I arrived home on the 9-40 flight from the Grey Havens, which is the one I always take when coming back to Rivendell after time away at school. Usually, dad and Elrohir and Arwen are standing at the gate to meet me, but this time, to my considerable alarm, there was no-one. I checked my watch; the plane was fifteen minutes early (a first!). I had time to sit in the airport pie shop and drink vile coffee (might have been tea- I couldn't tell) while guarding my 119 pounds (exactly) of luggage and waiting for a ride. I thought over my situation while I waited.
I have just finished my 15th year at Grey Havens University (GHU), making the Dean's honours list, of course. Originally, I had wanted to major in PE with an orc-killing specialty, but dad pointed out that with any luck Sauron's forces of evil will be eradicated soon, and my degree would be worthless. Therefore I switched to political studies, and am now just doing the orc-killing things as an extra-curricular. I made first string of the GHU team! I was almost named MVP, too, but lost to Galdor by two crappy votes. It's all a big popularity contest, I think.
Arwen finally came round to give me a lift home, half an hour late. She was driving a strange SUV. When I asked about it, she said Aragorn got her a great deal from someone who knew someone in Rohan. It all sounds very suspicious to me.
I wanted to go fishing with Elrohir today, but apparently he has buggered off to Lake Town to stay with cousin Calion. Who, I might point out, is not *really* our cousin. Elrohir just calls him that. I asked Arwen if she wanted to go fishing, but she was going for a picnic with Aragorn. So I sat on the veranda and drank paralysers all day. Alone.
Nothing has happened all week.
Actually, Aragorn fell into the fish pond yesterday, but that's about it. Dad suggested I get a summer job. HA! No way!
I got a job. I now work for dad's office. My duties include: filing documents, answering the telephone, opening mail, and typing memos. Nothing too exciting happened at work today, but I did get to type the following memo:
To: All staff
Re: Postage meter
It has recently come to my attention that employees
have been using the postage meter to stamp their
personal letters. Please be advised that this postage
is not free, nor is it for frivolous use. If emergency
postage is required, rates for the meter are as
48 cents within Rivendell
65 cents within Eriador
96 cents within Ennor
$1,25 to Valinor
Future abuse of postage meter will result in
indiscriminate disciplinary action.
I distributed copies of the memo to everyone in the office. Later, I saw Erestor using the postage meter to stamp his magazine renewal notices. Obviously he did not read the memo. I left another copy on his desk.
There was a new memo at work today. This one read:
To: All staff
Re: Postage meter (again)
Despite Thursday's memo on this same subject, abuse
the office postage meter is still at an unacceptable
all-time high. Borrowing 48 cents from the pop fund
DOES NOT CONSTITUTE PAYMENT FOR AN
EMERGENCY STAMP! As of today, pop fund IOUs
will no longer be accepted. Please have exact payment
ready at time of stamp purchase.
After I typed the memo, Glorfindel told me he was thinking of putting a pass code on the postage meter. He's getting a bit psycho about it, if you ask me.
I was awakened this morning at exactly 6-29 by a woodpecker outside my bedroom window. I threw a handful of ReptaBark at it from the snake habitat, but to no avail. So I decided to go to work early as sleeping was no longer an option.
Strangely enough, when I arrived at my desk, Glorfindel was standing at the postage meter putting stamps on what looked like cable bills and Val-U-Save mail-in rebate coupons from Wholesale Depot. When he saw me, he muttered something about "official government business" and hurried back to his office.
After lunch, I typed another memo.
To: All staff
Re: Postage meter
There will be no further memos on this subject.
I had the following email from Elrohir today.
From: "the best" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: miss ya lots
DUDE! sorry i wans't aroud when you got
home but you
know how it goes... got a sweet job workign for cal,
he owns this restarant her that sell sauthentic
noldorin type food... real dive hole but pays good adn
free grub, get to live in the room upstairs. youg
doing antything good, let me know!
see ya round like a record- ELZ
ps, you seen my sin with sebastain cd, thought
it but guess not....
It was nice to hear from him, so I suppose I can forgive his horrid spelling and appalling lack of respect for grammar conventions. I sent a reply and told him all about the postage meter irregularities at work.
I found one new email today. At first I got a bit excited thinking it might be Elrohir again, but that soon turned to dread when I saw the message.
From: "*Legolas*" <email@example.com>
Subject: HI!!! :)
Elladan!!! Got a message from Elrohir the
and he gave me your email addy! How are you?! I
haven't talked to you in sooooo long! Mirkwood is
soooo boring... I was at this club yesterday and they
played the *exact same songs* that they played last
week! How dumb is that?!
And the message just went on like that. For 15 Kb. In the end, I managed to discern (between endless exclamation points) that he wants to come here for a few weeks to visit. After the initial horror wore off I manage to type a quick reply explaining exactly why that wasn't such a good idea. Namely, we are out of Elf Food. With any luck he'll be dumb enough to fall for that- last time he was here Elrohir somehow convinced him that Elves in Rivendell have to eat Elf Food, from a sack like dog food, but made from dried vegetables. He insisted on seeing for himself, and by some brilliant stroke of luck, at that exact time both Erestor and Glorfindel happened to be sitting in the dinner nook eating banana Chippos out of a paper bag. For the next eight days we had him eating nothing but raisins and crumbs.
I received a reply from Legolas today. Can't he take a bloody hint?!
From: "*Legolas*" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Re: Sorry
Hi Elladan! Sorry it's a bad time for you!
dad said it would be okay, and I have my ticket
already and the flight's on the 11th at 4-15 pm! I
hope you'll at least have some free time to go out and
stuff! You can't work *all* the time! LOL!!! :) And
I'm bringing my own food!
C U soon!
>"Elladan" <email@example.com> wrote:
> It was nice to hear from you, but unfortunately
> now isn't the best time to visit. I'm terribly
> busy at work, as is everyone else around here.
> We just don't have the time necessary to devote
> to you. Also, we are out of Elf Food. Erestor
> and Glorfindel have struck out for the Grey
> Sorry about this; I will let you know when a
> better time for you to come would be.
So he went behind my back and arranged things with dad! What a little rat! And he's coming in nine days! I'm going to have to get out of here before then! Either that or kill myself!
And I'm going to have to stop reading his emails. Exclamation marks have started working their way into my everyday communications.
I spent all day worrying about Legolas. Last time he was here he borrowed my clothes without asking, left candles burning precariously on the tub tiles, and woke me up at dawn to ask if I wanted to go shopping. And he knows all the lyrics to every Vengaboys song ever recorded. And he sings them, oh yes, he sings them.
I played Mortal Kombat II for a while, but that only made me angrier. So I sat on the sofa and drank paralysers. When I tried to get up I couldn't; my legs wouldn't work. So I fell asleep. I woke up sometime later to find Glorfindel asking me where Elrohir usually keeps the ReptaBark; he wanted some for his rosemary garden. I got up to show him, but the damn tricky vodka was still being a hazard to my equilibrium and I tripped, knocking Glorfindel onto the coffee table and the remaining bit of my drink onto Glorfindel. It made a stain on his khakis. Now I'm sure to be perpetually on his bad side. He's been a bit cool since the postage meter incident at work, and this certainly won't help any.
Legolas has been here only five hours and already has caused more trouble than a litter of overcaffeinated goblins. Within forty minutes of his arrival he'd broken a jam jar on the kitchen tiles, and within two hours he'd almost lit the stair runner on fire. Then just an hour ago, when we were sitting on the terrace watching the stars, he tripped over the fairy light cord and bumped into Erestor, causing him to fall headfirst into the concrete railing and get his hand stuck between two pillars.
Now he's standing on the driveway shooting arrows straight up into the air. Which, if you ask me, might not be the smartest thing to do.
LATER: Legolas has just left my room, after informing me that I am not, under any circumstances, to disclose any information pertaining to the condition of the hood of Arwen's new SUV.
I was in the middle of breakfast (oatmeal with berries, orange juice) when I heard the distinctly moronic beat of dance music start up in the West Plaza. I ran out to investigate just in time to see Legolas, wearing only rollerblades, wrist guards, and perilously short denims, take off over a ramp, spin in the air, and land on one foot. And dad was sitting next to Arwen's portable CD-radio, watching. He claims to be interested in "the sport of rollerblading". Truthfully, though, I am fairly certain he is more interested in Legolas' short-shorts. I note he didn't show up for work today. I am going to die of shame.
I wrote an email to Elrohir:
To: "The Best" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: You're lucky to be in Lake Town
I know you were only trying to be helpful, but
in the future, do not ever give my email address to
your friends! Legolas invited himself for a short
visit, arrived yesterday, and has so far proved
himself to be the biggest nuisance this side of the
Misty Mountains. You do not even want to know what he
did to Erestor's second-best saucepan this afternoon.
On the plus side, though, I found your Sin With
Sebastian CD. It was in Arwen's CD-radio this
morning. Dad claims he put it there. I asked him
where he found it, and he mumbled something
unintelligible about the back seat of his car- wasn't
sure what that was all about. You should ask him.
Arwen has broken up with Aragorn again. She blames him for the damage to her SUV. I was about to tell her about Legolas and the arrows, but she told me to "F#*%-off". Maybe it's a good thing she's no longer with Aragorn. She's had a remarkably foul moth these past few years. Those rangers are a terrible influence.
I asked Aragorn if he was upset, but he just shrugged. Then he told me he was going to a "wicked party" on Amon Sûl tonight, and asked if I had any pipeweed. I said, "no."
I went looking for Legolas this morning in purpose to question him about the peculiar burnt spot on the grass outside my bedroom window. The poncy wanker was wearing his short-shorts again, squatting next to the flower pond and using a minnow net to skim out the locusts (which he then dumped into the fish pond). I didn't bother to ask why he was doing this; I just backed away slowly. He was humming the Scooby Doo theme song.
Then just an hour ago dad came over to my room moaning about how he'd been in his bare feet walking about the grounds when he trod on a pile of locusts mysteriously congregating on the tiles alongside the fish pond. I told him to take the matter up with Legolas, who was at fault, and whose room is down the corridor. He got a funny look on his face and said he would. I haven't seen him since.
In hindsight, I probably should've kept my mouth shut.
Arwen and Aragorn are back together. He brought her a new SUV, white with chrome bits, from Rohan. The licence plate frame says, "Éodor's Automall, 3 Leagues South of Edoras on Highway 16". I'm fairly certain it's stolen; Aragorn hasn't been to Edoras in years.
I haven't seen Legolas all week. I also haven't seen dad all week. My mind reels at the possibilites.
Dad came home today, with Legolas. His story is that they won a golfing holiday from a radio trivia show and spent the week in Hollin. I noted that they had no golf clubs. He said they rented. I asked what his best score was. He mumbled something that sounded suspiciously like "sixty-nine". I asked if that was for nine holes or eighteen. He looked flustered and didn't answer. I asked why he hadn't said anything about this holiday earlier. He said he left a note for me under the King Turgon coronation tea creamer.
Honestly, I don't know what to think. I might have a talk with Legolas later, after he gets off the phone with his mum.
LATER: Legolas has just left my room. I tried to have a discussion with him regarding the scandalous "golfing" holiday, but he talked nonstop about his favourite music videos for a good forty minutes so that I completely forgot what I wanted to say. Then he mentioned he was thinking of doing political studies at GHU next semester. I asked him why he didn't just go to Mirkwood Community College, and he told me that only losers go there. It was all I could do to keep from pointing out the obvious. Then I lied and said I was transferring to the University of Rivendell. He said he was thinking of applying to U of R too. I said he should definitely look into that. Let Elrohir deal with him all semester!
