I should probably put this on the starting chapter because I know I won't bother to put it on any other one: all of The Hobbit belongs to J.R.R Tolkien and Libby belongs only to my imagination.
Onwards with the chapter!
*edited June 2018
Chapter One: Aurora Liberty Fernwright
I wish I could say this story has a happy start, a happy middle and a very happy ending. But it just wouldn't be a good story if there wouldn't at least be some heartbreak, death and sadness, would it now?
Honestly, I don't even know what I'm babbling on with this story, so if I get off track then I am terribly sorry. Bofur always told me that I always stray away from topics.
I should start with introductions; a good introduction makes a lasting impression, am I right? Sadly, for me, my life seemed to be endless bad introductions which would probably make me seem like a fool in the eyes of strangers for as long as I should live.
I was born Aurora Liberty Fernwright (quite the mouthful) but I thank my lucky stars that my father dubbed me the name Libby when I was but a wee babe. I didn't want to spend my entire life thought out to be this elegant, graceful person with such a noble name only for someone to see my trip over their own shoelaces and fall into a dust bin. It seemed that I had hit my maximum growth spurt at the age of twelve, where I was the (rather short lived) tallest kid in the entire school. Then, I just stopped growing. In fact, people always say wow, Libby, you've shrunk! rather than the oh, look how tall you've grown! from older relatives who wouldn't have seen me in ten years.
I still am shrinking, or so I'm told.
Psh, they don't know what they're talking about. Losers.
I've seen to have gotten off track. Again. Oops.
I still remember that day; it was the day we buried my dad.
Having gone up to stay at my grandmother's (as in my father's mother) for the week, it was a very long and quiet drive home. She, my mammy, wanted him to be buried in the same cemetery as my grandfather. I don't really remember that day if I'm going to be honest; having decided to come back home we drove for hours on end while, unlike my grieving mother, I wasn't affected. Or maybe I was, maybe i was just too numb to even realise the ache and pain in my chest that seemed to swallow me up.
After shock, Aunt May told Mom; said I couldn't handle the pain of losing my father. I liked Aunt May, even if she was a bit of a cow every now and then. I even missed her, among my other, annoying relatives.
I missed everything; the technology, the people, the words, the food, the clothes but, more specifically, the bathroom and the body hygiene.
I'll miss having a warm shower.
I'll miss my mother and how she always smelled of lilacs and oranges.
But I think the thing I miss most is people being able to understand my pop culture references.
Anyway, let me continue with my story that I don't know why I'm writing. I think it's because I find it interesting, much like everything else I've grown accustom to.
Maybe I'm just hoping someone will pick it up and be like holy crap, she's awesome.
Enough of me yapping on like a mad man on red bull, let's start the story, shall we?
It began with me being my usual, annoying self.
Of course, no one bothers to play along with my pathetic attempt of trying to lighten the mood. I knew exactly why everyone was so depressed, but I guess I was too thick to think now might not be the time for Libby's classic jokes; my dad is dead, and my mother is a widow.
I wonder if the pain I feel in my heart will ever just go away but it seems not.
It was like I was stuck, stuck in this area of grey where the sky didn't seem blue and the grass wasn't green - except they were.
Only, not for me.
The world kept spinning and I was standing in a pit of grey and gloom. So, why not try to liven things up with a classic knock joke? The two other teens sat in silence beside me, grey storm clouds mimicking the ones in the sky above their heads, but it isn't like their - as in my delightful cousins - dad is dead, buried six feet underground.
I'm in the middle of the back seat, my poor and worn messenger bag sitting on my lap with my shoulders being squashed. The bag was all I had managed to bring with me on the very short trip. It was filled only with some small essentials but I'm pretty sure some books for college where at the bottom.
When I had gotten the call in the middle of the night from my mom, all I remembered was shoving my tooth brush along with other, ehem, girly essentials down into the bag, ignoring the weight on my shoulders. I was sat beside my chubby, 17 year - old cousin, Daryl, and his snobby 23 year - old sister, Matilda; Matilda was such a nice name meant for nice girls (example A: the Matilda movie) but the one currently jabbing her bony elbow is very far from being cute and cuddle - y. No, instead, she is a grade A bi-
"Not now, Libby," my mother's croaky voice squeaks from the front passenger seat. But, as per usual, I don't listen to her but continue to push past a dangerous boundary that might - and probably will - result in everyone in the car yelling at me. But it's just too much to bear; all this silence and tension is making me want to scream and break into tears myself.
"C'mon, Mam," I groan helplessly, "It's a good one, I swear. Actually, I have lots of good ones. It's just you guys who aren't bringing the mood d -"
"Aurora!" My mother shouts, her more strong and prominent than I had hear ever before - or maybe it's just because I haven't heard her properly speak in a couple of days that hearing it in such force makes me sit in silence briefly, blinking in shock. I shrink into the squeaky leather of our car as my mother whirls around, facing me with her blood - shot eyes and her Rudolph like nose. I had cringed when she used my full and first name. I bet you're wondering: Why on Earth do they call her Libby but not Aurora?
It is simple because, dear readers, is that (not because I hate it) it's because it's too much of a mouthful. It was my dad who hated the name, so he elected himself to call me "Libby", a nickname for my middle name that just managed to, well, stick. My mother is, or probably was at a time before me, obsessed with Disney but, more specifically, Disney Princesses.
Oh, the hours my tiny three - year - old self was painfully forced to squat in front of that dreaded television for hours on end, watching the stupid but pretty princesses always get rescued by even prettier princes. I remember crying to my mother one night because of how the Prince gallantly kissed the dead Snow White; that isn't love. That's necrophilia. I had voiced my fears of a man coming in the night to kiss me for he believed I was dead. It wasn't that I hated Disney princesses, is that my mother would make me watch them so often, my nose would scrunch up at even the sight of the dainty beauties.
But, anyways, away from the subject of dead princesses and necrophilia, my name is Aurora Liberty Fernwright. Libby is short for, indeed, Liberty. God, how horrible is it to be stuck with an eight-syllable name? I bet my parents were expected proper lady but instead they got stuck with me; the girl who still doesn't understand when to shut the Hell up to this day and has the worse sense of humour.
I find myself to be the black sheep of the family, though, thankfully, not the only one. I'm pretty sure one of my cousins is going through his emo or goth phase; but rather, I'm rather different in terms of genetics - at least on my mother's side. Heck, the only person I think I really look like is my great uncle Stan and he's nearly 91. It's my dad's side I get most of my features; the heart shaped face, the freckles and the blonde hair that I insist of keeping long. After a very bad incident when I was younger in which my hair was cut up to the nape of my neck (it was that nasty little goblin Frank Turner who poured glue in my hair, I just know it even despite him denying it was) I promised never to let another pair of scissors go near my hair ever again.
It isn't that I'm very small, it's just that I'm not of "average height" and sometimes have to stand on the counter top get a cup. I was actually taller than some people believe it or not.
It had its perks as well as its downside - the main being nearly every guy practically turned their nose up at the sight of a girl who was the height of a tall midget (having a rather round face didn't help either. It really sucked when I had to show my I.D card when trying to order drinks). My love affair with food, specifically junk food, was the main cause for my unfitness. To this day, I wonder how I am not morbidly obese or nearing it anyway.
As I stare at my beet - root faced mother I realise, at this moment, I really should have shut up. Eyes wide and unblinking, I stare at the grieving widow who's face slips from its scowl to something less, well, aggressive.
At this moment, I would probably hug the crap out of my cousin Daryl who, having sensed the tension, looks down at me with a smile, his double chin showing itself. I send him a smile before I continue the joke, seeing my mother slip into her seat once again. I feel bad as I watch her from peripheral vision; truthfully, I knew being quiet was what I should have done but the silence was itching my skin, making my defences stand up. My knee keeps bouncing and jiggling and the radio is only at low volume.
I continue to speak with my cousin, to try and lighten the strained mood.
"Cows go," I grin, seeing slight confusion in his eyes.
"Cows go who?" he replies, his voice peaking a bit higher at the end, showing the end of his late "blossoming" (as his mother insists on calling it).
I smack one of my palms up against my cheek, "No, silly, cows go moo."
This is a new low for you, Libby. Well done, you're truly a terrible comedian. Don't quit your non-existent day job.
Instead of laughing at the obvious hilarity of the joke he, instead, laughs at how horrible (as I later learn) the joke is in taste. From what I know, the worst of jokes are the best of jokes. Plus, it's lightened the mood if even by a fraction
I try to engage Matilda in conversation but, like always, she's too obsessed with being a ratty cow and ignoring me delightful self. Instead, I decide turn to my uncle Lucas, a rather short, fat but cheery man, with a smile etching its way across my face. I shuffle up to the edge seat, having my seat - belt not being in place. Rather dangerous, I know, but honestly what's the worse that can happen?
"Knock, knock," I pipe as I rest my hand on the shoulder of the seat with my cheek lying against it; I see my uncle's rather impressive moustache twitch. He is much like his son; or rather his son is much like him. They're probably, to this day, the only family members that have never been rude to me in any way. I'm quite fond of them, I must admit, with their warmth and their cheery smile, obviously from my father's dwindling side. I believe that they were the only two living males on that side, with Lucas being the only living member left.
It's sad to see everyone in your family die, I notice, and having to try to be a cheerful man. Still, I respect him as he goes along with my joke like the good man he is.
"Who is it?"
"Arfur," I sneak, almost cackling inside my head. Lucas turns his head ever so slightly so that his eyes meet with mine.
I smile wickedly at uncle dearest. I still believe that this joke is the best one to date. Well, the best one in the 'knock, knock' area. I cough dramatically before speaking, "Arfur g - "
But as I go to finish the joke, that's when it happened.
Since we are on a practically empty lane (save for the three far behind cars that trailed behind us) with us driving at the top. But I fail to notice the gathering grey clouds and the fact we can't see ten feet in front of us without the headlights due to a misty fog settling around the area. None of us would have noticed the oncoming danger in this weather. Until Snobby Matilda lets out a scream.
Uncle Lucas' eyes snap away from my own to turn back to the road just in time to see a truck that has head lights blinking furiously and the wheels screeching so loudly I can hear it from inside the car; my eyes snap forward to discover something that alarms me: the truck has no driver. But it seems I'm the only one to notice this important thing; for my whole family is screaming in my ear as the truck smashes into the front of the vehicle. Instead of collapsing underneath the buckling weight of the truck, like it should have, the car drove on, desperately trying to gain stability.
At this point we're swerving.
I don't think I'll ever forget that day; it's the last day I ever spent with my mother (granted she did yell at me and stared at me with so much anger that it made me push our last encounter to the back of my mind) or anyone that I consider now to be normal. I listen to their screams split my ears apart as my own shakes my throat, making it raw and sore. I start to get thrown around the place, my shoulder smacking not so gently into something causing a bolt of pain to shoot down my body and that's when I realise: I'm not wearing a seat - belt.
I clutch my bag to my chest, hoping that it would protect me from death, as I feel something odd happen; the car is tilting.
Cars don't tilt; in fact, they shouldn't tilt.
The groan of metal was evident as something behind collided with the back bumper of the car. The other cars have caught up with our swerving one. At first, I feel nothing but a slight push, making my head bob forward.
And my body shoots forward, my limbs much like a rag - doll.
You've probably heard how people say their life flashes before their eyes; well, I can tell you it's true.
And as I watch my life slip before me, like a movie, the only thought that crosses my mind as my back smashes against the glass of the wind shield, God, I'm boring.
The cuts sting my back, my chest feels as though there is a large block of concrete pressing down on it and I know that there is a formidable sized gash just above my eyes. Still, I watch everything in slow motion, I watch as cars smash into the one that held my family, I watch as the glass whirls around me, nicking my exposed skin.
And then everything speeds up; I'm hurdling towards the ground too fast for my liking and I know that when I hit the hard concrete, I'm dead; my head will smash on the ground and my skull will crack like an egg. So, I close my eyes, and wait for the second member of the Fernwright family to die in the space of one week. It's the side of my body that hits the concrete first, crunching and barely able to fight against the impact as glass flies around like sparkling diamonds. Then it's the other shoulder, then my face, the again and again, wave after wave crashing over me like I was a beach and the sea of pain was taking it out on me. All I could do was hope to withstand and not drown.
I want to cry, want to scream, what to breathe but can't because my lungs don't work anymore, and my ribs are caving in on themselves. I stop moving and blood is my world; in my mouth in my eyes, matted in my hair and wrapping scarlet fingers around my throat. Was the sky ever blue? Was the grass ever green? Is it me screaming or some far off distant world, crying out for me in sadness? I wish I was in a Disney movie then, because then nothing would have hurt this much, and someone would be able to make the pain stop. I try to remember I need to breathe in order to live but my body has decided that my brain shouldn't rule over it anymore and has overthrown the monarch.
I'm going to die and all I see is grey sky, going on and on and on for forever and ever.
Like a fish out of water I try to find air that seems to not be around and my heart thumps in my battered and broken chest.
I wanted to see the world.
I wanted to have my first kiss beneath a sunrise, all Mr Darcy and Elizabeth Bennett style.
But most of all...
I really wanted to know how Game of Thrones ended. I mean, will Jon Snow ever find out his parent's identities? Who will sit on the Iron Throne? Will Gendry ever return? Sadly, questions that will never be answered.
It's silent and my world bleeds for a moment before my eyes fall. I really hoped that if there was a God, he'd just take me now and let this suffering end.
And He does, at least, I think He does.
My ears are ringing, and I feel like my body is mending, bones fusing together, skin stitching itself back together to stop the waves of blood from flowing. The fields of grey clouds disappear, and everything is black and cold, a desolate void for me to travel through and I feel an echo in beneath my mending ribs. I am falling for eons and eons, through worlds and galaxies unknown and my body doesn't feel like it's attached but at the same time, I am feeling too much. Too much of air, too much of space, too much of blood and pain that are ebbing away. Are my eyes shut or is this the black abyss I shall spend eternity in? I would have loved if there was some Netflix. I feel my ears pop as the cold, harsh whip of air changes direction so that now my hair is falling away from my vision. I don't know how it happened, but it did happen. I'm still managing to clutch onto my bag as I feel the ground come up to meet me.
But instead of gentle cotton candy clouds as I expected, it's soft, warm grass that I get a mouth full.
I'm lying in the dirt. And it does not taste as nice as animals make it seem.
I roll to my back and spit out the grass and dirt, spitting it onto the ground beside me in an "unladylike" manner, as my mother would snap at me. Well, I wouldn't blame her. I grab my sleeve and drag it across my tongue, but that only result in more soggy dirt to get trapped in my mouth.
"Ew, gross!" I whine as I spit out the dirt one last time, forgetting I am moving broken bones and breathing through punctured lungs.
But... no pain.
I pause in my actions, dropping my eyes to my hands, staring at the all too perfectly clean fair skin as I flip them over, eyes glued to the open parchment that was my palms. I can breathe, and the air is fresh and clean; my lungs drink in the intoxicating aromas that are so different from the usual vile smell of the city. My eyes adjust, and I shift my focus to my blood-stained clothes, down to my legs that I was so sure were in different angles not too long ago. I see no grey clouds up ahead, like it should be, nor do I see the crash that happened less than one minute ago. I see a warm blue sky, green grass and the trees that block the burning rays of the sun. From what I see the place is breathtakingly beautiful, nothing like the city I live in. No, it's natural beauty, something that cannot be built but only waited out.
A gentle breeze ruffled my hair and I can feel my breathing pick up and tears prick my eyes. That is when I really and truly freak the Hell out. I scramble (actually, try to, I fell over which resulted in me nearly breaking my nose before standing up) to my feet as I begin to hyperventilate. I take a quick moment to place my bag around my head so that the strap nestles nicely between the crook where my neck meets my shoulder, letting it rest on my possibly bruised hip. The only thought that runs through my mind is: I'm not in Kansas anymore.
I clutch at my throat as I whirl around as my eyes dart around the place, feeling a sob claw its way out my already raw throat. I need to keep calm, I need to be rational.
Don't freak out, don't freak out, don't freak -
And when I mean scream, I mean full proper, ear - popping scream. It lasts a brief second before tears well in my eyes. I run both my hands through my messy hair, my breathing very loud. I have to see the logical side of this; either I predicted my death properly and this is the afterlife. The thought makes me squawk loudly. The only other thought is that maybe I did fall on the ground and I was dreaming - or maybe I was dead. Yeah, that is the only logical explanation! I couldn't have teleported! I mean what a stupid idea. Wait, was I dead? I didn't want to be dead! I had so many things to offer the world! Not, like, quality things, but still, so many things!
I take a deep breath; if I'm dreaming I should know where I am. But I haven't a clue as to what this place is. Where am I?
The single three-word sentence swirls in my mind, mingling with all the other bad thought; am I mad? Have I finally gone round the bend? Shouldn't there be, like, I don't know, a sign as to show this is all a dream? Is this Heaven? Jesus, if you're there, help a girl out and show yourself!
During my inspection of the place, I spy a dirt road and clamber over to it, slipping my bag over my shoulder that bumps at my hip, making the disappearing bruises hurt and send sharp tingles of pain through my leg as the edge of my book hits it. A road means cars and cars mean people. Maybe if I follow it I'll reach some sort of civilisation! If I can just keep going - !
As I turn a bend in the road, I collide with something, or preferably, someone and I successfully fall backwards, onto my ass, watching as the dust clouds swirl up beside me, making everything seem hazy for a moment. I start to cough as I clench my eyes shut, trying to stop the sneeze that's threatening to blow as my nostrils tingle. I sniff into my sleeve before taking in the pair of feet if feet in front of me. I slowly drag my eyes up, seeing a lot of grey robes.
What the - ?
I look up to meet an elderly man who, by the looks of it, is very surprised to see me. His shining eyes twinkle with amusement and curiosity as my mouth gapes open. I instantly seize up. He's freaking massive!
Now, as a young woman, I have been taught that when you meet an old man on the road, with no one around, and having him look down on you there is only one thought that crossed my mind: Oh, God, a murderer.
This is it; this is how I die (can you already die if you're dead? Knowing my luck, it'll probably happen to me). I think sullenly as I try to fight another sob, Mammy, I'm so sorry for spilling cranberry juice on Granny's table cloth, I'm sorry for accidentally switching the sugar for the salt the one time you had friends over, also, sorry that Mittens can't seem to crap in her box but can crap everywhere. That's not really my fault but I'm guessing since I bought the stupid cat, it kind of is. I love you, Mammy. Don't ever go into my room.
"My, a young lady Hobbit," says the elderly man, breaking me from my mental break down. During my initial freak - out, I have elected to call him Grey Beard because of his, well, grey beard. Isn't this the part where I should be running for my life? No? He's much like everyone else whom I see to meet; he's tall and I have to crane my neck up to meet his wise old eyes, but his height is positively ridiculous. Nobody is that tall, not even NBA players. Maybe he could start a team? They could call themselves Old Grandpas.
Not now, Libby, I scold myself. You can be murdered any minute.
Right, sorry. My bad.
"But you are wearing shoes!" he exclaims again, capturing my attention as his eyes, set beneath a pair of bushy eyebrows, dart up and down me. "Then, definitely not a Hobbit. Or maybe a Dwarf? Hm, I believe maybe the latter. But you don't look like a lady - Dwarf. Maybe a short woman or perhaps - "
The old man continues to ramble on to himself, his deep and ancient voice sounding like something you'd hear in movies or something. I take a few small steps back, cock an eyebrow, before I hold up a hand to cut him off.
"Erm, excuse me, but do you know where I am?" Keep cool, Libby, be polite and be cool as mom always says. Grey beard looks at me with a is this weirdo serious? kind of look but I ignore it as I bite my lip, waiting for his answer. What if he insists on bringing me to the nearest town and then abducts me and forces me into a white van?
What happened to keeping cool and not trying to think about this guy kidnapping you?
"Why, you are in The Shire, my Lady," says Grey Beard, his voice full of amusement. I feel my eyebrows twitch together. What the Hell was 'The Shire'? Was I seriously just imagining everything now? Was this the effect of gorging on the sugar my mom keeps locked away because it "rotted my mind"?
"Uh. . . the, um, the what?" I blank, staring up at him. I notice the funny clothes he wears, or robes maybe? His hat is pointy, reminding me of a witch's or a wizard's.
"The Shire, a place where Hobbits reside," replies Grey Beard, the suspicion in his eyes growing. What the bloody Hell is a Hobbit?
I gaze up at him, hoping to see some joke in his eyes but I only see pure and utter seriousness, the kind that can make me feel my throat closing up with tears welling in my eyes. I whirl around, and I can just tell something is off. Not even I can imagine up something this cool and beautiful. Well, duh, a voice in my head cackles. It's a dream, Libby, stop thinking it real, says another, all too calm and wispy for my liking.
"Oh my God," I yelp. Now, I have watched many upon many hours of Doctor Who to asked when we are instead of where we are but honestly, all those hours of sitting in front of the TV watching the Doctor have his adventures with many companions are suddenly gone from my mind. I turn to Grey Beard and ask with all kinds of seriousness, puffing out my chest in hopes that my voice won't seem as shaky as before. "Am I... in Oz?"
Look at me, having all basic knowledge of teleport/travelling and stuffs. High five for me, please and thank you.
Grey Beard's eye brows twitch up at my question. What? It is a reasonable question! It isn't stupid!
"Am I not in Kansas?"
"Never heard of such a place."
"Is this the twenty first century?"
"Goodness, what a silly and ridiculous question! But if you must know, we are currently in the Third Age. Are you quite alright in the head?"
Every muscle, every bone, simultaneously freezes at his answer.
Did he mean as in B.C as in Before Christ?
But his clothes look medieval.
But then nothing here looks like it's from the Middle Ages.
Maybe a Con was going on nearby? Don't people usually dress up for that?
But, then again, I could be wrong since I don't know anything about anything at this moment.
A headache burns into my skull as my lower lip wobbles and my eyes begin to sting.
And then I cry.
I've been transported into the past! Or something like that. But, isn't this literally everyone's dream?! That they can change the past? What was I supposed to do! I know what they did to woman back then and it usually involved being sold into marriage or whatever! Oh, God what if I step on a butterfly and then it turns out I've ruined man kind?! Or maybe I'm dead! Or in a coma! Oh, God, I can't breathe!
"What? No! I can't be - I can't be stuck here! What about my family?! What about that apartment I was going to get?! What about my cat?! Oh, Mittens!" I sobbed horribly; tears fall down my face as I used my sleeve to wipe up my snotty nose. At this point, I knew Grey Beard felt quite odd at how I was reacting to the news. But, right now, I could not give less of a damn. I pinch at my already bruised skin and wince at the sharp pain. Very realistic, I comment in my mind before another cry erupts from me.
As my mother would once say "for one so small, you're very annoying and terribly loud!" At this, I continue to cry until I felt a sudden thwack on the back of my head, sending me to clutch the back of my head where I know for certain a bump is certain. I glare up at Grey Beard as he clicks his tongue, fed up with my wailing.
I think I quite earned it to cry. I mean, I am stuck here with him. Inside my mind was breaking at this revelation but I tried to seem like it wasn't affecting me. Tried, and failed because it didn't really work seeing as I was still crying and sniffing and, every once in a while, letting a sob break free. I probably look a right mess with my eyes being blood shot, my nose is running and my lower bottom lip sticking out, wobbling uncontrollably.
"Calm yourself, young Dwarf," he snapped in a firm but kind voice. Um, what did he just call me? I may be small and a sobbing mess, but I will not hesitate to give him a kick up the ass. I let out another sniffle as I feel his eyes stare intently at me, curiosity lit within them. Oh no, was he going to put me into a crazy house? And then do experiments on me? Oh, crap. I bring my sleeves over my hands to wipe away the tears that course down my cheeks as I let out another hiccup. Grey Beard lets a satisfied smile cross is features as he rests his weight on his weird walking stick with his big bushy eyebrows raised in amusement.
"I do not understand most of your jabbering, but I may believe I can sort it out - " What the actually bloody Hell? Does he not see me crying here? Sorry, this person cannot be reached as they are having a rather well earned mental break down. Please leave a message after the beep. " - so, if you will come with me, then I shall see what we can do with you."
"Err... pardon?" I blank again, blinking away whatever tears were left. Grey Beard raises his bushy eyebrows above the hem of his hat, waiting for my answer. But I don't give one. I am not just going to go with this guy, am I? He can be a murderer or a rapist for all I know! I shudder at the last thought as I hear an impatient sigh escape the old guy. He pushes me aside, making me tumble slightly, before he starts to walk ahead of me and I stare at his very slowly retreating back.
I start to panic; should I risk it and follow, or do I stay here in hopes of getting other help? The latter had a few holes in it; it could take days, weeks even to see another human being. I shook my head, I was thinking about this all too seriously. But I was so very slowly beginning to realise the aches and pains that was all over my body.
This couldn't be real . . . could it? No, it's couldn't be, it wasn't. I was just in some medically induced coma and my brain was going hay wire from the drugs. Yes, that was it! Of course, I hadn't travelled to the past! I can't believe I actually thought that! I almost want to break into hysterical laughter at the thought of it.
Then I heard Grey Beard speak.
"Unless you would very much like to keep wandering the opposite direction of where you could possibly, I do not know, maybe, die, but I have a schedule to keep on so either you can come with me or risk the chance. For the greatest adventure is one you do not expect." I can hear the amusement and the joking in his voice, but I don't have much common sense so, instead, I scramble after him, tripping on my opened shoelaces. Grey Beard takes no notice of this, instead he starts to hum. I don't know the song, but I don't really try to listen as my eyes dart around us, watching the sun slowly fall. I make sure to stick close to Grey Beard with my eyes darting up to him every so often.
"Tell me, young Dwarf, of your name if I am to help you," grumbles the old man as he brandishes a pipe. I grimace at what he calls me. I get it; I'm small but calling me that seemed just... messed up. I ponder on whether or not to tell this man my name. A voice in my head begins to warn me, don't do it Libby, don't you -
"Aurora Liberty Fernwright. Or just Libby, thanks," I answer back finally, cringing at the fact I had indeed told him my name. God, I'm an idiot.
"Please to meet you, Miss Aurora, I am Gandalf the Grey," he looks down at my shaking small form. I raised my eyebrows; his parents must have had the weirdest sense of humour to call their kid that.
"It's just Libby, thanks," I almost snap, but hold my tongue. I see his eyes dart down to me, bemused.
