Amy stood before the little, square mirror which hung above the plain, pine dresser in her dormitory room, looking at herself; at her golden hair, tied back in its half-pony-tale, at her petite elfin face, interrupted by the large glasses, above her turtle-neck and sweater. She could see the plain room behind her, with its white walls and pine closet. She looked down on the dresser, and saw her Phantom tape there, the lettering, rose and white mask standing out brightly against the black background. She looked back up at the mirror. Admittedly it was a plain little mirror, nothing like the ornate, full-length peer-glass in the show, but it was still a mirror . She could still look at herself in it and pretend that behind it stood the Phantom, ready to call her through it into his world as he had done with Christine, though obviously it was nowhere near big enough for that. Still, it was nice to pretend. She popped the Phantom tape into her ghetto-blaster, and began to sing along with it, singing to the mirror.
"Angel, I hear you!
Speak, I listen.
Stay by my side,
Angel, my soul was weak,
Enter at last,
"Flattering child you shall know me" the voice of Michael Crawford as the Phantom sang back to her from the tape,
"See why in shadow I hide.
Look at your face in the mirror,
I am there inside!"
The next section, Amy sang with her face only inches from the glass.
"Angel of Music,
Guide and guardian,
Grant to me your glory!
Angel of Music,
Hide no longer!
Come to me strange Angel!"
Again the voice from the tape replied, "I am your Angel of Music, come to me Angel of Music!"
As Amy sang this duet with the tape, a curious thing began to happen. She could have sworn that the mirror was growing. At first she was so caught up in singing with the Phantom that she hadn't noticed it. But now, she noticed with a start that the mirror had definitely grown, and was rapidly approaching the full size of the mirror in the show though it retained it's plain, pine frame. Moreover, the lights in the room had dimmed, and the mirror was shimmering as though with an inner light. It also seemed to be rippling, as though it were no longer solid glass, but rather some sort of water or mist. She could no longer see her reflection in the glass, nor that of the room. Nor could she hear her Phantom tape. It had apparently stopped of its own accord. Instead, she saw in the mirror the figure of a tall man, entirely shrouded in a black cloak, who held out a white-gloved hand to her, and coming from behind him she heard soft, celestial music.
Amy stood gaping. Was this really happening? How was this happening? Should she take the proffered hand and go through the mirror with the man in the cloak? She knew that it couldn't possibly be some one trying to lead her off somewhere, like a kidnapper or anything. Her mirror was on a wall which connected to nothing except the next dorm room and wasn't anywhere near the door of her own room. And anyway, her room was on the second story, all of which made the present situation exceedingly bizarre. She wondered how long she dared wait before the mirror would shrink back to normal. She did not sense any danger from the man in the glass, no alarm bells going off in her head. With some hesitation, she reached her hand forward and saw and felt it pass through the glass up to her wrist, and immediately felt the man's gloved hand grasp hers. She gaped even more. She felt herself being pulled gently by the hand and stepped forward. She felt the rest of herself pass, as her hand had done first, through the watery, misty substance which had, until five minutes ago been solid glass.
Once through, Amy looked about and saw that she was in the most curious place she had ever imagined seeing. It seemed, at one and the same time, to be both a stone passage and a forest, with living trees and flowers growing in the darkness of the night. The air was fresh and crisp, the leaves of the trees rustling in the faint breeze. She could sense a clear night sky above her though she could not see it. The soft, celestial music could still be heard faintly, off in the distance somewhere, and beside Amy still stood the tall figure of the man in the cloak. She noticed with alarm however that she could no longer see the mirror-door behind her where it ought to have been.
"Do not be afraid." Said a positively beautiful voice which issued from beneath the hood of the cloak, from the mouth of a face which she could not see.
"But the mirror! How will I get back?" Amy asked, still anxious.
"Do not be afraid." The man's voice said again. "It will appear again when your journey is complete, when you have done that which you came here to do."
Amy looked at him oddly then. What she had come there to do? What was he talking about? She certainly had not had any specific purpose in mind when she had taken his hand and stepped through the mirror, nor even when she had put on the tape and begun singing for that matter. Come to think of it, who was he and where was this place?
"This" he said, apparently able to sense her thoughts, "is the Labyrinth. And I am Erik, its master. You have come here to find your voice."
"Huh?" Amy blurted, more confused. "But I have a voice."
"Do you now?" the cloaked man replied, apparently amused.
"Of course I do. What do you think I've been talking to you with, and what do you think I was singing with just now?"
The man in the cloak gave a small, warm chuckle. "That" he said "is but the voice which you have been given by chance. It is not your true voice. It is your true voice which I have brought you here to find. Walk the labyrinth and you will find it." Then he disappeared.
Amy stood with her mouth open, astonished at his sudden vanishing act. She still had no idea what in the world he had been talking about and, now that she was alone in the passage, she was a little scared. He had said "walk the labyrinth", but she had absolutely no idea which way to go.
She was standing in an alcove of sorts, the back wall of which was where the mirror-door had just recently been. Ahead of her, a path crossed the one which went straight out from the cul-de-sac in which she stood. She walked forward to the spot where the paths crossed and looked in all available directions. They all looked alike to her, all were the same odd combination of stone pathways apparently in the midst of a dense forest which was yet somehow underground. She stood for a while, looking down each path as far as she could see in the dim half-light which softly illuminated the place, wondering which way to take.
At length, as Amy stared down the passage ahead of her, she became aware that she could hear voices further along. There seemed to be two voices and, as she listened, she discerned that they seemed to be having a heated argument. As she stood, one of the voices grew louder until it was shouting, while the other rose more plaintively as though its owner were trying to pacify the one who was shouting. Amy could not distinguish their words so, wondering what on Earth was going on, she began to follow the voices down the long passage.
When at last Amy found the source of the voices, after walking down the passage for what felt like miles, she stopped dead in her tracks for she stood looking upon the most bizarre sight she had ever beheld. A small white rabbit stood arguing querulously with a,… well,… creature, which had the head and torso of a woman and the body of a peacock. It was this creature who was doing the shouting, or rather screeching, for she had a high and shrill voice, while the rabbit was attempting to placate her, apparently without success. In fact, it seemed that the more the rabbit tried to appease, the more enraged the peacock-woman, who's hair was done up in an elaborate style, became.
"No!" the peacock-woman shrieked, her voice echoing in the passage. "I will not be insulted like this!"
"I'm sorry Madame, but…" the rabbit began as calmly as possible.
"No!" she shrieked again, cutting him off. "I will not be so humiliated! You go tell the Master that, if he wants me there, he'd best make a door that I can go through without having to shrink myself down to the size of vermin like you!"
"I'm sorry," the rabbit began again, angered now at her low insult, "but for the last time, the Master has decreed that this is the only door to be used" his tone was icy "and that it is not to be enlarged. If you wish to attend, then you shall have to shrink. For Melody's sake! It's not as if you can't return to your usual size again once you're through!"
"No!" she screamed this time, making Amy jump. "This is insufferable! I will not stand for it! The Master is trying to drive me out! First he turns me into a half-peacock, and now he to shrink myself like a common…" she ended her thought in a shriek, apparently unable to think of a sufficiently nasty word. "No!" she ranted on. "If he will not cease to insult me, that I shall not sing!" and she vanished in an explosion of red smoke, rather like that used in The Wizard of Oz by the Wicked Witch of the West when she vanishes from Munchkin Land. Amy stood dazed, wondering what in the world she had just witnessed. The poor rabbit looked visibly shaken.
When the smoke cleared, the rabbit turned his small eyes on Amy.
"As I just told her, if you're going to the recital you'll have to shrink to get through the door."
Amy was not sure what to say. She did not know whether she was going to the concert or not. Erik, the master, had not said anything about it to her. So she said the only thing she could think of.
"Yes." Said the rabbit. "Shrink. But for goodness sake! As I told her, you can return to your regular size once your there!"
As he said this, the rabbit moved aside to reveal a door just large enough for him to get through.
"But how on earth do I shrink?" Amy asked, finding this all very bizarre.
The rabbit gave her a look as though she had just grown a second head. "You mean you've never shrunken before?"
"Uh, no." Amy replied. "I'm just here to find my voice. At least, that's what the master said."
"Ah!" the rabbit exclaimed, brightening up considerably. "Then you shan't be going to the Master's recital. Only those who've got their voices already go."
"But how do I find my voice?" Amy asked, somewhat frustratedly.
"Well," the rabbit answered, "I can't tell you that exactly. It's different for everybody. But if you go down that way," and here he pointed down a long corridor off to the left, "then you'll come to the right place."
"Thank you!" Amy called as she took off in the indicated direction.
The corridor was very long. As she ran down it, she found that she could hear at various points along the way snatches of distant music. No doubt she was hearing the recital going on somewhere else in the labyrinth.
At the end of the corridor, she stopped dead in her tracks once again. She had come to a vast room, filled with every musical instrument of which Amy had ever heard, and a few of which she had not.
"Ah! Another one come to find their voice!" a voice said from somewhere out of sight, startling Amy out of her life. She looked, and saw a tall woman in black with a cane with a silver top just visible among the shadows of several giant double-bases.
"Uh, yes" Amy replied awkwardly. "What do I do? Is this where I will find it?"
"It is." The woman said, in a melodious voice rather like that of the Master except feminine. "You must try each instrument until you find the one which sings with you."
Amy jumped up and down, her eyes bulging. She had always loved music, and the thought of a room full of instruments for her to try was heaven! She set to work immediately. There were beautiful brass trumpets, mellow and haunting French horns, exuberant clarinet's, a harp. There was a majestic piano too. But the ones which truly sang with her were the violin, and the magnificent pipe-organ which was hidden in the shadows right at the back of the huge room. It was beautiful, and it's silvery reed-stops filled the chamber with sweet music. But it also had powerful bass and trumpet stops which shook the walls. The violin too sang out with a rich, fluid tone. She alternated between them, playing music she didn't even know that she knew.
All of a sudden, the mirror reappeared before her and she felt herself being drawn back through it. Not by the hand of the Master this time, but rather by some unseen force of something like gravitation. She fought it. She didn't want to go back yet. She didn't want to stop playing the organ and the violin.
The practice-room door opened with a sharp click, and Amy jolted up on the piano bench as her teacher appeared in the doorway.