If you prefer paperback, use this link to order Love Lies Bleeding from Bookshop – a portion of each sale goes directly to independent bookstores, as well as to myself. Thank you for supporting indie! ♥
Note to the reader: the following text is transcribed from a document found in the crawlspace of an old row house in Montreal, Quebec. The owner of the building sent it to a local historical association, who are now sharing it in hopes that someone might have more information.
Interview with "Mara," a young woman who claims to be
By J.S., editor at large
April 5, 1918.
J.S.: Could you please state your name for the record?
M: You can call me Mara.
J.S.: Is that your real name?
M: Real enough. It's the only one I have left.
J.S.: Could you tell me what you said when we met
M (does not reply)
J.S.: When we met, I asked what a young lady was doing
out alone in the middle of the night. How did you
M (smiles): I told you that I am a vampire.
J.S.: A vampire--like Mr. Stoker's Count Dracula?
M: As far as I know, he is fictional. I am not.
J.S.: What would you say to those who don't believe in
such creatures as vampires?
M: Your lack of belief doesn't make me any less real.
J.S.: How long do you claim to have been a vampire?
M: Most of my life.
J.S.: How long is that?
M: Isn't it impolite to ask a lady her age?
J.S.: Do you drink blood?
M: Of course.
J.S.: Where do you get it?
M: Wherever I can find it.
J.S.: From animals?
J.S.: Do you have a reflection?
M (gets up and walks to the lavatory. She stares into
the mirror over the sink): It would seem so.
J.S.: Can you turn into a bat?
M (does not reply)
J.S.: How many other vampires are there?
M: More than your kind would care to consider.
J.S.: My kind? You mean mankind? Human beings?
J.S.: Do you pay attention to human events? What do you
think of the Great War?
M: I wish I could be there, in the thick of it.
J.S.: Do you mean as a nurse?
J.S.: Why do you want to be at the front? Isn't it
M: The danger is why. It's all death and chaos.
People die, people go missing--no one gives it
a second thought. Vampires do well in times of war.
J.S.: If that is the case, why aren't you there?
M: Someone else is there. He's looking for me. I do
not wish to be found.
J.S.: Who is there?
M: You should worry about the illness instead of
J.S.: The illness? Are you referring to the
Spanish Flu? There are rumours of epidemic.
M: The rumours are correct--the influenza is
spreading rapidly. I can smell it in the air.
J.S.: You can smell it? That must be handy.
M: It helps us to choose.
J.S.: What do you mean by 'choose'?
M: Most of us prefer blood from healthy specimens.
J.S.: And the rest?
M: We find those who don't have long. Some consider it
J.S.: Why are you telling me this?
M (does not reply)
J.S.: I don't have the Flu.
M: No, you have something deeper. In your bones.
J.S.: Oh, really? What does that smell like?
M: Like sour chalk and dry rot.
J.S.: Rot is right. You expect me to believe such
M: What about that ache that never seems to go away?
It's been getting worse, hasn't it?
J.S. (reluctant to respond)
J.S.: I have an appointment to see a doctor.
M: He won't be able to help you.
J.S.: How do you know?
M: They rarely can.
J.S.: Then what can anyone do for me?
M: I could prescribe you herbs, but they won't help,
J.S.: A vampire and an apothecary? That is quite the
M: I learned my trade young and found that it
pays to keep humans healthy.
J.S.: Is that it, then? All you can offer are
M: I can also offer you a kindness.
J.S.: You mean death.
M: Some prefer it to suffering.
J.S.: What if I refuse?
M: It's your choice. You have time to decide,
but not much.
J.S.: Where are you going?
M: I have other business to attend to. I'll return
in a fortnight. Tell me then what you've decided.
J.S.: Will it hurt?
M: I can make it so it doesn't.
M leaves and I finish recording our exchange.
I don't know why, perhaps for posterity.
I am unsure how to proceed.
If you prefer a good paperback to an ebook, order Love Lies Bleeding from Bookshop – a portion of each sale goes directly to independent bookstores, as well as to myself. Thank you for supporting indie! ♥