Saturday, January 22, 2011

Fan Fiction: "Beautiful Creature of Darkness"





Disclaimer: I do not own Erik the Phantom, and yet he owns me...Neither do I own the rest of the characters. What I do own, however, is the ability to dream up new scenarios for them. I can certainly create the events that should have happened...

Author's Notes:

Erik, the Phantom of the Opera, was my first dark hero.  After him, I was totally hooked, and went looking for more of the same.  Thus I found the romantic vampire.  I've never looked back!

I would like to explain the title of this story, which, by the way, first appeared on fanfiction.net, under the pen name "Angelmuse".

The original phrase, from the musical as well as the film, is "pitiful creature of darkness". All of us phans who are madly in love with Erik (sigh...), especially in the form of one Mr. Gerard Butler, know that our Phantom is anything but a "pitiful" creature!  I don't like to think of Erik as "pitiful".   To me, this equates to "pathetic".  Erik is, indeed, a beautiful creature of darkness!   In short, I much prefer the title I have chosen.



Chapter I - A Torchlit Madness

Erik

The torches cast an eerie, fitful glow on the walls of the tunnels as the mob descended, further and further. I knew that it would not be long before they were able to discover the home that I had so lovingly, so painstakingly, designed for myself. I no longer cared...

My strength was suddenly spent. Yet, I could not let them find me, at least, not alive. They would probably tear me to pieces. Even if they failed to do so, however, I would be bound and overpowered, and taken to the police, where I would surely be caged. Bound. Overpowered. Caged. The words stung. I could not allow this to happen. I had to put an end to myself, as quickly as possible. After all, I had nothing to live for now. She had left me, to go off with that wretched aristocrat. He would ensure that she lived in total comfort, of that I was totally certain. He would care for her, and take pains so that she never felt less than secure. Her soul, however, would never again know the sweet tyranny of music's love...He would require her to leave the stage forever. No proper wife of an aristocrat could possibly follow a career on the opera stage. It was simply not done. I wondered, too, and the thought was like a dagger in my chest, whether this would be her only regret. Would she truly feel nothing for me, as she reclined in her luxurious chateau with her handsome young husband at her side? She had, after all, kissed me full on the lips. She had touched my ravaged face, and gazed into my eyes with what seemed like love. And yet, she had walked away from me...Yes, I must end it all now...

The sounds of the mob were growing louder and louder now. "Murderer!" "He must not be allowed to escape!" I looked around, not knowing what to do. I had smashed all my mirrors. None were left unscathed to torment me any further...Perhaps a shard of glass...No, that would be too painful...I wanted to leave this miserable world without agonizing interminably...I wanted to feel no more. This pain tearing at my gut, this horrible pain, the pain of betrayal, was much more than I could bear...I began to search wildly for my pistol. That would be the most efficient method of ending my agony. I would simply put it to my right temple, and pull the trigger. Then, it would all be over. The music of the night had already ended. I would probably never play or compose again. My beautiful muse, my angel, my Christine, was gone. Where was that blasted pistol? I searched like a madman for it. Never had I dreamed that I would turn my onetime lust to kill upon myself. It was entirely logical, however. Was this not a fitting end to a murderer's life?

I ran from room to room, my heart pounding as if it would break out of my chest, my head feeling as if a hammer had installed itself inside. Sweat dripping from me, I tried to locate the pistol. The sounds were growing ever closer...Then I heard it. Someone was calling out my name. No, it couldn't be! I must locate that pistol!

Finally, I went into a small storeroom that I had always kept locked. It was located directly behind Christine's former bedroom, and she knew nothing of its existence, as it was very cleverly hidden. Surely the pistol was ensconced within. I had no time to look for the key, although I was fairly confident that I knew where it was. This, of course, was not a problem at all. Lock picking was the least of my considerable talents.

The door was at last open, and I stepped inside. As I did so, I heard the voice again...I shook my head, deciding that it had to be my imagination, playing tricks on me. Surely it could not be her voice! I rummaged around inside the storeroom, cursing myself for not bringing a candle with me. There were odds and ends in there, including old sheet music and discarded clothing. No pistol as yet...I went further inside, groping blindly, with a grim determination to find the instrument that would blow my disfigured head to kingdom come. I would no longer horrify, no longer offend, no longer be in the way. My existence would cease to present a problem to others.

Ah, my questing right hand finally closed on the object of my search. Success! I drew the pistol out of its hiding place, gloating like a man who has found a treasure. Well, in a manner of speaking, I had. This was the treasure that would at last set me free. I would leave all this torment, all this unbearable pain, and would be forcibly transported to sweet oblivion. That was all I truly wanted now.

I stepped out of the storeroom, and into Christine's bedroom. Ah, it seemed most fitting for me to do the deed here. I would splatter my brains, my blood, all over the bed where I had once laid her, the night she fainted after seeing her likeness decked in wedding finery. After checking the pistol to make sure that it was properly loaded, I put it to my right temple. My hand was trembling violently, my chest heaving just as violently. Uncharacteristically, I breathed a quick prayer asking for forgiveness. I suppose one's childhood teachings never completely desert one, especially in times of great need. I had, after all, been raised a Catholic, and I knew the Church's view on suicide. Once finished with my simple little prayer, I cocked the pistol.

"Erik!"

I whirled around, my arm still raised to my temple. She stood there, her gown sopping wet, her beautiful hair bedraggled, and her face, her lovely face, was twisted with a terrible anguish, an anguish that caused a fresh fire of pain to knife me in the chest.

"Erik, for the love of God!" she screamed, though not daring to come toward me, fearing that I might do the unthinkable, and pull the trigger right in front of her.

She now took two tentative steps in my direction, holding her hands out in a pleading gesture. Tears poured down her face. She had never looked more beautiful to my eyes. She seemed to be a vision from beyond. For one stunning, time-stopping moment, I thought that perhaps I had pulled the trigger, and was seeing a denizen from the highest reaches of the heavenly realm. I stood completely still, frozen and numb. This could just not be happening...

"Erik, please... " she entreated me, now approaching, yet slowly. "Put that horrible thing down, please. Do you wish my life to end, also? It surely will if you do away with yourself. Please, my love, my angel!" As she finished saying these words, a great racking sob tore through her. I continued to stare at her, stupefied into immobility.

Two or three minutes passed, while we both stood, staring at each other, with the background noises of the approaching mob now incredibly loud in the passages near the lake. At last, I put my arm down, slowly, though still staring at her, not able to feel anything, totally in shock as I was.  She inhaled sharply, and then suddenly rushed toward me, weeping hysterically. She came right into my arms, and they automatically went around her, as tears began pouring from my own eyes. I began to shake with an uncontrollable emotion, tightening my arms around her. "Christine. Christine," I murmured over and over, as we both sobbed into each other's arms...

"This is the way!" a voice screamed, too close to the lake...Suddenly I sprang into action. Letting the pistol clatter to the ground, I swung her into my arms, and went out into the lake. I splashed my way to the grilled gate, now remembering that it had stayed open when Christine and Raoul had left. However, it was not up far enough. Apparently, it had come down to some extent after they had gone through it.

"Erik, hurry!" Christine screamed, jumping down from my arms. I pushed at the lever, and was able to raise the gate further. Impatiently, she grabbed my hand, and we bent down a bit so as to go underneath the gate. My little angel had apparently abruptly taken charge of the situation!

We kept on, splashing through the rather murky water, our hearts pounding as one. On and on, as behind us, there were suddenly cries of "The gate! He has escaped through the gate!" and "After him, my lads!"

"Christine!" I cried out, panting, as I marveled at her swiftness, although I was easily able to keep up with her, "Where do you think you are taking me? Have you any idea, sweet?"

She turned suddenly to look at me, and the smile I had started to direct at her, in spite of the grimness of the situation, disappeared from my face. Her face was completely drained of color, and her eyes were like those of a hunted animal. We stared at each other briefly as we ran, and then, characteristically, she fainted right then and there. I was able to catch her as she fell, and kept right on running without breaking stride.
I would take another passageway that I was sure Raoul would not have known about. He and Christine would most likely have taken the most obvious route, which lay straight ahead of them. They would never have noticed this other route, which was invisible to the naked eye. I had to push a particular stone in the wall, and we would be through. I would then shut it behind us, and we would never be followed. The mob, if they dared to go that far, would believe that we had simply vanished. That suited our purposes perfectly.

Reaching the place where I was sure the hidden passageway lay, I paused, shifting Christine to my right shoulder. I began feeling along the wall with sensitive fingers, hoping to find the slight dip that would indicate a movable stone. It only took a couple of minutes for me to find it. I then pushed in just the right way, and the stone slid inward. Reaching inside, I felt around for the hidden lever that would open a door in the wall. As I did so, Christine moved slightly on my shoulder, and pausing in my efforts, I turned to look down at her. She was still unconscious, however, so I continued with my task. Finding the lever, I pulled on it with as much strength as I could muster, given that I had to keep my balance so I would not drop her. The lever moved forward, and I heard a dull roar as the mighty stone door opened. I stepped through, and, turning, pushed the door shut. There was still water in the passageway, as the underground lake continued throughout the entire length of the foundations of the Opera House. I sloshed on in the darkness, entirely sure of where we were going. Had I not designed all these passageways myself?

It would not be long now. We would soon emerge out into the street. However, there was now fresh cause for distress. I had forgotten my mask in the rush to get away! No one had seen my face, not even at the very end of my opera, "Don Juan Triumphant". I would probably not be recognized, and Christine would perhaps be taken for a victim of the great chandelier disaster, if she were still unconscious when we left the Opera House.

I pushed forward with new-found strength. My concern was now for her. I had to save her; she was my love, and had risked her own life to come back for me. On and on I went, while my angel slept on, unknowing. Ah, such sweetness, to carry this beloved woman in my arms! If necessary, I would carry her to the ends of the earth...

At last, I felt the lake bottom growing shallower, and finally emerged on the shore. There was a gentle slope leading up to the steps that would take me to the door that opened out into the street. This door would, naturally enough, be locked, but that was the least of my worries.

Finding the steps, I took them two at a time, bearing my precious burden in my arms. Her weight was slight, yet, had it been heavier, I would gladly have borne it without question. The steps seemed interminable. Up and up I went. At long last, I came to the door. Setting her carefully upon my left shoulder, I began to expertly pick the huge lock. At first, nothing happened, and the sweat began to collect upon my brow. Then, after two or three desperate tries, the lock gave. Pushing with all my strength, I was able to make the door move, albeit quite slowly.

The door swung open on its rusty, time-worn hinges. There was a sudden little breeze on my face. I stepped out onto a badly-lit alley, mindful of my sweet burden. Turning, I again applied all my strength, and pushed the door shut.




2 comments:

  1. hi Maria! the Phantom of the Opera is top on my list of favorites. i've read Gaston Leroux's original work. I have Phantom by Susan Kay, The Phantom of Manhattan by Frederick Forsyth and The Golden Mask by Jenypher Ryley. these are wonderful books about our Opera Ghost. they should be a part of your collection. i also saw the musical in San Francisco and what a mesmerizing experience. i have the DVD and soundtrack of the Phantom movie adaptation which starred Gerard Butler. lol!
    again, your feeds are not getting through my Google Reader. i don't know why so i just had to drop by and see how you're doing.
    hasta luego Maria! c",)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi, there! Thanks for the comment!!

    I have the book "Phantom", by Susan Kay, which I have also read. I LOVE this book! I have heard of "The Phantom of Manhattan", but have not read it. I don't own it, either. As for "The Golden Mask", I've never heard of it, but, thanks to you, now I have! I must add these last two to my collection.

    I first became enchanted with the Phantom when I saw the Gerard Butler film. (Well, I think Mr. Butler had a LOT to do with that, too, lol.) Then I read the Leroux book. What a disappointment! I didn't like it at all! So it was a GREAT relief when I read Susan Kay's book, which is far superior.

    You are SO lucky to have seetn the musical LIVE!!!! I envy you.....

    Hasta luego, and thanks again for the comment! I'm paying you a visit soon! : )

    ReplyDelete

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