One Year As A Brandybuck: 3. A Strange Boy

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3. A Strange Boy

When Acacia awoke the next morning, she was slow to open her eyes. Fading from her mind were dreams of summer days in Montana, memories of a childhood so long ago she wondered if they ever happened. Times when her family was happy, before all the trouble started. When she felt herself regaining consciousness, she fought to stay asleep, to keep hold of those sweet dreams. But it was to no avail. The harder she fought, the faster the laughs of her mother and her the smiling face of her father sank into the black void of the past. The warmth of the sun died away until she felt a shiver run down her side. Still dreading to open her eyes, she reached down to pull her covers over her head. When she couldn’t find them with her hand, she decided she must have kicked them off. She thought about looking for them, but that would have meant opening her eyes. So she tried to curl up into her pillow and find that kind oblivion. But there was a problem with that plan. Where was her pillow?

She reached around her head, feeling for the great, soft mass, when she discovered another odd thing. What she felt was not the smooth cotton of her sheets, but a wet, soft, almost grass-like substance. This was strange enough that she forced herself to open her eyes. She did it slowly, but before she knew it, she was seeing. But what she saw made no sense. Instead of the dull grays and blacks of her bedroom, she saw a blur of green and blue.

Instantly, she bolted upright, only to discover that the grass-like substance was, in fact, grass. She was sitting in what appeared to be the middle of a large field. There was no snow, as she had remembered, but a cool winter breeze. She got to her feet and looked across the wide landscape. She could make out slight hills, a river some ways away and the edge of a forest far off in the distance.

So stunned was she by this new environment that she spent several minutes staring agape at it. She was a bit frightened. She wondered what happened to her house, her family, her town. But at the same time, she felt an indescribable joy rising in her. And for a moment she allowed herself to think that maybe all her life before had been a terrible dream, that she was back in Montana, though she remembered no part of Montana like this. But the thought of dreams forced her into the more rational idea that what she was experiencing now was one. This depressed her greatly, but she decided if it was a dream, she’d better enjoy it while it lasted. Then she felt the dew that still wet her palms. The sharp cold of it and the smell of the field around her made her realize that she was most definitely awake, as she’d never had so vivid a dream. It’s only then that she remembered her wish.

‘Is is possible,’ she asked herself, ‘that maybe, just maybe...’ She could not bring herself to even think the words. It was too preposterous. Yet it was the only explanation she had for such a miracle. Unless, of course, her parents had driven her out somewhere and dropped her in a field, but she doubted they paid enough attention to her to undertake such an outing.

Being distracted by her thoughts, she failed to notice a young boy approach. “Who are you?” he asked. She spun around to face him. He looked about her age, with long, fair, curly locks. She looked at him warily.

After a moment to asses whether he might be dangerous, which she decided he probably wasn’t, she answered, “Acacia.”

“Hullo, then,” the boy smiled. “Haven’t seen you around before.”

Acacia looked around, then back at him. “Where is here exactly?”

“What?” he asked, clearly shocked and on the verge of laughter at such an obviously absurd question. “Buckland is a large enough area I expect one should know when they’ve entered it.”

She would have noted that she didn’t recognize the name, but she was too enthralled with this boy’s ears. They were pointed, but not dainty. They looked like the ears of Santa’s elfs at the mall. “What are you?” she asked in a tone that did little to hide her wonder.

The boy didn’t quite get her meaning, as he answered, almost incredulously, “I’m a Brandybuck!”

Acacia was oblivious to his attitude, being too preoccupied with her own. The word meant nothing to her. She made another request for information. “Is that some kind of elf?”

The boy laughed in her face. “An elf? Are you mad? If that’s a joke, it’s not a very good one.” He continued laughing hysterically as she grew quite annoyed with him.

“I’m serious!” she yelled, trying to get some respect. “You’re obviously some kind of freak with your big, pointy ears,” she glanced down, “and your huge, hairy feet!”

He stopped laughing. “I beg your pardon, but my ears are no more pointy nor my feet more hairy than your own.”

Acacia was now thoroughly confused. She didn’t want to look down, really she didn’t, but her head was just too quick for her to stop it. Before she knew it, she was staring at another pair of the big, fur-covered feet. Her own. She looked up at him with an expression of pure horror and confusion. Tentatively, she brought her fingers to her ear. It felt just like the boy’s looked. The strange boy looked at her with panic as her wide eyes shut and she collapsed to the ground, unconscious.

This is a work of fan fiction, written because the author has an abiding love for the works of J R R Tolkien. The characters, settings, places, and languages used in this work are the property of the Tolkien Estate, Tolkien Enterprises, and possibly New Line Cinema, except for certain original characters who belong to the author of the said work. The author will not receive any money or other remuneration for presenting the work on this archive site. The work is the intellectual property of the author, is available solely for the enjoyment of Henneth Annûn Story Archive readers, and may not be copied or redistributed by any means without the explicit written consent of the author.

Story Information

Author: Samus

Status: General

Completion: Complete

Era: 3rd Age - The Stewards

Genre: Drama

Rating: General

Last Updated: 04/02/04

Original Post: 01/21/04

Go to One Year As A Brandybuck overview

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