Middle-Earth Fanfiction Awards

A Little Thing

Author: Acacea
Nominator: Branwyn
2006 Award Category: Times: Early Third Age: Fixed-Length Ficlet - Third Place

Story Type: Fixed-Length Ficlet : Length: True Drabble
Rating: G -- Reason for Rating: N/A
Summary: It lies on the bed of the Great River, a little thing


Reviewed by: Branwyn -- Score: 6

This piece was written for "The Life Aquatic" challenge on the Tolkien_weekly community, and what an amazing response to that prompt! It is a tiny gapfiller about the years when the Ring was lost in the Anduin. The writing is beautifully spare, written from the point of view of the water creatures. When I read this, I can almost see the silent, underwater world of the river bed. The Ring comes to rest beside a water fern. The Ring gives power to each according to their stature; so the water fern, without mind or will, is given long life but nothing else. I like that the wild creatures instinctively know to stay away from the golden ring; among the many hazards in their short lives, they sense that this glinting object is the most perilous. This intriguing piece is one of my favorite drabbles.

Reviewed by: annmarwalk -- Score: 4

Ooh, well done! I love the idea that the danger of the ring is tangible even to the wild creatures. They are familiar with other deadly things in the water, and know, in their simple ways, how to avoid them, but the insidious poison of the ring fills them with such terror that they avoid that tiny cove no matter what. (Oh, and the part about the river fern that does not age – oh, wow, creepy. Cool.)

Reviewed by: Súlriel -- Score: 3

I like your portrayal of the ring waiting waiting waiting, longer than the life of the fronds; and the fishes and even the other traps avoiding it's evil. I like the thought of the 'things of nature' avoiding it, as if they have the innocence to have resistance. Very insightful.

Reviewed by: Raksha the Demon -- Score: 3

Interesting drabble about the Ring's danger even when buried at the bottom of a river - the [little thing]'s influence is still powerful enough to scare the other denizens of its watery grave. Clever and well-written piece.

Reviewed by: Imhiriel -- Score: 3

Very good realisation of the prompt for the drabble: ["Life Aquatic"]. It combines the innocence but instinctive perceptiveness of animals and plants in the Anduin with the malevolence of the Ring. Understated and restrained, yet evocative.

Reviewed by: Elen Kortirion -- Score: 3

This is deliciously spooky, and very original. You create with admirable economy a whole self-contained microcosm that these events unfold in. I particularly liked the reference to the un-aging fern, that is a very deft touch within the drabble.

Reviewed by: Dreamflower -- Score: 3

Wonderful! I can think that lower life forms would have a greater sense of self-preservation than to go anywhere near something so clearly malevolent. And I loved the touch about the river fern!

Reviewed by: dkpalaska -- Score: 3

Very unique and clever perspective. I thought you caught the ambiance of the river quite well, and having the aquatic life be affected by the ring was an excellent touch (fish, etc. avoid it, even to risking other dangers instead; the fern has long life because it is close enough to influence). The feeling of the ring's waiting was well-represented.

Reviewed by: Llinos -- Score: 3

An excellent drabble, very evocative. I found it quite believable that the Ring would extend long life to the fern in order to aid Its concealment and that the water creatures would have the instinct to stay far away.

Reviewed by: Larner -- Score: 2

Oh, the thoughts of a small gold item lying in the mud at the bottom of a calm portion of the Great River. Chillingly written.

Reviewed by: Nesta -- Score: 2

A very nice little drabble. The idea of all the river creatures steering clear of the Ring is great. I imagine a shoal of fish approaching it, and then EECH! Scattering in panic.

Reviewed by: Dwimordene -- Score: 2

I think this is the first instance ever of foliage being affected by the power of the Ring, such that it doesn't age. Interesting perspective.

Reviewed by: Marta -- Score: 2

Creepy! There's a sense of foreboding and waiting for the right time here that works well. Nice use of aquatic imagery with the ageless fern, too.

Reviewed by: Marigold -- Score: 2

Nice drabble, with a perfect creepy feel to it. I loved that It kept the fern alive and unaging to suit Its own purpose.

Reviewed by: Bodkin -- Score: 2

Such a little thing and seemingly so innocent, but all the while looking for someone corruptible to draw to it. And it found him in the end. Poor Smeagol.