Although it didn't win, I'm still very proud of it and would like to share.
* The theme of the drabble was "Celebration"
* Must be written a classic Phantom--not a modern re-write or alternate universe
* Must be no more than 300 words
* Must tell a complete story
(ALW-based/Rate for all audiences.) Enjoy!
The clock on the wall chimed its 10 o’clock warning when guilt finally drove Erik from the sanctuary of his lair. The pending journey was as detestable as the thought of what awaited him. On the same day each year Madame Giry summoned him to her apartment in the ballet dormitories. In the past, he had protested but quickly learned no amount of arguing could sway the unbending woman. It was far less painful to acquiesce to the invitation than suffer her castigations.
With measured tread, Erik wove his way through the inner workings of the opera house. His steps slowed against the nausea twisting in his gut as he traveled the final length of the hallway leading to her apartment. He breathed a defeated sigh and reached to straighten the ascot adorning his neck. Long moments passed before he rapped softly against the heavy wooden door. Old hinges creaked their welcome as it opened.
“Erik, it’s good to see you.”
“I was beginning to think your reluctance finally got the better of you. Please, come in.”
Sheer courage forced his boot across the threshold.
The click of the latch behind him soothed his churning stomach. His eyes traced the perimeter of the room and came to settle upon her timeworn chaise. On it rested a small box, wrapped in colorful paper and tied neatly with a satin ribbon. A cake, topped with a single candle, sat on the escritoire beside it.
Erik swallowed against the lump forming in his throat.
“Happy birthday, Erik.”
“Thank you.” The felicitation caused him to blush.
“Come.” Her fingers slid into the crook of his elbow.
For this one night, he would forget the bitterness in his life; and with his friend, he would willfully celebrate his own birthday.