6) After Middle Earth: Detour to Darkness

Freesia barely had time to take a breath when the cold hand fell violently from her shoulder followed by the horrible sound of death. She turned quickly to see a Scar lying dead on the path. Eoborn had skewered it. Before she could release her breath, she saw that the Scar was not alone.

Several other Scars were running from toward them in the distance. They were surrounded.

Freesia didn’t know what to do. She wasn’t sure if she felt safe with Eoborn or not. He did save her life, but who knows his motivations? None of that would matter if they died now.

The fear and pain of never being able to return home was too much to bear. Freesia began to weep. There was nothing else she could think to do to save herself.

From beside her, Freesia felt Eoborn rush toward her. His strong arms wrapped around her small body and hefted her up onto his shoulder. With one arm holding her and the other swinging his sword, Eoborn fought his way through the surrounding Scars. Suddenly, Freesia wasn’t afraid, she knew that Eoborn was good, and he would save both of them. From the awkward angle she was at, she could see his brave, pained face. He looked honorable. Kingly.

The Scars gave them no choice but to run east. Freesia wanted to protest, but twisting around to see the pursuing Scars told her there was no way to reach the Shire. It scared Freesia to see so many dark creatures on the lands of Hobbiton. How was this possible?

They made it into the Maggot fields. Freesia hoped the tall crops would hide them and they might be able to slip away. The rustling of plants and horrible grunts of the Scars was driving Freesia mad. Strangely, amidst the horrible noises, another sound faded into the mix. More sounds. Dogs? Shouting.

Freesia tried to look around and see what was going on, when a small figure stumbled right into Eoborn. Because of the awkwardness of the little hobbit on his shoulder, Eoborn stumbled and lost his grip on her. Freesia fell to the ground, the air unable to keep hold in her lungs. The fear and oxygen deprivation was too much for Freesia to bear, she could no longer keep hold on reality and slipped into darkness.

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5) After Middle Earth: Outside

After Freesia had a fair night’s rest in her Hobbit sized room, she wondered if she should trust Eoborn. For a long while she considered running off back to the Shire, hoping Eoborn would just leave, but she knew she couldn’t. Eoborn was already planning on going to the Shire, there’s nothing should could do to stop that. Leaving now would just bring him right back to her in her own home.

She decided she would have to travel with him, at least back to the Shire. Then she could just tell him she would stay and he could find someone who would like to go with him.

Freesia went to the lobby to wait for Eoborn. She sat at the counter and asked the innkeeper if he knew anything about Eoborn, just like Frodo had asked Butterbur about Aragorn. The innkeeper couldn’t seem to remember the man coming into his inn at all.

That was almost enough to convince her to run off before he came back.

She could go to Rivendell; but if there aren’t any elves, who knows if it’s safe or not. She could go find Tom Bombadil. Certainly he would help her, if he is still on Middle Earth that is.

Before Freesia could make any decisions, Eoborn tapped her on the shoulder, causing her to jump.

“Are you prepared for departure?” he asked her. She couldn’t bring herself to speak for a moment.

“Of course,” she said nervously, “shall we be on our way?”

“Alright, let us head out.”

The dwarf gate keeper was reluctant to let them out. It seemed as though he did not trust Eoborn any more than Freesia did. A full grown man with a hobbit child? It seemed unthinkable that she would be traveling with him of her own accord.

As they exited the town, Freesia looked to the sky and noticed the clouds that loomed in the distance. It was impossible to find the sun. It didn’t feel right.

The journey to the Shire seemed much longer when Freesia didn’t feel like she had to run for her life. How far, exactly, had she gone?

The sky seemed to darken, covering any sign of day light. Freesia felt uneasy. What was it about the overcast sky that made her feel so scared? The lack of sun light caused the path under the trees to seem eerie and frightening. As they passed the area where Freesia had seen the Scar, she panicked and tripped on a root.

The sudden shock of the trip caused her to hyperventilate and it took her a moment to regain her wits. The reminder of the terrifying creature caused her to be at constant attention. There could be any of those creatures in the trees, but they hated day time. The sun made them burn up.

The sun.

They were in danger. The sun was hiding far behind the clouds, causing a perfect cover for any tortured creature. Suddenly the presence of the stranger she was following became the least of her worries. It even made her feel slightly better about the ominous road to have someone who may be able to protect her. But it also scared her a bit not knowing if he would be willing to protect her if it came to that.

Every rustle of a leaf or break of a twig made Freesia flinch. The closer to the border of the Shire they got, the safer she felt. She could even smell the crops of the Maggot farm. Farmer Maggot, the hobbit who helped Frodo and Sam on their travels, had created the farm. He planted and nourished the land until it became what is was now. Now his descendants took care of it.

Just before they reached the edge of the farm, a cold hand touched Freesia’s shoulder. It was too late.

4) After Middle Earth: Pegrioc

Eoborn stared at Freesia, confused, who was looking quite terrified. “You alright?” he asked her.

“I…uh…who do you have in mind to go with you?” she asked, worrying he might say her.

“Well, I was actually under the impression that I should ask you to come with me.” Oh dear! Her worries had come true. She struggled to come up with an answer when he spoke again. “I feel that your knowledge of Middle Earth history would be quite useful and wise to have with me. I realize it sounds quite terrifying, but all I need from you is your mind.”

My mind? she thought, I’m just a girl! How can I bring anything to his journey that he can’t get from a man? I only just came of age a decade ago. Forty-four years is not very old in hobbit years. 

“I’m unsure. My family is back in the Shire, I don’t know how they would feel about this. I should really run it by them first.” Freesia looked down at her feet.

“Aren’t you quite old enough to make your own decisions?” he asked her.

“Well, somewhat. I am only forty-four and I am a girl.” she thought her answer was quite understandable, but his answer surprised her.

“Forty-four is perfectly old enough to go out on your own!” he said as if he was surprised at her answer, “I myself am only fifty. That is young for an elf-Dunedain hybrid.” he smiled.

Fifty? That is how old Frodo was. But I am still a girl. Girls don’t adventure, they stay home and take care of the family. Eowyn is the only exception. 

“Well, I don’t know why you would want a girl to come with you, but I suppose I could join you if that is what you really want.” she said, still hesitant to get into an adventure she had no way of knowing she would survive. She didn’t even know what exactly they would do to get the throne back.

“Great! Now, obviously we can’t take back Gondor just the two of us. I don’t suppose you know of any other hobbits that would like to join us? Maybe we can find a dwarf to join us.” Freesia could only think of one person that would like to join them.

Pegrioc.

Pegrioc was a descendant to Merriadoc “Merry” Brandybuck, a distant relative to Freesia. Peregrin “Pippin” Took had a son who married Sam’s daughter. Merry and Pippin were distant cousins. Thus making Freesia and Pegrioc distant relatives, which isn’t very strange, almost all hobbits are distant relatives.

Pegrioc was very much like Pippin. Reckless, unintelligent, sarcastic and hilarious. It was quite attractive in Freesia’s eyes, though she couldn’t admit it to anyone but her inner thoughts.

“I do know of one hobbit that would enjoy the journey, but I’m not quite certain how beneficial to the purpose of this adventure.” Freesia told Eoborn.

“Well, more is always better. I couldn’t care if he was just there for the sake of the credit, having more people along with us will make the journey bearable. I am certain we will find others who would love to join us.”

Freesia wasn’t sure if she wanted to be excited or terrified. She had always dreamed of going along on Frodo’s adventure, but now that she had the opportunity, she couldn’t decide.

Well, for now they just needed to worry about inviting Pegrioc along without the Scars deciding to join them first.

In that moment, Freesia suddenly realized something inconsistent about Eoborn’s story. Orcrist was supposed to be buried with Thorin. Only a sick villain would dig up the king of Erebor for the sake of getting his sword.

What was she getting herself into?!

3) After Middle Earth: Orcrist

Freesia began to panic, thinking about the orcish man she had seen. She knew from Frodo’s story what it meant when a sword glowed blue. But Sting is still in the possession of the Shire. The only other swords she knew of that could glow were Orcrist and Glamdring. Glamdring was Gandalf’s sword and Orcrist was Thorin Oakenshield’s.

Who was this man and whose sword does he have?

The man noticed Freesia looking at him and immediately jumped up. Freesia worried that he had seen the look of recognition on her face and would come after her. He began to walk, she couldn’t see where he was going because he slipped into the crowd. She started to walk back to the innkeeper, hoping she would be able to go to her room before the man caught her.

She was only half way there when she felt a hand on her shoulder. She jumped. Turning around, she saw that it was the man. He grabbed her shoulder and pulled her along with him toward a back hallway.

Once they were out of earshot to the lobby, the man lifted off his hood. This was far too much like Frodo’s story to be a coincidence. The man’s hair was very unusual. It was cut very short, so short Freesia wasn’t sure how he got it that way. It was no wonder he wore a hood. Freesia noticed that there was just the slightest point in the man’s ears. Not enough to be anything but a man, but men don’t have ears like that.

“Who are you?” they both asked simultaneously.

Freesia spoke first, “What do you mean ‘who am I,’ you are the one who dragged me back here. I’m just a simple hobbit that is stopping by for the night.” The man was surprised at her aggressiveness.

“Well, how ’bout you tell me how you recognized my blade?” he said. Freesia wasn’t sure how to answer. So she just went ahead and told the truth.

“I read about it. My ancestor, Samwise Gamgee had a book that was written by Frodo and Bilbo Baggins about their adventures. Bilbo saw that blade, although I’m not sure which one it is.”

“Orcrist.” he said almost automatically.

“How do you have it?” Freesia asked.

“I do believe that is not your business.” he said.

do believe that my recognition of the blade is not yours.” she retorted.

“Very well. If you must know it came to me by my ancestor’s good friend. It was given to him by his relative, Dain Ironfoot, who inherited it from Thorin Oakenshield.” Freesia became excited about the matter. This, too, was suspected by the man.

“Oh dear, how delightful! I had always wanted to see the relics of the stories for my own eyes! Would you mind if I had a look at it?” she said.

The man was slightly taken aback. Nonetheless, he unsheathed the blade and let Freesia have a look.

“Oh wow! It is just as Old Bilbo had described! Oh how I wish I could have met the old hobbit, he passed Old Took, you know, who had once been the hobbit that lived longer than any other. Of course, he did have the ring that made him live longer and he–”

“Ring? What ring?” he asked.

“Oh, you must know the tale of how Frodo Baggins destroyed the One Ring to rule them all!” she said.

“Yes, of course I do. But you must tell me about this old Bilbo. I had heard the tale of the ring’s destruction, but how did this hobbit fellow come by it?”

Surely he couldn’t be serious! She had thought.

“Well! Bilbo Baggins found the ring while trapped in the goblin kingdom in the Misty Mountains! While down there, an odd little creature called Gollum threatened to eat the poor hobbit. They had a game of riddles, and thanks to that little trinket, or so he had called it at the time, Bilbo won the riddle game. Gollum did not like this, however, and he betrayed their deal, which was for Gollum to lead Bilbo out of the caves. When he ran off, he tripped and the ring slipped onto his finger, causing him to disappear! And that is how Old Gandalf discovered that the “trinket” was actually the One Ring of power!”

“You are quite smart for a small thing, aren’t you?” he said.

“Pardon me, but I take offense to that!” she said. Again the man looked taken aback. “Wait a moment, if that blade is glowing, that should mean an orc is nearby!” Freesia exclaimed. “But all the orcs were destroyed. How can that be glowing?”

“Have you not heard? If you have not heard, surely you have seen the creatures that have been wandering about.” he said.

“Of course!” Freesia said, “What was that awful thing? It chased me all the way here to Bree! I had been worried Bree was no longer a hospitable place.”

“Those are not orcs. They are Scars.”

“Yes, I have heard the term.”

“Scars are like orcs in only one way. They were tortured to become what they are now. Only, they weren’t once elves, they were once men. That is why I am here. If men are being tortured, then that means there is an evil on this earth that is creating monsters of my people. Or my ancestor’s people I should say.”

“You keep going on about your ancestors. Who are they?” Freesia asked.

“Well, my name is Eoborn. My ancestor is Aragorn, son of Arathorn. This is why my ears are pointed slightly. He did marry an elf, after all.”

“Oh! That is marvelous! To think that I would ever meet a descendant of the great king Aragorn! And that you are related to Elrond as well! It must be a lovely title to have!”

“It would seem so. However, I fear there is evil in the heart of Gondor. Had things gone rightly, I would have been king of Gondor. But seeing as I am part elf, the people of Gondor suddenly decided to make a purely man royal line. They didn’t want any elf mixed in. I don’t see how this is a problem, seeing as I hold the last bit of elf to ever walk the earth. I don’t see how I could have been a threat to the royal line.”

“How terrible!” Freesia said, “That does indeed sound as though someone is desperately grasping for the throne. Perhaps you are right about there being evil there. Only a man hungry for power would be so desperate to do such a thing.”

“That gives me a great deal of reassurance to know I am not the only one to think so. Even if you are just a little hobbit girl.” Freesia raised an eyebrow at him, who smiled ever so slightly.

“If this is the problem, why are you here? You said that that is what led you here.” Freesia asked.

“It’s funny you, of all people to run in to, mention this. I too had read about the story of Frodo Baggins and discovered how Frodo had come to be part of the story. Gandalf, the wisest wizard that walked middle earth, had said something about the strength of those with the smallest stature. I thought that perhaps, in order to claim my throne, I would need someone of a sort like that. So I came here, on my way to the Shire, to find someone to share in my adventure.”

Freesia’s eyes widened with surprise. An adventure? Please do not ask me to come!

2) After Middle Earth: Bree

Far ahead, Freesia could see a gate. It was quite large and looked to be beat up and rebuilt several times. The door on the gate was shut. Her legs were almost giving in. She couldn’t bear the thought of stopping at the door with the creature behind her still running. Chasing. There was no where else she could go.

Freesia might as well have barreled right into a wall; she threw her body against the door, afraid of what might happen if she slowed even a little. She pounded a few times, but the body slam did just as well. A small piece of wood on the door slid open, it was too high up for her to be seen, she started screaming for them to let her in.

Luckily, the doorman didn’t waste time checking the lower opening that was used for hobbits. Freesia could only hope that whoever was on the other side of the door grasped the situation and would let her in on assumption that it was in fact a hobbit. There was no doubt that whoever it was could see the creature not far behind her.

The door cracked open and Freesia pushed through as quickly as her little legs would let her. The door closed far quicker than it had opened. She let out a sigh of relief, hoping it wasn’t too soon to relax. Looking around the town, Freesia could see that things were not quite functional. Everyone was doing something, but they weren’t happy about it.

Some were building up stronger fences. Some were reinforcing houses. One was standing right in front of Freesia, checking to make sure she wasn’t an enemy.

The doorman looked to be not quite tall enough to be a man, but not quite short enough to be a hobbit or a dwarf. Freesia could only assume it was a dwarf based on old Frodo’s story. The dwarf was looking Freesia in the eye, trying to decide what to do with her. There was no way she could go back, at least not right now.

The only thing Freesia could think to do was ask questions.

“What was that thing?” she asked him. He stared at her in silence for another moment. It didn’t look as though he was going to say anything. As he began to talk, his beard shook up and down, with no sign of his mouth underneath the hair.

“That was a Scar.” he said, “I ain’t seen none like you ’round these parts. What are ye, a dwarf child?” Freesia was taken aback at the dwarf’s manner.

“I’m a hobbit.” was all she could say at first. She was anxious at the feeling of all the unfamiliarity around her. Living in the Shire, she had never seen any folk except hobbits. All other folk seemed like simply legend. Elves and wizards left middle earth long ago. Men and dwarves kept to themselves in their own lands.

Bree had been a crossroad for all sorts of folk. Men, dwarves, hobbits. All sorts of strangers stopped by to stay the night on their journeys. And that was just it, no one went on journeys any more. Everyone grew to keep to themselves and care nothing of what is going on around them.

“A hobbit, eh?” the dwarf said, “I heard of ye, little folk with no chance at survival out here in the world. Never did un’erstan’ what kep’ ye little people alive in that little ol’ town o’ yers. If ye ask me, the shire is t’ be jus’ one big trap. Ain’t gon’ be long before Scars make ther’ way into yer town an’ start feedin’ of ye. Here in Bree, we’s got the best protection system in all o’ new middle earth.” He rambled on about Bree and its greatness as Freesia thought about what he had said about the Shire being in danger.

Freesia interrupted. “What is going on in the world?” she asked him.

“Why, one can’t be sure. I’s only seen what’s goin’ on in here Bree, but some often folk’ll find themselves in here, tellin’ tales about ther’ poor little towns an’ they espect me to go on an’ help ’em with whatever little favors they’s seekin’. Ain’t hardly seen a man around in ages. Some’s sayin’ that all’s the men all turned into those Scar beasties. It’s quite a fright t’ think that all men is those flesh eatin’ monsters.”

“What turned them into that?” Freesia asked. It scared her to think that that many men had become those things.

“I reckon somethin’ awful happened to ’em t’ make ’em that way. Folks sometimes sayin’ it ain’t possible to live in peace wit’ out no evil. They says that when the elves lef’, they thought they brought the bad wif ’em, but bad can’t jus’ leave. There’s gotta be bad in the world t’ keep the balance.”

Freesia wasn’t quite sure why the dwarf was telling her all this. She’s just a small, insignificant hobbit with no reason to want to know the affairs of the world. What could one hobbit do to stop a race of monsters? Not even Frodo or Bilbo had been alone in their adventures, and no one would ever want to join Freesia on such a terrifying, deadly, and pointless quest.

“You’s best find a nice place to sleep, yer not goin’ t’ wanna leave here Bree ’til the night is gone an’ the sun’s come up. Scars can’t be in the sunlight.” Freesia took his advice and headed to the Prancing Pony. She hoped there would be some nice fellow, a descendant to Butterbur, that would help her find a place to rest.

Upon walking into the inn, Freesia felt as though she herself was in Frodo’s tale. Tell Gandalf we’ve arrived. She would say. Underhill, the name’s Underhill, and these are my friends.

Everything was not quite as she had imagined it. The aroma that filled the air made the scene more realistic.

Freesia walked up to the front desk. Clearing her throat loudly a couple times, she got the man’s attention. He had to have been the only man around here that wasn’t a Scar.

“Um, may I please have somewhere to stay and rest until morning?” she asked. The man stared down at her. For a moment she thought she would be turned away, after all, she had no money to pay with.

“A hobbit!” the man said. Freesia was surprised he knew what she was. “Of course you can stay here! What, did you think I was going to turn you away to the Scars? Besides, I haven’t had a single hobbit stay in my hobbit sized rooms since I joined the business. How’s about you have a seat and get yourself something to eat.”

Freesia was delighted that someone would be so kind to let her stay with no money. Maybe everyone was wrong about Bree. There didn’t seem to be anything wrong with it. Maybe no one wanted to come here because they heard bad tales about folk getting attacked on the road, never actually making it to Bree.

As she ate, Freesia looked around. It all seemed to fit the description perfectly. Tables, people. Even a strange man sitting in the corner. Wait. That’s odd. The moment Freesia noticed the man, he seemed to notice her as well. It was almost exactly like Strider, only, Freesia wasn’t sure this man was trustworthy as Strider had been, who actually later became king of Gondor.

Gondor. What had become of Gondor? And Rohan? Had they become old and run down like Bree has? They seemed so mighty and noble, but if all men have become Scars, then what’s left of the great kingdoms of men?

The man in the corner seemed to watch Freesia for a long, uncomfortable while. Freesia suddenly noticed something about the man that reminded her of another thing she had read about. He had a blade attached at his side. And it was glowing blue.

1) After Middle Earth: The New Age

Introduction

Hello viewers! This is the beginning of the new fan fiction I am beginning to write. I decided to write this at the request of one viewer, which is sadly a lot for me. So, if someone, even one person, makes an effort to suggest something or give some input/feedback, I like to do my best to fulfill that request. I hope this is what you were hoping for and please enjoy!

Freesia sat in her home, deep within the cozy hole as far as she could bury herself. This Hobbit hole had been in her family for many years. Her grandmother Eleanor had been born here in this Hobbit hole. Her father was a legend, Samwise Gamgee. Eleanor had told Freesia many a tale of the sort her father had told her.

She would become very animated at scenes regarding the creature Gollum, going into character for both Slinker and Stinker, as Great Gaffer Sam had for her. Freesia had always enjoyed the stories, though they had also frightened her.

Unlike most Hobbits, Freesia didn’t so much enjoy the outdoors. Although this was beyond strange, she did not care. She loved to hide deep within the hill reading the red, leather-bound book her Great Gaffer had himself written in. The book contained stories from the famous Frodo Baggins and his uncle (or so he had called him) Bilbo Baggins. Both of which were the most famoustest of Hobbits.

Freesia knew that all the stories told of Frodo’s heroic acts and great deeds, but she had always felt that Frodo himself wasn’t truly the hero. Yes, he volunteered to take the ring into the deep, deadly pits of Mordor, but had he gone alone, he would have never made it. Sam had been the only thing that guaranteed the destruction of the ring of power. Freesia always told the story a little differently, to give Sam the credit he deserved, even though he had said himself in the back of the leather book that he wanted none. He had admired Frodo above any being in Middle Earth.

Freesia was to come of age in less than a fortnight. She was more nervous than she felt she should be. Most Hobbits would be delighted, excited, to become an adult, but Freesia herself felt that she was not quite ready to stop being a child.

All throughout her short life, Freesia had felt that she grew with the earth; slowly. She felt like she had roots digging deep into the ground, connecting her to the world and slowing her growth to the rate of its own. She always thought that the earth aged slowly, although she knew that it was very old. Her connection to Middle Earth seemed to strengthen each day as she hid herself away as close to the earth’s core as she could reach.

But she was also frightened.

She was worried for Middle Earth. It felt…different. She knew, ever since she had learned about the elves that had left Middle Earth so long ago, that the world would not stay as it once was. Without elves, the earth would have to change.

There was no wisdom left on the earth. It had faded with the elves. Without such long living beings to tend to it and tell of its life and needs, Middle Earth would have to adapt. The only beings left on the earth that now live longer than any who lived were the dwarves. Dwarves aren’t known for there intelligence and wisdom. Middle Earth was changing. And Freesia wasn’t sure if it was for the better, or was to become much, much worse.

Although Freesia hardly left the comfort of her quiet hole, she did still enjoy the feeling of life among the trees in the Shire. She would occasionally find herself aimlessly wandering the borders of the Shire, as Frodo had once done, according to his story he had written.

Freesia decided that the trees had a connection to her because they themselves reach deeper into the earth than any Hobbit hole could hope to match. The trees could do what Freesia couldn’t. And she wanted to so very much.

On this particular day in the Shire, Freesia felt ill. She found herself avoiding her home, trying to stay away from trees, and wanting dearly to escape. It scared her.

Nothing like this had ever come to her before. She had never wished to get away from what she loved so dearly every other day. But she couldn’t help feeling that there was something wrong. Very wrong. A changing that she knew for certain was not good.

There was talk that evil things were beginning to stir in distant places. Talk that only came from the skeptics in Hobbiton, which there hardly were. Every other Hobbit cared nothing for the affairs of the distant world around them. Freesia wanted to know what they meant. What evil? What was evil, really? Had she not read the story of the Lord of the Rings, she would have not known what evil was.

Evil wasn’t in the Shire. No one did wrong. No one was ever angry at one another, only in extreme cases. Bad could not exist in a place with only good. But what is good when there is no bad?

As Freesia walked closer and closer to what she had grown to know as the Road to Bree, she felt more and more that she needed to follow it. She had not been to Bree ever in her life. She had heard that Hobbits used to go there, they even used to have rooms built specially for Hobbits, but she wasn’t sure Hobbits were welcome anymore. Things were different.

Freesia found herself wandering toward the Road to Bree. Her shoeless feet led her on. She almost didn’t realize what she was doing. It seemed to her at first that she had imagined walking down the road, she had many times before, but it occurred to her that she really was this time.

Step after step led her farther and farther past things she recognized. Past what things called this place home. She was not home anymore.

It wasn’t as if she was being forced to walk onward. No, that wasn’t what she felt. She was choosing to move forward, but she felt like she had no choice.

A rustling sounded off to her left. Freesia darted her eyes in the direction it came from. She became instantly frightened. Thank goodness for her quiet feet. All was quiet for the moment. Another rustle sounded. This time, she wasted no time.

Instantly, she wished she hadn’t. What she saw frightened her far more than the illness she felt from the earth.

It was some sort of creature, one she had never seen before. It was hideous. The creature was tall, despite the hunch in its stature. Its hair hung far lower than anyone she had seen, granted she didn’t see many peoples besides Hobbits in the Shire, but she was almost certain this creature was not normal.

In some ways it reminded her of how Bilbo had described Gollum, but she knew it couldn’t be anything like the creature, it was far too tall to be that of Hobbit nature. It looked more like a man, but hardly at all, actually.

The creature looked very thin, almost as pale as a cloud. Its hands were holding something she couldn’t quite make out. Possibly some sort of weapon. It walked on two legs, although it looked painful for it to do so. But the worst was its face. Scarred, bruised, covered in wet mud and sticks. The eyes were large and discolored, and its teeth were pointed.

Freesia suddenly realized that it actually almost fit the description of orcs as well, but she knew it couldn’t be. Orcs died with Sauron. Plus, Orcs are a result of tortured elves. There are no elves in Middle Earth. In fact, people had begun to call it New Earth. Freesia didn’t particularly like the idea. The Orc/Gollum creature looked as though it didn’t notice Freesia. It sniffed around, keeping its distance from the Shire, although Freesia couldn’t understand why.

A sudden flick of the head startled Freesia into running. The creature was now looking at her, had she not begun to run herself, it would have either turned its head quickly away and carried on, or caught up to her before she had time to move a muscle. The creature was then running awkwardly toward her. She couldn’t help but look back over her shoulder. She didn’t know what was worse: not knowing how close it was to her, or seeing it for herself. She decided that running away would be a lot more effective if she saw where she was going. Reluctantly, she turned her head away from the monster behind her and toward the path before her.

She had no choice but to run for Bree.

The town that could quite possibly be the home of the monster.