Memories Like the Ghosts of Christmas Past

~1500 words :: Vampire Chronicles :: Louis/Lestat :: 12/14/02
Wandering through memories.


I want to throttle Lestat.

Swaggering around like he owns the place. Letting his hand linger on my shoulder, my arm. As if he owns me.

My mother watching all the while. Her thoughts like shouts.

Unnatural. Unnatural. Unnatural.

More true than you’ll ever know.

I see in her mind the whispers, the gossip. Now she exhorts me to go to mass tonight, go to confession. Marie hovering nervously behind her.

It’s not that she cares about me or the state of my eternal soul. But if I publicly repent and give up my wicked ways it will be easier to find a husband for Marie.

He laughs. Loud, crass, common. “Of course. We wouldn’t dream of missing Christmas Mass, would we, Louis?”


His eyes shooting daggers at me. Sharp-edged emeralds. I could cut myself on his gaze.

“Mother, if you would excuse us for a moment.” He motions for me to follow him.

Once we’re alone it’s Why did you say that? You’re only making things worse. Why are you even here?

I ask him why he cares what she thinks, what anyone thinks. What does that have to do with us now? “You sure as hell didn’t care about your family’s precious reputation when you were drinking yourself to death!”

“Don’t throw that up in my face!”


Why can’t he just leave it alone? “At any rate, we’re not going to mass. Have you no respect for anything?”

“Are you afraid?” he asks tauntingly. He circles me, arms held out with his fingers forming the shape of a cross, making what I assume are supposed to be scary noises.

Childish.


“Stop acting childish, Lestat! Act your age for once, whatever that might be.”

I stop mid-taunt and declare imperiously, “I am five hundred and twelve years old, if you must know!”

Half wanting him to believe it, half trying to make him smile.

He rolls his eyes. I have never seen anyone roll their eyes as often as Louis. “Your father is asleep in the upstairs bedroom; you couldn’t be more than fifty, much less five hundred, but I doubt you’re much older than I am.”


I try not to laugh. He wants me to laugh.

“Now if you’ll excuse me, my mother and sister are waiting.”

His arms around my waist as he grabs me from behind and presses his body to mine. “They can wait a little longer.” His voice is a low growl in my ear and I melt back against him.


The mewling cry that escapes his lips as I sink my fangs into his throat is music to my ears.

Our first Christmas.


I am so tired. Tired of this life.

“Louis, get up.”

Why should I bother?

“Louis!” His voice a little harsher, more irritated, then losing its commanding tone as he continues, unable to hide his excitement. “I want to see the city, all the lights. It’s snowing, a white Christmas, just like that song that was playing last night. You remember. I want you to come with me.”

Can’t you see I’m ignoring you?

I hear his footsteps as he crosses the room to my bed. “I know you’re awake! It’s nine o’clock, it’s been dark for hours.”

Shaking me, then, I know you can hear me! His voice echoes in my head.

“Go without me,” I say dully, still not looking at him.

A scrabbling sensation, like fingers trying to pry open my mind, but I shut him out.

He is quiet and then the door slams shut and he is gone.


She said she wanted a Christmas tree and who are we to deny her anything?

It is all the rage and Claudia always wants what’s fashionable. She had clipped a picture from the newspaper showing exactly how it should be decorated.

The parlor looks so festive with the tree adorning the corner by the fireplace. Louis and Claudia sitting on the settee nearby. He’s reading Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” and she is not paying one whit of attention to it, instead she glares at me as if daring me to leave my chair and join them. She looks as if she might bite my head off were I to try.


“Okay, Louis, you can open your eyes now!”

I don’t know what I had been expecting, but it wasn’t this. Lestat and Gabrielle dressed in matching red dresses. Tight, short, red dresses. Gabrielle’s hair cut to match the length of her son’s.

“We’re twins, Louis!”

Lestat who is just as comfortable wearing a dress as he is wearing jeans, and Gabrielle who probably hasn’t worn a dress in decades. Which of the two is the one who looks like they’re in drag?


His hand goes up to his forehead and he pushes his hair back in an overly dramatic gesture that says, “My God, Lestat is insane.” I love it.

“No. It’s off, Lestat.” He turns his back and throws his hands up in the air. “I’m not going.”

“But you were so excited about seeing this production of The Nutcracker! I promise with the two of us on your arms, you’ll be the envy of every man in the house!”

“Does your ego know no bounds?” But I can see he’s caving. Finally he sighs. “Gabrielle, why do you encourage him?”


“You’re drunk, Louis.”

“I’m not,” I pause, trying to remember what I’m protesting. “Drunk.” That’s it.


I try to catch him in my arms, but he stumbles ahead of me.

“Stat?” he asks curiously.

“Hmm?”

The strains of the organ fill the air as we pass the St. Louis Cathedral. He stops suddenly and I almost run into him. Turning around, he grabs me by the lapels and pulls me in for a kiss.

In front of the church? Maybe I should get him drunk more often.

“Merry Christmas.”


The doll lies smashed on the floor. Expensive. Imported from Paris. Reduced to nothing but a pile of porcelain and rags.

“Why won’t you understand? I don’t want another doll!” The high-pitched childish voice belying the depth of her frustration.

I turn away.


“Lestat, did you do this?” He can’t keep the wonder from his voice and it thrills me to the core of my being to hear it. I love surprising him, and I love it even more when he likes my surprises.

The flat is glittering, white icicle lights hang from the roof and balcony and strings of colored lights twine around the iron railings. I had tried not to overdo it, making a mental list of things that had met with his disapproval in past years. No giant illuminated Santas or nativity scenes, just a small wreath on the door and the lights. He loves the lights.


It’s beautiful.

I had been expecting garish, tacky, a typical Lestat over the top affair.

With one leap, I am up on the balcony with him.


He kisses me and says thank you, and I can’t help the silly grin that spreads across my face.


Our fingers entwined as we drift through the swoon. Drowsy and lethargic. Not quite two separate people.

“Mmm…”

Drifting still. Floating on the blood through each other’s thoughts. Tangled together, the edges of consciousness blurred. Where does he leave off and I begin?


“Louis. Louis, I love you.”

I feel his lips curl into a small smile against my neck. “I know,” he whispers. “And I. Love. You, too.”

Each word is punctuated with another thrust as he starts to move within me once more.


He presses against me, trying to get closer. Even as close as we are, is too far after the intensity of the swoon.

I lift my face up from the nearly healed wound and look down at his writhing form below me. His chest rising and falling as he gasps for breath, slick with the blood of earlier orgasms. Mouth open, fangs glinting in the firelight.

Not human. Beautiful demon. Bloody angel.


Jerking his head back down, I tear at his throat, drinking him down as we shudder together in the throws of ecstasy.


The scent of pine from the tree, the roar of the fire in the hearth, the blood-soaked rug beneath us, everything fades away in the red haze of the swoon.


Wandering through memories, somebody says Merry Christmas, I love you, worship you, never leave you, and then the dawn comes and with it sleep.