Short Story Sunday: Desert Winds

On the edge of the Sandia Mountains, My friends Amelia her husband Raul and I drove down the gravel road to the home of Ximena, an ancient woman who mostly lived in solitude with the company of the birds and the wind.

Ximena’s home was a large old adobe structure rimmed with bells and bushes of purple flowers. She greeted us at the door, as always wearing a long colorful skirt. Her black hair flowed down her back almost to her knees. Dark eyes smiled at us in a welcome greeting, as did her fangs. She is almost as ancient as Tellias and Eleora, and like them Ximena looks like a young college girl.

We came into the main room. Walls lined with books and crystals flanked part of the room with windows on the other side looking towards the mountains. We could smell the dried chiles rastas hanging in the kitchen. A red shouldered hawk perched on a wooden chair. It called out when it saw us.

“Maria, you still sing so sweetly,” I said to the bird. She gave me a cold stair then allowed me to pet her feathered head.

Maria the hawk had been around since I was a young woman, more than a hundred years. I wondered at times how she could live so long, then I stopped wondering and chalked it up to magic, love or pure mystery. It is what it is. That is how things work here in the land of magic.

A youngish man with dark hair and eyes like Ximena, but pale skin, came into the room. He was introduced to us as Kyle. But he wasn’t like us. I could feel his warmth as soon as he walked into the room.

Kyle was a man of many talents. He was a photographer, a teacher, a writer, an engineer and apparently a lover. After talking over wine and a light diner we also discovered Ximena’s young friend was also extremely opened minded.

He was also a young widow. One night left him alone with his dreams dead, but he kept going and kept at least a portion of the dreams and spark alive.

While Raul, Amelia and Ximena went to a back room to examine some old maps or something, Kyle and I went out to the porch. Bats flew about as the sounds of the bells filled the air.

Kyle asks me about my husband Teddy. I smiled shyly and told him how we’d met as kids and fallen in love a hundred years later. I think I’d always been in love with my husband on some level.

Then Kyle spoke of his lost love. “After Kayla, my wife, passed away everyone kept asking me if I’d go back. Over and over they’d ask the old what if question. You know, you can’t go back. I can’t bring her back. I will never forget her. She is part of me, but I live in the world of the living.”

“No ghost?” I had to ask (always thinking of obnoxious Nigel)

“Only a Vampire in the Southwest would ask that,” Kyle answered with a knowing smile.

“A Vampire anywhere would ask that. Don’t get me started on the ghosts I see all the time.”

“No ghost. Kayla moved on the night she died. That is a good thing.”

“Yes it is. You’re a wise man with a loving heart. In some circles that is a rare thing.”

He leaned against the rail. “I don’t know you except by reputation but I want to ask you a few thing, or at least see how you feel about a few things.”

“Okay,” I said.

“I’m in love with Ximena. I know what she is. I know how old she is. It doesn’t matter.”

I shrugged and laughed. “My 500 or so year old Grandmama is in love with a 35 year old. What are you, about 38?”

He smiled. I was correct. He was 38 and absolutely a delight – young, yet years ahead of most men his age.

“Dear Kyle, you also want me to tell you if I think it would be wise if you became a Vampire? Right?”

He smiled an uncomfortable hot blooded smile.

I said to him, “Kyle, you are in love with the cold wind under the moon and the sprint of night. She is an amazing being. I’ve always admired her. If you feel you can make a life out here with her then do it. But don’t lose yourself in her. Always be who you are, even after you become a Vampire. That is the only way it will work. If you try to be too much like her she will leave you, because she fell in love with you, not with herself.”

Raul and Ximena came out to join us with wine for Ryan and spiced blood for the rest of us.

Ximena whistled and Maria the red shouldered hawk came and landed on a table next to her hand. Ximena gave the bird a piece of meat she took from a bag in her pocket.

Into the night we talked until the sun came up and created unbelievably beautiful light and shadows on the mountains.

I could hear the wind whispering to the lovers:

The light

in dark eyes

promises kept

forever and

again

in our hearts

we love

we laugh

and we learn

to do it 

all

over 

again.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Raven and Dove

true love with heart small

1600

My love,

Thou art devine with pale skin as cold as death, and as sweet as the darkest honey. Your wit only compares to the sharpness of your fangs. 

~ Raven

1782

Raven,

We have gained our independence and so I, after one hundred and eighty two years, ask to be set free of your servitude. What you say is love is but a shadow of the depth of what I have ever felt. I shall take the risk and head towards the West. Do not speak of savages for you are the savage, not the peoples of the wilderness.

~ Dove

1849

Darling Dove,

My sister wrote of you going out West for gold and fortune. What madness is this? You are a woman.

Raven,

I know I am a woman, but not a mere mortal. You are a fool. Do you forget that you are a Vampire? Do not follow me unless you wish to have your heart torn out, as you once tore out mine.

Dearest Dove,

You are correct. I send my deepest apologies.

Raven,

It is my sincerest wish that you end up like Poe, in the gutter with your story unfinished.

 

1880

Dear Raven,

When I saw you from across the street, your eyes meeting mine, I suddenly felt light. It was not from the lack of blood, for I had just dined, but from guilt, and memories of divine nights with you. Oh how I have missed our long talks, our friendship, and, do I dare admit, our love.

~ Dove

Dear Dove,

Alas, you have come back too soon. I have another love. Try your luck with the artists in town. I hear there is a lot of excitement, and maybe passion at the Bohemian Club. San Francisco is a big city now. There is plenty of activity for lone female Vampires like yourself.

~ Raven

Dear Raven,

My fondest wish is for you to choke on your own blood.

~ Dove

 

1920

Darling Dove,

I still can’t get over how swell you look with bobbed hair. I love running my hands through it. Thanks again for the weekend at the beach. Oh your legs are the best. Your the best all over. The sight of your fangs makes me crazy.

~ Raven

Dear Raven,

I had a lovely time too. It was over the moon. I hope to see you again soon.

~ Dove

 

1969

Dear Dove,

The advantage of hanging out with the hippies is that the drugs have no effect on us.

~ Raven

Raven,

They don’t wash. Their necks are filthy and taste horrible. I’m going to Colma to visit some old friends. Too bad they moved all of the cemeteries out of the city. Thank our stars that we choose to live in houses rather than crypts.

~ Dove

 

1986

Dear Raven,

Oh wow, you’re hair looked great tonight. I like the longer look on you. Thank God you’re not one of those men who wear open shirts and gold chains. On the other hand, all of those open shirts just make things easier, if you know what I mean.

~ Love you babe, Dove

 

Dearest Dove,

Yes, all of the stretchy new fabrics make life a lot easier for us Vampires. 

On a serious note, last night as we walked across the Golden Gate Bridge, I suddenly knew that no matter what, even for the next thousand years, that I would always love you. Always.

~ Raven

 

2019

Dear Raven,

When I saw you yesterday, your heart ripped out of your chest, your throat cut, and your eyes burned out, at that moment, my own heart died.

I am lost. So lost. Oh Raven. My dear, darling, Raven. If I had a soul you would have been my soul mate. I will always love you.

~ Dove

 

Dear Dove,

The strangest thing happened last night. The Vampire Hunters tried to kill me, but fortunately, about an hour after they left, my friend Bob, you know the Werewolf, came by. Good luck comes with the full moon. Anyway, you know Bob is a heart surgeon. He put my heart back in, jump started me with some of his own blood, and I’ll be as good as new in a few weeks. Even my eye sight is coming back. Unfortunately I have the sudden urge to chase balls (JK). 

Come over ASAP. Help me heal. I love you forever.

~ Raven

 

Dear Raven,

Forever.

~ Dove

 

red heart

 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You Wait At My Door

You wait at my door,

Your bite still fresh,

Your cries

Your pleading

Your banging

The scratching

Your love

Astounds me

You will not give up

Fangs set

Love forever

I must let you in

For after all

Despite all

Forever all

I laugh

I smile

I let you in

You are my cat.

 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman