Flood, A Fall, A Finale, A Fever, A: 1. A Flood, A Fall, A Finale, A Fever

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1. A Flood, A Fall, A Finale, A Fever


A Flood


Peregrin Took looked around frantically for someone, anyone. Pip was hurt, maybe even dying, and he was all alone. “Oh, please ” he whimpered. “What should I do? I don’t know what to do ”

His panic subsided a bit, and he remembered there was no reason to look for anyone. He was exploring this musty old storeroom on his own. Pippin could see some light. He felt the movement of air on his face. The cave in had not completely buried him. He felt sort of warm and his mouth was dry.

He was pinned, trapped with barely space enough to draw a deep breath. His eyes were nearly the only things Pippin could move. His eyes and his right arm. He could move his right arm a bit.

Pippin relaxed a bit and exhaled. At least he wasn’t dead. Then the thought occurred to him that he really didn’t know if he could stay sane having to lay there in the lonely dark.

Pippin heard voices. No words he could catch. Just rumbling.

“I’m here ” he yelled. He wasn’t sure any sound had come out of him. “Here I’m here ” He heard himself that time. Surely they would hear him, too. “I’m down here.” It was a whisper, and the light faded and total darkness came.




Peregrin Took looked around frantically for someone, anyone. Merry was hurt, maybe even dying, and they were all alone. “Oh, please ” he whimpered. “What should I do? I don’t know what to do ”

His panic subsided a bit, and he remembered there was no reason to look for anyone. He and Merry were exploring this musty old storeroom on their own. Pippin could see some light. He felt the movement of air on his face. The cave in had not completely buried them. He felt rather warm and his mouth was terribly dry.

He was pinned, trapped with barely space enough to draw a deep breath. His eyes were nearly the only things Pippin could move. His eyes and his right arm. He could move his right arm a bit. He had moved it enough to find Merry. He had moved enough to touch Merry. To have his fingers work their way up the back of Merry’s shoulders, his neck, up to his head. It had been the feel of mushy softness instead of hard bone, the feel of hair matted with warm sticky blood that had brought on Pippin’s earlier panic.

“Merry?”

Pippin poked at Merry’s back as hard as he could with how little he could move.

“Merry ” More a command this time. And in response to his sterner tone, Pippin heard a faint moan.

Pippin relaxed a bit and exhaled. Merry wasn’t dead. The thought occurred to him that he really didn’t know if he could stay sane having to lay there with his dearest friend’s corpse.

Pippin heard voices. Distant. No words he could catch. Just rumbling.

“We’re here ” he yelled. He wasn’t sure any sound had come out of him, his mouth was so dry. “Here We’re here ” He heard himself that time. Surely they would hear him, too. “We’re down here.” It was a whisper, and the light faded and darkness came.



Peregrin Took looked around frantically for someone, anyone. Merry and Pervinca were hurt, maybe even dying, and they were all alone. “Oh, please ” he whimpered. “What should I do? I don’t know what to do ”

His panic subsided a bit and he remembered there was no reason to look for anyone. He, his sister, and Merry were exploring this musty old storeroom at Brandy Hall on their own. Pippin could see a hole in the ceiling. He felt the movement of air on his face. The cave in had not completely buried them, but he felt horribly warm and his mouth was terribly dry.

He was pinned, trapped with barely space enough to draw a deep breath. His eyes were nearly the only things Pippin could move. His eyes and his left arm. He could move his left arm a bit. He had moved it enough to find Merry. To touch Merry. Pervinca had been ahead of Merry. He had heard her scream when the ceiling came crashing down, but she was too far away for him to touch. He had moved enough to have his fingers work their way up the back of Merry’s shoulders, his neck, up to his head. It had been the feel of mushy softness instead of hard bone, the feel of hair matted with warm sticky blood that had brought on Pippin’s earlier panic.

“Merry?”

Pippin poked at Merry’s back as hard as he could with how little he could move.

“Merry ” More a command this time. And in response to his sterner, tone Pippin heard a faint moan.

Pippin relaxed a bit and exhaled. Merry wasn’t dead. The thought had occurred to him that he really didn’t know if he could stay sane having to lay there with his dearest friend’s corpse.

He heard voices. Distant. No words he could catch. Or was it thunder? He felt the rain coming through the hole in the ceiling. It felt good. He felt so awfully hot and the rain felt cold. No It felt too much It was a torrent that was filling the storeroom.

“We’re here ” he yelled. He wasn’t sure any sound had come out of him. “Here We’re here ” He heard himself that time despite his dry mouth . Surely they would hear him, too. “We’re down here.” It was a whisper as he felt the water rise up his sides, over his chest, over his face. The thunder was muffled in his ears and darkness came. He had to breathe.

“Good bye, Merry and Pevinca.”




A Fall

Pervinca Took looked around frantically for someone, anyone. Pippin was hurt, maybe even dying, and they were all alone. “Oh, please ” she whimpered. “What should I do? I don’t know what to do ”

It had been wonderful day. A glorious hot summer’s day. Having Brandybuck relatives meant knowing how to swim, so she, Pip and Merry had been swimming in the Brandywine. All had been grand . . .

. . . until Pippin climbed the tree.

Pervinca did not share the common fear that most hobbits have of water, but she did share their fear of heights. But not Pippin. Oh, no. Never Pippin. And so there he had been, out dancing on the branches. Cavorting about. Hanging upside down by his knees. Swinging from one hand. Her little brother. She was to keep an eye on him. Well, she had kept her eyes on him but nothing else. She wasn’t climbing any tree.

“Pippin ” she had hollered up to him. “Get down now. You’ve had your fun.”

She had started feeling thirsty and hot again, though from time to time the breeze would make her wet underclothes feel cold against her. Cold enough to make her shiver. Merry had stood beside her, laughing at Pippin. Clouds were gathering. A summer storm was brewing.

“Pip, come down here now There’s a storm coming.”

He had laughed, waved, danced about, and fell.

Vinca gasped. He had fallen.

He had stopped.

“Vinca ” came a small raspy cry. He was only about ten feet from the ground. He was caught on a branch. He was caught by the back of his collar. He was choking.

“Pippin ” she screamed. She saw he was barely able to rest his toes on a branch. Only enough that he was choking slowly, not enough to really let him breathe.

That was when she had looked around for help in a panic.

Lightening struck the tree.

Now she looked back up at her brother.

Now she climbed the tree.

Her mouth was dry. Her face felt hot. She was shivering with fear. She shook so hard she could barely hang on. Thunder rumbled in the distance.

Pippin’s face was deep red. His eyes looked bulgy. He was making odd gasping noises.

Lightening struck the tree again. Below her Merry glowed with blue light then sank to the ground.

She could almost reach Pippin. Just a bit more. She could feel the fabric of his shirt.

Lightening struck the tree again.

Pervinca was blinded by the light. She was falling . . . falling . . . landing in the cold rainy darkness.

“Good bye, Pippin and Merry.”




A Finale

Ferumbras Took looked around frantically for someone, anyone. Flambard was hurt, maybe even dying, and they were alone. “Oh, please ” he whimpered. “What should I do? I don’t know what to do! ”

“Stop ” Merry hollered. “No, no, no. That won’t do at all.” He sighed and tried very hard to not lose his temper. “I’m sorry, Doderic. You just aren’t . . . ah . . . Tookish enough. That’s it, not Tookish enough. Who’s next?” Doderic Brandybuck shook his head, stood up and walked off the stage.

This was proving harder than Merry had expected. He was hot and thirsty from having to shout directions. He and Pippin had decided to put on a play for the Lithe celebration at the Hall, but it was beginning to appear hopeless. They had thought a bit of Shire history would be good and, to two young hobbit lads, what better than a battle. The scene he was working on led into the hobbits riding off to battle the orcs in the Battle of Greenfields. Several cousins were busy having a battle of their own with the paint for the scenery. Merry would have loved to join them, despite the trouble he would get into for the mess on the ballroom floor.

Ferdibrand Took was up next, the new lamps with their highly polished reflectors that Merry’s father had installed on the old stage accenting every move he made. Merry wondered what excuse he could use if Ferdi was as bad as Doderic. Not being Tookish enough wouldn’t work.

Ferumbras (Ferdibrand) Took looked around frantically for someone, anyone, losing his balance and nearly landing on Pervinca, who lay on the stage wearing lads clothes pretending to be the injured Flambard. She squirmed a bit to avoid her cousin as he went on. “Oh, please ” he whimpered and threw the back of his hand to his forehead.

Merry wasn’t sure how much more of this he could take. He tried to swallow but his throat was dry. The new lamps seemed to be making the room darker, and it was feeling warmer in the ballroom.

What should I do?” Ferumbras (Ferdibrand) sighed dramatically and flung his hand away from his head.

“Ouch ” exclaimed Pervinca from her place on the stage floor. “He hit me ” She lifted her head and squinted into the bright lamp light. “Make him quit flailing so, Merry.”

“I’m not ‘flailing,’ Merry. One must use grand gestures on the stage or else no one can see them,” Ferdibrand said, glaring at Pervinca. “As though she would know ”

“Enough ” Merry threw down his script and marched up the few steps at the side of the stage. “Quite enough Off Just get off the stage, Ferdi.”

Ferdi stomped off the stage in a huff as Merry took his place. Merry looked down at Pervinca and realized this was going to be harder than it looked. He would have to work hard to ignore the fact that Pervinca was a pretty hobbit lass, even with Ferdi’s hand print on her face. The lamps seemed awfully hot. There was nothing but darkness in the room beyond the lamps.

“Alright,” he muttered to himself, “Ferumbras is looking about . . .”

Pervinca started to giggle, and Merry regretted tossing his script on the floor. He glared at her, and she made a funny face while trying to stifle her giggles.

“That’s better,” Merry said to her and went on. “He’s looking about for someone to help and . . .”

“Merry, isn’t this grand ”

Merry let out an exasperated sigh as he looked up to see Pippin being pulled across the stage on an over-sized fake horse. Merry’s rather small sized cousin was playing Bullroarer Took, the tallest hobbit in hobbit history. That was the sort of thing that came from getting so much help from Pippin on all the Took history for the play. Payment for the help had been Pip getting to play his lofty distant cousin. Pippin’s legs didn’t even begin to go around the fake horse.

“Look how good I look up here, Merry.” Pippin was beaming.

“Merry.”

Merry looked down at Pervinca. Her nose and lip were bleeding. He hadn’t noticed it before. He touched the blood on her face. She felt warm to his touch. Her lips were dry and cracked.

“Ferdi hit me, Merry,” she whispered.

Pippin screamed.

The youngsters pulling the horse across the stage had misjudged how it was rolling. The horse had run into the lamps and had burst into flames.

Merry leapt at the horse, leapt onto its back. Pippin was stuck. He was stuck to the thing. Pippin was burning.

Merry heard distant rumbling, thunder-like noises he couldn’t figure out. He looked down and saw Pervinca, her hair and clothes aflame, reaching up to him.

Pippin was writhing.

Merry felt the flames burning his own clothes.

Merry was holding onto flames.

For a moment he felt a splash as though someone was throwing a bucket full of cold water on him.

Too late.

“Good bye, Pippin and Pervinca.”




A Fever

Geranium Brandybuck looked around frantically for someone, anyone. Young Master Merry was sick, maybe even dying, and they were all alone. “Oh, please ” she whimpered. “What should I do? I don’t know what to do ”

Gerri was panicking. She stood in the tunnel outside the lad’s room gasping and sweating. They weren’t really all alone, she just felt like it. But she truly did not know what to do. She was a new apprentice healer. Merimas, the Master Healer, had left Brandy Hall in response to an urgent message from Farmer Maggot’s leaving her to tend the Hall’s bumps, bruises and headaches.

This was not a bump, bruise or headache. No, she was quite out of her league. Young Master Merry and his Took cousins were seriously ill. She grabbed the arm of Doderic as he was walking by.

“Master Doderic, you ride, don’t you?”

He looked down at her hand clutching his arm then at her blanched face. “Yes, rather well. Why?”

Gerri grabbed his other arm. He noticed she was trembling.

“You know where Bamfurlong is?”

“The Maggot’s place? Yes.”

“Then go. Go as fast as you can ride. Tell Master Healer Marimas he is needed here most urgently. Your cousin, Merriadoc, he’s . . .” she gasped, putting her hand to her mouth. She shook her head then removed her hand. “He’s dying. Tell him that. Young Master Merriadoc is dying. And the Tooks as well ” she yelled after Doderic as he ran down the tunnel toward the nearest door to the outside.

To Gerri, time seemed to crawl by but actually the Master Healer was there quicker than was expected. He was on his way back to Brandy Hall when Doderic met him on the road.

“What are their symptoms?” Marimas asked Gerri brusquely as he came up to where she stood outside the door to Merry’s room. She was giving the Master and Mistress time alone with their son.

“The Mistress said they just seemed a little silly, well sillier than usual for this lot, when they came in for afternoon tea. They said they weren’t hungry, imagine them, ‘specially Master Pippin, not hungry Then they went to the old playroom. When she went in near an hour later, they were just sittin’ there starin’ at nothing with frightened looks on their faces.”

“No more,” Marimas said. “They are fevered now, are they not?”

“Yes.”

“Run, lass. Get all the helpers you can to draw cool baths for each. Find some strong lads to carry them to the bathrooms. And send the herbalist to me at once. I’ll be in Master Merry’s room. Hurry ” Gerri ran to do as she was bid. Marimas went into Merry’s room to speak with Saradoc and Esmeralda.

“I know what this is. I pray I’m back in time,” he said as soon as he was in the room. “It is rare. It . . .” Marimas turned to speak with the herbalist who rushed into the room. He pulled a list from his pocket. “Get this tonic prepared at once. Enough for three doses. Do that at once then bring one dose to Merry’s bathroom as well as one to each of his cousins. Then mix up enough for two more doses each. Go ” The Master Healer turned back to the Master of Bluckland and his wife. He held out a small but wide-mouthed, clear glass, jar that was corked and sealed with wax. Saradoc took the jar staring at the mushroom inside it. “There is the cause of this, Saradoc. It is well I paid close attention to my old Grand Da. ‘Twas he that knew of this as it had happened back in his day as well. Good thing he wrote it down, and a good thing I thought it interesting so that it stuck in my mind. Look carefully at the underside of that mushroom, Saradoc. You see the pale yellow dust on the gills? It is a mold. I fear it will be a hard year this year for the Maggot family. Most likely some of the others in the Marish as well. Their whole crop has to be sprayed down with oil before setting it ablaze. ‘Tis the odd weather we’ve had. Almost too dry for the mushrooms at all, then nearly too damp, then dry again. It brings on that mold. The whole Maggot household was down excepting their one lad who never could stomach mushrooms. ‘Twas he who came to fetch me. It . . .”

He was intrupted by the lads coming in to take Merry into the bathroom. The last bucket full of cool water was being poured into the tub as they followed the group into the room.

“It causes hallucinations along with this deadly high fever,” Marimas said as Merry was lowered into the bath.

Merry felt a bucket full of cold water hitting him as he burned upon the fake horse.

Down the tunnel a short ways away Pervinca felt herself falling from the tree into cold rainy darkness.

In another bathroom Pippin felt the cold waters flooding the caved in storeroom creeping up over his chest.

Marimas poured a dose of the tonic down Merry’s throat. Gerri went from one Took to the other, pouring a dose of it down each young throat. Marimas waited a few moments then lifted one of Merry’s eyelids. The pupil responded to light. He had been in time. Marimas stood up slowly. He was weary. It had been a long day. He looked affectionately at Merry who had begun to shiver in the cool water.

" 'Twas very nearly too dear a price to pay for stolen mushrooms.”



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: Pearl Took

Status: General

Completion: Complete

Era: Other

Genre: Other

Rating: General

Last Updated: 03/10/04

Original Post: 03/10/04

Go to Flood, A Fall, A Finale, A Fever, A overview

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