The short story idea was given to me by my Facebook friend Jeffery Harper when I asked for an interesting plot. Idea- Morlock is a wizard who places a curse on a fair maiden, who rebuked his love. The curse can only be broken if the maiden does 7 tasks, one deadlier than the last.
Also, thanks to my husband, Ryan, for brainstorming with me the tasks. He was a big help.
The town was small where everyone knows everyone and where the children grew up together. They even went to the same school together for years. One young boy’s family left the town, taking him out of school and away from his friends. He not only left his best friend behind but also left the love of his life behind. He vowed to one day return to the town and they promised to wait for each other. He was 7 years old while the girl was 5 years old at the time and their parents laughed at their childhood fantasies of marrying each other one day. The boy had found a beautiful purple crystal, the same color that the girl loved, and gave it to her as his token of love and his promise token. She clutched it tightly as she watched the wagon that carried the young boy and his family away from the town, tears sliding down her cheeks and gloomy clouds hanging over them.
Several years later, Morlock sits on his dark brown horse, his crystal green eyes gleaming excitedly in the early morning sunlight. He stares down a small hill at the town below, seeing the ghostly image of his betrothed standing beside the oak tree that sits just a little way from the town’s entrance. He chuckles to himself, wondering if she has received his latest letter about him finally returning home that day. He has already bought a nice strong house near the entrance of the town the year before and taken the time to sell some of his belongings. He also sold the house that his parents had bought for him in the other town they were living in before he moved away. He had told them not to buy the other house since he would just be returning to Meadow Creek to the Town of Crystal Falls but they hadn’t listened, still thinking that he was joking.
He had studied hard while away to become a wizard to impress his love as well as to get a job in the town to help with hexes or love potions or whatever else they may need. Then once he has a name for himself besides Morlock, he would take his love away from that town and move to the town miles away near a castle and become the King’s royal wizard, providing her with an amazing life. Then she will give him children, lots of children. Sighing happily at his daydream, he gently kicks the horse’s sides and clicks his tongue, urging the horse to begin trotting down the hill towards the town.
Morlock enters the town and looks around to see townsfolk wandering around, going to work and shopping for items that they need. He takes in a deep breath and enjoys the sweet smells of the wildflowers that grow in the meadow off to the left of the town. He listens to the bustling of people mixed with the sounds of the low flowing creek that sits in the meadow, hence the name Meadow Creek. Further to the left is a forest with a trail that leads to a beautiful swimming hole that has a waterfall cascading down over smooth rocks. The waterfall is what gave the town its name, Crystal Falls, as a lot of people swims there, gets engaged there, and marries there. Morlock already has a plan in his mind of how he wishes to take his maiden for a horse ride to the waterfall and tell her that he has never forgotten his word and still wishes to make her his wife.
He rides a bit down the street, passing his house and stable for his horse, and looks around to see if he can steal a glance of his love and future bride. Not seeing her, he wrinkles his nose and heads back home. He tries not to get discouraged as he puts his horse away, gives her water and food, and goes into his house where he has already snuck in his belongings two days prior. He wishes to surprise his love by having the house already put together so he rode in late at night with a wagon, unpacked his things, and returned the wagon to his parents early the next morning. He did his best to not be seen by the townsfolk since he knew that word would travel fast around the town that someone has bought and moved into the old Granger house.
He stands just inside the front door, staring around at the quaint two-bedroom cottage, seeing just how much he must do in order to put together the house. But first, he wishes to make the basement into his wizardly workroom so he closes the door behind him as he goes back outside. He heads to the side right of the house and opens the two big wooden basement doors. He heads inside, closing the doors behind him, and walks down the stairs in the dark. He lights a torch, placing it in a metal holder on the wall beside the foot of the stairs and looks around, noting that he needs to add more torch holders as he would need plenty of light in order to read his magic books and to cast his spells properly.
After several hours, he exits the basement and heads back inside where he makes something to eat and heads back outside in order to watch the townspeople bustle back to their homes as the sun begins to set. Morlock chews on the jerky he had made a while ago, smiling as he sees some of his fellow childhood classmates bustling around with their own families now, little children in tow or pregnant spouses. He can’t wait to be able to join them with his new bride beside him. He finishes his jerky and takes a swing of cool water from his animal made pouch before he disappears back inside. He would go to her tomorrow and see how she is doing, having heard that she has become quite a lovely maiden of the town.
He smiles as he gets ready for the night, staring into a small mirror that he has purchased in the last town, and sighs heavily as he stares at his untamable black hair. He has always had this hair and his maiden has always said to never change it because she loves it. So, he only trimmed it here and there but he left it wild against his mother’s wishes. He runs his fingers through his hair as he thinks about his love and hopes that she will still love it all these years later. He leaves his small washroom and heads to bed, wanting to fall asleep so that day can come sooner.