A note from your archive hosts: Please be sure to read the reviews and "lub ledder" responses to this story. They are an important part and make it that much more enjoyable. Thank you al and Legolas for allowing us to do this.
PG-13 - Action/Adventure/Humor Disclaimer: AU? I hardly think so. You see, I am living this nightmare. This is a non-fiction story, but since there are no non-fiction sites for LOTR related stories, this will have to do. No profit to be made, no offense intended to any named or implied names of products, places, people, things, etc. New Line, JRR Tolkien, whoever will come, PLEASE! If you want him, come and claim him! I love him dearly, but he is wearing me out!
It all started because I didn't want to sit by myself in the movie theater. They, being my husband and daughter, didn't want to see the same movie again, regardless of how many times I thought we should see it, and frankly at this point, who's counting?
We reached a compromise. I would get to see The Fellowship of the Ring for the 19th time, and they would get to see some Disney flick with talking animals in it, conveniently located in the next theater down. That way, technically, I would not be "at the movies" by myself.
We planned to meet in the lobby in front of the concession stand in 3 hours. I left them, alone, and made my way into the darkened auditorium, sitting in my favored location in the seventh row up on the far left-hand side.
"THE MOVIE", as it is called at my house, was absolutely terrific as usual. I stayed through the credits as always, for it is true that homage should be paid even to those underlings who bring the coffee and wash the costumes. I am one of them, only I do it for our local community theater.
That's when everything in my life changed. As it did in his world as well.
For you see, that is when Legolas Greenleaf, Prince of Mirkwood and member of the Fellowship of the Ring, came to live in the closet at my house. This is his story.
The house lights came up, and once again I noticed I was the last to leave the theater. Alone, again. As I got up to leave, I noticed a movement at the very front of the auditorium, right at the bottom of the screen on the right side. < Dear Lord, that can't be a rat in the movie theater, can it? > I thought. I would have to pass right by it in order to get to the exit. I decided to hold off a second, thinking maybe the cinema staff would be in to clean up and would scare it away when they entered.
No such luck. It seemed that there were few enough patrons this time to warrant a cleanup effort after every show. After all, it is a Tuesday night, and this is the last show scheduled in this auditorium for the evening. And it is April, and FOTR has been playing at the theater for about 5 months, and is nearing the end of it's run.
I contemplate the rat again. I can't see it now, maybe it is gone. I plan my strategy for escape without running into it. That's when I notice something else. A flash of blonde hair. A glimpse of green and brown. A slight form, squatting on the floor at the edge of the movie screen on the right hand side. <That wasn't a rat, it is something else > I think to myself, <a rat could never get that large, not here in the theater eating buttered popcorn and Junior Mints. And since when do rats have long blonde hair, and wear clothing?>
I cautiously make my way to the front of the auditorium, easing toward the right side. I find him there, crouched down low in hiding, his face a mask of confusion. I cannot believe my eyes. I freeze, for I am afraid I will startle him. If he starts to run, there is no way I could catch him.
"Legolas?" I whisper. He looks up, his expression almost the same as the one he has when he happens upon Aragorn and Boromir at Amon Hen. Confused, sad, contemplative. Lost. He says nothing in response.
"What are you doing here?" I ask. His eyes are distant, unfocused, and I begin to wonder if this is the elven sleep everyone at Fanfic.net always talks about. Suddenly, he blinks and becomes aware again, and he softly whispers back to me, "I dunno."
We stare for a minute at each other. Finally he speaks again, "whur am I?"
"You're in the movie theater in Greenwood," I answer. At first he seems to relax, then the confused look returns as he repeats, "moovee thee-eater? I am uenfameelear wid da turm. Greanwuud duz not hab a. whut deed u cael dis plaece?"
I realize that I have confused him further by telling him he is in Greenwood, which is his native land, and we are both quite sure that there is no movie theater in the Greenwood of Middle Earth. There also seems to be something wrong with his speech.
"Legolas, are you ok? Are you injured?" I ask, concerned now because he seems.well, sort of out of character.
" I dunno. My haed huertz." He touches his forehead, and sure enough there on the left side is a bruised and swollen area about the size of an egg. Now I am really worried. Elves never allow anyone to see their weaknesses.
I hear voices in the hallway, and I realize we cannot stay here at the edge of the screen. Knowing I cannot get him back into "THE MOVIE", especially injured and confused, I realize I have no other choice left. Legolas will have to go home with me.
I look him over, sizing him up. I can't just walk out with him, his clothes are just too obvious. Not to mention the long blonde hair, and the fact that when he rises along with me, he teeters over backwards and almost falls. As I catch him by the elbow to steady him, it dawns on me.
At first glance I thought he was a large rat. If I dump my handbag, I could probably get him in there. It is as large as one of those rolling book bags the kids are using now, with a big central pocket. It just might work.
I turn it upside down, spilling the contents on the floor. I stash the essentials like my wallet and checkbook in my jeans pockets, tossing everything expendable into the trash can in the corner.
Legolas is watching me. I borrow a line from Aragorn to get him moving. "Leave all that can be spared behind. We travel light. Let's hunt some Orc." I ask him to curl up inside my "pack" so that we can escape undetected. Thank God for the head injury, he does not question me, and folds himself carefully inside.
Unfortunately, the bow and quiver full of arrows does not fold up. I am left with the dilemma of figuring out how to get them past the people in the lobby and into my car, or leaving them behind. I look into his eyes, where the lost and hunted look remains. I cannot ask him to leave them, as they are all he has left of his past. Straightening, I lift up my shirt in back and shove the bow and quiver inside it, up my spine. With some careful arranging, I can make it to the car with only the most observant noticing. The cinema is pretty empty this time of a weekday night, so I decide to take the chance. I hope it will be worth it.
Hoisting him onto my shoulder, I am thankful that Elves are as light as the rumor says. He can't weigh more than a 20 pound sack of dog food. I speak softly to him, reassuring him everything will be ok, and asking him to be still and quiet for a little while. I make my way back into the lights and sounds of the lobby, saying a prayer that what I have promised him will be true.
My husband (I'll call him Yes Dear to protect the innocent), and my 9 year old daughter (aka Little Pip for the same reasons) are waiting for me in the lobby as planned. I pretend that everything is as normal as usual, and save for the slight movement in my handbag on my shoulder, no one would be the wiser.
We make our way out to the car, and I deposit Legolas and my handbag on the floor of the passenger side. I slip the bow and quiver from under my shirt, and hopping into the car, I stash them in the small space between the door and the seat. As Yes Dear starts the car, I hear a little startled cry from the floorboard.
"What was that Hunney?" Yes Dear inquires. He is looking at me, but not at the handbag thank God.
"Oh, I was just yawning and made a little noise," I lie. "I'm just a little tired tonight. Can we drive by the Chick-fil-a for supper instead of going in someplace?" I reach down discreetly and give the handbag a little pat, pretending to scratch my leg.
"Ok," he says. " Do you have any money?"
The jig is up. To get money I will have to open my handbag. Suddenly, I remember that I have stuffed my wallet in my pocket. Now I have to think of a way to explain why the wallet is not in my handbag. So I decide to stall. Knowing payday was last Friday, I take a chance, assuming that there is still enough money for supper in my wallet without actually looking to be sure.
I answer, "I do." Gee whiz, the last time I said I do, look how much trouble I got in to.
We order our supper, and pay without further complications. That is, until the smell of the food starts to waft though the car. The Handbag begins to squirm.
Lord knows how long it's been since he left Lothlorien. He's been existing on berries and lembas, and now I've got Chick-fil-a. I gently ease the zipper on the handbag back just a little ways, and slip a waffle fry through the opening. Seconds later there is a peek of a thumb and index finger sticking out of the crack, so I give him another. In no time at all the fries are gone, and there is a soft contented purring noise coming from the floor near my feet. It's a good thing it was at the same pitch as the sound of the car engine.
We make it home without being detected, and as the car engine stops, so does the purring. He is again on the alert, unsure of what is happening. I carry my handbag into the house and instead of putting it down by the door, I sneak it back to the bedroom and set it down just inside the closet door.
I pull open the zipper, and a pair of deep blue eyes peer out at me. "You can get out if you want," I whisper. "You must hide in here for awhile though. Make yourself comfortable if you can. We'll talk in a little while, when Yes Dear gets in the shower."
He nods, and carefully unfolds himself. I give him a smile, and gently close the closet door. It is the kind with the louvers in it, so he will be able to see what is happening on the other side. Maybe that will make him feel less alone, and less frightened, though elves would never show it if they were feeling alone and afraid.
In a half-hour, I return to the closet bearing a plate of apple slices and some cookies. I have no idea what elves really eat. This is one of the things I intend to talk about.
I open the door. There is no one inside.
"Legolas?" I whisper, wondering where he could have gone if he had gotten the door open. This could be BAD NEWS.
Down in the far corner, I finally find him. He is curled up in a tiny ball, eyes open but unseeing, dreaming his elven dreams. I have not the heart to wake him. For him the shock of it all is far too near. I leave the plate on the floor beside him, and shut the door. Sleep, fair Prince I think, questions that need answering can wait until tomorrow.
(Readers Reviews For Chapter One ), with **al and Legolas' responses**
A/N: Thanks for your kind reviews! Has anyone got a number where I can reach New Line? I tried calling the Greenwood Theater, but the message says they cannot accept any calls from my telephone number, go figure?
For some reason, I wake early the next morning. I am not an early morning person, so this is surprising. Yes Dear is still snoring contentedly beside me. I catch movement out of the corner of my eye. Through the louvers of the closet, I can see swaying. It is very slight, hardly perceptible, but there.
I rise, going quietly toward the closet, and crack open the door. A pair of piercing blue eyes is looking back at me. They have a desperate quality about them, and coupled with the swaying which is still continuing, it suddenly dawns on me. He never went to the bathroom last night before bedtime.
Putting a finger to my lips, I indicate for him to be quiet, and taking him by the hand, I lead him down the hallway to the front bathroom. I gently push him in front of me, ushering him through the door. As I turn on the light, he jumps back, startled. He's never seen a light that turns on with the flip of a switch before. His urgent need forgotten, he begins to inspect the fixture and bulbs overhead.
As he moves towards the light, he catches a glimpse of himself in the large mirror hanging over the sink. He jumps into a defensive position, as does the elf in the mirror. A standoff ensues. They stare at each other. He begins to relax, as does the elf in the mirror. Softly, his voice says, "I hab nevar sean wader haengin frum a wael befour."
He reaches to touch the reflection, and startles again when he finds it is not liquid, but solid that his fingers meet. His head cocks first to one side, then to the other as he studies this wizardry. He raises an eyebrow. My God, it really DOES run in the family! There is the Thranduil eyebrow, just as I imagined it!
I lean in, interrupting his inspection. I do need to get him out of sight before everyone else gets up. "Legolas," I remind him," did you need to relieve yourself?"
He blushes, turning away from his reflection, and replies, "Yeas. Forgeev me, I hab nevar sean anithang like dis."
I smile at him reassuringly. "There will be many things you have not seen before, I am sure." Not knowing what type of facilities elves use inside the palace, I prepare to give him "the grand toilet tour".
I show him the "great white throne," explaining how males lift up the seat as they use it. I make sure he understands the need to put the seat back in place as he finishes. I show him how to push down the silver handle to make the toilet clean itself.
Just for kicks, I tell him that if you don't replace the seat before you flush, the water will come back UP from the toilet instead of going down. That should make things easier for Little Pip and me.
I leave him there, contemplating his next actions, and go to make sure Yes Dear is getting up for work.
Once Yes Dear is finished dressing and moves up front to the den to read the morning paper and eat his Pop Tart for breakfast, I sneak Legolas back to the closet and get Little Pip up for school. Soon they are both on their way, and I finally have time to ask my questions. Primarily, how are we going to get Legolas back where he belongs?
I invite him out of the closet, and into the kitchen to have a bite of breakfast. This is where my first questions will start. What do I feed him?
As I look through the cabinets for something appropriate to feed a Prince, I notice Legolas is not standing beside me. Glancing around, I discover to my horror that he is kneeling on the floor, almost nose to nose, reaching out to pet my poodle Goliath. Now, mind you, Goliath is 18 years old and weighs maybe 8 pounds, but he is still as fast as a striking cobra and did NOT get the name without due cause. No one, and I mean NO ONE has ever been able to touch Goliath but me. Even then, I have sustained far more bites than I care to remember. And now Legolas (and his nose!) are inches from a fate worse than being flogged by Saruman himself.
Before I can yell a word of warning, he has made contact. His long elven fingers gently glide over the dog's head and down his back in an intimate caress. He is crooning to the dog, and though Goliath is totally deaf at this point, they are making some kind of connection.
I am holding my breath, lightheaded. He rises, and comes into the kitchen to me as if nothing has happened.
I decide to let well enough alone for now, and begin to pull out various things that he might like for breakfast. He ends up tasting a bite of every breakfast cereal in the cabinet, followed by a strawberry filled Pop Tart, and ends up at the kitchen table with a plate bearing 2 slices of toast cut into 4 triangles, each with a different type of jelly on them. I think he might have a sweet tooth.
I hear the little ding-a-ling noise from the computer in the other room that signals me someone is typing a message for me on the Instant Message (IM). Legolas cocks his head to the right, but continues eating his toast and jelly. I excuse myself for a moment, and go to answer the machine. It is my husband, Yes Dear. Remember him?
Yes Dear needs yesterday's copy of the newspaper, and wants me to bring it to him on my way to work. As we type back and forth, I notice Legolas has come to stand in the doorway. I look up at him, and he questions," Due u hab sum kiend of bierd enn hear?"
Processing his strange dialect, I realize he thinks the sound of the IM is some type of new birdcall. It does sound rather like the canary my Aunt had when I was a child. "No, Legolas," I say, motioning for him to come in, " it is not a bird, though it sounds like one! That noise you hear is my husband asking me a question."
He sits on the chair I have pulled up beside me, and watches in fascination as I type words into the keyboard, and they appear on the screen. He is even more fascinated by the words that appear by magic from someone else who is not here. "Iz dis sum kin of palantir?" he asks, concerned.
"No," I reply, giggling. "You will learn many ways of speaking without sending a messenger as you are used to." He just gives me the Thranduil eyebrow again.
(Reviews For Chapter Two) **al and Legolas**
A/N: Major giggle alert! Put down your soda. You have been warned.
The morning passes, and soon I must also leave for a little while to go to work. Fortunately for Legolas, I work only 2 hours a day at the local library as a bookshelver. It will not be long before his personal tour guide returns, and I can sense he is glad of this.
We have discussed how I know who he is, and he was surprised to find that his life is recorded in a book. A trilogy, no less. I dig up one of the copies of Fellowship of the Ring for him, and leave him curled up on my bed, reading while surrounded by two of our 4 cats.
When I come home, he is full of questions himself. First of all, he wants to know about the book compared to the movie. He has managed to get through Hobbiton and Bree, and has stopped just before the Council of Elrond. His speech might seem impaired, but his reading comprehension is pretty good.
"Dis buuk is all roeng," he says sternly, crossing his arms over his chest. "Arwen roed Assfelloff tu git Frodo. Not Glorfindle. " He shakes his head emphatically, blonde mane flowing from side to side.
I try to explain about creative licensing, and how directors sometimes have to change things from the book to make them work better in a movie, but he is not buying it. Not for one skinny little minute.
"I no Assfelloff is Glorfindle's hoerse," he continues. "Bud dat wuz Arwen who roed heem." He pauses, thinking to himself. "Due U hav tiem fur a storee? Den I kin eggsplain."
I get a package of Keebler Elf cookies from the cabinet, and take a seat at the kitchen table. He sits down across from me. Taking one of the cookies and striking the Thranduil's eyebrow pose, he says, "Whut is dis deavilery? Dis is no Elf!"
Smiling, I tell him we will go there another time. "Now, what is the story you wanted to tell me?"
" I wuz goen tu tael u how Arwen got Glorfindle's hoerse. U sea, Glorfindle herd that Frodo wuz staebd bie da Morgul blaed," he says very seriously. "He wuz abot tu git ontu Assfelloff, whin Arwen snuk up beehin heem an hit heem on da haed wid a shuvel."
A little snort escapes before I can stop it. He glares at me, dead serious.
He continues, "She cuvered heem in da hoerse maneur. Den she stoel heez hoerse, an roed off tu git Frodo. Dat is why he is not sean in da moovee. He wuz in da House of Heeling da hoel tiem, wid a beeg bandaje on heez haed."
I cannot control the little snickers that are coming out behind my hand that is clamped over my mouth. He glares some more, and now the tips of his ears are getting a little pink.
Breaking eye contact, he mutters something under his breath. "I'm sorry," I say, "but I didn't hear what you said. Would you mind repeating it?"
"I saed dat Glorfindle is an azhoel aniwae."
"Legolas!" I gasp. I never expected a Prince to say anything quite like that!
"Weel, he is! I wuld like tu ask heem why he incists on kallin da hoerse by dat naem. Id is a crewel joek."
"I don't understand. What is cruel about the name Asfaloth?" I ask.
"DA DAM BEEST THREU ME! I DEED NOT FALL OFF!"
A burst of laughter explodes from my lips. I can no longer contain it. I am soon holding my sides and the tears are running down my face.
The thought of Legolas Greenleaf falling off of the back of another elf's horse, which I am pretty sure by the look on his face was NOT taken with permission, is more than I can take.
He is starting to turn red in the face. "Id is not fundy!" he yells. "I am da Prance of Murkwuud! U weel stoep dat laffin rite now!"
"I'm sorry, Legolas, but that was really funny!" I choke out between fits of giggles.
" ID IS NOT FUNDY! ID IS A MEEN JOEK!" The Prance of Mirkwood continues, voice raised to the heavens. "I AM DA PERTIEST PRANCE IN ALL OF MEEDLE ERTH, AN U WEEL STOP DAT LAFFIN AT ME RITE NOW!
He is standing up now, drawn to his full height in his rage. He reminds me so much of Galadriel when Frodo offers her the ring that I cannot catch my breath. The image is so complete that I think I can even smell something burning.
"Okay, Okay, you are the prettiest prince in Mirkwood!" I squeak out. "You are the prettiest prince that ever lived, even for a minute! I promise, I promise."
I KIN STILL HERE YOU LAFFIN!! I HAV ELF EARS, REMAMBER?
"Pretty Pretty prince,"I giggle (with my fingers crossed behind my back) "I promise I won't ever mention it again. Just because Tolkien wrote the horse's name down for all eternity, and no one will ever read his name or for that matter see a white steed without thinking of you ever again, that does not mean that we do not love you and think you are the prettiest elf in all of Middle Earth."
"Du u mean dat?" he asks, cocking his head and using the Thranduil eyebrow on me again.
"Of course I do!"
"Eben pertier dan dat azhoel Glorfindle?" he growls.
"Even prettier than Glorfindel."
"Sae id agin. Da hoel thang."
I stifle my giggles, though it takes all I have. I clear my throat, and say again, "You, Legolas Greenleaf, are the absolute prettiest prince that ever lived in Middle Earth, even prettier than.. Glorfindel."
He watches me a minute, making sure I am sincere this time. Then, "I am goen tu reed sum moer of dis buuk," he says, and turning gracefully on one heel, he stalks off to the bedroom.
(Reviews For Chapter Three) **al and Legolas**
A/N: Ok, Yes Dear hereby claims copyrights for the theory of Arwen hitting Glorfindel over the head with a shovel. Those who disagree, please see TreeHugger's fantastic story "An Orc in Rivendell", my review of Chapter 6, dated 4/26/02.
I will take The Prance of Mirkwood (copyright alliwantisanelfforchristmas) and you can call me Al when you use it, OK?
A/N: Saes is Elvish for Please. Responses to my beloved reviewers are at the end of this chapter. No, I have not heard anything from New Line or Tolkien's estate about when they will be coming to pick him up.
After a few hours, the Prance of Mirkwood appears in the computer room, looking a little bleary-eyed. He had gotten past the Mines of Moria in The Book, and was none too happy that Tolkien gave him the line, "Ai!, ai!. A Balrog! A Balrog has come!"
"Maekz me saund like a seesy" he grumbled. "An elf wuld NEBER droep heez aroe like dat."
"It's ok, Legolas," I assure him. "Put The Book down for a little while and come look at this." I am typing an e-mail message to my mother, so I let him watch as I press the keys to get the letters I want to make themselves into the words I need. He is fascinated with this form of letter writing.
"Mae I trie dat?" he inquires.
"Sure," I reply, vacating the seat. "My mother would just LOVE to get an e- mail from you. She waits by the computer all day, everyday for an e-mail from me already."
"Reely?" he asks, unbelieving.
"No, Legolas. It was a joke. Here, sit down."
I open a new e-mail and get him started toward the body of the message. He asks, "Hoew due I adraess her?"
"Why don't you call her Grandma like Little Pip does?" I suggest.
He types in, "Deer Grammar Laede,
Ur dawter iz a varie niec hueman. She iz taekin guud kaer of me. Saes excuz miy spaelin. Elvis iz miy naetiv laengwidg, an dis Eangleesh eez a leedle haerd fur mee."
Being a Prince, he is familiar with the writings of the Common tongue, but currently it appears that he reads much better than he spells.
"Whut ealse shuld I sae?" he asks.
"Close with something like 'Love, Legolas'," I say.
He types, "Wid Elbin Lub, Legolas."
"Now you just click on this little box that says 'Send'," I tell him.
He does so, then rises from the chair and goes to the back door, standing in the doorway looking out, waiting patiently.
"Legolas, do you want to type something else?" I call to him. No answer. "Legolas?" I follow him, and look out the glass door to see what it is he is watching so intently.
Seeing nothing unusual, I ask, "What are we looking for?"
"I em luukin fur da maesinjr. Hoew loeng weel he taek tu aribe?"
I suppress my giggle, and explain that there will be no messenger, that the computer takes the message all by itself. He is puzzled by this, but takes it all in stride. Just one more fascinating thing in this world to go with the flushing toilets and Keebler Elf Cookies.
We return to the computer room. I give him a blank page Word document and let him practice typing letters for awhile to keep him entertained. I show him how to use the space bar, and to push enter to go to the next step with things. After a while, I leave him contentedly typing away, making up a poem to fit the notes of the song that he is humming softly to himself. Peck, peck, peck, one little key at a time.
I head outside to bring in the laundry. It is only two loads worth, so I am gone only a couple of minutes. When I return, I hear him talking in the computer room. Thinking he is composing his song and putting things together, I do not interrupt, but stand quietly at the doorway, listening in.
That is when I discover that an instant message has appeared on the computer screen. It is from my husband. It starts out, "Hello!" and I see that Legolas has already answered correspondingly "helo!"
"Having a good day?" Yes Dear asks.
"Yeas" is the answer typed in already.
"Have you been busy?" says Yes Dear.
" I hab bean reedin a buuk," says the answer.
" I didn't know you would have time for that today," Yes Dear teases, knowing my full schedule does not include reading until the evening hours.
"I am immoral. I hab ael da tiem in da wurld," types in the Prance of Mirkwood.
A little laughing smiley face icon appears on the screen, accompanied by a burst of laughter from the computer speaker. Legolas jumps back, almost tipping over in his chair. He is in defensive mode again. He stands poised, ready to take on this new attacker, but nothing happens. Cautiously, he resumes his seat.
"Whoe iz dis?" he types in carefully, as if the keys might bite his fingers.
Playing along, Yes Dear answers, "it's just me."
I hear Legolas say aloud, "me? I em rite hear. Hoew kin dat bea me?" He types in, "Whoe iz me?"
Yes Dear, always the practical joker, continues the game he THINKS he is playing with his wife saying, "me, myself and I."
"Ai, Valar!" I hear Legolas exclaim, " I am taelkin tu..misef!"
He sits and contemplates the computer screen, cocking his head first to the right, then to the left. He tries again, peck-peck-peck, "Whoe iz dis?"
Yes Dear types back, "Who is this?" to which Legolas answers before I can stop him, "dis iz Legolas."
"That is funny, Hunney," Yes Dear replies. "Pretending you are Legolas, imagine that!"
" I em nod Hunney!" types Legolas angrily, " I em Legolas Greenleaf, Prance of Murkwuud. Dere iz noe reezun tu pertind."
The laughing smiley face appears again, and Legolas is out of the chair in a flash. He hesitates, thinking, and that unusual toasted sort of smell is starting to invade the room again. He reclaims the chair once more, and types with his one fingered pecking method, "Anser mi! Whoe iz dis?"
Yes Dear, enjoying the game thoroughly, decides to up the stakes. He answers, "I AM A NAZGÛL."
"Ai! Ai!" Legolas cries, leaping back from the screen, tipping the chair over in the process. "A Naezgool! A Naezgool has come!"
(Reviews For Chapter Four) **al and Legolas**
Stay tuned! More adventures on the way. That makes 4 chapters already, and we haven't even covered the first 24 hours yet! Let me know what you think by (e-mailing me) -Legolas reads the reviews and gets really excited to hear from all of you. You all know what happens when he gets excited don't you?
A/N: Thoughts in < > 's. References and Notes to reviewers at end of chapter.
It took me an hour to find him. By chance, I happened to get caught in that game cat's play, you know the one where they stare off into space, concentrating intensely, and when you finally look to see what it is they are observing, you realize there is nothing there. Absolutely, positively, nothing there. The cat will always give a little smirk, saying to itself, "Stupid human." Then it will wander off, in search of more intelligent minds to mess with.
I saw Mikey staring above the TV entertainment center. I avoided the game at first. After searching the whole house (I'd spent almost a whole hour already), I happened to fall for it and look toward the ceiling. There he perched, squatting back on his haunches, right up there at ceiling level. He had his bow in hand, arrow nocked and ready. There would be no Nazgûl sneaking undetected into this dwelling today, no siree!
"Legolas, you can come down now," I call up to him. "The Nazgûl is gone."
"Hoew due u noe?" he whispers, still clutching his bow.
"I typed back and told it you were gone. It left and has not come back," I state assuredly, using my most convincing voice. It is the same voice I use when I tell Little Pip she had better give back my favorite fuzzy black shoes for the last time.
Legolas drops soundlessly from his perch, six feet above the ground. He doesn't bounce on the landing, doesn't leave a mark on the carpet. < Maybe they can use him on the US Gymnastics Team in the next Olympics > I think.
"Thaet thang eez sum kiend of palantir, I noe id," he insists.
"Enough for now, " I gently tell him. "Yes Dear and Little Pip will be coming home soon, so we need to get you something to eat and get you settled back in your closet, ok?"
"Weel u tael dem abot mie toonite?" he inquires. He sounds almost shy when he says it.
"I will, if the time is right," I reply. "But first, let's get you prepared in case tonight does not work out."
He selects the box of Oat Bran Flakes and the package of dried fruit bits from the breakfast food cabinet, and I give him an apple and a banana as well. The apple he is familiar with, but the banana is an entirely different subject.
"An whut, prae tael, due I due wid dis thang?" he asks, eyebrow raised.
"It's a banana, Legolas. You eat it. Don't you have bananas in Middle Earth?" I answer.
"Id luuks like sumethang Haldir wuld uze . . . . nebermind," he turns away, blushing. Ah, the mysteries of elves!
He settles into the bottom corner of the closet, and is contentedly munching away on the bran flakes straight out of the box when I hear the car in the driveway. "I'll check on you later," I tell him, shutting the door.
Yes Dear comes back to the bedroom. I don't have to worry yet, for he gets a T-shirt and shorts from the dresser drawer and puts his work clothes into the laundry hamper, never going near the closet. I am thankful Legolas has the good elven sense to avoid chewing the bran flakes while Yes Dear is in the room.
That's when I notice the rumpled bedcovers and the copy of "The Fellowship of the Ring" in the middle of the bed. At exactly the same time Yes Dear notices the same thing.
"Ah, so you've decided to read it," Yes Dear teases.
"I did read it. Now I'm reading it again," I retort.
"What page are you on?" he inquires, moving toward the bed and picking up The Book before I can get to it.
"Page 204. The Council of Elrond," I snap back.
"I don't think so," says Mr. Tolkien bookverse trivia knowledge contest winner without cracking The Book's cover. "The Council of Elrond doesn't start until page 233 in this particular publisher's print. Page 204 is where Glorfindel arrives riding Asfaloth and finds Strider and the Hobbits on the Road to Rivendell." *
I hear a low growl coming from the closet behind me. < Please Legolas, not now, the time is most definitely NOT RIGHT! >
"What was that?" Yes Dear asks. "I didn't hear you."
Quick! Think quick! "I said I meant 234. Didn't I say page 234?"
"It sounded like you growled at me," he says.
"My stomach is growling. I'm hungry," I say. "Time for supper, ok?" I make a hasty retreat down the hall, praying Yes Dear will follow me, hoping the growling has ceased.
Thankfully, he follows, and the subject is dropped. At least, for now. I can't keep an elf in my closet forever, can I? Legolas will need to see the stars, and feel the sun on his face. No, it cannot last forever.
Sooner or later, Legolas will have to come out of the closet.
Thank goodness Yes Dear sleeps like the dead. I sneak Legolas out twice for a bathroom break, once last night and again this morning. We have managed to make it almost 36 hours undetected.
After they have gone for the morning, I fix Legolas some toast, covered in strawberry jam, which appears to have won his favor. I leave him at the kitchen table and head for work. "Make yourself at home," I call from the door, "and I'll be back in a couple of hours, ok?"
Around noon, I arrive home, planning to fix peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for lunch. Since toast with jelly has been such a success, how could I possibly go wrong with peanut butter and jelly? I open the back door and step into the kitchen. He has managed to put his dirty breakfast paper plate into the garbage can, but the jelly is still on the table. Apparently he has not quite figured out how to open the refrigerator door. I am glad it was only the jelly, and not the milk.
"Legolas?" I call down the hallway. "It's just me. You can come out now."
There is a muffled "Okae," from the master bedroom. When 5 minutes go by and he has not appeared, I wander down the hallway to see what is keeping him.
I hear him talking in a chatty little voice, then answering in his own natural tone. I cannot quite catch the conversation, so I decide to eavesdrop momentarily again.
"Wuld u like sum caek?" he says in the chatty voice. It is quite high- pitched, and very feminine sounding.
"Dat wuld bea kwite niec endeed," he says in his own voice. There is a pause, punctuated with little clicking sounds, and then a deep, "Mmmm, deelishus!"
"Wie, thaenk u!" says the chatty voice.
"ur kwite wekome," says the deeper more natural Legolas voice.
Then another feminine voice joins in. This one is slightly lower toned and I think to myself, surprisingly like Arwen's voice from the movie. "Maehapz I culd poar u a leedle moer whine, Lord Legolas?"
His musical laughter rings throughout the house. "Nae, nae, **nin lirimaer, bud I em jest Legolas, nod a loerd bie eny meenz."
The Arwen voice says, "Shirly u r of sum lien of nobilatie. Ur manerz r impekable."
He laughs again, then answers, "I em da sun of King Thranduil, soe if u muest, u mae kall mie Prance Legolas."
I cannot stand it any longer. I have to peek to see what exactly is going on in my closet.
He is sitting cross-legged on the floor, just inside the closet door. There are 2 tiny wicker chairs and a tiny wicker table on the floor in front of him. On the table are 3 miniature maroon wine goblets, and 3 teensy pink plates with 3 wee slices of plastic vanilla frosted cake on them. In the center of the table sits what is left of the little cake, raised up on one of those elevated cake stands. There is also an itsy bitsy pink teapot with a monogrammed "B" on it.
Sitting across from Legolas, in the tiny wicker chairs, are Little Pip's blonde haired Barbie and her Brunette friend Teresa.
* "The Fellowship of the Ring" by J.R.R. Tolkien. Houghton Mifflin Company c.1994
**nin lirimaer: Elvish for my lovely one
The banana story belongs to Quiseyes, and I read it last on Quiver (avada- kedavra.net/quiver) if you are interested. It is called "Feasting"
(Reviews For Chapter Five) **al and Legolas**
Disclaimer: Nope. I do not own him. I am not sure anybody really owns him at this point but himself. Therefore, I am not really at liberty to loan him or rent him out either. Sorry. Nor do I own any of the other everyday items you will see listed throughout this story.
"Weel, der u ar!" says the Prance of Mirkwood from his position on the floor. "I deed nod thank u wuld eber git hear! Wuld u caer tu joyne us?"
How can I resist an invitation from the Prance? My brain says to myself, if he pulls out a glass slipper, I will just DIE!
"Well, just for a minute," I say, blushing a little. Ok, a LOT!
"Guud!" he exclaims, moving over on the carpet to make room for me at his side. As I get settled, he leans over conspiratorially and whispers in my ear, "I wuld entrudoose u, bud de laedeez hab bean verry hezitaent abot taelling mie dere naemz."
"Maybe I can help," I reply. Addressing the dolls I say," Ladies, it has come to my attention that you have not been formally introduced. My profuse apologies are in order. Please forgive me." I give a little half curtsy from my seated position.
"Prance Legolas," I begin, "May I present Barbie of Mattel and her best friend Teresa?" I point to each of the ladies in turn as I announce them.
"Ladies, may I present Prance Legolas Greenleaf of Mirkwood, " I gesture toward Legolas as he gives a little seated bow and inclines his head. He reaches out and takes Barbie by the hand, saying" Sech a plaezur tu meat u," and then doing the same to Teresa, "I em honurd tu maek ur akwainteance."
What a charmer!
His voice changes to the high pitched feminine one I heard before, and he says, "weel u joyne uz fur sum kaek?"
It changes again, and this time the Arwen voice adds, "yeas, plaez due!"
Now he waits, looking at me expectantly. With a start, I realize it is my turn. I have gotten so wrapped up in the unusual voices coming from him that I almost forgot I was having an afternoon tea party with a Prance!
"Oh, certainly!" I answer.
Legolas produces another teensy pink plate and a minature wine goblet from the far side of him. " I thot u mite sae dat!" he says, grinning. He doles out a wee slice of the plastic vanilla frosted cake for me on the teensy pink plate, and hands it gracefully to me, then pretends to pour a goblet full of whatever is in the itsy bitsy pink teapot for me. "Hear u goe!" he says, handing the goblet to me.
"Thank you, Prance Legolas," I reply.
Before I can make another move, he leans close to my ear again and whispers, "Wach dat kake. Haerder dan Da Won Rang idsef. Gimli culdn't kut dat kake wid heez akz eethr. An dat whine burnz like da fierz of Moredoor goen doewn." He winks at me.
I give him a smile back, pretending to taste the cake and to take a sip of the wine. "Excellent vintage!" I exclaim. "This must be from your father's vines, Lady Barbie?"
"Ah yaes, frum da yeer of da Prance'z koeming of aege," he reflects in the high pitched feminine Barbie voice.
"A miety fien yeer endeed!" says the Arwen voice.
Leaning back to my ear again, he becomes Legolas again, and whispers, "An dat kake iz abot dat saem aege tu!"
We make small talk for a while longer, when suddenly I realize the afternoon is passing and I still have to go get Little Pip. "Legolas," I ask, "would you like to accompany me to pick up Little Pip from school?"
"U meen goe bie bie een da kar?" he asks, leaping to his feet. "O, culd I? Culd I?"
"Well, sure, I guess it would be ok," I reply. "You will have to ride in the very back of the van though, and not let anyone see you. I haven't told anyone about you yet."
"Okae!" He is past me in a flash, blonde mane flying behind him, bow and quiver in hand, though I never saw him pick them up. Before I can blink, he is standing at the back door, waiting, shifting from foot to foot. Funny, I don't remember ever seeing him do that in the movie.
"No, no, the bow and arrows stay here," I tell him. This produces the scowl of the deadly elven warrior I knew before. "The school does not allow any weapons on the grounds, for the children's safety you know."
"Whut abot Orkz?" he questions.
"No Orcs are allowed either," I say.
"Gobbelinz?" he inquires.
"No Goblins either."
"Nope. No scary bad things allowed at all. It is a very safe place to be," I tell him, reaching for the weapons and placing them respectfully on the kitchen table. "Come now, or we'll be late."
I open the glass storm door for him, letting him out into the yard in the sunlight. He stands for a moment, face uplifted, eyes closed, reveling in the delight of its warmth. As I lock up to go, I notice the smile that has crept up on his face as he stands there in the bright light. Yes, Legolas, it is time to come out of the closet. You need to be out of the darkness that has befallen you, through no fault of your own.
I open the hatch of the van for him, and watch as he climbs in and makes himself comfortable sitting on the picnic blanket I always keep back there on the floor. "Ready?" I ask him.
"Raedie!" he proclaims.
I head for the drivers seat, crank it up, and begin to back out of the driveway. There is a scrambling noise, and I brake to see what it is that has caused him to move so rapidly.
"Legolas, are you all right back there?"
"Hoew due I maek dis thang woerk?" he yells back, obviously startled.
"What are you trying to work?" I call back to him.
"Dis thang! Dis kar! Id eez moevin dis wae! I thot U wuz goen tu maek id wurk!"
I forgot to explain we have to go backward first to get out of the driveway. He must have thought we would be going forwards all the time, since I told him he had to ride in the back of the car. Ooops!
After a brief lesson in which way the car goes, we head down the driveway and are off to school. As we are driving along, I catch glimpses of a blonde head in my rear view mirror from time to time, but all in all he does an excellent job of keeping himself hidden. When we get to the school, I call to him, "Better hide good now, we are here and Pip is about to get in the car, ok?"
"Okae!" I hear some rustling sounds, and then all is quiet in the back of the van.
The side door slides open, and Pip climbs in. "Guess what?" I ask her. "Have I got a surprise for you when we get home!"
(Reviews For Chapter Six) **al and Legolas**
A/N: My heart is breaking! I cracked my DVD disc! *wipes tears away* Be very careful when you push the disc down into the little holder-there was a pop noise and my DVD disc now has 3 little cracks running outward from the center hole! It still plays, but if anyone sees PJ please tell him I would like another one, after all I went 24 times to see it, doesn't loyalty count for anything?
At least the extended version will be here in just another month or so. *sighs*
Nope. Still can't say I own him, though I should get credit for keeping him out of trouble as long as I have so far. Oh yeah, thoughts are in ~ ~ this time.
Little Pip is very excited to hear there will be a surprise for her, as all children are. "What is it, Momma?" she asks, not able to contain her curiosity.
"If I tell you now it won't be a surprise when we get home, will it?"
She gives The Drama Queen sigh. "No, I guess not."
"Finish your homework on the ride home, then you will be ready to play when you get there," I suggest.
As we drive, I see a blonde head and a pair of bright blue eyes peering over the top of the third row seat back. Legolas is carefully checking out Pip. I realize the only time he may have seen her would be in a photograph or in a quick glimpse as she passed by the closet door, which she doesn't do all that often. Thank Goodness she is concentrating hard on her homework and does not notice the scrutiny coming from behind her.
She finishes just as we are turning onto our street. I give Legolas the warning eye in the rear view mirror, and he ducks back down into his hiding place.
Pip is out of the car, scurrying into the house in anticipation of her surprise. Legolas is half out behind her before I catch him. "Wait here for just a second," I tell him. " I want her to have a chance to look into your closet before you come in."
He nods his head, blonde tresses waving gently. " I weel stae rite hear unteel u kum bak."
She passes the kitchen table, throws her bookbag on the couch, and turns to face me. "OK, I'm ready!" she proclaims.
~~Oh boy, NO you are NOT!~~ I think to myself.
"About your surprise. . . " I begin. "You remember the other night when we went to Greenwood to the movies?"
She nods and continues staring at me, blue eyes wide with a big anticipatory grin gracing her lips.
"Well, I brought something . . . let's call it 'unusual', home," I tell her. "You aren't going to believe this, but . . . " I hesitate, trying to be certain I am doing the right thing. As I pause, I see out of the corner of my eye a figure peering out of the back window of the van, patiently awaiting his fate. Yes, it is time. Legolas must come out of the closet today.
". . .when we were at the movie theater the other night, I brought Legolas home in my purse."
"Momma, you are too much," Pip says.
"I'm serious. He fell out of the movie screen, and I picked him up and put him in my purse and brought him home." She gives me that look all parents know, the one that says 'Yes, its really true, my parents ARE aliens from the planet Quark.'
After a few moments trying to figure out why I have not cracked up laughing, she begins to think that I might just be delusional enough to have actually tried to pull this off.
"Are you serious?" she asks in a dubious voice.
"Yep." I answer.
She ponders how this could have happened, knowing full well she was there and yet never saw anything out of the ordinary. "Well, then why haven't I seen him? Where are you keeping him?"
"I snuck him into the closet in my room."
"I don't believe you," she says, folding her arms across her chest.
"Then go see for yourself."
She hesitates. There is something about her mother's attitude that says caution is in order; this crazy turn of events might actually be happening right under her nose. She turns, and with big strides goes down the hallway to the bedroom across from her own. The sight on the floor in front of her stops her.
"LEGOLAS!!!!" she bellows. "Those are MY Barbie dolls!" After a moments pause, taking in that there is no actual damage to her personal effects, she starts to plunder through the clothes in the closet, searching.
"He is not in there!" she turns and confronts me, angry that her dolls have been disturbed. Honestly, you'd have thought he had bitten the heads off of them she was so upset.
"Of course not. I took him with me to pick you up from school. He's still in the car."
"He is not! I would have seen him!" she replies, indignant.
"He is trained in hiding skills. No one could see him unless he wanted them to." I wait, watching the wheels turn in her 9 year old brain. She wants to believe, she really does, but she is pretty certain at this point that her old mom is ready for the funny farm.
"I still don't believe you," she says.
I give her a moment, then ask, "Would you like to meet him?" She nods yes, and I take her by the hand, leading her to the back storm door and pointing to the van.
"He is in there. Wait right here for a moment and I'll go get him."
"Well, ok," she replies, once again folding her arms across her chest, standing at the door watching the van like a hawk.
Out I go, around to the side sliding door of the van. When I open the door, however, there is no Elf there. None. Nada. ~~ Don't panic, he can't have gone far~~ my mind screams at me.
"Legolas?" I call. "LEGOLAS?"
"Yeas?" He is so close he startles me. I must have deafened his elven ears calling him that loudly. I honestly expected to be hunting the neighborhood looking for him.
"Don't scare me like that!" I tell him.
"I em soerrie. I deed nod meen tu skeer u," he replies. "Kin I kum een noew?"
"It's ok," I say. "Please do come in now, Little Pip wants to meet you."
He unfolds himself from his hiding place in the back of the van, and I wonder how he managed to camouflage himself like that. He really was in plain view, but I never saw him.
As he stands to his full height, I take the opportunity to glance at the storm door. Little Pip has dropped her arms to her sides, and her mouth is hanging wide open, her eyeballs popping from their sockets.
As I open the door to let us in, one long, drawn out whispered word emerges; no longer a name, but now a figure of speech, " momma. . . "
"Little Pip, meet Prance Legolas Greenleaf of Mirkwood. Prance Legolas, meet Little Pip."
"Verrie pleezd tu meat u, Leddle Peep," says the Prance with a sweeping bow.
She stares at him unresponding, eyes scanning him the entire 6 feet of his height, taking in the blonde hair, the hunter green tunic, the soft elven boots, the leather bracers on his forearms. After a few moments she asks skeptically, "Where are your bow and arrows?"
He points to the weapons still lying on the kitchen table.
She eyeballs me again. "Is this some kind of trick?" she asks.
"No. Not at all. In fact, I think it would be easier if it were a trick. "
I see her wheels start turning again, and I get ready because I know what is coming next. Legolas cuts a glance in my direction, as if asking what he should do now. I slightly raise my hand, indicating for him to hold his position. He nods ok back to me. Here it comes.
"What has he been eating? When does he sleep? Where does he go when Daddy opens the closet door? How does he go to the bathroom?" She pauses to take a breath, and then the biggest question of all comes, "Why in the world did you do this?!
I've been sneaking food in there to him."
"Yes," she begins again, "but just WHAT does he eat? Where does he put the dishes when he is done with them? Do we have the right kind of food for him? Does he drink water or tea?
"I have been.." I start, only to be hit by another wave of questions.
"Did he sleep in the closet last night? Why not in the spare bedroom? Did you give him a blanket? Did he bring his teddy bear?"
"Has Daddy seen him yet? Where does he hide when you open the closet door? What will he wear when you need to wash his clothes? My, he IS a little dirty for an Elf, isn't he?"
She begins anew, "Does he have his own hairbrush? How did you sneak him to the bathroom without Daddy seeing him? Does he leave the seat up or down when he uses the toilet? Has he tried my new shampoo and conditioner yet?
Legolas looks from me to Pip to me again. He is blinking his eyes, unsure where this interrogation is going. He is aware that so far, none of the questions have actually been addressed to him, so officially he is still maintaining his position.
She gulps a breath of air and finishes with, " AND WHAT IN THE WORLD WERE YOU THINKING WHEN YOU PUT HIM IN YOUR PURSE?"
Don't forget to tell Legolas how much you like his life story! He really enjoys hearing from all of you. He is very lonely for his home and friends from Middle Earth, and your comments really help to cheer him up!
(Reviews For Chapter Seven) **al and Legolas**
A/N: Don't own him, can't lend him, the usual stuff. No offense to any products listed, not responsible if you try any of this at home, yada yada yada. . . .
Look, Legolas, you got 100 reviews! Thank you all so much!
(Thank yourself too, Mr. Smarty-Pants. That's what I get for letting someone else watch you while I go to work. I know you had help, and I know who it was! You would never spell "that" or "car" correctly, not to mention substituting "ewe" in there. But I know who would! )
After the barrage of questions stops, I say to Little Pip, "You know, you really should tell Prance Legolas you are pleased to meet him as well." I wink at the Prance, who is a bit rattled by the flurry of words that had been flying through the air moments ago.
"Oh," says Pip, "sorry! I am very glad to meet you too, Prance Legolas."
" U ar a deelite, Ladie Leedle Peep," he says, taking her hand and raising it to his lips. His smile would light up a football field.
Pip turns to me and whispers, "Momma, he KISSED my hand!"
" I know!" I exclaim. "And the best part is. . . Elves don't have any cooties!"
She grins up at me. " I don't have to go wash?"
"Nope!" I reply. "And even better, he LIKES to play with Barbie!"
"REALLY?!" she gawks. "Can he come in my room and play with me?"
"Why don't you ask him?" I urge.
Soon they are sitting happily in the middle of Pip's bedroom floor, surrounded by layer upon layer of Barbie clothes, and Barbie furniture, and Barbie cars, and Barbie hairbrushes, and so on, and so on, and so on. . .
I spend the time they are using to get acquainted by working on e-mails and instant messaging Yes Dear. Around 6:00 pm I get the message I have been dreading all day. "I'm on the way home," it reads. The jig is up.
"Pip," I call towards the bedroom," your Daddy is on the way home."
"Can I go out on the deck and watch for him?" she asks.
"Sure," I reply halfheartedly.
"Kin I goe oudsied tu?" asks Legolas.
"Can you hide when the car comes up?" I ask him.
"Shur!" he replies confidently. " I deed a guud joeb hiedin in da vaen din't I?"
I didn't need the reminder of the double heart attack I almost had when at first I couldn't find him, and then when I did. "Yes," I say with a smile, "you are an excellent hider."
"Furst, I muest goe tu da bafroom," he whispers, blushing. "Wade fur mie, Peep!"
"I'll be right out here!" hollers Little Pip.
He gives me a look of frustration and worry at being left behind. "Don't worry, she won't go anywhere without you. Just go on and hurry up," I reassure him.
"Okae," he says, moving quickly across the hall and closing the door behind him. A few seconds later there is a flush, and the bathroom door is flung almost off the hinges as he comes flying out.
"Wade! Wade fur mie!" he calls to Little Pip, who has already gone out onto the deck. I can barely hear his running footsteps, and my brain makes a mental note to remind him not to run in the house, when . . . .
I leap from my chair, knowing full well what just happened and feeling like an idiot for not preventing it.
Legolas has run headlong into the sliding glass door.
I find him laid out flat on his back on the carpet, arms outstretched, legs spread-eagled. Pip is standing outside still with her hand over her mouth and a look of absolute horror on her face. There is a bright red mark in the dead center of his forehead, and the goose egg is already starting to rise.
"Don't just stand there!" I yell at Pip, "get me an ice pack from the freezer!"
I move to his side, looking closely at him. "Legolas?" I call to him gently. "Legolas, are you all right?" No response.
Ok, you're a Girl Scout Leader, I say to myself, now what do you do? That's right, the ABC's of First Aid. Airway, Breathing. . . Except when I do Step #1 Open the Airway, nothing is coming out. Nothing. Not one little breath, not one little breeze, not one single little wisp of air escapes his lips.
Holy Cow! The Girl Scout leader thinks. Now what do I do?!
Breathing. I must get him breathing. I try poking him in the ribs first, just in case, but to no avail. I look around, wishing there might be someone else I could pass this responsibility off to. No such luck. It is totally up to me. I must give Prance Legolas Greenleaf of Mirkwood mouth to mouth.
Grasping his nostrils firmly in one set of fingers, I use my other hand to gently tip his head back and once again check to see if there is any way the slightest bit of breath might just have decided to come out of his lungs. With my cheek a mere hairsbreadth from his lips, I slowly count to 5, feeling and watching for anything that might be there. Nothing. Ok, so I do it again and count to 10, but still no air passes from the Prance.
Look, Listen, and Feel. . . and I feel NOTHING.
Oh Lord, here we go.
I put my lips gently over his and begin rescue breathing just like I learned from my mother in class. My mother was a CPR instructor for years, and her students competed many times on the national level, and she made sure I was also well trained and quite competent in the technique. I watch as his chest rises and falls with each breath I give him, and at the appropriate time I stop to check for a pulse just like in the manual.
What am I going to do? I can't call for help. I can't take him to the hospital. No one there would know how to treat an Elf. I am on my own.
I lower my mouth to his again, continuing to push air into his lungs, blocking everything else from my mind as I concentrate on the task at hand. One one thousand, two one thousand, three one thousand. . . Suddenly there is a throat clearing noise behind me, and I lose my rhythm as I look up to see Yes Dear standing in the den watching everything that is going on.
Fortunately, Legolas takes this opportunity to take his own breath, and he lifts his head, shaking it as his glassy eyes come back into focus. "Wow!" he whispers.
"WHAT IS GOING ON HERE?"
Gotta get out of the way quick! Legolas is SO excited and anxious to tell you all how much he likes to read your reviews. I tell you things HAPPEN when he gets excited, you don't know the half of it yet! He is waving madly and leaning all over me trying to get to the keyboard, so let me get started . . ..
(Reviews For Chapter Eight) **al and Legolas**
Don't forget to tell Legolas that you are out there! He loves his fan mail reviews, and likes to respond personally as you can see! Next chapter..nekkid Legolas takes a bath!
"Momma, you are SOOO BUSTED!"
Still on my knees on the floor bending over the Prance, I focus on the red face and piercing hazel eyes of my husband. His nostrils are flaring. I swear I just saw some of the dark brown hair at his temples lighten even more towards gray.
Legolas tosses back his own blonde locks, pushes himself up onto his elbows, and thus brings his eyes level with my cleavage. A slow grin spreads across his face.
"I said, WHAT IS GOING ON HERE?" bellows Yes Dear.
"Look, Dad, Momma's giving Legolas CPR!" exclaims Little Pip, jumping up and down. "You know who he is, don't you Dad?!"
"Of course I know who HE is!" growls Yes Dear. "What I want to know is WHAT IS GOING ON HERE?!"
"Shee EEEEZ soe buestd!" Legolas beams with wide eyes, staring down my neckline.
Feeling the heat rushing to my cheeks, I scramble to my feet. "Don't just stand there, help me get him up!" I bark at Yes Dear. "Be careful, he hit his head awfully hard. Let's put him in the recliner there. Pip, hand me the ice pack, will you?"
I push the chair back, pop the footrest up, grab the ice pack from Pip, and press it against the rising knot on Legolas' forehead.
By the time Legolas is comfortable, Yes Dear's face has returned to normal color and his breathing evened out. He unclenches his jaw, and repeats in a carefully controlled voice, "What exactly is going on here?"
"Legolas hit his head on the sliding glass door. They don't have sliding glass doors in Middle Earth apparently," I answer, still holding the ice pack firmly in place.
His jaw is clenching again, and I can see the tiny ticking motion of the skin around his left eye. "I meant, what is he doing here in MY house?"
"He's been sleeping in your closet, Daddy. He's been eating all our elf cookies AND the cereal, and he's been playing with my Barbies too!"
"I was asking the question to your mother."
"Taddletel," mutters Legolas.
"Pip, go straighten up your room. Put the Barbies up for now, ok? I need to talk to your father."
"What about HIM? He played with them too!" Little Pip points her finger at the invalid Prance, outraged that Legolas is going to get to lay back in the recliner with his feet up while she cleans up the huge mess they have left in the middle of her floor.
"I'll send him back to help you in a minute, when the swelling stops. You go get started. " I watch as she crosses her arms, sticks out her lower lip, and stomps off down the hallway.
"You," I address the stretched out Prance, "hold this yourself. Don't take it off until I tell you it is ok."
"Yaes, milaydee," he murmurs, eyes now downcast.
I take Yes Dear by the hand and lead him to the kitchen table. While he sits, I pour us each a glass of iced tea, wishing it were a little later in the day so I could have something a good bit stronger instead. I dig through the cabinet and find what is left of the package of Keebler elf cookies. < These will make an appropriate sacrifice > I think, carrying them to the table too.
I start at the beginning, and tell the whole thing from the end of the movie when I first discovered Legolas on the floor, all the way up to how he managed to knock himself silly on the door. The CPR part is self- explanatory.
Or so I thought.
"He really wasn't breathing? Are you sure?" Yes Dear asks, for the third time.
"I'm telling you, it's not like that! I've told you a million times before," I persist. "I don't look at him that way. I see him. . . differently. . . than others do."
Yes Dear glances over at his recliner chair, currently inhabited by a sprawled out Prance with a ice pack pressed to the center of his forehead. The same Prance that just a few minutes ago was lying on the floor with his lips touching mine. My lips that belong to Yes Dear, my husband.
Legolas eyes him right back.
"Well, what are you going to do about it?" Yes Dear asks, breaking eye contact with Legolas and returning his scowl to me.
"I guess I'll keep him awake for a while to make sure he doesn't have a brain hemorrhage or something," I sigh, resting my weary head on my hands on the tabletop. This is not going according to my plan at all.
"I meant what are you going to do about HIM. He can't stay here forever."
"I suppose this means he can come out of the closet," I reply.
Yes Dear and I make eye contact as the depth of that statement sinks in. Suddenly we are snickering and tittering just like Gandalf and Frodo meeting each other at Bag End.
"Whut? Whut r u laffin abot?" Legolas erupts from the chair, knowing full well that we are laughing at his expense, though he has no idea why.
"Now he's coming out of the chair too!" Yes Dear cackles, now totally lost in the giggling fits we are having.
"Hae! Hae! I komand u tu stoep dat laffin rite now!" The ice pack is discarded on the floor, the chair abandoned.
"You better stop laughing," I warn, forcing on my straight face and trying to be serious. "He does things when he gets angry!" I pause, and then another burst of laughter rushes out of me, accompanied at the end by a snort.
"Ha! You snorted first!" squeals Yes Dear, pointing his finger at me and snorting himself.
Legolas has drawn himself up to full height and assumed the Elven warrior pose. I notice a funny odor in the kitchen.
"I em da Prance of Murkwuud, an I komand dat u stoep dat laffin! U weel stoep dat laffin at me rite noew!"
Yes, there is a fell smell in the air here. A smell of something hot, smoldering. The air seems to be getting hotter too.
I glance over at the Prance, who is doing the Galadriel thing again. His hair is blowing about, he is taller than I remember him from before, and there is a white-hot glow emanating from his persona. Not to mention the distinct burning smell directly associated with where he is standing.
"He looks just like Galadriel!" Yes Dear crows, holding his side with one hand and gripping the table to keep from falling out of his chair with the other.
" I know! I know!" I howl, unable to stop laughing at this point even if my life depended on it. Which, by the look on Legolas' face, may very well be the case very soon.
" I SED STOEP DAT LAFFIN RITE NOEW!!" He is so angry now he is actually shaking.
"He's gonna blow! " hollers Yes Dear, losing his battle and falling to the floor in a fit of convulsive cackles.
"Ok, ok, we will stop, Legolas, I promise, we will stop laughing right now." I give Yes Dear a nudge in the ribs with my toe. When this only escalates the sniggering from the floor, I give him another nudge a little harder and a little better placed.
"Ow, not the balls, not the balls!" Yes Dear sounds remarkably like Gimli at this point. I see Legolas is having a memory too, for he has cocked his head sideways and the glow has receded a bit.
I nudge Yes Dear again. "Now you have to apologize," I tell him. "Say you're sorry."
"I didn't start it. You did. Besides, HE needs to say he's sorry for kissing MY wife!"
"I deed nod kees ur wiefe! Whin I woek up, shi wuz keesing ME!" Legolas counters.
"Legolas! " I exclaim. "You weren't breathing! I wasn't kissing you, I was giving you mouth to mouth resuscitation!"
"Faelt like keesin tu me..," the Prance mumbles.
"Looked like kissing to me too, Legolas," Yes Dear affirms.
"You say you're sorry first," I break in, pointing at Yes Dear. "Then you say you are sorry too," I point at Legolas. "Then, if I am not still mad at both of you for taking advantage of my kindness, I might say I am sorry too. Now do it!"
"Sorry," mumbles Yes Dear.
"Sorry," replies Legolas, extending a hand to help Yes Dear off of the floor.
They both turn to look at me, expectantly. I eyeball them both. "Ok, I'm sorry too," I acknowledge. We stand there, awkwardly looking around, trying not to make eye contact with each other.
I look at Legolas out of the corner of my eye. A tiny smile has appeared on his lips, and he has a twinkle in his eye. A quick glance at Yes Dear reveals the same expression on his face. Now my own is a mirror image of both of theirs.
It is the Prance of Mirkwood who makes the first move, as a tiny snicker escapes his lips. He is soon joined by Yes Dear and myself, as another round of absurd laughter envelops us. Pip is soon standing there, looking at us as if we have all gone mad.
"What is going on here?" she says.
All right, Legolas, here is where you begin. Sit down, this will take you awhile.
Hae eberibuddy! Soerrie I em laete. *pops Hershey's kiss between his lips*
(Reviews For Chapter Nine) **al and Legolas**
Good Lord, he's finally done! With all that sugar in him, it is a wonder he sat here as long as he did. I think I'll have to go hide the candy jar, don't you???
Send him a note and let him know you love him, otherwise I'll have to deal with the little lost puppy look again. Thanks for reading!
A/N: It's real life, non-fiction. I really mean it. No one owns him; he's a free spirit. This chapter has been ready for a week now, but Prance Free Spirit has had the lust for Halloween candy so bad that he couldn't sit still long enough to answer all of you. It has taken him forever to type up his responses to his fans. Shoot your arrows at him for being late this time.
Let's see, we left off with Little Pip wanting to know what was going on. . .
Sounds just like her father, doesn't she?
As the laughter subsides, Little Pip crosses her arms over her chest and glares at me. Her left foot is tap, tap, tapping on the floor. She might sound like her father, but she looks exactly like me.
"I don't think this is funny at all. You said you were going to make him come back and help me clean up, and ya'll are out here laughing," she pouts.
"I em soerie, Leedle Peep," Legolas says.
"What are you laughing about?" she asks.
"I told your dad how Legolas came to live in the closet. Now we are trying to decide what to do with him," I tell her.
Legolas looks at me with the big puppy dog eyes.
"He can live in my room," Little Pip offers, adopting the puppy dog eyes herself as they both turn to look at me.
Well, if you can't beat 'em, join 'em.
I too put on my best lost puppy look, and all three of us look piteously at Yes Dear, begging like a whole litter of little starving Basset Hounds.
"Come on, Dad, can we keep him?" asks Little Pip.
"No. He must go back," says Yes Dear.
"But Dad, he's lost!" counters Pip, turning the heat up a notch.
"No," Yes Dear insists.
Moving to put her arms around his neck, she kisses her father's cheek. He melts like the lava in Mount Doom.
She drops her voice to a very soft whisper, and gives it one more try, "Please, Dad?"
After a moment of hesitation, he says, "Well, just for now. He can stay in the blue guest room." He has cracked, but swiftly recovers by adding, " But only until we can figure a way to get him back to Middle-earth."
"YEEEAAAA DAD!!!!!" shouts Little Pip, doing her most superb champion college cheerleader routine. "You're The Best Dad in the Whole Wide World!"
"Yaeh, da baest Daed dere eber wuz!" joins in Legolas, grinning from ear to pointed ear while looking at Little Pip and bouncing up and down, trying to imitate her actions.
Me, you ask? What did I say? Well, lets just say that CPR sometimes IS a lot like kissing . . ..
Legolas goes with Little Pip to finish straightening up the Barbies, and Yes Dear and I go about our normal evening routine. As we are working in the kitchen together, Little Pip returns, her nose wrinkled up. She stands beside me, waiting.
"What's the matter?" I ask as I prepare the salad for dinner. "You aren't being impolite to your guest by making him clean up all by himself, are you?"
"Momma," she whispers, "Legolas has a problem."
"What is it?" I ask, not looking up from the carrot I am chopping.
"He, well. . . he. . .uhm. . . "
I continue chopping, waiting while she stalls.
"He sort of, well. . . ."
Glancing up, I realize she is not just creating a ruse to avoid cleaning up, but is actually serious about whatever the matter is.
"You're not gonna tell me that he peed on the carpet, are you?" I inquire, joking with her. With four cats and an invalid 18-year-old dog in the house, accidents DO tend to happen. Accidents that Pip would rather die than clean up by herself. Did I say clean up? She won't even touch the gallon jug that the clean kitty litter comes in.
"No, not that, it's just that he. . . well, he ummm. . ."
"Just say it!" I blurt out.
"Momma, Legolas smells. He smells BAD. Like he's been smoking cigarettes or something."
<Ahh,> I think, <so the Galadriel effect has not entirely dissipated.>
About this time, the Prance himself comes trudging down the hallway, fingering his left warrior braid as if he is thinking of asking me something but is reluctant to mention it. His nose is wrinkled up too.
"What's the matter, Legolas?" I ask.
"I seam tu hav devaellupd an oeder. I wuz wundering eef I culd sumhoew hav sum wader weeth sich tu waesh."
He's right. So is Little Pip. Legolas certainly does have a problem. He smells bad. Not terribly bad, but compared to before, a definite change in aroma lurks about the Prance. The heat from the Galadriel sized temper tantrum must have set off the atomic particles that cause elf-smell, because Legolas has certainly got it.
Trying not to be impolite by wrinkling my own nose, I leave the salad bowl and gesture for him to follow me. I lead the way down the hallway to the bathroom, and as I get to the tub, I hear him clear his throat behind me.
"What is it?" I ask, noting the hesitation and the skeptical look on his face.
"Wael, not dat u doen't keap id VARY kleaen, but. . . id's jest dat I thank I mite bea a beet tu beeg fur dat baesin dere. . . " he nods his head toward the toilet.
I can't help but giggle. "No, Legolas, we don't use that to bathe in!" I guess with the shower curtain drawn, he has not seen the bathtub. Middle- earth may have chamber pots instead of flushing toilets, but surely they have some sort of tub to put water in to bathe! I pull the curtain back, saying, "We use this one, and you can sit down in it and soak like in a lake, or stand up like under a waterfall."
He gives the tub a good looking over. "Whut ar dose shieny thangz?" he inquires.
"Those are the faucets; that's where the water comes out." Pointing to the showerhead, I explain, "this one makes a waterfall, and that one," I point to the spout, "is the one that fills it up like a lake."
"We've got a hot tub, too!" exclaims Little Pip, who has followed us on the Grand Bathroom Tour.
"A hoet tueb?" asks Legolas. "U meen like a hoet sprang, wear da waeter buebblz up ael da tiem?"
"Yes! It's out on the deck," Pip answers, all excited now. "It's big enough to hold 3 or 4 people," she says. "I take Barbie, and Teresa, and Ken swimming in it with their trained killer whales."
"Keeler Wellz?!" he exclaims, his eyes wide. He turns to me and asks, "Ar doez like Wargs?"
"Not at all. Very fishy for a mammal. Very friendly, very small, very plastic in this case," I assure him.
"Oh. . . .okae," he says. "Kin I sea dis hoet tueb?"
"Right this way, " I work my way past him toward the hallway, and then back out to the den.
As I reach to open the sliding glass door, I feel a strong hand gripping my shoulder. "Bea karefuel!" he warns. "Thear eez sum tipe of whizardree goen on dere. U kannot paes thru dere. An eenvizabel foerce noked me on da haed whin I triead id." He nods towards Little Pip who is following along behind us. "Onlee Leedle Peep seemz tu noe hoew tu deefeet da spael."
"Ah, it IS devilry, Legolas! But I too know how to unlock the spell, as you call it. Watch carefully, and I will show you." I push the little gold latch to unlock the door, then slide the glass frame to the right. "See? Look how easy it is to unlock the spell."
"Woew. . . ," mouths Legolas.
So easily entertained.
I move to uncover the hot tub. Legolas is standing just to my right, and still has that dumbstruck look on his face. He stares down at the water, marveling at the clarity I guess.
"Woew. . . " he says again. "U eben hav a pet tuerdle een it."
"WHAT?!" I jerk to attention. "A pet turtle?" I realize he is looking at the floating turtle shaped temperature gauge. "Oh, that is plastic too, Legolas. That's a decoration on the temperature gauge that tells us about the heat of the water. That's so we can make sure it's not too hot or too cold when we want to get in."
"Here's the button that you push to make the bubbles," says Little Pip, starting up the jets. Foaming bubbles pop up everywhere as the motor kicks in. Legolas gives a little start, but soon settles down. He is finally getting used to modern electrical conveniences and their inherent noises, I guess.
"Buebblez. . . " he murmurs, staring at the foam.
"Can we get in, Mom?" asks Little Pip.
"I guess you could take a quick dip before supper," I tell her. "Go put your bathing suit on and get your Barbies. I'll go see if your dad has a bathing suit or a pair of shorts Legolas can wear."
I head back to our "enchanted" sliding glass door, and just as I reach to pull the door open, I catch a flash of light from the corner of my eye. My brain tells me I did not see that which was just reflected in the glass. I stop dead in my tracks, and Little Pip does the patented Hobbit move of running headlong into my back.
I close my eyes for an instant, wanting to peek, knowing what my eyes have just told my brain cannot possibly be happening . . .
There is a loud splash, and Little Pip grabs my arm. I turn to her, thinking < It can't be. There's no way I missed that. . .>
There beside the hot tub lies a pile of hastily discarded clothes, all greens and browns, with a silky silver fabric layered on top. Lounging in my hot tub, eyes closed, head thrown back, blonde locks spilling forth, arms outstretched over the sides, smiling as if he has just won a lifetime supply of Lothlorien arrows, is Middle-earth's finest, the Prance of Mirkwood.
"Mom, is he. . .?" whispers Pip.
"Yep," I answer.
"Are we allowed. . .??" she asks.
"Nope," I sigh.
"Mom, he forgot his towel."
(Reviews For Chapter Ten) **al and Legolas**
I wish you could see how excited Legolas gets over your messages to him. He is just CRAZY about all of you! Send him a little note and tell him how much you love him, and he promises to send one back to you next chapter!
A/N: If you haven't seen the costume Legolas wore for Halloween, go now to my bio page for a surprise. Then come back and catch up with us.
I don't own him. Never will. He is a free spirit if I ever saw one. He still has a whole half-bushel basket of chocolate candy to eat from his adventures for Halloween. Maybe now he can type your responses faster.
"Go on and get your bathing suit," I tell Little Pip. "Before you do, ask your father to send me one of his for Legolas to wear."
"But, Momma, how's he gonna . . .?"
"Just go, ok? There are some things you just shouldn't ask people, you know that," I say, nudging her through the glass door.
Time for a little "talk" with the Prance.
I move over to the side of the sunken tub, kneeling down so that I can speak to Legolas. < Damn those bubbles > I brood to myself. It would be nice to have this talk without having the whole neighborhood hearing me yell over the sound of the swirling jets. < You could just turn them off > the little devil sitting on my left shoulder says. Hey, I COULD do that! Just long enough to get my message across.
As I reach out for the button, the little angel sitting on my right shoulder reaches out to smack me sharply on the hand.
"Ow!" I yelp, obviously aloud because Legolas opens his clear blue eyes and looks at me.
"Whut is da maettr?" asks Bathing Beauty.
< Glad you asked > says my brain. "Oh, nothing," says my mouth, "I must have knelt down on an acorn or something here." I rub my knee to give myself time to collect my thoughts.
"Noe, I meen whut is da maettr bekuz u ar luukin at me fuennie" he clarifies, turning now to face me and raising about half of his chest from the bubbles.
Dang, busted AGAIN.
And now I'm speechless. And blushing. And I'm starting sentences with the word "And."
Averting my eyes momentarily, I clear my throat and turn back to him again. "Legolas," I begin, "it's just that. . . well,. . . we don't really. . ."
"Yeas?" he encourages, cocking his head a little toward me and to the left.
"Well, you don't. . . I mean, you took. . .Ummm. . . "
"Jest spid it oud, okae?"
Ok. Ok, I will. I will just spit it out. If I can get my tongue back in control, that is.
"Legolas, you see, ummmm. . . you are. . . naked."
He looks down at himself, most of which is still covered in foamy bubbles, and blinks. In slow motion. Then he looks back up at me, blinking twice more. He waits, saying nothing.
< Go on, say something > I send my thought processes to him. < It's your turn >
Finally, the Thranduil eyebrow raises up, and "Yaes?" issues forth. That is all. Just the one word, "Yaes?"
Ok, try again, al.
"Legolas," I begin, "You see, you can't get into the hot tub without a bathing suit on if Little Pip is getting in there too." There. That covers that.
I mean, that covers that subject. Done. Complete. THAT is still uncovered.
"Well, ummm, she's still very young in mortal years," I reply.
He looks at me, as if confused about where this conversation is going.
"She, ummm. . . doesn't really know much about what it is like to not wear a bathing suit when in the hot tub," I try.
"Buet I doent hav a bafing suwt."
Ah, truth comes out. He didn't put one on, because quite frankly, he's not got one. Maybe he thought his birthday suit would suffice. Maybe elves really are uninhibited about their bodies like all the fanfiction authors would have you believe.
There is a loud, "HMMMPPHHHTTT" behind me, and a deep voice says, "Would you be needing these?" Yes Dear is holding out a pair of bright blue bathing trunks that are going to be big enough for 3 of Legolas from the looks of things. At least they have a drawstring waist.
"Are those the smallest pair you have?" I ask.
"Well, no, I still have that pair of Speedos I bought to wear under my diving wetsuit," answers Yes Dear.
Well, if those are the ones I remember from 15 years ago, you could squeeze one Legolas into them, but it wouldn't leave much to the imagination. "You still have those? . . .Nevermind," I shake my head to clear my thoughts. "We'll just make do with these blue ones until we can get him a pair that fits."
Legolas starts to stand up and reach for the trunks. Yes Dear hastily smacks them up against Legolas' bare chest, wetting them. "YOU put those on while you are IN THERE," he says to the Prance. He points to the water swirling in the tub, bubbles popping merrily against Legolas' flat, muscular belly.
Did I say merrily? Whew..
After a brief staring contest, Legolas turns and sits back down to put on the trunks. Little Pip shows up, a plastic bucket full of Barbie and her entourage in tow.
"Ready?" she says, and not waiting for an answer, climbs over the edge and down into the pool.
"Iz dat a Keeler Well?" Legolas asks, reaching to take the basket from her.
"That's Squirty, she's a girl. I named her after a real whale I saw in the Pacific Ocean. If you want to, when we get out I will show you the pictures I have of her."
"Okae!" he answers, enthralled.
Soon they are splashing happily, having underwater races to see who can swim the furthest holding their breath, Barbie or Ken. Legolas appears a bit concerned about this, especially since his Ken always comes up to the surface with a whole head full of water, which Little Pip promptly removes by squeezing his head flat. Ken's head, not Legolas'.
When supper is almost ready, I call them to come in. Legolas climbs out readily, though Pip is reluctant and protests and procrastinates. As they stand dripping and shivering on the deck, I hand Legolas one of the towels Little Pip has brought outside.
"NO, Momma!" protests Pip. "Don't give him THAT one!" She snatches the brown towel with the white horses from him.
"Pippin, that was not nice!" I say. "Whatever is the matter?"
"That's my favorite," she says, hugging the towel to her chest. " I don't want him to get his stinky butt on it."
Legolas glances back at his posterior.
"It's a figure of speech, dear," I tell him, tossing the 101 Dalmatians towel around his shoulders. As I bend to pick up Barbie and Ken, I see him do a little shimmy with his hips.
"NO! NO!" I shout in my best gruff, no nonsense basic dog training voice. He stops shimmying, his back still turned to me, the blue trunks hanging halfway down his legs. Jewel the Dalmatian puppy winks at me from her position on the towel just above Legolas' left thigh, her tongue lolling from her mouth.
"No, Legolas! Wait and take them off INSIDE the house."
"Bud I weel git da floar ael weat!" he argues.
"It's okay," I say," we do it all the time."
"Some people." mutters Little Pip, shaking her head.
"Whut?" says Legolas, as she stalks off into the house.
"Whut?" he repeats, as I nudge him through the door.
"Don't worry about it. Just go put on the clothes I left for you on the bed in the blue room."
Three minutes later he is back in the den, looking quite Modern earth in my forest green T-shirt with "SPOKANE" written in matching embroidery across the front. I picked it for him because the letter A is made from a pine tree. I hoped maybe he would feel more at home in it.
I notice he is clutching the waistband of the jeans tightly through the untucked T-shirt. "Are they too big?' I ask him, pointing at his lower half.
"Meabe a leedle," he answers. He lets go of the waistband, then does a frantic clutch to catch the pants as they collapse down his legs towards the floor.
"Let's try a belt." Digging through my closet, I find one that is braided, adjustable to any size. I help him run it through the belt loops while he holds up the jeans.
"Oh, dat IZ bedder!" he exclaims, waving his hands about in the air.
Supper goes by uneventfully, and I am happy to say he is not a picky eater, and did well cleaning his plate even though he did not take out very large proportions to begin with. After the dishes are cleared away, Legolas and Little Pip settle down on the couch to look at her scrapbook from her trip to Washington State to visit my brother, taken when she was 6 years old.
She shows him the vintage carousel we rode, telling him about the plastic rings that you try to grab as the horses go by the dispenser. She tells him about how the lucky person who gets the gold ring wins a special prize. I see him flinch from where I am sitting all the way across the room.
She shows him the mountains, covered in snow in the middle of July, the pictures of our summertime snowball fight in short sleeve shirts and sandals. He mumbles under his breath, and it sounds something like, "remienz me ov Caradras."
She shows him the pictures of the rainbow trout farm we visited; the vast holding tanks of baby fishes you could feed ground corn to. I can almost see the clear blue lakes reflected in the memories passing before his eyes. "We aet a raneboew trawt at Amon Hen," he whispers.
When she shows him the pictures of the ferry boat we road to the islands, and the fishing boat we took to see the Orca whales, he becomes even more wistful. I know what he is thinking. Will he ever hear the call of the Sea?
A tear slides down my cheek, and I brush it hastily away. As much as I want to keep him, as much as I have enjoyed having him here, there is one thing I am now certain of.
Legolas must go back.
(Reviews For Chapter Eleven) **al and Legolas**
I wish you could see how excited Legolas gets over your messages to him. He is just CRAZY about all of you! Send him a little note and tell him how much you love him, and he promises to send one back to you next chapter!
A/N: You all knew this was coming. Don't say I didn't warn you.
After a bedtime snack, Little Pip brushes her teeth and gets ready for bed. I give Legolas a new toothbrush that I keep in the drawer for overnight guests who may have forgotten theirs. He imitates Little Pip perfectly, watching her every move. He's not too keen on the taste of the Listerine though.
I tuck Little Pip into bed, turning on her cassette tape with the singing dolphins on it. After all the hugs and kisses, I turn off the light and wave goodnight from the door. Turning to come back down the hallway, I run straight into Legolas, who has been standing silently behind me.
"Dang, Legolas, do you have to sneak up on people like that? You're gonna give me a heart attack!" I exclaim.
He stands his ground.
"What is it?" I ask.
"I wuz wundrin if u wuld tuek me een tu."
"I would be happy to. I put some pajamas on the bed in the blue room for you. Go put them on and climb under the covers, and I will be right there."
He bounds off happily down the hallway to his new room. There I find him, flat on his back, coverlet pulled up underneath his chin. He is grinning madly, mischief dancing in his eyes.
"What are you up to?" I ask him.
"Nuthin," comes his reply. The grin is still there. I see a movement under the covers between his legs.
"Legolas," I scold, "What are you hiding?"
He giggles, stalling. "Dis. . . " he finally answers, pulling back the covers.
Princess Elizabeth, Little Pip's brown and white longhaired cat, has nestled herself down between his thighs. She is purring contentedly, and her eyes dare me to try to move her. "Kin she sleap wid me?" he asks, using the puppy dog eyes.
