May 2017




RSS Atom
Powered by InsaneJournal

Feb. 24th, 2016


Denouement (Mag)

The City Opera blazed with hot light on this night. The opening for Ignite had gone off without a single slip up. It was exactly what he'd wanted, and he'd worked hard to ensure that it was so. He made his appearances, brief though they were, at the masquerade beforehand, and at the gala afterwards. Through it all, he kept his distance from the lead soprano. The woman who pulled at him despite his knowledge that his heart had been reduced to ash in the destructive inferno of Christine's absence.

Yet, he wasn't fool enough to believe that all his heart was destroyed. The music was his blood and breath; it would come regardless of his heart. But the constant tugging he felt when he saw Magdelene gliding over marble floors or through the electric lights on stage... the way he found himself leaning forward in his box when her lips parted and her throat opened... There was something there, and he knew well enough by now to recognize it.

And there was the fact that she hadn't left. Even though there was the excuse of the girl at his manor, that firebrand Arya, Magdelene had very little to do with her now that she was mended. Arya stayed because he had promised to train her when he believed he killed his only friend. Now that Hannibal was returned to them the promise still remained - but it carried far less urgency than before. Not that he would betray his word; he never would. But it seemed that his services were no longer required. And the need for Magdelene's had long ago dissolved.

Yet, they both stayed - she and she. He was a solitary creature, and it was odd to him to find his home filled with life that was not his own alone. That, too, did something to the heart of him. He had not yet found a name for it. But he did not scorn it.

Now, he moved toward the long stretch of black and metal that would take him from his Opera House to his manor. His first thought had been to find Magdelene and bring her with him - but despite taking her on as his lead soprano,she was not his and he knew it very well. After the rush of his blood through the auditorium, he felt raw and worn and too full of wanting to trust himself alone with her. He descended the steps of the Opera House, then, alone - and his attention was focused only on the car idling at the bottom.

Sep. 20th, 2015


Intermission (Mag)

The resurrection of his star pianist had driven Erik forward toward an entirely new goal that had crystallized as he listened to Hannibal playing. The opera he'd planned would have to wait. The fall season would be delayed, but only, perhaps, by a month.

He'd disappeared for a full week into the sanctuary of his lake home, as fire within him took hold. He eschewed the paler parts of life - sleeping, eating - and turned his full attention instead to the forms and shapes of his music. His fingers bled; he let them. Nothing was more important than the music.

And when he finally took a full breath again, hands thin and shaking with weakness and grand magnitude, he found more satisfaction in looking at the sheaves of filled staff paper than he had felt in a very long time.

It was not an opera. But Magdelene's voice would give it the scope and grandeur that opera engendered. It was not a full orchestration. But Hannibal's playing was worth more than sections of his magnificent orchestra. And there were yet strings, crying softly through Hannibal's notes.

It was Ignite. A blaze of longing and loss and love, a fireburst of gasping, all-consuming passion, designed to overtake the senses and bathe them in heat. It would be heard. He would bring it to the City Opera, and it would live in the hearts of others, cling to the insides of their skulls, fill their lungs with moaning.

Erik dropped his body briefly into the chilled water of the lake, washing off a week's worth of sweat and blood and toil. He dressed slowly, steadying his hands when he needed to. His clothing fit more loosely than before, but he drew himself up to his full stature all the same, tucked the fire against his side gently, and started up the flights of stairs to the Opera House. There were moments of blackness that had nothing to do with the absence of light. But he made it up.

His assistant had been waiting. Wordless at all the right times, the faithful man called Erik's towncar and followed quietly beside Erik to the door of the car. There was only one moment on the stairs down that Michael felt the need to take Erik's elbow. Briefly. Erik could not muster anger at the boy. Shadows of tall trees passed across the tinted window of his car, throwing muted hypnotic zebra stripe sunlight into the cabin with him. When he lifted his head again, the manor waited for him.

He climbed the stairs, and entered his home. His legs were unsteady, so he waited at the door, one slight shoulder subtly leaning against the wall. He kept his back as straight as he could, refusing the demands of his body for a few more minutes until he could make it to his own chamber.

May. 30th, 2015


Consolation (Magdelene)

It had been weeks since the debut and finale of his paean for Christine, as performed by Hannibal Lecter. It had been weeks since the farewell of his friend. Erik had tried often to return to his manor, but it had been at turns too loud and too silent for him to endure.

But again and again, he found himself rising from the cellar depths, in something like shame or embarrassment, remembering that Hannibal Lecter had fought to keep Erik in the world - not apart from it. He felt as if he were shaming his only friend's memory. He felt as if he were dishonoring the efforts that the exemplary young man had extended. And so, when he could endure the shame no more, he finally returned for good to his manor on the edge of the City, behind its metal fences and cold stone walls and vibrant gardens that no wife now tended.

He found the only way to endure the ghosts in the manor was through the mocking relief of a bottle. He was deep into a bottle of gin by the time the moonlight slanted through the shades of his upstairs library. Erik half-turned toward the window, and only then recognized that he'd been sitting in the dark for nearly three hours. His night vision had always been exceptional - a freak trait of nature that had saved his life more than once or twice.

Swallowing directly from the crystal bottle in his hand, he shut his eyes and tried to find some semblance of peace in the silence of this place. There should have been his wife's laughter. There should have been the faint rustle of his friend's suit coat as the young man read over one of Erik's arrangements. Instead there was --



Apr. 17th, 2015


Testify! (Erik)

The levers and switches all had the same purpose as those in her own Opera House from back home. One for the curtains, to bring the thick velvet up or down toward the stage. Another to open or close the trap doors beneath the solid wood, holes utilized for quick prop set up and take down, or a quick escape by a diva or a stagehand. Some were for the series of lights that hung over the stage: pinks, reds, blues, yellows, greens...any hue combinations one could imagine for capturing the definition of the set and people performing.

It was like a breath of fresh air. A dark secret that was shared between but a few that could know such a feeling as intimately as she. Music was a magic of its own and yet it was tangible and real. If it wasn't ripping your soul to shreds and bleeding you dry, or healing every wound in your heart then you just weren't doing it correctly. It demanded focus, patience and passion no matter how small the piece or at what scale it was performed.

For all of the years Mag had spent alone, she always had the stage. It had been her constant companion: it had hurt her deeply, nursed her ailments and brushed away her tears. It had heard her laughter, made her smile. Been there when she had been nothing. Had nothing. And here it was again.

The white lights illuminated with the upturn of a lever and the polished wood shone eagerly, tempting her. She hadn't realized she was chewing at her bottom lip until there had been soreness. Releasing the skin, Mag turned and beheld the empty space before her. It was almost like coming home.

If anyone had been there in the shadows she would not have noticed, being too caught in the moment. The diva was out in the light past the curtain in a few steps, hands lifting the fabric of her dress so as not to trip over it when she moved. The sparkle of her eye was outline in a thick black cat-eye, and the lids shimmered with a soft, snowy dust. Her hair was down, though some was pinned up and though it wasn't styled as usual it still held the same grace as if it were set and sprayed for the stage. Once settled in the center, she glanced out at the empty chairs that sat patiently in the darkness before her. Her glowing eyes swept from one side to the other, taking in each empty seat in both the balconies and on the floor level.

Then she opened her mouth, tilted her chin up slightly and closed her eyes to sing the deep Russian words, "Why did it not know before, I have no angst, no sorrow, no tears, and all the days of leaking happened, among the sounds of Heaven and roses?"

Mag was fluent in many languages. She had to be cultured to ensure that her ability surpassed any other. To be believable. Her craft was complex and it required hard work; endless days and nights of practice and study as well as a vast knowledge and expertise of culture and language. No barriers could hold her down and none would.

"I hardly hear the birds chirping, a little heat will revive distant forest, and all sounds of glee - I entered into solemn chorus! And now all day brings me, not clear, deep reproach, and the page of fate sends birds choir and noisy stream."

Her eyes opened, as did her arms, and she willed the invisible people in the vacant seats to hear the passion of the Russian tone and her own addition of emotion to the words, the plight of the maiden born blind though she does not know what affliction has been laid upon her. A woman whom is unaware that others do not share the same fate and that there is a world beyond the darkness that she has always known.

"Why this silence of the night and I have cool mil? Why do I like her sobs I hear when the nightingale sings, Why so? Why so?"

Finally Mag breathed and stood where she was, listening to the sounds resounding from the walls, the chairs, the wood of the stage. Empty, the place felt so hollow and uninviting. Mag wished to once more fill it with life, with vitality and essence. With strength. With hope.

Mar. 21st, 2015


Midnight in the Garden (Magdelene)

He'd slept face down where he'd fallen, clothed still head to toe in suit and dress shoes. When he woke, he'd used the en suite to freshen up, then changed into the clothing that lingered in the guest wardrobe. After a second's pause, he realized that they were his clothes after all. The City, perhaps. No maid would dare enter his chamber - guest room or not - while he was in it. Hannibal might, however. The pianist was meddlesome as he was talented. Erik was still irritated with him.

With hair still damp from the shower, he walked back to the center of the bedroom, then turned aimlessly. There was no light coming in from the balcony door save that of the moon, and it was only then that he recognized that he was in the dark. The dark had become such a companion to him in the last few weeks that it seemed as nothing to walk in it, to breathe inside it. His unnatural eyes had never struggled to see in the dark, which is why he was so suited to living in the house by the lake under the Opera House.

Erik's mind and heart were full of contradictions. He wanted to end this wearisome existence - but at the same time, there was the voice that had kept him in this manor as well. He wanted his piano piece for Hannibal to be the last thing he wrote, and yet, he wanted to force that golden soprano into the shape of something designed just for it. He touched the band of gold on his left hand and shut his eyes. Above everything else, he wanted his wife back.

He found himself standing on the balcony, violin loosely in his grip. The violin... Had the City laid it out for him as well? That felt more like Hannibal. Meddlesome lad. Erik set the instrument firmly under his chin, but couldn't lift the bow to play. After a long few moments standing there, he finally sat down on the balcony floor and leaned his back against the stone wall of his manor. His eyes closed again. Music felt like his grief, amplified. He didn't know how to rise above it, and didn't know if he wanted to or if he should. It felt right to grieve.Ah, but it hurt. Anything he played would hurt, too.

So he was silent and still on that balcony. Still, until he heard the faint shish below, and knew it for a door opening. Erik lifted his head and listened more keenly.

Mar. 7th, 2015


Music to soothe the savage beast (Erik - later Mag)

Almost two days ago, not quite a full two days, Hannibal had installed Magdelene Defoe into Erik's mansion as Arya's nurse. He had instructed the woman to be there around the clock, and to make her voice heard often. This latter he'd wanted so that it would not seem so odd when Erik finally arrived and the singing began in earnest. Arya must not be heard to utter anything along the lines of why are you singing? Even after just two days, she would be used to Mag doing this, and be comfortable with it.

Hannibal himself had made a point of visiting Arya more than once a day, which he had been doing anyway to make sure the girl had enough of what she needed. But now he felt as if he were being watched by the very walls. As if they anticipated the return of their true master. Hannibal hoped that the plot worked and that Erik did return. As much as he might have enjoyed the manor, it would never truly feel like his.

The composer was due any moment. Hannibal stood at the entry, waiting. Mag had instructions to wait for twenty minutes after she heard the men talking to make her vocal debut. He wanted her to sing from upstairs, from Arya's room. He wanted Erik to seek her out, go to her, discover her singing for the girl, or singing as she folded clothes. Singing, but without any pretense of being heard. Singing and surprised to discover that she had an audience.

So far, Mag had done her job quite well. Arya believed that Mag was there to nurse her and be a companion. Mag kept to Hannibal's strict clothing guidelines. She was a true diva if he'd ever seen one. Listened to instructions, took direction very well, and played her part as if she were truly living it.

He heard the sounds of Erik's shoes upon the steps leading to the doorway. The door itself was opened before the Phantom could lift a hand to turn the knob - or, god forbid, knock. There were many things that Hannibal could tell by Erik's appearance, all assessed within seconds.

"You haven't slept." He hadn't expected Erik to. Though only one with a keen eye would be able to tell, for the most part, Erik looked like tailored perfection. He even wore gloves.

Hannibal did not wait, but turned inward to the heart of the house.

Mar. 6th, 2015


Underfoot (Mag)

Arya had never been a good patient. When she was very small, Winterfell had been swept by redspots: not a serious disease to children, but a potentially disfiguring one if the pustules were broken in visible places. They had itched horribly, and Septa Mordane had been driven to distraction trying to find ways to keep Arya from scratching and bursting them, potentially harming her chances for a good marriage later in life.

So it was here. Her leg itched in its cast, and she was bored in her room, and she hated the wheeled chair. Arya had always been an active child--Fat Tom had not called her "Arya Underfoot" without cause. She had nothing to do. So long before she had been given clearance by Hannibal or Erik, she was back on her feet--her foot, perhaps, was more accurate; though she leveraged the cast in a sort of awkward hobbling walk that became easier with practice--and slipped from the room.

She had only made it so far as the kitchen last time. This time she changed directions and began to wander further in, even navigating a staircase. She rested for a moment, taking the opportunity to make sure that nobody would come investigating the loud thumps that her cast and hopping steps had made on the ornate steps, and then turned to a long hallway filled with doors. She pressed her ear to the first one, listening for sounds from inside.

Feb. 27th, 2015


New Voices (Mag)

Erik's impending aria for love was something Hannibal wished very much to embrace for his own uses. He knew that he would not, however, because it was the opus of his friend and his friend's pain. The loss of River Tam was a weight upon the chest of the boy doctor, he knew it too well. He had, until now, suppressed it in the face of the needs of others. Alone as he was in this moment, it was difficult to not think about.

He had loved her. He still, of course, loved her, though it was difficult for him to think of her in a present tense, as she was no longer there to encourage it. She was the past for him. A thing that had once been. Hannibal ached for her and wished to find a way to bring her back to him. Selfishly, he wished that she could be summoned from wherever she had been sent, even if it was home.

There was that part of him that longed to use Erik's notes to express his loss, his sadness. He could do naught but perhaps turn to Wagner or Beethoven to pour his heart into. Not now, though. Now he had other things to focus on. Arya Stark. Erik. Getting them both back to health and into the world.

Getting Erik to let go of this ridiculous notion of suicide.

He had given the other man instruction to meet him at the mansion to say goodbye to Arie in person. Arie. The girl whom would be raised a killer, a skilled one at that, by Hannibal's hand. By Erik's, too, if he could be convinced out of his funk. It was a part ruse that Hannibal hoped to use to waylay Erik for a time.

Now he just had to find the key component. The voice. He needed somebody who would stir Erik out of his mood, who would awaken him to the world once more. Hannibal had auditioned every soprano currently in the opera's employ and had found none who could match Christine. The voice was the only thing that would stay the Phantom to see his opera come to life. Hannibal's hope that after that was accomplished, Erik would see his own folly and come back. He needed him to.

Disgusted with his lack of success thus far, Hannibal was headed toward his favorite coffee haunt when he heard it. Lilting at him across the wind. He glanced around but nobody else seemed to be hearing it. Hannibal followed his ear down the street, where an open window called to him.

Feb. 1st, 2015


Imbolc (open to everyone)

The weather in the City was pretty much always perfect. There were days with rain, but they were still mostly warm. But there were still seasons. In fall the leaves fell (the trees were never bare, though), in winter there might be some snowflakes (never anything like the one great storm where the City had gotten carried away), and summers were warm and sunny and nobody had school.

Still, this year, the City felt like celebrating spring. Not any particular holiday. Just spring in general. There were new people around, there were couples in love, and it wanted to have a great big party for everyone.

Overnight, it set up the great festival. Streets all around the park were closed off so that people could walk around without issue. The park itself was expanded to over twice the normal size. A great clearing was made in the center, stretching from one side to the other. There needed to be lots of room.

Through this clearing the City placed tents, stands, and tables. These were filled with food and wares of all types. There were representatives for all the popular shops, as well as some that nobody had ever seen there before. There were stands for balloons for the kids, too, free of charge. And flowers absolutely everywhere. Woven into the stands themselves, laying on tables, set up in vases, growing in every patch that the City was sure nobody would accidentally step on them. Colorful ribbons, some as large as crepe streamers, also decorated everything. The City wanted as much color as it could possibly get.

At one end of the clearing the City placed a small carnival. Rides, games, everything it could think of. Even a petting zoo, though some of the animals within weren't typical farm animals that usually went in petting zoos. At the other it placed a few stages for performances. Concerts, plays, musicians. The stages were all contained within their own invisible sound barriers, as to not disturb one another, but the noise from all could be heard on the main promenade.

It put signs up all over, put notices in mailboxes, ads on the radio, commercials on television, and even made Candy and Frank talk about it on the morning news.

The celebration would go from sunrise to midnight. At sunset, the City would have a bonfire, complete with a pig roast and s'mores. At that time, it would move the park closer to the water, creating a beach between for the bonfire to settle on.

Jan. 7th, 2015


Into the night (Open)

Gathering the fabric of her long, dark skirt, Mag swept into the comfort of the night. This city was a new one, better than both of the ones from before. The first city was her home, a place she loathed with every fiber of her being and was fortunate enough to escape. The second had been the broken city in which she had ended up after some how leaving her own. This place, this City, had much more potential than both and Mag was grateful for the fortunate of being able to start new. Her life, up to this point, had been interesting. It was a breath of fresh air to be some place that wasn't her home from before the broken world, and she considered herself lucky to have survived such an ordeal as the second. Strange creatures lurked about in that town and time she had previously left behind. Some how the land here seemed a little safer. She wasn't naive to believe that it was without its share of dangers, every place was full of its darkness. Every world had its dark corners, it's back alleys, and it's obsessions.

Her eyes scanned the street as she moved down the sidewalk, the sound of her heels clicking against the pavement being the only true noise that greeted her. The people out and about seemed normal, natural. What Mag considered normal, anyway. Those of her city were obsessed with vanity, and these people weren't like that. It was refreshing. There were no 'chop shops' lining the streets, no tents full of people waiting to change their faces or getting back-alley surgeries. No Zydrate.

She took a breath and her feet carried her from 'Agreeable Apartments' on toward the park where she had been before finding the key in her pocket that worked in a door there. Apartment number one, actually, which was a bit haunting. She had been the number one soprano in the world, and now her assigned quarters had her stationed in the fitting apartment number. The real shock, though, was beyond the closed door. She opened it not knowing what to expect, and then there was her own flat looking back at her. Everything was there, all of her furniture, clothes, was the strangest thing. But she wasn't complaining. Having clothes that she knew fit her, her favorite cosmetics and scents to wear, and even a warm bath in her was a blessing.

The soprano approached the park eagerly. A soft, playful breeze ruffled the fabric of her gown, and a few loose strands of her dark hair that she had pulled into an up-do, though the length of it cascaded down her back and shoulders.

It was time to seize the night, to explore and to see what this city held for her to discover. And she would start in the park, and work her way around accordingly.

Jan. 1st, 2015


The Nothing (Narrative)

All she could remember from before was that everything was broken. Broken walls, collapsing buildings, people living in some strange state of poverty. An apartment building. She remembered the way the apartment looked, a threadbare carpet on the cold floor, a sagging couch with mismatched pillows. An empty shelf...they hadn't been allowed books of any kind, no literature.

Mag could recall the weeping angel, the scarred statue in the graveyard. Her mind drifted back to Maurice and the story of his lost love. So many faces and names and things entered her mind and yet the only emotion she felt at present was one of pure confusion.

The soprano looked up at the buildings, beheld the tidy, empty streets and tilted her head. What had happened here? Had someone fixed the world while they had been sleeping? Where was everyone? It was almost as if this city were something else entirely.

Breaking from the shadows, the singer took small steps down the sidewalk. Despite everything she had been through there was still an exponential amount of grace in her motion, every step elegant and easy. The air seemed cleaner here, wherever here was...she wasn't fooled into thinking that some how she had the misfortune of ending up back home. That would have been her undoing. The GeneCo tower that painted the skyline was not here. Other buildings had taken its place. So that earned the night a breath of relief.

But this was curious indeed.

Another few steps brought her to the corner of the street, the lamplight kind to her pale skin, dark hair and strangely bright eyes. She recorded everything she saw for future reference. In case she got lost. A glance down each pathway and Mag stepped into the street. In a few well-placed steps she found herself across and moving easily into a park of some kind. The flowers greeted her. The grass waved....and some where, perhaps in a faint remnant of a daydream she was sure she heard the caw of a crow. Not that a black bird was a strange occurrence, there was one in the place before this one, but that one had never brought her comfort. This new sound had. Strange and mysterious as it was.

Jan. 20th, 2014


Fresh start...(Open)

The night seemed calmer than usual to her, but perhaps here it was always serene. Not a gale blew, no wind or rain or sunshine. It was only her and the moon. Where such a feeling stemmed from she wasn't sure because she had never experienced anything quite like it before.

Except for a few times back before she had burden. Before she could see.

There was something special about complete darkness, being enshrouded away from the world and unable to imagine or fathom the things within the distance of a simple touch of the fingers or hands. It was something else to never behold true color, to never see outline or detail or shape. At that time she couldn't attempt to think of definition, depth, or even what the most simple object could be. But she could touch them and try. And she did.

At least until her luck changed for the better and for the worst.

The fact that Mag had left her dressing room for her final performance and had ended up in a City Commons struck her as unusual. She was used to Sanitarium Square, and this was nothing like that. There were no tents or booths set up that offered illicit surgery or cosmetic alteration. No, this one was bare of life, void of existence save for the rustle of a few nearby strays looking for dinner.

In the sky there was nothing. No floating billboards with her picture nor did she see any of her posters plastered on any of the buildings. It was a Heaven and a Hell both at the same time. It confused her. But if she was frightened then she didn't show it. She knew enough to keep her wits about her when something strange happened, she had been deflecting strange for a very long time. And yet was she, herself, not the epitome of strange? Take for example her eyes.

Once brown, her eyes held a glow of their own. They had held youth and innocence, dreams and hopes. Now they sparkled, lit up and shimmered, danced and swirled with a much different kind of glow. Rotti's glow. GeneCo's glow. The glow of a star, the most famous Soprano in all of the world and despite how young she did look Mag was tired of it all. She had been ready to give it all up, the glowing optics included because those were a symbol of her slavery. Her binding contracted signed in blood by a foolish girl a very long time ago.

She had been willing to sing her final aria, Chromaggia, with whom she shared so much in common.

But it had to wait and part of her was glad. She was still in full costume , the presence of the stage never fully having left her despite the obvious change in surrounding. The heels of her boots clicked against the pavement as she walked, but she didn't cease movement. She couldn't until she had figured out exactly where she was, and why she had come. She had to get to the bottom of this and she would in good time.