This is a rewrite of an old fic (which I attempted to complete back in 2004 at the tender age of fourteen). It obviously never got anywhere, as I wasn't skilled enough to pull the voice and plot off, so here we are now, nearly five years later, attempting the same thing. Pretty much, it's meant to be a less-annoying Mary Sue with no happy ending, and the Sue will actually learn something that doesn't involve how great Legolas is in bed. And, of course, there aren't any superpowers, singing of Avril Lavigne songs, annoying dialogue, questionable romances (like Legolas and an emo teenager... ew!) or anything like that you'd find in your average Sue story. Basically, I wanted to write a Mary Sue fic that's actually enjoyable and slightly believable at the same time.

Please review. I very much like criticism and am open to it. In any case, I'll have the next chapter up within a few months. I'm rather busy with university and all. :/


I, Nicola Jane Hody, had issues.

I don't mean this in the sense that I was raped so many times that I was on the verge of killing myself, or that I was a paranoid schizophrenic hiding in Grandpa Olmstead's basement from the Croatian government. No, nothing like that. I was a Lord of the Rings fangirl. Was, I should repeat.

This would have been, in the confusing world of secondary school, absolutely offensive for a girl of my social stature, had anyone known. I was already considered weird. I'm English by birth, and the hint of my native accent that remained was enough to set me apart, if only in speech, from my American classmates. Okay, so I wasn't the most popular girl at school anyways. In fact, I was far from it, but you know how it goes when you're sixteen and desperate for attention. You dress up in the sluttiest clothes your father's money can buy, relentlessly flaunt the latest electronics like medals of honour, and show up to parties you weren't even invited to in hopes of getting noticed or, better yet, getting laid.

That was me. Anna, Caitlin, Ashleigh and I thrived in the limelight our sluttiness and constant bickering about unimportant affairs brought. We were cool – well, accepted – as normal girls. If anyone found out that I came home from school only to stare, with the usual vapid gaze of teenagers and drugged cattle, at a film portraying hairy-footed midgets, I would have been terrorised by the entire population of Bishop Hayes College. Bishop Hayes College was a highly stereotypical place— you know, the private Catholic school your parents will waste half their salary on, yet you won't actually learn anything other than how to discreetly fornicate with boys in the faculty restrooms during lunch hour and that Jesus does, in fact, love you, even if you do fornicate with boys in the faculty restrooms during lunch hour. My reputation would have flickered and died, except that it wouldn't have flickered but exploded, Big Bang style, right in my own face.

I wasn't that much of a freak for Lord of the Rings— no, really. I did watch at least one of the films two or three times a week, and although I knew that some stuffy English guy wrote the book ages ago, I never did care to read it. I mean, why would I waste my time with long-winded descriptions of every last tree in the Shire when I could be sitting on my canopy bed, a bowl of popcorn in my lap, pausing the film whenever His Elven Hotness came on the screen? It was love, love at first sight, if only when it came to Orlando Bloom. I did care about the plot, sort of, as nerdy as it was, but Orlando Bloom was where it was at. But I'm saying this as if I had a disease, which I did not, although Mr. Bloom's loveliness was, in those reckless days, about as infectious as AIDS, albeit only a little harmless if shared with no one but my friends. I thought so, at least.

I – you may gasp in horror now, if you please – even read fanfiction. I never touched any of that stupid humourous crap or the action fics in which everyone gets hurt and miraculously recovers; I never read anything but those equally stupid stories about girls who ended up in Middle Earth after they were sucked into the world via their televisions or something. In a way, it was just a manner in which I could live another life, a fantasy, beyond my usual "wake up, have Mum nag me, Bishop Hayes, café with Caitlin and Ash, read fanfic and pretend to do homework, shower, go to bed, repeat" routine. That's what all those fictional girls wanted and never got because they were just projections of their authors, but I did. And, as far as I can tell, it's all been real.

How did I wind up in my current predicament, you ask? Well, it'll be quite the story (one that I would be afraid to tell the grandkids someday, if I am fortunate to get married and laid and, not so fortunately, pregnant). I will not tell the grandkids, but you, whoever you are, can have the pleasure of reading this account, in full and utterly truthful. It is a well-known secret, at least in Ithilien, how I came to live in Middle Earth, although I have told the tale only in its sanitised form and only to the people mad enough to befriend me. I promise to be honest this time around, but do know that I am all of the following: one, fond of exaggerating for the sake of a story; two, a potty mouth; three, long-winded and generally irritating in other ways; and four, not at all used to writing testimonials, accounts, whatever the king said this was to be.

Anyway, it was all my mother's fault. In the autumn of 2004, she suggested that I visit my grandfather. Despite how that may sound, it wasn't a routine request, much less a request at all; it was more like an order, demanded of me only so that she didn't have to do the inevitable. Grandpa Olmstead was, unlike me, actually a paranoid schizophrenic who believed the Croatian government was after him for no reason at all. Upon his retirement, when he started getting even crazier, he sold his mansion in Taunton and bought, under an assumed name, a tiny piece of land near a provincial town in Brazil's Amazonian jungle, where he'd been holed up for Eru knew how long. I'd only met him once, the year before he went into hiding, but I was too young to remember much about him other than that he smelled like pastries and had a moustache that put Friedrich Nietzsche's to shame.

My mother, Grandpa Olmstead's only child, never liked him for rather obvious reasons, but apparently he had written to her to inform her that he had cancer and the news had made her a wee bit concerned. My mother, anal-retentive as she was (and most likely still is), suddenly became obsessed with her family, with saying goodbye even though I don't think she actually wanted to do so in the least bit. So she showed up in my bedroom for the usual, "have you done your maths homework yet you're going to fail and you're pathetic rahhh!!" speech one day in November, except no nagging about my maths homework escaped her lips. A request to visit Grandpa in her stead, however, did. I flatly refused.

"Honey, you know James is in Berlin for his internship, and Sylvie's busy with the twins. Who else will visit him?" she sighed, ignorant of the possibility that she could visit and just leave me out of it.

That's the great thing about growing up, I guess: you have responsibilities and aren't nagged too much. Granted, I never particularly wanted any other than going to university in London so I could drink wine from a flask at bus stations and, at parties, pretend that I was artsy and successful to equally pompous strangers. And I suppose being Orlando Bloom's love slave wasn't that much of a responsibility, so that probably didn't count anyways. Sylvie, my only sister, was thirty-one, had graduated from Harvard with honours, and had recently married some Scottish bloke called Andrew. Andrew's father was insanely rich and titled or something, and that meant money, a nice house (several, actually, all old and stone-made with rosebush gardens), and private jets, boats, limousines, you name it. Her daughters, Georgia-Kate and Gemma-Leigh, were a couple months old and apparently they were so cute and perfect. Sylvie and her family scored much higher marks in A-level pretentiousness than I ever will, and my brother James wasn't that far behind. At the time of my disappearance, James was twenty-six, interning at some expensive-sounding pharmaceutical company in Germany, and engaged to a Swiss model. As for me, the youngest and most average of my parents' brilliant children, I was stuck in New York until I could escape my mother and her pestering wrath.

"Why can't Sylvie go, too? She can leave the brats for a few days!" I had whined.

"Nicola, it won't kill you."

"Grandpa might. I could be Gordan Jandroković!"

She sighed, crossing her arms over her sagging chest. "Nicola, listen to me. Your grandfather is dying."

"Yeah, I know. Pancreatic cancer. Not much of a loss, if you ask me."

I never should have said that, much less stayed around to hear my mum's desperately bitchy pleas. The next thing I knew, I was literally dragged on a plane from New York to Glasgow. I was to visit Sylvie and Andrew for a week, and then Andrew would have one of his personal pilots fly me to some shack in Brazil. The wee holiday was about as fun as it sounds.

Sylvie and her place were miserable. So was I, with the posh airs, lack of anything remotely interesting to do, and the constant wailing of colicky twins. I never, ever wanted to be a housewife, much less a mother. I told Sylvie that one day over tea and she laughed, saying that I'd grow out of my aversion for the same life she chose. Honestly, my plans were to sip martinis on a beach with Orlando Bloom. And shag him all day long. And maybe get a cat and a second home in California or something like that. And I'd dye the cat, a Persian, bright pink and tie neon shiny ribbons around its neck and name it Lesbia Pancakes. And I'd be a movie star. And I'd have Taco Bell crunchwraps, no tomato, served to me in bed on silver platters by an old butler named Hawkins who wears his pleated black trousers too high and likes to play obnoxious card games with the maids. I failed to achieve this, needless to say, but it's quite all right now.

The only good things that came out of my visit with Sylvie were the £100 in cash from her husband, having a chance to read at least a little bit of Tolkien, and the aforementioned plane to Brazil. But that probably wasn't a good thing. I still haven't decided whether or not it was, even though this all happened seven years ago.

The pilot and I were flying over the Caribbean to Mexico, where he would have stopped for fuel. We never made it to Mexico. Earlier in the day I had joked that our route would take us over the notorious Bermuda Triangle, and therefore we'd both be shark food, but he laughed along and bet me five quid that it wouldn't happen because in all his years as a pilot, nothing ever did. He owes me five quid, but he's dead now and the money is useless in Ithilien. I don't know where we were when it happened, but it was probably somewhere in that infamous death zone; all of a sudden, the plane shook violently and the controls all died. And then, as quickly as it began, the plane gave a final shudder and began its descent into the Caribbean. The pilot reached for a walkie-talkie a metre or two away, but by then the plane had gathered so much velocity that the air was ripping it apart. Half of the door struck him in the face and he went limp over the dashboard.

I was buckled in. I don't know how I managed to get out of my seat, but I did, and found myself on the lower side of the titled jet, and then hanging for dear life to some metal rods that had been a step. I let go not long before it hit the water, but it dragged me under. That's it. That's how I lived, even if I really died. I never found out why it happened, where I really am, or if I'm actually alive and not just dreaming absurd things about Middle Earth from the bottom of the Caribbean.

Honestly, I don't need to know. Some things are best left as mysteries. Of course, my story cannot remain so, since I've already begun to tell it and I have a proper reason for doing so… but that in and of itself is an entirely different story I cannot tell until you know the first one. I swear I'll write the whole thing, but first I would like cake. Gimli's cake. Hallelujah for cake.

I don't know how to formally sign testimonies like this or if you do at all,
Nicola Hody