Short Story Sunday: Under the Stars

Austin stood outside under the stars, away from the motorhomes, tent trailers, and tents. He’d gone out to pee but remained outside to ponder the beauty of the night, and the weirdness of the campfire talk earlier.

His cousin Dirk almost set off a riot with his questions. “Are you Gay or what?”

That came with a chorus of “if he was would it matter?” from other family members.

Austin was in his late 30’s and not married, cohabitation, or otherwise obviously in a relationship with a woman, or anyone else. It was cause for a lot of discussion among his clan. He called them a clan because they acted like it – one organic mass made up of loud and outspoken individuals who all happened to be related by blood and otherwise.

Half of them were Vampire Hunters as well, a family trait that he couldn’t avoid and didn’t always love.

The other half, including his 89 year old Granny, habitually too massive amounts of garlic tablets which made a chorus of farts and a lot of good nature laughing around the campfire. He was surprised there wasn’t an explosion.

When he was a kid, maybe eight or nine, he’d gone on a camping trip with his Granny and Grandpa. In the middle of the night he woke and saw a dark shape crouched over his Granny. The next thing he knew the creature, who’d had it’s fangs in his grandmother’s arm, was spitting and coughing. It backed up out of the tent and fled into the woods. That was the first time he’d seen a Vampire. Since then he’d seen over a hundred of the things.

Over the years he’d learned there were bad Vampires, and Vampires who were not. He’d learned that he had, not powers, but a built in intuition, or connection with the creatures. He knew how to control them, and scare them, and if necessary, kill them. Austin didn’t like to think about that, but he had to admit it was sort of a rush. A big rush.

His phone vibrated. It was his girlfriend Elizabeth, the girlfriend he didn’t invite. He’d make it up to her later. She understood. After all, she was a Vampire, a fact that only his Granny knew.

He read the message. Love you. Have fun. 

Love you. Miss you, he texted back.

He looked up to the stars and saw a full moon and a whirl of small bats flying across the sky. In the distance he could hear the yip of coyotes, and the voices of owls.

He felt a small hand take his. Granny was standing next to him.

“She’s thinking about you baby, isn’t she?”

He looked at his Granny. She knew everything. “Of course,” said Austin.

“You taking your garlic?”

“No.”

“Why not? You need to take that and put Vaseline in your nose so you won’t get germs in your system. You can’t fend off paranormals with a stuffed up nose. You know that Austin.”

As they stood under the sky they watched the first light of dawn together.

“Time for coffee Granny,” said Austin.

“Good idea,” said Granny. “Then let’s go fishing. I want to catch something without fangs for a change.”

Austin just had to laugh. Life was good.

~ end

Tangled Tales

 

Click here for more about Austin and his girlfriend Elizabeth.

 

 

 

 

Vampire House Warming

Note: My brain is full so I’m re-running this today from 2013. A lot has changed since then – especially with Max and Andy. I’ll catch you up later or you can look for it yourself.  So have fun. I’ll have new thoughts on parenting young adults, Vampires, Ghosts, and all kinds of stuff soon.

Vampire House Warming

We all have those turning points in our life. Some we choose and some we don’t. Some we’re nudged in the right or more often wrong direction.

And there are those times when we try to read between the lines too much about the lives of others. It is usually far more complicated or else far less complicated than we think it is.

My brother Andrew (second of 5 siblings) recently moved back to California after several years in London and other parts of the globe and purchased a home in San Francisco. I hear he paid a million and a half for the place in St. Francis Woods, but he could afford it. I hold my breath to think what my brother Max’s home or my parent’s homes with views of the San Francisco Bay and the Golden Gate Bridge would go for. Anyway…this isn’t about real estate.

It is about a lovely housewarming party my brother Andrew hosted. The place was packed with both Vampires and Regular Humans. There were of course musicians (Andy is a singer) and dancers. There were artists and college professors and writers and high tech geeks and all sorts of interesting people with every profession and opinion imaginable. What made this remarkable, as parties and gatherings go, was that Andy’s Regular Human friends know about Vampire. They’re friends with us and don’t have a problem with it.

OK there was one exception. Andy invited his “girlfriend.” Shawna had come up from Southern California where she is a university professor. She is not a Vampire. She is still in that state of wonder and a little bit of disbelief about Vampires and our world (which isn’t all that different than hers, usually.)

Andy is head over heels in love with this divorced mother of two college kids. The story is that she came home from a research trip to find her husband had put her things in storage and moved a new trophy wife into their home. Their youngest child had just gone off to college so it was his opportunity to also make a change. Shocked, she found a small house on a quiet tree lined street and made a new life with her cats and dogs (she wouldn’t leave them behind.)

Shawna was strong and smart and I had no idea what she was doing with my scatter-brained brother. But it was ok. They were cute together and, well, you know all that sort of early romance cute stuff.

I looked out the window to the backyard to see my brother Max kissing his “friend.” This was more than just a friend. I’d heard rumors but this was proof that there was something more than he’d admit to. Funny that she backed out of his arms and went inside alone leaving him to pace a bit then follow her back inside.

In the kitchen I found Shawna. She was cutting up limes.

“I told Andy to have this catered.” I said this trying to be friendly. I could sense a tiny bit of discomfort behind her warm friendly fang-less smile.

“It’s ok, this will just take a second.” She cut into a lime then her hand slipped, of course, in a house full of Vampires, and cut a deep gash in her thumb.

I grabbed her hand and put it in my mouth to stop the bleeding and sealed the wound. I could have left it but it would have required stitches, not to mention drawn a lot of unwanted attention.

I let go and she pulled away with a little bit of horror and disbelief.

“It’s OK Shawna. I sealed the cut. It will heal now without stitches. You’re A positive.” I smiled. “Don’t worry.  I’m not going to drink your blood or bite you or anything. Just basic first aid. We don’t want anyone else smelling blood.”

I suddenly realized that Andy had never bitten her or exposed her to his natural Vampire ways. He was such a gentleman.  He was also a dick when it came to women. He was always falling for anything that wasn’t a Vampire and when it was a Vampire it was usually always someone who was totally wrong for him. He always had to have everything in life more complicated than it had to be.

“Isn’t this sweet,” I heard a smooth male voice say behind me. I turned to see James, one of Andy’s best friends. James who had always watched out for Andrew but who was also one of the most absolutely annoying Vampires in the known universe.

“You know, Juliette and her brother Valentine are two of the best when it comes to Human to Vampire conversions. Almost a 100% success rate, mot to mention a great follow up and support system.”

“Shut up James,” I snapped. Poor Shawna looked horrified. Why was it that everything James said sounded vulgar? Oh right, I know, because he is a flipping pig.

Shawna looked horrified. I was about say something else nasty to James when a very angry Vampire (showing her fangs no less) suddenly slammed him into the wall. “You’re making me sick James. Get out of here before I rip your throat out.”

He held up his hands and backed off. With a smile he said, “Later ladies, I’ll leave you to your tea party.”

Max’s friend Mehitabel  (the one he kissed in the backyard) stood there in a sleek black dress and some great sky high patent leather Mary Janes. She washed her hands saying something under her breath about getting the stink left by James off of them.

Mehitabel was the pretty woman who could either stand out in a crowd, or more likely not be noticed by anyone. That worked well in her professional life. She could stand unnoticed and watch and wait. As for her personal life, I have no idea. I don’t know her that well. I really don’t

I found her entertaining and funny. Sure she was a little distant as well, an odd combination.

Earlier I’d asked her what she was doing for Memorial Day. She was going to spend it with close friends. They always spent holidays together.  Why did I assume she wouldn’t have anyplace to go? Gossip and rumors can build into false biographies that paint a harsh sad picture of someone who is anything but harsh or sad.

She didn’t ask questions about my brother Max, the object of her affections – not like most women do.  She wasn’t talking to anyone about Max. She’d come to the party because they had mutual friends – nothing more. She was staying at Max’s house but no details of fluttery “wink wink” was forthcoming.

She had known Max for a long long time.  Over the years they’d been in and out of dangerous situations together, even saved each other’s lives. They were considered Vampire elite, thought she didn’t act like it.

So, anyway, I’m standing in the kitchen with two women who for better or worse were involved with two of my brothers. At this point I doubted if anyone was going to come in and rescue me.

“Don’t bother with James,” I said to Shawna.  “I think he was snorting too much dragon dust or something.”

“More likely out feeding on meth heads and heroine junkies,” said Mehitabel in disgust. The she softened her look and approached Shawna.

“I’m sorry you had to see that.  We’re not like that. Andy isn’t like that. He is one of the most gentle souls I’ve ever met, Regular Human or Vampire, and he adores you. He’d never ever let anyone harm you. The same goes for Juliette and me, and everyone here. Even James, even thought he is an asshole.”

I knew there were those would harm Shawna, but then again, I suppose nobody could have hurt her more than her ex-husband, the one who traded her in for a younger model.

After a few minutes and a few cocktails, we forgot about the party and my brothers. We talked of other things, things we all could relate to. We talked about movies and books and shoes and our work.

I suppose there is no point or moral to this story. No usual twist. It is always just odd and I’m glad my kids were in another part of the house, I’m sure being exposed to all sorts of other weirdness.

Just random thoughts about last weekend…

But all in all, I like both of these women my brothers have brought around. Now if my brothers could just behave… And if they don’t behave, I might still just keep these two around.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

(this post first published here 11/13)

_____________________________

and before i could argue him

out of his philosophy

he went and immolated himself

on a patent cigar lighter

i do not agree with him

myself i would rather have

half the happiness and twice

the longevity

 

but at the same time i wish

there was something i wanted

as badly as he wanted to fry himself”

Don Marquis, archy and mehitabel

____________________________________

More on Shawna and Andy (click here.)

More on Max and Mehitabel (click here.)

 

~ 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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Short Story Sunday: Prisoner of Love

Tangled Tales

Prisoner of Love

It wasn’t as if Andy had planned on being locked in a basement. No windows. It wasn’t like he’d turn into a bat because he couldn’t do that, but he could make them think he wasn’t there. Or at least he hoped that was true, considering he had no idea who had locked him away.

He thought about the Count of Monte Cristo.

How did I escape? With difficulty. How did I plan this moment? With pleasure.

But unlike Edmond Dantes, Andy didn’t have a mad priest to show him the way to treasure so that he could get revenge on his captor and win back the woman he loved.

Andy thought about the woman he loved for a bit. Did she love him? Or was she rejecting him simply because he was a Vampire and she was not? Or was he just thinking about it way too much.

It would have been nice to be back in his own comfortable home, playing the piano, entertaining friends or curled up in a chair with a good book and a nice goblet of wine or blood or…

A sudden noise brought him out of he reverie. A brick popped out of the wall and a pale hand came through. What could this sudden event of fate mean? Was he to be rescued?

He reached for the hand. It pulled back at his touch.

“You’re like ice,” hissed a quiet voice.

“I run a little cold. Who are you?”

“I am but a prisoner of love.”

Andy took a deep breath, at least a deep one for a Vampire. Why did he always find himself in situations like this with someone who was bat shit crazy?

“Where are we and why? No stupid answers.”

He was answered with silence. That wouldn’t do. Andy went to the hole in the wall and looked through. It was dark but he could see a slight shadow. “Answer me. Where are we? Do you know?”

Something jumped on his lap and shook him awake. Andy let his book (The Count of Monte Cristo) drop and nearly tipped over the goblet on the table next to his favorite reading chair. A small black kitten curled up and started to purr. What a crazy dream. What a strange and bizarre dream he’d had. But he didn’t have a black kitten.

Sitting still and quiet Andy listened for noise of a visitor. He’d hear the slightest breath or an excited heart beat. If they were close enough he’d smell blood.

There was no other living thing in the room except Andy and the kitten.

“Where did you come from dear kitty?”

The kitten only purred. She was tiny, maybe 8 weeks old at the most. A sense of unease overcame him. Someone was in the house. Making his fangs ready he stood and turned around. Standing behind him was a pale form – a woman in a long silken dress and platinum blonde hair. She held out her hand.

“I am but a prisoner of love,” she whispered.

“Is this your cat?”

But Andy never got his answer. She vanished in a wisp of smoke with the smell of sulphur.

The next morning he walked the exclusive old neighborhood and asked if anyone knew who the kitten belonged to. He even put up posters. Nobody had lost a kitten. Nobody had an answer for him.

What is it with Vampires and cats and love? He laughed then said aloud, “If you’re going to haunt my dreams and my house you might as well tell me who you are.”

He felt a cold blast of air then heard a soft laugh then the soft sound of a woman’s voice “When you compare the sorrows of real life to the pleasures of the imaginary one, you will never want to live again, only to dream forever.”

It was a quote from The Count of Monte Cristo.

A prisoner of love. “Not me,” thought Andy, “not me.”

 

~ End

Coffee and Swine: A weird tale of romance (and it is ALL TRUE)

For the past hundred years, maybe a bit longer, my brother Val has owned a beautiful Victorian in downtown Sacramento. Occasionally I use it as a meeting place, or working space. Occasionally he lives there. For the past few months he has lived there.

Most of the 4,000 square feet is beautifully restored but most of it isn’t used. The kitchen is in working order, he has an office, a spectacular bedroom taking up a good portion of the top floor, a bathroom, and a small sitting room with a huge TV. The rest is empty.

So anyway, I met him there for coffee this morning. Yes, Vampires drink coffee. Yes, my brother and I are Vampires. Most of our family and friends are too.

I got to his house and he was playing some Mario Brothers on the Wii. Oh man, I hadn’t played that for years. I was Princess Peach. He was Yoshi. We’re always Princess Peach and Yoshi.  We played a racing game with steering wheels. Val won two games. I won three. Not bad considering I’m the little sister.

After we played for a while then Val gave me a serious look. “There’s something I want to tell you about. I’ll make coffee,” he said.

As we stood in his kitchen, coffee cups in our hands he told me about something really weird.

“You know that woman I was seeing, Madison?”

“Sure,” I said, “she’s the one who teaches Animal Science classes at U.C. Davis. Right?”

“Right. Animal Science. She works with swine.”

“Swine. Like Pigs?”

“Pigs are her speciality. I was over at her place last night. She lives in the country, on kind of a farm. Her house is really nice, comfortable, clean. She, um, has a couple of Black Lab mix sort of dogs, some chickens, and pigs. She has some pigs she said she’d rescued. She isn’t going to eat them. They’re huge, maybe six hundred pounds each.

We had a couple glasses of wine, and she suggests we go out to her hot tub. Juliette, she wasn’t kidding when she said hot tub. It was a large old fashioned bath tub that she’d converted into a hot tub.  We stripped down, got in the water, started to fool around, then she told me to turn around. She said she wanted to give me a back rub. She started to scratch my back. I though she was scratching my back with her fingernails. I could feel her hot breath on the nape of my neck. Then she snorted. I turned around and, Juliette, I couldn’t believe what I saw.”

“What Val?” I asked.

“I was sitting in the tub with a pig. Madison had turned into a pig. She is a shape shifter. I already knew that but I thought she was a Werewolf.”

“You thought you were sleeping with a Werewolf and you knew it? Oh my God Val. You thought she was… does she know you’re a Vampire?”

“Yes, we both went into this knowing we were, you know, different, not regular humans. Madison is smart and funny. You know, I thought I’d take a chance. I knew it would never get serious. But I thought she was a Werewolf, not a Shape Shifting Swine.”

“Your girlfriend is a pig.”

“When I saw her she squealed. It was like the voice of death. Then jumped out and ran away. I got out, dried off and went into the house. She was standing in her bedroom in a robe, still transforming. It was horrible. I can’t even describe it. Now I know why she had so many weird stretch marks along her sides.”

“Oh Val. What are you going to do now?”

“I’m not sleeping with her again. That’s for sure. She told me that she’d dated a guy who was a Werewolf in the past but when the moon was full she was always afraid he’d eat her. Then she told me that she is still seeing him.”

“Wow, that is brutal.”

“It got me off the hook. Weird. I never drank her blood… just sex. It got me thinking. I have to be more careful.”

We had more coffee and talked more about relationships and other things, but it always came back to Madison, the Shape Shifting Swine Woman.

Val put his hand up to my neck and touched my necklace. “Cute. I’ve never seen it before.”

I was wearing a necklace made of puffy Victorian heart charms my husband Teddy and the kids had given me for Mother’s Day about ten years ago. My children had crawled into bed with me. The had a pretty pink box all tied with a bow. I still treasure the memory.

Maybe one day Val will find someone. Hopefully someone who isn’t a pig.

We made more coffee and watched the squirrels from the kitchen window as they ate all of the food out of the bird feeder. We didn’t stop them. You never know, they could have been someone we knew.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Wake up!

Thank you for reading my entry for  The 2018 Evil Squirrel’s Nest Contest of Whatever.
For contest information and rules (check it out for a laugh and for this thing to make more sense) https://evilsquirrelsnest.com/2018/01/28/the-fifth-annual-contest-of-whatever/

Last year I was the WINNER of the Contest of Whatever with an installment of Shelf Critter Theater. Click here to see it.

Or check out all of my past Contest of Whatever entries below:

Vampire Diary: Shelf Critter Theater

Yes it is complicated (almost as much as a unicorn, a squirrel and a possum going into a bar…)

Vampire Diary: Game Day

Three True Tales of Terror (with teens, rats and possums) – with illustrations

 

 

 

Short Story Sunday: Fairies

“Why do they call them fairy tales? I don’t see any romance around here. What a dead zone,” said the green winged fairy Daisy. “Fairy guys are clueless. Totally clueless.”

“All they want is sex, and then they fly off to who knows where,” said the yellow winged fairy Iris.

Andy listened as the group of angry female fairies, nodding his head to show his empathy for their situation.

“It is all the fault of that Berrie fool,” said the pink winged fairy Belinda.

“Berry? Like the fruit?” asked Andrew.

“NOOOOOO,” screeched Belinda. “That fucking idiot who wrote about that fucking idiot Peter Pan.”

“Fucking idiots,” yelled all of the fairies.

“Ladies, ladies, watch your language,” said Andy.

“Since then all of the fairy guys think they’re fucking Peter Pan,” said Daisy.

“Fucking Peter Pan,” yelled all of the fairies.

“And we don’t want to be stinking Wendys or stinking Tinker Bells,” yelled Belinda.

“Stinking Wendy and Tinker Bell,” yelled all of the fairies.y

“Ladies,” said Andy. “The fairy men can’t ALL be like that.”

The fairies, all ten of them, scowled and crossed their little arms.

“Love and romance isn’t always so easy,” said Andy.

“Of course it is,” said a tiny white winged fairy. “You’re a Vampire. That is synonymous with sexy male romance.”

“You’ve been reading too many books and seeing too many weird movies. Do you see any women here? I haven’t been in love since… not for a long time.”

“Shawna,” the fairies all said in a hushed whisper.

“Yes, not since Shawna.”

“Tell us how you met again. Tell us again,” cried the fairies.

“We met on a beach in Patagonia. She was on an archeological dig. I was trying traveling and trying to find myself. We danced on the beach, under the moonlight. We fell in love. She was fifty two. I was a hundred and sixty two but I didn’t think the age difference would matter.”

“You look like you’re thirty,” said Daisy.

“I know. That can be a problem. I thought it was true love. Then she hesitated. Eventually she left me for a guy she could grow old with. She didn’t want to grow old with me because I don’t grow old. I loved her then, and I will love her always. You can’t imagine how much I miss her.”

“Awwwwww poor Andy,” said all of the fairies in a hushed tone, as they wiped their tiny tears from their tiny eyes.

“Since then I have had lovers, and friends, and stalkers, but nobody has touched my heart like Shawna.”

“You need to call her. Send her a message,” said Belinda.

“Text her. Tell her you love her,” said Daisy.

“Tell her you still love her,” said all of the fairies at once.

Andy gave them a sad smile, sat down at his piano and sang sad love songs. After My Funny Valentine, a group of male fairies came into the room and sat next to the female fairies. The snuggled and listened to Andy’s beautiful voice. They saw a cold tear run down his face, but none of them said a thing.

He played for two hours, until the clock struck midnight, and he heard a voice.

“Andy, you didn’t answer. The door was unlocked so I came in.”

He turned. “Shawna.”

“Andy,” she said.

“What are you doing here?”

“You texted me.”

Andy glanced up at the fairies. Belinda winked at him. She was holding his phone.

“Shawna, how did you get here so fast?”

“I live in Berkeley. I moved up from Los Angeles when… it didn’t work out and I was offered a teaching position at Cal. He left me for another woman. She was younger and… it doesn’t matter. My son is up here and so it made sense. It was a great opportunity. You know, one last big thing before I retire.”

Then her eyes moved to the top of the bookshelf. “Are those fairies?”

“Yes,” said Andy, “and it is time for them to leave.”

And with that the fairies flew out the window and closed it behind them.

He turned up the heat and offered her a glass of wine.

“We need to talk,” said Shawna.

“No, not right now. Not right now. Tonight we need to love,” Andy said, as he put his arms around her. Then he kissed her, just as he kissed her that first time under the light of the Patagonian moon.

And the fairies danced about the garden, thinking up what fun and games they’d have on Valentine’s Day.

~ End

 

For more about how Andy met Shawna click here.