The Genesis Of An Epic #blogbattle #storyideas

This month’s #blogbattle prompt is ‘precious’ and if you want a go, here’s the link.

Gollum Prendegast stared out towards the less than Misty Mountains and yawned. The sun beat down on Middle Earth, creating a dusty haze. Boring. Even the streams were barely a trickle. Nothing ever happened, he mused, not in Middle Earth. He often wondered if life was more exciting in Upper and Lower Earths, if there was more pizzazz, more… everything. What was the point of living amongst elves and dwarves and men and those godawful smelly hobbits and everyone just got on with their lives. Like that’s all that mattered.

‘Gollum, where are you?’ Mrs Prendegast appeared at the kitchen door scanning the yard for her lad.

Gollum tried to shrink below her eye-line but like mothers everywhere across the centuries she knew exactly where he was, pulling him from the Myrtle bush by his elongated ear. ‘You hiding from me, my little precious? I’ve a job for you.’

Gollum’s already sloping shoulders sagged. Why did she insist on that name? ‘Yes, mum.’

‘Go down to the river and fetch some water. The pump is playing up and all I’m getting is sludge.’

Gollum took the proffered pail and headed off. Yes, he understood sludge. That was all…

‘Helloooo!’ The cheery voice was such a contrast to Gollum’s miserablist thoughts that he wondered if he was dreaming. ‘Yes, you there. The lad with the eyes like poached eggs and… are they ears?’

Cheeky sod, thought Gollum though he recognised himself. ‘Yes, what?’ He chipped.

‘Oh sorry to have stretched your haemorrhoids I’m sure,’ snarked back the stranger. ‘I’m a stranger and I wondered…’

‘No.’ Gollum turned away, heading off toward the river bank. ‘I bet he’s some crook,’ he mumbled to himself.

The stranger had an odd lopping gait but he moved quickly to Gollum’s side. ‘I’m a scribe,’ he said, in a voice that, to Gollum sounded rather desperate. ‘I’m Tolkien.’

Gollum sniffed. ‘Doesn’t pay.’

‘No, it doesn’t. I could get good money translating the Elvish Book of Doom, but I prefer fiction.’

‘Eh?’ Gollum looked at the stranger like he was bonkers.

The stranger mirrored Gollum’s expression. ‘Being a scribe. It doesn’t pay.’

Gollum shook his head at the stranger’s obvious lack of intellect. ‘I meant being too keen doesn’t pay, not in my experience.’

‘Too keen?’

‘You said you were too keen…’

‘I…’ the stranger gave what may have passed for a laugh indoors with the kettle on but out here it could easily have attracted several mammals seeking either a mate or some food. ‘No, my name is Tolkien. Not too keen, though some have accused me of a tincture of boyish enthusiasm.’

Gollum turned away, bored already. ‘Why not use your given name? Be less confusing.’

‘Oh sure.’ The stranger clearly wasn’t put off easily, ‘Which of Jerkbuttock Ripefanfango Ribbaldtit would you suggest?’

Gollum pondered. ‘Maybe your initials?’

The stranger nodded, giving this some thought. ‘Might work. Thanks.’

‘Your welcome.’

They’d reached the river bank. It was very nearly dry. The stranger watched as Gollum scrambled to the trickle and dipped in the pail. The scribe said, ‘If you like I could include you in one of my stories. Make you famous. Sort of a hero.’

Gollum peered bleakly at the stranger. Tosser, he thought. ‘Yeah, that’ll work. I’m the dullest person I know.’

‘No, come on, everyone has something interesting,’ prompted Jerkbuttock.

Gollum pondered the idea. ‘I found a ring once. Had this inscription.’

‘Oh yes? What did it say?’

‘Made for Ratners. Cheap crap if you ask me.’

‘I’m sure I can include you in my next epic.’

Gollum scraped at the last drops of water and straightened up. ‘If you do, make me a baddy, will you? They always have more fun.’

The stranger nodded as he turned away. This morose creature was getting him down. A ring. Maybe it could be a romance. ‘What’s your name?’ He called over his shoulder.


The stranger sighed. Yep a baddy and with a name like that no happy ending. Though perhaps he could still be a hero of sorts… He wandered off seeking new ideas and some shelter from the sun. Ahead a group of dwarves marched in line, shovels over their shoulders. He hurried towards them. Maybe they’d have some stories he could nab.

About TanGental

My name is Geoff Le Pard. Once I was a lawyer; now I am a writer. I've published several books: a four book series following Harry Spittle as he grows from hapless student to hapless partner in a London law firm; four others in different genres; a book of poetry; four anthologies of short fiction; and a memoir of my mother. I have several more in the pipeline. I have been blogging regularly since 2014, on topic as diverse as: poetry based on famous poems; memories from my life; my garden; my dog; a whole variety of short fiction; my attempts at baking and food; travel and the consequent disasters; theatre, film and book reviews; and the occasional thought piece. Mostly it is whatever takes my fancy. I avoid politics, mostly, and religion, always. I don't mean to upset anyone but if I do, well, sorry and I suggest you go elsewhere. These are my thoughts and no one else is to blame. If you want to nab anything I post, please acknowledge where it came from.
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18 Responses to The Genesis Of An Epic #blogbattle #storyideas

  1. JT Twissel says:

    Poor JRR – what a name!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. He’ll never be successful with a name like that!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. noelleg44 says:

    Only you could dream this stuff up! The wedding clearly did not slow you down!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m hardly likely to read the original, but this is a delightful story

    Liked by 1 person

  5. aebranson says:

    Okay, this is creepy – when I first saw the word for this month, I immediately thought of Gollum and his Precious, and then you went ahead and wrote about it. 🙂 You’ve effectively turned this story on its head, making Tolkien a character in an alternative-universe version of Middle Earth. Part of the appeal is your allusion to how writers come up with their ideas … and the occasional Gollums we come across. Fun piece!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Pingback: #BlogBattle Stories: Precious | BlogBattle

  7. Jerkbuttock Ripefanfango Ribbaldtit. Worth it for that line alone. Hilarious and very clever.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I wonder what JRR Tolkien must think, knowing that people from all over the world think of Gollum when they hear the word precious.

    You should contact the writer and see if maybe you can both work on a prequel to the Lord of the Rings movies about the life of Gollum.

    Liked by 1 person

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