A/N: A small thingumy. I think Pippin's dad has been telling him some scary stories.

Nightmare

Pippin was stranded, he didn't know where he was, why he was there or who was there with him. He'd been sitting in an apple tree (or was it a cherry?) only moments earlier. Had he fallen out of the tree? Perhaps, but that still left his current surroundings unexplained.

He was stood on muddy ground, churned from the movement of many feet. Somehow, without looking, Pippin knew that rain wasn't the cause of the mud. He looked about him and saw only the frantic movements of the big folk that surrounded him. He couldn't yet see what they were doing, it was so dark here, it was supposed to be summer! The clouds in the sky were black and ominous shadows moved beneath them. The screams were what brought Pippin's gaze back downwards. His eyes were now accustomed to the dark and he could see. He wished he could not.

The big folk were fighting and Pippin was surrounded by the results. Bodies and body parts were lying all around him and glassy eyes stared at him from all directions. Over his feet ran a river of blood. These big folk were all wearing the same uniform made of black metal, a far cry from the colourful wools Pippin knew. What was he doing in the middle of a battle anyway? He was only five!

Pippin tried to run. He tried to get as far away from this mess as he could. He tried to get back to his tree in the Shire where he could eat in peace. But he couldn't

His feet were stuck. No, they were more than stuck, they were being pulled down. Unseen hands had hold of his ankles and were dragging him down into the mud. Pippin thrashed wildly but the hands continued unhindered.

The mud closed in around Pippin's chest. He tried to claw his way out, he grabbed the nearest thing to him and pulled. The arm (for that was what he had grabbed) gave him no anchorage as it was just that; an arm, there was not body attached. Pippin dropped it and finally let out a scream, the largest one he could muster for anyone to help him. No one came.

Pippin's head was finally engulfed in the mud and he sank into the cold darkness.

Pippin opened his eyes. It was still dark, but much warmer. He was still engulfed, but in bedclothes. He slowly sat up, clutching the blankets so hard his knuckles were white. His eyes swivelled in all directions but could only see what the dying embers of the fire would show him. Pippin shuffled backwards so his back pressed against the headboard and he whimpered. He wanted he knew and loved to comfort him, he wanted his mother.

Unfortunately, finding his mother meant leaving the safety of his bed. Who knew what was waiting out in the dark for him? All the shadows (of which there were many) now seemed to hold a perilous monster or ghostly apparition waiting to whisk him away, back to his nightmare. He jumped when, in the corner of his eye, he saw an arm lying on the floor only to find it was a discarded shirt.

He sat in his bed a little longer, becoming more and more paranoid until he was imagining the movement of his own feet to be the movement of unspeakable monsters. At last he decided that he had to run for it before something burst out of the wardrobe and gobbled up the bed along with him. He took a deep breath and stared at the door. He counted to three in his head and then leapt from his bed, ran to the door and frantically pulled it open. Once into the dark corridor, he sped along to his parents' bedroom, all the time expecting something to leap out and grab him. He barely paused to open the door before he covered the final distance to the bed and dove into safety.

"What was that?" cried Eglantine, having been awoken from her sleep by a bundle of shivering hobbit shooting under her blankets.

"I had a nightmare," said Pippin, though his head hadn't yet emerged.

"My poor lad," said Eglantine and she extracted Pippin from beneath the bedclothes and gave him a tight hug. Pippin clung to his mother for quite some time trying to get the lasting images out of his head

"Are you ready to go back to bed yet?" Pippin shook his head and buried his face in his mother's might gown. "Try to think of happy things, Pippin dear, like sunshine and flowers and puppies,"

"Do you mean like Frodo, Bilbo and Merry and Sam?" Pippin peered out from his hiding place. Eglantine thought for a moment.

"Yes, I could mean that. What have you done together then?" Eglantine took her chance, while Pippin was distracted, to carry his back to his own bed, leaving Paladin completely undisturbed.

"Well, once, the big, evil Bilbo-monster came and he said he was going to eat us all and he chased us everywhere. Then he trapped us in the sitting room and we couldn't get out so we had to fight him, except we didn't know how so we all just jumped on him and he fell over. We were going to run away but he got my arm and he was going to bite it off but Frodo started tickling him and that was fun," Pippin yawned as his mother tucked him back into bed. "He wasn't evil Bilbo-monster after that, he was nice, normal Bilbo and he went… and brought us lots of… fruit and bis-cuits… and… and then… we…" Eglantine smiled down at her son and kissed him on the forehead.

"Sweet dreams."