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 sorcerer wore fine black leather boots, embroidered in silver, twining patterns that looked like stylized ivy, with a row of engraved silver buttons up the sides. He tucked his pants, made of a black cloth with a subtle luster, into those boots, and wore a black tunic with silver embroidery, and a black fur-lined cloak, the hood pushed back.

I wondered if  he planned to marry dressed like a rook. His expression hinted at ruffled feathers, and his shoulders hunched so the cape hung like wings. When he turned away from the guard, I straightened so he wouldn’t catch me staring as he started down the line.

The first girl trembled, not with fear, but eagerness, and if she breathed any deeper, she might fall out of her low-cut gown. He gave her a brief, indifferent glance, and held out his hand.

Confused, she took it, and a moment later, he dropped her hand and stepped away, all without speaking a word.

How rude.

*    *    *

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.

37 responses »

  1. I take it from the first girl’s reaction that dressing like a rook suits him. I like the hint of ruffled feathers, since I’m guessing he qualifies as a difficult man. 🙂

  2. I picture him clearly from your splendid description. Pompous ass that he is. he’ll more than meet his match and soon.

  3. ED Martin says:

    I’m guessing the sorcerer is looking for some quality he can detect by touch? Very interesting approach to finding the right girl.

  4. Fabulous description, I can see the sorcerer clearly in my mind. Loving the hint at the process you’ve given us and can’t wait to find out more about how she chooses his bride.

  5. Evelyn Jules says:

    Such detailed description of his appearance! Very nicely written, Caitlin! Looking forward to the next installment! 🙂

  6. Alexis Duran says:

    I think his rudeness will be the least of her problems! Great description- I can see him so clearly.

  7. Kim Magennis says:

    I must be hones Caitlin, I feel sorry for him. How many hundreds of times has he done this. And the girls are using him as much as he uses them. No wonder he is grumpy. Nicely done to create that sympathy for him in me.

  8. Enjoyed the analogy of his clothing making him resemble the bird…all of this about the curse is so fascinating. I can’t wait for the heroine to get picked and the adventure to commence. Great excerpt!

  9. Ugh! I can hardly wait until he gets to her!! “How rude.” Haha! I suspect this is just the beginning! I like her feisty personality. 🙂

    One thing jumped out at me–I know, this is in the early stages. I’m sure you’d catch it in an editing pass. Twinning or twining? 🙂

  10. Sarah W says:

    I love the MC’s voice–and I can’t wait to see how she manages what I’m expecting to happen. I don’t think the sorcerer or his curse stands a chance. 🙂

  11. Carrie-Anne says:

    I love the description of his outfit. I’m curious at exactly why he rejected her based on that simple gesture. Perhaps he thought she were too bold to take his hand and it was a trick?

  12. nancygideon says:

    Nice imagery with the comparison to the rook. Love pirate tales. Can’t wait to see more . . .

  13. Cara Bristol says:

    Very intriguing. With just the excerpt, I got caught up in the story.

  14. chellecordero says:

    no connection obviously. The gals seem to want it so it must be nerve wracking. Good snippet.

  15. elainecsc2013 says:

    The guy must want more than just a pretty face and body, and I’m betting our heroine has it.

  16. Ed Hoornaert says:

    Good description. He sounds imposing, so your heroine’s curt ‘How rude’ says a lot about her.

  17. Eden says:

    Something makes me think the sorcerer is a very sad man who dreads this annual festivity. The touch thing makes sense. It’s part of the curse, right?

  18. Wow, I wonder if he’s feeling her energy. So interesting. I love his description also. Can’t wait to read more next week!!!

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