This 8-10 sentence blog hop is hosted by The Weekend Writing Warriors. (Click the link for the list of participants, or rules if you want to join!)
This is from an unnamed, just-started WIP, with the placeholder name of “Bluebeard,” because it’s very loosely based on that fairy tale. Every year on the Winter Solstice, a sorcerer takes a sixteen-year-old girl as his bride, divorcing her and exiling her before he takes a new bride the next year.
Everyone carried on like it was a great sacrifice, but it wasn’t, not really. Yes, a girl was carried off at sixteen to marry the sorcerer, but farm girls married younger all the time. And yes, he was old—my grandmother remembered him taking brides when she was just a girl–but plenty of brides married older men, and at least he still seemed young and handsome. And yes, after a year he divorced and exiled his bride, and the unlucky desperate ones who tried to return found the land turned against them.
But during that year the sorcerer kept them in his tower, they learned dance, art, music, or honed whatever skills they came to the marriage with. They emerged as ladies, with manners and knowledge, fine clothes and jewels. And most importantly, they kept all those gifts and a hefty dowry, enough so that even divorced, they had their pick of husbands, or never had to marry at all.
It didn’t sound so bad to me.
* * *
This story is very loosely based on Bluebeard. The sorcerer is cursed, and the brides are caught up in the curse, though the nearby villagers don’t know how or why. He performs some yet-to-be-determined service, which is why they’re not chasing him out with pitchforks, but nobody really likes him much. And he’s a bit grumpy, himself.