febobe: Screencap of Frodo in bed from the Lord of the Rings films, captioned, "Where's Febobe with my tray?  I'm waiting!" (Tray)
[personal profile] febobe
B2MeM Challenge: N43, Diners' Club (cake) and Winter Wonderland (winter festivities)
Format: Ficlet
Title: Shadows of Things to Come
Genre: Gen
Rating: G/K
Warnings: Mild angst
Characters: Merry, Frodo, various other unnamed hobbits
Pairings: N/A
Summary: Frodo arrives for Afteryule Season at Brandy Hall...but shadows of the future haunt him.
Author's Note: If you've never seen an apple stack cake, Google it and take a look at some. :) They're an Appalachian treat, one I grew up with, and a very hobbity thing in my mind. My great-grandmother made them; I for one have no difficulty imagining them as a Buckland treat. :)



"Just in time, cousin!" cried Merry as Frodo stomped his feet off on the door-mat and removed his heavy winter cloak. "We were afraid you'd miss the first night of Afteryule Season!"

"Wouldn't miss it for the world, although that snowstorm had other ideas," quipped Frodo. "Has Aunt Carnation made apple stack cakes for this year? I've been craving a piece for weeks."

"Started on Monday. They smell delicious. I tried to sneak a piece, but she rapped my knuckles with her rolling-pin." Merry hung Frodo's cloak up. "There's plenty to eat still, though, as usual, till she gets them out tomorrow night. Apple pies, pumpkin bread, nut bread, sausage balls, cheese balls with crackers...I think there might be a few things in the larder if you'd like some proper food before the treats."

"Anything for sandwiches? Or some soup? It's cold out there; I could do with a bit of warming up."

"Mother made vegetable soup today, with beef stock, and potato soup with cheese, I think. And there's ham and turkey for sandwiches, and fresh bread. Probably some mustard too if you want it."

"Bring it on." Frodo turned down the hall toward the kitchen. "I'm famished."

***

The kitchen was bustling with activity, but immediately everything came to a screeching halt when Merry brought Frodo in. At once aunts and cousins swooped in to hug and coo over him as if he were a faunt, exclaiming how good it was to see him again, and in short enough order Frodo found himself seated at one of the long tables with two mugs of hot soup, two sandwiches, one stuffed with ham and mustard, the other with turkey, apple butter, cranberry sauce, and a layer of cornbread dressing, a favourite concoction since he was but a child in Brandy Hall. There was a roll for his soup, and sweet butter to melt inside it, and a steaming mug of hot coffee to warm him.

Frodo couldn't help smiling as everyone brought over goodies for him to taste between bites of sandwich and mouthfuls of soup. It was wonderful. Supper was past, but the festivities were only just beginning...the Hall's annual Afteryule Season, one of Frodo's favourite events since he was a babe. The Afteryule Season always meant gifts and treats, lots and lots of wonderful food, party games, singing, and storytelling. It was a season enjoyed by all ages, Frodo not least among them. He recalled Afteryule Season as the time of year he was always happiest, even after - especially after - his parents had drowned. Afteryule Season was, for him, the best time of the year.

After a ham sandwich, two of his special turkey sandwiches, two mugs of vegetable soup, one mug of potato cheese soup, two rolls, and numerous assorted bites and tastes of the goodies being prepared, Frodo felt recovered sufficiently to let Merry take him into the main hall, where the party was already underway. There was a game in progress - musical chairs, it seemed - but the game rapidly dissolved as several young hobbits caught sight of Frodo, and many of the older hobbits hurried to him as well, greeting him, embracing him, welcoming him, pressing him to the serving-tables. Besides all that Merry had promised, there were cubes of various cheeses, more crackers, sliced apples and pears with a caramel dip, carrot and celery sticks with a creamy dip, baked sweet potatoes with butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon, little meatballs in a delicious sauce, fried potatoes, freshly baked rolls and sweet butter, fried mushrooms, assorted pickles, and more, much more. There was wine aplenty, every kind his heart could desire, and hot coffee, and tea, and fruit punch as well. Frodo filled two plates, and Merry brought another mug of hot coffee and a glass of wine for him, and they sat together near the hearth, eating and drinking as more people came to talk to Frodo, to hear how things were in Hobbiton, how he and Bag End were keeping, had he heard from Bilbo, how were the Bagginses, and so on and so forth.

"Have you ever thought about following Bilbo?" asked Merry when they were alone again, munching contentedly on cheese and crackers and sausage balls.

Frodo stared into the fire. "Maybe."

Next year, he thought to himself. Perhaps next year.

A chill ran down his spine, and suddenly he saw himself sitting in this very room, though older and thinner - paler, too, with a plate of food and a mug of coffee, listening and watching, but...absent. Not really there.

"Frodo?"

Frodo looked at Merry.

"What's the matter, Frodo?"

"Nothing. Nothing at all."

-the end-

Date: 2012-03-04 03:04 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] shirebound.livejournal.com
Your fics make me so hungry!!! What a wonderful welcome and celebration, even with the foreshadowing poor Frodo senses at the end.

Profile

febobe: (Default)
febobe

April 2017

S M T W T F S
      1
2345678
9101112131415
161718192021 22
23242526272829
30      

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Oct. 17th, 2017 07:32 am
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios