Devil Take The Hindmost…Or Never Mind

Author’s Note:  I was listening to “Devil Take The Hindmost” from the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical “Love Never Dies” (which is the sequel to Phantom of the Opera). And there were a couple of things that stuck out at me. Especially the Phantom’s “He’s musical therefore he’s my son”. 

So, yeah. I just had to do this:

“Hello, fop.”

Raoul gasped. “You aren’t the bartender!”

The Phantom smiled. “Nope. And you aren’t very bright. Look at you steeped in debt, lousy father, crummy husband, borderline abusive. Oh, and you’re a drunk too.”

“Oh, yeah? Well….” Shoot. I can’t dispute any of those. “Well, you’re ugly! You’re so ugly you make mirrors crack. You make pigeons want to die. Die, I tell you! You’re hideous AND horrible. Take that! Wha!”

“Oh, touché. Or not. Hey. I’m rather unoccupied at the moment and you seem to be a stupid gambler. How about we make a bet?”

“How about we don’t?”

“Oh, but you haven’t heard the conditions. See, I believe that MY Christine loves me.” He scoffed. “As for her feelings for you, psh! What feelings? She totally wants me.”

“Oh, dream on, carcass face. She’s my wife!”

“Well. You sure seem confident. Do you want to hear my bet?”

“Nope. Bye.”

And that’s the end of the musical.

Or….

“You’re full of old tofu and bad curry.” snapped Raoul. “MY Christine and I have a son. You don’t have a son with her. Hence, you lose.”

“Oh? Are you so sure about that? Little junior is such a strange child. Don’t you think? He’s so talented. Musical.”

“Dumb headed Phantom. My wife is freaking Christine Da’ae. Maybe you’ve heard of her. World renowned SOPRANO. As in, oh I don’t know, SHE SINGS!”

“Well. That’s true but—-”

“And aren’t you the one who’s always raving about how great her voice is? Huh?”

“Well. Yes, but—”

“You think boys only get their talents from their fathers? You stupid stupid Phantom.”

“But…” The Phantom sighed and hung his head. “It totally made sense to me.”

“Again. You lose. Good day, sir!”

Raoul grabbed his coat off the bar counter and left.

And that is the end of the musical.

Or….

“Christine.”

“Oh, Raoul. What a surprise. Just marching into my dressing room while I’m trying to get into my performance mind-set.” She gave him a sarcastic thumbs-up. “Great job.”

“Well. See, there’s a problem.”

“What?”

“You know my terrible gambling addiction?”

She gave him THE look.

“Obviously you do. Umm. Well. I was at the bar this morning and stupid stupid Phantom popped out of who knows where and he…uhhh…”

“What did he do this time? Did he Punjab lasso you again?”

He laughed nervously. “No. Uhhh, he and I….umm. Well. I don’t think you should sing tonight. Let’s go back to Paris and—-”

“Raoul. We paid good money to get ourselves over here. I am going to sing. Unless you can give me one good reason not to.”

“Uhh. One good reason.” He flashed a queasy smile. “See?” He flapped his arms in an exasperated gesture. “It’s the Phantom’s fault. It’s all his fault.”

She narrowed her eyes. “What?”

“He bet me that you would sing tonight and I bet that you wouldn’t because of love and stuff.”

“You did what?”

“He said that if you don’t sing, he’ll give up on you and wipe away all of my debts because…apparently he can do that. But if you sing, he’ll claim you and Gustave and—-”

“Oh my gosh! What is wrong with you two?”

“Uhhh, love and stuff?”

“That’s it. That is so it. Forget about the concert tonight and that great big lovely aria he wrote specifically for me.” She grabbed Raoul by the ear and dragged him out of the room.

“Aggaaahh!”

“You are so going to Gamblers Anonymous. And we are going right now.” She snapped her fingers and Madame Fleck dropped out of the ceiling. “Get Gustave and don’t let either of the Giry’s go anywhere near them.”

Madame Fleck did a pirouette, a bow, and she somehow jumped back up into the rafters.

“What’s wrong with the Giry’s?” He winced as she tightened her grip on his ear. “I thought they were your BFFs/substitute family from way back when.”

“Yeah, but things have changed, Raoul. They have changed. They keep giving poor Gustave drop dead looks. I have a bad feeling that one of them is going to try drowning him.”

“What the heck?” He frowned. “Why drowning? Seems kind of specific.”

“Well. Either drown him or shoot him. Take your pick.”

Madame Fleck dropped out of the ceiling with Gustave. “Oh, mother! I was so—-”

“Don’t want to hear it right now, sweetie.”

“Christine. Could you let go of my ear?”

“Not until we reach the Gambler’s Anonymous building and we’re safely inside.” She tugged him out of Phantasia.

And no one died.

And that is the end of the musical.  😀

 

A Phantom Of The Opera Thanksgiving Disaster

Author’s  Note: I realize that these are French characters and there is no reason why they’d be celebrating an American holiday. But I did this just for the fun of it.

Christine Da’ae hummed an intricate snippet of an aria as she made herself a turkey sandwich.

It was Thanksgiving and she had chosen to celebrate it simply.

No turkey to unstuff and stuff back up.

No preserved egg coleslaw.

No mashed potatoes and gravy.

No pie of any sort.

Just a clean and simple turkey sandwich.

“Nice.” She plated the sandwich and carried it to the table.

The doorbell rang.

She gave her sandwich a wistful look before getting up to answer the door.

“Raoul! What are you…”

He grinned wildly from the other side of a large uncooked turkey.

“oh. turkey. uhhh…”

“Happy Thanksgiving, darling!”

She thought about her simple sandwich. “Uh, happy Thanksgiving, but that turkey is not cooked at all.”

“I know! I was going to cook it at home, but then I realized it would be so horribly cold by the time I got here and that wouldn’t be any good. Now, would it?”

She thought about her simple turkey sandwich. “No, I suppose not. Are you going to cook it then?”

“What? Me? I assumed you would.”

She considered slapping him, but she smiled. “Oh, how considerate of you.”

“I know.”

“Well.” She forced a smile onto her face. “Take it into the kitchen and I’ll see what I can do with it.” She thought about her simple Thanksgiving and wanted to cry.

“Oh, could you take it?”

“What?”

“There you go.”

“What?”

“I need to get the gravy cake and the pumpkin pie.”

“But I don’t want—”

“Be right back, darling.”

And he trompsed off, leaving her with a cold, bare naked turkey.

She waddled it into the kitchen and thunked it on top of the stove.

Raoul breezed into the kitchen and flaunted the pie in her thinking space. “Look at this! Have you never seen a more beautiful pie?”

She considered thumping it into his face. “Oh, it’s the thing all right.”

“I knew you’d love it. But honestly who can hate pumpkin pie?”

“My dearly departed father loathed pumpkin pie.”

“What?”

“He said it tasted like baby vomit.”

“What? I mean, really. What?”

The doorbell rang again.

“Oh, I’ll get it.”

She grabbed him by his coat’s lapels. “No. I’ll get the door. You unstuff this beast.”

“What? What? What?”

“You heard me. Unstuff its gizzards.”

“Oh, but isn’t that the woman’s job?”

He asked it so innocently. She realized he probably meant no ill-will. He was just terribly mis-informed about things.

She walked to the door, quietly sorry that she had slammed the gravy cake into his face.

Christine opened the door.

No one was there.

A man’s voice called out from the fireplace, “I’m here.”

He called out from the love seat, “I’m here.”

He called out from the broom closet, “I’m here.”

“Oh, for goodness’ sakes! Come out already.”

The Phantom entered the house and swooshed off his cape. “I’m here the Angel of Death. Oh. One moment.”

He went back outside and returned with something hidden behind his back. He cleared his throat. “As I was saying, I’m here. The Angel of—” He pulled out the largest Black Forest ham she’d ever seen. “—-DEATH!”

“Ham.”

He blushed. “Compliments from my Christine. I will write this in my love journal tonight.”

“Whatever. Take it into the kitchen.”

“Hold on.” He gave her the ham. So, she had no choice but to hold on. He took off his wide-brimmed hat to reveal a glass casserole dish filled with…some sort of pink and red and white glop?? A blueberry pie balanced on top of it. “There! We will go into the kitchen together, my Christine, and we will have a glorious feast.”

“Yeah.” She thought about Raoul’s offerings. “It will be a feast all right.”

They entered the kitchen.

Raoul had taken off his suit coat and rolled up his shirt sleeves. He pulled out the different gizzard packs.

He looked like he was twelve thousand miles from thrilled.

“Okay, put the pie over there somewhere. Keep it out of my way.”

Raoul raised his head. “What? But I.”

He saw the Phantom.

The Phantom saw him. “Insolent boy, you fop. You—”

Raoul picked up one of the gizzard packs. “Don’t go insulting me, you bloated carcass of ugly!”

“Ugly? Yes. Yes, I am ugly and hideous and—”

“Raoul! That turkey isn’t going to unpack itself. Phantom! Put the ham on the—-”

“Ham?” Raoul stopped unpacking again. “You brought a HAAAAAMMM?”

“Yes and it is beautiful. Like my Christine is beautiful.”

Raoul threw the gizzard pack on the counter. It splooshed open. “She is my Christine.”

“Hahahahahahhahahahhahahahahahahahhahahhaha—-”

“Shut up! You ugly old—”

“Raoul! Phantom! Stop the kibitzing. Work or get out of my way.”

Raoul returned to work.

Phantom whooshed off with the ham.

“I bet he’s going to eat the whole thing.” Raoul muttered.

“Raoul! Turkey. Unpack. Now!”

He sighed and went back to work.

***

Five hours later

The Phantom sat at his end of the table with his enormous black coated ham, mysterious casserole, and blueberry pie.

Raoul sat at his end of the table with his enormous cooked turkey and his pumpkin pie.

Christine sat at the mid-way point with her simple turkey sandwich.

The two men sat there, glaring at each other. Neither one was even trying to eat.

Christine ignored them and their stupidity and ate her sandwich.

Raoul spoke first. “Ham is a stupid thing to eat for Thanksgiving.”

That was all it took to set the Phantom talking. “Pumpkin pie is for losers.”

“Blueberry pie is depressing.”

“Turkey is ugly.”

“Ohhh, and you would know all about ugly.”

Phantom’s glare deepened.

“Wouldn’t you?”

“Just like you would know all about how to dress like an idiot.”

“I call it dressing fashionably. Not that you would know anything about fashion.”

“I know all about music. Music trumps fashion.”

“Ha! Try walking down the street dressed up in music sheets.”

“Why? You’ve tried it already?”

“Boo! That was weak, old man. Weak! Boo. Boooooo!”

“With age comes wisdom. Which is probably why you’re so stupid, little boy.”

“BOOOO! You’re sinking so low! BOOOOOO!”

Christine finished her sandwich and contemplated the two men’s offerings. I already had turkey. Hmm. I’ll have a slice of ham. It does look good.

Phantom rose to his feet. “Insolent boy! You should be grateful that I left my Punjab lasso at home.”

“You did? Really?”

“Yes. I thought I was going to have a nice, peaceful dinner with MY Christine. No need to bring a Punjab for that.”

Raoul pounded his fist on the table as Christine sliced off a chunk of the ham. “She is NOT your Christine.”

“Well.” Phantom sat down and readjusted his mask. “I don’t see any wedding rings.”

Hmm. This is really good ham. She reached over and cut another piece.

“Because I haven’t proposed yet.”

“Then, she isn’t YOUR Christine. HAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAH!”

“Shut up!”

‘AAAHHHH-HAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAAAAA!”

Raoul pounded the table again. “I said, shut. Up!”

Christine licked her fingers. “Mmm. Good ham.” She considered the Phantom’s creep-awful casserole. “Nope. Not happening.” Hmm. Dessert. Blueberry or pumpkin? Blueberry or pumpkin?

She shrugged. I’ll just have them both.

“You want me to shut up? Go on, you infant.”

“Infant?”

“Make me shut up.”

“Ohh, you asked for it.” Raoul picked up the pumpkin pie.

Christine’s mouth dropped open. No. He wouldn’t. Not the pie!

“Take thiiiiiis!”

“Raoul! Nooooooo!”

He threw the pie.

His aim was horrible.

Unreasonably horrible.

The pie turned a sharp left and splooted Christine in the face.

Her outrage levels broke through the ceiling.

Phantom gasped. “My Christine! How dare you do that to MY CHRISTINE!’

“Phantom, don’t—-”

He picked up his blueberry pie. “Let it be war upon just—” He threw the pie. “—YOU!”

His aim was even more inexplicable.

The pie wound upside down on top of her head.

And that was the last straw.

***

Phantom sat on the porch step with Raoul. The mysterious casserole fell from his hair in thready, oily clumps. “Remind me to never upset my Christine again.”

Raoul turned his turkey covered head to Phantom and nodded. The carcass wobble unsteadily, but it stayed put.

Both men sighed.

Writing About The Phantom of the Opera Movie Soundtrack

So, yeah. I was doing a 3p-11p shift at my work and listening to my music cds. Having lots of fun (as always). Then, I put on the movie soundtrack for The Phantom of the Opera – the one with Gerard Butler, Patrick Wilson, and so on.

Well. For starters, I’ve listened to that soundtrack like…oh, let’s round it off to one hundred times. And I’ve watched the movie a lot. Not going to guess how many times for that one. 🙂

So, there I was just doing my work. Emmy Rossum was doing her best with Think of Me. And I got a bunch of quirky thoughts in my head. So, of course, I had to write them all down.

And here they are. My apologies in advance for my extreme nerdiness. And, oh yeah. Spoiler alert:

THIS IS THE QUICK SUMMATION OF THE TRACKS FROM THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA MOVIE SOUNDTRACK

DISC ONE

PROLOGUE

Raoul outbids Madame Giry for the Phantom’s monkey music box.

No one wants the chandelier.

Cue seriously awesome overture.

 

  1. OVERTURE/ HANNIBAL

Raoul interrupts rehearsals.

Carlotta throws a hissy fit.

Everyone’s obsessed with ghosts.

 

  1. THINK OF ME

Phantom hates Carlotta’s singing.

Carlotta throws a hissy fit and leaves.

Christine sings to an audience that will love her no matter what.

 

  1. ANGEL OF MUSIC

Christine obsesses over Angel of Music.

Meg doesn’t get it.

 

  1. LITTLE LOTTE/THE MIRROR

Raoul interrupts Christine’s daydreaming to reminisce.

She still obsesses over Angel of Music.

Raoul giggles and leaves.

Angel of Music shows up and kidnaps Christine.

 

  1. THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA

Phantom and Christine sing weird love duet.

 

  1. MUSIC OF THE NIGHT

Phantom shows off his lair and sings a long song about darkness and weird stuff.

 

  1. MAGICAL LASSO

Buquet spill beans about Phantom being sooo ugly and teases ballerinas.

Madame Giry tells him to knock it off.

 

  1. I REMEMBER/STRANGER THAN YOU DREAMT IT

Christine wakes up in Phantom’s lair and decides to get a good look at his face.

Phantom throws a world class hissy fit.

 

  1. NOTES/PRIMA DONNA

Phantom writes notes to all of the main characters except Meg, Christine, and Madame Giry.

No one likes his letters.

They decide to thumb their collective noses at Phantom.

 

  1. POOR FOOL, HE MAKES ME LAUGH/IL MUTO

Phantom does not like being nose-thumbed at.

He still hates Carlotta’s singing.

Buquet dies.

Christine freaks out.

 

  1. WHY HAVE YOU BROUGHT ME HERE?/RAOUL, I’VE BEEN THERE

Raoul asks a good question.

Christine is still freaked out.

She spills beans about the Phantom being soo ugly, but intriguingly pitiful.

Raoul doesn’t get it.

 

  1. 13. ALL I ASK OF YOU

Raoul and Christine sing pretty love duet in front of lurking Phantom.

 

  1. ALL I ASK OF YOU (REPRISE)

Phantom does not like Christine singing love duets with other guys.

 

QUICK SUMMATION OF THE TRACKS FROM THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA MOVIE SOUNDTRACK  

DISC TWO

  1. MASQUERADE/WHY SO SILENT

Everyone’s having fun until the Phantom crashes the party.

He insults all of the main characters except for Meg and Madame Giry and leaves.

 

  1. MADAME GIRY’S TALE/THE FAIRGROUND

Raoul bugs Madame Giry into doing a flashback about Phantom’s backstory.

 

  1. JOURNEY TO CEMETARY

Christine decides to visit her father’s grave.

Raoul freaks out and rides off in hot pursuit on a white horse. Yep.

 

  1. WISHING YOU WERE SOMEHOW HERE AGAIN

Christine really misses her dad.

 

  1. WANDERING CHILD

Phantom plays on her daddy issues and Angel of Music obsession.

Christine falls for it…

 

  1. THE SWORDFIGHT

…Until Raoul shows up and ruins Phantom’s fun.

Phantom and Raoul duke it out with swords until Christine tells Raoul to knock it off.

Christine rides off with Raoul.

Phantom is furious.

 

  1. WE HAVE ALL BEEN BLIND

Raoul has a cunning plan.

Christine hates it.

 

  1. DON JUAN

Phantom premieres his modern music take on Don Giovanni.

 

  1. THE POINT OF NO RETURN/CHANDELIER CRASH

Phantom and Christine sing slutty love duet.

Raoul is appalled.

Christine unmasks Phantom in front of everyone.

Phantom goes nuts and kills the chandelier.

Phantom kidnaps Christine.

 

  1. DOWN ONCE MORE/TRACK DOWN THIS MURDERER

Raoul tries to rescue Christine.

Raoul falls into water trap and escapes.

Raoul gets trapped by Phantom.

Christine rescues Raoul by kissing Phantom twice.

Chorus wants to kill Phantom.

He tells Christine and Raoul to get lost.

They do.

Phantom is sad.

Chorus still wants to kill Phantom.

He is not that sad.

Phantom flees scene and leaves mask behind.

Meg claims it.

 

THE END

The Phantom Leaves Home

006I saw the musical Phantom of the Opera on stage a couple years ago. It gave me a couple of random ideas for a story. So, here it is. And as always, the characters belong to their creator, Gaston Leroux. I don’t own them at all. Just borrowing them for fun, but not profit.  🙂

********

The Phantom stared at the diamond ring in his hand for five whole minutes before pitching it into his lake.  “Arrrgh! Why?  Why does this keep happening to me?  All I want in life is a beautiful soprano that I can train and keep for my own.  Is that so wrong?”

“It is your doomed destiny.” muttered the ballet mistress.

He turned sharply and glared at her.

“You need to lower your standards.  Instead of a beautiful soprano, look for a plain but elegant mezzo.”

“I hate mezzos.”

A pained look came over her face.  “Then, you need to stop chasing after sopranos who are named Christine.  They are always involved with a posh gentleman.”

“And he always wins.  Why?  Why can’t I win for a change?”  His eyes filled with tears.  “Of course. I know why. This face…This hideous face drives them away.”

The ballet mistress agreed with him, but she didn’t want to further hurt his feelings by saying so out loud.

The Phantom ran over to the nearest full length mirror and knocked it over in a fit of angst.  He then proceeded to stomp the heck out of it.  “I’ve had it!  I’ve had it!  I’ve freaking had it!”  He ceased his stomping and darted to the bed with the black tulle curtains.  He reached under it and pulled out his suitcase.

Panic fluttered in the ballet mistress’ chest. She hurried to his side.  “What are you doing?”

He plopped the suitcase onto the bed and furiously unzipped it.

“Wait!”

“No.”  He marched over to his closet, which was filled with freshly ironed black capes.  “I am sick and tired and furious.”  He yanked an armful of capes off their hangers and carried them back to the bed.

“You don’t have to do this.” she implored.

“Oh, yes I do.”  He stuffed the capes into the suitcase.

“But I just ironed those.”

“I don’t care.”  He marched over to his dresser and opened the top drawer, which was littered with a disordered combination of white half masks and white full face masks.  He gently picked up a half mask.  “It never fails.  I meet a beautiful soprano and get her under my spell.  I train her already beautiful voice into something grand and magnificent.  Then, I harass the leading soprano into leaving, Christine takes over her role, and then the stupid childhood sweetheart shows up. After years and years of minding his own blasé business and generally forgetting all about her, the lousy nerd shows up and ruins everything!  Next thing I know, Christine unmasks my hideous face and runs off with the nerd!  It never, ever fails!  Arrrgh!”  He ran over to the lake and threw the mask into it.

“Litterbug.”

The Phantom ran to his dresser, grabbed a handful of masks, stuffed them into his suitcase, and returned to his dresser.

“You don’t have to leave.”  she said.

“You don’t get it.”  He yanked the second drawer out of the dresser and carried the whole thing back to the bed.  “If I stay, this pattern will keep repeating until the day I die.”  He dumped the drawer’s contents into his suitcase.

“You just need to find someone who is unattached.”

The Phantom looked like he wanted to throw the drawer into the lake so she took it away from him and returned it to the dresser.

“You make it sound sooo easy. Yes, just go out there and find a beautiful, unattached soprano. She’ll love me right off the bat, won’t she?”

“If she could see you the way I do, she would.”

“With this face?  Ha!  No, Madame.  It is impossible.  No one can love me. I’m too ugly.”

She pushed the drawer back into its slot.  “It’s not as impossible as you think.”

“Yes, it is. I’m an ugly man.  A monster. A gargoyle. A yucky, ugly carcass man.  I have a face that horrified even my mother.”  He sat down on the bed and started to cry.

The ballet mistress returned to him and patted him on the back.  “There.  There.  Life’s not that bad.”

“Yes, it is. I’m ugly and no one loves me.”

She looked down at the top of his head and wondered if this was the right moment to tell him.  It felt right, but she was afraid that he wouldn’t return the sentiment.  She decided to wimp out.  “That’s not true.  There’s someone for everyone in this world.”

He laughed bitterly.  “I’m sure that’s true for people who don’t look like—”  He looked up at her.  “—this!”

She wanted to hug him so bad, but she knew that he would push her away.  Or, even worse, he would just think of it as a motherly hug and nothing more.  “No.  It’s true for everyone.”

“Not for me.  Never for me.”  He zipped up his suitcase.  “I know someone like me can never find true happiness, but I certainly will not find it here.  This place is haunted with memories of Christines. Too many Christines – all determined to break my heart for some foppish nerd boy. I offer them my trust and my love and they betray me for the foppish nerd boy. Every single time. It wouldn’t hurt so bad if the man they chose was worthwhile. No. They are never worthwhile. They’re nothing but simpering little tea pots who can’t even fence properly but they still manage to steal Christine from me.”

He threw the luggage onto the floor and stood.  “I will not be betrayed anymore.”  He took her hand.  “I appreciate everything you’ve done for me.  I don’t know what I would have done or where I would even be without you.”

She blushed.

“You saved me from a lifetime of public mockery and daily humiliation.”

“Any reasonable woman would have done the same.”

“No. Only you did. My dear old friend!  If it weren’t for your kindness, I never would have met her.  My Christine.”

Her heart ached, but she said, “I did what I knew was right and I would do it all over again.”

“I will never forget you.”  He released her hand.  “Good-bye, Madam.”  He grabbed his luggage and walked towards the secret exit.

She looked down at her hand, her thoughts all jumbled and twirled. “Where are you going?”

“I know a hunchback who lives in a church’s bell tower.  I’ll visit him.  Maybe he knows where someone like me can live.”  A wistful look came into his eyes.  “I need to be near beautiful music in order to live, to breathe! But not an opera house. No, never again.”

She stepped forward.  “You don’t have to go by yourself.”

“Well, who in their right and sane mind would want to travel with me?”

She hesitated, the fear of rejection making the words clot up her throat.  She took a deep breath and forced the words out, “I would.”

He frowned.  “Why?”

Her mind froze up and hoarded all of the words she wanted to say.  So, she said nothing at all.

He shook his head.  “No.  You are this opera house’s ballet mistress.  You can’t leave.  They need you here.  Besides, what about your daughter?  You may be immune to this horrible ugliness, but she sure isn’t.  I will not have her yelling and screaming at me every time I try to join you for breakfast.  Goodness knows, I’ve heard more yells and screams than any mortal man should ever hear.  I’m sick and tired of it all.”

“You’ll be alone.”

“I don’t care.  Quite frankly, I need some alone time to sit down and think things out.”

“I’ll…”  She could feel her face turn redder.  “I’ll miss you.”

He stared at her, his bewilderment plain on his deformed face.

“Please don’t go.”

He took a couple of steps toward her as if in a daze, but stopped short.  “I’m sorry, but I have to leave.  If I stay, I will surely go insane.  Good-bye, Madam.”  He turned around and left.

She whispered, “Good-bye, Erik.”