Frogs, Love and Hell

I believe I’ve used the frog story before, but I shall tell it again.

Put a cold cast iron skillet on a cold burner on your stove. Gas works best. Place a large, live, cold blooded frog in the center of the skillet. Use a good sized one – 10-12 inches. Turn on the heat ever so low, then gradually turn it up. The frog will sit until it gets blazing hot and it’s feet and belly stick to the cast iron and it is cooked.

Summer-Sun-550This is what happens to people in this heat (we’re expecting over 100 all week and over 110 F on some days). Elderly people and others who are not always aware will sit in the heat like the frog until they cook. They’ll forget to jump out of the pan, or in the case of some folks, forget to turn on the air conditioning or fan. Or they’ll forget to call for help because they won’t realize they need help.

My neighbor and dear friend Kelly came over tonight with a couple of cold drinks (bless her). She isn’t a Vampire like we are. She suspects we’re different but can’t quite put a finger on it. She also has a ghost in her house (yes, that ghost.)

We sat for a while as she told me of her elderly mother and the heat. Her mother forgets to turn on the air conditioner. Her mother obsesses about bad neighbors but will not let her children or helpers put anything over the fence so to keep out the eyes of those bad neighbors. She asked Kelly to come over (it was 110 outside) to cut down a tree. Kelly said no. Her mother doesn’t know what yard the tree is growing in. Kelly tells her not to go outside and check because it is too hot and because she’ll fall and end up in the hospital – again. The same conversation has happened over and over – with a different plant, a hose, a stray cat, an unfamiliar car parked on the street, or something else that Kelly will either have to deal with or talk her way out of.

She wishes her mother would move to a house where she won’t worry about bad trees and bad neighbors and expensive up keep. Kelly has suggested a smaller home near Kelly and the grand kids. It would be nice with all sorts of beautiful features and a lovely garden within walking distance of Kelly’s home. The kids could visit anytime. Her mother refuses. So Kelly must hear about trees and drive to her mom’s to get the mail, and give up her Saturday fun time. Saturday fun time is important for working moms and all moms and busy women who work, and well, it is important for everyone.

She wishes she could travel and do fun things with her mother. She wishes they could talk more of things that are positive and fun – things that are not bodily functions or other unpleasant things that only bring Kelly stress.

Sometimes the heat can suck the fun out of everything. The heat of being a caretaker can do the same. It is exhausting. Especially if the caretaker has children of her own. Kelly told her kids to put her on an ice flow if she ever got to the point where she couldn’t take care of herself. She asked them to shoot her if she ever lost her sense of humor. I gave her a hug. We talked for another house about books we’ve read this summer. We agree that everyone MUST read “Beautiful Ruins.” Then she went home to spend time with her own teenage children (good friends with my kids.)

After slipping on the kitchen floor today on an unknown object and landing on my back, I lay there thinking that I’d better call The Elders. They’re ancient and sometimes don’t use the best judgement.

Eleorna and Tellias, frail and gentle, were fine. Their neighbor had brought over shaved ice flavored with basil and rosemary. God bless him. They remembered to bring their old dog in and give him plenty of water. They didn’t drive today because sometimes they forgot how to turn on the air conditioner and the sun was too bright and they had lost the keys again, so they stayed home. And they turned on the air conditioner in their beautiful 143 year old house and slept in each other’s arms like young lovers.

I’m always afraid that I’ll drop by their house and find nothing but their ashes. I’m afraid someone will take advantage of them. I’m afraid that one day they might be gone and I will have a broken heart that will never go away.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

_________________________________

butterfly

For more on the elders in my life and dealing with the elderly (with humor or not) see the links below:

Notoriously Hot (ramblings in the heat)

At 108 degrees farenheit it is too hot. Way too hot. It is one of those days where I wish humans were cold-blooded because I don’t want anything that doesn’t have ice in it. At 98.6 degrees the average human is no treat for any Vampire in this weather.

With a body temperature running more than slightly on the cold side and an aversion to sunlight as it is – I am so cranky and bitchy right now I can hardly stand it. Vampires tend to be cold weather creatures so I’m wondering why I’m living in such a HOT place right now.

Then on top of it all I get a call from my mother asking me to do one more thing to help out my brother who is “in an emotional slump” and I explode “He is single and doing FINE in my book. I have two kids, a husband, a business AND I’m taking care of the elders this summer. NO. He can call me but I don’t have time for HIS DRAMA.” My brother Aaron, the other sibling with kids and a business and too much on his plate told her the same thing. There are two other brothers who need to step up to the plate….but…excuse me for the vent. A lot of us, Vampire or not are dealing with the summer HEAT and nasty issues…I am so hot I feel like rotting Zombie.

And no bitching or correcting my spelling or grammar today – it is too hot and my connection is slow and you don’t want a crabby Vampire on your hands.

In the meantime my darling husband finally fixed the air conditioning (yes, it went out just as the triple digits hit) and said “Honey, I recorded your favorite movie.”

We’d planned on going out but we decided to stay in with ice-cold cocktails and one of my favorite movies Notorious (1946) with Ingrid Bergman, Cary Grant and Claude Raines.

220px-Notorious_posterThat movie covers every side of hot and cold that a movie can. Did I mention it was directed by Alfred Hitchcock? It was.

The plot: Alicia is a party girl with a German father and American mother. The movie starts when her father is thrown in prison for being a spy. Later, at a party, with a lot of free-flowing booze, a friend brings a mysterious and ever so handsome man. The attraction is there. He is Devlin, an American spy. To get to the point, the attraction turns to something more. You have to read between the lines, or watch and listen between the lines in this movie because of the censorship laws back then. Anyway, she has a reputation but is in love with him. He loves her but he holds back due to the typical double standard male ego.

Soooo to make a long story short and confusing…They go to Brazil (where the nuts come from) and fall in love even more and are obviously hula dancing (you know what I’m talking about but they can’t say it or show it in old movies – the teens found this very confusing).

But THEN the head spy decides, since she is already a slut (and these guys are so into slut shaming) she should marry or at least sleep with a bad German Sebastian (played brilliantly by Claude Raines) and find out what he, his friends and his creepy mother are up to. Alecia is shocked. Devlin is against it but says nothing, waiting for her to decide for herself. She figures he doesn’t love her and is a cold-hearted bastard so she says yes. What choice does she have?

So she married Sebastian but still keeps in touch with her handler Devlin (who she is still in love with). But wait – she and Devlin discover Sebastian and his creepy friends and evil mother are storing uranium ore in wine bottles. Who would have thought?

220px-Notorious1946Fast forward…the Evil Husband and his Creepy mother find out Alicia is a spy and poison her. Devlin worried that he hasn’t seen her for a week, goes to rescue her and realized in the MOST romantic scene ever that he loves her. LOVES HER in the worst and best possible way. The end.

You HAVE to watch it (just for her clothes and Cary Grant’s beautiful face if nothing else.)

So over ice-cold drinks we (husband, kids and me) huddled on the couch in the dark and watched the movie. The teens quickly left when it was over. I was happy and a little cooler.

Next we’re going to force the kids to watch Casablanca with us. Never has a better movie been made.

Garrett (age 17) asked us (the parents) “What did you do before air conditioning.”

We went to the coast for the summer or at least to San Francisco. We sort of stopped going to San Francisco for the entire summer after the earthquake (1906) but my parents did rebuild and still live there. I was in Monterey when it happened. Teddy (my husband but not yet) was living in Europe with my brother Max. We DO need to start going to the coast  and mountains more to cool off but with two teens and our busy lives…we just don’t do it enough. It was easier when the kids were small, but…you know how it is.

All I can say is THANK GOODNESS we don’t wear corsets and a thousand layers of clothing anymore. Not that we always did during the summer months back then.

I called up the elders to make sure they were staying cool. Thank goodness their neighbor checked in on them too.

In this hot weather please make sure that you check in on friends and family members who are elderly or who otherwise might forget to turn on the air conditioning. Some people are like frogs. You a frog in cold pan. It sits there all comfortable cool and happy. Then you turn on the heat and watch as the frog just sits, not even realizing the heat was turned on until it is cooked. That is what happens to some people (and even some  Vampires and Werewolves who don’t know better.)

And make sure your pets have plenty of cool water.

The kids started to ask about the Donner Party but I told them that was a story for another day. The Donner Party on a day like today? Really?

So keep cool. Keep happy. Stay sane.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Short Story Sunday – Heart Shaped Box

Welcome to Short Story Sunday…

Back in October I posted Heart Shaped Box a fun story from Mandy White – and it was so popular that I decided to share it again (spread the love).

I’ve featured Mandy’s work before with the Jealously Game and Creepies – Twisted Tales from Beneath the Bed.

Here, for your reading pleasure (or horror),  is an exceptional and exceptionally wonderfully creepy and uncomfortable tale of romance…featured in her new anthology Dysfunctional – out now on Amazon.

Heart-Shaped Box

by Mandy White

Megan wept, curled on her side in the tightest ball she could manage. She had been curled up in the fetal position on her bed for hours – days, actually, doing nothing but cry. Barely moving except to use the bathroom and drink a bit of water. She couldn’t eat, she couldn’t sleep and the ache in her chest wouldn’t go away no matter how many painkillers she took.

So this is what a broken heart feels like.

She now understood why they called it heartbreak. What she felt was beyond sadness; it manifested as a tangible physical pain in her chest that radiated down into her belly. It was the most horrible sensation ever, and it was all HIS fault. How could he have been so cruel to her when all she had done was love him? She didn’t know where she had gone wrong. She had given him everything; waited on him hand and foot and catered to his every wish but in the end it wasn’t enough. He took her heart and tore it to shreds and then walked out the door as if the last two years had meant nothing.

She wanted to die.

If I died, you’d be sorry! You’d have to live with it for the rest of your life, knowing that YOU were the one who drove me to suicide!

Died of a broken heart.

That would show him how much she loved him.

Nobody else will ever love you the way I do! You’ll see! One day you will come crawling back to me with your heart in shreds, then you’ll know how you made me feel. And then I can kiss you better. We can heal together.

No, she would not end her life. Life was worth living as long as there was a chance of winning him back.

She would get him back.

Or die trying.

Richard had tried to leave her a few times during the last year but each time she had managed to convince him to stay. She begged and pleaded and promised to be everything he wanted in a woman but he became cold and aloof nonetheless. He didn’t want intimacy anymore. He participated in sex when she was persistent enough to make his physical urges overcome his mental reluctance but his lack of desire was clearly evident.

She was willing to accept his lack of enthusiasm in their relationship as long as he didn’t leave. They could work things out. She would make it better. She just had to make him see how much she loved him and he would know they were destined to be together.

It was the pregnancy that did it.

The one thing that should have cemented them together forever turned out to be the catalyst that ended their relationship. He was willing to stay for the sake of the baby. He even agreed to marry her after much pleading and cajoling on her part.

It would be the perfect wedding. She had already chosen her dress – a high-waisted design that would look stunning even with the bulge in her belly. She booked the church and hired the caterer and sent out invitations. It would be the beautiful fairytale wedding she had always dreamed of. Afterward, he would take her in his arms and carry her over the threshold and make love to her, tenderly and passionately the way a husband should. Their life together would be picture-perfect.

There was just one small detail.

She wasn’t pregnant.

Megan had thought she was pregnant, without a doubt. Even though the pregnancy tests (three of them, to be exact) were negative, she figured that it was just too early. She experienced all the symptoms – the missed period, tender breasts, bloated belly and irritability. She even felt sick in the mornings. When her period arrived late, it was easy to hide it from him since he showed no interest in her physically. Since their engagement Richard had become even more distant, never meeting her eyes and only speaking to her when it was absolutely necessary.

The pregnancy was a false alarm – just a bad case of PMS – but it didn’t matter. She would be pregnant by the time they got married; she would make sure of it.

She managed to convince him to have sex once during the following month but it did not result in pregnancy. Panicked, she redoubled her efforts to seduce him but it seemed like the harder she tried the less receptive he became. Eventually he couldn’t even sustain an erection long enough to finish.

Four months passed. Then five and still she wasn’t pregnant. She faked the symptoms, pretending to get sick in the mornings and eating like a horse so she would gain some girth and appear pregnant. The wedding was just six weeks away and she only needed to keep up her charade until after the minister declared them to be husband and wife. After that, she could fake a miscarriage and he would be there to comfort her and they could try again to start a family.

She began to wear padding under her clothing to keep up appearances so she would have the appropriate look under her wedding dress.

She didn’t hear him come into the house that day.

He had been moving around the house like a ghost lately with a faraway look in his eyes, never speaking unless spoken to. On that particular day, he came home from work early and she wasn’t expecting him. She was in the bedroom, in front of the mirror; trying on the next size of pillow she was going to bind to her belly to make it look thicker.

She had no idea how long he was standing there, watching her in silence.

He said nothing.

He refused to speak to her, no matter how she cried and pleaded. He started packing immediately and left that night, taking only the bare necessities and leaving everything else behind. She clung to his leg, begging him to stay but he peeled her off of him in disgust. He walked out of her life without giving a second thought to their future together, leaving her blubbering on the floor in a pool of tears.

Megan was not only heartbroken; she was humiliated. He told his family and all of their friends about her deceit and his reason for leaving. Nobody would speak to her.

She was alone.

* * *

A year later, Megan still sobbed herself to sleep but not as often. The pain in her chest had diminished to a dull ache but it never went away altogether. They said time heals all wounds but she knew that in her case it wouldn’t. She still loved Richard heart and soul and would never stop. They were meant to be together. He was hers and no amount of time or distance would ever change that.

She wasted her Saturday afternoons wandering aimlessly through the mall, gazing at the gowns in the bridal shop, the sexy lingerie in Victoria’s Secret and the endless displays of adorable children’s clothing. From infant to toddler to preschooler… there were too many cute outfits to choose from. She should have been buying clothing for her own child – for their child. Instead, she could only look, and dream.

She wandered toward the food court to feed her craving for sweets. She had been living on junk food lately and had gained a considerable amount of weight. It didn’t matter, because she had nobody to stay thin for. At that moment, Cinnabon was calling her.

A baby stroller blocked her path as she navigated through the tables to get to the food counters. She edged around it, pausing for a moment to admire the infant, a little girl about three months old, dressed in an adorable pink outfit. The parents, deeply engrossed in conversation, giggled and shared an intimate kiss.

Megan froze.

No.

It couldn’t be!

It was him. Richard.

Her Richard.

Judging from the age of the infant in the stroller, he hadn’t wasted any time after leaving her. He might have already been seeing that woman behind her back! That would explain his lack of interest in Megan. The slut had already tired him out before he got home.

Rage boiled over inside her when she saw that the bitch wore an engagement ring – a large, stunning diamond solitaire. Much more spectacular than the shitty little band he had grudgingly given her.

“YOU BASTARD!” Megan roared, sweeping the food and beverages off the table onto the couple’s laps.

“YOU DIRTY CHEATING MOTHERFUCKER!”

“Richard?” the woman said, her voice shaking as she protectively pulled the baby stroller closer to her.

“You stay out of it, slut! I’m talking to my husband. You’ve done enough already!”

Richard finally spoke up. “Get the hell away from my family, you crazy bitch.”

“YOUR family? YOUR family?” Megan sputtered. “What about OUR family? The one you couldn’t even give me because your dick was always limp!”

“I never wanted you, Megan. I never loved you. You were a mistake. The biggest mistake I ever made.” Richard’s tone was calm. He spoke the words without emotion. How could he not feel anything after sharing his life with her for two years?

Richard’s bitch had taken her child and moved away from the table. She was talking to the clerk at Cinnabon and a security guard was already making his way toward them.

“You think you’ll be happy with her?” Megan yelled. “She’s nothing! You and ME! WE were meant to be together! Nobody will love you the way I do. Nobody!

The security guard stepped between them.

“I’ll have to ask you to move away, ma’am. Leave these people alone.”

“Fuck you!” she spat, leaning around the uniformed man to make eye contact with Richard once more.

“You can’t escape fate, Richard. You’re mine! One day you’ll come crawling back. You love me. I know you do.”

Two more security guards came from behind and took her arms, leading her away from the food court. They demanded that she leave at once or the police would be called.

Megan left. She had said her piece.

Richard knew the truth.

She would make him see the truth.

* * *

Megan had newfound energy. It was as if her outburst with Richard had broken her free from the shackles of depression and given her a new purpose in life. Richard was her purpose and she fixated on him like never before. She had seen what their life would look like. She just needed to take the place of the baby-making whore in the food court and everything would be perfect again.

She would win him back. His heart had always been hers; he just didn’t realize it yet.

Having been banned from the local mall, Megan’s Saturday shopping trip took her to the streets and a new neighborhood where she had never been before. Her Obsessive Compulsive Disorder often prevented her from visiting new places because OCD made it very difficult to deviate from an established routine. Occasionally, change was forced and this time she found it refreshing instead of disturbing. Her therapist, whom she hadn’t seen in more than five years, would have called it ‘a positive step’.

The buildings were old; many of them made from weathered red bricks. It was a nice change of pace from the icy-smooth grey concrete of downtown. The new neighborhood featured a wealth of second-hand stores, a few hippie shops selling bongs and other paraphernalia and some dusty-looking used bookstores. It was in one of these bookstores that she found it.

The tattered brown binding of the book caught her eye for some reason and immediately she reached for it.

The Joy of Spellcasting.

She chuckled to herself.

Kind of cheesy, she thought. It sounded like a cookbook. Why not? It could be fun. Megan purchased the book placed it in her bag. Her step had a new spring to it on the way home.

She opened the book to the table of contents and quickly found what she was looking for.

Love Spells – page 131.

Something was handwritten at the bottom of the yellowed page. The ink had blurred over time but it was still legible. Megan held it up to the light to make out the words.

