DISCLAIMER:  All unrecognized characters are original.  The characters from Moulin Rouge belong to Baz Luhrmann and 20th Century Fox. 

AUTHOR'S NOTES:  I would like to thank LazarusBlackblade with his help with this piece.  I would also recommend you read the first two parts of this series to get the full experience, Il Rinascimento del Moulin Rouge & Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves.  Remember all these characters are fictional, times of when the basis for these characters lived may be changed in this piece.  This is not meant to be biographical to any real people in any way.

Nightmares & Dreams  Chapter 1

            In the summer of 1905, a steamer ship sailed from France to New York.  It was a dream for many on the ship, a new life in America.  One passenger though was not as hopeful.  Harold Zidler stood on the second-class deck as a man who has lost everything.  The only reason why he stood on this deck was to save his life.

            The Moulin Rouge was gone, having been lost to three underworld blackmailers.  For three years now, Slick, All Ears, and Twisted Little Sister have been extorting money from Zidler for their silence.  They told him what Diana had done and threatened to display him as an accomplice if he didn't comply.  He knew Diana would not have reacted in such a manner if she didn't have a good reason.  He cared for Christian and Diana, so therefore, he paid them.  For three years, he protected them, even when it meant his last dime.  When he couldn't pay, the extortionists gave him an ultimatum, the Moulin Rouge for the price of a one-way passage to America or there would be a more final solution.

            He was forced to abandon his dream.  The Moulin Rouge had fallen into disrepair and had become a disreputable whorehouse when it was taken.  Even when it hit rock bottom, Zidler had too much pride to go to Diana.

            So he did what he had to do. He packed up what was left of his possessions and he and Toulouse left for the United States in a desperate attempt to recover their former Bohemian Dream.

After more than a week on this pitiful transport, they arrived in New York.  Zidler and Toulouse disembarked into their own personal hell.

After gaining entrance through Ellis Island, they needed to find a place to settle.  Because of their limited financial resources, Zidler and Toulouse were forced to take meager accommodations in an immigrant ghetto boarding house.  When they looked out their window, all they saw were the poor and downtrodden exiting the bar across the street.  They could not even fathom that thought that life could get any worse.