[a/n] Holy Potatoes! An update!  And an ever-growing disclaimer!

Special thanks to Anthea and the Lord of the Rings Random Ficplot Generator: () and Kero from the OFUM list, who generated the random plot and shared.

Colonel Dirtyfishydishcloth and the lyrics to Winter belong to Tori Amos

Lord of the Rings, and all characters and concepts therein, belongs to J.R.R. Tolkien and the Tolkien estate.

UPS (ticker--UPS) is a $30 billion corporation focusing on the goal of enabling commerce around the globe.  I do not currently own any part of UPS, but I could, as could you, for $63.78 a share at the time of writing this disclaimer.

Happy, Sneezy, Sleepy, Grumpy, Dopey, Bashful, and Doc all belong to the Walt Disney Company (ticker—DIS), the number two media conglomerate in the world.  I do not currently own any part of Dinsey, but I could, as could you for $21.99 a share at the time of writing this disclaimer. 

Mommie Dearest is owned by Christina Crawford (print) and Paramount Pictures (screen).  Both the original book by Christina Crawford and the 1981 movie starring Faye Dunaway can be purchased at any store.

Gretel, alas, is mine.  She is not a real person.  She is not a self-insert.  She is a product of my diseased imagination.

No animals were harmed in the writing of this fic.

Bob is a very nice name.

As is Margaret.  I apologize to any Margarets, Gretels, Marys and to anyone bearing the last name of Smythe (or even the first or middle name of Smythe).  Gretel is not a reflection of any of you, just as said before, a product of my diseased imagination. 

I think I mentioned it in my description, but this is, by nature of the random plot generated, and AU fic (AU #9658 to be exact), and there are purposeful wild divergences from canon.

I honor Gimli Elf-Friend. I would not bash him. I'm sure he could thrash me from here to infinity if he so desired. He deserves nothing but the utmost respect--and a girl to keep around for a pleasure-slave when the desire comes upon him.
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The Woeful tale of Princess Dirtyfishydishiel

Six: A Moment of Woe, Damnit!

Such woe had never befallen a princess as had befallen on Princess Dirtyfishydishiel.  And due to the nature of the acceleration due to gravity, woe could be quite heavy when falling.  Gretel almost got a concussion, except she managed to cover her head in time.   But back to the woe...  Gretel was a virtual slave--no!--she was a slave!  Her poor life was filled with woe due to her unnatural subjugation and cruel treatment at the hands of the eevil Dwarves (they were so evil, they deserved a second 'e' just like 'eerie' is eerier than 'Erie' which is a very nice lake and/or city in the northwest corner of Pennsylvania, it is also a county in both Pennsylvania and New York State, but I digress.  Back to the woe...).  The sun might as well not exist for all she saw of her!  The moon might have fallen into the ocean along with the stars as much as she saw them!  She toiled under the Lonely Mountain day in and day out, a never-ceasing torment of involuntary employment, and her life was willed with woe, damnit, woe!

Actually, her life really wasn't that bad, but it wouldn't be a woeful tale without the woe.  So, as the woe is over, onto the story...

"She is not a proper woman," Gimli muttered to his father.  "She has no whiskers."

Glóin nodded in a proper fatherly way.  "I believe she is of the race of Man, though like no Man I have seen," he concluded.  "However, their women do not have whiskers, unnatural as it may seem."

"Aye, it is unnatural," Gimli agreed, but sought to find the positive in appearance of his companion.  "Her bosoms are at a good height though."

Glóin had noted that as well.  "Indeed they are.  And has she been useful?" he queried as they smoked by the fire after their meal. 

Gimli grinned.  At least his beard lifted at the corners of his mouth, and hints of his teeth showed through his whiskers.  "She has learned the differences between the tools, so can assist me adequately in the smithy.  And after a few hours, her whining subsides, which then makes her company improve.  And really, what are a few hours in the life of a Dwarf?"  Gimli chuckled.  "She sleeps a lot as well," he observed.  "No matter, her back is strong and her legs are good.  Thank you, Father, for arranging a helper for me."

The older Dwarf smiled warmly, taking a puff from his pipe.  "Good thing no harm came to her from that perfidious Elf-king.  Now that was an adventure.  Thorin Oakenshield and Bilbo Baggins," he mused, lost in nostalgic recollection.  "No one tells it better than your cousin Balin..." 

Gretel decided she wanted to hear no more of the conversation.  She had heard the stupid tale many times before.  She had even seen that cartoon.  The green door in the hole in the hill.  Gandalf, Bilbo and all the Dwarves: Thorin, Óin, Glóin, Balin, Dwalin, Happy, Sneezy, Sleepy, Grumpy, Dopey, Bashful, Doc.  Blah, blah, blah...  These people desperately needed television.  And indoor plumbing.  Indoor plumbing was a must

Gretel sighed woefully, as was her want, since she was determined to make her life woeful, and sought the outdoors.  She wasn't so stupid as to believe she could make her way back to Mirkwood.  Well she could finally find the place, but she has no clue whatsoever on how to survive alone in the wild.  And what if she didn't run into the Elves, but ran into the spiders instead?  Oh, the thought of those spiders made her skin crawl.  She was sick of Middle-earth.  She wanted out of it all and back in a place where one could turn on the water and bathe five times a day if you wanted to!  She wanted to be back in a place where there were toilets and modern medicine and television and movies and CDs and DVDs and all other sorts of modern conveniences! 

As she emerged from the mountain at a small clearing, she blinked at the sun, as she did each time she made her way to the surface.  In fact, it was generally about twice or three times a day she got to see the sky, sunlit or moonlit.  But it was much more dramatic if she could wallow in thinking she never got to see the sun.  "Why?" she called to the heavens.  "Why am I still here?  I've become Gimli's slave, wasn't that the price?"

Apparently, the Ainur were finally ready to humor her plea, as she had been making the same plea every day since she had arrived in Erebor.  If it were a television show, it would be time for the obligatory flash of memory.  What did happen was an adorable furry creature ambled up before Gretel and sat down.  It was a bear cub to be precise, and it looked at Gretel with the largest, sweetest, most adorable eyes she ever did see on a fuzzy woodland creature.  Unfortunately, as with most young unable to fend for themselves in the wild, Mommie Dearest was right there, and Mommie Dearest was displeased Gretel was so close to her baby.  And Mommie Dearest managed to acquire a wire hangar. 

~*~

Gretel awoke to find a creature of supernatural beauty looking down at her. The creature was humanoid in appearance, fair beyond the measure of men, with pointed ears. She sat up far to fast, causing a dizzy-spell. She held her head and looked around. It looked like triage in an ER, there were so many bodies around. Some were waiting patiently, some were standing, some were sitting on the ground, still unconscious. She had the feeling that she had been here before.

"Welcome to the Halls of Mandos," said the Maia. "Before we sort you out, we're going to need a little information in order to best process you. I need your name, race, and the approximate date upon which you fell."

Gretel groaned, still feeling welts from the wire-hanger-wielding-bear.   "Princess Dirtyfishydishiel of... Screw it," she moaned.  "Gretel Smythe.  I've been trapped with Gimli and the Dwarves, and I want to go home now!"

The Maia nodded, writing on a scroll that appeared out of nowhere. "You again, right," the Maia said, pointing to a suddenly appearing entryway. "Off you go."

As Gretel walked towards the door, she heard the Maia sigh to a companion, "Why can't they ever learn not to pet the wildlife? Welcome to the Halls of Mandos..."

~*~

"Number seven-hundred eighty-six thousand, five-hundred and two?" a voice asked.

Gretel down at the slip of paper in her hands, either by odd coincidence or fate, she had the same number she had had when she was here once before.  In fact, she was also sitting in Annex 87-R which was the same annex she had been waiting in before. "Here," Gretel called.  During the time she was waiting, Gretel had a very nice conversation with a girl about her own age who was claiming to be Elrond's mysterious other daughter by Galadriel.  She was going to get married to Aragorn.  Gretel wished her all the luck in the world.  

"Margaret Mary Smythe?" the Maia asked, looking directly at Gretel.  Gretel nodded in response.  The Maia looked down at a vellum scroll, "You will have not yet achieved the task set you in Alternate Universe number nine-thousand six hundred fifty-eight. Let me remind you that only when you have availed yourself to be the pleasure-slave of one of the fellowship--Gimli to be specific--will you be allowed to return to your own time."

That was what she had blocked out as soon as she realized she was being delivered to Gimli.  Gretel pinched her eyes shut.  She was going to have to be the pleasure-slave of a Dwarf!  The Ainur had a cruel sense of humor to put her to this task when she was an avowed Elf-lover!

Before her, another opening emerged. "Have fun with Gimli!" the Maia called after Gretel as the young woman trudged through.

~*~

"Well there you are!" a gruff voice sounded near Gretel's ear.  "You gave us quite the scare."

Gretel reluctantly opened her eyes, having recognized Gimli's voice.  There didn't appear to be a bear anywhere.  Nor did it appear that there had ever been a bear there in recent memory.  In fact her hanger-welts were gone.  Could it been that she just fell asleep? 

"You shouldn't wander about alone," Gimli continued.  "There are dangerous creatures about."

"Bears," Gretel agreed. 

"Those too," Gimli said.  "Now come inside by the roaring fire," he urged her, helping her to stand.  "The nights are very chill."

Gretel couldn't argue with that statement.  It was getting rather chilly out, especially since the sun had gone down and the moon and stars were out (the ones she woefully refused to acknowledge that she saw on a nightly basis).  She shivered and followed Gimli back inside.  The next question was how would she manage to become Gimli's pleasure-slave so she could just go home?