Friday, August 17, 2012

"Horas and Lendin Hunt Some Orcs" by Wilson Harp (Short Story)

Genre:  Fantasy

Type of Short Story:  Short Story

Summary:  Tales of the Silver Sword Inn are a collection of short fantasy stories that all start in the common room of this Inn near the town of Black Oak. In this first story, two young men from Black Oak have discovered a small camp of orcs out in the Shadowmist Wood. Horas and Lendin are eager for adventure and danger and they find both in the dark woods.


The sun stood a single hand past noon when Croft heard the door open. Too early for the dinner crowd and no noise from a merchant’s wagon meant that it was a local or two traveling between the nearby
town of Black Oak and one of the outlying farms or hamlets.

As he stuck his head out of the storage cellar, he saw that it was a couple of very young men from Black Oak talking to Cassie. Horas was a strapping young man whose father was a farrier and Lendin was the son of the cooper from whom he had recently just bought a large supply of barrels.

Croft put the basket of vegetables on the worn, bare wooden floor behind the bar and closed the heavy door to the cellar. He heard the giddy laugh of Cassie as he turned back to the main room. Horas had a steel axe in his hand and was acting out some fighting as Cassie sat on the table listening to him. Lendin sat watching Cassie laugh.

Croft shook his head. He wasn’t much older than they were when he started going out looking for adventure, but surely he didn’t look as stupid as they did. He stopped, turned, and looked at them again. Horas had his axe and was wearing a heavy leather vest. Lendin had his bow and quiver, as normal, but he also wore a long narrow knife at his waist and wore a tight fitting leather jerkin.

This time Croft didn’t stop shaking his head until he made it into the kitchen. Those fool boys were up to something and he was pretty sure they weren’t ready for it.

As he walked back into the common room, he started wiping down tables to prepare for the evening fare.

“And Lendin really saw them?” Cassie asked with her eyes lit up.

“I sure did” Lendin answered. Cassie’s eyes never left Horas.

“Cassie,” Croft said “Magda needs help in the kitchen. Get in there girl.”
Cassie blushed a bit and shot Croft a sharp look as she hurried into the kitchen.

“You boys need something, or were you just coming in to keep Cassie from her work?” Croft asked, already knowing the answer.

“We need to ask you for some advice, Croft. But Cassie isn’t a bad reason to come in, is she?” Horas asked.

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