Vlad’s Vampire Diary: Murphy and Snafu walk into a bar

Dear Diary,

It has not been a good day.

My cat was crying a pitiful cry the way cats do. She sounded like a wailing infant who had been damned to eternal suffering. Ever so gently I picked her up and could feel a swelling on her neck.

An abscess. I remember back when I was King of the Vampires when mortal men who were among my subjects would shuffle like the living dead after being bitten by nasty dirty rogue Vampires. Responsible and civilized Vampires such as myself, and those in my court were always clean, knowing that if they took care of their food it would be there for them again when they were hungry. The rouge Vampire who lived in foul caves and holes in the ground smelled like death and putrid rotting flesh. Their fangs were yellow and black.

When they would bite a man, if they did not kill him, the man would become infected with every sort of germ imaginable. Of course we did not know of germs back then. That did not stop the wounds from becoming horrible neck abscesses that had to be lanced and then cleaned with flame and gallons of alcohol. I had seen heads fall off from such vile poisoned Vampire abscesses. It is not a pretty sight.

The last night of the foul rogue Vampire attack I chased them down through the woods. My hounds ran in front of me. My men rode behind me. As I went ahead it started to rain. Lightning flashed and the tree in front of m exploded. A branch fell on me. My horse ran away, as I lay on the ground with a broken arm and a broken fang. As I stood up one of my men ran over me with his horse. He never even saw me and continued to ride. As I limped back to my castle, soaking wet, I wondered what else could go wrong.

My friend Randolpho was waiting for me at the front gate.

“Vlad, you won’t believe this but…guess what I just found out.” he started.

“What?” I snapped at him.

“Guess,” Randolpho said.

“Tell me,” I said ready to tear his throat out. I had no time for his games and riddles.

“Your wife is cheating on you,” my friend said. “Can you believe it? I knew something was up with that bitch.”

Four hundred years later I will not heal my cat with flames.  I did not want her head to fall off so I called the Veterinarian, otherwise known as an animal doctor.

Knowing that my cat would not willingly ride in the car I put a cat carrier cage box on the kitchen table. I attempted to put the cat within the box. She growled and jumped. I fell backwards against a chair. The chair hit the window. The window shattered. My head hit the window sill. Broken glass slashed across my cheek. I was not wearing shoes and stepped on a large shard of glass cutting my foot.

My Vampire lover Gillian came into the room while still drying her hair with a towel.

“Vlad. What happened?” Gillian asked.

“Nothing,” I said.

“You’re going to bleed out. Oh my God, your face.” She grabbed a roll of paper towel and then grabbed me, and then pushed me into a chair. She took the towel from her hair and pressed it to my face. Then she yanked the glass out of my foot. “What happened here?”

It told her. “Everything that could have go wrong did go wrong.”

“Murphy’s Law,” she said. “I’m going to have to stitch up your foot and put a butterfly on your face. You’ll heal fast but it will go quicker if I stitch it.

“Who is this Murphy and what is his law?”

“If anything can go wrong it will.  Murphy’s Law.”

“Who allowed Murphy to do this? Surely he was not elected into office.” Then again it seems like anything that is not either dead or a possum can be elected for a job.

She ignored my question about Murphy. “Do you want me to take the cat to the Vet?”

“I will do it.”

“Fine. I’ll call the handyman and have the window fixed.”

Apparently Gillian does not consider me handy.

“Why do you want to put an insect on my face?” I asked.

“A butterfly bandage. It is a type of bandage not an insect.”

“I did not know,” I told her. “I was locked in a crypt for three hundred years. Do not expect me to know all things that that are modern, especially bandages.”

When she had finished with me Gillian managed to get the cat into the box. She put the cat box on the passenger side of my car, handed me the keys, and told me to be careful.

I arrived at the animal hospital. I could hear the women working there whispering, “He is so cute. Look how adorable he is.”

“My cat is female.” I said to them.

They all started to giggle. I do not understand what make women act in such strange ways when I come into a room.

Another woman who was a doctor to animals looked at my cat. My cat purred. I was still not over joyed by the situation no matter what the cat thought of it. The Animal Doctor gave my cat drugs to heal her and told me to call if the cat did not get better.

At least that went as it should have.

I drove about a mile when I heard a loud noise. My car started to bounce. It was difficult to steer. After pulling over I found that one of my tires had exploded.

I did as I have been advised to by Gillian and my friend Randolpho, who are both well versed in automobiles, and called the number on my towing service card.

After a long wait on the side of the road with my cat, a large tow truck showed up.

A man got out of the truck and looked me up and down as if he was sizing me up. I am quite muscular so I am assuming he thought I might push my car home.

He asked me, “Do you have a spare?”

“Spare what?” I asked.

“A spare tire?”

“I do not know. Should I have one?”

“Pop the trunk,” he asked.

“It is not inflated. The trunk of this car is hard metal,” I said.

“Open the trunk so I can look for a spare tire,” said the man.

The man found a spare tire hidden under a flap in the carpeting in the trunk.

“You’ve never changed a tire,” said the man. It was not a question.

“I know nothing about cars. I never even drove one until about five years ago.”

“What about your dad? Did he drive?”

“No. We used horses. My father never learned to drive.” My father died in 1460. I did not tell the tire changing man that interesting fact.

“What are you Amish or something?”

I do not know what Amish is but I answered, “Something like that.”

“Makes sense by your accent. Nice car. How do you like having an electric car?”

“It is quiet,” I said. Vampires need quiet cars. “I like it.”

As I stood watching the man change my tire, I stood in the sun feeling sick. This was not good. I could imagine my skin starting to blister. I can take a small amount of sun but not this heat which seemed to seer me like a pig on a spit over a bonfire. I thought I was going to vomit but my stomach was empty of all blood or food of any kind.

I could hear the radio of a car driving by blasting the song Sweater Weather. It was indeed sweater weather for anyone who was not a Vampire. That just, what it the term, added insult to injury.

I heard the cat meow sadly from the box on the front seat. Then my stomach started to tell me that I was in dire need of blood. My head was light and all I could do was look at the veins on the man’s neck and forearm.

After getting a spare tire put on my car, and sucking about a pint of blood out of the arm of the AAA man, I left him sleeping on the front seat of his truck with a $50 bill.

I got into my car and noticed a large blood stain on my shirt as if I were some amateur Vampire. Then I noticed my shoe was soaked with blood where the stitches had come out of my foot. I was sunburned. My head throbbed. My hair was a mess.

I need to find this Murphy and kill him.

~ Vlad

 

Dear Diary,

After the events of yesterday, my Vampire lover Gillian greeted me with kisses and promises of passion.

After a few minutes of passion she fell asleep.

She fell asleep.

SHE FELL ASLEEP.

I was tempted to look underneath the bed to see if Murphy was there. I am sure I heard laughing.

~ Vlad

 

Dear Diary,

Tonight I went out find blood and perhaps some sanity.

I went to a bar I often go to. This particular establishment is frequented by college students, young working people, and those who believe themselves to be, as my friend Randolpho says, bougie.

Two attractive young women approached me. They introduced themselves as Emily and Sammie. I find it odd that at least half of young women I meet are named Emily.

This Emily was tall with long blonde hair and a dazzling long neck. Sammie had red hair of an unusual shade.

“You’re so cute,” Emily said to me.

“Gorgeous,” said Sammie. “So are you up for a little fun? Wanna play with us tonight?”

I was taken aback by their forwardness, but I was also extremely hungry. Yet, something did not seem quite right. Before I could turn down their offer a large man accidentally bumped Sammie and an entire glass of red wine was dumped on my white shirt.

“Oh no,” the young women said in unison.

“Our apartment is just across the street,” said Sammie. “We can rinse the wine out of your shirt before it is perminately stained.”

So I went across the street to the home of the two young women.

They quickly stripped my shirt off of me, leaving me standing bare chested. Both of the women were quick to run their hands over my chest while making purring noises. Then they both kissed me and vanished into another room. Within two minutes they both returned completely naked. I have to admit they were a double vision of perfect female beauty.

I could feel their warmth, and hear the blood pumping through their veins. I could smell it.

Suddenly, as I was ready to take both to the nearby couch they grabbed a handle from the wall and pulled down a hidden bed.

“What is this?” I asked, having never seen such a contraption.

“A Murphy Bed,” said Emily.

May the ancient Gods protect me. I could not stay.

