Coming Soon: Sad Vampires and Blood Oranges
~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman
Coming Soon: Sad Vampires and Blood Oranges
~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman
The cat stood at the door. She asked to go out, or I assumed she did from her meowing. I opened the door. She walked away. I’m not playing this game. The door is now open. She doesn’t realize that the cold doesn’t bother me. For a brief moment I reveled in the thought that the cat does not understand Vampires. Then she jumped on the table and bit my hand. She was purring. I do not understand her game. I hate cats.
My neighbor took me to a Kings Game. It is what they call Basketball. The team is called the Sacramento Kings. I was not sure what sort of game this basketball was.
He told me that I was to dress casual and to wear purple if I had it. I wore a purple dress shirt with a black tie and black slacks. The ladies had to rub my arm and smile. Women are so forward now. They said I looked gorgeous.
We arrived at the stadium. The Kings were going to play the Celtics. I missed pageantry and was feeling excited about the spectical. Every seat in the stadium was full. People wore purple and green. Some had cowbells. A new leader, someone they called the Coach was to be crowned…or at least I thought.
The Celtics were not the Celts I knew of. They were huge, tall men. Some were over seven feet tall. They did not look like Celts.
Then the Kings came out. They were the huge men as the Celtics. I wondered what sort of challenges they would partake in. I saw no weapons.
They played with a ball. They threw it into a basket. At first I didn’t understand why everyone was so excited, then I was swept into the pandemonium. Girls danced. Music played, The crowd cheered. People yelled. Everyone danced. My neighbor’s wife grabbed me and we were on the “hug cam.”
Nobody was killed during or after the game. The losers were not punished. Everyone was happy. I don’t understand. There must be consequences unless this is just a circus show masked as a royal tournament.
The spectacle of last night made me think of a story my Baba used to tell. It was long centuries ago when I was a child. It was back when my blood still ran warm and my heart would beat strong in my chest.
Once there was a prince called Alexander who was betrothed to marry a woman he did not love. This woman was beautiful but she was also shrewish and it was rumored she took many lovers and would continue to do so after marriage. She planned to lock Alexander up and keep him to herself, as her toy. Young Alexander, only 16 years old, wished to be free like the squirrels and other woodland creatures. So on the eve of his wedding to the woman he did not love Alexander fled into the woods.
Alexander became lost in the deep dark forest. The branches tore at his clothing and hair. He did not know what to do until he heard the sound of clicking and then laughing. Going towards the noise he found himself in a clearing. In the middle of patch of mowed grass was a table. At the table sat a squirrel, a possum, a cat and a snake. They sat around the table with bottles of wine and a cup of dice.
They looked up at the startled young prince. The cat said in a voice rich with musical tones, “please, Alexander, come sit with us. Come play our game.”
“Tell me the rules,” said the prince.
The squirrel bushed up his tail and turned his head to the side. “First you must tell us your wish. Then we all throw the dice. Those with low scores must take a drink. The player with the high score gets to ask a question of one of the players.”
Alexander thought this was an odd game. “Who wins?”
“You’ll see,” purred the cat, then she licked her paws and slicked back her whiskers. “What is your wish.”
“I wish to marry for love, eventually. I’m only sixteen,” said Alexander.
They all nodded, even the snake who stared with a flicking tongue and black eyes like polished obsidian.
The cat motioned for the game to start. The squirrel rolled five, the cat rolled seven, the snake rolled two, the possum rolled eleven and Alexander rolled twelve.
The snake hissed and rolled it’s eyes, “I win because I rolled my own eyes. I’m also tired of our wine.”
“And we’re tired of your whine,” said the squirrel. He then took the snake by the tail and threw it into the forest. Alexander could hear it cursing and slithering away through the brush.
The all drank big slugs of wine and told Alexander to ask a question of one of them. “I will ask you a question,” he said turning to the possum. “Why do you play dead?”
The possum grinned with sharp teeth and answered, “I play dead because there are Vampires in the woods. I wish to keep my blood so I play dead.”
The squirrel laughed. “Roll the dice.”
The squirrel had the high score of ten. He asked the cat, “Do you like living in the woods.”
The cat slowly closed then opened her bright green eyes. “I love my friends but I wish I had a forever home.”
The possum started to cry because her answer made him so sad, so they all quickly took a drink and rolled the dice again and again. The game went on for hours until they were all too drunk to play anymore.
In the morning Alexander woke up on the table with the cat sleeping in the crook of his arm. The squirrel was sleeping on a branch above them. The possum was sleeping under the table. The snake had returned and was sleeping curled in a tight coil by the prince’s feet.
The cat opened her eyes and started to purr. Alexander scratched under her chin. “Who won dear cat?”
“You did,” said the cat, “but there is a catch. You must take me back to your home in the castle.”
Alexander and the cat said goodbye to their friends and promised to return.
Upon his return Alexander was greeted with angry words from the woman he was to marry. She pulled him by the ear and slapped his face. When he could take no more he opened his jacket and out jumped the cat. The horrified woman backed away. Her eyes started to water and turn red. Then she sneezed so hard that her brains blew out of her nose and she fell dead upon the floor.
The cat said, “I had heard she was allergic. That is why all cats were banned from the castle as soon as the engagement was announced. Now you can become a man in peace and I will live with you as your cat. I’d like to tell you that I’m really an enchanted woman, but no such luck, I’m just a cat.”
Then the dogs came in and licked up the brains and they lived happily ever after together. And eventually, about ten years later the prince found his true love, and she loved his old cat as much as he did.
And that was the end of the story.
After writing down this story, my cat jumped in my lap. I wondered if she would kill for me. I doubted it.
Tonight I went out for dinner.
Meals used to involve cunning and seduction. Sometimes meals would involve force and stealth.
Now I go to a local gathering place and women approach me. They smile and tell me I’m cute or gorgeous or dreamy. Their goal is to seduce me. I don’t understand this change in culture but I am not going to complain. Finally there is something about the modern world that I find pleasing.
When I arrived home I put my hand in my coat pocket and to my surprise it contained a pair of dice. In the woods next to my house I could see the glow of eyes and the rustle of leaves in the trees above me. My cat rubbed against my legs and mewed. The game is on.
A note about this post:
This is in response to a contest run by Evil Squirrel in 2013 (Contest of Whatever).
These were the rules (from 2013):
1. The theme is games. I want some form of a game to be involved in your creation. Anything that involves competition between two or more participants is allowed… board games, sports, multiplayer video games, children’s activities… etc.
2. Since we don’t want any solo gaming, your creation must include at least two characters… and they must be at least two different species of animals (and while your entry may contain humans, they do not count towards this two species requirement. Fictional animals, such as unicorns, do count towards this requirement). Note that your creation may have as many characters as you wish, just so long as there’s at least two different animal species represented.
And thanks ES for a fun contest.
~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman
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.
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.
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.
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.
~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman
Today I’m featuring not one, but two sort of romantic Vampire stories about guys with relationship issues. Some of you might have read these before. The other featured story is called Perfection. Anyway, have fun, and be amused and entertained.
A Story from Juliette aka Vampire Maman (first posted April 2013)
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 Laurel 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 Laurel 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 Laurel 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. Laurel found her life in others but kept her secret soul and passions locked up, bound in shadows and secrets.
At one time, Oliver and Laurel 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?
“Laurel.” He said her name as if in a dream.
“Don’t Laurel 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.
“Laurel, 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 Laurel.” 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 Laurel 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. Laurel 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. “Laurel 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.”
Laurel 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 “Laurel 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 Laurel and her children, like he should have been all along.
~Juliette aka Vampire Maman
Love posts for Valentine’s Day
While taking clothes out of the dryer I found a crisp folded piece of notepaper with a note, written with a red Sharpie.
I don’t think you understand how you tear my heart apart. You don’t do anything. You just are. You drive me crazy. You act so cool and I know how you put on a mask. Everyday is Halloween for you. Stop being so afraid of being yourself. I love you – you idiot.
Sigh. Seventeen year old Garrett has been writing love letters to girls since he was six years old. Now girls are writing them to him too. He has known Ione almost his entire life but they just started dating last Spring. If they make it as a couple or not, I’m sure they’ll always be friends – I have a feeling they will (they’re both Vampires.) So I…
View original post 636 more words
A short story from Juliette Kings
“We pumped quite a bit of blood out of your stomach. We’re not sure where it came from.”
She heard the words but was the noise in her head was still loud…
“Your heart had stopped beating. You weren’t breathing. You were cold.”
A hospital bed. She was in a bed hooked up to equipment. Her throat hurt.
“We still can’t get your body temperature up to normal and your heart beat is extremely slow.”
She’d been found in a room of an abandoned house wearing nothing but a black silk cocktail dress and black high heeled sandals. The nails on her hands and feet were painted silver. Aside from that there was no jewelry, no purse, no identification. The man she’d been with had received minor injuries and would be in soon to see her. He said he was her boyfriend. Panic started to set in but she didn’t show it.
“Do you remember anything?”
“Not a lot.” She lied. She had remembered almost everything, despite the headache. The man called Austin had wanted to show her a house he was remodeling. He specialized in renovating Victorians and older historic homes. It was charming. It was haunted. “Is Austin alright?”
“He had a few stitches in his forehead, but yes, he is doing fine.”
“We left the club where we met. I mean, it wasn’t a hook up, we’d been seeing each other for a while. We’re friends. He told me about his work restoring old homes. I own some property I was thinking of having restored…He took me to a house he owns. It’s old, nobody lives there. A Queen Ann style Victorian. Beautiful. He showed me around and we ended up in an upstairs room.” She didn’t tell him of the phantoms and the screams that nearly burst her ear drums. She paused, and glanced at the needle in her arm. “Alright, we did fool around some. But we both started to feel really sick. He passed out first. I tried to wake him. I think we were drugged at the bar. Is he ok?”
“I’m fine sweetheart.” In the door stood a man with a bandage on his forehead. His brown eyes met her blue with almost a spark of both passion and hate. He smiled at the doctor.
“She’s a vampire and I’m a vampire hunter. I had no idea the house was haunted when I took her there. Sorry, it’s along running joke between us. Isn’t it Elizabeth?”
Her eyes met his again. A hunter hunting the huntress. “Is that all I am to you?”
He sat next on the edge of the bed and took her cold hand. “You need to warm up dear or they’ll never let you out of here. I know, it takes a lot of effort to keep your heart beating for those machines. You don’t want them thinking you’re dead.”
To think she was starting to fall in love with this man.
“I thought you were going to kill me last night but you saved my life. Why’d you do that Elizabeth?
Doctor Davis spoke up. “What is going on here?”
Austin smiled and spoke in a quiet calming voice. “I’m sorry for the confusion. We have our own language. We had a fight. She wasn’t going to kill me. Just an expression. She was angry. You know, I’m a typical guy. I did typical stupid guy stuff. We went to the house and like she said, we were both feeling sick. Then someone came in and mugged us. She saved me. I don’t know how, but she defended me. It was too dark to tell what was going on. We had a tumultuous relationship but we’re not violent, just a little dramatic.”
“He’d never touch me.” Elizabeth looked back at Austin. “The ones who attacked us… I had no idea. I’ve never experienced anything like that.”
“I thought you’d know.”
They both talked to the police about what had happened. Their story was the same. They’d gone to a house he owned, it was unoccupied, they were attacked. They both had traces of an airborne toxin in their systems.
Elizabeth was released into Austin’s care. She’d told him she’d call a taxi but he insisted on bringing her home.
On the way he talked. She sat still, feeling sick, trying to regain her energy. The morning sun burned her eyes even through the fog.
“So my building, the house we were in last night is haunted. Those were ghosts.”
Elizabeth glanced over at him, then looked away. “Yes, they were ghosts. I know someone who can get rid of them for you. He’s good and his prices are reasonable.”
“You know Elizabeth, I’ve found at least a dozen of your kind, vampires, in the basements of abandoned old buildings I’ve purchased for restoration. They weren’t like you. They were like rats.”
“I’m not like them. I don’t live in the shadows or in a crypt. I don’t sleep in a coffin. Most of us aren’t like your rats. We live normal lives.”
“When were you born?”
“1834. I’ve been a vampire since 1853. How did you know?”
He gave her a mean smile. “Call it a 6th sense. My grandfather hunted vampires. It’s in my blood, no pun intended.”
They arrived at her house. He was impressed. A beautiful craftsman style, maybe 2,500 square feet, nice old neighborhood. Inside the woodwork was beautiful. Her decorating was a combination of period and modern. Nice.
“You can go,” she told him.
“Show me around. This place is great.”
“I’m the original owner. 1905.”
As she showed him around Austin noticed a diploma in her office. “You didn’t tell me you were an attorney. Go figure.”
“I told you I consulted for the Justice Department. There is no shame in what I do.”
The house was impressive as was the vampire who lived in it. “Was that my blood they pumped out of your stomach?”
“Most of it. Don’t worry, you won’t turn into a Vampire. I just took maybe a pint.”
Austin noticed a mirror on the wall. He took Elizabeth by the shoulders and turned her around to face it. He could see his own reflection but hers was just a dim shadow.
“Look at my eyes, in the mirror. Look at my eyes,” she told him.
Their eyes locked in the glass. Her image became clear. He laughed. It wasn’t the sarcastic bitter laugh she’d heard all morning. This was joy.
“Elizabeth, will you be alright if I leave you?”
“You aren’t going to kill me?”
“Then when? When will you be back to cut out my heart and cut off my head.”
“Do you want to go out sometime on a real date?”
“You’re scaring me Austin.”
“I know. I’ll pick you up tomorrow around 8:00. It should be dark by then. Wear something nice.”
She watched through the window as he drove away. Her heart had stopped beating. She wasn’t breathing. In the refrigerator was a bottle of blood. She was starving. Her head was light but that was because of him.
Austin drove away with a smile on his face. What a rush. He wasn’t sure what tomorrow would bring. Either he’d kill her or he’d marry her. That is, if she didn’t kill him first.
First published in 2014. This is the first story in the Austin and Elizabeth series.
~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman