Disclaimer: I do not in any way shape or form own the marvelous tale entitled "The Phantom of the Opera", nor do I own any of the music, plotlines, and associated characters. I also do not own the song entitled "The Show Must Go On".

The Show Must Go On

The show must go on.

As I wandered through my old domain, I thought back on the memories it held. It had been my sanctuary for so many years, this place. It had heard the first strains of my masterpiece and seen Christine come and then go. So many times, one phrase had been my motivation to carry on.

The show must go on.

It had been the title of a song that I had heard a woman sing long before I had answered the prayer of a downhearted little seven-year-old named Christine Daae, one that she'd written herself. I had first laid eyes on the woman while in Persia and have not forgotten her to this day. She was the first to truly break the heart I had, and she would not be the last.

Inside my heart is breaking.

My heart broke all over again just thinking about her and our encounters in Persia; her mysterious amber eyes had not left my mind since I'd last seen them in person.

But my smile still stays on.

Not that I smiled that much, but somehow I had managed to carry myself through an entire century and beyond. Death, even cruel Death would not dare take my deformed and miserable soul into his arms. I was somehow instead made to suffer through eternity.

Whatever happened?

My old domain was not as it used to be-this I realized as I wandered through my intricate labyrinth that I had built so long ago; it matched me. The atmosphere held no magic whatsoever. Instead it was cold and dank, far from the warmth that it had radiated so long ago in my very presence.

I leave it all to chance.

Many times I had challenged Death-countless brawls, swordfights, even gunfights-and Death had bowed out leaving me still the ever-miserable victor over himself. Even in starvation and sickness would Death not claim me.

Another heartache...another failed romance...

The last to leave my heart aching was a CIA agent by the name of Aisling Kristos. Even she had left, no matter her feelings. In this day and age, women had not changed. Aisling had attempted to pull me from my pitiful state; she had failed.

On and on, does anybody know what we are living for?

Music was, perhaps, the only passion that I lived for now. As I neared the house on the lake, I could almost hear music from the days of old floating distantly on the air. I found it to be restored to what it once had been, once inside. Even the organ was intact.

I have to find the will to carry on.

As I came closer to the organ, I made out a shape in the shadows beside it. Amber eyes gazed out at me. Could it be? I called out Her name, and she smiled.

On with the show.