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Feb. 4th, 2017

Face

Inject Valium here

Armand has arrived. True to form, he didn't tell me when he got here and skulked about a few miles away until I agreed to go to him. I'm too wired to care about his little power games right now. I'm sure he will try much harder with them until I do. Still, I practically crushed him to death when I first saw him. I really feel much better now he is here. I need his stoic presence. I'm going out of my mind.

Two Talamascans are here too. One is a short fellow with very fine dark hair and a little scar on his cheek that lends him a permanently worried look. He has several large boxes with him which I imagine are books and whatever supplies he thinks are necessary to deal with our mutual problem. The other is an imposing woman with gray hair and piercing eyes. Her name is Ruth. Clearly, she's the anti-spirit gun in the Talamascan arsenal. I have no idea what she can do, but I can feel the pulse of her power.

As for the invisible beast itself, it's been quiet. It took possession of an old man who was walking his little dog, but the man was dead soon after, his head smashed against a rock. It moved on to a young woman. Three nights on, as far as I know it is still there. It hasn't moved from the small town it found itself in and it hasn't done anything of consequence. It waits. I don't know why. I wish it would do something!

And I wait too.

I paid the scholars a brief visit while Armand went to track the spirit alone. That's absolutely perfect because I'd rather keep him well away from the mortals if I can. The man, Greg, is easy to read. They have been told to treat me with courtesy and the utmost caution, but try to keep their distance. Isn't that lovely?

The woman was exceptionally polite. I do love old school manners. She extended her hand, welcomed me most eloquently and apologized that there was nothing she could offer me as she would were I mortal. We exchanged some delightful pleasantries and ruthlessly checked each other out. She isn't easily intimidated. I like that a lot. She was also annoyed that she could not read my mind. That works for me too.

She promised to share all her findings with me and I promised to abide by her guidance when it was time to approach the spirit.

We both lied.

Feb. 1st, 2017

Face

Yes, that frustrated.

You'll be pleased that I have enlisted some help. I am utterly frustrated with it all. Two weeks have passed and I'm getting nowhere! I've made some progress, I suppose, but I have really had enough. What's more, it seems to enjoy the very dullest places on earth.

I've sent word to the Talamasca. What in the name of hell are they reading? Little help here. Try something relevant. Do something!

More importantly, I have asked Armand to join me.
Face

Of course I went after it.

Anything is better than sitting around and doing nothing or, even worse, thinking about anything, so I have been tracking the errant spirit which, I am told, had a disembodied hand in my own creation.

I really don't know what I think about that. I have no reason to doubt what I have been told but how can I come to terms with this sordid little twist when it remains nothing but a Talamascan fairy tale? I need more than scholarly whispers. And should I find something which makes the story real in my own mind I don't know if it will actually change anything. Perhaps. If I was chosen by an ancient spirit to be a mere vessel and not by Magnus to be his heir will I have to have to rewrite the significance of my own life? Perhaps not. I'm not giving anything away. It failed.

Why did it fail?

It can certainly move fast. It can cover hundreds or even thousands of miles in a night. It's quite a task to keep up with it. I'm fast, but I am still made of flesh and blood. I'm anchored to the earth. It may have quite an advantage.

I can recognize its presence now. There's a strange little shimmer on the air when its near, a peculiar hum like electricity that sets it apart. When it's a long way away it feels like a brewing storm. Sometimes it doesn't move at all. Its movements seem erratic and angry interspersed with moments when it does nothing at all or even vanishes completely for a few nights. It doesn't seem to be paying me any attention but I have kept my distance - not that I know what a suitable distance is. I don't know the extent of its powers. I don't know what sort of range it has but I can hazard a guess. I'm guessing it's not actually looking for me right now. I think that if it doesn't actually focus on me then it won't find me, not unless I stand in front of it, wave my arms and yell. I might still try that. I'm tired enough.

It can't possess me. That much I do know. It's tried and it's failed. It confines itself to possessing the bodies of mortals. I've been watching it, but I can't see a pattern. It's all so damned frustrating.

The Talamasca don't know what to do. They don't know what to do about this spirit and they don't really know what to do about me. This amuses me no end. Lexia has been chastized for acting against orders and telling me about it all. Usually, a member would be punished for something this serious but I have made it plain that any punishment would incur my immense and immediate displeasure. We'll see. It's certainly given Sir Hugo something else to ponder. He actually told me not to go near it. I do not take orders from Talamascans. I don't take orders from him. And I certainly don't when he's tried to conceal this from me. They have all forgotten who I am! If they try my patience one more time I will remind them.

Right now, I'm tired. I haven't slept for two days. I followed this entity from Belarus to Greenland and from Montana to - actually I don't know, but it was a god awful place in the Pacific Ocean - then here, to Russia. Even vampires need their beauty sleep. And yes, this is absolutely possible. If you can outrun the sun, and I can, then you can remain in eternal night. It involves constantly moving around the globe, east to west. The entity has moved on again, still tracking west, and I have waited for the earth to turn a little before going after it.
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Jan. 15th, 2017

Face

As if I didn't have enough to think about.

Once Juliet had left, Lexia asked for a private word with me. She seemed uncharacteristically uncomfortable. As she began to speak, Ian appeared. He was flaming with anger and tried to silence her. Or he did until I assured him that there was now absolutely no way I wasn't going hear it, whatever it was, and he'd better shut the hell up. He threw up his hands in frustration and cursed first me then her, but Lexia is not easily deterred.

She told me that I had the right to know something and that it was best that I did. I caught the undercurrent of her thoughts too: it was best that I did and from someone at the Talamasca or else there would be trouble, and that's trouble, or rather Trouble of the kind only I could cause. So entirely against the instructions of the Talamasca, she told me.

It concerned something I had forgotten all about: that angry and invisible entity that had been hounding Talamascans to their deaths and which I had briefly hunted before absconding from my post to devour another kind of demon entirely. It had first ignored me, then launched a powerful attack on me, and I had the strangest feeling that somehow it had known me.

Well, the Talamasca have been busy with those endless records of theirs and someone had clearly blown off the dust, read an obscure passage in some dead language and hey presto! They knew what it was.

"So what's with the secrecy?" I interrupted her, daring Ian to open his mouth.

"You're not going to like it," she said. And if someone says that to me, they're probably right.

The entity had struck again, carving out a path of destruction throughout the Middle East and finally, following a frightened band of scholars and clerics -

"Clerics?" I said. Lexia looked even more uncomfortable.

"Priests. Clerics means they are priests." I was going to toss Ian out on his ear in a moment.

"I know they're priests!" I snapped back. "What does it want with priests?"

"Exorcists," said Lexia. "We tried using exorcism, but we failed. It killed them all, following them into Europe and finally it found your priest."

"Go on," I said coldly.

"He's unharmed," said Ian. "He's alive and he's in our care now. You can forget Father Adam."

"Oh, can I?"

Lexia was quick to pick up the thread of the tale. "It's not Adam, Lestat, it's his mission. It's been destroyed, the whole operation has gone, the soup kitchens, the hostel, and this unidentified being has even killed several of the homeless people he was sheltering. We didn't know! We didn't expect it. We had no idea what was going on."

"And now you do," I said. "And you'd better spit it out."

"We found it in the de Nazitan scrolls which are very difficult to translate..."

"The what?" My tone suggested that he'd better not answer me.

"What Ian means is that we have traced references to this being going back centuries and we don't think it's a ghost at all--"

"Although it might be--"

"It's a spirit of some kind which has inhabited countless human bodies from which it's been cast out - this is why it attacks people! It's trying to possess them, not kill them!"

"It kills them too," Ian added doggedly. He really had to have the last word.

"Okay," I said, holding up my hands to silence them. "So it's a spirit. So what? Haven't there been dozens of them before? So exorcise it again. Isn't that what you do with spirits? Haven't your de Nazitans got anything especially obscure to say about that? What makes this spirit so special?"

"It's angry, really angry. It's angry at the organization who watch it and it's angry at the exorcists who have prevented it from taking possession of anyone else." I'd never seen Lexia look so passionate. "It's murdering everyone it can: priests, Talamascans and anyone who gets in the way. We can't stop it! The knowledge has been lost to us."

Adam. My poor blind Adam. I thought of that little charitable outpost he had created which I had secretly funded for so long. Adam who once thought that I was nothing more than a lost soul myself, capable of goodness and compassion. Adam, who now knew the truth of the demon I am and refused to see me. I got to my feet.

"So where is it now?"

"It went north. We're tracking it through Bulgaria."

"Lestat, you can't go after it," said Ian. I really don't like the word can't when it comes from him.

"Please, Lestat, listen!" Lexia now. "Will you sit down?"

I relented, throwing myself onto a black leather chair. "What I want to know is why does it know me? I mean, Adam, yes. I will pay it back for that. But what's the big deal here? Why the conspiracy?"

They exchanged a potent and secretive look. My blood was starting to boil. "Cut it out!"

Ian was the one to deliver the punchline. And as punchlines go, it was a whopper.

"We think it made you.'
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Jan. 14th, 2017

Face

Juliet

We arrived just after dark. Lexia's house is comfortable, set in rolling gardens which front the river Thames. That is the view from the main sitting room, although the curtains are now drawn. We talked for three hours straight, Juliet and I, with Lexia also there, and hovering outside were Louis and Edward sitting in comradely silence. I have no doubt that Ian - remember Ian?- was listening to every word though he remained upstairs with Mirella.

It hasn't been easy. It's been exquisitely painful to see her so upset.

In short, I explained as gently as I could that I couldn't stand by and see her give up her life for me. I was gentle because I do love her and I made sure to tell her so. I told her how I knew that in time she would resent her life and regret the time she spends alone, directionless and childless. At first, she protested tearfully and vehemently, but soon admitted that her protests had a lot more to do with the fact that she didn't want to be parted from me than the fact that she disagreed with me.

It's been a bitter task, but it must be done. I told her that I never truly wanted to part with her but she must follow her heart in all things and whatever she decided upon, I would agree to. I asked her plainly about Edward. I've asked her before, but until now she has denied the role he might play in her life if she would only set impossible dreams aside. He has been at her side when I have not and been a stalwart friend and concerned companion. With much prompting she confessed that she did love him, as I know she does and while her love for him might not a passion, it's a very fine beginning. It's a warmth that might lead to all the true desires of her life ahead. To my pure amazement, Lexia agreed with all I had to say. That's a first.

When I called Edward back inside he had the look of a man facing the firing squad. And when I asked him if he loved Juliet, it seemed as if someone had just pulled the trigger. It took no little persuasion to convince him that I wouldn't eat him if he answered me.

So there it is. I have given him my blessing and left it entirely up to Juliet to decide what, if anything, will happen next.

Jan. 12th, 2017

Face

En Route

Louis and I will be setting off for Europe shortly. It's a long-overdue trip for many reasons but this time I must put all desires out of my heart as much as I am able. It's time to settle matters once and for all and secure for her a content future. Lexia will be there too and perhaps I shall see Mirella. I can't deny that it makes me dizzy with delight, but most of all I will be seeing my Juliet.
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Jan. 10th, 2017

Face

Miracles Abound

Louis and I have been reminiscing. We're still both alive and well and he's even cracked a smile.
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Jan. 9th, 2017

Face

We'll call this an honest update, shall we?

It occurs to me that having known Louis for 225 years, I've actually spent much less than a century with him. We lived together for 74 years in New Orleans - I did that without a calculator, mes amies, get me and the math- and of the years since 1984, most were lived alone. Louis lived with Nicki for several before 2006 which is when we first really gave it a good stab. No pun intended. It failed, of course. You might be used to us living in the same house, but we're not; it's still an uncertain thing and that first great expanse of years wasn't exactly sweetness and light.

I'm handling it superbly, but I'm aware of how fragile this is. I can cope with isolation for only so long. We have been here very much longer than I would usually find comfortable and I haven't bitched about it once. Louis thrives here. He likes the sweet dampness and the quiet. I like it too, but I'll soon feel restless. I'm still irritated with Maharet. I'm still thinking. Still licking my wounds. I still write to Juliet, of course. I miss her terribly, but that bit of reality is finally sinking in.
I've written to her in feverish agitation and she is always so loving in return, but I'm being monstrously unfair to her.
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Dec. 27th, 2016

Face

Pillow Talk

Soft patter of rain on the windows and a glow from the candle that Louis has yet to extinguish. The book he’s been reading sits beside it. The page is carefully marked with a little trinket from Lexia, made of filigreed silver topped by the ornate dial of a clock, its hands fixed to midnight. A clock ticks from my night stand beside the watch I never wear. It’s just after five. We surround ourselves with time because it’s all too easy to forget that it might lead us to somewhere new.

Louis lies beside me. He has been drowsy for a while but now his eyes are fixed on me. He’s just said something. I turn my head.

“Do you remember it?” His voice is so familiar that I often don’t hear it at all. The meaning presses directly into my mind just as if we could really commune without speech. This close to him, I can study the myriad tiny colors in his eyes. Green, of course, they’re very green, but I can see a tiny ring of blue and little embers of gold.

He’d said something about the past. I want him to speak again so I can listen to the soft timbre of his voice.

“Tell me,” I say. I close my eyes to embrace the sound. The air is thick and warm. He’s infinitely patient, waiting for my mind to stop racing and my endless preoccupation with my senses to ebb.

“Did you hear me?”

I nod. Our skin is cold. We can’t share body heat like mortal lovers do, but in the press of his flesh against mine something curiously intense connects us, an indefinable warmth born of prickly intimacy. I like the physical contact too. In bed, we lie like lovers seeking the infinite. We are at our most vulnerable here. Each new night bisects us and we part as if we had never known this harmony. He retreats into his habitual distance, that accusing coldness; my tongue grows sharper, confrontational.

I realize what he’s asking me.

“No.” I open my eyes again. “I couldn’t hear you. If I did, I can’t recall a single word.” I bite my lip. I’m a literal fellow. I often enact my own thoughts. Louis watches for signs of evasion or mockery but it doesn’t come. The clock ticks on through a squall of rain. He waits a beat before speaking.

“I didn’t think you’d wake up.”

I simply don’t talk about my time in the chapel, not even to Louis. I’d lain motionless for months. Countless immortals had gathered there to watch me, some in wonder, others to witness how far I’d fallen. Louis had stayed, almost to the end. He’d discretely wiped away the gathering dust and talked to me every night. I didn’t know this at the time; I’d heard it later, but this isn’t what he means now.

“Perhaps I did hear you,” I say, carefully. “After all…” I can’t say it. After all, I got up, didn’t I? I’d made a halting journey to find him only to be greeted by his blackened corpse.

The years slide between us. This is usually where it would end. This is the fault line which we dare not breach.

“I sat beside you for two hours before I could find the courage to speak.” His quiet voice probes the silence.  Those little fiery flecks give his face an edge of defiance. “I wasn’t afraid of death. It seemed the perfect culmination of everything that had gone before.”

I sit upright. I don’t want to hear any part of this, but he continues anyway.

“Full circle,” he whispers with a strange half-smile. He goes on to tell me many things. He tells me how he’d suffered at Claudia’s unearthly hands, how her malevolence had shattered his control and he knew he would have no peace again. I hold my breath.

“I didn’t tell David that I’d come to see you. It didn’t concern him. I had no wish to see him before I greeted the sun.”

“Must we do this?” I sound terse. “I’m not talking about this.”

“I’m talking about this.” Silence again. I lean back against the headboard, staring up at the ceiling and the shadowy outline of the fan above. There is a firm pressure on my wrist. Glancing down I can see Louis’ hand on mine. Beneath it, my hand is a fist. He is smiling at me.

“What?” I say suspiciously.

“I haven’t finished.”

My sigh is theatrical. “I really don’t want to hear about what you did.”

“I said goodbye to you. Don’t you want to hear about that?”

“No.”

Louis resumes his position in the mound of pillows. The subtle arch of his brow was infinitely eloquent. “I told you I loved you.”

“I still have the letter,” I quote it with a sweeping gesture. “’My sweet Master, Lestat...’ Do you still want my forgiveness?”

“Would I get it?” His tone is playful now.

“No.”

“Yes, Master.”

I laugh and resume my place beside him, face to face. Rain splatters on the pane. The clock ticks us closer to dawn.  I can feel it now, a creeping heaviness in my limbs. Something electric in the air. There is a steel blind attached to the window frame which can be lowered by day but I never do it. The sun won’t get me nor time itself. Tick all you like, you have no dominion here. Louis extinguishes the candle and settles.

“Don’t leave me again.” His sharp tone covers something else. I listen but his breathing is slowing. The delicious scent of smoky wax fills the air. For just a moment the clock rewinds two centuries.

“All right,” I say and close my eyes.
 
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Dec. 25th, 2016

Face

'Tis the Season.

And my thoughts turn to you as Christmas night ticks on. I do adore you all. I'm sated and content and I do hope that you are too.

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