Editor’s Note: The (comic) battle begins! Luke Haines has given us a series of parodic pieces that never so subtly trashes Baby Boomers, and some of his own generation. This week, we get to the good stuff…with lots of swords and battle axes.

The Orcish army arrived in the afternoon, a stinking, clamouring horde that tramped across the blackened heath under banners of lightning bolts and strange, ugly runes. The Orc general, Maga, rode a one-eyed and slavering Dire Wolf to the front of his ranks and surveyed the battlefield, where, from a distance, it looked as though the melee was reaching its apex.

In actual fact, all combatants had agreed to just do a bit of light shoving and horseplay to create the illusion of battle. There was a lot of nudging and apologising and awkward, ineffectual sword clanging. The worst injury so far had been when someone lost a contact lens and everyone spent five minutes looking for it in the mud. Still, from afar, the illusion was enough.

General Maga drew his sword and sounded the charge with a long, irritating, farty note on his Vuvuzela. His troops rushed forward, a slavering pack of wargs and goblins, incels and orcs, eldritch horrors and members of some of the more obscure subReddits. As the distance closed perhaps the first few of them began to suspect that something was amiss with the battle ahead, but they had no chance of stopping without being trampled by the host at their backs, sheer weight of numbers propelling them onward as their compatriots pictured a glorious slaughter in their diseased, pitiless minds.

Then it was too late.

The Dwarven, Elven and… I’m going to say “Mannish” buglers blew in unison, and then retired for the day because bugler is a pretty cushy job in these battles. If you ever want to spot a politician’s son, look for the guy at the edge of the fighting with a cornet and a lack of calluses, that’s my advice. Still, the buglers sounded and the three armies already upon the field turned as one to meet the coming charge. The Dwarves, solid and strong, held the centre ground while the human and Elvish forces spread to either side and enveloped the Orc-tide in a great and terrible embrace of steel and arrow and lance. The war cries of the Orcs and Goblins turned to screams of panic, their confusion making it impossible to regroup and try to weather the attack. Some of the incels and redditors tried desperately to plead that they had only joined the orcs ironically and postmodernistically, which they soon learned was a harrowingly poor defense against an unironic stabbing with a pre-modern weapon.

In the end, it wasn’t even much of a battle. The Orcs were heavily outnumbered, and were at heart creatures of deception and artifice rather than valour or strength. When their enemies turned against them in unison, almost every one of them thought only to save themselves and scattered. In less than an hour, the field was strewn with orcish limbs and broken banners. The Orcish general had tried to flee the moment the trap was sprung, but fell from his horse and was hacked to grovelling pieces. Last I heard, he was decapitated and Grumpi was using the top half of his head as a novelty helmet. He called it his Maga hat.




Luke Haines is a British writer whose idea of proof reading is checking the label on a whiskey bottle. He sporadically tweets as @lukedoughaines, and can be sent death threats, scorn, nude pictures and offers of employment via lukehaines85@gmail.com

He shares a name and temperament with the cult 90s musician, but isn’t him.

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