Descriptive Narrative Writing: The Phantom’s Lair

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In our Writer’s Notebooks this week, we played around with writing our own descriptions of the Phantom’s lair.  Drawing upon the noticings and author’s craft lessons from previous units, we each worked to develop a description of the lair that created a strong mood.

Students had full creative license here:  their description could reflect any characterization of the Phantom they wanted to work with. Was the Phantom evil, lonely, dangerous, pathetic, mysterious, depressed, romantic, bitter…?  The choice was up to the writer.

Each worked to create that chosen mood through a variety of means:

  • choice of details to include and emphasize
  • use of imagery and figurative language
  • use of devices such as repetition and magic three
  • variety in sentence structure, such as the use of fragments or questions to create tension
  • choices in paragraphing, such as the use of a dramatic one-sentence paragraph
  • use of movement in the scene as opposed to description of a static space (the “narrative” part of the descriptive-narrative composition)

Enjoy the work of the following writers.  What do YOU notice about the choices each made?

Mark

Ava

Ian

Grace

James D.

Sanaya

Scott

Jessica

Carson

Jennifer

Zoie

Vanessa

Katelyn (who wrote her post as a poem!)

For some of our thinking about theme and  Phantom of the Opera, check out our responses to a question about compassion.

Image credit:  Pixabay CC0

The Phantom’s Lair

Deep down in the bowels below the opera house. There lives a phantom in these bowels. This is his lair, his lair of despair, of distress, and of desperation.

Down, down, getting deeper, and darker.

You have to put your hand at eye level so a noose doesn’t catch you because he’s a killer. He will take any chance to catch more prey. And when he captures you he will use your blood to make yet another portrait about what he feels about the world, hatred and prosperity. He’ll later use your bones to frame his portrait of revulsion.Your blood will drip from his cold, beat up hands.

If you make it down there alive, you will sorringly have to see the vicious snarl upon his face. He’ll slowly walk toward you as fog seeps through the cracks in the walls making it harder for you to see him, and it makes it easier for him to find you. You’ll try to run, you’ll try to hide, just don’t take too big a step backwards or you might fall in. You might fall into his lake of lonely souls. This is where he traps the souls of his past and most recent prey.

See you weren’t the first to explore this pit of hell. Just ask Johnny’s mom what happened.

The Lair of The Forgotten

The Candle

One lone candle illuminated the vast darkness, the darkness that brings sorrow-not fear. There is no red dripping from the walls, but the Phantom is red with anger and green with envy. “How is it I am the one who is shunned, why must I pay for sins that are not my own?” The Phantom sits alone pondering this very thought, for he has no other distractions, he has no companions. Beyond the empty lake, black with despair. Beyond the throne for a king ruling a land of one. Lies The Phantom’s only consolation:

His organ, where he composes his beautiful creations. Pages and pages, more and more pages, filled with music that has the composers full attention. The phantom can pour his heart into “The Music of The Night,” the music the words of which he believes with all his might.

The Phantom is no angel though. As he paces in his lair he is plotting revenge, revenge so bitter one would rather visit his lair. His lair…

The light is so scarce coming from only one source, one candle, one ruby red candle, the flame flickering, dancing, then suddenly leaping into the air. Shadows move across the room with minds of their own. Follow one and it may lead you out to the lake. The Phantom’s lair is separated from the outside world by the inky unfathomable lake. Dare to cross the lake and you will eventually reach the throne, although it isn’t built on bones there is an aura around the throne that ensures no one gets near.

Take my advice and run, run, run out of the lair while you still can. Run past the shattered mirror, and the collapsed stairs. Run away before The Phantom puts you in a musically administered trance. The Phantom may be alone, but, “the true distortion lies in his soul.”

Photo Credit: Riccardo Cuppini via Compfight

The Phantom’s Lair


Photo Credit: Marco Musso via Compfight

I was coming down off my adrenaline rush after my big performance. People walked up to me, congratulating me, telling me how amazing I was, but my only thought was what will my Angel of Music think about my performance? He, my new tutor, was exactly what my Dad had told me about when I was younger, more… carefree, I guess. Before my world came crashing down around me. When my Dad died, and my best friend deserted me.

When I saw him again, I almost didn’t recognize him, with almost being key. When he came to ask me to dinner, when I was in my changing room, I almost growled at his audacity. How dare he, after he broke my heart after dropping me like a piece of… of… garbage! How dare he just come waltzing back into my life, pretending nothing’s happened, like he hadn’t left me alone, hanging, after he told me we’d be friends forever. I then calmed. My Angel wouldn’t ever do that to me. He would never abandon me. ” Christine! Christine!” Oh. It was Meg, my only visible friend. “Christine! Why didn’t you tell me how good of a singer you are?” “I wasn’t that good. I made plenty of mistakes. I only hope my Angel won’t be to mad.” “Angel? What Angel?” Great. Now I’d let slip to Meg. She went on and on about how amazing I was, and I listened in a daze, not really hearing anything she was saying. “Christine? Are you okay?” She asked worriedly, finally falling silent. “I’m fine,” I said dismissively. My angel would be coming soon! I didn’t have time for the silly praises for a performance full of mistakes!

As I started to sing, Meg started panicking. “Christine! Christine!” She’d cried. “This isn’t like you Christine! What’s happening to you?” “Christine, you’re ice-cold! Christine, can you even hear me?!” I couldn’t, actually. All I could hear now were commands: “Look into the mirror, Cristine.” I sighed, feeling safe and at home once more, hearing my Angel’s voice sent me back to when my Mom, Dad, and I were a happy family. Before Raoul left, before Mom left, before dad died. Suddenly, I felt my head clear as I heard the voices of Meg and Raoul, enough to realize I was floating in front of the mirror with Meg’s and Raoul’s frightened faces looking up at me. Suddenly Raoul caught sight of a masked demon in the mirror behind me. “Demon!” He’d cried, “Let Christine go at once!” As I turned, I saw my angel. “Christine… Cristine…” He had mumbled, before smiling at me, “Christine…. Christine, please…”

I was shaking. Suddenly, my Angel’s face was mask-like, almost violent. He swept forward, gathered me in his arms, and stepped through the mirror. I realized, once again, that I was shaking. I was in shock. My Angel, My Angel of Music, had kidnapped me! I felt sorrow, for believing that I could ever have a happy ending, anger, anger toward My Angel for taking me away, and sadness to Raoul and Meg, who I’d most likely never see again. As I had been internally contemplating, the… Monster that’d been impersonating My Angel had taken me to a dungeon, an underground lair, a secret chamber, like the one that was rumored to house the Phantom of the Opera… wait… could My Angel actually be the Phantom? He was certainly fit for it, always wearing a mask and black and red robes like the Phantom was rumored to. I turned to him, half speaking to him, half to myself: “You’re the Phantom of the Opera, aren’t you?” He smirked. “So, darling Christine, you’ve finally discovered who I am? No matter, that foolish boy trying to take control of my hard work, trying to take credit for our hard hours of work will soon be gone, and our focus will be rehearsing for the opera…. All our work, that insolent boy trying to ruin it!” Finally stopping his whining, Phantom sat down at the rotting pipe organ and began to play a haunting tune; Angel of Music, Guide and Guardian… As the tune went on, my voice swelled, going his in perfect harmony, but all I could think about were the rumors about hit abhorrent face. Were they true? I was curious, and, as they say, curiosity killed the cat. Pretending to dance, I slowly snuck up on him, and pulled his mask off. As I screamed in terror, he leapt to his feet, screaming that he would never bring me here again, that I would be stuck with the light for the rest of my natural life. As he sent me up with the promise of orders delivered in notes, I felt free. I felt like I could fly. I felt… safe.

The next time I was forcefully taken to that desperate lair of darkness, I paid more attention to detail. The slimy, filthy walls, glowing with some ancient, devilish light, the lake with what sounded suspiciously like screams floating to the surface, trapped in bubbles from the wretched creature in the dark, dark crevices of the screaming, bubbling, poison-filled lake. I paid attention to the bones floating to the surface of the lake, the walls that looked like bone, the classic throne, shrouded in cobwebs and dust, what once was a throne fit for a king and queen. I listened, and heard the pain-filled, dreadful, drawn-out screams of humans, of people. I felt. I felt the cold, marble-and-granite floors, sparkling in the dim, damp dungeons with what looked suspiciously like blood. I saw the drink, blood red, and wondered if the Phantom truly was a devil, sent up from Hades to deal with the punishing of the unworthy. I wondered if his, no, its victims prayed for sweet Nyx to come and save them from their personal Hell. I wondered, what kind of person could do that kind of thing, and most of all, I prayed, I prayed for whoever Raoul sent for me, I prayed he wouldn’t be so foolish as to come get me himself. And then he did, and he looked so angry that the Phantom couldn’t harm him. And then, I was saved, and I couldn’t help but feel sorry for the creature that lived in that dungeon of black despair.

Lair of Despair

Insanity Lake
Creative Commons License Photo Credit: Romain Donato via Compfight

No light. No happiness. No sounds. Only the crickets living in the blood filled cracks, rubbing there little sound-makers together. There are no sights of fun filled happiness throughout the room of dark despair, just loneliness.

The blood-painted ceiling rules the lair, with the damp air filling it. Torches fill all four corners, but fog only inches off the water line makes it almost impossible to even see the light of that torch. So much fog that you can’t even see the floor that you’re walking on.

There’s just one, only one creepy part, a creature, appearing from the pitch black tunnels of death, walking slowly towards the organ, the organ hidden in a dark, lonely place. It was laying there, just as dark as the phantoms soul. The person walks up to the organ, sits down on the old, screechy chair, and starts to play.

The Pantom’s Lair

A dreary fog made the air hot and thick. I could barely make out the small flickering light emanating from small candles that were positioned in a pentagonal star on the floor. Small pools of wax gathered around of the base of candles, making an illusion as if they have been burning there for years. The only sound to be heard were the muffled sounds of my converse against the cold, damp floor as I weave through stalagmites.

Nearing the center of the arrangment of candles, I heard footsteps. After scuttling behind a boulder as not to be seen, I caught sight of an old piano that looked at least 30 years old. Seeing as the footsteps were gone is linked out from behind the boulder and cautiously made my way over the worn instrument. On it lay sheet music, unwritten. The tune was beautiful with sophisticated notes and rests. I laid a finger on one of the yellow-tinted keys.

I quickly pulled my hand back as the keys start to move, playing the sweet melody that was scribbled on the parchment that lay across the top of the piano. The air filled with notes that formed what sounded like an opera piece and seemed to mix with the heavy fog. And just as quickly as the music started to play, it stopped. and the little life that was left in the candles, was snuffed out by a mysterious force. And it all went dark.

The Phantoms Lair

My sexy Rose.

Photo Credit: Zaqqy via Compfight

Down we go again to the lair of darkness and despair, where this horrible phantom has lived for ages. Its cold and creepy and is the home of a killer. There is blood dripping from the walls and spiders up above, and he expects me to stay here with him. Why did this happen to me of all of the other people it could be.

He just keeps telling me that there is nothing to worry about, but I know this can’t be true, because there is always something wrong when all you see is darkness, darkness and more darkness. the only light comes from the candles that line the walls of the corridor, and the only part of the phantom that I see is his mask.

Where is this place anyways, all I remember is walking into my mirror and being here. then I realized where I was, I must be under the opera house.

It was turn after turn and we had been walking for a while now, where were we going. Then I saw it… It looked like a throne, and behind it was a lake of black. We finally came to a stop. This must be it, the end of the dreaded Phantoms Lair.

Imagination Works Best in the Dark.

215/365 August 3 - Seven Years of Silliness
The darkness was dimly lit by candles floating in the mysterious murky water.
I found myself in a cramped and cold little boat that glided upon the mirror like water, occasionally bumping into a candle. My hands ran along the splintery wood, finding little grooves that must have held a screw. Abstract brass and gold metal curves around the sides of the boat, creating swirls and jagged lines.

Scarlet, cerise, fuchsia and alabaster rose petals hovered among the ominous lake.

The sense of abhorrence and tenebrosity welled inside of me… but there was curiosity, imagination and freedom dying to get out.
“Close your eyes and surrender to your darkest dreams!” boomed a familiar, tremendous voice. I gasped and looked around anxiously, cautiously… desperately searching to find another human. But silence followed, with the occasionally tickle of water from up above.

All of a sudden a gust of wind blows each and every golden flame out. “Surly this is a bad dream… no a nightmare” I thought. I pinched myself to wake up.

It didn’t work!

” Softly, deftly, music shall surround you… Open up your mind, let your fantasies unwind.” quietly sang a voice, as if it was trying to lull me to sleep. Why would this voice want me to fall into state of One by one, each little life like flame arose from the dead. I gasped in amazement as millions of crystal like lights beamed above in the cavern. They seemed to be getting bigger… No they were coming closer, until it was a blinding my eyes.

I awoke in a startle, while trying to catch my breath I hear an organ being banged to death. The sound seemed to be right behind me. A chill ran up and down my spine. Sweat beads trickled down my neck and face. The palm of my hands that were once as dry as the Sahara desert became as moist like the Pacific Ocean. I tried to move my legs and run, but they apparently grew roots into the ground.

Maniacal laughter filled the air. ” Help! Help me..” a crying voice chocked. I turned in every direction until I saw a girl. The girl’s face was completely drained, but completely filled with fear. Her knees were scraped up, as if she fell. I recieved enough adrenaline to run over to her. She ran towards me. “What are you doing here?! What happened?!?” I questioned. As my mouth raced with many questions her lips were moving too… But no sound was coming out. I cocked my head side ways in confusion, the girls head cocked sideways too. I slowly I lifted my hand towards her, and she did the same. The maniacal laughter returned.

Right behind the girl was a tall figure wearing a white mask stained with blood. A glass shattering scream pierced through the air. The girl who was once in front of me shattered into a thousands of glass shards. My heart beat stop, and I realized the girl who I saw… was me.

 

Creative Commons License Photo Credit: Sharon Drummond via Compfight

Phantom’s Lair

alphaville I walk into the chamber so very far below the warmth and light of the upper realm. No light is touching the menacing, obsidian walls except for the feeble light of the candle I so carefully shield from the whispers of lost souls oozing out of the shattered cobblestone floor.

A chill creeps slowly down my spine, as if a cold, dark, not quite physical hand was creepily caressing the back of my neck. I slowly turned around as the pure fear coursed through my veins.

No one was there.

How did I find myself in this dungeon of despair, this monstrosity of a manor in the first place? I had tried to control my curiosity of the legends. The legends of the Mask, The Woman, and the Night. But I could not. As this thought got itself entangled with the rest of my timidly fearful thoughts, I crept further and further into the bowels of what I could only assume was the hell in which all  “monsters under the bed” resided.

I found myself in a corner where the air seemed to be as thin as paper, cold, dry paper. I looked wearily to my feet where a mask was lying in a twisted bed of cobweb. The mask…oh the mask, horrifying to even describe. It was a mask that could only have been worn by a beast, a beast without compassion or light anywhere inside his murderous body. Yes, this was a mask left behind by what could only have been the ruler of this hell. No, it was worse…it was fear, it was darkness.

I have to get out of here. But it’s too late, for I can already feel Fear grabbing my ankle, pulling me down into the Underworld, where I shall never see the light of day, or the warmth of sunshine again.

There will only be…It.

Phantom’s Lair

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Dark, damp, cold.

This, this wretched place; is where I live. It reflects me in more ways than one. This dark, empty place. Like my heart, I need someone to share this loneliness and darkness with. If only Christine was here with me, to cast the shadows away. If only…

My lair, with its lonely organ and deep, mirror-like lake, is far from welcoming. The labyrinth under the opera house holds no surprises around its many corners for me. The nooses hanging from the ceiling, as ominous as they would seem, haven’t caught anyone, as nobody ever comes for a “friendly visit”.

My lair is a lonely, terrible wreck. I’ve tried to leave, but everywhere I go, I’m turned down. Here, in a cruel, unfeeling way, is where I belong.