"Sure," I say, pulling the covers back over them.
"Weel u seeng tu me, like u deed fur Leedle Peep?"
"Aren't you a little old for me to sing a lullaby to?" I inquire.
"My muther uzed tu seang tu me whin I wuz a leedle boiy," he says dreamily. "I mees her varie muech."
"What did she sing to you? Will you sing it for me?" I ask.
He begins in a very soft voice, so low I can barely hear him.
"Lisse' kaimel, amelamin,
I-du' na ot,
I' Iluvatar ar' Elbereth feith-le.
Aa' Valar tir-le,
Tenna' I-amrun tulya,
Iire aure panne-le re."
"That's beautiful, Legolas, " I tell him when he pauses.
"Wuld u like tu here it en Weastron?" he asks politely.
"Yes, very much."
He clears his throat, and begins again the haunting melody,
"Sweaet dreemz, my luv,
Da nite iz yueng,
Da muun an staers awate u.
Mae da Valar gard u
Unteel da moarneeng comz,
Whin suenlite feellz ur dae."
"Thank you, my dear Prance, " I say, deeply moved. "Now sweet dreams to you." I tuck the covers underneath his chin just as I did to Little Pip, and kiss him gently on the forehead. I rise from the bedside, reach to turn off the bedside lamp, and go to the door. I wave and blow him a kiss from there, which he returns, still grinning.
Yes Dear is waiting for me. We discuss our plans for tomorrow night. We will explain them to Legolas in the morning. As I pass his room on the way to my own bed, I cannot help but peek in. He is just as I left him, flat on his back, knees apart with a fuzzy cat snoozing contentedly between them. He is perfectly still, staring at the ceiling.
"Legolas," I call softly to him, "close your eyes and go to sleep." Then I remember. Elves in good health don't close their eyes when they sleep. I move a little closer, checking him out. His eyes are wide open, but there is nobody home inside. He sleeps on soundly, dreaming his elven dreams.
We go through a rather uneventful day; Little Pip going off to school, and Yes Dear to the office. Legolas has learned how to turn the CD player on and off, so I leave him in the den listening to music and head to the library.
When I get home, I contemplate trying to clean up his clothing for him. I don't own a single piece of leather, with the exception of my suede boots, which I am very careful not to get dirty. I have no idea how to get Orc blood out of a forest green jerkin.
'Whut ar u thankin abot?" he interrupts my thoughts.
"I was just wondering if we should try to clean up your clothes today," I tell him. "I am afraid I will not be much help. Your clothes are very different from mine."
"I kin due it," he says. "Due u hav sum saend?"
At first my brain registers only that our property is made of the slimiest red clay, capable of permanently staining anything and everything. Then I remember Little Pip's sandbox. "Yes, right out here," I say.
Legolas fetches his clothes from the laundry room where we have stored them, and together we head outside to the sandbox. "I weel nead sum wader an a bruesh, tu," he informs me.
Once I have returned with the requested items, he proceeds to carefully rub a little of the sand onto the spots on his coat, followed by a little of the water. Gently he scrubs the spots with the brush, and then rinses with just a touch of water again. He moves on to the other items of his clothing. When he has finished cleaning the worst of the stains away, he goes to the clothesline and drapes his things across it.
"Thear," he says, brushing his hands together to rid them of the rest of the sand. "Thaet weel du tu git me kleen. Noew I suspaeckt u hav a leedle kleenin of ur oen tu due."
As I reach for the bowl of water and the brush, he intercepts my hand with his own. I suddenly realize he knows. I cannot make eye contact with him.
He gently reaches out with his other hand, lifting my chin so that our eyes meet. "Tael me, al," he says softly. "I em noe fuul. I kin sea sumpthang iz boethring u."
"It's tonight, Legolas. Yes Dear is taking us back to Greenwood tonight. We will try to get you back home."
He watches me, silent. He holds eye contact for far longer than I can stand it. Finally, he says, "I hav eenjoed my stae hear. I wuld like tu stae loengr, but I muest goe bak."
"I know," I respond. "Then tonight it will be."
When Yes Dear gets home, we all load into the car and head down the road to Greenwood. The last movie of the evening starts at 8:00 pm sharp, so we have just enough time to get a bite to eat beforehand.
"Kin we stoep at dat plaece we weant befour? Dat plaece dat haz da thangz wid all da hoelz een it?" He's talking about the waffle fries from Chic-fil- a.
Yes Dear gives me a look and says, "How does he know about waffle fries?"
"I was feeding them to him the night I brought him home. I was stuffing them through the hole in the top of my handbag."
"I thought you had an obsession with scratching yourself on the leg," Yes Dear answers.
"Kin we?" Legolas repeats.
"Yes, Legolas, we will eat at Chic-fil-a and you can have all the waffle fries you want," I tell him.
That turns out to be a mistake. He forgoes the sandwich, eating 4 orders of waffle fries. He leans back in his chair, rubbing his stomach.
I begin to wonder if he will go back in through the screen, with his belly swollen full of French-fries the way it is.
Turns out we didn't need to worry about the waffle fries anyway. When we arrive at the theater, we realize we've got a bigger problem.
"The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring" is no longer playing at the Greenwood movie theater.
"Now what are you going to do?" Yes Dear hisses at me.
"I don't know!" I wail.
Legolas just sits in the backseat, looking lost.
When we get back to the house, Yes Dear begins an immediate Internet search for theaters in our state that still are playing LOTR. He finds a matinee, Saturday at 3:30 in Columbia, which is only about an hour away. "Even better," he says, "you can both get in for a dollar each." Penny-pincher.
Legolas is actually excited about the prospect of getting to see himself on the big screen. He likes the mirror so much that I wonder what it will take to get him out of his seat and down front at the appropriate moment. We have decided after much debate that the time to reinsert Legolas will be at the very end, right where he fell out. This time he has plans to duck when Gimli releases the tree branch in front of him. Or maybe it was Aragorn. Or maybe he stepped in a hole and fell, hitting his head on a rock. He doesn't remember. Either way, he will be on the alert this time.
Yes Dear and Little Pip drop us off in front of the theater. They are heading across town to another theater to see "Ice Age." Legolas is dressed in one of Yes Dear's extra large T-shirts and a pair of baggy jeans, with his own clothes carefully concealed beneath. He's got the bow unstrung, and has run it down his left pants leg with the quiver of arrows. It is hot as blue blazes today, and I am sweating bullets. The elf looks cool as a cucumber. Sometimes I want to pinch him to see if he is real.
I buy the tickets, and we enter the darkened theater, but not before Legolas hits the concession stand for a large buttered popcorn, a box of Junior Mints, a package of 4 Reeses' Peanut Butter Cups, and a large Mountain Dew.
He makes it to Rivendell, fascinated and enthralled, before the Mountain Dew becomes his 'Undewing." He starts to squirm right about the time Frodo does when waking up from being stabbed by the Nazgul.
"What's the matter?" I whisper to him.
"I hav tu goe tu da bafruum," he whispers back, a little too loud. Heads from about 4 rows down turn back to look at us.
"Now?" I ask, knowing his entrance on the white steed is fast approaching. "Why didn't you say so earlier?"
"I deed nod hav tu goe dis baed erleer!" he says, louder.
"Shhhh!" says a woman, 6 rows down and to the left.
"Come on," I hiss, grabbing him by the hand.
We run all the way there and all the way back. That in itself must be quite a spectacle, but the fact that I am now carrying Legolas' Modern Earth clothes and he is wearing his Middle Earth clothes does not help a thing. I am glad the theater is dark as we reenter while Aragorn and Arwen are making eyes at one another on the bridge.
I decide not to tell him he missed seeing himself riding a horse.
He sits awestruck through the rest of the movie. He pretends to fire an imaginary bow at every chance he gets. I make him leave the real one down the pants leg of the Modern Earth jeans until the fighting scene at Amon Hen is finished. As Sam runs after Frodo, I nudge him to get up. "It's time," I whisper.
At first he doesn't budge. I realize he does not yet know about Sam almost drowning. I grab him by the hands, physically pulling him along down the aisle. He is actually stumbling as he tries desperately not to miss a single second of the scene.
At the bottom right hand corner of the theater, I turn him toward me. "It's time," I say again. "When Aragorn says, 'Let's hunt some Orc,' and Gimli grunts, 'Yeah!' you must be ready. I don't know exactly what for, but be ready, ok?"
"Okae!" he says excitedly. He is ready to rejoin the Fellowship, to be with his friends again. He moves quickly right up to the edge of the screen.
I cannot watch. My heart is already in my throat. I turn away quickly and make my way back to my usual seat, left hand side, 7 rows up.
I watch the end credits roll as usual, wait until everyone else has left and the theater is empty. ~ Well, ~ I think, wiping away a tear, ~ now that is that. ~ I drag myself up out of my seat and head to the nearest exit, which fortunately for me is on the left hand side of the auditorium this time. I don't think I can stand to cross over to the right again.
Just as I reach the door to the foyer, I notice a figure standing in the shadows at the right hand side of the common exit for both sides of the room. He is looking expectantly down the right hand aisle, as if waiting for someone. He sees my movement, and turns to face me.
Legolas is still with me.
(Reviews For Chapter Twelve) **al and Legolas**
OK, you guys. If I haven't warned you yet, I will be updating frequently, as there is now only a little over a month left until The Two Towers. I have so many things to tell you about! Send Legolas a note; he prints them out and reads them every day, I swear. He loves all of you!
"What happened?" says Yes Dear, as he drives up to pick me up. "Don't tell me that you decided not to let him go." He is well aware of my tendency with animal rescues to feel that no one else can give a pet as good a home as I can. Thus the reason why we have 4 cats and a dog living inside the house now.
"I don't know!" I tell him.
"I knew I should've gone with you," he mutters.
"I culd not fiend hoew tu git bak een," Legolas says. "Thear wuz noe opurtuniety."
We spend the rest of the ride home and most of the next day discussing what went wrong.
Legolas sticks with his theory that since he fell out in Greenwood, he must return to Greenwood. Major problems with ever resolving that one!
Yes Dear thinks that since he fell OUT at the end of the movie, and does not return in any scenes of FOTR after that, he will never be able to get back into the same movie. He holds that Legolas will only have an opportunity to reenter Middle earth at the very beginning of The Two Towers, and agrees with Legolas that it will only work at the very beginning of TTT only in Greenwood and only on Premier night.
Little Pip thinks he had way too much candy ssssssstuffed in his pocketsssssss and there wasn't enough room for him to fit through the portal.
What do I think? I think he liked the hot tub, and the flushing toilets, and the waffle fries, and the Keebler elf cookies too much to leave. At least, I hope so.
Monday dawns bright and sunny. Legolas takes his bowl of Oat Bran Flakes with extra dried fruit to the rocking chair in the den to eat breakfast, which also keeps him out from underfoot as Yes Dear and Little Pip do the mad rush out the door to school and work. Since he eats his cereal without milk, I don't worry too much about him making a mess on the carpet. Besides, the big fat black tuxedo cat perched at his feet will clean up anything he drops better than a turbo vacuum cleaner. He's sort of like a Swiffer for carpet. The cat's name is "Y." Why, you ask? Exactly.
Legolas watches from his chair as we do the goodbye routine of "hugs, kisses, Eskimos, and I love you's," enthralled by the spectacle we create. Soon I am waving from the door, watching as the car pulls down the driveway. As soon as they are out of sight, I collapse into Yes Dear's recliner beside Legolas.
"Due all Modren erth humaenz due dat?" he asks.
"Well, the law says children must go to school, and parents must earn a living to pay for things like food and houses and hot tubs," I tell him with a grin.
"Noe, noe, I meen due dey all tuch dere faecez tugethr like dat whin dey goe awae?"
I have to laugh, because it is a complex little ritual we have been doing since Little Pip was old enough to blow kisses. "No, Legolas, I think we are probably the only family that does it exactly like that every day, though I am sure there are many other ceremonies for leaving in the morning that other families might use."
"Wuld u teech me hoew tu due it?"
He's feeling left out. He wants to be a part of the family. How sweet!
"Tomorrow morning you can do it with us, ok? I promise."
"Hoew weel I noe whut tu due? Weel u teech me?"
Hey, this thing involves kissing. Maybe it should wait. I glance at Legolas, who is looking at me expectantly. Ok, maybe not.
I take the coward's approach. You know, in case Yes Dear forgot something and needs to come back to the house to get it. Right now.
"First, you hug each other tight. You know how to do that, right?"
He nods enthusiastically.
"Second, you give each other a little kiss on the lips."
"Like See Pea Ar?"
"No, not for that long. Just touch your lips together for just a quick second. Like a chicken peck. Don't forget to make the little sucking noise."
"Ohhh..," he says. He makes the sucking noise. A little long, but it will suffice.
"Third, you rub your noses together. That's how the Eskimos kiss."
"Yes. They are a tribe of Indians that live in the Northwest, where it is very cold and snows all the time."
"Okae. Whut iz dat laest thang, de won u due wid ur haenz?"
"That's says 'I love you' in sign language. See," I say, taking his right hand in my own, "first you make a fist. Then stick out your thumb, your index finger, and your pinkie finger."
"Peenkee?" he asks, cocking his head skeptically.
"Yes. This one on the end. Now you touch your 'I love you' sign to the other person's 'I love you' sign. Then you are ready to start your day." I watch as he mentally adds all this up and files it inside his head. "Got it?
"I got it. Whin due we due it agin?"
"Tomorrow morning. Right now we are going to clean up a little and change our clothes. Come on, let's find something for you to wear."
"Bud I like dese!" he protests, pulling the dorm pants he is wearing out from his hips by the pockets. I'll just bet he does. They are my favorites too. The fabric is flannel, in black with red, orange, and yellow flames all over them. A gift to me from Yes Dear, they weren't out of the box 30 seconds before they were dubbed the Baby Balrog Britches. Soft and comfortable, and I want them back.
"Those are MY pajama pants, Legolas. You don't wear them during the day. Maybe we can go to the store to get you some clothes of your own this afternoon. Come on."
He can wear the same jeans he had on last night, as he didn't get them dirty. I scrounge around for another T-shirt that will fit him. Suddenly he points into the drawer. "I like dat blaek won. Ar doez orkz?"
Pulling the one he selected from the drawer, I wonder if his taste in music will match his taste in T-shirts. He has selected, from the very bottom of the pile, my Styx "Kilroy Was Here" T-shirt with the robot faces on the front, from 1983. Classic Rock 'N' Roll.
"These are robots, Legolas. They can be a sort of modern day Orc I suppose, if evil forces were to get ahold of them."
"Whut duz dat meen?" he inquires, pointing at "Styx."
"Styx is the name of a river. It is also the name of a musical group. I got this T-shirt when I went to see them perform their music, a long, long time ago. Would you like to hear a sample of their work?"
"Of korse!" he says. "Kin I chaeng my klothez furst?"
"Yes." I realize as soon as the word is out of my mouth what he is about to do, so I amend quickly with, "In the blue room, please."
He stops with his arms crossed and his T-shirt raised about 3 inches above his bellybutton, ready to 'skin the cat' as my grandmother used to call it. A silly grin passes over his features, followed by a blush. "Sorree, I furgot," he apologizes.
When I leave for work, he is curled up on the bed amidst the cats, contentedly reading all about himself in "The Fellowship of the Ring." Styx is gracing the stereo speakers with my favorite album "The Grand Illusion." There are several songs there that I think he will like.
When I get back at lunchtime, he is sitting in Yes Dear's recliner chair, brushing Little Pip's cat. With MY hairbrush.
Elizabeth is THE Princess Cat. She has very long, very fine, very thick fur, and is as soft as any rabbit I have ever touched. She is mostly white, with patches of all different shades of brown, and the world's fluffiest and most beautiful brown tail. She is one fantastic piece of fluff, and you better bet she knows it. She does not favor just any commoner with her majesty. She knows the Prance of Mirkwood when she sees him. He's royalty, and she can spot royalty a mile and a half away.
His hand holds the brush at a slight angle, gliding along, making long slow strokes from her ears to her tail. Elizabeth is raising her hindquarters every time he comes across. She is so into Legolas right now, she could eat him from a crystal bowl with a spoon.
He looks up from his ministrations, but continues stroking. "Dis kat likes me," he says matter of factly. No 'Hulo, al, hoew wus ur dae?' Only his relationship with Elizabeth matters right now.
I just glare at her.
"I thank she iz da moest beeutaful keetty, maeybea da moest beeutaful won een da whoel wiede wurld," he croons to her. "She iz plaeyin haerd tu git, thoa, fur she weell not taell me her naeme."
I can hardly wait to pop her selfish little bubble. "Her name is Elizabeth, but we call her Lizzie," I announce. She shoots me a look that would make Sauron tremble, and leaps from his lap, prissing into the other room now that 'the servant woman' is home.
"Luuk whut u deed," Legolas scolds. "U maed her mad, an noew she leaft."
"Good," I retort. "Now that I have your attention, let's get some lunch so that we can pick up Little Pip from school and then go buy you some clothes that fit."
Pip jumps excitedly through the open side door of the van, "Hi, Legolas!" she says. "What did you do all day? Did you play with Barbie again?"
"I plaed wid da katz moestlie," Legolas answers. "I reely like dat flueeffie wite won."
They talk about the cats for awhile, then about Little Pip's day, then about other things. It is only when I pass the normal turn toward home that Pip comes to realize the car is not driving itself.
"Mom, where are we going?"
"Hi, Little Pip. I am just fine. Yes, I had a very good day."
I sigh. "We are going to Walmart to get something for Legolas to wear that will fit him." As I turn into the parking lot, I tell them both, "Now stay close, I don't want to wander about looking for you if we were to get separated." I hand Legolas one of Yes Dear's baseball caps as he climbs out of the van. "Put this on your head, and tuck up your hair so maybe no one will recognize you."
We do get some funny looks as we make our way to the Men's Wear section. Maybe it's the pointed ears, but I really think it's the way he is staring open mouthed at all of the merchandise that is making people wonder what planet he came from.
Together we pick out a package of socks, a belt, and a couple of shirts. He does prefer green, but finds a light sandy brown and a sky blue shirt that he likes as well. Because he doesn't have a clue what size pants he wears, I select a couple of different pairs of jeans for him to try on, and start looking for a dressing room.
On the way, we pass the display with underwear on it. "Boxers, or briefs?" I ask him. When he doesn't answer, I glance up to see what has drawn his attention this time.
Nothing. He's staring now at me, puzzled. Realization hits me like a brick in the face. He doesn't have a clue what I am talking about.
So I pick one package of each, making sure to get the ones with the foresty colors in them.
I send Little Pip just across the aisle to the Junior's section, warning her to stay where I can see her. I help Legolas get his things to the dressing area, and leave him to try them on while I stand outside and look at the sale rack.
Ten minutes have passed, and I can still see Pip, but no Legolas. I stick my head over to the entranceway to the dressing rooms, and call, "Legolas?"
"Yeas?" he answers.
"Are you ok?"
After another 2 minutes, I call again. "Legolas?"
"Do you need help?"
Another minute passes, and I can stand it no longer. "Legolas, what are you doing in there?"
"I em luuking at misef een dis mierroer."
Should have known.
"Legolas, is there anyone else back there?"
"I'm coming in." Rounding the corner, it is all I can do not to burst out laughing. He is standing out in the center of the hallway in front of the 3- paneled mirror, looking at himself just like he said. I have to turn myself around to keep him from seeing my face. When I finally get myself back under control, I figure I might as well explain it to him now.
"Legolas, they are called 'underwear' because you are supposed to wear them UNDER your pants."
(Reviews For Chapter Thirteen) **al and Legolas**
Wanna know what happens next? Stay tuned for the next episode of Lego's Bio, coming very soon to a screen near you! Review quick, so Legolas will have time to type a note back to you! I'm not waiting for him; we're running out of time, and I have SOOO many things to share with you!
"U deed not tael me dey goe uendr da paentz! U sed 'bokzerz oer breefz, Legolas?' I haed tu gess, an I thot dat becuz dey wer soe brietly culord, dat dey muest goe oen da top of da pantz!"
I stifle my laughter, as he is already embarrassed about the mix-up. "You are right, Legolas, I should have been more specific. Now go change into your other clothes, the ones you wore to come here. This time though, put the colored underwear on first, UNDER your pants!"
I go over to the Junior's section to collect Little Pip. She has found an entire wardrobe of clothing she just cannot live without. I think the teen years have hit us about 4 years early. I let her keep one of the tops she has picked out, and we head back across the aisle to meet Legolas.
Except there is no Legolas. After a quick search through Men's Wear, I check the dressing rooms, heedless of whether anyone else is in there or not. No Legolas, no clothing that looks anything like what he was trying on. He is gone, vanished.
"Stay calm," I say to myself. "He has to be here somewhere."
Little Pip and I check the surrounding areas. He's not in Women's Wear, Lingerie, or the Children's Departments. I am getting more anxious by the minute. How do you lose a 6 foot tall elf in a department store?
We split up. Little Pip goes to jewelry, I go to shoes. There are no elves in the workboots, none in the flip-flops, no Legolas admiring the strappy eveningwear sandals.
Maybe he's spotted the artificial flowers in Crafts, I think. A quick check reveals what I know in my heart to be true. Legolas is not into crafts.
Little Pip is still in the jewelry section, admiring the Scooby Doo watches. "I want one of these for my birthday," she says.
"Did you see him?" I frantically whisper.
"Who?" she says, looking around.
"Legolas!" I hiss. Ooops, quiet al, don't want the employees to suspect something is going on. Not yet, anyway.
"Oh, him. Nope, he's not here," she says. "I'll bet he's looking at Barbies."
"THAT"S IT!" I exclaim, madly dashing cart and all down the center aisle, turning right and careening towards Toys. I screech the tires as I come past the endcap with the Barbie display, only to skid to a halt in shock.
Legolas is not looking at Barbies.
I am going into panic mode now. I can't even think straight. < Someone has kidnapped him! > is the only thought I can comprehend. I am breaking out in a cold sweat.
Little Pip catches up to me. "Did you try the hair accessories?" she asks. "You know how he loves to do Barbie's hair."
Yes, hair accessories! He has to be in hair accessories. There's just nowhere else he could be. My mind grasps on to that thought like a drowning woman with a life preserver.
Rushing across the aisle, I discover my worst nightmare was nothing compared to this. Legolas is not looking for hair accessories, nor shopping for new fragrances of shampoo.
He is gone. Vanished into thin air. I have visions of a scruffy-looking, dark, smelly man with his hand clamped over Legolas' mouth, dragging him out of the store through some hidden back door.
I assume full human warrior woman mode. If that is the case, then I will find him. I will hunt the bad man down and strangle him barehanded. Woe to him who messes with my own.
Then the Walmart sales associate rounds the corner and, sensing my state of duress, he asks, "How may I help you?"
"I've lost somebody!" I cry. Warrior Woman is now long gone and distressed mother of small children is kicking in. I am so terrified I will never see him again that tears have sprung to my eyes and my hands are shaking.
"Calm down, ma'am. We'll find him." He picks up his walkie talkie thing on his belt. < Must be one of the managers, > my mind registers.
"We've got a Code Adam. Description to follow," he says. Over the public address system comes a woman's voice "Code Adam. Attention all employees, we have a Code Adam."
He turns to me. "What was he wearing, honey?" he asks.
"Blue jeans, and a black T-shirt that is a little too big for him. And he has on a Mark Martin baseball cap," I sob.
"Don't worry, honey, we're gonna find him," he reassures me, before passing on the information to the other department heads.
Within seconds, every store employee in Walmart has dropped whatever they were doing and is searching for Legolas. Employees are posted at each door, in each aisle, searching bathrooms and dressing rooms, and every other nook and cranny in the place. The fact that 5 minutes go by and they still have not found him does NOT make me feel any better. The store manager walks me up to the courtesy counter so the first one to spot him will be able to escort him straight to me.
After 10 minutes, the manager asks for more information as he hangs up the telephone after dialing the local police. "What color did you say his hair was?"
"It's a pale blonde. And it's really long like mine," I add.
He does a double take. "Did you say long like yours?" he asks.
I nod yes.
He grabs up the public address microphone again, and announces to the whole store, "On our Code Adam, we have additional information. Change that description to a male with long blonde hair."
He smiles at me. "That should turn him up, honey, " he says. "I'll just bet with that long hair, someone has seen him but not realized that is who we are looking for, because you don't see too many boys with long blonde hair around here."
I hear the sound of sirens drawing near, and soon there are enough police officers in the store to have a town parade. I recognize several of our local volunteer firefighters as well. It's a small town, and we have never had a real Code Adam here before. Shoot, a cat having kittens in a drainpipe is almost as exciting for them.
Sheriff Brown leads the way over to the courtesy counter. He goes to my church, so I am forever grateful to see him. He speaks briefly to the manager, then smiling, turns to me, "I didn't know you had a little boy, too?"
Oh. Oh no. They have been searching for a little boy. Legolas hardly qualifies as a little boy. "I don't have a little boy, I just have my one little girl," I answer.
A puzzled look passes across his face. "Well, then," he says kindly, "who are we looking for?"
"My friend Legolas. He's not from here, and he's never been in a Walmart before," I explain.
"You said 'Legolas'?"
"Yes," I say.
Sheriff Brown regroups to think about that one for a second. "Ok," he says to the manager after a bit of chin rubbing, "let's try calling Legolas on the PA and asking him to come to the courtesy counter." They are all looking at me a bit strangely. Fortunately, we do not have a movie theater in this town, and the probability of any of these people having seen THE MOVIE or read Tolkien's books is very low. The name does not seem to ring a bell with any of them, and only seems to draw attention because most of the men present have names like Bubba, Fred, Junior, and Billy Bob.
"Attention please," says the voice over the PA system, "if Legolas is in the building, would he please come to the front courtesy counter? His friend is looking for him."
Not a full minute passes by before I hear his voice asking, "Eggskuze me, bud culd u tael me whur I kin fiend da kurtsy cowntr?"
