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

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Christmas Memories (From a Few Vampires)

Memories from my Modern Vampire Family and Friends

From Andy: One of my fondest memories is walking with her in the snow at night. Her hands were hot, and as hard as she tried, she could never warm up my hands.

aurora

From Matthew: We looked at the stars in the night sky and didn’t feel dead anymore.

From Verity: A nip of brandy and a nip on the neck of my husband under the mistletoe. 

From Lola: A lovely young man all tied up in red ribbons and bows. That isn’t figuratively either. He was all tied up.

From Tellias: We saw a great light in the sky and I knew something had happened that would change the world. That was a long time ago. I was very young.

From Eleora: We never did much for people we took blood from until we started to celebrate the Christmas holiday. Then we started to leave them presents. That is where the Santa Clause tradition came from. And this year I’m going to wear my red dress with the white fur trim and red boots and snowflake earrings. 

From Val: My sister Juliette and I would sneak into churches and sing along to the carols. Everyone said it would kill us but we knew nobody who is damned could be so inspired by the music as we were. 

From Cody: I used to be afraid of Vampires before I became one and found out how much fun they are, especially around the holidays. Well, except for the men in black and the zombies, but hey, you have to respect them for what they are.

From Adam (a Werewolf): Running in the mountain snow until we were so tired we couldn’t go another inch. My mother would be waiting with fresh meat, fruit cake and hot chocolate. We’d turn from wolves to boys and run naked all over the cabin as my parents laughed. It was crazy but, you know, we’re Werewolves.

parenting

From Aaron: We used to act out the Christmas Carol except someone would always tear out Scrooge’s neck before my mom could finish the narration. Oh man, we would laugh so hard.

From Max: Candle light and the long cool kiss of another Vampire.

From Teddy: I’ll never forgot the Christmas I pried my mother’s necklace off of the rotting corpse of the woman who stole it. I knew at that moment that Juliette was the Vampire I would one day marry and would proudly wear the necklace. It was also the night I learned I hadn’t lost my soul, or at least not completely.

From Jayne: I wore a red velvet dress trimmed with flowers and holly. The room was filled with candles and garland. Everyone tasted like cinnamon and whiskey.

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From Ione: I was so excited about seeing Santa that I bit the cat.

kiss me

kiss me

From Elizabeth: Going for angel walks in the cemetery at midnight with Jayne and Mehitabel. The stone angels inspire the singing of the dead. It is quiet lovely and moving if you know what tombs to visit.

angel sacramento

From Nathaniel: After years of spending Christmas protecting my kind from Vampire Hunters, I look forward to spending a quiet Christmas with my wife and child. I think I earned it.

From Thomas Kent: Christmas is a time for us to make frozen hearts warm and inspire peace among all creatures, even those of the night and cold.

To learn more about the individuals above click on their names.

Wishing you all dear readers sweet memories.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

The Beach House – A Christmas Story

My brother Val and I had gone to the beach house for Thanksgiving. This was 1944, before my marriage or children, when it seemed it was always just my brother and me, plus assorted friends and lovers.

Our brother Andy (Andrew) was somewhere in Europe in a USO show. Our eldest brother Max and my future husband Teddy were in London doing something secret for the American Government. Our parents were in Washington DC.

Nobody knew where our brother Aaron or his wife Verity were. They were the traditional ones who always stayed on the safe predictable road to anywhere – now we had no idea where they were. The last time anyone heard they were in France, but they could have been anywhere. They could have been dead or worse captured but we stopped guessing.

Valentine and I had our fill the night before in San Francisco. The clubs were full of servicemen on leave and women who were tired of waiting for their men to come home and people who had nothing to do with the war or missing love ones. Val was also on leave from his position in the Army – watching and finding out secrets. Vampires are good for that. Almost too good. But we had to get involved. We had no other choice. This was the world we lived in and our country too. It was our home.

We watched the fog roll in as the sun went down over the Pacific Ocean.

A car drove up to the house. We weren’t expecting anyone.

It was Nathaniel Chase. Even back then he was over 400 years old but didn’t look a day over 35. A small black cat followed at his heels.

“What are you doing here? You’re supposed to be in San Francisco,” he growled without so much as a hello to us.

“We’re not supposed to be anywhere, at least not until after Christmas,” said Val.

“I thought you were in Canada, or Hawaii or someplace…,” I started in on him until he put his hand up for me to shut up. I knew the gesture well. He’d been cutting me off my entire life.

“Valentine, please get my bag out of the car for me. Juliette I need your help, come.” He headed down the hall to the far bedroom.

Under his coat his shirt was soaked with blood. I couldn’t tell if it was his or if it belonged to somebody else.

I helped him out of his coat and then the suit jacket and shirt underneath. He’d been stabbed several times. “My heart…was nicked. I’ve lost a lot of blood…a lot.”

I held out my wrist. “Take mine. It will seal your heart.”

“I don’t know…Juliette…”

“You’ll die.”

“No. You can bring someone in later.”

“You will die. Take mine. Regular blood won’t help. You know that.”

A regular human man would have died with his injury. He’d been stabbed in the heart, not just a “nick.”

He took my wrist and sank his fangs into it. Not much happened.

“Just take my neck,” I told him and started to unbutton my shirt. “Don’t say no. You’ve done more for me than I can count. I owe you.”

Asking another Vampire to bite your neck is extreme. It is also something that happens in risky sex. It is something you don’t do lightly or with just anyone. There can be consequences.

I put my hand on his chest where the knife entered. Then I leaned in close, cold skin to cold skin and put my other hand at the back of his neck. “Take my blood Nathaniel.”

He pushed my hair aside and put his mouth on my neck. He had my blood and my feelings, my memories, my heart and everything I kept close. I could feel him searching and wanting then blanking it all out. He wasn’t interested in sucking out my souls or knowing my secrets or being my lover.  I’d done this before but it wasn’t to save a life. It was to satisfy a lover, another Vampire in passion and …whatever. But this was intense and in that realm. I felt drained. I was drained literally.

Nathaniel pulled away and lay back on the pillows. His eyes were closed. He took my hand and entwined my finger in his. We sat for maybe an hour as still as death. I brushed my lips against his cheek. He opened his eyes and gave me a slight smile. “Thank you. I’m sorry.”

“Don’t be sorry.”

Over the years he’d always been the one to save Val and me. So many times we’d strayed and he was there to get us back on track. He was always there to scold us and keep us in line. So many times I resented his presence and wished he’d go away forever.

I went out to the deck where Val sat with a bottle of wine and a cigar. He looked at my neck. “I gave him blood. Nothing else.”

My brother gave me a hug. “Thank you dear. Listen, the couple down the road are having a party. We can head on over and get you settled again. If Nathaniel needs more tonight we’ll have it.”

So we walked half a mile down the road watching the stars and listening to the waves crashing against the beach. I told Val that I knew who injured Nathaniel but it was taken care of. We were not the ones to extract vengeance. Someone else would do that. It isn’t what Val and I usually do, unless forced of course.

Nathaniel stayed with us for the rest of the month. We spent Christmas having a fire on the beach, just the three of us and Nathaniel’s black cat. Val and I were 85 and 86 at the time but Nathaniel still saw us as silly teens, or at least he saw us as still needing guidance.

Eventually we were all reunited with family and friends.

Anyway, that was a long time ago. It was a time I rarely even think about anymore. Now that my own children enter adulthood I think of more things from my current life. I hope their lives are calm and without trauma. That won’t be the case, but I’d like to think it would be.

So that is it for right now. December is almost here. Today my daughter Clara and I will hang the Christmas wreath and once again wish for Peace on Earth. I doubt if it will ever happen but we can wish and we can each do our part to help.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

First published 2014 – new posts to come soon. Thank you for visiting and sharing my Christmas memories.

 

Ocean

 

 

 

 

Short Story Sunday: Christmas Orphans (a short random tale)

“Why do I have eyes of different colors? The brown eye is my own. The blue eye is a different story. I plucked it from the freshly dead body of a young Irish nun. She’d killed herself because she had a vision that the child she was carrying, the child of the handsome young priest, was the Antichrist.”

“Why were you there Uncle Jeff?” A young voice in a hushed whisper asked.

“Because, my dear, I was the handsome young priest. That was before the life I live now. But I still see visions of angels and of a family in a warm embrace of love, then the fires of Hell with dancing devils and…”

“JEFF. STOP IT,” I yelled. “You’re going to give them nightmares.”

I know better than to ask my crazy brother to tell Christmas stories to my children and their young cousins.

“But, Simon, the stories are true,” my brother said as if he believed what he was saying.

“Kids, don’t listen to him. He’s blowing stories out of his…out of his ears.”

“Did I tell you about the time I met Santa Clause?”

“Jeff, no more storytelling.”

“It was the winter of 1969.”

“Jeff you were a toddler in 1969.”

“You have no idea how old I really am. Brother I have secrets that will make your head explode. Now children, the rest of the researchers on the Arctic research station had died of a mysterious illness. Then the giant polar two ton bears came. I’ll never forget the sound of them crunching on the bones of my friends.”

“Giant two ton polar bears?”

My brother and the children ignored me as he continued his tale. “I wouldn’t let them eat the dogs so we took off with the sled north, following the stars. Frozen and hungry, my body could take no more. Out of my blue eye I could see my angel Bernadette, the nun I’d loved. Her visions…”

“Jeff!”

“Then I heard bells. Not big bells like the Liberty Bell, but small happy bells. A lot of bells. I thought I was in a dream. My dogs huddled close. Then we saw them. The Zombies…”

I went to the kitchen for a beer. My wife and Jeff’s weird Goth girlfriend were talking about how to make the perfect prime rib.

Spotting my sister Libby out on the deck I went out to join her.

“It’s cold out.”

“Cold but not as weird as it is inside.”

“Do you think there is any truth to his stories.”

“I don’t know. He has memories of before we were found. All the records still say we were abandoned at the rest stop outside of Barstow. Nobody came forward to claim us. We’re related for sure, the DNA tests prove that, and we look like each other  but…”

My sister shrugged. “I did more research but didn’t find anything. Nothing. It is like we were dropped by aliens.”

“Or Santa Clause.” I said.

We were found on Christmas Day, three toddlers. Our dad was the highway patrolman who found us. Jeff was the oldest, then Libby and I was just a baby. The doctors figured Jeff was around three, Libby maybe two and I was a newborn. We were all wearing hand knitted Christmas sweaters and red Santa hats.

Our life was happy and normal with our new parents. They loved us unconditionally. They still do.

I never thought about who might have left us at the rest stop with typed notes saying “Merry Christmas. Please keep us together,” pinned on our sweaters.

Libby and I went back inside to catch the end of Jeff’s story.

“In the morning Santa and I sat on the beach listening to the crashing waves. I passed him the bottle of whiskey we were sharing and he put his hand on back and said “Good job son, good job.”

 

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Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas!

Mysterious Meetings on Dark Cold Nights (and no I’m not damned, just slightly annoyed)

Day two… I’m waiting for AAA a second evening in a row. The new battery I had put in last night isn’t working tonight. But wait, I drove all over the place today – at least 25 miles. Then the towing guy calls and tells me it must be the alternator and not the battery. So I tell him I’m not the car guy so I don’t know what it is. And if it isn’t the battery I need to have the fucking car towed to the dealer or to my neighborhood guy to have it fixed. Only I didn’t say fucking. I was nice and polite. When one is waiting without a car one needs to be polite. Then I get a text that they are running late. Gee thanks. This is my glamorous life.

I can hear traffic and frogs and it is getting colder and colder out here. I could take the car next to me but I know the owner and I don’t think he’d be too pleased. That said, it is a really nice car.

This all reminded me of a time a long long time ago when I had to help out someone who was stranded.

I was standing in a cemetery next to a huge crypt in the middle of the night. Even in Southern California it was cold. I had no idea where my sister-in-law Verity or my friend Elizabeth were. They were bringing the tools. A friend of ours had been mistaken for dead and buried, luckily in a crypt, and it was our job to get him out.

“You’re so good at this Juliette. YOU do it. Please,” they told me.

I hear someone breathing and when I turned I noticed standing next to me is a woman dressed in black. She isn’t a nun. Her clothing is elegant. Her hair is perfect. She is even wearing heels. Of course she has on heels – this is 1958.

“Hello there,” I said, suddenly realizing that I’m starving.

Then she looks at me and utters words that shock me. “Your soul will be damned.”

How oddly rude. “Excuse me?” I said to the strange woman in black. “Unlike you I own my soul. I will not be judged. I won’t be damned or rewarded by anyone else. When and if I die I will have to find my own way. I cannot sell my soul or barter it away. It is mine and my responsibility. If I screw up I will not be forgiven. I must fix it myself, with no help from anyone or anything,” I said wondering how I’d gotten myself into this situation. Oh please do not try to understand me I thought. I am different. I’m strange. Accept me for who and what I am. Unfortunately nobody listens to that and everybody judges. Of course they do.

If I smoked I would have been craving a cigarette right then, but I never smoked. I just drink of I was craving something. Actually I was craving silence or maybe sex from a hot handsome stranger (this was before I married Teddy) but what I really wanted more than anyone was blood. Then sex and booze but first blood.

You know, there are some memories and situations we don’t tell our kids about until they’re grown and maybe not even then. This was sort of one of them.

Over the years “People” and other Vampires and others  have said all sorts of crap to me. We all know how it is because people judge. They want us to all be like them. They want to use us and they want us in their lives but not all of us. They want the bits and pieces that suit their lives. They say “I want you but…” They say, “I love you but…” They say, “I wish you were…”  Or they don’t say it and you know they’re thinking it. But they don’t get it. They don’t know that we pretty much don’t care. We’re interested. We’ll listen. We’ll even try to understand but we know who we are. No more trying to change us or make us “better.” No more using us. That is soooo 17th century. Enough.

So, back to the person who told me I’d be damned.

“Who are you and what are you doing here?”

“You can’t take Henry,” she told me. “Let him lie in peace.”

“He isn’t dead,” I told her.

“He is undead.”

At this point I was sure she’d been watching too many Val Lewton movies, then I recognized her. She was an actress, a semi famous beauty married to an extremely wealthy man. Ahhhhh. No wonder she didn’t want Henry to come back alive. She was having an affair with a Vampire – a rather handsome and amusing Vampire at that.

“Oh please, give it up. You can’t just bury your lovers when the think your husband might find out. Go home. Make your marriage work. Appreciate what you have. Look, as soon as my friends get here we’re taking Henry away so you won’t have to ever see him again anyway.”

Then my stomach growled. Damn.

Then she starts to cry and begs me not to tell anyone. She says her heart is broken. Her pretty face gets all puffy. She starts to babble on about Henry when I put my hand up motioning for her to stop.

“You need to forget about Henry,” I said.

She started to say something but I cut her off. “You need to leave now before I have you for dinner.”

Standing still like a deer in a headlight she just stared at me. So I took her by the arm and said, “Forget Henry was a Vampire. Forget anything you know about Vampires. Stop watching monster movies. Go back to your husband and rebuild your life.”

The pretty young actress staggered away from me down the hill to her car. She’d forget by time she got home. She’d remember a handsome man, a flirtation and a death. She’d wake up in the morning with the belief that Vampires only existed in the movies.  As she drove away Verity and Elizabeth came up with a crowbar and some other tools. We carefully and quietly extracted Henry from his casket.

Of course Henry was glad to see us. I could see why the actress was so smitten by him. He was extremely handsome, especially in his black funeral suit.

“You owe me big time Henry,” I told him. “And do me a favor and stay away from your little actress friend.”

He winked then gave me a kiss on the cheek. That was all. Just another brief random encounter.

The four of us, Verity, Elizabeth, Henry and I, walked through the cemetary to our cars. Wreaths and flowers were fresh on many of the graves. Christmas for the dead. Ghosts watched us as we walked along, coveting our bodies. They hate us because they have no bodies of their own and they consider us dead. We’re very much alive, just in a different way. We can never become ghosts.

My brothers Aaron and Val were waiting for us by the cars. Aaron was an attorney in Hollywood at the time but he was thinking about planning on moving up north soon, back to Sacramento. Val and I were always moving around. Henry and Elizabeth were thinking of moving up with the rest of us. Good times.

I was still famished to we ended up at a party with a lot of what Herb Caen of the San Francisco Chronicle had called “beatniks.” A lot of stoned wanna be poets who drank too much and didn’t notice their poetic and well spoken attractive friends were Vampires. I have to say dinner was interesting that night.

I thought about Henry’s actress friend tonight. I’d like to say she was a grandmother in San Diego, running a shelter for rescue cats and volunteering with her grandchildren’s school. I’d like to say that but I can’t. She died at age 31 in 1968 of a drug overdose. I think it was heroine. I’m sure her ghost is still out there looking for Henry.

My battery is now charged. The nice young man who fixed it said not to keep my phone charger plugged in while my car is stopped. Sounds reasonable to me.

I called everyone who was there that night and invited them over this weekend. Good friends stay together. We’ll celebrate the holidays without breaking into crypts or, for the most part, ghosts. I do have my ghost friends, but that is another post.

So keep your friends and your soul close and safe.

 ~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman