Vampire Diary: Frankenstein

“My education was neglected, yet I was passionately fond of reading.”
~ Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, Frankenstein; Or, the Modern Prometheus

Dear Diary,

I missed the entire 19th and 20th Centuries. So much happened. I am, how do the young Vampires say, clueless on so many cultural references.

When one is imprisoned in a crypt for three hundred years there is a great void in culture.

Books. Book changed. I completely missed Daniel Defoe by a few years. Of course I’d read The Ingenious Nobleman Sir Quixote of La Mancha and all of the ancient Greek tales, but where I lived, there were rarely anything considered a what is known now as a novel.

I have been reading many books over the past several years.

I started a new book today. It is called Frankenstein. I understand it was written by a young woman. Sometimes one must read light fluff because it is recommended by friends. Understanding modern women is also a good thing. I hope this book will clear a few items up.

~ Vlad


Dear Diary,

I continue to read Frankenstein. It is not what I imagined it would be.

What is that expression my love Gillian always uses? Yes, I remember. Holy shit.

~ Vlad


Dear Diary,

Last night I ventured out to my favorite local night time meeting place. It is owned by a woman named Cassie who is both beautiful and smart. She could have also written Frankenstein. I had planned on asking her if she had heard of Frankenstein but there was no chance.

My friend Randolpho and my love Gillian joined me. We are all Vampires, and know that Cassie’s bar is popular with a few other local Vampires as well. Cassie and the other patrons have no idea what we are. We do not plan to tell them.

All there were having a good night until three men wearing black coats and hats walked in. They looked around, then one looked directly at me and said, “Target,” to his friends.

At first I wanted to tell him that this was a bar and Target was about three miles away, then I realized that I was their target. I locked eyes with him and knew they were Vampire Hunters.

“Don’t look them in the eyes,” he yelled and brought out a large knife. As they came towards me I realized they also had guns. Why does everyone have guns?

I stood up from my seat and yelled for everyone in the club to get down. Randolpho and two other Vampires were like Shepard dogs and herded almost everyone behind the bar and into the kitchen and storage room. Gillian stood next to me.

One of the men, the tallest one, who had long brown hair, pulled out his gun. I grabbed his hand and twisted his arm behind his back and knocked him to the floor. Their leader, a shorter man of great thickness, headed towards Gillian with a sword. I turned and grabbed his arm with my left hand and the blade of the sword with my right. I could feel it cut into me. Then I twisted it out of his arm. I did not see a third man behind me as he stabbed me in the neck. I could hear screaming from behind the bar.

“You will not hurt a soul and you will not take me down,” I said.

“You’ll die tonight Vampire King, along with the rest of your friends,” said the man who stabbed me.

“No,” I said.

As the blood poured from my neck, it was funny, because all I could think of was how I’d just gotten that blood about an hour before then at an odd show at an art gallery.

We fought as I have not fought in centuries, with Gillian beside me, and the other Vampires working to protect the fragile regular Humans. I do not know exactly what happened but suddenly a knife went into my chest, it might have been a sword. A knife went into my check and cut a hole in me, starting at my heart and working down, as long as my forearm, maybe a foot long.

Then all went dark.

I awoke in a strange place, like something out of Mary Shelly’s nightmare.

A serious looking man wearing white hovered over me. “What year where you born?”

“1342,” I said, barely getting out the sound.

“1982,” I could hear Gillian say, but I could not see her. “He’s thirty-six.”

“Do you know his blood type? We couldn’t tell. It was as if someone mixed several types together.” I heard more voices asking questions. One said they would have to give me blood. That sounded good to me. I heard Gillian say my blood type was A+. I do not know what that means. I have human blood and I have my own Vampire blood. It is red. It is blood.

I tried to sit but found myself with wired attached to me. A needle was in my arm which was attached to more machines. Bright lights were in my eyes. People were all around me and asking me questions I could not understand or answer.

I could hear their frantic voices saying that I was cold and my heart was not beating. They said I had no blood. Then I felt electricity surge through my body. I jerked.

I could hear Randolpho’s voice somewhere. “Vlad, make your heart beat friend. Don’t let them think you’re dead.”

Needles went in and out of my skin and everything underneath it. I could not understand what people were saying.

Gillian said to someone, “Randolpho is his first cousin. I am his fiance. We are all the family he has. Everyone else is dead.” Dead is a relative term when one speaks of Vampires, but she was right. As far as I knew everyone in my family is dead except my sister who is undead and thousands of miles away.

