Short Story Sunday: Dream a Little Dream…

Damn. What a night. Fighting demons and their fucking friends. Max rarely even thought of using four letter words but tonight was a swear night. Even as an alpha Vampire to top all alpha Vampires he was exhausted, and away from home.

The only saving grace was that he’d been not far from his fiancé’s house by the beach. He looked forward to falling asleep in her arms to the sound of the waves.

She wasn’t home. Damn. He let himself in as the sun started to light up the morning sky. 5:00 a.m. Where was she?

Max stripped off his clothing and threw it into the washing machine. Then he fell onto her bed. Damn it felt good. She said she’d gotten new bedding but this was amazing. He never understood Vampires who slept in coffins and crypts.

Falling into a deep sleep the dreams came in waves…

“I’m smarter than everyone in this room. They’re all idiots,” said Archibald Fontaine.

What is that blow hard doing here? Thought Max. He couldn’t stand the pompous ass. Archi was the last Vampire he’d want in his dreams.

Then Archibald Fontaine leaned forward and kissed Max on the mouth.

Max backed off. “It is over Archi.”

Then he was jolted into a dark passageway. Sadness overwhelmed him. He had never felt so alone. A cat started to follow him, then two, then three, then five.

The dream jumped to another location. This time a house. His house. She lay on his bed in silk tap pants and a silk bra, both in pale pink. He kissed her neck and brushed it with his fangs. He wanted to tell her that he loved her but he didn’t. Or did she want to tell him?

He was at a party. It was the 1916. He heard her voice I haven’t thought about him in years. It was a lie. She thought about him all the time. A wolf howled in the distance. It was a Werewolf.

He sat on a chair pulling off the silk stockings he’d worn the night before. Red peep toe shoes were on the floor in front of him along with a flowered dress.

Max had never worn a dress. Not even on Halloween.

Max opened his eyes and looked into his own face next to him in bed. His eyes were brown, then the color turned to hazel, then back to brown. He smiled at himself and pulled himself close in an embrace.

Then he woke in a jolt. This was too weird. What had those demons done?

Mehitabel stood by the bed. “Hey baby.”

“Hey,” said Max.

He reached out his hand and gently pulled to him. She sat on the edge of the bed and gently kissed him.

“The new bedding is nice. Love the pillows. But oh man, I’m having weird dreams.”

She smiled and stroked his hair. “Memory foam,” she said.

“What?”

“Memory foam. You’re sleeping on my pillow silly.”

Then she undressed and got into bed beside him, but not before she gave him his own pillow.

~ end

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Note: Aside from the occasional rerun all “Short Story Sunday” stories are written quickly over coffee on the Sunday morning they are posted. Coffee + pencil/pen/crayon/keyboard + observation + imagination + inspiration + more coffee + a punch line or twist = a story of somewhat questionable origins and more questionable quality. What jump starts your imagination? 

 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Vampire Maman’s Guide to Dream Interpretation

At the end of my street is a woodland that ends in bluffs overlooking a lake. On one end one can see the towers of Folsom Prison. If you walk a bit down the trail you can see the Mormon Temple. At night it looks like the Eifel Tower in Paris.

Most Vampires avoid both prisons and churches (I use that term for all places of worship.)

If we go in a church we’re usually drawn in by the music, hiding out or drawn in by someone of strong will.

I had a dream that my friend Amelia and I were inside of the Mormon Temple exploring on our own. I’ve been there so I have a visual, but I wasn’t exploring the first time – the real-time. I was on a tour, as a guest, when the building first opened (another story for another time.)

It was lovely and a bit confusing. I have to admit that I like exploring old Catholic churches full of statues of saints the best. Of course the ultimate is getting into the hidden areas of the Vatican. Oh have I got stories for you about that. Dan Brown – give me a call if you’re reading this. Yes, Vampires love the Vatican.

Amelia has always been the explorer – more than most Vampires. Granted we go in and out of buildings and places as we more or less please, but Amelia is the master. Name a place and she has been there, unseen. No, really, name a restricted place. Amelia has been there. Ask her about the Knights Templars. I dare you.

But my adventure was just a dream, however real it seemed.

For some reason, when schedules change, I dream vivid dreams. I can’t sleep either.

My brother Max came this morning at 3:00 a.m. and picked up my kids for a trip to the coast. Just the weekend, but I couldn’t sleep, except to have strange dreams. Granted my sleep schedule is already messed up. You know, people think being a Vampire is easy but it isn’t. Not at all.

So that got me to thinking about the meaning of dreams. And that led to a list.

Vampire Maman’s Guide to Dream Interpretation

What you dream about and what it means (in italics.)

Cats: Something good is about to happen.

Blood: Either you’re thirsty or somebody is in big trouble.

Church outside: You are utterly alone.

Church inside: Feeling caution.

Cake: Cake.

Driving: Trying to resolve childhood issues.

Driving fast: Trying to resolve adult issues.

Vanishing road: You are afraid of everything and feeling out of control.

Airplanes: Black crows or grackles. 

Rockets: Toothpaste.

Wolves: Sex with someone you don’t really like but are attracted to.

Sex: Unresolved issues with the artistic side of your brain.

Sex with a stranger: Unresolved issues with disappointment.

Red: A color.

Blue: Another color.

Orange: A longing for Halloween.

Political conversations: You’re truly sick and need help.

Wine: Wine.

Broken glass: Broken dreams and self loathing.

Birds: Birds.

Bats: Feeling of being both cute and ugly at the same time.

Trains: Change.

Train travel: Sex.

Childhood: The need for cake. Maybe pie. Cookies will do in a pinch.

School: Fear.

Militant Vegans: Small barking dogs.

Roses: Beauty and pain.

Beer: Fear of hot weather.

Witches: You are being watched.

 

To be perfectly honest with you, I don’t believe in dream interpretation but please, go ahead and study my list. I’m concerned for the well-being of all and want everyone to feel good. Yes, look into my eyes. See the hazel waves of the ocean lulling you into relaxation. You’re in your happy spot. You feel calm. You feel the cool ocean breeze surround you in love. You want my teeth on your neck. Relax, close your eyes, sleep and when you wake… I will be gone.

 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

 

 

 

 

Morning musings on cats, siblings, the weekend and skating.

oscar_artistic copyThis morning after I dropped my daughter off at school I pulled back into my driveway and noticed the neighbor’s black and white cat lounging like the queen she is on their roof. My own gray and white little cat bastard was rolling around in my front yard singing me songs of welcome. Cats are great.

The wreath on the front door looked like it was falling apart. That wasn’t the case. A bird had added to it and has built her next on my front door. I’ll be able to look through the glass over the next few weeks and maybe see some babies. I just hope the doves (not birds of peace) or the calico cat don’t get to them. I will watch the predators. Mr. Oscar Gray and White doesn’t hunt so I’ll leave him to roll in the dirt and sing the songs of his people.

The text message on my phone dings. It was a group message with my siblings. I’m the youngest of five with four older brothers (Max, Andy, Aaron and Val.)

A few weeks ago my brother Andy was jumped while leaving a rehearsal. Andy is a singer living in San Francisco. He has the voice of an angel, the looks of a heart throb rock star and is as silly as a sixteen year old girl.

Max: We’ve taken care of the people who attacked Andy. Our parents are still in Europe. I have to go to Boston. Will someone watch Andy for the weekend. He is still in a bad way.

Aaron: I just talked to Andy. He said he was fine.

Max: He isn’t fine. His friends are irresponsible.

Aaron: OK. I was going to see Clara skate this weekend. This is big. She needs support from us.

Clara is mine. She also is recovering from a bad fall that resulted in a concussion and bruised leg. Yes, we’re Vampires and we recover quickly but we still get hurt. A huge invitational artistic roller skating meet is at her rink this weekend and we’re involved big time.

Outside the squirrels are performing death-defying circus acts in the oak trees. It made me think about the base jumpers who parishes in Yosemite recently. It brought up discussions with the teen about having passion for something but also about risks. The climbing community is big around here and we know climbers. We’ve done some rock climbing just for kicks and grins over the years. Anyway, I admire passion but don’t follow it to your death – or do, but I don’t advise it. Sigh.

The text bell on my phone dings again.

Val: I can go over there this afternoon. Let me finish up a few things.

Me: Bring him back here. He can stay with us for the weekend.

Val: Are you sure you want that?

Me: Crazy is my middle name.

Aaron: You’re a saint.

Me: I wouldn’t go that far. I’m taking him to the skate meet with me.

So Val will drop off Andy and it will be fun.

Last night I had one of those vivid dreams that seemed real. In my house was a large box – it was sort of like a chest with legs and decorative floral carvings on the front. We (my husband and I) had it for a body. I figure this was going back to the old Vampire/Crypt thing. There was a body in the box. She was a dark-haired woman with ringlets and a white dress in the popular style of 1870. Sometime in the dream she was a stranger and sometimes she was me. I sealed the box with blue electrical tape. There was another body as well but we ended up putting it in a bag. I have no idea who it was. I never saw the face.

Today I’ll get everything together for the skate meet. I’ll get things ready for Andy. I’ll call Andy and see how he is doing after his bout with the Vampire Hunters. I won’t worry about any of it. This weekend will be busy – autopilot time.

That was my morning musings. Now down to the store for blood and brie and a few good apples.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Oscar Gray

 

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Ghost of Creativity

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about creativity. I am an artist and writer. By using both I am a story-teller using both words and pictures – sometimes together and sometimes not.

I am fortunate to know so many other creative beings who are writers, artists and musicians and even actors. Anyway, being one of those kinds of people is never easy. The risks of even admitting one is creative is great. You’re scorned if it is your passion or if try to make a living of it. You are celebrated if you succeed. There seems to be no in-between. And nobody understands, or so it seems. Mentors are few and far between. Paths are unclear and filled with holes.

Then again it can be wonderful and rewarding and magical. When I’m creating I’m happy. When I’m creating and making money that really makes me happy.

This morning I’m working on some drawings and writing, as well as some business…

I’d just fixed coffee in my red French press and looked out the window to see the red shoulder hawk sitting in an oak tree and turkeys walking below (just setting the scene.) Anyway, my brain was starting to go blank and doubt was setting in and my attention span was well, I have no attention span what so ever.

I looked up from my computer to see a pale face surrounded by a mass of shaggy dark hair. It was Nigel, THE GHOST, my ghost, sitting across from me with a fuck-you-Juliette look on his face.

“What are you trying to do today Vampire?” He was in one of his usual fresh out of the grave moods.

“I was just thinking about all of my insanely creative friends.”

“You have friends?”

“Don’t be rude. So tell me Nigel, you were a successful artist. How did you manage it?”

He leaned back in the chair and then loosened his tie.

“Well, Juliette, my dear dear dear Juliette, I learned the business. I was sort of an asshole. I never took no for an answer. I believed in my art. But most of all I had a lot of support. Nobody every expected me to do anything but succeed. Good thing my family didn’t want anything to do with me or I would have never done anything. But my friends and my foster family were my real family. They believed. They made me believe. I probably would have killed myself before I ever made it out of high school if I’d stayed with my biological family. I was my art. My art was me. There was no separation. I worked smart too, learned from my mistakes and… connections were a big thing. I went to the right school. Right away I started to network and find the right people. I’ve never been shy. I was driven. I didn’t listen to anyone who wanted me to be nice or follow the norms or get a real job. Most of all I was good. I was great. People still buy my art. They still love it. Can you imagine if I’d lived? Can you imagine all of the people with real talent who are alive right now but so beaten down by all of the crap that they’ve heard all of their lives about how art doesn’t matter? At least their art doesn’t matter because… It was easy for me because I didn’t have to please anyone but myself and I was damn great at both art and pleasing myself. Everything is easy if you go throughout life as sort of a prick.”

I listened and thought a bit then poured more coffee.

I looked up and Nigel’s handsome almost transparent face was next to mine. “And you want to know what else Juliette? Tenacity. A lot of tenacity. A whole lot of tenacity.”

“It is easy when you’re young to dream,” I said, thinking of the teens I know, and of my own youth.

He gave a laugh, but it wasn’t mean. It was happy. “But when you’re old you have the life experience. You can do anything.”

“It isn’t that easy,” I said.

“Nothing is that easy, especially bringing back that passion but it can be done.”

“Anything else?”

“Don’t be a ghost before you’re dead,” said Nigel and he vanished in a whisp of blue smoke.

I’ve had doors slammed in my face. So I go to a side door or through a window. Or I find a better door. Or I kick the door down. Or I sit outside and yell. But as I go through my own front door, into the home I love knowing that my creativity bought this house I know that nothing can get me down at this point. It can’t. I won’t let it.

As I embark on new creative endeavours, new journeys so to speak, I will try not to bring any old ghosts with me. Well, with one exception. I will bring Nigel along with me, even if he is a pain in the ass sometimes. But when I go it alone I know he’ll be there, along with so many others cheering me on.

And in turn, I will be on the sidelines cheering on my creative friends. Better than that I’ll march in the parade beside them.

Never give up your art. Never give up your creative spirit. Never give up. Never. Like Nigel said – don’t be a ghost before you’re dead.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

red shoulder hawk

My hawk who visits outside my window.

 

Phantom Thoughts and Rogue Memories.

My brother Max is having not dreams, but memories of places and events that aren’t his.

At the same time he can feel others thinking about him. He is a receiver. So am I.

It is one of those odd things that we don’t tell anyone else about.

The memories are a mystery. We’ve compared notes and we can’t figure it out. Who sends us memories from places we’ve never been or memories of things we’ve never done.

The other types of thoughts are straight from a known source.

Max and I stood out on the deck the other night looking into the fog. “She is thinking about me right now. I haven’t seen her in years but she has been thinking about me a lot lately.”

I didn’t tell him to call her or drop by her house. It wasn’t the right time. It wasn’t his call to make. But when she thinks of him he knows it. He never wonders if she loves him or really even cares. It just is what it is. He is flattered and charmed if nothing else. That is it.

I told him about the bridge again. It was a large bridge that fell during rush hour 50 years ago. I wasn’t there but I remember it from the eyes of a young man who was in a blue car. He was in the water. A woman helped him out. His wife was frantically calling on the phone to see if anyone knew where he was. That is all I remember. I thought it might have been from a book or a movie, but the memory was like my own.

Max dreams of maps and lying as still as death on the bottom of the ocean. I dream of cars falling off of narrow mountain roads and big ugly fish.

We don’t talk much to others about our dreams and phantom thoughts and rogue memories.

I’m sure you have things like that too – another life built on fog and emotion and strange things that fly by like ghost ships or long forgotten songs.

No matter what it is always good to have someone to talk to, who doesn’t think you’re nuts.

Max left this morning before the sun came up. I will miss him, but he’ll know when I’m thinking about him.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

Time travel makes me dizzy.

Keep those fires burning – VOTE

Last night we had our first fire of the season.

I was going to wax and wane poetically about fires that burn in our hearts with desire for love and freedom and dreams that others would take away. Think about how many times a child says she wants to be an artist or writer or doctor or historian or anything and someone says “that is too hard” or “you’ll fail.” How many times have people come up against all odds and had success. Think about that when you vote tomorrow. And you WILL vote (or I will lose all respect for you if you’re an American citizen.)

Anyway, a lot of people, including ALL women had someone before them fighting for that vote. But I won’t go on. The fires burn for education and knowledge. The fires burn for freedom to love.

Today you need to VOTE because all of the above. In other parts of the world (not my part of the world) people risk their lives for the right to vote. They die for it. People died for it here too.  So remember them and VOTE.

Plus remember… if you don’t vote you can’t complain about the results.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

 

 

 

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More on Voting and Political Stories from Vampire Maman (click on the links):

The Vampire Vote

Dark Politics