Short Story Sunday: Sunday School (an exceptionally short story)

Sunday School (an exceptionally short story)

Sunday morning. I was downstairs fixing coffee, listening to NPR and savoring the quiet time before the rest of the family got up.

Yes, quiet time. That is a rare commodity for a parent.

I’m wiping down the kitchen counter and thinking about the game schedule for today when I look up and a guy in a black suit with slicked back hair is standing about 4 feet from me with a smirk on his face.

Sure my skin prickled because I knew who this guy was.

“Whatever you want to sell I’m not buying,” I told him.

Suddenly visions of a beautiful wife, perfect kids in boarding school, money, freedom, maid service, more women…and fame. My dreams in youth of being an actor and being a politician and being the guy who starts the mega technology company and being a household word…they all come to mind. All the doors that were slammed in my face could be opened right now.

If only…

I looked at the man. He smiled. The cat started to scratch at the door to get out. I could hear the coffee dripping. A toilet flushed upstairs.

The man spoke “Why sleep with someone who has been trying to drop those 50 pounds for the past 10 years when you can have the most beautiful women in the world? Why be stuck fixing eggs for a bunch a loud kids when you can have meals fixed by the finest chefs? Why watch the game on TV when you can own the team?”

“Dude, I’m busy. Go away.”

“With your heart you should be in church,” he said that with one of those nasty sarcastic tones that I absolutely hate.

“Fuck you and get out of my house.”

He vanished in a cloud of sulphur smelling smoke. I don’t even know if he was The Guy or just one of his helpers.

Over the years I had a lot of opportunities and talent to go with it, but it was always the wrong time and wrong place. Or I was just too stupid or inexperienced to know what to do with the opportunity.

I’ve lived a life of regrets, but I landed here, right where I am now, in a house full of love. I have kids telling me about school and a wife showing me a painting she is working on. We go to work and we get tired and we do it all again. And it’s the best. And we learn something new every single day.

This is my Sunday School. This is my religion.

Tangled Tales

~ end

First posted 2013. 

Juliette aka Vampire Maman

The Devil You Know…Lucky Visits

Sometimes it is as if life becomes a morality play…

The week has started and the triple digit summer heat is still in full force. Against my better judgment I’d agreed on a breakfast meeting with a client, which turned out fine (it was a little early for fresh blood, but oh well.)

I went back to my office, alone, in the old Victorian house where the shutters were drawn against the light and lay down on the couch to sleep off the heat of the day.

I closed my eyes and fell into a dream. Strong masculine hands caressed my tired shoulders. I melted and the tensions of the past week vanished. Then lips were on my neck first as a sensuous kiss, then  fangs sank into my flesh and started to rip my throat. I bolted in pain, awake to find another Vampire on me. I pushed him away; my own fangs now out, ready to fight. A low hiss escaped my throat.

“You.” I spat out. I didn’t even want to say his name. It was a Vampire from my distant past. A onetime lover who’d…whatever had happened it had ended badly but I have to admit that for years he had crossed my mind in an unhealthy way. Everything about my association with him had been wrong. The words “bad” and “evil” also crossed my mind. But it had been years since I’d thought about him.

“Juliette, my love, still so sweet.”

I looked up to find we were not alone. Standing next to him was a strikingly handsome man dressed in black. My blood turned to ice.

The Vampire stepped away with a smile as the man stepped forward.

It was the man we call “Lucky”. It was a creature most humans call The Devil or Satan (among other names.)

Lucky smiled at me and said, “I offer you everything you have ever wanted. Every dream. Every “what if”. Every road not taken. Every crush turned into a passionate love affair. Every parenting issue resolved. Every problem solved. You’d have no more annoyances. No more stress. No more complications. Life would be perfect.”

As someone who is chronically annoyed, stressed –  and as someone with a boxcar full of emotional baggage I had to think. For about half a second.

OK the emotional baggage is for the most part long gone. I learned from my mistakes. And if I had not made those mistakes and taken the long, twisted and sometimes painful life I have had, I wouldn’t have my husband or my children or my wonderful friends.

I wouldn’t be the parent I am today, and THAT is what I am most proud of. That is what I live for. That is who I am.

But what if?

Lucky  pulled me up by my hands and stood close, too much for my personal space. But it was overwhelming in such a seductive way that I could hardly move away. He put a hand on my cheek and smiled. Then he put his face close to mine and whispered in my ear “I can give you anything you want. Anything you desire.”

Then his lips brushed mine and my head filled with images too enticing, too personal and dangerous to imagine.  Despite what my mind said my body ached with want for his. “Beautiful Juliette. You’re one of mine, a creature of the dark, a creature of carnal pleasures and power. You are a hunter. You’re an alpha. You are belong to me.” A hand went around my waist and pulled me close.

“No.” I growled and pushed back, clearing my brain and my very heart and soul of his filth and decay. “Leave me alone Lucky.”

He put out both his hands as if I would take them. “I offer you the world and you refuse?”

“Your price will always be too high. I refuse you and everything you represent.”

He gave me a grim all-knowing smile. “Then you refuse your own nature.”

The desire for him once more swept over me and once again I stepped back, a growl in my throat, fangs barred, feeling slightly out of control, but in more control than I’d ever been in my life.

“You can never have what I have and I will never let you take it from me,” I told him, clear and steady.

“I made your kind what you are. I made you. I own you Juliette.”

“Screw you asshole. You don’t own anything in my world. Not my family, not my friends, not me. Not now, not ever. So get the fuck out of my face and go back to your cesspool and rot.” Actually I didn’t say that to him. I just thought it. I always think things like that but I don’t say them.

This is what I did say. “You might have fooled yourself into thinking you had a hand in our evolution but you are wrong.  I am a creature of nature and of the earth. I am the light of the moon and a child of the night. All hours are the hours of the earth. All hours are the hours of love. You cannot tempt me, for you know not MY true nature. My heart and souls are my own.”

Lucky smirked at me in a nasty sort of snarky way. “What if I told you your husband made an agreement with me?”

I glared at him. “I’d say you were a liar. My husband is the most self-righteous morally superior Vampire that ever existed, not to mention he has the lowest tolerance for your kind of bullshit I’ve ever seen.”

He stepped closer to me again. I could feel him trying to draw me in again. He tried again to wrap my very being up in a knot of want and desire. “Juliette I could give your children charmed lives. They’d never have to fear. They’d never suffer from loss or broken hearts. You’d never had to deal with issues of teen depression or self-harm, be it through cuts or sex or drugs or hunting for the wrong types. They’d be safe and secure at the top of the food chain for eternity.”

“No. The answer will always be NO. Go back to Hell and leave me and all of those I love alone.”

He stepped back and ran a hand through his hair. “Well then. I believe we’re done for today, since you only want to throw insults at my offers of friendship.”

And he vanished with a blazing burst of hot air that almost singed my hair. The Vampire lover I had once known had vanished as well.

It took me a full 45 minutes to catch my breath and stop shaking.

What if? That is a loaded question. But what if you had “what iffed?”

We’re not time travelers so we can’t go back. Only forward, staying true to who we are and what we are. We don’t regret the lessons we learn from.

The lessons we can teach ourselves and are children are many, but the most important for now, at least for me are:

  • Stay true to yourself
  • Do no harm to yourself or others
  • Take the high road
  • Don’t let others drag you down
  • Believe in yourself
  • Protect those you love
  • If it sounds too good to be true walk away
  • Don’t make deals with the Devil
  • Learn from your mistakes
  • Have no regrets

Talk to your kids and listen to them, but also teach them well, that there are those who seem good and things that will seduce and harm. Life can be scary, be prepared and be smart.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

strangereyes