Hey, I am Kayley, currently managing EdBainOfficial for my boyfriend. Can you please follow and have a listen. Could you possibly try and promote too :). Have a great day. Thanks :)
I’m glad that some new indie acts are asking me to promote them. I think it’s a privilege to use my Tumblr to promote new artists. I’ve listened to Ed’s first acoustic attempt “Freefall” and I hope he continues what he’s doing. Visit his Tumblr site please! Any newbie act there, I hope to meet more of you guys. The world needs more of you than those manufactured by Simon Cowell and his co-horts.
I’m debating whether to post another fanfic from a band that not all followers like but then again, it’s Halloween and I’m tempted to post a Halloween themed one. According to the ‘Pol fan author, this was inspired by this pic of Daniel and was set at the time of Carlos’ departure from the band. Anyway, let’s see how this baby goes. Have a ghoulish time! Mwahahaha…
(Warning: Cussing, light splash of blood and implied baddy behavior in the content)
Carlos breaks up with his band via email. Sam, while shocked at the timing of it, isn’t surprised by the act, or its delivery.
* Paul arrives at the rehearsal space 15 minutes late as usual, but now there’ll no Carlos bringing up the rear with Gaius, and a casual smirk on his face. Paul dumps his bag on a ratty old sofa, his body tense with anger.
“Fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck—“
“Shhh.” Sam is standing by Daniel, as he has been since he arrived today. Daniel is sitting with his back to them, listening to something on large black headphones, but Sam knows that Daniel is pale and his eyes are rimmed red. He’s shaven but his hair is oily. Paul walks up and stands with him, waiting for Daniel to take the headphones off, and together they make up a cloud of sweat and coffee. Sam finds it weirdly comforting.
Finally Daniel pulls the headphones off and turns around in the chair, casually. He blinks and regards Paul’s agitation.
“Dan, shit, you look worse than I feel,” Paul says. “The fuck are we gonna do?”
Dan’s lips twitch and he makes a small, amused noise. “Make a few phone calls. We’ll find someone. Can’t stop the tour now, can we?”
“No… no. I just—“ Paul stomps over to the nearest wall and makes the air vibrate for a second when he punches it. “Fuck! Fuck him.” Then he walks over to his guitar and the pen and paper he left on an amp the previous day. He doesn’t talk again for a while.
* Sam gets endings. He’s seen friends and family die, had a marriage break up, and been in more bands that have crashed and burned than most people he knows. This time feels different, though he reasons that it’s because this is the most successful band he’s ever been in; he’s been with these guys longer than anyone, and endured more with them. He understands the emotions that come with endings, like the hurt feelings, the fear of the future, and the disappointment. Paul may be loud and childish, but he’s acting normally. It’s normal for him, and normal for someone watching their first band burn up.
It’s Daniel that worries him. Daniel’s not acting normal.
“I mean, he’s always worrying, always quiet and keeping it to himself, but babe, it’s like he’s resigned. I don’t think he’s sleeping, and he’s got this big bandage on the side of his neck, like he cut himself shaving. I think he might be depressed,” Sam tells Christy, the thick, warm Athens night floating through the phone to him.
“What will you do?” Christy asks, quietly, so as not to wake Francie.
“Well, I’m having dinner with him again at some point this week. I gotta talk to him about it. Finding another bass player’ll be easy, but this – I don’t know. I’ll let you know what I find out.”
Francie squawks on the line, and Christy’s “hey, shh-shh” tugs at his heart. “Hey babe, I gotta go,” she says, and when he hangs up the silence is almost deafening.
* Halfway through rehearsal the next day, Daniel excuses himself and leaves, like he’s in a hurry. Sam makes some excuse to Paul and follows him, ducking into alleyways like some sort of secret agent until he walks into a store and Sam realizes that it’s a butcher shop.
“What the fuck?” he says, not realizing how loudly until he sees the passersby gawking at him.
He’s not in there long, and he keeps walking in the opposite direction of the rehearsal space until traffic thins out and he slips between buildings. Sam wishes he had a mirror like a real spy. Instead he flattens himself against the brick and watches Daniel pull a white tub out of a plastic bag, peel it open, and all but pour the dark, syrupy contents down his throat like a thirsty man. A little rolls down his jaw, crimson on Daniel’s skin.
* “You’re shitting me,” says Paul, when he asks why Sam is out of breath and Sam tells him.
“Fuck no. It was blood.”
“Like, cow blood?”
“I don’t know. Some kinda blood.”
“Wow.” Paul grins, nervous but intrigued. “Danny’s walking on the wild side. Wonder if he’ll start smoking next.”
“Don’t fuck with him Paul, let me talk to him first.”
“Fine,” Paul says, but when Daniel comes back and Paul goes out for a smoke, he offers him one, and Daniel just stares at him.
* At the restaurant, Sam immediately starts in on the whiskey and orders a big filet mignon, rare, the likes of which would make Christy purse her lips and order the waiter back to make him choose healthier. He has no idea how this conversation with Daniel is going to go, but he understands comfort food and comfort booze.
Daniel arrives suddenly, slipping into the seat across from him like a cat. He’s still pale and red-eyed, still wearing that bandage on his neck.
“Hey. Hey!” Sam puts the glass of whiskey down and picks it up again with the hand he’s not reaching across the table to aggressively pat Daniel in greeting. A waiter appears and Daniel also orders a whiskey.
“And for dinner this evening, sir? Or do you need a moment?” The waiter asks.
Daniel doesn’t even open the menu sitting in front of him. “Nothing. I’m not hungry.”
Sam’s heart sinks. He hadn’t seen Daniel eat anything since Carlos left the band. The next sentence is a knee-jerk reaction, but so loaded he can barely get it out.
“So, how are you?”
“Fine.” He flashes Sam a small, warm smile. He wants to believe him.
“Dan… really. How are you?”
Daniel’s eyes dart around the room and he laughs, short and incredulous. “I’m fine, Sam. Why are you looking at me like that?”
Sam sighs, curling his hand around his whiskey tighter. The waiter appears with Daniel’s drink.
“Sir, are you sure the whiskey will be all for you this evening? The chef has an excellent special on—“
Daniel’s head snaps up to meet the waiter’s. His shoulders are set hard and square, and his body shakes. “I said nothing. Fuck off.”
The waiter quickly disappears again. Daniel turns back to Sam like nothing had just happened.
Daniel blinks. “What? Oh. Uh, sorry.”
Sam can scarcely believe his ears. He felt the need to decry this outburst immediately but instead continues where he left off.
“Have you looked at yourself lately? It’s like you haven’t slept in days. You’re pale. Whatever you did to your neck looks nasty. You can talk to me, Dan. If it’s about Carlos –“
Daniel’s mouth tightens at the name. “It’s not—“ he starts, but then stops, places his glass out of sight, and slumps back in his chair, pushing a hand through is hair. “Fuck it, I’m not interested in lying to you. It was Carlos. He came over before he emailed everyone to tell me he was quitting. And he bit me.”
“Ah, Daniel, see, I – what? He bit you?”
“Yeah.” Daniel leaned forward and gingerly peeled the bandage from his neck. Underneath are two nasty puncture wounds, red and open, perfectly spaced. Sam instantly knows exactly what it looks like and exactly what sort of conclusion he ought to draw from this evidence, Daniel’s appearance, his behavior, the time in the alley, and now this.
“Wha-what the fuck is that? Dan, what—“
“Don’t tell me you didn’t know that Carlos is a vampire.”
It’s Sam’s turn to laugh incredulously. “Dan, that’s some music blog bullshit, right up there with –“
“Whatever. I don’t know what Carlos may have told you – I think he’s lost his damn mind anyway – but there’s no way he could be a vampire. I’ve seen him in broad daylight. No aversion to crosses, garlic, any of that—“
“Well, you see, it turns out all of that is shit anyways. The only real part, is the blood drinking. The thirst. And the living forever.” Daniel grits his teeth and opens his lips wide so that Sam has a great view of his incisors sliding a few centimeters more out of their sockets than usual. He drops the face and they’re gone. Sam stares with his mouth open and Daniel takes a pull from his whiskey.
“Carlos is almost two hundred and fifty years old, turns out. Interpol is his eighth band ever. He’s traveled everywhere, written books, fought in wars, everything.”
“There are pictures of him from when he was a child, they—“
“Fake too. He pays them money to say they’re his parents.”
Sam feels numb. He can barely feel the glass in his hand. “So… you’re dead.”
“As a doornail. My cat’s still scared of me, but Carlos says he’ll get over that.”
“So…. so… Carlos comes over, he tells you he’s leaving—“
“He just got bored. The other projects were more interesting. He tries not to get too famous, too.”
“—and then he tells you he’s a vampire—”
Sam feels like shouting. “—and you weren’t scared? You didn’t… get away from him? Something?”
“He showed me, just like I just showed you. Then he told me all of these stories, about the things he’s done, and the people he’s met. He’s got all of this time, to do whatever he wants, whenever he wants. He can’t get old, he can’t get tired, just bored. And thirsty.” Daniel takes another sip of the whiskey. “The more he told me, the better it sounded.”
“You… wanted him. To do this.”
“Yeah!” For the first time in a long time, Daniel shows a little emotion. He’s excited. “Think about it, Sam. All of the things I can do now. And… and… I don’t worry anymore. About anything. It’s like dying takes the fear of everything away. It’s fantastic.” He smiles, and for a second he looks like the old Daniel. The normal one. The mortal one. “I recommend it.”
“You’re, you’re not gonna… are you?”
“Bite you? No. Unless you want me to.” He smiles again, predatorily. “I’m still not used to this whole blood thing either. But I can’t taste anything else. Not even this, really,” he says, looking at the whiskey. “It’s too bad, really. Maybe Paul. I see now why Carlos was always that way with him. I haven’t decided yet, though. ‘Til then it’s just butcher shops, like you saw the other day.”
“You saw me.”
“More like I smelled you. I can smell so much more now, it’s amazing. Everybody smells so different. It’s not a big deal, though. I trust you.”
The waiter appears with Sam’s steak and they both just stare at it for a long moment.
“You want it?” Sam says.
“Nah. It’s cooked, and I like veal blood, not beef. The TV shows are right about that, too. Virgins taste better.”
Sam looks back down at the steak.
“Oh, so I’d better not see Francesca if Chris brings her around. I don’t want to, you know.”
Sam doesn’t know if it’s the casual way Daniel made this statement or the way he just indirectly threatened his newborn daughter, but it makes his lungs tighten.
“Daniel, I swear to God—“
“What? What, Sam?” Daniel looks him in the eye. It’s a challenge. “You think I’m a monster now, because I said that? I don’t want to kill anybody. That’s the beauty. All those girls Carlos fucks? They want it. They beg him to. And if he doesn’t feel like it, there’s the meat market. Blood banks. Pet shops, even, sometimes.” Daniel drinks long and deep, his eyes on the steak.
“But if I was going to kill someone, do you think you could even hope to stop me?”
Sam shuts his eyes, just for a second. He’s afraid. He has to admit it to himself now. His bassist his gone, his dear friend is insane, and he’s afraid. He’s over the first one, and he has no idea what he’s going to do about the second one, but he knows how to control his fear. He can master his fear.
He opens his eyes and sees Daniel watching him intently. He rubs a hand over his face and takes another drink.
“Yeah, if I was a vampire, I’d probably want to bite Paul, too.”
Daniel bursts out laughing.
“You’re really happy, aren’t you? More time to work on your Truffaut habit, then, huh?”
Daniel’s face brightens, like a light in a fog. “Exactly! I’ve got so many things I’ve been working on, and before I thought I’d never get through them, but now that I don’t sleep, I just feel – limitless.”
“Well, then, I’m happy for you, Dan.”
Sam manages to choke down his steak with the help of more whiskey and the meal ends happily. Before they part, Daniel throws his arms around Sam in a big hug on the street, and Sam can’t help but notice that while his body feels warm, Daniel has no heartbeat.
* They break for the weekend, before the tour starts and the press comes calling. Sam goes out at midday, up to Tiffany’s, and labors long in choosing a diamond necklace for Christy, a silver diamond-studded ring on a long chain (he can imagine it hanging low between her child-enhanced breasts now) that will make her scold him for not thinking about the mortgage or Francie’s college fund.
Then he wanders into Cutlery and buys a silver butter spreader and a whetstone.
He takes them home, packs away the necklace, and then sharpens the butter spreader until he can shave with it. He practices pulling it from his coat pocket, from the waistband of his slacks, and even from his shoe, lunging to stab at someone ahead of or to the side of him. He stares at the blade then, just barely the sort of thing a decadent rock star could be caught with on a bus or in his luggage, and wishes they made silver switchblades: he knows switchblades. He can’t remember why it was important that he buy a silver knife – didn’t Daniel say that most of the “rules” about vampires didn’t apply? He drops it on a table with a groan and heads to the bathroom to wash his face.
He doesn’t want this. He wants Daniel to knock on his door, appearing healthy, rested and contrite for this ridiculous fucking prank he and Carlos have pulled. He never wants to see that affectless, cold smile on Daniel’s face ever again. He wants to show off his baby girl to his friends. He wants to go into the next room and be home with Christy and Francie, to touch and smell them. He doesn’t know what to do.
He feels old. Fuck.
* The interviews start. Photographers and people with recorders invade their space. It’s no longer their personalities against each other; it’s them against the world. He spends more time with Paul, partially to make sure he’s going to be ok with Carlos gone and partially because Paul is still alive. Dave Pajo gets back to them first, and Sam can relax about that – he’s worked with Billy Corgan, after all; he knows what it’s like to live with big egos.
Daniel walks around with a sort of smugness about him – not like a man who got laid the night before, but as though he had a delicious taste in his mouth and was savoring it. Forever, Sam supposes. (Forever is only two things to him: Christy, and Francie now.) He’s quietly excited for the tour and the album, like they all are. He sniffs the air like a dog when women come around, often trying to mask his pallor for photo shoots. He smiles at little girls on the street.
He’s discrete, though. Perhaps more so than Carlos ever was (a thousand memories of Carlos in Sam’s mind now recast themselves in a new, sinister light). Sam hasn’t caught him at anything since the butcher shop.
An interviewer asks them, “So - what are you most excited for now? You’ve got the album, the tour, a new bassist, you’re working with U2 – what means the most to you?”
Daniel, who hadn’t said much until that point, says: “Tomorrow. Always. What comes next, that’s what I live for.”
Paul nods. “Yeah.”
Sam puts his arm around Daniel. The handle of the butter spreader falls against his chest like a secret. Keep your friends close, the saying plays in his head, and your enemies closer.