Instragram Post by Sanguis
When Samantha auditioned to join this band, it wasn’t only her bass skills that made us pick her over the others. We all connected with her on a personal level. We felt her passion and energy in every word she said and every note she played. We knew she would not only be our band-mate but our family as well. Sammie was… WAS? No. We refuse to talk about her in the past tense. Sammie is and will always be our friend, our talented bassist, and our trouble-maker.
We joined Samantha’s family at her funeral today. Many songs we’ve written are about death, but it’s not the same when you go through this experience with someone you love.
We would like to thank our fans and friends for their messages. We promise you to continue this project that Samantha was passionate about. But right now, as Samantha’s heartbeats stopped, Sanguis’s heartbeats will be paused. We need time to mourn and think.
– Michael, Samuel, Donny, and Maria.
“Please don’t,” a low horrified sound came from Samantha’s lips as Maria held her neck firmly, “I will not tell anyone”.
Maria looked at her friend’s pale face. What am I doing? She thought to herself. She wanted to let go, but her hands were still around Samantha’s neck. She tried to pull them away, but couldn’t. A force greater than hers was holding tight to the thin weary neck. “I will not hurt you,” she cried to her dying friend as she kept trying to move away. Then, with all the power she could muster, she pulled herself back. Samantha was free, but it was too late. The young woman dropped dead in the middle of the dark alley. Maria knelt at her friend’s feet. “Come back,” she cried, “please come back.”
“Maria,” a voice called. “Maria, wake up!”
Maria opened her eyes and stood straight. She was breathing heavily. It was a dream. Alfred was sitting right next to her, with a thin face devoid of joy.
Four days and four nights it has been since Maria killed Samantha, and for all the four nights Maria has been seeing this nightmare, over and over again.
A few minutes later, Maria walked down into the living room. Alfred was sitting there at the dining table with eggs, bacon and slices of tomato on the plate he had facing Maria’s chair.
“Why waste the bacon? You know I can’t feel the taste of anything that is not red,” she said.
“The tomatoes are red,” replied Alfred, with a small smile on his face, indicating an attempt at a joke. His intentions were good as he wanted to make Maria laugh, giggle, or at least smile. She didn’t.
Maria sat eating her breakfast in silence.
“You need to control this situation, Maria,” said Alfred. “This time you were talking in your sleep. If someone heard…”
“No one did, Alfred,” she interrupted.
Alfred said nothing and they both went silent again until Maria threw her fork away at the plate and started crying. Alfred then moved to the chair next to her and put his arm around her shoulder. “Hey, hey… look… It wasn’t you. It was the monster inside of you. And together we will learn how to control it.”
“What if I was the monster, Al?”
“If you were the monster, you wouldn’t be crying and seeing these nightmares.”
Maria took a deep breath and placed her head on Alfred’s chest.
“And to control that monster,” he continued while taking a piece of bacon into the fork and bringing it near Maria’s mouth for her to eat, “we need you to be strong today so we can figure out what kind of monster we are dealing with.”
Today? Maria was not even thinking of what was going to happen later that day. She was expecting a visitor, a special one.
The papers she received from Andrei that day in the alley were mainly information about her mother – her birthplace and where her bones rest. Before leaving France, Maria visited her mother’s grave to make sure she was indeed buried where she is supposed to be. With that case closed, Maria was sure none of her parents had any relations to vampires. It was a crazy theory Alfred proposed as vampires could not sexually reproduce.
A piece of paper that Andrei slipped in there, however, contained the name Pietro Baros, an ancient vampire who lives in London under the alias Peter Watkins. “If anyone could help you with your mystery, it would be Pietro,” the paper said. On the paper, there was an address that appeared to be that of a church. When Alfred called the church’s number and asked to speak with Mr Peter Watkins, the voice answered: “Yes, my son, I am Father Watkins”. A vampire living one of his lives as a priest? That’s a new one. Alfred thought.
After a long conversation, Alfred was able to convince Pietro to visit and help, for the right price of course. The price would not be blood bags like Andrei’s. Father Watkins would only accept old artefacts as payments. Luckily, Alfred was a collector of such items and offered Pietro a 200-years-old ring, said to have belonged to Letizia Bonaparte, the mother of Napoleon himself. He never told Maria of the price he paid, though. Her mind is troubled enough, thought Alfred.
The day passed slowly as both were eager to meet the old vampire. They have met many scholars, vampires, and folklore experts in the past years. None gave them the answers they needed. Could this be the one?
At seven o’clock sharp, Alfred and Maria heard three distant knocks on the door. Very punctual, she thought.
As Alfred opened the door, Maria stood at the entrance of the sitting room facing the doorway. She saw glimpses of an attractive man with a trimmed beard standing at the door’s threshold. “Come in,” said Alfred. The man walked in, dressed in a cassock and a collar. A rather big golden cross was hanging around his neck. Maria’s eyes were fixed at the cross as her body turned stiff and she felt that everything inside of her was palpitating. Pietro noticed and took off his cross right away, placing it carefully inside a wooden box that was in his pocket. He then paced slowly towards the closest table with a smile on his face, looking at a much relieved Maria, and placed the box on top of the table. “Always hilarious,” he said in a sarcastic tone while smirking, “young vampires and their allergy to God.”
After all three were seated, Pietro looked at Maria with curious eyes.
“So you are the famous Maria,” he said. “Many parents in my parish have complained their teenage children are obsessed with your music. They asked me if it’s demonic.”
“And how did you answer?” asked Maria, feeling offended.
“Vaguely,” replied Pietro. He then went on to take a sip from the tea he had Alfred bring him. “So, young lady,” he said, “your friend told me you need my help solving a mystery.”
He looked at Maria waiting for her to start talking. She paused for a few seconds, took in a deep breath, then started:
“About Twelve years ago I got very angry when I found out that my then-boyfriend was cheating on me, and suddenly I had these powers. I could jump as high as a ten-story building and move at a very high speed. Back then, I did not even know I was using these powers. I only found myself at places I could not have reached. Whenever something like that happened I felt weak to certain things afterwards. When I listed my symptoms on a health website, Alfred contacted me, saying these are not symptoms of a disease, and that I am turning into a vampire. I laughed at the idea first. My disbelief was encouraged by the fact that the powers and symptoms all disappeared after a few weeks.
After about 5 years, I was watching the news and I heard something that reminded me of that night. My whole body started shaking and then suddenly I found myself walking down the street heading towards my ex-boyfriend’s house. I felt my body growing stronger. I had these powers again and this time I was aware of it. I could move faster, hear louder, and see things in the dark. I moved between the buildings and passed by people that seemed not to be in motion. My speed was great and I was able to control it. In no time, I was at my ex-boyfriend’s doorstep. The house was empty when I arrived but soon enough I saw his car driving through the street and parking next to the entrance. Out of the car walked Rebecca – the whore he was cheating on me with. I couldn’t control myself. I was at her neck in seconds, biting her with fangs I did not know I had, while he was in shock running towards me trying to pull me back off her. With my other hand, I held him by the neck and…”
“Ahem,” Pietro coughed deliberately interrupting Maria, “as much as I am enjoying the gore, I get the point. You killed them both and drank their blood. How did it taste?”
“Wonderful,” replied Maria without even thinking, “I mean…,” she paused mad at herself for enjoying her kills.
“It does taste wonderful, Maria, there is no point in hiding it,” said Pietro with a weird smile on his face, “and after your first kill you remembered how you died and turned?”
“I… I never died,” answered Maria.
Pietro fell silent for a few seconds.
“You never died?” He asked, standing up.
“No,” Maria answered. “Alfred and I have been looking for answers on how I turned into a vampire without even dying for years. Part of my body is still alive. I still need food. I can’t taste it anymore, but I feel hungry without it. We looked through both my parents’ history, people I know…”
“Maria,” interrupted Pietro again placing his hands on her shoulders. “Look at me.”
Maria looked into the man’s eyes as he looked back. She saw the colour of his iris turning red. Suddenly, Pietro moved back swiftly away from Maria.
“No, no way,” he muttered walking towards the room’s closest window, closing the curtains. The man who Maria thought is the most sarcastic person she ever met seemed terrified.
“The undead born without dying. No way.”
He continued walking at windows, closing curtains.
“What is wrong?” asked Maria with a shivering voice. He did not answer. He finished closing the curtains and then, walked back and sat in his chair. He placed his hands around his head and sat there silent for almost a minute. He then took a deep breath, looked at Maria, and said:
“If you are who I think you are then you are in great danger. No, we all are in great danger, humans and vampires alike.”
“I am nobody,” replied Maria, “just a singer, an orphan.”
“You might indeed be nobody,” said Pietro, “and you might be the key to everybody’s destiny. You will not understand the gravity of the matter unless you know everything. I listened to your story, Maria. Now it is time you listen to the story of vampires.”