Personal hygiene, Vampire Hunters and Real Friends…and don’t forget the Marx Brothers

Vlad was supposed to come through with a Vampire Diary post today but I couldn’t find him. I’m sure he forgot to charge his phone or got lost somewhere. So anyway, I’m posting this fine tale (and it is ALL TRUE) from 2013.

Personal hygiene, Vampire Hunters and Real Friends…and don’t forget the Marx Brothers

The other day I picked up my kids, then had to stop by my warehouse to pick up some paperwork. 13 year old Clara was talking with her 16 year old brother Garrett (recently ungrounded) about donors. Clara has just recently started taking live donations. Oh yes, and for those of you who aren’t from our community, and new to this blog – we’re Vampires. Modern Vampires. Forget the nasty black capes, the sleeping in coffins, the ripping out of hearts…we don’t do that. We’re just like you…well, maybe a little older, a little colder and a little more forgiving of those who are “different”.

So Garret was telling his sister “If you get greedy and take in too much blood from a donor all at once you get blood breath”.

Clara squinted up her eyes and nose. “What it smells like copper or something?”

“No”, said Garrett, ” it smells like rotting flesh. It’s gross.”

I had to add in “And if you’re not neat your entire house smells like a stockyard.”

“What’s a stock yard?” asked Clara. Which surprised me, but then again, she has no reason to know about stockyards.

“Mom means a slaughter-house. That’s where cows are killed and butchered,” Garrett told his sister.

“Gross.”

“Not to mention the farts.” Garrett had to mention the farts. What is it about boys and farts?

Clara looked at me in disgust. “Mom. Farts? Really?”

I shrugged and smiled, “Nothing worse than being in your most elegant evening gown, fresh from a kill at some grand party and then rip a big one that the entire party can hear. And if you think it is loud just imagine the smell. Like death warmed over.”

“Rotted flesh on a hot summer day, swarming maggots, skin slipping off of bones” added Garrett.

Clara covered her ears. “Stop it. You two are so disgusting.”

“Just trying to get a point across,” I told her.

“I get it,” said my daughter.

“Good hygiene is a key to survival with Vampires.” I added as we came to the end of the long hallway in the Victorian era building and I took out my key to the last door.

“Juliette.” I heard a voice behind me and turned around. It was Jack, my attorney and very human friend.  “I saw the light and thought I’d drop off this paperwork to you.” He greeted the kids and we had some nice small talk. Jack has been a family friend for years, and his kids go to school with my kids. We’re all good. And as long as he doesn’t figure out we’re Vampires it will remain good.

We’re getting ready to leave, talking about maybe a trip to the snow park or maybe the movies (none of us have seen Lincoln yet) when we hear someone else in the warehouse. My senses perk up. The kids can sense something. I feel protective over Jack all of the sudden and even more protective over my two children.

A the end of the hall are three figures all in black.

“I’m sorry, it’s after business hours. You’re going to have to leave.”

They continued forward. I recognized one of them. “Bryan?” I said. My past won’t stop haunting me. Bryan Gould, still handsome but 30 years older than the 24 year old I knew back then,

“Juliette.”” He said this with a deep breath voice that caught even me off guard.

“The Vampires have brought children with them. We’ve caught them feeding?”  Said a woman dressed in head to toe black like she is trying to chanel Emma Peal from the Avengers.

“Oh for Pete’s sake. What are you doing here and why did you bring your crazy girlfriend?” I asked Bryan in a deadpan voice.

“You know why Juliette.” He said

“No, I don’t. Honestly after all this time you’d think I’d get a hello how are you after all this time and considering our past history.” This blog is rated PG-13 so I won’t go into that.

“You drank my blood,” Bryan said.

“Leave now or I’m calling 911.” Said Jack. My dear friend Jack.

I now recognized the three in black, including my old friend as Vampire Hunters. Pretty piss poor Vampire hunters but often they’re the most dangerous. Yes, I could read their minds and they were dressed in black with knives and crucifixes and I’m sure they’d all eaten garlic etc etc etc. Idiots.

“They’re idiots Jack.” I turned to Bryan.

“You need to go, NOW.” I was pretty pissed off by now.

“Give me the children,” Bryan yelled at me.

“Put one hand on my kids and I will fucking rip your heart out of your chest.” It was on. I wasn’t taking any crap from him.

Needless to say my kids looked shocked and so did Jack.

Bryan raised a gun at me.

“Don’t hurt my mom.” Yelled Garrett showing his fangs.

“You turned them into Vampires.” Screamed the woman in black.

“They were born that way. And you know what? There is NOTHING wrong with who they are or what they are. What the hell is wrong with you people?” I wasn’t yelling but I was cold and clear.

Poor Jack. I wanted to keep him in the dark but I had to protect him and my children. I stood my ground. “Bryan, we had a lot of good times. It was fun. I wanted to keep those memories good for both of us.”

“Too late Juliette.” My former friend still pointed the gun at me.

“Fine, have it your way.” I walked close to him motioning for my kids and Jack to stay back. Jack started to come forward. “Stay where you are Jack. I’ve got this.”

Byan’s friends came closer. I snarled at them, fangs and all. The jumped back. Then I looked at Bryan and pulled his free will right out of his brain. He dropped the gun then sank to the floor. I took a breath then turned on the others. The man started to run and then fell screaming holding his head. I walked up to the woman. She was breathing hard. I put my hands on her shoulders and got close to her face “You can’t mess with a Vampire if you have evil in your heart. Bother me or any of my friends or family again and I will eat your soul.” She tried to push me away and I kept her frozen, unable to move.

Yes, but what about Jack. Poor Jack.

“Jack, I didn’t want to tell you this, but we’re Vampires. All of us.” I told him. I finally told him my secret. Damn, I hate it when I have to do that.

“I thought…there is no such thing as Vampires.” Jack looked at me all shocked and confused (I mean, wouldn’t you be shocked and confused if this happened to you?)

“There are Werewolves too.” Said a deep voice. There at the door was my friend Adam, the Werewolf, and best photographer in Northern California.  “I heard Bryan was on his way over. I tried to stop them. I swear I had no idea what he’d gotten himself messed up with.

“What the Hell happened here?” Said a voice I didn’t know. Behind Adam was a small woman in a really cute tweed coat and flaming red (natural color too) hair. “Oh, Juliette, Clara, Garrett, Jack, I’d like to introduce you to my girlfriend Brandy.”

Poor Jack was totally confused by then. He knew Adam. They’d known each other since high school and both went to UCLA together (Adam in Art, Jack in Political Science and Law) and ended back up in their hometown.

“Adam?” Jack stared at his old  friend in shock.

I walked up to Adam. “Do you think you can talk any sense into Bryan or am I going to have to mess with his mind. I’d rather not, but I’m not taking any chances with my kids or Jack.” I turned to Jack. “Jack, I hate for you to have to deal with this but there is a whole big world out there you know nothing about.”

Jack looked at me, still in shock “You’re telling me there are really Vampires?”

Adam answered him. “Yes and I’m a Werewolf, so is Brandy. But don’t flip out on me friend. We’re cool. We don’t hurt people. In fact we help more people than we ever hurt in the past. We’ve got a bad rap.”

“You said you’d rip his heart out?” Jack motioned to the Vampire Hunters on the ground.

I answered him gently. “If he’d touched any of you I would have, but it was mostly a bluff. You know the mother wolf in me, no offense Adam.”

“None taken.” Said the Werewolf.

“Mom”, said Clara “What are you going to do with these people?”

I really didn’t want to tell her what I should do with them. In the old days I wouldn’t have thought twice of draining every drop of blood in their bodies and ripping their hearts out but I just don’t like doing that sort of thing anymore. I never liked it. But then again, I never had children before either. I didn’t want these goons or their leaders to come after them again.

Then I noticed she had been crying. That was it. Nobody makes my child cry.

Garrett spoke up. “It’s like that movie Shallow Grave.”

“When did you see that?” I asked surprised even for a Vampire mom. He wasn’t supposed to see that one yet.

“With Dad.” Said my son.

What goes on when I’m not home I’ll never know.

Jack seemed to be in shock. I’d have to calm him down. Adam and Brandy looked at the Vampire hunters in disgust. They could have well be Werewolf hunters. The door opened again. Who was it this time? I hoped not the police.

There were the elder Vampires Tellias and Eleora . He was dressed in a long black coat, an old fashioned tuxedo shirt and red pants. His pale blonde hair was tied back in a black ribbon. She wore a red mini skirt, high black rubber rain boots and a red coat with huge shoulder pads with a large white fake fur collar. Her red lipstick had sort of a weird uneven outline like one of the girls from Terry and the Pirates. Both had goggles around their necks and snorkels. They were both wearing straw hats, the kind people wear out gardening.

They came in and fussed about in their usual manner, showering my children and I with hugs and kisses. They were so lovely and frail, almost more like Fairies than Vampires.

“What are the goggles for?” I asked.

“We were going to go swimming in the river,” said Tellias.

“That’s nuts” said Jack “you’ll drown. The currents are too strong and the water is too cold this time of year.”

“We won’t die,” said Tellias in almost a whisper.

“We’re undead.” Elora told Jack in a whisper and tone that matched Tellias.

“So Vampires are dead”, Jack asked looking straight at me.

“No, we’re very much alive, meaning we’re undead,” I answered in all truth.

“You’re soulless gouls,” Jack gasped.

“We have souls only unlike you our souls belong to us and us alone.” I tried to get him to understand.

“So my soul isn’t mine?” Jack asked now clearly confused beyond return.

I took a deep breath. “Jack, your soul is yours and you can do what you want with it including selling it. Vampires can’t sell their souls, not to anyone. Needless to say unlike humans we’re impervious to the forces of evil. Of course we can be tempted and we do bad things, but we can’t sell our souls to control fate or whatever.  In turn angels and the like ignore us but it is what it is. They’re the ones missing out if they don’t get to know us.”

The oddly dressed elder Vampires studied over the prone figures in black.

“They’re bad people.” Eleora said as she stepped around them making a circle.

“Bad indeed,” said Tellias.

“Indeed,” said Eleora.

“Who are they? They can’t be over 21.” Jack gasped looking from them to me.

“They’re elders. They’re over 2000 years old.” I answered.

“We were born in BC.” Tellias said stepping towards Jack.

Eleora took Jack’s hand. “Not Canada, Before Christ. A long long time ago.”

Tellias ecoed, “a really long time ago.”

“We just look young,” said Eleora.

“We’ve been around a long long time,” said Tellias.

Jack pulled his hand from Eleora. “How old are you? Juliette?”

“Jack,  you don’t need to know.” He really didn’t.

“Juliette, tell me. Please.” He was begging now, well almost.

I took a deep breath. “I’m 153. Teddy is 163. We’re young as Vampires go.”

“We’re going swimming,” said Eleora.

“And we’re good swimmers and we can see under water” said Tellias.

“We’re very good swimmers,” sad Eleora.

“Yes, very good,” said Tellias.

“Do you have your suits with you?” Garrett asked this question.

“We’re going to go naked,” said Eleora.

“Completely naked,” chimed in Tellias.

I do love my old Vampires. They’re sort of odd, well, sort of is an understatement, but I love them.

 

“So what are we going to do with these three?” Asked Adam.

“We’ll deal with them Werewolf. Don’t worry about a thing. We’ll wipe their memories clean and send them on their merry way,” Tellias said with a lovely white Vampire smile.

“We’ll deal with them.” Eleora said as she kissed Adam on the cheek. Adam smiled then looked slightly uncomfortable at being approached by a Vampire so ancient.

Bryan groaned. Brandy nudged him with her foot. “Shut up or I’ll rip your throat out,” she growled at him.

I wanted to tell her “Good Dog” but stopped myself.

Then the door opened again. In walked a couple dressed in skinny jeans and stylish jackets and of course scarves. One must have  a scarf these days.

The Elders danced over to them and embraced and introduced their friends. Poor Jack was ready to pass out at this point with all the weirdness.

The elders introduced their friends. LeRoy and Jasmine were young and hip.

“We saw your car and thought we’d drop in,” said Jasmine.

“Are you Vampires too?” asked Jack.

“We’re vegans. But we’re cool if you’re a vampire. If you’re born a predator it’s your nature. That’s just the way you are and we accept that. I mean, like, my cat eats meat,” LeRoy answered.

This was starting to remind me of that scene in Night at The Opera (Marx Brothers) when about 100 people crowded into a closet size state room, then someone opened the door. You know what happened. If you don’t see the clip. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ZvugebaT6Q

The Elder Vampires, LeRoy and Jasmine removed the bad people in black. Adam and I made a list of 100 people we needed to track down and find out what happened (or it seemed like 100). He and Brandy also helped me explain to my kids just what happened. We’d talk more on the way home and I’m sure for the coming weeks. Of course I know my children won’t talk about this except maybe to their Vampire friends. Everyone who needs to be informed will be.

Then there was Jack. He was shocked to know that his wife had known we were Vampires for years. She thought it was exciting. Jack still needed convincing. But I let him know that he was always safe and protected as long as he was my friend, which would be for always. That is how Vampires are. Once a friend, always a friend.

So the moral of this story is that you just have to roll with things but first and foremost:

  • Protect your children at all costs.
  • Surround yourself with friends you trust.
  • Keep those friendships strong.
  • Keep your elders in your life.
  • Don’t judge your friends by their eating habits.
  • Don’t put up with jerks.
  • Always bring a towel along if you’re going swimming (well, ok, according to Hitchhikers Guide always have a towel.)
  • And if you haven’t seen them already, make sure you see “A Night At The Opera” and “Duck Soup”. Marx Brothers. Don’t worry, they aren’t communists.

That’s it for now.

Have a great weekend.

~  Juliette aka Vampire Maman

A Summer Day – Musings from a Vampire

Early this morning there was an unexpected knock on my door. I say unexpected because my entire family is otherwise engaged this weekend leaving me alone.

My neighbor and friend Kelly stood there with a smile on her pretty face. I smiled back (minus my fangs). She handed me a cup of coffee with a lid on it and said “We’re going to the farmer’s market. Yes, you’re coming with me. Teddy said you were all alone this weekend.”

Damn you Teddy, my loving husband who always manages to interfere with my brooding.

After slathering on spf 4000 sunscreen and grabbing a straw hat and a few reusable bags, Kelly and I headed off to the Certified Organic Farmer’s Market.

Music was in the air in the middle of the booths as an attractive couple played folk songs from the 1960’s on guitars and sang. I could smell the fresh peaches, greens, squash and dozens of other organic “farm to table” treats. I am getting tired of the term “farm-to-table” but this is the real deal we have here. I picked up a rare treat of sage cheddar cheese, huge bunches of kale and chard and a bag of nectarines. The lavender guy was out so I filled a bag with scented oils and sachets. I also got a huge bouquet of summer flowers. Later in the summer there will be more peppers and tomatoes but I did find some huge heirloom tomatoes in a green and deep burgundy color.

I don’t eat much solid food but when I do I make sure it is lovely. But I can guarantee you that there is nothing more out of place than a Vampire strolling through produce stalls on a summer morning.

Kelly mentioned with a smile how dark my glasses had turned in the sun. She knows that my entire family has extreme sun sensitivity issues to different degrees. But we can’t shut ourselves off from the world if we’re to be part of it – plus the vibes from this place is always so good. I might be a Vampire but I’m not opposed to good vibrations on a California summer morning.

After leaving we stopped by The Morning Crow, a small earthy crunchy organic coffee roaster. Their sign features the sun coming up but not with a rooster, but a large black crow. Nevermore is never said here because it is always lovely. Kelly and I lingered over iced coffee in a well air-conditioned shop while sitting on an oversized couch. New age music played in the background. When others try to do this sort of motif it gets annoying but today I was feeling it.

I was almost feeling human when Kelly said, “I know this sounds weird, but sometimes I feel like I have a ghost in my house.”

I gave her a “please go on” calm look but I knew sooner or later she’d figure it out. My ghost, Nigel, THE GHOST was really Kelly’s ghost. He lingered watching over her and her family but never make himself known. She told me of feeling like she was being watched or feeling the presence of someone she’d known who’d died. Considering that it seems like everyone around Kelly has an untimely death she could spend decades guessing who the ghost is.

I told her I was opened minded about ghosts but gave no additional details.

From there we made a quick stop to help out Kelly’s mother. She had broken her arm so Kelly was helping her wash her hair.

The intimate details of human life seem so fragile to me. The way Kelly French braided her mother’s iron gray hair into a beautiful intricate pattern mesmerized me. I thought of memories long ago of women with intricate braids and curls (not all their own) going to parties with gas lights and laughing behind fans. I snapped out of my revelry when Kelly’s mother, Lois, said “You never seem to age Juliette.”

I mumbled something about sunscreen.

Then Lois said, “You reminds me of someone I used to know. He’d be ancient now, but you look so much like him. You have the same eyes. Deep like the color of the sea. It is as if I can see down to your very soul. Such eyes. His name was Val.”

Before I could say anything Kelly said, “Juliette has a brother named Val.”

It is a small world indeed that someone who knew my brother in 1950 would mention now how much I look like him. We all figured it must have been an uncle of mine. I’m quick with answers for those who recognize us but don’t know exactly why.

Lois took my hand in hers. “Your hands are cold like mine, but not all twisted with arthritis. I hope neither one of you get it. There was something timeless about your uncle. You should tell your brother to come see me.” Then she winked giving me one of those all-knowing smiles. Holy shit.

I volunteered to wash dishes for Lois while Kelly spoke with her about medical issues and family concerns. It made me think of a lot of things.

Then they asked me about my parents and if they were still alive. Of course, living in San Francisco near two of my brothers. How time passes and even in human years so much happens. We live so many different lives in just a short time. It is the people who come and go out of our lives and those little things that twist and turn it all around and upside down over and over and over again.

While the news stations rage on about war and violence and horrible things, I see something else in humans. I see a great capacity for love and caring. I see tenderness. I see goodness and hope. I see a lot of humor and more joy. Mostly love. They are so full of love. One wouldn’t think that but they are.

As we arrived home my cats ran over to greet us. One ran up a tree while the other rolled in the dirt and sang a song of cats that begged for someone to pet his tummy.

By then I was fried but it was worth it, to get me out of the dark, even if being in the dark is my natural state.

Going out to my back deck I looked into the oak forest for signs of The Ghost. He was nowhere to be found. Maybe another day, maybe tonight. I never know with him.

The sound of elephants stomping came from the front porch as my son Garrett and his friend Randy came almost crashing through the front door laughing – as always. It is good to be 18, especially if you’re a young Vampire – even if the sun is shining and you feel like you have heat stroke.

I said “Group hug,” and that is exactly what I got.

It is going to be a long hot summer, but like all experienced Vampires, I’ll survive the heat and I think enjoy every minute of it, thanks to my friends. Well, that and air conditioning and really good black-out shades.

 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

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Musings on the Human Capacity for Love

First posted on Vampiremaman.com May 2012.

Musings on the Human Capacity for Love

I dropped my mom off at the airport tonight. I doubt if anyone knew she was my mom. Maybe my sister.

While there I watched a middle aged woman helping her elderly mother, who was perhaps in her 80’s, to security. They were so sweet. I could tell the older woman had once been a beauty, and still was lovely. The younger woman, once a wee child, was talking to the airline employees to make sure her mom would get assistance. They were close, I could tell.

The anxiety and concern, mixed with love showed on the daughter’s face. She was patient and tired, no doubt with children in school and a job to go to and yet, she had to make sure her own mother was safe and cared for while in the hands of strangers.

As vampires we’re, for the most part, spared from having to watch our parents get old, or having to become care takers. We also, more than humans, take life and those we love for granted. Humans have the love thing down. They’re experts because they never know when it will end. They may not think about it all the time, but it is always there, looming. Yet they don’t fear loss. They don’t like it, but survive and continue to love, despite the risks. Such great love in such a short amount of time.

We can all learn from others – even if they are human.

~ Juliette