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This is the last of the LJ fics I'll be posting here. Originally written for the Professor's birthday last year. Enjoy!
Deconstructing the Red Book, Part III
"What are you doing Frodo?"
"What does it look like I'm doing, Pip?"
"Well, from here, it would appear you're writing in that big red book of yours again, but when you come closer, it also appears that you haven't accomplished anything since this morning, so I can't honestly say that I know what it's supposed to look like you're doing."
"Oh. ... Why?"
"I'm figuring out how to correctly word this next sentence."
"And it's taking you all day?"
"It's not that easy to write you know. It isn't like speaking or rattling things off as they pop so unpolishedly into your head."
"You know what I mean."
"I can't say that I do. If you know what you want to write about then just write about it and have done."
"Which is why your letters are approximately two sentences long, if that."
"I get to the point. Is there anything so wrong with that?"
"For letters, I suppose not. This is a book, it's different."
"Hey now! I was not this whiny when we were trekking through the Shire! And I never ordered Sam out of bed to cook my breakfast! You fix that!"
"I will not fix it. It's an accurate portrayal of those three days, and if you ask me, I was rather flattering in regards to your behavior."
"Pip! Pip! Oh, here you are. Why are you bothering Frodo while he's trying to write?"
"Look what he wrote about me, Merry! Tell him to fix it! I am not that whiny. I'm not!"
"Oh, I don't know, that looks right to me. You did *used* to be whiny, though clearly you're not anymore."
"Stop laughing Frodo!"
"Will the both of you please give me some peace. This is a very crucial section I need to work on."
"I see I haven't had much to do yet. When you get to finding me near the river, maybe you can make it appear as though you thought I might be one of those Black Riders. It will add suspense and give me a grand entrance after being absent for so long. Your readers will be quite starved for me by this time, I'm sure."
"If I promise to do that, will you leave right this moment?"
"You can't do that! You can't make Merry look all impressive and imposing, which he most certainly was not, and make me look like a spoiled braggart. It's not FAIR!"
"Well, what if I'm not really writing it?"
"What do you mean?"
"What if there's someone else out there, a master author if you will, in a much larger study with a much larger book and quill, making all this up and I am really just pretending to write what he's already written. So you see, I really have nothing to do with any of it."
"Don't be silly, Frodo. If someone else made all this up, then how could we be having this discussion right now?"
"Because someone else is writing us having this discussion."
"But, then... if we're not really here, then we're only here when someone else decides to write that we are? But that means we don't really exist! What am I supposed to do with myself if I don't really exist! I'm just supposed to wait around for someone to decide to write for me to do something!"
"Aren't you glad now that I'm taking my time to write some really interesting material for you?"
"No! You're just sitting there! Start writing! Write, Frodo! Write! I'm starting to fade! I think my hand's disappearing. I think...am...goi--"
"Did he just pass out?"
"Oh, good going, Frodo."
"I didn't know he'd pass out!"
"What's the noise in here, sirs? I've been calling you to luncheon and... what happened to Mr. Pippin?"
"Frodo told him that none of us are real and that we're just the byproduct of some master author's imagination."
"Why would you do that, Mr. Frodo?"
"So he'd leave me alone and go bug that person instead."
"How is he supposed to do that, if he doesn't really exist?"
"He's Pippin. He would have found a way."
"How? Burrow up through the bowels of the earth and break through the surface to nibble on this supposed master author's toes? If such a person did exist, he'd probably just mistake Pippin for a rabbit."
"Well, I don't know aught about master authors or all this nonsense. I do know as luncheon is ready, sirs, so I suggest you come get it while it's hot."
"What about Pippin?"
"He don't look to be swallowing his tongue none. He's safe for now, but mayhap we should cover him with a blanket."
"If he wakes up and we're not here, he might think the master author decided to get rid of us."
"He wouldn't dare!"
"Well, he'd have no story without us for one. No one but me could have helped Eowyn slay the Witch King. No one but you could have destroyed the Ring, and no one but Sam could have got you to Sammath Naur. Also, we're far too cute and adorable to get rid of us. There'd be nothing but gloom and doom if He did that. Assuming of course that He exists, which I'm prone to doubt. I mean, how could one person make up all of Middle-earth?!"
"Good points. Still, maybe we should eat in here."
"Very well. I'll bring the trays."
"I'll get the blanket."
"And I'll get back to work. Now... They had been jogging along again for an hour or more when Sam stopped a moment as if listening. They were on level ground, and the road after much winding lay straight ahead through a mass of grass before the copse... No, that won't do. Hm... through grass-land sprinkled with tall trees, outliers of the approaching wood.* Oh, that's good! I'm glad I thought of that! Master author indeed! Posh!"
* - Text in italics taken from "Three's Company", FOTR.
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