Then it happened, as I lay on the table, hooked to machines, my arms pierced by needles, covered with blood, splayed out like a hog ready to be cut into bacon and ribs, it happened…

“Even like this he is so cute.”

“He is so cute.”

“He is beautiful, but so handsome.”

“I’ve never seen anyone here this cute.”

“Oh my, who is this man? He is absolutely gorgeous.”

Cute. Even in my darkest hour I am called cute. I do not understand this cute. Babies, puppies, kittens, and teenager are cute. I am a Vampire King in a Frankenstein like nightmare. I am in the lab, hooked up like the creature and they talk about how cute I am. I do not understand.

Then one put her hand on my forehead, “Hey cutie. Can you hear me?”

I opened my eyes and smiled a bit. “Of course. Where am I?”

I could feel her melt a bit due to my charm. “The hospital,” she said. “I’m Doctor Davis. We’re here to help.” Then she turned to her companions and said, “How is he talking? His heart isn’t beating.”

I was weak but I put my hand on her arm. “Dear Doctor Davis. Please leave me alone with my cousin and my fiancée for one minute. In case I am dead I need to have a few last words.” I looked her in the eye and she could not do anything but go away. Vampires can do that. We have that magic touch (even now I can make a slight joke.)

Gillian and Randolpho helped me become detached from the machines and wrapped me in a blanket and put me in a wheel chair. When someone would approach us Gillian would put up her hand and say, “Let us pass.” And of course they let us pass, and none of them remembered seeing us leave, for we are Vampires who move silently and make memories vanish.

When we arrived home I lay in my bed feeling more dead than undead. The pain of the Vampire hunter blades was made worse by poison. My hand, my neck, and my torso were stitched up. I was full of new blood, but still weak. I ask Gillian if she can heat up a blanket in the dryer for me.

I am exhausted just trying to write of this event.

~ Vlad


We are unfashioned creatures, but half made up, if one wiser, better, dearer than ourselves – such a friend ought to be – do not lend his aid to perfectionate our weak and faulty natures.  ~ Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, Frankenstein; Or, the Modern Prometheus


Dear Diary,

News travels fast of a hero who fought off three crazy men with knives and guns to save about fifty terrified people. Vampire friends and my neighbors all came by to see how I am doing. Cassie and her husband Justin brought beautiful red flowers. Gillian and Randolpho were the perfect hostess and host.

Men from law enforcement came and spoke with me.

They asked questions. I told them that I remembered nothing.

Then, I do not know why, I quoted a line from the book Frankenstein. “I see by your eagerness, and the wonder and hope which your eyes express, my friend, that you expect to be in formed of the secret with which I am acquainted. That cannot be.”

I gave them a small uncomfortable laugh and told them that I could not think today. They said they understood and asked me to call them if I remember anything.

The men who attacked us were not apprehended that night. They will be found, but not by local law enforcement.

None the less Gillian and I insisted Randolpho stay with us for a few days. We are fierce and dangerous Vampires but even we have to watch those who do not understand us and wish us harm in their ignorance.

But now I sleep, and rest, and quickly heal as only a Vampire can.

Tomorrow, or maybe next week we will find our peace, and with any luck discover books that do not scare even Vampires.

~ Vlad.


“I shall commit my thoughts to paper, it is true; but that is a poor medium for the communication of feeling. I desire the company of a man who could sympathize with me, whose eyes would reply to mine.” 
~ Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, Frankenstein; Or, the Modern Prometheus


2016-04-08 09.04.16


Note from Juliette: This is the 36th entry of Vlad’s Vampire Diary. To read it from the start click here.

Fantastic Science Fiction Stories (and a poster for you)

I’m on the road for a few weeks – but in the meantime I have an assignment for you.

If you like well written science fiction you’ll like this. Believe me – this book is seriously good.

Strange Adventures in a Deviant Universe
(WPaD Science Fiction, #1)

  • A scientist struggles to find a cure for Alzheimer’s before the disease takes his mind…
  • Dolphins and whales work with their human trainers to terraform a new planet…
  • Artificial intelligence backfires on humanity when sex robots become sentient and demand rights…
  • A lost reptilian tries to find her way home…
  • Random items are disappearing in a small town and cats may be responsible…
  • What’s worse than being lost in space? Being lost in space with a crew of idiots…
  • A salvage crew lands on a deviant, yet disturbingly familiar planet…
  • A rogue space captain acquires a robotic pet with surprising abilities…
  • An injured soldier telepathically connects with his leader for rescue…
  • Humans evacuated from a doomed Earth colonize a new world… and learn nothing from the experience…

Enjoy these stories and more in a stellar science fiction collection from Writers, Poets and Deviants. Featuring the usual cast of deviants, with some fresh new faces joining the crew.

And YES, there are stories about CATS, aliens, romance, horror, and wow, the variety will blow you away. No, this is not a vampire book. No vampires but you’ll love it.


Read Strange Adventures in a Deviant Universe – at least some of the stories, share your experience, even leave a review.

And in return get this beautiful poster of Strange Adventures in a Deviant Universe with artwork by Jason Kemp as a THANK you for reading, enjoying, and sharing what you think.

The 13 x 20 inch posters are printed on beautiful paper – ready to frame or in to your wall.

Strange Adventures in a Deviant Universe

Strange Adventures in a Deviant Universe – WPAD Science Fiction.

  1. Read the book.
  2. Tell me what your favorite story (stories, or poem) is in the comments HERE. The one exclusion is HOLLOW HEADS because it has already been posted on this blog in an earlier form. If you can’t leave a comment (because you don’t have a WordPress account etc. email me at juliettevampiremom@gmail dot com)
  3. Please leave an honest review where you purchased the book.  I hope you post a nice review, but be honest.
  4. I’ll let you know where you can SAFELY and privately leave your mailing address.
  5. See fine print below.




Barnes and Noble (B&N) Nook:

Barnes and Noble (B&N) Paperback:

Read the Fine Print (RULES of Promotion):

  • The story Hollow Heads is not included in this give-a-way promotion, even if it is your favorite story. 
  • Poster and Book Mark are included.
  • While Supplies Last.
  • Posters will be shipped after January 20, 2018.
  • Your personal information will not be sold, given to, loaned to, or seen by ANYONE except me. Your email address and mailing information will remain PRIVATE.

WPaD is the acronym for Writers, Poets and Deviants. We are a diverse group of writers who came together on the Internet to support and encourage each other.

Our collaborative works are charity fundraisers, with a percentage of royalties being donated to Multiple Sclerosis in support of members of our group who live with MS. WPaD books are available worldwide in paperback and ebook. For more information, please visit our website: http//

To see more of Jason’s art at (J Harrison Kemp, Tenkara Studios) and contact information go to:

Thank you. Have fun. Happy Reading. Dream to the stars and back!

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

WPaD Anthologies

Check out these other WPaD Short Story Anthologies.


Useful Links (and I’m not just talking sausages)

25 Useful Links (and I’m not talking sausage)

  1. Do you want to suggest someone for a TED Talk or even suggest yourself? Click Here.
  2. Do you want to donate blood? Click Here.
  3. Do you like to read a fun Vampire Paranormal Romance Series? Click Here.
  4. Would you like to read a super cool Vampire series? Click Here.
  5. Do you want to read some GREAT NEW SCIENCE FICTION? Click Here.
  6. Do you want to find a great place to stay on your next road trip? Click Here.
  7. Do you want to visit or learn about a National Park? Click Here.
  8. Do you need a festive silver-plate serving pieces for the holidays? Click Here.
  9. Do you want to learn about a great art museum? Click Here.
  10. Do you need to identify a silver pattern? Click Here.
  11. Do you want to hear a song? Click Here.
  12. Do you want to learn about Bram Stoker? Click Here.
  13. Do you want to learn about corny Vampire films? Click Here.
  14. Do you want to read articles about writing? Click Here.
  15. Do you want a great easy cookie recipe? Click Here. 
  16. Do you want to read Neil Gaiman’s Eight Rules of Writing? Click Here.
  17. Do you want to hear another song? Click Here.
  18. Do you want to learn how to knit? Click Here.
  19. Do you want to learn about Fun Goth Style? Click Here.
  20. Do you want to visit Florence, Italy? Click Here.
  21. Do you want to see a Teleporting Fat Guy? Click Here.
  22. Do you want to learn about classic movies and theater? Click Here.
  23. Do you want to read a sort-of-love story? Click Here.
  24. Do you want to read about a journey with a cat, a dog fight, and Vampires? Click Here.
  25. Do you want to learn how to make sausages? Click Here.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

oscar_artistic copy





Vampire Maman’s 2017 Fall Reading List

New mystery series, paranormal romance, old favorites, and great short stories… I’ve got it all in my 2017 Fall Reading List. Scroll down some fun fall (and even Halloween) book suggestions. This list contains best sellers and some hidden gems. This is my off the top of my head short list. Like I said, there is something for everyone. Happy Reading.

Unfortunate Souls (Book 1) (Unfortunate Souls Series)

By Jade M. Phillips


Unfortunate Souls (Book 1) is the start of a new series for Jade M. Phillips, one of the princesses of paranormal romance with suspense. The author warns us that the book contains mild kissing and cursing — and some mild violence — and is meant for readers fourteen years of age or older.

That said, this is a fun book, carried by first person viewpoints, first Ruby’s, then Guy’s. The tale is told in a modern English; the viewpoint characters are up to carrying the plot. I’m not going to thumbnail this book for you, since it is the start in a series where love may not be mortal, nor hate.

If you enjoy Young Adult or New Adult fiction, and want a quick moving story with all paranormal and suspenseful elements imaginable come in to play, you’ll enjoy this first book the series — and by inference, its sequels.


Creepies: Twisted Tales From Beneath the Bed

A WPaD Anthology


– A desperate father, on the run with his daughter reveals a terrifying truth about his child…
– Who is the bogeyman, really? Hear the real story – directly
from the monster himself…
– A tiny burger joint along a desert highway – it appears to be a refreshing oasis for a traveling family… or is it?
– A psychic investigates an apparition of a little girl and uncovers a shocking tale…
Enjoy these chilling stories and more in
Creepies: Twisted Tales From Beneath the Bed.
This collection of short stories is a fundraiser for Multiple Sclerosis, in support of some of our writers who live with MS. For each copy sold, a portion is donated to MS research.


Creepies 2: Things That go Bump in the Closet

From the twisted minds of Writers, Poets and Deviants (WPaD)


Prepare for terror… and a few laughs as well.
– An exterminator meets his match in a family’s attic…
– A cuddly toy with a disturbing origin is all the rage…
– A boy’s survival of a deadly accident turns out to be more curse than miracle…
– A man asks a vampire for a favor and gets more than he wished for…
– A strange device collects and stores the rage from people bent on revenge…
– An exquisite chess set in an old pawn shop is more than it seems to be…
– A WW2 bayonet carries an evil history…
– An ancient vampire struggles with life in modern society…
– Something is alive in the outhouse…

Enjoy these chilling tales and more in volume 2 of WPaD’s popular Creepies series.
But leave the lights on…


The Poe Shadow

By Matthew Peal


I love the writing of Matthew Pearl. It isn’t always easy but it will transport you to another time with his language and story lines. He takes you back in time, not by today’s culture, but really back in time. If you like Poe, and history, and a bit of romance, and a lot of mystery you’ll love this book.

“I present to you . . . the truth about this man’s death and my life.”

Baltimore, 1849. The body of Edgar Allan Poe has been buried in an unmarked grave. The public, the press, and even Poe’s own family and friends accept the conclusion that Poe was a second-rate writer who met a disgraceful end as a drunkard. Everyone, in fact, seems to believe this except a young Baltimore lawyer named Quentin Clark, an ardent admirer who puts his own career and reputation at risk in a passionate crusade to salvage Poe’s.<br><br>As Quentin explores the puzzling circumstances of Poe’s demise, he discovers that the writer’s last days are riddled with unanswered questions the police are possibly willfully ignoring. Just when Poe’s death seems destined to remain a mystery, and forever sealing his ignominy, inspiration strikes Quentin–in the form of Poe’s own stories. The young attorney realizes that he must find the one person who can solve the strange case of Poe’s death: the real-life model for Poe’s brilliant fictional detective character, C. Auguste Dupin, the hero of ingenious tales of crime and detection.<br>In short order, Quentin finds himself enmeshed in sinister machinations involving political agents, a female assassin, the corrupt Baltimore slave trade, and the lost secrets of Poe’s final hours. With his own future hanging in the balance, Quentin Clark must turn master investigator himself to unchain his now imperiled fate from that of Poe’s.


Norse Mythology

by Neil Gaiman


Norse Mythology is Neil Gaiman’s own take on traditional Norse tales. Thor, Odin, and Loki are all there getting into trouble, making mischief, saving their friends, dealing with their families, falling in love, and facing loss. The book is assorted related stories so you can take it in small chunks if you want. I read this while reading other books – a break between if you know what I mean.


Two Nights

by Kathy Reichs


A lot of you might know Kathy Reichs from her Bones Series. I love the books but don’t like the TV show. Anyway, now that you know where you are… Two Nights is a well written start of a new series. I can’t wait for the next book. You won’t be able to put it down.

Meet Sunday Night, a woman with physical and psychological scars, and a killer instinct. . . .
Sunnie has spent years running from her past, burying secrets and building a life in which she needs no one and feels nothing. But a girl has gone missing, lost in the chaos of a bomb explosion, and the family needs Sunnie’s help. Is the girl dead? Did someone take her? If she is out there, why doesn’t she want to be found?

It’s time for Sunnie to face her own demons—because they just might lead her to the truth about what really happened all those years ago.

Lost City of the Monkey God

By Douglas Preston


Yes, this is the Douglas Preston who writes the Pendergast books with Lincoln Child. This is a non-fiction adventure about finding a lost city, treasure, and finding something more dangerous than most fictional villains.

In 2012, author Douglas Preston joined a team of explorers searching for Ciudad Blanca (“The White City”), a legendary ruin hidden in the dense jungle of eastern Honduras. To this point the city – also known as “the Lost City of the Monkey God” – was literally a legend; while various hucksters and hoaxers had claimed to have discovered the abandoned metropolis, no credible evidence had ever been presented, and its very existence remained shrouded in doubt. In addition to the objective hazards of tropical disease, wild boars, and the deadly fer-de-lance viper, locals stoked the mystique, describing various curses awaiting would-be discoverers. Don’t pick the flowers, or you’ll die.

But this team had an advantage that previous searchers had lacked: LIDAR, an advanced laser-imaging technology able to penetrate the dense jungle canopy – just enough – and return detailed elevation profiles from which subtle, man-made anomalies could be identified. Almost immediately, two major sites emerged, their scale and architecture indicating a civilization to rival another local, more famous power, the Maya.

The announcement had consequences. The fledgling Honduran government, having gained power through a military coup, sought to use the discovery to bolster its status with the population, while the academic community ripped the expedition with accusations of Indiana Jones-style exploitation and shoddy scientific methods, cries which could be uncharitably interpreted as sour grapes. Encroaching deforestation and the prospect of looters created urgency to conduct a ground survey, and the team ventured into the wilderness and all the hazards that awaited, including an unexpected and insidious danger that cursed the team well beyond their return home.

The author of over 30 books, including number of bestselling thrillers co-written with Lincoln Child, Preston knows pace, and he packs several narratives into a taut 300 pages. Indiana Jones criticism aside, the story of the discovery and exploration of the ruin is solid adventure writing, and he walks a fine line in dealing with the archaeology community’s response, reporting on the bases for their criticism where they chose to provide it. And by invoking Jared Diamond’s Guns, Germs, and Steel, Preston speculates on the mysterious, sudden demise of the White City and its inhabitants, drawing ominous parallels between their fate and possibly our own. Lost City is a tale that manages to be both fun and harrowing, a vicarious thrill worthy of a place on the shelf next to David Grann’s The Lost City of Z. –Jon Foro, The Amazon Book Review


More scary reading:

The Feeder

by Mandy White

The Feeder gives brutality a new meaning…


Victims horribly mutilated, with parts missing and inserted in their mouths…

An aspiring actress-turned-prostitute falls victim to the killer, leaving behind a grieving twin obsessed with revenge.

Graphic violence and scenes of mutilation. Some readers may find the content of this book offensive. Read at your own discretion.


Mandy White is a Canadian author who resides on Vancouver Island, British Columbia where she is living her dream of being one of those weird, reclusive writer types. She primarily writes fiction in the horror genre, often featuring Canadian characters and locations. She is founder of the WPaD group (Writers, Poets and Deviants), best known for their charity anthologies.

Published works include:

The Jealousy Game
Non-fiction – A guide to dysfunctional relationships where excessive jealousy is present.

Avenging Annabelle
Fiction – A thriller about a distraught father who seeks revenge on his daughter’s abductor.

Dysfictional: Short Stories for Twisted Minds
Fiction – A collection of Mandy White’s short stories, including the novelettes, A Feast Not So Fancy and The Immigrant.

The Feeder (April, 2013 release)
Fiction – A thriller told from the point of view of an individual whose twin sister is brutally murdered, sparking a gruesome and bloody vendetta.

Creepies: Twisted Tales from Beneath the Bed by WPaD
Fiction – A horror anthology featuring two of Mandy White’s stories along with a collection of chilling tales from the talented writers of WPaD.

Passion’s Prisms: Tales of Love and Romance by WPaD
Fiction – A romance anthology featuring two of Mandy White’s stories along with a collection of romantic tales from the talented writers of WPaD

The Immigrant
Fiction – A Sci-fi/comedy novelette about an alien with extremely poor hygiene who comes to Earth to genetically engineer a new food source. (Featured in Dysfictional)

A Feast Not So Fancy
Fiction – A horror novelette about a loner who finds himself paralyzed and at the mercy of his hungry house cats. (Featured in Dysfictional)

Zombie Cuisine
Fiction – A short story told from the point of view of a zombie who encounters a lost love in her search for sustenance. (Featured in Dysfictional and Creepies)

The Creators by M.W. Sharpe and Mandy White
Fiction – An alternative origin of the species story based on various metaphysical theories.

WPaD Publications

WPaD Publications featuring stories from Juliette

The Crystal Cave

by Mary Stewart

The story of Merlin of the Arthurian legend. This is followed by The Hollow Hills and The Last Enchantment. Well written and magical the story brings Merlin to life in a way no other book has done. I read this so many times my paperback copy fell apart.


And for a fun light romance…

The Girl Who Knew Too Much

By Amanda Quick

When Hollywood moguls and stars want privacy, they head to an idyllic small town on the coast, where the exclusive Burning Cove Hotel caters to their every need. It’s where reporter Irene Glasson finds herself staring down at a beautiful actress at the bottom of a pool…

The dead woman had a red-hot secret about up-and-coming leading man Nick Tremayne, a scoop that Irene couldn’t resist—especially since she’s just a rookie at a third-rate gossip rag. But now Irene’s investigation into the drowning threatens to tear down the wall of illusion that is so deftly built around the famous actor, and there are powerful men willing to do anything to protect their investment.

Seeking the truth, Irene finds herself drawn to a master of deception. Oliver Ward was once a world-famous magician—until he was mysteriously injured during his last performance. Now the owner of the Burning Cove Hotel, he can’t let scandal threaten his livelihood, even if it means trusting Irene, a woman who seems to have appeared in Los Angeles out of nowhere four months ago…

With Oliver’s help, Irene soon learns that the glamorous paradise of Burning Cove hides dark and dangerous secrets. And that the past—always just out of sight—could drag them both under…


This should keep you busy for a while. There is something for everyone on this list. Check my past blogs for other book recommendations. I have a big pile of books I’m working on now.

Morning at the Vineyard

Of course you could always read my short story collection “Morning at the Vineyard.” Also keep reading my blog – start from the beginning. I have posted hundreds of witty, mindful, and interesting blog posts and short stories to keep you amused, amazed, and enlightened.

Happy Reading,

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman







Short Story Sunday: School Night (and a poll)

This week I have an excerpt from a novel I started AND a poll. Would you read this book? Yes, this is a rough rough draft but if I polished it up…
By the way, this isn’t a Vampire story.

It is all just a bunch of strange physics!

School Night

Advanced Physics.

Dr. Jackson Bartello

Tom looked at the white board relieved he was in the right classroom. This was Back-to-School-Night at his kid’s new high school. Oh boy.

Parents wandered into the classroom, squeezing into small plastic and laminated wood desks. Tom’s 6’3” frame hardly fit. He swore the desks were never this small when he was in high school.

Intentionally avoiding conversation with other parents he studied the hand written schedule his son Declan had given him.

First Period: Advanced Physics – Dr. B (Bartello) – HIPSTER GEEK EXCEPTIONALLY COOL GUY. Say something good about me. Seriously.

A large woman pushed herself into the desk next to Tom, still wearing her nurses uniform with a cartoon cat print on the top. Her brown hair was short and practical, but her face was pretty in a sort of old time glamour girl kind of way. She smiled at Tom. He smiled back to be polite.

At the front of the class stood a blond haired girl wearing a school tee shirt, and the kind of self-assured plastered on smile of an experienced politician. Tom figured she was Dr. Bartello’s student assistant Katie Hunter.

According to his daughter Rowan, Katie Hunter had recently changed her name to Kat, because she was dating a boy named Hunter Katz. Kat Hunter and Hunter Katz. It was all incredibly cute. Declan had said Kat and Hunter were also the two smartest kids in the school. Tom thought if they were that smart they’d stay away from romance.

“Hi Roxy,” the girl said to the woman in the cat uniform.

“Hey, Katie, excuse me, Kat. Good to see you.”

Katie turned to Tom. “You’re Declan’s dad.”

Tom smiled. “Yes, I am. How’d you know?

“You look just like him.” Her voice was deeper than most girls her age and lacked the singsong upswings at the end of her sentences.

“Everyone loves Declan,” said the woman called Roxy. “I’m Roxy Taylor, Jordan’s mom.”

“Tom Mather. Good to meet you.” He had no idea who Jordan was.

“Your wife Sage is great. We’re all so happy she agreed to be the advisor for the Student Technology Team.”

That was news to Tom. “Technology Team, sure, Sage loves her technology.” He gave an uncomfortable laugh. Sage was always great. She couldn’t help it; even after their lives fell completely apart she continued to wear her mask of greatness.

He’d encouraged Sage to take her dream job on the other side of the country. The new job paid twice their combined income. He would sell his law practice and work from home. They’d make a new start. She wouldn’t sleep with other men anymore. Life would pretend to be good.

Tom glanced around the classroom again. The other dads were relaxed slobs in cargo shorts and Dockers. He couldn’t imagine Sage being attracted to any of them.

The bell rang for first period to start. Bartello still hadn’t show up. A phone on the desk vibrated and danced around for a second. Tom noticed that a set of keys and half finished iced coffee next to the phone.

Katie cleared her throat then made an announcement. “Sign in if you haven’t already. Your kid will get points for it. I um, know Dr. Bartello has some handouts. Just a sec and I’ll get them.”

She went to the tall cabinet on the wall next to where Tom was sitting.

Katie tried to open the door but it wouldn’t slide. Tom noticed a latch at the top. “I’ll get it “Here you go,” he said with a wink to Katie as he slid the door open.

From the inside of the cabinet a dead Jackson Bartello faced Tom. One eye was closed, the other a squint. In the fraction of a second Tom’s brain registered the blood and gaping cut across Bartello’s throat. Before Tom could step back the full dead weight of the man fell forward against him.

Tom could feel himself falling but couldn’t stop the momentum. He remembered hearing himself say oh fuck, when the back of his head slammed into a desk, then bounced on the floor. He saw sparks, and the pain nearly knocked him out. He caught his breath and found himself flat on the floor. Bartello’s head was twisted at an almost ninety degree angle unnaturally resting on the inside of Tom’s left thigh, with the rest of his body on Tom’s legs and feet.

Bartello’s throat had been cut from ear to ear, all the way to the bone. Tom could see what might have been bone, or the esophagus. The cut was clean with no ragged edges. Bartello’s hands were bound behind him with his own black and teal atomic age print tie. He was still warm.

Tom could hardly catch his breath. Roxy was already up out of the desk and by his side. “Roxy, help get him off of me.”

She held Tom’s arm and helped him slide out from under the dead man. He felt Roxy’s hand go to the back of his head.

“You’re bleeding.” Then she yelled, “Somebody get me some paper towels NOW.”

The parents looked on in shocked silence. Then the murmurs of “Oh my God,” and soft gasps began. It wasn’t like in the movies where everyone screams and runs when a body appears. One was calling 911, another the school front office.

“Tom, Mr. Mather,” Katie said, sounding as if she were being strangled.

“I’m OK,” said Tom. He reached to the back of his head and felt the blood. He tried to stand, but couldn’t get his body to work for him. “Katie, don’t panic. You can do that later. Right now let’s get everyone out of the room. Then find your parents. Roxy, Find my wife, please.”

Tom looked at Bartello again. He couldn’t imagine cutting into flesh with that kind of force. It was too intimate for him. He never touched his marks. He’d always used a gun with a silencer, with the goal to always keep things clean and anonymous. But this killing wasn’t business. It was personal.



More to come…

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman



What we’re talking about over coffee this morning.

Coffee with Vampires

Even during the holidays we try to keep daylight hours, more or less, but I sometimes have that pull of my nocturnal biology and don’t sleep. I don’t sleep anyway. Most Vampires sleep like the dead (duh) but, well, good for them.

In the wee hours of the morning of December 28, 2016, just past midnight, my house shook with the force of an earthquake. Then it shook again.

At first Teddy thought it was the dog scratching and yelled at her. I told him it was no dog. Outside of Hawthorne, Nevada, close to the California/Nevada border the earth shook not once, but twice, at 5.8 and 5.6. It was enough for us to feel it 160 miles away (as the crow flies.)

Everyone else fell asleep but I kept awake. I feel like I’m still awake. I have coffee.

This morning it was quiet, despite the crowd staying at my house. Almost everyone was asleep this morning, just before the sun came up, so I took the dog for a walk. It was cold and wet but that can’t stop a one year old German Shepard. The nose of a dog knows no limits to what it can smell. When I got home I found my brother Max in my kitchen.

He’d come in late last night. Now he was leaning against the island counter with his eyes closed and his headphones on. He was as still as stone with no obvious signs of life. I walked up to him and gently took the headphones out. I listened. Strumbellas We Don’t Know. It was fitting for Max but a surprise.

Max opened his eyes and smiled a rare dazzling Vampire smile.

“Morning. Your coffee is getting cold,” I said handing him his cup.


“Do you think your demons will be gone today?”

He shrugged. “It might take a while.”

Over the holidays Demons had infested his home in San Francisco. He went to a party and when he came back they were there tearing the place up. Like just about everything else in this universe of ours they are attracted to Max and just can’t seem to stay away. He tried to take care of the problem himself but ended up with a black gash on his arm, and a major headache. He had to call a professional and move out for a few days.

Our great great great great Grandmama Lola came in, also staying for a few days (because the kids are on break) and made tea. She has been nervous since the election and all of the right-wing religious talk. Unlike Max and I who have had relatively safe lives, all things considering, Lola has not. She is ancient and has seen those she loved strapped to poles and burned alive. She has seen our kind torn apart and beheaded for no other reason that the fact they were different.

Lola warns us and my children again that they must stay quiet and trust no one. Of course. She is right.

“Not just us, but others as well. Do not forget the lessons of history, or those of your elders,” she tells the younger generation.

I hear my kids upstairs laughing now. Garrett has that joyful sort of horse laugh that so many young men have. Clara’s laugh is deep and rich, but still the laugh of a typical teenage girl.

Lola doesn’t look much older than my two but her eyes show the centuries. Sometimes it is the same look one finds in war zones and refugee camps. It is that look that politicians and religious leaders can’t see from their high pulpits – it is a look they close their own eyes to.

But now I’m starting to sound like a schlockie Vampire novel, or something from Oprah’s Book Club. Actually, take that back, I’d love to be in Oprah’s Book Club, as an author.

My brother Val showed up, then my husband Teddy came downstairs so it was a regular party.  So much for binge watching Twilight Zone, Botched, and Leah Remini in a quiet house (where nobody knows what I’m doing.) Insomnia got me through West World, and Worst Cooks in America. I found the other three this week by accident because I just did, and I couldn’t sleep, and my brain turned off for writing, or art, or anything else.

The discussion over coffee and tea included:

  • “The Curse of Oak Island” is the fact that they aren’t going to ever find anything.
  • A guy I know is going to audition for “America’s Got Talent.”
  • We were all impressed by the movie, “Hell or High Water.”
  • Juliette only read a few books in 2016, and that is a shame. And in 2017 we’re all going to read, “The Stranger” by Albert Camus, some for the first time, and some of us again.

Just like any other family we talk about movies, silly TV stuff, and books when we get together. That is something most of us can agree on.

We also talked in length about Max’s Demon problem. I swear there must be a portal near his house, or it must be him. I think they’re attracted to him because they see him as such a powerful Vampire. He says that isn’t the case. He says we’re all powerful in our own ways, then tries to be the good uncle and tells the kids that. Val and Lola went off into a corner to discuss his new girlfriend. Teddy gave me a kiss and went off to work.

Tonight Teddy and I are going to the Kings game. It will be my first time in the new Golden 1 Arena. Woo Hoo. We’ll go to Magnolia’s (a blood bar) for dinner first. Woo Hoo. Yes, that is the Sacramento Kings (just like my name) Basketball. Woo Hoo.

Football does nothing for me but I like Baseball and Basketball. Go Kings. Go Giants. My other sport is Artistic Roller Skating. Woo Hoo.

More on all of THAT later this year.

I sat by Lola and Val, and took Lola’s hand. I wanted to tell her that it will all be alright but I said nothing, and listened to Val tell about the girl he is falling in love with.

Happy New Year again everyone.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman