Short Story Sunday: Conversion

“Durant, we found something.”

“What do you mean you found something?”

“Live dead bodies.”

“Vampires?”

“Yes, vampires. Happy fucking holidays.”

“I’ll be right there.”

Austin Durant had planned on spending the morning grading papers. When he wasn’t teaching history at the local state college he was a contractor specializing in restoring historic buildings. When he wasn’t doing that he was a vampire hunter. The vampire hunter part wasn’t planned. It just happened.

Now a call from his construction site foreman Matt changed his Sunday morning plans. Damn. He made a call and headed out.

His attorney and friend (the term friend was sometimes questionable) Aaron Todd stood on the front porch. How could anyone always look so elegant, even in jeans and a fleece jacket?

“Why don’t you people take care of your own?”

“You people? Really Austin. You sound almost racist.”

“You’re a vampire.”

“The ones in the walls are not my people.”

Aaron had a point. He was an attorney and lived in a beautiful modern house, with a beautiful wife who looked like she was right out of a Botticelli painting.  Aaron had nothing in common with the dried up husks with long yellow teeth and claw like fingers who were hibernating in the old walls.

Aaron was holding a pink box. “I brought donuts and coffee for your guys. It was the least I could do.”

“Thank you. The good kind,” said Austin, looking at the beautiful assortment of donuts, sweet rolls and bear claws. “Do you ever eat these things?”

“No. They make me sick.”

They waked back to the small bricked in room where the vampires had been found. The 8 x 8 foot space had been bricked in from the inside.

Aaron looked down at the still dead looking forms. “I know those two. I’d wondered what had happened to them. Not that I cared. I was glad to see them gone. The last time I saw them was this time of year. My wife Verity and I were downtown late at night and spotted these two on the steps of the new Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament.”

“New?”

“It was 1890.” Aaron smiled and sipped his coffee. “They watched us with empty eyes coveting our existence. These two in the walls are creatures with no souls. They exist with nothing but longing for blood. They have no idea what the empty void is that fills them. That is why they wall themselves up to sleep for years. They know no torment. They feel no longing. They exist and that is all.

These two had come out to California to seek their fortunes right after the Civil war, like so many uneducated dullards. They were both pretty enough and young enough that they made a living selling their bodies. They were stupid enough to be seduced by evil. They forfeited their souls for eternal life. Either that or the idiots who converted them botched the job and only brought them back after their bodies were empty of any life at all. It doesnt matter. They might not even have had souls to begin with. They were the kind of people who just survive and nothing else. Their lives have no meaning.”

“You’re harsh.”

“I am realistic.”

“You saw them on the cathedral steps. You were going to tell me something about them.”

“It was two days before Christmas, they sat on the steps huddled together. I was going to approach them and tell them to leave town, when a priest came out into the dark and sat with them. We could hear what he said. I’ll never forget.”

Aaron took a deep breath as if he was almost human. “It was obvious they had been there before. The priest made a sign of the cross then put his hands on their shoulders and said, those who are loved will earn their souls. It is not in the scripture but I believe it. I know it. You are loved. Believe me. Believe my brother and sister.

Austin was amazed at what the vampire told him. “Do you believe that Aaron?”

“I want to, but no, I do not believe it.”

Austin knew vampires were cold hearted but he assumed that maybe… then again, when it came to the heart of a vampire assumptions were dangerous.

“By the way,” said Aaron, “the good priest was found dead a week later. His body had been drained of all blood. Funny how things work out that way.”

They looked down at the corpse-like vampires who lay on an ancient cot, huddled together in a cold embrace. Their old fashioned clothes still showed some color through the dusty and faded threads.

Austin raised the chain saw and was about to start it up when the male opened his eyes. It sounded like paper shredding. The woman did the same.

“Do it now,” hissed Aaron.

Austin started the chainsaw and cut off their heads.

He looked up and saw writing on the wall scrawled in what could have been blood above the cot.

We no not wat we do

“We know not what we do,” Austin read out loud.

In the curled up clawed hand of the woman Austin found a small carved figure of a baby in a manger. The paint looked almost new.

In the hand of the man was a holly branch.

“Those were gifts from the priest,” said Aaron.

The bodies turned to dust before their eyes.

“Aaron, what do you want to do with the ashes?”

“You have a shop vac don’t you?”

“Man, you’re cold. No pun intended.”

Aaron shrugged. Austin put the baby in his pocket and gave the dried holly branch to Aaron.

“Maybe I should believe,” said Aaron.

Austin put his hand on his friend’s shoulder. “Maybe you should.”

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ end

You might have seen this story before. I’m moving kids to college this week. New exciting posts to come later. ~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Tangled Tales

 

Austin and Elizabeth Stories

What happens when a History Professor/Restoration Expert/Player turns into a Vampire Hunter? He discovers basements full of undead creatures, a thriving community of hip and trendy Modern Vampires and the maybe love of his life (or maybe the cause of his death.)

For the complete story of Austin and Elizabeth (from the beginning) check the links below.

Part 1: The Hunter

Part 2:  Memory of Distant Love

Part 3: Dark Dreams of the Hunted

Part 4: About Those Pesky Undead Folks

Park 5: The Hunt Continues

Part 6: Cold and Warm

Part 7: Date with a Vampire

Part 8: Crawl Space

Part 9: Dust and Desire

Part 10: One of Those Days…

Part 11: Even Vampire Hunters Get the Blues

Part 12: Back to the Past

Part 13: Nowhere in Time

Part 14: Father Paul

Part 15: The Bat

Part 16: Conversion

About those Vampires… and other things

I blog about parenting.

this guy

And Vampires.

vampire teens

If you’re looking for the latest trend in massive mondo strollers, yoga pants, sparking pedophile Vampires, chins dripping in blood, dark evil Vampire Lords, tiger mom shit, you’ve come to the wrong blog.

So here we go… this is the story.

In 1849 several groups of Vampires headed West of California for a new beginning. They were part of the growing movement, later called the “Modern Vampire Movement, of individuals who no longer wanted to live in the dark, hidden away. They lived with regular people, as regular people, except they were Vampires. Aside from their hidden identities and some rather different biology and lifestyle issues they were indistinguishable from most people.

My family settled in the Sacramento area, where some of us till love. I was born here, part of a family of rare Vampire children. Yes, Vampires can had children together. They can’t have kids with non-Vampires.

Werewolves also moved West and lived in their communities as well. They could always be picked out of crowd by their flashy clothing and snarky personalities.

That is about it. No blood dripping Dark Vampire Lord. No sparkling pedophiles. Sure there are what we call Shadow Creepers. They’re the Vampires who act like creepy ghouls, in the shadows and lurk in the dark at night. There are also those who are truly dead due to the fact that they have no souls. They’re the dangerous ones. OK, fine, we’re all dangerous to some point, but seriously less so than our warmer blooded relatives.

This is the end of the explanation.

I write about my family and my world.

My message isn’t really about Vampires.

This is what it is about:

  • Talking to your kids.
  • Listening to your kids.
  • Relationships.
  • Cat Poetry.
  • Accepting differences.
  • Modern Life.
  • Fitting in.
  • Not fitting in.
  • Being different.
  • Being the same.
  • Talking to your kids.
  • Communication with your children.
  • Short fiction.
  • Musings.
  • Odds and ends.
  • Venting.
  • Cats.
  • Dogs.
  • Old people.
  • Life changes.
  • Empty nest.
  • Deliberate parenting.
  • Old or interesting cemeteries.
  • Funny stuff.
  • Burning Questions.
  • Musings.
  • Possums (and other woodland creatures)
  • Other things.
  • Being there for your kids. Always.

I believe that covers most of it. I’m still half asleep so if I left something out I’ll post it later. I need either more coffee or I need to go back to bed. I’m not sure which yet. I’ll know in about five minutes.

Thanks for dropping by.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

 

Recurring Dreams and Nightmares

 

Recurring Dreams and Nightmares

The other night my kids and I were talking about recurring dreams. Clara has dreams about having another family. The other mother looks just like her. The bother looks like me. The dad isn’t around much. She still has us, her real parents, but she has that other family too and they want her to move in. Garrett dreams he can fly like a bird only he has to wear blue velvet like the painting Blue Boy. I’m not sure if Blue Boy wears velvet or not but it isn’t his dream.

I have a recurring dream where my house has a secret house attached to it. The secret house is about 1,800 square feet. It is almost as real in my mind as my real house. In another recurring dream I live in an old house with an attic full of ghosts.

We asked Teddy, my husband and father of my children, if he had any recurring dreams. As always, when we bring up things like dreams he acted a tad bit annoyed. Then he said, “I’m not a Vampire in my dreams. I’m warm.”

Oh.

Yes, this is a blog written by and for the most part for Vampires (in case you don’t already know.)

I married a reluctant Vampire. That is, he didn’t choose to be one of the “undead.” Actually only Regular Humans call us “undead.” Anyway the conversation ended and the kids wanted to know what was going on. They know a bit of the history.

I told them about the first time I saw their father asleep. He’d been a fixture in my young life as my brother’s Max’s best friend.

A girl, a teen, one of my friends, was in love with Teddy. She was 16, he was 26. She was a Vampire. He was not. So she plotted with some less than desirable types. These were Vampires we did not associate with. One night they kidnapped Theodore Todd in the middle of the night and did the deed.

The year was 1876. I was 16, almost 17. My brother Val had just turned 18. Our older brothers were all in their 20’s with Max, the eldest at 26. Max and Teddy were constant companions. They grew up together, were college roommates and as close as two creatures could be except Teddy never knew we were Vampires. Teddy didn’t know what a Vampire was. He’d never heard of such a creature. Why should have he? We hid it was – as we had been taught to since we were young.

I’ll skip past the initial shock and horror of the incident and skip straight to when Teddy was dead, or at least dead to the world he’d known for his first 26 years.

Teddy almost did die. Most who go through the process do die. It isn’t like the movies where a bite will make you an immortal fiend. It isn’t just a bite. It isn’t easy. It isn’t pretty. And there is always a chance that they’ll come back but their soul might not remain intact.

My brother Val and I went to the home of Teddy’s parents. They were like family to us so it broke our hearts to see them so sad. In the ball room Teddy was out to be viewed in a beautiful casket. He was as still as death and cold in the hot August air. Dressed in formal black and surrounded by flowers he was as beautiful as ever. I say beautiful because Teddy is one of those handsome masculine men who is also beautiful. He takes the breath away of all who see him. Fortunately his personality goes with his looks as a beautiful soul, kind and true.

I’ll never forget the smell of the roses that lay around him – huge wreaths of flowers unlike anything I’d ever seen. They were all white. Pure white for the young man with a pure heart.

He was a successful young business man, engaged to be married with a bright future ahead of him. He’d fallen ill and never woke up. He was mourned by his parents and five siblings. Teddy was universally loved by all who knew him and universally mourned. I knew the funeral would be huge.

Max was there, dressed in deep black. He stood watch and motioned Val and I to come to his side. He would be  entered  in a crypt the following day after the funeral. After that Max and my father would get him and take him away to an undisclosed location to start his new life.

So there we were. Of course Val and I didn’t know how to feel. We’d never been in a situation like this. We were sort of excited about Teddy being one of us but the fact that he didn’t want to be one of us was totally out of our range of experience.

We lived in a world where our existence was secret. It had been secret since the day we were born. Sure my parents and even my two eldest brothers had turned people over the years, but nobody against their will. That was unacceptable and against all rules of our society.

Standing at the foot of the casket was Teddy’s betrothed Mary, still a stunning beauty in her black mourning dress. Next to her was Teddy’s friend Elliot. From time to time I noticed his hand touching Mary’s arm as if to protect her from fear and death itself.

Mary took a heart shaped locket from around her neck and placed it in Teddy’s cold hand. She wrapped his fingers around it. Her photo was in it as well as a tiny note that read “Be at peace.” Not “I love you” but “Be at peace.” I thought that was odd but I had no idea what she was thinking in her loss. My heart broke for her.

We all stood quietly as if we were all dead or in a trance, when Mary broke the silence and ran into Max’s arms, tears running down her lovely face. Max spoke gentle words of comfort. Elliot looked on with the deepest sympathy, but there was something else in his eyes. Maybe a bit of jealousy or contempt.

Our brother Aaron joined the group. He pulled Val and I aside and told me that he and Max had killed one of the Vampires who’d done this to Teddy. They would go after the others when they could. Before we could ask questions he smiled and said, “I’m in love. I’m going to ask her to marry after the funeral.”

“Is she one of us?” I had to ask.

“Yes, she is one of us.”

Even I knew this wasn’t the place to speak of romance, especially with Mary near. The room filled with guests paying their respect to the family. My parents stood by Teddy’s consoling them, for they knew that Teddy would now be dead to his family forever.

In the midst of all of this our brother Andrew made his appearance, just in from San Francisco. There was a woman on his arm, a point of contention with my parents. He’d fallen in love with a warm-blooded woman who had no intention of changing into a Vampire. They had lived together for the past year as man and wife. Oh the scandal it caused, especially since she knew about us. I grew to love her and forty years later I’d mourn her death and hold my brother’s hand as he wept by her grave.

Anyway, when I think back on that night it seems so long ago. It was so long ago. We were all so young.

Mary went on to become engaged to Elliot less than a year after Teddy’s “death.”

It was almost ten years before Val or I saw Teddy again, in a crypt in London on Christmas Eve. Funny how people reconnect.

I always make it out that Teddy is so brooding and dark, but he isn’t really. He just tends to be more serious than I am. He is the straight man in our marriage – sort of like George and Gracie, or Lucy and Ricky.

I suppose everyone was expecting Val and I to do something stupid like knock over the casket or come across something we weren’t supposed to see but none of that happened. We were shocked into good behavior and caused no reason for anyone to notice us.

Eventually the Vampires who did the deed to Teddy were all caught and they’re all dead now. I mean really dead, not just “vampire dead.” Who knows what happened to their souls, that is if they still had souls at all.

Sometimes it is a challenge living with someone who is tied to two worlds. I mean, most Vampires are OK but he didn’t become one of us on his own. But he knows that we love him. He has also become an exceptional Vampire – more than most.

Teddy is also an exceptional father and husband, but I could have told you that before he became one of us.

So that is the extent of my Vampire tales and stories for tonight. Just a bit of background – the usual boring family stuff.

Dream on and sweet dreams to all.

 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

crypt

Musings on a California Morning

Winter skipped my corner of the world this year. While the rest of the country is shoveling out their Winter Wonderland I’m having coffee outside at dusk, as always, out on the deck with the cat. No shoes. Thinking of what the rest of the day, the week, the month brings.

No Ghost, Goblins gone, no Werewolves, no pests. Just the birds and the cat. Not the cat that eats birds. She is inside asleep. The cat who just watches.

The husband and son are off on their adventures. The girl child and a friend are sleeping like only Vampire teens can sleep.

It is one of those rare moments when my mind is a blank. So much to do like any busy mom, but just savoring the quiet time.

Earlier this week my daughter was looking through my closet, the one with the old stuff and came upon a black velvet dress, as old as old can be.

“What’s with the glam goth mom?”

“Be careful, that dress is really old.” Over 100 years.

“I can’t imagine you as one of those dark Gothic Vampires,” she said looking at the bead work on the fabric.

“You’d be surprised.”

We’re now in another world with the first light of day. Actually it was the world my parents, the New Vampires brought us up in. They came to the land of sun and sea and mountains and infinite possibilities. They bucked the system as did so many of their generation.

But let our kids still be surprised that we had lives before they were born. Let our spouses be surprised we had lives without them once. We all have our own life, our own dreams, and the joys of where we are now.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

The dress looked a bit like this one...always a favorite and always in style.

The dress looked a bit like this one…always a favorite and always in style.