Mo looked up from his notepad and across at the man opposite. The train hadn’t moved for 5 minutes… now six. Everyone was hot, crammed together in near yogic positions. His pen, after hovering for a moment on the last word, picked up speed again.
Inch by inch, the train moved forwards.
The wheels started to turn, grinding and squeaking to sighs of relief. And Mo lifted the pen again.
The intercom binged into life as the carriage shuddered to the muffled sound of the driver explaining away the delay as a ‘fault’.
After a while, in which the writer gained a malicious satisfaction watching the commuters’ anger rising, he finished the journey.
And went on to the next station.
The rest of the ride went without a hitch.
I sink into my over comfortable seat. I’m not excited. It’s 3:20am, I’m tired, I’m shaking with nerves and sweating profusely into my Hobbit scarf. It’s got the map of Middle-Earth on it and I’ve been complimented ten separate times. The bar’s serving, and where at 10 I might have had a large coke whilst waiting for Return of the King, I now have a plastic cup of wine. I’ll need it. The lights dim, and the inane trailers roll by. I just don’t care. My stomach is knotted in terror. The screen darkens – widens. Then nothing. Nothing for ages.
After a few minutes of dead silence, I start to realise I can’t hear anyone around me, nor feel any seat against my back. I’m standing and I try to pick my way to where I think the aisle is to find the steps. My vision slowly lifts – the house lights seem to be slowly flickering on, and in front of me what I think is the screen slowly begins to blossom in colour.
But it’s real. A sign to my left says:
Hobbiton – 20 miles.
I look at the road, going on and ever on before me. This isn’t the story of the Hobbit any more.
This is my adventure.