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 I Want a Refund on My Phantom, Please

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haleybob
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PostSubject: Re: I Want a Refund on My Phantom, Please   Mon Sep 22, 2008 5:59 pm

Hm. Odd, but I thought I posted a new chapter...no matter. I can do it again since it's...not there.... o_O;; Um! If you didn't see my last post, I want to thank you guys again! Er, the last line is actually how I say it so that'd be my poor grammer skills leaking in. Thanks for showing that to me, I never thought about it. ^^;;
-------------



Part Ten:

What was weird about it all was that I had forgotten Leroux’s mentioning of Erik going out at all. I’m sure Erik had that mask he told Christine about. Or, to fit what was happening with us, was going to tell her about. He used the fake nose, though and we couldn’t go out until much later in the day when there would be less people to shudder and avert glances at him. I had Max almost beg me to get into my old clothes. I really was starting to like Daroga’s stuff, truly. But to please my friend and to not weird the Persian out even more I changed and Erik arrived (on time) at the doorstop.
“Gutentag,” I remarked cheerfully as I beat Darius to the door by leaping over the couch and half running. “We’re not going to split up are we? ‘Cause if we are, can I be with you? No one else gets English around here but Max and me…”
Erik passed silently, giving me an odd look but nodded his head anyways. Probably to shut me up I supposed as I followed him back inside cheerily. Darius showed him to Daroga and cast me a truly withering look. Shocking for one with lack of expressions if I do say so myself. Erik was wearing that fake nose that Armand would explain in his manager’s memoirs and I could only fully agree with the fact he looked “like death warmed over.” It would be better than nothing, though. That and his long brimmed hat would make his face hard to make out in the dim light.
We set off down the poorly lighted streets after we all assembled together outside Daroga’s apartment. I linked arms with Max, grinning like a fool. It wasn’t everyday you got to go shopping with real people of your favorite book of all time. Even being a recluse with a stalker-like friend, Daroga and Erik knew where to go and who would be quiet about our strange attires and our business.
Besides the creepy fact of two young girls getting “proper” clothing with two grown men (one being around 50 for sure) it was fun. Painful, but fun nonetheless. That is, until we actually had to put on the outfits, Erik seriously was a miser with the money he would spend on two people from the future.
“Suck it in!” Max offered as a seamstress pulled and wrenched on the corset ribbons of an outfit I was to try on. I was dying! Death shouldn’t be this close to me, honestly.
“What’s it looking like I’m trying to do?” I wheezed but still tried with all my might to “suck it in”.
My friend sat in a nearby chair, her new outfit already on and her old stuff in the box her gown had come in. It was admiringly lovely (Erik truly had good taste for a walking skeleton whose suits were cut just so) and she wore it and carried the burden of the small but painful corset well. The latest French hairstyle fit her long, lovely locks perfectly. Had I a camera with sepia or black-and-white settings, she would’ve fit the part of a back-in-the-day Duchess. Finest of them all, too not just the ugly ones that hid behind their titles.
I, on the other had, would still have problems. I refused to change my hair so they folded it up and adorned it with a few simple ribbons tucked under the thick veil on my hat for my odd eyes and nearly translucent skin. No color the ladies behind the shop counter found matched anything of me and I ended up in wearing a dark red gown that would only enhance my paleness. I felt like some living dead vampire chick and that, despite what I read, did not amuse me. But what could I do? The pale colors faded me out more and the dark colors could do nothing for me but strengthen how much I lacked in beauty.
I felt Daroga’s disapproval of my actions and the only thing Erik was doing was getting frustrated that prices were rising again as he paid for our clothes. Max took my arm in hers and smiled kindly.
“Isn’t this neat we can try this stuff out?” she whispered as the seamstress finished my dress.
I beamed and nodded, still happy that I could wear any of this stuff, even if it didn’t look good on me. Too bad I couldn’t wear the suits.
“I feel like a ninja Barbie doll,” I said, twisting my veil and shifting my eyes back and forth.”
Max was still laughing when Erik came to view us with a critical, miserly air that his money would not be wasted. Daroga would be getting a cab for us since our footgear wouldn’t be easy to walk everywhere. That and I think Erik was getting edgy. Being outside, even in the dark seemed to make him tenser and his horrid face sparked every time someone cast him a curious glance then, repulsed, would walk quickly away.
It made me sad and, leaving Max to chat briefly with Daroga who openly approved of her sane and calm manner, I walked next to Erik who lurked over the shelves of frills and lace. He was talking to himself in his third person about whether we needed a weeks’ worth or just a few days of clothing for surely we were magical and could go away whenever we pleased.
“Merci, Erik, for all of this,” I said politely. “I hope it’s not a problem…”
He glanced down at me from his towering height with curious, but distant eyes. The fake nose bugged me but I didn’t let it show.
“None at all, mademoiselle.” He said in a soft voice. “Guests from elsewhere should be treated kindly if one is to learn anything from them.”
“That’s true.” I smiled at him but he only looked back towards the shelves and took out a watch.
“Come, we cannot stay out forever. We have enough for you both, Erik thinks.”
Biting back a retort ‘Well goodie for Erik’, I followed his thin, dark figure out of the shop where the Persian and Max waited patiently. Well, Max was patient anyways.
“We got to ask how we can get back, Em.” Max whispered as Erik hailed a cab. “We can’t stay here!”
“They’re not going to know anything, though,” I said nervously, trying to ignore the men’s curious glances as we loaded in. “We don’t even know what happened!”
“We’ll have to try,” Max said firmly.
In the poor lighting I could still see my friend’s face wrinkled in worry. She must really miss home. I did, too but I felt comforted with the company of Erik and the rest. Max always did worry the most, just as I worried the least as possible. Both problems. With a gentle smile I squeezed her gloved hands.
“Tomorrow then, we can search inside the Opera.” I promised, “Maybe we can get back the same way! Don’t worry.”
She scowled.
“You need to start worrying, Emma. If we can’t get back soon, what will our teachers do? Our parents?” she looked meaningfully at me and a twinge of guilt hit me.
“The time could’ve stopped back at home,” I retorted. “We’d have time to kill and we could be missing stuff we could never do from here!”
Max rolled her eyes.
“Would you like to bet?”
“I would!”
And we shook on it, too. Winner got twenty bucks.
As if the driver knew where we were talking of (besides the bet), the cab stopped outside the Opera and Erik, with a courteous half-bow, ducked out and disappeared inside. Max waved briefly out the window in her usual habit. I coughed as the Persian tried to watch him carefully out of the darkened window. He drew back and smiled painfully at me, more a grimace than anything else. Once again, I wished we could have stayed with Erik. He turned to Max and started to address her and I leaned back, uninterested. I would have to practice my French.
“We’re going to be at Erik’s disposure,” Max explained to me later that night as we made ourselves comfortable in Daroga’s sitting room. “We get to see him for however long he’s interested in us. Daroga is getting paranoid with having us around.”
“Oh that’s nice,” I grumped, throwing a dark look at Darius as he passed, nose in the air. “I’m not too happy being here myself! I’d rather be with Erik. At least he’s polite.”
“We can leave this house as soon as we figure out how to get home,” Max said soothingly. “Daroga will help as well as Erik.”
“He better, the sourpuss. Or else I’m going to shove a-..”
“Goodnight, Emma.”