I am out of my seat and halfway through the crowd of people toward him before he finishes the sentence. As the volunteers and safety personnel and employees and customers and policemen part to let me by, I realize why no one picked up on any of my descriptions. Well, besides the fact that he is 6 feet tall.
He's still wearing the blue jeans (Thank the Lord, without the underwear on top!) and the black Styx T-shirt, but his hair is still tucked up underneath the baseball cap. Which does NOT say Mark Martin Racing as I had described.
The cap currently perched on top of the tucked up, barely showing, pale blonde locks of Legolas Greenleaf says, in big bold letters, "Viagra."
There are some snickers from the crowd, and a couple of the guys I do not know are leering suggestively, some at me and some at Legolas. I wonder how long it will take the rumor to get back to Yes Dear that his wife has a pretty boy on the side.
I don't care. I run to Legolas, and hug him tight. "Where have you been?" I ask. "I have been looking all over for you!"
He grins wide enough to split his face in half. "Deed u noe dey hav a hole buench of leedle laekz oen da wall wid leedle feeshez en dem?" He gestures with his hands. "Dey are all like dis beeg, an eech won haz a deefrint kiend of feesh een it! Com oen, I weel shoew u!" He grabs my hand and starts to pull me to the back of the store.
I pull back, and stop him. "Just a minute," I say. I turn back to Sheriff Brown and the store manager. "Thank you for helping me find him," I tell them. "You don't know what this means to me to have him back."
Sheriff Brown is the first to recover. "Where exactly did you say he was from?" he asks skeptically.
"Oh, he's a foreign exchange student from uhhmmm.. Switzerland," I lie. "Tiny city, nobody's ever heard of it, no TV or radios or anything." I turn back to Legolas. "Let's go look at those fish."
I think to myself as he pulls me excitedly to the Pet's Department that if I got him a cell phone and had him keep it in his pocket, we wouldn't have had this whole problem. I could have just dialed him up and followed the ring to find him.
(Reviews For Chapter Fourteen) **al and Legolas**
Hurry and push the little button below to leave a message for Legolas! We are on a tight schedule here, so I hope to have another chapter for you by the weekend. Only a month left to go! Hush, Tree, I can hear you bawling from here! He HAS to go back, I've explained it a million times!
A/N: A big thanks to my favorite TV network, whom most of you will recognize. I have enjoyed programs like these, and even learned a little, over many years since I was a child. This chapter is a testimony to the fact that you can NEVER be too old to learn something new.
Also a big thanks to Puter Patty, who reminded me of this little incident with her review of Chapter 5, which she actually wrote just a few short months after this actually happened. It is non-fiction story on a fiction website, remember?
If you got here without visiting my bio page, you don't want to miss Legolas' latest adventure with hats! He is getting quite a kick out of assuming different personas. Maybe he would consider staying here permanently and getting a job as an actor. . . .
After the incident at Walmart, I decide one of the first things Legolas needs to know if he is going to be staying here in "Modren erth," as he spells it, is something about basic safety. The first thing, of course, will be how to contact me if we are ever separated.
I dig through some of Little Pip's old coloring books and find exactly what we need to start: a coloring book about safety personnel that includes firemen and policemen. I sit down with him at the dining room table and our first lesson begins.
"This guy is a policeman," I explain. "He's like the ones who came to Walmart yesterday, remember?"
"I like heez klothz," Legolas says. "Kin I hav a haet like dat?"
"No. Stick to the subject," I tell him. "I want you to know that if you ever get lost, or need help, or anything like that, you should look for a policeman and he will help you."
He thumbs through the coloring book, stopping about 3 pages in. "Whoe iz dis?" he asks.
Ooops. I've already committed sexual discrimination. "That is a Police Woman," I say. "Males and females can both be members of the police force that protect the public."
"U noe, I thank. . .," he begins thoughtfully.
"Don't even tell me you like her outfit better, because you can't have it either," I interrupt.
"Ohhh. . . . .," he says.
After a pause, he thumbs through the next few pages. We talk about how firemen fight fires but also help people who are hurt, or in trouble, or need help. We talk about policemen capturing the bad guys, about how both professions work together to help protect the people of our "Modren erth," much like the Fellowship worked together to protect the Ringbearer.
We move on to the back of the safety coloring book, to the part where the child is supposed to fill in his or her name and pertinent information like address and phone number. Little Pip has already written down the appropriate numbers and street names, so I give Legolas an index card and give him a chance to copy the information from the coloring book.
"Watch how you spelled Lake in the street name, Legolas," I tell him. "You have the e and the k backwards."
"Ohhh..," he says, chewing on the eraser at the end of the pencil.
"You need to copy it EXACTLY to get it right." He continues copying, chewing now on his bottom lip in concentration.
"That's better. Now, I am going to fix a holder for this card, so you can carry it when we go places. That way if you ever get lost again, you can ask for help to find me."
"Buet I wuz noet loest!" he protests. " I wuz rite dere in frunt of da feeshez da hoel tiem!"
"Ok, fine. Let's just say the next time you and I get separated, you can give this card to a policeman, tell them I am lost, and ask them to find me."
"Okae, dat wurkz fur me," he says with a grin.
"Now, we really need to do something about your spelling," I say, turning to pick up another book. This time it is "The Cat In The Hat Beginner Book Dictionary" by P.D. Eastman. We thumb through it, and while he is fascinated with the caricatures, I soon find that he is paying very little attention to the spelling as he giggles at the pictures. He seems especially tickled at the antics of Aaron the Alligator. Unfortunately, Aaron is acting out words like "dentist" and "entrance," which are hardly what we need to start with.
As we reach the end of the book, apparently not much better than we started out, I glance at the clock. Two minutes until 9 am. "Whoa, I'm gonna be late for work!" I exclaim, jumping out of my chair. Then it dawns on me. I don't have to be here for the next part of Legolas' spelling lessons. Through the miracles of modern television, I have a whole cast of friends who are just dying to assist.
"Legolas!" I call as I head into the den. "Come see what I have for you to watch while I am gone!" I dig around to find the TV remote, and tune in to my very favorite network, PBS-the Public Broadcasting System, home of every kid's favorite TV stars known the world over.
The oh-so-familiar tune to my own ears calls him like a siren's song. I have turned it on just in time to catch the very beginning scene. Strains of "Sunny day, chasing the clouds away . . .." echo in my ears.
"Whut iz dis?" asks the Prance, staring at the sight of a group of excited children skipping through the park with a hugely overgrown Yellow Bird in tow.
"It's called Sesame Street," I say, throwing a fat pillow down on the floor in front of the TV. "Why don't you sit and watch while I am at work?"
He never takes his eyes off the screen as he settles down on the pillow on the floor. I hold the remote out to him, then realize that my original intention of showing him how to turn it off when he is done is pretty much shot at this point. He is glued to the screen.
"When this is over, you can watch Mister Rogers' Neighborhood and whatever comes after that, ok?" I might as well be talking to myself, for the Prance has no ears for anything but the One Eyed God speaking in many different tongues before him.
I move to the door, picking up my purse and car keys. Still not getting a response, I try jingling the keys and raising my voice to yell, "I'm going bye bye now, see you at lunch time!"
"Bie bie. . . " he mumbles in robotic repetition, far from issuing the phrase to mean farewell.
Three hours later, I return to find him still staring, this time at the ending sequences of "Teletubbies." < Maybe unsupervised TV is not such a good thing, > I think to myself. As the commercial break ensues, I use the remote to turn off the power and bring Legolas back to real life.
"Hae!" he growls, perturbed at the interruption.
"Good afternoon, Prance Legolas! How was your day?" I inquire.
"Oh, hae al," he says, coming around from his own little world. "Arnt u goeng tu wurk?"
I blink. Twice. He waits for an answer.
"I did go to work. I've been gone for almost 3 and a half hours. It's time for lunch now."
Now HE is the one who is blinking. He breaks the silence with, "I havta goe tu da bafruum."
While he is gone, I toast some bread slices and coat them with the egg salad spread I made last evening. When he bounces back into the room, we sit down together at the table to eat. Legolas helps himself to a handful of sour cream and onion potato chips, then hands the bag to me.
"I larened a neu soeng tudae," he announces. "Due u waenta here it?"
"Certainly," I reply, expecting some version of a song about one or another of the letters of the alphabet. I secretly hope it will be "C is for Cookie," as I greatly love that one. I watch as he takes a drink of his sweet iced tea and clears his throat. Soon the melodious sound of elven tenor fills my kitchen.
"I em aen aardvard, an I em praoud,
I em aen aardvard, an I em haeppie.
I em an aardvard, an I em tueff an smaert an stroeng
An alwaez rite an itz da wae I'll alwaez bea
Unteel I meat anuthr aardvard dat's beeger dan me!"
I stare in shock. Then I burst out laughing. "The Aardvark Song! Oh, Legolas, I haven't heard that one in years!"
"It eez aelmoest az guud as da Barrel Soeng, doen't u thank?" he asks, chuckling along with me.
"That it is, my dear, that it is. What else did you learn while I was gone?"
"Weel, dere wuz dis storee abot whur da wader goez whin u feenish taekin a baf," he begins. Before long, we have covered how toilets flush, how to drain a bathtub, and had a visit to a water purification plant. He covers it all in one great rush, and I am left to guess what program he saw it all on until he comes to the clincher.
"Dere wuz dis won paert," he says with a shudder," dat maed me skeered."
After water purification and flushing toilets, whatever in the world could have scared a full-grown Prance?
"We goet oen dis trane thang an weent tu da Naburhuud of Maek-Bealeave. Dere wuz dis leedle teenee laedee dere whoe skeered me. She luuked like she culd kaest a spael on u anitiem. She haed a thang she wuld throe kald a Buumaraeng."
"What was her name?" I ask.
"I thank it wuz Laedee Eelane," he says, shivering.
Ohhhh, must have been Mister Rogers' Neighborhood. He does have some unusual neighbors, especially in the Neighborhood of Make-Believe. I know some adults who are scared of Lady Elaine Fairchilde. Funny enough, she is somewhat elflike in her ability to get into mischief and trouble.
"What else did you see?" I inquire.
"Aaron da Aeligader wuz dere. He wuz waerin a puerpal sute eensted of dat grean won frum da buuk."
I hadn't really planned on it, but now Legolas has been introduced to Barney the Dinosaur, who he thinks is Aaron the Alligator playing dress up. Go figure.
The early afternoon passes, and soon it is time to pick up Little Pip from school. Together they watch another installment of Sesame Street on PBS, and after it is finished, Pip decides playing school with Legolas would be fun. When it is time to set the table for supper, she confides in me.
"Momma, he's hopeless."
"I worked all afternoon on 'can' and 'you' with him. He can spell them on the paper, but he keeps drawing sheep beside the 'you' words."
"I don't want to know what he draws beside the 'can,' do I?" I ask.
I wonder where he learned slang?
After supper, as I sit down in my rocking chair to contemplate everything that has gone on today, when Little Pip is tucked under the covers, and with Legolas soaking in the bathtub, I hear the familiar sounds of a tenor serenade coming from the bathroom. This time it is another old favorite.
"Ruebber Dueky, ur da won. . ."
A/N: The Barrel Song comes from "The Hobbit" Chapter 9 Barrels Out of Bounds. Almost as merry as the Aardvark Song, yes indeed.
Many of you have asked about the Keebler Elf Cookies. The Keebler Cookie site with a picture of elf cookies can be found here: http://www.keebler.com/family/cookies/elfudge.jsp
Thanks so much for many years of fun for both young and old to Sesame Street, Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, Barney the Dinosaur, Teletubbies, and especially to Lady Elaine Fairchilde. You can access the PBS kids website at: http://pbskids.org/
Ok, Legolas, your turn!
(Reviews For Chapter Fifteen) **al and Legolas**
Well, there you go. Just one more day in the life of our favorite elf. Send Legolas your messages quick, call your friends and tell them Chapter 15 is up, because Chapter 16 is ready and waiting just for Legolas to respond personally to each of you! I have SO many things to tell you about his time in "Mordren Erth!" Look for another posting in just a few days, ok?
A/N: Hope all of you who celebrated Thanksgiving have not eaten too much! I put a new picture on my bio page for you, with a brief explanation of Thanksgiving for all of you (like Legolas) who aren't sure what exactly Thanksgiving is. Thank you all from me for all of your encouragement. You are all very special to me.
Now on to another little version of feasting, but this time with a summertime flare.
On the way home from school, I pass a group of children standing around the side door of a large delivery-style truck. They are clutching money in the palms of their little hands, ready to exchange the money for the potions they crave so deeply. The "dealer" inside the truck is rapidly swapping his product for their currency, anxious to move on to the next group of innocents.
His wares are described in tantalizing pictures drawn garishly on the sides of the delivery truck. Enchanting music wafts through the air, calling like the Pied Piper for all to come and partake of the delicacies he offers. Even Little Pip is unable to defeat the temptation of his elixirs.
"Momma, can we stop? Please?" she asks.
The Ice Cream Man cometh.
"Ok," I reply. I also am addicted to his panaceas. The stash he peddles includes all my old favorites. Orange Popups, Rainbow Popsicles, Cremesicles, Fudgsicles, Heath bars, shaved ice Snow Cones in a thousand different flavors, Firecracker Popsicles, Ice Cream Sandwiches, and Fruit Pops in cherry, grape, or orange flavors.
I park the van a little ways past the truck, climb out, and usher Little Pip and Legolas out of the back. I give each of them a dollar's worth of change. We move to the curb, waiting for him to approach. A couple of little girls from the house next door come out to join us.
"Hi, Christie! Hi, Julie!" calls Little Pip, greeting them.
"Hi!" they answer in unison, waving and addressing us all together. Then the one on the left asks, "Who's your friend?"
"This is Legolas. He's living at our house for the summer. He's from Sweden," says Little Pip, repeating our previously rehearsed lines.
"Switzerland, dear, he's from Switzerland," I hastily correct.
"It'z reely koeld dere," adds Legolas, right on cue.
"Do you have ice cream there?" asks Christie, her sandy brown ponytail bobbing.
"Ise Kreem?" Legolas asks, turning to me with his eyebrow raised.
"Say 'No, it's too cold'," I whisper.
"Noe, we due not hav ise kreem dere," he repeats. "It iz tu koeld."
"That's too bad," says Julie.
About this time the Ice Cream Man spots us, so he quickly finishes his dealings with his current crowd, who are slowly and contentedly wandering away from his truck. He cranks up the volume on the tinny stereo speakers and proceeds toward us at a crawl, rambling along to the sounds of "The Entertainer."
He slowly passes us, standing there so patiently, thereby allowing us the best part of the whole experience--the rush of adrenaline that occurs when we suddenly think he might not have seen us and has left us behind.
The race is on. I lead them, experiencing the first of the highs for the day. The four of us dash madly along after the truck, hollering wildly the words all Ice Cream Men live to hear coming from the mouths of little girls worldwide:
"WAIT, MR. ICE CREAM MAN! WAIT FOR US!"
That's right, I said 4 of us. The ladies are 6 paces off the starting line at the curb when Legolas realizes he has been left on the blocks. In 2 strides he is on us, 3 and he is in the lead.
As the truck gets fifty yards in front of us, as required by the Ice Cream Man Training Manual, page 26, the man inside pushes the brakes and ambles slowly to a stop. The girls and I come to a panting halt at the side door 3 seconds later, just as described on page 30 under "Expected Behavior of Juvenile Customers."
Legolas, however, is unfamiliar with the custom, much less the Training Manual. He's past the truck by another 10 paces before he realizes he is no longer "winning," as we have stopped. He sheepishly wanders back to us, scuffing his toes on the ground, heading to me at the end of the line.
Little Pip hangs back with me, contemplating whether she will order an Ice Cream Sandwich or have a Snowcone without any flavoring on it. Strange kid, I know. She lets Julie and Christie step up to the window in front of her.
"I'll have a Fudgsicle," says Julie. Confident kid, she knows what remedy suits her best.
"And I want a Rainbow Pop, please," says Christie, who also knows her habit well.
Little Pip decides to sedate herself with the Ice Cream Sandwich, holding the shaved ice for another day. She hands over her 4 quarters and accepts her paper wrapped fix.
It's my turn. I contemplate the Orange Popup. I imagine it's creamy taste dripping down the sides of the cardboard tube holder as I lick it up. Somehow, the thought that I could make one at home with one of those little cardboard insides of a roll of toilet paper squashes the idea.
I think I'll just have a Drumstick. It better suits my nutty personality.
"How about you?" the Ice Cream Man asks Legolas, eyeing him funny as if not sure he should have ended his sentence with "sir" or "ma'am." It's the long blonde hair, fools people all the time. The unisex jeans and T-shirt don't give any clues really either.
Legolas looks again at the poisons the other of us drugheads are savoring. Our individual experiences are affecting our own personal trips, with some of us experiencing our highs quickly like Julie who's Fudgsicle is now merely a skin and bones wooden stick, to Little Pip who has spent the last 3 minutes reading the jokes printed on the side of her Ice Cream Sandwich wrapper.
"Come on, Honey, pick something," says helpful Mr. Ice Cream Man, taking a chance that this fine looking specimen of a customer might just be of the female gender after all. Isn't it a well know fact that women can never make up their minds?
Legolas glares at him, then turns to me and asks," Whut iz an ise kream?" He's asked me before, but in my haste to get my ultimate desire, I neglected to answer him. Just like a typical crackhead, I've abandoned my family to get my hit and anesthetize my need.
"Look at the pictures on the side of the truck, Legolas," I tell him. "Ice Cream is a sweet treat, very cold, that you eat mostly in the summertime. You can try any of these you want. Just tell the Ice Cream Man and he will get it for you."
"Dey all luuk guud," Legolas contemplates, studying the pictures.
"Would you like a bite of mine?" I ask, proffering the goods towards him. He eyeballs the Drumstick's waffle cone, the vanilla ice cream, the little bit of chocolate drizzled and hardened over the end with the peanuts interspersed.
"Whut deed u sae dat iz caelld?" he asks before taking a tiny bite, nibbling with just his front teeth. He gets mostly vanilla with a small chunk of cone.
"Drumstick," I answer.
"I thot a druem steek wuz a peece of cheekin?" he inquires, puzzled. "Dat dose not taest like cheekin."
"That is a drumstick, too!" pipes in Little Pip. "Want to try my Ice Cream Sandwich?"
"Okae," he says, returning my Drumstick. Little Pip helps him peel down the paper, and then he takes a tiny bite.
"What do you think?" Little Pip asks him.
"I doent taest eni peenut budder in dere," he replies, seemingly surprised. I guess I'll have to feed him something for lunch besides peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.
Julie has nothing left but a wooden stick to offer, though he does manage to get a bite of the red cherry part of Christie's Rainbow Pop.
"Do you know what you want yet?" asks Mr. Ice Cream Man, getting impatient to move on. I guess there are not any chapters in the Training Manual on what to do with a grownup who can't choose his poison.
Legolas cocks his head, putting one last thought into his decision. "I weel hav whut she haz," he announces, pointing his finger at my Drumstick.
Mr. Ice Cream Man hands over the goods and Legolas hands over his money with a bit of prompting. He still doesn't quite get this currency exchange thing we do. Apparently Middle earth does more of a barter and trade with goods than with coins.
I unwrap the cone for him, and we turn to make our way back to the van as Mr. Ice Cream Man cranks up the volume once again and pulls away. I haven't taken 3 steps when the inevitable occurs. I hear a startled," OOOhhhhh. . . . !" behind me.
I look back to find the Prance holding the chocolate drizzled waffle cone, staring between his feet at the vanilla, chocolate drizzled, crushed peanut top of his Drumstick.
"Whoooepz!" he says.
"Oh, no! Legolas, I'm sorry!"
"I wuz jest leekin da dreepy paert oef da sied," he pauses, using his tongue to demonstrate with the now empty cone, "an luuk whut haeppnd!" he finishes, sweeping his other arm toward the ground in a dramatic flare.
A flash of gold runs past me, skreeching to a halt at the Prance's feet. Christie's golden retriever apparently didn't miss it. He is lapping up the mess at Legolas' feet like it is manna from Heaven.
"An noew dat doeg iz eetin my ise kreem!" Legolas whines.
In the distance, I can still hear the sounds of the Ice Cream Man's tinny music. "Hurry, Legolas, if we move quickly we can catch him and get another one."
I holler to Little Pip to get in the van, only to find Legolas has already dropped the rest of his cone to Christie's dog and has taken off running down the middle of the street. Running myself in the opposite direction, I jump into the driver's seat and take off after him. In my mind's eye I can see the green flag waving, indicating the race is on its way.
It is no small miracle he isn't hit by a car on the way, running full out like that down the center line, blonde mane flying behind him, legs pumping, feet barely touching the ground. He beats me to the Ice Cream truck by a full 30 seconds.
"Whut tuuk u soe loeng?" he asks. He's not even breathing hard. I took the van, and I am still panting like a racehorse.
"Nevermind," I tell him. After all, it takes skill and talent to chase madly down the street in a van, dodging children and pets, following blindly behind an elf with a mission and keeping my Drumstick from dripping down my arm at the same time.
"Back so soon?" grins Mr. Ice Cream Man. "Just couldn't get enough of me, could you Honey?" He winks at Legolas. "What can I get for you this time?"
"I gess I weel hav anuthr won of dose," Legolas sighs, pointing to what is left of my Drumstick dejectedly.
"What about a fudge dipped soft cone, Legolas?" asks Little Pip, pointing at the picture on the machine that makes the soft dip ice cream. "That one won't fall off on you."
"MMMmmmmm. . . . dat DUZ luuk guud!" exclaims the Prance. " I weel hav wone of doze, pleeze."
"Chocolate, or vanilla?" asks Mr. Ice Cream Man.
Legolas eyes me, confused. "Dis ez haerd," he says. "Hoew due u noe whut tu peek?"
"Experience, dear. It's a developed habit." I turn to Mr. Ice Cream Man, saying," Make it a chocolate with chocolate fudge dip." Glancing back at Legolas, knowing his own propensity for the Dark Sweet Lord of my earth, I add, "Better put it in a chocolate drizzled waffle cone too."
Mr. Ice Cream Man gives me a knowing smile, perfectly aware that chocolate is the secret to a woman's heart. He leers a little as he leans forward to gaze directly into Legolas' blue eyes. "It really is your first time, isn't it sweetheart?" he asks suggestively.
Legolas blinks, unsure. "Weel, I deed hav dat othur won, bud I droepd it an da doeggie got it," he answers innocently.
With a small chuckle, Mr. Ice Cream Man turns and pulls the handle on the soft serve machine. Legolas watches dumbfounded as the chocolate ice cream begins to fold softly into the waffle cone. As Mr. Ice Cream Man hands Legolas the cone confection, his hand lingers a bit against Legolas' long fingers, and he asks, "You've really never done this before?"
"I hav neber dun enithang like dis befour!" answers Legolas excitedly, so wrapped up in staring at the cone that he totally misses what is inferred.
I give Mr. Ice Cream Man a glare. I would have smacked his hand if he hadn't moved it before I could reach him. He straightens up, and I push between them to hastily pay, just to keep him from touching Legolas again.
Before we can climb back into the van, the chocolate dipped ice cream is gone, waffle cone and all. Legolas sticks each of his long fingers into his mouth, sucking each one clean. As he finishes the pinkie finger on his left hand, he suddenly bends forward in the seat, clutching his head between his hands.
"UUUGGGggghhhhh. . . ." he moans.
Whoa, nothing like having your first Elvish Ice Cream Headache.
(Reviews For Chapter Sixteen) **al and Legolas**
A./N: A big thank you goes out to Irena for reminding me of this story, though parts of it I would sooner forget than remember. Like all good stories of angst, there must be periods of pain to go with the comfort, right?
Shari Lewis and her puppet Lamb Chops make an appearance here as well. Thank you PBS!
Another thanks to TreeHugger; isn't it amazing how accurate her stories about Legolas as a youngster have turned out to be?! You are fantastic, nin mellon!
Thoughts in < >
If there were one thing in this world I'd rather have had the Good Lord reconsider on Creation Day, it would have to be the little green lizard. Yeah, yeah, I know it's harmless and tremendously helpful to mankind in that it eats bugs like mosquitoes that carry malaria and the West Nile Virus. I'll even give you that it's cute, with its little prehistoric dinosaur features.
But God can take it back anytime. I hate them.
The day started off bad enough when I opened the kitchen window blind and there on the screen hung one of the vile creatures. I thought at first I must have startled it, for it leapt off the screen and onto the brown railing of the deck. It cocked its ugly, skinny, green head, eyeballing me as if I had committed some great offense. We sized each other up, me at 5 foot 8 inches and him barely registering 6 inches with the tail included. I decided I could win the staring game if I closed the blind without blinking or letting him see my hand move to do so.
There. No more lizard. Down goes the anxiety level.
Half an hour later, I return to the kitchen to refresh my glass of tea, and there he is again. Legolas, with his fetish for viewing the sun and trees, has gone round about the entire house opening all of the window blinds. The nasty green thing has come back to the window above the sink to taunt me. As I move closer, preparing once again to close the blind, the foul beast has the audacity to stick out his red thing at me.
Get your minds out of the gutter, I mean that fold of skin under the lower jaw that rounds outward and turns cherry red, while the monster bounces obscenely and cocks his head to get a better look at you.
Did I mention how much I HATE these things?
"Booooee!" says a mischievous voice in my ear as a strong pair of hands grasps my shoulders. If he hadn't had such a good hold of me, I think I would have leapt straight through the ceiling.
"Dang it, Legolas, how many times do I have to tell you NOT to DO that???" I yell at him.
"Whassa maettr, al?" he asks, clearly puzzled by my overreaction. "I doent thank I hav eber sean u juemp dat muech beafour."
I'm getting used to the elven stealth mode, but Legolas' favorite game is still sneaking up and surprising me. He does it probably a couple of dozen times a day. Sometimes he even plays fair enough that I swear he makes little noises so I have a half chance of catching him in the act before he can touch me. He does it just to prolong the game, to give me a little taste of success so I won't tire of the constant shock.
I'm not about to admit my problem to him. Fear of lizards is MY dirty little secret. Nobody knows that if one ever managed to actually make contact with my skin, the men with the white jackets would be the only ones who could help me after that. I said Nobody knows about it. NOBODY. So don't any of you tell, ok?
I take a deep breath to calm myself and answer his question. "You're just getting too good at the sneaky stealth game, Legolas," I say convincingly.
"I noe!" he says jubilantly, his eyes flashing. "Kin I wach da TV noew?"
"Sure. What's on?"
"Laemb Choepz iz comin oen PeeBeaEss. I jest lub da wae she taelkz!"
Forty-five minutes later, he is puttering about in the front room pecking out notes on the piano. He does this the same way he types, one little finger at a time. Before long I recognize the tune. After another 15 minutes of the same thing over and over, I have reached the end of my tolerance level.
"LEGOLAS!" I shout.
The pecking of notes ceases. Finally. I breathe a sigh of relief.
"Yaes?" comes a voice only slightly above the lowest range of normal human hearing.
"Knock that off! You've been playing and singing that same song for half an hour now, and you are making me nuts!"
"Buet, al," he whines, "itz 'Da Soeng Dat Neber Eandz'!"
Yes, Blessed Song of the Valar, the chosen one of Immortal Beings everywhere. If they are going to be singing that tune forevermore in the Grey Havens, it's no wonder Arwen chose to marry smelly Aragorn and give up her immortality. You know the one, right? For those of you who have not had the pleasure, let me introduce you to the words as Legolas sings one more chorus:
Dis iz da soeng dat neber eandz
Yaes id goez oen an oen my fraendz
Sumbuddy staerted seengin id
Not nowen whut id wuz
An dey'll jest keap oen seegin id
Foureber jest beacaz. . . .
And repeat. And repeat again. And repeat again until forever, because after all, "It's the Song That Never Ends," right?
I'm gonna shear that little Lamb Chops hide.
"Legolas, why don't you go outside for a while? It's such a nice, sunny day," I say. It comes out more like a command than I wanted, but he loves to be outside, so I don't think he notices.
"Okae!" he beams, jumping up from the piano bench and almost toppling it. He moves so quickly there is merely a flash as he goes by, then the hissing sound of the screen door closing.
I'm off today from work, so I get the laundry going and the vacuuming done before I see him again. He has come in while the vacuum is running to get a drink of water, and the elven stealth game is all too easy for him with the vacuum as his assistant. He spooks me again, but I have been expecting it ever since I turned the vacuum on. I'm frankly surprised it took him this long to show up. Usually he tries to boo me at least twice in a vacuuming session.
"Ur oen tu me, arnt u?" he says, grinning.
"I heard you coming that time. You aren't as quiet when the vacuum is on."
A puzzled look comes across his face as he actually considers whether my ears are fine-tuned enough to have heard him. Then the smile returns, and he replies, "Ur doen dat thang Yaes Deer kallz puellin my laeg, arnt u?"
"You're on to me, too," I admit, laughing.
I fix us both a glass of lemonade, and we sit a minute at the kitchen table to drink it. He tells me about some of his relatives and friends, and about the feasts that his father often hosts. He talks of how he loves to attend the festivals, but oh, how he hates to dress in the finery required by his Adar.
"I uzed tu alwaez puell at da kollarz aron my nek," he laughs. "Ada uzed tu giv me da weeglie eyebroews fur dat!"
His laughter dies off, and he becomes somewhat melancholy. After a minute, he whispers under his breath, "I due mees dem. . . "
"Why don't you go back out in the sun and see if that helps, ok?" I ask him, reaching out to squeeze his hand. I worry about him. He always tries so hard not to let it show, but his homesickness lingers there underneath his elven-bred stoic nature.
"Dat'z a guud ideea. Thaenkz, al," he says, rising from his chair.
I wash our glasses in the sink, and finish straightening up the den and putting the vacuum away. I'm cleaning the glass on the TV screen with the Windex when he sneaks up on me for the umpteenth time today.
This time I do jump. I never heard the screen door. He IS getting good at this game.
"Waenna sea my neu eerreeng?" he teases.
Thinking he has been in my jewelry box again, I reach up quickly to brush his hair back and see what it is he has swiped from me this time. He has a fetish for my long dangley earrings that matches his fetish for the sun and the trees. Sure enough, he's got a long dangley one hanging from his earlobe. Except it's not an earring from my jewelry box.
It's the little green lizard from the kitchen window that looks out upon the deck. It's hanging from his earlobe by its teeth.
I can't believe my mind actually takes the time to register that much information before I hit the floor in a sort of slow motion. When I come to, he's squatting down on his haunches, leaning over me, fanning me with his hands as fast as he can. With the little green lizard still firmly attached to his right earlobe.
"al? al?" he's hollering at me, just short of being in a panic. "al? U okae?"
Even Legolas, as fast as he is, is unprepared at the speed at which I come flying up off the floor, desperate to get as far away from that little green monster as possible. Next thing either of us knows, he is smack on his fanny in the middle of the den, and I am headed out the screen door at top speed.
When he manages to get himself up, he makes his way cautiously outside, but stays on the carport. This is a good thing, because with that little green monster still hanging from his earlobe, he's going to have to be a whole lot faster than an elf to catch me. I am frantically pacing the edge of the yard at the treeline, in the shady part where the lizards don't often go during the day.
"al? Wassa maedder, al?" he calls anxiously to me, totally confused at the wiles of women at this point.
"Nothing," I lie. "I'm fine, I'm ok," I reply. < It's true, you didn't actually touch it, al, you're going to be ok, maybe not today, but you'll be ok in a couple of days, really . . .>
"Buet al, u. . ." he holds his hands out towards me and takes a step off the carport concrete onto the grass.
"STAY THERE!" I yell. I startle him enough that he stops dead in his tracks. "Just stay right there on the carport, ok?"
"Buet, al. . ." he starts towards me once more.
"STOP, LEGOLAS!" I yell again. When he halts, I take a deep breath and, trying to still myself from shaking so hard, I calmly say, "Now, take that thing off of your ear, please." I still can't believe the thing was actually in my house. INSIDE THE HOUSE. And I almost TOUCHED IT.
He looks at me, puzzled. His right hand moves upward to touch his earlobe, where he encounters the lizard earring he has totally forgotten about. He squeezes it gently, and it lets go and drops serenely into his waiting hand. He regards it for a moment, before holding it out innocently toward me like some kind of sacrifice, saying, "Deed I skeer u wid dis?"
Uhh ohh. If I say yes, he'll know about my number one fear. Nobody knows about that. NOBODY. You didn't tell anybody, did you? No? Good.
So I answer him with the mother of all lies. "No, you did not scare me," I say, finishing the thought inside my head by saying to myself < it scared me all by itself. > As he takes a step forward, I find myself taking a step backward. He has this worried look on his face, not a hint of malice in him, but I can't forget the number of times this scene has replayed itself from my childhood when my younger brother would step toward me just like that and then. . .
I cannot control it any longer. I break to the left and run.
I see him look down at his hand, then he darts away from me to the right and puts the harmless little lizard down on the warm deck railing. By the time I reach the edge of our 2 acre yard, he has caught me by the arm and pulls me to his chest, murmuring over and over as I sob and he holds me and strokes my hair, "I em soerrie, al, I deent noe, I em soe soerrie. . ."
Ten minutes later he is on the deck, telling the lizards why they have to go back to the forest, why they can't sun on the deck anymore. Of course, they aren't interested in his speech, but they cock their little heads and watch him anyway. Exasperated, he comes back inside where he has left me nursing the lemonade he has poured for me.
"Dey sae dey doent waent tu goe. Dey waen tu noe if dey stae oudsied on da dek an doent eber com een, wuld dat bea okae?"
"Fine," I sigh, too rattled at this point to care.
"Dat saettlez it den," he concludes.
That evening, after I finish taking my shower, I overhear Legolas and Yes Dear talking about what happened. I make sure to bang around in the bathroom so that they can hear I have opened the door and am headed their way. They drop the subject of me and my phobia in favor of the baseball game that is on the TV.
Life moves on, and the evening goes by without the incident being mentioned. That is, until Legolas goes rummaging through the kitchen cabinets in search of a late night snack and turns up a Palmetto Bug instead.
"Bie da Valar!" I hear him exclaim. "Whut en da Haellz of Maendoz eez dat thang?" *
For those of you who have never encountered the Palmetto Bug, a brief description is in order. The rest of you who have encountered it can just sit over there and shiver while you skip this part. This bug is found in the southern United States, preferring warm climates of 84 degrees Fahrenheit or so as it's favorite temperature. This creature grows to as large as 3 inches long, and is a dark reddish brown in coloration. It is seen both night and day, and is winged and fully capable of flight. It is more commonly known as the cockroach.
Yes Dear's masculine curiosity gets the best of him, and he is soon in the kitchen with Legolas, eyeballing the creature. The three of them are having a stare off when I decide to get up from reading the newspaper comics and see what it is they are looking at.
"It's a Palmetto Bug," whispers Yes Dear. "Be careful, Legolas, they can fly."
"Reely?" gasps the Prance, moving a step backward behind Yes Dear.
"Yep. I'm gonna ease over there and get my shoe on so I can step on it."
"Waent me tu goe git my boe an aroz?" Legolas asks, still not taking his eyes off the creature.
"Maybe," says Yes Dear, who dearly loves to egg Legolas on. "We might need them, but not just yet."
"Ar dey poezenus?" asks Prance Legolas, who has dealt with his share of spiders from Mirkwood in his day.
"I don't know," teases Yes Dear. "I've never been bitten by one."
"Bietten?!" gulps Mirkwood's finest.
Just as Yes Dear reaches for his shoe there by the door, and just as I enter the kitchen from the den, the damned thing takes off flying, aimed right for Legolas' head. As he ducks, I step up to the plate and whap the thing with the newspaper I am still holding in my hand. It falls to the floor right near where Yes Dear is standing, and he quickly dispatches it by mashing it with the shoe. It makes a satisfying crunching noise.
"Bie Elbereth an Anor!" * Legolas croaks. "U saevd me, al! Dat thang kaem rite at me!"
He hugs me until I think I might have bruises. He hugs Yes Dear too. Then, lifting a lock of my long brown hair (ok, brown and gray), he solemnly announces, "I thank id iz tiem dat u staerted warein Worrier Braedz."
In ten minutes, he has braided my forelock back behind my head, and each side of my long mane is also neatly done and secured with rubber bands. Standing behind me as we face the mirror, he puts his hands on my shoulders and proclaims, "Bie da poewr of da reelm of Meedle erth, I , Prance Legolas Greenleaf, proenawnce u a Worrier of Mirkwuud."
The expression on his face is worth the weight of the world in gold to me. Or in mithril, for that matter. I will cherish the memory of the day I earned my "Worrier Braedz" for the rest of my mortal life, and I have proudly worn them every day since being bestowed with them.
Really Loose Elven Translations:
"Bie da Valar!" : Good Lord!
"Whut en da Haellz of Maendoz eez dat thang?" : What in Heaven's name is that thing?
"Bie Elbereth an Anor!" : By the Queen of the Stars and The Sun!
Responses to Reviewers:
(Try that again) Love Notes to Fans From Legolas: (there, that's better)
(Reviews For Chapter Seventeen) **al and Legolas**
My goodness, we now have over 300 reviews, and this time you didn't do any of them yourself, did you Legolas? We've also had quite a few new names to add to your love letters list too! Thank you to everyone who responded; it really is a nice way to ward off this homesickness he experiences from time to time. Next chapter is already started, so push the little button and leave your message quick! I hope to have it up this weekend!
Hope you all enjoyed the visit to another day in Legolas' life! He loves to hear from you, so be sure to leave him a little note to tell him you stopped by. I promise he will answer you back! Do it quick, I have another chapter almost finished for you, and time is passing quickly!
For the past 2 years, the area where I live has been experiencing a severe drought. The water levels in our local lakes are so low that pleasure boats are sitting in the mud still tied to the docks where they rest. We have a mandatory water conservation plan in effect for the summer months, with everyone refraining from watering their lawns or washing their cars. Everything is dry, dusty, and just plain hot.
You can imagine the distressed look on Legolas' face when Yes Dear had to tell him the hot tub had sprung a leak, and was now empty and could not be refilled. It seems there were one too many cannonballs done in there, and that the check valve to the motor was finally sundered. I wondered about that waterfall sound accompanying the last cannonball of the evening the night before. When the pool guy came to check it out, there was a huge crack in the PVC piping as well. To him it was no surprise the hot tub was as empty as the local lakes.
"You burned up your motor, too," says Mr. Pool Guy. "Good thing it was an older model. About time to replace it anyway. Luckily the manufacturer is running a sale right now."
"Oeh, boey! A sael!" chirps Legolas, visions of a new tub chock full of sparkling water on the way.
"How much is that gonna cost, with the sale and all?" asks a suspicious Yes Dear, who is already adding up the dollar figure he could get if he put the Prance up for sale on eBay to recover his losses.
"Let's see," says Mr. Pool Guy. He produces a little receipt book notepad from his pocket and starts writing in it. A minute or two later, he announces, "Wow, look at that! Only $899.95. That's a real deal on this state of the art equipment!"
"We git aert ekwipmaent tu? Oeh, Boey!" whoops Legolas, now unable to contain his delirium at the thought of a hot tub with art supplies included. Heavens knows what he is thinking of doing with all the paints and brushes his mind is envisioning. He skips off to find Little Pip, delighted to break the news about their new playtoy on the way.
"I'll be in touch," says Yes Dear to Mr. Pool Guy, rolling his eyes at me.
"Don't wait too long," cautions the pool man. "This sale is only good until Friday. It's a deal you don't want to miss!"
As he drives off, Yes Dear sighs and says to me, "Where are we gonna get another $900 to cover a hot tub?"
Three days later, Legolas is under the deck, helping Mr. Pool Guy's faithful assistant to install the new undersides of our hot tub. It seems that after Mr. Pool Guy had time to consider it, everything that runs our hot tub had to be replaced except the Fiberglas tub part itself. The $899.95 has escalated into almost $1100 in plastic pipe, metal parts, rubber valves, and chemicals to make everything just right.
"Might as well have installed it in some king's palace," Yes Dear says out loud.
"I think we did, only ours is a Prance," I say, watching Legolas as he crouches in the shade underneath the deck, holding the glue and the wrenches for Mr. Assistant Pool Guy. "Now how are we going to explain to him that we cannot fill it with the drought restrictions?"
Yes Dear looks at me. "We'll fill it," he says, smiling. "Just not all at once."
I love this guy.
Within a weeks time we have filled the tub, one or two gallons at a time. The grass in the yard is a little browner, but no one comes this far down the road to see it anyway. Finally, the night arrives when it is full and hot once again.
"No cannonballs!" scolds Yes Dear. "Next time we won't have the money to fix it."
"He's talking to YOU, Legolas," says Little Pip, poking her index finger into his bare chest.
"I herd heem. I hav elf eerz, u noe," retorts the Prance, pushing past her and out the magic sliding door while it is still magically open.
He drapes his 101 Dalmatians towel over the side of the deck railing, and proceeds to the edge of the tub. I watch as he balances precariously on his right foot at the top, dipping his toes on his left foot into the water to test it out. He glances up at me, making eye contact. The unbelievable amount of mischief I see exposed there tells me exactly what he is about to do. Before I can react, he is already airborne.
"BAELLIEFLOEP!!" shouts the Prance.
A week later, the weather forecast includes a strong possibility of afternoon thunderstorms. We gather up all the 5-gallon buckets we have, hoping to catch the runoff to save for watering the tomato plants in the future. Little Pip and Legolas use the time as the wind rises and the thunder booms in the distance to carefully estimate where the most water will come down, and place their respective buckets in the locations of their choice. What was supposed to be a lesson in water conservation and recycling has rapidly turned into a competition.
As the lightning strikes come closer, I make both of them come up under the carport out of harm's way. The wind has really picked up, and I leave them momentarily to double check the weather station for announcements and warnings about the storm. Even though nothing of danger is being indicated, my instincts tell me this is going to be a severe one. After one particularly strong wind gust, I decide outside is not the place to be, even under the relative shelter of our large attached carport.
As I open my mouth to call them both in, the emergency warning horn at the Fire Department in town goes off. Even I can clearly hear it five miles out of the city limits, and I don't have elf ears. Not yet, anyway.
"THE HORN OF GONDOR!!" cries the Prance.
"WHAT DOES THAT MEAN??" hollers Little Pip.
"I kin't remambr. Eethr Boromir iz een trubel, oer it'z tiem fur luench," says the Prance.
"We need to go in," I call to them, trying to maintain a calm demeanor. "Everybody come in and get a kitty and take them to sit in the hallway."
The storm intensifies, then dies down a bit after the rain begins in earnest. No tornado, thank the Lord.
"Kin we goe oudsied noew?" asks Legolas.
Looking outside, I note it is all just rain now. The brunt of the storm has passed. The 5-gallon buckets are sitting with about an inch of rain in them, and water is pouring off the roof in huge sheets.
"Go," I say.
The two of them dart outside, hastily snatching up buckets and running with them to the dripline, trying to catch the runoff. In minutes, the buckets are overflowing.
I quickly pull the recyclable plastics from the huge 55-gallon container that holds them. "Pour your buckets in here!' I encourage, pushing the container out where they can get to it. The whole thing reminds me of a fire bucket brigade as the competition is forgotten and they work together to pour the full buckets into the huge container. In no time at all it is also filled to the brim. Thankfully, the rain is finally starting to die down.
"Woew, dat wuz FUEN!" exclaims the Prance as he heads inside for dry clothes.
It only takes a couple of days in the 100-degree weather for the collected rainwater to be gone. Luckily the forecast once again calls for rain, this time in the much-needed form of slow steady showers over a day's time. Little Pip is at school, so Legolas is charged with the task of keeping up with the rain gathering on his own.
He gathers the buckets, this time placing them along the dripline to start instead of having to run around in the rain and see where the best places are. He's got a nice little line of them going across the carport cement.
I am typing on the computer, instant messaging with my friend TreeHugger, so I leave him on his own to work for awhile. I hear the back door open, and he calls to me, "Itz raenin noew!"
"Ok!" I call back. "Is it working?"
"Yaes!" he hollers.
"Do you need help?" I yell.
"Noe!" he says. I hear the screen door close, and it is a good 30 minutes before I hear him again.
"How's it going?" I ask when he appears in the doorway. So far, he's dry, which is a bit of a surprise.
"Itz jest bearly raenin. Kin I uze Leedle Peep'z paeyntz wile I wate?"
"I think that would be all right," I answer, rising from my chair to get the watercolor paints for him. "Do you need paper too, or brushes?"
"Jest a leetle biet of dat paeper dere. Da boex haz da brueshz een it aelredy."
He takes the paints and heads toward the kitchen. Usually the table is already set with the old plastic tablecloth on it, as the two of them use the paints pretty regularly, so I don't feel the need to follow behind him. He knows what to do; he's done it at least a couple of dozen times before.
A few minutes later I hear the back door swing open and shut again. I figure he's gone out to check on the buckets, so I continue with my computer correspondence. TreeHugger is trying to convince me I should write a story to submit to FanFiction.net. I'm trying to convince her I know of nothing to write about, having only read two of Tolkien's books and being new to the whole fan fiction thing.
When he hasn't returned in a good 20 minutes, I figure I should go check to see if he needs help. He usually sings Broadway show tunes while outside, and is especially fond of the ones from CATS, but I swear this latest tune can hear through the open screen of the door sounds a lot like "Just a Gigolo" by David Lee Roth. As I come through the kitchen, I happen to glance out of the kitchen window into the backyard.
He's painting all right. He's dropping gobs of the paint on a paper plate, then going out into the rain and letting the raindrops spatter the paint over the plate in the most interesting patterns. He watches as the drops roll around on the plate, tipping it to get the colors to change to his whims. They curl around each other, sensuously weaving and embracing as they mix and mingle together.
However, the most interesting thing about this picture is not the colors he is using, or the textured medium he has chosen for his palette. It's not the dance he is doing as he designs his motif, nor the song he sings for his inspiration. No, the most interesting thing about this picture he is painting is the fact that he is doing it totally au naturel.
Far be it from me to disturb an artist while he is creating his finest masterpiece. I silently return to my computer.
About half an hour later I hear him come back inside. I do not move from the computer, wanting to give him his privacy. I sense rather than see him move past the door and into the bathroom, where I soon hear the sounds of water running for the shower.
A little while later, he sneaks behind me in the computer room where I have been checking my e-mail. I have just clicked the link to take me to Fanfiction.net.
He stands behind me, silent as only an elf could be, waiting patiently. After I get through reading a chapter, laughing periodically, I acknowledge that he is there.
"Whut ar u doen?" he asks curiously.
"I am reading fan fiction on the Internet." He has a puzzled look on his face, so I add, "These are stories people have made up about you and your adventures with the Fellowship."
"For example.." I read a little from one of TreeHugger's chapters to him. At the end of the chapter, he wants more, just like a child in a toy store. He asks also me to read the reviews. He is fascinated that there are others out there who read about him, and then write in to tell how they felt about the author's interpretation.
By the time it is time to go pick up Little Pip from school, we have read all kinds of stories. Some stories about Frodo, some about Aragorn, some funny, some sad. I have been careful to stick to the non-slash PG stuff so far. His favorite is still TreeHugger's 'In The Hall Of The Wood Elf King.' "Hoew duz she noe soe muech abot me an Brethil an Tavor?" he asks, totally enthralled.
Suddenly, he gets an evil grin on his face. Some mischievous elven thought has crossed his mind.
"U shuld rite won."
"U shuld rite won. Abot me." His voice deepens and gets a sexy gravely tone to it. "Abot . . . US." He winks suggestively at me, then throws back his head and laughs out loud. "I kin bea me, an u kin bea Maerie Suue!"
"Legolas, people will not believe it."
"Whie noet?" He has become serious. The look on his face is enough for me to see he is seriously considering this.
"Well. . ." I pause, thinking, "mostly because every teenage girl and half the adult women in the world are currently dreaming that you live in THEIR closet, or under their bed."
"Dat iz straenge."
Hmmm, I doubt if any of THEM think so!
"U shuld tael dem da trueth den. Rite abot me."
"But, Legolas," I argue, "This is a fiction site. That means the stories are not true, they are made up of fragments of someone's imagination."
"Den it iz up tu u tu tael dem it iz a truee storee. A. . . whut iz it kalled? A noen-fake storee."
"Tael dem den dat it iz a noen-fikshun storee."
"Yes, but how do I start?"
"Hoew due all storeez staert? Staert frum da beagening. Tael dem hoew u fouend me," he says. He clears his throat loudly and begins, "Oence apon a tiem. . . "
I burst out laughing. "Legolas, that line is an old cliché used for fairy tales!"
"AR U KALLIN ME A FAERIEE?!" We are moving rapidly once again into elven warrior posturing and behavior.
"I didn't call you a fairy. I'm just saying that if it is a non-fiction story, you cannot start it with the same line used to start 90% of every fairy tale ever written. No one would believe it."
"Ohhh. . . . Well, den staert wid hoew it reely haeppnd. Sae 'It ael staertd bekuz. . . . ' Go oen an due it."
And thus was born the story of Legolas and al. We named it "The Unauthorized Biography of Legolas Greenleaf."
And the sun came back out, and the paint soon dried on the paper plates.
Special Visual By Al:
Special thanks to TreeHugger for all of her wonderfully entertaining stories for all of us, young and old alike. You rock, nin-mellon! If you haven't read any of her stories, enter her name after you click (Find) up above there in the purple tool bar. Legolas highly recommends "In the Hall Oh The Wood Elf King' as a start. Me too!
Thank you also to Irena, for letting me "plagiarize" two of the last 3 lines here. Some of you might recognize them. A tiny few will get the real significance. You will know who you are.
I don't think the line about the Horn of Gondor is mine originally, but I have said it so often I can't remember where it came from. If it is yours, thank you for sharing.
And now, what you've REALLY been waiting all this time so patiently for:
LUB LEDDERZ FRUM LEGOLAS:
(Reviews For Chapter Eighteen) **al and Legolas**
One more week to TTT, and I have more stories to tell, that's right, STORIESSSS! Review quick so you can have a personal love letter from Legolas, displayed here for the whole world to read. Next chapter in 2 days!
WATE!! WATE!! IRENA, Amin mela vys, Amin anta vys, WHUR AR U??????
A/N: Sorry for the big time jump here, with that last chapter happening in late August, and now here we are the last week of November. The Friday after Thanksgiving, to be exact. The official start of Christmas season.
This is a "to be continued" chapter. I will tell you up front, so you aren't worried about me not getting it finished before next week.
Ah, next week. I don't want to talk about it.
Well, the turkey is carved, the potatos devoured, the bread buttered, and the vegetables consumed. The table has been cleared, the pots and pans washed, the china plates dried and returned to the cabinets from whence they came. The football game is over. Another Thanksgiving Day has come to an end.
Friday dawns bright and clear. I can hear Little Pip and Legolas stirring around in the den already. Yes Dear is in the shower and the minute I make the slightest movement, Mikey the cat takes it upon himself to jump onto the bed and make biscuits on my head to assure I get up. I swear Yes Dear taught him that trick, and he pays him in cat treats to do it daily.
After I dress, I head to the kitchen where I find Legolas excitedly standing at the back door, shifting his weight from foot to foot in his anticipation.
"Leedle Peep sez we ar goen bie bie en da vaen!" he announces. Not even a good morning-he gets right to his point.
"That's right, Legolas," I answer. "Did you get some breakfast yet?"
"She sez we ar goen oen a loeng treep tudae. She sez we ar goen tu fiend a Chreestmiss Trea!" He's so happy, he's positively giddy.
I don't really want to get him any more worked up at this point, so I keep it low key. "Right again," I say. "Now I need you to go get ready so you don't get left here, ok?"
"Okae!" He's still standing by the door, swaying side to side. He's also still wearing his pajamas. Remember the baby balrog britches? Well, I never got them back. This morning the BBB's are complemented by a navy blue T- shirt with a huge Elmo face that proclaims "Elmo Loves You!" and on his feet are Yes Dear's Winnie the Pooh slippers.
I pour some of his favorite Oat Bran Flakes into a bowl and add some dried fruit and extra raisins. Sticking a spoon into the bowl, I turn to find he hasn't budged an inch forward or back, though the side to side continues. He is grinning madly.
"Can you eat this for me?"
I hand him the bowl and watch while he stands in place and shovels the cereal in. In about 6 gulps, he hands me the empty bowl, and resumes swaying.
It's gonna be one of those days.
Some days he is my strong mature Elven warrior, and other days I am painfully reminded that he is still very young for an immortal. I head to the bedroom, where I lay out his clothes for him. He obviously is way past doing it himself this morning. To the jeans and undershirt, I add a Christmas sweatshirt with a cat wearing reindeer antlers and a pair of red boxer shorts with tiny green and gold presents bearing gift tags that say, "Don't Open Until X-Mas!" on them. I make a mental note to be sure to check that he remembers the boxers go UNDER the jeans.
"Legolas!" I call him. "Come here, please!"
"Ar we goen yeat?" he inquires as he pokes his nose through the bedroom doorway.
"You need to dress first, " I answer. "Put these on, and then go brush your teeth. Then we'll be almost ready, ok?"
"Okae!" He looks at the sweatshirt. "Dis keetie duzn't luuk tu haeppie. Whut'z da maettr wid heem?"
"Most cats fail to see the humor in wearing things other than fur on their heads," I reply.
"Whut iz dat oen heez hed? He luukz like a dear!"
"Those are antlers. He's supposed to be one of Santa's reindeer."
He giggles. "Weel, he DUZ luuk seely!"
I leave him to dress, gathering up the rest of the things we will need for the trip. A few minutes later I find him once again standing at the back door, waiting patiently. Thankfully, the boxers are under the jeans. At least, I think so; I don't see them. My curiosity gets the best of me, so I sneak the opportunity to lift his shirt in the back to see. Yep, there's a bit of red poking out of the top of the pants. Perfect.
Well, almost perfect. I hand him the card with our address and phone number on it. Just in case I get lost again, you see. He still hasn't mastered the numbers, probably a little dyslexic in my opinion, but we have practiced with the card, and he does just fine. After all, most of the time even I have to really think about it when I'm out somewhere and I need to dial the number to my own home. You just never call yourself, right?
He gives me a sheepish grin, pocketing the card. "I aelmoest furgot it, deedn't I?" he says.
Suddenly there is a cacophony of noises coming down the hallway. You'd think we had an oliphant in the house from the sound of things.
"I'm ready!" announces Little Pip, dragging a loaded bookbag, a coat, and Shadow her stuffed dog who is wearing a custom made Santa suit hand crocheted by none other than the "Grammar Laedee" herself.
"What have you got in there?" I ask, incredulous.
"Why?" she asks back. Funny, a part of me thought she'd say, 'Nothing.'
"Just curious," I say.
"Well, I've got some art stuff, and... . ."
"Aert stuef?" Legolas turns from the door, coming to peer into Little Pip's bookbag. He LIKES her art stuff.
"Yeah. I've got a sketch book, and markers, and some gel pens, and some books to read and.. . ."
"An sum Beeny Baebeez!" crows the Prance. "I lub Beeny Baebeez!"
"Go on and put it in the van," I tell them. "Then come back and go use the bathroom one more time."
"But I just did!" whines Little Pip.
"Try again anyway," I cajole. "You too, Legolas."
"Okae!" he throws back over his shoulder as he bounds out the opened door and down the steps.
Ten minutes later, we are all finally in the car. Yes Dear is a little miffed, as he had wanted to leave an hour earlier. Little Pip and Legolas are still bickering over who gets to sit on which side in the backseat, with Little Pip trying to explain why switching sides for the ride home will not work.
"You have to keep the same side in the car on the way back if you want to see the other side of the mountain," she says for the umpteenth time.
"Noe u doent," he counters.
"Yes, you do."
"Noe u doent."
"Yes, you do."
Noe u doent."
Then finally, the phrase I've been expecting, "Momma! He's hopeless!"
"Am noet!" comes his curt reply.
"Knock it off, both of you," I interrupt.
"We'll take 2 different roads, ok?" says Yes Dear, settling the problem, at least for now.
We pass through town and head out through the countryside, singing Christmas carols as we go. My favorite is "Angels We Have Heard on High," which is great fun as Legolas learns the tenor part rapidly and we can have a full choir on the "Gloooooooowrea, en eggshellsis Dayeo" part. Yes Dear votes for "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer,' and Little Pip teaches us all the alternative verses to "Jingle Bells, Batman Smells."
Legolas picks "Away In A Manger," and with tears in his eyes, says "Dat poar leedle baebee, at leest Elbereth wuz dere tu wach ober heem."
About 30 minutes after we leave the house, Legolas says from the backseat, "Ar we dere yeat?"
"No, dear, it's a couple of hours until we get to where we are going. You'll see the mountains a long time before we get there."
Silence ensues. Not anything near what I expected. Surprised at the lack of questions, I turn around and ask," Is everything ok?"
Legolas hangs his head, and sheepishly admits, "I havta goe tu da bafruum."
"I thought you went before we left?" I ask.
"I deed. Noe I hav tu goe agin."
I glance at Yes Dear, who has the exasperated father look on his face.
"We're in the middle of nowhere," he says. "He'll have to wait."
"Yes Dear said you'll.. . . "
"I herd heem. I hav elvis eerz, u noe." He crosses his legs and shifts uncomfortably in his seat.
In about 5 minutes, Yes Dear pulls up outside a decrepit country gas station, one of those with the single pump outside that looks like it needed renovation the day I was born. "Will this do?" he asks.
"Come on, Legolas. Let's go find the bathroom," I say, opening the door.
"Whut?" he says.
"I said, Let's go."
"I herd u. I hav elvis eerz, u noe. I done't hav tu goe tu da bafruum animoer. It wuz jest an elvis miest."
"He means he farted, Momma," says Little Pip, holding her nose.
I whack Yes Dear on the arm as he turns to say something unbecoming to the Prance. "Just keep driving," I say.
We continue along uneventfully for the next hour or so, if you consider the occasional squabble over the gel pens from the back seat uneventful. We move peacefully onto the Interstate, surprised at how little traffic there is for the Friday after Thanksgiving. "Everyone must be at the mall in Greenville," states Yes Dear.
"Maybe all of them are already at the tree farm, Daddy. There won't be any trees left when we get there!" Little Pip exclaims in a worried voice.
"I'm sure there will be some left," I tell her, noting the worried look on Legolas' face as well. "They have a whole forest full of them."
We exit the Interstate and pass through one of the local college towns. You can tell what the team mascot is by the 6-foot wide tiger paws painted on the road as you go along.
"WOEW!" gasps Legolas from the backseat. Before I can stop him, he has unbuckled his seatbelt, pushed open the window, and is hanging out from the hips up looking down at the paw prints as we roll past them at close to 60 miles per hour. Little Pip grabs him as he almost pitches out, pulling back on the waistband of the red Christmas boxers for all she is worth.
"MOMMA!" she screams to me. "LOOK WHAT HE'S DOING NOW!!!"
"LEGOLAS!!!!" I shout, leaning back to grab a handful of the boxers myself to keep him from falling out of the window as Yes Dear quickly brakes.
"DOSE AR DA BEEGIST WAERG FEAT I HAV EBER SEAN!!!" he whoops excitedly out the window, blonde hair whipping in the wind. "WHAR DEED U PUET MY BOE?"
"GET BACK IN HERE!!" demands Yes Dear.
Legolas pulls his head back into the van. "Whut?" he inquires. "Deedn't u sea dem? We weel nead my boe an aroz if dere iz won dat beeg hear!"
My heart is pounding too hard to answer him. Yes Dear looks like he might like to use that bow himself, but I don't want to think how and where. Little Pip is the one who comes to the rescue this time.
"They aren't real, dummy! Those are painted on paw prints, from the college!"
"Whut kiend of moenstr iz a kawlidge?" says Legolas. "I doent thank I hav eber sean a kawlidge beafour."
Little Pip rolls her eyes. "It's not a monster," she says, "It's a school, like my school, but for grownups."
Legolas stares at her with eyes wide, then gives her the Thranduil eyebrow.
"The football team paints them on there, to show the way to the football field, and to scare off the opposing team, " I tell him. "There are no monsters or animals up here that are that big anywhere. Now put your seat belt back on."
"Oooohhh. . . . ." says the Prance, settling back into his seat.
"There's a Wendy's," says Yes Dear. "I'm stopping to get lunch." He pulls the van over, taking the first parking space available.
We pile out of the van. Little Pip is skipping across the parking lot, babbling about what choices are available for what will merely be second breakfast for her. She'll ask again for elevensies, even though she'll be a little late with her request. Yes Dear is right behind her, already salivating.
As I pull the sliding door closed on the van, I have to suppress a giggle. Poor Legolas has a good 8 inches of Christmas boxers hanging out of the top of his jeans where Little Pip has given him the Wedgie From Hell. He's trying nonchalantly to pull them back into place, looking around at the landscaping and the advertisements and whistling as he picks and tugs unsuccessfully.
"Still need that bathroom?" I ask. "This would be a good time to go."
"Ummm. . . yeas, I due thank I nead tu goe," he answers.
A few minutes later, he meets me at the counter, looking fresh as a flower and none the worse for wear. He orders French fries and a Frosty, heedless of the fact that it is 40 degrees Fahrenheit outside. I order my own meal, and add some chili and a Mello Yello for him. After the fries and Frosty are gone, he polishes off the chili as well.
Within half an hour, we are back on the road again. As Yes Dear brakes for the first stoplight just past the Wendy's restaurant, Legolas lets out a war cry loud enough to rattle my brains.
"DERE DEY AR!!" he cries, leaning across a shocked Little Pip to point out the window.
Following his arm, I see what has grabbed his attention. It's a Christmas tree lot of cut trees being sold by one of the local charitable organizations.
"AN DERE'Z SAENTA KLAWSE!!" he crows, scrambling out of his seatbelt and over Little Pip to the window. He jerks the window open, waving desperately, "HAE SAENTA!! HAE! ITZ ME! LEGOLAS!!!! WE'AR HARE!!"
"This isn't it, you . . . you. . .AAUUGGHHH!!!" shouts Little Pip, hauling him back from the window this time by the collar of his sweatshirt. "And that's NOT Santa Claus!"
Hurt and surprised at this news, Legolas stares open mouthed at her, half- standing in the space between the seats. "Den whoe iz it?" he challenges, scowling.
Yes Dear gets the green light and pulls ahead, throwing the Prance back into his seat. "Put your seatbelt back on!" I bark at him.
"Whoe iz it?" he questions Little Pip again as he fastens the buckle.
"It's just some man dressed up in a Santa suit! Everybody knows that!" she yells, exasperated.
"Noe itz noet!"
"Yes it is!"
"Noe itz noet!"
"Yes it is!"
"I wish this van had headphones for the radio," mumbles Yes Dear, not about to get into this argument.
Turning in my seat, I try to explain. "Legolas, dear," I start, "Little Pip is right. That is a man dressed up in a Santa suit. You will see that all over the place for the next several weeks."
"Aen Empoestr??!!" he gasps, startled to the core.
"Well, sort of. These men dress up like Santa, then gather the lists of little children everywhere and report to the real Santa Claus to tell him what to bring on Christmas night."
"The REAL Santa Claus at the North Pole. The one that has the ELVES and the REINDEER," scoffs Little Pip.
Legolas considers this for a moment. "I hav sean dose elves," he contemplates. "I thot dey maed kuukiez?"
"Not THOSE elves!" huffs Little Pip. "These elves make toys!"
"Ooeehh. . . " concedes the Prance.
We travel on about 4 miles more before his alarm goes off again. "WE'AR HARE!" he shouts from the backseat as Yes Dear stops for the light. Sure enough, there sits a Christmas tree lot on the right.
"No, Legolas," I say, motioning for him to sit back down. "We still have to go up onto the mountain to get to the place where we are going."
By the fifth Christmas tree lot we pass, Yes Dear mumbles again, " I sure wish this van had headphones for the radio."
When "HARE WE AR!" rolls out for the eighth time, Little Pip can stand it no more. "Would you PUHLEASE SHUT UP!!!" she hollers at him.
His disappointment is palpable. "Sorrie. . . ." he mutters, head hanging. Fortunately we have just made the turn onto the final leg of our journey. Only 30 miles left until we reach our destination.
Unfortunately, this 30-mile part of the trip takes at least an hour to make, for it rapidly begins a steep 10% grade uphill, and is full of hairpin turns and switchbacks.
"At least there will be no Christmas tree lots for the next 30 miles," I whisper to Yes Dear.
"God, I hope not," he answers, rolling his eyes toward heaven.
Little Pip perks up at the first curve. She begins singing, "Over the river and through the woods to Grandmother's house we go," followed by, "The bear went over the mountain to see what he could see."
When she finishes, and after joining her as best he can on the chorus parts, Legolas exclaims, "Weal, dat maekz sanse! Whut aelse wuz daat bare eggspektin?"
Before long the excitement of turning left and right and left and right wears off, and both of them are soon looking out the windows, watching the cold mountain stream that meanders along the side of the roadway as it flows downhill past us. In about 10 minutes, the backseat is so quiet I begin to wonder if we have experienced a Twilight Zone moment and the two of them have been magically teleported out of the backseat and into some alternate universe. Turning around in my own seat, I am caught unawares at the sight my eyes behold.
I didn't know elves could do that.
Lub Ledders frum Legolas:
(Reviews For Chapter Ninteen) **al and Legolas**
You'll never guess what happens next, on the continuing adventures of our favorite elf in Modren erth! Write your own love letter quick, this one's a 3 parter and he goes back next week!!!
"STOP!!" I yell at Yes Dear.
"WHAT??" he bellows back, startled out of the peace and quiet of his concentration on staying on the road by hugging the center line.
"Pull over, QUICK!" I am already out of my seatbelt and vaulting into the backseat, but even my fast acting motherly instincts will not be enough to save him this time.
"UUGGHH! MOMMA, THAT'S DISGUSTING!!" croaks Little Pip, unfastening her own seatbelt and scurrying out the door of the now parked van. She stands on the side of the roadway, holding her hand over her mouth, eyes bugging out of her head.
"Holy Cow!" exclaims Yes Dear, now standing at the side door with Little Pip. "I thought elves couldn't get sick?"
Legolas looks at me wide-eyed, clearly caught off-guard by what has happened. Obviously he didn't know elves could get sick either.
"He's not sick. It's just an upset stomach from the motion of the car," I reply, grabbing the roll of paper towels and the box of baby wipes that we keep under the seat. He doesn't say a word as the two of us work to get him presentable, and I can clearly see this has him pretty rattled. I'd bet heavily that nothing like this has ever happened to him before.
"Help me get your sweatshirt off," I tell him, tugging the sleeves over his hands, tucking his hair down the neck, and carefully lifting the sweatshirt over his head.
"Wheau. . . ." he gasps as he emerges.
"Yeah! Whew!" says Yes Dear.
"More like PHEW!" says Little Pip.
I help him out of the van and search for a path down to the stream so we can get him rinsed off a bit. Yes Dear has found a plastic grocery bag and is airing out the van as he bags up what he can of the mess. Thank God he's got a strong stomach.
It's also a good thing elves aren't affected by the cold, as Legolas has pulled off his undershirt and is squatting down on an exposed rock in the center of the stream, washing in the icy mountain water. Yes Dear approaches with what is left of the roll of paper towels so Legolas can dry himself off.
"Did your undershirt get wet too?" Yes Dear asks him.
"Yeas," mutters Legolas.
"Here, you can wear mine," Yes Dear says, pulling his sweatshirt over his head.
To help cut the motion effects, I change places with Legolas so he can ride shotgun. Maybe it won't bother him so much in the front seat.
The odor is still pretty strong, so Yes Dear takes the van on an air-out tour, whipping along the winding road at a whopping 25 miles per hour with all the windows rolled down. At forty degrees plus the wind chill factor, it's not long before we're all freezing and shivering and thinking about which is worse, the chill or the smell. All except Legolas, of course. Cold really doesn't seem to affect him at all.
"This is all HIS fault," grumbles Little Pip.
We come upon a small town, one of those little touristy places with all the small quaint shops that line the road. We pick one that has sweatshirts in the window, hoping to find something for Legolas to wear so that Yes Dear can have his own sweatshirt back. Legolas picks out a hunter green one with a fantastic screen-printed bird's eye view of the mountains, covered in snowy peaks, with an eagle flying over them. It says, "Welcome to the Great Smoky Mountains." I try one on for size myself, and decide to get one just like it, planning to match Yes Dear when he becomes heir to Legolas' sweatshirt when he returns to Middle earth. The guys head to the dressing rooms to switch shirts, while Little Pip and I take the price tags and the checkbook to the counter to pay. As we leave the shop, Legolas sticks his nose in the air, sniffing.
"Thur iz sum kiend of smael oen da aire," he announces.
"You did that already. . . . .TWICE," says Little Pip, grimacing. "Don't tell me you did it AGAIN."
"Itz comen frum ovr DERE," he says, pointing across the street.
He's off like a flash before I can stop him, darting between cars in the long line waiting for parking places here on Main Street. Zigging and zagging, horns blowing everywhere. He finally stops as he reaches the front window of the shop.
It's a candy store. I should have known.
In the front display window stands a man with a huge copper bowl and a spatula. He is emptying the contents of the bowl onto a marble block table set with metal bars laid out in a rectangle covering the tabletop. The dark brown semisolid substance he pours oozes over the side of the bowl, flowing slowly and smoothly as it stretches languidly to fill the space laid out before it.
Legolas is mesmerized, staring unabashedly open-mouthed at the sight laid out before him. He is all but drooling. The fudge man smiles knowingly at me. The two of us must really be a sight, standing there side by side, eyes wide, mouths gaping open, wearing matching sweatshirts and warrior braids. Sort of unidentical chocolate lusting twins.
Yes Dear breaks the spell. "You can't get any if you stand here gawking outside," he says, reaching to open the door.
The sweet perfume of chocolate is almost overwhelming. Legolas follows me inside, gaping at the rows and rows of various kinds of things done to chocolate, done with chocolate, done by chocolate. Bars and bars of fudge in different flavors and colors: Rocky road, milk chocolate, maple crème, walnut, and pecan. Dollops of chocolate coat strawberries, pretzels, and cookies of all kinds. There are peanut butter cups, and chocolate covered peanuts, and chocolate covered cherries.
I glance over at the Prance. He looks like a kid who's won an all-expenses- paid-choose-anything-and-everything-you-want trip to a major toy store chain.
"What do you want?" Yes Dear asks him.
"I waent won of. . . . . .of. . . . . . .eberythang. . . " he whispers in awe.
Yes, after all, it IS Christmas.
We end up with 4 different kinds of fudge cut into quarter-pound size bars, some maple crème truffles, and a bag of milk chocolate covered peanuts. To this list, Little Pip adds a stick of rock candy, Yes Dear a bag of dark chocolate covered raisins, and Legolas and I each add a frozen chocolate covered banana on a stick.
"Haldir wuld like dis," he mumbles through the mouthful of mush.
We head back to the car, carrying our little pleasures, ready now for resuming the quest. Legolas once again climbs into the front seat, his lips firmly planted around the frozen banana, eyes almost closed as he savors it. Yes Dear rolls his eyes at me, only to discover I am mirroring the scene. < God, I love a chocolate covered frozen banana. Please bless the one who thought of this > I think.
Ten more minutes climbing uphill and Little Pip spots the first sign advertising the tree farm. "Only 6 miles to go!" she announces. The sign spotting soon turns into another contest, but with Legolas clearly at the advantage between his keen eyesight and the front seat positioning, she soon gives up the hunt and lets him call the countdown. The more the mileage goes down, the more his excitation rises. By the time we get there, he is in a state of frenzy. As we turn into the driveway to the parking area, Little Pip proclaims, "NOW we're here, block head."
"OEH, BOEY! WEERE HEAR!"
There's a frantic moment where he can't get his seatbelt undone because he is pulling too hard and has engaged the safety response for slow crash speeds. Yes Dear gives him a little push on the chest back against the seat, and the catch pops loose and he's free. He catapults out of the van, stopping to stand and stare at the acres and acres of evergreen trees, all neatly spaced just so far from each other, and shaped with loving care to physical perfection.
"WOEW!" he softly exclaims.
We pile into the old open bed, rattle trap truck that will take us out into the fields of trees. The driver stops and explains what type of tree is growing in each field as he comes to it, dispatching and picking up passengers along the way. Legolas is heedless of the speech, already knowing all the various species. He stands facing forward in the front of the truckbed, palms on the top of the cab, his head thrown back with the sun on his face, blonde hair waving in the breeze, eyes closed, radiant smile beaming. I think this is the look the Elves must have when they are sailing into Valinor.
We finally reach our destination . . . . the field of Fraser Fir Trees. Last stop on the trip, it is also the largest field of trees on the farm. Little Pip and Legolas are already off into the forest of trees, as Yes Dear and I check to see if any of the rules have changed since last year and to borrow a bow saw.
Legolas looks like a politician as he wanders through the crowd of trees, stopping to speak to each one in turn, caressing branches much like a politician would shake hands with his constituents. He's in his element now.
It's a good hour before we narrow down the search to a couple of choices. Making the final decision, we pick a tree that is tall and fat, a good 8 footer. I grasp the tree by the trunk as Yes Dear kneels i n the grass with the bow saw and prepares to make his cut.
"WHUT EEN DA FIERZ OF MOERDOAR DUE U THAENK U AR DOEN???!!" comes a sudden shout from our left. Before either of us can blink, Legolas has grasped Yes Dear's wrist and placed himself between the bow saw and the tree.
"I'm cutting the tree so that we can put it in the car and take it home," states Yes Dear matter of factly.
Legolas stares at him blankly, then looks up to give me a steely glare. "U kinnot jest kut a trea an draeg it eentu da houese an adoern it wile it diez!" he says through gritted teeth.
Yes Dear and I stare at each other. Little Pip stands off to the side, her arms crossed over her chest, tap tap tapping her foot again. "He's right, you know," she says.
Standing up as Legolas releases his arm, Yes Dear sighs. "I guess I could go see if they would let us dig up a root ball, and we could plant it in the yard after the holidays are over."
"Would that be ok?" I ask the Prance.
He confers momentarily with the tree. Turning to me, he nods yes.
A short while later, we are piling back into the dilapidated truck, squeezed in with the rest of the mighty tree hunters. Legolas is at first upset over the number of trees in the kill, but calms down a fter a period of time reassuring the trees that they have not died in vain, that they will be dressed in the most elaborate ornamentation and finery and displayed on a most holy occasion.
Upon our return to the gift shop and barn where the money is collected, Legolas and Yes Dear carefully load our prize into the back of the van, laying it reverently on the floor. No riding on the top of the car for our beloved tree, no siree! We all pile into the barn to get a cup of hot apple cider and a hot dog. As we enter, I hear Legolas gasp behind me. Turning, I am caught unawares for the second time that day.
I didn't know elves could do that either.
Lub Ledders frum Legolas:
(Reviews For Chapter Twenty) **al and Legolas**
OK, next chapter is coming soon, like in less than 48 hours, ok? Do it quick, it's the little button down there that SHOULD say "Give Legolas Some Love," don't you think?
There in the corner of the barn sits a white haired old man, rocking in a tattered black leather recliner. He has a beard, little gold rimmed bifocals, and cherry red cheeks. He wears a gray sweatshirt with the logo of the tree farm company on it, faded blue jeans, and white Nike tennis shoes that have seen better days. He probably would be considered a jolly old soul if it weren't for the look of complete shock on his face.
On his ample lap sits a 6-foot tall elf. The real kind, not the kind that makes toys or cookies.
Legolas is gazing in complete fascination into the old man's twinkling eyes, and though he is squirming with excitement, he is careful not to dislodge the hot dog covered in chili and mustard that the bearded old man holds in his right hand.
"I hav bean luukin fur u all dae!" Legolas declares. " I noe all doze othr peepl ar eempoestrz, buet I NEUW if I keapt luukin I wuld fiend u."
The old man is looking about as if wishing to be rescued. After all, most men don't spend their time fantasizing that long blonde-haired MALES have hopped upon their knee. As he realizes that Legolas has mistaken his identity, the old man sees that the situation can best be settled by just playing along. At least, I THINK he is just playing.
"And what can I do for you this holiday season, my friend?" asks the man, his voice a only just little rattled.
"I caem tu aesk fur sumpting fur Chreestmiss," says the Prance. "Buet furst, I hav sum thangz I nead tu aesk u."
"Well, fire away," 'Santa' says, leaning back into the recliner and polishing off the last bite of the chilidog.
"Well, furst my frand Seeweed sed I shuld aesk u whie u ar soe faet, buet I toel her u ar paeddid soe ur laep wuld bea moar cumfertabel to siet en. Plues, da eggstra paeddin wuld keap u waermr wile u ar flien en da coeld aier soe faest," predicts the Prance.
"al waentz tu noe hoew u met Mizziz Klauez. I toel her I bet it wuz a loeng roemantik stoeree, won wear u livd en da saem nayburhuud an sloelee fael een lub, like beast frandz furst."
"Leedle Peep waentz tu noe hoew meany keedz due u goe sea eech yeer, an hoew meany of dem git a luemp of koel. I new u wuld noet leav out eniwon, eben baed cheeldren git sumptaning. Beasidz, cheeldren ar noet reely baed, jest misscheevus. . . . . like yung elflaengz."
"Yeas Deer waented tu noe abot ur suemmr joeb, buet we all noe u muest sueprviez doze . . . . uhmm. . . . . errr. . . . toeymaekrz duering da suemmr, soe all da toeyz weel bea redy at Chreestmiss."
He sucks in a deep breath, and I close my eyes and say a wish of my own. < Please, Lord, let this man have the patience of Job and the endurance of the Eldar, because here it comes. . . . >
"Due u goe tu a lot of howsez dat due noet hav cheemneez? Whut due u due, hoew due u git een? Hav u eber buernd ursef comin doewn da cheemnee whin da fier iz noet all da wae out? If u deed, hoew deed u siet doewn aftr dat? Hoew due u git all ober da erth een jest won nite? Whut haeppnz eef won of da raendear ar seeck? Duz eberybuddie hav tu ware onlee read or grean klothz? Whin Ruedoff's noez duzn't wurk, kin't u jest chaeng da buelb? Whut eez ur faevurate kiend of kuukie? Due u git tierd of draenkin all dat meelk?Whut's ur faevurate Chreestmiss karul? Whin iz ur burfdae? Whie due dey cael demsefz elves eef dey ar da siez of dwarves? Ar dere feat reely poentid like dose shuuz dat dey ware?"
" An moest of all, due u thaenk u culd com tu Meedle erth tu?"
He finally stops, out of air. 'Santa' blinks.
"What did you say your name was, son?" 'Santa' asks.
"Legolas. Prance Legolas Greenleaf, sier," answers the elf.
" I see," says 'Santa,' not really sure if he sees the whole picture or not.
Legolas has settled himself comfortably into the old man's lap, and has proceeded to wiggle down into the crook of his arm as if ready to stay until all of his questions are done. He sighs contentedly, takes his eyes off 'Santa's' face, and makes eye contact with me. His mouth turns up a little at the edges in his personal rendition of, 'well, I guess I'll get comfortable now, because this is going to take a while.' He shrugs his shoulders at me.
"I'm sorry, sir," I say, moving to the recliner to pull Legolas off the old man's lap. "He's not from around here, and all of this is quite new to him. He gets a little overexcited at times."
The old man smiles kindly up at me. "Now, now, my dear," he begins, "this little fellow has not bothered me a bit. In fact, he has some rather important questions that need answering. Let him stay a minute. I think he may have a little something he's wishing he could get off his chest."
Legolas nods, looking once again at 'Santa.' "I due hav sumpthaeng ealse I nead tu taelk tu u abot. Sumpthang. . . . priavite," he confides.
"Are you sure it's ok?" I ask, hesitant to turn Legolas loose on the unsuspecting grandfatherly fellow. He seems to be so relaxed now, as if having strangers hop onto his knee is something that happens every day. "Legolas doesn't mean to impose, do you dear?" I reply, jerking my head away from chair indicating to Legolas that he really should get off the man's lap, as in NOW.
"Relax, my dear. I won't bite him. I promise," says 'Santa.' He suddenly lets out a guffawing laugh, shaking from head to toe, all of his ample fat rolls jiggling around like a dish of black cherry Jell-O.
Legolas begins to giggle too, bouncing around in time with the laughter ringing forth from the old man. The picture they produce is priceless. Both almost as old as time itself, yet both so childlike and innocent.
"Really, honey," 'Santa' says to me," go get yourself a hotdog and an apple cider. It's the best in the world here. You can keep an eye on him from there, and that will give him a chance to tell me the secret he needs to share."
I nod and move a little reluctantly away from them, heading toward the refreshment table. After all, even though the old man is a stranger, there is something oddly familiar about him. He does look remarkably like someone who could play a mall Santa without adding any more than the red coat and pants and the black boots and belt.
I can hear their merry laughter as I squeeze out the mustard and put the chili on my hot dog. They get very quiet, and my protective mother instincts make me look to see that all is well, finding Legolas whispering furtively into the old man's ear, his long fingered hand cupping the space between Santa's ear and his own mouth so that no one can read his lips. Santa just nods.
After a few more moments, Legolas climbs down from the old man's knee, bows briefly, and shakes his hand. As he bounds over to me sitting there at the picnic table, Santa rises from his recliner and moves into the little office located behind his chair.
Legolas fixes himself a couple of the chilidogs, adding onions and relish with the mustard, chili, and ketchup. He's got so much stuff loaded on there it's a wonder he doesn't need a spoon to eat it with. As he works to maintain a modicum of decorum while eating the conglomeration, Santa reappears, carrying a red fur hat with white trim and a white ball on the end. He approaches the Prance, and jauntily sets the red cap on top of the long blonde tresses.
"Son, you really need a Santa hat. Someone might mistake you for one of those toymakers with those unique ears if you don't keep them covered and warm. Merry Christmas," he says, his eyes twinkling.
"Maerrie Chreestmiss tu u, tu!" Legolas answers, beaming.
As we pull out of the parking lot, Legolas rolls down the window, hollering, "Mearrie Chreestmiss, Saenta!" T he old man laughs and waves back, his great belly wiggling and jiggling.
We head back down the mountain, taking our time, Legolas still riding shotgun to combat the motion sickness from before. Yes Dear has explained to him that he needs to tell us if he feels ill, so that we can pull over and rest until the symptoms pass and thereby avoid the earlier embarrassment. So far, we've gone 15 minutes twisting and turning without any signs of a problem. This alternate road seems less steep and winding than the earlier one.
As we turn a particularly sharp bend, we come upon a small country town. It seems as if there has been some sort of major accident here, as there are at least a dozen police cars and fire trucks parked on the sides of the road. The policeman standing on the center yellow line of the highway motions for us to move on ahead, to follow the police car in front of us through the danger.
Peering out the side windows, we cannot find the source of the activity. There doesn't seem to be a car wreck, though there are people parked all over on both sides of the roadway, some sitting on the hoods of their cars or standing in the beds of their pickup trucks. As Yes Dear continues to drive forward, Legolas rolls down his window for a better view. Failing to get one, he finally unbuckles his seatbelt and perches on the window ledge, sitting with his legs inside on the seat and his upper body outside the van.
People begin to cheer and wave at him, so of course, he waves back, yelling, "Hae! Maerrie Chreestmiss!" Horns are honking, children are waving, people appear and plop themselves down in lawn chairs in the front yards as we crawl slowly by. Everyone is dressed in Christmas red and green, wearing Santa hats, and generally in an awfully good mood for witnessing a disaster.
"I hate to tell you this," says Yes Dear, "but Dorothy, I don't think we're in Kansas anymore."
"What do you mean?" I ask, having no idea at this point what is going on.
His reply is cut off by a loud squealing from outside the van on the passenger side. "LEGOLAS!! THAT'S LEGOLAS GREENLEAF!!!!" pierces our ears.
"WE LOVE YOU, LEGOLAS!!!!" comes the echoing cry from the driver's side.
"HAE! HAE! HAE EBERIBUDDIE!!!" shouts the Prance from his perch on the door. He is waving madly and blowing kisses.
"I think we're in the front of the local hometown parade," says Yes Dear. "You won't believe this, but there are about 6 trucks pulling all kinds of trailers decorated with Christmas things behind us. There's a fire truck, and all the other police cars lining up behind us too."
Shrill cries of "LEGOLAS!! LEGOLAS!!!" ring out along both sides of the street. The Prance continues to wave and send kisses to both sides of the van. He takes a quick second to lean in and tell Yes Dear, "Sloe doewn, I kin't sea eberybuddie oen boeth siedz whin we ar goen dis faest!" then he ducks his head back out through the window, resuming his waving.
"Wait, if we're in the front, then where is the Grand Marshall?" I ask Yes Dear.
"I think that's his posterior you're getting a view of," states Yes Dear, nodding his head at the Prance. "The people out here think Legolas is the Grand Marshall of this parade, and you know, I think he's doing a fairly good job with it!"
Little Pip is now down on the floorboard, hiding. "Momma," she whispers loudly so I can hear her above the cheering crowd, "this isn't really happening, is it?" She is mortified.
"Yep," I reply.
The caterwauling continues, with shrieks of "WE LOVE YOU, LEGOLAS!!!" and "OH MY GOD, IT REALLY IS HIM!!!!! " and "HI, LEGOLAS!!! YOU'RE TERRIFIC!!" boring in from both sides. As we reach the edge of town, Yes Dear becomes concerned at the number of teenage girls running along beside the van. One of them manages to reach out and grasp the sleeve of Legolas' sweatshirt, stretching it about 3 sizes larger before he manages to free himself.
"Noew, laedeez, leatz noet git kerried awae. . . " he starts, then hollering, "Oeewwww!" when one of the girls gets a handful of blonde hair. He loses a good size chunk that time. The fun and games are over. No one messes with the hair.
He leans back in the window. "Dere'z abot a hunnerd laedeez foelloing us," he pants, breathless. "U bedder steap on it!" He drops back into his seat, trying desperately to roll up his window and put on his seatbelt at the same time. Young women are running on both sides of the van now, hammering on the windows with their hands, trying to get in front of the van to make us stop.
Somehow, we miraculously reach the end of the parade route, and the police car in front of us sees what is happening. The officer turns quickly to the left, speeding up as he moves off the parade route and into the backstreets of this little town. He leads us at a quick pace to the edge of town, pulling off the side of the road and letting Yes Dear pull up beside him.
"Sorry!" he says. "Didn't know the crowd was gonna be so excited! I thought we could make it through before the actual parade started with the mayor's car right behind you. He won in a landslide over this really crooked guy, and the town is still all excited, even though it's been a good month since the election. They must have somehow mistaken your car for his!"
"No problem," says Yes Dear, though from the sweat on his brow you would wonder if it wasn't a little closer than he would have liked. He'd much rather watch the parade from the lawn chair than be in it, you see.
We move on down the road. "Legolas, are you ok?" I ask from the backseat. "You are awfully quiet."
"Whut haeppnd bak dere?" he asks, turning to face me with eyes wide. "Wear doze. . .. . faenguerlz??"
Oh yeah, baby. (c al)
On the way home, I coerce Yes Dear into stopping at the theater to see if tickets are on sale yet for The Two Towers. I stand in line with the rest of the holiday moviegoers while the rest of my family ride around in the warm car circling the parking lot, waiting a good 30 minutes before I even get close to the counter. There are at least 6 ticket sales lines open, and the patrons are waiting close to 20 deep in the cold chill of the gusty wind outside the theater.
The woman behind me is quick to note that she has been standing in the cold for over 25 minutes, and that her movie of choice starts in 5 more minutes. She sets up a constant monologue about the weather, and her feet hurting, and the need for more sales lines, and how the movie she has been waiting to see will be sold out by the time she gets to the window. Her friend is wishing he could have invited someone else to the movies, I am sure. As we approach the ticket window, I get a mean sense of satisfaction in stating loudly which movie it is I have waited over half an hour to purchase tickets for.
"I'd like 3 tickets for the first showing of The Two Towers," I tell the saleswoman. The look on her face is priceless, but the gasp from behind me is even richer to my ears.
"We aren't showing The Two Towers," the ticket lady says, staring at me as if I have gone a little nuts. "It doesn't start for another couple of weeks."
"I know," I answer. "It starts in exactly 19 days. I want 3 tickets for the midnight show on the 17th/18th , if you are having one."
She has to go get the manager to show her how to get the information from the computer. The woman behind me is keeping me pleasantly warm breathing hotly down my neck.
No midnight show. I take 3 tickets to the noon show on Wednesday instead. One for me, one for Yes Dear, and one for Legolas. Little Pip will be at Grammar Laedee's house, as she does not want to see the movie until I have seen it so I can warn her about all the scary parts. I also take 2 tickets for the 8:00 pm show. Won't be needing 3 this time.
As I stroll back to the van, I see his face peering out at me from the front passenger window. It suddenly dawns on me exactly what the prize in my hand really means. Nothing comes without a price. Sometimes the price is more than we want to pay.
"Deed u git dem??" he shouts excitedly as I open the van door. He reaches out to grab them from me.
"Oeh Boey! I em goen hoem!!!"
I turn my face away from him in the darkness of the back seat, careful to hide the tears that trickle slowly down my face.
A/N: It is an integral part of the Return Theory that Legolas MUST be present at the FIRST Greenwood showing of The Two Towers. We were just now out Christmas shopping, and decided on a whim to pester the theater manager about having a midnight show. To my horror, I discovered the theater has been rented out to a private group for a midnight showing on the 17th/18th.
The manager was kind enough to understand our dilemma and to sell me three tickets. I don't want to think how close we came to missing it completely.
Now I have to deal with losing him 12 hours earlier than I had planned. We are now at less than 24 hours and counting down. . . .
Lub Ledderz frum Legolas
(Reviews For Chapter Twenty-one)
The bathroom door is shut now. He is getting ready to go. His clothes were all cleaned, but when we realized everyone would know if he came back too spruced up that he had been off somewhere else, we remedied with a little washable watercolor paint in all the right colors, all the right places.
I feel excited, yet fearful at the same time. A part of me feels relived for him, that he can now be reunited with his friends and loved ones, free to be who the blessed Valar created him to be. That other part of me, though, is a mixture of sadness, trepidation, and loneliness that even those words do not express properly.
I know that I will be forever grateful to him for all he has taught me about life, and love, and letting go, and being free. He is so young at heart, yet so ancient in his ways at the same time. My life is forever richer having spent just this little piece of eternity with him.
< Knock it off, al, > I tell myself. < It won't do for you to let him see you this way. Must keep up the Fantasy Island façade so that he will always fondly remember his trip. > Blinking back the tears that threaten to fall, I rise from my chair and head down the hallway. My heart stops at the closed bathroom door.
Wafting softly on the air, wending its way through the crack around the doorframe, I hear the most melodious fair tenor voice, singing:
Babe I'm leaving
I must be on my way
The time is drawing near. . .
I cannot catch the sob before it escapes my throat.
"al? Iz dat u?" he calls from the other side of the door.
I swallow hard, and bite the inside of my cheek until I can taste the blood.
"al?" he calls again.
I hear the clink of the hairbrush being laid on the bathroom counter. I cannot hear him move to the door, though I am certain he is coming. I toss my head, shaking off the sadness, and put on the mask I will wear tonight. My happy face. The one with the crows feet at the corners of my eyes, from too much smiling all the young years of my life. I turn my back to the door, wanting to buy myself just a second more. . . . .
"THE PLANE! THE PLANE!" I exclaim, as he pulls open the door to find me grinning madly over my shoulder at him and pointing to the ceiling as if to the sky.
"U ar too talle tu be Tatoo," he scolds with a radiant smile on his glowing face. There has to be nothing more beautiful than one of the Eldar race when they are happy, I think.
"I hope you are not ever planning to tell the guys about Fantasy Island," I tease him. "There are some things about Modern Earth I want you to forget, ok?"
"Dere ar sum thangs I WAENT tu furgit!" he giggles.
"Come, let me look at you," I ask him, pulling him by the hand behind me down the hall and into the den where the light is better and there is more room. I pull him a little harder before letting go, twirling him around into a spin. "Perfect," I say. "Every little hair in place."
"Weel, I have bean doin my owen hare for over 2 thozand yeerz," he scoffs.
"You know that is not what I meant," I retort, wagging my finger at him. "It was a . . . "
"I noe, a feegur of speech," he interrupts. He pauses, looking intensely at me. "Tuern arond, led me luuk at u," he says, taking my own hand and giving me a little spin. My magenta velvet dress swirls about my legs, my black elven boots turning the tight pirouette he leads me in.
"Thank you for doing my hair," I say, blushing under his scrutiny.
"U ar welkum. I thank my faevorit paert is steel da faek poented eerz." He smiles, then winks at me. "And I weel be da oenly won whoe weel noe!"
Babe I'm leaving
I'll say it once again
And somehow try to smile
I know the feeling we're trying to forget
If only for awhile
'Cause I'll be lonely without you
And I'll need your love to see me through
Please believe me
My heart is in your hands
'Cause I'll be missing you
Babe I love you
My worries of how we will sneak Legolas into the theater dressed in his Middle earth garb are soon worries no longer. It seems all of Middle earth has turned up for this party. There are human replicas of Aragorn, Faramir, Eowyn, and Eomer, as well as barefooted wee folk with curly hair everywhere. The taller ticketholders are doing pretty fair imitations of our favorite elves too. There are even a couple of wizards and orcs about. Legolas is by far the most realistic looking, of course.
With our tickets in hand, we join the line that is already progressing through the doors to the lobby. I take the ticket stub from Legolas after the theater ticket taker tears it in half. Yes Dear hands me his stub as well as he passes through.
"Ar u goen tu maek anuthr kullekshun?" the Prance asks me, referring to the stack of 24 tickets I have kept marking each time I have attended FOTR, and the second stack of tickets I kept for every person I managed to coerce into seeing it with me.
"Oh yeah, baby," I say, winking and waving the stubs at him. "I've got one now for me, and two for the sucker pile." This brings a laugh from him.
As we reach the theater entrance, Legolas suddenly pulls me aside, saying to Yes Dear, "Jest a minit, pleeze, I nead tu tael al sumpthin."
Yes Dear nods, silently understanding, and proceeds down the aisle to hold our seats.
As the hoards of people pass us by, full of anxious anticipation, the Prance of Mirkwood leans toward me, his lips all but brushing my left ear. "I waent tu kees u, but I caen't," he says.
My heart screams 'Kiss me, Kiss me!' but my mouth says, "I know. I'm married, you shouldn't."
"Noe, dat iz not it," he whispers. "If I kees u, I weel krie."
I pull back to gaze into his baby blues. His eyes are tearing, as are mine. Quickly, in order to save us both, I switch to my trademark humor. "You are an elf worrier. You don't cry," I tease.
He straightens up, standing tall and lean, a real fighting machine. "Das rite. I em an Elf Worrier." He smiles, and everything we have shared in the past 9 months passes there between us, all in a silent moment filled with that smile.
The flood of midnight premier moviegoers becomes a trickle as the last of the lucky ticket holder's file in, popcorn and soda in hand. "You don't have any candy in your pockets, do you?" I chide. "You know we talked about how you have to go back in just like you came out."
"Noe," he answers with another wide grin. "Due I hav tiem tu git won laest Peenuat Budder Kuep?" He moves as if to return to the concession counter, teasing with me. As he does so, I hear the opening music, and a cheer rises up from within the theater. The movie is starting.
Our eyes meet. He takes my hand, and together we walk into the darkened theater for the last time.
Stopping at the right hand corner of the screen, I whisper to him, "No bell, nin caun. No beren."
"Alcar achas, Arwenamin," he whispers to me. "Pan nath no mae."
Squeezing my hand one last time, he smiles at me in the darkness of the theater, then turns away, moving to his place nearer the screen, as I do to mine, seven rows up on the left-hand side where my Yes Dear awaits me.
It is everything I hoped for, and more.
I stayed in my seat through the credits as always, once again paying homage to those underlings who bring the coffee and wash the costumes. The ones who lay out the clothing and make sure the meals are eaten. The ones who make sure everyone is in the proper place when they are supposed to be. I will forever remain one of them.
Once again everything in my life has changed. As it has in his world as well.
For you see, Legolas Greenleaf, Prince of Mirkwood and member of the Fellowship of the Ring, no longer lives in the closet at my house. This is the end of my part in his story.
The house lights come up, and once again I notice Yes Dear and I are the last to leave the theater.
"I need to go to the restroom," Yes Dear says. "Do you want to stay here for a few more minutes?"
I nod my head yes, as it is all I can do right now. As he leaves, I venture to the front of the theater, to the right hand corner of the screen, hoping beyond hope that, by some miracle of fate, I will come upon him there, as before.
But I am alone, once again.
Legolas is gone.
No bell, nin caun. No beren.
Be strong, my prince. Be bold.
Alcar achas, Arwenamin. Pan nath no mae.
Do not fear, my lady. All will be well.
Song lyrics for "Babe" can be found on the Styx Cornerstone Album.
"Fantasy Island" reruns can be found on your local cable TV channel.
(Reviews For Chapter Twenty-two)
I returned to the theater for the first showing on Wednesday, which was the noon show. I guess Tuesday night I had been so absorbed in the movie storyline itself that I missed seeing the telltale trip he did running through the field full of rocks behind Aragorn near the lands of the Rohan. < Yep, > I thought to myself, < it really is Legolas. >
I watched in mortified terror that he would be injured that first night during the Battle of Helm's Deep. It wasn't until the noon show that I caught the delight in his voice as he brags to Gimli, "I've got seventeen!" Little Pip will certainly identify with Gimli every time she hears that one. Yes, he is back in his element now, the Elf warrior who loves every minute of a good fight. Bring it on, baby!
I waited until everyone was gone, but there was no Legolas.
I used my ticket for the 8:00 pm show, the last show of the evening. I could almost smell the heat radiating from him as he knocks heads with Aragorn, concerned that the men are not ready for a fight, frustrated to not be able to really help them and not understanding why Aragorn cannot do more. < He's remarkably calmer there with Aragorn > I think, < than he was here, pulling his Galadriel fits. >
I waited again, but still there was no Legolas.
I found this as I was straightening up his room this morning.
I had almost talked myself into washing his sheets, but as I stood in the doorway looking at the bed and remembering all the times I tucked him in, and the little song his mother used to sing to him when it was time for him to go to sleep, I couldn't bring myself to do it. I'm just not ready to finalize this whole thing, to erase the scent of freshly washed elf-hair from the pillowcases. I had stretched myself out face down on the bed, burying my nose in his pillowcase, longing to hear his tenor voice singing the Elvish lullaby, even longing for "The Song That Never Ends." As the tears came and the sobs began, I pulled my hands up to my face, and my right hand brushed across something under the pillow. That is where I found the envelope with this note inside.
On the outside, it said: "al, puleeze tipe dis up fur me an seand it tu da peeple dat lub me, da wonz whoe reed my storee, okae?"
This note to all of you is what was on the inside.
Deer peeple dat lub me,
Dis iz da haerdess thang I thank I hav eber haed tu due. Tu sae guudbie tu all of u iz aelmoest eempossabel.
My hart eez tallen me tu giv it up, dat we kinnot ween aginst da Daerk Loerd Sauron eniwae. My haed talez me I muest goe bak an trie. I kinnot leat Frodo an Sam fale. Tu hep dem tu deastroey da Reeng iz my deasteeny. I muest reetern tu Meddle erth. I muest feenish da kwest, an kumpleat da meesion. Da faetz of soe meeny ar deepandant oen me. Da Fellowship iz deependen oen me tu bea dere eyez an eerz. Dere iz noe won whoe kin taek my plaece an due my joeb az I kin. I em da fienest aerchr dat Meedle erth haz tu offr.
Puhleeze doen't warry abot me. I em an Elf Worrier, I kin taek caer of misef an de othr meamberz of da Fellowship. I muest hep Merry an Pippin tu eskape da Urukz; I kinnot liv wid misef noein whut weel haeppn tu dem. My oen meamoriez of my tiem at Dol Guldur weel noet leat me raest unteel I noe dey ar saef wonce agin. Tu bea toermanted bie Orkz iz a turrabel thang eendeed.
I lub all of u soe muech. U hav bean de moest hoaspitabel peeple I thank I weel eber hav da chaence tu meat. Puhleeze due noet eber furgit me. I weel remamber eech an eberywon of u fur da raest of my immoral lief. An az we all noe, dat iz a vary loeng tiem.
I eggspacielly waent tu sae guudbie tu TreaHueggr. Wifout u, dere wuld hav bean noe Lego's Bio. I em soe glaed u kunveencd al tu rite abot me. If u haed noet, I wuld noet hav haed da opurtoonitie tu meat soe meeny wundurful peeple whoe lub me soe vary muech.
Wid all my elbin lub,
Reviews For Chapter 23
A Note From The Author
Thank you to all of you who have written to express your condolences to me. The outpouring of love from all of you is what has kept me going this past week. I am sorry for not responding personally to each of you, but I am just trying to keep going every day right now. Life is certainly not the same without him.
This morning dawned bright and clear, a fine Christmas morning by most standards. The three of us spent the day as many of you probably did, wading through mounds of wrapping paper and ribbons, picking through the ribbons and shirt boxes to see what was salvageable for another day, trying on gifts to see how they fit both our physiques and our personalities.
Little Pip comes to me and hugs me, thanking me for her presents, especially the Harry Potter movie video, and showing me the Pippin and Merry bookmark she found under the tree from Legolas. "Mommy," she asks, "did you get everything you wanted?"
"Yes," I lie. Everyone knows all that I really wanted for Christmas. The Impossible. The Undeliverable. Even Santa Claus couldn't fix it this time.
As we stand there, she and I, the soft strains of "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas" come wafting through the air from where it is playing on the radio in the other room. I don't know why, but even though the words are really reassuring, the melancholy tune to the song always makes me want to cry. How can I possibly have a 'Merry Little Christmas' when I feel this way?
As the song ends, I think to myself < The only thing worse than that song right now would be "I'll Be Home For Christmas." > I must be sharing clairvoyance with the radio disc jockey, because it i s no sooner in my head than the musical notes are drifting my way.
I'll be home for Christmas
You can count on me. . . . .
My thoughts are interrupted by the shrill ring of the phone in the kitchen. Yes Dear goes to answer it.
"It's for you," he says.
< I just really don't want to talk to anyone right now, > I think, as I take the receiver from him. "Hello?' I ask, trying to sound like I am having a good time on this joyous day.
"al? Kin u com git me?"
As the room spins and I hit the floor in slow motion, my last coherent thought is < Good Lord, how did he ever remember the phone number? >
To Be Continued, in "The Unfinished Tales Of Legolas Greenleaf"
Yes, TreeHugger, there REALLY IS a Santa Claus. He comes with as many names as Aragorn Estel Stick-at-naught Strider Telcontar Elrondion Longshanks son of Arathorn Wingfoot.
Merry Christmas, everyone.