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Phantom

Chapter Text

November 1862

"Please..No.."


"Shut up! You will do as I say, you have no choice or whatsoever. You are a FREAK. Start acting like one."


"Please..No.."

Those were the two words that came out of 12 year old Adam's mouth repeatedly. He would beg and beg but there was no escape. He was the ringmaster's possession. The ringmaster controlled and manipulated every aspect of Adam's life with his rigid ways. One slip up led to beatings that would mark up his pale skin and leave him in pain for days. This was his life and there was nothing he could do to change it.

Even before the ringmaster had entered his life, he spent his days as a loner. He had lived on the streets all his life with no family as his parents had abandoned him the day he was born. One look at his face and his parents couldn't hide the horror in their faces.

Adam's eyes were an electrifying blue, but the deformed skin above his left eye overshadowed its radiation. Starting from his left eye, the left side of Adam's face was completely deformed.

Adam's parents were horrified with their own baby boy. His mother couldn't stop the tears falling down from her face and refused to acknowledge her own son. His father quietly covered his face with his hand and shook his head sternly. They couldn't keep the baby. It would be a disgrace to the family. They would never be able to keep their chins up with that thing in their hands. With no hesitation or remorse, they came up with an ultimate solution: To abandon the baby. 

The mother and father moved quickly when the sun went down and everyone was fast asleep. Adam started crying as if he knew what was going to happen. The mother and father cringed after hearing the baby's cries and looked around to see if anyone had heard the baby. When they realized the streets were quiet and the only sound surrounding them were the sound of their heavy breathing and baby Adam's crying, they let out a sigh of relief.

They set the baby in a dark alley. The baby looked up at his parents with hopeful yet painful eyes but his parents quickly dismissed the look with disgust and agony.

Since then, Adam was alone. He would wear ragged clothes and keep half of his face hidden from the world. He did a subtle job of blending in within the shadows until one day when he was sleeping, a man noticed his face. The man gently shook Adam to wake him up. Still drowsy from his sleep, Adam looked up only to remember that his face wasn't veiled. He looked for the ragged cloth frantically. When he failed to fund the cloth in the dark, Adam shut his eyes and waited for hurtful yet familiar words to flow out of the man's mouth. Instead, the man's hand gently grabbed the boy's wrist.

"What is your name, boy?" the man asked softly.

Adam just stared at the man wondering if the man couldn't see his face because of the dim lights. No it couldn't be. His ugly face was too visible to go unnoticed. While Adam was lost in his thoughts, the man asked one more time, "What is your name?"

Back then Adam didn't have a proper name. No one ever bothered to name him, even his parents. Although, he would be called various names. People would call him a monster, a freak, a demon. So many names that scarred the young boy's fragile heart. But he never owned a name he considered his own.

"I don't have a name, sir." Adam stuttered.

"Hmm...How about Adam? Adam was the start of mankind and I believe you can be a start of something new."

The man's words deeply touched Adam. No one ever gave him such attention and even better gave his life a meaning. Adam nodded his head in hesitation.

"Winter is coming, Adam. Why don't you come and stay with me? I believe you are destined for great things. People will want to see you and applaud for you."

Despite the coldness of the weather, Adam felt his body warm up from head to toe. No one had ever encouraged the boy and for once, he felt like he could be loved and cared for. The man offered Adam his hand and Adam took it. That was the last time the man was ever kind to him. The man took him to a moldy and stuffy opera house that seemed to have been abandoned for years. Adam felt chills at the back of his body but he tried to ignore it. Unexpectedly, the man abruptly pushed Adam, leading Adam to crash into cold metal. He looked up searching for the man but was instead met with a harsh clank. Suddenly the lights were on and Adam found himself inside a cage. The man's sweetness was nowhere to be found. His warm smile was replaced with a crooked evil one.

"You fool. No one will love you. You are a freak. A freak that would make me filthy rich. You will be the main attraction of my freakshow, I OWN you now."

The man looked at Adam once more and spit on his face. He turned around and gave Adam a sneer. Adam was once again surrounded by darkness. It was then Adam realized that when the man told him that he was destined for great things and will be a start of something new, it meant that he would be a freak on display for many people to see.

 

 

4 years have passed since then, Adam was now 12 and would be punished when he was disobedient. He would beg and beg for release only to face harsher punishment. At a certain point, Adam lost light in his eyes. His begging stopped and he started to accept his fate. Music was the only thing that helped him forget the pain. After severe lashes or finishing shows, Adam would close his eyes and start singing. Unlike his face, his voice was angelic. Adam would hate himself for having such a voice and wished he had a beautiful face instead. He would start pulling out his hair and screaming only to be surrounded by emptiness and silence. He would then start singing again to try to forgt the darkness surrounding and soon after dread his voice again. This vicious cycle would continue every night when he was alone in the dark.

December 1862

"Children, beware of the mighty beast you are about to encounter."

The old opera house was filled with a bunch of children who were watching the freak show. The ringmaster's words triggered fear and excitement at the same time. The cage was covered up with fabric therefore the children couldn't see what was inside.

"Are you ready to witness the greatest freak of all time?"

The room was buzzing with curiosity. The ringmaster smiled at the reaction he got from his young audience. He slowly unveiled the fabric. The unveiling of the fabric revealed Adam sitting with his knees curled up to his face.

"Adam, it's time to face your audience," the ringmaster said in a soothing yet wicked voice.

Adam slowly raised his head and stood up. There were gasps filling the room. Many of the kids were looking away and crying at such horridness. Except for one boy in the front with blond hair. He was looking at Adam with his chocolate brown eyes. As Adam was taking in the reactions, his eyes met the blond boy's eyes. Adam quickly looked away but could still feel the blond boy's gaze.

'Why isn't he screaming and crying like the other children?' Thoughts like this were formulating in Adam's mind. He had no idea what to think of the little boy. He felt his body warm up from head to toe, just like his first encounter with the ringmaster. The one time when someone opened up to him and held out their hand. The blond boy's eyes seemed to comfort Adam and reassure him into thinking that things could get better. Adam quickly shook his head and ignored the craving of slightest hope.. 'I am not falling for such warmth again.' After all, the ringmaster's warmth only lasted for a split second.

But at the same time, he wanted such warmth to soothe him once again.

While Adam was deep in his thoughts, the blond boy disappeared from the crowd. Unlike his classmates, the blond boy wasn't afraid of Adam. He could see the hurt and pain in Adam's eyes and all he wanted was to get him out of there.

What the ringmaster wasn't aware of was the condition of the opera house. The wooden floors that covered the floor would creek every time someone stepped on them. The chairs filling the opera house were old and rusty. The ropes that held everything in place had been used for several years thereby not as strong as it used to be. Above the ringmaster's head was a chandelier that was stationed in place by one of the weak ropes. The rope had started to get thinner and thinner but the ringmaster never bothered to fix any of the flaws in the opera house.

The ringmaster had a greedy smile on his face. While observing the children's frantic reactions, he was thinking of his next audience and how much money they would bring him. His head was full of dollar signs and nothing more. While trapped in his thoughts, the rope holding the chandelier in place finally had done its role. The chandelier came crashing down right on top of the ringmaster's head leading to instant death.

Having witnessed the ringmaster's death, children were howling and even the teachers were horrified. The teachers started to lead the students out of the opera house. Once the opera house was empty, the blond boy went up to Adam and tried to open the cage but found it locked. He didn't know what to do so he kept shaking the cage doors vigorously. Adam looked at the blond boy with confusion and curiosity. Without a word, Adam pointed at the ringmaster's belt. A couple of keys were dangling from the dead man's belt. The blond wasted no time to free Adam. The blond boy took both of Adam's hands. For a moment the two boys exchanged looks but was interrupted by the loud whistles surrounding the opera house. The police had arrived to inquire into the ringmaster's death. Tommy quickly broke the gaze and tried to lead Adam out of the opera house.

"Go," Adam told the blond boy.

The blond boy looked at Adam with fear in his eyes.

"I said GO!" Adam was yelling this time pushing the blond boy's back aggressively. The blond boy didn't want to leave Adam behind but Adam seemed so angry that he had no choice but to run away.

The blond boy kept running until he tripped on a flight of stairs that led to the entrance. The poor boy was knocked out cold, hearing the faint sounds of the police coming towards him.