// Author’s note: Due to the length of the final part I had to split it into two. Hope you enjoy!
The Final Part: Prologue
McAdams followed the stranger deep within the forest. Her legs were aching, she was hungry and she hadn’t taken a shower in ages. She was miserable. She reached into her stylish handbag to grab a cigar but it was completely empty. No cigars, no aNut6000, now she was angry. She spoke at the stranger ahead of her, “Hey there, where are we going?”
The man looked back at her, she stepped back at the look of torment and pain in his eyes. His mouth curled into a large smile, which set her with a great unease. “Right here, precious. You fulfilled your purpose. You have been instrumental in getting your side to think that you are a traitor, with the help of my lackey Smeagol. Sorry he had to die, but it was necessary. Now sweet doll face, I am going to have to kill you again.”
“You, you, asshole!” She stuttered. “Why did you have to drag me out to the middle of nowhere?”
“Couldn’t have you being resurrected again. I hate magic, makes killing people annoying. Goodbye baby girl,” He said while lifting the pistol towards her. She closed her eyes, wishing she had remembered to put more ammo in her revolver. A shot rang out and she felt specks of squishy matter and liquid splash on her. She opened her eyes to see a large hole in the strangers head. He fell to his knees then keeled over sideways on to the grassy carpet. Behind him was her man, holding a smoking pistol and wearing that awful gold fedora.
“Hey there baby, did you miss me?”
“Gosling, I could kill you but first I would rather kiss you.” She hopped over the corpse and grabbed her man, planting a kiss on his lips. He kissed her back. The two found themselves falling to ground kissing the other.
After several minutes, McAdams breathing heavily managed to pant out, “Damn dear, we need to that more often. How did you find me?”
He sucked in some air and responded, “Followed you both from Gandalf’s place. I about killed that old fool when he told me he thought you were a traitor. Treebeard knocked him around some, put sense back into his head. No hope for Aragorn there, instead of brains he was blessed with great hair. Word is the squirrels are planning a major offensive on Baker Street, so we need to hurry and group up there.”
“Dear, sounds delightful. I have a few things I need to take care of though. I need a shower, my cigars and some more ammo. You know, I have been thinking, I feel that we should get that Hobbit Hole, it seems safer.”
Oh sure, now she wants a Hobbit Hole, Gosling thought as he finished putting on his clothes and followed her back to town.
The bookkeeper sat at his sales counter, a large book propped open in front of him. He looked over his small shop, bookshelves lined with large musty books. He stood to close up shop; pain enveloped him in his bones. His long narrow face cringed with obvious pain. He grabbed his thin white cane to support him as his boney frame hobbled over to the door. It would be at this moment that it burst open with wood splintering. The bookkeeper shrieked at the large towering silhouette standing in the door frame.
“Saruman, you scream like a little girl.”
The bookkeeper peered closer and managed to make out the figure of Aragorn. He should have guessed. The hair was a big clue. “Aragorn, you miscreant, it is improper to come upon a bookkeeper in such a manner. We are known to wield great power and also are prone to attacks of the heart. Now what brings you to my humble shop at this late hour?”
“Saruman, I have come about The One Ring of Power!”
“The One Ring of Power?”
“Do not feign ignorance old man. I have followed the clues and they lead me here, to The White Tower Used Books! Now tell me what you know about The One Ring of Power.”
“Well, if you must know—”
“Hmph. My main competitor, Sauron, ran The Black Tower New Books over on Mount Doom Street; he was the instigator of this. Together we colluded and created an exclusive book club. You can join if you insist. You just have to fill out this application form.”
“What does any of this have to do with the squirrel menace?”
“Squirrel menace? This has nothing to do with the squirrels. Who led you to believe that? Oh, it was that Smeagol fellow wasn’t it? For some unruly behavior he had to be excluded from the club. It never sat right with him. I do have to agree with my colleague Sauron on that matter. Speaking of Sauron, why did that Gosling chap have to waste the man? Do you know how much more work this will mean for me running this club by myself? It is something I’d rather not do.”
“Sauron had found himself under the spell of the Goddess, his death was unavoidable.” Aragorn said.
“Pity. How did that happen, I wonder? It was hard enough running a proper book club let alone getting mixed up in this squirrel menace.”
“We are gathering together to confront the squirrels over on Baker Street. Join with us for the entire world is at stake.”
“Well, I am not sure what an old man like me can be to your cause, but we must stop tyranny wherever we come across it. Do you know what we will be up against?”
“Squirrels, panthers and bears,” Aragorn responded.
“Oh my,” Saruman gasped.
The two left out the broken door. Aragorn gave a sheepish look and said, “Sorry about the door.”
“You should be. It was unlocked you know. All you had to do was just open it. Not kick it down.”
“Right, I said I was sorry.”