Orc Gone Good - Piece Twenty Two

York-ie's unsightly face was lit by firelight, and his sword glinted under moonlight. Dok and Beorn were the first to notice him, standing inside the circle of blushing light from the lowering fire, and a flashing stare that pierced through Beorn like an arrow. A sudden rage came forward out of Beorn, like a dam holding back powerful waters. Beorn recognized the foul stench of this Orc, and he felt an urge to finish what he failed to do under the trees. He swept his axe from his back, and charging forward with long strides, Beorn rushed after his adversary, pushing through the crowd of Dwarves! However, before York-ie could swing his sword from his sheath, Gonli leapt behind him and bound his hands with chains and then quickly stood between him and Beorn, looking taller then ever. Beorn halted before him.

`I cannot allow you to kill this Orc,' he said. `He is our prisoner, and it is our responsibility to kill him when his service for us is done.'

Beorn flicked his sight on Gonli like a crack of lightning, but did not lower his axe.

`What service can a wretch such as this be to you Dwarves?'

`He holds a secret that we must uncover; a secret that the Dwarves of Lonely Mountain must have, and it is up to us to deliver it,' Gonli spoke clearly.

The man growled. `Why was this filth wandering the fields tonight?'

`It was only a brief escape, that will not happen again. The Orc has paid dearly for his foolishness,' said Gonli.

`No Orc deserves to live,' Beorn said. `If I find him freely on my land, then all that will come back to you is his head on a pole.' Beorn glared at York-ie and spat at his feet, then slowly walked away into the darkness, muttering through his tightly closed teeth. Gonli knew now that what ever friendship that Gordon had been attempting to gain over Beorn was now lost, for Beorn did not favor any who showed mercy to Orcs. Gonli only hoped that the mission did not sour before it was ended.

`You fool!' Gonli turned to York-ie with a bolt of anger. `You are as witless as your kin, foolish Orc! We now may die of hunger; yet you could still eat our flesh, couldn't you? All along you undoubtedly have been wanting to eat us for dinner, you maggot!'

York-ie lunged at Gonli, driving his teeth into his shoulder and gnawing his skin from bone! All the Dwarves moved without thought, attacking York-ie without weapons. He was dragged away and thrown in the dirt still bound by chains. Bonli stepped on York-ie's head, forcing dirt into his mouth, and with each breath it was inhaled up his nose. Gonli took a log from the fire; the end crackling with flame. Bonli allowed York-ie to stand, with dust stinging his eyes. And with a wide swing, Gonli hit him across the face with the log, burning the skin on his cheeks. York-ie stood again, still bound, but only to be struck again, this time with open flames flicking off the sharp tip of the wood. York-ie groped on the ground, rubbing his face in the dirt, hissing with anger. He stood for a third time, his tongue licking his teeth; with a leap he charged Gonli with his fangs exposed. With a sudden confusion that came over Gonli, he thrust the wood into York-ie's stomach, piercing deeply. Blood spitting from his mouth, York-ie fell in agony.

In the late hours of night, Bonli and Gonli aided York-ie while the others of the company slept, keeping him from the cold hand of death. The moon was shrouded over with clouds, and no stars shone that night.

`You very nearly killed him,' said Bonli while tending the wound. `He has lost much blood; he will need to rest for a few days.'

`We do not have a few days!' Gonli hissed. `Gordon will be back tomorrow or the morning after, and he must be well by then, otherwise our mission will fall behind because of me. I can't let that happen.'

`There is nothing we can do. He needs rest, or he may die. Orcs are normally very well at holding together after a wound, or loosing a limb. Get some rest, Gonli, you will need it if Gordon returns tomorrow.'

`I cannot rest, nor can I stay with this company,' said Gonli while looking down at the near fire. `I cannot stay with you any longer, for I am clearly a danger to York-ie. It is like a sour taste in my mouth to speak such words as these, but: York-ie is needed in this company. He will play a large role in the victory of the Dwarves, and I do not want to be the one to thwart it. I must leave tonight, and I will see you at the home of our kin on the day of your arrival there. Farwell.' Gonli took what was left of food that was delivered by the pony, and disappeared into the shadows. Bonli quickly closed York-ie's shirt over his bandage and followed.

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