The Montreal Symphony House had been built less than a decade before, but something much older was there. It caused the ornate lighting to sway and cell coverage was always spotty.
His name used to be Erik, and his spirit was first manifest in Paris over a century ago. After departing from there, he has appeared wherever opera or symphonic music was played.
Once he died for love, and now beyond death’s power, he lives for the music of the night. He has been called the Angel of Music, the Opera Ghost, but more commonly, he is the Phantom.
I wrote this for the Rochelle Wisoff-Fields photo writing challenge. The idea is to use the image above as the prompt for creating a piece of flash fiction no more than 100 words long. My word count is 99.
I saw that the photo is credited to Dale Rogerson and doing a bit of online sleuthing, I discovered she may (not sure about this) live near Montreal.
Since the photo’s file name is “dales-symphony-2,” it seemed reasonable to conclude that this was a photograph of the interior of the Montreal Symphony House at Place des Arts. The scene now being set, I just had to think of a hook.
Although this is a symphony house, I thought that the spirit of The Phantom of the Opera (Wikipedia page for the novel) might be attracted to it, a wandering soul seeking to sojourn anywhere that plays the “music of the night,” to borrow from Andrew Lloyd Webber.
To read other stories based on the prompt, visit InLinkz.com.
“…I swear you get better looking with every year…your sexual peak, your full figure physique…”
Every year in the Spring, the Queen of the West gave a banquet. It was opulent beyond the dreams of avarice, but the Queen had great wealth which she administered for the benefit of her people. At the banquet every year, she held a lottery. All of the eligible males were required to enter (and they were all eager to do so), all of those unmarried and between the ages of fifteen and thirty. Every year only one man would be chosen to be the Queen’s consort, and only then for a single night. Afterward, the man joined the others from previous years, where they were kept for the rest of their lives in comfort and ease on the nearby island of Stateira.
They were never seen or heard from again and, if the stories were true, they would never willingly leave Stateira and return to their previous existence.
Lugo was in love. Of course, all the men, even those who were married, even boys too young or men far too old, longed for a night with the Queen. She was the very essence of beauty, charm, graciousness, and poise. The image of her body burned in their hearts and minds. The loins of old men long dead were still stirred by even the mention of her name. Men would kill to possess her. Men would surrender their limbs, lives, and souls for a night in her bed chambers.
“God knows I never meant to hurt you…I never meant take it that far…”
He was the perfect man for her but she was born far too late.
Alec Bristol (born Archibald Leech) died of a stroke when he was 82 years old. Throughout his entire film career, he was the quintessential leading man, suave, debonair, charming. He had first melted Chelsea’s heart at the Anza Classic Movie Theatre when she was only twelve-years-old.
When she was twenty-two, she visited his grave at the Pierce Brothers Westwood Village Memorial Park near UCLA. He’d been dead longer than she’d been alive. It didn’t seem fair.
The two men were sitting at a table in the back of a bar in Marrakech. It was hot. It was late. The overhead fans spun in lazy circles casting a march of shadows on the two patrons below.
The bartender was cleaning a glass. He got mostly westerners in here, either low life bums down on their luck with no money to get back home, or French, British, and Americans who were doing business and didn’t want to be bothered.
He looked casually at the two men, one French, one American. The Frenchman was in a rumpled white suit. Why white in such heat? The American looked like an oil rigger or longshoreman except for the whip on his belt. It didn’t matter to Hassan. They paid for their drinks. Who cared what else they did.
“I’m tired of chasing you all over the fucking world, René. I find something and you steal it from me. You find something and I steal it from you. Where does it end?”
The sound of the rain beating against the wooden planks of the pier made hearing the music almost impossible. Daniel limped closer to the couple, the male figure holding the umbrella over himself and the woman playing the violin.
What was that melody? It sounded so familiar and yet it seemed incomprehensible. The ten year old’s ears were ringing. They had been since he woke up after the attack, but he only realized it just now.
I was born too late. I should have been singing with Dylan in the sixties. Instead, I spend my weekends in this little square between the London Film and Transport Museums playing his charts to uninterested passersby. It’s early Saturday, so the place is almost empty.
Pavement’s still wet from the rain as I sing “Like a Rolling Stone.” I can smell the woman’s cigarette smoke behind me as I play “Blowin’ in the Wind.”
“I’m working on “Forever Young” when someone walks toward me. He’s right in front of me. I stop singing. Oh wow!
“Mind if I sit in?”
I motion dumbly to where I keep my back up six-string. Glad I tuned it.
He stands next to me and begins “The Times They Are A-Changin’.” I join in. I’m playing a duet with Bob Dylan. Before long, the square is packed. When it’s over and he has to go, I say, “Thanks for making my dream come true.”
He gives me his hand and I shake it. “Anytime. Anytime at all.”
I wrote this for the FFfAW Challenge-Week of March 21, 2017 hosted by Priceless Joy. The idea is to use the photo prompt above to write a piece of flash fiction between 100 and 175 words long, with 150 being the ideal. I barely made it at 174 words.
To read other stories written from the same prompt, go to InLinkz.com.