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.’
‘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.’
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.