Haunted Chapter NineNadirMuirin007
The exterior of the house was suitably immaculate: perfectly trimmed beds of flowers lined the windowsills, the walkway leading to the front door appeared to have been recently scrubbed to an unnatural cleanliness, and even the old bricks did not betray a speck of muck. The front door, too, had been freshly painted, or at least so ruthlessly cleaned that it remained a pristine sharp white, gleaming smartly in the midday sun.
I moved to ring the doorbell, but before my finger could even press the button, the door swung open. The woman standing behind it had pressed her mouth into a thin, terse streak.
"Come in, come innone of that bell-ringing fiddle faddle. I've been expecting you, anyway. I figured as much, what with well, come in."
I had seen Antoinette Giry twice in twenty years, and-- unlike myself-- she had defied time to ravage her. The slight lines around her pale blue eyes suggested grace rather than weariness. She remained, as she ever
Haunted Chapter EightErikMuirin007
I spent the next several days lying in wait in the old warehouse, in what appeared to be a long-abandoned basement.
Despite the familiar comfort of a cellar, I could not tolerate the gray. The room in which I was obliged to sojourn was gray---impersonal, industrial, mechanistic, hideous gray, from the endless maze of pipes that wove across the low ceiling to the crumbling stones set into the wall to the stained concrete floor. Geometrics, stark, uninspired geometrics; not a flourish of art, not a hint beauty. All was graythe loose hospital garments, the low, rumbling sky, the shadows of the maskgray, gray, gray, and I could not escape from it.
One would assume that an individual in my precarious condition would concern himself with matters of greater importance than the heinous architecture and drab color scheme, yet I was fixated upon it. And by God, I could not abide by it. It was sickening.
For I thirsted for beauty, and yet beauty seemed determined
Haunted Chapter Seven NadirMuirin007
No one died.
They were bruised and bloodied, all, particularly the doctor who had been on the receiving end of his wrath, the one who had dared to try to touch the mask. He was sprawled inelegantly on the floor, his throat purple and inflamed from where it had been nearly crushed beneath skeletal fingers. He was silent but alive. They were all alive.
Perhaps that was attributable to his wasted condition. Or perhaps it was simply a miraclethat seemed more likely. He had never let little matters like health stand in the way of his bloodlust. It was a miracle.
I had telephoned the emergency personnel after I was sure he had gone. I needn't have waited to be certain of his departure; he was gone, and I knew it. Exactly where to, I hadn't the faintest idea, but I knew what he sought. Whom he sought.
While I waited with the injured until the paramedics arrived, one of the women, the nurse who had been with him before the crowd's arrival, began to stir. A little
Pen and PaperTo my dear managers,Muirin007
It has come to my attention that a problem regarding the production has arisen. As you know, I make a conscious effort to keep my opera house running smoothly, and am troubled when I hear that not all is going according to plan. My plan. Because it is my plan that will ensure the further success of my theatre and also guarantee that the two of you wont end up on the streets acting like the drunken, discombobulated dimwits that you are.
So it would really be in your best interests, my kind managers, to follow my instructions carefully. I shall be enormously unhappy if I am forced to repeat them yet again, and the world does not fare well when I am unhappy.
Carlotta Guidicelli is quite possibly the poorest excuse for a soprano and an actress in general that I have ever had the misfortune to hear. She sings as if her intestines are slowly being extracted through her backside. She stomps about the stage like a mad chicken, squawking an