Friday, February 20, 2015

Story 70: Bluebeard’s Castle of Horrors (The Ride)

            I’ve had the best idea ever: with all those rumors floating around about me allegedly killing all of my wives, I finally decided, why not make the best of a bad situation and get people to pay me on top of it?  So I built a haunted house attraction "based upon my life” and will charge visitors to have the bejeezus scared out of them, thinking that all the horrors they had heard about me are true, right up until they exit safely out the back door.  Genius, no?
            I took my new wife, Judith, as my first guest, thinking it would be a fun way to start the marriage (plus I wanted some risk-free feedback before the go-live date).  She’s a great girl, but a little skittish – who can blame her, seeing as she had to leave her family for me, especially with my (undeserved) reputation and all?  I thought it would be best to make it a surprise, so I could evaluate her authentic reactions.
            “Here’s our new home!”  I announced as we arrived.  The “Bluebeard’s Castle of Horrors” sign that I had ordered had been hung snugly yet threateningly over the portcullis, and I made sure that we passed by a hole in the ground with a mound of dirt and a shovel that could pass for a newly-dug grave.
            “Uhhh….” Judith replied.  She’s such a sweetheart.
            “Let me show you around!”  I warmly grabbed her arm and dragged her into the main hall.  The lights obligingly went out and the thunder effect boomed beautifully.
            Judith screamed as I lit a torch.  “Where are you?!”
            “Right here, my love!  Are you scared?”  I honestly wanted to know; the first scare sets the tone for the entire ride.
            “N-no,” she lied, bravely.  “I love you, Bluebeard!”
            That was random.  “Love you, too.  Now, there are seven doors, all locked –”
            “Give me the keys and open them all!”  A little rushed, there.
            “Now, now – you only get to see one at the moment.”  Always drag out the suspense for as long as possible, till they can’t take it anymore.  I gave her a key and she quickly unlocked the first door as I loomed behind her in anticipation.
            “A torture chamber!”
            “Yes!  Isn’t it delicious?  Are you scared?”
            “I love you, Bluebeard!”  Not quite an appropriate response, but her pale face and trembling hands gave me the answer I was looking for.  This was going well, I could see.

            “Give me the other keys!”  she screeched.  For effect, I “grudgingly” handed them over, and we went through each room one by one.  Most were off-puttingly normal – in one of them, I finally gave her some jewels that I had bought during our honeymoon, to give her a false sense of security – but the last room was the coup de grâce: it was The Room That Must Not Be Seen But Everyone Goes in Anyway.
              I gave her the last key:  “Are you scared?”
            “I love you, Bluebeard!”
            That was getting a little tiresome.  “On a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the highest, what would you say your level of fear at this moment is?”
            “I love you –”
            “Ah, forget it, just open the door!”  Yes, I was being unprofessional, but we had to keep up the momentum.
            She opened the door to reveal a room with three heads on a table.
            “Who… are… those?”  She shakily pointed at them.
            “My dead wives!”  Sick, I know, even if they were just paper mache, but I feel that the best way to counter slander is to shove it back in the gossips’ faces.  It shows both that I have an intellectual sense of irony and that I’m “in on the joke”.
            “Aiiiiiiii!!!!!!!!”  Judith ran out of the castle and stole my car in her escape.  She won’t get far: she had to use the valet key, plus she forgot that I was holding her purse, gentleman that I am. 
            I think this test run went extremely well.  With Judith's ringing endorsement, I'm so excited for opening night!


  1. Yes, I had just seen the broadcast of the opera "Duke Bluebeard's Castle" and it was very very creepy. Thanks!

  2. I just made a revision that should make it clearer that Bluebeard is not as sick as everyone thinks he is (I saw that towards the end it looks like he actually did kill his wives when I was going for the opposite effect).