The Road to Hell (a visit from my ghost)

It is now December in many places… Time for cold and cold dead Ghosts, and Vampires. I believe this was one of the first mentions of The Ghost – otherwise known as Nigel. Enjoy and stay warm, of course unless you’re a Vampire.

Vampire Maman

The storm outside has calmed down for a while so I went outside to see if any trees had come down or other damage.

The ghost was out back pacing in the field. I kept my eye on him, not wanting him to see me but at the same time wanting to flip him off. I could feel my upper lip involuntarily twitching as I tried not to show my fangs.

He suddenly turned and glared at me, then looked away.

Something was bothering him. A ghost bothered? I guess. I can’t figure out the strange black suited bastard who materializes in and out of my life with insults and jabs.

“What is wrong with you?” I asked the apparition.

He slowly turned my way and with icy eyes and a cold steady voice said “The road to Hell is paved with good intentions and lined with family members cheering…

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Musings on Home, Teens and Vampires

A cold rain is coming down through the damp air. My home is surrounded by painters.

Contrary to public urban myths Vampires do not all live in Addams family style homes with the worst of Victorian architecture. I refuse to be a Shadow Creeper. Please, give me a break.

My home is going from a nasty peeling gray putty color to a nice friendly blue. Fifty shades of gray might be ok for bad mommy-porn but not for my house. It was starting to look like a haunted house (or worse the Amityville Horror House or the House on Haunted Hill.) Now it looks kind of like Bear’s home in Bear in the Big Blue House. My readers with teens might remember Bear, Tutter and the Otters. Anyway, my farmhouse style home is no longer looking haunted. It doesn’t mean I’m immune to ghosts but at least I’m not looking like I’m trying to attract them.

Bear's Big Blue House

Bear’s Big Blue House

Small Vampire children loved Luna, the moon in the show. And Shadow. I believe Shadow was Irish. She sounded Irish to me. I’m just musing and walking down memory lane. I love teens, but sometimes I miss having little bitty ones in the house.

All Vampire children love Luna and Bear.

All Vampire children love Luna and Bear.

From my breakfast nook office (where I choose to camp out today) I can see lemon trees and red leaves on deciduous trees.  Modern life. Modern Vampires.

High School is going good this year. Complaints are minor. The kids are smart. There seems to be a somewhat larger and more diverse circle of young Vampires at school.

Character.tutter

Tutter likes everyone, even when he feels confused.

Clara and her friends are always laughing about something. They’re popular with their teachers and fellow classmates, always well liked, but not considered among the upper echelons of “popular kids.” It works better for them that way.

My husband Teddy was worried about one of her friends. The boy wears pale makeup and eyeliner. His hair is bleached white. He wears tight black everything. He rarely talks.

“He’ll grow up to be a Shadow Creeper,” says Teddy. “I don’t want people to think you’re as strange as he is.”

Clara answers her father. “Everybody likes him. Except for the cakey foundation nobody thinks he is that different.”

“Does he like boys or girls?”

“I don’t know. I don’t think he knows. Does it matter?”

“I don’t care. He just seems confused,” said Teddy.

“They’re just teens. He’ll find himself. And no, he won’t become a Creeper. Clara won’t let that happen,” I said.

“He’d never be a Shadow Creeper,” said Clara.

“I hope not,” said Teddy.

“He won’t,” I said.

We’ve had a lot of conversations like this. We’ll have it again in a year, in five years, in fifty years.

Thanks goodness we don’t know any kids who are unfortunate enough to be Shadow Creepers. Those are the Vampires who live under houses, in musty crypts, in the dark and in the past. They’re out of touch and, well, just creepy and awkward. They tend to smell of dust and death. They’re disgusting. We don’t associate with them. Sorry, I accept just about everyone, but I do draw the line with some things.

When you have teens around a lot of different issues come up. You just have to let them explore their options. You have to explore those options with them and discuss consequences, be those good or bad. But you also have to sometimes stand back and not be quick to judge.

It is like when you have a toddler. You have to be like bear and gently guide your blue mouse and otters into not doing stupid stuff. And you have to let them know you’re proud of them for doing smart stuff. Most of all you have to appreciate them for being who they are.

Oh look, the snow is falling. I love this blogging season!

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

 

 

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You Wait At My Door

You wait at my door,

Your bite still fresh,

Your cries

Your pleading

Your banging

The scratching

Your love

Astounds me

You will not give up

Fangs set

Love forever

I must let you in

For after all

Despite all

Forever all

I laugh

I smile

I let you in

You are my cat.

 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Short Story Sunday: You Gotta Believe

“Where’s that friend of yours, the Welsh Corgi?”

“Brad?”

“Yeah Brad, the little guy.”

“He went north to the Pole. Seasonal help with the fat man.”

“No shit. With Santa?”

“His third year. He makes enough money to last the rest of the year. In fact in five years he’ll be able to retire.”

“No shit.”

“I shit you not.”

I was sitting in the booth next to a couple of Werewolves, nursing my coffee until Steve showed up.  I pride myself on the number of conversations I’m able to overhear everyday. Then again, I’m always listening. It is my nature to listen and know everything that everybody is saying and feeling. It has nothing to do with being naughty or nice and everything to do with being a Vampire.

Steve slid into the booth and faced me. I mouthed the words, “Werewolves behind me.”

He smiled then took my hand. “You look sexy tonight.”

If I’d had enough blood in my veins I would have blushed.

After coffee and cherry pie we walked the streets, in and out of art galleries and glancing into bars and restaurants. Christmas lights twinkled in some of the windows. Other windows were painted with holly and Christmas tree designs.

Outside of a trendy club we saw a couple of Vampires we knew talking to a group of attractive young women. They nodded at us. We nodded at them.

I kept thinking about the Werewolves in the cafe. “Steve, do you believe in Santa Clause?”

“Why are you asking?”

“One of the Werewolves was saying a small friend of theirs was going up to the North Pole to work for Santa Clause.”

“I didn’t believe in Vampires until, you know, until I became one.”

He had a point there.

We ducked into a bar full of happy people, all talking and catching up on the last Saturday of the Thanksgiving break. It was warm and collars became undone and scarves were loosened. It was a beautiful sight for a couple of Vampires.

After a moment in a dark corner in a dark corner with a sweet young man named Kyle I glanced up to see the Werewolves at the bar.

For the next half hour I’d be warm so I knew they might not suspect I was different from the rest of the bar patrons. I sat on the bar stool next to them. The large one glanced over at me.

“You were in the diner. You’re a Vampire.”

“Busted,” I said. “Hey, I don’t mean to be rude but while I was waiting for my friend I overheard you talking about your friend going to the North Pole.”

“Sure, no problem. Seriously I love the dude, we’ve been friends forever, but I’m worried he’ll end up being part of some sled team or eaten by bears on the way up.”

“Is there really a Santa Clause?”

He smiled. “We’re here aren’t we? I mean, it isn’t so much as him making toys and all. It is more of a fairy dust sort of thing if you know what I mean.”

I never thought I’d hear a Werewolf talking about fairy dust and Santa, but I’ve come not to be too surprised by anything. It was sort of nice.

A warm hand slid into mine. Steve was next to me, also warm for a short time. We spent the rest of the evening talking with the Werewolves about living like Santa Clause. You know, living in a world where everyone says they believe in you but you know they don’t.

As we went back out into the street I saw a couple walking a tan and white Corgi dog. I looked up into the sky and saw a shining star above the light of the city. Maybe Brad made it to the North Pole. You have to believe. After all, it is beginning to look like Christmas. You gotta believe.

 

 

 

Please Santa bring me some fangs...

Please Santa bring me some fangs…

 

A Cold Dark Walk…with love

Last night we took a walk in the woods with the kids. It was the last walk before they get back to school. It was the first family walk in twelve years without our dog.

We spoke of the past. We spoke of the future.

It was cold but our breath does not show. We’re not warm enough for that.

My children are the most “normal” well adjusted children in the universe. They’re social. They’re smart. They’re good looking. They get along with us (their parents.) But, they are different.

They’re Vampires. They live in a world they can’t always control, even though they are at the top of the food chain. They aren’t on the outside looking in, but they’re always watching.

It usually isn’t a problem but sometimes they have to deal with issues or have friends in our community who are trying to come to terms with who and what they are.

A lot of kids are like that. Nobody should have to feel like they don’t belong. Even when they are different. Even when they have secrets.

So we walked the path in the oak woods, underneath the cold night sky, together, talking and laughing. I treasure those times.

 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Unlikely Friendships

My brother Val and I were telling my kids about the time we didn’t spend Thanksgiving with our family.

In 1966 we were driving up the coast from Southern California to our parent’s house in San Francisco.

We turned off to take a back road, Val wanted to talk to a guy who built furniture. It would take maybe and hour he said. About ten miles off of the main highway a black sedan came up to our bumper. Another black car passed us, and before we could say “Change the radio station,” they had us blocked in and off of the road in a ditch.

It was cold and foggy out. I was in a great geometric design Mary Quant dress but had the good sense to be wearing flats. Val was in a suit. I mean, it was a holiday and we wanted to be respectable young Vampires and look good for our parents. I’d just turned 107 in October and Val was 108. We were still their babies.

Five men came out of the cars. “Don’t look into their eyes,” yelled one of the men.

Val swore under his breath. The men were Vampire Hunters. Just our luck. It was the day before Thanksgiving and we were, as usual, already late, and now this. It was always this.

And to add insult to injury one of the assholes torched my car. I’d had it for about six months. My beautiful green Austin Healey 3000 up in flames. Thank goodness my purse was still on my shoulder.

We stood in the light of the fire, surrounded. Our fangs were out.

“Gentlemen, why don’t we make a deal. If you let us go we’ll grant you a favor just like a genie in a lamp. We can do that. We can make sure nobody ever hurts you or your family. How about it? We can make sure your son’s draft number never comes up. We can make sure your daughters don’t fall in love with a dirty hippy. Think about it,” I said.

It was true, I could do all that and more. I could, but I’m no genie which means I can also lie about it. I can guarantee you that I wasn’t telling the truth, but they didn’t have to know.

To make a long story short, they started to come in closer with knives, guns and fire. Then shots. LOUD shots and the sound of a revving engine.

“Get the Hell out of here,” someone shouted, then shouted in the direction of Val and me and shouted, “GET IN.”

So we got into the truck. Two Vampires in the dark surrounded by angry Vampire Hunters often don’t have other options.

I slid in the middle seat between Val and the man driving. A large happy black dog was jammed in there with up.

The man didn’t look at us but talked as he drove. “God damn Vampire Hunters. You ok?”

“Yes, thank you. We’re ok,” said Val. “What do you mean by Vampire Hunters?”

“I know what you are. Fuckers. Not you, the damn Vampire Hunters. I swear one of these days I’m going to blow their heads off.”

I glanced over at Val trying to recalculate our situation.

Our driver continued, “I know you’re wondering how I know. My sister Debbie, the bitch, is dating one of those guys. My other sister Lydia is a Vampire. You know who I’m going to side with. Debbie is bat shit crazy, not to mention has bad taste in men. I’ll drop you off at the Greyhound station and wait until you get on your bus. It will take you as far as San Francisco. If you’re going anywhere else you’ll need to make a transfer.”

I looked over and saw his face. He was younger than he sounded. We talked more as we drove another hour to the bus station. His name was Bill. He’d just served a tour in Viet Nam and was home for a while before he had to go back. War was an ugly thing he said. He had no tolerance for violence at home.

“So you don’t care if we’re Vampires?” I had to ask.

“Why should I? The world is a strange and violent place. But the world if full of all sorts of creatures and I don’t see your kind, or most other creatures creating the problems. It is the assholes I’m concerned with. You know who I’m talking about. Hell, I think you’re interesting. After I get out of the Army I plan on spending more time with Lydia and her friends. They’re the only people I know right now who make any sense.”

“Some people believe we’re dead,” said Val.

Our driver laughed. “A lot of people are dead. Why should that bother me?”

We took the bus up to San Francisco and were picked up by our parents at the station.

That was such a long time ago and until today I’d almost forgotten about it.

Thanksgiving was great. My husband Teddy brought home and old bugle that we all made a lot of noise with and laughed so hard our sides hurt. The kids had fun being home from school. All was well.

And everyone made it here, with no adventures, no hold ups, no Vampire Hunters. Everyone was safe. It was all we could ask for.

After a sampling of Bourbon and dark chocolate I called my old friend with the truck. He is now living in Monterey in a house with a view of the Pacific Ocean. He is 73 years old now and retired from a career as a politician and environment lawyer. His grandkids and his sister Lydia were all there.

You never know where you’ll meet life long friends but it is always a blessing.

Wishing you all a blessed season of joy, and love, and all good things.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman