Short Story Sunday: A Ray of Hope

A Ray of Hope

Thanksgiving is in Tahoe this year. My husband Justin’s family has a large beach front cabin. It is a 5,000 square foot cabin and two other smaller A frames within walking distance. Yes, they’re insanely rich, at least to me. They’re also incredible loving and giving and have taken me into their family as one of their own.

My mom left when I was five, taking my twin baby brother and sister with her. Dad said she said she was bored with her life. Bored with my dad and bored with me. I only saw her once after that. She’d poisoned the minds of my siblings by telling them that my dad was abusive. Her new husband gladly went along and encouraged it. My brother is now a successful motivational speaker. My sister is a teacher. I don’t talk to them. They don’t want to talk to me, but they like to talk about me, or somebody they say is me. I don’t care anymore.

When I was growing up Thanksgiving were small, like my grandparent’s two bedroom house – Just my dad, Grandpa and Grammy, and Uncle Ray. We’d gather around the kitchen table in Grammy’s kitchen and have a feast on old chairs covered with yellow vinyl. The table would be covered with turkey, green bean casserole, jellied cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes and sweet potatoes with little marshmallows browned on top. Everything except the turkey came out of a can except the wine. The wine was from a box with ice cubes. It was great.

Uncle Ray lived with Grandpa and Grammy. He believed that at the age of fifteen he was abducted by aliens and taken for a blinding fast tour of the universe and Planet X. Ray believed that Jesus was protecting bigfoot, unicorns and other rarely seen creatures so that when mankind finally killed itself off that those were the creatures who would rule the earth. A great gray wolf would lead dwarves and elves out from their underground kingdoms to live in peace. Aliens from space would set up trade routes to earth and help the new found order prosper.

Despite his weirdness Uncle Ray was accepted into UC Berkley and managed to obtain a degree in Political Science. With his knowledge of politics he began working on his plan for a new world order he’d build along with Jesus and the Bigfoots and elves.

Yes, Uncle Ray was nuts but I adored him. My dad protected him. My grandparents accepted him. The university where he occasionally taught a course tolerated him. He never married so I was the only child there for the holidays.

At night a few hours after pie and watching “Meet Me in St. Louis”, Ray and I would go outside. He’d grab a turkey leg and I’d take a wing. We’d munch on our turkey while Ray pointed out constellations and tell me about his time with the aliens and his love for Jesus.

Ray would always take my hand and solemnly tell me, “Jenna, what I’m telling you is real. I’m not crazy.” Then we’d go inside and have turkey races with some funky wind-up toys my Grandpa got for us. We’d laugh until our sides hurt.

My grandparents and Ray are gone now. Grandpa died in his sleep the year I graduated from college. Grammy had a stroke a few months later while at a prayer group. Three years years ago Ray went hiking in Death Valley one spring and vanished. The rangers found his backpack, hiking boots and an empty water bottle. There was a note that said, “Tell Jenna that I love her.”

I still have the note.

Thanksgiving with my family was never fancy or exciting but I knew I was loved.

Right after I graduated away from college my dad remarried. I met my husband Justin and Thanksgiving dishes no longer involved food from cans or vinyl chairs.

This year dad and his wife Gracie went to Montana to visit friends for Thanksgiving. I knew I’d miss them but wished them a good time.

As Justin and I drove up into the mountains I thought about Ray as I looked out the car at the forests. Over the river and through the woods… When I was 16 Ray and I would drive up to the mountains to see the stars. I’d drive. He never learned how. In the cool summer nights we’d stand in a clearing at 8,000 feet and watch the endless show of zillions of stars and watch for shooting stars and satellites. Ray would tell me about the aliens who’d be back to get him. He’d tell me about how the ancient Greeks would navigate ships and come to America to visit. He’d tell me about planets that were inhabited by people so beautiful that our eyes would explode if we looked at them. He’d tell me that he’d been in love with a girl once and kissed her under the stars but she killed herself. He said he’d see her again. The aliens said they had taken her just before her soul was lost. Uncle Ray said to never be sad. He also told me over and over that he wasn’t crazy.

“What are the thinking about?” Justin startled me out of my reverie.

“My Uncle Ray. I miss him.”

Justin put his hand on mine. “I know honey, I know.”

Thanksgiving was spectacular. The food was amazing, the company was wonderful, the day was perfect. I’m blessed to be married into such a great family.

A few hours after dinner, after football and a lot of other fun, I took Justin by the hand and led him to the kitchen. I got myself a smoked turkey wing and gave Justin a leg, then poured two glasses of wine, minus the ice cubes and took him outside to watch the stars.

We talked about what fun we’d had that day. Then we talked about starting our own family, maybe trying to start that week.

A fireball sailed across the sky. I couldn’t figure out what it was. Maybe a meteorite?

Justin held my hand and said, “It’s your Uncle Ray.”

I think it was.

~ end

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

Tangled Tales

Cut and Color Spooky Halloween Fun from Juliette aka Vampire Maman

After yesterday’s post with the wonderful art of Jason Kemp, I thought I’d entertain you today with some of my own pen scratchings. Just for fun.

Halloween is almost here so to get you in the mood here are some color-and-cut Halloween paper dolls I drew a while back. I’ll have a few new spooky paper pals in October.

Ghost Party

Ghostie Fashion Paper Doll. Color an Cut Fun.

Ghostie Fashion Paper Doll. Color an Cut Fun.

Punkin Heads

punkin-heads

punkin-heads suits

punkin-heads suits 1

Werewolf and Mermaid

h_creatures

h_creatures_evening

h_creatures_magic

Zombie Girl

zombie_girl doll

z_girl

z_girl 2

Alien Girl

space girl

alein togs 1 alein togs 2

Have fun,

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

50 Mysteries and Mysterious Questions: Is anybody out there?

Saturday is HERE again!

I’m happy to announce a new question series and the opportunity for YOU to answer new polls about interesting and mysterious mysteries.

50 Mysteries and Mysterious Questions

For the first one, since this is last minute, and because of a recent weird story about Area 51, and the fact that we’ve really messed things up here on planet earth, is about life in other parts of the universe.

This first one is rough (aren’t they all) but stay with me.

And YES there will be CATS and VAMPIRES too.

Is anybody out there? Ask Joe Elliot. I bet he knows. Hey, if I was an alien from another planet I’d come the extra light years to see Def Leppard live.

But back to the real story…

Straight from the headlines today: 640K people want to raid Area 51 to ‘see them aliens’

Apparently a Facebook group has organized this event to take place, and of course it is a fake, but it wouldn’t have surprised me if it was real. People are weird. People are stupid. Do you REALLY think the government would keep space aliens and their ships in a place everyone knows about.

Silly stuff aside, do you think we’re alone in the universe?

My last post mentioned Star Trek and Star Wars. For centuries humans have imagined traveling to the stars and finding life on other planets. It is in our DNA. I’ve even written several science fiction stories for the WPaD publications.

The idea of life on other planets inspires art. You have to love the pulp science fiction art or something is seriously wrong with you.

The thought of other life in the universe also inspires hope.

When Galileo Galilei said the Earth was not the center of the universe, but revolved around the sun there was an uproar of the highest order. In 1632 the Pope was offended by such radical views. Galileo was threatened, the safety of his beloved children was threatened and he was put under house arrest. This was tragic. Unfortunately this kind of crap is still going on.

The middle finger from Galileo’s right hand, is currently on exhibition at the Museo Galileo in Florence, Italy. No doubt that is a sly way to say “F you” to everyone who doubted him and caused him so much harm.

Galileo’s eldest daughter Virginia changed her name to Marie Celeste when she became a nun. Celeste means heavenly, or look up in the sky and gaze upon the beauty of the stars.

By the way, I will be covering the mystery of the Mary Celeste in a later post.

Here on Vampiremaman.com I’ve followed in the steps of both Galileo and Carl Sagan by covering important stories about life on other planets.

When the Voyager, with the golden disc detailing human life left our solar system it was a huge deal. Now anyone or anything can find it and know who we are, and where we are. Of course the fact that Chuck Berry is on it is a sure fire way to get folks to our planet. Roll over Beethoven and send me to the planet Earth!

 

One morning a few years ago I heard on the news that there is no methane on Mars.

“No farts,” said my son.

“No boys on Mars.” said my daughter.

“What no cats?” I said that, knowing it wasn’t true. There have to be cats on Mars. We have proof from The Opportunity Rover on Mars!

You can also count on the fact that there are Vampires on Mars as well.

And speaking of mysteries on Mars and Earth. Another one has just been solved.

Mystery Solved!

 

I’d hate to think that we are alone in the universe. I find that thought extremely sad.

We’ve been to the moon. We’ve sent small probes like the Voyager outside of our solar system.

Many people claim that we’ve had visitors from other planets. Some even think that we originally came from another planet (I don’t think so. We’re so messed up and weird that I don’t think we would have come from somewhere else unless we were booted out for being assholes.)

Yes, as odd as we are, there is goodness here. There is beauty. There is Yosemite. Come visit us alien folks. I’ll smoke some ribs and put the beer on ice. Like Fox Moller, I want to believe.

She blinded me with science

So ANSWER THE POLL and leave comments below. Let’s talk about this. Help solve this mystery.

 

Come back next week for another Mysterious Mystery Question. Happy Caturday!

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Roll Call – Meet the Vampires and Everyone Else

Roll Call – Meet the Vampires and Everyone Else

I write about a lot of things including my friends, family and others I run across from time to time. If they make a good story I’ll write about it.

Who are all of those people/vampires/werewolves/ghosts I write about? And yes, I consider Vampires as people. If you walk on two legs and aren’t a bird you’re “people.” Unless you’re a troll or goblin but that is an entirely different post.

It is hard to keep track. Not everyone is listed, but almost everyone. Just use this as a quick guide. Feel free to bookmark it.

Each name has a link to one of the many articles featuring that person/being. Most listed below are in multiple posts.

Vampires (includes parents, kids and other normal Vampires just like you)

Juliette: That would be me. I write the blog.

Teddy: My husband. He is also my brother Max’s best friend.

Garrett: My son.

Clara: My daughter.

Max (Maxwell): My eldest brother. Max is the kind of hot and sexy brooding Vampire one finds on the covers of Paranormal Romance Novels. That isn’t how I see him, but it is how others see him. Maxwell hunts Vampire Hunters, Rogue Vampires and other unwanted creatures and keeps us all safe. He is also kind of an asshole.

Aaron: The second of my four older brothers. He is an attorney and most conservative of my siblings.

Verity: Aaron’s wife. She is also one of my best buddies. She looks like Botticelli’s Venus. I kid you not.

Laurel: Aaron’s daughter. Just graduated from Stanford.

Logan: Aaron’s son. Just graduated from UCLA Law School

Andy (Andrew): The third of my brothers. Andy is the most romantic and most sensitive of the brood. He is a singer, mainly opera. He keeps a baby unicorn as a pet, and a cat or two. Pixies, and assorted other weird things live in his house.

Val (Valentine): Sometimes Val is almost like my twin. He is calm and happy and always there for me.

Tellias and Eleora: The Elders. They’re ancient Vampires, over 2,000 years old. They look like they’re 19 or 20 years old, but they’re more like senior citizens. Seriously, they ARE senior citizens. I love them so much.

Lola: My great great great great grandmama. She put the Vamp in Vampire.

Samantha and Jeremy: Our parents.

Nathaniel Chase: A friend of our parents and along with our parents, leaders in the Modern Vampire movement.

Thomas Kent: A mysterious and somewhat famous Vampire. He is well known under a different name which I won’t disclose.

Cody: A fairly “new” Vampire from the Silicon Valley. He and Lola are involved off and on. Strange but true.

Pierce: A friend from our childhood who works with Max. A tall cool drink of Vampire water.

Jayne: A friend and coworker of Max.

Elizabeth: Works with Max

Elizabeth: An attorney like Aaron. She is quiet and serious and has found herself more involved with a local Vampire Hunter than she wants to be.

Mehitabel: A woman who works with Max. He says she is a friend with benefits but she is more. She is also of an ancient band of Vampires who see the world slightly different than we do, but are still part of the Modern Vampire Culture.

Innocenzio D’Antonio: An opera singer and friend of the family.

Matthew: Former Shadow Creeper. An old fashioned Vampire who is trying to navigate the modern world for his teenage son Josh.

James: A total douche of a Vampire. He is my brother Andy’s best friend.

Foxy Mendoza: An old friend who dresses sharp and talks fast.

Amelia: My dear Vampire friend who now lives in Las Vegas.

Randy: My son Garrett’s best friend and now college roommate. He is that tall blonde California kid that never comes across as a Vampire. He likes plaid pants and funky vintage clothes.

Chloe, Zoe, Ione: Friends of Garrett and Randy.

Willow: Recently became a Vampire. A bit shy but coming out of her shell.

Jackie Rafferty: Owns a garage that stays open all night. Has a sweet spot for Willow.

Jason: A mysterious Vampire from the islands.

Pleasant Van Dusen: An old beau of mine. The guy in the “Seriously mom” meme.

Constantine: An art loving Vampire who finds solace and meals at local museums. Also a total fashion plate.

Vampire Diary:

Vlad: Former King of Vampires. Author of Vampire Diary. After being locked in a crypt for 300 years he is trying to navigate the modern world.

Gillian: Vlad’s Vampire Lover

Randolpho: Vlad’s best buddy for hundreds of years.

Baba: Vlad’s Grandma

Werewolves:

Adam: A Werewolf and one of the best professional photographers I’ve ever met. He is the best I’ve ever worked with.

Brandy: Adam’s girlfriend.

Zombies:

Michael and Melissa: Young professionals who had the misfortune of becoming Zombies.

Ghosts:

Nigel: The Ghost. He drives me crazy. He is rude and obnoxious and never stops talking. Nigel died at the age of 27 in 1986. He is also my friend, sort of.

Mary: Nigel’s girlfriend. She is exceptionally sweet. She was murdered around 1600.

 

Selkies and Warlocks:

Selkies take both human and seal form. We run into them from time to time. They tend to hang out with Warlocks (don’t ask me why, it just happens.)

Celeste: A Selkie and friend of Max.

Morcant: A Selkie. An old friend of Eleora and Tellias, and best friend of Warlock Druce

Druce: A Warlock. A friend of Eleora and Tellias. Possibly an old flame of Eleora’s before Tellias showed up. Best friend of Selkie Morcant. Druce is known for his baking.

August and Essie: A modern Warlock and a Selkie couple

Regular People:

Kelly: My friend and neighbor.

Austin: A Vampire Hunter. He also restores old buildings and sometimes works with my brother Aaron. He is also in love with Elizabeth (a Vampire)

Shawna: A college professor my brother Andy is in love with, on and off and on and off and maybe on again…

John: John owns the farm next to the farm owned by the Elders Tellias and Eleora. Tellias always thought John was in love with Eleora. I told Tellias that everyone who meets sweet Eleora falls in love with her. John’s family has been friends with mine since the California Gold Rush.

Jack: My special friend and regular lunch date. He is usually on my Friday lunch menu.

LeRoy and Jasmine: Hipster Vegans

Lilly: A woman Val sees every once in a while.

 Johnson and Booth: Men in Black Suits

Captain Sandy: An airship captain.

Bart: Father and business owner. Takes no shit from bullies.

Cassie: Owns a midtown bar frequented by Vampires. A friend of Vlad the Vampire King.

Merlin: Yes THAT Merlin. A time traveler. He is one of many time travelers who show up here from time to time.

Ramon and Josh: Friends of Val.

Officers Garcia and Murphy: County Sheriff Officers: Eleora and Tellias call them when they want take-out delivered to their door.

WPaD –  Writers, Poets and Deviants: A group of amazing writers I’m honored to work with. I’m not sure if any of them are Vampires or not. They are exceptional.

Teachers: This is a parenting blog so I must mention teachers. Great and not so great. Mostly great.

Merlin: Yes, the wizard… again. He is really messed up, poor guy.

 Marla Todd: A writer and artist and editor when she feels like it.

 

Others

There are also assorted dogs and cats. Do a search on dogs or cats. I have a lot of posts about them.

There are also posts about goblins, witchesdemons, aliens, time travelers, fallen angels, and other assorted nasty creatures I really don’t like spending much time with except to complain about them. Oh right, and story problems (or why your kid is failing in math.)

And let’s not forget Arc Angels. They’re around too.

Fairies too! Yes, there are Fairies. Loads of fairies and pixies.

I know I left somebody out but…we all have a lot of people in our lives. I use the term “people” rather loosely.

So have fun. Check the side bars. Read all 2,000 + posts.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

Businessmen, Handsome Gen X

Businessmen, Handsome Gen X

Cut and Color Halloween

zbznner

A few years back I featured my own Cut and Color monsters and mythical creature paper dolls for Halloween. Here they are again (the entire set) for those of you who might have missed them the first time around. Have fun!

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Space Alien Girl

space girlalein togs 2alein togs 1

 

Stylish Zombie

zombie_girl dollz_girlz_girl 2

Punkin Headspunkin-headspunkin-heads dresses 1punkin-heads suitspunkin-heads suits 1

Werewolf and Mermaidh_creaturesh_creatures_magich_creatures_evening

Ghostie

ghostie

Ghostie Fashion Paper Doll. Color an Cut Fun.

 

Short Story Sunday: Blow Up

It wasn’t just one of those days. It was THE day. At least it seemed that way, for a few minutes, then Tara realized that it was a rare week that went by without a disaster.

Take this morning for example. She’d been driving home and heard the sound of an explosion, then sirens, and then saw a huge black cloud coming from the sky. She assumed that it was a fire in a field or an old warehouse occupied by homeless tweekers. She stopped to get gas, then by the grocery store to pick up cat food.

She turned into her street and saw that it was her garage.

“Dingus,” she whispered. Her dog raised his head from the back seat of her car. “Amber,” she said out loud. “Oh no. Amber.”

The detached garage was gone. Firefighters were working on keeping the rest of the house from burning down. Tara parked and ran down the street towards her house. Dingus ran after her.

Her neighbor Sue was standing outside with a beer in her hand. She approached Tara and stopped her from getting too close to the fire. “I have Amber. Your kitty is safe sweetie.”

“What about the guys in the garage?” Tara looked at the fire with tears coming down her cheek.

“I’m going to assume they’re gone. Holy shit, to come all this way and blow themselves up in a garage fire,” said Sue. “I told them just the other day to lay low and not fool with stuff. They never listened. That is on of the great faults of history. Nobody listens to the natives. They have to think they know better. They have to think their technology is always better.”

The women watched as the fire was put out, then Tara approached one of the fire fighters. She held her big Lab mix Dingus close and told him not to jump.

“Hey, Dingus,” he said as he pulled off a glove and put his and on the dog’s head. “I’m so sorry Tara. This is so weird. We thought there was someone in your garage. Maybe… I don’t know. It was weird, like someone running around in the flames. Then we didn’t see them. Was there anyone who might have been in your garage?”

“No, Joe. The only thing I had in there was Dale’s old Mustang, a few tools, and gardening stuff. My Costco stash was in there too, you know toilet paper, paper towels, charcoal. But I kept the lighter fluid in the house. I had a couple of gas cans for the power tools but they were empty.”

They talked some more about the weird explosion and fire. The a handsome officer from the Sheriff Department asked some general questions. He said someone would be out to investigate. Tara called her insurance company, then called her mom and her boss.

After all of the emergency crews had gone, and the yellow tape was around my garage, Sue and Tara poked around a bit.

The women couldn’t find any trace of anything. That included Tara’s deceased brother Dale’s 1965 Mustang convertible. It was a sweet ride – white with a red interior. Dale had loved that car. So had Tara.

Sue looked down at the burnt out garage then at Tara. “Do you think they took the car?”

“Looks that way,” said Tara.

Later that night Sue’s husband and kids came home from a school field trip. They speculated on what might have happened. They decided not to tell the fire department or Sheriff about their own theories.

Despite the smoke smell Tara decided to stay in her house that night. Joe came over later and spent the night. They shared a bottle of wine, made love, and Tara didn’t tell him anything about her garage.

Far away on the moon Titan, circling the planet Saturn, Dolf and Wheeze drove into the underground city in Dale’s 1965 Mustang. They thought their parents were going to kill them for crashing their ship in Tess’s back yard. They’d even get more shit for blowing up her garage. They’d put a chip in Amber’s neck to make sure they’d know what was happening on Earth. Amber seemed to know everything. She was their best long-term connection. But for now they just wanted to settle in from the long trip and cruise with their friends. Life was good, especially for Titan teens.

 

~ end

Thank you for reading yet another story quickly written over Sunday morning coffee.

Yes, this story is in honor of Art Bell who passed away on the 13th (yes Friday the 13th.) I spent many a long lonely drive listening to Coast to Coast, and all of the weird callers who talked about aliens, shadow people, black eyed children, ghosts, and other interesting and amazing things. 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman