My name is Heather Warren, and I’m twenty-two years old.
I think, anyway. I’m not sure. I’ve been here for seven years (maybe), and I still can’t figure out how the calendar works. It’s one of the reasons they think I’m the village idiot. The other reason is that I can’t speak the language very well. It took me a long time to learn how to have a simple conversation, and god, I wanted to talk to someone so much. Anyone would have done, because I hoped maybe they could tell me how I ended up here and where “here” was.
Anyway, the first time I ever regretted blowing off French was right after I got here, because I had a feeling that if I’d paid attention to Madame Hobart, I’d’ve had an easier time learning Westron. Oh well. Live and learn.
I didn’t realize I was in Middle Earth until Kyra, the owner of the bake shop where I work, said something about sending cakes and other food into Mirkwood for the elf king. The name of the forest was familiar, but I couldn’t figure out why until I started thinking about my friend, Missy Baker, and how into the Lord of the Rings stuff she was.
I mean, Missy was really into it. She’d read all the books and everything. When a bunch of us went to see the movie, we were all over the hotness of Orlando Bloom, but Missy sat there bitching the whole time about what got left out and how it was some other elf that rescued that Fordumb dude, not Liv Tyler’s character. It was kind of embarrassing, listening to her go on like that, and I really wanted to, you know, just leave her at the pizza place after the movie, but I couldn’t, because Dad was going to give her a ride home after. As it turned out, though, Missy’s bitching was what finally helped me figure out where I was, so nowadays, I kind of feel bad about wanting to ditch her that night.
Damn. Pizza. I have a list of things I miss about home, and pizza is in, like, the top ten or twenty. Sex is at the number two spot on my list, and yeah, if you’re counting backward, you’ll figure out I was having sex when I was fifteen. But if you’d seen Billy Campbell after the game against Holyoke, you’d’ve opened your legs for him, too. We’d only been dating for a couple of months when I got torn away from home, but it was a damn good couple of months, and I haven’t had sex since then.
See, around here, either the men are married, or they expect to be married before they have sex. And the ones that aren’t like that? The ones who travel a lot? Let’s just give a big old “ew” to that, because those guys don’t believe in soap. The villagers aren’t too big into the whole bathing thing either, especially in winter, but they at least wipe themselves down two or three times a week. The tramps and rangers get rained on, and that’s about it.
God, I miss shampoo. And a hot shower. And a scrubby. Right now, I wouldn’t even mind getting one of those cheap polyester scrubbies you could buy at Wal-Mart, because that would be great.
I shouldn’t torture myself like this. It’s just not a good idea, since I’ll only end up crying until next summer if it doesn’t work out, and Kyra will end up firing me, because won’t be any good in the kitchen anymore. But I can’t help myself, because I’m pretty sure I know who could help me get home, and I think he’s gonna be around soon.
See, when Missy was going on about Lord of the Rings, she was also talking about The Hobbit, and how the ring ended up with Froderick in the first place, and she described the mountain and how Billy-Boy and the dwarves got there. She said Gandy — Gandoff — something, anyway — she said he was there, too, and he was like this totally awesome wizard who could do anything. I remember some old English homo played him in the movie, and the dude was kind of lame, but I think Missy knows better.
I hope she does, anyway.
The thing is, the men in town are arming themselves to go to the mountain, and I saw these freakin’ huge birds flying overhead. I’m thinking that’s the battle Missy described, and if it is, that wizard is gonna be there, too. They’ll never let me join the army, so I’m gonna dress up like a boy and hope no one notices me. And then, when we get there, I’m gonna sneak off and find Gandelf and see if he can help me get home.
I want to be able to talk to someone without them having to correct my words all the time. I want to be able to pick up a phone and call Missy and thank her for telling me about The Hobbit. I want to be able to slip into bed and not have to wake up for a week if I don’t want to. Mostly, though, I just want to see my family again, because of everything I miss, they’re at the very top of the list.