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 THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS

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silver moon
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PostSubject: Re: THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS   Sun Nov 16, 2008 11:36 am

..busted! Laughing how on earth are they gonna talk themselves out of this, i want to know.

And what is it with the maybe we caused this to happen thing, is it anything to it at all?

you`re killing me here! cheers
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PostSubject: Re: THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS   Sat Nov 22, 2008 3:37 pm

Silver moon, so good to see you. Come by more often. Missed you. Thank you for the kind words.

Thank you to all who have read and reviewed.

Now for the next chapter. There is a brief section of questions of an intimate nature. If this offends, you may want to skip that part.

Please R&R. Enjoy!

******************************************************************
CHAPTER TWENTY-EIGHT

French Countryside 1879


Twilight settled over the French countryside spreading its shadows from the heavens to the earth, through the trees and into the woods. The same woods Maurice D’Auberge and his men had traveled with their strange cargo of frightened young virgins and opium, an exotic drug from the Orient.

Mae and her husband approached the woods with caution. Their earlier encounter with assassins unnerved and made them alert. Her beloved explained that not many knew the woods as well as he and Alain.

At first they followed the main path, the same well trodden one D’Auberge and his crew had followed. Erik stopped in the center of the trees and found the ashes of their campfire. His expertise as a tracker showed as he explained to his wife what to look for, even in the dark, especially in the dark.

Erik took a piece of wood and tied some foliage around it and lit it. With this torch, they led their horses on a path to the tree where Derrell had allowed the girls to have a private moment. From here, they found evidence that something had drug along the ground farther into the woods, away from the camp.

After a bit, Erik saw something on the ground ahead of them.

Bodies. Dead bodies.

He broke off a tree branch from over head and moved on.

“Stay back here with the horses and keep the light. I can see quiet well in the dark. It appears to be some bodies up ahead,” he whispered to his wife.

“No. I’m going with you. I can deal.”

“It’s not a sight for a lady.”

“If I can kill them, I can look at them.”

“Okay. Was that right? Okay?”

“Yes, my husband. You were right. Okay.” They moved ahead.

The wolves had attacked the bodies. Mae turned her head and backed up. Everything
she had eaten felt like coming up as she covered her mouth with her hand. The flies had gathered for the morbid feast, sending chills up her spine to shake hands with the nausea in her stomach.

Using the stick to move them around, her husband examined the remains.

“Necks were broken and the wolves came later,” came the conclusion.

“Thanks Ducky. Like I needed to know that,” Mae tried to be brave with a little sarcasm and not puke.

“Ducky? Who’s Ducky?” The Phantom stood up and stared at her. His full black death’s head troubled her. Truly he looked scary dressed all in black with only the glint of his cat-like eyes.

“Pop culture reference. NCIS has a delightful coroner named Donald Mallard whom they all lovingly refer to as Ducky.”

“NCIS? Ducky? Pop culture reference?” Her Angel puzzled.

“You’ll understand later. Can we go?”

“I know these men. They were Arnou and Jacque, some of Maurice’s men. Someone killed them.”

“Alain?”

“I am certain of it. Come. We must go.”

“Thank you. Where to?”

Her husband put out the light and whispered for her to mount her horse and follow him. Mae couldn’t understand how they’d find their way in the dark, but then, she did marry a man who had spent most of his life in darkness, lurking in shadows and blending into the void of night.

Erik and César moved through the forest with such speed that Mae and her poor nag could barely keep up. Horseback riding had not been her favorite pastime and she had to hang on for dear life. It felt like a dizzy ride in an amusement park, one she used to crouch down into while gripping the safety bar until her knuckles turned white. Then she’d close her eyes real tight, praying she’d survive the two and a half minutes of unadulterated nausea.

This ride seemed like much the same. They galloped past what looked like an endless number of trees. Then they came to an abrupt stop. Erik held his hand up as a signal for silence and to follow him. Now, they would have to lead their horses and use stealth to proceed.

The little cottage had a small light behind its dreary curtains. Everything seemed quite still. Not even the cry of the nightbird sounded. Nothing stirred.

They led their horses behind the house and found a little barn, which housed a single horse; Alain’s horse. There they tied their horses and crept out toward the house.

Mae slipped the sword from its sheath strapped to her back and poised it to her left ready to strike. Her Angel pulled out the lasso and tried the doorknob.

Locked.

He motioned for her to move back while he forced his way inside.

With one firm kick, the door gave way and Erik and his wife charged inside. Alain dressed only in his pants, shirtless and barefoot, attended to the food, which cooked in a kettle over a blazing fire in the fireplace. Laurette sat on the bed with a blanket wrapped around her. She screamed at the sight of the Phantom. Alain turned and jumped up, but before he could say a word, the Punjab lasso swooshed over his head. He grabbed at the lasso as Erik pulled on it.

Laurette leapt from the bed and tried to pull Erik away, while frantically screaming, “No, monsieur! Please, no!”

Mae realized that the girl remained here willingly, and immediately dropped the sword and pushed her way between Erik and Alain.

“Erik, no! Stop! She’s here by choice!” Mae pushed her husband back hard, running her hands under his vest. The sensation aroused him, causing him to release the lasso and gather his wife into his arms.

“Don’t do that, woman! You distract me,” his breathing became heavy and his heart began to race.

Alain dropped to his knees at the release of the lasso. Laurette pulled the thing from her man’s throat and tossed it to the ground. Then she gathered him into her little arms and held the gasping, sputtering man to her breast. Tears rolled down her cheeks. Terror gripped her heart once again. She tried not to look at the terrible death’s head.

“She is not a victim. Can’t you see she’s with him by choice?” Mae whispered.

Erik clung to his wife, enjoying the sensation of her body next to his, but turned to study the child and man who both held each other.

“Erik, why?” Alain gasped.

“I thought that you had kidnapped the girl and …and…” the Phantom stammered, ashamed of his misconception.

“You thought that I’d raped her. Is that it?”
“He loves me, monsieur. We are to be married,” the little girl cried.

The Phantom released Mae and moved to the door. The lock hung by one nail. Erik drew a knife from the inside pocket of his coat and repaired it. The lock would not hold forever, but it would do. He closed the door and placed the wooden slat across it for better security.

Mae picked up her sword and replaced it in its sheath. “We’re sorry, Alain. It was a natural mistake. We knew the girl went missing and... We just assumed…”

“He saved my life, Madame. Alain cares for me and I for him,” at these words, Alain’s heart jumped for joy. His sweet little fiancée cared for him. Lovingly he kissed her hands and then her stomach through her clothes. Then he kissed the hem of her pantaloons and sobbed painful, heart breaking tears.

Erik truly felt like a heel. He seldom made mistakes in judgment. He saw how much Alain reminded him of himself. At one time, he had felt the same way about Christine. Then he noticed the bruises on Laurette’s arms.

“Mae, look at her arms. Bruises,” he whispered to his wife.

“Laurette, that is your name, isn’t it?” Mae addressed the child.

“Oui, Madame. I am Laurette.”

“May I speak to you in private, please? Woman to woman?”

“Oui, Madame,” Laurette kissed the top of Alain’s head and gently pulled away from the groveling young man.

Erik took him to the far corner of the room, near the fireplace, while Mae took the child to the opposite corner by the bed.

“Laurette, I see bruises on your arms. Did he hurt you?” Mae examined the girl’s arms.

“He didn’t mean to. He was anxious,” Laurette unsure how to explain.

“Anxious? Anxious about what?”

“To have me, Madame. He wanted me so much. The masked man, he is your husband, no?”

“Yes, he’s my husband,” Mae glanced at Erik who chatted with Alain.

“Did he not bruise you when you first made love?” The innocence of the child amazed her. Mae knew she couldn’t be much older than the girl, but she felt strange having such a motherly conversation with her. Of course she recalled her husband bruising her. How could she forget? It appeared that Alain had become very Phantom-like.

“Well, yes, he did. Are you hurt anywhere else?”

“My legs are bruised. You know…?” Laurette stared with child-like innocence.

“Oh, yeah, I know. But are you hurt…inside…?” Mae felt a little embarrassed, but she had to ask the question.

“No, Madame. Alain loves me. We are to be married. See,” the child put forth her hand to show off the ring.

Erik’s bride held her hand next to Laurette’s. The gold bands looked identical.

“Oh, Madame, I see that your ring is like mine. A coincidence, no?”

“Maybe. Laurette, do you love Alain? Do you want to marry him?”

Oui, I love him. I want to marry him. He will take care of me and allow me to visit my parents. This is good, no?”

Mae said nothing, but smiled and nodded an approval. Then she motioned for the child to sit on the bed.

Erik felt sorry he had misjudged his protégé. His bride had changed his life so much. In the old days he would have killed Alain and Raoul, for that matter, as quick as he had the would-be-assassins, with no remorse or second thoughts

“Did you force the child? Have you hurt her? What were you thinking?” he slammed Maurice’s nephew with one question after another.

“No, Erik. I didn’t hurt or force her to do anything. I killed Arnou and Jacques because they tried to hurt her. I love Laurette, as you do your wife.

I see the way you act around her. I see it in your eyes, in fact, your eyes are all I can see,” Alain sat on a stool by the fireplace, and brushed back his shaggy mane and stared into the hollows of the death’s head. A golden glint from the hollows assured him that Erik looked at him.

“Are you trying to be witty? Does my misjudgment amuse you? I would have killed you if it wasn’t for her,” he glanced at his wife, who looked his way.

“Oui, I know this. But you should know me by now. I would never hurt or mistreat a woman. I love Laurette. I wanted her so much. I couldn’t eat or sleep. Do you understand? I was going mad without her!” the young man began to cry and buried his face in his hands.

How well the Phantom knew the feelings! At one time, he had felt this for Christine; she seemed so innocent, so beautiful, and so angelic. Now he lived only for his wife, his own true love, the only woman whoever loved him for himself; indeed a true sign of unconditional love!

“Stop crying, Alain. It’s not manly.”

The young man dried his eyes and sniffled. The Phantom looked into the fire and continued. “What are your plans?”

“We are engaged. I shall marry her and love and care for her,” came the reply.

“Your uncle will be looking for you. He’s already sent men to kill me and my bride.”

“Then we must leave at once,” Alain arose from the stool. Erik pushed him back.

“Where will you go? Do you have money?”

He hadn’t thought of any of this. Where would they go? He had thought to remain at the house, here in the woods. He had a little money, but would fare better if he had the salary Maurice owed him for this last journey.

“Just as I’d thought. You have no plan. Here,” Erik reached into his inside coat pocket and drew out a pouch. Upon opening it, he pulled out several bills and handed them to the young man. “This is not a loan, but a wedding gift. I will take care of your uncle. You must come with us in the morning. It is no longer safe here.”

“This is too much money. I couldn’t…” Alain seemed at a loss for words.

“Just take it. Remember, I nearly killed you. It’s the least I can do,” Erik turned away, trying not to show his feelings.

Mae moved to him. “You were right,” he started as he took her hand. “She is with him by choice. They are to be married.”

“I know. She told me the same.”

“We must take them to safety in the morning. Madame Giry can help keep them at the Opera House until they find something better. I must deal with Maurice and I must do it quickly before he sends assassins for Alain, and reclaim the little girl,” Mae’s Angel seemed thoughtful. Like Alain, she had to stare into the hollows of the death’s head to see if the glint of gold from his eyes.

For now, they sat and broke bread with the couple. Alain cooked quite well. The Master recluse had taught him how to sweeten wild game, so the venison tasted delicious and the biscuits savory.

They both took note of how well he attended to Laurette’s needs. He dished out food for her, saw to it that she felt comfortable and made sure she had enough to eat. If the blanket slipped from her shoulders, he’d pull it up and adjust it. He couldn’t do enough for her. Every bite of food he took with his eyes glued to his delicate, petite love.

Laurette appeared contented enough, but they couldn’t be sure if she loved the man or just needed him. She hardly looked his way as she ate and tried to make small talk with their new friends. Mae, she would look at, but the man in black unnerved her and so she’d never look his way.

“Do I frighten you? Or is just the mask? Come, come, you can tell me the truth. I will not be insulted,” asked the Phantom as he ate. It seemed as though he ate more since he became a husband.

“Oui, you and the mask frighten me. You are le cadavre vivant. Some say you are Death himself. I do not wish to die nor do I wish for you to take my fiancé. We love each other,” there was sadness in her voice as she continued to eat.

“But I sit and eat with you. Why did you think I would kill you and Alain now?”

“Erik, apologize,” Mae nudged him.

“What? Apologize?” he stopped eating and glared at his wife.

“Erik…”

“I will not. I have nothing to apologize for. It was a natural mistake. You had the same misjudgment.”

“I didn’t try to strangle Alain. Apologize, please.”

“No!”

Mae gave a long sigh and went back to her food. Her husband still glared at her. For some reason the scenario caused the betrothed couple to laugh out loud.

“What? Are you all waiting for me to apologize?”

No one dare answer. They tried in vain to stifle their laughter. Alain had known him for too long. If Erik made a mistake, he would never show emotion of any kind, except hatred and anger, which always ended up with his hands around someone’s throat. And of course, he never apologized.

“It is all right, Madame. He does not have to,” Alain smiled.

“There, I do not have to,” the Phantom said stubbornly.

“Erik, apologize.” Then she leaned over and whispered softly into his ear, “If you don’t, I will not attend to wifely duties tonight. I will have a headache, do you understand, my husband?”

After a brief pause, the Phantom said rather quickly, “I apologize.” And immediately returned to his food.

This time they all burst out laughing at once. Actually, it felt good to laugh. So many things in life give us grief, that rare occasion to laugh and enjoy life seldom occurs.


Last edited by PhantomnessFay on Sun Nov 23, 2008 9:58 am; edited 2 times in total
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Slytherliggie
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PostSubject: Re: THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS   Sat Nov 22, 2008 10:45 pm

Poor Alain, I'm sure that was a hell of a scare. Why, oh, why can't I have a man like that who loves me and waits on my every need? *sigh*


So, Mae can blackmail her beloved husband? This is going to get all the more interesting, I see.

Very good chapter, once again, my friend. Please do continue soon.



D
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PostSubject: Re: THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS   Sun Nov 23, 2008 10:05 am

Slytherliggie thank you so much for your kind words. Don't we all want a man to attend to our every need? *sigh* This is why they call what I write "fiction". Laughing Because we don't really find men like that. Laughing If you notice the difference between what men write from women, men never write anything where a man is attending to a woman's every need. Shocked

More coming soon. Please don't go away. The best is yet to come.
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Chica de Nueva York
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PostSubject: Re: THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS   Sat Dec 06, 2008 9:05 pm

Lol. You know, most marriage counselors will tell you that sex should never, ever be used as a weapon. But then again, Mae and Erik didn't receive any pre wedding marriage counseling, did they? Very Happy

Ah, the plot thickens and continues to deepen. So much has happened since my last post, I'm not sure what I should comment on. Laurette's character is quite interesting, with her mistifying comments. She's innocent, yet bold and direct. And why are there always people trying to kill Erik? Wait, I think I know the answer to that.

Keep up the writing, Fay. ( As if you really needed me to say that, lol. )
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PostSubject: Re: THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS   Sun Dec 07, 2008 10:34 am

Thank you Chica de Nueva York for your kind words! Good to see you. Marriage counselor huh? That's another thing you never say to Erik, counselor. Punjab! affraid

Thank you to all who have read and reviewed. Now for your reading pleasure, here is the next chapter. Please R&R. Enjoy!

****************************************
CHAPTER TWENTY-NINE

In two parts

Hotel Room Paris 2006

With the exception of Twanda and Kimee the remainder of the group assembled once again in the girls’ room. Tommy and Christine sat at the table near the window with their bags of automatons or rather toys on the floor near the table.

Doone and Micha jotted down Plan A and B on a big sheet of paper they had spread out on the table. They all agreed they would have to lead the old witch back to the mirror at Sacré Coeur, with hopes that she’d take the caged demon at the gypsy shop with her.

They only had to worry about two things, getting killed and killing the witch. They didn’t want to kill her since they needed to swap her for Micha’s girlfriend, Inèz. So, first they needed to rig the church with illusions and parlor tricks (magic) as a distraction if needed.

Second, they had to plant the remote controlled toys along the path they’d make her follow to the church. Sounded simple. For sure, she’d come after them with or without any efforts on their part, but they still couldn’t figure out how to get her to willingly go through the looking glass. The key word “willingly”. Yes, they had their work cut out for them.

Micha prepared little pouches of herbs as part of a protection spell to be worn around the neck of each one in the group.

Plan B, in case the first one fell through, called for a lock of Brianna’s hair attached to a doll made in her likeness. In other words, voodoo. Lame? Perhaps, but it would be a last resort; the very last.

It took a while to set things up and they didn’t have much time, since they would have to return to the States in two days. And as Micha had said, the longer Christine and Mae remained in their prospective centuries, the more difficult the task became to return them to their proper space and time.

Since the sun still shone, Micha instructed Tommy and Christine to plant their remote controlled toys along the route they had followed from their hotel to Montmartre and Sacré Coeur. They had fun doing this. Occasionally, Christine would stop and stare into a store window and wish for a dress or a piece of jewelry.

But most of all, she’d stare at her reflection in the windows and considered what she’d look like as a blonde. Kimee had told her that women could change hair color in this century and she dreamt of doing just that. Perhaps just before leaving she’d do just that.

Doone and Micha went to Sacré Coeur to set up their illusions. They needed to see how and where they would stage their parlor tricks.

Father Orestes met them as before and as before, he cowered, backed away from Doone while crossing himself, he mumbled a prayer in French.

Doone puzzled at this. Did he look like the “big scary” when the Father and Micha’s grandmother had first seen him?

Later that evening when they all gathered again at the girls’ room, Tommy made a call to each girl’s cell, but neither Twanda nor Kimee answered, so he left messages to brief them on the plans.

Now to locate Brianna. The answer they sought by mirror scrying, at Christine’s suggestion. Gossip around the Opera House said to use a black mirror. They couldn’t try it the Phantom’s way, since Doone no longer possessed the power, knowledge or self-confidence of Erik.

Micha remembered something he’d read in the book he’d snatched from his grandmother’s shop. A passage about mirror scrying called for a black mirror, which he had carefully wrapped in one of the bags. He took a few moments to reread the passage to himself. The group became restless, but he waved his hand for silence.

After he made the others help him move the beds and furniture so they could have the center of the room free; he then drew out the black mirror from a bag he had carried. Carefully he unwrapped and set it on the floor in the middle of the room.

It looked pretty much like an ordinary mirror, but the preparation and construction made it different. Micha lit two candles, placed them in holders and set them on either side of the mirror. Then he drew special incense sticks from one of the bags, lit them and stuck them in special holders and then positioned them at the side of each candle. After this, he sat in front of the mirror with his legs crossed Indian-style. Doone switched off the lights, making the candles their only light source.

Micha asked for absolute quiet. Then he closed his eyes and after taking a deep breath, he called on all of his guardians for protection.

In a few moments, he opened his eyes and gazed down into the black mirror. He could see no reflection of light or even his own for that matter. It seemed as though he looked down into a deep hole or tunnel. Maybe his magic finally worked.

Christine and Tommy strained to see anything in the mirror. They exchanged looks but said nothing. Micha continued to stare into the tunnel, oblivious to his surroundings. Swirling white mist seeped into view, his view only. The others saw nothing.

As the mist parted in the center, he saw a house by a lake, which looked indoors but not. Doone stood next to a pretty petite young woman (Mae) and a tall man wearing a white half mask that covered the right side of this face. He dressed all in black with a cape draped across his shoulders. The young woman wore a plain pale blue Victorian dress common in the late 19th Century and Doone dressed like the other man, only without the mask. They seemed involved in a serious discussion, even though Micha heard no sound; only witnessed the visual.

This scene troubled Micha. He wondered about Erik and Mae’s identity and how Doone knew them.

The mist covered the scene and then parted from the center as before and he saw his own dark haired beauty, Inèz, his love, talking to a young woman with hair as black as ebony and skin as white as snow. Just as the first scene, no sound, only visual.

The third time the dark swirling mist covered the scene and then parted. This time he saw Brianna, the witch, as her beautiful self, sitting at a small round table, waving her arms in anger at her men, Landru and Etienne, who sat around her staring blankly. Micha tried to recognize her surroundings. It looked like an outdoor café.

Then a light bulb popped on in this head. He did recognize the place, but couldn’t recall from where. Finally, the mist returned and covered the scene, but this time, it disappeared completely, leaving the mirror as just a mirror.

Once again, Micha took a deep breath and closed his eyes. He wanted to remember all he had seen. Then he opened his eyes and looked at each of his new friends.

“Well? What happened? What did you see?” Christine asked with curiosity. He had sat in silence for so long.

“I saw my beloved Inèz talking to a young woman I believe was Snow White. They looked okay. Just talking. Then I saw Doone with a young woman and a man in a mask dressed all in black with a cape...” the young gypsy started, but Doone cut him off.

“A young woman and a man in a mask? Was the woman small, petite and stacked?” Doone moved closer to the candles and Micha.

“Yes, very pretty. You seemed to know them. You seemed comfortable with them.”

“The man in the mask may be Erik, the Opera Ghost,” Christine added.

“Impossible!” cried the young gypsy. “The Opera Ghost is a “living corpse”. This was a normal man only with a mask.”

“Was Mae hurt?” Doone asked with a frown, trying to decipher the vision.

“No, she stood with you and the masked man. Strange, but you and the man dressed alike. All of you were talking. There was no sound.”

“Where were they?” Doone continued to question.

“I don’t know. Seemed like in front of a house by a lake, only they weren’t outside, or at least it didn’t look like outside. Weird!” Micha shook his head.

“It’s Erik’s house by the lake; beneath the Opera House,” Christine stated as if remembering.

“We thought you hadn’t been there, yet,” Tommy narrowed his eyes at her.

“I haven’t. Only it seems like I have…” her voice trailed and she stared off into space.

“Now you’re freakin’ me out, Chrissy. More déjà-vu? Cut it out!” Tommy shuddered.

“The man in the mask was Erik,” explained Christine. “Perhaps he taught you to become him.”

“What?” Doone frowned. “That’s crazy.”

“Is it? If you weren’t possessed then what? Why else would you be dressed like him?” Christine lifted an eyebrow and gave a knowing look.

Tommy and Micha turned to each other. “Hey, she’s got something there,” Tommy eyed him. Doone paused and pondered what she had said and wondered why he would learn to become Erik? What does this mean? His change in personality, this vision, his longing for the house by the lake…could he be the Phantom in Leroux’s novel? Absurd! He dismissed the idea.

“Like what about the witch?” Doone changed the subject.

“She and her men sat in a sidewalk café. She seemed angry,” Micha replied.

“Gee, ya think? Dumping a load of manure on her would do it,” Tommy remarked sarcastically. He hadn’t tried to sound arrogant or sarcastic, but it made him feel in control and less scared.

“I’ve seen the sidewalk café before, I just can’t remember where. It’s somewhere in the city,” Micha strained to remember.

“Like let’s go cruise the city and find the witch already,” Doone got up and turned on the lights. Micha blew out the candles and doused the incense.

Christine stopped to check herself in the mirror attached to the closet. A wave of sadness and fear washed over her. Gingerly she touched the mirror with her fingertips. Tears flooded her eyes. Micha jerked around to see her.

(CONTINUED IN THE FOLLOWING POST)
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PostSubject: Re: THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS   Sun Dec 07, 2008 10:35 am

CHAPTER TWENTY-NINE

CONCLUSION


“Christine! Christine!” He hurried to her. He tried to pull her away from the mirror but she wouldn’t budge.

“So much sadness! Poor unhappy Erik!” she cried. “We mingled our tears.”

Tommy and Doone puzzled and shrugged.

“Christine, what’s wrong? What do you see?” Micha again tried to pull her away from the mirror, this time he succeeded.

But when Micha turned her around, he and the other young men gasped and stepped away. Her hair had turned completely blonde. Every last strand had become completely void of color, almost white, and so did her face, as if she’d seen a ghost, while she stared with a glassy, wide-eyed look.

At that moment, a key rattled in the lock of the door and it flew open as Twanda and Kimee burst in panting. Quickly they closed the door and locked it. Then they leaned back against it trying to catch their breath. It looked like they’d been running.

“What happened to you?” Kimee blurted out.

“Shooo,” hushed Twanda. “She might hear you.”

“Who?” asked the young men in unison.

“Mrs. Carlyle. She’s been grilling us for hours. Even took us out for lunch and to yet, another museum. My God, if we see another museum I’ll scream!” Twanda shook her head. “Now, what happen to Christine’s hair and what’s that funky smell?”

“The smell is incense and we don’t know what happened to Christine. One minute she was staring into the closet mirror crying ‘Poor unhappy Erik’ and then she was blonde,” explained Tommy, scratching his head.

“She don’t look well. Chrissy!” Twanda moved to her. “Tell Twanda what happened.”

“He…he’s going to die. He gave me the ring,” Christine faltered but Twanda supported her.

“Has she been reading the book again?” Kimee moved to her.

“No, we were scrying for the witch with a black mirror and then things got weird,” Tommy pointed to the mirror on the floor.

Micha remembered the black mirror needed special care, so he carefully picked it up and wrapped it in the cloth he had brought it in and put it away.

“We were like about to go witch hunting,” Doone tried to get to the door, but Kimee blocked him.

“No! She might be out there.”

“Who?”

“Mrs. Carlyle.”

“Where’s Miss Peters?”

Twanda and Kimee exchanged looks. They had not even thought of her. Where did Miss Peters go?

“I brought back the ring,” began Christine looking to Doone. “It doesn’t have to be that way. We can stay here. Things will be different.”

“Why, because I don’t look like Death?” Doone replied as Erik, the Opera Ghost. Once again his demeanor changed. He drew himself up to his full height and stretched forth his hand to her.

She came to him, but not in a trance, but as a woman in love. “Here things are different. You still love me, don’t you Erik?” Her voice sounded strained and in pain, as if her heart had broken.

“What, no more pity for poor unhappy Erik? We don’t belong here. Once we have helped Micha, we must return to our own time,” Doone kissed her hand. “Don’t you still want the boy?”

“Raoul is a good man, but he’s not like you. You made my voice come to life. You made me come to life. Angel, please don’t leave me again.”

“Christine, you are influenced by the magic that brought you here,” again he kissed her hand. “I am still your faithful dog, ready to die for you.”

“Oh no, they’re at it again,” Tommy slapped his own forehead and fell back on one of the beds.

“Not now!” Twanda distressed. “Come on people. Get with the program. We’ve got a witch to catch and our friend to get back. We don’t have much time.”

“She’s right. We must go,” Doone turned to the door, but Kimee still blocked it.

“Please move aside.”

“No! She might be out there,” Kimee protested.

“Mrs. Carlyle?”

“Yes.”

“I can deal with her,” and with that, Doone pushed her aside. Upon opening the door, Mrs. Carlyle stood with her hands on her hips tapping her toe impatiently.

“It’s about time you open that door. I can hear you in the hall. I demand to know what’s going on…” but her voice trailed when she and Doone locked eyes and he reached for her. As if in a trance, Carlyle obeyed, offering her hand. He took it and kissed it gently, almost seductively.

“Why Betty Carlyle, are your still in this hotel hiding that ravishing body from the eligible men of Paris? Shame on you. How can you deprive us of such a pleasure,” he spoke softly, his words wrapped themselves around her like a warm breeze on a summer night.

She flushed and giggled like a schoolgirl. Moving into the hall, he extended his arm, which she eagerly accepted. He tossed a look to the others. “Go! Be quick! I will find you.” Then he turned to the giggling chaperone and escorted her to the elevator.

“How does he do that?” Tommy wondered aloud as he and the others watched the master at work.

“I wish I knew. I was born and raised in Paris and I could never do that,” Micha scratched his head.

Linda Peters sashayed her way down the streets of Paris taking in all of the sights, sounds and smells, smiling to herself. Alone at last! No kids, no Betty Carlyle. She’d always wanted to see L’isle de la Cité , La Ville des Lumières, the City of Lights – Paris - alone.

You can’t find romance with a group tagging along. And now she had a chance. She really had no concern for the kids. They seemed like good people and personally, she trusted them. Doone may be questionable, since he had not actually been part of the college crowd, but who cared when you’re in Paris?

Le Champs Elysées, the Road of the Elysian Fields, famous for its splendid shops and outdoor eateries lay before her. Here Linda found a quaint little sidewalk café that seemed to call her by name. She needed a rest from all of her walking and shopping, so she sat where she could be seen, hopefully by some handsome, eligible bachelor, and hailed the waiter.

After ordering an apéritif with a croissant, she crossed her gorgeous legs and flaunted a little cleavage as she surveyed the land.

Not knowing Etienne, one of Brianna’s boy-toys, Linda locked gazes with him from across the isle of empty tables. He smiled and lifted his glass. She returned the smile.

Pretty Linda knew how to give that come-hither-look and he fell for it, and quickly moved to her table. She spoke French quite well and in a few minutes they engaged in conversation. Etienne paid for her refreshments, along with another drink. Soon, they made arrangements to spend the evening together, and if all went well, perhaps the night.

Etienne had left the ranting of Brianna behind, tired of hearing what vengeance she’d wreak upon the young people who disturbed her stay in Paris, especially the gypsy boy.

Etienne, a warlock by birth, had embraced the black arts without question, but his association with the witch had given him second thoughts. He wondered if a normal woman wouldn’t be better, and so Linda would become tonight’s experiment.

He took Linda to a little out of the way hotel away from Le Champs Elysées.

Her scent intoxicated him, as he gathered her into his arms, and covered her lips and face with kisses. His hands roamed the luscious curves of her hot tight body. The desire for her became insatiable and he had to have more.

Gently he laid her on the bed and they both began to undress each other between kisses and nibbles. As each piece of clothing came off, the kissing increased and their hands explored each and every part the other’s body.

Linda moaned and arched her back as Etienne licked and teased her bare stomach with his tongue. Slowly he licked and kissed his way down to the top of her briefs and attempted to remove them, when a loud ‘bang’ popped the door open. Brianna! Beautiful, tempting, and vindictive Brianna slid into the room, while her eyes bored holes into the startled couple.

Etienne knew his number would be up if he didn’t do something fast, so he clung to his lovely bed partner and with a few incantations, caused them both to disappear from Brianna’s sight.

The fireball she’d tossed their way burned the wall when they vanished. She shrieked like a banshee. Landru loomed up from behind her, and caught the brunt of her fury, as she turned and knocked him going and coming, shrieking all the way down the hall.

Upon checking the room, he recognized the men’s clothes as Etienne’s. He feared for his friend. They had grown up together and had shared many things, friendship, the black arts and of course Brianna. Now the world would see the true meaning of ‘hell hath no fury like a woman scorned’.
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PostSubject: Re: THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS   Mon Dec 08, 2008 11:52 am

Wow. This was a very good chapter. I liked how Doone made use of that old "Opera Ghost charm", hehe, very nice touch.

And that little scene between him and Christine? Does that mean the two of them are gonna switch places with Erik and Mae? Guess I'm gonna have to wait and see, Smile



Congrats on another great chapter, my friend. Please continue again soon?



D
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PostSubject: Re: THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS   Sat Dec 13, 2008 3:29 pm

Woooaaa!
Poof! they're gone!
haha, loved it girl. I can't waite to see what happens next, it's so intense.

_________________
*le gasp!*
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PostSubject: Re: THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS   Sun Dec 14, 2008 10:12 am

Thank you Slitherliggie for you kind words. It delights me to know you enjoy.

Thank you Devine_Muse for a lovely review. Happy I could entertain you.

Now for the next chapter which will take two posts.

Please R&R. Enjoy!

*************************************************************

CHAPTER THIRTY

PART I

The Woods Outskirts of Le Harve 1879


Alain had offered Erik and Mae their bed. He and Laurette could sleep on the floor, but Erik refused and insisted upon the barn. The hay would warm them enough with the blankets they had brought and they could have privacy.

The Angel of Music stood in the far corner of the barn kissing and fondling his beloved bride. His mask rested on a pile of hay behind them. Moonlight filtered in from the loft high above them.

His warm lips took her’s like a hungry beast. His hands pulled at her shirt as his kisses trailed down to her voluptuous cleavage. Slowly, gently he laid her down on the blanket he had spread out over the mound of hay behind her.

His wife enjoyed the feel of his hot breath upon her face and neck. No hands could ever arouse her as the ones opening her shirt and unbuttoning her pants.

“How is your wound?” she whispered with concern. He didn’t answer, but continued kissing his way to her stomach, when she let out a soft moan for the sensation went straight to her loins.

The creak of the barn door sounded in the background of their love- making.

“Erik! Erik, are you and your wife comfortable?” Alain called out. Erik stopped short and buried his face in the soft sweet flesh of his wife’s stomach.

“Not now,” he mumbled. Quickly, he rolled over and grabbed his mask.

“Stay there, Alain. I will come to you,” he replied tucking in his shirt, then searching for his cloak.

In a few moments, the Phantom emerged from the far corner wrapped in his black cloak.

“We are quite comfortable. Thank you for asking,” he slowly moved to Alain, trying to keep his composure. His crotch still throbbed for his sweet wife.

“You are human,” came the strange statement.

“That’s an odd remark.”

“All these years you seemed like a spirit. I’d never touched you or even seen you eat. Tonight, I saw how you looked at your woman. I watched you eat. You apologized to me and we laughed together,” the poor lighting of the barn shadowed Alain’s face.

“I knew that apology would cause me trouble,” Erik mumbled as he drew closer.

“I beg your pardon. What did you say?”

“Is there a point to this?”

“Thank you for sparing my life. My uncle has seen your face and swore that you were ‘death’ himself. He had often told me to keep on the good side of ‘death’ and he won’t take you.

Tonight, I was sure you had come for me. Then I heard your wife’s gentle voice pleading for my life.

You are my friend Erik. My only friend,” he bowed in respect and gratitude.

The Phantom backed away from him. “I have no friends. I have no family. I have no country,” his voice rang cold and harsh. “Go back to your woman. Treat her well. Do not bruise her again. Should you mistreat her, she will learn to hate you.”

“She doesn’t love me, does she?” he asked sadly.

“How can she? Ripped from the bosom of her mother, nearly torn apart by two degenerates, and now you. Handle her with care. She can learn to love you. She is young and delicate. Let her know her feelings come first, not yours,” came the Phantom’s fatherly yet frigid advice.

“Thank you, Erik. I will be good to her. I promise I will care for her...”

“You’re babbling. Go to her. I must have peace.” In spite of his cold, harsh manner, Alain gave a faint smile, then turned and walked out, closing the barn door behind him.

As Erik returned to his wife, he tossed his cloak aside, and removed his mask.

“Why were you so mean to him?” asked Mae, shivering beneath the blankets.

“Mean? I was truthful. I have no friends,” he removed his shirt and unbuttoned his pants. He sat down next to his love and removed his boots.

“You have the Persian and the Girys and…me,” she leaned over and kissed his bare shoulder. He grabbed her roughly and kissed her hard.

“This is a man’s business. It doesn’t concern you,” he growled and returned to kissing and fondling her. Then he pulled the blanket over himself and Mae.

His wife caressed his face and drew him closer, and whispered, “Are you still in the mood for questions?”
He stopped his kisses, but continued his fondling. “What now? And don’t ask why I was mean to Alain.”

“I won’t. If I had refused to marry you, would you have forced yourself on me?”

He let out a long deep sigh and buried his face in her neck, as he whispered, “I would then have had no other choice…but to let you go. I could not bear to be under the same roof with you if I could not touch you and I would never, never force you. I love you too much.”

Mae smiled, caressing him tenderly. “You are a good man. And I love you so much.”

Erik rose up a little and looked into her beautiful eyes. “I’m not good. I am all that is evil. I am Death. You heard Alain. Aren’t you afraid of me?”

“Sometimes.”

“There is one question I’ve waited for you to ask all day and you haven’t.”

“What question?”

“Where’s the coffin?”

“Huh?”

“I’m sure your book speaks of it. Erik sleeps in a coffin. It’s in his bedroom. Yet, you have been with me for how many nights and have seen no coffin? Are you not curious?” His body felt warm and his scent intoxicating.

“Not curious,” came the reply, as she pulled him closer, but he resisted.

“Ask the question,” he retorted. Mae frowned. He resisted her?

“No! I don’t want to know.”

“Ask the question.”

“Why? You don’t like curious women.”

He released her and rolled over on his back and looked up at the ceiling and the loft.

Ask the question. The answer is not in my journals.”

“What does that mean?”

“I know you’ve read them. I’m in a good mood, so I haven’t scolded you.”
“How did you know?”

“You were careful to place them all in proper order. Thank you. There were no dust marks, so you assumed I’d never know. Am I right? Of course I am. Now, ask the question.”

“Okay, where’s the coffin?”

A big grin crossed his face. “At last, the question is asked. Where is the coffin? Could it be in storage? But where could it be stored? It’s bigger than a box of matches but smaller than a ship,” he mused.

Mae put her arms around him and laid her head on his muscular chest. “The saying would be, ‘It’s bigger than a bread box’.”

“What? Oh, yes. Well have you thought about it?”

“I asked you the question. Now you want me to guess where it is?”

“It’s right under your little nose,” he kissed its tip.

“Don’t tell me...the bed is on top of it?”

Erik roared with laughter. “No! No!” protested his wife. “Tell me it isn’t true. We’ve been sleeping on top of? Ewww! Morbid much!”

“Morbid much? Mmm. Very morbid is that what you mean? Of course it is. It’s true. I didn’t think you’d share the coffin with me, so I thought, where would I put it? When you lack space you tend to stack things. So, I placed the bed on top of it and covered the sides with black ruffled material,” he felt pleased with himself.

“That’s disgusting! And we made love on top of it! Ewww!”

“We could have made love in it.”

“Stop it! Stop it! You’re creeping me out! You are a true Goth.”

“What is a Goth?”

She didn’t answer but began nibbling his ear, the one with the lobe. He closed his eyes, enjoying the sensation. Slowly, tenderly she moved her kisses to his chest and carefully took each of his nipples in her mouth, as she moved her hands to remove his pants. He helped her, quickly slipping his pants down past his hips where he could shuck them off quickly.

CONTINUED IN THE NEXT POST


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PostSubject: Re: THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS   Sun Dec 14, 2008 10:13 am

CHAPTER THIRTY

CONCLUSION


His arousal became evident while he rolled over on top of his wife and slid himself inside of her. She felt so tight and warm. Together, they both moved to the rhythm of love’s sweet song and once again cried out in the crescendo of their music of the night.

Morning’s icy breath spread frost over the sleepy land but faded when seduced by the sun’s warm rays. Alain packed all he had brought, the blankets, pots, pans, eating utensils and the money Erik had given them. He made sure that Laurette wrapped up warm and comfortable on the horse. She adjusted to him quickly and realized that he loved her and meant her no harm, but still the longing to go home gnawed in her stomach.

Erik helped Mae to repack the blankets on their horses and soon they all mounted, and headed for Paris. He knew that he could catch one of the horses, which had belonged to the would-be-assassins. He had concern for the long ride and having two horses for Alain and Laurette would increase the speed and insure good timing.

Instead of the well-traveled road they had taken to get there, the Phantom suggested an alternate route, off the beaten path, but faster.

The terrain seemed a bit more rugged and treacherous, but the likelihood of meeting highwaymen or assassins was slim to none.

The trail carried them and the horses to a path above the regular road, and the view spectacular, with a clear view of Paris dead ahead.

From a distance, several riders roamed the main road as Erik had warned. Maurice had sent more assassins. They seemed confused as they searched for their prey. Not many knew the path the Phantom and Alain followed with their women. Not many would venture to risk such a ride.

Hours passed with few words passing between them. Silence as well as stealth and vigilance became their companions.

The Phantom abruptly halted his group. He motioned for silence. The crackle of branches and under brush sounded in the distance behind them. But only one or two tracked them. Alain could see the majority of riders below.

The men took the women and horses to higher ground. Erik knew that Mae wanted to go with him, but someone had to protect the child.

Reluctantly, Mae agreed, her sword at the ready. They camouflaged Laurette along with the horses. Her little heart nearly pounded out of her chest. She prayed to God for protection, especially for her new friends and her fiancé.

Two rugged horsemen dismounted their nags and walked them along the treacherous trail. The lead, who nervously twisted his moustache, had keen eyes that darted from side to side searching for movement or clues to their bounty.

The second man appeared clean-shaven and could have been an aristocrat or nobleman if he hadn’t drawn his gun and poked around in the brush hunting humans. He looked as though he would enjoy the kill.

Alain recognized them, but Erik hushed him. It didn’t matter. They had remove them permanently.

As soon as they came closer, the lasso lashed out and terminated them in a blink of an eye, which stunned Alain. He had never seen the lasso at work. It looked awesome, but more frightening to see Erik act lightening fast.

“You…you could have killed me instantly last night,” Alain’s voice faltered.

“But I didn’t. My wife distracted me,” Erik removed the lasso from the neck of the last man.

“Take one of the horses and the guns. If they have provisions, take that too, and release the last horse.”

“And the bodies?”

“Leave them. You know that. Go quickly!”

Alain scurried about honoring the Phantom’s words. Little did they know that a third man had climbed up to higher ground ready to pounce on the women.

Mae’s stomach tangled up with butterflies again. Her own heart pounded wildly in her chest. Her senses told her that something crept up behind her. A gun. The man would have a gun. She’d have to duck, maybe bob and weave.

Silently, she too prayed as she whirled around and ducked at the same time. The bullet missed her by a hare’s breath, but her sword sliced open the man’s stomach, then she brought the blade back and hacked into his skull.

Blood and entrails spewed everywhere as the man hit the ground. She tried to blur out the details of the kill as she focused on the sword dripping with blood.

Erik and Alain barreled up the hill. The Phantom ran to his shaken wife holding the dripping sword. No longer able to cry, she buried her face into his chest. Her breathing became heavy and laborious.

Laurette stayed in the bushes beneath the camouflage, shaking from the horrific kill she had just witnessed.

When Alain found her, she had cowered with eyes shut tight, trying to block out the blood and screams. Enveloping her in his muscular arms, he kissed her head tenderly as her mournful sobs muffled in the folds of his shirt.

Mae and Erik turned and tried to comfort her, but she pulled away muttering something only Alain could hear.

“She’s not hurt; only afraid. Especially of Mae whom she calls her Lady Death. She’s not use to this,” Alain held her tight trying to shield her from the horrors around them.

“But she only saved her life,” Erik puzzled.

“I had to kill him,” Mae tried to explain, but Laurette would neither answer nor look at her.

“Come. Let us go. She will get over it,” Erik led the horses down to the trail below, while the others followed.

Alain placed his little angel upon the horse he had secured, then mounted his own and followed the others as he led her horse behind him.

No longer would she look at anyone but Alain. Her mind spun with all the fighting and blood. Oh, the blood! How she wished that she were home with her parents, safe and warm! How she wished to attend school and learn all the boring things of which she once complained!

It pained Alain to see his true love in such a state. He observed the Phantom and his wife. They seemed very much alike. The Phantom did not have to worry about his wife taking care of herself. She proved quite capable of watching his back, but Laurette seemed totally helpless.

It disturbed Mae that Laurette thought of her as ‘Lady Death’. She understood why, but didn’t the child understand ‘self defense’?

“My husband, she called me ‘Lady Death’,” she whispered to her Angel.

“This troubles you? After all, you are married to Death,” he snickered under the mask.

“If you are smiling, I can’t see for your mask. And you are not Death.”

“She will get over it. She is still a child.”

“But I’m not much older.”

“You were born in a different place and time. You belong to me!” her husband grabbed her hand and kissed it tenderly. “This path will lead us into Paris very soon. This time, we will take to the main road. For they will be waiting for us in the back streets.” With that, he released her hand and kicked his horse to go faster. Mae did the same and the others followed suit.


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PostSubject: Re: THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS   Sat Dec 20, 2008 11:06 am

I assume everyone is busy with the holidays, homework, and work in general.

Perhaps you will get a chance during this joyous season to read my humble chapters. Here is Chapter Thirty-One.

Please R&R. Enjoy!

**************************************************

CHAPTER THIRTY-ONE

Outskirts of Paris 2006



Making Brianna, Snow White’s wicked stepmother and witch, angry was not the smartest thing to do, along with betraying her affections for someone else’s.

Etienne caused himself and Linda Peters to vanish into another section of town in a place he knew they’d be welcomed, or so he hoped.

Zdenek and his wife Honore lived in a modest little house near the outskirts of the city. Etienne had known their son, Corwin, before he met with an unfortunate accident caused by offending Brianna.

Zdenek did not look surprised when Etienne and Linda appeared on the sofa, without much clothes, as he dabbled in magick, but not as advanced as Corwin and Etienne.

Without hesitate, he welcomed them and asked them to make themselves at home. Etienne received some of the old man’s clothes, as they looked about the same height and weight. Since Honoré and Linda had different body types, nothing really fit.

Etienne explained what had happened. The older couple worried how they could conceal him and his lady friend from Brianna’s wrath.

The handsome warlock would have to forfeit his powers in order to hide from the witch. He could do so by a small ritual and an incantation, but did he really want to? The upside, Brianna would not find him should she scry. The downside, she had other ways of finding him and when she did, it would be lights out for him without his powers.

Linda Peters sat on the sofa cuddled by Etienne, wrapped in one of Honore’s old dresses, which, even with pinning, still fit badly. Befuddled, she sat listening to all of this talk of magick and witches. What a nightmare! As far she knew magick did not exist, but that didn’t explain how they got there.

******

Back at the hotel, Micha, Christine and the three friends moved quickly into position of Plan A. Finally he remembered where he’d seen the sidewalk café from his vision in the black mirror; Le Champs Elysées, the same café where Etienne had met Linda Peters.

Twilight’s shadows danced across the mostly empty tables of the quaint little sidewalk café, except for Brianna and Landru. The enchantress sat there in all of her finery, sporting diamonds and an ebony and bone strapless evening gown ranting and raving about Etienne’s betrayal and how she would annihilate him and the kids who tormented her.
Landru sat with a blank stare, numbly listening to the rant, not sure what to do; side with her and kill his childhood friend, or side with Etienne and become another mark on the witch’s hit list.

Micha motioned for Tommy and Christine to make their move. They had to get her to follow them to the street where they had stashed all of the toys, ready to move out at their command…of remote control.

Micha, Twanda and Kimee would have to make it to Sacré Coeur before their arrival, to ensure that all of the parlor tricks and magic were ready to execute.

Tommy and Christine ran past the witch making faces and funny noises. In her fury, Brianna jumped up, shouting all manner of infirmities at them. Then she transformed herself into the crone and took off in their direction.

Landru sat in a daze. What to do? Should he follow her and help capture the kids or find Etienne? In seconds, Micha and the girls watched him fade away before their eyes.

“You see that?” Twanda asked as they watched from their hiding place in the alley from across the street.

“He faded away,” Kimee gasped.

“Where’s the other guy? There were two last time,” Micha moved closer to the empty tables. The girls shrugged and followed him.

“Something’s not right,” Twanda shivered. “Let’s get outta here.” Turning, they all ran for Sacré Coeur.

With panting and breathing heavy, Christine and Tommy pushed it to get to their modern day automatons. The witch did a slow burn and the fireballs singed their hair upon each near miss.

Finally, they reached the section where they’d made their setup. Melting into the shadows, they waited for the crone.

As the cackling grew louder, several toy airplanes attacked, flying straight at the crone. Some even released itch and sneeze powder from their tiny bomber doors. The old crone scratched and sneezed as the powder sprinkled over her. She tried to focus her lightening bolts and fireballs, but the sneezing and itching distracted and threw her off target.

Next, several remote controlled cars charged her, tripping her, and sending her face crashing into the sidewalk.

Curses arose from the crone as she discharged jagged, misdirected lightening bolts. Tommy and Christine laughed and giggled at the chaos they caused.

Christine starlet had never played with automatons and never went out at night unescorted. Actually, she had fun beating up the old crone as she batted those long lashes and smiled at Tommy.

He returned the smile, but recalled her kiss and connection with Doone as the Phantom, and the smiled faded. Obviously, he liked her, but she seemed fickle minded; first Raoul, then Doone and now him. What a mixed up girl!

The hotel dining room looked nice, but nothing like the places celebrities and dignitaries patronized. At a little table in the far, secluded section of the dining room sat Betty Carlyle and Doone. When he first became the Phantom, he had taken her and Linda Peters there earlier.

Betty still giggled like a schoolgirl as Doone chatted away and eventually sang several arias from noted operas. This caught the eye of the management, and soon, people flocked in from the streets and the hotel to hear the magnificent actor that stirred the passion of both men and women, young and old.

As the last strains faded from his lips, a loud energetic applause rang throughout the dining room. Doone stood and bowed graciously; not used to an audience, he planned to keep the chaperone occupied and this seemed like the logical way to attract help.

Betty appeared entranced as he picked up each hand and kissed them tenderly, seductively. Several well-dressed, handsome young men came to the table as did some very beautiful women. Sometimes if a man or woman shows up with a potential rival, it makes them look more attractive. This he had hoped for Betty Carlyle.

The young men chatted with her as he had hoped and he turned the young women’s attraction to her as well. Soon, no one watched him and he slipped through the throng, which had gathered.

He attempted to exit, when a member of management requested he sing one last song for them. Furrowing his brow, he checked his watch. He didn’t have much time.

Quickly, he agreed and chose a song from the musical film. He hoped that this would enchant his listeners on a large scale and make them excited about each other and not him. He could do this, after all hadn’t he become Erik, the Phantom of the Opera?

Micha and Kimee made it to Sacré Coeur in record time. Twanda did a slow burn. It was not easy running all over Paris trying to save somebody from being trapped in another dimension or another period of time.

If Tommy and Christine didn’t run into any trouble, then the witch would be preoccupied for another half an hour or so.
The gypsy boy explained where they had planted the mirrors and other items for their tricks. The girls carefully checked the areas for they had planned to lure the crone to the mirror with the hope that they could trick her into willingly go back through it.

Father Orestes met them, expressing his concerns for what they planned. Some ancient texts, which had been handed down to him as a priest, briefly noted Brianna and she did not act like a mere fairy tale creation.

In the year, 1880 she had been tricked into passing through the looking glass by visiting monks from a distant monastery after she had seduced and destroyed several of the young men of Paris. Vanity became her Achilles’ heel and seduction her downfall.

The mirror hidden in the room behind the crucifix with the inscription Le Passage à l’Enfer above it had been created and enchanted for the purpose of getting rid of her permantly. The monks never meant to trap her in a fairytale land; they meant to send her straight to that fiery inferno designed for pure evil. However, something went awry with the spell and she ended up as Snow White’s stepmother.

Twanda glanced over the texts, struggling with what little French she knew, so Micha ended up translating. The witch had killed twenty-seven priests and six civilians before they vanquished her into the mirror. Specific instructions detailed how, but required an ingredient, which they didn’t have.

Landru tried to crystal scry for his friend Etienne, but nothing showed up on his map. He knew he had either cloaked himself somehow or he had forfeited his powers.

Discouraged, he stood over the map and frowned. Etienne had only hidden once before because of the enchantress.

He knew his friend would not return to him and Brianna this time. If he remained with another woman, he would die, especially when she caught him. The young people would keep her busy for a while, so, just for the hang of it, he’d try Zdenek and Honoré. Therefore, he began to fade…

Linda still could not accept what Etienne told her and insisted on going back to her hotel, but he had refused, saying danger waited for her.

“You can’t keep me here like this. I want to leave. This whole thing is crazy, you sound like the kids!” Linda flared up at him.

Etienne frowned, grabbed her, and made her look at him. “What kids? Are they young adults? Americans?” he asked in fear with his dignified French accent.

“Yes. Let go. You’re hurting me,” she cried, trying to pull away from him. Linda never had trouble finding a man, but finding a good one became the problem.
Etienne’s dark eyes flashed hysteria. Shaking her, he raised his voice, “What kids? Are they Americans? Were there five of them? In the Opera House?”

“Yes, yes. Please let go!” The pretty chaperone struggled in vain.

“How do you know them? Answer me!”

“I’m one of the chaperones paid by their parents.”

“You! You are one of the chaperones? Mon Dieu! You must stay with me. I will protect you. Stop struggling! Do you want to die?”

‘To die’, those words frightened her. She ceased her struggling and their eyes locked. This mysterious Frenchman with whom she almost made sweet music had very seductive ways and a good insight for danger. He seemed genuinely concerned for her safety.

“I was associated with the woman who tried to kill us tonight. She is very deadly. You and I are dead if she catches us.”

“What is she? What are you?” Linda trembled. This all seemed impossible, she thought as she caught herself hyperventilating.

Realizing what had happened, he wrapped his arms around her. “I won’t let her harm you,” he whispered, kissing her face and ear tenderly. With closed eyes, she inhaled his scent. His kisses, his touch sent erotic signals to her loins. Once again, he laid her gently on the bed, tenderly kissing his way down her neck, while pulling her dress up and over her head.

And once again, he tried to remove her briefs, when Landru popped into the bedroom. The startled couple flinched and the young woman screamed.

And once again, he tried to remove her briefs, when Landru popped into the bedroom. The startled couple flinched and the young woman screamed.

“Shooo! Don’t scream!” Landru hushed with a light French accent. “I’m trying to help.”

“How? By scaring us half to death? How did you find me?” Etienne sat up and tossed the blanket over his woman.

“She chases the young people. When she finishes with them, she will come for you.”

“How did you find me?” insisted Etienne. “I had to bind my power.”

“No! Are you insane! You have no defense.”

“Leave us. We will live as mortal and go where we choose. She cannot find me,” Etienne stood up and put on his shirt. His woman dressed beneath the blanket.

“She will kill the children, just before…” Landru’s voice quivered. His vision blurred at the thought of Brianna.

“She’s after my kids?” Linda realized what he meant.

“Yes, one with a strange tie-dye shirt and a young blonde woman.”

“Tommy and Kimee! You can’t let her kill them. They’re only children. They start college in the fall. We’ve got to…”

“We’ve got to do nothing. I have no power and neither to do you,” Etienne scolded. Then he turned to Landru. “Go! Get out of here! She will kill you too!”

“Do you remember 1880? When the monks vanquished her?”

“We cannot afford to do that again. She will find out this time.”

“She never knew it was us before. How would she know now?” Landru grew serious. He and Etienne had sold out the witch to the monks more than a century ago. In fact, they will soon discover that whoever aided them in the past, would do so again in the present.
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PostSubject: Re: THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS   Sat Dec 20, 2008 12:01 pm

tres bonne.
sorry havent' been reading. But i missed a lot.
Some intense and well written chapters, especialy 30.
I can't waite for more.

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PostSubject: Re: THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS   Fri Jan 02, 2009 2:00 am

Very good chapters! Sorry I haven't gotten here sooner.

Seems things are turning to a peak now... I wonder what will happen next.

Please do continue soon, I can't wait to see what's next.


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PostSubject: Re: THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS   Sat Jan 10, 2009 10:52 am

Devine_Muse thank you for the kind words. I know this is a long book, but we are getting close to the end.

Slitherliggie thank you for a lovely review. Yes, yes, we are close to winding things up.

Here's the next chapter. I will have to do a double post because of the length of this chapter. Please R&R. Enjoy!

**********************************

CHAPTER THIRTY-TWO Part I

Paris Opera House 1879

Erik and Mae helped Alain and Laurette hide their horses with theirs in the corral at the other end of the labyrinth from their house by the lake.

The Girys appeared more than happy to accommodate the betrothed couple, while Erik set out to complete his plan.

Nightfall arrived upon little cat feet as they returned to Paris, and the Phantom didn’t have much time to execute the rescue. So, he locked himself in the study while Mae took a bath and changed her clothes.

Strange things, automatons! You had to make sure to put in the spring just right. If you didn’t, then the key that wound it would do nothing.

The Phantom needed just the right one to cause a distraction, but he’d have to make it light enough to carry on the horse and not weigh it down. Assembly would occur when he reached his destination.

Erik tinkered and tapped and knocked about for several hours. Mae tapped on the door once and asked about his wound and if he wanted food. Forget the wound and he didn’t need food, came the answer.

The clock struck ten when the Angel of Music emerged from the room with a fairly large bag thrown over his shoulder. It looked like Santa’s bag of toys, though she knew better.

“What is that?” Mae wondered circling her husband and the bag he placed in the middle of the front room.

“Part of my plan,” came the answer.

“Is this Plan A or Plan B?”

“What does that mean? Plan A? Plan B?” Erik had his mask off, so his wife could see him frown with questions in his mind.

“Plan A is your initial plan. The main one. If that doesn’t work, you have to have a back up plan. Plan B,” his wife smiled as she inspected the bag. “Laundry?”

“No. Plan A,” he smiled.

“Plan A? Explain, please.”

“No! Here,” he drew two crumpled envelopes from his pocket and handed them to her.

“If I have not returned by one o’clock this coming morning, read the one with your name on it, and take the other one to Daroga. The envelope bears his address,” the Opera Ghost kissed his wife.

“You’re not going without me!” she protested.

“Listen to me! If Plan A doesn’t work, I need Plan B. You are Plan B. Understand?” he looked down into her pretty little face. “I love you. I intend to return.”

“Don’t die! I want babies. You’d better come back,” she pulled him down to her. They kissed like they’d never let each other go. Neither one wanted to separate, but each understood their part. If Mae accompanied him and something went wrong, who could get help? They’d both be done for.

“Mmm, so you want babies, huh?”

“Yes, I do. We should attend to that,” she mused and hugged him. He winced.

“Oh, your wound!”

“It’s not bleeding. Just be…”

“…gentle. I know,” Mae smiled and they both laughed. Then she pointed out an unfinished note on the table near the door. It had words scrawled in red ink and looked like a child’s writing.

“My unfinished note to the mangers,” came the reply.

Mae puzzled. “This doesn’t look like your handwriting.”

“Huh?” Then he remembered she’d read his journals.

“I disguise my writing. Make it different so they will take notice,” he explained with self-confidence. Noticing the look on her face, he asked, “What’s wrong?”

“The handwriting, it looks like Doone’s, one of my friends. He writes like this. Weird! That’s why I asked, I could swear he wrote this,” she picked up the note and reexamined it. He took it from her. Both shivered from a sudden chill and he dropped the note on to the table.

Quickly, Erik replaced his death’s head, wrapped his cape around him, and placed the bulky bag into the boat. Mae raised the portcullis so that he and the boat could pass under it.

After closing the portcullis, she returned to the house. One o’clock seemed too long to wait for, so she ripped open the envelope addressed to her and read:

My beloved Mae,

Please obey my words to the letter. If you are reading this it’s because I have not returned at one o’clock or you have become impatient and have read this just after I’ve left.

In any event, I am sure you will come to my aid with your broadsword. Make sure Daroga receives my letter and stay with him until he has read it. Then you and he need to decide what to do next, as I may be trapped within the château of Maurice D’Auberge.

Come to me, my beloved. And DON’T DIE! I love you more than life itself.

Your obedient servant and husband,

Erik


Mae reread the letter, especially the part that s[/i]aid, “And DON’T DIE!”

She had spoken those exact words to him. Their bond seemed to grow and they truly became as one. Tears glistened in her eyes as she pressed the letter to her breast. Memories of the two men she had to kill popped into her mind. It may become necessary to repeat this action and Mae did not look forward to it, but losing the man she loved would not happen.

Living in the 21st Century had its trials, like taxes, the rising cost of gasoline, job stress and if you attended school, homework; but life in the France circa 1879 didn’t even come close.

True, we have to struggle for survival in any century, but when you have a tote a broadsword, a killer lasso, or brandish a weapon of any kind wherever you go, that gave heavy-duty stress, and one we don’t normally have in the 21st Century.

Mae folded the letter and tucked it into her dress pocket. Daroga’s letter…should she read it? Was that ethical? She took the letter to the stove, lit a fire in it and placed a kettle of water on to heat. As soon as the steam drifted from the kettle, she carefully held Daroga’s letter over it and gently melted the wax seal and opened it.

The letter read:

Daroga,

If you are reading this, I am trapped in the château of Maurice D’Auberge. You know its location. I need your assistance. Remember Persia!

I have taken my lasso, some magic, and an automaton with me. I can hold my own for just so long.

Discuss with my wife the next plan of action. If I know her, she has already read this letter before giving it to you. She can hold her own, especially with a broadsword.

Your obedient servant,

Erik



How well he knew his wife, especially for the short period of time they had been together. Mae refolded the letter and replaced it into the envelope. She again held the envelope over the steam, just enough to barely melt the wax to reseal it.

Quickly she ran into the bedroom set aside for Christine and rummaged around in the closet. She found a fresh pair of pants and shirt to fit her. Why had men’s apparel been there? Probably a costume from a prior performance.

She dressed herself in the shirt and pants and the same boots she had worn earlier. If she remembered correctly, Leroux’s novel had said there a cellar existed beneath the torture chamber where Erik stored barrels of gunpowder, related to the scorpion and grasshopper chapter.

According to the novel, Christine had been told to turn the scorpion around if she chose the Phantom. If she turned the grasshopper, then she’d chosen Raoul and this would ignite the gunpowder and blow up the entire Opera House.

Mae hunted for the “little bag of life and death” where Erik kept the key to the torture chamber and the key to the ivory case, which held the scorpion and the grasshopper. Finally, she found it on top of the organ, among some of her husband’s musical compositions.

Then she scrounged around in the kitchen for some sort of bags to hold the gunpowder. When she found some, she tucked them into her belt and then hurried to the Louis-Philippe bedroom and tried both keys in the door to the torture chamber.

Upon snatching a candle from a nearby table, she entered the torture chamber. Shuddering from her last experience there, she moved on to search for the trapdoor, which led to the cellar beneath.

After fumbling around for a while, she closed her eyes, trying hard to remember what the book said. The Persian had found the nail which opened the trapdoor, but where would she find the stinking nail?

In frustration, she started kicking the mirrors and stomping on the floor like a child throwing a tantrum. At one point, her boot stomped down on something that nearly threw her off balance.

END OF PART I
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PostSubject: Re: THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS   Sat Jan 10, 2009 10:55 am

CHAPTER THIRTY-TWO CONCLUSION

Upon kneeling on the floor near the metal tree, she brought the candle closer. A very small, dark object protruded from a crack in the floor. The nail! It protruded in an awkward position but could still be acted upon. For a while she pushed and pushed until at last it moved just right, breaking two of her nails in the process, but the trapdoor popped open.

Once the trapdoor opened, the candlelight revealed steps leading down into the depths of darkness. Taking a deep breath, Mae followed the steps downward.

Barrels! Barrels! Barrels! Any barrels to sell? There they were before her, barrels of gunpowder. There had to be a tap in one.

Inching her way between them, the Phantom’s wife searched for the tap, knowing she could blow herself to smithereens if the flame came in contact with the explosives.

With the tap found, she proceeded to fill the bags with gunpowder. A plan formed in her mind. After all of her many hours of television, movies and DVD’s, there had to be plan in there somewhere.

With the bags filled, she retreated upstairs, replaced the trapdoor and secured it. At leaving the torture chamber, she made sure to lock the door. The key went back into the bag, and the bag returned a top the organ.

Her husband coming back the victor with the kidnapped girls certainly couldn’t happen without help, so she proceeded with her own plan.

She set the bags of gunpowder near the front door for easy pick-up upon her return. Now, she had to acquire allies.

Erik had shown her only one way in and out of their lakeshore home, so she hopped into the boat and rowed to the portcullis and ran her hand along the wall searching for the blasted counterweight.

At last, the wall gave way, and the portcullis rolled up. Mae made note of that section of the wall which gave way, and proceeded to row the boat under the portcullis. It closed automatically when she cleared it.

After so many twists and turns, praying that she hadn’t forgotten her way, she came to the shore where she could dock the boat and catch the path leading up to Christine’s dressing room. She took the paddle with her.

When she reached the mirror, she used the paddle to press the counterweight to open the mirror.

As soon as she entered the dressing room, she found Raoul entering from the corridor.

“Mae! Where have you been? I’ve come here several times in search of you. Are you well? Is anything wrong?” Raoul stretched forth his hand to her.

“I am well, but I need your help. My husband’s life is in peril and he will need your assistance,” her eyes pleaded as she reached for him.

“I am your servant,” he bowed and kissed her hand. “You have but to command, my lady.”

“My husband has gone to the château of one Maurice DeBarge. This same man tried to kill us earlier.”

“DeBarge? You mean D’Auberge, Maurice D’Auberge,” the young Vicomte corrected. “Maurice D’Auberge is a very prominent nobleman here in Paris. However, he is suspected of some very treacherous deeds, but no one has ever brought a case against him. His evil cannot be proven.”

“Well, I can prove it. He sent a number of men to kill my husband and me. Please, we must go, I have some other assistance to enlist,” Mae attempted to move past him, but he wouldn’t release her hand and stopped her.

“I’ve never seen you dressed like a man. You are still very beautiful,” again he kissed her hand. “I have one request. I desire a reward for my assistance.”

The young woman glared at him in astonishment. “A reward? What kind of reward?”

“A kiss.”

“Raoul, this is not the place or time…”

“One kiss, I beg of you,” his face looked so sincere, his eyes held so much desire.

After a thoughtful moment, she decided that Christine’s absence strained the spell, which had separated them and she recalled someone saying that the longer they remained in each other’s time, the more difficult it would be to swap. This had to explain Raoul’s strange attraction for her.

“All right, just one kiss,” she drew near to him. Raoul wrapped his arms around her, tenderly brushing his lips over each ear, each temple and finally her lips. Automatically, her lips parted and his tongue plunged deep into her mouth. She tried to resist, but he held her tight, and his body flushed hot with passion and she felt his arousal against her.

When she finally broke the kiss, she pushed him back hard and gasped to catch her breath. “Raoul, are you nuts? I’ll knock you winding if you try that again.” Her face flushed with anger, as she shook a fist at him.

He only smiled and bowed, motioning to the door. Making her exit, she huffed out the room with the Vicomte in tow.

They didn’t speak a word as they wound down the stairs into the lobby. There had been a performance, but it had not required Mae. She and the Vicomte slipped quietly through the crowd. As they drew near the door to exit, they spied the Persian milling about, chatting with various attendees.

“We’ve got to talk to him,” she whispered to Raoul. He nodded an acknowledgement and they both moved toward the Persian.

The Persian saw her pushing through the crowd. With a smile he reached for her. She obliged and he kissed her hand.

“Dear lady. So happy to see you again. But you are not dressed for tonight’s gala and you seem so sad.”

Mae said nothing at first, but drew the envelope from her pocket and handed it to him. The Persian recognized the handwriting. They moved aside, to an isolated corner, as he opened the envelope and pulled out the letter.

When he finished reading, he looked up. His face had drained of color.

“He will be killed. He is out numbered. D’Auberge has no conscience,” his hands trembled.

“I have a plan, but I need you and Raoul to go with me. Oh, you do know Raoul, le Vicomte de Chagny, don’t you?” Mae tried to do an intro, but she never knew the Persian’s name.

“We have not met, but I have heard of you M. Vicomte,” he bowed to Raoul who retuned the gesture.

“And your name is?” Raoul studied him hard.

“Just call me Daroga. My name would be too difficult for you to say. Please let us make haste.”

“I need to return to the house to pick up something we will need for my plan, and I have one other person to contact,” Mae said. “I will meet you at the end of La Rue Scribe just before you reach the mouth of the lake.”

“Do you know the way M. Persian?” Raoul looked from Mae to Daroga.

“I know the way. We will wait for you near the lake’s entrance at La Rue Scribe. Be careful,” the Persian said to Erik’s wife as he and Raoul parted ways with her.

At the stroke of midnight, she made her way to Madame Giry’s room and knocked gently. It took a few more raps upon the door to awaken anyone. To Mae’s surprise, Alain answered the door; bleary-eyed with sleep.

“Madame, is something wrong? The hour is late,” Alain reeled from sleepiness.

“I need your help. May I come in, please?” her eyes pleaded and he did owe her his life. He moved back and she entered, then he closed the door behind her.

After relating all that had transpired, she asked for his assistance. He agreed without hesitation. After awakening Madame Giry he explained the situation and asked that she look after his lovely fiancée. Laurette did not like his leaving, but he had no choice but to go to Erik’s aid.

The young bride led Alain to the dressing room and through the looking glass. They traveled the same path she had taken and returned to the house by the lake at exactly one o’clock in the morning.

No Erik. Just as she had thought. So Mae and Alain loaded the bags of gunpowder into the boat and rowed to the far side of the lake where the corral stood. Here they prepared the horses and loaded them with the bags. Mae had already strapped on her broadsword and Alain had taken a couple of guns from Erik’s collection in the Louis-Philippe bedroom.

Now, they led the horses to the mouth of the lake where it met La Rue Scribe, where Raoul and the Persian waited. Mae and Alain mounted their horses and they all rode off.

Alain explained that they had stayed away from back streets upon their return to Paris. Assassins may be waiting for them. The Persian asked that they stop at his apartment before going on. They did so and he picked up a couple of pistols, bullets and some empty metal containers along with his servant Darius.

So here rode five valiant people united to aid the Opera Ghost in rescuing seven frightened little girls. No doubt, Maurice’s men out numbered them, but Emma explained her plan as they rode to the château.

*******************************

Derrell stood in the study before the desk of Maurice D’Auberge, desperately trying to explain the deaths of the assassins he’d hired.

“Two were slashed to pieces, monsieur. No one dares go after them,” Derrell finished. His lower lip quivered with fear. Horrible visions of death danced in his head.

“All of them? Even Michel, my brother-in-law?” D’Auberge looked flustered. His forehead broke out in little beads of perspiration. He drew a kerchief from his inside coat pocket and mopped his brow.

“Oui, monsieur. He was slashed with marks of the lasso around his neck,” came the disquieting reply.

D’Auberge pushed away from his desk and stood up on shaky legs, pausing to steady himself a moment. Then he moved to a cabinet where he kept his liquor, opened it and removed a couple of snifters and an opened bottle of cognac.

“Derrell, cognac?” the nobleman offered him a snifter, which he happily accepted with shaky hands.

The nobleman poured each half a snifter. Cognac, a type of brandy, should be sipped and savored, but in view of so much death, each man threw back his glass as though they downed a shot of rotgut. This action repeated two more times to calm the frayed nerves.

As they downed the last drop of their third snifter of delicately fermented nectar, blood curdling screams and scurrying feet arose from the rooms beyond the closed door of the study. Derrell and his boss shuddered, fearing that Death had made his way to them. Dropping their snifters, each went for his weapon, Derrell, the pistol in his belt and D’Auberge his sword from its sheath.

The last bone-chilling cry echoed throughout the château before the door cracked and popped open in splinters. There before them stood the Phantom, dressed in his signature black suite and cape. This time he wore a black fedora pulled down tightly about his face, and entirely covered by the full death’s head. The deep hollows of the mask revealed an eerie glint of his glimmering golden eyes. He looked like Death personified with the lasso dangling from one hand.

“I have come to dissolve my partnership Maurice. Sign the papers and pay me the dissolution money,” roared the Angel of Death, as he made ominous wooden steps toward them.

Each man nearly had a heart attack. Certainly Death comes to all in time, but to actually watch it approaching seemed more terrifying than the wait.

A shot rang out. Derrell trembled with the smoking gun in hand. If the bullet had hit its mark, no evidence showed, for the still advancing, Phantom neither bled nor faltered. Derrell screamed, dropped his pistol and bolted for the door, past the Phantom with his hand at the level of his eyes.

“Come back Derrell. You coward!” shouted Maurice, trying to comfort himself by giving orders. With sword drawn, he thrust forward, striking the chest of the slowly approaching Grim Reaper. Only the sword did not pierce the chest, its end merely popped off. The nobleman screamed and pleaded for mercy.

Upstairs in the winding corridors of Le Château D’Auberge, Erik wandered quietly in the shadows, listening for any sound that would tell him the whereabouts of the young girls.

The corridors seemed deserted, and dimly lit with small candles in every other sconce on the wall. This looked strange, but to his advantage. Erik dressed in the same black suite and cape as the being terrorizing Maurice D’Auberge. He also wore the same black fedora and death’s head.

Moving with the shadows he melted into the darkest part of the corridor, where he heard voices up ahead. Dim silhouettes guarded either side of the door, and shouldered a rifle as they whispered to one another.

Dark wings enveloped them and in seconds the crumpled silhouettes lay on the floor, motionless.

With a hard twist of the doorknob and a hard butt with his shoulder, the door gave way. As it did, Erik half stumbled into the room of frightened, sobbing little girls.

Trying to calm and hush the terrified lambs, he bade them to pay attention and follow him to safety. They obeyed and gathered up their belongings and hastened to follow him, side stepping the dead guards.

The little girls moved in silence, mimicking every move of the Opera Ghost as he slipped downstairs to the main entrance.

As Erik attempted to open the main door, Maurice D’Auberge met him with his broken sword.

“Going somewhere Erik?” Maurice sneered, and stepped aside to give a clear view inside his study. There slumped the figure of the Phantom who had attacked him, now motionless and quiet.
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PostSubject: Re: THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS   Sun Jan 11, 2009 12:32 am

Oh dear! I sure hope Mae and her crew gets there fast...

Very good chapter, once again, my friend. Please post again soon, I can't wait to see what happens next.



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PostSubject: Re: THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS   Sun Jan 11, 2009 10:46 am

Wow what a predicament. haha
brava on these chapters, very well done. I awaite your next post.

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PostSubject: Re: THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS   Sun Jan 11, 2009 12:03 pm

Very intense latest chapter. I had to read back a few of them, and chuckled when Mae discovered she and her husband had been making love on top of the coffin. Very creative idea indeed. There wouldn't have been enough space inside. Smile
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PostSubject: Re: THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS   Fri Jan 16, 2009 7:19 am

more?? now?! amazing, wonderful, lovely
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PostSubject: Re: THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS   Sat Jan 17, 2009 10:59 am

Slitherliggie thank your for your faithfulness and kind words.

Devine_Muse thank you for the lovely review.

Chica de Nueva York good to see you and thank you for a the feedback. So happy you enjoyed. I am trying to keep Erik in character with how Leroux created him. If you think about it, where did he put the coffin? Hmm...

Heart_Rose happy to see you as well. This is your first post on my story and I thank you.

Now for the next chapter. Once again because of the length, I must post in two posts. Please R&R. Enjoy!

**********************************************************

CHAPTER THIRTY-THREE

Streets of Paris 2006

Christine and Tommy had let loose every toy they had on the old crone. Toy airplanes, cars, dolls, anything that operated on a battery or by remote control charged her in the street or attacked overhead. They acted so quickly and in succession that she didn’t have a moment to think or regroup.

Locals gathered to get a better look-see of what went on; they enjoyed the spectacle believing a demonstration to sell the toys played out before them.

Finally, Tommy let loose a spell that slammed the crone into the door of the nearby shop. Then the toys vanished as he and Christine hit the streets. Now they had to make it to Sacré Coeur.

Running as fast as they could without a word, they pushed people going and coming. Even after being smacked into the door, the crone recovered quickly and caught up to them, practically breathing down their necks.

Christine’s heart pounded so fast and loud, you could have played a song by it. She shot a look to Tommy, who in turn gave her a look that said, “What?”

She didn’t know why Tommy knew how to cast a spell. They all assumed only Micha had such power, for he had told no one that the gypsy had armed him with a few incantations to cast a necessary spell or two, sort of a Plan B to their Plan A.

Outside the hotel, Doone hailed a taxi for Montmartre. He could waste no time walking. Once in the taxi, the squeal of the tires ripped through the already noisy and busy streets of Paris.

Doone checked his watch. He had to hurry. If all went well with Christine and Tommy’s diversions, they should be at Sacré Coeur in the next twenty minutes. He looked up from his watch in time to see another taxi sideswipe the one he occupied. The bumpers hooked the cars, leaving no choice but to stop.

The two drivers emerged from their cabs shaking fists and shouting angry words at each other in French. Doone glanced at the other taxi and did a double take at the people in the back seat. Miss Peters, Etienne and Landru stared back at him.

At first he thought the men held the chaperone against her will, so Doone leapt from his taxi and ran over to the other one, yanked open the door, and ripped Etienne out, smashing a fist to his face, and then proceeded to Landru.

Linda Peters screamed and pushed Doone away, trying to stop him from dragging Landru across her lap.
“Doone, no! They’re my friends,” she half screamed, half pleaded. He stopped short, holding Landru by the collar.

“Mon Dieu!” cried Etienne, pulling himself up. “It’s you, the Opera Ghost!”

“Please Monsieur Opera Ghost, we are your friends, allies at least,” Landru strained to talk and to keep from getting pummeled at the same time.

Doone looked at them hard, and then as the Phantom, he recalled what they said. As Erik, he had aided them and the monks in vanquishing the witch.

He released Landru, who then straightened his clothes, as he and Peters got out of the taxi. The four of them stared at each other.

“You guys know each other?” the chaperone asked in surprise.

“Yes. He helped us in 1880,” Etienne replied. “Without him, we would not have been able to banish Brianna into the mirror.”

The chaperone puzzled. Could he have lived two separate lives in two different centuries?

Doone looked from one to the other and wondered how Peters got in with them, but didn’t want to waste time for questions.

“Come. We must hasten to Sacré Coeur before it’s too late. Christine and Tommy will lead the crone there,” he said in a commanding and resonant voice as the Phantom.

Questions flooded everyone’s mind, but they had to move it. Doone turned to the bickering taxi drivers and offered them each a sum of money to settle their differences.

After the drivers unhooked the bumpers, they each returned to their prospective taxi, and took off like a bat out of hell.

So far, everything seemed quiet at the church. Only a few that had come in to pray and light candles went in and out. Sacré Coeur no only accommodated those who prayed, but also tourists hungry for history.

Father Orestes stood at the main door greeting those who entered and gave words of encouragement to the ones leaving.

Twanda, Kimee and Micha waited quietly behind the pulpit. Each said a silent prayer asking God to help them win today’s war.

Father Orestes turned back into the church as the last person drifted from view. He felt uneasy with the house of God set up for an ambush. And oh, how he wished he could be rid of the looking glass in the hidden room behind the crucifix.

Two taxis rolled up in front of the church at the same time. The occupants jumped out quickly. Doone paid his driver and Landru paid the other. Then they all raced up the steps.

As the four entered the church, Father Orestes turned to them, and recognized Doone. Then he saw Etienne and Landru. He really didn’t remember them; yet somehow he recognized them as warlocks. Again, he kissed his rosary, crossed himself and took several steps back.

“Father! We need your help,” Landru began.

“Wait!” Etienne held him back. “The plan of the Opera Ghost is in motion. The Father knows who we are.”

Peters looked from one to the other, totally confused. The man to whom she nearly gave herself claimed he had lived in 1880 and one of the kids, albeit high school dropout, they referred to as the Opera Ghost, who didn’t act like himself. She thought to question, but didn’t. She shivered when she looked about. It appeared as a house of God, but she felt something terrible approaching. The impending horror filled the air. Especially since the priest crossed himself again and backed away from them.

Sunset herald the dancing demon shadows taunting everyone at Montmartre and in the church. Then it seemed that all of a sudden it became especially dark outside, and a strange wind picked up, moaning and wailing around the eves of the church.

Doone moved the others aside and looked straight into the eyes of the priest. “When she comes, you know what must be done?”

“Yes, M. Phantom. Please, remember this is the house of God. Such evil should not come in here. I know what…”

“If you know, then do not waste my time. Open the room behind the crucifix so that we may enter quickly. She is about to make an entrance.”

The old priest ran to the crucifix and pressed a special place in the wall and the door popped open.

“Now Father Orestes, please retire to your chambers. All we need from you are prayers,” Doone said with such deadly seriousness the priest fled from sight.

A foreboding hush fell over the church, while an invisible force repelled the tourist, forbidding them entrance, seizing their hearts with terror as they fled.

CONTINUED IN THE FOLLOWING POST
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PostSubject: Re: THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS   Sat Jan 17, 2009 11:01 am

CHAPTER THIRTY-THREE CONCLUSION

The strange wind continued to moan and wail about the eves. An icy chill swept over the chapel. Twanda, Kimee and Micha remained silent behind the pulpit, afraid to show themselves to Doone, since he seemed so friendly with the two known warlocks of Brianna. They felt genuine concern for Miss Peters, but they couldn’t risk getting caught.

Doone seemed to instruct Miss Peters and the warlocks, when a giant gust of wind roared in from the open doors. Something continued to whirl and whirl as it suspended itself high above the pews. The doors slammed shut. Etienne and Peters took cover. Landru stood with the defiant Doone.

When the whirling ceased, there floated Brianna as her beautiful self, draped in a shear long-sleeved, black gown, which covered her feet, yet clung to every delicious curve. The low-cut V-neck revealed a lot of voluptuous cleavage. Raven black hair hung loose and seemed to float about her shoulders. Her skin gleamed white as snow, but the eyes blazed green with jealousy.

“You fools! You dare to cheat me, Brianna, High Priestess of the Order of Dylon! I will not be vanquished and I will not be jilted by a lowly warlock. Where is Etienne? I desire to crush him,” her voice thundered, rocking everything in the building; even rattling the windows like an earthquake.

“Deal with us,” Doone moved away from Landru.

“You!” she seemed to recognize him. “Now I remember. Erik, the Opera Ghost, isn’t it? You are Death itself. But Death is for mortals. You cannot touch me,” she hissed with venom.

“Death has no prejudice. It comes to all, even you,” Doone threw his voice to make it echo and surround her.

“Ah, but I have something of yours, Opera Ghost. Something very precious to you,” she pointed a finger and something appeared like a whirling dervish.

It whirled rapidly a moment and then stopped. A cage hung suspended, like the witch; a cage holding a terrified Christine.

The young diva sobbed and wailed as though she mourned the passing of a loved one. Her disarrayed hair stuck up like a brush heap, with her clothes, tattered and torn. Streaks of blood and dirt covered her lovely face and arms. Misery and grief filled her mind and racked her body with continual pain.

“Christine! Christine!” cried Doone, as he raced through the pews, jumping up in vain to reach her.

The old witch cackled and shrieked with wicked amusement. “Torment of the mind is worth more than the torture of the body. It’s so lasting. I can drive her completely mad while you watch and you can do nothing.”

Etienne and Linda Peters witnessed everything from their hiding place in a balcony overlooking the pews below. They must take care or Brianna would see them, as she floated nearly eye-level with the balcony.

At this moment Etienne regretted binding his powers, but he could do to reverse it now. He knew the spell, but a potion had to be brewed and that couldn’t happen in Brianna’s threatening presence.

Linda wept silently. Soft, quiet tears rolled down her pretty face. Etienne hugged her tight, putting a finger to his lips as a reminder of silence.

Twanda nudged Micha. She wanted him to do something. And they all wondered what happened to Tommy. Did Brianna do him in?

Micha peaked around the pulpit. Then he fell back into hiding and closed his eyes, in fear and concentration. He could try the manure spell again, but that had to be done outside. Actually they needed to let loose the tricks they’d setup. But things had changed with Christine caged so close to Snow White’s evil stepmother. What to do first?

The gypsy boy looked at the objects high up in the ceiling draped with white lightweight cloth, each occupying one of four corners of the Basilica. Hopefully the parlor tricks would stall her long enough so he could free Christine and get her to safety.

He frowned, still confused about Doone. The witch did not acknowledge Landru and neither did Doone for that matter. Could they see him? Doone had just talked to him a moment ago, but now he acted as though he didn’t exist.

“Some compare life to a crapshoot. So, here goes nothing!” thought Micha, as he laid back and stared up at the draped objects near the ceiling. Slowly he made small circles with a finger. Circles of iridescent, translucent dust swirled around the draped objects. After a bit the objects began to dance, then one by one they transformed into gargoyles.

These creatures flew about the dome of the Basilica with leathery bat-like wings. Their hideous features frightened even Brianna, as they fluttered around the beautiful sorceress so quickly; she had to descend to the floor to keep from getting dizzy. They raked her with their claws and nipped at her face and hair.

Micha seized the moment and magickally lowered the cage to Doone, who desperately searched for a door to the cage. Finally, he realized that bolt locked the cage from the top. He pushed it back and opened the barred top, lifting the hysterical young woman from her prison. Christine threw her arms around his neck and clung to him desperately.
Doone moved the frightened starlet to safety, so that another trick could take place before the gargoyles out lived their usefulness. Micha again moved his fingers in small circles bringing forth the two mirrors that had been camouflaged like stained glass.

After so much torment and aggravation from the winged monsters, the sorceress vanished. The dismayed creatures flew around in circles searching for her, screeching their discontent.

“You fools! You really think your tricks can defeat me?” her voice roared its distorted message. “I will seek out each of you and kill you horribly!”

A whirling blur began in front of the pulpit and stopped, revealing the beautiful side of Brianna, floating above them in tattered clothing. With a wave of her hands, her clothes became as new. With another wave of her hands her cuts healed.

In all of her heated anger, she pointed a finger at each gargoyle, which in turn burst into the white-hot flames of magick. All fell silent. They had vanished without a trace.

By now, Landru had disappeared from sight. Even though he possessed magick more powerful than Micha, he had to lay low so Brianna wouldn’t see what he had planned to do.

If things weren’t bad enough, Tommy came busting into the church just as the witch lifted her arms to the heavens while muttering an incantation.

To add to the mayhem, Tommy came busting into the church just as the witch lifted her arms to the heavens, muttering an incantation.

Immediately, Doone stretched forth his hand toward the young man and chanted something short and sweet. An invisible force slammed into Tommy, knocking him backward out the door. The door slammed shut. The wicked old witch cackled like the old crone with evil amusement.

Before anybody could do anything else, Brianna evoked something, which flickered the lights and blew extinguished the candles. Again the windows rattled and the winds moaned and wailed around the eves of the Basilica.

Twanda whispered to Kimee, “Talk about a drama queen.” Kimee grinned and they both looked to Micha. He peered over the pulpit. Brianna stood close with her back to him. Then he looked to Doone who tried to keep in the shadows. They nodded to each other.

In the flickering lights, Micha laid back against the wall and chanted his spell as he pointed to the suspended mirrors on either side of the church. The hidden door behind the crucifix gaped open, so now he hoped he could suck the witch into the mirror pretty much the way her brought her out. They needed her to return willingly, but since she seemed bent on vengeance, any fashion was worth a shot.
Suddenly, the flickering lights went out. Total darkness engulfed them. Perfect setting for the Phantom. Micha kept his low chant.

Landru had joined Etienne and Peters in the balcony. They watched, waiting to seize their chance to help if necessary. With the lights out, they remained still and quiet. The men knew Brianna had a flare for dramatics, especially before she went in for the kill.

Above the pews, in the same area where the sorceress had made her appearance, a man’s fiery head popped into view. This made even Brianna gasp in terror as the head grew in size and began to sail about the room. It gave a chilling laugh that would build in volume, until the whole building shook, like an earthquake.

“Blast you Erik! We’re playing games. Parlor tricks! These are all parlor...” but before the sorceress could finish the fiery head came at her so fast, she had to duck. Then it disappeared.

Everything she did, something countered. They anticipated her every move. But how? She knew they had more tricks coming, so she decided to track down Etienne and his bitch.

Doone tried to sneak up on her in the pitch black, when he discovered she had gone. A slight rustle stirred in the balcony and immediately he knew what had happened.

By the time he had turned to face the way he had come, Landru materialized with Etienne and Miss Peters, as all of the candles relit themselves at once.

Brianna glared at them from the balcony. “Etienne! Landru! You have betrayed me. You shall pay for this!” she growled. Once again she spread her arms and descended and hovered over the center of the pews.

“She’s going to transform herself into something big and ugly,” cried Etienne. “She’s going to kill me.”

Doone as Erik stayed calm. . Mortal means to defeat the witch would never work. He knew this. Their last encounter with her ended up a messy, noisy one, and took forever to seduce her into the mirror.

He had an idea to do what they did last time, with more perfection of course, but it would be more difficult, as her boy-toys’ treachery had now come to light. Doone whispered something to Landru, who nodded in agreement. Micha continued his chant with fingers pointing to the suspended mirrors. He had never used such powerful magick and prayed that somewhere, somehow they’d win, or at least survive.

Doone slipped into the shadows and out of sight. Brianna began the transformation. She could have been quicker about it, but she liked to watch her victims squirm, now especially, since Etienne had acted like such a Benedict Arnold.
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PostSubject: Re: THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS   Sat Jan 17, 2009 10:41 pm

very nice. waiting for more.
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PostSubject: Re: THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS   Sun Jan 18, 2009 4:43 am

Very good, once more, I can't wait to see how his comes to a close. Very intense chapter here, you had me at the edge of my seat, congrats, my friend.


Please continue soon

D
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PostSubject: Re: THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS   Sun Jan 25, 2009 9:16 am

These people are so bad! My goodness. Love how the chapter just flows. Your writing captures the feeling of the moment and the sentiments of the characters.
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