Short Story Sunday: A Change of Heart

A Change of Heart

The Demon sat on the roof of the house wondering what to do next. She looked around wondering how they put on the roof with such a steep pitch. 12/12 she figured. Standing up she stretched out her leathery wings and brushed back her hair with claw tipped fingers.

It wasn’t like she didn’t know her job. It wasn’t like she wasn’t trained right. It wasn’t like everything she was ever to be was to be wasn’t drilled into her head for centuries.

Flying to the next yard over she found, the handsome Vampire sitting in a chair, with a goblet of blood and his Nook. She knew him. He would know what to do. He would help.

“I don’t want to do this anymore,” the Demon told the Vampire.

“What do you mean?” He glared at her with no light in his eyes.

“I am so frustrated with everything. I want to open an art gallery, the kind with pictures of seascapes and sunflowers. I want to paint and draw, all the while promoting up and coming artists. I’ve got a knack for marketing so I know I could make it work.”

“What sort of stupid trick is this?”

“No trick. I just…I just don’t know how to be…to get out of my contract. I can’t very well ask my boss about it.”

“Why not?”

“I’d be sent back into the fire as a pitch fork handler. I’d never see the light of day again.” She looked into his ocean colored eyes with her yellow-orange orbs. “You’re a Vampire so you don’t know what it is like to have someone own your very being. I’m not my own creature. The Master of Evil owns me. Damn it. This is not what I want. It is not who I want to be.”

“Do any of your peers feel this way?”

“No. They’re happy. They’re content. Seriously what is wrong with me? Who wouldn’t want to spend the day convincing people to have affairs, feel crazy, commit murder and abuse elderly people and twist the necks of animals until they die a slow and painful death. The rush of it all is exhilarating, like the best sex anyone could every have. I mean who wouldn’t want that? Who wouldn’t want the rush and thrill of convincing someone to sell their soul? That is the ultimate. Damn, do you know how many souls I’ve taken to my Master. Millions. And you know what? You know what Vampire? I’m tired of it. I never liked it in the first place. OK I did for a while but after a couple of thousand years it is getting old. Really old.”

He rolled up his sleeve and showed her an ugly scar. “Demon, this is from your last visit. You nearly took my arm off. I was in bed for three weeks because of your poison.”

“I’m sorry. I really am. You have to believe me.”

He glared at her, hate filled his voice, “I can’t believe a word you say.”

She stood in front of him looking into his handsome face. There was no soul she could tempt. There was no blood she could spill. Taking a step towards him the Demon held out her hand. “You could teach me,”

“No. It wouldn’t be a good idea.”

“I love you.”

“You need to go. Now.”

She stood looking at his face. If she had been created with the ability to shed tears she would have, but she could only stare at him in disbelief with yellow-orange eyes.

“I love you.”

“Go.”

Unfolding her wings she flew off, out over the bay, over the city. There were so much damage she could do to hearts and souls down there, but her own heart wasn’t in it anymore.

Turning towards the ocean she flew out, then upwards towards the night, trying to imagine what it would be like to be accepted for what she was not.

~ End

2015 Juliette Kings

 

That was not my friend

Let me remember

My friend

In my own heart

With my own memories

And the love

I had.

Don’t tell me

What was said after

How other said he was

Stories of things

I don’t want to hear

Because that was not

My friend.

The long years make things softer and memories not so jagged, but sometime those dusty file drawers in one’s brain get lodged open and make a line directly for the heart. I can’t take more in those drawers or in my heart.

As my children grow older I know that their now sparkling and new file drawers in their brains are neat and ordered. Their hearts are light. Over the years the dust will fall. I think of the young people, or anyone who saw that burden on their hearts as too much and the sadness and pain seems so overwhelming. So in honor of your love, remember those who passed in darkness with light, and love and hope for those you will meet one day.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Moth

Short Story Sunday: Morning at the Vineyard

Carries VineyardAndrew didn’t remember much when the door opened with blinding light waking him from his sleep, much less the voice that said “You aren’t dead.”

“Of course I’m not dead.” Andrew lifted himself up on his elbow and looked around at the bedroom.

“You were so cold. We couldn’t hear your heart.” A slim woman with long slightly graying hair stood near the bed.

“That’s what all the girls say.” No response. “That was a joke.”

“Oh. Ha ha ha. Good one.” Uncomfortable laughing.

There was the taste of blood in his mouth, but not his own. It must have been a Hell of a night. He looked at the woman again. She was pretty but not young, standing there in a flowing sundress and pretty light summer sweater. Nice. This would be fairly easy staying here for a few days, but he would still be cautious. Sometimes the most easy ones turned out to be the most dangerous.

Andrew started to get up and realized he was naked under the sheets.

“Your clothes were soaked and also covered with blood. We thought about calling the police but my husband Ian said to wait until morning. My husband Dennis said the same. I don’t agree with them. We should have called the police as soon as we found you.”

“Where was I?”

“In the vineyard, face down in the dirt. Your car was in a ditch with four flats and the front end smashed in. We pulled it out.”

The Tesla. Quiet and fast and expensive. Then he thought about what she said. “Husbands? You mentioned two husbands.”

“We practice polyandry. Two husbands, one wife, one family. It isn’t legal or common or accepted by most people but…”

“I don’t have a problem with it. As long as it works for you.”

“It does.”

She took a stack of clothing, jeans, a shirt, etc, from the top of the dresser and gave it to Andrew. “Clean clothing. Breakfast will be ready in about a half hour. And we’ll discuss who you are and why you’re here and where all the blood came from.” Then she turned and left the room.

What a night. The fog started to clear from Andrew’s brain. He staggered up out of the bed and closed the window shades. Damn sunlight. Looking in the mirror the reflection looked back showing a well built man with alabaster skin, long chestnut curls flowing down his back, a classically handsome face and hazel eyes the color of the blue green southern seas. His mouth twitched showing fangs. He quickly gained his composure and hid the teeth and rubbed his tired eyes.

“Shit. What the crap happened to you Andrew,” he said to himself. There was wine, a lot of wine. There were women. There was a guy named Brant and his friend Chet. There was the girl Ginger…she had AB + blood, Chet had O. Oh no. Why didn’t he remember? And how’d he end up face down in the middle of a vineyard? Zinfandel. He knew what kind of grapes they were.

Taking a 3 minute shower, he towel dried his long locks, pulled on the clothes the woman had left him and went down the stairs. He could smell food cooking and coffee. He gripped the banister to prevent himself from throwing up everything inside of his stomach. He’d over done it for sure, blood and wine. Wine and blood. Sex too but that was  a blur. Food might do him some good.

In the kitchen were two men and the woman, along with half a dozen kids in who ranged from about 8 to 17.

He looked at the men. A large blonde man who looked like a former football player introduced himself as Ian. Dennis was shorter with the look of a History Professor or some sort of thing like that. They called the woman Carrie. One big happy family.

Ian poured Andrew coffee and welcomed him. They all welcomed him. This was getting creepy. Then again, Andrew was the Vampire, but he was sitting in the home of a farmer and wine maker and her two husbands and six kids. It was weird. But hey, he decided to make the best of it.

They made small talk. He thanked them for taking him in. Carrie put plates of eggs and fried tofu and toast and fruit and bacon and mushrooms on the table.

The teenage girls thought Andrew’s hair was great and asked him if he was in a band. He smiled minus fangs. He must have had at least five cups of coffee.

“Last night I thought you had some nasty scratches on your face,” mentioned Ian.

“I, uh, heal fast.” Andrew said that then wished he’d kept his mouth shut. He healed fast because he wasn’t like them. He took the blood and energy of regular normal people and in return, he made them feel good – like a rush that would last at least a week. Well, if he liked them and made a connection.

“Where’d all the blood come from? Except for the scratch on your face you didn’t have a mark on you.” As Carrie said that she gave him a long cold look.

“Blood? On me? I guess I drank too much. Too much of everything and threw up. I don’t know. My friends drank a lot and someone was doing some sort of recreational drugs or maybe prescription pain killers, I’m not sure, but I over did it. Listen, I’m so sorry about this and I really appreciate your hospitality. I’ve imposed on you. I wish there was something I could do to pay you back. Let me know.”

Ian gave him a pat on the arm. “We know what it is like to be different.”

“You’re a Vampire aren’t you?” Dennis asked as the kids all looked on.

Andrew brushed a damp lock of hair out of his face and suddenly felt a little warm. “Yes, but…”

“How long have you been a Vampire?” Carrie was asking now.

“I’ve always been one. My parents were Vampires. Um, I was born just down the road from here. October 22, 1851.”

The children were transfixed.

“We don’t have a problem with Vampires. Some food might settle your stomach Andrew,” said Carrie. “And you’re welcome to stay as long as you like. We found your phone and called your sister. She’ll be here in a couple of hours.”

This was all too strange for Andrew. He’d spent the past 100 years or thereabouts avoiding families and any kind of normal human lives. Years had passed traveling, and performing and enjoying wine and women and wild nights. But now he sat with a nice family with no pretenses. And rarely had he ever met humans who knew or even knew about real Vampires. It was so unusually weird.

I sing opera,” he said to the kids. “Mainly opera but I can sing just about anything. Just got back from Patagonia and learned a bunch of folk songs. I can do metal too. That comes naturally.”

“I can imagine you do a great power ballad,” Carrie said with a smile, then she told the children to leave the room.

Andrew had to smile. This as so weird but he could get used to this. He looked at Carrie’s golden brown eyes. A positive blood, just like his. She’d make a good Vampire, or even just a snack.

He thought about his sister. It had been forever since he’d seen her or her children. It would be nice. More than nice. Maybe she’d get another husband too. He might suggest it. He smiled. That would be funny.

“What happened to my friends? Did you see any of them?” Andrew looked from Dennis to Ian then to Carrie. “Did they say where they went?”

Carrie looked him in the eye as Dennis and Ian flanked her side. “We buried them in the garden behind the carriage house.”

“Don’t worry,” said Dennis “Nobody ever found the other bodies we’ve buried, so they won’t find your friends.”

Andrew took another gulp of coffee and hoped his sister would arrive soon.

 

And that was the entire truth just as my brother Andrew told it to me

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

tangled-tales

The Devil You Know…Lucky Visits

Sometimes it is as if life becomes a morality play…

The week has started and the triple digit summer heat is still in full force. Against my better judgment I’d agreed on a breakfast meeting with a client, which turned out fine (it was a little early for fresh blood, but oh well.)

I went back to my office, alone, in the old Victorian house where the shutters were drawn against the light and lay down on the couch to sleep off the heat of the day.

I closed my eyes and fell into a dream. Strong masculine hands caressed my tired shoulders. I melted and the tensions of the past week vanished. Then lips were on my neck first as a sensuous kiss, then  fangs sank into my flesh and started to rip my throat. I bolted in pain, awake to find another Vampire on me. I pushed him away; my own fangs now out, ready to fight. A low hiss escaped my throat.

“You.” I spat out. I didn’t even want to say his name. It was a Vampire from my distant past. A onetime lover who’d…whatever had happened it had ended badly but I have to admit that for years he had crossed my mind in an unhealthy way. Everything about my association with him had been wrong. The words “bad” and “evil” also crossed my mind. But it had been years since I’d thought about him.

“Juliette, my love, still so sweet.”

I looked up to find we were not alone. Standing next to him was a strikingly handsome man dressed in black. My blood turned to ice.

The Vampire stepped away with a smile as the man stepped forward.

It was the man we call “Lucky”. It was a creature most humans call The Devil or Satan (among other names.)

Lucky smiled at me and said, “I offer you everything you have ever wanted. Every dream. Every “what if”. Every road not taken. Every crush turned into a passionate love affair. Every parenting issue resolved. Every problem solved. You’d have no more annoyances. No more stress. No more complications. Life would be perfect.”

As someone who is chronically annoyed, stressed –  and as someone with a boxcar full of emotional baggage I had to think. For about half a second.

OK the emotional baggage is for the most part long gone. I learned from my mistakes. And if I had not made those mistakes and taken the long, twisted and sometimes painful life I have had, I wouldn’t have my husband or my children or my wonderful friends.

I wouldn’t be the parent I am today, and THAT is what I am most proud of. That is what I live for. That is who I am.

But what if?

Lucky  pulled me up by my hands and stood close, too much for my personal space. But it was overwhelming in such a seductive way that I could hardly move away. He put a hand on my cheek and smiled. Then he put his face close to mine and whispered in my ear “I can give you anything you want. Anything you desire.”

Then his lips brushed mine and my head filled with images too enticing, too personal and dangerous to imagine.  Despite what my mind said my body ached with want for his. “Beautiful Juliette. You’re one of mine, a creature of the dark, a creature of carnal pleasures and power. You are a hunter. You’re an alpha. You are belong to me.” A hand went around my waist and pulled me close.

“No.” I growled and pushed back, clearing my brain and my very heart and soul of his filth and decay. “Leave me alone Lucky.”

He put out both his hands as if I would take them. “I offer you the world and you refuse?”

“Your price will always be too high. I refuse you and everything you represent.”

He gave me a grim all-knowing smile. “Then you refuse your own nature.”

The desire for him once more swept over me and once again I stepped back, a growl in my throat, fangs barred, feeling slightly out of control, but in more control than I’d ever been in my life.

“You can never have what I have and I will never let you take it from me,” I told him, clear and steady.

“I made your kind what you are. I made you. I own you Juliette.”

“Screw you asshole. You don’t own anything in my world. Not my family, not my friends, not me. Not now, not ever. So get the fuck out of my face and go back to your cesspool and rot.” Actually I didn’t say that to him. I just thought it. I always think things like that but I don’t say them.

This is what I did say. “You might have fooled yourself into thinking you had a hand in our evolution but you are wrong.  I am a creature of nature and of the earth. I am the light of the moon and a child of the night. All hours are the hours of the earth. All hours are the hours of love. You cannot tempt me, for you know not MY true nature. My heart and souls are my own.”

Lucky smirked at me in a nasty sort of snarky way. “What if I told you your husband made an agreement with me?”

I glared at him. “I’d say you were a liar. My husband is the most self-righteous morally superior Vampire that ever existed, not to mention he has the lowest tolerance for your kind of bullshit I’ve ever seen.”

He stepped closer to me again. I could feel him trying to draw me in again. He tried again to wrap my very being up in a knot of want and desire. “Juliette I could give your children charmed lives. They’d never have to fear. They’d never suffer from loss or broken hearts. You’d never had to deal with issues of teen depression or self-harm, be it through cuts or sex or drugs or hunting for the wrong types. They’d be safe and secure at the top of the food chain for eternity.”

“No. The answer will always be NO. Go back to Hell and leave me and all of those I love alone.”

He stepped back and ran a hand through his hair. “Well then. I believe we’re done for today, since you only want to throw insults at my offers of friendship.”

And he vanished with a blazing burst of hot air that almost singed my hair. The Vampire lover I had once known had vanished as well.

It took me a full 45 minutes to catch my breath and stop shaking.

What if? That is a loaded question. But what if you had “what iffed?”

We’re not time travelers so we can’t go back. Only forward, staying true to who we are and what we are. We don’t regret the lessons we learn from.

The lessons we can teach ourselves and are children are many, but the most important for now, at least for me are:

  • Stay true to yourself
  • Do no harm to yourself or others
  • Take the high road
  • Don’t let others drag you down
  • Believe in yourself
  • Protect those you love
  • If it sounds too good to be true walk away
  • Don’t make deals with the Devil
  • Learn from your mistakes
  • Have no regrets

Talk to your kids and listen to them, but also teach them well, that there are those who seem good and things that will seduce and harm. Life can be scary, be prepared and be smart.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

strangereyes

Ghostly Muse – I think not

Rose

You are not prey

For I do not kill

Or take without giving

 

I don’t steal your dreams

Or make you scream

In your bed alone

 

I take only what I need

And in return

You are in blissful wonder

 

Don’t fear the ones

With a shadow for a soul

And a vision of night

 

“What are you writing?” That was said in a sarcastic tone right from the mouth of the Ghost who materialized over my shoulder like a puff of stale cigarette smoke. That was the last thing I needed.

I glared at him. “Go away. It isn’t for your eyes.”

He gave me a disgusted look. “It isn’t for any eyes.”

“I was just playing around with the words.”

“You’re such a Vampire. Always trying to make your vile nasty things look so innocent. Why don’t you just say that you creep around at night and scare the shit out of people.”

“That is your job Mr. Ghost.”

“Oh right. But you’re pretty creepy.”

I stood up and faced him. “Really? You think I’m creepy?”

He gave me one of those creepy smiles and raised an eyebrow. “I do.”

“That comes from a disembodied dead person who lurks around and stalks people,” I told him.

“I don’t lurk. And you’re not a people. You’re a Vampire. You’re dead too.”

“ Excuse me Nigel, I am not dead.”

“A twisted technicality. And what about your husband? He wasn’t born into your sick and twisted Vampire world. He was held down by a gang of Vampires while their Vampire slut sucked out all of his blood as well as his very life. Then they filled him with their poisoned blood and breath and gave him a shadow for a soul. He had a funeral. His girlfriend cried over his dead cold body. He now, like you, has to drink blood to survive.”

“At least my husband has a body.”

Nigel smiled again. “A body most guys would envy, but he is still a cold dead Vampire.”

“Are you done here?”

“Sure.” The ghost all but rolled his eyes. “You know when you’re angry your fangs come out.”

“Enough.” I snapped out at him.

Then he had the audacity to put his head back and laugh. “Admit it Vampire. I’m your muse.”

“Go away.”

“Goodnight Juliette.” He faded away but I could still hear him laughing in the distance.

be nice

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman