Short Story Sunday: The Box In Dave’s Basement

“I was just going out for coffee,” said Austin as he looked at the carnage surrounding him.

Coffee with the crossword puzzle, and a little bit of fresh air sounded good. Then Dave, who lived three houses down called to him as he waked by, “Hey, Austin, there’s something weird in my basement. Take a look.”

Austin was both a history professor and a general contractor specializing in historic restorations, so of course he’d check it out. Dave lived in the oldest house on that street, built in 1888. It was a fantastic small Queen Anne, painted shades of blue and cream.  Dave led the way to the back of the dark space to an oblong box.

“I was measuring the room and moved away some lumber that had been here since I moved in and found this,” said Dave. “It looks like a coffin. Do you think I should call someone?”

“Let me take a look. I’ve found these before,” said Austin, taking out his penknife. He slid the knife around the edges of the box to see if there was a latch or any loose spots.

Then all Hell broke loose. Two men, dressed in long black coats, carrying guns and large knives appeared at the door.

“Hey,” yelled Dave. “Get the fuck outta here. I told you guys to stay away from my house. I’m calling 911. I warned you.” Then he turned to Austin. “The bastards were out last week. I told them…”

The men moved closer. Dave continued, “Out NOW.” Dave was a medium sized silver haired average family guy his mid fifties, with some sort of upper management job with the Department of Water Resources. His wife was wife away on a girl’s weekend. His kids were away at college. He’d been working on making the basement into the ultimate man cave over the past few weekends. He wasn’t in the mood for Vampire Hunters.

“Damn it. I said GET OUT you crazies,” Dave yelled.

“Just let us have the box,” said one of the men, a tall shaggy haired guy with some sort of unidentifiable accent.

Austin took a step forward, getting between Dave and the vampire hunters. “No can do guys. You have to go.”

The other man, a bald guy with huge shoulders pointed a gun at Austin and Dave. “Move aside gentlemen.” He then shoved them out of the way and with a swift kick popped open the box.

Inside was the perfectly preserved body of a woman in an old fashioned lace dress. She looked as though she was made of fine leather. A bunch of dried roses were in her hand.

The shaggy haired man lifted a huge wooden stake. Dave and Austin both yelled, “NO.”

Dave jumped on the back of the bald man. Austin knocked the shaggy haired man out of the way.

Suddenly a blinding flash of light and a blast of cold air knocked them to the wall. Two more men appeared at the door, also in black but without the coats. One carried a knife, and the other a whip. The smiled, showing fangs.

“Holy shit,” whispered Dave.

The vampires grabbed the men in the black coats by the scruff of their necks, like small children, and threw them back out into the sunlight. One of the vampires uttered a string of long strange sounding words, and the vampire hunters ran down the street.

The woman in the coffin sat up, and moved her head around.

“Stiff neck?” Austin asked.

She looked at him, surprised. Then she smiled with a slight show of her own fangs. “Yes, thanks for the concern. How long did I sleep?”

“From the looks of your dress, maybe ninety years,” said Austin.

“I guess I missed that party then,” she said with a slight laugh.

“This is too weird,” said Dave as he got up, and crossed the room. He turned on the overhead shop lights and got a good look at his company. “You mean to tell me you’ve been in that box for ninety years?”

The woman just blinked against the light. The two Vampires stood out of the shadows.

“Hey, Austin,” said one of them. “I thought that was you.”

“Pierce,” said Austin. “I had no idea you were a vampire. Small world. Dave, this is Pierce, he guest lectures for me sometimes on nineteenth California government issues.”

“And this is Max, he…”

“Max,” said Austin as he held out his hand. “Good to see you. Thanks for helping out.”

“Austin,” said Max.

Dave looked at the Vampires then laughed. “Pierce. I know you. You were teaching American History at UC Berkley in the late 70’s. I took a couple of classes from you. You look like you haven’t aged a day. How old are you?”

Pierce smiled and shook Dave’s hand. “I’m 171, but who’s counting.”

“I was just going out for coffee,” said Austin as he looked at the carnage surrounding him. “You’re all welcome to come.”

The woman’s name is Lily. She had a lot of catching up to do so Dave gave her a pair of jeans and a shirt out of his wife’s closet, and they all headed out for coffee.

That’s all.

~ end

First published here in 2016

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Short Story Sunday: Stumped

Stumped

I just got done removing a stump from the back yard and I’m sitting down to a beer and the game when the doorbell rings.

My wife is out shopping and the kids are off with friends. I’m enjoying a little quiet time, just me and the TV.

I answer the door, and there is a guy about my age standing there. He looks like he just came out of GQ Magazine with a jacket, perfect jeans, wearing shoes that costs as much as my house payment. His features are like an Italian Model or a Movie star, that sort of pretty but manly look that women go nuts over. His hair is perfect, thick and silver. He’s wearing a Rolex Submariner. Nice.

He gave me a pretty serious look then said, “I’m sleeping with your wife.”

All right, I wasn’t expecting that one. He then looked me up and down like he was waiting for me to beat the shit out of him. I’m a big guy. Not big and fat, but 6’4″ with a lot of gym time. I used to play football. This guy wasn’t small but I had a good five inches on him and maybe sixty pounds. He looked like a runner or one of those freaking guys who rides a bike in neon colored spandex shorts.

Honestly I should have beat the shit out of him, but that isn’t my style. I just went numb. Heather and I had been together for 20 years, married 17 of those years. We have two kids and a house and friends and … we were one of those perfect couples. You know, we laugh a lot and say the same thing at the same time. That sort of perfect. We hold hands and … I thought things were fine.

Sure she’d put on some weight and had a hard time dealing with her body image. Sure she was over worked with her job and the kids and with me. Sure she was stressed, but who isn’t? But… this handsome, obviously wealthy guy was standing here telling me that MY WIFE was sleeping with him.

He started talking about passion… her passion. Sure we had passion. That morning I’d almost been late for work because of her passion, our passion. But he got into details of fetish stuff he’d do with her and how he made her scream the way I never could. I had no idea she ever wanted any of that stuff. I sure didn’t want it.

Then, as I stood stunned, he talked about her beauty and how smart she was and how I could never ever appreciate her. He said the kids didn’t need her as much anymore, he said she loved him.

I could feel my body start to shake. My world was imploding around me. My throat was tight. I thought I was going to vomit on his expensive shoes. Finally I said something. “Does she know you’re here?”

Mr. GQ glared at me and said, “I’m taking her away to live the life she deserves.”

“Do you love Heather?” I asked. I had to know. I knew the answer but I wanted him to tell me.

His eyes opened as big as dinner plates. “Heather?”

“My wife,” I said.

“Your wife isn’t Allison?”

“Heather.” I grabbed the wedding photo off of the hutch in the front entryway and put it in his face. “Allison lives next door.”

“Uh, sorry. I’m so sorry.”

He didn’t go next door. He just got in his car and drove away. About 20 minutes later the front door opened and I heard a familiar voice, “Honey, I’m home. Did I miss anything?”

“No, just got the stump out and I’m watching the game. Hey, Heather, did I tell you that I think you’re beautiful?”

“Sure. Thanks for getting that stump out. Will you help me with the groceries?”

I follow her outside and she gives me a little smile, the kind she always does when she has something smart to say. “You know, you’re the only man I ever loved.”

I grab a couple of bags. “Good to know. Love you too.”

~ end

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Short Story Sunday: Blow Up

It wasn’t just one of those days. It was THE day. At least it seemed that way, for a few minutes, then Tara realized that it was a rare week that went by without a disaster.

Take this morning for example. She’d been driving home and heard the sound of an explosion, then sirens, and then saw a huge black cloud coming from the sky. She assumed that it was a fire in a field or an old warehouse occupied by homeless tweekers. She stopped to get gas, then by the grocery store to pick up cat food.

She turned into her street and saw that it was her garage.

“Dingus,” she whispered. Her dog raised his head from the back seat of her car. “Amber,” she said out loud. “Oh no. Amber.”

The detached garage was gone. Firefighters were working on keeping the rest of the house from burning down. Tara parked and ran down the street towards her house. Dingus ran after her.

Her neighbor Sue was standing outside with a beer in her hand. She approached Tara and stopped her from getting too close to the fire. “I have Amber. Your kitty is safe sweetie.”

“What about the guys in the garage?” Tara looked at the fire with tears coming down her cheek.

“I’m going to assume they’re gone. Holy shit, to come all this way and blow themselves up in a garage fire,” said Sue. “I told them just the other day to lay low and not fool with stuff. They never listened. That is on of the great faults of history. Nobody listens to the natives. They have to think they know better. They have to think their technology is always better.”

The women watched as the fire was put out, then Tara approached one of the fire fighters. She held her big Lab mix Dingus close and told him not to jump.

“Hey, Dingus,” he said as he pulled off a glove and put his and on the dog’s head. “I’m so sorry Tara. This is so weird. We thought there was someone in your garage. Maybe… I don’t know. It was weird, like someone running around in the flames. Then we didn’t see them. Was there anyone who might have been in your garage?”

“No, Joe. The only thing I had in there was Dale’s old Mustang, a few tools, and gardening stuff. My Costco stash was in there too, you know toilet paper, paper towels, charcoal. But I kept the lighter fluid in the house. I had a couple of gas cans for the power tools but they were empty.”

They talked some more about the weird explosion and fire. The a handsome officer from the Sheriff Department asked some general questions. He said someone would be out to investigate. Tara called her insurance company, then called her mom and her boss.

After all of the emergency crews had gone, and the yellow tape was around my garage, Sue and Tara poked around a bit.

The women couldn’t find any trace of anything. That included Tara’s deceased brother Dale’s 1965 Mustang convertible. It was a sweet ride – white with a red interior. Dale had loved that car. So had Tara.

Sue looked down at the burnt out garage then at Tara. “Do you think they took the car?”

“Looks that way,” said Tara.

Later that night Sue’s husband and kids came home from a school field trip. They speculated on what might have happened. They decided not to tell the fire department or Sheriff about their own theories.

Despite the smoke smell Tara decided to stay in her house that night. Joe came over later and spent the night. They shared a bottle of wine, made love, and Tara didn’t tell him anything about her garage.

Far away on the moon Titan, circling the planet Saturn, Dolf and Wheeze drove into the underground city in Dale’s 1965 Mustang. They thought their parents were going to kill them for crashing their ship in Tess’s back yard. They’d even get more shit for blowing up her garage. They’d put a chip in Amber’s neck to make sure they’d know what was happening on Earth. Amber seemed to know everything. She was their best long-term connection. But for now they just wanted to settle in from the long trip and cruise with their friends. Life was good, especially for Titan teens.

~ end

Tangled Tales – Now Over 200 Short Stories

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 necessarily follow the tales of Juliette’s life with her husband, kids and assorted Vampire Mom adventures.

Expect the unexpected … and a lot of fun! Click on the title to go to the story.

You’ll find Vampire, parenting, Gothic romance, horror, humor, urban fantasy, science fiction, odd ditties, literary fiction, and other unique and unexpected tangled tales. This isn’t the complete list but it will keep you busy for a while. Keep checking back for more.

* Guest authors  

  1. Dancing on the Beach
  2. Morning in the Vineyard
  3. When You Grow Old
  4. A Man Should Have What He Wants
  5. Ode to a Greek God
  6. The Alley
  7. Off to See the Wizard
  8. Baker Beach
  9. The Necklace (My Christmas Necklace)
  10. The Travelers
  11. Captain Sandy and the Airship at the End of the World
  12. Perfection
  13. The Shadow of Fire
  14. Robert and the Key *
  15. Dark Politics
  16. Romance of the Needles
  17. Heart Shaped Box*
  18. Stumped
  19. The Child
  20. Night at the Crest
  21. Dawn of the Undead
  22. Sunday School
  23. The Time Travelers
  24. I’ll Return to You
  25. Star Crossed Wars
  26. My Vampire Lover
  27. No End in Sight
  28. Tell Tail Heart
  29. The Hunter
  30. The Bully
  31. Slut
  32. I’ll Take Care of You
  33. Cold
  34. Prisoner of Love
  35. Christmas Orphans (a random short tale)
  36. The List
  37. A Head of the Game
  38. The Box in Dave’s Basement
  39. Tall Tales
  40. Fallen
  41. Back into the Past
  42. Pixie Dust
  43. Welcome to Hell (a bit of Science Fiction)
  44. Male Bonding (A Vampire Story)
  45. Everything Will Be Alright
  46. Magnolia
  47. Saturday Afternoon
  48. Almost Perfect in Every Way
  49. Up or Down
  50. Uncle Jerry’s Time Machine
  51. That Which Remains
  52. First Sight
  53. Springtime
  54. The Changeling
  55. The Rally
  56. Yes, it is complicated, almost as much as A Unicorn, A Squirrel, and A Possum Go Into a Bar
  57. Earthquake
  58. Coffee and a Crypt
  59. Nowhere in Time
  60. A Werewolf’s Train to Nowhere
  61. Curse of Bloke Island
  62. Dead or Alive (a Vampire Romance)
  63. Conversion
  64. You Gotta Believe
  65. A Ray of Hope
  66. True Friends
  67. Stranger No More
  68. The Time Travelers
  69. A Change of Heart
  70. Captured Bride
  71. Rare Peace
  72. Finally Home
  73. A Drive with Marilyn
  74. Cold Hands, Warm Heart
  75. Sunday Morning Coffee
  76. Giving Blood
  77. 2020
  78. One of Those Days
  79. A Mysterious Stranger on a Hot Dry Day
  80. A Mystery
  81. Charade*
  82. Checkmate*
  83. Sunset and Ginger Ale*
  84. Under the Stars
  85. For the Kids
  86. Indecision
  87. We will be happy
  88. Blow Up
  89. Community
  90. Desert Sky
  91. Dog Park
  92. Fairies
  93. Don’t Fall Apart On Me Baby
  94. Dawn of the Undead
  95. You Gotta Believe
  96. The List
  97. Hollow Heads
  98. Springtime
  99. Earthquake
  100. Mail Order House
  101. Krampus Clause
  102. Heal Thyself
  103. Fall Garden
  104. Lucky Me
  105. Gasoline and Tiger Maple (don’t mix)
  106. Warlock Woods
  107. Sunday Coffee
  108. College Daze
  109. Why I hate Valentine’s Day
  110. Mail Order House
  111. Boys Will Be Boys
  112. Mother’s Day
  113. No Weapon At All
  114. Cold
  115. Writing on the Wall
  116. Night Dogs
  117. Lizbit
  118. Smoke
  119. Dream a Little Dream
  120. Mere Mortal
  121. A Better Place
  122. For the Kids
  123. No Little Women
  124. Off to See the Wizard
  125. House by the Ocean
  126. Art
  127. Night Dogs
  128. Friends  Forever
  129. Green Man
  130. Donner Lake
  131. Chaos and Mistletoe
  132. Warmth
  133. Conversion
  134. Gather Around Little Vampires
  135. The Morning After
  136. Friends Forever
  137. Witching
  138. Being a Vampire
  139. Boys will be Boys
  140. Mother’s Day
  141. School Night
  142. The Rally
  143. Chloe’s Face
  144. Going Through With It
  145. Circles
  146. Beauty
  147. Gerald Atkins – Vampire Hunter
  148. Morcant and the Mermaid
  149. I’ve got your number –  an intergalatic romance
  150. Leaving Victor
  151. Raven and Dove
  152. A Ghost Story*
  153. Small Talk
  154. Noz*
  155. Last Call*
  156. Pandemic
  157. Permission to Mourn
  158. Old Bones
  159. Playing Dracula
  160. Driving Home With Superheroes
  161. May Your Days Be Foggy and Bite
  162. There Would Always Be Cats
  163. Brothers in Arms
  164. Peaches
  165. Shelter
  166. Shrine
  167. Unicorns Don’t Care
  168. The Morning After
  169. I Hate Valentine’s Day
  170. May Your Days be Foggy and Bite – OR – Hark the Herald Vampires Sing
  171. Witching
  172. Smoke
  173. None of His Concern
  174. Beauty
  175. Glass Dreams
  176. Face Your Demons
  177. Binge Watch
  178. The First Apocalypse, The Truth About Aliens, Missing Links, and Real Pandora’s Box, as Told by A Ghost
  179. Goji and the Angel*
  180. Chernobyl Charlie*
  181. Remains*
  182. The Last Time*
  183. The Changeling
  184. The Lives I Never Lived (aka Ophelia, Drowned aka A Preoccupation With Tragedy)*
  185. Radio Waves
  186. Ashes
  187. Bernie Showers in France*
  188. Holy Grail
  189. Not Going Anywhere
  190. Good Bones
  191. Food Supply
  192. Too Hot To Wear Black
  193. Intentions
  194. Juice Cleanse
  195. Cousin Rachael
  196. Play Date
  197. Completely
  198. The Cabin
  199. Chaos and Mistletoe
  200. A Christmas Message From Ambrose*
  201. Driving Home With Superheroes
  202. May Your Days Be Foggy and Bite
  203. Old St. Rick

Guest Posts:

I’m honored to share these fantastic stories and verse from others. These are so good. You’re in for a treat. You’ll thank me later.

  1. Chuck the Elf by David X. Hunter
  2. Robert and the Key  by Charlotte Kings
  3. Heart Shaped Box by Mandy White
  4. We’re Not So Different by Mandy White
  5. Beneath the Bed by Mandy White
  6. Just One Kiss by Mandy White
  7. Chernobyl Charlie by Mandy White
  8. Charade by Adelia Hoff
  9. The Lives I Never Lived (aka Ophelia, Drowned aka A Preoccupation With Tragedy) by Adelia Hoff  
  10. Checkmate by Dave Stone
  11. The Eagle Cried by Richard Turton
  12. A Ghost Story by Richard Turton
  13. The Last Time by Richard Turton
  14. Sunset and Ginger Ale by Jade M. Phillips
  15. Noz by Mike Cooley
  16. Last Call by R. James Turley
  17. Goji and the Angel by Diana Garcia
  18. Remains by Soleil Daniel
  19. Bernie Showers in France by Aurora Jean Alexander
  20. A Christmas Message From Ambrose by Amy Karian

Series:

Keep checking back on the left side bar of this blog for more updates or CLICK here. I have more short stories for December 2020 from me and from wonderful guest writers.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Short Story Sunday: Gerald Atkins Vampire Hunter

“Now take that Gerald Atkins. He was the worst Vampire Hunter I’d ever seen. He could spot them but that was about it.”

“What was wrong with him?” Austin poured Grammy another cup of coffee.

“Oh he thought he was so suave showing up all dressed up like Sam Spade in his over coat and hat, smoking those smelly cigarettes of his.”

Grammy put some half and half in her coffee and continued. “Gerald would do stupid things like show up with holy water he’d gotten from a nun down at the Catholic church. I told him that he’d just as well throw Coca Cola at a Vampire for all the good it would do. I believe he was having sexual intercourse with that nun. Sister Ann was her name. I bet half the babies in that orphanage where hers.”

“They weren’t her children,” said Austin.

“You don’t know that Austin.”

“Oh Grammy.”

“Just let me finish my story. Gerald Atkins was an idiot. He showed up at a party with his detective get up, with his briefcase full of holy water, a cross, and some old spike he carved out of a 2×4 piece of lumber. Of course he had a knife too but I doubt if he ever sharpened it. The man was goddamn lazy if you ask me.

In a back room back away from all of the drug addicts doing their cocaine on the glass top tables Gerald Atkins finds a couple of Vampires hanging out. There’s a male and a female. Mr. Vampire looks like he belongs to one of those hair bands. It was the 80’s you know. Miss Vampire wore a royal blue silk dress with the back open almost down to her butt crack. So Gerald Atkins takes a look at then and throws his holy water at them. It splashes all over Miss Vampire’s expensive dress and does nothing but make a bunch of stains. The Vampires jump all over Gerald’s ass and suck enough blood out of him to almost kill him, but not quite. Then they dump him in a gutter.

He wakes up in the hospital blubbering on about Vampires. The doctors were convinced he had bats in his attic and was full goose bat shit loony, and locked him up in the mental ward for a few days.

Another time he decided he wanted to date a Vampire woman. Gerald Atkins was so stupid thinking he might get lucky before he killed her. He talked her up trying to tell her how beautiful she was in a cool sort of way. She listened to him and beat him to any game he might have been trying to play. He ends up telling her his life story and about all of his pathetic sorry romances except for his diddling Sister Ann. He never dared speak of Sister Ann but everybody knew about them. Everybody.

Then the fool thinks the Vampire woman is falling for him because she is smiling so sweetly and making her eyes go all twinkly and pretty the way Vampires do. That Vampire woman tied Gerald Atkins naked to a bed in a fancy hotel and left him with the bill. She never took a stitch of her clothing off. Just left him there naked as the day he was born with a couple of holes in his neck. Idiot.”

“Is he still hunting Vampires Grammy?”

“Gosh no. Those Vampires got tired of his shenanigans and cut his head off one night. They left him in the Old City Cemetery with his body laid out on a random grave and his head on top to the tombstone.”

“That’s awful,” said Austin.

Grammy shook her head. “Not really Austin. He wasn’t careful or smart like we are. He never did his research. He could tell if someone was a Vampire but he sure didn’t have any talent to hunt them down properly. He gave us all a bad name.”

Austin offered Grammy more coffee. She nodded yes.

“No thanks. I will have another one of those sugar cookies you made. I’ll take two.”

“Do you think you’ll ever hunt Vampire again?” Austin asked his Grammy half joking. Just half.

Grammy took a bite of cookie and thought a bit. Then she smiled at her grandson. “I don’t know. I can’t run like I used to but you never know. They wouldn’t expect an old lady like me now would they.”

Austin just smiled and took a cookie. No they wouldn’t expect anyone like his Grammy. Nobody ever expected Grammy.

~ end

WRITE. I made a thing. I made an art thing.

WRITE

11 x 14 Mixed Media on Canvas

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman
with a little bit of help from Marla Todd and inspiration from Milton 510 Bowen and my friends at WPaD (Writers, Poets, and Deviants)

Coming soon to a wall near me and a blog post near you. This is part of my “Jane Eyre” series. Mixed medium art during the pandemic inspired by the classics.