Hobbit Day 2021

An invitation! All welcome.

Niki Flow

Below is a sneak peek into Samwise Gamgee’s journal, illustrated by his daughter Elanor. Below that, why this challenge has been my passionate heartsong for the past 15 years.

“It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.”

-J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings

DAY 1 – SEPT. 23RD – 18 MILES
On September 23rd, early in the evening, Frodo, Sam, and Pippin slipped away from Bag End. (Fellowship of the Ring, Chapter 3, “Three Is Company”). The “official” story of their leaving is that Frodo is moving to Crick Hollow and Sam and Pippin are to accompany and help him. The real story is, Frodo is the bearer of the One Ring. He must take the Ring to Elrond in Rivendell while trying to stay hidden…

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This Week under1000skies

Happy Friday.  I hope you’re having a beautiful day. ♡
Here’s what’s happening ☼ under1000skies

“Gear Shift” is one of the 30 plus stories that didn’t make the cut for 12 Tales (coming soon!).  It still belongs here, under1000skies.  Dedicated to Father Murphy* with love and thanks.

*Not his real name.

gear shift

“Gear Shift” by Niki Flow


“Father, I lost my paycheck.  Margery is gonna murder me.”

“Can you blame her?”

“Father, I’m sorry! I want to quit. I really do.”

“Do you mean that, George?”

“Father Murphy I mean it like I ain’t never meant nothing before.”

“I see.  Well, in that case, hold still.”


“Just count backwards from 100, slowly.”

“Is this my penance?”

“Certainly.  Let’s think of it like that.  Count backwards from 100 and picture yourself letting go of your gambling addiction.  Go on.  Begin.”

“Uh…okay.  Let’s see…100.  99.  98.  97…”

“Good.  Close your eyes George and keep counting.”


“Good.  Just keep counting.”

“Father what’s that noise?”

“George, if you don’t keep counting I’m going to make you count backwards from 1,000.”

‘Yes Father.  Er…I forget…”

“You are on Number 94.”

“Right.  93.  92….whaaaAAAAH!”



“Bless me Father for I have sinned.”

“Good evening.  Is that George?”

“Yes Father it’s me.”

“What would you like to tell me tonight?”

“I took the Lord’s name in vain. I had impure thoughts for only a few seconds about the lady at the supermarket.  I uh…that’s it.”

“Are you sure?  No gambling?”

“No gambling.  I ain’t interested.  It’s kinda like a miracle.”

“That’s good George.”

“Ever since two weeks ago when I passed out during confession…”

“Fell asleep, yes.”

“Whatever.  Yeah, since then.  Nothing.  I ain’t interested no more Father.”

“That’s marvelous George.  For your penance say two Hail Mary’s and two Our Father’s.”

“Thanks. I mean, I will.  Father guess what else?”


“My buddy fell asleep here last month.  He uh…stopped seeing that woman over in Queens.  Just …like that.”

“That’s marvelous George.”

“Father, something else.  I heard about another friend of his, who comes to this church only he goes to Saturday night mass.   So I don’t know him because we …me and the wife…we go to mass on Sundays.  Well, we go now, anyways.  Margery always did, but  I didn’t use to…”

“Yes George, I remember.  And?”

“Well that guy, he was a raging alcoholic.  And HE fell asleep in here about six seven months ago and Father Murphy, you’ll never guess…”

“What’s that?”

“He’s been sober ever since.  It’s like…this — right here — this confessional booth, it creates miracles, but you have to fall asleep.  Or something.  Maybe it’s you Father.”

“Or maybe we’re in a Miracle Machine I invented in my spare time and disguised it to look like a confessional.”

“Haha! Oh yeah or that!  Good one Father!

“I’m glad you’re amused George.  Anything else tonight?”

“Naw that’s it.   Uh…right.  My contrition:

“O my God, I am very sorry for offending you. I hate all my sins not only because you had to get punished but because you don’t like sins but you love me anyways.  I firmly resolve with your help to quit sinning.”

“God, the Father of mercies, through the death and resurrection of his Son has reconciled the world to himself and sent the Holy Spirit among us for the forgiveness of sins; through the ministry of the Church, may God give you pardon and peace, and I absolve you from your sins in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.”

“Amen.  Thanks Father.”

“Don’t mention it George.”


The End.


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