t know the whole previous month.
Met orcs. Oops. Am now hostage. Long story. It’s tough to write this with my hands tied together. Anyway, Frodo ran away, everyone disappeared looking for him, and orcs pounced. Boromir got thowped with lots of arrows, and I think he’s a goner. Was tied up and pawed by horny-handed, panting orcs, and am beginning to realize the wisdom of Galadriel. Her belt magically kept my pants on. Merry, unfortunately, is in this with me. Didn’t realize orcs had such a BDSM complex. Not sure if going to end up in orc stewpot or orc lap, and not sure which is worse.
This REALLY, REALLY, REALLY, sucks. Now orcs making us run for miles, and hitting legs with whips. Orcs quarreling with each other just like hobbits do when there’s only one piece of chicken left on the serving platter. Given orc-draught. Woo-hoo! Feel revived from the dead. These guys may be orcs, but I give them the award for the best brew in Middle-Earth. Managed to get wrists untied (that’s how I’m writing this-my notebook is propped up against a dead orc, just killed in fight a moment ago) and put fake loops on instead. Also dropped my brooch in hopes that Aragorn will find it. I’ve acquired a somewhat better impression of his skills since Bree, I admit.
Things bleak again. Have to run, so short entry. Orc after me with a whip.
Slung on orc back. These guys—do not take baths, I have just discovered. Ick.
Riders from Rohan chasing orcs. Big orc quarrel, and some pervy orc called Grishnakh grabbed both me and Merry. Not sure elf-belt going to work this time. Thankfully, Grishnakh killed by arrow. Horse jumped over us, and we were free. Got to see orc barbeque. Fed Merry lembas while he was still tied up, and it was the kinkiest thing I’ve done since—Hey, I’m not going to tell YOU.
Got picked up by a tree, which was weird. Never learned about Ents in hobbit-school, since I was busy robbing everyone’s lunchpails and braiding Diamond of Long Cleve’s hair. Decided not to mention to Ents the Old Forest incident with matches and oil.
Have discovered that . . . Ents . . . are . . . the . . . most . . . boring . . . creatures . . .in . . .Middle-Earth.
Fell asleep in middle of previous entry. Actually don’t mind a little mental vacation after the orcs, but hope it doesn’t last for the rest of the War. Discovered Ent brew has a taste like green tea (namely weed-water). Felt refreshed, but not really any different, so maybe it’s not a beer.
Was wrong about Ent brew. Ents just destroyed Orthanc. That stuff must act differently on Ents than us. Haven’t seen such destruction since Merry’s last birthday party.
Discovered I made a little mistake in entry number 36. Crabby wizard still alive. I guess I’m sort of glad to see him. Also glad I’m not in the battle that A, L, and that dwarf are stuck fighting in. Seems Ents are not yet done squishing orcs dead under their feet like beetles. Ate a decent dinner for once (courtesy of Saruman-maybe we should make Wormtongue wash the dishes, snicker).
Merry offered me something called ‘Longbottom Leaf.’ After smoking a bit I felt good. Verrrrrrrry good. No wonder Saruman wanted to take over Middle-Earth if he was smoking this. I felt like conquering a country or two myself. Tried to kiss Treebeard, but he said that though he hadn’t had sex for 10,000 years, he didn’t do it with other species. Offered some of the weed to Theoden and company, but got smacked by Gandalf. (Sniffle).
Caught up with A, L, and G. Sort of glad to see them alive, too. Was even so generous as to offer G a spare pipe, but remembered too late it would have nasty dwarf drool on it later. M had them all goggling at his tales of orc molestation, the naughty boy.
Frankly, I suspect Theoden and company must have smoked something anyway, considering the way they were acting when Saruman talked. I haven’t seen so many slack-jaws and vacant eyes since, well, hobbit-school. It was mostly an ‘up-yours’ bitch-fest between us and S. Picked up this nice glass ball that Wormtongue threw, and had an inspiration when I looked into it. Gandalf swiped ball from me before I could test theory. I can guess what made Saruman go over to the dark side. I’m sure Gandalf stole his marbles when they were little wizards.
