Vlad’s Vampire Diary: You Shook Me All Night Long

Randolpho and his ridiculous tall hat which he rarely takes off.

Dear Diary,

It has been a while since I picked up my quill pen keyboard and wrote anything at all.

I believe it was November when I last wrote. Since then I have been in the shadows like a common Vampire. I was once King of the Vampires. 

I wondered if the very fabric of society would collapse and send up into chaos allowing me to rise and save the people as I had before so many centuries ago.

Even now I think about when I was locked in a crypt for three hundred years and missed the 18th – 20thCenturies. I lost everything. 

Yet despite all of this I still have my looks. Heads turn in amazement when I walk into a room, even when I wear a mask. Even now I think about when I was locked in a crypt for three hundred years and missed the 18th– 20th Centuries. I lost everything. My friends keep telling me to stop feeling sorry for myself.

But I must now feed my cats. They rule me now. 

~ Vlad

_________________________

Dear Diary,

Sometimes I believe my friends are intentionally leading me down a path of foolishness.

“Vlad,” they say, “you don’t understand any cultural cues when we talk. You will catch up.” There is three hundred years of clues to catch up on. I will never understand all of these cultural references. I find myself in an age with so much information that I feel as if my head will explode. 

“It is only the first week of May 2021, but it is Hellishly HOT outside,” I said to my friends today. “This is no weather for Vampires like us.”

My best Vampire friend Randolpho was at my house, as was my Vampire lover Gillian.

“Why don’t you wear shorts? Seriously Vlad. Every summer since you’ve been here you complain for months how hot it is while you wear long pants.” said Randolpho.

“You usually wear black pants or jeans all summer long. I don’t know how you can stand it,” said Gillian.

“I wear cotton draw string pants. Do not look at me like that. They are not pajama pants,” I said. 

“You look quite sexy in those draw string pants too, but you need some nice shorts,” said Gillian.

“I have a pair of the kind called board shorts for swimming but I will not wear those out into the public eye,” I said.

“Just get some regular shorts then. You know like a kaki color. You can even get black if you want,” said Randolpho.

“My legs are too pale. I will blind everyone who sees me,” I said.

“Of course, your legs are pale. You’ve had them covered up for 760 years,” said Randolpho.

“We’re not suggesting you dress like Angus Young,” said Gillian.

“Who? Angus the Young? Who is that?” I asked.

“Angus Young is a guitarist and one of the founders of AC/DC,” said Gillian.

“Angus Young invented the way electrical current is carried?” I asked.

“AC/DC is a band Vlad,” said Gillian.

“Their first album was called High Voltage,” said Randolpho. “Awww man it was a shame about Bon Scott. But Brian Johnson surprised everyone.”

“Did he ever. I saw them in 1981 or 82. Wow it was electric just like their name,” said Gillian.

“Lucky you. Then Malcolm Young got dementia,” said Randolpho.

“So sad,” said Gillian.

“It broke my heart,” said Randolpho.

“What does this have to do with wearing short pants?” I said to my friends who seemed to have forgotten my discomfort in the heat.

“Angus always wears shorts, like a schoolboy uniform,” said Gillian.

“Why?” I asked.

“I don’t know. I guess to stand out,” said Gillian.

“It was his sister’s idea. She gave him her son’s uniform. He still wears shorts on stage,” said Randolpho.

“With a jacket,” said Gillian. “But you don’t need a jacket. Just shorts.”

“My sister would have never suggested such an idea if I had a band,” I said.

“Don’t kid yourself Vlad. I bet your sister would have loved to see you on stage in a schoolboy uniform,” said Randolpho.

I ignored Randolpho’s comment. “What shoes should I wear with short pants. Boots would look ridiculous.”

“If anyone could pull it off….” Randolpho started but Gillian cut him off.

“Just your regular sneakers. Maybe get some deck shoes or flip flops,” she said.

“Deck shoes? Like rubber boots that fishermen wear?” I asked.

“No. Topsiders,” said Gillian.

“Topsiders are always good. You don’t have to wear socks,” said Randolpho.

“What are…”

Randolpho spoke. “Slip on shoes. I’m wearing Topsiders.” 

I looked at Randolpho’s shoes and saw no difference between the top or the bottom. I do not know why these shoes are called topsiders or boat shoes. I must admit those shoes looked comfortable.

“Or huaraches,” said Gillian. Those would be cute.”

“Cute? Why do you say cute? Do they have bows? I will not wear bows with short pants. What in the world are huaraches?” I asked, ready to tell my friends to leave.

“Woven shoes,” said Gillian.

“Fine, I will wear baskets on my feet. Do not tell me crazy things like that,” I said.

“You have great legs Vlad. You need to show them off,” said Gillian.

“You could be a foot model too,” said Randolpho.

I do not know what a foot model is but I did not feel up to asking. I know I have great legs.

“Just make sure your shorts aren’t too short,” said Randolpho.

“Remember in the 80’s when guys would sit down in short shorts and let their balls fall out? I saw everybody’s balls,” Gillian said.

“Balls? Falling out? What do you mean?” I asked. What sort of madness was this?

“When guys would sit down the sorts would hike up just enough for their balls to peek out,” said Randolpho.

“Or fall out,” said Gillian. “I think half of them did it on purpose. It didn’t matter if they were warm blooded guys or Vampires.”

“Vampire balls would stick to surfaces because they were so cold,” said Randolpho. Then he laughed with a snort. 

“That I know is not true,” I said, tired of Randolpho’s silly talk. “I will make sure my short pants are long enough so that my balls will be contained,” I said. That is something I never in all my years I never thought I would hear myself say.

“Big Balls! That was a fun song,” Randolpho said.

“A song about big balls?” I asked. 

“AC/DC. You have to listen to some of their albums Vlad,” said Randolpho.

I said nothing. I do not wish to listen to songs about balls –  big or otherwise. 

This fashion and music talk wears me out. I know how to dress. I always look good, despite the heat. 

~ Vlad

_______________________

Dear Diary,

Tonight was cooler.

My friend Cassie has opened her bar up after being closed for almost a year. 

I helped her, as did all of the Vampires, with building an outside seating area. Cassie is not a Vampire but she is ours. 

A band was playing when I arrived. They were not singing about big balls.

A good size group was in the courtyard we had set up. 

I went into the bar to find Cassie. At the end of the dark bar I saw her in a somewhat passionate embrace with my good friend Randolpho. He had taken off his ridiculous hat and put it on the bar. Cassie’s hands were in his hair.

Randolpho was born in the year 1343, the same year as I was born. In all of the centuries I have known him, which is many since our mothers introduced us as small cold blood hungry infants, I have never seen Randolpho so smitten with a woman. 

He has had queens and princesses and countesses begging for his attention. He has been wooed by the rich, and beautiful, and powerful. He could have his pick of any woman be it a Vampire or a warm blooded mortal woman. Randolpho had fun. My friend has his feelings hurt. He made choices both good and bad. The one thing Randolpho never did was give away his cold un-beating heart. I heard his heart beating tonight as he held Cassie in his arms and kissed her under the bottles of vodka and gin.

A cool arm came around my waist and I could feel cold lips on the back of my neck. I turned around and kissed my love Gillian.

“When did you get here?” I asked.

“A while ago. I’ve been listening to the band. Randolpho asked me to request a song,” she said.

Gillian then waved to Randolpho. He took Cassie’s hand and pulled her outside. We followed and joined our friends. 

Randolpho jumped on the small stage, wearing his hat, and started to sing.

The music was loud. Randolpho belted out the words to Cassie, “YOU SHOOK ME ALL NIGHT LONG.”

“AC/DC,” said Gillian.

“I know,” I told her. Then I kissed her again.

Just at that time a white and black cat without a tail came up to me and rubbed around my legs. I scratched his head, that had scabs on it from fighting.

“His name is Angus,” said Gillian. “His owner died about six months ago. He hangs out in the neighborhood now. Everyone feeds him, but he needs a home, poor old guy.”

I picked up the cat called Angus. He put one paw over my shoulder and put the other paw on my chest. Then he started to purr, a low raspy grumbling purr. Angus the cat looked at me with bright green eyes and touched my cold dark Vampire soul. 

“I will take you home Mr. Angus. My other two cats are female, but they will love you,” I softly told the cat. “I will protect you and they will love you.”

“They’ll love him the more because he has no balls,” said Gillian.

I laughed. “I am sure you are happy that I still have mine.”

Later that night I stroked Gillian’s hair as she lay close to me in my big bed. The three cats were downstairs sleeping on the couch as if they’d always been a family. 

I had, what do they call it? When a song will not leave. An earworm. I had an earworm. You Shook Me All Night Long. It was a promise and a lovely reality.

Until the sun comes up …

~ Vlad

Kissed by a Vampire

This has been the 66th installment of Vlad’s Vampire Diary. To read about more of Vlad’s adventures and his evolution as a Vampire in the modern world CLICK here.

Captain Asshole & The Character of a Cat

Due to a ongoing change in attitude my cat has taken on the title Captain Asshole.

Since March 2020 I’ve more or less been home. Yes, the world has changed for all of us. This means the world has changed for cats. It used to be that they, and by they I mean cats, used to spend a lot of time alone. Now that I’m around more my cat Oscar expects a lot more of me, and he is, well, basically an asshole.

Oscar goes by many names. Baby Boy. Boo Boo Kitty. Idiot Boy. Sweetie Pie. Captain Asshole.

There is also another asshole named Gloria the Calico Cat aka Itty Bitty Kitty. She is the reason why I can’t have nice things. Every bit of furniture in my house has to be covered or she’ll claw it up. We heard getting another cat would help. She’d have a buddy after her beloved Angus the Manx went over the Rainbow Bridge. We got her a buddy ten years ago and she still hates him. But this isn’t about her.

Oscar has always been a talker. Recently he talks non-stop about just about everything that pops into his head. He has also become extremely demanding. Come up stairs. I want to go out. I want to come in. I want to go out. I want to come in. I want to go out. I want to come in. I want to go out. I want to go in. Give me treats. Give me treats NOW. Are you asleep? Are you asleep? I need to wake you up. I need to sing you the songs of my people.

A few weeks ago we got new hardwood floors in the downstairs of our home. That meant ripping up old carpet that smelled like every dog and cat that ever lived in our house. It also means that Oscar now has permission to take over the downstairs, previously the territory of Gloria, as his own.

Hardwood also means that Oscar and Alice the 90 pound German Shepard are playing slip and slide all over the place.

Oscar has also taken over the red couch, once the domain of Gloria and only Gloria, and he has taken over Alice’s dog bed.

By the way, when we were painting the walls Oscar peed on the drop cloths, the dog bed, and the dining room table. He might go a year without doing something like that. He won’t tell me why he does it. Maybe he is marking his territory, but maybe he is just being an asshole.

Sometimes I wonder if I should build Oscar his own fort.

I’m not really complaining. I love my pets. I adore them. They’re destructive and fill my house with fur but I can live with that.

A cat might be angry. A cat might be an asshole. What a cat will not be is someone who engulfs themselves in a contrived veil of negativity. A cat might lie to you, but you will always get an honest opinion from a cat.

Despite their contempt for each other Oscar and Gloria often hand out together on the front porch as they defend their property from other cats, and the unseen forces of the universe. They greet guests together with a shower of unabashed cuteness. Sometimes, shock of all shocks, they’ll even share a meal together.

Today it is raining so the cats have been inside all day. One habitually misses the litter box. The other is thinking about scratching up more furniture. Right now they’re both sleeping. Without children in the house I have my cats, and one solo dog who are missing the attention, even though they get more attention now than they ever did.

Stay safe.

Wear a mask.

Be kind.

Hug a cat (if it will let you)

And of course, kiss a Vampire. You’ll thank me for it later.

xoxox

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Vald’s Vampire Diary: Black Holes and Cats

Vald’s Vampire Diary: Black Holes and Cats

Dear Diary,

It is Yule season and there is still a pandemic happening. We must be careful, even though we are Vampires. 

This evening my friends Constantine and Randolpho dropped by for a small gathering. They are part of what is called a bubble. That means we stay inside and limit our exposure and pretend we are not Vampires. 

Randolpho came in first and put a case of spiced blood from Dave’s Bottle Shop on the kitchen counter. “When I was at Dave’s I heard the most interesting conversation. A couple of guys were talking about string theory and time travel. They said it wouldn’t surprise them if time travelers showed up before 2020 is done. It was sort of a joke, but hey, nothing would surprise me right now,” he said as he took off his coat but kept on his ridiculous hat. 

I had no idea what he was talking about. “What is string theory?” I asked. 

“From what understand, string theory means we’re not sure if if time travel to the past is physically possible. Time travel to the future, outside the usual sense of the perception of time as we know it, or maybe even time as we can’t truly perceive or understand, is an extensively observed phenomenon and well-understood within the framework of both special and real relativity. I guess that means it is all relative. Ha.That said, making one living being advance or delay more than a few milliseconds compared to another living object is not possible with current technology. As for backward time travel, that is time travel into the past, it is possible to find solutions in general relativity that theoretically allow for it, for example something like a rotating black hole. Traveling to a random point in spacetime has very limited support in theoretical physics, and is usually connected only with quantum mechanics or wormholes,” said Randolpho.

“Wormholes? What do worms have to do with anything? I do not understand.”

“Worms make long twisting holes that transport them from one place to another. It is like an expressway through the universe, or a secret passageway.”

“What about just being in a parallel universe rather than traveling in time over one straight timeline?” Constantine asked.

“What is a parallel universe?” I asked.

“A parallel universe is a concept that suggests therecould be other universes besides our own, where all the choices you made in this life played out in alternate realities. It is facet of the astronomical theory of the multiverse. For example, in our universe it is a fact that you were locked, against your will, in a crypt for 300 years, thus skipping the 18th– 20thCenturies. In another parallel universe you might have not been locked in the crypt and continued to live as the Vampire King. In another universe there are no Vampires and you’re just a regular guy,” said Randolpho.

“I feel like I am in a parallel universe right now,” I said.

“You never know,” said Randolpho.

“What do you mean I never know?” I asked

“You wouldn’t know what you’re doing in another universe,” said Randolpho.

“Of course not, that would be too easy. What about cats? Would my cats be there? Tell me that,” I said.

“I don’t know. The laws of physics don’t apply to cats,” said Randolpho.

That was one point we could all agree on.

~ Vlad

Dear Diary,

This morning my beautiful Vampire lover Gillian told me to be quiet because she had a Zoom meeting.

I was not making noise.

“What is a Zoom meeting?” I asked her.

“An online meeting. We can’t meet in person anymore. With Zoom we can all meet on and see each other.”

“What is the purpose of this Zoom meeting?”

“My book club. We’re reading Great Expectations.”

“I would imagine you would have great expectations when starting a book.”

“Vlad, darling, Great Expectationsis the title of the book. It was written by Charles Dickens. Remember? He wrote A Christmas Carol. You know, Scrooge, Tiny Tim, the Christmas ghosts.”

“As you recall my dear, I missed the entire 19thCentury.”

I kissed my lovely Gillian and sent her to her Zoom meeting. I went into another room so she would not hear me. I am a Vampire. I am quiet. I do not know why she is concerned I will bother her during her meeting. 

I went to my comfortable chair and started to read A Christmas Carol again.  I wonder if in a parallel universe this story has Vampires in it.

After Gillian’s meeting she came in and told me all about it. She is a woman so she must always tell me all about it but I do not mind. 

“Lydia’s computer was hacked,” she told me. Hacked? 

“That is odd her cats would vomit on her computer,” I said, trying to show some sympathy (something else females like.)

“No Vlad. Not that kind of hack.”

“Someone hit Lydia’s computer with a hatchet?”

“No, they got into her Facebook account.”

At that point I decided not to explore this subject anymore. 

“That is sad for Lydia,” I said.

“She changed her password. Everyone else is doing ok,” said Gillian then she continued to tell me all of the news from the ladies in her book circle.

Suddenly my two cats started to run all over the house. They ran up and down the stairs, then around the downstairs meowing and racing about.

Gillian laughed. “They have the zoomies.”

I was confused. “The cats have a meeting?” 

Gillian just smiled and kissed me. “You’re so cute. I love you Vlad.”

“I love you too Gillian, always and forever,”

Zoom

Hacking

Cats

It always comes back to cats.

Time Travel, String Theory, String Cheese, cats… everything in the universe all ties back to cats.  

Now I will go put up a string of Christmas lights on the front of my house in honor of the Yule Season. The cats will no doubt come out with me to watch and try to knock down my ladder. 

I wondered if I could travel back in time and change anything. Would I skip being locked in a crypt for 300 years only to find myself in the 21stCentury? Would I take back my title as King of Vampires? 

I picked up the lights and called the cats to join me. 

I think I shall stay right where I am, at least in this universe.

~ Vlad

Kissed by a Vampire

After being trapped in a crypt for three hundred years, Vlad the fierce and powerful Vampire King is now learning how to live in the modern world, and learn the true meaning of the word “cute.” This has been the 66th installment of Vlad’s Vampire Diary. Click here to read his entries from the beginning.

Randolpho and his ridiculous tall hat which he rarely takes off.

A Christmas Journey (with Vampires, a cat, a train ride and a fight)

A Christmas Journey (with Vampires, a cat, a train ride and a fight)

People don’t know who or what we are. We’ve kept it that way for centuries, as stories and myths over ride any sense of reality in the minds of men.

In December of 1875 tragedy came into our lives. My best friend Isabelle fell under the spell of rogue Vampires and almost killed my brother Max’s best friend, who was the son of my parent’s closest regular human friends. You see, for those of you who are new here, we’re Vampires. As part of the Modern Vampire movement, we go by the rule that nobody is ever turned into a Vampire without consent.

Anyway, scandal was the only word for it. My parents were upset at the prospect of Isabella or any of her rogue friends contacting, or corrupting my brother Valentine or me so we were to be sent away for a few months to keep us out of trouble. The plan was to send us to New York to say with my Grandmama Lola for Christmas. I was sixteen and Val was seventeen, and the prospect of the big city was more exciting than anything we’d ever experienced. Best of all it got us away from the eyes of our parents.

Yet, Val and I were also angry that my parents had so little trust in us that they thought it necessary to ship us off clear across the country. After all, we were practically adults. In fact, in most circles at that time we would have been considered adults who could get employment, get married or live independently.

My father’s friend Nathaniel Chase agreed to take Val and I from California to New York City on the train. Nathaniel had his own private luxury car so nobody thought there would be any problems. Nathaniel was the very image of the sophisticated and charming Modern Vampire. He was also cunning and dangerous in his own ways – enough to take care of two over active Vampire teens. What trouble could a couple of teens get into when watched over by a four hundred year old Vampire?

On the first night Val and I explored the train. There were dining cars, first class, second class, other private luxury cars and all sorts of interesting people. Nathaniel was busy with “business.” Unfortunately that didn’t last for long. He was scolding us for getting too friendly with people, running, sticking our heads out the window and laughing too loud. That was just the short list.

On the second night he caught Val in an embrace with an attractive woman from San Francisco. That didn’t go over too well either. Val used the excuse he was just being a Vampire. Nathaniel knew better.

On the third night there was a party in another private car in which there were plates full of beautiful treats. I had my first eclaire. It was huge – the size of a man’s hand. That with a stomach full of warm blood (from a handsome nineteen year old who claimed to be the son of a famous minister), a bottle of sparkling pink wine (which I wasn’t supposed to have) and sugar (which makes Vampires absolutely ill) had me throwing up most of the night.

By the time we got to our first stay over in Chicago, Nathaniel Chase was ready to lock the both of us up for good. But he didn’t.

We stayed in a large new mansion built after the great fire of 1871. It was there for Vampires of our rank. Val and I were in heaven. Off of the train with Nathaniel gone most of the time!

Nathaniel had given us a full set of rules and warnings. Bite only on the wrist, not the neck. Don’t go into questionable parts of town (he supplied coordinates.) Do not talk to Vampires you don’t know. Don’t be turned by a pretty face. Watch for Vampire Hunters. Stay close to the house. Shop, have fun, act normal. Under no circumstance let anyone suspect you are different. Don’t act like children.

Val and I did all that and more. We were the perfect little citizens. At parties everyone commented on how charming young well-mannered people we were. I’m sure that warmed the cold heart of the old Vampire Nathaniel Chase.

On our fourth day in Chicago Val and I were walking along at dusk when we heard a great commotion coming from a warehouse. And you would be right if you guessed we were in a part of town we shouldn’t have been in.

Inside of the building a large group of men were standing in an impromptu arena yelling and cheering. We thought it might be a boxing match until we realized it was a dog fight. Beasts of all sizes had been brought in to tear each other apart. We could smell the blood and the fear in the dogs. We could also smell the excitement and blood lust in the men who watched the fights. I held Val’s arm, utterly appalled by what I saw. Ears were torn off, bowels were torn open and dogs howled and whimpered in pain.

Then just as I thought I’d seen enough a large man held something out to five growling dogs.

“I present you Lucifer. Tonight you will see before your very eyes these dogs devour the devil.” And he held up a black kitten of about 5 months who cried with pitiful mews of fear. My cold blood boiled.

Hiking up my skirts I climbed the ropes around the arena and entered the ring. I yelled at the man to put down the cat. He laughed. Then I growled at him showing my fangs. In horror the man lashed out striking me across the face. His large ring made a gash across my cheek. Val jumped the ropes and came to my rescue. Knocking them man down he was about to tear his arm off when someone grabbed us up by our collars and threw both of us out into the snow.

Nathaniel Chase and two other Vampires stood there looking at us in disgust. We could hear the commotion inside of the warehouse grow louder.

Nathaniel pulled me to him and yanked me into a waiting carriage. “You could have had us all killed.” His coat smelled slightly of patchouli and roses. I saw a long light brown hair against the black of his jacket. He’d been visiting a woman. I should have known.

“You were with a woman weren’t you?” I glared at him with the triumph of someone too stupid to know what I was saying.

His eyes lit up with a fire and he pulled me around in front of his face holding both of my arms like vices. “It isn’t just small animals that they kill. They kill what they do not know or understand. They kill what they fear. They kill anything they see as evil.”

“But they’re evil themselves,” I stammered back, unable to move or remove myself from his glare.

“No, it is their world, so be it if it is ruled by ignorance and superstition. You must NEVER show yourself for what you are. Never. So help me God Juliette, if you ever do anything like this again I will make sure you will spend the rest of your days drinking rancid blood out of a gourd, in a dungeon so deep you’ll forget there are stars in the sky.”

He let me go and turned to my brother. “As for you Valentine. I have no words to express my disappointment in you.”

One of the other Vampires, an elegant looking man called Joseph pulled a small black kitten out of his coat pocket and handed it to me. “I believe this is yours. Do not forget the price you paid for his freedom.”

All the way back Nathaniel lectured us on responsibility and stupidity. When we returned to the house he vanished into the study with the two men. We were told to go to our rooms and stay there until midnight.

I lay on my bed and cried my heart out. Val came in and sat quietly next to me. We were utter failures.

When the large clock at the end of the hall struck midnight we left the room and went in search of Nathaniel Chase.

On the balcony he stood cradling the sleeping kitten in his arms. He quietly sang to himself in Welsh the old song “All Through the Night.”

All the stars’ twinkles say

All through the night

“This is the way to the realm of glory,”

All through the night.

Darkness is another light

That exposes true beauty

The Heavenly family in peace

All through the night.

“You have Lucifer,” I said stroking the purring kitten under his chin.

Nathaniel gave me a rare smile. “His name is Gabrielle now. He’ll go where I go. Do you know who Gabrielle was.”

“I believe an arch angel,” said Val.

“Gabrielle was a messenger. So is this little beast in my arms, brought to us in order to teach the two of you humility. But also to teach me what good hearts you have. Compassion is a rare and wonderful thing. It can also be a danger if you react in fear and by letting your heart lead the way.” He held up a hand knowing what I was going to say. “Your heart and the feelings of your heart are important. But you must be smart. You must not be like your friend Isabelle who turned a man into a Vampire, almost killing him and committing his soul to Hell. She claimed it was romantic but it was cruel and selfish.” He handed me the cat now called Gabriel. “Take care of this cat until we get to your Grandmama’s, then he is mine. And Juliette, remember that we are like dark angels who inhabit the night. No matter how much good we may do we are still to be feared by those who are not our kind.”

Gabrielle lived for another twenty two years and went everywhere with Nathaniel Chase.

Val and I got to our Grandmama Lola’s house in New York City by Christmas Eve night.

Nathaniel Chase still doesn’t have much confidence in me. I made mistakes with my heart over the years, as did Val. But we learned that we must keep our hearts to ourselves and take action with our brains and with conviction and with deliberate action.

A few weeks ago I visited Nathaniel, along with my brother Val and my husband Teddy. He still looked the same as he did in 1875. He still has a black cat. The current one is named Michael. They’re all named after angels. Small dark angels of hope and love.

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas from all of the Vampires and their cats.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman.

This story was first posted December, 2013

Short Fiction: Play Date

The last day stuck in his memory.

Josh had left the meeting and work for the day. He needed to think. 

Coffee and avocado toast. He’d found a seat by the window. Four hours of negotiations on the acquisition. 

His phone dinged quietly with a text from his sister Kitty. She’d started the seedlings for her summer garden. It was only March but it was time for her. Every year he’d go to her house and help her can salsa and a myriad of other wonderful magical things she’d fit into Mason jars. Then they’d go on her deck where they’d drink beer and eat chips and salsa, and talk about everything, and nothing at all. She’d always pin her hair up and wear dangling earrings.  Her laugh was infectious. He had needed that laugh after all of his meetings that morning. Jake would call her later.

Right now it was an exhausting and shitty day.  Nobody was happy. Nobody would listen. He’d had an intelligent well thought out plan. It was a cluster fuck of already made ignorant opinions. Nothing was backed up with facts or experience. 

On the way home a ladder had fallen from a utility truck, hit a car a few places ahead of him on the freeway.  The next thing Jake knew a woman was holding his arm and they were both covered with blood. 

His arm was broken, his face was bruised and cut, his entire body felt like he’d been beaten with a baseball bat then thrown off of a cliff.  His car was totaled.  Stitches went from his left ear down his jawline to his chin.  Three pins or screws or something was now holding his arms together. The headaches lasted weeks. 

The woman went to the hospital with him. She held his hand. Her name was Scarlet. The last thing he said to her was, “make sure someone feeds my cat.”

It was the last day before everything shut down. 

At home he didn’t need a car. He couldn’t have driven anyway for the next few weeks. Using a keyboard was almost impossible with two hands. If he had to go out he could take an Uber or Lyft. Food could be delivered. Cat food and litter could be delivered. No problem. 

Zoomie the gray tabby kitten was delighted to keep him company.  Unfortunately his girlfriend had moved back in with her ex the day he got out of the hospital.

By April a new car had been delivered and now had almost eighty miles on it. He wasn’t going anywhere. All work was at home. At least work was going well and keeping him busy. He’d hired three people he’d yet to meet in person.  A woman named Emerald had been cleaning his house since he’d come home with the broken arm.

By June the depression rolled in so he would put Zoomie in a backpack or in his harness and go for long walks.  By July his sister was canning without him. His brother and parents had driven down to see him a few times. It was always great to see them. They begged him to come up and stay with them but he was too busy with work. He’d bake cookies for Emerald to bring home to her husband and kids. 

At the end of July he could pull his hair back in a ponytail. He’d started working out again. Zoomie was getting huge.  

One morning on Facebook he saw where a friend of a friend posted something about a dog. My brother passed away. His dog Daisy needs a home. Daisy is a sweet five-year-old German Shepard/Lab mix. She is well trained. We don’t want to take her to a shelter.

Without thinking more than five minutes about it Josh called the number. A man answered. He said his neighbor would drop off the dog.

A few hours later he got at text. I’m outside in your front yard with Daisy.

Daisy stood wagging her tail and wiggling with happiness. A pretty brown haired woman wearing a sundress held Daisy’s leash. At least he thought she was pretty. Her eyes were pretty above the mask.

She introduced Daisy to Josh, then said, “How are you Josh? Do you remember me?”

He couldn’t quite place her.

“I was in that accident when you broke your arm. I was in one of the other cars. I’m Scarlet. Do you remember me?”

“Oh, wow. Scarlet. It’s good to see you.”

“Good to see you too. You look good. Thank you for the nice letter and the flowers,” then she laughed, “and the toilet paper.”

In September Josh cleaned out the texts in his phone and found Scarlet’s message. I’m outside in your front yard with Daisy. Right now Daisy was at his feet snoring with Zoomie curled up at her side.

Outside the smoke from the fires made it unhealthy to walk. Josh put on music and danced while playing with Zoomie and Daisy. Then he pulled his hair back and attended Zoom meetings, trying to look like he was normal.  He noticed how the scar on his face showed up, not so much ugly or disturbing but interesting. 

There were Zoom calls with work and friends. His family stopped by once a month. A few friends came by. Josh talked to his neighbors. The world was opening up. It wasn’t the world where he’d stop for coffee and avocado toast when he wanted to think. This was a world of protests, and weirdness, hate, and mean politics. But in his own bubble it was a world of people who’d reached out. It was a world where he treasured each phone call and guarded visitor. It was a world where Zoomie and Daisy were his own tiny family with their own habits and secrets.

One Saturday right before Halloween he received a text. Hi. Do you mind if I bring my dog Crystal over? She and Daisy used to be great friends. In fact, they’re sisters from the same litter.  I thought it would be fun to have a play date.

Josh thoughtI could use a play date too. 

Then he texted back,That would be awesome. Bring Crystal over anytime.

Opening and closing his hand Josh still felt a little bit of numbness and a little ache.  He’d be fine. It would be more than fine.

~ end

Photo by Daria Shevtsova on Pexels.com

Note: I’m just fooling around with some ideas for much larger and more detailed stories. As we all stay at home, worry about the election tomorrow, and think about the well being of those we care about we’re still side tracked by other challenges. Fortunately good things still happen. This might get worked into my 2020 NaNoWriMo project. You never know.

Have fun. Stay creative. Stay safe. Wear your mask. Vote. Check in on those who might need extra help both mentally and physically. Hug your kids. Kiss a Vampire. And keep checking back for more silly stuff.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Photo by Carlos Mossmann on Pexels.com

Vlad’s Vampire Diary: Fashion and Foreboding

Dear Diary,

A sense of foreboding surrounded me. I could feel the darkness and cold grievous glares of unforgiving eyes in the darkness. The anguished cries grew louder and louder. There was no escape. No place to run. I knew I must take action. It was time to feed the cats.

~ Vlad

Dear Diary,

I am now 677 years old. Earlier this week I got out of bed as soon as the sun went down, then I put on my jeans and a tee shirt. That was not what I would have worn 677 years ago. 

After being locked in a crypt for three hundred years, missing the 18th– 20thcenturies, and coming out now I find fashion and clothing these days extraordinary and at times baffling. 

Zippers. I have no words for zippers. I do not know what I would do now without zippers.

Shoes called sneakers. Sneakers. I like the sound of that. Sneakers.

As a Vampire I appreciate clothing that is easily removed. I appreciate women who do not wear thirty-seven layers of clothing during the day and night.

Of course when I was King of Vampires I dressed better than most. I mostly missed the clothing I wore at the time I was kidnapped, locked in a crypt, and left for dead with a stake in my heart. It still hurts when I think about it. 

This is how everyone dressed when I was born.

This is how I dressed at the time I was locked in the crypt. I looked better than this. This picture is not of me.

This is how I would have looked had I been out of the crypt during the 19thCentury. It is close to my likeness.

This is an image of my friend Randolpho and his ridiculous hat in the 1850’s. It was a time I wish I had not missed.

This is how I look now, but this picture is not of me. It is how men look now. I do not have dark hair or whiskers. I might grow whiskers. It is difficult to have whiskers when one is a Vampire. I do like the dark glasses and wear dark glasses always.

This is how couples looked in 2019. Notice that he is not wearing tights. There are creatures called Superheroes who DO wear tights but in this century they look extremely ridiculous.

This is how couples look in 2020.

Fashion is one change I can live with as long as there are zippers.

Technology makes our lives easier. The clothing is also easier. One would think that it would be the opposite effect. 

~ Vlad

Dear Diary,

The days have started to cool. The election; the celebration of death and monsters is almost upon us. No, that is not right. The celebration of death and monsters is Halloween. The election is the day to attempt to rid the land of monsters yet I do not see that happening. It was easier when I was King of Vampires. Then again there have always been an abundance of fools and an abundance of those who wish to have that job.

This year has been the second United States of America presidential election year since my liberation from the crypt in which I was trapped for those long three hundred years. I live within the United States of America and have lived here long enough to become a citizen of this country so I will vote. Gillian my Vampire lover told me that if we go to the local voting center the Sunday before the official Tuesday election day that we can drop off our votes and not wait in long lines.

I feel excited to vote yet no so much as I believe that people are too sad and too angry to make intelligent decisions. Gillian said it is because I did not live among people during times of great revolution and during the World Wars, or live behind a curtain made of iron, or in a land with a dick tator. I do not know what penis shaped tubers have to do with being an evil leader but it seems to somewhat make sense that that is the name in which someone like that was given. As King of Vampires I would never been called evil or unjust. Gillian says I need to read more and brought me a large bag of books which I shall start reading tonight.

I know my head will feel as if it is full of maggots but I shall read of evil but also read of redemption and short lived celebrations. We live in a world in which women no longer wear thirty seven layers of clothing or have children until they die. Yes, there was a time when a man would marry a woman who would then give birth to child after child until she died. Then he would marry another younger woman who would then give birth until she died. There might be three, four or even five wives. That would continue until the man died or his current wife poisoned him. It was no way for a woman to live.

Vampires have always married for love. That is a concept which took centuries to be adopted by the general warm blooded populations. Even now there is much fighting over what women are allowed to do. This makes no sense to me. I say if someone tells a woman what she can do or can not do than his head should go on a pole. Maybe it is not only my cuteness, golden hair, or muscled arms and shoulders that make women attracted to me. Maybe it is my mind.

So out I go now to look for blood. I shall wear my mask and be a modern man. There are times when I just do not know. I just do not know at all. At least I have cats. Cats always know. Cats know everything.

~ Vlad

Kissed by a Vampire

This has been the 64th installment of Vlad’s Vampire Diary. Click HERE to read all of Vlad’s thoughts from the start.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman