An Old Friend’s Goodbye

It was quite earlier in the morning, I remember because Atsidi wasn’t awake yet. I stroked his back, he let out a soothing growl. Last night must of been something, because my mask was still on and my tie tied tight. It’s been such a rush, this last month. The riding of the market wears one down, but the hunt keeps me alive. I picked up my boots and strapped them on. Mother and father still asleep, I crept out unnoticed. “The day brings what it brings”- I always say, and I wasn’t going to miss out!

Without any hesitation, as I walk outside a little swallow lands on my shoulder. This, to my shock and awe, hadn’t happened to me in quite sometime. The use of mail and quick findings had seeped it’s way into this kingdom, I couldn’t believe my eyes! As I took the note from it’s leg, it quickly pecked at me and I let out a yelp! “You little-!” I proclaimed, as the swallow vanished. I unscrolled the note.

“OHbear, or as it is in this life. Your legend has grown quite large, but do you remember who you used to be? I do. Seek and you shall find, fret and you shall lose all that is dear. You’re not alone, dearest OHbear, someone is watching you. But by now, you should have figured that out….Bilbo Baggins!”

I couldn’t believe it. I had heard of reincarnation and rebirth & what not, but this person seamed to have known me! But me? I was as fresh as a day’s lily! I guess, yes, it is possible for me to have been reborn, but I had no recollection! And this, “person”, unknown to me, knew me?

I was in a daze. I had no idea what to think, but I had curiosity that could kill a cat! I continued with my day, keeping the note tucked safely in my vest. What was the come of this? Was I to fear? Was I to celebrate? Only time could tell.

It was late evening, again mother and father asleep. Atsidi was crouched in the corner, sniffing Kubera knows what! I lay back upon my bed, that note still fresh in my mind. “What am I to gain from all fo this?” Before I could even answer myself, Atsidi went bezerk! He jumped upon me, snarling! I quickly grasped him tight, stroking his back. He struggled, then released from my grasp. It wasn’t me, I soon found that he was so excited about!

Outside, we both ran, following Atsidi’s trail to a clearing near our house. I had a look around, not sure what all the ruckess was about. To my suprise, Atsidi was now gone, I was all alone in this clearing. My knees felt of jelly, I didn’t even know why I was afraid. Suddenly, all the answers came to my eyes.

Smokester, a very old friend; she appeared to me. –

“Smoke?… Is that you?” I said.

“Yes ‘bear, quite a long time for us both, I see!” she whispered.

“What’s going on?” I replied in bewilderment. She continued to explain that the resting place of a warrior long forgotten was being disturbed, and that I was the one to settle it’s grief. A group of horrid demons had began seeking vengance upon this old warrior, his soul now wretching, twisting with pain. I was to go to a place where the water meets the land, where it falls from the sky like diamonds.

“Why me? What have I to do with this ‘spirit’?” I was enraged.

I’m always the one to help, give a lend to those in need. Yet, my dear friend comes to me, no explanation; no heed, and expects me to follow suit.

“I’m sorry ‘bear, I wish I could explain further. Just know, he means a great deal to you, and you owe him your skin.” With that, she vanished.

I had come to a settling point, my blood was not so hot at this moment. I stretched my arms, patted Atsidi now again next to me, then plumped onto the soft earth below me. I cradled my head within my hands, “Kubera, what is this? She says I know him, the one I’m suppose to help? Although I have no knowledge, I feel strangely driven by this… Please, give me guidance, respect my plee and lend me strength. I am confused, bewildered!”

My eyes opened, I looked around for a bit. I soon realized I was in the market, of all places. This night kept getting weirder and weirder. I shaked my head annoyed, headed towards the exit… It wasn’t working. I stepped through the door, only to find myself in the market again! I stepped back to the same result.

“What is going on?” I asked myself. I started running, somewhat afraid now. I know this market, it’s not unfamiliar surroundings, I should know of another way out. I pass stalls and carts, desperately trying to find another exit. A large stump about five feet ahead didn’t catch my eye, and I tripped. Smack, face down on the ground. I layed there for a momment, trying to pick up some of my remaining dignity.

Suddenly, footsteps. I jump up, my hand immediately holding the sheathed knive to my side. My eyes still blurry from the fall, I could only make out a figure walking towards me. I tried to shake off the daze, tried see who was coming at me. Their walk was slow, he didn’t seam as though they were threatning. My gaze finally focused, my heart stopped.


The skies were clear that morning. It was the first day of Yuri twenty eight and great news had come my way! My dearest friend, a warrior from a region near Han, was coming to our lands! BigAll was his name, he was good friends with my nephew’s wife’s family. Frodo and Ilse had already left for their morning rituals, I, as always, left alone to cook and clean. That didn’t bother me, I was the one who kept things polished.

I cleaned up a bit, made some bread and cooked fish for later. I then slipped on my coat, BigAll was sure to arrive soon and I wasn’t going to be late. I made my way past the east gate of Kugnae, towards Dae Shore where his boat was to arrive. I wasn’t angry with Frodo for not coming to his, basically, his other uncle. He was a busy bee nowadays, he’d just see him later. The sand was warm, that which had found it’s way in my sandel anyway. The sun was very bright, I could barely see the huge ship as it approached. It’s sails were a brilliant red, the masts tall and looming. I recognized the insignia of the Han trading port BigAll worked for, or had rather, on the side of the ship. My heart filled with excitement!

The ship sooned docked, the ladder drawn from the side down to the soft sand. The sound of big metal boots clanking and thumping the wooden stairs caught my ear, I looked up to see someone I hadn’t in a very long while. BigAll was about seven feet tall, big burly black beard braided with many gems at it’s base. His eyes were a strong brown, his head as bald as a turtle.

“Bilbo! What have I told you about all those cakes you make!” he laughs as he rushes up and gives me a swift belly slap.

“Hoof-ffI-I remeber old friend! How many birds do you have living in that shamble on your face now?” I tugged at one of his gems, he gruffed up and smiled. He continued to bear hug me all the way back to the east gate, I had to stop several times to catch my breath.

The first place BigAll wanted to go, of course, was the market. He loved the old stalls and the hustle and bustle of it all. I, myself, saw nothing interested in it at all. I had my cooking, my cleaning, my mundane life suited me fine.

“You know, Mr. Baggins, you could make a killing here, in this place. All it takes is know how, the ability to catch a deal and then turn it around into a fortune!” BigAll’s voice grew loud and excited. His hand followed the edge of a dusty crate, patting the dust away on his armor. “I’ve learned a lot when I went back home, a lot about trade and wealth… I want to teach you Bilbo, I want you to have as great a life that I do!” he said as he grabbed my shoulder.

I let out a sigh and smiled. “I guess I could give it a go, I will always have the over back home… I just, don’t see myself a salesman! I’ve not abrupt or charming, I have no name between these stalls, no one knows of me!” I proclaimed.

He laughed heartily.

The next few months were a blur. My head spun with every stall we crossed, the knowledge of each patron like honey I soaked up with my mind, the bread. That smile of All’s always haunted my mind, for I was to awake every morning to it. It was routine, it was mandatory.

This morning was like any other, a long stretch and a slump out of bed. A look into the glass had shown my sleep still present, rubbing my eyes wouldn’t get rid of these feet. The grog slowly passed and I managed a knock on All’s door, in explanation: My guest bedroom.

No answer.

I opened the door carefully, not to disturb the sleeping giant. Yet there was no giant to find slumbering… I was confused.

What was this? This must be a trick, surely he did not just desert me after this long? I had worked my pleasant little end off in order to “follow his footsteps”! He said it was to be grand! He proclaimed it to be the future! Yet, now he’s no where to be found?!

A deep breath held my tongue, I shook my head. “No worries!” I said to myself, he’s probably just out or something. I grinned as I began to pick up a few pieces of clothing scattered across the floor. As I bent down to pick up a pair of trousers, a small note had fallen from my vest pocket.

I eyed it with disbelief. He really was gone.

As I opened the letter, another small folded paper fell from inside the previous parchment. I set this aside and began to read.

“Bilbo, don’t be surprised. My haste was not intentional, I?ll tell you this much. I’m sorry I cannot further explain my rush to leave, more important matters have come to my attention. You’ve done so well these last months, though I know this life isn’t for you. I just saw it in your eyes, the way you looked at every new venture we sought upon. Maybe…maybe in another life you’ll see it. You’ll see what I was trying to show you, the view from my eyes. I leave you with what you could have accomplished, what you could have given yourself with hard work. I hope to see you again old friend, but time never gives us that luxury.


As the sigh came from my lips, I picked up the foretold parchment, described in the letter. It was a thick fold of paper, as the wrappings came apart I realized it was an official note for gold!

Written upon this document was the following:

“To a Mr. Baggins, redeemable for a total 5,000,000 gold.
Complement of a Big All, of Han”

My head tilted, my eyes no longer haunted by the sleep. Again, I shook my head, folded the letter and note and placed both into my pocket.

I never saw BigAll again.


My hands touched my mask.

I felt a chip upon the top of the left ear. My hands slowly grasp the wood and lifted it from my face.

Before me stood a giant man, beard as long as my hair. His eyes shined white in the moon light, steam rose from his nose like a dragon. The beads dangling from his hair rattled in the wind, he let out a great sigh and hugged my shoulders.

“OOOHBEAR, is it now? Still short as a stump I see!” the ogre yelled as he plopped me onto the soft Earth once more. I began to laugh, this…whatever he was, really hit a spot in my soul. I felt as if he knew me once before, though I myself had only experienced him for a mere two minutes.

“So, let’s look at you!” He pulled off my mask and threw it across the clearing. He began tugging my ears and squeezing my cheeks. Upon twirling my mustache, he says “Well this is new!” With one final tug, I swatted his hands away and scuddled over to arms reach of my mask.

“Yeah, who are you now?” I said with bewilderment.

“Haha! I nearly forgot, it’s been quite the many moon!” With that, he began dancing around an imaginary ring, patting his stomach and growling like a dog. My eyebrows had never been so far apart from each other.

With a clearing of his throat, the old behemoth brushed the dust from his garment and began to speak more seriously.

“OHbear, as you so finally put it, I am in need of your help.”