Jane the coyote with a Werewolf soul has left me. She curled up, fell asleep, and did not wake.
I stroked her cold still head feeling sad when my phone rang. I usually do not answer but this time I was drawn to the call.
“Hey, Vlad, it’s me, Jane. I found a human body. Just wanted to call and thank you for taking care of me when I was in transition,” a female voice said to me.
“What about the coyote? My coyote.”
“Her soul is long gone. I was just borrowing her body. Awwww Vlad, you’re so cute. Don’t be sad. I’m in a better place. Seriously, this woman was beautiful. I mean she still is. I never looked this good with my first body.”
“Did you kill her?”
“No. No way. She died and her soul left, so you know, I swooped in and started the old heart up again.”
“I see. How…”
“Long story. I don’t have time right now to explain. You know, places to be, people to see. I have a lot of catching up to do. So I’ll see you around Vlad. Thanks again for everything. Love ya. Bye.”
I looked at the coyote body so cold and now seeming small. I could not help but feel sad. I do not know why. Nor do I know why Jane said I was cute.
Jane the coyote was buried in my back yard. I planted a red rose-bush over her grave and covered it with river rocks. My cats watched me with solemn cat eyes then went to sleep on a deck chair.
Jane is no longer mine.
Tonight my love Gillian and I went out to find something entertaining to do. We cut through an alley where we heard someone laughing. Strange music came through an open door.
“I haven’t heard this forever. What’s up with the old music?”
“I do not know. Everything is new to me. ” Sometimes I still feel the urge to remind her that I was locked in a crypt for three hundred years and missed the Eighteenth through Twentith Centuries.
“I have a weird feeling about this,” she said and squeezed my arm.
This is the music if one could call it that. Gillian said they were playing a saw. I do not understand playing music with a tool. It sounded like something my cats would have written and played on bones and garden tools. If cats could write music and play bones and garden tools. I would not put it past them.
I later learned the song was called Whispering. It was popular in the 1920’s. I understand that was an extremely strange time when women stopped wearing so many clothes, cut their hair, and were allowed to vote. Vampires have always treated their women equally. I do not know what is wrong with people. Maybe it is the warm blood in their veins cooking their brains and making them stupid.
My love and I walked down narrow steps, ready to show our fangs and fight, or feast, depending on who or what we found at the bottom.
I thought of another time I walked into a tavern and experienced unexpected and dangerous consequences. This time I was determined not to let my guard down, after all I am the Vampire King.
At the bottom of the stairs a man in a striped double breasted suit greeted us.
“Welcome to Easy Street,” he said.
“Oh my goodness, this is right out of the 20’s,” said Gillian.
I, of course had no idea what she was talking about because I have no point of reference when it comes to most cultural references. My English is better than it was four years ago but everything else is still as confusing as Hell.
He led us into a bar where people danced to music with men in high voices, and it looked rather clean and sleek. Gillian called it Art Deco.
I looked around. “What is Deco?”
Gillian took my arm, “It is short for Arts Décoratifs. Decorative art. It came about right after the Art Nouveau movement, and of course the Arts and Crafts movement. I believe it came out of one of the oh so many World’s Fairs or expositions everyone used to have back then.”
I still had no idea what Gillian was talking about and kissed her cool cheek.
“With your pretty face you fit right in here. You could pass for someone out of The Great Gatsby,” Gillian said.
“I thought I was cute.”
“You’re more than cute, silly.”
“Now I am silly?” I didn’t ask her what the Great Gatsby was. I know it does not involve Vampires or I would have heard of it already. I doubted if I would want to be in it. Gatsby. That sounds like the noise my cat makes when she vomits.
We sat at the large bar, drank Gin Rickeys and spoke with other patrons about upcoming art shows at the museum and football. I have come to frequent the art museum. I have yet to understand the obsession with football. Football has all of the earmarks of a magnificent pageant with large violent men, screaming fans, and the thing I least understand, the scantily clad women dancing on the edge of the field, and regional territorial rites. One clan even wears cheese on their heads and sits in the cold to prove their faithfulness to their gods of the game. Now that I write it out I now, oh how do they say, I get it. I understand. But it is not a past time for a Vampire. I prefer Baseball or Basketball, or just rolling heads of my enemies around in the forest while on a horse…
As we talked and I looked for someone with nice veins in their wrists, I noticed the place was filling up. Everyone seemed to know everyone, except for Gillian and me.
The man who greeted us at the door, his name was Mel, said, “You gotta go. In about fifteen minutes this is gonna be no place for Vampires.”
“You know we are Vampires?” I asked.
