10) JENNIFER BASSETT - The Phantom of the Opera

10 Madame Giry visits the Persian

For weeks, all Paris talked about that night at the opera.
Everybody asked questions, but nobody knew the answers.
Where was Christine Daae? Where was the Vicomte do
Chagny? Were they alive, or dead?
And the Phantom of the Opera ...?
Some weeks after that famous night Madame Giry went out
one afternoon to a small house near the Rivoli Gardens. She
went in and up the stairs to some rooms at the top of the house.
The Persian opened the door.
Madame Giry looked at him. 'My friend, you know the
answers. Please tell me. Are they alive or dead?'
'Come in,' the Persian said quietly.
They sat down on some chairs by the window, and looked
out across the Rivoli Gardens.
'Yes,' the Persian said slowly, 'The Phantom is dead now. He
did not want to live any longer. I saw his body three days ago,
and because of that, I can talk to you about him. He cannot kill
me now.'
'So the Phantom was really a man?' Madame Giry asked.
'Yes, his name was Erik. That was not his real name, of
course. He was born in France, but I knew him in Persia. He
was a famous builder and I worked with him there. For a time
I was his friend, but not for long. When he came to Paris, I came
after him - I wanted to watch him. He was a very clever, very
dangerous man. He could be in two, or three, places at the same
time. He could be in one place, and his voice could come from
another place. He could do many clever things with ropes, and
mirrors, and secret doors. You see, he helped to build the Opera
House. He built secret passages underground, and his secret
house on the lake. He could not live in the outside world,
because of his terrible, ugly face. Unhappy Erik! We can feel
sorry for him, Madame Giry. He was so clever ... and so ugly.
People screamed when they saw his face. And so he lived this
strange life - half-man, half-phantom. But he was a man,
in the end. He wanted a woman's love ...'
He stopped, and Madame Giry asked quietly, 'And Christine
Daae and Vicomte Raoul? What happened to them?'
The Persian smiled. 'Ah yes! What happened to young Raoul
and the beautiful Christine ...? Who knows?'
Nobody in Paris ever saw Raoul and Christine again. Perhaps
they took a train to the north, and lived a quiet, happy life
together there. Perhaps Christine's wonderful voice is still
singing, somewhere in the cold and beautiful mountains of
Norway. Who knows?