Hi and thank you for clicking on The Skipper.
Some Things To Note Before You Begin:
This fanfiction was inspired by The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, but it incorporates the Lord of the Rings' timeline as well as The Hobbit timeline. I have seen all the movies, read all the books, and researched everything I did not know on Tolkien websites (mainly Tolkien Gateway and Lord of the Rings wiki). I have tried to remain as true to the canon events as possible, mixing both movie and books as I see fit. (Though, as I have recently learned, they do have coffee in Middle Earth.)
This story is actually two books in one. "Part One: Anachronism" is the first 79 chapters and "Part Two: Anamnesis " is ongoing. This story is humorous as well as serious. There is romance, but I believe in one-hundred chapters of character development before we get to any of the actual romance.
Rather than be Earth in the past, Middle Earth is an alternate universe. As much as I love Tolkien, his works do not exist in Ana's Earth. Neither do the movies. Having a canon book to read would just make this story even more complicated than it already is.
Yes, I know that they do not speak English in Middle Earth, please don't leave reviews telling me this. When I first started writing this story, I thought about putting in Westron, but then I would've had to deal with writing Westron in English, but also writing English in English. Which gets confusing. So, to solve the problem, I just decided to have the Common Tongue be English. No, I know it's not canon, but sometimes we have to make sacrifices for the sake of the story. Sindarin, khuzdul, the black speech, and other Middle Earth languages are still present, though I use them sparingly.
I appreciate all reviews. Ask me questions, tell me about incongruencies, complain about my portrayal of the characters - I love all reviews. You can review every chapter (much appreciated), you can review the last chapter, you can review only the exciting chapters, but please review!
Once again, thank you for clicking on my story and I hope you enjoy it.
PART ONE: ANACHRONISM
Chapter I: A Perfectly Good Explanation
There is a perfectly good explanation, I swear. There is a reason I'm writing this—all of this—to you. And I'm trying to decide where to begin. I Skip. Yeah, that's a good place to start. I'm not from this world; I'm from another place and another time. I've just, you know, been Skipping back for forth between the two ever since I was six-years-old.
This is important! I know you think you've heard all of it before—but you need to remember. In these words is my promise to you. A promise you must never forget, for it concerns the fortunes of all.
Understand? I hope so.
The first time I Skipped was when I was six. That was the day I slapped Marie because she called me a liar. We'd been racing across the schoolyard with two teachers watching us, judging who was the winner and who was the loser. Marie was naturally faster than me, so she won every single time. I got sick and tired of losing, so during the fifth race, I pushed Marie and sprinted past her. She went to the teachers, crying and saying I cheated, so I slapped her. (Yes, I was a terrible six-year-old. Don't judge me.)
The teachers sent me to the office where the principal tried to convince me that slapping people was wrong. I told him I didn't think it was cheating; I was using my abilities to beat Marie. I couldn't help it that she fell over with just that little push.
The principal didn't see it that way. He called my mom and dad, and they both came to school to pick me up. They weren't happy. The car ride home was spent with the two of them scolding at me—What was I thinking? How could I do that? Did I apologize to the poor girl? Apologize the next day! How could I do such a thing? Did they not raise me right?
I sat in the car and listened to their lectures the entire ride home. Then—the moment the car came to a full stop in the garage—I threw open the door, stormed up to my room, and fell down on the bed, crying.
Right then, I hated my life. I hated everything—the principal, the teachers, Marie, my parents, I hated them all. I just wanted to get away. To run away. To leave it all behind and never come back.
So I Skipped. (Yeah, that seemed pretty random to me too.)
One moment, I was sobbing in my bed. The next, I was lying on a cold stone floor.
I sat up and looked around. I was not in my home. I was not in any place I recognized.
I could heard the echo of footsteps and the sound of raised voices. Tucked away in a corner, I watched the scene before me.
It was a hallway, a beautifully carved, stone hallway lit only by candles that lined the walls. Engraved arches swooped overhead, lacing together to form the ceiling. People crowded the hall. Not people, I realized—they were too short to be people. Short and stout, they had long, braided beards and wore armor with weapons strapped at their sides. The little men—they were actually dwarves, but I didn't know they were called dwarves back then—ran down the long, arching hallway. They were running away from something, shouting things in a strange language.
One fat dwarf with a black beard stopped and grabbed me by the wrist. He shouted something in a gravelly voice, but I couldn't understand it. The dwarf—upon closer inspection, I realized that "he" was actually a "she", I was looking at a short, stout, bearded woman—shook her head and left me.
I was so frightened I forgot to cry.
What was going on? Why was everyone running? What were they afraid of? Why was I even here? My house? My bedroom? Where had they gone? Where was Mom? Where was Dad? I didn't know.
My heart was racing. I curled into a ball, sitting on the stone floor beside a thick pillar. No one noticed me. They were all too wrapped up in their own problems to notice a little six-year-old human girl. (Looking back on it, I can't say I blame them.)
The crowds began to thin out. Most of the dwarves were gone. A few more dwarves came sprinting down the hallway—these ones dressed in full battle armor—with their swords and axes raised. Some of them were nursing bloody wounds and severe burns.
All of a sudden the fear, the panic, the unknown, it all got to me. I buried my face in my hands and started to bawl. I could taste salt on my lips. A deep hacking sound rose in my throat and I coughed. Snot was streaming down my face.
"Gos! Gos! Sebar!" a deep voice boomed from above.
I looked up and stared up at the dwarf in front of me. A little taller than the other dwarves, he had long, scraggly black hair and beard. He wore the same battle armor as the others, but there was a superior air about him that stood out from the rest. His sword was grasped in his right hand, and his left hand was curled into a fist with long, red burns covering the back of the hand.
He said something again in the foreign language.
"What'd you say?" I sniffled. The tears would not stop pouring down my face. My eyes were puffy and my face grimy. I was covered in snot and my hair was a mess. I must have looked ugly. (Don't you dare agree!)
For the first time, the dwarf saw me properly. His eyes widened as he took in my blue jeans and pink t-shirt.
"Who are you?" he asked, this time in my own language.
I wiped my nose with the back of my hand. "I'm Ana."
He hesitated and then gave his name. "Thorin."
The tears stopped and I giggled a little. "That's a funny name."
Then, there was great, deep howl from somewhere down the hall. I let out a little squeak of terror and shrunk further back into the shadows. Thorin, however, scooped me up with his injured, left arm and started sprinting down the hallway. I screamed and flung my arms around his neck.
"Put me down! Put me down!" I screamed.
"Only if you wish to be devoured by Smaug!"
And then, the dragon appeared at the end of the hall. Sharp, blood-stained teeth, bright red scales, fiendish yellow eyes—the dragon Smaug was a fire-wielding demon, and he had set his sights on Thorin and me.
My screams renewed, and I started clawing at Thorin's armored back.
"Dragon! Dragon! Dragon!"
My shrieks ripped through my throat. I howled and wept like a banshee, clinging to Thorin. He sprinted down the hall as fast as his short legs could carry him, but I squirmed so much that Thorin dropped me. I landed with a heavy crack on the stone floor.
"Ana!" Thorin shouted, reeling around in an attempt to reach me.
Smaug opened his terrible jaws and let loose a jet of fire. Heat tore through the hallway. Flames ate the walls as they drew closer to me.
I screamed and thrashed about on my bed. The covers wrapped around me and—with a thud—I crashed to the floor on top of one of my Barbie Dolls. (They're these type of plastic, perfect females that—Oh, never mind. You just need to know that they hurt to land on.) I sat up right and looked about the room wildly. There was no dragon in sight. No Thorin either.
The door flew open. Mom stood just outside my room, pale and panicked. She breathed a sigh of relief when she saw that I was unharmed.
"You're all right," she said.
But I was not all right. Tears welled in my eyes and I sobbed miserably into my hands. Little six-ear-old me could not take it.
I cried continuously that night. I tried to explain to my mom what had happened. It wasn't just a dream. It'd been real. I'd really gone to that place. I'd really seen those little men. I'd really seen a dragon. Thorin had been real. My mother and father would not believe me. A nightmare, they'd said, and nothing more. And, for a while, I believed them.
But the Skipping did not stop there. A few months later—in the middle of my friend Wesley's seventh birthday party—I Skipped back to Middle Earth and found myself in the bed of an inn. My trip lasted about half a day before I randomly appeared back at Wesley's house. His parents had been searching everywhere for me. They'd even called the cops.
I Skipped at least twenty times over the next five years. I ended up in a different place and a different time with each Skip. I Skipped to a nest of giant spiders (resulting in my intense arachnophobia), I Skipped to Tuckborough (those Tooks sure know how to treat a guest), I Skipped to the Northern Waste (and was chased by white wolves), I Skipped to the White Mountains (where I stayed for five days and nearly starved), and I Skipped to the Coldfells (and nearly gotten eaten by goblins).
While I got some very interesting stories out of these Skips (some of which will come up later), none of them were monumental in the grand scheme of things. So, I'll move along to when I was twelve and got hit by a truck.
Well, that's an overstatement. I didn't actually get hit by the truck. I was crossing the street—going to meet some friends for shopping—and I wasn't looking where I was going. The horn honked. I turned. I saw the truck. The driver screamed. I screamed. Skip.
Some part of me wishes the truck had hit me. Anything would have been better than what I saw that day.
I Skipped to fields of dying, blood-stained grass. I was standing in the middle of a plain amongst thousands of corpses, the blood and remains of horses and men and great beasts I couldn't even name. The smell of death washed over me. I covered my mouth with my hand and backed away from the split-open head of a soldier. In the distance, I could see the foul ruins of the White City. Fire burned among the rubble, and a thick smoke cloud rose into the gray sky. Thousands of orcs resided in Minas Tirith; their celebration could be heard across the plains.
I wept, though, at the time, I did not know then what such destruction meant. I only knew that dark things had come to pass, and the red fires over the mountain tops spoke of doom to the world in which I stood.
And then, a foul voice said, "Gimbuz-izg gajal ni!"
I twisted around. My heart racing.
I had seen goblins before, but not orcs. It was my first time seeing the blue-gray faces with bloodshot eyes and sweaty, rancid flesh. Just the sight of them, surrounded by the bodies of Gondor's soldiers, was enough to make my stomach heave.
Four orcs stood together, leering at me. They murmured something amongst themselves in their foul tongue. Their yellow teeth clacked together and their pale eyes flickered towards me and away. There was a terrible hunger about them. I could feel their need for death swarming about me like a disease.
One orc drew his bloodstained blade and said, "Kul-izg throquurz."
He swung the sword, aiming for my throat.
I shrieked and flung my hands above my head. (Very heroic, I know.)
The Skip took control and I found myself sitting on the sidewalk next to the parked truck. No harm had come to me, yet the image of the burning city, the foul orcs, and the field of corpses was embedded in my mind.
Though I did not know it then, I had witnessed the destruction of Middle Earth. Gondor had fallen. The White City was no more. Elves, men, dwarves—they had all passed from the land and the Age of the Orc had begun. It was the future of Middle Earth.
I Skipped multiple times over the next four years. I Skipped to the Ettenmoors (where trolls tried to cook me for dinner), I Skipped to Bree (where the villagers warned me that women wearing pants were bad omens), I Skipped to the swamps of Nindalf (and come close to drowning several times), I Skipped to the Druadan Forest (the Wild Men of the Woods are fantastic cooks—don't let anyone tell you otherwise), and I Skipped to Snowbourne (and was arrested by a not-very-happy Third Marshall of the Riddermark).
I was seventeen, a senior in high school (not that you know what that means), when I saw elves for the first time. I was sitting at my bedroom desk, working on a particularly difficult math problem for Calculus and—Skip.
I opened my eyes to the face of a ridiculously and inhumanly beautiful man. Actually, he wasn't a man, which I realized when I saw his pointy ears. His long, dark brown hair fell about his shoulders, and he seemed to glow with a kind of deep, eternalness that I couldn't fully understand.
So I screamed. It's a natural reaction to waking up face to face with an elf.
He quickly leapt away and cried something in a foreign language to the elf standing beside him. The two had similar faces (I figured they were brothers) with dark eyes, oval faces, and sharp features. They stared at me for a moment and then exchanged some quick conversation.
"Man le?" asked Elrohir. (They told me their names later, but, to save confusion, I'll tell you now.)
I shuffled backwards and looked about wildly. I was in a forest, surrounded by tall, golden trees. Moss covered the tree roots, while fallen leaves littered the ground. The two elves stared at me in wonder.
"Who are you?" I asked.
Elrohir switched to the Common Tongue. "The intruder should answer first."
"I'm Ana." I slowly got to my feet and tried to brush the brown leaves off my jeans. "I'm not from this place."
"Clearly," said Elladan. "No mortal inhabits this wood."
"Why have you entered here?" asked Elrohir.
"I didn't mean to," I said. "I just sort of get dumped where I get dumped."
Elladan blinked. He tilted his head to the side and stared at me. "Of what do you speak? I do not understand."
"She is trying to confuse us," said Elrohir.
"No," said Elladan. "I think she is telling the truth."
I sighed. "Look this happens from time to time—like a sickness. I'm in my house doing whatever and then—bam—I'm in this other place. One time I was chased by a dragon and another time I was chased by trolls. Then—bam—I'm home. It's not a big deal. Be on your merry way; I'm just passing through."
Elrohir stared. "She makes no sense."
"Maybe it is the language barrier," said Elladan. "I thought I spoke the Common Tongue well, but perhaps I am mistaken."
"I Skip from here to there." I waved my arms about in some attempt to explain things. "I come from a different world. I don't know why. It just happens. I Skip!"
"You Skip?" said Elladan thoughtfully. "Senturiel?"
"Say what?" I looked, open-mouthed, from one elf to the other.
"Do not be deceived, Elladan," said Elrohir. "She could be a spy."
"I'm not," I said.
"She talks in an odd way," murmured Elladan. "The likes of which I have not heard in Middle Earth."
"You are not so all-knowing that you have heard every tongue," said Elrohir.
"You're the ones who talk weird!" I snapped. "Don't worry. I'll be going back any minute now…"
"These things come and go as they please," I said, crossly.
Elladan laughed. "I like her. She is amusing."
Elrohir sighed and shook his head. "You find the oddest things to be amusing."
"Ana?" Elladan took a step towards me. "You say you are not from this world, then from where do you hail?"
"Ohio. It's a state in the USA."
"I have never heard of such strange places," said Elladan.
"That is because she utters falsehoods," said Elrohir.
"Ui! You are too distrusting." Elladan turned to me and smiled. (He was such a pretty boy and he knew it.) "You are in Lothlorien, Ana. The forest of our people and the heart of elvendom in Middle Earth. No one has passed the borders of this forest unseen before you."
"That's because I didn't pass the borders," I said. "I was dropped here. When I Skipped worlds."
Elladan turned to his brother and said again, "Senturiel."
"La." Elrohir snapped something back in elvish, but Elladan ignored him.
Instead, he grinned at me and said, "I am Elladan, son of Elrond and Celebrian, and this is my brother, Elrohir. Welcome to Lorien, Ana of Ohio. We should treat guests better, should we not, Elrohir?" Elladan shot a smile at his brother before turning back to me. "Would you like to meet the Lady Galadriel, Ana?"
I blinked. "Is it…dangerous?"
Elladan shook his head. "Not if you are with us."
But I never met Lady Galadriel. At least, not during that Skip. The moment Elrohir and Elladan started in the direction of Caras Galadhon, the central city of Lorien, I Skipped.
When I opened my eyes, I was in my bedroom again. My math homework sat on the desk in front of me. I looked around, but there was no sign of Elrohir or Elladan, only my unmade bed and my messy room. I turned back to my homework, took a deep breath, and returned to solving the math problem.
To be honest, I think all the Skipping messed up my personality. I would watch movies (They're these little stories that are told in pictures...never mind. I don't know why I bother trying to explain these things to people in Middle Earth.) and the main characters were always surprised and horrified when unexpected things happen. But, to me, the unexpected was normal. By the time I turned twenty-one, I was desensitized to the world around me. One moment I'd be in class taking notes, and the next I'd be fleeing from mountain trolls. I'd even reached the point where I could laugh about my misfortunes which, I'll tell you, is not healthy. But sometimes you have to laugh because the only other option to break.
So anyways, all personal reflections aside, I Skipped from world to world for the next few years, fleeing goblins, partying with hobbits, and avoiding the Third Marshall of the Riddermark. Nothing particularly interesting happened until my twenty-first birthday. I had my two best friends—Bonnie Jackson and Nick Hamersley—over to celebrate, and, well, it went something like this:
I jumped onto the couch of my apartment living room and settled into the seat between Nick and Bonnie.
"All right!" I cried. "Movie time! Where's the remote?"
"I don't know," said Nick. "I thought you had it."
"No." I started checking behind the couch cushions "You had it—don't you dare be hiding it from me."
"You're sitting on it, dimwit," said Bonnie, pulling the remote out from underneath me.
"Right." I took the remote from her and pressed play. The screen turned black and then the Royal Albert Hall appeared with the Lot 666 Chandelier dangling over the audience. "Oh, I'm excited!"
"I hate this movie," said Bonnie. "I don't understand why the guys like the main girl."
"Shush," I said. "I'm the birthday girl. I get to decide."
"There are a million funner things to do on your twenty-first birthday," said Nick.
"Yeah," said Bonnie. "Why aren't we in a bar getting drunk off our asses?"
"You people are no fun," I said, pouting. "The choice between watching the 25th Anniversary Phantom of the Opera, featuring the fantastic Ramin Karimloo and Hadley Fraser, and going to a bar and getting wasted—"
"I'd choose getting wasted any day of the week," said Bonnie.
"Hear, hear!" Nick high-fived Bonnie behind my head.
"You people suck." I folded my arms over my chest. "See if I ever invite you to my birthday party again."
"I think we should tie her up and take the remote," said Nick.
Bonnie grinned wickedly. "I'm totally up for it."
"Hey!" I threw my hands in front of my face. "What do you think you're doing?"
Nick started tickling my sides, and I let out a shriek of laughter. Bonnie lunged for the remote, but I held a firm grip on it with my left hand while trying to fend Nick off with my right. The three of us fell to the floor in a heap.
"No!" I cried, swatting Nick away. "No! It's my birthday, we're watching my movie! Not going to bar!"
"But the majority says bar!" said Bonnie.
"I'm the birthday girl!"
I karate chopped Nick and Bonnie on top of their heads, each in turn. Laughing, they pushed me over and sat on top of me.
"Hand over the remote," said Bonnie.
"I'll tickle-attack you again," added Nick.
"Never!" I cried, clutching the remote close to my chest. "I'll never give in to your evil aspirations!"
"Come on," said Bonnie. "You're no fun."
I scowled. "I have work tomorrow."
"Boo-hoo, they'll understand if you're hung over."
"Come on!" Bonnie reached for the remote.
(Yeah, these Skips come at really bad times.)
I opened my eyes to gold. Mountains and mountains of gold. Gold coins, gold cups, gold jewelry, gold armor, gold dishes, gold tools, gold walls, gold ceilings. I stood on a stone pathway (the only place where you could see the floor in the hall) amongst piles of gold. I gasped as I took in the sight, which, I realized after a minute, included brightly colored gemstones and pieces of silver as well as gold. Why couldn't I Skip to places like this all the time? I had been to inns, forests, cities, villages, towns, lakes, mountains—but none of it could compare to the vast splendor that lay before me.
I wanted it.
It took me a moment to realize that I was still holding the remote. Carefully, I placed it on the ground and then stood up, still gawking at the riches around me. I wandered along the pathway, just taking in the sight. Could anyone ever want for more with all this gold?
I glanced around nervously. There was no one in sight. Was the gold unguarded? That was hard to believe. If I was that rich, I would never let any of the gold out of my sight. I'd probably build myself a throne of gold and just sit there, staring at my hoard and admiring its beauty. I wanted it. I wanted it all.
And there wasn't a soul around to stop me.
Well, all right then.
I glanced at the pile of gold nearest to me. There was a goblet-like thing just sitting there. Pure gold with intricate engravings on the side and green gems embedded in its the base. It was a pretty little thing. It would be a shame to leave it just lying there.
I reached out a hesitant hand and carefully lifted the goblet from its resting place.
There came a rumbling sound—almost a yawn—from deep within the mountains of gold. I leapt back, dropping the goblet instantly. It landed on the stone floor with a heavy clang. The sound rung through the hall.
Then, the mountains of gold began to move.
An avalanche of coins, plates, and gemstones came pouring down onto the pathway as the mountain grew taller and taller. I shrieked and sprinted down the path, away from the gold pouring down, covering the floor.
I gawked, unable to comprehend what was happening before my eyes. The riches fell away from the mountain, revealing a red beast beneath the layers of gold. No. Not just any beast. A dragon. Smaug.
I stared. And stared. And stared.
The yellow eyes blinked, and the head of the beast turned to me. I could see all of its sulfur-colored teeth, sticking out jaggedly from its massive jaws.
Then I screamed.
Then I ran. Like all hell was after me.
Yeah. It sounded a little something like that.
I sprinted down the pathway, through the mountains of gold. There was a stone doorway a little ways ahead. As I sprinted towards it, the deep growl of Smaug sounded behind me.
I just made it through the doorway when Smaug let loose a blast of flame.
"Dragon!" I screamed, sprinting down the corridor. "Why is it always a dragon!?"
Another roar. Another burst of flames whipped after me.
I screamed. "Skip me back! Skip me back! Skip me back!"
Back I went.
The flames were gone. The dragon was gone. The beautiful gold was gone. I was sitting alone in my apartment. The lights were on. The movie was still playing. The couch was a mess. The remote was gone. And Nick and Bonnie were nowhere to be seen.
For the next few days I searched desperately for any trace of Nick or Bonnie, but there was none. They had disappeared off the face of the Earth. I could tell you about the days spent in misery—where I couldn't stop wondering what had happened to my friends, where I couldn't sleep because I was plagued by nightmares—but those details aren't important. All you need to know is that such a thing had never happened before; I'd never Skipped anyone with me to Middle Earth. And then I'd lost them. Which was not a good thing. They could've been burnt to crisps by Smaug. Or ended up somewhere else entirely. Hopefully not with orcs or goblins or trolls or any other evil thing. All I knew was that they were no longer in my world—which meant they were in Middle Earth.
So, being the good and kind friend that I am, I decided to look for them. Of course, I had no control over my Skips. They came and went as they pleased. But after some long, serious thinking, I realized that the Skips always came whenever I was absolutely terrified and about to die.
Yes, I know what you're thinking. And, yes, I really did it.
I jumped off a six-story building.
Thank God it worked or I would be splattered across the sidewalk right now.