What if… questions of history and an alternate reality

Oscar Wilde

I have always adored Oscar Wilde.

What if history had turned out differently? We’ve all thought or read about it. Some of us have even written about it. The more common “what if” questions are: What if the South had won? or What if Germany had won WW2? or What if Kennedy or Lincoln hadn’t been shot?

I was recently thinking about the tragic end of Oscar Wilde, and that got me thinking about a lot of things.

What if Oscar Wilde had stayed in California and never gone back to England after his tour? Would he have lived a happy life and died happy surrounded by friends?

What if cats never did funny things?

What if slavery had been abolished during the Revolutionary War?

What if women had been given the vote in 1787 when the American Constitution was written?

What if Frida Kahlo had never been in the bus accident?

What if Leonardo Di Vinci had been born a woman?

What if Philip K. Dick had decided to go into politics instead of writing?

What if dogs had never been domesticated?

What is Disney never made any princess movies? What if Walt Disney had made erotic Westerns or graphic Horror films?

What if Sylvia Plath had lived and divorced her husband and found happiness?

What if Errol Flynn had been cast as Dracula in the 1931 film?

What if a large group of Bigfoots had rescued the Donner Party in 1846?

What if Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan had never been lost?

What if humans didn’t have finger prints?

What if Vampires were accepted into society?

What if Galahad had found North America on his search for the Holy Grail?

What if people weren’t stupid?

 

250492_10153451321092269_6362879269358183633_n

What if? I don’t know. But I did name my cat after Oscar Wilde and he is extremely happy. I also have a beautiful sweet German Shepard named Alice but that isn’t her in the meme above.

What do you wonder about? Let me know. Also feel free to use any of these questions as writing prompts. I’d love to see what you come up with.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Marla Todd _ Oscar Gray

This is Oscar. I love this cat so much. He was named after Oscar Wilde. He is gray like Dorian Gray but unlike Mr. Gray, he doesn’t have a weird painting in the attic, at least not last time I checked.

 

 

 

Space, Crazy Circus Music and A Perfect Seventy-Eight Degrees

I  was going to dive into to my Friday post but my brain is under attack by such noise, I can hardly explain…

I’m in the roller rink for Friday practice. All the skaters are doing beautiful thing with their dance and artistic routines. And yes, any comments about derby will be removed. Anyway, the music today is especially bad. It sounds like an old-fashioned circus. I expect Emmet Kelly and a band of clowns and elephants and dancing bears on skates to come flooding out of the back room any minute.

Dude, dancing bears. I have this poster in my house. The real one.

Dude, dancing bears. I have this poster in my house. The real one.

When we arrived the music (on a circus organ) was “Morning After, ” in some sort of polka or maybe fox trot or even an upbeat cha cha beat. Yes, that song, the one Debbie Boon sang to in the original Poseidon Adventure (1972 with Gene Hackman and Shelly Winters.) Imagine that song upbeat and in a crazy circus organ out of American Horror Story, or worse a Stephen King novel, or more like, well, an alternate or parallel universe. Holy crap this record is bad. No wonder young skaters aren’t joining the sport. Thank goodness the only thing with the old organ music is the American Dance. Yes, boys and girls, this is why your sport isn’t in the Olympics yet. It isn’t the skating – it is the music. Hell upside down. Now a version of “The Stripper” is playing that I have no words to describe. This is the Muzak they play in Hell.

poseidon_adventure_ver2_xlg

OK, back to our previously programmed blog post…

My sixteen year old Clara was talking about the Universe and space earlier today. She can’t get her mind around the fact that the Universe is expanding. But where is it expanding to? Where it come from? What was before the big bang, and before then, and before then? Then she told me about someone who created a photo of the entire Milk Way using millions of images of the Milky Way. It is all mind-boggling.

Then consider the fact that we’re looking at flickering stars billions of miles away. Then consider that someone might be out there looking back at our flickering star (the Sun) and wondering if anyone is out there. Think about it.

It is almost too much to get your brain around. We know so little about our own solar neighborhood. Only in the past hundred years have we managed to fly, and communicate with wires, then wirelessly, then we got cat memes. Actually cat memes aren’t new. But back to space, please.

Pre 1920 Cat Meme. Seriously, I kid you not. Cat memes aren't new. People have been creating them since ancient times. Think about it.

Pre 1920 Cat Meme. Cat memes aren’t new. People have been creating cute cat drawings and memes since ancient times.

Where was I? Oh right, physics, super colliders, and even some quantum physics. Stay with me. This isn’t leading anywhere, but stay with me.

I mentioned to my child that I’d read somewhere that some scientists thought they might be able to get to a parallel universe. The headline was, “Large Hadron Collider ‘Could Be About To Find A Parallel Universe.” Look it up. And if you ever get the chance to visit a Super Collider DO IT. I have and it is super interesting.

So the child asked me what exactly again was a parallel universe.

From Wikipedia: A parallel universe is a hypothetical self-contained separate reality co-existing with one’s own. A specific group of parallel universes is called a “multiverse”, although this term can also be used to describe the possible parallel universes that constitute reality.

Yes, you can be two places at once.

Or as they say in Firesign Theater How Can You Be in Two Places at Once When You’re Not Anywhere at All.

Or another bit I swiped off of the Internet, “But, according to quantum mechanics, microscopic systems can be in two or more places at the same time, a principle called superposition (also called quantum weirdness – no explanation needed). Atoms and electrons can be in two places at once.”

I explained it the best I could in the best mom terms I could. It made more sense than what I’m writing here, but then again, when I’m driving in my car I’m not listening to crazy insane circus organ skate music.

What I didn’t explain to my daughter or anyone else, was that I had been in that somewhere else parallel universe – recently.

Then our conversation changed a bit.

“Being a Vampire is like living in a parallel universe. Tell me again why we can’t let anyone know about us?” My daughter has asked me this a lot.

“Because darling child, we must let them think they are on the top of the food chain. You know what they do to their own kind who are different. You know about the Vampire Hunters. You know the history.”

She shrugged and told me about her English class. Then we listened to music.

My mind went back to the night before.

I was in bed, my arms and legs wrapped around my husband, or I thought it was my husband. I assumed it was my husband. I was hot. I don’t think I’d ever been so hot.

We both opened our eyes at the same time.

“Juliette?” I knew the voice but it wasn’t my husband.

“Pleasant?” It was indeed my old flame Pleasant Van Dusen and he was burning hot. Not burning hot as in that kind of burning hot, but temperature wise hot.

Remember we’re Vampires and run at a cool 78 degrees farenheit. He was burning up at 98.5 degrees give or take a few.

He gave me a weak smile. “Happy Birthday honey.” Then he wiped the sweat off of his forehead. “What is going on? I can’t cool down.”

I rolled away from him. We were naked. Oh my goodness. The room looked unfamiliar but it was in a style that we both would have picked out. Modern with a touch of 80’s – and I mean 1880’s.

“My heart feels like it is beating out of my chest. Feel it.” He said this as he grabbed my hand and put it on his chest.

“It feels like a regular person Pleasant. It feels like…oh my God. Sit up. Look in the mirror.”

We sat up and looked at the mirror on the wall across from the bed. Our images showed up sharp and clear. We both smiled, uncomfortable grins. No fangs. Hot skin. Hearts beating fast. No fangs.

“Dear God, Pleasant, we aren’t Vampires anymore.”

“No. Juliette no.” The panic in his voice was frightening. Pleasant never panicked.

We’d been transformed. Both of us had been Vampires from the day we were born as rare Vampire babies but now…now…now…we were not.

And we were together. The rings on our left fingers matched in design. A portrait of our wedding was on the night table. We gazed out the window. Two moons. That could only mean one thing – an alternate universe.

I got out of bed. Pulling on a pink silk robe (I would have never chosen pink), I opened the bedroom door. Then everything grew dark. Next I opened my eyes and I was back in bed, my arms wrapped around my husband Teddy. He was a cool 78, exactly like a healthy Vampire should be. I was exactly with the man I should have been with.

My phone vibrated. I answered. It was Pleasant. “Are you a Vampire Juliette?”

“Yes. You?”

“Yes, are you with your husband?”

“Yes, are you with your wife?”

“Yes. What happened?”

“Alternate or parallel universe. We must have hit some sort of time warp or black hole, or I don’t know.”

“Are you cold.”

“Yes, thank goodness. You?”

“Yes, I’m cool.”

“Juliette, I gotta go. I’ll call you.”

“Sure, take care. Be careful.”

“You too. You too Juliette.”

And that was it. We were one of them if only for a moment. It was life as it would have been if we’d been regular “normal” people. But we aren’t.

I didn’t tell my child. I had no idea if our Regular Human versions ended up in our beds with our spouses. I didn’t ask. I don’t want to know.

I feel hot.

I feel hot.

 

I’ll continue to talk science with my kids. We will continue to speculate. But sometimes, just sometimes, it is good not to mention those time warps that happen when we least expect it.

So I guess, the only thing to say is to stay curious, stay cautious, and stay cool. And that my friends is the only point to this story.

And like I always say, take with your kids. Talk with them. Explore with them. Discuss with them.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Businessmen, Handsome Gen X

Short Story Sunday: Glass Dreams

Dreams: An Austin and Elizabeth Story (Part 15)

“I had one of those real dreams last night. You know those dreams where it seems real. I mean really real, like you’re there and you know the people. Dreams that make you feel like it is happening to you RIGHT NOW.”

The dream involved a zombie apocalypse, an air ship sort of air plane, a roughly handsome zombie general who was addicted to prescription pain killers and carried a guitar with him, and a zombie queen. It wasn’t his usual type of dreams. Austin explained his Little Nemo in Hell story as Elizabeth listened.

“They weren’t really zombies in the classic sense, but they had been changed into something else. Like followers in bodies and minds that were connected. Don’t think I’m crazy. It was so real.”

“You’re talking to a Vampire,” she said with just the slightest smile. He thought he could see a bit of fang. “You had a classic Steampunk Zombie dream. It isn’t common but it isn’t that unusual.”

Every guy she ever dated, Regular Human or Zombie had told her about variations on that dream. She knew where it had come from. The ambrotype that held the dream was propped up on a book shelf in her living room.

That is what happens when you are the caretaker of a man who is trapped in an alternate universe within a piece of glass reflecting his image.

handsome Victorian man

Elizabeth kissed Austin. “You should write it down. Really. I’m serious. I’m going to make coffee.” She slid out of the covers and put on a robe. “Coffee sounds good right now.”

It was 3:00 a.m. but she didn’t keep track of time unless she had an appointment. By the time she left the bedroom Austin was already asleep again.

In the kitchen she thought of Austin with his dreams and his warm skin. She turned the burner on under the water kettle and then closed her eyes for a second to think of his touch and the sound of his voice. Almost immediately she opened her eyes again to the sound of heavy breathing.

Her eyes opened. Standing before her was the man in the glass.

“Your man is dreaming of me. Do you know how embarrassing that is?”

“I can’t help it.”

“I’m no walking dead man. Plus I was never addicted to pain killers.”

“I’m well aware of that. Listen, Austin had a dream. Nothing else.”

“I’ve got a hankering to trade places with him. If he was to be in the glass I could…”

“I’ll smash the glass.”

“You’d kill me after all we’ve been through together?”

She lifted her coffee cup up to him and smiled. “Yes, I’d kill you.”

With that he vanished. She put more milk in her coffee and thought about her life a long time ago when she was as warm as the man sleeping in her bed upstairs. There were no Vampires or alternate universes or zombies or ghosts or other things that go bump in the dark. She lived in a world where the only thing one could not see was the face of God. It was a time when no respectable single woman would have a man spend the night. It was time when a Vampire like her would never be falling in love with a mortal man.

Going upstairs she crawled back into bed next to the warm body. Austin held her close and whispered, “I love you,” in her ear.

Elizabeth fought the urge to sink her teeth into his neck. Getting out of bed again she went downstairs again and curled up with a book. The man in the glass followed her with his eyes. Turning the glass portrait around she returned to the book and tried to forget how complicated her life had gotten.

_______________

For the entire Austin and Elizabeth Series CLICK HERE.

Cockroaches of the Space Time Continuum

478695753

 

My mother always said, “Time Travelers are the cockroaches of the space time continuum.”

She should know. They love her. She hates them. I don’t blame her.

Mom is one of those scary alpha Vampires. She is always calm and collected without a hair out of place or a stain on her shirt (something I could never achieve.) She can put the chill of death in anyone but at the same time can seduce and charm like no other. She is a predator through and through.

That said, she has problems with Time Travelers. She attracts them like a possum attracts fleas. Moth to a flame. Freaks to her daughter. All the clichés apply.

Time Travelers are like those pretentious fools who show up at a Civil War reenactment or a Dickens’ Christmas Fair dressed in their Star Fleet Command uniforms (Spock and Kirk) expecting everyone to ohhhhh and ahhhh over them and tell them “You’re so smart. Your mother must be proud of you.” It is only fun for those in the wrong costumes.

Aside from inappropriate behavior, Time Travelers are usually dishonest and traveling with stolen technology. Honestly do you believe a man born in 1959 could have invented a time machine that works? He’ll tell you he did but he more than likely killed the original owner or obtained the machine through other dishonest means. More than likely the time machine wasn’t even from this galaxy (most aren’t).

I know this sounds far-fetched, but walk in my shoes for a 154 years and you’ll see a lot of things the average person would never imagine much less believe in.

Vampires don’t have a problems with the concept of time travel. It is the Time Travelers we don’t like.

Time Travelers, as a rule, come along never clean or dirty enough for the period, their costume and language always wrong, trying to blend in and trying to make things better or worse. Time Travelers think they have high moral compass and know what is right for everyone. They have no idea. There are the few honest historians of the lot…I take that back…the honest ones are only in fiction. The real Time Travelers are sick and twisted individuals who go where they aren’t invited and don’t care who they screw with.

They think they can meet Queen Victorian or Hitler or Cleopatra or Bill Clinton and change the world, or gain riches or power or whatever it is they’re after.

But sometimes I have to admit that I wonder about going back in time. I used to imagine what my parents were like when they were young, falling in love in the 17th century. I wondered what the elders were like 2,000 years ago.

Why mom, you and dad looked great in those clothes. How did you manage to get anything done?

Why mom, you and dad looked great in those clothes. How did you manage to get anything done?

 

I wish I could go back in time and change things with my kids a bit. At least this week. I wish my son had told me about the crappy teachers his sister was assigned to this year (first year of high school.) His excuse is that he had all honors classes and different teachers. I wish I could jump in some sort of space/time machine and see how he’ll do in the different colleges he has been accepted to. His first choice right now is a prestigious college on the coast where he wants to study Environmental Science and minor in Music. His best friend is also considering it. Considering it… the boys have it all planned out. I know it will be a good choice, the right choice, but I’m his mom. I have to make myself sick over these things.

I’d like to see how the pyramids in Egypt were built. I’d like to see the Vampires of the Middle Ages. I’d like to see everything I see in paintings come to life. I mean, wouldn’t we all? Who wouldn’t be curious about it. Who wouldn’t want to see the wonders of the ancient world? Who wouldn’t like to see live dinosaurs standing as tall as a house?

 

It is all just a bunch of strange physics!

It is all just a bunch of strange physics!

So the other night I was visiting with the Elders, Tellias and Eleora at their grand Victorian farm house. My mom had driven up from San Francisco (a city with a large Vampire population) for a visit.

She was curled up on the couch in the parlor wearing jeans and a deep purple cashier sweater set and pearls my father had given her at least 100 years ago. Her chestnut colored hair fell across her shoulders, which I could tell were tense. We look a lot alike except her hair is longer and her eyes are more blue, and she is beautiful in one of those stunning head turning ways.

Tellias was dressed in a black velvet smoking jacket and purple plaid pants. His white blonde hair was tied back today. He looked about 19 but he was well over 2,000.

My mother was complaining that she was getting no rest from the Time Travelers. That must either mean that something is happening, or about to happen or else they were just Hell bent on driving her crazy.

“I’m going to stop this nonsense once and for all,” she said with almost a growl in her voice.

Tellias furrowed his brow at her. “What are you planning on doing?”

“I’m going to change history,” said my mother.

“Samantha you don’t mean to…”

She smiled showing a bit of fangs. “What a tragedy it will be when two seasoned time travelers don’t return home.”

“Good idea,” I said. “Your grandchildren don’t need any crazies screwing up their future.” I thought they could do that all on their own. Then I turned to my ancient friend. “Tellias, when was the first time you encountered a Time Traveler?”

Tellias shrugged. “In Britain, when I was still with the Romans. When I was a Roman. They came in speaking their Catholic school Latin as if we’d understand everything they said, much less believe their ruse. Of course they didn’t fare well.”

“What happened?”

“They had come to see the Romans in Britain and expected to find some simple folks hugging trees and a bunch of gladiators. Oh but the wonder in their eyes. It was far more complex and interesting than anything they’d ever imagined. We were all a lot smarter and sophisticated and free thinking than they were ever taught in their history classes. I warned them to stay near but they went off on their own. By the time we found them one had already been killed by the Romans for being a general pain in the ass and a threat,  and the other two were in bad shape. The woman ended up settling in with the Warlock next door. It was a strange sort of love at first sight situation. The man tried to make the best of it, but he died within a year of an infection related illness. His body couldn’t handle the grime of the time.”

He stopped then called into the next room, “Eleora, what was that Warlocks name we used to live next to, the one who married the Time Traveler?”

Eleora came out, rust colored curls flying around her head, “Her name was Tiffany. Tiffany Green. He was Hamon.”

“Whatever happened to them Eleora dear?”

“She died a few years later in childbirth. Tragic, tragic, tragic. I really did like her. I liked her a lot. She wasn’t like the other Time Travelers. Not so much the idiot. Not mean and stupid. I hear Hamon is still around somewhere. Hamon. Sounds like some sort of cooking term. Put the Ham on before you boil the water. Or an organ. Play some skate music on your Hamon dear and we’ll take a spin around the rink.”

“But,” I asked “Couldn’t you have turned Tiffany into a Vampire so she could have stayed longer?”

Tellias shook his head, “Time travel messes with your system. She would have died a rather horrible death if we’d tried to convert her, plus maybe lost her soul in the process. So no, once they’re here they’re well sort of screwed.”

“Seasoned Time Travelers start to get, well overly emotional and confident. A bad combination,” added my mother.

My mother pulled me aside later and told me not to talk too much of Time Travel. She said it attracted them and worried others. According to her it is a nice idea in theory but the reality is so jacked up that nobody wins or really learns anything from it. I wasn’t going to argue. She speaks from experience.

So for now I’ll be happy to time travel in books and movies and walks among old places. I’ll speak with those who are older than me and hear the whispers of ghosts. I’ll have my own stories and ramble on about them (or just keep rambling…)

And I’ll look forward to the future – which I believe will be bright and full of wonder.

 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

 

 

Time travel makes me dizzy.

Time travel makes me dizzy.

 Note to my regular readers – this post kind of fell flat and didn’t meet my original expectations. I did not do justice to those I was writing about or … well, let’s just say my usual rush didn’t work for me this time. I  plan on rewriting this story later so that it will all of the details and feeling you deserve. 

For more on my mother Samantha and Time Travelers CLICK HERE.

For more on my Vampire mom  CLICK HERE. 

For Dancing on the Beach CLICK HERE.

For a short story about Time Travelers CLICK HERE.

 

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/03/31/writing-challenge-time-machine/

More Books From An Alternate Universe

We had so much silly fun with this last time that I thought I’d share…

More books for an alternate universe

Note: Vampires are not overly fond of Time Travelers (click on the link)  from our universe but from time to time we get some delightful books from travelers from Alternate Universes.

Eat, Pray, Love

Howard Smith is overweight and destined to be single for the rest of his life. So he becomes a priest, but soon he falls in love with Sister Ann. They both find redemption through healthy living and sharing an adventure in soul searching (with a little soul food added in for spice.)

Bridges of Madison County

Photographer Jimmy Geographic is hired to take photos of structural damage after an earthquake but soon finds himself in the middle of a murder investigation. Very married Detective Maria Italiano soon tries to find the killer while she tries to stay out of the arms of Jimmy Page.

50 Shades of Gray

Christian found himself in a rut and feeling like his World was black and white. Take a spiritual journey with him as he finds the shades of gray in life and gets depth back into his life with color and the true meaning of spiritual giving.

Hamlet

A small pig brings joy to a stressed out New York stockbroker.

The Time Traveler’s Wife

Tired of staying home while her husband travels through time Betty takes charge and does some traveling of her own.  Not only does she turn the clock back on her cheating pervert of a husband but she ends up finding true love in the most unusual time and place.

books

 Feel free to share your favorites!

For more reading from an Alternate Universe click here. OK I gotta admit that this first list is better.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Reading List in an Alternate Universe

Catcher in the Rye

After an injury at the World Series star baseball catcher Blake Woodward finds happiness running his grandfather’s distillery, but will he find romance with the quirky booze blogger Andie Sampson?

Lord of the Rings

Jared inherits a title and a castle. But will he also find love when he allows a circus to camp on his property over the summer?

Madam Bovery

When Emma, a French widow finds herself alone and longing for adventure, she buys a Montana Cattle Ranch. Little did she know that along with her bovine companions, she’d have to deal with the mysterious and handsome large animal vet Logan McClellen. Will Emma find love among the cows or will Logan’s past catch up with them both?

Frank N Stein

Dr. Victor is a successful medical researcher during the day, but at night he moonlights at the brew pub Frank N Stein. Just as he finds cures for the body, at the pub he finds cures for the souls of those who come in for the fine brews. When he meets the beautiful and spunky fashions designer Melanie Zapp he wonders if it is now his time for healing and love.

Dracula

Dashing Count Dracula finds that he can no longer live a quiet life when the evil attorney Jonathan Barker accuses him of murder. To make it even more complicated Dracula is a Vampire. In order to clear his name and that of his Werewolf sidekick the lovely India Tanto, he goes to England where he attempts to clear his name and along the way find love in the most unlikely of places.

Breakfast at Tiffany’s

Tiffany Jackson finally is getting her dream and turning the old Sea Mansion into the most trendy Bed and Breakfast on the West Coast. After hiring handsome breakfast cook LaMar Donatello things couldn’t be better until mysterious and frightening things began to happen in the old house by the sea. LaMar and Tiffany look for clues in their cooking and maybe solve the mystery of multiple murders and perhaps find love.

David Copperfield

Hunky David English finds himself winning the largest Copper mine in the state of Arizona in a poker game. He literally digs in and brings profits back to the people of Rattle Snake Gulch, but will he find love in the arms of the mysterious daughter of the local ghost?

The Outsiders

Classic teen tale of a group of friends who are forced to give up their cell phones and spend the summer OUTSIDE by the local lake and walking nature trails. Can they survive? Can they find love? Maybe a little common sense and conversation? Find out in this gripping tale of survival and friendship.

20121109-204923.jpg