Friday, December 2, 2022

F'Norp's First Flight

Haven't written off a prompt for entirely too long, but this came across my feed, and this hapless fellow needed a story...

Via Toren MacBin Atkinson

F’Norp looked at the rickety contraption bodged together by the goblins. F’Norp always tried to be a good tribe member, but this made his guts twist uncomfortably. The breeze made the unevenly cut and stitched hides and fabric flutter and ripple. His guts burbled and he let loose an uncomfortable fart. The goblins tittered.

“Now, Fnoop, or whatever your name is – just like we talked. This fine contraption will waft you like a leaf on the breeze above the Baron’s camp, and you let fly with my little gifts. They’ll never know what hit ‘em!” The bald, twitchy softskin conjurer waved his bony fingers at the fragile flier. Jorgagu had called him an alkimest or something like that, deemed too crazy for the softskins, so selling his crafts to Lord Az'gezan and the horde instead. All F’Norp knew was that the little guy was pushy and that his tent smelled of acrid brews. One goblin assistant had lost a hand in a blast, and a second was blinded by some fetid spray. If the conjuror hadn’t been useful and under the protection of Az'gezan, he would have found himself wearing his guts as a hat.

F’Norp looked over the edge of the cliff. The treetops sure looked a long way down. He poked at the flier. A goblin smacked his hand away. A raven cawed.

A cart squeaked as two of the conjuror's surviving goblin assistants trundled their load up to the launch site.

“All right, Fjord, ready for your day as a hero? Ohh, this is going to be glorious!” The alkimest started to juggle a number of corked vials and bottles filled with viscous fluids. The goblins cringed a bit. “Now hold still, very delicate, you know. Get plenty lashed on and some spares on the craft.  Ooo, this will be a show!”

F’Norp was a bit concerned. After all, the vials didn’t appear to be easily untied. Perhaps they’d give him a blade. But there sure were a lot of them.

Lord Az'gezan approached. This was the first time that F’Norp had ever been this close to His Putrescence. It was a heady experience. His voice boomed, “Minion, you are The Chosen Bombardier! Great Glory to you! You will Rain Discord in the camp of our enemy, Sowing Much Destruction and a Victory for The Cause!”

Arrayed with the vials and bottles, F’Norp was assisted into the flier. “Now lean in the direction you want to go, and you will be like a great bird of prey, Fneed!” crowed the scrawny alkimest. 

With a push and a heave, F’Nord found himself tossed from the clifftop. The spindly flier spiraled for a moment, caught a thermal, and suddenly climbed.

F’Norp realized that in the intoxicating moment of being addressed by His Putrescence, that he had forgotten to ask about releasing the bottles of reagents. They sure seemed bound securely to the frame of the flier, and to his limbs. Oh, and how to land. That would have been good to ask, too.

As the flier began its unstable descent toward the softskins’ battle camp, F’Norp felt the wind through his unruly mane, and heard its rush past his ears. He was flying! Terror passed to momentary exuberation. That crazy conjurer was right about one thing. It sure was a glorious sight up here.

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