It feels extremely appropriate for my final Story a Day to be a translation of a passage from “The Lord of the Rings” into my conlang. This is one of the bittersweet passages at the end of the books. Sam is watching Frodo sail away with the elves. It feels to me both like a personally rewarding task and an appropriate way to process a lot of 2016.
I’ll be doing some reformatting of this blog starting tomorrow, but for today I stand on the shores of a crumbling and old world and look for the hopeful light from those who led us through the darkness before.
Side enam Sam ke metasurus amidadame sene kaneit sare ke ip Haven stodame e sare ke ip kein paiden da pododame e tanin kodus es adaien eki ese sene medan amitodume ke pododame. Eni yu ke rein sene surus stodame e adeadan tanin daken ite hemus e rubeit ata Middle-earth te aden e enei ite odeit ke sene Sam te sereit da pirodame amide. Ane Sam ke Merry e Pippin stodame e ike seridin esoduse.
“I need to make some words.”
“What can I get you?”
The witch thought. “A toenail, whiskey, nine pieces of paper – that have already been used, a sword, a shoe and a frog.” That last she added just for good measure. People tended to expect witches to request frogs.
“Right away,” the squire said, then scurried away.
The witch settled back in her favorite chair to write.
The scientist appeared in the time machine. Photographers sat up, suddenly alert, suddenly snapping and clicking. Reporters and researchers lobbed questions at the woman standing in the machine. But she answered none of them.
Someone pushed through the crowd. “Come on, mother,” they said, taking the woman under their arm and leading her away from the onlookers.
She had to push people away from her mother as they fought their way free, but finally they made it into the bathroom, the first safe and lockable space the daughter could find.
Her mother slouched against the wall and slid to the floor. Her daughter crouched before her.
“What was it? What happened?” the daughter asked. “Mom, are you ok? Did the machine hurt you?”
The older woman shook her head. She looked up at her child but did not yet say anything.
“Are you alright?”
The scientist nodded.
“Did it work?”
“Did… did you go forward or backward?”
“Back,” the scientist said. She reached up and took her child’s hand and squeezed it. “I couldn’t… I couldn’t…”
“What? Mom, what is it?”
The scientist paled. “I couldn’t change it. I couldn’t fix it. This is all there is.”
The changing of the seasons made him sad. Not just fall into winter; winter into spring, spring into summer. All changes were ends and all ends brought with them a heaviness like a thick pall.
Rather, he preferred to exist in the midst of things. Journeys churned under their own momentum. They needed never end, not so long as he existed in the moment of them, in the thick of them.
The ninja chose pink. The others were skeptical. But when they went into the mall to assassinate the chief of cheese production, the pink ninja was discounted as a lunatic, while the more menacing ones were swiftly rounded up.
Only pink ninja completed the mission.
“I found a dog outside while you were on the phone.”
She dropped her cell into the pot of boiling water on the stove. “You what?”
He held the squirming little mutt higher. “I found him.”
“Well, whose is he?”
“Ours, now, I suppose.”
She marched away from the boiling water (and phone). “You know my policy about living things.”
“None but…” She put her hands on her hips.
He looked at his feet. “None but you,” he said.
“Right. Now get rid of it.”
The robot set the dog on the ground and turned his hand into a gun. He hoped it wouldn’t hurt.
While we were busy watching trees die in our living rooms, the cat army rose up and sharpened its many claws.