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An Unexpected Surprise

An Unexpected Surprise
By John Evans

Smaug-and-Bilbo

I pick up the crumpled paperback,
Hardly legible in the fading lamplight,
Beneath a pile of rubbish,
In a cheap eclectic bookstore.

The room is coated in dust,
And I can feel my mind turning,
Far from that cramped and narrow place,
To the yellow taxi waiting for me outside.

Should I buy it?
A brief moment of expectation,
And then …

I cross the good bard’s threshold.
Rushing to the register like a crazed freak,
I throw some spare dollars onto the wooden counter,
And claim the key to my unlocked dreams,
I blindly purchased in my blessed ignorance.

Shuffling into the taxy’s back-seat,
I gaze longingly at the front-cover,
Depicting a dragon’s outstretched wings,
And a lake wreathed in a crimson fire.

My eyes fix on the bold title,
Other voices have recited before,
In loving whispers around the warm hearth,
Nestled in the bastion of my cozy home.

Pouring through the first chapter,
A crystalline vision inhabits my yearning soul,
Of mountain peaks and hidden valleys,
Preserved in histories hitherto unknown.

Between the covers of this grand adventure,
A Middle Earth of subcreation unfolds,
Redefining the life I thought I knew,
Visiting that sleepy bookshop in the late afternoon.

John Evans

John Evans is an avid student of Medieval Literature and the writings of J.R.R Tolkien. He is a member of Doctor Cory Olsen’s Silmarillion Seminar and has been a proud supporter of Legendarium and the Mythgard institute. Along with these interests, he is the founder of the folk rock band Wrecked Haven, an amateur political theorist, and life-long writer of prose and poetry.

About Steve "Rifflo" Fitch

Steve, also known as “Rifflo”, is a University MBA Administrator in Ontario Canada where he lives with his wife, Lisa and two young daughters, Alexa and Ava. Steve has an extensive background in corporate sales. Steve also worked for ISAF: International Security Assistance Force and the Canadian Military as a recruiter in Human Resources for the operations in Bosnia and Afghanistan. When not immersed in Tolkien works,sci-fi, and film, you can find him training in Muay Thai, and Italian rapier.