Anyhoo, I think it's time for another snippet, what do you think? This one is coming to you from The Phantom of the Chagnys, and is one of many scenes between Erik and Christine that I dove into. It's their first meeting in three years, and of course the talk turns to music. As usually happens in my Phantom stories, there's an enormous Leroux influence with some Webber to add some sparkle and romance. I just love music scenes!
The room was very large and spacious, but it looked smaller than it was due to the organ that took up the whole of the far wall. It was so impressive and unexpected a sight in such a nondescript building that for a moment Christine couldn’t look away from it, and when she did she saw music everywhere. The Dies Irae met her gaze several times, though indeed she could as easily have imagined Erik without that requiem as a non-singing Erik. But mostly she saw books covered in red ink, more of the music Erik had written himself. Among the scattered papers was a beautiful, well-cared-for violin.
Out in the alley the air had felt malevolent; in here there was a sense of dormancy, as though it were sleeping and waiting for that Angel of Music to bring it to life again. Christine could almost feel it on her skin, a divinity that was of both Heaven and Hell.
Erik gestured to the room at large. “No sound whatsoever permeates these walls,” he said. “I filled them in myself. It’s merely a question of adding an extra thickness. In here I could call down fire from Heaven and the outside world would be none the wiser.”
Christine was speechless. It was always an affecting experience to be in the heart of Erik’s lair, but to find herself once again at the center of his creative genius after never expecting to see him again was just as surreal as being with him again in the first place.
He sat down at the organ and began to play. She didn’t recognize the music, but she knew its quality well. It was of Erik’s own composition; it filled her, captivated her, and entranced her. It awakened the sleeping divinity on the air and in her spirit, stirring her senses into life. She could feel it in her blood, and as she breathed it in it elevated her very soul.
The song within her rose, filling her mind and body with the need to set it free at last. It had slept for too long, and now Erik had invoked it with his music. He had allowed her, even compelled her, to give in to the need. Powerless to resist any longer, she heeded the call.
She sang, as she’d only ever sung with him before. She’d never improvised before in her life, but his music and her voice seemed to blend seamlessly until there was no dividing one from the other. He played on with ever-increasing passion, and she sang until it felt as though her soul had left her body, reaching out for the music and soaring away in rapture when she touched it.
Time lost all meaning, and she didn’t know whether they’d been at it for hours or only a few minutes before their song drew to a close. Her voice faded to a whisper and the final notes of the organ died away, and Erik said without looking at her, “Now you see, Christine. I am quite safe in my music here. There’s no need to hold it back, it can be free and fly as it’s meant to.”
Christine didn’t answer. She had closed her eyes and she stood still, her mind serene and her body tingling. The music was gone, but she didn’t despair as before. When she spoke, she said, “I have to leave now, Erik.”
His voice was heavy with sorrow as he replied, “Of course, Christine. But you’ll come back.”
“Yes,” she promised. “I will.” She would, and as soon as she could. She couldn’t remain without that music for long, the music that had once again claimed her for its own.
And now back to work!