Short Story Sunday: Driving Home With Superheroes

For some reason graduate students seemed to be decades ahead of undergraduate students, especially freshmen and sophomores. At the ripe old age of twenty three Randy had discovered that the first day of school.

He’d also discovered a small following of younger Vampires who looked up to him like they would their favorite ancient Vampire Uncle.

They also liked Randy because he was unique and exceptionally hip and trendy in his vintage clothing and wavy longish blonde hair.

Before he left home after Christmas break, wearing his favorite Levi big bells, a Heart concert shirt from 1979, and a vintage fringed leather jacket, his dad called him “Fucking Flowers.”

Randy asked what that was all about. His dad laughed and told him that now he was an adult he needed to read John Sanford books starting from the beginning and work his way up to the Virgil Flower books. Randy made a note of it and a plan to stop by the bookstore when he got home.

Being the nice guy he was, Randy had volunteered to give three young Vampire students a ride from Sacramento back to Long Beach. Two, Josh and Winslow were Freshmen. Katie was a sophomore. They’d all packed their clothes, Christmas stash, care packages from their moms, and other gear in the back of Randy’s 2012 Range Rover and headed south an hour before the sun came up.

Randy decided to impart a bit of his wisdom upon the younger minds. “Being a good Vampire is like being a good parent. You must stay relivant. You can’t get behind or you’ll be left behind.”

“I think we need to be like superheroes,” said Winslow, a dark haired young Vampire with bright blue eyes and friendly round face.

“Superheroes? Whys that?” asked Randy.

“You know, because we can do things other people can’t do. Like see in the dark, and make people forget shit, and we’re super quiet, and shit,” said Winslow.

Randy turned down the radio. “The only super hero Vampire that I can think of is Morbius. He was kind of an asshole and not even a real Vampire. Come on guys, you can do better than that. You don’t need a superhero. You just need to be yourself. You already rock at being Vampires. Come on leave the tights to Katie. Girl you rock the tights with those boots.”

“Thanks,” said Katie. She was a small girl with brown hair and freckles. Nobody would ever pick her out for being a Vampire. “I got the tights for Christmas from my grandma. Just like what you said about being relevant. My grandma is relevant. She knows what I like.”

Randy smiled. “If I was a girl I’d wear tights all the time but it has nothing to do with being a superhero.”

“We were thinking about getting some costumes made,” said Josh, a tall kid who spent a lot of time at the gym.

“Dude, you don’t need costumes. Just wear black and jeans that fit. You’re already rocking it. I know you. You don’t need to pretend. You’re already living the secret life. You don’t need to make it more complicated with daytime cosplay. You’re already superheroes.”

As they drove on the subject changed to music, favorite podcasts, dog beach stories, and spilling the tea.

Being a Vampire in the modern world carried certain responsibilities including the usual truth, justice and all of that good stuff. They didn’t need tights or capes. They just needed to keep their mouths shut and do the right thing. That was all anyone could do.

Yes, being a graduate student included being a role model, especially if you were a role model for young Vampires, or anyone else who was just a little bit different, or a little bit confused about growing up and finding their place in the world.

Maybe a trip to the vintage clothing store was in order when they got home. Randy would take all of them. They could find costumes that they could live with. The thought made Randy smile. Fashion was his superpower. That was cool with him.

~ end


Tangled Tales




I guess we’re all going to Hell.


My daughter just sent me this photo with the message “I guess we’re all going to hell.”

This guy was out in front of the Student Union building at the college.

Happy Halloween Sports Nuts!

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

I Hate Valentine’s Day

I Hate Valentine’s Day

A Short Vampire Story

“I shouldn’t be alone today,” thought young Randy as he sat brooding on a rock, on the beach at 5:30 a.m. on Valentine’s Day. His heart was broken. The girl, a Vampire girl he knew he was going to fall in love with had given her heart to another and left him in the dreaded friend zone.

And it wasn’t as if she’d left him, or chosen another college student. Sure the guy she’d fallen for looked like he was twenty-one but he was born in freaking 1902. What did girls see in these older guys?

He was jolted from his thoughts by a “Hi. You’re Randy, aren’t you?”

A dark haired girl stood in front of him. “I’m Alexis. I’m in your Organic Chemistry class. I’m a Vampire, but you knew that. I know you are too. Small world.”

“Oh, right. Sure. Hi. Have a seat,” said Randy, glad for the company now.

“I hate Valentine’s Day,” said Alexis.

“Why do you hate it?”

She sat down on rock next to him. “My parents were borderline Shadow Creepers, you know old time Vampires who stayed in the dark most of the time. Nobody knew we were Vampires but everybody including the other school parents thought my parents were weird. I got picked on a lot at school. I was like quiet and small. I didn’t know how to stand up for myself. I didn’t dare try any of my Vampire stuff on anyone. I was afraid if anyone found out they’d kill my family.  Anyway, every Valentine’s Day we’d have to make stupid boxes and bring Valentines. I always made something pretty with roses and flowers and stuff, all pink and nice. I always But I never got any Valentines. Maybe from one of the girls who felt sorry for me. Everyone had full boxes except me. The kids all started to laugh at me. I wanted to rip their throats out but I couldn’t. You know, Vampire code.”

“Sure, don’t show them what you are, no matter what. Did your mom and dad know?”

“I never told them anything. We didn’t talk much at home. But I got my revenge.”


“I told the teacher I had to go the bathroom. Of course the boys started to make jokes about how I’d stink the school up. They were mean like that. Always. It never stopped. So like the teacher said someone had to go with me to make sure I wouldn’t spend too much time in there, cause sometimes I’d just go there to get away from it all. She said that Ashley should go with me. Ashley was the most popular girl.

She started to pout and complain. So a girl called Emma volunteered. Emma was the only kid who gave me a Valentine. She was kind of overweight and sometimes the other kids would say mean things to her too, but she was the smartest kid in the class so they didn’t say too much.

When we got out of the classroom she said she knew I didn’t need to go to the bathroom. We walked around for a bit, then went back to the classroom. But we didn’t go in.

“You can make them pay for what they did. I’ll help you,” said Emma. “I’m a Witch. I know what you are.” Then she smiled in a way that even scared me.

We didn’t go in. The door locked. The room filled with smoke. The other kids started to scream. They couldn’t get out. Everyone started to claw at their faces and arms. That is except the teacher who kept trying to open the door. We ran to the office to get help. You know, we had to keep up appearances.

By the time the fire department go there and knocked down the door, the smoke at gone away, but the smell of sulphur was still in the room. Some of the kids had clawed out their eyes and made huge gashes in their faces and arms.

Then Emma whispered in my ear, “they’ll never call you ugly again.”

Hey, even I was shocked. I never did a thing. It was all her. Both of us ended up going to another school. In high school I made a lot of friends. They all thought my parents were cool Goths. The rest of the kids are still all scarred and screwed up.”

Randy looked at her feeling sort of numb. “Where is Emma now?”

“She got into swimming. Lost a lot of weight. Turned blonde. She’s at UCLA now. So Randy, why don’t you like Valentine’s day?”

“A girl I liked started seeing another guy.”

“Bummer. Sorry to hear that.”

They sat in silence for a while, listening to the waves. Randy didn’t know what to say. He and his best friend had been the two most popular boys at their high school. Their lives had been happy and relatively care free. Their parents were modern Vampire in every way possible.

Alexis bumped her shoulder gently against Randy’s. “I hope you don’t think I’m weird.”

“No. Well, maybe just a little.”

“Looks like the storm is coming in. Wanna get coffee? No pressure. It’s not like I want to be your girlfriend or anything like that. Just you know, like just a couple of Vampire friends.”

“Sure,” said Randy.

As they walked up to the street he put on his sunglasses against the morning sun. Well, stranger things had happened.

~ End


~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman


College Life – What I learn from my child

One thing I LOVE about having a child in college is that I learn almost everything my child learns (except the math.)

Ever since Clara, was a preschooler she has always told her dad and I all about what she learned in school. Even when she went on field trips she’d repeat to us what the park rangers, or museum docent said.

Yesterday afternoon she told me about her new political science class (second semester of college started this week.) I learned about the instructor (he used to be a spy, and has two kids.) I learned about how he runs a classroom (no immaturity allowed – he will drop kids who don’t act mature.) I learned what the students will be learning. My child and I talked for about an hour about the two-hour class she’d just finished.

Like I said, this isn’t something new. During the fall semester I learned all about religion, our environment, weird fellow students, art, history, philosophy, and everything except math and Spanish. I did learn all about the math and Spanish classes – the teachers and the fellow students.

I learned who put out tables on campus – mostly political and religious groups. I learned about blood drives, especially after the Las Vegas shooting.

Now the second semester is starting. I’m looking forward to learning about the US Government and Marine Biology.

I’m looking forward to hearing my child’s nightly observations and insights.

I’m looking forward to hearing the passion in her voice.

She knows her parents will actively listen too.

Clara told me that if she tells someone else what she learns it will help her retain the information. True.

My child isn’t one of those brainiacs who always got straight A’s and was wooed by Stanford University or Ivy League schools. But she is one of the smartest people I’ve ever met.

It isn’t advanced math that will make her go far. She has passion. She has communication skills. Yes, people skills. She listens. She observes. She evaluates. She relates. She sees learning as an active life long skill.

She is my child and I am amazed every single day.

She is also hilariously funny.

Over the years I’ve posted “What we talked about this morning on the way to school” posts. I’ll have to start doing that again. She has her own car now, but we still talk before and after school.

When she leaves for the big university we’ll still talk.

If you get one thing out of this parenting blog THIS is it: Talk with your kids. Listen to your kids. LISTEN. Encourage them to talk to you and with you. Hear their thoughts and ideas. The more you listen the more they’ll want to talk to you.

And you’ll say, “Life is good.”

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman


By the way we also talk about pets, music, people we know, fashion, beauty products, the weather, movies, Netflix, cat and possum memes, and other daily stuff… but that is another blog post.





Tofu, Vampires and Growing Up


Yes, they might be in college and living on their own but they are still kids.

My child Garrett, and his roommates Layla, Bailey, Randy and now Austin, are going to have a dinner party this weekend to celebrate the new school year. Yes, there are five of them now. Austin just moved into a space the size of a closet as the fifth roomie.

So what is on the menu I asked? There are three Vampires, a Werewolf, and now Austin who is just a regular guy.

I had to ask, as a concerned parent, about Austin. Garrett said he was cool. His great great Uncle Bill is a Vampire so Austin is ok. Bill used to babysit him when he was a kid. He took Austin to Europe for a month after he graduated from high school. Austin knows Vampires.

Anyway, so what’s for dinner?

Tofu? Maybe. They’ll figure it out.

That is the wonderful thing about being nineteen is that you have to figure out almost everything, even though you think you know everything already.

But it is a good thing Mom is still there to answer any questions.


~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Traveling with Jerks

Sometimes we have to be with people we don’t want to be with. They’re annoying and offensive. They’re boring. They’re loud. They’re weird.

Unfortunately sometimes you end up traveling with them in the back of a car or in the front, but you end up with them, stuck for miles and miles and hours and hours.

Sometimes that is the time to sleep but then again, you don’t want to close your eyes for a second just in case the car they’re driving turns down a dirt road and the next thing you know you’re three states away from where you’re supposed to be.

Or sometimes you’re going where you should be but they are there, talking to you, looking at you, insulting you or just existing next to you. One has to learn how to deal with these situations with courtesy and grace least something very bad happens.

A lot of my phobia of not being in control is due to the lack of control over transportation and being stuck with people I don’t want to be with. I’m a stinker when it comes to having my own car and having control over where I go and who I go with.  Yeah, right, you wouldn’t think a Vampire would be saying that.

I did the happy mom dance last weekend because 18 year old Garrett had come home from college for a few days. He hitched a ride with some other students and drove back with his cousin Logan who’d come up earlier in the week.

The ride north was one of those 8 hours of Hell events.

In a cramped 1999 Ford Explorer five college students and a dog made the trip from the university on the coast to home. Garrett found his ride through friends of friends in his dorm who just happened to be driving up for the weekend. He offered gas money and to take a turn driving.

The driver was a kid named Ace who seemed alright. He was a little hyperactive and bouncy. His friend Hayden was one of those uber negative types who knows everything. Hayden was wearing a hot pink shirt under a black leather jacket. It seemed odd enough to Garrett for him to mention it to me.

In the back seat with Garrett were two girls named Alexis and Breanna. That is usually a good thing, sitting with girls, but they both started off negative.

Alexis had mousy brown hair that hung in her face and wore and oversized plaid shirt and cargo shorts. Her fingernails were bitten down to nothing and she smelled like ripe bananas. She also had three silver hoops piercing her left eyebrow. Breanna was tall with white blonde hair and blue eyes. She could have been pretty except for the nasty smirk on her face and constantly pursed lips covered in unflattering red lipstick and Cleopatra eyeliner.

At a stop a couple of hours into the trip Garrett stretched his legs and walked around. The only positive thing was the fact that they stopped for a snack and caffeine so Garrett was able to get a big cup of Zen tea.

Alexis came up to him and looked him up and down. “Guys like you never go for girls like me.”

“What do you mean girls like you?”

“I’m not beautiful and perfect.”

Garrett was taken aback. “You haven’t said one positive thing since we left.”

“Why should I?”

“Are you always such a bitch?”

She gave him a smug self-righteous look. “See? Any girl who isn’t perfect is a bitch.”

“Did I make any judgments when I met you? If you’d been nice I could have… just forget it. It wouldn’t make any difference what I say.”

“What? Say it Garrett.”


“Say it.”

“You could be beautiful if you wanted to but you like being unattractive.”

He walked off and left her alone.

A few minutes later Breanna stomped over and got in his face. She was almost as tall as he was and almost growled at him then pushed his shoulder.

“You made Alexis cry,” she said.

“That’s on her.” He ignored the push.

“So you think you can do whatever you want because you’re so good looking Vampire boy?”

Garrett started to walk away but she grabbed his arm.

“I’m a Werewolf.”

He should have known. “What about Alexis and the guys?”

“They’re normal.”

“Like we’re not?” Garrett hates an insinuation that he isn’t normal.

“Bite me,” she spat out at him.

“I’ll pass. Do any of them know, you know, about us?” He knew she’d know what he was talking about.

“They have no idea. It would blow their heads off if they knew. They’d hate you more. Everyone hates Vampires.”

“What is it with you and Alexis? Do you hate everyone?”

“No, just stuck-up good looking guys.”

He went back to the car and offered to walk Ace’s dog around the parking lot. The dog was nice. He was a rescue dog, a three-year-old lab mix who was going to a new home with Ace’s aunt.

For the next six hours he was able to sit next to the window with the dog on his lap.

The rest of the group debated and bantered about everything under the sun and moon, all with a pretentious negative twist. The general attitude was that everything was stupid.

They talked about Lord of the Rings in great detail. Garrett wondered if he’d even read the same books or if they’d read the books at all. Someone brought up Narnia and religion but thank God that conversation ended quickly.

They talked about Zombies, then on to other paranormal activity and creatures (like Vampires and Werewolves.) Breanna gave Garrett a poke. It was one time she didn’t say anything to the others. Before that he didn’t think the girl could shut up. She changed the subject to surfing. Garrett was interested until they all started to talk about a group of buffed guys who surfed at night and how stupid they were with all of their posturing and showing off. That would be Garrett and his friends; only his traveling companions didn’t know that.

They talked professors and chicken nuggets and politics and computers and anime and what qualified as a stupid major and what was a worthwhile major. It was if they were trying to impress each other with their trivial knowledge but they never listened to each other or agreed with each other. He wanted to tell them “if you’re as smart as you want everyone to think you don’t need to try so hard to prove it.”

Garrett wondered how any of them got into college and what the Hell they were doing at his college.

Ace was excited about everything and occasionally said something to Garrett to try to bring him into the conversations. Hayden and the women were just negative. Garrett tuned it all out, or at least tried to.

Garrett didn’t think that one day they’d all change and become better people. He just thought they were assholes. When he told us about his ride Clara (his 15 year old sister) agreed and shared stories about her classmates

I didn’t try to put a positive spin on it. Sometimes you’re stuck with jerks and you just have to ride it out and be the better person.

Garrett said he’d seen Ace that week in class. He said Ace was ok, but he didn’t want anything to do with the others. Garrett’s best friend Randy told a friend, who told Clara, who told me, that Alexis had a major crush on Garrett but she also thought Garrett was a turd. I didn’t pass that on to my son.

“Mom I try to be nice to everyone. I’m that sweet guy everyone likes. I hate negative shit heads.”

There again I could have passed on some positive motherly words of wisdom but I have to agree with him. Sometime people are just jerks (and negative shit heads.)

When others are jerks it is best to remember dignity and grace. It is best to take a deep breath and not sink down to their level. Remember that you’ll be the same and hope that they will, well, maybe not be jerks forever (for their own good and for everyone else.)

And remember… hug your kids, listen to them, laugh with them, then hug them again.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

night drive