Short Story Sunday: Witching

Sophia hated October. The closer Halloween came the more all of the wanna-be witches came out of the woodwork like so many Stevie Nicks fans dancing around in their long flowing black frocks. It made Sophia cringe.

Being a real witch wasn’t always easy these days, especially with all of the misinformation, myths, and stereotypes.

“Thinking about Stevie Nicks again?”

Sophia looked over at her cat. “Unfortunately yes.”

“I know how her music gives you headaches dear. Try not to think about it, or her witchy wanna-be fans,” said Virgil the cat.

“Thanks Virg. It isn’t just the stupid music connection and the flowing black dresses. It is the way they try to do spells and act like we’re all in some goddess infused mania. I’m an individual damn it. I’m not a cliché. I can do magic. I AM magic.”

“They’re just having fun,” said Virgil the cat. “Deep breath Sophia, deep breath.”

That cat licked his forearm rubbed his face then continued. “Just think of cats this time of the year. Every other girl is trying to be a sexy kitty with silly cat ears and tails. And those poor zombies. They’ve got a serious medical condition and people are making fun of them by dressing up in rags and staggering around like drunks. Don’t even get me started on the bull shit vampires have to deal with. The fake blood is enough to make them want to go on a feeding frenzy just to make it stop.”

Sophia rubbed Virgil under his neck. “Thanks sweetie. I know. I know. I shouldn’t be so sensitive. It is all just for fun. It still bugs me.”

“On a good note,” said Virgil, “people are going to dress up as something really scary.”

“What is that?” Sophia couldn’t imagine what the cat would say now.

“Politicians. Big elections coming up right after Halloween.”

Sophia felt a cold chill that gave her the shivers right down to her bones. “You have a point there Virg. Awwww man, I can deal with witches. I don’t even want to imagine those political ghouls.”

Virgil rubbed his head against Sophia’s arm.

“It isn’t easy being different baby,” said Virgil. “But you’re doing great. It’s Halloween. We’ll have fun tonight.”

Sophia poured a big bag of candy into the pumpkin shaped bowl. The neighborhood streets would be full of tiny monsters, princesses, kitties, and witches. That was a good thing. She’d make sure to send them all home with a safety spell and good dreams of a safe world and a future where they could make a difference for good.

~ end

Tangled Tales

Short Story: The Politician

1906

Jayne sat as quietly and coldly as can be on the steps of the opera house. In her hand was the collar of a man’s shirt along with his tie. Setting down her souvenirs she arranged the skirts of her ball gown to hide the barely visible blood splatters. That was the last time she’d wear pale pink to an evening event.

A dark haired man dressed in formal wear sat next to her. “Beautiful dress my dear.”

Jayne smiled at her friend Max. “Worth, with blood stains.”

He glanced at her skirt. “I know someone who can get those stains out for you. Looks like silk.”

“I can’t remember the last time I got blood stains on my clothes. ”

He smiled. “It happens to the best of us.” Brushing a strand of hair out of her face he kissed her cold cheek.

“Max, my dear, it was an akward seduction, at least for me. He was overjoyed to lend me his neck. He wasn’t a good man, despite public opinion, so I feel as if I have done my public duty for the week. What is on your agenda for the evening?”

“I thought we’d find a good bottle of whiskey and get the taste of bad blood out of our mouths. I know you could use it, and heaven knows I could.”

 

2016

Jayne sat as quietly and coldly as can be on the steps of the opera house.

She sat on her purse so she wouldn’t get dirt on her cream colored evening gown. In her hand were a pair of gold and diamond cufflinks, souvenirs from the night. She knew they wouldn’t be missed. He’d told her they were gifts from a Saudi prince. Facts like that never impressed Jayne.

Jayne’s plans for the evening hadn’t included the man with the cufflinks. She pondered what she’d do with them.

A dark haired man dressed in formal wear sat next to her. “Beautiful dress my dear.”

Jayne smiled at her friend Max. “Thank you Max.” She smoothed the skirts. “Look no blood stains.” Then she took Max’s hand and pressed the cufflinks into his palm and closed his fingers around them. “Get rid of these for me will you.”

Max smiled and kissed her cold cheek. “Who is he? Or who was he? Which is it.”

An ambulance and several police cars came to the curb.

“He followed me into a private room. I’d gone in to call you, but didn’t get the chance. I asked him what he wanted. He pushed me against a wall with his body and whispered, his lips on my ear. He said he wanted immortality. I knew the man was a misogynistic asshole, and a total sociopath, but I was surprised. Then he said he knew about us. He said he’d make me powerful, in so many ways. He even suggested he’d be my lover for the ages. I almost threw up a little in my mouth when he said that.”

Max laughed, and Jayne continued her story.

“I told him sure, I’d help him gain immortality. I loosened his tie, unbuttoned his shirt and had maybe a wine glass full of blood at the most. A small glass. He hadn’t been drinking and the only drugs I could detect were the usual high blood pressure drugs and traces of Viagra. I realized that I could have easily have sucked out his small deformed soul, but he’d already sold it to you-know-who. I mean, Max, I knew the guy was an asshole and thought he ruled the world but I didn’t think he’d go so far… Then again, he never knew the true powers of Vampires now did he? I put my hand on his heart and uttered the words and stopped it.”

“You didn’t,” said Max.

“I did,” said Jayne. “I wanted to rip his heart out. Man that would have been fun, but I’m wearing white. Then his wife came in. I whispered to her that he was dead. And she looked at me with a wave of relief over her pretty face. I told her I thought he’d had a heart attack so I’d loosened his tie. She said something about him resting in Hell. I asked her if she’d be alright. She said she’d never been better. The first thing she’d do was to take her children out of boarding school and move someplace where they could live a normal life. Then she said she was going to write a tell all book and expose him for the monster he was. I was rather shocked, and you know I’ve heard a lot in my time.”

Max put his hand on Jayne’s arm and they looked at a gurney being brought out, the body on it covered. The widow followed with red eyes, and tears running down her face. Then she looked at Jayne and Max, with a wink and a smile, then back to tears.

“So Max, what are your plans for the rest of the night?”

“I thought we’d find a good bottle of whiskey and get the taste of bad blood out of our mouths. I know you could use it, and heaven knows I could.”

 

~ End

 

 

 

 

We’re more like you than they are.

As Vampires we can genuinely say we are like you, or that we were once like you. We live in your neighborhoods. Our kids go to school with yours. We see you late at night at the liquor store. We say hello to you as we walk our dogs. You don’t know we’re Vampires, but we’re there, cold and comforting, as your neighbors and friends.

I bring this up because all over the country, both locally and nationally, humans are running for various political offices. On every level it is a regular haunted house, mixed with the most disturbing of freak shows. Where is Peter Cushing? We need him to come in as Van Helsing and save the day. OK maybe that was a bad example, considering I’m talking about why you are more like me (a Vampire), than say, the creatures running for President (and other offices.)

Unlike most people you know these people running for office speak in shouting voices. They spew insults. They drone on like backwoods preachers with rattle snakes and the fear of God in their souls. But even the most in touch politician talks in that weird way. I don’t get it. Ted Talk speakers don’t yell that way. When you go to hear your favorite author, college professor, or even business leaders talk – they don’t speak that way.

Some among those running for office, and their families have faces like slick death masks frozen with Botox and fillers. Kristen Stewart showed more expression in Twilight than these odd-looking beings who fear their faces will crack if they laugh or have a genuine smile. At least the actress who played Bella (who loved the creepy sparkly Vampire) can smile a like a normal human.

“I might be undead,” said my friend Jayne, “but at least I don’t look embalmed.”

From local to national politics I’d like to see them all wear masks at their debates like the Twilight Zone episode. At the end of the debate they all remove their masks and we’ll see who keeps his own face and who resembles the horrific mask he hides behind.

Those who run for office and their spouses beg for privacy, but they shout “look at me, look at me.” Like little children they get angry when you miss one of their tricks, and fail to clap and shower them with excited praise.

Some of them are like the half-grown boy who yells, “watch this” as he jumps off the cliff and breaks his neck. It amazes me that some of them fail to think about the fact that they are in the public eye, then they give us the best deer-in-the-headlights look when they’re caught behaving badly.

How often than not are they taking money that isn’t theirs to take. How often is one cheating on a spouse, or taking advantage of a young man or woman – all the while talking loudly of high morals, God, and family values.

There are so many ways they aren’t like real people. They’re weird and creepy in ways even Vampires can’t imagine.

They don’t drive. Seriously, a lot of them never drive.

They’re obsessed with the sex lives of others.

They’re obsessed with where people pee.

They’re obsessed with a brand of religion that most people don’t relate to.

None of them run down to Safeway late at night because they forgot to pick up cat food. Nor do they get excited about new lip gloss from Target with their teens. Do they talk with their teens? Do they really?

Their kids don’t drive the beat up old family car that mom finally traded in for something nice.

They can’t just chill on the deck with a glass of wine and a few good friends, and not talk about work or politics.

They don’t drag their garbage cans out to the street once a week, and stop to talk to their neighbors about why the dog is wearing a cone of shame.

The don’t clean out their own gutters when it rains, or shovel their own snow, or scrape ice off of those cars they don’t drive on cold mornings.

They don’t stay up late at night worrying about their adult kids who can’t find jobs, and their elderly parents who can’t take care of themselves anymore.

They don’t know how we live.

They are so far removed from reality that…well, you have more in common with a Vampire. At least we remember what it was like to be real, and for the most part we live more like you, more genuine and real, than they do.

Yes, so many politicians went to private schools and are insanely wealthy, but this isn’t about money. Bill Gates is richer than all of them but he knows how you live. If you had a beer with him he would seem like a real guy (I’m going to assume, I’ve seen him speak a couple of times.) But you know where I’m going with this. The cult of personality has taken over the wisdom of true leaders. Special interests have taken over everything. Huge egos enter the room like dinosaurs who are loud, but not of our time. They speak of a past that doesn’t exist. Even dinosaurs knew better, even with their small reptilian brains.

By the way, did I mention that Zombies are afraid of them?

At lease we (Vampire) know what we are. At least we’re honest about it.

A Vampire will never tell you to be afraid, then point the finger to someone who is not like you.

A Vampire will never betray you.

A Vampire will always appreciate the blood they take, and contrary to popular belief, most Vampires will never drain every drop of blood from your body. Find a politician who will want to leave you a drop of blood.

And Vampires care. You don’t have to vote for us to get our love. We love you just as your are. Really, we do.

We’re more like you than they are.

 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

 

 

 

Go Throw Your Fit Somewhere Else

The other day I was out in public with a friend. I was wearing heels, something I haven’t done for a while, and I tripped down a couple of steps, and fell. Yes, Vampires do fall occasionally just like everyone else. I also cut my left hand. Towels were brought out and everyone commented first on the lack of blood for such a deep cut. Then they commented on the fact that I was so calm.

As a child I didn’t cry much. Maybe to get my elder brother’s off of my back, or just away from me. Screaming also did the trick. I could scream like no other. But the screaming was reserved only for my brothers, and only when absolutely necessary. None of us, even the more sensitive of my siblings (they know who they are) threw fits. We’d argue, but nobody ever threw a tantrum. Nobody ever cried in public or threw fits.

I remember how the three of us younger children, my brothers Aaron, Val, and I would look on in shock and horror at screaming badly behaved children.

I’ve got a baby in the house. Now a Vampire baby, but a canine baby. It made me think of when I had my own babies, toddlers, and small children.

When I was the mother of tiny tots I let them know that screaming, temper tantrums, fits, crying over nothing, and whining was no acceptable. At an early age I sat them down and told them NO. They didn’t like it due to the fact that they were extremely active children and opinionated, even at an early age, but I had to put a stop to all signs of them being brats.

At an early age I also told them that when they were in public, or at the home of a friend, that they had to behave better than they’d behave at home.

The fact that my wee children didn’t eat refried beans at the home of a school friend caused the mother to loudly and quiet angrily accuse my children being picky eaters.   My children didn’t act rude, they just said they didn’t like smashed beans. They were polite about it. And one also made a toilet joke later in the day. All five-year olds make toilet jokes. The mother heard on a baby monitor in her child’s room. Really? It wasn’t like he was dropping F bombs. I said that my children ate sushi and salsa and shellfish. Of course I didn’t tell her that they drank blood and might check for small puncture wounds on her children’s wrists. Oh that would have been too easy. Needless to say we didn’t go over there again.

One day all of the children at the preschool put rocks up their noses. Kids do that. If they were brats they would have been throwing rocks. We don’t throw rocks. OK we don’t put rocks up our noses either, but that is a different kind of conversation.

Like the girl in that slightly boring Cinderella movie said, “Be kind.”

Even as a paranormal being one must be kind. And as part of the group who call ourselves human beings we must always try to be kind. Unfortunately some people forget to teach that to their children.

Putting a rock up one’s nose is stupid behavior – that we laugh about now.

Throwing a rock is bad behavior – that we NEVER laugh about later.

I’m also thinking about babies and all of the political mess now. There is a lot of name calling, rock throwing, and men, who I’m sure were brats who stomped and yelled to get their way, wanting to decide our fate, or the fate of the land in which we live. Oh how I want to slap some of their mothers for not making them behave. That seems to be a pattern all over the world with men (and a few women) who wish to rule.

As we get older there are fewer brats and tantrum throwers, but I still occasionally hear stories from college and high school about children and young adults who haven’t grown out of their bad toddler behavior. Unfortunately there are adults who never grow out of it. They become workplace bullies, politicians, and volunteer moms at school (and Middle School PE Teachers.)

Another thing to teach children is to be proud of what they do, but also be proud of others. Don’t covet what others have or do. There will always be someone who will be smarter, or better looking, or faster, or whatever. Don’t throw a fit. Everyone has their own good qualities that make them unique.

If you know you’re unique and comfortable in your own skin then none of that matters. If you’re happy with yourself and at peace with that, you don’t have the desire to be cruel to others. For those who are cruel, might act as if they are happy, but they aren’t. Cruelty is a form of insecurity that masks itself as self-confidence. The same goes for bigotry.

I frequently get asked questions about my relationships with those who are different than I am. I say relationships, because I do have friends who aren’t like me. That is ok.

As long as we all know how to behave than we can celebrate who we are together.

But if you’re going to scream, cry, stomp, yell, call names, and throw rocks, you aren’t going to be invited to play at my house anymore.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

Vampire mom