This is a short story inspired by Anne Rice’s “Interview with the Vampire”:
Wednesday, November 17 2021 — 2:13 a.m.
It’s been two years since I was last exalted in my search for the most bittersweet forms of intimacy. After my former lover left me, it was important that I, during that lonely period, explored the spectrum of emotion to a severe degree. I lost myself many times but always managed to be strung through my mental traumas by a thread of an unpromising purpose. As I was incapable of being of myself, my thoughts were possessed by terror, and somehow comforted me into the most darkest realities. I endured the terror, resisting beliefs that were never my own because they did not contribute to the solidification of my mental fortitude. This cycle lasted up until the summer of 2019, when I arrived to New Orleans to immerse myself in the very culture wherein many literary icons kicked off their careers; Tennessee Williams, Kate Chopin…
Williams. Have you read his plays? Streetcar? And would you consider yourself a contemporary soul of the literary bohemia? Were you immortal then?
Easy, Mr. Molloy. I admire that you, such an impassioned journalist, bleed with eagerness. Be patient, and I shall answer all that you wish to know to the best of my abilities… No, I have not read Streetcar. I have only read a short collection of his poems. And, no, I do not consider myself a soul of the literary bohemia. I grew up in an era of advanced technology. It pained me to witness the loss of childhood essence. It is difficult to exist in the “now”, as a writer. Rapid productivity leaves me no time to make sense of the chaos. I am useless, by nature, because, as I mentioned before, I resist beliefs that were never my own. Let me mention one more thing before I begin to tell you of my last night as a mortal.
I never expected for my desires to become corrupted by dark wisdoms. I found that they no longer aligned themselves with the course of this journey. It was on my last night as a mortal that I learned, admittedly inebriated and vulnerable, my time on Bourbon Street would be the last bite of life I would ever taste. Having once been terrified of Bourbon’s mutable nature, I used to walk amongst my own kind, immune to the modes of happiness, excitement, or sadness that penetrated my numb heart. It is strange, this “after-life”, because I can taste a glimpse of life when I devour it; and for just a moment I am aroused with emotions from my past. I lean towards my master’s darkness, my tongue now infused with wisdoms I once feared. I am of myself, but with no hope and a widened perception of possibility. Forgive me for being so severe in this moment of reflection, but as it will always be something from which I must suffer time and time again, I am learning how to sense the nearness of circumstances that will challenge my weakest convictions before it is time to redefine what there is left of my selfhood. Here I go; to let you, Mr. Molloy, take a bite into my truth.
Thursday, June 6 2019 — 11:00 p.m.
I began to sweat profusely in my third hour on Bourbon Street, naturally unbuttoning my long sleeve shirt as beads were flung overhead. Limp hands spilled cups of alcohol as they rose under balconies welded with fleur de lis. I watched the beads shift their shapes through the luminescent dark sky with a seductive elegance that compelled me to raise my arm. I had a firm belief that I was the intended receiver of such repulsive flattery. The sweat, trickling down my collar bones, teased a drunken passerby who was pale in complexion but expressive with lust. This gentleman — my master, rather — enchanted me just before he reached up for the beads, crushing them in his palm before beating them against my chest. His soft hazel eyes met mine with a hunger that left me paralyzed amongst the savages of the night. The multitude of voices called my attention to everything. And as I breathed in the sounds of chaos, my heart thumped irregularly. I watched him meander through the swarm of drunks. I could not place my attention on anything but his alluring guidance. The voices blended into one ferocious roar, so I scuffled through the crowd in a desperate attempt to closely follow behind. My eyes shifted in many directions, in secret want of my master; but in a matter of seconds, I was deeper into Bourbon Street, alone and misguided.
I rushed past neon lights emitting beams over daunting faces; deathly stares electrified with reds, greens, yellows. There was no space to recollect myself, for even the petite woman, with a fear-stricken vulnerability, wobbled through maddening men with such difficulty. I wished to join her, and to speak to her about the dangers of our being alone. But a large man who overlooked the weaker savages of the night grabbed ahold of her waist and led her through to the back with an air of possession. His electrified stare blinded me, so I retreated back to the street and wandered about. Many gaping mouths shouted obscenities at my face. I was sure that my life would end there; only, I did not imagine it to happen the way that it did. I nudged past a group of men fist-pumping at two blondes who lifted up their blouses. I applauded them, not for the courage, but for their power in draining the men of their manhood as they walked away with a dignity which was worth more than the plastic beads that spun in the air; those are the kind of savages I like to prey on at night.
I saw my master waiting patiently in the dim corner of a bar, wiping red liquor off his lips; his lustful glances arousing my desires. I held my head firmly, feeling my neck veins pulsate with terror, and narrowed my eyes as I approached him. I grabbed a napkin from the bar counter to pat my gleaming collar bones. And with a forced sense of arrogance I rolled my neck slowly to the soft tempo, daring him to take note of me. I want this, I thought to myself. I was vulnerable, in a pitiful sense. And desperately wanted to be lain to rest by my master. Had I known then that I had submitted to his dark wisdoms with a premature attachment, I may have spared myself the amplified modes of emotion I felt after he converted me to an immortal being.
A bar stool became available beside my master. I sat on it, my legs crossed with a fierceness meant to repel his domineering arrogance. It was a gamble for life, in all honesty, for the Aztec tattoo, clawed across my chest, betrayed his subtle desires for me. He stepped forward, staring deeply at my chest, when I lowered my eyes to avert his passion. But it was too late. I had subconsciously unbuttoned the rest of my shirt, communicating that I was at his mercy. He understood, as he brushed his hand across my Aztec tattoo, that I meant no harm because I was incapable of causing any. I closed my eyes and swayed to the incongruent sounds of Jazz, when he leaned into my neck, breathing gently “Be mine on this night.” The bartender slammed his palm on the counter and shouted at me to order. My master walked out. Double shot of whiskey to down, before I followed my master with a starving curiosity.
Out on Bourbon, from a distance, I noticed that he had an effect on the drunkards; they seemed to disperse from his path, which gave me enough room to stumble behind without losing sight. He stopped at the corner of St. Anne, and turning left where Marie Laveau’s House of Voodoo stood tapped his long white nails on a pillar as he stared up to the moon. The warm air slowed my pace. I halted, inches from him, losing my balance on broken cement; my heart beating irregularly at the sight of his luscious curls. I looked up to the moon to join in the wonderment when I heard an indiscernible snap from a distance. I looked down both directions of the street panicking when the desolate sights blurred into fragments of dark spaces. My vision stabilized when I spotted him on top of a balcony that was bordered by a black gate with coiled bars. I ascended, running my fingers on the railing, when he turned to me and guided me to the edge with his hand on the back of my neck. Rubbing his cold thumb over where he would claim my life moments later, he whispered, “Do you wish to know of possibilities?” I nodded as he softly brushed his fingers over my eyes. Then, he kissed my neck once, sighing with gratification as he dug his nails into my back. I couldn’t shriek, but I gripped onto his curls hoping he would remove them. He shushed me; I remained silent. “Tamed passions,” he said. “They escape when wounds are left unattended. And what I sense from you, my boy, is your rage in loneliness. I feed on the most vulnerable flesh, but I promise to cleanse you of loneliness. You will become mine tonight.”
Wednesday, November 17 2021 — 2:59 a.m.
Mr. Trejo, what… what happened to you that night?
Call me Leonel, Mr. Molloy. My Master, he sunk his teeth into my neck. With one arm wrapped around my waist, and the other clasped into my hand as I weakened from the drawn blood. When he released, I leaned over the balcony to vomit. I stared out to Bourbon Street, knees trembling, and listened to the music fade in and out. I remember thinking nothing of its chaos as the darkness expanded before my eyes. Immortality is an existence in which I must feed on the vulnerable; my master taught me that. I awoke the following morning, here; a plantation of ruins hiding unbearable historical tragedies.
What kind of historical tragedies?
Enslavement of African peoples; displacement of Indigenous peoples. I have yet to unravel them on my own terms, but for now I am to oversee the property, tending to vagabond night walkers when they drop by to rest from sunlight.
May I ask? Does your master own the property that you oversee?
No. My master was a victim of the owner himself. I will say this to you, as Sir Louis de Pointe du Lac many a time reminded your great grandfather, Daniel. You mustn’t be so shy to ask questions. You know, I picked up the Molloy scent the moment you stepped in front of that gate. If you’ve come here to seek what ruined your grandfather, I am afraid you have interviewed the wrong vampire. I do not meddle in familial matters.
Well… I am not exactly a Molloy by blood.
I understand, Mr. Molloy. Regardless, the vampire with the answers is not myself, nor my master. Sir de Pointe du Lac is the one you seek. Ask him anything you’d like to know. He stands there, right behind you.