The city of Rodentell was in an uproar. Their coronation ceremony had been interrupted, and they were suddenly once more
without a king. Chaos ensued, as rats ran here and there, and BEER tried to restore some order.
"We should rescue him!" a rat cried. "He is ours now!"
Another retorted, "Are you insane? The Elves would go Pied Piper on us!"
Bilge surveyed the scene with distress. His people were being driven mad! He still stood on the dais, still clung to the
banner of the rodent kings. He bit his lower lip. He was in an ideal position to address them.
"Friends! Rats! Countrymice!" he shouted over the din. Enough rats heard him and chose to shut up that he soon had the
attention of the entire crowd. He quailed. "Um... This anarchy will not do..." His voice wasn't as strong as it had been a
moment ago. The eyes of all rat-kind were upon him. "We must find another king!" he declared. "To restore peace and order!
"But who?" a rat asked.
"Ratticus left many heirs," another offered.
"But how shall we find one?" a third asked.
Bilge breathed a sigh of relief. He had set them on the right track. They could sort it out from here. He turned to go;
he needed some cheese badly. Suddenly he became aware that all eyes were upon him again, and Sergeant Pepper Spray had just
"What?" he said.
"I said, who was your father, young rat?" the sergeant asked.
Bilge blinked, and his eyes narrowed suspiciously. "Why do you want to know?" he asked.
Sergeant Pepper Spray looked him directly in the eye. "Because this is the first time I've noticed that you, my lad, are
the spitting image of old King Ratticus."
"It's true!" cried a voice. Bilge saw his mother pushing through the crowd, and would have groaned, but he knew that it
would look bad. The old lady rat tottered up to Sergeant Pepper Spray. "It's true!" she repeated. "His old father was King
A gasp rippled through the crowd as all the rats stared at Bilge with wonder. Then- "All hail King Bilge!" cried Sergeant
"ALL HAIL KING BILGE!" cried the rats, and they all sank to their knees, bowing low.
Bilge stared at them all. Well, he thought, this is going to be interesting...
Sprite lay in bed, staring at the ceiling. It had been three months since she had returned from Middle-earth. Sometimes
she wondered if it had all been a dream, but she knew that such thoughts were cliché, and quickly put an end to them. In truth,
the past three months seemed like more of a dream than her stay in Rivendell had been. She had a job, was going to school,
had to take her laptop in to be fixed every couple of weeks or so. And there was such a hold in her heart.
She rolled over and buried her face in the pillow, squeezing her eyes tightly shut and biting her lip. Too many nights
she had cried herself to sleep. She thought about him every waking hour, and dreamed about him at night. But he wasn't there,
not really. He was gone, gone from her life forever, severed from her by barriers of both time and space.
Frodo was right. There really was no going back.
Sprite imagined living like this her whole life. The prospect caused her such pain, she felt she would burst. It was like
losing a limb: The wound might heal, she might get a prosthetic and go on with life, but she would constantly bear with her
the knowledge that she was not a complete human being. Something was missing. Someone would always be missing.
Suddenly, she sat straight up in bed. She heard a sound, and a shadow in the corner of her room was darker, as if someone
was standing there.
'Shit,' thought Sprite. "Who's there?" she said sharply, sounding much braver than she felt. She didn't want to deal with
something like this right now. "Who are you?" There was no answer.
Then the figure moved out of the shadows, and into a beam of moonlight. Sprite saw who it was, and gasped in shock.
"You didn't think I'd leave you alone forever?" Figwit asked.
Aldawen sat at her computer, surfing the internet. Such a wonderful pastime! Of course, she was supposed to be writing
a research paper for school right now, but such trivialities could wait. She was doing more important things.
Life since returning from Rivendell had quickly gone back to normal. School proceeded as always, boring and pointless.
She longed to get away from it all, and travel the world in a great big ship...
There was a knock on the door. Incorrectly assuming she knew who it was, Aldawen said, "Come in!" She heard the door open
and shut behind her, and a very familiar voice say, "Hi! Where should I put my bag?"
Aldawen whirled around in her swivel chair. "Legolas?" she cried, not daring to believe her eyes. "What are you doing here?"
The blond elf smiled the warm smile that made fangirls feel tingly and faint. "I've come to see you," he said. He looked
around her room. "I see you already have a cot out and everything, cool!"
"Um, Legolas..." Aldawen said, "There's something you should know."
The door opened, and a pirate swaggered in. He was holding two cans of Dr. Pepper. "Here you go, Aldawen, me luv," he said,
tossing her one can and opening the other for himself.
"I say, who exactly are you?" asked Legolas, bewildered.
"I'm Captain Jack Sparrow," the pirate said, as if it were the most obvious thing in the world. "And this pointy-eared
blond chappie must be Legolas." He leaned closer to Legolas, and the elf recoiled at the heavy smell of rum on his breath.
"She's mine now, savvy?" Jack said.
"Aldawen...?" Legolas stared at her.
"I'm sorry, Legolas," Aldawen said, a look of pity in her eyes. "Jack's my current Lust Object. I'm sorry you had to find
out like this!"
"I'm not!" Jack said, flopping down onto the camp cot at the foot of Aldawen's bed. "That was fun."
"Fine!" Legolas snapped. "I'll go to Sake's! I know where I'll be appreciated!" He whirled out of the room and slammed
the door behind him.
"I'm sure Sake will be very happy!" Aldawen called after him.
"Pansy," muttered Jack, and sipped his Dr. Pepper. Aldawen giggled, and turned back to the computer.
Rivendell was quiet nowadays. Elrond had gone back to being the kind, benevolent ruler he was reputed to be. He kept
his sons occupied by sending them out on scouting missions whenever possible. Everyone was content as life proceeded in the
rhythm it had for a millenia.
Only one "person" was unhappy.
"I do say," said Caligula the camel from his stall in Rivendell's stables. "That Author person promised to bring me into
this story somehow, and she never did!"