Short Story Sunday: A Ray of Hope

A Ray of Hope

Thanksgiving is in Tahoe this year. My husband Justin’s family has a large beach front cabin. It is a 5,000 square foot cabin and two other smaller A frames within walking distance. Yes, they’re insanely rich, at least to me. They’re also incredible loving and giving and have taken me into their family as one of their own.

My mom left when I was five, taking my twin baby brother and sister with her. Dad said she said she was bored with her life. Bored with my dad and bored with me. I only saw her once after that. She’d poisoned the minds of my siblings by telling them that my dad was abusive. Her new husband gladly went along and encouraged it. My brother is now a successful motivational speaker. My sister is a teacher. I don’t talk to them. They don’t want to talk to me, but they like to talk about me, or somebody they say is me. I don’t care anymore.

When I was growing up Thanksgiving were small, like my grandparent’s two bedroom house – Just my dad, Grandpa and Grammy, and Uncle Ray. We’d gather around the kitchen table in Grammy’s kitchen and have a feast on old chairs covered with yellow vinyl. The table would be covered with turkey, green bean casserole, jellied cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes and sweet potatoes with little marshmallows browned on top. Everything except the turkey came out of a can except the wine. The wine was from a box with ice cubes. It was great.

Uncle Ray lived with Grandpa and Grammy. He believed that at the age of fifteen he was abducted by aliens and taken for a blinding fast tour of the universe and Planet X. Ray believed that Jesus was protecting bigfoot, unicorns and other rarely seen creatures so that when mankind finally killed itself off that those were the creatures who would rule the earth. A great gray wolf would lead dwarves and elves out from their underground kingdoms to live in peace. Aliens from space would set up trade routes to earth and help the new found order prosper.

Despite his weirdness Uncle Ray was accepted into UC Berkley and managed to obtain a degree in Political Science. With his knowledge of politics he began working on his plan for a new world order he’d build along with Jesus and the Bigfoots and elves.

Yes, Uncle Ray was nuts but I adored him. My dad protected him. My grandparents accepted him. The university where he occasionally taught a course tolerated him. He never married so I was the only child there for the holidays.

At night a few hours after pie and watching “Meet Me in St. Louis”, Ray and I would go outside. He’d grab a turkey leg and I’d take a wing. We’d munch on our turkey while Ray pointed out constellations and tell me about his time with the aliens and his love for Jesus.

Ray would always take my hand and solemnly tell me, “Jenna, what I’m telling you is real. I’m not crazy.” Then we’d go inside and have turkey races with some funky wind-up toys my Grandpa got for us. We’d laugh until our sides hurt.

My grandparents and Ray are gone now. Grandpa died in his sleep the year I graduated from college. Grammy had a stroke a few months later while at a prayer group. Three years years ago Ray went hiking in Death Valley one spring and vanished. The rangers found his backpack, hiking boots and an empty water bottle. There was a note that said, “Tell Jenna that I love her.”

I still have the note.

Thanksgiving with my family was never fancy or exciting but I knew I was loved.

Right after I graduated away from college my dad remarried. I met my husband Justin and Thanksgiving dishes no longer involved food from cans or vinyl chairs.

This year dad and his wife Gracie went to Montana to visit friends for Thanksgiving. I knew I’d miss them but wished them a good time.

As Justin and I drove up into the mountains I thought about Ray as I looked out the car at the forests. Over the river and through the woods… When I was 16 Ray and I would drive up to the mountains to see the stars. I’d drive. He never learned how. In the cool summer nights we’d stand in a clearing at 8,000 feet and watch the endless show of zillions of stars and watch for shooting stars and satellites. Ray would tell me about the aliens who’d be back to get him. He’d tell me about how the ancient Greeks would navigate ships and come to America to visit. He’d tell me about planets that were inhabited by people so beautiful that our eyes would explode if we looked at them. He’d tell me that he’d been in love with a girl once and kissed her under the stars but she killed herself. He said he’d see her again. The aliens said they had taken her just before her soul was lost. Uncle Ray said to never be sad. He also told me over and over that he wasn’t crazy.

“What are the thinking about?” Justin startled me out of my reverie.

“My Uncle Ray. I miss him.”

Justin put his hand on mine. “I know honey, I know.”

Thanksgiving was spectacular. The food was amazing, the company was wonderful, the day was perfect. I’m blessed to be married into such a great family.

A few hours after dinner, after football and a lot of other fun, I took Justin by the hand and led him to the kitchen. I got myself a smoked turkey wing and gave Justin a leg, then poured two glasses of wine, minus the ice cubes and took him outside to watch the stars.

We talked about what fun we’d had that day. Then we talked about starting our own family, maybe trying to start that week.

A fireball sailed across the sky. I couldn’t figure out what it was. Maybe a meteorite?

Justin held my hand and said, “It’s your Uncle Ray.”

I think it was.

~ end

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

Tangled Tales

Juliette’s Monday Book Club: Stories for the Holidays (from Arbor Day to Christmas, to Halloween to Thanksgiving, Valentine’s Day and more)

The end of the year holiday season is here. Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, then on to a new year with even MORE holidays.

To get you in the mood I recommend the following holiday themed anthologies. The stories range from hilarious. to sentimental, to frightening, to romantic, and more.

Both books are great for someone wanting a quick fix, a new tradition, or just a damn good story. Did I mention cheap thrills?

These are from the creative minds of WPaD (Writers, Poets, and Deviants.) Proceeds to to MS Research to help support our fellow writers and friends who have MS.

Both books are available on Amazon, B&N, and with other online book sellers. Both are available in digital and paperback versions.

 

Tinsel Tales

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Experience the holidays through our eyes…
the magic, the memories, some warm and some bittersweet…
in this treasury of holiday-themed stories and poetry from the writers of WPaD.

Tinsel Tales 2: Holiday Hootenanny

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It’s a Holiday Hootenanny! In this anthology, you will find more than just Christmas stories. WPaD is proud to present our favorite fiction from holidays all year round, from Halloween to Arbor Day, ranging from sentimental to a bit on the dark side. An entertaining read for any season.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

wpad poster.jpg

It is now time for the annual Vampire Holiday Sing-A-Long!

 

It is now time for the annual Vampire Holiday Sing-A-Long!

 

On the first day of Christmas my Vampire gave to me

A Raven in a Dead Tree

__

On the second day of Christmas my Vampire gave to me

Two Vials of Blood

And A Raven in a Dead Tree

__

On the third day of Christmas my Vampire gave to me

Three Bat Skulls

Two Vials of Blood

And A Raven in a Dead Tree

__

On the fourth day of Christmas my Vampire gave to me

Four Howling Wolves

Three Bat Skulls

Two Vials of Blood

And a Raven in a Dead Tree

__

On the fifth day of Christmas my Vampire gave to me

Bram Stoker’s Heart

Four Howling Wolves

Three Bat Skulls

Two Vials of Blood

And a Raven in a Dead Tree

__

On the sixth day of Christmas my Vampire gave to me

Six Ghosts a Laughing

Bram Stoker’s Heart

Four Howling Wolves

Three Bat Skulls

Two Vials of Blood

And a Raven in a Dead Tree

__

On the Seventh Day of Christmas my Vampire gave to me

Seven Mermaids Swimming

Six Ghosts a Laughing

Bram Stoker’s Heart

Four Howling Wolves

Three Bat Skulls

Two Vials of Blood

And a Raven in a Dead Tree

__

On the Eighth Day of Christmas my Vampire gave to me

Eight Black Cats Hissing

Seven Mermaids Swimming

Six Ghosts a Laughing

Bram Stoker’s Heart

Four Howling Wolves

Three Bat Skulls

Two Vials of Blood

And a Raven in a Dead Tree

__

On the Ninth Day of Christmas my Vampire gave to me

Nine Vampires Dancing

Eight Black Cats Hissing

Seven Mermaids Swimming

Six Ghosts a Laughing

Bram Stoker’s Heart

Four Howling Wolves

Three Bat Skulls

Two Vials of Blood

And a Raven in a Dead Tree

__

On the Tenth Day of Christmas my Vampire gave to me

Ten Moonlit Nights

Nine Vampires Dancing

Eight Black Cats Hissing

Seven Mermaids Swimming

Six Ghosts a Laughing

Bram Stoker’s Heart

Four Howling Wolves

Three Bat Skulls

Two Vials of Blood

And a Raven in a Dead Tree

__

On the Eleventh Day of Christmas my Vampire gave to me

Eleven Necks to Bite

Ten Moonlit Nights

Nine Vampires Dancing

Eight Black Cats Hissing

Seven Mermaids Swimming

Six Ghosts a Laughing

Bram Stoker’s Heart

Four Howling Wolves

Three Bat Skulls

Two Vials of Blood

And a Raven in a Dead Tree

__

On the Twelfth Day of Christmas my Vampire gave to me

Twelve Banshees Screaming

Eleven Necks to Bite

Ten Moonlit Nights

Nine Vampires Dancing

Eight Black Cats Hissing

Seven Mermaids Swimming

Six Ghosts a Laughing

Bram Stoker’s Heart

Four Howling Wolves

Three Bat Skulls

Two Vials of Blood

And a Raven in a Dead Tree

sing-along-vampire

Happy Holidays and Ho Ho Ho. Keep checking back for new Christmas stories, holiday games, musings, and of course Vlad’s Vampire Diary.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

On the first day of Christmas my Vampire gave to me…

It is now time for the annual Vampire Holiday Sing-A-Long!

 

On the first day of Christmas my Vampire gave to me

A Raven in a Dead Tree

__

On the second day of Christmas my Vampire gave to me

Two Vials of Blood

And A Raven in a Dead Tree

__

On the third day of Christmas my Vampire gave to me

Three Bat Skulls

Two Vials of Blood

And A Raven in a Dead Tree

__

On the fourth day of Christmas my Vampire gave to me

Four Howling Wolves

Three Bat Skulls

Two Vials of Blood

And a Raven in a Dead Tree

__

On the fifth day of Christmas my Vampire gave to me

Bram Stoker’s Heart

Four Howling Wolves

Three Bat Skulls

Two Vials of Blood

And a Raven in a Dead Tree

__

On the sixth day of Christmas my Vampire gave to me

Six Ghosts a Laughing

Bram Stoker’s Heart

Four Howling Wolves

Three Bat Skulls

Two Vials of Blood

And a Raven in a Dead Tree

__

On the Seventh Day of Christmas my Vampire gave to me

Seven Mermaids Swimming

Six Ghosts a Laughing

Bram Stoker’s Heart

Four Howling Wolves

Three Bat Skulls

Two Vials of Blood

And a Raven in a Dead Tree

__

On the Eighth Day of Christmas my Vampire gave to me

Eight Black Cats Hissing

Seven Mermaids Swimming

Six Ghosts a Laughing

Bram Stoker’s Heart

Four Howling Wolves

Three Bat Skulls

Two Vials of Blood

And a Raven in a Dead Tree

__

On the Ninth Day of Christmas my Vampire gave to me

Nine Vampires Dancing

Eight Black Cats Hissing

Seven Mermaids Swimming

Six Ghosts a Laughing

Bram Stoker’s Heart

Four Howling Wolves

Three Bat Skulls

Two Vials of Blood

And a Raven in a Dead Tree

__

On the Tenth Day of Christmas my Vampire gave to me

Ten Moonlit Nights

Nine Vampires Dancing

Eight Black Cats Hissing

Seven Mermaids Swimming

Six Ghosts a Laughing

Bram Stoker’s Heart

Four Howling Wolves

Three Bat Skulls

Two Vials of Blood

And a Raven in a Dead Tree

__

On the Eleventh Day of Christmas my Vampire gave to me

Eleven Necks to Bite

Ten Moonlit Nights

Nine Vampires Dancing

Eight Black Cats Hissing

Seven Mermaids Swimming

Six Ghosts a Laughing

Bram Stoker’s Heart

Four Howling Wolves

Three Bat Skulls

Two Vials of Blood

And a Raven in a Dead Tree

__

On the Twelfth Day of Christmas my Vampire gave to me

Twelve Banshees Screaming

Ten Moonlit Nights

Nine Vampires Dancing

Eight Black Cats Hissing

Seven Mermaids Swimming

Six Ghosts a Laughing

Bram Stoker’s Heart

Four Howling Wolves

Three Bat Skulls

Two Vials of Blood

And a Raven in a Dead Tree

 

Merry Christmas Everyone!

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

sing along vampire

Short Story Sunday: A Ray of Hope (a Thanksgiving Story)

Thanksgiving is in Tahoe this year. My husband Justin’s family has a large beach front cabin. It is a 5,000 square foot cabin and two other smaller A frames within walking distance. Yes, they’re insanely rich, at least to me. They’re also incredible loving and giving and have taken me into their family as one of their own.

My mom left when I was five, taking my twin baby brother and sister with her. Dad said she said she was bored with her life. Bored with my dad and bored with me. I only saw her once after that. She’d poisoned the minds of my siblings by telling them that my dad was abusive. Her new husband gladly went along and encouraged it. My brother is now a successful motivational speaker. My sister is a teacher. I don’t talk to them. They don’t want to talk to me, but they like to talk about me, or somebody they say is me. I don’t care anymore.

When I was growing up Thanksgiving were small, like my grandparent’s two bedroom house – Just my dad, Grandpa and Grammy, and Uncle Ray. We’d gather around the kitchen table in Grammy’s kitchen and have a feast on old chairs covered with yellow vinyl. The table would be covered with turkey, green bean casserole, jellied cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes and sweet potatoes with little marshmallows browned on top. Everything except the turkey came out of a can except the wine. The wine was from a box with ice cubes. It was great.

Uncle Ray lived with Grandpa and Grammy. He believed that at the age of 15 he was abducted by aliens and taken for a blinding fast tour of the universe and Planet X. Ray believed that Jesus was protecting bigfoot, unicorns and other rarely seen creatures so that when mankind finally killed itself off that those were the creatures who would rule the earth. A great gray wolf would lead dwarves and elves out from their underground kingdoms to live in peace. Aliens from space would set up trade routes to earth and help the new found order prosper.

Despite his weirdness Uncle Ray was accepted into UC Berkley and managed to obtain a degree in Political Science. With his knowledge of politics he began working on his plan for a new world order he’d build along with Jesus and the Bigfoots and elves.

Yes, Uncle Ray was nuts but I adored him. My dad protected him. My grandparents accepted him. The university where he occasionally taught a course tolerated him. He never married so I was the only child there for the holidays.

At night a few hours after pie and watching “Meet Me in St. Louis”, Ray and I would go outside. He’d grab a turkey leg and I’d take a wing. We’d munch on our turkey while Ray pointed out constellations and tell me about his time with the aliens and his love for Jesus.

Ray would always take my hand and solemnly tell me, “Jenna, what I’m telling you is real. I’m not crazy.” Then we’d go inside and have turkey races with some funky wind-up toys my Grandpa got for us. We’d laugh until our sides hurt.

My grandparents and Ray are gone now. Grandpa died in his sleep the year I graduated from college. Grammy had a stroke a few months later while at a prayer group. Three years ago Ray went hiking in Death Valley one spring and vanished. The rangers found his backpack, hiking boots and an empty water bottle. There was a note that said, “Tell Jenna that I love her.”

I still have the note.

Thanksgiving with my family was never fancy or exciting but I knew I was loved.

Right after I graduated away from college my dad remarried. I met my husband Justin and Thanksgiving dishes no longer involved food from cans or vinyl chairs.

This year dad and his wife Gracie went to Montana to visit friends for Thanksgiving. I knew I’d miss them but wished them a good time.

As Justin and I drove up into the mountains I thought about Ray as I looked out the car at the forests. Over the river and through the woods… When I was 16 Ray and I would drive up to the mountains to see the stars. I’d drive. He never learned how. In the cool summer nights we’d stand in a clearing at 8,000 feet and watch the endless show of zillions of stars and watch for shooting stars and satellites. Ray would tell me about the aliens who’d be back to get him. He’d tell me about how the ancient Greeks would navigate ships and come to America to visit. He’d tell me about planets that were inhabited by people so beautiful that our eyes would explode if we looked at them. He’d tell me that he’d been in love with a girl once and kissed her under the stars but she killed herself. He said he’d see her again. The aliens said they had taken her just before her soul was lost. Uncle Ray said to never be sad. He also told me over and over that he wasn’t crazy.

“What are the thinking about?” Justin startled me out of my reverie.

“My Uncle Ray. I miss him.”

Justin put his hand on mine. “I know honey, I know.”

Thanksgiving was spectacular. The food was amazing, the company was wonderful, the day was perfect. I’m blessed to be married into such a great family.

A few hours after dinner, after football and a lot of other fun, I took Justin by the hand and led him to the kitchen. I got myself a smoked turkey wing and gave Justin a leg, then poured two glasses of wine, minus the ice cubes and took him outside to watch the stars.

We talked about what fun we’d had that day. Then we talked about starting our own family, maybe trying to start that week.

A fireball sailed across the sky. I couldn’t figure out what it was. Maybe a meteorite?

Justin held my hand and said, “It’s your Uncle Ray.”

I think it was.

 

~ End

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

desert

Yes Virginia – Santa is a Vampire!

All Animals Love Santa

All Animals Love Santa

Winter is here with enough bite to freeze the slow beating heart of almost any Vampire.

My mom used to say to us “Don’t stop your heart or your blood will freeze.”

It is one of those things we have to think about, sometimes. I don’t recall ever telling my own children that, or any other “new” Vampires. 

Funny how one thinks of those sayings.

The first bat of the night is a wish. The next is a kiss. 

Bad blood is only in the soul.

Dance from dusk to dawn then sleep as if there is no sun.

As a mother (in the 1850’s and 60’s) with a rather large brood of young vampires (4 boys and 1 girl) my mom took advantage of the holidays in a big way. It was her time to celebrate and bring out the cheer. She was glad to get rid of the musty old gloom of the old days and embrace the Modern Vampire movement. 

At the same time a young artist named Thomas Nast created the iconic image of the American Santa Clause. Old Saint Nick was pretty awesome, but Santa was one of our own.

Jolly Old Vampire

Jolly Old Vampire

Yes, Santa Clause is a Vampire – that is a fact:

  1. He knows when you are sleeping. He knows when you are awake.
  2. He only comes out at night.
  3. Nobody ever sees him.
  4. He has been around for centuries.
  5. He can see in the dark.
  6. Red is his favorite color.
  7. He is jolly (hey, we’re jolly).
  8. He likes kids.
  9. He is an icon of popular culture.
  10. He knows who has been good and who has been bad.
  11. Despite his size he can get in and out of any building.
  12. He can make animals that normally live on the ground fly.
  13. Dogs and cats like him (all animals like Vampires because we understand them.)
  14. He makes people happy (don’t argue this point. Check my previous posts.)
  15. He rocks the red suit!

An interesting fact that all teens should know (and their parents): Thomas Nast was only 19 when he started to create illustrations for Harper’s Weekly. Let that sink in. He was only 19.  Let that inspire you.

Plus Thomas Nast rocked the facial hair.

Thomas Nast rocking the facial hair

Thomas Nast rocking the facial hair

So if you see that jolly old elf this Christmas season shake his hand and know that it isn’t the weather that is making that hand cold.

 

xoxoxo

Happy Holidays

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman