Snow rarely falls on New Orleans. Most recently, a small amount of snow fell during the 2004 Christmas Eve Snowstorm. On December 25, a combination of rain, sleet, and snow fell on the city, leaving some bridges icy. Before that, the last white Christmas was in 1954 and brought 4.5 inches of snow.
It's 1954 again.
Laos has just become independent; the US has tested a hydrogen bomb on the Bikini Atoll. In New Orleans Jimmy Cooper has been found innocent to the murder of his wife, uptown socialite and model Amelie Woolfolk "Diddie" Cooper who was found bludgeoned to death two years earlier. Her murder will never be solved.
But this isn't a known fact in December 1954.
It is snowing. Jeremiah stands in a relaxed pose by the window with a cigarette in his soft, long fingered hand. His young looking face and his attention is turned towards the outside world and the white flakes which are slowly descending upon it. Some ashes fall from his cigarette onto the carpet. Kitty the malkavian sits, wearing a modern pink dress with a matching jacket made out of raw silk, in a sturdy office chair by the heavy wooden desk. She's writing one of her letters. Jeremiah took her diaries away, so now she writes letters instead. More than half are addressed to dead people. It's not a morbid thing; it's just that she doesn?t remember right now that they are dead. She remembers that she misses them, and so she writes them, drops them a note to tell them so.
Mister Jeremiah slowly smokes his cigarette. The smoke lingers in the air around him. Everything is oh so still. The only sound comes from Kitty?s pen against the paper. Jeremiah puts his free hand against the glass, as if to touch the night outside. He breaks the silence, violates it with his voice.
The sound of pen on paper stops. Kitty looks up from her letter. She puts the pen down, quickly adjust her beehive hairdo and opens the small metal box in front of her containing thin, long cigarettes without letting him go with her eyes.
"Yes, Mr J?"
He turns away from the window to face her.
"Close your eyes, Kitty. Relax."
"Can I smoke?"
She holds the silver lighter in her well manicured hand and when he nods she gently lights her Lady?s Slim, puffs on it and closes her eyes. He actually bought her new cigarettes last night just before the tobacco store closed for Christmas, because they had run out and she never remembered to buy them herself.
"Count down from ten."
Kitty smokes and counts with closed eyes. Jeremiah walks up to the desk.
"It is summer." He says.
"Remember summertime. The air is hot and humid even at night. People ask you if you know Mardi Gras Mambo by the Hawkettes. They ask you a lot. You go to church. Who is in the church?"
Kitty nods, eyes closed, and answers.
"Reverend Hosaia. He holds a sermon for anyone who will listen."
"Who else is there? Is his daughter there?"
A smile flutters over Kitty's lips.
" What is she doing? Is he doing anything to her?"
A look of worry.
"He's holding her arm, showing the congregation something. It's her wounds. He strokes the hair out of her face. There is blood on her forehead. She doesn't want them to look. She wants to hide, but she doesn't know how too."
Instead Kitty herself starts to fade in front of him. He sits down on the desk and waits patiently for her to return. Minutes pass and so he lights another cigarette, after which the chair fills up once more.
"Who hurt her, Kitty?"
"I don't know."
"You don't know or you don't remember?"
"I don't know."
He gives her some time, but when no further answer is given he moves on.
"What happens next?"
"The doors swings open and they are there, all of them. Clan Gangrel of New Orleans. Everyone else leaves immediately. Everyone except me."
"What do they want?"
"They are angry. Their leader is angry. The Reverend is angry too. I think they might have fought each other if they were anywhere else. But the Gangrels respect his church. The leader points at me. Then he points at Jezebel. The Reverend shakes his head. Then one Gangrel comes up to Talulah and one comes up to me. The one who walks up to Talulah picks her up and starts to walk away with her. Their leader holds The Reverend back even though it really takes all he's got. Reverend Hosaia shouts something about promises and how this was already settled. He says they've got it all wrong. The whole time Talulah just stares, but she's staring at me, not her sire. They take her with them. Into the night."
Jeremiah extinguishes his cigarette in the marble ash tray and asks:
"Who came up to you?"
"Axel did. He's a nice young gangrel. He likes music almost as much as I do."
"Kitty. What happened to Axel?"
A wave of emotion moves across her face and suddenly she's seems grief-stricken.
"It..I..I killed him."
"Then who are you writing to, Kitty?"
She opens her eyes to look down at the letter lying in front of her. She reads the first two lines to herself. She starts to smile.
"I'm writing to Axel. He's a nice young Gangrel I know. He likes music almost as much as I do."
She picks up the black fountain pen and continues where she left off. Elegant handwriting slowly fills the paper.
Jeremiah sighs and puts his smooth silver cigarette casing back into his inner breast pocket and returns to the place by the window.
He murmurs to himself.
"How many must suffer for your mistakes before it's over?"
He then picks up a small notebook with black leather covers from the left hand pocket of his brown jacket and produces a pencil. He flips through the notenook until he finds a list titled Gangrel - N O. At the very end it says Axel (1952). He draws a line through the name and adds: