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, told her to make dinner, and then, after they ate, told her to clean up and join him in his study.


I scrubbed the plates viciously, dunking them in the cold water from the pump until my fingers ached. Finally I set them to dry, and climbed the spiral stairs to the third floor. The first door didn’t open. Vexed, I tugged on the handle once more, then stomped down the hallway. The second door opened to a library, with shelf upon shelf full of books, all neatly ordered like soldiers in their ranks. But no sorcerer.

The third door had a small bookshelf, a fireplace, a pair of overstuffed chairs in front of the flickering fire, and the sorcerer sitting behind a large wooden desk, writing. He glanced up as I came in, then returned his attention to his task.

I waited.

*    *    *

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.

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. Gemma Parkes says:

    Your snippet pulled me right into the scene, great imagery!

  2. Kim Magennis says:

    This is going to be an interesting interview. I wonder who is going to come out less lacerated?

  3. Ugh, this guy is such a jerk. C’mon it’s the girl’s “wedding night. ” 🙂 Absolutely loved the imagery in the tower.

  4. Fascinating word by word and then she opens the door. What happens next, my friend?

  5. Sarah W says:

    I love how irritated she is with him. By all traditional narrative rights, she should be in subservient awe of him. This is so much better. 😀

  6. Thoroughly enjoying the story and I liked the description of the rooms. This is turning into quite a tussle of wills between the girl and the wizard – great snippet.

  7. Carrie-Anne says:

    I love how you set your scenes and describe things! This sounds like a really interesting home, even if it’s presided over by a sorcerer.

  8. elainecsc2013 says:

    Are we about to have fireworks? This young lady has spirit.

  9. Her emotions leap off the page. Great job. I’m very curious to see how long she will wait;).

  10. Love this showing snippet!! Beautifully done — I want to smack the sorcerer. Or fling him out the window, Braveheart style.

  11. chellecordero says:

    She is not going to fade quietly into the night no matter what he thinks.

  12. Nice characterization in this bit… from scrubbing until her fingers ached to stomping down the hall, we get more and more of a sense of who this protagonist is.

  13. Great scene. I missed out last week so you know I had to go back and find out what happened. I love this story.

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