A Man in ParisIt was a bright day when the opera populaire was finally finished. It had taken years to design and more to build. The building had been held back by war, but there was one man who never gave up on it: Erik. Erik was still a young man at the time, but to call his oppertunities endless would be a great lie. Erik was a good man inside, or at least he could have been if not for his horrible deformities. He had been forever cursed by uglieness, hiding it fromt he world under a mask.
Erik stared at the opera house, paying no attention to the passing people. He grinned. This was his work, his design. The world would never know it, but he always would.
As Erik was admiring his work, someone stood watching him. Erik knew the man, for he had saved Eriks life when he was snetenced to death for no crime but genius. The man was not known by any name and simply called the Persian, or daroga to his clsoer friends. He had followed Erik across the nations to France, chasing some strange sense of responsibilty for the man in the mask.
Suddenly, Erik's clear angelic voice cut the air, "My dear daroga, if I had known you were coming I would have made arrangements for dinner."
The Persian laughed, "My dear friend, don't bother making those arrangements. I came simply to check on your health. I could not abandon you after so long together. Please, don't mind me."
"I cannot do that. I already know you're here. Come, stnad where we may speak more quietly."
When the Persian was standing by Eriks side, Erik remakred, "You have gotten thinner. I imagine your journey here was long."
"It was. Appearently such a journey is for voyagers. I would ahve gone by ship, but I wouldnt risk the sea. More importantly, I couldnt leave you unsupervised for so long... Only three years and you built an opera house."
Erik only nodded.
"I have heard you will recieve no credit for the buidling of the opera house."
"You have heard right. A man of my appearance is not good for publicity. Alas, my contributions will remain a secret. I shall never see inside of it, I imagine. Tis a shame really. There are such beautiful sights inside. Almost as wonder full as what we saw in our time, daroga. The stage is fitted with curtains of red velvet, and oh, how wonderful the foyer is! Perhaps you will buy a ticket for the first performance, my friend. You must tell me of all you see inside."
"My face stops me."
"Don't play the fool, Erik. You are far to clever for it. You were sentenced to death because you knew too much of the secrets in that manor you built. If you are telling me there is no hidden door into this opera house, than I think that I have found the wrong Erik. Now, say the truth. You want to go and see the first performance. I will reserve a box and you can sneak into the opera house to see. When it is done, you can leave the same way you came."
Erik smiled, his crooked teeth gleaming, "I suppose you have preposed an offer I wouldn't do well to refuse," Erik turned around to face the street behind the opera house, "On le Rue de Scribe there is a way in. I shall go that way. Reserve box five for us. The first performance is in three days, so best get on it now. I shall see you later, my dear daroga." and with that, he walked five steps and seemed to disappear.
The Persian, who was not as magical as Erik, took another long look a tthe opera house. He had travelled so long, and for an opera house, he reflected. However, he knew Erik all too well. Although he denied it, Erik had built hundreds of secret doors and hidden passages in the opera house. The Persian would not doubt this for even a second. Erik couldn't resist it: it was his one weakness. He needed granduer. He needed everything to be spectacular. And therefore, everything was.