A Christmas Journey (with Vampires, a cat, a train ride and a fight)

A Christmas Journey (with Vampires, a cat, a train ride and a fight)

People don’t know who or what we are. We’ve kept it that way for centuries, as stories and myths over ride any sense of reality in the minds of men.

In December of 1875 tragedy came into our lives. My best friend Isabelle fell under the spell of rogue Vampires and almost killed my brother Max’s best friend, who was the son of my parent’s closest regular human friends. You see, for those of you who are new here, we’re Vampires. As part of the Modern Vampire movement, we go by the rule that nobody is ever turned into a Vampire without consent.

Anyway, scandal was the only word for it. Theodore Kings, my brother’s 26 year old friend was not only the smartest and most handsome regular human any of us had ever met, he was also a kind man who was engaged to be married in February. Isabella decided she wanted the handsome Teddy for herself. We almost lost Teddy, as in death. Not the death one has when turning into a Vampire, but forever death. And when my father did manage to save our beloved friend, dear Teddy was horrified at what he had become…he was horrified at what we all were…but that is another story for another time.

My parents were upset at the prospect of Isabella or any of her rogue friends contacting, or corrupting my brother Valentine or me so we were to be sent away for a few months to keep us out of trouble. The plan was to send us to New York to say with my Grandmama Lola for Christmas. I was 16 and Val was 17 and the prospect of the big city was more exciting than anything we’d ever experienced. Plus it helped us get our minds off of Isabella and Teddy. Most of all it got us away from the eyes of our parents.

Yet, Val and I were also angry that my parents had so little trust in us that they thought it necessary to ship us off clear across the country. After all, we were practically adults. In fact, in most circles at that time we would have been considered adults who could get employment, get married or live independently.

My father’s friend Nathaniel Chase agreed to take Val and I from California to New York City on the train. Nathaniel had his own private luxury car so nobody thought there would be any problems. Nathaniel was the very image of the sophisticated and charming Modern Vampire. He was also cunning and dangerous in his own ways – enough to take care of two over active Vampire teens. What trouble could a couple of teens get into when watched over by a 400 year old Vampire?

On the first night Val and I explored the train. There were dining cars, first class, second class, other private luxury cars and all sorts of interesting people. Nathaniel was busy with “business.” Unfortunately that didn’t last for long. He was scolding us for getting too friendly with people, running, sticking our heads out the window and laughing too loud. That was just the short list.

On the second night he caught Val in an embrace with an attractive woman from San Francisco. That didn’t go over too well either. Val used the excuse he was just being a Vampire. Nathaniel knew better.

On the third night there was a party in another private car in which there were plates full of beautiful treats. I had my first eclaire. It was huge – the size of a man’s hand. That with a stomach full of warm blood (from a handsome 19 year old who claimed to be the son of a famous minister), a bottle of sparkling pink wine (which I wasn’t supposed to have) and sugar (which makes Vampires absolutely ill) had me throwing up most of the night.

By the time we got to our first stay over in Chicago, Nathaniel Chase was ready to lock the both of us up for good. But he didn’t.

We stayed in a large new mansion built after the great fire of 1871. It was there for Vampires of our rank. Val and I were in heaven. Off of the train with Nathaniel gone most of the time!

Nathaniel had given us a full set of rules and warnings. Bite only on the wrist, not the neck. Don’t go into questionable parts of town (he supplied coordinates.) Do not talk to Vampires you don’t know. Don’t be turned by a pretty face. Watch for Vampire Hunters. Stay close to the house. Shop, have fun, act normal. Under no circumstance let anyone suspect you are different. Don’t act like children.

Val and I did all that and more. We were the perfect little citizens. At parties everyone commented on how charming young well-mannered people we were. I’m sure that warmed the cold heart of the old Vampire Nathaniel Chase.

On our fourth day in Chicago Val and I were walking along at dusk when we heard a great commotion coming from a warehouse. And you would be right if you guessed we were in a part of town we shouldn’t have been in.

Inside of the building a large group of men were standing in an impromptu arena yelling and cheering. We thought it might be a boxing match until we realized it was a dog fight. Beasts of all sizes had been brought in to tear each other apart. We could smell the blood and the fear in the dogs. We could also smell the excitement and blood lust in the men who watched the fights. I held Val’s arm, utterly appalled by what I saw. Ears were torn off, bowels were torn open and dogs howled and whimpered in pain.

Then just as I thought I’d seen enough a large man held something out to five growling dogs.

“I present you Lucifer. Tonight you will see before your very eyes these dogs devour the devil.” And he held up a black kitten of about 5 months who cried with pitiful mews of fear. My cold blood boiled.

Hiking up my skirts I climbed the ropes around the arena and entered the ring. I yelled at the man to put down the cat. He laughed. Then I growled at him showing my fangs. In horror the man lashed out striking me across the face. His large ring made a gash across my cheek. Val jumped the ropes and came to my rescue. Knocking them man down he was about to tear his arm off when someone grabbed us up by our collars and threw both of us out into the snow.

Nathaniel Chase and two other Vampires stood there looking at us in disgust. We could hear the commotion inside of the warehouse grow louder.

Nathaniel pulled me to him and yanked me into a waiting carriage. “You could have had us all killed.” His coat smelled slightly of patchouli and roses. I saw a long light brown hair against the black of his jacket. He’d been visiting a woman. I should have known.

“You were with a woman weren’t you?” I glared at him with the triumph of someone too stupid to know what I was saying.

His eyes lit up with a fire and he pulled me around in front of his face holding both of my arms like vices. “It isn’t just small animals that they kill. They kill what they do not know or understand. They kill what they fear. They kill anything they see as evil.”

“But they’re evil themselves,” I stammered back, unable to move or remove myself from his glare.

“No, it is their world, so be it if it is ruled by ignorance and superstition. You must NEVER show yourself for what you are. Never. So help me God Juliette, if you ever do anything like this again I will make sure you will spend the rest of your days drinking rancid blood out of a gourd, in a dungeon so deep you’ll forget there are stars in the sky.”

He let me go and turned to my brother. “As for you Valentine. I have no words to express my disappointment in you.”

One of the other Vampires, an elegant looking man called Joseph pulled a small black kitten out of his coat pocket and handed it to me. “I believe this is yours. Do not forget the price you paid for his freedom.”

All the way back Nathaniel lectured us on responsibility and stupidity. When we returned to the house he vanished into the study with the two men. We were told to go to our rooms and stay there until midnight.

I lay on my bed and cried my heart out. Val came in and sat quietly next to me. We were utter failures.

When the large clock at the end of the hall struck midnight we left the room and went in search of Nathaniel Chase.

On the balcony he stood cradling the sleeping kitten in his arms. He quietly sang to himself in Welsh the old song “All Through the Night.”

All the stars’ twinkles say

All through the night

“This is the way to the realm of glory,”

All through the night.

Darkness is another light

That exposes true beauty

The Heavenly family in peace

All through the night.

“You have Lucifer,” I said stroking the purring kitten under his chin.

Nathaniel gave me a rare smile. “His name is Gabrielle now. He’ll go where I go. Do you know who Gabrielle was.”

“I believe an arch angel,” said Val.

“Gabrielle was a messenger. So is this little beast in my arms, brought to us in order to teach the two of you humility. But also to teach me what good hearts you have. Compassion is a rare and wonderful thing. It can also be a danger if you react in fear and by letting your heart lead the way.” He held up a hand knowing what I was going to say. “Your heart and the feelings of your heart are important. But you must be smart. You must not be like your friend Isabelle who turned a man into a Vampire, almost killing him and committing his soul to Hell. She claimed it was romantic but it was cruel and selfish.” He handed me the cat now called Gabriel. “Take care of this cat until we get to your Grandmama’s, then he is mine. And Juliette, remember that we are like dark angels who inhabit the night. No matter how much good we may do we are still to be feared by those who are not our kind.”

Gabrielle lived for another 22 years and went everywhere with Nathaniel Chase.

Val and I got to our Grandmama Lola’s house in New York City by Christmas Eve night.

Nathaniel Chase still doesn’t have much confidence in me. I made mistakes with my heart over the years, as did Val. But we learned that we must keep our hearts to ourselves and take action with our brains and with conviction and with deliberate action.

A few weeks ago I visited Nathaniel, along with my brother Val and my husband Teddy. He still looked the same as he did in 1875. He still has a black cat. The current one is named Michael. They’re all named after angels. Small dark angels of hope and love.

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas from all of the Vampires and their cats.

 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman.

This story was first posted December, 2013

Walking in the Dark

“Don’t walk in front of me — I may not follow; don’t walk behind — I may not lead; walk beside me and just be my friend.” ~ Camus

We’ve lost two friends this week, and one a few weeks ago. A young friend, one of my daughter’s best friends, has been in intensive care. Sometimes it is hard to wrap one’s heart and mind around it all. But I do. We all do. That is what we do. We love. We just love.

Tonight a coyote tried to eat my cat Oscar. I think he’ll be ok. The cat that is. I don’t know what happened to the coyote. I hope the cat bit and scratched the crap out of it. The other cat and the dog are giving him his space. He is sleeping in my daughter’s room.

She moved out two weeks ago for college. I miss her so much. She’s doing great. I’m so happy for her.

I’ll take Oscar the cat to the vet tomorrow if he is still in distress. His leg seems bruised. No blood.

I am grateful for my friendships online and off. Paranormal and not.

The air tonight is cool and comforting. I’m ready for fall. The leaves die, but for some reason I can’t explain fall always seems like a new beginning. Maybe it is because Halloween is near. Maybe it is because my birthday is in October. Maybe it is because I’m always super excited about planting fall bulbs which will bloom in the spring.

Bulbs are tiny packages of beauty and joy.

I’m trying to find more things that might be packages of joy. There are many.

So, I will get back to my book… finally. I met another writer this week and will be featuring his books in a few months on my Monday book post.

As for my books…there are ghosts, and reapers, and all kinds of demons and others who live in the shadows, corners, and even out in the open.

I’m also writing about parents, relationships, and adult kids. Cats and dogs too.

As always, I’ll leave you with thoughts of everything that is possible, things that go bump in the night (Halloween will be here soon) and love. Yes, it all comes together sooner or later.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

Marla Todd _ Oscar Gray

This is Oscar. I love this cat so much.

 

 

 

 

 

Cat-ur-day: You can dance if you want to…

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Where is Juliette? Where is the Burning Question today?????

I’ve been so busy with my kids (my ADULT kids) and moving, and traveling, and taking friends to the art museum, and Vampire stuff that… well, there is no Burning Question.

Happy Cat-ur-day!

And don’t forget your hat. By the way if you forget your hat make a music video. It’s ok. You have my permission.

Now go hug your cat, hug your kids, hug everyone else, and dance! Take the chance.

xoxox

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Vlad’s Vampire Diary: Cats, Confusion, and Chainsaws

Dear Diary,

I brought my cats to the dog park today. They did not enjoy it. Next time my cats and I will go someplace else.

~ Vlad

 

Dear Diary,

When I was the Vampire King and ruled my Vampire Kingdom it was no secret that I was a Vampire. After being forcibly locked in a crypt for three hundred years, then finding out that my country AND my castle are no longer in existence, I also find that I must hide the fact that I am a Vampire.

When I was the Vampire King I made sure the many plagues that ravaged Europe and Asia did not come across the borders of my kingdom. I made sure the lands and water were clean. My people were healthy. As the King of Vampires I had to make sure my food supply was not contaminated.

Now, if in causal conversation, someone mentions health care it all seems obvious to me. Healthy people means healthy Vampires. How difficult is that? Unfortunately that is an opinion I do not express to others. I either change the conversation, or get the person I am talking to in a quiet dark place and bite their neck. Neck biting usually stops a conversation quite nicely. A wrist bit works almost as well, but sometimes I just need to quickly make them stop talking and bite their neck.

At the time of the plagues I commanded an army of Vampires, and those who were not Vampires. These were loyal followers. I refused to have slaves or soldiers bound to me through fear.

At the highway they waited and checked those who came through. The sight of a Vampire army kept most out. That is an obvious point even in the 1600’s. It was a long time ago but we were not stupid. There are times when I feel stupid now, having missed three centuries. That is neither here nor there. My army stood tall upon shining black horses, their hair in the wind, completely controlled, never in their faces, fangs barred, muscles flexed, eyes burning bright as a warning to those who would enter carrying the plague.

So they waited, but since my kingdom was the Vampire Kingdom, we had few visitors because most outside people were more afraid of us than they were of the plague, so my Vampire guards partied like it was 1699. No damage was done, and my reputation as an effective and fearless leader was not compromised.

I asked my friend Randolpho if the plague was still around.

“Not that one,” he told me. Then he went on a trip down his memories lane, which is more like a highway when he starts to talk, about that time the guards guarded the Vampire highway. “My hair was down to my waist back then. Holy crap Vlad. Can you imagine that now?”

“You still wear silly hats,” I told him. Randolpho has always liked silly hats.

“It’s a top hat and it isn’t silly,” he said.

“You purchased it in 1856,” I told him.

“You were locked in a crypt in 1856 so you weren’t even around. By the way I have someone who makes them for me NOW. AND I have some of my old ones.”

I just looked at him with my most disgusted slightly snarling looks. I believe it is known as an Elvis lip curl. I will have to find out more about this Elvis person.

Randolpho shook his head. “Even at your age, at 675 years, and after all you’ve been through how can you still be so good looking?”

I smiled. “I believe the word you need to use is cute.” I think that was the correct response. I am always called cute though I am not sure what is meant by this word cute.

We talked more of the good old days which were actually only good if one happened to be a Vampire.

~ Vlad

 

Dear Diary,

All of my clothing turned pink. My love Gillian rolled her eyes at me and told me that I was not supposed to wash white items with red items. How was I to know one red shirt would turn everything pink?

I now am in a world in which machines do everything. I used to have an entire group of women who would wash my clothes. They washed everything by hand in large tubs. Now machines wash clothing with a touch of a button and a small pod full of soap.

Pod is something else I wonder about. I watched a movie, one of the older ones without color, in which evil Demons from another planet came to Earth and put people in pods. Then the Demons made themselves look like the people in the pods. It was as if they were Goblins switching their evil changelings for babies. I believe the Demons were called Aliens. I do not remember it all. I do remember that it was both confusing and terrifying. Pods.

I looked under my back deck to see if there were any pods. There were not.

I wondered if the pods in my washing machine might contain small creatures who cause my white clothes to turn pink or a murky gray. It would not surprise me. Nothing surprises me anymore.

People have walked on the moon. There blenders to whirl food and drink to death. There are chain saws. I like chain saws. They cut and are loud and do the work of many men. I have three chain saws. I have nothing to saw but I have chain saws. I feel like a real Vampire male with my chain saw.

One night I took off my shirt and called Gillian outside. I stood in the wind holding the chain saw as my golden hair gently blew back in the wind. I flashed her a bit of fang. My plan worked. It worked exceedingly well. I could say it was a cute plan.

I just remembered the movie was called Invasion of the Body Snatchers.

On some days I feel as if I was snatched and put away. I was for three centuries but not in a pod. I was in a crypt. I did not come back as an alien. I came back as myself, Vlad, no longer King of Vampires.

Then again, one does not need to be King when one has a chain saw, a washing machine, good friends, and cats.

That makes no sense but nothing makes sense to me, yet, here I am, still a Vampire. Still cute. One does not need to be King when one is cute. I still rule my world.

~ Vlad

Kissed by a Vampire

Kissed by a Vampire

 

This has been the 51st entry to Vlad’s Vampire Diary. To read the entire Vlad’s Vampire Diary series from the beginning CLICK HERE.

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My friend Randolfo wearing one of his silly hats.

 

Burning Question #57: Bunches of Cats (and dogs)

 

Welcome to Vampire Maman’s BURNING QUESTION. This is YOUR opportunity to answer ALL of the Burning Question of the universe.

 

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Today’s question doesn’t need much of an introduction. Just ANSWER THE POLL. Then leave comments below. Discuss this question or anything else you want or NEED to talk about right now (or later.)

 

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Burning Question #57: If a bunch of cats jump on top of each other, is it still called a dog pile?

 

I forgot all about sea lions. Look they’re piling.

My real goal is to get my two cats to wear cute hats and ring bells for treats. I tried to do that a few times but they were afraid of the bell. I’ll keep trying.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Cat-ur-day: Comets, Giant Space Cats and Vampires in Space

It’s Cat-ur-day! I’m getting ready for a road trip and busy as a Vampire can be, but I haven’t forgotten you! Here is a favorite from 2014 – with pictures no less.

Comets, Giant Space Cats and Vampires in Space

I’ve posted a lot of amazing and astounding photos of space on my blog so get ready for more… brace yourself…

Scientists were surprised when Rosetta found parking was scarce on the Comet 67p. BUT the one who was really surprised was GIANT SPACE CAT.

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As so-called creatures of the night Vampires have always loved comets.

A few years back I’d go out in front of my house every single night and watch Hale Bopp. Unfortunately a nut job cult hijacked the even… a lot of weird sick things like that were happening around that time. But anyway it was beautiful and I couldn’t keep my eyes off of it.

This isn’t my house but it is Hale Bopp. I don’t live anywhere near this place.

Over the centuries some cultures have feared comets but there isn’t anything to fear (aside from giant space cats.)

Mark Twain was born and died in years of Halley’s Comet. So did Nigel the ghost. I didn’t even see it in 1986 except for a faint faint faint little blip in the sky and I’m still not sure if I really saw it. But the idea of it was so magical and wonderful.

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My post is more random than the sightings of comets so just stick with me.

I’m amazed that the landing of Rosetta on a COMET – a REAL COMET – wasn’t bigger news. That is so amazing. We’re just sort of sitting out here on our own in space. Nobody visits. We’re all alone and we can’t leave. We think about it. We write books and make movies about it.

space-vampires-poster

We make a lot of movies and books about it – a lot is simply brilliant and inspires us to look beyond our own planet. Unfortunately most is really bad.

Really? Sin in Space?

Really? Sin in Space?

Even Gorn will have to agree with me on that.

My name is Gorn and I always agree with Juliette.

My name is Gorn and I always agree with Juliette.

That said, one of the most brilliant examples of Vampires in Space – the ultimate is Amish Vampires in Space. I kid you not.

This is so AWESOME

This is so AWESOME

Anyway, I’m just using this as an excuse to share the GIANT SPACE CAT and some other silly stuff with you. Have fun and keep looking to the stars.

 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman