Sunday, May 3, 2015

Grim III

Grim sat in his hut mulling over his thoughts. Was Dax right? Could he have done more? Could he have been more? He was in deep thought. Something he wasn't used to. Something he hadn't let himself do in a long time. He had tried to bury his past, but now memories long gone were coming back to the surface.
    He could still smell the smoke in the air. Orcs lay dead and dying everywhere. Only a few of their own clan were among them. He could still smell the blood and feel his heart pounding in his chest. The battle rage was upon him and he loved every second of it.
    Their elder had ordered them to kill every last mother and broodling. It was not a regular feud between the two clans. Not the kind of problems that could be dealt with through a show of strength, a few raids and a final finding of mutual respect. Their elder wanted to destroy the clan and wanted to make sure that none of them survived.
    Grim was young at the time and strong. He did not think about his orders, he just did as he was told and killed with ease. Now he would have questioned those orders. Especially, after what he saw that day.
    Grim rose up from the ground and grunted as he knocked a large jug aside. Why was he torturing himself with those memories. He was no longer there. He was here and everything was good.
    Except that a war was coming. Actually, it had already begun.
    Dax's head popped through the flap into his hut. "Grim! Kruzz is back from his Hunt. He's hurt!"
    Grim huffed and stomped outside. "Is it bad?"
    His tusks clamped over his upper lip. He liked the little brood. It would be a shame if he wouldn't make it.
    "I think his arm was severely injured. I saw a lot of blood. He's with Vorg, our shaman." Dax went ahead taking quick strides to the shaman's hut.
    A lot of blood. That didn't sound good. "Did he at least kill the beast?"
    "I don't know." Dax opened the flap and stepped inside. Grim followed.
    Smoke filled the room. Grim could smell the shaman's herbs. They would take away pain, making you numb and drowsy. Kruzz was lying on a large slab of rock. Burning bundles of herbs were placed next to his head, one on each side. Vorg was bent over him.
    Dax circled around the rock and hissed when he saw Kruzz's arm. Grim went to look as well and drew in his tusks. The left arm had a long deep cut that went from his wrist, past his elbow, halfway up to his shoulder. The blood was still running freely, rather than thickening and the edges of the wound had a bluish-purple color.
    "Poisoned?" Dax asked Vorg.
    "Looks like it." He pressed against the flesh. Kruzz winced, but his eyes were still closed. "The creature he killed was a big beast. I've never seen its like around here. Its venom is acting fast. You two help hold him down while I bind his arm and treat the wound."
    Grim obeyed and held the brood down by his shoulders. Vorg got a leather strap and pulled it across Kruzz's arm, above the wound. Dax leaned over his body and held on to his hand, pressing it against the stone. As the strap was tightened, Kruzz began to struggle and when Vorg got out some powder that he pressed into the wound he began to scream, but Grim didn't let him budge.
    Afterward Kruzz was breathing heavily. He twitched sometimes, but Grim thought he was going to be alright. He looked up at the shaman, but Vorg was shaking his head. "I've never seen this before. I don't know if my treatment will help. We have to wait and see."
    "He'll be alright. You'll see." Dax smiled weakly."Look, he's awake. He's a strong one, he is."
    Kruzz's eyelids fluttered open. "Grim? Dax?" He winced and drew in a sharp breath. "I killed the beast. I finished my Hunt."
    "Yes, you did." Grim grasped his right hand. "You're one of us now. A grunt! But now you need to rest."
    Kruzz smiled. "Okay." He closed his eyes and fell asleep.



  1. For the lack of a better word - these scenes of "humanity" (orcity?) are super-important for non-human races. It gives them a depth and a sense of civilization that goes beyond simple intelligence, so I'm glad this shows up. Regard for the young, even among the tough folk, is instantly positively received by readers as far as I think.

    Grim and Dax being of like mind is also nice, because it shows that the "standard orc" and the weirdo have something very important in common, which wasn't exactly the case until now. Especially because he immediately wanted to know whether the beast was at least dead.

    I didn't get it at first that Grim was remembering something, or rather, when the memory stopped and when it started. Paragraphs 2 to 4 are the ones, and I'd show this by shifting the tense: "Orcs had lain dead..." etc. Then again, perhaps blurring these lines is what you were aiming for? If so, it worked for me. When Grim knocked over that jug, I wasn't sure when that jug got knocked over. There's a certain enjoyment in figuring that out for sure.

    1. Thanks for the positive feedback. Took some of your other positive feedback about how you liked Dax and how different he was and tried to spread it to Grim as well.

      Also, the blurred lines were on purpose. Glad you enjoyed it. ;)