I have never been so excited as I was the day that her father finally said “Yes!” I knew that the affliction of my blue beard had always turned women away from me, but this one was so special that it was worth the try. The way she looked at me told me that she was a little worried about how I looked, but that was something I was used to. You see, I have always been cast aside and picked on for the pigmentation even as a child. I just believed that one day, someday, someone could see beyond my blue beard and just let me love them the way I thought she should be loved.

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Her brothers were among those who had poked fun at me during our younger days. I remember once that the oldest had brought a knife to remove a lock of my whiskers so that he might use it to “test to see if I was from another planet.” I was horrified as everyone, including my love, chuckled and chanted about a blue world in the stars. I took the knife from his hands and, although I wanted to hurt him with it, I ran home and hid it in a secret room of my father’s castle. I locked it away in hopes that all of the embarrassment would stay locked behind that door. I made a golden key wishing that my beard would turn a golden shade and that all of the teasing would just go away.

Time went by and my beard grew thicker and more obviously blue. I watched from my window as people would point and chant “Bluebeard! Bluebird, jump and see if you can fly!” I thought about just doing it. I just wanted it all to end!

As luck would have it, my fortune also grew and I suppose that is why her father finally agreed to give me her hand in marriage. I just knew that if I gave her the keys to my castle and to my heart that she could finally return my love. She seemed so impressed with all of our belongings that she seemed somewhat content.

Her brothers, who had never matured beyond the days of bullying, kept coming by to tease and once she even sent them away saying “we are fine here. Return home to father.” I was so excited that I planned a trip to set up a surprise for my lovely wife.

Apparently, while I was gone, her brothers came to watch over the house and their sister. I suppose that is what families do sometime. She gave them the keys so that they could check each room of the house on a regular basis but informed them that there was one room with a golden key that they should not enter. Of course, knowing the brothers, they did.

The oldest brother saw the knife that he had used as a young man to hurt me and take away my dignity. He came up with a plan to once again take away everything that was important to me. I can only imagine how many hours they worked in order to get the bodies in to that room without my wife noticing. I pray that the women did not suffer in the name of hurting my own fragile heart.

When I returned, my wife was frightened because her brothers had showed her what they had done but let her believe that it was by my hand. I tried to get her to just listen to me. I tried to show her that the knife belonged to her brother. I tried to love her. But instead, her brothers won and I am gone and she, along with my belongings, are back with them. But in a way, I won because I no longer have to hide my blue beard.