Shop Forum More Submit  Join Login
About Varied / Hobbyist Core Member Madeline StillwaterFemale/United States Group :iconcontortionclub: ContortionClub
 
Recent Activity
Deviant for 13 Years
5 Month Core Membership
Statistics 1,387 Deviations 15,543 Comments 299,187 Pageviews

Newest Deviations

Literature
The Winter of Discontent - 1
Arathorn and Argonui had made it past Michel Delving and were passing through the White Downs.  Once past those, they would be out on the Great East Road and officially out of the Shire.  They were nearly out of the White Downs when a wild cry caught their attention.  It was a raw, primal wail, not of physical pain, but pure anguish.  Arathorn turned his horse abruptly.  There was a hobbit woman struggling through the snow after the two Rangers.  She was an older woman, her hair gone nearly as white as the snow and she was frantically waving a blue shawl over her head to attract their attention.  Arathorn urged his mount back to her side.
“Little mistress, do you need aid?”
The woman was crying.  She gestured to her ear, shook her head and made a few gestures with her hands.
“I think she’s deaf,” Arathorn said as his son dropped off of his own horse into the knee deep snow.
“Maybe she knows hwerme,” Argon
:iconSparklinBurgndy:SparklinBurgndy
:iconsparklinburgndy:SparklinBurgndy 0 2
Mature content
Green Ginger Wine 12 :iconsparklinburgndy:SparklinBurgndy 0 2
Literature
Green Ginger Wine 11
“The Rangers are here, Captain!”
Captain Hedgehopper reached the front of the Lawkeeper’s Central Post just as two Men entered, dusting snow off of their coats.  He had met the older one before, a tall fellow called Arathorn.  The younger Man was unknown to him.  Lieutenant Bellwether joined them.
“Ah, Rangers.  I am Cpt. Moro Hedgehopper, this is Lt. Erling Bellwether. Thank you for coming.”
“I am Arathorn, and this is my son, Argonui.  I understand you’ve had a murder?”
“I’m afraid so, Master Arathorn.  We’ve had accidents and fights that have gotten out of hand before, but this one is a bit different.”
“Was the victim someone of great importance?” Argonui asked.
“Yavanna, no, he was as worthless as they come,” Erling said.  
“However, whoever killed him tried to frame some dwarves in the Shire and—“
“There are dwarves in the Shire
:iconSparklinBurgndy:SparklinBurgndy
:iconsparklinburgndy:SparklinBurgndy 0 2
Mature content
Green Ginger Wine 10 :iconsparklinburgndy:SparklinBurgndy 0 2
Centaur Bofur by SparklinBurgndy Centaur Bofur :iconsparklinburgndy:SparklinBurgndy 4 1 Baby Centaur by SparklinBurgndy Baby Centaur :iconsparklinburgndy:SparklinBurgndy 4 2
Mature content
Green Ginger Wine 9 :iconsparklinburgndy:SparklinBurgndy 1 5
Mature content
The Season's Upon Us :iconsparklinburgndy:SparklinBurgndy 1 2
Dress to Impress by SparklinBurgndy
Mature content
Dress to Impress :iconsparklinburgndy:SparklinBurgndy 10 14
Literature
Green Ginger Wine 8
“I DO NOT KNOW WHAT TO DO. SOMEONE TELL ME WHAT TO DO BECAUSE I DO NOT KNOW!”  Dwalin thundered, stomping around Bag End.
“You should marry her!” Balin suggested cheerfully.  “A sweet little hobbit lass will do you a world of good!”
“Not you!” Dwalin roared.
“You should marry her!” Kili offered.  “Her heart is full when she’s by your side; she told me so herself!”
Dwalin snarled in frustration and scrubbed his hands across his face.
“You really should marry her,” Thorin said calmly, quirking an eyebrow.  “You know why.”
Bilba took particular notice that her husband had given Dwalin The Eyebrow and made a mental note to worry the details out of him later.  Balin also noted this and narrowed his eyes suspiciously at his brother.  When the large dwarf’s eyes skimmed over her, Bilba shrugged.
“Should you marry her? I don’t know.
:iconSparklinBurgndy:SparklinBurgndy
:iconsparklinburgndy:SparklinBurgndy 4 8
Mature content
Green Ginger Wine 7 :iconsparklinburgndy:SparklinBurgndy 0 8
South of the Cargo Ferry by SparklinBurgndy South of the Cargo Ferry :iconsparklinburgndy:SparklinBurgndy 4 0 Ball Court at Chichen Itza by SparklinBurgndy Ball Court at Chichen Itza :iconsparklinburgndy:SparklinBurgndy 4 4 Living God by SparklinBurgndy Living God :iconsparklinburgndy:SparklinBurgndy 2 0 Chichen Itza by SparklinBurgndy Chichen Itza :iconsparklinburgndy:SparklinBurgndy 6 2 Suytun Cenote by SparklinBurgndy Suytun Cenote :iconsparklinburgndy:SparklinBurgndy 5 5

