A Wolf's Flight, One-Shot
Lydia returned to the camp in haste, with Frodo lagging behind her. By the time Frodo joined the strange hobbit family he was out of breath, collapsing on the nearest log. As he took deep breaths, Frodo overheard Lydia telling her parents and siblings about what they had seen. While Lydia and her family debated over what to do next, Frodo's stomach ached sharply in pain.
Clutching his stomach, Frodo turned to the family and asked, in a demanding voice, "What did you do to me?"
Cordula glanced over at Baldur, as she said, softly, "Maybe we should take him with us."
"He would be our prisoner if we do that," whispered Baldur back. He asked, curiously, "What exactly did you put in that meat sauce, Cordula?"
Cordula cocked her head, telling him in a low mutter, "It's a simple concoction. I'll not say what I put in the meat, but it's enough to feed a werewolves' appetite." She barked, harshly, "I warned you against feeding this hobbit our food…" Her voice faded as she, her husband, and her children watched Frodo crash towards the ground, falling unconscious in seconds.
Dusk spread across the horizon, sending a chill down Frodo's spine as he approached the woods' small clearing. There, in the same woodlands where he learned Lydia and her family were werewolves, Frodo saw the strange hobbit family dancing around a large bonfire that crackled its flames to the silver full moon. Lydia soon approached him, asking Frodo for a dance. At first he thought he wouldn't agree, but in the next moment or two Lydia grabbed his hand and dragged him towards the bonfire, where he recalled next dancing with the tween. Moments passed before the moon turned blood red and Lydia turned into a dark grey wolf, barring her teeth at him. Before he could scream, Lydia the werewolf attacked…
Frodo awoke to the sound of wolves howling, baying at a full moon. Opening his eyes, noticing his vision was blurry, yet he saw a full moon in the color blood red. Moving into a seated position on the grassy ground, Frodo noticed he was in the clearing where the camp had been set. Now it seemed the camp was nowhere to be found, not even a crackling fire, as if the strange hobbit family had packed up and moved to another area. Peering over his shoulder, Frodo watched as the dark grey wolf advanced through openings in the tall trees towards him.
As his vision started to return, Frodo waited for the wolf to stand face-to-face with him, before he asked, "You're leaving?"
The wolf nodded her head, as she spoke, I have to, Frodo. My family needs me. I must assist them by sending the Orcs away from the Shire. Hopefully, the Hobbits won't suspect we were here.
"The hobbits, my kin, already know you're here. They'll come after you," said Frodo, softly.
The wolf declared, enraged, No! Barring her teeth at the hobbit, the wolf continued, You said you would keep my family a secret! You promised me.
"I said I promised to keep your secret, if I could trust you," said Frodo.
The wolf asked, still furious, Do you trust me?
Frodo paused. Then replied, bravely, "You aren't what I expected, but I have to say what needs to be said. So no, I do not trust you when you're a werewolf. You might hurt me this way, and others if I let you."
The wolf snarled at him, startling the hobbit, while at the same time she spoke, Very well, Frodo Baggins. I promise to leave your villages in your Shire alone, but only if you come with me tonight. I'll bite you tonight, and then you will learn to trust me better.
Frodo shook his head. "No, I won't let you."
The wolf growled loudly in rage. Then it was worthless bringing you into these woods. I will find a way to convince you to travel with me, one way or another.
"Just tell me one thing: what did your mother put into that meat soup? I know she did something to make me ill," asked Frodo, nervously.
It was a meat sauce my family and I typically eat. The meat came from the liver of a steer. To a werewolf, it would do no harm. To a hobbit, that's another matter. The wolf paused, and then added: At first, your vision will be blurred, but then you will be able to understand werewolf speech in the ancient language. It wasn't our intentions to make you eat the meat sauce – maybe it was my father's. I did not ask to put you in any sort of danger.
Confused, Frodo asked her, "Why do you say that, Lydia?"
The wolf glanced up at the hobbit's face with affectionate eyes. I care about you too much, Frodo Baggins. From the moment I saw you, I nearly – I felt as if I should – I almost risked biting you in that village two nights ago. I apologize for bringing you into these woods, but it was the only way to make you see my world, the world of the werewolves. Now that you have seen my family's world, I need you to promise me that you won't tell a soul about us.
Frodo nodded diligently. "I will, Lydia. I promise I won't tell, but what is the reason for keeping your family and you a secret?"
A twig snapped loudly, startling the wolf and the hobbit. The wolf's gaze returned to Frodo, as she answered: The reason I haven't attacked anyone in the villages or towns is I do not want to become like my father or mother – a monster, a beast that is never tamed. This is the reason why I need you to keep my family a secret, to protect us from being found by Sauron's allies.
Frodo sighed in regret, but then spoke, as if admitting defeat, "All right, you have my word. Promise me you and your family will stay out of trouble, and not attack the Shire-folk or any of the free peoples of Middle-earth."
The wolf nodded in response, I will attempt this for your sake only. I'll lead you back to the edge of the woods, in the safest route to the road to Bywater. It's this way.
Standing up, Frodo found his vision had returned. As the blood moon continue to shine its fiery red glow across the green landscape, Frodo watched the wolf as she invited him to climb up on her back. He nervously obliged. The second he was astride her back, Frodo saw the trees rush past his gaze as the wolf's speed proved gallant and terrifying all in the same instance. When they approached another edge of the woodlands, Frodo dismounted from the wolf's back and walked towards the range of bushes, where he saw the village of Bywater and the Lake from a nearby distance. Whirling around, Frodo noticed the moonlight had vanished behind a bank of clouds, while seeing the same hobbit tween, wearing a dress in deep shades of grey, who had first met him in the market at Bywater. To him, Frodo saw only a tween with a dark secret, but he knew inside what he had to do.
Stunned to see the tween, Frodo cried, "Lydia… where will you go?"
Lydia faced the hobbit as she explained, "I have to find my family, Frodo. No one can know about our meetings in the woods, or the fact I am a werewolf and you've released me. The hobbits will think you have betrayed them, and there is the possibility that Sauron or his allies might find my family. I mean, we can't… do this." As Frodo advanced towards her, Lydia added, truthfully, "This is wrong. We both know what must happen. One of us has to leave and not come back."
Standing face-to-face with the tween, Frodo asked, calmly, "Do you plan on leaving the Shire for good? I know you're an odd sort, but I've already found that interesting, ever since I moved in with my Uncle Bilbo." He paused. "When will you return?"
She hesitated for a long moment. "I don't know, but I guess fate will see that reason someday. Won't it?"
Without warning, Lydia kissed Frodo on the cheek. A few seconds passed before they leaned in and kissed on the lips. Though the kiss felt passionate, something she was not prepared for, Lydia broke off the kiss, but held onto Frodo's hand for another moment longer. Frodo watched in a sliver of desperation as Lydia ran through the woods, transforming back into a wolf as the blood moon peered out from behind a dark grey cloud bank. He continued to look onwards at the glowing red landscape until he knew Lydia would not return, before heading back to the road to Bywater in deep thought.
The Fall Harvest continued as planned for the rest of the season. The hobbits remained concerned and their rumors continued to spread about the strange family that had visited Bywater, but the wolf pack that nearly attacked the villagers and travelers were not heard from again in public.
Sam's suspicions still remained unconfirmed, but he remained wary of Frodo, knowing there was something he kept close that he wasn't telling out loud. Merry, on the other hand, attempted many times to get Frodo to speak about the strange family. Like Sam, Merry's conspiracy was never sorted and he could not understand why this was happening.
As for Frodo, he kept his word and remained silent about the Maether family. There were times at night, when the moon was full and he was alone inside Bag End, Frodo could hear the sounds of wolves howling in the distance, as if waiting for another blood moon to arise again throughout the countryside. The memory of his last night with Lydia still haunted Frodo's thoughts. Then, one evening, as he approached the front gate to the hobbit-hole or smial, Frodo looked up in surprise at a wolf with dark grey fur climbing up the slope towards the widened dirt road. Though the wolf greeted him with silent nod, Frodo knew even then Lydia had kept her own word to him, as a full moon disappeared behind another cloud bank.
I wish to thank all my readers for reviewing and selecting this story as their favorite or putting it on alert, or both. I hope you enjoyed reading this five-shot Halloween story and I'll see you in the next two.