A Man for all Moods

Christine hummed happily as she sat in her room in the house by the lake, fixing her long blonde hair. Erik had bought her a new dress today-a pink satin lacy number with matching shoes-and she wanted to look her best when she tried it on for him. Erik was corpsey, it was true, and Christine had no intention of allowing him to touch her in the dress he had purchased; but he was so devoted and love struck that she enjoyed the look of wonder that shone in his yellow eyes whenever she looked especially nice.

Adjusting the final detail, a diamond pendant necklace that Erik had given her on the night she agreed to stay, she carefully examined herself once more before entering the drawing room. Erik was waiting for her, seated on the sofa by the fire with a book in hand. When he heard her behind him, he stood and turned slowly to look at her. An expression of such amazement passed over him that Christine could sense it despite the black mask that fully covered his face. The book he held fell to the ground unheeded and he drew a trembling breath.

"Oh, Christine! I…I've never…" but he was flustered and couldn't finish. He was clearly struggling with temptation, and he moved slightly towards her, reaching out his skeletal hand towards the delicate necklace that hung from her throat. Christine allowed him to progress, deeply satisfied by his reaction, but at the very moment that his hand would touch her, she stepped back and stopped him.

"No Erik. You know the rules. No touching…not yet. First you must go to your room."

"But Christine," he whimpered, crestfallen. "Must I always be denied? You would gladly give yourself to another, yet you cannot abide even the smallest contact from me!"

But Christine would not listen. She held out her hand and pointed to his door. "Go to your room now Erik, or there will be no contact at all, ever!"

Hanging his head like a naughty boy awaiting punishment, Erik trudged miserably into his room. Christine smiled, satisfied at his obedience, and cheerfully followed him to the threshold, locking the door once he was securely inside with a little gold key that dangled on a chain with two others. Leaning against the door for a moment and absently tracing the little plaque (it read "Erik the First") that was mounted there with her finger, she thrilled in the memory of his utter adoration this evening. It was much more overwhelming than usual, and she wanted to make the evening special because of it. Rather than rushing into things, she thought a little witty banter might add exciting tension.

Immediately to the left of Erik's black door was a second, bright white door, with a little plaque mounted at eye level that read "Erik Light". Moving to it, she chose the largest key on the chain and unlocked it. The door swung open and an immaculately dressed man stepped out, very similar to the Erik she had just locked away, but for a few small differences: he was taller and less deathly in his general physique, though still unnaturally thin, he wore a full white mask rather than a black one, and he moved with a sensual grace, full of erotic suggestions, that the first man lacked.

"Good evening Erik," said Christine. "I hope you haven't been terribly bored stuck in that dreadful room for so long."

"Of course not, my dear. I have many talents; I am perfectly capable of," he coughed politely. "Entertaining myself in your absence."

Christine blushed and laughed nervously. "You have extraordinary ability Erik, and your hands are so dexterous, I'm sure they help wonderfully in your playing…music I mean," she added hastily.

"Yes, these hands." He held them up and looked at them in puzzlement. "They have seen so much blood; and yet, they are capable of creating such beauty, of causing pleasure even as they have caused grief, of evoking ecstasy that is almost like pain…but sweeter, of course." His voice was low and husky as he moved to Christine's side, placing his outstretched hands on her shoulders, and she shivered in delight. "I could show you what I mean, my darling, if only you would let me."

"Oh, Erik, you are good," she breathed tremulously. "I think that will do for tonight. It's time to return to your room."

"But…"

"No, you must go now. Before the mood is ruined."

"Damn you, you little traitor!" he roared, but his sudden fury was too much for his declining health and he clutched convulsively at his chest as he heaved great gasping breaths.

But Christine was unconcerned, and took advantage of his sudden weakness as she pushed him back into his room, chirping "don't worry; you'll get what you've been waiting for in the end," before locking the door behind him. She was trembling in excited anticipation when she reached the third door, covered in red velvet with a plaque that read "Phluffy Phantom". Taking the last key, curly and ornate to the point of ostentation, she unlocked the door to reveal the perfect specimen of a man, gorgeous and sexy save for a teensy problem with his right cheek, which he covered very nicely in a little white mask. Christine didn't mind this mask, though: it only added to his allure.

Stepping back, she took a moment to admire his perfect body, displayed nicely in tight breeches and a shirt that was half open.

"Hello, Angel," she said with a coy smile. "Could I have a lesson please?"

"Oh, Christine," he rasped. "I will give you a lesson to top all other lessons. By the time I'm done with you, you'll be truly lessoned out." He was not the brightest of her collection, but he served his purpose, and without ado. Moving quickly, he pinned her to the wall, and nibbled seductively on her ear. It was so pleasant, so utterly fantastic, that, lost in the moment, Christine thought that she might like to stay with this Angel forever.

The following morning, Christine woke early feeling strange and disoriented. Something was definitely not right, though she was lost in a fog, and couldn't begin to guess what it was that had changed. Shaking her head, she climbed out of bed and pulled on a dressing gown before heading to the kitchen for tea. But when she entered the living room, she discovered that her Angel was still there, playing surreptitiously with dolls in the corner.

"Angel! What are you doing here?" she asked. "Didn't I put you away last night?"

"Don't you remember?" he asked pleasantly as he stood to face her. "You asked me to stay. And what's more, you gave me your keys." He pulled the chain with the three keys from his pocket and dangled them smugly in front of her. "Don't you realize what a commitment you've made. Don't you understand the changes that come along with it? It's like this," he said, and he collected one of the dolls from the floor and gave it to her. It was a little woman in a white lace negligee with dark eyes and hair. "Oh, look. It's beginning." Christine looked at the curls that fell loosely over her shoulders and dropped the doll in horror. Running to her room, she stood in front of the only mirror in the house and screamed at what she saw: chocolate curly hair sprouted from her head and her Swedish blue eyes were turning to brown even as she watched. Utterly aghast, her reflection stared back at her with a look of vapid confusion.

In the doorway behind her, her Angel appeared. "This is the price you pay for choosing Phluffy Phantom," he said in triumph. "Now you shall never have any thought but thoughts of me!" And he laughed, long and maniacally.

Christine thought once more of Erik the First, and Erik Light, realizing with regret that she might never see them again. But then suddenly all such deep thoughts left her mind, never to return again, and the Phantom smiled: for her transformation was complete.