3 am: Can't sleep. Everyone singing. And not normal songs, oh no. That would be acceptable. They are, in fact, singing insipid songs recalled (often poorly) from childhood. Erestor's distinctive wailing can be heard clearly above all the rest, belting out the words to "Robin in the Rain", despite the fact that everyone else seems to be singing some song about pumpkins. WHY?! WHY?! WHY?! I HAVE TO WORK AT 9 TOMORROW! SO DO THEY!!!
4 am: Still singing. I am fairly certain they are making up the words as they go along. Legolas has joined them, making up a song about eggs. His adjectival vocabulary seems to be limited to the word "nice", though "yummy" has come up twice as well.
I half expected everyone to be grouchy at the office today, but strangely enough I saw nothing but bright eyes and dopey grins. Even on Glorfindel, who is usually about as jolly as a badger. It all makes me very suspicious of something, though I'm not sure what.
Around 10-30 Glorfindel came by to say that Erestor wanted to see me in his office. I tried to explain that I needed to stay up front to answer the telephones, but Glorfindel said that he would handle any messages, and that he was expecting an important call anyhow. So I was sent to see Erestor.
His office wasn't hard to find; it says "ERESTOR'S OFFICE" in big letters on the door. I stepped inside to be greeted by an armada of stick-on labels, printed from the laser printer in full 24-bit colour. On top of "Erestor's shelf" sat "Erestor's out basket" and "Erestor's appointment book". Across from that was "Erestor's desk", which held "Erestor's stapler", "Erestor's scissors", "Erestor's calendar" and "Erestor's pen cup", among other things.
I sat down in what I assumed to be "Erestor's guest chair", though I didn't see a label on it (it could have very well been under the seat- I was afraid to look). Then I found myself face to face with Erestor himself. I was a bit surprised that he didn't have a nametag. He was, however, holding a coffee mug that had his name written in cheesy geometric lettering.
Erestor offered me a cup of coffee from his own private little coffee pot, which of course was labelled. I declined. He then proceeded to ramble on about how I'd been working here for over a month now, and how he was pleased with my efforts and abilities as an employee. Then he asked if I had any questions or concerns regarding the workplace.
I told him about my squeaky desk chair wheel and the fact that my computer's keyboard has given me serious electrical shocks five times in the past two weeks. He nodded and said, "Uh-huh" after every few words. It got a bit unnerving. Eventually I couldn't take it any more and just stopped talking. He stopped nodding, but kept staring at me with his frighteningly blue eyes. I never noticed this before, but I think he wears coloured contacts.
When the situation reached ultimate creepiness, I knew it was time to leave. I quickly excused myself to go back to my desk, and nearly crashed into "Erestor's coat tree" in my haste to leave. Glorfindel was sitting in my squeaky chair playing Freecell and talking on the telephone. When he saw me coming, he said, "I'll see you later, babe," and hung up, then went back to his office without a word.
At noon Erestor came by and asked me if I wanted to go out with him. I said no, I'd brought a lunch from home today. He looked oddly disappointed.
I came home after work and checked my email; no news from Elrohir. I'm getting a bit worried. He quite possibly could have drowned in the lake long ago. He's not too good at swimming, especially when he's drunk (which is most of the time).
1-30 am: I just realised that Erestor didn't
ask me if I wanted to go out *for lunch* today. And that Glorfindel
used the word "babe" over the telephone. I am suddenly strangely worried.
Who was Glorfindel talking to? And why do I care so much? And
why was Erestor talking to *me*? Does Erestor like me?! Did he
mistake my clumsy nervousness in his office today for the signs of a childish
crush? And worse, do I like Glorfindel?! It's all very confusing,
not to mention ludicrous! Oh no...
Continued in Part Two
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