Chapter One - Reborn In Broken Glass

He watched as little black boat moved away across the lake. He could not take his eyes off Christine. He knew that this would be the last time he would see her again.

Her wedding gown was torn and wet. Her long curls hung in damp tangles over her shoulders. One pale hand was on the Vicomte's shoulder as the young man clumsily guided the boat into the narrow lock.

Christine turned to look back at him and he could see the tears in her gentle eyes.

Say you will share with me one love, one lifetime. Say the word and I will follow you.

He knew those words were meant for him. He had only to call her name and she would come back to him. She would stay with him forever.

Pieces of burning debris cascaded through the openings in the ceiling and hissed as they hit the gray-green waters of the lake.

The mob was coming closer, he could hear the angry voices just beyond the portcullis.

No, he could not call her back and expose her to their rage. Nor would he drag her into hiding with him.

He stared down at the ring she'd pressed into his hand. He slipped it onto a black ribbon and hung it from his neck.

His mask lay near the bed. He left it where it had fallen. He would never wear a mask again. Christine had given him more than a ring and a kiss. She had given him humanity. The Phantom of the Opera had died that night.

As the torches of the mob flickered beyond the grating, he picked up a heavy candlestick and walked to the row of mirrors.

One by one, he smashed them. Never again would he be a prisoner to mirrors and masks, to his own face. His cry was not one of anger or pain. It was one of triumph.

The third mirror shattered. Beyond it lay darkness and, beyond the darkness, safety.

He looked back one final time at the place that had been his lonely sanctuary. He knew that it would all be destroyed. The mob would not spare the flotsam and jetsam of his life. What they did not ruin, the fire would.

It hurt to leave behind his manuscripts, his portraits of Christine, his music box, his pipe organ. He knew those were part of the past...they were no longer his treasures, they belonged to the Opera Ghost...may he rest in peace.

He turned and stepped through the mirror.

The music of the night ended.