So I’m working on another novel.


(In case any of y’all were just dying to know, I mean.)

But yeah, for the required research portion of the OU honors program (which is their fancy way of saying “do what you want, so long as you can find a professor who’ll put up with you and your project”), I’m lucky enough to get to write another novel, one completely unrelated to anything else I’ve written thus far.  I suppose I could, when faced with the inevitable “so what is your novel about?” question, just point to this tweet of mine…

…and simply leave it at that.  But that’s no fun. 🙂  So here’s my best attempt at a summary for this weird multi-genre contraption of a novel, which I’ve titled A Thousand Worlds:

Lucy Vervairs has known for a while that she has the ability to travel by jumping through paintings and sketches.  It’s how she can sneak around her castle without a trace and shirk her royal duties.  But her eighteenth birthday is coming up, and on that day Lucy will officially be next in line to the throne of Verraganzia.  Ruling the kingdom is a terrifying prospect for Lucy – and when her father the king falls mysteriously ill, she’s afraid she’ll become queen far sooner than she thought.

Then a beautiful (and enigmatic) young artist shows up at court.  Marley Sun has been hired to paint Lucy’s portrait for her coronation, but when Lucy finds a painting of a strange room in Marley’s quarters and jumps into it, she realizes there’s much more to her portraitist than meets the eye.  Not only does Marley have the same painting-jumping talent as her, but she’s also from an entirely different universe, one known as “the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.”  The museum is home base for several more “Wanderers,” as they’re called, including Karen Sun, the museum director and Marley’s mother; Jed Hoot, the drawling, heavily mustachioed security chief; and Imogen Perrault, a dreadlocked French pirate whose girlfriend is a mermaid.

Lucy barely has time to process any of this, though, before Karen sends her, Marley, and Imogen to the world of Salvador Dalí’s paintings.  The floating knife from Living Still Life has gone missing.  At first, the girls think the knife has just drifted elsewhere.  It quickly becomes apparent, though, that this incident is one in a string of heists from various paintings around the museum, and that the mysterious thief is a Wanderer as well.  What this thief could want with a floating knife and other miscellaneous horrors, the girls have no idea, but they’ve got to put their heads together and find out.  The museum and all its thousand worlds could be at stake.

And here’s an excerpt:

The dress looks like a giant exploding oyster. Lucy’s never seen so many pearls in one place; they cascade down the dress in a fine net, dangle off the sleeves, and spurt straight up off the neckline like jets of water on a fountain. The satin under all the pearls is a sickeningly bright shade of pink. Lucy knew the castle seamstresses were getting a little… eccentric in their old age (at least, that was the most diplomatic phrase her mother could think of), but she didn’t think even they were capable of producing something as thoroughly odd as this.

But no, odd isn’t quite the right word. Not for this contraption of a dress. The only word Lucy can think of that even comes close to describing this monstrosity… is precisely that, actually. Monstrosity.

There you have it – my project for the next four months! 🙂  (And also the cause of my impending exorbitant printing charges, but I’ll deal with that part later.)


The Phantom of the Bropera: The Masterpost, Part Three


(part 1) (part 2)

Chapter 18 to the end, ahoy!

“Chapter XVIII: Continuation of ‘The Curious Incident of the Safety-Pin'”
oh god

  • “Now we should have no difficulty in understanding why they behaved in so extravagant and undignified a manner” – let’s hope, Leroux
  • given that I lost this guy’s thread about three pages ago, I’m not hopeful
  • ooh, Moncharmin and Richard have a PLAN, Y’ALL
  • aaaaand it looks like their plan is to do literally exactly what they did on the first cash-grab night
  • including, as it so happens, walking backwards.
  • yes, this is truly a splendid plan. ~splendid~, I tell you.
  • this isn’t going to arouse anyone’s suspicions ~at all.~
  • blah blah blah, more slapstick ridiculousness from Abbott and Costello here
  • the important part is, they’re anxious to know if someone tries to steal the 20k francs Giry slipped (once again) into Richard’s pocket
  • Hence the safety pin! Moncharmin has the idea of pinning the envelope to Richard’s pocket, so he’ll feel a tug.
  • now that actually makes a world of sense. yay. finally
  • “You want to ‘pin’ me?” – Richard. I really hope that was a double entendre.
  • ah yes, ’tis midnight, the witching hour, and our slapstick duo is feeling just a wee bit uncomfortable
  • Moncharmin’s wondering if Ghostbro “knocked three times on the table, as we clearly heard just now” – wait, what?
  • hang on, lemme go back through the last couple pages
  • okay yeah unless I’m not looking back quite far enough, there have definitely been no knocks on the table
  • methinks our slapstick duo is drunk. or something
  • ohhhhhhhhhh dang, the pin is still there but the money is gone
  • also, Moncharmin is basically patting down Richard’s butt in order to come to this conclusion, so permit me a chuckle at that image
  • aaaand here comes everybody else. awesome. somebody get the champagne and let’s make it a party

“Chapter XIX: The Inspector, The Viscount, and The Persian”
asd;fladsgjal;kjladsfjasdgj; ugh

  • if I were to make this a drinking game and take a sip every time Leroux called this guy “the Persian,” I’d be well into glass #2 by now
  • Inspector Whatsisface is now explaining to Abbott and Costello what happened to Christine. It’s. It’s not going well.
  • “Christine Daae was abducted by an angel, inspector” – an actual thing that Raoul actually just said
  • Raoul legitimately just called Erik an angel. I just. I got nothing.
  • “the Angel of Music” has been dropped like three times in three lines, and it’s always italicized #theformattingoftheopera
  • so now everybody’s trying to tell Inspector Whosit about the Phantom and he’s just like “literally all of you are high”
  • “all I know about the Phantom of the Opera really amounts to very little” – did Christine’s gigantic flashback just not register at all or
  • so now Raoul’s telling his side of the story, and even Tweedledee and Tweedledum over here are like “yeah this dude’s high”
  • hm, so apparently Philippe’s carriage got the heck outta dodge literally right after Christine disappeared
  • wait, Inspector Dudeperson thinks Philippe abducted Christine?
  • oh man, and did he ever just light a fire under Raoul’s pathetic rear – kid’s outta here like Speedy freakin’ Gonzalez
  • OHO. Inspector Thatonedude just sent Raoul off on a wild-goose chase. Getting him out of the way. Cool.
  • (also apparently his name is Mifroid but see if I care about that)
  • Filed under people who should have been higher billed
  • Raoul’s attempting to leave when who should show up but…
  • “I am the Persian!” jesusfreakinmadia, he even calls HIMSELF that?
  • me rn:

“Chapter XX: The Viscount and the Persian” Leroux, your creativity astounds me.

  • ohforcryingoutloud, Leroux literally just repeated his earlier description of this guy almost word for word
  • like yes, we already know he has ebony skin and jade eyes, and also that you’re a racist piece of crap, CAN WE PLEASE MOVE ON
  • the real question, though: why is this guy so concerned about keeping Erik’s secrets
  • I feel like this guy needs a name besides “this guy,” and I’m definitely not calling him “the Persian”… hang on
  • okay, I’m going to call him Abdul. it’s sure as heck better than “that guy” or *shudder* “the Persian”
  • okay, so it seems as if Abdul is legitimately here to help Raoul. neat.
  • aaaand Abdul just confirmed that, like Voldemort, Erik can literally sense when people say his name. that’s just great
  • blah blah blah, giant running-through-the-halls-of-the-opera-house montage
  • whoops, this paragraph definitely veered into non-sequitur territory
  • Leroux is a teensy bit obsessed with how these two are dressed and how it’s technically a breach of dress code:
  • and the two of them ended up… in Christine’s dressing room
  • and whaddaya know, Abdul brought a couple sweet pistols to this party. I like him way more than I like Raoul
  • “Do you mean to fight a duel?” – no, Raoul, Abdul clearly brought the guns because there’s a shooting range by the underground lake
  • Raoul’s now questioning Abdul’s motivations – first sensible thing he’s done this whole chapter
  • “If I had hated [Erik], he would have ceased his mischief long ago” – Abdul, who apparently thinks extortion and murder are “mischief”
  • like is this dude seriously saying he’s had the means to stop Erik this whole time, and he just hasn’t had the inclination?
  • Raoul said something super accurate for once and it’s a little disconcerting
  • Abdul’s giving us all a physics lesson and I’m like “I see that and respect that but please get to the good stuff”
  • the official explanation for the weird mirror thing: “a very simple system of secret doors.” yeah right
  • anyway, our two pistol-toting dudes are swept into the darkness, yada yada yada

“Chapter XXI: Below the Stage”
for once, Leroux didn’t spoil the chapter- someone give the guy a medal

  • awarded to Gaston Leroux for the achievement of not screwing up for once in this book
    Gold freakin medal
  • I just have this nasty feeling Abdul’s going to die once they get to the cave
  • oh hey, Inspector Millfloss is somewhere in this labyrinth too
  • oh snap, Broni and Abdul just found like three corpses
  • Erik’s racking up so many counts of murder, you’d think he was playing Grand Theft Auto
  • or wait, those three aren’t dead?
  • jeez. okay. Ghostbro’s still a horrible person. moving on.
  • this just in, Raoul is literally too much of a wimp to hold up a pistol for any length of time
  • filed under things that didn’t surprise me one bit
  • somehow they’re only just now reaching the underground part of the opera house?
  • so a random dude in a cloak just appeared, Abdul said he’s worse than a policeman, and we’re going to get no explanation at all
  • literally, Leroux added in a footnote so he could specifically say “sorry, y’all, I’m not explaining jack squat, catch ya on the flip side”
  • was he trying to set himself up for a spinoff novel or what?
  • and for the record, this guy isn’t Erik, he’s another guy
  • “these are matters of national security” – oh, get off your high horse, Leroux
  • oooooh, the mysterious head of fire from like twenty chapters ago returns!
  • it’s not Ghostbro himself, apparently – just another one of his tricks
  • or wait, never mind – EUGH
  • so get this: the fire head is a whole separate ghost who calls himself “the rat-catcher” and brings a flood of rats in his wake
  • good to know I’ll be going to bed in a few hours with that lovely image tattooed on my retinas
  • *now* Abdul and Broni are actually going where they need to go
  • only took you two about ten pages
  • blah blah blah, oh my god Leroux I literally do not even care how this tank you speak of was constructed, MOVE ON PLEASE
  • oh fabulous, they just ran across Joseph Buquet’s probably-rotting corpse, no big deal or anything
  • they FINALLY made it into Ghostbro’s man cave. ABOUT TIME
  • oh wait, Abdul isn’t too happy about this…
  • “We have fallen into the torture chamber!” oh that’s just great

“Chapter XXII: The Interesting and Instructive Trials and Tribulations of a Persian Below Stage at the Opera”

  • congratulations, Leroux, you managed to make the subject sound deadly boring.
  • that is seriously such an Austen-era turn of phrase – “interesting and instructive.” or possibly a 1950s-era one.
  • but hey, we’re switching to Abdul’s point of view – here’s hoping he’s not as horrendous as Broni or Ghostbro
  • ooh, and Leroux is promising backstory, too. you’d better deliver, bucko.
  • so the feeling I’ve been getting is that Ghostbro and Abdul were childhood acquaintances, and bingo I’m right
  • oh great, more of Ghostbro’s hypnotic music. #skimming
  • Abdul, for his part, was so captivated by the music that he almost fell out of his boat. And then Erik grabbed him and tried to drown him.
    Erik: oh wait it’s you
    Erik: lol never mind
  • Abdul: seriously, dude, you almost friggin’ killed me
    Erik: *puffing up his metaphorical tail feathers*
    Abdul: not gonna work
  • “Erik, you promised me! No more murders!” – an actual thing Abdul said
  • jesusmadia
  • Erik: hey guess what I’m not a horrible person anymore
    Erik: someone loves me for me
    Abdul: oh god
  • okay, Abdul, you saw Christine interacting with Erik and you still didn’t put it together that Erik had a crush on her until it was too late
  • also I really don’t think “utter amazement” is the appropriate way to react when Erik literally kidnaps Christine and brings her to his lair
  • [scene is Ghostbro’s man-cave]
    Abdul: hey
    Erik: *punches him in the face*
  • I don’t feel like doing it rn but at some point I’ll photoshop one of those fake rubber nose things onto Gerard Butler’s face and laugh
    • edit to add:  I did it.
  • “if you don’t stop poking your nose in my business I WILL UNLEASH MY WRATH ON PLANET EARTH” – Erik throwing a temper tantrum, pretty much
  • Erik: I can totally have guests here
    Abdul: dude, you abducted her, that does not even remotely qualify as “having guests here”
  • god and Erik keeps repeating “she loves me for myself” – makes me want to either vomit or punch something, not sure which
  • Erik: I love her and she loves me and we’re going to get married and it’s going to be wonderful
    Abdul: what
  • not even kidding. Erik seriously thinks he and Christine are going to get married.
  • Erik is already planning the freakin’ MUSIC for his wedding to Christine, oh my god.
  • wait, no, it’s even worse – he wrote his own wedding mass
  • Abdul, my man, it’s not going to be as simple as Christine going to Erik of her own accord.
  • then again, they’re both under the sway of Erik and his hypno-music
  • I suppose I shouldn’t be too surprised at Abdul’s willingness to accept all this crap at face value
  • [insert like five paragraphs in which Abdul discovers the passage he and Broni are going to take]
  • Ghostbro is reminding me more and more of Dr. Strange
  • “knife : gunfight :: guns : a guy who can cast pretty much any illusion he wants” – Abdul, basically
  • awesome, now we’re back to the torture chamber. wonderful
  • good grief, the musical/movie really water Ghostbro down

“Chapter XXIII: In the Torture Chamber”
subtitle: “Continuation of the Persian’s Narrative”
*deep sigh*

  • oh man, this upcoming soliloquy from Erik is something else, y’all
  • I literally banged the book against my head like five times after reading this bit
  • brb, I need to arm myself with gifs in order to cope with this
  • okay, I hope I’m adequately armed with gifs
  • anyhoodle, so Broni and Abdul are in the torture chamber, but Ghostbro doesn’t know they’re there – too busy being dark and evil, I guess
  • “I just can’t go on living like this” – oh, YOU can’t go on? What about Christine, you pig?
  • “I want to have a wife like any normal man” – HEY ERIK, KIDNAPPING IS NOT USUALLY AN ACCEPTABLE FORM OF MARRIAGE
  • “You will be the happiest of women” – YOU ARE F***ING DELUSIONAL
  • “But you’re crying! You’re afraid of me!” – GEE I WONDER WHY
  • “And yet, deep down, I am not a bad man” –
  • “To be good, all I ever needed was to be loved for myself” –
  • okay, I’m going to have to go on a mini-rant here in order to dissect exactly what’s wrong with that statement right there
  • Erik isn’t just begging Christine to love him here – he is literally placing responsibility for HIS future deeds in HER hands
  • the flipside, of course, is “if you don’t love me, then you’re basically responsible for all the evil I subsequently do”
  • that is what Erik is trying to tell Christine, and that is BULL
  • not only is it bull, though, but it’s a tactic of abusers – shifting responsibility for their actions, saying “look what you made me do”
  • Erik is a horrible effing person. I don’t know how this could possibly be disputed at all.
  • oh god. I just skimmed this next page, and it seems I’ve used up my gifs too soon.
  • looks like I’m going to have to break out the big reaction-image guns: the Klahom face
  • this turdblossom literally has a doorbell. a doorbell in an underground cave.
  • on the plus side, that godforsaken doorbell got Ghostbro to leave Christine alone, so now Abdul and Broni can call her for help
  • “[Christine] told us that love had driven Erik insane” – oh honey, this isn’t love. Not even close.
  • oh and btw Erik also threatened to kill literally everyone in the opera house if Christine didn’t agree to marry him
  • okay okay okay who in blazes wrote the script for the musical, because I’d love to chat with ’em and find out how they were able to justify
  • watering down Ghostbro so much, because he’s way way way less threatening in the musical than he is in here
  • I mean, he’s still a nasty guy in the musical, but here he’s EVEN WORSE
  • in yet another stroke of melodrama, Ghostbro calls his keys to the torture chamber “the keys of life and death”
  • me re: this entire situation
    Klahom face
  • oh my god. Christine legitimately tried to kill herself the night before.
  • I just want to take this book and climb to the top of the highest tower around and scream THIS IS NOT LOVE to anybody who’ll listen
  • oh man oh man, Christine’s pulling it together. she’s going to do another season-one Skye on this MF. I can feel it.
  • come on, Christine, you can do this
  • ah yes, Erik’s playing angsty organ music now – wunderbar
  • OH DANG. Christine straight-up nicked Erik’s life-and-death keys. GET IT, CHRISTINE.
  • oh whoops, Erik figured out his keys are missing

“Chapter XXIV: The Torture Begins”
oh, so having to put up with Ghostbro’s abusive bullcrap doesn’t count as torture?

  • oh man. Christine’s still playing Erik. It’s hard, but she’s playing him.
  • uuuuuuggggghhhhhhhhhh, Erik’s reiterating his dreams of domesticity again
  • in addition to being an abusive sadistic delusional misogynist, Erik is also… a ventriloquist.
  • Erik has the world’s biggest Voldemort complex about his nose and it’s getting really old
  • oh crap, I think something in the man cave is on fire – did Erik burn his Hungry-Man meal again or what?
  • or wait, is the torture chamber just a really tricked-out steam room?

“Chapter XXV: ‘Barrels! Barrels! Any Old Barrels to Sell?'”
……………well, at least that’s not an obvious spoiler?

  • okay, an actual revelation here: Joseph Buquet, the dead guy from chapter 1 or thereabouts, was in this torture chamber
  • and apparently he beat up the place more than he thought he did
  • to no one’s surprise, Broni Friendzoni has completely lost it and is now (for all intents and purposes) useless
  • so it’s up to Abdul to save the day, I guess.
  • Raoul: *babbling*
    Abdul: for the love of Pete, kid, I’m trying to work here
    Raoul: *literally does not stop babbling*
  • now Erik’s torturing the now-very-thirsty Abdul and Broni by making water sound effects. this is the cherry on his awful-person banana split
  • bro, we already know you’ve got a Ph.D in horribleness and all that. this is just overkill.
  • Abdul found the door!
  • side note, it really baffles me that we’ve had like three chapters now from Abdul’s point of view, and he still doesn’t have an actual name
  • …okay, so it’s not a door, it’s a trapdoor. whatever.
  • and once they’ve left the torture chamber, what do they find?… barrels.
  • of course, being thirsty and all, they’re sure it’s wine in the barrels. natch.
  • *adds “conspiracy to blow up the Paris opera house” to Erik’s already-lengthy list of criminal charges*

[“Chapter XXVI: The Scorpion or the Grasshopper” – or is it “and”?]

  • and to make this whole clusterfrak even better, neither Abdul nor Broni has any idea how much time they’ve got til Erik blows the place up
  • A wild Christine appears! (god, I have never been happier to see her name on the page.)
  • updates from the man cave: Ghostbro’s graduated to full-on ranting and raving, and oh btw they have like five minutes left
  • oh, ~wonderful~, Erik’s made up a convenient little code for Christine with which she can say yes or no to his marriage proposal
  • turning the (bronze) scorpion = yes turning the grasshopper = no, and also kaboom
  • aaaahhhhhhhh great, Ghostbro has returned to the man cave
  • Erik: option one, you marry me and save everybody in the opera house
    Erik: option two, you don’t marry me and we all die
    Erik: *giggle*
  • God. This nasty MF. I can’t.
    Klahom face
  • and with that, the entire lake is basically being drained into the gunpowder room.
  • …which means that now Abdul and Broni stand a very real chance of drowning. awesome
  • “Thus ended the written account that [Abdul] had entrusted to me.” – omg tag your spoilers

Chapter XXVII, y’all. So close.

  • wonderful, the return of the overbearing narrator *whacks book against own head*
  • we’ve flashed forward a while, and poor Abdul’s got hardcore PTSD from all this crap
  • also, I slightly retract my earlier statement that Abdul doesn’t have a name – he has a title, “Daroga”
  • heck, I’ll just keep calling him Abdul. we’re almost to the end anyway.
  • so Abdul wakes up in that godforsaken Louis-Philippe room in Erik’s man-cave, and he’s just like “ugh”
  • Erik’s perfectly civil now, except for the part where he basically threatens to do Abdul serious harm if Abdul even talks to his wife.
  • this just in, Erik is still a horrible person even though he got his way
  • the next time Abdul wakes up, he’s at his apartment, courtesy of Ghostbro Carriage Services
  • and now we find out that Philippe is dead, almost certainly at Erik’s hand. surprise surprise
  • of course no one’s taking Abdul’s story seriously, as per frickin’ usual
  • would you look at that, Abdul has a visitor. as much as I’d like to hope it’s just the Girl Scouts with cookies…
  • Erik insists he had no hand in Philippe’s death. What is it they say about flaming pants?
  • Erik: *is being his usual melodramatic self*
    Abdul: Erik.
    Abdul: Erik!
    Abdul: what happened to Raoul and Christine
    Erik: *la dee dah*
  • seriously, Abdul keeps asking about Raoul and Christine, and all Erik can talk about is how he finally got kissed
  • oh, Erik. Christine is playing you like a chess game.
  • oh for god’s sake, Erik didn’t even kiss Christine on the mouth and he’s still making a national holiday of it
  • what time is it? TMI time with Ghostbro!
  • I’m just gonna skim this part and move on
  • oh em gee, she ~held his hand, how very romantic~
  • can Erik please just die already
  • Christine ~kissed him on the forehead~ before she and Raoul left, ~omg~
  • (can y’all tell I’m trying really hard to make sarcasm tildes a thing)
  • just imagine if they had actually gotten to first base – I rather think Erik would have dropped dead where he stood
  • on the (kind of) bright side, Erik’s bequeathing Abdul literally all his furniture- Abdul won’t be able to keep it all in his apartment

“EPILOGUE” at long, long last

  • [insert a whole page of Leroux basically being Sarah Koenig from Serial]
  • to no one’s surprise, Debienne, Poligny, Moncharmin, and Richard were all thoroughly taken in by Ghostbro
  • okay, make that like five pages’ worth of Leroux being Sarah Koenig
  • hey, Leroux, you can quit calling Ghostbro a “prodigious, fantastic character” anytime
  • Leroux: Erik totally didn’t mean all that blackmail stuff lol
    Abdul: oh he absolutely meant it
  • Abdul claims Erik was “not held back by moral scruples.” Now that’s putting it lightly.
  • Backstory time: Erik was a circus freak as a kid. Still doesn’t make me feel sorry for him though lollllllllll
  • yada yada yada Erik nearly dies and Abdul makes the stunning mistake of saving his life
  • [insert one last dollop of Orientalism here]
  • “Should we pity him or should we curse him?” is this a serious question
  • “He would have risen to greatness among his fellow-men” – oh, spare me
  • “He had a big heart” – STOP. STOP RIGHT THERE, GASTON LEROUX.
  • you are talking about a dudebro who would have BLOWN UP THE OPERA HOUSE IF HE HAD BEEN REJECTED BY HIS CRUSH
  • Erik does not have a big heart. He is a selfish, violent, abusive monster. Stop pretending otherwise, Leroux.
  • Filed under: authors who genuinely don’t understand their characters
  • And on top of that, Leroux acts like Ghostbro’s only crime is being ugly. JESUSMADIA.
  • “Yes, all in all, the Phantom of the Opera deserves our pity-” NO. SHUT UP FOREVER.
  • Me when Gaston Leroux makes excuse after excuse for Ghostbro’s awful behavior
  • I’m done. I’m actually done with this godforsaken book.
  • And I don’t just mean emotionally done. I’m done-done.
  • not shown: multiple outtakes in which I kick and punch the book (to any librarians reading this: I am so sorry)

There we go!  I have officially livetweeted my way through every book on my capstone syllabus.  This isn’t the end of the Gothic project, though – I’ll be back, hopefully fairly soon, to livetweet Dracula.  Till then…

Screen shot 2014-11-07 at 10.45.35 PM

The Phantom of the Bropera: The Masterpost, Part Two


I HAVE RETURNED.  After a finals week that was nothing short of harrowing (and part of a break that has been… less productive than I would have liked), it’s time for more Phantom of the Opera tweets.  In case you need to refresh your memory or catch up, you can find part 1 here.

Here are my tweets for chapters 10 through 17:

“Chapter X: The Masked Ball”
fun fact, when I was 12 and still dancing en pointe, my pointe class did this [the song from the musical] for a recital piece

  • “[Christine’s letter] was enough to rekindle [Raoul’s] hope.” ugh please no
  • “The sombre picture of Christine losing her self-respect… gave way to that earlier image of an unfortunate, innocent child” – CREEP ALERT
  • Raoul basically wants Christine to stay childlike forever, and I basically want him to freaking stop
  • Blah blah blah, a whole page of Raoul being the creepy weirdo he is
  • “Thus Raoul’s opinion of her swung from one extreme to the other” – perfect encapsulation of everything wrong with him
  • So Raoul’s arrived at this masked ball, and oh man, what a production it is. (I can’t wait to see this scene in the movie.)
  • A lady just came along, and “he understood that it was Christine.”
    Two seconds later: “‘Is that you, Christine?'”
  • “[Raoul] now believed her to be blameless” – well, that’s something, at least?
  • Ooooohhhhhhhh, a wild Phantom appears – in costume!
  • Ghostbro’s getup: -“dressed entirely in scarlet” -“huge hat adorned with a plume of feathers” -“skull-like head”- wait, that’s not a costume
  • again with people thinking Ghostbro’s wearing a mask when he actually isn’t
  • “His cloak bore, embroidered in gold, the words: ‘Stand aside! I am the Red Death'” – OH MY GOD I CAN’T STOP LAUGHING
  • he sounded perfectly menacing until you get to thE EMBROIDERY ON THE CLOAK
  • #phantomfashion
    the Phantom's cloak
  • Partygoer: omg *touch*
    Ghostbro: yeah I don’t think so
  • Oh, *now* the penny drops on Raoul’s end. Only took you about three paragraphs.
  • Raoul: hey Red Death you wanna go
    Christine: oh for god’s sake
  • So now Christine and Raoul are hiding out in a box, which apparently isn’t hidden enough, because Ghostbro’s skulking nearby.
  • Ghostbro isn’t even being subtle about it, either (though how can you be, in a cloak like that)
  • And wouldn’t you know it, Raoul’s still itching for a fight. Calm down, Broni, or else you’ll give away your hiding place.
  • Raoul: I’m gonna get that dude this time
    Christine: what do you mean “this time”
  • oh no, Raoul just “lost his temper” – you mean to say he hasn’t before, Leroux?
  • “[Broni Friendzoni] laughed like a man possessed” – most accurate line of the whole book thus far
  • “In the name of our love, Raoul, you shall not pass!” – an actual thing that Christine actually just said
  • what am I even doing anymore
    Screen shot 2014-12-19 at 11.44.04 PM
  • oh man, Raoul has to be approaching the Broni Friendzoni event horizon
  • I’m going to need a while to prepare myself for this
  • And I actually need to jet anyway – be back with more of Broni Friendzoni’s misadventures later!
  • [insert a break of indeterminate length here]
  • I’m back! It’s time for more Broni Friendzoni antics… oh boy
  • So when we left off, Christine had tried to use her best Gandalf impression on Raoul, and it totally didn’t work at all.
  • So instead of being like “wait, maybe she actually does love me,” Raoul’s like “why didn’t she say it before? Because CLEARLY SHE’S LYING”
  • “She was only trying to gain a few seconds so as to give the Red Death time to escape!”- hey Raoul, the Red Death literally followed you two
  • pretty sure he’s not going to want to escape from anything (least of all Raoul’s probably pathetic fighting skills)
  • “And, filled with childish hatred, he declared…” – so maybe Leroux is at least a little aware that Raoul’s terrible?
  • the point of view in this book confuses me so much
  • like sometimes it feels like a distant third, as when Leroux is presenting the various accounts of events
  • but this stuff right here feels like a deep third-person POV
  • “your whole demeanour, the joy in your eyes, even your silence gave me every reason to hope”- this just in, Raoul overanalyzes body language
  • this guy is so desperate I can practically smell it
  • “He shook his head. ‘No, no, you have driven me mad!'” – RED FLAG RED FLAG RED FLAG
  • no but seriously, that is a trademark abuser tactic – “look what you made me do”
  • Raoul: no really what happened
    Christine: well I was going to tell you
    Christine: but then you started acting like a whiny baby
  • “She spoke with such despair in her voice that Raoul started. Feelings of remorse for his cruelty began to stir” – about time
  • Oh man, Christine just took off her mask. Poor girl needs a day at the spa or something.
  • Now Christine’s left, and Raoul’s freaking out. As per usual, I mean.
  • Raoul/Broni is still looking for Ghostbro.
  • This guy is so blatantly abusive and misogynist that he can’t even surprise me anymore. I’m just like “yep, Raoul’s a jerk.”
  • Yeah, Raoul, going to Christine’s dressing room at 2 am is SUCH A GOOD IDEA.
  • ooh, creepy footsteps in the corridor – better hide, Raoul (and sure enough, he does)
  • “‘Poor Erik!'” – no, Christine, Erik aka Ghostbro is not poor, not by any stretch of the imagination
  • “…he was convinced that if anyone deserved compassion, it must be he, Raoul” – oh my god, NO
  • an alternative title for this book: Raoul, Please Shut Up Forever
  • So Erik aka Ghostbro is making his dramatic entrance, by which I mean he’s still a disembodied voice.
  • Erik actually can sing super-well – I’m less befuddled now that Christine mistook him for an Angel of Music
  • Raoul is transfixed by Erik’s voice too. I’m snickering.
  • please tell me there’s shippy fic of those two – I don’t even need to read it, I just need to know it exists
  • bless the internet
    Screen shot 2014-12-19 at 11.51.25 PM
  • okay, anyway – moving on
  • no but seriously though, the-narrator-in-Raoul’s-head is using some pretty strong words to describe Erik’s voice
  • e.g. “the breath that made them soar and fly up into the heavens on the wings of passion, as this angelic voice glorified earthly love”
  • help I can’t
  • “The voice was singing the Wedding Song from Romeo et Juliette” – the subtext isn’t even subtext anymore, y’all, it’s just text
  • “Raoul was transfixed. Struggling against the spell that seemed to deprive him of all will” – y’all. Seriously.
  • Just when I was starting to lose all faith in this book, it amped up the gay.
  • “…he managed to draw back the curtain that hid him and walked towards Christine” – BAD IDEA, BRONI
  • Oh man, this here is a trippy sequence.
  • “The two Christines – the real one and her reflection – eventually touched and merged.” – what the what
  • “…some sort of dazzling miracle made [Raoul] reel, and he was suddenly thrown backwards by an icy blast that swept over his face” – um
  • so the mirror is like platform 9 3/4, and Raoul definitely isn’t a wizard? that’s the image that’s sticking with me
  • “He saw not two, but four, eight, twenty Christines spin round him, swiftly and mockingly”
  • somebody’s trippin’ hard
  • So now Raoul’s acid trip has passed, and he’s the only one in the dressing room.
  • “He felt vaguely like an impetuous fairy-tale prince” – if you’re anybody in a fairy tale, Broni, you’re Gaston
  • Man, Raoul cries a lot. It might be refreshing if he weren’t such a whiny, abusive, entitled pile of sewage.
  • Male characters who don’t repress their emotions: good.
    Male characters who don’t repress their emotions but are also terrible people: no
  • oh god and all that was only one chapter

“Chapter XI: Forget the Voice and the Name”

  • It’s the next day, and Raoul’s raring for a game of Where’s Waldo with Christine.
  • And, as it turns out, Christine is with Mme. Valerius, as if nothing happened.
  • She even looks better. Guess she did treat herself at the spa or something.
  • Mme. V is over the moon. “Her guardian spirit has sent her back to us!” she says.
  • Mme. V: so Christine’s finally back, wink wink wink
    Christine: omg Mom shut up
    Mme. V: he’s such a nice young man
    Christine: kill me plz
  • “no seriously Mom shut up” – Christine, basically
  • Oh, and now Raoul’s joining in this let’s-talk-about-Christine’s-super-secret-admirer party. Jerk.
  • Raoul: so the thing
    Raoul: you know the thing I mean
    Raoul: the dangerous thing
    Mme. V: *freaks out*
    Christine: god dang it
  • Seriously, Raoul, you could at least talk to Christine in private about this stuff instead of freaking out her adoptive mom.
  • Mme. V: wait is Christine in danger?
    Christine: *makes lip-zipping motion to Raoul*
    Raoul: yes
    Christine: why do I even like you
  • like are you TRYING to make Mme. V’s health even worse than it already is, Raoul, because it’s working
  • “‘That’s a present!’ she said… vainly trying to hide her embarrassment” – I feel you, Christine
  • “Why torture me still more?” – ugh go away Raoul
  • Raoul: so if you’re not married then what’s that ring doing on your finger
    Christine: -oh crap-
    Christine: uh… it’s a present
    Raoul: bull
  • So Raoul may actually be expressing some genuine remorse. Mark me down as unbelievably surprised.
  • “You are well aware of the worthy sentiments that lead me to meddle in matters which you, no doubt, think have nothing to do with me” – UGH
  • making crappy apologies with Raoul 2kalways
  • oh god, y’all, I just skimmed this next page, and Raoul took his Broni Friendzoni-ness to a whole new level
  • brb, arming myself with gifs
  • okay, I’m armed – once more unto the breach
  • “You are under a most dangerous spell.” – clearly she isn’t giving you the time of day because she’s under a spell
  • “And then we’ll save you in spite of yourself!” – can you QUIT with the paternalistic I-know-best attitude
  • “Come, Christine, the name of the man… who had the audacity to put a gold ring on your finger!” Audacity. Really.
  • “If she does love that man, monsieur, it is no business of yours!” – Mme. V dropping some truth
  • “‘Alas, madame,’ Raoul respectfully replied” – okay, number one, DIALOGUE TAGS UGH. two, ‘respectfully’ my foot
  • not even kidding, I’m having war flashbacks to Hogwarts School of Prayer and Miracles right now
  • “…the man whom Christine loves may perhaps not be worthy of her love” – oh, and you are?
  • And Christine’s response? “Let me be the judge of that!”
  • don’t mind me, I’m just basking in Christine’s newfound agency while she still has it
  • wouldn’t you know it, Raoul ups his Friendzoni game in response: “When a man… adopts such a romantic stratagem to seduce a girl…”
  • Raoul, you’re a pathetically jealous bouquet of rotted flowers and I hate you
  • (on the bright side, this book is definitely helping me up my insults game)
  • “Raoul, why do you condemn a man whom you have never met-” YES CHRISTINE YESSSS
  • I mean, I know Erik’s just as much of a tool as Raoul is (even more so, actually), but I’m still going to rejoice in Christine’s sass
  • Oooh. Raoul just said Erik’s name.
  • “…did you not say: ‘Poor Erik’? Well, Christine, a poor Raoul overheard you” – shut up shut up shut up
  • “This is the second time that you have listened behind my door, M. de Chagny!”
  • Christine is going so hard right now and it’s so refreshing
  • “I was not behind the door! I was in your room, in your dressing closet” – as if that’s somehow less creepy???
  • “Raoul uttered this… with so much love and despair in his voice that Christine could not hold back a sob” – aaaaand we’re back to normal
  • I have never facepalmed so hard in my life
  • I get the feeling Raoul and Christine’s little moment here is supposed to be moving, but I’m not having any of it.
  • We close this chapter with Christine promising to visit with Raoul sometimes so long as he doesn’t poke his nose into this Erik business.
  • As if that’s actually going to work out.

“Chapter XII: Above the Traps”
the traps… is that some stage term with which I’m not familiar?

  • …what the actual heck is happening
  • Christine just proposed… a fake, secret betrothal to Raoul?
  • literally what in God’s name is the point of such a thing
  • “How rash of her, thought Raoul… By the end of this month Christine will consent to be my wife” – okay stop
  • he’s been wearing her down for the whole novel thus far – that does not make for a valid “yes,” not by any stretch of the imagination
  • me at this entire novel:
  • Y’all. I’m going to resume Phantom of the Opera livetweeting. THIS IS HAPPENING, GET EXCITED
  • …well, it’s happening as soon as I scroll through oodles of tweets and figure out where I left off…
  • oh and would you look at that, I left myself a bookmark. you go, past me
  • ANYHOODLE, a recap is probably in order, for me as much as y’all
  • Basically, Raoul and Christine are having a ~secret engagement~ and god help me, WHAT IS THE POINT OF A SECRET ENGAGEMENT
  • side note, I’ve watched the movie since I last livetweeted, and I didn’t get the point of the secret engagement in that either
  • and what really got me is that Raoul put the fake-gagement ring on a necklace and Christine wore it IN PLAIN VIEW
  • subtlety is no one’s strong suit: the novel
  • ahem. anyway. secret bulls*** engagement, Broni Friendzoni being his usual Friendzonied self, you get the picture.
  • and okay, something else that confuses me – why in sanity’s name is Raoul going to the North Pole?
  • did he unthinkingly put on a Santa suit and jump into a sleigh and shackle himself to being Santa Claus forever? who knows, honestly
  • Oop, so after Raoul tries to get out of going to the North Pole, Christine goes Bunburying or something.
  • “Since the misadventure of the ‘croak,’ Carlotta had not sung on stage.”
    okay sue me but I actually feel bad for her
  • So Christine’s slaying on stage once again, but of course Raoul can only focus on the fact that she’s wearing a ring Erik gave her
  • cue Raoul being his normal jealous, Broni-Friendzonied self as per usual
  • and wouldn’t you know it, Christine somehow still wants to seek out his company and does just that. sighhhhhhhhhhhh
  • blah blah blah, the gruesome twosome are having an emotional moment in Christine’s dressing room, I DON’T CARE
  • “…[Christine and Raoul] held each other like two despairing siblings” – OKAY LEROUX I’M GONNA JUST STOP YOU RIGHT THERE
  • Christine rn, for real:
  • oh my god, Christine’s taking Raoul on a tour of the opera house and being a TOTAL JERK ABOUT IT
  • “look at this backdrop, Raoul, it’s fake JUST LIKE OUR LOVE” – Christine, basically
  • heaven help me, I’m actually laughing really hard at this
  • This next section is actually really cool – the Paris opera is basically its own little sovereign nation within France.
  • For once, I have nothing to complain about.
  • aaaaaand in other news Christine seems to be clinically losing it and probably needs a good psychiatrist
  • seriously, girl’s got some hardcore PTSD from this whole craptrain of events, especially those involving Ghostbro
  • no no no oh my god Leroux keeps comparing them to siblings what the heck no no STOP
  • #yecch: the novel
  • somehow Christine has convinced herself that Erik/Ghostbro won’t bother them if they’re in the upper stories of the building???
  • like. honey, did you forget about the chandelier that fell? clearly this guy isn’t afraid of heights
  • yet another sign that Christine Daae needs some serious professional help tbh
  • and how does Raoul react to Christine’s very understandable PTSD? by being a possessive jerk. naturally
  • honestly, I’m not even surprised at this point
  • “he would not sail for the North Pole unless she revealed the secret of the Voice.” <– that whole bit was italicized
  • the formatting of the opera: the novel
  • “I will break /his/ power over you, Christine!” – Raoul. Not making this up
  • me at literally everything Raoul does, ever:
  • “Higher! Higher still!” #contextwhatcontext
  • aaaaaand we close this chapter with the “revelation” that Ghostbro’s been following Christine and Broni. what a surprise

“Chapter XIII: Apollo’s Lyre”
brb looking up the relevant myth…

  • so I guess the big question is whether Leroux is implicitly comparing Apollo to Raoul (because of the squicky siblings thing)…
  • …or to Erik (because of the whole god-of-music thing). heck, maybe it’s supposed to be ambiguous.
  • oh, now *Christine* is the one who’s all obsessed with running away. I wonder why…
  • …oh dang. according to Christine, Ghostbro’s going to make her come to his lair tomorrow by emotionally blackmailing the heck outta her.
  • god, I feel so bad for Christine. this is a terrible situation.
  • “Creatures of the night must shun the sunlight” – sounds like Christine’s been reading up on her vampire lore
  • This passage just really merited annotations. #theformattingoftheoperaPhantom annotation 1
  • (side note, can you tell I really love the pen on my Note)
  • oh wonderful, a gigantic backstory-drop on Christine’s part
  • sooooo Christine kept hearing this voice in her dressing room, she couldn’t find the source, and yet she *wasn’t* freaked? #phantomreactions
  • (remember when #phantomreactions was a thing? I think we need to bring it back)
  • “The Voice seemed to know precisely where my father’s teaching had stopped” – #stalker
  • Christine says of her lessons: “I was afraid for a moment that I might be under some kind of spell.” Um… about that.
  • “[Mme. Valerius] said that I was much too innocent a girl to fall prey to the Devil.” if I snorted any harder I’d inhale my own nose
  • …lovely image, that. especially considering that Ghostbro doesn’t have a nose.
  • that was entirely unintentional, I swear
  • see, the musical has an advantage at this juncture, because it’s just three minutes of pretty music here and no labored backstory crap
  • oh, so Christine couldn’t figure out on her own that the Voice was jealous of Raoul? cool
  • and also of course, Ghostbro is being his usual creepy stalker self and listening in on the whole thing #casual
  • “I am wherever you are, Christine” – an ACTUAL THING GHOSTBRO SAID. y’know, in case anybody still doubted that he’s a creepy stalker.
  • “why didn’t you just leave tho” – Raoul just now, basically.
  • me re: Raoul right now
    Klahom face
  • Christine thought for a bit that the Voice got killed by the chandelier. Oh honey.
  • Filed under annotations I never thought I would make
    Phantom annotation 2
  • oh and of course the way to Ghostbro’s lair is lit with a Satanic “faint red glow of light”
  • though I do appreciate the comparison of Ghostbro to Satan
  • Christine is basically kidnapped in the book. Repeat: she is basically kidnapped. WHY does she go more willingly in the musical?
  • cool beans, so Ghostbro stole that one horse from like chapter 6 or thereabouts and has been using it as his kidnapping vehicle ever since
  • “I believed in the Voice, but had never believed in the ghost.” – and there’s your problem right there, Christine
  • “Don’t be afraid, Christine… you are in no danger” – says the man who LITERALLY JUST KIDNAPPED HER
  • and whaddaya know, once you get past the creepy stalking and the kidnapping, Erik’s actually ~adorably domestic~
  • related, can sarcasm tildes be a thing?
  • “We ought to run away at once!” – Raoul coming in with the first good reaction in this whole chapter
  • oh wait never mind
  • Raoul: do you hate him
    Christine: no
    Raoul: then you obviously hate ME and love HIM omg everything sux
  • like that’s basically how this next part goes
  • Raoul de Chagny: from zero to jerk in 0.4 pages
  • taking a hard left onto Emotional Blackmail Ave. with Ghostbro, as you do
  • so after a rousing rendition of what hopefully isn’t foreshadowing (Desdemona’s “Willow Song”), Christine falls asleep
  • being kidnapped is exhausting, apparently
  • and then she wakes up – we discussed in class how the furniture in the room she wakes up in is super middle-class
  • like all Ghostbro really wants out of life is ordinary domestic stuff. except, you know, in an underground cave with a girl he kidnapped.
  • #minordifferences
  • “I asked him why, since he loved me, he had found no other way to let me know of his feelings than to carry me down here and lock me up.”
  • occasionally Christine comes in with a total zinger and it’s the most wonderful thing
  • Christine: “It is difficult to inspire love in a tomb.”
    Ghostbro: “One must create the opportunities one can.”
    Me: “You need to stop.”
  • On Ghostbro’s bedroom: “I entered a room that resembled a funeral parlour.” so scene, y’all
  • oh my god he literally sleeps in a coffin
  • is it too late to change my moniker for him from Ghostbro to Ebony Dark’ness Dementia Raven Way or….
  • I’d just like to inform (or remind) all of you that Ghostbro has literally titled his masterwork “Don Juan Triumphant”
  • I just. God. Ugh.
  • every time I think Ghostbro’s as bad as it gets, he ups his own ante
  • seriously, how does anyone think this story is romantic in any way whatsoever? OH RIGHT abusive behavior is normalized in relationships lol!
  • “English major” more like “feminist rage major” let’s be totally real here
  • okay I just imagined myself punching Ghostbro in the face and now I feel better
  • for real, if this was genuinely supposed to be romantic, then Leroux might have had them sing Romeo and Juliet rather than FREAKING OTHELLO
  • OOOOHHHHHHHHH Christine just took off Ghostbro’s mask #KeepinItReal
  • *insert an entire paragraph in which Christine confirms that yes, this dirtbag does look like the lovechild of Ghostface and Voldemort*
  • more italicized phrases: “not the slightest gleam from those eye sockets”
  • which actually makes a lot of sense – eyes are the window to the soul, right? and if Ghostbro doesn’t have eyes, then…
  • ah yes, Ghostbro’s having a full-blown meltdown – charming, charming
  • “‘Enough! Enough!’ interrupted Raoul. ‘I will kill him.'” another sensible reaction from this one, what do you know…
  • blah blah blah, Ghostbro reveals part of his sob story, TOO LATE I DON’T CARE
  • like it sucks that his own mother didn’t want to look at him, yeah, but that doesn’t excuse the fact that he LITERALLY KIDNAPPED SOMEONE
  • ahem. okay I think I’m done now
  • and oh look, poor Christine’s still trying to make excuses for him.
  • that last tweet was not actually meant to be sarcastic – I still feel terrible for Christine
  • Ghostbro plays the organ when he’s feeling emo, pass it on
  • …wow. Christine straight-up did a season-one Skye on Ghostbro.
  • Lying through her teeth to Ghostbro till he eventually lets her go. Dang. Daaaaaaaaang.
  • Christine Daae: a fantastic character in a story that treats her like crap
  • Phantom of the Opera AU in which Raoul and Erik don’t exist and Christine just gets to be her normal amazing self
  • oh my GOD, Christine literally just laid it all out for Raoul and he’s STILL HUNG UP on Christine going back to Ghostbro
  • was he just not listening to her entire story or – actually I’m sure he wasn’t, he was too busy feeling sorry for himself
  • or, even better: The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen AU where the “gentlemen” are actually female characters from Gothic literature
  • definitely putting that on my to-write list, not even gonna lie
  • Raoul and Christine: *smoochy*

“Chapter XIV: The Master of the Traps Strikes” or, you know, you could maybe *not* give away the big surprise of the chapter in its title?

  • So when we left our dashing heroine and her loser boyfriend, they’d just figured out that Erik had been spying on them, like, the whole time
  • whiiiich means Erik heard every word of s*** Christine just talked about him. awk.
  • Ghostbro right now (yeah yeah yeah, wrong part of the movie, see if I care):
    Screen shot 2014-12-27 at 11.25.18 PM
  • anyway, Raoul and Christine are making like trees and leaf-ing when some random guy in a cloak shows up and gives them directions?
  • Raoul continues his streak of asking the real questions (“But who is he?”), and Christine’s reply? “That was the Persian.” Awesome.
  • gotta love all the casual racism in Victorian Gothic fiction, amirite?
  • oh, now Raoul’s getting pissy because “for the first time in my life, I am running away” – CAN YOU PLEASE JUST SHUT YOUR MOUTH FOREVER
  • poor Christine’s trying to convince both herself and Raoul that they didn’t really see Erik and I’m just like “girlfriend, you need help”
  • Raoul: srsly couldn’t we just leave right now
    Christine: no
    Christine: he’s writing his music, he’s not going to bother us
    Raoul: …
  • but like. if Erik’s so busy with his self-insert opera that he’s not paying attention to them, it’s literally a perfect escape opportunity
  • Christine, ilu, but you need an intervention
  • oh so apparently Erik promised not to lurk in the walls of Christine’s dressing room. wow what a good. a plus. cookie for you
  • so wait, apparently that ring – not the fake-gagement ring, but one Erik gave Christine – is gone, and Christine’s FREAKING OUT
  • good god, she might as well be climbing on her dressing table and hissing “my precioussssssss”
  • so instead of, say, helping her look for the freakin’ ring, Raoul just goes home and sulks
  • like I’m not even kidding, that’s what just happened
  • so Raoul wakes up in the middle of the night, sees two glowing eyes at the foot of his bed, and internally screams his head off
  • clearly he doesn’t have a cat
  • holy crap, Raoul just straight-up shot whatever the heck is in his house right between the glowing eyes
  • oh hi, Philippe, nice to see you again after like ten chapters
  • oh my god, Raoul: “None of this would have happened if I had simply drawn the curtains before going to bed.”
  • yeah, nothing would have happened, the creepy jerk still would have STARED AT YOU THE ENTIRE NIGHT, no big deal
  • update: according to Philippe, Raoul shot a cat. jerk.
  • god dang it, Raoul:
    “Who is Erik?”
    “He is my rival.”
    SERIOUSLY? #phantomreactions
  • listen up, Broni, Erik is guilty of MURDER, EXTORTION, and KIDNAPPING and your biggest concern is that he’s your ROMANTIC RIVAL?!
  • and here I was thinking I couldn’t possibly hate Raoul any more. oh how wrong I was.
  • so we close off this scene with Raoul ranting and raving. par for the course, I mean.
  • and with the new day, we get a completely random switch to a script format??? why though
  • Return of the annotations:
  • oh look, Carlotta’s back! you go girl
  • No Subtlety, a novel by Gaston Leroux
  • “By coincidence, it was Faust that was being performed that evening” – by which you mean you thought it would be super funny, Leroux
  • I have limited patience with Gaston Leroux’s writing technique: a novel by me
  • so now all the elitist nobles at the opera are side-eying Christine because she’s engaged to Raoul
  • Christine: omg can I do this
    (sees Carlotta smirking from the audience)
    Christine: okay yeah I can do this
  • hey Raoul, you started the standing O a little early
  • like okay, I get that Christine sings with the voice of a thousand angels, but you can’t just stand up in the middle of the show
  • though given his general lack of anything resembling human decency, I shouldn’t be surprised that Raoul has crappy theater manners
  • or something like that
  • and would you look at that – in the .00002 seconds the lights are out, Christine somehow vanishes.
  • cue literally everybody in the opera playing amateur detective
  • so now some guy named Carolus Fonta is addressing the audience, and I have no idea who on earth this guy is
  • “Christine Daae… has vanished before our very eyes and we know not how!” – dude, Carolus, give the police some time to do their thing
  • for god’s sake, y’all are singers and dancers, not detectives
  • [insert a break of a few days]

[Chapter XV:  The Curious Incident of the Safety-Pin]

  • HELLO TWITTER I AM HERE. Let’s see if I can finish Phantom in about four and a half hours.
  • So, as a reminder, when we left off, Christine had disappeared in a puff of smoke or something, and now everyone’s in a tizzy.
  • the only thing these people can agree on is that Christine was kidnapped
  • seriously, we’ve almost got enough suspects to make a big ol’ game of Clue out of this
  • and now Leroux is drawing our focus to… three staff members we have literally never encountered before, to the best of my memory
  • like seriously, Leroux, you could at least show us the reactions of people we’ve met before, like Moncharmin and Richard
  • “A singer who disappears from the stage during a performance is hardly a daily occurrence!” – Gabriel aka Captain Obvious
  • oh, and apparently like two or three other people have gone missing too, cool cool
  • oh crap, forgot to tell y’all the chapter title: “Chapter XV: The Curious Incident of the Safety-Pin”
  • …okay, sure
  • Remy, another one of our new characters, just tried to go talk to Moncharmin and Richard. “Tried” being the operative word there.
  • “A safety-pin! Someone, bring me a safety-pin! Now!” – Moncharmin. hey, at least we know where the safety pin thing comes from now… ish
  • I mean, we’ll probably find out why Moncharmin needed a safety pin at some point, given how heavy-handed Leroux is
  • “This is another of P. of the O’s tricks!” – Gabriel
  • like have these people seriously gotten to the point where they’re afraid to say this bro’s name
  • it’s as if Ghostbro is Voldemort or something
  • “Ghost-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named has returned!”
  • I just keep imagining these sophisticated French twerps saying “P of the O” out loud and giggling
  • okay, all jesting on my part aside, Moncharmin and Richard are genuinely acting weird af
  • and they were being so flagrantly weird during the actual performance? why didn’t Leroux see fit to mention this till it was convenient?
  • so Moncharmin and Richard won’t let anybody near them, okay, whatever – wait, they’re walking backwards too?
  • did they lose a bet with Ghostbro or
  • Remy: yeah Christine’s not the only one who’s missing
    Gabriel: lol sure
    Remy: jfc Gabe we told you others were missing like 2 minutes ago
  • Remy: Mme. Giry is missing Remy: jk someone locked her in an office and now she’s screaming indignantly
  • this chapter makes absolutely no sense
  • so Mercier got that safety pin back. okay. sure. whatevs
  • this chapter makes *negative* sense
  • a wild Raoul appears. no. go away
  • literally what was the point of this chapter

[Chapter XVI:  ‘Christine!  Christine!’]

  • so Raoul immediately suspected Erik once Christine disappeared. congratulations, Broni, you’ve made a stunningly simple deduction
  • like seriously, after everything Christine told you last night, Broni, you should go way beyond “suspecting” Erik
  • “In what frenzy… had Erik carried that innocent child” – OH MY GOD BRONI STOP RIGHT NOW
  • if Broni calls Christine an innocent child or anything like that ONE MORE TIME…
  • oh and look at me forgetting the chapter title again:
    “Chapter XVI: ‘Christine! Christine!'”
  • “Of course, Erik had discovered their secret and found out that Christine had betrayed his trust” – NOW the penny drops
  • oh my lord, now Raoul’s convincing himself that Christine was singing *to Erik* during the performance
  • here’s a thought, Broni, maybe she sang that ‘celestial plea’ BECAUSE IT WAS IN THE SCRIPT
  • so now Raoul’s playing a tearful game of Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego, basically
  • oh, NOW the police are here, awesome
  • took ’em long enough to get here
  • so now the whole circus – the police guy, Raoul, Gabriel, Remy, and Mercier – is making its way into the directors’ office
  • A wild “Persian” appears!… ugh. getting real tired of Leroux’s racist crap.
  • and what does this unfairly caricaturized character say?
    “Erik’s secrets are his, and his alone!”
    in italics, so you know it’s srs bznss
  • but like seriously, who is this guy because I want to know way more about him
  • filed under: people who should have been higher-billed

“Chapter XVII: Mme Giry’s Astonishing Revelations as to Her Knowledge of the Phantom of the Opera”

  • yeah yeah yeah, I’ve seen the movie, but that’s still clumsy af on Leroux’s part
  • ugh, here we get the Return of the Overly Self-Inserting Narrator
  • blah blah blah, a whole paragraph that basically boils down to “meanwhile, back at the ranch”
  • …never mind, this second paragraph in the chapter is more meanwhile-back-at-the-ranch crap
  • Richard and Moncharmin paid Ghostbro his allowance. really, Leroux, that’s your big reveal?
  • “in case you forgot, you still owe me money lol” – Ghostbro in the note he left, basically. what a jerk
  • super secret stakeout time with Moncharmin and Richard, holla
  • they’re thinking if they just keep the envelope with the money in it in sight at all times, they’ll see Ghostbro come get it, right?
  • and that’s a solid plan. for once in this godforsaken novel, someone actually has a solid plan.
  • ofc the best-laid plans go oft awry, though – Ghostbro does some bro magic or whatever and replaces the notes w/fake ones
  • “twenty fake ones… from the ‘Bank of Farce’!” – okay that is genuinely hilarious and I’m actually lol-ing
  • well played, Ghostbro, well played
  • let it go on the record that I shall never say “well played, Ghostbro” ever again
  • just tweeting that made me uncomfortable tbh
  • oh brother. Abbott and Costello over here aren’t calling the cops because they’re too ~embarrassed~
  • good god almighty, you two, magical disappearing money is SURELY freaky enough that you can set aside your delicate fee-fees and get help
  • Richard just called Giry an “idiot.” Hey Pot, there’s a Kettle on line one for you.
  • awesome, the next blackmail day is also the day Christine disappears. Ghostbro must be in a fantastic mood, the twerp
  • now Abbott and Costello are attempting to grill Giry over her role in this whole charade. attempting.
  • ohhhh boy. they still don’t actually believe the Phantom exists. oh honey honey honey
  • ooh cool, Giry at least gets tipped for bring Ghostbro the envelope? how much – wait. ten francs? TEN FRANCS?
  • that is MEASLY
  • that’s like… hang on, what percentage of 20k is 10?
  • Ghostbro is literally tipping Giry 0.05%. I’m offended on behalf of service workers everywhere
  • “Upon my word! That’s cheap!” – either Moncharmin or Richard, I legit can’t tell which
  • ……………………………..this chapter just took a left turn solidly into what-the-what territory
  • hang on a few minutes, I’ve got to annotate this bit for y’all
  • Filed under: stuff I’m glad they cut from the movie
  • “But who held the strings of this absurd puppet?” – ah yes, “absurd” is an excellent word for this entire situation
  • OH SNAP. Richard is planning to have Giry arrested.
  • oh my god this next paragraph is ridiculous
  • like this is definitely gonna have to involve an annotated picture and possibly a bad doodle or two
  • The ridiculousness, part 1.
  • The ridiculousness, part 2. (Petition to get this book a better editor.)
  • I’m not even kidding, I’m drawing that stuff – it’s too good to resist
  • the sentient feathers of the opera
  • part of me can’t believe I just spent like twenty minutes drawing a pair of angry hat feathers, but part of me totally can
  • I make such good life choices
  • ANYWAY, where were we – oh right, Giry did a totally-NOT-a-pirouette and got all up in Richard’s business
  • OOOOOHHHHHHH Giry just slapped Richard. GET IT, GURL
  • …wait, she slapped him with the envelope rather than her hand? disappointing
  • all the bank notes flew out of the envelope – “like a fantastic flight of giant butterflies,” in Leroux’s surprisingly good words
  • cue the most frantic game of 52-Card-Pickup that’s ever been played on Abbott and Costello’s part
  • Giry: RICHARD TOTALLY PUT THE MONEY FROM LAST MONTH IN HIS POCKET Giry: lol just kidding that was actually me
  • for real, how high is Giry right now?
  • okay literally what in heaven’s name is going on here
  • so… Giry was the one who swapped out the money envelopes?
  • I never thought I’d find myself saying this, but I’m actually starting to miss Broni Friendzoni and Ghostbro
  • at least they make sense, even if they’re still full of crap
  • this is just… what
  • I think Moncharmin just said something that was supposed to be groundbreaking, but honestly idek at this point.

That’s it for this installment of The Awful Adventures of Ghostbro and Broni Friendzoni.  I’ll post the final part tomorrow!