~~~****~~Good luck NaNoWriMos! How’d you do on Double Day?~~****~~~

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 he told her to pick a weapon, and they are about to spar with wooden swords.


Realizing how silly it was that I still hugged the wall, while the sorcerer stood in the center of the room, I stepped forward. As soon as I was near enough, I pounced and pivoted, striking at his side. My sword met his with the expected sharp knock of wood, and he swung in return, too fast for me to block. The gentle tap of his sword against my arm confirmed that he knew what he was doing better than I did.

The next few moments went as I feared. Each strike I tried, blocked. Not every counter-attack he launched went through, but clearly he was holding back. Instead of feeling grateful for his courtesy, anger burned in me. How could I learn if my teacher didn’t push me, at least a little?

*    *    *

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.

33 responses »

  1. Ed Hoornaert says:

    This is definitely a lady with attitude. She wants to run before she can walk; wants to deal with his full skill before she can deal with his pulled punches. I wish her luck with that.

  2. I love how you describe the knocking of the wood, also Gwyn’s anger at him holding back. Gwyn is a bit surprised with the sorcerer I would say. Great scene.

  3. She’s tough and quite wonderful. You’ve written a delightful character here. She’s up to the sorcerer’s measure.

  4. See,this is why Gwyn is much better at being married to a mysterious sorcerer than I would be. I’d just be “Don’t hurt me!! Waaahh!” while she doesn’t mind taking a few knocks if it makes her better. I love this girl. I hope the sorcerer does too, before long.

  5. Gemma Parkes says:

    She needs to learn patience, but I admire her spirit.

  6. Alexis Duran says:

    Love her fire. But she should be grateful he’s holding back for the moment. There’s that whole “not wanting to be humiliated” factor she seems to have forgotten.

  7. Kim Magennis says:

    I love her spunk, Caitlin. And I have to confess, I would want to be pushed too.

  8. Mari says:

    A fighting girl protag! The best kinds, of course. Loved the way you set up this scene, lots of action, which is awesome.

  9. I can see why she’d be angered that he wasn’t putting more effort into the sparring, but he’s probably right. Enjoying this story so much, another excellent excerpt.

  10. Intense scene! Enjoyed the details about him tapping her and the feel of the blades clashing. Enough for her to know she’s being tested, but he is definitely holding back. Interesting bit of characterization on both parts. Might she get in a blow or two, or somehow convince him to teach her something useful? Looking forward to finding out!

    PS-Ironically, Double Day saw my lowest daily word count to date, lol. Hope you fared better!

  11. chellecordero says:

    I once, eons ago, took some fencing lessons and your wonderful imagery and description brought back all of the enjoyment. I really like Gwyn and her drive. I also like the subtle emotion you added about the gentle tap on her arm. Great snippet.

  12. evelynjules says:

    I think he’ll push her in good time. She’s learning without even realizing it. Great work, Caitlin! 🙂

  13. Wow – what a great snippet – I was right into the fight scene.

  14. Daryl Devore says:

    I feel like typing – Patience young Jedi.
    I’ve always wanted to learn how to fence. Great scene.

  15. elainecsc2013 says:

    I wish all students were as motivated.

  16. I like her reaction–anger. I think it’s a very real one for a strong heroine. I do so enjoy this tale. 🙂 !

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