Am I dead?
Many of you have asked that of Roland. Am I?
Ghoul they call me. Am I?
I eat the living. But then so do many of you ...
and for far less pressing reasons :
for spite, for envy, for the sheer pleasure of it.
I was born after Princess Victoria and before grown men started wearing ear-rings.
In New Orleans, I was betrayed into a living death by Mother, jealous of my step-father's attention.
I had the cold comfort of watching her beauty wither, her loves leave her,
starting with my step-father ... who had only pretended affection for the two of us.
I gave her revenge,
and the only price was her sanity.
Watching the monster you made of your own daughter eat your beloved right in front of you
will tend to make your mind become just like your heart ... empty.
So what am I to do with Victor Standish?
I am an old woman in a girl's body. He is an old soul in a boy's frame. Hemingway once told me that it can never end well when two love one another.
And I find myself falling in love with Victor. Is what I see growing in his eyes love for me? I will destroy him I know.
I even forced myself to tell him so. And do you know what he did?
He laughed that gypsy laugh of his, kissing me on the cheek.
"Oh, silly rabbit," he said. "Captain Sam's enemies are gonna kill me long before that! Let's just enjoy it while we've got it."
"It what?," I whispered.
"Us," he whispered back, and this time he kissed me full on my cold, cold lips.
And he didn't flinch. Not even a little.
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