Monday, May 14, 2012

Hobbit Heartache—Chapter 9: The Family von Trapp

It's official: I have mastered Photoshop.
Just when you thought you were getting a grip on things . . .

Just when you were starting to think this was just another run-of-the-mill Sweet Valley High/Lord of the Rings erotic crossover fanfiction story . . .

Just when you were starting to grow bored of the overdone "evil cat-owning doppelganger from Antarctica seeking Sweet Valley High blood" storyline (like seriously, didn't Charlaine Harris do that in her last book? Or maybe it was Ken Follett, I don't know but it was someone) . . .

Well, guess what. It's all about to change.

(This is just like on The Bachelor when they announce big changes like 10 [ten] supermodels will now be competing with all the regular, only-somewhat-plastic-surgeried-contestants and do we think this will change anything  or when on America's Next Top Model they announce that it's a surprise double elimination week and now two [2] beautiful girls will stand in front of Tyra and be forced to cry.)

Basically I'm telling you that you should be making a face that's similar to the ones below.

Preferably like the white t-shirt girl.

But hey! Fret not! For this is happy news. A new bachelor has entered the game. His name is Captain Georg von Trapp.

You may call him Captain. Captain Georg von Trapp.

Now, a handful of you may recognize Georg from an underground cult film called The Sound of Music. It had a pretty small release, played mostly in campus art cinemas and then quietly faded away, now known only to the most extreme of cinephiles.

A rare production still.

Or you might recognize him because I was lying before and The Sound of Music is one of the most beloved movies in the world and is a recommended film to watch if you enjoy singing, goatherding or are a human. If you haven't seen it, I would love to watch it with you. Then we can look at pictures from this amazing tumblr together.

It may require several hours.

ANYWAY. To briefly and inadequately sum up TSOM, it tells the beautiful tale of a melancholic Austrian Naval Captain (our man Georg) who feels distant from his seven (7) mischievous children after his wife has died. Instead of being a proper father, Georg hires governesses from the local Abbey to look after his wild brood. The kids tear through these governesses at a frightening speed with their tricks and general assholerly (the ol' frog in the apron pocket trick; who hasn't been there?) until Fraulein Maria arrives.

Sassy, sexy, singing Fraulein Maria.

The children fall in love with her, Georg falls in love with her, basically everyone falls in love with her except for the Georg's former fiance. Oh, and the Nazis. Who have been slowly taking over Europe throughout all of this merrymaking. Georg is a righteous and honorable man who refuses to pledge allegiance to the Nazi Party, forcing the family to flee Austria in the middle of the night after giving the performance of their lives at the Salzburg Music Festival (seriously, they nailed it. First place. Fraulein Schweiger didn't stand a chance!).

You go gurl.

When we last saw Georg in TSOM's final scene, he was hiking into the safety of the Swiss Alps with his new wife (yes, his former governess!! #SalzburgScandal #myfirsthashtagandIfeelawkward) and all seven (7) children to escape the looming threat of the Nazis.

Things were looking up for our friends. Pretty, pretty, prettttty up.

But in Hobbit Heartache land, things have taken a sad turn for the family von Trapp. Hopelessly lost on their quest for the Swiss Alps, the von Trapps begin to fall apart. Georg's strength is tested. His whistle becomes rusted, so to say. Will Georg and the Lord of the Rings and SVH crew eventually cross paths in the wild? Will paranoid Georg instantly assume the blonde, blue-eyed Wakefield twins are secretly Nazis and hatch a plan to kill them? Will the aristocratic Lila Fowler catch Georg's wealthy eye?

You'll have to read to find out. But the answer is yes.

Nazis? Not Nazis? Only  eight (8) more chapters of Hobbit Heartache will tell . . .

Just coming on board? I'm not sure what's going on in your life that led you to make that decision, but I'm glad to have you. Here's what you missed in one (1) handy, recycled recap (spoilers abound):

It's Spring Break and the Sweet Valley High gang has landed in Middle-earth! A freak accident leaves them stranded in the forests of Middle-earth, where they happen to merge paths with a group of fun-loving and sexy hobbits. Bilbo, Frodo, Merry, Samwise and Pippin are happy to have the extremely tanned teenagers join their journey to find and destroy a beautiful and powerful ring.

Feelings and fur start to fly as the group travels forth. Jessica has fallen hard for Frodo, but his eyes sure seem to linger intently on Bilbo, much to Merry's hidden rage. Elizabeth believes she has found her academic soulmate in Gandalf, but he appears reluctant to return her feelings. Samwise struggles to control his hidden brandywine addiction, while Pippin's lighthearted antics serve only to annoy Lila and Bruce. Distracted by excessive hair and hormones, the group fails to realize that they are being stalked by Lila's evil doppelganger, who has traveled all the way from Antarctica to take over Lila's life.

Our most recent visit with the gang saw them travel to the ominous Land of the Elves. Winston and Merry struck up a friendship, while Frodo remains clueless to Jessica's feelings. In exchange for possession of the Ring, the Elf King Elrond demands that a sacrifice of hobbit blood must be made. After a vote, it is ruled that ______ will be sacrificed, and a shocking slaughter takes place (I'm not saying who; just read Chapter Eight, lazybones). Heartbroken and exhausted, the group must now continue in their quest to destroy the Ring. But will they ever be the same?

Probably not.

As always, chapter links for playing catch-up:

If reading pages of text on a computer screen isn't your idea of fun but you are still extremely invested in the mind-boggling tale of Hobbit Heartache, don't forget it is available now in real, actual book form.

Now go read. But first, a detailed recap of my week, beginning with the first rays of Monday's gentle sunrise, followed by...JUST KIDDING I swear I hate recaps just as much as you do.

With no drapes to be found, the von Trapp family had to resort to the
most au naturel of accoutrements.

(As usual, the beautiful and semi-nude artwork is by Zak Tatham, who makes each chapter just that much better.)
Chapter Nine
The Family von Trapp

Georg von Trapp stopped and rested a moment, pulling off his felt fedora to wipe his damp forehead. He glanced at the crumpled object he clutched in his hand, stained and damaged beyond recognition. He heaved a despondent sigh.

This damned marionette is useless, he thought. I would be best to discard of it immediately.

But Georg knew that wasn’t possible. That wooden and cloth goatherder marionette was the last remnant he had of his family. Once known all throughout Salzburg as The von Trapp Family Singers, their prosperous musical career had been cut short by the looming threat of the Nazis. Georg and his newlywed wife Maria were forced to flee Austria and head for the safety of the Swiss Alps. With them were his seven children—Liesl, Friedrich, Louisa, Kurt, Brigitta, Marta and the little one, Gretl.

The perilous journey had started well. Liesl, the oldest at sixteen, had helped Maria to take care of the younger children, often carrying Gretl for long stretches of time. When the children’s play clothes grew tattered and stained from the outdoors, Maria fashioned them new ones out of pine branches and bark strips. Though it pained Georg to see his children roaming about the mountains dressed like savages, the children loved them. And when inclement weather struck, truly there was no one better to have around than Maria. Even Kurt, his youngest son and a pansy of a boy, could manage to curb his frightened sobs to listen to Maria sing them through the frequent hail and lightening storms.

Though the hiking was difficult, Georg and Maria were still in a state of newlywed bliss and filled the cold nights with quiet yet passionate lovemaking. Maria was the best lover that Georg had ever had, so much warmer than that cold fish Elsa and the countless forgettable girls from when he was serving overseas. Maria’s love gave Georg the strength to keep hiking, day after day after endless day.

We’ll make it home one day soon, he reminded his family everyday. In the beginning, he had really almost believed it.