Theme: Potluck Challenge, Fixed Length Ficlet July '11
Elements: 400 Words, Blue Mood
Author’s Notes: This is actually the beginning of a bunny I’ve wanted to write for a long time. Thank you to Pearl Took for helping me come up with a hobbit lass’s name – I am simply not good at that!
He listened, head tilted slightly. The sound came again. Quiet weeping. Teobald Took hesitated, hand resting on the door handle. Carefully he slid the door to the shed open and crouched beside the distraught youth, placing a comforting hand on his shoulder. The shoulders quivered as Paladin tried, and failed, to quell his tears.
“What? Now, it canna be all that bad, Paddy. Tell me what’s got you hiding out in here howling at that lovely full moon up there.” Teo nodded at a star-filled sky crowned with a nearly full moon. Paladin wept harder. Teo shook the shoulder beneath his hand. “Tell me,” he demanded.
“Eglantine. She. . .she said she never wanted to see me again.” Paladin choked on the last words.
Teo took Paladin’s face in his hands and forced him to look at him. “What happened?”
Sobs shook the thin form and his reply was a wail. “Uncle Teo, I’ve made the worst mistake any fool of a Took could ever make! Now she’s gone.”
“What did you do, Paladin Took?”
“I. . .I. . .”
“Easy now. Here, lad,” Teo fished his handkerchief out of his pocket . “Now blow your nose, take a deep breath and tell me what this is all about.”
“I was. . .well, I suppose I was making eyes at Fairblossom Burrows and someone told Eglantine and then it got all blown way out of proportion and, and. . .well, now she thinks I don’t love her and she told me to go away!” The tears started again.
Teo sighed and sank to the floor with a shake of his gray head. “Tweens,” he muttered.
Paladin lifted his head. “What, Uncle Teo?”
Teo waved a hand in dismissal. “The question is lad, what are you going to be doing about it? Hmm?”
Paladin wiped his nose with the sleeve of his shirt. “Use the hanky, lad!” Teo scolded.
Paladin reached for the diary at his side, offered it shyly to his uncle.
Teo read the lines and began to smile. The smile became a grin. “You know, lad, I think I could help you set this to music with my fiddle. What would you think about a love song for your lassie, eh?”
Paladin sniffled. “That’s what I had in mind. Will you help me?”
Teo patted his shoulder. “Love to, boy. Love to.”