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’s teaching her some exercises to burn off energy.

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He walked me through a series of stretches, some of which strained muscles as I held them while he counted far too slow. Thankfully, he fell into a lecturing tone as he progressed through the steps, the words worn smooth with repetition.

At the end of his instructions, I lay flat on my back, feeling empty and peaceful. The rug insulated me enough from the cold stone floor until I settled more firmly into my skin, and became aware of a creeping chill, and a fold of fabric digging into my hip. When I rose up on an elbow to ask him if these exercises had a name, I saw that he’d slipped out of the room, leaving the door standing open.

With a shrug, I flattened back to the floor. The moment stretched too smooth and simple to be angry at my insufferable and confounding husband.

After some more time had slipped away in a half drowse, I stood, put away the mat, and left the room, closing the door behind me.
*    *    *

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.

24 responses »

  1. You tell the story so beautifully allowing it to unfold as this reader enjoys every word.

  2. Jenna Jaxon says:

    She seems very alone, even when her “husband” is in the room. Can’t wait for a more rigorous exchange between them. I really want to know how she feels about having been married to this man. Great snippet!

  3. A soothing excerpt for today! I enjoyed all the physical details you included…great snippet.

  4. Amalie says:

    I feel more relaxed just for having read this snippet. I hope she’s getting a bit more comfortable in her own surroundings. While she has them at least. 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

  5. Alexis Duran says:

    Only three days? He’s going to have to come up with more challenging exercises to keep her from climbing the walls.

  6. She almost seemed to enjoy that once all was said and done. How unusual he left hee alone. I am intrigued to find out more!

  7. Hm, interesting that he’s teaching her these sorts of things (the relaxation exercises, fighting, etc). I wonder if they’ll come in handy before the tale is told. 🙂 Nice snippet! I like how he slipped out and again leaves her guessing about her “confounding husband”.

  8. Men! They can be s exasperating! Happy Holidays to you and yours.

  9. Ed Hoornaert says:

    Such a peaceful moment in the wizard’s lair surprised me, considering the menace I remember from earlier snippets. Boring I might expect; peaceful, no.

  10. Daryl Devore says:

    Even the little details are there – the fold digging into her – makes the story real.

  11. Karen Michelle Nutt says:

    Wonderful imagery. I’m enjoying your snippets.

  12. ED Martin says:

    is shows that in his own enigmatic, complex way, he cares for her. I can’t wait to learn more about him and his curse.

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