My days have passed away, my thoughts are dissipated, tormenting my heart. They have turned night into day, and after darkness I hope for light again. If I wait hell is my house, and I have made my bed in darkness. I have said to rottenness: thou art my father; to worms, my mother and my sister. Where is now then my expectation, and who considereth my patience? All that I have shall go down into the deepest pit: thinkest thou that there at least I shall have rest? ~JOB 17:11-16 DV.
Full Name: Tarquin Anthony Blackwood Age: 22
Residence: Blackwood Farm, north across Lake Pontchartrain, an hour and a half away from New Orleans,
Daytime Resting Place: My true home is the wooden Hermitage on Sugar Devil Island, deep in Sugar Devil Swamp, in northeastern Louisiana, not far from the Mississippi border. Sugar Devil Swamp is fed by the West Ruby River, which branches off from the Ruby at Rubyville. (one hour by pirogue from Blackwood Manor) I didn't really love this Hermitage, though I needed it. I didn't love the grim gold-and-granite mausoleum with its strange Roman engravings, though I had to hide inside it from the sun by day.
Mortal Lineaege: "But before I do, let me trace the Blackwood lineage, for what it's worth. Manfred was the patriarch, and William was his son. William begat Gravier. Gravier begat Pops. And Pops, late in life when he and Sweetheart had despaired of having a child, begat Patsy. At age sixteen, Patsy gave birth to me and named me Tarquin Anthony Blackwood. As to my father, let me state now plainly and unequivocally that I don't have one."
I took the cameo out of my pocket and looked at it. A year ago, when I was still mortal -- still alive -- I would have had to hold it to the lamp, but not now. I could see it clearly.
It was my own head, in semi-profile, carved skillfully from a fine piece of double-strata sardonyx so that the image was entirely white and remarkably detailed. The background was a pure and shining black.
It was a heavy cameo, and excellent as to the craft. I'd had it done to give to my beloved Aunt Queen, more of a little joke than anything else, but the Dark Blood had come before the perfect moment. And now that moment was forever past.
What did it show of me? A long oval face, with features that were too delicate -- a nose too narrow, eyes round with round eyebrows and a full cupid's-bow mouth that made me look as if I were a twelve-year-old girl. No huge eyes, no high cheekbones, no rugged jaw. Just very pretty, yes, too pretty, which is why I'd scowled for most of the photographs taken for the portrait; but the artist hadn't carved that scowl into the face.
In fact, he'd given me a trace of a smile. My short curly hair he'd rendered in thick swirls as if it were an Apollonian halo. He'd carved my shirt collar, jacket lapel and tie with equal grace.
Of course the cameo said nothing of my height of six foot four inches, that my hair was jet black, my eyes blue, or of the fact that I was slight of build. I had the kind of long thin fingers which were very good for the piano, which I played now and then. And it was my height that told people that in spite of my all too precious face and feminine hands, I really was a young man.
And so there was this enigmatic creature in a good likeness. A creature asking for sympathy. A creature saying crassly:
"Well, think about it, Lestat. I'm young, I'm stupid. And I'm pretty. Look at the cameo. I'm pretty. Give me a chance."
I'd have engraved the back with those words in tiny script, but the back was an oval photo case, and there was my image again in dull color, verifying the accuracy of the portrait on the other side.
There was one engraved word on the gold frame, right beneath the cameo, however: the name Quinn, in a good imitation of that routine handwriting which I had always hated so much -- the left-handed one trying to be normal, I imagine, the seer of ghosts saying, "I'm disciplined and not insane."
All quotes taken from the Vampire Chronicle "Blackwood Farm".