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Forums : The Silent Chronicles > The Book of Hobbits
Sauronsbeagle (Member) 1/17/2009 2:59 AM EST : RE: The Book of Hobbits
Sauronsbeagle
Posts: 4619

In Pursuit of a Dream by Besshobbit

“Bother this, nothing works!”

The piece of stone pinged off the bath, prompting an angry shout...

“Oi Miss, what ARE you doing in there?”

Bess sighed as she retrieved the stone from the far side of the bathroom. “Nothing Ma, sorry”. Well, achieving nothing anyway. Try as she might her feet just wouldn’t come clean. Tenacious stuff this Hobbitton field dirt, but what was a lass to do? To get pie you have to have fruit and veg, and to get fruit and veg, you have to grow it…

Not that being muddy would usually concern Bess. Not her. Nothing wrong with healthy Shire mud, and what’s the point of washing just to get covered again tomorrow… But today… today would determine whether or not she would be able to realise her dream. Well, at least whether she would be able to make a start on it.

Despairing of ever getting her feet clean, Bess donned her one and only dress, praying that the long skirt would keep her feet concealed enough for the calluses and dirty marks to go un-noticed.

As she strode out along the road to Bywater, Bess cursed her dress loudly, prompting amused glances and the occasional comment as she tried repeatedly to untangle her legs while keeping herself reasonably clean.

Drat and bother the silly thing, how does anyone manage to walk wearing such a ridiculously impractical item of clothing? 

With a wry smile Bess remembered her Ma’s pleasure at seeing her in a dress, she herself was much more comfortable in her dirty, comfy, scruffy trousers, but they simply wouldn’t do today. Not today.

Finally reaching Bywater village centre, Bess smoothed her hair and tried to rearrange her dress to hide the scuff marks where she had managed to step on and fall over the hem on her trip. Trip being the operative word half the time.

Why am I so nervous. Come on Bess. Just open the door and get on with it you silly lass!

Chiding herself for her nerves, Bess screwed up her courage in both hands and stepped into the Green Dragon, looking around anxiously.

“Ahh hello young Miss, what’ll it be for you this fine day?” The Barkeeper hailed her loudly, making Bess jump.

 “Oh… umm… hello… I was looking for someone… a Mister Chubb? Petunia Greenhand sent me. Do you know him?”

“Who, Old Aiken? He’s just round the back there, not sure he be wanting to see visitors though, he be busy with them pies he’m baking…”


Just what she wanted to hear, the hobbit on whom her entire future depended… and he was too busy to be bothered with her…The miserable look on her face must have stirred the elderly Barkeeper into some show of compassion.

“There there Lass, don’t go leaking all over me bar. Just wait there and I’ll go and have a word with him for ‘ee. I surely wish a young lass would weep at the thought of not visiting me!”

Bess couldn’t help smiling at the old hobbit’s words as she sat herself down, wiping her eyes with the back of her hand. All that preparation, and she didn’t even remember her handkerchief. Some impression she was making!

“Ah-ha! Always a pleasure to meet a fellow cook, always a pleasure! We might swap a recipe or two and share a meal or three if you find your way to the Green Dragon more than this once!”

Bess jumped at the voice behind her, and quickly stood up, hoping her tears and sniffles weren’t too obvious.

“Oh… Hello Mr Chubb… I’m so sorry to bother you, but I was told you are the authority on pies around here, and well, I was wondering if you could…”

Bess stuttered into silence as the old hobbit in front of her started to laugh.

“Stop fretting lass, if Petunia sent you then you’re doing just fine. I'll be glad to help you with anything I can, of course! If you keep practicing, your dinners will get tastier and tastier and even more in demand! You just wait and see! I'll be waiting to speak with you when you've had a few more meals under your belt, both yours and cooked by others, I expect! Maybe then I can give you a little instruction on the finer points of simmering, boiling, tenderising, and roasting! But for now, I must be getting back to my own cooking. Take care lass, and keep up the good work!”

