Vintage Halloween (with Wolfhounds and Ancient Vampires)

A large wreath on the front door was made of faded and cracked plastic flowers. You know, those plastic flowers that were sold in the Five and Dime stores in the 1960’s. Faded ribbons and bows hung in odd gray pastel tones.

Without even asking I knew Eleora had taken the flowers off of graves that nobody had visited for years. Long forgotten wives and mothers. I knew Eleora had replaced the faded flowers with real ones and taken time to sit and chat with the departed and sing them songs from their times.

Eleora opened the front door and greeted us wearing a bright yellow skirt with a well worn orange sweater with black cat head shaped buttons. Her feet were bare and her toenails painted a glossy red on one foot and black on the other.

“Do you like my Halloween wreath? I made it yesterday.” She took my hand and led me inside.

“Shabby chic.” I said. “Very nice.”

She gave me a hug and kissed my face all over then took the hands of my children and danced them into the house.

The old lab mix slid around the corner barking, followed by two HUGE wolfhounds.  I was surrounded by a sea of happy wiggling dogs. The sharp spikes in my leg was a tiny black kitten who had enthusiastically crawled up my jeans.

“Who are you?” I asked picking up the tiny purring monster. “Oh my goodness you’re cute.” It mewed back in one of those precious tiny kitten voices.

My brother Max had been there, because the wolfhounds were his. My daughter took the kitten who was named Jinx. A fitting name for a black kitten.

Eleora and Tellias are ancient Vampires. They’re seniors, despite the fact that they look like they are in their late teens or early twenties.  This dear old couple has been together for over 2,000 years – a long time for any romance.

Eleora had decorated the walls and windows with old paper Halloween cut-outs. Mostly cats with a few pumpkins and other creatures of the night. She’d also included decorations made by generations of both Vampire and Regular Human children who’d come in and out of her life over the past century.

Tellias came down the stairs, his white blonde hair pulled back into a ponytail and wearing old farmer overalls without a shirt. He had a Mr. Rodgers cardigan on over it.

He gave us all hugs and kisses, a smile on his lovely face. Ancient yet forever young.

“Let’s celebrate Halloween early. Max dropped off two cases of Poet’s Blood!” He led the procession of dogs and family to the formal dining room and took crystal goblets from a large ornate hutch.

I heard a car door close and knew my brother Max had arrived. He came in looking handsome as usual obviously straight from work all in black leather.  I noticed he still had a weapon on his belt. The dogs went crazy dancing and barking.

Halloween is a time to celebrate. More than that, it is an excuse to celebrate and have fun. But we need to celebrate good times and those we love more often without an excuse of a holiday or other special event. It is always time to love and share, especially if you have elders or anyone who is alone or needs a little extra help or company.

Have a wonderful weekend everyone,

xoxoxo,

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

halloween kittie

Silent Nights – Don’t forgot those who are easily forgotten

I made it out to the farmhouse, just outside of town. The lights were off but I knew they were at home. Sometimes they forget to turn the lights on. Sometimes the heat.

The place smells of moth balls, dust and garbage that should have been taken out a week ago. The smell is bad but at least the house looks clean. There aren’t any signs of hording. No signs of anything.

I brought my kids and my brother Max. Max hates going over there but I drag him anyway telling him that it is the right thing to do.

They sit in a small den off of the kitchen watching an old movie – The Bishops Wife. They’ve seen it 100 times and sometimes they’ll watch the same movie every night for a week. They’re on the couch wrapped in a blanket. She has on a red sweater, the one I got her last month on a trip to Target. She was so excited to have something new. He has on a red satin vest and a green bow tie.
She has painted her nails with sparkling gold polish.

We go in and greet them. He was nodding off. She jumps up and covers us with hugs and kisses.

Has anyone else come by this week? I ask. They nod “No” then she speaks up in her child like voice. “Our neighbor brought us some Mandarin oranges off of his tree. Too many for us so make sure you take some home with you. He stayed for tea. I gave him on of my fruit cakes. He said it wouldn’t be Christmas without my fruit cake.”

Her neighbor now in his 60’s has been eating her fruit cake since he was a child. About 20 years ago he moved back into his old family home down the road. He knows about these two old Vampires, but keeps their secrets to himself. Her fruit cake is that good. But the neighbor is the only one who visited aside from us. He is a dear soul who brings their mail up to the house and checks in on them from time to time. They are luck to have him. So many elderly and folks who are alone don’t have a neighbor who cares enough to take a few minutes a week to check in – to care.

The kids took out the garbage. Max listened to the stories he’s heard a million times before and told them of his latest adventures. They listened with amazement and a little confusion, but sometimes added in some words of wisdom and humor that surprised my jaded brother. Our visit was a good thing. Sometimes it is frustrating for me, but I need to be there for the elders who were always there for me. I remember when we were all younger and wish I had those times back again.

Do me a favor, and in the next year reach out to someone who is alone. Bring the mail in for your elderly neighbor or make them cookies once a month or books. Watch a movie with someone who is shut in. Call and check in to an old friend. Offer to help and mean it. Even taking someone to the store, the grocery store or Target means a lot. Those simple acts and everyday things we take for granted are sometimes a BIG deal for someone who is alone. I know it isn’t always easy, but that unease will turn to comfort and joy.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Vampire Diary: Resolutions

Dear Diary,

The diamond earrings went over well today. My Gillian is a happy Vampire. If Gillian is happy then I am happy. A Merry Christmas to me.

~ Vlad

 

_____________

 

Dear Diary,

What is all of this end of the year commotion? It is as if humanity wishes to forget the mistakes of the previous year and try to wash themselves clean. What strange rituals they will perform on midnight January 1st I do not know. Six hundred years ago I would have been able to tell you but now… now anything is possible.

~ Vlad

 

_____________

 

Dear Diary,

Tonight I walked along the streets past bars and clubs watching the people who stood in the doorways and sidewalks. Women and men smiled at me. I smiled back. The thrill of the hunt is almost as good as that first taste of blood on my tongue. Unlike the cat who uses her claws, I seduce my prey like a lover.

A young woman with a round face and long eyelashes asked me in a pretty voice what my New Year’s Resolutions were going to be?

Resolutions? This must be like a vow knights would take to keep their honor for the year. Honor. There is little of that among Vampires or most men for that matter.

There is nothing I could change or imagine doing better. It is the world that needs to become better.

She said she lived near by and invited me to walk her home. I could see in her eyes that she was nervous and excited. She told me her name was Samantha, not Sam. She told me that she thought I was cute. Of course she did. They always say I am cute. I just smiled and did not ask her what she meant by cute.

The apartment was upstairs in a home that had once been a grand mansion, now divided into four separate living quarters.

It was odd, the juxtaposed sadness from Samantha and the cheery apartment decorated with flowers and the colors of sunshine and blue skies.

She poured wine then asked, “Why would a guy who looks like you come home with a girl who looks like me?”

“You’re cute.” She reminded me of her cat with her bright eyes and round face. Cats are cute. Her hair was glossy and moved with her. “Where I come from no woman has hair as beautiful as yours. No woman lives alone in a place as lovely as this. Do you think you’re not worthy of the company of a man like me?”

A tear came down her cheek. “Maybe you should go.”

Suddenly something inside of me became colder than usual. “Sit down Samantha. Let us talk.”

So she talked of her hopes and dreams. She spoke of a man who had left her for another girl. She spoke of a man who ignored her. She spoke of being alone.

I looked into her big blue eyes and put her into a trance. Her neck was warm and her blood was hot. When I was done I let her sleep. But I did not go. I stayed. I do not know why.

An hour later she opened her eyes and looked at me, surprised I was still there.

“Did we?” She asked me.

“Did we what?” I asked back.

“Never mind. You’re still dressed. I’m still dressed.”

It was then I realized what she had asked. She spoke first. “Why are you still here Vlad?”

“I have nothing else to do tonight,” I told her. It was true.

She smiled and the sadness came over her again. I could feel it like a great greedy troll looming in the room. Then she went to the bathroom.

While she was gone I looked on her desk and saw a paper where she had written her “resolutions.”

I will feel beautiful.

I will feel loved.

I will run every morning.

I will

Then I heard the click of the door lock. Then the sound of a body falling.

I stared at the nob of the door and made it unlock. As I stepped forward pills crunched underneath my feet. Inside the small room I found Samantha barely breathing, almost at Death’s door. I could feel the icy chill of a phantom waiting outside to take her soul. Given any other night I would have left her to die, but tonight I had to stay.  No deathly phantom would take her if I could help it. My actions were not out of love. It was something else. I do not know what. Maybe it was the Vampire King in me wanting to protect my people. It was justice for a girl who had been wronged. I wanted to rip the throats out of the men who had hurt her.

I had two choices. I could bring her back with my blood or I could call 911. Giving her MY blood was not an option. Not tonight. Not with Samantha. I had never called 911 before, but that was what I had been told to do if humans were near death.

At the hospital I waited on uncomfortable chairs in a room full of quiet people.

Gillian came and sat with me until a woman who said she was a doctor said Samantha wanted to talk to me.

Samantha lay in a bed with needles and tubes in her arm. It was as if a mad lunatic was experimenting on her.

“You saved my life,” she said.

“Of course I did. I ripped the beating heart out of a man after almost draining his body of blood after he had raped a child. I am not without feeling,” I told her.

As soon as the words came out of my mouth I realized I had said the wrong thing. “You are worth saving. You are worth being alive Samantha. You are loved by many. You are talented beyond compare. Listen to me. Make your resolution to love yourself. Make your resolution to thrive. That will be your best revenge against those imbeciles who scorned you. You are beautiful. Believe me. Samantha, you are beautiful.”

I kissed her on her forehead and she tried to smile and touched my face with her tube infused hand.

I left Samantha with her best friend and her parents. Gillian and I went home.

~ Vlad

______________

 

Dear Diary,

I do not know what is wrong with me.

I used to be so delightfully cold and uncaring.

I do not know who I am anymore.

~ Vlad

 

_______________

Dear Diary,

I am not writing any resolutions. Neither are my cats. We shall all remain cute. LOL. That is supposed to mean I wrote something humorous. I know what WTF means. WTF. WTF. WTF.

I suppose I will try to make sense of this modern world. Maybe not.

~ Vlad

 

 

Silent Nights – Don’t forgot those who are easily forgotten

Just a reminder to keep in touch with those who need it the most. With the holidays coming and the bad weather check in on your shut-in friends and others who need a little extra help and some extra love.

Vampire Maman

I made it out to the farmhouse, just outside of town. The lights were off but I knew they were at home. Sometimes they forget to turn the lights on. Sometimes the heat.

The place smells of moth balls, dust and garbage that should have been taken out a week ago. The smell is bad but at least the house looks clean. There aren’t any signs of hording. No signs of anything.

I brought my kids and my brother Max. Max hates going over there but I drag him anyway telling him that it is the right thing to do.

They sit in a small den off of the kitchen watching an old movie – The Bishops Wife. They’ve seen it 100 times and sometimes they’ll watch the same movie every night for a week. They’re on the couch wrapped in a blanket. She has on a red sweater, the…

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Feeling Like a Blue Moon on a Red Moon Night

I walked through the massive building feeling like I was in a cattle yard or an insane house of horrors or just lost.

The years have taken me through market places all over the world. Places of odd smells and sounds with weird paths and turns that have had me lost for hours.

Yesterday I was in a fog under ceilings with strange gray light, thick air, narrow isles and too much for me to take in or want to take in.

I was bringing flowers to a friend in the hospital. I needed a vase. I stopped at a HUGE Wal-Mart by the hospital. It was two stories and it was nuts. I never get hot. In fact I tend to be cool and level-headed at all times, but with the temperature almost 100 degrees F outside and me… well, me being a creature who naturally shuns the bright lights, I started to feel flushed in my own weird way and not quite in a panic, but I thought of a panic and how easy it would be to get lost in this place for hours on end. It had to be one of the most unpleasant places I have ever been.

I stood looking for a vase in obviously the wrong section of the store and suddenly realized that nobody there was like me.  That isn’t all that unusual. It just was. It didn’t matter. I just needed  pretty vase that would hold tall red, purple and yellow flowers that would brighten up a light mint green hospital room.

A woman offered to help me at checkout isle 8. She said the other checker near by was too slow. She could help 5 people in the time the other could help 1. She was friendly as I commented that the store   near my house was a fraction of the size. The huge store near my house seemed charming and quaint compared to his huge whale belly of a store that had swallowed me up.

Outside the temperature was near 100. Hot for October, even for here. Even in the evening when it should have been cooling off it was hot like the desert. I thought about rest stops in the middle of the Mojave Desert between Barstow and Las Vegas. It was that hot.

Once at the hospital the hallways were cool and the light low. Nobody made eye contact. Nobody looked around. Down the hall towards the emergency room I could see a few ghosts lingering around. They needed to move on. They needed to leave this place. There is nothing here for them. I could feel the cold air off of the ghosts coming down the hall for me. They knew I could see them and knew what they were. It creeped me out and at the same time broke my heart into a million shards of something awful.

I was glad to be alone in the elevator with the vase of pink roses and maiden hair ferns. My bag felt heavy on my shoulder.

I hate hospitals. Yes, there is a certain segment of the Vampire population consisting of ghoulish individuals who enjoy hospitals and places full of sick and injured people on the brink of death. I find it nauseating, like the smell of rotten food. Who wants to eat rotten food?

My friend was in her room, a book on her lap, her eyes closed. She’d been in an accident and had come here to have metal rods put in her bones and skin sewed back on  and glass taken out of her shoulder and arm. I couldn’t believe how cheerful she was in such a place. She couldn’t see the ghosts or smell the smells that made me almost sick. But this wasn’t about me.

I was there for a little over an hour. We talked about everything under the sun and moon and stars. My friend would be home by next week with her family, pets and friends. I marveled at her attitude.

On the way out a ghost stood in the elevator with me. He wore an expensive suit and not a hair was out-of-place, but only half of his handsome face was still on his head and he was missing an arm.

“You ought to go,” I said. “There is nothing here for you.”

“You can see me?” He looked truly surprised with his half of a face.

“Of course I can see you. Please, you don’t want to be a ghost unless you’re going to do it all the way. Even then, you don’t want to be a ghost. Your loved ones have moved on and grieved for you. They will never stop loving you. They will never forget you. But you can’t be part of their lives. You have something else waiting for you. You need to go.”

“How do you know.”

“I’m kind of dead myself, well, undead. Anyway, I just know. I can feel it. Trust me.”

Now I wish I could say I saw a bright light and he waved me good bye and his body was whole again, but it didn’t happen that way. The elevator stopped and he vanished. I didn’t feel his presence anymore. I could only hope he’d moved on.

I’m sure I’ll eventually go online or ask around about him. Maybe not. It just depends on how depressed I really want to get.

In the car home I sang along to Runaway Train. I ran through the stations looking for songs I knew then turned it off and sang Runaway Train again on my own.

At home I half expected to have a ghost waiting for me. The Ghost. Nigel, the ghost who lives near my house but he wasn’t there. I wondered if he’d ever been like the ghosts who seem so lost and hopeless. Nigel is more alive than most live folks I know. But he is one of those ghosts who is in it for the long haul.

I know enough about the world of ghosts to know that it isn’t Lincoln’s ghosts haunting the White House. I know the miners from the Gold Rush sit on the bluffs over the river when the moon is full (like tonight) and wonder if they’ll ever see the elephant. I know that if you speak to a ghost and give it permission to move on that it will move on – at least half of the time. For you see, most ghosts shouldn’t be here. They just got confused and took a wrong turn. They don’t know what to do. Nobody met them at the gate so to speak.

I poured a glass of wine and picked up my Nook. I knew that later I’d watch the lunar eclipse. I did and it was lovely and sort of playful in the way that lunar eclipses can be.

So I don’t know. Just thinking out loud and feeling like singing sort of sad songs. And wondering about ghosts and music and missing my child who has gone off to college.

Anyway, that’s it for now. Just a disjointed day. Sort of like a blue moon on a red moon night.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

vm

 

 

“Runaway Train”

Call you up in the middle of the night
like a firefly without a light
you were there like a blowtorch burning
i was a key that could use a little turning
so tired that i couldn’t even sleep
so many secrets i couldn’t keep
promised myself i wouldn’t weep
one more promise i couldn’t keep

it seems no one can help me now
i’m in too deep
there’s no way out
this time i have really lead myself astray

runaway train, never goin’ back
wrong way on a one-way track
seems like i should be getting somewhere
somehow i’m neither here nor there

can you help me remember how to smile?
make it somehow all seem worthwhile
how on earth did i get so jaded?
life’s mysteries seem so faded
i can go where noone else can go
i know what no one else knows
here i am just drownin’ in the rain
with a ticket for a runaway train

and everything seems cut and dry
day and night
earth and sky
somehow i just don’t believe it

runaway train, never goin’ back
wrong way on a one-way track
seems like i should be getting somewhere
somehow i’m neither here nor there

bought a ticket for a runaway train
like a madman laughing at the rain
little out of touch, little insane
it’s just easier than dealing with the pain

runaway train, never goin’ back
wrong way on a one-way track
seems like i should be getting somewhere
somehow i’m neither here nor there

runaway train, never comin’ back
runaway train, tearin’ up the track
runaway train, burnin’ in my veins
i run away but it always seems the same

 

by David Pirner (Soul Asylum)

Alone or Not – Musings from a Modern Vampire Mom

edge

 

Today someone made a comment to me about taking care of everyone except me.

I guess.

I close my eyes and think of walking on the beach alone. The cold water, the long stretch of beach all to myself. Not the warm beaches to the south but the cold windy beaches of Northern California that call me.

Before school starts I will go. I won’t be alone. The kids will come with me. Maybe friends too. Maybe the husband. Even the dog or a brother or two. It will be a party.

Before I was married I used to travel a lot alone. Sometimes others would question that and be puzzled but I was never bothered by it. If I wanted to go somewhere I’d go.

I tell my kids “you’re your own best traveling companion and sometime your only traveling companion. You have to get along with yourself if you want to have a good trip.” I haven’t always been my own best travel companion but at least I’ve gone places despite the miserable company. Sometimes it has led me to a place where I was good company with myself.

In the triple digit summer heat I seek the cool dark places of both body and spirit. I haven’t had time to have that luxury, not much.

Then again, I spend time above ground in public places laughing with my kids, or making them laugh.

The only time I even stop to think about “alone time” is when I sit down to write, and when I’m writing this blog.

My other writing time is filled with characters that have nothing to do with me. They have much more exciting lives than I do. Well almost. They aren’t Vampires. I mean, you can’t top that.

My brother Andrew once told me, “For such solitary creatures we spend an extraordinary amount of time seeking out the company of others.”

Even a cold touch of a Vampire brings comfort. A flash of smile and a reflection off of eyes in the dark and the faint sound of a laugh in the quiet of the night brings joy.

 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

moth