When Time No Longer Matters

I love old-time pieces. My husband and son are also collectors of vintage time pieces. They don’t have to be valuable – just stylish and with a lot of character. It warms my heart to see young men, guys in college, or in their 20’s and 30’s wearing time pieces of old, be it pocket watches, or some of the exceptionally cool wrist watches that belonged to the time of their grandfathers, and great grandfathers. They go online, or to second-hand shops, or to vintage jewelers, yard and estate sales, or to Grandma, to find their kicks, and to find that perfect time…piece.

Many young women take old watches and turn them into refashioned jewels, or put them about like decorative pieces. There are stories to be told, and stories to make up when the history is a mysterious secret.

When time no longer matters…

Antique Pocket Watch With A Heart

http://www.ebay.com/itm/191957222728?ssPageName=STRK:MESELX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1555.l2649

Antique watch with tassel fob

 

Old Time

One of these watches is up for auction on ebay right now. It should go cheap, like the woman it’s original owners lusted after and lost, on the long journey across the sea, or lost with a rustle of skirts, as she ran laughing across the street.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

Short Story Sunday: The Alley

Taking a short cut through a downtown alley wasn’t always like it was in the movies. He’d rarely witnessed crimes, or found dumped bodies among the dumpsters and rats. The smells were close to death but not quite. Urine and sun roasted garbage were the aromas of the night. No night-blooming jasmine for this short cut.

Walking along he wasn’t afraid. There wasn’t anything to fear except maybe stepping on something disgusting he’d have to scrape off of his shoe later. But then he saw her standing at the end of the alley.

Had she been a cat he would have taken her home, or found her a forever home, but she was not.

“Hi Val,” she said in a girlish voice. She sounded like she was maybe twelve instead of twenty eight.

“Nikki. You look good.”

She looked good for Nikki. Val hadn’t seen her this clean, well, maybe ever. She’d been homeless on and off for the four years he’d known her. Tonight was the first time he’d seen her in a dress. Even through the bad teeth, unhealthy chalky skin, and the constant fidgeting he could tell she’d once been pretty.

“My cousin Josh took me shopping. Got me this dress, and the sweater. Do you like it. The sweater is sort of like lace, all light like, for the summer. First new clothes I’ve worn in maybe six years.”

“Are you living somewhere?”

“I have my own room in the back of Josh’s building, out by the alley so I have, like my own private entrance. I have a bathroom too. The toilet is in the shower because it is really small. Sometimes when I take a shower I just pee on the floor over the drain. I always laugh because the toilet is right there.”

“What are you doing out here?” It was 3:00 am. He knew why she was out.

Nikki crossed her arms and leaned from one foot to the other. “Just doing some business, you know.”

“Looking for a fix?”

“Maybe, and a little romance.”

Val knew she traded sex for drugs. She kept talking.

“Um, Josh won’t let me bring guys home. I can’t do drugs, drink, or smoke at my room. Those are his rules. You know, I do stuff for him like clean up in the back, mop up, dishes, take out the garbage, and stuff. Maybe I’ll get to cook or work up front one day. He said if I work hard he’ll pay to get my teeth fixed. Ramon said if I go back to school he’ll help me too.”

Val knew Ramon, the high school kid who was headed off to U.C. Berkeley. Nice kid who wanted to get a degree in mathematics and change the world.

“You should go home Nikki. Forget the fix. You look so pretty tonight. Don’t waste it on some creeper. You don’t need to get high,” said Val.

“Maybe if you’d turn me into a Vampire I wouldn’t need it. If you turned me into a Vampire I’d stop hurting all the time. I’d be pretty again.”

“You’d die Nikki.”

“Better than living my life.”

“Don’t say that Nikki. Never say that.”

She looked down at the ground, then leaned up against a parked car. “Tell me a story Val, about when you were my age.”

He’d been telling her stories to get her mind off of getting high, or having sex with anyone she could in exchange for the next high. If he could keep her up until the sun came up then she’d be safe from the evils of the night.

“In 1886 I was twenty eight, same age as you are. My sister and I were in London. Jack the Ripper was in the news. We were at a party…”

“What was she wearing Val? Tell me what your sister was wearing.”

“A cream colored silk dress adorned with purple roses, millions of ruffles and a huge bustle in back. Her hair was piled high on her head in curls all done up with pearls and ivory combs. She danced for hours with a wealthy handsome son of a Duke.”

“Did she drink his blood?”

“Of course she did.”

“Did she make love to him?”

“In a way he would never forget, or get over. He’d never fall out of love with the mysterious woman he’d danced with all night.”

Nikki hugged herself as Val continued to tell her a half true story, embellishing it with more romance than reality.

He walked her home, and kept her talking until the first light of the morning started to show in the sky. “Be safe Nikki. Listen to Josh and Ramon. They’re looking out for you. They care. I care.”

He kissed her cheek with his cold lips.

“Why don’t you ever drink my blood Val?”

“You know why Nikki,” he said.

“I’d do you good Val. I’d make that cold blooded…” She continued with a crude and explicit, sexual description of what she would do to him if he’d only take her home to his house, or even behind one of the dumpsters in the alley behind her building. He turned and walked away from her feeling sad, and disgusted.

Two days later Nikki was found dead in her little room, wearing one of her new sundresses. She’d had unprotected sex with at least three different men that night. She’d died of an overdose of a cocktail of drugs too lethal for most people to imagine.

Before Josh opened his restaurant for breakfast Val stopped by to give him his condolences. Josh shook his head. He’d done everything he could to help Nikki.

“She was always a lost soul. So much talent. Aw man, she was so beautiful once. She just got in with the wrong guys, one right after another. They took everything from her. But she wouldn’t listen to anyone,” Josh told Val, wiping his eyes.

Ramon stood listening then said, “Nikki could have so much hope. Just yesterday she was telling me she wanted to go back to college. She wanted to live. Then she went on again about her friend who was going to turn her into a Vampire, and she’d be young and pretty again, and live forever. She said she was in love with this guy, this Vampire. It was creepy. She was nuts. Sorry Josh, but…” His voice trailed off as he wiped a tear off of his face.

Val wished them the best. That afternoon he made a large donation to a local women’s shelter. Over the past one hundred and fifty nine years he’d seen many lost souls. One slutty little druggie shouldn’t have bothered him so much. Nikki was nothing to him. Then again, she could have been everything to someone if anyone other than Josh or Ramon had cared.

Had she been a stray cat he would have taken her in. Had she been clean he might have taken her forever.

~ End.

 

 

Ask Juliette: Motivation for College Bound Teens, Swamp Apes, and New Books

Ask Juliette (Ask a Vampire – Advice for Everyone) is a regular Thursday feature on VampireMaman. If you have a questions about parenting, relationships, life, gardening, Vampires, Werewolves, paranormal stuff, art, creativity, history – or just about ANYTHING – just ask and I’ll do my best to answer. And why yes, these questions are from my readers. Send your questions to juliettevampiremom @ gmail dot com.

arthurrackhamcrowmice

 

My daughter keeps putting off studying for her next ACT test and was supposed to have some essays started for her college admission applications by now. How do I approach her about this next time without her shouting, “I KNOW MOM!!!” every time I have asked her about it this summer?

THIS is one of those overwhelmingly difficult questions. I don’t have a guaranteed fix for this. I do have a few suggestions.

Older teens are almost adults but not quite. Some are super excited about going on to college, trade schools, or into jobs, but for most it is like a great abyss of the unknown staring in front of them. If they join the military or a religious order a lot of the work is done for them. But for the rest is isn’t so black and white. There is a lot of gray.

A lot of kids have a difficult time being motivated because they are, plain and simple, feeling overwhelmed.

If you look at most SAT, ACT prep books it will make your head spin. The same goes for college essays. College essays are especially difficult because it is hard for most people to write about themselves. There is pressure to sound real, but sound smart, and sound perfect, but not too perfect, and the list goes on.

Talk with your daughter. Help her come up with a plan. She should schedule quiet time just for studying the SAT or working on her essay. Set aside the time in a quiet place. Even get special snacks for it (teens love their snacks.) Make sure everyone else in the house know this is her time and respect it.

Discuss the essay questions with her. Discuss college and the school. Build her up and let her know you’re with her on this. Help her find her passion and the spark by brainstorming with her. You don’t have to write it for her but make sure she knows she isn’t alone in this.

My daughter found a fun app called something like SAT Question of The Day. Each day there is a question and you can go back and see previous questions. It is a lot of fun. We played it together whenever we were in the car, or just hanging out. It is fun even if you aren’t taking the test.

Also let her know that what she has to say is as important as any other student. She might not have been working on a cure for cancer, or a new engine that runs on grass clippings, but she has done wonderful things. No kid is perfect. Colleges aren’t looking for perfect. They are looking for a voice with passion, and honesty, and the desire to learn.

I asked my own seventeen year old high school senior about this. Her response was, “It is all on the kid. If they don’t want to do it then that isn’t on the parent. It is their future. If they don’t care there isn’t anything you can do about it.” She is a hard one, that daughter of mine.

 

 

I love your blog and stories, especially the stories about your brothers, Tellias and Eleora the Elders, the Ghost, and the Austin and Elizabeth stories. Why don’t you make them into books? You’re so talented. You’d have a string of best sellers.

Oh shucks, gosh, and a big sigh. Good question. Uncomfortable question. Please see the pervious question. Yes, I need to do that. I need to start TODAY. I mean, yes, I already have thousands of pages already written. How come I’m not doing it? Because something is seriously wrong with me. Seriously.

The good news is that I am working on a novel which features Nigel, The Ghost as one of the main characters. I’m not in it, but I might make a Hitchcock, Cussler, Tarantino sort of cameo appearance.

But yes, but then again I’m a flake, then again I really need to do this, not just for me but for my characters, and most of all for my readers. I WANT to do it. Just keep talking me into it. And snacks. No, maybe not snacks (I don’t need extra company.)

Moth

The following isn’t a question just a comment to a comment.

Skunk Ape hood ornaments: they’re what all the fashionable Vampires are accessorizing their vehicles with this year.

I was wondering what the Hell my friend Matthew had on his car. A Skunk Ape. Holy Crap.

I’m skipping that trend because A) it will soon be unfashionable as we know Vampires are rather fickle, B) it would look silly on a Ford Fusion, C) it is a Skunk Ape.

There is always a lot of discussion around these parts about large hairy non-bear, primate-like, human-like creatures who walk the forests, swamps, and mountains of North America, and other parts of the known universe. In this I also include things like The Jersey Devil, and Moth Man. Well, maybe not Moth Man. Most of us know this creature as Big Foot or Sasquatch.

A Skunk Ape is a Big Foot who lives in Florida. They are super stinky, like bad cabbage. Sometimes they are called Cabbage Man or Cabbage Ape. Stay out of my basement Skunk Ape.

My favorite book about these creatures is Naked Came the Sasquatch by John Boston. I LOVE this book. Of course it is funny.
https://www.amazon.com/Naked-Came-Sasquatch-John-Boston-ebook/dp/B00NB1POO2

Moth

Thanks again everyone for your questions/comments. See you next Thursday with more. If you have a burning question send me a message at juliettevampiremom @ gmail .com (take out the spaces, I put them in to prevent spammers, bots, and trolls)

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

 

 

I’ll answer your questions AND tell you a story.

Tomorrow is Thursday which means you have a few more hours to get in your questions for the next Ask Juliette (Ask A Vampire, Advice for Everyone).

Put your questions in the comment section RIGHT HERE. If you’re shy you may email me at juliettevampiremom @ gmail dot com.

Please submit all questions by midnight tonight. (PST)

In the meantime I’m swamped, so to delight and entertain you today I’m posting a story about my brothers Max and Andy. You might have seen it before, but maybe not. Enjoy.

Ask Juliette

Baker Beach

Max heard the Nessun dorma ringtone and groaned. It was his brother Andy. It was an emergency. He could sense it.

He picked up and listened.

“Max, thank God you’re there. I’m by Baker Beach. Some asshole redneck in a truck sideswiped me. The car is totaled. Can you get out here? Right now.”

Max untangled himself from the woman next to him and sat up. “Are you ok?”

“I’m fine. Like I said, the car is totaled.”

“Call AAA. I’ll call Uber and get you a ride home.”

“You don’t understand man. I have someone locked in the trunk and he is pissed off.”

———-

Andy watched at the back end of his car became even more mangled by the violent pounding from the occupant he’d locked in the trunk. The noise was even worse.

“Stop it NOW,” he yelled, “or I’ll drain every drop of blood from your body, stuff your pathetic putrid smelling carcass and sell it to the highest bidder.”

Than banging and howling stopped right at the moment Max drove up.

He got out of the car. A woman got out of the passenger side. Like Max, she was dressed in black from head to toe.

“Mehitabel, you look beautiful. What are you doing with my brother?”

She smiled and kissed Andy on the cheek. “Glad you’re not hurt. Who do you have in the trunk?”

Max went over to Andy’s car and kicked the bumper. The mangled trunk lid popped open.

“Holy fuck,” Max swore under his breath.

Mehitabel put her hand over her nose and mouth to keep out the stench. “Andy, this isn’t good.”

“I know, this is bad,” said Andy. “But it isn’t every day you find a Sasquatch.”

——————-

After the car was towed and the sun started to come up, the three Vampires stopped at their favorite diner for breakfast. They’d all had their fill of blood the night before but coffee and eggs sounded good right then.

“Is this the fourth or fifth car you’ve totaled this year?” Max took a sip of coffee and shook his head at his brother.

“Second this year,” said Andy. “Hey, it wasn’t my fault.”

Mehitabel looked at the brothers. “So do you think he’ll be alright?”

“The Sasquatch? I don’t know. As long as he stays out of the city I think he’ll be fine,” said Max.

“This is San Francisco. Nobody would notice him,” said Andy.

Max smiled and put his hand on Mehitabel’s knee.

“You guys should get married. I’m serious,” said Andy.

Mehitabel almost spit out her coffee. Max took his hand off of her knee, then thought better of his action and put his hand back on her knee and gave a small squeeze. The waitress came by and poured more coffee.

I guess the moral of this story is that as long as you are always there for each other, don’t ask too many questions, and keep love in your hearts life will be good.

_____________

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

“They’re ALL Idiots” – So Begins the Senior Year of High School

Get up. Get up. Get up. Get up. Get up. Get up. Get up.

So goes the morning song of the parent of school aged children.

Get up. Get up. Get up. Get up. Get up. Get up. Get up. Get up NOW.

Last Thursday was the first day of the last year of high school. After June 2, 2017 I will no longer have “school aged” children.

Last Wednesday we (17-year-old Senior Clara and I) went to the school to get books, order the year book, and get a class tee-shirt, plus find out where the classes are. As we stood in line in the cafeteria/multipurpose room with other kids and other parents I didn’t recognize any of the other kids. Upon asking my daughter if she knew anyone she got a disgusted look on her face.

“They’re all idiots. So many of the student government types and jocks think high school is the highlight of their lives. I just can’t wait for it to be over. I can’t stand them. They’re the ones who will bomb out in college because no one will think they’re special.”

This was a surprise, but not really. Unlike her social-butterfly-involved-with-everything-most-popular-kid-in-the-school, not to mention best looking kid in the school older brother, Clara is more pragmatic about this chapter in her life. Sure she is having fun, she is involved, and she has friends. But she gets disgusted with the “go team” attitudes, and of kids who annoy her.

Like her mother, everyone sees Clara as sweet, beautiful, funny, smart, and a lovely girl. They have no idea of the contempt and disgust going on in her brain. I try to chalk that up to the alpha Vampire in her – a quality that will be useful as she becomes an adult.

School started the next day. All was well. Most of the idiots had fallen by the wayside. The other kids in her classes were great. Yes, GREAT. Her teachers are the BEST. School is as good as it gets. She has started to laugh and tell me funny stories about school this year. And I gave a sigh of relief. I have avoided teen angst with my kids so far. Teen angst is one thing I will not put up with.

In Clara’s defense, she always says, “Teen angst is stupid. Why make yourself and everyone around you miserable.” At that moment I knew I’d been a success as a parent.

Alright, it wasn’t all rainbows, baby bunnies, and unicorns. There is a kid in her Senior Government class, I’ll call James (that isn’t his real name.) He is sooooooooooo annoying. He has been sooooooooo annoying since their Freshman year. She told me that at least five kids said if they could get away with it that they’d smack him. I asked what he did. I guess not much on Friday except just be there. He is one of those kids who acts like he is smarter than everyone else, and his parents tell him he is as brilliant as Issac Newton and Albert Einstein put together, and he is just annoying. You know the kid who always has to contradict everything every other kid says. I asked if he had friends. Of course he does. Everybody, even the most annoying and weird kids have friends at her school.

That is one thing we all learn in school (why I’m not a big home school advocate) is how to deal with people who are difficult, odd, annoying, and not like us. In the great big world there will be many different lifestyles, opinions, and levels of weirdness. School is the best place to learn how to deal with it and get it over with before life gets big.

Stupid is what happens in high school. Kids say and do stupid things due to lack of experience. The first few years the kids are still growing like unruly puppies. Nobody knows if they should roll over, pee on the floor, or growl. By senior year they are all like nice, well trained, relaxed and alert dogs. They aren’t quite police dog trained yet, but they’re getting there. I have to say, that no matter what, there has always been more good than not, at least of my children.

Unlike her brother Garret, Clara has no best friend. She has a lot of close friends. Many many many friends, but best friends have come and gone, usually due to moving, going to different schools, or just drifting apart due to disagreements about life choices. The core kids in her group are still there. I figure by the end of the year she’ll have someone she spends most of her time with. It could be someone she already knows, or it could be someone she meets this year. You never know.

This morning I dropped her off at school. I think I must have made about six bad puns before she got out of the car. She smiled and said, “People who say a lot of puns say it is like a sickness, they can’t help it.” I told her she was right.

The dog tried to get out of the car too, and it took both of us to get her back in.

All is normal. All is good. The school year has started. I hope we all learn something.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

Keep Calm We're Teens

 

 

 

 

Short Story Sunday: Tall Tales

I met a guy once, a young Vampire guy, who claimed to be sleeping in Marilyn Monroe’s casket. I asked him what he did with her body and he just shrugged. I told him he’d better be careful or someone was going to put a stake through his heart.

The next year at the annual Vampire Masquerade Ball I saw him dressed like Buffalo Bill. He told me he’d been in Egypt and raised a beautiful mummy from the dead by giving her his blood. I asked him if her found all of her internal organs. He looked at me as if I was crazy.

“The Egyptians too out most of the internal organs, including the brain. Most went into jars. I’m not sure what they did with the brain,” I told him. “Did you find the jars?”

“Maybe she wasn’t a mummy,” he said.

A few months later I saw him at a Christmas party. He was telling a group of admiring young female Vampires that he’d been on tour with both Maroon 5 and Justin Timberlake. He said Justin Timberlake’s blood tasted like butterscotch with a hint of coffee. The young ladies all cooed with admiration.

I went up to the group and said, “So how was your year? I hear you were working at the CSU in Fresno? Lecturing on chemistry I heard. How’d that go for you?”

The subject quickly changed.

Over the next few years I ran into him several more times. He was always telling some sort of silly story. There were Elephants in Africa, killer rogue Vampires in China, rabid Werewolves in Montana, and my favorite – Rudolph Valentino’s Ghost.

He grew up and stopped making up stupid things to impress women. I heard he’d finally been taken down by one of his elders after saying something about working for the Secret Service and saving the President of the United States from a Werewolf.

Now everyone likes him for being who he is – just a sort of handsome-in-a-cute-way science geek who just happens to be a Vampire. Another time, another place, another stupid young Vampire trying to impress. Oh well.

 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman