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

 

 

 

How to write a response to a love letter

How to write a response to a love letter (which is more fun if it isn’t addressed to YOU)

Part One: How to Write A Love Letter

How would I write a love letter?

As if I’d tell my teen that. Teens usually know but forget as they grow old and fearful.

I would write it by hand on a yellow legal pad with pencil. I would write it over and over until it was exactly right. Then I’d get a fine piece of stationary and write the perfect letter with perfect script.

There are different kinds of love letters. There are those that say:  Hey, I really like you a lot, let’s get together. There are love letters that are heart breaking and say: I’m lost without you. There are those that say: You are the one, the only one, the absolute only one. And there are those that say: After all these years together I love you still and always and forever.

It is simple really.

  • Don’t sound desperate. That will turn someone off like a box full of baby rattlesnakes (I’ve been wanting to say that for a while).
  • Simple is good.
  • Poetic is always good.
  • The truth is good.
  • Don’t talk about YOU. Talk about the one you love.
  • Talk about US.
  • Abstract is good if it isn’t totally cryptic.
  • Using quotes from others is ok too if you are at a loss for words.
  • Write it and wait.
  • A good love letter is like wine; it needs to sit for a bit. Write it and wait. Then after you’ve waited look it again.

But that isn’t really what this is about…

Part Two: How to write a response to a love letter (which is more fun if it isn’t addressed to YOU)

I’m not the kind of person who spies on my spouse or kids. I don’t go through drawers (but I will go through an attic) or personal papers. I won’t even read your email or go through your phone. It just isn’t good to pry.

BUT that said…there are situations where ALL BETS ARE OFF.

In a little over a week my romantically minded, smart, funny and handsome son Garrett will turn 17.  His best buddy Randy is throwing him a bash and they are all going to dress up. Top hats, tails, ball gowns, the works. But it is all vintage. The girls are at the vintage and thrift stores or raiding their mother’s closets. The boys are looking at what their fathers and grandfathers have plus raiding the thrift stores and vintage shops.

Garrett came downstairs in a beautiful long black coat. It came almost to his knees, beautifully cut. He looked so handsome, so much like his father.

“Dad said I could wear this. What do you think?”

“Wow. Perfect.” I remember long ago when my husband Teddy wore that coat. It was long before we married, in another time and place.

“Look what I found in the pocket.” Garrett held out a pale cream-colored envelope.

Inside was a note written in a beautiful script.

March 20, 1889

My Darling,

The sun shines but brings nothing so warm or bright as my memory of your kiss. Last night under the stars of heaven I thought I’d been taken by an angel. Yet, when I opened my eyes it was you with your arms around me. Your kiss took me away from the common world into the world of Venus and Mars.  My heart quickens at the thought of you. The sound of your voice, the touch of your hand, your lips on mine.

My love, my life, my always.

Meet me tomorrow at the gates of the cathedral.

Until then my love,

Always and forever.

Mary

Oh my.

The three of us looked at each other then for no reason we started to laugh.

“So if you have to respond what would you write?” I asked this of my kids knowing they are always up for a creative challenge.

Thirteen-year-old Clara went first.

Dear Mary,

I’m in love with someone else. She is totally clueless to how I feel. She is the only one I want to hunt with. She makes me laugh. She is beautiful. I want her to be the mother of my children. I won’t have the courage to tell her for another 100 years. Sorry. Go find yourself a nice guy.  I might be good looking but I’m a real pain in the butt. Most exceptionally good-looking guys are like that. We all think we’re “all that”. You don’t want a guy who thinks he is “all that”. Give it a few months and you won’t like me anymore.  I bet you’ll hate me. Besides, I hate to break this to you but if you haven’t figured it out already I’m a Vampire.

You ROCK Mary and I know you’ll find someone better than I can ever be.

Theodore

 

Next Garrett read his letter aloud.

Dear Mary,

Your beauty lights up a room,

Both beauty of your body and soul,

Forgive me for being so forward,

To dare say,

You are dear, so dear to me.

But I must protect your heart,

And speak the truth,

I am a man of the shadows,

And would kill your sunshine,

And your glowing light and spirit.

I would never make you happy.

I will always treasure our time together.

You are beauty and light that I would never be able to hold.

Fly free Mary. Fly free and find love where you deserve it.

In the light,

In the sun,

With someone who can love you

The way you deserve to be loved.

 

Always in my heart,

Theodore

By then both of my children were laughing so hard they had slid off the couch and were on the floor.

So I wrote my response.

Darling Mary,

I would run my hands down your bare shoulders then kiss your beautiful neck. I would slowly undress you and gaze upon your beauty in the moonlight knowing that you are mine alone. I will take what I desire, but leave you with more than you could ever imagine. When you gasp your little sighs of pleasure I will sink my fangs into you and drain your blood from your body. I will fill your soul with dark carnal thoughts that will drive you insane and ruin you for any other man. Then I will leave you begging for more, never to see you again. So Mary, forget me, unless you want a life of ruin and insanity.

T

I folded that one up because there is no way I’d read THAT to my children.

I started over.

My dearest Mary,

I have not been honest with you. I have a wife and three children in America. I respect you too much to make you my mistress or even be your close friend.

I am sorry.

~ Theodore

We heard a loud engine and then the loud stereo. Teddy (Theodore) was home.

We didn’t tell him why we were all smiling but he liked way the jacket fit Garrett.

“Who is Mary?” Garrett asked his father. Clara started to giggle.

I put my arm around Teddy’s waist and handed him the letter.

“Mary? Oh right, she was a girl I met at a party in London. Pretty girl and insanely wealthy. She had a crush on your Uncle Maxwell. What, you didn’t think she wrote that letter to me did you? It was for Max.”

“What happened?” I asked in anticipation of a good story.

“Nothing. I never gave it to him. She didn’t know he was a Vampire or anything other than he was a charming man with an air of danger about him.”

“What happened to her?” 13-year-old Clara had to ask.

Teddy smiled. “Mary met the love of her life a few weeks later and lived a long and happy life.”

Which goes to show that sometimes the best love letters are those that are never sent.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Note to my readers: How to respond to a love letter (which is more fun if it isn’t addressed to YOU) was first published in 2013. To this day it remains the most popular post, year around, on Vampiremaman.com. 

 

 

A Month of Love and Romance

February is such a lovely month for love and romance. Here in the land of sun and calm… I know that isn’t really Vampireish, but that is where I am. So anyway, love and romance…

When I started this blog way back when, my children were in Middle School and High School. Now they’re young adults. They’re in college. They’re working. One is living six hours from home in an apartment with friends. They are also both in love.

This makes my husband (their dad) nervous. He is waiting for the crash and burn of broken hearts to come crashing and burning down.

I’m not waiting for anything. Both of my kids are with nice young Vampires. They could all break up tomorrow, or they could all stay together forever.

So what about Valentine’s Day? Clara and I went to the used record store where she picked out some vinyl records for her beau. She likes jazz. He likes jazz. Great jazz records are cheap. I thought it was romantic, thoughtful and appropriate.

My son on the other hand tends to go overboard. I suggested he skip spending his savings and go for a nice romantic evening on the beach with a nice bottle of Poet’s Blood. He could go to someplace like Target, or even the local thrift store and pick up some fun glasses or goblets. A small token like a pair of cute dangling earrings, beaded gloves from a vintage clothing store, or something small and personal. Bath and Body Works is always a great place to shop for Valentine’s Day.

Young adults, who are mostly on tight budgets, shouldn’t be expected to fork out large amount of money on gifts for a way too commercial day of love. If your kid is with someone who DOES expect your young adult to spend too much money, time, or emotional energy them, it is time to have a talk. At that point it isn’t romance. It is a clear sign of being with the wrong person.

Love doesn’t need flash. Love doesn’t need billboards. Love doesn’t need constant attention. The instant gratification monster can drain the fun and romance out of any relationship. Being too needy or demanding is the kiss of death for romance.

I guess this is why I love this song by Saint Motel:

Yes, the video is sort of silly but listen to the words. I love this band. If you ever get to see them live DO IT.

So February is here. I’ll be publishing new posts about love and romance, as well as old favorites.

So hug, kiss, write love letters, dance, sing, and be smart. No broken hearts this month.

And if you’re single… you’re off the hook.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

true love with heart small

And why yes, you can get this true love photo on a shirt. Go to my swag page. Click Here.

Vampire Diary: Love Bites, Love Bleeds – A Victorian Christmas.

Dear Diary,

I missed the entire 18th, 19th and 20th centuries.

I missed the Industrial Revolution. I missed the American Revolution. I missed the advent of electricity, flight, recorded sound, the telegraph, moving pictures, smooth jazz, photography, the Wild West, Art Deco, and most of all I missed the Victorian era. Yes, it seems that there was a period in which a great small sour looking Queen named Victoria ruled the world, told people not to make love, and then had many children herself. I do not understand that logic, but rulers are not often driven by logic.

Before I came into this modern world I now call home, I was living in a period now which is now called Baroque. I thought we would never change. I could not have been better. I loved the clothing. I loved the music. Life was good, especially if one was a Vampire. My world was by candle light in the dark, under skies of millions of stars.

And that fated evening, my last evening in my own time, I went out for the night, my hair curled and flowing around my shoulders and down my back, a silk and wool coat hung perfectly, with wide sleeves, and lace, and … then, then it went black with a pointed stake that grazed my heart, and then… then I was locked away for three hundred years.

It was 1714 when I was stabbed in the heart and locked away. And when I was rescued centuries later by my dear friends I found myself in a strange horrifying science fiction landscape that I could have never imagined in my wildest Vampire nightmares.

All things had changed.

The night my love Gillian and friend Randolpho broke into the crypt and rescued me is still a dark cloud in my mind.

I remember Randolpho’s voice, “Oh my God his hair is full of bugs. Rats have eaten his clothes.”

I awoke on an airplane, flying high in the sky to a country which did not exist in my world before. I was wearing a black tee-shirt, a button down charcoal colored Oxford shirt, and blue jeans. My hair was now to my shirt collar. It is what everyone wears they told me. And so it was. I was also extremely clean. Everyone is clean now. That is one thing that makes life as a Vampire easier in this modern world.

Tonight I was driving in my car and turned on the radio. At the touch of a finger I can hear any music of any era, even Baroque music. A song came on. I listened in wonder.

Love bites, love bleeds
It’s bringin’ me to my knees
Love lives, love dies
It’s no surprise
Love begs, love pleads
It’s what I need

It was by a band called “Def Leppard.” Why they call themselves after cats who cannot hear I do not know. The song reminded me of when my wife left, and it made me think of those years alone in the crypt.  Yes, love bites. It bleeds. I wonder if that song was written by a Vampire. It must have been. I bite. I bleed. I am not yet at my knees.

It is Yule time. I must not be so melancholy.

My two cats who can hear all too well crawled into my lap and started to purr. There is even comfort in this world for a sad Vampire.

~ Vlad

 

Dear Diary,

I missed the 19th Century. I missed the waltz. I missed the waltz when it was new. I missed that first time when one could dance close in a ballroom, a hand on a woman’s waist, close and touching. So close I could put my lips on her neck and nobody would notice as I scraped my fangs across her neck.

Gillian has told me that we have been invited to three Victorian themed events.

“What do you mean?” I asked her.

“We dress up in Victorian clothing and go back in history,” she tells me.

“I was never there,” I tell her. “And how do you expect us to go back into history. If I want back it would be to the eighteenth century and I would…”

“Stop it Vlad,” she said almost growling at me. She almost growled like an angry animal. “We do it for the fun. It is all pretend. We do it because it is Christmas.”

“What does wearing those ridiculous top hats and huge skirted dresses, and following the prudish morals of a pinched nosed British queen have to do with Christmas? Tell me.”

She went to the shelf and grabbed a book and threw it at me. “Read this Vlad,” she demanded.

Christmascarolfacsimile1843_--_Cover-1

I poured myself a goblet of mulled blood and read the damn book by a man called Charles Dickens.

The book reminded me of one night four hundred years ago.

It had been a night of violence and blood. Back in my castle, in my private chambers I stripped off my clothing and washed the blood off of my hands, and out of my hair. My hair which was down to the middle of my back at that time like a river of honey gold. I could still feel their fire in my eyes, and anger in my soul.

