CHARACTER’S NAME: Madam Lise Giry
How did you find yourself in your current predicament/on your current adventure?Life is an adventure, of that I am certain. What led me here? A Ghost.
Years ago when I was a lonely and neglected bride I saw a travelling fair – of the sort the gipsies manage. There he was – this young man in a cage – like a beast. The fashion was for freaks – bearded women, dwarfs, those unfortunate souls God had touched with something not quite right. This man in a cage wore little more than rags, his face covered by a mask and his eyes had a hateful feral look but when he sang – heaven wept. Neither before nor since have I heard such a sound – it went directly to the soul and bared it before one – raw, weeping, glorious.
Then his keeper made him remove the mask. Such a face was revealed as the devil himself would turn from. Poor Erik. For that was the wretch’s name.
I did not know it then but an act of kindness would send my life and my heart along paths I never knew I could endure. He wept at kindness. A life of such woe that a simple Christian kindness brought this man to tears.
The caged devil – The Living Corpse – became a ghost, and an angel and our paths diverged for many years but I never forgot that music, and he never forgot the only kindness he was ever shown.
How many crimes have you committed? I sheltered a murderer, I aided his escape. I have been complicit in blackmail, theft, seduction – and I have sinned before God in thought and deed. I turned away from the Church, I loved a man who was not my husband, although I never committed adultery I thought about it.
How do you think others see you? A stuffy, prim and proper dance mistress and seamstress. I know what the corps de ballet whisper about me. Some of the girls spend more time on their backs than dancing and I have seen what happens to those left with an unplanned burden. They are Séductrice! I am strict, but I am not stupid – those who leave due to pregnancy will end up at best a short term plaything for the rich patrons.
Are you resilient? Do you deal with change easily? How do you react? I’ve had to be resilient. My mother died when I was very young, my father died when I was just married, my husband’s family despised me, several of my children died, and I’ve been a widow for twenty years.
I would like to say God saw me through the hardest times, but I am unsure if that’s the truth. I dare say I deserve it.
If you could live your life again would you make the same choices? If I was married to Jules when I met Erik? Yes, I think so. The rational side of me says what kind of life could I have had with him? Always on the run, probably often afraid and hungry. Could I live with the things he’s done first hand? I do not know. The part of my soul that yearns to live in that music, for the Angel to sing for me, as he sang for her says I should have made the choice to have followed him.
What is the hardest choice you’ve had to make in the course of your adventures? What was the easiest? I have a daughter, I buried my other children, and then my husband. I had very little for a long time and then Erik arranged for me to come here. That was an easy choice. The hardest? I suppose not having the courage to say I would go with him when he left the barn so many years ago. Not having the courage to say what was in my heart. Turning aside when the bodies started mounting up, and having to stand by whilst he destroyed himself for that ingénue, Christine Daae.
What trait do you abhor most in yourself or others? Spite and shallowness.
Do you have any dirty secrets? Apart from the crimes, unrequited love, casting my Catholic upbringing aside, knowing who is behind the murders here and not informing the gendarmes? No, I can’t think of anything else.
Have you ever loved/been loved? I loved my husband Jules He was a decent man but he has been gone a long time. I loved my father, and I loved Erik. I believe Jules loved me. Did Erik love me? No, but he was kind to me – helped me when I was desperate and hungry – but he did not love me. Perhaps the tragedy at the Opera house could have been averted had he loved me, not her.
Do you believe in a god/s? I was raised a Catholic but in the dark nights when I hear Erik’s music in my dreams and see that awful, terrible visage given to him by God I wonder at such a fickle deity – a god that took my children from me and left us to starve. I have sinned and so perhaps that is my punishment but as each year passed my faith dwindled.
Why should we read about your adventures? My story is a tragedy; a tale of desperate love, death and music. Ours was a strange friendship that spanned the decades and sustained two terribly lonely souls and we had that night in the barn, so many long years ago.
Madam Giry features in
Tears and Crimson Velvet
Madam Giry finds herself embroiled in the tragedy unfolding at the Opera house; mystery and murder stalk the corridors and, it is said, a ghost haunts the place. Giry knows the truth, for she recalls the caged man she met so many years ago. This is her story, their story.
When murder and mystery begin at the Opera House one woman knows who is behind it, and what really lies beneath the mask. Secrets, lies and tragedy sing a powerful song in this ‘might have been’ tale.
A short, tragic tale based on characters from Phantom of the Opera.
A Legacy of the Mask Tale.
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