The Wench at Brazen Head

The Brazen Head Tavern, established 1198

“Fool’s tales,” he scoffed, and with a heel he urged his mare along to show he would not be taken in. “We bed at Brazen Head.”

Such ridiculous talk, he thought, as they approached the crossing. To say the serving wench at Brazen Head was an enchantress, to say she held the hearts of a thousand men in a locket ‘round her neck. There was no maiden as fair as that—at least none that he had seen. And then to call it magic.

They tied up at dusk. The tavern was alight with crackling fire and the air thick with the smell of mead. He entered first, so as to show his men his courage.

In an instant, she turned around: the raven tumble of curls pushed back, her eyes the color of the North Sea. She smiled a smile meant only for him.

He felt his heart twist.

150 words

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  1. Methinks he be bewitched! Great story. I love the idea of a pub from the 12th century still being open. Beannachtaí na Féile Pádraig oraibh!

    1. I know! I can’t begin to imagine the history there. Beannachtaí na Féile Pádraig oraibh to you, Mr. Carroll.

  2. I loved this. Such an authentic ring to it, great atmospherics. He’s lost, I’m afraid.

    1. I do believe you’re right. Thanks for reading Sandra.

  3. Many a man has been bewitched by an Irish lassie and few have regretted the enchantment. I love this tale.


    1. The Irish men are pretty charming too, I’d have to say 🙂 Thanks for reading and commenting.

  4. A lovely sense of Irish folklore and mystery. I wonder if the wench has been there as long as the pub? And how many has she enchanted in that time. Excellent .

    1. What a great take on my take, that makes it even better. Thanks for reading Iain.

  5. K! I love this piece – really. The atmosphere and anticipation, mockery and doubt. And this line “her eyes the color of the North Sea.”

    May I ask for more please?

    1. You’re so kind! I’m glad you liked it!

    2. No kindness involved, just true appreciation. This is great!

  6. Wonderful writing, great atmospherics.

  7. peterkirsch

    I’ve seen that smile; I know that wench.And I’ve the scars to prove it.

    Lovely, KR. Just lovely.

  8. Dear Karen,

    This puts me in mind of the songs of the Irish Rovers.
    The voice sets the stage. Enchanting. 😉

    Shalom Begorrah,


    1. That’s the perfect sound track for the story. I’ve never heard it before, but I was channeling it nonetheless. Thanks for reading.

  9. A temptress with raven hair instead of the redhead I expected. Perfect 🙂

  10. Lovely take, Karen. Beware of those wenches – they always spell trouble. 🙂 Love the atmosphere you weaved for the poor, lost souls that will sail into that locket with the rest. Nicely done

  11. David K

    A wonderfully crafted and atmospheric story, transported me back centuries.

  12. pennygadd51

    This story is proof that less is more! Well done!

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