Continuing Tales


A Phantom of the Opera Story
by Wandering Child

Part 22 of 38

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Christine's entire body went rigid. Erik's words were like a knife through her tender psyche. She remembered so clearly, when the doctors had told her of her miscarriage...and the horrible aching emptiness that had followed. It felt like a lifetime ago...

Mere months, in actuality.

She bit her lip to stop its quivering. Don't cry, Christine, she pleaded with herself. Please don't cry. Erik's hand had stilled on her stomach. He was so warm and so comforting...God, to carry his child, to place in his arms his own living and breathing fleshbut no, ...what if she miscarried again? Losing Raoul's baby had drained her of her soul. To lose another, to lose Erik's, to bring him more pain...would kill her.

She could not stop her tears.

Erik felt ice fill his veins. At his mention of a child, her entire body had become cold and unyielding. Her breathing had become shallow, and her skin was ...

She was crying.

"Why are you crying, Christine?" He voice was calm and even, hiding the way that his heart had started to race.

Her shoulders only shook in reply.

"Why are you crying, Christine?" His voice was still deceptively soft, but the question was harder this time.

She turned away from him.

He grabbed her shoulder and threw her onto her back. Tear stained cheeks and swollen eyes stared back up at him.

"Why are you crying!"

She shut her eyes against the anger and ugliness of his voice, against the pain in his beautiful eyes. She would have to tell him...about the miscarriage...about the institution...about her insanity...about how her insanity had killed her child...and then he would draw away from her. Oh no, not at first, he would be loving and comforting as Raoul had, but the suspicion would never leave. For the rest of their lives...

Christine shut her eyes against the flood of tears that inundated them. How could she tell him!

Erik let go of her with a snarl and jumped from the bed. She watched as he walked slowly toward the large windows that offered a view of the approaching dawn. He bent and picked up the black robe that he had discarded earlier that night, in the heat of their passion. His movements were pained; every muscle and every bone flexing and straining against his flesh, as if the ache within him was too terrible to be released.

Christine sat up, still trembling, still crying. She didn't even want to know what he must have been thinking. She could tell him, she could tell him and spare him the pain of thinking that she did not want to bear him a child.

Did she want to bear him a child?

She closed her eyes against a violent wave of longing. What I wouldn't give to go before I ever made that decision, to before I ever became a Viscountess, before I slowly descended into that blackness...

She would have sold her very soul to have never left with Raoul, to have saved them all from this...existence.

For nineteen years I have known nothing of living...only existing.

How could she tell him now? When they had finally, truly begun to live? Would she condemn them once more to that hollow existence! Waiting, wondering if her madness would return? If it had ever really left? She could have lied...she could have lied to him about the institutionshe could have... conveniently left it out...but her lips refused to move against the weight of her sobbing.

Erik's fingers where bone-white as they gripped the windowsill. The sound of Christine crying behind him might as well have been a dying scream, it was so terrible, so horrifying...He shut his eyes, trying to control a demon that he knew all too well, one that fed on rage and pain. "Would it be so terrible?" He asked. "To become the mother of a child of mine?"

Christine started choking on her sobs. "Er-Erik please. Please, Erik..."

"Would it be so terrible!"

He turned and rushed toward the bed, pulling her out of it to stand before him, naked, vulnerable, and sobbing.

"Erik, Erik no I...Erik please, it's just...just, Raoul..."

His grip on her wrists tightened.

"Yes, that would destroy you, wouldn't it? For me to fill the womb that should have carried Raoul de Chagny's heir with my progeny! Tell me, my dear, are you pregnant now? Is that why you weep? Does my bastard pollute you already!

Black rage flowed like opium through his veins, killing everything good, nourishing the evil and the darkness that had sustained him for so long. Christine's pitiful sobbing only increased.

" don't understand...Er-Erik..."

"Then make me understand!" He cried.

She collapsed against him, her wet face branding his chest with her tears, her open mouthed wails hot against his flesh. "Please, please don't...don't make me explain. God please no! Not after all of this!"

"That isn't good enough, Christine! No! Not after what I am forced to live with! The knowledge that every time I kiss you, his lips have been there. Everywhere I touch you, his hands have lingered as well."

"Condemn me!" She cried. "Con-condemn me all you wish! But, but, but please, please do not speak to me of a ch-child."

Erik's hand grabbed her chin and forced it up. "Well maybe I'm more selfish than that, Christine! Maybe for once I'd like something to hold, something to cherish, and something that is indelibly mine. A child that will, at least until its old enough to know the cruelty of the world, love me simply know what's it's like to be loved unconditionally."

Christine's eyes widened. The accusation hung between then like a cold fog, the kind that suffocates and eventually kills.

Her voice was a strained squeak. " believe that I do not love you...unconditionally?" She pushed away from him violently. "I wasn't the one who set the conditions back in Paris! I wasn't the one who had a man hanging by a noose!"

Erik's voice was no less than a roar. "You expect me to feel pity for Raoul de Chagny!

Of all the lives that I've touched, his was probably the only one that I ever did any good for! At least I gave him a wife!"

Christine stilled. "Erik..."

"Do not speak to me of pity Christine, never speak to me of pity! 'Pitiful creature of darkness,' you never spoke more true words in your life!" He brought his hands to his face as his body shook, but no tears traced their way down his face. "When I was thirteen, abandoned and alone, a man named Giovanni took me in. He taught me about architecture, he taught me about Rome...he taught me that perhaps there might be something in me worth loving. For two years I lived a life of absolute bliss. Two years, Christine! Two years out of forty is all that I have known of peace!"

He looked to Christine, and for the first time, felt nothing but weariness. "He had a daughter, my age...I think I may have loved her..." His voice became thin and strained. "I was only fifteen." Erik shut his eyes, as if steeling himself against an onslaught that he knew he could not prevent. "It was on her balcony one night that she demanded that I remove my mask. I...I did."

Christine felt the blood drain from her face. "Erik..."

"I took the mask off..."


'She was too frightened to even scream..."

"Erik please..."

"She stumbled...fell..."


"And died in my arms."



Christine wrapped her arms around her body, trying to ward of an impossible chill that had woven itself through her. Had this man ever known anything besides pain?

"Luciana, yes?"

Erik stood stunned. "How did could you have...yes, yes her name was Luciana."

Christine swallowed the lump of pain in her throat. "When you screamed, in your screamed my name...and then you screamed, 'no, not like Luciana.'" Christine paused. "She left you too...except she rests in Heaven."

"Just as surely as I will rest in hell," he snapped.

"That's not true! Erik...Erik, I'm...I'm so sorry."

His eyes shot daggers into her. "Do not apologize to me. It was too much for me to expect...a child. Ha! Sometimes I surprise myself with my own idiocy. Why should you want to bear me a child? I am death and I am darkness!"

He turned once more, horrified that he had disintegrated into a raving beast before her. He knew now...she would never be his. Some dreams where simply meant to stay that way.

"Go," he whispered.



Shaking and distraught, Christine felt herself numbly reach for a robe. This man, this man whom she had given her very soul too...did not trust her, did not believe in her...

She wondered whether it would have been a sweeter fate to remain locked forever in that sanitarium, surrounded by the warmth and delusion of her madness.

It was only after she had left, retreating once more to the other bedroom down the hall, that Erik allowed himself to fall apart.

Roman ran as he had never run before in his life. The sound of his heels clicking against the marble floor echoed all around him. He exploded up the stairs in the grand foyer and down the long corridors of the mansion. In his hand he held a white envelope, sealed in blue wax.

It had arrived with this morning's post. Seemingly innocuous, almost cheerful in its simplicity, until Roman had read the beautiful script that stated the name of the addressee.


Throwing decorum aside, he had torn the letter open, praying that it was nothing more than cheerful, albeit foolish correspondence from the young Mademoiselle Giry... What he had seen had made his heart stop.

He burst through the doors of the Master's library, not even caring to knock, not caring that-

Roman froze. Chaos met his eyes. Glass lamps lay broken on the floor, priceless paintings were torn from the wall, curtains hung half off the rod, a small wooden chair lay in pieces...

...and in the center of it all stood the Master, his hands still bloody from the broken glass and splintered wood, his blue eyes on fire with some unholy rage and perverse lust for violence.

"Your grace I...I..."

Erik looked at him, but felt no anger at the intrusion. He had no anger left to spare at the moment. Christine had been crying in her bedroom since dawn. He, on the other hand, had taken his rage out in more...destructive manners. His library lay in ruins around him.

"What the hell do you want Roman?"

Roman took a deep breath. Such anguish. "Baron...what, what happened!"

Erik laughed, low and dangerous. "What happened, Roman?" He stalked toward him, kicking debris out of his way. "Whatever makes you think that something has happened?"

Of course, Roman was no fool.


Roman simply looked at the man before him, all the more dangerous because of the intense control that he had over the violence within him. His mind flooded with images of his childhood, of tales that had lulled him to sleep back in the gypsy camp. Back when even the Earth was young, there had been Viking warriors known as the Bezerkers. They had been warriors possessed of inhuman strength and cunning, and when the call to battle came, nothing and no one could stop the bloodlust that would hum through their veins. Apparently even a mortal man could become one...for the price of his soul. Roman felt a chill run through him. If ever there had been a man who sold his soul, it was his Master.

Roman shut his eyes and gathered his wits about him. "Baron...this arrived today...from Paris."

Erik snatched the letter from him, his blood marring the perfect white envelope, and instantly furrowed his brow. "You tore the seal on my personal business?"

Roman shook his head. "I tore the seal because it wasn't addressed to you, Sir." He looked down. "It is addressed to Christine, Viscountess de Chagny."

Erik felt his stomach drop all the way down to his toes. Ripping the letter from the envelope, horror filled him as he tried to digest every word.

"Oh my God, Roman..."

His hands shook as his eyes took in the impossible once more.

To the Viscountess de Chagny,

My Lady,

It really is a pity that we should be writing to you under such distressing circumstances, so I shall keep this brief. Raoul de Chagny is currently in the custody of the Commune of Paris. Should you wish to see him again, then you will be in the capitol within forty eight hours. The old Opera House, to be precise. As can be expected, we shall trust you to keep the contents of this letter private and your journey to us a solitary one.

Either way you choose, my Lady.


A Phantom of the Opera Story
by Wandering Child

Part 22 of 38

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