One shot, the end of Erik. Doesn't really apply to any particular version. No ships, very neutral. Please R and R!
He was running from the mob. They'd have found their way into his home by now.
He wasn't afraid of them killing him. On the contrary, he'd welcome death now, now Christine was gone forever.
He was, however, afraid of being of being put into jail. he'd spent his entire childhood in a cage or something like it, he wouldn't be put into a cage again. Not again.
So he walked.
He stumbled over a black tree root and tumbled to the muddy forest floor, landing face first in a particularly watery patch unceremoniously.
He didn't get up, but instead lay there in a very undignified way, beyond caring. He was numbly aware of the mud seeping into all the little nooks and crevices of his distorted and unmasked face.
The only movement he could bear to strain his mutinous muscles to do was turning his face onto the side, so that he could breathe through the cavernous gap of his nose. Then, he let exhaustion take over and he fell asleep.
He was still in the forest, but it was different. It was warmer, for a start. The ground was dry and dusty, covered by dry, fallen leaves of every colour. The moonless sky was absent of it's usual ugly glow from the Parisian streetlights and Erik could see tiny stars winking kindly down at him through unseasonably leafy trees. Erik wondered vaguely how there could be so many leaves on the trees yet so many on the ground, and why the ones sprouting from the branches were fat, shiny and dark green, whilst the ones on the powdery light brown-coloured ground were all sorts of reds, oranges and browns, almost any colour besides green.
Erik's ponderings were interrupted by an unearthly, feminine sound. He couldn't really tell whether it was crying or singing, but he didn't care. It was beautiful and he wanted to find the source.
He walked slowly, considering his determination, towards the source.
It was Christine.
She looked more beautiful than ever, sat there by a clear, silvery river, seated with her back to a daunting black tree, one leg bent up next to her chest and the other dangling in the river from underneath the wedding dress she wore. The dress was so white it shone out from the relative darkness, glowing as much as the river behind it. The pearls and diamonds glinted like the stars in the sky and Christine sang with all her heart and soul, unaware that she was being watched. Her song twisted through the still night air with no particular tune and no words, entrancing Erik. Somehow, he knew he inspired it, and he was amazed by that.
He walked closer but stopped abruptly when a luminous tear streamed down her face like a waterfall, leaving an angry red scar in it's wake.
He tentatively came closer, and as he did so, more tears and more scars formed. Her hair became tangled and greasy, and her dress dulled.
By the time she was close enough to touch, her dress was completely grey and her cheeks covered in lumpy distortions. Her eyes were dead, but her voice was as beautiful as it ever was, perhaps more so. She was still staring into the middle distance, swinging her foot in the water. He touched her damaged cheek, and suddenly, she turned into a nightingale and flew away. Erik watched her glide through the blackness, singing softly, serenading the night-time.
In waking life, Erik turned his face into the puddle and quietly drowned. The snow came that night and buried him. It would be weeks before anybody found him lying spread-eagled, his face, the source of all his troubled, turned downwards, partially frozen into the puddle that brought his death.
The man who found him was a woodcutter. He knew the story - it had been all over the papers - but he found it in his heart to give this man a dignified end. He'd met Christine and Raoul that fateful night when the Opera House burnt down, sheltered them for the night and sent them on their way. He found a shovel, then buried Erik in a peaceful, unmarked gave, where he would lie calmly enough forever, knowing that his Christine was free and happy.