Thursday, June 01, 2006I promise you, no angst for this!
The night after, when the doorbell rang, Lestat pushed my gently off the bed and moved to prepare himself. I ran to answer the door. “Hello! You must be Quinn, ” I said to the visitor’s green vest. The slender towering guy flashed me a charismatic smile, white teeth. The fangs were just a teeny bit visible to anyone who glanced at it. But usually people are not so observant. The soft dark curls cascaded to the nape of his neck, not too long. I thought that hair usually lengthens and bunches out. The intense, arresting violets which is prominent on the cover of his novel. He’s even cooler than in the portrait!
“Oh it’s not necessary. My hair was already short to begin with, Bianca. I am so happy to meet you, I’ve always wanted to talk to a Shaper! Online, there’s this column that mentions you with Lestat!” He smelled of the soft winds. He had the same ability to fly. His clothes were rumpled.
Chapter 22: A Special Edition(I Promise, no angst in this)
I felt a little shy when the famous Southerner walked in, dandy legs in black jeans that were tight on him. His shirt was mauve and had lapels. He automatically lounged on the armchair so his height diminished. “Sorry, I forget my height is frightening. Come, sit down. Don’t stand on ceremony.”
“Ok.” I sat down. Louis walked in with drinks, the glasses sweating. Quinn did not touch his glass, said he would drink later. Kissed Louis’s hand as a formal greeting, acknowledgement.
My long-haired companion explained, “Lestat will come down. He wants to dress up first. I hope you’re patient.” I drank half of my milk.
“I will be. I’ve got a whole eternity. Bianca, I’ll try not to stare. It’s rude to, isn’t it? How long can I stay without imposing on my hosts?” He looked at the antique lamps at my teacher’s desks, the white draperies, the special ribbons tying the curtains. A small sound.
Lestat stepped off the stairs, greeting his junior. He was in simple apparel, a red Polo shirt and slacks. The pair hugged each other—Quinn rose to clasp his boss by the shoulders and the blond kissing both his cheeks and melting into the embrace. I was overjoyed. At last, someone who truly appreciates and does not blow off Lestat! Yay! For a telepath, the fruity scent of a welcome party is a signal. I jumped up and down.
“You may stay as long as you wish, Little Brother. I’m really excited! So much to catch up on.” The guest smiled and urged him to take his seat.
“Okay. Hey, don’t worry too much. I’m energetic tonight! I’m your host and on ma’ orders, wipe off that frown okay?”
Quinn changed his mood almost immediately (an actor’s gift that they can manage effortlessly), “Boss, what I couldn’t grasp was the concept of you being online. All the vows you made not to touch any webpages. Heheh.” Quinn laughed boyishly, sipping the cold beer. “How did you convince him to?”
I grinned when Lestat dipped a kiss on my head and cuddled me. “I dunno. He couldn’t stand me being on the comp all the time and decided to give it a shot. Brattie… he makes e- learning a tough concept. Overly cautious.” (I gave the running commentary on the anti virus and bashing. What? A 4000 buck comp, how could you, Boss? He exclaimed.)
We laughed at the host’s expense. He pretended to be mortified. “My god, cherie! How could you insult me! I have to give you free lessons and here you are complaining already?”
“Lestat wanted to murder the PC. Everytime it hangs, he bashes it until it moves,” Louis said solemnly. “I don’t.”
My sensei said he was showing off. Quinn turned his attention to me, which made me all shy again. He asked where I was schooling and stuff, genuinely interested in me. Lestat explained to him if I began to murmur. My murmuring can’t be picked up even by super- hearing. Quinn said he wanted to stay for a few nights, but didn’t mention his senior’s illness and his genuine concern. On MSN, he had clarified that it was best to stay off the subject. He wanted to be welcomed in Freemandling. Lestat was going to be his connection over here. I agreed. He was not in a position to assert too much opinion on the matter. Already the medical people have enough trouble making Princie listen to their advice.
Then they made arrangements, spare coffin, bedding, dark curtained room and etc. Louis made remarks at junctures. By five hours, I was comfortable with the youth’s height.
To my questions, the 27 -year- old young man graciously answered:
“I didn’t grow anymore, after the Blood. Yep, I look ‘down’ on other vampires. I’m the tallest of the bunch. Sigh.”
“Doesn’t it get irritating?” me overriding Brat’s apologies for my frank and detailed interrogation.
“Hmm, nope. I use it to my advantage. I can easily stare down some bullheaded pig. Bianca, I don’t mind answering any queries you’ve got. It’s cool, Beloved Master.
“ Yes, I’m married to Mona Mayfair. It was last year. At an open air reception.” Quinn grinned, blushing a little. He Sent me a flowery image of his beloved Ophelia, a nickname for her.
Louis tapped my shoulder, why are you so talkative? We wanna talk to him as well! On the left side, Lioncourt looked on in neutral disinterest, legs crossed, hair an angelic mess but still presentable. He made a signal that it was alright.
Hey sorry. I’ll leave you alone now. See ya!------ I offered.
No no. I’m happy that you’re settled in. it’s alright. By all means talk. Want more drinks, Q?
No. this is nice. You like beer, gal?
Eugh. I made a face. The southerner said he was used to drinking that all his life. I received a reminder not to go into the past too much. Past was a sensitive topic in a vampire’s Darkness. Lestat suggested that we let Quinn go to his room, he must be tired from flying. Aren’t I crude? I need some training—How to be a good guest-relations 101. I did not realize!
On the way up, our guest told me telepathically he’d get me a new computer game, only it had to be between the 2 of us. I was thrilled wicked!! How could I decline? I’ve been Wanting a new game, but neither my parents nor both the Ls would listen to my proposal. Lestat viewed the PC as an attention grabber from him and my folks already had an addict at my house, without adding another. Hey girls Can game just as coolly too.
“What games? Roleplaying or strategy? Usually girls like roleplaying. Have you gone on MMORPGs?” he enquired, smoothing down the mattress. He pushed aside the blankets.
I took the nearest chair. “I love roles, my strategy is bad. Um, the newest one is Age of Empires 3. Have you played before?” (I shall not bore you, since not all of you readers are gamers or fans of online.) Quinn melted the barrier in a modern way. We used Geekspeak!
“You want it? Alright, since it’s almost Christmas time anyway! No I haven’t played Age of empires, but the reviews are very promising. Really? The website has the newest updates, character sketches and cinematics. Awesome!”
I revealed that my brother was every bit a fan as well. Quinn was eager to meet him. He assured me that I could ask him anything I wanted to know and to correct him if he was encroaching on personal boundaries. Same for me, his Boss Beloved Sent me- Please don’t be rude and ask him too much about the past. A Dark Folk’s past is traumatic and best not relived.
Louis looked in on us and moved on. He was suffering from serious neglect. Oh dear. I should cuddle up to Mr Counsellor, or I’d miss my birthday cum Christmas gift from him. Heheh.
I’m still open. Your personality is charming, elfinprincess. Why did you choose this name, is it because you want to be one? Quinn’s telepathic voice was different, mature, warm and responsible. If you want to understand someone, listening to their mentai voice is the best to go. The preternatural race is unique and individualistic; which is why you can define their characters best by this method. In Charisma lesson no. 2, Lestat said that. Be en garde when we speak extra softly. Do not look deep into the eyes. But it is still possible to be hooked. Just listening will get you drunken on the hypnotization. More on that later.
Heheh, I just impulsively signed in. I said humbly. In LOTR, the elves are really intelligent. I kinda like that. ---- was my quiet admission.
Cool! Will you be my guide here? Thank you! I’m gushing excited that we’re face to face. It really isn’t the same online as this personal.
Yeah. I like you too, Q 604. welcome to the Island. There aren’t many vampires here, just Lestat, Armand and Louis. But I think more are settling here. Predominantly Shapers inhabit the environment. I was pleased to be an unofficial tour guide. I enclosed a small booklet on etiquette, my intention for him to keep it. The first thing he needed to know was that we were refined and not as expressive as the preternaturals. Quinn, I know you guys are never repressed. But my race is. Oh and we have to wear clothes, not exposing too much. This is fine. My parents are conservative.
Your parents, are they Hawks too? He leaned back, blinking once. The glassy fingernails were apparent. He had worn gloves. Ha, good observation. I thought it’s too sticky now. My skin itches.
No. my mom is a deer, she’s good in herbals. My father is a tiger. Usually tigers live in India and Asia but he went to South America for a while. They don’t come back till months later. Business.
I see. You feel lonely. So you live here with both Ls.
I laughed. Never thought of it that way before. Both Ls. Haha! My housemates are oldies, so you’re the first vampire who’s into techie. Yay!
My my, I didn’t know I was so honored a guest. I wanna hear you sing and dance. Can I? Quinn became eager at this discovery. Whoa whoa what has my sensei told him? I was a little jittery. Lestat didn’t come in and answered me from afar: you Are a talented star, dovie. That’One day that will become one of your resume list. Righto?
Wrongto. Now Q wants me to sing. ------- I grumbled. I cannot. Tell him that.
Do not decline a guest, I mean Never, Lioncourt boomed. What did I teach you in hospitality? Now be kind to him, let him sleep. TarQuinn Monsieur, that is a direct order!
The dark haired country guy snuggled down into the covers in the position of slumber.
I dropped by Louis’s room. He looked very very sad. I held up a little Garfield and wiggled it. It worked, and he laughed, pulling me in by telekinesis, so I plopped down on his armchair. I told him I was sorry to ignore him, and that nothing would alter between us.
This entry is called The Truth behind Lestat’s Confidence. You guys are the privileged few who can read this, because it is the whole and uncensored take on my teacher. Lestat wanted us to be alone that night and specially requested this not to be publicized (too many people), so it is on my friends- only section. Read on!
I was at Café nereson which was the one decent shop selling original Black Forrest Cake. Yep the one which Louis brings me to every Saturday. Lestat was meeting me there, needed to be out of the house. I looked at my watch, hmm, ten mins late…. “Hi you are early gal.” He greeted me. His gear: a white polo and Levis’ “How do I look today?”
“You always look smart no matter what Brat p. I love you. It doesn’t matter how ill you look.”
“You’re kidding,” he said, falling into step. “I hate looking sick. Thanks.” His golden locks were disciplined by a black ribbon. “Do you need to eat first? Or shall we walk around?”
I wanted to stroll. Lestat was quiet and contemplative, holding my hand. His eyes seemed very black because the lights were dim. Ahead, clouds had concealed the light sky. No moon tonight.
“Will you teach me more? I want to learn. ”
“You will, sweetheart. Where was I ? Hypnotism right? There is a way to resist, by fighting the resolve to give in to a vampire’s mind. You must build an almost impenetrable barrier. How? Look inside yourself. Be confident. Strong willed.” Lestat and I reached the pavilion by the lake. It is a huge pavilion and tonight the people were a minimum flow. Lake kairo, the scenic must not miss spot on Freemandling.
I was puzzled as to how.
“Okay. But let’s do it when I’ve notes k? Today is relaxation night. Come, tell me about Lake Kairo, Little One.” Stories stories, best loved by the old fashioned. We stood together, against the railing. overhanging the gleaming water surface. In the distance two boats driven by boatmen cum guides ---- which were lighted. They looked something like the Venetian boat tours. You can eat and drink on the boats, but it’s smelly, operated by diesel. The men don’t have to row, they just switch on the motor.
“All right. this is the national monument of the country. From history it was supposedly created by Man. Like how Pantheon took the fire from Zeus. Yea. Man made the crater by hands and it was filled with rain. The Goddess of the Island was so impressed by their hard work, that she made this lake everlasting. It will never stop flowing and give Life.” I paused here to recollect.
“Ahhh. Please carry on… another myth?” a wonder on my companion’s visage, glowing in the moonlight, slightly windtossed hair. I blew away the loose strands escaping from my braid. Waved over the water. Some tourists were chatting loudly, so I nodded to another corner.
“Kieran was an unofficial nymph, daughter to Neptune. She wanted a fish to populate this island. So she shot a meteor here and BAM, it became this lake . (Lestat laughed boyishly. Hey hey sound effects?) Heheh, and the fish that populate are of rainbow colors, goldfish, koi, salmon and so on. It explains the huge variety of fishes. For a while, overfishing occurred and some pollution. There’s now a limit to the number of fishes someone can bring back. If the fish are too young, they have to go back.”
“Beautiful Story, child! I am mesmerized totally. But, why is it so short?” He licked his lips. When he let go the railing was depressed in. Uh oh. Notice 2 people slinking off to the more open spaces.
“I didn’t live here all my life. Maybe I can ask an old person. got any beside your house, old woman or someone?”
Lestat shook his head slightly,“Nah. I dunno my neightbors. Unless they can give me their you-know. Joking. I can imagine how scenic, poetic the Lake is by day. What? I’m sexy onstage? Thanks so much. Any special events here?” Now his pupils were two colors, the left one blue, the right one emerald. I like odd eyes, did I ever say that?
He meant the open stage, a very humble one. Tonight there was a guest of honor coming to present scholarships to the good students. It was not packed this time. Admission is free, but rioters or irritating people will be sent away.
“Charity events and concerts. Folk singers compose their own songs and take it as a stage. It won’t necessarily be funded. Isn’t it sad? Art isn’t as important as law, or civil matters.”
He agreed. “Yes. Not being appreciated is sad. If you like to sing one day, I’ll arrange for it. You won’t be alone and suppressed. I Never believed in suppression.”
Had I heard wrong? I was gaping. I couldn’t! It was not paid, a bad singer can be pelted for free! With old fruits and stones! He continued that he would muster the skill of electric guitar. We could sing together, or drum some rock if I got the courage.
But I felt diffident and hesitant. Lestat smiled and held up peace sign. “It sounds judgmental if I say that you should be so and so. I won’t. Bianca, can I call you Krys tonight? For a change?”
Why, you don’t want me B anymore?
“No no. You are more a Krys personality right now.”
“Hey, is Lestat de Lioncourt your only name?” I watched his peaceful visage, the whiteness glowing. But the milling peoples did not see. A vampire amongst them.
“Yes, my aliases are all my own. But don’t ask me to name them. I can’t remember now. Ack, that’s the only problem------ tho’ I’m intelligent and special, I always seem to forget things like that.” My companion sighed, scratching his head. He looks sweet like that… can’t imagine a smart and wise person doing that but he was humble to me.
“Krys. Why do you think some people are… unfriendly to their own race?” he spoke softly. We settled down at a stone table with two chairs, face to face.
“Yes. It seems that way, when we are good and kind, people react in an unimagined manner. Hostile, unfair. But I think, if we are good and remain true to ourselves, then people’ll one day reciprocate,” I replied. Hmm, don’t I sound wise for a 17 year old?
Lestat had a piercing violin wounded soulful expression. I looked at this chest instead and focused on his heartbeat, almost nil. Too soft for a mortal to hear, but there. “I’m not sure of it anymore… principles don’t matter anymore. For a few. No one has the same principles and they- they hurt me so much. I don’t reject anyone. But I face it.”
“You have been rejected? By whom? I’ll send a virus into his comp,” I told him fiercely. The Sagi’s Trademark of loyalty to my friend!
“Marius. By Armand. By a lot…. Hey how to send so many viruses to them? Kawaii. (his eyes crinkled in amusement) Not Louis, but me. The infinite loneliness that’s always present. I try to be positive but after that, the loneliness emanating consumes me without stopping. No boundaries. I can just picture my heart bursting open but it does not.” He sniffed, but said he need not take the tissues. Glanced askance towards the trees, collecting his agony back. Sorry, I’m fine now. yes?
I highlighted his good points. “You’re a lot of fun and sociable. Many people like you! And it is for yourself.”
It did not work, he thought of it realistically. Bitter laugh. I was shocked. “Lestat! I mean it. Isn’t it true?”
“No.” Lestat went on. “They just PRETEND TO like me. But not say to my face, how they dislike my arrogance, emotionality (even tho’ they’re guilty of it themselves) my sins. God, I’m never going to match their expectations. Immortals Can be wrong. Krystal, I think I ever told ya before, all this right? I sound like a broken record. ”
After that, I tried to distract him, became a hawkshape and flew ahead. People passing by, what would they think? A man talking to his bird? How narrowminded they are, so aren’t you all privileged? My motive in writing this is to take you through my experiences, fact by fact. I’m no sensualist. I hope you’re all able to see Lestat de Lioncourt’s very special and nice-guy side.
“Are you hungry now? do you eat fish? Lots of them in the lake,” he called to me.
Nope, not in my lessons yet. Need to muster. Can you help me, know how to use a fishing rod? I landed on a rail, waited for him to catch up. He took his time. Near enough, I rose upon the drift currents and made for the clouds-
Krystal. Don’t fly too far. Come back, don’t leave me.
I was surprised at how acute his pain went, like a rusty nail into flesh. It swelled. He could have joined me. I obliged, coming to the ground. He smiled and touched my cheek.
“I was worried. I feel exhausted, didn’t sleep much.” He certainly concealed that. I hadn’t noticed.
“Why? It’s the coffin sleep. Was it the noise?”
Lestat rubbed his nose, sniffed. “Supposed to be good….I get nightmares sometimes. (steered me back halfway Reading this) Where’s Louis headed for tonight, cherie? he left me alone again.”
“Louis needs more alone time. Everyone needs to, don’t you, Brat Prince?” I brushed against a big sapphire ring on his right middle finger. “You told me the practice of your race.”
“I know. I cannot accept it. I Like lots of company. Even your company is enough, at least someone to talk to, about my fears, my plans, my insecurities. I enjoy interacting. Interaction, okay. See? And correct whatever grammar goes wrong,” he chuckled, twisting the ring so the jewel went downwards. It was itchy. He dropped it after sometime because it was fake.
“Talk to yourself,” I advised solemnly. “Be confident.” The vampire scowled, throwing his words back. “Hey. People cannot be like you, Louis Needs his solitary hours. It’s got nothing to do with hate or dislike, or anti social. Most quiet people recharge like that and when Louis has something to say, he will wait patiently for an opportune moment. Lestat, don’t worry. He can take care of himself. Cliché, but true.”
“I do not believe that. He needs me. His directions are--- atrocious! And his innocence! I can’t stand others taking over, advantage! It makes me mad!” Lestat hissed. He added more things, glaring mistakes I didn’t know were mistakes. Shyness, incompetence, stubbornness, cold hearted assaults and neverending questions to their existence. The last one is the most loathsome interview question any of us get! Why the hell do they ask that, why do you exist? Artemis made us, and for other believers, their god made them. Simple.
I pointed out that his voice was rising. Lestat stopped, covering his lips. Flushed.
“May I have your pardon, cherie pie?” He stopped and kissed my hand, bowed. I giggled.
“Don’t. It’s not the 18th C now. Want to hear about my day? (my friend was eager) I had geog lessons, a very interesting one—the plates moving. Countries that rest on them get more earthquakes than others. Here we get tremors but that’s about all. In English, we read Red Sky in the morning. I read ahead and cried so much. Oh princie, the poor boy was sick. And she rejected his affection. His sickness is a ballooning of the head.”
“Why does that happen? Hydra stuff? It means water filling up the head?”
“Yes. The fluid enters. So these kids die very early. The doctor drains off the fluid but if he cannot breathe, he dies. The last few pages spoke of how grieved she was. The tearful part------ she noticed the nurse moved his cot from the window, where he could not see the birds. Isn’t it tragic? Poetry was borrring, Philip Larkin. I hate that man.”
Lestat frowned. “Who’s that? Is he WB Yeats’s buddy?” We burst into mirth at that. Neither of us can rhyme. I said I hated the poetry assignments, making limericks, rhymes and stanzas. Pointe will help me to write some of it! That’s cool!
“but I love art. I can make what I want. The best was at 4pm, when we change into shapes and Talked mind-to-mind.” The vampire laughed, agreeing.
Lestat and I entered the café. We just came back in a circle. He called a waitress. Had to wait for the cake to arrive. He said he ought to sample this delicious cake. “Krystal. I like to listen to your voice and your speech. It’s so animating.”
We took the back seat to be away from all the noise. Lestat let me choose the seats.
That made me red. “You’re animating too. And natural. I just speak well with friends I know….your life should be interesting! Tell me what you’ve been through.”
“No not at all. It’s boring. I have lived so long already… I see many changes. Yet, I cannot adapt. I’ve been through the slave trade, its end, Industrialization Age, my country’s revolution. But I feel disconnected from all of it.”
I started on my Black Forrest Cake, sampling the icing and the sugar. I was caught offguard when Lestat told me that he was shy. I choked and had to drink water, coz tea would not unchoke me. when I could breathe, I gasped, “Shy? You?”
He smiled, poking at his cake. Why not? Hmm, the cake is gooey.
It’s supposed to be gooey. And chocolate! Try! He loved the texture of the cake!
“Why don’t you believe me? I am telling the truth, cherie. Haha, I was much like Louis, during mortal times. Not always shy. What’s the right word… independent, yes. Do you copy?” My friend was light hearted now, his eyes shining and excited to convey his honest feelings to me.
I gestured a triangle to my chest area. “I think, coz your family has a different thinking from you. Am I right? They were contented, but you were restless and wandering. That’s a factor. As a result, you become more outgoing. But I don’t understand your shyness part.” I was puzzled and conveyed how bewildered I was.
“Yea. Let’s put this another way. I feel shy, introverted at times. I’m quiet by nature, musicians are like that. I am one, in case you forget. It was my ambition to perform on instrument when I was young. I get talkative and energized when people notice me. Or I want attention, spoilt- kid side of me. As you noticed when we first met, I’m no chatterbox. I need alone-time. But not as much as my fledges.”
Wow! He’s so observant! Do not try to deceive this Sire. He added that Louis was his secret favorite, because he reminded him of himself, his strength. “By strength, I mean Louis’s even-temper and steadfastness( image of a donkey plodding through desert). I cannot be like him. I’m mad when he acts as if nothing I say hurts him. I cannot tolerate people not responding.”
He finished the tea and cut another corner off the cake. To my stare, he said he was going to eat it up. I learnt much that special night-- Lestat respecting me like an adult, wanting my opinions on his queries and insecurities. He felt safe with me. “You are so unique. In a positive way. Cherie, why waste time understanding me? Don’t you want others to know you first?”
“Nah, you’re very special. I do wanna know you, if we don’t communicate, it is hard to get along. Plus, it’s kinda one-sided if I make someone understand first,” I replied. My sensei’s already big eyes widened, the lashes accentuating his handsome features. To him, it was the other way round. Market yourself, your confidence first. Then people flood in. I thought of a Waterfall.
He laughed. “No no, not flooding. I’d not get away in time. Um, this cake is Heaven! It’s cross between cake and ice cream. Want the cherry? It’s alright. Take it.”
I chewed it and twirled the cherry stem. Lestat polished off the dessert in another five minutes. I watched him eat. They do eat food, as a pretense. Lestat can, anyway. Louis and Gabrielle are not as able to. We went to pay. The bill was supposed to come, but they were short handed. I offered to pay my share.
“I feel bad when you always pay. Can I? I brought my wallet.” He shook his head and pressed my hand down.
“Later you can give me back. I want to change notes. Hello, missie. What is your name?” The cashier blushed. She said Serena Patricks. He felt it was an apt name for a petite fleur. I pointed to a slice of Forrest. Wanted to get that for Louis at home.
“I’m David Kestrel. I live around here. Yea let’s go out sometime.” Alias eh? He turned on his Power at full heat and flashed the famous marquis grin.
Hey hey. David huh? You don’t look like A David to me-------- I remarked. The woman was so over-the-world. Her thoughts cascaded like a mountain stream, whirlpool.
What’s wrong? Can’t say ma name.
I wanted to give back the $8.00 outside. Lestat refused. “I can afford this. It makes me happy to lavish attention on my friends. Do not feel bad. Let me do this when I’m able. If I’m ill, I can’t anymore.” He looked so hurt. Cultural gap here.
A ginger tom rubbed itself against the post, purring. He came to me and rubbed my calves, but not Brattie’s. It ran off. I miss being human. The cat knows. Sometimes I dream of it again, my house, my family, the forests. My dogs… then when I awaken at night, the horrid reality comes back. I am a horror story. It can never return. Back there, it seemed to, for an hour. Suspended humanity… Serena. And you. He sniffed, tilted his head back. The hair covered his tears.
“Oi. Stop it. You’re one of the Kindest and most generous in my company! This depression sucks. Take care of me.” Prince rubbed his face and smiled a watery smile.
Annoyed. “You are so rude. But wisely correct. Okay. Where do you want to go now?” I swung the bag containing the cake as we strolled. We passed a stand of pamphlets. A poetry writing contest. I took one of it. More things to see.