I decided to release all of my short stories in one edition for those of you who might want them all in one tome. As an added bonus, I have also added an exclusive, never before published story about your favorite half-ogre barbarian--Orngoth! Also included is the Prologue to ƇƠѴЄƝƛƝƬ ƠƑ ƬӇЄ ƑƛƇЄŁЄSS ĶƝĮGĦƬS as another bonus right after Distant Familiarity! And as is that wasn't enough, I set the price at a paltry $3.99 to start.
To recap: That is 6 short stories (A Rose in Bloom, Strength of Faith, Tears of Blood, Maturation Process, Distant Familiarity and Reflections), the bonus prologue and the collage cover art of Mister William Kenney all for less than 4 bucks! There's never been a better time to pick up ШΟΤΗLΟŊÐΙΆ ŔΙSΙƝԌ: ƬӇЄ ƛƝƬĦƠŁƠGƳ!
I have also given a small snippet of the Reflections story to attempt to entice you!
Orngoth was treated callously and with minimal care by the Ironskulls. The clan had been given their name by Muurg, their leader and chieftain. He was a brutish hulk of a thing, with a bloated belly and stiffened muscles atop his back and arms like none Orngoth had ever seen before. However, Orngoth was no slouch either when it came to size and strength, weighing as much as a horse and standing tall amongst the pure blooded ogres.
Muurg was fairly intelligent and extremely cunning for an ogre. He had deciphered Orngoth’s human heritage from the features he displayed shortly after Hazel claimed the boy as her own. Orngoth received daily beatings and the catalyst was the simple fact that his veins were ‘polluted’ with the blood of the humans. Muurg instigated the attacks with an insult here or there, and the barbarian ogres did not need much more in the way of incentive. Scars and fractured bones sometimes lingered as results of the thrashings, at which time the ogres would simply leave him lying in a pool of his own blood as they walked away laughing. But Orngoth would never plead for them to stop, nor would he show any signs of fear. That would result in his death. The ogres did not stand for cowardice in any fashion or render any mercy whatsoever.
Orngoth did not blame them for their ways as he understood what the barbarians felt when they entered the state of the frenzy. He felt it oft times, too. There was nothing much he could do when he sensed the fury well up within him. It was uncontrollable, he admitted. Once his eyes washed over with the red of anger, there was naught that could be done until it left of its own accord. Besides, this was his family now after the humans had abandoned him.
As he wandered down the path of the winding hill and into the valley below, his contemplation of past events dissipated. He continued, heading toward the copse of ironwood trees at the apex of a faintly hilly area, where he often quietly sat, alone with his thoughts. This was a place of peace for the half-ogre. The much needed tranquility of nature’s most beautiful surroundings offered him a brief respite from the hatred and heartless behavior of his clan.
He strolled over to where he’d laid the club he had been crafting—a thick bough of ironwood that brought him a sense of calmness when he cinched his thick fingers around it. He sat and leaned against the familiar, wide tree trunk to once more smooth out the club’s handle. He removed his small dagger and a whetstone, sharpening the blade for what seemed like an hour. He then began using the sharp edge of the blade carefully, moving it up and down the club’s shaft with awareness and care. Shavings of ironwood fell softly to the ground. The club was slowly taking shape, for he had been working the hard wood for months now, venturing out every day while the rest of the clan slept off their meals.
Suddenly, the sound of moving brush to his right flank jarred him from his peaceful thoughts. Something was approaching through the thick foliage—something that was either unaware or uncaring of the noise it made, shuffling loudly toward the outer edge of the thicket. Orngoth waited with the club in his hands for whoever—or whatever— it was. The club was weighty, with tough ironwood bark lining its shaft and rigid natural protrusions near its top edge.
Finally, Orngoth saw the source of the noise as it emerged from the brush, fully presenting its bizarre outline plainly in the clearing—a Tyrantian crawler!
|Huge Tyrantian Crawler as seen through the eyes of William Kenney|