Wednesday, February 01, 2006Seven: Vampires are not evil
I usually came home midnight sharp. Every night, my brother didn’t sleep, waiting, glaring accusingly. Meeting those fiends again!
I soon found myself holding a debate with my brother who still insisted that Lestat was evil through and through. And he also read my mind, so horrified was he that I felt Louis was a polished gentleman!
“Sis, they Are dangerous! They drink blood. And hence they are evil! How can blood suckers be good, Krys?” he reasoned in a barely calm way. I clenched my fists.
“They are not evil. Louis is so gentle…. You’ve never met them before personally. Vampires drink blood because they have no choice. If Lestat could, he would eat and drink too! Don’t you have any idea How much they regret this damned existence? Louis especially is morose and tries not to give in too much to his urgings. They have not hurt me once. It is already half a year. I think they are honorable.”
Nevertheless, I did remember how Lestat had been tempted. I hurriedly concealed this from Marc. I changed shape to keep my focus sharp and not to lash out at him. When I beat people up, I will almost certainly win. I do not wish to hurt him! Marc shook his head. We communicated in Mindspeak now, it tended to be less charged up.
Who is this Louis? I want to meet him. Ivan yelled.
No! He is shy! You can tail us from a distance, now that your catshape is better right?
‘Shy?’ He mocked ‘ How can a vampire be shy?’ But he began to soften, for he understood how it feels to be on the sidelines when you are a nerd.
I latched onto this, determined to make him see my point. ‘Yes, you may not like Lestat because of his extremist ways: those you’ve researched on. But have you seen Louis’s name splashed all over? It shows he prefers to keep a low profile. He is the gentlest and most humane nature among all the Immortals. He has a beautiful nature similar to yours, Marcus Ivan. I think you should give him a chance.
Ivan is his chosen name. We need aliases for our alter ego. When we call a Shapeshifter by his or her alias, we mean business. Ivan shook his head, hardening again.
I do not know WHY you associate with them. When dad hears of this he will go nuts! You’ll be the death of him. Don’t you have Daylight friends? I thought you wanted to stay here because of your nice environment. It is because of those fiends isn’t it?
I had had enough. I flew up and dove, narrowly missing his forehead. Damnit Ivan! The vampires Lestat and Louis are NOT fiends! If anything, they yearn as much for friendship as we do! To us it is not so important, but it is essential to them. They like me for who I am. Something few rare humans will give for free! I want to show you something.
Ivan refused to see but I forced the images into his mind. Lestat spoke to me, hugging me close and looking into my eyes sincerely. Not using hypnosis.
“Hypnosis is solely for my victims. You’re my friend, Bianca. I won’t. I love you cherie.”
Another was of the first time Lestat and I went out after he visited me in Dreamland. He cried when he conveyed to me how lonely inside he felt, so different from me. He was so hyper and enthusiastic upon finding out I wanted to be his friend. He is naïve, cute and sometimes naughty as a brat. Still, he saved me twice. I am indebted! I am beginning to like him as a nice brother.
Louis told me with a terrible pain in his expression on how his brother, wife and child had gone to the next world. I had not wanted to make him sad, but he smiled and said he wished to.
“Krystal, I have a deep feeling we were meant to meet. It certainly hurts like a thorned bush inside my chest, but I want to tell you what happened to me. It was also part of the reason why Lestat hoped to save me from committing suicide to join them. So I accepted the Dark Gift.”
“See? He wanted it. Otherwise he would be dead,” Lestat remarked coming from behind. Louis sighed. We walked down the street together, the two of them wearing shades to avoid drawing too much attention. I put both my hands into theirs. I felt truly loved, as I have never in my own family. I am very important in their lives.
Ivan covered his ears. ‘Ok ok enough! What I wanna know is, did they not become like this by choice? Lestat gave Louis the question. Yet he didn’t wait for a proper answer. Louis was confused and disoriented when he agreed! Lestat is still evil!”
“He told me he was forced. This Magnus captured an unhappy Lestat and drained him of his blood. It was that moment that the immortal was awakened. It’s too personal, but I want to prove that he did not choose to be a vampire!”
“I don’t want you to join them, Bianca. The more you mix with them Dark Folk, the more intriguing their offer may seem. It is too irresistible……” No doubt he was correct. But I know my judgment! I thought in vehemence.
We stopped, sensing another presence at the front door. I tasted his smell. Hi Louis!
The lanky guy blinked deep-set emerald pupils as he watched my brother. Marc’s entire form was hostile and snarling.
“My brother Ivan. Um why are you here?” Louis went a little blushing. He held out a little box. I opened it. Resting on the cushion were a pair of silver earrings the shape of foxes. I had casually mentioned I liked fake jewellery. “Ooh! You remembered. You’re so thoughtful. But, it isn’t really my birthday yet.” Marc stopped. He was questioning now.
“Mr Louis? You… you’re shy. Ah, you don’t hafta. Want to come in?”
Louis declined. My bro smiled now and urged him, tugging his hand. “It is ok. Come and rest a while. It is still early.”
Then we chatted until 3am. My brother was impressed by his knowledge and asked him casual stuff regarding the world. I felt proud of Louis.
After he left for his sleep, Marc said Louis was nice. “But we still cannot trust them completely. Lestat has a terrible notoriety. He plays with his victims. I cannot stand for it. I don’t like him.”
Yea it was sadly a fact. The blond French wistfully told me that it was normal for others to see Louis in a good light because of the book, and he as the ultimate villain.
“It was because Louis was mad at me. He wanted revenge, so he wrote badly of me. I don’t toy with my victims now. I did it to teach him the fragility of life. His hesitation, his hanging back made them prolong their fright and pain! Besides I always aim for the dying, the old and the robbers. Louis’s point of view is not the same. It is perverse, that means against the truth. I am right here. You can ask me.”
“I know and I believe you.” Sheer gratitude and affirmation of our bond flowed into my mind with singing music. Lestat jumped up and down, pulling me into a dance with him. A classical dance. I was a klutz that constantly tripped but he was happy to coach. He wanted me to be as comfortable as possible in his home. I did feel at home though being a bird it took some time to build up easy trust. Still Lestat often warned me against letting down m guard as they are not human. Louis reads me poetry while the other will play a piece, or show me his collection of paintings. Sometimes we watched the fireworks, or go star gazing.
Lestat will say, “There’s Scorpio, my star! Yours is… over there. Yay!” Why won’t he let me find my star first? He can be quite annoying, but overall he has this keep-going attitude which makes me inspired and forgive this bossiness.
A year. I was usually out with my preternatural friends every two nights, only when I did not have homework. I told them many things I would not trust in others. My daylight friends are nice, but gossip spreads like crazy. Lestat and Louis listened without judgment. Being 200 plus years old, they belonged to the time when friendship meant excellent listening skills, no interruptions.
I could tell them everything! Though they did not understand my school stuff, the anguishes of having teachers torture you with mind blasting theories of physics and econs concepts, make you go through hell’s training the month before some competition, I did not have to worry they would laugh at me. Louis always smiled politely. He is the perfect listener and neutral. My Lestat commiserated. He knew how it felt like to be backstabbed by mobs of cruel popular kings and queens. I may be in a Shapeshifter academy, but cliques are still very much prevalent!
“Will there be no end to suffering?” I lamented. Lestat tousled my hair. His skin was freezing when I touched him, but pulling away would be rude. He pushed my hand gently to touch his shirtsleeve. Warmer. I was always curious what the boys would do, after I went to sleep at 12 or 11 pm (if dad was home).
“Feed more. Go party!” Lestat giggled, his blond curls shaking loose.
Louis covered his face. “When will you ever be serious? Can’t you stop putting these RA images into the mind of an innocent teenager?”
“What? Bianca is mature enough to handle these. And I AM being serious. Sometimes we need more blood than what has been taken.” He persisted anyway, much to our chagrin.
I laughed. “It’s ok, Louis. I am used to it. When you’re out feeding, Lestat here will burst my mind with his colorful RA filmshows.” Film shows does not mean a reel of movies, it is what I term our connection in picture images from mind to mind. So far, I can give images to Louis, but he projects words back. It is more difficult to process 18th century poetic words. I will respond with a puzzled look.
“It IS not ok. The point is not to corrupt people more. We are bad enough.”
Lestat ignored him and pointed to the beach. He asked if I remembered the place. “Have you come in the day?” I Sent him what I had witnessed. The shimmer of the blue green waters, the clear sky, the heat, the golden sand. He held the railings.
So lucky. We cannot ever see it in the day.
To lessen his sadness which clouded over in a mist I said, Hey it is prettier now than in the daytime.
It is! In New Orleans I could see nothing but countryside. Louis said when we were silent. That is so boring. Freemandling is wonderful compared to the city pollution. New York’s scenery is too building-designed. I like buildings that are old. Those new things sky scrapers? They look so artificial. It is only these moments when he feels inspired to chat. The shy guy doesn’t easily make small talk. Sometimes I poked him just to make him say something.
Were you born here? They waited for my answer. Lestat had asked me, but I did not get round to answering him.
No I was born in California. My parents are always moving around. I’ve been to many tropical islands, I have been to China and Russia too. But always, guys, I haven’t been able to truly settle down. I have a fear of instability. Thanks to Lestat’s hypnosis, I can!
My blond friend smiled. “You are welcome cherie. Glad to be of service.” He kissed my hand. “ I am so happy all nights we come outside together. It just makes me want to break into song.”
“Do it!” me and Louis encouraged. He seemed self- conscious, not the usual. Well because Lestat wants to be humble and perfect, to prove how wonderful he is. He sang in French, apologizing that he did not know how to translate the lyrics without changing the meaning. Lestat de Lioncourt’s voice is masculine and firm, does not fade. At the end of the song, he made it dip into the comfy silence. After that, I begged Louis to sing too. He still won’t! Louis, please please become a lark for me!
Lestat is from France, Paris. Louis came from a different part of France before moving to New Orleans. He used to be a plantation farmer. Mostly I told them about me, myself, what I liked and did not like. They were more interested in me.
As Lestat said, “Don’t want to bore you with 17th Century history lessons. You hate history don’t you?” History about preternaturals is more exotic, of course I’m not!
Then I began to have premonitions of some unseen danger. As you know, I can dreamshift and am a lucid dreamer. I began to sense something unnatural. Our instincts are very strong and primal. It was what saved my hawk kind from extinction when our ancestors’ home in Titus erupted. We sense stuff way in advance.
I warned my preternatural friends. Or at least tried to. Louis believed me, all somber. He was not as light hearted and playful as Lestat, who listened but was more interested in looking at my body language. We were in his home for the twentieth time. Lestat was in a very lovely maroon suit that brought out the shiny diamond earrings. He had been so excited piercing his ears. Their flesh heals, so they are stuck. Still he looked suave.
Unfortunately, he could not take me seriously. “Oh cherie, what is there to fear? Didn’t I tell you I have been through Hell and plenty of experiences? Honestly can’t imagine anyone wanting me! For an exhibition?”
“So you won’t take my advice will you,” I said vexed. Louis told him to stop fooling around. Lestat prowled around us like the feline he is. I went red. I was not exposing, but the way he scrutinized me made me uneasy. I felt angry. It came in slow waves.
He is stubborn. He never learns until the iron is hot! Louis sighed.
Yea. It is really pissing me off!------------ I sent to the other guy too, wanting him to wake up------------- My senses are going crazy. The evening skies are black in my dreams. Somehow they don’t pose a threat to my kind, or the humans. But especially to vampires. Please listen to me!
He stopped and kissed my cheek, kneeling so we were looking into each other’s faces clearly. “I appreciate your concern. But I am sure you are over reacting. Visions are not everything. I am with you both, the two of my most beloved people in this place. I feel safe.”
He rose and drew the curtains. I felt my anger fade away, touched by his pure simplicity. Then changed to arrogance, “I am the powerful, notorious Vampire Lestat. I am not afraid of anything, except ghosts. If they are not ghosts, they can’t hurt me.”
I walked to him and hugged his waist. He startled because I seldom express myself so openly. “Because I love you and Louis. Lestat, you’re so naughty. Won’t you just take my advice, this once? If it turns out bad, then you can laugh at me. Not now. I am more frenzied every day.”
The Prince rested a strong sure hand on my shoulder. He had turned around, a tender look in his blue eyes. He seemed so childlike, so human. Vulnerable. As vulnerable as I had felt when he chatted with me. He touched the tears on my cheeks.
Then the visions stopped. I had no more dreams, and was back to normal. Of course I did not tell Lestat, because he would prove me wrong. I was not sure what visions fading away meant. I love both of them like my elder brothers. I am the oldest, and I wish people would care about me. In a way Artemis granted me their friendship as a gift. I am so thankful. All the more I don’t want them hurt.
Lestat’s charisma is unmatched; he is a shining star which will always light beacons. When he smiles, you will collapse from sheer heart attack! Whereas Louis has a soft steady persona, different. His knowledge about the stars, his quiet wisdom. He is really different from Lestat.
Some nights when the other vampire was feeding we waited for him, either at the balcony, or under the night stars. Louis seldom went to feed, more human than the rest of Them. He said Lestat used to give him a thrashing for this, embarrassing him in front of the Dark Folk.
“You must find me a boring man. So Krystal or Bianca? Which do you prefer?” he asked. I love the way his eyes consider every aspect of me when I talk. Louis calms me that way.
“Krystal with a K. Why don’t you call me Krys, since Lestat favours my aka name?”
“All right, Krys. Mademoiselle. I loved a girl once. She was younger than you are when she became a vampire. Claudia.” I froze, wasn’t it the name Lestat had called? “Yes Claudia. She was scorched to death.” His voice became thick. It hurt him.
No don’t talk if you’re sad, I don’t have tissues.
Ok then. Some other day. Louis replied mildly. He had no heartbeat when I leaned against him. “Hello there, Monsieur. Had a good drink?”
Lestat licked his lips. Omg, why did he have to demo? I said ‘don’t be gross’ and he laughed, fluffed my hair. He had asked me not to cut away my long hair. Usually I prefer to chop it. It gets untidy, and being a tomboy, I hate maintenance.
Lestat, however, had other ideas about women. “Don’t start. Should I not do what I want with my style? C’mon, man! Ladies do Not have to wear dresses, high heels, and have long hair!” I argued.
He smiled. ‘What is so funny?” I got angry, bristling. He reminded me of the time when I got mad when he called me cherie, don’t be mad, cherie this and cherie that. Drives me nuts!
“The way you get angry, honey. It’s just a matter of opinion. Old fashioned, well, right. I am old! But you really look lovely with your hair like this, loose, unrestrained, every bit the wild child you are,” he answered. That was acceptable. Plus, he felt concerned that I would feel cold if my hair was short. At times topics were more serious, philosophical. Lestat liked to discuss deep things, fits Scorpio. He’s not the airhead which critics made him out to be.
“Bianca, I’m glad we can be on great terms like this. But, are you not in the least affected by what both our races are debating, vampires and shapeshifters can’t possibly be kindred. We are the worst of Nature because we go against life.”
To me things were simpler. I said I didn’t mind because he’s my friend and he’s nice. I did not care about the undead, dead stuff. Political and social news was not important to me as the emotional aspect. I want to open my mind to possibilities. It is exciting to talk to them because they are Ancient folk. We have ancient ones too whom we seek for advice. But so far, only the 2 french men are in this category, for my kind’s Gurus are not accessible.
“If only everyone would see it that way. Bianca, you really don’t know this? Before I told you?”
“Nope. Why?” Lestat looked dead serious, like a zombie. Then he smiled, expression back to human- like again. He reiterated how much he loved me. Abruptly he asked if I still had the visions.
“No more. But I am worried all the same. Please be careful. You’re rash. I don’t mean to lecture you, because you won’t accept but please…” He stopped my lips with his fingers and smiled.
“I understand, cherie. I have to, this is a new place. Ok.” We held hands and strolled to the park. Other people were kissing their dates. I laughed. “What is so comical now? You’re finding everything funny.”
“Kissing. Ergh. It is bonechilling to the max. i would puke if someone kissed like that in front of me.” Lestat sighed, shifting his hand to my back. Sometimes he does that to support me, especially when he is being solemn.
Did I say something wrong, Brat prince? You’re sad? He looked upwards into the dark sky.
I once had love like this, but I lost them.
Are these the people you lost, David told me?-------- I waited for his response, grief and pain constricting themselves. I felt like weeping.
Yes. The way I felt about my mother, Gabrielle. I do not know love’s definitions, but all the people I did love and have affection for, they left me. Sometimes, sometimes I don’t know what wrong I have done? I am so sorry, don’t cry. I am not crying, why are you?
I rubbed my eyes. I feel for you Lestat. They are stupid and ignorant fools. You give so much, until it hurts. It is unfair for you.
Yes. Thank you, Bianca. I won’t say anymore. Look, there’s a nice fountain. Let’s go and wish something! He pulled me there. I wished that Lestat would be happy, that I could be his angel and never bring him pain, grief, or worry.