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 Aamir “Mire” has married the narrator, Gwyn, spelled them into his tower, and she’s not adjusting so well to being cooped up.

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He led me to that strangely empty room on the fifth floor, closing the door with a quiet click behind me. The mat on the floor gave a little under my feet as I paced from one side to the other, studying the two small cabinets set against the outside wall, and the tapestries covering every inch of stone.

When I turned back to the door, the sorcerer remained leaning against the wall, watching me. He inclined his head toward the closest cabinet, and I opened it.

Inside, neatly arranged weapons from wooden staffs to swords gleamed. I traced the satin curve of a wooden practice sword, and the scarlet cord decorating the sheath of a long knife.

“Pick one, then, woman. Show me what you’re capable of, other than disturbing my studying.”

*    *    *

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. Ed Hoornaert says:

    I love how the sorcerer gives no indications of his feelings. It makes me think he’s willing to give her enough rope to hang herself, so to speak, but at the same time he’ll give her an honest shot at proving herself.

  2. Nice! Now you really have my curiosity going. Will there be a sword fight? I can’t wait to read more.

  3. Kim Magennis says:

    Straight to the chase! Oh please, please, please give him a run for his money!

  4. Well, I wasn’t expecting that. I’m anxious to find out what her skills are, if any. 🙂

  5. She is a world famous sword player not known to him. And the fight is on until she nicks him, causes copious blood to run and she saves him with a pressure bandage made from her petticoat. Or he kills her in battle. Are we having fun yet? This is wonderful.

  6. Carrie-Anne says:

    I’d choose the biggest sword, though it’s probably wisest to start with the practice dummy. It’s surprising he’d trust her with swords, when they’re not exactly friends yet.

  7. elainecsc2013 says:

    Uh oh. I doubt she can defeat a sorcerer.

  8. chellecordero says:

    Wow, totally not what I was expecting. I wonder what she will choose and whether she will be as proficient as she needs to be.

  9. Oh man, does she know anything about fighting? Or is he about to teach her a lesson?? Nice buildup here. I can’t wait to find out more!

  10. Can’t wait to see what she selects and then how she does with it. She’s always surprising the wizard – and us – which is great. Enjoyed the excerpt!

  11. Gemma Parkes says:

    Excellent descriptions, it’s about to get really interesting!

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