Short Story Sunday: One of Those Days (Part 10 of the Austin and Elizabeth Saga)

A full crew was waiting at 6:30 am and no lumber.  The supplier blamed it on the weather, a fact that would have been believable if there had been any weather. The shipment was coming from the Bay Area as in the San Francisco Bay Area. A little fog. A little rain. That wasn’t weather.

To top off the morning the starter went out in his truck and then his dog vanished. It climbed in the back of somebody else’s truck and ended up 40 miles away by the time the driver stopped and called.  It wasn’t even his dog. It was his sister’s dog he’d agreed to take care of for the week.

Then there were the bodies. When the excavation started on the old building he was restoring his crew had come across a grave. It was obvious it was a woman and a baby. That morning he’d told his guys that the tests had come back. She was a young mother with a newborn baby boy. It looked like she’d died in childbirth or shortly after along with the baby. They’d been dead about 150 years. Aside from a fancy hair comb and what remained in her light colored hair, there was nothing to identify her.

That was the good news in a round about way.  She was really dead. In recent years Austin had found more than his share of Vampires under buildings sleeping off an 80 or 90 year old hangover.  Since then a whole other world had opened up to him. Holy fucking shadow shit he didn’t need that complication in his life. And then there were the other Vampires… the ones who come into your life as soon as they know that you know.

With a major headache coming on he walked down the street to get coffee. The dog  (Daisy) followed behind him, and no she wouldn’t go back.  At the light Austin looked in the window of a dress boutique. He usually didn’t look at dress shops but a royal blue dress with a narrow skirt and square neckline caught his eye. It would look great on Elizabeth.

That was even more complicated. He had spent the night with her and could still feel her cool lips all over his body. She wasn’t cold, she just ran slightly cooler than he was, making him feel positively hot.  Elizabeth, so unsure and quiet and in control and positively amazing and frustrating… and damn it all the throbbing in his temple increased.

When he got to the coffee shop, a local grinder of fine beans and keeper of good karma, he told Daisy to stay by the door.  He didn’t want to tie her up.  She lay down by a bench and looked at him with sad eyes. Rubbing her head, Austin noticed his shoe was untied. And of course, God damn it, his shoelace snapped.

Once inside a tall man in front of him said, “You’re the guy who does the restorations. The historian, right?”

“Uh, yes. I guess,” said Austin, shaken out of his own thoughts of his shitty day. “Yes, that is me.”

“I saw your lecture on the need for restoration and historic preservation last Sunday. It was fascinating. I couldn’t agree with your more. You’re working on the old Casey building down the street if I’m not mistaken.”

The man had a slight accent Austin couldn’t quite place. There was something else too that he couldn’t quite figure out.

“I’m attempting to restore the building. Between finding bodies and supplies not coming in… anyway, not your problem. It will be amazing when we’re through with it.”

The stranger smiled. “Rough day?”

“Annoying day.”

 The man put his hand on Austin’s shoulder. “It will get better.”

 When they got to the front of the line the man paid for Austin’s coffee. Austin said no at first but the man insisted and told Austin to just pay it forward to someone else later that day.

Taking his coffee Austin went outside to find Daisy where he’d left her being petted by two pretty girls. As he took Daisy’s leash he suddenly became cold, starting at his shoulder where the stranger in the coffee shop had touched him. He called to the man who was waiting at the light.

“Hey, I need to ask you something.”

The man turned and smiled.

Austin stopped, Daisy sat on his feet. “What are you?” He looked into the dark eyes at the tall man standing next to him.

“My father is English and Turkish. My mom is from Jamaica.”

“No,” said Austin. “I don’t care about your ancestry. I mean it’s interesting but I’m not that rude. What are you?”

The man stepped closer and said, “You’re the Vampire Hunter. You should know.”

“No, it isn’t like that. I’m first a historian, secondly a restoration expert and third… I’m a Vampire Hunter and I use that term loosely. I don’t hunt Vampires, I just take care of unwanted…hey, look man, half of my calls are from Vampires. I don’t care if you’re one of them. I don’t have a problem with your kind.”

 “I know. Everyone knows.  Let me ask you a question. What are your intentions towards Elizabeth?”

 As if the day couldn’t get worse a Vampire was asking Austin what his intentions were towards Elizabeth. “I’d never hurt her.”

“Good,” said the man. “By the way Austin, my name is Jason. It was good to finally meet you. I’ll see you around.” Jason walked across the street and then vanished around the corner.

Austin stood with Daisy next to the dress shop. He opened the door and called in, “Hey, can I bring my dog in?”

He left about 15 minutes later with the blue dress.

When he got back to his work site a few blocks away a truck as there with his wood shipment. Finally.

He took a sip of coffee then heard someone call, “Hey Austin. Come here, quick. We found another body.”

Taking a deep breath he knew it wasn’t just one of those days. This was his life.

moth

For the complete story of Austin and Elizabeth check the links below.

Part 1: The Hunter

Part 2: A Memory of Distant Love

Part 3: Dark Dreams of the Hunted

Part 4: About Those Pesky Undead Folks

Park 5: The Hunt Continues

Part 6: Cold and Warm

Part 7: Date with a Vampire

Part 8: Crawl Space

Part 9: Dust and Desire

Part 10: One of Those Days…

Saturday musings of a busy working mom

The gray green leaves

Mixed with orange and brown

Crimson falling in the rain

Silent

Not a sound

Except the snoring

Of a calico cat

The ticking of an old clock

And the sound

When I turn the pages

Of a book…

Or maybe just watch out the window

At the gray sky

And close my eyes

Savoring the moment…

 

But with no success because my mind won’t clear.

 

 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

 

Roll Call (and a cast of thousands!)

I write about a lot of things including my friends, family and others I run across from time to time. If they make a good story I’ll write about it.

Who are all of those people/vampires/werewolves/ghosts I write about?

Let me ramble a bit and I’ll tell you. I’m making a list. I’ll put it on a page and update it from time to time.

So I’ve got an hour to get this down because the rest of this month will be spent writing about school stuff and holiday cheer and fangs for the memories etc etc etc. Yes, Friday afternoons I sit in a dark roller skating rink and write down my Friday afternoon posts. They play old fashioned organ music in the background. Fun stuff. My daughter and her partner practice team dance (yes, skate dance like in the Olympics except on 8 wheels – which is quite impressive and lovely to watch.)

It is hard to keep track. If you’re new and can’t figure out this blog at all click here for more information.

This is going to be a dirty post – not as in behind-closed-doors-adult-content-dirty, but as in written quickly without much thought to style.

If you can figure it out here we go (each name has a link to one of the many articles on the person. Click on it for more information.):

Vampires (includes parents, kids and other normal Vampires just like you)

Juliette: That would be me. I write the blog.

Teddy: My husband. He is also my brother Max’s best friend.

Garrett: My 18 year old son.

Clara: My 15 year old daughter.

Max (Maxwell): My eldest brother. Max is the kind of hot and sexy brooding Vampire one finds on the covers of Paranormal Romance Novels. That isn’t how I see him, but it is how others see him. Maxwell hunts Vampire Hunters, Rogue Vampires and other unwanted creatures and keeps us all safe.

Aaron: The second of my four older brothers. He is an attorney and most conservative of my siblings.

Verity: Aaron’s wife. She is also one of my best buddies.

Laurel: Aaron’s college age daughter.

Andy (Andrew): The third of my brothers. Andy is the most romantic and most sensitive of the brood. He is a singer, mainly opera. He keeps a baby unicorn as a pet.

Val (Valentine): Sometimes Val is almost like my twin. He is calm and happy and always there for me.

Tellias and Eleora: The Elders. They’re ancient Vampires, over 2,000 years old. They look like they’re 19 or 20 years old, but they’re more like senior citizens.

Lola: My great great great great grandmama. She put the Vamp in Vampire.

Samantha and Jeremy: Our parents.

Nathaniel Chase: A friend of our parents and along with our parents, leaders in the Modern Vampire movement.

Thomas Kent: A mysterious and somewhat famous Vampire. He is well known under a different name which I won’t disclose.

Cody: A fairly “new” Vampire from the Silicon Valley. He and Lola are involved off and on. Strange but true.

Pierce: A friend from our childhood who works with Max. A tall cool drink of Vampire water.

Jayne: A friend and coworker of Max.

Elizabeth: Works with Max

Elizabeth: An attorney like Aaron. She is quiet and serious and has found herself more involved with a local Vampire Hunter than she wants to be.

Mehitabel: A woman who works with Max. He says she is a friend with benefits but she is more. She is also of an ancient band of Vampires who see the world slightly different than we do, but are still part of the Modern Vampire Culture.

Innocenzio D’Antonio: An opera singer and friend of the family

Matthew: Former Shadow Creeper. An old fashioned Vampire who is trying to navigate the modern world for his teenage son Josh.

Foxy Mendoza: An old friend who dresses sharp and talks fast.

Randy: My son Garrett’s best friend and now college roommate. He is that tall blonde California kid that never comes across as a Vampire. He likes plaid pants and funky vintage clothes.

Chloe, Zoe, Ione: Friends of Garrett and Randy.

Willow: Recently became a Vampire. A bit shy but coming out of her shell.

Jackie Rafferty: Owns a garage that stays open all night. Has a sweet spot for Willow.

 

Werewoves:

Adam: A Werewolf and one of the best professional photographers I’ve ever met. He is the best I’ve ever worked with.

Brandy: Adam’s girlfriend.

 

Zombies:

Michael and Melissa: Young professionals who had the misfortune of becoming Zombies.

 

Ghosts:

Nigel: The Ghost. He drives me crazy. He is rude and obnoxious and never stops talking. Nigel died at the age of 27 in 1986. He’d be 55 if he were alive now. He is also my friend, sort of.

Mary: Nigel’s girlfriend. She is exceptionally sweet. She was murdered around 1600.

 

Regular People:

Kelly: My friend and neighbor.

Austin: A Vampire Hunter. He also restores old buildings and sometimes works with my brother Aaron. He is also in love with Elizabeth (a Vampire)

Shawna: A college professor my brother Andy is in love with.

John: John owns the farm next to the farm owned by the Elders Tellias and Eleora. Tellias always thought John was in love with Eleora. I told Tellias that everyone who meets sweet Eleora falls in love with her. John’s family has been friends with mine since the California Gold Rush.

Jack: My special friend and regular lunch date.

LeRoy and Jasmine: Hipster Vegans

Lilly: A woman Val sees every once in a while.

 Johnson and Booth: Men in Black Suits

Captain Sandy: An airship captain.

WPaD –  Writers, Poets and Deviants: A group of amazing writers I’m honored to work with. I’m not sure if any of them are Vampires or not. They are exceptional.

Teachers: This is a parenting blog so I must mention teachers. Great and not so great. Mostly great.

 Marla Todd: A writer and artist and editor when she feels like it, which is rarely.

Others

There are also assorted dogs and cats. Do a search on dogs or cats. I have a lot of posts about them.

Selkies: They take both human and seal form. We run into them from time to time.

Warlocks and Witches: I’m not overly fond of them but some of my kin are friends with them. 

There are also posts about goblins, demons, aliens, time travelers and other assorted nasty creatures I really don’t like spending much time with except to complain about them.

I know I left somebody out but…we all have a lot of people in our lives. I use the term “people” rather loosely.

So have fun. That’s all folks.

 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

The beach house

My brother Val and I had gone to the beach house for Thanksgiving. This was 1944, before my marriage or children, when it seemed it was always just my brother and me, plus assorted friends and lovers.

Our brother Andy (Andrew) was somewhere in Europe in a USO show. Our eldest brother Max and my future husband Teddy were in London doing something secret for the American Government. Our parents were in Washington DC.

Nobody knew where our brother Aaron or his wife Verity were. They were the traditional ones who always stayed on the safe predictable road to anywhere – now we had no idea where they were. The last time anyone heard they were in France, but they could have been anywhere. They could have been dead or worse captured but we stopped guessing.

Valentine and I had our fill the night before in San Francisco. The clubs were full of servicemen on leave and women who were tired of waiting for their men to come home and people who had nothing to do with the war or missing love ones. Val was also on leave from his position in the Army – watching and finding out secrets. Vampires are good for that. Almost too good. But we had to get involved. We had no other choice. This was the world we lived in and our country too. It was our home.

We watched the fog roll in as the sun went down over the Pacific Ocean.

A car drove up to the house. We weren’t expecting anyone.

It was Nathaniel Chase. Even back then he was over 400 years old but didn’t look a day over 35. A small black cat followed at his heels.

“What are you doing here? You’re supposed to be in San Francisco,” he growled without so much as a hello to us.

“We’re not supposed to be anywhere, at least not until after Christmas,” said Val.

“I thought you were in Canada, or Hawaii or someplace…,” I started in on him until he put his hand up for me to shut up. I knew the gesture well. He’d been cutting me off my entire life.

“Valentine, please get my bag out of the car for me. Juliette I need your help, come.” He headed down the hall to the far bedroom.

Under his coat his shirt was soaked with blood. I couldn’t tell if it was his or if it belonged to somebody else.

I helped him out of his coat and then the suit jacket and shirt underneath. He’d been stabbed several times. “My heart…was nicked. I’ve lost a lot of blood…a lot.”

I held out my wrist. “Take mine. It will seal your heart.”

“I don’t know…Juliette…”

“You’ll die.”

“No. You can bring someone in later.”

“You will die. Take mine. Regular blood won’t help. You know that.”

A regular human man would have died with his injury. He’d been stabbed in the heart, not just a “nick.”

He took my wrist and sank his fangs into it. Not much happened.

“Just take my neck,” I told him and started to unbutton my shirt. “Don’t say no. You’ve done more for me than I can count. I owe you.”

Asking another Vampire to bite your neck is extreme. It is also something that happens in risky sex. It is something you don’t do lightly or with just anyone. There can be consequences.

I put my hand on his chest where the knife entered. Then I leaned in close, cold skin to cold skin and put my other hand at the back of his neck. “Take my blood Nathaniel.”

He pushed my hair aside and put his mouth on my neck. He had my blood and my feelings, my memories, my heart and everything I kept close. I could feel him searching and wanting then blanking it all out. He wasn’t interested in sucking out my souls or knowing my secrets or being my lover.  I’d done this before but it wasn’t to save a life. It was to satisfy a lover, another Vampire in passion and …whatever. But this was intense and in that realm. I felt drained. I was drained literally.

Nathaniel pulled away and lay back on the pillows. His eyes were closed. He took my hand and entwined my finger in his. We sat for maybe an hour as still as death. I brushed my lips against his cheek. He opened his eyes and gave me a slight smile. “Thank you. I’m sorry.”

“Don’t be sorry.”

Over the years he’d always been the one to save Val and me. So many times we’d strayed and he was there to get us back on track. He was always there to scold us and keep us in line. So many times I resented his presence and wished he’d go away forever.

I went out to the deck where Val sat with a bottle of wine and a cigar. He looked at my neck. “I gave him blood. Nothing else.”

My brother gave me a hug. “Thank you dear. Listen, the couple down the road are having a party. We can head on over and get you settled again. If Nathaniel needs more tonight we’ll have it.”

So we walked half a mile down the road watching the stars and listening to the waves crashing against the beach. I told Val that I knew who injured Nathaniel but it was taken care of. We were not the ones to extract vengeance. Someone else would do that. It isn’t what Val and I usually do, unless forced of course.

Nathaniel stayed with us for the rest of the month. We spent Christmas having a fire on the beach, just the three of us and Nathaniel’s black cat. Val and I were 85 and 86 at the time but Nathaniel still saw us as silly teens, or at least he saw us as still needing guidance.

Eventually we were all reunited with family and friends.

Anyway, that was a long time ago. It was a time I rarely even think about anymore. Now that my own children enter adulthood I think of more things from my current life. I hope their lives are calm and without trauma. That won’t be the case, but I’d like to think it would be.

So that is it for right now. December is almost here. Today my daughter Clara and I will hang the Christmas wreath and once again wish for Peace on Earth. I doubt if it will ever happen but we can wish and we can each do our part to help.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

Ocean

 

 

 

 

Thankful

Wishing you all

A Thankful Day

With warm beating hearts

Cool clear minds

Of friends and family

And peace in your souls.

 

In the quiet of the night I think of what I am thankful for this year. The list is too long to write down. It hasn’t always been that way – or so it seemed. But what you see isn’t always with your eyes. What you see isn’t even always with your heart. It is clarity of seeing the big picture and coming to peace and being thankful and letting go and letting in.

Holy crap… excuse me…

A ghost was staring at me through the window. It was a pale shadow of a large unfortunate bird. Standing next to it was the ghost of a man with dark shaggy hair and a black suit with a skinny tie. He silently mouthed the words “Be thankful Vampire.” Then he took the gruesome form of his own death then smiled then vanished. Oh please spare me the dramatics. I know you’re a ghost. Get over trying to haunt me. It isn’t going to work.

I hate it when he does that. On the other hand, he usually flips me off so I have to be thankful for that.

I AM Thankful,

For each and one of everyone of you

who visits my blog.

I’m thankful for all of you who write

to make me think and laugh and ponder.

I’m thankful for everyone who creates the art I look forward to each day.

I’m thankful for so much,

even sometimes… for a ghost

of the past, present or future.

 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

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Pencils, erasers and a sudden loss of words…

You know that Looney Tunes cartoon where Daffy Duck is yelling at the illustrator and then he gets erased… except for his beak. We’re kind of there tonight.

You know the feeling when you are so busy and go nonstop for about 12 hours then it all stops but it seems as if nothing got done. A lot DID get done but it never feels like it.

Oh right. I’m the Vampire Maman, but the other one… the one with the pencil and the eraser is having eye surgery tomorrow.

So the planned Thanksgiving posts will be postponed. After that we’ll have a clearer vision (yes that was a pun.)

1942-08 Amazing Stories by Harold W McCauley

I’ve requested that from now on I be drawn (and written) like an Amazing Stories or Planet Stories cover. I want to be the woman in the red dress saving the world. Mom from Outer Space or maybe Space Mom. On the other hand, that is a different universe –  I’ll just remain Juliette aka Vampire Maman. Stay true to yourself – that is what I tell my kids.

Red Dress

I’m sort of at a loss for words. I’ll see you in a few days…

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

Planet Stories