11. Down and Gone
Behind them crashes crashed and yells yelled. The ground vibrated; possibly trees were being uprooted and thrown aside. All that kept Scaldo moving was the determination NOT to meet whoever it was causing all that destruction.
"Hurry up!" said the Dwarf.
Scaldo did not bother giving an excuse. I can't die now. I can't die now. Oh, muffins! I'm so hungry.
Before he was done with this reflection, the ground stopped and he came to a screeching, wobbling halt. As he waited for his heart to stop exploding, he thought how odd it was the Dwarf stood on air. No! He was on a line of wood – flaking, rotting wood that had forgotten it had ever been a tree. Scaldo had seen some of these contraptions before, at least its practical, and smaller, shireish cousins. A bridge. His Grandma Chubb's warning came to him: "If you got to cross a bridge, make sure there is a way not to."
Scaldo proceeded to repeat this maxim out loud as the Dwarf pulled something from his boot. It was a knife, and he threw it at Scaldo, who shrieked and covered his head.
"Hold 'em off!"
The Dwarf held another knife (probably from his sleeve) and started sawing the wood.
Scaldo gingerly picked up the knife, then on hearing the animalish howls of the nearing pursuers, clutched the hilt like it was a talisman. He clamped his eyes shut, and swished the knife, keeping the blade as far from his bulk as possible.
The Dwarf seemed to have warmed to his task and began to hum tunelessly.
"Hrrm hoom hum…"
The tearing and crashing from the pursuers grew louder.
"Hi ho… hrrm hoom…"
A dozen trees sounded to have exploded.
"Hum, hrrm, hoom…"
Scaldo heard woops and knew they had been seen.
"Humm hum HUM! Hi ho!"
"O'er here, Chubb!" Scaldo backed up, still swinging blindly. The Dwarf thudded the wood one last time. An enormous crash and countless shrieks riveted down, down, and gone.
Scaldo opened his eyes. No longer did a bridge exist. The Dwarf snatched back his knife and seemed in a good mood.
"Why didn't you use the axe?"
"Yeh made me loose it, stupid."
Scaldo knew if he did not ask now he would be too afraid later, or more likely, forget to.
"What were you saying about Faldo Chubb?"
"Eh? He was an idjit. Weren't half so fat as Dandelion Chubb, nor yeh, for that matter." The Dwarf turned and trampled a white flower before Scaldo could again loosen his jaw.
"Oh, where are we going now?"
"No Talkin'. Keep marchin'."
"I'm not stupid, you know. If you knew Faldo and Dandelion Chubb, then you must have known about me, which means you want me more than because you're crazy."
"Ain't it gone through yer fat head that I would not drag yer useless corpse with me if not for a reason?"
"Well… not really… much…"
"Hurry up! We're behind schedule. The faster yeh move, the sooner I get rid of yeh, see?"
Scaldo did not see. He was more frustrated than before, and never had so many thoughts run through his head. He was sure he was not afraid anymore of walking around forever, but he was afraid of being hungry forever.
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.