Legal Disclaimer: I do not own The Phantom of the Opera or the Dies Irae. I gain no profit from this writing.
Notes: In my band class we are playing the Dies Irae. After looking up the English translation to the old Latin poem, I found myself being able to imagine Erik having to learn this as a child. After all, his mother was Catholic. The Dies Irae was written in the 14th century and is about the end of the world and begging God for forgiveness before the apocalypse.
Dedications: This is for the LHS Wind Ensemble of 2004-2005.
Walking through the deep passages, his clothing hung off of his body in limp tatters. His once glowing eyes are now dim with a darkened defeat. His stiff posture has fallen and his head is bowed as he walks toward his fate.
"Day of Wrath! That day which will scatter the universe into embers, by the witness of David and the Sibyl! What trembling is to come, when the Judge arrives, everything drawn together to be shattered. Death shall be stunned, and nature, when creation rises again, to answer the judge."
His voice was hoarse with pained certainty, the shell of the Opera Ghost kept walking, staggering toward the staircase that would lead to the roof of his domain.
"The written book shall be brought forth, in which all is contained, from which the world will be judged. So when the Judge shall sit, whatever is hidden shall be clear, no unpunished thing shall remain."
Tears fell down his cheeks as he continued to speak the words that he was taught to know by heart since he was old enough to speak. Memories of his mother, of Father Mansart, everything flooded through his mind as he silently sobbed and stumbled up the first flight of stairs.
Cellar level four.
"What am I, wretched, to say, what patron am I to call, when the just will only narrowly be safe? King of awesome majesty, who freely saves the chosen, save me, O fountain of grace. Remember, gracious Jesus, that I am the cause of your journey; do not forget me that day."
Erik slumped against the cold, stone hewn wall for several minutes, gasping for breath and thinking back. His only chance for redemption on this Earthly plain had left him, and now he had only God to ask for help.
Cellar level three.
"Seeking me, you sat exhausted; you redeemed me by suffering on the Cross; so great a work should not be in vain. Just judge of vengeance, grant me this gift of forgiveness, before the day of reckoning. I groan as though guilty, sin reddens my face; spare the supplicant, O God."
His voice was barely audible or able to be understood as he began to climb once again, his unmasked face slammed against the stone stairs as he fell. Blood trickled down his cheek and forehead as he shook himself and continued his climb.
Cellar level two.
"You who forgave Mary and heard the plea of the thief, have also given me some hope. My prayers are unworthy; but you, the Good, show me favor, that I may not be consumed by eternal fire. Prepare me a place among the sheep, and keep me from the goats, standing at your right hand."
He kept climbing and gasped for breath as he moved up the next flight of stairs, a hand pressed to his deformity and his other arm wrapped around his waist. Pangs of hunger slammed against his ribs, and his head spun from lack of food, dizziness overcame him and for a moment, Erik stood and caught his breath, before climbing again.
Cellar level one.
"With the slanders silenced, sentenced to piercing flames, call me with the blessed. Kneeling I plead, my contrite heart like ash: carry my trouble until the end."
He pushed himself then to the staircase that would lead him to the roof, and worked his way up to the top. He shoved the door open and looked out across the slick, icy surface before him. The wind whipped oppressively, causing his cloak to wave behind him as Erik crawled onto the roof and moved dangerously close to the slippery edge.
"That day will be full of tears, when from the grave, guilty mankind rises to be judged."
Looking over the silent winter of Paris from his lofty perch, Erik once again contemplated life. Mouthing the name he dared not speak, his scarce breath murmured 'Christine', and his eyes closed.
Tipping off of the edge of the roof, the ghost fell down, and spoke as the ground rushed toward him with a startling calm.
"Therefore, have mercy upon me, O God; sweet Lord Jesus, grant them eternal rest. Amen."