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Agony Designer

Heaven! Love! Freedom!
What a dream,
oh poor crazed Girl!
You melted to him as snow does to a fire;
Your great visions strangled your words -
And fearful Infinity terrified your blue eye!

Blood and Gold.

He was a tall fair creature whose yellow hair was almost white. He had hard blue eyes, and a delicate face. He wore a bright-red cloak with a hood, thrown back from his head, and his hair was finely combed and long. He looked most handsome to Thorne, and well mannered and rather like a creature of books than a man of the sword. He had large hands but they were slender and his fingers were fine.

"It's my common way to wear red"

I put down my brush. I stared at my unfinished work. It seemed another Pandora had emerged in the unfinished Daphne and it struck a tragic chord in my heart that Daphne had eluded her lover. What a fool I'd been to escape mine.

I want her, I want her, I want her. But I could not bring myself to do it. At last I went home to paint her portrait. And night after night I painted her portrait again. I painted her as the Virgin of Annunciation, and the Virgin with the Child. I painted her as the Virgin in Lamentation. I painted her as Venus, as Flora, I painted her on small panels that I brought to her. I painted her until I could endure it no longer.I slumped on the floor of my painting room, and when the apprentices came to me in the dark hours of the dawn, they thought me sick and cried out.

Yes, I knew the tongue and I knew his prayer. "Dear God, deliver me. Dear God, let me die." A frail child, a hungry child, a child who was alone.

Yet in his mute expression I saw pure trust. "Master," he said softly (...) I felt the tiny hairs rise all over my body. I wanted so to touch him once more with my cold fingers but I did not dare. I knelt beside the bed and leant over and kissed his cheek warmly. "Amadeo."

The beautiful boy with the auburn hair who was Amadeo gazed at me calmly as Riccardo spoke. And once again he said (...): Master, which did the other boys not hear. You are for me. That was my answer for him.

(...) I couldn't stop myself from taking Amadeo into my bedroom study , and there I visited on him my carnal kisses, my sweet and bloodless kisses, my kisses of need, and he gave himself to me without reserve.

Beset by the memories, yet not understanding them, he was moving slowly towards death. I would not have it. I paced the floor, I turned to those who attended him. I walked about, whispering to myself in my anger. I would not have it. I would not let him die. Sternly I banished other from the bedchamber.I bent over him, biting into my tongue I filled my mouth with blood and then I loosed a thin stream of it into his mouth. He quickened, and licked his lips after it, and then he breathed more easily and the flush came to his cheeks. I felt of his forehead. It was cooler. He opened his eyes and looked at me, and he said as he did so often, "Master," and then gently, without memories, without terrible dreams, he slept.

Time was moving too swiftly. Things were happening too fast. My earlier judgements were shaken, and the beauty of Amadeo increased with every passing night.

- Blood and Gold, Anne Rice

28.2.05 17:13


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