Disclaimer: We don't own "Phantom of the Opera," nor to we lay claim to even pretending we do. We also don't own the Waterbearer version of Phantom of the Opera, either. And… honestly, this is a disclaimer. You've seen millions. Move along!

Impediment: by Lady Death and L'Ange de Folie

To break with traditional phanphic, we present to you a little vignette based on the deliciously hilarious Waterbearer film version of Phantom of the Opera which stars David Staller. Those who know what we're talking about – stop laughing! And for those who don't, we would like to say that first, this is a quite a unique take on the Phantom so enjoy; secondly, yes, this is really the way he is; and thirdly, one does not need to be familiar with this version to enjoy this phic…


Long blonde curls styled to perfection, catching the candlelight with luxurious gold… Lips beyond compare, so red and luscious… Blue eyes of liquid azure, handsome portals to a matchless soul… The supplest creamy skin, both smoother than the most expertly cut marble, and yet softer than the finest oriental silk the world could offer…

What a gorgeously sublime creation you are, Erik!

It is not often that one has such beauty to behold, you must admit! Oh, perfectly gorgeous --

But that… side. That disagreeable --

Erik shook his head and paused as he regarded himself in the mirror, feeling slightly mollified – only slightly -- at the sight of the hellish, thoroughly disfiguring side of his face, clawing up his skull as it left no flesh unmarred.

He sighed deeply and shook his head, feeling a deferential half-smile on his lips. It always brought his spirits down to see that mistake of his visage, but only ever so slightly.

Oh, but it was a shame though, he thought as he tilted his head to the side; resigned. A true shame…

Such a beautiful, handsome face spoiled by such an unsightly blemish…

Truly, what had been chances of such ghastliness meeting in the womb with such a perfect child forming? It was cruel and unusual, most certainly!

The true pity, however, was not this blemish, but that Mother could not see her ugly son now as he was. Her horridly little ugly duckling of a child, whom she had stifled and hidden away for so long, had finally flown free of her smothering claws! Her little "hideous" child, who had at last grown into a becoming swan, despite her best attempts at suffocating his growth and his potential.

It really was all a simple question of a mask! That was all.

A mask was all that was truly needed to hide this impediment, for that was all it was…

Only an impediment…

Besides, if he had learnt at least one thing well in this world throughout his life, he knew quite solidly by now that women were such curious creatures – the most curious creatures in the world that he had ever seen! But, as with everything, this was a behavior that was easily and readily available to capitalize upon.

Women loved the mask.

The mask fascinated them beyond all reason. It drew them to him; it captivated them; rendered them helpless within their own fantasies of what they wished to see and what they thought they saw beneath his mask. The mystery was so consuming to them that they grew to want him.

Once he had them that tightly, they were his for as long as he chose…

Of course, they would see his face eventually. They always did and always would; it was inevitable, but inevitability he was prepared to face. Eventually the mask would be stripped from his face – sometimes with his permission, sometimes without -- but by then, his charm and charisma had them snared so tightly, coaxed their minds…

They became his, and as such, the face was no longer an impediment.

In fact, his face hardly bothered most women in the long run! Instead, they would pity their "poor Erik" for such an "unfortunate occurrence" and would love him all the more for it!

Comparatively, the blemish was hardly even an impediment! It was a benefit!

Oh, they would travel such long distances just to be with him. They would cook his meals, and spend lazy afternoons snuggling with him on the divan, or make perfectly sure that he was well cared for down to the smallest detail. If something was bothering him, or appeared to be bothering him, they would rush over with wide-open arms and he would find a bosom to rest his "poor head" against while they held him. Art and music and prose had been created to glorify his person, because these women could not bear to leave their "poor Erik"! They were never able to leave him for long, for they loved him with such passion.

And why should he discourage that?

Of course, such love never lasted long -- how could it? His perfect music and life of passion soon wearied the common, mean individual, and he was soon forced to cast them aside as one would a soiled garment. He could have no use for them any longer, so why would it matter? It was sad in a way, but if their imperfect bodies could not keep stride with his… why settle for anything less of perfection?

Perfection…

Oh, but Christine… She had come so close!

He savored her name on his lips.

Christine had had such promise… Such promise! She could have lasted forever with him, making perfect music… oh, such perfect promise… She was one who would sit in his mind until the end of his days, like a fond memory to be dusted off for a rainy day…

Oh, she was a far more superior creation than any other woman he had ever met. He remembered Michelle of Lyons – a writer – while spectacular, had simply given out on him. Then, Rebecca of London, who had been a promising dancer, but had broken her ankle and therefore he had no further use for her. Even the Jessica of Germany – what a glorious, busty woman she had been! But that disease of romantics -- tuberculosis -- was such a terrible end… And especially, above all, Christine had been much more perfect than the other Christine he had met in Sicily. She had been a painter: frail and timid… and so a painter he had become, but she did not bloom as he had hoped… Such a disappointment…

As long as they let their passions move them, he could encourage such augmentation of their passions and talents beyond their wildest dreams...

And Christine had let him. Oh, had she let him. Such promise!

But instead, she had become blinded, but not by her Angel… by an immature, boyish puppy of a Vicomte, instead! How could that have happened?

Did her Angel look like a milksop to her? Was there something in that Vicomte that was superior or more refined than what she had discovered in her Angel?

Erik suddenly laughed. It was a rich, derisive, baritone sound.

Jealousy!

He was jealous of the milksop! Oh, what precious mirth… what a sensation he had not experienced for a great long while. Jealous? Hah!

Erik was distinguished in all possible ways to that little bland boy – Erik was magician, and architect, and above all, a musician! That boy could lay claim to none of those accomplishments. The boy would languish in his chateaus, and in his boorish countryside with his boorish servants in his boorish world…

He shuddered to think of such wasted existence.

No. Erik was certainly no milksop -- he was far from it!

He was a magnificent tiger full of exotic danger and beauty!

Why would Christine forsake such an existence? The better question was how she could consent to inflict such an unfortunate crime upon herself!

The thought boggled his mind to no end, and he looked once more in the mirror for reassurance.

Hello, darling.

Still, one could not ignore the regret… the disappointment

He could sense Christine's difference – her promise! But she had been so different than the others…He had been sure of it! She was perfect music. She was perfect song, perfect soul, perfect body, and together they would make perfect love…

Well, at least he had thought that she was possible of such perfection. Apparently this was not the case, now. No, perhaps he had expected too much of her. Clearly, that was that is was. Perhaps she truly was the dull, flightless, gawkish creature he first set eyes on.

That settled it, then. In fact, it was settled quite painlessly, too.

Christine and her milksop of a fiancé could wallow in mediocrity like the commonplace, banal things that they were. He would not, nor could not bring himself to care more upon the matter.

If only she would have simply worshiped him for the glorious god that he was…!

He shook his head with sympathetic dismay; indulgently lavish hair swaying in perfect, mesmerizing time with his movement.

The pang of Christine's unexpected and premature rejection was beginning to fade, now.

She was nothing to him, really -- nothing more than a silly girl who had been too blind and naïve to see what truly could have been the best of her life.

Had he dazzled her? Oh, most certainly. He always dazzled.

Oh, this was simply a setback – simply an impediment in the life of Don Juan.

He dealt well with impediments, one would imagine.

Oh, let them wallow.

He was destined for greatness and magnificence! His brilliance was that of beyond the sun!

He would shed this incident aside for what it truly was -- an impediment.

Don Juan was still triumphant. He had never been defeated before this, why start now?

A cheering look came from the mirror.

There you are, you old dog. That's the ticket.

He was beginning to feel renewed and enthused with life and existence once more.

Perfect existence!

Erik reset the mask to his face, careful of his styled hair, and whirled his sequined, black cloak onto his shoulders with a flourish.

Women loved a man in black…

There were always others, he knew... Other fish in the sea, as Mother would say. Don Juan never had a shortage of lovers and conquests.

Christine had simply plundered his mask too early in the game… that was all. She hadn't been lulled deep enough yet. That was the only logical explanation for all the unpropitious drama that had occurred when she left.

Well, he certainly would not make that mistake again. Oh, no. He had learned a valuable lesson these past years. Christine had not been the waste of time he had accused her of being at all! Not at all!

"I am whatever you want me to be," he said, laughing richly as he began his trek to the surface. The light scent of his exquisite cologne was perfectly applied, dazzling even the rats as he passed them.

A paragon of glory – that was what he was.

Imperfect man, but perfect music…

Perfect love


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