This is my first attempt at a Phantom of the Opera story, I hope you all enjoy it but let me make it clear that this story is not for the faint of heart as it will have some harsh themes later on.
Chapter I: Shelter
This was it. Christine Daae could feel it in his limbs as they trudged through the God-forsaken blizzard night. Her father was going to collapse at any moment. Even at the tender age of four she could sense it. He was trying hard to not give out, she knew this, but at some point he would drop, and with him so would she.
"Papa," she whimpered in the cold as his eyes searched for some sort of shelter. The snow was blocking out his face but she could sense his anxiety in the way he clutched her to him. It was almost painful, "I can walk, we'll be faster if I walk." She was trying hard to convince him but he knew better. She wouldn't be able to move in the feet of snow beneath them. She'd end up getting stuck or worse collapsing and vanishing from his sight. And that was something Gustave Daae was not willing to risk. He had lost his wife, he would not lose his child in this damn blizzard.
"H-h-hush now darling child, soon we'll find somewhere to r-rest." He tried to reassure her but the chances of this were becoming scarcer as the minutes ticked by. Gustave and Christine were exceptionally poor. It shamed him to know he couldn't even buy the girl a decent jacket, hers was brown, tattered and thin. He had given her his jacket as a second but it still wasn't enough.
They moved through the snow slowly and blindly. It wasn't until a hard gust of wind came that he spotted what seemed to be a light from a house off in the distance. It was a long and imposing structure but the warm glow cast everything else into a better light, he would go into the home even if it housed rats, all for her. He sighed a breath of relief and looked down at his daughter. She didn't look well, her big brown eyes were shut and she was rocking hard in his arms, shivering violently, her usually pink mouth was bluish. He swallowed thickly and moved forward towards the home. He would ask for some sort of shelter, embarrassing as it would be he'd gladly suffer it for the sake of Christine.
It was as they were approximately thirty feet from the tall home that he heard a horrible laughter behind him. He looked back and could see three dark figures approaching them. They were lumbering forward like shadows and he noticed that they were all bundled warmly by the looks of it. He frowned and turned his back, he was in no mood to deal with drunkards. His heart was aching from the stress and his limbs would give out at any moment. He could hardly feel his cheeks and he could hardly feel his daughter anymore. Everything was so cold. His 40 year old body wouldn't be able to take much more of this.
"Sing for me Little Lotte," her father instructed her softly, wishing something to ease her mind and his.
"What do you want me to sing Papa?" she whispered shakily up at him. Her tongue felt heavy and her teeth hurt from the chattering. She could hardly detect her father's face but she caught his eyes and shivered just a little bit. She always felt he had the warmest eyes of all of France.
"Anything you wish, anything at all." He was almost begging now.
And so she started to sing softly, her voice pierced the snow flakes and then enveloped them kindly. Her voice was always very beautiful, she had been designed for music it seemed to him from the first moment he had heard her singing to one of his pieces on the violin. She adored it when he played.
"Don't walk away!" A man laughed viciously behind Gustave. He turned around slightly, wary, and was amazed to see that these men were closer than he had thought. Had he been walking so slowly? He sped up but to his horror it was becoming increasingly more difficult, his limbs protested against the movement, his muscles rioted, and the child in his arms seemed to have stopped singing altogether. He hadn't even noticed that she wasn't singing anymore until this very moment.
"Christine," he rasped out, "stay awake my love, soon we will have shelter. Please…" He croaked, he couldn't see the tiny face anymore through the tears and the snow and the agony.
The men behind him gained more closure and with a vile laugh that woke his daughter from whatever frozen state she had been in they yanked him back. Gustave fell violently back into the snow and yelped as his elbows sunk through the top layer and collided with the icy cement beneath. He was horrified by the sight of his daughter flying from his arms and landing face down in the snow.
"Christine!" He yelled hoarsely as he watched her shriek and recoil away from the snow only to collapse into the body of one of the attackers. The shadow grabbed her violently up off the cement and held her tightly to his chest perversely. Gustave couldn't see his face and he didn't care. "Get your hands off my daughter!" He roared with more energy than he thought he had.
"Papa!" The young girl squealed with horror as the attacker grinned at her and held her tightly to his chest, smothering her in drunken kisses. He smelled like acidity, it burned through her nostrils and made her gag. "Get off me!" She pleaded, "please! Papa help me!" Her screaming seemed to annoy the attacker as before Gustaves horrified eyes the man raised his hand and backhanded her small cheek. Hard. Her head snapped backwards violently.
Gustave ran towards the man blindly. He would kill him. He would slaughter him for touching Christine! It was as he was a few feet away from the figure that he was knocked to his side by the other faceless man. His horror only grew when he watched the figure pull out a glinting metal weapon. "Oh God, please no do not-
"What is your name?" The attacker asked. In the white fog of snow Gustave noted a horrible grin in his face, "I will not repeat myself three times, what is your name?"
"Gustave. Please don't hurt my daughter." Gustave pleaded, his eyes darting to where he heard vile laughter and his daughter sobbing. Oh God, they'd kill her certainly, his innocent child. "Please!"
"Well Gustave-Please-Don't-Hurt-My-Daughter, I would suggest you bid farewell to her as this will be your last night with her." The voice was a sardonic one and it enraged Gustave as much as it scared him.
"Why! We have done nothing to offend you! Please I have nothing to offer!" Gustave sobbed on his knees, afraid to look for his daughter, afraid to look up, his eyes wouldn't let him see even if he searched for something in this white hell. He was afraid of what he would see, "I have nothing!" He cried as his snivel ran down his face and into his haggard beard. "I wish I could offer you possessions but all I have are the clothing I wear and my daughter. I would give you my clothing but I'd die out here sir! If it pleases you I will give you the shirt off my back! I'll give you my necklace if it means you spare my child." He shakily went for the gold chain at his neck, it held a picture of Christine, and she had one with a picture of him in it. The man took it and snorted as he put it in his pocket. "Hurt me but do not hurt my child she is a good girl! She is just a child-
"Daddy!" Christine's voice was laced with all the pain in the world as the man holding her violently threw her to the ground again. Her hand collided with the cement and she released an ear piercing scream as her hand bent at an awkward angle with her wrist. "No, no, no!" She wept horribly as the pain coursed through her entire arm. "Papa!" The blinding pain intensified and she howled into the night.
"Christine!" Gustave crawled to the sound of his daughter's voice and found her sitting halfway in the snow with a broken wrist; her big brown eyes looked to him for some sort of answer to her confusion and pain. "Oh, my darling, I'm so sorry." He wept with her, cradling her to his body, she sobbed into his shoulder worse than he had ever heard in his life. "I love you Christine, you know that."
"I love you too daddy, my wrist!" She begged him to take away the pain.
"Say goodbye, Gustave-Please-Don't-Hurt-My-Daughter." Laughed one of the assailants.
"My love, look at me," he ordered her softly, he took her small face in his hands and looked to her for some sort of forgiveness, struggling to see her eyes in the snow, "you will not see me again," he begged her to listen with his voice, "I will watch over you. I swear it. I will send you an angel," he assured her in her ear. "I will send you the angel of music." He promised.
"Papa where are you going? You can't leave me with them!" She sobbed angrily. "Papa was I bad? Did I do something- No!" She screamed as an attacker wrenched her away from her father.
"Please, spare my life, spare her life!" Gustave begged pathetically with the man who stood before him with the weapon pointed at his forehead.
"'Fraid I can't do that. That would ruin the fun. But don't worry; we'll groom her to be the best prostitute of all of France!" He laughed and right before Christine's eyes her father's head was split open as the crack of the gun sounded through the air.
The shadowed figure was bleeding profusely from his side. The hard throbbing at his waist flared temporarily. He would not make it to his home, he had decided thirty minutes ago. He was in need of medical care. He was always annoyed the man who he would now seek, but knew that he needed him… he would have to bite his tongue against the fool. Somehow they always ended up needing each other for one thing or the next.
In the blizzard the dark hunched figure walked swiftly as if there weren't feet of snow on the ground. He simply walked through it as if he were a ghost. As the wind whipped the figure grunted, he would need stitches, it was nothing too bad.
As he trudged on he suddenly stopped. He heard something, it was a soft singing, and he glared at the cold air. Was this death mocking him? Would he die now in this frozen night so that others would find him in the morning? They'd claim they've found the most hideous carcass known to man. Was death now teasing him with the soft melodic voice, promising him beauty if he would only get lost in the blizzard chasing it, only to die in the attempt?
He didn't know, and he didn't care. Not today.
The ghostly figure found himself drawn more and more to the voice, even as he trudged towards the house with the lights. It was so gentle, he was positive it was that of a female, a young female. It was silvery, not refined or trained, that much was obvious. It trembled horribly and she didn't annunciate properly, she mispronounced too. But still, it was hypnotizing.
It was unlike anything he had ever heard in all his years. He found himself growing interested in it. He sucked in a sharp breath as it soared. And in his strong enchantment he followed it almost drunkenly.
Suddenly, the soaring voice cut off and he glared and stopped walking. Why had she stopped singing!
It was as he took another step that he noticed with his keen eyesight a figure holding a smaller one in its arms. It seemed that this was where the voice was coming. It was as he kept looking at them that he realized they did not notice him – he was quite a few feet off and they were walking towards the lit home of Nadir. The masked figure glared and walked even more cautiously.
"Don't walk away!"
Damn, was there no end to this torment? He saw three men walking quickly towards the man and the figure in his arms. The ghostly man stopped and watched curiously as the scene played out before him like a movie.
He heard very little as the wind whipped violently and the men advanced on the figure. To his amazement and increasing discomfort he watched one figure become separated into two. There was a high pitched squeal from one of them and every limb in his body stiffened. Everything played out in less then a minute. He didn't know what kept him frozen there. But to his mild discomfort he watched a pistol get whipped out and then the voice, the silvery voice, became one of horror and terror as a head got blown open.
That was enough.
Eric sprung quickly into action as he watched the small child flail and kick wildly with all its little heart. The child became increasingly more frustrated but more exhausted and as he drew nearer, limping slightly, he saw that the men were looking at the little child with eager hungry eyes.
"Papa!" Her voice was coming out strained now, she was struggling to breathe. "No! No!" They wrenched her up and laughed and passed her around like a small doll. "Let go of me!"
"What do you think we do with this little firecracker," one of the drunken men slurred as he grabbed her broken wrist and squeezed. Christine shrieked violently like a possessed individual.
"You repulsive creatures."
The voice slid into the air like a snake. It didn't come from Christine or the men. They dropped her to the ground and she sobbed face down in the snow.
The voice was angry; it frightened the child to her very core. She didn't know what to do so she sobbed there with a shiver rocking her system and a horrible sound escaping her throat, her broken wrist flared in pain once again and clutched it to her chest. She could hardly keep her eyes open anymore. Her papa wasn't moving, why wasn't he moving?
Papa has to get up. He just has to. He will save me. He will.
"Reveal yourself coward!"
She looked up as the men screamed things into the blizzard. There was a sudden stillness, nothing but the snow moved, and her little chest quaking with sobs.
"I'll kill ya'!" One of the men yelled.
"Butcher you real good!" The second hurled.
The third man didn't say anything. He couldn't, because suddenly he was caught around the neck with a lasso.
Christines eyes drank in the violence and her ears exploded with pain as the gun in one of the assailants hands went off violently, repeatedly. Her mouth was open in horror but she emitted no noise. Instead she watched with confusion and pain, and a looming sense of sleepiness, as a dark shadows moved, left, right, from one attacker to the other. And there was a rope... she could distinctly remember a rope. It would catch them around the neck, and then tighten. Turning their necks pink, then purple.
Before she could really get a good look at everything it was done and to her amazement the black shadow stood huffing and puffing, seemingly unharmed. How had he done that?
There was no sound except for her whimpers. The pain was becoming blinding, and she needed relief. She crawled to her father's figure in the snow and tried to make out his face there but she could not. She only saw a face of red and white, bone and blood, his nose was twisted and not in its usual place. And why was his head split like that?
"Oh, papa," she croaked gently. Shaking him with her good hand, "my hand hurts please get up." She begged.
She received nothing.
"Papa please! I'll sing for you if you'd like! I'll sing better, we'll live better but please!" She pleaded with the corpse. But she knew he wouldn't get up. She just knew it. Christine Daae broke and bent over her father's bloodied shirt to sob, how could he do this to her? First mama, now her father. The only person whom loved her - gone, and now what would she do? She couldn't sing without his violin. How would she live without her papa? The four year old released a screech of agony - completely unaware of the black shadow behind her watching her carefully.
What was he to do with this child? He didn't want to get near it. Children were horrible creatures, needy, bratty, and frightened of everything.
But he couldn't bring himself to walk away. Sighing heavily he stepped around the dead body and stared down at the child who took no notice of him. It appeared that it was stupid too. It had worked itself into a manic state and now seemed to be growing exhausted as it was slowing its sobbing down and it was slumping lazily. He realized that it was going to go unconscious.
It was as he realized it that the child suddenly sobbed sobbing and slumped forward onto the bloody chest of the corpse.
He stood there for a few moments, unsure of what to do. When the child didn't move he grew impatient, what did it think it was doing? Was it trying to trick him?
"Are you awake?" He hissed out with annoyance. It had caused him too many inconveniences already; the pain at his side was flaring up. Damn them all, he wouldn't bleed out for them.
The child remained silent as he waited for a response.
Easily he bent and picked it up. To his mild alarm it weighed much less than it should, he knew this wasn't the normal weight of any child. It was weightless and it was limp. Jogging away from the dead bodies he approached the house with the lights – his original objective before the singing voice.
The figure wasted no time in impatiently kicking at the door.
"Coming!" He heard the ccall from within. He waited and then as the door was pulled open he slid in without waiting for invitation. The warmth hit him like bricks and his fingers tensed on the child at the heat rolled through his clothing and settled on his skin. It was deliciously warm here.
"What is this!" The Persian cried with terror.
The masked man set the child upon the closest couch and turned to the horrified face of the Persian who stared at the form and then that the man he considered to be an old friend with horror. "Oh, Erik-
"You fool! I would never hurt a child! Now, are you going to help her or not!"
So that was chapter I. I hope you all enjoyed it as much as I enjoyed writing it, only reviews will make me pleased! XD Only reviews will get you more! I love hearing what you all think, so please, tell me what you all think :)