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A human and a dwarf shaking hands

Chapter 1
The Founding of Doria


John Ventor would remember the moment that dwarves appeared on Earth for the rest of his life.

The moment was August 19, 2391 A.D. at 4:53 in the afternoon.

It had been a rather nice day for John Ventor. He had just enjoyed a nice nap, had gotten himself a nice snack, and was just sitting down in a nice chair at his nice computer to read some hopefully nice e-mails. His plans for the rest of the day involved sandwiches, sunscreen, watermelon, and watching the sun set while swinging in his hammock.

However, just as the computer clock reached 4:53 in the afternoon, the day took an unexpected twist. With a “Tra-la, Tra-le, Tra-li, Tra-lo,” something trundled by behind John’s chair.

John froze in his seat. He slowly turned around. He didn’t see anything, so he went back to opening his e-mail account.

John had just entered his username when he heard, “Tra-la, Tra-le, Tra-li, Tra-lo,” again.

John turned back around. The room was as before. Feeling slightly suspicious, John went back to checking his e-mail. He had just entered his password and hit enter when he suddenly heard from behind him, “Tra-la, Tra-le, Tra-li, Tra-lo, the march of the dwarves! TRA-LA, TRA-LE, TRA-LI, TRA-LO, THE MARCH OF THE DWARVES!”

“YAH!” shouted John, as he spun around in his chair at top speed. There, behind him, was a dwarf! John was quick enough this time to spot the dwarf leave the room and head down the nearby stairs. Another dwarf followed behind that, this one pushing an empty trolley. After that came a whole herd of dwarves, one after another, each carrying a pickaxe.

“What is going on around here!? Who decided to bring dwarves out of mythology?” John cried.

One of the dwarves stepped out of line and said to John Ventor, “We’re mining for orecalium! We heard there’s some deposits in the area.”

All the other dwarves in the room chimed in, thrusting their pickaxes into the air. “Ore! Ore! Orecalium!” One deep-voiced dwarf in the back added, “Metal of champions!”

Then all the dwarves shot back into line and continued pouring through the room. The dwarves continued to sing, “Tra-la, Tra-le, Tra-li, Tra-lo, the march of the dwarves!”

John followed the dwarves out of the room and down the stairs shouting, “Hold it! Hold it! Where did you guys all come from? Scratch that, where are you guys all going!?”

John soon found out. The dwarves had found their way down the stairs to the room of John’s distant cousin, Harold Ventor, who was staying in the same house as John. The dwarves had smashed in the back of Harold’s clothes closet and were proceeding to dig a downward-sloping tunnel through the house’s foundation and into the clay beneath. The first cartloads of dirt were already being carted away.

“The closet! My house! Get away from there!” shouted John Ventor in consternation. John ran forward and pulled a dwarf away from where he was demolishing the last of the closet’s back wall.

John suddenly found himself facing a line of leveled pickaxes. All working and singing suddenly ceased. In the sudden quiet John said, “Hey, hey, let’s be reasonable here, you are smashing up my house after all.”

“Hmm,” said one of the dwarves. “He’s got a point.”

The dwarves quickly put their heads together and talked heatedly for a few moments. Then a dwarf with a long beard approached John and said, “We’ve decided to make a deal. You can give us permission to turn your house into a mining base, and we will then promise to keep the house in good order, clean up any messes, and occasionally help with the dishes. In return for letting us mine the ground under the house, you and those who live here will be entitled to . . . half a percent of all precious metals we dig out.”

“WHAAAT!” shouted John. “That’s ridiculous. I let you come and tear through and tear up my house for a mere half a percent of the profits?”

The long-bearded dwarf said, “May I make the observation that, if we do happen to strike orecalium deposits, the value of half a percent will easily top several billion dollars very soon. Of course, if you dump the whole thing onto the market all at once the price per ounce will plummet, but even considering that, you should be able to make upwards of one trillion dollars by the time we mine this place out.”

You could almost see the dollar signs appear in John Ventor’s eyes. “Did you say, ‘one trillion dollars’?”

The dwarf nodded.

John said, “Make it two percent, and you’ve got a deal.”

“Agreed!” shouted the dwarf, and he and John Ventor clasped hands on the deal.



Chapter 2 Coming Soon!



Please share your thoughts about the story! Will this deal work out well for John? What will Harold think when he finds out what's happened to his closet?



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