Writing 101, Day Five: Be Brief

You stumble upon a random letter on the path. You read it. It affects you deeply, and you wish it could be returned to the person to which it’s addressed. Write a story about this encounter.writing-101-june-2014-class-badge-2

I have taken a more offbeat approach to this challenge.  I have written it as a character who found and returned a letter which was addressed to themselves.  However, I think I failed in the concept of being brief.

If only for the Eagles.

The long journey has ended and I feel a vast weight has finally been lifted. There is still great work to do to repair The Shire, but its honest peaceful work.

Standing in the kitchen at Bag End looking out on the path that runs down Bagshot Row into Hobbiton, I am content. Turning from the window, it’s high time I began to unpack the travelling gear. As my old gaffer would say, sooner started, sooner finished, but that usually meant his beer and me going up for another round.

I begin to unpack my cooking gear from my bag, taking each piece out reverently. My hand rests on the handle of my old pan, bend and misshapen (stupid Orcs) when I notice the envelope I had found on the path last week leading to Bag End and put in my bag. The weather has aged the paper but I can still see my name written on the outside.   I cannot believe I forgot about the letter until now, and that it has been returned to me. I open the it and read,

Samwise Gamgee (Eavesdropper)

Sam, if you are reading this letter than it means I have fallen into darkness and everyone is in great danger. When the time comes the spell that hides this letter in your cooking gear shall be lifted (I know Frodo will never find it here, laggard Hobbit never does the cooking).

I look up from the page, I must have had this letter the whole journey to Mount Doom, and when we came back to the Shire, it has fallen from my bag.

Again, I have fallen into darkness, deep and ancient and the Fellowships quest stands upon a knifes edge (I repeat this because didn’t I say we should not taken the route through the Halls for Moria, it’s not as if this was my first rodeo, but no… everyone listened to the ruggedly handsome ranger with the jaw made from granite and eyes that…anyway), you must tell Frodo I have arranged for the Eagles to carry the One Ring to Mordor and drop it into in the fires of Mount Doom. The One Ring has no power over the Eagles, much as Old Tom Bombadil.   I wanted it to be a marvel and teach the little shit a lesson for putting the ring on in the first place, even when I told him not too.

I never intended for us to walk all the way to Mordor, that would be folly. Swamps, Nazgul, Wargs and who knows what other insurmountable dangers stand between Mount Doom and us, it’s best for the Eagles to fly stealthily and attack with surprise. Tell Frodo what I have planned; Aragon shall know what to do next.

Weep not for me; I have gone to white shores and a far green country under a swift sunrise.

Gandalf the Grey

p.s. pass on a personal message for me to Aragon, tell him I told you so!

As I look at the letter in my hand, a tear gathers at the corner of my eye and rolls down my cheek. Unbidden images of pain, fear, hunger and loss run through my mind of our journey to Mount Doom. I walk over to the hearth and throw the letter into the fire. I watch as the orange red flames engulf the letter, it’s edges blacking and curling inwards. Finally, once I know that the letter is destroyed I turn my back on it’s ashes, leave the kitchen and walk over to Frodo in the parlour as he sleeps in his favourite armchair. My eyes are drawn to his hand, still bandaged and painful through he hides it well. Frodo nine finger as the bards now call him.

I kneel down beside Frodo and rest my head on his arm. I close my eyes and feel myself begin to drift, I whisper to the silence of the room, what a complete and total Fucktard.

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