Down and out after the Ring War, Shagrat gives a pep talk to his dispirited comrades. (Winner, First Place, MEFA 2007)

So you think we're licked? Just 'cause Lugbúrz fell and the Enemy won the day?

Hah! They didn't even win fair! It were two thieving rabbits who brought down the Boss, not those high and mighty tarks. They dropped His lucky trinket into the Crack, everybody knows it now.

What's that you say? We're stuck in this freezing cave, while the tarks are prancing about our Tower like they own it?

They think they've won, all the tarks and horsemen and bloody-handed Elves. But enough of us slipped past 'em. We don't die easy. We'll lay low, or go where they need fighting strength, maybe the East. Men will still give us their gold and their women.

Nah, I don't mean women to eat. You still hungry? Have another finger-bone, there's still some meat on it. Karchak won't miss it, har har.

What I meant was, women have other uses too. And long after we're done, Uruk blood will run in the veins of those soft fools. Uruk blood, our blood, will howl in the night; like wolves at the door.

So buck up, lads! Tighten yer belts! Stick with Captain Shagrat and we'll see better days ahead! Ya hoi!

***The End***

Author's Notes:

The word tark is used twice in the LOTR text, (in the same speech) by the orc Snaga, who Shagrat bullies in Return of the King. According to Appendix F (Return of the King), tark is an Orkish debasement of a Quenya word, tarkil, used in Westron to denote one of Númenorean descent. For orcs, tark meant 'man of Gondor'.

Lugbúrz is the Black Speech word for Sauron's Dark Tower (a.k.a. Barad-dûr)

There will be another edition of Tales of the Third Age at some point; also Tales of the Fourth Age. I hope my readers on this site have found these vignettes enjoyable