Jesse Reeves

“I’m sorry, Maharet,” she whispered again softly. She had to go. Her journey was nearly ended.”

– Anne Rice, The Queen of the Damned

Jesse Miriam Reeves was born to greatness, though she did not realise it for a large portion of her life. She was also born under a bad sign, and the beginnings of her life do not hint at the momentous path her life would follow later. Her mother was killed in an accident which should have taken her life as well, but by a miracle she was discovered by the wreckage and taken away, having been aborted from the womb of her seven months pregnant mother. Little did she know it at the time, but her arrival at the hospital was met two weeks later with that of an immensely powerful creature, one of the most powerful in a world that contained far more power than she could ever imagine. Maharet gave the child a name and sent her to live with distant relatives, Matthew and Maria Godwin.

Maharet did not remain out of touch with Jesse as she was growing older. If anything, she became a confidante and the two passed frequent letters between one another. The most noted of their discussions occurred when Jesse began to see people that could not have been there, and realised that she had telepathic gifts. Jesse’s uncertainty finally culminated in the sight of a young girl sitting at the foot of her bed telling her not to be afraid of the ghosts she was seeing as they could not harm her. It wasn’t until later that she understood that the girl she had seen was her mother. Maharet informed her that it was common for people in their family to experience these psychic oddities.

It was shortly thereafter that Jesse ‘met’ Maharet for the first time when her aunt invited her to visit her home in the Sonoma Mountains. Jesse’s curiosity was piqued at the thought of studying the history of their ‘Great Family’ as Maharet referred to it, as well as other historical texts. However, further strangeness occurred in the presence of Maharet and her companion Mael, with whom Jesse had begun to fall in love. There were gaps in time as she was in Mael’s company, and memories that she was sure were real regarding secrets of the family, but none that could be verified. Maharet did not approve of the infatuation Mael had for Jesse and some time after Jesse’s arrival, she and Mael left the compound, leaving a note for Jesse to apologise.

“Only afterwards did she see it as an astounding mystery, and one among many during that summer. Only afterwards, had so many little things preyed on her mind.”

– Anne Rice, The Queen of the Damned

It is interesting to note here that Jesse had experienced a brief taste of something supernatural. A secret, as she saw it. Now, one could say that she already had knowledge of the ‘unknown’ at this point, with her telepathy, and her sight. But this was something entirely new to her, not to mention, something that included her heritage. It must have been agonising for her to let go of it, as Maharet suggested in her note.

Which, of course, would explain why she didn’t.

Shortly after the incident with Maharet and Mael at the compound, Jesse was approached by Aaron Lightner of the Talamasca. What she uncovered in their brief meeting was that this group, this seceret organisation, had knowledge and experience of the ‘unknown.’ Not only this, but they also had a file on her and her psychic abilities. Jesse could have chosen to step away as her aunt had politely implied she would appreciate of her. But walking away from a world of supernatural secrets once one knows of their existence is quite impossible for all but the paranoid. And even then, the paranoid will still investigate further to cover themselves in times of danger.

Jesse joined the Talamasca, fervently hoping for some indication that what she suspected of her aunt and Mael was true, though she had no idea at the time what that was. After some time of investigating haunted locations, she met David Talbot, who informed her that vampires were real and instructed her to investigate the infamous occurrences in New Orleans pertaining to Interview with the Vampire. Her instructions were to investigate and document. The Talamasca has strict rules where the study of vampires is concerned. But, having read the book and seeing some of the treasures the Talamsca kept in their vault, Jesse could not stop there. She went into the apartment, spent a night there, uncovered items in the walls, but most importantly, she uncovered the ghost of the child-vampire Claudia and was driven close to insanity by the encounter.

Consequentially, Jesse was removed from the investigation, and it was not until the release of Lestat’s The Vampire Lestat that the fire in her to know more about the vampire world was rekindled.

At the concert in San Francisco, it was evident that Jesse had become transfixed. She obsessed about how the concert would confirm it all for her. She could not seem to think further than seeing Lestat on stage. She forced her way forward and climbed on stage, throwing herself at Lestat, dazed by the blood sweat on him, the certainty that he was real, that vampires were certainly real, that Maharet and Mael were what she had expected they were all this time.

“She was floating, as if in the center of the most seductive state of peace and acceptance she had ever known.”

– Anne Rice, The Queen of the Damned

Jesse had, once again, ignored the structured rules set in place for members of the Talamasca when dealing with vampires, in fact she had virtually cut ties with them entirely, but this time it was her undoing. She was located by an unknown vampire in the crowd – as she sat trying to organise her thoughts – that recognised her as one of the psychic order and threw her against a wall in his rage, snapping her neck and essentially killing her.

If it was not for Maharet’s love for her, she would have died at the concert, having discovered what she was looking for and being unable to do anything with it. While having great meaning in her own quest to know, she would have disappeared from the world as if she were never of any consequence to begin with.

Jesse is what all people are. The question is simple: If you discover that something as beyond belief as vampires does exist, do you walk away from it, hoping it won’t follow you? It is a symptom of human nature, to want to know. Having encountered something as implausible as the possibility of vampires, Jesse could not have turned her back on it. No one could.

 

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11 Comments

  • Reply Devika Fernando April 21, 2013 at 11:57 am

    Time and time again, I find it fascinating to see which characters you choose for your portrays. Besides the obvious ones, you always give the outsider, the bystander, the confidante a chance to show their true colours and get the attention they so rarely receive but surely deserve.
    This one made for a fascinating read and has opened my eyes to Jesse whom I had for some time almost forgotten and yet shouldn’t have.

    • Reply Lafaeyette April 21, 2013 at 12:18 pm

      Aye aye, Devika :). She deserves our respect, methinks, simply because she is the curious wanderer in all of us.

  • Reply Valerhon April 21, 2013 at 9:26 pm

    Love these essays, Carmen. Keep em coming.

    • Reply Lafaeyette April 21, 2013 at 9:30 pm

      Thank you so much! 🙂

  • Reply Rozyve May 14, 2014 at 4:50 am

    She was pretty cool. Always happy to see strong female characters. God knows we need more of them. For every strong female character there are a hundred one dimensional caricatures that don’t pass the Bechdel Test.

    • Reply Carmen Dominique May 14, 2014 at 2:56 pm

      Indeed. Could not agree more. But, I also find, that many of Anne’s female characters are “strong.” Specifically in the face of the chauvenism and masogyny with which they are greeted.

      • Reply Hook in Mouth May 16, 2014 at 11:53 pm

        I agree. I was sad when her neck got broke and also I think she looks weird in one of the pics on this essay with a tan. She was probably pasty. 😉

  • Reply The Light's Bane September 1, 2014 at 5:10 am

    Am the only one who thinks she seemed straight edge despite getting hammered at Maharet’s? lol

  • Reply M March 14, 2015 at 3:07 pm

    Jessica, Maharet and Mekare were my Favorite Vampires. Though I do love some of the others. <3 Khayman, Mael, David, Lestat, Louis, Nicolas was so very amazing as well in my opinion.

    • Reply Carmen Dominique March 14, 2015 at 3:08 pm

      I have no favourites… I don’t think.

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