I will be with you even when we fall apart and our body parts trail behind us…and there is nothing left except our love.
~ From a Zombie Love Letter
~ From a Zombie Love Letter
I’m in Northern California, in the Sacramento area to be exact. We’re 75 miles south of the now famous Oroville Dam and spillway. I’m watching the lakes, ponds, creeks, and rivers near my house become fuller than I’ve seen them in years.
When it gets wet like this I wonder about some of the lesser enlightened of the Vampire community. I usually don’t worry about the weird, anti-social, old fashioned Shadow Creepers, but you know, I kind of wondered about them lately.
I was driving downtown and stopped by the old Cemetery. I saw one damp Vamp sitting on the step of a mausoleum with an old black coat pulled tightly around his pale body.
“You need to get into a real house. Nobody lives in crypts anymore. It isn’t dry, much less safe,” I said to him.
He looked up with sunken black eyes.
“I bet you haven’t eaten in weeks,” I continued. I wasn’t going to scold him. “Months? Come. I’ll give you a ride to a safe place where you can stay until we can find you a real home.”
He spoke in a harsh whisper, like someone who hasn’t spoken for a long long time. “May I bring my friend? She is also one of us.”
I told him of course he could. Out of an empty hole in the crypt he helped a small woman in an old fashioned black dress. She was soaking wet, and was ashen as someone who’d been dead after a long tragic illness.
They were quiet in the car as I drove them to the large old house downtown. It is the safe house for long lost souls of the night. It is a place they can find a haven, and get the help they need. These two were not the kind of nasty undead you find under floorboards waiting like a spider waits for a fly. They were like homeless teens who’d been kicked out of their homes because mom found a new boyfriend. They were lost and living in a flooded out and long forgotten crypt, surrounded by long forgotten bones of the Victorian dead.
They’d lived in the crypt since the 1880’s. They’d more or less skipped the 20th century, just coming out at night long enough to find food from the neighborhood movie house, and from the transient population. Sometimes they’ve venture out to the beautiful homes of the living, only to return in sorrow remembering what they’d lost.
I left them at the safe-house. She was in jeans and a sweater with a purring cat on her lap, and a goblet of hot mulled blood in her hand. He was looking hopeful, amazed that someone would help them. They’d been lost for so long.
Thinking about a million bible verses related to helping others, I decided to skip it. Sometimes you just do something because it is what you do, and that is it.
That’s all. Nothing more.
Stay dry. Stay safe. Stay loved.
~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman
A short story about my brother Max. Some of you might have read it before. Today I’m reposting two tales about Vampire guys and their romantic adventures. Enjoy.
Maxwell drove down the coastal highway, roof open under the stars and the cool night air, thinking about his life as a top of the heap alpha male Vampire. It was a good time to ponder.
He didn’t have personal friendships with humans, the way some other Vampires did. He would protect them when necessary but he wouldn’t be their friend – at least not a close friend, not for a long time.
Of course he had human lovers, but that was pure physical need for their touch and their blood.
Vampire woman were another matter. He tended to be a freak magnet when it came to them. The normal ones were out there but they were always involved or off-limits in some way or another. Or they were too strong and independent. Or in rare moments, years ago, he’d used bad judgement and not seen the big picture. Screw the big picture, he’d grown up and moved on. He was different now.
There were always other men, but right now he had the need for a female of his own kind. Someone safe and easy. Someone who would be there for him after a job that often involved violence and other unpleasantries.
He’d had plenty of friends with benefits.
Carmel by the Sea. The beautiful village on the California coast. A place full of artists and rich people and those just wanting some peace and quiet. His Grandmama had lived here when the artist colony was thriving at the turn of the 20th century. He used to visit her and fall in love with the place and everyone in it.
This weekend was the Concourse de Elegance the most prestigious car show in the universe. Everyone who was anyone would be here, including Vampire Hunters. And since Max was the world’s foremost hunter of Vampire Hunters he was looking forward to it. A weekend of perfect cars, perfect women and perfect hunting.
It had been a long day and a long drive. He took his bags out of the car and walked to the door of the cottage he’d rented with 3 of his colleagues. He wasn’t sure who’d be here as it was last notice for him. He’d hoped it would be Pierce and David, two of the best and total car guys. He figured as long as they were there they might as well have some fun.
He used his key and as he opened the door cheers came up. Female cheers.
Elizabeth, Janye and Mehitabel. Vampire women who were also Hunter/Enforcers of the highest order and all GIRLS.
This was not what he was expecting. Not at all.
They exchanged warm greetings (he didn’t show his true feelings about the situation) and he left to shower off the weariness of the road. As he was drying off he could hear the girls talking. He stopped rubbing his hair to listen.
Janye: I can’t believe the choices Max makes. His last girlfriend was one of those types who always looks perfect and helpless. A total control freak.
Elizabeth: Total bitch. She just used him and he was too stupid to know it. Oh my God she had fangs like a saber tooth tiger, no it was more like a rabbit. And she was always telling everyone how attractive she was. I wish she’d done us all a favor and gone down with the Titanic.
Mehitabel: She used him. Most of them just used him. He wouldn’t know his perfect match if she slapped him across the face.
The women went on talking about his physical attributes (excellent), his professional attributes (excellent), his qualities as a Vampire (outstanding) and his relationships with woman (pathetic.) Great, this was going to be a wonderful weekend.
He’d known all three of them for years, over 100 but he’d never heard this side of the story. Damn. Was he that ridiculous? No, it had to be them. Women were so skewed.
He’d always been friends with Elizabeth and Jayne. It wasn’t like the movies or books where Vampire women drop their clothes and crawl naked all over their dominant male counterparts. Besides, these two were like sisters.
Then there was Mehitabel. Beautiful and strange, at least to him. He couldn’t stay away from her at one time, but he couldn’t be with her, not in his heart. She was too easy for him to use. He’d never love her, but he’d never met a woman so sexy, who could drive him so insane with desire. But she wasn’t the one. He made that clear from the start. It would never be.
The women helped him bring in the weapons and they sat around the table with bottles of wine, Bourbon and blood. They laughed over old times, new times and everything in between.
Despite his first impression he knew these three Vampire women were at the top of their game and would be loyal and true with him. And in turn he would do anything to protect them. They’d be a good team. They’d get the job done.
Beside that, he knew they’d like the cars.
They were excited to show him their dresses. Elizabeth, the most outgoing, a California blonde of the first order, had a red-flowered strapless sundress of silk with a wide skirt and strappy red heels. Jayne had a royal blue halter dress that looked like it had come right out of Grace Kelly’s closet. A redhead with an attitude, Jayne had a fierce sence of humor and a fierce sence of the fight. Mehitabel had a black sheath dress with a pattern of leaves woven into the fabric. It was form fitting, which was good since she had an extraordinary form. She’d wear it with a long strand of real black pears and matching earrings. She’d wear her brown hair sleek and long.
Mehitabel was as odd and unusual as her name, but he had always liked her. He was drawn to her humor and her matter of fact ways with a touch of something sad that he could never quite figure out.
He’d also had a history with Mehitabel. She knew his every move. And in turn he knew every move she made, every inch of her body, everything she had to give him and then some. But she wasn’t the one. She wasn’t the girl of his dreams. She was different. Max wasn’t looking for different. He was looking for perfection. But that was a long time ago, at least 90 years, maybe more like 100.
As the night went on he thought maybe he’d relive some of the magic of days gone by. It would be a way to get off some of the tension before a week of dangerous work.
“I’m going to go to the beach. Anyone want to join me?” He asked that as he looked at the women.
“Sure,” said Mehitabel, “I’ll go.”
They walked along making small talk. It seems so comfortable and so right. Old friends forever, just like old time. As they came to the beach on the edge of the Pacific Ocean Mehitabel became silent.
“You’re quiet tonight,” Max said, ready to make a move on her. One kiss and she’d be his for the week. The others wouldn’t care, unless it was pure envy.
Mehitabel stepped away. “It was never friends with benefits or fuck buddies or whatever you want to call it with me Max. I loved you but you never wanted it. You just threw it away and treated me like some common girl that needed to be slut shamed. I loved you for so long and now I don’t know. I’m not perfect enough for you. You want a woman who will break your heart into a thousand shards and I can’t do that for you. If you had spent some time with me, some real-time and looked past the imperfections…”
“I never said that…” Max protested.
“You didn’t have to. You used me Max. You used me so I had to let you go. Don’t you understand?” Mehitabel was now angry, something he’d never seen.
He tried to take her hand, “The last time we saw each other, I mean romantically, you were the one who turned me away. You told me to go.”
She stepped away again. “To go back to your girlfriend. I wasn’t going to be with a man who was cheating on another girl, especially another Vampire. I told you that. Remember?”
Max remembered too well. She’d always been so friendly and compliment about his relationship rules.
Mehitabel continued her rant. “And there had been no romance. Sure we’d talked into the night. Sure we had some sort of weird connection where we could read each other’s thoughts, excuse me, I could read your thoughts, or at least I know when you’re thinking about ME, but it was never romance. Not with you it wasn’t. You did everything you could to talk yourself out of caring about me.”
“I’ve been thinking about you a lot,” Max said gently, trying to calm her.
“I know that.”
She was right. She always knew. There was some sort of strong connection where she always knew when he was thinking about her. It was spooky.
“Why didn’t you contact me?” Max was almost feeling hurt that she’d think of ignoring him after all of their history.
“Why didn’t you love me Max?”
“It wasn’t like that Mehitabel. I was just looking for something else.”
“What? Oh right, perfection. Well Max, I might be among the most elite hunters on the planet but I’ll never be anything but an imperfect slut to you. I’m never going to let you break my heart again. Do you understand that Max?”
“So am I.”
She walked down the beach alone. He wondered if she was crying. He’d find out later.
Over the years he’d taken down Werewolves, Vampire Hunters with fire blowers, Ghosts, Rogue Vampires and Zombies. He’d seen it all. He was Maxwell August Todd, one of the greatest Enforcer/Hunters of all time, but this was one battle he couldn’t win.
“Mehitabel, I’m sorry,” he called after her.
Then he remembered something his mother had told him, one of those things that he wished he’d remembered earlier. “Max, my darling boy, remember, if we were all perfect then life would be so boring you’d hardly be able to stand it.”
Looking down the beach at the woman walking along the edge of the night surf, he suddenly realized he was in love and this would be the most difficult fight of his life.
He called her name again. She turned and yelled “Go to Hell.”
“Yes,” he said to himself out loud, “to hell and back.”
~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman
Today I’m featuring not one, but two sort of romantic Vampire stories about guys with relationship issues. Some of you might have read these before. The other featured story is called Perfection. Anyway, have fun, and be amused and entertained.
A Story from Juliette aka Vampire Maman (first posted April 2013)
A house full of books and the ghosts of what could have been.
What can be. Oliver Thomas thought as he sat on the edge of the bed.
He never let himself get close to those he visited over the years. It was easy to become detached just as one could be detached to an apple or a head of lettuce.
She slept quietly. On the nightstand were books, earrings, a clock set for 5:00 a.m., and her glasses. Her husband was snoring and slept in another room. Her children were tucked into their dreams. Oliver made sure of that. They’d all be asleep.
Oliver Thomas kept coming back to her. She was different, by her own accord. Laurel had always been different – the type who saw the world in visions and possibilities. Someone who overcame obstacles. If she grew to be old she’d be a sweet eccentric with her window boxes full of exotic flowers and vast knowledge of the obscure and unusual.
She had a hard time making friends due to her shyness and reluctance to follow up. Her fear of rejection paralyzed her in some areas of her life. Most of life was paralyzing but she seemed to thrive and succeed.
Yet, the woman could light up a room with her wit and charm. She was a success despite her low opinion of herself.
But he’d fallen in love with her in a strange way that someone falls in love with an idea of perfection and the ideal person to share life’s adventures with.
Her teenage kids still hung all over her like toddlers, leaning on her even now. They were taller than she was, dressed in their black band shirts with trendy long hair and black painted nails. Oliver had seen Laurel once, her son with his lanky arm around her shoulder, her daughter with an arm around her waist. How many women, he wondered, envied her for the closeness she had with her children.
If it wasn’t for her children she might have checked out and left the world a long time ago. Since childhood Laurel had been uncomfortable with life and the tremendous effort it took for her to live with herself and her failures.
Oliver saw that Laurel had failed to see her success, except with her children. He didn’t want to think of her marriage with Craig. It worked better than most. In fact, for the most part, her marriage to Craig was an uncommon success.
Craig, the handsome and successful husband, was the love of her life. Even in her dreams Laurel couldn’t cheat on Craig. They’d built a life together. For her that was enough. More than enough she told herself.
But Oliver knew it wasn’t enough. Laurel found her life in others but kept her secret soul and passions locked up, bound in shadows and secrets.
At one time, Oliver and Laurel had been lovers. The memory of her warm skin, her lips on his own, her hands in his hair and her passion haunted him. He’d come and gone from her life assuming she’d always be there.
Now he was only with her in the dream world of the night. She’d remember him in another time and place in long lost memories of centuries past. She’d think she’d had a life in another time with him, a past life of possibilities and promise and passion.
An unlikely candidate this middle aged working mom, too tired and busy to think of herself except when she let her imagination fly as she commuted to school and work in her car each morning, or when she dozed off at night in her own secret places.