The window blew open, and in flew an apparition, a large ghostly man with no head. He carried what seemed to be a black velvet bag. He stood silent in front of me.

“Who are you and what are you doing here?” I asked the ghostly figure.

He slowly opened the bag and pulled out a head. Then he put the head in the crook of his arm turning the face towards me. It was Fabio, the former leader of the Vampires who lived to the south of my lands. We had gone into battle together. We had plotted against our enemies together. We had loved women together. We drank blood together, and bonded as an impenetrable force of Vampire power.

“Fabio, my brother, what brings you here on this Yule night?”

“Silence,” he cried in a voice like a banshee. “I was foolish and lost my head. I lusted after blood, and power, and never gave a thought to anything except my own desires.”

“I am sorry to hear that Fabio,” I said.

“Silence Vald, King of Vampires, Ruler of the People of the Night. You must listen to me,” he said, then he began to howl like the hounds of Hell.

“Stop,” I yelled at him.

“All of the Vampires in the world believe Vampire Hunters killed me, but YOU Vlad cut off my head and threw it in the moat of your castle.”

“You slept with my wife, and then you killed my dog. What was I supposed to do?” I said.

“It was her idea,” said Fabio.

“What about my dog Fabio? My wolfhound Princess?” I responded. “Was it her idea too?”

He waved his head in front of my face. “You, Vlad are a good Vampire, but you are a bad man.” he said, “Today you will be visited by your past, your present, and your future.”

“No, Fabio,” I told him. “As usual you make no sense at all. You are insane. The sun will be up in an hour and I will sleep. Be gone and stay away from my wife, and my dogs.”

He screamed at me and flew out the window. I slammed the window closed, drew the curtains, locked the door, then crawled into my bed and fell into a deep Vampire sleep.

I had a dream. It was a dream of Yule Time when I was a young Vampire. My sister and I were traveling home along the mountain roads. We stopped at a village. Village people danced around a fire while we listen to the screams of those who were tied to poles and burning in the center.

My sister grabbed my arm and asked, “Why Vlad, why do they do such horrible things to their own kind.”

“Why are you burning these people?” I asked a man standing next to us.

“The priest said they were evil so they must burn.”

“Were they evil?” I asked.

“I never really thought about it,” said the man. “They said women should be treated equally as men. They said that people should question what the priest says.”

My sister and I went to the Priest. We burned his hands off, then cut off his feet. We drained his body of blood.

My sister said, “I need to go home but father does not want to see you.”

Then my dream vanished like smoke in a dark moonless night.

I was awakened by the sweet voice of a woman, with her hand on my bare chest. It was Yule of present time.

“Vlad,” she whispered. “Wake up.”

It was my wife, the beautiful Aloisia. I put my arms around her and pulled her into a kiss. She looked into my eye and locked them on mine.

“Vlad, I am leaving you. I am done with you.”

“Aloisia, why?”

“I am sick of you,” she said. I can not even write down what else she said to me that night. Then she was gone. I never saw her again. She is out there somewhere but I know not where that somewhere is.

I fell back asleep after several hours. At around 2:30 p.m. a pale white man in a silver robe came into the room. He opened the curtains and nearly blinded me with the light.

“Who are you?” I said, sitting up and showing him my fangs.

He just pointed at me and laughed. I could not see his face due to a large hat and a mask like the beak of a ghostly white bird.

“Special Delivery,” he hissed as he dropped an envelope on my bed. Then he closed the curtains and vanished into thin air. Another ghost maybe or some sort of demon. I hate ghosts.

I cracked the unfamiliar seal on the envelope and found a book with blank pages. What did that mean? A blank book? Was it magic? Was it printed with invisible ink? Was it meant to be a threat.

It was a diary.

My life changed after that night. I did not send a turkey to any family or meet a small limping boy, but my life as a Vampire did change forever.

I was no Scrooge but I too have strange things happen to me when I sleep.

~ Vlad

 

Dear Diary,

My lover Gillian informed me AGAIN that we must dress up and pretend to be Victorians. I asked her if that is what they call Cosplay with much sarcasm in my voice. Gillian told me not to be stupid, whereas a heated argument ensued.

~ Vlad

 

Dear Diary,

This evening I was out for a walk and saw my neighbor Helen, a glorious woman of seventy.

I remember a time when most people did not live to be seventy, especially woman. Those who lived for a long time were either those with great luck, or vampires.

Helen, of the beautiful face, and flowing gray hair, was out with her dog, a large yellowish best. At one time she had been a dancer. She is still a dancer.

“Helen teach me how to dance the waltz,” I said to her.

And so in the street, under the light of the waning moon, and multicolored Christmas lights she trained me in the waltz.

What a joy it was.

She sang the music as I held her with one hand in her hand, and the other hand on her waist. I could smell her blood in her veins, along with the slight scent of roses and gardenia in her hair. I was exhilarated.

When we were done she laughed and said, “Vlad, you did great. You are so cute.”

This cute I do not understand, but I do now understand the waltz.

~ Vlad

 

top-hat-fred-astaire-ginger-rogers-1935_u-L-Q12PC1A0

Dear Diary,

I am exhilarated. Tonight I waltzed with Gillian all night long at a “Dickens Party.” I will admit I enjoyed the clothing, though Gillian and Randolpho said I cannot wear it all of the time.

All of the women there called Randolpho “Randy.” I asked if he was randy and he just smiled and winked. What do they say about naughty or nice? Depending on who is asking I suppose Randolpho could be both.

After the party, alone in our room, I helped Gillian unlace her corset. That Dear Diary is my favorite part of Victorian clothing. Gillian calls it gift wrap. It is a wonderful gift indeed.

Unlike the cowboys in the Wild West (I have seen movies and read about that time in history which I missed) I did not leave my hat or my boots on.

And, what else do they say? Yes. And to all a good night.

~ Vlad

 

Kissed by a Vampire

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Own Vampire Maman

She walked into the crowded bar as if she owned the place. I waved. She flashed me a dazzling smile and walked my way.

Black jeans, a dusty plum-colored coat over a white dress shirt she borrowed from her man, buttons open to give a hint of a promise of something soft and lace covered, the most darling gray boots with buckles and heels, a gray and blue scarf, and a black messenger bag with a tiny gold bat pin attached to it. Her nails are covered in glossy gray varnish as perfect as perfect can be, set off  a perfect dark fire opal on her right hand. Loose dark brown chestnut colored ringlets cascading down her back. Perfect smoky eyes as gray as a winter sky shot with blue and a slight hint of pink lip-gloss on cupid kissed lips. She could be somewhere between 25 and 35 but it doesn’t matter. She is perfect. Every male head in the place turns. My mom just walked into the room.

She walked to the bar where I sat nursing a gin and tonic. She didn’t need to pull up a stool – four were immediately offered to her. She grabbed one a few places down and sat it next to me. Her arm went around my waist and squeezed. All was right in the world. Mom was here.

She still calls me her baby. I still call her my Maman.

She picks something off of my sweater. She liked my hair. My nail color made my hands look dirty. Was Teddy home. Was Clara at class tonight? I looked tired. Was I getting enough sleep? Was I spending all my time catering to my children? Was I working on my novels? Was I planning my winter and spring gardens?

My dad with at my brother Aaron’s house. It was a big girl night out.

She scanned the room and said, “we won’t go out hungry tonight.”

No we wouldn’t.

I put my hands in my lap, then decided to ignore her comment about my nail color. I liked the color even though I doubt if I’d wear it again.

We spoke quietly, our heads together. A man asked if we were sisters. My mom said we were.

He was in his early thirties. Blonde hair, green eyes, button down shirt. Cute bordering on handsome. My mom is 388 years old.

She whispered something in his ear and put her hand on his shoulder. He smiled. He was hers for the night if she wanted him. That isn’t what she said to him, but she can make anyone feel good. She said there was a girl in the bar who liked him, the pretty girl who is never the prettiest in the room and never the one who gets picked first. The girl was smart and funny and sexy and a little different. He’d pick her tonight and in a few months time he’d pick her forever. My maman has a talent for facilitating happily ever after events. How Vampires got the bad rap I’ll never know (actually I do but that’s another blog post) but we’re quite the romantics and lovers.

Her wedding ring was on a cord around her neck, hidden under her shirt. It was funny considering we spent most of the evening talking about my dad. She said she wanted to spend the week with my daughter.

She said she’d planted the pansies I’d given her.  Hers were doing great but mine were still smallish. I told her that was because she loved her plants more than mine. She laughed.  She had some bulbs in the car for me. I told her that I’d give them lots of love.

We were like any other mother and daughter meeting in the evening. Except we were out for blood. But that’s ok with us.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Short Story Sunday: Heal Thyself (an Austin and Elizabeth Story)

It wasn’t just a cold. It was a body full of aches, gallons of snot, a cough, sneezing, and a sore throat, and an urge to text everyone he knew and tell them that he was never coming back.

Austin heard a tap on the door, then he knew someone was inside.

“Hey, sweetie. I brought you some soup, and tea,” a female voice said at the bottom of the stairs.

Austin couldn’t bring himself out of bed. “Elizabeth. Come upstairs.”

She put the soup in the kitchen and went up to see Austin. He’d all but missed Thanksgiving. It was Sunday afternoon. School started Monday morning.

He’d missed her. They’d hardly been seeing each other. He was teaching, working on his house renovations, and working on the side as a Vampire Hunter.

She had her own business and busy schedule, and she was a Vampire.

It worked. Sort of. He trusted her, most of the time. She didn’t trust him, or at least he didn’t think so. But they were trying.

When Elizabeth arrived in Austin’s bedroom she sat next to him and put a cool hand on his head.

“That feels great,” he whispered.

She kissed his forehead, slipped off her clothes, and crawled into bed with him. He fell asleep wrapped in a warm blanket and a cool Vampire.

Several hours later he woke up feeling  great. Elizabeth lay next to him, as quiet as death.

The only thing that hurt was his neck. He saw blood on the pillow. Just a drop but it was enough to know what had happened. She drank his blood. She actually drank her blood. Damn her. 

Austin put his hand on Elizabeth’s shoulder. “Wake up. Now.”

She opened her eyes and smiled. “Do you feel better?”

“You bit me. You drank my blood.”

“Yes, I did drink your blood. I did not ask for permission. I just did it. Austin I am a Vampire, and sometimes I do things like that. There is no excuse but I had to.”

“What about Vampire guys? Do you drink their blood?”

“No. I don’t make it a habit. And I’m not seeing any Vampire guys. Just you.”

“So just…”

“You don’t get it do you.”

“No, I don’t”

“You need to get your blood tested. I think it is called a PSA test. It is for prostate cancer. Oh yeah, and please, when you get a chance thank me for taking your nasty cold from you. I felt like shit, death warmed over shit, for about two hours while you slept. I don’t know why you didn’t get a flu shot. I’m not doing this for the flu.”

“PSA test. You can tell if someone has cancer?”

“Sure, sometimes.”

“Do I have cancer?”

“It isn’t like your levels are extra high, but you’re almost forty and there might be something there. You can’t put it off Austin. If you have it the early treatment is uncomfortable but waiting for it to grow and metastasize is horrible. It will be a slow and extremely painful death, and horrible for everyone you love to see you go through it. A few radioactive pellets put in the right place and you’re good to go. And Mr. Happy will stay happy. Done deal.”

“How?”

“What?”

“How did you take on my flu? How do you know about my PSA levels?”

“I don’t know. It’s just something I do.”

“If you can heal like that then why aren’t you working in a hospital. Why isn’t every Vampire working in a hospital or medical research?”

“We don’t all heal like that, or at least not all the time. It takes a lot out of us.”

“Can all of you do that?”

“I guess, in varying degrees. I don’t know. Some of us, are better at it, especially if it is someone we care about, or love.”

“But…”

“Stop. You could tell I was a Vampire. You can see ghosts. Not every can do that, or wants to. I can heal and see potential threats. Not everyone can or wants to do that.”

“Elizabeth, do you realize…”

“Yes, I do. Enough.” She put a finger to his lips. “Enough.”

Later that day, after she’d left, Austin could only feel how wrong it was, and how right. No matter what he was grateful to have a clear nose, and a clear head. Well, maybe a clear head. And more than that, maybe a clear heart as well.

~ end

For the entire Austin and Elizabeth Series (The Hunter) CLICK here. Start from the beginning. This is the 20th story in the series.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman