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Fell Beast II

Chapter 1: 1

by SpaceWeavil

Fell Beast II: Free Fluffy

A/N – This is a sequel to ‘Fell Beast’, archived here at OSA. It’s probably best to read the other one (and it is very short) before this, but you could read this cold as well I should think. People expressed an interest in the continuing adventures of our little Fell Beast, so here we are. I shall apologise for this story as I apologised for the first one. This was written in a moment of ennui, to amuse myself and anyone else who happens to find this funny. Canon has been treated very irreverently. Once again, sorry.



The Witch King walked the streets of Minas Morgul just before the dawn’s light ruined the sumptuous blackness of night, spoiling the phosphorescent green lighting effect they had created all around the city to make it look ‘ominous’. At first glance, the city seemed deserted, yet there were many things lurking in the shadows. Many eyes gleamed in the secret places, and the Witch King knew, as he strode on, that dark, foul things roamed the streets of Minas Morgul. Yet he felt slightly content, knowing he was one of them.

His footsteps, heavy boots on stone pavements, echoed hollowly all around him, the sound seeming to spiral upwards towards the veiled stars. And behind him another sound followed. The scratching of claws on stone, as his charge hopped along after him.

Chwesteg the Fell Beast, (or ‘Fluffy’ in the Common Tongue) was barely a few months old but already he had grown to a length of near four feet, including tail, and his wings stretched out a fair yard and a half in total. His skin, so soft and fragile at birth, had hardened in his first month of life, his scales forming as the second month began, and the irritating, soprano squawks had now given way to irritating baritone squawks.

The Witch King led him on a steel chain, which he had attached to a collar around the beast’s long neck. The Fell Beast moved somewhat reluctantly and often had to be tugged before it would budge. All the while the Witch King sighed and wondered what would be the best sauce to cook it in.

As the wisest and canniest of the Nine, the Witch King should have known that Khamûl would not keep his promise to look after Fluffy. After all, had they not encountered the very same problem with Smokey, the incontinent warg? The Witch King knew, and had often heard Sauron remark, that ringwraiths were not the most reliable of ghostly beings. All save the Witch King, in fact, tended to wander off if left alone for too long. Being dead to all intents and purposes seemed to limit their attention span, while only the Witch King maintained control of his senses. So Khamûl had grown tired of Fluffy and moved on to other things, and the Witch King had found the ugly and unfortunate creature scratching at the door one night, unwanted and unloved.

He should have killed it, he thought, as he jerked the chain once more and hauled Fluffy from his inspection of a nearby pillar. He should have given it to the orcs as a pre-battle lunch. He was the Lord of Minas Morgul, Captain of the Nazgûl, and had no time to house-train ugly flying lizards.

Yet somehow, and he did not know how it happened, he found himself outside, almost in daylight, walking the dratted beast.

“Come on, Fluffy,” he barked, and winced as he said it. He felt intensely stupid every time he had to call on the creature. He yanked hard on the chain once again, as Fluffy put up sterling resistance. The beast strained against the leash, stretching his head over to sniff at a gargoyle carved into a nearby gate.

“Move you stupid creature,” hissed the Witch King, wondering how this one beast could be immune to his dreadful aura and concluded that his fear-inducing powers had no effect on something so dense.

Finally, as if it had been his intention all along had he had no idea what all the fuss was about, Fluffy sauntered to the Witch King’s side.

“You are a profoundly stupid creature,” rasped the King.

Fluffy squawked, gargled, then started to eat the Witch King’s black robes.

The Witch King pulled himself and his clothes out of reach with an angry snort, then carried on down the street. If Khamûl were not already technically dead, he would have happily killed him. He had better things to do besides walking the stupid creature and he had spent far too many nights picking his way carefully through the corridors of his Halls, since even an invisible foot can step in something nasty.

No, he thought, this could not continue.

By sheer chance, he had come to the edge of the city and to a spot by the fortified wall, where there was a small circular opening in the brickwork, half covered by an iron gate, with the city’s ancient sewer flowing (or at least stagnating) underneath. A wicked thought crossed the Witch King’s mind and he mentally felt around the place for unseen watchers.

Knowing he was alone, he pulled Fluffy closer to him and stooped to release the chain from the catch on the beast’s collar.

“Look over there, Fluffy!” he said, then when the beast followed the black, gloved hand to see what was being pointed out, the Witch King gave Fluffy a sharp shove in the hind quarters and watched him plop into the sewer.

“On you go,” whispered the Witch King. “Shoo.”

Fluffy looked up at him and squawked mournfully.

“It is for your own good,” the Witch King told him, feeling suddenly unsure of himself, which was a rare occurrence in one so arrogant.

Finally, with a sad, longing gaze, Fluffy splashed off beneath the grille and disappeared into the darkness.

The Witch King found himself feeling very bad, and not bad in the normal, enjoyable sense, though he could not understand it. He remained by the sewer for a long time, staring at the spot where the wrinkled, ugly creature had vanished forever, then finally folded his arms and stormed off.

It was good that the beast had gone, he told himself. Never again would the orcs find their time wasted in clearing up the mess (and there was always so much mess, even from so small a beast). It was good that he would never more be jerked from his meditations by incessant squawks for attention (or worse, the horrid squelching sound that heralded the coming of more mess). It would be good that he would never again have to replace the drapes around hall because the hem had been chewed.

Khamûl would never notice the creature had gone. He had paid no attention to it for several weeks. He would never notice. Besides which, this was the Witch King’s city. He was Lord of Morgul, and his will was law. So if he said the creature had to go, then so it would be.

Yet as he returned to his private chambers and settled down to read, the Witch King had yet to convince himself that he had acted fairly.

A moment later he sensed Khamûl behind him, and looked up from his copy of ‘Black Magic for Fun and Profit’ to find Khamûl in the doorway.

“Where is Fluffy?” asked the other wraith.

The Witch King rose slowly and put down his book. He had no need to make excuses. Who would question his decisions? He was Lord of Morgul and his actions were beyond reproach. He had no need to explain himself to a lesser being. What he had done was right. He was perfectly entitled to rid his city of such a pest.

So with this in mind, the Witch King turned to Khamûl and said, “Fluffy ran away. I could not stop him.”

The black robes containing Khamûl’s invisible form sagged. The Witch King let out a beleaguered sigh.

“I am not going to get any work out of you unless I get you another one, is that not so?” he asked.

Khamûl shrugged. “It is no matter,” he replied sullenly. “I do not want another one. Fluffy can not be replaced. I shall simply go back to my work, have no care.”

“Very well,” said the Witch King irritably. “I shall find Fluffy and bring him back. Will that end this maudlin behaviour?”

Khamûl perked up slightly, turning his empty cowl to face the king.

And so the Witch King found himself addressing a legion of Orcs, barking orders to them that they should find and return the missing fell beast before sunset, with a few threats added as motivation. He watched them spill out into the cragged foothills of the Ephel Duath like ants over a rotting log. All night long, he heard no more from the orcs, though he often heard Khamûl pacing around in the corridors of Minas Morgul. He wondered if the other wraith had worn boots specifically to create this effect and increase the Witch King’s guilt all the more.

Finally though his orcs returned, bustling each other as if no one individual wanted to be out in front, within striking distance. The Witch King knew then that they had failed.

He sighed. He seemed to do nothing else these days.

“We couldn’t find it, Master,” admitted one of the orcs finally, when his superior jabbed a dagger towards his ribs, threatening to jab it further if the younger creature did not speak up. “But…”

“But what?” asked the Witch King. Then the orcs parted and showed him what they had found.

~*~

The Witch King returned to his studies, a smug feeling of self-importance washing over him. How he had missed that feeling!

So far, in five days, Khamûl had not noticed the substitution. Who would have thought the Orcs would be cunning enough to find a Fell Beast roughly the same size and length as Fluffy? It was such a simple plan, and so effective, that the Witch King ordered his servants to forget that they had thought of it. He would take the credit himself.

With that crisis over, he thought, Minas Morgul could get back to its usual business; plotting and scheming the best ways to aid Sauron in bringing down all that was pleasant.

Only the peace would not last long.

Just as the Witch King had started to forget the silly grey lizard and all the trouble it had caused, he heard Khamûl let out a searing shriek.

“This is not Fluffy!” the Black Captain heard his lieutenant shout as he hurried to one of the lower dungeons. He turned a corner and saw Khamûl standing, in his black robes, in the pit in the centre of the dungeon. The Fell Beast (or at least its substitute) sat in front of him, a few feet longer than the Witch King remembered. Its head was lain upon the stone, its wings flopped down on either side as if it was exhausted.

“What now?” sighed the Witch King.

“This is not Fluffy,” repeated Khamûl. “You have brought another one back, but it is not Fluffy.”

“Of course it is. I searched for him myself,” lied the Witch King. “Of course they will start to look different as they get older. Even the Eldar look different when they mature into adulthood.”

“It is not Fluffy,” Khamûl insisted.

“And what makes you so sure of that?”

“Because,” said the Ringwraith, “Fluffy was male.”

With that he grabbed the Fell Beast’s tail and hauled its rear end off the floor. The creature groaned but did not move. There beneath it, however, was a perfectly formed, though slightly gooey egg.