Musings on a Visit With Ancient Vampires and Longfellow

The night is come, but not too soon;
And sinking silently,
All silently, the little moon
Drops down behind the sky.
There is no light in earth or heaven
But the cold light of stars;
And the first watch of night is given
To the red planet Mars.
Is it the tender star of love?
The star of love and dreams?

~ Longfellow

 

Over the past few weeks I haven’t been visiting the Elders as much as I should. I’m busy. I’m not that busy, but the days get away from me. Everything happens. Nothing happens so I get held up. It is amazing how nothing can fill one’s day.

“Why don’t you ever come to visit anymore?”

“I was there last week.”

“It seems longer. We want to see you.”

I packed a bag with things I thought they might like; novels, odd bits of glass to form into mosaics, sketch pads, pencils, old 78 rpm records, a cute sweater for Eleora.

Eleora tends to wear clothing until it falls apart and makes her look like a lost waif without a home. The sweater is a deep burgundy color, soft and a little over sized, like a tunic. My teenage daughter wears sweaters like that with leggings. Eleora usually just wears dresses. I think legging would be cute on her so I include a pair.

I put everything in my car then I got distracted again. An hour later I finally left.

When I arrived at the Victorian farmhouse Tellias met me at the door. Despite the rain he peered at me with round rose colored glasses to protect his eyes from the sun. He wore black tuxedo pants with black suspenders over a white shirt and topped with a gray zipped up hoodie with the name James embroidered on the front pocket place.  I didn’t ask who James was. He didn’t tell me.

He kissed me and helped me with my bag, then gave me a hug and ushered me into the parlor. The Christmas tree was still up, covered with tiny black bats and silver webs of fancy Victorian embroidery thread. Tiny blown glass Santas with blacked out eyes stared into nowhere.

I looked around for Eleora. She is usually there when I arrive, dancing around me and singing, unless of course, something is wrong.

Tellias knew I noticed and said, “Eleora is asleep right now.”

“She sleeps a lot.”

“It is daytime my dear. You forget too often that we’re Vampires. You also forget that we’re old.”

I kissed his cheek and went upstairs to see Eleora.

She lay on the bed on top of the covers wearing an ugly plaid skirt and a misshaped orange sweater. Despite the horrible clothing she was beautiful, like Sleeping Beauty or Snow White waiting for a kiss. She looked absolutely dead but that was to be expected from a sleeping Vampire. For someone over two thousand years old she looks remarkably young. By that I mean she looks like she is about twenty.

I picked up a volume of poetry on the night stand. It was Longfellow. I thought of Rodney Dangerfield in back to school. You know the line where the girl says her favorite subject is poetry and he says, “Really? Well, maybe you can help me straighten out my Longfellow.” I laughed out loud.

As usual I lost track of time reading poems I’d read a hundred times when I heard running noises from a variety of feet coming up the stairs and into the bedroom. An old black cat jumped on the bed with a yowl mixed with excited purrs. A small girl, aged four, jumped into my arms.

“Juliette,” she yelled wrapping her cold little arms around my neck and giving me a kiss.

“And you brought Michael. Is your daddy downstairs?”

The child grabbed Michael the cat and threw him over her shoulder, then jumped on the bed. “I shall wake the dead,” she yelled.

Eleora opened her eyes wide and smiled, then held out her arms for the child.

I left Eleora and the small child named Miranda and went downstairs. The cat followed at my heels.

I could hear Eleora and Miranda laughing. Then the noise changed to the laughter of men from the large main room of the house.

Miranda’s father Nathaniel Chase was there of course. After two hundred years with his long time love they’d finally decided to settle down and have a family. Of course that wasn’t a good description because to me Nathaniel Chase has always been the most settled being I’ve ever known. He never went anywhere without one of his black cats (always named after archangels.)

And my dear old dad was there. The dear old Vampire himself had shown up. He gave me a big hug and a kiss. I had no idea why they’d shown up. Tellias was also obviously surprised to see his old friends. OK they are old to me, each going into their fifth century, but young to Tellias. Anyway…

We caught up on news. I’d turned someone into a Vampire over the holidays. No, I didn’t tell you about that one. Maybe later. My father and Nathaniel were by just to see how the Ancient Vampires were doing.

I was glad they were there, but part of me was sort of annoyed. I’m always the one who is there for them. I’m the first there is anything happens. Even with my brother Val and my Grandmama Lola there part of the time, if anything hits the fan with Tellias and Eleora I’m the one who is there.

But at the same time I was happy to see everyone, especially tiny, cute and delightful Miranda. A Vampire child, born to Vampire parents, is a rare and wonderful thing.

Miranda and Eleora came down to join us. I finally convinced Eleora to put on the leggings with the new sweater. She looked like a college student, all hip and trendy. It was good to see. One is never too old for style and flair.

On the way home I thought about how things have changed. I thought about how things haven’t changed. I thought about the rain, and what I needed to do when I got home, and the schedules of my busy children and husband.

Sometimes there is too much, but sometimes there isn’t enough. This morning ended up being just right.

That’s it. Just my morning.

Don’t forget that the wonderful horror anthology Creepies 2 is still free for downloading. Click here for information and horror and art from my undead heart. 

And if you have people in your life who are elderly or alone or lost go visit them. Do it today. Don’t feel uncomfortable or put out. Just do it.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Friday the 31st – Kiss a Black Cat (and cocktails)

Black kitty catToday is Friday the 31st.

That is 13 backwards.

So in Vampire culture that means you will get thirteen times the good luck and none of the bad.

So go kiss a black cat and make sure you have enough limes for cocktails tonight.

Note: If you don’t have a black cat any cat will do. Also don’t forget to kiss the Vampire.

NEVER forget to kiss the Vampire!

 

 

Vampire Head Rush

  • 2 oz Bourbon
  • 12 oz Dark Beer (Teddy Suggests something like Downtown Brown)
  • 2 oz Blood
  • Pour all in a tall glass over ice.

Clara calls it a head rush because she says it looks like something out of a toilet. Middle School humor.

Oh well. 

If you aren’t a vampire leave out the blood.

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Werewolf on the Rocks

  • 3 oz Bourbon
  • Splash of dry Vermouth
  • Splash of Orange Juice
  • A twist of lemon peel
  • Pour over frozen blood balls (ice cubes made from blood poured and frozen in cute little shapes)

If you aren’t a vampire make ice cubes out of orange or cranberry juice (yum).

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Vampire Iced Tea

  • 1 gallon water
  • 12-15 tea bags – any flavor you want. We like a nice strong black tea with a touch of fruit in it. Lady Earl Gray works well. Put tea bags and water in a jar. Put it outside in the sun for about 2-3 hours to brew. Don’t put it on the grass – it won’t get hot enough. A drive way or deck works best.
  • 1 jar (32 oz) of unsweetened Cranberry Juice (we like Trader Joes)
  • 12 oz blood
  • Artificial sweetener of your choice to taste (remember dear human visitors that we don’t handle sugar well)
  • Mix it all up and pour over ice with a sprig of mint and a sprig of rosemary.
  • Adults – add a large slosh of Vodka or Bourbon to the mix for some extra punch to this punch!

If you aren’t a vampire replace the blood with more cranberry juice, orange juice or more vodka.

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Vampire Nuts

Kids and adults like this mix. If teen boys are around I usually triple the recipe.

  • 1½ cup hazelnuts (roasted)
  • ½ cup pumpkin seeds (roasted)
  • 1 cup whole cashews (roasted)
  • 1/2 cup walnuts halves or pieces (roasted)
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh sage
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
  • 2 tablespoons Grade A maple syrup
  • ¾ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp powered blood (optional – be I recommend – it adds a bit of bite to the nuts)

1. Preheat the oven to 400°. In a medium bowl, combine the hazelnuts, pumpkin seeds, cashews, sage, thyme, maple syrup, cayenne pepper, sea salt and black pepper. Spread the mixture on a baking sheet or stone (I like using my stone) and place in the oven. Bake, stirring occasionally, until browned and fragrant, about 15 minutes.

2. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool slightly. Serve warm or at room temperature.

If you aren’t a vampire leave out the powdered blood.

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And the perfect cocktail to go with those nuts is…

Nocturnal Summer Cooler

  • 6 limes
  • 1 cup packed mint leaves, no stems, plus 6 sprigs for garnish
  • 3 unwaxed cucumbers
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 cups gin (we like the kind in the green bottle)
  • 1 cup purified blood
  • Sparkling water

1. Thinly slice 3 limes and place in a pitcher. Juice the rest and add juice to pitcher. Add mint leaves. Slice 2 cucumbers and add, then add sugar. Stir. Add gin. Place in refrigerator  30 minutes or longer.

2. Peel remaining cucumber and cut lengthwise into 6 spears.

3. Fill 6 highball or other large glasses with ice. Strain mixture from pitcher into each. Top with a splash of sparkling water, garnish each glass with a sprig of mint and a cucumber spear, and serve. You can also garnish with a sprig of rosemary for a more savory taste.

If you aren’t a vampire replace the blood with your favorite juice (we like cranberry or blueberry)

And as always, don’t drink and drive!