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DISCLAIMER: The following stories are all non-profit, amateur efforts not intended to infringe on the rights of Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt, David Geffen, Warner Brothers, Geffen Pictures, Knopf, Randomhouse, the city of New Orleans, the U.S. Consititution, any copyright holders that I might not have thought of or even a certain author who shall remain nameless but who has a set of initials which are, coincidentally enough, just one letter off from spelling "B.S."
Preface, a 'tweener spec
by the Brat Queen
by Louis de Pointe du Lac
I have seen many of Shakespeare's plays in both my mortal and
immortal lifetime. Usually, I will see these plays with Lestat. His
passion for Shakespeare matches mine for opera and we often surprise one
another with tickets to each. Lestat purchaces our box at the opera house
and I will buy tickets for him whenever one of the plays is playing
nearby. Macbeth is his favorite, followed by Hamlet and As You Like It.
I have learned long ago that if I am to find any enjoyment in perhaps my
thousanth viewing of these plays, it will be in watching Lestat react to
what happens onstage as he mouths along with the words and his eyes dance
at the performance of the actors. It is Lestat, you understand, who feels
passionately for the Bard. I can take pleasure in the evening out with
Lestat and, to a certain extent, in the actual performance, but I do not
feel strongly enough about it to really care and search out the full sum
of Shakespeare's works.
I say all of this to explain how it came to be that when Daniel
and Armand invited Lestat and me to see a performance of Titus Andronicus
that I was in complete ignorance of the play, having neither seen nor read
it. Lestat knew what it was, but it did not occur to me to ask him for a
summary. Seeing the play itself would more than satisfy my curiosity.
I was therefore wholly unprepared for the reaction that it had on
The play started out much like many of Shakespeare's Greek
tragedies and nothing quite remarkable struck me about the story. Lestat,
for his part, did not seem overly enthused about it which made me wonder
if this might not be one of the better performances. I fell into a
daydreamish state for a while and did not pay much attention to what was
I don't know what it was that drew my attention, but something
snapped me out of my reverie just as one of the characters--Lavinia--was
being dragged offstage. I hadn't paid attention to the play long enough
to know what had led up to this but what was happening at the moment was
more than enough for me to discern what was currently happening or, more
accurately, what was being done. I remained transfixed until she
reappeared. I watched, silently, as her uncle discovered her in the
forest and tried desparately to understand who had tortured her so.
Lavinia, too, was silent, never able to tell her uncle the names of those
who had raped her, then taken both her hands and tongue so that she could
never speak again.
A pressure that had been building up inside of me since she had
first disappeared broke at the sight of this. Unable to stand it any
longer I stumbled my way out of the dark booth and ran for the fresh air
of the lobby, tears streaming down my face. In the back of my head I
heard Daniel verbally ask if I was alright and Lestat's response that he
would go after me but this did not sink in until I felt Lestat's hand on
"Louis?" his voice was gentle and I could picture his grey eyes
looking at me with concern.
"Dammit," I whispered. I buried myself in the protection of his
arms, sobbing uncontrollably. "Dammit, dammit, dammit."
"Shh," he said. He pulled me behind one of the huge marble columns
that decorated the theatre lobby so that we could have a measure of
privacy. "It's ok. I've got you."
"I hate this," I said. I wiped the tears away from my eyes roughly
but I could not make them stop. "Why does this always have to happen?"
"You're still hurting, beautiful one. It takes time." He held me
closer and rubbed his cheek against my hair. "It's a rough play. I
should have known better."
"It's not just that," I said. "It did upset me but what I really
hate is that it could. I hate that I can't go anywhere without something
reminding me and bringing me to tears. I feel so useless and foolish."
"You watch what you say about the man I love," he said in mock
anger. He tilted my head and kissed me. The tenderness of this made me
cry a little harder for a moment, then I relaxed enough and the tears
stopped. "Louis, you can't beat yourself up about this. You have to let
yourself do what you need to do to come to terms with everything that has
happened these past few years."
He smiled gently. "You've got to admit, Louis, so far the 90s
haven't really been good to you. Just look at what happend: I nearly
died a few times, you nearly died a few times, Juliano captures you and
tears you apart physically, Nicki captures you and tears you apart
mentally, we nearly lose Armand and throughout it all you and I set new
standards for misunderstanding each other and practically ruin our
relationship forever. Hell, now *I* feel like crying."
I laughed. "Yes," I said, "but you knew about that already. You
know everything that happened to me. No one else does."
"The others know about Juliano," Lestat said. "They know what he
"I know," I said. I let go of him and walked a few steps away,
trying to think of how I could explain what I meant. "But they don't know
what I felt, what I did. I think that the sight of Lavinia upset me
because she and I are so much alike. Her uncle could see that she had no
hands or tongue, but she could never tell him what was inside of her. The
horror of what happened could not be released, no one could understand.
You know it because we are connected but the others don't. I want them to
know! Not about Juliano but about what happened after, what happened to
*me*. I want everyone to know that. I *need* everyone to know that."
"You are not Lavinia, Louis," Lestat said. "You have both hands
and tongue. You can create the words to let everyone know. You can make
a record of it, write it down."
I shook my head. "Much as I love the new journal you gave me,
it's not the same."
"I'm not referring to the journal," he said. "I mean a book, one
for all to see. One where you can permanantly mark what happened to
"There's a problem with that," I said. "So many things that I
did.... Some things are so hard for me to think about, for me to say 'I
did this'. I don't know if I can."
"Then don't," he said. He took my hand. "It's like when I was
writing Queen of the Damned. My mind couldn't accept that all of it had
happened so to write about it I needed to retreat into the third person."
"But you did that for times when you were not there," I said.
"So?" he said. "The principle is still the same. Don't write 'I,
Louis, did this' just write 'Louis did this'. You've told me before that
you felt like you were another person those three years, write it that
"Do you think that would work?" I asked.
He smiled. "Trust me. This is a big jump to make. Let yourself
build a bridge instead."
I squeezed his hand tightly. "I'm scared. What if it's too much?
What if I can't handle it?"
"Then I will be there to help you through," Lestat pulled me into
his arms again.
"You don't mind?" I asked.
"Taking care of you? Never." He grinned. "Besides, you know that
if one of us isn't having a nervous breakdown the world stops turning on
its axis. I've been doing it for the last decade, you're more than overdue
for your turn."
"I was hoping we could skip it this century," I smiled then kissed
"Feeling better?" he asked.
"Yes," I said.
"Do you want to go back in?" he asked, motioning towards the
"I don't know," I said. "I'm not really in the mood for it
anymore. But perhaps I should see the ending. It might help me to see
what happens to Lavinia after all this."
"Ah, don't bother," Lestat said. "It's not really interesting."
"Why?" I asked. "What happens?"
"What happens? Well, ah, Lavinia gets magically healed and marries
the man of her dreams."
I frowned. "But I thought the program said this was a tragedy."
"It was," Lestat said. "Shakespeare's form was really off on this.
It's his worst piece of writing ever. That's the tragedy."
"Lestat, you wouldn't be lying to me now would you?"
"Who, me?" he looked at me with one of his fake innocent smiles.
"You've undoubtedly got the book of this at home," I said. "I
could look it up there."
"Not after I burn the copies," Lestat said.
I sighed. "Alright, I'll let you have your way with this for now.
But only if you go back upstairs and explain to Armand and Daniel why
we're leaving so early. And do it right so they're not insulted!"
"That should be easy," he said. "I'll just tell them we want to go
home and make love. They'll believe it."
I ran my finger along his jaw. "That's not necessarily a lie,
His eyes turned purple with desire. "I'll hurry then," he said.
"But only if you promise me that you're not doing this to avoid writing."
"I'm not," I said. "It's just that you've made me feel so good
that you're all I can think about. I'll begin writing tomorrow. Now I
believe you said something about hurrying?"
He studied me for a moment to make sure I was telling the truth
before kissing me and then returning to the booth to say our goodbyes. I
waited in agony for his return. I needed him. Both that night and, I
knew, for the nights ahead. Without him, I would not have been able to do
I'd been right. It was hellish writing this. There were some
nights when I became so upset that it would take Lestat hours to calm me
down. My poor love.
But this needed to be written and I shall never regret doing it.
The memories and some of the pain is still there, but at least I know that
others can read of it and *understand*. To know what I did during those
three years is to know what I *was*.
As I wrote, Lestat told me that during that time he had taken to
writing as well. Finding it hard to vent the frustration he felt, he took
to creating a journal of his own. He let me read it as I worked. It hurt
me to see how much pain I had caused him. I spent many nights trying to
apologize for it. Sadly, I realized that Lestat was not the only one I
had hurt. I knew that if I was ever to heal I needed to make amends for
all that I had done. I found solace in my journal when I did this.
What is here now is the collection of my writing, Lestat's journal
and my journal. I offer it as an explanation for all that happened.
It begins immediately after the ending of Memnoch the Devil....