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. . . .Midday in the world of the twins: the sun pouring down onto the clearing.Silence, except for the singing of the birds.And the twins kneeling quite still together, in the dust.Such pale women, their eyes green, their hair long and wavy and coppery red.Fine clothes they wore, white linen dresses that had come all the way from the markets of Nineveh, bought by the villagers to honor these powerful witches, whom the spirits obey.The funeral feast was ready.The mud bricks of the oven had been torn down and carried away, and the body lay steaming hot on the stone slab, the yellow juices running out of it where the crisp skin had broken, a black and naked thing with only a covering of cooked leaves.It horrified Daniel.But it horrified no one present, this spectacle, not the twins or the villagers who knelt to watch the feast begin.This feast was the right and the duty of the twins.This was their mother, the blackened body on the stone slab.And what was human must remain with the human.A day and night it may take to consume the feast, but all will keep watch until it is done.Now a current of excitement passes through the crowd around the clearing.One of the twins lifts the plate on which the brain rests together with the eyes, and the other nods and takes the plate that holds the heart.And so the division has been made.The beat of a drum rises, though Daniel cannot see the drummer.Slow, rhythmic, brutal.“Let the banquet begin.”But the ghastly cry comes, just as Daniel knew it would.Stop the soldiers.But he can’t.All this has happened somewhere, of that he is now certain.It is no dream, it is a vision.And he is not there.The soldiers storm the clearing, the villagers scatter, the twins set down the plates and fling themselves over the smoking feast.But this is madness.The soldiers tear them loose so effortlessly, and as the slab is lifted, the body falls, breaking into pieces, and the heart and the brain are thrown down into the dust.The twins scream and scream.But the villagers are screaming too, the soldiers are cutting them down as they run.The dead and the dying litter the mountain paths.The eyes of the mother have fallen from the plate into the dirt, and they, along with the heart and brain, are trampled underfoot.One of the twins, her arms pulled behind her back, cries to the spirits for vengeance.And they come, they do.It is a whirlwind.But not enough.If only it were over.But Daniel can’t wake up.Stillness.The air is full of smoke.Nothing stands where these people have lived for centuries.The mud bricks are scattered, clay pots are broken, all that will burn has burned.Infants with their throats slit lie naked on the ground as the flies come.No one will roast these bodies, no one will consume this flesh.It will pass out of the human race, with all its power and its mystery.The jackals are already approaching.And the soldiers have gone.Where are the twins! He hears the twins crying, but he cannot find them.A great storm is rumbling over the narrow road that twists down through the valley towards the desert.The spirits make the thunder.The spirits make the rain.His eyes opened.Chicago, Michigan Avenue at midday.The dream had gone out like a light turned off.He sat there shivering, sweating.A radio had been playing near him, Lestat singing in that haunting mournful voice of Those Who Must Be Kept.Mother and Father.Keep your silence,Keep your secrets,But those of you with tongues,sing my song.Sons and daughtersChildren of darknessRaise your voicesMake a chorusLet heaven hear usCome together,Brother and sisters,Come to me.He had gotten up, started walking.Go into the Water Tower Place, so like the Night Island with its engulfing shops, endless music and lights, shining glass.And now it was almost eight o’clock and he had been walking continuously, running from sleep and from the dream.He was far from any music and light.How long would it go on next time? Would he find out whether they were alive or dead? My beauties, my poor beauties. . . .He stopped, turning his back to the wind for a moment, listening to the chimes somewhere, then spotting a dirty clock above a dime store lunch counter; yes, Lestat had risen on the West Coast.Who is with him? Is Louis there? And the concert, a little over twenty-four hours.Catastrophe! Armand, please.The wind gusted, pushed him back a few steps on the pavement, left him shivering violently.His hands were frozen [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]