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Final Curtain Call: Corinne Li

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    Final Curtain Call: Corinne Li

    Tonight was a big night for Corinne. The Walnut Theater was holding auditions for a new production of The Phantom. This was the kind of thing for theater stars and starlets, but on a whim, she'd decided to give it a try. Heck, even a role as an extra would be big to be able to play at such a famous theater. It was always hard to read reactions from directors at these things, but after her audition, she got the distinct impression that he had actually noticed she was there, always a plus. He'd even given a slight nod to the woman sitting to his left, whatever that meant!

    Right now, Corinne was in the women's dressing room, mingling with a few of the other actresses, some of them wannabes but a few of them were the real deal. One of them, a curly haired brunette who Corinne knew had tried out for the role of Christine, was changing into her casual wear next to Corinne when she smiled at her.

    "You're trying out for one of those extra roles right? I'm Petra... I've got Christine all but locked up. I wish they'd just get it over with and introduce me to the Phantom already. I hear he's pretty eccentric. Won't come out and talk to anyone or anything! How am I supposed to build chemistry if he won't show?" Petra paused, seeming to size up Corinne for a moment, then moved closer, whispering to her, "Hey you seem like a nice girl. Maybe if you do something for me, I can put in a good word for you..."

    #2
    Re: Final Curtain Call: Corinne Li

    Corinne was feeling hopeful. She thought her audition had gone really well, at least for her own part. After getting through the really difficult parts of the song without any major problems, her confidence had picked up and from the looks of the casting director, maybe a bit of that had shone through.

    As she dressed back into her street clothes, one of the more likely candidates for Corinne actually bothered to speak to her, which took her by surprise. The girl was really good.

    "Yeah, that's right," she said when Petra addressed her. "For an extra part. But it'd be great if I could get a speaking role. You though," Corrine placed a hand over her own collarbone and made a gasping, 'amazed' face before continuing. "I heard you sing. You're really good! I'm sure you'll be our Christine."

    She stopped as Petra went on to discuss the mystery of the Phantom. "Eccentric and in hiding? Sounds like he's a real method actor. It sounds like you could use that, maybe? That mystery between the two leads could really --"

    Petra stopped her with a whisper. "Do something for you? Uh, sure. What was it you had in mind, Petra?"

    Comment


      #3
      Re: Final Curtain Call: Corinne Li

      Petra smiled but shook her head. "Yeah I get the whole character immersion thing. It has its place and all, especially for the Phantom, but the least he could do is introduce himself. I mean, I don't even know if he's a soprano or a tenor!"

      The curly haired brunette drew closer to to Corinne, draping an arm around her shoulders. Corinne noticed that some of the other women were looking at her, but they looked away when Petra shot them a glare. Then she continued in a whisper. "The director has this silly rule that I'm not to disturb the Phantom in his dressing room." She said, sounding offended just by speaking the words. "Well that's where you come in. You're new and don't know the rules, so no one will hold it against you if you go knock on his door... It's down at the far end of the hallway, you can't miss it really. You look like a perfect Meg. I'll be sure to let the director know I think so if you help me. So what do you say hon?"

      Comment


        #4
        Re: Final Curtain Call: Corinne Li

        Hearing Petra's plan, Corrine had a few inner reservations. this could all backfire horribly. But then again, it would be an innocent mistake from a newcomer, just as Petra said. And to be honest, Corinne WAS curious about this mysterious phantom now as well.

        She hid her caution with a short giggle.

        "I'm not above a little mischief. I'll do it. But if he answers, what should I say? Should I mention you? Or should I just try and get to know him, then tell you about it?"

        When Petra told her what she wanted, Corinned nodded. "All right. I'll go and do it. Wait here."

        With that, Corinne stole down the hallway, further and further away from the sounds of the stage, back to where this reclusive phantom waited. She held up her fist to knock, but then decided against it and instead pressed her ear to the door, listening for any sort of noise. If it seemed quiet she would rap at the door lightly and try the handle.

        "Is this the dressing room?" She asked aloud as she attempted to open the door a crack so that she could peek in.

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          #5
          Re: Final Curtain Call: Corinne Li

          "Great! Just get to know him... maybe try to get him to sing. Then come back and let me know what you found. Easy right?" Petra grinned widely, giving Corinne a little wink and wiggling her fingers as she waved goodbye.

          The hallway stretched a lot longer than Corinne expected. Once she'd gotten away from the main dressing areas, the costume rooms, and the stage, the walls were just white plaster with black and white squares of tile lining the floor, stretching off into the distance, so far that she might have wondered if she was even moving at all or if it was one of those trick hallways from the movies. Eventually, she did find a wooden door at the end of the hallway. There was a gold star and a bright red sign hanging beneath it, tilted to the side, saying, "Phantom's Room: Do Not Disturb!!!"

          That was strange, but then again, Petra did say the guy was a bit eccentric. Maybe it was just another character immersion technique? Pressing her ear to the door, Corinne couldn't hear anything going on inside. The knock didn't produce any response either, but luckily the door opened easily, sliding ajar so Corinne could peek inside.

          The room looked mostly like the usual dressing room, but it did have an old fashioned style with oak tables and leather furniture. There was a main desk with papers strewn about over it as well as a cosmetic table with a mirror and a phantom mask laying on the table. There was also two bookcases on either side of the room. One of the bookcases looked strange.. in fact upon closer examination, it was pushed further to the side with what looked like an opening behind it! Strangely, there seemed to be a faint sound of music coming from behind the bookcase as well...

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            #6
            Re: Final Curtain Call: Corinne Li

            "Hmmm... A sound proof door?" Corinne murmured to herself before pushing the door open. The room's archaic, period piece decor tickled her funny bone, yet at the same time intrigued her. "Cool. Method actor, just as I thou--!"

            Her eyes set on the oddly shifted bookcase.

            "No way. A real secret passage? Behind a bookcase?" Corinne gasped. "Since when did people build secret passages in Philly?"

            Biting her lip, Corinne looked behind her to the sounds of the stage down the hallway. Wouldn't the phantom be really angry if he caught her snooping around in his secret 'lair?' Then again, this was almost impossible to ignore. A Phantom with his own secret passage!

            She tilted her head and pricked up an ear to listen to the distant sounds of music coming from behind the bookcase.

            "Oh Corinne... you only live once," she said. "Let's go find him."

            The young actress closed the sound proof door to the dressing room and then slipped her slim frame behind the furniture and into the passageway beyond. To keep up her courage up, she decided to put herself inside the play itself... singing the title song's verses.

            "In sleep he sang to me~ In dreams he came~ That voice which calls to me~ And speaks my name~ And do I dream again? For now I find~ The Phantom of the Opera is there, inside my mind.~"

            Creeping ever forward, she made her way to the source of the music.

            Comment


              #7
              Re: Final Curtain Call: Corinne Li

              After taking her metaphorical leap of faith, Corinne found herself heading down a long spiraling staircase heading towards the sound of the music and perhaps the Phantom and who knows what other surprises! The passage and the stairwell were old, made of stone and cramped, just big enough for a person to go up and down. It must have been at least 250 years old. Luckily for Corinne the stairwell was lit by the occasional flickering torchlight, giving the passage a luminescent light orange hue. Her shadow danced along the walls as she walked down the stairs, and sometimes it seemed like others did as well, but surely that was just her imagination or the result of flickering flames. There was no one else in sight, that was for sure.

              The sounds of music slowly grew louder as Corinne continued down the stairs. It took a long time to get all the way down the stairs. Indeed, if it wasn't for the increasing tenor of the music, she might have thought she wasn't moving at all. By the time she got to the mouth of the stairwell though, the sounds of the eccentric organ filled not only the stairwell but the whole lair below. The acoustics were quite magnificent!

              Entering the mouth of the lair, Corinne found that it seemed to be some kind of old reservoir. Most of the area in front of her was filled with midnight blue water, flames from torches along the walls dancing along the surface of the abyss. There was a stone bridge before her, stretching along to the middle of the room where it branched off at right angles toward passages to other hidden rooms in the mysterious reservoir.

              Most strangely of all was the great big stone island at the far side of the chamber. The bridge didn't go there, but there was a boat docked at the end of the bridge. On the island stood a great big old-fashioned pipe organ, clearly the source of the music Corinne was hearing. Although there was obviously no one there that Corinne could see, she swore she could see the keys and pedals of the organ pressing down to the music. Perhaps it was one of those preprogrammed pianos that play music on its own? The boat, however, was docked at the bridge and not the island...

              Comment


                #8
                Re: Final Curtain Call: Corinne Li

                These stairs go on forever, Corinne thought as she ventured further and further downward. And so old as well, creaking and dusty and worn with age, they looked as if the founding fathers of America might have used them when planning the revolution. Amazing that something like this could exist here... and all the same, that a real life Phantom might exist, waiting for her at the bottom. The organ music played on, filling Corinne with dread and excitement both. This was out of a movie, no, the play itself. A fantasy coming to life.

                Her legs ached by the time she reached the last step, yet having come this far, she knew there was no going back. After all of this, she must find the source of this music. She had to know who this phantom was, and how he had come to find such a treasure trove of history. This lair... this underground lake!

                Corinne's jaw hung low in awe, her dark eyes reflecting the candlelight in waves off the surface of the lake.

                "And in this labyrinth, where night is blind..." she whispered as she crossed the stone bridge and arrived at the boat. She peered hard at the island across the water. As if in a dream, she was guided by an inexorable desire to enter the vessel and push it out into the lake. She knew that she must reach that island. This place was magic, and she must know all of it. She dare not call out anymore, to break the spell that hung over this place.

                If she managed to row or push herself across the water without being disturbed, she would hastily tether the boat and then approach the organ itself, reaching out with her hand to run her fingers over it.

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                  #9
                  Re: Final Curtain Call: Corinne Li

                  Once Corinne stepped into the boat, she was past the point of no return. The boat quietly slid through the shimmering midnight blue water, Corinne using the oars to paddle her way to the mysterious island with the great pipe organ. It continued to play as she approached, ending a majestic crescendo only to begin a soft, eerie rendition as she docked at the island.

                  As she approached the organ, perhaps to her surprise, the music suddenly stopped, the whole underground chamber going chillingly quiet as if aware of her presence upon the strange stone island.

                  "You there!" a dark tenor voice suddenly filled Corinne's mind. "Who is this sweet angel vigilante that dares to trespass upon by domain?"

                  Corinne had been sure she'd been alone in this chamber even when the voice seemed to fill up her mind, but she now felt the definite presence of a man standing behind her, his strong but cold hands grasping her sides in a non threatening but firm manner as he awaited her reply.

                  Spoiler

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Re: Final Curtain Call: Corinne Li

                    The sudden silence swept across the mystical dream state in Corinne's mind, like a gust of wind snuffing out the last illuminating candle. Acutely, she felt the reality of the situation - that she was alone in a very strange, very bizarre, and very isolated lair, deep beneath the theater.

                    A voice broke the stillness. Dark, strong, and passionate, the mysterious man's words struck Corrine dumb for a brief moment as he stepped from the shadows to confront her. She gasped, and took a stutter step backwards, to the edge of the island. One of her hands when to her breastbone, to still the pounding of her heart, while her other hand stretched out to the side, to keep her balance and search for something to hold onto. When she found nothing, she fell to the side, landing on her hip. She lay there, like a lamb before a wolf, but unable to turn her eyes away from him.

                    It occurred to her that he was beautiful. Most guys, if they worked at it, could be handsome. Many more could be cute. But this man, the word beautiful was the only adjective that did him justice.

                    His words still echoed in her mind. Had he even spoke at all? Was he really the Phantom? Inside her mind?

                    "Corinne. My name is Corinne," she said, unable to think up anything else to say but the truth. "I'm not a vigilante... I just, I found you here... this place is amazing. Wondrous. And the music was playing and... I just couldn't help myself from walking down here. It's like a dream! Are you... are you the phantom? You sound just like him... but it's clear you don't need a mask..."

                    She tried to smile, but she was nervous. Something she couldn't place her finger on was trying to warn her. Something was wrong. The hairs on the back of her neck were rising. She should be afraid, and she was, but she wasn't scared enough.

                    She shook her head and brought a hand to her temple as she tried to sit upright. The adrenaline of having been discovered here was disorienting her. Still she gazed at him again and this time couldn't take her eyes off of his. Who was this man?

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                      #11
                      Re: Final Curtain Call: Corinne Li

                      The Phantom smiled, watching as Corrine stepped back to the edge of the island. He followed her but let her fall to the ground, instead following to kneel above her. "Just found me you say, Corrine?" He stretched out his hand and stroked her cheek with cold fingers. "Just.. found me..," he said more skeptically this time. "No... an angel of music led you to me.. or perhaps you are the angel yourself? An angel wandering into my dark labyrinth, led astray by some foul devil. Is that it Corrine?"

                      Taking Corrine by the hand, the Phantom pulled her upright once again, guiding her with a hand at her lower back to sit on the bench before the organ.

                      "Well regardless Corrine... it seems that you are... Past the point of no return!" He broke into song of course, sitting down next to Corrine on the bench, guiding her face to look at him and then back toward the entrance. His voice started dark and low, but as he slowly built the intensity of the song, his smirk grew ever wider. It was as if he was enjoying playing with Corrine's combination of emotions, awe, dread, anticipation. When he finished, he trailed off, holding Corrine by the chin and looking deeply into her eyes with a curious gaze.

                      No backward glances; Our games of make believe are at an end

                      Past the thought of if or when, no use resisting
                      Abandon thought, and let the dream descend

                      What raging fire shall flood the soul?
                      What rich desire unlocks its door?
                      What sweet seduction lies before us?

                      Past the point of no return, the final threshold
                      What warm unspoken secrets will we learn?

                      Beyond the point of no return....

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                        #12
                        Re: Final Curtain Call: Corinne Li

                        Something about the way the handsome phantom spoke, his eyes drawing her into the dream world he occupied, urged Corrine to join with him in this mad duet. Awestruck, she could only play the part he now invited her to become.

                        "If I am some lost angel, it is for you to decide," she told him as he knelt down beside her, like some imposing knight out of a storybook. And yet he was a haunted creature - she need only continue to look into those dazzling eyes. Her thoughts ran headlong down a sloping gamut of emotional terrain. She was scared. She was enchanted. She was in love. She was revolted.

                        This man's charisma was an intoxicating poison, she was sure, but unable to resist. As he drew her up next to him and sang to her, she knew without a doubt that she must answer appropriately, or face a chilling consequence. Her only way out, the ONLY WAY, was to play his game as good or better than he. She would be this angel of music.

                        And so she sang, the words coming naturally to her:

                        You have brought me, to that moment when words run dry
                        To that moment when speech disappears into silence.

                        Silence...


                        Her heart raced as she realized the power of the music's emotion overcoming her. She looked at this man, this phantom, and felt her own urges melding into that of the song. Her thoughts were the thoughts of Christine now.

                        I have come here,
                        Hardly knowing the reason why.
                        In my mind I have already imagined
                        Our bodies entwining,
                        Defenseless and silent.

                        Now I am here with you,
                        No second thoughts.
                        I've decided.
                        Decided.


                        Her voice in song was soft now, as close to a whisper as song could be, and she sung now for and to only the phantom. Her eyes focused solely on him, her lips inches from his face, so that her breath fell across his mouth. Funny wasn't it, but did he not breath? No matter.

                        Past the point of no return,
                        No going back now,
                        Our passion play-play has now at last begun.

                        Past all thought of right or wrong,
                        One final question -
                        How long should we two wait before we're one?

                        When will the blood begin to race?
                        The sleeping bud burst into bloom?
                        When will the flames at last *consume* us?

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Re: Final Curtain Call: Corinne Li

                          Sitting next to the mysterious Phantom, Corrine felt the rush of emotions swirling through her. Sometimes it felt like they were being tampered with somehow, amplified as they swirled through her chest like a whirlpool of emotions from awe to fear, love, and horror.

                          The man smiled while Corrine sang, first holding his chest as if struck by the beauty of her voice like Cupid's arrow. His smile grew when she continued. He took her hand in his own and brought it to his lips for a cold kiss. His lips cascaded slowly up her arm all the way to her shoulder, sending shivers down Corrine's spine. As Corrine drew closer, he looked into her eyes, a hand sliding up the back of her neck and into her dark hair.

                          As she sang, Corrine felt as if someone was helping her, ever so slightly boosting her to the crescendo. The feeling swelled, growing until Corrine realized that it wasn't just her imagination but an actual harmony singing along with her just when Petra stepped from the stairway and into the cavern, wearing a long red dress. She walked forward confidently as she continued the song, the Phantom taking Corrine into his arms and joined the final duet with the sudden appearance of Petra.

                          Past the point of no return
                          The final threshold!
                          The bridge is crossed, so stand and watch it burn
                          We're past the point of no... return...


                          In the silence that ensued after the end of the verse, Petra jumped across the water, landing on the island before Corrine and the Phantom, quite a feat for a woman of her stature wearing a long dress - or anyone for that matter.

                          "That is quite a voice you have Corrine," Petra said with a crooked smile, brushing a finger through her curly hair.

                          "Yes, quite angelic..." The Phantom added with a smile equally crooked, brushing his lips against Corrine's ear.

                          Spoiler

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Re: Final Curtain Call: Corinne Li

                            The crescendo of the song was entrancing, a dream and a nightmare co-mingled in one surreal experience. Corrine sang on as if nothing else made sense, her mind and emotions tossed upon a tempestuous sea of mystery and desire. The Phantom's cold kisses on her skin made her shiver, yet her voice did not tremble, somehow.

                            She turned with shock as her voice harmonized with that of another, and Petra appeared from the shadows. She had followed her, and the knowing look in her eyes spoke volumes.

                            Still the song must finish. And at last it did, the silent pause afterwards punctuated by Petra's leap. Corrine had been in track during her high school years, she had seen girls in proper athletic gear with years of training be unable to make a standing leap like that. It was impossible.

                            "Petra?" Corrine shook her head, as if to shake away the dreamlike qualities that pervaded this lair. Had she breathed something in? Perhaps she had been drugged and she was hallucinating. That had to be it. None of this made sense otherwise.

                            "What's going on? What's happened to me? Do you... do you two know each other?" Corrine clutched her temple with one hand. "I must be seeing things."
                            Last edited by BlueSlime; 17th April 2013, 09:06.

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                              #15
                              Re: Final Curtain Call: Corinne Li

                              "The poor thing looks like a deer in headlights," Petra cooed in bemusement as she sat on the opposite side of Corrine on the bench. Two of her fingers slid beneath Corrine's chin and push up to look into her eyes. "Don't worry it's only natural to have a bit of stagefright on your first time. There is a little difference in our production of the Phantom you see..."

                              Petra arched her head back and bared her fangs with a hiss before immediately smiling with a giggle. "They look so real don't they?" She touched one with her finger tip. "Costume design is so intricate these days. Thank Maggie for that. Isn't that right Lionel?"

                              Lionel, the Phantom, pulled Corrine out of Petra's grasp. Instead of replying, he stroked her hair and her cheek with a finger, smiling with those beautiful eyes of his. "Christine... say you'll share with me, one love... one life time. Will you save me from my solitude? Say you'll want me with you right here beside you. Anywhere you go let me go too... Christine... that's all I ask of-"

                              Petra immediately pulled Corrine away from the Phantom, scowling jealously. "What the hell Lionel. She isn't Christine. I'm Christine, and you agreed that she would be mine! Give her to me!"

                              "No, get your hands off Christine!" Lionel demanded, pulling Corrine back again, the two pulling Corrine back and forth, not wanting to give her up to their partner!

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