9. The Green Cap
When the Big Folk came to the Shire and the first women were outraged, and after. Two years now. Don't go nowhere without it, and speak but little, and talk low when you do. She's the lad in the green brimmed cap and even Mother calls her My good boy. Now the Ruffians are ousted and Orcs have taken their place, but Rega sees little difference. When she brings the family cow for the register they pay no closer attention than the Men did. No smarter, then, just uglier.
Out by the Cottons' smial one day she passes two in the road. They stop, and turn, and follow. Her steps lengthen. So do theirs. "Hi! You!" one shouts and she is running, green cap flying from her head. They catch her by the third fencepost before the thoroughfare.
After, the second smears himself against her face, wipes himself on her short-cropped hair. "Hoo, feel that! Soft as a wench's." Their horrid laughter in her ears long after they have gone.
Coughing out their poison, Rega wonders bitterly if she'd have been safer as a girl. Prompted by two years' habit, she rises slowly and walks back to retrieve her cap.
This is a work of fan fiction, written because the author has an abiding love for the works of J R R Tolkien. The characters, settings, places, and languages used in this work are the property of the Tolkien Estate, Tolkien Enterprises, and possibly New Line Cinema, except for certain original characters who belong to the author of the said work. The author will not receive any money or other remuneration for presenting the work on this archive site. The work is the intellectual property of the author, is available solely for the enjoyment of Henneth Annûn Story Archive readers, and may not be copied or redistributed by any means without the explicit written consent of the author.