tagged Eodea

Counting Heads

Genre: Fantasy, Slice of Life
Notes: Based on the prompt "orc accountant" by Royce Day
Words: 286

The herds were brought home to Sanaeku for the winter, and for Kinã that meant counting. Resh, his horse, didn’t mind watching the cattle herds go by. Kinã didn’t mind either. When of the animals caused trouble, it was just what it was. They were not people.

“Fifty three.” Kinã cut the number into a token already marked with his brand.

The head wrangler of the herd, a broad-shouldered guy with umber fur and a chipped upper right canine tooth, brought his mount closer to Kinã. Resh raised her head in greeting of the other horse and left the orcs to business.

“No, look, I got sixty. An even sixty.”

Kinã’s gaze and voice were flat. He did not want this guy to cause more work. “Fifty three. Do you really want to argue?”

“Well, maybe count again to be sure?”

“Man, I’m not stupid. The last seven animals were the same as the first seven. Good work getting them around so fast, but—” Seeing the would-be scammer’s horse dance in reaction to some nervous tensing of its rider, Kinã just gave a tired snort and held out the token. “Here, there are others waiting. I’ll get your brand on the list of people who don’t know the size of their own herds. Now take this and your beasts and get moving. Before I change my mind.”

Following Kinã’s shift of weight, Resh closed the distance, so the other orc could follow the order.

The head wrangler took a deep breath and looked like he was about to say something, but then just ducked his head and did as told.

Kinã did not mind the animals. Only people were able to deliberately cause trouble.

Fiction tags: Eodea Flash Fiction