Sunday, March 6, 2016

Broken Strings and Shattered Dreams: Part 5

December 1895

And indeed he did. He tormented the Opera House for years. He dropped sandbags and backdrops, tormented Firmin by making him pay large amounts of money for his salary, he put toads in the beds of the ballerinas, destroyed and ripped up costumes and always made a mess backstage for the stage hands to clean up. He never forgave them for ruining Brigitte's debut. Erik was walking through the walls when he heard a ballerina giggling. 
"Oh, Brigitte! Tell me about your dream again!" the ballerina begged. 
"Meg, I've told you before." Brigitte laughed. No, it can't be. Erik thought. That tall beautiful girl, with green eyes and brown curled hair could not be his dear Brigitte. He often saw her from above, but never well enough to study her fine features. She was beautiful. No stunning. No, there were no words to describe her. She had on a worn pale gray dress and black shoes that were far too tight even for her petite feet. The only bright color on her was the pink ribbon that held her hair back, out of her face. When she walked, she winced at the blisters that were forming from the pinch of the shoes. Erik's eyes darkened, and he decided he needed to be going off to the stores soon- for himself and Brigitte. He was, though, still present when Brigitte told her dream.
"I was only a baby in the story. I was in the arms of a man. A man with something covering his face. He played the violin. Such an oh-so sweet melody." Brigitte closed her eyes in remembrance. That sweet beautiful dream. "He was just turning toward me when I woke up. But as short as it was, it was such a lovely dream." Meg smiled and hugged her dear friend. They soon both stood off the bed and left. Erik leaned against the wall for support. Little Brigitte had been dreaming of him. Erik shook her head and disappeared to go off and find some shoes. That was when the other ballet rats came out. The other ballerinas gathered all around Marie's bed. 
"What are you thinking, Marie?" A ballerina asked. 
"Madame Giry never notices me! All she sees is Meg and that little brat Brigitte! What's so special about her? She's not even a star ballerina like me! I was suppose to be the lead for tomorrow's performance! It isn't fair and I'm going to get her back for it." Marie snapped. She yanked the pins out of her hair to release her golden hair out of its usual bun. She, in her mind, was one of the lead ballerinas. She was, to nearly everyone, the prettiest ballerina. She had golden blonde hair that fell gracefully to her shoulders, blue eyes that were colder than the ocean, her skin seemed unnaturally perfect and creamy white and she had the grace and skill of a prima ballerina. She considered herself higher than all the other ballerinas because she came from a wealthy family. Marie had just arrived about six or so months ago. When she walked through the door, everyone knew that she had a sense of arrogance to her confidence. They knew just by the way she head her head and the way she acted. Unlike the other ballerinas, who came from family who afforded just enough to get by, Marie came from an extremely wealthy family. While the other girls had two or three old dresses and one for nice occasions, Marie had at least eight gowns made of the finest silk in all of France. Her shoes and fur trimmed coats were the latest style. The tiny pearls on her gloves made all the girls envious. And though Marie could probably afford to buy the opera house and the stables out back, she couldn't afford a lick of manners or a little something called 'respect'. She treated everyone like she was higher than them. She made sure that they knew that, too. She bullied the younger ballet rats shamelessly and often made them cry behind Madame Giry's back. 
"Madame Giry?" Another ballerina asked. 
"No you imbecile! Brigitte! Even the 'opera ghost' favours her. I hear the manager read the notes that the Opera Ghost writes. He demands that she be front and centre in everything! Listen what I'm going to do." Marie and the other girls leaned in to listen. 

That night after a wonderful dinner of roasted chicken, peas, bread and a phenomenal dessert of chocolate cake had been served, Marie put her plan into action. Madame Giry was off to speak to the managers, so there was no one stopping Marie. But she spent more time trying to find Brigitte then she expected. Marie hoped that Madame Giry wouldn't be back for a while. She later found Brigitte on the grand staircase steps reading the playbill of the newest play that the opera house would put on. 
"Brigitte! Brigitte! Help me!" One of the ballerinas called. Brigitte stood, walked over and asked, "What is it Alexandra?" 
"I dropped my toy down in the cellars! I was playing with my special pink bouncy ball and it fell down, down, down!" Alexandra wailed. She threw her small round face into her small hands and cried. 
"Oh, don't worry. I'll get it for you." Brigitte replied. Meg, who had come down from her room, grabbed her arm and hastily whispered,  "No, Brigitte! No one goes down in the cellars!" 
"What's there to fear?" Brigitte asked. She grabbed her black shawl from a peg and wrapped it around herself. She then found a candle and lit it, before venturing to the cellars. Marie and the other ballerinas followed as Brigitte opened the door to the cellars. When the doors flew open, a large cloud of dust made all the girls sneeze and cough. It was dark and there was an eery sound. Brigitte had every right to be scared. Just from how much dust fell from the doors, it told how long the doors had never been touched. With a determined look, Brigitte hugged the shawl tighter around her petite figure. She took a deep breath and held the candle out. 
"Are you scared, Brigitte?" Marie purred. All the ballerinas behind her giggled. 
"Who wouldn't be?" Brigitte asked, as she went down, cautiously. She went down each step with careful caution and looked around for the ball. She knew how much Alexandra loved her ball. The other girls walked away but Meg stayed. Once they were far enough away (far away meant two floors up in the ballet rats dormitory) Marie turned to Alexandra. 
"Wonderful job, Alexandra. Here's the candy I promised you. Remember, not a word." Marie turned to the other ballerina rats, as Alexandra nodded and hurried away to play with her favorite pink bouncy ball that was safely tucked away in the blankets on her bed. "Brigitte will surely get nabbed by the opera ghost or fall and get injured for tomorrow's performance. I'll be right in for the position." Marie smiled and waltzed away. 
"Brigitte? Have you found the ball? Brigitte? Brigitte!" Meg yelled. No reply came back. Meg ran to find her mother. 
Deep down, Brigitte kept on walking, determined to find the ball. She suddenly started slip, uncontrollably. She let out a small cry as she suddenly plunged into icy water. Brigitte didn't know how to swim and felt herself sinking. She was starting to choke on the murky water, as she shivered. She was slowly losing consciousness and she felt her limbs go numb. After all, it was December and the water was made frigid by the weather. She didn't hear the splash or see the dive of a man, nor did she feel a pair of strong arms lift her out of the water. Her world went dark. 

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