As the women cried after me to come back, I left, with only my jacket, leaving my shirt behind.

When I arrived at my car I took my keys out of my coat pocket. Suddenly something crashed into me. I could smell the stench of dirty human. I turned barring my fangs pushing the foul creature off of me.

It took a look at me and screamed, the grabbed my keys off of the ground and ran into a nearby alley. I ran after it. All of the sudden the dirty human came flying through the air and back at me. It hit me and I fell flat on my back. Something picked up the dirty human and threw it again. I could hear it scuttling off.

A face looked down at me, fangs barred. Then a smile.

“Vlad. Is that you? I thought you were dead!”

“Constantine. My old friend. How long has it been? Wow, the last time I saw you was 1680.”

“It has been a while,” I said, taking my old friend’s hand as he offered to help me up.

He gave me now what I know is called a bro hug.  “Vlad, oh Vlad. Where have you been?”

“I was kidnapped and locked in a crypt for three hundred years. I have only been out for these past six years.”

“Dude. Who did that to you?”

“I do not know,” I told him. “Randolpho and Gillian rescued me.”

Constantine looked me up and down and smiled. “Damn, you’re still the best looking Vampire anywhere, but why no shirt? You look like something off of a bodice ripper romance cover.”

A bodice ripper romance cover. I will have to look that up. “Murphy’s Law,” I said.  “I have an extra shirt in my car. One never knows when stains will occur.”

Now, as in the past, Constantine was always the best dressed Vampire. He was impeccaple tonight in a black suit, with a dark plum colored shirt and a plum colored silk tie. As we walked back to my car I saw that shadows were closing in. Constantine also noticed. We heard foot steps.

My friend and I were surrounded by Vampire Hunters.

Back when I was King of the Vampires, and Constantine was my dandy friend we could just take out our swords.

“Look in their eyes. Capture their souls,” I said quietly to my friend.

He smiled, then showed his fangs.

There were five Vampire Hunters. Two had guns. One had a whip. Two had wooden stakes.

“Oh look, someone is getting ready to plant their spring garden,” said Constantine, mocking the Vampire hunters and their stakes.

“Put down your weapons,” I said quietly. “Look at me. You are in the presence of the King of Vampires.” I caught the eyes of three of them. They put down their weapons. “Sit down. Stay still.”

“Don’t look at their faces. Don’t listen to them,” yelled one of the two left standing. Constantine approached them. A gun went off. I saw a dark shining stain start to swell on his shoulder.

“Damn. That was one of my favorite suits,” said my friend. He jumped on the man with the gun and slammed him to the ground. What happened next I will pass on describing. I will just say a good tailor and dry cleaner will be needed to fix that suit. I took on the second man still standing. After showing him my fangs he dropped the whip he held and ran.

When we were done, I said, “Murphy’s law.”

“That was more of a SNAFU,” said Constantine.

“SNAFU?” I asked. I had never heard of a SNAFU.

“Situation Normal: All Fucked Up.”

“I see,” I said. “That makes sense in a confusing sort of way.”

“Listen Vlad, you’re doing great considering how much catching up you’ve had to do.”

I dropped my friend off at his house, and I went home to my cats.

The first thing I did was look up Bodice Ripper on the Internet.

That was interesting.

The next thing I did was take a shower. While I closed my eyes under the cold water I heard a door open. My eyes flew open. I was ready for a fight. Fortunately it was Gillian. She took off her clothes and got in with me.

“Turn up the heat,” she said.

“I will definitely turn up the heat,” I said.

The rest of the evening went splendidly without any interference from Murphy. There were no interruptions. No SNAFU. No broken glass, stray possums, Vampire Hunters, or stains of any kind. We slept the deep sleep of lovers entangled in each other’s arms and legs. It was the peaceful dreamless and quiet sleep of the undead. It was a rare blessing, something Vampires savor and prize.

Then tomorrow…tomorrow I will find this Murphy and I will kill him. I am Vlad, former King of the Vampires. The cats came in and curled up at our feet, as if to say, we will keep you safe tonight, for we are cats, and we are the ones who now rule all.

~ Vlad

Kissed by a Vampire

Kissed by a Vampire

 

This has been 55th installment of Vlad’s Vampire Diary.

It is also a lame entry into the 7th Annual Contest of Whatever at the Evil Squirrel’s Nest. And if you’re out driving in your car watch for urban wildlife. Possums are our pals.

The Seventh Annual Contest Of Whatever!

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Juliette’s Book Club: Last night I dreamt…

“Last night I dreamt I went to Manderly again.”
Daphne Du Maurier, Rebecca

Last night I dreamt I went to a rock concert in an old 1940’s movie theater. I paid for it with a credit card I found at an unknown location, and I took my cat with me. The cat ran off in the theater. Later after the show, which included several costume changes and fireworks I found the cat in a field next to the theater. I couldn’t find my car so we took a raised monorail home through a city that looked like it was right out of the Fritz Lang movie Metropolis. I never did figure out who the band was. Needless to say I do not steal credit cards or  take my cat to concerts. However I will always love the movie Metropolis and the book Rebecca.

metropolis03

Daphne Du Maurier is one of my favorite authors. Her books are always mysterious, well written, and timeless.

Her villains are horrible. Her characters are vibrant. Her story lines will leave you on the edge of your seat, or glued to your book.

So today, while I write this still in a sleep haze of weird dreams and high winds trying to blow down my house, I recommend you read ANY books plays or stories by the amazing Daphne Du Maurier.

I’ve read that Du Maurier was somewhat cold, often called frosty when it came to other people. She was distant from her children. As an introvert she rarely gave interviews and disliked social gatherings. I would have thought she’d be the life of the party and had many many friends, and been a lovely mother. Go figure. Read the book and don’t worry about the author.

By the way, the move “The Birds”, you know Hitchcock “The Birds, was based on one of her stories.

rebecca-fire

My favorites are Jamaica, Rebecca, and My Cousin Rachael.

  • Gerald: A Portrait (1934)
  • The du Mauriers (1937)
  • The Young George du Maurier: a selection of his letters 1860–67 (1951)
  • The Infernal World of Branwell Brontë (1960)
  • Vanishing Cornwall (includes photographs by her son Christian, 1967)
  • Golden Lads: Sir Francis Bacon, Anthony Bacon and their Friends (1975)
  • The Winding Stair: Francis Bacon, His Rise and Fall (1976)
  • Growing Pains – the Shaping of a Writer (a.k.a. Myself When Young – the Shaping of a Writer, 1977)
  • Enchanted Cornwall (1989)

 

I’ll see you next Monday for another Juliette’s Book Club.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Short Story Sunday: Blow Up

It wasn’t just one of those days. It was THE day. At least it seemed that way, for a few minutes, then Tara realized that it was a rare week that went by without a disaster.

Take this morning for example. She’d been driving home and heard the sound of an explosion, then sirens, and then saw a huge black cloud coming from the sky. She assumed that it was a fire in a field or an old warehouse occupied by homeless tweekers. She stopped to get gas, then by the grocery store to pick up cat food.

She turned into her street and saw that it was her garage.

“Dingus,” she whispered. Her dog raised his head from the back seat of her car. “Amber,” she said out loud. “Oh no. Amber.”

The detached garage was gone. Firefighters were working on keeping the rest of the house from burning down. Tara parked and ran down the street towards her house. Dingus ran after her.

Her neighbor Sue was standing outside with a beer in her hand. She approached Tara and stopped her from getting too close to the fire. “I have Amber. Your kitty is safe sweetie.”

“What about the guys in the garage?” Tara looked at the fire with tears coming down her cheek.

“I’m going to assume they’re gone. Holy shit, to come all this way and blow themselves up in a garage fire,” said Sue. “I told them just the other day to lay low and not fool with stuff. They never listened. That is on of the great faults of history. Nobody listens to the natives. They have to think they know better. They have to think their technology is always better.”

The women watched as the fire was put out, then Tara approached one of the fire fighters. She held her big Lab mix Dingus close and told him not to jump.

“Hey, Dingus,” he said as he pulled off a glove and put his and on the dog’s head. “I’m so sorry Tara. This is so weird. We thought there was someone in your garage. Maybe… I don’t know. It was weird, like someone running around in the flames. Then we didn’t see them. Was there anyone who might have been in your garage?”

“No, Joe. The only thing I had in there was Dale’s old Mustang, a few tools, and gardening stuff. My Costco stash was in there too, you know toilet paper, paper towels, charcoal. But I kept the lighter fluid in the house. I had a couple of gas cans for the power tools but they were empty.”

They talked some more about the weird explosion and fire. The a handsome officer from the Sheriff Department asked some general questions. He said someone would be out to investigate. Tara called her insurance company, then called her mom and her boss.

After all of the emergency crews had gone, and the yellow tape was around my garage, Sue and Tara poked around a bit.

The women couldn’t find any trace of anything. That included Tara’s deceased brother Dale’s 1965 Mustang convertible. It was a sweet ride – white with a red interior. Dale had loved that car. So had Tara.

Sue looked down at the burnt out garage then at Tara. “Do you think they took the car?”

“Looks that way,” said Tara.

Later that night Sue’s husband and kids came home from a school field trip. They speculated on what might have happened. They decided not to tell the fire department or Sheriff about their own theories.

Despite the smoke smell Tara decided to stay in her house that night. Joe came over later and spent the night. They shared a bottle of wine, made love, and Tara didn’t tell him anything about her garage.

Far away on the moon Titan, circling the planet Saturn, Dolf and Wheeze drove into the underground city in Dale’s 1965 Mustang. They thought their parents were going to kill them for crashing their ship in Tess’s back yard. They’d even get more shit for blowing up her garage. They’d put a chip in Amber’s neck to make sure they’d know what was happening on Earth. Amber seemed to know everything. She was their best long-term connection. But for now they just wanted to settle in from the long trip and cruise with their friends. Life was good, especially for Titan teens.

 

~ end

Thank you for reading yet another story quickly written over Sunday morning coffee.

First posted in 2017. Featured in the WPaD Anthology Weirder Tales. 

Yes, this story is in honor of Art Bell who passed away in 2017. I spent many a long lonely drive listening to Coast to Coast, and all of the weird callers who talked about aliens, shadow people, black eyed children, ghosts, and other interesting and amazing things. 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Weirder Tales

Weirder Tales – Now Available on Amazon and other fine online bookstores. Proceeds to to MS Research.

 

Never Shout Never – Absolutely Never

Never Shout Never – Absolutely Never

Define and Conquer

I’d picked the kids up last week from the roller skating rink and caught a nice break visiting and singing along with them to fun music. (Never Shout Never, Coffee and Cigarettes. Always fun and inappropriate), when I pull into my driveway and see that black Mercedes parked in front of my house.

In another life, another time, another moment, my heart would have skipped a beat. Everything in my romantic Vampire soul would have cried “Adventure and Romance are MINE”, followed by “Insanity and Trouble” and the urge to RUN, but at this moment, BUSY MOM, just looked and thought “You’ve got to be kidding?”

My kids are already wondering why my mood is gone.

The last time this person was over my husband gave him the “We’re not going to raise our kids in a Vampire Ghetto” talk. Not “Ghetto Talk” but telling this prominent Vampire that we would not be raising our children in a night-time world of Vampires and darkness. We’re modern Vampires. We don’t lurk around shadows. We don’t lurk. We live in a diverse world. And aside from that, my husband used to be a regular human. But that is another blog post up the road somewhere.

He greeted the kids and they ran upstairs with excuses about tons of homework. I greeted Nathaniel Chase with a kiss on his cold cheek. He took my hands in his and told me how lovely I looked. Teddy had already opened a bottle of wine. I headed to the kitchen to get my own glass of wine, with the intention of joining  the men who were deep in discussion about whatever it is men discuss when my brain is full of kids and work and the 50,000 things the average mom has to do each and every single day rain or shine, dark or light.

I was in no hurry to get my own glass. From the corner of my eye, from the kitchen window, I could see the ghost sitting on my back deck reading a large red book. Nathaniel Chase would be too polite to bring up the ghost. Most Vampires are polite to a fault unless provoked (or with their blood relatives). As I poured the wine I wondered what brought Nathaniel here. It was always something that would turn my world upside down. He always wanted something. What would it be this time. Did he still want to know about Jack the Ripper? Did he want to recruit my son into studying with some old musty Vampire in Europe? Did he want to get information about someone? Or did he just plan on bitching about our lifestyle choices?

I glanced out the window at the ghost. He flipped me off and vanished. I thought about Nathaniel, glossy black hair, slate blue eyes and matching sweater and black jeans with a plaid Cashmere scarf hanging around his neck (you know the kind guys wear now). He could have been the front man of a famous band or a CEO of a Fortune 100 company. He could be whatever you wanted him to be. As a Vampire he was that good. Women’s heads would turn but they wouldn’t know if it was because he was dressed so well or if he was handsome or if he was a creature from another realm. All they were really sure of was that they couldn’t resist him. He could work it on men too (we all can). No regular human could resist Nathaniel Chase.

He’d been around for a long time. I suspect at least 400 years but I never asked. I just knew that it was his job, or he thought it his job, to keep track of what other Vampires were doing. I’m a mom, so had too much to deal with right now without being twisted and turned by Nathaniel Chase. And I could resist Nathaniel Chase. I’d been resisting him my entire life.

I’m proud to be whatever I am and have raise my children to do the same but that said…I don’t want my children to grow up feeling as if the world is not theirs. I don’t want them to live in an antique world of darkness, reeking with the smells of dried blood and fear. I don’t want them to feel as if they are monsters or outcasts.

Nathaniel Chase was always watching me since  I was a child. Nothing I ever did was right. Of course girlfriends and I got into all sorts of silly problems but we were just girls. On the other hand my brother Val and I got into some serious trouble on more than one occasion over the years, but we learned from our mistakes. We were serious successful adults now – not the crazy reckless youthful Vampires of old.

I downed my wine, poured another glass, straightened my shoulders and joined my husband Teddy and Nathaniel in the formal living room. I was ready to take whatever crap he wanted to throw at me and I was ready to throw it back. Never again would I let Nathaniel Chase get the best of me.

It took everything I had (and the wine helped) to keep my upper lip from getting a twitch in it. My head was light. I hated confrontation. I didn’t need it right now.

“So what brings you here Nathaniel?” I asked as I pushed a cat off of the chair and sat down. The cat jumped up into Nathaniel’s lap. Traitor.

“My wife and I are moving here in a few months. Our daughter is 3 now and our son just had his first birthday, but you knew that. I wanted to ask you about the schools. I hear you’re the go-to source for all things to do with parenting” Nathaniel answered. My husband just smiled.

As we grow up, no matter how long it takes, there comes a time when we realize that we’ve come into our own. I believe that most people are respected and liked and loved far more than they can ever imagine. I don’t always feel like that, believe me, but all reason tells me to just stop thinking and give myself a pat on my back for doing a good job.

We talked for another couple of hours about kids, schools and the joys and challenges of parenting. And all was well in my world, as the tune to Coffee and Cigarettes ran through my head.

coffee

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Note: Define and Conquer is use of witty wordplay on defining terms. This was not a typo for Divide and Conquer. You are on the wrong blog if you’re are looking for a fight or reason for unpleasant snark (try the political blogs).

Note #2: Never Shout Never – Absolutely Never was first posted in February 2013.

Wrapping up 2019 on a Cold Caturday Morning.

It’s Caturday!

It is cold outside with a slight touch of frost starting to melt off of the new green stuff growing behind my house.

My cats, Gloria and Oscar are warm and cozy inside of the house.

The kids are home for the holidays and we are spending our time together just being together. The new year will start after they go back to those big universities hundreds of miles south of here. My brain is in the mood for dog walks in the cold woods, and then coming home to a couple of nice warm purring cats.

Yes, such is the life of a Vampire in this modern world.

Oh, right, here is what you came for: Cat photos.

Have fun.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

The Truth Behind The Cat

I heard my husband Teddy talking with Oscar the tuxedo cat.

I yelled up the stairs, “Don’t believe anything that cat says. Fifty percent of what he says is a lie.”

The other cat lies close to seventy five percent of the time.

Cats lie. It is what they do.

To get to the truth you must listen carefully, watch closely, and ask the right questions.

They will tell you when they want to go out, or in, or out, or in, or out, or in, or when they are hungry, but other than that you can never be sure. Just assume whatever they tell you isn’t true.

If by any chance it is the truth consider yourself lucky.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

oscar-the-cat