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 a WIP, with the placeholder name of “Bluebeard,” 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 married the narrator without much interest, spelled them into the tower, told her to make dinner, then join him in her study, where he ignored her until she hit him with a piece of paper. Her last line explains that her mother delivered twins, who almost died.

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He made a pained noise, face screwed up as if he expected tragedy.
“They lived,” I put him out of his misery, skipping over some details. “But the twins they took up all her time with illnesses so I had five years of raising by a man, who didn’t know how to make me a proper girl.”
“Few men could do so.”
“She tried to teach me, but I didn’t see the point of embroidery.”
“I see,” he made a few notes in a lovely flowing hand, even and neat. “We will start with the reading and writing. Perhaps one of my books will inspire an interest.”

“As you say,” I tried to be neutral, but I could tell from his sharp glance that I hadn’t succeeded.
*    *    *

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. So far, this guy’s handwriting seems to be his only redeeming quality. But maybe his books are good? I hope for her sake they are!

  2. Kim Magennis says:

    Just what he needs to rattle his chains. A woman who does not fit all his stereotypes. Nicely done, Caitlin.

  3. Gemma Parkes says:

    He might have a challenge on his hands! Lovely snippet.

  4. You have woven an intriguing tale, Caitlin. The new bride will be a handful for him.

  5. Really enjoying the story! Another excellent excerpt…

  6. I’m with Veronica, I’m really enjoying the story. I love the reason you had for her to be skilled in “manly” pursuits. Great snippet!

  7. I love this line: ““Few men could do so.” I hope it’s his sense of humor showing…he has one…I hope? 🙂

  8. Ed Hoornaert says:

    I find myself wondering if he typically bothers to find out so much about his brides. I wouldn’t be surprised if he doesn’t, so she’s already standing out.

    One thing I noticed that I think is a typo. “But the twins they took up”–the word ‘they’ isn’t needed. If you want to use it for her voice, consider adding a comma after ‘twins’.

  9. Carrie-Anne says:

    It’s going to be an increasing struggle between them, though it seems like the sorcerer’s ice might slowly melt.

  10. Evelyn Jules says:

    So enjoying this, Caitlin! I look forward to learning about these books of his. I bet the man has some hidden talents. Great job!

  11. Alexis Duran says:

    So it sounds like he’s becoming interested in her in spite of himself. I’m really enjoying this story, Caitlin.

  12. Karen Michelle Nutt says:

    She’s taking him out of his comfort zone. Can’t wait to find out more. 🙂

  13. I am enjoying seeing how he’s taking notes and making sure that he is attentive to what he needs to teach her. Good going for her on thinking out her answers and being somewhat bold with him. 🙂

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