Vald’s Vampire Diary: Black Holes and Cats

Vald’s Vampire Diary: Black Holes and Cats

Dear Diary,

It is Yule season and there is still a pandemic happening. We must be careful, even though we are Vampires. 

This evening my friends Constantine and Randolpho dropped by for a small gathering. They are part of what is called a bubble. That means we stay inside and limit our exposure and pretend we are not Vampires. 

Randolpho came in first and put a case of spiced blood from Dave’s Bottle Shop on the kitchen counter. “When I was at Dave’s I heard the most interesting conversation. A couple of guys were talking about string theory and time travel. They said it wouldn’t surprise them if time travelers showed up before 2020 is done. It was sort of a joke, but hey, nothing would surprise me right now,” he said as he took off his coat but kept on his ridiculous hat. 

I had no idea what he was talking about. “What is string theory?” I asked. 

“From what understand, string theory means we’re not sure if if time travel to the past is physically possible. Time travel to the future, outside the usual sense of the perception of time as we know it, or maybe even time as we can’t truly perceive or understand, is an extensively observed phenomenon and well-understood within the framework of both special and real relativity. I guess that means it is all relative. Ha.That said, making one living being advance or delay more than a few milliseconds compared to another living object is not possible with current technology. As for backward time travel, that is time travel into the past, it is possible to find solutions in general relativity that theoretically allow for it, for example something like a rotating black hole. Traveling to a random point in spacetime has very limited support in theoretical physics, and is usually connected only with quantum mechanics or wormholes,” said Randolpho.

“Wormholes? What do worms have to do with anything? I do not understand.”

“Worms make long twisting holes that transport them from one place to another. It is like an expressway through the universe, or a secret passageway.”

“What about just being in a parallel universe rather than traveling in time over one straight timeline?” Constantine asked.

“What is a parallel universe?” I asked.

“A parallel universe is a concept that suggests therecould be other universes besides our own, where all the choices you made in this life played out in alternate realities. It is facet of the astronomical theory of the multiverse. For example, in our universe it is a fact that you were locked, against your will, in a crypt for 300 years, thus skipping the 18th– 20thCenturies. In another parallel universe you might have not been locked in the crypt and continued to live as the Vampire King. In another universe there are no Vampires and you’re just a regular guy,” said Randolpho.

“I feel like I am in a parallel universe right now,” I said.

“You never know,” said Randolpho.

“What do you mean I never know?” I asked

“You wouldn’t know what you’re doing in another universe,” said Randolpho.

“Of course not, that would be too easy. What about cats? Would my cats be there? Tell me that,” I said.

“I don’t know. The laws of physics don’t apply to cats,” said Randolpho.

That was one point we could all agree on.

~ Vlad

Dear Diary,

This morning my beautiful Vampire lover Gillian told me to be quiet because she had a Zoom meeting.

I was not making noise.

“What is a Zoom meeting?” I asked her.

“An online meeting. We can’t meet in person anymore. With Zoom we can all meet on and see each other.”

“What is the purpose of this Zoom meeting?”

“My book club. We’re reading Great Expectations.”

“I would imagine you would have great expectations when starting a book.”

“Vlad, darling, Great Expectationsis the title of the book. It was written by Charles Dickens. Remember? He wrote A Christmas Carol. You know, Scrooge, Tiny Tim, the Christmas ghosts.”

“As you recall my dear, I missed the entire 19thCentury.”

I kissed my lovely Gillian and sent her to her Zoom meeting. I went into another room so she would not hear me. I am a Vampire. I am quiet. I do not know why she is concerned I will bother her during her meeting. 

I went to my comfortable chair and started to read A Christmas Carol again.  I wonder if in a parallel universe this story has Vampires in it.

After Gillian’s meeting she came in and told me all about it. She is a woman so she must always tell me all about it but I do not mind. 

“Lydia’s computer was hacked,” she told me. Hacked? 

“That is odd her cats would vomit on her computer,” I said, trying to show some sympathy (something else females like.)

“No Vlad. Not that kind of hack.”

“Someone hit Lydia’s computer with a hatchet?”

“No, they got into her Facebook account.”

At that point I decided not to explore this subject anymore. 

“That is sad for Lydia,” I said.

“She changed her password. Everyone else is doing ok,” said Gillian then she continued to tell me all of the news from the ladies in her book circle.

Suddenly my two cats started to run all over the house. They ran up and down the stairs, then around the downstairs meowing and racing about.

Gillian laughed. “They have the zoomies.”

I was confused. “The cats have a meeting?” 

Gillian just smiled and kissed me. “You’re so cute. I love you Vlad.”

“I love you too Gillian, always and forever,”

Zoom

Hacking

Cats

It always comes back to cats.

Time Travel, String Theory, String Cheese, cats… everything in the universe all ties back to cats.  

Now I will go put up a string of Christmas lights on the front of my house in honor of the Yule Season. The cats will no doubt come out with me to watch and try to knock down my ladder. 

I wondered if I could travel back in time and change anything. Would I skip being locked in a crypt for 300 years only to find myself in the 21stCentury? Would I take back my title as King of Vampires? 

I picked up the lights and called the cats to join me. 

I think I shall stay right where I am, at least in this universe.

~ Vlad

Kissed by a Vampire

After being trapped in a crypt for three hundred years, Vlad the fierce and powerful Vampire King is now learning how to live in the modern world, and learn the true meaning of the word “cute.” This has been the 66th installment of Vlad’s Vampire Diary. Click here to read his entries from the beginning.

Randolpho and his ridiculous tall hat which he rarely takes off.

Silent Nights – Don’t forgot those who are easily forgotten

Silent Nights – Don’t forgot those who are easily forgotten

I made it out to the farmhouse, just outside of town. The lights were off but I knew they were at home. Sometimes they forget to turn the lights on. Sometimes the heat.

The place smells of moth balls, dust and garbage that should have been taken out a week ago. The smell is bad but at least the house looks clean. There aren’t any signs of hording. No signs of anything.

I brought my kids and my brother Max. Max hates going over there but I drag him anyway telling him that it is the right thing to do.

They sit in a small den off of the kitchen watching an old movie – The Bishops Wife. They’ve seen it 100 times and sometimes they’ll watch the same movie every night for a week. They’re on the couch wrapped in a blanket. She has on a red sweater, the one I got her last month on a trip to Target. She was so excited to have something new. He has on a red satin vest and a green bow tie.
She has painted her nails with sparkling gold polish.

We go in and greet them. He was nodding off. She jumps up and covers us with hugs and kisses.

Has anyone else come by or called this week? I ask. They nod “No” then she speaks up in her child like voice. “Our neighbor brought us some Mandarin oranges off of his tree. Too many for us so make sure you take some home with you. He stayed for tea. I gave him on of my fruit cakes. He said it wouldn’t be Christmas without my fruit cake. We social distanced.”

Her neighbor now in his 60’s has been eating her fruit cake since he was a child. About 20 years ago he moved back into his old family home down the road. He knows about these two old Vampires, but keeps their secrets to himself. Her fruit cake is that good. But the neighbor is the only one who visited aside from us. He is a dear soul who brings their mail up to the house and checks in on them from time to time. They are luck to have him. So many elderly and folks who are alone don’t have a neighbor who cares enough to take a few minutes a week to check in – to care.

The kids took out the garbage. Max listened to the stories he’s heard a million times before and told them of his latest adventures. They listened with amazement and a little confusion, but sometimes added in some words of wisdom and humor that surprised my jaded brother. Our visit was a good thing. Sometimes it is frustrating for me, but I need to be there for the elders who were always there for me. I remember when we were all younger and wish I had those times back again.

Do me a favor, and in the next year reach out to someone who is alone. Bring the mail in for your elderly neighbor or make them cookies once a month or books. Watch a movie with someone who is shut in. Call and check in to an old friend. Offer to help and mean it. Even taking someone to the store, the grocery store or Target means a lot. Those simple acts and everyday things we take for granted are sometimes a BIG deal for someone who is alone. I know it isn’t always easy, but that unease will turn to comfort and joy.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Juliette’s Book Club: Free Books for the Holidays and the Pandemic

A lot of us are staying in a lot more these these days due to the pandemic. Luckily we can always escape into a book or a short story. Winter is also here which means more curling up with a book while the storms blow outside. All of these books and short stories available for FREE but only for a short time so act fast.

Check out the listings below and get your copies before the offers run out! Links to the books are below the listings. Make sure you scroll down through all of the listings here. You might have seen some of these before, but I know you haven’t seen all of them.

You’ll find everything from heartwarming holiday tales, to horror, to mainstream fiction. There is something for everyone.

If you like anything you read please leave a review on Amazon.

The downloads listed below are free but most of these books are also available in paperback editions. If you happen to miss the FREE dates for digital downloads these books and stories aren’t expensive and well worth reading.

Goin’ Extinct Too – Apocalypse A Go-Go!

By WPaD

How could the world end? The possibilities are endless:
A global pandemic (obviously), aliens, evil politicians, zombies in one form or another, or even … rogue sex robots? (wait-what?) are just a few of the ideas we came up with.

WPaD’s second volume of apocalyptic tales will shock, entertain, and tug at your heart strings. A must-have for any fan of dystopian fiction.

When we began work on our second apocalyptic anthology in early 2019, long before the world had ever heard of COVID-19, we never would have dreamed that toilet paper and hand sanitizer would become symbols of the apocalypse.

The pandemic pushed our release to a later date than anticipated. We assumed readers had more important things on their minds and might not be in the mood for apocalyptic fiction at that time. The lockdown allowed our writers more time to write, resulting in a larger collection of stories than originally anticipated. The backdrop of the pandemic colored the mood of some of the pieces, as you will see. We think of this book as the Extra-Big Bonus Pandemic Edition, written in a reality stranger than fiction.

FREE Nov 30-Dec 4

USA

Canada

UK

Tinsel Tales: A Holiday Treasury

By WPaD

Experience the holidays through our eyes… the magic, the memories, some warm and some bittersweet… in this treasury of holiday-themed stories and poetry from the writers of WPaD.

FREE Nov 30-Dec 4

USA

Canada

UK

Tinsel Tales 2: Holiday Hootenanny

By WPaD

It’s a Holiday Hootenanny! In this anthology, you will find more than just Christmas stories. WPaD is proud to present our favorite fiction from holidays all year round, from Halloween to Arbor Day, ranging from sentimental to a bit on the dark side. An entertaining read for any season.

FREE Nov 30-Dec 4

USA

Canada

UK

Just One Kiss: A Short Story

By Mandy White

The day her brother tore his own head off and didn’t die was the day Johanna first suspected that all was not right with the world.
A teenage waitress and her sister find their world turned upside down when men start behaving strangely, trying to woo every woman they see, spouting lines from old romantic movies. But it isn’t all love and romance; the men have been infected by an alien virus that makes them tear off their own heads and implant alien eggs into women. All it takes is a single kiss…

FREE Nov 29-Dec 3

USA

Canada

UK

Halfborn

by Soleil Daniels

It should have been simple. Easy.

She had done it a thousand times. A flick of the pocketknife. A slice from the blade. A trickle of hot blood on her tongue. Filling her mouth. That is how it should have been.

Instinctually, it was both . . . Oh, so simple as she pounced on the man across the room from her . . . and unbelievably easy as her teeth sliced into the side of his neck.

But it was different.

Animalistic.

And that bite would change Coral’s life . . .

Forever.

Note: Halfborn is for mature readers only. It contains violent and sexual content. These are not vamps for the kiddos. They bite, kill, and do very adult and monstrous things.

Download it now!

Matriarch Series

by Kevin Ranson

Words Take Flight Books’ Cyberbook-Monday “Matriarch” Special
Need a new e-read to help you to de-stress through the holiday season? Words Take Flight Books is offering Cyber Monday specials on the Kindle editions of some of our best-selling titles, including Kevin Ranson’s “The Matriarch” – the five-star debut novel in his namesake “The Matriarch” vampire chronicles. But shop early – this Cyber Monday countdown deal starts at $0.99 at 7:00 am on November 30 until it reaches its normal price of $3.99 at 7:00 am on December 1. 

Find it on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Matriarch-Vampires…/dp/B00CE2HE42

The Dark Side of the World:
A Short Story

By Mandy White

Humans evacuate a dying Earth to start over on a distant planet. When familiar social patterns emerge, it becomes clear that they have learned nothing.

FREE Nov 30-Dec 4

USA

Canada

UK

Exceptional Liars

By Marla Todd

Excerpt from “To Elizabeth With Love.”

This book was written as a love letter to my wife Elizabeth Hobbs Atkinson. She was brutally tortured and killed by a man who had once been my friend. Her body was never found, but her legacy of love will still be here.

From the day Liz vanished I prayed for her return and for hope. The day she was pronounced legally dead I lost all hope and thought I too would die. Only my faith in God and the love Liz and I shared kept me from going off into a black abyss of hopelessness and grief.

My comfort comes from my faith and my knowledge  that Liz is in a better place.

~ Gregory Atkinson

“Son of a bitch.”  I put down my glass of wine and threw the book across the room.

I’m surprised the bastard hasn’t been struck by lightning. What a crock of crap and lies. Any poetic justice of my situation had gone down the drain at that moment. Greg is walking and talking and writing bestselling books about me and about our marriage… and I’m still dead… saved by a serial killer, no less. God save me and have mercy on my soul and on that abusive lying son of a bitch Gregory Atkinson. May he rot in Hell. But he did get his wish. I am in a better place. A much better place.

_________

Alex Goldstein has a thriving law practice with his wife Tasha Alexander. Life is is good. Well, except for the fact that he drinks too much, and his wife regularly cheats on him. To keep his mind off of his problems Alex writes about by serial killers. His most recent obsession is The Killer of Virtue.

Liz Hobbs is born into a large family of sneaky manipulative children with an unhealthy fear of God only ranks second to the fear of their narcissistic parents. Unfortunately she falls in love with Greg Atkinson who is far more sneaky and manipulative than she could ever imagine.

After misreading the phone number of a women’s shelter Liz ends up in office of Alexander and Goldstein. Alex helps her build a new life as his own life falls apart.

Exceptional Liars is a roller coaster ride of a book – full of unexpected twists and turns, witty dialogue and interesting characters.

Exceptional Liars was written by my writing collaborator Marla Todd. 

As my friend author Mandy White said: I’ve read this book, and it’s a phenomenal story. It’s part drama, part thriller, part romance, and maybe a bit fantasy, for anyone who ever wanted to escape their life and start fresh. I highly recommend it. Read it!

FREE Nov 30-Dec 4

US

Happy reading! Stay safe. Wear a mask. Discover new authors. Be kind. Hug your kids. Check in on those who might need extra help and on those who are alone.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Over the river and through the woods to nowhere.

This year Thanksgiving will be small. Yes, even Vampires have holidays. Even Vampires have things to be thankful for.

The children, despite being adults, are going through a period of angst that they skipped when they were teens. Thank you Covid-19. Or should I thank all of the people who refused to take this thing seriously and said wearing masks had anything to do with their rights. Oh cut the crap. When Vampires start to complain about it then you know it is bad. When Vampires start to feel nervous and unsettled you know regular people are starting to become extra stupid.

So back to my kids. Only one will be here for Thanksgiving but that is alright. We’ll have some sort of Facetime or Zoom call. We’ll have good wine and a small gathering of four or five.

Sometimes I believe it comes down to this: Humans are the only monsters. The most dangerous disease they have is ignorance. There is a cure but those who have it are bound and determined to say it isn’t real.

Like my friend Randolpho says, “Anti vaxers and Covid deniers cut into our food supply.”

The fog finally arrived for the Thanksgiving season. Cold mornings mean a dog walk by the lake. It will be like going over the river and through the woods this morning but not to grandmother’s house. My dog is waiting. I must go. With any luck the walk will bring more positive thoughts…even Vampires need positive thoughts.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Vote

Vote.

Vote for the young people and their future.

Don’t vote on one issue. Vote for the big picture.

Your vote matters.

Get the facts. I’m sure the shock jock on the radio or a Sunday morning preacher hasn’t done as much research as YOU need to do.

I should hope all of my readers are voting and know all of this. This election matters. It matters for ALL of us.

Keep up the fight.

Be smart.

Read. Seriously READ.

Do research from reliable sources.

Don’t be a dick.

Be kind.

Keep your eyes open.

We shall see what happens.

In the meantime……

I already voted so I’m going wine tasting today.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Short Fiction: Play Date

The last day stuck in his memory.

Josh had left the meeting and work for the day. He needed to think. 

Coffee and avocado toast. He’d found a seat by the window. Four hours of negotiations on the acquisition. 

His phone dinged quietly with a text from his sister Kitty. She’d started the seedlings for her summer garden. It was only March but it was time for her. Every year he’d go to her house and help her can salsa and a myriad of other wonderful magical things she’d fit into Mason jars. Then they’d go on her deck where they’d drink beer and eat chips and salsa, and talk about everything, and nothing at all. She’d always pin her hair up and wear dangling earrings.  Her laugh was infectious. He had needed that laugh after all of his meetings that morning. Jake would call her later.

Right now it was an exhausting and shitty day.  Nobody was happy. Nobody would listen. He’d had an intelligent well thought out plan. It was a cluster fuck of already made ignorant opinions. Nothing was backed up with facts or experience. 

On the way home a ladder had fallen from a utility truck, hit a car a few places ahead of him on the freeway.  The next thing Jake knew a woman was holding his arm and they were both covered with blood. 

His arm was broken, his face was bruised and cut, his entire body felt like he’d been beaten with a baseball bat then thrown off of a cliff.  His car was totaled.  Stitches went from his left ear down his jawline to his chin.  Three pins or screws or something was now holding his arms together. The headaches lasted weeks. 

The woman went to the hospital with him. She held his hand. Her name was Scarlet. The last thing he said to her was, “make sure someone feeds my cat.”

It was the last day before everything shut down. 

At home he didn’t need a car. He couldn’t have driven anyway for the next few weeks. Using a keyboard was almost impossible with two hands. If he had to go out he could take an Uber or Lyft. Food could be delivered. Cat food and litter could be delivered. No problem. 

Zoomie the gray tabby kitten was delighted to keep him company.  Unfortunately his girlfriend had moved back in with her ex the day he got out of the hospital.

By April a new car had been delivered and now had almost eighty miles on it. He wasn’t going anywhere. All work was at home. At least work was going well and keeping him busy. He’d hired three people he’d yet to meet in person.  A woman named Emerald had been cleaning his house since he’d come home with the broken arm.

By June the depression rolled in so he would put Zoomie in a backpack or in his harness and go for long walks.  By July his sister was canning without him. His brother and parents had driven down to see him a few times. It was always great to see them. They begged him to come up and stay with them but he was too busy with work. He’d bake cookies for Emerald to bring home to her husband and kids. 

At the end of July he could pull his hair back in a ponytail. He’d started working out again. Zoomie was getting huge.  

One morning on Facebook he saw where a friend of a friend posted something about a dog. My brother passed away. His dog Daisy needs a home. Daisy is a sweet five-year-old German Shepard/Lab mix. She is well trained. We don’t want to take her to a shelter.

Without thinking more than five minutes about it Josh called the number. A man answered. He said his neighbor would drop off the dog.

A few hours later he got at text. I’m outside in your front yard with Daisy.

Daisy stood wagging her tail and wiggling with happiness. A pretty brown haired woman wearing a sundress held Daisy’s leash. At least he thought she was pretty. Her eyes were pretty above the mask.

She introduced Daisy to Josh, then said, “How are you Josh? Do you remember me?”

He couldn’t quite place her.

“I was in that accident when you broke your arm. I was in one of the other cars. I’m Scarlet. Do you remember me?”

“Oh, wow. Scarlet. It’s good to see you.”

“Good to see you too. You look good. Thank you for the nice letter and the flowers,” then she laughed, “and the toilet paper.”

In September Josh cleaned out the texts in his phone and found Scarlet’s message. I’m outside in your front yard with Daisy. Right now Daisy was at his feet snoring with Zoomie curled up at her side.

Outside the smoke from the fires made it unhealthy to walk. Josh put on music and danced while playing with Zoomie and Daisy. Then he pulled his hair back and attended Zoom meetings, trying to look like he was normal.  He noticed how the scar on his face showed up, not so much ugly or disturbing but interesting. 

There were Zoom calls with work and friends. His family stopped by once a month. A few friends came by. Josh talked to his neighbors. The world was opening up. It wasn’t the world where he’d stop for coffee and avocado toast when he wanted to think. This was a world of protests, and weirdness, hate, and mean politics. But in his own bubble it was a world of people who’d reached out. It was a world where he treasured each phone call and guarded visitor. It was a world where Zoomie and Daisy were his own tiny family with their own habits and secrets.

One Saturday right before Halloween he received a text. Hi. Do you mind if I bring my dog Crystal over? She and Daisy used to be great friends. In fact, they’re sisters from the same litter.  I thought it would be fun to have a play date.

Josh thoughtI could use a play date too. 

Then he texted back,That would be awesome. Bring Crystal over anytime.

Opening and closing his hand Josh still felt a little bit of numbness and a little ache.  He’d be fine. It would be more than fine.

~ end

Photo by Daria Shevtsova on Pexels.com

Note: I’m just fooling around with some ideas for much larger and more detailed stories. As we all stay at home, worry about the election tomorrow, and think about the well being of those we care about we’re still side tracked by other challenges. Fortunately good things still happen. This might get worked into my 2020 NaNoWriMo project. You never know.

Have fun. Stay creative. Stay safe. Wear your mask. Vote. Check in on those who might need extra help both mentally and physically. Hug your kids. Kiss a Vampire. And keep checking back for more silly stuff.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Photo by Carlos Mossmann on Pexels.com