Thursday, June 01, 2006
Choices 23 Shopping For Presents, Birthday Surprise!
Krys’s age is 17 because it’s 2 years since she met Lestat and Louis. High school is different for Shapeshifters at the Practical Academy, it's not counted the same way. I like shopping for costume jewellery! My favourite accessories, necklaces and bracelets. I like dangling earrings. So I wanted to bring the Blood Drinkers into it.
“Let’s pick up some earrings for you.” he said generously, voice melodious, indicating that the shop sign: More New designs! What? It was not my birthday yet. “Never mind, I don’t want to forget. Earlier better than late. Birthday x Christmas present.”
Lestat laid his hand on my shoulder. I hesitated outside the glass display, crystal shapes of all kinds, from diamonds, to animal kinds. Lestat pointed out a pair of doves. I shook my head- “Too ordinary. Let’s go in and take a look. He led the way in, since I did not dare to ask.
“’stat, you have enough? I won’t choose the expensive ones,” I whispered, tugging his sleeve.
“It’s fine. I’ve got enough for three weeks. I would like to see all the new designs, we’re shopping for presents,” my friend addressed the fat, bumbling shop-owner in the most authoritative tone.
I looked through all the designs, fans, twist shapes, almost everything. But I did not fancy any of them. Bianca-chan, what about the ducks? Looks nice. I’ll ask him to open and let you compare in the mirror. Want?------ Brat p’s finger tapped over the 90 bucks range.
“Wanna see the rest.” I felt thrilled.
The shopman had a greasy malicious expression. I did not know why, but he seemed so to me. The vampire easily Read this and firmly decided to manipulate him. I’ll make him run about, my money will not go to a lazy bum! I was totally amused by this. Lestat held eye contact intensely until the man sweated, not exactly knowing why but feeling chills up his spine? Took out a trayful which was at the back.
“They are too costly for--------“ the man was suddenly cut off at a dismissive wave from Lestat. Silenced.
Yea right. I’m rich enough to pay. What a busybody and too noisy anyway! Come choose. With a flourish he waved his hand over, as if he were the owner of ten businesses.
Most of them were cute spangle earrings, rings from small to large, rainbows, fishes, zodiacs and large fans. First, pair of Centaur earrings. “Your sign. Or mine. How about Leo, or scales? Want them?” he suggested.
I thought it over. The horoscope ones cost 100 plus, whereas the fan ones cost 200 bucks. They were prettier, nevertheless. I didn’t want people knowing my horoscope.
“Ok, the big fans.” The fans were upside, oriental designs, had Chinese words on them. I did not understand but it didn’t matter. When the vampire snapped his fingers, the man returned to reality and held up the dangling earrings. Yay! Perfect! The shop man was unaware that he had just been dreaming. Lestat insisted on getting the nicest cushioned box to put them in.
“These are the only ones I have. Plastic boxes, no cushions,” shopkeeper grumbled. Lestat’s already large eyes widened. The man paled and took out pin cushions to put in one box.
I laughed. “You put a spell on him! So funny.”
“Not really much effort. It’s a persuasion skill. Do you like it?” my companion replied in a humble tone. He smiled almost diffidently.
“Yes! I will wear it next time. Thank you so much, Princie!” I squealed and tiptoed to kiss him. A couple raised their eyebrows at us. Age difference----- caught their thoughts. Lestat was annoyed at them. I held his arm, a bounce in my step.
After some quiet, where we were just cruising and checking out the wild, weird and boring people, I said I would like to learn the skill of charisma from my sensei, no was not an option.
He looked stressed, teeth a little exposed, narrowed eyes. Wrinkle of his brow. “You cannot learn charisma, Krys. It’s something in a person’s character. Ok ok, I’ll try. First you need to….” Nope I’m not going to disclose what he taught me. I wanna keep the power to myself!
You need to be confident, is one clue I give.
The lights were on at 11pm when we came back. Louis the philosopher was waiting for us. He stretched out on the couch, reading an issue of Newsweek. Must have finished his books already. He hates facts. Setting? Hair loose, wearing a new checkered blue shirt without the sleeves. Under the fluorescent, his green veins were obvious. He had not Drunk yet.
“Hi! Check out this, I took from a notice board!” I jumped on the couch beside him.
“Yea?” in half-sleepy tone, then he perked up: “Poetry competition, awww. Thanks so much.” The purely green pupils sharpened to confirm this. He read in delight, “Send in 3 entries, handwritten can be accepted. Good, then I don’t have to type it out. Where is Lestat? Hi!”
The blond kissed his hair and eased himself in his chair opposite us. We were close now. “Louis. Why didn’t you come with us? Had a great time.”
“Wanted to give alone time. Trios need to make sure we’re all not neglected. And we’ve left you out these nights, darling Master.” Louis sounded for all the world like a worshipper of his deity, held up both hands.
Lestat chuckled and told him it was alright. I remembered the cake. It was a little squashed, cream on the flap of the cardboard box. Louis started nibbling on it. “Thank you, didn’t forget me huh.”
“Now we’re all comfortable, Hawkgirl, try your earrings. Want to see them dazzling.” Just as you think Puppyboy’s friendly and humble, he blows this clean image with a demand. I went to the hall mirror.
“Really pretty. Matches your skin!” the scholarly preter praised. I twirled around. Lestat gave a thumbs- up. Now he was so wicked, wanted me to sing in French.
“Hey no fair, I dunno the lyrics.” The pianist found the sheet and tossed to me. I sang off-key. How they could stand it must be the politeness. I like this about the quaint gentlemen.
Like Claudia… in this light, miss her so-------- Louis sighed. I heard this and put my arm around his neck. His breath was a little panting. After a while, Louis grasped my hand. Thanks, I needed it.
How is vampire history conducted? I read a chapter or two from the Historical account of 17th Century to 18th Century Vampire- Lesbians and Gays beforeBrat Prince starts. We will be in the library upstairs, air conditioned comfort, red cushioned chairs and a drawing table. There’s an atlas at the right corner. Sometimes books are stacked untidily.
Normally he will stand in front, then pace up and down. He thinks better in this manner. Quinn will occasionally drop in, now that he’s accompanying his cousin here. (Quinn’s family is mortal and his nature is completely secret from them.) I want Lestat to teach a class, he’s so good at talking. No dry facts, most of it is what he interpretes------- totally hilarious. When I check it, and it proves untrue, Lestat laughs charmingly and says, “Heck, my version is better! But don’t tell anyone k? I don’t wanna be an old professor. Entertainment makes it more interesting! ”
Don’t worry, not all the volumes are about his Kind, Race to be polite. Marquis Lioncourt’s cherished collection of comics, fantasy novels, and older detective stories (nope the modern ones are not stimulating enough for a vampire mind). I mentioned there are some books in his bedroom, untidy again though Louis, Armand and I had worked on that. He just can’t keep to order! You already know from the condition of scattered laundry. The library books are all dusted by the maids in the day, so it’s a different story. But the order is out. Two or three are slotted horizontalwise. “I don’t care, cherie. Pretend not to see it. I will put it back, but anyway no space already. Come, let’s talk.”
Quinn simply adores the senior vampire. He is everything a legend could be, (though ‘I’m so short!’, Lestat whines). He’s strong, powerful, graceful, true blue performer, athlete and generous rich guy. Sometimes he imagines himself as a firework, in his glee! Picture that. Isn’t he kawaii? Honestly, he acts not like my father figure, but a mischievous little kid. I guess you get like that when you’ve been deprived of a truly fun childhood! But of course, Tarquin dismisses that part and carries on his emulation and praises.
It’s been quite a while since Quinn was born to Darkness. He’s relatively young, not in his 100th year yet. I wasn’t supposed to dig into his Darkness story and all, since it was over and done with, but I forgot and asked who his Maker was. Lestat did not get mad though; he took it all in stride and asked the other guy if he minded.
“No. I’ll tell you. I was made by Petronia. She was from Pompeii,” Quinn said slowly.
“I am so sorry. Please… do not be angry at me.” I wanted to hit myself. Lestat watched us, from the youth to me. He offered to act as middleman.
Brother, don’t be angry, the child’s really blunt and frank at times-------- Lestat said.
Quinn clasped his hands together, licking his small teeth. “I’m okay. I hated her very much, and we’re still not in touch, but I’ve learnt how to control and revel in my Gifts, so it’s better now.” I was glad these Emo. folk remained in control. They really accepted me and this case proves it.
To reduce awkwardness, we moved on to spiritual things, the meaning of religion. I was intrigued that most vampires are Christian in their beliefs. Yep, pray, go for Confession and want to be saved one day… They go to church services, try to mingle among the mortal parishioners and laity in their leisure. Only witches could see them. Vampires, werewolves and witches are not to be lumped together---- each race is different and dislike each other. an exception is that Lestat has helped the Mayfair families, so they exclude their discrimination from him. I was so happy for him!
“We always try to be patient, because we’re older and have seen more things than the world has to offer us.”
“Do you believe that your sins can be forgiven? You guys are uptight about this issue,” I felt curious.
“Precisely. We Want to be saved. I’ve seen Merrick in the Light. If she can, maybe our sins can be absolved and we’ll go to Paradise too. If we try not to murder the innocent. Boss, what’s your opinion?” the dark haired vampire turned to the sensei.
Lestat’s answer was honest and thought-provoking,“It is Really personal. Yes, I wish I could go to Heaven, eventually. I wanna see my family and all those who died. I miss them very much. Immortality’s price becomes apparent when I see mortals die, fade away. Is it wicked to want them to cross over to our race? That they’re tainted with the Gift too? Guys, here’s the question, are BloodDrinkers evil?"
“No way. You are good people. And don’t forget, Quinn, your family loves you like hell. You wouldn’t hurt them, or let anyone. ‘stat, you’re my advisor and always ready to help out. So erase it, delete that thought.”firmly, I dismissed this notion. I think my friends need to believe that and the only wayis to keep reiterating. The ego of the Immortals is easily deflated. It did not matter to me at all. Both of them laughed at this.
“Beginning to betoo Emo already huh? I’ll get the phone.” the Visionary of ghosts was off to intercept the ringing sound. Louis hollered that he was tangled up with something.Back to ordinary life!
“Hungry? I bought Oreos,” Lestat said. He had brotherly affection in his violets. Violet because in Hell, the fire had burnt them. I was horrified. He assured me that he liked his eyes better now, though perfection was marred by one side being larger than the other. Other than that, he wouldn’t elaborate. He doesn't want me to worry for him.I followed him downstairs. Pointe looked very vexed while he was forcing a large plastic bag of rubbish into the chute.
I knew that Lestat had broken an important rule of Marius’s by revealing who they were and their weaknesses. I told him he didn’t have to tell me, but he’s always a rebel at heart. “You are my student. Since you asked me in all honesty, I shall pass on the Dark Gift and its wonders and hazards. It’ll be useful when you encounter our Kind. Not all are as hospitable, especially those Made from impulse, or forced into it. For instance, I was Forced into the Blood. That is why I acted rashly in the past. The character of an Unwilling spirit is hard to fathom and tame. And the funny thing is, we’re doomed to live even longer. Yes?”
I wrote down with green marker, Lestat is forced, boxed it. The other box was Willing arrow to Merrick. “Like an immature person. Hehehe. But if you’re not you, it’d be pointless to get to know you. Then what about the very very old? Does it mean they are All willing?”
The blond shook his fluffy head.
I pointed on a page of Blackwood Farm. “Merrick? Why did she die? Why couldn’t you save her? She was good.”
Lestat blinked slowly and rubbed his chin. “She was noble and willing. In my experience, the very pure at heart die early.”
Some saw the Light of Heaven and restless ghosts. He shared this ability with the witches. Brat Prince attained this skill after he went into Hell and returned. At this point in time, I was not so interested in the long Mayfair history and family legacies. I only get intrigued when I want to learn it in earnest.
The blond guy was serious, “You have to promise me, don’t use the knowledge against me. I want to feel I can trust again. I do not mean it in offence. ”
Of course I would not hurt him. He had told me such deep secrets. The memory of Claudia stabbing him was fresh in his mind. She’d cut him other strokes when he was trying to recover from the first inflicted wounds.
Lestat smiled and hugged me. He seemed to be teary again, shaking. I rubbed his back. “Why’re you crying? Don’t scare me.”
“I’m moved. A damned creature being a teacher to you. We’re so different! And yet this relationship is surreal.” Less on the somber note was that the marquis delighted in our special bond and we reached a neutral area where knowledge was shared and not hidden.
We hurriedly planned for Lestat’s birthday! It was on impulse. Louis phoned me on November 6th.
“What? I forgot! Hey let’s bake a cake.” Louis came to my house and we engaged in making a cake. Last year we clean forgot Brat’s special day. He hadn’t minded, but we ought to do something nice this year.
Three times, the cake was flat. Ah! The flour had to be folded in properly, or too much air escaped. In between, I spilled flour on the table and our faces got coated with it. Louis had so much fun! The products were flat, charred and burnt. Finally on the last try, when we were on the verge of deciding a flatcake would be the One, the oven produced a full and solid brownish cake. We applied the cream. I took some of it and smeared on my friend’s hair.
“AAH! You monster! C’m 'ere!” I refused to, giggling. Chaos as cream got smeared on every part, clothes, skin and hair. Mom was piqued we’d changed the kitchen into a factory. We wrote For Brattie Lestat. Aprox 236 years old, in yellow cream. The cake was chocolate and vanilla cream, a round one.
Well, I dunno his actual age. I lost count when I didn’t stay with him.
Haha, it looks cool, I replied in humor. I’ll go hide it in the fridge. He won’t usually open it right?
Yea all right. Darn, see? It’s all yer fault, now we gotta clean up! I hate cleaning up, Krys. Pointe mopped up the stains. I did the washingup. Marcus was amused that he could bake. He only knew Louis had served us simple- to- do dishes before.
“It’s for Lestat. His birthday tomorrow.”
“Hey why didn’t ya tell me?” Marc complained. “Can’t make an animal carving now. How how how? Wanna get him a present.” Oh yea, flash to previous chapter when my bro was anti-Lioncourt? It’s made a turnabout. When my bro visited, Lestat treated him in all courtesy, despite his tiredness. He was most impressed after the rendition of TVL, Lestat’s bio. Being orphaned, he still managed to beat the odds.
After 2 hours of polishing and checking, the kitchen was spotless again and we three went up to our room to search for some gift to present. Marc had a voucher. “What does Prince like? It’s for bags.”
Louis shook his head. “No, we don’t use bags. But it’s alright. Better than nothing. I’m going to give him a small plant. Krys, what about you?”
I had plenty of things all stashed. There! Lestat called at the moment and asked why we had left his house. He demanded why we had not left a note. “Hey Prince, yea we’re all over here. Just getting’together….” My bro engaged him.
November 7th, Evening at 7pm. The dining table is cleared of the old things. Laid a longish orange and blue tablecloth.
“Close your eyes, cher. Tell me if I blindfold too tightly,” Louis coaxed when he tied the cloth. Lestat smiled.
“What for? I’ll close them. Don’t worry.” I slid the cake on the table and tried to make the flames stay. Four candles. I fussed with the arrangement. Adjustment of the angle. “Hey what’s up? Can I see now?”
“Nope,” Louis laughed, pulling up a chair. I nodded. “Ok now!”
My heart pounded. Lestat was serious, and his lips moved soundlessly. “Happy Birthday, Lestat , you Beautiful Charming One.” The musician gasped, color flushing up to his neck. He pressed his heart.
Tears came. “ My God, it’s… it’s priceless… I cannot… I don’t know what to speak. Cherie, Louie, you made this? For-me?” He covered his mouth. His eyes were narrowed since candle light was acutely painful.
His breathing, like it was gonna disappear anytime. Could not believe it! “Never had a cake before. Merveilieux! Tres bien (very well)! Merci beaucoup, ma fleur.”More of a string of foreign words,laughing and crying simulataneously.
“Come on, make a wish, darling,” I urged, kissing his cheek. Louis sat down. I had given him a surprise like that on Mar 4, and he’d not wept, just looked stupefied. Vast divide!
Lestat stopped and clasped his hands together. “Done.” After blowing off the candles, he cut everyone a neat slice. Since we’d not asked his permission for guest-list, we hadn’t asked many people, just Louis, myself and two Mayfairs(not those famous ones). Marcus was too shy to come. Everyone who didn’t flinch at the fluctuating preternatural moods and blood tears. He declared everything delicious when he tasted the thick cream.
Presents. Brat opened a red stars wrapper. How does he open them? Not ripping, mind, but he does not want to tear it, wasting the efforts of the gift giver. First was the book we’d kept aside, on vampires. Hey Lestat, this may not be accurate to our history, but what the heck! Do read it! Fruitful and entertaining, we hope! Louis and Bianca (with some golden stars I’d bordered.)
Louis exclusive one was a small African violet plant, which Birthday boy always wanted. It didn’t need too much sunlight, just regular watering. He promised to cherish it. Marcus had just slotted the voucher into a white envelope.
“Next one is from Chelsea. Your friend?” he mused, fingering a printed bluebell square wrapped shape. She’s got a major crush on him. “I already have it, but it’s alright. Will phone her and thank her.”
Mine was a silver watch. I had decided on giving it first. The others were minus a box. Your First Birthday Gift from me!!! I hope u like it, um, this is limited edition. Does it fit your frenchiness?
Your loving kawaii student,
He laughed and tried it. It was chainlinked, analogued, with small digital displays at the left side. “Thank you.” He squeezed me. The 2 Mayfairs had bought last minute cards and scribbled in them. The woman had a herbal book. I Read her mind before she closed it: she was hoping he’d feel better when he knew about all the herbs. (wouldn't it agitate him further?) From Pandora: a leatherbound diary, from mom: a vintage coat and gloves. Its sleeves were cut to a V shape. More: sweater, handmade holder, photo frame and bookends that had a peacock look.
“Very unique. I love this baby!” It was a large Piyo chick. He hugged it.
9pm when the presents run out. “I’m feeling like a person with Many families and friends and relatives. It’s so sweet of you all to come. I’m really too happy, if I say anymore, I will start weeping again.”
I said it wasn’t over yet. I went to the piano. “Playing you something.”
“Hmm, some piece I taught you? All right let’s hear it.” No it was not.Caroline hadinstructed me till it was perfect. If I asked him to teach me, wouldn’t count as a surprise. It was Piano Concerto No.9 KV 271 "Jeunehomme". I went ahead, a bit nervous that it would mess up but he Sent me you’re all right, keep going. I won’t mind if it’s wrong.
At the end, everyone present gave me a roaring applause. You’ve been so patient, not liking it so much but willing to go through with it. Wonderful! Full marks. Ok, you need more rhythm. Rest your hands like this (demonstrated) so that you won’t be hurt. Lestat said privately to me.
We headed upstairs, carrying all the gifts. Lestat placed the plant near his window and touched a leaf tenderly. He watered it. “Bianca, shall we continue with lessons? It’s ten. Are you tired?”
“You’re serious? It’s your day, relax man.”
“I Want to, sweetie. Louis, so you’re gonna enter the competition?” The latter had come up, and was pulling back his ponytail.
The prizes were a trip to Madagascar, hotel stay at a subsidized rate. Not bad. Louis said he was going to try. Then Prince left us alone. In the library. He came back with a ton of music books. I was shocked.
“No it’s alright. I’ll read it for myself.” Dumping all unceremoniously on the floor, he bustled off. He handed me a Giant book of Dinosaurs. Cool! I found that the lights were dim and asked him to change it. The bulbs blew, the guys figured. Lestat changed a few until the whiteness increased. Yay! I like men who can fix stuff for me.
September 11 2004
I’m now discharged and at home safely. Louis and Bianca and I walked back from the stop at the junction. I didn’t want the driver to see my house. I crave for privacy. Luckily I hadn’t gone out, or I’d be more drained than what I felt. It's awful, I feel both tired and yet restless.
We slept in the same coffin! I pulled him in! Hahah. It was like this: we were nose to nose, I let myself be at the bottom. We’re like yin and yang. R-rated stuff. I love the dog book. I wanna see Mojo again. Perhaps later in December. Hopefully my sickness will be in remission. He’s in New Orleans. When I saw him in February, he sprang out when I hadn’t even come near. Smartie! He’ll always be my best friend!
Bianca’s here! Yay!
September 12, 2004
Today I wasn’t in any mood. Why you may ask? I’m a musician, the bad thing about this, my moods change for worse, or better depending on what I wish.
I can feel so riled, so mad! My friends can put up with this stupid flaw of myself. I loath the times I’m mad, because louis will just take it. Bianca will yell for it to stop. I can stop, surprised? She’s such a fine child. I have always longed for someone of excellent callibre. Unfortunately, cherie does not like classical music that much.
My personal project is to help her appreciate it. I wonder if she will like to listen, and maybe go to a concert without sleeping! Sadly, those instructors hit her. I promised not to. Wanna make it creative and fun!
“I’m your personal project?”I asked. He nodded.
He replied shyly, "But not a thing, as my aim, my goal. Writethe change forme. Thanks."