Storm

I never realized that the high rise downtown held the Federal Courthouse, art, poetry, and historic displays. There are also incredible views, even in the storm. Yes, I was there yesterday afternoon.

Even with the Federal Government shutdown there is still almost no parking to be found on the downtown streets. I finally found a spot near the old rail yards. The old rail yards is a yet to be developed area that used to be, well, rail yards. Old brick building still stand waiting to become trendy and useful again. Acres and acres of land waits for something, or maybe nothing. I’d like to see just a big park. Tracks still go out in all directions.

The active rail station is also near by taking commuters to the Bay Area and to far off places. I’d say exotic but only because it sounds more fun. Right now taking the train from Sacramento to Reno is the only way to go. I think the highways are closed this morning due to snow. If they aren’t closed it is painfully cold and slow. Over the past 24 hours the snow has come down not in inches but in feet. Dozens of feet.

Anyway, the only parking I could find was about five, maybe six blocks away, over an overpass that went across the old rail yard and tracks. On the wide sidewalks of the cheerfully designed urban bridge were homeless structures made of shopping carts, blankets, tarps, and bicycles. Across the way, and below, under more underpasses, and along walls were more homeless staked out in small groups of two or three, waiting out the storm. They’re just waiting out life. Just waiting.

I walked over the bridge, bundled up in my wool coat with my big blue umbrella. Within about a half minute I was soaked. My pants were soaked. My feet, through my boots, were soaked. Granted my boots are Doc Marten’s but they’re a heavy canvas. I should have worn my leather boots. My coat was soaked.

Ghosts stood on the bridge, on the side with the two homeless forts. They looked at me with blank eyes that stared out of gray holes in their heads. Two wore baggy suits and looks contempt. A woman in a long dirty blue dress with a bustle stood alone. Three Chinese ghosts huddled with quilted coats and  long pigtails.

I walked on. I hate ghosts. A gust of cold wind hit my face along with about a gallon of water. A ghost stood in front of me. She wore a sort coat, open with a short orange dress underneath. Her feet were bare. Long dark bangs skimmed the top of her eyes.

“Are you here to feast on the almost dead below?” She pointed down to the homeless camps. “Will you take them?” She pointed to the blanket and tarp fort across the street by the bus stop.

I tried to walk on but she followed me making hissing noises. I stopped despite the storm.

“There are already Vampires down there but I am not like them. Let me be,” I said.

“They will be found dead and cold, and nobody will know,” said the Ghost.

“Not because of Vampires,” I said and walked past the Ghost.

I know the kind of Vampires who are down there. They too live on the streets, or roam the streets then after feeding go back to the cold dark places they call home. They take what they need – blood and nightmares.

I am not one of them.

This morning I’m watching my cat, his fur wet, drinking fresh water from a bowl. My dog is curled in her bed. There are no Ghosts in sight, not yet.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

 

 

 

 

Ask Juliette: Time Vampires, Cold Vampires, Homebody Werewolves, and More Vampires.

Ask Juliette (or Ask a Vampire) is a semi-regular feature here at Vampiremaman.com

If you have a question you NEED to have answered, about anything send it to juliettevampiremom at gmail dot com, or put it in the comments here and I’ll answer it on the next Ask Juliette post.

So here we go.

crowletter

How do I handle Time Vampires?

These are not Vampires like our kind. These are Vampires who suck away valuable time. I run a vintage clothing store. The majority of the people who come in our friendly and fun. However at least once a day I get, a Time Vampire visitor – that horrid person who stands around and talks and talks and talks and talks about nothing. I don’t want to be rude because the other customers in the store will see me being rude. Short a breaking their necks or slapping them upside the head when the other customers are looking how do I handle a Time Vampire?

As a Vampire I know, contrary to popular opinion, that we don’t have all the time in the world.

I could go into the psychology of those who talk too much but that would be an entire book. We’re talking about YOUR TIME and YOUR BUSINESS, not to mention your other customers who might be put off by the Time Vampire.

I have a few suggestions. If any of my readers have other suggestions please feel free to leave those suggestions in the comments section.

  • Ask a question you know the Time Vampire can’t answer. If that doesn’t shut them down them tell they that you’ve enjoyed visiting but you are extremely busy with some business deadlines – and that isn’t a lie. You have a business to run. Start walking towards the door and gently lead them out.
  • Tell them that you have a task to do, such as an important phone call, or get some shipments out.
  • Tell them that while their story is interesting you’re extremely busy with some alterations or other task. Yes, this is a variation on the above answer.
  • Pretend to faint.
  • Go to the bathroom.
  • Pretend your phone, which is on silent vibrate, needs answering because you have a very important call.
  • Tell them you have to see to other customers, then go say hello to the other customers.
  • This is a difficult one. If you are too firm, or show any negativity, the Time Vampire could give you a bad Yelp review, or tell all of her friends that she thinks you are rude.

Grumpy-Cat-NO-1

Why do you always capitalize the words Vampire, Werewolf, Ghosts, and other monster names. This is English not German.

Because this is MY Vampire blog and as the writer I can do whatever I want. The capitalization is a sign of respect, as well as a way of emphasizing the importance of the title. By the way, I don’t always consider them monsters. Being different does not equal a monster. Beside that in an alternate universe this might very well be written in German.

What do I say when someone who is not a Vampire comments on how cold I am?

Just smile, without your fangs of course, and say, “Cold hands, warm heart.”

red heart

I’m an Urban Werewolf. I live in the city. I support local small businesses. I bike to work. I recycle. I go to the local farmer’s market for most of my fresh produce. I use reusable grocery bags. I’m part of my community. As a Werewolf I feel uncomfortable running around the streets and alleys on a full moon night in wolf form. I’d rather transition at home and avoid the full moon. Is it ok?

Yes, it is more than OK. Stock the fridge ahead of time with your favorite Werewolf treats. Curl up on the couch, and binge watch a new Netflix show.
The advantages are endless. You don’t have to worry about transitioning back to your human form naked and in public. You don’t have to scare anyone. You don’t need to get dirt in your fur. It is a win/win situation all around.

werewolfoflondonlarge

I’ve been a Vampire for about ten years. My family is still freaked out about it. Is my family too sensitive?

Yes.

crowonstone

Thank you for dropping by. If you have a question that you don’t have an answer for (about anything, including parenting, relationships, Vampires, cats, or whatever) leave your question in the comments section here OR email me at juliettevampiremom  @  gmail .com

And if this isn’t already too much fun, make sure you check out the new Saturday post Burning Questions. Number 3 of 50 burning questions will be featured this coming Saturday. Read it. Ponder it. Then add your answer to the poll.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

 

Short Story Sunday: Cold (An Austin and Elizabeth Story)

“You looked flushed. Did you just eat?”

“Yes,”

“Anyone I know?”

“No.”

Elizabeth dug her lip gloss out of her purse, then went to the bathroom to use the mirror. Austin followed.

She turned to face him. “What?”

“Nothing.”

“So you follow me to the bathroom. Any reason?”

“Not really. I’m glad you’re here.”

“Austin, we need to talk…”

He put his arm around her waist then pulled her close. “No, we need to kiss.” His lips met hers. She put her arms around him.

“You’re warm. You’re really warm,” said Elizabeth.

“Stay the night. You don’t need to go back out again.”

The frost settled on the grass, and ice formed around the edges of the pool. It was too cold to go out again tonight, even for a Vampire.

~ end

 

For the complete set of Austin and Elizabeth Stories (The Hunter Series) CLICK HERE.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Cold Coffee, Warm Heart.

Be inspired!

This morning my neighbors and I walked a mile down the road to get coffee. We’re all working at home these days, so anyway, I went to get coffee. I brought Kelly who lives on the left of me, and Shannon who live on the right. I love these women. They are each unique and my friends, though neither one of them knows I’m a Vampire.

As I walked out of my front door I waved at the guys on the scaffolding scraping the old paint off of my house. In three weeks my house will not look haunted anymore. Woo Hoo.

Then as I reached the street I noticed a ghost on my front porch. One particular ghost. Today he was wearing jeans, a puffy down vest, and a red flannel shirt. He pushed his shaggy black hair out of his face, then blew me a kiss. He usually flips me off. I lifted an eyebrow and he vanished.

So I walked with my nice warm friends, in the cold morning air, down the road to coffee.

We didn’t complain because our cups were a lovely solid red. Kelly had a Grande Vanilla Late, I had a Veneti Blonde Roast with room at the top and added my own half and half, and Shannon had her usual sickening sweet chocolate caramel thing with whipped cream and two extra shots of espresso. My friends had scones. I just had coffee.

As we sat in the corner chatting and sipping our drinks I suddenly realized that I was too chill. Too cool. Uh oh.

I took the lid off of my coffee cup and looked at the white crystals forming on top.

“Why does it do that?” My friend Shannon laughed. She never finds things strange, just wondrous. I guess that is why I’m glad she lives next door.

I tried to shrug it off. “Cold hands. Mind if I get a spoon?”

By the time I’d gone back to my friends with a spoon the top had frozen completely.

Vampires love coffee but we have problems with the top freezing over. We’re just cold. I’m not kidding about that.

My daughter said she feels sorry for kids who sit a desk after her. It is already getting cold and then some poor kid comes in and sits where she sat. It is great in the hot months, but when things cool off… well, that leaves some chilly cheeks. Some kids, who have no idea what is going on, bring an extra sweatshirt to put on their seats.

It isn’t always that way with us, but sometimes we just don’t think about it. Sometimes we’re just being chill and, well, a bit too chill. Sure we can force ourselves to heat up, but most of the time we’re just cool. Yes, we’re cool. We’re Vampires.

I know this wasn’t the best bit of literature today, but you know, it is just one of those morning stories of everyday life. My life isn’t all about sucking blood out of handsome men or giving assholes nightmares. I’m not just a Vampire. I’m a mom and a friend, a wife and a sister. I’m a blogger. You know how it is.

I have another cold weather story. I was going to add a link to an older post but I’ll just add it here, today, again. It was about having cold hands a long time ago…as really long time ago.

 

Cold Hands, Warm Heart

My eldest brother Max (10 years my senior) had asked his best friend Teddy to escort me home from the theater one evening. It was 1874. I was 15 years old.

“Your hands are so cold,” Teddy said as he helped me up off of the muddy street onto the boardwalk.

I gave him a coy smile. “I have a cold heart sir.”

He laughed. I never called him sir. He offered me his arm.

I gladly took his arm. “Your hands are positively burning. What sort of fire stirs your soul tonight?” That was pretty forward but I didn’t care. I was floating with the joy of being a flirt and having no brothers or parents around to stop me.

“You’re not like the other girls.”

“No I am not.”

“You’re an impish little thing. It will take a man with a quick wit and a good sense of humor to woo you Juliette.”

“Ahhhh, but you forget I have four older brothers. I pity any man who would have to deal with them.”

“They’ll love any man who is truly in love with you Juliette.”

“I doubt that Teddy.”

Then he stopped and faced me. “I have some news. A secret if you can keep one.”

“Your secrets are always safe with me.”

Teddy had a large smile on his handsome face. “I’m getting married.”

My young Vampire heart literally stopped dead. My head started to spin, but I managed to smile because like all Vampires, I was a natural liar. “Oh Teddy. I’m so happy for you. She really is lovely.”

I wished I could just turn to putrified slime and slip into the dirt like the dead in the cemetery but instead I found a dark place to curl up in for the rest of the night. Teddy would now be lost to me forever. No more laughing at silly jokes with him. No more having him give me sly smiles. No more watching him and my brother Max in awe as they turned from boys to real men.

Teddy would be moving on to the world of married men where there was no room for girls who laughed too loud and talked too much. There was no room for Vampires. Sure, once I was older and became an icy cold elegant woman like my Vampire mother I could entertain Teddy and his bride, but until then it was over. He might has well have died – at least that is what I was feeling in my cold quiet teenage heart.

Teddy had no idea how different any of us were. He had no idea that his father’s business partner was a Vampire. Teddy had no idea what a Vampire was.

While they were away to college Teddy never really questioned why my brother Max would go out in the middle of the night. He imagined it was a woman or gambling or just a restless spirit. Like all of us, Max was brilliant at hiding his true nature.

The young woman of good breeding whom Teddy had become engaged to was sweet. That was her only attribute aside from being considered pretty. She wanted nothing more in life than to be the wife of a successful man. The fact that Teddy was the most handsome human I’d ever seen in my life, interesting, smart and funny was just an added bonus. Other than the fact that Teddy thought she’d be a good match there was nothing remarkable about her. Good breeding. Good reputation. Good girl. I didn’t even think about passion. Thinking about that would be almost as bad as thinking about my parents having any kind of passion (remember I was 15 years old.)

Teddy’s love wasn’t out sucking blood out of people in the middle of the night. She was in bed alone dreaming of angels and kittens. She was the kind of girl he dreamed of and I am sure he dreamed of her at night.

I wished I was like her. I wished I was sweet and warm like a her. I touched my icy hands against my cheeks and closed my eyes and then wiped away cold tears. No amount of wishing could make me warm. No amount of wishing could make me walk in the sunshine without dark glasses or a parasol. No amount of charm or wit could make him continue to be buddies with me, a girl who lived in the shadow of the night. He’d never love me.

I found my brother Val and told him the news. Val, who is only 16 at the time, thought I was being silly. He didn’t understand. He was a boy. Teddy could still be friends with a boy.

Max came up on the roof where I ended up that night. He sat next to me and put his arm around my shoulders. “Teddy is like family. He’ll still be here for a long long time. With any luck he’ll live a long life and we’ll always be able to watch over him and protect him.”

I closed my eyes knowing it was a battle I couldn’t win.

“Listen Jewels, part of growing up is letting go, that means letting go of everyone else who is growing up and moving on. It won’t just be Teddy. All of us will have to go out in the world and make our way. We’ll all find love. We’ll find it with people like ourselves, other Vampires. People move on, but the human heart, and our hearts have a great capacity for love. You have to treasure that love because as we move on, they, the regular humans grow old and they die. I’ve seen Mother and Father mourn the loss of their friends in the worst way. We’ve mourned the loss of friends in the worst way. But Teddy isn’t dead. Be happy for him. He’ll still be my best friend. He’ll still be your friend.”

We sat on the roof until the sun came up and talked of life and love and loss.

A year later Teddy died and didn’t die. He became a Vampire (not from anything we did and very much against his will.) The wedding never happened. After that we all went our separate ways and had our share of love and adventure and friendship.

After Teddy acclimated to being a Vampire we became great friends. Twenty years ago we got married. That isn’t typical of anyone, but then again, not much is typical in my life.

As my own children become older and closer to being adults they’ll have to deal with friends moving away, getting in relationships and changing in ways they can’t imagine. Some friendships will last those changes, but many won’t. The fact that we can’t always predict these things doesn’t make it any easier, but at least we can talk with our kids about these things. We can be there when they need someone to talk to. And that day will come.

I have been fortunate to have friends who’ve been in my life since those days when I used to sit on the roof of my parent’s house and ponder the meaning of life. Sometimes my friends would sit on the roof with me. Sometimes my brothers would join us. We’re not sitting on the roof anymore, but we’re still talking and laughing and having warm hearts to go with our cold hands.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

red heart

 

Dark Waters

creppy fish

Dark waters

Behind glass

Dark shapes

Covered in spines

And slime

As cold as death

No pretty tropical pets

Are these creatures

From my nightmares

They tap the glass

Until it breaks

And wakes

Me from my

Cold blooded nightmare.

ugly_fish

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/02/26/daily-prompt-sweet-dreams/

More dream and sleep related posts from Vampire Maman … and Ghosts, Vampires and other related stuff (click on the links below):

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Cold

Fingerless gloves

Of soft gray

Adorned with silver beads

That let me touch

Your cool skin

In the cold winter air.

 

Your lips are cold

But your neck is warm

As is your blood and soul

In the beautiful

Winter frost

And cold.

tree and snow

Having a Vampire friend makes everyday seem special – even on the coldest winter day.

Happy Holidays.

 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman