Short Story Sunday: Boys Will Be Boys

 

Adam had heard the stories about Luther.

When they were kids Luther would go out to the fields behind Grandma’s house and shoot anything that moved. It started with birds and rabbits. Then it moved on to cats. Luther had an almost gleeful vendetta to shoot any cat he was that wasn’t in somebody’s yard.

Luther’s parents (Adam’s aunt and uncle) just shrugged and said, “boys will be boys.” They figured that Luther wouldn’t grow up to be a sissy. When Adam told them he only shot animals with a camera they just laughed.

When Luther’s daughter was afraid of an excited terrier pup he told everyone he was going to shoot the dog. That would be after he kicked it, beat it, and refused to give it food for almost a week. Luther’s sister Belinda gave Luther an earful, called him an asshole, and took the dog. It was the second dog she’s rescued from Luther.

A few years later he starved a German Shepard. That dog was rescued by his cousin Janice.

He continued to shoot cats. His wife continued to post photos of their pets on social media. It was a different group of pets every other year. She talked of how sweet their fur babies were and how much she loved them. It sort of made Adam sick.

It reminded Adam of a strange creepy family that had rented the house next to his a few years back. The four children would look at him though cracks in the fence and say strange things.

One day the oldest, the only boy, whispered, “my sister is retarded, do you want to see her dance?” Then the child popped his head over the fence and yelled, “my sister is retarded, do you want to see her dance? My mom said you’re gay because you don’t have a family. Do you want to see our kittens?”

The parents knew the children loved kittens more than anything else. They let their cats have a littler of kittens, then they’d take the mother to the pound and keep the kittens. When the kittens started to look and act more like cats they would take them to the pound and keep one or two females to have more kittens. The sick cycle would continue.

One day Adam’s seven year old niece Aurora was visiting. The creepy children came to the fence and whispered mean things. Adam turned the hose on them. An hour later the mother of the children came over claiming that Aurora had said mean things about their special needs child. Adam called her a liar and an animal abuser and threatened to have them evicted. Luckily for Adam they were gone within a month for not paying their rent.

A nice couple with a beautiful well behaved, well loved dog moved in. They were the perfect neighbors. It turned out that they were con-artists. They’d call the County offices and file complaints against their landlord and then refuse to pay rent. It had been a pattern with them. With a little effort and a few code violations they never had to pay for lodging – never ever. Then they vanished and the landlords sold the house and Adam bought it and rented it out to friends.

Now twenty years later he was out of town for Aurora’s wedding, and the entire family was there. Aurora was hesitant about inviting Luther to the wedding, but his kids were sweet, and everybody liked his wife. Adam wondered what kind of woman would marry a man who abused animals.

At the reception Adam’s longtime girlfriend Brandy told him about Luther bragging about dumping a dog at the lake. He said everybody dumped dogs there. Then he’d laughed about it. The dog was worthless but at least he hadn’t shot it.

Adam had once asked Luther why he was so mean to animals. Luther said, “I hate cats. I don’t know why. They’re worthless. Dogs on the other hand need to know their place. If they scare my kids, or pee in the house I’m going to shoot their asses. They’re just dogs. It isn’t like they have souls.”

Luther’s girls liked puppies but only if they didn’t jump or nip like puppies tend to do.

Then Brandy looked up at the dusky sky and said, “Full moon tonight Adam.”

Adam kissed her, then went to get more wine.

“Look at the moon,” said Luther. Then he laughed. “Let’s go shoot some werewolves.”

The next morning, after the bride and groom had left for Hawaii, Luther’s wife said he was missing.

Luther was found in the woods behind Grandma’s old house. He’d been gutted by wild animals. The police said it looked like it might have been wild dogs, or maybe even a bear.

Adam and Brandy skipped the funeral and drove up the coast to his beach house. That night he lit a candle in memory of all of the cats and dogs who’d suffered abuse at the hand’s of humans.

He found Brandy in the bathroom gargling with salt water. “What’s the matter honey?” He asked her as he rubbed her back.

“I don’t know Adam. I just can’t get the bad taste out of my mouth.”

“I know the feeling well,” he said, then went to the kitchen and opened a bottle of wine. It was a nice full Zinfandel, guaranteed to mellow out the evening. He poured a glass for himself, and one for Brandy. Then he went outside and listened to the sound of the waves, and the light house horn, and tried to empty his mind, until the next full moon night.

~ End

 

 

 

 

Sad Vampire: American Gothic

Way back towards the first of the year I received the honor of being awarded FIRST PLACE in the 2017 Evil Squirrel’s Nest Contest of Whatever. My entry was the story of a horror adventure told by Vlad, King of the Vampires (yes, cute Vlad from Vampire Diary, click here to see it.)

As a prize I was able to pick out something from The Evil Squirrel’s Cafe Press shop. Oh I can’t tell you how delighted I was to receive my American Gothic Bag a few weeks later. I LOVE THIS. I’ll be taking it on my cross country trip from Orangevale, CA to Lincoln, NE this summer. I’ll be taking it to a coffee shop this morning. I’ll be taking it everywhere.

I love this version of “American Gothic.” Oh my goodness have you EVER seen anything so cute? Love love love this. Thank you ES.

To get your own Evil Squirrel’s Nest Bling click HERE.

The first time I saw the Grant Wood painting “American Gothic” at the Art Institute in Chicago I was surprised at how small it is.  It is only 30¾ in × 25¾ inches. I remember walking around a corner and seeing it sort of an afterthought. I thought it would have a larger presence. But in real life it is absolutely stunning. Thank you Grant Wood, for that and ALL of your art. Grant Wood Rocked. Check out the faces in “Daughter’s of the Revolution.” You can’t get better than that.

And more from Grand Wood…

So in my rush to attempt to be clever and creative I took out a pen and pencil and did a quick sketch of “Vampire Gothic.” It took me all of five minutes. I believe Mr. Wood spent more time on the original version than I did on my sad Vampire version.

 

Seriously, I can draw when I want to. No, really, I can. Well, um…

Now I’ll do some shameless promotion. You can get your own Vampire Maman shirts and other items on Red Bubble. Good quality and unique fashion is just a few clicks away. Click Here.

 

Sad Vampire is a semi-regular feature on vampiremaman.com featuring somewhat quick and somewhat sad sketches, but sketches non the less. 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

I’m gonna run to you, but maybe later after I take care of some mom stuff

Why do we like songs that nobody understands?

Blinded by the light, revved up like a deuce
Another runner in the night

I know you thought it was wrapped up like a douche another rumor in the night.

For years (I might have mentioned this one before) I thought Bryan Adams was singing

I’m going to write to you.

It made sense to me. There was no email or internet back then. There were no cell phones. One would be lucky to have an answering machine on their home phone. I wrote a lot of letters. I send a lot of cards and post cards. And I had no idea what the title of the song is “I’m going to run to you.”

I’m gonna run to you
I’m gonna run to you
‘Cause when the feelin’s right I’m gonna run all night
I’m gonna run to you

About two years ago my husband told me the truth about the song 1984 song.

By the way Bryan Adams was born in 1959 so that would have made him ten years old in the Summer of 69. That would make him the same age as Nigel the Ghost, that is if Nigel was alive. I guess it would still make Nigel the same age even as a ghost. So do you age a ghost from the day it becomes a ghost or from the day it is born as a physical person? Anyway, I’m glad to hear that our Canadian friend Mr. Adams is still alive and well and singing, even if his lyrics are different than mine.

People like a lot of things that nobody understands, or at least I don’t understand.

Some things I don’t understand:

  • Zac Efron Movies
  • Bob Dylan
  • Small yapping dogs
  • Most currently popular female singers.
  • Sometimes my husband
  • Badly written fantasy novels
  • Mystery/Crime stories told by cats and barnyard animals
  • Crime/Mystery novels written by older men where all women get their crotches waxed and like to have sex 15 times a day.

My kids, who are almost adults, or more or less adults, think they understand everything, but are still willing to admit things they don’t understand. Yes, there are stupid questions, but I’ve tried to teach them to ask questions. I never asked questions when I was a child. I lived in a clueless world of my own ignorance. I still do.

But let’s put that aside. I was going to write about EMPTY NEST, or give it another attempt again, today, but I keep getting distracted, or don’t want to write about it.

Knowing your kids are going to be GROWN UP SOON is more frightening that any horror movie. It is also exciting. It is like jumping off of a cliff into a dark canyon without a light. There is that logistical panic of figuring out how far away they’ll be living. There is that panic about new friends who are also young adults and having no control over it. No control. Maybe not control, but it is no control.

And you wonder if they’ll get the lyrics right or if they’ll start singing the wrong words for years before they know the right words. And sometimes it doesn’t matter if the words are wrong because their lyrics are more fun, or make more sense.

And sometimes you have to smile because you know they’ll go out into the world and tell everyone, “my mom writes about Vampires.”

That’s it for today. Now I have to go see my mom who sometimes wonders how all of her children turned out so weird, and odd, and interesting, and… honestly I have no idea what she thinks.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

 

 

 

 

 

Short Story Sunday: Mother’s Day

“Dad, tell us the story about mom and grandma again,” said Jeff’s eight year old daughter.

“No problem baby,” he said. “Here we go.”

“Sleep sweet baby,” Lily whispered then put her hand over the tiny eyelids, and kissed the little forehead and cheeks.

Tonight would be the last night in the city, sleeping in abandoned rooms, her baby in a box, alone and unwanted.

Down the roads she walked, silent and unseen. Going through the back door of the mansion, once her mansion, she walked silently to the bedroom of the woman who stole her family.

At the tender age of seventeen she’d married for love, or so she thought. It was an arranged marriage with the twenty-six year old son of a friend of the family, and business associate of her father. Soon she found out that she was only an asset with a wifely duty to share a bed twice a week, and to look good at social events. Her husband had a mistress who would never be part of their society. He also had a mistress named Florence, who was the wife of a much older and sickly man.

One day the mistress with the sickly husband became a widow.

Lily also became ill and sensitive to light. She would sleep walk into the night and dream of dancing under the moon with people who loved her. Then she realized it was not a dream, but she kept her night walks secret.

The beautiful young widow Florence came to visit Lily.

Florence said, “I am the woman he loves. He always loved me but was forced to marry you. I want you to know that. I want you to be a shadow or you will be put into an asylum and never see your son again.”

Lily listened. Inside of her the baby she carried stirred without the knowledge of her husband or Florence. Her son lay asleep in his bed. Her husband was at his club.

Florence smiled sweetly and said, “It will be my way from now on. If you were smart you would go away, you are unwell, go away and divorce your husband.”

Lily died a few night later, or so her husband thought. That night he celebrated with Florence. The boy cried for his mother. Florence slapped him across the face and told him to stay in his room. She said she was now his mother.

Lily woke with a baby ready to be born. She gave birth to a daughter alone in a crypt. Then she made her plan.

In the morning Florence was found dead in her bed with her throat ripped out, as if an animal had attacked her. Her husband was left with a ragged cut on his handsome face. His safe was empty of gold. His first wife’s jewels were gone. His son was gone.

At the age of twenty, in the year 1850, Lily booked passage on a ship bound for the California gold fields, with her children, and her wealth. She was happy with her new friends. In fact she is still happy today.

“And that my children is the story of my mother, and your grandmother.”

Happy Mother’s Day 2017.

~ end

Happy Mother’s Day everyone. Since this is Mother’s Day I was short on time. This was a blinding fifteen minute story sprint – but since this is a true story it wasn’t hard to write down.. Have fun. xoxo

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

 

Vampire Diary: Hot Mess

Dear Diary,

Today I walked to the end of the street to pick up my mail. My cats and Jane the coyote pup followed me.

A group of teenage girls sat on the front porch of the house nearest the mail box. They waved to me.

“Oh my God, Vlad you’re so cute with your cats and the pup,” said one of them.

I smiled minus my fangs. The girls giggled. They find me attractive but I do not know what is cute about a man with board shoulders and almost six feet of height. Cats are cute. Puppies are cute. I have yet to understand what this cute word means. They also call me sexy, but not to my face. They do not call cats or coyotes sexy. That makes more sense to me. My lover Gillian told me not to think about it and to stop being silly. I am not silly.

As I looked through my mail, mostly letters from other vampires, I could hear the girls talk. One said a friend of hers was a hot mess. Hot mess?

So I said, “I could not help but overhear your conversation. What do you mean by hot mess.”

They all laughed out loud. Some laughed with high pitched voices. One had a laugh that was low and rough, but not unpleasing. One laughed like a woman ready to seduce and rule the world.

I repeated myself. “Sweet ladies, you know I am not from here. Please, what is a hot mess? Is it something you eat?”

They laughed again. Then one girl, the one with the low and rough laugh answered. “A hot mess is when someone tries to look good and ends up looking like a disaster. They’re just a hot mess.”

“I see. That is amusing,” I said. “Am I hot mess?”

They giggled. Then one said, “You’re just hot.”

Then they giggled some more and didn’t stop.

They then talked among themselves and I heard one say no sheets Sherlock. I wondered what was meant by that. I did not ask. I told the girls goodbye and winked at them. They giggled some more, and as my pets and I walked away I could hear them talk about me, but not in an unflattering way.

That night I asked my lover Gillian about Sherlock. “Darling, who is Sherlock and why does he not have sheets? Does he sleep on the ground or in a hammock? Why would young girls be speaking of such a person?”

Gillian smiled and kissed me. “I love you Vlad but…”

“Gillian dear, I was sealed in a crypt for three hundred years. I am still learning the strange language and customs of modern life,” I said to her.

“Vlad, Sherlock Holmes is a fictional detective. The first story about him came out in 1887. You were still locked in the crypt. Sherlock’s adventures became extremely popular, and his character, and versions of the character are still popular. The term is No Shit Sherlock.

“Does he not poop like most people?”

“Yes, he poops. I assume he poops. It isn’t covered in the stories. The term No Shit Sherlock is used when somebody says something incredibly obvious.”

“Like I say being locked in a crypt is a bad thing. Then you say No Shit Sherlock.”

“Exactly Vlad.”

“Do not say I am not learning anything.”

Then she kissed me again. And again. And again.

~ Vlad

 

Dear Diary,

Tonight I went to a pub where I am known and liked. I do this so that I can get blood with ease. I am not one of those vampires who likes to crawl through windows. I would rather have a glass of wine and talk with my dinner companions a bit.

The bartender is a woman named Cassie. We talked for a while then she noticed my satchel.

“Oh my goodness. You brought your cat tonight. Bring her out,” said Cassie.

I took the purring cat out of the bag. Cassie said we were cute. Always cute. My world is nothing but cute. Yet, I am happy when Cassie and my cat are happy. After many women and men came over to pet the cat and call it cute, the cat crawled back into the bag and fell asleep. I visited with Cassie more. She told me about her graduate studies. She is brilliant.

Then a man sits down next to me. “Vlad. You are Vlad.”

I look at him. He is tall and thin, with dark wavy hair pulled back into a tail like the teenage girls who live on my street. His brown eyes are hidden behind large black framed glasses. The teenage girls might find him attractive. I find him to be what they call a hot mess.

“Yes,” I say. “My name is Vlad. What is your name, and how do you know mine?”

He grins, a wide grin with perfect straight white teeth. “I know you’re a vampire Vlad.”

“Cute maybe,” I say. “A vampire, I do not think so.”

“I was told on good authority that you know where the high counsel of the vampires meet. I hear you used to be their king.”

“You are mad,” I told him.

I walked out to the street. He followed me and called out after me. “Vlad, I’m not a vampire hunter. I’m a scientist. I’m a journalist. I want to know the truth.”

I turned around to face him. “You seek the truth do you Kyle Gunner? That is your name. Yes, you seek parlor tricks so I just gave you one. You are excited and thrilled that I have stopped. Let me answer your question. There is no high council of vampires. That is, what do they call it, a plot device, a fictional bit of grandness to try to explain things you do not understand.”

He looked disappointed and puzzled. I continued to speak.

“Be a scientist Kyle Gunner and get the facts, if that is facts that you seek. Not alternate facts, but real facts.” He stood transformed so I continued to speak. “The facts are that if you speak out people will believe you to be insane. I advise you not go that route. Do not make memes of me either. No memes. I know you are recording this on your tiny magic telephone.” I held up my hand. “Now you are not recording me and it has all been deleted. I will tell you another thing Kyle Gunner. The reason we do not always show up in photographs is because we do not want to. It is the same reason paint flakes off of canvas and ink drawn to the likeness of a vampire fades on paper. It is because we do not want to be seen. Good night Kyle Gunner. Be thankful I was generous and charitable to you tonight. I may not be next time. One more word of advice. You are a hot mess. You need to do something about that.”

Then my cat put her head out of the bag and said, “Maaaaoooo.”

“That’s a cat. You have a cat in your man-bag,” said Kyle Gunner.

Then I said, “No shit Sherlock. Of course she is a cat. And this is a satchel, not a man-bag.” Then I snarled at him with my fangs and almost stopped his heart from fear.

I left him standing alone in the dark as other vampires watched, and waited from the shadows.

Then I heard one of the vampire women whisper to her friend, “Oh my God,  Vlad is sooooo cute.”

~ Vlad

 

Dear Diary,

I stand outside under the full moon watching the bats play at night. A large owl flies by. I hear a mocking bird call in the night. The wind blows gently and dances through my hair. Gillian comes behind me and puts her arms around me, then rests her head on the back of my shoulder.

For all of the confusion there are constants. I am in love, and I am cute. Those are two things which I am not sure I will ever understand.

~ Vlad

This is the 30th Vampire Diary Post. For more of Vlad’s Vampire Diary (from the beginning) CLICK HERE.

 

 

 

No time to be jealous

Do you ever have those days, like when your friend calls and says, “Pick me up. PLEASE.”

And it’s a full moon. So you pick him up.

And your friend is a Werewolf.

And you say, “What if you turn back into a man?”

And he says, “You’ve seen me naked.”

And I have, a long time ago.

And I know that because my husband is a Vampire he’ll understand. We all do. It was like the time, before I was married, that a couple of drunk girls called my husband at 2:00 a.m. and I said, “GO, make sure they’re safe. Take them home. I’ll see you in a bit.” And I did. And the girls were impressed.

This is something we have to teach our kids. You can’t be involved with someone who is so jealous and insecure that they can’t accept the fact that sometimes you just have to do the right thing and help out a friend in need. It isn’t like this sort of thing happens all the time. With young people it happens more often.

We always tell our kids and their friends that they can call us anytime of the day or night, no questions asked. We just want them to be safe.

That’s all. Just a something to think about.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman