Prologue: Erik

I've always been the outcast; not only in society's eyes but in the eyes of my own family. I was the bastard child of an abusive man who practically raped me into being. My mother was and still is a practicing Catholic and refused to have an abortion. She married the man who I never knew as a father, much to anger of her own family. They all despised him, but knew it was the only way to go. My mother could not have a child and have the father running about with wanton women day and night; that would make her look bad.

The man who fathered me, as I said, was abusive. Not only to my mother but to me as well. I was never able to defend myself when he attacked me. I don't remember him either. The last beating I was every given by him was when I was three. After that he was locked away and, for all I know, dead. That last beating was the worst, as I'm told and as I can plainly see every time I look in a mirror. In a drunken rage he attacked me as I slept. With a rusty pocketknife he slashed at my face, neck, and arms. My mother called the police after hearing my screams and nearly being stabbed to death herself.

It's a wonder I survived. My mother escaped with only a few, small scars. I, on the other hand, wear the scars across my face. The skin beneath my eyes is scared, as is my forehead. To explain the wounds I wear in my life would take so much time. Because of those scars my own mother shuns me. I've been told I look like my father; the same shinning black hair, captivating light brown eyes, and fair skin. If the scars weren't there, I would be attractive to many people, but my mother believes it is God's will and I am not and, now, will not have surgery to fix what has been done.

The teasing, questions, and stares were ever present on me whenever I walked out the door. When I began school it became unbearable. My teachers and family knew I held my father's rage, which can be lighted with out notice. One day I was verbally attacked on the playground during school. I couldn't take it anymore. I grabbed the nearest thing and began to lash out at the kid who taunted me. They began to laugh even harder; all I had was a stick. That, though, was all I needed. To say the least, I was expelled from school for assaulting a child. I was home schooled from than on.

Home schooling was my saving and my home was soon my sanctuary. As my mother soon found out, I was a genius. I excelled at everything. Professors from a college were soon recruited to teach the prodigy simply known as Erik. I was the masked child, wearing the mask to shield the scars for not only my sake but for others. Somehow I knew I was smarter than the average person. I was smarter than my mother and I was soon looking down on her. Slowly I found the simple powers I possessed over everyone else. I had my intelligence, my strength, my height, for I was a tall child to begin with, and my voice.

The one subject that I adored most of all was music. I mastered all the works of Mozart and Beethoven by the age of ten and soon composed my own. I had my own instructor, Monsieur Bovio, who composed his own works as well. He was my role model and the only person that could calm me down in my sudden fits of rage. M. Bovio loved to listen to me sing and requested me to do so on a whim. I delighted in his fascination with my voice and never argued. Soon I was doing small concerts and I learned that my voice could drive people to tears. My mask was nothing to these people. On stage I was a performer and the mask was guise to hide the child prodigy that I was; it was there as my protector.

My fame was short lived and it came with great ease. My teaching ended in my nineteenth year and I set out to college. That's when it all started. . . .