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.
One crisp cold morning, last night’s blanket of snow barely disturbed by human feet, the cart came bumping into our village. The sorcerer’s crest, an ivy growing from a split stone, dully gleamed in the early sunlight. Word spread quickly, families gathering in the square, the girls who it had come for clutching their packs, trying to seem brave, or failing that, calm.
This year it was me, Ellenyah, and Jao. Elle was fearful, yet hopeful. Girls weren’t allowed to marry until they went as a bride, so no promises had been exchanged between her and Tomas. But if she came back, and the odds were good that she would–after all, all but one girl did–then she would marry him, and his family would gain a skilled weaver and mother to the next generation. Her expression showed how she held onto that dream, carefully, in case it was ripped away from her.
* * *
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 keeps the kingdom safe with his magic, and his brides tie him to a land he couldn’t otherwise protect. There are other ways to do this tying–but his curse demands a bride.