Looking for Work
Disclaimer: I own nothing pertaining to The Lord of the Rings.
Author's Note (Nov. 2nd, 2006): One of the dangers of writing parodies poking fun at fanfiction trends is that fanfiction trends tend to change. This humble fanfic was written more than two years ago, when certain secondary characters hardly appeared in anything. Though this parody might be considered outdated, I hope you enjoy it.
An Elf trudged down a busy city street, suitcase in hand. The sights along said street were not unusual: lots of trees in unexpected places, butterflies everywhere, nice sparkly things in shop windows, and absolutely no cars. These things were not unusual because the city was an Elven one. The street was busy because any street in an Elven city is considered busy if it has more than four people on it. Most of the people on this particular street were hyperactive tourists, which was rather nerve-wracking for anyone with sensitive tastes.
Our hero dodged a dodgy lady who was watching him with curious eyes. He evaded the grasp of two rambunctious females. (One had to be so careful of women nowadays, especially if one was a handsome unmarried male Elf.) He stumbled through the lanes and back alleys.
Soon he found himself in the Mirkwood Sector. The Mirkwood Sector had a dubious reputation. It was dark. It was gloomy. It was filled with strange people. Lots of girls, for example.
The Elf finally located the familiar Mirkwood Mansion. He hurried up the driveway to the front doors and pounded on them.
They slowly creaked open. Another Elf peered out.
"Lindir! What are you doing here?" he demanded. "Come in at once, before the FG realize the doors are open."
"Fangirls," the other Elf hissed. "If they hear you talking about them, they might launch an attack."
Lindir scampered inside and placed the suitcase on the floor. "Are you really under a state of siege, like the newspapers said?" he asked with interest. "Anyway, you know why I'm here. Why are you here?"
The Elf gave him a bitter smile. "I presume I am here for the same reason you are here."
"That's good. I'm not sure why I'm here, actually."
The Elf sighed, frowned at Lindir, and said, "Maybe you should come upstairs with me."
Lindir followed the other Elf up the stairs, admiring the beautiful paintings and expensive wall hangings that decorated the mansion. "This place is amazing!" he said. "How much do you think it cost to buy all of this?"
"A lot," said the Elf shortly. He reached the top of the stairs and pointed to a door. "Just go in there."
"Um... thanks," said Lindir, suddenly timorous. He tiptoed to the door and opened it a crack.
His first impression of the room was that it was packed full of people. He saw Men, a Dwarf, several Hobbits, and a number of the Fairer Race. Sitting in the center of the room was a tall, handsome, utterly famous Elf: Prince Legolas. He had a bundle of papers beside him, and was picking through them.
"Another job offer," he said, skimming over the details with a practiced eye. "The story's about a Mary-Sue punk with a dirty mouth, and the author wants to know if I'll play the charming, light-hearted and fairly stupid Elf-Prince who woos her. Nope. That doesn't sound too appealing." He tossed the paper into the wastebasket.
Lindir spotted the King Elessar, who was smoking in a corner. He saw Lord Elrond. He saw Glorfindel. He saw Boromir. He saw Gimli, Merry, and... was that Halbarad? He slipped inside and found a seat.
Legolas had opened the next letter. "Another Mary-Sue. She's a kitchen maid, and I am to the be the arrogant, handsome Elf-Prince who defies my evil and drunken father in order to marry her. What do you think, Dad? Does it sound reasonable?"
Thranduil shook his head. "No. In my opinion, you have already done too many of those 'evil and drunken father' ones."
"Boromir, could you use this plot?" Legolas asked.
Boromir nodded. "I don't get enough romances, and Father wasn't all that pleasant anyway. I hardly mind trashing his reputation."
"The author will never mistake you for Legolas," Glorfindel said. "You have a beard. And she'd have to set the story in Gondor, which might confuse her."
Legolas grinned. "Weirder things have happened."
"Yeah," muttered Aragorn. "Like masochist Pippin."
Pippin scowled. "I was desperate, and she paid well."
Legolas tossed Boromir the contract. "Here you go. No problem."
"Thanks," Boromir said. He left the room.
"Hello, Lindir," Legolas said cheerfully. "I didn't see you come in. How are you?"
"I'm all right," Lindir said, "but I need work. Hardly anyone knows I exist. The people who do know I exist always make me act stupid in their stories!" he added with a wail.
"I'll find you something," said Legolas. "What sort of stories do you prefer? Humor? Romance? Action/adventure? Hurt/comfort? Pain/suffering?"
Lindir's eyes crossed as he pondered the possibilities. "Humor, maybe?"
"I don't get many humor offers," Legolas said. "Anyone willing to lend Lindir one?"
Glorfindel opened a manila file and rooted through it. "I've got more humor stories than I can handle," he said, chuckling. "I've been begging Legolas for an action/adventure lately. How's this plot?"
Lindir scanned it. "Incident involving Elladan and Elrohir results in being tied to a tree for archery practice. I can see why you don't want this plot... but the pay is good."
"You can have it," Glorfindel said, with a gracious wave of his hand.
"I suppose Elladan and Elrohir have agreed to do this?" Lindir asked. He had visions of himself falling victim to a sudden change in casting, and being accidentally tortured by Orcs instead.
"Yes," said Elrohir, entering the room with a cart. He began pouring tea for everyone. "Elladan and I are always... mischievous. Or Legolas's sidekicks. Or Aragorn's obnoxious older brothers. Personally, I want to be in a tragedy someday."
Aragorn grinned. "Funny how mature you two make me look. I'm thankful for the people who think all twins are crazy."
"Oh, really?" Elrohir raised his eyebrows. "How come you keep on getting those 'poor innocent suffering little mortal child gets clobbered by evil Elven children' plots?"
"I don't know," Aragorn said. "Perhaps because I'm so cute when I'm sad and miserable?"
"Don't forget tortured, feverish and bleeding," Legolas said, rummaging through his papers. "So many writers seem to find you attractive when you're in pain."
"I'm glad people don't torture me a lot," Merry said, "though I admit I sometimes feel left out. People think Pippin's cute because he has a Scottish accent (whatever that is) and gets into trouble. They think Sam is heroic, and I suppose he is. For some reason, they think Frodo has huge blue eyes. But me? I'm just the– the– the brotherly, stupid Hobbit who helps people out. May I remind you all that I'm smart? I was the one who knew Frodo had a ring in the first place!"
Lindir patted Merry on the back. The Hobbit whimpered.
"Of course," Elrond said. "We must be thankful that we can find work sometimes, even if it is often distasteful. But some of us never get plots!"
"Like Galion," Thranduil said. "He has been in perhaps three stories -- brief, thankless roles with low pay. I was kind enough to find him work in a winery."
"And Erestor," said Legolas. "He practically lives here now. I keep on promising to find him a story, but few people make offers."
"We must not forget," said Gimli, "that some of us are always villains. We Dwarves survive by taking the parts of evil and demented villains, especially in Mary-Sues."
"Think of King Thranduil," said Halbarad in a hushed tone, nodding to the Elvenking. "He is the most abused character of us all. I may be a ranger who manages to sneak into a few Legolas and Aragorn friendship fics, but when the King of Mirkwood appears, it's mainly just to whack his son on the head."
The people in the room murmured their condolences.
Legolas produced a new paper. "Aha!" he said. "Which of you wanted an angsty part?"
At least four in the room lunged for the contract in Legolas's hand. The Elf-Prince shook his head. "I'm sorry," he said. "Only one of you will get it."
Elrohir frowned, twiddled his thumbs, and suggested, "How about we draw straws?"
Aragorn, Glorfindel, Halbarad, Elrohir, and Faramir drew straws. Glorfindel won. "Hooray!" he said happily, unfolding the paper and reading the contents. "I've finally got something angsty! I don't think I get to be sad enough."
"What does it say?" Lindir asked, filled with curiosity.
"Two words," said Glorfindel, beaming with delight. "Memory loss."
"That'll be a bundle of laughs," Elrohir said, annoyed because he would not be getting his tragedy.
Legolas read out a new plot. "This girl wants me to... umm... get hurt a lot. Captured by Orcs, in fact. Anyone want it? Anyone desperate?"
Everyone looked around.
"What annoys me," Legolas said conversationally, "is that we all have to stick to form. Glorfindel has to be funny, the twins have to be mischievous, I have to suffer, Dad has to be evil."
"I agree. It's partially our fault," Faramir said. "We find a genre that we're comfortable with, and then we're afraid to venture into other plots."
"Why don't we put all these papers in the middle of the room, and each take one?" Lord Elrond said. "Then we'll keep the plot we get."
"Sounds good," Merry said.
A few minutes later, each of Legolas's contracts had been distributed. Pippin was now going to try to take over Middle-Earth as the new Dark Lord. Merry was going to fall in love with an Assassin Sue. Thranduil was going to get captured by Orcs. Lindir was going to catch a cold. Legolas was going to get drunk. Glorfindel was going to star in a Harry Potter crossover. Halbarad was going to die. Aragorn was going to a slumber party. Elrohir was going to–
"Tease my little brother!" he cried. "How original! I'll never get to be in a tragedy!"
"You're stuck with it," said Gimli, who was going to be Legolas's abusive father. He was still trying to figure out how such a plot would work, but the author would be the one to write it, not him.
Lord Elrond's plot involved insanity, but he wasn't worried. "It makes a nice change from bandaging Aragorn and Legolas up," he confessed, holding his piece of paper reverently.
"We should give this one to Galion," said Thranduil, holding up the last plot.
At that moment, Erestor flung open the door. "I need a story!" he announced angrily. "I've been lurking around this Mansion for weeks, letting in visitors, making an inventory of the silverware, answering the telephone! Can't I have a story, please?"
"All right," said Legolas, handing the Elf the last paper. "We'll find one for Galion eventually."
Erestor unfolded the contract and read it. He stared at it in surprise. "That's strange," he muttered.
"What?" asked Lindir, in an agony of suspense.
Erestor read out the final plot. "Book characters meet in Legolas's house to borrow story contracts from him. Lindir gets a humorous plot in which he does not act stupid. Erestor finally gets his own role (as moody and resentful doorkeeper), and the story ends."
Many eyes widened.
"I guess it's the end then," Legolas said, folding his papers.
And lo and behold... it was.