PHANTOM OF THE OPERA meets THE YOUNG ELITES.
All Isda’s life, she’s hidden from a world that hates her for her deformed face and memory-bending magic. Until a boy’s singing awakens something in her. Something dark. And powerful. And hungry.
I am but a shadow. A shimmer of black satin. A wraith in the dark.
Music soars above the audience to where I hide behind a marble cherub near the Reuil Opera House’s domed ceiling. The lead soprano’s vibrato trembles in the air, and my eyes fall shut as her music sends her memories rippling across the inside of my eyelids in shades of gray. The images are fuzzy and the emotions distant, but if I surrender myself to them, I can almost forget what I am for a moment.
Every night when the curtains rise and lights engulf the stage, when the seats fill with whispering patrons and the air shivers with the strum of strings, I glimpse the world outside—a world I’ve never seen but know better than the beat of my own heart because I’ve experienced it through a thousand different pasts.
One of the soprano’s memories pulls me in, and for a moment I am her, dashing along a cobblestoned street under the bright glare of afternoon. I raise my hand to my own face where I can all but feel the sunlight’s warmth. But instead of smooth skin, my fingertips slip against my mask. I hiss and jolt my hand away, relinquishing my hold on her past.
My attention flicks to the premium box where Cyril Bardin meets my gaze. You’re too visible, Isda, his eyes say.
I shrink into the shadows as applause smatters like raindrops below, not nearly enthusiastic enough to ensure adequate ticket sales.
Luckily, I’m very good at my job.