It’s just been over a week since The Witch Room went on sale and it’s sold 6 copies 🙂 The free sale is still ongoing and ends on September 24th.
I went and made a coupon on Smashwords for make my short story free. The Witch’s Room is a medieval tale of two sisters who travel to a remote female community to resolve an unwanted pregnancy. While there they learn of the tale of its founder, a supposed witch called Evelyn and the room she created that may or may not grant power to a chosen one.
The short story is under 6,200 words. If you’re interested in this tale, please leave a review 🙂
The coupon code is: XK38T. It expires on July 10th.
My quarantine project is done 🙂
Looking through my calendar I saw to my surprise that I came up with the story and completed the first draft all in one month. I can’t believe it. It’s like all those unpleasant feelings I’ve had about this project is gone.
Currently, it stands at 22391 words and has two main POVs. While it took a month to finish, I only wrote for 19 of those days. I will leave it for a few days before editing. I still have a June/July release date, but I’m hoping for sooner.
If you’re interested in reading a short story set in a medieval time that involves two sisters going to a witch’s community for help then read the first chapter down below. It is currently available only on Amazon through KPD Select. From June 6 it will be available on Smashwords.
Turning over in bed, Daphne looked at her younger sister. Edwina looked so peaceful asleep, so unbothered by the world. Her face was so angelic. Daphne scrunched up hers. If the situation were reversed, then there would be no problem. It just wasn’t fair that the world treated them differently.
She listened to the commotion down below. Her father and brother were already up and packing for their trip to the nearest town. She listened as they exited the house. Their voices rose up into their bedroom window.
‘Hopefully, this will take us through the winter,’ her father said to their mother.
‘It always does,’ her voice was quiet and soothing.
‘Hold the fort while I’m away.’
Avoiding the floorboards that squeaked, Daphne stared out the window and down at her family. Eric was already on the cart with their father climbing onto it. Her mother was standing beside it. Then the two of them rode off through the early morning mist. It could be a week before they sold all their pelts.
‘Wake up Ed,’ Daphne said as she shook her sister’s shoulder.
‘What?’ she was annoyed and turned away.
‘I have to tell you and mother something now that Father and Eric are gone.’
‘Wha? Later,’ she pulled the thick wool sheets over her head.
The pair descended the curved wooden steps and as Edwina was about to fall asleep again at the table she heard her sister speak.
‘Mother, I have to tell you something.’ The sound of her distressed voice opened her eyes. ‘I’m with child’.
‘Oh, dear Lord!’ cried their mother after a moment. ‘How? Who? When?’
‘I haven’t received my bleeds in six weeks.’
‘It’s one of those men Eric hangs out with at the Tavern, isn’t it?’
Daphne gulped and before she could say anything her mother continued, ‘Don’t worry the women of Evelyn can get rid of it.’
‘What those damned witches?’
‘How can you even say that? Those women provide a valuable service to the community. And you need it now.’ Daphne began to tear up. ‘You should know better than to believe what comes out of the mouths of those types men.’
Then she turned to Edwina. ‘You’re not in the same boat as your sister, are you?’
‘No, I’m still a maiden.’
The look on their mother’s face was harsh. ‘I will not have a disgrace for a daughter. Damn it. No one is going to want you now. Why did you do this yourself?’ Then she calmed herself as her eldest daughter began to cry. ‘You will go to Evelyn and they will fix everything. I can’t go because it will look suspicious. Edwina, you will accompany your sister. If people ask, say she’s coming down with the pox.’ Then she left through the front door. Daphne was silent as tears fell down her face.
‘Who is it?’ Edwina asked. Her sister shook her head. Why wasn’t she saying? Her stomach clenched as she thought that how the child was conceived. What type of man would hurt her sister like that? Their mother shouldn’t have blamed her if that was the case.
She couldn’t place a time when Daphne was alone with a man here. Unless it didn’t happen in the house. Maybe it happened in a few moments of stolen privacy. Maybe behind the Tavern? And Daphne was not one who could count on looks to ease her passage through life. A child out of wedlock would mark her out. At least someone can hide their lost girlhood.
Then their mother re-entered the house. ‘The mule is saddled up. You two will ride along the cliffs until you get to Evelyn. It will take you all day, so you need to leave now. Edwina, I need to talk to you. Daphne, pack some food; the women are not a charity you will be expected to do chores in exchange for their services.’
Outside the house, Edwina and her mother talked. ‘Did you know about this?’
‘No, I only just found out.’
‘Mr. Cole will not have his son to marry into a family that has a tainted daughter. Make sure your sister comes back without it.’
‘Don’t let her out of your sight.’ Then her tone changed slightly. ‘I have to admit. I’m surprised that she managed to find someone to lay with. I would have thought it would be you in this position.’ Edwina knew exactly what her mother was referring to. How could two full blood sisters look so different from each other? It was almost like the Lord himself had taken the beauty that should have been halved between the two of them and gave it all to her. h seemed destined that Edwina was made divinely beautiful so that she could secure a rich man.
She thought of Eli Cole, the only son and heir of Mr. Cole the biggest landowner in the region. According to her mother, how Edwina played herself would decide how her life would turn out.
‘No, I will be with her all the time.’
‘Good. Also, find out who it is. And never speak of this outside of Evelyn.’
They went back inside, and the two sisters got dressed in their winter garments. It was always windy along the coast no matter what time of the year. So just like their father and brother, the pair set off, but in the opposite direction. They carried with them food in a knapsack, a knife for defence and the order to follow the white stone path and not stop for anyone. Their mother made sure to mark Daphne’s skin to give credence to their story. After all, a person infected with pox needs to look like they are contagious.
The woods gave way to open plains and they turned to travel parallel to the cliffs of Evelyn. Their trip along the most well-known but seldom travelled path was uneventful.
‘How much longer?’ Daphne whined. Edwina rolled her eyes, a lot sooner than seven, eight months, she thought. ‘You can see it in the distance,’ she pointed ahead of her to the singular stubby mountain that was highlighted by blue skies.
‘Really? We’re only halfway there.’
‘It’s going to be sunset when we arrive remember?’ Her sister’s hands tightened around her waist. ‘This wouldn’t be an issue if you didn’t get yourself into this mess.’ She added.
‘You think I wanted to be in this position?’
‘Well, why did you sleep with a man you’re not married to?’
‘I didn’t think,’ her voice stopped, ‘I didn’t think that you could become pregnant on the first time.’ Then Daphne hugged her sister, ‘I didn’t think it’d happen to me. Not like this. You’re not going to tell Father, are you?’
‘No, this is women’s business.’
I completed the seventh draft of my short story The Witch’s Room and I decided that it was ready to be released into the world wide web with my name attached to it. It is currently under review on Amazon and should be up within 72 hours. At the moment I am only putting it on KDP select as a means of trying to get as many people to read it. If all goes well in a few months I’ll put it up on Smashwords 🙂
This story started with the visuals of a character entering the Witch’s Room. I thought that the scene was awesome and I shouldn’t/couldn’t let it go. So I had to work out what needed to happen for this scene to occur in a story. So I wrote it down on my work notepad and when I got home I began working on it.
Looking back on the dates of my word documents, I had the first draft completed just before 5pm on the 15th of February. That’s less than a month ago! Since then I have drafted every 2-5 days. It only took me a few hours every time to draft because of how short it is (I was also working on other stories).
I think the most challenging thing about this process was picking the book cover image. I wanted to have a stone sculpture of a woman to portray the scene in the Witch’s Room. But I was very nitpicky about it. It had to be aged and not too ornate. But I couldn’t seem to find one that fit everything because a lot of stone sculptures of women from the past were of the Virgin Mary or Angels and had religious themes to it. You can see that I found an image as close as possible to what I wanted. It’s not how the statute looks in the story, but it’s the closest.
I did another draft of my short story. It’s only 6241 words long and I was able to go over it 90 minutes. It was mostly skimming through as it is pretty much done now. I just have to give it to some people to read and create a cover image.
Just completed another draft. There was less to do than the last one, but I still took out some sentences when I was just expecting to do individual words. I think with another edit it might be mostly ready 🙂 I also need to create a cover image. But I’ve almost picked one.
I did another draft of my next short story. I’m still trying to pick a name, but that can come later. I’m beyond the structural edits and now just onto line edits. Maybe two more drafts and it might be ready for publication.
It is now 6,277 words and five chapters long. It involves two sisters going to a witch’s commune seeking help and while there they discover the magical room created by the founder that has been closed off for generations. The genre is YA and a bit of semi-medieval fiction. It’s set in a medieval type world, but no exact time and location are given (think some time ago).