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No Help for It - by Larner

Author: Larner
Title: No Help for It
Rating: PG
Theme: Mad as a March Hare
Elements: weather that is hot and dry.
Author's Notes: For Aiwendiel. Beta by RiverOtter.
Synopses: The weather is hot and dry, and Frodo particularly appears unsettled by it.
Word Count: 587

No Help for It

“He’s been pacin’ about the smial like a mad thing!” murmured Rosie to her husband.

“It’s the weather, and the smoke from that fire what took the field just west of the village. Too hot and dry, and the smell of smoke. Enough to make anyone go mad, considerin’ what him’s been through.”

“You think so?”

“I know so, Rosie my love. Makin’ him think as he’s back in Mordor, or so it strikes me. Been too hot for much of anything the last week or so, and those headaches are enough to drive anyone wild.”

She nodded thoughtfully. “Been havin’ nightmares, too. Even when he’s not shoutin’ out loud, they’re there. You can see it in his eyes when him gets up in the mornin’. Wish as there was somethin’ as we could do to make it better for him.”

Frodo was out in the garden, visible easily from the windows in the dining room. He was leaning on his stick, glaring uncharacteristically down at a weed at his feet as if it were some urchin who’d sought to steal his wallet—or as if it were an orc offering threat to the smial. Suddenly he raised his stick and brought it down sharply, then ground his heel heavily against the hapless plant, his expression particularly savage.

“Sun and moon!” Rosie whispered, crowding closer to Sam’s side. “I’ve never seen him do that before!”

Sam nodded, himself unsure. Rarely did Frodo lose his temper, and usually he had pity even for weeds.

The gardener lifted his eyes, and peered west. Were those clouds, that distant line of grey, barely wide enough to be seen? If so, maybe a few days would bring relief to the heat, and relief to his beloved Master as well. It seemed that it was to the west they looked so often for any blessing toward Frodo Baggins, no matter how small. Otherwise, he felt helpless, for he and Rosie were doing all they could to give his Master comfort and reassurance.

Frodo stood there a moment longer, his eyes now closed, his jaw clenched, his body stiff, before he finally relaxed, opening his eyes to look down at the damage he’d done, and nodded tiredly, then turned toward the back door to the smial.

Sam hurried to open the door for him. “Had a turn about the garden, then, did you?” he asked, sensing the inanity of the observation even as he uttered it.

Frodo shrugged as he gave the walking stick to Sam. “For as much good as it did me,” he said. “There was a fight going on out there—a simple beetle seeking to have a meal of dandelion, and a spider assaulting it. I crushed her, though. And for a moment I felt like you, seeking to bring down that monster there when we came out of the tunnel. I don’t know that I could have done then what you did.”

“You cut off her claw, and did for her eye. If it had been me she’d gone after, you’d of done the same as me.”

“Perhaps,” Frodo said. He gave a thin smile, but one that was honest enough. “Never thought of you as a warrior before we left the Shire, but you’ve proved yourself well enough.”

He turned toward the privy, then looked back over his shoulder. “The yellow beetle—at least I saved it.” So saying, he went out of the room, leaving Sam feeling some relief of his own.


( 28 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 15th, 2010 11:29 pm (UTC)
I haven't had a chance to read this yet and I hope you don't mind my pointing this out but the title 'Letter of Eviction' doesn't match the title 'No Help For It'. I mention this because I was briefly confused by the title - it didn't fit what I remembered this month's challenge to be!

I look forward to having a chance to read this!
Mar. 16th, 2010 07:02 am (UTC)
I was making all kinds of errors on the introductory lines to this one. I've corrected them all now, I believe. I hope that when you read it you enjoy it. "Letter of Eviction" was the story I wrote for last month, and I was trying to copy the formatting from then and didn't get all properly updated before I got it posted.

Thanks for the heads up!
Mar. 16th, 2010 11:15 am (UTC)
"Letter of Eviction" was the story I wrote for last month
I really enjoyed that story!

Thanks for the heads up!
You're very welcome! Now that I have a few quiet moments, I hope I can sit to enjoy this story.
Mar. 16th, 2010 11:31 am (UTC)
Poor Frodo.

I liked how you captured the characters. It was simple in description and lovely due to that because it didn't need much to capture the characters and bring you into the moment that Rosie and Sam were sharing.

A very good read.
Mar. 15th, 2010 11:31 pm (UTC)
This was very poignant, poor Frodo!
Mar. 16th, 2010 07:02 am (UTC)
Thank you so, Linda. There must have been days when he found he hated spiders!
(Deleted comment)
Mar. 16th, 2010 07:05 am (UTC)
It's hard to say whether Frodo would have hated spiders before the quest; but after learning of Sam's battle with Shelob I think he would have come to the rescue of any smaller creature he'd see a larger spider go after.

Thanks so, Mews!
Mar. 15th, 2010 11:57 pm (UTC)
This is sad, but lovely. Frodo has such compassion, and although this battle is a small one... it mattered a great deal to that beetle.
Mar. 16th, 2010 07:07 am (UTC)
Oh, I agree. And at this point he might not seek out just any spider and kill it, but one he'd see going after a smaller creature I believe he'd go after with a vengeance!

Thanks so, Shirebound!
(Deleted comment)
Mar. 16th, 2010 07:07 am (UTC)
Am so glad you found this suited, Mercuriewords. I so agree. Thanks!
Mar. 16th, 2010 12:44 am (UTC)
Poor Frodo! So much to deal with! I love the concern both Sam and Rose show in this, and Frodo's pride in Sam.

(BTW: Do you think you could put the lj cut in?)
Mar. 16th, 2010 07:10 am (UTC)
At times that last summer must have felt so strange for Frodo. He's not as he was, and doesn't have the work from the Mayor's office to distract him; and he must have felt such a stranger at times to himself.

As for the LJ cut, I accidently did an equal sign rather than a dash, and the site apparently didn't know what to think of it! Typos are such a pain!
Mar. 16th, 2010 12:59 am (UTC)
Poor Frodo. I can imagine how the image of Shelob must have haunted him. I love Sam and Rosie's concern for him in this.
Mar. 16th, 2010 07:12 am (UTC)
I so agree, Addie. I'm certain that Sam and Rosie at times felt frustrated that they couldn't do more to help him feel more comfortable.

Thanks so!
Mar. 16th, 2010 03:05 am (UTC)
What an awesome bit of symbolism! And how like Frodo to spot and do what he could to stop the real life thing from happening even as he realizes how it connects with his own trials and tribulations.
Mar. 16th, 2010 07:13 am (UTC)
Am so glad I was able to communicate just what I'd intended with this. Thanks so, Laianora. And love to your furry companion.
Mar. 17th, 2010 12:07 am (UTC)
hee. At least it's a much smaller spider than SHelob! :)
Jun. 26th, 2010 09:39 am (UTC)
Man--I see I didn't get all comments responded to in March! Yes, a much smaller spider than Shelob, thank heavens. Thanks so!
Mar. 18th, 2010 10:16 am (UTC)
I really like how much of the characters come through in this scene. Very nice.
Jun. 26th, 2010 09:41 am (UTC)
I'm so glad you found this story so vivid. Thank you so!
Mar. 18th, 2010 01:35 pm (UTC)
I like how you show how the ghosts of the past haunt Frodo. Feel kind of sorry for the spider though, I must admit.
Jun. 26th, 2010 09:40 am (UTC)
Yes, the Quest still claws at him, I fear. I, too, feel for the spider, although I can empathise more with Frodo himself.

Thanks so!
Mar. 24th, 2010 02:43 pm (UTC)
Hmm... Frodo really doesn't like spiders anymore; understandable of course, but I can't help feeling sorry for the spider as well.
Jun. 26th, 2010 09:42 am (UTC)
I, too, feel sorry for the spider, but appreciate why Frodo feels as he does. Thanks so!
Apr. 30th, 2010 06:28 pm (UTC)
I love Frodo's explanation of what he did out there, that he killed the spider and felt a moment like his hero.

Namarie, God bless, Antane :)
Jun. 26th, 2010 09:43 am (UTC)
Yes, it would help him express his admiration for Sam's victory. Thanks so, Antane!
Jun. 23rd, 2010 12:15 am (UTC)
review and Scavenger Hunt
I was just as relieved as Sam and Rosie when I found out what Frodo was really doing. And I have to say that I'd never considered what effect the smell of smoke would have on Frodo or Sam after that visit to Mordor!

I found #12 "Clouds" in this story. Thank you very much for using it!

Jun. 26th, 2010 09:45 am (UTC)
Re: review and Scavenger Hunt
Oh, am so glad I could help with the scavenger hunt, too! Thanks so!
( 28 comments — Leave a comment )


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