Short Story Sunday: The Morning After

“I told her I don’t eat human flesh, I only drink blood,” said James. “Then she rolled her eyes at me. Can you believe it? She believes that I’m a Vampire but she wouldn’t believe a God Damn word I said to her.”

“So I take it you don’t have a date for tonight,” said Andy.

“No, I am free. Completely free to enjoy company of women who appreciate me. By the way, is it just Vampires tonight or are any warm blooded people showing up?”

“It will be a mix. Everyone is cool. Cool as in temperament not temperature.”

“Good. I swear I should have pegged her as a bigot. She knew I was a Vampire when I met her. She knew we’re real, but she would never accept me. Never.”

“It wasn’t like you were exclusive with her. Screw her.”

“I did. That’s what got me into trouble,” said James, then he laughed. “You’d think that after 164 years… who am I kidding. The only woman I can’t get is your sister.”

Andy raised an eyebrow. Sure James was a pig but he’d been Andy’s best friend forever and most of it was an act…a small fraction was an act.

James continued his venting. “The only reason she didn’t go after me more is because she knows I can erase her memory, and if she tells anyone I’m a Vampire they’ll think she’s nuts.”

“Forget her James,” said Andy. “I’ve never seen you so insecure. What’s up?”

“Nothing. I was up too late last night. I’m hungry. I obviously didn’t eat anything last night.”

“I have blood in the fridge, and some cheese. Go get yourself something.”

“Thanks,” said James, heading out to the kitchen.

Andy looked around the room. There would be about fifty people over for New Year’s Eve. He still had to bring out all of the glasses, wine, and call the caterer for a final check.

Once James got dressed and the party started he’d be fine. He’d be more than fine. There wouldn’t be a single female at the party, Vampire, warm blooded human, Werewolf, or otherwise he wouldn’t be flirting with. James never went home alone.

It would be a new year but some guys never changed. That wasn’t always a bad thing. Just a thing.

Andy pulled out his phone and left a message. “Hey beautiful. Just wanted to tell you I love you. I’ll see you tonight. I can’t wait.”

~ end


Short Story Sunday: Warmth

Warmth
(an Austin and Elizabeth Story)

“Your hand is cold.”

Austin always said that. He couldn’t help it. It was a reflex from years of holding hands with women who had warm hands. Warm hands and cold hearts.

Elizabeth smiled and lifted his hand to her cool lips. “I love you,” she said quietly, almost a whisper.

“Love you too,” he said. Then he his lips found hers. Suddenly a thought his his brain. She’d been alive for almost two hundred years. She’d been dead for almost that long. Well, sort of dead. Kind of dead and then alive again. Loving a Vampire was weird to say the least.

She’d started to wear socks to bed when Austin spent the night least she wake him with cold feet. But then he told her no. He wanted her to be who she was.

Still, he couldn’t help but check his neck in the mirror in the mornings for marks, or his wrists. He couldn’t help but overhear her on the phone with her friends, with a sweet laugh as she talked about meeting up for a hunt. She’d turn away or take her phone outside.

She’d once asked him, “Why do you hunt us. We don’t hurt anyone.”

He couldn’t answer honestly. He hunted the ones who could hurt, would hurt, or did hurt. Austin let the other alone. In this age of being away of the differences of others he had learned, that even when dealing with Vampires and god only knows what other kind of weird things were out there he had to take everyone on an individual basis. Well, almost everyone.

They cuddled on the couch under a blanket, with a bottle of wine, as they watched Crazy Rich Asians. 

He kissed her cheek. It seemed a little warm. Maybe. Sort of. It didn’t matter.

~ end

 

Click here for more Austin and Elizabeth Stories (The Hunter Series.)

 

 

 

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

 

 

Short Story Sunday: Conversion

Conversion
(An Austin and Elizabeth Story)

“Durant, we found something.”

“What do you mean you found something?”

“Live dead bodies.”

“Vampires?”

“Yes, vampires. Happy fucking Halloween.”

“I’ll be right there.”