Handing her an old recipe book, Aiken wandered off back to his oven, leaving Bess standing with a huge grin on her face. All the hours growing and baking, all that worry, all the cleaning and washing… she’d done it. She had DONE IT! Hugging the book to her as though it were the most precious thing in the world, Bess ran out of the inn, dancing and singing, with the proud words running through her head.


“Me, Bess, Officially an Apprentice Cook. Bess, Apprentice Cook!!!”

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Sauronsbeagle (Member) 8/29/2009 8:52 AM EST : RE: The Book of Hobbits
Sauronsbeagle
Posts: 4619

A Pie and a Plan by Sauronsbeagle


He had the pie. As long as he had the pie everything would be alright. The pie was his opening gambit, his shield, and his secret weapon, all encased in a well-glazed lardy crust. How could he fail with such a pie, all crammed with frogmeat and beans? Surely no lady hobbit from these parts could resist such a delicacy, could they? What if nerves had prevented him from baking it to his usual standards? What if there was a bad frog in there? What if…?

 

‘Stifle those doubts, Pob lad’, he muttered to himself, ‘Concentrate on the pie.’

 

Pob trotted northwards along the Rushey Road towards Stock. His small farm was well behind him now. He’d left his son, Tob, in charge while he undertook this daring mission to the farm about a mile to the north. Tob was a good boy, and would be more than capable of looking after the cows and the beans in his father’s absence. Cows and beans, good Marish products both, had been in his family’s blood for generations.

 

Tulip Rushlight’s farm came into view as he crested a rise in the road. It looked resplendent as always in the late afternoon sun, with the Brandywine glittering alongside. Beyond he could just about make out Old Maggot’s holdings, which reminded him, it would soon be mushroom season again. How did it get to be September already?

 

‘Focus, Pob!’ he told himself sternly, ‘There’ll be plenty of time for thinking of mushrooms later. Keep your eye on the pie.’

 

As he approached the farm he spotted Tulip digging around in her vegetable field. She hadn’t seen him yet, so he ducked behind a large clump of marsh rushes to compose himself. This visit had been weeks in the planning, he’d rehearsed his lines countless times, but there was no harm in going over them one more time in his head before he took the plunge.

 

‘What are you doing, hiding behind those rushes, Pob Mossyfoot?’

 

His heart sank. This wasn’t part of the plan at all! Already his meticulous preparation was unravelling, and he hadn’t even begun. He still had the pie though. As long as he had the pie everything would be fine. Concentrate on the pie.

 

‘Tulip!’ he cried, stepping out from his inadequate hiding place, ‘I didn’t see you there. I thought I saw movement behind this clump here, so I went to investigate. Always on the lookout for frogs, that’s me!’ he chuckled nervously.

 

‘Do you often go hunting with a pie in your hands and your frogging poles still strapped to your back, Pob?’ asked Tulip.

 

‘Ahem, no. Not as a rule. I suppose I just can’t help myself when I spot one,’ Pob blushed, suddenly aware that this wasn’t part of the script. He thrust the pie under Tulip’s chin, ‘This is crammed full of ‘em! I baked it myself from my mother’s old recipe.’

 

He was back on track. The pie was the thing. Everything else would fall neatly into place after the pie. He’d delivered his opening gambit, he was safe behind the shield of a gift pie, now to follow through with some well placed conversational thrusts.

 

‘Why, thank you, Pob,’ said Tulip, not looking quite as impressed as he’d hoped she might, having just found herself one pie to the good. She turned the pie-dish around in her hands, inspecting his crust in a disconcertingly suspicious manner, ‘Is it all frogmeat inside?’

 

‘There’s some beans in there too. Fresh from my own farm,’ replied Pob enthusiastically, happy that the small talk was continuing on a pie-related theme. He was on safe ground here. ‘You must be making some fine pies of your own at the moment with all these vegetables. How’s the farm doing?’

 

‘Oh, Pob!’ sobbed Tulip, shattering Pob’s new found confidence. This wasn’t part of the plan either. A pie was a good thing, surely? A reason for joy and smiles, not inconsolable sobbing . There was nothing for it, he’d have to improvise.

 

‘There, there, Tulip my dear. Whatever is the matter?’ he ventured, even going so far as to put a tentative arm around the distraught hobbit. An opening is an opening, no matter how the opportunity arises. With the plan out of the window this was no time to be cautious.

 

‘It’s my beetroots!’ she wailed, ‘They’re ruined. One of the big folk came along and trampled all over them – him and his big horse. Come and look. I was trying to put a brave face on it when you happened along, you being so kind as to bring a pie too, but it’s no good. Pob, it was terrifying!’

 

Pob led her to the beetroot patch as gently as he knew how and surveyed the damage for himself, his pie all but forgotten. The raised beds were in total disarray with huge footprints interspersed with equally large hoof-prints, the tops of the vegetables lying broken or scattered all around. There was no salvaging this - the good folks of Rushey wouldn’t be enjoying Tulip’s pickled beetroot this year. A veritable disaster. More than that – an outrage!

 

‘This aint tolerable, not nearly!’ cried Pob, forgetting to talk his best for a moment, ‘Which way did this fellow head? He’ll pay for this, I’ll make sure ‘o’ that! We can’t have big folk dragging their horses all round the Shire ruining our beets. I wont ‘ave it! I’m going after him.’

 

‘He went towards Stock, no doubt back to the main road, he’ll be long gone by now. And besides, what do you reckon you could do even if you did catch him? He was strange one, all dressed in black, with a hood over his face. You don’t want to be confronting a villain like that, there’s no telling what he’d do. Don’t go, Pob!’ she begged.

 

Pob was dimly aware that Tulip was begging him to stay, and that that was a Good Thing, especially considering how far he’d deviated from the plan. But some things are more important to a hobbit than the prospect of a little companionship and the inevitable fine foodstuffs that come with such an arrangement. Pob was angry, and Pob wanted justice.

 

‘Please, Pob! Don’t leave me here all alone and frightened. Let’s go inside and share this pie of yours. I’m sure it’s lovely. I’ve waited so long for you to finally pluck up the courage to come here to see me – don’t spoil it now,’ she grabbed his arm, pleadingly.

 

‘What sort of hobbit would I be if I let someone do this to a widow’s beetroots and get away with it?’ asked Pob, ‘No, Tulip, I can’t let this go unanswered. You’ll be fine here while I go and apprehend the culprit. Justice must be done, and I won’t stop until I find this rogue, even if I have to follow him to the ends of the Shire and beyond! You get yourself indoors and wait for my return.’

 

Gripped by a sudden rush of heroic confidence, Pob grabbed Tulip and planted a clumsy kiss full on the startled hobbit’s lips, before striding off purposefully in the direction of Stock, the pie and the plan utterly forgotten.

 

‘You’re a fool, Pob Mossyfoot! You’re going to get yourself killed!’ yelled Tulip angrily from behind him. Pob waved distractedly over his shoulder as he marched onwards in the fading light of the evening.

 


---

 

A short while later, with night and mist closing in around him, Pob sat by the side of the road considering his predicament. Now that he’d cooled off, his rash promises to Tulip seemed vaguely ridiculous, and definitely regrettable. ‘Damn fool!’ he muttered to himself, ‘Should’ve focused on the pie, instead of going off all heroic like that.’

 

Sighing, he stood up and stared back down the misty road towards Tulip’s farm, and Rushey beyond. There was no hope of him catching up with a mounted Big Person with a head start, even if he knew where the ruffian was headed. The sensible thing, he knew, would be to swallow his pride and walk back to Tulip and apologise for running off like that.

 

Turning, he saw the Stock road run away to his left, while the road to the ferry fell away to his right. Perhaps it was the night playing tricks on him, but he was sure he could hear the sound of hooves coming from the direction of the river. Grimly, he set off down the hill towards the ferry, peering through the mist as it clung to the river. The sound was becoming quite distinct now, though the mist made it hard to gauge just how close he was to its source. He drew a sharp frogging pole from his back, just in case.

 

Just as he was thinking to himself that there was a distinct wagon rattle amongst the hoof-beats, the vehicle itself hove into view through the mist, barely giving him time to throw himself into the long grass at the side of the road. He sat up, fully intending to give the hobbit at the reins an earful for driving at speed on a night such as this, but the wagon had already raced away up the hill.

 

‘What’s a hobbit doing abroad in a wagon at this time of night anyhow?’ muttered Pob, as he made his way back onto the road, ‘Perhaps he’s just off the ferry. S’pose I’d better check that the fella’ I’m after hasn’t been waiting at this end to get across.’

 

The Bucklebury Ferry was midway across the Brandywine as Pob came to the stage on his side of the river. Hanging back in the shadows so as not to be spotted should his quarry be on the ferry, he could just make out the forms of four hobbits poling their way across the slow moving current. ‘Queerer and queerer,’ he whispered to himself.

 

He was about to make his way back up the road, and onward eventually to Tulip’s house with tail betwixt legs, when a sudden chill came over him. A horse was approaching. Quickly, he scuttled as far up the grassy bank as he could manage, away from both river and road, before throwing himself down on his belly. Through a creeping terror he was dimly aware of a black bundle shuffling onto the ferry stage, snuffling as a dog might in the vicinity of a fresh bone. After an eternity the figure turned and shuffled back towards the road where its horse was waiting.

 

Despite the horrendous fear that gripped him, Pob had the presence of mind to notice something clinging to the horse’s left rear shoe as the black figure mounted and rode off up the hill.

 

‘Those were beetroot leaves!’ he murmured angrily, though it was several minutes before he plucked up the courage to chase after the rider up the Stock Road.



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Sauronsbeagle (Member) 10/8/2011 7:59 PM EST : RE: The Book of Hobbits
Sauronsbeagle
Posts: 4619

The morning the rooster didn't get to shine by Amrea


A quiet sunday morning in the shire.... The sun just coming up over the hills.... A rooster stretches his neck to awaken the small village...

"No, no NO! You fool!!! You shouldn't do it like that!"
"hmpf grumble"
A loud crack and the stage collapsed
Tourmalyn sighed. "Don't make me say; I told you so."
"Hush, Tourmalyn."
"Why do I always have to hush when I am right? I was right all allong!"
Tourmalyn stood, her hands on her hips, looking at her older brother.
"Yes you were right, as you are always right... " her brother grumbled. "That's why our youngest sis gets married and you probably never will."

That morning Tourmalyn and her brothers had woken up early start the build of the stage for her sisters wedding. Initially her parents had wanted Tourmalyn to help in the kitchen with all the cooking that had to be done, but her aunt couldn't handle Tourmalyn's impatient nature anymore. Tourmalyn overheard her aunt say to mother: "No good will ever come of that girl. To selfsufficient and too overconfindent."

The words rang in Tourmalyn's ears over and over.

Later that afternoon....

Tourmalyns' sister and her new husband were sitting on the head of the large feasting table. The wedding went smooth except for a rooster coming for his revenge.... The poor animal had gone completely berserk after being ripped off his moment to shine. It had destroyed 2 of the flowerarrangements and had stolen a ribbon from the brides' hair.

Tourmalyn looked at the couple and thought about the concept of marriage. Her two older brothers were maried, now her kid sister was too, her youngest brother was very much in love with a lass from a nearby village. offcourse some men had shown interest, but the interest always cooled quite fast when they learned about Tourmalyn's ... adventurous nature.
Tourmalyn looked at the sun going down behind the hills and saw a star starting to shine brightly... she stared at it for a while .... a bit longer.... and she made a decision.

That night, Tourmalyn packed a bag, walked over to her parents who were getting ready to go to bed and said: "I'm going now" Mother answered: "Wouldn't you wait till morning?" No mom, I won't. " Father spoke: "Well alright then, I'll walk you to the gate."
Tourmalyn kissed her mother goodbye and walked out after her dad.

"We always knew you would leave some day soon, you are too much like your auntie Bess. Don't you dare forget where your home is young lady, we'll always have a bed ready for you."
Tourmalyn nodded "Thank you Dad, I will come back when I seen everything, there can't be that much interesting outside the borders of the shire." She gave her dad a kiss and dissapeared in the darkness. "She'll be fine, just fine.... " her father mumbled softly.

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Sauronsbeagle (Member) 10/8/2011 8:02 PM EST : RE: The Book of Hobbits
Sauronsbeagle
Posts: 4619

Benevolent Bobbins by Jonsong


He had heard the recent tales. He knew of the disappearances from his village. He knew that as night descended in the forest, it fell swiftly like a guillotine.

He was late. He hurriedly collected his satchel. He felt his heart beating. He should not have lingered. The precious berries collected in his satchel were not a price worth paying. In one swift action, he placed his satchel on his shoulder.

The pounding in his heart took over his body. His vision was blurred. His body was shaking- realisation dawned on him as the sun was setting.

The day’s dying embers coalesced beyond the horizon, streaking through the trees.

The quietness of the forest seemed more threatening as the gloom descended.

He had misjudged how long it would take him to reach the path. This was happening to him far too often. Winter’s day ended far more suddenly than he again anticipated.

His stride led him to the makeshift path. Stumbling at first, as he regained his composure, adrenalin and fear coursed through his veins. A mechanical hurriedness set in, as the calming effect of treading familiar paths eased his anxiousness.

“Why did I stay so long? I should have left, but still time enough.” He smiled to himself.

He knew he would reach the gate, as many times before. The tales of the terrors of the night echoed in his thoughts.

He continued along the path, his thoughts caught between a cat and mouse game of fear and faith. He could hear the soft lull of the rustling leaves swaying delicately in the glow of twilight. He caught the comforting scent of the ferns and grass as he hurried on. He knew that he would not reach the gates before night descended- but he had trod the same paths countless times before. The sound of his padded feet rhythmically carrying him forward resonated in the twinges of pain he felt in his thighs with each step. Each step closer to home and safety. Each step encouraged him to walk faster in fear.


A soft rain fell from the darkened sky. The taste of rain only increased his fear of urgency.

Somewhere in the wood, at a distance behind him, the unmistakable sound of a branch snapping fractured his senses. He froze in terror.

He could only feel the pounding in his heart; it beat so fast his senses were overcome. He could not move. Fear speared him to the spot. His body was palpably shaking; his breathing was heavy, his panting echoing the pounding in his heart. He was too afraid to look behind.

All sense of anything in front of him was dimmed as he strained to listen. He could only hear the rustling leaves in the gentle breeze, the soft tap of rain as it fell upon the boughs of the swaying trees and birds singing their lullabies of sleep nestled in the forest canopy.

After what seemed to be an endless time, his breathing slowed, the pounding in his heart subsided, and he was conscious that soon night would set in. He slowly turned his head to peer into the path he had taken through the forest. He was still able to make out the path he had trod in the gloom. His eyes scanned the forest, his eyes darting like a hawk, looking for any sign of what had caused the branch to snap loudly. He perceived nothing through the forest, other than its familiar sounds as it settled down to sleep.

Steeling himself to continue, he shook off his numbing fear and thought, “I need to get back and quickly. I cannot believe I am terrified by the sounds of the forest. It must be a forest animal.”

He continued on, his senses alert, beads of fear slowly falling from his brow. He was walking as quickly as his limbs would allow, not running, but with an increased sense of urgency. The rain had started to fall more heavily from the sky; the darkness had almost set in as the sun’s final rays slumbered behind the horizon.


A sound seemingly closer than before punctuated his senses- more branches snapping. Something rustling and moving quickly towards him. Something closing on him. He needed no more warning, without looking behind he pelted along the track.

He ran, as fast as he could, gliding through the tall towers of Oatbarton wood. He ran without heed of any other senses, his focus solely that of flight, to run as though death itself was on his heels.

He ran on through the path until the pain in his thighs and tightness in his lungs meant he was spent, and needed to rest before continuing through the forest. He looked behind. Nothing. No sign of anything in pursuit. He set off again, this time setting off in a manageable stride, not running, yet a pace which he would maintain for miles ahead. After a longer period, scanning the forest for any sign of pursuit, he slowed his pace to a fast walk.

Sweat was beating down his brow. The rain was pelting from the sky now- he was so transfixed with flight he did not notice that it was falling hard. A half moon shed scarce light into the forest; he had walked down from a ridge. The moon was low; he turned to sense whether there was any sound or sight of pursuit.

What he saw tore his courage from his heart.

Clearly silhouetted by the moon at the top of the ridge stood more than a dozen figures. Human-like in their form, still quite far away, but unmistakably moving swiftly in his direction.

Despair set in, nearly crying in fright, he turned about and ran. Pain coursed through his limbs, and burned his lungs. His thoughts were now incomprehensible, he was crying in dread, all his failing energies focused in flight. His heart was thumping in his heart as fear shuddered through his body.


To his left, in the near distance, a dim red glow appeared. A glow which he had never seen before, not even once in all the time he had travelled through the forest.

It was tiny at first, but deviating from his path, like a moth to a flame, he started off the hut’s direction. He recognised the flickering glow as he ran on; it was fire dancing, as the sight of a small hut came into his view. The flickering flames of fire inside the hut had called to him.

Sudden hope sparked into his consciousness.

Running as fast as his failing body would allow he ran to the small hut. He reached the door of the hut, shaking in fear, his thoughts incomprehensibly straining to gain entry.

He tried to push the door- it was locked from the inside. Sturdy wooden beams held in place- he would not be able to break in that way. He pounded on the door, frantically, not noticing that he had hit it so hard that blood was grazed on his knuckles. His mind was too numbed by fear to even consider breaking into the hut from one of the high windows. He pounded on the door again. No response.

His heart was nearly breaking in his chest. The beating pulse of his heart sounding in his mind. He could not die like this. He could not die like this.

He pounded on the door again. Sweat was pouring down his face, despair shuddering through his soul.

“Please help me” he cried, “Please help me”

He pounded the door again. Again no response.

“Please help”, he whispered too exhausted to say out loud. Nothing, no response.

His shoulders started to slump as he was about to give up, and then without warning the door opened. Silhouetted before the warm glow of the fire, the frail frame of one of the Big Folk presented itself to him- an old woman, her face lined with time softly spoke to him, “Is it late to be out in these woods my little one, quickly come in, it is not safe after sundown”.

Without needing any further prompting he staggered through the door...






........................................................
........................................................


“I don’t know what is out there my dear”, said the old woman with a hoarse voice“but no longer do I tarry in the woods after dark”. She took the tea that she had boiled over the fire and poured it into two small cups which already contained tea leaves.

“I am sorry I did not open the door when you knocked the first time, I was sleeping and I am somewhat deaf these days”

He recounted to the old woman why he was in the forest, why he had mistook the day passing, focused on picking the berries that he wanted for the filling of his son’s birthday pie.

There was a knock on the door, loud and rhythmic as though coded in some way.

“That will be my children returning” said the old woman, as she opened the door to her hut.

A tall human-like figure stood at the door, covered on all sides by similar figures.

“Come in my dears” said the old woman menacingly, “there is someone here you should meet.....”


........................................................
........................................................




The wind gusted through the boughs of the forest until dying down in the middle of the night.



The Dark Lane was silent.



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