Autry began writing a short story, and I was quite impressed with it. I noticed that a number of the vocabulary words we are working on in LLLotR have made their way into her story. I wasn’t going to do the vocabulary work from LLLotR, as I felt she already had this covered in her other areas of school, but the story is so rich with words (how can it not be with Tolkien’s background) that I knew we could not pass it up. I am glad we didn’t!
Autry’s Story –
“Tell me we’re there,” breathed Alina softly.
“You are not as hardy as I suspected, lassie…” said Fredgar, the old haggard driver. His face was always hidden from view under a worn and weather-beaten black hood. Alina’s friends had informed her that he did this to hide his jagged scars and sallow face. She tried to convince herself that she did not believe these ridiculous tales, yet there was an ominous air about him, and Alina was now apprehensive about uncovering the truth, which she was sure she would find concealed under that horrible hood.
To distract herself, she scrolled through the playlists on her iPod. Alina finally settled on a new album she had purchased for the dull trip through the dreary quagmire to her great Aunt Lettia’s. She popped in the headphones and began to listen to the loud music. But slowly, she noticed that the entertaining beat of the song had changed: the drum beats faded, the guitars seemed to melt away, the vocalists became soft and grave, then incomprehensible, and then died away all together, as if they had been from a distant dream.
Gradually, the beat struck up a slow, mournful tune. Alina impulsively tried to reach up her hands to take out the headphones and change the playlist, but she found that her headphones seemed to be bound to her very ears. A dread grew inside of her, and she knew that she needed to stop listening to this strange new music. Yet Alina could not take off the headphones and could not force herself to ignore it. Her heart felt heavy, the music seemed to now pulsate in her ears, eerie and monotonous. Her eyelids drooped and she began to lay her head on her shoulders. She was almost asleep when the music once more became louder than before, but now too loud! It screeched and wailed deafeningly in her pounding ears.
“Turn that down, miss, or I shall have to turn it down, for you!” called Fredgar. Alina tried to reply, but she could not speak. Her voice had stopped sounding and her lips had frozen. Panic and fear grew inside her, and she tried to move her arms to communicate, but she seemed paralyzed! She could not even blink; all she could do was sit there and breathe heavily. A horrible raspy voice came on in her headphones. She felt sure that she was nearly deaf. The voice crooned in a horrible jarring whisper:
Go to sleep, Alina… Go to sleep!
It screamed the last words, but Alina could not shut her eyes! The hood of Fredgar was bending over her, now. The last thing she saw was the horrid pale marred face of the driver before everything went silent and black.