How we think it’d play out…
It’s a Sunday afternoon, and JRR Tolkien is sat at his ink-spattered desk, poring over his schedule for the day when the trailer door slams open. In the doorway stands a man, a beautiful man with shoulder length hair, bright blonde in colour. “Wh… who are you?” Tolkien stammers.
The man in the doorway tilts his head to the side, a sexy sort of smile spreading over his face. “Who are you?” Tolkien repeats, standing up to face the intruder. His eyes dart to the stranger’s ears, half expecting them to be pointed. He had the beauty and the colouring of an elf from the Woodland Realm, but rounded, human ears. Pulling his blazer taut over his waistcoat, Tolkien draws himself up straight, and strides the few short steps over to the man. “It is rude to not answer when you’re directly spoken to,” he points out. “I will ask only one more time. Who are you?”
The man’s lips part in the slowest, most deliberate of ways. “I am the seventh son of the marquis d’Auvergne, Lestat de Lioncourt,” he says, in his soft and silky tone.
As he finishes the last word, a women’s shout is heard from outside. “LESTAT, LESTAT!” the frantic voice shouts.
Tolkien frowns, nervously fumbling with the cuffs on his sleeves as Lestat takes a step sideways, opening and holding the door. Through it walks a small woman, tutting, with a silver bob bouncing on her slight shoulders. “I told you to stay close to me,” she chirps to Lestat in an American accent. “Who have you interrupted now?”
“Me,” Tolkien practically spits, entirely unimpressed with this invasion of privacy.
Lestat’s smile turns. His lips curl as he bears his teeth, not enjoying the tone in which Tolkien addressed his creator. The woman raises a hand to Lestat’s chest, and steps in front of him to stand in front of Tolkien. “You’re either brave or stupid, insulting a vampire,” she says.
“A vampire?” Tolkien retorts. “Vampires are the very least of my problems, dear. I’m the creator of worlds, and more creatures within them than you could ever fathom. I know who you are, Anne Rice. I’ve read your manuscripts, I felt no fear.”
Lestat tries to step past Rice, but Tolkien continues. “Until you’ve faced an army of Uruk-Hai, or felt the Eye of Sauron on your back, you will not know fear.”
“Is that so?” Rice questions, arms folding in front of her chest, narrowing her eyes. “Take him outside, Lestat.”
“I don’t think that’s necessary,” Tolkien says as he steps back. Regardless, Lestat gently rises, his feet leaving the floor, hovering for the briefest of moments before launching himself towards Tolkien.
“Gently, gently,” Rice mothers.
Tolkien squirms in Lestat’s muscular, carved arms, and begins to shout. “You cannot do this, Howard Allen Frances O’Brien, more commonly known as Anne Rice, daughter of Howard O’Brien and Katherine ‘Kay’ Allen O’Brien, formally of New Orleans, United States of America, now resident of San Francis…”
“Oh stop,” Rice snaps. “I know my genealogy well enough without you spitting it at me, thanks.”
Outside, the fantasy convention banner flaps in the wind, and hoards of people, elves, dwarfs, vampires and other species meander around the trailer lot, hoping to catch an unofficial glimpse at their idols. Lestat drops Tolkien to the ground, and launches himself into the sky. “Take your side!” he bellows down to the crowd.
Tolkien rectifies himself, straightens his blazer once more and stands proudly opposite Rice. Behind him, two armies seem to form. One full of slimy Orcs, Giants, Oliphants and Ring Wraiths, the other less repulsive in appearance, featuring a handful of dwarves, men from Rohan and Gondor, beautiful elves and most importantly, Radagast and Gandalf.
The armies keep a distance from each other, hatred spewing out towards the other, but unified in this unusual moment. It is now Tolkien’s turn to cross his arms, as Rice stands with a handful of vampires. Beautiful and powerful, yes, but surely no match for the best and worst of Middle Earth.
“Impressive,” Rice nods in agreement with Tolkien’s arrogance. Both authors step to one side, while the characters ready themselves for battle.
“This doesn’t mean that I don’t enjoy your work you know, Tolkien,” Rice continues as Tolkien snaps his fingers into the sky. “But, you know things could have ended a lot, and I mean a LOT sooner in your books if you’d just utilised those Giant Eagles of yours sooner.”
With that, Tolkien fires Rice one last smug smile as a giant bird’s claw picks him up and flies him into the distant sky.
PREDICTED WINNER: J.R.R. Tolkien
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