THE TALE OF ADELAIDE

DISCLAIMER: I own nobody and nothing except Adelaide and her family. To Mr. Tolkien, I doff my cap and hail him as a master who teaches us all to see deeper and understand not through the lessons of a text-book, but the stories.

After giving some considerable thought, I decided to edit and rework my Tales of Adelaide and make a few tweaks and corrections. I don't feel that I achieved the right style with the story the first time around. I wanted to deepen my character, expand on the content a little more, and bring the story to a fuller bloom, if that makes any sense. The trouble with implementing yourself into a wonderfully-woven tale, such as the one Mr. Tolkien wrote, is finding an appropriate way to do it so that it doesn't seem completely ridiculous. Trial-by-error is usually the best way to do it—writing and rewriting until it clicks into place. Thank you, all those who have to put up with the new changes; I hope they are somewhat more satisfactory than the last versions.

Chapter 1

A Letter to a BFF

Dear Eowyn,

So, I went to Wal-Mart yesterday to buy some yogurt, and a piece of jewelry caught my eye and totally reminded me of you. It was a simple horse necklace, small and delicate and silver. It looked like something you would wear, so I bought it and now I wear it everywhere, just to remind myself of our friendship. I'm telling you, we really should have got matching tattoos before I left Middle Earth. Matching horse symbols, maybe on our ankles. That would have been cool. But your brother would have skinned me alive. He really doesn't think women ought to wear tattoos. But he didn't think women ought to ride to war, either, and we both proved to him that we could, can, and did! Well, you did, anyway. I stayed in Minas Tirith and played cheerleader. Now is probably not the best time to confess this to you, but do you remember when I told you I HAD seen a battle? I lied. It was CNN Israeli footage.

I still miss you a lot. Pregnancy is no easy thing, like you said. I wish I had you here so I could cry on your shoulder and bitch and whine about how awful my life is (JK, ). Remember when we used to complain to each other about Wormtongue? We used to have bitch-fests every night. It was fun to gossip like that, as though our life in Rohan was one big soap-opera (which it probably was anyway). We used to throw pretty damn good parties, too, and we were the life of it all. Do you remember when we used duct tape in the Golden Hall to make a maze, and we ran through it (Rohirric Hamsters!)? Weren't we crazy? But back then we were two young women who had no bigger troubles than burnt toast. Then Wormtongue came and rained on our parade—or, rather, he was the cause of many other huge things. He never realized that throwing me out of Rohan would lead to my meeting my future husband, or my journey with the Fellowship, or my involvement with the War. I'll bet he didn't even figure in for the hubbub because he wanted you and hated me.

But then, the whole affair wasn't necessarily his fault. I don't think anyone could have been "blamed" for all the things that happened, unless you count your author. If he "penned" the hole in Middle Earth, he sure as hell didn't WARN anyone about it. They should print warning labels with novels; otherwise, someone would probably sue. Could you imagine some business-suited guy yelling from a pit of Mordor: "MY LAWYER WILL SUE THE IRON PANTS OFF YOU, SAURON!"? I'd pay out my bank account to see that! But seriously, when I look back at the events that even caused our friendship, I wish I'd known about the hole. Hey, Gandalf didn't even know about it, and he was supposed to be super-smart. At the end of all things, he was still scratching his head, but at that point, nobody really cared because everyone was cool with me (except for Denethor, but he had issues anyway, so we don't count him). I'm glad I had the "There And Back Again" experience. I can blame that on Mr. Tolkien.

Do you know, the first time I EVER heard of Middle Earth was when I was eight years old, and on Halloween night we turned on the T.V., and the animated Hobbit was playing? My first introduction to Middle Earth was watching Bilbo Baggins and Gollum face-off with riddles. Gollum looked like a giant frog with abnormally huge eyes and just about made me shit myself, particularly when he yelled, "BAGGINS! THIEF, THIEF! WE HATES IT, WE HATES IT FOREVER!" He was actually the only reason I checked out the book at the school library. Thank God he's not like that in real life, right? But thanks to Gollum I had a little insight into Middle Earth. I never had a chance to thank him properly, but the odds of shaking him by the hand just weren't in my favor.

I finally finished re-reading the Silmarillion and taking notes. If I ever return to Middle Earth, I want to have a comprehensive knowledge of its history, which I sadly lacked the first time around. That's why everyone kept asking me, "Well, how come you didn't know the details about this and that," and I kept telling them, "Seriously, I haven't read EVERYTHING Tolkien's written, and it wasn't as if I was reading his books as a self-help manual for surviving Middle Earth!" But the next time I come, I am bringing his "courses" along so I CAN survive. And then maybe no one will tease me about being the Walking Information Center with a serious lack of Information. Hmph.

Anyway, the baby's kicking today—I went for an ultrasound on Tuesday and discovered I'm going to have a boy. I wish I could tell his father the grand news…he would be so proud! But how will I tell my son about his…well, his weird genes? His ancestry? His people? Career Day at school is NOT going to be easy. I myself hardly know how this is possible. I mean, how does it even happen? I know WHY it happened, but the laws of science can't even explain it, and I live in a world where seeing is believing. Hmph, do you know what would happen if I spilled the beans to the doctor? He'd laugh and say, "No, seriously, who's the father?" I mean, you met my husband. When I first told you about him, even you laughed and said, "No, seriously, who is courting you?"

I think I will have some of that yogurt now. I've developed intense cravings for Mexican food, vanilla yogurt, and red velvet cake, all of which I can't get enough of. I've been eating guacamole and chicken until it comes out of my ears. The baby will probably arrive into the world speaking Spanish.

Did I tell you I have two jobs now? I am working two full-time jobs up here in Alaska, as a hostess and a janitor. I know-not very glamorous. But it pays the bills. Independence is a lot different than I expected it to be, so no, I don't have that corgi yet, and traveling? Forget about it. I'm struggling just to pay utilities in the winter. But at least I'm surrounded by the mountains and the fresh air and I'm someplace that I love and care about. And I have my friends to hang out with. Jennifer couldn't believe it when she saw my condition. She started crying and then she said, "Let's go stand outside the abortion clinic, parade your beautiful baby bump, and throw garbage at the clinic!" So you see, I'm still getting into trouble. My world is as I left it. If you ever come to visit (which is probably impossible) we'll go shopping at the 5th Avenue Mall and I will send you back to Rohan with a ton of new clothes, and you can model for the rest of the ladies. Maybe you'll start a fashion trend!

Anyway, I'm blabbing. I know that for you to write back is impossible, and I know that the chances of you even getting this letter are close to nil because of the time differences between the Primary World and the Secondary. But I can always hope. Even if you don't receive these letters, I will have felt better about sending them. Perhaps they will find their way into human or Elf hands which will take care of them for me. I've always thought it would be really interesting to send out a message in a bottle, like Edgar Rice Burrough's hero from The Land that Time Forgot. As the story goes, the hero is captured aboard a German submarine during World War I, and the submarine somehow goes into a Secondary World, back into time, in a land of dinosaurs and cavemen. When the submarine abandons the hero, he keeps journeying across the land, which takes him forward into the Ice Age. But he records his tale and casts it off in a bottle in hopes that someone may read it. I feel like that hero now, the man who puts his tale in a bottle and throws it into a vast sea of hopes and dreams. These letters may not be found by anyone, and the memory of an American will fade away forever from all minds—but that's probably the way it should be. Tolkien might cringe if I stuck around for good. Besides, unlike the prehistoric land, Middle Earth is not a place where I am forever abandoned. The Primary World always comes first; the Secondary is like a vacation site. I can visit whenever I like—not as an escape from reality (I swear I'm not quoting the Bohemian Rhapsody), but as a place to find reality again—if that makes any sense. After all, I think it was Chesterton who wrote of fantasy that "the rivers run with wine to make us remember that they are supposed to run with water."

I love you tons. Take care of yourself, and give Faramir and the kids a hug from me.

-Your Devoted Friend,

Adelaide

P.S.—This is probably not the best time to mention this, either, but I think I left one of my Women's Health magazines in Edoras. If they haven't placed it in some kind of museum yet, could you please keep hold of it for me until I can come back? I don't know what Middle Earth would do if a bunch of orcs got hold of recipes for lime tequila. There could be a War over the One Tequila to Rule Them All, if you know what I mean…