This is one potential beginning of Chapter One in a historical fantasy novel in progress. Working title is “A Crystal Tapestry.”
Gretje Bowe was born on May 23, 1618, the third child and first daughter of a master weaver and his wife, who often drew designs for his handiwork, and whom he was training as an apprentice, just in case.
The Bowe family lived in Schwabstedt, a town on the east side of a peninsula that grew from the north edge of what would some day be called Germany, nearly touching Denmark. Gretje was born as the sun was beginning to reflect off the waves of the Baltic Sea, and by the time it set in oranges and pinks over the North Sea was suckling strongly at her mother’s breast.
The same day, two members of the Protestant nobility and their clerk were thrown out a high window of a towering Castle in a land far to the south and east of Gretje’s small village. The Castle was in Prague, a bustling and magical city. The two Protestant noblemen were hurled out the window by two Catholic noblemen into a deep pile of dung, and thus escaped, smelly but whole.
This unseemly defenestration, which became a common practice in Prague, triggered the Thirty Years War, a conflagration that spiraled out from Prague and engulfed Europe, including Schwabstedt. When word of the war reached the town a month later, Gretje’s father left with the other men, and Gretje’s mother learned how to weave while nursing a newborn.