“Be warned, ye who goest here. Think ye long on what thou desirest. The spells contained within be those most powerful. What thou desirest, thou shalt receive.”

Megan smirked. It sounded like something out of a low-budget after-school Halloween special.

Good to know. Let’s see if it’s true.

She turned to page 131 and began to read.

There were several love spells and potions but most of them looked complicated. They contained ingredients she had never heard of and took too long to yield results. They ranged anywhere from six months to three years to complete a spell. Megan wanted results now.

She settled on the One Moon Love Charm. It claimed to return a lost love in one month and she had all the ingredients to make it work:

A container made from wood or metal.

A likeness of your lost love. OR

An object belonging to your lost love, OR

A sample of your loved one’s blood or flesh.

Write on a piece of parchment exactly what you desire.

Seal with your own blood or flesh to bond with your lover’s flesh for all eternity.

Bury the container three feet deep in dark soil under the light of the full moon.

Stand over the burial site and turn around three times and then say the incantation every night for one month. When the moon reaches its next fullness, the object of your desire will come to you.

Megan selected a heart-shaped wooden jewelry box Richard had given her when they first started dating – back when he still knew he loved her. The box held no jewelry except for the engagement ring she no longer wore. She had been using it to store her favorite photos of Richard, all carefully cropped with a pair of scissors to a heart shape.

A likeness of your lost love.

What better likeness than an actual photo? She left all of the photos in the box.

OR an object belonging to your lost love.

That was easy, since Richard had left most of his belongings behind when he left, so why not add that as well? She selected a watch she had bought him for Christmas that he always seemed to forget to wear and his razor, which he had left in the bathroom.

OR a sample of your loved one’s blood or flesh.

Technically, the razor already had that covered, since it contained beard stubble and no doubt skin cells as well. She wanted to add as much punch to the spell as possible. More would be better, right? She cleaned the bathtub drain, finding a slimy hairball made up of both his hair and hers. That covered both samples of their flesh.

On a plain white piece of paper, she wrote the words she had chosen:

Richard Cole, I desire your heart and nothing else.”

She folded it carefully and placed it in the box.

She sliced her index finger with a razor blade and let the blood flow freely over the contents of the jewelry box.

Under the full moon she stood, on the fresh mound of dirt beneath which the box was buried. She turned around three times and then recited the incantation, which she had memorized:

“By the Earth below and the moon above,

You will be my one true love.

Bound in blood and sealed in Earth,

Waiting for our love’s new birth.

Empowered by the Law of Three,

Richard’s heart will come to me.

Three times Three.

So mote it be.”

She repeated the incantation two more times just for good measure. If the Law of Three was a real thing, then it made sense to do everything three times to amplify the power threefold.

The following night she repeated the ritual, chanting the incantation three times. After a pause, she recited it three times more.

She couldn’t stop the pattern once it had begun. Richard had hated her OCD but it was one of the things that made her organized and precise in everything she did. Every night she added three more repetitions to the incantation. When she reached the 29th night she recited it a total of 87 times. When she went to bed at night, the rhyme played over and over inside her head until she fell asleep.

The moon had reached the first day of its three days of fullness. It would be at its fullest the following night. Megan snuggled happily into her bed, confident that Richard would be with her soon.

* * *

“Jenkins! Get in here! You gotta see this!” Ralph Anderson shouted to his assistant.

Jenkins wandered through the double doors of the morgue, stuffing the remains of a tuna sandwich into his mouth.

“I’m still on break. Couldn’t you have waited another ten minutes?”

“No, I need you to see this. You gotta tell me I’m not crazy.”

Jenkins approached the table where his superior was conducting a routine autopsy. The ribcage was splayed open, revealing the inside of the stiff’s chest.

“So what’s the deal? You find an alien in there? Looks pretty normal to me.”

“Look again. Tell me what you see. More specifically, what’s missing?”

Jenkins leaned over the corpse to take a closer look, licking mayonnaise off of his fingertips.

“Yeah, so it looks like you’ve already removed the heart, and—”

“But I haven’t,” Anderson said, almost in a whisper.

“Sure you have. It’s not in there.” Jenkins looked around at the empty stainless steel trays that surrounded the autopsy table. “So, where’d ya put it?’

“I’m telling you, it wasn’t in there when we got him.”

“So, what is this then, a serial killer case?”

“No. Probable heart attack. Sudden death, cause unknown.”

“So, where’s the heart?”

“That is the question, isn’t it? There was no incision in the body, no sign of hemorrhage inside. It’s just… missing.”

“We gonna record this?”

“Who’s gonna believe us? I’m closing him back up and labelling him a coronary.”

* * *

Megan woke the morning of the thirtieth day, feeling well rested and energized. Today, Richard would return. She would take a nice long bath and put on something pretty and fix him a nice dinner. It would be the perfect day – one for which she had worked very diligently.

She stretched and yawned, rolling over to caress the pillow where Richard would lay his head that night.

Her hand touched something wet.

Something rounded, about the size of her fist.

It was warm, and pulsed with a steady, rhythmic beat.

___________________________________________________________________

Links to Dysfunctional and Other Books by Mandy White

Horror and Thrillers:

Dysfunctional

A Feast Not So Fancy

Avenging Annabelle

 

Creepies – Twisted Tales from Beneath the Bed (Horror Anthology from the WPAD Group)

Nocturnal Desires  (Erotica Anthology from the WPAD Group)

Non-Fiction

Jealously Game

Happy reading and keep checking back to Vampire Maman for more GREAT reading suggestions!

And to my extra special blogging friends…if you have written a short story (any kind – romance, literature, horror, fantasy, adventure, YA, kids, anything) and would like for me to consider posting it on Short Story Sunday, contact me at juliettevampiremom@gmail.com

And remember I just do this for fun. Nobody is getting paid anything (but I’ll add a link to your blog if you want)

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Letters to my brother…or don’t be sorry that your family isn’t “normal”

Dear Aaron,

I no longer wish to be a Vampire. Please be a dear and do some research for me.

Love,

Your brother Andrew

Dear Andrew,

You don’t have to remind me that you’re my brother. And are you freaking crazy? You are a Vampire and there is no undoing it. You were born that way. Even if you weren’t there is no undoing it. End of story. So get over it and any girl you’ve recently broken up with.

Aaron

Dear Aaron,

Your cruel and unfortunate comment hit me to the core.

Andrew

Andy,

Mom and Dad are on their way down to see you, like they really need to come bail you out again. My wife wasn’t always a Vampire and she said being a regular human is no piece of cake either. Take a deep breath. You’re only 163. You’re young and we all make mistakes.

Aaron

I saw this typical exchange between my brothers. Typical Birth Order study in action. Max is the over achieving golden child eldest, next comes the incredibly phenomenally talented Andrew, in the middle is Aaron who is steady and smart and always has his act together. The last two are my brother Val and me. We’re smart too but we’re fun and, well, we’re fun.

But for some reason Aaron seems to be the one everyone expects to fix things. Somber and serious, but only because he feels he has been forced into it. The happy fun of a large family.

I told my children “marry an only child and make sure you marry and orphan too.” And don’t send me hate mail, I’m just kidding (sort of).

While Aaron was ready to growl, I got on the phone and called Andrew. Mind you he is in Patagonia so it is very long distance with questionable connections but I finally got through, sort of.

First someone answered in Spanish. I told them I wanted to speak to Andrew. Then someone speaking German got on the line. It was German with an odd accent. German with a British accent. It was James, Andrew’s old friend from way back.

“Jewels!” He literally sang my nick name  (in English now) into the crackling phone line. “Are you still with Teddy? If not you know I’m available. Come one down to Argentina and we’ll dance under the Southern stars and make wild love on the deserted beaches…”

“James, I need to speak to Andy.” I told him that while taking a deep internal breath and trying to erase way too many visuals and memories the sound of his voice brought up.

Dear lovely James who can drive the most patient saint crazy. James who has never met a woman who didn’t end up hating him. James who is so sweet and charming that you hate yourself for all the times you want to kill him. James who is once wooed me with such abandon and aggression that I called him a stalker and told him I’d rip out his heart with my bare hands if he didn’t leave me alone. He left me alone and we’ve come to an understanding. We friends, with conditions. But when you’re dealing with a Vampire brother in trouble crazy James is the one to trust. Did I mention that he is also a successful clinical psychologist and marriage counselor? He is. Just thought I’d mention that. Oh right, and he is a Vampire too – just like the rest of us.

Andy’s voice came on the line. His is one of those clean, clear, magical voices of unbelievable tone and beauty that makes a person just want to sit and listen forever no matter what my brothers is saying. Unfortunately he never has much to say that is worth listening to. I love my brother, I really do, but sometimes his lack of everything makes me think I’m talking to a 10-year-old.

“Remember when we were in Paris in 1927 and the entire city seemed to belong to us? I was singing at the Opera house and it was the first time I felt human, like the masses.”

“You shared your gift.” I told my brother quietly. He has such a gift.

“They loved me. They adored my baby sister. Do you remember?”

I remembered but not quite the way Andy did. “How are you Andy?”

“Remember the French girl, the lovely one with the sky blue eyes. She had Lymphoma. I could taste it. I let her go. I helped her until she passed. Jewels we’ll never know. We’ll never know.”

“Nadine. She was lovely. I remember.” I remember he’d been hopelessly in love with her.

“I knew she was sick before she died.”

“I know Andy.”

“Why can’t we help people?”

“We can, but, Andy, you know how it is.”

“That’s why I don’t want to be one of us anymore. I don’t want to be  Vampire.”

“Andy, we can’t change what we were born into. We can’t change our DNA.”

“What about Teddy and Verity? They were born as Regular Humans. They didn’t start as Vampires.”

But they are now and they can’t go back. Teddy (my husband) and Verity (Aaron’s wife) had their own demons to deal with but they resisted the “what if” urge. Acceptance was their key to their survival. And for goodness sake I hope their children and my brother Aaron and I could keep them in the NOW and POSITIVE about their lives.

“Andrew, Teddy and Verity are fine. They’re happy as I want you to be. Oh Andrew, if I had your heart and soul and talent I would be the happiest woman on earth.”

“Vampire woman.”

“Any kind of woman.”

“What if I came home, to you. Could I crash at your place?”

“Of course. Clara is playing the guitar. With her talent she’ll be playing in the Warped Tour in a few years. You could teach her about music and you could sing together and write music together. She knows all about how to make Youtube videos and all of that stuff. It would be wonderful for the both of you.”

“I miss the kids, yours and Aaron’s.”

“Then come home Andy…”

The conversation went on a rambling mess, but by the end the tears and angst had stopped. I knew my parents would be with him in a few hours. I knew he’d be fine, at least for now.

I went into my family room to find Verity asleep with her head on Teddy’s shoulder. They’d married into my crazy family. They also had once been something that my brothers and I never were. They knew what it was like to face death over and over and to fear it and more to accept it. And they knew more than any of us how to face loss of all kinds, and again to accept it. It wasn’t just a waiting game with them as it can become with us. It is always the here and now. It is always NOW.

Aaron had gone upstairs where our kids where, his two home for a summer vacation from college and my two teens.

Family is an odd thing. There is no normal. So never, no matter what you are, be sorry that your family isn’t normal. Maybe on the surface, but never in the deep down soul. We’re all unique – unique alone or unique in a group.

But even if you can’t stand them that weird connection that we can never explain is there, deep within that makes us family and connected and parts of a whole. Even if it is a whole lot of crazy. But for the most part it is a whole lot of love.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman (aka Jewels)

starry

Love in the 21st Century for those born in the 19th Century

Love in the 21st Century for those born in the 19th Century (Modern Vampires)

My brothers and I are young compared to a lot of Vampires, but face it, we were born in the mid-19th century and things have changed a lot since we were teens and first started to woo, court and romance the opposite sex.

My brother Aaron and I are the parents. We’ve seen our modern children (his in their early 20’s, mine in high school) romancing or at least thinking about it, but in a different more forward way than we ever did. Of course being Vampires we were a little freer thinking than regular humans of our time but we were a lot more formal than kids are now.

But I remember dancing under the stars with my husband (sometime in the late 1880’s before he was my husband) and slipping a note into his pocket. Does anyone do that anymore or is it just texts? Then again, Teddy didn’t find the note until a year later. Actually another woman found it. She was none too pleased. And I’d wondered why I hadn’t heard from him. If I’d just texted him, used Instagram or use Snapchat to send him a string of T&A shots…but still there would have been no guarantees. And NO my kids will NOT be using Snapchat (also known as Snatchchat.)

Which brings us to my other three brothers, all single and still trying to find their way through the wilds of the female brain (so they call it) and still almost clueless when it comes to relationships.

Right now Andrew is nursing a broken heart and mending his tragic soul in Patagonia. But he is not alone as he would have been in the past. He is brooding in the windy mountains and beaches of the Tierra del Fuego but he sends me emails every single day. He even sends clips of songs he is writing. No waiting months for letters. He can cry on my shoulder all hours of the day and night.  In return I send him messages saying “DON’T CONTACT HER. SHE ISN’T WORTH IT.” And for goodness sake don’t send her any photos unless it is of the desolate landscape then you can compare it to the desolation and isolation of your heart and soul. Yes, my brothers are way too dramatic for their own good. That is one reason they’re always getting their hearts broken.

Val (short for Valentine) like his namesake actually is smart when it comes to romance in the modern world. He appreciates and admires independent women. He is an expert at all known communication technology. But he still appreciates the face-to-face experience.

“You can’t smell someone in a text.” Val enjoys the physical way too much…

And this is where you hear the sound effect of a needle sliding over the surface of a vinyl record (if you don’t know what that is look it up.)

 

“You’re at it again Juliette, queen of Vampire smut. Stop with the lame writing and put your mind to the task.”

I looked up from my keyboard to see the ghost brooding in front of me. His eyes were like black coals and his dark hair flew around his face (a cool trick considering there was no wind.)

“I don’t write smut. And it is called writer’s block.” I told him. “I don’t feel amused today at all or witty or charming. I also don’t feel like dealing with you.”

“You shouldn’t pressure yourself. If you need to write just go on Facebook and say something cute about your kids or sucking blood or whatever you Vampires say to each other.” He gave me an evil smile that was both snarky and made him look more attractive than he should have looked.

“Love,” the ghost continued, “isn’t any different today than it ever way. The tools might be different, but it all comes from the heart. It comes from common attraction and interest, but even more so it comes from the unexpected. That is why I don’t always like the idea of filling out an online survey of likes and interests only to have it spit out a clone of the opposite sex. I wouldn’t fall in love with myself if I were a girl. I want someone who isn’t me.  I mean, don’t you get bored with yourself? Oh right, you’re bored with yourself right now.”

He had a valid point, even if he is a ghost.

Anyway…that is all for today. I’m going to be away for a few days but I will be checking on my iPhone.

And if you really want romantic advice check out (click on the links below):

Uncle Val’s Advice on Women (for Vampires and Everyone Else) and

Advice on Girls from Uncle Max

and Art, Love and the Romantic Soul

and Love and the teenage soul

Search around on my blog…about half of the posts are on love and romance of some kind.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Where did they put their smart phones?

Where did they put their smart phones?

 

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/06/24/weekly-writing-challenge-love/

Answers about Vampires – Summer Edition

Got a question about Vampires? I have some answers.

  • Because Vampire men refuse to wear spandex bodysuits.
  • Let me put it this way…they won’t shave or wax their body hair to wear spandex. Plus (if you’re a prude leave now) can you imagine finding your hot Vampire Super Hero and trying to get him out of tights in a sexy way. It isn’t going to happen.
  • Because Vampire women won’t let them (this can be the answer for almost all questions about Vampires.)
  • Yes, we do buy sunscreen by the gallon.
  • Yes, we all swim.
  • Well, no we don’t always wear swim suits because it is usually dark. Why do you ask?
  • The six California universities with the most Vampire students are: Stanford, UCB, UCLA, CSUS, UCSC and UCSB. No, I won’t tell you where my son is applying (that is another blog post because this is the summer of college applications. Oh boy,)
  • No, I can’t tell you that.
  • Yes, I know the answer but I won’t tell you.
  • NO.
  • No, we don’t turn to dust without air conditioning.
  • Why yes, I do believe a Vampire would make a good Starfleet Captain. Really. I’m not joking around here
  • No, it was Keseberg. None of us were there. But my Dad met Keseberg a few years later and said he could tell the man had murdered for human flesh and then for the sheer joy of it.
  • Yes, we do wear masks from time to time but only at fancy parties. And yes, there are a lot of fancy parties.
  • It is as easy and painless as a kiss – that is if you do it right.
  • A kiss is never painless unless you break a heart or kiss the wrong person.
  • My fingernails are not black unless I paint them that way or slam them in the door.
  • Yes, when we find a mate we stay with them forever. That is why a lot of us never marry.
  • Because they would kill us.
  • Stop asking.
  • Synthetic blood? I don’t think so. On the other hand, who doesn’t like that bright orange artificial cheese flavor?
  • Yes, like I said before, Vampires swim. Of course we swim. You can swim but you can’t hide!
  • Favorite summer shows? AGT, Copper, Next Food TV Star, Burn Notice…and movies and of course Oddities. You gotta love Oddities. Vampires love movies but we like just about everything. Just like Regular Humans. No accounting for taste but who gives a rip.
  • So people won’t know we’re Vampires. And no they don’t have to be yellow, but yellow is fun.
  • No, only in bad British Vampire movies. Yes, I’m sure on that one. Absolutely sure.
  • There are more Vampire Hunters during the summer because the pansy ass woosie boys are afraid of the fog. Go figure.

Have fun and stay curious.

Juliette aka Vampire Maman

I love summer. Especially spending time in my night garden!

I love summer. Especially spending time in my night garden!

For more questions about Vampires answered click here and here and here.
And the answer will always be NO.