“I want you so bad my fangs hurt.”
I whipped around feeling cold breath on my neck. Smiling behind me was non other than my old boyfriend Pleasant Van Dousen. Yes, HE is the one I made that meme about. Yes, this one. Even after all these years, more unpleasant memories to want to remember, and the fact that we’re both happily and faithfully married, I still got a little bit of a thrill out of it.
Anyway, this isn’t about this. It is about history, and setting the record straight. It is about reunions. It is about sharing experiences. It is about the Knights of the Round Table before you learned it all from Monty Python. It is about old people and how you need to get their stories down and treasure their stories because when they’re gone so is any trace of the history they take with them.
Over the past four months I’ve been in the throes of planning a reunion for the Vampires of my youth (1870’s.) My old friend Amelia, a charming and stylish Vampire now living in Las Vegas, came up and stayed with me for the week. While she was here we stopped by to see the Ancient Vampires Eleora and Tellias.
Apparently we were not the only ones. Pleasant also stopped by. Amelia was even nice to him, something which surprised the jeebers out of me. Stranger things have happened.
We sat on the back porch of the large old Victorian farm house chatting over glasses of iced Poet’s Blood with sprigs of mint and sweet basil. Our hosts Tellias and Eleora are over 2,000 years old but they look like they are nineteen or twenty years old. Tellias wore an old Bob Seager tour shirt from the 1980’s over black tuxedo pants. Eleora was in an old faded sundress made of a print with monkeys and tropical flowers on hit. She’d pinned the straps with safety pins. They both wore yellow flip flops.
We were just chatting about people we used to know, or still know, or want to know better, or want to be rid of. Then Pleasant said, “Tellias, Eleora, I heard recently that you two were close with Merlin, the Wizard in the Court of King Arthur.”
Tellias leaned back in his chair and smiled a sly Vampire smile. “The thing is Pleasant, Merlin wasn’t much of a Wizard. In fact he wasn’t a Wizard at all.”
Pleasant looked surprised, as did the rest of us. “Was he a Vampire, like us?”
“Heaven’s no,” said Tellias. “Merlin was a time traveler. Or maybe still is. He still pops in occasionally, though it has been about sixty years.”
“Sixty five,” said Eleora. “Sixty five long years without a word. No word at all. Not a one.”
“But how…” started Amelia.
Tellias leaned forward and gave all of us a long look. “Technology. He bowled them over with simple technology. You’d be amazed at what folks in the dark ages thought of a man with a simple hand held flash light full of D batteries. Or music coming from a smart phone stuck in a tree.”
“But what about Excalibur?” asked Pleasant. “How did Arthur get the sword out of the stone? Didn’t Merlin have something to do with that?”
“A few sprays of WD40. It was a no brainer,” said Tellias. “You know what else?”
“Pray tell Tellias,” said Pleasant.
“He had a taser, and a laser pointer, and a Zippo lighter. The Knights of the Round Table went nuts. They had no idea they were being fooled by a handsome sleight of hand artist with a seductive voice and skills that would have made Houdini proud.”
“He fooled them with all kinds of things.” said Eleora.
“All kinds of things,” said Tellias.
“A bag full of things we take for granted,” said Eleora.
“Things we take for granted,” said Tellias, “but seemed positively magical in the Dark Ages.”
“Positively magic,” said Eleora.
“But,” said Pleasant, “what about the Lady of the Lake?”
“That was me,” said Eleora with a coquettish grin.
“You know how she loves to swim,” said Tellias. “Can’t keep my gal out of the water. She love to swim.”
“I love it,” said Eleora.
“What about the rest of the Camelot group?” I asked.
“Arthur was a good King, but his personal life was out of control. He was swayed too much on his emotions. He trusted everyone,” said Tellias.
“He was sexy as hell. I have no idea why Guinevere cheated on him so much,” said Eleora.
“She was in an arranged marriage my dear,” said Tellias. “Remember it wasn’t love at first night as it was with us Eleora.”
“Love at first sight. Every single night with you Tellias is love at first sight,” said Eleora.
Tellias blew her a kiss from across the room and continued, “Guinevere didn’t go to a convent either after her affair with Lancelot.”
“Where’d she go?” Asked Pleasant.
Tellias shrugged his shoulders. “She hooked up with the pilot of the time machine, a guy named Frank. They’re both still out there. Somewhere. I don’t know. I saw them at one of Scott and Zelda’s parties back in the 20’s. Don’t know where they went from there.”
Pleasant looked surprised. “What about Lancelot?”
“Sir Lancelot du Lac, now he was a piece of work. He was worse than Casanova. Couldn’t keep it in his tights. It wasn’t just the queen. He’d see a pretty face, or any half way decent face that was female and he’d go nuts. It didn’t matter if she was married or not,” said Tellias.
“Once Lancelot came up behind me and guess what he said to me,” said Eleora.
“What did he say?” said Pleasant.
“He said I want you so bad my fangs hurt. And that was when he was with Gwen. Yes, he was a Vampire. Tellias and I turned him.”
I was shocked. “You two never told me that. Where is he now?”
“Nowhere,” said Tellias. “He was an unfortunate victim of the Spanish Inquisition.”
“So sad. So sad it was. Positively tragic,” said Eleora.
On that somber note we turned our conversation beck to Time Travelers, old friends, and our plans for the week.
As night turned into dawn we shared hugs and promised we’d be back soon.
On the drive back to my house, while Amelia talked about Merlin’s use of simple technology, I thought about my own past. I thought about how it had always been love at first sight with my husband Teddy, when I knew what love at first sight was. I thought about all of the Vampire men who’d attempted to take a piece of my heart, along with my body. Then I said, “What are you wearing to the party tonight? I’m going to wear my black dress with the low back.”
Amelia answered, “Color. Juliette you need more color. I’m wearing blue and silver.”
And she did and she was absolutely beautiful, more than any princess or queen who ever lived. Even in Camelot.
Of course, as usual I wore black. I always wear black.
~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman