Flash Fiction Friday – Breaking Camp

I’ve had orcs on the brain lately. I’ve been seeing so many lovely interpretations of them on Pinterest the last few weeks that I’ve started toying with the idea of writing a book set in an orcish society. To toy a little with the concept, I wrote the following:

Breaking Camp

“Track-makers!” Chieftain’s voice rang out over the encampment. “We break camp!”

“About fucking time…” Ter-Karah mumbled, throwing the twig she’d been cleaning her teeth with aside and getting up. She could’ve been packed up hours ago, her wares had all been sold or traded away by midday, but one didn’t break camp until Chieftain called it. She looked around until she found the forms of her younger siblings some distance away, playing by a fallen tree. She whistled, the three-tone signal they always used, and cupped her hands over her mouth. “Little mites, get over here!”

She rolled up the leather upon which her wares had rested, and by the time she had it tied up with a strap, a small hand was there to take it from her and sprint it over to the horse. She turned to begin taking down the tent, even as little feet rushed in and out of it to grab the things inside. They’d done it enough times that they didn’t entertain the notion that their sister might drop a tent-pole on their head.

Noticing the next tent over was one of the few not yet being taken down, she growled in annoyance. “Sisters! Stop fucking and get your tent undone!” She heard a giggle from inside. Newlyweds… they were always useless for the first little while. Truth be told, she wasn’t sure why her younger sister and her new wife had come on this trip.

Ereteh slipped out of the tent, her black hair toussled and cheeks flushed dark green. Ter-Karah shot her sister-in-law a disapproving look, which was returned by a sheepish grin. “Sorry, big sister,” she said, the gold ring bored through her left tusk glinting in the sun as she begun taking down the second tent.

Ter-Karah shook her head, but couldn’t help but smile back. That girl could charm anyone. No wonder her sister had fallen like a dead horse for her.

Minutes later she was hoisting the mites onto the horses as the band begun moving out. The towns-folk were looking as they moved past, some having even stopped to watch the rapid folding of tents and rolling of leathers and packing of carts and horses. They never seemed to tire of the sight. She moved around, checking the straps of their belongings as her sisters pulled on their shoes to be ready for the long trek.

“Track-makers!” Chieftain called. “We move out!”

I enjoy writing little exploratory pieces like this, where the worldbuilding just happens spontaneously. I got several good ideas while I was writing this. Maybe there’ll be more, eventually!

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