Short Story Sunday: The Changeling (my favorite Mother’s Day story)

The Changeling

I’ll always remember what my preschool teacher said at lunch and snack times. “You get what you get and you don’t throw a fit.” My parents lived by that. I’m surprised they didn’t both tattoo it on their foreheads.

Sometimes parents will notice their lovely happy babies will suddenly seem to change. Well they have changed. Your baby has been replaced by a crying, unhappy, grouchy, nasty, Goblin Changeling. Congratulations.

Sometimes the horrible Changelings are left to die on the doorsteps of churches, or locked in attics. Usually the real babies are brought back. Fairies and others help out. More often or not ransoms are paid. A mother might pay with her beauty. A father might pay with his strength. It could be anything depending on the mood of the Goblins.

In my case the Goblins dropped me into the home of someone who seemed oblivious to my nastiness.

I spend my entire childhood treating my parents like crap and tormenting my little brother Trevor. My brother hated me but he should have loved me. Without me Trevor would have been one of those sensitive pantywaist boys who lets people walk all over him. I made him tough. I made him stand up for himself. He should have thanked me for it.

I have no idea why my parents put up with me. The only reason I wasn’t expelled from every school I attended is because I always made straight A’s. Sure I caused a lot of tears but I kept the schoolyard in line. My minions kept close while I doled out punishments fitting crimes of weakness. As for lies… I was the number one princess of lies, and adults never knew what was going on. They alwaysbelieved me.

Sure there were more times I could count that I had my mom in tears, but hey, that is what you get for accepting a Goblin Changeling. She could have dumped me in foster care or sent me off to some farm of a distant relative. People suggested boarding schools, drugs and shock treatments. She just told them that they could never understand that I was different and unique in ways that nobody could ever understand.

At one time my parents sent me to counseling. I told Dr. Cray everything she wanted to hear. The good doctor said I was a well-adjusted and brilliant child. She said I was mature for my age hence others not understanding me. Boy did I have it pulled over her eyes.

Anyway, Trevor and I grew up and went out on our own. I met a few other Changelings and even married one.

We’re one of those successful power couples. He’s the CEO of a billion dollar software company. I’m an attorney and the biggest asshole out there, and proud of it. Beauty and brains and no morals what so ever. Justice for all.

As soon as I found out my future husband Blake was an over the top arrogant, self-centered SOB I fell in love with him. He loved me back as only a Goblin Changeling can love another Goblin Changeling.

I remember a day when a woman approached me. This should have been one of those turning points where I changed my heart and became a good person. I recognized her because I’d gone to school with her.

She said, “You were a bully. A mean horrible bully. You ruined lives.”

I just glared at her and said, “You should have learned from your bad experience. Instead you made the choice to be a loser.”

I’m like that. I don’t give a shit what anyone thinks. I don’t care if they said I mean to my parents and twice as horrible to my brother. Tell me something I don’t know.

So on Mother’s Day I showed up at my parents with my husband. The hubby joined my dad in the back at the grill. Trevor and his wife Emily were in the kitchen with my mom. I put the vase of yellow roses I’d brought for my mom down on breakfast nook table and gave my mother a rare kiss.

Trevor glared at me. Emily looked uncomfortable.

“I have good news Katie,” said my mom. “Trevor and Emily are going to have a baby.”

“How about that Trevor, you aren’t dickless after all. Well congratulations.”

“Why did you have to say that Katie. Why are you so horrible all the time,” said the lovely Emily.

“I’m just like that Em. Well, I also have news. I’m pregnant too,” I said.

Trevor got right into my face. “You always have to try to upstage me Katie. I don’t care if you are having a baby. Your child will NEVER be allowed to be with mine. NEVER.”

“You know baby brother, if it wasn’t for me you’d never be with Emily. Why do you think all of those other bitch girlfriends of yours dumped you before you ended up with her? I was looking out for you asshole. I was also the reason you have your dream job. So screw you Trevor. I hope your kid is ugly and stupid.”

My mom should have looked shocked but she was used to me telling off Trevor. I was pissed and went into the living room. Mom followed.

