I wrote these a long time ago--and posted them on PG.net-- I ran across them tonight and thought I would post my parody of.."What happened after the Opera House burned down...." hope this brings a smile to your face---feel free to add on!
After the opera house burns to the ground and Christine leaves with Raoul, the Phantom is forced to find another living for himself in the real world.
With no references and no work experience, the only place that hires him is McDonald's. It has been three weeks since he started to work there.
Early morning, Erik walks in through the back door and hangs up his cloak on a peg in the break room. He puts a small paper bag in the mini-fridge and tapes a note to it.
"Dear workers, just a quick reminder, my sandwich better not be touched. If you dare disobey, you shall surely pay. P.T.O.- No one likes a stealer so we'll deal well if my orders are obeyed"
As he ties his apron on the manager approaches him.
"I thought we discussed your apparel. That costume is frightening the customers."
"Today is Monday is it not?"
"After having the weekend off and coming back to this hell on a Monday, I wear my Red Death outfit. Is this a problem?" His hand drifts down to the coil of rope by his hip."
The manager's forehead beads with sweat. "No..no..that is fine. But I really must insist that you stop putting those weird wax figures in the kids happy meal bags they are freaking the children out--especially the young naive girls.....and..." he gulps. "You cannot continue to grab napkins out of the customers hands and write all over them."
Erik's eyes burn with fire. "I am composing my newest opera...! I am creating art!"
"Um..well.. the other day you almost knocked out a fellow when you threw the push broom in your haste to write down your art. I'm not asking much."
"I suppose you cannot understand my genius..no one but Madame Giry does." Erik sighs.
The manager looks at Erik's forlorn expression. "Hey cheer up! It's not like you lost the woman you loved to some fop....besides you're on drive-up today!"
The thunderclouds that had begum forming, instantly cleared with this news. "Drive-up? Me? Do you think I am ready? I have been waiting for this day!"
The manager shrugged. "Sure, you know the menu. Besides, Cindy called in sick..well, her mother called in for her. Has some sort of laryngitis..sounds like a toad from what her mom said. Poor girl."
Erik coughs lightly into his gloved fist. "Yes, poor girl indeed."
Later on at the drive-thru...a couple of teenagers pull up to order.
Erik's voice crackles over the speaker.
"You have come here in pursuit of your deepest urge..in pursuit of a hamburger and a milkshake. And fries too...and fries too."
The two kids look at each, the one closest leans over to the speaker.
"Yeah, buddy, I'll have a number two extra bacon and a number seven no tomato. Two cokes with that and we don't need the singing."
Erik's voice booms out and the drive-up menu board flickers on and off.
"Insolent boy, there is no bacon that comes with a number two. Ignorant fool! You both need to order combination number five!"
Both scared teens: "Buddy we hear you! Speak we listen! We'll both get the number five. Buddy we're jerks, please forgive us...can we supersize?"
The large menu screens flickers and goes out. The Phantom's voice is heard once more.
"Hungry young boys, I shall get that. Your supersize I will do. Drive 'round to the second window, your total is 9.42!"
Later that night, an elderly man drives up to order some dinner...but he isn't sure where to order, so he just stares at the menu.
Erik's voice crackles over the speaker.
"Why so silent good messier? Do you think that we had left here? Are you ready good messier? I would like to take your order!"
"Er, give me a minute there, there's too much on this dang menu."
A long impatient sigh issues from the speaker. The man sits in his car and reads the menu again, saying nothing. Minutes pass.
Erik finally barks out of the speaker.
"Order your fine burger now! Pay up your money at the second window! No senior discounts are accepted here--except perhaps for the dollar menu."
The old man shifts in his seat. "Who is that voice? Who is in there? Now see here young fella, stop this singing and hollerin' at me ,else I'm comin in and speakin with your boss!"
"DID I NOT INSTRUCT THAT YOU WERE TO ORDER?"
"Easy there fella! I can't decided what I want for crimeny sake!"
"Just place your order this very moment, turn my ear with talk of quarter-pounders. Say you need pies, now please order. Anything else...let me know too...messier....that's all I ask of you."
"Crazy foreigner!" The man drives off.
**THIS IS AN ADD-ON FROM YESTERDAY--THOUGHT IT MIGHT BE EASIER IF I POSTED UP TOP WITH THE REST OF THIS
Three weeks have passed since the Phantom has worked on the drive-thru. After many many customer complaints, he was pulled off and forced to work in the furthest reaches of the establishment doing inventory and maintaining the stockroom.
Actually the manager tried to dismiss him but had a quick change of heart.
Erik looks around the manager’s dismal office with a slight curl to his lips.
The manager glares. “I should be firing you right now Erik. Frightening the customers, chasing them about the parking lot trying to wrap a noose around their necks when they talk back to you!!?? Give me one good reason why I shouldn’t let you go.”
Erik takes a step closer to the desk then brings his face level to the manager. “If you were to fire me, a disaster beyond your imagination WILL occur... Now, I must go, lest those fools who run my Milkshake machine think I’ve gone home for the day.”
“Stock room it is,” squeaks the manager and slumps down into his chair when Erik sweeps out with a wide flourish of his apron.
The day progresses, Erik is in a foul mood. Cindy the Drive-Up Diva has been monopolizing the microphone these weeks since her return from being “sick”.
She is also in a bad mood. Several mysterious accidents have befallen her and she is fed up. The manager rushes out to soothe her.
“Cindy, please. These things do happen.”
Cindy narrows her eyes. “The bottom of my take-out bags missing, spilled ketchup where I walk, Soda cups toppling over my head!!?? For the past three weeks these things do happen! And did you stop them from happening? No!”
Erik lurks behind in the shadows, watching with interest as the manager scowls.
“Now see here Cindy. Stop acting like some Prima Donna and get back to work!”
Cindy looks at her watch. “My shift ees…is…. over. Bye Bye. I am really leaving.” She walks off and flips open her cell phone. “Mom? Can you come pick me up—and bring my doggy.”
Horns are starting to blare outside and the manager looks around in a panic. “Who will fill her place? Is there anyone scheduled?”
Maude-Ann Giry, the assistant manager glides over to him. “ Kristin OiVay could work there, sir.”
“What, a fry girl? Don’t be silly.”
“She has been taking lessons from a great teacher.” She gestures with her head in Erik’s direction.
The manager is about to scoff, thinking about the disaster his newest employee created at the drive-up window—but when he opens his mouth—his eyes clash with Erik—who does not hesitate to touch his fingers upon the ever present coil of rope at his hip.
“Alright.” He looks at Kristin. She has been hanging back amongst her co-workers. “Come on, don’t be shy. Come on, Come along…”
Slowly Kristin approached the microphone—all eyes are trained on her.
Rocking back and forth on his heels, the manager mutters, “This is doing nothing for my nerves, Maude-Ann.”
With her fingers gently wrapped around the mike, Kristin sends one quick look to the darkened corner where Erik stands—his green eyes blaze back.
“SPEAK! SPEAK FOR ME MY ANGEL OF MUSTARD! TAKE THEIR ORDER FOR ME!”
Inhaling deeply, Kristin turns back to the microphone.
“Order now…Order your soft drink and a large hot fry. Remember to not spill your coffee, as you start to drive…”
All around McDonalds the customers and employees alike have fallen silent. Erik has retreated into his stockroom which he has made his own. Amidst the Velvet wall coverings, burning candles, sheets of music, mayonnaise, and pickle slices, he closes his eyes and breathes in the magnificence of Kristin’s voice.
“You will find that with one pie—you get a second one for free, if you ever find a moment –try our McFlurry…”
A young man open the doors and stops.
“Can it be? Can it be Kristin?”
He tries to see her past the crowd, but can only hear her voice.
“Long ago, it seems so long ago—those days at Wendy’s were a blur. She may not remember me, but I remember her!”
He leaves quickly and heads to his car.
Kristin is doing amazingly well at the drive-thru—her smile is engaging and she always puts extra napkins in the customer’s bags much to their delight. As she is handing Happy Meals to a harried mother suddenly the excitement of the day, the smell of gas fumes and fast food turns her stomach.
With wide eyes she turns to her Maude-Ann. “I have to run to the bathroom! Please cover for me!”
The young man pulls up in time to see her run off, his smile dies on his lips. “Damn! Now I’ll have to drive around again!”
As Kristin splashes some cool water on her face there is a timid knock on the door.
“Kristin?” Peg Giry, The second fry girl and daughter to Maude-Ann, speaks her name with concern.
“Yes, I’m in here. It’s not locked.”
Peg opens the door, her sweet face is caring and questioning. “Where in the world have you been hiding? Really you were perfect. I only wish I did not fear microphones and your strange tutor!”
Peg waits expectantly as Kristin stares at her. “Uh…I’m right here in the bathroom…I told your mother that. But thanks for the compliment! …and Erik isn’t strange…he is the unseen genius of drive-up!”
“But who is this Erik?”
They both speak at the same time. “Erik the stock-boy! Hide no longer! Secret and strange you are!”
Kristin sighs. “I wasn’t feeling well…”
Grabbing her hands, Pegs exclaims. “Your hands are cold..”
“Hot water’s off…”
“Your face, Kristin, is white…”
“Don’t be silly…” Peg pushes her out the door. “Get back to work, you’re fine.”
They hurry back through the kitchen and into the service area. Before Kristin reaches the drive-up, Maude-Anne stops her and hands Kristin a $5 dollar off McDonalds meal coupon. “You did very well my dear. He is pleased with you.”
Slowly Kristin takes the plastic card, tracing the picture of a hamburger with a reverent, cautious finger. “Erik?”
“Erik??? Um..no. Your manager is very happy with your performance today. He says keep up the good work and you might get the coveted 12 o’clock shift!”
Pocketing the card, Kristin returns to the drive-up—Determined to be the best she can be.
“Welcome to McDonalds…may I take your order?”
“Little Scottie let his mind wander…”
“I’m sorry? Can I help you?”
“Little Scottie thought: am I fonder of nuggets…or of salads…or shakes…”
Maude-Anne turns to one of the teen age boys at the cash register. “We might have ourselves a situation. This guy sounds like a loony.”
Kristin tries again. “Can I interest you in our cheeseburger value meal? Buy one piping hot burger get the second for free—Scott? “
“…or of griddle cakes or apple dippers…”
“Those annoying questions from customers….”
“….or of McRibs….”
“People taking forever to decide…”
Scott pulls up to the window . “As we made fun of them behind the condiment counter.”
They laugh together. And Kristin shakes her head in wonderment. “I can’t believe it’s you! You’ve let your hair grow out.”
Scott absently touches his shaggy mane of golden hair. “Yeah, I just got lazy. I’ll get it cut at some point. But, look at you! The big time—drive-up! Back at Wendy’s we used to talk about this for hours.”
Licking her lips, Kristin leans close. “Remember when I told you that I dreamt of a masked man helping me with my drive-up skills?”
“Well, he is here Scott…and he has helped me.”
“No doubt of it Kristin! I see him standing right behind you.”
Kristin looks over her shoulder to see Erik standing there holding a box of plastic forks in his black gloved hands.
“Oh, Hi Erik! Thank you for the forks. This is Scott..we used to work together.”
Erik ignores Scott. “Your coffee lids are appallingly low and there are 4 cars waiting to place their order. Perhaps I have made a mistake in instructing you.” He stalks off.
Scott winks at Kristin who eyes are brimming with tears. “So…I’ll take you out later after your shift.”
“No, Scott…I have to work late. I picked up a double in order to buy my new IPod. Besides..as you heard I have much to learn about the drive-up.”
“C’mon...I won’t keep you out late.”
“Hey buddy—move along!”
Scott is forced to drive-off. But later, long after closing, Kristin receives a text later telling her to change out of her McDonalds uniform and he’ll order a pizza.
She ignores the text…wondering what the heck is wrong with the lighting as it flickers on and off. She picks up a mop and bangs it against the fluorescent culprit and the light burns steady once again.
Suddenly the whole restaurant goes dark with only the glow of the mini refrigerators giving off illumination through their glass doors.
“Hello?” Called Kristin.
Silence shrouded the fast food restaurant…until…
“I am your Angel of Muuuuuusic…….Come to your Angel of Muuuuusic…..”
A swirling mist fills the Take-Out area and Kristin walks through it, towards that voice…that mesmerizing voice unlike anything upon this earth heard before….
“Angel! I hear you! Speak—I listen…stay by my side, guide me!” She now see’s a large figure in the mist further down, past the employee restroom. “Angel, my soul was weak—please forgi—AAAAAHHHHH!!!”
When she comes to, a large latex gloved hand is being extended to her. Kristin rubs the back of her head and looks up into the irritated gaze of Joe Croquet, the janitor.
Joe scowls. “You slipped on my freshly waxed floor—tonight’s steam and clean—didn’t you read the notice in the break room?”
“Steam and clean? The mist….! But…what about that singing?”
“Singing? Oh! That was me…I’m a huge phan of POTO! Did you like it?”
“Um….yeah…but what the heck is POTO?”
Joe looks at Kristin with the sneer of a true phan who scorns those that don’t understand Phantom acronyms. “Phantom of the Opera, hello?”
Kristin gets to her feet, swaying a little. “You have a lovely voice. I need to finish stocking up. Sorry about the floor.”
“Forget about it.” The janitor sticks his ear buds back in his ears. “ I am the mask you wear….It’s me they hearrrrrrrr!” A tear forms in his eye. “That Gerard…he really puts his soul into it.”
Making her way along the hallway, Kristin notices that as she gets closer to the stock room—the paint seems fresher, the smell of grease is replaced by that of sandalwood and beeswax—she gasps when she glances up…a large chandelier now hangs where the last set of fluorescent lights used to be.
“Nice touch, Erik” she mutters and ducks under the elaborate crystal fixture.
The stock room had been transformed! Kristin stares in open mouth shock—
“Kristin? Is that you?”
Erik materializes before her with a questioning look.
“Do you have need of something?”
Understanding covers his features. “You have come here, for one purpose and one alone….Since the moment I first saw you fry, I have needed you at drive-thru, to serve them, to work…for McDonalds…McDonalds…”
He grasps Kristin’s hands drawing her further into the room…she gasps when her eyes light upon the grand pipe organ in the corner. “But this room is only ten by ten…how did you—?”
Erik places a fingertip against her mouth. The black leather contrasts sensually against the pale rose of her lips.
“Slowly, gently, I installed this organ…I grasped it, dragged it…it scratched my skin so tender…”
Kristin glances around. “I really just came back here for the Kung Fu Panda toys…..”
“Turn your face away from the garish toy display! Turn your thoughts from getting overtime….and listen to the cadence of my rhyme…”
“So, you aren’t angry with me? I thought you might be jealous of my friend Scott.”
“Close your eyyyyyes—WHAT?” Erik stops in mid-croon. “Jealous? Of that young fellow at your window?”
He begins to chuckle. The chuckle turns into a full-blown laugh. Erik has to hold on to his knees as his mirth completely overtakes him. “I’m sorry…I think I’m almost through” he holds up a hand. “…No..I’m not…” He starts again…and Kristin glares.
Finally Erik straightens and wipes at his streaming eyes with lace from the cuff of his sleeve. “My, I haven’t laughed like that since I placed a Whoopy cushion under Madame Giry’s derriere during Faust.”
He notices Kristin’s hurt look and gently pats her shoulder. “Please, my dear, do not take this personally. But as that Cindy likes to say: Been there, Done that, girlfriend.”
He turns around and spreads his arms wide. “I have all that I need here…my music…plenty of dry goods on which to write…these delightful little packets of minced pickle…quite satisfying….”
He then turns back to Kristin. “I left a life of jealously, passion, and madness behind. I will tutor you in all there is to know about ruling the drive-up—but I will never again go back to being that sensual, tormented, sexy, genius. To being that smoldering, broken hearted bad-boy who just needs the right woman to make me whole again. Never.”
Kristin lets out a little whimper and fans herself.
“Now,” Erik continues briskly. “Do not let me stop you from doing your job…we have much to do tomorrow and you need your sleep…The toys are over in the corner.”
“Yes, Erik....okay.” She spins on her heels and hurries to the corner.
“Be careful…Joe just waxed—“
Erik catches Kristin in his arms just before she falls to the floor. As if she weighs no more than a paper bag, he carries her prone form to a pallet of hamburger buns and lays Kristin down with tender care.
“You alone just gave my heart a fright….I’ll help you close McDonald’s up this night….”
As the evening wears on, Erik sits at his organ trying to compose his latest musical triumph…TRYING not to be distracted by the girl passed out on the hamburger buns.
The melody entered his mind again…so powerful it was almost tangible…so fleeting, it might as well be vapor.
He glanced with frustration at the prone female. “Not only does she snore like a drunkard, but those hamburgers buns are beyond repair! I’ll be damned if the cost is taken out of my salary--minimum wage is hardly twenty thousand francs….”
He plays a few notes on the organ, grumbling about getting the Union involved, when a particularly loud drawn out snort issues from Kristin. “Blast it! I need a break…a break!...That’s it!”
His nostrils flare with excitement. Erik closes his eyes, his skillful fingers dance nimbly over the smooth keys, he begins to sing—his voice—a rich roiling tenor of exquisite sound—booms out---
“Big Mac, Filet O’Fish, Quarter Pounder…Grilled Chicken…no..no…Quarter Pounder…FRENCH FRIES…perfect!...Icy Soda….hmm…speaking of...” He picks up his large cup of soda and slurps the drink with great satisfaction. “I could compose all night drinking this marvelous effervescent concoction. It is truly wonderful—I feel so energized. And the syrupy tang of this beverage is unlike anything I have tasted in my life!”
He places the drink down on the organ, gives it a fond look, and starts to play again. “ Icy soda…no…that’s not right……Icy COKE….Thick Shake…Sundaes…and…Apple Pies!...You deserve a break today at McDonaldddddddds….”
He continues to hum while fine tuning his song, smiling with deep enjoyment. So lost in his composition…Erik does not realize Kristin awoke from her faint and approaches him with a soft tread.
“I remember there used to be a stock room….a full stock room with shelves across the vast linoleum floor…now there are candles all around…and an organ…and at the organ there was a man….”
All of a sudden she stops thinking of how her mouth tastes awful. Kristin grabs the supersize Coke on the organ, unmindful of Erik.
As she brings the straw to her lips—he rounds on her in fury, smacking the cup from her grasp and sending her spinning to the floor.
“Dam you! You little thirsty Pandora! You little demon! Is this what you wanted to drink?” Erik brandishes the now empty cup in her face, when he realizes that the contents have spilled—his anger increases.
“Curse You! You little grabby Delilah! You little Camel! Now the cup is completely empty….”
He wrenches his gaze from her horrified face and drops the cup to the floor. It falls with a soft bump of sound and rolls near Kristin’s fingers.
With a trembling hand Erik rubs his face, his breathing hard. “Damn you….curse you…………...Stranger than you dreamt it can you even bear to know or bear to think of me, this arid gargoyle, who drinks water, but secretly, secretly yearns for soda, secretly…secretly….Colaaaaaaaa….”
Kristin picks up the cup and searches in vain for a last drop of Coke—there is nothing to be had. She is near tears…Erik drops to his knees, crawling away to sit on his haunches by his organ.
“Thirst can turn to pain—you learn too fast, to find the source of any moisture, this…carbonated liquid, which seems harmless, but secretly contains additives….secretly…secretly…..Oh, Colaaaaaaa…”
With pity and remorse, Kristin holds the cup out.
Her hands are shaking, Erik does not pay this any mind as he snatches it from her hand, turns away from her view again, and carefully, slowly refits the plastic lid over the top of the cup.
Getting to her feet, Kristin cleares her throat. “Erik…you know, you can still get more soda out front…and a fresh straw.”
He whips around. “Truly? I have been nursing this one serving for three days. It is quite expensive!”
“Truly. We drink the soda all the time around here…Maude-Ann is a fiends for Mountain Dew.”
“So that’s how she works all those doubles,” Erik breathes in wonder.
“Friends again?” Kristin offers a tentative smile.
“Indeed, you came close to getting punjabbed…but with this wonderful revelation…your life is spared! Come, we must return to the front of the restaurant…”
He hurries past her. Kristin lets out an uncertain laugh as she stares after him. “Er…Good joke, Erik.”