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B2MeM Prompt and Path: The Purple Path, prompt: Tyranny [Third Square]
The Rise and Fall of a Tyrant
He watched angrily. Toffee was stuck to its hand; it shook its hand and then stuffed it in its mouth slobbering and giggling. Stupid baby! The toffee should be Lotho's!
He stomped over and grabbed the baby's arm to take its candy. "Gimme!" he shouted. To his surprise, the baby yanked its arm free and glared at him. He tried to snatch it again, but the baby flailed its arm and the toffee stuck in Lotho's hair.
"Mommy!" Lotho screeched.
But today his father sent him off. "The lad's working. Find something else to do with yourself."
One day he'd be his own boss; no one would tell him what to do.
But then he paused. The sprat he'd shoved was Merry Brandybuck, the Master of Buckland's grandson! It would make no difference to his mother, but his father would likely object. His father's biggest rule was "Don't make trouble for me."
So...he was hit in the face by a ball! That would work...
Ted chortled. "O' course she did, a rich hobbit like you?"
Frodo just looked down his nose. "I have a matter of business to discuss with you and your mother."
Lobelia came up behind her son. "What sort of business? We don't acknowledge you as the Family Head." Her look was even more sour than that of her son.
"Several years ago, Otho made a standing offer for the purchase of Bag End. I was wondering if that offer still stood?"
Lobelia's eyes widened. "Bag End?"
Lotho schooled his face. "Come in, Frodo, and we can discuss it."
They wandered around Bag End, his mother commenting on the changes she'd have made. She wanted to get rid of the stuff in the wizard's room that fool Bilbo had made. He wasn't so sure. After all, he was by the way of soon doing business with a Man from down South; it would make a nice accommodation for him.
Lotho pursed his lips. "He did, did he?" He couldn't have people mocking him in the inns. People had no right to ridicule him. He was the richest hobbit in the Shire now, what with the pipeweed he'd been sending out of the Shire. People should treat him with respect. It was his due.
Time to send his Big Men out to shut down the inns; if anyone got hurt it wouldn't be his fault.
There was a knock at the door. Sandyman came in, dragging a miserable looking hobbit behind him. "This here's my cousin Marco Muddifoot. Bolger don't know him."
Lotho grinned. "Mr. Muddifoot, you are going to worm your way into Bolger's rebels and lead them into my trap."
"Why would I do that?"
"I'm your mother's new landlord; she wouldn't do well out in the cold."
"Thank you, Mr. Sackville-Baggins. The road has been long and uncomfortable, and travelling conditions are deplorable these days!"
Lotho was glad now that he'd preserved that room for Big Folk. He hoped Mr. White would be comfortable there.
He found it hard to assert himself with the Big Man; when Mr. White spoke it was hard to disagree with him. He always sounded so reasonable until Lotho thought about it later. And now those Men who had been so useful looked to Mr. White and refused to obey Lotho. Sometimes he wondered why they had ever obeyed him.
He'd tried to dissuade her, when she began to object to those sheds in the garden. Granted, they were an eyesore, but it wasn't worth objecting. Not when the Men were so unpredictable. It was too dangerous.
He watched out the window appalled, as they dragged her off. What had he done? Why had he brought these people to the Shire?
Just then the door opened, and Worm entered, but not with food.
The Man came over and lifted a pillow from the bed.
Lotho was too weak to resist as it descended over his face.
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