Short Story Sunday: Boys Will Be Boys

 

Adam had heard the stories about Luther.

When they were kids Luther would go out to the fields behind Grandma’s house and shoot anything that moved. It started with birds and rabbits. Then it moved on to cats. Luther had an almost gleeful vendetta to shoot any cat he was that wasn’t in somebody’s yard.

Luther’s parents (Adam’s aunt and uncle) just shrugged and said, “boys will be boys.” They figured that Luther wouldn’t grow up to be a sissy. When Adam told them he only shot animals with a camera they just laughed.

When Luther’s daughter was afraid of an excited terrier pup he told everyone he was going to shoot the dog. That would be after he kicked it, beat it, and refused to give it food for almost a week. Luther’s sister Belinda gave Luther an earful, called him an asshole, and took the dog. It was the second dog she’s rescued from Luther.

A few years later he starved a German Shepard. That dog was rescued by his cousin Janice.

He continued to shoot cats. His wife continued to post photos of their pets on social media. It was a different group of pets every other year. She talked of how sweet their fur babies were and how much she loved them. It sort of made Adam sick.

It reminded Adam of a strange creepy family that had rented the house next to his a few years back. The four children would look at him though cracks in the fence and say strange things.

One day the oldest, the only boy, whispered, “my sister is retarded, do you want to see her dance?” Then the child popped his head over the fence and yelled, “my sister is retarded, do you want to see her dance? My mom said you’re gay because you don’t have a family. Do you want to see our kittens?”

The parents knew the children loved kittens more than anything else. They let their cats have a littler of kittens, then they’d take the mother to the pound and keep the kittens. When the kittens started to look and act more like cats they would take them to the pound and keep one or two females to have more kittens. The sick cycle would continue.

One day Adam’s seven year old niece Aurora was visiting. The creepy children came to the fence and whispered mean things. Adam turned the hose on them. An hour later the mother of the children came over claiming that Aurora had said mean things about their special needs child. Adam called her a liar and an animal abuser and threatened to have them evicted. Luckily for Adam they were gone within a month for not paying their rent.

A nice couple with a beautiful well behaved, well loved dog moved in. They were the perfect neighbors. It turned out that they were con-artists. They’d call the County offices and file complaints against their landlord and then refuse to pay rent. It had been a pattern with them. With a little effort and a few code violations they never had to pay for lodging – never ever. Then they vanished and the landlords sold the house and Adam bought it and rented it out to friends.

Now twenty years later he was out of town for Aurora’s wedding, and the entire family was there. Aurora was hesitant about inviting Luther to the wedding, but his kids were sweet, and everybody liked his wife. Adam wondered what kind of woman would marry a man who abused animals.

At the reception Adam’s longtime girlfriend Brandy told him about Luther bragging about dumping a dog at the lake. He said everybody dumped dogs there. Then he’d laughed about it. The dog was worthless but at least he hadn’t shot it.

Adam had once asked Luther why he was so mean to animals. Luther said, “I hate cats. I don’t know why. They’re worthless. Dogs on the other hand need to know their place. If they scare my kids, or pee in the house I’m going to shoot their asses. They’re just dogs. It isn’t like they have souls.”

Luther’s girls liked puppies but only if they didn’t jump or nip like puppies tend to do.

Then Brandy looked up at the dusky sky and said, “Full moon tonight Adam.”

Adam kissed her, then went to get more wine.

“Look at the moon,” said Luther. Then he laughed. “Let’s go shoot some werewolves.”

The next morning, after the bride and groom had left for Hawaii, Luther’s wife said he was missing.

Luther was found in the woods behind Grandma’s old house. He’d been gutted by wild animals. The police said it looked like it might have been wild dogs, or maybe even a bear.

Adam and Brandy skipped the funeral and drove up the coast to his beach house. That night he lit a candle in memory of all of the cats and dogs who’d suffered abuse at the hand’s of humans.

He found Brandy in the bathroom gargling with salt water. “What’s the matter honey?” He asked her as he rubbed her back.

“I don’t know Adam. I just can’t get the bad taste out of my mouth.”

“I know the feeling well,” he said, then went to the kitchen and opened a bottle of wine. It was a nice full Zinfandel, guaranteed to mellow out the evening. He poured a glass for himself, and one for Brandy. Then he went outside and listened to the sound of the waves, and the light house horn, and tried to empty his mind, until the next full moon night.

~ End

 

 

 

 

No time to be jealous

Do you ever have those days, like when your friend calls and says, “Pick me up. PLEASE.”

And it’s a full moon. So you pick him up.

And your friend is a Werewolf.

And you say, “What if you turn back into a man?”

And he says, “You’ve seen me naked.”

And I have, a long time ago.

And I know that because my husband is a Vampire he’ll understand. We all do. It was like the time, before I was married, that a couple of drunk girls called my husband at 2:00 a.m. and I said, “GO, make sure they’re safe. Take them home. I’ll see you in a bit.” And I did. And the girls were impressed.

This is something we have to teach our kids. You can’t be involved with someone who is so jealous and insecure that they can’t accept the fact that sometimes you just have to do the right thing and help out a friend in need. It isn’t like this sort of thing happens all the time. With young people it happens more often.

We always tell our kids and their friends that they can call us anytime of the day or night, no questions asked. We just want them to be safe.

That’s all. Just a something to think about.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

You never know about anything, not really.

“Nothing is certain aside from the fact that we are Vampires, and we are not like the rest of everybody else.”

So my father used to tell us when we were children.

He gave his brood of five (four boys and me) this advice, but also tried to keep us from being clannish, and prevent us from being closed minded when it came to everybody else, be they Vampires, or others. There were more “others” than I ever imagined.

I remember as a child watching in fascination and disgust at the Werewolves who’d walk along the river front in their garish but expensive clothing. They’d smirk and look as if they were going to eat everyone they saw. That was far from the truth. Despite their arrogance they rarely killed anyone while in their wolf form. I later learned that they were sort of pathetic, and sad creatures.

But enough of that. A lot has changed since the 1860’s. Most Werewolves blend in to the point where nobody notices that they’re never around on full moon nights. I mean, really, who would notice?

I’m full of busy today, but I thought I’d take a few moments to re-share a story (first shared her in 2014) of my childhood, about strangers, those who aren’t like us, and Werewolves.

 

Strange Strangers on a Full Moon Night

Mars was exceptionally bright in the sky last night. The moon was less than full but still exceptionally bright.

This morning I dropped the kids off to school. Garret’s car is in the shop so mom gets to drive. Anyway, I drop them off behind some temporary classrooms (that have been there for 45 years) because Clara doesn’t want to have to walk by the large group of “Stoners” who hang out every morning at the logical drop off point. So this morning she tells me she over heard one of the Stoners saying “That woman stops and turns around every morning. Weird. I guess she doesn’t want to stay here.” They had no idea I was dropping off kids. Sigh.

So the moon, teens, clueless thoughts… what does that all lead to? It made me think of a distant memory of when my brothers Val, Aaron and I were teens.

Go back to 1873. We lived in a city that had regulairly flooded, burned down, flooded again and survived illness and lawlessness and all sorts of disasters (Sacramento of course.) It was enough to make anyone want to leave, but instead people thrived and it grew. Railroads made kings. Agriculture was starting to boom. It was a city with growing art and culture and the new capitol building was almost finished. But to us it was home and our concerns were not those of adults or even most people. We were teens, comfortable in our own skin, a little less Victorian than most our age, a little more independent than most. My brothers and I lived in a tight knit community of Vampires, part of the Modern Vampire Movement. But you already know that.

One night, under a full moon, my brothers Aaron (age 17), Valentine (age 14) and I (age 13) were taking a stroll along the Sacramento River. We were always out looking for vagrants and activity from any riverboats. We were on the prowl, three well heeled Vampire kids who could use our innocence and charm to get in and out of any situation before our prey ever knew we were there.

With our stomachs full and our dark little souls throughly amused we walked home through a grove of trees on the edge of the riverbank. There we came upon a camp. Two figures were hunched over half a dozen large fish, I believe stripers or maybe steelhead. They grunted and tore at the fish. At first glance we thought they were coyotes or large dogs, but then we realized they were something else.

“Werewolves,” whispered Aaron holding his hand out to signal us to stay still.

We watched in fascination, with a bit of disgust, as the two turned back into their human form – a young man and a young woman. They were about our age and completely naked. He was skinny, unlike my muscular brothers. His skin was pale under the moonlight like the bellies of the fish he’d just devoured. She was also thin with ribs sticking out and knobby joints. Her grayish unhealthy looking skin was covered with red welts. Long dark hair hung below her waist. But what surprised us most was the hairless tail that hung down about 6 inches on the end of her spine.

I elbowed Aaron and he gave me a quick look that said “don’t move.”

“She has a tail,” Val whispered a little too loud. Aaron put his hand over his younger brother’s mouth.

The Werewolves put on their clothes, plain and worn compared to our fashionable togs. We had a home and parents. These two were obviously strays just trying to survive their miserable condition.

Val and I wanted to approach the Werewolves but Aaron was against it. He said we should just let them be and they’d be dead more sooner than later. There was a prominent pack of well-heeled Werewolves in town but we had little to do with them and it was obvious that these strays were not part of their pack.

Occasionally my parents would deal with the Werewolves, but always held them at a distance and with considerable contempt. One thing that stood out about the well to do Werewolves was their fondness for velvet. No kidding. Those Werewolves loved their velvet.

This isn’t going to be a moral story where we went back and helped the young Werewolves. We went back and they were gone. None of our friends had ever seen them. We told our parents about them. In turn they mentioned the strays to the pack leader in town and he had never heard of the young Werewolves.

It was just one of those weird things. Ships that pass in the night.

I asked my friend Adam, who is a Werewolf, about the pair when I stopped by his studio this morning (he is a photographer by trade.) He’d never heard of them. The tail on the girl turned out to be something extremely rare, just like a tail on anyone who is remotely human like.

“Why didn’t you help them?” Of course he had to ask.

“I don’t know. We were just kids. We thought they were dangerous. Beside that, maybe they didn’t need or want help. My parents asked around. Nobody knew anything, or if they did they weren’t telling us about it. I’m talking both Werewolves and Vampires. Nobody knew anything.”

I knew there would be nothing online about them but I after I left Adam I checked anyway. There was nothing.

This story has no moral or reason behind it. Just a story of something that happened a long time ago that I’ll tell my kids about and maybe they can find a moral in it.

It might be a mystery forever. But I have a knack for finding people and things so you never know. You never know about anything, not really.

 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

 

 

 

Vampire Diary: A Werewolf Carol

Dear Diary,

It is the time of year for tradition and feasts. It is a time of celebrations and gatherings. It is a time for stories told over and over.

When I was a child, at Yuletide I would ask to be told the story of The Werewolf Billig Shooshow and the Three Demons.

Billig Shooshow was a large man with golden brown eyes, and dark glossy hair. He was a powerful and a wealthy man, but because of his greed and cunning he knew nothing of love or the comforts of friends and family. Billig Shooshow was also a lone Werewolf – one who did not run with a pack.

One night while he was alone in his mansion a ghost flew through Billig Shooshow’s window. It was a large half man, half wolf covered in large traps like jaws of steel.

The ghost howled, “These are the traps that caught me during life. If perhaps your throat is ripped out tonight, or you are stabbed by a sliver knife blade, or you are burned to death, you will haunt the world covered in ten times more traps than I have. You might say that is not a bad thing, because I know you are a strange one, but it is a bad thing because the traps pull and tug at not only your flesh and fur, but at your heart and soul. You do not want that. On the other hand your soul is so dead already that you might not feel a thing. A Werewolf with a dead soul is a pathetic thing.”

It was Billig Schooshow’s dead partner Alexi Growling. After much banter, insults, and snarls, Billig Scooshow said, “You are a big douche and need to go. I never liked you when you were alive and I like you even less now you are dead.”

Alexi Growling said, “Billig Scooshow, you might still yet be saved. Tonight you will be visited by three demons. They will teach you valuable lessons. Believe me, for once I tell you the truth.”

Then the ghost of Alexi Growling vanished in a puff of sulphur and wet dog smell.

Billig Schooshow sat in his large stinky chair and waited. He did not wait for long. A blinding light came into the room. A large white wolf was snarling in his face, then she transformed into a beautiful woman in a white gown trimmed with fur.

“I am the demon of your past Christmas. Come with me Billig Scooshow, and I will show you things.”

He took her hand and they flew high above the land. Then she brought him to a house where he was a young man, barely out of childhood and not a wolf. His father was beating him. Young Billig thought he would die, then a large black wolf came into the house and grabbed Billig and took him to the forest, then tore his neck. Billig woke from the ordeal and found himself running and running under the full moon in the form of a wolf. He was happy and free.

That night he howled with the pack and found his new home. Elaina the daughter of the black wolf was sleek and gray. In the morning she lay beside him, as a warm beautiful woman. Billig made love to her and told her that he would stay with her forever.

Billig soon became a successful man. There was no time to howl at the moon – only time to kill. As a man he found money and power was more important than his pack. He would rather be a lone wolf who took only for himself, than run with others.

Elaina said to him, “You no longer run under the moon. You no longer run with me. I will no longer submit to your horrible growls or bites. You could do great things with your wealth but you do nothing. You live a cold life. You are a cold man. Goodbye Billig.” On the way out she peed on his front door mat.

Billig Shooshow asked, “Demon, why do you show me these painful memories?”

The Demons showed him her sharp teeth. “Because Billig Shooshow, you have not learned from your past. Now sleep before I slap you across your hateful face.”

At the chime of the clock Billig Shooshow woke from a horrible dream, but it was not a dream for the second demon was standing before him. The demon was tall with broad shoulders, pale white skin, long black hair, and a smile that was as white as fresh snow. He was dressed in a great coat made of furs of many animals, with a giant flask, and a goblet of gold.

The demon laughed. “Billig Shooshow, I am the demon of the Full Moon. Tonight I will show you what you are missing alone here in your house.”

The Full Moon demon took Billig Shooshow by the hand and flew out the window. First they landed in the woods where his pack was having a party. Everyone was laughing and having a good time, until someone mentioned Billig Shooshow.

A female with a woman’s body, and a wolf tail and ears, stood in the middle of the circle. “My man works for Billig Shooshow. The old ogre makes my husband Hob work day and night with no time off, not even for a full moon run. Our youngest Tiny Peter, the runt of the litter is sick, but Hob still works on for Billig Shooshow without enough pay to give our poor runt the food and medicine he needs. Soon I know our runt will be dead and Hob will still remain chained to his desk. We starve while Billig Shooshow sits alone in the dark counting the money he will never spend. I spit on Billig Shooshow.

The demon of the Full Moon looked at Billig Shooshow and said, “You are a bad boy. A very bad dog. Then the demon laughed and threw Billig Shooshow against the wall.

Billig Shooshow opened his eyes and saw the third demon, the demon of No Moon. It was a huge wolf with shape pointed teeth, huge claws, and the blue eyes of a man.

It said, “Billig Shooshow look,” and pointed out the window. There hanging from a tree was a large black wolf, with Billig Shooshow’s golden brown eyes. Half a dozen men came and skinned the wolf alive then hung it’s flesh over a fire. It turned into a man with no skin. It was Billig Shooshow. His eyes went around and around on his fleshless face.

Billig Shooshow screamed. Then he found himself alone in his own bed. His skin smelled of smoke.

Opening the window he saw a boy and yelled, “Boy, what day is it?”

The boy said, “It is the Holy Day of the Feast of Saint Nicholas.”

Billig Shooshow turned into a wolf and said, “come boy, ride on my back and I will show you wonderful things.” The boy hopped on his back and Billig Shooshow took him to the home of his worker Hob. Hob’s family was overjoyed and ate the boy. They would not go hungry and without a feast.

Werewolves everywhere were amazed at the changes in Billig Shooshow. He was now a wolf who not only ran with the pack, but led the pack under each and every full moon.

~ Vlad

 

Dear Diary,

I asked my love Gillian if she thought the children of my neighborhood would like to hear the story of Billig Shooshow.

Gillian said, “Vlad, do not tell them that story.” She rolled her eyes and would not explain why. I will trust her judgment. I will find another story.

~ Vlad

 

Dear Diary,

Today I put up black lights for the holiday. But the lights are purple and make colors change. I like these black lights.

~ Vlad

 

Dear Diary,

I am thinking of getting a red suit. Then again, black is more my color. We will see. We will see.

~ Vlad

 

 

 

 

 

Moon

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At 5:30 a.m. the moon sat behind the oak trees, large but hiding from me. I see you.

I imagine the Werewolves were celebrating. We took the dog for a walk. She ran and drank from the fountain at the school down the street. She even kissed a friendly cat who always comes out to greet walkers.

I watched Ghosts dancing in the field under the oaks and the bright moon, with no music except the quiet of the night.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Strange Strangers on a Full Moon Night

Halloween is around the corner. Aside from the election and toxic clown sightings (same thing), there are strange things in the air. Werewolves, Ghosts, Witches, and all sorts of folks come to mind. Some we know, and some will remain mysteries. It make me think of this post from 2014. 

Strange Strangers on a Full Moon Night

Mars was exceptionally bright in the sky last night. The moon was less than full but still exceptionally bright.

This morning I dropped the kids off to school. Garret’s car is in the shop so mom gets to drive. Anyway, I drop them off behind some temporary classrooms (that have been there for 45 years) because Clara doesn’t want to have to walk by the large group of “Stoners” who hang out every morning at the logical drop off point. So this morning she tells me she over heard one of the Stoners saying “That woman stops and turns around every morning. Weird. I guess she doesn’t want to stay here.” They had no idea I was dropping off kids. Sigh.

So the moon, teens, clueless thoughts… what does that all lead to? It made me think of a distant memory of when my brothers Val, Aaron and I were teens.

Go back to 1873. We lived in a city that had regulairly flooded, burned down, flooded again and survived illness and lawlessness and all sorts of disasters (Sacramento of course.) It was enough to make anyone want to leave, but instead people thrived and it grew. Railroads made kings. Agriculture was starting to boom. It was a city with growing art and culture and the new capitol building was almost finished. But to us it was home and our concerns were not those of adults or even most people. We were teens, comfortable in our own skin, a little less Victorian than most our age, a little more independent than most. My brothers and I lived in a tight knit community of Vampires, part of the Modern Vampire Movement. But you already know that.

One night, under a full moon, my brothers Aaron (age 17), Valentine (age 14) and I (age 13) were taking a stroll along the Sacramento River. We were always out looking for vagrants and activity from any riverboats. We were on the prowl, three well heeled Vampire kids who could use our innocence and charm to get in and out of any situation before our prey ever knew we were there.

With our stomachs full and our dark little souls throughly amused we walked home through a grove of trees on the edge of the riverbank. There we came upon a camp. Two figures were hunched over half a dozen large fish, I believe stripers or maybe steelhead. They grunted and tore at the fish. At first glance we thought they were coyotes or large dogs, but then we realized they were something else.

“Werewolves,” whispered Aaron holding his hand out to signal us to stay still.

We watched in fascination, with a bit of disgust, as the two turned back into their human form – a young man and a young woman. They were about our age and completely naked. He was skinny, unlike my muscular brothers. His skin was pale under the moonlight like the bellies of the fish he’d just devoured. She was also thin with ribs sticking out and knobby joints. Her grayish unhealthy looking skin was covered with red welts. Long dark hair hung below her waist. But what surprised us most was the hairless tail that hung down about 6 inches on the end of her spine.

I elbowed Aaron and he gave me a quick look that said “don’t move.”

“She has a tail,” Val whispered a little too loud. Aaron put his hand over his younger brother’s mouth.

The Werewolves put on their clothes, plain and worn compared to our fashionable togs. We had a home and parents. These two were obviously strays just trying to survive their miserable condition.

Val and I wanted to approach the Werewolves but Aaron was against it. He said we should just let them be and they’d be dead more sooner than later. There was a prominent pack of well-heeled Werewolves in town but we had little to do with them and it was obvious that these strays were not part of their pack.

Occasionally my parents would deal with the Werewolves, but always held them at a distance and with considerable contempt. One thing that stood out about the well to do Werewolves was their fondness for velvet. No kidding. Those Werewolves loved their velvet.

This isn’t going to be a moral story where we went back and helped the young Werewolves. We went back and they were gone. None of our friends had ever seen them. We told our parents about them. In turn they mentioned the strays to the pack leader in town and he had never heard of the young Werewolves.

It was just one of those weird things. Ships that pass in the night.

I asked my friend Adam, who is a Werewolf, about the pair when I stopped by his studio this morning (he is a photographer by trade.) He’d never heard of them. The tail on the girl turned out to be something extremely rare, just like a tail on anyone who is remotely human like.

“Why didn’t you help them?” Of course he had to ask.

“I don’t know. We were just kids. We thought they were dangerous. Beside that, maybe they didn’t need or want help. My parents asked around. Nobody knew anything, or if they did they weren’t telling us about it. I’m talking both Werewolves and Vampires. Nobody knew anything.”

I knew there would be nothing online about them but I after I left Adam I checked anyway. There was nothing.

This story has no moral or reason behind it. Just a story of something that happened a long time ago that I’ll tell my kids about and maybe they can find a moral in it.

It might be a mystery forever. But I have a knack for finding people and things so you never know. You never know about anything, not really.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

Werewolf Moon

Werewolf Moon