Knock knock knocking upon my door.

At least once a week, if not more, I stop by the home of Tellias and Eleora. They’re two ancient ancient Vampires – over 2,000 years old. Sometime they need help. They forget things. They lose their keys on a regular basis and do all sorts of foolish things (in my opinion.) A few days ago I’d stopped by to drop off a few things I’d picked up for them at Costco. Yes, even Vampires need stuff from Costco from time to time.

They both came out onto the front porch of their Queen Anne style home, on their farm by the river. Tellias wore his white blonde hair around his shoulders. He had on a yellow tee-shirt with the logo of Purrrfect Cat Grooming on the back. He wore green and red plaid pants made from some sort of fiber that didn’t exist in nature and yellow flip flops. Eleora had her long brown curls flowing down her back. She wore an old pink wool sweater with a purple and black Sacramento Kings shirt underneath, all over a flowing pink skirt that came right below her knees and no shoes.

Vampires can see in the dark, but these two still look like they DID get dressed in the dark. I don’t know how they do it. Oh, and for those of you who are new here… they look like they are only about 19 or 20 years old. That really throws people off.

So they greeted me and we had a nice little conversation.

Tellias: Two nice young men on bicycles came by today.

Me: Oh no.

Eleora: They were very nice. On bicycles right out there in the rain.

Tellias: Imagine our surprise.

Eleora: They were so wet.

Tellias: So very very wet.

Eleora: Very wet indeed.

Tellias: We let them put the bicycles out on the back of the veranda.

Eleora: All the way around back. That is why you don’t see those bicycles.

Tellias: Because the bicycles are around back.

Me: Are they still here?

Tellias: Of course.

Eleora: They were so cold.

Tellias: They were tired so we convinced them to stay.

Me: How long have they been here?

Tellias: They came in the morning. We were having coffee. They don’t drink coffee.

Eleora: No they don’t. How odd of them.

Tellias: Yes, odd.

Me (now wanting to scream): Where are they?

Tellias: One is upstairs sleeping. Like I said, they were tired. Oh so tired.

Eleora: The other is in the parlor. He has been telling me bible stories, but you know they have their own version. He said they never left their families and lived in South America and had lost their tribe until an angel gave them directions. Moses could have used better directions, taking all of those poor people through the desert all those years.

Tellias: Most people have their own version but I was there. I was in Rome when it all went down. I was an eyewitness and I guarantee you that everyone has it wrong wrong wrong. I was there Juliette.

I’d heard his story 1,000 times. I went down to the parlor to find a nice young man in a white shirt and black pants sitting by the fire.

Eleora danced behind me trying twirling and humming some sort of weird indistinguishable song.

The young man stood up and smiled. What a nice looking young man to end up in a house full of crazy ass Vampires. He held out his hand. “Hi, I’m Jared. “

Eleora giggled. “He is from St. George, Utah but he assures me there are no dragons there.” Then she flopped in a chair, giggled a bit, then turned serious. “I was telling Jared about when I was a child that there was no Christmas. The people in the next village over were fond of sacrificing people and the odd animal but we didn’t do that. No no no. We were not like that. We didn’t kill our food. No we didn’t. Then bit-by-bit things changed and we started to have Christmas with bright stars and good tidings and all of that. I used to have a blood red dress with a huge bustle. Remember that Juliette? We had a party and burned a bonfire on a boat out in the river. Oh Jared you would have been impressed. It was lovely. Then we all came in and danced until the sun came up.”

I looked at Jared and tried to force a smile without fangs. “St. George. You’re by Zion. It’s beautiful country.”

I chatted a bit with Jared. Tellias and Eleora started to sing Deck the Halls and danced off through the hallway to the back of the house.

I turned back to Jared. “Eleora and Tellias said you’ve been here all day. How weird has it been?”

“They’re different,” said Jared. “They look my age but they seem a lot older.”

“How old are you Jared?” I had to ask.

“Nineteen. I don’t mean to sound rude but are they on LSD or something?”

“No Jared, they aren’t. Do you and your companion need a ride back into town?” It was almost 8:00 and I was sure their handlers would be wondering where they were.

Tellias came back humming. Holy crap. All Around the Watch Tower. “Jared are you familiar with Jimmy Hendrix?”

Jared said no. Tellias started to give him an education and pulled out some records. Yes, vinyl. My dear Tellias has an impressive stereo system and thousands of albums so I knew it would be a long night.

The second young man came down the stairs looking a bit sleepy and rubbing his neck. He had flaming red hair and bright blue eyes. I’m sure there was a nice girl waiting for him back in Idaho. His name was Caleb, a good biblical name.

I gently took Tellias by the hand and led him to the kitchen for a chat. “You can’t keep these boys here.”

“I have the deepest respect for their convictions and their willingness to have doors slammed in their faces for their faith or cause or whatever it is they do.” Tellias all but snapped it out at me.

“You’re leading them on.”

“Juliette, they’re young and away from home.”

“Exactly. And you’re a Vampire.”

“Your point being?” He furrowed his pretty brow.

“I’m giving your bicycle boys a ride home. I have the truck. They can throw their bikes in the back.”

“There is nothing wrong with being a Vampire. I’ve quite enjoyed it.”

“I know that but…”

“You’re a Vampire.”

I snapped. “Don’t. We’re not going to turn them or convert them or bring them into our fold. You are not going to take any more blood from them today than you already have. Do you understand?”

Tellias rolled his eyes to mock me and put his hands on his hips. “You don’t have any problems when we keep the CHP officers overnight.”

“They’re adults. For God’s sake Tellias these boys are on a mission to save your soul or something along those lines.”

“You’re never any fun.”

“I’m leaving now. With the boys.”

“NO FUN AT ALL.”

At that point I was done with him, but I can’t be done with him. I’ll never be done because I’m the one who makes sure everything is always alright. “Tellias, I’ll be by this weekend to help you with your Christmas tree.”

Tellias put his arm around my waist and pulled me close. “I do love you my dear, like my own child.”

“I am fun.”

“More fun than any Vampire I know.”

I can only say that I hope he is right, but I know he isn’t. But I try. I really do try.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

It all means something

Early this morning I stepped outside with bare feet. Something was underfoot, it grave a little as I stepped down, then for a second stuck to my foot. It had a dry feel of maybe a leaf or bunch of matter tied up with dust and cobwebs. It was a dead songbird.

The small creature that lay by the door was a gift from the cat. She brings me a bird at least once a week. The birds she catches in the front yard are hers to eat. When she catches birds in the back of the house she gifts them to me, because she doesn’t think I can catch birds. Plus I always give her food, so in turn, she brings me food.

I went back inside to find something to wrap the poor dead bird in. When I returned it was gone.

Later I drove down the winding river road to see the Elders, Eleroa and Tellias.

When teenage Clara and I arrived at the Victorian farmhouse we were met at the door by the neighbor’s orange cat. He purred and spoke a few words of his own language before he ran across the orchard to his own home.

Inside we found Tellias reading in his large red leather wingback chair. He looked up at us with glacier blue eyes in a face surrounded by long white blonde hair. He held out his hand and started to sing a song of greeting.

She’s only testin’ her wings and if you give in to her
You’ll be just another feather in her cap
She’ll drop you in a flash
She’s castin’ a spell
Well, if she’s castin’ a spell
I can cast one as well

Like most of the songs he’d sing to me, this one was pretty random. But it was always nice. He stood and gave me a kiss, then gave Clara a hug.

“It has been too long since you visited us last my dear. I’ll forget what you look like,” he said in a mock scolding tone.

“Never,” I said. “Where is Eleora?”

The smile left his face. “Upstairs asleep. She is always asleep.”

“Is she eating?”

“Not really. She won’t leave the house and I’m tired of bringing people in.”

I found Eleora upstairs laying on her bed, eyes closed, chestnut curls spread out over the pillows. The room was dark but stifling hot. I turned on the ceiling fan and watched the dust fly off of the blades. The woman on the bed didn’t look much older than my almost sixteen year old Clara, but she was much older. Eleora was over 2,000 years old but didn’t look a day over twenty-one.

I sat next to her and took her cold dry hand in mine. “Eleora darling. Wake up.”

She smiled showing a tiny bit of fang. Then she slowly opened her eyes. “You’ve finally come back.”

“I know, I’m sorry. But you’ll be over on Sunday for Father’s Day.”

“I wouldn’t miss it.”

Downstairs Clara had fixed a pitcher of iced blood flavored with rosemary and mint. Sounds horrible to most people, people not like us,  but it is really wonderful with a splash of soda water on a hot summer day.

I handed Eleora a glass and made sure she drank it all.

We sat and talked for a while about everything and nothing. While Clara told Eleora about school and impending college choices, Tellias and I went for a walk in the orchard.

I could smell the peaches and picked a few to take home with me. Tellias took my arm in his and told me that he wished I’d come by more. I promised, but made him promise me that he’d ask for help and keep the air conditioning and fans in working order. I made him promise that he’d try to get Eleora to eat more often.

Despite the fact a Vampire can dry up under a house and wake up fifty years later does not mean that it is the right thing to do. We like comforts and like those we love to live in a civilized state.

Now that is it summer and the heat will only get worse, please check in on your elderly friends and relatives and neighbors. Make sure they are comfortable, cool and fed. Also check on others who might need extra help. It is the right thing to do.

Now I write in a cool dark place of comfort. After visiting Tellias and Eleora I think of the small things that make things that make up my days. A song from Tellias or a small dead song bird – it all adds up into the mix. It all means something, even in just a tiny way.

Even if you’re a Vampire and even if you’re Human.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Lost and found and just shut up and dance…

The soft voice on the phone said, “come over right now. You need to come over now.” Then the phone went silent. Tellias, an ancient Vampire, one of the elders had called me. He and his love Eleora live surrounded by orchards by a river near a delta. They look young but they’re as old as the ancient redwoods.

My brother Val greeted me from the porch of the Victorian farmhouse.

“They left the keys in the car and someone stole it. The good news is that the car was found. We just need to pick it up today.”

“Why did they leave the keys in the car?”

“They said they were driving around and got lost so they walked home.”

“That doesn’t make any sense.”

“They’re old.”

Their neighbor and his kids manage the orchards now for the most part. Tellias still walks among the groves of walnuts, nectarines, almonds and oranges. There is also a line of ancient olive trees that runs down the drive from the highway to the main house.

“How is the water situation for you this summer?”

“Grim. We’ll manage.” He waved his hand in a way that signaled he didn’t want to talk about it.

“Tell me what happened with the car,” I said.

“Someone took it. Can you believe it? Joy riding is what the report said. They blew a tire and left it a block from the police station downtown. Everything else is alright. I’m having the car detailed and brought back home. You needn’t worry so much about us.”

“Why did you leave your car?”

He shrugged his shoulder as if he was talking to an idiot. “We felt like walking, under the stars and all. It was romantic. You know, we’re considering getting horses again. Megan next door has horses now. Not for serious farming, but she has them. I visited yesterday. You’ll have to see them. One is Percheron. Huge beautiful animal but she is as sweet and calm as a horse can be. Her name is Tansy. I need a horse like Tansy. Maybe I’ll get a couple of Shires. Do you remember the last pair we had? Daniel and Susanna. I loved those horses.”

“Val said you were lost.”

Tellias took my hand. “Aren’t we all a little lost my dear. Now let us go see what Eleora is up to.”

I don’t know why I try to get answers from Tellias or Eleora on anything. He avoids conflict and she is just confusing.

To some extent they were always like that but now they tend to be off course and a little lost most of the time. They usually don’t even care. Why should they? Maybe it just bothers us, but I don’t want them to be harmed or taken advantage of.

We went to the sun room in the back of the house to find Eleora. She danced around me and gave me hugs and kisses all over my face just like when I was a child. Eleora is as old as the wind but looks as young and beautiful as a fresh faced college girl.

“Are you getting enough to eat?” I have to ask.

“Yes,” she said with a smile, “we came across a couple of nice young folks in a bar last night. All were type O. High blood alcohol so I got a bit woozie.”

“There was a band playing so we danced too,” said Tellias.

“Yes, we danced with everyone,” said Eleora twirling around the room.

“With absolutely everyone,” said Tellias.

“Absoutely everyone,” said Eleora as she grabbed my hands and twirled me around. “Tellias even danced with all the ugly girls.”

“Everyone needs a dance partner.”

“Even if they’ve been beat with the ugly stick.”

“Eleora, you’re being harsh. They were lovely young women. A little rough around the edges with lovely.”

“He thinks all women are lovely.”

“She flirts with every man she sees.”

“I’m glad you had fun,” I told them. I was glad nobody got hurt, and I wasn’t thinking about Tellias and Eleora.

I was a little frazzled from taking one of my cats to the vet earlier that day for a scratched eye. Nothing like a car ride with a cat. I was also thinking of my brother Andy who was home recovering from an attack and his girlfriend who broke her arm while she was taking care of him. And I wish I could take care of everyone but I can’t.

Then I got a text: mom mom mom mom mom mom where are you? mom mom mom mom mom

Before I left, Val who is a professional finance guy, said that I didn’t need to worry about the Elder’s finances. They were fine in that area, even if the orchard dried up and blew away they’d be fine. There were times when they lived as if they didn’t have a penny to their names.

Val, who was staying there with them for a while was always concerned about them. He said they complained all the time that nobody came to see them. They forgot things and lost things all the time. They would go too long between eating anything.

I listened remembering the times when I was the only one who ever went to visit them. They aren’t relevant to so much that is going on or so it seems. But nobody should be considered not relevant or not important. Nobody should have to get lost to feel found.

Anyway. That was that.

Maybe I’ll get a horse too, or at least go dancing.

Funny… I turned on the radio to hear that song by Shut up and Dance by Walk the Moon. Now I can’t get it out of my head.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

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 Shut up and Dance

Oh don’t you dare look back

Just keep your eyes on me.
I said your holding back,
She said shut up and dance with me!
This woman is my destiny
She said oh oh oh
Shut up and dance with me

We were victims of the night,
The chemical, physical, kryptonite
Helpless to the bass and the fading light
Oh we were born to get together,
Born to get together.

She took my arm,
I don’t know how it happened.
We took the floor and she said

Oh don’t you dare look back
Just keep your eyes on me.
I said your holding back,
She said shut up and dance with me!
This woman is my destiny
She said oh oh oh
Shut up and dance with me

A backless dress and some beat up sneaks,
My disco tec Juliet teenage dream.
I felt it in my chest as she looked at me.
I knew we were born to be together,
Born to be together

She took my arm,
I don’t know how it happened.
We took the floor and she said

Oh don’t you dare look back
Just keep your eyes on me.
I said your holding back,
She said shut up and dance with me!
This woman is my destiny
She said oh oh oh
Shut up and dance with me

Deep in her eyes,
I think I see the future.
I realize this is my last chance.

She took my arm,
I don’t know how it happened.
We took the floor and she said

Oh don’t you dare look back
Just keep your eyes on me.
I said your holding back,
She said shut up and dance with me!
This woman is my destiny
She said oh oh oh
Shut up and dance!

Oh don’t you dare look back
Just keep your eyes on me.
I said your holding back,
She said shut up and dance with me!
This woman is my destiny
She said oh oh oh
Shut up and dance with me

Oh oh oh shut up dance with me
Oh oh oh shut up dance with me

Songwriters
MCMAHON, RYAN / BERGER, BENJAMIN / PETRICCA, NICHOLAS WILLIAM / WAUGAMAN, SEAN / RAY, KEVIN / MAIMAN, ELI

Published by
Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc., Universal Music Publishing Group

Read more: Walk The Moon – Shut Up And Dance Lyrics | MetroLyrics