Christmas in the Apocalypse

From my friend, writer Mandy White. Love this story. Merry Christmas 2020.

Dysfictional

“I found some!” Scott banged on the metal door with a wrench, placed there for that exact purpose.

Metal hinges creaked as the door opened.

“Cool! Bring it in.” Libby held the curtain aside and helped Scott drag his bundles in from the tunnel.

“It isn’t exactly what I was looking for. I was hoping for a tree, but had to settle for trimming a hedge.”

“This will do just fine.” Libby held the cedar branches to her face and inhaled. “Mmmm… heavenly.”

Scott shouldered one of the bundles and Libby followed him, dragging the other down the narrow hallway.

Scott gasped when they entered the common room.

“You like it?”

“I do! You did all this?”

Libby dropped her bundle and sat down. She slung her prosthetic leg onto the tabletop with a loud CLUNK.

“What else am I going to do? I got plenty of time on…

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As Bright As A Star In An Ancient Sky

As Bright As A Star In An Ancient Sky

The voice on the phone whispered, “Are you coming over today?”

Why Tellias always whispers on the phone I will never know.

“I’m on my way,” I said. “I’m stuck in the never-ending construction, but I’m on my way.”

“Good,” he said in a papery thin voice. “I have a lot to tell you.” Then he hung up.

A 2054 year old Vampire can have a lot to say, so I picked up a case of Poet’s Blood at Dave’s Bottle Shop.

When I arrived at the Queen Ann style farmhouse Tellias and Eleora were waiting for me on the front porch. Tellias was wearing tuxedo pants, a slate blue work shirt with the name Jose stitched on the pocket, and yellow flip flops. His pale blonde hair was pulled back into a ponytail. Elena was wearing white Go-Go boots, a red mini skirt, a black fake fur vest, and an orange and pink polyester double knit blouse with bell sleeves. She also had a Santa hat on her head, with masses of reddish brown curls falling down her back. They look like a couple of teenagers who’ve been shopping at the local vintage flea markets, but they’re ancient. They’re old people.

They both danced around me, giving me kisses and singing Christmas songs. On the door was a giant wreath covered with holly, red apples, and black spiders Eleora had made years ago from ribbons and pipe cleaners.

They took my hands and brought me into the house. We sat by the window with a view of the orchards draped in fog.

Eleora busied herself with making Christmas animals out of ribbons and pipe cleaners, while Tellias told me a curious tale I’d never heard before.

“Juliette, when I was young, you know I grew up without parents of my own. I’ve never been sure of where I was from. The Romans took me in. I grew up in a temple, treated like a magical demigod. I’ve been called the child of Jupiter, or Mercury, or Apollo. Usually Apollo. It doesn’t matter now. When I grew older I went along with the military because I could heal, and they didn’t think I could die, and I was a magical being, at least according to them. Life was good. Lap of luxury. 

I went to Britain and met Eleora, as she stood on the edge of a cliff dancing by herself and singing. But I had to go back. It was a difficult time. A difficult time for me. Interesting too.

That time, all I could think about was her. She wasn’t the first of my kind I’d met. The other Vampires weren’t like me. They were dark without joy.  Eleora was nothing but joy. I met other beings too. Not Roman gods, but others… demons, angels, werewolves, others. 

I had to go back to Rome. I’ve told you I saw the star. You know the one they call the Christmas star. I was traveling with my freeman Felix, and a couple of slaves. We couldn’t find a place to stay. I could have but I wanted to keep my people with me. 

There was a barn where there appeared to be a party. Inside were a couple of boys with their sheep. A young couple with a baby was huddled in a corner. Three rich guys in garish clothing were hanging out with their servants. All of the animals, from my horses, to camels, to dogs, and sheep. A few others were there as well. It was cold that night. In the 40’s I think. I greeted the others, and got a lot of stares. Here I was, pale and blonde, with a white and gold fur lined cape. Even my people were dressed better than anyone else.

We settled in next to the young couple. The child was only a day or two old. The girl, the mother, who was only fifteen, was ill. You see, it was a horrible time to be a woman, even more horrible than when you were a girl Juliette. She was full of fever and infection. I put my hand on her forehead and took the illness away from her. It took me an hour to recover. The rich party guys gave me wine thinking it might help. The girl smiled and thanked me, as did her teenage husband. 

I took off my cape and put it around her shoulders. From my packs I took other blankets and warm furs and gave them to the husband and baby, then gave some to the Shepard boys. 

It was like it had been so many times and would be so many times in the future. Help was needed and I needed to help. 

I heard a noise on the roof, then looked to the doorway where another person had just arrived. He was tall and muscular with a face almost as handsome as mine. I knew him. He’d checked in on me since I was a child, but not always as a friend.

“Why’d you help them?” He asked me that without so much as a greeting.

“I didn’t have parents and there isn’t a day that goes by when I don’t think about it,” I said. 

“You lived in luxury. You have everything you wanted.”

“I was a pet.”

“They think you’re a demigod,” he said with a laugh at the end of his words.

“I am not a demigod. I see this family, this tiny young family…” I suddenly didn’t want to talk about it. “Gabe, you can go away now. I’m done with you. You can’t tell me what to do or how to feel. You can’t take my soul because it is mine. You could kill me if you wanted to, but I know you won’t. 

I am not like them, but I am not like you. I am not like a demon. I am… I am of this place, of this Earth, and only now do I feel I am of someplace. I am in love, something so rare in this world. I see this young couple and their child, so in love. It isn’t arranged. It wasn’t make by someone else…”

“It was made by someone else Tellias,” said Gabe. “It was something beyond either one of us.”

“I don’t believe in the Roman Gods,” I said. 

“I’m aware of that. It wasn’t some guy who turns himself into a swan to get laid,” he said getting a little bit testy. 

“I don’t care Gabe.” I told him,  “The girl is going to live and raise her son with his father. They will grow old in their love. They will thrive in this stinking, horrible, loveless world.”

“We’ll see,” he said.

“Yes, we will. I have to get some food. Unlike you I’m not make of some sort of ethereal dust. I’ll be back here in an hour,” I told him. I half expected him to follow but he hung out on the roof of the barn making sure nobody would bother the occupants. Everything with Gabe is always vague. 

When I got back, my belly full of blood, and my arms full of food for the others, and I mean everyone who was there that night, Gabe was waiting for me.

“Tellias you know you aren’t like the others. You weren’t created by…”

“What molded from mud or dust, or out of a random body part like all of your bedtime stories? No Gabe, I’m of this Earth. Yes, THIS EARTH. I don’t fit into your mold because I’m not like them. I’m not like you either. I’m not an angel or a demon, or a warm blooded human. I don’t follow your rules. I’m not motivated by vengeance or power.”

“What are you motivated by Tellias?”

I didn’t answer him. Once inside I passed out the food. I held the tiny infant while his parents ate. 

“Fill the world with love and wisdom. Understand the value of peace and of life,” I whispered to him as he wrapped his tiny finger around my thumb. Then I whispered, “An angel is on the roof watching over you. I don’t know what that means, but don’t let him down. He’s a son of a bitch you don’t want to mess with. But on the other hand he’ll have your back. And kid, be good for your parents. You can’t even imagine how much they love you.”

Gabe put his hand on my shoulder. “I’ll watch over them now.” 

“I’ll believe it when I see it,” I told him.

The next day I left with my man Felix, and my two slaves. I gave a few coins to the shepherd boys, and gave my contact information with the rich guys who were keeping us laughing with their puns and trivia games. 

For the young couple with the baby I hugged them and told them that their child was special. I told them to keep tight, and to hold onto love, no matter what anyone told them. The World was a changing place and I told them their generation would be right in the center of it. I told you the same thing when you were young Juliette. I told it to your children. God knows, it is changing for your kids.”

Then he leaned back in the chair and rubbed his eyes, and said nothing for a while.

I kissed his cheek then helped Eleora hang the funny Christmas animals on the Christmas tree.

After a while Tellias came over and put his arms around Eleora and me. “Dear Juliette, will you be here for Christmas Eve? I invited Gabe.”

Eleora took my face in her hands and kissed my cheeks. “You all must come! Especially your wonderful children.” And she danced around the room humming a long lost Christmas song.

Wishing you all peace and love, no matter who or what you are. And in small ways of kindness and caring we can make the world, or at least our own small corners of the world, as bright as a star in the ancient sky.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Chaos and Mistletoe

Chaos and Mistletoe

Marsha stomped the mud off her boots, threw her coat on the couch and stretched out her leathery wings. Fuck winter. Fuck Christmas. Fuck everything jolly and nice. Fuck peace on Earth, and all goodwill to everyone. Fuck Will, whoever the fuck he was.

She brushed back her hair and noticed a snag in her black Cashmere sweater. Damn it all. Her tail whipped around and hit the side of the Parson’s table she’d put in the entryway last week. Damn it. That hurt. Tears welled in her yellow green eyes.

Nobody understood how hard it was sometimes being a Demon. Nobody. Especially this time of year. Even the Vampires and Werewolves were making merry and bright. Damn them.

She poured herself a tall glass of twenty something year old Scotch and plopped down on the couch in front of the TV. She clicked through the channels. Three hundred Christmas movies showed up. How many fucking Christmas brides can there be? For Hell’s sake. She could watch one of the five thousand British murder mysteries on Netflix but they ALWAYS found the killer. What fun was THAT?

Looking out the window at the tiny yellow and brown song birds Marsha felt a little twinge of envy. You can spread your wings whenever you want. It doesn’t matter if anyone sees you. You don’t have to hide your tails. Then she wondered what they tasted like.

She guessed she could have gone out again and stirred up more trouble, and made people more miserable but she didn’t feel like working. It had been ages since she’d had a few days off. Everyone else was taking time off so why not her.

There was a knock on her door. Marsha was sure the doorbell worked. Why wouldn’t people ever use doorbells? Putting down her glass she answered the door.

“Hey baby,” said a voice as smooth as silk and the best chocolate ever made.

Marsha’s bad mood left her. Oh it was a rare event when she wasn’t feeling like she wanted to kill something.

“Ace,” she whispered his name and pulled him inside. Everyone called him Ace but his real name was Azazel, the fallen angel. Marsha didn’t care if he was one of them. She was alone and off the clock.

Ace stretched out his slate gray feathered wings. Damn, it took up almost the entire entry way. He was so hot.

Later that night she lay entwined in her lover’s arms. She almost felt happy and content. She almost wanted to wear a sundress and go to the beach. She almost felt like she was in love.

“What are you thinking?” Ace asked as he stroked her cheek with the back of his hand.

“I don’t know. I was thinking what it would be like to be a Christmas bride.”

“Well, you’ll never know now will you,” said Ace.

“You’re such a dick,” said Marsha.

“Merry Christmas baby,” said Ace with a long hollow laugh.

Marsha closed her eyes tight then opened them wide. “And a nasty New Year.”

And they fell asleep as a carpet of black mold grew over their dark souls, and they dreamed of chaos and mistletoe.

~ end

Some of you might have seen this one before but I thought it was fitting for December 2020.
Yes Virginia, December is finally here. Keep checking back every single day for more heartwarming holiday posts on Vampiremaman.com

Wear a mask. Stay safe. Be kind. Talk to your kids and listen to them. Check in on those who might need extra help or those who are alone. Sing. Dance. Kiss a Vampire!

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Short Story Sunday: The Cabin

Dad would walk ahead of us with the saw as we followed behind like troopers with the snow up to our knees. We’d been doing this since we were kids. It was a lot of work but always worth the effort, not so much in finding the perfect tree but in the time we spent together.

We were in search for the perfect tree. 

My brother Rod stopped and pointed. “What’s that? I’ve never seen it before.”

Through the woods was an old shack of a cabin.

“Let’s take a look,” said Dad.

The cabin looked as if nobody had been there in a century. The nails were square. The roof sagged. Dad and Rod pulled the door open.

Inside it was a time capsule into the 19thCentury. A table and four chairs were in front of a wood stove. A bed stood in the corner with a mattress covered with a red and green quilt. Jars of food canned years ago sat on the shelves in a small kitchen area. 

On the table was an envelope. I picked it up. On the front someone had written in a beautiful scrawling hand: If you are here read the note within.

I pulled out the paper and read aloud.

November 29, 1878

Welcome to the way station of the lost, the found, the curious, the tired, the cold, and the historians of time.

Make yourself comfortable. Take what you need. Leave what you don’t need. Leave extras if you have extra. 

I only ask you to leave this space with thoughts of love, hope, and good thoughts for other travelers who pass this way.

May many blessings come your way. 

TK

It looked as if this letter hand been read by many over the years. Others had left their comments on the back of the letter and on a second sheet of paper inside. 1880, 1897, 1906, 1918, 1920, 1937, 1943, 1972, 1999, 2001, and now 2020.

We took nothing, but left our initials and the date on the back of the letter. My dad pulled a extra pair of socks out of his pocket and left them there with a note saying wear these if your feet are cold or wet.

“When your grandkids are older you’ll have to bring them back here Dad,” I said.

“Yes, indeed,” Dad said.

As we closed the door and hiked off into the snow I looked back to see a man wave from the cabin. I almost called out then he waved back then vanished into the air as if he had never been there. Maybe it was just my imagination. I don’t know.

This year, with so much uncertainty treasure the mystery, the joy, the love, and the hope of the season. 

No matter where you are find your little cabin of peace and giving.  Believe.

~ end 

The Travelers A Tale of Mystery, Love and Hope

A Christmas Tradition at Vampire Maman

The Travelers

A Tale of Mystery, Love and Hope
from Juliette Kings aka Vampire Maman

The night was falling on the travelers, Daniel and his son Tad and daughter Ada. They had to stop before the dark of night and freezing snowfalls. The father and his children were finally going home, from the broken dreams of gold to the city where Daniel had found a job in his profession of typesetter and reporter. When his wife had passed on he followed his dream to the California gold fields taking his teenage children with him. For good or bad they’d made the new state their home.

As the snow began to fall they came upon a cabin, the door boarded up from the outside, the windows shuttered. It looked deserted and like shelter for the night. Dan and his son pried the nails off of the boards, which secured the door and went into the two-room structure. Inside was a cozy room with a fireplace, comfortable chairs and a wall full of books. Dan sent Tad out to bring in firewood.

Ada went to the bedroom and called her father. On the bed was a man, still as the night, cold and pale as the snow. In his arms, wrapped in blanket was a tiny girl in a red velvet hat, a scarf covered up most of her small face. She was also still and pale.

Ada’s heart sank. The poor souls in the bed looked to have passed on. But why were they trapped in the cabin? Had they been sick? Why were they not buried with a prayer and the proper respect? The man’s coat was obviously expensive and of the finest materials. His boots were of the most beautiful leather and style. His face was handsome and refined. Ada took off her glove and touched the back of her hand to the man’s face. He was indeed cold as ice and still as death. She called in her father.

“I know this man.” He said. “A fine man. A poet. I heard him read when I was in San Francisco. What a tragic pity to find him here with his child.”

The looked upon the bodies of the father and child when they saw the slightest movement and the man opened his eyes.

“My daughter, please help her,” whispered the man on the bed.

Ada took the girl in her arms. She weighed almost nothing. The child let out a sigh. Ada brought the girl into the other room and sat in a rocking chair by the fire Tad had built. The girl started to move and put her face against Ada’s warm neck. Ada soon fell asleep with dreams of flowers and all things good.

In the morning the poet and child were gone.

The travelers found box covered with red paper. In the box was a golden heart and a note to Ada.

Dearest Ada,

This heart belonged to my dear wife who was murdered by villains of the vilest kind. Please wear it knowing that you will always be loved and you will always be a part of us.

TK

On the table in the front room was a bounty of food. Where had it come from? There were fresh baked goods, milk and juice, exotic fruits, sausages and chocolates. Under small quilted cozies were pots with fragrant tea and coffee. Another note was slipped under the teapot.

Daniel read the note aloud to his children.

My heart thanks you for your generosity.

You saved our lives.

You never questioned who had trapped us or hurt us.

You never judged us.

You never feared us.

The love between parent and his children is burned into your heart like the fires that burn in the heavenly stars.

My daughter and I will never forget you.

Your children and their children and their children will always be safe and watched over and kept from the harm of wicked men. I owe and promise you that.

Never fear the night or the darkness for we will always be watching your back.

Wishing you a Happy Christmas.

~ Thomas Kent

As the travelers ate they talked of the sweet dreams they’d had the night before, along with stiff necks they had that morning. Daniel and his children  spoke of Mr. Kent and his precious daughter and wondered why they’d been trapped in the cabin.

Many many years later after a long and wonderful life full of romance and adventure, Ada fingered the heart, which she still wore. As she took her last breath she said, “I have never known fear, only love”.

An ocean away Thomas Kent felt an icy wind, then hope and gratitude in his cold Vampire heart.

~ End

 

ParrishCabin_Travelers

 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Chaos and Mistletoe

Chaos and Mistletoe

Marsha stomped the mud off her boots, threw her coat on the couch and stretched out her leathery wings. Fuck winter. Fuck Christmas. Fuck everything jolly and nice. Fuck peace on Earth, and all goodwill to everyone. Fuck Will, whoever the fuck he was.

She brushed back her hair and noticed a snag in her black Cashmere sweater. Damn it all. Her tail whipped around and hit the side of the Parson’s table she’d put in the entryway last week. Damn it. That hurt. Tears welled in her yellow green eyes.

Nobody understood how hard it was sometimes being a Demon. Nobody. Especially this time of year. Even the Vampires and Werewolves were making merry and bright. Damn them.

She poured herself a tall glass of twenty something year old Scotch and plopped down on the couch in front of the TV. She clicked through the channels. Three hundred Christmas movies showed up. How many fucking Christmas brides can there be? For Hell’s sake. She could watch one of the five thousand British murder mysteries on Netflix but they ALWAYS found the killer. What fun was THAT?

Looking out the window at the tiny yellow and brown song birds Marsha felt a little twinge of envy. You can spread your wings whenever you want. It doesn’t matter if anyone sees you. You don’t have to hide your tails. Then she wondered what they tasted like.

She guessed she could have gone out again and stirred up more trouble, and made people more miserable but she didn’t feel like working. It had been ages since she’d had a few days off. Everyone else was taking time off so why not her.

There was a knock on her door. Marsha was sure the doorbell worked. Why wouldn’t people ever use doorbells? Putting down her glass she answered the door.

“Hey baby,” said a voice as smooth as silk and the best chocolate ever made.

Marsha’s bad mood left her. Oh it was a rare event when she wasn’t feeling like she wanted to kill something.

“Ace,” she whispered his name and pulled him inside. Everyone called him Ace but his real name was Azazel, the fallen angel. Marsha didn’t care if he was one of them. She was alone and off the clock.

Ace stretched out his slate gray feathered wings. Damn, it took up almost the entire entry way. He was so hot.

Later that night she lay entwined in her lover’s arms. She almost felt happy and content. She almost wanted to wear a sundress and go to the beach. She almost felt like she was in love.

“What are you thinking?” Ace asked as he stroked her cheek with the back of his hand.

“I don’t know. I was thinking what it would be like to be a Christmas bride.”

“Well, you’ll never know now will you,” said Ace.

“You’re such a dick,” said Marsha.

“Merry Christmas baby,” said Ace with a long hollow laugh.

Marsha closed her eyes tight then opened them wide. “And a nasty New Year.”

And they fell asleep as a carpet of black mold grew over their dark souls, and they dreamed of chaos and mistletoe.

~ end