Short Story Sunday: Stumped

Short Story Sunday

Stumped

 

I just got done removing a stump from the back yard and I’m sitting down to a beer and the game when the doorbell rings.

My wife is out shopping and the kids are off with friends. I’m enjoying a little quiet time, just me and the TV.

I answer the door, and there is a guy about my age standing there. He looks like he just came out of GQ Magazine with a jacket, perfect jeans, wearing shoes that costs as much as my house payment. His features are like an Italian Model or a Movie star, that sort of pretty but manly look that women go nuts over. His hair is perfect, thick and silver. He’s wearing a Rolex Submariner. Nice.

He gave me a pretty serious look then said, “I’m sleeping with your wife.”

All right, I wasn’t expecting that one. He then looked me up and down like he was waiting for me to beat the shit out of him. I’m a big guy. Not big and fat, but 6’4″ with a lot of gym time. I used to play football. This guy wasn’t small but I had a good five inches on him and maybe sixty pounds. He looked like a runner or one of those freaking guys who rides a bike in neon colored spandex shorts.

Honestly I should have beat the shit out of him, but that isn’t my style. I just went numb. Heather and I had been together for 20 years, married 17 of those years. We have two kids and a house and friends and … we were one of those perfect couples. You know, we laugh a lot and say the same thing at the same time. That sort of perfect. We hold hands and … I thought things were fine.

Sure she’d put on some weight and had a hard time dealing with her body image. Sure she was over worked with her job and the kids and with me. Sure she was stressed, but who isn’t? But… this handsome, obviously wealthy guy was standing here telling me that MY WIFE was sleeping with him.

He started talking about passion… her passion. Sure we had passion. That morning I’d almost been late for work because of her passion, our passion. But he got into details of fetish stuff he’d do with her and how he made her scream the way I never could. I had no idea she ever wanted any of that stuff. I sure didn’t want it.

Then, as I stood stunned, he talked about her beauty and how smart she was and how I could never ever appreciate her. He said the kids didn’t need her as much anymore, he said she loved him.

I could feel my body start to shake. My world was imploding around me. My throat was tight. I thought I was going to vomit on his expensive shoes. Finally I said something. “Does she know you’re here?”

Mr. GQ glared at me and said, “I’m taking her away to live the life she deserves.”

“Do you love Heather?” I asked. I had to know. I knew the answer but I wanted him to tell me.

His eyes opened as big as dinner plates. “Heather?”

“My wife,” I said.

“Your wife isn’t Allison?”

“Heather.” I grabbed the wedding photo off of the hutch in the front entryway and put it in his face. “Allison lives next door.”

“Uh, sorry. I’m so sorry.”

He didn’t go next door. He just got in his car and drove away. About 20 minutes later the front door opened and I heard a familiar voice, “Honey, I’m home. Did I miss anything?”

“No, just got the stump out and I’m watching the game. Hey, Heather, did I tell you that I think you’re beautiful?”

“Sure. Thanks for getting that stump out. Will you help me with the groceries?”

I follow her outside and she gives me a little smile, the kind she always does when she has something smart to say. “You know, you’re the only man I ever loved.”

I grab a couple of bags. “Good to know. Love you too.”

~ end

 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Answers to Questions About Vampires.

I’m really good at dealing with crappy days, but it isn’t as if I like it.

In the meantime if you’re looking for answers here you go…

Answers to Questions I’m Asked About Vampires

No, bats don’t make good pets. They’ll die. Don’t do it.

No, we don’t tear people’s throats out. Think of the mess. And seriously do you rip the door off of your refrigerator every time you get something to eat? Yeah, I didn’t think so.

No, I don’t sleep in a coffin. I really want one of the Sleep Number beds.

Yes, we are sensitive to light. Thank you for asking and pass the sunscreen.

Yes, sometimes we do eat real food (we need fiber just like you).

Yes, we do have paranormal powers. No I won’t tell you about them.

Ask a Werewolf if you want to know about Werewolves.

No, garlic will not kill us. Now your breath… that is another issue.

No, a cross will not burn us.

Yes, fire can kill us. Fire can kill you too.

Yes, if you destroy my heart or cut off my head I’ll die. So will you.

Yes, this is a real Rolex. I purchased it new in 1959.

Yes, cat blood is pretty nasty. I wouldn’t advise it.

Yes, we do hunt vegans.

No, being a vegan will cause a Vampire to go into a coma for a very long time.

Because you’d kill us.

Vampire girls kick ass.

No, we usually just make them think they did. That’s why people love us and have so many fantasies about us.

No, we can’t have biological children with a regular human.

No, less than 10% of humans turned into vampires survive more than a few weeks. Of that only 5% will make it. 90% die within an hour. Did that answer your questions?

We wear other colors. Not just black.

Yes, we do prefer red wine over white.

No, I won’t answer questions about THAT.

Yes, Werewolf blood does taste sort of like Bourbon.

Yes, we do get married to other Vampires. No we don’t marry regular people (not much because it never works out)

No we don’t marry Werewolves. What is wrong with you?

No, I will not show you my teeth.

 

That’s it for today.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

vampire girls

 

Vampire Diary: Frankenstein

“My education was neglected, yet I was passionately fond of reading.”
~ Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, Frankenstein; Or, the Modern Prometheus

Dear Diary,

I missed the entire 19th and 20th Centuries. So much happened. I am, how do the young Vampires say, clueless on so many cultural references.

When one is imprisoned in a crypt for three hundred years there is a great void in culture.

Books. Book changed. I completely missed Daniel Defoe by a few years. Of course I’d read The Ingenious Nobleman Sir Quixote of La Mancha and all of the ancient Greek tales, but where I lived, there were rarely anything considered a what is known now as a novel.

I have been reading many books over the past several years.

I started a new book today. It is called Frankenstein. I understand it was written by a young woman. Sometimes one must read light fluff because it is recommended by friends. Understanding modern women is also a good thing. I hope this book will clear a few items up.

~ Vlad

 

Dear Diary,

I continue to read Frankenstein. It is not what I imagined it would be.

What is that expression my love Gillian always uses? Yes, I remember. Holy shit.

~ Vlad

 

Dear Diary,

Last night I ventured out to my favorite local night time meeting place. It is owned by a woman named Cassie who is both beautiful and smart. She could have also written Frankenstein. I had planned on asking her if she had heard of Frankenstein but there was no chance.

My friend Randolpho and my love Gillian joined me. We are all Vampires, and know that Cassie’s bar is popular with a few other local Vampires as well. Cassie and the other patrons have no idea what we are. We do not plan to tell them.

All there were having a good night until three men wearing black coats and hats walked in. They looked around, then one looked directly at me and said, “Target,” to his friends.

At first I wanted to tell him that this was a bar and Target was about three miles away, then I realized that I was their target. I locked eyes with him and knew they were Vampire Hunters.

“Don’t look them in the eyes,” he yelled and brought out a large knife. As they came towards me I realized they also had guns. Why does everyone have guns?

I stood up from my seat and yelled for everyone in the club to get down. Randolpho and two other Vampires were like Shepard dogs and herded almost everyone behind the bar and into the kitchen and storage room. Gillian stood next to me.

One of the men, the tallest one, who had long brown hair, pulled out his gun. I grabbed his hand and twisted his arm behind his back and knocked him to the floor. Their leader, a shorter man of great thickness, headed towards Gillian with a sword. I turned and grabbed his arm with my left hand and the blade of the sword with my right. I could feel it cut into me. Then I twisted it out of his arm. I did not see a third man behind me as he stabbed me in the neck. I could hear screaming from behind the bar.

“You will not hurt a soul and you will not take me down,” I said.

“You’ll die tonight Vampire King, along with the rest of your friends,” said the man who stabbed me.

“No,” I said.

As the blood poured from my neck, it was funny, because all I could think of was how I’d just gotten that blood about an hour before then at an odd show at an art gallery.

We fought as I have not fought in centuries, with Gillian beside me, and the other Vampires working to protect the fragile regular Humans. I do not know exactly what happened but suddenly a knife went into my chest, it might have been a sword. A knife went into my check and cut a hole in me, starting at my heart and working down, as long as my forearm, maybe a foot long.

Then all went dark.

I awoke in a strange place, like something out of Mary Shelly’s nightmare.

A serious looking man wearing white hovered over me. “What year where you born?”

“1342,” I said, barely getting out the sound.

“1982,” I could hear Gillian say, but I could not see her. “He’s thirty-six.”

“Do you know his blood type? We couldn’t tell. It was as if someone mixed several types together.” I heard more voices asking questions. One said they would have to give me blood. That sounded good to me. I heard Gillian say my blood type was A+. I do not know what that means. I have human blood and I have my own Vampire blood. It is red. It is blood.

I tried to sit but found myself with wired attached to me. A needle was in my arm which was attached to more machines. Bright lights were in my eyes. People were all around me and asking me questions I could not understand or answer.

I could hear their frantic voices saying that I was cold and my heart was not beating. They said I had no blood. Then I felt electricity surge through my body. I jerked.

I could hear Randolpho’s voice somewhere. “Vlad, make your heart beat friend. Don’t let them think you’re dead.”

Needles went in and out of my skin and everything underneath it. I could not understand what people were saying.

Gillian said to someone, “Randolpho is his first cousin. I am his fiance. We are all the family he has. Everyone else is dead.” Dead is a relative term when one speaks of Vampires, but she was right. As far as I knew everyone in my family is dead except my sister who is undead and thousands of miles away.

Then it happened, as I lay on the table, hooked to machines, my arms pierced by needles, covered with blood, splayed out like a hog ready to be cut into bacon and ribs, it happened…

“Even like this he is so cute.”

“He is so cute.”

“He is beautiful, but so handsome.”

“I’ve never seen anyone here this cute.”

“Oh my, who is this man? He is absolutely gorgeous.”

Cute. Even in my darkest hour I am called cute. I do not understand this cute. Babies, puppies, kittens, and teenager are cute. I am a Vampire King in a Frankenstein like nightmare. I am in the lab, hooked up like the creature and they talk about how cute I am. I do not understand.

Then one put her hand on my forehead, “Hey cutie. Can you hear me?”

I opened my eyes and smiled a bit. “Of course. Where am I?”

I could feel her melt a bit due to my charm. “The hospital,” she said. “I’m Doctor Davis. We’re here to help.” Then she turned to her companions and said, “How is he talking? His heart isn’t beating.”

I was weak but I put my hand on her arm. “Dear Doctor Davis. Please leave me alone with my cousin and my fiancée for one minute. In case I am dead I need to have a few last words.” I looked her in the eye and she could not do anything but go away. Vampires can do that. We have that magic touch (even now I can make a slight joke.)

Gillian and Randolpho helped me become detached from the machines and wrapped me in a blanket and put me in a wheel chair. When someone would approach us Gillian would put up her hand and say, “Let us pass.” And of course they let us pass, and none of them remembered seeing us leave, for we are Vampires who move silently and make memories vanish.

When we arrived home I lay in my bed feeling more dead than undead. The pain of the Vampire hunter blades was made worse by poison. My hand, my neck, and my torso were stitched up. I was full of new blood, but still weak. I ask Gillian if she can heat up a blanket in the dryer for me.

I am exhausted just trying to write of this event.

~ Vlad

 

We are unfashioned creatures, but half made up, if one wiser, better, dearer than ourselves – such a friend ought to be – do not lend his aid to perfectionate our weak and faulty natures.  ~ Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, Frankenstein; Or, the Modern Prometheus

 

Dear Diary,

News travels fast of a hero who fought off three crazy men with knives and guns to save about fifty terrified people. Vampire friends and my neighbors all came by to see how I am doing. Cassie and her husband Justin brought beautiful red flowers. Gillian and Randolpho were the perfect hostess and host.

Men from law enforcement came and spoke with me.

They asked questions. I told them that I remembered nothing.

Then, I do not know why, I quoted a line from the book Frankenstein. “I see by your eagerness, and the wonder and hope which your eyes express, my friend, that you expect to be in formed of the secret with which I am acquainted. That cannot be.”

I gave them a small uncomfortable laugh and told them that I could not think today. They said they understood and asked me to call them if I remember anything.

The men who attacked us were not apprehended that night. They will be found, but not by local law enforcement.

None the less Gillian and I insisted Randolpho stay with us for a few days. We are fierce and dangerous Vampires but even we have to watch those who do not understand us and wish us harm in their ignorance.

But now I sleep, and rest, and quickly heal as only a Vampire can.

Tomorrow, or maybe next week we will find our peace, and with any luck discover books that do not scare even Vampires.

~ Vlad.

 

“I shall commit my thoughts to paper, it is true; but that is a poor medium for the communication of feeling. I desire the company of a man who could sympathize with me, whose eyes would reply to mine.” 
~ Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, Frankenstein; Or, the Modern Prometheus

 

2016-04-08 09.04.16

 

Note from Juliette: This is the 36th entry of Vlad’s Vampire Diary. To read it from the start click here.

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

Chuck the Elf (Best Christmas Story Ever!)

I am honored to share a Christmas Story from my friend David. Prepare yourself for a real Christmas treat with this Holiday Classic! ~ Juliette

Chuck the Elf

By Davidus Hunter

I was born in the Bronx way back in 1902.

St. Anne’s orphanage was the only home I ever knew till I went north years later. The place was crazy; a lotta little midgets running around makin’ a lotta noise. I guess I was one of ‘em, except I was no midget – I was an elf. I stayed in that place for 30 years until they figured out I wasn’t no kid! So I packed my shit up and hit the road. I joined the army for a while, got into some action at Omaha Beach even. After dat, I never trucked with the military much.

I joined the circus for a while – but the bearded lady and I didn’t get along. The fact was, I couldn’t stand life on the road livin’ wit all them freaks – I was longing for a fambly, if you get my meanin’.

One night, Christmas Eve if you gotta know – I was on the roof of my tenement building because my landlady didn’t like my cigar smoke. She always whiffed it through the vents and complained so I went up on the roof. I was feeling lonesome as hell too, wit the snow fallin’ and all streets quiet and empty. To be honest, I crawled out on the ledge. I was thinkin’ of just ending it. I was just a lowly Elf, livin’ off racetrack bets and scroungin’ for handouts.

I was a Bronx kid, though. I couldn’t do it. Plus, that street looked like it could hurt a guy real bad falling from dat height.

I went back on the roof and finished my stogie, lookin’ up at the twinklin’ snowy sky. It was damned cold. I never felt so bad in my whole life.

I saw sumpin’ then, over the East River. Looked like plane or some kinda flying object. I tracked it for a while and realized it was comin’ right towards me! I ran back and ducked behind a ventilator shaft.

I heard bells, and some guy yelling. I heard da soft thump of somethin’ landing.
Now don’t get me wrong – I ain’t no pansy or nuthin’ – but this was strange. I can deal with stormin’ a beachhead and all, but the unknown always unnerves me, y’know?

I peeked around the corner an I saw animals or somthin’, shakin’ snow off themselves. Everytime they did that, bells would jingle. There was some fat shmoe sittin’ in a red sled too. All of a sudden I hear my name!

“Charles! Charles! Come out from behind there!”

There was a silence as I was trying to figure out what to do.

“Who wants ta know?” I said after a while.

I peeked over my hiding spot and saw the lard-ass comin’ towards me. He was big – triple my size – but I figured if I bit his knee caps the odds would be evened out.
He stuck his head around the vent, and stared right at me.

“Charles! I found you!” he said. He had dis soppy smile on his face, what you could see of it anyway with that friggin’ large white beard.

“Listen Mack …” I started to say.

“Charles! You must come with me! You don’t belong here. You belong up at the North Pole with the others!”

I looked at dis guy and thought he was nuts. “You shittin’ me?”

He straightened up and crinkled his nose.

“I’m afraid I’m not! You are an Elf, of the elfus smallicus genus. All my staff up at the North Pole is comprised of Elves. You see, you were given up for adoption by mistake.”

I looked up at the guy, and I could see he was tellin’ da truth. Others like me? Elves? For true?

Dat was the one and only time I cried – at least since that time I pooped my pants back at the Orphanage and the sister swatted me a good one.

“Come! You can help me give out presents tonight, then we can take you home,” he said. He wedged his large ass back into the sled, and I followed. There wasn’t much space between his girth and all them sacks’a toys for me to sit, but I managed.

He tole me about his toy making racket and all the right-offs he got for it. Pretty slick, I had to agree. We shot up inna sky and I was dubious about them moose things haulin’ us up into the stratosphere and all, but they maintained a good speed, except for the turbulence which I didn’t care for.

All night long we delivered them friggin toys, all over the damned world, Australia, England, and places I never hoid of, like ‘Canada’. I was so tired by the end, I thought I’d collapse. But this guy, Santa, he had a mini bar in his sled and I had a few shots of whiskey. We delivered our last toy to some kid in Montana – a train set. We went down the chimney (I still couldn’t get over goin’ down them tings!). I was placin’ it under the tree when I heard a noise. I look over and see the kid peeking around the corner at me.

“Ain’t polite to stare, kid,” I said. “Murry Christmas.”

Da kid scampered off.

Not even ten minutes into our journey north I was out like a light.

So, I went to the North Pole. I met my mom! Saw all the udder elves like me. It was a happy homecoming, I gotta say. Still, I miss New York sometimes, even though I visit occasionally. I miss the smell of the Hudson, the rude people, the street vendors selling junk, Coney Island hot dogs, the racetrack, all of it. But it ain’t so bad up here; got lotsa snow, plenty of fresh air, and the pay is good. Made foreman a few years ago; I’m in charge of making them iPad thingies. Big responsibility. The uniforms could use some revamping, but y’can’t have everything, am I right?

I guess I didn’t do so bad after all, y’know?

The End

________________

More from the master storyteller David X. Hunter’s can be found in the WPaD Anthologies, including our latest (available on Barnes & Noble, and Amazon) Strange Adventures in a Deviant Universe.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Vampire Diary: Fortunes and Cookies

2017-02-17-13-54-29

Dear Diary,

The rain has started again. Even Vampires are unable to see through the windshield of an automobile when it is raining.

My old friend Randolpho came over to help me put new wiper blades onto my car. He was wearing his tall hat. I told him that it is not the fashion now. He said it was always the fashion because he, as a Vampire, made the fashion. Then he said something about someone called Slash who also wore a tall hat. Who is named Slash? I asked if he was a serial killer or an actor in horror movies. Randolpho said Slash was a killer guitarist. I asked if this Slash person was in prison. Randolpho looked at me in a confused manner and stopped talking. I did not pursue the line of conversation any longer.

I can now drive in the rain and see the road.

I think of guitarists and wonder how many are killers. I asked Randolpho about it. He said there was a band of musicians called The Killers but they do not kill. He said he thought at least one of them might be of the Mormon faith and from Las Vegas. He said The Killers were one of his favorite bands. He said a lot of great bands are from Las Vegas. He said so was Wayne Newton but he did not like the way Mr. Newton sounded like a girl. I had never heard of this Wayne Newton. I did not ask any other questions on the chance my head would explode.

~ Vlad

 

Dear Diary,

After being trapped in a crypt for three hundred years I still have much catching up to do. I often have the expectations that everything has changed. Unfortunately I must report that some attitudes and barbaric practices still exist. How superior “Modern” society thinks it is when in fact it is not. I do not understand why.

There is only one young woman living on my street as my neighbor. There were two others who have gone away to study at universities. The one left, with the name of Kylee, is going to a place of higher learning a few miles away. I am impressed that young women are now going to such places of great thinking to learn to be leaders.

I tell them all to watch out for men who would prey upon them. As a Vampire it is my duty to protect those in my life I care for. I find my heart has started to beat a few times when I think of the way my neighbors watch for me. I do not ask them to, but they happily inquire about my well being. These people offer to help me with tasks with no expectation of payment. I do not understand.

I do not understand how my heart, so hard and strong, has become like that of … I do not know. I cannot explain how I feel almost warm-blooded.

I am a Vampire King. I have led armies. I have ruled an empire of the undead. I have been just and cruel showing swift justice to those who have crossed me, and my people. And even though some call me cute, I have been feared. I have ordered heads be put on poles outside of my castle. I have watched Vampires feast as blood dripped from their chins while I laughed. Yes, I have been feared. I have made hearts stop and souls grow cold.

Yet, here in this world in which I now live, my neighbor, a woman named Liz, asked me to feed and pet her cat while she is gone for the weekend. Liz once asked me to watch her children for a few hours when she took her husband to the hospital. The children were small, a feast for some less cultured Vampires, but I watched them. The baby was not yet walking but crawled in my lap and laughed and drooled. The older child, a small boy of about six years showed me how he could draw a cat. It was, dare I say, cute.

I told him stories about the animals of the forests near where I lived as a child. There was a great bear who would eat men who came to kill for sport. He would only let those who killed for food go home to their families. There were birds who would talk and tell the secrets of all, and whisper them to the bats, who in turn would whisper them into the ears of sleeping humans, who would then wake in confusion with a sense of unknown betrayal. I told him of the beautiful hawk I hunted with. I told him of my horses, but not of the battles. This child is one who would one day make a good Vampire but I did not tell him that. After he had gone to sleep I showed the baby my fangs. She laughed. I also laughed. I knew she would keep it our secret.

I feel warm. That troubles me, but it is not altogether bad. I must go feed the cat now. Her name is Daisy. Like the flower, only she is a cat.

~ Vlad

 

Dear Diary,

Tonight I was out at one of my favorite night spots, a small old local bar where people of all ages sit at dark wooden tables, and at a long bar, and talk while sipping drinks and listening to Irish Punk music (yes, I do know what that is. I am not that much in the dark about current culture.)

A few young women who frequent there like to give out cookies. I do not eat cookies. I am a Vampire. Then I thought of the singer Randolpho told me about. There were cookies made of figs called Newtons. I wondered if the singer who sounded like a girl ate fig cookies. I wondered if he wandered the Nevada desert like Moses of the Bible because figs are biblical. Then I had another glass of wine to ease the pounding in my head. I wanted blood but I would have to wait.

But tonight the young women, they tell me that these cookies they have are called fortune cookies. I told them that I did not understand. Where they like tea leaves that one could read the crumbs of such cookies to tell the future. They laughed and then one of the women cracked a hard oddly shaped cookie in half. Inside was a small slip of paper with the words You have a charming way with words and should write a book.

That was not a fortune. It was advice. A fortune would say something like tonight you die a slow and painful death.

Another cookie had a note in it with the words You may lose the small ones but win the big ones. I do not understand which ones they are referring to. I did not ask.

The women gave me another fortune cookie. I cracked it open and found the small slip of paper, and it read Boy chased girl around church and catch him by organ. The women all laughed. I did not understand. One said it was one of the dirty fortune cookies. They all laughed again. I still did not understand.

“Why would one want to eat a dirty cookie. Do you not like your food to be clean?” I asked.

They all laughed and said I was too cute. I do not understand. How can I be cute, much less too cute? Kittens are cute. Babies are cute. I am at a loss. The language of women is confusing. I will never understand.

I gave the women the cookies to eat. I went home with one and drank her blood. I left her sleeping with a smile on her face. We only talked. That is what she wanted. She is in love with a young man. I will make sure he falls in love with her. I am a Vampire. I can do that. The next morning I had flowers sent to her. What is happening to me? I, Vlad the Vampire King sent flowers.

Maybe I should write a book.

~ Vlad

 

Dear Diary,

I started to read a new book. A friend recommended it. She is a Vampire as well. The book is odd but I like it. It is about science and fiction. I like this Science Fiction. It could be real, but maybe not. That sense of the unknown has a certain thrill to it. The drawing of the woman on the cover is beautiful. She reminds me of my sister. I will send her a copy. My sister is a Vampire but she would like space travel.

Strange Adventures in a Deviant Universe

My love Gillian came to me and told me to put down my book. She put her hands on my shoulders and gently carressed them. Then she walked around in front of me and gently kissed my lips. She tasted like fresh blood and cinnimon. She asked what I was reading. I told her I was in the middle of an amusing story called Hollow Heads.

She curled next to me and I read it to her. She laughed and said she wanted me to read more to her, but later… Then we made love as only Vampires can. That had nothing to do with the story we’d read. It is just what we do when we are together.

As we lay in bed, our bodies entwined, Gillian asked me if I believed there were others out in space. I glanced out the window at the moonless sky. I gently kissed her and took her hand, holding it close to my chest.

“I wonder,” I said, “if there are lovers out beyond the stars we can see tonight, asking the same question. There has to be. If I can wake after three hundred years into a world such as this, then there have to be other worlds out beyond our imagination. It would be sad to think that we were so alone, like someone locked in a crypt, withtout hope of a friend who would someday come by and break the seal.”

Gillian whispered, “I love you Vlad,” and kissed my neck, gently scraping her fangs over my skin, then moved her lips to mine.

Yes, I was on Earth, but she transported me to the stars once more, as she always does.

~ Vlad

Kissed by a Vampire

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