Trapped in an Elevator
Disclaimer: I own nothing pertaining to Lord of the Rings.
I love being a security guard. I see new things every day. I fondly remember the time I caught Pippin attempting to pick a safe with an earring. He didn't get in trouble, mainly because no one took him seriously. Then there was the time when King Elessar got his nose stuck in the revolving door. And the time when someone put super glue on the floor and a Dwarf called Gloin got fastened there for three and a half hours.
Today I am doomed to watch security cameras, which is generally rather boring. So I'm writing in my journal. My journal is generally rather boring as well. That's why no one ever reads it.
Well, something has just happened. Elevator C is jammed. Glorfindel has gone off to see if anyone is stuck in there.
"Stop pressing all the buttons," commanded Thranduil.
Merry glared at him. "I think we're stuck in here."
"What?" asked Thranduil.
"If I may make a suggestion?" began Gimli politely.
"The air!" cried Beregond. "We'll run out of air! We'll die!"
"No one dies in elevators," said Thranduil.
"No one has died in an elevator yet," said Merry. "Maybe we'll be the first."
The four looked around. Thranduil was leaning against one wall. Gimli was holding a suitcase. Merry was smoking a pipe, despite the fact that he wasn't meant to. Beregond was hyperventilating in a corner.
Thranduil's cell-phone rang. He pulled it out. "Yes?" he asked shortly.
"Hello, this is Glorfindel," said someone brightly. "I'm the head security guard. Are you stuck in an elevator?"
"Yes," said Thranduil.
"We're going to die!" shrieked Beregond.
"What was that?" asked Glorfindel.
"Nothing," said Thranduil.
"Anyway," continued the security guard, "are you the only one there?"
"No," said Thranduil, wishing he was. "Beregond, Merry, and a Dwarf are in here as well."
"Hmm," said Glorfindel. "I'll ask Erestor for an estimate of how long you can be in an elevator before you pass out from lack of air."
"Lack of air?" shrieked Beregond.
"Stop shrieking!" yelled Thranduil.
On the other side of the telephone, Glorfindel winced.
Glorfindel just asked me how long those four have to stay conscious. I have explained to him that Elves and Dwarves can breathe quite well in thin air, but Humans and Hobbits take far deeper breaths. And after a few quick calculations I have discovered that they have nine hours. Approximately. This should be extremely interesting.
"Erestor says you have nine hours," said Glorfindel.
"What?" demanded Thranduil. "Could we actually be stranded here for nine whole hours?"
"I hope not," said Glorfindel. "But in similar cases, it's taken a long, long time to get people out of these things."
Merry kept on smoking. Gimli pulled out a file and began leafing through it. Beregond sat down on the floor, steadied his breathing, and attempted to find a happy place. Thranduil stared at the cell-phone disbelievingly.
I mean, here we have an Elf and a Dwarf, stranded in an elevator for hours while people attempt to get them out! What could be more entertaining? And as luck would have it, I am sitting here in front of the computer screen for the security camera, watching the whole thing! I bet that in two hours Thranduil will have punched Gimli, and Gimli will have stomped on Thranduil's foot.
At the moment, Thranduil is still talking to Glorfindel on his cell-phone, and Glorfindel is trying to calm him down. Thranduil is notoriously short tempered. He is not pleased to be trapped in an elevator.
As for Beregond, he's obviously going to pass out a lot sooner than the others. He's having trouble handling these trying circumstances.
Gimli is doing some sort of paperwork. Merry is smoking.
Wait. Merry is smoking?
"Erestor told me to tell you to tell Merry not to smoke anymore," said Glorfindel.
"Huh?" asked Thranduil.
"Just stop Merry from smoking! He's using up your oxygen!"
Thranduil turned on Merry. "Quit smoking! You'll kill us!"
Merry quickly took the pipe out of his mouth. He hid it behind his back and smiled charmingly. Thranduil was not charmed. At all. He growled.
As of yet, Thranduil and Gimli have been acting quite civilized. I'm disappointed. I wanted some action. Merry is drawing pictures on the wall with a permanent marker and Beregond is still sitting on the floor taking deep breaths. He's using up a lot of oxygen. Thranduil has been talking to/yelling at Glorfindel for the last half-hour. Glorfindel is trying to get a security crew to save the four of them, but nobody knows what to do. They haven't had many cases like this one.
Eventually Thranduil ended his call. Glorfindel was getting repetitive. He had thus far only been able to 'reassure' Thranduil again and again. According to Glorfindel, nobody died in accidents like this one, no one ever passed out, no one was stuck for more than ten hours.
Thranduil looked at the pictures that Merry was drawing. "How did you get a permanent marker?" he asked curiously.
"I have all sorts of things," said the Hobbit. "I'm always prepared."
Prepared for what?
Thranduil's cell-phone rang again. Why was he being tortured like this?
"Are you all right? I heard that you were trapped in an elevator! All of Mirkwood is in an uproar! A lot of your subjects believe that this is a plot to assassinate you!"
This was not the sort of thing that the King needed to hear at the moment. "Tell them that I'm all alive and well. I'm just annoyed."
"All right," said Legolas.
Legolas was sitting in his father's office, spinning back and forth on his father's swivel chair. He picked up a pencil and twirled it, the whole time smiling charmingly at the camera-Elves who were filming the historic event. How exciting it was to be in the limelight! Every Elf in Mirkwood was anxious. Many conspiracy theories were circulating. And their prince was on the job, telephoning his father on national TV to make sure the poor King was still breathing.
"Do you have any message you would like me to deliver to your subjects?" asked Legolas innocently.
"Tell them not to do anything rash," said Thranduil. He wracked his brain for something that would move and inspire his people. He couldn't think of anything. Maybe he really was running out of oxygen.
"I'll do that," said Legolas. There was a pause as he did it. "Anything else?"
"Yes," said Thranduil, quite decisively. "Get some lawyers on the job. I want the elevator company sued."
Legolas grinned at the very Thranduil-like order. He made a memo on his father's royal computer. He waved the camera-Elves out of the room. "You can interview me later," he said.
I can't believe it! Thranduil has been in an elevator with a Dwarf for fifty-one minutes and no one is dead yet. He's talked on the telephone the whole time.
Thranduil's bodyguards are going berserk. Glorfindel's had trouble keeping them calm. They're sure that we're trying to kill their beloved king. Why would we do something like that? I explained to the poor idiots that if we wanted to kill Thranduil, we would have poisoned his coffee or something. This announcement made them rather upset. They seemed to think that I was making a threat. I am now in protective custody. With my security camera.
Glorfindel says I have a big mouth.
Thranduil was playing a cool little game on his cell-phone when it rang again. He sighed. "Hello?" he said.
"Hello. This is King Elessar speaking," said King Elessar.
"Really?" snarled Thranduil, who was not feeling diplomatic.
"I have telephoned to express my condolences."
"Condolences? Who died?"
"No one," said Elessar hurriedly. "I only meant that. . ."
"I don't care what you meant!" snapped the Elvenking. "I've been stuck in here for an hour! I'm going crazy! Good-bye!"
Legolas was watching the news, waiting for the moment when he would appear in all his glory. The short clip of him telephoning his father was being played constantly, but he never got tired of it.
"We interrupt this program for an important message," said the newscaster.
Legolas sat up.
"According to an unnamed source, King Thranduil is slowly going insane," announced the newscaster.
"He always was insane," muttered Legolas to himself.
"If he is not saved within two hours, he may not be fit to rule the kingdom upon his return," the Elf continued.
"Cool," thought Legolas.
It was exactly an hour since Thranduil had innocently stepped into the elevator, unwittingly going to his doom. He sat on the floor, watching as Merry and Beregond played tick-tack-toe on the second wall. The first wall was already covered with drawings.
"What are you working on?" he asked the Dwarf.
Gimli looked up. He had been editing an important document for the past hour. Dwarves are very good at handling closed spaces and long periods of inactivity. "I've been editing an important document," he said.
"What's it about?" asked Thranduil. He was bored stiff.
Gimli looked at the document. It was called 'Wood Elves and the Great Debate'. Gimli thought that probably Thranduil would not like to hear about the Great Debate, as it was not very complimentary towards Elves in general, and Mirkwood Elves in particular. He scratched out the title and said, "It's a report on the cave-ins that took place this year."
"Oh," said Thranduil, trying to make polite conversation. "Cave-ins must be unpleasant."
Gimli nodded. It seemed obvious to him.
"Have you ever been in a cave-in?" asked Thranduil rather distantly. He pulled out his cell-phone and changed the ring tone. He was getting sick of 'Tropical Melody' so he switched it to 'Mirkwood Rock'.
"Once or twice," said Gimli. He adjusted the wording on line two of page eleven to read, 'Mirkwood Elves especially have been known to suffer from several serious emotional disorders, but this does not necessarily mean that they are crazy. Dwarven experts prefer to call them "maladjusted".'
Today I made my first appearance on TV. It was not intentional. In fact, I didn't quite appear. Some Gondorian reporter announced that an Elf who worked for Lord Elrond had confessed to a plot involving Thranduil, coffee, and a lot of poison. There was a photograph of me as well, a particularly unflattering one that Glorfindel took after I fell into a bush. Actually, I think it's the only photograph of me in existence. Thank goodness.
Since then, I have been called an anarchist, a traitor, and a terrorist. I've probably lost my job. However, I'm handling it very well.
I can't believe that Thranduil got himself, and me, into this mess. I'm not a traitor! I'm an Noldo! The Noldor aren't traitors! Anyone will tell you that! One innocent little remark and they all jump on your head! It's not fair!
Take a deep breath, Erestor.
Anyway, I still have the security camera. If Thranduil does something ridiculous, I'll take the film and sell it on the Black Market. And then I'll be able to afford a ticket for Valinor, where no one will have heard of me or my little 'confession'.
I read this entry over, and have decided that I am one very bitter Elf.
Thranduil glanced at Gimli's report. It looked rather interesting. Of course, anything would have looked interesting after an hour and thirty- five minutes in an elevator. Cave-ins couldn't be too boring.
He looked at Merry, who was working on the third wall. Beregond was lying listlessly in a corner. He tipped his head to the side and stared at the page that was closest to him.
'Mirkwood Elves grow up in a dark and oppressive environment, and find it hard to accept change in their lives. This has led experts to believe that this is the reason they rarely make friends. This has much to do with the subject of the Great Debate: Do Wood Elves have a purpose?'
Thranduil's eyes opened very wide.
Legolas was rummaging through his father's supply cabinet. He'd found a few interesting things so far.
"Oh, how sweet," thought Legolas to himself, pulling a little child's spinning top out of a drawer. It was made out of a solid emerald. "I remember this. He accidently dropped it on my head, and then felt so guilty he gave it to me. I had hours of fun playing with it! When I recovered consciousness."
He spun it on the desk, and the telephone rang. He picked it up. "Prince Legolas speaking."
"Hello, this is Erestor," said a voice. "It might interest you to know that your father is in the process of killing a Dwarf."
"Valar! Not really?" gasped Legolas, sitting down on the swivel chair.
"Yes, really," said Erestor. "He just punched him."
"Oh," said Legolas. "The Dwarf probably deserved it."
"The Dwarf just stomped on his Highness's foot," added the advisor.
"How interesting," said Legolas. "How do you know this?"
"I have the security camera," said Erestor.
"How interesting," said Legolas again.
I have made arrangements with Prince Legolas. He's going to buy the security camera footage and I'm going to Valinor. I've never had a lot of money. Prince Legolas is rich. And I thought that he might like to have the film, just so that he could keep it 'in the family'.
Of course, there's the chance that he's buying it so that he can blackmail his father, but by the time they figure out that I'm the one who sold him it, I'll be long gone.
I should be a criminal. It's so much fun.
I guess I am a criminal.
Eventually Beregond and Merry managed to separate Gimli and Thranduil. Gimli had a black eye. Thranduil had a limp.
"What do you mean by this?" demanded Thranduil, waving a sheaf of papers.
Gimli winced. "For years Dwarves have been debating on this topic. I was just editing a paper about it."
Thranduil's cell-phone rang. "What is it?" he yelled.
"Umm. . .Father," said Legolas timidly, "are you really killing a Dwarf?"
Thranduil glanced at Gimli. "Not quite. He's still alive."
"I just bought a security video from an Elf called Erestor. Apparently it's got footage on it of you clobbering a Dwarf."
"What?" cried Thranduil. "Why did you buy it?"
"Well. . ." Legolas said slowly, ". . .what do you want me to do with it?"
"Burn it," said Thranduil.
The elevator crisis is over! After two hours of hard work, Glorfindel finally managed to remove King Thranduil, Gimli, Merry, and Beregond. I watched the whole thing on the news.
This will go down in history, I'm sure.
I'm still in protective custody, but it's not too bad. I've been writing in my journal, watching TV, and keeping my eye on the security camera.
And I was right! Within two hours, Thranduil punched Gimli, and Gimli stomped on his foot. I saw him limping when they came out. I should have made a bet with Glorfindel.
Legolas just telephoned. Apparently I'm in trouble. Thranduil is furious. His bodyguards are furious. Everyone thinks I'm an anarchist.
It's time to disappear.
Thranduil had his feet propped up on a cushion. Legolas was on the telephone.
"He got away," said the prince gloomily.
"Did you send him the money beforehand?" asked Thranduil tiredly.
"Yes." Legolas nodded.
"And I suppose he has the footage of me punching a poor defenseless Dwarf?"
"No. He left it in the office."
Thranduil grinned. "A happy ending! I'm out of the elevator, you aren't king of Mirkwood, Gimli knows for sure that Wood Elves are mentally unstable, no one knows I punched the Dwarf, and Erestor is in Valinor."
Legolas nodded again. "I sort of enjoyed taking charge of the kingdom," he said dreamily.
Thranduil glanced at him sharply. "What?"
It turns out that I won't have to go to Valinor. Elrond didn't fire me, despite the fact that half of Middle-Earth thinks I'm a dangerous criminal/assassin. So I'm going to stay in Imladris for a while, watching the security camera there.
Fortunately, I can write in my diary at the same time.
Wait. Something just happened. Glorfindel accidently set his hair on fire!
I love being a security guard.
TO BE CONTINUED