Amira Willighagen sings ‘O Mio Babbino Caro’ on Holland’s Got Talent and delivers an astounding performance which results in her being awarded a ‘Golden Ticket’. This ticket allows her to proceed straight to the Live Show.
Amira Willighagen sings ‘O Mio Babbino Caro’ on Holland’s Got Talent and delivers an astounding performance which results in her being awarded a ‘Golden Ticket’. This ticket allows her to proceed straight to the Live Show.
Jacqueline and Gerard were having a pleasant conversation when their talk was interrupted by the sound of someone singing.
Gerard paused in his writing to listen, his head cocked at an angle.
“Do you hear that?” he asked of her. She scowled at the back of his head, reclining back on the chaise.
“Of course I hear it. I’m surprised the whole of London doesn’t hear it.” Jacqueline scowled, wishing she had earplugs at that moment. “Screeching cats if I ever heard such a racket.” she snorted.
The Mask did not care for the cutting remarks about the golden voice which was now filling the very Opera house. Enchanted, the Mask rose from his chair, staring up at the roof to his lair, and then he stretched out his right hand, as though to pluck a note from the air itself.
“Such innocence and beauty, can you not feel it in her voice?” The Mask said, his eyes closing as he let himself become immersed in her song. He had not heard a woman sing with such a voice in so long, that the sweet refrains nearly moved him to tears. As she paused in her song, he swept up his cape, and vanished up into one of the passages, that led to the Opera house itself. The Phantom of the Opera wanted to see this woman with his own eyes.
Up above, Johan moved across the stage, and then lo and behold, he caught sight of his Josephine. His brow creased to see her standing near the songstress, and he wondered what on earth she was doing there. Jumping down off the stage, he made his way up the aisle, till he came in range of her and asked.
“What are you doing here? I thought you wished to be with your Father.” His eyes still showed the hurt that lingered as he felt she had abandoned him at the Bianchi house.
Malise finished singing and stared out towards the empty seats with a soft smile on her face. Her voice had filled and resounded through the whole opera house. The sound brought a sort of joy to her that she hadn’t felt in the longest of times. However, soon Josephine ruined it by stepping in and snapping “Stop that! This isn’t just an open place to the public! People practice here, and surely they must be getting ready for a show. Come down from there at once before you draw attention to yourself.” Shocked by just how worried the angel was, the siren turned to look at her incredulously.
Her voice was haunting and soft as she responded “You worry about the most trivial of things. Do you see anyone else on this stage? Do you see anyone forcing us out? My dear, this is a palace for the arts, where your wildest dreams and desires may be fulfilled. Do not take this small joy from me because you worry for things that do not even hold an ounce of importance.”
Josephine just shook her head once more before a familiar voice caught her attention. Spinning around, her eyes fell on Johan and she felt rooted to the spot. He was here. Seeing that look on her face only broke her heart more and she wanted nothing else but to make things right with him. Stepping forward, she smiled weakly and looked into his eyes “You left…”
Hearing his words, her forehead creased with confusion as she shook her head “My father? Well, yes, I wanted to spend time with him, to speak with him after everything that has happened…but above all, I wanted to speak to him about you. To gently introduce you into our lives. You must understand, it has been me and Papa for so long and he just lost me to…darkness. But now I have returned, and I am a new woman with you. I am complete, just as my father completed my mother. Don’t you understand? I need you. I would have died without you.” Stepping forward, the angelic beauty held out her hand as if begging for Johan to accept her. Should he deny her…she would crumble.
The siren watched on curiously, unaware of the others backstage. The couple was quite touching, and she couldn’t help the small smile that lingered on her lips as she watched the lovers. So desperate for each other, they seemed.
Franz Munchhausen was now applauding wildly when the siren had finished her song. This girl had a rare talent who had captivated the entire cast and crew of the Opera house, and the director knew when he was on to something big. Passing through the crowd of extras, some dressed in the finery of their costumes, he beamed as he approached Malise and waved away Josephine, for her carry on only annoyed him.
“A songbird are you, my dear. Please, let me introduce myself. I am Franz Munchhausen, director of the Operas held in this historic building. Do you have an agent, or someone I need to speak to to sign you up. I need your voice in my Opera.” Franz Munchhausen could be pushy at the best of times, but when he had his eye on a prize, he rarely let it slip through his fingers.
“My office is just this way, Miss. Won’t you follow me? My search for a new star is over!” He said with a flurry of hand movements, which brought light applause from the cast and crew.
Johan stood quietly through all this, his eyes locked on Josephine, who implored that she had wanted to speak to her Father about him, and had missed him after all that had happened. But that was not how Johan had recalled it. He never heard his name mentioned, and put two and two together, thinking he had meant nothing at all to her.
You must understand, it has been me and Papa for so long and he just lost me to…darkness. But now I have returned, and I am a new woman with you. I am complete, just as my father completed my mother. Don’t you understand? I need you. I would have died without you.”
The dancer watched Josephine extend her hand towards him, gesturing her aching need to be touched by him again. He seemed to hold off for a moment, then noticed that they were being watched by many, like some ill fated lovers in a play. Tentatively, Johan crossed the floor towards her, and stared down at her with those blue eyes of his. He took her outstretched hand, toying with her fingers, like that of a nervous creature…fearful of rejection. His face was downcast, and he then slowly raised the back of her hand to his lips, brushing it softly, while closing his eyes tight.
“Forgive me?” he uttered breathlessly.
Josephine smiled hopefully at Johan but was soon brushed aside by Franz. Frowning, she fixed her dress before focusing on her lover once more. Malise, however, winced at the clapping and took a defensive step back as the man came rushing forward. Staring at him with eyes wide like a doe, she stood rooted to the spot as the man began to fret over her. Looking to the floor, she listened to him simper over her talent and tried not to wince again. It wasn’t often she sung for an audience and she was well aware of the effect her voice had. When Franz suggested she follow him, she flicked her eyes back up to look at Josephine desperately. Josephine, however, was absorbed in Johan.
Taking a deep breath, Malise stepped forward but didn’t offer a smile. The man called her a star and seemed quite assured he would have her. Franz was indeed very pushy and Malise just frowned “I do not sing for audiences.” Shaking her head, she continued “Therefore I have no need for an agent. I am just a classically trained dancer at the Bizarre Circus Troupe.” His voice was already giving her a headache and she began to regret speaking to him. Taking a step forward, she tried to offer a small smile but it looked quite forced “Thank you for the offer, but as I have stated, I do not sing for audiences. I am flattered you believe me to be a song bird, but I assure you I am much more dangerous than that.”
Josephine seemed to be over Franz’s rude behavior as her eyes fixed on Johan. Her heart was speeding up as he just stood there and she tried to prepare herself for a rejection. He made no movement to come to her, holding off as they faced each other. She took in a shaky breath and went to speak again but soon he crossed the floor to her. Looking up into his eyes, she smiled gratefully as his fingers touched hers. Looking down as Johan played with her fingers, Josephine brought them up to her mouth to kiss them. Closing her eyes, she closed the distance between them before looking back up at him. He raised her own hand to his lips and her heart began to flutter all over again. Smiling brightly, she leaned in to nuzzle into his neck “Don’t be so absurd…of course I forgive you. Forgive me for frightening you off.”
The angel pulled her hand back to shamelessly wrap them around Johan’s neck. Pulling him close, she buried her face into his neck as if trying to drink in his presence as much as possible. After a moment or so had passed, she pulled back just enough to look up at him “What is this place?” Her eyes then looked past him to see the cast and crew. Feeling foolish for putting on such a spectacle, she reluctantly pulled away from Johan but grasped his hand firmly “Is this…your new home?”
Seeing as there were many pairs of eyes trained on the couple, Johan withdrew from the scene, but took Josephine with him, to a dark corner, near props and crates, out of sight. He looked at her, and then tried to gesture with his hands, to explain why and how he ended up here of all places.
“I tried to return to the Circus, but they knew…they knew I was no longer one of them. When that angel intervened, he destroyed the demon that I was and left me…well, human. I think. The Mask, he brought me here. Said this would suit me better, and I was hired straight away.”
Johan moved closer to her, almost like he wanted to whisper to her so he couldn’t be heard. “I don’t have a home.” It was not something he was proud to admit, and it was part of the reason he fled, when he heard she would live with her Father. He thought there was no place for him in the world, and tried to return to the Circus, which was a bad idea.
“This place is for dancers and singers, artists and creators of magic. I think I can make this work, then make enough money for a place for us. But I know your Father has his wishes for you, and you have your own career as a dancer. I guess, I am saying…is this the right time for us? All I have to give you is my heart..my body…is that enough?”
Just below the stage.
The Mask was listening intently as the Siren rejected the directors offers flat, saying that she did not sing for audiences, and she was a traditionally trained dancer with the Bizarre circus troupe. The girl had a fire, a spirit as well as the voice of an angel. Did she not see her worth? The Mask thought to himself, rubbing the smooth side of his face that was free for all to see.
The director implored her.
“Please, at least consider my offer. You could become very rich…a name in lights. Live the dream that many singers only ever hope to achieve in this life.”
Through the twisted iron grates, the Mask watched and waited…Would she vanish back to that dancer’s hell hole, and leave the stage and the Opera behind?
Like a ghoul, he vanished from where he had listened to her song, and through the many catacomb like corridors and tunnels, the Mask moved with the lightest of foot steps, so he went unheard from above. Entranced by her voice, he now wished to know more about her, and he would find a way to meet her, before she left the Opera house.
“Anywhere you go, let me go too.”
Josephine allowed Johan to lead her away silently, her eyes fixed on him as though afraid he would disappear in a puff of smoke. When they were among the various crates, she couldn’t help but smile “There certainly are many facets to the theater world.”Glancing back up at Johan, she saw that he was troubled and all joking was set aside. Stepping closer, she looked at him with concern “My love, what is is? We are together again.”
Seeing him look at her so was wrenching at her heart, but she seemed so confused. Why couldn’t they just be happy and together? Listening to him explain how the circus cast him aside, she frowned more and shook her head “You don’t belong in that world of darkness anymore.” As Johan stepped closer to her, she instinctively reached out to caress his face with her fingertips “Oh Johan…your home is with me.” Wrapping her arms around his back, she drew him in for a hug. Resting her forehead against his chest, she listened to his heart beat “You are still the man I love.” While resting against him, she heard his question. Pulling back to look up at him, sadness clouded her eyes “What are you saying, Johan? Of course this is the right time for us….we’re in love? Isn’t that enough? All I want is you. I don’t care about being a dancer anymore if it means I can’t have you as well. My father wants me happy. Surely he would understand you make me happy.” Her eyes searched his face desperately as if begging him to say she was enough.
Malise was trying very hard not to lose her temper with the director. She thought she was being crystal clear when she said she didn’t want fame and refused to sing for an audience. But still, the director implored. He seemed so desperate to have her and she immediately regretted coming with the pretty blonde girl. Taking in a deep breath, she decided he wouldn’t stop until she agreed to at least think about it. Forcing another smile, she murmured in her haunting voice “Let us see if you can make it worth my while then, shall we?”
Truth be told, she missed the lavished lifestyle she had lived long ago. Not for the fame, or the upper class status or company…but more so what the fortune had brought her. A clean warm bed. Delicious food. Dazzling jewels. Being a dancer at the circus wasn’t a comfortable life. She had to share her quarters with the other dancers, they were constantly moving, and the move was nothing to speak of.
Looking around the stage, she realized she was given the chance to change her life. To actually make something of herself. But her voice…it always brought more harm than anything else. As she stared off towards the empty seats, she seemed to really consider staying. After a moment or so, she turned towards the director “Where do I sign?” She was ready to leave the circus behind…
Whilst Josephine questioned Johan about his concerns on whether or not now was the right time for them to be together, a well dressed woman had been eavesdropping the entire time. A woman of note, but also very mysterious herself. She was dressed solely in black, with a small hat and black veil that covered much of her face. She approached the couple, and stopped just shy of them, raising her lace covered hand to her mouth and coughing lightly.
Johan turned to look at the woman, who spoke ever softly.
“Forgive me, but…I overheard your plight, and I think that I can help…well both of you.” The woman spoke with an aristocratic air, and she held herself regally. Who was she? “Oh…allow me to introduce myself. I am Countess Sassoon, a patron to this very Opera house. I have helped many an aspiring artist in reaching their goals, and I can see that the two of you need some help, yes?”
She waited politely for them to answer, and while Josephine might have been taking this all in, Johan inquired. “But I have only just been hired, and cannot afford my keep anywhere till my first pay.” The Countess chuckled softly beneath her veil and replied. “Money is not the problem, all you need to do is accept my offer. My reward comes from seeing young ones like yourselves prosper and go on to great things. When the Count, bless him, passed away, he left me with a size able fortune, and no one to share it with. I am barren you see, and so with no children and no love in my life, I see this as a good way of helping, and gaining company at the same time. So…do you both accept?”
The director was overjoyed in the young girl’s change of heart, asking where she had to sign to become a part of the Opera house. He quickly snapped his fingers, as a runner brought him a contract that was close at hand. The director was used to getting his way. He handed her a quill and the contract, before doing a little jig with excitement. With a girl such as this, that had the potential for packing houses each night, the money would be pouring in.
