I had originally posted this in my vignette home (A Drop in Lake Averne) and for some reason I really wanted feedback on this viggie. When A Drop in Lake Averne went to the second page (where stories go to die) without a review I decided that if I really wanted feedback on this one it would be better to post it seperately...so I did.

I call this a dusk vignette. Not quite dark, not light so it is dusky!

Water hit his head. Just a little droplet fell, just enough to wake him up.

"Am I dead?" Raoul muttered aloud. Though his eyes were open the darkness did not lift.

He was confused. The last he remembered was blacking out in the torture chamber. How did he come to be sitting in the dark? Where was the monster? More importantly, where was Christine?

"Christine!" Raoul cried, a hoarse cry that was barely a noise. Undaunted, Raoul cried Christine's name again, this time his voice stronger. Again and again he called, all the while trying to get off the dank ground. It was then that Raoul felt the heavy manacles on his wrists. It was then he panicked.

"Raoul, come play!" called Richard. Raoul's older cousin bid him to play with him, an honor indeed for seven year old Raoul. At ten years old, Richard was only second to Philippe in Raoul's list of heros. So, Richard indulged Raoul in play, having Raoul chase him all around the manor in a wild game of tag. Finally, Richard ran into the abandoned side cellar.

Raoul paused.

"Richard, we aren't allowed down here." Raoul called as he carefully stepped down the stairs. He reached the bottom of the mildewy stairs and the dark enveloped him. It was then something ran by him and the door closed.

Richard's laughter rang on the outside of the cellar.

"Richard! Let me out!" Raoul called as he banged on the now barricaded door. "Richard!" Raoul called again as he dug his nails into the wet wood. Over again he called to Richard until he decided to call on the only one who could save him


"Philippe!" Raoul shouted as he struggled against the chains that bound him. Time had passed, whether minutes or hours or days, Raoul could not know. His voice was hoarse. No matter how he called, his brother did not come. Disoriented, Raoul could not discern memory from present.

Weary he sunk against the wall and slid to the ground. Raoul felt something to the right of him that he didn't feel before. A lamp and a match! Surprised, Raoul struck the match and lit the lamp to illuminate his surroundings.

A cell.

A cell in every sense of the word: petrified food, rats, the remnants of former occupants and a barred door.

Raoul did the only thing he could think of, he prayed. "Pater noster, qui est in caelis..."

The lamp has died.

The oil was barely enough for a couple hours, a pittance for a poor deserted soul. In the couple hours of light Raoul's state denigrated. He laughed, cried, tears and aloud for his brother and his love. He tore off some of his nails carving his initials in the soft wall to join the litany of the other residents.

The dark through the slated door was cut by two glowing objects coming forward. A lamp?

It was now dark. Raoul shivered on the steps. No one had come, and he missed supper. Crying, Raoul wiped his running nose on his sleeve.

"Papa," Raoul cried, in a vain for the nonentity in his life.

"Papa! Philippe! Papa! Philippe!"

At last a light came shining through the cracks in the wood.

"Raoul?" came the voice of his beloved older brother.


The door opened.


The door opened after a loud clang as the object barring the door fell off. The warm concerned face of his brother looked down at him and Raoul threw himself into his arms.

The person at the door lit a lamp to reveal a corpse.

"No!"cried Raoul.

A ghost instead of a brother.

Philippe never failed him.

"Philippe, why?" Raoul shouted. Why didn't he come?

No real reason why I wrote this. I read Leroux and wondered what Raoul did in the Communard dungeon. So I decided that he went a little crazy. No worries, he gets better! That is why the writing is a bit disoriented. Yes, it was on purpose. Anyway, I also wanted to write something that showed a bit of Raoul/Philippe relationship. (Not like that!)