Permission to succeed

“You’ve given yourself permission not to fail. Now, my dear, you need to give yourself permission to succeed.”

My father brushed a cool hand over my hair and gave me a knowing look with his dark stormy sea blue eyes. “Everyone believes in you except you.”

“I don’t…” I tried to speak.

“No. You do. YOU DO.”

A pathetic yelp entered the air. We looked over to where my kids were brushing burrs out of the dog.

“They believe in you,” said my dad. He went over to his grandkids and left me lingering. I took a smallish blue Grueby pot that my husband had left on the table into my hands. We both love arts and crafts pottery, even after all these years. It was plain yet beautiful. Classic and smooth. Maybe I am like that pot, classic, smooth, simplicity with beauty. Or I can try.

Dear old Dad came back. “Sweet child of mine,” he said with just a hint of an accent of far off England.

“I’m fine Dad. Really.”

“Tonight is a full moon. I know how the Werewolves seem to be attracted to you. You need to watch yourself.”

“I don’t plan on going out. But I know how to handle them. Remember, you taught your children well.”

“As well as a Vampire can.”

“As well as any parent can. You’re the best.”

He smiled and gave me a hug.

That was all I needed to be sure.

 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

 

vampire_dad_daughter_werewolf_2

 

 

Trying to Believe

Oh what is this water falling from the sky? Rain maybe?

——————

“Do you remember Douglas and Cassandra?”

“Vaguely,” I said to my husband. “What did they do this time?” They were famous for pulling stunts and living dangerously close to being found out.

“They left.”

“Left? Oh. When?”

Doug and Cassie had been Vampires since the early 1930’s. The last of their children has passed away from old age so they decided to end it. From time to time it happens. Maybe more than any of us would like to admit. It didn’t surprise me. They’d never been happy with their choice. No kidding. They’d been party animals who decided to become Vampires after (yes after) their kids were born. Bad choice. They had no idea what they were getting into. Kids change people. Becoming a Vampire with three children at home at the same time is not a good idea.

I barely knew them, but it was still a shock, but then again it wasn’t. After sitting in the back of the memorial service for their 89-year-old son, their youngest child, they decided to move on too. Doug and Cassie crawled into a crypt they’d purchased decades before and sealed the door.

I won’t say that I started to think of my own choices. These days I’m beyond thinking about any choices I’ve ever made in the past. One can only think of those sorts of things so much before feeling rather stupid.

What I was thinking about was how to write the transition pages that would tie a book I’m writing all together. I was thinking of bringing my old dog to the vet for a bad leg. Down under the basement of an empty Victorian building my brother and I own I was looking for some of my old drawings I thought I’d left there about a century ago.

My friend Adam (a Werewolf and brilliant photographer) dropped by. I’d told him I’d be there.

“What do Werewolves do when they get depressed or feel regret for being what they are?” I don’t even know why I asked him that. I guess just the mood of the night.

“We howl at the moon. I don’t know, drink, pick up women, chase cats…take drugs, sleep, rip flesh, you know, the usual. What brought that on?”

I shrugged. Adam stepped closer. “What do you do when you get depressed Juliette?”

“I have no idea. I don’t get depressed.”

We ended that conversation as quickly as it started and moved on to general gossip about people we know.

I pulled out a file of sketches and spread them out on the table. Adam looked them over a bit. Then he edged closer, his shoulder touching mine.

“Remember how we were before I knew you were a Vampire?”

“Before I knew you were a Werewolf,” I said. I didn’t add before you almost ripped my throat out.

“Do you believe things happen for a reason?”

“Not really. I mean sometimes. Right now I’m trying to believe it. I’m trying to believe in the impossible.”

“What is the impossible?”

“I am. Everything.”

He put his arm around my shoulder and gave it a squeeze. “I believe.”

“Good.”

We went to breakfast, more for him than me. Then I took my daughter to school. On the way we talked about a boy in her school who’d come from Africa. His parents were wildlife naturalists. His mom passed away. They lived here now. Then we talked about the world economy and endangered species and phone chargers and roller skating.

Conversations are like rain the way they just fall. Crap, that was a line out of a really bad movie. I can’t believe I even wrote that.

In a bit I’m taking the dog to the vet for a limp, then for a few hours I am on my own, and trying to believe.

 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman 

 

 

Vampire Maman

 

 

 

 

 

I believe in you… said the ghost nobody else could see.

Crazy Ghost Band

 

The bit of rain and cool weather earlier this week has ended. Now we’re left with hot air and hot breezes. Still, I had to go out on my back deck to have a glass of wine and open my eyes to the night.

Everyone was out. The husband and kids had gone out to the water park. Yes, Vampires at a water park. Hey, this is 2014 and summer is here. We’re not going to spend our nights lurking around in the heat. Plus school starts next week. I just wanted a little bit of time alone to take care of a few things and just to be alone for a bit.

A cold wind blasted my face and I opened my eyes. Standing there in front of me was Nigel, the Ghost. How long had it been? Weeks? Maybe months since I’ve seen him? He gave me an evil look, then a big smile. Typical Nigel.

“Where have you been?” I had to ask.

“Around. You know just checking up on old friends and stuff like that. The frustrating thing is that nobody could see me. I was the life of the party back in the old days. Everybody saw me. Hey, I hear the young Vampire is headed off to college.”

I couldn’t believe this burst of casual conversation from my usually rude friend. As a rule Ghosts are extremely rude and Nigel is no exception.”

“Of course they couldn’t see you,” I said. “They don’t believe in you.”

“More people believe in Ghosts than they believe in Vampires. In fact hardly anyone believes in Vampires.”

“I’m well aware of that fact,” I said.

“They WANT to believe in Ghosts. They want to see us. They do not want to see you.”

“And your point is?” What was his point I wondered.

“Over 45% of American’s believe in Ghosts. Only 4% believe in Vampires.” Nigel said that with a smile as if he was trying to prove something.

“That is a lot higher than I thought it would be, the Vampire statistic. I don’t want people to believe in Vampires. Talk about cramping my style. I mean, there are the 1% who REALLY know we’re real but they don’t talk about it. But you ghosts are such attention whores,” I told him.

Nigel didn’t even flinch and started in on one of his dialogues. “Sometimes I wonder if the people who really believe in Vampires are just Stevie Nicks fans who like the idea of swirling around like little witches or if they’ve read too many…Speaking of weird things. The Weekly World News isn’t in the grocery stores anymore. But I’m sure you already knew that.”

I looked at him leaning against the rail of my deck, his jacket thrown over the edge, loose geometric patterned silk tie over a white shirt and black slacks. His black hair fell across his forehead in spiky bangs. I noticed a nasty looking gash under his hair.

“What happened to you?” I asked almost reaching up to touch my transparent friend.

He put his hand to his head. “My head hit the dashboard – one of the contributing factors to my death. No airbags and I don’t even remember if I was wearing a seat belt.” The mark vanished as he spoke. He stopped talking and looked me up and down. “You look good Juliette. I mean, for a dead person.”

“I’m not exactly dead,” I said, annoyed at his basic misunderstanding about Vampires.

“You’re not exactly alive,” he answered with a look of disgust. I said nothing. There was nothing I could say. That is exactly why I hate Ghosts.

“I gave you a compliment. I like the dress,” said Nigel.

“Thanks.” I took a sip of my wine wishing it had blood in it.

“How have you been dear Juliette?”

“OK. What’s up with you. Who asks a Vampire how she has been?”

“I do.” He smiled. “I’m a Ghost. Ghosts are curious. And, you’re my friend.”

I put my hand out palm up. Nigel the ghost put his hand on top of mine. I could feel the energy from his spirit. He laughed out loud. “You’re so cold.”

“Like a dead thing,” I said. “Just like a dead thing.”

“That’s why I love you dear friend. That is why I love you.” Then like the Cheshire cat he dissolved, except for his smile, which hung in the air for a fraction of a second, then he laughed vanishing into the night.

 

 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

ghost

 

The Devil You Know…Lucky Visits

Sometimes it is as if life becomes a morality play…

The week has started and the triple digit summer heat is still in full force. Against my better judgment I’d agreed on a breakfast meeting with a client, which turned out fine (it was a little early for fresh blood, but oh well.)

I went back to my office, alone, in the old Victorian house where the shutters were drawn against the light and lay down on the couch to sleep off the heat of the day.

I closed my eyes and fell into a dream. Strong masculine hands caressed my tired shoulders. I melted and the tensions of the past week vanished. Then lips were on my neck first as a sensuous kiss, then  fangs sank into my flesh and started to rip my throat. I bolted in pain, awake to find another Vampire on me. I pushed him away; my own fangs now out, ready to fight. A low hiss escaped my throat.

“You.” I spat out. I didn’t even want to say his name. It was a Vampire from my distant past. A onetime lover who’d…whatever had happened it had ended badly but I have to admit that for years he had crossed my mind in an unhealthy way. Everything about my association with him had been wrong. The words “bad” and “evil” also crossed my mind. But it had been years since I’d thought about him.

“Juliette, my love, still so sweet.”

I looked up to find we were not alone. Standing next to him was a strikingly handsome man dressed in black. My blood turned to ice.

The Vampire stepped away with a smile as the man stepped forward.

It was the man we call “Lucky”. It was a creature most humans call The Devil or Satan (among other names.)

Lucky smiled at me and said, “I offer you everything you have ever wanted. Every dream. Every “what if”. Every road not taken. Every crush turned into a passionate love affair. Every parenting issue resolved. Every problem solved. You’d have no more annoyances. No more stress. No more complications. Life would be perfect.”

As someone who is chronically annoyed, stressed –  and as someone with a boxcar full of emotional baggage I had to think. For about half a second.

OK the emotional baggage is for the most part long gone. I learned from my mistakes. And if I had not made those mistakes and taken the long, twisted and sometimes painful life I have had, I wouldn’t have my husband or my children or my wonderful friends.

I wouldn’t be the parent I am today, and THAT is what I am most proud of. That is what I live for. That is who I am.

But what if?

Lucky  pulled me up by my hands and stood close, too much for my personal space. But it was overwhelming in such a seductive way that I could hardly move away. He put a hand on my cheek and smiled. Then he put his face close to mine and whispered in my ear “I can give you anything you want. Anything you desire.”

Then his lips brushed mine and my head filled with images too enticing, too personal and dangerous to imagine.  Despite what my mind said my body ached with want for his. “Beautiful Juliette. You’re one of mine, a creature of the dark, a creature of carnal pleasures and power. You are a hunter. You’re an alpha. You are belong to me.” A hand went around my waist and pulled me close.

“No.” I growled and pushed back, clearing my brain and my very heart and soul of his filth and decay. “Leave me alone Lucky.”

He put out both his hands as if I would take them. “I offer you the world and you refuse?”

“Your price will always be too high. I refuse you and everything you represent.”

He gave me a grim all-knowing smile. “Then you refuse your own nature.”

The desire for him once more swept over me and once again I stepped back, a growl in my throat, fangs barred, feeling slightly out of control, but in more control than I’d ever been in my life.

“You can never have what I have and I will never let you take it from me,” I told him, clear and steady.

“I made your kind what you are. I made you. I own you Juliette.”

“Screw you asshole. You don’t own anything in my world. Not my family, not my friends, not me. Not now, not ever. So get the fuck out of my face and go back to your cesspool and rot.” Actually I didn’t say that to him. I just thought it. I always think things like that but I don’t say them.

This is what I did say. “You might have fooled yourself into thinking you had a hand in our evolution but you are wrong.  I am a creature of nature and of the earth. I am the light of the moon and a child of the night. All hours are the hours of the earth. All hours are the hours of love. You cannot tempt me, for you know not MY true nature. My heart and souls are my own.”

Lucky smirked at me in a nasty sort of snarky way. “What if I told you your husband made an agreement with me?”

I glared at him. “I’d say you were a liar. My husband is the most self-righteous morally superior Vampire that ever existed, not to mention he has the lowest tolerance for your kind of bullshit I’ve ever seen.”

He stepped closer to me again. I could feel him trying to draw me in again. He tried again to wrap my very being up in a knot of want and desire. “Juliette I could give your children charmed lives. They’d never have to fear. They’d never suffer from loss or broken hearts. You’d never had to deal with issues of teen depression or self-harm, be it through cuts or sex or drugs or hunting for the wrong types. They’d be safe and secure at the top of the food chain for eternity.”

“No. The answer will always be NO. Go back to Hell and leave me and all of those I love alone.”

He stepped back and ran a hand through his hair. “Well then. I believe we’re done for today, since you only want to throw insults at my offers of friendship.”

And he vanished with a blazing burst of hot air that almost singed my hair. The Vampire lover I had once known had vanished as well.

It took me a full 45 minutes to catch my breath and stop shaking.

What if? That is a loaded question. But what if you had “what iffed?”

We’re not time travelers so we can’t go back. Only forward, staying true to who we are and what we are. We don’t regret the lessons we learn from.

The lessons we can teach ourselves and are children are many, but the most important for now, at least for me are:

  • Stay true to yourself
  • Do no harm to yourself or others
  • Take the high road
  • Don’t let others drag you down
  • Believe in yourself
  • Protect those you love
  • If it sounds too good to be true walk away
  • Don’t make deals with the Devil
  • Learn from your mistakes
  • Have no regrets

Talk to your kids and listen to them, but also teach them well, that there are those who seem good and things that will seduce and harm. Life can be scary, be prepared and be smart.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

strangereyes

Melody Of A Mind

I always feel like I’ve received something in a beautiful box with a lovely bow to unwrap when I read one of Suzanne Parlee’s poems.

Susanne’s  new anthology Melody of a Mind will be out in September 5, 2012.

Melody Of A Mind
by Suzanne Parlee
In a world so far away
Playing a game of hope and pray
A brown eyed girl sings the blues
Lost among conflicting clues

Emotions played like guitar strings
I need to see what tomorrow brings
Strumming and humming in all the wrong keys
Write the last note and let me be

Dancing to the broken beat
Learning to stand on two left feet
I forget the rhythm, I forgot the rhyme
Every step so out of time

The music like thunder in my head
Pounding, screaming words better left unsaid
Confused, misused, misunderstood
Cannot tell the difference between bad or good

I look up into eyes so tranquil and blue
Taking me somewhere calming and new
Your music soothes my weary soul
A beautiful song to make me whole

Rousing melodies make me stronger
Stirring my bravery, scared silent no longer
When my tempo is so weak
You give me the lyrics I need

to speak

Follow Suzanne on Facebook

Her page features her poetry as well as some really wonderful poems by others.

https://www.facebook.com/sparleepoetry

Why feature poetry on a Vampire blog? This is why. A need you dare not admit. Click on this link HERE.