It’s the craze that’s gripping the nation! Thanks for allowing me to be a part of this!!
Gandalf was startled by a knock on the door.
“Who the heck was it at this time of night?” he wondered. Bebhionn wasn’t expected back tonight and besides, she wasn’t one to knock on a door. After the recent events with the contract killing of McAdams and Gosling, he wasn’t too eager to welcome any strangers at this hour. It was already close to 11:30 pm.
He rose from his seat to check the peephole on the door. All he could see were the trees flailing in the evening breeze.
A second series of knocks penetrated the night.
“Who is it?” Gandalf shouted. “It’s late! Go away!”
No answer. The knocking continued, more urgent this time.
“Listen, you, I’m armed and ready to …”
He never finished his sentence. The door crashed in, the force of which sent Gandalf flying into his office filing cabinet behind him. He was knocked out cold.
A few minutes later, he was awakened by the sensation of cold water being thrown into his face. Gandalf shook his head for clarity, but instantly regretted it as the back of his head which had connected with the filing cabinet started to throb.
“Sorry about that,” a booming voice said, intensifying the chronic headache. “Sometimes I forget my own strength.”
Gandalf did a double-take as his eyes tried to focus on the massive creature that spoke. Standing before him was the tallest, hairiest, and most definitely, the ugliest guy he had ever seen. He was huge, over 7-feet tall, and well over 300 lbs. Wild and matted hair seemed to rise from his head like thick, dried bramble, making him appear even larger than he really was.
He was wearing a velvet green suit, which apart from being a terrible fashion faux pas, was just plain wrong for this time of year.
A gigantic hand extended towards Gandalf and lifted him off the ground. Head still pounding, he was unceremoniously brought to his feet and dropped into his leather chair.
“Don’t be too hasty getting up,” the giant cautioned.
“The name’s Entwhistle Treebeard,” he continued. “You can call me ‘Ent’ but most people just say ‘Treebeard.’ Anyway, word on the street is you’ve got a rodent problem.”
Still rubbing the growing protrusion at the back of his head, Gandalf looked up at him. As he regained his composure, he realized that he recognized his guest.
“Treebeard, you said? I knew your late wife, Fimbrethil. It was a lifetime ago.”
Treebeard nodded solemnly as he stroke his massive beard. “Yes, that’s why I’m here. It’s personal. Those damn squirrels were responsible for her death. I could never prove it, but damn it, I’m going to see that they get what’s coming to them this time. Besides, I heard what happened to McAdams and Gosling. You’re going to need all the help you can get.”
Gandalf replied, “What did you have in mind? I already tried giving those two Cayenne Pepper but… well, clearly that wasn’t effective against bullets.”
Treebeard, his bright green eyes now alive with fervor, lowered himself to look Gandalf straight in the eye. He said,”I have a couple of favors I’m calling in: name of Skinbark and Leaflock. You could say they’re in the extermination business. They never back down from a fight.”
At that moment, Gandalf’s phone rang. Dammit! Does no one respect time around here? He cursed under his breath and picked up the receiver. He was getting too old for this shit.
“What is it?” he barked.
The high-pitched chittering at the other end of the line filled him with repugnance.