[Mock-Fiction] II - Memento Mori

Note: Please read the Formal Notice movella. It should be on the list on the right hand side.

The sequel to 'Requiescat in Pace'

Cover by Secrets Unfold

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7. Five - The Problem with Rings

Death is the full stop at the end of the sentence that is life.”

~ B. Anonymous

 

 

The arrow fired and there was the sound of splintered wood. Louis look through his flesh-shield and realized he wasn’t dead.

I’m going to ace this, he thought with a fool’s smile.

He slowly removed his hands, and saw that Richard was pointing at him. Or was it something behind him? The hooded man didn’t say anything, so Louis looked around him, saw nothing but the tree he’d been leaning against, and then turned back, but Richard was gone.

 

There were trees everywhere, and there was the soft chirping of birds coming from every branch. Louis huffed in disappointment, and stood up, looking back again. Now he saw it! Richard had fired the arrow just above his head, and it had notched a gold ring and a folded note into the tree-bark.

A note saying what? Louis wondered, And a ring!

His heart skipped a beat as he frantically tried to pries the arrow loose. After a lot of sweating, a lot of pulling and a whole lot of cursing, the arrow came loose, and the note and the ring fell to the ground.

 

Louis picked both put quickly, holding the ring tightly in one hand and opening the note with the other. It read:

 

One ring to rule them all, one ring to find them;

One ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them.

 

Louis looked up and said aloud, “Huh… why does that sound so familiar…?”

He shook the thought away, and then continued reading. In a messier scrawl, were the words: “You are so dead, lover-boy.”

 

Thump.

Stomp, stomp.

The whole forest shook. Louis looked up, his eyes widening, but he didn’t dare turn around.

Stomp, stomp.

A shrill shriek split the soft woodland birdsong. There was no more stomping. Louis could hear breathing. It was the breathes of something huge. Terrified out of his skin, he turned slowly – not really wanting to, but the suspense killing him into it – and once he saw what was behind him, he let out a scream of his own.

 

The beast was forty feet tall, though it only had four ginormous feet of its own. Its head was mounted on a long, scaly neck, and it’s sharp teeth stuck out of its mouth at every angle possible. There were two giant wings on its back, and it folded them. Its black scales shimmered. Louis saw the rider.

Richard.

 

The hooded man let out a laugh, and then there was silence. Just Louis facing the dragon.

No… it wasn’t a dragon, thought Louis, That’s a… that’s a Nazgul!

Not that it made a difference. Louis breathed fast and then did ran in the opposite direction. He felt the Nazgul take off into the sky. Louis ran and ran, dodging the trees, stumbling over the rocks, everything blurring around him as he tried to escape the Nazgul. The beast shrieked again, and Louis covered his ears [which he realized were now pointed] as the deafening sound struck like needles in his brain. But he kept running, and hid behind a wide tree. He panted wildly, waiting for the Nazgul to land in front of him and devour him whilst Richard laughed in hysteria.

 

But nothing happened.

 

The birds began twittering again. Louis separated from the tree, resting a hand against it, and spitting on the ground. He wasn’t wearing shoes, and his feet were all hairy. He noticed the gold ring still tightly wrapped by his hand. He looked at it, and tried to recollect any memories he could about it. It was familiar, so familiar… but he still couldn’t quite place it…

 

Something was cantering towards him… it wasn’t a horse [and it certainly wasn’t the Nazgul], but it was running and leaping and was taking slobbering breathes. The rhythm was so uneven; Louis didn’t know which way it was coming from. But he knew he was in danger. And then –

 

“Give it to me!” said a small, strangled voice, “Give it to me!”

 

Something small and bony crashed in Louis and sent him sprawling into the forest floor, covered with dying leaves and mud. Him and the… whatever it was, rolled around in the dirt, and then it sat on his chest.

“Nasty little hobbitses,” it said, “evil hobbitses.”

Louis stared at the creature, eyes wide, and if he hadn’t just been confronted with a Nazgul, he would have screamed again. It’s skin looked like dirty toilet paper wrapped around flesh-less bones, and it wore a filthy rag around its waist. Its head was big, the cheek bones and eyes bulging out, its teeth small, uneven and sharp and only a few strands of hair remained on its head.

Gollum, said a voice in Louis’s head, Smeagol.

 

“Where,” Gollum rasped, “Is. It?”

 

Louis stared at the creature for a moment, not wanting to respond, but it pounded its fists down on Louis’s chest.

“Where? Where?!” it cried.

“Shh!” said Louis, sitting up with an effort, “Shh! Or you’ll bring that dreaded Nazgul back.”

Gollum slammed his head in Louis’s, “Give it to me,” and then he started to choke, “Gollum! Gollum!”

Louis rubbed his forehead, “What?” he said, frustrated, “What do you want?”

Gollum growled, “My Preciousss!” he held Louis’s face in his bony hand, “Nasty little hobbitses! Hiding Precious from Gollum! Poor, lonely Gollum,” it began to weep, “Only wants his birthday present, but the nasty Bagginses stole it from Gollum! Didn’t he, Precious?”

 

“I know you!” said Louis, getting up all of a sudden, “You’re that… that thing from that movie!”

“What’s it talking about, Precious?” said Gollum, “It’s more confused than that fat one, Gollum! Gollum!”

Louis wasn’t listening to the spindly creep, “And…” he said, trying to remember. He opened his palm and looked at the gold ring, “And you want the ring.”

Gollum had seen it glint in Louis palm, “My Preciousss!” it cried, leaping on Louis again and punching his jaw and biting his face.

“Get off my head!” yelled Louis.

Gollum caught Louis hand in one of his own, and bite down hard onto it. Louis screamed, and blood trickled out of Gollum’s mouth.

 

The ring fell to the ground and Gollum leapt off, spitting out Louis’s blood.

“Hobbitses,” Gollum spat, “Taste horrible!”

It picked up the ring, a wide toothy smile spreading across the ugly thing’s face, and then the smile suddenly dropped. Gollum quivered a little and then scampered off.

Louis had just finished cursing, when he realized Gollum went away into the forest.

 

And then he saw want the creature had seen.

 

Richard stood in the clearing: his legs apart, his sword drawn, and smirk growing on his face.

“Decided to level the playing field, did you?” Louis said bitterly, “My opinion of you has changed dramatically, you know that? And I’m at a disadvantage – that thing bit me.”

Richard's smirk didn’t waver, he just shrugged.

“Why won’t you say anything?” said Louis, hurt, “What is that shake of your shoulders meant to mean?”

Richard shrugged again.

“Look, hooded man!” said Louis, drawing nearer to Richard. He could smell something foul in the air, “I know you just tried to get a Nazgul, or whatever, to eat me alive, but it didn’t. I’ve passed the test. Get me out of here.”

 

Richard snapped his fingers.

 

Louis backed up immediately, his breathing becoming heavy. Orcs stepped out of the line of trees, surrounding him. Louis looked around everywhere, but there was no break in the line. No chink in the armor. Just hideous, disfigured orcs looking at him hungrily.

He then said the same thing Jess had said: “You can’t be this cruel!”

Richard raised his sword and the orcs closed in. The nearest jumped on him, and stuck its dirty fingernails into his eyes. Louis screamed out in pain, as a pair of malformed hands ripped his left leg off, and as a set of teeth bit into his other, ripping out the flesh immediately. Seeing red, the last thing he heard were three words:

Requiescat in Pace.”

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