The Heroes Journey
Lorc turned to look as Urick barged stumbling into the office, heading for his desk.
“How’d it go?” He asked.
“It didn’t,” Urick said as he sat down, took off his hat, curled the paper on his desk and tossed it into the bin. He then grabbed the big leather tome in front of him, scrolled his fingers to the middle, and opened it with a thud. He sighed.
“This is starting to feel impossible,” he said. “One prospect stupider than the next.”
“You’ve been through, what, 14 candidates so far? That’s nothing. Took me 34 before I finally got my first,” Lorc said, pushing gray hair away from his face.
“How did you not quit?”
“I wanted to, several times. With so many failures you start questioning if this is the right thing for you, you know. But I figured I didn’t have much else going for me, so might as well stick this one out. I mean, sooner or later I’d have to find one. And what do you know. This year I’m only five more away from winning.”
“Who was your first? I never asked.” Urick turned to look at Lorc.
“Oh, it was a small man. Think his name was B—Something on B.” He thought for a second. “Huh, I’ve forgotten his name. But the target was a dragon, that I remember, and my commission for it was quite nice. I was so happy when it was over. It kind of got out of hand at the end, to tell you the truth.”
“Which is why you changed your name?” Urick asked.
“Yeah, it just, I don’t know. I just can’t deal with all these idiots. There must be something I’m doing wrong here.”
“How do you know?” Urick looked at the page in front of him, a drawn picture of a young man with bushy dark hair and a sharp jaw.
“I’ve read your logs. Just have a little faith. You’ll get one soon. Though, you could consider trying a different prospecting strategy.”
“What’s wrong with the one I have? It’s perfect!”
“Well, you’re judging them based on their name.”
“All the best heroes have letter rhymes.”
“Yeah, in stories. This isn’t a story.”
“No, you’re right. It’s the story” Urick thought for a moment. “What do you suggest?”
Lorc got up from his chair, walked over to Urick and looked through his book. “Here, this one.”
“Yeah, look, the age is right, he’s an orphan, and no siblings, wife or children. If that doesn’t scream nothing to lose to you, I don’t know what is. Plus, he doesn’t have a job.”
“Yeah, too stupid to get one.” Urick shook his head. “He doesn’t even look right. I mean, look at his face. He looks more like a clown than a hero.”
“He’s not too stupid to get a job. He’s too smart not to get one. You don’t survive three years of unemployment without having some sort of talent. Let’s make a bet; 5 gold pieces he’s a ‘one’.”
Urick scratched at his beard. It could almost be considered medium length now. “I don’t know. It just doesn’t feel right. Let’s see.” He scrolled through a few more pages. “Ah! There, now that’s a winner.”
“It’s perfect. Look! He’s also an orphan!”
“Yeah, but he has a wife.” Lorc pointed at the page.
“What better motivation than a lost wife?” Urick said with a smile.
“You know that’s against the rules,” Lorc said, suddenly serious.
“Relax, I’m just joking. Tell you what. Let’s do 10 gold pieces on Frank Fury, and we have a bet. This one will work. I’m sure of it.”
Lorc studied the page carefully. Then he ripped it out and handed it to Urick. “You got yourself a bet. Who’s your target?”
“Tyson ‘The Zombie’ Willmark” Urick took out a loose sheet of paper from the back of the book. Lorc whistled. “50 gold pieces in the bounty? Sounds like a dangerous man.”
“No risk, no reward.”
“Except it’s not your risk.”