“He went north to the Pole. Seasonal help with the fat man.”
“No shit. With Santa?”
“His third year. He makes enough money to last the rest of the year. In fact in five years he’ll be able to retire.”
“I shit you not.”
I was sitting in the booth next to a couple of Werewolves, nursing my coffee until Steve showed up. I pride myself on the number of conversations I’m able to overhear everyday. Then again, I’m always listening. It is my nature to listen and know everything that everybody is saying and feeling. It has nothing to do with being naughty or nice and everything to do with being a Vampire.
Steve slid into the booth and faced me. I mouthed the words, “Werewolves behind me.”
He smiled then took my hand. “You look sexy tonight.”
If I’d had enough blood in my veins I would have blushed.
After coffee and cherry pie we walked the streets, in and out of art galleries and glancing into bars and restaurants. Christmas lights twinkled in some of the windows. Other windows were painted with holly and Christmas tree designs.
Outside of a trendy club we saw a couple of Vampires we knew talking to a group of attractive young women. They nodded at us. We nodded at them.
I kept thinking about the Werewolves in the cafe. “Steve, do you believe in Santa Claus?”
“Why are you asking?”
“One of the Werewolves was saying a small friend of theirs was going up to the North Pole to work for Santa Claus.”
“I didn’t believe in Vampires until, you know, until I became one.”
He had a point there.
We ducked into a bar full of happy people, all talking and catching up on the last Saturday of the Thanksgiving break. It was warm and collars became undone and scarves were loosened. It was a beautiful sight for a couple of Vampires.
After a moment in a dark corner in a dark corner with a sweet young man named Kyle I glanced up to see the Werewolves at the bar.
For the next half hour I’d be warm so I knew they might not suspect I was different from the rest of the bar patrons. I sat on the bar stool next to them. The large one glanced over at me.
“You were in the diner. You’re a Vampire.”
“Busted,” I said. “Hey, I don’t mean to be rude but while I was waiting for my friend I overheard you talking about your friend going to the North Pole.”
“Sure, no problem. Seriously I love the dude, we’ve been friends forever, but I’m worried he’ll end up being part of some sled team or eaten by bears on the way up.”
“Is there really a Santa Claus?”
He smiled. “We’re here aren’t we? I mean, it isn’t so much as him making toys and all. It is more of a fairy dust sort of thing if you know what I mean.”
I never thought I’d hear a Werewolf talking about fairy dust and Santa, but I’ve come not to be too surprised by anything. It was sort of nice.
A warm hand slid into mine. Steve was next to me, also warm for a short time. We spent the rest of the evening talking with the Werewolves about living like Santa Claus. You know, living in a world where everyone says they believe in you but you know they don’t.
As we went back out into the street I saw a couple walking a tan and white Corgi dog. I looked up into the sky and saw a shining star above the light of the city. Maybe Brad made it to the North Pole. You have to believe. After all, it is beginning to look like Christmas. You gotta believe.
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.
It is time for BURNING QUESTiON #42. Woo Hoo and deck those halls with bows of holly. FA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA.
Christmas is almost here! Time for glorious trees, holiday cheer, jingle bells, stories of old, Santa Clause, AND VAMPIRES!
So you know what that means…
Winter is here with enough bite to freeze the slow beating heart of almost any Vampire.
My mom used to say to us “Don’t stop your heart or your blood will freeze.”
It is one of those things we have to think about, sometimes. I don’t recall ever telling my own children that, or any other “new” Vampires.
Funny how one thinks of those sayings.
The first bat of the night is a wish. The next is a kiss.
Bad blood is only in the soul.
Dance from dusk to dawn then sleep as if there is no sun.
As a mother (in the 1850’s and 60’s) with a rather large brood of young Vampires (four boys and one girl) my mom took advantage of the holidays in a big way. It was her time to celebrate and bring out the cheer. She was glad to get rid of the musty old gloom of the old days and embrace the Modern Vampire movement.
At the same time a young artist named Thomas Nast created the iconic image of the American Santa Clause. Old Saint Nick was pretty awesome, but Santa was one of our own.
Jolly Old Vampire
Yes, Santa Clause is a Vampire .
He knows when you are sleeping. He knows when you are awake.
He only comes out at night.
Nobody ever sees him.
He has been around for centuries.
He can see in the dark.
Red is his favorite color.
He is jolly (hey, Vampires are jolly).
He likes kids.
He is an icon of popular culture.
He knows who has been good and who has been bad.
Despite his size he can get in and out of any building.
He can make animals that normally live on the ground fly.
Dogs and cats like him (all animals like Vampires because we understand them.)
An interesting fact that all teens should know (and their parents): Thomas Nast was only 19 when he started to create illustrations for Harper’s Weekly. Let that sink in. He was only 19. Let that inspire you.
Plus Thomas Nast rocked the facial hair.
Now think about THIS. My kids have no idea what “Yes, Virginia” means or the famous letter. They grew up in a different world, where pussy does not mean a cat, and gay does not necessarily mean happy, and gross isn’t 144 items.
BUT WHAT DO YOU THINK?
Burning Question #42: Is Santa a Vampire?
Tell me what you think. Ho Ho Ho and away we go. Feel free to discuss this question or anything else you have to say about Christmas, Santa, Vampires, Parenting, or whatever. I’m open.
A Tale of Mystery, Love and Hope from Juliette Kings
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.
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.
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.
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 workshirt 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 Roman’s 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 were 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, evenmore 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 etherial 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 moulded 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 warmblooded 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 shepard 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.
A few nights ago we had friends for dinner. Let me reword that. We dined with good friends of ours. It was two couples we’re friends with (they’re regular humans who don’t know we’re Vampires). It is a dress up affair. We have cocktails; take in the theater or a concert, then have dinner and more drinks. And my darling husband Teddy and I get a little blood donation and leave our hosts feeling warm and fuzzy and full of holiday cheer.
I wore a black dress with red heels. It was set off with a gold necklace of delicate flowers with red garnets, enameled holly leaves and seed pearls.
One of my friends commented “You wear that beautiful necklace every year. There must be a story behind it.”
“Teddy gave me this on our first Christmas together. It was his mother’s.” I told everyone the truth, but didn’t tell them the entire story behind it.
It was in the 1880’s. My brother Val and I were young Vampires in London, which was the place to be. It was a golden age for us.
Of course being the young American Vampires we were…we got into a lot of trouble and had way too many adventures of the wrong kind.
So to make a long story short, it was Christmas Eve when Val and I found ourselves trapped in a crypt. Yes, a crypt full of rotting human bodies, not a fit place for any self respecting Vampire of a certain social level. We were of a higher social level. We had class, culture, good looks and money. Most of all we had connections. What Val and I lacked was common sense and experience.
So we’re in this crypt, chased by Vampire Hunters, Rogue Vampires who were pissed off at us, AND the local police.
We were also trapped. Yes, being the super strong creatures that we are, we could have busted down the door, but that would have done three things. It would have shown a lack of respect for those who were interned in the crypt. It would have made a lot of noise and attracted too much attention. But most of all, we were wearing rather expensive clothing if that clothing were to be ripped it would have drawn too much attention.
So we waited to figure out a plan B or to be rescued. Plan B was our only real option.
Just as we were about to sit on the ground and wait until the next night to break our way out the door started to slide open. We waited, fangs barred, holding on to each other for dear life, yet ready to kill whatever came through to us.
We saw a lone figure shadowed in the doorway.
I could hear a slight hiss under Val’s breath as he readied himself for an attack. Then a voice with a definite American accent said “Valentine? Juliette? Oh my heavens! Is that really you?”
And out of the shadows came Teddy. I hadn’t seen him for 10 years, not since he’d become a Vampire.
We said quick greetings and I asked “What are you doing here?”
He lifted the lid from one of the stone caskets. “This woman couldn’t steal my father’s heart so she stole my mother’s jewelry. I’m here to get it back. I never expected in a hundred years to find you two here.” And with one swift movement he took the necklace from around the neck of a slightly un-fresh corpse and then removed her bracelet and ring.
Suddenly we heard footsteps and saw torches across the lawn. I recognized the voices. “Let’s go. They’re back.” And they were in full force, come to kill the Vampires, who just happened to be us.
We ran down the road as fast as we could. I help my skirt up around my knees and cursed the day I was born a girl. Damn it trousers would have been nice right then.
A cathedral lay ahead, lit up for the Christmas Eve service.
“We can’t go in there,” said Teddy in a panic.
“Why not?” Asked Val.
“Because,” said Teddy “We’re undead. We’re Vampires. We’ll die.”
“We’re not undead. Your heart beats. You have not one but two souls. You are a creature of the night, and this is a midnight service. We will be welcome and blessed for we do harm to no one.”
I grabbed Teddy by one hand and Val by the other and took them into the church. We sat in the back and quietly sang along with our angelic Vampire voices, savoring the candle light and peace of the moment.
After it was over we headed for home, a fashionable and safe house not far away.
“I thought it wasn’t safe for our kind in churches,” said Teddy.
“It usually isn’t.” Val said, brushing off his coat. “But they can’t hurt us in a church. Or at least they do not dare hurt us there. Besides, I like the music. It soothes me.”
“What did you mean about two souls? I thought my soul was gone.” Teddy looked at us in a very serious way.
“Do you think that anyone with so much love and passion could exist without a soul? Oh Teddy, don’t be such a child. We need two souls. One for our own existence and one for our shadow. Didn’t you know that?”
The first rays of dawn arrived as we arrived at the house. Teddy crashed in one of the spare bedrooms. But before he slept, he put the necklace he’d taken around my neck. “My mother always liked you. She would have wanted you to have this.”
I was honored and touched. Since then I’ve worn this necklace every Christmas season.
~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman
This was first published here in 2012 – my first Christmas writing and sharing my story at http://www.vampiremaman.