Disclaimer: I don't own any of the characters.
This story was written for the PFN Third Morbidity Contest and placed 9th out of 24, joint place with my other entry 'The Perfect Rose'.
My Beloved Teacher
I know you don't think that I learnt much from him, Raoul, but I did. I learnt ever such a lot. Oh, the things that he taught me!
No, don't be silly! Of course I can't tell you! He would be terribly angry with me. Yes, he would, he would! Don't give me that look, darling. I've told you many a time that there is nothing to be done about it, no matter how many times you plead.
But I can assure you, dearest one, that I learnt many things from him. It wasn't just music you know, although that played the greatest part in it. There are many things to be learnt from someone so knowledgeable. And Erik had a great deal of knowledge. Oh yes… so much.
I do wish you wouldn't look at me like that. I told you long ago that I must carry on with what he taught me. I know that he is dead now but that does not mean that he can be forgotten. After all, you shall not be forgotten! No, the Viscount de Chagny would never be forgotten!
So neither shall my beloved teacher.
You do make things so very difficult, Raoul. You promised me, darling, that I could carry on with my lessons. I know what you meant – you meant for me to sing in private and forget everything else. But my other lessons must carry on.
Well, I suppose I must be honest with you, dearest. Erik did not teach me this. But I learnt nonetheless. After all, one picks up a few things simply by watching. And I watched Erik do this many times. He didn't know that I was watching! No, he didn't, but I was. I saw him take that long, lovely rope. I saw him put it about the neck, just so.
I wish you would stop that racket, dear. It's most disruptive. However am I to learn if you keep distracting me? Well, I'll have to do something if you don't stop at once. Oh, don't be so ridiculous! Now, hold still. The blade is nice and sharp, it won't hurt too much. The ones that Erik used to do this to never screamed. But then again, they didn't do much at all. They would just lie there. I wasn't supposed to look, but I did sometimes. Oh, do stop wriggling, darling, or I won't cut it right!
…I didn't expect there to be so much blood. But at least now you won't scream anymore. I'll just put this over here, I'm sure we can put it back later, sweetheart. Erik always said that the tongue was simply an aid to the voice. I'm sure it's not absolutely necessary.
Isn't it a beautiful knife, my love? It was his, you know. I found it when I went to bury him. It was wrapped up on the organ, with my name written on it in the most beautiful writing. I knew at once what he wanted me to do. He wanted me to carry on my lessons.
So I shall. I do owe him, after all. He let me go to you. It is only right to return the favour. Oh, do be careful Raoul! You're getting blood all over the carpet!
Well, I shall have to clean that later, won't I? Don't worry, I shan't bother the servants. I let them have the evening off, so we might share this together. We are so rarely alone these days…
Where was I? Ah yes. I was telling you what I saw Erik do. Well, I've already shown you how the rope goes. But Erik did it a little differently. He was quite strong, you know. I'm not so strong; I don't think I can pull it as hard as he could. So I'll have to take this stool away to show you how it works.
There is such a lot of blood, isn't there? I don't like it. It smells quite dreadful and it makes such a mess everywhere. But it IS a beautiful colour, don't you think? I think the colour makes up for the smell. Shall we have some more?
Oh, it's quite lovely now! So much of it! Your skin is so pale; it's beautiful against the red. Look how it makes little rivers, changing to drops. Poor Erik, he would never have looked so beautiful. Never. But he was beautiful inside, Raoul. He really was. Perhaps you didn't see that. I could see why you wouldn't. You never knew him as I did.
You never knew him at all.
I think we should finish now. I'm feeling rather unhappy. I miss him such a lot, Raoul. He meant a great deal to me. My beloved teacher, who was always there when I needed him.
I think I would like to sleep now. But you're already sleeping. Your eyes have closed!
Oh, Raoul be careful, you'll fall from the stool! Oh!
…What a strange noise. I didn't think it would sound like that. Not up close. Just a quick snap. I thought perhaps it would take longer than that, maybe sound very dramatic. Never mind, I don't suppose it matters all that much, Raoul.
I'm very tired. Let's go to bed now, Raoul.
Raoul, why aren't you waking up?
…No… No, this cannot be! I was only doing what he told me to do, Raoul! You're supposed to wake up now! Please, Raoul, please wake up!
Erik, what have you done? I did what you told me to do! You told me to do it!
What do I do? What do I do? Have I done wrong?
…No. No I haven't. I only did what Erik told me to do. I must never disobey him. He is great and I am not. He is everything and I am nothing.
I am his obedient student. And he is my Beloved Teacher.
Raoul darling, do stop looking at me like that. I already said that I would clear up the mess.