Silent Noises

The only noise

Is the clock

Almost as old as I am

From 1876

Still running like new,

And the sounds of random

Traffic

In the distance,

A cat eating,

An owl outside,

The tap tap tapping

Of my keyboard,

No sounds from

Others in my house,

Slumbering quietly,

Still,

And cold

Upstairs,

With quiet dreams,

As only

Fellow

Vampires

Will have.

 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

pepper2017

#NanoPoblano

sleeper

Finish it… odds and ends… That usually means more odds but, whatever.

Before I do anything I need to let EVERYONE know that my short story collection “Morning at the Vineyard” will be FREE on Amazon (download only) October 27 – 31, 2017. It is a fun collection of stories from this blog. Share with your friends. Read it on Halloween. Have fun. Happy Halloween.

Here is the link: https://www.amazon.com/Morning-Vineyard-Collection-Tangled-Tales-ebook/dp/B00M4V1DGI

I was looking at my blog stats and noticed that someone was looking at random pages of my “Girl in the Woods” online novel. That was supposed to be finished in 2016 but I came to a chapter that needed to be rewritten and I didn’t feel like it, so I ignored it. It didn’t go away. Now it sits there lonely and alone, waiting for that chance reader to come by and read chapter 9 and chapter 19.

Another example is my house. I love my home. It is my dream home. It is a mess. I could clean. I plan on cleaning. So instead I go to the store and buy Twinkies and frosting so I can make Ghosts for a Halloween party this weekend. Actually there are TWO Halloween parties.

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It is a fun and easy project. Get a box of ten Twinkies, a can of white frosting, a tube of black frosting. Spread the white frosting over the Twinkies. Draw faces with the black frosting. Presto – you have a delightful treat. You don’t have to be Martha Stewart. It doesn’t take any time at all. You don’t have to be perfect. Everybody loves these. It will make you laugh. Clara and I made these cuties a few years ago, and we’re doing it again. We don’t eat them (we’d become violently ill) but we have a lot of fun making them.

But back to my house. I wish I had a maid. I’m not a witch so I can’t just snap my finger and make everything clean up itself. To tell the truth most witches can’t do that. I’m not a Disney Princess so I don’t have animal friends who will come do it for me either. With my luck they’d be like my cat and pee all over everything just for spite. He has no reason to feel any spite, but he is a cat. Something was moved, or someone called him an asshole, or the dog looked at him wrong, or the other cat simply exists, so he pees to prove his point. He is a talker too. It isn’t like I’m not listening to him 24/7.

This is the glamorous life of a Vampire. No blood stains to wash out today. No turning into a bat. No cryptic messages from an ancient council of folks who wear robes and chant weird shit. Just a mom, who planted bulbs in the yard today, and who is going to go to the post office in a few minutes, then off to Dave’s Bottle Shop to pick up a few bottles of  Poet’s Blood and a case of Spiced A Positive.

Then we’ll decorate for Halloween.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Marla Todd _ Oscar Gray

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Short Story Sunday: Boys Will Be Boys

 

Adam had heard the stories about Luther.

When they were kids Luther would go out to the fields behind Grandma’s house and shoot anything that moved. It started with birds and rabbits. Then it moved on to cats. Luther had an almost gleeful vendetta to shoot any cat he was that wasn’t in somebody’s yard.

Luther’s parents (Adam’s aunt and uncle) just shrugged and said, “boys will be boys.” They figured that Luther wouldn’t grow up to be a sissy. When Adam told them he only shot animals with a camera they just laughed.

When Luther’s daughter was afraid of an excited terrier pup he told everyone he was going to shoot the dog. That would be after he kicked it, beat it, and refused to give it food for almost a week. Luther’s sister Belinda gave Luther an earful, called him an asshole, and took the dog. It was the second dog she’s rescued from Luther.

A few years later he starved a German Shepard. That dog was rescued by his cousin Janice.

He continued to shoot cats. His wife continued to post photos of their pets on social media. It was a different group of pets every other year. She talked of how sweet their fur babies were and how much she loved them. It sort of made Adam sick.

It reminded Adam of a strange creepy family that had rented the house next to his a few years back. The four children would look at him though cracks in the fence and say strange things.

One day the oldest, the only boy, whispered, “my sister is retarded, do you want to see her dance?” Then the child popped his head over the fence and yelled, “my sister is retarded, do you want to see her dance? My mom said you’re gay because you don’t have a family. Do you want to see our kittens?”

The parents knew the children loved kittens more than anything else. They let their cats have a littler of kittens, then they’d take the mother to the pound and keep the kittens. When the kittens started to look and act more like cats they would take them to the pound and keep one or two females to have more kittens. The sick cycle would continue.

One day Adam’s seven year old niece Aurora was visiting. The creepy children came to the fence and whispered mean things. Adam turned the hose on them. An hour later the mother of the children came over claiming that Aurora had said mean things about their special needs child. Adam called her a liar and an animal abuser and threatened to have them evicted. Luckily for Adam they were gone within a month for not paying their rent.

A nice couple with a beautiful well behaved, well loved dog moved in. They were the perfect neighbors. It turned out that they were con-artists. They’d call the County offices and file complaints against their landlord and then refuse to pay rent. It had been a pattern with them. With a little effort and a few code violations they never had to pay for lodging – never ever. Then they vanished and the landlords sold the house and Adam bought it and rented it out to friends.

Now twenty years later he was out of town for Aurora’s wedding, and the entire family was there. Aurora was hesitant about inviting Luther to the wedding, but his kids were sweet, and everybody liked his wife. Adam wondered what kind of woman would marry a man who abused animals.

At the reception Adam’s longtime girlfriend Brandy told him about Luther bragging about dumping a dog at the lake. He said everybody dumped dogs there. Then he’d laughed about it. The dog was worthless but at least he hadn’t shot it.

Adam had once asked Luther why he was so mean to animals. Luther said, “I hate cats. I don’t know why. They’re worthless. Dogs on the other hand need to know their place. If they scare my kids, or pee in the house I’m going to shoot their asses. They’re just dogs. It isn’t like they have souls.”

Luther’s girls liked puppies but only if they didn’t jump or nip like puppies tend to do.

Then Brandy looked up at the dusky sky and said, “Full moon tonight Adam.”

Adam kissed her, then went to get more wine.

“Look at the moon,” said Luther. Then he laughed. “Let’s go shoot some werewolves.”

The next morning, after the bride and groom had left for Hawaii, Luther’s wife said he was missing.

Luther was found in the woods behind Grandma’s old house. He’d been gutted by wild animals. The police said it looked like it might have been wild dogs, or maybe even a bear.

Adam and Brandy skipped the funeral and drove up the coast to his beach house. That night he lit a candle in memory of all of the cats and dogs who’d suffered abuse at the hand’s of humans.

He found Brandy in the bathroom gargling with salt water. “What’s the matter honey?” He asked her as he rubbed her back.

“I don’t know Adam. I just can’t get the bad taste out of my mouth.”

“I know the feeling well,” he said, then went to the kitchen and opened a bottle of wine. It was a nice full Zinfandel, guaranteed to mellow out the evening. He poured a glass for himself, and one for Brandy. Then he went outside and listened to the sound of the waves, and the light house horn, and tried to empty his mind, until the next full moon night.

~ End

 

 

 

 

Vampire Diary: Hot Mess

Dear Diary,

Today I walked to the end of the street to pick up my mail. My cats and Jane the coyote pup followed me.

A group of teenage girls sat on the front porch of the house nearest the mail box. They waved to me.

“Oh my God, Vlad you’re so cute with your cats and the pup,” said one of them.

I smiled minus my fangs. The girls giggled. They find me attractive but I do not know what is cute about a man with board shoulders and almost six feet of height. Cats are cute. Puppies are cute. I have yet to understand what this cute word means. They also call me sexy, but not to my face. They do not call cats or coyotes sexy. That makes more sense to me. My lover Gillian told me not to think about it and to stop being silly. I am not silly.

As I looked through my mail, mostly letters from other vampires, I could hear the girls talk. One said a friend of hers was a hot mess. Hot mess?

So I said, “I could not help but overhear your conversation. What do you mean by hot mess.”

They all laughed out loud. Some laughed with high pitched voices. One had a laugh that was low and rough, but not unpleasing. One laughed like a woman ready to seduce and rule the world.

I repeated myself. “Sweet ladies, you know I am not from here. Please, what is a hot mess? Is it something you eat?”

They laughed again. Then one girl, the one with the low and rough laugh answered. “A hot mess is when someone tries to look good and ends up looking like a disaster. They’re just a hot mess.”

“I see. That is amusing,” I said. “Am I hot mess?”

They giggled. Then one said, “You’re just hot.”

Then they giggled some more and didn’t stop.

They then talked among themselves and I heard one say no sheets Sherlock. I wondered what was meant by that. I did not ask. I told the girls goodbye and winked at them. They giggled some more, and as my pets and I walked away I could hear them talk about me, but not in an unflattering way.

That night I asked my lover Gillian about Sherlock. “Darling, who is Sherlock and why does he not have sheets? Does he sleep on the ground or in a hammock? Why would young girls be speaking of such a person?”

Gillian smiled and kissed me. “I love you Vlad but…”

“Gillian dear, I was sealed in a crypt for three hundred years. I am still learning the strange language and customs of modern life,” I said to her.

“Vlad, Sherlock Holmes is a fictional detective. The first story about him came out in 1887. You were still locked in the crypt. Sherlock’s adventures became extremely popular, and his character, and versions of the character are still popular. The term is No Shit Sherlock.

“Does he not poop like most people?”

“Yes, he poops. I assume he poops. It isn’t covered in the stories. The term No Shit Sherlock is used when somebody says something incredibly obvious.”

“Like I say being locked in a crypt is a bad thing. Then you say No Shit Sherlock.”

“Exactly Vlad.”

“Do not say I am not learning anything.”

Then she kissed me again. And again. And again.

~ Vlad

 

Dear Diary,

Tonight I went to a pub where I am known and liked. I do this so that I can get blood with ease. I am not one of those vampires who likes to crawl through windows. I would rather have a glass of wine and talk with my dinner companions a bit.

The bartender is a woman named Cassie. We talked for a while then she noticed my satchel.

“Oh my goodness. You brought your cat tonight. Bring her out,” said Cassie.

I took the purring cat out of the bag. Cassie said we were cute. Always cute. My world is nothing but cute. Yet, I am happy when Cassie and my cat are happy. After many women and men came over to pet the cat and call it cute, the cat crawled back into the bag and fell asleep. I visited with Cassie more. She told me about her graduate studies. She is brilliant.

Then a man sits down next to me. “Vlad. You are Vlad.”

I look at him. He is tall and thin, with dark wavy hair pulled back into a tail like the teenage girls who live on my street. His brown eyes are hidden behind large black framed glasses. The teenage girls might find him attractive. I find him to be what they call a hot mess.

“Yes,” I say. “My name is Vlad. What is your name, and how do you know mine?”

He grins, a wide grin with perfect straight white teeth. “I know you’re a vampire Vlad.”

“Cute maybe,” I say. “A vampire, I do not think so.”

“I was told on good authority that you know where the high counsel of the vampires meet. I hear you used to be their king.”

“You are mad,” I told him.

I walked out to the street. He followed me and called out after me. “Vlad, I’m not a vampire hunter. I’m a scientist. I’m a journalist. I want to know the truth.”

I turned around to face him. “You seek the truth do you Kyle Gunner? That is your name. Yes, you seek parlor tricks so I just gave you one. You are excited and thrilled that I have stopped. Let me answer your question. There is no high council of vampires. That is, what do they call it, a plot device, a fictional bit of grandness to try to explain things you do not understand.”

He looked disappointed and puzzled. I continued to speak.

“Be a scientist Kyle Gunner and get the facts, if that is facts that you seek. Not alternate facts, but real facts.” He stood transformed so I continued to speak. “The facts are that if you speak out people will believe you to be insane. I advise you not go that route. Do not make memes of me either. No memes. I know you are recording this on your tiny magic telephone.” I held up my hand. “Now you are not recording me and it has all been deleted. I will tell you another thing Kyle Gunner. The reason we do not always show up in photographs is because we do not want to. It is the same reason paint flakes off of canvas and ink drawn to the likeness of a vampire fades on paper. It is because we do not want to be seen. Good night Kyle Gunner. Be thankful I was generous and charitable to you tonight. I may not be next time. One more word of advice. You are a hot mess. You need to do something about that.”

Then my cat put her head out of the bag and said, “Maaaaoooo.”

“That’s a cat. You have a cat in your man-bag,” said Kyle Gunner.

Then I said, “No shit Sherlock. Of course she is a cat. And this is a satchel, not a man-bag.” Then I snarled at him with my fangs and almost stopped his heart from fear.

I left him standing alone in the dark as other vampires watched, and waited from the shadows.

Then I heard one of the vampire women whisper to her friend, “Oh my God,  Vlad is sooooo cute.”

~ Vlad

 

Dear Diary,

I stand outside under the full moon watching the bats play at night. A large owl flies by. I hear a mocking bird call in the night. The wind blows gently and dances through my hair. Gillian comes behind me and puts her arms around me, then rests her head on the back of my shoulder.

For all of the confusion there are constants. I am in love, and I am cute. Those are two things which I am not sure I will ever understand.

~ Vlad

This is the 30th Vampire Diary Post. For more of Vlad’s Vampire Diary (from the beginning) CLICK HERE.

 

 

 

Pie, Pi, and Hi Mom (Uncle Rico’s Cheese Pie, and Mattie’s Lemon Pie) and Vampires

3.14159265359

Happy Pi Day!

Garret, who is in his third year of college and almost twenty-one asked me about pie today, because it is the best way to celebrate Pi Day.

Baking and math, is like all art and science – one can’t exist without the other. Baking is an art but it is also chemistry.

Now you might be thinking, “Vampires eat pie?”

Yes, sometimes when we choose to eat solid food we will eat pie. Unfortunately super sweet pies don’t go down well at all for us. But we can limit our intake, just like anyone who has food issues.

Uncle Rico’s Cheese Pie has no crust and is a nice savory pie. Mattie’s Lemon pie goes back to the 1930’s. I fix it for guests. I don’t know if you can fix it without sugar (with Spenda or other non sugar stuff.) Give it a try and let me know if it turns out.

How many people will each pie serve? 3.14159265359 x 2, give or take a few.

Uncle Rico’s Cheese Pie

This works great if you wish to reduce the recipe in half. I use silicone baking pans for this so I don’t need the cooking spray.

  • Cooking spray
  • 10 eggs, beaten
  • 2 (16 ounce) containers cottage cheese
  • 1 pound shredded Monterey Jack
  • 1 (4 ounce) can diced mild green chiles
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted (optional)
  • 
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cooked crumbled bacon (optional)
  • 
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 -2 teaspoons dried thyme

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Prepare a 10×13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.

Mix eggs, cottage cheese, Monterey Jack cheese, green chiles, butter, flour, bacon, and baking powder together in a large bowl; pour into prepared baking dish.

Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees F and continue baking for 30 minutes (until a toothpick inserted into the center of the casserole comes out clean.

 

Mattie’s Lemon Pie

This is the bomb. This is the lemon pies of all lemon pies. Remember Vampires, just a tiny taste. Don’t over do it or you’ll be sicker than a Werewolf after a cat food binge.

This recipe is from the 1930’s, maybe even a little older. First you make the crust. Then make the filling. Put the lemon filling in the crust. Then make the meringue and put it on top. THEN cook it. No the meringue isn’t on the recipe. You’re already supposed to know how to make it. Whip a bunch of egg whites with a little bit of sugar until they are still. Make sure your bowl is absolutely clean. Do not use a plastic bowl. See me if you have any questions. Below are photos of what it should look like. Make peaks, not smooth meringue. Enjoy. It also is a swell pie with lime juice.

Happy Pi Day.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Mmmmmmmm that is some good pie! Now let’s do some numbers.