Apparently ball is a ‘palantir.’ Had sort of weird conversation today. Suppose it was due to the fact I was still squiffy from the weed. Stole palantir back from Gandalf and turned thoughts towards Isemgrim’s Pizzeria in Tookland. Didn’t remember the ring of fire around Isengrim’s eye but maybe everyone looks weird through palantirs. Saw a giant question mark appear above his head. ‘Extra large with triple mushroom, jalapeno, and anchovies,’ I ordered. Saw a giant exclamation point form over his head, followed by a variety of bad-tempered wingdings. He replied, ‘I’d take over your mind if you had any mind to take over!’ Really sort of rude. Woke up from weed? to find wizard bitching at me. Felt sort of sick. Maybe no more weed for a while.
G must feel guilty or something. After wizard tantrum, he carried me in his arms from Rohan to Gondor. Wish he’d done that from Rivendell to Rohan and saved me all that walking. Now G singing lullaby about a white tree. Ominous. What was that I said about songs earlier?
Met irritable old git named Denethor. But when I started to say ‘Nyah, Nyah, Nyah, you’re going to be replaced by Aragorn Isildur’s heir,’ Gandalf jabbed me in the back. I fell over and my sword slid out of its sheath. I picked it up by the blade, but before I could replace it, the crazy old git said something about accepting my service. Huh?
Guard duty sucks. I think Gandalf was giggling up his sleeves, glad to have me out of the way for awhile. Have discovered these people think I’m a prince. I sort of am, since I’m a Took, but was forced to explain that hobbits don’t have princes. Thankfully, these peasants-drafted-for-cannon-fodder don’t believe me.
Nearly got into a fight with a 10-year old boy, but was able to scare him off. Would have been embarrassing if I’d lost. Bergil and I threw down stones and jeers at all the arriving knights, something which suited my tastes better than walking post.
Woke up. Sort of dark. Went to the outer walk for a quiet stroll and sniff of the morning air, and found about 20,000 orcs, swooping Nazgul on winged whatevers, various trolls, war oliphaunts, and several thousand armed men. This REALLY, REALLY, REALLY, REALLY sucks. Not sure even Gandalf can get me out of this one. Decided to do the wisest thing. Deserted post and smoked some of my leftover Longbottom Leaf.
Came across Denethor and offered him a little of my Leaf (thought it might soften his nasty temper) and hoo boy! Results unexpected. After taking a few puffs the old guy started ranting on about burning his son up! I thought the effect would wear off before Denethor got the faggots pitched and lit, but oh no. Ran for Gandalf. Didn’t tell him, of course, how it all happened, but rescued Faramir (whew!).
Surprise! Enemy lost to us, Rohan, and Aragorn. Hooray! Ventured out once all the orcs looked sufficiently dead and found Merry sniveling. Apparently he got molested by another Nazgul and stabbed it. Then Eowyn killed it off. Brave wench! Wonder why A not marrying E instead of you-know-who. Nazgul killing skills more useful than hobbit-slapping, I’d say. Took M to houses of healing to get over his grizzling fit.
Merry worse, which is odd. Sleeping like the dead. Even blowing Longbottom Leaf into his nostrils didn’t help. Then discovered problem. Wrong weed! Aragorn tried athelas and M recovered straight up. Hmm.
Absolute most appalling thing happened. That bastard Aragorn has volunteered me to fight before the Black Gate. Claims it’s my duty as a soldier of Gondor and he being my liege lord. Also ran out of weed.
This REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY SUCKS. Big suicide attack planned at the Black Gate. Mouth of Sauron comes out, ‘Nyah, Nyah, Nyah’s,’ at us. Fighting explodes all over field. Confronted by giant troll and forced to attack him. This REALLY REALLY . . . .
Woke up with awful headache. Thought for a moment I’d been on a huge drunk, but IT TURNS OUT I SURVIVED THE BATTLE. Headache due to crashingly heavy troll. Gandalf rescued Frodo and Sam, and Dark Lord and all his works went ‘Floop.’ TIME TO PARTY, people!
Entry 69 (Last Entry)
Wondering why F and S shrank when they went to Mordor. S claims M and I have grown. Have finally figured out this whole business was about that ring of Frodo’s. Didn’t know till now. (Hey, don’t look at me funny).
Entry 70 (Whoops, not quite last)
Shire invaded by Saruman, Wormtongue, and capitalistic-industrialist minded hobbits. Wiped them all out at Battle of Bywater. Bought Longbottom Leaf plantation in Southfarthing, and lived happily ever after.
(Written the evening of Oct. 26th, 2004).
Diary of the Trials and Tribulations of Saruman by Hilary Thomson
Disclaimer: Parody is protected by law.
Have decided to turn evil.
Need 1) Seat of power. 2) Minions. 3) Ring.
1-Already have Orthanc. Was originally eyeing Necromancer’s acreage in Mirkwood, but Gandalf says he’s Sauron. Curses.
2-Minions? They say the elves have declined since the Elder days. Found out so have orcs. Either dwarves really kicked butt in Battle of Azanulbizer, or orcs have always hidden their penchant for Ikebana-type flower arranging and Petit point. Dragged a few orcs home for breeding stock anyway.
(The diary here is hacked multiple times, as if a knife has been driven into the paper.)
Quest for ring. Know Isildur went galoop into the Anduin. Have spent last 200 years on river with fishing pole and parasol. No luck yet. Bent pin and evil intent apparently not enough to seduce Isildur’s bane. Gandalf’s crack about world’s worst fisherman not funny.
I FOUND THE RING! I FOUND THE RING! HAD IT IN MY HAND! Was capering with joy on banks just above the rapids of the Rauros when Radagast the Brown dropped by. “Finally landed a fish, have you? Congratulations!” He slapped me on the back. Ring flew out of my hand and splashed into the rushing water, zipping past like an arrow-shot.
Stunned beyond imagining. Stupid Radagast standing there with woeful face, “Did I do that? Opsy me. Too bad. I came to invite you to tea, by the way.”
Bringing arsenic for dear colleague’s Keemun.
Meeting of the White Council and 1/2.
The 1/2 is Radagast, who has just introduced me to Alvin, a large, buzzing green iridescent beetle he has on a leash of thread. Alvin can fly, and has been making a racket around my ears.
“But are you certain you know what’s happened to the ring?” says Elrond. “We know you’ve researched the topic deeply.”
“Do not ask me again!” I reply with heat. “How many times do I have to re—Snerk!”
White Council frozen. Alvin has just propelled himself into my left nostril. Gandalf falls over laughing, Radagast round-eyed. Brown idiot tugs Alvin out, slimed, and gives bug urgent medical once-over.
“Holy Morg–Valar,” I groan. “You imbecile! Why must your little pets always try to invade my person!?”
“Maybe because they are drawn to the scent of—corruption,” says Galadriel meaningfully, giving me an unpleasant, toothy smile.
“But where is the ring?” continues Elrond impatiently.
“IT-FELL-INTO-THE-ANDUIN-AND-ROLLED-DOWN-TO-THE-SEA!” I reply as one word.
“Do NOT ask–
Alvin shoots right down my throat to my stomach, snapping his thread. He goes down easily, well-slicked (and flavored) from my nose.
Radagast hoists my jaws apart, shrieking, “No! Alvin, come out of there! YOU CAN’T DIE.”
White Council meets once every hundred years or so. It’s too soon.
Tea With Radagast. Should have known better, since he’s a vegan. Served brown rice with lima beans and brussel sprouts. Found ants swarming in the sugarbowl, a mouse nibbling my tofu. I’ve eaten better foraging in the Dead Marshes. For drinks he served a tea of miscellaneous twigs, and I found a spider rafting on the debris in my cup. Flicked spider et. al. out and asked for scotch and soda instead. His conversation all eagle gossip, who’s sitting on whose nest, who’s molted, who’s claimed what rock-crag, and so forth.
R feeding an entire zoo. He’s seated me between some bear and a seedy derelict named Maglor. Derelict had dreadlocks to his knees. Not sure if he’s just a tall dwarf.
SD croaks out to me, “I was a Feanorian, you know.”
I muttered aside, “Shut up, old coot,” and slammed his head down in his plate of brown rice with a satisfying spat when Radagast wasn’t looking. R occupied with a squirming, bulgy-eyed hairless animal in his lap. R just finished wrestling it into clothes and a bow tie.
“Look what I found by the river,” says R with smarmy tones of fond motherhood. “It’s a frog-loris cross!”
“Gollum!” says Bulgy-eyes.
“And little Gollum wants his bowl of soup, doesn’t he?”
“What is it? What is soup, precious? Birdy? Fishy? Baby?”
“Wheatgrass!” yodeled Radagast.
The bear and I exchanged woeful looks.
“You can’t possibly want to eat what you just mentioned,” Radagast remonstrated. “Let’s all show Gollum the error of his ways. All together now!” He waved his arms and led the table in a round of Little Rabbit Foo-Foo. Even the bear made the bopping gestures.
When finished, Radagast gave Gollum’s bald head a bunch of syrupy wizard kisses.
“Keep that up and you’re going to be promoted to Radagast the Grey prematurely,” I warned. “What’s next, cozening the Mirkwood spiders?”
Radagast went all big-eyed. “You mean I’m not supposed to?”
I sputtered on wheatgrass. “NO!”
“But if you stroke them just right, their little legs go all limp.”
“How could you possibly have found that out?” Trust Radagast to have actually made the experiment.
“I invited one of my neighbors in Southern Mirkwood to drop by for tea. He was rather shy, all cloaked up so you couldn’t see his face. He came in a chariot drawn by Mirkwood Spiders.”
“Drawn by—Radagast, you FOOL, you invited SAURON to tea!” I put my face in my hands. How were we ever going to defeat–sorry, enable me to supplant–Sauron at this rate?
A mosquito bit my shoulder and I slapped it. Radagast fainted at the sight, dislodging his frog-loris thing right into my soup bowl. “Where is the precious, where is it,” mumbled the animal, nosing my chest. I slapped it away. “In Mordor,” I said in ominous tones (wizard voice comes in very handy at times). “Mordor draws all precious things to it eventually. Go east and south to Mordor and you’ll find your precious,” I commanded.
The frog-loris left my soup with a bound and hopped out the window. I tipped the remains of bowl over Radagast’s face to revive him.
Rest of evening ghastly, as only R could make it. Had to de-spider my hair after leaving. Wait until I’m in power and R forced to eat barbequed man-flesh. Cackled evilly on the way home.
Dissolved an orc in basin of primordial soup (got idea from R the other day) and used spells of great power. Had plenty of orcs by now, but needed a breed more terrifying.
“Give me an orc! Give me an orc of surpassing vileness, so evil even the sun will blanch! Give me filth incarnate!” I shrieked the spells to the shade of Morgoth.
Something emerged from the basin, slopping wet. It was wearing Shoes for Crews, a pair of black jeans and T-shirt with a blood-red Metallica logo, a red apron, a topknot of purple hair, and a pad-and-pen set.
“What the fuck?” it said. “I was just taking an order for deep-fried cinnamon rolls.” The thing was missing four teeth across the top, and had an overall shriveled aspect. I reared back, alarmed despite myself. My magic had been more powerful than I thought. Then I realized that this thing was human.
“How the fuck did I get here? Who are you?”
“I am Saruman the Wise, and you are my slave, whatever your name is.”
“Oh yeah?” The thing whined. “I’ll have you know, Mr. Weirdo, that my name is Mary Sue-the -fuck-out-of-you McKeller, and I didn’t get out of jail on those meth charges only to be kidnapped by you. I’m calling my boyfriend Darnell and tellin’ ‘em to stomp your ugly face in.” It snapped open an oblong device and began to stab it with blood-red chipped fingernails.
I laughed and levitated the device from her—I had to face facts, it was indeed female.
“Let me correct you, slave. I am making an army of orcs, and have bred 10,000 of them already. You are obviously an aberration, but can still be put to work. Your new duties will resemble your old, if I guess correctly at your job, though the pay will be worse.” I cackled for effect. “In other words, none.”
“Fuck you!” she hissed. She tried to gouge my eyes out with her pen while grabbing my beard. My orcs seized her in time.
“Insults sound more effective without all that gum-snapping,” I retorted. “Lugaluk, introduce her to 10,000 potatoes and a peeler.” I smirked as Sue was dragged shrieking off to the scullery.
“I’ll cast a murrain on you, motherfucker! I’m a high priestess in the Covenant of UU pagans, I’ll have you know.”
I only snickered at her, (I AM the most powerful wizard in Middle-earth, save Sauron, remember) then went to look up ‘murrain’ in my library. Not the time to admit I flunked Manwe’s ancient Scottish curses class back in the Undying Lands.
I reviewed my army the next day. 10,000 arms were presented as they marched past, clashing their spears against their chests as they saluted me. No enemy could face them without abject terror! My wonderful, vile army of orcs! I was so proud of myself.
Then, floating out of the scullery window, I heard the voice of the Sue-thing saying, “Aw, they’re not so bad. They sorta remind me of some of my old boyfriends back in the Bronx. They’re actually kinda cute.”
I burst into unashamed tears at this, and snarled to my captains to lead the whole army back into the flesh-dissolving pits.
Have returned to orc drawing-board and buried face in hands. I cannot believe it. That woman has destroyed an army with a single comment.
Took time off project to find out how the other fellow does it. Made compact with Sauron and began to study his lore.
Noon mail-eagle brought me a pair of bunny slippers from Radagast for my birthday. Fed them to Lugaluk, who had been eyeing them hungrily.
Treebeard dropped by in the afternoon to borrow a cup of Miracle Gro for a sick beech. Was tempted to hand him a cup of Dioxin instead, but I can’t unmask myself yet. Was forced to stand there smiling hard for the hour it took him to get from ‘Thank’ to ‘You.’
Pondered Sauron’s xeriscaping with envy.
Used palantir to ‘speak’ to Sauron. At first I could see nothing but a black, drifting cloud.
“You’re looking good. Lost some weight?” I said.
The palantir filled with roaring flame for a moment. I swear, disembodied wraiths have no sense of humor.
Slowly, the form of a bloodshot Eye appeared out of the murk. Very hard to resist power of Eye, even for me. Distracted self by mental trick of imagining it wearing a grass skirt and dancing the hula.
‘What do you have to report?’ it thought at me.
“The White Council is planning your ouster from Dol Guldur. We cannot allow them to give us a poke in the eye.” Mentally, I kicked myself.
The flames around the edge seemed to hiss. “They must be prevented. When will they make the attempt?”
“They are being coy with me about the details. Galadriel does not trust me, but they’re not going to throw mud in my eye!”
And so forth. Got off palantir very weary, and needed a large tot of brandy afterwards. It’s not fair. We’re both Maiar, so it shouldn’t matter that he’s an eye. Must find ring!
In hallway, came across Sue goosing Lugaluk. Promptly lost lunch, and fled to watch orcs spawning to help settle stomach. Actually gave thought to breeding Sue to Lugaluk, but realized the Enemy might not give this the tans-on-Undying Lands-beach-rehab treatment they stupidly tried with Morgoth the first time. Feared I would receive the stuck-playing-Crazy-Eights-in-the-Void-with-boss’ ex-boss type of punishment, instead.
While in my study was hit with profound food cravings. Sue was smirking when she brought in my strawberry water-ice with pickles.
“Noticed anything?” she purred. “My murrains may take time to work, but they hit hard.”
“Not to my knowledge,” I replied haughtily. “Woman! Where are the extra pickles I asked for?”
“I’ll get you some more.” She tittered evilly to herself. “Of course Mr. Big Wizard can’t be expected to fetch them for himself on his poor, swollen feet.”
How did she know my feet were strangely swollen this morning?
Gandalf, that doddering parasite, dropped by. Had to make all the orcs hide in the basement and pretend to be a liberal employer.
“Sue,” I said with gritted teeth over dinner, “would you please bring out the brandy and pipeweed for our guest?” I was coughing on those blasted smoke-rings Gandalf blows so saucily.
“What’s this? Pul–eeze? Am I hearing the magic word?”
“Just. Fetch. The. Booze,” I gritted again. Meanwhile, Gandalf was examining me with curiosity.
“By the way,” said Gandalf. “You seem to be pregnant. Unusual condition in a male Maia, but not impossible.” He snickered in a low manner. “Who’s the father? Sorry! Rude question.” He snickered again, and said in a patronizing way, “Now, you can’t possibly have brandy, you’ll hurt the ickle ittle baby.” He commandeered the bottle from Sue, and bade her pour me some apple juice instead.
Anyone who thinks I was too harsh the day I finally had the chance to slam him around with my staff, is an idiot.
Gave birth. When asked what to do with the baby, I looked up from my sweat-soaked pillow and said, quite reasonably, “Drop it out the window.”
Sue cried out in protest. (She had been attending, along with Lugaluk). “You can’t do that! That’s inhuman! He’s a wonderful, healthy baby boy! Look!”
I looked. “I’m not human,” I replied. “Sell it to the horse-lords. If it made me suffer, I’m going to make it suffer right back, by Morgoth.”
“Horse-men not have slavery,” Lugaluk replied.
“Then make them start!” I shrilled. I was exhausted and hysterical. “Get it out of my sight!”
Sue left with the bundle. She was already cooing and calling it ‘Grima.’
Have heard of postpartum depression, but not postpartum nausea. Sue is pregnant by Lugaluk. The Valar cannot blame me for this one. Kept vomiting at sight of her. Have banished her until she spawns.
Was brewing primordial soup again and ordered chopped eyeballs. These were brought in by a non-waddling and flat-stomached Sue. “So you’ve finally spawned, sleazy wench?” I enquired.
“Damn right, asshole, and he’s the most beautiful baby boy in the world. He’s even more handsome than your Grima.”
This gave me pause. I definitely had to see the beast if he was even more hair-raising then Grima.
Sue sneezed copiously right into the basin of soup, contaminating it. I threw her out of the room with a kick and added orc-spawn to the basin, just to see what would happen. This would almost certainly be a failure.
Something rose from the basin and stepped out. It was clean-limbed, tall and fair, with eyes that shone with an ancient memory of starlight.
“You’re—you’re an elf!” I exclaimed. Wizards should never stutter, but this was a shock.
“No shit,” said the elf.
“!?!” said I.
The elf kicked me in the crotch and bolted, and was last seen melting into trees of Fangorn Forest.
Went to visit Sue’s spawn. Just as I was about to tip the bassinet, something dropped on my back and tried to throttle me. A familiar voice was hissing, “Tricksy wizard! Wizard tricks me into going to Mordor. No precious, only evil eyesies! Will kill wizard now!”
With a violent twist I ripped it from my neck and threw it into the conveniently placed bassinet. Just as I was preparing a spell, I heard a pitiful shrieking. It was the Gollum creature making the noises, and he was holding up a hand.
One of the fingers had been shorn clean off. Gollum fled the bassinet like it was a dragon’s den and was out the window before I could seize him.
Cautiously, I peeked inside the bassinet. The baby was sucking on a severed finger like a pacifier. It gripped the gnarled thing in its paw, making contented grunts as it sucked the dripping blood. I patted the baby’s head in approval and it snapped at me. “Stop that. You don’t want to be giving people ideas.” I examined my hands. I didn’t want to resemble Sauron—or Gollum–THAT much.
“You’re not half as good looking as Grima,” I said idly. “By the Valar! I mean, Holy Morgoth!
I’ve got it!”
The baby burped in contentment while I pranced about. “Victory! A human-orc cross more ferocious than either species has just dropped into my hands! Come now, let’s off to the spawning grounds. Middle-Earth will soon be in my hands. I will name my new orcs the Uruk-hai, after the noise you just made!”
Orc army prepared and ready to be unleashed. Have heard rumors of creatures called hobbits, and a ring. Rubbing hands with glee. Everything is coming together perfectly. Soon, I will be Lord of all Middle-Earth.
Treebeard came by and asked to borrow a few of my man-orcs, as he calls them.
“Uruk-hai!” I snapped. “Uruk-hai!” Why doesn’t anyone remember the nifty name I dreamed up for them?
“Gesundheit. I just need a few, hoom-hoom.”
“Hoom-hoom,” he pondered. “Say—10,000?”
“What for?” I asked.
“Oh, nothing,” he hoomed airily.
Are they on to me?
Events taken a turn for the worst. Orcs destroyed, Orthanc made waste. Am now shapeless wraith slain by own minion. Not even allowed to play Crazy Eights with Morgoth.
New Release: A Will to Murder by Hilary Thomson.
When wealthy and eccentric patriarch James Boyle dies a peculiar death, District Attorney Fowler declines to investigate, convinced that the victim died of natural causes. Yet even the police are stunned when members of the Boyle family gather for the reading of James’ will–and begin to die, one at a time. Only when long-lost relative Bradley Smith appears, along with reporter Eric Maxwell, do the mysterious deaths finally receive a proper investigation. Even so, no one is prepared to hear the truth, or can comprehend the depth of the lunacy that hides beneath the mansion’s bizarre facade.
Excerpt From The Book:
“Would you pry this cat off the steering wheel?” Eric was saying testily. He and Bradley were driving to Chichiteaux in Eric’s Honda. With them were Bradley’s cats, a calico named Purrball and a white kitten called Muffin. Both cats were wandering loose in the car because Smith thought caging animals was a crime.
“God, Eric, you must never have owned pets before.” Bradley tugged Purrball off and lowered her into the backseat, which he had turned into a playpen for the cats. A tangle of extension cords plugged a pair of battery-heated cat beds into the cigarette lighter, allowing the cats to lounge like pashas. Of course, Bradley had brought along their scratching posts, chase balls, plush toys, feather twitches, and wind-up mice. Smith had looped a pair of swat toys around the head rests, causing Maxwell to fret about his upholstery. And Bradley had not forgotten the more practical items like combs and brushes. Two suitcases alone had been necessary for the cat’s luggage.
Glancing over his shoulder, Eric said with disapproval, “You know, those cats have more toys than I ever did in all the time I was growing up.”
“Want a catnip-stuffed mouse to make you feel better?”
“No, thank you.”
“I was getting rid of one anyway. The seams are coming loose.”
“And a dozen more shall take its place,” Eric proclaimed in Biblical tones. “God only knows what your relatives will say when you show up with those cats.”
“Why are you so worried about my family?”
Eric could not resist grinning. “I’m afraid they’ll be like you.”
“Pah. If they’re like me, they’ll be wonderful people.”
“Besides, I think they might be rich.”
“Hey, I grew up poor but respectable. I’m still poor but respectable. And I’m poor by choice. You don’t become wealthy on a reporter’s salary for a small paper. But rich people don’t understand guys like me. They’ll ask why I don’t have a better paying job, and I’ll have to hurt their doltish feelings when I tell them I don’t give a damn.”
“Oh for God’s sake, rich people are just like you and me. They just have–weirdly dead relatives,” Bradley said with rising surprise.
“What are you looking at?”
Smith was holding a newspaper. “I borrowed this from the library. It’s the latest issue of the Chichiteaux Weekly and it has James Boyle’s obituary in it.”
“You’ll have to return that. Libraries don’t take to thieves,” Eric chided.
“All right. But listen to this. ‘Mr. James Elmont Boyle, 71, died in Chichiteaux on August 8th, while out for a drive in his beloved Mercedes-Knight town car. He was killed by a CD. Mr. Boyle was the son of Hiram Boyle, a local manufacturer, and Christina Howland. He had spent all his life in this community and was well-known as a fancier of antique cars. He was also an honorary colonel in the 1st Chichiteaux Regimental Militia. Mr. Boyle was preceded in death by his wife, Anna Newcombe Boyle. Survivors include his sister, Katherine Boyle, his son, Armagnac Boyle, and his two daughters, Jacquelyn Salisbury of New York City and Rose Cummings of Albany. He is also survived by three grandchildren. The burial was held Friday at the Douthit Cemetery. The family requests that all memorials be sent to the Chichiteaux Garden Club.’ Killed by a CD? What’d he do, swallow it?”
“Any other details?”
“Doesn’t sound probable.”
“Maybe he tripped over it.”
“Doesn’t sound likely, either. We’ll find out what happened from your family.”
The Little Book of Bitchy of Thoughts is medicine for the Modern Age, straight from the cauldron of Elizabeth Fairlight. The author serves up a stinging philtre of pithy observations, acrid humor, and even the occasional honest aphorism.
Quotes from the book:
If your child says, “Hey, lady,” to get the attention of a sales clerk, you’re lower-class. If your child says, “Excuse me, Ma’am,” then you’re middle-class, or higher. This is an infallible indicator.
‘Washington, D.C. is the third-world capital of a first-world country.’
‘Opera is only vaudeville with attitude.’
‘I’m always amazed by admonitions to love thy neighbor. Once God wises up to the fact that not everything on this Earth is worth loving, he would become a smarter God. It would be better to say, ‘love thy neighbor, if thy neighbor is worthy of it.’
How long did it take to write the book?
On and off, a period of many years, mainly in intense bursts of irritation.
Do you have a writing routine?
My writing routine consists of nagging myself to sit down and produce, which appears to be the only method that works. I’ve also been known to invoke Caffeinea, the tenth and most congenial muse.
Elizabeth Fairlight has not worked on a fishing trawler, as a bullfighter, or shot big game. She cannot net a purse, play the spinet, or paint flowers on china, though she has one very remarkable drawing-room talent, namely, keeping an open ear for the unwary pourer-outer.
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