What We’re Talking About Today On the Way to School Today

Every since the election in June we’ve been regularly seeing heads explode as we drive along the road, especially in the morning hours. It makes a mess, but our roads are so bad around here that everyone just pretends to assume someone must have hit a pothole, or maybe it is aliens, or turkey vultures attacking suburban drivers…

As always, we listen to the news in the morning. I’ve grown sick of it and turn it out. My children do not. As wee ones they asked cute questions. Now as young adults they make bone chilling comments that make me wish that seventeen year olds could run for President, Congress, and the Senate, because they seem to be the only ones making any sense these days.

LBGT rights. Is there a problem with that? Why should anyone care? Don’t we just want everyone to be happy? LBGT families are like any other family. Parents love their children. Period. Here’s the deal. Married people pay more taxes. Period. See where this is going?

My kids often wonder why some people are so obsessed with the sex lives of others. It is all in the name of religion and morality. If you’re so moral then why are you so obsessed with sex? Why is your attitude so unhealthy. This is out of the mouths of teens. Of course if we’re talking down and dirty gossip then it is all good fun. Who doesn’t like to see the fall of a hypocrite caught in an affair after condemning others for their unmoral behavior? Who is anyone to judge? Especially those who do not even try to understand.

Yes, folks, this is why Vampires, Werewolves, and others keep to themselves. Don’t ask me how you can become one of us, and where our private clubs are because you’re not going to get an answer from me (or any of my friends.) Don’t hate me because I’m cold as death. Just hate me if I’m an asshole (which I hope I am not.) Or just hate me for using too many parenthesis in my writing, but not for my biology.

We discussed how THE WALL will be an environmental disaster among other things. The only ones dealing with walls should be Pink Floyd. The kids also keep asking about the Berlin wall. We all remember how that worked out.

I’ve made a list of news items and ratings from the teens I know:

Ivanka: NO

Grumpy Cat: Yes (even when she says NO) Yes, Grumpy Cat is a girl cat.

Coffee: Yes

AP Tests: Yes, but they still suck

Disneyland: Yes

The Lost City of Z: Yes

13 Reasons Why: Yes to both the book and the TV show

Old Men in Political Positions: NO

Botox: No

Squirrels: Yes (see link below to know why)

Cats: Yes

Dogs: Yes

Fiona the Hippo Baby: YES YES YES

Classical Art Memes: Yes

Canadians: Yes

French Election: WTF?

North Korea: No. And a sad face emoji for the people who live there.

Dentist Pulling a Tooth While on a Hoverboard: NO NO NO

Wells Fargo: WTF? Kids when you start a job don’t do that kind of shit. Not for anyone.

Anything in Washington DC: WTF?

Graduation Class of 2017: YES

Dutch Brothers: YES, even when there is a long line at the one street down from the high school.

Lists: Yes, because I’m not feeling inspired right now.

 

The conversation moved on to the dog who, despite her sweet nature, refuses to cooperate with any kind of training. She can do it. But she doesn’t want to. It is a power thing. Know any kids like this? Adults? Vampires? I bet you do too.

I might not be the biggest dog at the park but I’m going to make damned sure I have the biggest stick.

After dropping off the almost adult child I headed on over to the dog park. The big dog run was closed. The other dog run was full of HUGE (over 100 pounds) aggressive dogs. My young 85 pound German Shepard was dwarfed by these dogs. Of course she went NUTS. Sure I’m in touch with my paranormal side but it was almost too much for me to handle. I almost lost it. I went 0-60 in half a second from loving dogs to hating dogs. All dogs. Even my own dogs. And yes, right now mine is sleeping with her head on my foot as sweet as ever.

Text messages are fling in about a roller skate show tonight. Not at our club but at our sister club that my daughter’s partner skates out of. She and her partner are doing a new routine to Pink and Nate Ruess singing Just Give Me A Reason. They’re so beautiful skating (think Ice Dancing except on quad wheels.) Yes, teens are great.

I always thought Nate Ruess should be doing Broadway musicals. He has THAT kind of voice. Pink too. She is just WOW to me. I usually don’t like female singers (too breathy and high and whiney and I could go on and on) but she sings it.

Yes, I’m just rambling on today. Every have one of those days. In the back of my mind are sick and twisted stories of dark places with brick walls and black velvet curtains. There are howling winds along with howling wolves, shadows that look like ghouls with long twisted claws, and growls that could pass for satisfied purrs of lovers. You know, it is just one of those days when I just had to turn off the radio and turn off most of everything. I’m not as crazy bad as Chuck McGill in Better Call Saul but getting there.

Now for the Squirrel Story (not to be confused with the Squirrel Nut Zippers)

http://www.npr.org/sections/13.7/2017/04/25/525363273/what-s-it-like-to-be-squirrel

 

Did someone say coffee? Blood?

Oh right, and remember to talk with your kids – about anything and everything. You’ll have fun. They’ll appreciate it. You’ll be the cool parent. And you’ll find out how cool your kids really are. And it is good for everyone. So do it.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

Short Story Sunday: School Night (and a poll)

This week I have an excerpt from a novel I started AND a poll. Would you read this book? Yes, this is a rough rough draft but if I polished it up…
By the way, this isn’t a Vampire story.

It is all just a bunch of strange physics!

School Night

Advanced Physics.

Dr. Jackson Bartello

Tom looked at the white board relieved he was in the right classroom. This was Back-to-School-Night at his kid’s new high school. Oh boy.

Parents wandered into the classroom, squeezing into small plastic and laminated wood desks. Tom’s 6’3” frame hardly fit. He swore the desks were never this small when he was in high school.

Intentionally avoiding conversation with other parents he studied the hand written schedule his son Declan had given him.

First Period: Advanced Physics – Dr. B (Bartello) – HIPSTER GEEK EXCEPTIONALLY COOL GUY. Say something good about me. Seriously.

A large woman pushed herself into the desk next to Tom, still wearing her nurses uniform with a cartoon cat print on the top. Her brown hair was short and practical, but her face was pretty in a sort of old time glamour girl kind of way. She smiled at Tom. He smiled back to be polite.

At the front of the class stood a blond haired girl wearing a school tee shirt, and the kind of self-assured plastered on smile of an experienced politician. Tom figured she was Dr. Bartello’s student assistant Katie Hunter.

According to his daughter Rowan, Katie Hunter had recently changed her name to Kat, because she was dating a boy named Hunter Katz. Kat Hunter and Hunter Katz. It was all incredibly cute. Declan had said Kat and Hunter were also the two smartest kids in the school. Tom thought if they were that smart they’d stay away from romance.

“Hi Roxy,” the girl said to the woman in the cat uniform.

“Hey, Katie, excuse me, Kat. Good to see you.”

Katie turned to Tom. “You’re Declan’s dad.”

Tom smiled. “Yes, I am. How’d you know?

“You look just like him.” Her voice was deeper than most girls her age and lacked the singsong upswings at the end of her sentences.

“Everyone loves Declan,” said the woman called Roxy. “I’m Roxy Taylor, Jordan’s mom.”

“Tom Mather. Good to meet you.” He had no idea who Jordan was.

“Your wife Sage is great. We’re all so happy she agreed to be the advisor for the Student Technology Team.”

That was news to Tom. “Technology Team, sure, Sage loves her technology.” He gave an uncomfortable laugh. Sage was always great. She couldn’t help it; even after their lives fell completely apart she continued to wear her mask of greatness.

He’d encouraged Sage to take her dream job on the other side of the country. The new job paid twice their combined income. He would sell his law practice and work from home. They’d make a new start. She wouldn’t sleep with other men anymore. Life would pretend to be good.

Tom glanced around the classroom again. The other dads were relaxed slobs in cargo shorts and Dockers. He couldn’t imagine Sage being attracted to any of them.

The bell rang for first period to start. Bartello still hadn’t show up. A phone on the desk vibrated and danced around for a second. Tom noticed that a set of keys and half finished iced coffee next to the phone.

Katie cleared her throat then made an announcement. “Sign in if you haven’t already. Your kid will get points for it. I um, know Dr. Bartello has some handouts. Just a sec and I’ll get them.”

She went to the tall cabinet on the wall next to where Tom was sitting.

Katie tried to open the door but it wouldn’t slide. Tom noticed a latch at the top. “I’ll get it “Here you go,” he said with a wink to Katie as he slid the door open.

From the inside of the cabinet a dead Jackson Bartello faced Tom. One eye was closed, the other a squint. In the fraction of a second Tom’s brain registered the blood and gaping cut across Bartello’s throat. Before Tom could step back the full dead weight of the man fell forward against him.

Tom could feel himself falling but couldn’t stop the momentum. He remembered hearing himself say oh fuck, when the back of his head slammed into a desk, then bounced on the floor. He saw sparks, and the pain nearly knocked him out. He caught his breath and found himself flat on the floor. Bartello’s head was twisted at an almost ninety degree angle unnaturally resting on the inside of Tom’s left thigh, with the rest of his body on Tom’s legs and feet.

Bartello’s throat had been cut from ear to ear, all the way to the bone. Tom could see what might have been bone, or the esophagus. The cut was clean with no ragged edges. Bartello’s hands were bound behind him with his own black and teal atomic age print tie. He was still warm.

Tom could hardly catch his breath. Roxy was already up out of the desk and by his side. “Roxy, help get him off of me.”

She held Tom’s arm and helped him slide out from under the dead man. He felt Roxy’s hand go to the back of his head.

“You’re bleeding.” Then she yelled, “Somebody get me some paper towels NOW.”

The parents looked on in shocked silence. Then the murmurs of “Oh my God,” and soft gasps began. It wasn’t like in the movies where everyone screams and runs when a body appears. One was calling 911, another the school front office.

“Tom, Mr. Mather,” Katie said, sounding as if she were being strangled.

“I’m OK,” said Tom. He reached to the back of his head and felt the blood. He tried to stand, but couldn’t get his body to work for him. “Katie, don’t panic. You can do that later. Right now let’s get everyone out of the room. Then find your parents. Roxy, Find my wife, please.”

Tom looked at Bartello again. He couldn’t imagine cutting into flesh with that kind of force. It was too intimate for him. He never touched his marks. He’d always used a gun with a silencer, with the goal to always keep things clean and anonymous. But this killing wasn’t business. It was personal.

 

_____

More to come…

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

 

Vampire Diary: Music to My Ears (Broken Record Edition)

Dear Diary,

When one is imprisoned in a crypt for three hundred years one misses out on a lot of things. The past three hundred years went fast and were full of wonders which I missed being hellishly locked in a dark damp coffin inside of an ivy covered crypt. I hate ivy.

There is so much that used to be that I have not seen. Entire centuries and now dead technologies, fashions, and ways of life have vanished before I could know what they were but everyone aside from me knows what these things are, even if they were not born before these things happened.

Two days ago someone said he sounds like a broken record.

What did he mean. Did his numbers not match up? I asked.

I was told that he repeated himself.

“What is this record of,” I asked.

“It could be anything, I don’t know,” said the woman I was speaking with.

“I do not understand. Is it software such as an Excel spreadsheet?” I asked this trying not to sound old fashioned and completely ignorant of popular culture.

“Records. Phonograph records,” she said. “You know, like vinyl?”

“Oh I am sorry. I must have misunderstood you. The noise in this place interferes with my hearing,” I said to her. Then I looked into her eyes and made her forget everything except her desire to have me put my lips upon her neck and sink my teeth into her flesh and drink her blood.

We left and went to her apartment. She was lovely. But I could not help wondering why anyone would be concerned with keeping poor records of something called phonographs and how they would compare to a man who keeps repeating himself. I left her asleep with a smile on her face, and about a pint less blood and no memories of my bite.

Few automobiles were on the road as I drove home. I thought about my car that allows me to play thousands of songs, talk on the phone, and tell me directions from a small woman’s voice. I took the speed up to ninety-five miles per hour. I would talk my way out of a ticket because I am a Vampire and I can do that. Then I slowed down. I understand why people like cars. I understand the power. I listened to opera music in my car and sang along. It made me happy and less confused.

It was 3:34 a.m. when I stopped to obtain gasoline for my car. When I was outside I could hear two women standing by their car. I could hear one saying, “Damn he is one hot looking man.”

I did not feel hot. I am a Vampire. I never feel hot. Putting my hand on my forehead I could feel no sweat. I do not sweat. I do not understand.

~ Vlad

 

Dear Diary,

I spoke with my Vampire lover Gillian about what is a record. She did not roll her eyes but I knew she had the burning desire to.

“Dear Vlad, it is not an accounting record or ledger. It is a disk that music is recorded on. It is a recording. It is a disk made of vinyl that came out before the digital stuff you listen to now. When a record is scratched it skips, which means it repeats the same part of the song over and over. That my darling is where the expression broken record comes from,” she told me.

“How should I have known? Show me what this record looks like,” I said.

She went to YouTube, one of my sources for information about this confusing modern world, and found a recording of a record playing the Ramones. I know the Ramones. I have a See Dee.

 

Gillian started to explain the Addams Family but then she stopped and just smiled. I am sure sometimes she thinks I am an idiot.

~ Vlad

 

Dear Diary,

Today I took Jane the coyote pup to the dog park. A dog park is a place for dogs to run and play with each other. Jane is wild but not so wild. She has the body of a coyote but the soul of a Werewolf. No matter. She is now a member of my household.

I was told coyotes are not allowed as pets. At the dog park I was asked if Jane was a coyote.

I said, “no, she is a Scottish Squirrel Hound and Moon Shepherd mix.” I almost laughed at my own joke.

One of the women, one with a large black and white dog of mixed lineage looked at Jane and me and said, “you two are so adorable together.”

I smiled and wondered what her blood type was. Adorable. I believe that means cute. I do not understand how a strong Vampire man with broad shoulders and a coyote can be cute. Then again she did not know that I am a Vampire.

~ Vlad

 

Dear Diary,

Tonight Gillian and I went to dinner at a local pub. It is a place we frequent where people freely mingle and listen to bands that play music that is for folks, called folk music. Sometimes they play punk music, and punk pop, and assorted things I do not understand but strangely like.

Many people were there. Because we are Vampires the people are naturally attracted to Gillian and me. Gillian is also gorgeously beautiful. Heads turned as we walked about. One gets used to it but it is not as it used to be, but I can not explain. I do not have the words for such an expression. People now are forward in expressing their feelings. Also, I am no longer a Vampire King so I am just an ordinary man when I am out. It is in a way a freeing experience not to have people afraid to speak freely around me.

A server slipped at something on the floor as she brought a tray of wine glasses to a table. I suddenly found myself covered with red wine. How odd that I was the one who looked like I was covered in blood. I am so neat. I am getting good at this joke thing.

She said she was so sorry but I told her that I was not mad. I wanted to make sure she was not distressed. Putting my hand on her arm I calmed her with thoughts of, well, of me. The bartender told me to give him my shirt and he’d put something on it to get the stains out before they set in. I can appreciate that. All Vampires appreciate stain removal. As I took off my shirt there was a gasp in the crowd. I ran my hand through my golden hair pushing it out of my eyes, then I put back on my leather jacket, but did not zip it up. The women in the pub, young and old, just smiled and stared.

“He looks like something out of a bodice ripper,” voices whispered. “Oh my God.”

“Bodice ripper?” I whispered to Gillian.

She put her hand on my bare chest. “A romance novel with a strong handsome extremely sexually attractive male. The cover art often shows a well-built man without a shirt on. It is called a bodice ripper because, well, when he makes love to the heroine of the story bodices are often ripped, you know, in the throes of passion.”

I had to smile. It was something like this picture, only it was not because the women were wearing skinny jeans or short skirts.

When I was young, before I was locked in a crypt for three hundred years, many Vampires were of the school of thought that we (Vampires) should terrify people we drank blood from.

They would lurk in the woods, and steal into homes at night with fangs out and dirty claw like finger nails. They walked with hunched shoulders. Their clothes were musty and never washed. They smelled of death with breath like rotting flesh. Sunken eyes frightened their prey. They pallid skin stretched tight over their bones. No wonder. They never got enough blood.

More enlightened Vampires, as with any enlightened being, realized that making one’s self appealing and semi-delightful always attracts more prey. Who would want to eat food that stinks? Who would want to make love to a skeleton? Who would not want to scream when something that looks and smells dead crawls into their bed in the middle of the night?

Bodice ripper. I laugh now.

The bartender gave me my shirt back with the stains washed out. I laughed and told him that it was no problem. We talked and he told me that his band was coming out with a record. They were going to put it on vinyl. I knew what he was talking about. I knew what that was. What is it that is said…small world. Yes, it is a small world.

~ Vlad

 

Dear Diary,

I sat in the dark under the stars with my cats, Jane the coyote, and Gillian. We talked of how the world has changed, in both good and bad ways.

Then Gillian said, “Let’s pretend we’re in a bodice ripper novel.”

And we went inside and did exactly that.

I like these bodice rippers. I like them a lot. What is that expressions. Ahhh yes, music to my ears.

~ Vlad. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Keeping it Real (When you’re a Vampire and a Parent)

“You can hide yourself away. Wrap yourself in a cocoon of spider webs and blood, and let yourself fester and dry up for years and become a husk, or you can move forward. Hiding is easy. But Vampires who hide get lost, or never wake up, or, or, or, or, are so completely out of touch with what it is to be a real Vampire.” 

I could hear 2,200 year old (approximately, I’m not sure what his real age is. He isn’t even sure.) Tellias talking to my twenty-one year old son. Yes, Garrett turned twenty-one on April 1st. I didn’t have the heart to blog about it. My time as a mom of youngsters is quickly waning, and unlike the moon isn’t coming back.

I listen and wonder what it is like to be “real” anything.

Despite his age Tellias isn’t a dried up husk by any means. He looks like he is nineteen, or maybe twenty at the very most.

The two could be just best friends if one just looked at them. A dark haired young man with his perfect trendy hair (long on top, short on the sides), and one with his pale blonde hair brushing his shoulders, both wearing jeans and tee shirts.

I had to smile seeing them together. I look at Garrett with all the hope and wonder in his eyes and heart. Tellias looks at me and locks his eyes with mine for a fraction of a second. I see decades of joy and pain, love and loss that goes beyond any known grief, and unknown dark coordores, regrets, and a million songs, and memories of standing under the stars for a thousand years with the warm summer breeze on his face.

I know you Juliette he says without speaking. You’ve always taught them to fly, and now that they can fly on their own your heart is breaking. 

Luckily the 85 pound puppy came blasting through the room and demanded to go outside. I went out to the deck and stood in the drizzle of rain and took in the smell of orange blossoms and rosemary from my yard.

You have to raise your kids to be adults, but when they suddenly become adults… I had no idea it would be this hard. I can’t let them know how I feel. I just keep doing what I’ve been doing and smile and encourage them. I listen to their thoughts, dreams, monologues, and stories. I will forever be here for them. Even if for some reason I won’t be here physically, I will still always be with them.

I put my hands on the deck rail and looked down into the oak forest behind my house. There were no ghosts that night except my own. I felt an arm go around my shoulder. A cool finger wiped a tear from my cheek. Tellias stood with me, not saying a word. He didn’t have to.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

 

 

 

 

Short Story Sunday: Baker Beach

Some of you might have read this one before – I’ll have a brand new story next week. It is Easter today so I’m giving you this little egg of a story to crack – full of surprise, humor, love, and everyday adventure. Have fun.

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

SHORT FILM SATURDAY: FOOL’S DAY (2013)

I rarely reblog posts from other sites to my main blog – but this is too good to keep to myself. This is spit out your coffee, pee your pants, snort milk out your nose funny – and a GREAT HORROR film. Thank you jmount for the awful fun.

A fourth grade class decides to pull an April Fool’s Day prank on their teacher. What could possibly go wrong?

Directed by Cody Blue Snider.

Written by Cody Blue Snider, Shane Snider.

Starring Mitchell Jarvis, Kathy Searle, Liam Foley.

Filmed in the United States.

Nineteen minutes and fourteen seconds.

I present to one of the funniest short films I have ever seen: Fool’s Day. If the surname Snider rings any bells it is because brothers Cody Blue and Shane Snider are the sons of Twisted Sister frontman Dee Snider and his wife Suzette Snider. Enjoy.

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