Tree Talk Paperback – May 30, 2015

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As I sank down that morning into my own resting place, secure in clean modern darkness, I cried and cried like a child on account of the sight of him. Oh, why had I come to his aid? Why must I see him brought low like this when it had taken so many painful decades to cement my love for him forever?

Still clutching the bundle, refusing all help, he closeted himself up with his wound. I had no choice but to leave him.

He nodded his head to say that it was. He pushed back the Chinese chair, and wringing his hands he began to pace, the inevitable prelude to his tale telling.

He only shook his head. He kissed me quickly on the cheek.

The next night:

I wanted to take him in my arms. I wanted to comfort him, to tell him wherever he'd gone and whatever had taken place, he was now safe again with us, but nothing could quiet him.

The next night:

In his arms, to his chest he clutched a flat bundle of folded cloth as if it carried the whole fate of the world embroidered on it.

Why do you love me after all I've done to you? he asked. There was no denying the beauty of his smooth poreless sun-darkened skin, and even as the dark slit of the empty socket seemed to peer at me with some secret power to relay its vision to his heart. He was handsome and radiant, a darkish ruddy glow coming from his face as though he'd seen some powerful mystery.

But her greatest adornment in these moments was the tearful and eager love for him, her lack of fear of his mutilated face, the grace of her white arms as she enclosed him again, so sure of herself and so grateful for the gentle yielding of his body in towards her. I was so thankful that she loved him.

Yes, but I have, he said, and now began to cry.I have, and I must tell you everything. Believe me, as you believe what you saw last night, the wildflowers clinging still to my hair, the cuts-look, my hands, they heal but not fast enough-believe me.

Why do you love me after all I've done to you? he asked. There was no denying the beauty of his smooth poreless sun-darkened skin, and even as the dark slit of the empty socket seemed to peer at me with some secret power to relay its vision to his heart. He was handsome and radiant, a darkish ruddy glow coming from his face as though he'd seen some powerful mystery.

But her greatest adornment in these moments was the tearful and eager love for him, her lack of fear of his mutilated face, the grace of her white arms as she enclosed him again, so sure of herself and so grateful for the gentle yielding of his body in towards her. I was so thankful that she loved him.

In a low voice I whispered to him my plan.Let me go down into the streets, let me steal from some mortal, some evil being who has wasted every physical gift that God ever gave, an eye for you I'll do it. It won't take me but a moment, and then I'll have the eye in my hand and be the doctor myself and place it here. Please.

The next night:

I wanted to take him in my arms. I wanted to comfort him, to tell him wherever he'd gone and whatever had taken place, he was now safe again with us, but nothing could quiet him.

But her greatest adornment in these moments was the tearful and eager love for him, her lack of fear of his mutilated face, the grace of her white arms as she enclosed him again, so sure of herself and so grateful for the gentle yielding of his body in towards her. I was so thankful that she loved him.

Yes, but I have, he said, and now began to cry.I have, and I must tell you everything. Believe me, as you believe what you saw last night, the wildflowers clinging still to my hair, the cuts-look, my hands, they heal but not fast enough-believe me.

Still clutching the bundle, refusing all help, he closeted himself up with his wound. I had no choice but to leave him.

But the worst, the very worst horror of all, was that one eye had been torn from his beautiful face, and the socket of vampiric lids puckered and shuddered, seeking to close, refusing to acknowledge this horrid disfigurement to the body rendered perfect for all time when he'd been made immortal.

He looked at me, and a faint charming smile brightened his face.Don't fear for me, little devil Armand, he said.Fear for all of us. I am nothing now. I am nothing.

As I sank down that morning into my own resting place, secure in clean modern darkness, I cried and cried like a child on account of the sight of him. Oh, why had I come to his aid? Why must I see him brought low like this when it had taken so many painful decades to cement my love for him forever?

As I sank down that morning into my own resting place, secure in clean modern darkness, I cried and cried like a child on account of the sight of him. Oh, why had I come to his aid? Why must I see him brought low like this when it had taken so many painful decades to cement my love for him forever?

A deep exhaustion saved us all from the inevitable tale. We had to seek our dark corners away from the prying sun, we had to wait until the following night when he would come out to us and tell us what had happened.

Once before, a hundred years ago, he'd come stumbling into the Theatre des Vampires on the trail of his renegade fledglings, sweet gentle Louis and the doomed child, and I hadn't pitied him then, his skin scored with scars from Claudia's foolish and clumsy attempt to kill him.

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