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Name: April | Gender: female | Age: 33 | Posts: 135 | Roses: 10
Old 02-18-2010 at 09:09 PM
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OK, Lady of Music and I got talking and the idea came up of what Erik's life might have been if Marie had raised him. (Marie is a character in the Kay book for those of you who haven't read it.) This story is how it might have been. Some dialouge taken from Kay. Here's the first chapter.


"Letting Erik sleep with the dog in her basket, Madeleine? He's not an animal, he's a child. Your child."
"It keeps him quiet for a few hours. If you can do any better, you can take him home to your mother!"
Marie grew quiet, and Madeleine thought that was the end of that, but then Marie asked "Would you honestly want that, Madeleine? To give up your only son?"
She sounded as if she actually-
"You can't be serious? You'd want to raise him? But he's-"
"He's a baby," Marie said with a firmness that surprised even herself. "He needs affection. Have you ever played with him? Even smiled at him?"
"Of course not!" Madeleine snapped. "How could anyone smile at a face like his?"
There was a cold silence between the two women. When finally Marie answered she said "I'll ask my parents if I can bring Erik home. If they agree, I'll be back for him tonight. I hate to take a child away from his mother, but someone needs to think of what's best for Erik. If you can't, then I will."
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Mr. and Mrs. Perrault were less than thrilled about their daughter's request. Everyone knew about the "monster" Madeleine had given birth to. But Marie was persistant, and reminded them that no matter what Erik looked like, he was still just a baby. At first it seemed like they'd never agree, but at last they said she could bring the baby and see how things went for a time. Marie threw her arms around them and thanked them repeatedly, and then they set out in the carraige to go get the child.
Erik's mother was shocked that the proposal had been agreed to, and even more surprised at her own reaction. Ever since the child was born she'd tried to shut him away in the lonely attick bedroom and pretend he didn't exist. But now that he was being taken from her she felt a strange emptyness inside. After all, the baby was her child. He'd called her mama, even though she'd never taught him to. He called her it now as Marie took him in her arms.
"You'll see your mama soon little one. For right now though, you'll be comming to live with me."
"Sasha?" Erik asked. At nine months old, Erik was exceptionally advanced for his age. Even though he'd never been outside the house, he understood he was going somewhere his mother and dog weren't comming too.
"You'll see her again, Erik dear," Marie assured him.
By now, the cradle, the string of bells Marie had given Erik, his bottles, clothes, and extra masks had been loaded up. Madeleine had never given Erik any toys, so that was all there was to take. They were ready to leave. Erik was nervous since this was the only life he'd ever known, but he didn't cry as Marie took him to the carraige. He didn't understand how long he'd be staying with Marie.
The ride was over soon, and when Marie carried Erik into the house he started to realize he'd be staying here. He hadn't understood what she'd meant before. Now he started to whimper slightly.
"Shh. It's all right Erik dear. Everything will be fine."
She started to rock him, smiling and humming. This was a new experience for Erik. He'd never been held this long before, and certainly never smiled at or sung or hummed to. It didn't take him long to decide he liked this. Much to Marie's amazement, he started cooing the melody she was humming back to her. He'd always had a talent for mimicking and had shown a love of music since he was six months old. And ever since his first cry his voice had been magic. Marie held him even closer, responding to the burning need hearing him caused. But even without the spell of his voice, she'd known as soon as he was in her arms there was nothing she wouldn't do for him.
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It had been a Monday when Marie had taken Erik, so there was nearly a whole week before they had to worrie about going to Church. A helpless baby couldn't be left alone, but Marie was terrified of what the people of Boscherville would do to Erik. They were a superstitious, fearful group of people. She didn't believe they'd dare to attack Erik in Church, but there was the fear that if they saw him they might try to break in later.
She would have been willing to stay home from Mass for Erik's sake. She was sure God would forgive missing Mass if it was for the sake of a helpless baby. After all, Christ himself had healed on the Sabbath. Her parents, however, wouldn't hear of it.
"We agreed you could bring it here if it didn't cause any trouble. If it's going to keep you from Mass, it will have to go back to it's mother."
"Erik isn't an it," Marie told her father bravely. "And he's not causing trouble. He didn't ask to be born deformed. He can't help the way people react to him."
"Not causing trouble? There's nothing those mischevious hands don't get into. He repeats everything he hears as though he were a mima bird."
"It's just that Erik is highly intelligent, and those are the only ways he can learn at his age."
"It's downright abnormal. The rate he's learning is almost more frightening than his face."
Erik was currently standing on a chair at the kitchen table, banging gently on some wine glasses that hadn't been cleared from breakfast yet. Each had a different amount of wine left, and Erik had made the wonderful discovery that they each made a different sound. He was hitting them in different orders to make a tune- not noise, but a tune. Marie had shown Madeleine when Erik had done the same thing with the bells over his cradle, but her parents had never heard what Erik could do.
"He's- he's actually playing a song!" Marie's mother gasped. Erik laughed happily, then tried a new experiment. His finger had accidentally dipped into the wine, and now he found that it made a song almost like a flute when he ran it across the top of the glass. Inspired, he combined banging on one glass while running his finger over another, with the resulting effect sounding almost like a very simple flute and piano duet. The adults all had to set down.
"I told you he's smart," Marie said in almost a frightened whisper. For a child so young to think of combining sounds that way was simply unreal. Yet unlike her parents, Marie smiled proudly. "Everything is an instrament to him."
"Can he be kept quiet at Church?" at the look on Marie's face he added "It's either that or he stays in his room while we're gone. I'm not going to have you missing Mass until he's old enough to stay by himself and I'm not going to have Father Mansart come here to say Mass as though we were all invalids. I won't let it- I mean Erik- make our lives any different."
"Taking him with us would most likely be for the best anyway," Mrs. Perrault said, deep in thought. "I mean people fear the unknown, what they don't understand. If they get used to having Erik around now, seeing him treated like anyone else..."her thoughts trailed off. "At any rate, it would be easier to let the villagers see him now than when he's older. They'll be more likely to accept a baby. And sooner or later they'll have to see him. It won't do to keep him locked away forever."
Marie turned to the baby.
"Erik dear-"
The child turned to look at her.
"We're going to take you to a beautiful building where you'll hear beautiful music," she explained, since Erik was too young to understand the concept of religion or God. "But you have to be quiet there so everyone can hear, all right?"
Putting down the spoon he promised "Erik good. Erik quiet."
That nearly sent the adults into fits. He'd understood! At nine months old he'd understood and spoken back in almost complete sentences with perfect clarity. The three open mouthed adults confused him, and he asked "What?"
"He'll be talking as well as any adult well before he's three at this rate!" Marie's mother gasped.
Erik showed his alertness the whole way to the Church, calling out the names of things he recognized, and when he saw anything he didn't he'd point and ask 'What?"When they reached the Church Erik said "pretty" and then stayed very quiet, though his eyes were taking in every detail of the beautiful building. Erik probably wouldn't have said another word until after Mass, but just then Madeleine chose to walk up.
"Mama!" Erik yelled.
Not responding to her son, Madeleine looked at Marie and gasped "Wh- what do you think you're doing? Erik can't be seen in public!" She glanced around nervously. People were staring at the strange baby, mouthing words like "monster" and "freak." Everyone was keeping their distance.
"I couldn't leave him alone," Marie explained. "And I wasn't allowed to stay home with him. What could I do?"
Mass was about to begin, so there was no time for further discussion. Father Mansart looked ready to faint seeing Erik with Marie in Church, and all the parishoners stayed as far away from the Perraults and Erik as they could. They also kept their distance from Madeleine, even though she couldn't bring herself to set with the Perraults as long as Erik was with them. She was white as a sheet and her hands trembled through the whole service. Erik on the other hand couldn't have been enjoying himself more. Although he'd asked "Mama?" when he'd seen her walk away, he was used to her trying to ignore him, and once the music started He closed his eyes and just listened, absorbing every sound. He was so entranced Marie might have though he was asleep if it hadn't been for the fact that every time the music stopped he'd open his eyes and look up at the organ, waiting for the music to start again. He was completely quiet until they left the Church, then he couldn't help it anymore. He started singing some of the music he'd heard.
"Kyrie elesion-"
"Erik don't!" Madeleine hurried over, looking to see that people who'd stared before because of what they'd heard about the face behind the mask were now staring because of what Erik could do. An infant singing! Of course, to Erik, he was just copying a sound he'd liked. He had no way to know how unusual it was, or that his voice was so spellbinding and ethereal, even at that age. But he broke off his singing and looked at his mother.
He was clearly happy to see her, but Madeleine's reaction at seeing her child again was hardly happiness. Marie flinched at the expression on her friend's face.
"Aren't you even going to ask how he's been? You haven't been to see him."
"I can tell he seems happy." She hesitated, almost reaching out to him. Erik didn't do anything to encourage her. Out of some survival instinct he'd never asked for any sign of love from his mother. He loved being held, shown affection, but somehow he seemed to know better than to ask for it.
"Would you like to hold him?" Marie asked. Madeleine seemed to be halfway concidering it, but then backed away from Erik as if he were a disgusting insect. Marie sighed, and held Erik closer.
"Someday, Madeleine, you may wish you had this chance back again. Someday you may realize what a blessing a child, any child, is.'
"Erik isn't-" Madeleine started. "Erik isn't like other children."
"In some ways," marie had to agree. "But he gets lonely like any other child. When he gets older he'll need guidance like any child. He loves to be held like any child."
Madeleine sighed. "I'm not prepared to face raising him, but I am glad he's happy." She hesitated before adding "I would still like to be part of his upbringing. I could fund his education."
It was a way to make up for her otherwisw poor performance as a mother, and bothe she and marie knew it. Kind hearted Marie didn't say so though.
""Thank you." Then she continued "He learns so fast. He'll be needing a teacher much sooner than other children."
Madeleine glanced around. Most of the other parishoners had left, but the way they'd been staring before made her uneasy.
"Will he be safe now that people have seen him?"
"I won't let anything happen to him," Marie promised.
Where the timid, nervous, anxious Marie had found the strength and courage to defend a helpless, deformed child against her parents and the entire village of Boschervile Madeleine would never know. But she did know, and it made her feel guilty, that marie would be a better mother to him than she had been.
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Name: Elphie | Gender: female | Age: 24 | Posts: 210 | Roses: 10
Old 02-20-2010 at 02:56 AM
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magnificent piece there wandering, much better them what i could do :-)


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Name: April | Gender: female | Age: 33 | Posts: 135 | Roses: 10
Old 02-21-2010 at 04:06 PM
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Thanks:) I'm already working on chapter two.
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Old 02-22-2010 at 06:55 AM
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Interesting concept. I often wondered about Marie...what would have happened with Erik if she had taken him. Very cool that you're persuing this twist on the Kay story. Keep on!!


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Name: April | Gender: female | Age: 33 | Posts: 135 | Roses: 10
Old 03-13-2010 at 05:55 AM
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Erik's rapid developement continued. One day when he was two Marie had found him carefully striking the keys on the piano, trying to play a tune by ear he's heard at church the past Sunday. It took him only a moment to learn which keys made which sound, and then he played it through. He faltered very slightly and only once, still hitting the right notes but slowing the tempo, as if he were trying to remember how it had sounded, then went back and played it through again, beyond perfectly this time. Soon after that Madeleine started teaching him to read music and to play both the piano and violin. He soon surpassed what she could teach though and started teaching himself. By the time he was four he could play pieces Madeleine hadn't tried until her eighth year of lessons.
The problem was, Erik was almost too smart and creative. If he wasn't able to occupy himself with his music or art, he would amuse himself by comming up with tricks or mischief of some kind or other. Once Marie caught him about to start carving into the table with a scisors.
"But I was going to make a castle!" Erik protested as marie took the scisors away.
"Erik I know your art is beautiful, but the table is not something you can carve," Marie tried to explain.
Poor Erik didn't seem able to understand. He was making something beautiful, so what did it matter if it was in the table? And he just had to be making something. He hated having any restrictions, especially on his talents. Luckily Marie understood Erik very well, and had learned the best thing to do was focus Erik's gifts on something constructive, rather than what others would see as destructive.
"I have an idea. You've needed new wallpaper in your room for some time now. Why don't we redo it in plain white paper so you can paint it however you like? You can make a mural."
Since wallpaper wasn't too hard to change there was no harm in letting Erik use the whole room as his canvas. She'd have to convince her parents since this was their house, but after all it was Erik's room. If it would have been the parlor or dining room no doubt people would have found the idea of having giant paintings covering the walls strange no matter how beautiful the art was.
Not that the Perraults had visitors anymore. Soon after the first Sunday they'd taken Erik to mass with them one of the villagers had thrown a rock through the window. Many times crouds- mobs really- had gathered outside yelling for them to leave and take the "monster" with them. Marie had been afraid with all the trouble her parents would make her send Erik away, but it had just the opposite effect, strangely enough. Her father had vowed he would not be driven away from his home, and Marie's mother agreed with him. Every Sunday they took Erik to mass with them defiantly. Eventually, although they were still avoided as if they had the plague, the outright threats had stopped.
Having four whole walls to paint cheered Erik up, and he really did want to obey Marie. She was the only person he knew who was unfailingly kind to him, and erik adored her for ir. It was his love and respect for her that let him control himself as well as he did. Although he couldn't resist a few pranks here and there, like putting a spider on her shawl.
Painting his room kept Erik occupied. Only four though he may be, he was exceptionally gifted as well as very careful in his art, and though his gift with music was his greatest talent, he could draw and paint like any of the masters. He drew out every detail before painting it, taking weeks, then proudly asked Marie to come to his room to show her.
One wall had a castle scene like he'd been going to carve into the table. The castle was high on a mountain with the towers reaching to the clouds. On the wall next to it, the mountain sloped down to a village. people of every occupation from fieldhands to nobels were depicted. There were buildings of every kind too, including a church that looked like the one in Boscherville. The remaining wall space was taken up by a forrest scene, complete with foxes playing, deer, and swans in a pond. marie was amazed and told Erik how talented he was. She always made sure to encourage him.
Madeleine, however, never encouraged him. It was about this time that Erik discovered how spellbinding his voice was. Whenever he sang, it drew marie and her parents to him like the proverbial moths to the flame. Marie enjoyed it when Erik sang for her, but Madeleine found it frightening.
"A voice like that- abilities like his- they're not natural. They can't come from God."
"Good things come from God, Madeleine," Marie countered. "Erik's voice is a good thing. All his gifts are, as long as he uses them the right way."
Madeleine had no answer to that.
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"Happy birthday, Erik."
Marie added her present to the ones her parents had bought for the little boy. For some time now Erik had called Marie's parents 'Grandma" and "Grandpa." That had started the process of them gradually warming up to him.
He'd never been taught to call them that, but then nobody had taught him to call Madeleine "Mama" or "Mother" either. He still called her that, knew Marie wasn't his mother, although he had never asked why he lived with her when other children lived with their parents. He still wished his mother would love him, but he knew Marie did. That was so important to him, to know that he was loved by someone. Today he decided to ask for an expression of that love.
"Might I have something besides what you bought for me?"
"If it's something I can give," Marie answered.
"Might- might I have two? One for now and one to save for when the other is used up?"
"Two what?" the fearful way he was asking was beginning to frighten Marie.
"Kisses."
He was close to shaking. Poor Erik. That instinct Madeleine had formed in him, that he should never ask for love, was deep rooted even though he'd lived with Marie most of his life.
"You don't have to be afraid to ask for affection, Erik dear," Marie said, gently removing the mask. She kissed him on one cheek, then the other.
"One for now and one to save until later. But you don't have to be afraid to ask."
Erik had tears in his eyes, and kissed her back. Marie had willed herself to get used to Erik's face once she made the choice to take him, and wasn't bothered by it now. She gave him a hug.
"There now. Why don't you go change into your best clothes? Your mother will be here soon and your Grandma and Grandpa will be back from their trip later tonight."
Erik nodded, racing up the stairs, Sasha at his heals. Madeleine had officially given the dog to Erik last year. Marie smiled watching them, and wondered again how Erik could move so gracefully that he made no sound, even when running. His frame already held the promise of a very tall man, but he certainly didn't have the lack of coordination many tall boys seemed to have.
Madeleine arrived while Erik was changing, Marie visited with her at the table like old times. It seemed like everything would go smoothly until Erik came to the table without the mask. Marie saw him while Madeleine had her back to him. Her eyes went wide knowing Madeleine wouldn't take well to this. She tried to soften things.
"How nice you look in that new suit, Erik dear. Come set beside me and have your supper. Then afterward we shall open your presents."
Madeleine spun around.
"You dare come to the table without the mask?"
While Marie never made Erik wear the mask around her, Madeleine never permitted him to take it off while she was around. Unfortunately, even though Erik lived with Marie and her parents, Madeleine still had legal custody and authority over him. Also unfortunately, not having to face Erik on a daily basis wasn't enough to soften her towards him. The woman who had always been spoiled and adored by everyone in her life until Erik had been born did not take well to being an outcast now, and she still blamed Erik for it even though there was nothing he could have done to change things. Marie often thought that Erik had inherited his temper from his mother.
"I don't like the mask," Erik told her. "Nobody else has to wear one. Why do I?"
At that Madeleine grabbed Erik. Marie tried to intervien.
"For God's sake Madeleine stop it!"
But Madeleine wasn't listening.
"He wants to know why? By God he shall know!"
She started to pull Erik towards Marie's room to show him his face in the mirror there, but Marie pulled Erik protectively towards her.
"Let him be! He's just a child and it's his birthday. I have no problem anymore with his not wearing the mask around me. I would think as his mother you'd learn to look past his face too!"
"What's wrong with my face?" Erik asked. "Why do I have to wear a mask?"
Marie turned him gently to face her.
"Erik your face is- different from other people's. And there are people who would be cruel to you if they saw it."
The little boy stepped back looking at her like he didn't want to understandUnfortunately, although Madeleine hadn't managed to show Erik his face, she'd pulled him far enough that he now stood in front of the doorway to Marie's room, and a lint of light off the mirror caught his eye. he turnedand the scream when he saw his reflection was deafening. Marie only just restrained him from smashing the mirror.
""It's a monster!"
"Erik. Erik listen. There's no monster there. It's just a mirror. All it does is show whoever's looking at it what they look like. All you saw was yourself. Nothing to be afraid of."
Poor Erik looked at her, sad, hurt, and angry.
"Why do you lie to me Marie? That can't be me. I'm not a monster! I'm not!"
Marie kept a tight hold on him in case he'd try to smash the mirror again.
"Of course you're not a monster, Erik. The way a person looks doesn't make them a monster."
Too tramautized to listen, Erik pleaded with the innocent faith of a child that an adult can do anything.
"Don't let me be a monster! Make me like anybody. Please!"
"You already are like anybody," Marie tried to convince him. She gently pressed her hand against his chest. "In here. That's all that matters. People can't help how they look. It's how they behave toward others that matters. People who can't see that are wrong. Often hateful, useually cruel, but always, always wrong." She hugged him. "Just try to remember that. Now come. Let's finish our supper and then you can open your presents. And you don't have to wear the mask for just your mother and I." She looked at Madeleine as if daring her to challange that. The once timid little rabbit had become a lioness defending her cub.
Erik let her lead him to the table, but couldn't force himself to eat, not even his birthday cake. Not that he ever cared to eat much anyway, but what little appetite he ever had was gone. He opened his presents with little enthusiasm, although he showed some interest in the ventriloquist book Marie had bought him. He barely spoke. He didn't even tap his fingers rhythmically the way he normally did.
When marie tucked Erik into bed that night, he looked at her with such pain in those yellow eyes.
"That's why my mother doesn't love me, isn't it? That's why she sent me to live with you. She doesn't want a monster."
Marie sat on the bed by him and put a hand on his shoulder.
"Oh, Erik. It isn't like that. It isn't as if she forced me to take you. I wanted to take you. Very badly. I wanted to be sure you were taken care of and happy." Marie sighed. "Your mother- just doesn't see you the way she should."
Erik was confused.
"You don't see me that way? You don't see wha- what the mirror showed?"
"I see a little boy with so much talent and a good heart," she answered him.
Erik was quiet a moment before he said 'i'm sorry for all those times I put spiders on your shawl, Marie."
Erik always responded to kindness, and Marie knew he was trying to say how much her kindness to him that day- the kindness she'd always shown him- meant to him.
"You certainly are mischievious," she told him with a smile. "But then many boys your age are. There's nothing wrong with that as long as you don't let it get out of hand."
She got up to leave, but Erik called after her.
"Don't go. Don't lave me alone here in the dark."
Marie knew he didn't mean the literal dark.
"I'll stay right here until you're sleeping," she promised, and sat back down.
"Would you like me to sing to you?"
Erik nodded, and Marie sang to him until his breathing was slow and shallow. Then she made herself comfortable in a nearby chair. She would be there when he woke up in the morning.

AN: I know not too different from Kay and I had a hard time with this chapter. Hopefully it's not too bad though, and in future chapters I'll try to make things more interesting.
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Old 03-13-2010 at 10:56 PM
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love it wandering! Absalutely brilliant. I was wondering how you were going to do the birthday scene, much better then what i would have done, cant wait for the next one


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Name: April | Gender: female | Age: 33 | Posts: 135 | Roses: 10
Old 03-26-2010 at 06:46 PM
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AN: Not sure how this turned out, but here's the next chapter. Thanks for reviewing.

Terrible though Erik's fifth birthday was for him, with Marie's gentle reassurance he was able to get back to a somewhat normal life, or as normal as life ever would be for Erik. He did become fascinated with magic and mirrors after that though, and began educating himself in the art of illusion just as his education in the art of architecture was beginning.
Father Mansart had contacted a man he knew, Professor Guizot, to instruct Erik in that field. At first the professor thought there must be some trick involved, that no child Erik's age could be such a genious, but he soon learned otherwise. Even the most difficult questions he asked Erik when they first met seemed too easy and boring for the child.
It was Professor Guizot who put the idea of the Grand Prix de Rome into Erik's head. The child talked excitedly about the five years he would spend learning there someday. His mother flinched, knowing that Erik would eventually have to accept the reality that because of his face he could never have a normal life. One day when Erik brought up the subject, Madeleine thought she'd be saved the trouble of explaining when Marie spoke gently to him.
"Erik dear- you must realize there's a problem with you entering the Grand Prix."
'What?" Erik asked. Madeleine braced herself for Erik's reaction when Marie told him he'd never be able to go to any school with normal students, but Marie didn't say what she expected at all.
"Well you know there are different categories. You can't study art, music, and architecture all at once there. You'll have to choose only one for now."
Erik frowned. He'd been so excited by the idea of going, and being only five he hadn't thought about the fact that he couldn't do everything he wanted to do at once. He loved all forms of beauty, so chosing was hard. But in the end he finally said-
"Music. I love music best. And at any rate, there's no reason I can't study architecture with Professor Guizot later, can't I? I mean there are architects who studied elsewhere then at the Villa de Medici of course." He'd content himself with putting off one area of his education temporarily while he studied the other, but he refused to accept that he couldn't learn everything.
Marie only nodded.
"There are people who study one thing and then switch to studying something else. But you don't have to plan everything now, Erik dear. After all, you are still a very young child. You have years yet before you have to-"
"May I speak with you privately a moment Marie?" Madeleine asked sharply.
Marie followed her outside so Erik wouldn't listen in, double checking to be sure Erik hadn't left the design for a new building he was working on. He'd gone back to it as soon as Marie had told him he needn't decide about the future yet, and was working on it so intently Marie doubted he'd eavesdrop.
"Don't you dare say what I know you're going to, Madeleine."
"Say what?" Madeleine snapped. "That Erik won't stand a chance at any normal school? That he'll never be able to just go out in public like anybody else. You know the other students would run him out."
"What would you have him do Madeleine? You're renting out the house in Raoun now to pay for his education. Someday Erik will be a grown man and he'll need to make his way in the world, earn a living. You know if he enters the Grand Prix he'll win. No other competitor could compair. Or would you have him join a freakshow to support himself?"
Madeleine knew it might seem cruel to tell Erik he didn't have a chance in the world beyond his home, but in her own way, she was protecting her child too.
"And would you have him tormented by the other students? You know the people of his own village- people who have known us for years- used to come close to breaking in the house and attacking him. What happens when he's suddenly out in the real world, thousands of miles from home and with strangers?"
Marie was silent a long time before answering.
"He deserves a chance to try. I won't tell him he can't take that chance. Lord knows there's nothing I wouldn't do to keep Erik safe and happy, but the sad reality is we can't protect him forever. Maybe letting him enter someday will be a mistake, but I can't tell him not to. I can't take away his dream."
Madeleine knew she couldn't either. Dreams might be all Erik ever had.
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The first test of whether or not Erik could fit in with others came when he was eight and wanted to join the choir at church.
"It's so beautiful, with the organ playing and everyone singing. And I already sing better than any of the choir."
Marie paled.
"But Erik- the other children-" How to explain? "Erik with you having to wear the mask- and if they become jealous besides- the way they'll treat you-"
Erik looked absolutely crushed.
"Why should they hate me? I've never hurt anyone." Accusingly, he added "You told me that people who can't see that looks don't matter are wrong."
Marie bit her lip remembering that day. She also remembered Erik's plea to make him be like anybody. The only way she could do that was to treat him like anybody, to not keep him locked away at home, even to protect him.
"All right, Erik. I'll talk to Father Mansart about it after Mass Sunday."
The priest was initially dead set against the idea, but Marie never gave up.
"Father, you know what darkness there is in Erik- the dark moods he falls into at times when he gets frustrated or upset. And you know what mischief he can cause."
There had been many times Erik had refused to be restrained when he wanted something, like glass to try to make mirrors. Nothing stood in his way for long. Normally out of love for Marie he'd controll his temper when she told him he couldn't try bending a mirror in the fire or that the dumbwaiter connecting from his room to other rooms in the house was not a secret passage he could use or other such things. But when he lost his temper it was never pleasent.
"With gifts like his," Marie continued "There's such potential in him for good- or for harm. Wouldn't it be best if he starts using his gifts for good now?"
Finally Father mansart gave in. Madeleine was more hesitant, but eventually had to face the fact that always keeping Erik restrained and away from others except for that one hour a week when he went to Mass and didn't interact with anyone wouldn't work forever. However, she couldn't make herself go and watch what might happen.
A few days later when the choir met for practice, the priest introduced Erik and tried to act as if he were just any other boy in the choir. Erik sang as perfectly- better than perfectly- as always, not holding back. Withing a few notes everyone had stopped just to listen to him, openmouthed. Erik was too lost in the music to notice until the song ended. Father Mansart did his best to get everything under control, but the other boys glared at Erik, jealous of his almost superhuman talent.
When practice was over, Marie wanted to get Erik out of thereas fast as possible, but Erik insisted in that comandful voice taht he didn't need protection, and would be right back after putting his robe away. The boys all went to put away their choir robes, and one of the boys, named Giles, came and shoved Erik from behind.
"I hope having a little talent with music doesn't make you think you're better than the rest of us."
"His face certainly isn't better than ours," another boy said. "I've heard talk of what that mask hides."
The boys had all formed a circle around Erik now.
"You know for all the talk, I don't think any of us have ever seen his face," Giles said. "I believe I'd like to see for myself if what people say is true."
Erik tried to fight back, but was outnumbered. One boy grabbed him from behind while Giles ripped the mask away. The reaction from the other boys was immediate. They all backed away and started screaming.
"Monster!"
"It's a freak."
"He doesn't even have a nose," Giles yelped.
Wham! Erik's fist connected so hard with Giles nose that Giles was left with blood leaking through his fingers as he clutched it. Erik himself had to rub his knuckles, but it was worth it.
"No, I don't have a nose. And there are certain advantages to that!"
The mob of other boys looked like they were all going to jump Erik together, but just then Father mansart and Marie came running up, having become anxious at what was taking Erik so long to come back.
"What's going on?" The priest demanded.
"The monster attacked me Father! You can see he broke my nose. He took off the mask to frighten us all and said since he doesn't have a nose there's no reason for any of us to have one either."
"You filthy, cowardly liar!" Erik lunged to punch Giles again, but Father Mansart and Marie held him back.
"Erik calm down!" Marie pleaded. "Now, what happened?"
"Giles and the others started- ripped off- mask. Called- monster- freak!" Erik was too furious to speak in anything more than gasped outbursts, but it wasn't hard to guess what had happened.
"I believe Erik, Father. He hates being treated differently because of his face. He'd never choose to take off the mask around strangers that way."
Father Mansart knew how tempermental Erik could be, but knew what marie said was true.
"Giles, you will say a rosary tonight for the sin of deception, and all of you boys will spend time tonight praying for forgiveness for your cruelty and for fighting in the Lord's home. you will also wash the blackboards in the school." He turned to Erik. "And you will help Giles with his violin for half an hour tommorow."
"Why am I being punished!" Erik shouted.
"You hit Giles and broke his nose," Father Mansart said as if not believing Erik couldn't understand this.
"He deserved it," Erik said defiantly.
"What if I don't want his help?" Giles added.'
"If you want to ever go to the conservatory for music you'll want his help. Erik already knows music as well as any tutor you'll ever find who's studied for years. And he continues to learn." He turned to Erik again. "And in adition to helping Giles, you will pray that God will grant you patience and understanding. You must learn to turn to Him."
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"Turn to God! As if I'm especially evil! What about Giles having to turn to God? That Giles! He's simple minded, cowardly,-"
Erik stopped fuming and pacing in his room and smiled.
Giles was the perfect victim for a bit of mischief.
The next day, Erik showed Giles up to his room like any other guest.
"Why can't we stay in the parlor?" Giles asked.
"My grandparents won't want us in there," Erik lied.
"Grandparents?" Giles scoffed. 'You don't have grandparents. Your own mother doesn't want-"
"If they chose to be grandparents to me that's none of your buisness," Erik said coldly. "And I see my mother all the time. Now come on. Let's get this over with.'
Erik lead Giles to his room with anticipation of a spider waiting for a fly to land in his web. Erik's "web" had been simple enough to construct. Really it should have been easy to see through, but Erik suspected the illusion would be enough to work on Giles. A few easy tricks and Giles' imagination would do the rest. The hard part had been getting Marie out of the way. Erik loved her immensely, but knew she wouldn't be happy about this, and that she'd never leave him alone with someone who could hurt him. Erik had simply set the clocks back to make her there was more time before Giles was due to arrive and asked her if she'd please go into town to buy him some new sheet music paper. Between the power of his voice and Marie wanting to help him feel better about yesterday, it hadn't been too difficult. Her parents had taken her and she'd promised to be back before Giles came.
Erik and Giles went into his room, and Erik casually went over to where he kept his violin, secretly pulling a piece of fishing line he'd rigged to pull the shutters on his window and the door shut. Of course he hadn't been near either the door or window, and it seemed like all the light had been sucked from the room.
"What- What did you do?" Giles stammed.
'What are you talking about?" Erik asked, acting as if nothing unusual had happened.
"How did you make it go all dar-"
A voice cut Giles off. Erik's voice, deepened, altered. Erik combined his gift for mimicking with a piece of pipe to change his voice enough so Giles wouldn't recognize it, and the natural power and comand in it gave the impression of an avenging angel in the room. Thanks to the ventriliquism book Marie gave him, the voice seeme dto come from above.
"Giles. You have acted with cruelty and this will not go unpunished."
"Erik!"
"Whatever is the matter with you Giles?" Erik asked, sounding like he always did. "You're acting like you've seen a ghost."
"Didn't you hear that? Didn't you see it go dark?"
"I have no idea what you're talking about."
Erik threw his voice to make it seem like he was standing right where he had been, but with his amazing night vision and ability to walk soundlessly he made his way to the fireplace, where coals were burning under a blanket of ashes. Erik brushed them away and tossed logs soaked in keroseen onto the fire. The flames rose, and the mirrors Erik had laid around the room reflected them, making it seem like a wall of fire surrounded Giles. He'd had Marie buy him some of the large but inexpensive mirrors they sold at the traveling fair last year so he could have some to tinker with, and they worked perfectly for this.
"You will beg for the forgiveness of the boy you wronged to prove you deserve another chance, and you will never speak of this to anyone," Erik said in the altered voice. Giles was on his knees pleading now. Erik, meanwhile had climbed into the dumbwaiter behind him, lowering himself down a short ways. He grabbed Giles by the ankles and pulled him. To the superstitious boy, it felt like skelatal hands were dragging him to the underworld.
"Erik! I'm sorry for before! I apologize! Erik!"
With the grace of a cat Erik climbed out of the dumbwaiter and opened the window blinds again after dowsing the fire. Giles had his eyes closed, and was on his knees again.
"You aren't well, are you?" Erik asked in pretend concern.
Giles shook his head.
"If I were you," Erik advized. "I'd go home and lie down awhile."
"Yes. Yes I'll do that."
Giles bolted from the house, and Erik lasted until Giles was out the door before he was rolling with laughter.
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Name: Elphie | Gender: female | Age: 24 | Posts: 210 | Roses: 10
Old 04-01-2010 at 10:43 PM
Lady of Music
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 Post [8]


brilliant again wandering! love it! cant wait for the next chapter


I'm a Dwarf and I am digging a hole
Diggy diggy diggy
I'm digging a hole
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Name: Rachel | Gender: Senorita | Posts: 99 | Roses: 10
Old 04-12-2010 at 03:01 PM
operaghost94
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I've decided, decided....

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Excellent! :) I'm intrigued. Can't wait to read more! :D


And thus, she stands there. Watching, waiting, and hoping that she will not have to betray her Angel of Music.
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Name: April | Gender: female | Age: 33 | Posts: 135 | Roses: 10
Old 04-24-2010 at 09:13 AM
wandering child
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Thank you so much to my reviewers. I'm glad you're enjoying this.

Although Erik continued his vocal lessons with Father Mansart, he sang with the choir only one more time. He had no desire to be around people like them, but he would not let them think he left because he was afraid of them. Giles, on the other hand, seemed more than willing to show fear. He was practically bowing down to Erik, and Erik had all he could do not to laugh.
It was that day that Erik saw his mother leave Church with a man he'd never seen before.
"Who is that with Mother?" he asked Marie.
"That's Dr. Barye," she told him. "He's only been in Boscherville about two months. Your grandmother doesn't think much of him. She believes he's far too young and inexperienced to be a good doctor. Most of the town feel the same way, so he doesn't have many patients. I doubt he'll stay in Boscherville long."
Erik's yellow eyes narrowed and he answered in a cold, almost frightening tone.
"Good."
But as the months passed, Madeleine and the doctor saw more and more of each other, and Dr. Barye had made no plans to leave just yet. He never missed an opportunity to question Madeleine about Erik, and often asked to see him. More than once, he made the suggestion that Erik should be locked away in a mental institution.
"There are few things more hazardous to the equilibrium of the human mind than the freakish genious you have described to me," he told her as they left church together one day. "And that Giles boy hasn't been the same since he was supposed to go for a music lesson from Erik."
The doctor hadn't realized Erik was in hearing range. Erik just barely managed not to laugh about Giles. Marie tries to pull Erik back towards her, tugging on his sleeve, but it was useless after what Dr. Barye said next.
"The boy belongs in an institution, Madeleine. I happen to know of an excellent place where he'll be kept out of harm's way. He could have his books and music. He'd be quite happy. Just let me have a look at the boy and examine him."
"You want to look?" Erik asked in a tone of voice that could have frozen a volcano. "Here I am. And I can assure you, I would most certainly not be happy being locked in what would basically be a cage for the rest of my life."
Now that Erik was finally in front of him, Br. Barye was looking at Erik as though he were an insect he'd very much like to disect. He reached toward the mask, but Erik caught him by the wrist. Pulling away, the doctor tried to convince Erik.
"The institution wouldn't be like that, boy."
"I have a name," Erik told him. "And 'boy' isn't it."
"Erik then. Even yu must admit it would be safer. You've seen the way people-"
"I can take care of myself as far as that's concerned," Erik said sharply. "And a lion in a cage is safe, but if you were a lion, would you rather be free or in a zoo?"
Dr. Barye wasn't prepared for the way Erik spoke. Not like an eight year old at all, and the reasoning wan't what would be expected of a madman. And his defiant attitude angered the doctor.
"In the end, it won't be your choice. Your mother still has legal custody of you, and anyone who is a danger to themself or others should be kept away from people for everyone's safety."
"I can assure you,' Marie said, standing behind Erik. "There is no need for him to be locked away. He's not out of control, and he can restrain himself. There's nothing he wouldn't do for people who treat him kindly."
"And what about people who are cruel to him?" the doctor asked. "And you know he'll encounter more than enough of them. WHat about Giles? You know something happened while you were gone."
"I never struck him except for that once when I hit his nose, and if he'd have left me alone I wouldn't have done that," Erik told him. It was true. He'd never done a thing to physically hurt Giles after that. Mentally- well, if Giles was simple minded enough to fall for such an easy set of tricks, Erik reasoned, that wasn't his fault. And there was nothing anyone could prove against him.
Erik noticed with some relief that his mother, although not backing him, didn't back the doctor either. The doctor didn't seem to nknow how to respond to Erik, and each group went their seperate way in the end, but everyone knew this wouldn't be the end of it.
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Increasingly Erik turned to Sasha for comfort. The threat of the asylum terrified him. He knew that marie didn't wish him gone, but without a blood or legal tie she couldn't defend him except to testify that it was her belief that Erik did not belong in an asylum. His mother's relationship with Dr. Barye troubled Erik more and more, and Sasha often licked away his tears. And Erik would spend hours at a time feeding her by hand, cleaning her eyes, brushing her, carrying her up the stairs, or anything he could think of to make her more comfortable in her old age. Marie and Madeleine both began to worry what would happen to Erik when Sasha died. She was already ten, and her life was drawing to a close, something Erik wouldn't take well.
It was eventually decided to ask Father Mansart to speak to Erik. Marie listened as the priest carefully brought up the subject, and was surprised at Erik's answer. Yes, he knew perfectly well that Sasha might not even live to see another year, but he added that he knew he would see her again in Heaven someday, and God would love her and take care of her until he saw her again. The priest drew in a sharp breath, but before he could answer, Marie spoke, believing it would be easier if Erik heard what the priest was going to say from her.
"You understand about souls, don't you, Erik dear?"
"Yes, Marie," Erik answered her. "I will miss Sasha when she goes to Heaven, of course, but it isn't as if I'll never see her again."
Marie knew of course that the Church taught that animals don't have souls, but she couldn't bring herself to break Erik's heart, especially now that she understood what comfort it gave him to believe the way he did. Instead she smiled.
'That'sa wonderful way to think of someone passing, Erik dear."
"Marie!"
Father Mansart was clearly shocked, but Marie ushered him out quickly while Erik continued to brush Sasha's fur.
"Marie, you know what the Church teaches. If Erik is ignorant of any Church doctorine it would be a sin not to teach him."
"Let the sin be on me then, Father," Marie said quietly. "Erik won't understand the teaching the way we'd mean him to. He wouldn't see it as God setting humans apart. He'd see it as God denying an afterlife to his only friend. It will cost him his faith, and isn't that worse than not teaching him about a doctorine?"
The priest sighed.
"Whosoever cost a child their faith, it would be better for them to have a millstone tied around their neck and thrown into the sea," he quoted from the Bible. "You are sure erik would lose his faith over this, Marie?"
She nodded. "Wouldn't letting him believe the way he does be the lesser of the two evils, Father?"
In the end, Father Mansart had to agree.
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It would be hard to say whether the situation with madeleine and Dr. Barye became better or worse over the comming weeks. The two saw more of each other, and Madeleine let herself enjoy the doctor's company. And yet, whenever
the topic of Erik came up in their conversations, Madeleine couldn't make herself agree to send her son away.
She did, however, use the threat of the asylum against erik whenever he would misbehave during those few times she came to see him anymore. For Marie, Erik always made an effort to behave, but he'd lash out at Madeleine in hurt and anger and the threats became her way to control him. She seemed honestly surprised to find that Marie's more gentle treatment of Erik yeilded better results with him one day when Erik threw an oil lamp across the room and smashed it in his anger.
"Oh Erik!" Marie exclaimed in horror.
"I don't care!" Erik shouted. "I don't care what I destroy. Why should I be good when all I'll ever be to anyone is a monster, a beast to be locked up!"
"Is that what you're going to be then?" Marie asked with great sadness. Erik hung his head.
"I'm not a monster," he said softly.
'then let people see that," Marie told him gently. 'Erik when you act like this it only confirms what they think."
Erik looked at her, his eyes shimmering.
"I'll clean up the mess, Marie. I'll replace the lamp out of my allowance too."
Marie laid a hand on Erik's shoulder.
"Thank you Erik."
Silently, Erik swept up the broken glass and sopped up the oil with some old newspapers. Then he went to his room, playing a song on his violin that would have made the hardest person cry.
"He does know the difference between right and wrong, doesn't he?" Madeleine asked when the music stopped. She sounded honestly surprised.
"Of course he does," marie said, sounding angry. "He has a terrible temper and some of the things that mind of his comes up with..." She shook her head. "But he's not mad. At least not yet. He's close to the edge of madness at times, but so far he hasn't fallen over." She looked at Madeleine seriously. "This whole buisness with Dr. Barye and threats of the asylum are pushing him closer and closer to it though."
Madeleine cringed.
"I don't know what to do anymore. How can I stop seeing Etienne? He- he's like my shelter from the ugliness of reality."
Marie sighed. Reality? Reality was that Madeleine had a disturbingly gifted son who, if he'd been born with a normal face, would have had no limits on what he could have accomplished with his life, and who asked nothing more than to be accepted. And Marie, through raising him, had learned to love him as her own. This strange child who seemed to be part cat, part fox, and part nightingale, who didn't seem like he could belong anywhere, somehow belonged as part of her family.
Her parents had even become fond of the child they'd once refered to as "it." How often hadn't Erik helped the man he thought of as his grandfather with repairs around the house? The older man had been amazed at Erik's skill, and commented that at eight Erik could already equal and surpass the most skilled workman. How often hadn't his "Grandma" asked him to play or sing for her? They'd both remarked on his helpfulness many times. They'd come to value him for his gifts and later for who he was.
And now all that could be taken away if Madeleine chose to abandon her son to keep Dr. Barye.
"What will you do?" Marie asked.
Madeleine caught Marie's tone and looked at her as if seeing her for the first time.
"You care very much about Erik, don't you?"
Marie was quiet a moment before answering
"He's not my son," she said finally. "But yes, I care about him as if he were. I don't understand how you can even think of sending him away."
Erik listened carefully from where he was hiding at the top of the stairs and gasped. Marie had always been kind to him, but it was the first time he'd ever heard anyone actually say that they cared.
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