Continuing Tales


A Phantom of the Opera Story
by Wandering Child

Part 35 of 38

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Christine felt as if she were swimming through a sea of fire. She dared not open her, not yet. She moved her hands through the crystal water, each stroke sending a burning sensation from the tips of her fingers to the top of her shoulders. There was air around her, and yet she did not breathe, could not breathe.

The moving glass emitted terrifying and yet beautiful sounds, and Christine finally sat up from under it. She gasped frantically for air, the terror of what had just happened slowly diffusing from her body. She looked up, her eyes widening at the sight above her. The pink of the early morning sun was causing the entire church to glow, cascading in through the giant gap left when the entire window had shattered.

She became frantic again.

Her hands flew to her face, and she felt blood on her fingers. A few moments of terrified exploration, however, confirmed that her face had, for the most part, been spared. Only a small cut or two dotted her forehead. The blood was instead coming from her hands and arms, cut painfully from the shattered glass, but not horrifically so. Christine shut her eyes for a moment and sent a silent prayer up to whatever God had seen fit to spare her at this moment.

Gently, her eyes opened to see the corpse of Amanda Morrigan, somehow beautiful in its bloody repose, covered by a tomb of broken glass.

Even against the pain, Christine crossed herself.

Not far away, Roman's body also lay bloodied, and Christine could no longer tell if he were alive or not. Tears burned at her eyes. Thoughts of his kindness, of his warmth, of his love for Magda assaulted her. Roman Majekt had saved her life on more than one occasion and had loved her in spite of herself.

She could not let him die.

The sound of breaking glass caught her attention, and Christine's eyes raced to find its source. Her eyes lit up and her heart leapt into her throat as she saw Erik, frantically digging through shards of glass, oblivious to the way that they sliced into his hands.


Christine scrambled to her feet, barely catching herself as she slid on the glass. "Erik!" She raced toward him, wanting to touch him, to feel him hold her, to make sure that he was not a ghost, but flesh, blood, and alive. "Erik," she whispered frantically, throwing her arms around him and burying her face in the crook of his neck...

...only to be pushed away.


He ignored her and went back to his frantic digging through the pile of glass.


He ignored her still.

"Erik, stop that!" She grabbed his hand, only to be met with wild, angry eyes.

"I have to find her!" He yelled.

Christine felt her heart shatter just as that window had, her life before her in pieces. He wanted to find Amanda...oh God...what had happened? What had actually happened?

He whirled around and went back to digging. "I have to find Christine!"

A blackness from the bottom of her soul, more horrific than the pain of a broken heart, began to well up inside of her.

"Erik..." But this time her voice was soft.

"I have to find Christine!" His voice was barely below a scream, edged with desperation...laced with madness.

She grabbed his shirt and forced him to look at her. "Erik! I stand here before you! Erik, I'm fine! Beloved..." but the tears still stung, "I'm right here. Christine stands before you!"

He stood quietly for a moment, regarding her as if she had lost her mind.

"I saw her! She was at the altar with Luciana and Amanda! Christine was with them, and then the glass fell. I have to find Christine! Don't you understand?" He grabbed her shoulders and shook her violently. "What is wrong with you? Didn't you see her beneath the altar!

Christine shut her eyes, trying to block out the terrible blackness, the terrible fear.



Angel or Madman?

Angel of darkness....

"Erik," she said as calmly as her shaking voice would allow. "Erik, I..." She glanced over at Roman's pale form. Her eyes lit up. "Erik! Erik, do you see that man?"

He almost went back to his hopeless search, his eyes blind to the reality before him.

"Erik! That man is dying. Do you see? Do you see?" Christine's voice became desperate and breathy. "We have to get him to the Giry's townhouse, while it's still dawn, before anyone can see us. I can't lift him on my own."

"I have to-"

"I can take you to Christine!" She cried. "Only help me now. Please!"

Christine was shaking, terrified at the dark bargain she had just entered into, one which she of all people could fulfill...

...and yet she wasn't so sure.

"You can take me to her? She is safe?"

Christine could have died at the desperation in his voice.

"Yes. Yes. But by God, help me now."

The tea in Christine's cup sat cold and untouched, the afternoon sun casting thick golden rays through the neat little parlor. She sat on the chaise, her hair, washed free from the dirt and blood, knotted loosely at her neck. Her arms were bandaged from her wrists to her elbows, and she almost laughed. When she squinted, it looked as if she were wearing a pair of fine opera gloves. Beneath the plain white dress that she wore, a horrific bruise stood as testament to a broken rib, but Mark Jeffers, the doctor who had been taking care of the ailing Mame Giry, had told her there was nothing to be done for it except to rest. He had been a kindly man, and had asked gently how Christine had come by her injuries, having the good grace to not pry when she remained silent. He was probably used to injuries inflicted by the blood thirsty Commune.

In the back of her mind, Christine thought of what would become of the party that had ravaged Paris so brutally, now that three of its leaders lay dead. Quite honestly, she did not care. After today, she was quite certain that she would never see Paris again.

Even in their weakness, Erik and Christine had managed to carry Roman to the Giry's home. Madame, of course, was still bedridden with her illness, so it had been a frantic Meg that had met them at the door. At first she had been as white as a ghost, confronted by the sight of the dying Roman, the unmasked Phantom of the Opera, and the ingénue whom she had until recently thought dead.

She had collected herself quickly though, immediately sending for the only doctor other than Starre who had ever tended to their family: Mark Jeffers, a quiet, competent man.


Christine looked up from her train of thought to see Meg standing in the door. In an instant, the young ballerina was at her feet, sobbing desperately.

"I thought that you were dead! They told us that you and Raoul had been taken to the Opera House, and I thought for sure that you were dead. Oh Christine, I thought for sure that you..."

Christine shut her eyes tightly, not wanting to cry any more tears today, but helpless in the face of Meg's own emotion.

"Oh Meg..."

"And then one day, it was as if God himself had sent him to me: that man, Roman. A miracle! He told me that you were alive. Alive!" Meg wrapped her arms around Christine's waist. "Oh, how I have missed you."

Christine returned the hug fiercely, the realization of how much she had missed her childhood friend like a knife through her heart.

Both women dried their eyes and collected themselves, basking in the simple comfort of closeness. Meg had not yet directly asked what had happened to them in the Opera House, and for that Christine was grateful. She had no idea how long it would be until she would be able to relive last night, even if it was only in her mind.

Christine's lip quivered. " is he?"

Meg's look was grave, for she knew that Christine did not mean Roman. Christine had been in the room as the doctor had tended to the gypsy's wound, pronouncing it severe, but not fatal...for the moment. The excessive bleeding had actually served to help Roman in the end, for it had carried away the dirt and bullet shards that had marred the man's shoulder. He rested comfortably now, the only fear in the form of whether he would wake up or not.

Erik, however...

Erik was still caught in his delusion, believing Christine to be trapped beyond his reach. When she hadn't been produced for him as promised, he had raged beyond control. Had it not been for his injuries, he would have easily overpowered Dr. Jeffers. Blood loss however, had left Erik weak, and it hadn't been all that difficult for the doctor to restrain and sedate him. Christine had been pried from his side by the Jeffers, who had worried what the sight of Erik's current state would have done to the already emotionally drained girl.

She laughed cynically. She gave the good doctor credit. He had only cringed once at Erik's face before setting to his work. Perhaps he even thought it another brutality of the Commune...

Meg sighed. "He appears to be...comfortable. He is awake, but does not respond to much. Dr. Jeffers is still up there with him. He believes that Erik's...condition is a result of whatever happened to you last night. Something terrible caused it, but it is just as possible that something will lift it."

Christine's soul ached as she recalled her own months in the sanitarium, a prisoner of her own mind. Her separation from Erik had sent her to that hellish place, and strangely enough, Henri Starre, by murdering her child, had released her.

"Christine...his face-"

"I love him, Meg."

The small girl nodded. "What will you do?"

Christine closed her eyes. Erik needed to be away from here...away from France...but she would die before separating herself from him. She would not do what Raoul had done to her in his fear; she would not send him to the false comfort of a doctor's half hearted care.

Meg felt a chill run through her as she looked at the face of her friend, of the only sister she had ever known. In those moments, her face aglow in the afternoon sun, Christine looked tired, weary, and old beyond her years.

"I will go to Rome."


A Phantom of the Opera Story
by Wandering Child

Part 35 of 38

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