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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.

Rating: General

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 part was inspired by a genuine Christmas card I got from my good friend Archet, the generous provider of hottest Elladan/Boromir photomanips and lovely Elladan/Boromir vignettes. The text of the card was used with her friendly consent.

Dedication: To Archet, with love. Merry belated Christmas!


Nine: Surprise

For a change, our Frustrated Fanfiction Author (still FFA for those who know and dislike her) was looking forward to Christmas. Maybe the reason for her more mellow feelings was the fact that this time she managed to avoid the usual pre-Christmas insanity. She had managed to get a present to all of her annoying relatives way in advance, which meant that she didn’t even have to set a foot into the overcrowded shops after December 10.

She even managed to think of something sensitive for her mother – not an easy task, considering how selfless and undemanding the old lady was in this area. So thy went to the sea-aquarium together and had a good time, FFA plotting story ideas about Círdan in particular and Telerin Elves in general while her mother watched the rays getting fed in their open basin.

What was even better, said annoying relatives were sensitive enough to limit their visits to two afternoons, one which they even involuntarily shared with one of FFA’s few remaining Real Life™ friends: a young lady who shared several of FFA’s interests, including Star Trek and the Tolkienverse. Unfortunately, she also had the tendency to arrive early in the afternoon and leave late in the night. (She also owed our FFA some money, which fact she conventionally kept forgetting, but that’s another story entirely.) This time however, she left after a mere five hours (including lunchtime), leaving an utterly relieved FFA behind, who even felt a little guilty about her own relief – the woman was a friend, after all!

Using the time slot between her friends departure and the invasion of her younger cousin’s family (this was not the jerk who looked like Hugo Weaving, just to set things straight), our FFA switched on her computer to do some long overdue R&R stuff. She owed several reviews to several people and felt guilty about it. Plus she wanted to take a look at a few forums where she had been lurking around, following some excellent bitching sessions. Not to mention that she had recently discovered a couple of Star Trek fanfic archives that she wanted to check out. Having reached her – admittedly rather low – tolerance limits concerning LOTR-related bad slash, she still could laugh her head off reading some of the more ridiculous Trek stories, so she thought a temporary change of fandoms would be in order for the evening.

She was in the middle of a complicated, uber-angsty, sappy and hysterically OOC Paris/Chakotay romance when the pleasant bell tune of her computer announced the incoming of mail. She switched from IE to Outlook – and stared at the incoming e-card in utter disbelief. The picture itself was common enough – a beautiful hind standing in romantic snowfall – but the text, as hard as it was to believe, was hand-written and in Tengwar. Most likely in Elvish or Westron, too, though that was hard to decide when one couldn’t read the letters.

Now, after all those unexpected visits from Middle-earth something like that shouldn’t have surprised her – yet it did. Unfortunately, as easy as she picked up spoken languages, she was an utterly and hopeless fool when it came to purely written ones. She had never been able to learn a language from books alone, which was the reason why all the Elven names and the very few Elvish expressions that ever appeared in her stories were either borrowed from the Professor himself or made up/translated by the more scholarly members of her mailing list.

Adding insult to injury. In this very moment the Green Invaders… erm, her cousin and his family… finally arrived, and in the next three hours she was busy with offering food and drinks for five people, refilling the trays with cookies, handing out gifts and desperately trying to find any other common topic aside from school – an effort that had been doomed from the beginning – and to keep the conversation from turning to politics, which she more or less managed to do. That was a great relief in itself.

When the visitors finally left (thank the Valar they had theatre tickets for the late evening) she cleaned up after them, spending a lovely hour or two with picking up all the shiny little thingies her cousin’s wife shook out of her hair with every turn of her head, threw everything into the kitchen sink for “later” and collapsed in front of her computer screen again. It was time to find out who had written that e-card and what was in it.

Molesting the language experts of Edhellond about something like that on Boxing Day would have been rude, of course. But one of them had posted a link to a site where a clever little program readily translated everything written in Tengwar into plain English, and that was the one she intended to use. If she could make it work, that is. She was just as much a fool in following written instructions as in learning written languages. Still, it was worth a try – and better than pestering other people at such an inconvenient time.

Fortunately, the program turned out to be idiot proof. So much so, that it only took a couple of hours for her to figure out how it worked. Plus, it had a sophisticated little thingy in it that even reacted to the original handwriting, displaying the two short messages in different styles.

The first one, shown in neat, elegant Old English font, said:

Happy Winter Solstice, Lady!
A Winter Solstice Greeting for Lady
from Elladan&Boromir:
Peace on Earth
Dear Lady,

Boromir and myself just wanted to extend to you our sincerest, happy wishes for this Winter Solstice. May the frost of Winter linger not long in your land, and the green Spring bloom warm within you always.

Forever Yours,
Elladan Elrondion

She sniffled. Truth be told, she had secretly hoped for a visit by her favourite Elf… she had grown rather fond of Elladan, ever since Elrond’s eldest had marched into one of her early stories, grabbed Boromir and dragged him straight into his bed. She had never planned such a turn of events, in fact, not even the thought had ever occurred to her. It simply happened. Still, she was quite happy with it, even though she sometimes doubted that Elladan would truly be as… angsty as he came through in her stories occasionally…

She turned her attention back to the screen and discovered a short note at the end of the message: ps: Boromir would like to add something...

The other message was displayed in bold, strongly written Lucida Sans font and said:

Dear Lady,

Excuse my Beloved, this business of Winter's frost and warm blooming Springs is not my style. Let *me* extend to you my warmest wishes to you this Winter Solstice. You are held in my, in our, thoughts fondly and with great affection.

Forever Yours,
Boromir son of Denethor

ps: please don't tell Elladan I didn't care for his greeting, he's still miffed at me for eating the last of the honey cakes.

She read both messages again and smiled fondly, remembering Boromir’s visit. The Man of Gondor had obviously forgiven her. That was good to know. She printed out both letters, the original and the translation and shut down her computer. She had received quite a few greeting cards from her online friends, both through email and real ones, but never a better one than that of the star-crossed lovers.

Having this, even doing the washing-up after the invaders seemed less horrible at the moment.

~The end – for now’

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


For the record:
The original card was written in English, of course. I only made very slight changes.

“The Green Invaders” is a very silly sci-fi vignette I wrote when I was still learning English.

A program that would automatically translate from Sindarin or Westron written in Tengwar into plain English doesn’t exist, at least not to my knowledge.


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