~~~****~~Good luck NaNoWriMos! May your writing be swift and your goal met!~~****~~~

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, so he showed her a weapons cabinet in a practice room, and told her to pick a weapon.



Though I wanted to pick up that beautifully made sword, instead, I chose the shortest wooden sword as a compromise between what I wanted to learn and what I knew. I found a comfortable grip, and faced him, sword at my side.

One of his eyebrows rose sharply, but he didn’t comment, only gesturing at the open cabinet. Another of the wooden swords lifted out of the cabinet, and swooped into the air, meeting his lifted palm with a soft tap. The cabinet doors snicked closed.

He lifted the wooden sword into a guard position, and waited.

Holding my practice weapon at the ready I took a moment to study him. Without even seeing him move, I expected he had plenty of experience fighting. My task wasn’t to win, but I didn’t want to embarrass myself, either.

*    *    *

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.

32 responses »

  1. Nice, she doesn’t want to win and she doesn’t want to embarrass herself, sounds like a major dilemma. Yes, it works and I love it! Great scene.

  2. We have a cliff hanger here. Swords flying through the air. . .it’s so magical.

  3. Gemma Parkes says:

    Great set up and characterization, what will happen next?

  4. Frank Fisher says:

    Sounds like Gwyn isn’t exactly ready for this fight, but she obviously doesn’t want to back down. Tough situation for her.

  5. Alexis Duran says:

    She’s smart. I have a feeling she’ll surprise him with just how capable she is.

  6. Woohoo! Finally, a sorcerer-y move! I wouldn’t want to go up against him, but I suspect Gwyn will do better than just not embarrass herself.

  7. And as always our heroine is practical! I love her…excellent excerpt, very revealing about both of them.

  8. Nice cliffhanger here!

  9. Great buildup of tension here! I’m dying to find out what happens during this “lesson” she’s about to get. Nice job.

  10. Kim Magennis says:

    I love how casually he uses his magic. I can’t wait to see how she fares!

  11. Ed Hoornaert says:

    She’s ‘fighting’ a guy who can make the sword come to him? This is not a fair fight.

  12. Oy! I hope he isn’t too rough on her. Good snippet, Caitlin. 🙂

    Write faster. I think I say that I every time I visit.

  13. Evelyn Jules says:

    Another awesome excerpt, Caitlin! I especially love this bit: I chose the shortest wooden sword as a compromise between what I wanted to learn and what I knew.

    Very nicely written!

  14. chellecordero says:

    I assume he expected her to grab something flashier than a plain wooden sword. I think she is proving a bit confusing to him.

  15. Karen Michelle Nutt says:

    Definitely intrigued to see how this plays out. lol

  16. I bet she’s going to prove herself quite well.

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