"Tell me, Libby, for you said, if I recall, that you were "stuck" here. Judging by your odd accent and your strange clothing, I assume that you are not from this certain area," Gandalf bemuses.
I frown; my Irish accent wasn't that odd. I mean, there must be somewhere here that was close to my accent. Unless my mind had decided to plop my sub conscious in an entirely different country. And that totally doesn't make things stressful. I glance down at my clothes which consisted of a pair of blue denim skinny jeans, battered converse shoes, a green short sleeved shirt and a thin, long sleeved brown shirt to go under it. My previous attire for the funeral had been a simple black dress and black pumps. Nope, not opening that door again. I probably look downright weird, what with there being small stinging cuts across every piece of exposed skin that had seemed to stop healing and were electing to stay, the front and left side of me being covered in dirt and tears streaming down my face.
There is one thing I inherited with from my mammy and that was the fact I was a very ugly crier. Well, that and her eyes.
Scratching the back of my neck, I have an internal battle on whether or not to tell him my story. But then I think: what harm can it do? It's all in my head for sure. With a shrug, I begin to speak. Gandalf brandishes a wooden pipe, puffing on it thoughtfully as I talk.
"Well, I was with my mammy and my uncle and my two cousins and we were on the road . . ."
So, I told him everything - well, not everything. I mean, how on earth was I to tell him Hey, I'm either dead or I time travelled or everything happening right now is a drug induced coma; I tell him only part of the truth: of how I had accidentally distracted my uncle which led to our, erm, horse and cart to being up turned and I was flown away from the wreckage. I told him how the last thing I remember was flying through the air before landing on that soft patch of ground. I didn't bother telling him he was a figment of my imagination; I'll leave that for him to deal with.
Instead I tell him only a teeny, wheeny piece of the truth, lying that I'm definitely not from around here but from a far-off place that's nothing like here and hope he doesn't realise I'm lying straight through my teeth. However, I know I'm a bad liar and he doesn't seem all too convinced.
Shame. If worse comes to worse, I'll just have to kill him.
Gandalf puffs at his pipe; making shapes out of the smoke. It's a stretched silence; one filled with anticipation and anxiety as I stare at him with hope.
And then, in his tired voice, he speaks, "Though it is quite hard to believe, with your odd attire and your damaged body I guess I have nothing left to believe you -" Whoa, it's that easy? I start to smile before he turns to me, eyes full of warning. " - Be careful, though, of whom you tell your tale to. Many others will not be swayed as easily." Did he just call himself gullible?
I gulp at this before he begins walking again. I trail behind him as I wring my fingers together, my heart thumping loudly in my throat. "Where are we going, Gandalf?"
"To a friend of mine whom I believe is quite confused as you are at this moment," he chuckled at his own little joke while I raised my eyebrows at him. "Bilbo is his name. And I believe that he can provide better clothes and food for you."
Did he just say... food?
I instantly feel my mouth pool with saliva at the mention of the word. Suddenly, what started off as a terrible day seems to look up. Though if this is a dream, wouldn't the food not actually be something I'm eating? Oh, the horror! But I try to keep a positive outlook and instantly, my feet pick up so I'm side by side with the elderly man. "Food? You sure about that?"
"I am certain. Though, I believe with his company that it may be dwindling," he explains. Then he shoots up, as though he has thought of something brilliant. I can just imagine him shouting Eureka! The thought makes me want to giggle but I swallow my laughter as Gandalf lets out another throaty chuckle. Talk about creepy.
"I have just thought of how to help you, Libby," he all but exclaimed in happiness. I felt relief flood my veins as I slumped over.
"You can send me back," I grin in relief but instead of agreeing Gandalf chuckles. God - dang it all his laughing was creeping me the hell out. Gandalf turns to me, mischief clear in his eyes as he stares into my own.
"Goodness, no, I believe that there might not be a way for you to go back - " insert look of horror here that is promptly ignored by the tall man - " - but I have thought of something better. Tell me, Libby, have you ever seen a dragon?"
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