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Name: Natalia | Gender: Female | Posts: 2,764 | Roses: 50
Old 02-25-2018 at 03:40 AM
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 Post [91]


Cara Blaze Andovea

It was somewhat different being back in the underground shadows again, not that she could tell what was shadow anymore. She couldn't help but wonder at the new maze and doorways this might open up, looking but without eyes to get in the way...it was a way to look deeper. such as now as she heard the unease that seemed to issue from this mans lips.

"I'm," he tripped before going on somewhat reminding her of someone else she knew and hadn't seen in awhile and even herself in same ways...all the way back when. "I'm newly joined here. The skulls -- that's what I, I make. You might have seen them."

Before she could open her mouth to reveal what no doubt was hard to see in what little light WAS around them he seemed finally to clue in.

"I'm sorry."

"Don't be, I haven't seen them though, it's been awhile since I've been here. Though my father always used to say that when it comes to skulls and...darker things. The phantom's realm was always a good place to come to, inspire and all."

It was then she waited for a reply the silence taking her mind back to one of the first times she had ventured further into the darkness. 'The Gates of Hell' as some people had called it, other kids always teasing.

"I . . . I'm just exploring down here, looking for anything of interest. Never know -- the Phantom might leap out!"

It was then she heard something hit the ground, rats no doubt or stones being upset.

"I can tell you that things do seem to lerk within shadows down here." Like my husband once did "Though if you're looking for something interesting I'd suggest going down the way a bit and running your hands along the walls. Secret little places you know? Looking underneath the surface."


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Name: Kitty | Gender: female | Posts: 15 | Roses: 10
Old 03-06-2018 at 07:44 PM
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 Post [92]


Jacob Inkstone

"Yes . . . thank you." Everything Jacob said sounded so stilted -- he hated how awkward he was.

Never, not even alone with himself and the moon, did he feel comfortable in his body, not since the accident. What suited him more was imagining peeling his own flesh, like breaking off bark, and spilling out like a shadow to sink into the stone cracks, becoming one with the cavern. It must be relaxing, being a building, not thinking but simply existing. History woven and ageless, only worried by the wind and rain.

But, then again, they said ghosts clung to the backs of old buildings, staining them with the bitterness of bad memories. Perhaps he'd have other people's woes rattling in his head.

He was drifting off again. Losing his focus. Jacob looked to the woman, though a part of him was still on edge and tempted to look over his shoulder, wondering about the noise.

She'd offered him advice. That wasn't what he had expected.

"Do you come here often?" Was there someone else like him?

Curious, he reached out and felt the wall, as he waited for her to answer. Grime and water smeared across his fingertips. There were dips and groves, eroded by nature and caused by human hands. Almost, they were like a trail, and he began to walk, following them deeper into the passageway.

There were red eyes in the corner, but they darted back into a crevice.

"I once found a suit of armour locked behind a hidden wall in a country manor. Apparently, it was locked away because the owners, years and years ago, believed it was cursed with a ghost's spirit. It used to get up and pace around the corridors." Rushing now, he never spoke so much before, it was a babble.

He remembered the manor: they'd come running when they'd heard the scream -- as high as a cat's yowl -- because the gauntlet of the armour had hit him in the face, and he knew for certain it wasn't because he'd disturbed something.

Water splashed. He caught, somewhere distant and hidden, the waft of something rotten. Then his hand dipped, and a stone sunk into the wall. A growling grumble rolled throughout, and a harsh, familiar snick as a wall pulled away. Another passage, leading off to the right, a torn piece of red silk hung there, fluttering, almost beckoning.

"If these were once the Phantom's tunnels," Jacob wondered, "they should have been destroyed, or at least blocked off, yet, who would want to restore them?" And what were they hiding?
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Name: Natalia | Gender: Female | Posts: 2,764 | Roses: 50
Old 03-17-2018 at 12:15 PM
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 Post [93]


Cara Blaze Andovea

Looking under the surface, it was something that not very many people did anymore despite the old saying but since being blind, the surface didn't matter much to Cara anymore. Colour, race sure there were clues in a voice the way one spoke but...it was the spirit she saw within people now making her wish she had come to know a few from her past those lurking ghosts like the ones this man seemed to be seeking out now.

"Yes . . . thank you." His voice came pulling her one more back to the here and now while offering up a little more insight as his next words tumbled out. "Do you come here often?"

Not that it lasted long, for no sooner had he voiced the question did her mind her go even as he moved around. She recalled those few times with Mark, Dementis, his other half, the said demon that had lerked. Calvin, Cat...her father...the camping trips.

"You could say that." she whispered remembering hearing something click and scrap as it moved aside.

"If these were once the Phantom's tunnels, they should have been destroyed, or at least blocked off, yet, who would want to restore them?"

"The owners" Cara voiced within the next heartbeat, the answer clear as a bell. "You said yourself they where full of secrets, this WHOLE place is full of secrets. The armor you spoke of...it doesn't even come close to some of the stories of what hides here. Faces in mirrors, strange music seeming to float up from the depth and roses...always the slight underlying smell of roses. However, some of the passages were blocked off...different rumors as to why but for those who are in the know...or pretty much grew up down here, you'll find there are ways around. The phantom wasn't known for backing himself into a corner."


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Name: Kitty | Gender: female | Posts: 15 | Roses: 10
Old 03-25-2018 at 10:25 PM
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 Post [94]


Jacob Inkstone

"The armor you spoke of...it doesn't even come close to some of the stories of what hides here. Faces in mirrors, strange music seeming to float up from the depth and roses...always the slight underlying smell of roses." Faintly, he shuddered at such things. Her voice felt to him like black ribbon pooling on the floor, endless and dark, winding together until it was impossible to see where it ended and began. "However, some of the passages were blocked off...different rumors as to why but for those who are in the know...or pretty much grew up down here, you'll find there are ways around. The phantom wasn't known for backing himself into a corner."

"Demons and ghosts locked away, left to scream but never be heard," he murmured in response.

Almost, he reached out for her hand, but he quickly checked himself.

"There's a passage here. Are you all right to go further?"

Do you want to? he thought.

It was a small tunnel, he'd have to stoop his head and suck in his stomach. There were spiders skittering across the walls, snatches of cobwebs clinging to their legs. The darkness in there was as sharp as glass, only shattered by the light of the torch.

The most powerful thing was the mind and yet it could so easily be tricked. As he breathed in, the smells overtaking the damp and chill were the fragrances of roses and candles just blown out. It was a tempting scent, yet was he only imagining it from what she had told him?

"Can you smell that?"

Jacob entered the passage. Something crunched -- he pictured bones picked clean by goblins or the body of a dancer who had got herself trapped -- but he aimed the torch and saw that it was only a shard of mirror glass. Though why was it there?

"Tales about the wandering armour only stopped when I found a pouch of jewels and love letters hidden in a secret compartment in the chest plate. A knight had been in love with the wife of a king. She was slain by the husband in a fit of jealousy and the story was forgotten. When the truth was revealed perhaps the knight felt peace. And isn't that what we all deserve in the end? I . . . All these sightings here, wouldn't it be nice if whoever they once were could sleep?"
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Name: Natalia | Gender: Female | Posts: 2,764 | Roses: 50
Old 04-03-2018 at 04:07 AM
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 Post [95]


Cara Blaze Andovea

It was strange the images that came to mind as she spoke. Images of times lost past, forgotten, put to bed and buried though lingering right underneath the surface. Faces, so many faces her mothers, her fathers would their ghosts linger here? Mark's, Dementis their sheared souls lingering in the dark and the phantoms...surely if anyone spirit remained within the mazed walls it would be his and anyone else that he claimed within the fire.

"Demons and ghosts locked away, left to scream but never be heard,"

She couldn't help but raise a brow at this for if only he knew, if only he had heard the most recent of stories, the ones centered around beasts, devils and demons...the ones centered around her.

"Maybe that's because no one wants to listen." she all but whispered getting a sense that something was calling out to her, or, someone.

"There's a passage here. Are you all right to go further?"

In the back on her mind she could already hear him moving the disturbed smell of dust and mold floating to the surface the tendrils of spider web brushing over skin as they moved, her silent answer the hiss and smell of the torch masking a few more unlying notes like roses...

"Can you smell that?"

...Always roses.

"Tales about the wandering armour only stopped when I found a pouch of jewels and love letters hidden in a secret compartment in the chest plate. A knight had been in love with the wife of a king. She was slain by the husband in a fit of jealousy and the story was forgotten. When the truth was revealed perhaps the knight felt peace. And isn't that what we all deserve in the end? I . . . All these sightings here, wouldn't it be nice if whoever they once were could sleep?"

"It would be nice to think that way" Cara replied the shattering crunch of glass reminding her of yet another part of the phantoms story along with legends about what a 'looking glass' really was.

"Though sometimes I wonder. There are some... demons, souls, they may never get to rest and sometimes it's the living, the ones left behind that are trapped. Look at the Phantom, no one knows what happened to him after Christine...no one knows what truly happened down here but...I do know that his story seems to take on a life of its own and in that way maybe it's THAT which keeps his soul alive. I mean, you could search this whole place and never find anything, but something, something tells you to look underneath the surface."


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Name: Kitty | Gender: female | Posts: 15 | Roses: 10
Old 04-12-2018 at 01:12 PM
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 Post [96]


Jacob Inkstone

"Y-You sound like you have experience."

What has happened to you? Jacob wondered. The woman talked as cryptically as the puzzles he so loved. He could hear it in every word -- thick with whatever memories were taunting her. He was tempted to ask, but his usual hesitancy -- that thing inside his head that was like a patch of static -- stopped him.

He didn't like to remember his own experiences, though often because they were impossible to remember. Another reason why he was quick to explore was because he was filling the gaps from his childhood. Better to bury them with a hundred new things rather than face them. Even better -- it was more fun chasing the ghosts of strangers rather than ones that were familiar.

He could swear there were footsteps already in the dust. To pretend nothing was wrong, he stepped over them, his own footprints engulfing them. There were tiny, curled up black bits, which could either be decayed rose petals or the scrunched up corpses of beetles. One crunched beneath his foot and he grimaced.

"We shouldn't be down here!" Yet it wasn't him who had hissed that, and he knew it wasn't Cara either. It had been the wispy sound of a girl's voice. No, no, Jacob told himself. He had not heard the voice. He hadn't.

And, more importantly, the voice sounded nothing like his foster sister. He'd lost her voice long ago. But, in the back of his head, he swore he heard his own voice, younger, say in reply, "It's all right. Keep hold of my hand."

Something soft brushed his palm and he closed his hand. It was all in his head, although he didn't know what was all his imagination and the Opera house playing its tricks.

The passageway stopped. Old rotten and torn ropes covered in damp in mildew wound around the bars of the locked door. There was no lock. What was set against the bars was a metal plate with jewels set into it in the shape of a long, snake-like dragon. There were red stones where the eyes and mouths would be, looking like dribbling flames when caught in the torchlight.

Jacob squinted and leaned in close to read the gold lettering carved in, "I am the fire within the guts, but my hide is not scales. When my flames come . . . I hop?" His face screwed up. "Sounds more like a toad than a dragon."
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Name: Natalia | Gender: Female | Posts: 2,764 | Roses: 50
Old 04-28-2018 at 04:12 AM
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 Post [97]


Cara Blaze Andovea

As she 'explored' Cara couldn't help but think back to the other times she had been down here, the stories that had first led her down here and the ones she had grown up with. It had all seemed like a: Once Upon a time, thing back then but yet again...so had demons and look how THAT had turned out.

The fact that the phantom was no demon paid little heed to those that told the stories, nor had they played much part in those around Mark for that matter but as she compared the two she couldn't help but wonder if SHE had, had warning would she have turned back as Christine had SOMEWHAT done?

"Y-You sound like you have experience."

The voice broke through her thoughts making her laugh a little even as she dwelled deeper into the 'darkness.'

"You have no idea." she replied letting the words fall from her lips as in her mind she tried to push aside the thought and work out just where it was they were now only to stop when she heard that he did.

"I am the fire within the guts, but my hide is not scales. When my flames come . . . I hop? Sounds more like a toad than a dragon. "

"I hope you are ready." she finished "Don't be deceived toads can be quite dangerous if you aren't careful how you handle them. Just like fire."

Reaching her hand out her fingertips run along the wall cobwebs, dust, crumbling things of all kinds.

"This was said to be his lair, there's a lever to open the gate somewhere along here if I could just find it but...how far do you want to go?"


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Name: Kitty | Gender: female | Posts: 15 | Roses: 10
Old 05-07-2018 at 07:25 PM
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 Post [98]


Jacob Inkstone

Jacob thought he'd been asked that before. Years ago. It didn't help looking back on the past. No matter how distant it was, it still hurt like a fresh wound.

"As far as the very end," he answered. So far down that you either found the light leading out of the tunnel or the dead end. "I think I read somewhere that there were toads seeping with poison. If you stepped on them, the blood could burn you like acid."

Perhaps it was a made up toad in a storybook, but the message still applied: there were many types of poison within. For most people, the poison in their blood was their memories.

He ran his hand over the metal plate, fingers swirling as he followed the thin, knotted body of an Eastern dragon. There, between its monstrous claws was a . . .
"A grasshopper?" he murmured. There was a whisper in the back of his mind that fire always came when the grasshopper hopped. He pressed, and the grasshopper sunk in and made a strange clicking sound. Then the door opened and he thought no more of insects.

The tunnel walls had been covered in music. At first he thought someone has pasted music sheets and left them to rot. However, if that was the case, then they would have deteriorated to nothing by now. Someone had carved the notes in. He knew not a jot of music, and so could not tell how accurate they were, but there were names attached -- Otello's Willow Song, The Resurrection of Lazarus. He thought he even saw the words 'Don Juan', though more likely it was his imagination making something out of nothing.

"What a waste," he couldn't help but murmur. The water crawled everywhere in the bowels of the Opera, and this place was the same. Rivulets scurried down the walls, eroding the music. Jacob reached out and touched one of the carved music notes and the edges crumbled away.

When the Phantom had lured Christine to his realm with promises of night's beauty, had he blindfolded her and led her down this way? Entranced, stupefied over her dreams, had Christine run her fingers over these walls and thought she was ascending heaven? Such a cruel trick.

Now, as Jacob went further in, the decay could be clearly seen.
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