Characters: Bilbo and Frodo
Disclaimer: Tolkien told his tale – I’ve told mine… but this is for pleasure not profit.
Notes: Catching up for the ‘Communication challenge – one drabble for each.
The big day drew closer – THE party, that had half the shire buzzing and the other half smiling in satisfaction… of course, they were bound to be invited!
Bilbo practised his speech in the mirror for the umpteenth time. He’d begin… thus… he’d gesture… here…. He’d thank them, and… oh yes, best include them too! Then he would… would…
Drat and bother! Just how was he going to leave? He couldn’t just walk away – he’d never get through the crowds! That was hardly the grand gesture he hoped for…
Then it came to him… Why not? Once more wouldn’t hurt…
The party was in full swing… full dance… full everything… food, drink, ample good humour – it was the party to end all parties! There was so much chatter and laughter and shouting and joking that many had to resort to sign language, gesturing to show they wanted plates topping up or tankards refilling.
Bilbo walked among them patting a back here, bestowing a hearty handshake there… It was only later some said they should have read the signs, ‘seen that the old fool was up to something’… while others winked and tapped their noses, as if they knew all along.
Others chose to draw their own conclusions, Mad Old Baggins was at it again – he’d be back in a flash with more handfuls of gold – and didn’t they deserve some should be spent buying rounds of ale at the Green Dragon? After giving them all such a shock as that – yes indeed he should!
Only Frodo disagreed, but he kept his speculations to himself. He pored over the maps his uncle had drawn so carefully, trying to work out just where he might be after a day, two days, a week… a month… was he there yet? Wherever ‘there’ was…
It took longer than that to get to Rivendell, but Bilbo was in no hurry. It was good to set out for an adventure, but know warm beds and cosy inns were around the next bend. Even when he and his dwarven companions got beyond the ways of inns and feather beds… It was still pleasant to roll up in a blanket and watch the stars – to begin with.
He admitted it, he was relieved when Rivendell’s scouts spotted him and offered him a ride – for he’d still not taught his body the language of sleeping rough as a ranger.
Master Elrond bade the hobbit welcome to his house and formally declared him elf-friend and free to stay for as long as he cared to… But then, it did not take a mind-reader to mark how frail the old Hobbit was becoming, almost daily his hair seemed whiter. His hands trembled as he turned the pages and pushed open the scrolls in Rivendell’s library, it seemed there would be no more journeys for him.
Master Elrond watched Bilbo walk slowly through the gardens towards a favoured sunlit bench.
‘If Frodo is to come, he needs to come soon’ he thought
“My boy, I’ve done it. I’ve completed my tale,”
Smiles wreathed the old hobbits face, as crinkled now as the last of the winter apples.
“I’ve written about my adventures, and drawn all the maps I remember. I’ve copied some from Master Elrond’s library. You just have to write in the details of where you’ve been. I don’t think I’ll travel those ways anymore…
Frodo squeezed his old uncle’s hand.
“I don’t think I shall either.”
“Oh but you must, my lad. We have to let them know. I’ve left blank pages…”
Frodo smiled, ‘I’ll write it, Uncle, never fear.”