Fear and Change

Most Vampires get paralyzed by fear and self-doubt. Oh forget the blood taking and seductive ways that helped romanticize us.

You know what I’m talking about. Even the most confident of us feels that way more than we would like.

We jealously guard our own versions of our memories.

Something taken away.

Something given.

Something found.

Something lost.

It is that sense of loss and identity that finds so many climbing into crypts or under floorboards to sleep forever.

It is that inability to know there are others and that there is something to look forward to. Things change but not for better or worse – just different. Hell, things usually change for the better if you want them to be better. If you make them better. I didn’t say it was easy. It isn’t anything you’ll find in a self-help book. There aren’t self-help books for Vampires. There aren’t self-help books for most things that really matter.

Reaching inside where your old soul used to be and pulling up your new self isn’t easy. Your old self is still there – you will never lose that. You will always be yourself – like it or not. But you can change. You can become better. You can refurbish your old self.

You can shine like the full moon on a clear winter night.

Where you miss the warmth of your skin you will find coolness of nerves.

Where you miss those who grew old you will treasure the memories.

Where you miss the innocence of your existence you will find something else.

You aren’t a monster or an outcast – you are just different. Everyone is different. Accept it.

You’ll taste blood, but you’ll give back contentment in your donors – or give nightmares – it is your choice. Nice. You never had that choice before.

You’ll learn how to get blood stains out of anything.

Change or lack of change are both things we want and something that we fear.

Nobody said any of this was going to be easy. Then again, nobody said it wasn’t going to be exciting and wonderful.

Contentment isn’t just something for a few. It is something we can all strive for. Content but still moving forward, never forgetting where we have been or where we are going.

The other day I spoke to my friend Cody who has been a Vampire for almost four years. He never asked for it but he accepted the changes in his life. There will be hardships ahead along with triumphs. He didn’t struggle like some do. He has had a lot of questions and questioned a lot of things. He has learned.

But he told me, “You know that old expression about a door closing and a window opening? The roof came off for me. I can see the whole world of possibilities now. Anything is possible as long as I keep reminding myself of that.”

Yes, Cody, anything is possible.

 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Vampire Maman

This was first posted in March 2015. I’m still trying to figure out what to do on Saturday now that my 50 Burning Questions series is over. Here you go: Best of Juliette.

Come Along Miss Havisham

Come Along Miss Havisham

Sometimes you have those days when you answer the door and it is someone you used to know and he seems shocked to see you.

He’ll say, “What are you doing here?”

And I’ll say, “What are YOU doing here?”

Then he’ll say, “Time travel.”

Then I’ll say, “I live here. This is my home.”

Then he’ll look confused because the last time I saw him was 1893. And no, I’m not going to tell him I’m a Vampire. I’ll just screw with him and let him wonder. A little mystery never hurt anyone. OK maybe it has, but that isn’t this post.

When my daughter was about five or six years old she said that one day she was going to build a time machine. She said it would be red. She said it would fold up flat, about the size of a book, so she could take it with her so nobody could steal it while she was in another time.

My old friend (the one I just mentioned) jumps into the future, then jumps into the past. I asked him if he ever lives in the present. He looked confused, then sort of sad. Like a drug, one can find time travel an easy way out to not deal with anything. Of course, like most Time Travelers, he was sort of a jerk to begin with.

When you’re a Vampire you need to remember your past, look forward, but engage in the present for survival. I suppose we’re all like that. Too much past and we all end up like Miss Havisham. Too much future… I don’t know too many people who live too much in the future, except those who keep saying, “I’ll do that tomorrow.” But that is just procrastination (something I know nothing about.) We need to plan. We need to look forward. I have to admit there is nothing I like more than planning a trip, or a party.

More coffee and more sleep is also on my list.

I told my old friend, “You need to get off of that machine and stay for a while. Aren’t you lonely?”

“No,” he tells me.

“Why not?” I ask.

“Why are you still here?” He asks.

“I’m a Vampire,” I tell him.

He laughs. HA HA big joke. I don’t show him my fangs. I just stand there in my pajama pants and bath robe, and ask him if he wants coffee.

We talk for a while then he decides to go back to 1893, then realizes he can’t go back. He’d be out of place, aside from a lot of other things. So he stays for another cup of coffee. And I tell him I have a single friend I think I’ll introduce him to.

He asks, “What’s her name?”

“Miss Havisham,” I say.

He laughed. “David Copperfield.”

I didn’t. “Great Expectations.”

He shrugged. “So seriously Juliette, what are you doing here? I know it isn’t suspended animation because that won’t be safe for another thirty years. Do you time travel too? What’s up?”

I remembered his blood type was O+. All I could think of was lunch. A long lunch at that considering nobody would miss him – at least not this year.

Don’t forget to warn your children about Time Travelers, people who don’t read, and other pot holes in the road of life. And as always, talk with your kids every chance you get.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

 

Vlad’s Vampire Diary: Modern Problems

Dear Diary,

Over 300 years ago when I was King of the Vampires no one wanted to come into my country. I did not care except for one bad winter when my people were going hungry. I antagonized the ruler of a neighboring land. He sent in a large army of hot blooded men. My people were well fed for the rest of the winter and saved.

I miss those times.

~ Vlad

 

Dear Diary,

Why was I not told that putting a blow dryer in the sink would cause me to be electrocuted? Until four years ago I did not even know what the word or the very concept of electrocution was.

The blow dryer is an amazing invention that I could have never imagined in my previous life before I was locked in a crypt for 300 years. There has been so much I have missed out on.

There is so much I still do not understand. How was I supposed to know about the dangers of electricity? Why did not anyone tell me of this?

Gillian, my Vampire lover, had left her blow dryer out in my bathroom. A bathroom is another modern marvel that I shall go into sometime in the future. My hair was wet. It is winter. I used the blow dryer.

Several hours later Gillian was shaking my shoulder and calling my name. I was on the bathroom floor. Apparently I had the water running in the sink and somehow the blow dryer became wet.

“Had you been a normal person you’d be dead,” Gillian scolded me.

“By what do you mean a normal person,” I asked her.

“Not a Vampire. I swear Vlad you must be more careful,” she said. “Water and electricity do not mix. EVER.”

“Thank you for telling me,” I said as she helped me up.

She scowled at my sarcastic tone. Women are like that. They give one that look. The look is not a modern thing. It has been going on since time began.

“How does my hair look?” I had to ask.

“Perfect. Your hair always looks perfect,” she said, then she left the room.

I do not understand women anymore than I understand electricity.

~ Vlad

 

Dear Diary,

I find myself locked out of everything. Not with a key. No, not a key. I am locked out with passwords that do not work.

At one time I, as the King of Vampires, gave out secret passwords for the safety of my kingdom. If I gave one of my subjects a special word I would not then tell him that the word was wrong and that he could not use the same word again and that I would lock him out for thirty minutes no matter how desperate he was to get inside.

No, in this insane world I find myself in I am forced to live in what they call a VIRTUAL world. That means a world where everything is invisible to me. There are no people. There is no help. I am forced to do all of my business in a maze of darkness in which I have no control.

My bank said I had to change my password for my own security. I changed it. Then they said I could not use the new password. Then they said I must have 8 letters, at least one capital letter, and several symbols. I could not use an old password. I put in a new password. They said it would not work and locked me out.

My friend Randolpho said all of his passwords are “Fuckyousuckdick!”

I told Randolpho that he was vulgar and it would end up haunting him. He then told me that he never has problems with his passwords. I find that difficult to believe.

Each time I get on the Internet I must change passwords. Security questions ask things I know nothing of. I did not go to high school. It does not believe my first pet was a unicorn. It asks me questions of things I do not know or have no experience in. Or it will not believe my answers. It. What is it?

One day Randolpho attempted to explain that the brain in a computer was dots and dashes. What are dots and dashes I asked. He could not answer. I think he is, what do they say, pulling my leg. He is telling lies. It is like alchemy. No man can make gold out of nothing. Something is going on that I do not understand. One day I shall find the answer. Maybe not.

I have to admit that a small plastic card is easier than carrying around several pounds of gold coins.

~ Vlad

 

Dear Diary,

I was out one night, my heart pumping new blood, having a glass of wine when someone caught my attention. Some men were discussing floppy disks in one of those games where they remember their childhood.

“Is that a kind of Frisbee?” I asked. I do know what a Frisbee is. I have friends who have dogs. Dogs love to play with Frisbee disks. My friend Randolpho plays Frisbee Golf in the park with his odd friends.

One of the men laughed and said, “You Millennials are all alike.”

I am 675 years old a far cry from being a millennium old. A thousand years. Yes, it is creeping up on me but I do not look that old.

I asked my love Gillian if I looked ancient or worn out.

“Vlad you always look amazingly good,” she told me.

“Do I look like I am a thousand years old?” I asked.

“No Vlad, you look like you’re about thirty, maybe thirty-two at oldest. You could even pass for younger if you wanted to.”

“Then why,” I asked her, “why did someone call me a millennial?”

Gillian smiled the kind of smile she reserves for children, and for me when I say something wrong.

“Vlad,” she said, “a Millennial is someone born at the turn of the 21st Century. Someone born more or less between the years 1980 and 2000.”

“Have we come to this where we are judged by the years in which we were born. Is this some sort of sooth saying like those who read stars? I thought we were beyond that sort of thing in the 21st Century.”

“It has nothing to do with that. Society and technology changes so fast. Since the Baby Boomers each generation has had their own name.”

“Baby Boomers?” What fresh Hell was that? She did not answer. I think she was done with me. I still found this slightly confusing and somewhat annoying. “So I know nothing,” I said.

“You know more than you give yourself credit for my darling, sweet, precious Vampire,” she said and then kissed me. “There is hope. You are now by default part of the generation that will make things better.”

“Better than what?”

“I’m not sure yet, but they’ll do the right thing.”

I did not argue. I am a Millennial with the soul of an ancient relic. I can only attempt to learn and teach others to learn from the mistakes of history.

~ Vlad

 

Dear Diary,

Today I learned that some people do what is called living off of the grid. That is without the Internet or many other modern marvels. They do not wish to be found or seen. They wish a simple time.

I lived in a simple time, but it was not all that simple. People smelled bad, which was awful for Vampires like me. Now our food smells a lot better.

I could go on and on. My point is that when life is good for people then life is good for Vampires. I shall be a crusader for social justice if that is what it would take for all Vampires to have safe and reliable blood sources. You see, I have the mind of a leader for my people, even though I am no longer King of Vampires.

Without the duties of a leader, aside from feeding my cats, I have few beings who depend on me anymore. It is lonely at times, even for a Vampire.

Only to you Dear Diary do I admit this because I am admitting it to just myself.

In the meantime I have made of list of things I must try to understand.

  1. The meaning of the word cute.
  2. Avocado toast.
  3. Fusion in reference to everything
  4. The Dark Web
  5. Bone Broth
  6. Soundcloud (that is thunder or maybe not)
  7. Beard wax
  8. Helicopter Parents
  9. Blue hair
  10. What is a Nickleback and why do people seem to despise it?

I should try to stop this torture in my brain and read a book or just turn on Netflix.

Netflix is something we did not have in my old Vampire castle. Maybe change is good. Like cats. Cats are good.

Cats are always good, no matter how old one is. Especially if one is a Vampire.

~ Vlad

 

Kissed by a Vampire

Kissed by a Vampire

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vlad’s Vampire Diary: My Undead Life

Kissed by a Vampire

Kissed by a Vampire

 

Dear Diary,

Today I had the shock of my undead life.

My good friend Randolpho invited me over for an evening of wine, blood, and maybe cards. Ranolpho also mentioned something about a horror movie he wanted me to see. I told him that horror movies bore me. He assured me that this one would not.

When I arrived at his home I knocked upon the door. Randolpho did not answer. I waited, then went inside. Most of the lights were off but I could hear the sound of a man’s voice. The voice was coming from the radio.

I stood listening to the broadcast, unable to believe what I was hearing. Creatures from another planet had attacked the Earth. Then it all came back. I was the Vampire King. I would now step out of retirement and lead my forces.

“Randolpho,” I called out to my friend. “We must gather the Vampires and lead the way against the aliens.”

Randolpho came out of the kitchen with a bottle of wine and two glasses.

“What are you talk about? Oh. THAT.” Then the bastard started to laugh. “That is War of the Worlds. I play it every year at this time. Oh my God. I can’t believe you thought it was real.”

Fooled again. “Do not laugh at my expense Randolpho, it will to end well,” I told him.

Then he told me the story of a radio broadcast eighty years ago that was based on a slightly older story written by a man called H.G. Wells.

Halloween season is going to kill me, and I am a Vampire. I do not understand any of it.

Later we watched a movie called, “Nightmare Before Christmas.”

I could, what do they call it, relate? I could relate to Jack.

~ Vlad

 

Dear Diary,

Today I purchased pumpkins. Tomorrow the children will go out into the streets to ask for candy. The pumpkins are signals that they will find what they seek.

With a knife I hollowed out the pumpkins, then carved frightful faces. I laughed at my efforts. One looked like a ghoul with broken teeth. Another like a cat. A third was the face of a beautiful woman who would have eyes that blazed with the light of candles.

After I carved the pumpkins, with nothing to do since my dreams of regrouping a Vampire army fell through, I looked up the name Orson Wells.

He was the man who created the radio play War of the Worlds. Intrigued, I poured a glass of blood and watched the movie Citizen Kane. 

After it was over I sat in the dark for an hour and contemplated Rosebud. Maybe I have my own Rosebud that haunts me. I have an entire rose bush. Make that an entire rose garden.

Now I am even more confused. After three hundred years locked in a crypt nothing prepared me for Orson Wells. I am 675 years old and nothing prepared me for this.

~ Vlad.

 

Dear Diary,

Today is Halloween. It is the Day of the Dead.

As I was putting out my Jack-o-lantern pumpkins my neighbor was dragging her garbage can out to the street. It looked as though she had filled it with sand and gravel. I went over and helped her. It was nothing for me to take it out. Vampires are like that. She thanked me and said she liked my pumpkins.

“Those are pretty scary pumpkins Vlad,” she said to me.

“Do you think the are too scary for small children to see,” I asked.

“No, you can never be too scary. As long as they’re not pornographic they’ll be fine.”

I was not quite sure what she meant by “pornographic” and I did not ask.

When night fell children dressed as all manner of beings came to the door. I gave them all candy. They were very cute.

I could hear the mothers standing, waiting by the curb saying, “This is Vlad’s house. Oh my god, he is sooooooo cute. The man is hot.”

They did not know I could hear them, after all I am a Vampire so my hearing is exceptional. They smiled and waved. I smiled and waved back. Then they would giggle.

Cute. Small children in unicorn costumes are cute. How can I be cute? I am not a small child, or wearing sparkling costumes. I do not understand.

What I do understand is that they find me attractive. That is a good thing, even on Halloween.

After all of the tiny monsters had come to visit my door my love Gillian said, “Now it is time for us to go out. I have costumes.”

“I want to be Orson Wells,” I said, making a joke. Gillian did not laugh.

Gillian brought out clothes, now considered old fashioned.

“This is high fashion from the 1880’s. We’re going to be Vampires,” she said.

“We are already Vampires my love,” I said kissing her beautiful cold cheek.”Let’s stay in tonight.”

“Seriously Vlad, this is the one day of the year we can go out and show our fangs. Our REAL fangs. And I love the clothes. You’ll look so handsome.”

“I am already handsome. Ask anyone. I am also cute.” Another joke. She smiled.

“Come on, get changed.”

So we went out. Gillian in a purple and orange velvet dress with a large bustle, and I in a fine suit, with a purple vest, and a large top hat. Randolpho wears hats like that even now. He looks ridiculous, but that is another story.

We had a grand time out, with fangs out. It was a wonderful evening, scary, cute, and quite charming.

Yet, as we walked the streets where the nightlife was active and full of people in costumes I could not help but look at the night sky…to see if anyone, or anything was watching.

~ Vlad

Big Hat

Randolpho and his tall hat.

 

Wow, this is the 42nd posting of Vlad’s Vampire Diary. CLICK HERE to find all of the cuteness and general Vampire weirdness.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

 

Death is in my garbage can

I see ghosts. Of course I do, because I’m a Vampire.

That said, I have never seen the ghost of a wild animal or at least that of a wild creature who met death in my yard.

Yesterday my lovely delicate little light as air calico cat grabbed a squirrel by the neck, almost decorated it, then at out the heart, lungs, liver, and whatever else was above the intestines.

I found the bloodied squirrel spread eagle, gutted, with tiny white ribs exposed to the sunlight. Not a drop of blood was on the cat.

I only mention this because whenever I have found a dead animal in my yard I feel unease. I don’t know what to do with them so I put them in the garbage can. Then every single time I have to go out to the garbage can in the side yard I know a body is in the bottom of it.

The largest animal was a huge male turkey who was dead on the ground underneath a broken tree branch in my front yard. A female turkey walked around him feeding on whatever she could find in my flower beds. Think of the largest Thanksgiving turkey and add about ten pounds to it. That was the dead turkey in my yard.

It died on garbage day. For a week two turkey feet stuck up almost to the top of the garbage can, a reminder to me every time I took something out to the trash that life is a frail thing indeed.

Another time I found a beautiful dead little squirrel in my front yard, still warm from a fall. I scooped it up and wrapped it carefully in a bag and put it in the garbage can.

Birds, snakes, squirrels, and turkeys all go in the can. My house is built upon rocks so digging is out of the question. And if I did bury an animal in my yard by the next morning another animal would have dug it up, no matter how many rocks I put over the hole.

Anyway, there is something uneasy about having the body of an animal, not food, but just an animal who visited my home come to a violent death and end up spending a week with me (or until the next garbage day.)

I do not see their ghosts. I do not hear tiny animal banshee voices in the wind. All that is left is fur and feathers.

This is an unreasonable discomfort of mine, but anyway… it is what it is.

You’d think as a Vampire I wouldn’t care, but finding a tiny warm squirrel in my yard, with no life in it’s tiny body is just so sad. A rat, not sad at all. A turkey – not that is just weird because they are so darned big. With smaller birds all that I ever find left are feathers and maybe a random foot. You can ask my cat about that. Luckily it has been years since I’ve had to deal with dead possums or skunks. I don’t know what I’d do if I found a coyote, a raccoon, or heaven forbid a bobcat or a mountain lion dead in my yard.

Garbage day won’t come soon enough. It is Friday and death is in my garbage can.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

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Drinking Games and Raking Fall Leaves

Against my better judgement I had the radio on all day today. I learned that most of the old fart senators in Washington don’t know, or pretend not to know about drinking games, that teenage boys think farts or funny, or anything about beer. All of these “Good Christian Men” forget about their college years when they were sleeping with everything without a penis, drinking beer until they puked and passed out, and lighting farts on fire. They also like to hear themselves talk (even when it is through somebody else) so they ask a woman about a traumatic event she experienced at age fifteen and wonders why she didn’t tell anyone. Guess what? Teenage girls don’t share stuff like that because they know nobody will listen.

All of this just makes me think of drinking games. Take a drink for every time someone asked Kavanaugh if he liked beer or drank beer or every time Kavanaugh said he said the word “beer”. I was driving when I heard the whole beer episode. I thought I was in some sort of world that had turned into the cross between a Salvador Dali painting and a Carrie Nation Rally. By the way, if you didn’t know this already, Carrie Nation was six feet tall. I kid you not. But back to the hearing…I almost pulled over to the side of the road. I wouldn’t have been surprised to have seen Rod Serling hitch hiking with an alien.

We’ve also suggested that the TV shows “Hawaii Five-O” and “Longmire” be made into drinking games. Whenever someone gets shot you take a drink. It they die in a more unusual way you take a drink. If someone gets kidnapped you take a drink. If someone who is a main character gets kidnapped or shot you take a drink. By the end of the show, well you never see the end of the show because you’ll be passed out by then.

When I arrived home I decided to not listen to anymore noise. Alas, my plan to just listen to the purring of my cats and maybe some music turned into my usual Thursday headache. And it is also the Friday morning headache. That is LEAF BLOWERS.

About half of my neighbors have yard services and that means leaf blowers.

Vampires, due to our naturally gentle and quiet nature, hate leaf blowers.

I HATE LEAF BLOWERS. 

And half the time I see the guys blowing leaves they’re just blowing dirt. They’re blowing NOTHING. I want to yell at my neighbor after the three hour bout of blowing leaves that he needs to move to the desert if he hates a single leaf in his back yard.

Jesus, Joseph, and Mary, and everything I hold near and dear, I swear that I HATE LEAF BLOWERS. The loud noise makes my head feel like it is going to explode. Kids can’t study. Babies can’t sleep. I can’t work. I can’t do fucking anything.

I told my daughter that next Thursday when the leaf blowers start blowing I’m getting out my trumpet, and YES I do own a trumpet, and blowing it off of my deck until they all think Gabriel himself has come down to earth to do whatever it is that arc angels do. And then when there is a strange silence I shall put down my trumpet, show my fangs and whisper, “vengeance is mine.”

So I take a deep breath. 

I like raking leaves. To be honest, I don’t rake leaves, I sweep them. I sweep them off of the walkways, out of the gutters, and off of the driveway. Along with the leaves are hundreds, and maybe thousands of acorns.

Where are the squirrels when I need them? They’re in the trees barking at me and my cats.

Back to sweeping leaves. There is something so satisfying about sweeping my leaves up. It is quiet. Sweeping is prime time to get my ideas and creativity in order. It is a time to think. I love the way I make little and big piles. I love the smell. I love the mix of leaves and the random flower blossoms and bark that mixes with the leaves.

Right now there isn’t much in my wild back yard except trees so I let the leaves fall on the bare ground to make a soft carpet and get scattered by the dog and the wild turkeys. I don’t need perfection. I don’t need the noise of leaf blowers.

I need the quiet and the celebration of nature in my somewhat ordered world. To be honest with you there is little order in my world, but leaf sweeping, and any yard work in my tiny botanical garden under the oaks brings solace.

So wishing you all peace in this change of seasons. Turn off the radio and TV. Have a beer that nobody will question you about, and count your blessings.

And then hug your cats, talk to your kids, and be a good Vampire. Fall is here.

Remember…Halloween is just around the corner.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

juliette kings _ Marla Todd

No Leaf Blowers Allowed in My Yard

 

 

Weirder Tales

Weirder Tales – Now Available on Amazon and other fine online bookstores. Proceeds to to MS Research.