Austin Durant had planned on spending the morning grading papers. When he wasn’t teaching history at the local state college he was a contractor specializing in restoring historic buildings. When he wasn’t doing that he was a vampire hunter. The vampire hunter part wasn’t planned. It just happened.

Now a call from his construction site foreman Matt changed his Sunday morning plans. Damn. He made a call and headed out.

His attorney and friend (the term friend was sometimes questionable) Aaron Todd stood on the front porch. How could anyone always look so elegant, even in jeans and a fleece jacket?

“Why don’t you people take care of your own?”

“You people? Really Austin. You sound almost racist.”

“You’re a vampire.”

“The ones in the walls are not my people.”

Aaron had a point. He was an attorney and lived in a beautiful modern house, with a beautiful wife who looked like she was right out of a Botticelli painting.  Aaron had nothing in common with the dried up husks with long yellow teeth and claw like fingers who were hibernating in the old walls.

Aaron was holding a pink box. “I brought donuts and coffee for your guys. It was the least I could do.”

“Thank you. The good kind,” said Austin, looking at the beautiful assortment of donuts, sweet rolls and bear claws. “Do you ever eat these things?”

“No. They make me sick.”

They waked back to the small bricked in room where the vampires had been found. The 8 x 8 foot space had been bricked in from the inside.

Aaron looked down at the still dead looking forms. “I know those two. I’d wondered what had happened to them. Not that I cared. I was glad to see them gone. The last time I saw them was this time of year. My wife Verity and I were downtown late at night and spotted these two on the steps of the new Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament.”

“New?”

“It was 1890.” Aaron smiled and sipped his coffee. “They watched us with empty eyes coveting our existence. These two in the walls are creatures with no souls. They exist with nothing but longing for blood. They have no idea what the empty void is that fills them. That is why they wall themselves up to sleep for years. They know no torment. They feel no longing. They exist and that is all.

These two had come out to California to seek their fortunes right after the Civil war, like so many uneducated dullards. They were both pretty enough and young enough that they made a living selling their bodies. They were stupid enough to be seduced by evil. They forfeited their souls for eternal life. Either that or the idiots who converted them botched the job and only brought them back after their bodies were empty of any life at all. It doesnt matter. They might not even have had souls to begin with. They were the kind of people who just survive and nothing else. Their lives have no meaning.”

“You’re harsh.”

“I am realistic.”

“You saw them on the cathedral steps. You were going to tell me something about them.”

“It two days before Christmas, they sat on the steps huddled together. I was going to approach them and tell them to leave town, when a priest came out into the dark and sat with them. We could hear what he said. I’ll never forget.”

Aaron took a deep breath as if he was almost human. “It was obvious they had been there before. The priest made a sign of the cross then put his hands on their shoulders and said, those who are loved will earn their souls. It is not in the scripture but I believe it. I know it. You are loved. Believe me. Believe my brother and sister.

Austin was amazed at what the vampire told him. “Do you believe that Aaron?”

“I want to, but no, I do not believe it.”

Austin knew vampires were cold hearted but he assumed that maybe… then again, when it came to the heart of a vampire assumptions were dangerous.

“By the way,” said Aaron, “the good priest was found dead a week later. His body had been drained of all blood. Funny how things work out that way.”

They looked down at the corpse-like vampires who lay on an ancient cot, huddled together in a cold embrace. Their old fashioned clothes still showed some color through the dusty and faded threads.

Austin raised the chain saw and was about to start it up when the male opened his eyes. It sounded like paper shredding. The woman did the same.

“Do it now,” hissed Aaron.

Austin started the chainsaw and cut off their heads.

He looked up and saw writing on the wall scrawled in what could have been blood above the cot.

We no not wat we do

“We know not what we do,” Austin read out loud.

In the curled up clawed hand of the woman Austin found a small carved figure of a baby in a manger. The paint looked almost new.

In the hand of the man was a holly branch.

“Those were gifts from the priest,” said Aaron.

The bodies turned to dust before their eyes.

“Aaron, what do you want to do with the ashes?”

“You have a shop vac don’t you?”

“Man, you’re cold. No pun intended.”

Aaron shrugged. Austin put the baby in his pocket and gave the dried holly branch to Aaron.

“Maybe I should believe,” said Aaron.

Austin put his hand on his friend’s shoulder. “Maybe you should.”

 

~ end

Tangled Tales

For more Austin and Elizabeth adventures CLICK here.

What happens when a History Professor/Restoration Expert/Player followed the footsteps of his Granny and becomes a Vampire Hunter? He discovers basements full of undead creatures, a thriving community of hip and trendy Modern Vampires, and the maybe love of his life (who just happens to be a Vampire.)

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Vintage Halloween (with Vampires and Wolfhounds)

A large wreath on the front door was made of faded and cracked plastic flowers. You know, those plastic flowers that were sold in the Five and Dime stores in the 1960’s. Faded ribbons and bows hung in odd gray pastel tones.

Without even asking I knew Eleora had taken the flowers off of graves that nobody had visited for years. Long forgotten wives and mothers. I knew Eleora had replaced the faded flowers with real ones and taken time to sit and chat with the departed and sing them songs from their times.

Eleora opened the front door and greeted us wearing a bright yellow skirt with a well worn orange sweater with black cat head shaped buttons. Her feet were bare and her toenails painted a glossy red on one foot and black on the other.

“Do you like my Halloween wreath? I made it yesterday.” She took my hand and led me inside.

“Shabby chic.” I said. “Very nice.”

She gave me a hug and kissed my face all over then took the hands of my children and danced them into the house.

The old lab mix slid around the corner barking, followed by two HUGE wolfhounds.  I was surrounded by a sea of happy wiggling dogs. The sharp spikes in my leg was a tiny black kitten who had enthusiastically crawled up my jeans.

“Who are you?” I asked picking up the tiny purring monster. “Oh my goodness you’re cute.” It mewed back in one of those precious tiny kitten voices.

My brother Max had been there, because the wolfhounds were his. My daughter took the kitten who was named Jinx. A fitting name for a black kitten.

Eleora and Tellias are ancient Vampires. They’re seniors, despite the fact that they look like they are in their late teens or early twenties.  This dear old couple has been together for over 2,000 years – a long time for any romance.

Eleora had decorated the walls and windows with old paper Halloween cut-outs. Mostly cats with a few pumpkins and other creatures of the night. She’d also included decorations made by generations of both Vampire and Regular Human children who’d come in and out of her life over the past century.

Tellias came down the stairs, his white blonde hair pulled back into a ponytail and wearing old farmer overalls without a shirt. He had a Mr. Rodgers cardigan on over it.

He gave us all hugs and kisses, a smile on his lovely face. Ancient yet forever young.

“Let’s celebrate Halloween early. Max dropped off two cases of Poet’s Blood!” He led the procession of dogs and family to the formal dining room and took crystal goblets from a large ornate hutch.

I heard a car door close and knew my brother Max had arrived. He came in looking handsome as usual obviously straight from work all in black leather.  I noticed he still had a weapon on his belt. The dogs went crazy dancing and barking.

Halloween is a time to celebrate. More than that, it is an excuse to celebrate and have fun. But we need to celebrate good times and those we love more often without an excuse of a holiday or other special event. It is always time to love and share, especially if you have elders or anyone who is alone or needs a little extra help or company.

xoxo

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

stone

Short Story Sunday: The Box in Dave’s Basement

The Box in Dave’s Basement

“I was just going out for coffee,” said Austin as he looked at the carnage surrounding him.

Coffee with the crossword puzzle, and a little bit of fresh air sounded good. Then Dave, who lived three houses down called to him as he waked by, “Hey, Austin, there’s something weird in my basement. Take a look.”

Austin was both a history professor and a general contractor specializing in historic restorations, so of course he’d check it out. Dave lived in the oldest house on that street, built in 1888. It was a fantastic small Queen Anne, painted shades of blue and cream.  Dave led the way to the back of the dark space to an oblong box.

“I was measuring the room and moved away some lumber that had been here since I moved in and found this,” said Dave. “It looks like a coffin. Do you think I should call someone?”

“Let me take a look. I’ve found these before,” said Austin, taking out his penknife. He slid the knife around the edges of the box to see if there was a latch or any loose spots.

Then all Hell broke loose. Two men, dressed in long black coats, carrying guns and large knives appeared at the door.

“Hey,” yelled Dave. “Get the fuck outta here. I told you guys to stay away from my house. I’m calling 911. I warned you.” Then he turned to Austin. “The bastards were out last week. I told them…”

The men moved closer. Dave continued, “Out NOW.” Dave was a medium sized silver haired average family guy his mid fifties, with some sort of upper management job with the Department of Water Resources. His wife was wife away on a girl’s weekend. His kids were away at college. He’d been working on making the basement into the ultimate man cave over the past few weekends. He wasn’t in the mood for Vampire Hunters.

“Damn it. I said GET OUT you crazies,” Dave yelled.

“Just let us have the box,” said one of the men, a tall shaggy haired guy with some sort of unidentifiable accent.

Austin took a step forward, getting between Dave and the vampire hunters. “No can do guys. You have to go.”

The other man, a bald guy with huge shoulders pointed a gun at Austin and Dave. “Move aside gentlemen.” He then shoved them out of the way and with a swift kick popped open the box.

Inside was the perfectly preserved body of a woman in an old fashioned lace dress. She looked as though she was made of fine leather. A bunch of dried roses were in her hand.

The shaggy haired man lifted a huge wooden stake. Dave and Austin both yelled, “NO.”

Dave jumped on the back of the bald man. Austin knocked the shaggy haired man out of the way.

Suddenly a blinding flash of light and a blast of cold air knocked them to the wall. Two more men appeared at the door, also in black but without the coats. One carried a knife, and the other a whip. The smiled, showing fangs.

“Holy shit,” whispered Dave.

The vampires grabbed the men in the black coats by the scruff of their necks, like small children, and threw them back out into the sunlight. One of the vampires uttered a string of long strange sounding words, and the vampire hunters ran down the street.

The woman in the coffin sat up, and moved her head around.

“Stiff neck?” Austin asked.

She looked at him, surprised. Then she smiled with a slight show of her own fangs. “Yes, thanks for the concern. How long did I sleep?”

“From the looks of your dress, maybe ninety years,” said Austin.

“I guess I missed that party then,” she said with a slight laugh.

“This is too weird,” said Dave as he got up, and crossed the room. He turned on the overhead shop lights and got a good look at his company. “You mean to tell me you’ve been in that box for ninety years?”

The woman just blinked against the light. The two Vampires stood out of the shadows.

“Hey, Austin,” said one of them. “I thought that was you.”

“Pierce,” said Austin. “I had no idea you were a vampire. Small world. Dave, this is Pierce, he guest lectures for me sometimes on nineteenth California government issues.”

“And this is Max, he…”

“Max,” said Austin as he held out his hand. “Good to see you. Thanks for helping out.”

“Austin,” said Max.

Dave looked at the Vampires then laughed. “Pierce. I know you. You were teaching American History at UC Berkley in the late 70’s. I took a couple of classes from you. You look like you haven’t aged a day. How old are you?”

Pierce smiled and shook Dave’s hand. “I’m 171, but who’s counting.”

“I was just going out for coffee,” said Austin as he looked at the carnage surrounding him. “You’re all welcome to come.”

The woman’s name is Lily. She had a lot of catching up to do so Dave gave her a pair of jeans and a shirt out of his wife’s closet, and they all headed out for coffee.

That’s all.

This is not my bed. I don't sleep in a box.

Alright folks, this is what happens when a writer keeps trying to write a story and every five minutes someone needs something and interrupts. This is what happens when you’re a mom, and a wife, and working a business, and have parents, and neighbors. You get a story but it is more real-life, and a little dull rather than sensational. Just a normal Sunday morning that ends up with everyone meeting for coffee. Coffee is good. Almost everybody likes coffee. Most people like Vampires too but they just won’t admit it.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman