Late setting sun
With a hint
Under the starlight
On an undead
She walked into the crowded bar as if she owned the place. I waved. She flashed me a dazzling smile and walked my way.
Black jeans, a dusty plum-colored coat over a white dress shirt she borrowed from her man, buttons open to give a hint of a promise of something soft and lace covered, the most darling gray boots with buckles and heels, a gray and blue scarf, and a black messenger bag with a tiny gold bat pin attached to it. Her nails are covered in glossy gray varnish as perfect as perfect can be, set off a perfect dark fire opal on her right hand. Loose dark brown chestnut colored ringlets cascading down her back. Perfect smoky eyes as gray as a winter sky shot with blue and a slight hint of pink lip-gloss on cupid kissed lips. She could be somewhere between 25 and 35 but it doesn’t matter. She is perfect. Every male head in the place turns. My mom just walked into the room.
She walked to the bar where I sat nursing a gin and tonic. She didn’t need to pull up a stool – four were immediately offered to her. She grabbed one a few places down and sat it next to me. Her arm went around my waist and squeezed. All was right in the world. Mom was here.
She still calls me her baby. I still call her my maman.
She picks something off of my sweater. She liked my hair. My nail color made my hands look dirty. Was Teddy home with the kids? I looked tired. Was I getting enough sleep? Was I spending all my time driving the kids around? Was I working on my novels? Was I planning my spring garden?
My dad with at my brother Aaron’s house. It was a big girl night out.
She scanned the room and said “we won’t go out hungry tonight.”
No we wouldn’t.
I put my hands in my lap, then decided to ignore her comment about my nail color. I liked the color even though I doubt if I’d wear it again.
We spoke quietly, our heads together. A man asked if we were sisters. My mom said we were.
He was in his early thirties. Blonde hair, green eyes, button down shirt. Cute bordering on handsome. My mom is 378 years old.
She whispered something in his ear and put her hand on his shoulder. He smiled. He was hers for the night if she wanted him. That isn’t what she said to him, but she can make anyone feel good. She said there was a girl in the bar who liked him, the pretty girl who is never the prettiest in the room and never the one who gets picked first. The girl was smart and funny and sexy and a little different. He’d pick her tonight and in a few months time he’d pick her forever. My maman has a talent for facilitating happily ever after events. How Vampires got the bad rap I’ll never know (actually I do but that’s another blog post) but we’re quite the romantics and lovers.
Her wedding ring was on a cord around her neck, hidden under her shirt. It was funny considering we spent most of the evening talking about my dad. She said she wanted to spend the weekend with my kids.
She said she’d planted the strawberry plants I’d given her. She’d also started mine in pots for me since I hadn’t dug up my planting beds yet. Hers were doing great but mine were still smallish. I told her that was because she loved her plants more than mine. She laughed. She had my plants in the car. I told her that I’d give them lots of love.
We were like any other mother and daughter meeting in the evening. Except we were out for blood. But that’s ok with us.
~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman
This was first posted February 2012. I’ll have new musing, thoughts and stories soon. In the meantime, have fun. J.
A Story from Juliette aka Vampire Maman. This not so romantic (depending on how sick and twisted you are) romance is a cautionary tale in honor of the February Valentine Romance Frenzy.
A house full of books and the ghosts of what could have been.
What can be. Oliver Thomas thought as he sat on the edge of the bed.
He never let himself get close to those he visited over the years. It was easy to become detached just as one could be detached to an apple or a head of lettuce.
She slept quietly. On the nightstand were books, earrings, a clock set for 5:00 a.m., and her glasses. Her husband was snoring and slept in another room. Her children were tucked into their dreams. Oliver made sure of that. They’d all be asleep.
Oliver Thomas kept coming back to her. She was different, by her own accord. Laurel had always been different – the type who saw the world in visions and possibilities. Someone who overcame obstacles. If she grew to be old she’d be a sweet eccentric with her window boxes full of exotic flowers and vast knowledge of the obscure and unusual.
She had a hard time making friends due to her shyness and reluctance to follow up. Her fear of rejection paralyzed her in some areas of her life. Most of life was paralyzing but she seemed to thrive and succeed.
Yet, the woman could light up a room with her wit and charm. She was a success despite her low opinion of herself.
But he’d fallen in love with her in a strange way that someone falls in love with an idea of perfection and the ideal person to share life’s adventures with.
Her teenage kids still hung all over her like toddlers, leaning on her even now. They were taller than she was, dressed in their black band shirts with trendy long hair and black painted nails. Oliver had seen Lauren once, her son with his lanky arm around her shoulder, her daughter with an arm around her waist. How many women, he wondered, envied her for the closeness she had with her children.
If it wasn’t for her children she might have checked out and left the world a long time ago. Since childhood Laurel had been uncomfortable with life and the tremendous effort it took for her to live with herself and her failures.
Oliver saw that Lauren had failed to see her success, except with her children. He didn’t want to think of her marriage with Craig. It worked better than most. In fact, for the most part, her marriage to Craig was an uncommon success.
Craig, the handsome and successful husband, was the love of her life. Even in her dreams Lauren couldn’t cheat on Craig. They’d built a life together. For her that was enough. More than enough she told herself.
But Oliver knew it wasn’t enough. Lauren found her life in others but kept her secret soul and passions locked up, bound in shadows and secrets.
At one time, Oliver and Lauren had been lovers. The memory of her warm skin, her lips on his own, her hands in his hair and her passion haunted him. He’d come and gone from her life assuming she’d always be there.
Now he was only with her in the dream world of the night. She’d remember him in another time and place in long lost memories of centuries past. She’d think she’d had a life in another time with him, a past life of possibilities and promise and passion.
An unlikely candidate this middle aged working mom, too tired and busy to think of herself except when she let her imagination fly as she commuted to school and work in her car each morning, or when she dozed off at night in her own secret places.
The passions were still in her, as it had been when she was young. How could that be? He kissed her then buried his face into her neck and when he’d had enough of her he silently left her with dreams of passion and desire.
The following evening Oliver looked up from his desk and there she was, standing in the doorway. Black dress, apple green sweater, black heels. The blue Coach bag, a 50th birthday present from her husband was slung over her shoulder. She looked she owned the world, but she still didn’t think she was beautiful.
How did she find me here? I never told her where I live?
“Lauren.” He said her name as if in a dream.
“Don’t Lauren me Oliver. I want you to leave me alone.”
He stood and approached her with his hands held out. “It was always the wrong time or place for us.”
She stepped back ignoring his open arms. “Don’t even start with me Oliver. It would have never worked. You always said I was too independent. Then you turned around and called me needy.”
“I never said any of those things.” He was shocked by her accusations.
“You didn’t have to say it. You made it obvious you were thinking it.”
He didn’t respond. This wasn’t the time for the witty dialog they’d shared in the past, the long talks through the night or the sweet lover’s words.
“Lauren, you can’t stand there before me and say that with a straight face.”
She looked at the floor then looked up straight into his eyes. “You never told me you loved me.”
“I didn’t have to.”
“Bull shit. You just expected me to hang around and wait for you to come in and out of my life. It got old Oliver. But it doesn’t matter. I’m married to a man who loves me the way I am. I’m successful, happy and I love my life.”
“I doubt if Craig realizes what a fortunate man he is.”
“Did you ever tell him about me?” Oliver took a step forward. Laurel folded her arms as if to shut him out.
“I haven’t told anyone about you. They’d all think I was nuts. Just like my Aunt Margaret when she talked about her Vampire.”
“You still love me Lauren.” Oliver said those words quietly with such passion that almost no woman would be able to resist. No woman except Laurel.
She turned and left, slamming the door behind her.
Oliver watched from the window as she got in her car and drove away. The slightest hint of regret surged through his dark thoughts. He’d never meet another who captured his heart and his passions like she had. He’d never meet anyone who made him laugh or feel the joy of being like Lauren had.
Oliver heard the steps behind him but didn’t turn around. A warm hand caressed his shoulder.
“Is she gone?” The speaker was obviously annoyed.
“Does she have any idea I’m here?”
Craig looked out the window. “Good. Where do we go from here?”
“Are you absolutely sure you want to do this?”
“My son is an Emo freak who acts in plays and writes poetry for fun. My daughter won’t talk to anyone unless it’s a text. My wife is never going to lose the baby fat or stop telling stupid jokes or snoring or complaining how hard she works. It wasn’t what I signed up for.”
“Just for once I want what I want. I don’t want to go home to a woman who is tired all the time and can’t even comprehend my needs.”
“What about your children? You must care about them on some level.”
“They’ll be fine without me. Lauren will have two million dollars in life insurance to get the kids through college. There’s another 10 million in assets she can sell off if she has to. She’ll make sure her children have wonderful memories of me.”
“The news of your death will break her heart.”
Craig scowled at Oliver. “Lauren is already so miserable she won’t even notice. She’ll be happy to be the unfortunate widow and bask in the glow of her own sorrow. I’m doing her a favor by dying rather than divorcing her.”
“And your girlfriends?” Asked Oliver.
“They’re whores who think they can get ahead by sleeping with the CEO. They’ll both get their pink slips next week. So now what?”
Oliver went back around to his desk and sat in the antique leather chair. “Your car will be found in the river and it will be assumed your body was washed away with the currents. Your wallet and a few clothing items will be found washed up on a beach. It will be assumed that you died.”
“So when do I change?”
“When do I become like you? A Vampire.” Craig asked this impatiently almost sounding like a spoilt teen.
Oliver took a deep breath and answered him. “Tonight if you want, but I’d rather wait until tomorrow.”
Craig leaned on the desk close to the Vampire. “I want this Oliver. I want my freedom.”
“You’ll get what you want Craig.”
“Oliver, I’m telling you…”
Craig started to speak but Oliver held up his hand. “We’ll take my jet to Rome in the morning. By the time we get there you’ll be a different man. The old Craig will be gone forever. In the meantime, you need to see your children one last time.”
Lauren sat in the high school auditorium waiting for the play to start. A Midsummer’s Night Dream. Her son played Lysander and her daughter was playing Puck.
Craig had called earlier to tell her he was working late. He’d been sorry to miss the play but said he’d see it on closing night next weekend. She thought she was going to throw up. She pulled out her phone and listened to the message she’d received right after she’d seen Oliver.
A sing song girlish voice said “Lauren this is Trinity, Craig’s assistant. I wanted to let you know that I’ve been sleeping with your husband for about two years. He said I did all those nasty fetish things you wouldn’t do and I believed him. I really really loved him and would have done anything but he dumped me for Tara Hall. She’s like the VP of Marketing. They’ve been doing it since October so he was two timing on me too. Stupid puke. So when he says he is gone on business he’s really with her. I just thought you’d want to know because you seem like a nice lady.”
It was the fifth time she’d listened to it. Each time she’d hoped she’d heard it wrong but that wasn’t the case.
A text came in from Craig saying he had a change of plans and was on his way.
Concentrate. Don’t think about him. It isn’t true. He’ll be here any minute. Don’t cry.
The house lights went down and the play started.
Oliver Thomas stood on the side of the river and watched the emergency crews on the opposite shore drag out a sliver convertible, the headless body of the driver still strapped in the seat. Some unfortunate member of the police department would find sightless eyes attached to a severed head staring up at him from the floor of the passenger seat.
Witnesses said another car had forced him off the road. The convertible rolled and went into the water. It had been too dark to get any plate numbers or a good description of the other car.
Craig wanted to be free of his wife and children. A man should have what he wants after all.
Now Oliver would do it right. He’d wait a few months, he had time and he’d be there for Lauren and her children, like he should have been all along.
~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman
(first posted April 2013)
I love book cover art so no season of Halloween Hotties can be without Vampire Book Cover Art.
I’ve been designing book covers professionally for years, but unfortunately I’ve never had the opportunity to design covers for Vampire novels. Maybe…one day.
There are so many wonderful authors who are fortunate to have great cover artists/models/photographers/illustrators on their team.
So enjoy… and I think I’m going to be reading a few hot Vampire stories during the upcoming cold fall nights!
FYI – Passion’s Prisms and Creepies are both from the WPaD group – the publishing group I’m involved with. Both of these books include my stories as well as those from authors with impressive story telling talents. Both books are available on Amazon. Portions of the proceeds go to MS research.
For more information on Night Coach CLICK HERE (and be prepared to laugh out loud.)
And PLEASE if you have any suggestions about Hot Vampire book covers (or any Halloween related hotties on book covers) let us know in the comment section and feel free to add a link (even if it is your own book – we’d love for you to share.)
Note: I added Creepies, not because it is “hot” but because it is a great book cover, a great book and I think it is really cute and sweet in a scary Halloweenie sort of way.
Halloween Hotties: Vincent Price
Halloween Hotties: Movie Vampires
Halloween Hotties: Werewolves
Halloween Hotties: Brides
Halloween Hotties: Witches
Halloween Hotties: Vintage Witches
Halloween Hotties: Jack and Sally
Halloween Hotties: Dead Victorian Guys
Halloween Hotties: Weird Tales
Halloween Hotties: Ghosts
Halloween Hotties: Bruce Campbell
~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman
I was almost shaking I was so hungry. You know how it gets when you’re just light headed and your heart is hardly beating, but if you’re not a Vampire it might beat faster, but anyway, you know the feeling.
Arriving at Jack’s law office downtown I could hardly contain myself. It had been a while since I’d seen my old friend for a “lunch date.” Way too long. When I saw Jack I got him out of his jacket and shirt so fast I hardly realized what I was doing. Vampire fingers can fly over buttons like you wouldn’t believe. He took care of his tie and then his undershirt. He fell on the couch, I was in his lap, my mouth on his neck, my fangs in his skin. His eyes closed and a smile was on his face. I’d put him in his happy spot on a beach far far away with warm breezes and the sound of the waves crashing.
Crashing. The door flew open and someone yelled. Jack tried to stand, I let go and there was blood everywhere.
His partner (in his law firm) Owen had come into the room, thinking something was going on. There was something but it wasn’t what he thought it was.
Owen was yelling but I didn’t listen. Now Owen, is a big guy – a former football player, maybe a tad under six and a half feet. And he is loud.
“Quick,” I hissed putting my right hand on Jack’s bleeding neck and holding out my other hand. He came close. I grabbed his wrist and looked him in the eye. “Forget you saw anything. It was nothing. Sleep.” He slumped to the floor. I put my mouth back on Jack’s neck and stopped the bleeding.
Fortunately Jack keeps a spare shirt or two in his office closet and a spare suit (in case he has to go to court on a more casual day). I ended up leaving wearing one of his white dress shirts over my own navy blue slacks. My blouse was soaked with blood along with my hair. Jack and I cleaned up in the bathroom.
“I’m so sorry.” I was. This sort of thing is so rare and completely threw me off.
Jack held me close and kissed me on the top of the head. “Don’t be.”
“It has been a long time since I’ve almost bled out a donor.”
“A donor? Interesting term.”
“Don’t take it wrong. You’re first and foremost my friend. I mean that.”
“I can feel your heart beating. Now that is something different.”
I backed away. “I have to go.”
“Will I see you and Teddy at the Halloween party this weekend?”
“Of course. I wouldn’t miss it. We’re coming as Vampires. Fancy that.”
He took my hand and pulled me back and wrapped his arms around me. Stroking my face Jack whispered “You’re so cold. Sometimes I can’t believe you’re real.” He looked in my eyes. I wanted to break his gaze and turn away but I was trapped. His mouth met mine in a kiss, that was more than just friends.
I pushed away and gasped as if I’d been drowning. “I’m not like you. I never was. I never will be. I’m your worst nightmare.”
“Then go to bed with me.”
“I’ll kill you,” I gasped, hardly able to take in a breath. It wasn’t a threat, just a statement of a possibility.
We stood looking at each other. He has a small smile on his face. I was the horrified one.
Then he picked up a box off of his desk. “This is for you. Happy Birthday Juliette. 154 is it?”
I cautiously opened the package. Unwrapping the tissue paper I found a doll, about 8 inches long. She was made of China. Her black hair was painted on, contrasting to her white face. The pale blue dress was thin with age. I’d had a doll just like her when I was a child.
“Look on the back of her neck,” said Jack.
On the back were the initials in child like letters JAT. I’d written my initials on her so many years ago. She was my doll. I’d lost her so many many years ago.
Jack stepped closer again. “I found her in an antique store. I had a feeling she might have been yours.”
My heart stopped. Literally it stopped, as Vampire hearts sometimes do when we’re overwhelmed with emotion. Then it started up again.
“Thank you Jack. Oh my goodness, I can’t tell you how much this means to me.”
He took another step closer. “I love you Juliette.”
My heart stopped again and I kissed him again and left him, standing with a smile on his face and an icy chill in the air, even though it was 75 degrees outside.
“No you don’t.” I said as I hit the sunlight that burned my eyes and caused me to feel ill. I stepped back into the dark shadow of the building and took a deep breath. “Damn you Jack. You’re going to ruin everything.”
I pulled out my phone and called my husband Teddy. He was quiet on the line when I told him what happened.
Teddy gave a quiet laugh then said, “It isn’t like this is the first or the last time this has happened to you. I think every guy who ever found out you were a Vampire fell in love with you and then some. It happens to me at least once a week. They can’t resist us dear.”
“I know, but…”
“I was with Jack when he found the doll. I remembered you carrying her around when you were small.”
I almost started to cry at that point. “I love you Teddy.”
“I love you too. Don’t worry about Jack. He’ll be fine. He’s a good friend. Just give him time to get used to the whole Vampire thing. What has it been? Six months since he found out we were Vampires? His wife has always known, but I went through the same thing with her but in triplicate. It’s ok darling. Everything is ok.”
And Teddy is right. Everything is ok, but sometimes the shadows get in the way and we just have to trust ourselves.
Things were easier a long time ago when the world wasn’t going so fast and we didn’t have so much on our minds. I’m not saying it was any better, but it was different. It was easier to be a Vampire.
And sometimes things just get weird – and that isn’t exclusive to Vampires. It gets weird for everyone. But that’s ok too as long as we continue to love and learn and think with both our hearts and our heads.
~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman
I’ve always loved to be around creative people. Not those who suffer for their art or bores who put on airs of importance… but those who are truly creative in their hearts and souls, in everything they do.
Creative can be a state of mind as well as actually creating art or writing or a million other things we all do each and every day.
Artists are fun people. People who hang out with artists are fun people. Which proves the point that art is fun. Everyone needs art. Art is a good thing.
I can explain the wonder and awe and feeling of being so complete and one with the universe when I’m in the presence of art. It is time travel for the soul. It is the essence of being. It was something that transports. It is like a high that no drug can match. It is magic.
There is something romantic about most art as well, or at least the art I’m attracted to, be if figural, landscape, modern or ancient.
So the message for the day is: Feel Good! Feel Art!
~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman
For more on art from this blog click on the links below: