Call and Response

At 4:00 a.m. in the pre-dawn morning

the owls sing their songs

like a call and response in their oak forest cathedral.

A tiny bat speeds across the sky in front of

my bedroom window.

The cat sits on the window sill

watching beside me.

In a few hours

I’ll be at the museum,

sort of my own cathedral.

Yet, the woods are also mine.

A place of others.

The creatures of the night.

Those who do not create beauty,

but are beauty.

 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

Black and White Morning

My morning on my deck in black and white. A calico cat. A black, white, and tan dog. The woods. A raku tile. Some plants.

Sometimes I sit on my deck and realize that nothing is ever completely black or white. It is mostly gray and lovely.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Thank you Cee for this challenge. https://ceenphotography.com/2018/09/06/cees-black-white-photo-challenge-open-topic-6/comment-page-1/#comment-179724

The Ghost of Pumpkin Spice

“I never had a computer, or pumpkin spice lattes, or a cell phone. I had a VCR for about a year. I had a French Press. I’d get coffee beans from the Farmer’s Market. There was a little booth with a zillion spices and about thirty flavors of coffee.”

“They’re still there. I think the gal there has been selling spices since she was a teenager, maybe forty years now.”

“Wow. Remember the Mexican bakery?”

“I’m a Vampire. I don’t eat pastries.”

“Well, you eat other things besides blood. I know that.”

“The olive guy. There was a guy who sold olives and pickles.”

“You eat olives?”

“Sure. I eat most green things.”

“Artichokes?”

“I love artichokes.”

“Green beans?”

“Sure. Not a lot but you know, sometimes.”

“I can’t imagine Dracula eating green beans.”

“Dracula is a fictional character. In fiction the only time people eat green beans is when they snap them with their grandma. I doubt if Dracula snapped beans with his grandma.”

Nigel the Ghost held a hot mug of coffee laced with cinnamon. He put his head down and closed his eyes. “I miss coffee.”

“You can always get it here,” I said.

“It isn’t the same when you can’t drink it. Shit, I haven’t had a real cup of coffee in thirty two years.”

He brushed his black hair out of his eyes, then smiled.

“What?” I asked.

“I’ve been dead longer than I was alive.”

“So you’ve told me.”

I sat across from the Ghost, his black hair shaggy around his face, a black tie, and white shirt with the sleeves rolled up today. He’d hidden the gash in his head and the blood on his pale face. His eyes flickered from the coffee to me.

He cleared his throat, not because he needed to but for dramatic effect. “I might be a ghost but I’m not completely dead.”

“You’re never completely dead as long as someone stills loves you.”

“I can feel it but unfortunately I can’t see them. Well, I can’t see most of them. I don’t know how to get to them. You know the limits of my territory is out of my control.”

“So you’re stuck with me.”

“Stuck with a Vampire. Who would have thought.”

“Want me to heat that coffee up.”

“Sure, and add some nutmeg to it. Pumpkin Spice.” Then he winked and gave me a rare smile. “You know this is weird.”

“Not for us.”

Then he put his head back and laughed. I just sipped my own coffee and then put his cup in the microwave, because that is what friends do, even if they’re Vampires or Ghosts.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

coffee

Coffee with Vampires and Ghosts

Sounds of Sunrise

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Even before the sun came up I could hear the cries of the hawks. Eagles live at the end of the street, but hawks live in my yard. There is beauty in their flight, their voices, and in the way they sit and view their world. I’ve watched nesting magpies, blue jays, and tiny song birds pester the sitting hawks to keep them away from tiny nests and tiny babies. The hawk ignores the small birds. She could easily kill them, but her prey is in the grasses below.

This morning there were no ghosts in the oak woods behind my home. Only hawks, and my dog who is barking at deer. Excuse me, I have to go tell my dog to cut it out.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Ghost of Halloween Dawn

This morning, this early early Halloween morning, before the dawn when just a shadow of the trees like black lace can be seen I looked outside and saw a ghost.

Damn it all. I hate ghosts. I barley tolerate the ones I don’t hate. I stepped out on my deck to chase it away when…

He turned and looked at me. My heart would have stopped had it been beating at the time.

“Juliette,” he whispered my name.

I had a million questions and no answers. He never gave any answers. As I stood, trying to get out words that never left my mouth he blew me a kiss and vanished.

Standing numb I thought of just a few hours ago when I lay with my arms around the man I love. Once a man, now a Vampire, never a ghost.

As I turned to go inside a different voice said, “Today is Halloween Vampire.”

I whipped around to find The Ghost, my Ghost, Nigel. “Happy Halloween. Big night?”

“Maybe,” he said with a sly smile, brushing his dark shaggy hair out of his eyes. “You?”

“Just hanging out here with friends and kids. You know, doing the Halloween thing. Sharing some blood and friendship.”

“Have fun. Don’t kill anyone.”

“You too.”

Then he vanished. He does that, just vanishes. But unlike the other ghost he’ll be back.

Happy Halloween.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman