Frogs, Rain, and Finding Unexpected Company Under the Floorboards: Keeping in the Light

In the land of eternal drought it has been raining. It has been raining a lot.

The rain means frogs around my house. From May to October we get very little or no rain. In the summer most of the frogs go underground into their mud shells and wait for the rain. A few come up to my deck and hang out in the planters, or hide underneath the front porch in the hot weather but most vanish under the ground.

Anyway right now their chorus is deafening at night. They’re called Sacramento Valley Chorus Frogs. Really. That is what they’re called. They’re tiny little things with huge voices.

My dog lets me know when deer and coyotes come into the field behind my house. There are always turkeys. If I look up into the sky I can see eagles, hawks, and a large assortment of song birds. If I go outside the humming birds will buzz around my head. The hummers are fearless because they know nobody can catch them.

Occasionally my brother Aaron will call me to help distract some old dried up shadow creeping Vampire from a building. His friend Austin Durant, a Vampire Hunter, often is along. The only reason they call me is because I’m not afraid and I’m the only one small enough to get into most of the tight places under houses and in attic walls.

I guess the point is that even when it is raining or seems like nasty out nobody needs to stay hidden behind walls. I wonder why my brothers, friends, and I choose to Vampires who live in the real world, and others crawl away and hide. Sometimes they hide for years, until they dry up, like frogs who live in a drought for a hundred years.

There are regular people like that too, living like the frogs who get stuck in the hardened ground forever.

If you know anyone like that you need to go water them. Bring them out. Let them sing their songs again.

Then again, if they’re Vampires, leave that to the experts. Let me know and I’ll hook you up with someone who can help. You don’t want to mess with Vampires.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

Rain and Frogs

One of our frogs. They’re tiny. You could fit 6 or more in the palm of your hand.

Dark Days, Ghosts, and Inspiration

coffee

Coffee with Vampires, Ghosts and Poe

I’ve been having a bad case of Empty Nest Blues lately. Yes, even without any kids in the house, or kids almost out of the house, I can do anything. Right? Yes, but like everything else it is always complicated with me. As I brooded about my lack of brood and lack of inspiration my brother Val stopped by for coffee.

As I filled the French Press with hot water, Val grabbed cups and poured in a shot of blood and half/half in each cup. He put two packages of Equal in his, one in mine.

“Dark day?” He asked.

“I feel frozen. But I’ll be fine. Tell me about your sorry existence.” That was a joke. Val has a lovely existence, especially for a Vampire.

We sat and talked about a lot of things. I thought about being inspired to be inspired.

I poured more coffee into my cup and posed a question to my brother. “What if Edgar Allen Poe had lived. He died in 1849, so he might have heard of the gold find in California. What if he’d live and come to California? What if he’d continued to write and eventually met Bret Harte and Mark Twain? What if he’d met Lotta Crabtree? What if he’d met us?”

“Imagine him on the ship with our parents. That would have been fun.”

“Poe would have loved them.”

“He would have ended up becoming a Vampire. Mom would have made sure of that.”

“Maybe,” I said. “He was so odd and broken, but he shouldn’t have died. I think he was murdered.”

“That’s the rumor.”

One idea leads to another, and I make mental notes for stories, books, and artwork that I think a lot about and might someday create, or finish, or forget. The thought is depressing, or exciting depending on who is thinking it. If I’m thinking it right now it seems vague and somewhat depressing, and impossible, and overwhelming. Tomorrow it might be another answer.

As we talked, and my mood brightened and became more hopeful, Val and I looked out the window into my back yard. We could see the ghosts, Nigel and Mary by the fence. They were dancing to music we couldn’t hear. Being ghosts, dealing with their own deaths, and murders, had taken a toll on both, but they pulled themselves out of their own broken fog and made a life after death for themselves. Love will do that. Don’t get me wrong, Nigel is still a major asshole, but sometimes I see that light I know he had when he was alive. Like with Poe, I wonder what he would have achieved had he lived. He’d be fifty-eight now, had he not died in 1986.

Nigel looked up at us and waved at Val. Then he looked at me. Our eyes locked, and he flipped me off. Then Nigel and Mary vanished, as she continued to dance, and he glared at me.

I can relate to the songs and dances of the broken. These are not all sad songs. They’re just songs of those who have maybe had more complex paths to wander along.

Val had always been along my path with me, but we’ve taken side trails alone.

But like with my brother’s visit, I always circle around and return to the joy and love of my family, my friends, and of my imagination.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

don't be a ghost

 

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/broken/

 

 

 

Another Rainy Day (or Night)

Maybe it is the gray weather, or just changes, or nothing, but the gray mood of Winter continues, way past the first day of Spring.

Anyway, my jeans and sweatshirt were still wet from going out in the rain, as I looked up #vampires on Twitter just out of curiosity. It was all fangs, dripping blood, sexy hot male Vampires, and a lot of violence. Seriously, I’m always up for the sexy hot male Vampires, but you know, after kids, and pets, and business, and taking care of stuff at home… I don’t have time for that. I don’t have time to drip blood all over my clothes, try to get the stains out, go shopping for new clothes, etc, etc, etc. Oh, and not to mention getting the damn stuff out from under my fingernails. I find a friendly neck or a wrist. I keep it clean and simple, I go on. I guess what I’m trying to say is that I have a life. I don’t have time for the drama right now. And it is raining. Hard. Really hard.

I spent the day driving around in the car with an 85 pound German Shepard. She slept most of the time while I made all of my stops. It wasn’t interesting. No Vampire councils, no visits to any clairvoyants, no tight skirts and red heels (Vans today.) We went to the used book store, the post office, Trader Joe’s (yes, there is stuff there I need), to the high school, and then Dutch Brothers (where they can make anything sugar free for Vampires who as you well know love coffee.)

So I’m looking up different hash tags because I’m tired of political crap today and trying not to get sucked down the rabbit hole even more… don’t leave me because there is a story here…maybe.

My brother Andy called. Andy lives in San Francisco, in St. Francis Woods no less. I live near Sacramento. Andy is eight years my elder but who’s counting. We’re both over 15o years old so birth order doesn’t always matter at this point.

I hear Queensryche playing Another Rainy Night in the background. The band wasn’t there, Andy was playing it on an unknown device. I mention that because my brother Andrew is an insanely talented musician.

“Oh sweetie, did someone break your heart again?” I had to ask.

“No, it’s just the rain. I’m thinking about the loves I’ve lost over the years. Far far too many to count.”

“I know Andy,” I said.

“Maybe it isn’t even that. It is just a bad day. You know when it just hits you like a wave and every cell in your body feels like it is just going to stop.

“I know,” I said. Depression. It never makes sense. “You should call James. Tell him to bring the Unicorn over,” I said. I hate Andy’s friend James, but he always seems to snap Andy out of his moods. James is so sexist that he’d make the entire Trump administration look like members of the Pantsuit Nation. Jokes aside, he would. He also has a Unicorn. A real Unicorn. Nobody can resist the cheering charm of a Unicorn.

While I’m talking to Andy there is a knock on the front door. Then I hear our brother Val (almost a twin we’re so close in age) call out “Hey, Jewels.”

I put the phone on speaker and he talks to Andy. Val can always cheer up a room with his infectious laugh. You know, that sort of horse funny laugh that young men have (despite his 158 years.) Val is charming and soon we have Andy out of his gloom, at least we hope. In fact I invite Andy on our Spring Break adventure to the mountains and snow, but at least it will be beautiful and he won’t be alone.

We’ll have a weekend of quiet beauty and maybe even a bear sighting or two. They (the bears) are just coming out of hibernation, and for some unknown reason they always cross my path. These are black bears mind you, but I have had a grizzly cross my path before. That will scare even the most hardened Vampire, and even Werewolves. One does not mess with the one who is at the very top of the food chain.

I tried to think of another song to suggest to Andy, but by then he didn’t seem so depressed, but in an hour it might come back, but it might not. I tell him to resist, to tell it no, to not allow it in, not to embrace it, not to acknowledge it, or let it see him. It lurks around like a mean little demon who scuttles silently along the walls, waiting, watching, hungry to suck out as much as one’s soul as it can.

Then I think of the quiet woods, and know that we’ll find peace this week, along with laughter and love. No #scaryvampires. Just #lovedvampires.

Have a great weekend everyone. Find your peace.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

 

 

Short Story Sunday: Fallen

Fallen

“Oh man, I wish we could turn into bats like in the movies. That would make things a lot easier.”

Max leaned against the kitchen counter listening to his friend Pierce. It had been a rough night for the hunters of shadows – the Vampires who were dedicated to keeping their world safe for both Vampires and those they lived among.

“Do you think she’ll be alright? I didn’t say anything in the car. You know how sensitive she is.”

Max poured himself another glass of wine. “She’ll be fine, eventually. I’ve seen her through worse. Mehitabel has seen herself through worse.”

Mehitabel won’t tell you if anything is wrong. Come on Max, she took on…” Peirce paused.

“A fallen angel. Sure, and some people call us fallen angels. They have no idea. We’re just physically different. The fallen angels are pure evil.”

“So is the poison that entered our friend, your lover.”

“We’re just friends.”

“Bullshit Max. That is total and complete bullshit.”

The sound of the shower upstairs turned off. Max put down his glass and went to check on his friend.

Mehitabel sat on his bed, her hair dark and wet around her shoulders. She wore one of his robes, a burgundy colored brushed silk.

“Hey, how do you feel?” he said stepping close putting his hand on her cool cheek.

“Not good. Sort of weird, like someone broke my heart, but I don’t know how or why or who. It wasn’t him.”

Max started to pull the robe open.

“Not tonight Max. Please I don’t want to have sex with you or anyone right now, alright.”

Mehitabel, I don’t want to… I… just let me look.” He pulled open the robe to see the large gash going from the top of her left shoulder down her arm almost to her elbow. The ugly wound had sealed but it was far from being healed. She winced as he touched it. An ugly blackness outlined the edges of the tear.

He put his hand over the wound. At first she tried to pull away but as he whispered words in an ancient language of their people the pain started to leave her arm. Then he bent over and kissed her shoulder. The blackness turned to a pale red. “I came to give, not to take.”

Tears filled her eyes as she lay back on the bed. Max lay next to her and put his arms around her. “Sleep. It is the best thing you can do. I’ll be up later. Nothing can hurt you here, not while Pierce and I are with you.”

Downstairs Pierce had turned on the TV. “Giants lost today but the US team is kicking butt in the Olympics. How is she?”

“Not good. I’m going to sleep with her tonight. Just sleep and be there.”

Max and Pierce stayed up to watch the Olympics to get their minds off of the past 48 hours.

Mehitabel lay in bed, her fangs ready as she looked out at the creature standing on the window ledge. “You cannot hurt me here. You cannot have me.”

It looked like a man, but she could see the flicker of the forked tail in the dark and the fold of leathery wings above his shoulders.

He smiled an angelic smile of pure bliss and beauty, then mouthed the words, “You’re mine. You. Are. Mine.”

At the sound of the door opening the dark being vanished. Max crawled under the covers bedside her. “Just because, just because we’re the way we are, and because I can’t give you… it doesn’t mean I don’t love you.”

She didn’t respond. She was too busy watching and waiting as she looked into the darkness outside the window.

 

~ End

 

Fallen Angel Dore

A story from ~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Ask Juliette: Feeling Blue, Looking Orange, Finding Waldo, Vampire Cats, and Poe

Ask Juliette (Ask A Vampire – Advice for Everyone) is a regular Thursday feature here on Vampire Maman. These are all real questions from real readers. If you have questions about anything (and I mean anything) send me a note at juliettevampiremom @ gmail .com

An old illustration I started for a Poe story. I've always liked it. That's all.

An old illustration I started for a Poe story. I’ve always liked it. That’s all.

 

Dear Juliette,

I finally worked up the courage to ask… or say something about many different things. I go through a lot every day, as do most people. Let me begin my saying, I’m someone who suffers from bouts of depression. It’s something I’ve only recently been able to talk about with people. This step I’ve taken, I somewhat regret. I placed my trust in people who I now think don’t like talking about it. It leaves me in a place of deeper loneliness and on top of that, life isn’t slowing down. I stress about my life all the time and people who constantly surround me make me feel guilty for choosing a path that helps me with my depression.

These two groups are friends and family. I’ve trimmed my friends a great number. The friends I have now, I consider dear to my heart, but sometimes, when they avoid talking about something weighing me down, I wonder, do I matter to them as much as they matter to me? And my family, well… what can I say… To them, it’s like a cold. Take medicine, sleep it off, and the morning next, I should be fine.

Taking this all into consideration, what do you think I should do to keep myself from falling down the rabbit hole I’ve only so recently climbed out of?

~ Sincerely, Not Alice

 

Dear Not Alice,

I saw your email in the wee hours of the morning. It really moved me.

The fact that you’ve recognized that you have depression and that you are dealing with it is something you should be proud of. It is never easy. It is a huge step.

A lot of people never talk about it to others. There is still a stigma about depression. It is uncomfortable to deal with for everyone.

It is never easy for others to hear someone suffers from depression. People tend to not want to talk about health issues, especially mental health, because it makes them uncomfortable.

The one thing being a creative person teaches you is to face rejection. It also teaches you to dig deeper inside of yourself than most people can ever imagine. I want you to know that. It doesn’t mean rejection gets easier, it just means you’ll learn to handle it better than most people – and not take it personally.

Is it going to be easy? Absolutely not. Are there going to be rewards. Absolutely YES.

In life there are those people who have a five-year plan. There are those who know at age 20 what they’ll be doing at age 30. And you know what? Life happens. Companies fold, people die, opportunities happen, people fall in love, or you just change your mind. Take it all, take everything, as an experience to learn and grow.

Be good to yourself. Have fun with yourself. Love yourself. Be your own best friend.

At the same time know that your friends and family who are there for you LOVE YOU. Yes, they do. Sometimes it is just hard to show it in the ways you want them to. Not only do they want you to be happy but they want to see you happy. Show them a smile. Tell them something positive. Make it a habit. I know it sounds like Sunday/Kindergarten stuff but it works.

The one thing I can tell you, from my own experience, is to never embrace Depression. Do not be kind to it. Do not consider it your friend. Do not see it as part of you. It is not who you are. Depression isn’t like a cold. You don’t just get over it. But you can learn to give it the middle finger and be strong.

I bet you have more talent in your little finger than most people have in their entire bodies. So seek out inspiration, new experiences, and things that make your happy. Don’t worry so much what others think. They aren’t you.

So what should you do to keep out of the rabbit hole?
Be good to yourself.
Treat yourself.
Keep active.
Most of all keep creative.
Find new activities (and new friends)
Don’t be a hermit.
Know that you are not defined by depression.
Know that you are loved.
Get professional help if you feel you need it.
Learn from your experiences and mistakes (and learn from the experiences and mistakes of others.)
And learn from your own success. Celebrate your success, even the small things.
I’m not an expert or a medical professional. I’m just someone with a lot of life experience who observes and records everything in the crammed small space I call my brain.

Take a deep breath. One day you’ll look back and want to hug the younger you. So go ahead and give yourself that hug now. I know it is hard. It is really hard. But you’re on the right path. Just keep going. Never stop.

Hugs ~ Juliette

moth

Dear Juliette,

My cat has recently taken to vampirism. At first he was noshing nightly on rats and raccoons, but over the past month he’s gone and drained poor Aunt Milly dry. We buried her last week. What’s to be done? And should we expect Aunt Milly back?

~ Guy with a Cat

 

Dear Guy,

Bad kitty.

I consulted with my friend Adam, who also just happens to be a Werewolf and expert on shape changers.

It looks like Aunty Milly might come back but as a rare North American Werelynx. I doubt if your kitty did all of the blood draining. He had help. Werelynx frequently hand out with house kitties and their unsuspecting owners. Aunt Milly might do quiet well under the full moon with her new beautiful fur, tufted ears, and take-no-shit attitude. Keep me posted and let me know what happens. And remember to keep some rabbits or raw meat around so she won’t be tempted to eat any family members.

~ Juliette

Lynx, Werelynx

 

Dear Juliette,

Can vampires get a suntan?

~ Malibu Barbie

 

Dear Barbie,

Unfortunately no. Even Vampires of color are sensitive to the sun. We buy sunscreen by the gallon. When we’re in the sun we can get violently ill. My son had problems with that in high school. I was always going up to school to pick him up until I had a serious talk with the PE coach. Thank goodness they only have to have PE for the first two years.

Believe it or not, Vampire don’t tan but we do get amazing freckle blooms. That is something most people don’t know.

Spray tan sounds like a logical option for Vampires who want that just-back-from vacation-in-Arizona-glow. But, being the stylish and classy creatures we are, we don’t spray tan. I mean, seriously, look at a certain orange buffoon running for president and his tacky orange wife. Yikes. They’re scary monsters to say the least.

~ Juliette

Annoying_orange_meme
Dear Juliette,

Can Vampires diet?

~ Skinny

 

Dear Skinny,

Sure, but why?

~ Juliette

 

I added this image of Vincent Price just because he is smoking HOT.

I added this image of Vincent Price just because he is smoking HOT.

 

Dear Juliette,

Where is Waldo?

~ Still Looking

 

Dear Still Looking,

With the Goblin King.

~ Juliette

Goblin King

 

Dear Juliette,

Did you know Edgar Allen Poe?

~ Fan of Eddie

 

Dear Fan of Eddie,

No, he died before I was born.

Edgar Poe – January 19, 1809 – October 7, 1849

Juliette Kings – October 23, 1859 – Not Dead Yet.

13006457_10205480408919871_3443843339552774448_n

 

Dear Juliette,

How much wood could a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?

I already answered this burning question in a previous post but here it is again.
Dear Juliette,

How much wood could a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?

~ Tongue Tied

 

Dear Tongue Tied,

Really? Woodchucks?

If a woodchuck could chuck wood it wouldn’t be much. They have little bitty arms and can’t throw logs like some great big Vampire guy could. I’d say after a hefty pile of kindling, say about a twenty-five gallon drum full the poor little critter would be exhausted for a week.

~ Juliette

Look at those tiny little woodchuck arms.

Look at those tiny little woodchuck arms.

 

That is it for this week. Thank you everyone for all of the questions. I hope I’ve been able to help. If you have a burning question about life, parenting, relationships, mysterious stuff, paranormal, Vampires or ANYTHING for next week just email me at juliettevampiremom @ gmail .com

 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

EricDahlin-CuteCrow'

Rosemary and Lemon…and Vampires

A lot of Vampires love the smell of rosemary and lemons because it reminds them of being warm and in the light.

In fits of melancholy they are drawn to the past. Alone they fill bowls with herbs and fruit, then sleep until someone texts them or until the night calls.

I bet you didn’t know that.

Just like with regular humans the people of the shadows have days where they can’t seem to bring it all together.

Then the stars come out, it starts to rain, a song comes on the radio that brings up the spirit. A friend reaches out a cold long fingered hand and pulls you into an embrace and you know you aren’t alone.

 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman