Fears Within a Dream...

"You need to get up now, Mademoiselle." A soft voice called to her, and upon such an instruction, Meg's eyes fluttered open. Her gaze did not shift to Erik, however, whom she knew to be somewhere to the right of her. The man had fallen silent shortly after the incident with Christine; she had offered some comfort to Erik before, by simply lying a hand on his shoulder, but the man dismissed her. And so, Meg left Erik to his intense mulling, left subtly hurt by his aloofness. It was not her place, however, to attempt to soften Erik, to crack past the wall, which he had so resolutely built between them.

It was strange, Meg mused, that Erik would be in a world, which seemed so determined to keep her here. She had experienced many delusions, or the like, whilst accompanying Erik in finding an escape route. And she had seen none of Erik's; he had always hindered her from such, and thus her imagination ran wild. "Mademoiselle?" Hearing the title repeated, Meg was pulled from her thoughts prematurely, feeling as if she had been on the verge of some important discovery. Slowly sitting up, the young woman's gaze rose to Erik. He was gazing down at her, emotionlessly, or so it seemed, for masks are incapable of displaying such. And in his eyes, Meg noted only fatigue. Frowning faintly, she stood, dusting off her dress. "Where are we to go now, Erik?" The question sounded laughable, as it passed from her lips, where else, but to wander? But suddenly, Meg caught a change in Erik's manner, and his weariness seemed to disappear, and he instead appeared excited.
"Where, Mademoiselle? Can you not see? We are so close to home." Hearing Erik speak such, Meg's brow contorted, and it seemed that in a fraction of a second, the sun had shut off, the soft grain beneath her feet had turned to cobblestone. Mouth slightly agape, she turned away from Erik, and began to examine their position. Meg marked their location on a familiar boulevard, and she looked back to Erik with a smile. He seemed, for all she could tell, keyed up himself. "You see, Mademoiselle! I told you I would help you." Erik nodded, in childish triumph, but Meg hesitated suddenly.
"But Erik...we had not done anything; are you sure this isn't just another illusion? It does not make sense..." Meg inquired, clearly unswayed, and she began to stroll from Erik, eyes narrowing, as she scrutinized the setting.
"Has any of this made sense?" Erik responded, as if irritated with Meg's sensibility. "Come now, follow me, and we will see, then." With this instruction, he turned, and started forward at a quick pace.

Whilst following Erik, Meg began to note his odd manner. Erik appeared impatient, stifling eagerness, and periodically he murmured to himself. Silently, Meg believed she should not have left Erik to contemplate Christine's words alone, for she could only imagine what nonsense he had conquered up in his mind, to make him act so irrationally. Suppressing a sigh, she hurried to keep up with the masked man. Her own pace increased, however, upon gaining sight of the Opera Garnier, looming in the darkness, the beauty of its architecture hidden in the dark of the evening. "Do you believe now?" Erik inquired condescendingly, though he did not seem to be searching for an answer, for he only directed her to hurry. Ascending the staircase, under the middle arch, Erik pushed the duel doors open enough for himself to slip through. Meg followed suit, whilst Erik strolled into the foyer. Pulling the heavy doors closed, she wondered vaguely why they were not locked, before turning. Meg started subtly, finding Erik hardly a foot from her, swearing she had heard him walk off.
"We are finished, now, Mademoiselle. We played wondrously." Erik spoke dulcetly, and paused for a moment, before stepping back, and furthering the distance between them. There was a moment of hesitation in his manner, before he continued. "Goodbye, Mademoiselle-"
"Monsieur, wait." Meg cut the man off, before he could continue, and appeared, suddenly, angered. "I am telling you, Monsieur, this is not our Opera house." She quickly looked round, before motioning to indicate the large hall. "Look, Monsieur...since the "incident", we had lost patrons; the popularity of the Opera fell. But look at the condition of the Opera house, Monsieur! The marble is polished, the chandeliers dusted...it was not so, before I left." As she spoke, Erik had fallen extremely grim, and abruptly, glared as her.
"It is how I had, Goodbye." He repeated sternly, though there was a strange hint of guilt to his tone, and as he turned, Erik exhaled a miserable sigh.
"Erik, I just don't think-" Meg began, but Erik started forward, and ignored her, exiting to the main doors, to enter the dress circle of the theatre hall. "Wait!" Meg cried out, and stalked after Erik. "You are probably just falling into another trap, Monsieur! You are going to get yourself killed! I know you are tired, but really, it is not over, and you know it!" Speaking between breaths, Meg hastily jogged after Erik, as he manoeuvred smoothly before the Orchestra pit, and ascended the stairs to the stage. A distance behind him, Meg glowered after the man, as he yanked open the main trap door of the stage. "Why are you following me, Mademoiselle? I am done!" Erik snapped, before watching Meg hurry along, with an expression of sudden amusement. "Adieu, Mademoiselle, adieu!" Erik called, voice rounding, as he threw up his arm dramatically, then, rounding on the trapdoor, he dropped easily, and disappeared.
"Ugh, Monsieur!" Meg exclaimed, stepping up the stairs, and marching across the stage, to the open trapdoor. "Monsieur!" Meg called again, glaring into the darkness. She seethed silently, as she imagined Erik believed he was through with her. Stubbornly, for her own good, and for Erik's, Meg slipped down to sit on the edge of the trapdoor, legs dangling into the darkness. What fear she might have, quelled by anger, and determination, Meg pushed off the edge, and falling into darkness, she braced herself for an impact.

Feeling as if she had collided with the floor, supine, Meg started, and groped the air frantically in front of her, searching for some way to stop herself from plummeting further. Though, in a short time, Meg realized she was no longer falling. Eyes opening warily, she sat up, and found herself seated on the floor. She appeared to be in a room, whose size was undeterminable, since the corners seemed to fade into blackness. There was no perceivable furniture, though perhaps there was beyond the darkness. A shuffling of papers caught her attention, and looking to the right, Meg's eyes widened in wonder. Taking up what she could see of the right wall, was a large organ, pipes glistening, and reaching to the roof, and at its bench, was Erik. He appeared seated as if he had been for hours before she had dropped, and he was not perturbed by her presence. The man went on, with slow, melancholy movements, sorting his music sheets, before his hands gently fell to the middle manual of the imposing instrument. "This is my home, Mademoiselle...I have never been happy, yet I do find my solace in this place. When I had wished for more, I risked what little I had...I was willing to give away everything for her." Erik paused, with a heavy breath, and lifted his eyes heavenward, almost wistfully. "My dexterity, my Opera house, my reason...and so, I risked the lives of all those who relied on my managing." Pleasant voice catching, Erik leaned against the console, gaze falling, and as his fingers played the keys, the music remained mute; and so Erik spoke, in a poignant, but melodious a cappella. "Your mother...you...my Opera house...my music..." Trailing, Erik suddenly slammed his hands down on the keys, and slumped forward on the bench, cringing in anger. "I deserved that one happiness! One! I don't know why I couldn't have it! I did everything wrong! So wrong!" Again, he beat his fists on the keys though suddenly withdrew with a sharp inhale, as if stricken, and he exhaled a mournful cry, giving the manuals of his organ an apologetic look. Then, Erik fell forward, against the massive instrument, and his shoulders shook. "I deserved this. It's all Erik's fault! Again, again, again..."

Gazing at Erik, with wide eyes, Meg was unsure how to respond to his frenzied behaviour as he continued ranting; it occurred to her that the world she was dragged into was not for her after all, but for Erik. Her mother had been the only one to care for Erik; the only one to reprimand her whenever she spewed the latest gossip; the box attendant who so praised the phantom, who would have her daughter be a baroness. She was only present to feed Erik's guilt, to give him something to attend to, and strive, fruitlessly, to protect, which was why, Meg gathered, the residents of the awful house wanted her present so desperately. Inhaling a breath, Meg began to move back from Erik, though she desired to make an attempt to calm him. She understood this would only make matters worse, however, so she continued her retreat, though Erik appeared none the wiser. Soon, his figure, the radiant pipes of the organ, began to fade into the blackness, which once had bordered them. Meg seemed to be entering into it with each backward step, though her eyes strained to make out Erik's being for as long as possible. Groping the air behind her, Meg vaguely searched for some object in the thick darkness, and quietly murmured the name of her companion. Then, Meg felt her hands brush cold metal, and then her back. She pushed back against the obstruction until it budged, and she found herself, abruptly, standing behind a tall, wrought iron gate, and from outside, she could still vaguely hear Erik. He called her name, murmured sorrowfully, and Meg suddenly cursed her departure and instead wanted nothing more than to push back through the gates, and locate the man.

With a dazed expression, gazing out on the vast ground before her, scattered with gravestones, and statues, Meg leaned back on her right heel, and made to pull the gate open. "Meg." An older woman called out firmly, distracting her, though Meg only inclined her head toward the voice.
"Marguerite! Come along."Maman..." Meg trailed off, and feeling as if she had forgotten something terribly important, she looked toward her mother with a frown. Her small form shivered subtly, from a cool breeze, and she repositioned the asphodels in her hand. "Why do we not visit Papa's any longer?"


Note: This was truly not a hurried ending. I quite enjoyed the way I had; it created a circle pattern. I do not enjoy leaving the reader with a sense of closure, because I am mean like that!Also, I do not offer an excuse for my long absense. XD It was really only because I was lazy. I believe I am going to take a break from fanfiction, and shift to fictionpress.
My pen name is exactly the same, and I will be posting original work! I would love for you all to review my work there!