Gasoline and Tiger Maple (Don’t Mix)

Andy had dined with his friends Ramon and Sophia. They were always a treat. Tonight there was an interesting mix of high blood alcohol levels mixed with a slight after taste of cocaine and a hint something he couldn’t quite identify. It might have been Morphine.

Hell, it could have been chocolate for all he cared. It was good to come home to friends who were funny and smart and oh so accommodating to his needs.

After two weeks out of town playing Don Giovanni he was ready to become himself. It was good to be Andy again. It was good to be home in San Francisco where he didn’t have to worry about snow.

He parked in the garage and threw his vicuña overcoat on one of the kitchen stools. The pile of mail was already on the table where the neighbor had left it for him. It was the usual bills and magazines. A postcard from his girlfriend Shawna was on the top. She was in Chicago lecturing on flying dinosaurs. He smiled. The postcard was Van Gough’s self-portrait from the Art Institute. She’d remembered that he’d told her about it when they’d first met. One of the reasons he loved her was because she remembered the little things.

Smiling as he poured a shot of Bourbon he quietly sang “La ci darem la mano” thinking of Shawna. There was a sudden warmth in the air that wasn’t from the Bourbon or thoughts of love. Someone else was in the house.

Andy made a mental note to call the alarm company. Son of a bitch.  He walked to the living room and saw them – a man and a woman dressed in black. They had guns, silver crosses and knives. Vampire Hunters.

“Andrew Todd.” The man said his name as a fact, not a question.

“I’m sorry the show is over for the night you have to leave before the stage manager throws you out.” He laughed at his own joke then downed the Bourbon. “What the fuck are you doing in my house?”

“You’ve lived your lie for too long.”

“What lie? Do you put everything about yourself out to the world? Well?” Andy was going to make a joke about putting it all on Twitter but thought the better of it.

The woman held up the cross. “Oh please,” said Andy, “that isn’t going to harm me. We’re all God’s children around here.” Damn Vampire Hunters. They didn’t know a thing about Vampires, much less hunting them.

The woman looked surprised. Very surprised. Andy just smiled and calculated what he’d do about the situation.

Suddenly the man poured gasoline against the antique buffet against the wall.

“Hey, no. That’s tiger maple. Awww man, don’t do that.”

The man spun around to face the Vampire. “We’ve been watching you Todd.”

“I’m feeling really violated here. If you burn my house down…I mean, really, in this neighborhood?”

The man poured more gasoline as the woman pointed a gun at Andy.

“Do you really want to do this? What good would it do killing me?”

The man started to talk of evil and darkness. It was some sort of mumbo jumbo sort of spell or chant. From the bowels of darkness, cursed undead, blood of our ancestors spilled by your unholy trinity of death, blood and carnal desires. Unrelenting evil…

“Oh come on,” said Andy. “That isn’t going to do anything except make you sound even more stupid than you already are. Look at me.”

“Don’t look at the Vampire in the eyes,” screamed the woman.

Andy walked towards the man then quickly grabbed his neck. “Look at me. I’m just like you. We even have the same eye color. We’re not that different. Look at me. Look at my eyes or I’ll tear fucking your head off. Now let go of the gas can before you hurt yourself. Besides, you’re tired. Close your eyes, fall asleep, dream of warm tropical breezes and sweet kisses from a woman so hot that she’ll burn your skin.”

The man collapsed onto a large wing back chair dead asleep.

Andy looked at the woman. “You want a glass of wine? A cocktail perhaps? Help yourself. I’ll just be a minute. One more thing, put the gun down and stand still, right there. If you don’t I’ll kill you. Capisce?”

The Vampire sank his teeth into the man’s neck for just a minute. Enough time to keep his prey in sweet dreams for a few more minutes, and in nightmares for a few more months.

“I’m done drinking for the night Jenna. Yes my dear, I know your name. I got it from your friend here.”

He took her hand and led her to the formal living room. Music started. His hand went to her waist. “Dance with me.”

Jenna attempted to pull away from the cold grip of the Vampire. “No, I won’t dance with a Vampire”.

Andy pulled her closer. “Then just dance with the guy who can sing.”

“Please spare me from a fate worse than death. I will die a thousand deaths before I become one of the undead.”

“Oh cut the Gothic melodramatic crap. I’m the one who was born in the 1851. You don’t hear me talking like that. Jesus, I’m not going to turn you into a Vampire. Have you ever met a Vampire before tonight?”

“No.” Her voice sounded small, more like a child than a grown woman.

“Jenna, dear, you have a good heart but the enemy you need to be chasing isn’t Vampires or Werewolves or whoever you think need chasing. The enemy is ignorance and bigotry and hatred.  Fight for the equality of women and the rights of children. Fight for those who don’t have a voice. Fight for the freedom of expression and art. Fight for a cause that matters.”

She looked into his hazel blue eyes and swayed as if she was going to faint. The man, still slumped on the chair croaked out “don’t listen to him Jenna.”

Andy shot a glance at the man. “One more noise from you and I’ll rip your heart right out of your chest with my bare hands. Do you understand? And I’ll send you the bill for the damage to my furniture and floors.”

He went back to the woman. “What am I going to do with you? You’ve broken into my home. You’ve damaged a valuable and beautiful piece of furniture. You’ve invaded my privacy. You’re lucky you didn’t touch my piano. What I should do is call the police.”

“You’re a Vampire.”

“So tell me something I don’t know. I pay taxes. I own a home. I vote.”

“But…”

“Jenna, stop.  I’m not happy about what you and your boyfriend have done here tonight. Plus you’re a bigot who got nothing what so ever from my speech to you about bigotry and ignorance. What the hell is wrong with you? Honestly?”

Andy ran his hand through his hair and took a deep breath. The house reeked of gasoline and fear. The morning sun just started to come through the windows. He turned back to Jenna.

“The only reason I’m letting you live is because I don’t want to deal with your bodies. I already have enough of a mess. The reason I’m not calling the police is because I’d rather not have to deal with a trial. In the meantime every Vampire on the West Coast will know your names and what you’re up to. You can’t hide. You will never be able to hide from us. So if you’re smart you’ll stay as far away from any Vampires or Vampire Hunters as you humanly can. Now, I am going to take my bags upstairs. When I get back down I want you gone.”

After they left Andrew surveyed the damage. He’d have to call the furniture guy and the alarm company. Someone would have to take a look at the rugs and the hardwood floors.

But before he did any of that there was someone else he needed to call. Andy dialed the number he knew so well. She picked up on the first ring. He closed his eyes and sat down. “Hey Mom. I’m home. Can you come over?”

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

This was first published here in March of 2014.

Vlad’s Vampire Diary: Cats, Confusion, and Chainsaws

Dear Diary,

I brought my cats to the dog park today. They did not enjoy it. Next time my cats and I will go someplace else.

~ Vlad

 

Dear Diary,

When I was the Vampire King and ruled my Vampire Kingdom it was no secret that I was a Vampire. After being forcibly locked in a crypt for three hundred years, then finding out that my country AND my castle are no longer in existence, I also find that I must hide the fact that I am a Vampire.

When I was the Vampire King I made sure the many plagues that ravaged Europe and Asia did not come across the borders of my kingdom. I made sure the lands and water were clean. My people were healthy. As the King of Vampires I had to make sure my food supply was not contaminated.

Now, if in causal conversation, someone mentions health care it all seems obvious to me. Healthy people means healthy Vampires. How difficult is that? Unfortunately that is an opinion I do not express to others. I either change the conversation, or get the person I am talking to in a quiet dark place and bite their neck. Neck biting usually stops a conversation quite nicely. A wrist bit works almost as well, but sometimes I just need to quickly make them stop talking and bite their neck.

At the time of the plagues I commanded an army of Vampires, and those who were not Vampires. These were loyal followers. I refused to have slaves or soldiers bound to me through fear.

At the highway they waited and checked those who came through. The sight of a Vampire army kept most out. That is an obvious point even in the 1600’s. It was a long time ago but we were not stupid. There are times when I feel stupid now, having missed three centuries. That is neither here nor there. My army stood tall upon shining black horses, their hair in the wind, completely controlled, never in their faces, fangs barred, muscles flexed, eyes burning bright as a warning to those who would enter carrying the plague.

So they waited, but since my kingdom was the Vampire Kingdom, we had few visitors because most outside people were more afraid of us than they were of the plague, so my Vampire guards partied like it was 1699. No damage was done, and my reputation as an effective and fearless leader was not compromised.

I asked my friend Randolpho if the plague was still around.

“Not that one,” he told me. Then he went on a trip down his memories lane, which is more like a highway when he starts to talk, about that time the guards guarded the Vampire highway. “My hair was down to my waist back then. Holy crap Vlad. Can you imagine that now?”

“You still wear silly hats,” I told him. Randolpho has always liked silly hats.

“It’s a top hat and it isn’t silly,” he said.

“You purchased it in 1856,” I told him.

“You were locked in a crypt in 1856 so you weren’t even around. By the way I have someone who makes them for me NOW. AND I have some of my old ones.”

I just looked at him with my most disgusted slightly snarling looks. I believe it is known as an Elvis lip curl. I will have to find out more about this Elvis person.

Randolpho shook his head. “Even at your age, at 675 years, and after all you’ve been through how can you still be so good looking?”

I smiled. “I believe the word you need to use is cute.” I think that was the correct response. I am always called cute though I am not sure what is meant by this word cute.

We talked more of the good old days which were actually only good if one happened to be a Vampire.

~ Vlad

 

Dear Diary,

All of my clothing turned pink. My love Gillian rolled her eyes at me and told me that I was not supposed to wash white items with red items. How was I to know one red shirt would turn everything pink?

I now am in a world in which machines do everything. I used to have an entire group of women who would wash my clothes. They washed everything by hand in large tubs. Now machines wash clothing with a touch of a button and a small pod full of soap.

Pod is something else I wonder about. I watched a movie, one of the older ones without color, in which evil Demons from another planet came to Earth and put people in pods. Then the Demons made themselves look like the people in the pods. It was as if they were Goblins switching their evil changelings for babies. I believe the Demons were called Aliens. I do not remember it all. I do remember that it was both confusing and terrifying. Pods.

I looked under my back deck to see if there were any pods. There were not.

I wondered if the pods in my washing machine might contain small creatures who cause my white clothes to turn pink or a murky gray. It would not surprise me. Nothing surprises me anymore.

People have walked on the moon. There blenders to whirl food and drink to death. There are chain saws. I like chain saws. They cut and are loud and do the work of many men. I have three chain saws. I have nothing to saw but I have chain saws. I feel like a real Vampire male with my chain saw.

One night I took off my shirt and called Gillian outside. I stood in the wind holding the chain saw as my golden hair gently blew back in the wind. I flashed her a bit of fang. My plan worked. It worked exceedingly well. I could say it was a cute plan.

I just remembered the movie was called Invasion of the Body Snatchers.

On some days I feel as if I was snatched and put away. I was for three centuries but not in a pod. I was in a crypt. I did not come back as an alien. I came back as myself, Vlad, no longer King of Vampires.

Then again, one does not need to be King when one has a chain saw, a washing machine, good friends, and cats.

That makes no sense but nothing makes sense to me, yet, here I am, still a Vampire. Still cute. One does not need to be King when one is cute. I still rule my world.

~ Vlad

Kissed by a Vampire

Kissed by a Vampire

 

This has been the 51st entry to Vlad’s Vampire Diary. To read the entire Vlad’s Vampire Diary series from the beginning CLICK HERE.

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My friend Randolfo wearing one of his silly hats.

 

Just talking about teens (Boys are Stupid: Part 28)

(Reposted from July 2015. The kids are all grown up now but this is still funny…at least to me)

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Girl Child (age 16): I’d hate myself if I was a teenage boy. I am so glad I’m a girl. If you’re a boy you’re expected to act cool, drop F bombs a hundred times a day, say the N word a hundred times a day for no reason because they think they’re cool but they’re a bunch of stupid little boys, you stink all the time, if you get near another guy and give him a bro hug you have to say “No homo.” Boys are so insecure. Then they go home and be perfect little clean mouthed little polite mommy’s boys.

Man Child (age 19): We’re not all like that and the rest grow out of it. Most of us grow out of it.

Girl Child: Sure, you and my guy friends. But the rest of the guys. They’re all a bunch of F boys. They posture like a bunch of monkeys. I feel sorry for you.

As a mom I just listen. Girls swoon over the Man-child. The Girl-child is going to break hearts. They are both going to grow up and realize that they were on the right track – more than either of their parents (or at least more than I was.)

Some of you might be horrified but all kids talk like this, at least the ones I know. They talk about life and love and what they see and hear at school.

Then I watch them both sit in the cool dining room with the shades drawn, working on school work for fall. They’ll laugh together until their sides split, then they’ll study and study and study. I’m not helicopter parent – they do this on their own.

For all parents of young children my advice would be to guide your kids. Talk to them. Encourage them to be curious. Teach them study skills. And let them know that at a certain age that it is on them to work for their future. Let them know that they should be kids, but prepare them to be adults.

Sure they’ll make mistakes. How else can one learn?

I let them speak their minds around me too. I don’t want them ever to be afraid to speak or feel they have to have secrets.

But I swear, being around teens is like a 24/7 comedy club. I have to write this stuff down as they say it, or record it.

Oh well. Just thinking out loud.

So your assignment for this week is to hug your kids, listen to them, laugh with them and love them. And tell them not to be jerks or try not to offend everyone they see. It isn’t cool. It is just stupid.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

vampire teens

Vlad’s Vampire Diary: Man of Steel

Dear Diary,

My friend Randolpho and I decided to watch a movie. After being locked in a crypt for three hundred years I find that movies are one of the more pleasant and entertaining things about modern life.

I looked at the guide on the cable TV to find a movie.

“What is this Man of Steel. Is it about a robot?” I asked Randolpho.

“Robot?” He looked surprised.

“Yes, a man made of steel or metal. A machine man.”

“No.”

“Then it must be a pornography movie?”

“Pornography?”

“Yes, Randolpho, when people take their clothing off in front of the camera and…”

“I know what pornography is,” said Randolpho acting somewhat defensive.

“Explain Man of Steel.”

“No. Jeeze Vlad. It isn’t that. Man of Steel is about Superman.”

“Who is Superman? Wait, I read a book. A man who called himself a philosopher. His name was Nietzsche. He thought about an  Übermensch, a superman.”

“You read that? What did you think?”

“Nietzsche was what you call a dick. Or at least most women I know would have called him a dick. That is the term that women use. Dick. Maybe he should have been a pornography man rather than a philosopher. You know because he was just a big dick.” Then I laughed at my joke. Randolpho was not amused. “Randolpho my friend, I also read a play called Man and Superman by a man called Shaw. It was an extremely sexist view of how a woman should choose a mate, and she of course, in the ways of the time, picked the man old enough to be her father. I found it curious and somewhat amusing but disturbing to think a woman had so few choices. They are obviously not Vampires.”

“You read all of that?”

“I was locked in a crypt for three hundred years. I have been trying to catch up on my reading. So who is this Superman you speak of who is made of steel?”

“Just about the most famous comic book super hero of all time.”

“Why is he so famous? What is his story?”

So Randolpho gave me a pile of old comic books to read. I had some questions. Why Superman pretend to be Clark Kent? Why did nobody recognize him when he put on glasses, changed his hair part, and put on a suit? Why was Lois Lane so obsessed with him? She was not a smart woman as she was unable to tell when Clark was wearing a costume, or was it Superman wearing a costume. It was confusing. Why was Lex Luthor so difficult? Then again, he would have made an ideal politician. The American capitol called DC is full of Lex Luthors. Is that why it is called DC Comics? Why were Superman’s parents so old? Where did they find someone to forge a birth certificate for him?

“So he puts on a leotard, tights, and a cape and rescues women and children from harm by lifting cars and fighting bad men.” I said.

“Yes,” said Randolpho.

“Does he shave his legs before he puts on his tights?”

“Of course not Vlad.”

“It will not look smooth. Why does he not wear pants?”

“Vlad.”

“Why not let the police do their jobs?”

“It isn’t as fun that way.”

“Why should it be fun? I know from experience that finding bad people and disposing of them can be satisfying in a perverse sort of way but it is never truly fun.”

“It is just a story.” Then Randolpho rolled his eyes.

“Why do you roll your eyes? I would never be involved with a woman as silly or stupid as Lois. I should hope you would not be either. Most people do not know I am a Vampire but I do not wear a silly costume when I go out to find blood and engage in other Vampire activities.”

I do not understand this Superhero concept. I have seen the movie Guardians of the Galaxy. Randolpho told me it was a superhero movie. I thought it was about a man and his raccoon and a tree. I found it highly amusing. The green woman was not an idiot. I also liked the music, though I do not know why.

~ Vlad

Dear Diary,

Tonight I turned on the TV, which can be quite addictive, and saw something on the History Channel called The World’s Strongest Man. These were not Super Heroes. They were just large friendly men who lifted and pushed extremely heavy objects. They did not wear tights or capes. They wore flannel jackets and knit caps. Some of them had beards.

Then I wondered why the History Channel is called that. There is little history shown on it. So much for catching up on my lost three centuries.

Tonight I went out into the night alone. As I walked down the city street I could hear women as they sat together on sidewalk seats in front of restaurants and clubs say, oh my God he is so cute.

I am never sure what they mean by cute. I have yet to understand the full meaning of that term. Also, the calling out to God confuses me. Women use that call out a lot when I am around. I am a Vampire, not an angel, or some man wearing the robes of a religious order. They also say oh my God at the most private and inopportune times. I do not understand.

After getting my fill of fresh blood from lovely women who kept saying Oh My God, I walked down the street and took a short cut through a narrow alley. The alley smelled vile but not as vile as the alleys in the 16th and 17th Centuries, and not even close to the vileness of the 14th and 15th centuries.

I was briefly distracted by a mural painting on one of the buildings in the alley. It was of giant flowers and a woman in a flowing yellow dress. When I glanced back up in front of my at the end of the alley were two large men. They were as large as the men on The History Channel, but not wearing flannel. I glanced behind me and saw three more large men behind me.

I am not small at five feet and ten inches tall, but I am not huge either. As the large men approached me I saw the objects in their hands and realized they were Vampire Hunters. It was quite inconvenient. I had no desire to take on a fight after such a lovely evening with women who kept saying oh my God and calling me cute.

Over the centuries I have noticed that Vampire Hunters have not evolved. They are still as ignorant about Vampires as they were back when I was born some 675 years ago.

“Take your last breath Vampire,” one of them yelled at me.

“Dear hunters,” I said. “Can we not settle this like gentlemen, and not as adversaries. I mean you no harm. In fact…”

“Die Vampire die,” they shouted. Now I know enough after staying up late for the past five years that this was the kind of line that was used in dreadfully bad movies about Vampires.

“According to your lore I am already dead, so what is the point?” I said.

As I talked I used a soothing voice. I used a seductive voice of a Vampire King, the king that I am, the Vampire song that slays the foulest of men who wish us harm.

“You need to go now before I do you harm. Forget your mission to do harm to Vampires. We have no ill will towards you.”

I locked my eyes with the leader and he started to howl with pain. As he fell to the ground the other charged me. I would describe the rest of the time in the alley, but I will not. At the end of it all they were all sitting on the ground holding their heads and moaning oh my God.

Oh my God. I do not understand the use of this term. It is said for everything.

Later that night with my Vampire lover Gillian I told her of it all.

“Now who is a super hero?” she said.

I kissed her and said, “Yes, I will show you what it means to be the man of steel.”

And I did.

~ Vlad

Kissed by a Vampire

Kissed by a Vampire

 To read Vlad’s Vampire Diary from the beginning CLICK HERE.

Vlad’s Vampire Diary: Once Bitten, Twice Shy

Dear Diary,

My my my

Why do people say that? It is as if they think that they rule the world in their smug sense of overly obnoxious self worth.

What is it about that like in the movie about the little lost fish and the birds who all yelled mine mine mine. Those were gulls.

I have had people say that to me only to minutes later have their throats ripped out. That was a long time ago, in another life. Such is the world of a Vampire King. I now try to resist the urge to rip into the flesh of those who annoy me.

Today I found myself in an overly bitter mood. Back when I was the King of Vampires living in my castle on the mountain I would go into the tower and let the wind blow through my hair, and view all that was mine. At other times I would take my horse and ride through the woods until we were both exhausted.

Now I have a more modern approach. I get into my car and drive.

After being locked in a crypt for three hundred years I could not have imagined a world with cars and paved roads. I could not imagine not having a horse. Maybe one day I will get a horse, or two, or three again. Until then I am content with my cats, though they resist riding in cars.

In the past five years I have learned much, including cars. I have two cars. One is electric and quiet. It is also expensive, but that does not matter. My advisories might have taken three hundred years from me but they did not take away my fortune.

My my my.

In my car I open the hole in the top of the roof, then I turn up the sound on the radio. A radio is another thing I could not have imagined having three hundred years ago. I was wearing flip flops and I could not have imagined those either.

The radio is an interesting thing. On it is every kind of music one can imagine. There are also those who talk angrily and excessively. I ignore them. Early in the mornings there are those who speak of farming and fishing. Late at night people speak of alien creatures who live in space and visit people at night, in their beds. I believe they have aliens confused with cats, or maybe even Vampires. It is not worth my time to wonder about it.

While I was imprisoned by my enemies in a crypt and thought to be dead I missed out on so much music. I did not know of Bach or Valvadi. I did not know of Mozart, Handle, Haydn, or Pachelbel. I missed Chopin. I missed the invention of the modern piano, which I now play. I missed Beethoven. I missed Verdi, and Greg, and Lizt. I missed Scott Joplin, Lead Belly, and Janice Joplin. I missed Jimi Hendrix. I missed Ravel, Stravinsky, Debussy, and Strauss. I missed the waltz. I am not sad that I missed Disco or Blue Grass. Those two types of music are not, how do I say it, conducive to the Vampire sense of being. I missed smooth jazz. I missed the starting of Rock and Roll. I missed Toto the first time they sang Africa. I missed so much. I did not exactly miss the polka because the villagers who were not Vampires had loud parties and dances that might have well been polkas. They vomited a lot. Then they slept and the Vampires moved in on them but that is a different story for a different day.

That is the beauty of radio. I can hear all of it now. Except Country Western and Rap Music. I do not listen to those kinds of music. I do not understand them or enjoy the sounds. Yes, for an easy meal, I will pretend to like them, or at least tolerate them for a short time.

Now where was I? I heard a song. It was a song about a Vampire. I do not understand it quite. As I drove my car through the countryside a song came on.

My, my, my.
Once bitten twice shy. 

What is this music I thought as I pulled over to the side of the road to hear more closely.

It was a song about a woman who spent a lot of time with men, but the singer was unsure of her. I think she was a Vampire. She bit him. Now he is shy of her. So she sleeps with many many men. He is of an old fashioned view where he finds that unsettling. Then he thinks she is a failure, but she exacts her revenge in a way I have yet to understand, but she comes out better. He is now shy of her because he fears being bitten again.

I looked this up on my Smart Phone, which three hundred years ago would have been considered magic to the point where if you had one you would be burned as a witch. If you were a Vampire it would have been alright, but regular normal warm blooded people are often ignorant fools who embrace that ignorance and the fear of new things. Vampires must always adapt and accept what is new and what is true.

The band that sang my my my was called Great White. Like a shark, not a racist name. I know now about racists. Great White an odd name but I have long since (for about four years) stopped questioning band names because that would be all that I would do all day every single day.

The men had long hair. I used to have long hair as they did. My golden blonde locks at one point came down to the middle of my back. Maybe my hair was a little longer.

That night after I arrived home I could not stop thinking about that song. Once Bitten Twice Shy.  

My beautiful Vampire lover Gillian came over to see me. I told her I was thinking of growing my hair long again like the men in Great White.

She told me no.

I told her the band Great White would be playing in Reno next month. “We could drive up there and stay for the weekend. It would be fun,” I told her just like a regular 21st Century man would ask his woman for a good time.

She said, “we’ll see,” just like women of every century since the dawn of time.

I may be a 675 year old Vampire but even after all this time, and so many women, I still will never completely understand them. Calling them them the fair sex is quite the misnomer. Women are never fair.

~ Vald

 

Kissed by a Vampire

Kissed by a Vampire

You have just read the 49th entry of Vlad’s Vampire Diary. To read Vlad’s diary from the start CLICK HERE.

Saturday (a short story)

Saturday is here once more. Due to a busy schedule with wonderful, amazing, lovely old friends, and a busy weekend looming I’m reposting a story about our favorite Vampire Hunter, Austin Durant.

I could post for Cat-Ur-Day but I can’t find my cats. So without any more silly explanations…

Saturday (A Short Story from The Hunter Series)

Austin Durant was spending Saturday morning with a pot of coffee and a folder full of research materials. His mind was on the article he was writing, but also on the end of the school year, his latest landscaping project, and his girlfriend Elizabeth.

He stopped at the sound of the doorbell, then sent to answer. He hoped it wasn’t anyone trying to sell him anything. Two large men, dressed in black, stood at his front door. No clipboards.

Austin looked them up and down. “I’m going to assume you’re not from the Sanders campaign,” he said.

The men pushed their way through the door. Austin backed away.

“I don’t know why you guys even bothered to knock. Can I get you anything?” Now more than anytime he wished his old German Shepard Dogs Lucy and Mina were still alive. They would have ripped these guys to shreds, or at least barked a lot. After three years he still couldn’t bring himself to get another dog. But this wasn’t the time to reminisce about lost loves – he had Vampires in his house.

Who would have thought that Vampires would be at his front door at 2:37 on a Saturday afternoon in May? Sure, alright, he was a part-time, sometimes Vampire Hunter, but not on Saturday afternoon. The plan was to do a little work on an article about the California art colonies in the 1880’s, then do a little yard work, then go over to his sister’s house to eat tacos and watch Dead Pool.  Such is the life of a single History Professor slash Vampire Hunter.

“You know guys, this is a bad time for me. Why don’t you come back later, say in about a hundred years.”

The Vampires stepped forward baring their long sharp fangs. Austin started to calculate in his mind how to distract them so he could get his sword. Then the doorbell rang.

Austin put his hand up. “Excuse me for a minute guys.”

The Vampires stepped back and withdrew their fangs.

At the door stood Austin’s fifteen year old neighbor Ryan. A tabby cat with white paws stood next to him.

“Hey, Ryan. What’s up?”

“I, um, forgot my key to my house. My mom said you had a copy.”

“Sure, wait a second.” Austin looked at the Vampires. “Don’t even think about it.”

He got the key from the kitchen drawer and brought it back to Ryan. The boy thanked him then looked inside the door.

“Seriously dude, you have some creepy friends.”

“They’re not my friends,” said Austin. “Just some guys dropping off some stuff for a research project.”

“Uh, thanks for the keys.”

Ryan and the cat left and Austin turned his attention back to the Vampires. “OK guys, time to go. I have things to do, places to go, tacos to eat, and if you don’t get the hell out of my house I’ll add Vampires to kill to my list. Got it?”

The Vampires showed their fang again. Then the doorbell rang. The Vampires stepped back into the shadows.

Austin opened the door. Dave the mail carrier stood there with a package. “Hey, Austin, I just need a signature.”

“Good, I’ve been waiting for this,” said Austin as he signed the deliver slip. It was a packet of letters from the artist Julian Rix to a woman who would eventually break the artist’s heart. Austin put the letters on the table in his entry way and turned his attention back to the Vampires.

“Sorry about that. I told you this was a bad time,” he said to the Vampires.  “What do you guys want? I don’t have all day.”

The two Vampires showed their fangs and stepped towards Austin. “Listen, I don’t want any trouble. I don’t have a problem with you. I don’t even know you. In fact, my girlfriend is a Vampire.”

The Vampires hissed through their fangs, then stopped. There was a soft knock at the door.

Austin stepped back. “Excuse me, somebody is at the door.”

At the door Austin’s neighbor from down the street, a guy named Bob stood with a clip board. “Hi Austin, I have the petition to close the street on the Fourth of July.”

“Yes, I’m looking forward to it. Just let me know what I can do to help.”

“Sure thing,” said Bob. “Feel free to invite your friends.”

Austin looked around to see the Vampires had moved just behind him in the entry way. “Sure thing. Hey guys, you’re invited. Bring your favorite pot luck dish and some sparklers. It will be fun.”

After Bob left, Austin turned his full attention back to the Vampires. “I know you didn’t come here to borrow a cup of sugar. What do you want?”

The Vampires showed their fangs. “No, I’m not going to do this today. You’ve already waited almost an hour of my time. Either I kill you, you kill me, or you leave. What is it?”

The doorbell rang again. “Shit,” whispered Austin. He opened the door. There stood two college students with a clipboard. “Hey, I know you. How’s it going Tiffany?” The girl was in his California history class.

“Dr. Durant. I didn’t know you lived in this neighborhood. We’re here for the mayor’s campaign.”

“Good for you. I encourage everyone to be politically active. I think a few other groups will be out today as well.”

“Cool.”

The kids talked with Austin about politics and school. All the while Austin could sense the Vampires behind him, lurking in the shadows of his living room. He then wished the kids good luck as they went on their way.

He turned back to the Vampires who were now looking at his book shelf and talking quietly to each other.

Austin approached them. “So do you want to do this or not?”

“You have all of Steinbeck’s books, I’m impressed,” said  the taller and paler of the two Vampires. “Too bad I have to kill you.”

Then the door bell sounded again. Austin went to the front door. His neighbor Joe who lived behind him was there.

“Hey Austin. I’m fixing the fence so Sammy and Shadow can’t get out. Do you mind if I go into your yard for about a half hour?” Sammy and Shadow were two shaggy dogs of unknown breeds.

“Sure, I’ll help you out. Give me a few minutes. I’ll meet you in the back yard.”

Austin turned to the Vampires. “Guys, we’re going to have to do this later.”

The Vampires looked at him with frustration on their pale faces then slipped out the front door and vanished into the cloudy afternoon.

Well, this is the first time I’ve killed a Vampire with boredom, thought Austin. Then he put on his shoes and work gloves to meet Joe by the fence.

~ end

 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman