Strange Strangers on a Full Moon Night

vm moon light night

This afternoon I was thinking about Werewolves for some unknown reason. Maybe it was the coyotes behind my house. Maybe it was just my own big dog following me around.

I couldn’t get Vlad to get off of his cute Vampire ass and finish his blog post so I’m reposting this mysterious story from my childhood. It was first posted in 2014. And hey, if you’re at Sacramento 2018 WordCamp this weekend look me up. I’ll be there (under an assumed name but ask around.) 

Strange Strangers on a Full Moon Night

Mars was exceptionally bright in the sky last night. The moon was less than full but still exceptionally bright.

This morning I dropped the kids off to school. Garret’s car is in the shop so mom gets to drive. Anyway, I drop them off behind some temporary classrooms (that have been there for 45 years) because Clara doesn’t want to have to walk by the large group of “Stoners” who hang out every morning at the logical drop off point. So this morning she tells me she over heard one of the Stoners saying “That woman stops and turns around every morning. Weird. I guess she doesn’t want to stay here.” They had no idea I was dropping off kids. Sigh.

So the moon, teens, clueless thoughts… what does that all lead to? It made me think of a distant memory of when my brothers Val, Aaron and I were teens.

Go back to 1873. We lived in a city that had regulairly flooded, burned down, flooded again and survived illness and lawlessness and all sorts of disasters (Sacramento of course.) It was enough to make anyone want to leave, but instead people thrived and it grew. Railroads made kings. Agriculture was starting to boom. It was a city with growing art and culture and the new capitol building was almost finished. But to us it was home and our concerns were not those of adults or even most people. We were teens, comfortable in our own skin, a little less Victorian than most our age, a little more independent than most. My brothers and I lived in a tight knit community of Vampires, part of the Modern Vampire Movement. But you already know that.

One night, under a full moon, my brothers Aaron (age 17), Valentine (age 14) and I (age 13) were taking a stroll along the Sacramento River. We were always out looking for vagrants and activity from any riverboats. We were on the prowl, three well heeled Vampire kids who could use our innocence and charm to get in and out of any situation before our prey ever knew we were there.

With our stomachs full and our dark little souls throughly amused we walked home through a grove of trees on the edge of the riverbank. There we came upon a camp. Two figures were hunched over half a dozen large fish, I believe stripers or maybe steelhead. They grunted and tore at the fish. At first glance we thought they were coyotes or large dogs, but then we realized they were something else.

“Werewolves,” whispered Aaron holding his hand out to signal us to stay still.

We watched in fascination, with a bit of disgust, as the two turned back into their human form – a young man and a young woman. They were about our age and completely naked. He was skinny, unlike my muscular brothers. His skin was pale under the moonlight like the bellies of the fish he’d just devoured. She was also thin with ribs sticking out and knobby joints. Her grayish unhealthy looking skin was covered with red welts. Long dark hair hung below her waist. But what surprised us most was the hairless tail that hung down about 6 inches on the end of her spine.

I elbowed Aaron and he gave me a quick look that said “don’t move.”

“She has a tail,” Val whispered a little too loud. Aaron put his hand over his younger brother’s mouth.

The Werewolves put on their clothes, plain and worn compared to our fashionable togs. We had a home and parents. These two were obviously strays just trying to survive their miserable condition.

Val and I wanted to approach the Werewolves but Aaron was against it. He said we should just let them be and they’d be dead more sooner than later. There was a prominent pack of well-heeled Werewolves in town but we had little to do with them and it was obvious that these strays were not part of their pack.

Occasionally my parents would deal with the Werewolves, but always held them at a distance and with considerable contempt. One thing that stood out about the well to do Werewolves was their fondness for velvet. No kidding. Those Werewolves loved their velvet.

This isn’t going to be a moral story where we went back and helped the young Werewolves. We went back and they were gone. None of our friends had ever seen them. We told our parents about them. In turn they mentioned the strays to the pack leader in town and he had never heard of the young Werewolves.

It was just one of those weird things. Ships that pass in the night.

I asked my friend Adam, who is a Werewolf, about the pair when I stopped by his studio this morning (he is a photographer by trade.) He’d never heard of them. The tail on the girl turned out to be something extremely rare, just like a tail on anyone who is remotely human like.

“Why didn’t you help them?” Of course he had to ask.

“I don’t know. We were just kids. We thought they were dangerous. Beside that, maybe they didn’t need or want help. My parents asked around. Nobody knew anything, or if they did they weren’t telling us about it. I’m talking both Werewolves and Vampires. Nobody knew anything.”

I knew there would be nothing online about them but I after I left Adam I checked anyway. There was nothing.

This story has no moral or reason behind it. Just a story of something that happened a long time ago that I’ll tell my kids about and maybe they can find a moral in it.

It might be a mystery forever. But I have a knack for finding people and things so you never know. You never know about anything, not really.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

 

A conversations over coffee and musings about the lives of others (or don’t trade in your soul because you can’t get it back.)

coffee

Coffee with Vampires and Ghosts

A conversations over coffee and musings about the lives of others.

This morning I met for coffee with my brother’s friend James.

James is one of those people I find extremely obnoxious, but we have a connections through my brother Andy and through some shared experiences. We all have friends like James.

When he isn’t just hanging out with old friends, James is a psychiatrist to some pretty well known individuals. He is good at giving people ways to find normalcy in their lives. That is their normal. Everyone has his or her own normal, they just have to find it. The same goes with inner peace and contentment. James gives his patients the tools and teaches them how to use those tools to keep healthy.

As I drove to his house, through one of the more exclusive neighborhoods in the city (East Sacramento), I passed a home I’d once been in, years ago. The house belonged to a wealthy man. I’m talking insanely wealthy. A friend of mine was his executive assistant.

I was there for a party. He was lovely and friendly. I’d met him before and he remembered me. My friend adored him. He was a good man.

Unfortunately his ex-wife, his narcissistic daughter, and his psychiatrist only saw dollar signs. They poisoned him with their demands and their bad advise. It was never about him. People who cared couldn’t get through to him. The women took and took from him, stabbing out pieces of his soul until one day he killed himself.

“There is a special place in Hell for them. No, really, Jewels, the reservations have been made,” James told me as he poured me a second cup of coffee in his well-appointed kitchen.

I believed James, because like me, he is a Vampire. He lives with one foot in death’s door at times. He knows what it is like to grab up your own soul and hold it tight. For unlike Regular Humans, Vampires can’t give away or trade our souls, but sometimes there are those who try to come up from the depths of Hell and steal them away.

“And to think,” I said, “people call us ghouls.”

“They’re such hypocrites,” said James.

We had more coffee and talked about our friends, our work and books we’d read over the summer. I looked around the beautiful kitchen. Too bad not much cooking happened in it. Most Vampires don’t cook much. We do, but not much. I don’t need to explain why.

James made a lame joke about cooking and I laughed. Then he smiled with a sexy bit of fang and said, “Let’s go upstairs and fuck.”

I smiled back. “You know I’m married.” Yes, that is the reason I don’t see much of James.

“Right, you’re married to the most handsome Vampire in the world, but come down to the dark side with me this morning. Nobody will ever know. Mix it up a little.”

“Oh James,” I said, “even if I was single I’d have to say no. It isn’t going to happen. But thank you for the coffee. It was delightful.”

“At least I can try,” he said taking my hand and kissing it.

Now I’m home, taking a break from my work, sharing my morning. I’m also wondering if anyone is mourning still for the lovely man who was driven to his death by demons who took the form of friends and family.

I look at my old dog sleeping on the cool tile by my feet. I hear a hawk outside. It is a calm space where demons are not allowed. I will not let them in.

Close the door if they knock, even if they look like someone you know.

Beware those who have already traded in their souls at the expense of others.

OK everyone, have a nice day.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

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I’m on the road with my handsome husband and beautiful daughter this week touring one of the colleges by the ocean in Southern California. Yes, this is the parenting part. So anyway, this is a repost from August 2015. Thanks for dropping by. I’ll tell you all about it soon.

Evie

Our friend Pierce was by this weekend. He pulled out a tintype of his mother and sisters.

“Oh my goodness,” I said. “There is Evie when she was alive. How is she?”

“Great, you should get in touch with her. She is in the Oakland Hills these days. She’d love to see you,” said Pierce.

Evie is on the far left, with the long ringlets looking straight into the camera.

They were a lovely family of assorted interesting personalities. Evie has a fire about her, and a curiosity, and sense of humor that kept everyone who knew her entertained, and on their toes. Despite the fact that she had more than her share of suitors she took a different path.

I don’t know exactly when she approached my brother Aaron and told him that she knew what he was (what we all were.) She wanted to be like us.

Years later we were walking on a beach, it was I think 1932. We were wearing satin evening dresses with absolutely nothing on under them. My hair was in Marcel waves. Hers was pulled back in an elegant chignon with a diamond clip.

We were talking about everyone at the party we’d just been at. It was a warm night on the Central California coast, as we walked barefoot, our stomachs happy and full of blood and booze.

Then she stood and faced the waves. She dropped her dress on the sand and ran laughing into the waves. I didn’t see her for days after that. I’ve no idea if she had taken a night swim then run off with a lover, or if she’d hitched a ride on a whale and gone off to Mexico. I have no idea at all.

But that was typical of Evie.

It was good seeing the old tintype. I’ll have to give her a call – and soon.

Just a reminder for all of us to call old friends, and rekindle old relationships. It will be just like being alive again.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

 

Lonely Roads (and Vampires and Parenting)

You know you’re a parent when you worry when your twenty year old son listens to Green Day’s Boulvard of Broken Dreams ten times in a row. Then you sit back and realize that earlier that night you were driving along alone in the car singing along to that song because it could have been you. It could have been you when you were twenty. It could have been you tonight, alone, in a car, all by yourself, out of your mom self and back into who you were once a long time ago.

My social butterfly always-in-a-good-mood alpha Vampire son is fine. We all have our set backs and have to listen to songs that maybe don’t make us feel better, but at least validate our feelings.

I’m having empty bat house syndrome. Call it empty nest if you like. We’re Vampires so it is a bat house. It is my house.

As my children become young adults it brings back of flood of memories from when I was a young adult. Most of it is memories of stupidity (mine and that of others), which has greatly influenced how I have raised my children. I’ve raised them not to be stupid. I don’t want them to make the stupid uninformed and totally embarrassing decisions.

I was thinking about this today when Teddy’s old friend Bic showed up. And speaking of stupid.

It was difficult for my husband Teddy when he first became a Vampire. If it was up to me it would have been handled differently, but it was 1876 and I was only sixteen at the time, and it wasn’t up to me to have an opinion on anything.  He didn’t want to become a Vampire. He didn’t know what a Vampire was.

Needless to say Teddy was angry. He was twenty six, already successful at business, engaged to be married to a lovely girl of good standing, and life was good. Then it wasn’t. In fact it wasn’t even life as he knew it anymore – not at all. It was death, then a completely different kind of life, biologically, spiritually, mentally, and socially. It was a different world.

A few years later (I’d since lost contact with him) at a time when he was angry, and feeling betrayed, he made some new friends. They were nice enough, young Vampires like him. They also had issues to deal with and adjustments to make. After a few years of hanging to together they parted ways and moved on with their Vampire lives.

They were the kind of Vampires who let blood drip from their chins and laughed about it. They were the kind who would get some guy drunk and then bring him home and share him among friends, then laugh when he sobered up in fear.

The first time I met them was October of 1889. I went to where Teddy’s house for a party. There she was sitting with two other Vampires with a small, skinny, dirty, pathetic looking child between them. One of the Vampires, a dark haired male looked up. “We found it on the street. It didn’t belong to anyone.”  Doris had blood dripping down the side of her mouth, and on her hands. The front of her dress was dotted with rust colored stains. She said nothing, but just stared at me with those same dull black eyes.

This was the women Teddy had spoken with such admiration. She was a survivor and an old friend. She’d been there with him. For what? In my experience dead girls weren’t of much use.

I walked to the back of the house where another friend of Teddy’s, a Spanish Vampire named Ricardo said, “Teddy said these were his friends. They have a child. A human child.” He was completely disgusted. We stayed together away from the other until Teddy came back, totally and completely oblivious to his less than cultured friends.

The weird thing about Doris was that she was pretty. She always looked like she was barely eighteen, tall with strawberry blonde hair. Her clothes were always in style, and her hair always done, but that never hid the dead vacant look. She was never too careful about showing her fangs, or her way-past-death’s-door-palor.

At one time she’d had children by a man she’d followed into the darkness. She’d become a Vampire along with Bic and a few other friends. She’d had children by one of the men and in turn they became Vampires. The children scattered as she lost interest in them, and soon they were dust – no more as we say in Vampire circles.

I thought they were gone, but every once in a while they come around. Today was one of those days.

Doris looked at me, her dead eyes following my every move. Dull black with a hint of something that might have been blue looked at me without emotion, but I knew she coveted everything I had, especially Teddy.

She’d pick at the pale chalky skin on her arms with her long white fingernails, as she watched me. When Bic would laugh she’d slowly blink her dark dead eyes and give a hint of a smile. Sometimes a dry lip would get caught on one of her fangs, like a stray dog. Then she’d adjust her face and pick at her arm again.

I could hear Bic laughing. He disgusted me with his mullet, his long mustache, and the same dead look that Doris had. It wasn’t so much that he was bad, that he was just crude. Where Teddy is refined and meticulous, Bic is uncultured and proud of it. He brags about it. Where Teddy is well read, Bic is ignorant and proud to be uninformed about the latest culture.

They, the men, were talking about politics and cars. I can handle the cars. It was the political banter that made me want to scream.

Bic finally came over to me and said, “Doris used to be in love with Teddy.” Then he gave me a slow smile that turned into a laugh. He always did that when he said something he know I wouldn’t like. “I don’t know why you have a problem with her.”

I should have just out and out told him that I’m a snob. I almost said something about Vampire trash but refrained for Teddy’s sake. They’d be gone soon. I’d simmer for a while then get over it.

Both Teddy and I have cleaned our closets over the years of individuals who don’t bring anything to our lives. We have an eclectic group of friend whom we treasure, but there are also those people who come with too many “attachments” and always come with trouble.

It is a crazy and unsure world that my almost grown children will find themselves in. I want them to always feel as if they aren’t alone. I want them to know they have value. I don’t want them to be followers. I want their joy not to be in binge drinking, but in enjoying their blood, like fine wine. We are not animals. We are not monsters. Even if it was legal I wouldn’t want them grabbing children off of the street – even if they were strays.

While those with dead souls who have never dreamed, like Teddy’s old friends, the rest of us can sing along, and know that road, the only road we’ve ever known, will lead us to the right place. Or at least it will lead to someplace interesting.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

 

 

Old Stories, Secrets, and Teens of Long Ago, and Now

vampire teens

Old friends I hadn’t seen in a century stopped by Sunday night.

We were young together, the same age as my teenage daughter and her friends, sixteen and seventeen years old.

We laughed and told stories and caught up on.

Some of our old friends hadn’t done so well. Vampire Hunters took several. One’s husband went to check on her and found a pile of ashes in the bed. One couldn’t go on being in the world and feeling the sadness and loneliness so he sealed himself into a wall. Another left for South America in 1889 and nobody has heard from him since.

There are secrets too. There are those secrets that, when young, we keep deep inside of us. Sometimes we tell them, eventually. Sometime we don’t.  Those are the secrets of our hearts. They are also the secrets of deeds. Then there are the secrets of who we really are.

As Vampires we all know how to keep that secret for obvious reasons. We don’t keep it from ourselves, our own kind, just from the people who aren’t like us.

Olivia and Simon sat at the table with me and a bottle of wine as we caught up. How things have changed for our teens.

In the world of my children, sixteen and nineteen, nobody cares if anyone is gay. It isn’t an issue. But back when I was young it was rarely even talked about. Only in rare circles was it accepted. So if you were in love with someone of the same sex you kept it secret. You kept your shame to yourself, unless you were lucky enough to be among those who were in the circles that accepted your secret.

There are other secrets. I admitted for the first time about the boys I had crushes on. But I still wouldn’t tell secrets of a love a few years later, much more than a crush. I told him to stay faithful to a girl he adored rather than be with me. What I wanted to do was to tell him that I was the one who loved him. So is he with that girl now? I doubt it. That was over a hundred years ago and we were babies. Forgotten secrets and memories that were dislodged out of old dusty file cabinets in our brains.

I look back at the inexperience of our feelings and reactions. Maybe it is the secrets that keep us safe. It is the secrets that keep us from harm.

There were secrets of sneaking out at night. Of seeing things we shouldn’t have seen. Of stealing a heart, or something else. Secrets of a lie. Secrets of a longing. Secrets of desire. Secrets of helping someone else out in secret. And secrets of hate.

We spoke of the Vampire boy who was in love with a Werewolf girl. After a summer they parted ways. He went off to a university, she went to Europe and never came back. They were both too afraid and ashamed to tell anyone. Those times are changing.

We spoke of things we saw but never dared tell – violence, abuse, hate and betrayal.

There are those who say secrets are lies but I beg to differ. I don’t believe one must tell all, especially to friends and especially to lovers. Your experiences and thought and feeling are your own. You’re not a book to be opened. You are allowed to share only what you wish to share with others – for you belong to only yourself.

It can be confusing being young. The entire world is before you, but you don’t have the experience. You have the passion but you don’t know how to guide it. You have the joy but are never told to treasure it. You have the honesty but don’t know the portions. But most seem to have the ability to keep secrets safe and sound for as long as needed.

But seriously we had a great time catching up and laughing and not being as serious as this post. Good things – many good things have happened. Many more will in the future. Our secret to that? There is no secret. We just keep laughing and treasure those who made us who we are, and share memories with us.

So what comes out of this, as always, is to talk to your kids, listen to them, encourage them to share, and don’t pry. If you try to get all of their secrets they’ll become like stone, staring at you forever and never telling you anything.

Love them and laugh with them. Not just your teens – do that with everyone. Even the occasional Werewolf (you’ll be surprised how fun they can be if you get them on a moonless night.)

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

Vampire Teens Rock

Vampire Teens Rock

 

 

 

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/secret/

Ghosts of a Halloween Dawn

This morning, this early early Halloween morning, before the dawn when just a shadow of the trees like black lace can be seen I looked outside and saw a ghost.

Damn it all. I hate ghosts. I barley tolerate the ones I don’t hate. I stepped out on my deck to chase it away when…

He turned and looked at me. My heart would have stopped had it been beating at the time.

“Juliette,” he whispered my name.

I had a million questions and no answers. He never gave any answers. As I stood, trying to get out words that never left my mouth he blew me a kiss and vanished.

Standing numb I thought of just a few hours ago when I lay with my arms around the man I love. Once a man, now a Vampire, never a ghost.

As I turned to go inside a different voice said, “Today is Halloween Vampire.”

I whipped around to find The Ghost, my Ghost, Nigel. “Happy Halloween. Big night?”

“Maybe,” he said with a sly smile, brushing his dark shaggy hair out of his eyes. “You?”

“Just hanging out here with friends and kids. You know, doing the Halloween thing. Sharing some blood and friendship.”

“Have fun. Don’t kill anyone.”

“You too.”

Then he vanished. He does that, just vanishes. But unlike the other ghost he’ll be back.

Happy Halloween.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman