Roast (short story)
Filge, an Orc, newlywed bride, felt cold and shivered inside the large wooden hut. She was with child and wanted to warm up. The fire in the fireplace had died down to embers. To see what she was doing she lit the candles around the altar to their one eyed Orc god Trogroden.
Filge’s husband, Nurght, was a powerful warrior/priest of the Claw-smasher clan. Both he and Filge’s mother were asleep in their beds. Suddenly, lightning rattled the hut. Filge smelt wood burning. It was burning her eyes and making her sputter, choke and cough. When she glanced up she saw the roof was letting in dark grey smoke and it billowed in waves into the room. Then Filge could see flames starting to burn the house.“Fire! Fire!” Filge tired to raise the dead. She ran and shook both awake.
Nurght jumped up and grabbed a spear then noticed the lightning outside and relaxed. He spied his lit altar and thought of his god Trogroden. What did he do to tick him off? Was it the affair he had with Brewha? He remembered last week he was fighting in a battle against humans when he lost some good Orcs. Some were his best friends. The males of the clan said he was not powerful enough to protect them anymore. They needed to get a new priest. Oh, how that ticked him off.
The family ran outside into the cold drizzle and Nurght turned around and went back into the blaze. The females yelled for him to come back but he refused. Soon he came trotting out with his altar but without the candles. The Orcs watched as the house burst into a huge fireball.
Eggha, the mother, felt the heat of the blaze on her old wrinkled face. She counted on her one paw the possessions she accumulated over her lifetime.
“Who did this? Whoever’s fault this is, I will eat their entrails.” Eggha shook her fist at the burning house. Filge put her hand to her mouth and turned purple.
Later, when the fire smoldered out and wisps of smoke rose from the remains did they return from taking short fitful naps in the forest and enter the ruins. The Orcs examined the things inside to see if anything could be salvaged but everything was gone except Nurght’s sword which lay against a partially charred wall. A trained warrior, Nurght, noticed two arrow heads in the middle of the floor among the ash.
He picked one up. It still felt warm and he thought it was made by elves, one of the Orc’s enemies. He thought the lightning did not do this and it was not because he displeased his god. It was because the elves hated the Claw-smasher clan and they wanted the leader, him, dead.
“Look here, the elves did it. This arrowhead proves they were here and they started the fire. They must want me dead.” Orcs and Elves were like night and day. Orcs were sloppy and hated nature. Elves were the exact opposite.
Eggha looked at the arrowhead and then she looked away. Nurght could tell his mother-in-law was ticked off.
“I want to eat them alive!” she screamed shaking with rage.
Filge ran into the bushes and the other two could hear her vomiting. Later after composing herself she came from the woods. “Please Mama, I still have morning sickness and for some reason eating entrails or other things make me sick to my belly.” Filge burped loudly.
Nurght realized that his family was not going to make it on a journey this time to get a few dwarfs to build a stone house. His wife was ready to have a baby and his mother-in-law was too feeble. Nurght needed some Orcs to take care of his family while he was away. He took them to the newly appointed priest/ healer of the clan. It went totally against his grain. He hated the males who nominated this inferior Orc to take his place. They went into the settlement.
As soon as they got to his hut, Nurght knocked violently on the door because he hated the Orc. Nurght heard what sounded like a chair falling backwards and footsteps approach the heavy door. It squeaked open and a big snout with a huge under bite and beady eyes looked at the family.
“Oh, it’s you, Nurght, what do you want?” He asked spitting saliva as he spoke. Filge held her nose and made a face.
“Our house burn down last night and I need you to watch over my women while I’m gone to find dwarves to build our house with stone,” Nurght said.
“What do I look like a babysitter? Find someone else.” He slammed the door.
Suddenly, a young Orc who had no family rushed by; he caught a bloody human head then threw it to his friend who threw it back to him. They laughed then started kicking it around. Nurght thought he could use a messenger to run to the dwarf’s caves and Smengt would be the most reliable to do the job. Then he could watch over his women himself.
“Smengt, I’ll give you my sword if you run an errand for me.”
Smengt ran over and eyed the sword with greed. “What would you like me to do?”
“I can’t leave my women and the healer won’t help either. I need you to get to the dwarf caves and ask them to come and build me a new house out of stone.”
“I’ll watch your women,” he said looking Filge and Eggha over.
“No I’d rather have you take a message and when you get back I’ll give you my favorite sword.”
“That’s not enough. The dwarf caves are a week away. Throw in a day with each of your women and I’ll do it.” Nurght knew he really lost all his prestige, not even his women are sacred anymore. This really bothered him. He became lost in thought.
Eggha and Filge yelled “No, Nurght!”
“Done,” Nurght finally said. The two men charged, slammed into each other, and pushed violently for about five minutes then laughed. It had been agreed upon.
Eggha and Filge stood with arms folded over their giant breasts. They seethed quietly. After all, they were women and inferior to the men. Nurght unfortunately copied the rest of the males the women thought. Smengt left on his way to get the dwarfs the next day. He winked at the women as he strode past. The women threw dung at him in protest.
“Nurght, we need a shelter because Filge is about to have her child soon.” Eggha said.
“I have a plan,” Nurght said.
Nurght grabbed his sword and asked the other Orc men who stood around a stolen wagon and guzzled and slopped human ale all over themselves if they wanted to go to war with the Elves because of what they did to him. The other Orcs refused and told him it was his problem.
Nurght angrily stomped and headed toward the Elf village. Unfortunately, he took his family. The first house they came across was inside of a giant tree. Nurght bellowed at the resident to come out. He wanted to kill him. He was fit to burst.
Arrows whizzed past him from the house window. Nurght stomped to the front door, the top of which came to his shoulders, and pulled it from its hinges. Wood chips went flying. Inside the only Elf shook with fright and fled through a back door and into the forest beyond.
When Nurght looked at the arrow heads from the Elf they were not the same as what he
had found at his old residence. The family decided to move in. Nurght rammed the altar inside the doorway getting it stuck there. They scraped their heads on the ceiling and had to suck in their bellies to move around at first. Finally they found a corner to sit in. Filge lay in the bed even though her feet stuck way out the end and covered herself up under the silky blankets.
Eggha decided to see what kind of food was in the larder. Nurght examined the arrow heads in the fire light of the fireplace. The Elf arrow was streamlined and elegant and the one he found in the ruins was sloppily and probably hastily made. He sat on a stoop and his back started to feel very hot. A loud yelp was heard then a chop, chop and Eggha brought out dead raw dog for everyone. The Orcs growled and chewed with their mouths open making loud smacking noises. Then Nurght picked up a near-by stick and picked his molars.
Filge started to smell something horrible and she started to throw up. Nurght’s back above his butt was on fire. He danced around trying to put out his painful backside. He ended up knocking pots and pans off the ceiling hooks and rammed his elbow through a plate glass window cutting his arm deeply. Nurght began to heal the grey and green skin.
Suddenly elegant and streamlined arrows came flying through the windows shattering the glass. Nurght looked out and counted about twenty elves all shooting long bows. When Eggha was hit by an arrow in the arm and Filge got hit in her foot, Nurght healed the injuries. He also had the powers of a surgeon: cut open, break bones, and bleed. He used those on the Elf warriors-his enemy. Soon the small battle was over and the few elves lay on the ground moaning in agony.
A Large Orc woman stomped into the area carrying a bow and crude arrows. Some of which were wrapped with cloth. She also carried a lit torch. Nurght knew her.
“Brewha, why did you burn down our house?” Nurght yelled out the window.
“If I can’t have you then no one can.” Brewha yelled back.
“I don’t want to hurt you, Brewha. And I can’t be with you anymore.”
“Then you will die.” She lit an arrow and put it into her bow. Brewha pulled back the string. Filge and Eggha peered out one of the broken windows.
“Nurght! We are married! Why were you seeing this…this… THING?” Filge freaked out.
“Nurght, you will leave this house or I will kill you myself,” Eggha screamed.
Meanwhile the flaming arrow screamed toward the house. The two women pushed Nurght up against his altar in the doorway. They pushed so hard it became unstuck.
Nurght crouched down behind the altar as the arrow struck it and the altar was a blaze of glory. Suddenly, an apparition appeared and Nurght saw his one eye Orc god Trogroden.
He beat his chest and bellowed, “What is it? What do you want?” the god said.
Nurght said that he was just getting protection from his god because the crazy Orc Brewha wants him dead if he doesn’t love her.
The god approached Brewha and rubbed around outside her belly and came back to Nurght. He bellowed, ”Brewha does not have your child, Nurght!” Then the god disappeared in to thin air. Brewha stood with her mouth open and turned to leave. Other Orcs heard the commotion and had seen the apparition. They wanted to see who had conjured their one eye god. To their surprise it was none other than Nurght, who was automatically reinstated as the Claw-smasher clan’s warrior/priest. The other healer just remained the back up because no matter how hard he tried he was never able to call up the one eye Orc god like Nurght did.
Nurght had his prestige back and his family was happy. When Smengt came back with the dwarves he found the whole clan still celebrating Nurght for calling Trogroden to his aid. In a way he was disappointed that he was not going to be getting anything, but the sword, for traveling a week to get the little men. Nurght’s women were now scared and off limits. Smengt though did revel and dance with Brewha around the huge bonfire never-the-less.
Let me tell you a little about myself.
Hard work and Dedication.
An Interview With Myself.
A Wrentch in the Works (short story)
Flight of Terror (short story)
Roast (short story)
The Date (short story)
Campaign (short story)
Some books on writing I have read and studied.
James's skeptical blog
Why I picked the Neanderthal people