I had not Volunteered for This!

Chapter VIII in the Point of View of Fili

I didn't sign myself up for this; hunger, pain, and my life flashing before my eyes every day. My father, Nili, thought it was a good way to train for the larger adventures I would be going on and to get some money for the family. I had my father, my mother, and 12 brothers and sisters to feed. I was the oldest of my brothers and sisters by about 80 or so years. So my father expected the most out of me. When Thorin came knocking my father didn't wait a second to say yes. Now I'm starving to death in the Mirkwood forest. No way to shoot anything in these woods, too dark, but I was a bad shot anyway. Why did Thorin and Gandalf come to me? I am nowhere near as fast as my younger brother, Kili, who had to volunteer when he heard my father at the door with Gandalf, Thorin, and me (the little twerp, always looking for glory). Nor am I sneaky like Bilbo. I knew Bilbo didn't want to be here for sure, like myself, but unlike Bilbo, I hadn't a choice. I had no real passion for this stuff. My dad did. I have a passion for writing and reading, other stories that don't involve myself. But dwarves weren't meant to stay at home and read. That was a hobbit's job. We were to run out in the world and fight and die for some dumb treasure. All I wanted was to get home and sit on a stump in the wood and read a book about wizards and humans. Are those two green eyes in the distance? No. I am dreaming. This is the hunger seeing. At that moment, Balin called out from ahead:

"What was that? I thought I saw a twinkle of light in the forest." We all looked into the distance. A longish way off there seemed to be a red twinkle in the dark, then another and another sprang out beside it. Bombur, that fat old toad, got up to get a better look.

"It looks as if my dreams were coming true," gasped Bombur. I could tell he was prepared to leap off the trail to catch the light, like a cat chasing sunlight. I had remembered though, that Beorn and the wizard had warned us not to leave the trail. The others must have remembered too.

"A feast would be no good if we never got back alive from it," said Thorin. He was very, very right.

"But without a feast we shan't remain alive much longer anyway," said Bombur, making a very good point. They argued back and forth for a long while until they agreed to send out a couple spies to creep near the lights and find out more about them, but no one wanted to volunteer to be lost and never finding his friends again. In the end, in spite of the warnings, hunger decided them, because of dumb Bombur describing all of the delicious things to be eaten. I couldn't resist. So we all plunged into the forest together not taking a second look back.

Kili and I snuck up behind a large oak and peered out behind it to see many elfish-looking folk in a circle. There was a fire and torches fastened to the tree, but the most splendid sight to see, that made my stomach somersault out of joy was the eating, drinking, and laughing merrily. The smells of roast made me want to jump out and grab it all for myself; but, I shan't. And then, without consulting, every one of us jumped out and scrambled towards the merry elfish-folk. As soon as we came, all the lights flashed out. It was pitch dark. I ran and ended up tripping over a mossy log. I got a face full of wet leaf. I got back up and grabbed the arm of Gloin who let out a yelp until I shushed him. Soon after, we gathered ourselves and settled down for the night where they were. We hadn't been lying long when Dori, who was on watch, let out a loud whisper:

"The lights are coming out again over there and there are more then ever of them." Every one jumped up at once, well, except for Bombur. Some of us had to pull him up. And there, sure enough, were the twinkling lights and the faint sounds of laughter. We all crept towards them, as silent as a wood mouse. As we grew nearer Thorin said:

"No rushing forward this time! No one is to stir from hiding till I say. I shall send Mr. Baggins alone first to talk to them. They won't be frightened of him and, anyway, I hope they won't do anything nasty to him." As we got closer to the lights, we pushed Bilbo forwards. I could see the slight fear in his eyes which gleamed in the darkness. As soon as he was in the circle lit by blazing torches, out all the lights went. Complete darkness fell. We started to call out to him:

"Bilbo! Bilbo! Bilbo Baggins! Hobbit! You dratted hobbit! Hi! Where are you, Hobbit!?" and other things of that same sort, but no answer. I was ready to give up on that useless hobbit when Dori stumbled upon him, literally. He had tripped over the sleeping lump. It took a great deal of shaking to wake him. When he did wake he appeared not pleased at all.

"I was having such a lovely dream," he grumbled, "all about having a most gorgeous dinner!" He explained dreamily.

"Good Heavens! He has gone like Bombur," Balin exclaimed, "Don't tell us about dreams. Dream-dinners aren't good and we can't share them!"

Just under his breath I could hear him mutter, "They are the best I am likely to get in this beastly place!" That was not the last we saw of the lights in the forest. Later when the night must have been getting old Kili, who was keeping watch, came and roused us all.

"There's a regular blazing of light begun not far away; hundreds of torches and many fires must have been lit suddenly by magic. And hark to the singing and the harps!" I sat there and listened to the beautiful music; how it brought up spirits a tad bit. I couldn't resist the desire to go and join them in singing and eating merrily. Everyone else must've gotten the same idea because all at once we got up and chased towards the fires. This time it was disastrous. As soon as Thorin stepped into their midst the lights went out and ashes were kicked everywhere. I was blinded completely like I was running in a black hole. I started calling out names, but no answers. It was hopeless. I was to die. I knew this was a bad idea. I knew I should've hid from the group in Elrond and made my way back after they had given up and left. I tripped over a log, or what felt like a log and hit my head hard on a large stone. I fell into a deep, dark, sleep.