“Sure I know. And in fifteen minutes I’m locking up the doors and everyone in here except you and your beautiful lady are going to turn into wolves. Tonight is a full moon man, and we’re all Werewolves. You know how it is. We lock up in here and don’t get into trouble. You have to go now. And hey, don’t get into any trouble yourselves. I know how Vampires are.”
Gillian and I left with fond farewells. This was one of the strangest experiences I have ever experienced. As we left I wondered if Jane would ever go there now. Gillian and I laughed about as we walked down the street to another place. It was a place we knew. It was a place without surprises and lovely warm blooded people who only had dogs as pets.
Tonight I drove to the mountains, to a cabin where I would seek out peace and reflect upon the night sky with an infinite number of stars.
Why did no one tell me that cats do not like to ride in cars? It makes no sense to me. I do not understand.
I put pillows and blankets the cats like in the back seat. Their favorite food was there. They had access to a view out of the windows. Boxes were on the floor for them to play in. There was even a littler box. They might have shown their appreciation to me.
Cats also do not like being harnessed or put attached to a leash.
Into the trunk of my car I put twelve bottles of blood to share, and twelve bottles of good red wine, plus my clothes. My two cats had the ENTIRE car, aside from the driver’s seat, to themselves. Did they thank me? No, they did not.
As soon as I backed out of my driveway onto the street my cats began to scream. It was not normal cat noises but the voices of demonic chanting. It was the voice of death. It was mournful yowling of the saddest kind.
Then one crawled upon my back and put her claws around my head, while the other ran around the car, jumping as if she had gone insane. Why did not a single person tell me that THIS is how cats behave in cars. I do not understand.
When I arrived to pick up my friend Randolpho, who would accompany me to the mountains, I was exhausted. Vampires are known for their endless energy but these cats, they had me worn out.
Randolpho just laughed at me. “Why didn’t you put them in cat carriers?”
“A box, a crate with a door, or even a soft sided bag made for transporting cats.”
“You jest,” I said.
“Vlad, did you really think the cats would like to ride in the car?”
“Yes, I did really think that Randolpho,” I said beginning to lose my patience with him, as well as the cats.
Randolpho put his gear in the trunk of the car and we drove to the mountains. The cats began to sing their demonic songs. I showed them my fangs. They yowled even more.
“Don’t show them your fangs,” said Randolpho. “Cats never forget or forgive.”
Then he grabbed a soft blanket from the back seat of the car and coaxed the cats onto his lap. I could not believe that after all I have done for them that my cats would sit quietly for Randolpho and yowl their heinous vile insulting songs at me.
“They’re just afraid Vlad. You can’t expect them to be like dogs and be happy with everything. They’re cats. You need to be gentle and whisper sweet things to them so that they’ll feel safe.”
I turned on the radio. It was not Whispering or any old music. As we drove higher in elevation, among the pine trees I looked for wolves. The moon was no longer full but I always look – just in case.
Trying to lighten up the mood I said, “In the old days we wold have brought up two or three people rather than bottles of blood. They would have been glad to come with us. Remember those times?”
Randolpho stroked a purring kitty and gave me a sideways glance. “Sure, back when we lived in your castle and you were the King. Not anymore. The kind of people who want to go to Vampire gatherings and get their blood sucked are weird.”
“What do you mean by weird?”
“Just weird. They’re Vampire wanna bees. And even if they don’t want to be Vampires they just creep me out. You know the whole subsurvant semi sexual servant master thing, but it’s more than that. They’re like groupies.”
“Groupies. What is groupies?”
“Followers. My point is that they’re strange. They get off on the idea of being our slaves and laying naked on a table for us to feast on and shit like that.”
“And they’re usually stupid and don’t live in the real world. It is all fantasy to them. They don’t get that we have to rake our leaves and clean out litter boxes just like everyone else.”
Sometimes Randolpho had an interesting ways to describe the world to me but I found myself more often than not agreeing with him.
Our friends greeted us at the cabin, which was not a cabin at all. A cabin is a hut like structure with a fire pit. This was a 4,000 square foot house with a dock on the lake. The cats gladly walked on their leashes into the house where they were met by adoring Vampires. After Randolpho and I unpacked our things I walked alone along the shore of the lake.
The air was cold. The sky with clear with an infinite number of stars. The moon was slightly deflated.
I thought about Jane and wondered where she was. I thought about my castle and my old life style which is now considered unacceptable. I thought about how I never imagined I would miss three centuries and end up in a world where I would be terrorizing cats in automobiles. I could not even imagined what an automobile was four years ago.
I thought about a song I’d heard on the radio.
There is much I do not understand. But now, I do understand that one should never take riding in cars with cats lightly.