Short Story Sunday: Leaving Victor

A new Tangled Tale for October 13, 2019 from Juliette aka Vampire Maman.

Leaving Victor

The Creature watched as the figure in the large overcoat and hat came through the door. The man walked with a slight limp. He smiled at The Creature as he took off his coat and hung it on a peg.

“Igor, you back. Doctor left,” said The Creature.

“Gone for three days. That gives us plenty of time,” said the man with the limp as he took off his hat and shook out his hair.

“Nice do,” said The Creature. “Igor look good.”

“I needed something different.”

“You look like hipster. Short sides. Longer top. Igor look stylish.”

“It isn’t Igor anymore. It never was Igor,” said the man.

“No Igor?”

“Victor called me Igor. It was a derogatory term due to my handicap.” Then he reached around and pulled a pillow out of the back of his shirt. “I won’t be needing this anymore.”

“You straight,” said The Creature.

“Physical therapy. Now I just have to use a cane when I’m on uneven surfaces. But listen, my name is, my real name, is Isidore Rassioli. Some of my friends call me Izzy.”

“Izzydore. I like.”

“You need a name too. That damn Victor didn’t even give you a name. What do you want to be called?”

“Don’t know. Never think I could have name.”

“Well I have.” Isidore pulled out an envelope and set it in front of The Creature. “You are now Corbin Jones. Look here. You now have a birth certificate, and a passport.”

“Corbin. Middle?”

“Andrew,”

“Sound good. I like. Why all this?”

“Because, my dear Corbin, it is time for us to leave. Our servitude is over. For years I toiled under Dr. Victor Frankenstein as his assistant. I did all of the research. I formulated the numbers. I came up with the key ideas, theories, and every thesis. I even wrote his lecture notes. The only reason he has tenure at the university is because of me. All the while he called me Igor and took advantage of my lack of confidence. Well no more. I am not ugly. I am not stupid. I am not a cripple.”

“Looking good Isidore. You smart. I always say that.”

“And so are you Corbin. So are you.

“Passport say American. Why?”

“Because dear Corbin you are a man of an astoundingly diverse heritage. Your body is Italian, built like Michelangelo’s David. Unfortunately the first owner was crushed in an automobile accident. Fortunately we were able to find a perfect fit for a new right arm and shoulder from a murdered Ethiopian gun smuggler. Your left brain is Irish Catholic and your right brain is Ashkenazi Jew. Your head is generic Caucasian, from an American who lost it to an unfortunate run in with a machete. You look like of like Chris Evans, you know, Captain America, sort of but I think better looking. Your ears don’t match, but nobody looks at ears unless they’re unusually large, and yours aren’t.”

“What about her?” Corbin asked, looking over at a closed door.

“The woman? Her body is from a woman who was of English, Welsh, and German decent. She was involved in an unfortunate industrial accident that took off the top of her head. Her scalp and brain are Korean. I’m not sure where those came from. Her heart is First Nation Canadian. Jesus Christ, I can’t make this stuff up. The two of you are true citizens of the world.”

From behind the closed door came a woman. She was striking with one brown eye and one hazel eye. Her long black hair was pulled up into a messy bun on the top of her hair. She wore jeans and an oversized sweater the color of the evening sky.

“Izzy. Did you get my papers?” Asked the woman.

“I did. Here you go Rochelle.”

“Oh my goodness it is good to hear my name. Rochelle. Wow.”

She opened her envelope and looked down upon the birth certificate. Rochelle Patti Smith. She’d picked out the name herself. Her own name. Not Eve or Lilith as Victor wanted to call her, but Rochelle. Patti Smith was after her favorite musician. Rochelle was just because she’s always liked the name somewhere in her distant past that she couldn’t quite remember.

“I have my bag packed,” said Rochelle.

“Good,” said Isidore.

“Where we go?” Corbin asked.

“Orange County, California, the United States of America. I got a job teaching at the Biology Department at UC Irvine.”

“UC?” Corbin asked.

“University of California,” said Isidore. “I have my PhD. This is a great opportunity. Plus we’re not going to be alone. My brothers Sal and Perry own a body shop in Long Beach.”

“They make people too?” Rochelle asked.

“No, cars. They repair cars. Automobiles.”

Six Years Later

Corbin, Rochelle, and Isidore lived in a house walking distance from the beach. It was a good life.

Corbin obtained his GED, took two years at the Community College and got into California State University Long Beach majoring in Political Science. With the help of a speech therapist he now spoke without a trace of hesitation. His girlfriend owned a surf shop and had taught him how to swim.

Rochelle was now in Law School at UC Irvine. She dated a movie producer.

Isidore was a popular teacher. Often he’d walk the beach with his dogs Ramble and Corky, and ponder the meaning of life. Not so much his life, but life in general.

He’d never even thought of making any more conglomerates of reanimated body parts and calling them human beings. Corbin and Rochelle were enough. They were miracles who’d been rescued from spending their new lives shut up in a laboratory to be poked and prodded. Now they were free. Maybe they even had souls. God knows they lived their lives like they did.

Victor had approached Rochelle a few years back, like an abusive stalker waiting to bring his woman back where she belonged. She told him that she’d call the police if he ever approached her again.

Victor had told her, “You ungrateful sewed together bitch. I made you. You belong to me.”

Rochelle said, “No Victor, I made me. I made the women I am today.”

A small note on the online news sites stated that the body of famous biologist Dr. Victor Frankenstein had been washed up on a beach just south of Santa Barbara. Corbin, Rochelle, and Isidore never talked about it. They didn’t need to.

The thought of Rochelle standing up for herself made Isidore smile. He wanted that for all of his students. It had taken years for him to stand up for himself.

As he watched the sunset over the Pacific Ocean a peace settled over Isidore.

“Come on boys,” he called to his dogs. Then he stood up straight and planted his cane in the sand. “I’m done with crutches my dear dogs. Let’s go home.”

~ end

Tangled Tales

 

 

 

 

 

Let’s Talk Dark Matter (with ghosts and teens)

Ghosts

 

If you know about Dark Matter you know about teens, ghosts, and parenting.

Dark Matter is by definition: Dark Matter is an unidentified type of matter comprising approximately 27% of the mass and energy in the observable universe that is not accounted for by dark energy, baryonic matter (ordinary matter), and neutrinos. The name refers to the fact that it does not emit or interact with electromagnetic radiation, such as light, and is thus invisible to the entire electromagnetic spectrum.

Teens by definition: Teens are an unidentified type of matter comprising approximately 27% of the mass and energy in the observable universe that is not accounted for by dark energy, baryonic matter (ordinary matter), and neutrinos. The name refers to the fact that it does not emit energy of any kind, or interact with negative adults, and is thus invisible to the entire electromagnetic spectrum.

Ghosts by definition: Ghosts are an unidentified type of matter comprising approximately 27% of the mass and energy in the observable universe that is not accounted for by dark energy, baryonic matter (ordinary matter), and neutrinos. The name refers to the fact that it does not emit energy of any kind or interact with just about everyone, and is thus invisible to the entire electromagnetic spectrum.

What about Vampires? We’re in there somewhere. Like most modern relationship status updates on social media Vampires fall into the ” it’s complicated” category.

The reason I bring this up is due to a story I heard on NPR earlier this week. Nigel the Ghost just happened to be hanging out trying his best to act cool and full of contempt.

The story is called, If Dark Matter Can’t Be Seen What About Ghosts?”

Here is the link: http://www.npr.org/sections/13.7/2016/09/13/493725999/if-dark-matter-cant-be-seen-what-about-ghosts

The story is really great and you just need to read it or listen to it. But it covers the issue of how to prove something you can’t see is really there. Seriously, check it out. Let me know what you think.

Nigel, being the asshole ghost he is, flew off the handle. “There are other things you can’t see. You can’t prove love. You can’t prove humor. You can’t prove anything about cats. You can prove reason or lack of reason. You can’t prove what lies in the soul of a man.”

I gave him my best serious mom look. “Theoretically Dark Matter has stability. You’re not stable Nigel. Just chill. I can see you.”

He scowled at me. “Right.”

Then he vanished as usual, this time without a flourish of blue mist or any other ghost trick.

Oh well.

And as usual don’t forget to hug your kids, show interest in what they do, talk with them, and let them know that they MATTER. That kind of matter is REAL.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

Crazy Ghost Band

Burning Question #49: Planet Poochie

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Pluto.

Once upon a time there were NINE planets orbiting around our the Sun. All but Mercury and Venus have planets. That is right folks, Mercury and Venus do not have moons. And two planets have dogs. Earth and Pluto.

PlutoMeme5

Pluto on Pluto

Which brings us to a question. Yes, it is time for the 49th of 50 Burning Questions!

Until recently we had NINE, count em, NINE planets in our solar system. Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto.

Then somebody got a bee in their bonnet (or up their ass) and said Pluto was NOT a planet. Pluto is small and at the edge of the solar system – our last planet. It has an irregular rotation pattern around the sun. It is just an odd little rock out there in space. But it has moons. Yes, even tiny Pluto has moons.

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We only have one moon rotating around Earth but Pluto, bless it’s little celestial heart has FIVE MOONS. Five, count the: Styx, Nix, Kerberos, Hydra, and Charon.

Pluto (minor planet designation: 134340 Pluto) is a dwarf planet in the Kuiper belt, a ring of bodies beyond Neptune.

But in August 2006 the International Astronomical Union (IAU) downgraded the status of Pluto to that of “dwarf planet.” This means that from they only considered the rocky worlds of the inner Solar System and the gas giants of the outer system planets.

Well screw that, right Pluto?

Plutodog

Kids all over this Earth of our were outraged. What? Pluto IS a Planet they cried.

But a band of scientists said, no. NO. Well, maybe. NO. We all say NO.
It makes me think of that song that isn’t really related to this but maybe.

But not really. But it sucked. But were they right? Was that irregular orbit and small size worthy of being a planet along with gassy giants and a beautiful watery planet called Earth? Was it? Or is Pluto just a dog?

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Now Pluto is back on the up and up and by most considered a planet again. Some just call it a Dwarf Planet, but hey, who says size matters. Pluto has moons and an atmosphere. It might have space dogs living on it for all we know. We really don’t know a lot about it.

plutovstyson

One of the most charming things about Pluto is that there is a shape on it that could either be a heart, or Micky’s dog Pluto.

Pluto is extremely small. Take a look at this comparison of Pluto, Earth, and our Moon. Wow.

1024px-Pluto,_Earth_&_Moon_size_comparison

So rather than have me continue on this rather dry, and silly conversation, you need to just answer the question.

Burning Question #49: Is Pluto a Planet?

 

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Feel free to add more to the conversation in the comments below. Talk about anything you want including planets, space travel, science fiction, Vampires, ghosts, rocket ships, your latest romance, love letters, cats, your favorite Disney characters, or anything you want. Let’s get this party rolling.

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And I’ll see you next Saturday for the final, the 50th, Burning Question.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

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Burning Question #15: Dinosaur Daze

Tiny tots of either sex
Adore Tyrannosaurus Rex
Indeed, all little ones adore
Any savage carnivore
Of which, O Rex, though rightly boastest
Thou art not only first, but mostest.

~ Ogden Nash

Sues_skeleton

On Valentine’s Day 2001 I spent one the most romantic days of my entire life with my husband at a Russian Dinosaur Exhibition in Old Sacramento. The babies were in daycare so it was, just us, holding hands, and walking through avenues of the most amazing wondrous and strange collection of bones we’d ever seen. They were millions and millions of years old, from a time on Earth we can barely imagine. On a weekday afternoon not many others were there. It our own romantic get-a-way. Damn, it was seriously romantic. We might be Vampires but that doesn’t mean the only thing we do in our spare time is frighten the crap out of people, or drain the blood out of everyone we know. Vampires know how to do romance, yes indeed we do. Anyway, back to dinosaurs…

dinosaurs-smoking-farside

Every kid loves dinosaurs. I don’t know an adult who doesn’t love dinosaurs. We love Jurassic Park. We love Sue at the Field Museum in Chicago. We love Barney… ok we don’t all love Barney, but you get the point. When my daughter was a tiny tot her favorite stuffed animal was flying dinosaur that she called Terridackel. How cute is that. And yes, she still has Terridackel.

So what happened to these amazing huge beasts who once walked our planet before us?

Many scientists believe that the dinosaurs were wiped out by a massive asteroid that collided with Earth 65 million years ago, devastating the planet and wiping out 99% of all species. I think it was supposed to be where the Gulf of Mexico is right now but don’t quote me on it. And no, I doubt if anyone was in New Orleans or Key West at the time drinking Hurricanes (see recipe below) and watching it all. That said, evidence has been found to challenge the giant asteroid theory. Some Paleontologists claim to have unearthed dinosaur fossils in layers of soil that were formed around 66 million years ago, after the supposed meteor strike. Sounds good to me, but then again what do I know? I know that this is a BURNING QUESTION.

Burning Question #15: Were dinosaurs were wiped out by a massive asteroid or was it something else?

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Now that you’ve had major brain drain over dinosaurs and their fate it is cocktail time.

Hurricane

  • 1 part dark rum
  • 1 part light rum
  • 1/2 part lime juice
  • 1 part passion fruit or pineapple juice or nector
  • Garnish with whatever fruit you like (no olives or cocktail onions – use FRUIT)
  • Serve over loads of ice.

Yes, I posted it this way so you could make as much or as little Hurricane magic as you like depending on when you want to fall down on the floor. And remember – don’t drink and drive, or drink and use chainsaws. 

Thank you for stopping by for Burning Question #15. We have 35 Burning Questions to go. I’ll see you next Saturday for #16.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman and Dinosaur Expert.

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Hey look, I’ve got feathers! How cool is that?

 

 

Playing the Game – Can’t leave anything to Chance

Playing the Game – Can’t leave anything to Chance

Some say life is a game. I don’t believe that is a good message for teens but sometimes, on those stupid frustrating adult days when everything seems to go wrong it seems like some stupid horrible game. You know those days when you think “I must have been a really horrible person in a past life.” 

One of the frustrations about being young (in your teens and twenties) is that Chance and Fate are unfair forces that seem bound and determined to keep us down.

Chance isn’t logical or fair. He picks favorites. He excludes those who work hard. He surprises us with delights. He breaks our hearts and smashes our delicate egos. He devastates. He rescues. He is our best friend and our worst enemy. That said, try explaining that to your teen or college aged kid. Try explaining it to anyone?

And what about Chance’s fickle girlfriend Fate. Fate is lovely to behold but can be a real bitch. She likes to make us think she is on top of things, but in reality Fate has very little to do with anything. Fate is a poser. She is full of empty promises. Fate takes credit for things she did not do. Because in my opinion Fate does nothing if she can find someone else to do the work for her (and she is very good at getting Chance and others to do the work).

Then there is their friend Noel Reason. He is a secretive guy who has his hands into everything but doesn’t take credit for anything. In fact he shouldn’t take credit for anything. Sometimes things just happen for Noel Reason. But you never want to tell your teen THAT.

The unpopular kids are Logic and Reason. Nobody wants to listen to them. They are usually polite and never scream. They aren’t popular. But people who do get to know Logic and Reason love them. Their lives get better. The world makes sense. But it is so frustrating having Logic and Reason for friends because so many people hate and fear them (for no reason – chalk up one more for the gossip mill). You can depend on these two.

Ignorance seems to be the most popular guy around these days. He acts tough. He is the “bad boy”. He gets friends by spreading the message of fear and hate. His most famous saying is “We’ve always done things that way. If it was good enough for my dad it’s good enough for me.” Ignorance hates people who think freely and is glad to get his bullies to take care of it for him.

The perfect union

There is a rumor that Art and Science don’t like each other. In reality they are a couple – and a successful couple at that. Take my word on it. Plus they are two that your teens and twenty somethings need to get to know (and know well). As with Logic and Reason you can also depend on these two.

Hope stand by herself never knowing what to do. She has great power. She brings comfort but she also brings disappointment. Keep Hope as a friend but don’t make her your best friend (and she often is caught flirting with Chance which pisses Fate off to no end). Hope can do a lot for you and those you care about but she can’t solve the World’s problems.

Faith is Hope’s twin sister. You have to get to know Faith. She isn’t overly religious as some people believe. But she embodies all that is good and kind. She teaches us that all things are possible and to believe in ourselves and others. She teaches us to believe in what is good. She teaches us trust. But don’t keep her in the dark or cover her eyes or you’ll have blind Faith – and that combined with our pal Ignorance can be a very bad thing indeed.

Most of all teach your children that they should not depend on the friends above for what they  need or want. They need to depend on their own talents, drive and follow their own hearts. They must lead, not follow, not wait.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

Friday the 13th: A Cosmic Adventure

Friday the 13th: A Cosmic Adventure

This is a Friday the 13th post. Yes, I’ve been posting this for over 7 years with minor changes/updates. Have fun and kiss a black cat – and a Vampire if you’re so lucky.

Universe

 

 

 

 

 

 

I wake with a cool hand stroking my hair. He kisses my neck and then covers my mouth with his. I pull the handsome man beside me in my bed closer. “You’re naked.”

He smiles. “I know.” And we both know the kids won’t be up for at least another 45 minutes.

Friday the 13th isn’t all that unlucky after all.

I was thinking about our conversations last night with the kids.

Voyager 1 has left the solar system but the signal is slow getting back to us. Against all odds we’re still hearing from our little embassadors in space.

My dad got his first telescope in the late 1850’s and we’ve been watching the night skies with close-up wonder ever since. There is something about being a small dot in a large universe that brings on such a sense of awe and wonder that can’t be explained away by reason or logic. And it is great fun! FUN.

And the speculation continues on what is out there, if anything. I’ve always thought it would be very sad indeed if we were the only planet with intelligent life. I’d like to think there would be more advanced places where every single day didn’t seem like Friday the 13th and ignorance wasn’t embraced like a cult like religion.

So now we just wait for someone from another planet to find the Voyager. I’m hoping it will be sooner or later. I can imagine one of them saying “Hey, they have Chuck Barry too!” Or maybe, “How’s they get Chuck Barry songs? Did they find our satellite?” How cool would that be. And don’t say it couldn’t be because we have so much to learn – there is so much we don’t know about our neighborhood and the universe we live in.

There was a long discussion about space with my husband and kids. That is one thing the Voyager has done – made people think and talk about stuff. Space, the universe, our roles in it, the idea that someone else is out there… good stuff.

I have to say there is nothing sexier than a man who spends a couple of hours talking with his kids about stuff like space and life and imagination and wonder – or anything.

Finding real life in Space, life we could communicate with would be literally earth shattering, or more human shattering.

I’ve imagined what would happen if the general population knew Vampires and Werewolves were real. Just imagine if someone from another planet dropped by for a visit. It is mind-boggling. It is exciting beyond belief.

Then one of the kids brought up the proposed Mars trip. A trip was proposed a few years ago in which the volunteers for the Mars trip would never return to Earth. That brings up all kinds of questions, including birth control, chocolate, boredom, lack of beach time, museums, and cats. Dogs too. I can’t imagine leaving cats and dogs behind forever.

That would be difficult to leave our home forever. There is an attachment we have that tugs us and keeps us here, like an emotional gravity.

We can’t breathe the little atmosphere on Mars. It is colder than cold. It is a harsh planet, but then again so is ours – thanks to humans.

But imagine going to live in Space and freely travel to other planets. How cool is that? It is the stuff of dreams – the ultimate dream. The dreams the cumulate in the reality of great science fiction books and films.

We talked about Vampires in space. That might be a logistical nightmare considering our unique dietary needs. It certainly would be a nightmare for our fellow space travelers if we were along. HA HA HA. That could be interesting.

Is there life on Mars? You can Count on it!

Is there life on Mars? You can Count on it!

 

 

 

 

 

 

We need to keep our dreams and work on making them a reality. Dreams of home and dreams of places far away in space.

After the kids left for school my husband Teddy said “I sometimes feel as if I’m an alien on my own planet.”

“You’re completely normal, for a Vampire. That’s why I fell in love with you.”

“There is nothing normal about us my love.”

Well, I thought, nothing is normal except our kids, thank goodness, but they’re our kind of normal which isn’t a bad thing.

Some random thoughts on Friday the 13th:

  • It is Friday the 13th of September, 2013. 9-13-13 an odd string of numbers. This blog is an odd bit of postings. Something to think about.
  • Hold out your hand and the palm reader will tell you to kiss a black cat, fall in love with a mysterious Vampire and dream of your heart’s desire tonight with 13 wishes and 13 candles blazing on the mantle and 13 kisses.
  • There is no bad luck – only good luck missed.
  • Imagine a literary cat with 13 toes and 13 lives and 13 stories to tell.
  • Yesterday was the 12th, tomorrow is the 14th, today is an odd day indeed.
  • Let us ponder the unlucky. A Werewolf with fleas. A Vampire without passion. A Ghost in an empty house. A teenager without friends. But it is Friday so the Werewolf takes a flea bath and goes on an art show. The Vampire tastes the warm blood of a passionate human. A ghost gets a house full of children. A teen meets kids who think he is really cool.

 

Favorite movies (of mine) about meeting someone from another planet:

Then anything by H.G. Wells, Issac Asimov, Philip K. Dick, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Jewels Vern, and Robert Heinlein. And of course Edgar Allen Poe’s The Black Cat (because it is Friday the 13th) and any of the Oz books (books not the movies – I love the movie but humor me and read the books – the ones after the first one.)

This is just a short list (since I have only spent about 20 minutes writing this post and haven’t thought it out too much). Feel free to share your favorites!

Happy Friday the 13th! Reach for the Stars! And don’t forget, even if you have to force them, talk with your kids! It’s fun – and FREE!

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

Proof of Life on Mars!

Proof of Life on Mars!