Yes it is complicated (almost as much as a unicorn, a squirrel and a possum going into a bar…)

Yes it is complicated (almost as much as a unicorn, a squirrel and a possum going into a bar…)

unicorn

When you belong to a Vampire family the dynamics with other people, creatures, living things in general can get complicated.

My brother Andrew is staying at our house for a few days. He’ll be performing at one of the larger clubs with a semi-well known band (they get some radio play) later this week. Andy is an opera singer but he’ll sing anything in any style with just about anyone if asked.

Last night was a lovely clear evening so we (Andy, my husband Teddy and I) went out on the deck for a glass of wine. Aside from Andy being my brother he is also close friends with my husband. They grew up together back in the days before Teddy even knew what a Vampire was (but that is another story.)

I always had to smile at Andy and his personal sense of style. He was in a velvet vest, white shirt with french cuffs and jeans. His chestnut colored hair fell straight to his shoulders. Of all of us siblings (all 5 of us) Andy was the one who held on to the 19th century we all grew up in more. But that wasn’t always a bad thing.

To make a short story even longer… it is February so the conversation turned to romance. Well sort of.

I wondered how he was getting along with his new girlfriend Shawna.  He’d met her when he’d stumbled upon her camp in Patagonia (yes, THAT Patagonia.) She was digging for dinosaurs. I’m not exactly sure what he was doing there. Andy tends to just wander the world at times when he feels, well, like he needs to. By the way, Shawna isn’t a Vampire. Yes, it is complicated. And yes, she has met our mother which makes it even more complicated.

I asked about Shawna so Andy vented.

“Shawna knew why I’d gone out. It really wasn’t any of her concern. But when I got home she wouldn’t touch me. I assumed she’d understand that I can’t live off of kale and tofu. I need human blood to survive. She couldn’t get past the idea of me drinking blood then kissing her. For God’s sake by then I’d brushed my teeth and we’d had a couple of glasses of wine.”

He looked at us expecting a response but we let him continue to vent. “It isn’t as if I’d had blood dripping down my chin.”

“Give her time,” I gently told him then thought how stupid that sounded.

“I even had a baby unicorn but that ended badly as well,” said Andy.

“What were you doing with a unicorn? Oh my goodness Andy.” It has been years since I’ve seen a unicorn.

“Keeping it for James.” Andy said. James is a friend of Andrew’s. James is sort of nuts but he does lead an interesting life.

I have to admit that one of the cutest things in the universe is a baby unicorn. They’re like tiny iridescent donkeys or maybe a cross between a fawn and a pony, with all of that tiny baby sweetness. Their little hooves look like white mother of pearl. And there are few things as soft as a baby unicorn nose. Oh my goodness they’re precious. Best of all they smell good – like jasmine and roses.

Andrew continued his sad story. “As soon as Shawna walked in the room the unicorn started to cry. I’d forgotten that they’re afraid of humans. And forget the bull crap about being pure at heart. It doesn’t matter. There she was standing in the room with this baby screaming at the sight of her. It was a disaster.”

Yes, love is rare, but not as rare as a screaming baby unicorn. Sigh.

“I can understand Shawna’s fears,” said Teddy.  “I know how repulsive we seem to humans.”

Andy gave Teddy a glare. “Repulsed? How could she be repulsed? I’ve been nothing but wonderful to her. I’ve literally swept her off her feet. I’ve made her feel things she thought she’d never feel.”

Teddy patted Andy on the shoulder. “You’ve made her feel fear. Remember I used to be like her.  It took me weeks, actually years to accept the reality of Vampires and the fact that we’re not completely evil or completely dead. The very idea of a Vampire is more terrifying than, well, than she was to that baby unicorn. Maybe even more so because humans know we’re on the top of the food chain over them. It puts fear and disgust in them like cannibals or serial killers.”

“But if they tried to understand…” said Andy.

“What we do is morbid and disgusting,” said Teddy.

“They drink coffee that has been pooped out of a cat. What can be more disgusting than that?”

“Civets. The coffee is expelled by civets.”

“Whatever Theodore. Humans don’t know anything about us or what we do,” said Andy.

“And we need to keep it that way. I don’t know why you let her know you were a Vampire in the first place. It was a bad move on your part Andy.”

“But…”

Teddy gave Andy one of those looks. The kind that teenagers dread. “Andy, you can’t expect someone to suddenly embrace something they’ve feared their entire life. I don’t care how many times you tell her that you love her. We’re the undead evil, just above zombies and ghosts.”

“Not to mention ticks and werewolves,” I added in.

The soft sound of moving branches distracted us. Climbing up the Italian Cyprus tree to the deck rail came another nocturnal creature. It was Teddy’s possum. For the past year the possum had been making nightly visits and Teddy had decided to make friends with it. He spoke quietly to the soft gray creature and handed him a few raw peanuts he’d put in his pocket earlier. The Possum sat still while Teddy brushed its beautiful coat. She looked at us with her black possum eyes and showed a little bit of primitive sharp toothed possum grin.

Possums are gentle and often misunderstood creatures. Nobody ever hears of a possum attack but people still fear them. Sure sometimes they might have rabies or fleas but for the most part they’re harmless. I wouldn’t recommend you try to pet one or pick one up, but Teddy has a gift with animals and he is a Vampire. And like our possum friends we (Vampires) are also misunderstood.

“You can’t keep a possum as a pet Andy, just like you can’t keep a human as a pet,” I told my brother.

“Shawna isn’t a pet,” Andy said. He scratched the possum between it’s ears as it sat quietly.

“Maybe not, but she isn’t a Vampire. I know you lived with Aurora for almost 50 years, but that was the exception. That was something extraordinary. She never feared us. She never saw us as unnatural,” I said.

Andy looked out at the night sky as if he was looking for Aurora, a woman he’d lived with until her death from old age. She stayed with her until the end, never pressuring her to become a Vampire, never leaving her side. We all loved Aurora. Maybe too much. Despite the heartbreak she was a gift, like all of our dear human friends. We’re sad for her passing but we wouldn’t trade the sadness because of the love.

We all knew Shawna was warming up to the idea that she was living in a world populated by bizarre creatures and strangeness that she could never have imagined. Then again, she studied dinosaurs so she knew about strange creatures that defied imagination, logic and all reason. Time would tell.

I said good night (good morning to us) around 4:00 am to Teddy and Andy. The kids were sleeping due to school and their daytime schedules.

Around 7:00 am, just as the sun came up I was in my dining room, laptop open, glancing out through the windows at the trees. The Possum had gone to her bed, but on the deck rail was a squirrel. This particular squirrel is always out in the morning doing a little dance with jerky movements while his squirrel friends jump through the oak trees like circus acrobats. He stands in the sun and eats from the window box and from the bowl of nuts and seeds I leave for him. He’ll turn his head and look at me but he isn’t afraid – at least not unless I open the door for a closer look or try to take his photo. When I go outside sometimes he barks at me with his odd almost unearthly squirrel voice. I call him my friend, but he’ll never consider me to be in his inner circle. But that’s OK. He’s a squirrel. That is all I need him to be. And he never needs to know I’m a Vampire.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

everybodylovesapossum

So what inspired you to write this odd little story Juliette?

A unicorn, a squirrel and a possum go into a bar… to find out what inspired this post in which every single word is absolutely true:
http://evilsquirrelsnest.com/2014/02/03/you-may-already-be-a-winner/

And if you aren’t following the Sharp Witted, Brilliant and Talented Bill Brown and The Evil Squirrel’s Nest you ought to be. 

THE DEADLINE FOR THE 2018 CONTEST OF WHATEVER is MARCH 1st 2018. CLICK HERE for details.

And don’t forget that I WON the 2017 Contest of Whatever with Shelf Critter Theater Starring Vlad and Randolpho from Vampire Diaries. Click HERE to read that amazing story (with pictures.)

Squirrels Rock the Goggles

For the official back story on Andrew and Shawna go to the links below:

Innocenzio Dantonio

Witchy Women

I have to share this. Absolutely precious. Thanks you again!

draw me a picture

Evil Squirrel's Nest

halloweenwitches

Some of you (OK, one of you) have noticed that I let my Tuesday “Draw Me A Picture” series kinda slack while Bashful’s adventures were hijacking my blog.  While I can’t promise draw me a pictureDMAP will be anything other than hit or miss for the remainder of the year… I will eventually draw all of the ideas you guys have submitted to me, so don’t worry if you thought I’d forgotten about you (If you even remembered you sent me something yourself!)…

This week’s drawing was requested by longtime friend of The Nest Juliette, the Vampire Maman (I hear she shares a birthday with yesterday’s DVA honoree).  She wanted to see “vintage Halloween pinups of Hottie and her girlfriends.”  I’m not sure this directly qualifies, but it’s the best I got.  Hottie and her friends MBRS and Hooly going all bubble bubble toil and trouble on poor Buster.  Hottie’s a little…

View original post 33 more words

Three True Tales of Terror (with teens, rats and possums)

horror banner011

Tale #1: High School Horror

This morning as I dropped sixteen year old Clara off at school I saw a girl walking across the parking lot. I know I shouldn’t have, since I am the parent, I said, “She has that geek walk. You know, very fast and deliberate.”

Then Clara looked at me in a cold chilling manner. “She is sooooo weird. Her finger nails are really long.” Clara made a hand motion showing four to five inch long nails. Yikes.

My child proceeded to recount a short list of weirdness. Then she said, “She never shaves her legs. Her skin is super dry. And then she scratches her legs during class. It sounds like this.”

And my daughter scraped her nails against the woven upholstery of the car seat – a loud, heavy, scraping noise. To imagine that was a human leg made me wince.

Then Clara scraped her nails along the pebbled plastic dash board of the car. “Just like this.”

Then she got out of the car with her hundred pound pack full of text books (no lockers for these kids) and headed off to her first class.

On the way home I thought of The Tell Tale Heart.

I know, I’m a parenting blogger. I should have said, “it is ok for a girl to have hairy legs if that is her choice.” But I didn’t. Deal with it.

Scrape. Scrape. Scrape.

 

Tale #2: The Rat

Once upon a time, back before the life I’m living now, for a short time I lived alone in a small shack of a house in the woods.

I was sleeping and awoke to the sound of crashing, and two sets of four feet running through the room.

My small long haired tabby cat Eureka was chasing a rat.

Eureka was named so because I found her. The name is on the seal of the great state of California. It means “I have found it.”

The rat and cat both ran into the storage room, and I closed the door.

There was more crashing and banging. Then it stopped.

Then mewing noises came from behind the door. I opened the door. The cat had the rat trapped between a wall and my sewing machine case.

Now what?

I kicked the sewing machine against the wall, once, twice, three times.

On the third kick the rat flew out and landed dead on the floor. This rat was huge – half the size of the cat.

Disgusted I went back to bed. I’d deal with the rat later.

About an hour later I was awakened by a sound.

“Crunch, crunch, crunch, crunch, crunch.”

Eureka the cat was by the side of my bed, eating her rat. Crunch, crunch, crunch.

I’d deal with it later. I pulled the covers over my head and went back to sleep.

When I woke up again there was no fur, no tail, no bones, no rat at all except one foot, something that looked like a kidney, and the head of the rat staring up at me with dark black beady eyes.

 

Tale #3: Not Dead Yet

juliette armadillo010

The last time my son was home from college he was going through some boxes in the attic looking for vintage vests and ties he could take back to school. He found something else, something I’d forgotten about. What a treat. It was almost like Christmas again.

I will never forget when he looked at me holding the box and asked, “Mom, what the hell?”

My parents traveled to California in 1849. It was the year the great California Gold Rush Started. Among their party were two young women, Martha and Leyna.

Unlike my father, and pregnant mother, Martha and Leyna were not Vampires. Martha had been a young slave who’d been purchased (at the age of thirteen) in 1848 by my mother, and immediately given her freedom. Martha was smart and sweet girl who liked baby blue ribbons and anything to do with roses. Leyna was a sturdy one eyed teen with a black eye patch, and a head full of long blonde curls and pale blue eyes. She was to marry a man in his 40’s but she’d have none of that. She ended up in the service of my mother who appreciated her common sense and sense of humor. The contrast between the small dark slender girl and the Amazon like pale girl was almost extreme, but the two became inseparable friends.

By 1866 my parents had produced five little Vampire children. My brother Andy’s Italian music master was falling in love with Martha. Leyna was happy to be her own woman and running the kitchen. Both were still working for my parents.

Yes, we had a kitchen, for Vampires do eat food from time to time, especially with growing children. Another reason (which has a lot to do with the whole point of this story) is that my parent’s entertained a lot. None of their fine Nineteenth Century friends had any idea that Jeremy and Samantha and their five darling children were Vampires. It was all about appearances.

So during the party season of 1866 strange things started to happen around town. Even the illustrious households like the Standfords and Crockers reported disturbances of the most disgusting manner.

Women reported they’d feel something pulling at their large skirts, only to hear running, and a hissing laugh, followed by a cloud of flies and fleas. Sometimes they’d smell horrible fart like gas, or feel the brush of soft fur against their legs.

From fine homes, to local bars, alcohol supplies started to run low. Someone or something was getting into the supply.

Even our house was not exempt from the strange bad smelling visitor. I could hear my mother talking to my father about it. She said she’d heard of such event near St. Louis.

All the while my brothers and I were watching for whatever being was causing the disturbance. There were rumors of a dwarf escaped from a circus, or Werewolves, or ghosts, or even trained devil dogs.

Then one day we saw them walking along the edge of our house. A large greasy possum, his fur slicked back, and wearing one of my father’s ties around his neck, crept along with his teeth showing, and his dark eyes darting around. He was followed by a small creature who staggered along like a drunk. It looked like a small armadillo. The possum was disgusting, like the drunken dandy Werewolves who thought they were God’s gift to women. The armadillo creature was small and sweet.

Soon all Hell broke loose. The possum was trying to “romance” our cats. Alright, he was trying to mount them. That led to a possum face full of bloody scratches. Our dogs barked but he just flipped him off. Next we chased him into the house where we lost him for a few hours. We found the armadillo creature in a corner curled up around a bottle of whiskey.

The sound of scratching claws could be heard against the hardwood floor. The rank smell, and trail of my mother’s lacy unmentionables, led us to the kitchen.

“Look what that demon spawn has stolen from Samantha’s room,” we heard Leyna yelling.

Martha ran down the hall telling us to help her pick up the mess.

Then my mother appeared in the doorway. She was not happy. “It is called Buster. Martha, Leyna, we must eliminate it. NOW.”

Of course my seven year old brother Val and I started to scream at them not to kill it. We wanted to put it in a cage and tame it. We wanted to have it as a pet. We’d wash it and train it. We’d teach it tricks. We’d be famous.

Mother said NO.

The creature put his head up and looked at my mother with his shining black eyes, then hissed out the words, “Want some tail between your legs beautiful?”

The was a collective gasp, even from the Vampires in the room.

Martha, in a whirl of blue ribbons and lace, grabbed a broom. Leyna grabbed a large cast iron frying pan.

The creature hissed again. “Love it when the bitches get all fired up.” Then a cloud of fleas, flies, and fur swirled around the room.

Martha, Leyna and the possum thing called Buster disappeared into the kitchen. My mother followed, slamming the door behind her.

We stood with our ears to the door listening to the carnage. It sounded like a bar brawl.  When the door opened my mother came out, her hair falling in messy curls down her back, her hands covered with scratches and blood. Martha and Leyna stood in shock.

A possum jaw was stuck in the back of the door, teeth sunk into the wood like nails. The rest of the animal was on the cutting board, a mash up of fur and a long rat like tail. Blood ran off of the surface onto the floor.

“Is it dead?” I asked.

My mother started to laugh. Then Martha and Leyna laughed too, until the three of them couldn’t stop.

“May I have the fur?” Asked my brother Val.

My mother smiled. “Whatever for my darling?”

“I’d like to make a doll out of it for Juliette.”

Val was a darling child.

Then Leyna spoke, “My sweetheart can do taxee-dermy. He’ll make you up a nice dolly for Juliette.”

Val and I jumped up and down clapping our cold little Vampire hands. We couldn’t have been more excited.

A week later Buster came back gutted and stuffed. His eyes had been replaced with shiny black buttons. His jaw and other loose parts had been sewn and wired back on. He was as good as new. And to make things even better Layna had made Buster a fine dress of green silk, with tiny yellow bows. Eventually my mother got tired of Buster’s stinking dressed up corpse and put him away.

As for the armadillo, he turned out to be a rare pigladillo. I would sit with him purring in my lap for hours. He lived to be almost forty years old. Such a sweet thing, even when he was drinking.

buster012

~ End

 

So what prompted me to write three such disgusting and random tales? It is part of the Evil Squirrel’s Third Annual Contest of Whatever.

This is the third year I’ve entered this thing.

There is still time if you want to enter the contest. Just CLICK HERE for the rules.

Thanks Evil Squirrel.

 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

The Third Annual Contest Of Whatever!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fa la la la la la Pigladillo

When I arrived home this afternoon my brother Andy (Andrew) had already arrived for the weekend. I love it when he visits. The days and night are full of music and unexpected fun. You see, out of my four older Vampire brothers, Andy is the most creative and kind of different. Andy and I are the same that way – we’re the most unique of the bunch. But don’t tell the others I said that.

Andy just came back from a tour – he is an opera singer, one of the best, but he was opening for a well known pop punk metal sort of band just for fun.

He and my 15 year old daughter Clara were sitting on the couch playing their guitars. It was a sweet scene. Andy looked up with a smile, his hazel eyes the color of a stormy sea, his long chestnut colored hair around his shoulders.

We exchanged hugs, while thunder shook the windows and lightning flashed. I glanced out the window towards the back of the house to see we had yet another visitor. Climbing out of the tree was a wee animal. A cute tiny thing that was both hard and soft at the same time. I opened the back door as it dropped from the tree to the deck and snatched it up out of the rain.

“What is it?” Clara came close to the unusual little creature.

Andy looked on in wonder. “That is a Pigladillo. I haven’t seen one in years.”

“These little guys are usually found in the Midwestern United States. I wonder how he ended up in Northern California,” I said drying our little friend off with a dish towel.

 There in my arms was a small tree-dwelling creature of the armadillo family – with the unique soft pink Pigladillo nose.

Clara wrinkled up her nose. “It smells funny.”

“The little guy has been drinking,” said Andy.

“Alcohol?”

“Clara,” I said, “I think he came to California for the wine, but it smells a bit like tequila.”

The Pigladillo looked at me with his heavy eyes then curled halfway into a ball and fell asleep in my arms.

“Awwwww he is snoring. That is so cute,” said Clara rubbing the Pigladillo’s soft tummy.

I handed my brother the dear Pigladillo. Andrew is a charmer when it comes to small woodland creatures.

He sang an old song to the little creature in Italian.

It was a song by Giacomo Piglaccini from the famous opera Madam Unicorn.

Madam Unicorn is such a sad and beautiful story. Capt. Buster Possumpants travels to an exotic far away land and steals the heart of the beautiful Madam Unicorn then he runs away with a Hottie and leaves poor broken hearted Madam Unicorn singing a sad sad song. Quite a tragic tale. The Pigladillo plays a minor but important role as Capt. Buster Possumpants’s side kick. Pigladillo is sort of the angel on the Possum’s shoulder, be that an inebriated angel, but an angel of a woodland creature none the less.

Andy sang it again, the lovely song of unrequited love gone all wrong and well, unrequited.

Suddenly we heard a slight sob come from the Pigladillo. “Andy,” I said, “so sad and so beautiful. You made the poor little Pigladillo cry.”

“Hard on the outside but soft on the inside”, my brother said with a smile.

Clara rubbed the Pigadillo’s head and wiped away the tiny Pigadillo tears. “Awww look at his little nose. He is sooooooo cute.” Then she gave the darling but stinky little creature a kiss between the ears.

Andy smiled and told us the rest of the story behind Madam Unicorn. “There is a story behind this song and it has everything to do with a Pigladillo I knew long ago. The first woman to sing Madam Unicorn was the famous and beautiful singer Lina Cavalieri. She was between husbands at the time and traveling with our brother Val. She gave him a private showing and they spent two weeks together in Paris.”

Lina Cavalieri and "friend" of our brother Valentine. Yes, you learn something new every single day.

Lina Cavalieri and “friend” of our brother Valentine. Yes, you learn something new every single day. Val, you have some explaining to do… and why is she wearing my dress?

That was new to me. Private showing?

Andy continued. “She was one of the few people who kept a Pigladillo for a pet. That is a little known fact since they are so rare and it is illegal to keep them in most countries. It has been that way since the time of Ancient Greeks. There is something magical about the Pigladillo. Plus they’ll drink up all your booze so most people don’t like to have them around.”

“Val had an affair with Lina Cavalieri and he never told me about it?” I was shocked. Val told me EVERYTHING.

“He broke her heart the way Vampire men tend to do. I don’t know why he didn’t turn her into one of us, but I guess she was afraid her soul would be damned or she couldn’t imagine spending the next 200 years with a fool like Val.”

As the Pigladillo  started to snore again I suddenly remembered to show Andy my Pigladillo – that is my Pigladillo painting.

This is exciting. I have an original drawing by Bill Brown of a Pigladillo. Really. No kidding. This is for real. He sent it to me in the mail yesterday.

Bill Brown is to Pigladillos and squirrels what Audubon is to birds and Rafael to angels.

Clara exclaimed how darling it was. Andrew said I need to frame it right away (and I will.)

“I think we should call Christie’s Auction House,” said Andy.

“I think we should call TLC or at least MTV for a series based on the Evil Squirrel and friends,” said Clara.

“I think we need to open another bottle of wine,” said the Pigladillo.

And so we did.

Cheers and wishing you all a happy holiday season with all of your friends, no matter who or what they are.

IMG_0421

A Masterpiece of Critterdom

 

Pigadillo with an Armadillo

Pigladillo with an Armadillo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pigadillo shares a place of honor with old friends

Pigladillo shares a place of honor with old friends

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pigadillo take a place of honor in the Vampire Maman kitchen

Pigladillo takes a place of honor in the Vampire Maman kitchen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THANK YOU BILL BROWN aka EVIL SQUIRREL. The drawing is darling. Thank you for letting me be part of your Holiday Card Event.

For more about the Pigladillo, Evil Squirrel, Rainbow Donkey, Flashbacks, Musical fun, Comics (more grown-up than not) and witty stories of a TV star, go to Bill’s blog (The Evil Squirrel’s Nest – Where ALL the Cool Squirrels Hang Out).

And to see more Friends of the Nest go to… CLICK HERE for Evil Squirrel’s Nest.

To check out the 20 amazing bloggers who also feature 20 different characters from The Evil Squirrel’s Nest CLICK HERE NOW.

Hey Bill, Andy is taking Pigladillo back to his home in San Francisco for a few more days. Then Andy will send the critter back your way (in his private Opera jet.)

For more adventures about Bill’s Creatures and my brother Andy Click HERE for “A Squirrel, a unicorn and a possum walk into a bar…” or something like that. DO it because it is a FUN post about Vampires and woodland creatures. You’ll love it. xoxoxoxox

~ Juliette