Vlad’s Vampire Diary: Bring Your Own Bags

Dear Diary,

I wore black jeans, a blue cotton sweater over a black tee shirt which accented my golden hair and blue eyes. I might be slow about modern culture but I have never let go of my sense of fashion.

In the days, before I was locked in a crypt for three hundred years, I would have worn high leather boots, leather, lace, and velvets. My hair would have been long past my shoulders. I would have even had a cape. Over the past five years, in this new century, I have learned to be less complicated. My hair now is almost long enough to pull back, but that will soon change. I am feeling like having it shorter, maybe for the Thanksgiving feasting time at the end of the week. I must call Katie who will do wonders with my hair.

An odd thing happened tonight. I was out shopping, as even Vampires do from time to time, I have learned. In the parking lot, for I can drive, as I got my bags out of the trunk of my car, a figure approached me. Holy Mother of all Vampires, and the Demons who reside in Hell, it was my old rival Magnus.

Magnus ruled a swatch of sorry burned out lands south of where my Vampire Kingdom was, for once a long time ago I was the King of Vampires. He stood before me, all in black, black hair blowing in the wind, black leather jacket, tight black pants, black boots, and all accented his pale, almost snow white skin. Despite his ugly attitude, Magnus was always handsome, but never as handsome as I am and would never be considered cute. I have not seen him in at least four hundred years. Another four hundred without him would not hurt my feelings.

“I have come for you Vlad. I have come to finally take my revenge upon you,” he said in a deep voice. His brown eyes darted to the bags I was holding in my hands. I closed the trunk of my car.

“What are you doing?” Magnus demanded.

“Thanksgiving is at the end of next week. I am going to Trader Joe’s then Whole Foods to get items I need to put together an appetizer plate. I was invited to the feast by a friend. Now if you will let me pass.”

“What is in the bag?”

“Nothing yet. Do you not know that we must have reusable bags now? This is California. We care about reusing our resources and our environment.”

Magnus let out a low grown and squinted is eyes. “You have become soft,” he said.

“I see you have not evolved,” I told him. Evolved is a new word I like to use a lot. It came about right after I was entombed for three hundred years against my will. Missing the three most evolved centuries that I can think of has left me at somewhat a disadvantage, but not always.

“I have come for you Vlad,” he said. “I burn with a drive to destroy you and all you ever stood for.”

“The difference between us Magnus,” I said to him, “was that I was driven by passion, while you were driven by hate that ate away at you until what little bit of a soul you still had escaped your heart and was emptied out of your foul smelling boots like sand.

“Where did your passion get you?”

I shrugged my shoulders in a gesture of thinking I don’t care what he thinks. “I am happy, something a Vampire like you will never feel.”

He grabbed the bags out of my hand.

“Do not take the bags. Damn you Magnus. I need those. My cats enjoy hours of fun playing in them.”

“Who are you meeting with?”

“Maybe some vegetables and cheese, or some a nice local Zinfandel,” I said in an attempt to confuse him with my humor. My humor frequently confuses people.

“Who invited you? You are nobody,” Magnus yelled at me. He has always been extremely rude.

“Friends. You do know what friends are I assume. But then maybe not. You always were quite unpleasant.”

“You have changed Vlad.”

“No shit Sherlock,” I said. I do not know what that means but my Vampire lover Gillian says those words when something is extremely obvious.

His face turned into a mask of rage, lips curing back showing freakishly long fangs.

And as my twenty year old friend Kylee would say, I said, “Really Magnus? Really?”

Magnus stepped closer, and pulled a long knife out of thin air.

“It is actions such as this Magnus,” I said quietly, “that kept you in a disheveled run down ruin of a castle with a motley crew of mercenary Vampire ghouls rather than having your own legitimate Vampire Kingdom as I did.”

Magnus stepped closer, not snarling like a wolverine. I stood my ground, and spoke quietly as I would to a child.

“Put down the knife. Put down your anger. This is not the time or place for violence.”

Then the bastard lunged at me slicing my arm, and my favorite sweater. I looked down at my now unraveling sweater and the blood dripping down my arm then  I grabbed his wrist with one hand, and his neck with my other hand. Even with a deep cut on my arm, Magnus was no match for me as he dropped the knife, and gasped for air. His eyes turned blood red, then black, then solid white. I did not let go. He tried to lung up and bite me but my grip was too strong as I slammed him to the ground.

“You need to go away Magnus. You need to go far far away. I may not have my castle anymore, but I am still the Vampire King.”

I could feel his skin turning as cold as ice in fear as I tightened my grip around his throat. He attempted to rip my hair with his free hand, but that quickly stopped when I told him, “I will drain your body of every drop of blood, then spit it out in the street to be washed down to the sewers, leaving you an empty husk to be eaten by rats. Then again, Magnus, even rats would find you bitter and tasteless, just like your over blown personality.”

Just then a woman with a teenaged boy walked by. “Oh my God,” she called out. “Do you need help?”

I lied, “I have called 911. Go inside where it is safe. I know this man. He is insane and will be soon locked up and in a safe place with caring people. Do not worry about the way he looks. He always likes to wear Vampire fangs to scare people. He is always in a Halloween mood.”

The boy looked with wide eyes. He would have a story to tell for the rest of his life. The mother and son moved on. “Have a nice Thanksgiving,” I called to them.

“Now for you Magnus,” I almost growled at him. “You are to leave here and never bother me again. If I hear you are bothering anyone else, be it Vampire or warm blooded people I will hunt you down and you will never taste blood again. Do you understand.”

I let him go. He got up to his feet. “Go,” I said. Then he ran to a black car, the kind they call, what is it, a muscle car, and drove away too fast. I secretly hoped he would get a ticket. We were in the town of Folsom so the chances were high that he would.

Inside of Trader Joe’s the woman and her teenage son approached me. She looked at my blood soaked sleeve.

“Are you ok? I’m a nurse. You need to get that cleaned up.”

Then next thing I know she is in the bathroom cleaning up my wound. She mentioned how cold I was and told me to get to the hospital. I held her hand in mine and thanked her.

“You are a good person. Thank you,” I said, and gave her a quick hug, which thrilled her because, well, just because.

I could hear others around saying how sweet she was and how cute and hot I am. I do not understand cute or hot. I am cold since I am a Vampire. Kittens are cute and I am a grown man. I do know that I am more attractive to most so I will take it all as a compliment.

If one helps a Vampire and shows kindness towards a Vampire, then the Vampire will always make sure you are safe. The Vampire community will make sure her boy is safe when he goes off to the university and that she will always be without harm. Most people do not know that, even when they do have a Vampire watching over them.

Now I am home, and after putting away the groceries into an empty refrigerator I will pour myself a glass of wine, call my cats to play with the reusable bags, and think about how truly thankful I am.

I am a Vampire. I might be cute. I am also thankful.

~ Vlad

 

Kissed by a Vampire

Kissed by a Vampire

 

This has been the 54th installment of Vlad’s Vampire Diary. To catch up on all of Vlad’s Vampire Diary entries click here.

 

2019 Nano Pablano Cheer Peppers. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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. Theodore Kings, my brother’s 26 year old friend was not only the smartest and most handsome regular human any of us had ever met, he was also a kind man who was engaged to be married in February. Isabella decided she wanted the handsome Teddy for herself. We almost lost Teddy, as in death. Not the death one has when turning into a Vampire, but forever death. And when my father did manage to save our beloved friend, dear Teddy was horrified at what he had become…he was horrified at what we all were…but that is another story for another time.

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 16 and Val was 17 and the prospect of the big city was more exciting than anything we’d ever experienced. Plus it helped us get our minds off of Isabella and Teddy. Most 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 400 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 19 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 22 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

Walking in the Dark

“Don’t walk in front of me — I may not follow; don’t walk behind — I may not lead; walk beside me and just be my friend.” ~ Camus

We’ve lost two friends this week, and one a few weeks ago. A young friend, one of my daughter’s best friends, has been in intensive care. Sometimes it is hard to wrap one’s heart and mind around it all. But I do. We all do. That is what we do. We love. We just love.

Tonight a coyote tried to eat my cat Oscar. I think he’ll be ok. The cat that is. I don’t know what happened to the coyote. I hope the cat bit and scratched the crap out of it. The other cat and the dog are giving him his space. He is sleeping in my daughter’s room.

She moved out two weeks ago for college. I miss her so much. She’s doing great. I’m so happy for her.

I’ll take Oscar the cat to the vet tomorrow if he is still in distress. His leg seems bruised. No blood.

I am grateful for my friendships online and off. Paranormal and not.

The air tonight is cool and comforting. I’m ready for fall. The leaves die, but for some reason I can’t explain fall always seems like a new beginning. Maybe it is because Halloween is near. Maybe it is because my birthday is in October. Maybe it is because I’m always super excited about planting fall bulbs which will bloom in the spring.

Bulbs are tiny packages of beauty and joy.

I’m trying to find more things that might be packages of joy. There are many.

So, I will get back to my book… finally. I met another writer this week and will be featuring his books in a few months on my Monday book post.

As for my books…there are ghosts, and reapers, and all kinds of demons and others who live in the shadows, corners, and even out in the open.

I’m also writing about parents, relationships, and adult kids. Cats and dogs too.

As always, I’ll leave you with thoughts of everything that is possible, things that go bump in the night (Halloween will be here soon) and love. Yes, it all comes together sooner or later.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

Marla Todd _ Oscar Gray

This is Oscar. I love this cat so much.

 

 

 

 

 

Cat-ur-day: You can dance if you want to…

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Where is Juliette? Where is the Burning Question today?????

I’ve been so busy with my kids (my ADULT kids) and moving, and traveling, and taking friends to the art museum, and Vampire stuff that… well, there is no Burning Question.

Happy Cat-ur-day!

And don’t forget your hat. By the way if you forget your hat make a music video. It’s ok. You have my permission.

Now go hug your cat, hug your kids, hug everyone else, and dance! Take the chance.

xoxox

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Vlad’s Vampire Diary: Cats, Confusion, and Chainsaws

Dear Diary,

I brought my cats to the dog park today. They did not enjoy it. Next time my cats and I will go someplace else.

~ Vlad

 

Dear Diary,

When I was the Vampire King and ruled my Vampire Kingdom it was no secret that I was a Vampire. After being forcibly locked in a crypt for three hundred years, then finding out that my country AND my castle are no longer in existence, I also find that I must hide the fact that I am a Vampire.

When I was the Vampire King I made sure the many plagues that ravaged Europe and Asia did not come across the borders of my kingdom. I made sure the lands and water were clean. My people were healthy. As the King of Vampires I had to make sure my food supply was not contaminated.

Now, if in causal conversation, someone mentions health care it all seems obvious to me. Healthy people means healthy Vampires. How difficult is that? Unfortunately that is an opinion I do not express to others. I either change the conversation, or get the person I am talking to in a quiet dark place and bite their neck. Neck biting usually stops a conversation quite nicely. A wrist bit works almost as well, but sometimes I just need to quickly make them stop talking and bite their neck.

At the time of the plagues I commanded an army of Vampires, and those who were not Vampires. These were loyal followers. I refused to have slaves or soldiers bound to me through fear.

At the highway they waited and checked those who came through. The sight of a Vampire army kept most out. That is an obvious point even in the 1600’s. It was a long time ago but we were not stupid. There are times when I feel stupid now, having missed three centuries. That is neither here nor there. My army stood tall upon shining black horses, their hair in the wind, completely controlled, never in their faces, fangs barred, muscles flexed, eyes burning bright as a warning to those who would enter carrying the plague.

So they waited, but since my kingdom was the Vampire Kingdom, we had few visitors because most outside people were more afraid of us than they were of the plague, so my Vampire guards partied like it was 1699. No damage was done, and my reputation as an effective and fearless leader was not compromised.

I asked my friend Randolpho if the plague was still around.

“Not that one,” he told me. Then he went on a trip down his memories lane, which is more like a highway when he starts to talk, about that time the guards guarded the Vampire highway. “My hair was down to my waist back then. Holy crap Vlad. Can you imagine that now?”

“You still wear silly hats,” I told him. Randolpho has always liked silly hats.

“It’s a top hat and it isn’t silly,” he said.

“You purchased it in 1856,” I told him.

“You were locked in a crypt in 1856 so you weren’t even around. By the way I have someone who makes them for me NOW. AND I have some of my old ones.”

I just looked at him with my most disgusted slightly snarling looks. I believe it is known as an Elvis lip curl. I will have to find out more about this Elvis person.

Randolpho shook his head. “Even at your age, at 675 years, and after all you’ve been through how can you still be so good looking?”

I smiled. “I believe the word you need to use is cute.” I think that was the correct response. I am always called cute though I am not sure what is meant by this word cute.

We talked more of the good old days which were actually only good if one happened to be a Vampire.

~ Vlad

 

Dear Diary,

All of my clothing turned pink. My love Gillian rolled her eyes at me and told me that I was not supposed to wash white items with red items. How was I to know one red shirt would turn everything pink?

I now am in a world in which machines do everything. I used to have an entire group of women who would wash my clothes. They washed everything by hand in large tubs. Now machines wash clothing with a touch of a button and a small pod full of soap.

Pod is something else I wonder about. I watched a movie, one of the older ones without color, in which evil Demons from another planet came to Earth and put people in pods. Then the Demons made themselves look like the people in the pods. It was as if they were Goblins switching their evil changelings for babies. I believe the Demons were called Aliens. I do not remember it all. I do remember that it was both confusing and terrifying. Pods.

I looked under my back deck to see if there were any pods. There were not.

I wondered if the pods in my washing machine might contain small creatures who cause my white clothes to turn pink or a murky gray. It would not surprise me. Nothing surprises me anymore.

People have walked on the moon. There blenders to whirl food and drink to death. There are chain saws. I like chain saws. They cut and are loud and do the work of many men. I have three chain saws. I have nothing to saw but I have chain saws. I feel like a real Vampire male with my chain saw.

One night I took off my shirt and called Gillian outside. I stood in the wind holding the chain saw as my golden hair gently blew back in the wind. I flashed her a bit of fang. My plan worked. It worked exceedingly well. I could say it was a cute plan.

I just remembered the movie was called Invasion of the Body Snatchers.

On some days I feel as if I was snatched and put away. I was for three centuries but not in a pod. I was in a crypt. I did not come back as an alien. I came back as myself, Vlad, no longer King of Vampires.

Then again, one does not need to be King when one has a chain saw, a washing machine, good friends, and cats.

That makes no sense but nothing makes sense to me, yet, here I am, still a Vampire. Still cute. One does not need to be King when one is cute. I still rule my world.

~ Vlad

Kissed by a Vampire

Kissed by a Vampire

 

This has been the 51st entry to Vlad’s Vampire Diary. To read the entire Vlad’s Vampire Diary series from the beginning CLICK HERE.

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My friend Randolfo wearing one of his silly hats.

 

Burning Question #57: Bunches of Cats (and dogs)

 

Welcome to Vampire Maman’s BURNING QUESTION. This is YOUR opportunity to answer ALL of the Burning Question of the universe.

 

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Today’s question doesn’t need much of an introduction. Just ANSWER THE POLL. Then leave comments below. Discuss this question or anything else you want or NEED to talk about right now (or later.)

 

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Burning Question #57: If a bunch of cats jump on top of each other, is it still called a dog pile?

 

I forgot all about sea lions. Look they’re piling.

My real goal is to get my two cats to wear cute hats and ring bells for treats. I tried to do that a few times but they were afraid of the bell. I’ll keep trying.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman