Blackwood Farm, page 49part #9 of The Vampire Chronicles Series
I THIRSTED and I was alone.
I stood beneath the oak tree at the edge of the cemetery. I looked at the tomb which would be our altar tomorrow night.
Clem had known just where he would get our firewood -- an old dead oak on the very boundary of the pasture. Tomorrow he'd come back and cut it with the chain saw, and the coal he'd buy in Mapleville. I wasn't to worry about a thing.
And for now he was gone with the rest of them. They had been glad to be going. There had been a positive excitement to their packing and laughter and talking, and rushing out to the limousine with suitcases, and hollering in the middle of the night.
Tommy had pleaded desperately to be allowed to watch the exorcism. Nash had finally guided him to the car.
Only Patsy had refused to go. Only Patsy had cursed at me and told me she wouldn't go along with my self-centered schemes to get rid of Goblin, only Patsy had remained behind. Finally I had sent Cindy the nurse away.
"I'll take care of her," I had said.
And so the moment had come. It had been so quiet, actually, with the closing of the door of her room.
"What are you doing in here?" she had asked me. "You spoilt brat. "
Like a little child she looked in her cream-colored flannel nightgown, with her beauty parlor blond hair in rivulets down each side of her face.
"Get out of here," she had said, "I don't want you here. Get going. I won't leave this house no matter what you do, you little bastard. "
And from her mind came the pure stream of animosity and jealousy, the pure hate she had so keenly expressed.
"I told you I don't want your money! I hate you. "
And then behind her, the filmy figure of Rebecca, my long-ago ghost. Hateful ghost, vengeful ghost. Why had she been there? -- Rebecca, in her pert lace blouse and full taffeta skirt, smiling. Get away from me, vengeful ghost. Why had she dared to be there? A life for my life. I will not hear you!
I had picked up Patsy and snapped her neck before she had even become frightened. Killed my mother, my own mother. Big empty eyes. Lipstick. Dead Patsy.
Not a drop of her blood had I drunk.
Did anyone see me carry her over the threshold like a bride? No one, except for Rebecca, vengeful, hateful Rebecca hovering near the graveyard, Rebecca, just a vapor, smiling, exultant, in her pretty dress. A death for my death.
And no one else saw me lay Patsy down in the pirogue. No one saw me go with her limp body out into the deepest waters of the swamp. And there she went down, down beneath the slimy green water -- Cotton Candy Patsy no more. Barbie no more. My mother no more.
No one but me felt the shimmer of Rebecca. No one but me heard Rebecca's voice: "Now I count that a real fine vengeance: the life of Patsy for my life. " Laughter.
"Get thee behind me, Satan," I had said. "I didn't do this for thee but for me. "
And then no more Rebecca, just as there was no more Patsy.
It had been so startling, the ghost gone, and Patsy gone, and the dense deadful swamp so empty. Mothergone.
The gators had moved in the water. Eat up Mother.
I had gone back alone to the empty cemetery.
Hours had passed.
And the blood of my mother was on my hands though there was no blood. And I would lie when I had to tell about her leaving, as I had lied about so much else, Quinn the killer of his own mother, Quinn the killer of the womb that bore him, Quinn the killer of so many, Quinn the killer of the bride, Quinn who had carried his mother over the threshold, Quinn who had sunk Patsy in the waters of the swamp.
I was alone now on Blackwood Farm.
And such a thing had never, ever happened, my being alone on this my land. And I stood beneath the oak looking at the tomb on which the altar would be laid, and wondering if the evil creature Goblin whom my little brother had become, the killer of Aunt Queen, could really be forced into the Light.
I closed my eyes. How I thirsted. But it was almost morning. I couldn't hunt. I hadn't the stamina. And tomorrow night, how could I do such a thing? Yet I had to do it before we began. How foolish had been my planning that I hadn't put aside my sorrow and my murdering hate, and gone before now.
Why did I linger by the little cemetery? What was I trying to remember? Where were the mute ones who had long ago gazed on me in my innocent years? Why did they not come this morning as the sky turned purple and pink to tell me that I belonged with the dead?
Maybe the sun wasn't as painful as the fire. But how could I do my part in destroying Goblin by merely walking into the morning? I needed courage. I needed strength.
I have it for you. Come into my arms.
I turned around. It was Lestat. I obeyed his command. I felt his arms tighten as he closed them. I felt his hand on the back of my head.
Kiss me, young one. Take what you need. It's mine to give.
I pressed my teeth to his skin. I felt the surface give and the boiling blood fill my mouth and flood down my throat. I felt it, potent and divine. For a long moment the pure physical power of it overcame all imagery, but then there rose a deluge of pictures, vivid and high tempo and neon brilliant, a roaring carousel of life, the shuffling of centuries, the panoply without end of magnificent sensations, and at last, a jungle of myriad colors and flowers and the tender, pulsing core of his heart, his pure heart, his heart for me, his heart and nothing more could ever be wanted, nothing evermore.
ANNE RICE SERIES:
Other author's books:
- Interview with the VampireThe Queen Of The DamnedThe Vampire LestatThe Master of Rampling GateThe Claiming of Sleeping BeautyBeauty's ReleaseCry to HeavenPandora
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