Un soir en faisant autre chose, j’ai eu une autre idée pour le défi de fiction courte sur le thème quelque chose qui vous fait peur. Je l’ai écrite (en anglais) et la voilà. C’est un texte où je m’amuse avec un truc qui me dérange (et qui n’interpellera peut-être que les fans finis du Seigneur des anneaux… en version écrite!)… pour parler d’une vraie peur que j’ai. Je parle de censure et de manipulation, d’aller numériquement tromper les gens jusque dans ce qu’ils appellent la vérité factuelle et jusque dans leur passé. C’est insidieux… et je dirais que c’est déjà commencé.
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– Well the new miracle meds don’t work on me, the doc said. Oddest thing too, since they seem to work on just everyone but me. Kinda makes me like old Tom Bombadil. You know, when he puts on the ring and nothing…
– Tom who?
– Bombadil! I thought you’d read The Lord of the Rings!
– Of course I did! Several times. And I have no clue who you mean.
– What? Here, I’ll show you. Where’s my damn reading thingy? You know, of all I had to give up when you put me in this home…
– It’s not a “home” and I didn’t put you here, dad!
– Of all the things you made me gave up, the worst is still my books.
– Dad, again, that wasn’t me. I’ve told you over and over: The government doesn’t allow paper books anymore. Because of the disease. We’ve been over this.
– And I’ve told you before that’s nonsense! There’s no such thing!
– Not so loud, dad, please!
– Ah, here it is! Now I’ll show you. I’ll just find The Lord of the Rings…
– See, dad, you have your government-issued reader. It’s just as good as a whole room full of paper books. Portable, too!
– Oh please. It’s bad enough that propaganda’s out there, don’t tell me they got to you, too. What the…! Tom Bombadil’s not here!
– Told you. Dad, I’ve never heard of him.
– There was an entire chapter! They leave the Shire through the Old Forest, get stuck in Old Man Willow, and Tom Bombadil comes to rescue them!
– I’m telling you, dad, it doesn’t ring a bell at all.
– Goldberry, the River-daughter either?
– Tom Bombadil lives with her! That’s why he was out and got to rescue the hobbits: he was gathering flowers for her!
– Sure, dad.
– “Old Tom Bombadil is a merry fellow,
Bright blue his jacket is, and his boots are yellow.
None has ever caught him yet, for Tom, he is the Master:
His songs are stronger songs, and his feet are faster.” No?
– It says here that’s the beginning of another book by JRR Tolkien, dad. One called… Tom Bombadil.
– Yes, of course, but he’s also in The Lord of the Rings!
– Dad, listen. I’ve read the books. I’ve seen the movies. All of them. Several times. The old old animation films, the old humans as hobbits and elves ones, and the ones made in TRUEMATION®. And in none of them did I ever, ever, hear the name “Tom Bombadil”.
– But who gets them out of the Barrow-downs?
– The what? Dad, I’ve no idea what you’re saying and you’re starting to worry me.
– After the hobbits leave Tom Bombadil and Goldberry’s home, they get caught by a barrow-wight!
– Dad, stop. I assume you’re mixing up that old poetry book, Tom Bombadil, with The Lord of the Rings. I assume you had it, covered in dust, somewhere in your house which the government made you give up – not me – and now you’re mixing up the two, inserting a character from one into the other.
– But then where does merry get the dagger from? No other blade would defeat the Witch-king of Angmar! It just doesn’t make sense!
– Who cares where the dagger comes from! It’s never discussed in the movies and it’s never mattered. I’m sure it’s not in the books either!
– That’s what I’m looking at.
– And I can’t believe it.
– They changed JRR Tolkien’s original text! They edited it! Censored it! They, they… They made it match the movie version!
– Dad, come on. No one is secretly rewriting old books on our readers. Even for you, that’s pretty farfetched!
But the old man didn’t reply. He just stared at the screen and shook his head in disbelief for a long, long time.