Music drew Erik away from the Freak Show life he had known since birth. His mother had raised him alone, his father an unknown entity left far behind in another city, another country. Eric's face was scarred and morphed on one side. The Freak Show family decided to show him off as "The Devil's Child". As he grew, Erik learned how to mold himself into the roll, the crowd unaware that the locks weren't real and that the man who made out to beat him was hitting his own leg far more than he hit Erik.
But last winter had claimed Erik's mother and his spirit was becoming more devilish with every second that he was living in the world they had created together, so when he heard the thunderous sounds of drums, the echoing calls of trumpets and the demanding cries of the actors upon the stage of the Paris Opera House, his feet were already moving before he had decided to go.
Through a back entrance, while hiding in the shadows that were his second skin, Erik made his way into the Opera House and all the way to the rafters, a stone throw's distance from the stage hands awaiting on the catwalks for the right moment to perform their duty.
Oh how the opera moved Erik's heart! The colors of the costumes and sets, the movements of the actors, the way the music dictated their every step - it was magic manifested by man's own hands!
From that moment, Erik knew what he had to do in order to live on in this world. He had to become part of this world, part of the magic that made daylight shine in the darkness. But he was no fool; he knew what he looked like, where he stood in man's world and that the only way he could be in this place would be in secret.
So Erik found a hole in the walls of the Opera House and explored the space that lived beyond what all others saw...
A few days passed as Erik mapped out every secret space hidden in the Opera House. A few people saw him and chased after him unsuccessfully, a few caught hold of him and tossed him out, but none could keep Erik from his new home.
When a year had passed, a new group of ballet dancer girls were brought to the Opera House to train under the head mistress. Erik watched them from the scaffolding, his legs hanging over the edge as he knew no one would go up there that day. Among them was a brunette with a sadness in her eyes that called out to Erik, just as the Opera House itself had all those days before. Erik quickly got up and followed the young girls to their dorms, a peephole on the left wall giving him enough to see where the sad eyed girl would be sleeping.
The young girls didn't have many things. After placing her small bag atop the bed closest to the window, the coldest spot in the room, the sad eyed girl left the dorm room and headed for the stairs. Erik followed the sounds of her footsteps while remaining in the walls.
At the bottom of the Opera House, down a tiny spiral staircase, there was a small chapel area where candles could be lit for those whom wished to pray. It was always cold and damp there, even in the heat of summer. The brunette, who had taken a lit candle at the top of the spiral staircase, uses the flickering flame to light a half-melted candle before going to her knees and lifting her hands in prayer.
"Father," her soft voice trembled harsher than the flames that threatened to douse themselves from the hidden winds of the room, "You promised me..."
The girl's entire body shuddered as she took in a steadying breath.
"You promised me," she continued again, her voice even softer, "that you would send an angel..." The light of the two candles reflected against the girl's tears as they slid down her face. With what seemed to be all her strength, she pushed out, "But...when?"
Erik's heart broke for this unknown girl. It was so torn at seeing her in such a state, that he spoke out to her as deeply as he could, "I am here."
The girl gasped, her wet eyes going wide as she looked around the seemingly empty space around her.
Erik swallows down his fear as he tries to think of what else to say.
"Who's there?" the girl asks before Erik can say anything.
"First, say who you are," Erik replies, his mind still trying to come up with a plan as to what to do next.
"I am Christine," the girl answers, her eyes looking all over the room in hopes of catching sight of the owner of the voice. "Where are you? Are you really an angel?"
"Of course, my child," Erik answers, his heart beating against his heart in excitement. "After all, your father did promise you."
"You were sent by my father?" Christine asks, her voice raising in hope as she continues to look in vain for the voice's owner.
"He was so sad to leave you," Erik tells the girl. "When he asked me to go to you, I couldn't say no."
Christine lowers her head as fresh tears fall from her eyes.
"Is he okay up there? In heaven?" she asks, voice so low Erik can barely hear her.
"Everyone in heaven was happy except for your father," Erik says, molding himself into the new persona. "It wasn't until I promised to come look over you that he finally smiled."
Christine sniffles loudly as she rubs the tears from her face. She tries to smile as she nods her head.
A bell's echo reaches the room and Erik recognizes it as the meal bell for everyone who lives at the Opera House.
"Go eat," he tells the girl.
Christine shakes her head then mumbles, "Not hungry."
"Your father trusted me with you," Erik reminds her. "So you better go eat so that you can stay strong for him and me."
'Him and me.' Erik repeats in his head and it makes him smile for no reason he can name. Who was this young lady that she could make him feel this way?
With lowered shoulders, Christine relents and picks up her candle to leave the room. At the doorway, she turns back around and quietly says into the air, "I'm glad I have you, Angel of Music."
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