Strange Strangers on a Full Moon Night (Werewolf Week Continues)

Werewolf Week Continues on Vampiremaman.com!

Strange Strangers on a Full Moon Night

Mars was exceptionally bright in the sky last night. The moon was less than full but still exceptionally bright.

This morning I dropped the kids off to school. Garret’s car is in the shop so mom gets to drive. Anyway, I drop them off behind some temporary classrooms (that have been there for 45 years) because Clara doesn’t want to have to walk by the large group of “Stoners” who hang out every morning at the logical drop off point. So this morning she tells me she over heard one of the Stoners saying “That woman stops and turns around every morning. Weird. I guess she doesn’t want to stay here.” They had no idea I was dropping off kids. Sigh.

So the moon, teens, clueless thoughts… what does that all lead to? It made me think of a distant memory of when my brothers Val, Aaron and I were teens.

Go back to 1873. We lived in a city that had regulairly flooded, burned down, flooded again and survived illness and lawlessness and all sorts of disasters (Sacramento of course.) It was enough to make anyone want to leave, but instead people thrived and it grew. Railroads made kings. Agriculture was starting to boom. It was a city with growing art and culture and the new capitol building was almost finished. But to us it was home and our concerns were not those of adults or even most people. We were teens, comfortable in our own skin, a little less Victorian than most our age, a little more independent than most. My brothers and I lived in a tight knit community of Vampires, part of the Modern Vampire Movement. But you already know that.

One night, under a full moon, my brothers Aaron (age 17), Valentine (age 14) and I (age 13) were taking a stroll along the Sacramento River. We were always out looking for vagrants and activity from any riverboats. We were on the prowl, three well heeled Vampire kids who could use our innocence and charm to get in and out of any situation before our prey ever knew we were there.

With our stomachs full and our dark little souls throughly amused we walked home through a grove of trees on the edge of the riverbank. There we came upon a camp. Two figures were hunched over half a dozen large fish, I believe stripers or maybe steelhead. They grunted and tore at the fish. At first glance we thought they were coyotes or large dogs, but then we realized they were something else.

“Werewolves,” whispered Aaron holding his hand out to signal us to stay still.

We watched in fascination, with a bit of disgust, as the two turned back into their human form – a young man and a young woman. They were about our age and completely naked. He was skinny, unlike my muscular brothers. His skin was pale under the moonlight like the bellies of the fish he’d just devoured. She was also thin with ribs sticking out and knobby joints. Her grayish unhealthy looking skin was covered with red welts. Long dark hair hung below her waist. But what surprised us most was the hairless tail that hung down about 6 inches on the end of her spine.

I elbowed Aaron and he gave me a quick look that said “don’t move.”

“She has a tail,” Val whispered a little too loud. Aaron put his hand over his younger brother’s mouth.

The Werewolves put on their clothes, plain and worn compared to our fashionable togs. We had a home and parents. These two were obviously strays just trying to survive their miserable condition.

Val and I wanted to approach the Werewolves but Aaron was against it. He said we should just let them be and they’d be dead more sooner than later. There was a prominent pack of well-heeled Werewolves in town but we had little to do with them and it was obvious that these strays were not part of their pack.

Occasionally my parents would deal with the Werewolves, but always held them at a distance and with considerable contempt. One thing that stood out about the well to do Werewolves was their fondness for velvet. No kidding. Those Werewolves loved their velvet.

This isn’t going to be a moral story where we went back and helped the young Werewolves. We went back and they were gone. None of our friends had ever seen them. We told our parents about them. In turn they mentioned the strays to the pack leader in town and he had never heard of the young Werewolves.

It was just one of those weird things. Ships that pass in the night.

I asked my friend Adam, who is a Werewolf, about the pair when I stopped by his studio this morning (he is a photographer by trade.) He’d never heard of them. The tail on the girl turned out to be something extremely rare, just like a tail on anyone who is remotely human like.

“Why didn’t you help them?” Of course he had to ask.

“I don’t know. We were just kids. We thought they were dangerous. Beside that, maybe they didn’t need or want help. My parents asked around. Nobody knew anything, or if they did they weren’t telling us about it. I’m talking both Werewolves and Vampires. Nobody knew anything.”

I knew there would be nothing online about them but I after I left Adam I checked anyway. There was nothing.

This story has no moral or reason behind it. Just a story of something that happened a long time ago that I’ll tell my kids about and maybe they can find a moral in it.

It might be a mystery forever. But I have a knack for finding people and things so you never know. You never know about anything, not really.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

This was first posted in 2014.

 

Werewolf Moon

Werewolf Moon

Vampire House Warming

We all have those turning points in our life. Some we choose and some we don’t. Some we’re nudged in the right or more often wrong direction.

And there are those times when we try to read between the lines too much about the lives of others. It is usually far more complicated or else far less complicated than we think it is.

My brother Andrew (second of 5 siblings) recently moved back to California after several years in London and other parts of the globe and purchased a home in San Francisco. I hear he paid a million and a half for the place in St. Francis Woods, but he could afford it. I hold my breath to think what my brother Max’s home or my parent’s homes with views of the San Francisco Bay and the Golden Gate Bridge would go for. Anyway…this isn’t about real estate.

It is about a lovely housewarming party my brother Andrew hosted. The place was packed with both Vampires and Regular Humans. There were of course musicians (Andy is a singer) and dancers. There were artists and college professors and writers and high tech geeks and all sorts of interesting people with every profession and opinion imaginable. What made this remarkable, as parties and gatherings go, was that Andy’s Regular Human friends know about Vampire. They’re friends with us and don’t have a problem with it.

OK there was one exception. Andy invited his “girlfriend.” Shawna had come up from Southern California where she is a university professor. She is not a Vampire. She is still in that state of wonder and a little bit of disbelief about Vampires and our world (which isn’t all that different than hers, usually.)

Andy is head over heels in love with this divorced mother of two college kids. The story is that she came home from a research trip to find her husband had put her things in storage and moved a new trophy wife into their home. Their youngest child had just gone off to college so it was his opportunity to also make a change. Shocked, she found a small house on a quiet tree lined street and made a new life with her cats and dogs (she wouldn’t leave them behind.)

Shawna was strong and smart and I had no idea what she was doing with my scatter-brained brother. But it was ok. They were cute together and, well, you know all that sort of early romance cute stuff.

I looked out the window to the backyard to see my brother Max kissing his “friend.” This was more than just a friend. I’d heard rumors but this was proof that there was something more than he’d admit to. Funny that she backed out of his arms and went inside alone leaving him to pace a bit then follow her back inside.

In the kitchen I found Shawna. She was cutting up limes.

“I told Andy to have this catered.” I said this trying to be friendly. I could sense a tiny bit of discomfort behind her warm friendly fang-less smile.

“It’s ok, this will just take a second.” She cut into a lime then her hand slipped, of course, in a house full of Vampires, and cut a deep gash in her thumb.

I grabbed her hand and put it in my mouth to stop the bleeding and sealed the wound. I could have left it but it would have required stitches, not to mention drawn a lot of unwanted attention.

I let go and she pulled away with a little bit of horror and disbelief.

“It’s OK Shawna. I sealed the cut. It will heal now without stitches. You’re A positive.” I smiled. “Don’t worry.  I’m not going to drink your blood or bite you or anything. Just basic first aid. We don’t want anyone else smelling blood.”

I suddenly realized that Andy had never bitten her or exposed her to his natural Vampire ways. He was such a gentleman.  He was also a dick when it came to women. He was always falling for anything that wasn’t a Vampire and when it was a Vampire it was usually always someone who was totally wrong for him. He always had to have everything in life more complicated than it had to be.

“Isn’t this sweet,” I heard a smooth male voice say behind me. I turned to see James, one of Andy’s best friends. James who had always watched out for Andrew but who was also one of the most absolutely annoying Vampires in the known universe.

“You know, Juliette and her brother Valentine are two of the best when it comes to Human to Vampire conversions. Almost a 100% success rate, mot to mention a great follow up and support system.”

“Shut up James,” I snapped. Poor Shawna looked horrified. Why was it that everything James said sounded vulgar? Oh right, I know, because he is a flipping pig.

Shawna looked horrified. I was about say something else nasty to James when a very angry Vampire (showing her fangs no less) suddenly slammed him into the wall. “You’re making me sick James. Get out of here before I rip your throat out.”

He held up his hands and backed off. With a smile he said, “Later ladies, I’ll leave you to your tea party.”

Max’s friend Mehitabel  (the one he kissed in the backyard) stood there in a sleek black dress and some great sky high patent leather Mary Janes. She washed her hands saying something under her breath about getting the stink left by James off of them.

Mehitabel was the pretty woman who could either stand out in a crowd, or more likely not be noticed by anyone. That worked well in her professional life. She could stand unnoticed and watch and wait. As for her personal life, I have no idea. I don’t know her that well. I really don’t

I found her entertaining and funny. Sure she was a little distant as well, an odd combination.

Earlier I’d asked her what she was doing for Thanksgiving. She was going to spend it with close friends. They always spent holidays together.  Why did I assume she wouldn’t have anyplace to go? Gossip and rumors can build into false biographies that paint a harsh sad picture of someone who is anything but harsh or sad.

She didn’t ask questions about my brother Max, the object of her affections – not like most women do.  She wasn’t talking to anyone about Max. She’d come to the party because they had mutual friends – nothing more. She was staying at Max’s house but no details of fluttery “wink wink” was forthcoming.

She had known Max for a long long time.  Over the years they’d been in and out of dangerous situations together, even saved each other’s lives. They were considered Vampire elite, thought she didn’t act like it.

So, anyway, I’m standing in the kitchen with two women who for better or worse were involved with two of my brothers. At this point I doubted if anyone was going to come in and rescue me.

“Don’t bother with James,” I said to Shawna.  “I think he was snorting too much dragon dust or something.”

“More likely out feeding on meth heads and heroine junkies,” said Mehitabel in disgust. The she softened her look and approached Shawna.

“I’m sorry you had to see that.  We’re not like that. Andy isn’t like that. He is one of the most gentle souls I’ve ever met, Regular Human or Vampire, and he adores you. He’d never ever let anyone harm you. The same goes for Juliette and me, and everyone here. Even James, even thought he is an asshole.”

I knew there were those would harm Shawna, but then again, I suppose nobody could have hurt her more than her ex-husband, the one who traded her in for a younger model.

After a few minutes and a few cocktails, we forgot about the party and my brothers. We talked of other things, things we all could relate to. We talked about movies and books and shoes and our work.

I suppose there is no point or moral to this story. No usual twist. It is always just odd and I’m glad my kids were in another part of the house, I’m sure being exposed to all sorts of other weirdness.

Just random thoughts about last weekend…

But all in all, I like both of these women my brothers have brought around. Now if my brothers could just behave… And if they don’t behave, I might still just keep these two around.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

(this post first published here 11/13)

_____________________________

and before i could argue him

out of his philosophy

he went and immolated himself

on a patent cigar lighter

i do not agree with him

myself i would rather have

half the happiness and twice

the longevity

 

but at the same time i wish

there was something i wanted

as badly as he wanted to fry himself”

Don Marquis, archy and mehitabel

____________________________________

More on Shawna and Andy (click here.)

More on Max and Mehitabel (click here.)

wine by fire

We’re different. Unfortunately that could be a problem.

lovelydress

Sabrina had come into our lives with a sweep of silk skirts and an attitude that made everyone stop – and smile.

When I was a child the world was a place where anything was possible. It was different in so many ways, yet it was the same in so many ways.

Different in that we didn’t have the technology we have today. The same, in that people were full of hate, especially for women.

That was the advantage of growing up in the Vampire community. We didn’t care. We were all equal among our own. We knew, that if they knew, they would hate and fear us. So as always, we kept quiet.

There were different groups among our kind, and of course we sometimes give each other the stink eye and talk trash about each other. We’re still a little bit human. But I feel that most of us have evolved. We don’t always agree. We don’t always embrace our differences, but at least we’re not 24/7 assholes about it.

Sabrina came out to California with the second wave of our kind in 1855. Despite the fact that she was engaged three of my brothers had crushes on her. They were just boys at the time, but her charm kept them at her beck and call.

The reason I bring her up is not because of how darling my brothers made of their pre-teen selves over her, but because she had an idea that Vampires should come out of their proverbial crypts and be open about who they were. My mother argued that abolition and women’s rights were the fight she should have been backing, but Sabrina wouldn’t hear of it.

For the most part Sabrina remained publicly quiet, but she took chances. She thought she could trust people – warm blooded people.

In the spring of 1870, on April 23 to be exact, Sabrina vanished. We all knew she wouldn’t be coming back, despite the fact that her husband searched everywhere for her, for years and years and years.

Even before the popular pop culture of Vampires there were still those who knew about us, and others who were different. Why should we have expected anything different than the Irish, or Chinese, or Women, or anyone who wasn’t white and male. It was just the way it was. There were always brave souls fighting it. But the Vampires and the Werewolves kept quiet, because we were also Irish, Chinese, women, white, black, male, but we were profoundly different. We were profoundly scary.

So that was that. I rarely wear a long dress anymore, in fact I rarely wear a dress, but some things never change. Even the ancient Vampires will tell you that. It is unfortunate but true. Ignorance is always the winner.

Try explaining that to your kids, and then tell them to keep hope, then tell them that they can change the world. Maybe they will change the world. We can only hope – and hope for the better.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

A Cold Dark Walk…with love

Last night we took a walk in the woods with the kids. It was the last walk before they get back to school. It was the first family walk in twelve years without our dog.

We spoke of the past. We spoke of the future.

It was cold but our breath does not show. We’re not warm enough for that.

My children are the most “normal” well adjusted children in the universe. They’re social. They’re smart. They’re good looking. They get along with us (their parents.) But, they are different.

They’re Vampires. They live in a world they can’t always control, even though they are at the top of the food chain. They aren’t on the outside looking in, but they’re always watching.

It usually isn’t a problem but sometimes they have to deal with issues or have friends in our community who are trying to come to terms with who and what they are.

A lot of kids are like that. Nobody should have to feel like they don’t belong. Even when they are different. Even when they have secrets.

So we walked the path in the oak woods, underneath the cold night sky, together, talking and laughing. I treasure those times.

 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Short Story Sunday: Rare Peace

“Shhhhhh. Don’t wake him up.”

Andrew opened his eyes. Two small faces blocked his view of the rest of the world.

“Hi,” said the girl.

“I’m free. My sista is five,” said the boy, then he held up his hand, showing five fingers on one, and three on the other. “I’m her baby bruber but, but, but, I’m not a baby anymo.”

Andrew tried to speak but pain and the inability to make a sound stopped him.

“Your neck was stabbed,” the girl told him. “Daddy said he would try to save your voice.”

“Daddy said you a singer. He said you a special pire,” said the small boy.

“Vampire,” his sister corrected.

Touching is neck Andrew felt a bandage. He closed his eyes and put his head back on the pillow. Where am I, he thought. Not that it mattered. He was in too much pain to care if anything mattered.

He tried to remember the night before. Was it the night before? The week before?

“Now get along children, don’t bother the man. Go on.” The children giggled and ran out of the room.

Andrew opened his eyes again. A huge bear of a man stood in the doorway. He held up what looked like a chestnut colored tail about a foot long. “I believe this belongs to you.”

Reaching to the back of his neck Andrew felt his hair. It had been hacked off right at his collar line. He hadn’t had it that short in forty years.

“You’re no Sampson but they tried to take what was important to you. First your voice, then your looks. They would have done more damage had they had more time. It looks like they were either trying to cut your vocal cords or cut your head off. By the way, you were naked as a jaybird when we found you. My wife has gone out to find you some clothes.” He chuckled and said, “You obviously can’t wear my clothes.”

No, he couldn’t. Andrew was a muscular but slim 6’2″. This man was at least four inches taller and seventy-five pounds heavier.

Memories started to come back to Andrew. He’d been wearing his favorite Armani tux. Damn, they’d taken it, whoever they were.

That night he’d sung with the Pacific Rim Chamber Orchestra. The theme was American Romantic. After drinks with friends he’d gone home with one of the violinists. Ramona St. Marie. She had blonde hair, skin like silk and type A+ blood. Ramona was perfection all wrapped up in satin sheets. She’d been a friend of his for years – always fun but never expected anything from him. Next he’d called a cab…then…then…nothing.

Since the 1870’s Andy had found himself naked in a lot of strange beds but it was usually good. He thought of last night. At 163 he was still young for a Vampire. He had a lot of good nights left in him.

Trying to speak again Andy found his voice had completely frozen up. He tried to sit up on the bed. Benjamin held out a large hand and helped Andy, who pulled the blanket around his waist. The two children, Wren and River came running back into the room and crawled up on the bed with Andy and started to giggle and bounce around.

“Children, sit still. Wren, precious, go get our guest one of those pads of paper from my office and a pen or pencil so he can write down what he has to say.”

As Wren ran out of the room in search for office supplies, another man entered the room. He was as average height but extremely thin and pale. His hair was in an auburn man-bun in back of his head. Hornrim glasses sat on his nose in front of two pale blue eyes.

“Ruben, I didn’t think you’d make it. Andy this is Ruben. Ruben this is Andy.”

The contrast between Ben’s large dark brown form and pale skinny Ruben was almost startling.

“Ruben here is a hair dresser by trade. He is also the best colorist in a hundred mile radius,” said Benjamin.

Ruben fluffed up Andy’s ruined hair with his hands. “Looks like there is enough to work with. I’ll fix you up and still leave you looking cool and sexy.”

Wren ran in with a pad of paper and a yellow pencil.

“Wren honey, yellow is lovely but we need something darker for Andy to write with. Could you bring back a darker colored pencil or pen?”

Wren ran back out of the room. River started to jump on the bed again. “Stop it River, or I’ll send you to your room,” said Benjamin. River stopped and sat next to Andy, leaning his small form into the Vampire.

Ruben put a towel over Andy’s shoulders and pulled out a stray bottle of water and scissors. Andy closed his eyes and put his trust in Ruben.

“Open your eyes beautiful,” said Ruben when he was done. “You’ve got a lot of wave in your hair.”

Andy looked into the mirror on the wall and saw soft waves surrounding his face. His hair looked good. He looked down and saw Wren who stood holding out a pad of paper and a purple crayon.

Taking the paper and crayon from Wren, Andy wrote one word. Why?

“You beautiful boy,” said Ruben, “haven’t you heard the debates? Haven’t you read the news? They came for our people already. They’ll be coming for your people soon, and when they do there will be no survivors.”

Andy wrote on the paper, “I’ve been dealing with Vampire hunters for a hundred years. My family has been dealing with them for centuries.”

Benjamin spoke this time, “This time it will be different. They’ll get the government involved. They’ll out you big time. Then you’ll be dead, or end up like the Zombies in a relocation camp.”

“Zombies are already dead,” wrote Andy with the purple crayon.

“So are you according to the government and the Vampire Hunters,” said Benjamin.

Wren took Andy’s hand again. “You’ll stay and be our friend?”

Andy smiled, minus his fangs, and gently squeezed Wren’s hand.

He looked out the window and noticed that it wasn’t morning but evening. The sun was starting to go down. A riot of pink and yellow could be seen in the sky through the trees. The pain in his neck started to go away but his voice was still raw.

He wrote a bit then held up the paper, “Vampire Hunters are a pain in the neck. HA HA HA.”

Then he wrote, “Thank you. Owe you big time. If there is anything, and I mean ANYTHING I can do, let me know.”

Benjamin and Ruben gave each other a look then looked at Andy.

“Stay true brother,” said Benjamin, “stay true.”

“Stay true,” said Ruben.

Ramona finally came home with clothes for Andy. The jeans and tee shirt fit. The flip flops were comfortable.

“You have to go commando. I wasn’t comfortable buying underwear for a man I don’t know,” said Ramona. “Your hair looks good. I don’t trust anyone with my head except Ruben.”

They talked into the night, and in the morning Andy called his sister to come get him.

It was a rare peace he found in this house in the woods with people who under stood what it was like to hide who and what you really are. Oh wouldn’t it be grand to live in a world where nobody had to hide. Andy know that would never happen for him. But at least there were a few places where it was safe and sane, where love was unconditional and true.

“So what did you do with the Vampire Hunters?” Andy had to ask in a horse whisper.

Benjamin, Ramona and Ruben all smiled.

“They’ve been take care of,” said Ruben.

Andy didn’t ask for any additional information. He’d heard answers like that before.

 

~ End

 

Yes, there will be more adventures with Andy’s new friends… just not today.

 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

 

 

 

 

 

Never confuse a hot werewolf with a hotdog.

That title was just a cheap shot made-you-look ploy, but I am in a Werewolf kind of mood.

You want to know the difference between Werewolves and Vampires? Vampires change once. Werewolves change all the time. Neither are good at surviving that first change. Most don’t. It is what it is.

But you gotta feel sorry for Werewolves. When I was a kid they were considered the trailer trash of the underground world of people who were, well, changed. We’ll just call it changed. As in changed into something else.

Werewolves tended to be brash and tacky. They’d wear too much bling and bad color combinations – both in the 1980’s and the 1880’s. Then things sort of turned around in a certain segment of their population right after WW2. They started to get serious. They became scientists and thinkers. They were the geeks of the paranormal world. They still are. They’re always looking for a cure without the drastic silver bullet. And if not a cure, they want to just find out “why,” because of course many don’t want a cure.

Listen to a Werewolf talk about a run through the woods on a full moon night and you’ll know why not all are looking for a cure.

For those born into the world of shadows being a teen is like being in constant change. All teens are like Werewolves and Vampires, even those who aren’t technically either. I don’t mean that in a negative way. I just mean that they have a lot of challenges to face. Their world is changing. Expectations are changing. It is confusing. Their bodies are doing weird things. They have no idea when their bodies will stop doing weird things. They don’t know how big things will get or how tall. Their complexions are weird. Their emotions are totally confused and off the charts – even for the calmest and coolest of teens.

So if you have a teen in your house treat him/her like you would a Werewolf. Listen. Spend quiet time together. Give a shoulder rub. Stay calm even when they’re changing. If they start to growl, quietly and firmly try to calm them down and remember the full moon will soon be over. And love them. Play with them. Show some understanding. And they can be reasoned with. Really.

I stopped by my Werewolf friend Adam’s studio early this morning. He is an extraordinary photographer. Anyway we are working on a little project together but… we were doing what we do the most, which is just shoot the breeze.

Adam is one of those stereotypical hot Werewolf guys. Before I knew he was a Werewolf and before he knew I was a Vampire, he was one of my donors (he has a nice neck.) I always thought it was charming that is blood tasted like Bourbon. I never knew that about Werewolves.  Then he found out my secret and well, it wasn’t good. But we’re friends again, unlikely friends, but friends none the less.

So we’re having coffee this morning and Adam says, “May the fourth we with you. So in Star Wars who would we be?”

“Han Solo and the Wookie. You know who the Wookie is.”

He laughed. Our friendship works. Why shouldn’t it. We both crave blood but we never kill. We both live in a secret world with demands that just make life a little bit different. Other than that we’re just like everyone else. OK not exactly like everyone else, but close.

The coffee was good. On the drive home I thought about all of my Werewolf encounters when I was a child. Those were always weird hushed events with my parents meeting strange people (the Werewolf folks) on uneasy terms. They were sort of the lesser of many evils out there. Times have changed. Well, for the most part.

Then I thought about Adam. He is so attractive and funny. No wonder he is so successful (and insanely talented and good at self promotion.) It was difficult when we first discovered out differences but I’m glad we did. No pressure.

So Werewolves… I have to say that they’ve always been misunderstood, but then again, haven’t we all felt that way. I mean it. Who hasn’t?

Tell your kids that feeling different isn’t a bad thing. Sure you have to try harder and work around things, but it can work out for the best. Use those differences to your advantage. Use those differences to make yourself happy. Hey, you know, if we were all the same the world would be a boring place.

OK I have to get the kid to school. Have a good week everyone.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman