Flash Friday 20/01/2017: Left To Stew
Jacob had never thought of himself as a ranger, especially not in the mountains. After the botched heist in the nearby city of Helmsbrad, however, the guards were on the hunt for him across the land. For Jacob, the mountains were the only place he could go.
Of course, he could take the lives of humans easy, but deer and rams were not so easily snuck-up upon. The only prey he could find that he could actually catch and eat were fruit and berries.
That’s why, when the lingering smell of a cooking stew caught his nose, he threw caution to the wind and immediately gave chase to whatever the source was, regardless to the fact that stew isn’t a native mountain species. The chase led him across jagged rocks, past a mountain river, tumbling down a sudden unexpected drop, and landing in the vicinity of two ogres.
They were ugly. Ogres were never not ugly. With a singular eye that took up the majority of their head, leaving very little room for their mouths and causing their noses to simply be two holes in their face, they didn’t win in diplomacy. At thirty feet tall and the strength of a stampede, they didn’t need it.
Given the hungry eyes (one each) they had as they stood from their stewing pot, it didn’t look like they were keen to try it any time soon, either.
“Oh, lookee!” one of them chirped happily. “More grubs falling from the sky. Likes it when they do that. Saves on huntings.”
“Spindly,” the other one noted. “Maybe a bit stringy. Still, is good meats. We can bung in pot, eats for supper, ‘long with all the goats and stuff.”
“I assure you, attacking me would be a mistake,” Jacob hissed. Of course, he knew attacking him would be the utmost best thing the ogres could do, as all he had to fight them was a dagger the size of a small twig. It would give an ogre a splinter at most. Still, he felt he had to start somewhere.
“Me’s not so sure,” an ogre said. “Eat bears bigger than you.”
“And eat their gubbins,” the other said. “All the gubbins. Put it in pot. Doesn’t matter what. Some gubbins more tastiest than the other bits though.”
“Like the heart. And the eyes. Eyes go bang on teeth. Like little bombs.”
“Juicy, gooey, tasty bombs. Think I’ll like havings this man’s eyes. And his feets.”
“Yes! And I’ll make sausages out of his fingers, and gnaw on his arms, and bite on his brain. And then, when I’m done, I’ll eats his heart. Always the best bit.”
“And I’ll have both of his legs, all to meself. Then I’ll nibble on his tongue and chew on his ears then feast on his guts ’til he’s gone. Then when he’s all nearly gone, I’ll take out his heart and roast it good. Heart’s me favourite bit.”
The ogres were now creeping toward Jacob with hungry looks in their individual eyes. Jacob backed toward the cliff wall he had just stumbled down, unsure if he would outrun such giant beasts. Yet, all that he could think about was all the nasty stuff they just said about what they’d do to him. His eyes, his arms, his heart…
Wait a minute. His heart?
“I only have one,” he said.
Both ogres paused. “What?” they said in unison.
“I said, I only have one heart. You both said it was your favourite bit. But I only have one.”
The ogres took an awkwardly long time to mull over what the problem was, exactly. Jacob knew when it clicked, however, because suddenly the pair of them glared at each other with intense fury. “Oi!” one of them yelled, raising fists into a fighting stance. “You said you’s gonna nick the best parts?”
“Me?!” the other said, with matching fists. “I saids I’ll have it first!”
“Well I’s the smarter one, so I have it?”
“Yeah? Wanna know what I think of your ‘smarts’?”
“What of it?”
Jacob knew the moment he heard fist against chin that it was now or never. Dashing past the flurry of punching and kicking ogres, he ran until he was fully sure they would never find him again.
It wasn’t until the next day when the guards of the nearby city came across the pot while scouting the mountainside for Jacob. They never found him, but they did find two bruised and bloody ogres, both of which lay dead on the floor. At that point, they agreed that anyone that could take out two ogres and live was probably not worth chasing after and gave it up. Nobody blamed them, either.