tagErotic HorrorBluebeard

Bluebeard

byKoreGoddess©

I.

Twas never my wish to be wedded to such a creature, to marry such a beast of a man. But he was in truth a devious trickster who made himself to seem a fair and honest lord. There seems little doubt that my mother and father were blinded by his great riches and refined manners, and of course, so was I.

Yet there must have been something more. Call it sorcery, mesmerism, whatever you will, but surely there was some awful power in the man. I remember well when I first beheld him bargaining for my life. I was both fascinated and repelled by his distant majesty. When his fierce eyes met mine, it was as if I had locked gazes with a god, or perhaps, in truth, a daemon.

He had seen me in the marketplace, it seemed. He spoke eloquently of my charms, and now would make bid to take me for his wife. He offered a handsome dowry, far more than had ever been offered before for any girl from the villages, at least in my short memory.

I remember trying to imagine being the wife of this man I knew not at all. He named himself the Count De Martin. His manor was well known to most of the villagers, for it overlooked the valley on one of the high­est bluffs in the region, the Tor Alluc, or Cold Mountain, as it is now called.

His clothes were the finest I had ever seen; a blue satin waistcoat with solid gold epaulets, silk embroidered tunic, calfskin leather riding breeches and boots. A great crimson ruby suspended on a heavy silver chain shone like living fire upon his breast.

It was difficult to decide whether he was old or young, handsome or grotesque, for his face was dominated by a great thick beard and moustache, whose color was so raven a hue that it seemed to shimmer almost blue in the lamplight. His hair too, was long and ebon black, his eyes half­ hidden beneath great shadowed brows. Their color was as deep as his hair, deep pools of midnight, like a night sky without stars. I dared not meet his gaze directly for fear that I would lose my soul and be lost forever­more in those cavernous depths.

I was both fascinated and repelled. There was a hypnotic quality in those burning eyes that could not be ignored. I could not help but fear him, but there was also within me, it is my shame to admit, a dark, erotic attraction. The danger, the threat that seemed inherent in his every movement, even in the deep inflections of his voice, provided some shadowed form of excitement beyond my understanding.

Still, in the end it would have mattered little if I had desired him or was repulsed by him. My mother and father made the bargain for me and there seems little doubt they thought I should be delighted to make such a match.

I went about business of preparing for my wedding as any young woman might who was betrothed to so great a lord. I was fitted for an exquisite satin and lace bridal gown. I supervised the guest list and the cooking of a sumptuous feast. In truth, I knew little about such matters to start, but I quickly learned from Lord de Martin's servants how to attend to the many details which surround such an elaborate event.

Yet, every moment, I felt the rising of a black and awful terror twisting in my heart like the bite of cold iron. I had not so much as briefly glimpsed his face by the light of a fading cook-fire. Many questions were in my mind. Would he be a gentle or cruel man? Would he lust after me greatly and hurt me when he took upon our wedding bed? I had a deep longing for the tender caresses of a man, but I had no way of knowing what sort of man this Bluebeard was.

At last the day of the wedding came. I stood and walked in the procession beside him, but protocol demanded that I keep my eyes forward until after we were wed, so once more I caught only glimpses of the man whose bed I soon would share.

He was clothed regally, was this lord. A black tunic embroidered with delicate golden thread, an eagle before a fiery shield, and a forest green cape was fastened by a jeweled brooch and floated about his broad shoulders. His black hair and beard had been washed, combed, and curled to utmost perfection. Pearls and gold rings adorned those ebon locks. Silver bracelets and armlets glittered on his hairy arms.

If I, in the long, white cloud of my silken dress, was the soul of innocence and grace, he indeed wore the visage of dark majesty and power.

And so, in my fifteenth year of living by the grace of god, I

became a woman, no longer a child, by the act of my marriage to the Count de Martin.

I remember gazing at myself in the mirror on the eve before my wedding, looking at the girl who had so recently budded into womanhood. My small, brown-tipped breasts were no more than hillocks, my hips flaring only slightly wider. The mound of my sex was only sparsely covered with the silky down of womanhood. I couldn't see myself as beautiful in that moment, nor could I understand the count's desire to make me his wife. I was a frail, thin-limbed waif, often mistaken for a boy in the market place. Hardly a promising prospect for a virile young count to bed.

I remember thinking that I should be thanking God for such an opportunity, a chance to escape the dreariness of my peasant life. But some dark foreboding was on me even then, and I was to remember those shadows of doubt that hovered about me in the long days to come.











II.

Our ride to my new home in the count's great black coach was a mad affair. Bluebeard urged his driver to the greatest possible speed. And so we went flying and bumping along the old dirt road, dust cascading in our wake. The count's boomed out with great roaring laughter, his black eyes meet­ing mine. Somehow his gaiety was infectious and I found myself joining in his laughter as the wind tore through our hair and the trees and the meadows of the countryside flashed by as a great blur outside our carriage window.

The Tor Alluc towered above us for most of the latter part of our journey. It dominated the landscape, it's great stone ramparts rising to dizzying heights to meet the storm ravaged skies above. The black towers of the castle built upon its crown seemed perpetually wreathed in wisps of wind-­torn cloud.

The climb to the top, up a narrow, winding trail that skirted the mountain's edge in a great spiral, was necessarily a perilous one. A gaping chasm yawned to the right. A sheer wall of granite rose to our left. The coachman was forced more than once to dismount and lead the horses by hand across some treacherous span. I began to wonder why a man with so many riches would live in such an inaccessible place.

The sun fell, the land vanished below us, and we climbed on into the black night on a trail that appeared to be threaded amongst the stars. After what seemed an eternity, the driver at last halted the carriage. I saw that we had come into a small courtyard enclosed on all sides by high, ivy-covered granite walls.

The driver held open the door for me, bowing low. The count led me by the hand under an arched gate and thru a vine-trellised walkway. We came before an immense door constructed of large panels of dark oak. Milord produced an iron ring of keys from which he extracted one of gleaming silver and fitted it to the great iron lock in the door.

Slowly, the door swung open wide. Yet I was hardly prepared for that which awaited beyond. Splendor incarnate greeted my sight. A vast chamber opened before me, larger than three of my father's houses together. Rich, intricately woven tapestries hung upon the walls and thick luxurious rugs adorned the tiled floors. A black marble fireplace was set into the north­ern wall. Its stanchions were solid gold.

I took all this grandeur in, my breath catching, my heart pounding in my breast. There were more riches in this single

room than ever could be gathered from all of the villages below.

A maid servant, a wispy waif of a girl barely past puberty, appeared to take my riding cloak. She seemed nervous in my presence, con­tinually glancing over at my lord as if to judge his approval of her actions.

"Elizabeth," he said, turning and speaking directly to me for the first time since the wild carriage ride. Lila here will show you to your chambers. There is some business that I must attend to this evening and I fear it cannot wait."

"Very well, milord," I agreed. "I'll use the time to freshen myself from the road."

I followed the maid-servant, Lila, thru a long shadowed passageway, and thence up a long winding stair. The single fluttering candle she held ensconced in one hand provided our only light. What glimpses I had then of those parts of the house were not reassuring. A grim and somber at­mosphere, an air of ancient silence lay over those shadowed corridors. There was no sound except for the clicking of the maid-servant's heels upon the flagstones. The air was icy cold.

Lila opened a door at last into a room which was, by contrast, ablaze with light and warmth. A roaring fire crackled in the hearth. Countless candles flickered in gleaming brass, free-standing candelabras and sconces affixed to the walls. Rich tapestries of beauteous forest scenes covered the cold marble. Silken draperies were hung, seemingly haphazardly, about the chamber, providing a sea of wild color. Deep wine-hued woolen rugs covered the floor, and there, in the center of the room, a great feather bed, like a dream of the goddess of sleep, awaited me. It was so huge that all the whores of the village could have sported there at once. A silken canopy like a market tent hung over this vast terrain of satin and goose-down strewn about with pillows of softest silk.

The maid-servant left me alone in this grand boudoir. I lay down full length upon the great bed, still fully clothed, staring into space, trying to accept what had happened to me.

But it was impossible. I was lost in a dream from which I would most certainly awake any moment. Surrendering to fate, I rose at last to prepare myself for my husband.

There was a small chamber adjoining my own which contained a large bath. A fire had been struck and water had been drawn. I stripped off my outer clothing and my petticoats and stood in the warm water. I used a wetted towel to lave the flesh of my body. As I did so, I gazed into the tall mirror of polished silver in the corner and the ethereal image of the woman portrayed therein.

As I gazed upon myself, my naked form wet and shimmering in the red glare of the fire, I wondered how it was that men found women's bodies so exciting. I was a peasant girl, and thus was not ignorant to the ways of a man and woman. I was unusual for the fact that I was one of those few at my age who still retained my virginity. This didn't mean that men hadn't attempt­ed more than once to "trip my heels", as it were, but I had never expressed

an interest in the rude and vulgar boys that populated my village.

I held my small breasts in my hands, lifting them closer to the mirror. My hands ran down the flat of my stomach and about the flare of my hips, idly running thru the fringe of silken hairs that guarded the gateway to my womanhood, that place from which all men arrive in this world and seem to strive so desperately to return to. Again I wondered over the mystery of its allure.

I draped my naked form in a long satin robe that had been provided for me. It was soft as a cloud and very beautiful, the color of the morning sky. Its edges were embroidered with tiny roses and violets.

I went to my bed to await the coming of my lord.

Presently there came a soft rap upon my chamber door. I rose to answer. It was the maid-servant Lila returning. In one hand she carried a fresh box of thin wax tapers.

"You shall need these come the morn," she said, "For little light from the outside world reaches these rooms no matter what the hour."

"I see not why I need so many candles alight at once," I complained. "The room is bright as day already, nor is there a shadow to be seen!"

"You'll be glad of the light later," she said mysteriously.

"I'll disturb you no more this night. I leave you now to your rest."

"And when can I expect the Lord de Martin to attend me?" I inquired.

She looked at me strangely.

"The count is a very important and busy man," she said, as if she were explaining something to an ignorant child. "There are many matters which must concern him now that he has finally returned to the castle. I cannot say that you will see him this night, or even with the coming of the morn."

For a moment I could think of naught to reply, so stunned was I by her words.

"Very well," I said at last. "I will ring for you if I need anything further this evening."

"Ring as you will. We do not sleep in this part of the castle, and as I'm sure you have guessed, this is a vast abode. There are none to serve you when evening proper comes upon us, so that you must perforce make all of your needs known to me now."

I could do naught else but dismiss her then, and so was left confused and alone in that grim place, alone on my wedding night with naught but the ghosts of the silent castle to keep me company.

III.

The next morning, I dressed when I arose in the bejeweled black satin dress which had been laid out for me the night before. Lila then appeared, and she led me once more thru a bewildering series of stairs and corridors until we at last came into a dark-paneled dining chamber where a feast of breads, jams and fruit had been laid out for me to break my fast.

Milord husband also awaited me there. He was clothed in leather riding gear, which again surprised me. He waited at the head of the table, watching me in silence, his dark brooding eyes never leaving me for a moment. The count himself partook of no food, and in truth, I felt ill-at-ease beneath his unwavering gaze, and ate less than I might have. Yet, I dared not speak out, so uncertain of his temper was I.

As I began to timidly sip my tea, he spoke at last.

"I must humbly beg your pardon for my absence from our chambers yester­day eve. There are a great many matters that I, as lord of these surrounding lands, must attend to. I am obliged now and then to take a journey into the countryside. Affairs of great consequence are at hand or I would delay them. I explain all this to you so that you might know that I wouldn't normally neglect my duties as your husband, as you shall know well when I do return."

He flashed a wicked smile, half-hidden beneath that curling blue beard, that somehow repulsed me.

"It is my desire that you divert yourself in my absence. If you will, send for your friends and relations, so that they may partake of my hospi­tality, and make good cheer with you here in your new home."

I was much obliged to him, and said as much.

"Here," said he, "Are the keys of the two great wardrobes wherein I have my best furniture; these are of my gold and silver plate, which is not in everyday use; these open my money chests, both gold and silver; these my caskets of jewels; and this is the master-key to all my apartments. But for this little one here, the key to the closet at the end of the gallery on the ground floor. Open them all; go into all and everyone of them, except that little closet, which I forbid you, and forbid it in such a manner that if you happen to open it, there's nothing but what you may expect from my just anger and resentment."

"I understand," I said. "I will obey in this, my husband, as in all things." Upon hearing these words, he smiled his terrible smile, and coming to me, embraced me savagely in his iron arms. Then, having left me half-crushed and breathless, he made his departure.

IV.

I sent invitations out that very morning to nearly everyone in my village. The grand celebration was to take place the following evening, so for the rest of the day, I made busy directing the servants to com­plete the multitude of tasks that such a fete entailed. I had the guest furniture duly arranged. I bade the cooks to prepare their greatest del­icacies. I set the maid-servants to polishing the magnificent gold plates and the sparkling crystal goblets and cups, while I myself supervised the polishing of the silver.

These tasks kept me extremely busy that entire day and most of the next. But at last the hour had come, and I clothed myself in the garb of a queen, a white satin dress set with great sparkling diadems that Lila had set out for me. Gazing at myself in front of one of my full-length mirrors, I felt that I had been blessed by riches beyond my wildest dreams. The woman who stared back at me from the mirror was no longer anyone I knew. I had become a stranger in my own body.

The first guests began to arrive. I was obliged to make haste so that I might be present to greet them. There was no more time for contemplation.

A solemn hush fell over my guests as I descended the great stair. The precious gems of my gown shimmered ablaze in the flickering light of the amber-glassed paraffin lamps. I felt embarrassed by all of their attention. Once I had been no more than another village urchin amongst these people. Now they were making me feel like some kind of queen.

When at last most of the guests had arrived and I had greeted them all, each and every one, we sat down in the immense, oak-paneled dining room. The candles were all alight in the crystal chandeliers. The silver and crystal sparkled like the fire of the stars on the great polished ebony tables, thereupon which was laid a feast that might have made the gods ravenous.

There was no end of praise for me and my generous (though absent) husband. I was told again and again how lucky I was. I could see the envy in the women's eyes, and I knew well now that they would not mind so much my husband's blue beard, if only all these treasures could be their own.

But I was somehow ill-at-ease with such conversation. I ordered din­ner be served and we feasted.

There was a young man who sat near me that eve who was the sole of attentiveness and who was most courteous of manners. I could not help but contrast him with my new husband, for he was young and fresh of limb, and his blue eyes shone with the fullness of life. He seemed strangely out of place amongst the rest of my guests, and in truth, I knew him not. He wore the leather breeches and hauberk of a mercenary, and his lean features had the cast of a man from the far North.

His name was Tintagel, and he engaged me in long conversation, mostly concerning the surrounding countryside and places he'd visited in his various travels.

"There is a place near here," he told me, "Along the banks of the Nu­enna river, where a towering cascade of water falls into a shimmering pool in the canyon below. There is a long beach of white sand, along which grow thick ferns and great, drooping blossoms of bellflower amongst the stones. Have you ever swam there?"

I knew not what to say. I had never had time as a young peasant girl to explore the surrounding countryside. My time was taken up always by the daily chores of survival. There had been little time for leisure in my life.

"No," I admitted. "I've never been there, but it sounds very beautiful."

"Perhaps, then, I will pay you a visit, you and your husband one day, and I can show you that place. It is well worth sharing."

Finally, the sumptuous feast came to an end. I led my guests on a tour of the castle. I showed them each of the countless rooms, closets and wardrobes, which, even to mine eyes, which had not yet grown accustomed to such wealth, were all so fine and rich that each seemed to surpass the last in elegance and grandeur.

After that, we went up into the two great rooms where were kept the richest furniture. My guests could not sufficiently admire the number and beauty of the tapestries, beds, couches, cabinets, stands, tables, lamps, and polished crystal looking glasses, some so large that several people could stand before them and behold their images all at once.

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