Vicomte de Chagny

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic
The Opera Ghost must rescue Christine and the Paris Opera from the greedy, power-hungry Vicomte Raoul.

Submitted: December 07, 2013

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Submitted: December 07, 2013

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In the late 1800s in Paris, France, the Paris Opera House was built by architects Charles Garnier and one anonymous architect. It was among the most splendid architectural marvels in all of Paris; its walls were decorated with frescoes and sculptures and ornate chandeliers hung from the ceilings. For years, it performed the best operas in the Western world.

 

The Opera House was also known for its enigmatic legend of an Opera Ghost; there were reports of a cloaked figure seen in dark corners of the Opera. In addition, sometimes the workmen would find that their work had already been for them, and when they asked their fellow workmen, they would deny the deed. However, if someone vandalized or caused the Opera any damage, the offender would vanish and later be found dead. As guardian of the Opera House, the Opera Ghost was about to face perhaps his worst adversary yet.

 

One pleasant summer day at the Opera, all the performers were rehearsing for a performance of Faust; Christine Daae was playing the part of Siebel while her snobbish rival Carlotta was Marguerite. During the scene in which Mephistopheles sang a song at a party, a man rudely interrupted the rehearsal; he was the Vicomte de Chagny, Raoul. Raoul was a wealthy however uncouth and greedy man; his family had been generous patrons of the Opera since it was established, but Raoul wanted all that money to himself so he plotted ways to shut down the Opera. He was even infamous for imposing heavy taxes on poorer families and on charities.

 

“Cut this racquet now, you peasants!” exclaimed Raoul as he entered with his band of unruly thugs, “this is the worst opera singing I have heard in all of Europe.”

 

One of the performers whispered to his neighbor, “Here we go again.”

 

Offended, the director remarked, “That was most unmannerly of you to just barge in while we were rehearsing; you’re just here to find some excuse for shutting us down!”

 

While the Vicomte and the director were arguing, Christine whispered to her friend Megan Giry, “So that’s the Vicomte de Chagny?”

 

Megan replied, “Yeah that’s him. He’s so handsome, it’s a shame he’s such a horrible person.”

 

In the midst of their argument, Raoul called Carlotta “a spoiled bitch” which caused Carlotta to dash off the stage wailing. Even though nobody liked Raoul, the performers and stagehands were pleased with him because Carlotta was so arrogant and pushy.

 

After the two concluded their argument, Raoul laid his eyes on Christine and erotically then roughly spoke, “There’s my little flower; come here, little bitch!”

 

When Raoul approached the stage, performers formed a barricade out of themselves to prevent Raoul from reaching Christine; however, Raoul climbed onto the stage and tried to get past the performers, but they continued to shield Christine. Then, mysteriously, a sandbag dropped from above almost hitting Raoul on the head which startled everyone; when they looked up, they saw no one. This caused the performers to mutter amongst themselves about “the Opera Ghost”.

 

Frightened, though trying not to show it, Raoul left the Opera with his thugs saying, “I’m out of this rathole. Mark my words; one day, I will shut you all down, and I will take you with me, my flower.”

 

When the rehearsal finished, Christine retreated to her room and sat down in a chair feeling horrified and insulted. She was still somewhat recovering from the shock of the mysterious sandbag. She also could barely grasp the fact that that nasty Vicomte had taken a fancy for her.

 

In the midst of her ponderings, a disembodied voice asked her, “Is everything all right, my dear?”

 

Unlike most people, Christine was not frightened by the voice; in fact, she was familiar with it. It was the same voice that had taught her how to sing securing a name for herself in opera.

 

“No,” replied Christine as she struggled to keep the tears back.

 

“What happened, my child?” kindly inquired the voice.

 

“It was that nasty Vicomte again; he’s still been trying to shut us down,” replied Christine.

 

The voice commented, “I’ve had to deal with that rat myself; here, why don’t you come join me for dinner.”

 

Christine replied, “I would love that, thanks, but where are you?”

 

“I am in the mirror,” answered the voice.

 

Christine turned to look into the mirror and saw a man dressed in black robes with a black mask covering his whole face. Christine could not believe what she saw; she turned around but saw no one.

 

The man in the mirror beckoned, “Come closer,” and Christine obeyed. Then the mirror rotated around its middle allowing Christine to enter. Then, the man gently took Christine’s hand and led her down a hallway and into the cavernous catacombs beneath the Opera. After traversing through a tunnel, Christine and the man arrived in a well-furnished, luxurious room with several musical instruments in different corners.

 

“I’ve prepared dinner for the both of us,” stated the man as he led Christine to the elegant table with delicious-looking foods lying on it. Christine and the man sat down, and the man served Christine before serving himself. Throughout the dinner, the man would slightly lift his mask up to eat and drink rather than completely removing it.

 

In the middle of the dinner, Christine asked, “I don’t know your name; what is it?”

 

The man replied, “I am Erik; your Angel of Music.”

 

“But you are a man,” stated Christine.

 

“Yes, I am,” affirmed Erik, “I’m sorry I deceived you, but it was the only way I could get close enough to you to teach you to sing so well.”

 

“No, I understand,” reassured Christine, “I do appreciate you teaching me to sing.”

 

“I am glad,” thanked Erik, “would you like to hear my latest piece; it’s one of my best yet.”

 

Christine gladly accepted, and Erik began to play his organ; Erik’s piece was beautiful and ominous at the same time. Erik allowed Christine to spend the night with him.

 

For the next few days, Erik gave Christine lessons to improve her singing. Throughout, those days, Christine couldn’t help but wonder why Erik was always wearing a mask; he would not even take it off to go to sleep. Christine had never met anyone who would wear masks so much. What could Erik be hiding behind the mask?

 

Then one day, while Erik was busy composing another song, Christine ripped off Erik’s mask; immediately, Erik covered his face and released a scream of terror.

 

“Oh, Christine!” cried Erik, “What have you done? Why have you stolen my mask, you cruel woman?”

 

Christine hastily replied, “I’m sorry; I only wanted to see what you looked like.”

 

“I can’t let you see my face!” cried Erik face still covered, “If you did, you wouldn’t want to see me ever again!”

 

“Try me,” challenged Christine, “I won’t judge you if you’re deformed.”

 

Erik took a few moments to consider what Christine had just said, and then he lowered his hands revealing his face. Christine tried hard not to cringe as she beheld perhaps the most deformed face she had ever seen; the skin was yellow like old paper and covered with multiple scars, a large chunk of the nose was missing, the mouth was gnarled, and one of the cheeks was missing.

 

Before Christine could say anything, Erik quickly criticized, “See, I can tell you think I’m hideous; I knew I shouldn’t have lowered my hands.”

 

Christine argued, “You may not have the prettiest face, but you are still a good person who cared enough about me to teach me to sing, and I am still grateful for that.”

 

Hearing this, Erik stretched a twisted smile, fell on his knees before Christine, and thanked her for still accepting him. Never before had anyone accepted Erik for who he was. For years, people taunted and shunned him away because he was deformed. It felt so good to at last not be rejected because of appearances. Christine returned Erik’s mask, and Erik replaced it on his face.

 

After that, Erik said, “Here, I’ll take you back to your room; I imagine everyone’s wondering where you’ve gone.”

 

After Christine returned to the surface, the next couple of weeks were normal until the Opera performed the Magic Flute by Mozart; Christine was playing the part of Pamina because Carlotta was still recovering from that filthy insult from Raoul. Halfway through the show Christine did not appear on cue; watching from his favorite Box Five, Erik knew something wasn’t right.

 

Using one of his many secret passageways, Erik entered the backstage to look for Christine; however, he found strange shadows dancing in a corner. When Erik tailed the shadows, he found two rough-looking men dragging Christine away who had a cloth stuffed into her mouth. Erik followed them out of the Opera until they entered a carriage; Erik clung to the carriage’s underside and memorized the route it traveled.

 

When the carriage stopped, it arrived at a pompous manor that had to be Raoul’s residence; Erik saw that it was very well-guarded. As much as he wanted to storm in and rescue Christine, Erik knew he would need a plan; Erik did not design that house so there would be no secret passageways he could use. Feeling defeated, Erik sneaked his way back to the Opera making sure no one saw him.

 

Back in his underground house, Erik was drinking champagne in an effort to forget about his misery. Deep down, even though Erik hadn’t confessed it yet, he loved Christine which was one reason he taught her to sing; now she was stolen from him. Erik felt that the very thing he had worked so hard to get had now been taken from him. The one person who accepted him was gone. All he wanted to do now was to break down and cry his eyes out.

 

But right when things began to appear hopeless, a plan somehow began to form in Erik’s mind. However, in order to carry out this rescue operation, he would need a little help.

 

In order to rescue Christine, Erik knew he would need a familiarity with the enemy territory; because he did not design that manor, Erik couldn’t resort to the trap doors or secret passageways he was accustomed to at the Opera. Erik would need a design map of the manor, but his appearance would arouse suspicion at the architectural firm; even when grocery shopping, Erik’s appearance would arouse suspicion. He would need an assistant, but who would be brave enough to stand up to the Vicomte de Chagny and how would he find that person.

 

Then, Erik began to consider what would be a most suitable accomplice for this mission; it would have to be someone brilliant and cunning but at the same time not arouse suspicion. Erik also realized that whoever this person was, he had to be willing to take risks.

 

Because it was getting so close to dark, Erik decided to use a mystical technique he learned back in Arabia, astral projection; when Erik astrally projected, he could enter into the dreams of others which was one way he approached Christine. Erik’s astral body spirited around Paris searching for a likely candidate; Erik judged his candidates by their real world occupations and by the contents of their dreams. Erik considered police officers, soldiers, engineers, and others for accomplices, but they would all either arouse suspicion or be suspicious.

 

Right when he was about to give up, Erik stumbled upon an orphanage which somehow inspired him. Erik knew orphans had a tendency to be courageous because they were deprived of their parents, and because people naturally assume children as innocent, a child would not arouse suspicion. Erik never knew his parents growing up so he naturally felt sympathy for orphans.

 

Erik searched the orphanage’s dormitories for a worthy candidate, but most of them did not strike Erik as able to deal with the task required. Then, Erik stumbled upon one boy who was about eight years of age whose dream fascinated Erik; in the dream, the boy facing a dragon meaning the boy had an adventurous spirit. Erik believed he had now found his accomplice.

 

When the boy finished killing the dragon in his dream, Erik entered the boy’s dream; at first, the boy was frightened, but Erik managed to calm the boy down.

 

When the boy asked who he was, Erik answered, “I am Erik; I have been watching you in my dreams, and I am pleased with what I see because I need your help. The famous opera singer and the love of my life Christine Daae has been kidnapped by that nasty Vicomte Raoul; I have a plan to rescue her, but I still need someone like you to aid me, someone who won’t arouse suspicion.”

 

Puzzled, the boy asked, “So what if I do help you; what then? You’re not even real; you’re just my imagination.”

 

Erik reassured, “I assure you I am real; have you ever heard stories of the Opera Ghost in the Opera?” (The boy nodded.) “Well, I am the Opera Ghost. Meet me at the Opera tonight at 8pm in Box Five.”

 

The boy asked, “What if I do help you; what will I get out of it?”

 

Erik answered, “If you help me rescue Christine, I and Christine will adopt you as our son.”

 

Those last words struck home for the boy. Ever since he was a baby, he had never known what it was like to have a family; now he was being offered the chance to have a family at last. There was still a voice in the back of the boy’s head telling him it wasn’t real, but the boy wanted a family so bad that he agreed to Erik’s words. After that, Erik returned to his body, and the boy woke up; immediately, that same voice in the back of the boy’s head told him that he was just dreaming, but the boy felt somehow that it couldn’t have been a dream. It was too coherent. The boy’s name was Dupont.

 

Throughout the day, Dupont was wrestling with that voice of supposedly reason that told him it was just wishful thinking while his intuition told him that the man was real. Usually, his dreams were rather abstract and often didn’t make sense, but this conversation with the man was concrete and like one with a real human.

 

By the time afternoon arrived, Dupont decided he would meet the mysterious man at the designated time and place; however, the orphanage locked its door in the evening and did a headcount at bedtime so escape would not be easy. He would need a plan. Dupont began to think of ways he could pick the lock; he decided that he could use some kitchen utensil from the kitchen. However, the kitchen would be locked along with other doors. Dupont knew that there was a vent leading to that room to let some of the heat from the stoves escape, but how would he open that up. As Dupont was pondering these things, he was grateful that they didn’t lock the dormitories in case someone needed to use the lavatory.

 

Once Dupont had formulated a plan, he slipped into his bed leaving his clothes on. After one of the staff performed the head count, Dupont carefully arose from his bed and tiptoed out of the room careful not to make a sound; currently, that same staff was performing a headcount of the other dorms before performing the lockdown.

 

Dupont had only a few minutes to get into the kitchen and hide. Once Dupont arrived on the floor with the kitchen, he could hear footsteps coming from the offices so he hid in an empty classroom. When the footsteps vanished, Dupont entered the kitchen, grabbed a knife with a long, slender blade, and hid in a cabinet.

 

Once Dupont was sure that everyone had left, he exited the kitchen which wasn’t locked on the inside, crept toward the main door of the orphanage, and picked the lock on the door. After the door was unlocked, Dupont crept out of the orphanage keeping his knife in his hand for protection. Dupont knew the way to the Opera well because the administrators sometimes allowed the orphans to see a show at the Opera.

 

After avoiding a few coppers and other nighttime workers, Dupont arrived at the Opera, used his knife to pick the lock, and crept into the Opera. Once Dupont arrived in Box Five, he waited for the mysterious man to show up; Dupont was praying that the man was real and that he would be adopted soon. However, as the minutes passed, no one appeared which led Dupont to believe that he had made a fool of himself and got himself in trouble in the process.

 

Right when Dupont had given up hope, he was startled by a voice saying, “You have come.”

 

When Dupont turned around, he saw the same masked man from his dream. After recovering from the shock, Dupont’s spirits lifted that he really was about to be adopted. Erik, the mysterious man, took Dupont down to his underground house; Dupont was astonished that something so elegant could exist underground.

 

“You live here?” asked Dupont in mild disbelief.

 

“Yes,” affirmed Erik.

 

Dupont asked further, “So how are we going to rescue your lover? The Vicomte is a powerful man.”

 

Erik answered, “First we will need some familiarity with the enemy territory; that’s where I need you. I need you to go to the Paris Architectural Firm to retrieve the design plan of his manor and find a way in.”

 

Dupont asked even further, “But why do you need me for that, and why are you wearing that mask; it makes you look funny?”

 

As Dupont asked his second question, he moved his hand to remove Erik’s mask, but as Dupont was pulling the mask away, Erik backhanded him sending him flying sideways.

 

“Don’t ever do that again,” angrily growled Erik, “you understand me?”

 

After Dupont affirmed, Erik wrapped up, “Anyway, the plan now is to retrieve the plan and figure out a way in, but that can wait until tomorrow. You can stay with me tonight.”

 

For the rest of the night, Erik and Dupont slept in separate beds.

 

The next morning, Erik showed Dupont the way to the Paris Architectural Firm on a map of Paris and also gave him some simple instructions on how to retrieve the design map.

 

After being shown the way, Dupont traveled the streets of Paris to the Paris Architectural Firm; Dupont enjoyed the journey because he didn’t get to see much of Paris very often. Dupont passed by beautiful, ornate buildings and saw exotic items in shop windows. He also caught whiffs of pleasant aromas from fine restaurants.

 

After traversing the pleasant but busy streets of Paris, Dupont arrived at the Paris Architectural Firm which was a finely designed building. When Dupont entered the building, a man asked what he was doing there, and Dupont replied that he needed to see the design of the Vicomte’s manor for a class project. Instead of stealing the design, Dupont used his photographic memory to memorize the design.

 

When Dupont returned to Erik’s underground house, he recreated the design with every precise detail.

 

“Okay, now that we know the design of the manor, let’s see if we can find a way to get in without alerting his thugs,” instructed Erik, and immediately he found one in the manor’s cellar. “The cellar has a drain which leads to a sewer system which we can access through the catacombs, and judging by the scale, the drain is big enough for us to climb through it.”

 

But Dupont asked, “But how will we get through the drain because it’s grated.”

 

Erik replied, “I could use my crowbar to unscrew the nails on it, and we could lift the grate up.”

 

Once the plan was formulated, Erik gathered some utensils that they would probably need such as the map, the crowbar, and a paperclip to pick locks. He also gathered some weapons such as his sword, pistol, and Punjab lasso; he gave a pistol and a dagger to Dupont and taught him how to use them.

 

After all the preparations were settled, Erik and Dupont descended into the catacombs, and Erik led the way using his memory from under the carriage. The catacombs were filthy and gloomily semicircle tunnels that branched in different directions. The smell of sewage made the journey unpleasant; occasionally, a rat would streak to and fro.

 

Once they arrived at the drain of the Vicomte’s cellar, Erik used his crowbar as planned, and they both ascended into a better-smelling environment. The cellar was packed with large kegs of wine that must have cost countless francs.

 

Before they proceeded anywhere, Erik cautioned, “Stay close to me, and don’t make a sound.”

 

As the two of them sneaked around looking for Christine, they luckily did not come across any enemies. They searched house carefully trying not to disturb their environment too much; they even considered the possibility of clever trap doors and secret passages and hidden rooms. While exploring the third floor, Erik noticed a vast distance between two doors down a hallway; using his architecture skills, Erik calculated that there was a massive space between the two rooms. This made Erik suspicious.

 

Erik and Dupont searched the two rooms (one was a study; the other was a guest bedroom) for trapdoors and trick walls that could lead to that possible hidden room. While they were searching the rooms, in the bedroom, Dupont slid a colorful, porcelain lamp across a small table which somehow awakened a startling spark followed by a bookshelf sliding to its side revealing a hidden room. Erik congratulated Dupont for his find.

 

When Erik and Dupont entered the room, they found Christine tied down to a bed and stripped to a bellydancer outfit; Dupont secretly enjoyed the sight.

 

Before Erik and Dupont could do anything, Raoul appeared from somewhere in the room saying in a mocking voice, “Bravo, bravo, I was almost beginning to worry that you weren’t going to figure it out.”

 

Erik sternly confronted, “Why are you doing this, Raoul? Christine did nothing to deserve this imprisonment.”

 

Raoul replied, “Oh, it was part of my plan to shut down the Paris Opera; I figured if I could fuck up as many performances as I could, I could cause the Opera to lose its patronage and choke it out of business which would mean more money for myself, and with enough money, I could buy all of Paris. I will squash the poor and needy and enslave the rich to my will, and one day, all of France will be mine.”

 

Erik drew his sword as he confronted, “I can’t let you get away with this, you slave of Mammon.”

 

Raoul mocked, “Oh, really, and how do you plan to stop me? I am the most powerful man in Paris, and you are just an urban legend only a few people believe in. Do you really think you stand a chance against me?”

 

Erik replied, “That urban legend has established me as the Opera’s guardian angel, and I will fulfill that duty even if it costs me my life.”

 

Raoul threatened, “Then you’d better be prepared to lose it because I’m about to take it.”

 

And with that, Raoul lunged forward with his sword while Erik blocked with his own; before Dupont could shoot Raoul dead, Erik ordered him to watch for any thugs. Raoul pulled a thick cord which set off some sort of alarm, and Raoul’s minions came pouring into the house.

 

“Fight them off while I deal with him!” commanded Erik.

 

Dupont shot down several of Raoul’s minions with his pistol and then fiercely stabbed and slashed rest in the name of both Christine Daae and the Opera. Meanwhile, Erik and Raoul swung and parried each other’s swords. At one point, Raoul leaped off a bed and tried to slice Erik in half, but Erik blocked in time; on the floor, Erik pushed Raoul aside, and they both returned to their feet.

 

Without taking his eye off of Erik, Raoul grabbed a vase and threw it at Erik, but Erik batted it away with his sword. Then, Raoul charged at Erik in an attempt to impale him, but Erik twirled away sending Raoul charging into a wall in the hallway getting his sword stuck. Erik then charged to behead Raoul, but Raoul freed his sword and blocked in time.

 

Once Dupont defeated the last of the minions, he returned to the room where Christine was held captive and cut the cords binding her to the bed; and the two of them hurried to escape the manor, but the stairwell was blocked by Erik and Raoul fighting. Christine was horror struck at the sight. When Raoul saw Christine, he was horrified that his “toy” was escaping which distracted him long enough for Erik to kick him into the railing by the stairwell. Erik charged at him, and Raoul blocked; however, Raoul lost his balance, and they both tumbled down the spiral staircase to the second floor. Christine and Dupont watched the battle with horror

 

After a long while of fighting, Erik and Raoul arrived at an open window, and Raoul tried hard to push Erik out of the window. After flashing a quick glance at Christine and Dupont, Erik flipped out of the window sending Raoul flying; after that, all Christine and Dupont heard was Raoul’s screaming and a nasty, meaty sound. Christine knelt down and wept bitterly believing Erik to be dead, the very person who loved her and taught her and now rescued her. Dupont however didn’t want to accept the idea that Erik was dead; Erik was the closest thing to a father Dupont had ever had, and he was promised adoption when Christine was rescued.

 

Because Dupont couldn’t struggle with himself any longer and had to be sure, he looked out the window, and what he saw surprised him; he saw Raoul impaled by his own fence and Erik dangling from a wall decoration. Dupont’s spirits soared at the sight because Erik’s promise would be fulfilled; Dupont beckoned Christine to see, and she too rejoiced. When all the people poured into the streets in the night air to see what the commotion was, they rejoiced that their oppressor was vanquished; Erik was now a masked hero.

 

After Erik designed a special mask to make him look more normal, he and Christine were married, and they adopted Dupont as their son. Like Christine, Dupont also became an opera star, and like Erik, he also became a great composer.


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