Savor the Summer. They’re growing up but they still need us.

Summer is officially here. It isn’t June 21 yet, but it is hot, summer school starts today, and I’m juggling a new season of activities. Yes, all of you parents out there, parenting does not end when your kids turn 18. It just goes into a different universe. For me that has been a nice mellow universe.

My son’s best friend Randy came over this morning. He has grown up since I started this blog from a funny skinny kid with long blonde hair and a fondness for orange plaid, to a gown man with broad shoulders, a man bun, and still a unique sense of style.

Being an adult Vampire is easy in college. Students live in close quarters. There are parties every night. The bar scene is big for the over 21 crowd. But unlike creepy Vampires in a lot of fiction, one can’t stay in college forever, even if you still look like a college student.

You never want someone to tell you “Bruce Springsteen’s song Glory Days was written about you.” Never. Believe me, you NEVER want anyone to say or even think that. Even if you’re not a Vampire you never want anyone to say that.

Randy sad down with me over coffee and we talked about his life. He is working for my brother Aaron this summer to see if he might like to work in a law office.

“I’m excited about my last year of college, but being a Vampire. Like, we’re supposed to be on top of things, but going out there in the big world, maybe to a place where there might not be a lot of us is kind of scary.”

“It can be scary,” I said. “But you won’t be alone. You’re family, you’re community, all of us are here for you.”

“I know. The worst part is not knowing if I’ll always look like I do not, or if I’ll end up aging out to my 30’s.”

“Don’t worry about it. Your parents aged out in their late twenties. I bet you will to.”

“I don’t want to look twenty-one forever. Well, twenty-two in August.”

We talked for a bit more when my son Garrett showed up with new hiking boots and a bag full of hair products. Ah, my well-rounded son.

 

I love the fact that no matter how old my children’s friends get, they will always be welcome in my home. I will always be there for them to talk, and for a hug when needed.

Nobody at any stage of life, be it Middle School, or the seasoned 457 year old Vampire knows what the future will bring. We all need support from teacher other at all stages of life. Like I’ve said before, our kids learn from us, and we can learn from them.

The key is just to be there for each other. And rather than rush to judgment, and throw them in the pool before they learn to swim, we need to let them go their own pace and test the waters, and know we’re here if they need a rope.

Summer is here. We’ll be taking some short trips to the beach and the woods. We’ll be going to the book stores and taking the dog out more. We’ll be talking a lot, and laughing, and learning, and savoring our time together until the boys have to go back for their last year of college.

Have a great week everyone, and savor your time with those you love.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

Short Story Sunday: A Better Place

The dogs were huge. The male weighed 170 pounds. The female was a mere 120 pounds. They padded silently behind her as she walked home from the bar.

Mehitabel had gone out for a bite to eat with the dogs due to the fact her boyfriend Max had left them with her while he finished up a job. He’d be back in a few hours. It was odd to call him her boyfriend. It was odd to think she was engaged to him. Everything was odd so she thought as she walked along in the cool night air.

At the bar she’d spoken to some nice young men who’d walked down by the beach with her. She put her fangs to their wrists and taken about a half pint of blood. They’d been scuba diving earlier that day. She could always pick up on divers due to their oxygen levels, and the salt on their skin. All they would remember was the pretty young women with the two giant dogs who’d showed them the trail to the beach.

As she got closer to her house she heard loud raspy laughing behind her. She turned around and saw them. Witches.

These were not nice ladies who get energy from crystals, or read tarot cards, make healing lotions, and try to conjure up spirits from the earth. These kind of Witches were the trailer trash of the paranormal world.

Mehitabel knew that six months earlier the one named Blanche had charged ten-thousand dollars to give a woman’s ex-husband’s new wife breast cancer. The other, a Witch who called herself Tourmaline would make love potions that would cause the unwitting recipient to fall in love, but always loathe themselves for falling in love with someone they found repulsive.

Both Witches wore tacky tight dresses with too much cleavage, too much make-up, and too much bleached blonde hair that reminded her of fried onions. They toddled on six-inch heels, while walking along with their back sides sticking out in an unnatural way that made Mehitabel think of stink-beetles.

“Hey, look,” said Blanche in a gravel and honey voice. “It’s the pretty little Vampire. What are you up to tonight?”

“Show us those fangs,” said Tourmaline.

Mehitabel whistled to the dogs, then kept walking. She could hear the click of the Witch’s heels as they followed behind her.

She took a deep breath and stopped her heart beat. Then she slowly turned around. “Ladies, stop following me.” But the Witches were gone. All that was left was the smell of sickly sweet perfume and sulphur.

A half hour later, with her door locked, Mehitabel fed the dogs, then poured herself a glass of wine.

Love potions. She couldn’t even imagine forcing someone to love her. Then there was the revenge spells, meant to do nothing but harm to the innocent. Blanche and Tourmaline had ruined hundreds of lives and caused so much pain over the past thirty years. She should have killed them there on the spot. She could have. The dogs could have.

She woke with the touch of cold lips on hers, and a hand gently lifting the tilted wine glass out of her hand and put it, and the book she was reading, on the table. Max, the man who loved her, without the aid of potions or spells, smiled at her. She glanced over and noticed he’d put his gun on the table.

In the morning there was news of the bodies of two women on the beach. They’d each been shot once in the head. Their bodies were drained of blood and set on fire. The smell of sulphur and roasted flesh filled the air. Toxic fumes sent two detectives to the hospital.

Mehitabel put her arms around Max and pulled him close. A good Vampire was hard to find. She kissed his handsome face, closed her eyes, and smiled to sweet dreams of making the world a better place.

 

~ end

 

Tangled Tales

 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cats, Lies, and Vampire Parenting Blogging

I was out on my back deck this morning holding my cat Oscar close because I love him. I love the feel of him, the way he hugs my shoulder and purrs. He is so warm and soft (like a rabbit). I heard a noise and looked out in the field to see a coyote trotting along. Oscar tensed up but held on, not with his claws but like a small child would. We both watched the coyote. It glanced up at us then turned and trotted of the way it had come. I held Oscar tight and told him “Come in before somebody eats you.”

Warm things are nice, especially if one is a Vampire. Don’t get me wrong, I love a cool touch but, anyway, I thought of my lunch meeting with Jack, my regular lunch date and regular human. He also knows I’m a Vampire a fact that has complicated our once simple symbiotic relationship.

Jack was out of his shirt, my hands were on his shoulder. He kissed me lightly and pulled me down next to him on the couch. My kiss moved to his neck and just as I was about to sink in my fangs Jack says, “Stop, I can’t do this today. I’m giving in a blood drive tomorrow. They called yesterday needing my type.”

I stopped. I could have continued. But I’m not that kind of Vampire. I’m the kind who blogs about parenting and being nice. Needless to say I was sorely disappointed. I could have ripped his throat out. But I just sort of sat there feeling a bit disappointed.

I stood up and sort of tried to think of some witty thing to say. Jack came to me and pulled me close. “I know you like my warmth. Let me share that with you.”

I ran my hands down his arms, over his chest then around his waist, setting my face on his shoulder. I could hear his heart beating.

Then Jack said, “I saw your blog.”

That shook me out of any dreams of blood lust or any other kind of lust.

“Which one?” I had to ask for this isn’t the only one.

“Vampire Maman, musings of a Modern Vampire Mom. I liked it. You write just like you talk.” He went on to talk about his favorite posts and how he liked the short stories and the parenting stuff and writing on the ancient and elderly. He liked the humor (thanks Jack.) He said I was right on target.

“Good.” I said that not knowing what else to say at the time. For a rare moment I just wanted to be quiet. OK it isn’t that rare, but at that time I just wanted still. Like when he’d found out I was a Vampire I was feeling a bit exposed. I wanted run.

But I stayed. I held him close, because sometimes just something warm is nice. He turned me around to face a mirror. His image was clear. My own Vampire image was a shadow or like a ghost. It was like the image in a daguerreotype that vanishes when turned or shown in the sunlight.

“Look at my eyes, in the mirror and I’ll become clear.”

We stood there looking at each other in the glass, so different, yet connected in our weird way. My image became as crisp as his, as so did my nerves.

We talked a little more about our kids and other odds and ends of everyday life. I guess it is those odds and ends and kids that make it all clear for us.

Just like with Oscar, I suddenly felt protective and wanted to say to Jack “come in before somebody eats you.” I kept that thought to myself.

As I left he gently kissed me again, as he always does. He didn’t say he’d keep checking the blog because he knows me well enough to know that the uncomfortable truths are always wrapped up in lies and disguise, but in the light of the day it is like a warm hug or a kiss that brings it all into the light, or at least makes me feel like I can be clearly seen.

 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

This post was first published in 2013.

 

Burning Question #11: I had to ask…yes, it’s about Vampires

Well crap, I accidentally posted this today instead of Saturday so just pretend the weekend is starting early. As an added bonus I’ll post burning question #12 on Saturday. And remember don’t just tell me you like this post, give me an answer. It is fast, painless, and easy.

vampire girls

If you’re here you know this blog is Vampire Maman – Musings of a Modern Vampire Mom. And if you’re here you know it is Saturday and time for the BURNING QUESTION.

Yes, I have to ask this one. 

Everyone has different ideas about Vampires.

Some believe they are evil beings lacking souls and from the depths of Hell (of goodness.) Some believe the Twilight shit and think they are weird old sparkling creatures who stalk high school girls (the whole concept disgusts me, both as a parent and as a woman.) You do know that is fiction don’t you? It is. Get over it.

Some believe they follow ancient blood rituals and live by a strict order set down by ancient laws (I can’t even hardly write that without laughing.) It just doesn’t work for most Vampires.

Some believe they are all like Dracula or the Vampires in the Anne Rice books (all fun and well written, or at least most of them.)

And some… a few, know that Vampires are just like everyone else except we live a long long long time, have a lower body temperature, can see ghosts, drink blood, can be pretty scary if we want, are extra sexy, can get a bit pissy, and are generally good parents, among other things.

And sometimes Vampires are just dried up old assholes who live in crypts and come out at night with their joints creaking as the dust falls off of their jackets and scare the shit out of people. There ARE Vampires like that and they’re pretty disgusting.

Just like normal folks real Vampires come in a lot of flavors.

If you aren’t sure of an answer please feel free to ask questions, or search this blog for answers.

Burning Question #11: Would you willingly become a Vampire?

 

Now that didn’t hurt a bite, I mean bit.

Oh come one, admit it was fun.

I’ll be back next Saturday with Burning Question #12. If you have a burning question you’d like answered let me know. See me on FB or email me at juliettevampiremom @ gmail. com

xoxox

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Bloom

Even Vampires get the blues, but nothing so bad that some flowers won’t fix it. I dare say I don’t live in a black house with dead plants in the yard. OK I’ll admit that everything in the yard used to be dead but not anymore. I’ve spent the past three years digging in the river rocks rolled in a light dusting of dirt and managed to make something of it. The key has been to plant so that something is always blooming.

These are my flowers. The gray one is Oscar the cat.

 

 

But one can never have too many flowers in their world.

A few weekends ago I took the old ones Eleora and Tellias out to see the world. I had to get them out of their old musty house and into a bright spot. We went to the Sacramento Orchid Show.

Eleora wore satin red shoes. These were old shoes that she’d used years ago for ballroom dancing. She’d tied silk orchid flowers to the straps. She matched it with a red skirt decorated with appliqué poinsettia and snowflakes. With that she wore a yellow lace blouse. I asked her about her choice of a Christmas skirt.

Eleora looked at me with almost an eye roll and said, “Flowers. We are going to a flower show. This is a flower skirt.”

I didn’t argue. Tellias wore his usual yellow flip-flops, black dress pants, and a white tuxedo shirt with rolled up sleeves. He’d trimmed his pale blonde hair from just below his shoulders to collar length. It had kind of a wave in it now that I hadn’t seen since the 1960’s.

Lola, my great great great great great grandmama also came along. She is quite a bit younger than Eleora and Tellias, but still ancient in her own right. She wasn’t wearing anything unusual, just jeans and a pretty shirt like just about everyone else at the orchid show.

But all in all we looked like a group of nice young people. Tellias and Eleora appear to be in their late teens or maybe twenty or twenty-one. Lola looks forever twenty-five, and I look just slightly older, even thought I’m the youngest of the group at a mere 158.

I watched as Eleora and Tellias went off by themselves, huddled over each orchid plant in awe of the beauty of the unusual blooms. They talked over each other, hummed, sang a few songs, held hands, and occasionally gave each other a quick kiss. I kept a sideways eye on them just to make sure they wouldn’t do anything too odd. They were indeed a beautiful and strange pair who positively glowed over the sight of the orchids. If anyone did look at the couple they’d usually smile. How could they help but smile at those two.

Lola and I walked behind them admiring the plants and catching up with each other. She mentioned her ex-husband, her first, was alive. She thought he was dead. Of course she hadn’t seen him in about five hundred years, give or take a few. She had no intention on seeing him ever again. I asked if he had an Internet presence and she told me no. That isn’t unusual for Vampires. A lot of them go on the Dark Web for obvious reasons, or they’re like me and don’t give a crap what people think. Nobody believes any of this shit anyway, but there is an element of truth in it all – more than an element. But back to Lola…

“You need to let go of him,” I told her.

She took my arm in hers and led me to a giant yellow orchid. “That is so beautiful. I need get one of those. I’ve been trying to keep up the greenhouse. It keeps Eleora and Tellias active. They can putter around and sing little ditties to the flowers to make them bloom.” She led me over to a grouping of pink orchids. “These too. Eleora loves pink. We’re growing herbs too. Back when I was married to him we grew oranges and lemons in a greenhouse. It was too cold to grow them outside.”

“Why’d you leave him?”

“Not why you’d think. He wasn’t cheating on me or cruel to me. He was just such an asshole. So full of himself. And he was violent even for a Vampire. I didn’t like his friends either. The passion was there but… always the passion, but I got tired of fighting and making up all the time. I got so tired of all of the drama. When I met Thomas, my next husband it was like a glowing ray of moonlight. He was so kind and gentle, and he was funny. He made me laugh. And there was also great passion like every Vampire woman dreams of. Then… I just don’t understand. Thomas was burned alive as a witch, and that asshole still lives on.”

She has told me this story over and over and over, for my entire existence. We all have friends and family members like that. And as they get older they tell the stories more often. I try to keep Lola, Eleora, and Tellias involved so that they have new stories to tell.

Than again Lola’s current boyfriend is thirty nine years old. You wouldn’t think it would work but it does. I wouldn’t want my son or daughter to get involved with a much older Vampire, but Lola and Cody went in without one taking advantage of the other. Plus Lola has always been diligent about keeping up with the modern world.

As a parent I’ve always kept up with current culture. There is nothing worse for a young adult to have a mom or dad who is still living in 1984.  Parents owe it to their kids to keep up with everything from music to fashion to movies and everything else that is going on. If your kid is politically involved you need to be too. Share your music – new and old. You’ll be surprised how many things you both like. Keep an open mind. It will keep you young.

Despite their age (well over 2,000 years) I’ve always believed keeping an open mind is one of the things that has kept Eleora and Tellias young. Nobody wants to be a musty dank old Shadow Creeper and sit around in rotting Victorian clothing drinking thick days old blood in chipped old china cups. That isn’t just good advice for Vampires. It is good advice for everyone.

Tellias and Eleora bought twelve new orchids for their greenhouse. Lola texted Cody and told him to meet us later for wine on the back deck. I called my husband Teddy to do the same.

No matter who you are, or what you are, make it a goal to keep growing and blooming. And have fun, no matter what your age.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

Vampire Diary: Modern Knowledge

Dear Diary,

I was out looking for blood.

Just as I was about to go in for the seduction and take my dinner to a quiet spot she asked me, “Who did you vote for?”

“What?” I asked not understanding her question.

“You’re fucking gorgeous and so cute I can hardly believe it, but I can’t take you home if you voted for Trump,” she said.

“Where I come from there is no vote,” I said. I did not tell her that I was king and in charge of the life and death of every single citizen in my kingdom. It did not seem to be, what do they say, neither here nor there. I looked into her lovely brown eyes. “I am not yet a citizen here. Tonight, let us forget the overload of news that gives us all headaches and heart aches, and makes our blood go cold, and concentrate on just you…” I paused and brushed her cheek with my lips. “And me.”

After I drained her of about a half pint of blood I made her forget she ever met me. If I see her again we can do the dance all over again.

Upon arriving home I found my love Gillian and my friend Randolpho sipping wine and playing cards.

I asked them a question. “Do you vote?”

“Of course we do,” said Randolpho. “We might be Vampires but we pay taxes like everyone else.”

I considered what he said. Since I was the King of Vampires I did not pay taxes. Now I do. How different my existence is now.

~ Vlad

 

Dear Diary,

After being locked in a crypt for three hundred years I am still marveling at the modern world.

Vampires of my class have always kept clean to keep the smell of death off of us. However it was not the standard of clean that is today. I like this new clean. They call it personal hygiene.

When I was Vampire King dozens of women would wash the linens of my castle in large boiling pots. My own clothing was washed by a select staff of women with a light touch for my fine fabrics. Now I do it all myself with my machines at home. Gillian and I do what is called binge-watching-Netflix while we fold our clothing. I open a bottle of wine. It is relaxing. My clothing is not as complicated as it used to be.

I remember one time when I traveled to the castle of Michael Dark Lord of the Southern Vampires. His home was filthy. It smelled of death and decay.

I said, “Michael, why are you so filthy?”

He said, “To remember that we are not alive or dead.”

I said, “That is a stupid answer. You will get maggots growing under your arms.” I scanned the room full of his gaunt and dirty followers. “No wonder your Vampires are starving. They smell so horrible that people can smell they before they see them. It is pathetic that your meals run from you in advance. Your Vampire’s stench is even making me sick. No self-respecting Vampire should smell like a rotting corpse.”

Michael looked confused and angry. “So my Vampire army should smell like a botanical garden?”

“It wouldn’t hurt,” I told him. “You would attract more willing food sources.”

When I left Michael Dark Lord of the Southern Vampires I stopped in an inn and asked for a bath to be drawn. My golden blonde hair had turned a greasy ashen gray after spending time in the putrid atmosphere of Michael’s castle.

A week later Vampire Hunters had wiped out the entire lot of Michael Dark Lord of the Southern Vampires. Their Vampire heads were put on poles and their hearts cut out and sold to oddity seekers. The castle was covered in vomit from the Vampire Hunters who had become ill at the vile smell. How embarrassing and unfortunate to be remembered to be the Dark Lord of Vomit.

This is a cautionary tale for any Vampire. If you smell like death you will be death.

~ Vlad

 

Dear Diary,

I have been thinking of those three hundred years in which I was locked in a crypt. I missed the 18th, 19th and 20th Centuries. I missed the birth of this strange and confusing modern world.

To catch up I read a great deal. My friend Randolpho told me of a man named John Waters. It was John Waters who said, “If you go home with somebody, and they don’t have books, don’t fuck ’em!”

As I sat reading into the morning, the blinds drawn against the raising sun, my cats settled in my lap. The coyote Jane curled her skinny gray coyote body at my feet. Gillian, my love, was asleep upstairs in my bed. I was tempted to join my love, but I had to finish the last chapters of the book.

The book was about a man who studied the sea. He walked among the tide pools. He was educated but the men and woman who loved him were among the lowest of the people of his world. They had no common sense or learning, or money, yet their hearts were large. The last pages were about music and love and animals and science, and of the human heart.

Even now
I know that I have savoured the hot taste of life
Lifting green cups and gold at the great feast.
Just for a small and a forgotten time
I have had full in my eyes from off my girl
The whitest pouring of eternal light.

He wiped his eyes with the back of his hand. And the white rats scampered and scrambled in their cages. And behind the glass the rattlesnakes lay still and stared into space with their dusty, frowning eyes. 

I was born the same year as Geoffrey Chaucer. Over the centuries I have appreciated his legacy, and that of the ancient masters and classics of previous centuries. Yet, it is the modern words that speak to me and touch the very shadow of my soul. These words that are written now speak not just to the scholars, or the kings, but to all. They speak to the quite times when one has cats in his lap, and a canine creature curled at his feet, and the woman he loves upstairs in his bed. They are stories that touch even the coldest Vampire heart.

I must now sleep. There is wedding planning to start tomorrow night. So I’ve been told from the woman in my bed.

~ Vlad

Kissed by a Vampire

This has been the 37th installment of Vlad’s Vampire Diary. To start from the beginning CLICK HERE.