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.

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The next level of windows reminded me of our sleeping quarters’ windows–very tall and narrow, and caged in iron. Excessive. The whole tower seemed designed to prevent the very thought of escape.

The narrow windows ringed the tower, in neat rows, and at the very top, tucked under the point of the roof, was a balcony.  And on that balcony, I  suddenly realized, stood a person. The tower was too tall for fine details, but who could it be but the sorcerer?

Then the figure vanished, and a gasp rippled through the far end of the line. I peered down that way, and saw the sorcerer standing at the head of the line, speaking to a guard captain. I took the opportunity to study him.

*    *    *

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.

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About Caitlin Stern

I have a MA in English, and have so many fantasy/urban fantasy WIPs it's not even funny. I'm an avid reader of science fiction, fantasy, mystery, romance, biography, fiction, and anything else that catches my interest. I collect books, and bookmarks I find that are visually appealing and useful.

20 responses »

  1. And then. . .you just stopped, Caitlin. Come whisper in my ear what happens next. Your description has me peering up, squinting to see the figure.

  2. Alexis Duran says:

    I can’t wait to see this guy. Is he as formidable as his tower? Great job creating anticipation and tension around his arrival.

  3. Wait, what?! You can’t stop here! Are you seriously going to make us wait a week? Tease;).
    I love the description and the atmosphere. You are a master at creating fascinating worlds inhabited by fabulous characters.
    Maybe I missed it, but could you just explain to me where the narrator is in relation to the tower? The way I understand it right now she looked out of her window, saw the sorcerer on the balcony and then he reappears in the room she is. Is that correct?

    • I’d blame the sentence count, but I actually paused writing there.

      In a previous snippet, she and all the other girls trooped out of their holding cell of a building, into a neat line in front of the tower. So she’s outside, looking up.

  4. Sarah W says:

    I like this young lady, caitlin—she’s inquisitive and practical. 🙂

  5. I loved all the details, especially how the sorcerer seems to move from place to place in the blink of an eye. Really an intriguing excerpt!

  6. Ed Hoornaert says:

    I’d say this wizard enjoys making grand entrances.

  7. Ok, now that’s just creepy. I can’t wait to find out more about this guy! Great snippet as always.

  8. Carrie-Anne says:

    Those windows sound so foreboding, though they’re also after my own macabre heart. That sorcerer sounds just as creepy.

  9. Love the world-building in this story, Caitlin. And I think first person is the perfect choice. Good 8!

  10. Evelyn Jules says:

    Can’t wait to see what she finds when she ‘studies’ him more closely. Or, maybe I can. I’m a little scared to know. lol. Great work!

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