~~~~~~~~~~NaNoWriMo is over, glad to be back! Hope everyone who participated feels like a winner, whether you wrote 500 words or 50k! ~~~~~~~~~

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!)

Here’s a WIP from NaNoWriMo 2017, currently titled King Under the Mountain. Set in Casper, Wyoming, in a world where goblins trade in magical goods with humans, traveling from their world to ours through stone circle gates. But if humans aren’t wary in their dealings with goblins, they can find themselves stolen away!




“We should have left the party earlier,” Alix said, glancing around the darkening woods, her stomach knotting with fear over what would soon be lurking in them. Everyone knew that the goblins that came to the markets during the day were pretty safe, so long as you followed the rules. But the goblins who came out at night… the rules about them were so restrictive, it was easy to go wrong.

“You worry too much,” her cousin Stephanie, hunched on her bike seat, slurred, then hiccuped.

They should have skipped that second drink, too. Then they’d have been back at the dorm right now, safe and sound, but at the rate they were pedaling, they would be caught out by the night.

Alix’s stomach lurched, and so did her bike handles, veering to the side and dumping her to the ground as if her trusty ten-speed had transformed into a bucking bronco. Groaning, she rubbed her bruised rear, and tried to stand, the world swimming around her. Before she could get upright, she lurched to her hands and knees to be sick.

Behind her, Stephanie leaned her bike against a tree, and wobbled over to gather up Alix’s hair in one hand, and pat her on the back with the other, murmuring soothing and mostly incoherent phrases until the attack was over.

*    *    *

I took inspiration from “The Ballad of Tam Lin,” and Christina Rosetti’s “Goblin Market.” The idea of people being stolen away, and a loved one journeying to get them back (though Tam Lin was stolen by the Queen of the fairies), and the bustling goblin markets with their dangerous fruit from Rosetti’s poem sparked this adventure. Alix and Stephanie are college freshman, 18 and 19 respectively, and cousins sharing a dorm room. They have just left an off-campus party where they did some drinking, and are biking back to the dorms in the evening.

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.

22 responses »

  1. Carrie-Anne says:

    I’m looking forward to reading more of this story! I love the magical worlds you create.

  2. Ed Hoornaert says:

    This is an interesting teaser. I’m looking forward to seeing where it heads.

  3. This is a very cool idea. Love the inspiration! And bicycling while drunk is surprisingly difficult. Who knew?

  4. Author Jessica E. Subject says:

    Oh, this is so intriguing! Like the others, I’m anxious to read more. 🙂

  5. DAngerous to attempt the feat.

  6. Interesting story idea and the snippet was full of menace. It’s always so scary when you just know you’re making a mistake but do it anyway…

  7. daryldevore says:

    Any friend who’ll hold your hair while you are being sick – is a good friend. 🙂

  8. Alexis Duran says:

    Great setup. There’s no bad situation that can’t be made worse by too much alcohol!

  9. elainecsc2013 says:

    Uh oh. Bet those goblins aren’t far away.

  10. Welcome back! As someone with very, very long hair, I can tell you that you should always treasure the person who holds your hair back when you puke.

  11. Diane Burton says:

    Good to have you back and sharing another story. This snippet is filled with tension. I kept waiting for something to jump out at them.

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