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To Ride the Dark Wave
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."
To Ride the Dark Wave, a 'tweener spec, Year 1
by the Brat Queen
Second Place: Best Louis '95-'96
Nominated for Best Angst '95-'96
Winner: Best Vanilla '95-'96
He doesn't know how it begins. There is no warning, no
foreshadowing, no sign.
He can go for weeks without it. And when that happens he is
delirious with joy. He cannot get enough of each activity, of each
pleasurable event and he takes them in as a starving man would food and
every night of those weeks it is Yes I will go out. Yes I will go to the
concert, the play, the movie, the cafe, the bedroom. He would go anywhere
as long as the happiness is there.
But this never lasts.
For it lurks behind every moment of happiness and whenever it
chooses, it takes the happiness away.
He calls it the dark wave.
It starts slowly. He wakes up one night and he can feel the first
stage of it inside of him. It comes in stages, you see, and the first
stage is Fear.
Fear is always small, when it begins. It is a tiny pinprick deep
inside of him, a small dot. But as soon as he recognizes it for what it
is, it begins to grow. Sometimes he imagines it is a cancerous cell that
rages out of control and takes over his body. The effect is the same, in
He is awake now and the Fear is climbing up his spine. The room
around him is dark and this fuels the Fear. He climbs out of bed, taking
care not to disturb the one who lay curled against him, and retreats to
his bathroom. He locks the door behind him and switches on the lights.
It helps, but only for a moment.
He tries to focus on the things around him, to anchor his mind on
reality. His hands grip the countertop and his feet are cold on the bare
floor. The cool air of the room swirls around him and raises the hair on
And the Fear keeps coming.
He's breathing in short gasps now. His chest is tight and his
hands are clammy. He looks around him, wildly, trying to find anything to
distract him, to make the Fear go away but there is nothing. The Fear is
all around him. He cannot hide from it.
It doesn't take long for the Fear to take over. It's inside of
him now, controlling him. It makes his heat beat quicker, his blood turn
to ice. He looks up and sees himself in the mirror and the Fear forces
him to look at what it wants him to see.
*Look at your scars,* it says in his mind. *You're covered with
them. Every inch of your body is deformed by these hideous red lines.
They'll never go away. You will look like this forever.*
And he sees them. They seem to pulse in his reflection as though
they were alive.
*Like you were covered in maggots and worms. You're dead, Louis.
He begins to sob, fighting back tears. The Fear pounces.
*The monster in the mirror. Kill it! Smash the mirror! Imagine
all that broken glass flying against your body, into your eyes, blinding
you. Even better, take the broken glass and get rid of the scars. Cut
them off your body. Take them off in huge rips of skin. You can do it. I
bet it wouldn't even hurt. Not one little bit.*
His body is trembling. He sinks to the floor, hiding from his
reflection. He doesn't know how long he stays like that, his back to the
wall, his knees against his chest, his arms wrapped around them, the cold
from the floor seeping into his naked flesh. All he knows is that he
wants the Fear to stop.
And it will stop. The Fear is only one part of the dark wave and
the dark wave moves on, taking the Fear away as slowly as it gave it to
He gets up as soon as the Fear is far enough away to allow him to
move again. He must contort himself to move from the floor to the doorway
without seeing his reflection. The Fear isn't that far gone.
He returns to the bedroom to find the lights on and the man who he
likes to call his lover awake. His lover knows nothing of the Fear. His
lover knows only of the night before and of the pleasure that should still
He is kissed, embraced and then let go so that he might dress.
The affection should mean something to him, he knows that, but once the
dark wave comes such things have no effect on him. His responses become
robotic. His lover notices this but continues onward, hoping for the
"Come along, Louis," the voice is teasing. "We don't want to be
"Where are we going, Lestat?"
"It's a surprise. I'll tell you when we're there."
He dresses quickly, not caring much about what he puts on, then
follows his lover outside. They get into his lover's car and drive off.
He sits in the car quietly. The Fear is completely gone now. Now he is
in the second stage.
The car is frightfully modern. A Porsche with leather seats, a CD
player, a cellular phone and thousands of other things that he can't even
identify. It makes him uncomfortable. These are things he should know,
everyone around him seems to know them. He begins to wish that it could
be like it was in the old days with fine horse-drawn carriages but stops
himself before this thought goes too far. He can fight off the
Helplessness, for now.
The drive is long, even at the high speed at which the car
travels. Finally they arrive. They cannot park on the crowded streets and
must leave the car in a lot blocks away from their destination. They walk
the final distance and a light rain begins to fall. He finds it in
himself to speak.
"So where are you taking me?"
"To a club, it's not far."
"What kind of a club?"
"A blues club. You liked jazz so much I thought you might like the
He finds this hysterical. He starts to laugh and can't stop.
They have reached the club and everyone is looking at him strangely,
including his lover. He is reminded of how inappropriate his behavior is
and his laughter dies. Silent once again, he follows his lover inside.
They are given a table near the back, with a clear view of the
stage. The club is dark and filled with smoke. A waitress brings them
beer and they sit back to listen to the band.
The music is too loud. It becomes a constant noise in his ears.
He can't understand the words or the rhythm. The smell of smoke and
alcohol makes him ill. He wants to leave but everyone around him seems to
be enjoying themselves. He notices that it is a rather upscale club. The
customers are dressed almost formally. His own suit is so old that it is
no longer the color it was when he bought it. He feels out of place. He
is certain that everyone is looking at him.
He's beginning to get a headache from the noise. A group at a
nearby table laughs and it is like a rifle shot through his mind. He
wants to go home. Not the flat on Rue Royale, but his old home, his
plantation. He doesn't know what to do in the modern world. He's not
sure if he can make it as a vampire any more. He doesn't know if he can
adapt. The world moves on by him and he doesn't think he can keep up.
And he can't. Not in the dark wave.
Finally, the music ends. He gets up from the table and leaves.
He doesn't ask if his lover wants to stay, he simply goes.
The Helplessness is gone. He can feel that as he stands outside
of the club in the rain that is no longer light. Stage two is over, he
is now in stage three.
And oh how he hates. He hates the Fear, the Helplessness, the
club, the music, the rain, the mortals, the car that is parked too far
away. He is seething with it and the Hate wants *out*.
For the Hate is not like the other parts of the dark wave. The
Hate demands a victim and it will control him until it gets one. The Hate
will not die until someone else suffers as much as he is suffering and
there is only one person that the Hate can make suffer this much:
The lover who unwittingly chose the wrong time to flirt with the
waitress before joining him outside.
They begin the walk back and he can only watch as the Hate takes
control of him and everything he says.
"Take your time, Lestat. After all, I've nothing better to do than
wait in the rain while you have a little bit of fun."
"What are you talking about, Louis?"
"I'm talking about that whore back at the club. You couldn't take
your eyes off her, could you? I'm not surprised. She's just how you like
them. All tits and no brain."
"Don't lie to me. You wanted her, you know you did. You wanted to
make her beg for it. I'll bet you were thinking about getting your fangs
in her neck all night. Hell, you'd probably try and get your cock in her
too, if it worked!"
"Louis, I don't think--"
"No, you don't. Which is why you're stupid enough to even dream
for a moment that I won't notice you pretending that you like being with
me when you actually want to go after those mortals who are drunk enough
to think that you're interesting."
Silence. He was almost there.
"So you won't even try and defend yourself? I knew it. Why don't
you just go back to the club then? Go screw around with your flavor of
the night and you can forget about me and my ugly face."
Oh no. Bad move. He'd exposed a weak spot. If he didn't go for
the kill now, it could all backfire on him.
"Of course, I don't know why you'd bother. It's not like it's
going to turn out well. You'll do something to ruin it, you always do.
You're such a fuck-up. It's no wonder that even your own father never
wanted to be around you!"
That did it. He saw the light in the grey eyes die away with his
last words. The Hate had found its mark.
But the Hate never left without taking one last victim and he was
it. It left him in a rush to face the horror of what he had done, the
pain he had caused. And with that came the next stage.
He ran. He couldn't look at his lover any more. He ran and ran,
not caring about where he went or how he got there. The rain poured down
his body, soaking him to the skin and washing away the tears that fell
down his face just as hard and fast as the raindrops.
He ran, but could not get away. Despair was the last part of the
dark wave and it would not be ignored. It came crashing down upon him and
he was lost in the blackness within it.
He was digging, when he woke up again. He didn't remember seeking
shelter but he'd taken it in the ground by a pair of large rocks in a
park. Taller than he was, the rocks had formed a tent of sorts to hide the
spot in the ground where he'd buried himself.
The rain had continued throughout the day. He knew that, because
he was digging through mud. And, as he came up from the earth, it clung
Two dead bodies lay beside his makeshift shelter. The rocks had
hidden them from mortal eyes as well. He didn't remember killing them,
but he knew that he did.
This was not the first time this had happened. He knew what to
He pulled the bodies into the hole his own body had created then
covered them as best he could. He wondered what their families would go
through. How long would it take to find out what had happened? Would the
bodies ever be found? Burying them, he knew, would make it harder for
them to be discovered but he thought it too disrespectful to leave them
lying in the open.
"I'm sorry," he told them. He wished them well, where ever they
Once he was finished, he got up and began the long walk home. He
was powerful enough now that he could make the trip quickly but he did not
want to do that. He needed this time to himself for this, he knew, was a
rare moment of clarity. One that always came at this time, just before he
made himself forget what had happened and fooled himself into thinking
that it would never happen again.
The dark wave was over and, as he looked at his clothing-torn and
mud covered reflection in the puddles, it had smashed onto shore, dragging
him with it. And that was all that the dark wave did, it took him up and
took him where it wanted to go. He never rode the dark wave. No, to ride
the dark wave would have been a luxury. Then he could control it or guide
it to where it could be most harmless. But he did not do that. The dark
wave came and went and crushed him in the process. And he could do
nothing about it.
He reached home. He looked up at it from the street for a moment
before beginning to climb up the side to his bedroom. Not for the first
time, he was glad that he now shared the room with his lover. That way he
could return and not have to see the other one in the house.
David-who-knows. David who asked questions and tried to get the answers.
David who tried to remind him of the other darkness. The darkness that
had a name and who had done things to him that were so terrible that he
gladly faced the dark wave time and again because it meant that he didn't
have to remember the darkness that lived beyond it.
His lover was there when he crawled through the window. He felt a
bit of guilt that his lover always waited for him, no matter what he did.
He wanted to say something, but he couldn't and instead stood there,
mutely as the mud dripped off his body and onto the floor. His lover took
all of this in, then smiled, kindly.
"You're a mess, my love. We're going to have to do something about
He allowed himself to be led into the bathroom. His lover
stripped him, filled the tub with steaming warm water, washed him, dried
him and then carried him back into the bedroom to comb out his hair then
curl up under a blanket with him.
He wanted to find the heartbeat. That was important to him, that
he lay with the beat of his lover's heart against his ear. It reminded
him of how strong and steady his lover was. He could depend on his lover.
He found the heartbeat at last and nestled against his lover with
his head pillowed on his lover's well-muscled chest. Only then did he
find the courage to speak, though he could not yet look into his lover's
"I love you."
He felt a soft kiss on the top of his head then heard the words
that were so important for him to hear.
Finally he could relax. He hadn't ruined it after all. His lover
was still there and trusted him, despite the dark wave.
They would make love soon, he knew that. He knew that the
happiness was coming back and he knew that he would take it in as greedily
as he had done before.
Just as he knew that the dark wave would come again.
But he would not know when and he would not know how.
And the next time would be worse.
It always was.
And so this tale has no happy ending, for there is no such ending
to be had.
Not while he cannot ride the dark wave.