The Phantom's Rose – Chapter one
It was Friday night and Jenine and Fiona were out. In London. On their way to see the greatest show on earth to be precise – The Phantom of the Opera.
"We are seriously lucky I got these tickets. You know how hard they are to come by" Jenine told Fiona.
"Yeah I totally owe you."
"Too right" Both girls stood inline to have their tickets checked.
"Okay, Balcony row A seats 25 and 26" the bored sounding usher said glancing at the tickets in Jenine's outstretched hand.
"I totally would have gone for Erik not the-fop-with-irritatingly-perfect-hair" said Jenine as she and Fi stepped out of the theatre.
"I so agree! I mean Christine's a bug-eyed twit for going with Ra-Fop," she said hurriedly glancing at Jenine's raised eyebrow.
"I mean he's a musical genius – not to mention totally cute."
"Are you thinking of Gerry again?" asked Fi as they walked down the stairs trying to avoid being left behind in the crush of people exiting the auditorium.
Jenine smiled wistfully "Yeah, I can't help it." Fiona snorted. "Alright maybe I can." Jenine laughed.
"Come on CJ." Jenine looked up at Fiona at the sound of her nickname. "What?" "Come on! What are you looking at?" Jenine glanced back down at the spot she had been just staring at. A red rose with a black ribbon bow tied at the stem, with a diamond ring lay at the bottom of the stairs. "Fi…" Jenine gulped and looked up at Fi with wide eyes.
"What?" Fi snapped irritably. She glanced down to where Jee had been looking not moments before. She gasped as Jenine reached down to pick up the rose.
"Do you think…d'you think it really is?" she breathed.
"I don't know Fi…" Jenine said turning the rose over in her hands.
"It certainly looks it," Said Fi "Check out the rock." She said pointing at the ring attached to the black ribbon. "What do you think?" Fi glanced at her dark-haired friend.
Jenine lightly fingered the ribbon. "I'm not sure-it can't be." "It looks exactly like the one in the movie" "I know." Jenine hesitantly touched the diamond. There was a rushing sound. Jee quickly glanced around at her friend. Grabbing Fi's arm, Jenine felt herself falling. Suddenly the sensation stopped. She was brought to an unpleasant halt onto cold, hard stone with a painful smack. "Oof" she moaned. Another smack announced the arrival of Fi. A groan escaped from Fi. She rolled over.
Jenine glanced over at her red-haired friend as she struggled to sit up. Jenine stood calmly and held out a hand for Fi. Fiona took it gratefully and stood brushing herself down.
"Where are we?"
Jenine looked around. Stone walls dripped with water, the floor littered with puddles and the occasional rat.
"I have no idea."
Jenine moved forward towards a nearby opening in the walls. She looked out and gasped. A large glittering lake met her unbelieving eyes. She pulled her head back and spun round to face Fiona with wide eyes.
"I think I know where we are." She gasped out.
"Um…I think…I think. We are in the Opera Populaire and we are five storeys underneath-"
"-in Erik's lair" finished Fiona gazing in amazement at Jenine.
"Do you think we are in 1870?" asked Fi.
"Only one way to find out." Jenine said grimly walking back to the opening in the wall. "Come on." Jenine cautiously inched out following a path around the lake, Fi hot on her heels.
Suddenly Jenine stopped. "Shush." She said sharply to Fiona as the other girl bumped into her almost falling into the lake.
A beautiful sound reached them. Both girls strained their ears. Jenine inched closer.
"Night-time sharpens, heightens each sensation.
Darkness stirs and wakes imagination.
Silently the senses abandon their defences."
Jenine's sharp intake of breath made Fiona motion her to be quiet.
" Slowly, gently, Night unfurls its splendour.
Grasp it; sense it, tremulous and tender.
Turn your face away from the garish light of day,
Turn your thoughts ways from cold unfeeling light
And listen to the music of the night."
Jenine grabbed Fiona's hand as they slowly but cautiously crept closer. They reached a rock jutting out from the wall. Placing their left hands on the wall for support both girls peeked round the rock.
A dark-haired man in black evening dress and a white porcelain mask stood serenading a young girl dress in a white corset, stockings and white lace petticoat and overcoat with chocolate brown curls falling gracefully over her pale shoulders.
"Christine Daae." Jenine growled as she narrowed her eyes at the ingénue.
"She's here?" inquired Fi, her view being slightly obscured by Jenine's hair. Jenine looked back at her friend. "Of course's she's here! Erik's singing 'Music of the Night' to her." She snapped.
"Does he look like Gerry or Chaney?" Fi said impatiently
"Oh! I don't know…Physique-wise he oozes Gerry hotness but face-wise nada." Jenine reported.
"Yes, her." Fiona rolled her eyes and continued, "Does she resemble Emmy?"
Jenine poked her head around again. Squinting in the general direction of Christine, she muttered.
"Yes…slightly. Funnily enough she has bigger ears. Hmmm…kinda Prince Charles-esque."
"What!" Fi squawked.
"Shush!" Jenine glared at the redhead and moved out of the way.
"Jeez." Said Fi "I'm surprised they don't flap!"
"What's Erik and Dumbo doing now?"
Fi turned around to Jenine and raised an eyebrow. "Dumbo?" she questioned.
"Omigod! You never saw that movie? Elephant with big ears? Look she has big ears and she's a brainless twit. Hence Dumbo."
Fi shrugged. "Fair enough." She turned back around and peeked out again. "Erik's placing Dumbo in the swan bed…closing the curtain…He's going over to his organ…and quelle surprise, he's composing."
"Right." Jenine moved Fi out of the way and purposefully moved forward.
"What are you doing?" Fi hissed yanking Jenine back by her arm.
"Introducing myself. He'll be curious if he finds us here sneaking about and in weird clothing. Plus he won't kill us because we have the element of surprise."
"Oh." Fi let go of her arm. Surprisingly enough Jenine's comment made sense…kinda. Jenine moved forward again, hand at the level of her eyes.
Fi stared at her. "Er…" Jenine looked back at her questioningly. Fiona gestured to her hand.
"Honestly, did you never pay attention to Madame Giry?" Jenine replied exasperatedly. "Your hand at the level of your eyes." She sang quietly.
Fiona smiled and nodded to show she understood, raising her own hand. Both girls rounded the corner and stepped out into the open.
The Phantom sat with his back to them, composing.
"Excusez-moi, monsieur." Jenine's soft voice floated across the room. The Phantom hit a wrong note loudly and cursed. "Merde." He spun round glaring at the two intruders, blue-green eyes glittering menacingly. In a flash the Punjab lasso was whistling through the air. Both girls nimbly sidestepped the rope, anticipating the Phantom's actions.
"Excusez-moi, monsieur." Jenine said again "Je suis desolee. Mon ami et moi…" Jenine gestured at Fi. "Je m'appelle Jenine Marie Louise Clark et elle s'appelle Fiona Marion Clarke."
"You had to say my middle name didn't you?" Fi said glaring at Jenine.
"Sorry" Jenine looked sheepishly at Fiona. Turning back to the phantom.
"Pardonnez-moi monsieur. Mon ami et moi…" Jenine started again "Mon…oh forget this…parley-vous an Anglais?" Jenine's meagre French ran out.
The Phantom studied Jenine curiously "Oui".
"Oh thank god. Year 11 French only gets me so far." She smiled "Look Fi and I somehow ended up here. We're from the year 2006 and we're eighteen."
"Yes we were just watching the Phant-" Jenine slapped a hand across her friends' mouth. "-tastic firework display at home" Jenine looked meaningfully at Fi.
The Phantom stared at the two girls. "I see," he said after a while. "I suppose this explains your odd err…attire." He murmured gesturing to Jenine's low cut silk black top, jeans and black satin high heels and Fiona's lilac t-shirt and jeans.
Jenine moved forward onto the stone floor, her heels clicking softly. "CJ!" Fi gestured to the footwear in question. Jenine nodded and slipped off the offending items and reached into her bag for her trainers that she had been intending to wear on her way home on the train.
"This place is seriously cool." She remarked as she pulled on the trainers, glancing around the lair.
"Why, pray, Mademoiselle Jenine are you so interested in my house? And why are you here?"
"It's amazing and I don't know why we're here. But I do know that it's a good thing." She replied.
Fiona was meanwhile examining the mannequin of Christine "Amazing it even has big ears." She said shaking her head.
"We of course know who you are – Monsiour le Fantome de L'Opera." Jenine smirked at the Phantom.
"Clever mademoiselle. How did you know? A gossiping ballet rat I suppose?" The Phantom walked slowly in front of her, forcing her to look up at him.
"Why, mademoiselle, did you refrain mademoiselle Fiona from speaking earlier?" he said silkily, fingering the Punjab lasso.
"Parce que monsieur. I did not want you to know something that may change history. It doesn't matter how I know you. For now at least."
Suddenly a high-pitched tinkling sounded. Jenine glanced over at Fiona. "I remember" she said eyes wide. Fi ran over to Jenine and dragged her across the room to a door and opened it, pushed Jenine in first and running in behind her, slammed the door, leaving a thoroughly bewildered Phantom behind in the middle of the room to ponder Jenine's strange comment.
Fi spun round to face Jenine –"Now what?"Please read and Review you lovely wonderful people! You'll get ben + jerry's choc chip cookie dough flavoured ice cream if you do...