Collection 2:

The Date: Erik asks Madam Giry, Part 2: Getting Ready

"How long is it going to take you to get ready, dad?" Erika asked impatiently. Her father was in front of one of the many floor length mirrors in the lair. He had an assortment of ties lying on the table. Some were long, some were bow ties, and some were ascots. She glared at him. "It's taken three hours for you to get ready."

"So?" he held up a blue tie, then a red tie.

Erika shook her head. "I'm a girl. It takes me all of three minutes to get ready for a normal day, and ten minutes to get ready for a ball!"

"Well, I'm nervous. I've never been on a date before."

"Not even with mom?"

"No."

She came up and took the green tie he was now holding out of his hand. "You're telling me that you never dated mom? Not once?" she glared at him accusingly.

"It was a complicated relationship. May I have my tie back?"

"No. You look better without it."

"Fine."Erika sighed in relief that his clothing confliction was now over. "Now which mask?"

She groaned. "Go with classic white! That's the best one!"

"Are you sure?" he asked as he eyed the drawer with a collection of various masks in it.

"Yes!" she was yelling now.

"Don't be so dramatic. It's just clothes."

Erika groaned and flopped down on her bed.

A Night at the Theatre: Seeing Phantom of the Opera

"Why exactly are we sneaking out of the theatre? The play is over." Erika was sneaking along with her father, who was hidden in what little shadows of the hallway there was.

"Because for some reason every time I go see a play I get mobbed by a screaming pack of girls."

"Um, duh! The Phantom of the Opera is sex on legs!"

He stared at her. "That is the creepiest thing you've ever said to me."

"Well, not you! I don't think you're sex on legs 'cause that's just gross I mean you're my father!" she rambled. "But Michael Crawford," she sighed dreamily. "Mmm."

"That is the creepiest thing you've ever said to me."

"Look, it's Michael Crawford!" They were spotted by a group of girls wearing various Phantom t-shirts. The girl with the Prima Donna shirt had cried out, and appeared to be their leader.

"No, I'm not! I'm, um Gerard Butler?"

They squealed and ran up to him. Erika watched her father disappear under a mass of screaming Phans, who carried him off and around the corner. She turned around. "Alright, Michael. They're gone."

Michael Crawford appeared from behind a nearby trash can. "Thanks for hiding me."

"No problem. Wanna catch a movie?"

"Sure. How about Hello Dolly?"

"Sound good to me!" They linked arms and strolled away.

Author's Note: For all those who don't know, Michael Crawford was in the movie version of Hello Dolly. He played Cornelius Hackl.

Can I Ask a Question?: How was I…born…?, Part 1: Christine's View

"Hey, mom?" Erika was sitting next to her mother. She knew her question was awkward, and was not sure how to proceed.

"Yes?"

"Um, how was I, um… born?"

Christine blushed. "Well, you see, um…" she took a deep breath. "A man has a-"

"No! No, no, no, that's not what I meant." Erika was blushing now too. "I know how that happens but I wanted to know, um, about the circumstances… surrounding … what happened."

"Oh." Christine was somewhat relieved that she didn't have to have 'The Talk' with Erika. "Well, um. It happened like this…

I woke up. From what I could see it was the middle of the night, but, who knows? I looked next to me and saw a rat. I screamed, and he came running. After he had scared it away, he sat down on the bed. I told him I was fine and asked him to leave, but he refused. He got closer, and closer, and closer to me until I was most uncomfortable. Then he…

"Yeah, I get it mom!" interrupted Erika before she could muster the courage to go further.

"There." Christine seemed more relaxed now that the story was out. "You see? I had no choice in the matter at all!" She seemed quite pleased with herself in fact. But Erika wasn't so sure. She intended to ask her father his side of it the next chance she got.