Author's Note: A bit different from my other works but hopefully still horrific enough to please my readers.

Disclaimer: I own none of the characters of The Phantom Of The Opera and am in no way making a profit from this story.

The tinkling melody rippled through the cavernous spaces of the empty darkness, rousing the silent sleeper from gentle slumber. A pair of pale eyes gleamed in the eternal night as the dreamer awoke. Searching the inky depths for the source of the now silent sound.

"Christine?" He whispered, the name of his beloved a song in the night. Sitting up he peered past the open doorway to where he knew the frail music box sat. "Christine?"

The unending silence of the tomb was the only reply. The chill air swirled about, heedless of the one who waited and listened so closely. Five minutes passed, ten, an eternity of slowly crushed hopes. His aching sigh echoed throughout the chamber as he lay down once more.

No sooner had his head lay rested, no sooner had his eyes slipped shut, than the first haunting tones once more danced through the dark. Flinging himself upwards he could not help the cry that escaped his lips, "Christine!"

The name bounced off the stone walls, repeating itself softly, mocking him in his desperation. Groaning he pulled himself to stand, wishing for the first time he had eaten something to help keep his strength up. But food had seemed so unimportant and unappealing. Why bother with pretending? With his love rejected, he had lost the will to go on.

Clinging to walls for support he painfully drug himself forward, inch by agonizing inch. The music box was in her room, the one room he could hardly bear to enter now that she was gone. With a violent lurch he fell forward, blooding his forehead upon the floor. He had forgotten there was a hidden opening in the wall, one of many within these walls. Pulling himself into a sitting position, he wobbled and waited for the spinning room to come to a halt.

The cheerful tune from so long ago once more graced the darkness with its song.

"Who's there!" He shouted angrily, the pain of his heartache overwhelming him. "Christine? Is that you?" For the briefest moment he could have sworn he heard a soft swish sound, like the sound of a skirt trailing across the stone floors, causing his heart to skip a beat. "My dearest, please answer me!"

The silence held sway.

If Christine was here she would not answer him. Or perhaps she could not, his mind whispered to him. What if she was hurt and unable to call out to him? What if this was her way of asking for his help? The passages down to the lair were dangerous, filled with traps and snares. The terrifying thought that she might be injured spurned him into action.

"Christine! Just hold on, I'll help you!" He shouted even as the melody started once more. Only this time it did not stop.

Groaning at the effort, he clawed his way forward, his broken nails fighting to gain purchase on the uneven stones beneath him. Dimly he was aware of the blood dripping from his face but it didn't matter. He had to see, to make sure she was safe and nothing was going to stop him. Only a few more feet to go, he thought to himself as the familiar tune played over and over, driving him on.

At last he had reached the door to her room. It looked so imposing, the dark wood towering above him. Still the music played on. Determined not to show any weakness before her, he managed to pull himself to a stand, leaning heavily upon the doorframe. Suddenly feeling very afraid he slowly reached a shaking hand towards the doorknob. Taking a shuddering breath to steady his nerves, he turned the knob slowly, hearing the soft click as it unlatched. With only a slight creak of protest against its disuse the door swung open.

It looked as it always had. The bed neatly made, the flowers upon the vanity that had dried into an eternal bouquet from the day she was last here. Her brush and mirror lay in the same spot she had left them. Her closet was still partly open; he could see the hanger upon which the wedding dress had rested. Nothing was out of place or different from how he remembered it. The music box sat beside her bed, playing on as though oblivious to the pain it had caused. The overwhelming pain.

Falling back to his knees he began sobbing uncontrollably, great gasping sobs, his blood and tears puddling on the beautiful carpet under him. They wracked his body, bending him, breaking him down. He wished for death, knowing it would not be long in coming now. Finally running out of tears, he cried on silently, his entire soul filled with unbearable agony. The unending song the only witness to his suffering.

Swish.

Even in his pain wracked body he heard it. As unmistakable as a slap in the face, he knew he had heard it. There was no light in the room by which to see, but he knew with what little sanity he had left in him that it had come from the other side of the bed.

She was on the floor, she had to be. His tired brain whimpered. She must have fallen…

Sliding in the fluids that now drenched the carpet around him, he managed to pull himself forward towards the end of the bed. Grasping onto the bedspread he pulled his uncooperative body along. He managed to struggle forward another foot before the sheets slipped off the bed, tangling his legs, legs that he distantly noticed he could no longer feel. Cursing in frustration he pulled himself ever onward, crawling on his belly, wincing as his bleeding fingers struggled to get a grip in the plush carpet. Only a little further…

The unblinking yellow eyes of a kitten stared back at him. Gazing at the stranger without fear, the kitten watched him intently for a moment then returned to playing with the handkerchief on the floor, making a soft swish sound as it tugged it across the floor.

He could not stop the laugh that broke forth from his chest. He remembered Philippe telling him not to shoot at kittens in the dark. Dear Philippe who only wanted to help, now dead and forgotten at the bottom of the monster's lake. The very same monster who had stolen his angel, his Christine from him. She could not possibly love such a thing; he had clearly possessed her mind. He had waited and waited for them to return, for the beast to once more seek the safety of its lair. It was only a matter of time. But it was too late now. Far too late……

Raoul's unblinking eyes stared forever into oblivion as the laughter faded from his lips, carried into the unending dark by his last breath.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

The kitten perked up at the sound of the laughter, its curiosity piqued at the new sound. Creeping closer to the new thing it warily watched, making sure it wouldn't do anything else unexpected. It was a very strange looking thing but maybe it would be fun to play with. It smelled like blood but not like the blood of the food things his mother brought him. Finally close enough to touch the thing he brushed against the thing gently. When nothing happened, he tried it again, a little harder. The thing didn't move. Turning his attention back to the fun thing on the floor, the kitten bounced over, tugging it around and about as his mother sat atop the dresser, watching the music box with knowing eyes.

Reviews are always greatly appreciated.