Chapter Four: Notes
Christine’s eyes fluttered open to the sweet sound of the piano in the other room. She was lying in the soft, warm bed. She rose up slowly, and got out of the bed. Pushing past the curtain, she began remembering the events of the night before.
There was darkness… and then the room was illuminated by candles. There was a lake… and a boat… A man…
She glanced all around the room, and then stared at herself in the mirror. Her brown curly hair was now down, and cascaded down her back. She sighed and slowly entered the main room of Erik’s lair.
“Erik.” She said softly.
He stopped playing immediately, and turned back to face her. He wore black slacks and a nice black jacket, and a white collar shirt underneath. That same mask was there…
“Good morning, Christine. Did you sleep well?”
“Yes… don’t stop playing please.” He raised his eyebrows, but did as he was told. Christine just stared at the mask covering half of his face. She wondered what was behind it. Her curiosity grew, and she took steps towards him and the piano.
She whispered softly to herself, so that he couldn’t hear, “Who is behind that mask…”
She walked up to him slowly, and gently caressed the uncovered side of his face gently with her hand. He closed his eyes, smiling, and stopped playing. Her hands slowly moved over to the edges of the mask…
“Christine…” Erik began.
Finally she took the edges, and lifted it off. What she saw HORRIFIED her. From what she saw, his face was so ugly, distorted, and deformed. Immediately, Erik roughly pushed her to the ground, and began SCREAMING at her. Her cursed and yelled in her face. He covered his face with one hand, so that she could not see.
“CURSE YOU! YOU LITTLE DEMON! YOU LITTLE LYING SNAKE! NOW YOU CANNOT EVER BE FREE FROM ME!” Christine cried out in fear and rolled into a ball on the ground. Tears poured down her face as she hid in the corner. Erik threw a candle stick across the room in rage, breaking a glass vase. Christine screamed and sobbed. He roughly grabbed her wrist tightly, uncovered his face, and shrieked in her face.
“THIS IS WHAT YOU WANTED TO SEE! CURSE YOU!” He threw her back against the ground and stomped away towards the piano, leaning against it. He was still cursing her under his breath, gaining back control. Christine was still sobbing and breathing hard, unable to comprehend what just happened. She still held the mask in her trembling, sweating hands.
He turned and glared at her with venom in his eyes, but he was covering the side of his face again. “You just HAD to do that didn’t you! You weren’t satisfied with my music and WHO I WAS! It’s all about the looks these days! Curse you…” He threw another candlestick to the ground. Christine whimpered.
“Can you even BARE to look at this CURSED face?! You didn’t deserve it Christine! You did nothing wrong, so why did you feel the need to look at my cursed face?!” He sobbed loudly and leaned against the counter. He glanced up at the life-size mannequin of Christine In a wedding dress, tears streaming down his face.
He got on his hands and knees and moved closer to her.
“Oh… Christine…” She stared at him, still trembling, and unable to speak. “I dream of heaven and beauty… but I burn in the fires of hell. My ugliness… it’s more than you can bear. You fear me… I can see it in your eyes… Oh… but Christine… fear can turn to love. You’ll learn to see past all of this… repulsive face… and look towards the inside.” He moved closer to her and she could see the tears running down the uncovered part of his face.
“Oh… Christine… please…you don’t deserve to see this… please…” He sobbed, “Please…”
She stared down at the mask in her hands, tears flowing down her face. Christine slowly and silently handed it back to him.
He grabbed it quickly, turned around and put it on. He sighed in relief as soon as it covered his face. He glanced back at her, offering her a hand up. She hesitated, but then took it. He wiped his tears away, and then after a while, he spoke.
“Come… we must return. Those two fools who run my theater will be missing you.”
Another tear ran down her cheek as he lead her through the corridors and back to the sliding mirror leading to her dressing room. Christine knew who Erik was now. He was indeed teaching her how to sing all these years… but not from heaven, but from behind the mirror. But he was a human.
He was the Phantom of Majesty Theater.
Mr. Andre threw his hands up in the air, as he finished reading the letter that was placed on his desk that morning. “THIS IS REDICULOUS!”
“What is it now, Andre?” The police officer asked him. Raoul de Chagny called the police very late the night before, reporting Christine Daae missing.
“These Notes! I keep getting these demanding notes from this so called ‘Ghost!”
“What do they say, sir?” The officer asked.
“Here, listen to this one:
A fantastic show last night. Miss Daae sounded absolutely exquisite. She is to remain the star of the show, or severe consequences will take place. She is far more talented that that diva, Carly Lotta. You can definitely notice the difference between Miss Daae’s beautiful angelic voice and Lotta’s scratchy, squealing frog-like voice. Its better that you obey my orders, and keep Christine, and deny the disastrous diva, or you’ll all pay.
The Police officer took the letter from the furious Andre and looked it over a couple times.
Andre raised an eyebrow at the officer, “Well?! Aren’t you going to do something about this?!”
The officer sighed, “Are you SURE that someone is pranking you?” Andre’s face became red with fury.
“Are you telling me that YOU believe in this ghost as well?! You can’t be serious! Of COURSE it’s someone else who obviously hates Miss Lotta! And that’s not all, listen to THIS letter:
Just a reminder, my salary is due. Remember, its 25, 000. No one likes a debtor, so it’s better that you pay the bill or suffer the consequences. This is your last warning.
This ‘Ghost’ is demanding money from me! Aren’t you going to track this person down?!”
The officer took a sip of coffee and handed the note back to Andre, “Look Mr. Andre, I’ve been to this theatre countless times for murder cases. All of them were the caused by a ‘Ghost’.”
Andre stopped and stared at the officer with eyes wide. “…The other manager failed to mention that… This person has actually… murdered here?”
One of the light and curtain mangers, Joseph, whirled around one of the poles. He had a beard, and smelled of cigarette smoke.
“I’m pretty positive I saw him the other day! He wore a white mask on his face! Some say his face is so horrible, that if you are unfortunate enough to see it without the mask, you die. They say his eyes are yellow, like a snake, and his is the most horrible, ugly thing!”
“Of course! We try to keep the murders secret from the public, so that they won’t get worked up… but we are almost positive that… this is no ordinary person. This is the Majesty Theatre Ghost that we are talking about. No one has ever seen him… and lived. He is quick, and silent. He’s definitely not patient. If I were you, I would keep it secret. Just give the man… er… ghost… whatever he is… the money, keep your singer, and just follow his commands. If all goes well, no one will get hurt, okay?” With that, the officer began walking out of the enormous theater. Andre gaped and ran after him.
“You mean to tell me that you want this… MURDER to run MY theater for me, and threaten me to give him an overpriced salary! No! I’m not going to give into this ghost! You have to do SOMETHING about this!”
The officer turned, facing him completely. “No, I’m afraid that’s all I can do for you, Mr. Andre. Good luck.” With that, he got in his car, slammed the door, and drove off through the streets of New York.
“WHERE IS SHE?!” Demanded an angry voice. Andre glanced around to see Raoul de Chagny stomping furiously towards him.
“Who, Carly Lotta?”
“No! Miss Daae! Where is she?! Tell me now!”
“How should I know, Raoul?! You were the one who called in the police!”
“Oh what an answer!” Raoul exclaimed, “You’re the one who sent me this note!” Raoul shoved the same kind of paper in Mr. Andre’s hands.
“What are you talking about?! I didn’t send you this note!”
Raoul’s eyes widened and fear swept across his face. “So she’s not with you, then?!”
“Of COURSE not!” Mr. Andre opened the letter and began to read it aloud, as Raoul rubbed the back of his head angrily.
“Raoul de Chagny,
Do not worry about Miss Daae. The Angel of Music has her under his wing. Do not attempt to find her or ever see her again.”
“So you did not write this note to me?!” Raoul snapped.
“Of COURSRE not Raoul! Why would we do such a…”
“WHERE IS HE?!” Shrieked a high pitch voice. Andre groaned and turned, seeing Carly Lotta stomping towards them in a pink velvet dress, with a pink boa, and her red hair sprayed up into a tight bun. A small crowd of people was following behind her.
“Who are you talking about Carly?”
“Raoul de Chagny!” She shrieked as she stomped up towards him, slapping him in the face, “Who do you think you are?!” Everyone gasped, as Raoul flew backwards grabbing onto the rail on the stairs for support.
Raoul moaned and rubbed his face, “What was that for?!” Raoul yelled.
Lotta huffed, and shoved a note in his face, “You wrote me this HORRIFYING note!”
“What are you talking about?!” snapped Raoul, “I did NOT write you anything!”
“You mean to tell me that THIS is not the note you sent me?!”
“Well, why don’t you hand it over, and let me see what I have ‘sent’!”
Raoul snatched the letter from her hands, and read it aloud to everyone in the large room,
“Miss Carly Lotta,
Christine Daae will be singing as the star of Majesty Theatre from now on. Any attempt to try and take her place will result in unthinkable consequences. Your voice is the most horrible, ear shattering thing I’ve ever heard, so keep quiet, and let the angel to her work.”
Raoul stared up at Carly, and the room became silent. Her face was red, and she covered her face.
Mr. Andre moved over towards Carly Lotta, and grabbed her arm, leading her away from everyone.
Suddenly, Mrs. Giry and Meg entered the room.
“Christine has returned!” Giry announced.
Everyone whirled around and questions filled the air. Mrs. Giry put a hand up. “She is in her dressing room, resting. No one is to see her now.”
“Not even me?!” Raoul interrupted. Mrs. Giry shook her head. “Also there is another note.” She took it out of her jean pocket.
Everyone groaned. “Another Note?!”
Andre read it aloud,
“Majesty Theater workers,
Christine Daae is to play the main roll in tonight’s show. Carly Lotta is to play the male part, which is silent the whole time. Any disregard to these demands will result in total destruction.
“There have been FAR too many notes this morning,” Andre began, “and I’m afraid that they’ve been all about Christine. Well, that’s enough about Christine! It’s time for Carly Lotta to shine on the stage!”
She ripped her arm away from his and huffed, “Don’t even THINK about it, Andre! I still haven’t forgotten about that little ‘incident’! I will NOT be singing for you, no matter what! And now… there’s a phantom out to get me! I’m not going to risk my life so that your little show can go on!” With that, she stomped outside towards her limo, clanking in her high heels. Andre, and many others chased after her, leaving Raoul standing on the stairs, speechless.
Carly Lotta opened the doors leading outside, and immediately ran into thousands of screaming fans, holding their autograph books out. Carly grinned from ear to ear, waving to the crowd.
“Where’s Christine?!” One person shouted.
“I want her autograph!”
“Tell her to come out and sing for us!”
Carly frowned, and stepped inside again, sighing, and leaning against the wall.
“…Your public needs you, Carly. We all need you, too.”
She snorted and glared at him, “What about Christine? Wouldn’t you rather have your little miss perfect sing?”
“No, No, NO… Everyone wants you! Don’t you remember your first performance? When you stepped out, looking as gorgeous as ever! You sang brilliantly, and the crowd erupted into cheers? They ADORE you! You raked in the money for us! Since then, everyone has come for every performance!”
Carly smiled, remembering her first performance. “Who cares about Christine?” Andre continued. “The crowd wants YOU. So what if she was good in just ONE show? You’ve done HUNDREDS of shows, and they were all magnificent! Why would we want to change that?”
Carly sighed, deep in thought.
“Just sing again tonight… and I ASSURE you, nothing will happen.” Carly turned to look at him, and offered a small smile.
“Get my dressing room ready.”