Note:

Some character's names are changing from their original denotation.
Crag = Krag
Teej = Tej
This note will be removed when the changes are applied to all entries on this blog.
text marked with italic tags are meant to be in italics and will be so in the final, publishable draft.

Chapter 7

    Crag carried his three paper bags as he walked the streets of the city.  He really had no idea where to go and no idea what to do with himself.  This wasn’t a world where his skill set was particularly valued.
    One bag contained his armor and clothes from Torxania.  The other two bags had three changes of clothes each, according to Dionne.  This could serve him for a while, but he still had no place to put his things, a hut or a hole in the ground, something.
    Crag’s hoodie pulled over his head shrouding his face as much as possible.  People who looked closely could still see.  Some gasped in fright, others were intrigued.  It seemed unlikely that people would recognize him for what he was.  The humans probably just thought he was deformed, which was fine.  If he didn’t draw attention from the soldiers in blue uniforms he could relax without having to kill anyone.

    Crag gravitated towards the park.  It had the most trees.  He wondered if any of the trees could bleed for him and lend their sweet liquid.  He thought of Dionne’s pancakes and how they sat in his stomach nourishing him.  He thought of Dionne and her strangely alluring body.  Though she lacked his favorite facial features of orc women, she made up for it in an orc-like attitude of no nonsense.  He appreciated this.
    Crag sat on a wooden bench overlooking a playground.  Human pups cavorted with their parents and their pets.  Crag missed watching the orc children playing around the city, growing big and strong with their roughhousing and adventuring.  He remembered as an orc-ling how he made it a mission to climb to the top of the tallest tree.  Once he had done this, his missions changed to stealth and battle.  He sought to beat the biggest bully in the tribe and he did it.  Crag sought never to disappoint himself always assigning himself difficult, but attainable goals.  The only goal he never achieved was to reunite himself with his father.
    Some of the parents became aware of the giant, odd-faced, man-thing staring at their children half-smiling with a huge, awkward jaw.  A couple of the parents pulled out small, black objects, pressed their fingers to the objects, then held the objects to their faces while they talked.  As they talked, they kept their eyes on the strange giant and their children.
    Crag thought the sudden attention a little strange and decided to move along.  He stood and gathered his things.  He turned to head down the path away from the playground when he caught a whiff of death.  Crag turned and homed in on the scent following a pale faced, small, thin man.  The thin man sat exactly where Crag had previously sat and stared in much the same way as Crag had, staring at the children.
    Crag walked heavily towards the man and put a hand on his shoulder.  The man looked at the gigantic brown hand and jumped.  “Oh man!  You are huge!  What do you want?”
    “You smell like death.  You have ill intentions for these children.  You need to go.”
    The small man scoffed.  “Free country buddy.  I can sit wherever I want.”
    “Free country,” Crag repeated.
    “Yeah,” the small man said.  He tried to brush Crag’s hand off of his shoulder, but it wouldn’t budge.  “Get your hand off of me.  I’ll scream.”
    The parents with their pups did not approach, a few continued talking on their objects.  Crag leaned down to the small man and put his other hand on the man’s head.
    “This is a free country, where you are free to murder children.  Then I am free to kill you before you hurt anyone else.”
    “Whoa whoa buddy, I don’t kill children!”
    Crag said, “I smell their death on you.  Just yesterday, you killed a small human male.  Did you hunt the pup here or another playground?  Are his parents crying now because of what you did?”
    “I didn’t do nothing!  I swear!  Let go of me!”
    Crag shook his head.  “No, you did something.”  Crag lifted the man by the head and shoulder.  Crag turned with the small man struggling against him.  Crag bellowed to the parents, “Find the dwelling of this man and you will see the truth of my actions.”  Crag turned away from the parents and snapped the small man’s neck.  He set the man down softly on the bench, head down, shoulders slumped.
    Flashing red and blue illuminated the playground area.  Most of the parents scattered.  The parents talking into their objects stayed.  Crag followed suit with the scattering parents and stayed away from paths.  Even with his size, Crag could easily outrun the soldiers in pursuit.
    The orc ducked between the trees on the outer reaches of the park.  He startled a couple of young humans mating in the bushes.  The male whimpered in surprise from his position behind the female.  As he continued his escape he heard the female yell, “I can’t believe you did that!”
    Crag’s bags flew out to the sides as he ran.  He stopped running and turned to see no one in pursuit.  He scoffed and walked through the forest.  “These humans are too reliant on their horseless carriages.  They wouldn’t last an hour in battle in Torxania.”
    The orc continued until he reached a fence up to his stomach.  He threw the bags over and easily climbed over.  He soon reached a break in the trees and a new road.  This road had numerous carriages and they all roared by almost faster than Crag could comprehend.
    Crag walked along the side of the road in the same direction as the traffic.  One of the carriages pulled up to a stop and lights blinked in red in the back.  Crag didn’t stop as he passed.  The carriage’s window went down and the driver inside leaned toward Crag.  “Hey do you need…?  OH SHIT!”  The window went back up and the carriage sped up and away from Crag.
    Crag reached a paved ramp and walked up it to a crossing street.  He imagined this town looked like how he’d wanted his own city to look one day with stones paving all the streets instead of this weird stone that never ended stretching through.
    The orc made his way through the streets, staying to the upraised portion where most of the people walked.  It felt like a festival with so many people.  He saw numerous blue uniforms wandering the crowd.  He wondered if they were after him.  He figured if he relaxed he would be okay.
    Crag ducked into an odd, bitter smelling store where a human male stood on an upraised wooden stage and created not unpleasant music with his instrument.  Behind a counter one male and one female human were using machinery which made noises and produced liquid which they would give to other humans to drink. Crag sat on a long soft chair between two humans who took up an end each.  They looked at one another, then at the large brown skinned man-thing and shrugged.
    The music played didn’t make much sense to Crag, but he didn’t mind.  The store provided him protection as uniformed soldiers walked past the door.  Everyone clapped at the end of a song.  Crag imitated them awkwardly.  Orcs didn’t typically clap outside of battle.  Their hands were large and made a loud noise which could frighten weak willed humans.
    Crag didn’t talk to anyone, but he sat on the couch and listened, trying to hold off his clapping sound from deafening those inside.  The music player left the stage and no one replaced him.  The humans in the store milled about talking to the musician and each other.  Crag slowly approached the musician and said, “Your music pleased me.”
    The musician smiled.  “Thanks man.  That means a lot.”
    Crag smiled and looked to the doorway.  He saw a couple blue uniformed soldiers enter the store and grunted.  One of the soldiers nudged the other and pointed at Crag.  They walked quickly towards him.  Crag flexed his shoulders and cracked his knuckles.  He said under his breath, “Well, I didn’t want to fight in front of people, but if I must….”

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