prance_legolas: (Happy Prance)
[personal profile] prance_legolas
I find it hard to believe that three years have passed since the events in this chapter took place. I still find it impossible to re-read this without totally choking up. I'm just glad I can share it with you in print and not have to read it out loud.

I'd never make it.


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Chapter 23 Trilogy Tuesday


Legolas and I get to the theater at 8:30 A.M. I’ve worn my green velvet elf dress and the Prance has plaited my warrior braids for me, but he’s wearing modern day clothing. Can’t take a chance on him drawing any unwanted attention to himself. We end up twelfth and thirteenth in line respectively, and that’s when moviegoer number fourteen shows up.

Legolas spots him with his keen eyes from half a parking lot away.

“NAEZGOOL!” he shouts, leaping between the black-robed specter that emerges from the car and the rest of us standing patiently in line. He assumes a protective stance.

“He IS a Nazgul!” I exclaim, clapping my hands gleefully. “He’s going to be the first contestant in our costume contest!”

“Hey, Bill!” says the lady standing in line in front of us. “Your costume turned out perfectly.”

“Wait, wait,” says Bill the Nazgul. He lowers his hood to reveal a rugged human face in regular flesh-tone colors. “I’m not ready yet.”

He reaches into his pocket and pulls out a pair of black winter gloves, decorated with tiny silver triangles cut out of some kind of metallic backed cardboard like you’d find in a frozen pizza box. He reaches into the other pocket and pulls out a black wad of fabric.

“My wife’s pantyhose,” he says, stretching the nylon over his head. Now he looks like a bank robber. “Is my neck showing?” he asks me as he pulls on the gloves.

I take a moment to adjust his costume for him. “Now you officially look like a Nazgul,” I say.

“Noe he duzn’t,” scoffs Legolas. “Heez shoewz ar all roeng.”

“What’s wrong with his shoes?” asks the lady in line in front of us.

“Dere noet powentee,” Legolas states, crossing his arms over his chest.

“I’m off-duty,” says Bill the Nazgul. “All Nazgul’s wear penny loafers when they’re off-duty.”

Legolas contemplates this.

“Wait till you see my daughter Tara,” Bill says. “She’s coming as an elf, pointy ears and all. She eats this stuff up.”

The Prance makes a huffing noise and turns to stare at the passing traffic.

“Don’t be rude!” I scold him as I pull him aside. “We have to spend all day with these people. You don’t want to offend anyone and have this not work out, do you?”

I don’t have to remind him of the gravity of this whole situation. I had wanted to attend Trilogy Tuesday from the moment I heard about it, and purchased two tickets by phone as soon as they became available, thinking I could go with Legolas to the event in Greenville to see “The Fellowship of the Ring” and “The Two Towers” before we had to skedaddle back to Greenwood to the theater there for him to find his way back to Middle-earth. From the way things originally looked, we had two hours to make the 45 minute journey. No problem.

That was then, before I found out that “The Return of the King” was NOT showing in the Regal Cinemas theater in Greenwood where Legolas came from. Not at all, not even the next day at regular time. “The Return of the King” would be playing at the theater in the Greenwood Mall. All bets were off.

Thus the elven prince and I came to attend “Trilogy Tuesday”. But you know there’s more to this story than that. There always is.

I became the Trilogy Tuesday line party leader. By default, I assure you. The person assigned by The One Ring.net as the line party leader didn’t hold a ticket to Tuesday’s sold-out events, and the theater wasn’t about to help her out with securing one, no matter who she claimed to be. So it came to pass that Jenn and I decided to split the events of December 16th into two different parties. She took the three-auditorium Midnight Premier. I took Trilogy Tuesday.

And thus it began.

We had Second Breakfast served to us in line by the nicest people from Atlanta Bread Company. They took pity on us and brought us coffee and hot chocolates too, complete with foamy whipped toppings and chocolate and cinnamon sprinkles. We had blueberry muffins, and croissants, and cinnamon-raisin rolls, and pastries filled with cream cheese. Legolas and I each got a hot chocolate and a cranberry-orange muffin. Absolutely fantastic.

While we were outside having Second Breakfast, the theater manager approached the box office and picked up the intercom phone.

“Hello Elves, Wizards, Humans, and Nazgul,” he said, grinning. “My name is James. I regret to inform you that New Line did not send the correct reels of film, and today’s ‘Trilogy Tuesday’ event has been cancelled. You can all go home now.”

Nobody moved. Nobody spoke. Matter of fact, nobody did anything but stand there staring.

“Due u waent me tu goe git my boew?” whispered a fair tenor voice in my ear.

“No, baby, he’s just kidding,” I said, hoping I was telling the truth.

After another thirty seconds or so, the manager turns the grin into a scowl and says, “Fine, then. To make it up to you, we’re going to let you all come in early. Don’t break down the door.”

Everyone moves in patiently and listens to the expected list of rules and instructions about which bathrooms we can use and where to go to get back in to our special theater. Security is high, and gatecrashers are apparently expected. Once we’re in and settled in our seventh-row-up left aisle seats, I pin the Prance’s ticket to the collar of his Mark Martin t-shirt where it’s clearly visible to the ushers. That way he won’t have the chance to lose it fishing around in his pockets looking for it.

“Now, go have fun,” I tell him. “Just don’t go out of the auditorium without letting me know.”

I spend the time introducing myself to the folks I didn’t meet while still outside in the line, and soon I have about fifty new friends. And it’s only just come round to time for Elevensies.

I head back out to the customer service desk to make sure the prizes for the costume contest winner are ready. I end up having to leave Legolas to fend for himself while I go outside to call Jenn to figure out what we’re going to do about the restaurant that didn’t come through with the free dinner prizes we were expecting.

When I come back in, a growing chorus of about eighty voices shouts in unison, “al! Someone’s looking for you!” It takes me a few seconds to discern that ‘Someone’ is still in the customer service area, so I grab the Prance and head back out to the desk.

There’s no one standing at the desk, and no one from management seems to know who it was either. Thinking it might have been someone from the restaurant Jenn’s called about prizes, I step outside the front door to peek into the parking lot. Legolas follows me.

There’s a handsome looking fellow with a brown bomber jacket standing in the parking lot just outside the theater. Supposing there’s really no one else it could be, I decide to take a chance.

“Were you looking for al?” I call across the parking lot as I walk toward him. As he turns toward me, I suddenly spot the logo on the side of his vehicle as another man climbs out of the passenger side.

Channel 4 News.

Oh God. ‘Run, al, run,’ my mind screams.

Prance Helpful springs into action. “Dis iz al!” he shouts, grabbing me by the arm and pointing at me. “Hear she iz rite hear!”

The reporter and I chat for a few moments in the chill air, and he lets me know the theater management has told him the television camera will NOT be allowed inside the auditorium. He wants to interview the contestants of the costume contest, so I head back into the warmth of the building to gather the “Fellowship”.

Legolas tags along behind me, hot on my heels.

“Ar u goen tu taelk tu heem oen teevee, al? Whut weel u sae? Weel u tael heem abot whie we ar hear? Weel he waent tu sea ouwr tikitz? Weel he ask loetz of kwestshunz? Haez he sean da moeveez or red da buukz? Weel he taek ur pikshur? Duz he noe Beeg Burd an Elmoe? Weel he taek MY pikshur??”

It ends up that the reporter talks with participants who have come from the farthest away to be with us for the twelve-plus hours of entertainment. There are three college friends from more than 500 miles away who have driven all night to get here, as well as several from more than half that distance who came because their local theaters were already sold out. He films the costume contestants, asks about what’s packed in the coolers everyone’s carried in so we don’t have to live off of popcorn and M & M’s, and continuously quizzes everyone he interviews about their “Geek Factor”.

He even asks me if I mind being seen with an auditorium full of geeks.

”Doesn’t bother me,” I say.

“So, if the world needs saving from evil, you should call a Geek,” he asks, laughing.

“Works for me,” I answer.

After he leaves, I call Yes Dear to tell him. He promises to get off work early to tape it.



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~




Legolas and I head back into the auditorium to start the Trivia Game. I’ve got a copy of the Trivial Pursuit Movie Trilogy Edition version of the game as well as another version from the Esdevium company that’s all bookverse. We start with the movie version, and the hardest part of the game is being able to read fast enough to weed out the really obvious questions. The only question I end up stumping this crowd on is this one:

“What body of water lies to the west of the land of Middle-earth according to the map in “The Fellowship of the Ring”?”

What? You don’t already know? Well, I’m certainly not going to tell you. Go look it up.

We pull out the bookverse version and soon have spotted our heavy book readers. Some of them later confess to having read the Trilogy for twenty years or more. When we take a break from the questions about thirty minutes before “Fellowship” is supposed to start, folks get out of their seats and actually begin to mingle.

I wish that news reporter could see us now. We look like a pasture full of hobbits at Bilbo’s long expected eleventy-first Birthday Party.

I gather the costume contestants at the front of the auditorium for the judging. After much deliberation, Tara the Elf is selected as the winner, despite heavy competition from Bill the Nazgul and a very realistic looking pair dressed as Frodo and Sam complete with furry feet. Pictures are taken, prizes awarded, and everyone sneaks off for a last bathroom break just before the music for “The Fellowship of the Ring” begins.

Legolas nestles into his seat beside me with a Hershey’s Milk Chocolate bar and a Mountain Dew. Bill the Nazgul and his wife sit beside us, and she insists that I eat the other half of her sub sandwich, since she can’t finish it all. I am ever so grateful, as this will be the only real sustenance I will have all day. Planning and coordinating as well as participating in an event like this doesn’t leave much time for eating, and I’ll need to keep up my strength just like Frodo.

It seems like only minutes since “Fellowship” started, and already it is over. The audience cheers and applauds wildly as the credits roll.

“You’ve got a twenty minute intermission,” shouts James from the front right corner. “Then we’ll show ‘The Two Towers’ and you’ll have another twenty before I roll the previews of the movie you’ve all been waiting for. “

Everybody applauds wildly again.

“I gess dey reely goetta goe tu da bafruum baed!” Legolas exclaims beside me.

Giggling, I pull him out of his seat and hand him a plastic gallon-sized Ziplock baggie full of little tan-colored rectangular sugar cookie wafers.

“Help me pass out these ‘Lembas’, okay?”

“Did you bake these yourself?” one fellow asks me as he takes two ‘Lembas’ and eyes my green elf dress and soft brown leather boots.

“Of course!” I lie with a huge smile on my face. “Just not in a tree.”

The guy beside him reaches into the bag.

“You know, one small bite is enough to fill the belly of a full grown man,” I quip. I feel Legolas bristle beside me at the reference.

“Then I’ll need four,” he answers with a wink.



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~




“The Two Towers” ends in a thunderous round of applause.

Twenty minutes left.

“Quick, go change your clothes,” I urge the Prance, tugging his bookbag out from under his seat. “You don’t have long. Make sure you’re dressed exactly like you were when you came back last time. “

“U meen I hav tu deetch da boexurz?” he asks worriedly.

“Legolas...,” I begin.

“I noew, I noew. We alraedy taelkd abot dis.” He picks up the bookbag and heads for the exit.

While he’s gone, I keep myself busy passing round a huge box of Kleenex tissues, urging everybody to take at least three and pointing to where I’ll be sitting in case three turns out not to be enough. What really surprises me is the number of men who take more than one.

When Legolas doesn’t come back after seventeen minutes, I start to panic. I find him sitting on the bench outside the auditorium door, frantically going through every pocket in the clothing he had on before.

“I kin’t fiend my tikit!” he wails.

“Look, honey, here it is, still pinned to your shirt,” I say, picking up the Mark Martin t-shirt and removing the ticket from the collar.

“You know, I would have let him in,” says John, the current theater employee assigned to sentry duty. “He’s been here all day, and he’s been answering a lot of questions for me. I haven’t read the books all the way through yet. Hey, I never even knew Arwen wasn’t supposed to be riding that white horse.... What was his name again?”

Smiling sweetly at John without answering, I usher Legolas in and turn to go down the right side of the theater this time. He’ll need to enter the movie from the same side he was on when the last scene played.

Once we reach the end of the hallway, we move to stand leaning against the wall so that the others can pass us to get back to their seats. I’ve already checked with the theater management, so I know we’ve got four new movie previews before “The Return of the King” starts. The extra minutes still don’t calm my racing heart when the theater darkens and the film begins to run across the screen.

“Hae! Dat’z da maen whoe theenkz he iz Araporn!” Legolas exclaims loudly, pointing at the image of Viggo Mortensen as the audio hypes the upcoming “Hidalgo.”

“You know, Viggo has that same effect on women everywhere,” says the lady sitting in the first seat immediately to my left.

I chuckle softly to myself. Legolas stands awestruck, staring blatantly at the screen, oblivious to everything as he takes in his hero in another form.

When the trailer ends, he gives a little shake of his head and comes back to Modern-earth. As he does, his left hand drops to the waistband of his leggings and brushes purposefully against it.

“Legolas! Give it to me.”

“Whut?”

“You know what. Give me what you’re hiding in those leggings.”

He scowls and drops his head, lifting his tunic and producing a package of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups from his waistband. As he does so, I catch sight of a flash of silver down the sleeve of his left arm.

Lil’ Pip’s kangaroo bracelet, a gift from the Two Princesses all the way from Australia.

“Give that to me too,” I say firmly, holding out my hand. He makes a raspberry blowing sound and then reaches to unclasp the bracelet and drop it into my hand.

“I jest waentid tu ware it a leedle bit loengur,” he sighs dejectedly. “I wuzn’t goenna keap it.”

“No, but I’ll bet you were going to keep that love letter from PuterPatty you have hidden in your quiver.”

He stamps his foot in irritation. “al!”

“Give it to me.”

He growls loudly as he pulls the quiver from his back, causing a round of “Shhhhh!’s” to echo through the audience. Kneeling on the floor and digging down deep, he drags out the Elmo handkerchief given to him by Princess Sienna and Princess Paris. Unfolding it, he sighs deeply as he pulls out the worn envelope with the little bluebird on the sealing sticker. He fondles it gently, running his finger lovingly over the green handwritten address on the front. There’s a tear in his eye as he reluctantly hands the handkerchief and the envelope to me.

“I wish that it were different, you know,” I whisper. “I wish so much that you could take these things to remember all of us by. But we both know we can’t take that chance, right?”

“I noew,” he says. When he rises from the floor, his eyes are averted. He’s still hiding something.

“Legolas....”

“Whut?”

“Legolas...,” I say more insistently.

“al...,” he counters back sassily.

“Legolas!” I hiss at him this time, knowing we have less than one preview to go before he’s got to find his place.

“Buet, al! It’z soe smaell! Shurlee it woen’t maek eni deefrinse!”

I hold out my hand, wondering what it is that he’s still got that could be so tiny he actually thinks he could make it through the screen with whatever magic that transports him without it being filtered out. From his left boot, he extracts a tiny white bead slightly bigger than a dime with multiple facets like one of those silver mirrored balls that they have for Glow Bowling at the bowling alley.

It’s from the friendship necklace that Cara8 sent to him that arrived only yesterday. His very favorite bead of all.

As his hand makes contact with mine, handing his prize carefully over, he suddenly clutches my wrist and pulls himself close to me, burying his head in the warrior braids that cascade down my neck.

“I doen’t waenna goe, al,” he whispers.

My brain hits overload, and I can suddenly think of about forty million reasons why I should just take his hand and run blindly out of the door all the way to the van.

“Legolas....”

He draws back suddenly, swipes his right sleeve across his eyes, and then steps back to an arms length away.

“Im mel le, al. Weesh me luk.”

And with that, he’s gone.



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~




There’s no sign this time.

I thought maybe I had missed it through the tears that started falling before I could even get back to my seat. I admit the action on the screen had me sitting on the edge of my seat for the entire movie, and not once did I take a bathroom break. It was all over far before I wanted it to be.

I waited to be the last one out of the auditorium. I’m sure all the people who came to say thanks for the entertainment were wondering where my companion had gotten off to, but no one asked, thank God. I waited, but he was gone.

I went back to see it again two days later, but I still didn’t see a sign to reassure me that everything went smoothly. There’s no tripping over stones this time. Maybe he’s a little more animated than the average elf, but he’s certainly not out of character. Matter of fact, he’s plain pretty, and that just about sums it all up.

Soon it will be Christmas, and I will wait again.

Date: December 20th, 2006 03:22 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] westbeilschmidt.livejournal.com
Prance never cesses to amaze me.

I miss him already *sniff*

Date: January 19th, 2007 02:59 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] prance-legolas.livejournal.com
(from Chapter 23)

I consider myself to be incredibly fortunate to have been allowed to entertain him while he was here on Modern Earth. I can just imagine the tales he told when he got back! Campfire night could never have been the same...

I miss him too. *shares the tissue box with you*

Date: January 19th, 2007 03:13 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] westbeilschmidt.livejournal.com
well it was a pleasure to be allow to read his adventures *takes kleenex and passes box of choccies*

Date: January 19th, 2007 03:20 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] prance-legolas.livejournal.com
*takes a choccie and gives you a BIG HUG*

Date: January 19th, 2007 03:22 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] westbeilschmidt.livejournal.com
*returns hugs*

Too bad we couldn't find a way to go there

Date: December 20th, 2006 08:53 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] invisible-dream.livejournal.com
why did he have to go? :(

Date: January 19th, 2007 03:13 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] prance-legolas.livejournal.com
(from Chapter 23)

I know. I thought that too, for awhile. But *points at icon* now he's right where he belongs, y'know? How could I ever hope to compete with that?

*smiles at the thought of the Ranger and his elf together*

Date: December 22nd, 2006 08:52 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rifleman-s.livejournal.com
"And with that, he’s gone."

And beautifully done . . .

I just can't believe a year has gone by since I first met Prance . . . thanks for completing the story today.

*hugs*

Date: January 19th, 2007 03:15 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] prance-legolas.livejournal.com
(from chapter 23)

I could hardly believe I'd known him for as long as I did. The time sure flies when you're mortal. Sometimes it seems like only yesterday....

There's one more chapter to wrap things all up, coming soon I promise.

*hugs!*

Date: December 30th, 2006 08:06 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] stormatdusk.livejournal.com
friend me, please?

i'm so excited to FINALLY be starting this journey! quest! thing!

Date: January 19th, 2007 03:20 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] prance-legolas.livejournal.com
(from Chapter 23)

The Prance's lj isn't locked, sweetie! You're already considered a friend! You can read all you want, and send anybody you want over here to read too. He always thought everybody he met was a friend, and so his lj's set up that way too. Feel free to add [livejournal.com profile] prance_legolas to your friends list so he'll show up on your own page. I don't check the flist on this journal, so I haven't been friending anybody back in case that worries you.

I'm so glad you're finally joining us, and I look forward to watching as you catch up!

Date: January 20th, 2007 12:04 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] oceansnset.livejournal.com
I hadn't commented on this and you know why? Because this one always makes me cry.
Also, as crazy as it sounds, I think I held out because I didn't want it to be over.
I keep hoping that he will turn up at one of those trilogy showing they still have. There was one just a couple of weeks ago.

I saw your sign, it's not in the theatrical version, it's in extended version. I will check it again today, just to be sure, and post it here tonight. I want to make sure I have it right, but when I saw it, it made me think of you so it has to be your sign.

Date: January 21st, 2007 02:23 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] oceansnset.livejournal.com
I was right to check, what I thought was your sign was just him grinning at Aragorn.
Here ya go... Peter Jackson said that he tried to be true to Tolkien in filming the movie. Tolkien said that the elves rarely blink. PJ said he edited out all the elf blinks except when Sauron's tower came down. That was enough to cause even an elf to blink.
Now I can honestly say I did not watch the whole movie intending to catch an elf blink, but there is at least one. The drinking game. He sniffs his ale then looks at the camera and blinks.
He enjoyed playing games with you, Al, that single little blink is for you.

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