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datatime: 2022-09-29 20:01:39 Author:tRzvfQLx

Apparently Merrick had led them to a portion of the swamp where the vehicle had been submerged years before. Enough remained of the corpses to ascertain that two women had been in the vehicle at the time that it sank. The skull bones of both showed severe and potentially life-threatening fractures. But no one could determine whether or not either victim had survived the blows long enough to be drowned.

Absolutely, I said.But you must promise me, that if you ever change your mind about the mask, you'll call me before you take even the simplest steps.

She knows, said Merrick sadly.She's a powerful and crafty spirit. If you tell me as Superior General that you want to attempt an exorcism, and that you want me to communicate with her, I'll do it-but on my own, never, never will I give in to her. She's too clever. She's too strong.

After we completed a detailed letter regarding our expedition, for a university of our choice, we sealed the records and the mask permanently, along with the idols, the perforator that Merrick had used in her magic, all of Michael's original papers, and the remnants of Oncle Vervain's map. All was kept in storage at Oak Haven, with access only allowed to Merrick or to me.

After a week of convalescence in the New Orleans Motherhouse, I dressed in my usual tweed suit and came downstairs for breakfast, with the other members assembled there.

It was only an instant. The world of solid things and spiritual things flickered and went out.

She knows, said Merrick sadly.She's a powerful and crafty spirit. If you tell me as Superior General that you want to attempt an exorcism, and that you want me to communicate with her, I'll do it-but on my own, never, never will I give in to her. She's too clever. She's too strong.

Apparently Merrick had led them to a portion of the swamp where the vehicle had been submerged years before. Enough remained of the corpses to ascertain that two women had been in the vehicle at the time that it sank. The skull bones of both showed severe and potentially life-threatening fractures. But no one could determine whether or not either victim had survived the blows long enough to be drowned.

As a matter of fact, I did see this spirit again.

It was only an instant. The world of solid things and spiritual things flickered and went out.

It seemed to me, as I was losing the battle to live, let alone the battle to be mortal, that I saw the cave spirit standing near me with his arms out, and I saw pain in his face.

The figure was wavering, yet fully realized. I saw the bracelets on his arms. I saw his long red robe. I saw the tears on his cheeks.

As a matter of fact, I did see this spirit again.

At some point in this vain attempt to save myself from the vampiric blood, I called on God, the angels, anyone who might help me. I called on my orisha, Oxalá, in the old Portuguese Candomble tongue.

After a week of convalescence in the New Orleans Motherhouse, I dressed in my usual tweed suit and came downstairs for breakfast, with the other members assembled there.

Would it do no good to speak to her? Would it do no good to tell her that she's dead?

Insofar as I ever knew, Merrick was faithful to her vow.

I never saw the cave spirit again.

I don't know if my prayers were heard by my orisha, but the room was suddenly assailed by small spirits, none of whom could frighten or hinder Lestat in any way. And as he drained my blood to the very point of death, it was the bronze-skinned spirit of the cave whom I glimpsed as my eyes closed.

Insofar as I ever knew, Merrick was faithful to her vow.

But let me finish my tale of Merrick. There is not a great deal more to be said.

Now that I look back on these things, I'm not sure why I didn't tell Merrick all about the spirit with the oval face and how he had continued to appear to me throughout my illness, and especially when I was close to death. Perhaps we had exchanged confidences about my visions when I was feverish. I only know that we did not discuss them in detail when we took stock of the whole event.

It seemed to me, as I was losing the battle to live, let alone the battle to be mortal, that I saw the cave spirit standing near me with his arms out, and I saw pain in his face.

But let me finish my tale of Merrick. There is not a great deal more to be said.

It was many years later. It was on the night in Barbados when Lestat came to see me, and decided to make me a vampire against my will.

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