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Story Notes:
My first attempt at a story; long, short, angsty, sad, you name it! Please review and give your opinions and constructive crisitism!
Author's Chapter Notes:
My first chapter! Please tell me what you think of it!
Pippin hated sleet.

He rushed forward through the edge of the forest, hood swept hurriedly over his drenched curls as he headed towards the bank of the Brandywine River. Snow he loved, rain he liked, sun he adored – but sleet. Sleet was wet and sticky, and cold, and pointless. It was a mixture of snow and rain, he supposed, but it was still sleet. He hated it and its cool calmness, drizzling slowly through the air, catching the light of the lantern swinging from the barge near the river.

Merry was waiting for him, the long pole in his hands, ready to go. Pip hopped on board, wiping his curls out of his face, sniffing. Merry pushed off the bank with the pole and they began to cross, the older Hobbit’s face filled with concern as he guided the boat towards the bank opposite them. Pippin was prone to catching colds, especially so near to winter, and the weather really was no good for a Hobbit to be out-of-doors, even if he was in the high spirits of youth at thirty-one.

The lantern lit up his cousin’s face and the lantern swayed dangerously in the wind as they veered slightly to the left. Pippin held tight to the pole on which the lantern was hanging until his knuckles turned white, and Merry tried as hard as he could to steer as accurately as possible. He felt he should give some reassurance to Pip, but no doubt the small Hobbit would not hear him; the wind had picked up even more and their clothes were plastered to their skin from the sleet.

Besides, Pippin was now peering over the edge of the boat, with nothing but the wooden edge between him and the rushing waters. The Brandywine was unusually still and free-flowing, but it could get terrifying... And it seemed to be more like that now the wind and sleet had picked up. Pippin wiped a cold hand across his forehead and tried to see through the stormy night; five bright lights blared across the lake, and as he watched, one went out.

“The Brandybucks must be settling down for the night.” he thought to himself. He leant further over the edge of the lake; for another light had caught his eye, and it was bobbing to and fro, not unlike their own small lantern hanging from their tiny boat. Being the inquisitive Hobbit that he was, Pippin scanned the water's surface and leant, if possible, even further out. Merry was trying to steer the boat, and he turned to where Pippin was, and shouted:

“Hold on, Pip! The water's rough tonight!” he dug the bargepole into the riverbed with all his might; they were entering shallow waters and would now be safe if they reached the shore before the wild waters and wind worsened. A splash and a startled cry made Merry turn again, and his heart pounded against his ribcage as he realised he was now the only person on the boat. He dropped to his knees and looked into the water, his nose inches from the surface.

Pippin had played practical jokes on him before, but the cry had sounded surprised and startled, as if Pip had been overcome by gravity and had suddenly fallen into the river. Merry plunged an arm into the water and felt around the small waves for his cousin; unsurprisingly, he found nothing. His heart was pounding and his mouth had suddenly gone dry despite the pouring rain.

“Pip! Pippin; where are you?” Merry felt like crying; it was he who'd insisted that Pippin was still to come over to his home in such terrible weather, and now he was gone... He wiped the water from his face; tears mingled with the sleet, and now rain. He tore off his cloak and slid into the water. It was just as he'd suspected; cold and strong. He tore through the water, using what swimming strokes he knew were fast as he looked around for Pip. His search lead him to deep water and shallow water, water where reeds tangled round one's ankles and water where the sharp stones underfoot cut his bare feet. He swam until he was tired out, and it was then that he cried pitifully for his cousin.

Pippin was gone.
Chapter End Notes:
Did you like it? Sorry for leaving you in suspense, but I promise that it will get better!
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