M.E. Chapter 22: Gandalf’s Fireworks

As we trudged along I finally became too cold even to complain… But being a Minnesotan I would never admit that I was cold. "Are you cold, Lady Rachel?" Boromir had asked me, "I still have a cloak in my bag and I could get it…"

He was cut off by me, "No, that’s okay Boromir." I said trying not to shiver too much as I spoke, "I’m fine, really. We have weather like this in Minnesota half the year." He looked at me like I was crazy.

Katy already had Aragorn’s spare cloak so even though she was still shivering, there was no conceivable way to pile on another one.

Finally we had walked long enough that even Gandalf didn’t want to go on anymore and he let us stop. He even conceded to Boromir and let us start a fire.

When Legolas failed to get one lit with the wood we had brought, Gimli shoved him out of the way, "Och!" He said, "Let this dwarf show you how it is done!"

Gimli proceeded to ‘light’ the fire while the rest of us watched in anticipation. When no flame came we were quite disappointed. "Well, dwarf, we are waiting." Legolas said with annoyance.

"It can not be done." Gimli admitted, "not in this weather."

"What I wouldn’t give for some gasoline and a lighter." I mumbled to Katy who agreed still shivering.

Gandalf came over, "If you all insist we light a fire," he told us, "then at least get a wizard so it can be done properly." He proceeded to create a flame with his staff and a few words that I can’t remember… Something like ‘Now an elephant, amen’… or not.

Anyway he got the fire started and that’s all we cared about. We all scooted closer while Gandalf was murmuring about declaring his presence to everyone in a big neon sign. He didn’t actually say ‘neon’ but he would have if he knew about it.

We stayed there until morning when the snow finally stopped. I for one was cold and miserable and ready to bite some ones head off when Gimli suggested we go back down while we still could and I was very thankful when Gandalf agreed.

Getting down however, proved to be another challenge in and of itself. "Elrond should have given us some skis before we left." I told Katy.

"Oh! Those magic chair things that carry tiny people around, right?!" Asked Pippin thinking he knew what we were talking about.

"Uh… Yep, something like that Pip." I told him smiling.

Pippin was very happy and went to brag to Merry about how he knew what ‘skis’ were. Merry wasn’t impressed, but pretended to be for Pippins sake.

"So how are we going to get down?" I asked, "And don’t you say a word, Mr. I-Can-Walk-On-Snow-While-Everyone-Else-Freezes-Their-Legs-Off." I told Legolas. Then I added, "That’s you, Legolas." When everyone looked confused as to whom I was speaking to. Legolas just smirked at me and proceeded to jump around on the snow some just to spite me.

Boromir and Aragorn went down first and cleared a path for us and the elf just pranced gaily down the mountain (and by gaily I mean merrily. Get those sick thoughts out of your mind, this isn’t slash!).

They all came back up together and Boromir and Aragorn each grabbed a hobbit and deposited them where the deep snow stopped. Then they got two more and repeated the process; this time with the rest of us following.

I was quite impressed with the quantity of snow that had fallen. We didn’t even get this much snow at home! Well… Actually there was that one year… But even that didn’t compare to the wall of ice near the end of the snowfall.

The men informed us we had almost reached the bottom when we came upon a wall about 12 feet tall of hard snow. It was only about one or two feet thick, but I imagine that it was still pretty hard to dig through. They hadn’t dug all the way to the top, so we walked through an arch of snow. It was cool! (No pun intended)

Gandalf, unlike the rest of us, didn’t want to stop and rest and he made us continue on. It was about this time that I realized even ‘good’ wizards are mean. After our suffering had satisfied him he finally let us rest on a hill somewhere south (I’m told) of Caradhras.

We all relaxed and ate dinner there. At least we relaxed for a little while… Then some stupid hobbit (Actually one of the smart hobbits, Frodo) had to go telling Aragorn that the wind was ‘howling’ in which case the ranger had to go and point out that it was not in fact the wind, but wargs howling and there went our ability to relax. Most of the rest of the night we were all sleepless.

Just before morning the wargs got closer and they staged a huge attack. We heard it coming, but only about a minute ahead of time, this gave us just enough time to form a rough defense; we formed a circle with our backs to the fire.

Katy and I pulled out our swords. I wasn’t sure whether to be excited because I got to use my sword, or afraid because I might die. I decided on the former. Katy and I clumsily swung our swords at an oncoming warg and it fell dead… I chose to ignore the arrow protruding from its neck. Then Gandalf did his whole ‘Now an elephant amen’ thing only a few extra words this time and started the whole hill on fire! He was trying to kill us all and take the Ring for himself, I just know it!

Okay, all joking aside, he really only set the trees on fire, and it was awesome but a little close for comfort. We were able to rest for the remainder of the night in peace because his fireworks scared off all the little puppies.

Return to contents here