Thursday, October 13, 2011

Hobbit Heartache: Chapter 3


(Guess who's learning Photoshop?!)

Imma stop you before you dive right into Chapter Three (3) of Hobbit Heartache, the Sweet Valley High/Lord of the Rings erotic crossover fanfiction.  And I'm going to warn you:  this chapter gets real.













You're right to feel like this.

Yeah, I know that in Chapter One, things were all fine and dandy and the Sweet Valley gang was flying to Middle-earth, and maybe even some people were getting a little frisky in the plane bathroom and Winston was all gangly and awkward because he has big feet and the twins had a shared dream and those are always fun and we were all excited to start Sweet Valley High's 427th's Spring Break. 










These two had fun in Chapter One.

And I also know that in Chapter Two, the hobbits were all feasting and dancing in the Shire and sure, maybe Frodo was a little sad but then Bilbo came home and he had crazy news and they're about to go on a huge adventure and also sure, maybe Samwise drank a bit too much brandywine and passed out, but who hasn't been there? 












Frodo had a bit of fun in Chapter Two.

Here's the thing: NO ONE HAS FUN IN CHAPTER THREE.  And that's because things take a turn for the terrifying.  If I've learned anything from my years of reading SVH, it's that when you leave Sweet Valley, bad things happenVery bad things.  And also that I should just give up on life because my hair is not a sun-streaked gilded blonde, but alas, a mousy brunette.  But persist I shall, if only to bring you the third chapter of Hobbit Heartache. So I really hope you enjoy it.

Enough talk; let's land this plane in Middle-earth!

Artwork by the explosive Zak Tatham

Chapter Three

Elizabeth gazed out the bus window, taking in Middle-earth’s lush green scenery. How beautiful, she thought, almost like Sweet Valley’s country club. The club was the most breathtaking place she knew, and the site of many Wakefield family celebrations. Elizabeth sighed, feeling the first pangs of homesickness for her family back home and their elegantly decorated split-level Spanish-style house. The group had only been in Middle-earth for a few hours, but already it had been a rough trip.

Upon landing in the JFK Middle-earth Airport, the students had been led by Mr. Jaworski to the luggage area to collect their bags. But instead of seeing a colorful merry-go-round of luggage, they had been greeted by an empty terminal, with cobwebs and dust covering the luggage carousel. When they tried to find an airport employee to help them, the students only found a short child sitting behind the customer service counter. When the worker caught sight of the group, he scurried off as fast as he could without saying so much as a word. And Winston swore up and down that the worker wasn’t even wearing shoes!

After waiting for over an hour, the students had to board the charter bus Mr. Jaworski rented without their luggage. Mr. Jaworski had climbed into the driver’s seat of the bus, looking frazzled and uneager to attempt driving on the Middle-earth primitive roads.

Elizabeth thought back to that airport worker and how strange he had been. He couldn’t have been more than a ten year old, based on his height, she mused. And he seemed to have an unusual amount of body hair. He must have some sort of hormonal disorder, that poor kid. I wish there was some way I could help him. Maybe I could hold a fundraiser or some sort of charity ball when we get back home and mail the proceeds to Middle-earth.

Elizabeth was jolted out of her generous thoughts by a huge bump on the bus. Her flawlessly shaped head banged into the glass of the window, and she groaned in pain. The bump woke up Jessica and the rest of the students who had been napping off the jet lag.

“What? What time is it?” mumbled Jessica, rubbing her sleep-filled aquamarine eyes.

“It’s okay, Jess; we just hit a bump on the road. I’m sure we’ll be moving again in no time,” responded Elizabeth soothingly.

“Maybe if they’d pave the stupid roads, we wouldn’t hit so many bumps,” said Lila crankily, stretching her arms over her head.

“Come on, Lila, we have to respect Middle-earth’s traditions and ways. Experiencing different cultures is the most exciting part of traveling! It can’t all be like Sweet Valley, where the roads are as smooth as Jessica’s and my skin and no one ever litters,” replied Elizabeth, to which Lila merely rolled her eyes and leaned back in her seat to resume her nap.

“Hey, what’s going on, Mr. J? Why aren’t we moving?” yelled Bruce from the back of the bus, where he had cozily settled in with Annie “Easy Annie” Whitman.

Mr. Jaworski turned the bus engine off and climbed down the bus steps to investigate the problem. After a few minutes, he returned and stood at the front of the bus, looking at the tired students with a grim face.

“Well, guys, I’m afraid I have some bad news. We hit a major pothole back there and it looks like the entire front wheel and axle are out of commission,” he announced.

“What does that mean, exactly?” asked Elizabeth, her voice full of concern.

“Are we going to die??” shrieked Jessica, a look of sophisticated panic painted onto her dazzling features.

“I will not be dying in Middle-earth on a bus wearing a two day old outfit,” stated Lila frostily.

Mr. Jaworski sighed. “Please, everyone, calm down; no one is going to die. I’m just going to have to try to make it back to the airport to get some help and call a mechanic. We were only a few hours away; I can make it there by sunset if I start walking now. We’ll have this bus up and running by this evening.

While I’m gone, everyone must remain on this bus at all times. Does everyone understand? I don’t want to hear that any one of you took a single step off of this bus. Not a single step. Elizabeth will be in charge until I get back. I know that you’ll all cooperate and treat her with respect, isn’t that right?” Mr. Jaworski looked pointedly at all of the students. “Now sit tight; I’ll be back as soon as I can!” he called, already heading out of the bus door and into the lush forest, a backpack slung over his shoulder.

Elizabeth’s luminescent eyes widened and she sat up straight in her seat. She felt honored that Mr. Jaworski would trust her with such a responsibility. She vowed right then and there that she would do her best to keep her friends safe and out of harm’s way. She stood up and strode to the front of the bus where Mr. Jaworski had stood seconds before.

“Okay guys, you heard Mr. Jaworski. We just have to stay calm and stay in the bus and we’ll be fine,” said Elizabeth.

“But Liz….what if I have to…you know…” called out Winston, a pained look on his gangly face.

“Very funny, Win. You’re just going to have to hold it,” said Liz, a blush coloring her cherubic cheeks.

“Uh, Liz, I kind of have to go, too,” said Ken bashfully, his sandy blond hair falling into his face.

“Guys! Didn’t you listen at all? We have to stay on the bus! We’re in the middle of the woods—it’s not safe out there. Plus, it’s going to be dark soon,” said Liz in an exasperated voice.

Bruce stood up, a defiant look on his face. “You know what, Wakefield, I’m sick of this bus and I’m already sick of listening to you get off on being in charge. I’m going outside to smoke this Cuban cigar I snuck on the plane. Any ladies who want to join me can come along,” he said, stepping over Easy Annie and into the aisle.

Elizabeth watched in dismay as Bruce strode down the bus steps. One by one, he was followed by almost all of the students on board, most casting guilty looks at Elizabeth as they stepped off the bus and into the fresh air. Soon just the twins were left on the bus. Jessica gave her sister a pleading look with her shiny eyes.

“Please Lizzie…a few minutes outside won’t kill us. We all need to stretch our legs or else we’ll go crazy!” she said, her voice dripping with honey. “Just a few minutes is all.”

Elizabeth sighed. Jessica was very hard to resist whenever she wanted something, a fact that Jessica herself was well aware of. Before Elizabeth even said a word, Jessica saw her relenting eyes and squealed in happiness. “Let’s go, Lizzie; you won’t regret this!” she cried over her shoulder as she bounded towards the bus exit.

The visually appealing girls left the bus and surveyed the outside. The students had divided into little groups in the forest. Olivia, wearing a long skirt made of hemp and peat moss, was sitting on the grass strumming her guitar. Winston was performing an Irish jig to Olivia’s music, continuously stumbling on his lanky legs. Lila was examining her makeup with a mirror and scowling in the general direction of the music. Easy Annie was chatting with Ken, slowly moving her arm down his muscular chest and into the waistband of his jeans. Leaning against the bus was Bruce, smoking his Cuban cigar with an air of nonchalance. Jessica made a beeline for the handsome Bruce and Elizabeth followed reluctantly behind.

“Well, well, if it isn’t our fearless leader,” said Bruce, sneering at Liz. She frowned in return, the frown somehow still not tainting her dainty features.

“Hey Bruce, got one of those for me?” purred Jessica, leaning against Bruce so their toned bodies touched. Having no physical contact with males for the past day had proved very difficult for the flirtatious Jessica. While she usually had a more-than-frosty attitude towards Bruce after their short but disastrous relationship, there was a definite shortage of eligible males on the trip. And, Jessica reasoned, while Bruce might be irreparably damaging to the self-esteem, he sure was easy on the eyes.

“I’m not sure you can handle this, sweetheart,” teased Bruce in a husky voice. “My father got it at a famous cigar store in San Francisco during his trip last week.”

“That’s odd, our mother just came back from San Francisco, too,” remarked Elizabeth, looking puzzled. “She said there was a wallpaper conference…” Elizabeth trailed off and realized that her mother hadn’t provided any more details of her trip. I must not have been paying attention, she mused.

Jessica cleared her mucus-free throat, annoyed that Bruce’s attention had strayed from her. “Oh, I think I handled it just fine when we were at the lake house,” she said seductively.

“Hey, I’m part Cuban! Lemme have a puff of that!” called out Winston, running over and grabbing the lit cigar out of Bruce’s hand.

“Egbert, I swear on my father’s fortune that if you do not give me that cigar back in three seconds, I will snap your scrawny, four-eyed body in half,” said Bruce, lunging at Winston, who danced out of his grasp and waved the cigar wildly in the air.

Jessica and Elizabeth giggled while the two boys did a sort of fencing routine, with Bruce trying to swipe at Winston, who kept stumbling out of the way. The other students noticed the scuffle and began cheering for the different boys, pretending it was one of Sweet Valley High’s popular wrestling matches. Then suddenly the playful expression on Winston’s face changed as he tripped over his size eleven feet and fell to the ground, the cigar flying in the air and landing directly under the bus’ gas tank, which had leaked a small puddle of gasoline during their earlier troubles.

Elizabeth instantly knew that they were headed for trouble. She hollered in her loudest voice “Everybody move!” Get away from the bus!” and ran towards the forest, pulling a confused yet beautiful Jessica behind her.

Sparks began to fly and a horrible smell filled the air as the students fled towards the woods. A series of crackling sounds came from the bus, each one louder than the next. It sounded as if the bus were breaking from the inside out, with horrible creaking sounds that made Elizabeth shudder with fear. Suddenly, a huge explosion tore the bus apart, throwing Jessica and Elizabeth to their striking knees.

Flames burst high into the air, the orangey-red hues mixing with the black smoke to color the sky an ominous shade. Winston and Bruce staggered forward, each coughing furiously as the thick smoke entered their subpar lungs. Jessica caught sight of Lila running ahead, her porcelain skin covered in soot and dirt. The twins pulled themselves upright and used their natural athletic builds to run as fast as they could until they could see the bus and the horrible flames no more. They collapsed on the ground and gasped for air, their proportionate chests burning with exertion.

When the girls’ racing yet resilient heartbeats had finally slowed down, they looked around. Winston and Bruce were a few feet behind them, both sitting on the ground in a daze. Lila leaned against a tree looking stunned.

Elizabeth was the first to speak. “Is everyone all right?” she asked in a choked voice. “Jess, you okay?” Jessica hugged her flawless sister, unable to respond.

Winston slowly nodded, while Lila and Bruce both mumbled replies.

“Where are the rest of us? Where’s Olivia? And Ken? And that girl who tried to kill herself that one time because I didn’t let her on the cheerleading squad?” asked Jessica urgently.

Lila let out a strangled cry. “Olivia…I saw…she didn’t…” she tried to choke out before dissolving into sobs.

“Lila, take a deep breath. What about Olivia? Is she hurt?” asked Liz urgently.

Lila took a moment gain her composure. “When…when the bus exploded, I saw Olivia. The flames just swept over her; it was like they swallowed her whole. There was nothing I could do so I just ran away. I couldn’t help her! It just happened so fast…I don’t think she made it. And I think her guitar made her burn faster,” finished Lila, tears running down her face.

“Oh God,” moaned Jessica, on the brink of good-looking hysteria.

“And Ken? Annie? Did anyone see them after the explosion?” asked Elizabeth.

“Yeah, they had been sneaking off together before…before it happened. I saw them running the opposite way when the bus blew up, towards those big shaded trees,” Winston spoke up.

“Okay, so first things first, we try and find them and everyone else. Then we wait for Mr. Jaworski to come back with help,” said Elizabeth, trying desperately to keep her harmonious voice from shaking.

The group slowly trekked back to the scene of the explosion. Waves of smoke blew off of the scorched bus and a small fire still burned. Upon discovering Olivia’s charred remains, Lila and Bruce both gagged while Winston vomited. The twins, incapable of such unappealing actions, instead wept slow, graceful tears which streamed down their saddened yet exquisite faces.

“At least she’s in the earth now,” eulogized Elizabeth elegantly. “She always did love dirt.”

The newly formed gang spent the next six hours searching the woods and calling out Ken, Annie and the other student’s names in vain. They wandered far into the thick forest until all sense of direction was gone. As dusk slowly turned into the darkness of night, the exhausted students sank down to the ground to rest.

“I can’t even see in front of me,” said Bruce, picking dirt off of his cashmere sweater in annoyance.

“I know; I keep tripping over roots and hitting my head,” added Winston, rubbing his head and wincing.

“That’s not because it’s dark, it’s because you have huge feet, Win,” joked Jessica, demonstrating her knack for comedic timing. The group laughed, relieved to finally have a light moment.

“You’re right, guys. There’s no point in looking any more tonight. Let’s just set up a camp and we can figure things out in the morning. A full night’s sleep will do all of us some good,” stated Liz. Too worn down to do anything but obey, the group dispersed in all directions to find supplies.

Elizabeth started off into the woods by herself, leaning down to gather pine brushes and sticks for firewood. She hummed a tuneless song to distract herself from the day’s hardships and wished that she was home with Todd, curled up on the couch watching a documentary about the Industrial Revolution. During the commercials, she would fall into Todd’s strong, chiseled arms and look deeply into his chocolate brown eyes. She longed for his soft, salty kiss and the warmth of his lean body. She imagined herself pressed against him, rubbing her tanned limbs against his tanned limbs, massaging his muscular shoulders and feeling his hot breath on her swanlike neck. She longed for the day that they would finally progress past kissing, the day that Todd would touch her taut—

Elizabeth’s daydreaming was interrupted by sudden movement out of the corner of her aquamarine eye. She wheeled around and saw a ghostly figure in white in the distance, seemingly floating across the ground. Elizabeth squinted her glistening eyes and peered closer. The figure looked masculine but with long, flowing white hair that caught in the breeze. He was wearing a plain white robe which was both simple and elegant at the same time and skimmed over his tall, thin frame. He seemed to be carrying a staff of sort, perhaps to help him walking? Elizabeth wasn’t sure, but suddenly longed to hold that staff in her feminine hands. 

Staring at him sent electric shocks down her resilient spine for some reason, and Elizabeth felt captivated by this mysterious man, as if he held some kind of strange power over her. She quickly forgot all about Todd’s salty kiss and wondered what the man in white could do to her with his staff, and if he liked foreign movies with subtitles, too.

As he moved out of her keen eyesight, Elizabeth broke out of her unexpected trance. She looked down at the sticks in her soft hand and the heartbreak of the day came rushing back to her. But suddenly the bus explosion and the charred remains of her dead friend didn’t seem quite so bad anymore. Elizabeth was destined to meet this mysterious man in white; she was sure of it! She just knew that he would somehow change her life and teach her wonderful things.

“I’m going to find that man,” she swore out loud, “and nothing is going to stop me!”

Will Elizabeth ever find her mystical man in white? Have we seen the last of Mr. Jaworski & co? Will Winston stand for manslaughter trial for the death of Olivia, or was foul play at hand? And who will be invited to Elizabeth’s “Dance–the-Hair-Away” charity fundraiser for Middle-earth children with hormonal disorders? Only time will tell.

STAY TUNED.












Won't someone think of the hobbit children?  Elizabeth Wakefield will. 

PS--Again, I must thank Zak, my amusingly amorous artist, for his contribution.  Chapter Three (3) pic is a beaut!

PPS--I must also raise my voice in appreciation to my dear roommate Heather, who is currently giving me Photoshop lessons.  She can't read, but she sure can graphic design. Clone stamp tool, am I right?!

5 comments:

  1. The third chapter is a nail-biter, so much has happened in so little time. I do believe that Elizabeth's daydreaming could be getting the best of her and now she's well on her way to having the time of her life. Staffs, in the hands of a true master, can do many a thing...I'm super excited to see what those might be ;)

    (Also, Mr. Jaworski is a badass; he grabs a knapsack and starts trekking back to the airport. No fear!)

    Congratz on another successful episode :)

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  2. I hope you didn't get TOO scared, Merg. I know it gets kinda graphic, what with the charred remains and all. But at least it ends on a hopeful note, right? The promise of potential staff activity--that's enough to brighten anyone's day.

    Mr. J is pretty cool, and who knows, maybe he'll save the day? Or maybe he'll meet a lady hobbit and fall in love? Or maybe he'll get lost and we'll never see him again? I reveal nothing.

    Thank you for reading :)

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  3. Poor Olivia. What a terrible end. But on the bright side, I feel like Liz will get to meet her mystery man!!

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  4. I know, right? But there are worse ways to die than in a bus explosion, such as having a fridge fall on you or overdosing on your first try of cocaine or in a car accident driven by your girlfriend's twin sister whose drink was spiked by your very own girlfriend...I digress. Those are all actual SVH deaths.

    I can reveal nothing about Liz and the mystery man, but things generally tend to work out for her.

    (Also, the entire manuscript is sitting on our coffee table. NO PEEKING.)

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