Update: Short Stories

2016-11-10-13-25-09

Short Stories from Vampire Maman aka Tangled Tales

A good portion of the posts on Vampiremaman.com read like short stories, but the list here is of stand alone stories that don’t necessarily follow the tales of my life with my husband, kids and other assorted adventures.

I’ve recently added over twenty-five  additional stories to the Short Story page. You’ll find over one hundred parenting, Gothic romance, humor, urban fantasy, literary fiction, and other of unexpected tangled tales. This isn’t the complete list but it will keep you busy and entertained for a while. Keep checking back for more.

Click here to see the entire 115 story list. Have fun reading old favorites, plus new stories you haven’t read yet. There are also several stories from my author friends. 

Note: This list is more or less stand-alone stories. It does not include Vlad’s Vampire Diary. He has his own page. A few of the Austin and Elizabeth Stories are included (their page will be updated soon.) I’ll also eventually have a Holiday Story page.

Have fun and happy reading. Thanks for dropping by.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Tangled Tales

Morning at the Vineyard – Collected Stories

tangled tales cover

Now available at Amazon.com

A collection of 26 stories from Vampire Maman.

This isn’t just another “my book is out spam.”

This is a THANK YOU note for all of you who have followed Vampire Maman. You’ve read my stories and tales of Vampire adventure, parenting, romance and thoughts on life. You’ve left comments, feedback and love. You’ve shown so much support. And best of all you’ve really entertained me. I had no idea when I started this little Vampire/Parenting-Blog adventure that you were out there.

I also want to say thank you to all of my friends in the WPaD publishing group. You’re more than writers – you’re family.

So anyway, I’ll do a proper spamming of this book later – I just want to say LOOK. HEY.

But now it is night and I must go do Vampire things. You know how it is.

 

xoxo

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

 

 

Escape to a place where you’ll always expect the unexpected

Escape into another world – if only for a few minutes.

Short Stories from Vampire Maman

A good portion of the posts on Vampiremaman.com read like short stories, but the list here is of stand alone stories that don’t follow the tales of Juliette’s life with her husband, kids and assorted Vampire Mom adventures.

Expect the unexpected …Expect something unique, funny, romantic, thoughtful and different.

Click on the title to go to the story.

* Guest authors  ** No Vampires

Vampire Maman

Random thoughts on Biology, Parenting, Lunch, Vampires and Guys I Used to Know…

Fridays are usually my “lunch date” days…that is the one day of the week this busy working mom can meet with her usual donors. Yes, for those of you who are new here, this is about Vampires. And for all of you busy Vampires, especially parents or other caretakers, you know exactly what I’m talking about. I don’t lurk out into the night and crawl through bedroom windows. Yuck. I meet with people for a civilized exchange. They don’t know I’m a Vampire but everyone goes away happy. It’s a win win for everyone concerned.

That said, this past Friday EVERYONE needed something. I swear I was about to scream. My husband, my daughter, a client, the elders, and my son. Garrett, a high school senior, needed some papers dropped off for a science internship he is going to participate in over the Spring Break and maybe this summer (depending on where he is accepted into college). It is a great opportunity BUT he had another event going on and needed someone (me) to drop off his paperwork.

I called the professor in charge who teaches at the fine state university in our town. He was home and asked if I could just drop the papers off at his house. Fine by me. I’d avoid the confusing parking at the college.

As I drove down to the East Sacramento neighborhood Dr. Morgan (the professor) lived in I had to pass the cemetery where Nigel the ghost is buried. I still haven’t stopped there or found out his last name. I feel my pushing invaded his privacy. I’ve learned that despite how much I dislike ghosts in general that I have to respect them. It isn’t easy being a ghost. Anyway, I could feel chilled to the bone as I drove by the graves and could feel some lingering presence of misplaced souls who had found themselves trapped on Earth. The cemetery (which I will not name today) is a beautiful place, but not someplace I’d want to spend forever in.

Dr. Gerard Morgan lived in a charming 1920’s brick cottage so prized in this area of town. A lemon tree full of fruit was in the front yard. Primroses bloomed up the walk way. The rounded front door held a wreath of bay leaves. A nice touch for a single man living alone. But hey, just because a guy is single doesn’t mean he has to live like an uncomfortable slob.

The door was answered by a pleasant looking middle aged man with striking brown eyes. You know those beautiful deep eyes that bring on both wonder and envy (as in I wish my eyes were that pretty.) He showed me in and we went over the papers in a home office. I glanced at impressive diplomas on the wall.

The house was comfortable in an arts and crafts sort of style mixed with a good heap of modern. Sort of like my house. Then again, it is a popular style around these parts. Gerard asked me if I’d like to stay for a cup of tea. Sure, why not. I like tea. No sugar. Yes, lemon would be lovely.

We talked about our citrus trees and then about the science program he ran for high school seniors. Then he said something quite unexpected.

He said “I teach biological science, including cellular biology, but…” he paused then started up again, “I understand you know something about Vampires and local lore.”

“And ghost lore as well. I’m a history buff, you know, just for fun. Especially the weird stuff.”

“Tell me about the Vampire lore around here.” He looked so intense.

So I told him a standard story. “There is said to be a large population of Vampires in this area. They came in during the gold rush era. Many of them eventually settled in San Francisco and Sacramento. They still are supposed to have family in the area. Many missing persons are supposed to have become Vampires. It isn’t exactly exciting or full of blood lust, but that’s what I know.”

“Do you believe Vampires are real?”

I couldn’t believe he asked me that. I mean, that is so rare. He looked me straight in the eye.

“What a silly question Gerard,” I told him.

“You’re a Vampire aren’t you? I’ve never met someone who claims to be a Vampire but there are letters, family letters that lead me to you. When I received news that your son wanted to apply to the program I was curious to meet you.”

“Letters?” This could be either good or bad.

“Old letters that mentioned someone named Juliette.”

I didn’t respond. I hate it when they call me on this.

“Tell me about Vampires Juliette. I’m a scientist. I’m curious about people who claim to be Vampires.”

I sat back a little straighter and put my hands in my lap. “Alright, I will tell you about people who claim to be Vampires. There are so-called Sanguinarian Vampires, those Regular Humans who drink blood. They say, they actually believe, it is required for their health, both mentally and physically. And of course they have their donors who give them blood. But they’re quite human. Just like eating biscuits and gravy doesn’t make you Southern anymore than eating Kosher makes you Jewish. Drinking blood does not make one a Vampire. They’re nuts, but that said, if they want to drink blood then whatever. Let your freak flag, but still…oh well.

Then there are so-called Psychic Vampires, who in my book are just bad friends. They believe that they need to suck on your aura or psychic energy. I’m sure you’ve dated women like that. I hope not, but the odds are pretty good.

That said, there is an entire population of people who are not like you. Not physically or mentally like you at all. Rather sort of a sub species, but then again, not exactly. Call it a mutation of a sorts. That is where I come in, as well as others who aren’t Vampires but not exactly what YOU would call normal. We’re genetically different. Some are born that way and some are genetically modified along the way. I can’t give you the scientific explanation but it is what it is.

Anyway, people fear what is different and what they don’t understand. They tend to find a group to put that fear on, which leads to killings and genocide and all sorts of tragic social and moral disorders.

On the other hand, Vampires, real Vampires are on the top of the food chain, above you, so I can understand that natural fear. It is healthy to fear someone who could easily kill you and consume your blood.

But I see it as more of a symbiotic relationship. We all get something we need from the transaction. Wouldn’t you agree Dr. Morgan?”

He stood up and went across the room and closed the curtains. I didn’t ask why. I followed him across the room. He stopped and looked me right in the eye. There was almost an electrical charge between us.

I stepped closer. He’d been quiet and listened to everything I said. He thought I was crazy yet he was feeling a strange attraction to me. That was a good thing. Especially since I’d skipped my Friday lunch and was starting to feel a bit light headed.

I spoke quietly to him. “Your heart rate just jumped up, just by the simple fact that I came a little closer to you.” I took another step and took his hands.

“You’re so cold.” He was a little frightened  I could tell but didn’t let go.

“Yes, I am. Feel for a pulse.”

“I can’t find it.”

“My heart beats extremely slow. Don’t ask me to explain how it all works. There did you feel that slight beat? Never faster than 20 beats per minute. Usually much slower. In fact I can stop my heart and restart it if I want to, or if I’m extremely frightened or stressed.”

Then I brushed my lips against his. “I’m extremely cold compared to you. Your heart rate just jumped again. Both fear and excitement. The strangeness of it all. And admit it, the beauty of it.”

I showed my fangs and gave a little purr. He almost jumped out of his skin.

“Relax, I’m not going to hurt you,” I told him gently.

He looked at my mouth. “Those are real.”

“Yes. Real as your teeth.”

“How old are you?”

“Ninety nine years older than you are.”

“Was that a lucky guess or can you tell…”

I smiled. “The diploma on your wall, I did the math… lucky guess because you look younger than your actual 55 years.”

“You’re 154.”

“Fairly young for a Vampire. I don’t age. I rarely get sick. You wouldn’t believe how fast I heal if hurt.” I moved closer my body barely touching his. He was maybe five six or seven but by no means what I’d consider short. Getting to his neck would be easy but I didn’t want to be quite so intimate this time.  “Give me your wrist. Come on.” I locked my eyes on his. He was mine. Child’s play for a Vampire but I never felt guilty about it.

Gently pushing him against the wall for support I took his wrist and sank my fangs into it.

Due to his past history, excellent physical condition, disposition and blood type I thought he’d be an excellent candidate for becoming a Vampire. But that is a risky proposition and something I’d save for another time.

Suddenly on the tip of my tongue and in the back of my mind there was something familiar. It was in his face as well. I did know him or at least someone connected to him.

Gently kissing his wrist to make sure there would be no fang marks left I looked in his face. Yes, it was there under those deep brown eyes and dark lashes.

“You’re William Morgan’s great grand son,” I said. “You look just like him. I should have known.”

“Wait, you knew my great grandfather? He and his best friend died in a boating accident…”

“Not at all. William and his friend Albert and living in Seattle. They’re Vampires.”

Another shock to his system, but by that time he was feeling the euphoric high of one just bitten by a Vampire (at least by me, I always try to make a good experience that will leave them warm and toasty for at least a week.)

I went on to explain that Billy and Al were in Seattle with a band and a graphic design business. Al was living with one of my mom’s friends. Sometimes Al would still wear a top hat just for kicks and grins. Small world.

Out of a drawer in a hutch he pulled a tintype of two men. Billy was in the light suit and Al was wearing his signature top hat – even back then.

On a hot summer night at a lavish party at a mansion by the river, Billy discovered his wife was having an affair with another man. Things had not been right at home for a while, but he figured it was the pressure of having two small children and his busy career. She had given her body and her heart to a wealthy banker. Upset over this discovery Billy took off down to the river’s edge where he and his friend Al found a conoe. It seemed like a good idea at the time, but Billy was upset, stood up in the boat and capsized it. The men both went into the fast water and perished.

Yes indeed, they did die, but not for long. About two miles down the river lived, in another lavish river side residence lived two ancient Vampires. They were also having a party that night. The Vampires found the men and rescued them from death, in a way. They turned them into Vampires. I know this because I was there that night.

Gerard Morgan looked at me in wonder. “Could I meet him? My great grandfather?”

“I’ll ask him,” I said, knowing the answer might very well be yes. “I only ask that you tell no one what we discussed today or that I am a Vampire. That goes for my son as well. Plus, you know if you tell anyone they’ll think you’re crazy.”

So I won’t go into what we discussed for the rest of the afternoon, only that it turned out to be a positive thing for all parties involved.

And will Professor Morgan, who is twice divorced with no children, become a Vampire? I don’t know. Time will tell.

Have a good weekend everyone and be careful out there on the water.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

dapper dandies_vm

If you need something done ask a busy person (again)

First posted May 30, 2013. I’m still busy – way too busy. 

If you need something done ask a busy person.

I’m glad summer is coming because it will mean not having to drag my nocturnal teens out of bed. I swear, not all teens are Vampires, but all teens are nocturnal. They sleep. They sleep like rocks (if rocks sleep). They don’t wake up. Their ears shut down. On the other hand, a lot of teens shut off their ears most of the time with the exception of other teens and music…but that isn’t the point here.

I will be happy when summer comes in a few weeks and I won’t have to do the morning scene. The morning scene means gently waking the angels then it finally escalates to yelling and threats to ground them for weeks.

So like most moms I’m in a perpetual state of motion. I have my kids, my work, my marriage, my home, my pets, other family members to take care of – so I guess that means I have it ALL. Sure. We all have it all. And we do it without high priced nannies; housekeepers, personal assistants and most moms do it on a tight budget. Anyway…

So, with so little time I get a call. One of THOSE calls from my brother Max. He is at home, 90 miles away in San Francisco.  He says there is trouble out my way and needs me to take care of it RIGHT NOW.

I’m home alone with my 17-year-old son. My brother Max is in Enforcement, which means his job is to keep Vampire Hunters, Rogue Vampires and other unsavory character in check. But sometimes, when things are busy, he needs a little help. And that is why he called me.

“Isn’t there someone else who can do this?” I was perplexed. Next I rattled off a list of names of other Vampires who were far more suited (in my opinion) for the enforcement task than a 5’4” inch Vampire mom and her inexperienced 17 year old son.

No of course not. Everyone else was busy. Really? They were ALL busy? Every large hard-bodied Vampire male in the area was busy (this includes two of my other brothers and my husband (on a field trip with our daughter.)

“But you’re trained at this kind of thing.” That is the excuse my brother used.  I’m trained. Sure, but I don’t do this sort of thing for a living.

I yelled up the stairs at Garrett (aged 17 and acts like it). I yelled again. I yelled a third time. I went up to his room where he had the music blasting, computer up, phone going with three conversations and hunkered down on the bed with a cat. Only the dog who sat in the middle of the floor looked up when I came in the room. I flicked the lights on and off.

“Put on your shoes. We’re going out.”

He looked confused. “Where.”

“Hunting for your Uncle Max.”

“Enforcement?”

“Enforcement. And I’m taking you with me. How about that?”

“Cool. Um, mom?”

“Yes?”

“You have a button missing from your shirt.”

Crap. One more thing. It is always one more thing. About 20 one more things make me late every single day to just about everywhere.

OK. Change shirt. Find keys. Grab purse. Grab phone. Throw a few basic supplies in the trunk and away we go. Thank goodness I filled the tank up with gas last night.

We’re driving towards the designated location. I ask my son, “Did you get all your homework done?”

“I did it at school,” he answers wanting to roll his eyes but not daring to do so. “So mom, what’s this about?”

“A rogue Vampire. Maybe a Ren. I didn’t have many details.”

“What are we going to do?”

“I don’t know. We have to check it out.”

“Is it safe?”

“I don’t know. I doubt it.” I sort of shrugged, the way mothers know how to do.

“Of course it isn’t safe,” said a voice from the back seat. It was the Ghost. Nigel who haunts me and drives me nuts was in my car. “You’re going after a dangerous soulless creatures with no morals, no values and no fear.  So needless to say I had to come along to help.”

I stopped to pick up my sister-in-law Verity (my brother Aaron’s wife). She looks like Botticelli’s Venus only wearing a pink sweater set and jeans.

“You have a ghost in your car.” She said that as she got into the front, and Garrett climbed into the back.

“No shit,” said Nigel, not taken in by her beauty. “Are all Vampires this rude?”

Verity gave Nigel a fanged hiss. He just rolled his eyes back at her.

I explained that it was ok to have a ghost along and that it wasn’t all a bad thing. Well, except for the fact that Nigel didn’t shut up the entire time there.

Just about the only thing that can shut up a ghost is music so I turned up the volume and opened the sunroof for a view of the stars (for mood and some fresh air.)

Three Vampires and the ghost driving into the night on our way to kill Rogue Vampires singing along with the soundtrack of Across the Universe.

We get to our location, an abandoned industrial area. You know, the kind with old buildings with small blocked or broken windows along the roof line, cut chain link fences, overgrown weeds, no lights, broken bottles and rats scattering unseen to most eyes. This is so stupid that I just want to scream.

I go to the largest building as instructed. There are large roll up doors in 5 bays and one regular door with a regular knob. I go there first and listen. Garrett follows like my shadow. I can sense excitement in him and a good dose of fear. This is a first for him – finding a real rogue Vampire.

The door is locked. I concentrate and break the lock (yes, I can do that. Pretty neat trick.

I open the door and smell the stench of old blood and unwashed bodies and that horrible rotten meat smell that makes just about any creature, except scavengers want to puke.

A couple of figures are lounging on some beat up furniture they’ve collected in a corner. A nasty looking couch and a couple of armchairs – the kind you find on the side of the road with “FREE” signs on them. No Gothic Vampire chic here. This is a dumpster dive.

One stands. The other just cranes a pale face around and stares. The standing one approaches. Oh for God’s sake, why did my brother send me here? I know this guy. On a slime scale of 1-10 he is a 25.

He gives me a fang filled smile and grins at me. “Jewels! Long time no see.”

I’m looking at a Vampire, about 5’7″ dressed in black, dark hair pulled back, sauntering towards me. He might have once been handsome by now he looked like a meth head from Hell. He walked up to me and put his hand to my face.

I motioned for Garrett to stay back. Verity comes and stands next to me, blonde hair flowing behind her like she’s in a photo shoot for Victoria’s Secret. Nigel is nowhere to be seen.

I knew this Rogue creature, once upon a time, when he had a soul. His name was Tad. He’d once been human but those days were long gone. He’d once been a decent Vampire until he turned rogue. OK he’d never been a decent Vampire. He was scum to start with and it was a shame, but I was beyond feeling sorry for him or even caring. As far as I was concerned he was already dead – and for all practical purposes he was dead.

His dead flat eyes looked me up and down like some sort of demonic pervert. “Let me drink you in Jewels. Do you know how long it has been since I’ve been with a respectable Vampire female? Too long. And you brought your lovely friends. How nice of you.”

I didn’t have time for this. “Listen Tad, I have a million things to do and it’s a school night so I don’t have time for your bull shit. Either you turn yourself in or I’m taking you down. Do you understand?”

“You’re so cute when you talk like that Jewels. Thirsty?” He motioned over to a couple of what looked like teenagers huddled in a corner.  Holy crap, I had no idea he had regular humans in here.

Then he grabbed me by the waist and pulled me close. His claw like nails grabbed my skin under my shirt. His eyes were dead. No soul.

“Souls are cheap and keeping them is expensive,” he hissed in my ear with nasty wake-the-dead breath.

He had me tight in his grip. I twisted around and slammed him to the ground. I might be small but I’m well trained. There was no Matrix style theatrics with us jumping in the air or super fast Vampire leaps and bounds. That only happens in the movies.

Garrett came running and blasted his foot into Tad’s head then grabbed him by the hair and continued to slam. I heard him yelling, “don’t touch my mom.”

I climbed to my feet and grabbed the can of lighter fluid I had in my supplies bag. I doused Tad, then grabbed an ancient sword out of my bag.

I stood with a sword in my right hand and a lit BBQ lighter in my left waiting for Tad to react.

Tad looks at me with a fang filled grin. “Come on Jewels, I wasn’t going to kill them.”

I glared at him and waited to see if he’d give me an excuse to torch him.

“You think you’re better than us. You’ve sold out. You’ve gotten soft. You don’t know what it is like to be a real Vampire anymore.” Tad snarled at me, his fangs gleaming, with dried blood in the corners of his mouth.

I was ready to take off his head when from out of the corner came six more figures, fangs out, along with the one who was sitting on the couch, ready to attack. Eight Rogues? Really Max? What in the world made you think Verity and I, plus a teenager could take them down? My mind raced a hundred miles an hour. I could tell Verity was doing the same. She slid a long dagger out of her boot and took my back. Garrett stood behind up with the lighter fluid and lighter. This wasn’t good at all.

There are always those moments in life when just the right thing happens at the right time – just when you need it. You know, like that unexpected bonus check from work or an upgrade to first class or you find a home for that stray cat you really don’t want to keep.  Now was just one of those moments.

Over our heads was a gust of freezing air and a scream so horrifying and loud that Verity, Garret and I all hit the ground.

stranger in doorA black swirling shadow formed around the Rogue Vampires. A large mouth filled with sharp teeth opened up and sucked them all in. That was followed by a loud belching noise and then…and then, it spit out an assortment of bones, cleaned of any flesh. The bones scattered on the ground then in a flash of light turned to ashes.

We all looked up in shock.

“What the…” said Garrett, grabbing my arm.

Then Nigel the ghost appeared, looking none the worse in a beautifully tailored black suit with a black shirt and tie. “That my darling Vampires was my friend Elizabeth the Banshee.”

A wild looking woman with wilder black hair and glacier blue eyes appeared next to Nigel. She belched again and then said “Well, that was fun. Thanks Nigel for the invitation. Gotta go.” And with another piercing scream she turned into swirling smoke and vanished into the dark.

“What? I told you I’d help you,” said our Ghost.

In the corner of the old dark warehouse we found a young couple chained and huddled together. Their necks were clawed and bruised, their wrists chewed. They were still wearing their dirty and torn prom clothes. They’d vanished from their Southern California Prom night – 700 miles south of us – a week ago. In a small dirty bathroom we found two other teens. One had vanished, also last week while walking home from a guitar lesson, his guitar and his backpack still with him. The other was a girl who’d been taken only a few days ago while walking her dog. They were all frightened and weak.

Verity, Garrett and I all did our best to calm them and with our special Vampire touch we sucked some of the fear from their souls along with most of the horrible memories of the nightmare they’d been through

“Help will come soon.” I told them that in my best mom voice I said as I pulled out a burner phone and called 911. I left the phone with the guitar kid in case they needed to call anyone else. I told Garrett to get the water I’d put in my car, along with some snacks I’d packed, just in case. Finally, Verity and I tended to their wounds and covered them with blankets.

We got out of the building and headed home in silence.

Verity was the first to speak. “He was bad to the core. Freakin serial killer as far as I’m concerned. He would have killed those kids.”

“They could have been from my school.” Garrett said somberly as he looked out the window. At that point I wondered if I should have brought him along.

Nigel appeared in the back seat next to Garrett. “I didn’t know there were really Banshees,” said Verity.

“I didn’t know there were Vampires or Ghosts until I died,” said Nigel. “Hey, your son is at UCLA isn’t he?”

“UCLA School of Law,” answered Verity looking surprised.

“Great school. I graduated from there in 1982. Art.” Nigel smiled. “I’m sure you’ve seen my work. I became quite famous after I died.” And with that, Nigel vanished, leaving only Vampires in the car.

So as we drove home we spoke of quiet things, of life and art and of living in a world that is stranger than anyone can imagine.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

wings