A cold and calculating profession

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic
A short story on how a near-sighted, deaf, dwarven engineer makes his mark on the battlefield.

Submitted: November 12, 2016

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Submitted: November 12, 2016



Varok scribbled down technical notes on the parchment. His mechanical quill keeping pace in dispensing ink. The mortar battery let out rhythmic booms and clouds of acrid smoke as they rained death upon the enemy. His gyroscopic platform providing a steady seat as the mortar raged on.


Unlike his distant cousins, the Elves, Varok’s eyesight was not as keen in the daylight. Much preferring the dimly lit underground dwarven cities. His hearing diminished as soon as he joined the artillery regiment a hundred years ago.


The cessation of mortar fire forced Vorak to prop up his head. They were looking at him for further orders. Vorak adjusted his glasses and surveyed the battlefield. All he could see was animated blurs. Friend and foe both indistinguishable. The wind abruptly changed. Altering the smell of gunpowder with the sweet smell of flesh and foreign perfumes.


Vorak turned his nose in the direction, inhaled and then wrote down some calculations. Not taking a moment to fill up the page. He gave his mortar team a new trajectory with the help of hand gestures and they nodded in accord. The dwarven crew moved the mortar into their new positions and resumed their deadly work.


Acrid smoke once again permeated the air and the ground shook like a dragon’s heartbeat. Unhindered, Vorak continued his notes with quill and parchment.

© Copyright 2018 Scott Selkirk. All rights reserved.

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