Okay, here's the deal – this ENTIRE STORY was made up while walking with my friend in my street then to a park then SITTING in the park, eating cookies. So the story belongs to her and I, but the characters, damn them, belong to Phantom of the Opera and Moulin Rouge. After we'd finished making it up, I asked if I could write it down, and she said, 'Well, what was the point of that if we don't post it?'
Erik sat high above the stage, watching the chorus girls running around below him, getting into their positions and practicing while the sets were moved behind them. They jumped and glided and pirouetted, elegantly, gracefully, doing their best to look as beautiful and enchanting as they could.
There was absolutely nothing satisfying about any of it.
Erik grumbled as he sat in the rafters and slung himself up so that he was leaning back against the wood and looking at the wood across from him. Wood didn't sound like a word anymore.
He was irritated, of course. Christine hadn't bothered to talk to him in the last week – she only needed him when a new show was coming on. That was the only real time he could talk to her now, since her and Raoul had become engaged, then married. Now all she did was fawn over her fop husband and talk about her singing in a way that seemed immensely boastful.
He sighed. At least when she was talking about her singing she was still making contact with him.
Now he didn't hate Raoul, but he didn't particularly like him either. He'd let Christine and the Vicomte be with each other – he should've realised, even if he had just lost everything in the past five minutes, that it would've led to marriage. But still, they were made for each other. Erik was made for no one. He was simply alone.
He was barely listening when he heard one of the idiotic managers – Firmin – clapping his hands and saying, 'Attention, attention!' Erik only realised how much noise there was when everyone had silenced suddenly. He closed his eyes, half-waiting for Firmin's speech on how the opera house was da-da-da, or that the ballet was not et cetera, continuing on, so on, so on and so on.
To his surprise, they had covered the damage on the opera house. Only because that would bring back the customers, therefore there would be money and money made Firmin and Andre exceptionally happy.
But the speech on Opera House Problems never happened. Instead, Firmin said, 'We would like to introduce our new play writer: Mister – erm – Mister...'
Erik waited. Obviously it was someone not of much importance to anyone, if no one bothered to learn their names.
'The writer,' Firmin finished triumphantly.
Erik rolled his eyes; he should've known when he heard that idiotic man say 'play writer'.
'Anyway,' Firmin continued but his voice was interrupted quite suddenly by a break-out of chatter from the chorus girls, who sounded excited and determined.
'That's Christian,' he heard one girl whisper.
Erik frowned, opening his eyes. Pulling himself to his feet, he looked down and saw the managers standing proudly amongst the crowd, with a young man standing very unwillingly between them. He seemed as if he rather wished he was not the centre of attention. His blue eyes held pain – well hidden pain for the moment, as he was trying to act freely in front of the managers, but pain nonetheless.
The phantom's interest increased and he leaned forwards, trying to focus on the writer. Christian, yes, there had been the play at the Moulin Rouge, in which the unfortunate Satine had –
Erik remembered how he had first learned of the writer. That had been nearly a year ago, just after the opera house had been rebuilt.
He was dizzy and he had no idea what had caused it.
He'd been watching Christine all day and for some reason he just felt so... dizzy, seeing as how all the blood had rushed downwards. He couldn't think straight and it was mildly annoying, mostly a blessing. His breathing was too fast and the only thing he could think of was Christine – God, how did she look so good just – being her?
Erik stumbled back as the memory hit him like a tidal wave, tripping over some kind of object that he couldn't care less about, falling onto his back and staring up at the ceiling. He was in an empty hallway, as everyone right now was watching the first performance, the grand reopening – Christine – he really should be in Box Five, but if he went there, something worse could happen.
He needed to make this stop. It was torture.
There had to be something he could do. Where was a place in Paris that could possibly get this over with?
The answer was in his mind too quickly, so he decided he'd been thinking about it at some point during the day – when, he didn't know, had he even been thinking for most of the day? –
The Moulin Rouge.
He was momentarily disgusted with the idea of even going to that place – it had the wrong kind of music, the wrong kind of girls –
Do NOT think about that –
He made up his mind in a second – he'd go.
The trip had been different and, as he had not been thinking very clearly, he'd nearly been run over by carts a few times. He'd tried to stick to the shadows after that.
