Blackwood Farm, page 52part #9 of The Vampire Chronicles Series
THE SKY WAS still a deep lavender when I walked into the house the following night. Lestat was lingering in the cemetery saying some last prayer for Merrick, or to Merrick, I wasn't sure which.
Our hunting last night in Boca Raton had been marvelous and he had once again given me the gift of his all-powerful blood and I was exhilarated and confused and praying in my own way for some sign of what to do about Mona, wondering if I could just see her and talk to her; if I went to Mayfair Medical and insisted, could I perhaps use some spellbinding power to get to where she was? One last glimpse. . . one last talk.
But suddenly Jasmine and Clem both came rushing up to me at the foot of the stairs.
"There's a crazy woman in your bedroom," said Jasmine. "There was nothing we could do to stop her, Quinn. It's Mona Mayfair, you remember her? She's up there, Quinn. She drove here in a limousine full of flowers, Quinn, and she's a living skeleton, you're gonna die when you see her. Quinn, wait, we couldn't stop her. Only reason we helped her with all those flowers is she was so weak. "
"Jasmine, lemme go!" I shouted. "I love her, don't you understand?"
"Quinn, she's got something wrong with her! Be careful!"
I ran up the stairs as fast as any mortal man dared and rushed into my bedroom and slammed the door shut and locked it.
She rose up to greet me. A living skeleton! Oh yes! And the bed was covered with her flowers. I stood there shocked to the core of my being, shocked and so glad to see her, so glad to rush to her and take her fragile form in my arms! My Mona, my frail and withering Mona, my pale and magnificent Mona, oh, my God, don't let me hurt you.
"I love you, my beloved Ophelia," I said, "my Ophelia Immortal, and mine always. . . "
Oh, look at the roses, the marguerites, the zinnias, the lilies.
"Noble Abelard," she whispered. "I've come to ask the ultimate sacrifice; I've come to ask, let me die here, let me die with you here, let me die here instead of there with their needles and their tubes, let me die in your bed. "
I drew back. I could see the entire outline of her skull beneath her skin, and the bones of her shoulders underneath the spotted hospital gown that she wore. Only her full red hair had been spared. Her arms were like sticks, and her hands were the same. It was ghastly, the sight. She suffered with every breath.
"Oh, my darling, my sweetheart, thank God you came to me," I told her, "but can't you see what's happened to me? Can't your witch's eyes see? I'm not human anymore. I'm not your Noble Abelard. I don't sleep where the rays of the sun can reach me. Look at me, Mona, look at me. Do you want to be what I am?" What was I saying? I was mad. I couldn't stop myself. "Do you want to be what I am?" I asked again. "Because you won't die if you want to be what I am! If you'll live off the blood of others forever. You'll be immortal with me. "
I heard the lock of my door turn. I was outraged, then silenced. It was Lestat who entered.
Mona stared in astonishment. He had removed his sunglasses, and he stood under the gasolier as if he was bathing in its light.
"Let me work the Dark Trick, Quinn," he said. "That way, you'll be much closer to your princess. Let me take her for you with my strong blood, and that way your minds won't be closed to each other. I'm a past master at such Dark Tricks, Quinn. Mona, would you know our secrets?" He came to her. "Make your choice, pretty girl. You can always choose the Light some other night, cherie. Ask Quinn if you doubt it. He's seen it. He's seen the Light of Heaven with his own eyes. "
She clung to me while he talked to her, pacing the floor, back and forth, telling her so many things -- how it was with us, the rules, the limitations, the way he violated the rules and the limitations, the way the strong and the old survived, the way the new ones went into the flames. On and on he talked, and she clung to me, my Ophelia in her nest of flowers, with her legs so fragile and her whole little body trembling, oh, sweet Ophelia Immortal.
"Yes. I want it," she said.
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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