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The Mask You Wear

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“Beware the Phantom...”

“I’m not afraid.”

Despite the warning, perhaps because of it, Beth pushes back the curtain, stepping beyond the mirror and into the corridors, this time she doesn’t see a horse, simply a room, a lair. It seems easier to find even when she has been walking down corridors for almost an hour.

“Phantom?”

She knows she should be bothered, be worried even, but she isn’t.

“Phantom? Are you here?”

She knows this time it won’t be anyone she knew before, but she also knows Tamara has said the Phantom is kinder, softer, more a tortured soul than a killer. The room seems to almost be supernaturally still, until a soft noise calls her closer to another door.

She hesitates, then, sensing the torment of the person inside, pushes into the room, shutting the door before turning to make her way toward the figure on the bed. The person in front of her is curled into herself, and crying.

“Phantom...”

She can’t help reaching for the other woman, hating the flinch.

“Don’t...”

“Child of the Wilderness, dying in loneliness.
I can hear you,
I can feel your every fear.
I never dreamed out in this life, there was someone who loved me.
I've always known, my heart wasn't alone.
I've felt your emptiness, and your loneliness.. My Fallen Angel...”

The lyrics come easily and yet Beth finds she means them... her sigh soft even as she moves closer, allowing herself to curl around the other woman.

“I’m not afraid of you.”