24: Little Soft Creatures

Today’s sample is from Fair Balls, a Prohibition Orcs tale that’s going to my backers next week and the rest of the world next April.

The tiny sewn-hide ball settled into the cup of Ivan’s palm.

“Oscar, you see where Mick is?” Brigid said.

How was an orc to remember these human names? Even without coats human children all looked alike, little soft creatures that couldn’t feed themselves until they were twice Ivan’s age.

Brigid pointed. “Behind home plate? You stand there and catch what Ivan throws. Susan! Grab the bat. No, not yet, Oscar! I gotta tell you what to do!”

“I throw,” Ivan said. “Oscar catches.” How could he throw a ball this tiny?

Brigid said, “Look where Susan is. You gotta throw so she can hit it. You want her to miss, but it’s got to be a fair miss, right?”

Fair. A human word that meant orcs lose. And she? Susan was the other woman, so Ivan must not speak to her.

The ball game hadn’t started, and already it made orc balls itch.

Find the earlier Prohibition Orcs tales at my web site. If you get the ebooks from my bookstore, you’ll also receive the exclusive To Serve Orc: Enduring Recipes from the Old Country, Watered Down for America. Yes, they’re real recipes, even if a couple recipes involve difficult-to-obtain ingredients. Everybody loves “Human Porridge”and “Lutesdwarf.”