I should have a big flashy post today because it is Halloween. Unfortunately I’ve been spending the day trying to get blood stains out of my favorite shirt and out of Teddy’s leather jacket. I’m also polishing my scratched up boots. Damn it. We’re also trying to locate my brothers Val and Andy who were with us. Teddy and I were running so fast we just lost track of them. I’m sure they were smart enough to call an Uber or Lyft and get back to Val’s house, or somewhere. Sometimes I don’t know about those two. Another night in the life of Vampires. Plus a huge group of Ghosts are gathering down the street in the park. Not always a good sign. I don’t even want to think about what the Witches down the street might be doing. Trashy bitches.
There is a quiet beauty about historic cemeteries that I can’t always put into words. So many lives ask to be remembered and stories beg to be told, or maybe not. Earlier this week (10/27/20) my daughter Clara and my friend Amelia joined me in a visit to the historic Sacramento Historic City Cemetery. We’ve had no rain so many of the usual flowers and grassy areas are dry and brown, but it does little to take away from the beauty of the place.
I’ve posted about this cemetery in the past. At the end of the post I’ll share links of those posts and posts about other cemeteries and graveyards I’ve shared, and a map of where you can find the historic Sacramento Cemetery.
Click on any of the images below to get a larger expanded view.
Things that go bump…on Halloween Morning (or Life of a Modern Vampire Mom.)
In the wee hours of the morning, before the sun came up, before I’d finished my first cup of coffee my phone made that little annoying ping noise that indicates a text message.
It was my brother Aaron, the middle child, of my Vampire Family. I’m the youngest, but who’s counting. I just had my 158th birthday. Aaron is 164. Anyway, we’re young as far as Vampires go, but we’re established. We’re cool.
So I get this text.
Aaron is an attorney with a twenty person law office housed in a 4,000 square foot downtown home he purchased in 1898. He stood on the front porch in jeans and a flannel shirt. No suit yet. It is Halloween anyway so he could put on a beard and be a lumberjack for the rest of the day for all I knew.
He gave me a hug and a kiss on my cheek, then thanked me profusely for coming.
“Where is your Vampire Hunter?” I asked him. He has a guy named Austin he works with on occasion for removing unwanted soulless Vampires (who are not like us because as you know we have two souls and we’re not dead yet.)
“He has an early class this morning. I didn’t want to wake him. You know how they need their sleep,” said Aaron. Aside from hunting dried up Vampires, Austin teaches history at the local University. He isn’t a Vampire so I guess he needs his beauty sleep more than I do.
“You know you would have called me anyway,” I said.
“You’re so good with them Sis,” said my brother with a sparkle in his cold blue Vampire eyes.
I looked at my brother with squinty hazel eyes. “You’re afraid of them. Admit it.”
“You’re better with them than I am.”
“You’re an alpha male Vampire. I’ve seen what you can do.”
“You’re a mom.”
I give him the look. You know that look that all wives and mothers instinctively give the men in their lives. But he had a good point.
“Alright,” I said. “Show me where they are.”
As we walked inside I immediately heard the scratching and sounds of, I don’t know, snorting and just weird obnoxious noises, like when you have someone annoying in a cubicle next to you and they’re eating loudly, sucking snot, and tapping ALL DAY LONG (I have friends with that problem, not me thank goodness.”
“In my office,” said Aaron.
I walked up the stairs to his office. It was a beautiful space in a room with a round turret in the corner and original stained glass windows. Sitting at Aaron’s desk was a haggard looking Vampire with oatmeal colored skin stretched over a narrow skull, oily black hair, and red eyes. He wore a long black coat and a black baseball cap. A woman stood behind him. She was wearing some sort of weird red lace dress and a nasty looking old monkey fur coat. There was no beauty left in her sunken in face. Greenish blonde hair was piled in a sloppy bun on top of her head. Another man, with gray skin that looked like cracked leather leaned against the window sill. He wore red jeans and a tight black tee. His orange hair hung in dreadlocks down to his shoulders. Round black lensed glasses sat on his nose.
The all flashed their fangs at me and hissed. I could smell their breath. Rotted meat and cat pee. They were so nasty.
“Good morning to you too,” I said to them. “Looks like you’re all ready for Halloween.”
They hissed again.
“Get the Hell out of here or very bad things are going to happen to you.”
“Money first,” said the one sitting at Aaron’s desk.
“NOW,” I said in my strongest mom voice. “OUT.”
They all sat up with wide eyes.
Yes, they were terrifying, but hey, they are also disgusting and stupid and have no business asking for money or anything else. I knew who these three where.
“I know where you live. I know who you hang with. Come around here again and I’ll call the REAL Vampire Hunters. They’ll put stakes in your dead hearts and cut your heads off. So get the fuck out NOW.”
They stood up and slowly crept out hissing at me as they passed. I barred my own fangs, which were longer and whiter than theirs will ever be. They jumped aside. I could feel their fear.
I never understood the whole scary horror movie Vampire thing. Sure they can scare teenagers and children, but they can’t scare a mom. Nobody can scare a mom.
“And clean up,” I yelled at them. “You look like a bunch of meth heads. No self respecting Vampire would look like you. You’re a disgrace. All three of you. You should be ashamed of yourselves. It is Vampires like you that give us a bad name.”
Then I pulled the female aside. “Get yourself some nice clothes. See what I’m wearing. It was easy to put together and you’ll be more comfortable. I know today is Halloween, but just today. And get some moisturizer for that face. You don’t HAVE to look like crap. And you’ll eat better and feel better if you look better.”
Vampires don’t have to dress like ghouls. It is ok to dress like girls.
She looked at my clothes then reached out an touched my sweater. I pushed her bony hand away. “You need to go.”
I watched them file out past my brother, get on their bicycles and ride off.
“Wow. I tried for an hour to get them to leave,” said Aaron, obviously impressed. “They’re such assholes. I was afraid they’d trash the place. I don’t know how I’m going to get the stench out.”
“They’re so dead they don’t even think like adults anymore. It is like dealing with a bunch of middle school kids.”
“Wanna get coffee?”
“Sure,” I said. By then it was 5:30 a.m. and we both knew the little coffee shop around the corner would be open.
So now the only monsters I might see are the neighborhood children who are going to knock on my door tonight. I’ll pour a goblet of spiced blood, dress up the dog, and hand out candy. Oh, I have to carve my pumpkins too! I’ll post photos.
Halloween candy Olive oil (the good kind, don’t get the cheap stuff) Toothpicks Gin Garlic stuffed olives Fresh basil Red bell peppers (2) Green bell (2) Apples Pasta (nothing flat. Get a shape.) Bleach (3 one gallon bottles) Rubber Gloves paper towels Large plastic garbage bags Matches Lighter fluid Drain cleaner
Stop by the hardware store and pick up some drop clothes, duck tape, a couple of hacksaw blades (to fit the old blue handle) and a 50 pound bag of lime. Love you. xoxox thanks.
Eric looked at the grocery list his wife had given him. Sometimes he asked her about the lists but he knew she’d get mad. Then he wondered if it was Duck Tape or Duct Tape. Was Duck Tape a brand. His daughter had talked about making a prom dress out of duck tape. Then he wondered who his wife was going to kill this time.
She was landscaping the yard. They were grilling a lot. She was going to paint the bathrooms. She had a list of people she thought the world would be better off without.
He thought of the box of newspaper articles his wife had kept. One was about a Girl Scout in troop 455 who had died when she fell into a pit toilet on a camping trip. His wife had been part of troop 455. One article was about a fifteen year old girl who’d vanished on a trip to the lake. Another was about a young man, a promising high school foot ball player, who lost his legs when a metal bookshelf in the library fell on him – a shelf that had been previously bolted to the wall in a section about ancient history that was rarely visited, except by this one boy who was a young scholar in Greek and Roman history. And yet another article was about a girl who vanished after going to the rest room at Senior Ball – the same year his wife was a senior in high school. The final article was about a woman his wife used to work for. She’d jumped out of the 5th floor of a building they’d been working in. On the way down she hit two people on the ground. All three died. Nobody knew why she’d jumped. She was known as rising star in her field and up for a promotion. After the funeral his wife took over her boss’s job.
Then he remembered that his son told him not to get any gross Halloween candy or every kid in the neighborhood would think they were uncool.
Eric was shaken out of his thoughts when his phone vibrated. There was a text from is wife.
Working late. But I think I’m getting the VP job. Have a feeling Bob might be going away. xoxox
He’d pick up some flowers on the way home too, just to keep his wife in a good mood.
Revelries of Night – Quiet Musings on Halloween and Vampires
Max was brooding. It is what my eldest brother does best.
I’d come home and found him sulking in my living room on the red couch brooding over a book on the symbolism of art.
“Why does everything have to be so complicated? Why can’t a dove just be a dove, or a sunset just a phenomenon based on the rotation of the earth?”
“You sound like Andy,” I told him. Andy is another brother of mine who likes to wax poetically 24/7 and imagines himself deep. Andy is deep and it works for him. It just sounds weird and uncomfortable when Max does it.
His two giant wolfhounds, along with my sled-dog-mongrel lay sprawled in carpet of dogs at Max’s feet.
I invited Max for Halloween. I thought a quiet night of little monsters and our usual gathering with friends and kids and non-Vampire folks would do him good. Or it would make him want to crawl out of his skin but I didn’t care. I went over to my big brother and rubbed his shoulders. “Relax. You’ve been under a lot of stress too. We all have. Watch the game with me.”
I knew Max was missing parties at home due to the fact that we KNEW the Giants would win the World Series (3rd time in five years) and Max lives in San Francisco. I knew he didn’t care about some stupid female in f-me shoes. So we watched the Giants win and wondered how many little baby boys would be named Madison and Hunter in 2015. Just a couple of Vampires hanging out on a Wednesday night before Halloween.
Oh come on, we’re really not that horrifying. Sure we have some amazing dental work that we use to suck blood out of living humans, but nobody is the worse for it, well, not usually. Our hearts don’t always beat, but they do love. We’re cold, but then again we don’t get all sweaty. We can give people nightmares and hide in shadows and make you forget whatever we want you to forget. I can even suck out your soul but that is usually more trouble than it is worth. Really, trust me on that one.
My husband Teddy was at Kings game (Basketball. Of course they didn’t win. They never win.) My 15-year-old Clara came down to join us after the game. She told Max about all of the stupid stuff going on at school.
I know, I should have some sort of awful HORROR story this time of year. But this is our time to just relax. The holidays are coming and the cold weather and THAT is when things really pick up for us.
I let Max go on about all of the Demons and Zombies and Vampire Hunters and Crazy Ass Rogue Vampires and assholes he had been dealing with at work. He is one of the ones who takes care of all of those things. Not “take care” as in nurture, but “take care” of as in “get rid of.”
On his arm is an ugly fading scar from a Demon scratch. In his heart, be it ever so still, is a will that can’t be broken by anything that might come his way in the shadows he protects.
You should thank him for that. Max and those like him are the reason Regular Humans only have to deal with their own evil and not that of our kind, or those who aren’t Regular Humans or any kind of human.
He and his teammates are the reason why Halloween is relatively safe and sane and fun… the ghosts and ghouls know there will be dire consequences if they show their real faces.
I’ve so many calls to make before tomorrow night and so much to do. Clara is driving me crazy with requests for EVERYTHING (as teenagers do.) As a mom, even as a Vampire mom I feel a need to keep everyone safe and happy. That is, easier knowing that those like Max have my back.
If you’re a Regular Human, on this Halloween thank those who have your back and will risk their lives for you.
Max and I talked through the night about everything under the moon and stars. We watched the ghosts dance later under the oak trees as the bats danced above in the air. As the dogs slept we laughed. I got Max to laugh, something that has seemed rare lately.
In the morning, this morning, to the sound of garbage trucks (yes it is garbage day) we went outside and watched sky show it’s lights just before the sun came up. Max put his arm around my shoulder and gave me a squeeze.
“So what’s next?” I asked him.
He smiled showing a bit of fang. “Halloween my dear Juliette, Halloween!”