A Warrior in a Garden

Updated: Oct 15, 2021

Warrior in a Garden

Writing Prompt: Your character has entered a competition at a Hobbit festival.

Keatoph stumbles through the forest, bloody and bruised. His backpack sticks to his chest piece. His sweat serves as glue. He heads south east through the Old King’s forest, searching for a village he knows of in these parts.

In a half hour's time, the forest thins out, hills knit together, and a sign appears. “Welcome to Lobaton,” it reads. The young warrior cannot help but smile at it. He has heard of this place before and feels excitement for the comforts he anticipates finding.

He passes over hills and finds a path, which he hopes will lead to where life can be found. He walks slowly, feeling his wounds as he steps. Every couple of minutes he is passed by a hobbit driving sheep, or carrying wheelbarrows of fruit, vegetables, and even once a basket full of little baby chicks.

Each one who passes waves and smiles, or greets, “See you soon!” Keatoph both appreciates their friendliness and is a little thrown off by it.

By the time another thirty minutes passes, our protagonist is rejoined with all of his passerbys and finds himself at a festival of the hobbits. Tents create pathways across fields. Stages are placed beside them. Music is playing. Children are laughing. The smell of pumpkin and ginger perfumes the air.

“Excuse me,” Keatoph says, grabbing the attention of an elder hobbit, rocking slowly in a creaky chair. “I don’t have very much money on me. Is there a place where I can get some cheap food?”

“Oh,” the old man answers back, smiling and nodding. “I’m afraid you’ve come the wrong month if you’re looking for something cheap. Everyone here has been growing the best and the finest for the festival.”

“I see,” the warrior answers, tucking his arms deeper behind his poncho, hoping to keep the ribbons of his shirt discreet. “Sorry for bothering you.”

“It’s no bother,” the elder answers. “You’ll get some free food if you enter into the competition. The sign up booth is just over there.” He points to a wooden table, where a pair of lady hobbits sit with a stack of papers.

“Thank you,” Keatoph smiles. He heads over to the booth and reads the sign up sheet.

It reads: Enter into the Annual Loboton Hobbit Festival Contest! Great Prizes for the top three contenders.

The young warrior gives his signature, and then, by the direction of the ladies, heads to the center of the celebration, where the event is about to begin.

He takes a seat between two hobbits. One is large in every direction for his kind. He stares with horrified eyes at the bruises and blood on the warrior, and tries as nonchalantly as a fat hobbit is