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Strange Encounters
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Strange Encounters
Of a Frustrated Fanfic Author
by Soledad

Disclaimer: All the characters – except the main heroine – belong to Professor Tolkien. I’m just borrowing them for a while to play. The Orc-cookies belong to Earonn.

Rating: teens, for some disgusting mental images, concerning bad food.

Author’s notes:
These independent little chapters have very little to do with my regular stories, except the fact that the Tolkien-characters appearing here will behave the way they do in my other writings. None of this is supposed to be taken seriously. :)
This particular chapter has been co-written with Jenn (aka Tolk Anon M-S). Most of the Gollum parts are written by her.

Dedication: To dear Jenn, my co-conspirator and Gollumspeak expert.


Six: Gollum

Our Frustrated Fanfiction Author (still FFA for those who know and dislike her) was at the end of her strength. Finally having been loaned a computer screen, she’d worked herself half-dead, crazy and bleary-eyed to make up for all the lost time. Thus when she finally switched off her computer (her ‘Net provider ailing, she had been disconnected once again and was just generally fed up with everything), she stumbled over to the kitchen for some chocolate. It wasn’t the best defense against a nervous breakdown, but the weather was too hot for baking some of Earonn’s famous Orc-cookies.

Then, just when she opened the fridge, it hit her again like a brick wall.

That hideous stench.

She swore in Romanian – a language she’d learned in her childhood but from which she had retained only the bad words. It could not be! Just the previous evening, she’d finally found that small, forgotten package of mouldering yeast that had gone almost liquid in its utter loneliness. She had tossed it out and disinfected the whole fridge. So what the hell was stinking now?

She sniffed around the practically empty fridge. This time, the stench was different. The whole kitchen smelled of rotten fish. Plus, she realized, though light was still coming from the kitchen lamp, it had taken on that slightly surreal quality that always signalled another unannounced visitor from Middle-earth.

This sign, combined with the smell of rotten fish, could lead to only one conclusion.

“Gollum,” she said with deceiving mildness, “where are you hiding? Come out, or I swear I’ll put you into the oven and turn up the heat!”

Of course, with temperatures over 35°C, that was highly unlikely. Not to mention the fact that the gas oven was almost 30 years old, and it would have taken some time and complicated measures to heat it up enough to bake a light biscuit. But Gollum didn't know that.

“Come out,” she repeated sternly. “I’ll turn off the lamp, but I don’t want you lurking around in my kitchen unseen. Besides, you stink.”

Switching off the kitchen lamp was not a big deal, really. For the last month or so, the electricity plant had decided to bless the city with street illumination of an ungodly bright yellow. As she lived on the second floor, she almost could read by it. On the other hand, this condition made it necessary to let the Venetian blinds down every night, successfully shutting out not only the unpleasant light, but also the last ounce of air that somehow might have found its way into her room.

She was not happy about that, either.

“Gollum,” she said, turning off the lamp, her voice taking on a slightly threatening tone, “this is my last warning!”

There was some noise in the darkened kitchen, a slithering movement across the kitchen floor. Then two large, bulbous, pale eyes peered over the rim of the small carton boxes that she kept under the kitchen table for lack of a better storage place.

A plaintive voice, muffled slightly by the cardboard, whimpered, "We wantsssssss to see the new monitor. Pretty, it isssss, yesssssss? We swimsssss acrossssss Big Waterssss to find it. Can we seessssss it now? Pleassssssssse?"

Our FFA frowned. How would Gollum know about her monitor problems. Immediately suspicious – her mind might be half-gone from the heat, but her survival instincts were still intact – she fixed her gaze on the creature's face and asked in a tone that brooked no dawdling:

"Who told you I had a new monitor?"

Gollum gulped, then smiled disarmingly. Damn, but the little bugger was charming… in a fishy way.

"Jenn sayssssss you have nicesssss monitor. Sayssss I should go look inside it – uh – look AT it! Yessssss, that'sssss it! Look at it, we will! Just looksss, we will! No touchesessssss! Nice Writer Lady letsssssss ussssss just look, yessss?"

And then his voice changed. Gone was the childlike pleading, replaced by a harsh, mocking tone. He was addressing himself, or it seemed, for he was looking, not at our FFA, but to the empty air on his right.

"'Nice Writer Lady? Hah! She won't let usssss see the monitor. Knowssssss what'sssssss insssssssside it, she doesssssss. We hassss to takessssssss it from her, sneaky-like! And then we SMASHESSSSSSSS it! And we TAKESSSSSS THE PRECIOUSSSSSS!"

He mimed swiping something out of the air, as if he were snagging a particularly juicy fish in midleap, and chuckled in a most unpleasant fashion.

Just as quickly as it had vanished, the pleading voice returned. Gollum now spoke to another mid-air point, this one on his left.

"No! No! No! Likesssss the Writer Lady, we doessssss! If Gollum isss good, maybe she writesssssss ussssss our own story. Not nasssssty storiesessssssss, like Tolkienssssss. Nice storiessss, with fishesesssss for Gollum. And no tricksy Hobbitsessss that makessss usssss fall into the nasssssty lava! Noooo! Nice Writer Lady will give Gollum the Precioussss and put nasty Hobbitsessss and Menssss and Elvesessss in the lava! Yessssss! Hee hee!"

And he began to leap about, clapping.

Or would have, had he not hit his head on the underside of the table. The pain seemed to jar something loose inside that same head, as he now looked to his right and adopted the sneering tone he'd used only moments before.

"Givesssssss usssss the Preciousssssss? Hah! Writer Lady wantssss the Precioussssss! Keep it for herssssself, she will, to lure nassssty Elvesessss to her bedroom. Nassssssty Elvesesssssss! Nasssssty Writer Lady!"

Pleading again: "No!!! Nice Writer Lady said on the lissssst she will write story about Gollum. Nice story, yessssssss!"

Sneering: "Liessssss! All liessssss, it isssss! Nassssty Writer Lady wantsssss to trick ussssss, make usssss go back to Jenn without the Preciousssssss! Punish usssss, Jenn will!"

Pleading while holding hands over his ears: "No, no, no! Jenn wantsssssss to rule the lissssssst, she doessssss! The Preciousssss is insssssside the monitor, she saysssss. Breakssssss the monitor – that'ssssss all we hasssss to do! And then Gollum keepsssss the Precioussssss! She promissssssssed…."

Our FFA listened with morbid fascination to Gollum’s debate with himself. The hissing fit between Flotsam and Jetsam gave her the general idea of the evil plot running behind her back. Now she knew what her black-hearted list mod was up to – and there was very little she could do to prevent the takeover from happening. Unless…

“Gollum,” she said calmly, “Jenn has lied to you. There is no Precioussssss in my monitor, or it would never break down in the first place. Do you think Preciousssssss is so easy to break?”

Gollum tilted his head to the side and looked up to her, moving his bulbous eyes like a surprised chameleon. “No Precioussssssss?” he asked sadly.

FFA shook her head. “I’m sorry. You have swum across the salty Sea for nothing.” One would think it could at least wash you clean, she added in thought, but of course, with the pollution of the ocean and all that it was not surprising the poor creature stank.

Gollum collapsed on the kitchen floor in utter despair. “No Preciousssss!” he sobbed.

FFA almost reached out to pat his head – granted, Gollum was wicked, but also pitiful in his devastation. And the poor creature had been lied to and cheated yet again. But then she remembered the stench and pulled back her hand just in time.

“No Gollum, no Precioussssss,” she said. “I’m afraid you’ll have to go home with empty hands.”

Gollum looked up at her again, in his best beggar mode. “Ssssssméagol not goessssss back to evil lady. We wantsssssss to stay here with Preciousssssss.”

Had our FFA lived in a house with a garden, she might even have considered letting the little bugger stay. She was never interested in having pets, but the idea of Gollum living in the cellar of her jerk cousin’s house, swimming in the garden pool at night and eating all the goldfish there had a certain… evil appeal.

Unfortunately, said jerk cousin (the same one who looked alarmingly like Hugo Weaving) lived in a small village outside the town. She’d need to travel two hours to somehow deliver Gollum there, and she had the gut feeling that getting into the bus or the tram with a naked, stinking and spitting creature in tow would rouse unwanted attention.

“I can’t keep you here, Sméagol,” she said with a little remorse. “See, this apartment looks to the southwest. Yellow Face looks in through the window all day. You’d be extra crispy in no time.” Not to mention that your stench would kill me even more quickly.

Gollum let his head hang sadly. “No Preciousssss,” he repeated. “No nice nessssssst for poor Ssssssssméagol. Doesssss she have nice fishessssssss for us, my Precioussssss? Nice, cool fishesssssss, to strengthen usssssssss for long sssssssswim?”

FFA sighed. No she didn’t have any fish in the fridge, and she wasn’t particularly eager to hand out the tinned tuna flukes, either. But she couldn’t send the poor little bugger on his way without any food.

She finally gave in. “I have something… similar,” she said, opening two tins of tuna in brine and scraping it onto a plate she never intended to use afterwards. “Here, Sméagol, eat. I have more, should you still be hungry.”

After watching Gollum stuff the dripping tuna chunks into his mouth with both (very dirty) hands, she doubted that she would be eating tuna again for a very long time anyway.

The end – for now


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