Stumped


I thought it would be fun to start off the new year with a fun short story

Stumped

I just got done removing a stump from the back yard and I’m sitting down to a beer and the game when the doorbell rings.

My wife is out shopping and the kids are off with friends. I’m enjoying a little quiet time, just me and the TV.

I answer the door, and there is a guy about my age standing there. He looks like he just came out of GQ Magazine with a jacket, perfect jeans, wearing shoes that costs as much as my house payment. His features are like an Italian Model or a Movie star, that sort of pretty but manly look that women go nuts over. His hair is perfect, thick and silver. He’s wearing a Rolex Submariner. Nice.

He gave me a pretty serious look then said, “I’m sleeping with your wife.”

All right, I wasn’t expecting that one. He then looked me up and down like he was waiting for me to beat the shit out of him. I’m a big guy. Not big and fat, but 6’4″ with a lot of gym time. I used to play football. This guy wasn’t small but I had a good five inches on him and maybe sixty pounds. He looked like a runner or one of those freaking guys who rides a bike in neon colored spandex shorts.

Honestly I should have beat the shit out of him, but that isn’t my style. I just went numb. Heather and I had been together for 20 years, married 17 of those years. We have two kids and a house and friends and … we were one of those perfect couples. You know, we laugh a lot and say the same thing at the same time. That sort of perfect. We hold hands and … I thought things were fine.

Sure she’d put on some weight and had a hard time dealing with her body image. Sure she was over worked with her job and the kids and with me. Sure she was stressed, but who isn’t? But… this handsome, obviously wealthy guy was standing here telling me that MY WIFE was sleeping with him.

He started talking about passion… her passion. Sure we had passion. That morning I’d almost been late for work because of her passion, our passion. But he got into details of fetish stuff he’d do with her and how he made her scream the way I never could. I had no idea she ever wanted any of that stuff. I sure didn’t want it.

Then, as I stood stunned, he talked about her beauty and how smart she was and how I could never ever appreciate her. He said the kids didn’t need her as much anymore, he said she loved him.

I could feel my body start to shake. My world was imploding around me. My throat was tight. I thought I was going to vomit on his expensive shoes. Finally I said something. “Does she know you’re here?”

Mr. GQ glared at me and said, “I’m taking her away to live the life she deserves.”

“Do you love Heather?” I asked. I had to know. I knew the answer but I wanted him to tell me.

His eyes opened as big as dinner plates. “Heather?”

“My wife,” I said.

“Your wife isn’t Allison?”

“Heather.” I grabbed the wedding photo off of the hutch in the front entryway and put it in his face. “Allison lives next door.”

“Uh, sorry. I’m so sorry.”

He didn’t go next door. He just got in his car and drove away. About 20 minutes later the front door opened and I heard a familiar voice, “Honey, I’m home. Did I miss anything?”

“No, just got the stump out and I’m watching the game. Hey, Heather, did I tell you that I think you’re beautiful?”

“Sure. Thanks for getting that stump out. Will you help me with the groceries?”

I follow her outside and she gives me a little smile, the kind she always does when she has something smart to say. “You know, you’re the only man I ever loved.”

I grab a couple of bags. “Good to know. Love you too.”

~ end

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

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


ro·mance

ro·mance

rōˈmans,ˈrōˌmans
noun
1. a feeling of excitement and mystery associated with love.
“in search of romance” love, especially when sentimental or idealized.

2. a quality or feeling of mystery, excitement, and remoteness from everyday life.
“the beauty and romance of the night”

3. a stupid feeling of unrealistic expectations that makes one do stupid and potentially embarrassing things.

 

In 1988, the night before a business trip from Sacramento to Seattle, I had a dream about a man with sandy colored hair and a great smile. Yes, he was the man of my dreams. I called my brother Val and told him about it. We laughed.

The next afternoon, wearing a blue and black dress that hugged my lovely curves and black heels, I boarded my flight and found myself sitting next to the man in my dream. I kid you not. This is not a flight of fancy or fiction.

We talked the entire time. He was a landscape architect. He asked me out. I was there on business so I said no. That was stupid. That night I knew I should have gone. I should have gotten his number. Ships that pass in the night. He could have been the one.

But there was no used being frantic about it. It was just one of those things. I don’t even remember his name. Despite that it was romantic and lovely.

And yes, I called Val and told him all about it. We laughed out loud.

People long for fairy tale romance. Don’t. In the real versions of fairy tales the  mermaid dies. Snow White ends up with chronic health problems due to her poison apple induced coma. Someone always gets eaten by a bear or stabbed in the neck, or turned into a lizard, or just alone in the forest with a broken shoelace and a broken heart. It sucks. The prince isn’t going to take care of you. He has work to do. He expects you to work too. Or he’ll fall back in love with his exceptionally unattractive ex-girlfriend, you know the one he should have married in the first place. Yes, she looks like the back side of a baboon but… that is just the way the marbles drop. You wanted the fantasy. You got the reality.

On the other hand we will always love the fantasy. That is why we read romance novels and love romantic movies. But the reality of romance is even better.

As with love, romance won’t work if it is forced or contrived. It can be planned but it always needs to seem spontaneous.

Romantic moments are everywhere. It is that touch of a hand in the small of the back, then a quiet kiss. It is when he brings flowers home from Costco. It is a glass of wine on the deck watching the stars and bats.

Romance is doing something to express your love in a fun way that makes your heart smile.

Romance is falling in love. Romance is also old people holding hands after 60 years of life together.

My brother Andy, the king of romance, always says, “Romance isn’t about someone one person taking control. It is about two people completely letting go.”

I’ve seen him hold out his hand to a woman, then with a smile, gently pull her into an embrace, then quietly dance. A touch of a hand, a kiss, a quiet song in her ear is all he needs. Then he’ll whisper to her that she is beautiful and put his forehead against hers. And everything else in the universe is shut out and it is only Andy and his lady, together, and nothing else.

My husband is a romantic man. I still get all fluttery when I think of him. So of course the romantic day I have ever spent was with him.

It was Valentine’s Day 2001. We took the day off with no children. Then we went to an old building in Old Sacramento and looked at dinosaurs. Yes, dinosaurs. It was a Russian dinosaur exhibit. We saw amazing creatures, huge creatures, we’d never even imagined. Oh the squat giants with armored plated and massive jaws. We saw spikes and horns and teeth – oh so many teeth. There was of course a T-Rex but there was so much more. We walked the quiet halls, it seemed like nobody else was there, viewing creatures who lived 25 million years or more ago. It was just the two of us, arm in arm, quietly in our own world, nobody else. It was a perfect day. It was the most romantic Valentine’s Day ever.

I write romantic stories (as my regular readers know.) Romance comes easy for me, but not for the reasons you imagine. Yes, it does come naturally, but romance isn’t always natural. With romance there needs to be elements of truth, of comfort, of surprise, of attraction, of desire, and of wit.

Those who are selfish, narcissistic, jealous, controlling, or desiring to be pursued will never find real romance. Their agenda is filled with preconceived notions. Their agenda is self-centered and pretty much heartless.

There are those who pursue romance and seek it out their entire lives, and never find it.

Then there are those who attract romance. Those are the people who keep their hearts and minds open. Those are the people who are open-minded. But more than that, those are the people who know that for romance there must be affection.

Yes ladies, romance has nothing to do with how much money he is going to spend on you.

Romance is not a rescue. It is not a way out. It is not a Rock Hudson/Doris Day Movie. It is not a man sweeping a woman off of her feet and taking control.

Romance is when two people thrill in a touch of a hand, a kiss, a glance, a walk on the beach. It is two people together. Equal.

Women, don’t you know how romantic guys think it is when you make the first move? Yes, you can seduce. Don’t wait for him. This is the 21st Century.

So many women get caught up in rules. There are no rules, except to be nice and honest. After that you can get as crazy romantic as you want. But no games. No games.

I have to get this out of the way, we need to talk about flowers. Guys, please, don’t give her the red roses. First of all it isn’t personal. Second red roses from the florist tend to be void of scent. On day two the rose buds will start to droop. By day three your love will have a dozen ugly drooping red dead heads. Go for other colors or red blossoms mixed with other flowers. Go for something that says something about you or about your lady. The exception is red roses from a real garden, yours or your mom’s or from a friend.

More than half of the visitors on the blog are looking for romance. These aren’t the usual hand full of kind folks who take pity on me and leave nice comments or WordPress bloggers. These are the random love lorn off of the street looking for advice on love and love letters. I hope, yes, honestly hope with all my heart that I have been of some help. Because we all need love and romance.

When you get a chance, if you’re feeling the romance, check out some of my other posts on love letters, romance and relationships. You’ll find that in my short stories as well.

 

xoxox

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

true love with heart small

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Talking about high school and whatever…

Yesterday in Sophomore English.

Emily: Excuse me, what are Ack-Ra-Tees?

Teacher: Do you mean atrocities?

You have to remember that Emily was the one who once, when a teacher was lecturing about The Black Plague in the 1300’s, said, “Excuse me, shouldn’t you be saying The African American Plague.”

And yes, the child was sent out of the classroom. Mind you this is a girl dresses like a slut (but never puts out) and gets straight A’s (according to my 15 year old sources.) I’m sure I’ve posted that one before but it is too good to keep stored away.

It has gotten to the point where everyday I ask my teen, “What did Emily say today?” Really, there is enough to fill a book.

Of course just after I tell everyone she loves her teachers I hear how they are making life miserable with lost assignments, late grade postings and dull confusing assignments. Several students are going to talk to the counselor. No, I will not call the school until the child asks me. I am not one of THOSE parents. I care but at this age the teens are old enough to fight their own battles – and I believe they can win some if they go about it right. I’m here to help and advise, not to go up to school and be known forever as “that pain in the ass mom.” Dad is another matter. Heaven help anyone who gets on his bad side or seems unreasonable.

I told Clara to start taking pictures of her assignments on her cell phone. There will be a date stamp and a time – right before class.

Clara told me about one of her best friends, a kid like us, a kid named Zac. He received a message on one of the social networking sites asking “Are you gay. You sure act gay.” I kid you not.

Zac replied saying, “The only reason you sent this was to try to hurt me. I don’t know your motivation but you failed. I’m not going to answer your question or respond to any of your future messages.”

Good for Zac. It made me angry that kids taunted him. It is an ongoing thing at the school. I’ve posted about it before. You’ve seen the posts. If not I’m going to create a page soon on school posts and you can look them up there.

I recently answered survey questions from the principal of the high school about behavior. There was an open box. I told her all about the sexual harassment. I told her about kids being rude to teachers because of their religion. I told her how bad the behavior can get. I mean, this is high school so behavior is bound to be bad, but within limits, within reason. Yes, you can have reason in high school. Delusional as I am, I do believe that.

Calling kids out because of religion or perceived religious beliefs. Race and religion. General rudeness. Kids making fun of teachers.

This week Clara talked about Jewish kids being the target of nasty remarks. I never understood people persecuting Jews. Tonight Clara was researching it in school and she was surprised how far back it went. WTF? It doesn’t make sense.

Then there are the kids who continue to rag on Mormons all day. Why does that even matter? They make up about a quarter of the schools population. I swear they do. So get over it kids. They’re nice people. You don’t have to join their church and you don’t have to be rude to them either. You don’t need to be rude to anyone who isn’t like you. You know what teens, you will change. Your views will change, especially your views on religion and race and social class and just about everything else. So get over it now. Life will be easier if you do.

On a good note… when I picked Clara up the other day I saw a couple of fashionable teen girls with pretty long hair getting into what I assumed was the family SUV (I’m the only parent at the school who does not drive a mini van or an SUV.) One of the girls has Downs Syndrome. I told my daughter that not so long ago girls like her wouldn’t go to school. They wouldn’t have pretty clothing or pretty hair. They wouldn’t be treated like “normal” kids. They wouldn’t have gone out in public because other people would have said it was shameful. Shameful why? I never got that one.

For all the shit I gripe about there is a lot of good going on with those kids in that school. The Homecoming King was in a wheel chair. Not because he was in a chair but because he was a great kid with a strong will and a “screw adversity” attitude. The school is full of great kids.

Unfortunately there are a lot of jerks, just like in the grown up world.

I asked Garrett (my son who is a freshman in college this year) about it. He said that in college he sees it with sex and relationships. Girls get called sluts for putting out. They get called sluts for not putting out. Boys get labeled as being so dull they might as well be dead because they’re not out banging every girl on campus. Nothing new there. You can make someone a friend with benefits but make it clear you’ll never fall in love with them because of their race, religion, social standing or GPA. Then you string your FWB on forever. But THEN you get all butt hurt because the FWB becomes involved with somebody else. I almost told him that it sounded like his Uncle Max (one of my 4 brothers) but I kept quiet.

In college people tend to keep ugly racial and cultural comments to themselves, or at least Garrett hasn’t heard much. He said he heard all sorts of crap in high school but he brushed it off. His sister, on the other hand, seems to be hearing a lot more of it. Her high school circle isn’t so exclusive (small) as his was.

So now what? Maybe schools should hold the same standards as the workplace. Better yet, maybe parents should talk to their kids about these issues. Maybe parents should raise their sons to be more like Zac. Maybe they should raise their daughters to be more like Zac. Maybe they should put talking with their teens as a number one priority. Not just talking but listening and discussing everything that goes on in their child’s life. Not be shy. Don’t try to protect them. Don’t keep them in a bubble. Adulthood is almost here. They need to be informed and ready. They need to be morally strong. That is where being a parent comes in – so do your job. Be a strong parent.

So why do I even send my kids to school? You know the Vampire/paranormal thing and all. Because we live in a diverse world. We all need to hear the opinions of others. We all need to learn new views. Our kids need to learn things that we don’t know. Our kids need to learn how to deal with difficult people. They need to make life long friends. They need to laugh with those friends. They need to compare notes, solve problems and learn … they need to learn everything they can.

We can’t let our children become backwards and isolated like shadow creepers or end up like Vlad – heartless in a world that needs love (wow I out did myself on that one.)

So we’ll talk more tomorrow, my kids and me. We’ll always talk.

In the meantime, talk to your kids. Listen and learn and teach.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Yes, I dated that guy… and other random thoughts

I’m going off to the woods to howl at the moon (just kidding I’m a Vampire not a Werewolf), hike, take in waterfalls and the wonders of nature and WRITE. Sooooo there will be no Short Story Sunday for a few days or other posts because Internet service will be spotty at best and more than likely nonexistent (like in the old days.)

So in the meantime: LISTEN to THIS (click here)

Look at the pictures below.

Available on Amazon and other fine online booksellers. Just remember to leave the light on. Creepies.

Available on Amazon and other fine online booksellers. Just remember to leave the light on. Creepies.

 

Morning at the Vineyard now available on amazon.com (and tell the folks at NPR and the LA Times that this is the best book you've ever read and that they should interview Juliette Kings NOW. Any other media outlet would work as well. Yes, this is shameless but what do you expect? I'm a Vampire. We have no shame.

Morning at the Vineyard now available on amazon.com (and tell the folks at NPR and the LA Times that this is the best book you’ve ever read and that they should interview Juliette Kings NOW. Any other media outlet would work as well. Yes, this is shameless but what do you expect? I’m a Vampire. We have no shame.

Kissed by a Vampire

Support your local Artistic Roller Skating Club.

Support your local Artistic Roller Skating Club.

this guy

 

Yes, I did date THAT GUY but that is another post on another day. Have a good weekend everyone.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Real Life Mystery: Looking for Answers. Where is Rob Harrington?

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Today I’m posting something from a friend.
Jamee Lynn Harrington lost her father. He vanished 10 years ago. Her family is trying to find out what happened. Her sister Candi Pontinen has set up a site to help hire someone to help.

Please read and follow the link.

 

From Jamee:

He’s my Father- everyone says they know what happened, but they don’t know what happened, I’m sure a private investigator could find answers if we could hire one. I’d appreciate any help available. I love this man too pieces, and closure for everyone would be really nice for this man who worked in inporting and exporting, and knows people all over the world.

 

From The Toronto Sun:

Five years ago, his four children held a memorial service for Rob Harrington after a Toronto homicide detective told them he was dead.
But now the same police service insists it has no evidence that Harrington was murdered and they still consider him a missing person. Leaving them more confused than ever.
It’s been nine years since their father simply vanished from their lives.
Nine years of missed birthdays and holidays, nine years of unanswered questions and perplexing searches. After all this time, Cadi Harrington just wants to know what happened to her dad, even if it means learning the worst.
“We just want to know one way or the other, a solid concrete answer just so I can stop looking at people on the street and thinking that they’re him,” explains his 29-year-old daughter.
So she is appealing to her father directly through the Toronto Sun, hoping that he might see this and get in touch. Because deep down, she still believes that he must be alive.
“I’ve got three kids; he’s a grandpa,” says the Ajax mom. “They want to know who he is, they want him in their lives. We don’t care that it’s been so long, we just want to pick up the pieces and be a family again.”
She quickly admits her father was a shady character associated with Russian gangsters and may have met with foul play or been forced to go into hiding. Divorced from their mom, the 47-year-old lived in a basement apartment on Vaughan Rd., worked in “import/export” and spoke often of offshore accounts.
But he was still her dad.
She last spoke to him when he called to wish her happy birthday on Aug. 29, 2004. Her brother was in contact with him a few days later to arrange his tuition instalments for university in Mississippi.
Her sister was scheduled to meet up with him in Toronto on Sept. 4. But Harrington never showed — and no one has heard from him since.
Toronto Police received a report from his neighbour that his apartment window had been smashed, his beloved dog was barking madly and Harrington was nowhere to be found. When she learned from detectives at 13 Division that her father had been reported missing, his daughter began contacting all his friends and colleagues. They were as mystified as she was.
She rang the police station every day for a year, hoping for news. She says her calls were never returned. In May 2012, while speaking to a chatty constable on the desk, she learned that her dad had actually been located in January 2005 but he didn’t want his family notified.
That was diametrically opposed to what they were told in 2008.

 

Click here for more information including a the funding site and the complete article from The Toronto Sun.