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Interview with the Vampire
(Music - Libera Me)


(Street noise, and street people. The camera moves along the streets of San Francisco, then it scans upward at a window in an apartment building. There is a person in shadows standing at the window.)

INT. ROOM-NIGHT (San Francisco) -
A small bare room, illuminated only by the streetlight coming through the window. A hand presses a cassette into a recorder and fiddles with a small microphon. Malloy sits over a table fiddling with the tape. He is young, half-shaven, dressed in T-shirt and jeans. He looks too -- Louis, who stands by the window, looking out on the street, with his back to Malloy. Louis is dressed in an old-fashioned suit.

Louis (L):So you want me to tell you the story of my life?

Interviewer-Malloy (I): Like I said, (*Music ends) That's what I do, I...ah interview people I'm a collector of lives. FM radio KFRC.

L: (quietly interrupting) You would have to have a lot of tape for my story.

I: That's no problem, I've got a bag full of tape right here.

L: You followed me here didn't you?

I: I suppose I did. You seem very interesting. This is where you live? (Light cigarette)

L: No, just a room.

I: Now what do you say we get started? (Playfully, almost teasing) So what do you do?

L: I'm a vampire.

I: (Malloy laughs) uh, That's something I haven't heard before. You ah you mean this literally I take it?

L:Absolutely, I was waiting for you in that alley way, watching you watching me, then you began to speak.

I: Oh, What a lucky break for me.

L:Perhaps lucky for both of us.

I:(Smoke) You ah said you where waiting for me, what where you going to do, kill me, drink my blood? All that stuff?

L:Yes, but you needn't be concerned of that now.
I:You really believe this don't you? That you're a vampire?

L: (Still in shadow he turns from the window and approaches the table.) We can't begin this way, let me turn on the light.

I: I thought vampires didn't like the light?

L: We love it. I only wanted to prepare you.

(With super fast speed, Louis cross the room flipping the switch to the overhead lamp. Louis sits down in his chair again. Louis's face appears inhumanly white, eyes glittering. Inhuman or not alive, the effect is subtle, beautiful and ghastly.).

I: Christ!

(The Malloy jumps from his chair. He struggles to suppress fear and understand.)

L: Don't be frightened, I want this opportunity.

I: How the hell did you do that?

L: Same as you do. A series of simple gestures, only I move to fast for you to see. I'm flesh and blood, but not human. I haven't been human for two hundred years, please (offer hand). How can I put you at ease? Shall we begin, like David Copperfield? "I am born I grew up?" Or shall we begin when I was born into darkness, as I call it.

(The Interviewer sits down. Malloy is speechless, frightened yet enthralled. )

L: That's really where we should start, don't you think?

I: You're not lieing to me are you?

L: Why should I lie?

Louis's Voice (LV): 1791 was the year it happened,(Dock men) I was 24 younger then you are now, but times were different then, I was a man at that age, the Master of a large plantation just south of New Orleans...


(A dishevelled Louis, hair in pigtail, in deep pocket frock coat, rides his horse through the fields of indigo, passing an overseer and slaves at work. He passes slave quarters and the distant colonial mansion of Point du Lac. He is infront of an elaborate tomb one in Greek Style, drinking at the foot of a statue.)

LV: I had lost my wife in child birth, she and the infant had been buried less then half a year.

(The statue is of a marble angel, feminine, her arms crossed on her chest)

LV: I would have been happy to join them,(Crickets chirping. He drinks from a pocket-flask. His face is ashen.) I couldn't bare the pain of their loss, I longed to be realised from it.


(Chicken clucking, more crickets, Tavern People)
(Louis in ragged lace and dirty brocade sitting between two whores at a gaming table, drinking absinthe. All around him flatboatmen, whores, gamblers, black african freedmen.)

LV: I wanted to loss it all, my wealth, my estate, my sanity.

(Whore hugging Louis, Louis displays a hand of four aces.)

Man Playing Cards: How many aces are in that deck?
L: You calling me a cheat?

(Man at the table stands in fury, over turning money, cards, drinks. The gambler pulls out a pearl-handled pistol and points it at Louis. The crowd hushes and draws back)

Man Playing Cards: I'm calling you a piece of stinking alful.

(Man Raise gun, Louie smiles, and opens his lace shirt, exposing his chest. Man's finger on the trigger, his hand shakes.)

L: You lack the courage of your convictions sir, do it.

(Lestat Enters, looking down from the second floor at Louis.)

LV: Most of all I longed for death, I know that now, I invited it. A release from the pain of living.


(Loud, crowded riverfront taverns full of ruffians. Louis staggers down, an arm around a whore, drinking, from a bottle. A pockmarked pimp follows behind.)

(Lestat watches quietly, on the street.)

LV: My invitation was open to anyone, (Chickens clucking) to the whore at my side, to the pimp that followed, but it was a vampire that accepted.

(Lestat standing prominate)

EXT. WHARF - Night

(Louis, quite insensible, being propped up against a wall by the whore in a dank wharf over the water. The pimp rifles his pockets, then pulls a knife, about to slice his throat)

Pimp: (The Pimp holds the dagger at Louis's throat.) Give me your money or you die.

(A shadow falls over him. He turns, and we see the face of Lestat, who lifts him into the air by his throat, breaking his neck, the whore screams and Lestat's other hand clamps over her mouth. Lestat drags her towards him. Louis falls to the ground, supported no more, insensible. Close on his face, as we hear the last breaths of life of the whore.)
(Lestat hisses, and bites Louis. Louis Gasps. On Louis's face every muscle rigid, teeth clenched, as the blood is drained from him. They float in air. They are hovering above the ground, like two quivering dancers. The wind billows through the ghostly white sails and rigging of the boats around the wharf. Lestat floats higher, with Louis in his arms, draining his blood. ).

Lestat (E): Do you still want death? Or have you tasted it enough?

L: (Louis can barely get the words out) Enough.

(Lestat drops Louis, Louis falls into the water.)
(Music - Born to Darkness)

LV: He left me there on the banks of the Mississippi, somewhere between life and death...


(Louis gets to his feet and walks weakly through the mudflats. The sun is coming up over the sea behind him.)


(Louis is delerious in a four-poster bed, shrouded with mosquito netting. Louis tosses and turns, dreaming, murmuring incoherently. Then he opens his eyes.)

L: (Louis grabs his pistol from the table and cocks it.) Who are you, what are you doing in my house.
E: I've come to answer your prayers.

(Lestat is exquisitely dressed in French clothing, stands by the bed smiling. In the light of the candle we see that he is not human; skin too white; eyes too bright. Lestat looks amiable, even mischevious, but impossible - and angel or monster. Louis is becoming spellbound. )

E: Life has no meaning any more does it? The wine has no taste, the food sickens you, there seems no reason for any of it, does there? But what if I could give it back to you. Pluck out the pain, and give you another life, one you could never imagine, and it would be for all time. And Sickness and death could never touch you again. Don't be afraid, I'm going to give you the choice, (Lestat helps Louis sit up) I, never, had.


(Louis walks along for a short while leaning against a tree. The sun rises with unnatural beauty, over the swamplands and the plantation.)

LV: That morning I was not yet a vampire, and saw my last sunrise, I remember it completely. and yet I can't recall any sunrise before it. I watched the whole magnificence of the dawn as if it where the first. And then I said farewell to sunlight and set out to become what I became.

(Louis sitting down quietly)


(Louis sits again in front of the crypt. Lestat appears beside him, radiant, beautiful.)

E: Have you said your good-byes to the light?

(Lestat bites Louis's neck, Louis screams, moans, & claws at Lestat. Lestat embraces Louis, obscuring his face. He drinks his blood. We hear two heartbeats, out of sync, coming together. We see Louis's face, growing paler, paler, as his blood is drained. His eyes stare upwards, losing their focus.)

E: (Whispering in Louis's ear) I have drained you to the point of death. If I leave you here, you die, or you can be young always, my friend. As we are now, but you must tell me, will you come or no?
L: (Whispered breath) yes...yess..

(Lestat bites his own wrist, his fangs slash his own flesh, blood falls. A few blood drops land on Louis's lips. Louis drinks the blood moving to drink blood from Lestat's wrist. Lestat makes faces, they fly apart, Louis releasing first. Louis groans against the stairs falling onto his back).

E: (Laughing a bit) Your body's dieing, pay no attention, it happens to us all. (Louis heavy breathing) Now look with your vampire eyes. (The marble statue of Louis's wife looks at him, then close eyes)

INT. ROOM-NIGHT (San Franciso) - Night.

I: What did you see?

L: No words can describe it. Might as well ask heaven what it sees, no human can know.

LV: The statue seemed to move but didn't,
(The statue opens it's human looking eyes, and looks down at Louis, only to close them again, silently.)

LV: The world had changed yet stayed the same. (Owl hoot. Lestat leads him into the swamp. Everything astonished Louis, as if he's never seen it before.) I was a new born vampire weeping at the beauty of the night.

(Owl hoot, flys across)


L: Perhaps you would like another cigarette?

I: Yeah I would. It's not bothering you is it?

(Malloy stares at Louis, terrified and enthralled. )
L: No.

I: No I wouldn't assume it would be. It's not like your going to die of cancer or anything.

L: I don't think so

I: What about crucifixes?

L: Crucifixes?

I: Yeah, Can you look at them?

L: Actually I am quite fond of looking at crucifixes.

I: What about the old stake threw the heart thing?
L: Nonsense

I: Coffins, how about coffins?

L: Coffins. Coffins, unfortuantly are a necessity.


(A brick walled storage room. Two coffins stand on the floor. Lestat enters with a lantern, Louis behind. Lestat is apprehensive and protective of Louis. He pulls back one lid ot reveal a satin interior. Louis approaches the coffin, hands trembling as he peers into it.)

E: Don't worry, Soon you will be sleeping as soundly as you have ever slept. When you wake, I'll be waiting for you, and so will all the world

(Louis enters coffin, fearful yet fascinated. He closes the lid.)

LV: Blood I was to find was a neccesity as well. I awoke the next evening with a hunger I had never felt.


(A big, lavish drinking place with a raised stage. Italian actors in buffoonish costumes act crude commedia dell'arte on the stage. Plantation owners in soiled brocade, lace, crooked wigs watch the show as tavern wenches move about. Louis and Lestat by a table, in the shadow of a tree. Teresa, a tavern wench, sits on Lestat's lap, pouring drinks for the two of them. She lifts a fresh glass to Lestat's lips as he flirts with her.)

Theater Noise: With a ho, and a bang, and a...

(Noises in background)

Theater Wench: Once you taste this, you will never go to a tavern again.

E: You think so cherie, but what if I would rather taste your lips.

Theater Wench: My lips are even sweeter still.

E: (She kisses him. He lets his tongue play with hers, then runs it down her neck. She swoons with pleasure. Then he sinks his teeth gently in her neck, looking playfully behind at Louis, who if apalled and fascinated. ) My friend, you should taste those lips.

Theater Wench: Is his kiss as deep as yours.

E: Deeper, Mon Chere (Louis kisses wench, Lestat drinks from wrist)

(ANTICS ON THE STAGE. Laughter rocks the tavern.)

Theater: (Noises of arguing) What about me? A romp retired a romp...

L: I will not take her life.

E: I've done it for you. She's dead, as a door nail, my friend. (He lays gold coins on the table) It's so easy you almost feel sorry for them.


E: (Lestat looks up at him and grins.)You'll get use to killing, just forget about that mortal coil. You'll get accustomed to things all too quickly.

Slave Girl: You're not hungry Monsieur?

E: Au contraire he could eat the whole colony
(Laugh cover face with a hankerchief)

L: I'm finished with that, Now leave us. (Yvette reaches for his uneaten plate. Louis stops her hand. Holds it for a beat too long, looking at the veins in her wrist. The veins pulsing on her neck.)

E: Yet you pretend you fool, don't give the game away. Where lucky to have such a home.

(His hand snakes out under the table. It comes up holding a large grey rat. He bares his fangs and slices the rat's throat. He pours the blood into a crystal glass. )

E: Would you pretend to drink at least? Such fine crystal shouldn't go to waste. (He hands the glass to Louis. Louis drinks the blood and stares at it in surprise, then at the dead rat on the fine lace tablecloth. ) I know it gets cold so quickly.

L: We can live like this, off the blood of animals?

E: (Lestat shrugs) I wouldn't call it living, I'd call it surviving. Useful trick if your caught for a month on a ship at sea. (Lestat strokes the belly of the dead rat, studying it sadly.) There's nothing in this world now that doesn't hold some...

L: ...Fascination

E: Yes. I'm bored with this prattel (He throws the rat away.)

L: But we can live without taking human life, it's possible.

E: Any thing is possible. Just try it for a week, come in to New Orleans, and let me show you some new sport. (laugh)


(Small orchestra plays for colonial couples in fine wig and garb prancing to a French minuet. Young women sit in chairs along the walls with their chaperones. Young men stand opposite.)

LV: Lestat killed two, sometimes three a night. A fresh young girl that was his favorite for the first of the evening. For seconds he prefered a guilded beautiful youth. But the snob in him loved to hunt in society. And the blood of the aristocrat thrilled him best of all.

(A youth of preternatural beauty, silhouetted against French windows, is talking to an elegant widow, seated, holding two manicured poodles. Lestat stares at the youth with longing.)

E: The trick is not to think about it. You see that one, Oud Sinclair. She had that gorgeous young phop murder her husband.

L: How do you know?

E: Read her thoughts.... Read her thoughts.

L: I can't.

E: (He sighs, He leads Louis closer to them. ) The dark gift is different for each of us. But one thing is true; everyone grows stronger as we go along.

E: Just take my word for it. She blamed a slave for his murder. Imagine what they did to him. Evil doers are easier and they taste better. (He smiles at the young man, who smiles in return.)

Oud Sinclair: Enchante (Lestat kisses her hand), Monsieur, enchante.(Louis kisses her hand)


(Lestat walks the youth towards a copse of trees. He looks back at Louis, who holds both poodles on a delicate leash, walking with the widow. The minuet spills from the french windows.)

Young Phop: Where are we going?

E: Nowhere. (Traces a line on Phop's cheek)

Oud Sinclair: Now young man, you really amaze me. I'm old enough to be your grandmother. (She leans towards him concquettishly. Louis, crazed with hunger, sees her as beautiful in the moonlight. He allows her lips reach his. He takes her in his arms, gently, romantically, and kisses her neck.)

Oud Sinclair: Yes that's the melody. I remember this. (The poodles growl. Louis shoots out an arm and grabs one, then the other. ) Murder, my little papillions! My desilon killed them!


(Lestat, bending over the body of the dead youth. A scream pierces the night.)


(The widow on the grass, her poodles dead beside her. Louis is trying to quiet her.)

(Lestat comes from nowhere, claps a hand over her mouth and breaks her neck. He spits in fury at Louis.)

E: Wining coward of a vampire who prowels the night, killing rats and poodles, you could have finished us both!

L: You condemned me to hell!

E: I don't know any hell. (Louis throws himself on Lestat with extraordinary force, pummelling him towards the trees. Lestat laughing) Now that's more like it! Anger! Fury! That's why I chose you!

(Louis runs at him a second time. Lestat looks up at him, amazed and amused at the same time.)

E: But You couldn't kill me Louis. Feed on what you will rats, chickens, (He laughs) poodles! I'll leave you to it, and I'll watch you come around. Just remember- life without me would be even more unbarable. (He smiles. A sly, pleasureable secret secret smile.)


(Bodies of slaves floating in the swamp, with the bodies of goats. Slaves at the edge throw ropes around the bodies, pull them towards the shore. The drumming grows louder.)


(The woman's scream pierces the sky, as Lestat walks into the night.)


(Every chicken is dead, bloodied necks hanging down from the cribs. Louis emerges from the entrance, blood on his lips. He hears the scream.)


(The sound of drumming is heard- African, primal. The woman runs through the quarters, screaming grief. Others gather at doorways, restrain and console her.)


(A beautiful, elaborate eighteenth century dove-cote. Every dove inside is dead, pierced at the neck. A balck hand throws in a flaming torch and it bursts into flame.


(A doll, made in the image of Lestat, is pierced with needles.)


(Lestat and Louis sit at the table, the untouched food between them.)

E: (Throwing grapes) Consider yourself lucky. In Paris, a vampire must be clever for many reasons.

L: Paris?

E: Here, all one needs is a pair of fangs.

L: You came from Paris?

E: As did the one who made me.

L: Tell me about him. You must have learned something from him.

E: I learned absolutely nothing. I wasn't given a choice, remember?

L: But you must know something about the meaning of it all.

E: (Slams fist on table. Spits out in anger.) Why?! Why should I know these things?! Do you know them?! (The drumming grows outside. Lestat gripping his temples) That noise! It's driving me mad! That noise! We've been in the country for weeks with nothing but that noise!

L: Yes they know about us. They watch us dine on empty plates, and drink from empty glasses.

E: Come to New Orleans, then. The Paris opera is in town, we can try some French cuisine.

L: Forgive me if I have a lingering respect for life.

E: (Louis stares. Lestat turns childishly, petulantly.)You'll soon run out of chickens Louis.


(The slaves, gathered on mass around fires. Frenzied drumming, dancing. Lestat rides through, scattering the flames. The drumming stops. The slaves look towards the house. Slowly, they begin to move towards it.)


(Louis sits in despair by the table. Yvette, the slave girl enters.)

Slave Girl: Master Louis? You don't want any supper, non?

L: Non, mon chere.

Slave Girl: We're worried about you, Master. Why is it that you go riding in the field? And how long since you've been to the slave quarter? Everywhere there is death. Are you still our master at all?

L: That will be all, Yvette.

Slave Girl: I will not go unless you listen to me. You must, you must send away this friend of yours. The slaves they are all frightened of him, and they are frightened of you.

L: (She comes closer, and he can hear her beating heart. She touches his hair. He takes her hand and brings it to his lips.) I'm frightened of myself.

(He kisses her wrist. She suddenly gasps, sharply, withdraws her hand. She sees her wrist is red with blood. She sees the blood on his lips. She screams. Louis stands. She screams even louder. Louis clamps his hand over her mouth. Her hand grips the table-cloth, pulls, bringing the empty glasses and crockery to the floor.)


(Fires burning in the distance, around the slave-cabins. The slaves are gathered at the foot of the mansion steps. They see Louis come out, holding the body of Yvette. He is deranged with grief.)

L: (Slaves gather around Louis, as he carries out the Slave Girl) Here me now! This place is cursed! Damned! And, yes, your master is the devil! Get out while you can! You are all free men, do you here me?(Hands girl to someone else, grabs torch, threatens with torch) Run! Flee! Save yourselves!


(Louis sets fire to the place. He goes from window to window, lighting drapes, lace curtains, everything. Louis, wandering from room to room of the burning mansion. He sees paintings of his wife consumed by the flames. He is weakening with the fumes, the heat. We can see this in his face, the texture of his skin. Suddenly a large French window cascades inwards and Lestat stands there.)

E: Perfect! Perfect! Just burn the place! Burn everything that we own! Would you have us sleeping in the field like cattle?!

L: (Solem) You thought you could have it all.

E: Oh, just shut up Louis. Come here. (Louis stands there, weakened, then collapses onto the floor. Lestat darts forward and catches him before he drops.)


(Slaves dance for joy in the light of the burning house.)


(Darkness. Louis lying on the floor of a large crypt. He slowly comes to.)

L: Where are we?

E: Where do you think? My idiot friend... We're in a nice filthy cemetary. Does this make you happy? is this fitting, proper enough?

L: (Louis laughs softly.) We belong in hell.

E: And what if there is no hell? Or they don't want us there? Ever think of that?

LV: But there was a hell, and no matter where we moved to, I was in it. We rented rooms on the water front of New Orleans.

(From the sea, at evening, shrouded in mist.)

(A lavish little supper chamber with coffered bed, fancy French furniture. Open to rooftops of colonial city. Louis sits by an open window looking out over the city. Behind, we can hear the laughter of Lestat and 2 female voices. Louis turns and sees -Lestat, in the main chamber with two drugged or drunked whores. One runs her finger down his chest. The other seems out of it.)

E: Your friend has no head for wine. (Laughs)

Whore:(laughs) Don't worry. I can warm that cold skin of yours better than she can.

E: You think so?

Whore: (laughs) Your warm now.

E: But the price is high. Your pretty friend, I exhausted her. So soft. I can see you lying on a bed of satin.

Whore: Such things you say.

E: Do you know what manner of bed? (Whore gasps in ecstasy as Lestat bites her breast) Should we put out the light? (Whore whimpers)

E: Then put out thy light. (More whimpers, Lestat covers her mouth. He slashes her wrist with his teeth, and lets the blood drip into a glass.) It once put out thy light, we can not give vital breath again. Its needs must wither. (Lestat offers the glass to Louis.) For you Louis, you can pretend it's wine.

L: She's not dead.

E: You're in love with your mortal nature. You resist the one thing that can give you peace.

L: You call this peace?!

E: We're predators! Our all seeing eyes are meant to give them detachment!

L: The girl, Lestat!

E: Then take her Louis end that hunger!

L: No.

E: Now my child, you're tired, you want to sleep. (Lestat picks her up. He walks to his coffin, puts her inside and sits on the lid. We hear muffled screaming and banging from inside. )

Whore: It's a coffin! A coffin! Let me out! (She keeps screaming 'let me out' from the coffin)

E: It's your coffin my love, enjoy it. Most of us don't get to know what it feels like.

L: Why do you do this?

E: I like to do it, I enjoy it. Take your resitence, taste pure things, kill them swiftly if you will, but do it! For do not doubt, you are a killer Louis. (He stands up. Lestat flips the lid off. The girl sits up, hysterical. She looks at Louis.) What's that my love?

Whore: It's a coffin.

E: Why so it is. You must be dead.

Whore: I'm not dead am I?

L: No you're not dead.

E: Not yet.

L:(Louis screams at Lestat) You finish this! You finish this now!!

E: You finish it!

Whore: Save me from him! Save me! You'll let me go! I can't die like this! I need a priest! (The girl grabs Louis and pleads.)

E: My friend is a priest. He'll heal your sins before you die. Unless... unless, we make her one of us?

L: No.

E: Take her Louis! End her suffering! End yours!

L: No.

E:( Then Lestat, in a fit of pique puts his teeth to her neck. She dies at last. A terrible silence descends. Lestat looks at Louis. ) Now are you happy, Louis?

L: My god, to think you are all I have to learn from.

E: The old world, they called it the Dark Gift. And I gave it to you. (Louis leaves without a word.)


(A rat scurried down a gutter, then another and another. Louis' hand graps the rat. We see him from behind, walking down the street, gripping one, then another.)

(Smaller side street, in which every house is marked with an X. The street is crawling with rats, and Louis is following them. A man passes with a lantern.)

Man pushing cart: Don't go that way Monsieur! It's the plague. Go back the way you came.

L: (Louis smiles bitterly at these words, repeating them to himself.) The way I came.(He walks on, following the rats. )

(A house, the door slightly open, marked with an X. The sound of a child crying inside. Louis walks towards it.)


Claudia's Voice: Mama. (A little girl, pulling at a figure in a rocking chair.)

(As Louis enters, he sees the woman is dead. Louis gasps in horror. Claudia turns. She is a radiant doll or angel as she stretches out her hand to Louis. She runs to him. Instinctively, he gathers her in his arms. He looks down pitying on her beautiful face.)

Claudia: Please help us. Papa left us and didn't come back. Please wake mama, monsieur. (She snuggles into him, suddenly utterly secure. She tugs at his hair, brings his head down towards her. And we see Louis shiver, as his lips go to her neck. Louis bites Claudia's neck. Claudia wimpers abit. Her breathing becomes calm as she goes into the swoon. Gradually another sound replaces it.)

(Lestat appears, laughing. Suddenly Louis backs away, caught redhanded, the child in his arms. He sees Lestat slapping his knee and laughing in the doorway.)

E: My philospher! My marter! "Never take a human life." Oh yes! This calls for a celebration!

(Lestat snatches up the dead mother from the chair and begins to dance with her in great circles, humming and talking. Her head falls back.)

E: (singing in Italian) A nortcha drif/far falorna/a maralorana sol/Áno ta jorn/no de corne/no jeraten no.

(Louis stares at the unconscious Claudia in horror, then lets her slip gently onto the bed. Shamefully he wipes his mouth, sees the tiny wounds on her throat.)
E: There's still life in the old lady yet!(Louis flees into the street. Lestat drops the mother.) Louis, come back! You are what you are! Merciful Death. How you love your precious guilt.

(Music - Lestat's Tarantella)


(Louis running through an assortment of streets. All the night life of New Orleans flows by him.)

LV: Her blood coursed through my veins sweeter than Life itself. And as it did, Lestat's words made sense to me. I knew peace only when I killed, and when I heard her heart in that terrible rhythm, I knew again what peace could be.


(Fingers of light in the sky. Louis, pale and shivering, walks splashing through the water. He comes to a huge sewer-pipe, crowded with rats. He crawls inside.)


(Lestat standing at a window, looking out into the rain.)


(The same sewer-pipe. Now the bodies of dead rats lie all around. A pire of fine leather boots splash through the water.)


(Louis huddled there, so pale and shivering he seems close to death. Lestat comes through.)

E: All I need to find you, Louis, is follow the corpses of rats. Pain is terrible for you. You feel it like no other creature because you are a vampire. You don't want it to go on.

L: No.

E: (He bends down to him.)Then do what it is in you nature to do. And you'll feel as you felt with that child in your arms. Evil is a point of view. God kills indiscriminatly. And so shall we. For no creatures under god are as we are. None so like him, as our selves. I have a gift for you. Come. (Lestat offers his hand) Please.

(Louis takes Lestat's hand. Louis seems baffled. He follows silently.)


E: (Lestat Enters) She's here.

L: What are you saying?

E: You need company, Louis. More conginial than mine. (Lestat holds up a candle and walks towards a large four-poster bed. Claudia lies there, angelic, under the coverlet, two marks on her neck.) Remember how you wanted her? The taste of her?

L: I thought I killed her?

E: Don't worry Louis, your conscience is clear. (Lestat strokes Claudia's face lightly.)

E: Claudia, Claudia. Yes, listen to me. You're ill my precious. I'm going to give you what you need to get well.

(Louis grabs Lestat's wrist as he is going to cut it, to feed Claudia)

L: No.

E: You want her to die then? (Louis releases Lestat's wrist, Lestat punctures wrists and feeds Claudia. Claudia sucks on the wound, reviving, making little noises.) That's it. Yes. Yes. Stop... Stop! Enough!! (Lestat pulls away gasping)

(Claudia being transformed. Becoming white yet robust, bright-eyed yet crazed. Her hair becomes beautiful curls, shining in the candlelight. Claudia sits up.)

Claudia (C) : I want some more.

E: Of course you want more. (Lestat rings bell)

Maid: Vous m'appellez, monsieur? Oh! Quelle belle enfant!

E: (The maid comes near the bed, kneels in front of Claudia. Lestat lays his hand on the maid's throat and Claudia watches keenly. Claudia lunges for the throbbing vein in the neck, locking on to the flowing blood. The maid is transfixed.)

E: Gently cherie. They're so innocent. They must not be made to suffer. Good, yes, alright now, stop. Ah, ahahaha, that's enought cherie. You must stop before the heart stops.

C: (Claudia looks at the corpse.) I want some more.

E: Oh I know. But it's best in the begining. Less the death takes you down with it. And you have done very well, not a drop spilled. Very good.

C: Where's Mama? (Lestat and Claudia sit on the Louis XVI settee. Claudia is a vision, a doll made out of pearl. Animated, voice crisp.)

E: Mama? Mama has gone to heaven, cherie. Like that sweet lady right there. They all go to heaven.

L: All but us.

E: SHHH!! Do you want to frighten our little daughter?

C: I'm not your daughter.

E: Oh yes you are. You're mine and Louis's daughter now. You see, Louis was going to leave us. He was going to go away. But now he's not. Now he is going to stay and make you happy.

C: (Claudia runs over to him. She smiles at him.) Louis...

L: (Louis is conflicted. He cannot leave her. He touches her cheeks, her hair. Same as his. Vampire skin and hair. He draws in his breath, shocked by her beauty, then he embraces her as a father might a daughter. He looks over her shoulder to Lestat. ) You fiend.

E: (Lestat smiles ) One happy family.


I: (Malloy is open mouthed.) He did it to make you stay with him?

L: Perhaps. He knew me. He knew I would love her more than the waking world. But there was more to it. He lavished affection on her, there is no doubt about that. Perhaps, in the end, he did it because he was lonely too.


(Two husky movers bring in furniture through the back courtyard, past the fountain and the banana trees, up the back stairs and into ---)


(Striped wallpaper gives way to flowers in the bedrooms. Huge four-poster beds in the bedrooms, and large chests, as big as coffins standing against the wall. Everywhere there are candles and pretty Louis XVI furniture. Lestat gives instructions to the movers.)


(We see Claudia draped in lace standing on a petit point chair as a DRESSMAKER measure out a garment.)

Seamstress: Monsieur, I need more light. I shall go blind if you do not bring me another lamp. Or let me see this child during the day.

E: I'm afraid, madam my days are sacrosanct.

LV: A little child she was, but also a fierce killer. Now capable of the ruthless pursuit of blood With all a child's demanding. (Dress maker has pricked her hand. A spot of blood appears on her finger Claudia takes her hand.)

C: Let me kiss it better. (Claudia brings the hand to her lips. The dressmaker abruptly pulls her finger away, in pain again.)

E: (Lestat walks through - sees the dressmaker lying dead at Claudia's feet, Claudia still on the chair in the half-finished dress.) Claudia! Claudia, now who will we get to finish your dress? The practicality!( Lestat taps Claudia's hand lightly in punishment.) Remember never in the home.


(Claudia and Louis, sleeping in a coffin together, Claudia's fingers curling his hair.)

LV: She slept in my coffin at first, curling her little fingers around my hair. Until the day came when she wanted one of her own.


(The child's coffin on the floor. The lid lifts. Claudia emerges, yawning, wanders through the flat into. - LOUIS' BEDROOM)

(Where his coffin sits. She slides the lid off, and curls in beside him.)

LV: But still, whenever she awoke, she would crawl into mine. They found out fast in those days, before she learned to play with them, to delay the moment till she had taken what she wanted.


(A well-dressed lady, walking through a square lit by gaslight. The lady hears a child's sobbing and stops, turns. Claudia, the picture of lost innocence, sitting on a bench and crying.)

Large Lady: Ma chere petite fille, why are you crying child? Are you lost my love? (The woman, all solicitude, goes to Claudia.)

C: Mama!

Large Lady: Ah shush, hush now, don't cry. We will find her. Ah mon chere... (The woman takes Claudia in her arms. Claudia nestles her head in her shoulder, her teeth near her neck.)


(Claudia tinkling with her child's hands on the piano, picking out a hesitant tune. A stern, stiff piano-teacher (male) beating time with a ruler as Claudia picks out scales on the piano. He raps her on the knuckles.)

Piano Teacher: Mind the thumb girl, mind the thumb Exact little digit.

(Claudia glares at him, then returns to playing, improving rapidly.)


(Piano music over. Mozart, now well played. Claudia staring at a glass case, inside of which are an array of eighteenth century dolls. An old doll-maker looks down on her.)

Doll Maker: They're expensive, my dear. Maybe too expensive for a young girl like you.

(Claudia looks over at the Doll Maker with an evil gleam in her eye.)


(Claudia walking along, clutching the doll.)


(Claudia playing the piano, now with remarkable dexterity. The piano-teacher sits mute beside her.)

(As she plays, he topples over and falls to the ground. We see the puncture-marks in his neck. Lestat, hearing the noise, comes in.)

E: Claudia, what have we told you?

C: (Claudia fakes distress) Never in the house.

E: Give me some room. (Claudia moves over the Corpse falls off the stool, Lestat starts keeping time to Claudia's playing.)

LV: To me she was a child, but to Lestat a pupil. An infant prodigy, with a lust for killing that match his own. Together they finished off whole families.

(Family Scene)

E: Wonderful, wonderful. Now try something on a more somber note.

LV: Time can passed quickly for mortals when they're happy. With us it was the same. The years flew by like minutes. The city around us grew. Sailboats gave way to steam ships. Disgorging an endless menu of magnificent strangers. A new world had sprung up around us. And we were all Americans now.


(Street lamps are oil at this period. Houses are now tall two-story Spanish style. Streets are flagstone. Passing carriages are black. Claudia, Louis and Lestat, dressed in the same clothes walking through a raucous carnival with sideshows. Crowd milling around, sailors, whores, children, thieves, freed slaves, Indians.)

E: Ah. What I wouldn't give for a drop of good old-fashioned Creole blood.

L: Yankees are not your taste?

E: Their democratic flavor doesn't suit my palate, Louis.

Creole Lady: (She is nude. Singing in French)

E: Now that is pure Creole. Trust Claudia to have found her. What, don't you want her?

C: I want to be her. Can I, Louis? Be like her one day?

E: Oh, Mon Dieu! More melancholy nonsense, I swear you grow more like Louis every day. Soon you'll be eating rats!

C: Rats? When did you eat rats, Louis?

L: It was a long, long time ago. Before you were born (Slurp) And I don't recommend them.

LV: Thirty years had pass, yet her body remained that of an eternal child. Her eyes alone told the story of her age, staring from under her doll like curls, with a questioning that would one day need an answer.


(Claudia is writing at a secretaire. She is writing in a diary with a quill pen in an adult hand. Lestat appears in the doorway. He has a big box in his arms.)

C: Another doll? I have dozens you realize?

E: I thought you could use one more. (He hands her the box. It is a fine Parisian Jumeau doll. She likes it and stokes its face.)

C: Why always on this night?

E: Why what do you mean?

C: You always give me a doll on the same night of the year.

E: Oh, I didn't realize.

C: Is it my birthday? You dress me like a doll you make my hair like a doll, why?

E: (He examines the other dolls.) Some of these are so old, tattered. You should throw them away.

C: I will then.

(She begins to throw all the older dolls to the floor, revealing the body of the Creole Lady, rotting beneath them)

E: Claudia! Claudia! Claudia, what have you done?!

C: What you told me to do!

L: Leave a corpse here to rot?

C: I wanted her! I wanted to be her!

E: She's mad!

L: Claudia!

E: She pollutes the very house we live in!

(Claudia stands up quickly, and strides out into the - PARLOUR, She walks to a mirrored cabinet, takes out a pair of scissors.)

C: Do you want me to be a doll forever?!

(Lestat doesn't answer.)

L: Claudia don't!

C: Why not? Can't I change? Like every body else?!

(She cuts her hair. She sees Lestat emerge from her bedroom in the mirror behind her then turns to him, an angelic little boy's face now with soft curls around her face, she then runs into her room. Claudia screams. She stands before the dressing-table, all her long hair grown back over her shoulders. She holds it with both hands, screaming and screaming. Lestat and Louis come through the door.)

C: Which one of you did it?! Which one of you did it?! Which on of you made me the way I am?!

E: What you are, a vampire gone insane that pollutes it's own bed!!

C: And if I cut my hair again?

E: It will grow back again.

C: But it wasn't always so. I had a mother once, and Louis, he had a wife. He was mortal once the same as she and so was I!

L: Claudia...

C: You made us what we are didn't you?

(She turns on Lestat.)

E: Stop her Louis.

C: Did you do it to me?!

(She runs at him with the scissors, scoring his face. The cut heals. She scores it again. It heals again. She stares at him in horror.)

C: (whispering) How did you do it?

E: Why should I tell you? It's in my power.

C: Why yours alone? Tell me how it was done!

E: Be glad I made you what you are. You'd be dead now if I hadn't, just like that damned corpse. Now get rid of it!

C: You get rid of it!


(Louis follows her outside, onto the porch. There is an old flower-seller going by.)

C: Tell me why... Louis, you’ve got to tell me.

L: You see the old woman? That will never happen to you. You will never grow old, and you will never die.

C: But it means something else to you. That I shall never , ever grow up. I hate him. Tell me how it came to be that I am this. . . thing.


(Louis walking, holding Claudia as if he was about to lose her.)

LV: For thirty years I had avoided that place, yet I found my way back there, with hardly an upward glance.

(Louis back in the same street, outside the same house. He stands with Claudia at the window. Claudia stares at him, suddenly very cold, very alert. He can't go on. Claudia's eyes are remorseless.)

C: You... fed on me.

L: Yes. And he found me with you. And he cut his wrist, and fed you from him, and you where a vampire then, and every night there after.

C: You both did it.

L: I took your life. He gave you another one.

C: (Claudia speaks through indrawn breath.) And here it is, and I hate you both. (She runs.)


(Louis, walking the streets, shivering.)

LV: I walked all night, I walked as I had walked years before when my mind swarmed with guilt at the thought of killing. I had thought of all the thing I had done, and couldn't undo. And I longed for one seconds peace.


(Louis enters, silently, like a corpse. He hears a voice behind him.)

C: Locked together in hatred. (He turns, sees her sitting in the darkness. She is wearing a tiny nightgown of stitched lace and pearls, weirdly adult and seductive. She comes towards him.) But I can't hate you, Louis. (She whispers.) Louis, my love, I was mortal to you. You gave me your immortal kiss. You became my mother, and my father, and so I'm yours forever. But now it's time to end it, Louis. Now it's time to leave him.

L: He will never let us go.

C: (Claudia smiles.) Oh, really?


(Lestat playing the piano. Louis reading. Claudia enters, wearing a cape and hat. She walks to the piano, sits at the end of the piano and stares at him as he plays.)

E: What is it now? You irritate me! Your very presence irritates me!

C: (Sweetly) Does it?

E: Yes. And I'll tell you something else! I've met someone who will make a better vampire than both of you.

C: Is that supposed to frighten me?

E: You're spoilt because you're an only child. You need a brother. Or I do. I'm weary of you both.

C: I suppose we could people the world with vampires, the three of us.

E: Not you my dear, Claudia.

C: You're a liar. But you’ll upset my plans.

E: What plans?

C: I came to make peace with you, even if you're the father of lies. I want things to be as they were.

E: Stop pestering me then!

C: Oh, Lestat. I must do more than that. I've brought a present for you.

E: Then I hope its a beautiful woman with endowments you will never possess.

(Claudia stares at him for a moment.)

C: Why do you say such things?

(Lestat sits in silence, regretting his choice of words.)

C: You haven't fed enough. I can tell by your color. Come.

(Lestat sighs. She takes his hand and leads him into an inner room.)


(Two beautiful youths, lying asleep on a couch, by a table full with a half-eaten meal. Lestat sighs.)

E: Oh, Claudia, you've outdone yourself.

C: Drunk on brandy wine. A thimbleful. When I saw them, I knew they were for you.

E: We forgive each other then?

(Claudia stares at him, sitting. She nods. Lestat bites into the neck of one of the youths, sucks greedily and horribly. Claudia watches him without expression. He finished one, is about to take the other when he staggers. He looks at Claudia.)

E: Absinthe? You gave then absinthe?

C: No. Laudanum.

(Lestat stares wildly at her, tries to move towards her, and then slips to the floor.)

E: Laudanum!

C: Yes. It killed them, unfortunately. But it keeps the blood warm.

(Lestat tries to rise.)

E: let me drink dead

C: One lesson you taught me, never drink from the dead!

E: Louis!

(Louis enters the room.)

L: My god.

E: Louis, put me in my coffin...

C: I'll put you in your coffin.

(She pulls a knife out from under her shawl, walks rapidly to him and slashes his throat. Blood explodes from it. He falls back, fangs bared. Louis looks. The floor is a sea of blood. Lestat has begun to shrivel, as if he'd been a bag of blood. His skin is shriveling against his bones like parchment, his eyes are slipping back into his skull-like face. His lush, beautiful hair remains unchanged. But his clothes are virtually being emptied of the body. It is no more than bones, wrapped in paper and the pupils of the eyes suddenly roll up into the papered skull.)

C: Louis, pick me up.

(Louis puts her up above the blood. She stares at the shriveled skeleton in its skin wrapping. She is fascinated. She sees the vampiric blood flow all over the floor.)

C: Goodnight, sweet prince, may flights of devils wing you to your rest.

(She stands up, all business suddenly.)

C: Should we burn him? Bury him? What would he have liked, Louis?

(Louis looks at her upset.)

C: The swamp...


(Louis whipping the horses. Claudia beside him. Lestat's skeleton in the back, with the bodies of the two dead youths.
Louis drags out the bodies of the boys. He slides them into the waters of the swamp. We see ripples in the water and the churning of alligators, as they attack the corpses. Louis takes Lestat's skeleton in his arms. He slides it into the waters. The alligators speed towards it.)

C: He belongs with those reptiles, Louis.

L: Then maybe so do we. Every night of our lives. He was my maker. He gave me this life, whatever it is.

C: I did it for us, Louis. So we could be free.

(He stands there, saying nothing. Louis walks her towards the carriage.
He lifts her into the carriage and drives off, leaving the silent waters of the swamp.)


I: You missed him.

L: He was all I knew, It as simple as that. We where like two orphans learning to live again. We booked passage to Europe.

LV: Over the weeks while we waited for the boat to arrive, she studied the myths and legends of the old world, obsessed with the search for what she called “our kind.”

(Piano music, birds)


(Sturdy mulatto workmen lifting cases and trunks out of the apartment. All the furniture is covered in white sheets. Claudia dressed in a cap and hat, is playing the piano by the light of one remaining oil-lamp. Louis comes from her room with the cage of canaries.)

L: Look who we forgot. Let's set them free, yes?

C: Yes.

L: Yes. (Door bell) It's the carriage (Door bell)

(He goes downstairs. Claudia plays a moment, then stops. She goes to the window.
THE STAIRWAY -- Louis walking to the door. He opens the door. But Louis has opened the door. Nothing there. He looks around, then back at the room, puzzled.)

C: (Claudia appears in the hall.) No Louis!

(Then at the door again when, swooping into his vision comes the nightmare image of -- Lestat, In filthy swamp-soaked rags, robust again, but his flesh shriveled, covered in scars, his eyes riddled, bloodshot. he roars. Louis throws his body against the door, slamming it on Lestat's reaching hand. The hand withdraws, as Lestat roars. Louis bolts the door. Louis runs up the stairs, sweeps Claudia in his arms, watching appalled as the door shudders with the force of Lestat's body.)


(Louis runs through with Claudia in his arms. Lestat is sitting at the Piano playing.)

E: Listen Louis... There's life in these old hands still. Not quiet furioso, moderato, cantable perhaps. Bless the alligator. His blood helped, then on the diet of the blood of snakes toads, and all the putrid life of the Mississippi. Lestat became like himself again. Claudia you have been a very, very, naughty little girl.

(Lestat lunges again at Claudia. Louis hurls the lamp, which explodes him in flame. Louis gathers up Claudia, smothering the burning house, carries her down the back stairs, through the carriage way and through the gathering crowds of mortals into the street.)


(Louis running, with Claudia behind him, holding his hand. He looks back at the flames of the house. Sound of a ship's horn.)

C: The ship is sailing without us!


(Louis stands at the railings in the morning mist as the ship moves down the river. He sees...)

LV: Thought the fire spread threw the quarter, I stood on that deck, fearful he would come out again, in the very river like some monster to destroy us both, and all the while I thought Lestat you deserve you vengeance, You gave me the dark gift and I delivered you into the hands of death for the second time.


(With flame lighting up the sky.)


(The ship, shrouded in mist. A body is slipped into the sea. A priest reads last rites to a mourning family.)

L: Though the ship was blessedly free of rats, a strange plague none the less struck it's passengers. Claudia and I alone seemed immune. We kept to ourselves pondering the mystery of each other.


(Passing through the Straits of Gibraltar.)

LV: We reached the Mediterranean. I wanted those waters to be blue but they where black. Night time waters. And how I suffered then, straining to recall the color in my youth I had taken for granted.


(Claudia, sitting with an easel and sketchpad, sketching the bay of Naples. A beautifully realized drawing, all in shades of gray and black. Louis observes.)

LV: We searched village after village...

(the sketch changes to a sketch of - THE ACROPOLIS -- In the moonlight.)

LV: ruin after ruin...

(The sketch changes to a sketch of -- TRANSYLVANIA -- And the traditional shapes of the vampire landscape.)

LV: country after country...


LV: and always we found nothing. I began to believe we where the only ones.


(Malloy and Louis, sits in the room together. )

L: There is a strange comfort in that thought. For what could the damned really have to say to the damned...

I: You said you found nothing?

L: Peasant rumors, superstitions about garlic, crosses, the old stake in the heart, but one of our kind, not a whisper.

I: So there are no vampires in Transylvania? No, no Count Dracula?

L: Fictions, my friend. The vulgar fictions of a demented Irishman.

LV: Paris. September 1870, the city I had always dreamed of. I was Creole after all, and Paris was the mother of New Orleans. A universe whole and entire unto herself.


(Crowds and gaslight everywhere. Carriages, horses, OPERA coming from the opera house.)


(Louis and Claudia hurrying hand in hand with a crowd of mortals towards the sound of an ORCHESTRA TURNING beyond.)


(Claudia, surrounded by discarded dresses and outfits, being attended by couturiers. All the clothes are tiny, to fit her frame, but have an adult cut and shape. She twirls, looking at herself in the mirror, then stops, stares at herself. )

LV: We were alive again. Just the two of us. And so euphoric was I, that I yielded to her every desire. And so it was that when I had given up the search for vampires, a vampire found me.

(CU LOUIS' FEET – Walking. A step echoes his. Louis stops. Turns, sees nothing. Then walks again. The echoing steps begin again. Louis again. Sees a shadow, flitting. Nothing. He walks again, hears the same effect. Then he stops. He stares at a gas lamp opposite. Santiago, a tall vampire, materializes under the gaslight. And Louis gradually realizes that this vampire has assumed the same attitude, posture, clothes and hairstyle as Louis. Louis gives an involuntary shake of the head. Santiago mimics. Louis takes a step forwards. Santiago mimics. Louis folds his arms. Santiago mimics.)

L: Buffoon!

(Santiago knocks his hat off. Then slaps Louis in the face. Louis has broken his composure. Santiago disappears and a new vampire appears. He stares, awestruck, at this new one.)

Armand (A): Santiago. (He looks like an angel.)

L: I have searched the world for an immortal and this is what I find.

A: (He reaches into his waistcoat, takes an engraved invitation out of his pocket and thrusts it at Louis.)

By Special Invitation
Friday, 9 p.m.

A: Bring the petite beauty with you, no one will harm you, I won't allow it. And ah, remember my name. Armand.


(Louis formally dressed with Claudia in rich attire on his arm. They pass people buying tickets for the theatre and go inside.)

L: Now Remember what I told you, They will have different powers. They will read your thoughts if you let them. He's the one, that's the vampire.

(Warily, they show their invitations to the mortal ticket taker at the door. He glances away indifferently.)


(Claudia and Louis look at the crowd as the lights go down. Stage: curtain rises. An elaborate painted set of an Italianate castle. Death standing before it, the traditional image of the Grim Reaper, complete with magnificent scythe.)

Santiago (S): Two lovers wonder down their violet way. Who's passionate embraces each to each, commence no meditations on decay, until they find themselves within my reach...hahaha!!

L: Vampires who pretend to be humans, pretending to be vampires.

C: How avant-garde.

(A version of the Poe story unfolds before them. All of the participants are vampires. All beautiful gleaming white, aged 20 or 30.)

S: A monk who soul with heaven doth commune, and spends his day in pious contemplation. Finds he will meet his maker all to soon, for all his prays he gets no enumeration. The lesson endeth here, and it is this: Each one of you my clammy hands must touch; each one must bend his forehead to my kiss...

S: But hark me think a mortal doth approach. What have we here? What beauty by my side? A rose in bloom, a shrinking violet! Perhaps she has mind to be my bride? Perhaps my lesson has not ended yet!

(A spotlight uncovers a mortal woman suddenly forced out upon the stage. The audience laughs uneasily, then stops as the Mortal Woman comes into the footlights. She is too beautiful, too confused. Santiago, as Death, advances on her. She backs away, terrified, then sees the other vampires, in a phalanx, advancing from behind, in a half-circle.)

Girl (G): I don't want to die!

(She looks around in panic. Santiago swoons, arms over his breast as if he is hopelessly in love.)

S: But Death we are and Death we have always been.

(The Mortal Woman steps to the footlights.)

G: Someone help me, please! What have I done?

S: We all die...

(Santiago gestures to the audience.)

G: But I am young....

(Santiago approaches her and tears the drawstring out of her peasant blouse. It opens completely and starts to slip. She tries to catch it, but gently stops her wrists. The blouse falls, exposing her young breasts.)

S: Death is no respecter of age, it can come any time, any place. Just as this flesh is pink now, so it will turn gray and wrinkle with age.

G: Let me leave, I don't care.

S: Then why should you care if you die now? (She shakes her head, confused.) and Suppose death had a heart to love and to release you, to whom would he turn this passion? Would you chose a person from the crowd there? A person to suffer as you suffer?

(A young girl cries out in jest.)

Audience Member: Oh yes, Monsieur Vampyre, take me! I adore you!

(Audience roars with laughter.)

S: Oh you wait your turn! Do you know what it means to be loved by death? To become our bride?

(The Mortal Woman shakes her head in panic.)

(MORTAL WOMAN looks up on the verge of hysteria or fainting. But then her eyes mist over. She is being entranced.
FROM HER POV we realize she is looking past Santiago at the divinely beautiful Armand, who has just stepped out of the wings. Armand has entranced her. He passes Santiago. Santiago stiffens, but yields the stage. ARMAND takes her by the naked shoulders. Other Vampires Hiss. Armand gestures to the others who slowly, gracefully close in. He pulls the drawstring from her skirt and it falls revealing her nakedness. But she is spellbound.)

A: (Raise arms) No pain. No pain. (Remove Skirt)

(Armand embraces her, drinks, her naked body stark against his black clothes, then he passes her to the other vampires one by one. CLOSE ON LOUIS who battles desire and hunger with anger.)

L: Monstrous!

(ON STAGE The naked Mortal Woman lies dead on the floor. The vampires seem to vanish one by one. As the curtain draws across, the Audience loudly applauds what they presume are theatrical tricks. ANOTHER ANGLE The audience, milling towards the exits. They talk in vacuous terms about the beauty of the show, the symbolism of it, the daring of it as they leave. )


(Armand leading, Louis and Claudia following. Fine wooden coffins line the walls. Candles burn in sconces, casting alternate shadows and pools of light. Armand walks through, gesturing Louis and Claudia to follow him. As they walk through, vampire man and women appear out of the shadows like wraiths, startling them, drifting around them. )

A: We live beneath, let me show you.

L: Monstrous...

A: Yes, but very beautiful. (Toss of cloak) Welcome to my home, (Gesture Young boy comes forward, lift hand) Try him.

(Louis glances at Armand, who smiles. Louis sees the puncture marks on the boy's neck. Louis is utterly confused. Can't resist. Drinks his blood. The boy gasps. Louis, suddenly ashamed draws away.)


(Medieval chairs, table, an old coffin, a bed in one corner, a blazing fire. A medieval painting of Satan, being banished from heaven, above the fire. Armand places the boy on the bed, settling him so he sleeps.)

A: Two vampires from the new world, come to guide us into the new era. As all we love slowly rots and fades away.

(He glances at Louis, then at Claudia, who averts her eyes.)

L: Are you the leader of this, this group?

A: If there were a leader, I would be the one. (Claudia stares at him constantly, guarded.)

L: So you have the answers?

A: So you have questions?

L: What are we?

A: Nothing, if not vampires.

L: Who made us what we are?

A: Surely you know the one who made you.

L: Yes, but the one who made him, the source, of all this evil....

A: (He smiles at Louis. A smile of infinite compassion.) I understand, I saw you in the theater. Your suffering, your sympathy for that girl, you die when you kill, you feel you deserve to die, and you still do nothing, does that make you evil, or sense you comprehend what you call goodness does that make you good.

L: Then there is nothing.

A: Perhaps... but perhaps, (He passes his finger through the candle flame.) this is the only real evil left.

L: Then god does not exist?

A: I know nothing of god or the devil. I have never seen a vision nor learned a secret that will damn or save my soul. And as far as I know, after 4 hundred years I am the oldest living vampire in the world. (He stares at them, his face angelic, hypnotic, young. His eyes hold them both in a trance.)

L: Then it's as I have always fear.

A: You fear too much. So much you make me fear. (He stares from Claudia to Louis. He seems to be reading their souls.) The one who made you should have told you this. The one who left the old world for the new.

L: The one who made us knew nothing, nor did he care.

A: Knew?

C: (Claudia appears suddenly to Louis' shoulder, interrupting.) Come beloved, its time we where on our way, I'm hungry and the city awaits. (She stares hard at Armand. Armand looks from her to Louis. Armand seems genuinely regretful. But Claudia pulls Louis out.)


(Louis and Claudia feel their way through darkened corridors, trying to find their way out.)

LV: The place was empty as we left, silent as the grave, and as we blunder threw it again came the thought, I have wronged Lestat, I have hated him for the wrong reasons.

(Suddenly a light comes on. They see they are in the empty theatre. Santiago stands on the stage, under a candle. )

S: How did you wrong him? (Louis is stunned.) You said a name.

L: Yes a name I don't care to repeat.

S: There is but one crime among us vampires here,(He looks at Claudia.) the crime that means death to any vampire. Kill your own kind.


(Louis closes the door behind him. Claudia paces.)

L: Do you think I would let them harm you?

C: No you would not, Louis. Danger holds you to me.

L: Love holds you to me.

C: Love?

L: Love.

C: (She smiles at him. A strange, sad, adult smile.) You would leave me for Armand if he beckoned you.

L: Never

C: He wants you as you want him, He's been waiting for you, he wants you as a companion. He bides his time in that place. He finds it as dull and lifeless as we do.

L: Perhaps, yes.

C: Do you know what his soul said to me without saying a word? Let him go he said, let him go. (She touches his face.) Is that what I should do Louis, Let you go. My father, my Louis, who made me?

L: It will be all right.

C: You really believe that?


(Louis, sitting alone in the box, as the curtains draw back, to show Santiago as death, as before. Louis takes advantage of the darkness to slip away.)

S: The soldier on returning from the war. Thinks victory has inured him against sorrow, till death comes by and chops him from his horse.


(Louis opens the doors and walks in. )

A: I was waiting for you.

L: Listen to me, Claudia is very dear to me, she is my daughter.

A: Your lover.

L: My beloved, my child...

A: You say so you are innocent.

L: She's in danger, isn't she?

A: She is

L: But why?

Armand's Voice: I could give you reasons her silence, her youth, it forbidden to make one so young, so helpless, that cannot survive on it's own.


(Claudia, staring at the dolls. We see Madeleine inside, painting a doll. She sees Claudia and smiles and waves.)


(Louis and Armand continue to talk.)

L: Then blame the one who made her.

A: Did you kill this vampire who made you both? Is that why you won't say his name. Santiago thinks you did.

L: We want no quarrel with him.

A: No, no it's already begun! If you want to save her, send her away!

L: Then I leave to.

A: (Armand smiles.) So soon. With out any of those answers you so long for?

L: You said there where none.

A: But, You asked the wrong questions. You know how few vampires have this talent for immortality, how quickly they parish of their own will, and the world changes, we do not, there in lies the irony that finally kills us. I need you to make contact with this age.

L: (Louis laughs bitterly.) Me? Don't you see, I'm not the spirit of any age. I'm at odds with everything, I've always have been.

A: (Armand smiles.) Louis... That's the very spirit of you age, The heart of it, your fall from grace, has been the fall of a century. (Louis is stunned.)

L: The vampires in the theater...

A: Decadent, useless, They can't reflect anything, but you do. You reflect it's broken heart. (Louis is speechless.) Vampire with a human soul, immortal with a mortal's passion. You are beautiful my friend. Lestat must have wept when he made you.

L: Lestat? You knew Lestat?

A: Yes, I knew him,: Knew him well enough not to morn his passing.


(Louis, in the street outside, as the door closes behind him.)

LV: I felt a kind of peace at last. I had found the teacher which Lestat could never I knew now have been. I knew knowledge would never be withheld from Armand. I knew it would pass threw him as threw a pain of glass.


(Louis enters. There is unfamiliar scent in the air, a doll sitting by the mirror. Louis looks in the mirror and sees -- MADELEINE, the doll-maker, resplendent in green taffeta. The contrast between mortal woman and immortal child is plain.)

C: Madeleine, Louis is shy.

Madeleine (M): (Madeleine rises and comes towards Louis. She draws back the lace fringes round her throat, so he can see the two marks there. She says softly, dreamily.)Drink.

C: (Louis turns away. Claudia speaks, icy, from the bed.) Do it Louis! Because I cannot do it. I haven't the strength. You saw to that when you made me.

L: (Louis turns to Madeleine.) You haven't the vaguest conception under god what you ask.

M: oh contraire Monsieur, I have. (Louis pushes her away. Claudia screams.)

C: You have found your new companion Louis, You will make me mine.

L: How do we seem to you? Do you find us beautiful, magical? Our white skin our fierce eyes? Drink you ask me, Do you know of thing you will become?

C: Your evil is that you cannot be evil, and I shall suffer no longer.

L: Don't make me do this, I cannot!

C: Yet you could do it to me. Snatch me from my mother's hand, like two monsters in a fairy tale. And now you weep. I haven't tears enough for what you've done to me. (She points to Madeleine) You give her to me Louis! Do this before you leave me. (She begins to weep, sobbing like a child.)

C: Oh god, I love you still, and that's the torment of it. but who will care for me my love, my dark angel when you are gone? (Louis looks at Madeleine.)

L: What do you think she is Madeline, a doll?

M: A child who cannot die.

L: For a child who did die?

M: A daughter.

(Her finger clutches a locket around her neck, Louis touches it, opens it. THE LOCKET -- A picture of a young girl, Claudia's age, wistful, beautiful. Louis pulls her to him and starts to drink her blood. )

M: (Madeleine is now on the floor, two sets of vampire bite marks on her neck. She screams out in pain.)


(Louis on the balcony, weakened terribly. A breeze blows on the gauze curtains behind him. Claudia comes through the curtains, alarmed. Louis speaks without turning.)

C: Louis what’s happening to her?

L: She is dying. It happened to you too, but you where too young to remember.

C: But if she dies?

L: (He turns to look at Claudia.) It's only mortal death. Bare me no ill will my love, we are now even.

C: What do you mean?

L: What died in that room was not that woman, but what has died is the last breath of me that was human. (She takes his hand.)

C: Yes father, at last we are even.

(She bends down and kisses him. He looks up, at the wafting curtains. he sees -- MANY VAMPIRE SHADOWS Silhouetted, coming closer. CLAUDIA Looks up and screams. THE CURTAINS Are ripped aside. The vampires of the Theatre surge through.)

Lady Vampire-Estelle (LVE): It's time for justice, little one!

(The vampires close on them as Louis struggles, Claudia's scream pierces the night air.)


(In a press of vampires, Louis, Claudia and Madeleine are forced down the dark corridor. )


(Vampire chaos, as they are dragged through. Louis struggling like a demon.)

L: Get me Armand, he won't stand for this.

S: Death for the others, for you eternity in a box, walled in a dungeon, your only comfort will be your screams, Perhaps it will take centuries, Take them.

L: Claudia, Armand Armand, Armand, Claudia, Claudia, Armand!

(The sound of something being dragged through the crowd. Horrible echoing, scraping. A huge metal coffin being dragged through the vampires. Claudia screams. The vampires grip Louis. They force him towards the coffin. Louis struggles fiercely as he is forced into the coffin. Louis, struggling in the coffin. Then the lid is forced down, huge locks closed over it.)

S: (Laughs.)


(Louis, in the smallest imaginable space. Beating his forehead against the metal. )


(Claudia is carried away. Vampire hands drag the coffin across the stone floor.)

LVE: (Laughs.)

Other Vampires: (Laughing.)


(The Vampires of the Theater throw Madeleine and Claudia into a cell locking the door.)

C: Let me out, no...


(Is thrust into a niche in the wall. Bricks being placed over, mortar trowelled on.)

S: Pleasant dreams!

L: No, help!


(Claudia wakes up. The cell is open to the blue sky above, and the sun is slowly creeping over the rim of the top of the tower like cell.)

C: Madeline, wake up. (Claudia shakes Madeleine waking her up. They both gasp and huddle together. The sunlight reaches them and they scream as their flesh burns.)


(Louis upside down. Sounds of bricks and mortar. Then terrifying, unearthly scream pierces the coffin, striking to his very soul. )

L: Claudia!

(The lid opens. He sees - ARMAND Above him, reaching down to take his hand. )

L: Where's Claudia?

A: Claudia? I cannot help her.

L: Where's Claudia?! (Armand points to his cell at the end of the passage, the foot of the steps. )

A: I can't save her! I could only risk losing you! Louis don't! ( Armand approaches, trying to pull him away, but Louis shrugs him off. He draws nearer and nearer.)

(The other vampires are gathered around the cell. Santiago gives Louis a smug look.)


(On the stones lie Claudia and Madeleine, burn to ashes, in each other's arms. Louis looks up at the walls of this air well, many stories to the sky. The ashes fly up into his face.)

A: Come Louis, not here.


(A tear falls onto Louis's hand from his eye.)

I: So a vampire can cry?

L: Once may twice in his own eternity. Maybe it was to quench those tears forever that I took such revenge on them.


(Louis hurls kerosene all over the stage, the curtain, the sets, the seats below. He grabs the scythe from the pallet. He walks out. Dribbling a trail of kerosene behind him.)


(Louis walking rapidly down, leaving the trail of kerosene. He creeps quietly into the -- BALLROOM Leaking kerosene from the cask. He splashes over the coffins that gleam in the dimness. Then he knocks a candelabra into the kerosene. Everything bursts into flame. The trail of kerosene roars into fire through the ballroom over the coffins and up the stairs. We hear EXPLOSIONS of fire from above. Louis, shudders all over, fighting the morning weakness. He readies the scythe, like the grim reaper. ESTELLE rises from her burning coffin, screams and tries to run through the fire but Louis slashes her down with the scythe and she goes down screaming, her dress in flames.)

LVE: Help me!! It's burning fire!!

(Others rise, choking in the smoke. Screams from everywhere. They are burning. Louis backs up the stairs to the Theater.)

S: (Screams)

L: (Screams)

S: (Laugh) (Slice)

(SANTIAGO Comes at him from behind. Louis turns. Santiago rushes him in a blur. Louis swings the scythe, too fast to see what he himself is doing. Santiago's head streaming blood flies through the air. The body drops, flapping its arms. SCREAMS come from everywhere.)


(Louis staggers out of the burning theatre, into the thin daylight. Great gusts of smoke cover the street. He staggers through the daylight, weakening, about to fall, when through the clouds of smoke comes from the theatre. burning the of spectacle leaving smoke, through vanishes hearse The inside. him pulls and Louis to out hand a reaches He Armand. see we interior, enclosing curtains Through opens. door boy. human Armand’s by driven dream, in As - HEARSE MAGNIFICENT)

A: Louis !


(The gutted Theatre and ballroom, the roof collapsed, exposed to the evening sky. The life of Paris goes on around it, oblivious.)


(It is already a museum by this time and Louis and Armand, fancily dressed and composed, walk through it. They stop by a Gericault - The Wreck of the Medusa.)

L: You didn't even warn them, did you?

A: No.

L: And you knew what I would do?

A: I knew, I rescued you didn't I?

L: hum.

A: From the terrible dawn.

L: You where their leader, they trusted you.

A: (He looks at Louis affectionately.) You made me see their failures Louis, they where doomed, stuck in their decadent time. They had forgotten the first lesson we must be, powerful, Beautiful and without regret.

L: And you can teach me this?

A: Yes.

L: To be without regret?

A: Yes.

L: Then what a pair we could make, but what if it's a lesson I don't care to learn?

A: What do you mean?

L: What if all I have is my suffering, my regret?

A: Don't you want to lose it?

(Armand and Louis walk slowly through the Louvre together. Camera follows them for a while, then comes to rest on a portrait in black of a girl's face in a dark hood, but with bright eyes.)

L: So you can have that to, the heart that mourns her, her that you burnt to a cinder?

A: Louis I swear it..

L: Ah...but I know you did...I know, You who regrets nothing, You who feels nothing, and if that's all I have left to learn I can do that one my own.

A: Louis.

L: Yes?

A: I will die.

L: No you are dead, and you want me quicken you once more. And as much as your invitation might appeals to me, I must regretfully decline.

(Music Plays in the background)

LV: For years I wondered, Italy, Greece, all the ancient lands.

LV: But the world was a tomb to me, a graveyard of broken statue, and each of those statues resembled her face.

LV: Then out of curiosity boredom, who know what. I left the old world and came back to my America. And there a mechanical wonder, let me see the sun rise for the first time in two hundred years.

(On the screen, Murnau's SUNRISE, in black and white. We see a montage of sunrises, from a whole range of movies, in black and white.)

L :And what sunrises, seen as the human eyes can never see them, Silver at first then as the years progressed tones of purple red, and my long lost blue. (The SUNRISES continue, in color now, and the backgrounds in them change to the fifties. The lights come up in a different theatre. Louis sitting there, alone, in a half empty theatre, dressed in the clothes of the fifties. He rises, exits with the others.)

LV: In the spring of 1988, I returned to New Orleans. And As soon as I smelled the air, I knew I was home. It was rich almost sweet, like the fragrance of jasmine and roses around our old courtyard. I walked the streets, savoring that long lost perfume. and Then on Pertania street, only blocks from the Lafayette cemetery, I caught the scent of death.


(Louis walks past the many Greek Revival Mansions. Louis sees rats darting across the street. They rush into a great overgrown garden surrounding a ruined mansion. No lights. Louis stops at a rusted gate. He forces it open and enters
-- A VERITABLE JUNGLE of overgrown rose and oak tree and wisteria. he sees a faint glimmer of light coming from a distant glass window of a huge Greek Revival house. He approaches then he sees -- OLD SHRIVELLED CORPSE of a man, long dead and dried up, snagged in the thorny rose vines. Louis sees dead rats lying near the steps.)

LV: And it wasn't coming from the graves. The scent grew stronger as I walked, old death. A scent to faint for mortals to detect.

(Louis treads carefully on the rotted steps. he moves along the porch. More dead rats. He sees through the floor-length window into rooms lined with stacked books. Virtually walled with them. Water seeps down from the ceiling, gleaming as it streaks over the books. The floors of the splendid rooms are bare, except for a rotten French chair by a dead fireplace. A single mirror reflecting the moon. Dead rats. He moves along the porch to the parlor windows. The candle flickers inside. He sees -- Lestat sitting in a chair. He is gaunt to near starvation. All his scars are gone, but he is almost a skeleton and his eyes are enormous in their sockets. His clothes are rags.)

E: (Without turning his head, he speaks.) Louis, I'm so glad you are here. I have dreamt of this moment, she never should have been one of us.

L: It's all past Lestat.

E: Yes past. (He turns and looks at Louis. Old, fearful, broken.) Still beautiful Louis. You always where the strong one.

L: Don't be frightened, I mean you no harm.

E: You've come home to me then? You remember how I was? The vampire that I was?

L: Yes I remember.

E: Oh, No one could refuse me, not even you.

L: I tried.

E: Yes you tried, and the more you tried the more I wanted you. (Louis shakes his head. A series of police sirens go by, piercing the night sky. A helicopter goes overhead. Red flashes illuminate his face. Lestat shivers, covers his ears. He's terrified. Louis touches him, calming him, until the lights pass over.) I can't stand Louis. Such lights. and that noise, make the night brighter then the day.

L: Lestat. It's false light, it can't harm you.

E: Yes. If you stay with me, I could venture out again, become the old Lestat.

L: (Louis shivers. He releases him.) I must leave now. (Louis walks slowly away from him.)

LV: Whatever happened to Lestat I do not know. I go on, night ever night. I feed on those who cross my path. But all my passion went with the golden hair, and all the spirit of preternatural flesh detached, unchangeable empty.


(Malloy, staring at Louis. )

I: Empty, that's it, no it can't end like that.

L: But it has, there is no more to tell.

I: There has to be more to tell, You, you don't understand yourself, your not empty, um what people wouldn't give to be, what I wouldn't give to be like you. To have your power, to be able to have seen the things you have seen in your life.

L: You haven't been listening.

I: Yes I have been listening, The story you have told me is, is incredible, it's amazing.

L: (Louis looks at the cassettes on the table.) Do what you want with it, give the story to others, learn what you can.

I: There is one way I will ever truly learn and you know it, Now you brought me up here for a reason, didn't you, didn't you?

L: (He stares at Malloy.) And what reason, would that be?

I: You want a companion You want a link to the outside world. Why that's me, I mean, take me. That's what I want, I want what you have, I refuse to let it end like this.

L: (Louis is slowly horrified, then outraged and angry. Louis turns away.) Dear god I failed again, haven't I.

I: You haven't failed, God has nothing to do with this

L: (He looks at the boy. Then suddenly grabs him, lifts him off the floor, bares his terrifying fangs and brings them to his throat. Malloy is in terror.) Do you like this?

I: No!

L: Do you like being food for the immortals? Do you like dying?

I: (Malloy, now terrified, whispers) Stop!

(Louis drops him. Malloy, falls on the floor, terrified. When he looks up, Louis has vanished. He looks up at the tape. It is still turning. He shakes his head. He gets up, and with shaking fingers gathers his tapes. He runs out of the room. )


(Malloy running for his car, a convertible. He leaps in and screeches off through the night.)


(Malloy whips the car through the tiny streets, in sheer, unfocused terror.)


(Malloy driving with streams of traffic over the bridge. He breathes deeply, to calm himself. He takes a tape from his pocket, and with still shaking hands, sticks it in the deck.)

Louis's Voice (On Tape): 1791 was the year it happened, I was 24 younger then you are now, but times where different then, I was a man at that age, the Master of a large plantation just south of New Orleans, I had lost my wife in child birth

I: Somebody change my shorts.

LV(OT): She and the infant had been buried less then half a year.

I: This is good stuff.

LV(OT): I would have been happy to join them.

I: Good stuff

(Suddenly a boney hand shoots out from the back seat, pulls his neck backwards -- LESTAT sinks his teeth in his neck. MALLOY'S hands on the wheel shaking, shuddering, losing their grip. MALLOY'S eyes bulging, as the life drains out of him. Lestat sucking him like a rat. THE WHEEL swinging free of Malloy's dying hands. THE CAR veers wildly into oncoming traffic. LESTAT drinks regardless. A TRUCK coming towards them, about to crush the car. LESTAT'S BONeY HAND grabs the wheel, jerks it as he drinks. THE CAR misses the truck by inches. LESTAT throws Malloy to one side, climbs into the front seat.)

E: I assume I need no introduction. I feel better already.

LV(OT): Most of all I longed for death. I invited it. A release from the pain of living.

E: Oh Louis, Louis, Still whining Louis!! Have you heard enough? I've had to listen to that for centuries. (He smiles.) Don't be afraid I'm going to give you the choice I never had.

(Music Starts - Guns 'n Roses Sympathy for the Devil)

The End