The Waiting Game

~2700 words :: Vampire Chronicles :: Louis/Lestat :: 9/7/02
The years pass slowly as Louis waits, wondering if Lestat has even seen Interview with the Vampire. (Note: This is the sequel to A Night in the Life and is second in the Coming Back to Life series, a collection of stories set in a universe where Akasha doesn’t rise.)


Time to a vampire often has no meaning, or at least very little. There have been times when years passed and it seemed like only a few nights.

That was not how these past few years had been.

Sure there have been some times when I manage to lull myself into a sort of forgetfulness, a sort of normalcy. I don’t spend every single night wandering the streets waiting for a sign from the heavens. Or from Lestat, as the case may be.

But on the whole it feels like when you’ve sent someone a letter and are eagerly awaiting the reply. You’re on pins and needles wondering when it will come. Only it doesn’t. Time passes and you wonder if your letter got lost or if the reply got lost or if the person you wrote to just doesn’t give a flying fuck and threw your letter away without even reading it.

It almost makes me wish for Armand’s company again. At least then I would have someone to talk to, someone to take my mind off things. But Armand is long gone and I don’t even know where he is or what he’s doing now.

I wonder if he’s seen my book.

I wish I could say that one night I looked up and the greater part of a decade had passed without my noticing it. That would have been much, much easier than what actually happened. Probably more interesting, too.

Instead the nights went by so slowly that sometimes it felt as if the seconds were stretching into hours and the hours into nights themselves. But however slowly, they did pass eventually. Seven years full of them. I think perhaps if I were to hold a contest they might win as Worst Years of My Life (so far, of course – for all I know, there could be even worse waiting down the road, but I shudder to think). At least when I spent years in depression and grief it gave me something to do. At least no matter how much we wanted to kill each other, I’d had Lestat for company.

How many times had I wished he would go away so that I could have some time to myself to read or write or just to think? More times than I can count. And now I have all the time to myself I want, and more. But I can’t settle down and concentrate on things like books or even television. I feel all wound up, the way Lestat normally looks like he’s feeling. Or did, back in the day. He didn’t look so wound up in the Theatre. More like desperate.

I wonder what would have happened if I hadn’t listened to Armand then…

No. Stop. Totally useless train of thought.

Tonight I try to read. It’s no use. I’ve read the same page about five times and I still don’t know what it says. I fed early because it’s horrible rainy weather right now and I really don’t want to be outside. So, if I’m not going to leave the room that pretty much leaves the TV as my only other option.

Television. Amazing invention, really. I usually prefer reading, but I finally broke down and bought a set a few years ago – even had cable installed – because I thought it might help with this…restlessness. It doesn’t, though, not really.

It sits on a stand by my bed, as close as possible, so that I don’t have to keep getting up to change the station. I watch the news for a while and that does hold my attention somewhat. When it’s over, I start flicking the switch on the cable box, finally settling on MTV.

Now there’s an interesting concept. A channel that plays nothing but music. I remember when there was only one station and it didn’t even have programming on twenty-four hours a day. Now it seems there’s a channel for everything.

Images flash across the screen, but I’m not really paying attention. I let the music lull me into a sort of half-sleep, too bored to do anything else.

I’m dreaming about Lestat. He’s singing, he always loved singing. But for some reason in my dream he’s singing in English, not in French, and the song is modern, like the ones playing on the TV.

No.

I open my eyes and look over at the screen. I’m not dreaming and there’s Lestat on MTV singing his heart out like some rock and roll god.

Without noticing, I’ve gotten up from the bed and knelt down before the television set. Worshiping. My hands tremble as I reach up and touch the screen. Tears are leaving their bloody tracks down my cheeks and staining my shirt.

It cuts to a close-up of his eyes and he’s looking straight at me. My forehead is pressed up against the glass, my fingers digging into the back of the monitor.

The song is over and nonono he’s gone.

“That was The Vampire Lestat with their debut single…” I don’t hear the name of the song or hear the announcer babble on about the other videos that played. I only hear his name.

I let go of the TV, but I’m still on my knees on the floor. I run my hands through my hair and start to shake violently. I’m still sort of crying, but now I’m laughing, too. Hysterically.

It is funny, in a way. Lestat as a, a rock star. But my laughter bears no trace of amusement. It’s hollow, draining. Lestat used to laugh like this for hours on end until I’d think he was positively mad. I can understand the feeling now; I want to stop, but am unable to do so.

I wonder if I’ll just sit here cackling like a madman until the death sleep takes me. The thought only makes me laugh harder.

Finally, though, I calm down. The laughter leaves me just as suddenly as it came and I’m left exhausted and empty. I crawl back into bed and try to make sense of what I just saw, but my mind isn’t really working right now.

The dawn is coming and the last thing I see before I lose consciousness is a pair of grey eyes burning into my soul.


When evening comes my eyes snap open and I’m up and almost out the door before I remember that my face and hands and shirt are still covered in blood.

The shirt – white, just my luck – gets tossed in the trash on the way to the tiny bathroom. One look in the mirror tells me this is a job for the shower; even my hair is bloody, as are my neck and chest where the blood soaked through my shirt. I look like an escaped mental patient who’s decided to go on a little killing spree while he’s out. I need to feed, too, so that doesn’t help any.

I turn on the shower and let the water heat up. Stupid thing always takes forever.

Pausing for a moment to consider the irony of that thought considering the fact that I lived most of my life in a time before water heaters even existed, I strip off my jeans and get in.

The water runs off me in pink sheets until all the blood is gone. I stay under the spray for a while longer, leaning up against the wall and just enjoying the feel of the hot water as it warms my cold skin.

“Lestat…”

I close my eyes as his name leave my lips. My hand is on my cock and I’m so hard – have been ever since I woke up. I don’t remember anything, but I know I was dreaming of him during the day.

He looked exactly the same as he had before…before the knife, and the fire… He looked as he had that night when he crept into my bedroom. Bright. Shining. Beautiful. Like an angel.

I gasp and quicken my pace, pulling hard and fast. I imagine it’s his hand working me, his nails scraping across my belly, his fingers pinching my nipples.

I’m so close to coming; it feels like every muscle in my body is tensed. Without hesitating, I raise my wrist to my mouth and bite down hard. As soon as the blood hits my tongue I’m over the edge and my body jerks and spasms and I fight to keep upright.

Giving up, I sink down to the floor, my mouth never leaving my wrist. The water runs pink again, washing the bloody come from my body.

It’s an effort to pull my wrist away; I really shouldn’t do this when I haven’t fed. Of course it’s not like that had been my plan when I got in the shower.

I stand up shakily and turn off the faucet. The air feels freezing when I open the door. Towel, there’s no towel. I hate when I do that.

It’s not as if I’m going to catch cold or anything, but it’s not exactly comfortable either. Oh good, there’s a clean towel on the little shelf that passes for a linen closet above the toilet.

I dry off and get dressed, quickly brushing my hair and pulling it back with a rubber band. Again, not like I’m going to catch cold going out with wet hair.

What I need is a newsstand. No, first what I need is to hunt. Then the newsstand.


Someone has gone through and taken out all the music magazines just to spite me, I’m sure of it. This is the third place I’ve been to and once again there’s a big empty space where Rolling Stone and Guitar Something-or-Other and Big Hair Today or whatever these things are called should be.

“You won’t find ’em anywhere.”

“Excuse me?” I turn to find a man who is apparently the store’s owner watching me.

“They’re all sold out,” he continues. “Sold out in record time, and not just here. Anything with an article on that vampire Lestan guy-”

“Lestat,” I correct him.

“You a fan?”

I smile. “You could say that.”

“Yeah, well anyway, anything that even mentioned him, gone in the blink of an eye.”

“He’s that popular?” Not that I’m surprised. This is Lestat, after all. I know first hand how irresistible he can be.

“I thought you said you were a fan?”

“I just saw the video on TV, last night. I wanted to find out more about him. Them.”

He gives me a look that says he knows the other band members could drop off the face of the Earth for all I care, and I feel a blush creeping into my cheeks.

I look away. “Do you know of anywhere else that’s still open?”

It’s getting later, close to nine, and if I don’t hurry I’m going to have to wait until tomorrow. Either that or break into a bookstore, an idea to which, I’m ashamed to say, I am actually giving quite a bit of thought.

“Naw, everybody closes up right about now.” I must look really disappointed, because he comes over and pats me on the back, saying, “I’ll tell you what. Come by tomorrow morning and I’ll save a copy for you from my new shipment.”

I can’t come in the morning, but I appreciate the offer, so I make an effort to smile. “Thanks.”

“No problem.”

Sighing, I leave the store. A glance at my watch tells me it’s eight-fifty. I have ten minutes to find another store before I must resort to burglary.

I try to picture a map of the neighborhood in my mind. There’s another small bookstore eight blocks away. If I run I can make it in plenty of time. Sometimes being a vampire comes in handy.

In three minutes I’m there. Like the store before, it’s empty but for the clerk. Almost closing time.

A little bell rings when I open the door. A woman in her fifties nods and says good evening and I smile back. Leave me alone; I just want to find the magazines.

There they are, over to the side. Not a huge selection, so already I’m expecting to be disappointed.

I scan the shelves and nothing. Nothing. Damn it!

I feel a very Lestat-like moment come over me and I want to just smash up the shelves and scatter the magazines all over the store. Actually, that would be pretty tame for him.

I’m about to turn and leave when I see it out of the corner of my eye. There. Hidden behind some other magazine. I can only just see the tops of the letters spelling out the words Rolling Stone.

Pleasepleasepleaseplease. I’m praying that it’s the right one and not some old issue accidentally left out to torment me.

I reach out slowly, still silently repeating my mantra, and pluck it out from behind, of all things, Better Homes and Gardens. Maybe someone hid it purposely. Some kid who didn’t have enough money to buy it today. My conscience bothers me for about a nanosecond.

There, staring up at me from the cover, is Lestat. Bare-chested, leather pants, makeup. I feel weak in the knees.

“I’m about ready to close up here,” the woman calls over to me.

“Yes. Yes, sorry, I’ll take this.” I walk over to the counter and hand her the magazine and a ten-dollar bill.

She’s making small talk; I’m not listening.

“…a book coming out next month, an autobiography supposedly.”

Wait, wait, what was that? “I’m sorry, did you say he has a book coming out?”

“Next month, on the fifteenth.”

I laugh and she looks at me strangely as she hands me my change. I just smile, but when I’m out the door I double over laughing. Not the scary, hysterical laughter of last night, this time it’s actually funny.

“Lestat, Lestat, Lestat,” I managed to gasp out. Oh God, this is so like him. He read my book, I know he did. And now this whole thing makes sense. He’s trying to one-up me. All I fucking care about is finding him again and he’s turning it into a contest. Everything always has to be about Lestat. Some things never change.

I burst out laughing several more times on the way home.

Once there I have the whole rest of the night to pore over the articles. Kicking off my shoes as I come in the door, I lie down on the bed and turn the TV on to MTV in the hopes that his video will run again.

Something else is on now, so I listen with one ear and turn my attention to the task at hand.

I read all about the band: three mortals and Lestat. Where on earth did he pick them up anyway? New Orleans. It says they’re from New Orleans. Is that where he’s been or did he just stop back? Nothing in the article mentions anything about Lestat’s background, although it does note that he claims to be a vampire.

Claims. Ha! Yes, of course no one believes that. They’re probably all very condescending about it when they think he’s not looking. I bet that makes him angry, too.

I realize I’m grinning like the Cheshire Cat, but I can’t stop. This whole experience has been very surreal.

As if on cue, a new video begins and it’s one of his. Different from last night, but I’ve already read in the article that they’re releasing single after single at an almost unheard of rate.

I am entranced, mesmerized. The video shows him dancing and singing, intercut with scenes that tell a story. What the story is, exactly, I’m not sure. The article says his forthcoming book will explain everything.

The music fades out and I turn off the TV.

I read through the articles over and over until the dawn comes, at which time I fall asleep in a very undignified manner with my face smushed up against the open magazine.


Read the sequel: Your Face in a Crowd.