Wrong Number

This is a story from 2014. On this cold rainy night I thought it was worth telling again.

This isn’t a tall tale or something from the mysterious paranormal or gothic side of life.

It is just a story of something sort of sad.

It isn’t even my story. It is the story of someone who is alone. We think this person is alone. We don’t know for sure. It is a mystery.

It is a story of missed connections.

I didn’t make this up.

Smart phones don’t always reflect the situation of the people who are calling them. When we get a new phone number more likely than not somebody else had that number before we did. Or our number is close to another more popular number. When I first go my cell phone number about 12 years ago I kept getting calls from people speaking Spanish and Chinese. I got calls for a bakery. I got calls for a tire store.

My daughter has been getting calls from a local mental hospital. They are looking for a man named Thomas. He needs to pick up a patient who is only called by a number. No name. Just a number. This has been going on for two weeks.

If we were in a movie or a novel Clara, Garrett her 17-year-old brother and their friend Randy would go to the mental hospital and get the mysterious patient only known by a number. Then they’d have a strange and wild adventure and it would all wrap up after a lot of violence and car chases. But this isn’t a movie or a book.

Unfortunately the mystery isn’t unfolding. It is just a sad situation. Somebody is at a mental hospital for teens and adults. Someone is alone. So alone. They need a ride and the only number the hospital has is the wrong number which belongs to the phone of a 14-year-old girl. Nobody seems interested in finding the correct number or perhaps a different contact. Isn’t anyone talking to the patient only known by a number? Clara has spoken to people at the hospital explaining the situation but she keeps getting calls for asking for the mysterious Thomas.

This mysterious phone number (with the prefix of 666) also receives calls for a young woman I’ll call M. These are also sad and weird. M missed a court date. The parole officer is pissed off to no end. M deals drugs.  M owes everyone money. M is a go between for drug deals. M has an ex-boyfriend who is looking for her. M is a train wreck. M gets a lot of phone calls. I’ve heard these phone messages too. It is not a life I’d want to be part of or want my children to be part of. I don’t even want M to be part of it. It is an unfortunate life full of bad choices that nobody should be part of.

It is strange and sad that by accident we have seen into sad lives of people we will never meet. We don’t know anyone like M. We don’t know who Thomas is. We don’t know who the person is who needs to be picked up. We never will know. Clara has told the callers that they have called the wrong number. That is all she can do.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

Where are you now? Juliette’s Dusty Memory Files.

Ships that Pass in the Night.

Missed Connections.

Where are you now?

On the way to school this morning my sixteen year old daughter and I were talking about politics and what is going on now compared to a long time ago. Right now a long time ago is the 1970’s and 1980’s. In US history (APUSH) the kids are learning about the Cold War, which to them seems like it happened just a few years after the Civil War. Anyway, we talked a bit about the generations. There was a time between the baby boomers and the Generation X kids. That was that weird in-between group that we used to refer to as the ME Generation. Those were the people who graduated from high school in the late 70’s and early 80’s and came into adulthood in the crazy and creative 1980’s.

SO…. on the way home I dug through those dusty drawers in my brain and I found a worn folder full of random people, but they were more than random. They were brief encounters that stuck in my mind enough to be filed away. It got me to thinking where they are now. But the problem is that I don’t know or remember their names. The encounters were sometimes brief – less than fifteen minutes. Sometimes the encounters were longer but not to the point of longterm friendship.

Where are you now? I’d like to know. Maybe by some random chance someone will read this and say hey that is me.

So take a look at the list. If it sounds like you let me know. I’m guessing at the dates.

1980-82: Andy. Cute guy. Red curly hair. You went to UCD. I think you were in the UCD band. You were sucked into Scientology. You sold your musical instruments. You finally escaped the clutches of the cult. Where are you now?

1979-1980: It was a beautiful day on the quad at UCD. A lot of groups had tables out that day. It was everything from Jews for Jesus, to Future Grape Growers, to Peace Corps, to Native American Native Language League… But there was a curious table that stood out to me. A pretty young woman with dark hair sat at the Young Spartans table. I paused. She spoke. The Young Spartans was a communist organization. That seemed so totally bizarre to me. It still does. The young woman was so happy. Are you happy now? Where are you? Are you still involved in political or social organizations?

1988-1989: I was on a plane going between Sacramento and Seattle. I wore a blue dress. I sat next to a young man (late 20’s – mid 30’s) who was a landscape architect. He asked me out. I wish I’d accepted, but oh well. Where are you now? Hope you’ve done amazing things.

1979: I was on a bus traveling somewhere between Los Angeles and Dallas. I sat next to a woman who was from Poland. She and her husband and two children had escaped the communist state by pretending they were on vacation. She told me a tale of how they left everything behind. They could trust no one. The communist state encouraged people to turn in family members who were unfaithful or trying to escape the country. Where are you now? I hope you are happy and your kids are happy. You might even have grandkids now.

1983-84: Karen. You made signs with an old letter press. You and your husband were going to travel to India. You DID go to India. How did that work out. Are you happy now?

There were a few others but it those were either too vague or too personal to mention. No Vampires on this list because I never forget another Vampire (read the blog if you don’t understand the reference.)

Anyway, if you read this, and you’re out there, let me know how you’re doing. Or you can send me a private note at juliettevampiremom @ gmail .com

And if anyone else out there needs to find someone let me know. I might do future posts like this, you know, like in the future.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wrong Number

This isn’t a tall tale or something from the mysterious paranormal or gothic side of life.

It is just a story of something sort of sad.

It isn’t even my story. It is the story of someone who is alone. We think this person is alone. We don’t know for sure. It is a mystery.

It is a story of missed connections.

I didn’t make this up.

Smart phones don’t always reflect the situation of the people who are calling them. When we get a new phone number more likely than not somebody else had that number before we did. Or our number is close to another more popular number. When I first go my cell phone number about 12 years ago I kept getting calls from people speaking Spanish and Chinese. I got calls for a bakery. I got calls for a tire store.

My daughter has been getting calls from a local mental hospital. They are looking for a man named Thomas. He needs to pick up a patient who is only called by a number. No name. Just a number. This has been going on for two weeks.

If we were in a movie or a novel Clara, Garrett her 17-year-old brother and their friend Randy would go to the mental hospital and get the mysterious patient only known by a number. Then they’d have a strange and wild adventure and it would all wrap up after a lot of violence and car chases. But this isn’t a movie or a book.

Unfortunately the mystery isn’t unfolding. It is just a sad situation. Somebody is at a mental hospital for teens and adults. Someone is alone. So alone. They need a ride and the only number the hospital has is the wrong number which belongs to the phone of a 14-year-old girl. Nobody seems interested in finding the correct number or perhaps a different contact. Isn’t anyone talking to the patient only known by a number? Clara has spoken to people at the hospital explaining the situation but she keeps getting calls for asking for the mysterious Thomas.

This mysterious phone number (with the prefix of 666) also receives calls for a young woman I’ll call M. These are also sad and weird. M missed a court date. The parole officer is pissed off to no end. M deals drugs.  M owes everyone money. M is a go between for drug deals. M has an ex-boyfriend who is looking for her. M is a train wreck. M gets a lot of phone calls. I’ve heard these phone messages too. It is not a life I’d want to be part of or want my children to be part of. I don’t even want M to be part of it. It is an unfortunate life full of bad choices that nobody should be part of.

It is strange and sad that by accident we have seen into sad lives of people we will never meet. We don’t know anyone like M. We don’t know who Thomas is. We don’t know who the person is who needs to be picked up. We never will know. Clara has told the callers that they have called the wrong number. That is all she can do.

I was going to write about Vampires and darker subjects today, but these calls are pretty dark.

 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

 

No End in Sight (the rest of the story)

A few weeks ago on my regular (or not so regular depending on how you look at it) feature “Short Story Sunday” I featured a story with no end in sight because I’d written myself into a hole. So I added a survey to my readers about the ending. Still no end, until this morning around 5:00 a.m.

Be warned, this isn’t a Vampire story and (spoiler alert) there isn’t any weird ending. Also this story isn’t based on anything or anybody. If you think it is about you or me or your neighbor Fred you’re wrong. It is just fiction. And that is the end of the story.

vm_on the water

No End in Sight

A short story from Juliette Kings

 

The cold tile under her feet was always preferable to shoes. That was something her mother never understood. Just like nobody understood when Karl passed away she didn’t want to be bothered by anyone for a long time. She went to the beach where she could feel the cool sand in her toes and stood under the gray sky watching the waves for hours. Then she went home and wondered what was next.

He looked across the beach and saw a woman who reminded him of a girl he knew in college. Only this woman was older than the 22-year-old girl he’s last seen. The woman on the beach was around his age. Standing alone she watched the waves. He should have gone up to her, or at least walked by close enough to see if it was the girl who’d haunted his thoughts for the past 30 years.

After she arrived home she sat on her deck listening to the sounds of the woodpeckers. A dog barked or other suburban sounds drifted over the fence. She poured another glass of wine. Now what?

He texted his daughter back. Just a greeting from a college 4 hours away. He thought how she liked the cookies from the recipe his grandmother made up for her grandchildren. As he baked a batch to mail down to Allyson he thought about the woman on the beach. He’d been Allyson’s age when he knew her.  That was an uncomfortable thought.

Life wasn’t a romance novel she thought as she fixed the toilet handle in the downstairs bathroom. The cats came in and out to watch. One started to unroll the toilet paper. She laughed. It was a waste of time to get mad at a cat for being a cat.

The last time he’d spoken to her she’d been looking for work and thinking about graduate school. She’s said something about going to Europe. She wanted to go to a lot of places. Her selection of choices seemed limited and vague. There wasn’t anything clear-cut or normal about her. Other young women he knew had a direction and confidence she didn’t seem to have. He looked up her name on Facebook. She was there. She was sure she was the woman he’d seen on the beach. On her page were posts about her kids, her cats, literary quotes, information about art shows and scientific discoveries. She was obviously successful. There were photos of the beach. Now what? Putting in a friend request wasn’t exactly the way he wanted to reconnect, if he did decide to reconnect.

She knew he was thinking about her. She always knew.

The next morning he went to the beach. She was there, the wind blowing her hair back. They greeted each other with the usual exclamations of people who haven’t seen each other in years. They both looked good. They hugged. They made some immediate small talk. He lived near by. She had business and was visiting an elderly uncle then would drive down the highway to visit her kids in college. Their children all went to the same university. It was a start.

Small talk moved to a small café with coffee, then on to wine. The next morning she was still in his bed. He’d half expected her to have taken off in the early hours of the morning.

He expected her to ask him what he was thinking. Women always asked that. She didn’t. Nor did she ask him about his feelings about last night.

He smiled and handed her a cup. “Good morning Viola.”

She took it and smiled back. “Good morning Greg.”

“Do you want to talk about last night?”

“Last night was exceptionally nice. It was wonderful. Am I going to ask anything of you? I don’t know. Do you want me to?”

“How do you feel?”

“Good. Stop asking me questions and I’ll continue to feel good.” She slipped her arm around his waist and kissed him. “I’m not ready to tell you how I really feel. I wasn’t ready back then and you never seemed to interested. I’m not ready now.”

“Tell me Viola.”

“I enjoy your company. I enjoy your touch. We’re good together. Of course we’re different, you always keep that fact, unspoken as it was, out in the forefront, but our souls are the same. We’ve grown up. We’re the rare few who’ve learned from our mistakes, at least the big mistakes, the ones that matter.”

“How do you know that?”

“I’ve always known. I was just too stupid to realize it. So were you. Alright, I was in love with you. I always was but I was afraid I’d never see you again if I told you. And I didn’t tell you and I never saw you again. But that doesn’t matter now. We’re here and it is now and so let’s just enjoy our time together. I miss you as a friend. We should have kept that friendship. That was stupid of both of us.”

“Can you stay another day?”

She nodded her head. “I have to see my kids. Maybe next weekend. Or you could come to my house. Just let me know.”

After she’d left he called a few old friends to say “you’ll never believe who just spent the night.”

While Greg talked to his friends about how “together” and “amazing” she was, Viola drove down the coastal highway feeling like a fool. She turned up the music and opened the sunroof. No matter what she knew about Greg, she knew who she was, and that was all that mattered.

surf sunset

 

More Short Stories from Vampire Maman

A good portion of the posts on Vampiremaman.com read like short stories, but the list here is of stand alone stories that don’t always follow the tales of Juliette’s life with her husband, kids and assorted Vampire Mom adventures. Some are from guest authors. A good portion of these tales don’t even have Vampires.

Expect the unexpected … and a lot of fun! Click on the title to go to the story.

You’ll find Gothic romance, horror, humor and a lot of unexpected fun.

Dancing on the Beach
Morning in the Vineyard
When You Grow Old
Heart Shaped Box
A Man Should Have What He Wants
Ode to a Greek God
The Necklace
The Travelers
Perfection
The Shadow of Fire
Robert and the Key
Dark Politics
Romance of the Needles
Stumped
The Child
A Night at the Crest
Dawn of the Undead
Sunday School
The Time Travelers
I’ll Return to You
My Vampire Lover
Innocenzio D’Antonio