I recently caught up with the biggest powerhouse in Transylvania, Petru of the Harbarburesti trailer park. Petru graciously agreed to take time from his impassioned speeches and good works to give us an afternoon interview.
Surprisingly cordial, Petru invited me into his trailer for coffee. He looked relaxed without his trademark cap and coat, opting instead for a warm sweater and a pair of comfy slippers. He sipped his coffee and smoked a cigarette thoughtfully as we spoke. We talked a little about the usual—Marxism, vampires, and connections we had in common. He seemed almost to blush when I told him that our readers might want to know more about him personally. He was a great gentleman and a perfect interview subject.
TUPPENNY: Petru, your English is quite good. In fact, would I be mistaken in my guess that you have not always lived in Translyvania?
PETRU: You are correct. I actually spent a great bit of time in the United Kingdom and western Europe. My father was an emissary of fairy folk royalty in several countries so we moved around quite a bit. I only returned to my homeland when I last finished with my university studies.
TUPPENNY: University? Where did you study?
PETRU: Oh, I’ve studied many times over the years but the first time was in Italy. This last time before I came back home I was in Glasgow.
TUPPENNY: What were you studying?
PETRU: I was there to study law but was sidetracked by a torrid affair with a beautiful torch singer. She was human but very open minded. Vera, gorgeous redhead. Looked a lot like Rita Hayworth. Ah, those were the days. We were so naive then, young and optimistic.
TUPPENNY: What happened to her?
PETRU: She got old. Our affair simply ran its course after a few months but we always kept in touch even after she married. Sweet Vera. I miss her still. I miss them all.
TUPPENNY: Have you had a lot of relationships?
PETRU: Not as many as you would think for as long as I’ve lived, but I’ve been lucky enough to have loved many times in my life so far. Some easy loves, some hard, some impossible. Even the most heartbreaking experiences left me with memories that I would never want to lose.
TUPPENNY: And now? Do you have anyone special?
PETRU: No, now I am focused on a different kind of love. The love for my people and ensuring that we survive what’s coming. That takes all of my time now.
TUPPENNY: Let’s talk about the Blajini. A lot of people don’t know much about them. How do you see yourself? If you were to explain what you are to someone who had never seen a Blajini what would you say?
PETRU: Back in the old days there were not many non-fairy folk who had ever seen the Blajini. I think now that so many of us, human or not, are threatened by this new plague in our worlds we have lost our fear of being seen. When people are forced to live in close quarters they sometimes lose a bit of their modesty with each other. But back to your question…what is a Blajini? We are the ones who go without so others can have what they need. We fast so that others may feast. Quite a noble species when you consider it, really. There was a time when we were honored as much as any of the other magical folk in these parts. Now everyone is trying to scrape by, but the lack of balance has been especially hard on us. We Blajini exist to ensure a balanced universe. When the universe is no longer balanced what are we left to do? We used to live on islands in the middle of beautiful waters. Our rivers would run with lovely remnants of painted eggshell to let us know it was time for our own festivals. Now? The rivers run with bloated rotting corpses and lost spirits. We are forced to live in burrows, hiding so that we won’t be rounded up and murdered by the Strigoi.
TUPPENNY: That’s a pretty heavy burden to bear.
PETRU: Yes, it is. I do what I can, though. This is why I am here, trying to do what I can to lift the spirits of my people by giving them a cause. Everyone needs a reason to carry on. This is mine.
TUPPENNY: So let’s lighten this up a bit. Do you mind if I ask you some silly questions?
PETRU: Not at all! Silly questions are good for the heart. Ask away!
TUPPENNY: What’s your favorite song right now?
PETRU: I actually love Kanye West right now. I know, I know…he’s about as bourgeois as they come, but that song Stronger? Brilliant song. It really gets me going when I’m feeling down.
TUPPENNY: Favorite movie?
PETRU: Casablanca. Hands down, my favorite of all time.
TUPPENNY: And my last question. If you could only have one book to read, what would it be?
PETRU: Oh, that’s a much harder question. In fact, I think that would be an impossible one for me. I like to read so many different things I could never hope to choose.
TUPPENNY: Thank you for taking the time to speak with us. Is there anything you would like our readers to know that we haven’t talked about?
PETRU: My pleasure. I would like your readers to know what is going on here and how badly we need their help. This war against the darkness is far from over, my friend. Take care of yourself and tell the others out there to be careful as well. Long live the revolution!
Mayahuel Bailey is a new addition to the Tuppenny Dreadful staff.