Pass the Duck: A parody...thing. Comments? Questions? Help?

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Pass the Duck: A parody...thing. Comments? Questions? Help?

Postby WithyWyrm » Mon Jan 07, 2008 12:07 am

A note before you read:

For the record, I blame Howard.

I wrote this thing nearly a year ago, but for the life of me haven't been able to finish. This is the first half, tentatively (and cheesily) titled 'The Icebreaking of the Fellowship'. It was spawned from a character-building game on a writing site, which entails handing your character a duck and watching him/her/it respond. Pippin got a hold of it, and well...this is the result.

The second half (perhaps horrified by the plagarism and general corniness of the first) refuses to be written. It's straining my imagination, trying to stage an entire epic journey in one room with only a dozen characters to throw around. :bang:

Please help me out! If you have any critique, advice, or random ideas on how TTT and RotK might be parodied (or whatever it is I'm doing), let me know!



Disclaimer: LotR is owned by JRR Tolkien and his descendants; the author is not responsible for any disturbance caused by the Professor rolling over in his grave. Scruffiness belongs to George Lucas, the duck's moniker rightly belongs to Marvel, and I'm sure I've ripped off a number of other people...some worse than others. Sorry PJ! Oh, and if it wasn't totally clear, this was written tongue firmly in cheek.

Being an Account of the Icebreaking of the Fellowship in the Hall of Fireworks


Pass the Duck


It was winter in Rivendell, and only a few short days separated nine of the inhabitants from a perilous quest. This fellowship of nine huddled in the Hall of Fire, wishing that elven buildings weren’t quite so airy and one with nature—except for the elf, who rather fancied the playful winds that howled through the house with all the gentleness of a teething warg puppy.

Pippin the hobbit was bored. No one was talking, and he knew it was because none of the fellowship knew each other—except for the hobbits, of course. Pippin perked up as he suddenly had a bright idea.

“Don’t move, I’ll be right back!” he called to the room at large, and darted out. As the majority of the room had been frozen since late August, it had no trouble complying.

Boromir looked at Aragorn and raised an eyebrow. Are hobbits always that random?

Aragorn gave a little sigh that clearly meant Yes, always.

Everyone went back to huddling. A few minutes later Pippin reappeared, carrying a duck. (Never mind how he managed to procure one when the saner birds had flown south for the winter. Hobbits have a way of surprising people.) “I’m back, everyone!” Pippin announced to the fellowship and the room at large.

Gimli, who had been on the verge of hibernation, perked up. A duck? This could get interesting. The dwarf shook off the icicles encrusting his beard and leaned forward.

“This,” Pippin said significantly, “is Howard.” He held up the duck. The bird squawked at the awkward position and flapped its wings.

“How nice,” Legolas said brightly. “I have a pet too. I brought him from Mirkwood to help me with shooting practice.” None of the others wanted to imagine exactly how the unfortunate pet ‘helped’ during these shooting sessions.

“But Howard is not just an ordinary duck,” Pippin said, ignoring Legolas in his enthusiasm. “He’s an icebreaker!”

Gandalf puffed his pipe and looked pointedly at the glassy floor. “Hmph. In here he should be useful.”

“He’ll help us get to know everyone’s true character!” Everyone looked alarmed at this statement, and Pippin gave them an innocent smile that didn’t fool anyone. “You first, Strider!” Without further warning, he put Howard in Aragorn’s arms.

The startled ranger held the bird at arm’s length. Aragorn looked around desperately as Howard flapped noisily and quacked his protest. This was unbearable! He was a ranger! He was supposed to look cool and mysterious and be ready for any peril! How could he be any of those things while holding a duck?

Pippin beamed. It was working! They were grinning! All of them would be friends in no time! He wondered why Strider didn’t look quite so pleased, but decided that it was part of the man’s Mysterious Ranger image.

“Here Gimli, you look like you could use a duck!” Aragorn dumped Howard onto the dwarf and leapt away—but not quickly enough.

“Take it back, laddie!” Gimli shoved the squawking fowl back into Aragorn’s arms. “What would I need with a duck?” the dwarf muttered. “One that isn’t plucked, marinated and roasted golden, that is.”

Perhaps he should have muttered a little quieter, because Pippin heard and turned wounded eyes on him.

“Eat Howard?” he shrilled reproachfully. “How could you!” He pulled a pillow off of one of the elven benches—the one with icicles as a becoming fringe—and thwacked Gimli.

Gimli, not to be bested by a barefooted midget, snatched up the pillow and thwacked right back.

Pippin grabbed a second cushion and swung at the dwarf’s head, but missed and beaned Frodo instead. Frodo landed on his back with a startled yelp; Sam leapt after Pippin with an outraged shout.

“It’s all right, I’m not hurt,” Frodo protested weakly, but everyone ignored him.

Pippin squeaked and scurried behind Merry. Merry, deciding it was his duty to to side with his cousin, picked up the pillow he’d been sitting on and used it as a shield between him and Sam.

Sam grabbed Gimli’s pillow and swung it like a frying pan. Merry’s pillow burst into a cloud of downy white feathers that whirled like a snowstorm as the hobbits’ struggle turned into a miniature battle, with Gimli clouting away right in the middle of it. It looked like Howard really had been plucked—in a windstorm, along with fifty of his brothers and cousins.

The live duck (that would be Howard) quacked loudly, adding to the chaos along with Aragorn’s humiliation. Legolas finally took pity on them both and took Howard. The duck instantly settled into the crook of the wood elf’s arm and went back to looking lovable.

“Thank you,” Aragorn gasped, rubbing a duck bite on his arm. “That’s amazing! How did you do it?”

Legolas smirked. “I’m an elf. We’re good with animals.”

“Fine with me,” Aragorn said happily. “I like elves. Do you want to be friends?”

“Sure!” said Legolas, glad to have found a friend—even if Aragorn did have a stubbly chin and a Rivendell accent. At least he didn’t have to hang out with the dwarf.

The feather battle was in full swing. Downy white feathers whirled in a storm around the four combatants, as though the vengeful ghosts of a hundred fowl had descended upon the Hall.

“What do we do?” Boromir wondered aloud. He was the Noble Stranger, after all, and perhaps should intercede.

“There’s a great view from here,” Frodo called from a bench well out of the fray. Boromir came and sat beside him.

“You’re right, it does look better from here.” He gave the halfling a sidelong glance. “By the way, I hear you have the ring with you at all times. Can I have a look?” It never hurt to ask…

“Um…no.” Frodo remembered the last time he’d shown the ring to anyone at close quarters and wisely refused.

Boromir looked disappointed, but he was soon absorbed in watching the pillow fight—or at least what could still be seen inside the cloud of feathers.

“I’ll bet you sixty pieces of silver that the three of them beat the dwarf,” Frodo offered.

Boromir eyed the hobbit. “Would that be in Gondorian silver?”

Frodo shrugged. “We can figure out the exchange rate later.”

Boromir considered these odds for a moment, stroking his beard. “The dwarf is a hardy warrior…very well, it’s a bet.” They shook hands.

After a minute, Frodo said, “Is it just me, or is it getting warm in here?” He was starting to feel his toes again.

“What new devilry is this?” Boromir cried, and pointed to the fireplace. Finally fed up with the fitful fire, Gandalf was piling all of his fireworks up in the grate.

“G-Gandalf?” Frodo stuttered. He had seen Gandalf’s fireworks before. Frodo had also been required to pay damages and doctor bills after Bilbo’s farewell party. “Are you sure that’s a good idea?”

“Of course I am,” Gandalf huffed. “They’re my fireworks, after all. I’m going to warm these halls like they haven’t been warmed in a thousand years—and I should know. I’ve been visiting since the Second Age, and Elrond has done nothing about that dratted chill.”

“What chill?” Legolas asked, petting the duck.

Dead silence fell. Feathers floated one by one to the ground as everyone stared at Legolas. Even Gimli, who was clutching the remnants of a cushion, Sam, who had Pippin in a stranglehold, and Merry, who stood poised with a cushion over Gimli’s head, stopped to glare icily in the elf’s direction.

Legolas laughed nervously. “Oh. That chill.”

Howard quacked.

Gandalf snorted softly and went back to arranging his fireworks. The fighters eyed each other warily. All of them looked as if they had been tarred and then thrown into a pen of wild geese.

Pippin made a gargling noise under Sam; he was slowly turning purple. Gimli and Merry looked at each other, sighed, and went to pry Sam off the other hobbit.

Frodo and Boromir exchanged disappointed glances.

“Maybe we can coerce them into a rematch,” Frodo offered.

Boromir brightened. That sounded fun! Coercing was something his father had encouraged from an early age. “Let’s plot,” he agreed.

Nearly everyone went back to shivering. Gandalf didn’t, for he was preparing his fireworks, maniacal glee glittering from under his bushy eyebrows.
Legolas looked at the chattering hobbits. He looked at the dwarf, whose beard was beginning to frost over again. He looked at Aragorn, who leaned against a pillar, looking aloof and mysterious. “Aren’t you cold, too?”

“Oh, yes,” Aragorn agreed, grinning through blue lips. “But I’ve lived here all my life. I’m used to it. Elves don’t get cold,” he added, as if it were relevant.

Legolas smiled, glad to have found such an understanding human.

“Besides,” Aragorn said. “I can get warm by thinking about my beloved.” He sighed, a dreamy look on his face. If it had been anyone else, it would have looked sappy. But this was the Ruggedly Handsome Ranger, and Legolas only noticed how white his teeth were. “Arwen…” the ranger sighed.

“Amazing!” Legolas said as Aragorn’s face turned a flaming red. “It works!” But it was just Gandalf’s staff sparking as he tried to light the fireworks—that and the fact that Aragorn had just spotted Elrond, Lord of Imladris in the doorway.

“Arwen?” Elrond howled. “My darling daughter is loved by a scruffy-looking human?”

Aragorn bristled. “Who’s scruffy-looking? I’m the heir of Isildur!”

“He was scruffy-looking, too! And had poor judgement to boot! Die, spawn of Isildur!” The elf lord surged forward in terrible wrath, but when he spotted the fireworks Elrond stopped in his tracks. “Ai! It’s the forging of the ring all over again!”

“What?!” everyone shouted.

“You told me that Sauron forged the ring in the uttermost depths of Orodruin!” Frodo accused, looking from Gandalf to Elrond.

“Yes, well, actually…” Gandalf muttered, for once sounding flustered.

Frodo threw up his hands. “What about the Black Land? The Cracks of Doom? The long and awful Journey? The geological and historical symbolism?!?”

Elrond pointed an accusing finger at Gandalf. “It was the wizard, blast it! Him and his terrible fireworks, hotter than Orodruin! They allowed Sauron to turn an ordinary wedding ring into this sinister weapon! My wedding ring, which you never have replaced, by the way!”

“Then why was the Fellowship formed?” Asked Boromir with interest. He for one didn’t care who forged the ring. If there was a chance at not melting it, the son of Gondor was definitely interested.

“All the deadly leagues to Mordor are less perilous than this! Somebody stop him!”

Eager to impress his future father-in-law, Aragorn leapt forward, drawing his sword—and then stopped short as he realized that it was broken. “This is your fault!” He accused, pointing the shard at Elrond. Elrond hastily tucked his fingers in his sleeves, not wanting to be mistaken for a dark lord. “You should have had it reforged ages ago!”

“The time has not yet come,” Elrond retorted.

“Hah! That’s just a fancy elvish way of saying you forgot!”

“Elves never forget.”

“Oh, yeah? Says who?”

“I don’t remember.”

Just then Gandalf howled in triumph; the fellowship jumped back in alarm. The pile of magical fireworks vibrated dangerously as the fuse ran out. Elrond wisely ran from the room with robes flapping, and slammed the door shut, locking it behind him.

“We’re trapped!” Aragorn cried, thinking very unkind things about his future father-in-law.

“We cannot get out,” Gimli growled.

Just then, drums began beating in the valley. Elrond was calling the elves to arms. Doom, doom, doom! The echo rolled back and forth. The fellowship covered their ears.

The first volley of fireworks sprang to life, bursting out over the hearth in silvery bursts of enchanted flame. The sparks rushed out like ravenous wargs, snapping at anyone in their path. On their heels came a whistling legion of spears.

“Oops,” said Gandalf, and scurried behind a pillar.

“Take cover!” Boromir howled. He grabbed Merry and Pippin and tossed them behind a particularly large stone bench.

“Haven’t they heard of wooden furniture?” Merry groaned as he rubbed his bruises. “Or better yet, upholstery!”

Boromir ran back for Sam and Frodo, but one particularly large spear got there first, hitting the ringbearer squarely in the chest.

“Erk,” said Frodo, and collapsed. Boromir grabbed both of the hobbits anyway, and dragged them to the safety of a chair. When Sam wasn’t looking, the Son of Gondor frisked Frodo’s body, looking for the ring.

“Hey!” Frodo said, sitting up.

“I thought you were dead!” Boromir protested.

Frodo glared at the Gondorian, put on the ring, and vanished. “Wait for me, mister Frodo!” Sam called, and ran out into the hail of fireworks, miraculously avoiding death as he dashed to the far end of the hall.

“No, Frodo, wait! What have I done?” Boromir wailed. He spotted Merry and Pippin fending off vicious fireworks and ran to their aid.

Just then, something huge and sinister loomed out of the fireplace. It was big. It was red and black and billowed smoke like a dragon. And it was singing. Badly.

Legolas’s bow clattered from his hands. He put his hands over his ears, whimpering. “Ai, ai! A psuedobalrog has come!” Aragorn shook his head sadly. Every elf in Imladris would be disabled by the terrible noise.

“Elrond’s bane,” Gimli muttered from where he crouched behind the musicians’ platform.

“This is a firework beyond any of you,” Gandalf shouted, standing up. “Swords are no more use here.”

“How right you are,” Aragorn agreed sadly, holding his broken Narsil.

Gandalf strode out into the middle of the room, pipe smoke trailing after him like a stringy thundercloud. He planted his staff on the cold stone floor and looked the psuedobalrog in the eye. “The dark powers shall not avail you, flame of smoke and mirrors! I am the welder of your secret fire, bearer of the staff that made you. You shall not pass!”

The psuedobalrog stopped singing. It looked impressed for all of two seconds. Then it reached forward and touched the tip of Gandalf’s hat with a massive, flaming finger. Gandalf’s robes incinerated. His staff shattered. Then Gandalf himself disappeared with a crack of lightning.

Aragorn took a deep breath and shoved the elf forward. “It’s up to you now, Legolas, shoot it!”

“Wait—why does it have to be me?”

“You heard the wizard, swords are no use—mine’s broken, anyway, and Boromir’s busy protecting the hobbits.”

“What about Gimli? He has an axe, not a sword!”

“He can’t reach.” Aragorn hadn’t lived half his live among the elves without learning their weaknesses.

Legolas smirked “True.”

“I heard that!” Gimli growled. This pleasant conversation was interrupted by the balrog’s roar.

Legolas picked up his bow doubtfully. He was the Legendary Archer, and unlikely to miss. But where do you shoot something made of fire and smoke?

“Hit it in the soft spot under its bellybutton!” Howard the duck told Legolas. Legolas decided that if the duck had gone through all the trouble of talking, that he must know what he was saying—or else Aragorn was an excellent ventriloquist. Either way, he decided to take the advice.

Legolas pulled an arrow from his quiver and addressed it solemnly. “Black arrow, black arrow—”

The psuedobalrog belched smoke and hummed, preparing to sing.

“Just shoot already!” Aragorn shrieked in a very un-ranger like voice. Howard quacked an agreement.

Legolas shrugged apologetically at the arrow and fired it from his bow with blurring speed. The arrow passed through the fiery demon’s bellybutton in a shower of red sparks. The creature shrank, wailing its last few vengeful bars in a dwindling voice until psuedobalrog and voice alike vanished with a tiny pop.

Aragorn cheered. Legolas smiled, and thanked the duck.

“Don’t mention it,” said Howard.

Meanwhile, Frodo reappeared on the other side of the room. Sam ran to his side, just as another creature crawled in the window.

“Who are you?” Frodo asked kindly. He had a soft spot for anorexic amphibious humanoids, especially ones prone to groveling.

“Gollum,” the creature gurgled miserably. “We’re alone without the precious, we are!” Gollum sniffled, and Frodo patted his back while Sam glared suspiciously. “We used to be Smeagol, yes, before the nasty elvses mades us a pet.” Gollum pointed a moist finger toward Legolas, who huddled next to Aragorn on the other side of the room with Howard under one arm as a shower of sparklers zoomed vengefully overhead.

“If you promise to be nice, Sam and I will keep you away from Legolas,” Frodo offered. “I might even buy you from him with my sixty pieces of silver.”

Gollum agreed with many hacking noises and hand-rubbing. Sixty pieces of silver would be nice—almost as nice as the precious, yess?

Just then, Boromir, who had been protecting Merry and Pippin from the Wheels of Fire, Sparklers, Jigs, and Corkscrews (by G, patent pending) that bounced and burst around the room, blew his horn. The hobbits were trying to climb out of the room through a window (never mind the cliff), and he needed backup to keep them from escaping.

But one note he played just a bit too enthusiastically, and the horn burst in two. Boromir looked down at the broken pieces in surprise. “Oops! I guess that’s why father told me never to play it in A flat.”

In this moment of distraction, a firework hit him in the chest. “Erk,” Boromir said, and collapsed. Not having the advantage of a mithril coat of mail, he was Seriously Wounded, which would probably earn him a place of fame and honor in the halls of the dead. But his brother would get the stewardship. Drat.

“Boromir!” Aragorn ran fearlessly to Boromir’s side—once he was sure all the fireworks had moved on.

“I tried to take the ring from Frodo,” Boromir confessed faintly. “Forgive me—my brother, my king!” He drew in a last shuddering breath.

“Wait—you can’t be my brother!” Aragorn frowned. “Genetically and chronologically, it’s impossible!”

Boromir stopped his death rattle to consider. “You’re right. I was speaking metaphorically.”

“Oh. That’s alright, then.” Aragorn nodded. “But I’m not going to kiss your brow.”

“Good,” Boromir said, relieved. He hadn’t been looking forward to that part. He closed his eyes, exhaled dramatically, and died.

“We should send him down a river,” Legolas commented.

“But we have no boat—and no falls.”

“Yes we do,” Legolas contradicted. He pointed out the window. “It’s right there!” Outside one of the small rivers of Rivendell roared past in a foamy white cataract.

“So we just…throw him out?” Aragorn said doubtfully. “Are you sure that’s ethical?”

“I do not fear the dead,” Legolas said.

You can’t just leave him with that thing sneaking around,” Gimli said as he approached. He pointed across the room at Gollum, who was leading Frodo and Sam blindfolded through a puddle of melted ice where the psuedobalrog had stood.

“Don’t follow the lightsss…” it hissed as sparklers bobbed around their heads.

Aragorn turned back to Boromir’s body. “Out the window, then.”

It took Gimli’s help as well as Legolas and Aragorn to pitch the son of Gondor over the side. It was interesting to note that as soon as it cleared the sill, the body was pierced with half a dozen elven arrows. Merry and Pippin, who had been watching from their hiding place, decided that the window escape wasn’t such a good idea after all, and instead scrambled up into the rafters.

The three standing at the window felt that some sort of song should be sung. But Gimli was the only poet among them, and he wasn’t about to let on. Dwarves had a reputation to keep up.

Aragorn put a hand on each of their shoulders. “The fellowship may be failing miserably, but we will not allow Merry and Pippin to abandon us to torment and death. Let’s go hunt some hobbit!”

Gimli cheered, and Legolas smiled elegantly. Howard quacked.
The three hunters (and one duck) began scouring the hall in search of the missing hobbits.


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Postby Tuima » Wed Jan 09, 2008 12:02 am

Wow. I... wow.

:rofl: :rofl: :rofl:

I bow to your amazing skills at spoofery, Withywyrm! I loved The Hobbit references in particular... and you got Frodo spot-on... and the "Elves-never-forget" schpiel was absolutely classic. So was the coercing. Heh.
*goes away grinning in a rather goofy fashion* I needed that...
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Postby heliona » Sun Jan 13, 2008 11:40 am

That was excellent! It certainly cheered me up at work! It's nice to read a well-written parody.

As for suggestions etc, since I'm completely useless at parodying, I'm afraid I'm all out! Sorry!

But I reiterate what Tuima said: wow.
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