She put her hand on my arm, then took it off as I tensed up. “Are you happy about your baby Katie?”

“Sure. It will be fun.” Then I looked into her blue eyes and suddenly I wanted to cry. I mean, like, my eyes started to sting and water up. “You’re amazing mom. Why did you put up with me all these years?”

“Because I knew nobody else would take you. My own baby had passed on. My little angel had never been right. The Goblins had scheduled a drop off not knowing there was no baby for them to take home. They just left you. Even Goblins don’t want their Changelings. What was your dad and I to do?”

“But mom, you knew?”

“Always.”

“So why’d you keep me?”

“Remember that horrible cat Billy we used to have.”

I remembered Billy. He was worse than I was. He’d hiss at everyone. He’d growl when you’d feed him. No act of kindness was rewarded. Billy was nuts. Damn, he was the Devil’s own cat.

My mom continued. “We kept Billy because if we’d given him up he would have died. Nobody else would have understood. He would have been put down. It was the same with you.”

“I loved that cat,” I told my mom.

“I know you did Katie,” said my mom.

She put her arm around me. “Let’s go back to the others Katie. And do me a favor. Try to be nice to Trevor. Just for today.”

“Sure. I love you mom.”

“Love you too Katie. More than you’ll ever know.”

“When I’m a mom I want to be just like you.”

We joined the rest of the family around the grill, all smiles and making nice. All the while I was thinking of ways to torture my brother and get even on the rest of the universe.

Life is good. Well, at least it is for me.

 

~ end

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Short Story Sunday: The Changeling

Goblins are known to steal sweet babies of Humans and replace them with Changelings.

Lovely happy babies will suddenly seem to change. Well they have. Your baby has been replaced by a crying, unhappy, grouchy, nasty, Goblin Changeling.

Sometimes the horrible Changelings are left to die on the doorsteps of churches or locked in attics. Usually the real babies are brought back. Fairies and others help out. More often or not ransoms are paid. A mother might pay with her beauty. A father might pay with his strength. It could be anything depending on the mood of the Goblins.

In my case the Goblins took the baby and dropped me into the crib of someone who seemed oblivious to my nastiness.

I spend my entire childhood treating my parents like crap and tormenting my little brother Trevor. My brother hated me but he should have loved me. Without me Trevor would have been one of those sensitive milk-sap boys who lets people walk all over him. I made him tough. I made him stand up for himself. He should have thanked me for it.

I have no idea why my parents put up with me. The only reason I wasn’t expelled from every school I attended is because I always made straight A’s. Sure I caused a lot of tears but I kept the school yard in line. My minions kept close while I doled out punishments fitting crimes of weakness. As for lies… I was the princess of lies, and adults never knew what was going on. They always believed me.

Sure there were more times I could count that my mom was in tears but hey, that is what you get for accepting a Goblin Changeling. She could have dumped me in foster care or sent me off to some farm of a distant relative. People suggested boarding schools and drugs and shock treatments. She just told them that they could never understand that I was different and unique in ways that nobody could ever understand.

At one time my parents sent me to counseling. I told Dr. Cray everything she wanted to hear. She said I was a well adjusted and brilliant child. She said I was mature for my age hence others not understanding me. Boy did I have it pulled over her eyes.

Anyway, Trevor and I grew up and went out on our own. I met a few other Changelings and even married one.

We were one of those successful power couples. He was the CEO of a billion dollar software company. I was an attorney and the biggest asshole out there and proud of it. Beauty and brains and no morals what-so-ever. Justice for all.

My husband Blake was an arrogant, self-centered, SOB and I loved him. He loved me to as only a Goblin Changeling can love another Goblin Changeling.

I remember a day when a woman approached me. This should have been one of those turning points where I changed my heart. I’d gone to school with her.

She said, “You were a bully. A mean horrible bully. You ruined lives.”

I just glared at her and said, “You’re so fucking weak. You should have learned from your bad experience. Instead you made the choice to be a loser.”

I’m like that. I don’t give a shit what anyone thinks. I don’t care if they said I mean to my parents and twice as horrible to my brother. Tell me something I don’t know.

So on Mother’s Day I showed up at my parents with my husband. The hubby joined my dad in the back at the grill. Trevor and his wife Emily were in the kitchen with my mom. I put the vase of yellow roses I’d brought for my mom down on breakfast nook table and gave my mother a rare kiss.

Trevor glared at me. Emily looked uncomfortable.

“I have good news Katie,” said my mom. “Trevor and Emily are going to have a baby.”

“How about that Trevor, you aren’t dickless. Well congratulations.”

“Why did you have to say that Katie. Why are you so horrible all the time,” said the lovely Emily.

“I’m just like that Em. Well, I have news too. I’m pregnant too,” I said.

Trevor got right into my face. “You always have to try to upstage me Katie. I don’t care if you are having a baby. Your child will NEVER be allowed to be with mine. NEVER.”

“You know baby brother, if it wasn’t for me you’d never be with Emily. Why do you think all of those other bitch girlfriends of yours dumped you before you ended up with her. I was looking out for you asshole. I was also the reason you have your dream job. So fuck you Trevor. I hope your kid is ugly and stupid.”

My mom should have looked shocked but she was used to me. I was pissed and went into the living room. Mom followed.

“Are you happy about your baby Katie?”

“Sure. It will be fun.” Then I looked into her blue eyes and suddenly I wanted to cry. I mean, my eyes started to sting and water up. “You’re amazing mom. Why did you put up with me all these years?”

“Because I knew nobody else would take you. My own baby had passed on. My little angel had never been right. The Goblins had scheduled a drop off not knowing there was no baby for them to take home. They just left you. Even Goblins don’t want their Changlings. What was your dad and I to do?”

“But mom, you knew?”

“Always.”

“So why’d you keep me?”

“Remember that horrible cat Billy we used to have.”

I remembered Billy. He was worse than I was. He’d hiss at everyone. He’d growl when you’d feed him. No act of kindness was rewarded. Billy was nuts. Damn, he was the Devil’s own cat.

My mom continued, “we kept Billy because if we’d given him up he would have died. Nobody else would have understood. He would have been put down. It was the same with you.”

“I loved that cat,” I told my mom.

“I know you did Katie,” said my mom.

She put her arm around me. “Let’s go back to the others Katie. And do me a favor. Try to be nice. Just for today.”

“Sure. I love you mom.”

“Love you too Katie. More than you’ll ever know.”

“When I’m a mom I want to be just like you.”

We joined the rest of the family around the grill, all smiles and making nice. All the while I was thinking of ways to torture my brother and get even on the rest of the universe.

Happy Mother’s Day Everyone!

Meanwhile…lurking under my house…

When you hear a lot of yelling and banging around under the house you know A) the dog has a skunk or B) the dog has a raccoon.

Clara had down outside to get something from under the house. We call it a basement. It is sort of a basement room where we store things like camping gear and gardening stuff. We live on a hill so we go down out the back sliding glass door to the deck, down about 20 stairs to the next deck and then a few steps down underneath the stairs to a door that goes into “the basement”.

Garrett and I ran out to see what it was. Thank goodness I didn’t smell skunk (the dog has already been sprayed 4 times.)

“What the Effing Fudge is that?” My 16-year-old Garrett said as he ran in behind me. (yes, my kids were taught not to be like their mom and try not to use bad language).

I stood in shock and disgust. What I didn’t expect was C) Goblins.

A Goblin changeling sat hunched in the far corner under the house between the camping gear and the cases of wine. It looked at me with tiny black rat eyes and rubbery greenish gray skin stretched over its bony frame. A white belly protruded like a bloated bullfrog. Long stringy blonde hair covered its head.  The same color as my daughter’s hair, only matted and oily. Long stick like fingers tipped with dirty broken claws pointed at my child.  A low growl came from between tiny pointed teeth.

Clara stood there with a shovel in her hands, her fangs out and ready to fight.

The Goblin wanted Clara, my beautiful daughter.  No, let me reword that. It wanted to be my daughter. It wanted to replace my child and send Clara off to be either a slave or more likely the bride of a Goblin Prince. I could see it taking on Clara’s features at it snarled at us from the dark corner.

“Damn it” I said. “Garrett go get your dad and tell him we have Goblins under the house.”

If you’re a regular human you can become a Vampire, a Werewolf or heaven forbid a Ghost. But you can’t become a Goblin. Goblins are an entirely different creature. They aren’t human or any subspecies or mutation of human. They’re just Goblins. Nasty, stinky, horrible, putrid, ugly, vile, soulless Goblins.

They aren’t like the sexy goblin king in Labyrinth (David Bowie). They’re more like the horrible Goblins in the beautiful Maurice Sendak book “Outside Over There” only worse. A thousand times worse.

If only they were like The Goblin King in Labyrinth I’d be spending a lot of time with Goblins. But they’re not. They’re horrible. I hate Goblins.

Goblins steal away what others love. They’ll take your dogs, your cats, your horses. They’ll take the photos out of frames, your family albums, your music collection. But worst of all they’ll try to take your children and replace them with a changeling – a goblin who will take the form of your child but is really a vile creature that has no soul.

I nudged in front of my daughter. “Get back. Don’t go near it.”

More running down the steps from upstairs inside. Garrett yelled “Look Dad, they’re by the Orange trees.”

I was watching the Goblin in the corner with a pitchfork. I could hear Teddy and Garrett dragging something or somebody onto our deck.

I took the shovel from Clara and wacked the Goblin changeling on the head. “Stay or I’ll smash your head in.”

Teddy was holding a grown female Goblin. She was dressed in a silly looking outfit as if she was trying to channel a munchkin out of the movie Wizard of Oz. Garrett held a slightly uglier, smaller male version wearing a red velvet suit shrink wrapped over it’s gourd shaped body.

“Keep your nasty vermin from my family,” my husband said to the over dressed creature.

“Goblins don’t want Vampire children.”

“Then what is THAT?” Said my husband motioning towards the changeling who had just poked its head out from the basement door.

“I didn’t know you were Vampires?” The Goblin had a half grin on its face. Goblins are horrible liars.

Teddy gave the Goblin a shake. “If you touch any of the regular humans, Werewolves or Vampires around here there will be Hell to pay. Do you understand?”

The Goblins shook their heads yes.

“I’m so sorry for the mistake. I don’t want to upset the Vampire community. You know how we admire and respect you. I’ll mail you a bill for removing the changeling.”

“We’re not paying for anything. You either remove that thing or I’m killing it.” Teddy was livid by then

The changeling yelped and ran back under the house.

After about 20 minutes the Goblins were gone. It will take another week to get all of the smell out from under the house. I swept away their ugly clawed footprints.

Regular people rarely see Goblins. Like other creatures of the night they hide and cloak themselves in the dark. Horrible horrible things!

We went inside and called, emailed and texted everyone we knew and told them to watch out.  Goblins are vermin like rats – really really bad rats.

Teddy and I had a long discussion with our kids about Goblins. They’d never seen them close up like that before. I was proud of them for handling themselves so well. Clara was Skyping all of her friends telling them how UGLY the thing was.

I reported the incident to the Circle and took a deep breath. The Circle is our own enforcement group and sort of acts as animal control for Goblins and the like.

I came back downstairs to my kitchen and poured a glass of wine.  I knew the Goblin would have never have taken Clara. Goblins are too stupid and weak to take Vampire children. In fact, they’re too stupid to take just about any child. But one must always be careful.

_______________________________

The ghost waited outside on the deck. I went outside to see if he wanted anything.

He gave me a sly smile as he leaned against the deck rail. “Now you have something to hate even more than ghosts.” He spoke to me in his usually somewhat snarky tone.

“I’ve always hated goblins more than ghosts.” That was true, and I’d never lie to the ghost.

“I suppose it is the level of sophistication a ghost brings to the party.”

I rolled my eyes and tried to hold back a smile.

____________________________

 

Happy Friday everyone and have a good weekend. And do you know where your kids are? You’d better.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

 

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