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.
The tower had loomed large in our minds—and our sight—for the past week. The building the potential brides slept in was only a few minutes’ walk away from the clearing at its base, so we could see the tower stretching towards the clouds out every tiny barred window that faced it.
It didn’t help that the tower projected foreboding. The sorcerer hadn’t chosen the common, pale gray stone used for building anything you wanted to last, or even the rarer rose, black, or gold granites favored by the nobles. Instead, he’d found a strange, flat gray stone, like a smudge of charcoal, crazed with veins of black. Not a single tendril of greenery broke the expanse of stone. Nothing decorated the outside of the tower, either. Only a small shield, with his symbol, ivy growing from a split stone, carved into the base of the tower right above the single ground level window.
There was no door.
* * *
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.