Author Note: I do not own Phantom of the Opera. But the plot and other charactors are mine.


\I sit on mother's lap, listening to her tell me one of her stories that I so dearly love to hear. I hear the crackling of the fire; I feel its warmth upon my skin.

Outside it is snowing. I see the little snowflakes falling from the window.

I snuggle closer to mother. She smells like violets, I breathe in deeply oh how I love that scent.
Father is sitting in his favorite rocking chair by the fire, nodding off to sleep, his pipe is in his hands, which are resting on his lap.
My brothers are playing with their new train set on the Persian rug.
Mother smoothes down my dark, wavy hair, and kisses me on the forehead.
I look up at her and smile. She smiles back.

"It is bed time Darcy". She lifts me up gently in her arms and carries me to my room.
"I'm not sleepy".
"Hush child, all good little girls are in bed".
She pulls back the coverlet and lays me down.
"Now say your prayers," I say them aloud.
She tucks me in and kisses me once again on the forehead.

"Go to sleep". Mother blows out the candle by my bed. She walks out slowly and closes the door behind her.

It is dark, but I am not afraid. I know that my parents are nearby. I drift off to sleep, lulled by the strong wind blowing through the trees.

A bright light glowing from outside my window suddenly awakes me.
There are voices. They grow louder and louder. Men are shouting.

Mama comes in. "Get up! Hurry ,Hurry!
"What's wrong?"
Mother grabs me by the arms and drags me out of bed. She puts my robe on me.
I feel nervous, almost panicky. "What's wrong"?

Mother puts her finger over her lips. "Shhhh, you must be quite."
Father comes in. His eyes are wide with fear. Even in the dark I can see them shining.
He picks me up. I wrap my arms around his neck and bury my face in his jacket.

"Go, Now!" Mother sounds frantic.

Father carries me out the back door and puts me upon one of the horses. We ride into the woods. I look back at mother standing in the doorway. There is fear on her face. Why? Why is she frightened?

We are deep into the woods now. Father sets me down.
"Stay right here. I'll be back".
"No! Don't leave me, Please!" He does not hear me. He is gone.

The dark forest seems to close in around me, coming closer and closer, until I feel like I will suffocate in its darkness.
"Come back! Do not leave me alone! Please!"

I wake up suddenly, breathing hard. Tears are streaming down my face.

It was just a nightmare, but at one time, it was not. It is a memory from my past. Well I have not time to think about that now.
Later, perhaps tonight, if I am not too tired, I will face those painful memories; those nightmares.

I sit up on my bed, which is just a small cot. My room is a small basement like space. It is about 8 x 8. The irregular pentagon shape of my room makes it seem a lot smaller.

I light a candle so I can see. The clock beside my bed shows it is 4:00 am
Time for me to get up and get dressed. I reach over and turn of the alarm before it rings, which will be in about ten minutes.
I have to be downstairs in the hall entrance at exactly 5:00 am; Madame Bourg does not tolerate tardiness.

I go over to the little washbasin in the corner of my small dark little room. The water is very cold. It does not bother me;' I am used to using cold water.

I wash and dry my face, then study me reflection in the mirror.

The face staring back is not exactly what one would call beautiful.
Interesting, that is how someone had summed up my looks.
My eyes are the only extraordinary feature I have. They are large and a very light, unusual green. My skin is an olive complexion, not the pale look that is so fashionable among the women.
I do not look my nineteen years. Most people assume that I am a lot younger.
I am also tall for a woman; just a little over five foot, seven inches.

I take down my long wavy hair from its braid. My gift from mother. She had the same dark, heavy hair. "From the Gypsies" she would tell me. My grandmother is a Gypsy.
It takes a while to comb it out, but finally I am done. I twist my unruly hair into a bun and pin it up, as high as I could.

I glance at my maid uniform lying on the chair beside the washbasin.
It looks like all the other maid dresses. Black with a large white apron. I have been working as a maid in the Populaire for about six months.

I remove my nightgown and put on all the nessaries before slipping on my dress.

I pick up the little lace cap that has fallen to the floor. Carefully I pin it over my hair.
There, I am now ready to go down.

It is now 4:35 am. I have just enough time to stop by the kitchen and grab something to eat.

I arrive in the hall ten minutes early. The hall is dark, lit by only a few candelabras.
Some of the other girls are already there.

Madame Bourg enters the hall. She is a grim-looking woman who oversees the cleaning of the Opera Populaire.
She is very criticizing and watches every move we make. One small mistake and your job is over. All the maids hold her in mortal dread.

Madame Bourg dislikes me greatly, though I never could understand why.
She makes sure she assigns me tasks the are strenuous and difficult or take the longest to complete.

Madame Bourg walks over and stands directly in front me. Her grey eyes are as cold as steel. I return the look. I will not let her intimadate me.

"Darcy LeClerc, your assignment will be the ballroom. I expect it to be cleaned to my satisfaction and in a timely manner." Her voice is cold and harsh.

Anger surges through me. That is not fair! You cannot do this to me! How can you be so cruel? What have I ever done to make you hate me so? For one person to clean a room of that size, in the few short hours I will be allotted, is impossible.

I watch as she assigns the others, two by two, less arduous tasks. It takes all my strength to restrain the impulse to choke her, to tell her what I think of her.

The ballroom is massive and ornately designed. I glance around at the beautiful marble floors, the large staircase, the intricate carving and statues. It looks different than it did before the fire. I have seen its previous glory in pictures.

I walk over to the stairs and lean against the banister. I feel the tears forming in my eyes.
I hate that woman! That miserable, pathetic creature.

Most of my life I have been treated unkindly; except by my parents and a few others.

I straighten with a sigh and wipe the tears away. I better get started now if I expect to be done on time.


Please read and review. Let me know if I should continue this story.

You can tell that Darcy has had a rough life. Poor Girl. More of her background is to be revealed.