"The winds blew through with a howling tune of terror. Rising the spirits to the darkness it held as the trees took their gnarled hands and stretched their way towards the skeletal moon. Creatures crawling with blood stained claws search for their…."
"Can we suspense with the dramatics please?"
"Well I don't see you coming up with anything better."
"I can too if I felt the need to."
"You are such a liar!"
"Oh yeah! Well here's what you are!" An all-out brawl was ensured by the way the two had started. The only one who remained quiet was their friend, Analise was her name. A girl who hid her face behind a current of dark hair. Shy and sweet she was. A child born from sorrow. Sorrow that was made apparent upon the sight of blood.
Analise in a small voice called out to her two companions. The stopped their bickering. Still fuming with each other they separated. One left the back porch for the kitchen as the other moved closer to Analise.
"Are you okay?"
"Look about the fighting…"
"It's okay. I'm use to the two of you fighting like that."
"Mary, listen. You two fight all the time. Neither of you raise your fists towards each other nor are the words used harsh. Rather childish actually, so I see nothing to worry."
"We just want to make sure that you don't see this as something that…" Mary let the sentence hang. Not wishing for the reaction she believed could ensue.
"I'm going to go for a walk. I will be back soon." She rose in a swirling cloak. Old fashioned I know, but the girl loved old fashioned things. Left without the slightest space for protest to come from her guardian, Mary. Though there was plenty she had. Analise wasn't as strong as she made herself seem.
Crossing over the slippery rocks delicately as a ballet dancer in performance. The brook's water glided through with precision for its mission was to meet the river. Analise followed the river like a curious child. Though you couldn't call her that at all. She was not a child. Nearly a grown woman, now. Still her innocence stayed about her like a coat one always wears. Her innocent curiosity got her into trouble when she arrived at the riverbed. On the shores lay a large object.
Her mind told her to go past it, but her body moved forward. Closer and closer she came to the strange image. To find that it was a body. Her pace quickened. Collapsing to the side she moved the body to its front. She laid her head upon the chest listening for a heartbeat. Satisfied to find the body breathing and the heart beating well. Upon close inspection the body was that of a young man. His long hair hung over his face.
'That's not good for your breathing.' She thought. She moved the wet strands away. It revealed something that shocked her. The man's face was horribly scarred on one side. Attentively she touched the flesh. He stirred a little, but did not wake. She stared more at the man not feeling any sense of fear. Returning to her work she started her task. She moved the body further from the shore. An exhausting task on her hand. When she had placed the man against a tree in a way that would be comfortable. She looked to the sky. The time had gone by much quicker than she had hoped. Mary would want her home soon. She was about to leave when she saw the man stir again. If he wakes he will be cold she thought. Untying the cloak from her shoulders, she placed it over the man's body. Caringly she smoothed the fabric out to wrap the unconscious man. After the task was done she left with only one last glance.
She arrived back home without a fuss. Unaware that someone had followed. Yes, just who was he?
The man had woken right when the girl had placed the cloak over him. He kept up the appearance to see what she would do next. When he saw that she was leaving he followed. Surprised he was to find a house out here in the woods so close to Ambrose. He had thought that all had left. Apparently Lester had not told Bo and him everything.
"You were cutting it close Analise." Said a woman who came down the steps of a large back porch.
"I got distracted." The girl moved back a little. Her arms folded behind her as her head hung low.
"It is alright. No need to act so scared. Now come on time for dinner." She took the girl's hand and leads her inside. Vincent follows but is sure to stay in the shadows. At the dinner table were just the two females and the one man who was busy placing things on the table. The girl sat in silence while the other two talked. Vincent watched the whole dinner go on. His eyes never leaving the girl. He kept his eyes locked on her as she went up the stairs towards what he believed was her room. Old fashioned in style of Victorian era. He only looked away once when she was dressing. When he looked back he saw that she had changed into a long white nightgown. She moved to the vanity to brush her hair. How good she would look in wax he thought, but what human didn't to him. Perhaps he would mold her into Victorian style something she obviously liked. He should at least make her stature comfortable since she had helped him.
He watched on into the night as she readied herself for bed. Taking time to read a worn out book.
"I knew I would find you reading this." Came the woman from before.
"I like the story. Is that a problem?"
"No, Raoul is a great catch though isn't he?"
"He is average."
"The common hero. Not like Erik."
"The Phantom? How is he a hero? He killed about five people and what of his scars?"
"He is painted as a monster, only because of his deformities. He became the image that others made for him. He is a person. I believe that he really didn't want to kill anybody. He let Christine go. Even though it hurt him to do so. The love in his heart let him see the truth. He died with a human heart." Her eyes they grew warm. He noticed. A sudden urge to enter the room and take her away nipped at him. He couldn't understand why. Not at all. The woman soon left and the girl lay her head down to sleep. Vincent managed to sneak into the house with no trouble. He went up to the sleeping girl. Peaceful and odd, holding a book in her sleep he thought as he looked upon her before gathering her in his arms. He moved stealthily out of the house and into the woods. Careful not to do anything to wake the girl. In little time they made it to Amborse. His home. Soon to be her home. Only as a wax figurine.
Pain lurched through him at the thought. Why? Why, he did not know. She was a girl like the others.
"Hmm." The small sound wafted from her throat. Vincent's body stiffens at the sound. Fearing she had woken up. She stirred a little, and her eyes fluttered open. She did not scream, her eyes they widened and her mouth hung open a little, but no scream was uttered. She started into his eyes.
"What are you doing with me?" Her light voice asked. Vincent didn't answer. He was too shocked from the girl not screaming in his face. Even his own brother had screamed once at him.
"Can you" Her eyes darted to the side and a blush formed on her cheeks. "Tell me your name?"
"Vincent." He was surprised by how his voice sounded. Loud and demanding.
"Vincent." She said. He liked the way that his name sounded on her lips. Perhaps he could have her figurine hold a voice box so that he could hear it again. He moved forward towards their destination. She didn't move. Didn't protest. Did she not realize what was to come? Did she not see that she was going to die soon? These thoughts crossed his mind. When he reached the door to his 'house', he found she was once more asleep. Beautiful. He pushed the thought aside as he opened the door. He found his brothers were in there.
"Who's the bitch?" Bo said while he leered over the girl in Vincent's arms. In reflex Vincent pulled the girl away from Bo's gaze.
"Fine. I won't interfere with your creativity. Though I would like some time alone with her." Vincent felt his veins throb in his neck. Talking like that about his figurine.
"Hold on now! You're not using her as a wax dummy!" Lester said taking the girl out of Vincent's arms. Infuriating his brother.
"Why are you against this? You want to screw her or something?" Cocky as always Bo.
"No, she is the godchild of the family that owns the cabin not far from here. They have connections. Connections that could expose us and end us. We can't afford to raise alarms with them. Vincent you have to return her now and never bother her again."
"Why? We can just kill the whole family off."
"Bo, do you realize how stupid you sound? This family has all kinds of cases of emergency protocol that it is impossible for them to disappear without raising a thousand alarms! Now stop gabbing and Vincent take her back." He placed the girl back into Vincent's arms. Lester then shoved them out the door. It was nearing daylight. He had to get her back up there before the people would notice her disappearance. He took the shortcut through the woods. Making it in time to place her back into her bed. He didn't have enough time to get out. Since her guardian came in through the door. He hid in the closet only opened a crack so he could see an opening.
"Wake up sleepy head." The woman said in an annoying chipper voice.
"Hmm. Is it morning already?"
"You must have had a great sleep, Analise." Analise. The name tasted sweet upon his lips as he said it softly to himself.
"I did. I had a wonderful dream."
"What about?" Probably some handsome prince. Like everyone else. Vincent thought bitterly.
"I dreamt that the Phantom came after me."
"Is that a good thing?"
"He was like a mixture of the book and the play. He still had the deformity, but he was also handsome in a way and the way he held me close. His arms felt warm against my skin. His touch was firm, but gentle."
"Sounds like a good dream."
"Except his name was different."
"How so? Did he spell it for you?"
"No. It wasn't Erik. He said his name was Vincent. I wonder if I will see him again." She thinks I'm handsome and she wants to see me again? Vincent had never been told anything like that before. No one had ever been that way towards him.
"Well. A good dream does come back again sometimes. Now let's get you out of bed. We have your party to plan. Are you sure you want to go with this theme?"
"After last night's dream. I am certain." She rose from the bed. The gown swirling around her as she walked to her vanity and began brushing her long hair. Oh how he longed to run his fingers through her hair. The soft tresses that shone in the light creating desire throughout his body of him creating her sculpture.
Her guardian came up to a dresser and picked a sun dress for her to wear. She dressed and they left signaling for him to depart.
For the next three days Vincent's thoughts were filled the girl Analise. At first he thought it was just because of ideas he had for her figurine, but then the thoughts turned towards ones of flesh. Caresses and kisses. Longings and Desires. He wanted this girl. He wanted her alive. Cue Bo coming downstairs.
"Hey can you believe this? Lester got invited to a party!" Party? Analise's guardian did mention something about a party.
"You're just jealous. Cause you weren't invited. Can I help it if the family likes that I help them and they want to repay me with going to a party? The answer is not your business."
"Is it for her?" Lester wasn't sure how to answer this. He could tell the truth, but it could mean that his brother might go after her again.
"Yes. It is."
"When is it?"
"You're not going to do something stupid are you?"
"I have to see her again. I promise not to harm her. I want to see Analise." Lester was surprised. Vincent never bothered with others names.
"What do you know the Freak has a crush!" Bo laughed out loud at his revelation. Lester was quick to give him an icy glare.
"The party is three days from now. Which gives us time to get you a tux and you may want to start a new mask."
"Let's just say that it will go with the theme."
Three days later the party was held in grand affair. Large and lavish, outfitted at the grandest building around the area. Inside it was decorated like the grand opera house of Paris. Crystal chandlers, stone steps, elegant dance floor. The whole setting was a masquerade ball. Everywhere you looked there was a mask. Some of ferocious animals. Others outfitted with feathers, sequins or silk ribbons and still there were some who stuck to the traditional Harlequin masks. The masks belonged to women and men wearing dresses and tuxedos. The most beautiful dress belonged to the only one who did not wear a mask.
"So what's your plan Phantom?" Bo asked obviously annoyed with having to be in this place.
"Is he even listening to me?"
"Shut up Bo. Let him have a night." Vincent walked among the crowds, heading towards his obsession. The one who bore in his mind desires and dreams. Analise, he was going to have her. Even if it was for the one night. He approached her white dress the one that looked exactly like Christine's, clad figure.
"May I have this dance?" Analise was surprised to see the man before her. He wore a white mask that covered half his face, his hair tied back into a ponytail and cape that flowed gently over his shoulders.
"You may." She blushed as he took her hand. Leading her to the dance floor. The two waltzed. The whole time Analise wondered if it was the one from her dream. The feeling of warmth from being in his arms. One side of his face looked the same on one side, but his mask covered the other. She wanted to know if he was the one and she had an idea on how to find out.
"I didn't catch your name. Will you tell me it?"
"Maybe I will or maybe you can guess it?"
"So we have met before?" Vincent smiled down at her as he led her farther from the group.
"Is your name Will?"
"Is it a common name?" He didn't answer her. "Oh I see. You want to keep up with air of mystery you have."
"Isn't that what the Phantom would want?" It's a sign she thought. He is the one from the dream.
"Here is my last guess. Is your name Vincent?" He stops their dance and gently strokes her cheek. She eases into his touch placing her hand over his. While his lips latch onto hers in a soul searing kiss. Arms wrap around each other as the kiss continues on. Two sets of eyes watch the two. One was shocked out of his mind and the other was wondering how to figure a way to deal with the consequences.
The kiss is soon broken for the need of air. Vincent pulls Analise closer to him as she rests her head on his shoulder.
"Analise, do you remember the man you saved from the river?"
"Yes, I know he is you."
"Why else would you bring it up? I also remember the scar." Vincent's muscles tighten a little as well as his grip. His veins throb and his eyes slit. "Vincent? What's the matter?"
Her hands cup his face. Worry seen in her eyes. The worry was also shared by the watchers. They weren't sure if they should jump out and steal him away.
"Please, Vincent." Vincent finally relaxed into her touch.
"Your scar doesn't bother me. I don't want you to think that." She kisses his cheek, making a trail to his lips with sweet chaste kisses. He returns the kisses with those of his own from her lips to her neck. Earning a moan from her throat. Enticing him to let his hands roam her body. Till.
"Vincent, please. Not here. Not now." Annoyance was clearly written in his face, but he listened to her wishes. His hands returned from their roaming to cup her face gently.
"You are beautiful." She blushed at his simple words. Enticing a smile to form on his lips. Lips that soon found their way back to hers. They savor the sweet kiss. One that he knew he would treasure. He had to leave now before anyone would notice him. He made a move to leave only to feel a tug on his sleeve. He looked to find her hand holding his arm.
"Where are you going?"
"I have to leave now. I will see you again soon."
"Tomorrow night. I promise." He gave her a quick kiss before disappearing form view. Analise returned to her party. Which ended soon after her return to it. Throughout the night both held dreams of each other in their minds. Truth be told when daylight shone. Vincent was anxious for the night to come. To go back to her. His brothers watched as he stood then paced back and forth. Ignoring his unfinished sculptures, finding them to tedious to work with that day. Lovesick was Vincent. They could see it plain as day. It made them uneasy on how to deal with him at the moment. They stood silent and stayed far away from him. Once dusk had set in. He wasted no time in leaving. His ran all the way over rocks, tree roots and other obstacles. Nothing would stop him from reaching her. By the time he reached the house. It was dark enough to conceal his presence. The lights were still on. The man and woman were in a downstairs room. Upon closer inspection he could see that Analise was not with them. He climbed up to her window and saw that she was sitting at the window, reading a little book. He tapped lightly on the glass. She turned her head and smiled at him. Opening the window to allow him entry into her room. Before he came in he kissed her lips. Missing the sweet taste of her lips.
"I told you that I would come."
"I never doubted you would." She circled her arms around his neck while his encircled her waist. The night passed quickly for the two as they spent the night getting to know each other. For three weeks this became the norm. The two would meet at night and sped every minute they could together. Talking about what they liked or didn't like, she would read with him and he would bring her little wax sculptures he had made of animals. Making sure to never use an animal's real body for the ones he gave her. She found them to be amazing creations. This kept him smiling throughout the day when he was separated from her. He hated the hours away from her. Thoughts of stealing her away forever where it was only the two of them entered his mind, but soon found their exit when it came to Lester's reasoning.
"Why do you look so sad?" Analise's eyes poured into his with worry.
"The night is ending too soon. Summer nights are far too short."
"They are ending though. Soon the nights will grow longer and we can be together far longer than we can now." She said as she laid her hand onto his chest. His smile forms as he steals a kiss.
"Would you ever consider running away with me?" The girl was shocked. The question was one that she didn't know how to respond. Vincent thought that it was a simple question and could not understand her hesitance.
"I-I don't know."
"I love you Vincent, but I can't run away with you. I wouldn't be able to live."
"I can provide for you. It may not be this palace you live in now, but you will never have to worry about necessities."
"It's not that Vincent. I have to stay here. This place is what keeps me alive."
"That doesn't make sense." She darts her eyes away contemplating on what to do. She took a deep breath and then told him the secret she kept inside.
"I'm sick Vincent. I have been sick for a long time. The doctors aren't sure what it is, but they know that it could be fatal if it's not carefully monitored. Andrew, my godfather didn't want me to live in a hospital for the rest of my life so we moved out here and he outfitted the house so that my health could be monitored while I live a close to normal life."
"I never would have thought that."
"I know. I don't tell people, they act different when they find out." Vincent wasn't sure how to respond. All this time he had spent with her and he never saw any hit of this. She appeared to be the picture of health to him, but as he took a look closer he saw that her skin was paler than it should be, her eyes held exhaustion and tiny limbs looked as delicate as porcelain. In comfort he placed his arms around her and held as close as he could without hurting her.
"I love you Analise. I will always love you." The words sounded cheesy but he meant them just the same. Analise looked up at the man who held her so close into his arms. A smile came up from her heart and the words reflected them. She told him of her love for him. Vincent felt complete and whole something he didn't know could happen.
Four months later he made love to her for the first time, three months later her health declined, two months later she died, one month later he joined her. Lester laid his brother to rest next to her grave. Their graves lie in a wooded area that is scenic and peaceful. Where people say that if you look closely you can see two people embracing each other.