False Starts, Lost Dreams, Finding Love and an Ancient Tabby

False Starts, Lost Dreams, Finding Love and an Ancient Tabby

As a child Bronagh would get up each morning and go to school. There she’d figure out ways to escape through day dreams and long lone walks around the school ball field. In her more lucid and social moments she’d be trying to ignore the nonstop bullying from the group of smirking thugs who ruled the school. Having a different name in a universe full of Debbies and Nancys and Susans made one stand out. It made one get picked on along with being small, plain and quiet. Her family was also considered weird.

Her father was a large loud Irishman with a thick accent and her mother was a small pale elf like German woman who’d lost her family in the war, then ended up in a group home for lost children. The Irishman and the German girl met in a bar, got married, moved to America and had too many children and didn’t do things like other families. They’d sit up all night and play cards and smoke and drink too much. Then they’d tell stories of ghosts and werewolves and violent relatives who didn’t come to America. They’d sing loud songs and walk around their backyard in their underwear. Sometimes the intensity of the couple frightened the other families of their normal middle class community.

Bronagh was never mistreated at home but she never felt too connected to her family either. She loved them but she didn’t want to live with them or be like them.

She struggled in school but in her secret world she was smart and would one day be beautiful and successful. Nightmare sessions in front of the class unable to do a math problem while other children jeered made her imagine a different life. At that point she started to keep secrets.

Nobody ever knew what she was feeling or thinking. She gave away nothing by her expression or words. She lived in two worlds – one on the outside and her own world inside.

She grew up, went on to high school, made friends, grew into a beautiful young woman, made straight A’s and never looked back.

Then she went to college and found herself on too many long walks alone, but that was OK. She was used to that. Friends came and went. There were always good times to be had but she never stayed close to anyone. She graduated and had plans but her life seemed to be one big black hole that sucked the life out of every idea, every relationship and every job prospect. All of her choices sucked. It was as if everything she touched turned to garbage. It was garbage that couldn’t even be recycled. It was toxic waste.

Time passed and roadblocks grew higher and doors slammed in her face. She found herself with a college degree, a shelf full of books, a stray one-eyed tabby cat she named Toulouse, and nothing else.

One day she decided that one of two things needed to happen. She either needed to die or fall in love. Nobody would ever love her she decided, so she set a date to end it all, that is if nothing happened.

She grew numb.

One day she forced herself to go the large university library to research jobs and graduate schools.

On the first floor she ran into an old party friend Cindy. Beautiful lucky Cindy was going off to her dream job in Los Angeles. A huge engagement ring sat on Cindy’s finger. Cindy’s clothes were beautiful and obviously expensive. Joy radiated out of her, not for material reasons but because she was just where she wanted to be. Then again Cindy had been born where every girl wanted to be.  Cindy was that kind of girl. Bronagh gave Cindy a hug and wished her the best.

Then she saw a guy she’d had a one night stand with talking to a biology professor she’d had. Ditching them she went up the stairwell to the second floor to take refuge with some art books. There were always too many people from her past she didn’t want to deal with.

On the second floor, as she left the art section, she ran into a man she’d been passionately in love with. She smiled with a sense of hope that maybe, just maybe he’d finally feel the same longing she did. He was glad to see her. He was glad to tell her that he was getting married – to somebody else.  He asked her if she still had the cat. She thought he thought she was an idiot. She lied and said she had a boyfriend and great job prospects. Someone she really liked had dumped her the week before. She’d been fired from a job she’d held for a month. It didn’t matter. He’d cheated on her anyway. Being young and miserable with no prospects is no fun even when you don’t feel bad about telling lies.

Feeling numb she looked at college catalogs, made notes about graduate school requirements then go up to walk and distract herself. It was time to look up poisons or just sit down and die and turn into a mummy that someone would find in 50 years or so behind a stack of books nobody ever read.

In the deep darkness of the ancient basement stacks she accidentally tripped and fell into the arms of a young man. It wasn’t that kind of fall into your arms. It was more of the kind of “I noticed you were looking up poisons,” kind of falling to his arms. He noticed in a big way. Poisons were not the kind of things pretty girls, or anyone not doing medical research or writing crime novels usually looked up. She said she was writing a story. He knew she was telling a lie but he let it pass.

She had iced herbal tea with him in an earthy crunchy little coffee shop and they talked about all sorts of things. His name was Val, yes, that Val, my brother. His delightful friend Alonzo joined them.

That was 38 years ago. She still remembered the purple skirt and white lace top she was wearing. On her feet were gray flats. Val was wearing jeans and a black tee. Alonzo wore a red vest and a white button down shirt. His dark hair curled around his ears. It was weird how she remembered the details. She clicked with Val and Alonzo. They didn’t judge her. But they were not like the predators she’d met who wanted to lure her into schemes and religions and cults and plans that she didn’t want to be part of.

They became friends and she became one of them – one of us. A Vampire.

I know it sounds weird but she tells such a glum story. Bronagh is the funniest Vampire I’ve ever met. Yes, we have a sense of humor. You can’t live as long as we do and not.

Bronagh thinks about things too much – old things, things that happened, the guy in the library, the guy who dumped her, people who had been to her, a friend who died when they were young. But then not really, not lately. She used to sometimes wonder what life might have been like had she not become a Vampire.

Becoming a Vampire wasn’t what solved her problems. Having some support and encouragement and sheer tenacity is what got her out of her gloom. Long story. Hard work. Creative thinking. Love. Humor. She shrugs it off.

She’ll laugh and talk about how handsome Alonzo is but that she married him for his sense of humor. She’ll tell you about how he proposed to her while they walked under the stars on a windy beach. She won’t tell you about the times she was so unhappy and lost. Those dark times were such a small portion of everything but still, it makes a mark.

Alonzo had a past so full of nightmares that he was glad to become a Vampire and live in a world of calm control and find some measure of peace. I’m just glad to have them in my life. Maybe I’ll talk Alonzo into telling me a few stories.

Halloween is almost here and all kinds of ghosts are coming out of the woodwork. Let’s just keep most of them tucked away. We don’t need to deal with them or let them bother us.

Alonzo just shrugs and laughs off anything from his past. Bronagh does the same for the most part. They’re just like any other couple, only they’re Vampires. They believe that what they is due to divine intervention and it happened for a reason. Maybe. Maybe not. I’d like to think it was meant to be. OK it was meant to be.

And the odd thing about this story is that the old one-eyed tabby cat Toulouse is still alive at 39 years old. Of course, cats aren’t supposed to live that long but sometimes, well, all Vampires know that there are things we’ll never be able to explain.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Seeing Beyond Yourself

When your children go out into the world there are traits they’ll need to be successful, even if they’re Vampires.

Compassion and seeing beyond your own single mindedness is something that our world lacks. It is also something our children can make up for, and make their future brighter.

You can be the smartest person in the world but if you can’t see traits and qualities in other that you don’t have then you aren’t that smart.

You can be rich but if you don’t give back then you’re morally poor.

You can think you know what you like, but if you’re closed minded you’ll never really know what you like.

As our children become adults they must move from the sheltered world of their childhood, that of high school and their parent’s home, and see beyond themselves.

Your assignment for today, as a parent, grandparent, or anyone with a young person in your life: Talk with your young person about the big wide world. Talk to them about compassion and making a difference. It is a big world, but even a small bit of compassion will go a long way and make a big difference. How have you seen beyond your world? Share that. And with any luck, your young person, in the infinite wisdom of youth will share their visions with you.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman



Rules For My Young Adult Vampire Children

When I started this blog my youngest was in Middle School. Now my Vampire children are now 18 and 21. They’re both in college and have jobs. They’re adults. Holy shit. They’re adults.

Mind you they aren’t those creepy kind of Vampires who look like teens and go to high school and college forever. They are just like other college students. The only difference is that they’ve always been Vampires. No big deal.

It is time for another one of my famous bulleted lists.

A Few Rules for Young Adult Vampires:

  • Stay away from fan fiction. Don’t read it. Don’t write it.
  • Don’t spend money you don’t have. Pay cash.
  • Don’t cook with wine you wouldn’t drink. You know where I’m going with this. The same thing applies for the necks you choose to bite.
  • Don’t drink bad wine or cheap booze.
  • Keep an open mind.
  • Listen.
  • Read for fun.
  • Vote.
  • Wear sunscreen and sunglasses even when it is raining.
  • If someone asks you to turn them into a Vampire always say NO.
  • If someone asks you if you’re a Vampire always say NO.
  • If you feel uncomfortable the answer is always NO.
  • Being somebody else’s trophy or arm candy is ALWAYS in bad taste.
  • Don’t have your social media accounts under your own name.
  • You’re not a bigot if you avoid Demons, Goblins, or Black Eyed Children.
  • It is ok to be afraid.
  • It is ok to mourn the dead.
  • It is ok to laugh out loud in public.
  • It is ok to not care what others think. You’re a Vampire. Why should you care?
  • Don’t stay in a relationship out of habit. Stay in it out of love and mutual respect.
  • Break up with your bad habits.
  • Don’t date assholes.
  • If someone asks you to move into a crypt with them always say NO.
  • Don’t sleep in coffins. You don’t have to.
  • You don’t have to be a leader, but never be a follower.
  • Learn how to get blood stains out of all kinds of fabric. Keep the cleaning supplies handy.
  • Never be tempted to drain someone of all of their blood. Then you’ve killed them and you have to deal with a body. It isn’t cool. Don’t do it, even if you’re having a party with your friends.
  • Avoid Zombies.
  • Keep basket ball shorts on the court.
  • Try not to let your bra show, especially the back strap. Nobody wants to see that.
  • If you don’t take yourself seriously nobody else will.
  • Avoid humorless Vampires.
  • Don’t worry about Werewolves. They tend to take care of themselves. I know they tend to be tacky dressers, loud, and rude, but don’t get into it with them. You’ll always win, but do yourself a favor and avoid it.
  • Don’t start collecting animals until you own your own home. Your parents have enough animals and don’t need anymore.

I could go on for another hundred points but not today. Sure they know most of this, but it is always good to remind them. Gently remind them.

They might be adults, but they’re still your kids.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman



Vampire Diary: BFF

Dear Diary,

I awoke from a dream of battle and blood, with warlocks and werewolves, to find myself in my bed, with the sound of the doorbell ringing.

My neighbor stood there with a look on his face as if he’d just come from a lost battle.

“Can you pick my daughter and her friends up from school for me? My son was in a car accident and I’m on my way to the hospital.”

How frail the warm blooded humans are. How even now in this so called modern world the fear of injury, illness, and death is still a concern.

A few hours later I drove to the school to wait for the girl called Kaylee and her friends.

I watched the young people march out, shuffling their feet as if a funeral dirge was playing.

I realized they were all carrying huge loads on their backs. They carry books. I this age of everything on a tablet or computer (yes, I know those words) I find this odd. I do not understand. Maybe it is to instill the heavy importance and responsibility of knowledge upon them. Maybe it is to remind them if they do not learn they will carry a weight upon their backs forever.


Three girls wait at the designated meeting place. They smile despite the heavy loads they carry.

They start to ask questions. One asks about the car. Yes, it is a Tesla. It is quiet. Yes, your brother will be alright. I do not know that but I wish calm. No, I was doing nothing. Of course I was doing nothing. It is the middle of the day and I am a Vampire.

Then one asks me about my age. They seem to have no boundaries. “Vlad, how old are you?” As one of them asks the question the other two giggle, then all three of the girls giggle. I do not understand.

“I am thirty four.” I lie. Of course I lie. I am a Vampire.

“You look a lot younger,” one girl tells me.

“It is in my blood,” I say.

I do not tell them I was born in the year 1159. I am 856 years old. It seems like so long ago.

I received a call about the boy in the hospital. He would survive. His leg was broken.

Kylee left her keys inside of the house. I tell the girls they can stay at my house until the parents return home.

The one called Emily asked, “What’s for dinner?”

I just smiled.

~ Vlad



Dear Diary,

I think about yesterday. What they call teenagers did not exist when I was young. We were children, then we were not. At their age I was already dictating political strategy, planning battles, and plotting to take over the kingdom.

The girls asked me what I did when I was their age. At the age of sixteen I starting to take out foes and taking my place as the future Vampire King. Long hours were spent in the great library and with scribes. Most people lived in ignorance, like animals, or worse, for animals knew their place. Animals had a sense of instinct that kept them safe. Humans were weak. I learned to use that weakness to my advantage, yet I soon grew weary of that game, but I digress.

When I a young man there were girls, beautiful girls, the same age as my young friends.

They did not dress as they do today with skinny jeans and tight tee shirts. When I was a young man it was not so easy to see the shape of a female form. They were hidden behind long almost shapeless dresses. Yes, the girls of my youth were beautiful beyond belief. They were the girls of MY youth.

I remember passing by as mothers would take their daughters aside. “Do not look at him,” they would say in whispered hisses. “He will suck out your soul and take your virtue.”

I laugh. I would never suck out their souls.

Some of the girls, the smart ones, would come to me, sometimes alone, sometimes with a young man. I would change them to be like me – a Vampire. It was fun, until it wasn’t.

There were many girls but none took my heart. I was a Vampire Prince. My heart was cold and as hard as a diamond, but as fragile as glass. I would watch others in love. They were fools. They were weak. They were idiots.

Two hundred years later my priorities changed when I met… I still will not say her name…

One of the modern girls, the one called Olivia said to me, “You ought to marry Gillian.”

I came out of my dark thoughts. Gillian is my lover. She too is a Vampire.

“Why?” I asked.

“You’re gorgeous together.”

“Is that a foundation for a marriage?”

“Hell yeah,” said the girl called Kylee, and they all laughed. They would not stop laughing. I was in Hell.

“You’re so funny Vlad,” said the one called Emily. Then they laughed again.

I do not understand what they call funny.

Kylee asks, “How long have you known Gillian?”

“We’ve been friends for a long time, since we were your age,” I said. That so much is true. Not lovers, but friends from when we were young. “She was not my, what do you say, my girlfriend, until recently.”

I was riding through the woods on the way to my uncle’s house to kill him and impale his head on a pole. But I was sidetracked. I heard a scream. A scream of a girl or a woman. Ahead of me, on the road, were two men and a girl bound by the wrists.

She ran towards me crying for help. One of the men grabbed her by the neck and threw her to the ground. He kicked her, then turned to me.

I got off my steed and confronted the men. They drew swords. I held out my hands. “Now sirs, be at peace.” I smiled at them. They dropped their swords. Then I ripped out their throats and tore out the heart of the man who had kicked the girl. I drank my fill of their blood, then moved to the girl.

She sat up defiantly, but had fear in her eyes. Her face was bruised. I held out my hand.

“Take my hand. I will not hurt you,” I told her. I helped her up, then I kissed her.

“You said you would not hurt me.”

“It was just a kiss. I am so sorry my lady,” I said with slight sarcasm in my voice.

“I am not sorry and neither are you. You taste like blood but you kiss nicely. I know who you are. You are the Vampire Prince,” she said.

“You are not afraid of me?” I asked her because she showed no fear.

“I am afraid of many things, but you and death are not among my fears,” she said.

She told me that the men were taking her to be the bride of a well-born man. She was sixteen years of age. The man was twenty-four. He was a man of wealth and power but she did not want him. She said she did not want any man as a husband.

“Then what will you do? Become a nun or a witch?” I asked.

“No,” she told me, “I cannot answer you. I do not have an answer, but it is not a wife, a nun, or a witch. I will not live a life where I am locked away or answering to any power, be it man or spirit. I will be my own woman.”

I had never heard such a thing from a mortal female. I liked this girl.

“Would you like to be a Vampire like me? I can do that?”

“Why would you do that Vampire Prince?”

“You are smart. I need smart friends like you. If you become a Vampire you will not grow old. You will not die on me. We will always be friends. I will never force you to engage with any man you do not wish to be with. I will not force myself upon you. You will be your own woman.”

She looked at me in a funny way and squinted her eyes.

“Let us do this then,” she said.

Before we left I ripped the heads off of the dead men, then put the heads in the road as a warning to anyone who passed. I remember laughing at the thought of the next rider who came along. For some reason that does not seem funny anymore. I have changed. I do not know why.

And that was how I met Gillian. We stayed friends for centuries. Then I was locked away for three hundred years, only to be rescued two years ago, then my friend Gillian sought me out. Then we became lovers, for the first time. We never were before. I no longer put heads on posts, and I rarely tear out hearts, but I have fallen in love with Gillian. I would kill for her again if anyone did her harm.

~ Vlad



Dear Diary,

I woke in the morning with a cat on my chest. The small one was curled on my side. They were warm like small children covered with fur and vibrations.

I lay in the darkness, the curtains drawn against the sunlight. I could hear hawks and turkeys outside. A dog barked. I could hear an air oh plane in the sky.

Closing my eyes I thought more of my youth. How different it was than it is for the young people with the heavy weights of knowledge on their backs.

They speak of things I do not understand. I will learn.

I asked Gillian what BFF was. She smiled and kissed my cheek.

“Best friends forever.”

That is something I understand.

~ Vlad.










Every generation thinks the next generation is worse. That isn’t true.

Teens have always had their own style.

Teens have always had their own style.


Opinion: Juliette Kings

Every generation thinks the next generation is worse. That isn’t true.

Facebook is full of memes saying …

When I was a kid we were polite, we respected our elders, we were beaten with switches and had our mouths washed out with soap… 

Oh screw that. I’ve always seen RUDE hateful mean despicable young people. I’ve seen it for decades. They learn it from their elders. They learn it from those same parents who are posting those stupid memes.

The teens (and little kids for that matter) in my life are polite. They are respectful. They are great. And you know what? I didn’t have to resort to paddles or other barbaric violent means of teaching them how to be good.

I think back of when I was young and saw unspeakable things done to other children. I remember them being physically and emotionally tortured. I remember children being humiliated by their unloving abusive parents. These were “normal” two parent Christian households. Throw not the first stone they say, but these people should have had stones thrown at them. When I look back I can’t even say out loud, or write the words of what some of the children I knew when through – it is too disturbing. But I can see patterns in the type of parents they had. Some things never seem to change.

Fortunately now there are resources, though not enough, for children who need help. There is never enough help. Foster care isn’t an answer. Family counseling isn’t a solution. These kids need new permanent families who love them, even if it isn’t a traditional family.

I see families where step-parents are the real parents. I see single dads and moms raising kids on their own and the kids are GREAT. I see kids doing great things. I see them talking about everything. I see them questioning the world. They need to question. They need to have their own opinions in order to grow.

Well mannered and polite teens are more of the rule. They aren’t the exception.

The teens in my life have more empathy than anyone of my generation ever had. They are smart. They are focused. They like old people.

They question the world around them. They want to make the world a better place.

The media would have you think otherwise.

If you want the teens and young adults in your life to show respect then you have to give some respect as well. You need to listen to them. I don’t mean “blah blah blah” sort of listening. I mean hearing what they have to say. I mean respecting their opinions even if you don’t agree. I mean explaining things to them if you’re pissed off rather than yelling at them.

Show them that their time is as important as yours. Because it is.

Yes, of course there are kids who are assholes, bullies, trolls, turds, tattlers and trouble makers. But look at their parents. The adults they live with are usually assholes, bullies, trolls, turds, tattlers and trouble makers. Unfortunately for the rest of us, and for teachers, there are one or two of those children (and their awful parents) in every single classroom.

And you know what? It is those asshole parents who post those negative memes. So screw them. If they want respect they have to show a little respect. Show a little interest. Get out of your own head and your own tiny little world. Learn something new.

Fortunately by the time kids are in high school a lot of the assholes (and others) have learned that their behavior gets them nowhere. Teens aren’t playing by playground rules anymore. Assholes are put in their place, and a lot of them realize what jerks they’ve been. It is called growing up.

In AP History the 11th grade students are reading Huckleberry Finn. My daughter and I have discussed the book and the context of the book considering when it was written.

She said, “Huck’s father was just like the white trash, or any of the trash that you see now. They don’t want their kids to do better than they did. It is awful.”

So if you see a kid who is an asshole consider the source. Consider who that child is learning from. Maybe that kid can learn from you. Think about it.

It isn’t Vampires you should fear. It is apathy. It is lack of empathy. It is people refusing to listen to everyone, young and old.

You need to study history because if you don’t know where you’ve been you can’t understand where you are going.

In turn, we need to look forward to the future. We need to listen to the young people and have open discussions with them. For they are the ones who can change the future. Now is a scary time. Now is the time to listen to the teens and young adults. They can see with a fresh eye all of the bull shit the rest of us have become numb to.

So stop complaining and see the incredible talent and resources right in front of us – in our young people. If you’d just open your eyes, your ears, and your heart you will see what I see.

Spend some time with a young adult – some real quality time. It isn’t all smart phones and hook ups. It is a lot more.


~ Juliette aka The Old Vampire Maman




Children of Men. Images of the Past.

vm steampunk girls

They dressed them up in boots and buttons.


Teenage days wondering if things would ever become less boring.

vm white trim

A beautiful gown of silk and lace. A chance to dance with a handsome stranger.

vm 3 sisters

We were smart girls. No fools to be trifled with.

vm lovely girl

We were fine. We were fierce. We were the ones who might change the world.

vm charming

I knew where Tesla hid his death ray and I never told a living soul.

vm man of the future

I am the man of the future.

vm little lord

I am a man of style and class. The ladies are in the palm of my hand.

vm three siblings

There is more to us than you can see from this image.

vm darling girl

And we are not amused.




Photos from the collection of Juliette Kings. Taken from my not-so-smart-phone. 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman