~~~~Hope everyone had a lovely Christmas and that you have a Happy New Year! ~~~~


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!

Stephanie and Alix, cousins, are biking home from a party, a bit drunk, and Stephanie vanishes in a ring of toadstools. Alix packs up her backpack, and calls for the King Under the Mountain–a goblin appears in the circle and asks what her claim is (on Stephanie).



“She’s my cousin,” Alix said.

“And?” he prompted.

“And we were raised like sisters,” Alix’s voice wavered, and cracked with emotion, “I love her.”

“And?” he repeated, unmoved.

“We did everything together! We swore a blood sister oath, and I promised I’d always be there for her, and you’re saying that—”

“You did what?” the king interrupted. “A blood oath–you made a promise in blood?”

“Cut our fingers and pressed them together, yeah,” Alix blinked at the sharpness in his tone, lifting her left hand to the light, where a faint scar bisected the fingerprint on her thumb.

“Ah,” his shoulders slumped, and for a moment, the coldness in his face vanished, replaced by a deep sadness, “That is most unfortunate.”


*    *    *

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.

14 responses »

  1. Ed Hoornaert says:

    I would’ve thought the blood bond was a good thing — but then, I’d guess that you knew how people would likely respond, thus setting up your zinger at the end.

  2. Uh oh, ominous! I’m really fascinated by him and the whole situation. Great snippet! Happy New Year!

  3. Jenna Jaxon says:

    My first thought is that because of the blood oath now they have to take her as well. But if this piece was inspired by Tam Lin, perhaps she has to be allowed to go and try to get her cousin back. Sounds like the beginning of a great adventure!

  4. Lyn Perry says:

    Nice turn of events. I like it when what seems right at the time might foreshadow something ominous. Great snippet. (And HNY!)

  5. Karen Michelle Nutt says:

    Well, now I’m intrigued about what this means and why he seems like it’s not a good thing. Great snippet.

    Happy New Year!

  6. Gem Sivad says:

    A blood oath…not good, and the KIng looks sad. Worisome. Captivaties my imagination. Well done. Happy New Year Caitlin!

  7. elainecsc2013 says:

    Uh oh. The king looks sad, and I bet that’s not good. Happy New Year.

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