The passions were still in her, as it had been when she was young. How could that be? He kissed her then buried his face into her neck and when he’d had enough of her he silently left her with dreams of passion and desire.
The following evening Oliver looked up from his desk and there she was, standing in the doorway. Black dress, apple green sweater, black heels. The blue Coach bag, a 50th birthday present from her husband was slung over her shoulder. She looked she owned the world, but she still didn’t think she was beautiful.
How did she find me here? I never told her where I live?
“Laurel.” He said her name as if in a dream.
“Don’t Laurel me Oliver. I want you to leave me alone.”
He stood and approached her with his hands held out. “It was always the wrong time or place for us.”
She stepped back ignoring his open arms. “Don’t even start with me Oliver. It would have never worked. You always said I was too independent. Then you turned around and called me needy.”
“I never said any of those things.” He was shocked by her accusations.
“You didn’t have to say it. You made it obvious you were thinking it.”
He didn’t respond. This wasn’t the time for the witty dialog they’d shared in the past, the long talks through the night or the sweet lover’s words.
“Laurel, you can’t stand there before me and say that with a straight face.”
She looked at the floor then looked up straight into his eyes. “You never told me you loved me.”
“I didn’t have to.”
“Bull shit. You just expected me to hang around and wait for you to come in and out of my life. It got old Oliver. But it doesn’t matter. I’m married to a man who loves me the way I am. I’m successful, happy and I love my life.”
“I doubt if Craig realizes what a fortunate man he is.”
“Did you ever tell him about me?” Oliver took a step forward. Laurel folded her arms as if to shut him out.
“I haven’t told anyone about you. They’d all think I was nuts. Just like my Aunt Margaret when she talked about her Vampire.”
“You still love me Laurel.” Oliver said those words quietly with such passion that almost no woman would be able to resist. No woman except Laurel.
She turned and left, slamming the door behind her.
Oliver watched from the window as she got in her car and drove away. The slightest hint of regret surged through his dark thoughts. He’d never meet another who captured his heart and his passions like she had. He’d never meet anyone who made him laugh or feel the joy of being like Laurel had.
Oliver heard the steps behind him but didn’t turn around. A warm hand caressed his shoulder.
“Is she gone?” The speaker was obviously annoyed.
“Does she have any idea I’m here?”
Craig looked out the window. “Good. Where do we go from here?”
“Are you absolutely sure you want to do this?”
“My son is an Emo freak who acts in plays and writes poetry for fun. My daughter won’t talk to anyone unless it’s a text. My wife is never going to lose the baby fat or stop telling stupid jokes or snoring or complaining how hard she works. It wasn’t what I signed up for.”
“Just for once I want what I want. I don’t want to go home to a woman who is tired all the time and can’t even comprehend my needs.”
“What about your children? You must care about them on some level.”
“They’ll be fine without me. Laurel will have two million dollars in life insurance to get the kids through college. There’s another 10 million in assets she can sell off if she has to. She’ll make sure her children have wonderful memories of me.”
“The news of your death will break her heart.”
Craig scowled at Oliver. “Laurel is already so miserable she won’t even notice. She’ll be happy to be the unfortunate widow and bask in the glow of her own sorrow. I’m doing her a favor by dying rather than divorcing her.”
“And your girlfriends?” Asked Oliver.
“They’re whores who think they can get ahead by sleeping with the CEO. They’ll both get their pink slips next week. So now what?”
Oliver went back around to his desk and sat in the antique leather chair. “Your car will be found in the river and it will be assumed your body was washed away with the currents. Your wallet and a few clothing items will be found washed up on a beach. It will be assumed that you died.”
“So when do I change?”
“When do I become like you? A Vampire.” Craig asked this impatiently almost sounding like a spoilt teen.
Oliver took a deep breath and answered him. “Tonight if you want, but I’d rather wait until tomorrow.”
Craig leaned on the desk close to the Vampire. “I want this Oliver. I want my freedom.”
“You’ll get what you want Craig.”
“Oliver, I’m telling you…”
Craig started to speak but Oliver held up his hand. “We’ll take my jet to Rome in the morning. By the time we get there you’ll be a different man. The old Craig will be gone forever. In the meantime, you need to see your children one last time.”
Laurel sat in the high school auditorium waiting for the play to start. A Midsummer’s Night Dream. Her son played Lysander and her daughter was playing Puck.
Craig had called earlier to tell her he was working late. He’d been sorry to miss the play but said he’d see it on closing night next weekend. She thought she was going to throw up. She pulled out her phone and listened to the message she’d received right after she’d seen Oliver.
A sing song girlish voice said “Laurel this is Trinity, Craig’s assistant. I wanted to let you know that I’ve been sleeping with your husband for about two years. He said I did all those nasty fetish things you wouldn’t do and I believed him. I really really loved him and would have done anything but he dumped me for Tara Hall. She’s like the VP of Marketing. They’ve been doing it since October so he was two timing on me too. Stupid puke. So when he says he is gone on business he’s really with her. I just thought you’d want to know because you seem like a nice lady.”
It was the fifth time she’d listened to it. Each time she’d hoped she’d heard it wrong but that wasn’t the case.
A text came in from Craig saying he had a change of plans and was on his way.
Concentrate. Don’t think about him. It isn’t true. He’ll be here any minute. Don’t cry.
The house lights went down and the play started.
Oliver Thomas stood on the side of the river and watched the emergency crews on the opposite shore drag out a sliver convertible, the headless body of the driver still strapped in the seat. Some unfortunate member of the police department would find sightless eyes attached to a severed head staring up at him from the floor of the passenger seat.
Witnesses said another car had forced him off the road. The convertible rolled and went into the water. It had been too dark to get any plate numbers or a good description of the other car.
Craig wanted to be free of his wife and children. A man should have what he wants after all.
Now Oliver would do it right. He’d wait a few months, he had time and he’d be there for Laurel and her children, like he should have been all along.
~Juliette aka Vampire Maman
My young friend Willow, a baby by Vampire terms, asked me tonight about wine, women, and song of long ago when I was Vampire King.
It made me think of when my friend Randolfo and I were traveling to the edges of the civilized world. We were in exotic territories that were not to be found on most maps of the time.
Willow wiped a tear from her beautiful brown eyes and told me that she was touched by my story. After that we went in search of blood, booze and goldfish crackers. We found all in a place with no skulls, or Vampire killers. I think I am beginning to like Modern Life.
Note: This wild and crazy tale is my 2017 entry to the Evil Squirrel’s Contest of Whatever. Thank you ES for providing the most frustrating and silly contest I have EVER entered in my entire 157 years. Holy Ghost Balls – what were you thinking?
Previous Contest of Whatever Entries from Vampire Maman (and I love all of these posts):
In honor of the Grammy’s I was planning on doing a post of the WORST songs ever (Rhiannon, McArthur Park, Spill the Wine, Sylvia’s Mother, Seventeen, That horrible roller skate/key song, The Thong Song, Free Bird, anything featuring Barbara Streisand, Ariana Grande, St. Vincent, or The Doobie Brothers.) I decided to skip it for something not so negative. Musical taste is so subjective.
But it was fun this summer driving across the endless Utah desert with my child, after the air conditioner had failed, listening to the worst songs ever. Let me explain…when a song on the “worst songs of all time” list came on I’d turn it up as part of my daughter’s cultural education. She listened to the entire performance of McArthur Park. I had to explain that the cake out in the rain and finding the recipe was a metaphor for lost love or some bull shit like that, while my seventeen year old child laughed out loud. We both laughed out loud in our 400 degree F car driving along about two hundred miles from the nearest town.
Everything in life isn’t good, no matter how hard you try to put that twist on your child rearing philosophy. At least there are times, like with music, when you can use humor to teach your kid about bad taste, bad judgement, bad fashion, bad friends, bad politics, and all of those weird things that come across our pathway.
Music, like art, literature, and cats, is something you can share with your kids. It brings people together. Stay with me on this because I know a lot of people hate their kids music. At least you can make an effort to understand what they like, and why they like it. Or maybe you can find something new together. Expand your horizons. Take a leap of faith and turn to a different number on the radio dial together. You might hate it. You might love it. But you did it together – with your kid.
Now for the real reason I brought up music. Yesterday I posted a story about a couple of Vampire kids in college called “Why I Hate Valentine’s Day.” Blog traffic was through the roof (because I am the Queen of Love Letters). But NOBODY, not a single person mentioned the reference to a song in the story. Oh come on guys, humor me a little.
And yes, I do love each and every one of you who reads and follows this blog.
OK, here it is. Listen and look for it.
Listen to the next songs too. Have fun even if you don’t like it. Or as your mom would say, “Don’t complain, it’s good for you.” Here are a couple of the best covers ever. Yes, listen to the Vampire – it’s good for you. Don’t complain.
By the way, the band CAKE is from Sacramento, my hometown. We’re a creative kind of place.
~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman