How Eldo Got His Groove Back

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Amarië
Orwell
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How Eldo Got His Groove Back Empty How Eldo Got His Groove Back

Post by Eldorion Wed Aug 15, 2012 12:01 am

I've missed writing stories and posting them here lately, but before getting back into The Needlehole Mysteries I wanted to try doing something a little bit different. This is a stand-alone short story, although it ended up growing to about 12,000 words, or slightly longer than the first Mystery. Since it's so long I split it into three separate posts. I hope that you all enjoy the tale and I'd love to hear any feedback, positive or negative, that you guys have. Please bear in mind though that I wrote this in a week and it's been only minimally edited for spelling and such. It's a bit more personal than the stuff I've posted before and also touches on the mystery of what happened to Baingil that you guys seem so fascinated by. Smile
Eldorion
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How Eldo Got His Groove Back Empty Re: How Eldo Got His Groove Back

Post by Eldorion Wed Aug 15, 2012 12:01 am

How Eldo Got His Groove Back
The winter sun was obscured by clouds when the harsh blaring of an alarm clock echoed through the master bedroom of the Tower of Lore. Eldo wriggled deeper into his mattress and pulled the covers over his head for a few minutes before the sound forced him out of bed. Shivering slightly in his bedclothes he tip-toed to the alarm clock that was deliberately placed on the other side of the room. He pressed the snooze button before turning around to crawl back the bed.

Eldo paused at the sight of the king-sized bed, still perfectly made except for the small portion taken up by Eldo itself. The bed was made for two people to sleep in, but it no longer fulfilled that purpose. Not for two months now, Eldo thought as he scowled at the bed. After a moment he took a deep breath and shook his head as if to clear it. He wasn't going to let his entire day be ruined by thoughts of her. Today was a big day, after all.

Actually, it would be more correct to say that today was part of the build-up to a big day. The present date was December 12, and in two days, The Hobbit would at long last be released in theatres. The inhabitants of Forumshire were eagerly awaiting its release, though many of them were nervous about what changes Peter Jackson might have made. Eldo was one of the most nervous.

Eldo dressed in his warmest clothes and made his way out of the tower and through the streets of Needlehole. A light frost covered the buildings, many of them newly-constructed to house Forumshire's influx of immigrants from Bree. Mrs Figg's House of Eels and Pleasure dominated the village skyline, but despite numerous visits in recent weeks, Eldo was not headed there. Instead he walked up High Street, bundled up tightly against the cold, to the Muck and Duck, home of the Forumshire Movie Club.

The Movie Club was having daily meetings in the week leading up to the official premiere, and tension was in the air. As President of the Club and one of its first members, Eldo felt a responsibility to attend every meeting. He pushed open the door and took a seat at the club's usual table. After ordering a breakfast platter from the waitress he turned to face the only other club member present.

“How's the crabbit meter today, Petty?” he asked, already knowing the answer.

“Broken again,” grumbled the Scotshobbit. “This is the third one I've had to order in the past two weeks. I'm going to lodge an official complaint with the boffins if they can't make a meter that can stand up to PJ's meddling.”

“We both know how tall an order that is,” Eldo said knowingly. “Even the staunchest apologists have found it hard to defend his actions after CinemaCon and Comic-Con.”

“I'm not one to complain about heathens coming in and seeing the light,” Petty said sagely. “But I wish it didn't have to be in such circumstances.”

“There's only so much we can do,” Eldo said sadly. “We just have to carry the torch of Pure Tolkien high so that all can see it.”

The next to arrive were Mrs Figg and Nora Herring, both originally of Bree. They had been full of excitement for the films but their lack of “We want Orly” and “I (heart) Viggo” signified the shift in the general mood. Ringo, Amarie, and Orwell all filed in as well, looking somber.

“I think that's everyone,” said Petty. “Shall we call this meeting to order?”

“Not just yet,” said Eldo. “Ally's not here.”

“I think I saw her on my way in,” Orwell offered.

“You weren't following her, were you?” Nora asked suspiciously.

“What could ever have given you the idea that I, Orwell McOdo, would do such a thing?” Orwell exclaimed quite pompously. “I say, the youth today! Humph.”

Eldo snickered but managed to turn it into a cough as the wait staff arrived to deliver breakfast to the table. As everyone began to eat, the door to the Muck and Duck opened again.

“Sorry I'm late. I'm glad to see you all started without me,” Ally called from the door. In a club full of people who had gradually descended into PJ-induced melancholy as the movie grew closer, Ally stood out like a Hawaiian shirt at a funeral (which, incidentally, was a fashion statement Ally had made). She was dressed in bold colors, sported large sunglasses, and carried a small flag with the letters “PJ” embroidered on it.

“There goes my appetite,” groaned Petty.

“Oh, don't be such a sourpuss,” Ally said as she took her seat at the table. “You haven't even seen the movie yet. Can't you wait two more days to hate it?”

“That's not the crabbit way!” protested Petty. “Besides, I'm still not convinced that you aren't an agent of PJ. You never know where he or his minions will pop up next.”

Before an argument could begin Eldo cleared his throat loudly. “Now that everyone's here, I call to order this meeting of the Forumshire Movie Club. Ringo, it's your turn to take notes.”

“No need to be so formal, Eldorion,” said Ally. Eldo ignored her.

“Our first order of business is Petty's proposal to write a strongly-worded letter to all the local papers listing our grievances against the changes we already know will be made to The Hobbit,” said Eldo.

“Actually, I suggested hopping a plane to New Zealand and smashing in all of PJ's windows,” Petty corrected helpfully.

“Yes, but since we're supposed to engage in legal activities, I wrote down something different in the notes,” Eldo said with a sigh.

“I agree with Petty,” cut in Mrs Figg. “I never would have thought I'd say this six months ago, but something needs to be done about PJ. Shooting in 48fps and 3D was a terrible idea!”

“I still don't get why he thought they needed three parts,” Nora said.

“Let's not forget the distraction from the core story of Bilbo Baggins,” said Amarie. “The Hobbit should be about the journey of its main character, like in the book.”

Eldo grinned at Petty, who winked back. The two most pure members of the Movie Club were enjoying the newfound popularity of their perspective with the other club members.

“I still think that we should go to the premiere in costume,” said Ally. “I really like the dwarf costumes from what we've seen so far.”

“How could you say that, Ally?!” demanded Orwell incredulously. “PJ might have hired Alan Lee and John Howe to design the films but compared to their older drawings the new costumes are completely inappropriate. They don't even look like dwarves!”

Ally pulled her sunglasses over her eyes and put on her headphones. The other club members could hear her blasting The Beatles, but they ignored the liberal among them to focus on the important matter of their letter-writing campaign.

The meeting went on in like manner for some time until all the club members had to go on their way. They split the bill evenly before dispersing. Eldo walked down high street to his job at the local Administrator's Office, but thoughts of movies and purism continued to run through his head. Every now and then thoughts of her intruded as well, but he did his best to shut them out.

That evening, Eldo relaxed on his bed in the Tower of Lore. The sun had sunk below the horizon and the winter twilight lay over Needlehole. Glancing around a little guiltily, Eldo picked up an old diary from his bedside table and flipped through it. He stopped at the entry for July 15, two years ago, and began to read.

That was the day he had first met her. Baingil. The enchantress who had wandered into Forumshire while Eldo was on vacation in Fjordlandia. He had liked the newcomer from their first meeting when he returned and they began a fast friendship. Baingil used her magical powers to help shape Forumshire into the prosperous country it had become and the two had eventually moved into the Tower of Lore together.

Now all that was left of Baingil were his memories, recorded in the diary, and an old, fraying copy of The Hobbit that she had left behind. Things had deteriorated for a while, but Eldo didn't like to read his diary entries from that time. Eventually he put the diary aside, sighing heavily, and picked up The Hobbit instead. On the inside front cover the words “Property of Baingil” were written in a neat, flowing hand. Eldo found where he had placed the bookmark and began reading, allowing himself to escape into the story.

Everything else faded away and Eldo read until his eyes began to close of their own accord. Finally, he put down the book and turned off the light, drifting away into an uneasy sleep.

Several hours later, in the dead of night, Forumshire changed.

* * *

It was cold. Very cold. Too cold to get out of bed. Eldo pulled the covers up further and buried his head under his pillow. The alarm clock would just have to wait. He liked winter well enough, but this was too much.

Eventually, Eldo managed to force himself to slide out of bed. He slowly made his way across the room, shivering, and fumbled with the alarm clock until he managed to turn it off. Eldo yawned loudly. It felt like he hadn't slept at all. Peeking through the curtain, he blinked in surprise. A blanket of snow coated the entire countryside.

“I didn't wake up in Fjordlandia, did I?” Eldo asked aloud. It was only December 13. He wasn't one to complain about a beautiful snowfall, but it would make walking to the Muck and Duck a less comfortable prospect than usual. But the Movie Club would be seeing The Hobbit tomorrow – he couldn't be late.

Eldo trudged through the thick snow, which remained unblemished until he reached the busier streets in the village center. Despite the snowfall there were still clouds in the sky and it felt like much later in the day. Most of the residents of Needlehole seemed to have elected to remain indoors, except for a few small children whose distant voices could be heard from the village's sledding hill.

Still blinking sleep from his eyes, Eldo heavily climbed up the steps to the door of the Muck and Duck and entered, stomping snow from his boots as he did. Glancing around, he realized that he was the last member of the club to arrive.

“Sorry I'm late,” he mumbled through a yawn as he sat down at the table. “I hope I didn't keep you guys waiting.”

“You've got to get with the program, Eldo!” Orwell said cheerfully. “The big day is tomorrow! This is only going to happen once, you don't want to ruin it with a bad attitude.”

Eldo blinked sleepily. “I'd rather keep my expectations in check, y'know,” he said.

“Why would you do that?” asked Ringo. “After the consistency that PJ demonstrated with The Lord of the Rings I don't think we have anything to worry about. It's not like this will be directed by George Lucas,” he concluded with a knowing glance.

Eldo shook his head. “Huh? Don't tell me you got bitten by the liberalism bug, Ringo,” he said.

“The what bug?” said Ringo.

“Eldo, are you feeling okay?” Nora interrupted. “We've all been looking forward to this for years. Show a little enthusiasm!”

“I didn't sleep too well, I guess,” said Eldo. “You guys all seem way more excited than you were yesterday, though.”

“Huh? No we're not,” said Nora. “Yesterday we were all excited about Petty's idea to go to the premiere in costume.”

“I thought that was Ally's idea...” said Eldo. He put his head in his hands for a moment, thinking. “Wait a second! What did you say that Petty's idea was?”

“To go to the movies in costume,” said Nora.

Eldo turned to stare at Petty in disbelief. “You, of all people, want to dress up for a PJ movie?”

“Of course I do!” cried Petty, his face a huge grin. “This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity here. The return to Middle-earth we never thought we'd get. Peter Jackson delivered such a remarkable – and faithful – adaptation of The Lord of the Rings that we have to show our support this time too!”

Eldo's jaw dropped. “Who are you and what did you do with Petty?” he asked in disbelief.

“What are you on about this morning, Eldo?” asked Petty. “We're getting more of the thing we love. We're all fans so get in the spirit!”

Eldo turned around to face Ringo. “Can you pinch me, please?”

“Pinch you?” Ringo said, puzzled.

“Yes, and hard,” said Eldo. “I'd like to wake up now.”

Ringo hesitated but then reached over and pinched Eldo's cheek. Eldo closed his eyes and bit his lip. His cheek hurt. He opened his eyes.

“Are you feeling all right there?” asked Ringo.

“Petty, tell me your opinion about Peter Jackson,” Eldo replied.

“He's one of the most talented directors working today,” the Scotshobbit replied.

Eldo couldn't think of anything to say and finally lowered his heads to his arms. “Just, give me a moment here, guys. Carry on.”

Petty and Ringo glanced at Eldo and then each other with concern, but Petty shrugged. “Anyway, I finished work on our dwarf armour last night, but I need a little help with the beards. Any volunteers?”

“Did you make them long and full like in the book?” asked a voice from across the table. Eldo glanced up and saw Ally sitting at the other end with her arms crossed.

Petty sighed. “We've had this conversation before,” he said delicately. “As I recall, we decided that since this is a movie event, we should dress in the style of the movie characters.”

“But Tolkien's dwarves had long beards,” Ally responded. “The principle clan is even called the Longbeards, for God's sake. Beards played an extremely important role in Dwarvish culture throughout the books. Wearing stubble while calling yourself a Dwarf from Middle-earth simply because that's what the fangirls want is nothing short of disgraceful.”

Eldo sat up and stared at Ally. Before he could say anything, Petty sighed loudly. “You can't expect every little detail of physical description to appear in the movies. Film is a visual medium and you have to respect the artistic choices of the filmmakers rather than demanding they slavishly recreate the book experience.”

“I agree with Ally,” objected Eldo. “And I don't think that wanting an important element of Dwarvish identity to be reflected in the visual design of the films is slavish.”

“Honestly, the two of you!” exclaimed Petty. “Eldo and Ally, all you ever do is bitch and moan about all the little changes you think are going to happen. Just relax and enjoy yourselves!”

Eldo stood up but couldn't find any words to say. He stared at Petty, then at Ally, and then back. “What the hell is going on? Petty, you're supposed to be the one I agree with. Ally, you're supposed to be the one who is always going on about how great PJ is. Is today 'pick on Eldo so he's confused' day? If so, congratulations! It worked. Joke's over, let's get back to business now.”

The entire club stared at Eldo. He took several deep breaths, then started to blush a little when the others didn't look away.

“Do you have a fever or something?” asked Nora.

“Maybe you should lie down for a little. Clear your mind,” Amarie suggested quietly.

“It's not my mind that needs clearing!” Eldo said. “Yesterday, everyone was dreading all the horrible things that were going to happen to the films except for Ally, who was the only one who still had faith in PJ. Now it's the exact opposite. What gives?”

“Eldo...” Amarie began. “Nothing like that happened yesterday. We've all been big fans of Peter Jackson and his movies for years.”

“I'll take you back to your place,” said Nora, standing up. “Let me just get my coat.”

“I'm okay,” Eldo muttered. “Don't bother.” He clumsily pushed his chair back and stumbled to the door.

“Eldo, wait!” Ringo called after him, but Eldo pushed open the door and stepped out. He vaguely heard the concerned whispering of the rest of the Movie Club before the door was blown shut behind him by the cold wind. Stepping down onto the street, Eldo aimlessly shuffled through the snow down High Street.

The wind was picking up, so Eldo turned down an alley where the buildings blocked the worst of the wind. Flurries of snow were picked up and spun through the air, making it look like it was still snowing. Eldo leaned against the side of a shuttered shop and stared forlornly at the grey sky.

Several minutes later, he heard crunching snow as someone else entered the alley “There you are,” he heard the warm voice of Ally say. “I was worried about you, just charging off into the snow like that.”

“Can you tell me what's going on?” asked Eldo, still staring upwards.

“I was hoping you could tell me that,” replied Ally.

Eldo stared at her. “Have you really been a critic of the movies for a long time?” he asked.

“Of course,” she said. “It was your arguments and debates with Petty that convinced me about it. The others just don't understand because they're caught up in the hype, but they'll come around.”

“I thought they already did,” said Eldo. “But I also thought that you hadn't.”

“It feels like you're upset with me for agreeing with you,” Ally said cautiously. “I'm worried about you.”

“It's not that, I'm just really confused right now,” said Eldo. “Everything is the opposite of what I remember now. I don't know if the whole world turned upside down last night or if I'm just going crazy.”

“You should probably go home and get some rest,” said Ally. “You look really tired. If you're not sleeping well, maybe that's the cause of all this. I'll walk you back home.”

“I'm okay, I can get back on my own,” Eldo said quickly. “But I'll take your advice. Maybe a nap will help me feel better.”

Ally smiled at him. “I hope so. Give me a call on the palantir if you need anything.”

“I will,” Eldo said, giving a weak smile in return. “See you around.” He slowly stumped through the snow until he reached the Tower, but once inside, Eldo was unable to fall asleep.

“Maybe it really is me who's going insane,” he said, staring at the ceiling.

After trying and failing to fall asleep for another half hour, Eldo rolled over and picked up the old copy of The Hobbit that sat on his table. If he couldn't sleep, he could at least read. Eldo opened the book to stare at the familiar writing on the inside front cover.

“...”

The familiar words that Baingil had written were gone. Eldo closed the book and opened it again, but the inside front cover was still free of any writing. Eldo put the book down and picked up his diary, opening to a random page. It was blank.

“No goddamn way!” Eldo yelled. He flipped through the entire diary, but there were no entries. It was as if he had never started writing in it. He jumped up and dashed around the room, looking for any sign of Baingil, but those had all disappeared along with her months before. Eldo ran to his calendar to confirm the date – December 13 – and then back to his bed to pick up the book.

“It's the same book,” he muttered, starting at the words 'The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien' on the front cover. Eldo turned the book over in his hands and looked at all the familiar nicks, scratches, and dog-eared pages. He opened it again and stared at the blank inside cover before giving a cry of frustration and throwing it at the wall.

“What the HELL is going on?!” he demanded of his room.

Taking several deep, shuddering breaths, Eldo looked around. His closet and chest of drawers were both open from his manic search, and clothes and other personal belongings were strewn across the floor. Eldo slowly picked everything up and returned to its proper place before finally picking up the copy of The Hobbit and the bookmark that had fallen out of it.

“I guess that's it,” he said. “I'm officially insane now.”

Eldo looked down at the book in his hands, but then he noticed something written on the bookmark. Holding it up, he saw a message written in unfamiliar handwriting.

If you want to save Baingil or your precious movies, come to the Needlehole Park tonight at dusk.

Eldo's breath caught in his throat and he felt tears well up in his eyes. “She really did exist,” he gasped.

When it was nearly dusk, Eldo wrapped himself up in his winter coat and pocketed The Hobbit, with the bookmark note shoved inside. It was even colder now that the sun was down, and the shadows stretched far across the white blanket covering the ground. Eldo made his way towards the village until he reached the park. He brushed the snow off a stone bench and took a seat near the center of the park.

Soon the sun had completely set and the light was almost completely gone. Eldo shivered and began to think about going home when he heard footsteps approaching. He stood, hands clenched into fists in his pockets, and waited. Soon, the other person came around a bend in the park path. It was Ally.

“You!” Eldo yelled.

“Me!” Ally called back. “What's up? Are you feeling better?”

“What are you doing here?” asked Eldo.

“Enjoying this beautiful winter day,” replied Ally. “Although it's quickly becoming a freezing winter night so I was actually on my way home. I'm more interested in what you're doing out here, though. Weren't you going to take a nap?”

“I couldn't fall asleep,” muttered Eldo. Then, louder: “I have to ask you something.”

“Ask away,” said Ally. “But make it quick. I'm freezing.”

Eldo fished the book out of his pocket and removed the bookmark. He handed the bookmark to Ally. “Did you write this?” he asked.

Ally took the bookmark and glanced it over. “Nope. That's not my handwriting anyway. Who's Baingil?”

“You don't know?” asked Eldo, disappointed but not entirely surprised.

“Is she your girlfriend?” Ally asked with a mischievous grin.

Eldo didn't say anything.

“Aha! So she is your girlfriend,” Ally said triumphantly. “Well, I'm sad to say, but I didn't see whoever kidnapped her in the park.”

When Eldo remained silent, Ally looked at him with some concern. “I'm just teasing you, geez. But really, what happened with you and this Baingil chick?”

“Do you really not know?” asked Eldo. “It's been a few months but you met her. Everyone here did!”

“I can't say that I have, Eldo,” Ally said kindly.

Eldo sat back down on the bench heavily. “Yesterday I lived in a world where I had an ex-girlfriend named Baingil and almost the entire Movie Club were purists. Today I woke up in a world where apparently my ex-girlfriend never existed and everyone in the club loves the movies. I thought I was going insane, but then I found that note in my room. It's my only piece of evidence that the world changed, not me.”

Ally sat down on the bench next to him and read the note on the bookmark again. “I'm not gonna lie, that sounds pretty insane,” she said.

“Tell me about it,” Eldo said gloomily.

“On the other hand,” Ally said, “we live in a world where the insane is certainly possible. We have magic and palantirs and moving pictures. Who's to say that time travel isn't also out there?”

“Time travel?” Eldo asked in confusion. “Where does that come into this?”

“It's just a hypothesis,” said Ally. “But if what you say is true, then someone either used magic to convince everyone that the world is not how it actually is, or more likely they went back in time and altered events that rippled through the space-time continuum all the way to today.”

“But why am I the only one who could tell that the change had occurred?” asked Eldo.

“That's a problem with both theories,” said Ally. She bit her lip while thinking. If we assume this to be the case, then the person who changed the world left you with your memories and this clue because they wanted you to do something. Obviously the first step of that was to come here. I don't know what comes next, though.”

“Maybe they wanted me to meet you,” said Eldo. “You seem to have a much better grasp of the situation than I do.”

“Maybe...” mused Ally. “Regardless of what they want, I think that you'll have to go back in time.”

“Huh?”

“It's the only way,” Ally said confidently. “You don't have any magical abilities so the only way to change the present is to go into the past to before the point of divergence and restore the normal chain of events.

“I don't have the ability to travel through time, either,” Eldo pointed out.

“Yeah, I'm still working on that one,” said Ally, lost in thought.

“What are you working on? How do you even know where to begin with this?” cried Eldo.

“Oh, calm down,” said Ally. “I'm just thinking through the possibilities. Once you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be true.”

“Where did you hear that one?” asked Eldo.

“I don't remember. It's not important anyway. What is important,” Ally cleared her voice, “is getting you into the past.”

“You make it sound so easy,” grumbled Eldo.

Ally handed the bookmark back to Eldo and stood up. She paced in a circle for several minutes before Eldo stood up as well.

“Do we have to think about where it's so cold?” he said. “I thought you were in a hurry to get home.”

“I was, but this is more interesting,” said Ally. “Whoever wrote that note wanted you to come here, so it's clearly important for you to be here.”

“Clearly,” said Eldo, rolling his eyes.

Ally stopped pacing. “Do you want to go back in time to save the world you knew or not?”

“Sure, I would if I could, but I don't know h-” Eldo stopped as a bright light emanated from the ground. “What's going on?”

“Maybe you said the magic word,” Ally yelled over the rising wind. Eldo stared at her in confusion.

“Just find whoever wrote that note and make him tell you how to get back to this time!” shouted Ally.

“What if he's not there?” yelled Eldo, but the wind snatched the words away as soon as he said them. The light from the ground became so bright that he couldn't see anything else, consuming his entire being.

* * *


Last edited by Eldorion on Mon Sep 10, 2012 2:10 am; edited 2 times in total
Eldorion
Eldorion
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How Eldo Got His Groove Back Empty Re: How Eldo Got His Groove Back

Post by Eldorion Wed Aug 15, 2012 12:02 am

Eldo felt as if he was falling until he slammed into the ground.

“Shit!” he yelled. The night around him was quiet for a second, before the chirping of insects resumed.

Eldo rolled over onto his stomach and lay panting on the ground for a minute. He felt a bead of sweat form on his forehead and run down his face. The humidity was oppressive.

“What?” Eldo asked loudly. He sat up and stared around. There was not a speck of snow on the ground and the muggy air was making him sweat profusely. Eldo peeled off his winter clothes as quickly as he could. His underclothes were damp with sweat but much cooler.

Eldo shoved The Hobbit into a pocket of his coat and glanced at the bookmark. It was now blank. “I guess it was a one-way ticket,” he muttered. Tucking the bookmark into another pocket Eldo picked up his coat and carried it as he walked along.

He passed through a grove of trees, but it was too wild and unkempt to be the park he had stood in moments ago. Eldo soon found a small footpath and followed it down a gradual slope until he emerged from the trees. In the distance he saw a collection of lights in a tiny village set against a gently curving river.

“It can't be.” Eldo shook his head and resumed walking towards the village. The sun began to creep over the horizon and the lights in the village were extinguished. The rosy dawn gently illuminated the pastoral scene in front of him. The houses in the village seemed to be fairly new, but there were not many of them. Certainly not enough to house the growing population of Needlehole. By the time Eldo reached the village the sun was fully in the sky.

Eldo shook his head as he walked through streets that he recognized from distant memories. “Old Forumshire,” he murmured softly. “That lights show actually worked.”

Eldo paused in front of a small tavern with the name “Muck and Duck” on its sign, though it was much smaller than the inn he had frequented in the past few days. Smiling in recognition, Eldo pushed open the door and strode inside.

“Welcome to Forumshire, traveler!” called the barman, a large Hobbit with an enormous, bushy beard. He then narrowed his eyes. “Eldo? Is that you? You're back early.”

Eldo stared at the bar in surprise. Aside from the bearded barkeep two others Hobbits were sitting at there as well.

“Gandalf's Beard?” asked Eldo.

“That would be me,” chuckled the barkeep. “I know it's been a week or two but I haven't changed that much, have I? Though now that I mention it you look a bit older than you did before going on your trip. Was Fjordlandia that tough on you?”

Eldo laughed in disbelief and shook his head. “This is going to make me sound kinda crazy but–” he stopped in mid-sentence. “Actually, can I just see a newspaper?”

“Newspaper? The closest newspaper is printed a few dozen miles away,” said GB. “You know that.”

“Oh, right,” said Eldo. “Then could you just tell what the date is.”

“July 13,” said GB a bit bemusedly.

“And the year?”

GB told him.

“Right.” Eldo laughed again. “It really did work,” he muttered under his breath.

“What's that you said?” asked GB.

“Never mind,” said Eldo. He walked up to the bar and dropped his coat on the floor before taking a seat. “Can I have breakfast?”

“Sure thing,” said GB. “I just need to cook something else up, we weren't expecting you back for another two days.”

“I wasn't expecting to be back yet but … something came up,” muttered Eldo.

“No worries,” said GB. “Beren, Durin, and I were just having a little staff meeting,” he gestured at the other Hobbits.

“Of course,” Eldo said. This was Old Forumshire after all, the government was quite different. And there were no newspapers. The Dark Planet and Bree-land had yet to be discovered so of course the village was smaller. He felt like he was in a dream. Eldo thought back to his old diary entries. If there were two days before he returned from Fjordlandia....

“Say, GB, there isn't by any chance another traveler who arrived here recently, is there?” he called towards the kitchen. “Someone who expressed an interest in settling here?”

“As a matter of fact, there are two,” said GB. “Quite extraordinary, as you know, having two newcomers in two days. That's why I got the staff together, actually.”

“Two?” repeated Eldo. That did not correspond with his memories. His heart beat a little faster. He must not have gone back far enough.

“That's right,” replied GB, carrying a plate loaded with food to the bar.

“What are their names?” asked Eldo.

“The one was a female Elf, name of Baingil,” began GB. Eldo sighed with relief. “And the other one...” GB scratched his beard. “Funny name he had. Richard Cieslik, I think. Does that mean anything to you?”

“Never heard of him,” Eldo said as he began to eat eagerly. Baingil was here. He had a chance to make everything right.

“They're both staying in the common house on River Street,” GB continued. “They said they were looking for a place to settle down and start a new life so it didn't seem right to make them stay in a dingy little traveler's inn.”

“Makes sense,” Eldo said with a smile. He thought back to two years ago – to two days in the future, he realized – when he had returned from his trip to meet Baingil at the common house. Eldo frowned at the thought of his past/future self. Whatever he did here, it would be best to leave before he met the other version of himself.

After finishing his meal, Eldo pushed the plate across the bar and stood up. I'm gonna go for a walk around, just enjoy being back,” he said. “Thanks for the food.”

“Any time,” said GB. “It's good to have you back.”

“Good to be back,” Eldo waved as he left the Muck and Duck. He walked toward the river with a spring in his step, but as he neared the corner of River Street he felt a nervousness in his stomach Taking a deep breath and smoothing his hair back, he stepped around the corner.

The common house stood right next to the river, and a thin path led to the bank which was often used for washing clothes. By the side of the road stood a tall, Elven woman with long black hair wringing out a long traveling cloak. A huge smile came over Eldo's face as he walked forward.

“Hi there!” he called out happily.

The black-haired woman looked up. “Hello,” she responded. “I don't believe we've met before.”

“Oh yeah,” said Eldo as he drew closer. “I, uh,” he coughed. “My name is Eldorion.” He extended his hand to shake.

“I'm Baingil,” the elf-woman said with a warm smile, shaking his hand. “It's a pleasure to meet you. Are you new to this village as well?”

“I've been here a while, actually, but I just got back from a trip,” Eldo said. “Fjordlandia, up north. Very cold.”

“Even in the middle of summer?” she asked.

“If you go far enough north, yeah,” he said with a grin.

“I can't imagine that, but then again, I come from a very warm place,” Baingil said. She glanced at the coat Eldo was still carrying. “Do you need any soap for that, Eldo – do you mind if I call you Eldo?”

Eldo's heart skipped a beat. “That- That would be great,” he stammered. “Actually though, I wasn't going to wash this. I was just passing by here.”

“I'll see you around, then,” said Baingil, and she picked up her laundry and turned to walk back to the common house.

“W-wait!” cried Eldo.

She turned around. “Yes?”

“Uh, I think we may have met before,” he said. “In another place or time,” he finished lamely.

Baingil looked at him curiously. “I mean no offense, but I'm fairly certain we've never met before.”

“I'm fairly certain we have,” Eldo said smugly. “Um, I actually know a fair bit about you.” He walked closer. “You told me that...” he leaned forward and whispered in her ear.

Baingil's eyes went wide and she stepped backwards quickly. “How the hell do you know any of that?!” she demanded, eyes flashing with accusation.

“Like I said, you told me!” Eldo cried. “A long time … ago.”

“I can't imagine why I would ever have told any of that to such an indecent man as yourself,” Baingil said coldly. With a final glare, she turned around and walked back to the common house.

Eldo stood in the street, staring at the door long after she had entered. Finally he roused himself and walked back to his own home in the old village. He didn't have the key to the door anymore, but by shoving hard he was able to enter and collapse into a chair in the sitting room.

“What the hell am I doing here?” he asked aloud. “None of these people know who I really am and I managed to mess things up with Baingil again after only five minutes of conversation.” Despondently, he watched the shadows creep across the room as the sun rose higher in the sky and eventually began to descend. The sounds of life from the surrounding village seemed muted.

Suddenly, a thought came to Eldo. He jumped up and ran to his old closet to change into proper summer clothes. He put The Hobbit and the bookmark in a pocket of his shorts. One he was dressed, he wandered through the streets until he found the house he was looking for. After he knocked, Eldo had to wait only a minute until the door was answered by a familiar face.

“Hi … Ally,” he said cautiously. “I suppose you remember me, right?”

“Hey, Eldorion,” she said. “'Course I remember you, you were only gone a week or so. We weren't expecting you back for another few days though.”

“Yeah, something came up,” said Eldo. “Can I come in?”

“Sure, I guess,” said Ally. “Can I help you with whatever came up?”

“I really, really hope that you can,” said Eldo as he walked in. They sat down at the table in Ally's kitchen. “What exactly do you know about me?” he asked.

“That's a weird question,” observed Ally. “I know pretty much the same about you as everyone else does, I guess.”

“Do you know anything about time travel?” Eldo asked hurriedly.

“It's not been proven to be possible, as far as I know,” Ally said. “Is this related to your first question?”

“What would you say if I told you that time travel is definitely possible,” said Eldo.

“I'd want to know how you know that,” Ally said slowly.

“You'll probably think I'm crazy,” began Eldo.

“That usually means that you're crazy,” Ally said with a wink.

“I'd have said the exact same thing if it wasn't for everything I've been through in the past 24 hours,” said Eldo. “That is to say, it feels like 24 hours for me. Actually, it feels like a lifetime, but it's 24 hours spanning two and a half years and-”

“Stop,” Ally said gently but firmly. “You're babbling. Have a drink of water and start from the beginning.”

She handed Eldo a glass which he accepted gratefully, and then recounted everything that had occurred to him so far.

“So I helped you travel back in time to save your girlfriend and also the world, somehow, but you have no idea what you're supposed to do now?” Ally said when he had finished.

“It sounds pretty stupid when you say it like that,” Eldo said wryly.

“It is quite a bit to believe,” said Ally. “On the other hand, you do seem to be different from the Eldorion I remember. You seem confused, but honest. I try to keep an open mind, so maybe you're telling the truth. Besides, I do have an interest in time travel that I don't really talk about, so the fact that you came to me suggests you might be from the future.”

“You believe me?” Eldo asked eagerly.

“I'm willing to entertain the notion that you're telling the truth, or at least that you think you are,” said Ally. “That's as far as I'm willing to go right now. “I'd be interested in taking a look at that bookmark you mentioned, though.”

Eldo fished the bookmark out of his pocket and handed it to Ally.

She examined both sides of the bookmark and held up to the sun. “I don't see any trace of writing on here,” she said. “Whatever the reason, it's completely blank. The question is of course whether there was ever any writing on here at some point.”

“There definitely was,” Eldo said emphatically.

“I'm sure you believe that, but you have to look at this from my perspective,” said Ally. “I'm trying to be fair-minded though.”

“Thanks,” Eldo said, a little bashfully.

“Let's say that you really are from the future, though,” Ally began. “And let's say that your future was changed by another time traveler. It seems to me that you should have a prime suspect already.”

“Who's that?” asked Eldo.

“This Richard Cieslik fellow, whoever he is,” said Ally. “If he wasn't hear in the original timeline, and you have returned to the point of divergence, then there's a fairly good chance that he could be from your time as well.”

“Oh yeah,” said Eldo, feeling dumb. “Sorry, my mind is still playing catch-up with everything that's happened to me.”

“No worries,” said Ally. “The biggest question in all this is why the person who changed time wanted you to follow him or her, though. I can't think of any reason.”

“Maybe they wanted to lure me into the past and trap me here,” Eldo muttered darkly.

“That's certainly a possibility,” mused Ally, deep in thought. “There would have been simpler ways to dispose of you, though.”

“I'm trying not to think about those,” said Eldo.

“Of course.” Ally was silent for another minute. “I can't make any promises, but I do have one idea that might help you.”

“What's that?” Eldo asked eagerly.

Ally turned around and rifled through a drawer beneath her counter for a moment. “I've been working on an experimental potion designed to inhibit time-travel. I read about it in a book of lore recently. I can only assume that I didn't have it anymore in your time.”

“Is it going to be useful?” Eldo asked.

Ally turned around, holding a small box. “I wouldn't offer my private research to you if I didn't think it would be useful, Eldorion,” she said with a scowl. Then, with a quick grin, she sat down and opened the box to reveal a pocket crossbow and a small bottle of blue liquid. She opened the bottle and dipped each of the bolts in, covering them in the liquid.

“If this potion touches the skin of a person, it will prevent them from interfering with time,” she said. This is intended to be ingested, but breaking their skin with a crossbow bolt ought to do the trick as well. It might not fix your problem entirely, but it can keep things from getting worse.”

“I thought you said you weren't sure if you believed me,” said Eldo.

“I'm not,” Ally said cheerfully. “But this potion is completely harmless to anyone isn't a time traveler, so if you're just a loony, I have nothing to lose. Just don't go shooting people willy-nilly, okay?”

“I'm not that loony,” Eldo said petulantly.

Ally chuckled. “I certainly hope not. To tell you the truth, I really hope that everything you said is true, because it's really cool.. How hip is it to be on the cutting edge of time? It's a bit scary, though.”

“Tell me about it,” Eldo said darkly. “But thank you, really.”

“Just be smart,” said Ally. “And good luck.”

* * *

Eldo said goodbye to Ally and departed her house with the pocket crossbow and a leather holster that fit inside his waistband. The afternoon was now well along. Eldo felt like he hadn't slept in years, which in a way was true. The only way to get home was to find the time culprit, however, so he walked back through the village.

As he walked down the unpaved streets, Eldo slowed down as he took in all the little sights. Old Forumshire felt unfinished without all the things he remembered from the future, but he was nonetheless filled with nostalgia for it. For all the new faces who had come to Forumshire over the year, there were those who left and did not return. An opportunity to see them again was not to be passed up.

“What the hell,” Eldo said as he passed the back of the Muck and Duck. “I'm a time traveler now. I have all the time in the world.”

Eldo walked around the building and pushed open the front door. The late afternoon sun streamed in through open windows and the common room seemed to have a golden tint. The pub was now empty except for Gandalf's Beard, washing up behind the bar.

“Howdy, Eldorion,” said GB. “You settled in again back home?”

“Not exactly,” Eldo said as he walked up to the bar. “I've had a stressful time the past few days.”

“Anything I can help with?” GB asked with concern.

“I dunno,” muttered Eldo. He sat silently at the bar for a moment and GB passed him a buckie without asking. After taking a drink, Eldo spoke up: “What are your thoughts on time travel?”

“Depends if there are informants or aliens listening in,” GB said after a moment's hesitation. “You can't be too careful when dealing with the powers that be. Never trust an Admin, that's my motto.”

“Yeah, I make a point of steering clear of those guys,” Eldo said with a hint of a guilty conscience. “Do you think that time travel is possible, though?”

“I've never seen it with my own two eyes, but I think there's enough evidence that it is,” said GB.

“Would it be possible for someone to radically change the future by going into the past?”

“Of course,” said GB, his eyes blazing with a sudden passion. “That's the principle use of time travel to those with an interest in it. It's the perfect tool of oppression because the victims never know it even happens. The very act of time travel rewrites their memories so that they think things have always been a certain way, because for them, that's how it happened.”

“There's no way the victims could retain their memories?” Eldo asked.

“Not unless they somehow left the normal flow of time entirely before the alteration,” said GB.

Eldo nodded slowly. “Could such an alteration ever be undone?”

“Only by another time traveler, but no one from the altered time plane would know where to go or even that there was anything to be done,” said GB.

“Huh.” Eldo nursed his buckie in silence for a few minutes.

GB broke the silence. “I have to be honest, Eldo. You seem to have something else on your mind. Do you want to talk about it?”

“It's pretty complicated,” Eldo said with a bitter laugh. “I guess … what's bothering me most is the feeling that I have a chance to regain something I lost, and I don't want to let that slip away.”

“I know the feeling,” said GB. “I think everyone does, at least once. It's important to be proactive in those situations. No matter the outcome, if you know that you tried your best, then you don't have that 'what-if' hanging over your head.”

“I know,” said Eldo. He sighed heavily. “I'm just afraid of making the same mistakes that I did before.”

GB gave Eldo a knowing look. “If this is about a girl then I know that saying don't worry won't make any difference, but you shouldn't be so hard on yourself. You're young. Mistakes are a part of life. The important thing is learning from them.”

Eldo nodded wordlessly and GB gave him another buckie.

“You wouldn't happen to know where those two newcomers are right now, would you?” Eldo asked finally.

GB stroked his beard in thought. “I haven't seen much of that Richard Cieslik fellow since he arrived, but the elf one left, actually. She didn't say if or when she'd be back.”

Eldo looked stricken and GB gave him an understanding wink. “She left going towards the hills, about an hour or two ago. She took her bags with her so you should be able to catch up with her.”

Eldo stood up quickly. “Thanks,” he said, as he ran for the door.

“Good luck!” GB called after him.
Eldorion
Eldorion
You're Gonna Carry That Weight

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How Eldo Got His Groove Back Empty Re: How Eldo Got His Groove Back

Post by Eldorion Wed Aug 15, 2012 12:02 am

The sun was nearing the horizon as Eldo ran through the village and to the road he had entered on that morning. Once outside the village he came to a halt and gasped for breath, but after a short rest he set a quick pace towards the hills in the distance. On the lowest slopes he could make out a dark smudge that was the grove of trees he had landed in that morning.

Twilight had come and long shadows reached across the land as Eldo finally made his way up the foothills. He continued following the familiar path past the trees when he paused. He could see a flicker of firelight through the branches.

Cautiously, Eldo made his way through the grove towards the source of the light. Soon, he peered around a particularly large tree and saw Baingil stoking a campfire amidst a makeshift campsite. Eldo ducked back behind the tree and took several deep, gulping breaths, trying to steady himself.

The pop and crackle of the campfire filled the night air, but Eldo found himself unable to room. His feet seemed to be rooted in the ground and he could not think of a single thing to say. An unreasoning panic began to fill his mind and he gasped for breath again, this time a little bit louder.

“Who's there?” Baingil called out sharply behind him.

Eldo stumbled forward and then came around the tree, blushing. “Um … hi again,” he managed to force out.

Baingil glared at him fiercely. “What are you doing out here?

“I...” Eldo struggled to find words before deciding on honesty. “I really had to talk to you again. One last time.”

“I'm not sure why I should listen to you,” Baingil said.

“Please, I know that I went about things the wrong way earlier, but I'm trying to be completely honest,” Eldo said pleadingly.

Baingil crossed her arms across her chest. “If I listen to you now, will you leave me alone after this?”

“Yes, if that's what you want,” said Eldo.

“Fine.” Baingil sat down. “Go ahead.”

Eldo sat down as well and took a deep breath. “The truth is that I came to this point in time from the future. In the future we knew each other and were together, and when I saw you here I wanted to try to make things right.”

“We were together,” Baingil repeated. “What happened?”

Eldo stared at the ground for a second. “We broke up,” he said quietly.

“So you came back in time to try to win me back?” Baingil asked flatly.

“No, I actually came back to try to fix something else,” Eldo said quickly. “I didn't know you'd be here, but when I saw that you were...” he trailed off. “You probably don't believe a word I'm saying.”

“It's pretty far-fetched,” said Baingil. “What were you trying to fix if it wasn't our relationship?”

Eldo sighed. “Someone went back in time to change the time plane that I came from. I woke up one morning and everyone I knew was different and there was no trace that you had ever been there at all.”

“I am curious as to how you knew so much about me,” Baingil said cautiously. “Do you have anything from the future that you could show me to convince me.”

Eldo removed the copy of The Hobbit from his pocket, but then he hesitated. “When everything changed, all trace of you disappeared with it. But in my original time, you had written your name in this book. It was all I had left of you after … you know.”

Baingil looked suspicious but still a little curious. “Let me take a look at that book anyway.”

Eldo handed her the book and Baingil flipped it through it. When she found the bookmark she held it up and looked at it as well.”

“Oh yeah, that used to have writing on it. Someone had written where to find the time portal on it,” said Eldo.

“Huh,” said Baingil, turning the bookmark over in her hands. “I do wonder what it would be like to travel through time.”

“It's hard to explain-” Eldo began, but he stopped as a flash of light erupted from the ground just a few yards away.

“Stay down,” Baingil said as he stood up, pulling a pocket crossbow from a hidden pocket in her skirt. The light died down somewhat and a circle of glowing runes could be seen on the ground.

“That's how I came here from the future!” cried Eldo. “That circle of light, it's some sort of time portal. I was holding the bookmark when I got here, too.”

Baingil glanced back at him curiously, but before she could say anything, a cold laughter came from the trees around them.

“Well done,” a voice said. Squinting through the light, Baingil and Eldo saw a small figure walking forward. “You found your way back. I'm impressed,” the figure said in a voice that sounded entirely too loud for its slight frame.

“Who are you?” demanded Baingil, lifting her pocket crossbow. Eldo rose and his hand drifted towards the holster Ally had given him.

The figure stepped forward out of the light of the runes. His face became visible, but his skin was grey and peeling.

“Richard Cieslik,” breathed Baingil. Louder, she said: “I saw you when we both arrived. What the hell happened to your face?”

Richard laughed his cold laugh again. “It means my magic is wearing off. Surely an enchantress such as yourself can recognize such a simple spell.”

“Stay back,” Baingil said firmly, aiming her pocket crossbow directly at the man calling himself Richard Cieslik. “Who are you really?”

“Someone who is known to you,” said Richard. As he smiled broadly, cracks spread from the edge of his lips across his face. His skin began to crumble and fall off. At the same time Richard seemed to grow larger and more recognizable....

“Peter Jackson!” gasped Eldo.

“Congratulations,” said PJ. “You solved the riddle.”

“This is ridiculous!” spluttered Eldo. “Did you change the flow of time just so that people would like your shitty movies?!”

Peter Jackson smirked but did not reply. Instead, he raised his hand, on which glinted a golden ring. Baingil fired a crossbow bolt at him, but a sudden rushing sound filled the air and a sudden pillar of fire incinerated the bolt in mid-air.

“Look out!” Eldo cried as he darted in front of Baingil, drawing his own pocket crossbow.

“What are you doing? Get out of the way!” yelled Baingil as PJ raised his hand again. Baingil shouted something incomprehensible as the rushing sound filled the air again and PJ's fire pillar dissolved in a burst of smoke the moment it appeared.

“It seems that you are already quite an accomplished user of magic.” PJ's Kiwi-accented voice drifted through the smoke. “You're going to need more than that one little trick, though.”

“Trust me, I've got plenty of tricks up my sleeve,” Baingil said fiercely. She raised her arms and a dozen silver arrows materialized and whistled towards PJ through the dissipating smoke.

“Be careful!” said Eldorion. “Peter Jackson is wily and not to be trusted. You never know what he's planning next.”

“I can take care of myself. Besides, isn't he planning to make The Hobbit?” Baingil snapped back.

“About that...” Eldo began. Before he could finish, a hole opened up beneath his feet and he fell into a pit about ten feet deep. Peering up, he could barely see Baingil's long hair blowing in the wind.

Peter Jackson emerged from the shadow and faced Baingil. “What do you want?” she demanded.

“Nothing that concerns you,” PJ said dismissively. “You should leave while you still can.”

“Who is he, really?” she asked, pointing to Eldo in the pit. “Did he really come from the future?”

“Of course he did,” said PJ. “I sent him here.”

“And what are you going to do now?” Baingil asked, preparing to cast another spell..

“Stay back, she-elf,” PJ warned, twisting the golden ring on his finger.

“Baingil!” Eldo yelled from the pit. “He can manipulate time, but I have a way of preventing him from doing that again. You have to help me get out of here.”

“I think your girlfriend is a little bit preoccupied,” PJ said snidely, but Baingil smirked. “I can multitask.”

The ground rumbled beneath Eldo's feet and he felt himself flung up out of the pit. The pit itself filled in with dirt as he tumbled across the ground.

“Impressive,” said PJ. “We could use a strong female such as you in The Hobbit.”

“It's too late for that,” said Eldo as he fired Ally's potion-tipped bolt at Peter Jackson.

PJ's face contorted with rage as the potion spread through his body. He arched his back and roared with fury before advancing on Eldo. “You sniveling little purist! I'll make you and your girlfriend pay for that!”

Before PJ could do or say anything more, Baingil darted forward and grabbed the hand on which he wore his ring. She deftly twisted it around and deftly plucked his ring off. “Not in this time plane, you aren't” she said. There was a crack of thunder and PJ disappeared from the face of the Earth.

* * *

Baingil helped Eldo back to the now-wrecked campsite she had set up. The adrenaline began to drain from his body and Eldo winced at the bruises he had acquired in his flight from the pit.

“What did you to him?” Eldo asked once he had sat down by the firepit.”

“I banished him from this time plane,” Baingil said modestly. “Time travel is just a branch of magic. Manipulating time is no different from manipulating matter or energy if you have the knowledge.”

“Where is he now?”

“Somewhere in the far future, where he can't affect this part of the space-time continuum anymore,” said Baingil with a hint of pride this time.

“Do you believe me about being from the future, then?” Eldo asked hopefully.

“It would be pretty hard not to after what just happened,” Baingil said with a smile.

Eldo returned the smile ruefully. “I'm sorry I made such a mess of things the first time I tried to talk to you.”

“It's okay,” Baingil said warmly. “I can only imagine how strange it must have felt. Right now we should focus on getting you back to your own time, though.”

“Last time the lights flared up and I was just whisked away,” said Eldo, gesturing at the now faintly-glowing runes. “I don't know how to trigger the portal now.”

“Give me a minute to look at it,” said Baingil. She walked over and examined the runes for a moment. Eldo got up and watched as she drew strange symbols on the ground, removing some runes and writing new ones in their place.

“There,” she said once she was finished. “The portal is now configured to take you back to your original time. It should also restore the normal flow of time retroactively after you activate it, so your world will be as you remember it.”

Eldo nodded but then hesitated. “Before that, I just wanted to apologize for … for everything that I did,” he said quietly.

Baingil looked at him with concern. “What happened, Eldo?”

“I wasn't in a good place,” Eldo said sadly. “I guess neither of us were. It wasn't anyone's fault I guess, but we just … broke up. Every dance since I've wondered what I could have or should have done. I can't believe that the situation was beyond salvaging.”

“I wish I could say something to make you feel better, but this is all in the future for me,” said Baingil. “I think the most important thing you can do is to move forward without worrying too much about the what-ifs and if-onlys.”

“I know, I know,” said Eldo. “But when I found myself back here I really thought that I had been given a second chance. That I could avoid making the same mistakes I did the first time.”

“It's important to learn from the past, but you shouldn't try to live in the past,” Baingil said kindly.

“What would happen if I chose not to go home?” Eldo asked.

Baingil put her hands on Eldo's shoulders and looked him in the eyes. “This is a world of memory and shadow for you. You know all about me, but I hardly know the first thing about you. You can't go through life trying to relive the old memories you have. You have to be grateful for what you have in the present.”

Eldo blinked back tears. “I'm not saying you're wrong, but there's a big part of me that just really doesn't want to do that.”

“It's hard, I know,” Baingil said softly. “But I know that you're brave since you were able to come back here to fix time, and the brave thing to do is to accept what has happened and the face the future with confidence.”

“I don't have a lot of things to look forward to in the future,” said Eldo.

Baingil smiled sadly. “I'm certain that if you look at things a different way, you will find plenty to look forward to.”

Eldo closed his eyes. In his mind he saw the Movie Club, the Forumshire Theatre, the gang at the Muck and Duck, and all the sights and sounds of the vibrant, growing new Forumshire he loved. Then he opened his eyes and saw the face of Baingil in front of him. But it was a younger Baingil, the one he remembered from the past. She looked different in his more recent memories, and he could only imagine what she looked like now, or how she would in the future.

“Can we at least have a few more moments together?” he managed to whisper.

“Of course,” she said. The two sat down next to each other and stared at the lights of the runes that rose from the ground.

“Do you think we'll meet again, in the future?” he asked.

“I couldn't say,” said Baingil.

Eldo looked around at the summer night. “I do miss a lot of things about where I come from, but I also miss you. Besides, it's been so cold there lately,” he added with a small smile.

“You'll always have your memories,” said Baingil. “And I hope that you'll focus on the happy ones.”

“I will,” said Eldo. After another minute he stood up. “I should probably get going.”

“Yeah,” said Baingil. She walked him over to the rune circle where Eldo stood in the center. “Before you go, I want you to know that I'm really proud of you for making the right decision.”

“Thanks,” said Eldo.

Baingil leaned forward and gave him a light kiss on the cheek. “I think you'll be fine, friend,” she said with a warm smile. Stepping back, she clasped her hands together and the lights began to rise. Eldo gazed at her, taking in every sight as the lights grew higher and the wind picked up.

As the wind whistled past his ears he heard Baingil call out “Goodbye … Eldo.”

* * *

Eldo felt as if he was falling until he slammed into the ground.

The sudden impact and the sudden cold knocked the wind out of Eldo's lungs, and he gasped for air for a few minutes. Then the shivering set in. He was still wearing summer clothes.

Eldo jumped up, shaking all over. He was in the middle of Needlehole Park surrounded by the tall buildings of new Forumshire. It was dark and the moon was not in the sky. He ran back to the Tower of Lore as fast as he could while violently shivering. Once there, he huddled in front of the fireplace in the master bedroom. After feeling returned to his extremities, Eldo felt something in his pocket.

It was Baingil's old copy of The Hobbit. Eldo opened it. There, on the inside front cover, was the familiar “Property of Baingil” note. Flipping through, Eldo saw the familiar bookmark, which was completely free of writing. Smiling sadly, he stood and put the book on his bookshelf.

The first rays of sun were creeping over the horizon ahead of dawn. Eldo felt as if he hadn't slept for a hundred years. He stumbled to his bed and fell at once into a deep sleep.

Eldo was awakened many hours later by slamming on his door and the ringing of his doorbell. Sleepily, he made his way downstairs and opened the door to a brilliant winter morning, and an anxious Ringo Herring on his doorstep.

“Did you sleep through your alarm, Eldo?” Ringo asked with concern. “This is the biggest day in Forumshire's history, you can't be late!”

Eldo blinked slowly. “Is it...?”

“The premiere of The Hobbit, yes!” Ringo said with urgency. “Do I need to dunk your head in a snowbank so you'll wake up faster? The screening starts in 45 minutes. We all expected you hours ago.”

“Give me just one minute,” said Eldo. He made his way to his bathroom and stared in the mirror. He seemed to have creases on his face that hadn't been there a few days ago, but he wasn't sure if he was just imagining them.

After quickly washing and dressing, Eldo made his way downstairs. He hopped in Ringo's genuine Fjordlandian sleigh (pony carts being unsuited to the snow) and they rushed to the theatre. Once they found their seats, Ringo took out a notebook and pen.

“What's that for?” asked Eldo.

“Don't tell me you forgot,” said Ringo. “We decided yesterday to bring notebooks so that we could take notes about all the horrible changes as we're watching the movie so that we won't forget even the smallest of changes.”

“Yesterday is kind of a blur to me,” Eldo said wryly.

“No worries, you can borrow some paper from me,” said Ringo helpfully.

“Actually, I think I'll pass on that and just watch the movie,” said Eldo.

“Are you sure?” asked Ringo. Before Eldo could respond, the lights went down and the movie began.

Two and a half hours later, the members of the Forumshire Movie Club filed out of the theatre into the bright winter sun.

“I have to say, I actually really enjoyed it,” said Eldo. “I know I did a lot of complaining beforehand, but once the movie started, I just went along into it.”

Ringo looked somewhat sheepish. “I had a lot of fun,” he admitted.

“Orlando Bloom was absolutely the best part of the movie!” squealed Mrs Figg.

“No, no! It was definitely Richard Armitage,” said Nora. “Who knew dwarves could be so dreamy?”

“I thought that PJ did as good a job as we could expect given what he decided to add,” Amarie said fairly.

“I enjoyed it after I turned my mind off,” said Orwell.

“Well I hated it!” said Petty. “What happened to the crabbit spirit for the rest of you? Shame on you all!”

“I guess some things never change,” said Ally, who was walking right next to Eldo. “Anyway, I loved it.” She gave a broad grin.

Eldo stopped walking for a second. “Could I have a word, Ally?”

She paused as well, while the rest of the group continued towards the Muck and Duck while cheerfully debating the legitimacy of adding Radagast the Brown to the films.

“What is it?” asked Ally.

“This might sound weird, but what do you remember about the past few days?” Eldo asked cautiously.

“Just all our club activities, I guess,” Ally said innocently. “I have to say, I'm a bit surprised at how positive everyone is being about the movie. I'm glad to see you being more positive, though. You've been pretty down in the dumps since your break-up.”

“I've had a pretty crazy few days, but I'd like to think I appreciate what I have a little more now,” Eldo said.

Ally smirked. “Did you learn any important life lessons?”

Eldo glared at her suspiciously. “Admit it. You had something to do with the whole time fiasco adventure thing.”

“No idea what you're talking about,” said Ally. She began to hum as she took out her sunglasses absentmindedly polished the lenses.

Eldo sighed. “I'm not mad about it,” he said. “As a matter of fact, I think I did learn something important about appreciating what I have.”

Ally looked up from her glasses to stare at Eldo intently. She seemed quite serious for a minute before giving a wink. “Maybe that was the plan all along,” she said, and put her sunglasses on.

Eldo had a million things he wanted to say, but instead he watched her follow the rest of the group up the road. When she was almost out of earshot, Ally turned around and shouted: “I'll be looking forward to reading your full review in the paper!”

“Yeah, look for it tomorrow!” he called back, waving. As Ally turned around, Eldo let his hand drop and took a moment to appreciate the beautiful, snow-dusted landscape of Forumshire before heading to the Muck and Duck to join the rest.

THE END
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Post by Pettytyrant101 Wed Aug 15, 2012 12:24 am

Just finished the first part Eldo and loved it- what a great idea. I was somewhere between giggling with delighted joy and horrified by what my character was saying. Briliant! Will be back to read the rest very shortly.

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Post by Eldorion Wed Aug 15, 2012 6:17 pm

I'm glad you liked the first part, Petty! Very Happy I was trying to do something different but I hope I didn't make it too different from the stuff I've posted before that I scared everyone off. pale
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Post by Pettytyrant101 Wed Aug 15, 2012 6:23 pm

Certainly didnt scare me off Eldo-reading the remainder of it is on my evening to-do list as well.

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Post by Eldorion Wed Aug 15, 2012 6:38 pm

That's encouraging to know, thanks! I'm not trying to be pushy but I'm a little antsy wanting to know what people think. Razz It's all practice and I'm trying to expand my writing horizons!
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Post by Mrs Figg Wed Aug 15, 2012 8:23 pm

I do heart Viggo though! Razz I read the first part too cheers its great. cheers
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Post by halfwise Wed Aug 15, 2012 8:35 pm

Norc will be jealous.

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Post by Eldorion Wed Aug 15, 2012 9:54 pm

Thank you, Mrs Figg! I tried to guess who and what different people would like about the movies, but I'm sure there's enough Viggo to go around. Very Happy
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Post by Pettytyrant101 Thu Aug 16, 2012 12:02 am

Sadly my reading of the rest of this may have to wait until tomorrow- my plans for the evening got waylaid by the unexpected, but not unwelcome arrival of friends, and their equally welcome buckie. drunken drunken

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Post by Orwell Thu Aug 16, 2012 12:28 am

I always suspected something duplicitous in Petty's character! Very Happy

Fine work Eldo... Can't say much yet, I've read this before work, and I'm rushing off now...

One point, the charactizations are all perfect, except for my character, who always seems to get misrepresented.... (When you write about me think: Handsome, Young, Witty, Good Looking, Muscly and Wise. If you do that, you'll depict a far more believable Orwell McOdo. Here to help! Very Happy ).

{{{Also, I had a twinkle in my eye reading about GB --- that fucking deserter bastard! Banghead }}}

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Post by Eldorion Thu Aug 16, 2012 1:34 am

No worries Petty, friends (and buckie) come first. Very Happy

Thanks for reading, Orwell. I look forward to seeing what else you have to say since I've always looked up to your writing. Smile {{{I thought this McOdo was at least more flattering than the one in The Needlehole Mysteries. Laughing}}}
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Post by Orwell Thu Aug 16, 2012 10:49 am

Flattering? Shocked Well, maybe... though it just goes to show how unflattering you've been in the past. Suspect

I like the fact you took some risk with the pathos and romance, the underlying sense of matters serious and personal. l like a bit of deeper honesty even in the lightest kinds of stories. In fact, I think you got the right balance of light and deeper. (The deeper hints weren't too prominent - just right in fact, at least in my opinion).

I really liked the way you revealed the "Real" Petty... I always suspected the Scots pretend crankiness, but are actually soft and kindly beneath their rough haggard hardened hobgoblinish veneers! Laughing

I would actually like to read some of your un-Forumshiran material if you've got stuff. I think you write very well. And here's the pompous bit - write very well for someone quite young, at least when compared to yours truly, Old Fossil Orwell...(not the writing quality but the age thing... Sad)

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Post by Mrs Figg Thu Aug 16, 2012 2:31 pm

does the word pathosetic exist? pathos-astic, anyway I am sad GB and Baingil are no longer around, they sound like jolly decent chaps.
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Post by Pettytyrant101 Thu Aug 16, 2012 4:13 pm

Just finished reading it Eldo- great stuff.

I have two bits of truths for you about women and releationships-

1. You know how people say it will feel better in time- thats a lie, it won't. What actually happens is you will think about it less and remember it less- but on the occasions you do it will be just as bad as it ever was, forever.
2. All women, in the nicest possible way, are crazy. Trying to uderstand or operate on the several levels they tend to is not even worth trying.
Just assume whatever you are doing is wrong and the fastest way out of a conversation is always to agree with them.

The solution to these dilemas with women and releationships is of course lots and lots of buckie. drunken

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Post by Eldorion Thu Aug 16, 2012 6:23 pm

Thank you so much, Orwell. Very Happy I'm glad you like the mix of seriousness and light-heartedness. I was trying to make something with deeper themes and emotions but I wasn't entirely sure how it turned out.

Orwell wrote:I would actually like to read some of your un-Forumshiran material if you've got stuff. I think you write very well. And here's the pompous bit - write very well for someone quite young, at least when compared to yours truly, Old Fossil Orwell...(not the writing quality but the age thing... Sad)

That really means a lot, coming from you. Smile I've had a million different ideas for stories I'd like to write but it wasn't until just a few months ago (on this forum, actually) that I was able to finish a story for the first time. It has been my goal to do some more original, non-Forumshiran writings, though. I still need to decide exactly which idea I'm going to work on but I'll be sure to post it here when I do. I'm a bit nervous about it but also excited.

I do really enjoy writing stories about Forumshire too, though, so I don't plan to totally abandon that. I was actually hoping to write something a little sillier and shorter before trying another serious story. Cool
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Post by Eldorion Thu Aug 16, 2012 6:31 pm

Mrs Figg wrote:does the word pathosetic exist? pathos-astic, anyway I am sad GB and Baingil are no longer around, they sound like jolly decent chaps.

I miss them both too, but I always hope that someday we'll see all the old faces who used to post here return, at least for a little while. I wish them all well. Smile I wanted loss to be one of the themes in this story so hopefully it came across effectively.
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Post by Eldorion Thu Aug 16, 2012 6:31 pm

I'm really glad you liked it, Petty! I'll, er, take your advice under consideration. Razz
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Post by Pettytyrant101 Thu Aug 16, 2012 8:19 pm

Take it under your kilt for safe keeping Eldo. Nod

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Post by Amarië Thu Aug 16, 2012 8:56 pm

I thought it was a very sweet story. I was half expecting (read: fearing) dr.Who to show up, but I am glad he didn't. Ally was perfect.

I really felt I was walking with Eldo, I was reading wearing that smile one gets when thinking of times that were and people gone or lost. It felt a bit like the "I remember" thread on PT. So now I've been to the old Shire too, even though I never did.

I like how well you make the emotions and the atmosphere come to life, it's always a treat to read your work.

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Post by Eldorion Thu Aug 16, 2012 10:34 pm

Thank you so much for your kind words, Amarie! Knowing that people have read my work and enjoyed it always puts a smile on my face. Very Happy I got a bit nostalgic writing the scenes in Old Forumshire and I'm glad that came across in the writing. Smile
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Post by Kafria Thu Aug 16, 2012 11:04 pm

Really enjoyed this Eldo,
the characterisations had me giggling in the first few paragraphs and it pulled me in quickly.
The dialogue flowed well, something I am a little jealous of as I always find this really difficult.

Thanks for sharing Smile

You know how people say it will feel better in time- thats a lie, it won't. What actually happens is you will think about it less and remember it less- but on the occasions you do it will be just as bad as it ever was, forever.

I'd second this although I would add that it applies to more than just woman and relationships. Very Happy When things happen you can either let them define you or you can choose to move forward and "play the cards your dealt" as my mum always says.

Ugh thats a bit serious - sorry. Maybe here is the time to mention that I suspect PJ has Sherlock and John bewitched with a hex bag to keep them in NZ and stop further cases. It is time we stood up and ensured this ends. Someone, quick, we need a crop circle to get the doctor so he can go get the Winchesters to break the curse and then Castiel can take PJ to Camelot and leave him to Merlin and Arthurs tender mercies!!! (superwholockin Rolling Eyes )

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Post by Pettytyrant101 Thu Aug 16, 2012 11:25 pm

I would add that it applies to more than just woman and relationships.- Kafria

True but luckily the solution remains the same! drunken

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