Never go to sleep at a Renaissance fair. That was what Kida took out of the experience of waking up, hanging upside down with her feet tied to a wood bar across the dirt road. Only she didn't remember falling asleep, or even recognize this part of the fair grounds. After waking she felt her back to see her violin was still tied to her, the bow of it still tucked tightly into her high boot. She wondered where Bonnie was and why that bitch let her be tied up.
At least Kida had decided to were pants this year when she went to the fair. People walked by where she was hanging slowly and without interest of what was going on with her. She didn't even know what was going on. Years of going to fairs and Kida had seen dozens of people in the stocks, but never tied by their feet and ankles on a beam. There was no chance of her getting out of it alone.
"Can somebody let me down?" She called out in frustration, swinging to try and grab her tied feet. The people ignored her. "Let me down! I don't even know what I did!"
Usually a person had to break a fair rule to be locked up or tied in anyway. She had never broken those laws before. "Bonnie! Where are you?" She yelled secondly.
There was a scurrying down the outside of her pants leg. Kida put her hands out and Bonnie, her pet squirrel, fell into her palms. "How could you let this happen, Bonnie? Bite some fingers, woman!" Kida yelled at the little tawny squirrel.
It made a small squeak sound at her, curling it's tail around her hands, hitting Kida in the face. "Careful! I swear, if you're the one that broke a law and blamed me, I'll skin you." She complained to Bonnie.
"You didn't break a law." A male voice said. She turned her head and they were directly face to face. That made Kida realize exactly his Hugh up she was. "They think you a dark Mage, as you fell hard from the sky, asleep."
She barely heard a word, too focused on trying to remember why he looked familiar. "I can let you down. The town is only suspicious but they are not thinking of punishment." He went on.
"Yes! Please, before all the blood goes to my head and I get an aneurism." She agreed quickly. The man gave her an odd look before he went over to the side of the road where the Beam was attached to.
He climbed up with ease and across to where her feet were tied. Kida felt her heart start thumping with nerves as he began to untie her, hoping he didn't let her fall on her head. Just as it began to loosen he grabbed her ankle and held her there. She was watching vigilantly so when he held his hand out she was quick to force herself up and grab it, Bonnie crawling to her shoulder. He pulled her right up while the rest of the ropes fell away, freeing her.
Kida sat on the beam, feeling light headed but better than she was hanging. "How did they get me this high up?" She asked as the man arranged himself to sit with her. Bonnie scurried off of her shoulder and sniffed at the man's hand.
"They hoisted you up by your ankles. What is this thing?" The man asked in turn and nicked Bonnie's chin with his knuckle. The little thing squeaked and put her head on his hand as if inviting him to do it again.
Kida pulled Bonnie's tail. "She's too friendly with strangers, that's what." She glared at the squirrel that let her be tied up and now seemed to be flirting with the man who kept petting her chin. "Her name's Bonnie. She's just a squirrel."
"Interesting." The man rumbled the word lowly, the squirrel crawling into his lap and sprawling up to put her front paws on his chest. Kida rubbed her head as the blood left it and she felt a dull throbbing.
Still looking around, from this high up, Kida had yet to figure out what part of the fair grounds this was. "So where am I?" She asked.
She felt the man looking at her and saw that Bonnie felt ignored, trying to grab his face. "Bree." He answered easily.
"Ha, and where is that?" She still didn't understand. Bree wasn't one of the sections, if she remembered the fair map correctly.
She expected him to say it was by the parking lot or near whatever street, instead he went on. "Bree-land? We're west of Combe, south of Archet. The Shire is far east." He listed off.
Kida thought it was a joke. A really good joke, that this was Middle Earth, until she realized that this guy was so familiar because it wasn't a joke. She screamed and nearly fell off the beam, the man having to grab her. "Holy crap! Aragorn!" She screamed, hanging with his hand around hers, barely staying up.
"How do you know my name?" He settled her with a cold glare.
Kida was up again, but she stilled her nerves and jumped down from the beam, hurting her ankle but not twisting anything. She felt Bonnie fall on her shoulder, and then heard the man, Aragorn's spitting image, land next to her. He grabbed her with both hands twisted into the front of his shirt.
"Explain yourself." He growled to her.
Kida felt nothing but panic. If she had thought that her heart had been quick before, it was beyond racing now. "This is Middle Earth." She started and he nodded, her panic coming out quick in a rambling. "Oh my God, I'm in Middle Earth. This isn't a joke, some crazy joke. I was tied up, and I'm in a different place, oh my God. I'm not even from Middle Earth!"
Aragorn let go of her. "Then where are you from?" There was warning in his voice and his hand was on the hilt of his sword.
"Oh!" Kida realized her mistake. She was already expected to be a dark mage or something, and being from a normal world where this was a book wouldn't help her case. "Um, just, I don't know. I think my memory is messed up?" She lied, unsure.
He eased up. "I don't believe you, but you are not my problem. I have places to go." He turned away from her and started walking away, towards the inn.
No, no way. Kida couldn't be left alone right now. She was in a different world, her favorite fictional place, and clearly freaking out. She didn't even know if this was before, after, or during the books. Holding onto Bonnie she ran after him, feeling her violin thump her back. In a moment she was in front of Aragorn, walking backwards.
"Hold on, please! I just want to ask you maybe two things, really." She pleaded. He stopped walking and looked at her expectantly. "How old are you?"
There was a moment of pause. Then he answered with a half smile. "86." He said like he expected her to be surprised.
Kida wasn't, though. It just meant that she was at the beginning of the books. She held up a finger. "Second question. Can I go with you?"
"That is a lot to ask." He frowned at her and walked past. She followed him anyway.
"I know, but it is only one question! Please?"
Aragorn grabbed her again, but this time, around the shoulder, tightly. "Then you will be quiet. We are going to the inn, and we are waiting for someone." He told her quietly, leading the way.
She nodded but kept her mouth shut. She just followed Aragorn as he lifted the hood of his cloak. They entered the Prancing Pony Inn, full of drinkers and noise, and he led the way to the very corner of the room. All the while Kida couldn't get over what was happening to her. She was beyond impressed and worried, seeing the places so different from the movies, and while Aragorn looked like the actor in the film, there was a difference as well. It took a while to notice it, but their jaw shape, eyes, were so different.
As she sat, Kida took her violin off her back, the little ropes tied to it hanging limply as she placed it in the seat next to her. She slid down into her seat and stayed there quiet like she was told to. Bonnie sat curled around her neck. Aragorn said nothing to her, didn't look at her, so she returned the action and didn't look at him either, looking around the inn or playing silently with Bonnie's tail.
It felt like hours before Aragorn's posture changed in the slightest and something had caught his attention. Kida watched as he lit a long pipe and then followed his gaze over to where he was looking. Barely visible behind the people were four, waist height children. Not children, Kida told herself, knowing this part of the movie. Hobbits.
The longer she watched, the more she could tell them apart. Frodo, the blonde Sam, Merry and Pippin. For several minutes, Aragorn never looked away because he had a job to do, while Kida just stared in interest. Pure interest, because if she had any doubts that this was possibly still a joke, she was sure now it wasn't. They weren't perfectly proportioned men that age and size possibly alive where she was from.
She saw the boys notice her and Aragorn. Mostly Aragorn, because she quickly looked away, ignoring that Bonnie was climbed to the top of her head. Usually she wouldn't allow it, but she felt too odd to try and stop the squirrel. Then dread hit her stomach hard as she heard the loud Pippin talking to what may as well have been the entire inn.
"Frodo Baggins. He's my second cousin once removed, on his mother's side and my third cousin twice removed on his father's side...if you follow me." He announced to the stranger he was talking to.
Then it all happened and Kida had to look back. Frodo pulling on Pippin, Pippin pushing him, and then Frodo falling to the ground. Her heart felt as twisted as her gut as she barely saw the ring falling in the air and slide onto his finger. Everyone fell incredibly silent as he went invisible. Almost immediately Aragorn jumped up to his feet and Kida followed, watching the ranger pulled at empty air and then pushing a visible boy against the wall at the opposite side of the inn they had been seated.
"You draw far too much attention to yourself, Mr. Underhill." Aragorn said while looming over him.
Kida watched him pull the hobbit up the stairs and went to get her violin before she followed. She was also followed up by the three protective looking hobbits. But she barged into the room first, stepping off to the side when she saw Aragorn with his sword drawn. Sam barred his fists, looking ridiculously small.
"You let him go or I'll have you, Longshanks!" He yelled, Merry grabbing a candlestick as a weapon and Pippin brandishing a hobbit sized chair. Aragorn sheathed his sword as Kida tied her violin back to her body.
"You have a stout heart, little Hobbit, but that alone won't save you." Aragorn told Sam, who seemed to relax, dropping his fists. Kida knew what was next, heart beating with anticipation. Aragorn turned back to Frodo. "You can no longer wait for the Wizard, Frodo. They're coming."
Ringwraiths. Kida began stuffing the beds with pillows without order, to make it look like sleeping bodies. She had down it a thousand times when she lived at home and snuck out at night. She knew how to make a convincing mound, but made them smaller this time around. Just as she finished the first bed, Aragorn grabbed her upper arm and stopped her from moving to the next.
"It is time for you to leave, girl. This is dangerous for you." He glowered down at her.
Kida pulled away, Bonnie gripping as the squirrel almost fell off her shoulder. "The hell I will. You said I could go with you, and I am not leaving yet." She shoved a finger in his face. "And I'm a trained sword fighter. I won an award for it two years ago in Vermont."
"It seems your memory is perfectly in tact." He spoke in a condescending tone. Kida froze as she remembered her lie.
"Oh, yeah, sure." She muttered and stepped past Pippin to the second bed. "Whatever. Just help me stuff the beds and hide the hobbits. I don't know how much time we have."
The hobbits helped but Aragorn just stared down at her. "And how do you know what is going to happen, girl?" He asked her.
Kida stood up and waved her hand through the air. "Let's call me very educated. And, by the way, stop calling me girl. My name is Kida." She sassed him. "Kida Valentine. And at twenty-two I am no girl."
"Compared to me-" Aragorn began with a smirk and she turned fully to him.
"Compared to you my mother would be a girl, and she's fifty. But that doesn't mean it's alright to call me or her anything you'd call a child." Kida complained.
The beds were stuffed and Aragorn just kept his smirk as he led the hobbits and Kida to a room across the road of the inn. The hobbits tucked in to his bed at his insistence and while Kida refused to do the same with the four, she sat with Aragorn by the window. It was a while later, when the boys save for Frodo were asleep, when Aragorn finally spoke in a small whisper.
"How do you know as much as you do?" He asked Kida. He had Bonnie in his hands, the squirrel weaving between his fingers as he tried to grip her. The squirrel was obviously trying to get to his face, and he kept her running in his moving hands. "Who educated you?"
Kida had to think before she came up with an answer, smiling. "A man named Tolkien." She didn't even have to lie, so there was no doubt in her voice. "And maybe I just know things. Instinct, sorta."
Aragorn blew in the face of the little squirrel. "A clairvoyant, possibly?" He asked.
"Um, sure. That sounds normal." She rolled her eyes and stared out the window.
Frodo sat up and spoke in a small voice. "Do you know what's going to happen to me?" He asked her as he climbed out of the bed, not disturbing any of his friends.
Kida felt a horrible guilt. Yes. He would go through a lot, go a little insane, be driven to solitude with Sam all because he wasn't safe with the ring. So much would happen and she couldn't tell him details. It felt like cheating. She knew they could get through the book without her, so telling them details might change all that. She forced herself to smile as he sat in a chair too large for him.
"It doesn't work like that." She spoke nervously. A comforting hand went out and pat him on the shoulder. "But you'll be fine."
He sank into the large chair. Frodo didn't look entirely convinced, or at all comforted. Kida felt worse looking at him and she squeezed her eyes shut. She couldn't do this. She couldn't live her favorite story. Just watching the movie made her feel all this pain and anticipation, and now she was in it, wanting to practically die.
And she very well could along this trip. She knew who would, what would happen. Kida could die, in a second, at any point. Maybe tonight when the ringwraiths came, if she wasn't careful. Taking a deep breath, she forced herself not to panic, not to leave the room she knew was safe, and open her eyes. Aragorn was looking at her with slight concern, and Frodo was too distracted with Bonnie to notice. The squirrel looked so large compared to the hobbit, curling in Frodo's lap.
Aragorn looked like he might open his mouth to speak, but then the three of them heard hoof beats. Ringwraiths. Kida moved away from the window, on her knees in front of Frodo, and shushed Frodo as his mouth opened. Aragorn watched out of the window. The ringwraiths moved into the inn across the way, and Kida imagined their footsteps, timed it, knew when they would be stabbing into the beds. Then a loud, high shriek that startled Kida even though she expected it. The sound was nothing like the one in the movie.
Sam gasped awake and sat up. More shrieking followed, Merry and Pippin startling up as well. Kida put her finger to her mouth while looking at them just to make sure they'd stay silent. As the wringwraiths left Frodo moved to the window to watch them ride off in fury.
"What are they?" Frodo asked Aragorn.
He quickly glanced at Frodo and then looked away. "They were once men. Great Kings of men. Then Sauron the deceiver gave to them Nine Rings of Power. Blinded by their greed they took them without question, one by one falling into darkness and now they are slaves to his will. They are the Nazgul, Ringwraiths, neither living or dead. At all times they feel the presence of the ring... Drawn to the power of the one. They will never stop hunting you."
Kida felt a weight at that statement. It felt threatening, and she picked Bonnie up from the chair she perched in. She sat against the wall, holding her squirrel and watching Aragorn forcing Frodo back into the bed. Now that they were safe he left the room momentarily. When he came back he had a pillow and blanket, and held them out to Kida. She gave in and set up a bed next to her violin.
an/ so please review if you like it~! any comments or questions... im desperate haha