All Things In Good Time

© Joan Ann Lansberry

Someone, Somewhere

Michael dozed under the library's canopy until dawn arrived. The increasing intensity of the sun shown through his eye lids, waking him up. It was always clumsy, these few hours between dawn and when he could enter the building safely. Fleeing the sun's encroachment was inconvenient. Fortunately the sunglasses he now had made the pain to his tender eyes somewhat less intense.

Sometimes he just pulled his cape over his head, as he huddled in the shadows. Thus he did so this morning. People expected the homeless to act oddly. But as long as he didn't stink, bother anyone or mumble to no one in particular like a crazy person, no one much cared what he did. So he huddled.

Finally, the great doors of the library opened and he could slip in silently, find his book and continue where he'd left off. Louis was whining to himself, ''Louis, your quest is for darkness only. This sea is not your sea. The myths of men aren't your myths. Men's treasures aren't yours. . . .'' Later, he moans, ''What can the damned really say to the damned?''

This chap was really getting to be a depressing fellow. ''Perhaps we're getting a hint of what made Lestat so irascible. I'm ready to slap him myself.'' And then he began to address the fictional character, ''That damned sea is your damned sea, too. Just because you can't ever see it the way it used to look in daylight doesn't mean it's not still your sea, too!''

Michael then looked to the far other side of the library, where a great white light was streaming in through the large window there. He hated what the sun had become, but he knew all physical objects under it still had the properties they had under the kind moon light.

He followed the path of the story further. Louis had found another like himself, and they were discussing the meaning of good and evil. Armand, possibly 'older and wiser' was telling Louis, ''Is this the only power that obsesses you, so that you must make us gods and devils yourself when the only power that exists is inside ourselves?'' Louis only concluded Armand was ''lost like the rest of us''.

But Armand had only spoken truth, a comforting truth. With the power residing inside ourselves, it was up to ourselves what sort of person we would be. We could CHOOSE. We were not cursed as the Stoker 'Undead', to mindlessly pursue evil. Michael had let LEARNING be his purpose through the past two centuries. He had devoured books more greedily than he had had his sustenance. And, mostly, he had tried not to think about the lonliness. Cram it out with a new fact, some new fascinating scientific discovery, that's what he always did. Most of the time he was successful.

He continued on in the story. Louis had a chance at love, but let it walk away from him. He pondered to the One who would love him, ''that is the crowning evil, that we can even go so far as to love each other, you and I . . .'' Armand didn't understand him. Later, Armand gives up hope of ever getting love from the empty Louis.

The human reporter, to whom Louis had been telling his tale, cried out, ''It didn't have to end like that!'' Michael thought, as well, with a screaming intensity, ''It didn't have to be that way! The human understood that! The real, living AUTHOR understood that!'' And then, Michael just broke out in sobs. Someone, somewhere, thought a bloodsucker could be capable of love. All these years, he had shrank from humans. But someone, somewhere thought he could be capable of being loved.

He sobbed.

*   *   *

A dance out of the darkness, into the bulb-lights, small safe suns, Michael let his feet take him at night. To the gathering places, with the beautiful lady in red, stroking the microphone, holding it so close to her mouth, where she'd sing of ''Fever'', he went. To the gathering places, where the drummers drummed, and guitarists strummed, happy beats called his feet. Michael need no longer live on the side lines. He could come a little closer to the party.

He joined the dancers at the bars, the pulsing music pushing him along. They danced free form and so could he. He was feeling his seemingly ghostly self come to form with each defiant step.

He threw himself into the movements, and motion quickened him. What did any onlookers think of the pale dancer? People were beginning to dress oddly as a personal statement this days. He was just another of the 'strange ones'. He could dance all night if he wanted to, or until the bar closed.

Though his heart still felt small and pinned somewhere safe, Michael was beginning to know HOPE. He would ride on its crests for many years to come. Vampires do learn to be patient.

Go to Chapter 8, In The Mean Time
return to Chapter Outline