Ben Freitag is frazzled; he’s barely slept in weeks. After delivering beautiful, healthy twin boys, his wife, Chloe returned home diagnosed with a severe case of postpartum depression. Listless and lethargic, she seems to want nothing to do with them or Ben, who is running low on everything: love, energy, patience and time off from work. So when Chloe’s estranged great-grandmother, the almost mythical, Baba Fête, offers her assistance Ben welcomes her.
The seemingly ageless and vivacious Baba whooshes in, effortlessly managing the household and convinces Ben to go back to work; she will take care of the house and his family. Now Ben can get some sleep and return to some sense of normality.
Overwhelmed by Baba and lured back into the warm rhythm of work, Ben doesn’t notice what’s happening; something had invaded Ben’s home and is eating his family away—literally.
Jay paused, obviously unsure of how to frame his words. “There are some who say, when a person dies, at just the right moment, it’s only a millisecond mind you, a person can capture their soul. Have you ever heard this?”
“Can’t say I have.”
“Well, the tale goes something like this. The holdouts fled the cities and towns to the hills and countryside. From there they watched and waited. At night, after the battle was fought, they would descend onto the battlefield, following the moans and cries of the wounded and dying, and steal their souls.”
“Preposterous? Outlandish? Bullshit?” asked Jay, widening his eyes.
“All the above.”
“Yes, but there’s more. The holdouts said the Roma families who had intermarried, were traitors to their blood and they were marked and someone would follow their blood line for eternity, stealing their souls. Now, I know what this sounds like, believe me I do, but when I heard the singing…”
“Yes?” said Ben, finally perking up.
“Well…she was singing these words.
In the blood lies the life
In the life lies the blood
Follow the blood for all your life
For all your life follow the blood.”
“Baba was singing those words?” asked Ben, repulsed.
Ben mulled it over for a moment. “Okay, you said you don’t speak Romani very well, maybe you mistranslated.”
“No, I’m quite sure. It wasn’t so much the words, as the tune. I knew the tune immediately. I’d heard it from a very early age. It’s haunting and it is the tune my grandmother hummed when she told us…the stories. I always thought she added it to lend a sense of foreboding, or something.”