Sunrise

~500 words :: Vampire Chronicles :: Louis/Lestat :: 3/16/03
Louis struggles to stay awake for his last sunrise.


He stops talking and I sink back against the pillows, exhausted, as if his voice had been the only thing holding me up. The strain of staying up through the night when I am feverish and ill from blood loss is suddenly too much.

He’s speaking to me again, or maybe I’m imagining it all. The words are too far away to hear and I’m so…

My eyes snap open and for a second I don’t know where I am. Someone is shaking me. Hard. I try to focus on his voice. In my ears and inside my head.

“Louis. Louis, listen to me. You mustn’t fall asleep. Not yet.” Urgent. Desperate, almost, but I don’t understand why. “I have to go now, but you must stay awake and watch the sunrise.” With the words, there is an image. Clear and vivid in my still-half-asleep mind, there is a tired, frightened boy trapped in a stone tower and he doesn’t know what to do.

He doesn’t know…

But then the image is gone, forgotten, and his voice is outside again. Outside of me.

I just want to sleep.

“You’ll never have another chance to see it.” Wistful.

I struggle to sit up. If I lie down, I’ll fall asleep.

Dizzy. Sitting up makes me dizzy.

“Are…you going now?” Such an effort to speak. I open my mouth again, wanting to say something, anything, and he captures it in a kiss.

This… This could go on forever. The weight of him on top of me. Solid. Real. I don’t want him to go.

Whispering in my ear, “I would do it now, this very instant, and have you with me forever…” Even in this dizzy exhaustion, I hear the loneliness and desperation in his voice and he won’t look me in the eye when he says this. Instead he buries his face in my hair. “I would do it now, but I want you to have what I-”

I feel like I could understand if I weren’t so tired, but the words slip away so quickly and I don’t remember them.

Gone now, and I feel half-alive without him.

I try to get up, to go to the window, but my knees buckle when I stand and the room spins and I clutch at the bedpost to keep from falling over. I will have to watch the sunrise from my bed.

Dawn can’t be that far off. I can hear…birds chirping, and the slaves in the kitchen. But the minutes seem to drag…

I come awake with a start, panicked, for a moment, that I may have missed it, but I was only asleep for a few minutes.

Finally. The light creeps across the floor and over the bed. After today, I will never feel the sun’s warmth again…

I am drifting off again, but now it’s all right. I’ve seen what he wanted me to. That’s what matters.

The light is, in the end, only light. It can’t compare. I am only exchanging one sun for another.