I had to go. I had a lunch date. I was looking for my keys. I was running late. I’d spent extra time talking to my daughter before she left for school (never too much time, but anyway), and my son called me so I talked to him for a while. The dog was out with food and water. The cats had food and water. All I had to do was put on my shoes and find my keys. Where were my keys????? I looked in every chair, under cushions, in every room, on every counter, in my purse, in my coat pockets, in my husband’s coat pockets, in my car, in my purse again.
Then I heard a jingle of keys. Standing behind me was The Ghost. Not just any ghost but Nigel, The Ghost.
“Give me my keys,” I said.
He just smiled, then said, “catch.” Then tossed the keys to me. I missed. The keys vanished.
“Nigel, I have to go NOW.”
“Lunch date I assume,” he said.
“Yes. I don’t have time for this.”
His eyes turned black and he smiled. “You can turn you eyes black can’t you?”
“Of course I can,” I said.
I couldn’t believe him. I just stood there and stared. He stood before me, his eyes now blue again, surrounded by his usual mess of black hair. He was in a white shirt, skinny black tie, and dress pants. No shoes, just socks today.
“Give me my keys Nigel,” I said again.
“Find,” and he dropped the keys in front of me.
I put the keys in my pocket and went to put on my shoes. Of course my shoes were gone.
“Is this a lunch date where you have lunch with somebody, or is your date your lunch?” He asked this with a smirk on his face.
“My date is my lunch. Listen Nigel, I’m hungry, I’m grouchy, and I’m not in the mood for this.”
“Your shoes are by the couch, where I assume you kicked them off sometime during the past twenty-four hours.”
I put my shoes on and got in the car. I could brush my hair with my fingers at the next red light.
“So are you going to bite his neck or his wrist? You are going to bite the guy aren’t you? I assume you’re going to your lawyer friends office? Now THAT is funny, a blood sucker sucking the blood out of a blood sucker.”
I glanced over to the passenger seat. “Get out of my car Nigel.”
“Did you see the ice dancing? Oh MY GOD. Seriously I don’t even know if there is a god just all kinds of weirdness and demons and things that call themselves angels. They’re nasty and mean spirited. All of them. Us ghosts, we’re on our own. Anyway, the ice dancing was amazing. Do you dance Juliette?”
“I like to but I’m not good at it. You know Nigel, you can leave now.”
“You’re a Vampire and you don’t dance. That is just sad. That is pathetic.”
He kept talking on stop about the existence of heaven and hell, ice dancing, downhill skiing, and how most politicians were going to Hell and that he knew that for a fact because he is a ghost and ghosts know a lot of things, but they just don’t talk about it.
As I pulled into the parking lot he smiled, and said, “Don’t choke on anything.”
When I arrived home I thought I’d find a little peace and quiet, but my brother Aaron called.
“Juliette, I need your help. There’s a house with a couple of shadow creepers lodged up in the attic. Looks like they’ve been there for at least eighty years, maybe more,” said Aaron.
“Can’t you call the Vampire Hunter?”
“He has a class.”
“Oh,” I said. Austin Durant the local Vampire Hunter is also a history professor at the local State University. “Can it wait until tonight?”
“I guess, but he isn’t small enough to get into the space to check them out. They’re pretty dried out so I don’t think they’ll be coming alive anytime soon.”
“How about around 9:00. Text me the address. Meet me there. I’m not going in alone.”
“I wouldn’t think of you going alone. Durant will be there too. I’ll make sure of it,” he said.
We talked a little bit more about our kids and spouses. Aaron is a lawyer, but he is also the Vampire who is called when Shadow Creepers and other rogue and soulless Vampires are lurking around, or in this case, sleeping where they shouldn’t be.
After I got off the phone I changed into jeans and a sweat shirt. I had to get some citrus trees and succulent plants covered before the big freezing storm came in and made everything turn black and curled.
I stood in the middle of my family room, a large space which is great for entertaining, playing with the dog, or just thinking. Looking out the window I made a list in my head of everything I needed to get done.
A cold blast of air hit my face. I turned. Nigel was there again. He held out his hand.
I stared at him, ready to show my fangs, but that would have been a waste of time. “What do you want Nigel,” I asked.
“How was lunch Juliette?”
“Fine,” I answered. “What do you want?”
He smiled and took a step closer. “Dance with me. Take my hand.”
I put out my hand and took his, now with a form, as cold as ice. He put his hand around my waist, pulled me close and led me into a waltz, three times around the room. Then he stepped away.
“You can dance. You just don’t want to,” he said.
“When you were alive…” I started.
“I will always be alive. I’m a ghost. I’m not going anywhere,” he said.
“You were warm when you were alive,” I said.
He laughed, then said, “you don’t know that.” Then he bowed, smiled again, and vanished.
I covered my trees. Later I visited with my daughter and husband. We watched the Olympics and then took the dog for a walk in the park. Later I helped Aaron. My husband Teddy came along for shits and grins – at least that is how he describes things when we’re dealing with weird stuff like Vampire Hunters and Shadow Creepers. He also reminded me to bring spare clothes and heavy leather gloves.
And we took care of the problem. But that is another story.
Tomorrow I might get something done, or at least more done. Until then I’ll appreciate the small things like my purring cats, coffee with my daughter, or a waltz around the floor with a ghost.
Have a good night everyone, and remember…
Talk with your kids. Listen to your kids. Hug your kids. If you love someone – tell them. If you have creepy dried up Vampires in your attic or crawlspaces call my brother. And don’t take anything for granted.
~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman