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datatime: 2022-10-05 16:23:27 Author:qjVYFPoM

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.

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

I've put the mask into the vault, in a sealed box, under my name, Merrick told me.I suggest we leave it there.

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

I don't want to see Honey anymore she said under her breath.I told you. She wants to use me, and that I won't allow. I was ten years old when she was murdered. I'm tired, oh so tired of grieving for Honey. You'll never have to worry. I won't touch the mask again if I can help it, believe me.

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 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.

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

I fell into a stupor. I remember nothing until the moment when Lestat's supernatural blood flooded my mouth. By then, I saw only Lestat and I knew my soul was entering on yet another adventure, one which would carry me forward beyond my most appalling dreams.

Later, Merrick and I walked in the garden, which was filled with lush beautiful dark-leafed camillias, which thrive in the winter, even through light frost. I saw blossoms of pink and red and white which I never forgot. Giant green elephant ear and purple flowering orchid plants were growing everywhere. How beautiful Louisiana can be in winter. How verdant and vigorous and remote.

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

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

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.

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

As you well know, I was no longer the elder David. It was after our dreadful ordeal with the Body Thief. I felt invincible in my new young body and I had no thought to ask Lestat for eternal life. When it was clear that he meant to force me, I fought him with all I had.

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.

I never saw the cave spirit again.

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.

As for my personal reaction to the spirit, I was afraid of him. I had robbed a place that was precious to him. I had done it fiercely and selfishly, and though the illness had burnt away much of my desire to explore the mystery of the cave, I feared the spirit's return.

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

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.

I never saw the cave spirit again.

Later, Merrick and I walked in the garden, which was filled with lush beautiful dark-leafed camillias, which thrive in the winter, even through light frost. I saw blossoms of pink and red and white which I never forgot. Giant green elephant ear and purple flowering orchid plants were growing everywhere. How beautiful Louisiana can be in winter. How verdant and vigorous and remote.

I'll never ask you to do such a thing, I said quickly.Come, sit beside me here. Let me hold you. I'm too weak to do you any harm.

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