I walked into her bedroom. I’d never met the woman. I’d heard of her, but the details are always the same. She is pretty and smart and fun thirty something woman and not interested in a serious relationship. Perfect for my brother. By the way, my brother is a Vampire. So am I. But you already knew that.
They were on the bed but nothing had happened yet. Her shirt was off. So was his, along with his belt and the top button of his jeans was undone. His mouth was on her neck.
“Val. Valentine you need to come with me.” I almost growled it out. The woman screamed. I thought her name is Courtney but I could have been wrong. It didn’t matter. She screamed again. Val’s eyes glowed red at me.
“Stop with the eye glow. We have to go. Family emergency. Now.”
“Courtney, darling, I’m so sorry. I have to go with my sister,” he said, giving his lady friend a kiss and grabbing his shirt and belt. She covered her chest and stared at me, then looked at Val, then looked back at me. You can tell we’re related. There is a very strong family resemblance. I could see the bite marks on her neck. He’d be back. Val almost always goes back, especially to one this lovely. Plus he owed her some future sweet dreams for my barging into her bedroom. On the good side, in the morning she’ll forget any of this happened. That is one advantage of being a Vampire – we can make them forget.
An hour earlier I’d received a call. “Come now, come now.” The quiet voice almost hissed in my ear. Dealing with the elderly can be both rewarding and heart breaking and sometimes it just pisses me off because I’m the one… I love them, but sometimes it would be nice if I had some help.
“I thought you were staying with them,” I snapped at my brother.
“I can’t be there 24/7. I needed a break. I need my own space sometimes.”
“We saw Wicked tonight. A nice family outing. Why is it that every time I go to the theater or on vacation or have something nice planned someone calls me with an emergency. It could be our parents or Andy or the Elders or… all I ask for is one night. Just one.”
Val mumbled something but I just cranked up the radio.
Old Tellias met us at the door of the Queen Anne style farm-house. His pale hair was around his shoulders making him looking more like a Victorian Angel rather than a Vampire. He wore an open tuxedo shirt and jeans like some college student trying to make a fashion statement. It was just the way he dressed, like he had his eyes closed.
“She isn’t well. She isn’t well at all,” he said in a paper thin whisper.
Eleora was not well. They’d been together for 2,000 years and even now as they slowed down their love stayed strong. Anyone that old is bound to be fragile and that is exactly what these two are.
Eleora was on the fainting couch wearing a flowered sundress and an old stretched out sweater. Her long dark curls were dull and hanging limp in the heat about her shoulders.
To anyone else she’d be a young woman of maybe 19 or 20. My head spun. Eleora was at least 2,500 years old if not more. We knew Tellias was born before the birth of Christ, but not too long before.
It didn’t matter. She lay still as death wrapped in an old sweater and covered in a quilt, not breathing, or making her heart pump. She wasn’t dead but she wasn’t alive. She just was.
“When was the last time she ate anything?”
Tellias gave me a guilty look. “Maybe last week.”
“Why didn’t you call me or at least called John next door. We could have brought you something. Have you been out of the house at all?”
He shook his head. “We lost the car keys.” Again. They were always misplacing their car keys. Any spares were long gone. “I didn’t want to bother anyone.” he added. “You’re all so busy.”
It is frustrating to see that pretty face of his and know that the brain behind it isn’t working at full capacity. Maybe it isn’t his brain. Maybe his spirit is just tired.
I reached up to the top of a bookshelf where he kept spare keys in a box. I dragged my brother out to the barn. The old 1955 Ford truck was still out there. After charging the battery (thank goodness for jumper cables) I got it started.
Tellias stood in the barn doorway not saying a word. This Vampire who once took charge of every situation was now so helpless and confused. I still admired him. Unfortunately it wasn’t a night to express those thoughts.
When I returned to the house Eleora was sitting up. I sat next to her and took her cold hand. She curled her fingers around mine.
“Nobody needs us anymore. Most of our close friends are gone.”
It broke my heart to hear her say that. “Oh Eleora, dear Eleora, don’t talk like that.”
I didn’t expect that. Ginger was their old dog, a large yellow lab mix who’d shown up about 10 years ago. Everyone loved Ginger, but nobody more than Eleora and Tellias.
“When? Why didn’t you call me?” I asked still in shock.
“She wouldn’t get up.” said Tellias. “Her legs wouldn’t move.”
“We sat with her all night,” said Eleora.
“All night, until she stopped wagging her tail,” said Tellias.
“Until her heart stopped,” said Eleora.
“Then she was gone,” said Tellias.
“She died.” said Eleora.
“Ginger went to where all good dogs go,” said Tellias.
“Ginger was a good dog,” said Eleora. “A good good dog.”
The old dog seemed fine last time I was over, but that was two weeks ago. Tellias buried her in the orchard under the walnut trees.
That is why Eleora was so sad and out of sorts. Her dear dog friend was gone. It always amazes me how much love dogs and cats have and how their loss is so heavy on our hearts.
Eleora squeezed my hand. “Tellias shouldn’t be so worried about me. He worries too much. He worries all the time. He worries. It is what he does. I’m glad you’re here. I loved that dog.”
“So did I,” I said trying to blink away the tears. Even Vampires have tears for dogs they love.
Eleora put her hands on my face and kissed me on the forehead and wiped my eyes. “You’ll be fine dear Juliette. I am glad you’re here. I miss Valentine being around. He had to go to the city he said. Not where you live. He went to the big city. But he said he’d be back all summer. All summer long.”
Val had vanished. I eventually found him in the upstairs bathroom throwing up blood (not his own of course.) His skin had taken on sort of a greenish tint, which brought me back to Wicked. Anyway, he wasn’t well.
“I don’t know what is wrong with me,” he said, looking as dead as a Vampire can look.
As soon as I entered the room I could tell by the smell what was going on. “Courtney is pregnant.”
Yes, one thing that makes a Vampire male sicker than a dog is blood from a pregnant woman. A look of surprise came over his face. No of course he isn’t the father. He couldn’t be. It turned out she had an on again off again boyfriend of three years. So much for that. I’ll make sure Val gets her a nice gift for the baby – a crib or a rocking chair or a nice fat savings bond.
Val gave me one of his looks. It is kind of a scowl with a bit of fang. “What are we doing? I mean what are we really doing Juliette? We used to travel the world and have grand wild adventures. We were the Vampires of lore. We ruled our world.”
“We were out of control idiots. Remember?”
“But what about now?”
“We’re doing what we’re supposed to be doing. We’re taking care of each other. You never asked me how Wicked was?”
Val put his arm around my shoulder. “How was Wicked dear sister?”
“Amazing! It was so much fun.”
We talked for a bit more until Tellias came up to see what we were up to. I called Pete at the Bottle & Blood store and ordered a delivery of a couple of cases of mixed blood to be delivered to the farm that night.
So where are we?
I guess we’re here we’re supposed to be. We’re where we are right now. We’re keeping the fires alive in our cold Vampire hearts and souls. I guess we can’t ask for anymore than that.
~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman