Innocenzio D’Antonio came to Sacramento in the 1850’s with a troupe of actors to make his fortune. He’d started as an opera singer in his native Italy and unfortunately did not make it into the famous opera houses in Europe, fell in love with an Austrian actress and ended up with her talking him into joining an American theater company touring California during the Gold Rush.
Innocenzio D’Antonio had the voice of an avenging angel, rich and strong. He could certainly sing the corset off of any woman but he was pure of heart and a true and honest lover to his dear Austrian maid. Well at least until she left him high and dry in San Francisco, leaving him for a dashing gambler.
Upon reaching Sacramento Innocenzio D’Antonio noticed a young man singing one night at a party held by a well-known business man. It was odd to him that a child so young should be up so late into the night. But that was put aside when he heard the child’s beautiful voice. The voice was precious beyond compare. It was the voice of heaven and the angels above. It was the voice of all that was good and pure in the world. It brought Innocenzio D’Antonio to tears. And yet, there was something strong and dark about the voice. There was something about the voice that brought the opera singer both to tears and made the hair on the back of his neck stand up.
A well dressed man stood next to Innocenzio D’Antonio and said “I noticed you were moved by the sound of the my son Andrew’s singing. Amazing considering he is only nine years old. However, my child could use formal music lessons from a master, such as you. If you’re interested I will pay you well. I have four other children as well. The eldest three could all benefit from your talents Mr. D’Antonio.”
The next evening Innocenzio (as we shall now call him by his first name only) showed up at the elegant home of the child Andrew. He was met warmly by the father and met the rest of the family. The oldest boy was 10-year-old Maxwell, followed by 9-year-old Andrew, then 7-year-old Aaron, then 16 month old Valentine and the infant Juliette. Their mother was a vision of beauty and all that was good and pure. Such elegance in movement in style he had rarely encountered in his lifetime.
Over the next few months he came to look forward to music lessons for the three eldest boys. Maxwell and Aaron had uncommonly beautiful voice, but it was young Andrew who had the voice of an angel sent straight from heaven. Innocenzio thought of how many churches, even those in Rome would give anything to have this voice in their stables of singers. He thought of the great opera houses in Europe that would be mobbed with patrons trying to hear Andrew sing.
Before meeting this most wonderful family Innocenzio had suffered deep waves of melancholia. He’d blame it on heart-break, disappointment or even being cursed, but now, every time he left the home of Andrew’s family, Innocenzio felt as if he were the most content and happy man alive.
After a time the father announced that they would have a party and invite all of their closest friends. Andrew would sing at midnight. Innocenzio thought that was too late for such a young child but the parents brushed it off with a gentle smile. It was difficult for Innocenzio to disagree.
The night of the party was filled with excitement. The large mansion was filled with the most elegant people he’d ever seen. Some he’d met before while out in the evenings around the city and some were stranger. But they all had a certain quiet about them and calm that he had never seen anywhere else, not even in a church or monestary.
The mother, the beautiful mother who still took his breath away when he saw her, asked him to sing. Innocenzio was feeling happy and light so he sang the drinking song from the fairly new opera La Traviata and to his delight the group joined in. They all had good voices. Afterwards they gathered around Innocenzio and congratulated him on his success and welcomed him into their society.
While he was delighted and honored there was a certain sense of unease about him. Innocenzio had a sense that something was about to happen, as if he was a lamb facing the hungry jaws of a lion. A strong sense of fear started to creep into his soul. He was confused and ashamed. After all, he was in the home of people who had become dear friends, a second family almost.
The mother, pulled him aside and put her arm in his. “My dear Innocenzio, my love, do not fear. I know what is in your heart and soul. You know us so you sense that we are different. We are different you know. We’re very different from you.”
Her eyes were the color of a fantasy seascape, her lips perfect, her chestnut hair was loose around her shoulders. He lost himself and took her into his arms and kissed her. His head went light. She stepped back and smiled. It was as if he’d lost his entire heart and more so his soul to her.
“I could take your soul if I wished, but dear Innocenzio, I must tell you a story of my life and of my people.” Then she sat him down and told him the most fantastic and horrific tale he’d ever heard in his life. He was both seduced and repulsed. His senses were confused, his emotions out of control, his body yearning for everything she had to offer.
Sometimes being a mom is everything, but sometimes I like to have my time with my friends. I heard the knock on my door and standing there was my dear friend back from a trip to Europe.
“Juliette” he said with his gorgeous voice, “you are still more beautiful than Venus herself”.
“And you’re still full of crap Innocenzio D’Antonio ” I said with a smile.
“Never,” he said taking my hands and kissing my cheek.
We don’t keep many friends so long, but when we do it is worth it. Every time I see my mother I want to thank her for talking Innocenzio into being one of us.
As Vampires we don’t bring just anyone into our world, but when we do it is magic.
On the other hand, anytime a true friendship forms, even if nobody changes, it is magic and a true joy.
That’s it for today,
Have a wonderful week!
Happy birthday to Kim and Mike today! xoxoxo And have a safe trip home to my dear English family.
~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman
I like this story!!! Very historical. 🙂
So glad you liked this tall tale. Thank you.
J, my dear, you are one of the best storytellers I’ve ever read/heard. This was marvellous……, or were you using some of the magic of the vampires to seduce me??? Great story.
Thank you so much!
Has anyone ever refused “the offer?” Do they just become dinner if they do?
Yes and no. We just make them forget about it like it never happened. Usually THEY are the ones who ask and we’re the ones who say NO. We’re a small population and don’t let just anyone into the rank. And yes they could be dinner, but that is sort of personal.
First of all, let me congratulate you for your story. Ironically, I really appreciate this kind of atmosphere you evoke with your words. And I say irocanilly because when I came here, in your charming refuge on the internet, I’ve done led by an interesting, and – apparently not related – reason: I was searching for informations about my family. Innocenzio D’Antonio is the name of my Grandfather’s grandfather. So I would like to ask you, if I may, why did you chose this name for the character of yours? Is there same reason? Could you tell me? … And the last ones: who is the person in the picture? is he pretended to be Innocenzio D’Antonio? if so, could you tell me where did you get this picture?
It would make me very glad and grate if you could give me a reply. Since now, I thank you, and ask for you forgiveness about my bad English (I’m an italian descendent who lives in Brazil and speaks portuguese)
Oh my goodness. This is wonderful!
I am honored by your kind words. I picked the name Innocenzio D’Antonio because it sounded beautiful and musical and magical. It was by chance. I first found the first name then a last name that went well with it. It had to be an Italian name used in the 19th Century.
I don’t know the name of the man in the photo. It is Swiss and from the 1860’s. The Photographer was J. Ruesch and his business was in Rheineck, Switzerland. This photo is from my private collection.
Good luck in your search for your own Innocenzio D’Antonio.
Wow, what a coincidence!! Fortuity and it’s mysteries! That was interesting!
Anyway, I really apreciate your attention and kindness in answer this stranger so readly! Thank you for your consideration, my lady!