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.

Summary: The sorcerer has just chosen the narrator as his bride, married her without much interest, spelled them into the tower, and dismissed her to make dinner, where she will join him–she has just thumped down the tray of food.

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He lifted the dome nearest him, and stared at my simple offering.

“If you wanted fancy cookery, you should have chosen another girl.” I lifted my dome, filled a cup, and took my food to another seat, close enough to speak to him, but not too close.

“If I could choose, I wouldn’t have chosen an ungrateful clod of a girl,” he took a bite of the bread, and a careful taste of the stew. “Acceptable,” he said, eyes holding wry surprise, and ate in silence.

Following his example, I turned my attention to my meal as well. My meal done, I tidied away my plates, and waited for him to finish before fetching his. Lifting up the tray, I nodded curtly at him, and swept down the stairs.

“Come to my study on the third floor when you’re done cleaning up,” he called after 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 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.

26 responses »

  1. I like her response to him. He seems slightly taken a back by it. Wondering what he is going to show her on the third floor and if she’s going to hold his interest for longer than a year.

  2. Kim Magennis says:

    You always come up with awesomely multidimensional characters. I am enjoying watching their interactions. Thanks for sharing Caitlin.

  3. He chose a live one this time and again you keep us wondering what happens next. Wonderful snippet., Caitlin

  4. I love the way she responds to his rudeness. I like that she doesn’t just take it. Great snippet.

  5. Really enjoying this (as I do all your stories) and I like the way the heroine stands her ground. Excellent excerpt!

  6. Sarah W says:

    I read back to see what I was missing. I like your MC–she’s not one for sitting around wailing “woe is me” or expecting to be entertained.

    I wonder if he chose her for that reason?

    And I like the way she startled him by bringing him a meal. 🙂

    • He really didn’t get to choose–the curse does it for him.
      I skipped over a bit where he tells her she’ll make dinner and eat it with him. But she did startle him with her thumping.

  7. Carrie-Anne says:

    She really knows how to hold her own against him. It’s either going to be a battle of the wills, or one of them will win the other over. I’m guessing she’ll be the one to win him over.

  8. I love her spunk…and his reaction when tasting her food was simple, and yet very telling. Nicely done!

  9. Ed Hoornaert says:

    I like this snippet a lot. It’s a perfect example of showing, not telling.

  10. chellecordero says:

    Excellent, she’s not trying to impress and that seems to pique his curiosity.
    I think you have a minor typo, “If I could chose”, I believe it should be choose.
    Very curious what he intends to show her in the study? Nice snippet.

  11. I hope he’s beginning to see that this girl has some spirit to her. He’s lucky.

  12. This is such a good story, Caitlin. You’re doing a great job! I’m hooked.

  13. Evelyn Jules says:

    I like how spunky she is. I think this sorcerer is gonna have his hands full with her. Great job! 🙂

  14. I love the premise… great entanglements. Looking forward to reading more!

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