1. Too Young
At first, her pique at her son's pestering was merely annoying, like a fine splinter pricking under the skin that could not be located or dislodged. But the splinter continued to fester and prick, and before long, her irritation had grown until she finally lost her temper.
"Stop grousing and begging!" she cried, hands upon hips. "I'll not be changing my mind on this! You're too young to go on this quest and that's that!"
"I'm not too young!" Gimli retorted in anger. "I'm sixty-two, how is that too young?"
"If I say 'tis too young, then it's too young," his mother retorted sternly. "Why, you're no more than a stripling, barely old enough to swing an axe in your own defense! Your father agrees with me on this, too."
"But a dragon, Mother! Think of the glory! How can I miss out on that?"
"Glory!" she sniffed dismissively. "More likely 'twill be death in the wilderness for your father and all his companions! I'll not have you involved in such foolishness."
"It's not foolishness," young Gimli growled. "Even the wizard thinks it's an important quest..."
Her mood softened at her son's downcast face.
"You're right, my son," she replied, ruffling his hair affectionately and laughing at his scowl as he ducked away to avoid her. "'Tis an important quest -- but it's not yours. Though you think otherwise, you are indeed too young for this one, and you know it. For all your wheedling and whining, you know I'm right. So stop fighting me and stop acting like the world is about to end because you're staying behind. Your own quest will surely come, my lad."
"But it won't be a dragon," Gimli muttered.
"No, perhaps not a dragon," his mother agreed. "But it will be something big, in any case -- something just for you that's for you to handle. When it does come, this quest that is for you, I'll not stop you then. I'll strap on your armor myself and give you a mother's blessing!"
Gimli grunted in reply, but he looked appeased; a faraway look gleamed in his eye, as if he were already contemplating his future glorious quest.
His mother sighed. "Before you get lost in a daydream of that quest of yours, you'd best be getting in shape for it by laying your axe to some wood. I've got supper to be fixing!"
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.