Friday, September 26, 2008

All Wil Be Explained Later This Weekend

"This Great Ring is much desired by all, then," said Frito.

"And they desire a curse!" cried Goodgulf, waving his wand with passion. "For as surely as the Ring gives power, just as surely it becomes the master! The wearer slowly changes, and never to the good. He grows mistrustful and jealous of his power as his heart hardens. He loves overmuch his strengths and develops stomach ulcers. He becomes logy and irritable, prone to neuritis, neuralgia, nagging backache, and frequent colds. Soon no one invites him to parties anymore."

"A most horrible treasure, this Great Ring," said Frito.

"And a horrible burden for he who bears it," said Goodgulf. "For some unlucky one must carry it from Sorbed's grasp into danger and certain doom. Someone must take the ring to the Zazu Pits of Fordor, under the evil nose of the wrathful Sorbed, yet appear so unsuited to his task that he will not be soon found out."

Frito shivered in sympathy for such an unfortunate.

"Then the bearer should be a complete and utter dunce," he laughed nervously.

Goodgulf glanced at Dildo, who nodded and casually flipped a small, shining object into Frito's lap. It was a ring.

"Congratulations," said Dildo somberly. "You've just won the booby prize."

* * * * * * * * * *

The elf looked doubtfully at the boggies. "You guys know how to ride?" Without waiting for an answer he whistled loudly through his gold teeth.

A clump of high sedge rustled and several overweight merino sheep bounded into view, bleating irritably. "Mount up," said Garfinkel.

Frito, more or less athwart an unpromising ungulate, rode last in the procession away from the Gallowine toward Riv'n'dell.

He slipped his hand into his pocket, found the Ring, and took it out in the fading light. Already it was beginning to work its slow change upon him, the transformation of which Dildo had warned.

He was constipated.

* * * * * * * * * * * *

"This, too, is grave," declared Orlon. "It is only a matter of time before they come here," he said, pulling a shawl over his head and making a gesture of throwing something of a conciliatory nature to a shark, "and as neutrals, we would have no choice..."

Frito shuddered.

"The Ring and it's bearer must go hence," agreed Goodgulf, "but where? Who shall guard it?"

"The elves," said Gimlet.

"The dwarves," said Legolam.

"The wizards," said Arrowroot.

"The Men of Twodor," said Goodgulf.

"That leaves only Fordor," said Orlon. "But even a retarded troll would not go there."

"Even a dwarf," admitted Legolam.

Frito suddenly felt that all eyes were on him.

"Couldn't we just drop it down a storm drain, or pawn it and swallow the ticket?" he said.

"Alas," said Goodgulf solemnly, "It is not that easy."

"But why?"

"Alas," explained Goodgulf.

"Alackaday," Orlon agreed.

"But fear not, dear boggie," continued Orlon, "you shall not go alone."

"Good old Gimlet will go with you," said Legolam.

"And fearless Legolam," said Gimlet.

"And noble king Arrowroot," said Bromosel.

"And faithful Bromosel," said Arrowroot.

"And Moxie, Pepsi, and Spam," said Dildo.

"And Goodgulf Grayteeth," added Orlon.

"Indeed," said Goodgulf, glaring at Orlon, and if looks could maim, the old elf would have left in a basket.

"So be it. You shall leave when the omens are right," said Orlon, consulting a pocket horoscope, "and unless I'm very much mistaken, they will be unmatched in half an hour."

Frito groaned. "I wish I had never been born," he said.

"Do not say that, dear Frito," cried Orlon, "It was a happy minute for us all when you were born."...