This story received the second highest number of votes in the morbidity writing contest over on PFN! I've never written a one-shot before, and I did not even think I would enter that contest, but writing this one was inspiring! Who knows what may follow!

If you happen to see any of the other morbid contest phics floating around, I highly recommend every single one of them!

Please let me know what you think of this one! Hugs to all!

—The Scorpion with an unbloodied calm :D

His Hands

Black velvet and red brocade lighted softly by cold fire. Cold because it was behind glass. Black glass that shone indigo with the dark light. If the candles had been lit, it would have seemed warmer, but they were not. She shivered. She wanted to go home.

He was there at the organ. The music made her stomach churn. The door was invisible, but she knew how to find it. If only it had not been locked. He was at the organ, and his hands moved as wild white wraiths dancing madly to their own hellish music. Entranced by the power of his own hands, he would not notice if she fled. If only the door had not been locked.

This room frightened her. The red walls breathed and sweated with each chord that reverberated through the leering faces of death. She was lost within the very heart of the beast. Her sweat was cold. She wanted to go home.

He moved from the organ to the violin and the bow appeared from thin air at the beckoning of his magical hands. The music made her mind scream. His fingers raced across the strings, the tip of each flawlessly placed so quickly that her vision blurred. They became transparent in their speed. He would not notice if she cried, but all her tears had long since fallen. The door was locked with a trickster's device her small fingers were incapable of undoing. Erik's locks were designed for Erik's hands alone.

The black glass rang back to challenge each pitch of the violin in a frenzied clash of harmonies that drove her to stumble back against the black paneled cabinets. Her hands pressed to her head, she turned to face them and her gaze groped at the solid immobility of the cold iron blades displayed there. Finally something to cling to that did not pulse and tremble against the music! Something that was immune to that insanity created by the unholiness of his miraculous hands.

Stark silence. Shaking, she released her head. She saw him, vaguely reflected in the glass near her, relinquish the violin and throw himself into the chair at the writing desk. Such silence. All that caressed her ear now was the whimpering of her own panted breaths and the distant maniacal scratching of the pen that spilled blood red notes across the parchment as the speed of his hand rivaled the frenzied flickering of the fire. In desperate need of nothing more than his inkwell, he would not notice if she screamed, but her voice had lost its will. Steeped and grave silence. She could hear her thoughts again. She wanted to go home.

He had shown her these blades before. Knives and daggers collected of the world over. That large, flat one was centuries old. That long, thin one had murdered an emperor. And that one, the one of oriental design, was sharp enough to slice through stone, he had told her, sharp enough to slit a man's throat clean back through his spine.

The buzz of the silence had begun to turn to the ringing of hell's bells in her ears. The door was locked. The walls dripped with the blood of her own heart. She hated her prison. She wanted to go home.

The blade of oriental design was surprisingly light, but she still clutched its handle with both hands to extend it fully before her.

He was at the organ again. Silence had ceased. His hands commanded forth the tempest of the apocalypse, and her fingers trembled with the thunder of it. She clung to the cold iron all the more desperately and, taking her place in the center of the room on his side of the coffin, she rooted herself deeply against the rising of the roaring tides.

"Erik!" she cried through the screaming storm, through the shattering thunderbolts of each chord of the organ. "Erik, I want to go home!"

His hands froze. The music died. The heart of the beast stopped beating.

He turned where he sat on the bench to face her, but he did not rise.

"Christine," he said, his voice beautiful like an angel's. "Christine, that knife is very sharp."

She tightened her grip, but her own voice was weak. "Unlock the door. I do not like it here. I want to go home."

"Christine." He stood. "Christine, you have seen my face. You are bound here. You are bound to me."

She took a step back to the coffin, but she kept the blade aloft. "I hate it here!" she sobbed. "I am cold, and I want to go home."

"Christine," he shook his head and pressed one of his inhuman hands over his heart. "Christine, you have seen my face. You belong to me."

"No," she whimpered, and her arms sank slightly.

He began to move toward her. "Give me the knife, Christine."

Her arms became rigid again. "Stay away from me!"

His pace only slowed slightly. "Christine, that knife is sharp enough to slice through stone."

"Unlock the door!" The heel of her boot hit the steps, and she moved to back around them.

His measured footsteps were soundless on the dark, deep carpet. "Christine, give me back my knife."

She squeezed shut her eyes for only a moment, but when she opened them, he was standing directly before the tip of the blade.

"I'll do it!" she cried.

His eyes flashed. "Kill me?"

"Unlock the door!"

He extended a hand with far too much grace. He reached out to her. "Give me back my knife, or I shall tear it from you by force."

The handle of the knife sweated between her palms. "You…Please!"The tears that coursed down and between her lips garbled her words."Let me leave! Please—Now! You have no claim over me!"

His hand began to turn in midair. Gradually, enticingly, promisingly. But to no avail.

"You have seen my face." His hand fell. "You belong to me." His gaze hardened. "You will never leave!" And he was upon her.

"No!" she screamed.

Like white lightning through the black of death, his hands snatched for the slippery handle.

"No! No! No!" And twisting, she lashed out with the blade.

He froze. His eyes widened impossibly.

She dropped the knife.

Slowly, he tilted his head to look down to the floor. She followed his gaze. Half of one of his hands, all five fingers still attached, turned from white to red as blood gushed from it into the carpet where it had fallen.

"No…" she choked.

He staggered, and his other hand clutched at once at his slaughtered wrist.

In the dim light of the black glass-covered flames, she could clearly see the heavy cloud that crept across his eyes behind the expressionless mask. And she could hear the beating of his heart.

He fell to his knees. The white cuff of his sleeve was already soaked through with blood.

Her eyes found the knife at her feet. Suddenly shrieking, she kicked it away with hysterical violence.

The sound he made then was not a moan of traumatism, not a scream of pain, not even a cry of rage, but a sound unlike any in life she had ever heard. It welled up from within him as the rumbling of a geyser that suddenly exploded into the most wrenching agony the realm of sound had ever known.

Grief, blunt and sharp at once, flooded through her in a torrent of adrenaline that crippled both legs from beneath her and left her a stammering heap of nauseating shock on the floor before him.

"Oh, Erik…" she choked. "I'm sorry! Oh, God, Erik!" All the air in the room was gone. "A doctor! Help! A doctor! We'll—I'll—A doctor!"

The edge of his chin became visible as his mouth gaped open behind his mask.

"The door!" she sobbed. "Unlock the door! Only you can do it! Erik! Erik, unlock the door!"

"Christine," he finally gasped. "…Christine…" The angel in his voice was gone. "Christine…" And his laughter exploded through the frozen air with sudden gruesome clarity. "Oh, Christine!" he bellowed with more power than all of hell's volcanoes as the tears of blood from his hand wept into the deep, dark carpet.

"Christine, it takes both of my hands to unlock the door!"