Vampire University

victorian dudes

 

 “I had no idea your Uncle Max was a Vampire,” my husband Teddy said when he spoke of his college days with my brother Max.

In late September my 18-year-old Garrett and his best friend Randy will be moving 400 miles away – almost seven hours away. It doesn’t seem that far since he’ll still be in the same state. There is an airport too.

The boys are already looking around Target and planning what they’ll bring. I’m telling Garrett not to bring too much. He doesn’t want to have to haul stuff around. He can get things he needs when he gets there. In the dorms he won’t need much. He can bring is guitar and portable keyboard for big items. Thanks goodness it isn’t like years ago when record collections took up an entire car trunk. Still, I can understand the need to bring a few things from home along with the new.

dorm stuff

I think back when my eldest brother went off to school. We didn’t have a Target. I can’t even imagine my mother taking Max out to buy sheets and lamps and storage bins. I can’t imagine him picking out frames for pictures and throw pillows. Max has good taste but it wasn’t on his mind back then. It was 1868 and Max is far more of the dark brooding Vampire than Garrett or Randy (especially surfer dude California boy Randy) will ever be.

My husband Teddy was Max’s best friend and his college roommate. Teddy studied history and philosophy. Max studied science and law. They were both brilliant students, but still young men – younger than they wanted others to think they were.

Teddy was telling our kids about when he was in college, sharing a room with a Vampire. Only he didn’t know his best friend, the boy he’d grown up with, was a Vampire. He didn’t even know what a Vampire was. This was 8 or 9 years before he became one of us (a Vampire.)

Honest to God, he’d grown up human with us all and had no idea why we were so different. He just thought my parents were charming people who were sensitive to the light. He had no idea at all. Even with my brothers. He just thought we were sort of weird and kind of exciting and a lot of fun. We were fun. We’re still fun. But we’re Vampires, something we learned at an early age not to tell anyone.

Anyway… back to college.

Teddy and Max rented rooms in a house belonging to a family friend. They had a large sitting room, a study and two bedrooms. It was pretty lavish for students. The house was owned by Vampires so my parents thought it would be safe for Max.  It was safe for Teddy and his friends as well.

Max would vanish and go out all night without a word. He’d come home in the morning and sleep all day, but always managing to be up for lectures.

On morning he checked in on Max only to find him sitting on the edge of his bed without his shirt. Next to him was a girl wearing Max’s shirt. She looked up at Teddy with eyes the color of the sea and skin as pale as the moonlight. Teddy left slamming the door behind him. Max followed him out, not too pleased his privacy had been invaded.

“She doesn’t mean anything,” Max said.

“Did you pay for her?”

“Of course not Teddy. What sort of man do you take me for?”

“Why would she consent?”

“Because it feels good.”

Of course Teddy was shocked. Simply shocked that Maxwell would bring a girl back to his room and then… well, take their clothing off and enjoy each others company without marriage or any kind of serious relationship.

Teddy was perplexed by his friend Max. “Where are her parents? Who is her family? Hasn’t she any shame?”

“She doesn’t feel shame, not in the way girls you know feel shame. She isn’t like the girls you know. She is different. Our society, I mean her society is different that yours…ours. You wouldn’t understand. Theodore, she is not a whore or a slut. She is my friend. We’re alike in so many ways. Ways you can’t imagine.”

“Are you going to marry her?”

“Oh Teddy, don’t be simple-minded. No, of course not.”

“Maxwell, what has happened to you?”

“Nothing has happened to me. This conversation is over Theodore.”

Of course Teddy didn’t understand. Of course the girl was a Vampire and it didn’t matter that Max was using her, at least to Max. Vampire girls were not like the girls Teddy knew. Vampire girls for the most part were not like the one Max kept at his beck and call. Max still keeps them at his beck and call.

 

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The girl came back from time to time. Mostly Max came back smelling of her perfume of roses and hyacinth.

When Teddy saw her dressed, the girl was charming and cultured. Her fashions were tasteful as if she came from a good family with wealth. Then she vanished. Max didn’t explain.

Max of course had a different version of the story. Teddy was acting like a child but that was to be expected, after all he wasn’t a Vampire, he was a Regular Human. It was frustrating and as much as he loved Teddy he thought his privacy was being invaded. He had no idea that Teddy’s views on women were so unlike his. They’d talked about women but never in detail about what one does with a girl after a kiss. One does a lot after a kiss – or so was the thinking in Max’s Vampire mind, but Teddy was of a different world. Besides, she was a Vampire and a student, not some little innocent hot-house flower or a whore.

A few months ago we were at Max’s house and Teddy mentioned that he smelled the faint scent of roses and hyacinth. She was back, in and out of Max’s life after all these years. Teddy and the girl had become friends over the years. She’d helped him after he unwittingly because a Vampire, but that is another post.

But back to college…from time to time Max would have other visitors, students that Teddy saw but never socialized much with. They were friendly but odd in a way he couldn’t put his finger on. Of course later he’d learn why they were different.

Teddy’s friends would stay up all night in loud conversations about life and love and everything that would be on the mind of a young man. Sometimes Max would join along but he’d rarely bring his quiet mysterious friends to these late night events. The times Max’s friends showed up they were polite, cultured and brilliant. Sometimes even a little too polite. They listened and were quick to smile their sly quiet smiles.

Teddy and Max would be invited to balls but Max’s girl would never show up. None the less, Teddy and Max would have their dance cards full with waiting lists from women of all ages. Both were charming and good dancers. But again, Max would vanish for hours on end and always return to sleep for hours.

Aside from late night discussions, girls and dances Teddy talked about the horrible pranks. I’ve warned my son Garrett about pranks. Don’t do it. Small pranks are OK but don’t be mean or overly crude or damage either property or reputations.

Some of the 19th century college pranks included:

  • Wagons would be disassembled and rebuilt on top of buildings or in lecture halls.
  • Young men would wake in the morning dressed as women. They’d also end up with half a mustache or eyebrows gone.
  • Animals would be brought into rooms, especially goats, chickens and sheep.
  • I read that in one college in Ohio students would heat up dumb bells and drop them down stairs. At the sound to the thumping an unsuspecting professor would pick up the hot noise makers and burn himself. That isn’t a prank. That is just mean.

The small community of Vampire students never participated. They stood by and watched, sometimes smiling, but never risked being caught. They had other things to do during the night like getting blood out of their classmates or young ladies who lived near by.

Even now small cars and bicycles end up in odd places like on the tops of buildings. Duct tape, Sharpies, aluminum foil, plastic wrap and post-it notes are all popular items to prank with. I’ve heard of several cases of cars or dorm room doors being covered with Maxi Pads (the kind with the adhesive on the back). Most pranks are just mean and not really funny once it is done. Maybe at one time I would have thought differently, but the mean part always bothers me.

Like I said, Vampire students don’t participate in such things. It isn’t as if they don’t have a sense of humor. They just aren’t into that kind of “humor.”

Garrett and Randy are so easy-going that I think they’ll fit in and nobody will suspect anything different about them. Add to that the fact that they’re charming and cute and funny. They won’t have to even leave their dorm for midnight snacks.

As for girls in the room… I hope they both have more discretion and class than Max did. Since they’re both such romantics, especially Garrett I think they’ll be fine. Well, I hope they’ll be fine and I hope smart enough not to get their hearts broken in a zillion tiny pieces.

As for other students, they’ll meet other Vampires as well as students from all over the country and world. Most will be from California but they’ll be from diverse backgrounds including veterans.

Teddy and Max, and my brother Andrew all went to the University with Veterans of the Civil War. It was a different time but some things always seem to stay the same. Young men go off to war and the ones who don’t die come back and start their lives over.

I’m excited for Garrett. There is so much to do we’re just all on auto pilot.

He’ll be an adult for real and a Vampire man, not just a boy who happens to be a Vampire. I’ve raised him right so it is time to let him go out into the night on his own. I’m sure he is ready. I’m just not sure that I’m ready.

Oh well. Just sort of thinking out loud. I’ll miss nights when we’re all on the couch watching stupid stuff like Sharknado 2 – The Second One and switching to America’s Got Talent and laughing so hard we can hardly stand it. Everyone is talking. Two of us have our computers. Someone is doing dance moves for no reason. We’re all laughing more. Friends and family and fun and a lot of love. 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

 

mystery butterfly

 

 

Exploring the Wonders…

They grow

And explore

The wonders

Of the universe

If we let them.

Then they explore

The wonders of

their hearts

and imagination.

 

All children should be allowed to explore, beyond the world of their parents. We should be their guides, but give them the freedom to take that extra step to discover something new. If your child learns something new 9 times out of 10 you’ll learn something new.

Listen and learn from your child. You’ll know what they learned in school and what they did after school. You’ll know about their friends. You’ll know about those who aren’t so friendly to them. They keys to talk to them, talk with them and listen to them. Never take a one world answer. Make them talk. They’ll thank you for it later.

The sun is just coming up over horizon and the sky is turning pale gray and whites and blues. It is that strange in-between time for just about most creatures. Werewolves are turning back into their own skin. Vampires are thinking of going to sleep. Regular folks are getting up for work. This is my time to write when all is quiet. Quiet is a rare thing for a mom.

Summer is in full swing and I wonder how my kids will remember their childhood and teen years.  I hope that the memories they take with them are of the times we spent together talking and just being together. I hope the memories will be of ideas and discussions.

I hope those ideas and discussions will never end.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman 

Women in history, religion and stupid ignorant people (let me rant a bit.)

Before you read the rest of this I want you to know that I adore men. I absolutely adore them… most of them. They’re lovely creatures. They’re fun. They have hair on their bodies. They’re men.

The following post is a hostile rant about hostile and ignorant people so if you want to leave right now I’m cool with that. More Vampire and parenting stuff will come your way tomorrow. Maybe even some cats. Maybe even romance, but not today.

I usually don’t write posts like this. In fact I never cover religion (aside from death) or political thoughts. But today I am, just because I feel like it. I can just see my number of followers dropping at a rate faster than mosquitos dropping from DDT in the 1950’s. Don’t do it – don’t stop following me. I promise I’ll be back to fun stuff tomorrow. Just indulge me a little.

Also, this is not a well researched paper or Master’s thesis. It is just me spouting out.

After writing the Pandora post a few days ago I was thinking about all of those “the girl did it” creation stories and myths out there.

Then I thought about the story of Adam and Eve. Oh please don’t even try to get all Sunday School on me. We all know these stories are not literal (anymore than most of my blog posts that teach lessons in life.)

There are serious flaws in this story. Adam and Eve were told NOT to touch the apple/fruit because it held knowledge. Knowledge is power. Keep the people ignorant, as in keep the knowledge to yourself, and you will have all the power.

So you put the apple out there. Then a snake comes and says “EAT IT.” Come on, snakes don’t have lips. They can’t talk. Blame it all on the snakes because they don’t have legs. Blame it on the creature who is different. OK it wasn’t really a snake, it was some creepy pissed off ex-angel asshole pretending to be a snake but still.

So Eve bites the apple and she gains knowledge. She suddenly realizes that she is naked. But wait – that isn’t a bad thing. That means shoes and accessories and great dresses in her future. It’s a beautiful thing. The human body is a beautiful thing.

Yes, just blame everything on the women. If that is the case then why the Hell are men so violent? Why do they fear and repress women in so many cultures? Why do they consider women property? Why are women considered less than human? Why do men go to war and kill each other and each other’s children?

I am not an atheist by any stretch, but most stories of the “first people” are full of stupid holes that can’t make any sense to anyone with half a brain. It is all about control. One half of the population wanted to control the other half. They made up these stories a long time ago. Modern men, real modern men are beyond this sort of silly and dangerous stuff.

There are so many examples cautionary tales of women being told what NOT to do then they turn around and do it. Well screw that. Maybe if they’d let women do what they needed to do and learn what they needed to do the world would be a nicer place. I’d open the box. I’d eat the apple. I’d drag those gold tablets out from under the bed, I’d crack the code, I’d look in the closet, I’d do all of that.

I’m not that impulsive. I’m generally a serious rule follower. Most rules are based in common sense. But there must be a reason behind the rule. Don’t hold out a tasty orange carrot if you don’t want something to come along and eat it, especially if the carrot makes them strong and healthy.

A great source of violence comes from the fear of knowledge, the fear of curiosity, the fear of change and the fear of women. It is also about the fear of sex and ignorance of sex. Notice how religious zealots of all religions – the crazy ones – are obsessed with sex. It is sick. They’re sick. All they think about is sex and women having sex and gay sex and all sex. And the first thing they do when they get a chance is to do something nasty in secret and in a way that will hurt someone. It is a story as old as Adam and Eve and their stupid snake friend. Those who rant against sex and call it evil are so unhealthy. In fact, they can’t even imagine healthy sex because their minds are so sick and twisted and evil and perverted.

And why do people follow these nut jobs? Because they instill a sense of fear and reward people for embracing ignorance. And they punish people for seeking knowledge. They reward people who are too weak and frightened to have their own thoughts – but then again isn’t it easier to have someone think for you.

There is no reason to assume the “man” is the head of the household or even in charge. Why should he be? Why should he get all the ulcers… but that is a different post. Why not just be people regardless of what you look like under your pants? Does it really matter if you sit or stand. Does it matter if you give birth to a child or not? No it doesn’t matter – so why are some people so intent on fucking up our world in order to keep King Ignorance in power?

I wish I knew so I could fix it. But I don’t think it will ever be fixed because Ignorance is so easy and seductive. 

I always tell my kids not to be followers. You don’t have to be a leader but NEVER be a follower.

So what does this have to do with Vampires? Nothing. Vampires never embrace ignorance. That is why we love them so. I’ll get back to the Vampires tomorrow.

That’s all.

 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

Short Story Sunday: The Child

Short Story Sunday is a rerun today. Hope you enjoy it. Have fun.

Vampire Maman

The Child (A Short Unspectacular Vampire Story)

“I don’t get them at all. What is it about the obsession with things like Proust and his stupid cookie or that German guy who kept shoving his cat into a box then pondering if it was dead or alive. And what is up with Hamlet? To be or not to be? Really? He needs some serious counseling. And don’t even get me started on Little Women.”

“Schrodinger. He was the guy with the cat,” I said.

“I hope it bit him,” said my partner (and best friend) Jayne.

We drove for a few more miles, lights off, but not in silence. There is never silence with Jayne along. She talks non-stop for hours on end, and endless stream of consciousness, a dialog of rambling thoughts and opinions.

“They’re all so stupid, you know, people who think they’re smart and profound. An it…

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Vampire verse and musings on technology (more like, you know, weird random thoughts)

Time travel makes me dizzy.

 

In the darkness

Ancient and cool

In the heat

Of blistering summer

Waiting for night

Dreaming of winter

And in a moment

Texting

A friend

Finding out

If they’ll dance

And hunt

Then laugh

In the darkness

Of the cool

Summer night.

 

My reflection is unclear,

But you my love,

Can get my text

And I can get your neck.

 

My brother Val is never without his smart phone. I’m not either and my teens, well, they might as well be phone Zombies. We’re all on our phones. So much has been written about teens and phones. You already know all about it.

You wouldn’t think Vampires would have smart phones with texting and all the social media but we do. Sure we can send our thoughts out but why not just text and have our prey WANT to come to us. It is always nicer if they think it is their idea.

Technology keeps us (Vampires) from being dark and brooding. We love being connected, not just to warm blooded folks but to other Vampires all over the world. It is the smart choice for a society of, well for our society, let’s just leave it at that.

And speaking of technology, the teens, Val and I went to see the movie Lucy on Friday afternoon. It was over 100 outside but nice and cool in the theater. Lucy is an interesting good old fashioned technology based science fiction tale. Sometimes the story line wasn’t so smooth but it was a good ride. Fun movie if you don’t try to break it down. Yes, it is fiction, as in fantasy.  But hey, you’re reading a Vampire blog so I doubt if you’ll have any problems with Lucy. And I want my hair to be like Lucy’s hair. The black dress was really great too!

Science fiction, smart phones, technology and communication all go hand in hand… it is who we are now. So it is only natural that we (Vampires) keep up with it as well. We do keep up in ways that would frighten any warm blooded human.

After the movie Val mentioned that he’d heard someone was trying to do a reality TV show on Vampire Hunters. I think it might have been done before. There was a hair brained show about people who thought they were Vampires. They drank blood. I drink gin but that doesn’t make me an Englishman.

The person who is leading the Vampire Hunt is some yahoo who has been a pain in fangs for years. We really just laugh at him. He wouldn’t know a real Vampire if it bit his neck and spit his blood back in his face. He is mainly digging up old graves and doing the creepy Dracula thing. That said I want the opinion of Vampire Hunters I know. Yes, I do know a few. They only go after the same creepy crawlers that we go after. No, all Vampires are not equal. That isn’t me just being a snob or mean.

I expect the Vampire Hunter series will get weird and kind of red-neck. I’m wondering how long their beards will be. It would be cool if they mixed it with a cooking competition or maybe even did some dating action. The possibilities are endless.

Technology allows me to drive my car, write this blog so that people in Australia can see it, publish a book and make it available to millions of readers, keep my house cool, prevent my dog from having rabies and allows me to have a smartphone that rivals anything in any science fiction story or movie before 1999 AND technology allows me to play Wii Just Dance with my kids until I laugh myself silly. I could go on for another gazillion words.

But with all of the technology we still need that face to face, fang to neck, lip to lip connection that we all need, no matter what you are.

I’m just thinking out loud on paper, but a different kind of paper, but I still call paper. That’s ok. You can too.

By the way, I’m going to a Giant’s game in San Francisco tomorrow so Short Story Sunday will be a rerun. I’ll pick a good one.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

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Morning at the Vineyard – Collected Stories

tangled tales cover

Now available at Amazon.com

A collection of 26 stories from Vampire Maman.

This isn’t just another “my book is out spam.”

This is a THANK YOU note for all of you who have followed Vampire Maman. You’ve read my stories and tales of Vampire adventure, parenting, romance and thoughts on life. You’ve left comments, feedback and love. You’ve shown so much support. And best of all you’ve really entertained me. I had no idea when I started this little Vampire/Parenting-Blog adventure that you were out there.

I also want to say thank you to all of my friends in the WPaD publishing group. You’re more than writers – you’re family.

So anyway, I’ll do a proper spamming of this book later – I just want to say LOOK. HEY.

But now it is night and I must go do Vampire things. You know how it is.

 

xoxo

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman