Last year, my OKRWA writing chapter held a fun contest where participants were challenged to write a 500 word story with a ‘monster’ as the romance hero. I’ll be sharing a few of those on my blog between now and Halloween. Enjoy!
FROM KATHY L. WHEELER
I am a huge musical theater lover! So choosing the Phantom as my monster was a no-brainer. I’ve seen the show eleven times! Yes. Eleven. 11. I was recently in New York City and saw three shows: Something Rotten (second time, both on Broadway); Wicked (seven times, first time on Broadway. Unbelievable!); and, School of Rock (first time ever) and another Andrew Lloyd Webber. (He also did Phantom). I did try to see Phantom of the Opera again, but they didn’t have Rush tickets, and well…. I have seen it 4 times on Broadway, and was once given a backstage tour! My daughter took a picture of me holding one of actors masks and said “She’s speechless”. Alas, it was true.
(Side note from Alicia – Catching Kathy ‘speechless’ is a rare event. So sorry I missed it. 😉 – JK, Kathy, love ya!!)
If Christine Had Chosen the Phantom
1905 Sewers beneath the Paris Opera House
“Make. Your. Choice.”
His raspy snarl filled the bizarrely decorated space. A carved out niche somewhere in the sewers beneath the Paris Opera House. Lighted candelabras sat atop a grand piano that had seen better days, a chair before a cracked mirror that distorted my image grotesquely. I glanced over my shoulder. Raoul, my childhood friend, begging me with his eyes, noose snug about his neck. I’d known him since childhood.
My fingers trembled. What if I made the wrong choice? This evil, half-masked man rose to his full height, poised for… Was that hate in his eyes? Or love? Would he kill me? Raoul? Dear God, help me, but I wanted him. Him, my angel of music. He, who sang to me when I slept. Could I really choose him, the Phantom of the Opera, over my childhood sweetheart?
Slowly, I stood. Crept toward him so as not to frighten him. Lifted my hands to that face. That beautiful, sad creature, who gave my voice song, night after night. His face so scarred was difficult to look upon, but when I close my eyes all I hear is his brilliant music.
“Oh, Raoul, I’m sorry.” I lunged forward, trapped firm lips beneath my own. For a moment the Phantom froze. But I refused to be rejected. “You love me,” I whispered.
“Yes. Yes.” A damn broke. His mouth devoured mine. His tongue swept against mine with passion, with fever. Each stroke weakened my knees, but his arms kept me upright. His body was strong, hard, masculine. His hand hovered at my breast. I felt the heat but he didn’t touch. He broke away, his breathing labored. Wary, shock-filled eyes met mine.
“Let Raoul go. I shall stay.” My whisper echoed against the stone walls.
“If you are deceiving me—” Harsh words, yet I deserved no better. He had no reason to believe in others or me. Why should he? Ridiculed his whole life. No one looked past the scars to the cleverness of his wit and mind.
I placed my finger against his lips. “No,” I said. “I wish to stay.”
He whipped a knife from nowhere. In a single slash, the rope dangled above, felling Raoul to his knees. “Christine, you don’t have to, he can’t make you.”
The Phantom spun and dropped in the chair, draping one leg over the armrest. His manner appeared nonchalant, but I knew he held his breath, awaiting my response. I went to the door and opened it.
“He is not forcing me,” I said. “I’m sorry.”
“This is the point of no return. Christine. I beg you.” Raoul reached out a hand. I stepped back, his shoulders fell.
“This is goodbye. Think of me fondly. Remember me, once in a while.” I will not cry. I will not.
His knuckles graze my cheek. “There will never be a day when I won’t think of you.”
Check out Kathy’s Gothic Mystery Romance, which is part of a series, A World of Gothic, in which I also published a novella.
Can she live with what her memories may unlock?
She remembers nothing of her past except the sting of her aunt’s slap jarring her to the stained letter she held in one hand, the bloody knife in the other, and … her father’s lifeless body at her feet. Now she must face the truth…did she murder her own father.
“With your assistance, Miss Ross, we’ll be tearing this house apart.” He glanced between his two companions. “When I learn who the dishonest party is, make no mistake, I will be pressing charges. To the fullest extent of the law.”
My stomach nose-dived a hundred leagues below sea level. Not only did I possess one of the Spanish coins, but my presence here was not exactly on the up-and-up.
“That’s just rich. Isn’t it, Adam?” Raven hissed. “Laughable to hear you speaking of following the law.”
He dropped his napkin. “I have matters to attend to this morning, Miss Ross. I’m sure you have ideas to present. Let’s meet in the library. Shall we say—” He eyed my crusted bread with an amused smirk. “—fifteen minutes?”
“Of course,” I responded, so relieved I almost slid from my chair to the floor. The library. I could handle the library.
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Kathy L Wheeler (aka Kae Elle Wheeler) is the author of sixteen contemporary and historical novels and novellas that range from sweet to spicy and an award winning author. She has a BA in Management Information Systems from the University of Central Oklahoma that includes a vocal minor. She loves the NFL, the NBA, musical theater, travel, reading, writing and just to scratch the singing itch…. karaoke. She is a member Romance Writers of American and The Beau Monde chapter. She currently serves as editor of both, the Regency Reader and Novel Notes Authors newsletters. Kathy lives in Edmond, OK with her attorney and musically talented husband, Al. She has one grown daughter with an adorable baby boy and another on the way, and one bossy cat, who acts as if she were the rescuer rather than the rescue-e!!