----------

Let's hope this is viewable!! ^^;;; And sorry if you CAN see this chapter and now have 2 on one page. ><;;
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PostSubject: Re: I Want a Refund on My Phantom, Please   Mon Sep 22, 2008 6:12 pm

This quote cracked me up: "The fake nose bugged me but I didn’t let it show." I LOVE having these modern girls in Erik's time, it feels so funny when they think modern phrases. Laughing


Magnifique! Great update! Smile

Laura
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PostSubject: Re: I Want a Refund on My Phantom, Please   Tue Sep 23, 2008 12:09 pm

cool chapter, it would be awesome to go shopping with erik. Cool
and the way max gets emma shut up in the end Laughing funny
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PostSubject: Re: I Want a Refund on My Phantom, Please   Tue Sep 23, 2008 5:18 pm

^^ Glad you both like it! I love it when people find things funny...but it's really kind of cool to see exactly what part they liked best. Different all the time, it feels! Um, I'll go ahead and update then. ^^; Thanks for reading!
------------

Part Eleven:

I awoke to an outrageously large appetite and a headache to match. Max, as always, bounded up and dressed quicker than I leaving me to grumble and glare at Darius who passed. I didn’t feel like doing anything to annoy him just yet and I missed my coffee douse of the morning so I wasn’t so cheery either. I was a little more charmed by the surprise I beheld when I walked into the kitchen. Oh yes, beheld is an amazing word. Anyways the surprise was that Erik would be joining us for breakfast and was deep in a conversation with Max who seemed to be stressing the fact that we needed to get home somehow.
He had his full mask on to my guilty relief. It’s kind of difficult to eat when you have a man before you that looks like someone who’s been dead for three years, amazing character or no. Daroga hovered above them, looking slightly irritated that he could not, I found, understand the English conversation. I doubt he would bother Erik about it, though.
I was, for once, happy that I was ignored at the moment besides the small flicker towards my direction from within the deep pits of the mask where Erik’s eyes were hidden in. I looked for anything edible while listening in for the fill-up of the morning events.
“We came through a small room that looked like a storage place,” Max continued, “So I was thinking if we can get back to where it all began…”
“You can go back in the same manner.” Erik said solemnly. “Yes. Erik knows the whole Opera House; it would not be a problem to find it in less than a week.”
My shoulders must have drooped more than I wanted for Daroga glanced at me curiously. I grinned and turned hurriedly away. Personally, I was happy here. I didn’t really want to go back just yet. I glanced at Max whose face looked so pretty and completely relieved to be getting a chance to go home as she thanked our strange companion. But I guess it would be alright if I had a few more days to spend with the two old guys.
As if sensing my fondly insulting thoughts Max turned and waved a cheerful good morning to me. I joined her at the table, sending a grin at Erik who continued to observe us with polite interest.
“Emma, hear the plan?” she asked, smiling.
“How could I not?” I asked, nodding. “When do we get started, eh?”
Apparently it was sooner than I thought it would be. No less had I asked, Erik swung around to chatter in non-stop Daroga talk while Max hustled me out of the small corridors.
“Don’t touch my clothes, alright Darius?” I managed to shout over my shoulder.
I didn’t get to see whether Darius frowned or glared, either would have been fine as I knew he wouldn’t understand a word I said, as we hurried out into the busy streets. People shrank or looked back in morbid curiosity at Erik who, I could tell that the fact he might be able to see something fantastic, was the only thing that kept him moving forward, his eyes never, ever moving. Max became Daroga’s personal assistant about us, speaking in careful French to him.
I tried to capture our other, and by far the most mind boggling companion’s attention with idle talk of what we’d already shown him. He nodded a few times to show he was listening but I had a feeling he would do just fine without conversation. Unfortunately I’m a chatty person and silence is odd with me. However, I clammed up after awhile and just took to taking peeks at him from beneath my veil, trying to burn his image in my mind for when we would leave him to go back home.
With Erik’s face and wariness and Daroga’s out of place I’m-not-from-here-but-I’m-stalking-a-person-I-know-from-my-homeland feel, it was a wonder of mine that we all even made it to the Opera House without any problems. Max and I were instructed to look as normal as possible (I think we both smirked at this) and to wander around like any other music fanatic. Daroga would attempt to follow Erik. I almost laughed when he worded it like that, after Max interpreted of course, but his face was serious.
“What will you do?” I turned to ask Erik, but he had already gone. “Wow…He’s good.”
Daroga turned towards me curiously then gave an irritated noise as he found the other man gone from sight. I think he was cursing but I couldn’t, and probably didn’t want to, tell as he stalked off leaving me and Max alone in front of the building. It was prettier in its proper time and I stood there with my mouth slightly open.
“C’mon, I think we can find the room better than either of those two,” Max said, grabbing my arm.
We searched all over the place as well and as much as we were allowed. Most people didn’t take any notice of us and often we could talk to each other with no worries of anyone overhearing with any curiosity. In an attempt to refresh our memory, we tried re-walking the tour we had. It felt so long ago but true to our memories we got part of the way until people would then turn us back.
“This is impossible if people will keep imposing,” Max grumbled as yet another official looking person “kindly rerouted” us to the main dancers’ lounge. “Honestly, I didn’t think they’d be so pushy!”
“And yet so polite in doing so,” I murmured distractedly, watching everything around us and trying to figure the best breathing exercises to work with my tight corset.
“Maybe we should take back pathways?” my friend muttered to herself. “Or perhaps…”
While her voice trailed on with different ideas, my head was elsewhere and, for once, thinking. It wasn’t really about anything important like how we were going to explain our absence to Mr. Perini and Mr. Party, or how our parents’ would be fretting their heads off, or even about how to find the room that would lead us back to all that. Instead, with the few people passing, I was thinking on how the two men across from us struck me as being brothers.
One was tall and handsome but way older than Max or me. He glanced once my way before with a courteous nod of the head and nothing else but a small twinge of curiosity. I flushed dully. Anyone who looked my way with even the slightest bit of interest about me and especially a guy would reduce me to slow thinking and a sharp reality check of who I was. The other man was much younger. He looked around our age, or at least be 17 or 18. He didn’t seem very interested in us to which I was thankful.
The way they acted caught my eye, and the way the older one laughed. I loved funny things. Truly, and that’s not an excuse to my goggling at them because they were handsome, each in their own way. I then noticed the tall, slender woman with them, still in a dancer’s gauzy tutu. She laughed and whatever the eldest said and smiled prettily though I had a suspicion she barely knew what she was laughing at. The older put a fond hand on the younger and the younger blushed girlishly. I guessed he was being introduced and or teased to the lovely lady.
“Heh, he’s a blonde,” I muttered to myself, grinning. “Hey, Max…”
“What?” Max turned to me with a frown, interrupting herself of a plan to raid the backstage. I was unabashed and pointed discreetly at the younger man.
“Doesn’t that guy look like a chick…?”
“Don’t be rude, Emma.” Max said, rolling her eyes but she glanced in their direction. “Sort of, but he has a mustache.”
I stared at her.
“What?” she asked uncertainly, “he does! A little one you see-…oh, why are you looking at me like that?”
“Blonde,” I said softly, “a little blonde mustache, girlish complexion? An older brother who’s very handsome?”
I pulled her off to the side behind a cabinet as to not let ourselves be known to the two men and lady. Max followed, confused and pulled at my arm though I could tell she was getting to where I was getting at.
“What are you saying?” she still asked, narrowing her eyes at me.
“I’m saying,” I hissed, peeking out to watch our prey, “That those two men are our very Count and Vicomte De Chagny!”

----------


There we go. Um, any critisim is good, thank you. ^^; ...Besides my lack of spelling skills. ._.;
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PostSubject: Re: I Want a Refund on My Phantom, Please   Wed Sep 24, 2008 11:30 am

Sorry I haven't commented on all. You've got some good chapters here. So now enter Raoul and Philippe. Nice description. You keep with the novel very well.

I need to see what happens next. Good job! Please continue.

Brava, brava, bravissimi! Razz Razz Razz
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PostSubject: Re: I Want a Refund on My Phantom, Please   Wed Sep 24, 2008 3:32 pm

Splendid, splendid, as always! Smile Great chapter! Why do I get the sneaking suspicion that the girls are going to end up being stuck in Erik's time? So...tell me that one of the girls is going to end up being with Erik, right? Wait, never mind, don't tell me that! Very Happy Well...could you give me a hint? Very Happy

I look forward to your next update!

Laura
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PostSubject: Re: I Want a Refund on My Phantom, Please   Wed Sep 24, 2008 4:42 pm

yeah good chapter Wink
i think i`ve gotten addicted to this story Very Happy





(and in general, to all those awesome fics at this forum,lol)
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PostSubject: Re: I Want a Refund on My Phantom, Please   Thu Sep 25, 2008 6:10 pm

Thanks so much, you three! Yes, yes, I try to keep as close as I can to the book. I don't generally like out of canon stories. (Ange that would be a hint) ^^; No, I'll just say it now, Erik is not going to be with either of the two ladies. As much as I love the guy, I can't picture a 50 year old with some teens. (though Christine was only, what? Twenty? Oh well.) But yes. No matches that aren't canon, sorry!! I'll give you an update now. ^^;
--------------

Part Twelve:

“No way!”
In her disbelief I was shoved off violently to the side as she peered over at the two gentlemen who were quite unaware of our boggling. I dusted myself off and looked over her shoulder.
“Yes way,” I said, hushed, “the Count must be introducing Raoul to everyone here. He did that before anything started right?”
She nodded slowly then motioned me to move. Somehow it felt a little dangerous to be so close to the would-be-in-the-short-future hero. Carefully as when we first snuck around the cabinet we edged around the corner and disappeared out of the lounge and down a darker hallway. I opened up another door, a broom closet to my dull interest and pulled Max in after me. For a light, Max had her cell phone. I stared. I didn’t know she had that, still!
“Conserving battery,” she explained when she saw my face, “I kept it to myself. Erik can see it later if it comes to that…”
Max’s face suddenly became very concerned and she looked at me very seriously.
“Emma,” she said, “we can’t get involved!”
“Huh?” I’ll admit it, I was lost on this one. Then again, I wasn’t known to be very perceptive of what people try to tell me. Anyways, not get involved in what? The let’s-drive-Darius-mad club? I wasn’t quitting that; too much fun.
“We can’t get involved with anyone here,” Max stressed, seeing my far off gaze. “Anyone! We could change time. They’re not supposed to see us, and now I’m thinking we should have never given Erik anything. We could’ve messed something up in his future, or Daroga’s or even that guy we landed on when we got here! Do you get it?”
I nodded, my eyes wide. That’s right…it could turn out to be like those one movies where someone goes to a time that isn’t theirs, and completely mess it up! Although those movies always made it to where the story and future whatnot needed them to go back in time, we weren’t needed. We knew the story of Erik. He didn’t. And I doubt we could do anything to make it so that Erik’s tale would be unaffected and tragic, like it should.
That made me sad, though. We knew he wouldn’t be happy in the end…not totally. But still, we wouldn’t be here if we didn’t here the tale, but also! ….My head started to ache so I stopped thinking about it. Until another, dread filled realization came to mind.
“The book!” I said suddenly, my head snapping up so fast I promptly gave myself a smack against the closet wall. “Ouch, what about the book? We left it!”
“I hid it, don’t worry,” Max said, twisting her hands together. “But I’m not sure we should even be with them! We can’t mess anything up…”
I scratched my ear where my stupid veil tickled it, thinking abnormally hard.
“Well,” I started slowly, feeling kind of crazy for mentioning it, “I think that…if we affected anything, the book would change. Right? So, we should just check the book to make sure we’re not doing anything to harm the…future which is really the past…thing.”
My friend stared at me.
“For once,” she said, “I think you’re making sense.”
“Glad you noticed.”
“We’ll have to be extremely careful, though!” Max warned, opening up the closet. “We can’t do something rash and just look at the book! We got to plan ahead…”
I was glad of my veil as I rolled my eyes behind her.
We met up with Daroga later on. It seemed that Erik had, once again, proven himself too tricky to follow, even though there wouldn’t be much learned if he did. From Daroga, there was no sign of the room we described. Max’s shoulders drooped but she thanked him for going through the trouble. Apparently he wasn’t allowed places either. Frankly the way he stared at everything, I wouldn’t let him anywhere either.
“Did anyone remember where we’d all meet?” I asked curiously.
I think everyone got, after Max translated for Daroga, that I didn’t mean ourselves but mostly Erik’s whereabouts. The Persian shook his head and made a helpless, irritated gesture. I sighed. This would be impossible to go find him ourselves as we all knew.
Thankfully Erik was almost physic for something gently brushed past me and I found myself swinging sideways to look up…and up into Erik’s masked face. We didn’t have to guess what he was about to say ‘cause he said it so fast none of us could have had any thought before.
“Erik believes he has found it,” he repeated more simply.
Max and I crowded around him excite and blasting him with questions while Daroga sniffed pompously. Erik was unaffected by our excitement and only ordered us to “follow Erik” to the place we had been searching for. We followed quickly and Max and I couldn’t help but look a little awed at how the old boy could be so quiet and stealthy. He took us through darker hallways and whenever people would pass, he seemed to melt instantly into the shadows while we walked along in the open. No one saw him I don’t think.
All through this, though I have to confess I wasn’t as excited to be on the way to finding the room that would take us home. I’ve said it before, I was happy here. I could stand my veil and the stares and the fact I couldn’t really talk to anyone but Erik. I loved this time and I didn’t want to leave it. As we hurried on, Max making her face passive as another opera guest passed and Erik disappeared, I wondered briefly about how Daroga would feel about keeping me.
Hey, it was only a thought. I didn’t seriously think that Daroga would let me live with him or that I could just abandon my own time and my family. Still…I sighed and stared around as if it were my last time. Suddenly I had an outrageously desperate need to talk to these two men as much as I could. I wanted to get to know them better before all the closeness I would get is the ink and paper of their book. The fact I would leave them behind with knowing how their lives would end and they didn’t have a clue left me feeling empty and sorrowful. I wanted a hug.
“Here, it matched your poor description,” Erik said with a flourish to a door near us, sounding very courteous even though Max blushed furiously at the mention of her ‘poor description’.
The four of us peeked in curiously and I could see what Erik meant by the insult. He was saying pure fact. The room was the same, I was sure of it but it was the size that was the only thing familiar. Everything else in the little room was changed. Instead of being empty besides the case that would hold the remains of the already skeletal man beside me (I swallowed hard on this one) the room was stuffed with props and bright costumes.
Well, the dust that coated these fine wares kind of told us it was the place where everyone stuffed stuff they didn’t want. And lucky us, there was no pole on the floor to trip us up! Cautiously, as if something would cut his head off, Daroga picked his way through the pile to inspect everything in the best Chief of Police-y way he could. I hid a smile behind my hand. And people said I was always paranoid.
“Same size, same wall leading to the alley where you two came from,” Erik said calmly, pointing a path me and Max could follow to let ourselves through the mess. “Familiar?”
“Sort of,” I told him, squishing myself past a pile of dusty clothes. “It’s the same room, of course!” I added hurriedly as his masked head turned towards me.
Max agreed absentmindedly, making her way towards the wall where we would, in the future, sink into Erik’s world. My head started to hurt on that connection. Stupid time movies, making me think deeply about our own situation.
“Emma, come here by me,” she said, motioning me to come.
Grumbling and throwing glances back at Erik and the Persian I reported to her side, near the wall.
“It was here, wasn’t it?” she asked, pointing to the semi-covered wall in front of us. “And this is where we heard the music, right?”
I nodded unwillingly. “So we’ll go back the same way?” I asked, wondering why we couldn’t do this later.
“How else can we?” Max shrugged, “Last time, we just pushed against the wall…”
She reached out her hands slowly but she didn’t touch the wall yet. I kept my own hands free in case the wall decided to suck us in. I glanced back at Erik and Daroga and gave a small wave. Daroga returned it halfheartedly and Erik’s eyes flashed deep inside the mask. Our days with them…over so fast? I couldn’t believe it.
“Keep in touch,” I joked and kneeled next to Max, making sure I didn’t look back. If I did, I know I would have jumped up and left my friend to travel by herself home.
Don’t get me wrong, I would have followed in a few days; I just didn’t want to go so early. Like, we barely got past just saying hello to these fellows! But we would have to. Perhaps this would be our only shot, and I couldn’t let Max down. We glanced at each other and Max nodded.
Taking a deep breath, we raised our hands and pushed against the wall.

----------

There we go. Hope you guys' like it. ^^;
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PostSubject: Re: I Want a Refund on My Phantom, Please   Thu Sep 25, 2008 7:10 pm

Bravissima!! I loved it!! Very Happy But...*cough* I'm rather mad at you for leaving me on a cliff like that. *shakes finger* No

Oops, I think the underlined word here is a typo: "Max and I crowded around him excite and blasting him with..."

Please update soon!!

Laura
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PostSubject: Re: I Want a Refund on My Phantom, Please   Thu Sep 25, 2008 8:02 pm

Oops, yes that would be a typo, thank you. ^^;; Spelling hates me and my "editor" isn't around to make corrections...hope you enjoyed it! I love cliffies in books I read, so I copy off of works I like. Sorry. xD;;
---------------


Part Thirteen:

Nothing happened. No spark, no magic, no weird chanting…and definitely no time traveling. We stared at the wall for a moment then glanced at each other. Was there something we were overlooking? Max’s face held nothing but shock and before I could lay a comforting hand on her shoulder, she smacked the wall in sudden frustration.
“Why didn’t it work?” she nearly yelled, standing up furiously to scan the walls with her hands.
My eyes wide, I could only shrug and darted away back towards Erik while Daroga quickly made his way to Max, frowning in what I could only guess was concern. The two of them spoke sharply to each other in the common language they shared, both scanning the wall with obvious annoyance at the failure. I felt a little insulted. I didn’t think we were that bad of house guests… Erik placed an unhealthy looking bony finger to his mask as I climbed over a pile of old costumes, caked with the dust of disuse.
“You could not repeat your…travel.” He stated to me, his body language stating that there would be a frown on his face if he didn’t have his customary mask on.
I shook my head and sighed. No going home for us now. I would try my hardest to not be pleased around Max, but deep down there was a hint of worry. Before, we had a plan of getting home and therefore we could relax and spend some time with supposedly fictional characters until we wanted to go back. Now, with no way that we knew of, it felt almost frightening. Funny thought, but I don’t think Erik would be so keen as to give me a hug, no matter how distraught I would be later.
On that note, I’d like to share something real quick to explain that. Being distraught at the very moment it happens doesn’t click well with me. I’m the type of person who’d rather wait it out all day, then sob into my pillow for a good two hours or so once I got home and was alone, depending on the situation. This was more of a one hour sobbing session, I decided for myself. Of course I don’t think Darius would let me borrow his Master’s room for my tear-shedding, the heartless goon.
“Nope, it’s a dead end plan,” I said finally, standing next to Erik while reminding myself not to stare too much at him. “Nothing happened like it did last time…”
He nodded once and continued to watch as Max and Daroga look over and question and bicker with each other. I looked over as well, twisting my hands together to let off some energy. Poor Max. I knew she really wanted to find a way back. This was a hard blow for her, so much more than it was to me. It didn’t seem like the Persian and her were getting anywhere and with another miserable glance towards the wall, Max returned to us.
“Well, that’s it.” She said as her face forming into a sad little pout she only does when really upset. “We can’t get home, now.”
Almost on cue, Erik and I gave her our sympathies (my wording a little different since I was in the same predicament) and without another word the group headed back out of the Opera. The streets seemed a little more foreign and the sky expanding so largely above us that I instantly felt insignificant as we walked out. Erik, off to do his whole haunting/terrifying the Opera people thing, disappeared from our side before we even touched sunlight.
None of us remaining spoke a word, each lost in their own thoughts. Not that I had any real thoughts, I was feeling a little more panic than I was comfortable with. Instead, I switched my mind to a song that popped in my head, ready to keep me busy. Yeston/Kopit version, the ominous solo of Erik’s: “Parie is a Tomb”. It wasn’t really helping.
With that unsupportive music playing in my mind, the rest of the day was almost a blur. Darius didn’t seem too surprised to see us when we arrived as all his attention turned back to Daroga who looked more exhausted than we felt. I don’t recall what happened until later that evening when Erik popped back up to talk to “Erik’s strange associates”. We settled ourselves in the Persian’s painfully crowded lounge, Max and I on his old divan with Erik looming over us. He refused a chair as pacing seemed to become a favorite thing to do to release his energetic thinking, besides playing music.
Daroga seemed to be Erik’s personal stalker/mom for his dark eyes never left him, even when he was sitting comfortably in his own armchair. Darius couldn’t be heard or seen though I knew he would be hiding in the shadows to await any orders. Finally the whole story of our arrival would be spoken, and gone over with great interest in any detail. As the only police officer there, Daroga dished up the questions. Over and over he asked us how it all happened in the beginning until my head started to swim with over detail.
“’There must be something we are missing,’” Max translated as the Persian chattered furiously to himself and to Erik who looked at his chief of police friend with quiet befuddlement. I rubbed my temples.
“Obviously,” I grumped, “but we went over everything, I think! My brains can’t handle this much longer!”
“’Anything helps,’” Max finished then turned towards me. “I know we think we have. But maybe we are missing something…”
She frowned and tapped her forehead with her knuckles as I shuffled downwards on the couch, wondering if it would be lady-like to lift up my skirt to scratch my thigh. Erik hadn’t said a word to us but had watched everything silently. I met the eye sockets of his mask curiously, wondering what he thought about it all. He tilted his head slightly, like a kid approached with a math question but didn’t look away. Maybe I didn’t want to know what went on in a musical genius’ head.
“Are you sure you told us everything?” he finally asked, his musical voice chiming perfectly in our ears. I got the sudden urge to want to record it, just so I could hear him speak over and over later on. Old guys are amazing when they have gorgeous voices.
Max and I gave each other a nod before doing the same to Erik and Daroga. Erik lightly tapped his mask again while the Persian frowned and muttered darkly under his breath.
“When you landed, did you see anyone?” Erik asked, for once the questioner.
I sighed and tucked my legs awkwardly underneath me as Max shrugged, trying to remember.
“There was a police guy we ran away from, I think…” I said, mimicking Erik’s face-tap. “And a short guy. Right, Max?”
My friend shrugged but nodded all the same. When you’re running from foreign police because you’re from an entirely different time period, it makes it kind of hard to pay attention to any little details. He nodded, as if that answered all his questions and he didn’t speak again. Daroga stared at his masked companion then at us, suspicion already lit in his eyes.
All at once, he spoke sharply to Erik, but not in the French Max could translate for us both. Wide-eyed we glanced between the both of them as the Persian’s natural language spilled out from both of them. Mild as always, but with a slightly harsher tone, Erik shrugged off his own friend in a way I was sure he used when he liked to insult Daroga and turned back to us.
“Erik isn’t allowed to keep information that would be any disadvantage your journey home,” he said dryly, sending a half hidden glare towards Daroga. “So Erik will continue his questions. What did the little man sound like?”
“Does it matter?” I asked in surprise, secretly pleased he shared the same wish as I to have Max and I stay.
Max looked bewildered but did not give any sassy remark. Like always, adults usually liked her better for her manners and behavior. I can’t see why she bothered, personally. I found it amusing to make a grownup act like a child to get an answer out of me.
“Rough,” she remarked thoughtfully, interrupting my thoughts. “I don’t think he even spoke French. I didn’t understand much, but…”
She frowned suddenly as her memory came across something that she couldn’t quite place. Figuratively speaking, however my head exploded.
“He was casting a spell!” I yelled, falling off the couch in my shock.
In less than five strides, Daroga helped me up but only to spout out words in a confused but excited manner, all in either Persian or French. My eyes almost crossed in trying to dissect what could only be more questions; what a pain to not know anything but English. Max, her mouth open in amazement started to agree loudly with my statement, jumping up as well as she could in her dress, excitement flushing her cheeks.
“We figured it out!” she nearly sang, “We have another plan!”
And with that happy thought she clapped her hands together and laughed, kindly explaining to Daroga the idea that had just passed. Erik remained calm, though I noticed one of his hands twitched with either his own excitement or irritation that we had come closer to sending us home.
“So the little man is a magician who sent for you,” Erik completed, watching Daroga begin to splutter as he understood what I said through my friend.
I nodded as well as I could and barely noticed Max’s huge smile and the Persian’s finally satisfied look. The opening towards home was opened again. Yippee, now I could leave and go back to normal. Somehow, I don’t think I was as excited as I should’ve been. Over the hullabaloo caused by an excited teenager and an old police officer I stared glumly at Erik. By his stance and his lack of interest in the full details, it felt comforting to know he and I shared the same feelings about it all. Briefly I wondered if I was forgiven for our poor introduction then winced. Probably not.
After a few more minutes and a quick happy skipping around the room Max calmed down enough to sit back down and look between everyone expectantly.
“All that’s left is to find this man,” she told Erik happily. “There aren’t so many performers of magic, is there?”
Erik shrugged gracefully and stated that Daroga would know more about the outside than he. Operas couldn’t haunt themselves I supposed. I meandered to the window, staring out at the cobblestone streets, ignoring the plans and animated banter of the finding of the notorious magic man. Life wasn’t fair.

------------

There we go. ^^;; You guys' are catching up to where I'm currently writting!
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PostSubject: Re: I Want a Refund on My Phantom, Please   Thu Sep 25, 2008 8:30 pm

Yay!!! THANK YOU for not leaving me on that horrible cliff-hanger! *huggles* Nothing to critique in this, it was all very good!

Have I ever mentioned just how much of an addict I am to this story? Very Happy (And that's a lot coming from me, just so you know. I like to read others phics, but I usually don't love them like I love this one.)

Phantabulous!

Laura
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PostSubject: Re: I Want a Refund on My Phantom, Please   Fri Sep 26, 2008 9:42 pm

I am sorry that I couldn't review your other chapters! I've been so busy with school Sad!

It was wonderful! You have no idea how hard it was to wait to read it; let just say that my addiction was giving me a hard time Laughing! I love that story and I hope you will write many chapters!

I don't know why, but I simply loved that sentence: ''Yippee, now I could leave and go back to normal.'' It made me smile everytime I read it! Update soon, please!

Sincerely, WG Very Happy .
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PostSubject: Re: I Want a Refund on My Phantom, Please   Sat Sep 27, 2008 10:22 am

You do really well with unfolding the story and giving emotions and thoughts. One thing I'd like to see a little more of, description. I really wanted to see the wall.

One other thing, when you mention a song, like from the Yeston/Kopit version, use a footnote or something to explain this. Not everybody knows this was another stage version of Phantom and are not familiar with the song. I know I'm not. But that's just me.

I think, they have to have the same mind set, since they came in together. If one doesn't really want to return, then no one leaves. But, that's just my thoughts.

Good job! Please continue.

Brava, brava, bravissimi! Razz Razz Razz
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PostSubject: Re: I Want a Refund on My Phantom, Please   Sat Sep 27, 2008 11:44 am

Danke, all of you. ^^;; I like working on this so yeah, I hope I can have a lot of chapters! Agh, description! I should've known better...it's one of the things I excel at in school whenever they ask. >>;; How embarrassing...
Nn! Interesting idea, Fay, ja it could be the mindsets. I'll work on adding footnotes...never tried that before. ^^;;;; Eeerrrr...lessee, here's the next chapter. Thanks for the critiques/encouragement! ^^;;
----------------


Part Fourteen:

We now had a new plan to get home. Again, whoopdee-flippin’-do. Max was exulted and didn’t stop talking about how wonderful the news was or the fact that we were summoned by magic. I listened patiently and would either nod or gasp with false excitement at the right times. It felt around midnight that she and I could actually sleep, but in the kitchen Erik and Daroga went over the plans to find our magic man. I stayed awake listening to their quiet murmurings, often broke by a sharp word or sound by Daroga.
I smiled into my pillow, silently recording these memories and feelings. If I did have to go back home, I was going to make sure I wrote about everything and remembered everything that did and would happen. To the sound of Max breathing and the soft thrum of Erik’s music box voice with Daroga’s scratchy, throaty one I slept peacefully.

O-o-o-o-o-o-o

“Besides the fact that this city isn’t that huge, how’re we going to find this guy?” I grumped the next morning, hating the wedgie I had and hating the fact I couldn’t do anything about it in public. It was a cloudy day, perfect for our magician hunting crew. Remembering my manners for once I hid a yawn behind my hand. Erik, for whatever reason had gotten bit by the curiosity bug last night and again called Max to bring out her ‘futuristic items’ so he could prove to himself that we were real. Of course with Erik, it had to be right then so we didn’t get too much sleep. When Max got her bag and groggily made her way to Erik’s side, who was waiting patiently for her, she slipped our Leroux book to me with a meaningful glance.
I spent the whole night looking over the book, checking it over for anything new. Thankfully there wasn’t, but reading the passages about Erik hurt, especially when I could picture him saying them now and almost hearing his voice in my head. His life was so sad. And he would die in the end. Of the worst emotion that is called Love. When I actually did sleep, I had nightmares that I didn’t remember in the morning.
“Paris isn’t that big, and people are only allowed to go so far,” Max corrected me with a small frown. “We’ll find him through strategy.”
We stood next to the two blocks connecting the Rue Scribe and Boulevard Des Capucines, the Opera Garnier barely in sight through the throng of people. Quite frankly, it felt impossible that we were going about this whole city to look for one man who may or may not be able to send us home. Of course, with a method to this madness the four of us would split into two groups in hope that we would find the search more successful.

The only thing that kept me mollified is that I got paired with Erik, seeing as he would be the only one to understand me. That and Daroga was still paranoid of me. And not even only that, but Max and I couldn’t even find the subways in our time together. We both needed a partner that knew the city and who could communicate with each other effectively and that wouldn’t be us together. Erik and I would be taking the north side of the city while Max and Daroga went south.
Due to Erik’s lack of going outside too often, Daroga gave us tips on where you would usually find an entertainer or amateur artisan of some worth. I peered up at the sky, relishing the dark cloud coverage. I thought about moving here, since the sun didn’t come out all the time.
“Think it’s going to rain?” I asked Erik cheerily as we parted from our friends.
If his eyes moved, I think he would have rolled his eyes but instead a sigh leaked through and he said nothing. However I rolled my eyes for him and looked ahead into the crowds. Great. Antisocial, disfigured old guy with a hyper, bored albino girl. This would be an interesting field trip. Almost naturally we stayed off to the sides of the people. I tried not to look interested in the small chat of the French people on the streets or in cafes that I vaguely recognized. Both our eyes were open and peeled for any sight of the gaudy-costumed magic man. We had to describe to our watchers what the guy actually looked like in case we passed him by accident. That’d be awkward to explain to Max.
Erik took much bigger steps than I so half the time I was always slightly behind him no matter how slow he tried to be for me. I fought the comical urge to reach out and take one of Erik’s bone hands in mine as we strolled, looking this way and that. The chatters and sometimes outbreak of light laughter came from all around us, but our anti-social bubble remained intact. I started taking peeks more at Erik than other people I was supposed to be scanning.
Even after a few days of being in his presence, Erik still didn’t seem real. Dream-like even, though it was kind of off for a dream, what with the clothes sharing, kicking in places not so nice for guys, and bad interpretation throughout. His thoughts seemed to be on the same track for he paused only for a moment and looked down at me from his towering height. My neck would be permanently strained upwards if I kept talking to this guy.
“How is it that you knew about Erik, mademoiselle?” he asked me curiously.
I gave him a terrified look. I knew it; I knew he’d be asking me this! Not that I minded that he asked questions, it was the fact that I couldn’t lie to him. And this wasn’t the question I could tell the truth to. What would I say to him? ‘Oh, Erik, I just read about you in a book that’s all about your life! No biggie’? Heck no! I couldn’t. Not with the ending, the story, the pain he’d soon go through.
I must’ve had a thoughts-in-process-please-hold look on my face for Erik tilted his head, a frown starting to form. He knew I had a secret and that I didn’t want to share. Crêpe on a stick.
“Well?” he asked, completely stopping to stare at me. “How did you? Erik knows you could not have guessed.”
I bit my lip and averted my eyes from the gold pieces of his to look down at the ground, not daring to let myself say anything. Maybe I should have gone with Daroga, understanding or no understanding. At least I couldn’t understand him when he got nosy. Erik’s face got more frightening as he scowled and bent over to peer directly in my face. I forced myself to look back at him and I could see where the fake nose he used began. Odd, but I notice a lot about a person whose trying to get me to spill the beans. Though staring at Erik up close was none to pretty, no offense to his genius.
“Tell Erik,” he commanded in his best, or natural since I was too worried to tell, commando voice.
I fumbled with my veil, hating the fact that I could be easily pressured into telling things. But I couldn’t spill! He must not know anything about how I knew or what his life will be like! Max would kill me, I’m sure. I looked at him then quickly looked down at the ground, mumbling that I didn’t remember. Unfortunately, I’m a terrible liar anyways. His frown deepened but he did not move from his spot, knowing I was in no position to run. Curses on my new French shoes.
“Do not lie,” he said and he folded his long arms, glaring until I felt I should have melted away already down the gutter.
I never really thought old guys were this pushy. Wait I did. That was a lie. Somehow, with Erik standing before me and waiting with the eyes of a hawk, he reminded me of my grandpa, now passed away. Gramps used to always be able to tell if I was lying and he would sit there in his favorite chair and stare at me until I spilled out the truth. Hey, I can’t stand stares. They break you down after you’ve been standing forever and a day. I was really feeling that sort of pressure right then, I’ll tell you that now! That and I really missed Gramps.
“Emma?” Erik’s voice brought me back to reality.
Unconsciously I flinched away from him. He used my name! That seemed like a bad thing. Usually that meant I was in trouble because his normal addressing form was always ‘mademoiselle’ for either me or Max. I don’t think he could really punish me, but the usage of my name shook me up. What would he do if I really was in trouble with him? Right after that, a Punjab came to mind. Not a comforting or supporting thought.
“It’s because I’m magic!” I blurted out finally, a smile spreading on my face.
Inside I was groaning at myself. Again with the unconscious smiles, I would really have to stop that. But lucky for me my random answer caught Erik off guard and he stood straight up again. He didn’t believe me of course, but I could see that he didn’t think he’d be able to get a sensible answer out of me. Which he probably wouldn’t. I knew that even for Erik and even with what he already believed with us, I don’t think he would believe that his life story would become a famous mystery novel.
Who would, too?
With that in my mind we started forward again and I passed my eyes afresh over the crowd. Nothing, yet and my feet were killing m-wait. I stopped, causing Erik to stamp on his breaks, metaphorically speaking before he ran over me.
“Mademoiselle?” he asked, still irritated from his failure earlier.
I didn’t respond for my gaze was stuck on a flashing, sparkling absolutely ridiculous red suit. The magic man! I saw him. He didn’t see me. I found him! Quickly I spun and grabbed Erik’s bone hand, pointing into the crowd with a gasp both from the excitement of my find and also how utterly clammy Erik’s hands were. At least they weren’t hot and sweaty, I reasoned.
“That’s him!” I said, smiling.
Crêpe on a stick.

----------


You now be on par with FanFiction. ^^;; I'll be updating at the same time so...yay? Er...hope this was alright.
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PostSubject: Re: I Want a Refund on My Phantom, Please   Sat Sep 27, 2008 3:28 pm

I like it. A field trip with Erik. Good job! Don't throw things at me, but you see here in this chapter, you could have given us a better visual. Establish the location. Okay, sorry about that. I just wanted to see what they see. Shocked

By the by, I don't think I told you my grandmother's name was Emma and my middle name is Emma.

Love this story. Please continue.

Brava, brava, bravissimi! Razz Razz Razz
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PostSubject: Re: I Want a Refund on My Phantom, Please   Sun Sep 28, 2008 7:09 pm

“Tell Erik,” he commanded in his best, or natural since I was too worried to tell, commando voice. AH! I love the use of the word commando, that was SO incredibly funny! Laughing

Nice job, I love the dialogue in this chapter. I must agree with Fay though, there does need to be more descriptions of surroundings and such. Wink I look forward to more from you!

Your devoted phan,

Laura
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PostSubject: Re: I Want a Refund on My Phantom, Please   Mon Sep 29, 2008 10:43 pm

Cool, Smile very nice story, I like this twist. Hmmm, found the magic man, did they? Now what on earth is going to happen now? I'm certain that this cannot possible be the end.


Please do continue, I'm at the edge of my seat, Smile


D
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PostSubject: Re: I Want a Refund on My Phantom, Please   Tue Sep 30, 2008 8:33 pm

Very Happy i enjoy every bit of this story, teehee.
so funny at parts, and exciting lol!

will you post the next chapter now if i beg you with the cutest "puss in boots" eyes i can manage? Laughing
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PostSubject: Re: I Want a Refund on My Phantom, Please   Sun Oct 05, 2008 2:53 pm

Thank you all for reviewing! o_O;; ^^ I'm so happy you're all enjoying it. Ack! Yes, I'll work on detail, sorry! Glad you all can find something amusing and no I don't plan to end it this soon! ^^ I like using odd words to describe people, ja. Very Happy
Fay: I didn't know that! Now I'm jealous. Emma is a favorite name of mine, though it isn't owned by me at all.
Er, here's a new update! Sorry for the slowness, I have been startlingly busy...that and sleeping has become a problem for me. Mind keeps thinking so it keeps me awake. No matter! Here it is already, I got to learn to stop rambling... ^^;;
----------------

Part Fifteen:

Quick as a tiger spotting its prey, Erik turned towards the direction I pointed and somehow managed to gracefully bolt down the road to reach our gaudily dressed fiend and still made it look like a normal, over sped stroll. I, being much clumsier, scampered after him cursing and tripping over that ridiculous dress of mine. Our magician was shorter than I remembered and his features thrown into eyesight perfectly instead of being partly hidden by shadows in a tent or from being far away. His large eyes got positively larger with fright as he stared up and up at the corpse of a man who was talking to him. His costume, I noted as I sidled up closer to Erik, was a little bit different from the last one. Not as much yellow and blue as there was red though it still sparkled and shined ridiculously even in that grey, gloriously gloomy day.
He then glared and stamped his feet at Erik, whose tone was cool and relaxed as always though sounding a bit persuading into something. I was lost on the whole conversation and stood off to the side to study this man while they discussed. Nothing about him screamed amazing-man-who-transports-girls-to-the-past. His hair was messier than the first time and his costume did seem a little drab despite it being new on him. Suddenly his large eyes caught mine and he let out a startled shriek, jumping a foot away from me. I flinched away from the noise and made a face at him.
“Yes, yes,” I said, rolling my eyes, “it’s the girl that fell on top of you. Gutentag to you, too!”
It seemed that he had an idea about what I just said but he didn’t respond save making a funny face at my poor German skills; maybe my accent was off. Erik glanced between us and started talking faster to the funny man whose drawn face steadily turned from red, to purple, then pale as he eyed me nervously. I glared back at him as politely as I could, resisting the urge to stick my tongue out at him. Erik suddenly turned to me with a triumphant glint in the hidden eyeballs.
“Find mademoiselle Megan and Daroga while I chat with our magician,” he commanded me. “He will help you home. Go now!”

O-o-o-o-o-o
“His name is Yves,” Erik explained to Max and me over Daroga’s kitchen table. We were all squeezed in together and indeed even our buddy Yves was with us, looking like he was about to fain since he was surrounded by a corpse, a Persian with an ‘evil eye’, and two girls from the future that fell on him. But despite that, I only sort of felt sorry for him for having such, in my opinion, a weird name. After I found Daroga and Max in a local café questioning an amateur painter, it had been a snap to gather us all back together.
Max was thrilled about this all, I could tell. The way her eyes sparked and the fact that she ran faster than an Olympic medal winner could in a marathon after I told her we found Yves kind of gave me the tip. She had nearly barreled over the little man in her eagerness to explain the situation. Poor guy looked as though she was a beautiful fallen angel come to help the devil with his removal of his existence the way he flinched back. Can’t say I blame him, I’d probably be worried too if I was talking to two people who fell out of a wall onto me. Probably be scared they’d do it again.
“…and he has promised to help you back in whatever means necessary,” Erik continued, snapping me back to reality.
I nodded and looked back at the magician. Yves didn’t seem like he would be in any position to help, but with Daroga’s powerful hand on his shoulder to prevent the man from jumping it seemed also that he didn’t have a choice. I smirked to myself, shuffling in my chair. The kitchen felt like a prison hold and our magician was the captive. Daroga played his part as bad cop and scary guard of the door well as he stood behind the captive while Erik the calm, composed interrogator sat across from him with Max and me on either side. Well, it would’ve felt more like a prison if the dark green wall paper and few wood cabinets weren’t there along with a few pictures and a lovely window.
Without my friend next to me, Erik became my translator and indeed Max the interrogator more and more as the morning progressed. Apparently Yves was only trying out a spell he found in one of his family’s old books, he didn’t actually believe in magic or that that would have worked. But, being out of money, anything that could make a few people gape and leave some francs the spell was taken into consideration and finally done. That’s where we came in.
I bit my nails nervously, keeping myself from tapping Erik’s shoulders to find out what was happening every ten minutes but the time kept going on and on. Yves shrugged, blubbered, and complained in different moods depending on his interrogator, pulling at his costume’s neck in some sort of nervous. Another update from Erik and now was known that he wasn’t even supposed to have that book he used. A man had tried to stop him, but Yves had gotten away with stealing it (after giving Erik a five minute rant about how it was really his) and being able to perform it, had gotten the fright of his life thanks to us.
Max’s face wrinkled in confusion and something went on and the poor man pulled out the skimpiest looking book I had ever seen. It might’ve looked more mystical with glitter or some jewels or something but as he set it out on the table for us with a scowl, the plain, ragged-edged book state. It wasn’t very thick and the cover was so dirty it was impossible to tell the original color or indeed even the cover. Daroga reached over Yves’ shoulder and picked it up to examine cautiously.
“Can he get us home or not?” I whispered to Max, who leaned back as Yves gave tedious details on how the scrappy piece of lettering was his: again.
“He can, probably,” she whispered back, ignoring Erik’s sideways glance, “it’s just the question of ‘will’ he.”
I tugged on my veil thoughtfully.
“Can’t we just threaten him and get it over with? It saves us a lot of time.” I reasoned.
Max rolled her eyes but shook her head much to my dismay. Lovely. I hated not knowing what was being said right in front of me! It all reminded me of that wrong number phone call where a Mexican lady called me ‘stupida’ because I hadn’t the foggiest of what she was saying. I hate that. And not neccessarily the part of being called “stupida”.
I glanced up at Daroga exasperated but he didn’t pay attention to me any more than Erik or Max so that gave me a chance to save him in my visual memory bank. Tall, old, pretty fit, close-cropped dark hair…all in the book almost to the last detail. The one thing, however, that I couldn’t wrap my head around was his eyes. Brilliant jade green, just like Leroux described. Why didn’t I believe it or notice before? I guess I never suspected it to be honest with myself. But now with the living one right in front of me, it wasn’t something I could deny anymore.
He caught me looking at him must to my dull embarrassment and before he could open his mouth I crossed my eyes at him and poked Max in the side.
“Now what’s happening?” I moaned while Daroga eyed me warily before turning his attention to Erik who was listening attentively to Yves.
Max beamed at me so brightly it was like looking at the sun. I almost shielded my eyes from the intensity.
“He said he’s going to do the spell again for us, in secret!” she said quickly, “Apparently he doesn’t want the man to find him so it’ll all be very hush-hush.”
I started, grabbing her hand in alarm.
“When?” I demanded, my eyes growing wide.
“Probably tomorrow,” Max said, looking at me curiously, “It’s the soonest we can get home.”
My heart pounded and a looked over at the three men and around the dark kitchen, the light dribbling in making no difference. To leave now…I didn’t feel that I could and my head felt light. No one would believe us once we got back, how could I prove it real to myself? To remember it so crystal clear for forever I couldn’t just up and leave this place so soon. Okay, so it had been longer but… I couldn’t explain my need to stay.
“But I don’t want to go home!” I blurted out, causing everyone to look at me strangely. “Not yet, Max! Not yet!”
Erik and Daroga exchanged looks and without another word, escorted Yves out of the kitchen until we heard farewells and veiled threats before the door closed. Max looked at me resignedly the whole time, not even glancing up when Erik bid us goodbye, in order to follow our magic man in case he tried to bolt. I fixed my eyes down at my hands, knowing I would be getting the Max-logic, where she would explain the need to get home. And she would be right and I would go with it.
“Emma, I know you want to stay,” she sighed, “but we don’t know what’s happening at home. Think of your family! Mine! We have to get back and let them know we’re not dead or anything. We can’t stay here forever and Daroga and Erik can’t have us here any longer. And you know exactly why. You can’t be selfish.”
I nodded, not daring to open my mouth. I knew she was right. I hate it when she’s right about things like this. Max would be a good counselor or some sort of legal persuader because she got right down to the bit where whatever the problem was most crucial. I loved my family, and I didn’t really want them to think I was dead.
“I hate it when you’re right,” I said, smiling meekly at her.
She squeezed my hand and got up, leaving me in the kitchen where Darius appeared to make tea for the master and possibly for us, too since Erik never drank or ate around people. I sighed and plopped my head on the table.
“I hate it when she’s right, Darius,” I complained to him as he opened his tea kettle.
He ignored me.


----------------


There we go. ^^;;
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PostSubject: Re: I Want a Refund on My Phantom, Please   Sun Oct 05, 2008 8:10 pm

I have a teeny tiny suggestion on this sentence: "Quick as a tiger spotting its prey, Erik turned towards..." I think if the word underlined was replaced with the word: in, the sentence would flow better. Wink

Oops, I caught a couple typos! Razz "Yves was with us, looking like he was about to fain..."

I think the last word in this sentence is a typo, or something: Razz "Yves shrugged, blubbered, and complained in different moods depending on his interrogator, pulling at his costume’s neck in some sort of nervous."

"He caught me looking at him must to my dull..."

Hehe, that last part about Darius ignoring her made me grin. Very Happy Magnifique! Great chapter! *muses to herself* So...I wonder what will keep the little man in costume from casting the spell that will send the girls back? Hmm...Great chapter!

Laura
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PostSubject: Re: I Want a Refund on My Phantom, Please   Mon Oct 06, 2008 9:59 am

Oh my, a chance to go home and Emma want's to postpone it. Nicely done. The action is very good. So they fell on Yves when they came through the wall, huh?

Please continue. Brava, brava, bravissimi! Laughing
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PostSubject: Re: I Want a Refund on My Phantom, Please   Mon Oct 06, 2008 1:09 pm

if it were me, i wouldn`t want to go home very soon either Wink

anyway, good chapter, can\t wait to see what happens next Smile
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PostSubject: Re: I Want a Refund on My Phantom, Please   Mon Oct 20, 2008 9:47 pm

Thanks all, for reviewing and letting me know what to fix. ^^; Hopefully this will be a good one as well. Might be awhile before I can update, though. I've been banned until a grade of mine gets back up. ><;;; Er, but it's under control so, we'll see! Danke, everyone.
-----------------


Part Sixteen:



The next day. The next day I was cursing the light that was filtering through the dark draping around that bloody living room window. The normal layer of dark clouds made the light seem all the more dreary and it matched my mood considerably. In vain, I covered my head with the pillow (which I stole from Daroga’s room before I went to bed last night) trying to block out the fact that today we would be sent home. For good. My stomach twisted uncomfortably and I thought vaguely of stealing something from the two men that had made my life so awesomely strange.

I chanced a glance at the couch where Max slept and gave a small sigh of relief to see she still was out like a broken light bulb in a socket full of peanut butter. Slowly I sat up and pulled off the small layer of blankets, peering around blearily as I had slept with my contacts in making my eyes all gummy and gross.

Daroga’s house was kind of creepy when no one was awake. As if I could sense no one was moving around, not even Darius with that weird obsession of never talking except to his master. I didn’t want to go back to sleep so snuggling under the blanket I owned wasn’t going to happen. Rather groggily I gathered my junk and meandered down the small hallway, glancing at the sparse French paintings that hung on the walls. Without any light besides what leaked in from the living room, the paintings were hard to make out and I didn’t pause as I normally would with paintings to try to depict them or guess how long it would take me to paint.

I dressed in the bathroom, double checking that no one was around and making sure the door was locked with methodic routine. Flashing any of the people here wasn’t really on the top of my to-do list even with my lack of pride. Feeling a sense of de-ja-vu I made another terrible face in the mirror, my pinkish eyes glaring back at me. The only thing that tickled my fancy is the fact the dresses we received with Erik were definitely going with us back home. If I ever tired of them (which, I say now is impossible) their prices would be skyscraper high on EBay due to their “fantastic condition”.

I slipped back out, wincing at the squeaky bathroom door. Fortunately no one burst out or woke up by the startlingly noisy sound. I was about to breath out a sigh of relieve when suddenly, the door let out a loud but not rude knock. The sigh I was going to exhale immediately dived back into my throat, chocking me as I stumbled to the door clutching my neck. Wheezing like an old spinster woman, I quickly grabbed the doorknob and threw it open before the person could knock again.

“E-Erik!” I coughed, for indeed it was he, “hey, didn’t expec- hang on,” I coughed harder for a minute or two before regaining proper intake of oxygen. “Didn’t expect you so early!”

I beamed through my watering eyes as he looked down at me through his mask in mild surprise and, to my own amazement, mild concern. But it did not last long and he was quick to bow slightly and greet me as I rallied him in. I took his cloak with glee and hung onto it, feeling the expensive material instead of hanging it up as he turned to me.

“Forgive me for the intrusion,” he said smoothly, the first person talk seeping in his speech as it sometimes does, “I did not keep track of the time, you see. Erik hopes he has not disturbed anyone, though…” he observed my less than tidy appearance dryly, “It seems to not make a difference seeing as you answered the door in due time, either way.”

My pale cheeks warmed slightly but I overlooked his innuendo about my lack of fashion and I grudgingly but dutifully hung up his cloak under the amused yet slightly imperious gaze of his gold cat eyes.

“Want anything?” I offered, feeling that taking up the position of hostess since Daroga and Darius were seemingly still out cold.

Instantly Erik became the gentleman guest he normally was, declining anything politely but making his way to the kitchen. A shuffling behind me made me turn around and nearly squeal again in shock as Darius floated by me. Stupid, ghost walker men. They would be the death of me, I am quite sure. Grumbling this sort of thing to myself I stomped after them and actually did shriek when Max’s rumple-haired head came into view around the corner.

She bade me a gutentag in that seemingly flawless German accent she acquired from watching German musicals, a smirk finding its way to her face as I burned with embarrassment. My free time had ended there, no way was Max going back to sleep. Not even a minute after she was all prepared did Daroga wake, having already dressed and prayed. (He was indeed Muslim as I found out a day or so ago when I nearly walked into Darius’ and his prayer thing, but I don’t know if they did it as often as they would in Persia).

I was twitchy and grumpy throughout our breakfasting and found myself running a nervous hand over a strand of hair. Max was too excited to either eat or pay attention to me. I felt decidedly peculiar myself as I glanced at everything with a lump in my throat, more than once avoiding Erik’s curious gaze. Oh! Shakespeare knew what he was saying when he wrote, “parting is such sweet sorrow.”!

As we left, Darius staying behind with that same emotionless expression I walked the slowest and received several scoldings from Max for dallying on the way to the Opera We would be meeting Yves there. I liked my veil more that morning for I used it for cover-up when I stuck my tongue out at my friend’s turned back. Everyone seemed either in a good mood or in deep thought. Daroga, I observed with annoyance, felt like the most cheerful besides Max. Probably hoping that everything would go back to normal.



The Opera never looked more beautiful than that day and as everyone turned to head for the extravagant entrance I startled myself in remembering it was all Erik’s doing, his mysterious work. I hungrily took in its current looks, to compare with the future scene that we would soon see. I think the people around us thought I was some psycho looking like I was going to eat up the building in one, greedy swallow with hideous jaws. Or I just might have been going crazy…er.

“Emma!” Max called to me cheerily, “this way, si vou plait.”

I tore myself away to follow and it seemed all too soon as we met up with Yves at the dancers’ lounge, Erik gone away to the storage room beforehand to scare anyone around it away. Our magic man seemed more tense than usual and went about grumbling to himself under his breath, his eyes darting back and forth while he shrank from Daroga’s powerful build and stare. Even if Daroga didn’t like being a chief of police, there was no doubt that he did the job well.

Yves looked odder than his usual self today for he had abandoned his gaudy performance costume for the traditional morning garb of most Opera-going gentlemen. His suit fit him oddly and the nonexistence of any glitter on his mousy face or person struck me as supernatural. A heavy, rough looking bag sat next to his little feet and he picked up to clutch it to himself protectively when I inched near, curious of its contents. The little man kept glancing towards the door as if he was waiting for someone to pounce on him and shifted around the bag so much, it caused Max to tell him off sharply so at once he ceased with a little whimper at the tone of her voice.

“We’re ready,” Max told me finally once Daroga spoke to the magician.

I nodded and soon, far too soon we found ourselves in the blasted storage room watching Yves pull candles and jars and other odd things from his bag, muttering to him as he arranged it all before the wall which we had fallen into so long ago. Erik and Daroga kept watch over his progress, commenting to each other and casting glances back at their “future girls.” Meanwhile Max guarded the door, making sure no one entered seeing as Yves was still wary of the man he told us of earlier. I had plopped myself on a stack of old coats, cupping my head glumly in my hands. It was so early in the morning that we didn’t get to run into many people as I had wanted to delay our return. Idly I fiddled with our backpacks, hastily grabbed before leaving Daroga’s place. It was sort of funny that we still had everything and Erik’s slight of hand had not dared to dip into these treasure sacks to steal anything. Or maybe he looked at everything already and just returned them.

The candles were lit and Yves stood back up and, darting around Daroga nervously motioned for me and Max to approach. This was our time. We were really, truly going home…and this time there wasn’t going to be any mishaps. We stood by the wall but we didn’t touch it yet as Yves had to circle us once with a clipping of some sort of plant, chanting in no human language. I held in a gasp, it was the same chanting we had heard behind the wall!

“So this is it,” I remarked to Erik and Daroga, slinging my backpack over my shoulder. “This is goodbye, with a dancing ceremony and candles to match! What class!”

Max rolled her eyes, moving closer to me as Yves almost hit her own pack, oblivious to her in his chanting dance. Erik nodded slowly, his eyes unreadable as well as invisible in the dim lighting of the room. I wrinkled my nose.

“What? No goodbye handshake, no gift?” I said in mock abashment.

“What is that dress you’re wearing?” Max pointed out in her maddening logic.

I sniffed while Daroga looked blearily at us and Erik crossed his arms in either amusement or peevishness.

“Still,” I muttered, holding back a few tears. “…A handshake, then? It’s customary.”

Max’s reply was a negative, they might get caught in with us and I felt a wretched longing fill me. I gazed at the two men steadily, however, already refusing to cry. What good would it do, to cry?

“Well, it was nice knowing you two, anyways.” I said with an indifference I didn’t feel.

Erik nodded again and a sudden intake of breath from the Persian and Max made me look behind me. Light, bright white light was forming in a circle on the wall and in front of Yves who was chanting all the louder. So magic was possible, huh. I felt no thrill, though and only stared into the luminescent glow, not bright enough to make us shield our eyes.

“This is it, Em!” Max shouted as a drumming began in our ears deafeningly. “This is it! Let’s go in on three! Ready?”

“No!” I shouted, suddenly afraid as my friend found my hand.

“One!”

“I can’t do this…”

“Two!” she shouted confidently, her hand a vise for mine.

A shout of surprise came from behind us and a noise like a door being banged open smashed through the air. Still Max held on to me and I couldn’t turn my head for the portal or whatever it was felt as if it was pulling us forward. Yves’ terrified hollers became known but a wind had picked up along with the drums. Daroga was shouting, too but nothing he said was making sense. I was deaf and yet I heard everything! I was blind but I saw everything! Faintly, so faintly even though it came from Max right beside me I heard her say:

“THREE!”

Out of no where something was thrust against us and we found ourselves falling…falling into the wall where the brightness gleamed and we saw nothing but white. We didn’t hit brick or stone, but kept falling. We were consumed by the magic, the drums, and the faint echo of Yves’ chanting that filled our ears. I gave out a shout to match the ones we were quickly leaving behind though mine wasn’t words of any sort.

Homeward bound were we… whether we wanted to or not.

-------------


There we go. ^^; Enjoy!
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PostSubject: Re: I Want a Refund on My Phantom, Please   Tue Oct 21, 2008 5:21 pm

No wait! I don't want them to leave yet. Come back! No

This can't be it. What will I do now?

I love the part about selling the dresses on ebay should she tire of them. lol!

Please continue.

Brava, brava, bravissimi! Laughing Laughing Laughing
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PostSubject: Re: I Want a Refund on My Phantom, Please   Thu Oct 23, 2008 2:09 am

Something tells me this isnt the end... Am I wrong?

Who is going with them??

Please continue soon Very Happy
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