Random Favourites

Defiant by ButteredLemons Defiant :iconbutteredlemons:ButteredLemons 1 3
Mature content
FFVII - Happy Hour Pt. II - Little Wing. :iconmagicrat:MagicRat 10 88
Final Fantasy 7 Page336 by ObstinateMelon Final Fantasy 7 Page336 :iconobstinatemelon:ObstinateMelon 225 423 Father by KorNaXon
Mature content
Father :iconkornaxon:KorNaXon 24 60
Final Fantasy 7 Page317 by ObstinateMelon Final Fantasy 7 Page317 :iconobstinatemelon:ObstinateMelon 253 528 Final Fantasy 7 Page032 by ObstinateMelon Final Fantasy 7 Page032 :iconobstinatemelon:ObstinateMelon 157 154 I'm not crying. by Mortica I'm not crying. :iconmortica:Mortica 234 48 Sir Loz Of Tears by Annie-O Sir Loz Of Tears :iconannie-o:Annie-O 13 49 White Day 2010 by blackwing-dias White Day 2010 :iconblackwing-dias:blackwing-dias 122 15 Kadaj Scan by Bangin88 Kadaj Scan :iconbangin88:Bangin88 98 7 'It smells' - Loz by autumnflavour 'It smells' - Loz :iconautumnflavour:autumnflavour 5 1 Beer by peannlui Beer :iconpeannlui:peannlui 190 83 Reno - Keep me Waiting by Nijuuni
Mature content
Reno - Keep me Waiting :iconnijuuni:Nijuuni 2,271 340
Literature
Innocent
Title: Innocent
Author: Enide Dear
Pairing: GenesisxLoz. Yes, you read that right!
Rating: silly
Summary: Let's throw all kinds of timeline out the window - wohoo!
  
  
Genesis sighed and pouted.
  
"He seems a big boy, Sephiroth." The red head complained. "Why on earth does he need a babysitter?"
  
"ShinRa rules. None of them are to be left unattended." Sephiroth shrugged, meticulously fiddling with a few out of place hairs in the silver haired boy's ducktail. "There, Loz. Be nice to Genesis and I'll take you to Kalm Fried Chocoboes later and get you a Happy Meal. They got those new plushie Moogles."
  
"The collector items?" The young man shone up like a boy half his age. "I'll be good!"
  
"I know you will." Sephiroth patted a broad shoulder and then pulled Genesis with him out in the hall. The war hero looked serious. "Now, *don't* do anything foolish, Genesis. I've made sure Yazoo and Kadaj is taken care of, but Loz nee
:iconEnide-Dear:Enide-Dear
:iconenide-dear:Enide-Dear 20 64
The Don's Choices by Robaato The Don's Choices :iconrobaato:Robaato 7,558 619 ''Daddy!'' FIN by GrimweaverArt ''Daddy!'' FIN :icongrimweaverart:GrimweaverArt 201 98

Groups

Activity


UPDATE!!!

So I got twenty minutes north of Portsmouth and my transmission blew.  So I'm stuck in Virginia for another week and a half. All my stuff is still in my trailer so I'm going to be inhabiting the marina lounge for the next week or so.


So very shortly I will be moving back to Indiana.  It's strictly a financial decision.  The pay and job market on the East Coast is absolutely horrible. So I will miss crabbing, but I will be able to actually afford to buy crabs, so there we are.  I also won't be brought low by the heat index.  I'm desperately cleaning and packing, but I still have to stop in the middle of the day because it's just too fucking hot - we're talking heat indexes of 106 (F).

I'll probably stay up until 3 am again because I can actually move then.
  • Listening to: Vinyl
  • Reading: Funeral Director Education materials
  • Watching: Asl videos
  • Playing: Smurfs Village
  • Eating: Baby 3 Musketeers
  • Drinking: Mike's Harder Lemonade
Arathorn and Argonui had made it past Michel Delving and were passing through the White Downs.  Once past those, they would be out on the Great East Road and officially out of the Shire.  They were nearly out of the White Downs when a wild cry caught their attention.  It was a raw, primal wail, not of physical pain, but pure anguish.  Arathorn turned his horse abruptly.  There was a hobbit woman struggling through the snow after the two Rangers.  She was an older woman, her hair gone nearly as white as the snow and she was frantically waving a blue shawl over her head to attract their attention.  Arathorn urged his mount back to her side.

“Little mistress, do you need aid?”

The woman was crying.  She gestured to her ear, shook her head and made a few gestures with her hands.

“I think she’s deaf,” Arathorn said as his son dropped off of his own horse into the knee deep snow.

“Maybe she knows hwerme,” Argonui said, offering a few signs.

The woman watched these gestures intently, but shook her head.  Whatever handspeech she knew, it wasn’t the one used by elves.  She fished a small sheaf of parchment and a pencil out of her apron and wrote:

‘I need to get to Hobbiton!  Please help me!’

“It’s nearly a four hour ride to Hobbiton,” Argonui said.

“That’s why she needs help, lad; she’d never make it on foot in this weather at her age.”

Arathorn gently took her pencil and parchment and wrote that they were happy to help, gave their names and then asked for hers.

‘Lily Heathertoes,’ she wrote.


~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~


“Don’t tell me she’s already given up on cooking lunch for you?”

Dwalin paused, looking over his shoulder at Thorin.  Then he looked back to the cleared off worktable where an impressive stack of wooden boxes held not just one but two meals that his hobbit bride deemed appropriate for a hardworking male of his size.  Meaning he probably could have fed a garrison with little trouble.

“What the hell are you on about?”

