“The Keys” in Tales of Blood and Roses, Vol. 3: Fairy Tales Issue
ORDER AT: Tales of Blood and Roses, Vol 3
I was never a fan of zombies. They are too gross, too ugly and well, souless to appeal to my romantic nature. I do like the story of Bluebeard though, especially Angela Carter’s re-teling in her classic fairy tales collection, The Bloody Chamber. Since i discovered that book in 1980s, I always wanted to write my own Bluebeard inspired story. Then, last summer when i was writing short stories like mad, i found this image from the old Bela Lugosi film, White Zombie and suddenly realized that zombies could be glamorous!
Zombie Bride! That was it! I had my Bluebeard character, a descendent of Gilles de Rais, (who was the model for Bluebeard) escape from the French Revolution to a mysterious Carribean island rife with voodoo and. of course, zombies.
My vain, young heroine, Lissette, has been in love with the dashing concert pianist, Armand Guy de Rais, since childhood. When years later, after losing her papa in the Frech Revolution, now impoverished mother needs to marry Lissette off. The girl’s dream comes true and she is shipped over the sea to her true love’s home, a private island in the America’s. There he is, older and jaded, there is his piano, and his collection of automatons, all women, and the history of his many wives…
I was only six when Mama and Papa first took me to the Paris Opera to see a concert by the famous pianist, Armand Guy de Rais. The moment her arrived on the stage, tall and elegant, with his wild blue-black hair and sparkling eyes, i was smitten. Sitting at the jaws of a glossy beats of a piano, Monsieur played with such fire that my innocent soul was branded forever with the agony of passion. Mama recallls me shaking and spattering my dress of cameo colored silk with tears. She chided me, but I’d been so siezed by the violent beauty of his music, by his long fingers flying over the keys, yet touching them with exquisite tenderness, that I did not hear her. I couldn’t believe it when he sudenly stood up and bowed for the applause. I tugged my mother’s sleeve. Is it over? It can’t possibly be over. Suddenly everyone was towering above me clapping and shouting Bravo! leaving me in the dark, my view of Monsieur blocked by coat tails and voluminous gowns.
Nine years later, we had to flee Paris…
ORDER LINK: Tales of Blood and Roses, Vol 3