Paris, 1890

There were many at the Opera Garnier on that mild July night. Faust was to be performed with the leading soprano known to be the best in all of Europe. Many were quite sure this was true and others were likely to agree. One person there, on the other hand, knew better and would highly disagree. For his own ears had heard something far more extrodinary than any of these youthful figures had ever imagined. His memory was growing dim but he was sure he would never forget a more sweeter sound.

Nadir Khan, formerly known 'The Persian' here at the opera, came through the doors and allowing the many lights of the grand foyer blind him. He stayed in the shadows, walking near the walls as he mazed through the many corridors and rooms of the vast place. In his hands was an ebony box, cleverly sealed in its locked binding. Constantly he kept looking behind him, searching for anyone who was following behind him. Even with the Opera Ghost gone from the opera house for 20 years, you get used to the habit of someone's eyes piercing through your back.

As he came through the section of the archieves, he took careful note of his steps and their volume. He reached a small mahagony door and felt into his pocket for the key for the lock. Despite his immediate leave of his service to the opera, he still had to make quite sure his keys were up to date in case the ghost would ever return. With a creak of its hinges, Nadir entered the room quietly closing the door and taking the key.

A narrow hallway carried him to a small circular room made of stone entirely. The one window straight ahead of him shone the moonlight onto the middle of the room. In the way of the moonlight's path was the wood of a coffin, plainly black and nothing more. He himself knew quite well who this was despite its lack of an identification card or inscription. "So we meet again one last time, my friend." he said solemnly, "Who would have thought that I would speak to you while you actually sleep." He set the box down next to him as he knelt down and opened the top of the coffin. "It is quite finished," he said as he laid the box in the coffin, "Very much finished." Nadir closed the lid and got up.

By the time he reached the grand foyer, the crowds of people were gone, probably in the auditorium by now. He walked the steps of the grand staircase and went down the long hallway of the locked doors of the boxes. Yes, the performance has started with the thunderous voice of Faust himself echoing throughout the opera. He stopped behind one of the doors, the entrance to the famous Box 5. Once he peered in, he wasn't surprised to see the two chairs in the front taken up by a young couple, no doubt newlyweds or newly engaged.

They had forgotten or overcame the shadow behind the opera's great facade. With a content sigh, he turned away and went the other way back: the backstage. People were scrambling about with costumes, makeup, and ballet girls run around like usual. While he was still here, everyone was on the lookout for those devious tricks of the ghost, always looking behind themselves and simply shrugging off an incident. No, the opera was much different then and will be different to his knowledge for running around like dandies.

All the same, he had to wrap around his ancient brain that the opera was definitely setting a spirialing staircase, leading only downwards. Nadir returned to the grand foyer and was ready to take his leave when a soft breeze grazed his arm making him turn back. Just imagination, no worry. One last look behind him to what the opera was now, and back ahead of what it might be. He placed his hand to his aching chest, wincing in slight pain. There wasn't much longer and he could tell. He had been diagonsed with a weakened heart a year ago and managed to condense his daily walks down to a simple stroll around the block. Today, though, was an acception. What needed to be done was done, and that was all that needed to be done to complete his journey.

He walked outside in the warm night, taking out his handkerchief, wiping the sweat from his forehead and removing his astrakhan cap to cool his bald head. Without another word to himself or anything he went on his way, assuring to every one in Paris silently to patiently wait for a triumphant ending.