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Phantom of the (HubNuggets) Opera

Updated on April 26, 2018
RedElf profile image

Elle Fredine (RedElf), photographer, published author, Elle loves seeking out new writers, and catching up with old friends

It all started one sultry, summer afternoon last week. We were relaxing in our HubNuggets Team secret Club-House, sipping delicious, home-made lemonade from Zsuzsy Bee's lemonade stand, reflecting on past adventures, and wondering where the tides of fortune would carry us next.

The "Mirror-Cracked" had been well-behaved since our last trip along the space/time continuum, but we were still nervous. We were seeking a brief diversion from the serious business of HubNugget Wannabe gathering, while Ensign Hank manned the lemonade stand - very brief, so he couldn't drink up all the profits while we were away.

"Gosh, Shirley," offered Patty, our resident Science whiz and all-round great gal, absent-mindedly stroking the newly-earned track and field letter on her nifty letter sweater. "With all the musical talent in this team, we should put on a show!"

"Oh, yes," piped up Zsuzsy Bee, fairly buzzing with excitement as she turned to our curly-haired team leader. "Shirley, your version of 'The Good Ship Lollipop' scored really well with the judges on Intergalactic Idol ."

Shirley brushed back a stray ringlet and scuffed the toe of her saddle shoe, gazing down modestly. "Golly, you guys," she said, adjusting the sweater-clasp at the neck of her twin-set. "Do you think we could, really?"

"Gee whizzikers, Shirley," wheedled B.T. (Mickey) Rooneypants "Sure we could! And I know lots of kids who'd help out for a chance to be in the show."

"Sure thing," agreed Ripplemaker, smoothing her shoulder-length bob, and glancing down to see if her poodle skirt was crushed. "Zsuzsy's mom could sew our costumes, and Uncle Jason can market the show and sell tickets for us."

"I'll help with the script and music," chimed in RedElf, "...and my family has an old barn we could convert to a theater. We'll have to catch all the mice, but..."

"Golly, Elfie, it's swell of you to offer your folks' barn," replied B.T. Rooneypants, "but I know of this really great haunted theater. I'll bet the owner's would be happy to let us use it for free!"

...and that's how it all started!

...a Little Mood Music...

The broken chandelier, in the middle of the stage - Image by RedElf - photos from ceciliabooth.com, broadwayworld.com
The broken chandelier, in the middle of the stage - Image by RedElf - photos from ceciliabooth.com, broadwayworld.com
Boy, the haunted theater sure needs work - photo from thestudiotour.com
Boy, the haunted theater sure needs work - photo from thestudiotour.com
Uncle Jason's construction crew at work - photo from thestudiotour.com
Uncle Jason's construction crew at work - photo from thestudiotour.com
The repaired chandelier - photo from tripadvisor.com
The repaired chandelier - photo from tripadvisor.com

An interesting start to our adventure...

The haunted theater turned out to be a cavernous building needing cleaning and repair. Fortunately, Uncle Jason is the Marketing guru for the HubP Construction Company, and his crew, under the able management of Maddie and Fawntia, did a wonderful job on the neglected theater.

Simone(the fixer)Smith, one of his best, repaired the broken chandelier, and it sure looked grand when we hoisted it high above center stage. I must admit the beautifully polished chandelier was awe-inspiring, but the sight of it hanging there made me uneasy - as if a mouse had skittered over my tail.

As we all pitched in to clean up, delving into the labyrinth of halls and long-disused store rooms, we found a locked chamber, deep in the bowels of the old building. Prying open the creaking, rusted door we discovered beautiful, antique props and costumes, laid out in the musty silence as if waiting for their owners to return.

"Ooh! Shirley, that lace dress would look stunning on you!" exclaimed Zsuzsy Bee. "...and those beaded chorus girl costumes! I'll bet my mom could re-work them for our show!"

"Cool half-mask," said B.T. (Mickey) Rooneypants, modeling it for us.

"Well, Uncle Jason did say we could use anything we found," announced Patty.

I wasn't so sure. My tail was tingling again from that mouse-skittering feeling. Whatever haunted the theater hadn't put in an appearance, yet, but after we opened the locked chamber, we didn't have long to wait.

At first, we thought we were just misplacing things, but when all our scripts went missing, and turned up the next day in a heap in the lobby, we started to feel uneasy.

Then, one morning, a message was waiting - a single red rose atop a plain white envelope, laying on the floor at center stage. Printed on the outside, the words "I am watching... " sent a chill up my spine. Inside the envelope, a sheet of paper contained a list of HubNugget Wannabes in the Pets & Animals category...

Which one of this week's Pets and Animals nominees is your favorite?

  • 33% Is a Rottweiler the Best Dog for Me?
  • 14% The Cat Tower and Your Kitty
  • 3% How to Administer Subcutaneous Fluids To A Cat
  • 17% Helpful Tips for Crate Training Your Dog
  • 25% Elderly Dog Care: What To Expect
  • 8% Yorkie Names for Happy Yorkies
36 people have voted in this poll.

This poll is now closed to voting.

Shirley and B.T. Rooneypants rehearsing - Image by RedElf - photo from duketower.files.wordpress.com
Shirley and B.T. Rooneypants rehearsing - Image by RedElf - photo from duketower.files.wordpress.com
Dress rehearsal - Patty, Zsusy, and Ripplemaker - Image by RedElf - photo from broadwaywithlove.blogspot.com
Dress rehearsal - Patty, Zsusy, and Ripplemaker - Image by RedElf - photo from broadwaywithlove.blogspot.com
Second Act finale - photo from thecia.com.au
Second Act finale - photo from thecia.com.au

Dress Rehearsal

In spite of our fears, nothing else happened except for several re-writes of the script going missing.

Shirley, ever the dedicated team leader, and B.T. Rooneypants were working hard, perfecting their special song and dance number for the show's finale.

The girls looked great in the chorus girl costumes Zsuzsy's mom revamped, especially Patty, Zsuzsy Bee, and Ripplemaker.

Everything was going along beautifully, and then, it happened.

The night of dress rehearsal, Shirley was warbling her heart out at center stage. Patty, our resident Science-Whiz-turned-chorus-girl, glanced up and gasped, horrified to see the giant chandelier swinging ponderously back and forth.

Before she could scream a warning, the chandelier's chains snapped, sending it crashing to the stage.

We rushed to the twisted heap of metal and glass, struggling to get to Shirley. It seemed to take forever, but we finally cleared away the debris only to stare in disbelief - Shirley was gone!

Where she had been standing moments before, lay another single red rose on a plain white envelope which bore the chilling message, "I am waiting... "

Fearing the worst we tore it open. A sheet of paper fell out with a list of HubNugget Wannabes for the Entertainment & Media category...

Which one of this week's Entertainment and Media nominees is your favorite?

  • 9% Ten of the best albums you'll ever listen to...
  • 8% Top 10 Cartoons from the 80s (with videos)
  • 44% SILLY SONGS FROM THE 70'S
  • 6% 10 Best Reality TV Shows
  • 21% Another nail in the coffin of British horror?
  • 12% Trombone History: A Mischievous Trombonist in Renaissance Italy
66 people have voted in this poll.

This poll is now closed to voting.

RedElf and Ripplemaker follow the underground river - Image by RedElf - photo from fanpop.com
RedElf and Ripplemaker follow the underground river - Image by RedElf - photo from fanpop.com
The underground lair - Image by RedElf - photo from awn.com
The underground lair - Image by RedElf - photo from awn.com

The Search for Shirley...

After reading and voting, Patty and Zsuzsy raced for the stairs, shouting that they would check backstage. B.T. was already heading for the front of the theater, so Ripplemaker and I teamed up to search the lower rooms.

Somehow, we took a wrong turn in the basement corridors, and ended up poling an ornate skiff down an underground river that flowed beneath the theater. Well, Ripplemaker said it was an underground river - it smelled like a storm drain to me.

Following the faint sounds of music, we probed ever deeper into the maze of tunnels, calling Shirley's name.

Finally, we ran aground in a candle-lit grotto where an enormous pipe organ stood, surrounded by hundreds of lighted tapers. No-one was seated at the organ, yet music thundered from its pipes, echoing eerily about us.

As we walked towards the pipe organ, shouting for Shirley, the music abruptly ceased. There, on the organ bench, we found a single red rose on a plain white envelope. The envelope bore an inscription that made my fur stand on end - "I am here..." Inside the envelope was a third list of Business & Employment HubNugget Wannabes...

Which one of this week's Business and Employment nominees is your favorite?

  • 11% Working For Temporary Employment Agencies - Part I
  • 20% Job Interview Mistakes
  • 9% Taking a Career break
  • 13% Entrepreneurship is not for everyone
  • 16% Six Reasons to Start Your Own Business
  • 31% Career Hell
45 people have voted in this poll.

This poll is now closed to voting.

Ripplemaker and I couldn't get out of there fast enough. There was only one more place to look - Shirley's How-To Q & A hub on becoming eligible to be a HubNugget Wannabe. It was a long-shot, but we had to try.

On the way, we stopped by Patty's hub on how to promote your Hub Pages writing, and decided to check Shirley's dressing room one more time. The rest of the team must have had the same idea - they were there already.

"Uh-oh," whispered Ripplemaker. There, on the floor, in front of a full-length, ornate mirror, lay a single red rose.

"A message!" gasped Zsuzsy Bee, pointing at the mirror. We stared at the words scrawled across the mirror's cracked surface:

"HubNugget Nominees - promote your hubs! Digg, blog, twitter, about your nomination. Tell your family and friends to visit and vote for you! Post your nomination on Facebook!

If you are one of the lucky nine voted a HubNugget, your hub will be included in Hub Pages' weekly newsletter, sent out to more than 80,000 members.

Good marketing, and Good Luck!"

"That mirror looks awfully familiar," said Patty. I thought so too. My tail was tingling again, as if a whole nest of mice were stampeding across it.

Suddenly, the suspiciously familiar mirror burped, and we were once more hurtling through time and space.

"Goodnight, haunted theater - goodnight Broadway showgirl costumes!" called Zsuzsy, Patty, and Ripplemaker as they whirled past me.

"Goodnight, Secret Club-House!" mourned B.T. Rooneypants as he flew by. "I was really starting to like the '50s."

I had all four paws wrapped around my tail, trying to keep whoever was hanging onto the end of it from pulling it out - I couldn't see a face, just lots of curly ringlets. They were welcome to come along for the ride, and who knew where or when our next stop might be, but I intended to arrive with my tail intact. "Goodnight, Moon!"

* Historical photos from thestudiotour.com - construction of Stage 28, later renamed "The Phantom Stage". Built for the 1925 movie, The Phantom of the Opera, Stage 28 still houses some pieces of the original movie set.

© 2010 RedElf

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    • RedElf profile image
      Author

      RedElf 6 years ago from Canada

      :D :D :D

    • RedElf profile image
      Author

      RedElf 6 years ago from Canada

      :D :D :D

    • Nikkij504gurl profile image

      Nikki Wicked 6 years ago from Louisiana

      no problem!

    • RedElf profile image
      Author

      RedElf 6 years ago from Canada

      Thanks, Nikkij. I appreciate your stopping by to read and comment!

    • Nikkij504gurl profile image

      Nikki Wicked 6 years ago from Louisiana

      i really enjoyed these hubs. :) I read this one and the friday the 13th one and the bermuda triangle.

    • RedElf profile image
      Author

      RedElf 7 years ago from Canada

      Most welcome, Enelle - so glad you finally made it over :D

    • Enelle Lamb profile image

      Enelle Lamb 7 years ago from Canada's 'California'

      Great hub RedElf! Sorry it took so long for me to read it...

    • RedElf profile image
      Author

      RedElf 7 years ago from Canada

      No worries - just hop over to Shirley's last (sob, sniffle) HubNuggets hub, and check out this week's bunch :D

      Thanks, king - I plan to keep it.

    • kingkhan78 profile image

      kingkhan78 7 years ago

      good and interesting hub so keep it

    • equealla profile image

      equealla 7 years ago from Pretoria, South Africa

      Ya I saw I was a bit too late, still learning and doing it ever so slow! I will be more awake from now on!

    • RedElf profile image
      Author

      RedElf 7 years ago from Canada

      Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting. Come back and vote for the next bunch, equealla - the new hub will be out on Friday.

    • equealla profile image

      equealla 7 years ago from Pretoria, South Africa

      I have not voted yet, going to do the reading (quite a few of them) this weekend and enjoy every one of them. Then I will decide and vote. If they are chosen, they must all be good.

    • RedElf profile image
      Author

      RedElf 7 years ago from Canada

      Thanks to the 167 voters who came and read, and voted for their favorite hubs! Congratulations to all the nominees!

    • RedElf profile image
      Author

      RedElf 7 years ago from Canada

      Thanks so much, Mr. Rooneypants - so pleased you enjoyed your "turn" as a song-and-dance guy.

      No worries, Shirley. I know a good Reiki/Shiatsu practitioner, and I'm sure the tail will be right as rain by our next adventure.

    • Shirley Anderson profile image

      Shirley Anderson 7 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Excellent, RE! Oh and sorry about the tail. Hope it straightens out soon.

      Read and voted!

    • B.T. Evilpants profile image

      B.T. Evilpants 7 years ago from Hell, MI

      Read, laughed, and voted! This was another great adventure, RedElf. I can't wait to see where the mirror takes us next!

    • RedElf profile image
      Author

      RedElf 7 years ago from Canada

      Greetings, emie! We had another great batch from which to choose again this week ;)

    • emievil profile image

      emievil 7 years ago from Philippines

      Difficult choices RedElf. I had to read and re-read some of them just so I can choose which I would vote for. Thanks to the Hubnuggets team for a job well done (again). :)

    • RedElf profile image
      Author

      RedElf 7 years ago from Canada

      You are most welcome - so glad you enjoyed the adventure, and thanks for reading and voting.

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 7 years ago from North Carolina

      Thanks for a lovely adventure, RedElf. Enjoyed it immensly, including the music. :) My votes have been cast.

    • RedElf profile image
      Author

      RedElf 7 years ago from Canada

      Right you are, bayoulady - there are some really great ones to choose from. Thanks for reading and voting!

    • bayoulady profile image

      bayoulady 7 years ago from Northern Louisiana,USA

      Some really tough choices again! I had to read some of them again. My votes are in, now just sit back and wait to see .

    • RedElf profile image
      Author

      RedElf 7 years ago from Canada

      Thanks so much, kingkhan78. Round-up hubs are a great way to spotlight a group of writers - glad you found it useful.

    • kingkhan78 profile image

      kingkhan78 7 years ago

      interesting hub and very useful article in hub page community

    • RedElf profile image
      Author

      RedElf 7 years ago from Canada

      Greetings, mcquee. Thanks for reading and voting! I agree with you - all the hubs are winners!

    • mquee profile image

      mquee 7 years ago from Columbia, SC

      All of the hubs were well written and interesting. It is too bad only one in each category could be voted for. Congratulations to all for great writing and knowledge of subject matter. I voted as well.

    • RedElf profile image
      Author

      RedElf 7 years ago from Canada

      billyaustindillon and Pam, thanks so much for stopping by to read and vote. So glad you liked this week's crop!

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 7 years ago from United States

      Great hubs. I have voted.

    • billyaustindillon profile image

      billyaustindillon 7 years ago

      Great nominees and I have placed my vote :)

    • RedElf profile image
      Author

      RedElf 7 years ago from Canada

      Hh, my friend! So glad you stopped by and commented! So nice to see you.

      Glad you like the photos, Ripplemaker - but I still say that spooky river smelled like a storm drain! :D I have a lot of fun working on these round-up hubs ;)

      Sounds like your hard work is paying off! Good luck Lilly! ...and good luck to all the nominees.

    • LillyGrillzit profile image

      Lori J Latimer 7 years ago from The River Valley, Arkansas

      Hey you all, I am honored to have been nominated for a Hubnugget award each week for the past 3 weeks! As an older person, who has been unemployed for over 8 weeks, this is something to wake up for! It is so nice to get support for HubAdmin, and other Hubbers. My first focus has to been to somehow enhance other's experience on this planet Earth. Each day, as I pour through other Hubbers submissions, read links to forums, follow advice - I am growing! I do not expect to make passive income for at least 6 months, but am willing to push as hard as humanly possible. I have worked very hard on Hub Pages, and for the Hub Community...it is paying off already. I started on Hub Pages with $1.74 earned from 2 years of Blog.spot... Yesterday, my account was over $14.00!! I could probably come up with the percentage of increase, but my Hub Brother http://hubpages.com/profile/chan0512, can tell you in a few seconds. Chan0512 and I helped each other make our 30 in 30 goal! Anyway, I haven't won any HubNugget Award yet, but I made a winning decision to start writing on Hub Pages. This has also given me more insight and desire to work on my Blogspot Blogs, which are also bringing in a couple of bucks a week now...Thank you Hub Pages, and all the great Hubbers that encourage me on a daily basis...Never at a loss for words, Lilly!!!

    • ripplemaker profile image

      Michelle Simtoco 7 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      Voted! :)

    • ripplemaker profile image

      Michelle Simtoco 7 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      REdElf..I am shivering with excitement at the adventures and your story... LOL The photos are super cute! Amazing what you did.

      Congratulations to all the Hubnuggets nominees! :D

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 7 years ago from London, UK

      I voted and wish all nominees success.

    • RedElf profile image
      Author

      RedElf 7 years ago from Canada

      Thanks for stopping by to read and vote, ladies!

    • profile image

      Imelleda 7 years ago

      Read and voted - sincere congratulations to all the nominees!

    • profile image

      renoelle 7 years ago

      Congrats to all the nominees - such a good read this time!

    • RedElf profile image
      Author

      RedElf 7 years ago from Canada

      Thanks so much, Paradise7 - so glad you enjoyed it - it's a great crop again this week!

    • Paradise7 profile image

      Paradise7 7 years ago from Upstate New York

      Great intro to all the delicious nuggets you've collected for us! What a terrific imagination, and the right words to express it well!

    • RedElf profile image
      Author

      RedElf 7 years ago from Canada

      ...and I must say, they look just swell with that costume :D

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 7 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      Read, voted, and used the high heels I've been saving in the chorus line.

    • RedElf profile image
      Author

      RedElf 7 years ago from Canada

      HAHAHAHAHA - you guys are too funny! That's OK, Simone - it was bound to happen sooner or later - I am sure it gave Shirley a bit of a shock, though!

      **unwraps Shirley's death-grip on and curtsies as gracefully as a kitty with a kinked tail is able** Thanks, Sci-PI!

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 7 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      Anchor, anchor...I mean encore, encore!

    • Simone Smith profile image

      Simone Haruko Smith 7 years ago from San Francisco

      Sorry 'bout the chandelier guys - I guess crazy glue just wasn't enough @_@

      And props to you, nominees! These are some great hubs!

    • RedElf profile image
      Author

      RedElf 7 years ago from Canada

      Hey there, Miss Bee...that could be one advantage of time travel - we could pick an era where your mom would already be ;) - though it would be a tough sell for my mom, too. My dad, though...

      I have many happy memories of my dad constructing Halloween costumes and Christmas pageant costumes from the contents of both parents' closets :D

      Congrats to all the nominees!

    • Zsuzsy Bee profile image

      Zsuzsy Bee 7 years ago from Ontario/Canada

      Not sure if my Mom would want to come back from 'up-there' just to sew. Even if it's fun costumes, it would take a lot persuasion.

      Congrats to all the nominees. Remember to promote your hub to all your family and friends. Everyone can vote even if they're not hubpages members.

      great hub

      kindest regards Zsuzsy

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