Disclaimer: I don't own the Phantom of the Opera and inspiration comes from Gaston Leroux, Susan Kay, and Andrew Lloyd Webber.


She disappears through darkness, around the corners, up the stairs, up and up, into the light. The light calls her and she answers, a faithful child to a faithful mother. The light never embraced me in such a way, never called me.

Harsh, glaring daylight. Why do we have eyes? Why must we live in a world of light and noise? The darkness has always been my friend, my protector. Of course I feared it as a child, but I soon realized what folly that was. It envelopes me, embraces me, hides me, soft and soothing, while the light remains merely meretricious: bright and jarring, blinding and uncomfortable.. The darkness welcomes dreams, but the light merely makes visible the nightmare that is reality. If only she could understand this...

Yet it is not the darkness from which she flees, no...

Oh, Christine, Christine... I would have given you anything. I would even have borne the light for you; I would have sung with you under the sun, if only you would not shudder at my face under its glare...

"This haunted face holds no horror for me now," she said, her chin held high in defiance. "It's in your soul that the true distortion lies." My soul. What soul do I have? If any soul resides within this scarred old shell, it is in my music. You loved my music, dearest! You loved my music and you sang with me and you felt free and safe and above all you had ever understood before. And it was not enough... It scared you. I scared you. What am I?

A murderer they say. I hear their shouts echoing through my tunnels. They are coming, coming to destroy the beast, but they won't find me here, hidden in my sanctuary, the one safe and holy place in my home. I am them, though they will never admit it; they have made me. To them, I have always been the monster that plagues their dreams, the ghost that haunts their footsteps, the killer that slays their security. Their fear became their reality.

What is it to walk amongst other folk and not see their faces twist in disgust, their eyes widen in horror, their steps falter in fear? I never asked to be born; I never asked for this face. Yet for this crime I have been banished from humanity. I have been ordained as the fierce and frightening phantom who reminds the world what it is to be afraid. This is the role I have been cast in. It is the only role I could ever fill.

But for a time, I was an angel...

Everything was going so well. I had escaped the horrors of Persia, found refuge far from the world I hated, and yet so close to the music I loved. I had gone for years without killing a man. I had a regular salary; I had the secret doors and passages throughout the theatre, that I alone knew of; I had the entire place jumping at the mere mention of me, ready to do my bidding at the snap of my fingers. I had control from a distance. I was content, if not happy...

And then everything was thrown into the air in chaos. My orderly world, so free of concerns and fears, so controlled and calculated, was shattered and drained in whirlwinds of questions and emotions... by this woman - this girl really. Sweet, beautiful, little Christine. And suddenly it wasn't enough anymore. Suddenly I could see myself, my life, and all that I'd become... and it was painful. But so wonderfully so; I was in euphoria in those moments with her. I couldn't help but smile when she laughed her wonderful, innocent laugh and shook her soft curls, her bright eyes smiling at me as if I wasn't a monster, as if I was like any other man. And for the first time, I knew exactly what I wanted. I realized just what I had been starving for all of my life...

Poor, twisted demon. He thought to keep a little bird in his lair to keep him company, lock it in a cage to sing for him. He thought to raise this bird, to help it's wings grow strong so she could fly... and take him with her. Ah, but he was too heavy, the wretched fool. He would drag the little bird down with him into the darkness...He tried to catch a ray of sunlight in a box, but the moment he shut the lid, it disappeared... leaving the room cold and grey, like the knife in my hand...

Such a delicate child she was. So fragile and vulnerable she felt in my arms. And yet, so very strong, so overwhelmingly powerful. The accidental brush of her small, gentle hands could send me trembling, her eyes could hold mine and the innocent trust or frantic fear there would stab me deeper than the taunts of any stranger. Which one of us is the weak, and which the strong? It would be so pathetically easy to force myself on her, to keep her with me, to hide this angel for myself alone... Yet, even if I could bring myself to truly do such a thing - she would never be mine. I could kill everyone in the world and make her my wife, and still she would never be mine; she will never love me... she will never love me. The tighter I hold my grasp, the more swiftly she flees. I felt her slip through my fingers like water, like the now-ever-constant flow of tears gliding downward, soaking the white veil upon the bed where she once lay and dreamed... I have never felt so helpless.

Why was I born? Curse you and the world! Curse your light! Curse your angels! Curse your God if he even exists or hears you! He has never heard me... Why?! Why must I be banished and tortured?! I have sinned, yes; I have killed; I am as twisted and horrifying as my very face. But I was not always so! I was young once, and innocent - and yet hated every bit as much as I am now... Poor little Erik... Poor child, that he should fall to the fate of becoming me. I would not have him suffer this; no one should. And everyone should! Damn Javert and his men! Damn the Shah and his mother! Damn them all!!

Ah, poor, naïve Christine... someday you will see. There is no grand light. Inside, they are all as ugly as I. If they were not, I would never have come to exist. Any creature who would let another suffer as I have is as twisted a life-form as myself. I still vividly recall the cage, the chains, the cheers. Crowds move as one, you see; they lose their fear and sense of dignity; they are capable of anything. Crowds can even pay to jeer at a helpless child, with no remorse. They are the most hideous things I have ever seen. I can still feel the whip's cruel bite on my back, the pounding clubs, the stabbing boots... But worse still, the sounds of horror mingled with delight... the faces, the mocking, evil faces...

But they turned out to be right, did they not? Look at me. Look at your son now, dear Mother! Are you not proud?! Look! I've become the monster you always said I was! Look how bloody my hands are! So much blood! Are you happy now, Mother?!

Don't think about her...

...My Christine believes in her light and its safety and pureness. She yearns for the light even as I retreat to the shadows. I let her go to it. I let her go to him - that vain, foolhardy boy of hers who will never comprehend the depth of my love for her. I gave her my music. I gave her my soul. She sang my gift with her own and together, it would have made angels weep... I let her go, that she may live and sing on and pass this beauty of ours into the light, so that all may see it. I cannot cage this bird for myself... And she looked so happy as he held her...

Without her here by my side, I will suffocate in the stillness, the silence, the cold... I would love her, I would hold her and cherish her, give her anything she ever asked for. But no, even if I tried... I cannot escape this thing living on me, with me, in me... The monster in the mirror, the monster in my mind... Like a spider would a fly, I would devour her as my only sustenance, until she lay drained, empty, cold... Until she was just like me... I would bestow my gentle kiss of death with an unworthy smile.

But I did kiss her, and she did not die. I kissed her alive, truly alive. Her eyes so bright and shining, so full of love and hope and all that is good. She kissed me. Never have I been kissed in such a way... Never have I been kissed in any way, by anyone... To be so close to another being.. I can still taste her precious lips on mine. She kissed me and I cried and she cried; she held me, unflinching, as I leaned my forehead against hers and hugged her tightly... Her gentle eyes held sympathy, even love dare I think? Not like mine, no. But she did love me. I know she did. I cannot bear to not think so. I will keep this little comfort with me. After all, what is the harm in deceiving myself now? Now that all hope has left and all is dark... now that even music abandons me - now that... she's gone.

Oh God, she's gone! My angel is gone...

Please, God... please, God...

Suddenly, I feel very far away, as if I'm watching myself. I'm on my knees, my head bowed to the floor in her room, clutching at the back of my neck. I'm not sure how long I've been here like this, or how long I've been whispering those words. Strange. I hear myself continuing my fervent whisper, yet a part of my mind, ever the scientist, feels numb, disconnected... It's as if I'm merely observing this broken man crouched, crying out to a god he claims to hold no faith in, and dying slowly from unrequited love. And yet, so much more. There's a gaping hole in him that's been growing all these years, since the day he was born, threatening to consume him at times. For a moment, it was filled, and now it's been torn open again. And for that, it feels all the more empty. Tragic. Pathetic. What a waste of a life. What an absolute waste of talent. He's listening to my observations in his mind - his observations - howling in frustration and anguish. I really think he may be mad.

Oh, Christine...

Stop... please, let everything just stop... I just want this to end...

Masquerade...
Paper faces on parade...
Masquerade...
Hide your face so the world will never find you...

My entire life has been nothing more than a masquerade. And no one ever has found me. Not truly. And they never will. I shall disappear from the world without a trace, and the ghost's legacy will live on, the mysteries undiscovered.. except by Christine...

Blood everywhere... Blood and tears... My life slowly drains onto her wedding veil, where her tears and mine were both caught and mingled. And the lines on my wrists echo the scars on my back, and the liquid pouring forth from them blends with the invisible stains of the world that cover my dead hands. I wash the blood with blood, and she clears the mess with tears, and she kisses the tears away... And I am healed. And the world fades to black...


Direct quotes in here are...

"This haunted face holds no horror for me now/It's in your soul that the true distortion lies."
-Andrew Lloyd Webber's Phantom of the Opera: Act II, Scene 8

"Masquerade, paper faces on parade/Masquerade, hide your face so the world will never find you."
-Act II, Scene 1

Just addressing a couple reviews (and thank you, everyone who reviewed)... I love Erik very, very much but unlike some people, I'm not going to try and pretend he never did anything wrong and is really just misunderstood (Buquet, Piangi and the chandelier being misunderstandings where he is completely innocent). I am, however, trying to explain why he did the things he did. Of course I know there's more to him than blood - that's the whole point. Also, I realize that some people do not believe in Erik killing himself. I'm not sure myself, but in the original version of this, I had him waiting, defeated, for the mob to come and kill him... And letting other people kill him seemed much more unlikely to me than him doing it himself. I think he'd like control over the circumstances of his death.