"There are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy,"
Who ever said that there was no such thing as the unexplained phenomenon of haunting lied.
Who ever believed that there was no such thing as ghosts was wrong.
Erik road silently in the back of the cab. He was not sure how exactly he had gotten there, as he had had every intention of returning to his house by the lake and dying. However, he had done this; he had lay in his coffin and waited for the all consuming darkness, but it had never come.
He had wanted so badly to die; to leave the cruel world behind, but even in this endeavor he had been unsuccessful. It had been impossible for him to die; so he had done the only other thing he could do; he had gone on living.
Erik had decided that as he had saved quite a bit of money during his opera career he would purchase a home in the countryside of France. He had not wanted to stay in the house by the lake; he could not, not after Christine.
Every wall echoed her name back at him and he saw her face in every mirror and in ever picture and in every room. Erik wanted to remember her; but not in that place, not in the place where she had left him for good.
And so he had found a suitable house in the French countryside; as much as he hated socializing he could be charming when he wanted to be and he had managed to secure a rundown old estate by a river; far away from the prying eyes of Paris.
Erik had told the Persian where he was going; he had been forced to, as the Persian had insisted that he explain his plans. He had been worried the Erik was going after Christine again. He had promised he would visit soon after Erik was settled in. Erik was not crazy about the idea, but he doubted anything he could say would stop him from coming.
Erik shifted in his seat; turning away from the window of the cab and looking straight ahead of him at the wooden planks of the cab. All of his luggage was placed on the seat opposite him; he did not have much that he was taking; just some clothes and music sheets and a secret chest. All else he had thought he would not need.
The cab pulled into a dirt driveway lined with tall shrubs. It appeared that once these shrubs had been immaculately trimmed and quite impressive looking; but now they were overrun with neglect and had lost all of their grandeur.
These shrubs did still make an impact on the observer however; they did not inspire respect for the wealthy owner; instead they were quite eerie; silent markers of a time which was long gone; a time in which there had been another owner entirely.
Erik felt an involuntary shiver run up his spine as the cab passed the tall shrubs. He was not a man who was easy to scare; but he did get a disquieted felling as the cab swam in and out of the shadows of the tall shrubs.
The house was then in view. It was a crumbling white building and weeds grew in choking tangles all around the sides; it had once been grand; as the shrubs had been, but when the owners left it fell into disrepair.
That was why Erik thought he had received such a fair price for the estate; because it was dilapidated. How wrong he was.
The cab stopped and the driver dutifully opened the door for Erik and let his strange passenger exit; holding his luggage in his hands.
Erik hastily paid the driver; desiring only to be left alone forever. How futile a hope.
Erik had decided he wanted no help with the house; no servants to distract him, not human contact of any kind, what he needed he would make for himself.
The cab drove quickly away; sending up clouds of dust from its wheels. Erik watched it until he saw it disappear around a bend and then all he saw in front of the house was the tall shrubs and the long grass which was growing unchecked. He was satisfied; alone at last.
Erik had made up his mind what he was going to do; he would build a shrine to Christine and then he could sit in that room and remember her happily; he could even imagine she was there with him and that she had never left him.
What Erik did not know as he stepped out of the hot afternoon sun and into the cool shadows of the foyer was that he would never be alone again.
The first thing he wanted to do was find the proper room for his Christine. He saw the living room and the dinning room; both under siege from aggressive cobwebs and dust, neither of which would do. He found bedrooms in the upstairs; all covered over in time's blanket of ruin, and again he felt that these rooms were insufficient.
Erik walked back down the stairs from the bedrooms and cursed as his foot fell on a step which sent a loud crack through the otherwise silent house.
He winced at the sound which split the calm quiet of the house. On second thought, Erik felt, it was not really a clam quiet. It was more of an oppressive silence; ever since Erik had walked through the door he felt that there was something strange about the house. Something in the way the air hung heavy in the old rooms, and the way he felt something was around him, some presence he could not yet detect…
"You are being ridiculous," Erik thought to himself, "I of all people know there is no such thing as ghosts of sprits; it is always fake,"
Erik continued down the stairs, and then he saw a door he had missed before. Erik considered for a moment; the door looked as though it opened to a closet or some other irrelevant room, but he wanted to open it anyway.
He turned the knob but the door appeared to be stuck. He put his shoulder against it and shoved. Erik fell forward into a large room with a wooden floor into which sun was streaming. Erik stood amazed; he knew this was the right room.
What had made him so certain was the fact that the room contained a large piano. Erik went to the instrument and wondered why it had been left behind. He pressed a few keys and to his surprise the piano was in tune.
Erik wasted no time in unpacking the chest he had brought containing Christine's things and arranging them in a pleasing fashion. He took such pleasure in this task that he hardly noticed the afternoon was gone and night had fallen.
With one last look at his room, Erik trudged up the stairs and fell into one of the beds in the rooms upstairs. It had a lumpy old mattress which was covered in dust; but he was exhausted from all he had done.
He slept soundly for some time; but in his dreams he began to hear piano music. It grew louder and louder until Erik woke up.
"What is that?" he muttered to himself as he realized the music was still going, even after he woke up.
Erik stood slowly, and silently he advanced toward the sound of the music. He went down the stairs, taking care to skip the one that creaked, and he realized it was coming from the Christine room. Erik inhaled sharply; someone must have broken into the house,
"Oh, that is logical, they break into the house and play the piano?" one of the voiced inside him said,
"Well what to you suggest? A ghost?"
Erik concluded that an intruder must have broken in, though he had not heard the break in. The music was quite loud now and Erik's hand began to shake as he reached for the knob,
"You are being ridiculous," he told himself and with that he grabbed the doorknob and thrust it open.
There was no one in the room and the music stopped. However, all the things in the room were rearranged; they were on opposite sides; in different order; and Erik concluded that he must have done it earlier with out realizing it.
Erik still felt a sense of foreboding; something in the room was a bit off. He felt a strange energy cursing through the air and Erik felt…
He snorted to himself;
"Unwanted in your own home," a voice inside him laughed,
Erik saw the piano key cover was open and he quickly shut it and left the room. Erik heard nothing more that night; but the next morning when he returned to the Christine room; the cover on the piano was open again.