When You Grow Old

A Story For Saturday. I’ll be returning next Saturday with a regular or semi-regular features. Today you get a story. Enjoy. Savor. Relax. Ponder. Think. Create. 

When You Grow Old

A short story by Juliette Kings

“Who will take care of you when you get old?” I asked my brother’s caretaker Josh.

My brother Bob is 90 years old. A former screenwriter and movie producer, he lives in a modern glass and polished wood mansion on the Central Coast of California.

I’d been at Bob’s for six months.

“Your grandmother would have been 101 this year,” Bob told me. I was going to turn 101 this year, at the end of October. What Bob doesn’t know is that I am his sister Valentina. He doesn’t know I’m a vampire either. He thinks I’m a great niece who is the spitting image of his older sister who passed away in 1935.

I walked the beach in the evenings with Bob. He leaned my arm and told me about the cycles of the tide and the migration of the whales.

Arriving home we found that my brother’s caretaker Josh had fixed dinner.  A beautiful salad and fresh rockfish. Josh, a tall skinny but muscular blonde in his 30’s had been with Bob for about 3 years. He divided his time between helping Bob and two other elderly folks near by, and when he wasn’t with his old folks he was surfing.

I asked Josh why he worked with old people. “They’re exceptional creatures,” he told me, “with the knowledge of lost times. They have wisdom and humor that needs to be honored. You can’t always get that out of old people, but if you work them just so and LISTEN they’ll give you the secrets of the universe. And the weird thing is, no not weird, I the magic of it, is that they don’t even know they have that knowledge.”

The next morning we had a visitor. It was Stephen, one of my brother’s neighbors.  “You’ve been good to your brother,” he whispered in my ear. He was also a Vampire, something I’d known for a while, but never talked to him about. Our paths crossed but this was the first time we had made a social call since I’d been there.

It seems Stephen and Bob have been friends for the past 10 years, since Stephen purchased the run down house next door and restored it to the former glory of its past. Until today, he only visited Bob when I was out. They spend the evenings talking, watching movies and playing cards with Josh. There was a bond of friendship that was so real and close, the kind that never ends, even with age and differences of opinion.

A few night later Stephen and I walked the beach.

“How long have you been a Vampire?” I asked him. It was a common question Vampires ask each other.

“Since the summer of 1802. Funny it seems like yesterday.”

“So hows it working out for you? I mean, the Vampire thing and all?” I had to ask.

“Good. It’s all good. You know it isn’t for everyone.”

“I wonder about Bob.” I had wondered about my brother and if I made him into a Vampire if I’d restore his youth and keep him in my life.

“Bob is happy where he is.”

“I think you’re right.”

We walked more and listened to the waves. Then he kissed me under that stars. That was a surprise. A nice surprise.

The next morning after Josh had helped Bob with his shower and getting dressed I visited with him over coffee. Josh was such a caring free spirit, loving his work with the elderly and his relationship with the waves.

“Who will take care of you when you get old?” I asked Josh.

He smiled. “I’ll ride out on the surf and become one with the sea.”

“Who will listen to your words of wisdom?”

“You and Stephen can pass it on. You’ll still be here. You’ll always be here. So will Bob, not in body but his spirit is strong. He’ll be around as long as the stars shine over the surf.” Then he winked at me. “Valentina, I know all about you. Your kind is all over the coast down here. I grew up with Vampires. It’s cool.”

And so it was.

 

~ end

 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

An Outing With Ancient Vampires and Art

Lack of sleep weighs heavy on even the most seasoned blogger/vampire. I’ll get this down, with the help of many cups of coffee, because it is about those who always seem to be tired – our old, elderly, senior folk. Or this could be anyone who needs a bit of extra help and respect.

I’d told Eleora and Tellias, who are quite old, that I’d take them to the Chalk it Up Art Festival on Saturday. Tellias asked twice what the event was. He has been to the event twice before so I suppose forgetting twice made some sort of sense.

I stopped to pick up the Eleora and Tellias on Saturday morning to bring them to the art event in a downtown park.

Tellias greeted me on the farmhouse porch with a serious look on his face. He was wearing worn out overalls with no shirt, and of course his usual yellow flip flops.

“We can’t go,” he said.

“Why not?” I asked.

“Eleora doesn’t want to go. She said it won’t be any fun with her.”

“She always has fun.”

“Eleora can’t be left alone so I can’t go.”

“How about John next door,” I said, “he is always glad to come sit with her or let her read in his kitchen.”

Tellias let a quiet hiss out from between his teeth. “You know Juliette. You know about John.”

“I know he’d do anything for you.” John, now in his early sixties, had known Eleora and Tellias since he was a baby.

“John is in love with Eleora,” Tellias hissed out the words showing his fangs.

“John has always been in love with her. Everyone is in love with her. I’m getting her and we are going.”

“You never listen to me.”

“I listen to everything you say. You sound like you look, like a teenager,” I said to him. Tellias is ancient but he looks like he is about nineteen years old. His pretty face pressed into a scowl as he brushed his white blonde hair out of his face.

“You have no idea Juliette. Just because I’m old doesn’t mean I don’t know what goes on in the world.”

I went upstairs to check on Eleora. She sat on her bed wearing a worn out house dress and a stretched out sweater covered with pills and old beading.

“Get dressed sweetie,” I said, “we’re going out.”

She held out a hand, then let it drop on her lap. “I’d just be in the way.”

“You won’t be in the way. Come on.”

Her closet was a strange mish mash of clothes that couldn’t have ever matched. After digging around for a few minutes I found a short pink shift dress, a light white cotton blouse and a pair of black leggings. Luckily Eleora is cute enough that anything she wears looks fashionable, or just quirky. After threatening to force her to get dressed, I brushed her long chestnut colored curls into a messy bun on top of her head. On top of it all I found pink crystal earrings and a pink bow for her hair.

“You look lovely. Let’s go my dear. We’ll have a good time.”

“You won’t. I’ll be a burden.”

“You’ll have fun.”

“I’ll be too hot. I’ll get too much sun. You know I’m an old Vampire. I’m very old. Very very very old. I’ll frighten people.”

“You look like a beautiful 20 year old girl.”

“I feel like a mummy. No, I can’t go. I don’t want to ruin your fun.”

After I finally got Eleora downstairs, I convinced Tellias to put on something neater than overalls. He came back in jeans and a black tee shirt. He’d tied his hair back with a black ribbon.

“We don’t want to ruin your fun,” said Tellias.

“No we don’t. We’re old and this is a young person’s event,” said Eleora.

“Stop it. This event is for everyone. Now get in the car. You’re going to have fun even if it kills you.”

“We’re already dead,” said Eleora.

I rolled my eyes.

“We love you Juliette. We appreciate everything you do for us,” said Tellias.

“Yes, we do. We appreciate everything,” said Eleora.

“Everything,” said Tellias.

“Yes, everything,” said Eleora.

 

We met the rest of the family at the park. Eleora and Tellias shared an old-fashioned parasol as they walked around looking at the artists draw in chalk on the sidewalk. Bands played while small children danced. Dogs walked along side their owners, looking bored and wishing for more interesting things to sniff.

I kept an eye on the elders just in case they wandered off. From time to time they’d stop and talk. Then they’d steal a kiss. To everyone else they looked like a darling young couple. I saw a frail old couple who still lived off of love and dreams.

You know, some people might seem old and silly but you must appreciate them. Just today Queen Elizabeth celebrates 62 years as queen. Nobody discounts her. So don’t discount our seniors who have seen so much and done so much.

Tellias grew up in the Roman Empire, before the birth of Christ. Eleora was around even longer, in times when the stars still held magic and the Roman’s hadn’t discovered the British Isles yet. They hold centuries of knowledge and experience.

My job is to take them to see chalk art. I make sure they don’t lose their car keys. I remind them to eat. I try to keep them active in body and soul.

Isn’t that what we should all do?

If you know anyone who needs to get out – take them. Every city has art festivals, flower shows, theaters, parks and places to go and see things. Even the zoo.

Needless to say the Chalk it Up Art Festival in Sacramento over Labor Day weekend was a great success. Here are some photos of this year’s art.

 

 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

1513278_10206102840029142_7430335756394707448_n

10402048_10206102842509204_3585123046400064262_n

11898732_10206102841349175_538959946678812294_n

11947564_10206102842149195_4388885846665053866_n

11951819_10206102844109244_3458330186848769310_n

11951996_10206102842309199_339839573314665387_n

11960102_10206102844629257_6282456003645548329_n

11960202_10206102839149120_1877150161656892605_n

11986402_905378729530634_9213209493372220865_n

11986486_1024706397562966_8608692339577459622_n-1

11988241_10206102845109269_7009401235080433975_n

11988720_10153237787899958_3825909766866405460_n

11990504_906096446125529_8852187341307224466_n

11990684_10206102840869163_5454399704099912415_n

11998906_10206102839509129_2860205977169733988_n

11998940_10206102841669183_5440773150186645898_n

 

 

When You Grow Old (a very short story)

A short story:

When You Grow Old

“Who will take care of you when you get old?” I asked my brother’s caretaker Josh.

My brother Bob is 90 years old. A former screenwriter and movie producer, he lives in a modern glass and polished wood mansion on the Central Coast of California.

I’d been at Bob’s for six months.

“Your grandmother would have been 101 this year,” Bob told me. I was going to turn 101 this year, at the end of October. What Bob doesn’t know is that I am his sister Valentina. He doesn’t know I’m a vampire either. He thinks I’m a great niece who is the spitting image of his older sister who passed away in 1935.

I walked the beach in the evenings with Bob. He leaned my arm and told me about the cycles of the tide and the migration of the whales.

Arriving home we found that my brother’s caretaker Josh had fixed dinner.  A beautiful salad and fresh rockfish. Josh, a tall skinny but muscular blonde in his 30’s had been with Bob for about 3 years. He divided his time between helping Bob and two other elderly folks near by, and when he wasn’t with his old folks he was surfing.

I asked Josh why he worked with old people. “They’re exceptional creatures,” he told me, “with the knowledge of lost times. They have wisdom and humor that needs to be honored. You can’t always get that out of old people, but if you work them just so and LISTEN they’ll give you the secrets of the universe. And the weird thing is, no not weird, the magic of it is that they don’t even know they have that knowledge.”

The next morning we had a visitor. It was Stephen, one of my brother’s neighbors.  “You’ve been good to your brother,” he whispered in my ear. He was also a Vampire, something I’d known for a while, but never talked to him about. Our paths crossed but this was the first time he’d had made a social call since I’d been there.

It seems Stephen and Bob have been friends for the past 10 years, since Stephen purchased the run down house next door and restored it to the former glory of its past. Until today, Stephen only visited Bob when I was out. The Stephen and Josh spend the evenings talking, watching movies and playing cards with Bob. There was a bond of friendship between the three that was so real and close, the kind that never ends, even with age and differences of opinion.

A few nights later Stephen and I walked the beach.

“How long have you been a Vampire?” I asked him. It was a common question Vampires ask each other.

“Since the summer of 1802. Funny it seems like yesterday.”

“So hows it working out for you? I mean, the Vampire thing and all?” I had to ask.

“Good. It’s all good. You know it isn’t for everyone.”

“I wonder about Bob.” I had wondered about my brother and if I made him into a Vampire if I’d restore his youth and keep him in my life.

“Bob is happy where he is.”

“I think you’re right.”

We walked more and listened to the waves. Then he kissed me under that stars. That was a surprise. A nice surprise.

The next morning after Josh had helped Bob with his shower and getting dressed I visited with him over coffee. Josh was such a caring free spirit, loving his work with the elderly and his relationship with the waves.

“Who will take care of you when you get old?” I asked Josh.

He smiled. “I’ll ride out on the surf and become one with the sea.”

“Who will listen to your words of wisdom?”

“You and Stephen can pass it on. You’ll still be here. You’ll always be here. So will Bob, not in body but his spirit is strong. He’ll be around as long as the stars over the surf.” Then he winked at me. “Valentina, I know all about you. Your kind is all over the coast down here. I grew up with Vampires. It’s cool.”

And so it was.

surf sunset

A short story from ~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Have a good weekend everyone and may all your sunsets be beautiful and all your waves be high.

______________________________________________________

Dragons and Dreams

Dragons and Dreams

This story was featured in the WPaD anthology Dragons and Dreams – available at Amazon.com and other fine online booksellers. Portions of the proceeds go to MS research.