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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 they are sparring the his practice room, though he is going very easy on her.

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I slashed at his leg, and he blocked my sword, the clash so jarring the hilt almost jumped from my hand. I fumbled the smooth wood, then managed to grip it in reverse, stabbing down, my blade sliding off his. Instead of another impact of wood, I felt the sword dig into the flesh of his belly.

He let out a pained grunt, doubling over.

I crouched in front of him, laying my sword out of the way. “Oh, no, I’m so sorry! I thought you’d block it—I didn’t mean to—”

“To hit me?” He coughed, and sat down abruptly.

*    *    *

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. Kim Magennis says:

    Oops! I don’t think that is going to score too many good points with him by injuring him. Though, I am glad she has showed him not to underestimate her!

  2. Carrie-Anne says:

    I bet he wasn’t expecting her to be that adept so soon! He probably already regrets choosing a bride who wasn’t very submissive.

  3. Oh my goodness! She got him. Good going Gwyn! I’m sure he’ll be able to heal himself? Well let’s see… Great snippet!

  4. A big change is about to happen. The bride wins the fight. How wonderful. Love the story and your writing is delightful.

  5. Uh-oh. Guess she’s better than she thought. Hope she did not permanent damage, though now there’s a chance for some light doctoring. 🙂

  6. Good for her! I knew he was underestimating her. Love this heroine, excellent excerpt!

  7. Gemma Parkes says:

    Oh my! I thought she’d killed him! Exciting read.

    • I suppose you could kill someone with a wooden sword, but she didn’t hit him all that hard. It’s comparable to someone kneeing you in the stomach. It hurts a lot, but it usually doesn’t do permanent damage.

  8. Well! That’ll teach him. I find it quite interesting that she was so instantly concerned about him and remorseful. Hopefully the payback won’t be severe. Nice snippet!

    • She didn’t meant to hurt him. This scene reminds me of when you’re rough-housing with a friend, and suddenly someone is bleeding. I’m always very sorry when that happens. Of course, the injured person is usually me…

  9. Guess he didn’t expect her to be such a quick study. Serves him right.

  10. jessehanna says:

    This concept is so intriguing. Nice snippet!

  11. Awe, this is a borderline tender moment for the two of them lol. It could go either way, now. 🙂

    Loving this tale, Caitlin. 🙂

  12. Alexis Duran says:

    That will teach him to pay more attention to her! It is a good sign that she instantly felt bad instead of gloating. Fun scene.

  13. Karen Michelle Nutt says:

    Ouch. Bet he didn’t expect that. 🙂

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