Bounties of Dorn #6

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

Dorn landed in his bootprints at the bottom of the oft-ignored ladder into his home.  He sucked in two lungs of air and strained his ears, listening for any intruders.  Quiet, the right kind of quiet.  In a whoosh, Dorn exhaled, relaxing for the first time since he’d caught Bowt with that illegal wand.

“No good crooks,” he muttered, stomping through his tunnels.  Dorn patted his heart as he passed by the picture of his mother, nigh indistinguishable from himself.  The square door to his library creaked open and a merry blaze roared to life.  Fire sprites danced on the logs, sending sparks dangerously close to the rug.

“Oi, settle dow’ or I’ll fin’ a good bucket o’ water for ye!” growled Dorn.  Three pairs of tiny eyes and noses quivered behind a log as he trudged away.

“Gnomes and women,” he groaned.  Lifting several volumes from the floor-to-ceiling shelves, Dorn sat at a wide table and spread out the books before him.  He massaged the bridge of his expansive nose with meaty fingers.

Bing Bong.  The front doorbell rang.

“Wha’ in the seven Hells?”  Paranoia struck him, and Dorn thundered through his halls, picking up this and that weapon or tool.

Bing Bong.  It rang again.

“I’m comin’, impatient!”  Finally, Dorn felt armed enough to answer.  He popped open the peephole to see one giant loin cloth.

“Oh c’mon…”  Dorn wrenched the door aside.  “Seri’sly?”

“Dorn, I was outta line,” said Jexer, the bull-man Dorn had left in a heap at Twig’s.

“Aye,” Dorn barked, tilting his head up to see how apologetic the oaf really was.

“I wanna be your apprentice.”  Jexer bowed; the heat of humiliation deepening the red of his skin.  Dorn had never taken an apprentice.

His first through tenth reaction was, NO!  

Eleven through four thousand were, no, thank you.

He settled on four thousand and one, “Are you drunk?”  Jexer snorted through his three nostrils, and shook his eyes clear of anger.

“No,” he huffed, unable to resist stamping a hoof in emphasis.  Speechless, Dorn’s eyebrow fold clamped down, blocking out all light, as he thought.  Jexer waited with his eyes on the ground.  His tail switched back and forth, muscles tense.  After an age, the bounty hunter decided.

“Ooo-kaaay,” said Dorn.

“Yous wanna test me?  I can run a mile a minute, lift huge rocks, anything,” said Jexer, his bulk bouncing with excitement.

“Yea, I wan’ a test ye.  This way.”  Dorn paused, unsure if he’d made the right choice.  No one had ever dared ask to learn from him.  Whether Jexer had courage or enormous amounts of stupidity, Dorn would soon find out.

“If you tell anybody ‘bout wha’ ye see in my tunnels, I’ll hun’ ye dow’, got it?” warned Dorn, shutting the door behind his new apprentice.

“Yessir!” shouted Jexer, amplified by the enclosed space.  Dorn grabbed his ears, and kicked at the red galoot.

“A simple yea will do,” he hissed.

“Sorry.”  Dorn led Jexer back to the library.

“Sit, read,” commanded the bounty hunter.

“Read?  Is this my test?  I can read real good,” Jexer boasted.

“This is not just readin’, calf, this is research.  Look for anythin’ that can be used against gnomes,” Dorn held up a thumb, “and women,” he said, counting his pointer.  Jexer frowned, but pulled the nearest book to him, and began his training.

~ by Rachel Francis on February 20, 2013.

2 Responses to “Bounties of Dorn #6”

  1. I think your writing style is amazing. I have decided that I must devour everything you put out.

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