The Orc

“Look children,” the professor jabbed his fingers through the bars at Kabu, half hidden beneath the moth eaten blanket, “an orc.”

The children gathered around the cell, their hands clasping the bars. Kabu glanced behind the children at the prison guard. He was too busy polishing his sword in the hope some of the children would admire it to be watching his prisoner.

“We captured this one in Miller’s Town,” the professor said, “He slaughtered five of our knights and two squires before he could be subdued.”

The children cooed. Kabu thought about leaping forward and biting one of the children’s hands off with his fangs.

“Why did we capture him?” one of the boys asked. He was the smallest of the group, with wide hazel eyes that took in every detail of Kabu’s appearance.

“Instead of killing it, you mean? For research, my dear boy. Very few orcs have been captured in the wild before. Do you see his fangs? There, see?”

Kabu thought better of it. They were only hatchlings after all. There was always the risk of more punishment. He still carried the scars of his last thrashing across his back.

“What’ll happen to him?” the boy asked.

“He’ll be executed tomorrow. We may break our lessons early to watch,” the professor said, a smile curling up the corners of his mouth.

With that the professor thanked the prison guard, who grunted a reply, and led his students away. The boy lingered at the cell a moment longer, giving Kabu one last stare before departing. Kabu tried his best not to look pained, both at the stiffness of his muscles and at the thought of his own child, hopefully safely hidden in the mountains to the north.

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Jack Dowd

Jack Dowd has been writing for as long as he can remember. In 2013, his play “Captured” was performed at the Chelsea Theatre to positive feedback from the audience. In 2014, he was the assistant producer in "The Minister's Secret", a half an hour radio play. In 2015, his short story Sher’s Wood was published as a winning entry in Metamorphose V1.He graduated from London South Bank University with a 2:1 in Creative Writing and regularly updates his website.

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