The Girl had perhaps spent too many long, late-night commutes on the dark, empty highway.
On this night, the only light on the black road was that of the moon, the stars, and the blinking red light at the top of the cellular phone tower that she passed every night on her way to the office for her back shift.
On this night, as the Girl looked up to watch the crimson tower light recede in her rear-view mirror, she saw the Eye of Sauron winking back at her. She felt the Ring grow heavy on the chain around her neck. She suddenly felt weary, and wished the lembas bread contained more caffeine.
Why did she have to take the Ring to Mordor? It was so cursedly hot there (air conditioning was expensive in these dark days of rising oil costs)…dark…so much death and calamity…. Perhaps she didn’t have to go to Mordor after all, the Ring whispered to her (my precioussss….) Why not, say, Bermuda instead? A little sun, sand, surf. All-inclusive bar and buffet. That might be nice.
Or she could always just return to the Shire. Open up that stained glass studio she’d been dreaming about. Sell some nice crafts to tourists.
But it was too late. She was in too deep. Mount Doom loomed ahead. She had no choice but to forge on.
She was nearly there. In one final burst of will, she heaved her (laptop) bag onto her shoulder, tightened her belt, and began the final climb (up the stairs).
A sudden scuffling sound above told her she was not alone. Sméagol! Had he somehow followed her? The pull of the Ring was strong. Perhaps it was not too late to slip on the Ring, become invisible, and sneak away…
“Oh, hey.” The Girl’s co-worker appeared around the corner, brandishing a sheaf of unsent emergency reports. “Your shift is gonna suck – the fax machine is still broken.”*
Just another dark, lonely night in
Middle Earth Bridgewater.
*Some artistic license has been taken in the paraphrasing of this dialogue. Only this part, though.