“She just sent the ingredients and you’re having to cook it yourself!” Thorin said, gesturing to the clay pot in Dwalin’s hands.

“It’s already full of soup, you daft git; Blackberry puts it in a clay pot so I can heat it on the forge and have a hot meal.”

So saying, the big dwarf carefully set the pot among the coals and turned back to his wooden boxes.  Thorin chewed on his meat pie and peered curiously into the lacquered boxes.  He had thought he was familiar with hobbit cuisine – thick, hearty, stick-to-your-ribs fare that left you unable to move for an hour or so after eating it.

Honestly, where did they even get the energy to farm?

But Dwalin’s boxes weren’t filled with sandwiches and meat pies.  Aside from the soup, there was breaded and grilled pork, and . . . that was really all Thorin could identify.  Who sent their husband’s lunch in boxes, anyway?  The wicker baskets Bilba and Blackberry packed their husbands’ lunches in were identical, but where Bilba put her dishes in stoneware pots or wrapped them in tea towels, Blackberry had little black lacquered boxes – the clay pot of soup not withstanding.  But these polished boxes/dishes stacked together in a neat tower, the seats of the bowls clicking into grooves in the lids to lock them together.

“Are those pancakes?”

“Bacon and onion hotcakes,” Dwalin answered, taking a bite of one and turning it towards Thorin so he could see the filling.

“What are these?”

“Pork steamed buns.”

“I’ve never heard of steaming bread before.”

Dwalin leaned up and filched through his boxes until he produced small squares of bread with dried fruit embedded in it.

“My dessert; steamed bread with candied fruit.”

Thorin was still blinking at the steamed buns, so Dwalin held the dish out invitingly.  It wasn’t as though he didn’t have more.  It was like biting into a cloud of the softest, whitest bread imaginable, only to run smack into roasted pork that was still a bit warm in the center.  Thorin made a vague noise of delight.  Dwalin smirked, pouring a dark liquid from a bottle into a shallow dish.

“Good, eh?”

Thorin was still chewing, but he noted that the box going next to the sauce dish contained deep fried vegetables.  Vegetables.  Dwalin was eating vegetables.  Dwalin.  Son of Fundin.  Dwalin ignored his king’s baffled expression and took a ring of deep fried onion from the box, dipping it in the dark sauce and popping it in his mouth.  It was still fresh enough to crunch.

“Soup’s probably hot,” he said, standing and going back over to the forge.

Thorin waited until his back was turned, stole what looked like a slice of cucumber, dunked it in the sauce and shoved the whole thing in his mouth.  How could you fry vegetables and have them still be crisp?!  That sauce was rather amazing, too.

“If you ate my sweet potatoes, I’m busting your lip, Durin,” Dwalin promised.

“Cucumber,” Thorin assured him.

“Oh, that’s all right, then.”

“What sort of soup is it?” The King Under the Mountain asked, eyeing the steaming pot.

Dwalin took the lid off.

“Looks like short rib soup.”  

Thorin made a appreciative noise in the back of his throat. Then he frowned.

“I’ve lived in Hobbiton for a decade and I’ve never heard of these dishes.”

“This is Stoorish food.”

“Stoorish?”

“Blackberry’s dad was a Stoor.  I guess it’s like being a Longbeard vs. a Firebeard or some such.  Anyway, he taught her to cook. Says he had a beard, too.  I thought hobbits couldn’t grow beards.”

“I’ve heard Stoors can,” Thorin answered.  “Only the men, though.”

Dwalin had more questions, but they were left ignored as Blackberry herself breezed through the door, a half-empty shopping basket on her arm.  

“There’s a load of goods up from Gladden Fields!” she blurted.  “And there’s a lad with the others who is one quarter dwarf!

Lunch was forgotten.  Dwalin rushed out behind his bride, Thorin close behind them.  They met Oin, Bifur, Bofur, Bombur and Nori at the market.  Unloading wagons of goods were – well.  If Dwalin hadn’t been warned ahead of time they were hobbits, he might have been tricked into thinking they were dwarves.

They were taller than the local hobbits – Harfoots – and much bulkier.  Harfoot hobbits tended to carry most of their weight around their middle.  Stoors carried theirs through their shoulders. Blackberry said they were river folk, living off of fish and crops that did well in a wet climate – rice, soya, things like that.  These lads certainly seemed like they did a lot of rowing.  They wore boots, quite sensibly, and even wore beards.  In fact, if Dwalin hadn’t noticed the pointed ears peeking through the curls, he would have thought them lightly built dwarves.

“They’re making grilled tofu!”  Blackberry yelped, pointing to a small grill just beginning to smoke.  “I want some!”  

Bombur followed her, full of questions and likely hunger.

“What is tofu?”

“It’s a sort of paste made from soya – you mash it up and let it ferment, like cheese, right?”

The vendor nodded, amused by the audience.

“What does it taste like?”

“Nothing!” Blackberry announced.  

Confusion writhed across Bombur’s face.

“Why is that –“

“It has the consistency of mushroom, so it will fill you just as well, but it tastes of whatever you cook it in.  Cook it in chicken broth, it will taste of chicken.  Cook it in fatback, it will taste of pork.  Cook it with beef scraps, it will taste of beef.”

Bombur was so impressed his tonsure shifted on his scalp.  A few of the other dwarrow exchanged looks.  Though it sounded like elf food on paper, no who had lived through the Wandering Times would turn up their noses at such a miraculous-sounding food.

“Oh, they’re setting up a whole row!” Blackberry exclaimed.

Sure enough, an entire row of grills and stands were being set up.  Stoors chopped and grilled and skewered meats and vegetables, slathering them with strange sauces.

“Are you with me, Master Bombur?” she asked in sudden grim resolve.

“To the end, My Lady!” the rotund dwarf announced, saluting her.


~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~


The two Rangers galloped into the head Lawkeeper station and put down the deaf hobbit they had picked up.  Lily Heathertoes staggered towards the door, gesturing at the two Men.  In hindsight, it was likely the sign for ‘thank you’.  She stumbled inside.  Commander Bilberry stared at her as she ran to the nearest piece of paper and pencil – which happened to be the parole book.

‘I need to see the Thain immediately!’ she wrote.  ‘My husband is being illegally held!’

“By whom?!” Commander Bilberry asked, looking over her shoulder.

When Lilly gestured, he wrote his question down.

‘By the Lawkeepers in Michel Delving!  They charged him, but they refuse to send him for trial!  I haven’t the strength to chop enough wood to last the winter!  I’ll die without him!’

“Bellwether, where do you think the Thain is this time of day?!”

“Probably still in his office, Commander,” Erling said.  “He might be having tea, but—“

“I think we can interrupt his digestion time for this.”
The Winter of Discontent - 1
The long-awaited sequel to Green Ginger Wine.  

Green Ginger Wine 

So, one of the benefits of not getting a lot of feedback on this story is when I thought nobody was enjoying it but me, I just wrote for myself.  I didn't pay much attention to story arcs or writing formulas, or acts.  I just wrote.  I worked out things.  I killed my ex-husband in story form (again).  I worked on my abandonment issues.  

I posted Green Ginger Wine nearly complete over on Archive of Our Own  and started getting praise for how 'real' the storyline was.  How 'real' the characters acted.  So in that vein I will continue to just write and work on things in my own life, namely my current craze for cooking Japanese food and losing my hearing. 
Loading...
I finished my funeral home certificate.  I'm now job-hunting.  I'm writing quite a bit these days.  I'd like some feedback, but---

Journals and facebook feed is loaded with tragedy and making me feel like a total bitch for wanting some attention.  

Logical me: Attention is a human need.  Don't feel bad for wanting some.

Emotional me: Everyone else is going through such trials and you want feedback for a self-indulgent Middle Earth fanfic you wrote?!
  • Listening to: Vinyl
  • Reading: Funeral Director Education materials
  • Watching: Asl videos
  • Playing: Smurfs Village
  • Eating: Baby 3 Musketeers
  • Drinking: Mike's Harder Lemonade

Mature Content

This content is intended for mature audiences.


or, enter your birth date.*


Month

Day

Year*
Please enter a valid date format (mm-dd-yyyy)
Please confirm you have reviewed DeviantArt's Terms of Service below.
* We do not retain your date-of-birth information.
Cpt Hedgehopper and Lt Bellwether knocked on the door to Bag End.  The pair had stopped at the forge first, but it was closed.  Blackberry’s wine cart and empties were sat by the door. Mistress Leafwalker in the bakery said that there had been a fuss after Brandywine had entered with a lunch basket, but conceded that it looked like quite a happy fuss.

Through the green door to Bag End, the lawkeepers could hear another fuss.  It did not sound like such a happy fuss.  They knocked again and presently the door was opened by a grey-haired dwarf with his beard in elaborate braids.

“This isn’t the best time, officers,” he said apologetically.

With the door cracked, Hedgehopper and Bellwether could hear two female voices raised in anger.  It sounded like Bilba Baggins and Blackberry Brandywine, but it was hard to tell.

“We just need to do a head count,” Moro said. “For the alibis.”

The grey-haired dwarf looked off to the side, but nodded and stepped back.

Most of the dwarves they had seen were gathered in the entryway, holding mugs of ale as though they had been in mid-celebration.

“I DON’T FUCKING KNOW, ALL RIGHT?!  I NEVER GOT A CHILD WITH A HOBBIT HUSBAND AND I WAS TOLD I’D NEVER GET ONE WITH A DWARF HUSBAND!”

“GANDALF TOLD US HOBBTS AND DWARVES COULDN’T MAKE CHILDREN!”

“MAYBE YOU SHOULDN’T TAKE HEALTH ADVICE FROM A FUCKING FIREWORKS VENDOR!”

“HE’S A WIZARD!”

The dwarves eyed each other awkwardly.  Erling started counting beards.

“Is no one going to tell them off for having such a fight?” Moro asked in a quiet voice.  

“Well, it’s dams, innit?” Said a red-haired dwarf with his hair in spikes.

“You don’t interfere with a dam fight,” The dwarf standing next to him added.

A young, scrawny dwarf with his sideburns just starting to fill in sighed and headed towards the sitting room the two hobbit women were screeching in.

“Brave lass, brave lass, good girl, Ori,” several dwarves said, patting (apparently her) shoulders.  

Moro had to take another look to realize that sideburns or no, the dwarf was wearing a skirt.

“Um . . . you two shouldn’t be fighting.” Ori said.

“THIS HOBBITCH ASKED WHO THE FATHER WAS IN FRONT OF MY FUCKING HUSBAND!!”

“It – it just slipped out,” Bilba admitted, much chagrinned.

“I – I don’t really understand this,” Ori admitted.  “Dwalin is Blackberry’s husband; of course it’s his baby.”

“Thank you!!”

“Blackberry is in the family way?” Moro asked, completely forgetting about counting beards.

The lawkeeper dug through his pockets for a moment before producing a small packet of pipeweed.  This he thrust into Dwalin’s free hand and shook it firmly.

Freolice bréost!

“ . . . thank you,” the big dwarf said.  “What does that mean?

“It’s an old Kuduk blessing,” Moro said.  “It means . . . well, it actually doesn’t translate to Westron very well.  I suppose you could say ‘a blessing on this new life’ but there’s also a bit of ‘may there be no complications’ and ‘I hope you have many more!’”

“So what if they used a surrogate?!  I know you and Thorin couldn’t because he’s royalty, but it’s very rude to mention it!” Ori chided, her voice rising.

“A surrogate?” Blackberry echoed.

“Dwalin has still claimed the child as his, so it’s his child!” the young dwarrowdam continued.

“I didn’t mean – you’re right, Ori, that was very rude of me,” Bilba admitted.

The male dwarrow started to relax.  It seemed the fight was past.  The door swung open again and three more dwarrow walked in.  They seemed surprised both by the presence of the Lawkeepers and the impromptu party.

“Oin!  Oin, you’re needed!” Dwalin declared, going to the grey haired healer.  “Blackberry’s with child.”

“’Ey?” Oin pulled out an ear trumpet.

“I said Blackberry’s with child! She needs to be examined!”

“Surrogate?”

“No, no surrogate.  She’s already been to see a hobbit midwife, she needs a dwarf healer now.”

“I did not sleep with anyone besides my husband!” Blackberry’s voice was starting to rise again.

Dwalin and Oin went into the living room and moments later hustled Blackberry back to one of the bedrooms.

“Is this everyone?” Erling asked.

The dwarf in the hat took a look around and started counting on his fingers.

“Thirteen dwarves,” Erling offered, ready to be on his way.  “There should be thirteen dwarves.  We aren’t counting the hobbitesses.”

“Bifur, Oin and Gloin just came back, Ori is in with Bilba and Dwalin is back – I already counted Oin.  Thirteen.  Yeah, that’s everyone.”

“Right; we’ll be on our way, then.  Freolice bréost!

“Free lice and breasts to you, too, mate,” Nori said as the Lawkeepers left.  “Is it safe?”

Bofur was peering around the corner into the living room.  Thorin had moved to stand before his wife as Dori and for some reason Fili had flown to Ori’s aide.  Bilba had her head bowed, hands over her face.

“It isn’t fair,” she finally choked.

Thorin heaved a deep sigh and reached out, gathering her to his chest.  Bilba choked out a few broken sobs.  

“No, it isn’t,” he agreed.

The King Under the Hill didn’t know what to say beyond that.  A dwarrowdam grew in the knowledge that she might never bear a child.  It was less of a shock when it didn’t happen.  Hobbits taught their daughters that children would come by the dozen if they wished.  Even two fine sons raised in Bag End didn’t lessen the sting of not bearing.  Thorin didn’t understand this.  A dwarrowdam would be over the moon if given two children when she had none.

“I was so cruel to Blackberry,” Bilba whimpered.  “Because of my own hurts.”

“Yes, you were,” Thorin stated.

The hobbitess in his arms groaned, but leaned into her husband’s embrace.  

“I’ll never be able to apologize enough, will I?”

“For Blackberry?  Likely not.” Thorin pressed a kiss to her forehead.  “I know you only said those things because you were hurting.”

Bilba tipped her head back to look up at her dwarf husband.

“So you love me still?”

“Until I’m returned to stone.”

“Don’t go heading back anytime soon.”


~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~


“I have not been unfaithful!” Blackberry insisted.

“I never doubted you for a second, luv, now dress off –“

“How dare she! She has two fine sons already!  She has no right to create!”

“None at all,” Dwalin agreed, unlacing her jumps.  “Now let’s let Oin take a look, ey?”

The healer took the jumps from Dwalin’s unresisting hand, studied them for a second, then shook them at the hobbitess.

“Wear these instead of those waist-cinchers while you’re with child!”

“They’re called corsets and I know!”

“Don’t fuss, pet, it’s not good for you to fuss now,” Dwalin said, pulling her dress over her head.  

Blackberry turned to tell her husband just what she thought of orders to calm down when he started unlacing her bloomers.  To his surprise, she gave Oin a nervous look.  By Mahal, Blackberry was so quick to strip down to her skin around him, it was a mild shock to see her shy in front of another male.  The shock changed to amusement when Dwalin tried to take her shift off only for his wee wife to yelp and clamp it against her body.

“You need me stark naked?!”

“I’m a healer, lass,” Oin stated flatly.  “I’ve seen many a dwarfling into this world.  Besides, your young man is right here.”

Dwalin did snort, then, mostly for being called a ‘young man’.  Blackberry flushed, but didn’t protest as she was stripped bare.  There was more poking and prodding.  

“Aye, I’d say the midwife was right; two months along.  Now if the babe is half-dwarf—“

“IT IS!”

“—we’ll have to keep an eye on things.”

“So no idea why Blackberry could get a child with a dwarf and Bilba can’t?” Dwalin asked.

Oin shrugged.

“Mahal carves all dams a little differently; maybe Blackberry’s a little closer to a dwarf than Bilba is.”

Blackberry opened her mouth to protest that Mahal hadn’t carved her, Yavanna had grown her, but the words died in her throat.  Perhaps . . . perhaps Mahal had carved her.  She had always been a most unhobbitish hobbit.  

“If bairn sickness hits you hard smoke more pipeweed.  And stick to wine and mead for now – sweet drinks give you a better chance at having a girl.  Many blessings, the both of you.”

Oin slipped out, giving Blackberry privacy to redress.  Dwalin helped her, beaming proudly.

“Do – do you think Mahal carved me?” Blackberry asked.  “Not Yavanna?”

“Oh, I know the Stone Father made you, luv.  Even a master craftsman’s chisel slips every now and then and he has to turn a cabochon into a rose.”

“You think I was meant to be a dwarf.”

“You are a dwarf, Berry.  On the inside.  This wee one is proof of that.”
Green Ginger Wine 12

One of my biggest pet-peeves in writing is medieval settings with modern knowledge. If it's a character that's traveled through time or whatever, okay, fine. That character can know about modern medicine. But it ticks me off when characters in medieval settings find out that they're pregnant and immediately swear off drinking and smoking. Or when they talk about having eggs. The human ovum wasn't discovered until 1928. Try again! Hell, they used to get women drunk during labor to help with the pain!

I've even seen a few where characters were actually singled out for carrying (or not carrying) a certain gene. How did they know that, huh? Did they pop down to Ye Olde Gene-Sequencing Laboratory and Barber Shoppe?

Anyhoo, I'm trusting you all to be smart enough to realize that drinking and smoking during pregnancy are actually not good ideas and eating sweets won't effect the sex of the baby.

And I think this is where I'm going to wrap this particular story up.  The next arc will be rather large, even though there's some loose ends that aren't wrapped up yet.  So stay tuned for Winter of Discontent!



Loading...
“The Rangers are here, Captain!”

Captain Hedgehopper reached the front of the Lawkeeper’s Central Post just as two Men entered, dusting snow off of their coats.  He had met the older one before, a tall fellow called Arathorn.  The younger Man was unknown to him.  Lieutenant Bellwether joined them.

“Ah, Rangers.  I am Cpt. Moro Hedgehopper, this is Lt. Erling Bellwether. Thank you for coming.”

“I am Arathorn, and this is my son, Argonui.  I understand you’ve had a murder?”

“I’m afraid so, Master Arathorn.  We’ve had accidents and fights that have gotten out of hand before, but this one is a bit different.”

“Was the victim someone of great importance?” Argonui asked.

“Yavanna, no, he was as worthless as they come,” Erling said.  

“However, whoever killed him tried to frame some dwarves in the Shire and—“

“There are dwarves in the Shire?”Arathorn cut in.

“Not many, but a few have settled here. One of them married a hobbit lass a few weeks ago.  We didn’t think there were any issues, but the dwarf in question got into a tussle with the victim over his new wife.  Then the victim is found dead, thrown down in front of the forge where the dwarf works and had an axe wound in his back.”

As Moro spoke, he led the two Rangers to the furthest room at the back.  Justilo Proudfoot’s body lay in an old pantry with two boards missing from the wall so the cold could preserve him.  The two men pulled the sheet off of the corpse and looked him over.

“What do you think, lad?” Arathorn asked.

“Well, it wasn’t dwarves,” Argonui answered.

“Why?”

“In fights over honor, dwarves almost always remove the head.  Even when they don’t, they shave the victim.”

“Shave them?” Erling questioned. “Hobbits don’t have beards.”

“They would have shaved his head instead. Either way, it looks like this blow to the head is what killed him.” Argonui pointed to a bruise and cut at Justilo’s temple.  “The cut on the back has no bruising at all.”

“Well done, lad.  If you should like my opinion, Cpt. Hedgehopper, I’d suppose this gentleman got into a scrap with someone who hit him just right, realized he was dead, panicked, and threw him on the doorstep of the last person he’d had an argument with,” Arathorn surmised.  “It was just too sloppy to have been planned.”

The two hobbits nodded and thanked the Rangers, offering them luncheon.  For Men who lived their lives roaming, the opportunity to eat until they were fit to burst was a rare treat.  The pair went next door to what was ostensibly a public café, but had been taken over by various Lawkeepers.  

“That’s the feeling I got from this mess, too,” Moro told Erling as the pair grabbed their cloaks to head next door.  “Looks like we should be looking for a rock.”

Erling didn’t look relieved at all.

“Or a truncheon.”


~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

“I’m only doing this right now because I’m curious, girl.  Strip down to your shift,” Goody ordered, putting the kettle on.  She badly needed a cup of tea.

As Blackberry started to disrobe, the midwife gathered the tools of her trade.
“You really think it’s the dwarf’s baby?”

“YES!!!” Blackberry snarled.

“Mmm.  When was the last time you were with a hobbit male?”

“Eight years ago.”

Goody stopped in her tracks.

“Eight years?  Really?! But everyone says –“

“What?  What does everyone say?” Blackberry asked, stripping off her corset.

“Um . . . . a lot of ladies say you’re like a hunting cat,” Goody said ruefully.  “And small enough to slip through windows.”

Blackberry rolled her eyes.  She was used to being grist for the rumor mill.  In fact, she thought she might have heard the one about having loads of lovers before.  Instead, she looked down at the corset in her hands as if seeing it for the first time.

“I’m going to have to switch to short stays, aren’t I?”

“Or jumps or even a kirtle.  Just leave pressure off of your stomach.  And you’ll need to practice your birthing dance, too.  Remember it?”

“Sort of.”

“You can come by the class on Saturdays, if you need to.  Let’s have a look at that belly.”

What followed was much pinching and prodding and peeing into a small glass bowl.  Goody mixed some ground herbs into it, then went back to her physical exam.  She examined Blackberry’s breasts, belly, hips, feet, and secrets.  The old midwife returned to her glass bowl and held it up to the light.  The liquid within had turned red.

“You need to start eating more, lass; you are much too thin for birthing.”

“I am with child?”

“Nearly two months gone, so I stand by my first question.  You’ve only been married three weeks.”

Blackberry had the decency to blush, but she grinned.

“Have you seen my Dwalin?” she asked slyly.  “Anyway, I’m not taking any cheek from Goody ‘Four husbands and counting and I’ve given birth to fourteen children’ Whemper.”

Goody scoffed as Blackberry began to redress.  The younger hobbit woman tied her corset as loosely as she could, swore when she had trouble buttoning her dress over the top of it, then just left the back unbuttoned and threw her cloak over it.

“Is there a healer with this mob of dwarves?” Goody asked.

“Yes, Oin, son of – somebody or other.”

“I might need a conflab with him if the child really is half-dwarf.”

“You know where Bag End is.”

“Yes, I do.  Well, congratulations, my dear, welcome to motherhood; you’re starting your greatest adventure, now get out I have to sleep.”

Grinning, Blackberry walked back to Bramble’s Edge.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

“A truncheon?  You think it was a Lawkeeper?!”

“I don’t have any proof,” Lt. Bellwether said.  “Just a suspicion.”

“Explain.”

The pair had kept silent until the Rangers ate and left, and now spoke in hushed voices as they walked back to the Post.

“The Commander had us out searching for Proudfoot before the corpse had even been found.”

“He missed his parole check-in.”

“He had until ten in the morning to make that.  He was only out so early because he was working for Farmer Rumblebelly, milking cows.  Besides, last time someone jumped his parole, they just sent word round to keep an eye out for him.  And Longfoot ended up being at work, he just forgot to sign in!  The first thing we should have done was send some lads to the dairy!”

Cpt. Hedgehopper’s face started to contort as he realized the insinuation.

“That’s . . . you can’t just—“

“He’s been acting queer.”

“Don’t talk to me about this until you get some proof,” Moro sighed, pushing open the door.

“WHO THE HELL INVITED THE RANGERS?!”

Commander Bilberry was practically purple with rage.  The constables present instantly put their natural hobbitish powers of disappearing to use.

“I did,” Cpt. Hedgehopper said firmly.  “They have more experience with dwarves than we do; they had some insights.”

“Such as?!”

“They said Proudfoot got into a scrap with someone who hit him just right and cracked his head open.  Then they panicked and threw him on the doorstep of the last person to take issue with him.”

Cmdr. Bilberry stared hard at his officers.

“That is a pretty good insight.  Except what of the axe wound?”

“It’s winter; everyone has axes by their woodpile.”

“I’m still not convinced.  Get up to Bag End and count dwarves, then go over to the Green Dragon and make sure the number matches.”

The captain and lieutenant grudgingly made for the door, but Erling paused.

“The Ranger’s insight wasn’t perfect, Commander.”

“In what way?”

“Well, the last person to call for Proudfoot’s head . . . . was you.”

The lieutenant pulled the door shut after him.  Moro was shaking his head.

“Do not talk to me of this!”

“He flinched!  He flinched!  He might not be guilty, but he knows something!”

“Let’s go count dwarves before you get us killed!”


~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Blackberry had an old pair of jumps left over from her first marriage, when she thought there would be children.  She threw them on over a winter morning dress that was little more than a glorified nightdress.  In truth she probably could have gone another month in a corset, but Blackberry had waited long enough to wear jumps that she was going to do it as early as possible.  She made meals for her husband and loaded up her cart before heading into town.  She kept her fur-lined cloak closed as best she could so that news of her condition didn’t reach Hobbiton before she did.  These days, when a woman switched from wearing corsets to jumps, there was really only one reason for it. Blackberry dropped off her wine, then headed to the forge.  Dwalin was fetching coal for the forges when she walked in but set down the bucket and came up for a kiss.

“How are you doing, love?” Blackberry asked.

“Oh, forging with a hangover is just a delight,” the big dwarf announced.  

To Blackberry’s surprise, Dwalin instantly noticed her change in dress and smiled warmly.

“I like that frock; it’s very dwarvish.  Did Dori make it for you?”

“This?  Oh no; this is just what hobbit women wear when they find out they’re with child.”

“Really? Why are you wearing it?”

Blackberry simply stared at her husband.  Dwalin stared at his wife.  After a moment, his steel grey eyes dropped to her stomach.  Then they flipped back up to her face.  He paled. Then his eyes dropped back to her belly again.  He put one hand over his mouth and swayed on his feet.  Blackberry laughed.  

“I just found out!”  She announced.  “Goody Whemper said two months along!”

Dwalin actually staggered back a step to catch himself on the counter.

“You’re – you’re  . . . two months? But that would mean . . .” the big dwarf looked at the patch of floor where Thorin had discovered them.

“Yes.  It’s a good thing you married me!  It’s probably a mark of honor for a dwarf to be conceived in a forge!”

Blackberry was anticipating a joyful yell, being picked up and twirled around or Dwalin running through town, laughing like a loon.  She was not expecting his face to contort and damn if his eyes didn’t look a bit wet.

“I nearly left you,” He whispered. “I nearly went back to Ered Luin without you and this whole time you were carrying my child.”

“I would have followed you to Ered Luin and demanded you marry me,” Blackberry announced, sobering a bit.  “This town already hates me, I could imagine what having a half-dwarf bastard would do.”

Dwalin looked pained, but gathered her up and squeezed her carefully.

“Even if I were a complete coward, I would have done the honorable thing.  But it’s even better that I married my sweet lass and got a wee one on the way as well.”

He touched his forehead to hers.  For a moment, they simply stared into each other’s eyes.

“We’re going to have a baby,” Blackberry whispered, giggling.

“We’re going to have a baby,” Dwalin returned, grinning.

He kissed her once more, set her down on the worktable, then drew in a deep breath and tore out of the door, bellowing something in Khudzul.  Blackberry stared after him, then started laughing.  She was happy that he was happy.  She was grateful beyond the power of tongue to tell that Dwalin hadn’t asked if the baby was his.  

Blackberry was certain that was a question she’d be answering until the baby was actually born.
Green Ginger Wine 11

The Ranger named Arathorn is not Aragorn's father. Aragorn's father was Aragorn II. This is Aragorn I. I tried to line up the timeline of the Ranger chieftains as best I could with the events mentioned in this story, but the movie butchered a few things and GreenT placed the Fell Winter in Bilbo's lifetime, so it's a little wonky.

Jumps! Jumps were the sports bras of the 18th and 19th centuries. Instead of a tight, heavily boned corset, jumps were usually quilted fabric that laced up the front. If they had boning at all, it was very minimal, usually restricted to the back and sides. They could go all the way to the waist and look a bit like waistcoats, or they could stop under the bustline. For the purposes of this fic, I'm having them stop under the bustline and kind of mimic the empire waists of dwarrow women.




Loading...
UPDATE!!!

So I got twenty minutes north of Portsmouth and my transmission blew.  So I'm stuck in Virginia for another week and a half. All my stuff is still in my trailer so I'm going to be inhabiting the marina lounge for the next week or so.


So very shortly I will be moving back to Indiana.  It's strictly a financial decision.  The pay and job market on the East Coast is absolutely horrible. So I will miss crabbing, but I will be able to actually afford to buy crabs, so there we are.  I also won't be brought low by the heat index.  I'm desperately cleaning and packing, but I still have to stop in the middle of the day because it's just too fucking hot - we're talking heat indexes of 106 (F).

I'll probably stay up until 3 am again because I can actually move then.
  • Listening to: Vinyl
  • Reading: Funeral Director Education materials
  • Watching: Asl videos
  • Playing: Smurfs Village
  • Eating: Baby 3 Musketeers
  • Drinking: Mike's Harder Lemonade

Comments


Add a Comment:
 
:iconbijinx:
Bijinx Featured By Owner Apr 10, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Happy birthday!
Reply
:iconsparklinburgndy:
SparklinBurgndy Featured By Owner Apr 12, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you!
Reply
:iconbijinx:
Bijinx Featured By Owner Apr 12, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
You're welcome
Reply
:iconmensjedezeemeermin:
MensjeDeZeemeermin Featured By Owner Apr 10, 2018
Age has its rewards, accumulated wisdom, rational priorities, memories safe in the treasury of the years, inviolate and precious.  The adventure of life continues with the past guiding one's way to the future, and even the painful memories of mistakes inoculates one against facile errors.  One sees and does new things, one enjoys and recalls old things fondly--and the world, and you, journey around the son.  Better yet, others who prize you are here to travel with you, and they rejoice in your existence, celebrating that by wishing you a Happy Birthday!
Reply
:iconsparklinburgndy:
SparklinBurgndy Featured By Owner Apr 10, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you so much!
Reply
:iconmensjedezeemeermin:
MensjeDeZeemeermin Featured By Owner Apr 10, 2018
I misspelled 'sun.' o_o  So glad you liked that.
Reply
:iconsparklinburgndy:
SparklinBurgndy Featured By Owner Apr 12, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
I knew what you meant!
Reply
:iconlonewolfd:
LonewolfD Featured By Owner Apr 10, 2018
Happy birthday to you.
I hope you have a great day
Reply
:iconsparklinburgndy:
SparklinBurgndy Featured By Owner Apr 10, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you!
Reply
:iconal-818:
AL-818 Featured By Owner Apr 10, 2018  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Happy Bday, Maddy - Best wishes & MUCH more!
Reply
Add a Comment: