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A collaborative story written for Week Five of the 2010 Back to Middle-earth Month Challenge.)
Challenge: Your character finds something that she or he wants. Now create a scene in which your character attempts to make an exchange or purchase in order to acquire that item.
A Not-So-Simple Misunderstanding
(In this story, Pippin is about 19, which in terms of maturity for a hobbit-lad, physically and emotionally, would be about the same as a Man-child of about 12 and a half.)
Part 1, by Dreamflower of the Esmeralda Team:
He could not come out of his room until he had written his essay on the importance of thinking about the consequences of one's actions before taking them. Four pages, Father had said, in his best handwriting and no blots.
Four pages. He sighed and flopped over on his stomach, and began kicking the footboard rhythmically. Kick, kick, kick. Stop. Kick-kick. Stop. Kick, kick, kick. Stop. Hmm...that had the beat of the Pincup jig...kick, kick, kick. There was a knock on the door, and he stopped kicking and attempted to dash to his desk. Unfortuanately, he caught his foot in his coverlet, and landed unceremoniously on his floor, as his sister Pearl stuck her head in the door.
"Pippin, you need to stop playing about and get on with your punishment. What if it had been Father passing by instead?"
He heaved a sigh.
"You know that Father is right, don't you?"
"I suppose." He hung his head. "I didn't mean any harm, Pearl, really! I wouldn't have been unfair for anything, honest!"
Pearl gave a quick glance behind her, and then stepped into his room and shut the door. She sat down on his bed, and reached a hand down and pulled him up to sit beside her. "Pip, first of all, the mathom you found was not really yours to begin with. And second of all, you should never have offered to trade something with one of the servants. It really isn't fair, for a servant will feel he cannot say 'no'. Diccon was really very fond of the hurdy-gurdy his uncle had given him, and it hurt him to give it up."
"But Pearl, if I'd known that, I wouldn't have insisted. I thought he didn't mind. And he seemed to like that lovely box I found with all the carving."
"And it was the box that nearly got him into trouble with Mistress Appleblossom. She knew the box was something that belonged to the Took family, and nearly accused Diccon of theft. And then when it came out that he had traded with you, that the box was more valuable than the hurdy-gurdy-- which made it seem he'd taken advanatage of you."
"But it was my idea, Pearl!"
"Precisely!" She gave him a hug. "It was good that you made her understand that, or Diccon could have lost his position."
"I wouldn't have wanted that to happen! He's a great groom and so good with the ponies!"
"I know, Pippin. But that is why you are being punished. Now I must go; get busy with your writing-- have a little of it done to show me when I bring your luncheon to you later on."
She left, shutting the door firmly behind her. Pippin reluctantly ambled over to his desk and flopped down in his chair with another sigh. He regretted ever laying eyes on Diccon's hurdy-gurdy...
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