He'd barely gone outside the opera house and when he had, he'd never gone anywhere near the Moulin Rouge. He had heard many a man talk of it inside the opera house, disgusted that they would talk about such a place within the Opera Populaire's walls. Opera and courtesans were not the same.
Some way or the other, he found himself suddenly inside the windmill building, with the lights and the music, and was surprised when at least four girls suddenly clung to him.
'How're you tonight, ay? Love the mask. You goin' for the whole darkness thing?' asked one girl, smiling toothily at him and tugging his arm, reaching up and touching the porcelain mask. She really wasn't wearing very much at all.
Erik pulled his arm away, suddenly stony. He shouldn't have come here. This was stupid. He actually felt pretty head-clear now (perfect timing, he thought snidely). The other girl smirked at him, grabbed his arm again and pulled up a lot closer. He was about ready to kill someone and disappear when suddenly there was a burst of sudden music. The girl looked up, squealed and ran to the middle of the floor, where several other girls, also not wearing much, were standing. They were saying a phrase in French Erik would rather not have heard.
A rather fat man with a top hat appeared suddenly and began singing as the girls moved around him. He appeared to own the Moulin Rouge, Erik decided, as he heard the lyrics to the song.
'...I've just the antidote
And though I mustn't gloat
At the Moulin Rouge! You'll have fun!
So scratch that little niggle
Have a little wiggle –'
Erik decided he wanted nothing more to do with this place. He turned to leave but was suddenly blocked by men, who were waltzing and swaggering in, eyeing greedily anything that moved.
He retreated into the shadows, trying to block the noise out. He avoided looking anywhere except his own feet. He must have been somewhere off the earth to think he could stand it here. He grimaced, waiting for this pitiful excuse formusic to end. It took some time.
And when it finally did end, something else started. Erik looked up momentarily. There was another woman, of course, getting awed and greedy glances from every man in the room, hanging off a swing and singing. Something to do with diamonds.
Erik payed little attention, watching the door. It was still blocked by millions of men. He'd never been patient.
Finally, he nearly lost it altogether and advanced to the human shields, ready to break any bones that tried to stop him, when someone screamed.
He whipped around and watched the diamond woman with the long red hair fall off her swing. He jolted instinctively, as he would've if it had been Christine. But another dancer, a dark-skinned man, caught her and took her silently across the floor. Once they were gone, a momentary silence was held over the room. By the time the fat man in the top hat disappeared too, everyone was talking and singing loudly again. Erik, once again shunted away from the exit, knew what Hell was really like.
It took what felt like forever before he got out. The men had dispersed all over the room, losing their minds with whatever woman that was groping them. Sickened by everything to do with the Moulin Rouge, he finally made it out into the cold night air.
Running a hand through his hair, he realised how strange he must've looked on the way there – here, in the street, people were giving him glances because of his mask.
He couldn't care less. Trying to observe the place so that he might never get mixed up into coming here again, he blinked as he saw the large elephant-shaped shelter. He watched it for a while, partially amazed someone had made a building like that. It was lit up and there were voices coming from it. He wondered who could be inside of it until he heard someone screaming over ecstatically 'YES!'
He rolled his eyes and began to walk away. Then that note rang out over the sky that made him stop short.
'My gift is my song!'
Erik felt himself freeze completely as he heard that. He didn't even dare to breathe as he waited for more.
'And this one's for you.'
He couldn't believe it. It was obviously a man's voice and there was something about it that made him have to hear more. It was strong, captivating, drawing him in to hear more. He realised he had stopped breathing and hastily sucked in a breath.
Without further ado, he turned to the elephant, running towards it and looking up, expecting to see the mystery singer.
'And you can tell everybody
That this is your song
It might be quite simple but
Now that it's done
Hope you don't mind, I hope you don't mind
That I put down in words
How wonderful life is now you're in the world...'
The words rang out clear through the starry night of Paris. Erik expected that the entire town could hear this man and took it as a blessing that he could. Erik was attracted to the voice. Even the moon looked like it was smiling.
Erik saw a silhouette walk out onto the elephant's head, but he couldn't get a clearer view. Barely realising what he was doing, he began to climb up the elephant, trying to get a better view of the singer.
'Sat on the roof
I kicked off the moss
Well some of the verses well
They got me quite cross.'
Erik pulled himself into a small, dark gap, concealed in the shadows. He was staring at the man's back right now and continued staring when the man turned around and smiled beatifically at someone who was inside the elephant, someone who was now as enraptured as Erik was.
the sun's been kind
While I wrote this song.
for people like you that
Keep it turned on...'
The man walked inside the elephant. Erik pressed himself closer to the wall, trying to listen. It couldn't be over. It was unfair that something that amazing should have ended so quickly. He froze, desperately waiting for that voice.
excuse me for forgetting
But these things I do
You see I've forgotten
If they're green or they're blue!
Anyway the thing is well I really mean
Yours are the sweetest eyes I've ever seen!'
you can tell everybody
This is your song
It may be quite simple
But now that it's done
I hope you don't mind
I hope you don't mind that I put down in words
How wonderful life is now you're in the world!'
The last note seemed to ring for hours in Erik's mind. He could barely breathe – he wondered if the person this man was singing too knew how lucky they were. Finally he realised there wasn't going to be anymore and navigated a way down the elephant.
Christian wished he could disappear as the Mr Firmin wrapped an arm around his shoulder, smiling. He felt incredibly nervous with all these people staring at him. He could feel them judging him: this, our new play-writer? He didn't look particularly nice today, he knew that. But Satine – he jolted as he thought about her – had given him reasons to not look nice. Instead, he tried to smile at them all and the girls on the stage – the very young ones – smiled back, waving politely.
A woman covered in glitter gave him an apprehensive look and waggled her fingers at him in a kind of don't waste my time way.
'Have you written any plays, sir?' asked a pretty blond chorus girl, who reminded him oddly of a fairy.
Mr Andre laughed. 'Aahh, Miss Giry, I'm sure the man doesn't want to –'
'One,' Christian said, giving another attempt at a smile to the young girl.
Satine had left him a wreck. He'd been unable to do anything but sit in the corner of his room for a year, until he had finally written their story – that was his play. He had come to the Opera Populaire to ask for a job and, after hearing the play involved the Moulin Rouge, the managers had asked him to come with them.
Christian had quite honestly thought he had lost the job after that; he expected to be chucked out the back door in a painful manner, or something else unpleasant. He sighed then had followed them.
Suddenly, he had been in the theatre, watching all the rehearsals for the next performance. He'd been enjoying every moment of it, until Mr Firmin had clapped his hands and ordered everyone know who he was. He wished he could have been introduced in a different way.
The Giry girl nodded at him, smiling.
'We'll be moving onto that play after the next three performances,' Andre said after a moment. 'I'm sure by then you'll have been introduced to everyone, such as Madame de Chagny – or, as everyone knows her, Christine Daae.' He gestured to a beautiful woman standing on the side of the stage. She blushed prettily and the writer took in her appearance – white dress, dark eyes, dark hair and a look of innocence about her. So different from Satine, and yet he could see this young woman playing the role of his lady love.
'Please,' said Christine, 'I doubt the man even knows me.'
'I'm very sorry,' he said, nodding. 'I don't really get out much.'
'Anyone can see that,' said an accented voice of a woman, somewhere in the crowd. The young man ignored it. 'But it is a pleasure to meet you,' he said, smiling at Christine Daae (or was it de Chagny?).
Christine continued to blush and smiled back at the writer. He was fairly handsome – she only wished he'd shave.
She continued to smile even after the writer had moved back through the crowd and everyone had resumed their places and began practicing again. She glided to the backstage and wondered what Raoul was doing at the moment.
Christian was taking a tour of the opera house – only, it was a self-tour, seeing as how the managers were busy and he was just plain curious.
He was happy that for once he was not thinking about Satine – it gave him great pain to. He would be reminded of all their short time together – too short.
He felt the tears well up in his eyes and shook his head, breathing hard. He forced his eyes shut, forced himself not to cry; for a second he thought he would, but then he gained some control over it.
Then he realised he was lost.
He whipped around, looking over the vast halls. He hadn't been looking where he was going. He sighed and turned, frowning, suddenly realising where he was. He was outside the door to Box Five.
Wondering if the stage could look any more beautiful from the Box view, he moved to open the door –
When he was suddenly poked in the shoulder by a broom handle.
'What're ya doing, ay?!' snapped an old, ratty looking man with one eye bigger than the other, giving the effect he was always wincing. He was holding a broom and various other cleaning devices all over him. 'Can't go into Box Five, ay!'
'Er – I'm sorry. But why no –? Ow!'
'Don't bother asking, boy, get lost. Run off to your own business.'
'I work here. Why can't I go in Box –? Ow!'
'Want me to stop hitting you with a broom, ay?'
'Yes, please sir,' Christian pleaded, dodging out of the broom's way as it lunged for him again. The man glared at him, sucking his teeth.
'Why can't I go in Box Five?' Christian said, eyeing the broom in case it felt the need to attack again.
'That be the Ghost's Box.'
'Yes. The man who hangs up in the rafters. He lives in the opera house.'
'Has anyone ever seen this ghost –?'
'Seen him?! Course we bloody seen him, how'd we know he's there? Mind you, you can hear him too. Sings. Plays music. Odd fellow.'
'Oh. Thank you,' said Christian, something tugging at his mind – a man who sat up in the roof and sang, a voice with an unseen body.
'And shave that muck off your face,' snapped the ratty man, poking Christian with a broom in the face. Christian longed to argue that the 'muck' on his face was nothing compared to the other man's long and tangled beard. But something else was dragging him into a memory.
The curtain was closed and Satine was all that mattered. He could hear the applause, the people not realising what was happening backstage:
Satine was falling backwards. He watched her for a second; she was gasping for breath. A red petal fell on her face.
'Satine! Satine, what's the matter?' He lunged forwards, grabbing her. She continued to choke and gasp.
'Are you all right? What's the matter?!'
She couldn't answer. She didn't have the breath.
Christian's world was collapsing around him. 'Satine, what's the matter? God. Oh, God.' She was barely conscious. Blood trickled out of her mouth. She was coughing so hard.
'Somebody get some help!' he yelled desperately, feeling himself start to shake. This couldn't be happening. It wasn't real. Not after they had finally reunited, could be happy for the rest of their lives –
'I'm sorry, Christian,' whispered Satine, her eyes sliding in and out of focus. 'I, I – I – I'm dying. I'm so sorry.' She was weak. Come what may.
His breathing was shallow and uneven; he could feel tears springing to his eyes. He felt like choking too. He wasn't going to believe it. 'You'll be all right. You'll be all right. You'll be all right.'
'Cold. I'm co – cold. Hold me. Hold me.' He pressed her to him, letting the tears run freely now. This was not happening. This didn't happen. 'You're okay. I love you.'
'You've got to go on, Christian.'
He refused to. 'Can't – go on without you, though,' he tried, as though it would stop her dying. She can't die, not after everything.
'You've got so much to give. Tell—tell our story, Christian.'
'No.' You can't do this!
'Yes. Promise me. Promise me. Yes. Yes. That way I'll—I'll always be with you.'
Her laboured breathing stopped. He looked at her blank eyes. The audience continued to applaud, even though time had stopped.
Satine was dead.
Christian was sobbing and screaming at the same time. This wasn't happening. No, no, no, no, no –
But underneath all of it, there was something – something up above, disembodied and entrancing that made it Christian's ears.
'Come what may...'
He didn't care. He pressed Satine even closer, crying hard.
Christian realised he was about to cry. The hallway had a few people in it now, so he quietly opened the door to Box Five and slipped inside, closing the door behind him.
He slid down it, hugging his knees, tears running down his cheeks. He needed to break down.
Then, like glass cutting through the air, a sound reached Christian's ears that made him listen.
'Come what may...'
It was the exact same voice from the night Satine had died. Christian stood up slowly, swallowing down the lump in his throat. He looked out, watching everyone on the stage notice nothing. He stood there, shaking, until he replied 'Come what may...' to the singer who he could not see.
Well, that was weird.
I know I got the whole Moulin Rouge end bit wrong, but as I fail to own the movie and YouTube was being a bitch, I had to read the script.
Hope you liked.