Chapter 13

            Diana and Christian snuck back into Montmartre under the cover of darkness.  Without the bright lights of the Moulin Rouge glowing and illuminating the night sky, the bohemian village was quite dark.  Diana carried Erin and hid her under her cloak as she slept in her mother's arms as they went back up to Christian's garret.

            Christian and Diana went back up to the room that they had not been in for three years now.  They had made sure that they had kept paying for it while they were in New York for sentimental reasons and to keep their original home if they ever returned to Montmartre.

            Diana laid Erin down on the bed for the moment, until they could set up her small bed.  And then she walked out onto the balcony and looked out upon the darkened village.  "No longer will you sleep, Children of the Revolution, for the Revolution will live again.  The Amethyst has returned…"

            Night comes quickly in a realm where many come out to play under the shadow of darkness.  The next evening, the Moulin Rouge would again open its doors.  Christian took Erin and went into the club with Zidler, ready to fling open the doors once more.  Diana took to the night and prepared to rouse the Children of the Revolution.  She dressed in full costume for the Midnight Amethyst and hid herself under the velvet cloak as she made her way from the garret to the top of the Elephant so her voice would carry throughout the village.

            "Come little children, let me take you away…into a garden of magic…" she sang out in a hypnotic melody into the night.  Then her melodic tones became spoken poetry to all the Bohemians.  "Come forth once more, Children of the Revolution.  Montmartre is once again reborn, like a phoenix from the ashes, and the Moulin Rouge is the center of it all.  The Midnight Amethyst calls you now.  It is a new century and a new era of Truth, Beauty, Freedom, and Love.  A new life has begun – come forward now…"

            As she accentuated her last syllables, the lights of the famous Red Windmill were relit in a brilliant display, lighting up the entire sky with its warm red glow.  Diana removed the hood on her cloak to see the lights in every room in Montmartre come on and the Bohemians standing in their glow.  And then one by one, the lights went out and the occupant of the room started walking to the heartbeat of the Bohemian world – the Moulin Rouge. 

Diana quickly got down from the Elephant and slipped backstage.  In the wings, she grabbed a quick kiss from Christian and then prepared to dazzle them as the Midnight Amethyst for one night only.  For in one night's time, Christian's new play, Nightmares and Dreams, would open on the stage of the Moulin Rouge.  The stage went dark so it could be up for the Midnight Amethyst. Diana always had several trademarks that required a bit of preparation before she went on. Zidler, like Barnum, always liked building the suspense for the Amethyst. Once the stage was prepared with her props and effects, Zidler started his introduction for her, "Ladies and Gentlemen!" a voice boomed from the darkened stage which began to possess a familiar violet glow. "The jewel in our crown…the Midnight Amethyst!"
     Diana's hooded figure slowly rose from underneath the stage. Her face was hidden under her black velvet cloak. She always liked playing the mystery. She still kept herself hidden inside the cape, except for her hands. She had them emerge and start circling the crystal ball. Her pale skin was highly accentuated by the dark color
on her long nails. All you saw at first was her hands and then you heard her voice.

"I see I have been honored with visitors tonight. Come to find out what's behind the mystery from the gypsy. Look into my crystal and you shall see a world beyond the one you know. Let the Amethyst guide you through her realm of mystery. Come with me now..." was the last words she spoke before she emerged from under the cape and broke into her first song, "Gypsies, Tramps, & Thieves." Her movements of the dance flowed like water, flawless. her voice echoed throughout the hall as she commanded the attention from the crowd. Diana had always loved the fact that she had a mysterious, dark look about her and she used it to her advantage. Her gypsy persona was the first she went through with this act. After her second song, "Dark Lady," she switched to the Midnight Amethyst, with the purple satin and black lace. She drew upon her American life for her next bit, "All That Jazz." With this bit, Diana could turn on the sex appeal to the highest degree. She turned it up even higher when she slipped into "Some Like it Hot," moving her body freely but so in sync with the rhythm of the music. After this whirlwind of passionate dance, Diana went into a slower bit with more meaning to her. Two songs she always performed when she could that held a strong place in her heart, "This Used to be my Playground," and "Only Time." She used these to calm herself down a bit and to show off her beauty and elegance. After these moments of beauty, Diana geared up for her finale. She grabbed her black hat, which she had hidden off stage and placed it on her head at a slight tilt. The first part of her finale always was about her adopted home, "New York, new York." This one could spellbind anyone with her high kicks and precision dancing. This one always led to her signature, the song she was known for the world over, "Puttin' on the Ritz." She always had fun with his one, flipping her hat and making fun of her upper class roots. her voice flowed more freely than it ever had before and she loved it. She hit her final syllable of the song and the stage went black. Then she changed the mood of the show and rose again. Diana's voice echoed as she rose and began "Total Eclipse of the Heart." her fluid dance movements were meant to enchant the crowd as well as the mystical music. At the end of the song, two male dancers came out and started something that could only be called a cross between the tango and the mambo as the Amethyst broke into "Give me just one night." Then the mood became a bit darker and her dance more seductive as she did "Original Sin" and "Facade." Diana turned to the light once more when she started "Rhythm of the Night" and her dance became faster and happier. This was her transition to what she affectionately called the "Montmartre Inspiration." When the music faded, the stage blackened for a moment only to be relit with blue light and Diana appeared in the black cloak again, holding a single
red rose. This was what she called "Christian's Song."

"This story is about love...
There was a boy,
a very strange, enchanted boy.
They say wondered very far, very far...
over land and sea.
A little child,
so sad and wild,
but very wise was he...
And then one day,
a magic day he passed my way,
and while we spoke of many things,
fools and kings,
this he said to me...
The greatest thing
you'll ever learn
is just to love
and be loved in
return..."

The crowd was in an uproar as the wall of flames came up and the Amethyst vanished, leaving Montmartre with new life forced into its lungs.

The next evening, Nightmares and Dreams was set to open with Diana and the Argentinean taking the leads and even Erin had a small part.  The show opened to astounding reviews.  The voices were still buzzing all over Paris when the sun peaked over the horizon the next morning, calling for everyone to see the latest work by Christian Andrews at the Moulin Rouge.

And all of this was going on while Christian and Diana were packing to return to New York.

They had risen early and started loading all of their possessions on the carriage that would take them to the train station shortly after the sun had risen.  They had to catch a train to Calais to depart by ship to New York the following day.  It was painful and sad as they packed again.  They were leaving all their friends once again but they knew their life could not be in Montmartre any more.  Montmartre was no place to raise a child.

Just as they were packing the last bag on the carriage, there were a few sounds of the Bohemian village awakening.  At eight in the morning, only a select few arose before the hour of noon in Montmartre.  Diana and Christian were about to tuck Erin into the carriage when Zidler and Toulouse came out of the Moulin Rouge.

"You didn't think we were going to let you sneak away again, did you?" Zidler spoke up as he moved forward to embrace the both of them.

"We weren't going to sneak away Harold.  We would have been in shortly," Diana responded as she kissed him on the cheek.

"Come with us, we have something for you before you go," Toulouse stated as he took Christian's hand and started dragging him towards the Moulin Rouge.

"Toulouse, we have a train to catch.  This can't be long," Christian tried protesting but quickly found it was useless as he was being pulled towards the unlit windmill with Diana walking behind with Harold as she carried Erin.

Toulouse stepped aside slightly and pushed Christian forward and then Harold led Diana to the pair of wooden doors.  Diana and Christian looked at each other, wondering what was going on or what they were getting ambushed with as Harold flung the doors to the Moulin Rouge open to the morning sun.  They walked into something that they would not expect at such an early hour – the Moulin Rouge filled with all their friends, giving them a send-off party.  The Andrews couple looked at all this and their hearts filled with pure joy and pure ache…joy to see how much they were loved and ache at having to leave their friends once again.

The Bohemians ushered Diana and Christian and little Erin to a table they had set up just for them.  Nearby, there was a table of pastries and coffee and juices, as this was a morning suare`.  The Bohemians had already set up a few things for them to eat while everyone started coming up to them individually, offering their good-byes and giving small gifts to their 'family members.'

The gathering went on for a few hours, only kept going by the Bohemians refusing to let Christian and Diana leave.  But eventually around the hour of noon, they could hold them no longer and they all followed their departing friends out to the carriage.  The gifts were loaded up and there was time for one final good-bye before Diana and Christian had to leave to catch their train.  Everyone went in turn one last time to say farewell, leaving Toulouse and Zidler for last.  When Toulouse came up, he hugged Diana and Erin first and then went to his best friend and hugged Christian tightly.

"You know you still owe me for bailing you out of jail…" Christian joked as he returned the hug.

Then it was Harold's turn.  He embraced Christian and then turned to Diana.  "Thank you once again.  I could never repay you for what you did but I wish I could," he told her as he broke the hug.

"The only repayment I need is for you to promise me that you will never let this happen again and you will wire me when you need help," Diana replied with a warm smile as she kissed him on the cheek when he silently agreed.  "We promise we will try to come back someday, believe me…"

All the good-byes were done and there was no longer any reason to stall.  Christian helped Diana and Erin into the carriage and then got in himself, closing the door behind him as it drove off to the train station of Paris.  The members of the Moulin Rouge stood in the street and watched the carriage until it could no longer be seen.

The next morning, Christian, Diana, and Erin boarded their ship to New York in Calais.  As the ship pulled away, they took one final look on the country that had done so much for their lives, knowing it would be sometime before they found their way back to the Bohemian Village.  Once the land had vanished from sight, they looked towards the setting sun and across the ocean to their home and picturing their soon entrance into New York Harbor.

FINITO

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Well, I have come to the end of the third part of my Midnight at the Moulin Rouge trilogy.  I am possibly considering writing a fourth part to this series.  Your reviews and comments will tell me if I should.  I would also like to mention if you like my work to check out my other stuff found at http://www.fanfiction.net/profile.php?userid=114650.

~Elizabeth Bathory ~ September 17, 2002