So. I was going through my old papers just now…

…and there are lots of scraps from my years in my university’s Creative Writing Society in there. So I thought I’d upload some snippets. Here’s one where I had to write part of a fairy tale in the style of low fantasy. Try and guess where it’s from?

Warning, language, because I think it’s funny when my characters swear; I do it so little myself, after all.

*

The man had tethered his horse and sat down under the tree now, unpacking his saddle bag. He pulled out fresh bread. Apples. Dear God,cheese. He looked up at her, smiled and tore the loaf in two.

“There’s plenty for us both,” he offered. “Why don’t I throw some up and you can try to catch it?”

“Why don’t you bugger off?” Her arms, wrapped around the branch to keep her steady as they were, were starting to ache.

“Such language.” he crammed bread into his mouth, the bastard, and chased it down with a swig of wine. “I’m very impressed, though. It can’t be easy to climb trees with no hands.”

“I manage.”

“In truth, I can’t imagine it’s easy to do anything with no hands. How’d you lose them, dear girl?”

“I haven’t lost them. I know exactly where they are,” she retorted.

The man chewed and swallowed a piece of cheese. “Good for you, although it probably hasn’t done you much good. And might I ask who chopped them off?”

Her knees were beginning to seize up, and she was certain something had crawled into her hair. “Why’re you so curious?”

“While I have, on occasion, dreamed of meeting a beautiful girl in these woods, I never imagined I’d actually find one. Or that she’d tell me to fuck off and shin up a tree and not come down again, even when I was so kind as to offer to share my provisions.” He sat back against the trunk and crossed his arms as he looked up at her. “And all with no hands. You wonder why I’m curious?”

“Oh, well, forgive me for not staying where I was so that you could satisfy your curiosity.”

“You’re forgiven.” I could spit on his head from here, maybe even in his eye, she found herself fantasizing. “Now, won’t you come down? I swear to you on by all that’s holy, I mean you no harm.” He lifted the bread from his lap and held it up in offering. “A trade, for your tale?”

She considered. Bread was bread, and did it really matter how many people knew the story, in the end? It wasn’t her fault that she’d come to this.

She wasn’t going to get within grabbing distance of this man, though. “Throw it up,” she said.

He raised an eyebrow, but chucked it towards her; she lunged out and managed to catch it in the crook of her right arm, pulling it safe along with herself back onto the branch.

“My parents chopped off my hands so they could give me to the Devil,” she said, before she sank her teeth in.

The man blinked. “God’s truth?”

Mouth full, she looked pointedly at her right stump, then back at him.

“Shit. And I thought my stepsister had it bad.”

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