My stomach was comfortably full. My feet weren’t overly sore. I was clean. I wasn’t tired. I was bored. Life can never be perfect, can it?
"This is so boring," I complained loudly, "What is there to do around here? I’m not used to sitting around doing nothing, anymore!"
"We can crochet!" Stacey suggested far too eagerly, "Nikki was teaching me how!"
"Er, no," I said, "How about not."
"We could help the seamstresses fix you guys’ old clothes," Nikki suggested.
"Oh come on, when am I going to need to know how to do that?" I demanded, "Let’s do something that’ll actually be useful to me someday. And fun."
Nikki and Stacey pondered this dilemma for a few moments before Nikki slowly grinned, "Well, there’s an archery field—"
"Alright, let’s go!" I exclaimed, jumping to my feet before the suggestion had even been finished. I never would have known it before I came to Middle-earth, but there is, apparently, such a thing as being too relaxed.
We spent all afternoon on the archery field. Shooting arrow after arrow! And… losing arrow after arrow. At least, by the time we decided to go in for dinner, we were hitting the targets instead of everything else. Katy and I were a little better on the range aspect, but we all agreed that could be contributed to lugging around heavy swords for the last two months—which is to say, the entire time since we left Rivendell.
The next day went well, also. Another timely meal. Another comfortable rest. Another morning of archery (we were actually improving). And then an afternoon of… crochet. I’ll admit I was a bit overly dramatic about how absolutely, torturously, horrible it would be. It wasn’t actually that bad. Nothing I’d want to devote my life to, but it was vaguely amusing for a little while.
The next day followed in much the same way. The repetitiveness was fairly relaxing. Katy and I disappeared after lunch, finding a place where wee could talk privately—among other things.
"Maybe we should leave a day or two early—you know, in case we get lost again." Katy suggested.
"Nah," I said, quickly vetoing the idea without much thought. "We wouldn’t have gotten lost on the way here if I’d remembered straight off I had a compass."
Katy frowned and tried to look around me, "Rachel, what are you doing?"
I turned to face her, a grin on my face as I showed of my handiwork of the last ten minutes, "Croquet!" I explained upon her confused look.
"Oh, yeah!" Katy said, "I… kind of… see that…"
I sighed at her obvious lack of impression and threw my poorly built hoop away. "Alright, so it wasn’t very good. You have any better ideas?"
To my surprise, she did, and by dinner we had a fairly decent croquet set—thanks to the help of a couple craftswomen in town. We only barely kept our secret until the next morning, when we unveiled it directly after breakfast, having set it up in the archery field a little earlier. We then enjoyed a day of croquet games, which quickly turned into a championship (scheduled to continue the next day, as well) with several young woman from town who had taken an interest in our project the day before.
"Katy, how do you think Croquet was invented, anyway?" I asked before our big match the next day, leaning lightly on my mallet as I observed the large crowd of women and children and wondered if anyone had decided not to come. The sport had certainly had an explosion of popularity over night.
"I don’t know," Katy replied, "But if I had to guess now I’d say two girls went back in time, got bored, built a croquet set and, well, here we are doing it all over again."
I groaned, "Time travel is so messed up. Remind me never to write on a chalk board again."
"Will do," Katy replied amiably.
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