Title: The Day After Sam Trimmed the Grass
Theme: Mad as a March hare
Elements: a thunderstorm
Summary: Why is the usually cheerful and sunny Sam in a stormy and unpredictable mood?
Word Count: 600 (three double-drabbles)
14 Astron, S.R. 1418
Marigold stared at the door as Sam went out, slamming it. She exchanged a worried look with her father.
The Gaffer shrugged. "Sommat's eating at him, or he's gone cracked," he said gruffly. He rose from the table. "I'll be out back seeing to my turnips if you need aught." He moved stiffly. "We'll be in for a thunderstorm a-fore the day's over if my old bones don't lie."
Marigold gathered the breakfast dishes with a troubled heart. Sam certainly wasn't himself this morning. He had been cross when he had to be wakened for breakfast, and then nearly forgot to eat. The Gaffer had needed to repeat himself twice, asking Sam if he were planning to trim the verge along the flower beds at Bag End's foundation. When Sam finally heard, he said "Already did. Trimmed it right well. Trimmed it again, for good measure. I'll trim it as often as I like!"
The Gaffer gave a snort. "I think you were out too late last night. Thinkin' about Elves and moonshine again."
Sam never paid any mind to the Gaffer. but this time, he said "And if I was? What's the harm in it?" And taken himself off.
Ted Sandyman grinned. Something was up with Samwise Gamgee, that was for certain! He'd spotted the gardener headed up the Hill, muttering and mumbling. Ted wondered if maybe Sam'd had words with Miss Rose Cotton. Now wouldn't that be lucky-- mayhap if she had a row with Sam, she'd notice Ted instead for a change. Sam had it too good, for a fact. Him with the prettiest lass in the Farthing, and an overpaid job up t' Hill with Mr. Frodo Baggins! Mayhap it was time a bit of ill-fortune came Sam's way for a change.
Ted couldn't help but stare, though, when he saw Sam turn aside from the road, and pick something up. A toad? And Sam started talking to the thing like it could understand him.
Ted could not resist this chance. "Well, Sam, I see as you've finally found a friend what'll listen to all them stories about Elves you're so fond of."
Sam wheeled on him, startled. He bent over and put the toad down. "You'd do best to mind your own business, Ted." He stepped towards Ted with an angry glint in his eye.
Ted stepped back, startled. Gamgee had gone cracked for sure!
Sam entered the Ivy Bush, dripping water, just as the thunder crashed. He realised he was the only hobbit in the common room, save the innkeeper himself. Old Jackdaw who'd been sweeping, stopped, staring at Sam as though he were daft. Why would any hobbit of sense be out in this weather? But it had suited Sam's own stormy mood.
"Could you bring me a towel, Jack? And a half of bitter, if you please."
The requested items were brought quickly. Sam toweled himself gratefully, and sat down at a table to nurse his drink. He knew he'd been acting daft today. He felt half-cracked: too little sleep and too many thoughts to disturb his mind. Round and round, they'd been going, over and over till he thought he'd go mad. It was too much for a body to bear, alone.
"Oh, and Jack-- a piece of paper, ink and quill, if you don't mind."
Decision made, it was with a sigh of relief that Sam wrote: "Dear Mr. Merry--Can you come to Hobbiton as soon as possible? I have somewhat to tell you about what we were talking of. It is a lot more important than we thought. S.G."