I will be with you even when we fall apart and our body parts trail behind us…and there is nothing left except our love.
~ From a Zombie Love Letter
~ From a Zombie Love Letter
Today I’m featuring not one, but two sort of romantic Vampire stories about guys with relationship issues. Some of you might have read these before. The other featured story is called Perfection. Anyway, have fun, and be amused and entertained.
A Story from Juliette aka Vampire Maman (first posted April 2013)
A house full of books and the ghosts of what could have been.
What can be. Oliver Thomas thought as he sat on the edge of the bed.
He never let himself get close to those he visited over the years. It was easy to become detached just as one could be detached to an apple or a head of lettuce.
She slept quietly. On the nightstand were books, earrings, a clock set for 5:00 a.m., and her glasses. Her husband was snoring and slept in another room. Her children were tucked into their dreams. Oliver made sure of that. They’d all be asleep.
Oliver Thomas kept coming back to her. She was different, by her own accord. Laurel had always been different – the type who saw the world in visions and possibilities. Someone who overcame obstacles. If she grew to be old she’d be a sweet eccentric with her window boxes full of exotic flowers and vast knowledge of the obscure and unusual.
She had a hard time making friends due to her shyness and reluctance to follow up. Her fear of rejection paralyzed her in some areas of her life. Most of life was paralyzing but she seemed to thrive and succeed.
Yet, the woman could light up a room with her wit and charm. She was a success despite her low opinion of herself.
But he’d fallen in love with her in a strange way that someone falls in love with an idea of perfection and the ideal person to share life’s adventures with.
Her teenage kids still hung all over her like toddlers, leaning on her even now. They were taller than she was, dressed in their black band shirts with trendy long hair and black painted nails. Oliver had seen Laurel once, her son with his lanky arm around her shoulder, her daughter with an arm around her waist. How many women, he wondered, envied her for the closeness she had with her children.
If it wasn’t for her children she might have checked out and left the world a long time ago. Since childhood Laurel had been uncomfortable with life and the tremendous effort it took for her to live with herself and her failures.
Oliver saw that Laurel had failed to see her success, except with her children. He didn’t want to think of her marriage with Craig. It worked better than most. In fact, for the most part, her marriage to Craig was an uncommon success.
Craig, the handsome and successful husband, was the love of her life. Even in her dreams Laurel couldn’t cheat on Craig. They’d built a life together. For her that was enough. More than enough she told herself.
But Oliver knew it wasn’t enough. Laurel found her life in others but kept her secret soul and passions locked up, bound in shadows and secrets.
At one time, Oliver and Laurel had been lovers. The memory of her warm skin, her lips on his own, her hands in his hair and her passion haunted him. He’d come and gone from her life assuming she’d always be there.
Now he was only with her in the dream world of the night. She’d remember him in another time and place in long lost memories of centuries past. She’d think she’d had a life in another time with him, a past life of possibilities and promise and passion.
An unlikely candidate this middle aged working mom, too tired and busy to think of herself except when she let her imagination fly as she commuted to school and work in her car each morning, or when she dozed off at night in her own secret places.
The passions were still in her, as it had been when she was young. How could that be? He kissed her then buried his face into her neck and when he’d had enough of her he silently left her with dreams of passion and desire.
The following evening Oliver looked up from his desk and there she was, standing in the doorway. Black dress, apple green sweater, black heels. The blue Coach bag, a 50th birthday present from her husband was slung over her shoulder. She looked she owned the world, but she still didn’t think she was beautiful.
How did she find me here? I never told her where I live?
“Laurel.” He said her name as if in a dream.
“Don’t Laurel me Oliver. I want you to leave me alone.”
He stood and approached her with his hands held out. “It was always the wrong time or place for us.”
She stepped back ignoring his open arms. “Don’t even start with me Oliver. It would have never worked. You always said I was too independent. Then you turned around and called me needy.”
“I never said any of those things.” He was shocked by her accusations.
“You didn’t have to say it. You made it obvious you were thinking it.”
He didn’t respond. This wasn’t the time for the witty dialog they’d shared in the past, the long talks through the night or the sweet lover’s words.
“Laurel, you can’t stand there before me and say that with a straight face.”
She looked at the floor then looked up straight into his eyes. “You never told me you loved me.”
“I didn’t have to.”
“Bull shit. You just expected me to hang around and wait for you to come in and out of my life. It got old Oliver. But it doesn’t matter. I’m married to a man who loves me the way I am. I’m successful, happy and I love my life.”
“I doubt if Craig realizes what a fortunate man he is.”
“Did you ever tell him about me?” Oliver took a step forward. Laurel folded her arms as if to shut him out.
“I haven’t told anyone about you. They’d all think I was nuts. Just like my Aunt Margaret when she talked about her Vampire.”
“You still love me Laurel.” Oliver said those words quietly with such passion that almost no woman would be able to resist. No woman except Laurel.
She turned and left, slamming the door behind her.
Oliver watched from the window as she got in her car and drove away. The slightest hint of regret surged through his dark thoughts. He’d never meet another who captured his heart and his passions like she had. He’d never meet anyone who made him laugh or feel the joy of being like Laurel had.
Oliver heard the steps behind him but didn’t turn around. A warm hand caressed his shoulder.
“Is she gone?” The speaker was obviously annoyed.
“Does she have any idea I’m here?”
Craig looked out the window. “Good. Where do we go from here?”
“Are you absolutely sure you want to do this?”
“My son is an Emo freak who acts in plays and writes poetry for fun. My daughter won’t talk to anyone unless it’s a text. My wife is never going to lose the baby fat or stop telling stupid jokes or snoring or complaining how hard she works. It wasn’t what I signed up for.”
“Just for once I want what I want. I don’t want to go home to a woman who is tired all the time and can’t even comprehend my needs.”
“What about your children? You must care about them on some level.”
“They’ll be fine without me. Laurel will have two million dollars in life insurance to get the kids through college. There’s another 10 million in assets she can sell off if she has to. She’ll make sure her children have wonderful memories of me.”
“The news of your death will break her heart.”
Craig scowled at Oliver. “Laurel is already so miserable she won’t even notice. She’ll be happy to be the unfortunate widow and bask in the glow of her own sorrow. I’m doing her a favor by dying rather than divorcing her.”
“And your girlfriends?” Asked Oliver.
“They’re whores who think they can get ahead by sleeping with the CEO. They’ll both get their pink slips next week. So now what?”
Oliver went back around to his desk and sat in the antique leather chair. “Your car will be found in the river and it will be assumed your body was washed away with the currents. Your wallet and a few clothing items will be found washed up on a beach. It will be assumed that you died.”
“So when do I change?”
“When do I become like you? A Vampire.” Craig asked this impatiently almost sounding like a spoilt teen.
Oliver took a deep breath and answered him. “Tonight if you want, but I’d rather wait until tomorrow.”
Craig leaned on the desk close to the Vampire. “I want this Oliver. I want my freedom.”
“You’ll get what you want Craig.”
“Oliver, I’m telling you…”
Craig started to speak but Oliver held up his hand. “We’ll take my jet to Rome in the morning. By the time we get there you’ll be a different man. The old Craig will be gone forever. In the meantime, you need to see your children one last time.”
Laurel sat in the high school auditorium waiting for the play to start. A Midsummer’s Night Dream. Her son played Lysander and her daughter was playing Puck.
Craig had called earlier to tell her he was working late. He’d been sorry to miss the play but said he’d see it on closing night next weekend. She thought she was going to throw up. She pulled out her phone and listened to the message she’d received right after she’d seen Oliver.
A sing song girlish voice said “Laurel this is Trinity, Craig’s assistant. I wanted to let you know that I’ve been sleeping with your husband for about two years. He said I did all those nasty fetish things you wouldn’t do and I believed him. I really really loved him and would have done anything but he dumped me for Tara Hall. She’s like the VP of Marketing. They’ve been doing it since October so he was two timing on me too. Stupid puke. So when he says he is gone on business he’s really with her. I just thought you’d want to know because you seem like a nice lady.”
It was the fifth time she’d listened to it. Each time she’d hoped she’d heard it wrong but that wasn’t the case.
A text came in from Craig saying he had a change of plans and was on his way.
Concentrate. Don’t think about him. It isn’t true. He’ll be here any minute. Don’t cry.
The house lights went down and the play started.
Oliver Thomas stood on the side of the river and watched the emergency crews on the opposite shore drag out a sliver convertible, the headless body of the driver still strapped in the seat. Some unfortunate member of the police department would find sightless eyes attached to a severed head staring up at him from the floor of the passenger seat.
Witnesses said another car had forced him off the road. The convertible rolled and went into the water. It had been too dark to get any plate numbers or a good description of the other car.
Craig wanted to be free of his wife and children. A man should have what he wants after all.
Now Oliver would do it right. He’d wait a few months, he had time and he’d be there for Laurel and her children, like he should have been all along.
~Juliette aka Vampire Maman
Love posts for Valentine’s Day
While taking clothes out of the dryer I found a crisp folded piece of notepaper with a note, written with a red Sharpie.
I don’t think you understand how you tear my heart apart. You don’t do anything. You just are. You drive me crazy. You act so cool and I know how you put on a mask. Everyday is Halloween for you. Stop being so afraid of being yourself. I love you – you idiot.
Sigh. Seventeen year old Garrett has been writing love letters to girls since he was six years old. Now girls are writing them to him too. He has known Ione almost his entire life but they just started dating last Spring. If they make it as a couple or not, I’m sure they’ll always be friends – I have a feeling they will (they’re both Vampires.) So I…
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A short story from Juliette Kings
“We pumped quite a bit of blood out of your stomach. We’re not sure where it came from.”
She heard the words but was the noise in her head was still loud…
“Your heart had stopped beating. You weren’t breathing. You were cold.”
A hospital bed. She was in a bed hooked up to equipment. Her throat hurt.
“We still can’t get your body temperature up to normal and your heart beat is extremely slow.”
She’d been found in a room of an abandoned house wearing nothing but a black silk cocktail dress and black high heeled sandals. The nails on her hands and feet were painted silver. Aside from that there was no jewelry, no purse, no identification. The man she’d been with had received minor injuries and would be in soon to see her. He said he was her boyfriend. Panic started to set in but she didn’t show it.
“Do you remember anything?”
“Not a lot.” She lied. She had remembered almost everything, despite the headache. The man called Austin had wanted to show her a house he was remodeling. He specialized in renovating Victorians and older historic homes. It was charming. It was haunted. “Is Austin alright?”
“He had a few stitches in his forehead, but yes, he is doing fine.”
“We left the club where we met. I mean, it wasn’t a hook up, we’d been seeing each other for a while. We’re friends. He told me about his work restoring old homes. I own some property I was thinking of having restored…He took me to a house he owns. It’s old, nobody lives there. A Queen Ann style Victorian. Beautiful. He showed me around and we ended up in an upstairs room.” She didn’t tell him of the phantoms and the screams that nearly burst her ear drums. She paused, and glanced at the needle in her arm. “Alright, we did fool around some. But we both started to feel really sick. He passed out first. I tried to wake him. I think we were drugged at the bar. Is he ok?”
“I’m fine sweetheart.” In the door stood a man with a bandage on his forehead. His brown eyes met her blue with almost a spark of both passion and hate. He smiled at the doctor.
“She’s a vampire and I’m a vampire hunter. I had no idea the house was haunted when I took her there. Sorry, it’s along running joke between us. Isn’t it Elizabeth?”
Her eyes met his again. A hunter hunting the huntress. “Is that all I am to you?”
He sat next on the edge of the bed and took her cold hand. “You need to warm up dear or they’ll never let you out of here. I know, it takes a lot of effort to keep your heart beating for those machines. You don’t want them thinking you’re dead.”
To think she was starting to fall in love with this man.
“I thought you were going to kill me last night but you saved my life. Why’d you do that Elizabeth?
Doctor Davis spoke up. “What is going on here?”
Austin smiled and spoke in a quiet calming voice. “I’m sorry for the confusion. We have our own language. We had a fight. She wasn’t going to kill me. Just an expression. She was angry. You know, I’m a typical guy. I did typical stupid guy stuff. We went to the house and like she said, we were both feeling sick. Then someone came in and mugged us. She saved me. I don’t know how, but she defended me. It was too dark to tell what was going on. We had a tumultuous relationship but we’re not violent, just a little dramatic.”
“He’d never touch me.” Elizabeth looked back at Austin. “The ones who attacked us… I had no idea. I’ve never experienced anything like that.”
“I thought you’d know.”
They both talked to the police about what had happened. Their story was the same. They’d gone to a house he owned, it was unoccupied, they were attacked. They both had traces of an airborne toxin in their systems.
Elizabeth was released into Austin’s care. She’d told him she’d call a taxi but he insisted on bringing her home.
On the way he talked. She sat still, feeling sick, trying to regain her energy. The morning sun burned her eyes even through the fog.
“So my building, the house we were in last night is haunted. Those were ghosts.”
Elizabeth glanced over at him, then looked away. “Yes, they were ghosts. I know someone who can get rid of them for you. He’s good and his prices are reasonable.”
“You know Elizabeth, I’ve found at least a dozen of your kind, vampires, in the basements of abandoned old buildings I’ve purchased for restoration. They weren’t like you. They were like rats.”
“I’m not like them. I don’t live in the shadows or in a crypt. I don’t sleep in a coffin. Most of us aren’t like your rats. We live normal lives.”
“When were you born?”
“1834. I’ve been a vampire since 1853. How did you know?”
He gave her a mean smile. “Call it a 6th sense. My grandfather hunted vampires. It’s in my blood, no pun intended.”
They arrived at her house. He was impressed. A beautiful craftsman style, maybe 2,500 square feet, nice old neighborhood. Inside the woodwork was beautiful. Her decorating was a combination of period and modern. Nice.
“You can go,” she told him.
“Show me around. This place is great.”
“I’m the original owner. 1905.”
As she showed him around Austin noticed a diploma in her office. “You didn’t tell me you were an attorney. Go figure.”
“I told you I consulted for the Justice Department. There is no shame in what I do.”
The house was impressive as was the vampire who lived in it. “Was that my blood they pumped out of your stomach?”
“Most of it. Don’t worry, you won’t turn into a Vampire. I just took maybe a pint.”
Austin noticed a mirror on the wall. He took Elizabeth by the shoulders and turned her around to face it. He could see his own reflection but hers was just a dim shadow.
“Look at my eyes, in the mirror. Look at my eyes,” she told him.
Their eyes locked in the glass. Her image became clear. He laughed. It wasn’t the sarcastic bitter laugh she’d heard all morning. This was joy.
“Elizabeth, will you be alright if I leave you?”
“You aren’t going to kill me?”
“Then when? When will you be back to cut out my heart and cut off my head.”
“Do you want to go out sometime on a real date?”
“You’re scaring me Austin.”
“I know. I’ll pick you up tomorrow around 8:00. It should be dark by then. Wear something nice.”
She watched through the window as he drove away. Her heart had stopped beating. She wasn’t breathing. In the refrigerator was a bottle of blood. She was starving. Her head was light but that was because of him.
Austin drove away with a smile on his face. What a rush. He wasn’t sure what tomorrow would bring. Either he’d kill her or he’d marry her. That is, if she didn’t kill him first.
First published in 2014. This is the first story in the Austin and Elizabeth series.
~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman
We might think that habits are nothing to be bothered and nothing but odd bits of manners, but in reality we’re Vampires, so we’re odd, so we definitely need habits for success. Seven is also an odd number, so we need seven habits. That is unless you’re the seventh son of a seventh son, then I can’t help you. Nobody can help you.
You can be proactive, reactive, inactive, radioactive, or even retroactive. It is always your choice, depending on what important habits you decide to incorporate into your existence.
People often ask self-help guys, “Why can’t children do their work cheerfully?” Holy crap, I can’t do my own work cheerfully. Have you ever thought about talking with your kids, telling them exactly what you expect, explaining consequences, then not being wishy washy about it or an asshole? Communications is always the key. You don’t need a book to tell you that. Just listen to the Vampire. Listen to yourself. Learn from your mistakes. Don’t be a jerk.
People also ask self-help guys, “How can I make a lot of money?” Work. Work hard. Work smart. Save. Go back to school. There is no EASY way, so stop being a jackass looking for that pot of gold. Those little green trolls aren’t giving up anything. Yes, and your wife, and your kids think you’re a jackass.
You can be a leader, a follower, or someone who just doesn’t give a fuck about what anyone else thinks. In light of recent political events the later might be the best option. Well, that and the fact that you’re a Vampire.
Some call it being proactive, but you’re a Vampire so call it what it is. Be aggressive. It is a cold and dark world out there for our kind. Improve your existence by being proactive and not letting anything get in the way of you and your next
Write yourself a mission statement. Mine is: Don’t sweat the small stuff cause Vampires don’t sweat.
You’re a Vampire. You have time. You have a lot of time. So take your time. No need to rush anything.
This isn’t a Win/Win world for Vampires. You must ALWAYS win. The key is to make your donors think that they are winning. Don’t just leave them with a pint less of blood, a sore neck, and a queasy feeling. Leave them with sweet dreams. Leave a basket of fresh baked cookies, and juice to help get their blood sugars back up. And if you run into a jerk – then leave that person with nightmares he or she will never forget – because YOU ALWAYS WIN.
Over the years I’ve helped a lot of new Vampires break in their fangs, and adjust a different kind of life. As a Vampire you can’t be all of that concerned with the feelings of others. Nobody wants fangs in their warm plump neck veins. What they do want is you listening to them empathically. Then you lull them into a trance and have your fill. Don’t be overly concerned about asking if it is ok, or if their feelings are going to be hurt. This isn’t the time to be concerned with their point of view. It is time for YOU and what YOU think.
Use your natural Vampire charm and cunning to gain their trust. Communication is the key to leverage your views and desires. Engage with them and use their faults to make them think everything is their idea. They’ll have themselves in the morning, but you’ll have a nice warm stomach full of blood.
Maintain physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual aspects of your life in a well balanced way. Bahahahahahahha. Like that is going to happen. Just do what you need to do. You’re a Vampire. Throw them a fast ball, then throw them a curve ball – they’ll never know what hit them.
The previous statements might or might not be the opinion of this blog or whatever. This is just for fun (maybe), and not intended to be taken seriously (unless you’re a Vampire.)
You KNOW how I feel about self-help books, parenting books, boring books, and books with missing pages – not much.
~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman
As long as we’re on the subject… Happy Sunday and Happy October. I have a short favorite for you.
“I’m taking him to the vet and having him put down.” Jeff said into the phone.
“No you aren’t.” I said, ready to scream.
“It is cruel to make him suffer like this.”
“He isn’t our dog to put down.” I almost growled at my husband.
“I don’t care. Grandpa will understand. He’s always complaining about how he hates Bruce anyway.”
“The kids will be heartbroken.” I said trying to stall him.
“What about my mom? She’ll never forgive you.”
“Gretchen, I’m taking Bruce to the vet. I’m sorry.”
“I want to say good-bye.”
“Bruce will understand.” He hung up. Damn him.
Bruce was Grandpa’s dog. He was old. The oldest dog I knew. Jeff thought he was 16. I knew better. Jeff thought Bruce was half wolf and half Alaskan malamute. I knew he was half Irish. Jeff liked to bake him organic dog treats. I knew Bruce preferred bourbon and prime rib. Jeff thought grandpa was crazy to have such a large dog. I knew Grandpa was half crazy and Jeff was right, it was about the dog, but it didn’t have anything to do with its size.
Once a month I kept the dog for Grandpa, while he “Went to the cabin with his old college buddies.” I hauled the dog to weddings, to funerals, to camping trips and hanging around the house. He’d been there for my college graduation, my wedding, for my kids. My mom had watched the old dog before me. My grandma before her.
Of course Jeff didn’t believe anything my family said about the damn dog. He’d spent years hearing us tell bad jokes and tall tales. It was how we spoke, in stories. I blame it on my Southern parents. Jeff just thinks I’m funny. He tells me I should have my own show on cable. HA HA HA. He thinks my family is quirky and quaint. Right now nothing was funny or quaint.
I raced home from the studio. I’m a photographer, mostly editorial, corporate portraits, product photos. Good thing I’m the owner of the business, otherwise I’d never deal with my husband, my children and Grandpa’s damn dog. I would have had the dog with me today but he was too stiff to climb into the car by himself and at 125 pounds I didn’t feel like lifting him today.
Jeff was still at home. I parked blocking the driveway. Thank God the kids were still in school. I have never been so angry with anyone in my entire life. I barged through the door yelling at my husband. “All I asked you to do was check in on him for me at lunch time and you decided to kill him. Well for once in your life listen to me…”
I yelling stopped when I saw Jeff. He had a towel around his hand. He was bleeding.
“The old guy bit me when I was trying to get him out of the house.” he said with a shrug of his shoulder.
I saw Bruce poke his old white muzzle around the corner.
“Why the hell did you have to bite him?” I yelled at the dog. Bruce tucked his tail and cowered. His ribs stuck out from his sides. He looked ancient and pathetic.
Jeff reached out to scratch the dog behind his ear. “Don’t yell at him. It’s like he sensed what I was going to do. Poor old guy was scared.”
“Don’t touch him.” I yelled. I looked at the wound on Jeff’s hand. It was clean. I went back to the dog. “Damn you, after all I’ve done for you.” Bruce looked at me with glassy brown eyes and shook, tail still between his legs.
Jeff put his arms around me “Gretch, don’t get mad at the dog. “
“You don’t understand,” I gasped.
“He’s old and scared.” Jeff said stroking my hair with his good hand. “You know dear, all that dog hears is “Bruce, blah blah blah. Blah blah blah”. He laughed and gave me a quick hug.
I pulled away. “He’s a werewolf.”
“Oh Honey, don’t call him that. He’s just an old arthritic dog. Poor old guy.” He leaned down to touch noses with the dog. Bruce licked Jeff’s face and thumped his tail on the floor. “You aren’t a werewolf are you old guy? You’re just a prince in disguise. You think she’ll give you a kiss?” Jeff started to make kissy noises.
I thought I was going to throw up.
“There’s a reason why we never see Grandpa and Bruce together.” I growled. They’re the same animal. Bruce isn’t 16, he’s 85. ”
Jeff took a deep breath. “I’m not going to put him down. We’ll wait till Grandpa gets home and discuss it with him. Werewolves. That’s a good one. So when you work at night does that mean you’re a vampire?” he laughed again. “You can bite my neck anytime.” He kissed my neck.
I backed away feeling the panic rushing up inside my body. “Jeff, it’s true and now….”
I couldn’t say the words. Now my husband was going to become a werewolf and I’d have one more old dog to take care of.
Juliette aka Vampire Maman