A Werewolf’s Train To Nowhere

I’ve posted this a few times, but since it is Werewolf Week, and since this is what it is, I will post it again.

A Werewolf’s Train To Nowhere

 Right after I’d graduated from college (the first time) from one of the rare Universities (now a well respected and famous school) that accepted women I took a trip across country on a train to meet my brother Val. He’d gone to New York City without me, leaving me, a young woman, unescorted. I would have done fine on my own but back then, in 1881 young women, even Vampires, didn’t travel alone.

I got on the train on a dark full moon night and made my way to my car. I was to share a car with several other students and some sort of chaperone. What I found was three young men dressed in rather garish suits of the latest fashion (or so they thought) and nobody else. Two had short beards, again, the style of the time. I recognized one from school. The train started to move. There was no getting off. OK I could have jumped, but I was in a long dress with a bustle no less and jumping wasn’t a practical option. Contrary to popular belief I couldn’t turn myself into a bat and fly away. So I stayed. They were horrible the entire time making crude jokes and being as vulgar as they could be. They insulted me for being a Vampire, calling me dead and cold and well, they were vulgar to say the least. I was in Hell and ready to get off of the train.

I sat took claim to a settee with a small table and tried to ignore my garishly dressed companions. A young woman climbed aboard and the three men cheered. She was dressed as garish as they were in the most stylish of gowns but it was a bright orange color with brown beaded trim. Her hair was as orange as the dress and piled high on her head. That included a lot of fake hair to go along with her real hair.

She eyed me up and down. “Who invited the Vampire?”

“I’m Juliette,” I said to the Werewolf girl. Holy crap I’d been stuck for a cross country trip with four Werewolves. Every muscle and bone on my body tightened up. I wanted to scream. Instead I just kept my place in my corner while my companions made as much noise as they could laughing out loud and of course the alcohol and drugs came out. Of course.

Just as the parting whistle blew the door opened again and in stepped my friend Pierce. Finally, another Vampire had arrived, and a strong protective one at that. His father owned the train car and I didn’t even put the two together. Pierce was a friend of my brothers Max and Andy. At age 28 he was the oldest of our group. We made quite a contrast in our highly fashionable yet subdued attire compared to the flamboyant brightly dressed Werewolves. We were also a lot quieter.

The Werewolf girl who was named Phoebe gave Pierce a long hard look then smiled and licked her lips. Pierce is attractive with a narrow face, a sensuous mouth and dark heavily lashed eyes. Of course she noticed him. She’d no doubt try to have his clothes off, have her way with him then tear his throat out. Well, maybe not, but I didn’t want him to get her claws into a friend who was almost like a brother to me.

The males were Luke, Seth and Eldon. I’ll never forget their names. They were rude and loud and young. Had they been Vampires I might have thought they were fun, but since they were Werewolves I thought they were disgusting. Phoebe was just as bad with her crude laugh and dirty jokes.

Pierce and I played cards and stood on the back of the train in the night air. We mostly talked. I asked him about people we knew who’d gone out into the world – the young Vampires we’d grown up with. Pierce was on his way to New York. I was on my way to New York as well to meet my brother Valentine. After that we’d board a ship to London.

Conversations with the Werewolves were in bits and pieces of insults and crude jokes. Pierce’s father did business with their families. To keep the peace and keep favors in check he’d offered to let the young adults of the pack to ride with us. Also, by being with Vampires the Werewolves were more likely to behave themselves. At least that is what everyone thought.

On the second night, after a half of case of Champagne, the young Werewolf men, Luke, Seth and Eldon stripped naked right in front of us and said they were going out for a run. Phoebe decided to stay in. They ran out and I could hear them up on the roof of the train car howling, then down a side ladder and they were gone. Phoebe sat by the window looking at the full moon. She’d taken off her jacket and bodice down to a short-sleeved lace covered blouse. Long dark hair sprouted on her arms and hands. Her fingers grew claw like. Fur grew down the side of her face. She ignored us as a low growl came to the back of her throat as she watched for her pack mates.

Peirce and I watched three huge wolves run along the side of the train. The moonlight reflected off of their silvery gray fur. They were beautiful.

Then we heard horrifically loud shots. Our fellow passengers a few cars down were shooting at the wolves. Pierce ran out of the car. I could hear him shouting for the men with the guns to stop. Phoebe started to scream and scream and scream.

The next day we heard news of three young men found dead by the side of the tracks. The story was they had been drinking and had a fight on the top of the train and fell off after shooting each other.

I will never forget holding Phoebe in my arms and rocking her, trying to tell her that everything would be alright. I knew it would never be alright but I said it anyway.

For the next week as we made our way across the country she’d howl mournfully at night. The passengers said the train was haunted. I knew they’d brought on their own ghosts when they killed the wolves for no reason.

Werewolves and Vampires are predators but even we don’t partake in the senseless of killing animals for no reason other than target practice.

Pierce and I related the story to others but over the years we’ve kept a lot of the details to ourselves. It seems like so long ago. It was a long time ago. A long long time ago.

 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Musings and Conversations with my Millennial Vampire

Between my summer road trip to Lincoln, Nebraska (and the great Western US Adventure), and my trip up to Oregon for the total solar eclipse, I spent time with Garrett.

He is my first born, a late millennial Vampire, now a fourth year college student (they no longer use the terms Freshman – Senior.)

One night we sat together on the back deck watching the bats fly around the tops of the trees. The cats were underneath the porch light catching moths.

He changed his major from some sort of Environmental Science to Music Composition with maybe a minor in Film and Media Studies. He has the talent and the drive to be successful. Plus he has the advantage of being a Vampire. And his Uncle Andy (my bro) is musically gifted in astounding ways, and supports Garrett in every way.

Garrett is still interested in Environmental issues, along with fine art, but his heart is in music, as well as his talents.

Sometimes I am in awe of the remarkable young man who appreciates his talents and gifts. He also appreciates those around him.

“My friends and I,” he tells me, “we don’t take our donors for granted. We never take needlessly or aggressively. We’re not into that.”

I’m proud of my modern young Vampire son. He is by no means a pansy assed wimp. He is strong, and smart, and coming into his own powers. He is also kind, and sensitive, and full of humor. He can compose a jazz, or classical piece of music, then a few minutes later write a love letter for a friend, then go watch a science lecture just for the fun of it.

I worry about the future, but then again, I look at my kids and their friends, all new adults, and I’m not so worried.

As parents we need to teach them the knowledge of the past. In turn, they will create the knowledge of the future. Even as they grow older and lead their own lives, we are still parents. Appreciate their success. Don’t dwell on their failures. Enjoy them. Treasure them. Share yourself with them. And know you’ve done a good job (and if you haven’t it is never too late to turn things around.)

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

Vampire Maman

 

A short essay on bullies

Think of all the time and energy bullies spend being obsessed with their victims. Think of all of the energy of that hate that could be channeled into something positive. Anything really, other than being obsessed with someone they deemed weaker, weirder, stupider, fatter, smaller, or just different in some way. Usually there isn’t a reason why a child is bullied. It is usually just a random act that builds into sort of a self-serving cult.

If you’ve been bullied just think of what an idiot the kids was who bullied you was. No doubt he or she still is. I doubt if they’ll even remember what they did. If they do they won’t feel bad about it. They’ll still blame you for their failures especially if you’re a success. Even if you aren’t. Their own self loathing is masked with self-indulgent feelings of superiority and then helplessness.

They’re nothing but defective worms. They are to be pitied. Then again, don’t waste your pity on them. Don’t carry the burdens of their actions with you. It hurt. It was wrong. It was wrong for adults to let it happen. But it is time for you to move on. You aren’t the asshole. The bullies don’t matter. They were the ones who spent the time to be obsessed by you, like evil perverse demonic fans. It was their loss, not yours.

And most of them, the bullies, have assholes for parents. Think about it.

You aren’t the asshole. Believe me on this one.

 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

fart joke

Charms of Youth

We watched our nineteen year old son drive down the street and back to college.

My husband was caught up in his own thoughts. Times were different when he was in college. He was different.

Nineteen is so young, but when you’re there it feels so grown up. It seems like everything is just a countdown to twenty-one. Those odd two years of nineteen and twenty are just stuck in-between being an adult and being a real adult.

I remember one warm September night in 1878 when my brother Valentine and I discussed the matter as we dug our toes into the wet sand on the riverbank. I was nineteen and a month from twenty. Val was twenty-one.

We had years of crazy, hair brained adventures, but on that night it seemed as if our carefree days of youth would soon be over. We played the remember when game.

Remember when we saw the orphan Werewolf children on this very beach.

Remember when we broke up a dog fighting ring.

Remember when you fell in love for the first time.

Remember when we ran wild through the streets at night because we could.

Now we were expected to be respectable but we knew that wouldn’t always be the case. We laughed over the prospect. Sure, we laughed but we were both scared at the prospect of being serious and respectable, or worse, dark and brooding like so many Vampires of our time.

Of course what we thought was love was far from it. But no matter, because we were both natural flirts and charmers. Remember, we’re Vampires. Of course we’re charming. But being charming to other Vampires is always a challenge, or at least it sometimes seems that way for the younger of our kind.

In our time on Earth, Val and I had experienced a lot. Just that week’s news included floods, outbreaks of diseases which left the dead piled in the street, news of Sitting Bull, evasive crops, and of course murder.

We watched a boat drift by and waved to the occupants. We knew they were surprised at our formal dress as we stood barefoot in the sand. I held my skirts up to my knees, while Val had removed his jacket but still wore his top hat.

Earlier that evening we’d been to a formal party. We’d become bored and made our way down to the edge of the water. We were at a point where we had become bored with a lot of things – well, pretty much most things. That would change soon. We couldn’t even imagined the adventures we would have.

I kicked water up at Val. He came back at me and pushed me into the water. Soon we were both soaking wet. We laughed so hard I thought I’d crack a rib.

So I stood in my front yard knowing my own children would have adventures, both big and small. I knew, as a mom, that my kids were much more prepared than Val and I were.

My husband Teddy and I have been deliberate parents. We have let our children explore ideas and experiences, all along discussing those ideas and experiences with them. We’ve taught our children that there are consequences to their actions that lie far beyond the moment and parental anger. Things they do now can and will affect the rest of their lives. And other things won’t matter later on. It is the key to know what does and what does not matter. Our kids get the big picture. They know about the world around them. We’re not helicopter parents. We don’t shelter our kids. Yet, we are always there for them.

We’ve raised them to feel joy and wonder that will last far after childhood is gone.

Hugs are in large supply.

My kids are ready to be adults. I’m ready, so my logical self says. It does go by fast, so make sure if you have kids that you are there for them and involved far after babyhood is over.

Be it the rare Vampire child, Werewolf triplets, or a Regular Human baby, it is our job to teach them so they’ll be adults we’re proud of. We need to teach them to be the adults we’d want to be – or better. Always better.

And like I say here, the key is to talk to them. Don’t wait until they talk first. From the first day they are on this earth make sure you talk to them. And even after they are grown, or think they are grown – talk to them, and with them. Discuss, laugh, debate, share, laugh, cry and be together in mind and spirit.

Have a good weekend everyone,

Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

 

 

They grow up – so teach them to laugh.

“She said she used to think he was “the one” then she realized he was just the one she was having sex with. Then he realized it was a mistake, the break up, and him being in heavy like over another girl he met this summer. By then he’d agreed to go to Europe for the whole young vampire Europe things so many of them do. I think he going to do some work with Logan. That is a good thing. They’ll see the real dark side of humanity. I just feel so bad for Lauren. I know she’ll get over it, I mean she was more or less over it in June.”

My sister-in-law Verity was talking about my niece Lauren who is a Senior in college this year. Logan is my nephew who just graduated from law school. John is the ex-boyfriend or whatever he was.

“We all love John. I think Lauren will remain friends with him, but just friends. John is such a dark Vampire, even for our family. Lauren on the other hand is more light and delightful. She is like you and Val, you know, all bright and funny. John isn’t funny. He takes everything, and I mean EVERYTHING so seriously. He is such an alpha.”

I let her ramble about her adult children. They are young adults but adults none the less. They make stupid mistakes when it comes to their hearts. They think they know it all but they’re just learning. They don’t know what to say or how to react to situations. They don’t have the experience to see what they need to see.

It is the same as parents. We don’t know what our children will do once they’ve flown out into the world.

Of course as Vampires they’re a lot more savvy about the ways of the world, but that doesn’t mean they don’t feel, or desire, or have dreams.

They’re driven to succeed, my children and Verity’s children.

My elder three brothers were driven to succeed (this includes Verity’s husband Aaron.) My brother Val and I, the youngest of the brood, thought we were driven. I’m sure we drove everyone crazy with our misadventures. But we ended up calm and sometimes wise, and thoughtful. I’m still up for an adventure. I’m still fun. But that is because Val and I learned from our mistakes. Just listening to vague old fashioned advice didn’t work for us. We needed to learn on our own. And yes, Val and I are funny. We can be really funny. We’re pee your pants and spit milk out of your nose funny. We’re also Vampires. Contrary to popular belief Vampires and humor make strange and very delightful bed fellows.

But I’ve raised my children to be smart and cautious. I’ve raised them to think before they speak. I’ve also raised them to laugh. I mean, seriously, we’re Vampires so we have to think about these things a lot. One slip of the lips, or anything else, and we’re toast. Do you know how many Vampire Hunters are out there. A lot, and a good 95% of them are whack jobs.

Now what was I going to say? Oh yes, talk to your kids. Talk to them about everything. Make sure you teach them to be safe, and sound, and calm. But teach them to laugh too. No matter what you are or what you do, remember to laugh.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Experience: Parenting, Teens and New Vampires

As smart as the teens in your life are, as worldly as they may seem, they are still inexperienced children. Sure they look like adults. Sure in some places in history and in the world today they’d be considered adults, but they aren’t.

One earns the right to be an adult with experience and that moment the lightbulb goes off when you suddenly realize out that money is earned, relationships need to be nurtured, and it never gets easy. That doesn’t mean that it never gets fun. That doesn’t mean that all happiness gets sucked out of your life. It just means that you have to wake up and pay for your own coffee. Yes, and remember to smell the roses without anyone reminding you to do it.

As the poster child for missed opportunities, cluelessness, bad decisions and what-could-have-been, I can say all this. Yes, I learned from my mistakes. It doesn’t mean I still don’t make mistakes. Oh, and I forgot everybody’s favorite what-could-have-been. But yes, like I just said, I learned from my mistakes so I can see what young people go through and try to guide my children, or at least encourage them not to let fear, anger, despair, misplaced romance or plain stupidity fog their judgment.

Anyway…

I’ve found that when someone turns into a Vampire, it is almost like being a teenager again. Everything changes – both physically and mentally. They change in ways they could have never imagined, no matter what they thought they knew.

My young friend Cody was a happy and successful Silicone Valley executive when he woke up one morning with a craving for human blood and fangs. Four years after the fact Cody has adapted quite well and embraced his Vampire self, but there are still frustrations. The learning curve is still there, even thought Cody firmly believes he knows everything. Yes, does that remind you of any seventeen year olds you might know?

Just as you need to give your teens a break and spend time talking with them, and listening, you need to do the same with your new Vampire friends.

Yes, they’re going to do stupid things like over indulge on blood or sleep for a week. They’re going to offend older Vampires. They’re going to make a lot of mistakes, but they’ll learn. So give them a break and let them know if they’re making fools of themselves. It is our job to protect them and teach them. After all, we will be spending a long long long time in their company.

That is all for today. Just a thought. And don’t forget to give a hug to your favorite Vampire today. And don’t forget to tell your kids that you love them – always.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman