Early this morning I stepped outside with bare feet. Something was underfoot, it grave a little as I stepped down, then for a second stuck to my foot. It had a dry feel of maybe a leaf or bunch of matter tied up with dust and cobwebs. It was a dead songbird.
The small creature that lay by the door was a gift from the cat. She brings me a bird at least once a week. The birds she catches in the front yard are hers to eat. When she catches birds in the back of the house she gifts them to me, because she doesn’t think I can catch birds. Plus I always give her food, so in turn, she brings me food.
I went back inside to find something to wrap the poor dead bird in. When I returned it was gone.
Later I drove down the winding river road to see the Elders, Eleroa and Tellias.
When teenage Clara and I arrived at the Victorian farmhouse we were met at the door by the neighbor’s orange cat. He purred and spoke a few words of his own language before he ran across the orchard to his own home.
Inside we found Tellias reading in his large red leather wingback chair. He looked up at us with glacier blue eyes in a face surrounded by long white blonde hair. He held out his hand and started to sing a song of greeting.
She’s only testin’ her wings and if you give in to her
You’ll be just another feather in her cap
She’ll drop you in a flash
She’s castin’ a spell
Well, if she’s castin’ a spell
I can cast one as well
Like most of the songs he’d sing to me, this one was pretty random. But it was always nice. He stood and gave me a kiss, then gave Clara a hug.
“It has been too long since you visited us last my dear. I’ll forget what you look like,” he said in a mock scolding tone.
“Never,” I said. “Where is Eleora?”
The smile left his face. “Upstairs asleep. She is always asleep.”
“Is she eating?”
“Not really. She won’t leave the house and I’m tired of bringing people in.”
I found Eleora upstairs laying on her bed, eyes closed, chestnut curls spread out over the pillows. The room was dark but stifling hot. I turned on the ceiling fan and watched the dust fly off of the blades. The woman on the bed didn’t look much older than my almost sixteen year old Clara, but she was much older. Eleora was over 2,000 years old but didn’t look a day over twenty-one.
I sat next to her and took her cold dry hand in mine. “Eleora darling. Wake up.”
She smiled showing a tiny bit of fang. Then she slowly opened her eyes. “You’ve finally come back.”
“I know, I’m sorry. But you’ll be over on Sunday for Father’s Day.”
“I wouldn’t miss it.”
Downstairs Clara had fixed a pitcher of iced blood flavored with rosemary and mint. Sounds horrible to most people, people not like us, but it is really wonderful with a splash of soda water on a hot summer day.
I handed Eleora a glass and made sure she drank it all.
We sat and talked for a while about everything and nothing. While Clara told Eleora about school and impending college choices, Tellias and I went for a walk in the orchard.
I could smell the peaches and picked a few to take home with me. Tellias took my arm in his and told me that he wished I’d come by more. I promised, but made him promise me that he’d ask for help and keep the air conditioning and fans in working order. I made him promise that he’d try to get Eleora to eat more often.
Despite the fact a Vampire can dry up under a house and wake up fifty years later does not mean that it is the right thing to do. We like comforts and like those we love to live in a civilized state.
Now that is it summer and the heat will only get worse, please check in on your elderly friends and relatives and neighbors. Make sure they are comfortable, cool and fed. Also check on others who might need extra help. It is the right thing to do.
Now I write in a cool dark place of comfort. After visiting Tellias and Eleora I think of the small things that make things that make up my days. A song from Tellias or a small dead song bird – it all adds up into the mix. It all means something, even in just a tiny way.
Even if you’re a Vampire and even if you’re Human.
~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman