The Bounties of Dorn #1

As always, check out the link above for the rest of the story.

I’ve been thinking about posting a fantasy serial on my blog for awhile as a side project.  Today, I decided to do it.  I don’t have the time for ten layers of editing, so this will be an exercise in getting it readable in two or three passes and dealing with the consequences of plot holes creatively.

#1 – Dorn the Bounty Hunter

Hanging from a tree branch, Dorn peered around his eyebrow fold, and through the coarse hair that sprung from it.  Bowt took advantage of the leafy cover to gain a lead, despite the little good it would do him.  Two swings, a heavy landing, and Dorn plodded after his prey, shouldering a crossbow as long as his arm, which was not that impressive for a guy standing four feet tall.  The goblin he chased knew better than to underestimate the bounty hunter because of his size; too many crooks in prison told stories of Dorn’s uncanny criminal sense.

Dorn picked up speed, bending branches with his meaty forearms like they were the bristles of a broom.  There would be a clearing up ahead, catching Bowt in open space would be easiest.  The idiot thief ran in an S to avoid leaving a straight trail, not that it mattered.  Dorn could hear better than he could see anyway.  An amulet of considerable gaudiness popped out of the bounty hunter’s half-buttoned shirt.

“Stupid thing,” he said, and shoved it back in.  Bowt had stopped in the clearing, earning him Dorn’s appreciation, if not his mercy.  Of course, that Bowt planned an ambush did not escape the steadfast hunter.  Sighing a great cloud of air, Dorn walked into it.  Truth was, after decades of experience, avoiding a hasty ambush set up by an amateur was more work than it could ever be worth.  Especially when they jumped out beforehand and yelled something.

“Avast ye!” shouted Bowt, jumping out from behind a bush and pointing a crooked wand at Dorn’s face.  Dorn rolled his eyes and waited.  When the bounty hunter was not scared off, Bowt nervously squeezed his eyes shut and whispered the spell words.  The wand exploded a fireball to be proud of, and even Dorn raised his eyebrow ridge to get a better look.

“Where’d ya get that?  Fair good wand ya have there,” said Dorn as the fire bent around him.  Bowt squeaked and tried to run when the wand sputtered its last flame.  With an unexpected quickness, Dorn loaded, stretched, and fired the crossbow, casting a net over the squirming, dark-skinned goblin.

“Don’ hurt me, Dorn!  This’s a misundastandin’ of the highest order,” said Bowt.  He groveled, as most did.

“I’m nah gonna hurt ya, daft rascal.  I’m gonna turn ya in.  Gotta eat,” said Dorn.  He tied a strong bit of rope to the net and dragged Bowt all the way to the guard post.  Dorn trudged away after pocketing the reward.

“Good day at work,” he muttered, “But where did that wand come from?”

~ by Rachel Francis on July 20, 2012.

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