Vampire Diary: Love Bites, Love Bleeds – A Victorian Christmas.

Dear Diary,

I missed the entire 18th, 19th and 20th centuries.

I missed the Industrial Revolution. I missed the American Revolution. I missed the advent of electricity, flight, recorded sound, the telegraph, moving pictures, smooth jazz, photography, the Wild West, Art Deco, and most of all I missed the Victorian era. Yes, it seems that there was a period in which a great small sour looking Queen named Victoria ruled the world, told people not to make love, and then had many children herself. I do not understand that logic, but rulers are not often driven by logic.

Before I came into this modern world I now call home, I was living in a period now which is now called Baroque. I thought we would never change. I could not have been better. I loved the clothing. I loved the music. Life was good, especially if one was a Vampire. My world was by candle light in the dark, under skies of millions of stars.

And that fated evening, my last evening in my own time, I went out for the night, my hair curled and flowing around my shoulders and down my back, a silk and wool coat hung perfectly, with wide sleeves, and lace, and … then, then it went black with a pointed stake that grazed my heart, and then… then I was locked away for three hundred years.

It was 1714 when I was stabbed in the heart and locked away. And when I was rescued centuries later by my dear friends I found myself in a strange horrifying science fiction landscape that I could have never imagined in my wildest Vampire nightmares.

All things had changed.

The night my love Gillian and friend Randolpho broke into the crypt and rescued me is still a dark cloud in my mind.

I remember Randolpho’s voice, “Oh my God his hair is full of bugs. Rats have eaten his clothes.”

I awoke on an airplane, flying high in the sky to a country which did not exist in my world before. I was wearing a black tee-shirt, a button down charcoal colored Oxford shirt, and blue jeans. My hair was now to my shirt collar. It is what everyone wears they told me. And so it was. I was also extremely clean. Everyone is clean now. That is one thing that makes life as a Vampire easier in this modern world.

Tonight I was driving in my car and turned on the radio. At the touch of a finger I can hear any music of any era, even Baroque music. A song came on. I listened in wonder.

Love bites, love bleeds
It’s bringin’ me to my knees
Love lives, love dies
It’s no surprise
Love begs, love pleads
It’s what I need

It was by a band called “Def Leppard.” Why they call themselves after cats who cannot hear I do not know. The song reminded me of when my wife left, and it made me think of those years alone in the crypt.  Yes, love bites. It bleeds. I wonder if that song was written by a Vampire. It must have been. I bite. I bleed. I am not yet at my knees.

It is Yule time. I must not be so melancholy.

My two cats who can hear all too well crawled into my lap and started to purr. There is even comfort in this world for a sad Vampire.

~ Vlad

 

Dear Diary,

I missed the 19th Century. I missed the waltz. I missed the waltz when it was new. I missed that first time when one could dance close in a ballroom, a hand on a woman’s waist, close and touching. So close I could put my lips on her neck and nobody would notice as I scraped my fangs across her neck.

Gillian has told me that we have been invited to three Victorian themed events.

“What do you mean?” I asked her.

“We dress up in Victorian clothing and go back in history,” she tells me.

“I was never there,” I tell her. “And how do you expect us to go back into history. If I want back it would be to the eighteenth century and I would…”

“Stop it Vlad,” she said almost growling at me. She almost growled like an angry animal. “We do it for the fun. It is all pretend. We do it because it is Christmas.”

“What does wearing those ridiculous top hats and huge skirted dresses, and following the prudish morals of a pinched nosed British queen have to do with Christmas? Tell me.”

She went to the shelf and grabbed a book and threw it at me. “Read this Vlad,” she demanded.

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I poured myself a goblet of mulled blood and read the damn book by a man called Charles Dickens.

The book reminded me of one night four hundred years ago.

It had been a night of violence and blood. Back in my castle, in my private chambers I stripped off my clothing and washed the blood off of my hands, and out of my hair. My hair which was down to the middle of my back at that time like a river of honey gold. I could still feel their fire in my eyes, and anger in my soul.

The window blew open, and in flew an apparition, a large ghostly man with no head. He carried what seemed to be a black velvet bag. He stood silent in front of me.

“Who are you and what are you doing here?” I asked the ghostly figure.

He slowly opened the bag and pulled out a head. Then he put the head in the crook of his arm turning the face towards me. It was Fabio, the former leader of the Vampires who lived to the south of my lands. We had gone into battle together. We had plotted against our enemies together. We had loved women together. We drank blood together, and bonded as an impenetrable force of Vampire power.

“Fabio, my brother, what brings you here on this Yule night?”

“Silence,” he cried in a voice like a banshee. “I was foolish and lost my head. I lusted after blood, and power, and never gave a thought to anything except my own desires.”

“I am sorry to hear that Fabio,” I said.

“Silence Vald, King of Vampires, Ruler of the People of the Night. You must listen to me,” he said, then he began to howl like the hounds of Hell.

“Stop,” I yelled at him.

“All of the Vampires in the world believe Vampire Hunters killed me, but YOU Vlad cut off my head and threw it in the moat of your castle.”

“You slept with my wife, and then you killed my dog. What was I supposed to do?” I said.

“It was her idea,” said Fabio.

“What about my dog Fabio? My wolfhound Princess?” I responded. “Was it her idea too?”

He waved his head in front of my face. “You, Vlad are a good Vampire, but you are a bad man.” he said, “Today you will be visited by your past, your present, and your future.”

“No, Fabio,” I told him. “As usual you make no sense at all. You are insane. The sun will be up in an hour and I will sleep. Be gone and stay away from my wife, and my dogs.”

He screamed at me and flew out the window. I slammed the window closed, drew the curtains, locked the door, then crawled into my bed and fell into a deep Vampire sleep.

I had a dream. It was a dream of Yule Time when I was a young Vampire. My sister and I were traveling home along the mountain roads. We stopped at a village. Village people danced around a fire while we listen to the screams of those who were tied to poles and burning in the center.

My sister grabbed my arm and asked, “Why Vlad, why do they do such horrible things to their own kind.”

“Why are you burning these people?” I asked a man standing next to us.

“The priest said they were evil so they must burn.”

“Were they evil?” I asked.

“I never really thought about it,” said the man. “They said women should be treated equally as men. They said that people should question what the priest says.”

My sister and I went to the Priest. We burned his hands off, then cut off his feet. We drained his body of blood.

My sister said, “I need to go home but father does not want to see you.”

Then my dream vanished like smoke in a dark moonless night.

I was awakened by the sweet voice of a woman, with her hand on my bare chest. It was Yule of present time.

“Vlad,” she whispered. “Wake up.”

It was my wife, the beautiful Aloisia. I put my arms around her and pulled her into a kiss. She looked into my eye and locked them on mine.

“Vlad, I am leaving you. I am done with you.”

“Aloisia, why?”

“I am sick of you,” she said. I can not even write down what else she said to me that night. Then she was gone. I never saw her again. She is out there somewhere but I know not where that somewhere is.

I fell back asleep after several hours. At around 2:30 p.m. a pale white man in a silver robe came into the room. He opened the curtains and nearly blinded me with the light.

“Who are you?” I said, sitting up and showing him my fangs.

He just pointed at me and laughed. I could not see his face due to a large hat and a mask like the beak of a ghostly white bird.

“Special Delivery,” he hissed as he dropped an envelope on my bed. Then he closed the curtains and vanished into thin air. Another ghost maybe or some sort of demon. I hate ghosts.

I cracked the unfamiliar seal on the envelope and found a book with blank pages. What did that mean? A blank book? Was it magic? Was it printed with invisible ink? Was it meant to be a threat.

It was a diary.

My life changed after that night. I did not send a turkey to any family or meet a small limping boy, but my life as a Vampire did change forever.

I was no Scrooge but I too have strange things happen to me when I sleep.

~ Vlad

 

Dear Diary,

My lover Gillian informed me AGAIN that we must dress up and pretend to be Victorians. I asked her if that is what they call Cosplay with much sarcasm in my voice. Gillian told me not to be stupid, whereas a heated argument ensued.

~ Vlad

 

Dear Diary,

This evening I was out for a walk and saw my neighbor Helen, a glorious woman of seventy.

I remember a time when most people did not live to be seventy, especially woman. Those who lived for a long time were either those with great luck, or vampires.

Helen, of the beautiful face, and flowing gray hair, was out with her dog, a large yellowish best. At one time she had been a dancer. She is still a dancer.

“Helen teach me how to dance the waltz,” I said to her.

And so in the street, under the light of the waning moon, and multicolored Christmas lights she trained me in the waltz.

What a joy it was.

She sang the music as I held her with one hand in her hand, and the other hand on her waist. I could smell her blood in her veins, along with the slight scent of roses and gardenia in her hair. I was exhilarated.

When we were done she laughed and said, “Vlad, you did great. You are so cute.”

This cute I do not understand, but I do now understand the waltz.

~ Vlad

 

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Dear Diary,

I am exhilarated. Tonight I waltzed with Gillian all night long at a “Dickens Party.” I will admit I enjoyed the clothing, though Gillian and Randolpho said I cannot wear it all of the time.

All of the women there called Randolpho “Randy.” I asked if he was randy and he just smiled and winked. What do they say about naughty or nice? Depending on who is asking I suppose Randolpho could be both.

After the party, alone in our room, I helped Gillian unlace her corset. That Dear Diary is my favorite part of Victorian clothing. Gillian calls it gift wrap. It is a wonderful gift indeed.

Unlike the cowboys in the Wild West (I have seen movies and read about that time in history which I missed) I did not leave my hat or my boots on.

And, what else do they say? Yes. And to all a good night.

~ Vlad

 

Kissed by a Vampire

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yes Virginia, Santa is a Vampire

Vampire Maman

All Animals Love Santa All Animals Love Santa

December is FINALLY here! Time for glorious trees, holiday cheer, jingle bells, stories of old, Santa Clause, AND VAMPIRES!

So you know what that means…

Winter is here with enough bite to freeze the slow beating heart of almost any Vampire.

My mom used to say to us “Don’t stop your heart or your blood will freeze.”

It is one of those things we have to think about, sometimes. I don’t recall ever telling my own children that, or any other “new” Vampires.

Funny how one thinks of those sayings.

The first bat of the night is a wish. The next is a kiss.

Bad blood is only in the soul.

Dance from dusk to dawn then sleep as if there is no sun.

As a mother (in the 1850’s and 60’s) with a rather large brood of young Vampires (four boys and one girl) my mom took…

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My Christmas Necklace (a holiday tradition)

A few nights ago we had friends for dinner. Let me reword that. We dined with good friends of ours. It was two couples we’re friends with (they’re regular humans who don’t know we’re Vampires). It is a dress up affair. We have cocktails; take in the theater or a concert, then have dinner and more drinks. And my darling husband Teddy and I get a little blood donation and leave our hosts feeling warm and fuzzy and full of holiday cheer.

I wore a black dress with red heels. It was set off with a gold necklace of delicate flowers with red garnets, enameled holly leaves and seed pearls.

One of my friends commented “You wear that beautiful necklace every year. There must be a story behind it.”

“Teddy gave me this on our first Christmas together. It was his mother’s.” I told everyone the truth, but didn’t tell them the entire story behind it.

It was in the 1880’s. My brother Val and I were young Vampires in London, which was the place to be. It was a golden age for us.

Of course being the young American Vampires we were…we got into a lot of trouble and had way too many adventures of the wrong kind.

So to make a long story short, it was Christmas Eve when Val and I found ourselves trapped in a crypt. Yes, a crypt full of rotting human bodies, not a fit place for any self respecting Vampire of a certain social level. We were of a higher social level. We had class, culture, good looks and money. Most of all we had connections. What Val and I lacked was common sense and experience.

So we’re in this crypt, chased by Vampire Hunters, Rogue Vampires who were pissed off at us, AND the local police.

We were also trapped. Yes, being the super strong creatures that we are, we could have busted down the door, but that would have done three things. It would have shown a lack of respect for those who were interned in the crypt. It would have made a lot of noise and attracted too much attention. But most of all, we were wearing rather expensive clothing if that clothing were to be ripped it would have drawn too much attention.

So we waited to figure out a plan B or to be rescued. Plan B was our only real option.

Just as we were about to sit on the ground and wait until the next night to break our way out the door started to slide open. We waited, fangs barred, holding on to each other for dear life, yet ready to kill whatever came through to us.

We saw a lone figure shadowed in the doorway.

I could hear a slight hiss under Val’s breath as he readied himself for an attack. Then a voice with a definite American accent said “Valentine? Juliette? Oh my heavens! Is that really you?”

And out of the shadows came Teddy. I hadn’t seen him for 10 years, not since he’d become a Vampire.

We said quick greetings and I asked “What are you doing here?”

He lifted the lid from one of the stone caskets. “This woman couldn’t steal my father’s heart so she stole my mother’s jewelry. I’m here to get it back. I never expected in a hundred years to find you two here.” And with one swift movement he took the necklace from around the neck of a slightly un-fresh corpse and then removed her bracelet and ring.

Suddenly we heard footsteps and saw torches across the lawn. I recognized the voices. “Let’s go. They’re back.” And they were in full force, come to kill the Vampires, who just happened to be us.

We ran down the road as fast as we could. I help my skirt up around my knees and cursed the day I was born a girl. Damn it trousers would have been nice right then.

A cathedral lay ahead, lit up for the Christmas Eve service.

“We can’t go in there,” said Teddy in a panic.

“Why not?” Asked Val.

“Because,” said Teddy “We’re undead. We’re Vampires. We’ll die.”

“We’re not undead. Your heart beats. You have not one but two souls. You are a creature of the night, and this is a midnight service. We will be welcome and blessed for we do harm to no one.”

I grabbed Teddy by one hand and Val by the other and took them into the church. We sat in the back and quietly sang along with our angelic Vampire voices, savoring the candle light and peace of the moment.

After it was over we headed for home, a fashionable and safe house not far away.

“I thought it wasn’t safe for our kind in churches,” said Teddy.

“It usually isn’t.” Val said, brushing off his coat. “But they can’t hurt us in a church. Or at least they do not dare hurt us there. Besides, I like the music. It soothes me.”

“What did you mean about two souls? I thought my soul was gone.” Teddy looked at us in a very serious way.

“Do you think that anyone with so much love and passion could exist without a soul? Oh Teddy, don’t be such a child. We need two souls. One for our own existence and one for our shadow. Didn’t you know that?”

The first rays of dawn arrived as we arrived at the house. Teddy crashed in one of the spare bedrooms. But before he slept, he put the necklace he’d taken around my neck. “My mother always liked you. She would have wanted you to have this.”

I was honored and touched. Since then I’ve worn this necklace every Christmas season.

Vampire Heart

This story was first published here in 2012 but it is one of my favorite Christmas time memories. Hope you enjoyed it. And why yes, I’m going to a party this afternoon and wearing my Christmas necklace! Yes, this is a true story.

Happy Christmas to you and yours,

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Mom mom mom mom mom

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Even when your kids move out, when they’re adults, when they’re feeling independent, even when they know everything, and even when they think you’re old…they still need you. That’s a good thing. Be cool. Be in touch. Be a parent.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

As Bright as a Star in an Ancient Sky

The voice on the phone whispered, “are you coming over today?”

Why Tellias always whispers on the phone I will never know.

“I’m on my way,” I said. “I’m stuck on Hazel in the never-ending construction, but I’m on my way.”

“Good,” he said in a papery thin voice. “I have a lot to tell you.” Then he hung up.

A 2054 year old Vampire can have a lot to say, so I picked up a case of Poet’s Blood at Dave’s Bottle Shop.

When I arrived at the Queen Ann style farmhouse Tellias and Eleora were waiting for me on the front porch. Tellias was wearing tuxedo pants, a slate blue workshirt with the name Jose stitched on the pocket, and yellow flip flops. His pale blonde hair was pulled back into a ponytail. Elena was wearing  white Go Go boots, a red mini skirt, a black fake fur vest, and an orange and pink polyester double knit blouse with bell sleeves. She also had a Santa hat on her head, with masses of reddish brown curls falling down her back. They look like a couple of teenagers who’ve been shopping at the local vintage flea markets, but they’re ancient. They’re old people.

They both danced around me, giving me kisses and singing Christmas songs. On the door was a giant wreath covered with holly, red apples, and black spiders Eleora had made years ago from ribbons and pipe cleaners.

They took my hands and brought me into the house. We sat by the window with a view of the orchards draped in fog.

Eleora busied herself with making Christmas animals out of ribbons and pipe cleaners, while Tellias told me a curious tale I’d never heard before.

“Juliette, when I was young, you know I grew up without parents of my own. I’ve never been sure of where I was from. The Roman’s took me in. I grew up in a temple, treated like a magical demigod. I’ve been called the child of Jupiter, or Mercury, or Apollo. Usually Apollo. It doesn’t matter now. When I grew older I went along with the military because I could heal, and they didn’t think I could die, and I was a magical being, at least according to them. Life was good. Lap of luxury. 

I went to Britain and met Eleora, as she stood on the edge of a cliff dancing by herself and singing. But I had to go back. It was a difficult time. A difficult time for me. Interesting too.

That time, all I could think about was her. She wasn’t the first of my kind I’d met. The other Vampires weren’t like me. They were dark without joy.  Eleora was nothing but joy. I met other beings too. Not Roman gods, but others… demons, angels, werewolves, others. 

I had to go back to Rome. I’ve told you I saw the star. You know the one they call the Christmas star. I was traveling with my freeman Felix, and a couple of slaves. We couldn’t find a place to stay. I could have but I wanted to keep my people with me. 

There was a barn where there appeared to be a party. Inside were a couple of boys with their sheep. A young couple with a baby were huddled in a corner. Three rich guys in garish clothing were hanging out with their servants. All of the animals, from my horses, to camels, to dogs, and sheep. A few others were there as well. It was cold that night. In the 40’s I think. I greeted the others, and got a lot of stares. Here I was, pale and blonde, with a white and gold fur lined cape. Even my people were dressed better than anyone else.

We settled in next to the young couple. The child was only a day or two old. The girl, the mother, who was only fifteen, was ill. You see, it was a horrible time to be a woman, even more horrible than when you were a girl Juliette. She was full of fever and infection. I put my hand on her forehead and took the illness away from her. It took me an hour to recover. The rich party guys gave me wine thinking it might help. The girl smiled and thanked me, as did her teenage husband. 

I took off my cape and put it around her shoulders. From my packs I took other blankets and warm furs and gave them to the husband and baby, then gave some to the Shepard boys. 

It was like it had been so many times and would be so many times in the future. Help was needed and I needed to help. 

I heard a noise on the roof, then looked to the doorway where another person had just arrived. He was tall and muscular with a face almost as handsome as mine. I knew him. He’d checked in on me since I was a child, but not always as a friend.

“Why’d you help them?” He asked me that without so much as a greeting.

“I didn’t have parents and there isn’t a day that goes by when I don’t think about it,” I said. 

“You lived in luxury. You have everything you wanted.”

“I was a pet.”

“They think you’re a demigod,” he said with a laugh at the end of his words.

“I am not a demigod. I see this family, this tiny young family…” I suddenly didn’t want to talk about it. “Gabe, you can go away now. I’m done with you. You can’t tell me what to do or how to feel. You can’t take my soul because it is mine. You could kill me if you wanted to, but I know you won’t. 

I am not like them, but I am not like you. I am not like a demon. I am… I am of this place, of this Earth, and only now do I feel I am of someplace. I am in love, something so rare in this world. I see this young couple and their child, so in love. It isn’t arranged. It wasn’t make by someone else…”

“It was made by someone else Tellias,” said Gabe. “It was something beyond either one of us.”

“I don’t believe in the Roman Gods,” I said. 

“I’m aware of that. It wasn’t some guy who turns himself into a swan to get laid,” he said getting a little bit testy. 

“I don’t care Gabe.” I told him,  “The girl is going to live and raise her son with his father. They will grow old in their love. They will thrive in this stinking, horrible, loveless world.”

“We’ll see,” he said.

“Yes, we will. I have to get some food. Unlike you I’m not make of some sort of etherial dust. I’ll be back here in an hour,” I told him. I half expected him to follow but he hung out on the roof of the barn making sure nobody would bother the occupants. Everything with Gabe is always vague. 

When I got back, my belly full of blood, and my arms full of food for the others, and I mean everyone who was there that night, Gabe was waiting for me.

“Tellias you know you aren’t like the others. You weren’t created by…”

“What moulded from mud or dust, or out of a random body part like all of your bedtime stories? No Gabe, I’m of this Earth. Yes, THIS EARTH. I don’t fit into your mold because I’m not like them. I’m not like you either. I’m not an angel or a demon, or a warm blooded human. I don’t follow your rules. I’m not motivated by vengeance or power.”

“What are you motivated by Tellias?”

I didn’t answer him. Once inside I passed out the food. I held the tiny infant while his parents ate. 

“Fill the world with love and wisdom. Understand the value of peace and of life,” I whispered to him as he wrapped his tiny finger around my thumb. Then I whispered, “An angel is on the roof watching over you. I don’t know what that means, but don’t let him down. He’s a son of a bitch you don’t want to mess with. But on the other hand he’ll have your back. And kid, be good for your parents. You can’t even imagine how much they love you.”

Gabe put his hand on my shoulder. “I’ll watch over them now.” 

“I’ll believe it when I see it,” I told him.

The next day I left with my man Felix, and my two slaves. I gave a few coins to the shepard boys, and gave my contact information with the rich guys who were keeping us laughing with their puns and trivia games. 

For the young couple with the baby I hugged them and told them that their child was special. I told them to keep tight, and to hold onto love, no matter what anyone told them. The World was a changing place and I told them their generation would be right in the center of it. I told you the same thing when you were young Juliette. I told it to your children. God knows, it is changing for your kids.”

Then he leaned back in the chair and rubbed his eyes, and said nothing for a while.

I kissed his cheek then helped Eleora hang the funny Christmas animals on the Christmas tree.

After a while Tellias came over and put his arms around Eleora and me. “Dear Juliette, will you be here for Christmas Eve? I invited Gabe.”

Eleora took my face in her hands and kissed my cheeks. “You all must come! Especially your wonderful children.” And she danced around the room humming a long lost Christmas song.

Wishing you all peace and love, no matter who or what you are. And in small ways of kindness and caring we can make the world, or at least our own small corners of the world,  as bright as a star in the ancient sky.

 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

For more about Eleora and Tellias (Taking Care of our Elders) please Click Here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Passings in the Night

Passings in the Night

The plan tonight was to share some Vampire tales and adventures and truly funny things, but plans change.

Tonight I saw The Ghost, Nigel. He wore an impeccable black suit, his hair was a perfect glossy black and all in place. He motioned for me to sit with him out on my back deck under the cold night sky.

His eyes met mine and he told me a story.

“I died December 3, 1986. I normally wouldn’t have remembered the anniversary of my own death, but, it was the strangest thing, I was standing out in the woods, not doing much of anything. When you’re a ghost you don’t do much of anything. Anyway, I was out in the woods and a woman came towards me. She was smiling at me and I knew things about her. Her life had taken up where parts of mine had stopped. Then her life stopped December 3, 2013.

She looked at me for just a moment in passing. It was dark but I could see the light coming over the horizon. She asked me who I was and if we knew each other. I told her “I don’t know you, but we’ve loved some of the same people.” I turned her in the right direction.”

Nigel stood up and looked up at the stars, hovering in and out of a transparent state. Then he came close to me and made himself look as real as a live person.

“I couldn’t go with her. But I sent a little bit of my love along, I hope. Well, I know I did. Don’t look all sad. I’m a ghost. These things happen. Hey, nobody should die alone. She left surrounded by love.”

“Who was she?” I had to ask.

He shook his head slightly. “I don’t know. But we loved the same people, just not at the same time. I loved them first, then she loved them after I was gone. I have a feeling she was better at it than I was, or most people for that matter.”

There were so many questions I wanted to ask him but tonight was not the time to ask or to try to get answers.

Love is a force that we can’t explain or quantify. It goes beyond worlds, beyond sorrow and beyond grief.

 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

First posted December 2013 – In memory of Julian Elsworth and Lil Longshore.

 

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