Love in the dark, and in the light that always shines

This weekend will my mother’s 490th birthday. Everyone will be in at my brother Aaron’s house to celebrate as only a Vampire family can celebrate. Tellias and Eleora, the Ancient Vampires, the elders of the family will be here. Unlike the powerful and cruel Ancient Vampires in so many fictional stories my dear Tellias and Eleora have gentle hearts. Oh sure, they’re still Vampires, but it isn’t anything you need to worry about.

This is something I posted a while back (October 2015). Enjoy. And remember to stay close to those you love.

Love in the dark, and in the light that always shines

Eleora couldn’t remember what she did yesterday, but she could tell stories of her childhood in excruciating detail. My daughter and niece sat next to her, holding her small hands in theirs. They looked like three young women about the same age. My Clara is 16, Lauren is 21 and Eleora is, well, nobody knows how old she is. We know Eleora is over 2,000 years old but no exact number has ever come out.

The girls heard stories their parents and grandparents had never heard. These were ancient lost tales that she’d hoarded until she found the right audience.

Tellias, her husband, told the girls to watch if they went outside. Eleora might wander off on her own and not find her way back.

He watched the woman he loved, his eyes filled with pain. Sometimes I’d see a rare bit of anger. Of course there is always love, but with that more often than not pain and frustration.

This was Sunday. We’d all gathered at my brother Aaron’s for our mother’s birthday. All four of my brothers were there (Max, Andy, Aaron and Val), as well as the elders Tellias and Eleora, Aaron’s grown children Logan and Lauren, Great-great-great-great Grandmama Lola and her friend Cody, and our friend Pierce. My husband Teddy and Aaron’s wife Verity were there playing host and hostess as they sometimes do. And of course our parents Jeremy and Samantha.

More friends were to come later at this gathering at Aaron and Verity’s home. Of course we’re all Vampires. It would seem weird to bring anyone else in.

This isn’t like the movies and horror stories where we bring in virgins and babies to feast on. Of course there is blood, but we have it in wine glasses (not big red cups.)

I stood outside under the stars with Tellias and my brother Max.

Max put his hand on the elder Vampire’s shoulder. “Eleora isn’t all there anymore is she?”

“I believe she is there. She just is a bit disorganized. You know, when you can’t find the mates to your shoes and you are walking on a bed of nails so you just hop on one foot and hope you don’t fall. But if you fall it will be into a burning pit of lava. Then you look down and notice your pants are gone and your socks don’t match,” said Tellias. “You need to come by and see us more often Max.”

“I know,” said my brother.

“Nobody knows how long Vampires live. Most of us don’t make it this far given the dangerous nature of our existence. Don’t take your chances. Your day could be tomorrow. Eleora’s could be tomorrow. We never know. But no need to get depressed, none of us are going anywhere for a while. We’ll be around for plenty of birthdays to come. But the more you and Juliette and the rest of you come around the easier it will be for Eleora to straighten out the mess in her mind.”

The three of us stood there for a few seconds. Then Max gave Tellias a hug and walked down into the yard under some trees. I watched him as he took out his phone and made a call.

“He is calling her, isn’t he? He should have made that call fifty years ago,” said Tellias. “The boy never seemed to understand love, even at his age he still can’t.”

I had to smile. Even at the age of one hundred and sixty-six Max still is just starting to understand that ships that pass in the night sometimes never pass each other again.

Tellias took my hand and gave it a squeeze. “I appreciate everything you do for us.”

“I know.” I said. I looked into his crystal blue eyes, in a face that looked no older than nineteen. To think that he had lived in ancient time didn’t seem all that strange most of the time. He’d kept up. They both had. That is what kept Tellias and Eleora young. Nobody would ever have expected them to dry up in a crypt or become ghouls living in shadows. Then again, they gave so much love that the cold dark places the put fear in men’s hearts didn’t touch them.

So stay young. It is easy if you love and let love in. Even if you’re a Vampire. And even if you’re not.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

 

Tiny Babes, Good Dogs, and Birthdays

Little Willie Sleeps

I believe this is the grave of little Willie Adams who died October 23, 1877, age 4 months, 22 days, in Sacramento, California. This little stone touched me so when we visited the cemetery in 2012 –  and I had no idea when I first saw the stone that the dear child died on this day (which is also my birthday).

It sends a shudder down my spine but at the same time fills my heart that this dear baby was so loved, and after 141 years not forgotten. He was just at that age when babies start to laugh and really see the world around them.

Sweet slumber little Willie. You were loved and I believe the love never dies.

October is an odd month with the Day of the Dead, Halloween, and so many birthdays.

I used to have a tank full of big beautiful fancy gold fish and on my birthday four years ago ALL of the fish died. I imagine they’ll be swimming around over my head on Halloween night.

That same October my Jasmine, the best dog ever crossed over the Rainbow Bridge. I wrote a lot about her and posted a lot of photos of her here. She had my heart and soul. Yes, despite what you hear, which is not true, Vampires do have souls. We have one for our hearts and one for our shadow. Jasmine grabbed the one for my cold unbeating heart.

Jasmine

Jasmine – Best Dog Ever

By the way, today is also Weird Al’s birthday. He turns 59. Happy Birthday Al. The first time I heard him was I believe in 1978. I thought “This guy is nuts. I love it.” Little did I know.

My name is Juliette Kings. I’m married to Theodore Kings (Teddy.) I live near Sacramento. I was born on October 23, 1859. I am a Vampire, but most of all I’m a mom. And of course an artist, a writer, and I hope a good friend.

So I bid you all goodnight and good morning, depending on when you read this. Hugs. Kisses. Happy Birthdays. And remember to hug your dogs, hug your cats and give them lots of under chin rubs, and talk to your kids.

And in this month of October, do not forget those we have lost and loved. Love never dies, even if you’re a Vampire or a dog.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

dogwalk

vlad v

I love you. Juliette drew this.

 

 

 

A Very Vampire Birthday

October 23, 1859

I was born on that day, the last child of a family of interesting characters. Since then I’ve had many adventures both alone and with others.

This day was low key with only the small adventures of daily life.

My mind is full of a busy week ahead. It is full of stories I want to share. It is full of stories I’ll be living. My brain of full of mystery and adventures I have ahead of me. I’m going off into unknown territory. But aren’t we all.

Life is full of adventures. Last night I was telling my mom about all the times I’ve traveled alone and explored unknown placed. I’ve thought of adventures with both friends, and strangers.

This will be a week of adventures both externally and internally. I feel like it is the start of a new chapter. It is the chapter where my character finally comes into her own. There will be surprises for our Heroine Juliette, and in the end of a story sprinkled with humor, romance, and mystery, there will be a grand surprise and plot twists that will absolutely knock you out of your seat.

That isn’t just this blog. That is real life. Live like you create, and create as you wish to live.

Of course, having my faithful readers (all six of you) makes it seem like a party every single day of the year. Thank you.

xoxox

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

Oscar the cat enjoying my art

Oscar the cat enjoying my artwork.

 

Jenny Lind, The Feejee Mermaid and a Tale of Curious Young Vampires

Jenny Lind, The Feejee Mermaid and a Tale of Curious Young Vampires

We, my brothers and I,  always thought it was a shame that P.T. Barnum never brought Jenny Lind to California. We would have also like to see the Feejee Mermaid. Of course I wasn’t around when they toured (about 7 or 8 years before I was born) but it would have been fun.

Our parents were puzzled by our fascination with spectacle and oddities. We were supposed to be blending into the background and shadows. We were supposed to be pillars of society.

Instead we had boxes of small skulls we’d collected. We had everything from bats to mice to bobcats to dogs. Max once brought home a skull of a Werewolf that was in mid-transition between human and wolf when it died. The jaw was elongated and the large canines stood out enough to make us squeal in delight the first time we saw it. My mother and father were horrified and took it away from us. I have no idea what they did with it. It was not fitting for proper young Vampires to have such things around.

On my 7th birthday (1866) my brothers (Maxwell, Andrew, Aaron and Valentine) put on a show for me.

My brother Andy has the voice of an angel and so they put him in one of our mother’s evening gowns and put flowers in his hair. He made a perfect Jenny.  My brother Aaron fashioned a Feejee Mermaid for me out of a sturgeon tail and a mummified squirrel he’d found in the attic.

Again, our parents were not amused. Nonetheless they soon realized that they couldn’t stop the curiosity of their children so they went along with our obsessions with curious things. After all, we, being Vampires, were rather curious and frightening to the rest of the world (who had no idea that our lovely, proper family was made up of Vampires.)

This isn’t going to be one of those earth shattering posts that you’ll learn from. I was one of those kids who was drawn anything about ghosts, natural disasters, freaks, old bones, graveyards, dark churches, old attics, strange people who lurked in the shadows and anything I wasn’t supposed to be interested in. I learned to walk silently and listen at doors, windows and around corners. I knew things others did not. I learned about another world that most people never saw. It was a world of secrets and knowledge and strange things. It was a world of power because, yes, knowledge is power, especially to a curious child. And those curious children grow up to be curious adults. And a curious adult is a successful adult. Stay curious. So I guess there is a point to this story – stay curious.

Today is my birthday. I’ve had good and bad and dreadful birthdays. I’m not big on birthdays, at least not mine. The past few months have been so heinously stressful that, well, I’m sure you’ve seen it in the quality or lack of quality in my blog posts (at least those that I’ve written.) But today I woke up in a wonderful mood. I shouldn’t have been in a good mood, being a Vampire who keeps a daytime schedule, but I was and I am. I picked up flowers, had coffee, got a lot of work done, made deals, and found out that there will be a partial lunar eclipse today.

This year isn’t a milestone. It is just a day. But it is my day and I wish to share my good thoughts and good wishes with you.

So stay curious and remember that 23 is a prime number.

Oh also, my daughter shares a birthday with P.T. Barnum. How cool is that?

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

jenny

Jenny Lind

feejee

Feejee Mermaid before old P.T. Barnum dried her up and put her on display.

Lost and Found

lipsI was almost shaking I was so hungry. You know how it gets when you’re just light headed and your heart is hardly beating, but if you’re not a Vampire it might beat faster, but anyway, you know the feeling.

Arriving at Jack’s law office downtown I could hardly contain myself. It had been a while since I’d seen my old friend for a “lunch date.” Way too long. When I saw Jack I got him out of his jacket and shirt so fast I hardly realized what I was doing. Vampire fingers can fly over buttons like you wouldn’t believe. He took care of his tie and then his undershirt. He fell on the couch, I was in his lap, my mouth on his neck, my fangs in his skin. His eyes closed and a smile was on his face. I’d put him in his happy spot on a beach far far away with warm breezes and the sound of the waves crashing.

Crashing. The door flew open and someone yelled. Jack tried to stand, I let go and there was blood everywhere.

His partner (in his law firm)  Owen had come into the room, thinking something was going on. There was something but it wasn’t what he thought it was.

Owen was yelling but I didn’t listen. Now Owen, is a big guy – a former football player, maybe a tad under six and a half feet. And he is loud.

“Quick,” I hissed putting my right hand on Jack’s bleeding neck and holding out my other hand. He came close. I grabbed his wrist and looked him in the eye. “Forget you saw anything. It was nothing. Sleep.” He slumped to the floor. I put my mouth back on Jack’s neck and stopped the bleeding.

Fortunately Jack keeps a spare shirt or two in his office closet and a spare suit (in case he has to go to court on a more casual day). I ended up leaving wearing one of his white dress shirts over my own navy blue slacks. My blouse was soaked with blood along with my hair. Jack and I cleaned up in the bathroom.

“I’m so sorry.” I was. This sort of thing is so rare and completely threw me off.

Jack held me close and kissed me on the top of the head. “Don’t be.”

“It has been a long time since I’ve almost bled out a donor.”

“A donor? Interesting term.”

“Don’t take it wrong. You’re first and foremost my friend. I mean that.”

“I can feel your heart beating. Now that is something different.”

I backed away. “I have to go.”

“Will I see you and Teddy at the Halloween party this weekend?”

“Of course. I wouldn’t miss it. We’re coming as Vampires. Fancy that.”

He took my hand and pulled me back and wrapped his arms around me. Stroking my face Jack whispered “You’re so cold. Sometimes I can’t believe you’re real.” He looked in my eyes. I wanted to break his gaze and turn away but I was trapped. His mouth met mine in a kiss, that was more than just friends.

I pushed away and gasped as if I’d been drowning. “I’m not like you. I never was. I never will be. I’m your worst nightmare.”

“Then go to bed with me.”

“I’ll kill you,” I gasped, hardly able to take in a breath. It wasn’t a threat, just a statement of a possibility.

We stood looking at each other. He has a small smile on his face. I was the horrified one.

Then he picked up a box off of his desk. “This is for you. Happy Birthday Juliette. 154 is it?”

I cautiously opened the package. Unwrapping the tissue paper I found a doll, about 8 inches long. She was made of China. Her black hair was painted on, contrasting to her white face. The pale blue dress was thin with age. I’d had a doll just like her when I was a child.

“Look on the back of her neck,” said Jack.

On the back were the initials in child like letters JAT. I’d written my initials on her so many years ago. She was my doll. I’d lost her so many many years ago.

Jack stepped closer again. “I found her in an antique store. I had a feeling she might have been yours.”

My heart stopped. Literally it stopped, as Vampire hearts sometimes do when we’re overwhelmed with emotion. Then it started up again.

“Thank you Jack. Oh my goodness, I can’t tell you how much this means to me.”

He took another step closer. “I love you Juliette.”

My heart stopped again and I kissed him again and left him, standing with a smile on his face and an icy chill in the air, even though it was 75 degrees outside.

“No you don’t.” I said as I hit the sunlight that burned my eyes and caused me to feel ill. I stepped back into the dark shadow of the building and took a deep breath. “Damn you Jack. You’re going to ruin everything.”

I pulled out my phone and called my husband Teddy. He was quiet on the line when I told him what happened.

Teddy gave a quiet laugh then said, “It isn’t like this is the first or the last time this has happened to you. I think every guy who ever found out you were a Vampire fell in love with you and then some. It happens to me at least once a week. They can’t resist us dear.”

“I know, but…”

“I was with Jack when he found the doll. I remembered you carrying her around when you were small.”

I almost started to cry at that point. “I love you Teddy.”

“I love you too. Don’t worry about Jack. He’ll be fine. He’s a good friend. Just give him time to get used to the whole Vampire thing. What has it been? Six months since he found out we were Vampires? His wife has always known, but I went through the same thing with her but in triplicate. It’s ok darling. Everything is ok.”

And Teddy is right. Everything is ok, but sometimes the shadows get in the way and we just have to trust ourselves.

Things were easier a long time ago when the world wasn’t going so fast and we didn’t have so much on our minds. I’m not saying it was any better, but it was different. It was easier to be a Vampire.

And sometimes things just get weird – and that isn’t exclusive to Vampires. It gets weird for everyone. But that’s ok too as long as we continue to love and learn and think with both our hearts and our heads.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

doll

Musings On A Vampire Birthday – A Song from the Heart and Soul

This morning (2 am) I headed over to see the ancient Vampires. They look to be around 20 but are more in the 2,000 year range. We’re not exactly sure and they don’t seem to really care or even remember.

They gave me a large pot of white orchids and kissed my cheeks with cool lips. I was huddled to a chair by where they held my hands sang me a song, as they do every year.

I hope you never lose your sense of wonder
You get your fill to eat but always keep that hunger
May you never take one single breath for granted
God forbid love ever leave you empty handed
I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean
Whenever one door closes I hope one more opens
Promise me that you’ll give faith a fighting chance
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance

I hope you dance
I hope you dance

They finished the Lee Ann Womack song, an unusual choice for these two ancient Vampires, but not so much I suppose since I’m such a girl to them. I never knew what song would come through  with their beautiful voices. It could be from the 12th Century or the 21st. I stopped trying to guess years ago.

My brother Val (Valentine) was there smiling and watching from the kitchen. He’d been there for several weeks remodeling and trying to get the old farmhouse in order for the older Vampires.

Val and I are the youngest in our family of 4 boys and me. We’ve had our share of adventures together and always stayed close. He put his hand around my shoulder as we watched the two older Vampires dance around the room like young lovers. Their steps were light and perfect and they laughed in a language too old for us to understand. Then they stopped and looked at the two of us.

They sat us down in their usual somewhat odd way and touched our hair and arms as they always did. Then over hot mulled blood tea we spoke of hunts and adventures and about my kids and the upcoming election.

Aside from remodeling, Val had been helping them get back into the real world, out of their elderly stupor and under the stars rather than just the dark of a closet where they’d been staying out of fear of the outside world. He brought them a rescue dog, a large beast of unknown breed who followed commands and loved the old couple. He took them on hunts. He found their car keys. He found life in the old ones. It was a wonderful thing.

It was good to see them so happy. It was the best birthday present ever.

And that’s it for tonight. I spent the day working and this evening with my family. Life is good. I have the most wonderful husband a woman of any kind can ask for, and wonderful children, parents who love me and siblings I still talk to. And I can’t for get my wonderful and amazing friends who I love and think of as my treasures!

~ Juliette