21: The Man Will Be Wrong

I offered an orc baseball story as a stretch goal for last year’s two-book Prohibition Orcs kickstarter. I really need to get the dang thing done, so I’m trying to drag it to completion this week.

Dad spoke of men. Before they had gone to the first school, Dad had instructed them every day until Ivan and Oscar could both chant his orders perfectly. Even now that they were grown orcs, old enough to claim work or a wife or attend reading school, he invited them to chant with him. When a man shouts orc, do not meet his eyes. He will have you killed. One man you can flee, but a gang will call others. Follow his demands until you can leave. Do not show tusks, not even the Lesser. The man will be wrong. Do not argue. When the man finishes his babble, walk away slowly. If the man claims your life, claim theirs first.

Ivan hated that wisdom, but orcs who ignored it died. One man treated Dad as an equal, but that man’s own needs had driven him to it. For all other men, even Dad looked away.

Unless he intended to kill.

If you’re interested in the earlier orc books, you can get a bundle that includes the exclusive orc cookbook at tiltedwindmillpress.com.