In one of the tunnels deep below the Opera house floor, the Mask was now smiling behind his mask. The song bird had agreed to stay. What chances would he now have to spend the nights listening to her song? And what if….she sang the songs he had written? A private audience perhaps? The thought of this cured his melancholy…for now.
The Glittering crystals of the magnificent chandelier radiated a million individual sparkles, that graced the expectant faces of the Opera cast. Many had auditioned many times to take part in the latest Italian opera to make its way to London. All manner of crew and cast, understudy’s with dreams, and the main stars whose voices brought a swell to the hearts of many a romantic. There were two worlds that lived within and under the Opera house, and through the grates, one can hear the latest jewel in the Opera’s crown, singing like she were a bird that had been freed from her cage. The strains of orchestral music filtered down into the sewers, and the mystical river that ran beneath the very foundations of the building. Few aside from the original architect knew of its existence.
This is where the legend of the Phantom of the Opera was born. Many suspect he is the ghost of a love struck foreign Prince, who fell madly in love with the star of the show, only to find she forsaken him for another. Weakened from this, he planned for the ultimate show, where it would be his love, that killed him in front of a packed house, taking on the role of the tragic lover, and the knife that was to be fake…was real. Plunged into his heart by the very woman that had broken his. They whisper this tale in the halls to this day…..but the truth, is far more diabolical. They say you cannot touch a ghost, but our Phantom….you can.
Having taken Johan down the lanes that run along the back of the Opera house, there is a small grate….like a man hole, but large enough for the likes of the Mask and the young dancer to go down. Following behind the Mask silently, he entered the sewer trap and down a tunnel with foot holdings cut into the stone blocks. At the bottom, a small boat, that leads you into the mystical river….passed iron grates, and masses of candelabras that line the water’s edge. Like something from a mid summer’s nights dream gone wrong. It was beautiful as it was macabre. For on the foreshore, there was a large glass case, that had within it the body of a woman, frozen in fear. An Opera singer…her dress covered in the blood of the man she killed….or did she? One thing was for sure….she was dead now.
Welcome to the Opera House, where your musical fantasies…turn into nightmares.
Stepping off the small boat, Johan climbed the stairs to where he saw row upon row of lit candelabras, and within the middle of it, a large oak writing desk, covered in many sheets of yellow parchment, that had lyrics and music written all by hand. So this was the Mask’s home. He had a corner that was dedicated to his sleeping chamber, but there was little else, aside from statues, masks, costume racks, and of course a great organ, that looked like it belonged in a cathedral.
The Mask rowed the boat to the edge and tied it securely before exiting it and walking up the stairs to see that Johan was interested in the sheets of music.
“You write music for the Operas?” Johan asked, picking up one piece of music, and then seeing a well known song, but this had been written years before. The Mask kept his silence, as Johan looked back at him, wondering if he heard him or not. Perhaps the Mask did not wish to speak of his work, though he was more than happy to speak back at the circus.
The Mask then pointed to a opening in the wall, to the right of the large chamber, and he said simply.
“That leads to the Opera house above, but be warned, the way back is harder than you think.” In other words, the building was not so simple that everything was carved or set in stone. The Mask had managed to survive down here practically undetected for so long, it was proof he knew of his worth.
“Go up there, and see the director..Franz Munchhausen. Give him this..” At which the Mask handed over a small broach with a red flower in the center. “Tell him, the Mask wishes you to audition for the new Opera. He will accept, as soon as he sees the broach.” Johan wondered why a piece of jewelry would sway the Director. But it was not the jewelry that was the issue, it was who it was taken from.
That mystery would need to be discovered on it’s own. Johan took the broach, then headed up the stairwell, as the Mask sat down at his desk, to continue to write his music.
She was a slim woman, fair skin, regal in her bearing with long and dark flowing hair. Her eyes saw everything and held no emotions as she kept her cards pretty close to her chest. Dressed from head to toe in black leather and lace, if any of the elder ladies of society had seen her on the street, they would have been scandalized.
She stepped lightly behind The Mask, not to scare him, for he seemed to always have the uncanny ability to know she was there, and placed a comforting hand upon his shoulder.
“Another lost soul, Gerard?” she asked in a quiet voice, so as not to break his concentration from working on his music.
Scribbling madly, his shoulders are hunched forward, with his once greased back hair now falling forward in a haphazard manner. A genius, a musical legend, who spends his hours toiling over songs, and lyrics. Music his primary passion and also his curse. Of course, the shadows of his lair do offer up some rather unusual creatures, and none more so than Jacqueline. Her voice soft but a whisper, as she does not wish to break his concentration. Naturally, it is the scent of her perfume that is mixed with her own feminine musk, that brings the quill’s tremor to a stop. Pausing, still. The Mask does not move his head, nor his body. Then from behind the mask, behind the wisps of hair, he speaks.
“Forsaken and damaged. Lost? I know not. Found him I did. Those circus carnies would have eaten him alive. I felt he deserved a chance, so yes, I brought him home.” His head ticked, like a jerking movement, and then the quill started to scribble again frantically, building up as the song in his head…his heart poured from his fingertips and flowed onto the page. Soft mutterings, in time with the piece he wrote would give Jacqueline a clue to his latest masterpiece. Coming to the end, he lets out an enormous sigh, as though he is spent from the Ecstasy of getting the music on paper. Then he sets down the quill gently and asks without looking back at Jacqueline, for he feels her comforting hand upon his shoulder:
“A rose does not belong in the shadows. Why have you come back?”
“Pah! Carnies!” she spat. “Turning so quickly on one so different. They forget they were once so lost!” she scowled. She held no love for the Circus Troupe. “But you are a grand old soul for bringing him here, giving him a home once more.” she mused, stepping away from him to walk around. There were sheets of music everywhere she looked, but she did not touch them. She admired his creativity and his passion for his music. Only one who experienced great pain could create such beauty.
“A rose does not belong in the shadows. Why have you come back?”
Ah…a loaded question if there ever was, and one she didn’t know how to answer.
“Do I need a reason to return?” she answered his question with one of her own.
“Do I need a reason to return?”
“No…I felt it was polite to ask. However, you have your reasons for discretion, and I will respect your wishes.” The Mask inhaled the scent of the rose bud, then set it down gently. Was our Mask a hopeless romantic, doomed to a life hidden from view, due to his hideous appearance behind his fractured mask? The part of his face you can see, was so incredibly handsome, it was as though he had his likeness chiseled in granite by the great masters. But behind the mask….
“Do not worry yourself over those carnies, they will be dealt with in time. But, Jacqueline…tell me of your time amongst the day walkers?” he asked with a gentle tone to his voice.
Jacqueline sighed and took a seat on the chaise lounge, the only piece of furniture not covered in sheet music.
“Disgusting creatures. They smell, have no sense of propriety and are nosey to the extreme. Did you know I was accosted by one old woman who demanded to know why my ‘father’ allowed me to walk around in decent society wearing leather pants like a man? I wanted to set her hair on fire. Nosey old goat.” she scowled. “I told her to bugger off and she made like she’d found her daughter fornicating with the devil in her front parlour, squealing like a stuck pig and running about screaming “Well I never!” My reply to her was “I bet you never either, smelling like a pair of dirty knickers!”. Oh the look on her face was simply priceless.” she chuckled.
“But this place, Gerard…so full of darkness…death…destruction…it is ripe for the picking. I think we’ll do fine here.”
Malise climbed out of their carriage carefully, her blue eyes focused on the old building before them. Something was so mystical and haunting about the opera house that she couldn’t help but stare in awe at the architecture. She spoke very little to Josephine on the way there, but there was no point in trying to make conversation. Josephine had been silent the whole time and it seemed she was so focused on Johan that she didn’t care for company. But that was how Malise liked it. She never liked to speak unless she had to, and some believed it had to do because of her alluring voice that had killed many a man.
As she heard Josephine step out behind her, she turned to bow her head politely “This is where The Mask is rumored to be. I will take you inside.”
The angelic blonde nodded once but had to pick up her skirts and hurry to keep up with the siren as she walked into the opera house.
Stepping inside, the women looked around as they took in their beautifully ornate surroundings. As Josephine’s eyes flit around the room, Malise kept her eyes on the stage. Walking down the aisles, the black-haired beauty seemed mesmerized by how enticing the stage was. Climbing up the stairs to it, Malise began to walk towards center stage.
Josephine looked around sadly with tears in her eyes as she murmured “Why would he be here…” But she soon stopped when she saw Malise “What are you doing?”
Malise did not answer Josephine, but parted her dark lips. Soon a hauntingly voice that was so alluring it could rattle your bones escaped her lips. It was both horrifying and stunning beautiful, and it filled the entire opera house.
The Director was having a right fit, over the latest castings and their antics. Some of the show’s stars were right prima donas, and others well, their egos were bigger than their talent. The setting for a new opera, required dancers with the strength to lift up the females, and though they had cast girls to play the roles, they lacked someone that was both good at dancing, but in particular ballet. It helped with the choreography, while out front the opera singers sang the songs.
At this point, Johan had made it up from the Phantom’s lair, and had opened a trap door, under one of the back stages. Thankfully there were prop boxes blocking the view from some of the crew, and he was able to climb out unseen. With the broach the Mask had given him, clutched tightly in his hand, he searched for the Director, Franz Munchhausen. Turns out, it was not that hard to find him. A short and red faced man standing in the middle of a sea of dancers, that were shaking their heads, as he flailed about there not being a man strong enough to lift Emma Stone, one of the leading ladies, who was…generous in size. Johan’s ears pricked, and he then held up his hand and said.
“I could do that.”
The Director heard this statement, and pushed his way through the crush of bodies, to stand before Johan and look him up and down. “YOU…you think you could do it? What credentials do you have?” the Director eyed him warily, as Johan did exactly what the Mask said, and handed him the broach. As it was passed over, the Director’s face went white as a sheet. He started to stutter and mutter, his eyes bulging, as though the piece of jewelry he was handed was cursed. He knew what it was…and who it belonged too. With a shaking hand, he gave it back to Johan, and then gestured with his hand to the stage.
“You…are welcome to try and audition….err..what is your name, boy?” The Director asked, now being as nice as pie. The question remained…why? Johan said quietly “Johan Belzer, I was lead dancer at Bizarre Circus Troupe.’ There was a collective gasp and whispering from many of the other dancers that knew of that place…and its shadowy history. The Director clapped his hands for quiet, and then he called for Emma Stone, one of the opera singers to come out, and Johan would try out for the role, and do the lift.
Dressed as a fairy…she was the plumpest fairy you ever did see. It’s not to say she wasn’t pretty, but…she wasn’t Mona Lisa. The music was cued and started to play, as Emma sang and then Johan automatically went into dance mode, letting the music guide him as he worked with Emma without fault, even doing the lift, which blew the other cast members away. He was a natural, and the Director was tearful at the end of the number.
“Johan…you are in the show. Your fees and all will be covered by the Opera house, and you will be required for fitting. Right…you lot..get back to practice!…Time’s money.”
It was then…the haunting sound of a Siren’s voice was heard, and all the opera company stopped to hear this angel sing….or was she an angel? Far below the stage, the Mask could hear her song, and set down his quill.
“Do you hear that?” The Mask asked of Jacqueline, obviously enchanted by the Siren’s voice as well.
Captain277: – *Candice felt a small bit of her initial discomfort return as the strange mannerisms of the attendant, as well as the overt presence of some unseen figure in the back, began to smack increasingly of the surreal. The whole business was entirely suspicious, and the sudden orders that they were to share their appointment with no one did nothing to allay the girl’s doubts. She had read more than enough stories to know something was wrong, but resolved not to mention it until they were back in the privacy of their hotel room. Stepping down into the cab, Candice buckled up and set the box, the bag with her costume in it, and the black envelope, neatly on her lap. As she looked down at the bits of white fabric poking out of the bag, another small flush of excitement distracted her from her worrying. Sitting quietly in the seat, Candice buckled up and, for all intents and purposes, put on the perfect manner of a patient woman. In all honesty, she was shaking with anticipation.*
CharlotteCarrendar: – As the black cab pulled out from the curb, Corsica eased back into the comfort on the plush leather seating, her bags at her feet, and she casually draped her arm over the back of the seat. Watching her sister’s behaviour, typical for a woman who had just been given the key to follow the white rabbit down the rabbit hole, Corsica chuckled, and it had a sinister edge to it. “I have to say, that they really go all out with the service, Sis. Costumes, cars, mysterious envelopes. Men behind curtains. Bet he was beating that meat to the tune of Nessun dorma.”
Captain277:- *Candice had been fortunate, in that she had buckled up when she had entered the cab. As it swung dangerously around the corners, sending their unfastened cargo flying around the vehicle’s interior in a hectic flurry of well-packed bags and tissue paper, Candice merely felt the harsh tug of the cab’s seat belt across her lap and stomach, pulling tightly against her clothing; if she had been dressed like her sister, she might have had some nasty cuts or scrapes to show from the abuse, but the thickness of her layers kept her relatively safe. Keeping her arms latched around Corsica’s waist to help keep her older sister anchored, Candice’s eyes screwed shut as she heard the hollow, metallic thud of several more slugs embedding in the trunk of the cab. The vehicle made one more stomach-turning corner, followed quickly by a violent thunderclap of metal striking metal. Candice knew, all at once, that the motorcycle had not survived the turn, though she had no idea what had ended the pursuit. She kept Corsica held tightly to her chest, waiting for her sister to give her some kind of command or affirmation that she was alright before she would let her go.*
CharlotteCarrendar: – The driver didn’t slow down, his foot still firmly planted upon the excelerator, changing gears, crunching them as the car, a simple euro hybrid cab, struggled to keep up to the demands of that the driver was placing upon it. The explosion of the motorcycle, on slamming into the truck, gave little comfort to Corsica, who knew only one of two things. Either, they had been identified, or…they were now enemies to those that were out to stop the Illuminati from getting more women in for its special balls. Corsica’s heart was pounding, the driver was screaming into his mic, that the motorcyclist was dead, and wanted the tracker car to catch them up. All through this, the russian on the other end, laughed, and then spoke to reassure the driver. “Nikdy opustil náš survelliance, provádět na jejich určení, máme agenty v místě v hotelu. Tyto dvě BUDE fufill jejich role v rituálu. Bylo rozhodnuto.” (translation: “You never left our survelliance, carry on to their destination, we have operatives in place at the hotel. These two WILL fufill their roles at the ritual. It has been decided.”) Now, Candice may not have been able to understand czech, but Corsica knew it perfectly, and she for once held a look of fear. This was no longer a game, or a quick get rich scheme. She had just dragged her sister into something much more sinister. Corsica had to mask this from her own sister, and then righted herself, her right breast exposed, as her jacket had come open. “Wasn’t….that fun?”- she joked, but in truth, it was far from funny. Two minutes later, they would pull up out the front of their hotel, and across the street, was a silver van, with tinted out windows. Who could it be, watching now? <3>
Captain277:- *Listening to the radio chatter, Candice couldn’t decypher anything being said. Although the cab driver sounded absolutely frantic, the voice on the other end sounded almost infuriatingly calm. Resolving to ask her sister about the conversation later, Candice nudged Corsica a little bit, letting out a sigh of relief as her sister rose back into her seat without incident. She smiled, more for the sake of maintaining some semblance of control than for the actual attempt at humor, and gently reached across the cab, covering up her sister’s breast and fastening the jacket. Spending the next few minutes cleaning up their gifts, in spite of how much her hands were shaking, Candice made a note in her head of what had almost happened just mere minutes prior, and then did her best to bury it for later, when she had alcohol at her disposal. Without saying a word to Corsica, Candice exited the cab when it pulled up to their hotel, and walked around to her sister’s door, opening it and offering her still trembling hand to the woman who had been so quick to throw herself over her younger sister in an attempt to protect her. In spite of the fact that she was clearly in shock, Candice’s face softened as she looked down at Corsica, still sat in the back seat. She didn’t have to say anything; they would talk when they got back to their room.*
CharlotteCarrendar: – Candice did what came naturally, buttoning up her sister’s jacket, and restore some modesty to the older twin. Course, the joke did little to ease the mind of either sister, however, Candice went to task of collecting the costumes, and the special gift boxes. As Candice got out on her side, this gave Corsica, a breather from putting on the act that she was fine. Corsica was far from it, and eased her head back into the seat, inhaling sharply through flared nostrils, as the driver looked back at her through the rear vision mirror. “Ty a tvoje sestra … je velmi šťastný. Doufejme, že to platí dost dlouho na to, abyste oba projít rituál.” (translation: “You and your sister…are very lucky. Let us hope that it holds long enough for you both to pass the ritual.) At this point, the passenger door would open, of course, by her sister Candice, and Corsica quickly regained her composure, not to let what was said be written all over her face. So, to add to the charade, she said to the driver. “Není tam žádná taková věc jako štěstí. Udržujte změnu” (translation: – “There is no such thing as luck. Keep the change”) The driver was handed a fifty euro note, which was more or less a thank you for saving their lives. Stepping out of the cab, she quickly drew herself up to full height, and then beamed at her sister, showing off sparkling white teeth. “Seems you are an angel without the wings. Come on, let us go inside, I am sure…you could use a drink.”- she motions with her hand for her sister to go forward, before saying to herself in Czech. “Vím, že jsem mohl použít jeden.” (translation: “I know I could use one.” ) <3>
Captain277: – *The ride up the lift seemed to take an agonizingly long time, and while Candice stood next to Corsica in the silence, she quickly remembered that the keycard to their room was in her right pocket. The lift chimed, and the heavy metal doors rolled open, presenting, on the other side, no armed guards, and no hit squads. Rather, the hallway was desolate, and the pall in the air only added to the weight of worry on Candice’s shoulders. Opening the door to the room with the magnetic click of the keycard, Candice strode smoothly in, separating the bags, and going to great lengths to be sure she didn’t peek at Corsica’s outfit. She left the boxes and envelopes on the table near the hotel suite’s bed, her bag still in hand. The room’s minibar beckoned to her from across the room, but Candice once again resisted the temptation, instead standing straight up, facing her sister, as if she were being inspected.* Sis, would you like to see me try it on now? You can try on yours as well if you like, or do whatever. I’ll be glad to change in the bathroom.
CharlotteCarrendar: – Like the Joker, with a smile that seemed carved into her facial features, frozen. Frozen due to fear. She dare not lower the mask. She dare not let her sister feel or get a glimpse of what Corsica was now replaying over and over again, in her mind. The bell to the lift could not ring soon enough, and Corsica swallowed, closing her eyes, as she stepped out of the lift, sensing that they were now under heavy surveillance in the very building that was to be something of a sanctuary. Candice had the lead, getting the door, and taking the bags inside, laying everything out, so that they could not be damaged further, or crushed. Corsica walked straight past her and to the bar, finding a box of cigars, and she collected up the metal tin in her hand, pressing the catch so it opened and she inhaled the scent of the cigars. Her sister came to face her, after setting down the boxes, and special invitations in the black envelopes. Candice asked if she could change into the angel outfit, and wanted to know, if she would try hers on. Lighting the cigar, Corsica simply nodded, before tipping her head back and blowing out a smoke ring. “If you are going to change…do it in front of me. Be relaxing to see, after our little trip up town.”- she said, with a voice that had a tinge of sarcasm. She lowered herself into the nearest lounge chair, and then unbottoned her jacket, exposing her breasts, and resting her right elbow on the arm of the chair, as if she was about to watch a fashion show. “I want to see….everything.” <3>
Captain277: – *Candice watched her sister with baited breath as she lit the cigar, the pungent smoke wafting through the air, polluting it with the smell of a strong, hickory fire. Her sister’s order sent a new rush of fire through Candice, like she had taken a shot that had not just burnt her throat, but the entire length of her skin as well. Candice bowed at Corsica’s command and sauntered over to the bag that held her costume. Removing the delicate faux wings, Candice unfurled them and gently laid them flat against the bed, setting their strings and back-brace in order before removing the halo from the bag as well. Slowly, trying to control her breathing as she felt her sister’s eyes dance constantly over her body, Candice pulled the costume, if it could be called that, out of the bag and set it on the bed as well, straightening it out and arranging it properly, until it formed a mirror image, of sorts, on the bed. Still trying to ease her breathing, Candice unwound the scarf from around her neck and tossed it onto one of the room’s unoccupied chairs, and then carefully tugged her sweater, and undershirt, over her head. As the thick layers of fabric peeled away, the thin, pale frame of Candi’s body slowly revealed itself, her stomach now visibly rising and falling quickly as she tried in vain to marshal her breathing, now that she had been stripped down to her simple black bra. Tossing the sweater and shirt onto the same chair as the scarf, Candice turned away from Corsica’s unwavering gaze and unfastened her jeans, bending over as she pulled them over the ample curves of her ass, revealing the black bikini panties she had been wearing below. Bouncing from one foot to the other a few times, giving her sister a good show of her ass jiggling as she kicked the jeans off and onto the floor nearby the chair, Candice slowly turned back around to face Corsica, her hips swaying slightly as she did so. Unfastening the clasp of her bra while her eyes locked on Corsica’s, Candice shrugged the upper half of her underwear off and threw it to the side, revealing her slightly smaller, albeit perky breasts, and her already erect nipples. Hooking her thumbs under the waistband of her panties, Candice threw these onto Corsica’s lap, spreading her legs a bit to reveal the hairless, nearly albino mount between her thighs. Picking up the costume from the bed, Candice pulled it over her head, the sheer skirt doing nothing to hide away her faintly glistening slit. Arranging the straps as meticulously as possible, managing at last to get it situated properly, Candice could tell most of her areola was showing, and her nipples stuck up from behind the almost non-existant strip of white fabric that covered them. Hefting the wings almost reverently from the bed, Candi slid them on, the false appendages flapping of their own accord as she rolled her shoulders and put them into position. At last came the black, wire halo, which Candice situated on her closely-shaven head, adjusting it until she was satisfied. At last finished, she drew back up to her prior position, staring at Corsica’s feet, instead of her face.* Does this look please you, Miss?