“Come on Jake!” I said impatiently.
“I’m coming, I’m coming,” Jake huffed.
I’m Conner Blake, and my friend Jake and I were on a hike. We had gotten permission from my parents earlier that morning. We had been hiking for about two hours. I was excited; I had a really good feeling about this hike.
We took a break, and after a few minutes started again. We hiked for about another thirty minutes when Jake spoke up.
“Let's take a break,” Jake said. “I need one.” I agreed, and we both sat on the ground in front of what looked to be a stone wall covered in plants. We sat down and ate our lunch. I faced away from Jake and started to dig in my bag.
“So how is school going?” I asked. We went to separate schools, and I didn't know much about his school.
“Well, in Science class we’ve been working on…” Jake stopped, and there was a rustling noise. Confused, I looked up from my bag, and to my astonishment found that Jake was gone. The vines on the dark wall were quivering slightly.
“Jake?!” I turned and put my hand on the stone wall and my hand went straight through the plants. The stone wall was now a long dark tunnel. I dove down the tunnel, and ahead I could barely see Jake. We exited the tunnel in a dark cave, landing hard in a pile. Jake groaned from underneath me and I pulled myself off of him. I turned and saw that the opening where we entered had disappeared. When I turned around again I noticed we were not alone. We were surrounded by humanoid monsters.
“What are those things?” I asked quietly, my voice shaking slightly.
“Are those orcs?” Jake whispered, “Like from The Lord of the Rings?”
One of the orcs spoke in a jeering tone. “Well, now, we’ve found what we were looking for! The little whelps walked right into our trap! Bind them, boys; we’ll take these little morsels to Saruman.”
We had been transported into one of my favorite books, and we were being taken to the powerful and evil wizard Saruman.
We walked for hours. The orcs barely let us rest; we had to just keep on walking, tired or not. That night we sat near one of the many fires. We had three tall orcs standing near us, making sure we didn’t make any trouble. All we got to eat was a small, stale piece of bread.
That night was very uncomfortable. All we had was the cold ground and a blanket of stars above us. When morning came, we didn’t get breakfast. We left immediately, forced off the ground and straight into marching, slowly approaching Isengard. We traveled for 2 more days, and we stopped to rest in the afternoon. No sooner had we sat down than an arrow whizzed past Jake's head, thudding into the orc in front of us. The orc grunted in pain and then fell to the ground, dead. All of us froze, looking for where the arrow had come from. Another arrow thudded into the orc behind me. The orcs all lifted their shields to block the arrows.
“Over there!” the leader of the orcs said. “They're on top of that ridge! There are three of…” He was interrupted by an arrow in his throat. The rest of the orcs yelled angrily, charging toward the three men on the ridge. They ran forward in anger, forgetting their prisoners.
I turned and bent down, cutting the rope tying my hands together using the spear of the fallen orc. I quickly used the same spear to free Jake's hands. Still holding the spear, we ran diagonally toward the ridge and hid behind a fallen tree.
Soon all the orcs were dead, sprawled on the hill. Slowly, Jake and I came out from behind the tree and headed toward our rescuers. We both already had a guess on who they were. As we crept closer, we could hear them talking.
A short man, probably a dwarf, angrily said, “No hobbits! Where are they?”
“From the look of the tracks,” a tall dark-haired man said, “they had prisoners. There were two of them, but they were not hobbits. They ran to the east.”
“Well then,” the third man said, he was taller than the rest, and had pointed ears, “we’d better go after them and see who they are.”
I walked closer to the strangers, pulling Jake with me. As we drew closer, the tall man turned and saw us: he whispered something to them and they all turned to face us. As we walked closer to them I said, “We were their prisoners.”
“Who are you?” The dwarf demanded.
“I’m Conner, and this is my friend Jake,” I said, “and I’m guessing you’re Gimli, Aragorn, and Legolas.”
“How did you know that?” Legolas asked in surprise.
“Uh…” I hesitated, realizing I probably shouldn’t have said that.
“We’re from a different universe,” Jake said breathlessly. He always talks like that when he’s nervous. “We read about you in a book. We went on a hike, fell into a cave, and got captured by orcs. They were taking us to Saruman. We don’t know why. But it sure feels cool to meet you!” Jake gasped for breath.
Aragorn looked at me blankly, “You are?” He clearly didn’t believe us.
Legolas stepped toward them. “Did you say were characters in a book?”
“Yes,” I answered. “You’re part of a series called The Lord of the Rings. And we know how this is supposed to end.”
“How?” Gimli asked.
“I probably shouldn’t tell you. I’ve seen enough movies to know that.”
“Uh… never mind.”
Gimli, Aragorn, and Legolas just stared at me in confusion. Jake looked at me and gave me a look that said what do we do next? You’re the expert. I had no idea. In the last 24 hours we had fallen through a strange tunnel, were kidnapped by orcs, and had come face to face with some of the most famous heroes in the history of books. I had always dreamed something like this would happen. My life just seemed boring; I wanted something different to happen.
I was about to say something when a pillar of flame appeared in front of me. We all jumped back to get away from it. A voice spoke inside my head, and I had a feeling I was the only one who could hear it.
“Come, join me, Conner.”
“Why would I do that?” I asked the question out loud and everyone looked at me in surprise.
“Is that speaking to you?” Aragorn asked.
I nodded as the voice started to speak again, “I need you, Conner. The magic you have locked inside of you could give me undreamable power.”
“Who are you?” I questioned, “Why do you need me?”
“I am the great and powerful Sauron.”
“You!” I gasped. “How are you speaking to me?”
“I am using your magic to combine our consciences.”
“Exactly how much power? Could I take myself home?”
“I do not know the full extent of your power. I do know that beside you, the power of The One Ring is insignificant.”
“No!” I gave a mental push and the flames disappeared.
“We should go,” I told Jake. “We’ve interfered enough already.”
“What? Why?” Jake was confused and did not stop asking questions until I told him I would explain later.
I turned to Gimli, Aragorn, and Legolas. “To make a long story short, Sauron wanted to use some sort of power I have to take over the world. He told me it was more powerful than what the ring could give him. I’m going to take myself and Jake home, and you should continue like this never happened.”
Legolas nodded, “Very well, we will keep this encounter a secret. But be careful, Conner—if Sauron could reach your powers, other villains might try as well.”
I thanked him and started to walk away. Jake said goodbye and ran after me.
“Why are we leaving already?” Jake said, “In all the books I’ve read, and all the movies I’ve seen, the characters stay in that world and have a big adventure.”
“Yes,” I replied, “they do—but if we stay, I feel like we could mess up the story. Who knows, if we stay this world could be successfully taken over by Sauron.”
“Fine,” Jake consented, “but do you even know how to get us home?”
“I’m not completely sure. According to Sauron, I have some big secret power, and I think I can use it to get home. I think we should go back to the cave before we try, so we don’t end up in some other part of our world.”
We walked in silence most of the way. Jake did ask a few questions and I answered them the best I could. Later, we started to get hungry. My dad had taught me survival skills when we went camping as a family. This world was a lot different than ours, but I was able to find us some plants to eat. When we were about a day away from the cave, we had been walking through a large empty plain and Jake tried to catch a rabbit with our spear, but it didn’t work out too well, the rabbit escaped, and it ran off. It was suddenly grabbed by a small, disfigured creature.
“Gollum must find food for master,” the creature said to itself. It glanced at us, then ran off into the darkness.
Jake turned to me in excitement, “We just saw Gollum!”
We reached the cave the next day and we walked into the darkness.
“Now what?” Jake asked.
“Give me a second,” I said, concentrating.
There was a pull in my gut, and suddenly the world started to spin. It felt like we were falling down a long and bumpy slide. The feeling stopped, and we were standing right outside of the plant-covered cave. I walked to the cave and moved the plants out of the way. There was no cave, just a big rock. I went over and picked up the bags we had dropped. I dug in mine and pulled out my cellphone.
“It's still the exact time we left!” I said.“Time didn’t move while we were there.”
“That means our parents aren’t worried about us,” Jake said, relieved. “To them, we’re still on a hike.”
“Yup. Let’s go home; I’ve done enough walking for a while.”
To Be Continued...
Author Notes: "Still round the corner there may wait, a new road or a secret gate."- J. R. R. Tolkien