I hope this letter finds you in good health. I trust that mother and the family are well? I have recently moved into a new dressing-room at the Opéra, befitting my increased status. Gabrielle and the children would love it; it fairly reeks of glamour. There is a vast, magnificent mirror at the far wall. It was formerly the dressing-room of one Christine Daaé. But I digress. Send my love to mother and the children, and do take care!
Your Devoted Sister,
She finished the letter, heaving a sigh that was punctuated by a yawn. Pushing aside the Époque and slamming down her pen, she stood up with a rustle of skirts. The mirror stared at her as she walked towards it, her own reflection looking out: a short woman with curly dark hair. She clenched her fists, and the reflection did too. It was a glamorous mirror, to be sure. But the room had a dismal air about it that she did not like. The reflection pursed its full lips, its brow wrinkling unbecomingly and the dark beneath its eyes standing out in purpley-shadowy crescents.
Tiredness prickled at her eyes, and she bit her lip unconsciously. Looking down at her white hands, she sighed again and smoothed the dress unnecessarily against her thighs. A chill caressed her round arms and tickled her scalp. She shivered. Growing weary of seeing her reflection, she turned from it and paced the length of the dressing-room.
She inhaled the fading scent of flowers that hung cloyingly in the air, humming to herself as she folded the letter neatly in thirds. She put her nose to the letter, never growing tired of the childish pleasure of smelling the perfumed paper. Sometimes Geneviève missed Adèle and her sisterly ways. But that was what letters were for.
She glanced at the shadowy mirror again, noticing how the candle failed to illuminate fully the gloomy dressing room. The flame twirled restlessly on the blackened wick, reflected exactly in the mirror. Her own reflection danced with golden candlelight. But there were areas of the room whose shadows lingered, such as the door to her closet. The dark was not a comfortable thing, especially not in this dressing room, where so many ghosts lingered. Glancing almost furtively in the mirror again, she remembered that mirrors were said to be windows to the Devil.
She looked away quickly, fiddled with the small mirror on her table, began to hum again. It was something to fill up the silence. She really ought to be getting home. Chastising herself for dallying so, she gathered up the letter and nervously picking up a candle in preparation for her venture into the closet. Opening the door quickly, she held the candle in front of her to illumine the closet as best she could. All that was left was some of Christine Daaé's old things, and her cloak. The little room smelled faintly of its previous occupant's perfume. She snatched her cloak and jumped out of the dimly lit room, fear jumping in her stomach.
Letting out a nervous laugh, she wondered what she was doing. The dark had never held any secrets or fear for her before. But there was something about this room that sparked the imagination…send it spinning into unpleasant fantasies. There was nothing there, Geneviève assured herself. She would soon be home in her flat, and she would go to sleep and forget all about her irrational fear. She hummed louder.
Setting down the candle gently, she pulled on her cloak and wrapped a scarf about her neck. Averting her eyes from the huge mirror, fear jumping in her stomach, she picked up her purse. She opened the door to her dressing-room. She stuck her little hand into the purse, feeling for the key's cold hardness. Pulling it out, she gripped it until her knuckles whitened. A flash of white on the floor send her eyes spinning towards it and her stomach leaping and tumbling with fear as though a thousand horses were running inside of her.
A piece of paper had fallen to the floor; it had been wrapped around her key. Reaching down with a trembling hand, she picked it up, shivering. She gripped the key harder, keeping an eye on the wavering candle flame. The paper had on it two words scrawled in a puerile hand: GET OUT.
She gasped, dropping it to the floor in her haste and rushing to her table to blow out the candle. She simply wanted to leave this dressing-room and get home to her flat. Her elbow scraped across the table as she leaned forward and blew out the candle. There was a crash.
A wisp of smoke from the candle climbed to the ceiling and the light from the hallway illuminated the jagged, broken shards of the little mirror, fallen to the floor.