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Friday Fiction: Nantu and the Desert Orcs


The Great Desert stretched across the landscape like sea waves, dunes swallowing each other in a constant battle for supremacy. Yet each victor fell short to the next rising upsurge of arid land. Nantu watched all of this silently as the Northern Orcs of Darfur prepared his cell. He’d given the metal cage a passing glance when they had dragged it out of the sand; the polished bars declared it was of Elvish origin. It couldn’t contain his magic without Elven speech. But he wouldn’t tell them, not then and maybe not ever; it all depended on where he was being taken. For now, he watched the rolling desertscape and ignored the squat creatures chittering among themselves in a mixture of English and Arabiyy. There was an entire throng of them, their skin darkened by the constant heat, and cracked like scales.

“Hey! Halfling.” One of the waddled towards Nantu and poked long thin fingers into the muscled leg of the warrior. The creature continued to poke at the skin as though mesmerized. One of the others had to slap him to stop.

“Get in the cage halfling!” Nantu stood still.

“Hey!” The creature attempted to pull at the cloth covering the taller man but only succeeded in falling face first into the ground; much to the amusement of his skittering agnate.

“Death to you!” The creature pulled a knife from his belt and waved it menacingly at the man. Nantu breathed out and inclined his head towards the creature. His eyes fell on the blade, then on the creature. The creature bared it’s teeth,

“We don’t care if you’re Nantu the Great Wandering Magic Swordsmen of Legend, together we Orcs can kill you right here and now. You cannot stop all of us without your precious sword, and the Elf cage will stop your magic!” He turned towards the others,

“What are you all waiting for? Get him in… oooouuu!” The creature dropped his knife and waved a smoking hand in the air, drawing the hand to it’s mouth and sticking as much as he could into it. It turned dark eyes towards the man and mumbled curses at him, gesturing with an elbow for his fellow Orcs to take the man away. Although afraid, when they realized that they were not being burnt alive in his presence, they shuffled him into the Elven cage. The leader, who was indistinct from the others save for a hand in his mouth, drew closer to the cage and grinned at the man. He pulled his hand out long enough to whisper a single word in Elvish. A thrum filled the cage as symbols lit up the cage. Although trapped, a smiled crossed the man’s lips as the lock clicked into place.

Please forgive me, I’ve been trying to write this for the last two hours and… my brain is mush. I’ll fix it over the weekend and make it longer maybe. Thoughts on it so far anyway?


About Nthato Morakabi

Nthato Morakabi is a South African published author. He has short stories appearing in both international and local anthologies, and has published his first book, Beneath the Wax, which opens his three-part novella series "Wax". He is an avid reader, blogger and writer.

4 responses »

  1. Vijayalakshmi Harish

    Have been reading your fiction posts and just wanted to say that you write beautifully 😊

  2. Stuart McEwan - Forged From Reverie

    Mush or no mush, this is entertaining nonetheless.


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