Author: TruthxLiesxMagic PM
When he travels to Paris to oversee the premiere of his new opera, the last thing Erik Laroche expects is to become entangled in the mystery of the Garnier's ghost. This Phantom seems to know Erik, but how?Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Mystery - Erik & Christine - Chapters: 2 - Words: 2,743 - Reviews: 4 - Favs: 2 - Follows: 5 - Updated: 10-14-08 - Published: 10-13-08 - id: 4593888
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Act I: The House By The Sea
Chapter 1 – Passion Of The Soul
For this gift of dream I must pay the price
with the loss of life's pleasures
It was storming that night.
This was nothing out of the ordinary – indeed, I had been expecting it, with the stuffy, airless summer day that had preceded it – but it was still cause enough for me to stand by the large bay window of my music room for almost ten minutes, simply savouring the wild, untamed beauty that Mother Nature bestowed upon the Earth for us mere mortals to appreciate and draw inspiration from. As I watched the dark waters of the sea crash mercilessly into the coastline of Sète, an old tale about the white horses in the waves came to mind, pulling the corner of my mouth into something approaching a smile. I had once indulged readily in such childish tales and fantasies, but now my imagination was focused on much greater things, aspects of the human race that everyone else shied away from and denied. I made my money through composing, for I loved music like I felt I would never love a woman, and what better than to be paid for indulging in such endless euphoria as I felt when I sat at my organ and allowed twisting, harmonious melodies to carry me to a place far beyond the reach of others. I also had a great many other interests, however, including architecture, ventriloquism and other magic tricks, history, languages… the list goes on. I have a great desire – a compulsion, almost – to try my hand at anything I come across, and if at first I do not succeed, then it is quite normal for me to not simply ignore, but completely forget everything else until I have mastered whatever it is. Sometimes it takes years, but that compulsion will not let me rest.
When I had had my fill of watching the storm, I crossed the room and sat at my organ, allowing my fingers to caress several keys before I let the music have me. My touch was so light, gliding over the ivory keys, that should anyone have come into the room at that moment, perhaps I would not have looked too dissimilar to a man with a lover. A fitting image, given what I composed that night. I would always be of the opinion that the music came not from me, but from a much higher, grander source, something beyond mortal comprehension – I was simply the host, necessary means to allow the music into the world, so that its majestic, enigmatic beauty might be heard by all! For it was beautiful, yet wild and exotic, untamed almost to the point of vulgarity, but redeemed by the ghostly ardour it instilled in the listener.
There was a strange irony to my composing that night. It held a complexity beyond comprehension, that at times even I could not understand, yet at the same time, there was something so basic, so purely carnal about it, that I could sum up everything in one word.
That was the first reason I believed this was not work of my own mind. True, I was a man, and like any other man, I had certain desires – Mazenderan had proved that well enough – and I was certainly not a novice in the area of lovemaking, but I had never been mindlessly guided by my libido. My distaste for the human race was equally divided between both sexes, but I had always been taught to be gentler and kinder towards females, and I reserved for them a grudging, gentlemanly respect that would not allow me to think of them as mere objects to be used for sexual pleasure whenever the mood took me. Yet to listen to that music, one would think I was Don Juan himself, raising skirts left, right and centre!
I almost broke off when that thought came to me, the idea threatening to break through the fragile substance that was inspiration. Though I did not know it then, I was walking a tightrope, and to walk across safely was to avoid disaster… but to fall was to plunge into ecstasy. Perhaps I somehow sensed part of what was happening, though, for my fingers refused to leave the keys of the organ – steadfastly, they continued to create, derisive of my weak attempts to divert them, until I was well and truly enraptured by the enchantment of it all.
I never knew exactly how long I spent composing, but by the time I had given everything I had to the music, I was exhausted, and the sun was beginning to sink into the horizon, though this did not help all that much, as it was not unknown for me to compose for days at a time. Pages of notes were before me, and as I held them reverently, I knew this was my last chance to stop what I had unwittingly put in motion. Part of me wanted nothing more than to shred the parchment into myriad pieces – indeed, my hands were shaking slightly from that very desire – yet the other half urged me to build upon this foundation, whispering promises of greatness that even at that stage I knew could be true. In my hands I held my magnum opus, and also my possible undoing.
It seems so strange, to think that mere music could incite such feelings, such impulses, yet music in and of itself is far more powerful than many believe. Music can take one to a fantastical place of endless joy, and then in a moment turn it into the deepest pits of despair. It is capable of inciting a whole spectrum of emotions, some we feel every day, and some we have no name for. I have always believed there is a certain magic to music, something perhaps even celestial. For as God created man, so man creates music, amongst many other things.
I lit a fire – though the summer air was warm, despite the late hour – and sank into one of several armchairs, one hand absent-mindedly stroking the red fabric, the other still clutching my compositions in a death grip. As I sat there, watching the flames flicker eerily, strange shadows playing on the walls, I felt as though I was connected to the world by only the thinnest of threads. This, however, seemed vastly unimportant, my mind consumed by a ceaseless argument. I must have sat there for hours, but time held no real meaning for me. Several times I extended my arm with the intention of burning the music, only to draw the papers back to my chest protectively when an errant flame threatened to devour them, as protective of them as a mother of her newborn babe. I was afraid of what would follow if I chose to follow this path that I had begun, but at the same time I could not possibly destroy this work – or even leave it forgotten, which in many ways would be worse, for there is nothing more wretched than an unfinished score, especially one as passionate as this – and so I was faced with an impossible situation. Although I know, better than anyone, that every situation has a solution, no matter how painful or seemingly unfeasible.
Eventually, after the fire had become mere embers, and the moon was beginning to give way to the sun, after hours upon hours of torment, I silently stood and made my way over to my desk, where – without preamble – I titled my work.
Don Juan Triumphant.
After that, with all the solemnity of an apprentice before his master, I vowed I would finish this opera, even if it took me all my life and more.
So it began. Always slightly reclusive, I now shunned contact of any kind, leaving my few servants to do their jobs unsupervised. They knew what to do and how to do it, though I did vaguely note some of them looked rather disturbed upon seeing me when I did venture from my music room. Shadows waxed under my eyes, I grew thin and pale, and I knew in a detached way that I was doing myself no favours by ignoring suddenly menial things like sleep and food in favour of composing. I knew it all, and yet I was helpless, for the music whispered to me whenever I was away from it, drawing me without fail back to my organ. Emotions of every kind surrounded me, and even as I sat there, I wept and laughed in turn.
You see, it is a wonderful and terrible thing to be cursed with the gift of genius!
A/N: I know these chapters are pathetically short next to the chapter lengths of my other multi-chapter fics, but there is a method to my madness. Really, there is, I just haven't found it yet.
I kid. I'm thinking that I'm going to have lots of short chapters, hopefully cutting down the update time, than fewer large chapters with wekks, even months, between them. Hopefully this isn't too disappointing to my readers!
On that note, please review!