Sunday, January 29, 2006Two: my story/ Dinnertime, but not on me
“My family has got four of us in all. My mum, my dad, my younger brother and myself. We’re here for a vacation. At the same time my mum wants me to have a new experience here away from California. It’s truly diversifying, now I’m meeting you, Lestat- vampire. I’ve met some other hawks and falcons too at my school.” I kept it carefully, so that he would not take me for aggression or fear.
I was now calming. I needed to be wary but not to the extent of light headedness. Lestat did not look up at me, he was intent on the scenery below.
“I’m listening. Sounds perfect.”
“Just a second.” I flew down beside him. “I’m starving. I had something to eat but now I’m hungry again.” Lestat said ok. We went indoors to the kitchen. I did not realize that I was so agile and light, drifting on the hot air. He opened a cupboard where there were all sorts of dried food and raw fish. Any human food?
“Bread, rats… I killed some rats for you. But you don’t want them.” I wolfed down the scraps, tearing pieces of fish away as I ate. Being a bird means you need to munch on something all the time. The blond vampire stayed beside me, observing me eat, stroked my feathers gently.
The next thing, he asked casually, “Are you a human?” I would have paled if I was human shape. He has found out, uh oh….
“Of course I knew. You don’t like rats. It’s disgusting to you. Humans! Am I stupid enough I can’t feel it?” Lestat raised his voice, sweeping away from me. He turned around, grinning wildly, fangs revealed.
“Bianca, you fear me. Why do you fear me? I am just like you! I want to be like you. I wasn’t given the chance… I couldn’t! Dammit! Don’t fear me! I hate that, I’m not going to chew you up and feed you elsewhere. Or mangle your body…” he went on and on, pacing, hands flying in exaggeration. “Why are mortals cowards? I was braver than them, for God’s sake, I survived! Everything, the pain, the loneliness, the inevitable blood!”
Fascinating. “Er, Lestat, are you often like this?” Kinda beats the cool guy image I always pictured when the underground reports on the activities of the Night. Hey I know these things because I am a busybody!
He stopped. “Well…. yes. This IS the real me. I have personality disorder, cherie. You haven’t read my autobiography, ah, of course you haven’t! (smiled, his attention on me once more) How silly, I didn’t Read that from you. I have terrible moodswings (he rolled the ‘r’s ). Forgive me, Bianca.”
I chattered, my equivalent of a laugh. A musician,yes, is like that. My neighbor was too, she often screams out her anguish when like 5 minutes ago she was just calm. Lestat took his seat beside my chair and rested his chin on his hands. Nearer, the turquoise pupils were brighter than normal, able to scan into me, as if he could see my soul.
“I’m sorry. I promise not to alarm you. Now I am calm.”
Lonely child---------- I found myself thinking.
He accepted this remark graciously with affection.
You’re not a maniacal demon?-------- I put this question honestly. He seemed to be open to suggestion.
No, I’m not a demon, Bianca. I feel honoured to hear you speak, does it mean I’m privileged to hear your thoughts?---------- Lestat asked. He looked really cute, perfect lips, his voice very soft.
Yea, kind of.
Lestat smiled and told me, please continue. I used human speak now because he already knows I’m mortal and it is draining to be telepathising.
“Ok, about being a shapeshifter. You need to pick a shape, like a big cat, or weasel. Next you study it in detail, the habits, the mannerisms and so on to become the animal itself. If someone cannot muster the skill properly, he may end up having a cat’s head, or wings and human shape. He may get stuck forever.
“Those myths picturing cat headed goddesses or goat satyrs are plainly our ancestors who couldn’t retain the full shape. The worst thing is they cannot change back. Forever.” Briefly, since history isn’t one of my fortes, I told him what animals my grandparents were, my grandpa was a jaguar in South America. My aunt was a brown rat.
“You’re not forbidden to talk about your background?” the vampire said, clasping his hands on the table.
If I was, I didn’t know. My teachers say it’s ok to tell people interested in us. What about you? You’re not a lamia?
Lestat sat back, toying with a coin, made it flip up, then it spun slowly, suspended. “Um, I’m not lamia. I cannot produce children. I’m a made vampire, hence bisexual. Whoever I fancy, they will become my children in the sense. Other things, I cannot tell you.”
As this surreal conversation continued, I realized that Lestat was nothing frightening. He had done the fancy introduction, but just to impress. He seemed hurt, read anger, that I was scared. His voice was very low, could be higher if he got excited. I liked his touch. Strong hands, my conscience reminded. A Killer’s hands.
“Do not worry. I will be extra careful. Are you still afraid, cherie?”
I laughed, took a lock of his hair and played with it. “Bianca, you want to go home now right? I promised. Come on then,” he sighed, rising. Navigated a number of turns before the front room, ah yea! Freedom at last!
I flew low following him. His wild hair flopped as the breeze fluffed it. The house was on high ground, now we were on lower ground. “What is your address?”
I told him. Luckily I had memorized it. Lestat thought for a bit. We cut through a small marketplace. Several more turns before I was on familiar terrain. Oh. The Smoky Tavern was where I had bumped into.
“Hey, you will accompany me again right? I’m alone here. Nobody to talk to. Mostly I watch plays, other than normal activities. I’m really excited about this meeting. I still haven’t told you more about myself. Let’s exchange more stories next time ok?”
I was worried. Oh dear. Now he wanted my company, why is it that I’m so attractive? Lestat stopped, gazed at me. Hopeful, happy-sad. I felt soft- hearted. “I like you, Bianca. I hope we can be kins?”
Er, friends then.------------ I replied slowly.
Yes, let us be friends. It will be nice to have company. Are you not a lonely child too?----------- his thoughts a French train automatically becoming melodious images to me. He really wants this, he seems to need it more than I do.
That’s my house. Bye! Lestat rose up to our window. He looked into our room, curiously.
“Good night. Ah, that is your brother? Marcus, a wise name. So fortunate, I’m an orphan now. Can I see your human shape? I won’t hurt you, I swear it.”
No, he had to earn that trust. Lestat said he would contact me again, then he flew upwards. When I changed back, my non hawk eyes couldn’t detect him anymore.
In the morning when we were both fully awake, Marcus went berserk with his authoritarian typical male hood protectiveness.
“So what now? Lestat the dangerous fiend knows our location! Why were you so careless?” my soft spoken little brother demanded of me. As if he could have thought of a better idea! “According to folklore and myth, as well as research, he says he needs no introduction. This Lioncourt genes are prominently unpredictable. No one can control him except his elders. But we don’t know that for certain. He is a mad vile fiend.”
I strode about the room, remembering the pleasant images the charming vamp had planted in my mind. Yes, he may have tried to hypnotize me but he didn’t. He just wanted a friend to talk with.
“Marc, he won’t attack… he’s friendly, gentlemanly. He knew I am human, I’m not who I am as Bianca. We felt safe in his home. He was abiding by the vampire code of hospitality at all times, Marc.”
“What?” my bro was hyperventilating. He couldn’t believe his ears. I smiled. Being a Sagittarius means I’m unpredictable. Why not? I didn’t mind or fear so much. It was a cool game.
“GAME? This isn’t some soccer or child’s play Sis! You Are mad. He must have brainwashed you! Lestat de Lioncourt is a true fiend. Look, look what I’ve printed out from the internet!” He shoved papers at me. I browsed through them.
VAMPIRE LESTAT’S CASE OF LEAVING THOUSANDS OF BODIES DISPOSED OF IN CANALS
SUSPECTED VAMPIRIC KILLINGS, NECKS OF VICTIMS BROKEN AND BLOOD DRAINED OUT OF THEM
NO TRACES OF GUNSHOTS
Was this the same guy who hosted the evening? Played the piano, singing French-english. Cradling me in his arms. My bro supported his stand by talking about taboo, shapeshifters and vampires cannot mingle. It is illegal by law.
“It’s ok bro. I can take care of myself. I’m 2 years your senior. Don’t start on this male syndrome ok? Please! I am the oldest, not You!” I retorted. I masqueraded from hawk to mortal. “I can take care of myself. Our instincts are strong too, from the oldest rats’ genepool. So I definitely can get out of danger if I wanna.”
In my dreams Lestat came. He spoke to me, sometimes forlorn, excitable, happy like a kid or depressed. “Bianca you’re so pretty. It’s nice to see your mind.”
“Since when can you come into dreams? Won’t I be in deep shit?” I’m a lucid dreamer which means I can talk coherently in my sleep. One of the Gifts of being a raptor.
He agreed. Long lashes over blue-green pupils. Not green like emerald but blue green, aquamarine colors. Lestat began speaking his native tongue. I frowned. He took my hand in the dream. It was comfy.
“That is I love you in French, Miss Bianca. Ma cherie. I often felt lonely until I met you. I promise not to harm you, I always honour my promises. Trust me can you? I feed well before I come, so there won’t be any need or urging in me. And I am able to curb the lust. Charis my friend is good in Dreamshifting. I’m practicing what I have just learnt.”
Eager to please, positive tone. Lestat waited. I was face to face with him, some distance away. Natural enemies.
“Why do you say you love me? I do not understand. As avian we do not say love so lightly,” I explained.
Still I was totally taken by the blood drinker. He kissed my hand, my cheeks. “Please trust in me. I really want to know you! I haven’t got a real Shaper as a contact before,” he beseeched. Lestat’s golden hair was loose, tumbled over my face as he bent down. I laughed.
“Oh? Friendship.” I insisted. The other sighed, made a flourish.
“Ok ok, as friends first.” Then I was awake and expected Lestat to be seated beside me, grinning, blood dripping down his chin. And me being an undead regiment. Cold wind.
My window was open. I got up and shut it, then stumbled back to bed. My beating heart would slow. Nope. None of that.
Dreamshifting. Lestat found me again and blocked me before I could exit lucid dreaming. He was in evening French era dressing and took a walking stick. He smiled, holding out his arms.
Hi my love. I mean, my new friend. Would you care to have dinner with me tomorrow night, at about 7.30pm? Meet me at the Bistro Delicia.
You cannot eat. ---------- I answered.
I can too. I want to see you Miss Bianca. You will freak if I pop out of the air. Pleeeease? Lestat didn’t use hypnosis for this, he was just dying to know my answer.
Play hard to get. Um Are you not busy? With what activities vampires need to go about?
He made an impatient gesture. I am free! That’s why I asked you out. I am free now. I seldom get busy. I’ll feed before I come.
His frock looks quite old, dusty and wornout. He smiled, Well yeah, I could dress up more. I’m vain. But I will have an occasion to look more presentable than this if you come outside. C’mon it is crowded how could I ever get a chance alone with you?
I softened. So desperate and lonely. I thought Lestat was one of the most popular vamps around the place! Ok. The vampire exclaimed great! And hugged me.
I told mum I would be on a date with a new beau. Of course not revealing his true immortality. My parents are the Strict sergeants when it comes to the Shaper Rules. She still kept a tab on me.
I wore my dark blue trousers and red tanktop. I always wear this apparel because I’m boyish and simple. What Lestat saw in me I didn’t get. He must be really lonely to want to see a norm fellow like me. Maybe he would even ditch me when this evening was done. I reached the Bistro by 7.30 sharp.
When I told the reservation counter if Lestat had reserved a place, the waiter ushered me to a table at the corner for two. Candlelights. Fine dining. Everybody was in fine dressing. I felt cold from the aircon. Man! The waiter said ‘Monsieur Lestat Francoise Jeanne’ would come back soon. I sniggered at the name.
I ordered water. Kept my special eyesight tuned on any movements. Now he strolled in, his hair held back by a black satin ribbon. He was wearing a shiny blue evening coat, those with shirt tails behind. Others would look lame in them but he looked cool! Lestat de Lioncourt! I laughed, tried to stifle it.
“What is it, Bianca? The name? I picked it myself. Sounds classy. Whoa, you look…. Astounding! In real form. Cool!” Lestat smoothly sat down, opening the menu. “Come order whatever you need. I will pay for everything.”
Why? My dressing is supposed to have the opposite effect on you, Lestat!
The vampire laughed, showing only a little of his fangs. Not dripping blood. “Hey, don’t be gross, my child. I like to be clean. No I like this virgin image.” He ordered fish and chips for himself. Mine was roast ribs in golden gravy. The fish came first. I scrutinized my companion.
I also needed tips, I’d never been dining at this type of classy place before. Lestat used the cutlery with no problems at all and carved bite sized pieces for eating. He chewed normal.
“Um it tastes good?” I asked when he did not appear to be choking or coughing or making a face.
“Great. Our taste is less acute than a mortal’s but we do eat. No smell,” Lestat replied. His intent gaze was less, he could feel my peeking curiosity and a little shyness (shyness at being inappropriately dressed in a high class restaurant) “Bianca, how should chips taste and smell?”
“Salty, crispy. Hard, crunchy.” Lestat nodded. Good listener. Just as we were chatting casually, and he willing to pay for more food, my mobil vibrated. I had the sense to turn it to silent!
“I need to call-------- can I?”
“Yes go ahead.” Lestat started on the jelly, if you look closely you will see that he’s trying to make it a nice experience. Mum was outside, behind her car.
She asked me, “Where were you? Inside there? I couldn’t see you. Where is this man?”
The moment my mum laid eyes on Lestat her eyes popped out. Such a fine gentleman! Was her first remark. This is from the outside behind the glass, mind. The blond nodded to us. Flashed a charismatic smile.
When I went back in, he said, “Is your mother ok with me? I ordered some fries.”
“Yes yes she likes you.” Luckily our hands didn’t connect as we took from the plate.