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This week's blog provides an excerpt from Chapter 16 of Chandelier. Carlotta is concerned about events happening in the Garnier and fears for her protege, Christine that she is being misled by her previous lover, Philippe. So she visits Madame Giraud for guidance on helping Christine and facing her own fears of permanent memory loss.
"I wish only to remember again. It's as if my mind refuses to cooperate with my will. I read and hear terrible things about my behaviour. Are they true?"
"I'm not sure. I can say if there is an Opera Ghost, you truly gained his attention. Your fall from grace as Europe's finest diva was a dark period for our opera company. Deaths, deception, revenge all pervaded that time. I have learnt that dark times evoke a force that is a wrathful master. You felt it more keenly than most."
"Will I remember again?" Carlotta implored.
"Memory will always return, but only when the time is right. You are repaying a debt by helping Christine. That will surely go a long way to recalibrating your emotional disturbance."
"She is in distress. I don't know whether to tell her of my experience with Philippe. She still holds on to her love for him."
"Forces in the past have been deadly, but they always seemed to protect the music of love. Stay faithful to that, Carlotta," said Madame Giraud. She was about to say more, but something caught her attention.
She reached out to the seats behind them as if feeling for the strange force she spoke about before swiftly retracting her hand. "I must go now. We will speak again, but for now, cast your gaze to the stage and try to remember your last performance." Madame Giraud brushed Carlotta's hair as if clearing her troubled mind before leaving her alone in Box 5.
Carlotta looked down to the stage, studying the area where she had seen the light float above Viola, then tried to remember back to the time she reigned the opera world. A flash of memory jolted her, giving rise to a single powerful thought. She stood in precisely the same space Viola occupied when she collapsed on stage. That same light had ended her performance. Was it the Opera Ghost? Then a second more disturbing image returned. Another man stood in Philippe's place who had the same expression for Christine that Philippe had for Viola. It was Erik Destler, the man she had desired and perhaps loved. He had deceived her in front of the world, embarrassing her in front of her loving fans. His evil eyes terrified her, not because of what he did but of who he was. She recognised his eyes and realised they belonged to someone she trusted.
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