Welcome to the Weekend Writing Warriors blog hop, where each week contributing writers share 8-10+ sentences from their latest projects.
I’m currently sharing from the next standalone short story in my Heartsbane Saga series of fairy tales retold in a world of Vikings. “Ezichi the Beautiful” is a retelling of the Russian fairy tale Vasilisa the Beautiful, about a girl who gets help from the witch Baba Yaga to complete tasks set by her evil stepmother.
I’m skipping ahead again this week. Ezichi’s cowife sabotaged their water supply and sent Ezichi to ask an old desert witch for help fixing it. Ezichi had befriended a bunch of street children, who accompanied her on her journey. We pick up with them reaching the witch’s house.
* * * * * * *
Ezichi cautiously approached the witch’s house. She turned to check on the street children who had accompanied her, but they had disappeared into the rocky desert scrub. She didn’t blame them; if her mission hadn’t been so dire, she would’ve joined them.
A fence made of bones marked off a small dirt yard, with human and animal skulls mounted atop it like sentries. Heart pounding, she pushed open the bone gate and stepped into the yard. The dwelling itself was a macabre curiosity as well, unlike any she had ever seen in Aghlabid. The small shack was supported by thin pillars that raised it so far off the ground that she wasn’t sure how anyone could even get aside, especially an old woman. The dwelling seemed to twist and spin in the strong desert winds, adding an additional layer of eeriness.
Ezichi took a deep breath. Witches didn’t exist, she reminded herself; this was just an odd, malicious old woman who sometimes helped people with their problems.
* * * * * * *
And the rest of that scene:
Even though she didn’t quite believe herself, she walked up to the house. “Hello?” she called out.
The door flew open, although Ezichi couldn’t see anyone inside. “Come in, my child,” a voice croaked. “I’ve been expecting you.”
* * * * * * *
Heartsbane Saga – fairy tales retold in a world of Vikings!
Book .5: “The Maiden in the Tower” – Carys has resigned herself to a life of servitude, locked away in a tower, until a chance encounter with a stranger leaves her daring to hope for more.
Book 1: Captive and the Cursed – When Nyah’s sister is kidnapped by barbarians, Nyah offers herself in her place. But she soon learns the barbarians aren’t what she expected, especially their cursed leader.
Book 1.5: “The Brave Little Thrall” – Fahim Al Rasheed has spent his life studying foreign cultures, but he never thought he’d actually have the chance to visit them. When his journey of a lifetime leaves him and a young barbarian king marooned in a hostile country, he’ll have to rely on more than book learning to make it back home alive.
Book 2: Sleeping Shaman – Nyah and her friends travel halfway across the world seeking a cure for a barbarian curse, only to discover that the man they’re seeking has gone missing. Nyah must navigate dangerous rivalries and conflicting cultures before time runs out
The suddenness of the door opening would have scared me. Yikes!
Very ominous – the house and the witch. The design of the house is great world building.
always ominous when the scary voice says – I’ve been expecting you.
A bone fence and bone house – I wouldn’t go near it.
You’d have lost me at “bone fence.” I’d have been outta there. Too much like Hansel and Gretel for my sensibilities! She must have nerves of steel. Nice snippet!
I’m with Jenna. A fence made of bones–nope, no way, no how. But then I’m not a heroine in a fairy tale!
Great description of the bone fence!
Oh, I have a feeling witches do exist and our heroine is about to find out what price will have to be paid for help! Great snippet, loved the description of the house.
Of course she’s been expecting her visitor. What self-respecting witch wouldn’t be?
I like that. The ‘witches didn’t exist’ comment and then she is going to see the very thing she is saying doesn’t exist.
Not sure if “I’ve been expecting you” bodes well. She’s very brave to go foreward.
Scary stuff. The bone fence would have done me in! Eerie atmosphere you’ve created!
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