Short Story Sunday: Conversion

“Durant, we found something.”

“What do you mean you found something?”

“Live dead bodies.”

“Vampires?”

“Yes, vampires. Happy fucking holidays.”

“I’ll be right there.”

Austin Durant had planned on spending the morning grading papers. When he wasn’t teaching history at the local state college he was a contractor specializing in restoring historic buildings. When he wasn’t doing that he was a vampire hunter. The vampire hunter part wasn’t planned. It just happened.

Now a call from his construction site foreman Matt changed his Sunday morning plans. Damn. He made a call and headed out.

His attorney and friend (the term friend was sometimes questionable) Aaron Todd stood on the front porch. How could anyone always look so elegant, even in jeans and a fleece jacket?

“Why don’t you people take care of your own?”

“You people? Really Austin. You sound almost racist.”

“You’re a vampire.”

“The ones in the walls are not my people.”

Aaron had a point. He was an attorney and lived in a beautiful modern house, with a beautiful wife who looked like she was right out of a Botticelli painting.  Aaron had nothing in common with the dried up husks with long yellow teeth and claw like fingers who were hibernating in the old walls.

Aaron was holding a pink box. “I brought donuts and coffee for your guys. It was the least I could do.”

“Thank you. The good kind,” said Austin, looking at the beautiful assortment of donuts, sweet rolls and bear claws. “Do you ever eat these things?”

“No. They make me sick.”

They waked back to the small bricked in room where the vampires had been found. The 8 x 8 foot space had been bricked in from the inside.

Aaron looked down at the still dead looking forms. “I know those two. I’d wondered what had happened to them. Not that I cared. I was glad to see them gone. The last time I saw them was this time of year. My wife Verity and I were downtown late at night and spotted these two on the steps of the new Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament.”

“New?”

“It was 1890.” Aaron smiled and sipped his coffee. “They watched us with empty eyes coveting our existence. These two in the walls are creatures with no souls. They exist with nothing but longing for blood. They have no idea what the empty void is that fills them. That is why they wall themselves up to sleep for years. They know no torment. They feel no longing. They exist and that is all.

These two had come out to California to seek their fortunes right after the Civil war, like so many uneducated dullards. They were both pretty enough and young enough that they made a living selling their bodies. They were stupid enough to be seduced by evil. They forfeited their souls for eternal life. Either that or the idiots who converted them botched the job and only brought them back after their bodies were empty of any life at all. It doesnt matter. They might not even have had souls to begin with. They were the kind of people who just survive and nothing else. Their lives have no meaning.”

“You’re harsh.”

“I am realistic.”

“You saw them on the cathedral steps. You were going to tell me something about them.”

“It was two days before Christmas, they sat on the steps huddled together. I was going to approach them and tell them to leave town, when a priest came out into the dark and sat with them. We could hear what he said. I’ll never forget.”

Aaron took a deep breath as if he was almost human. “It was obvious they had been there before. The priest made a sign of the cross then put his hands on their shoulders and said, those who are loved will earn their souls. It is not in the scripture but I believe it. I know it. You are loved. Believe me. Believe my brother and sister.

Austin was amazed at what the vampire told him. “Do you believe that Aaron?”

“I want to, but no, I do not believe it.”

Austin knew vampires were cold hearted but he assumed that maybe… then again, when it came to the heart of a vampire assumptions were dangerous.

“By the way,” said Aaron, “the good priest was found dead a week later. His body had been drained of all blood. Funny how things work out that way.”

They looked down at the corpse-like vampires who lay on an ancient cot, huddled together in a cold embrace. Their old fashioned clothes still showed some color through the dusty and faded threads.

Austin raised the chain saw and was about to start it up when the male opened his eyes. It sounded like paper shredding. The woman did the same.

“Do it now,” hissed Aaron.

Austin started the chainsaw and cut off their heads.

He looked up and saw writing on the wall scrawled in what could have been blood above the cot.

We no not wat we do

“We know not what we do,” Austin read out loud.

In the curled up clawed hand of the woman Austin found a small carved figure of a baby in a manger. The paint looked almost new.

In the hand of the man was a holly branch.

“Those were gifts from the priest,” said Aaron.

The bodies turned to dust before their eyes.

“Aaron, what do you want to do with the ashes?”

“You have a shop vac don’t you?”

“Man, you’re cold. No pun intended.”

Aaron shrugged. Austin put the baby in his pocket and gave the dried holly branch to Aaron.

“Maybe I should believe,” said Aaron.

Austin put his hand on his friend’s shoulder. “Maybe you should.”

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ end

You might have seen this story before. I’m moving kids to college this week. New exciting posts to come later. ~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Tangled Tales

 

Austin and Elizabeth Stories

What happens when a History Professor/Restoration Expert/Player turns into a Vampire Hunter? He discovers basements full of undead creatures, a thriving community of hip and trendy Modern Vampires and the maybe love of his life (or maybe the cause of his death.)

For the complete story of Austin and Elizabeth (from the beginning) check the links below.

Part 1: The Hunter

Part 2:  Memory of Distant Love

Part 3: Dark Dreams of the Hunted

Part 4: About Those Pesky Undead Folks

Park 5: The Hunt Continues

Part 6: Cold and Warm

Part 7: Date with a Vampire

Part 8: Crawl Space

Part 9: Dust and Desire

Part 10: One of Those Days…

Part 11: Even Vampire Hunters Get the Blues

Part 12: Back to the Past

Part 13: Nowhere in Time

Part 14: Father Paul

Part 15: The Bat

Part 16: Conversion

Short Story Sunday: Chaos and Mistletoe

Marsha stomped the mud off her boots, threw her coat on the couch and stretched out her leathery wings. Fuck winter. Fuck Christmas. Fuck everything jolly and nice. Fuck peace on Earth, and all goodwill to everyone. Fuck Will, whoever the fuck he was.

She brushed back her hair and noticed a snag in her black Cashmere sweater. Damn it all. Her tail whipped around and hit the side of the Parson’s table she’d put in the entryway last week. Damn it. That hurt. Tears welled in her yellow green eyes.

Nobody understood how hard it was sometimes being a Demon. Nobody. Especially this time of year. Even the Vampires and Werewolves were making merry and bright. Damn them.

She poured herself a tall glass of twenty something year old Scotch and plopped down on the couch in front of the TV. She clicked through the channels. Three hundred Christmas movies showed up. How many fucking Christmas brides can there be? For Hell’s sake. She could watch one of the five thousand British murder mysteries on Netflix but they ALWAYS found the killer. What fun was THAT?

Looking out the window at the tiny yellow and brown song birds Marsha felt a little twinge of envy. You can spread your wings whenever you want. It doesn’t matter if anyone sees you. You don’t have to hide your tails. Then she wondered what they tasted like.

She guessed she could have gone out again and stirred up more trouble, and made people more miserable but she didn’t feel like working. It had been ages since she’d had a few days off. Everyone else was taking time off so why not her.

There was a knock on her door. Marsha was sure the doorbell worked. Why wouldn’t people ever use doorbells? Putting down her glass she answered the door.

“Hey baby,” said a voice as smooth as silk and the best chocolate ever made.

Marsha’s bad mood left her. Oh it was a rare event when she wasn’t feeling like she wanted to kill something.

“Ace,” she whispered his name and pulled him inside. Everyone called him Ace but his real name was Azazel, the fallen angel. Marsha didn’t care if he was one of them. She was alone and off the clock.

Ace stretched out his slate gray feathered wings. Damn, it took up almost the entire entry way. He was so hot.

Later that night she lay entwined in her lover’s arms. She almost felt happy and content. She almost wanted to wear a sundress and go to the beach. She almost felt like she was in love.

“What are you thinking?” Ace asked as he stroked her cheek with the back of his hand.

“I don’t know. I was thinking what it would be like to be a Christmas bride.”

“Well, you’ll never know now will you,” said Ace.

“You’re such a dick,” said Marsha.

“Merry Christmas baby,” said Ace with a long hollow laugh.

Marsha closed her eyes tight then opened them wide. “And a nasty New Year.”

And they fell asleep as a carpet of black mold grew over their dark souls, and they dreamed of chaos and mistletoe.

~ end


My Christmas Necklace

My Christmas Necklace – A Vampire Romance

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.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

This was first published here in 2012 – my first Christmas writing and sharing my story at http://www.vampiremaman.

Vlad’s Vampire Diary: Jingle Bells

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Dear Diary,

Today the rain comes down like tears of an old out of touch Vampire.

Losing three hundred years due to being locked up in a crypt has made me so confused about so many things. I have lost three centuries. Three fast centuries.

I arrived home after a night out with a sick friend. Yes, my existence as a Vampire in the 21st Century is much different than that of the 17th Century. That was the last century of my old life. How times have changed (that is a new modern expression.)

Last night while at the bar where I find a many of my dinner companions I noticed my friend Cassie, the owner of the establishment did not seem well. Upon taking her hand I could tell she was not altogether herself.

“Let me take you home. Your helpers can close for you,” I said to her ever so gently. She could not say no. After all I am a Vampire. I heard someone say “Cassie is getting lucky tonight.” I had no idea why they would say that about a sick woman.

I helped her into bed, then made her sleep. I sank my fangs into her wrist and took her blood, then took the illness out out of her body. Then I slept on her couch. When I woke Cassie was feeling better. She smiled and called me sweet. She did not taste me, so I am not sure what she meant by sweet but I will assume it was a compliment.

I drove home with the taste of her blood still in my mouth and a slight headache.

Next door, standing on the front porch of her home was young Kylee.

“Why are you standing out in the cold?” I asked her as she shivered like a frightened puppy.

“I carpooled to school and accidentally left my keys in the house.

I did not know what she meant by car pool and did not ask. I can not imagine driving a car into the water on a day already wet with rain. Taking pity on the girl I invited her into my home.

There I offered her tea and peeled an orange from the tree in my yard.

“Thanks,” she said taking the tea and sitting on a chair.

“Did you have classes today at the university?” I asked her.

“Community college. Yes, I had a final today in Economics. I aced it too. Woo Hoo. I’ll transfer to a UC in the fall. I’m not sure where yet. I applied for a bunch of schools. Irvine is my first choice, but I’ll accept Berkeley or Santa Barbara.”

“UC?”

“University of California. Where did you go to college Vlad?”

“Nowhere. There were no universities where I came from.”

Kylee’s eyes opened wide. “Really? Were you in a war zone or something?”

“It was something like a war zone at times. Only those who wished to have religious training went away. Those in my community did not seek out religious training.” I did not tell her that we were Vampires and it was three hundred years ago.

“Later, when I was older,” I did not tell her how much older, “I did visit some universities, but not as a full time student such as yourself.”

“Where are you from, originally?”

“Some called it the Tenebrosus Mountains.”

She looked at her phone and in lightning fast speed put in the name of my homeland. “It says here it doesn’t exist as a country anymore. It looks beautiful. Did you ever see this castle?”

She held up her phone and showed me the ruins of my once beautiful home. She continued to give me more information that I wanted. “It says that the castle belonged to  a Vampire King named Vlad who had the face of an angel.” She looked up at me. “That could be you. You have the face, but I can’t see you as a Vampire.”

“What could you see me as?” I asked young Kylee.

“I don’t know. But not a Vampire.” Then she laughed a long drawn out laugh that came straight from her belly. Then for reasons I do not know I started to laugh. We could not stop.

Kylee was a wealth of information about everything. She told me why Frosty the Snowman and I saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus were creepier than Baby it’s Cold Outside. Kylee thought it was weird that everyone sang Jingle Bells but nobody, absolutely nobody used a seligh with horses, and it never snowed where we live. She said so many Christmas songs were written in Hollywood but it never snowed their either. She told me the difference between Marxism and Socialism and Capitalism. She told me the difference between Emo music and Pop and Indie Rock. She said she was upset because of Global Warming and nasty old men who wanted to take away the right of young people with their religious dogma. She told me that French Roast coffee was just crappy beans that were burned to mask bad flavor. She said that her parents were weird but in a good way. She asked me if I was a feminist. I said yes, because I believe it has to do with women. I like women. Kylee said I was a good man.

It is not often a Vampire is called a good man to his face.

I had no idea what most of the things were that she spoke of but I enjoyed the joy of her youthfulness. Young Kylee will go far.

After Kaylee’s father came home, after she left, I pondered the thought of being a good man. I am a successful Vampire. Then I poured a goblet of blood and sat in front to the fire and pondered the idea of going to college. I do not know what I would major in.

~ Vlad

 

Dear Diary,

It is now December and there are tiny colored lights upon houses on my street. Each night like mushrooms more lights pop up.

I put up red and green lights all over the front of my house. While I was up upon the ladder, putting lights along the garage doors two women came by walking thier dogs. They smiled. I said hello. They greeted me back and said the lights looked good. As they walked away I could hear them giggle and say I was cute and had a nice ass. I did not put up a nativity scene so I do not know where they saw the ass. Nor did I know being upon a ladder was cute.

My mind suddenly went back to Yule season when I was young. The year was 1498. I was young then. Only 155, but old enough to be Vampire King and rule the people of the night and all the lands surrounding my castle and woods.

One day, on the first snow, as tradition called a young man was brought to me one night. He was an ordinary man of about 20 years, a gift from one of my loyal Vampire Knights. I bid my Knight leave us alone. My Knight was loyal but rather annoying.

The man looked around the room with the beautiful furnishings and polished wood floors. He glanced upon the large bed.

“I am not…I am here with my wife,” he said.

“Congratulations,” I said. “You are not here for the pleasures of the flesh. I am having you for dinner.” I smiled and stepped towards him. He looked into my face, a face with blue eyes, the beauty of a God, with a dimple to disarm any man or woman, surrounded by golden hair. “What is your name?” I asked quietly.

“David,” he said.

“David please sit,” I said. And he sat. I gave him no other choice. I looked into his eyes and made him sleep, the sleep of a trance of those who encounter Vampires. Then I sank my fangs into his neck and drank my fill. It was not enough to kill him, but enough to make him weak for a few hours. I searched his memories, then I gave him dreams of warm beaches and quiet waves on the sand. He had never seen such things. He would be confused by it later but that was not my problem.

I also saw in his mind that his wife was with child. At that time his wife was in another part of the castle with my wife. Yes, I had a wife. A wife I loved. I believed she loved me but I do not know if that was ever true. I do not know where she is now, if she is anywhere at all. I do not know if I am even still married to her. Our country, laws, and any records are no longer in existence so I will assume I am no longer married to the Vampire bitch. Even for a Vampire her heart was brittle and cold..

My wife was passionate, with a sharp mind, and a sharp temper. I loved everything about her, at least for the first hundred years or so. Sometimes I wonder where she is but I do not look for her. It is easy today to look on the Internet for a lost person, but not when looking for Vampires. We make sure we will not be found. Maybe she would be on the Dark Web. Maybe she is in Hell. One can only hope. What if I did find her? What would I do? The woman would no doubt rather come at me with a dagger and carve out my heart and eat it than say hello to me.

When David woke I sat with him and asked him of his life. David was an artist but he was tired of the old ways of painting. I told David that I would help him and his wife with child. What can I say? I am, what do they call it now, a softie, even then.

“Give me your wrist David,” I said. He slowly held out his arm. “I do not have all day,” I said taking his wrist with my hand. I sank my teeth into his wrist and drank his blood. I lifted my head, then caught a drop of blood on my finger, then put my finger in my mouth. David watched with wide eyes and no words.

“You know what I am David, do you not? I am a Vampire. I drink the blood of men to survive. I do not follow the rules of men or the rules of the universe that you know. I am the King of the people of the night. I have a proposition for you.”

David looked at me, his eyes growing large.

I continued, “My friend Randolpho’s good friend Raphael was planning on some large paintings, frescos, or something along those lines in the Vatican. Randolpho always had an affinity for religious places. Randolpho is always on the edge, always lurking around where he is not quite welcome. Always pretending to be something he is not. But are not all Vampires guilty of that?”

David and his woman Annalisa went to Italy and raised their children under the warm sun surrounded by fruit trees and love. He went to work for Raphael in the Vatican. Later David met another artist and called Michelangelo and posed for a statue of the Biblical David. The statue is in Florence. I understand it is quite famous.

I thought about Kylee. She is about the same age as David was. I believe Kylee lives a much more interesting life and will not be posing without her clothing on for all to see hundreds of years later.

~ Vlad

 

Dear Diary,

Tonight my love Gillian came to my house and we decorated a Christmas tree with red glass balls, and small white lights.

I told her that my neighbors saw an ass in the neighborhood, and asked if she saw it on her way over.

“An ass, like a burro?” She asked.

“No not a hole, an ass,” I told her.

“An ass hole,” she said. Then she started to laugh and could not stop. I have learned not to ask questions when this happens.

They are grazing animals with hooves like small horses. They do not live in holes. Gillian knows that. I do not understand her at times.

I placed a golden star upon the top of the tree as Gillian looked on. Then I kissed her cold lips and told her that I loved her.

As the red and green light twinkled outside I knew I would make sure she would never waste her time kissing Santa Claus, or anyone else.

~ Vlad

 

Kissed by a Vampire

Kissed by a Vampire

 

Click here for all of Vlad’s Vampire Diary Adventures

 

 

 

 

 

Christmas Message From Ambrose

Thank you Amy Karian for a fun Christmas story. I’m sharing this for my readers! It is too good to keep to myself.

cosistories

Ambrose stared at the microphone. “You’re kidding, right?”

Barbara patted his back. “Don’t worry. You don’t even have to touch it. Just talk into it.”

He shook his head. “I’m going to break it somehow. I just know it.”

“Stupid.” Robin said. “How you gonna break a microphone? You plannin’ to bite its neck or what?”

Ambrose shot a quick glare at Robin. “Technology and I aren’t friends.”

Isellta tilted his head and blinked quickly. “But what is it?”

Robin smiled at the fey. “It’s a microphone.”

“Microphone. Micro. Phone. Mi. Cro. Phone?” Isellta shook his head. “I don’t understand.”

Raven sighed. “I am unsure why I must be the one to explain this, but very well. A microphone is a device that amplifies the human voice to make it carry further than it normally can travel. In this case, however, we are using it to amplify Ambrose’s voice so…

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Burning Question #41: Let it snow! (Maybe not)

As I write this post, just a few weeks before Christmas, I am looking out onto my backyard filled with orange and lemon trees. Roses and succulent plants are blooming in my front yard. It still feels like Christmas time with lights all a glow and the steady parade of mail, Fed-X, UPS, and Amazon trucks. We’re even wearing sweat shirts and sweaters.

Snow is something we (people who live where I do) drive to see. It is only about an hour to get to the first patches and then thick blankets of higher up the Sierra Mountains towards Lake Tahoe. From where I live we await the first look at snow covered mountains in the distance.

I’ve never had a White Christmas in all of my 159 Vampire years.

 

tree and snow

Some of you reading this have your good Christmas snow memories. Feel free to share your stories or comments after doing the poll.

Burning Question #41: Are you dreaming of a white Christmas?

Feel free to leave additional comments about snow, holiday songs, cover songs, Vampires, or anything else you care to talk about.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman