Vampire Diary: Music to My Ears (Broken Record Edition)

Dear Diary,

When one is imprisoned in a crypt for three hundred years one misses out on a lot of things. The past three hundred years went fast and were full of wonders which I missed being hellishly locked in a dark damp coffin inside of an ivy covered crypt. I hate ivy.

There is so much that used to be that I have not seen. Entire centuries and now dead technologies, fashions, and ways of life have vanished before I could know what they were but everyone aside from me knows what these things are, even if they were not born before these things happened.

Two days ago someone said he sounds like a broken record.

What did he mean. Did his numbers not match up? I asked.

I was told that he repeated himself.

“What is this record of,” I asked.

“It could be anything, I don’t know,” said the woman I was speaking with.

“I do not understand. Is it software such as an Excel spreadsheet?” I asked this trying not to sound old fashioned and completely ignorant of popular culture.

“Records. Phonograph records,” she said. “You know, like vinyl?”

“Oh I am sorry. I must have misunderstood you. The noise in this place interferes with my hearing,” I said to her. Then I looked into her eyes and made her forget everything except her desire to have me put my lips upon her neck and sink my teeth into her flesh and drink her blood.

We left and went to her apartment. She was lovely. But I could not help wondering why anyone would be concerned with keeping poor records of something called phonographs and how they would compare to a man who keeps repeating himself. I left her asleep with a smile on her face, and about a pint less blood and no memories of my bite.

Few automobiles were on the road as I drove home. I thought about my car that allows me to play thousands of songs, talk on the phone, and tell me directions from a small woman’s voice. I took the speed up to ninety-five miles per hour. I would talk my way out of a ticket because I am a Vampire and I can do that. Then I slowed down. I understand why people like cars. I understand the power. I listened to opera music in my car and sang along. It made me happy and less confused.

It was 3:34 a.m. when I stopped to obtain gasoline for my car. When I was outside I could hear two women standing by their car. I could hear one saying, “Damn he is one hot looking man.”

I did not feel hot. I am a Vampire. I never feel hot. Putting my hand on my forehead I could feel no sweat. I do not sweat. I do not understand.

~ Vlad

 

Dear Diary,

I spoke with my Vampire lover Gillian about what is a record. She did not roll her eyes but I knew she had the burning desire to.

“Dear Vlad, it is not an accounting record or ledger. It is a disk that music is recorded on. It is a recording. It is a disk made of vinyl that came out before the digital stuff you listen to now. When a record is scratched it skips, which means it repeats the same part of the song over and over. That my darling is where the expression broken record comes from,” she told me.

“How should I have known? Show me what this record looks like,” I said.

She went to YouTube, one of my sources for information about this confusing modern world, and found a recording of a record playing the Ramones. I know the Ramones. I have a See Dee.

 

Gillian started to explain the Addams Family but then she stopped and just smiled. I am sure sometimes she thinks I am an idiot.

~ Vlad

 

Dear Diary,

Today I took Jane the coyote pup to the dog park. A dog park is a place for dogs to run and play with each other. Jane is wild but not so wild. She has the body of a coyote but the soul of a Werewolf. No matter. She is now a member of my household.

I was told coyotes are not allowed as pets. At the dog park I was asked if Jane was a coyote.

I said, “no, she is a Scottish Squirrel Hound and Moon Shepherd mix.” I almost laughed at my own joke.

One of the women, one with a large black and white dog of mixed lineage looked at Jane and me and said, “you two are so adorable together.”

I smiled and wondered what her blood type was. Adorable. I believe that means cute. I do not understand how a strong Vampire man with broad shoulders and a coyote can be cute. Then again she did not know that I am a Vampire.

~ Vlad

 

Dear Diary,

Tonight Gillian and I went to dinner at a local pub. It is a place we frequent where people freely mingle and listen to bands that play music that is for folks, called folk music. Sometimes they play punk music, and punk pop, and assorted things I do not understand but strangely like.

Many people were there. Because we are Vampires the people are naturally attracted to Gillian and me. Gillian is also gorgeously beautiful. Heads turned as we walked about. One gets used to it but it is not as it used to be, but I can not explain. I do not have the words for such an expression. People now are forward in expressing their feelings. Also, I am no longer a Vampire King so I am just an ordinary man when I am out. It is in a way a freeing experience not to have people afraid to speak freely around me.

A server slipped at something on the floor as she brought a tray of wine glasses to a table. I suddenly found myself covered with red wine. How odd that I was the one who looked like I was covered in blood. I am so neat. I am getting good at this joke thing.

She said she was so sorry but I told her that I was not mad. I wanted to make sure she was not distressed. Putting my hand on her arm I calmed her with thoughts of, well, of me. The bartender told me to give him my shirt and he’d put something on it to get the stains out before they set in. I can appreciate that. All Vampires appreciate stain removal. As I took off my shirt there was a gasp in the crowd. I ran my hand through my golden hair pushing it out of my eyes, then I put back on my leather jacket, but did not zip it up. The women in the pub, young and old, just smiled and stared.

“He looks like something out of a bodice ripper,” voices whispered. “Oh my God.”

“Bodice ripper?” I whispered to Gillian.

She put her hand on my bare chest. “A romance novel with a strong handsome extremely sexually attractive male. The cover art often shows a well-built man without a shirt on. It is called a bodice ripper because, well, when he makes love to the heroine of the story bodices are often ripped, you know, in the throes of passion.”

I had to smile. It was something like this picture, only it was not because the women were wearing skinny jeans or short skirts.

When I was young, before I was locked in a crypt for three hundred years, many Vampires were of the school of thought that we (Vampires) should terrify people we drank blood from.

They would lurk in the woods, and steal into homes at night with fangs out and dirty claw like finger nails. They walked with hunched shoulders. Their clothes were musty and never washed. They smelled of death with breath like rotting flesh. Sunken eyes frightened their prey. They pallid skin stretched tight over their bones. No wonder. They never got enough blood.

More enlightened Vampires, as with any enlightened being, realized that making one’s self appealing and semi-delightful always attracts more prey. Who would want to eat food that stinks? Who would want to make love to a skeleton? Who would not want to scream when something that looks and smells dead crawls into their bed in the middle of the night?

Bodice ripper. I laugh now.

The bartender gave me my shirt back with the stains washed out. I laughed and told him that it was no problem. We talked and he told me that his band was coming out with a record. They were going to put it on vinyl. I knew what he was talking about. I knew what that was. What is it that is said…small world. Yes, it is a small world.

~ Vlad

 

Dear Diary,

I sat in the dark under the stars with my cats, Jane the coyote, and Gillian. We talked of how the world has changed, in both good and bad ways.

Then Gillian said, “Let’s pretend we’re in a bodice ripper novel.”

And we went inside and did exactly that.

I like these bodice rippers. I like them a lot. What is that expressions. Ahhh yes, music to my ears.

~ Vlad. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Short Story Sunday: Baker Beach

Some of you might have read this one before – I’ll have a brand new story next week. It is Easter today so I’m giving you this little egg of a story to crack – full of surprise, humor, love, and everyday adventure. Have fun.

Baker Beach

Max heard the Nessun dorma ringtone and groaned. It was his brother Andy. It was an emergency. He could sense it.

He picked up and listened.

“Max, thank God you’re there. I’m by Baker Beach. Some asshole redneck in a truck sideswiped me. The car is totaled. Can you get out here? Right now.”

Max untangled himself from the woman next to him and sat up. “Are you ok?”

“I’m fine. Like I said, the car is totaled.”

“Call AAA. I’ll call Uber and get you a ride home.”

“You don’t understand man. I have someone locked in the trunk and he is pissed off.”

———-

Andy watched at the back end of his car became even more mangled by the violent pounding from the occupant he’d locked in the trunk. The noise was even worse.

“Stop it NOW,” he yelled, “or I’ll drain every drop of blood from your body, stuff your pathetic putrid smelling carcass and sell it to the highest bidder.”

Than banging and howling stopped right at the moment Max drove up.

He got out of the car. A woman got out of the passenger side. Like Max, she was dressed in black from head to toe.

“Mehitabel, you look beautiful. What are you doing with my brother?”

She smiled and kissed Andy on the cheek. “Glad you’re not hurt. Who do you have in the trunk?”

Max went over to Andy’s car and kicked the bumper. The mangled trunk lid popped open.

“Holy fuck,” Max swore under his breath.

Mehitabel put her hand over her nose and mouth to keep out the stench. “Andy, this isn’t good.”

“I know, this is bad,” said Andy. “But it isn’t every day you find a Sasquatch.”

——————-

After the car was towed and the sun started to come up, the three Vampires stopped at their favorite diner for breakfast. They’d all had their fill of blood the night before but coffee and eggs sounded good right then.

“Is this the fourth or fifth car you’ve totaled this year?” Max took a sip of coffee and shook his head at his brother.

“Second this year,” said Andy. “Hey, it wasn’t my fault.”

Mehitabel looked at the brothers. “So do you think he’ll be alright?”

“The Sasquatch? I don’t know. As long as he stays out of the city I think he’ll be fine,” said Max.

“This is San Francisco. Nobody would notice him,” said Andy.

Max smiled and put his hand on Mehitabel’s knee.

“You guys should get married. I’m serious,” said Andy.

Mehitabel almost spit out her coffee. Max took his hand off of her knee, then thought better of his action and put his hand back on her knee and gave a small squeeze. The waitress came by and poured more coffee.

I guess the moral of this story is that as long as you are always there for each other, don’t ask too many questions, and keep love in your hearts life will be good.

_____________

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Morning at the Vineyard (Fooled you once…)

Morning at the Vineyard

(In honor of April 1st. This is a favorite of mine – near and dear to my cold un-beating Vampire heart.)

Andrew didn’t remember much when the door opened with blinding light waking him from his sleep, much less the voice that said “You aren’t dead.”

“Of course I’m not dead.” Andrew lifted himself up on his elbow and looked around at the bedroom.

“You were so cold. We couldn’t hear your heart.” A slim woman with long slightly graying hair stood near the bed.

“That’s what all the girls say.” No response. “That was a joke.”

“Oh. Ha ha ha. Good one.” Uncomfortable laughing.

There was the taste of blood in his mouth, but not his own. It must have been a Hell of a night. He looked at the woman again. She was pretty but not young, standing there in a flowing sundress and pretty light summer sweater. Nice. This would be fairly easy staying here for a few days, but he would still be cautious. Sometimes the most easy ones turned out to be the most dangerous.

Andrew started to get up and realized he was naked under the sheets.

“Your clothes were soaked and also covered with blood. We thought about calling the police but my husband Ian said to wait until morning. My husband Dennis said the same. I don’t agree with them. We should have called the police as soon as we found you.”

“Where was I?”

“In the vineyard, face down in the dirt. Your car was in a ditch with four flats and the front end smashed in. We pulled it out.”

The Tesla. Quiet and fast and expensive. Then he thought about what she said. “Husbands? You mentioned two husbands.”

“We practice polyandry. Two husbands, one wife, one family. It isn’t legal or common or accepted by most people but…”

“I don’t have a problem with it. As long as it works for you.”

“It does.”

She took a stack of clothing, jeans, a shirt, etc, from the top of the dresser and gave it to Andrew. “Clean clothing. Breakfast will be ready in about a half hour. And we’ll discuss who you are and why you’re here and where all the blood came from.” Then she turned and left the room.

What a night. The fog started to clear from Andrew’s brain. He staggered up out of the bed and closed the window shades. Damn sunlight. Looking in the mirror the reflection looked back showing a well built man with alabaster skin, long chestnut curls flowing down his back, a classically handsome face and hazel eyes the color of the blue green southern seas. His mouth twitched showing fangs. He quickly gained his composure and hid the teeth and rubbed his tired eyes.

“Shit. What the crap happened to you Andrew,” he said to himself. There was wine, a lot of wine. There were women. There was a guy named Brant and his friend Chet. There was the girl Ginger…she had AB + blood, Chet had O. Oh no. Why didn’t he remember? And how’d he end up face down in the middle of a vineyard? Zinfandel. He knew what kind of grapes they were.

Taking a 3 minute shower, he towel dried his long locks, pulled on the clothes the woman had left him and went down the stairs. He could smell food cooking and coffee. He gripped the banister to prevent himself from throwing up everything inside of his stomach. He’d over done it for sure, blood and wine. Wine and blood. Sex too but that was a blur. Food might do him some good.

In the kitchen were two men and the woman, along with half a dozen kids in who ranged from about 8 to 17.

He looked at the men. A large blonde man who looked like a former football player introduced himself as Ian. Dennis was shorter with the look of a History Professor or some sort of thing like that. They called the woman Carrie. One big happy family.

Ian poured Andrew coffee and welcomed him. They all welcomed him. This was getting creepy. Then again, Andrew was the Vampire, but he was sitting in the home of a farmer and wine maker and her two husbands and six kids. It was weird. But hey, he decided to make the best of it.

They made small talk. He thanked them for taking him in. Carrie put plates of eggs and fried tofu and toast and fruit and bacon and mushrooms on the table.

The teenage girls thought Andrew’s hair was great and asked him if he was in a band. He smiled minus fangs. He must have had at least five cups of coffee.

“Last night I thought you had some nasty scratches on your face,” mentioned Ian.

“I, uh, heal fast.” Andrew said that then wished he’d kept his mouth shut. He healed fast because he wasn’t like them. He took the blood and energy of regular normal people and in return, he made them feel good – like a rush that would last at least a week. Well, if he liked them and made a connection.

“Where’d all the blood come from? Except for the scratch on your face you didn’t have a mark on you.” As Carrie said that she gave him a long cold look.

“Blood? On me? I guess I drank too much. Too much of everything and threw up. I don’t know. My friends drank a lot and someone was doing some sort of recreational drugs or maybe prescription pain killers, I’m not sure, but I over did it. Listen, I’m so sorry about this and I really appreciate your hospitality. I’ve imposed on you. I wish there was something I could do to pay you back. Let me know.”

Ian gave him a pat on the arm. “We know what it is like to be different.”

“You’re a Vampire aren’t you?” Dennis asked as the kids all looked on.

Andrew brushed a damp lock of hair out of his face and suddenly felt a little warm. “Yes, but…”

“How long have you been a Vampire?” Carrie was asking now.

“I’ve always been one. My parents were Vampires. Um, I was born just down the road from here. October 22, 1851.”

The children were transfixed.

“We don’t have a problem with Vampires. Some food might settle your stomach Andrew,” said Carrie. “And you’re welcome to stay as long as you like. We found your phone and called your sister. She’ll be here in a couple of hours.”

This was all too strange for Andrew. He’d spent the past 100 years or thereabouts avoiding families and any kind of normal human lives. Years had passed traveling, and performing and enjoying wine and women and wild nights. But now he sat with a nice family with no pretenses. And rarely had he ever met humans who knew or even knew about real Vampires. It was so unusually weird.

“I sing opera,” he said to the kids. “Mainly opera but I can sing just about anything. Just got back from Patagonia and learned a bunch of folk songs. I can do metal too. That comes naturally.”

“I can imagine you do a great power ballad,” Carrie said with a smile, then she told the children to leave the room.

Andrew had to smile. This as so weird but he could get used to this. He looked at Carrie’s golden brown eyes. A positive blood, just like his. She’d make a good Vampire, or even just a snack.

He thought about his sister. It had been forever since he’d seen her or her children. It would be nice. More than nice. Maybe she’d get another husband too. He might suggest it. He smiled. That would be funny.

“What happened to my friends? Did you see any of them?” Andrew looked from Dennis to Ian then to Carrie. “Did they say where they went?”

Carrie looked him in the eye as Dennis and Ian flanked her side. “We buried them in the garden behind the carriage house.”

“Don’t worry,” said Dennis “Nobody ever found the other bodies we’ve buried, so they won’t find your friends.”

Andrew took another gulp of coffee and hoped his sister would arrive soon.

And that was the entire truth just as my brother Andrew told it to me

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

Morning at the Vineyard available on amazon.com 

More of a Good Thing – Short Story Update

Hey, I’ve just updated the Short Story page on Vampiremaman.com

Click on the links on the sidebars or CLICK here to go to the page.

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 assorted Vampire Mom adventures. A lot of the stories have nothing to do with parenting, or Vampires.

You’ll find over eighty Gothic romance, horror, humor, urban fantasy, literary fiction, and other of unexpected tangled tales. Most stories are written by me, but I am also honored to have a few talented guest authors.

This isn’t the complete list but it will keep you busy for a while. Keep checking back for more, and don’t forget that every Sunday is Tangled Tales Short Story Sunday.

And as always, expect the unexpected.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

My Editors: Food and a box is all they ask for (usually)

My Editors: Food and a box is all they ask for (usually)

Mom mom mom mom mom mom mom mom

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I got stuck in traffic and I left my phone at home. This is what happens. By the way, I’m Mom mom mom mom mom mom mom. I DID remember to bring the dog.

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But wait, it gets better.

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Yes, I got there. All is well.

Seriously, I couldn’t make this stuff up.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Chuck the Elf (A Holiday Tradition)

For a fourth year, I am honored to share a Christmas Story from my friend David. Prepare yourself for a real Christmas treat with this Holiday Classic! ~ Juliette

Chuck the Elf

By David X. Hunter

I was born in the Bronx way back in 1902.

St. Anne’s orphanage was the only home I ever knew till I went north years later. The place was crazy; a lotta little midgets running around makin’ a lotta noise. I guess I was one of ‘em, except I was no midget – I was an elf. I stayed in that place for 30 years until they figured out I wasn’t no kid! So I packed my shit up and hit the road. I joined the army for a while, got into some action at Omaha Beach even. After dat, I never trucked with the military much.

I joined the circus for a while – but the bearded lady and I didn’t get along. The fact was, I couldn’t stand life on the road livin’ wit all them freaks – I was longing for a fambly, if you get my meanin’.

One night, Christmas Eve if you gotta know – I was on the roof of my tenement building because my landlady didn’t like my cigar smoke. She always whiffed it through the vents and complained so I went up on the roof. I was feeling lonesome as hell too, wit the snow fallin’ and all streets quiet and empty. To be honest, I crawled out on the ledge. I was thinkin’ of just ending it. I was just a lowly Elf, livin’ off racetrack bets and scroungin’ for handouts.

I was a Bronx kid, though. I couldn’t do it. Plus, that street looked like it could hurt a guy real bad falling from dat height.

I went back on the roof and finished my stogie, lookin’ up at the twinklin’ snowy sky. It was damned cold. I never felt so bad in my whole life.

I saw sumpin’ then, over the East River. Looked like plane or some kinda flying object. I tracked it for a while and realized it was comin’ right towards me! I ran back and ducked behind a ventilator shaft.

I heard bells, and some guy yelling. I heard da soft thump of somethin’ landing.
Now don’t get me wrong – I ain’t no pansy or nuthin’ – but this was strange. I can deal with stormin’ a beachhead and all, but the unknown always unnerves me, y’know?

I peeked around the corner an I saw animals or somthin’, shakin’ snow off themselves. Everytime they did that, bells would jingle. There was some fat shmoe sittin’ in a red sled too. All of a sudden I hear my name!

“Charles! Charles! Come out from behind there!”

There was a silence as I was trying to figure out what to do.

“Who wants ta know?” I said after a while.

I peeked over my hiding spot and saw the lard-ass comin’ towards me. He was big – triple my size – but I figured if I bit his knee caps the odds would be evened out.
He stuck his head around the vent, and stared right at me.

“Charles! I found you!” he said. He had dis soppy smile on his face, what you could see of it anyway with that friggin’ large white beard.

“Listen Mack …” I started to say.

“Charles! You must come with me! You don’t belong here. You belong up at the North Pole with the others!”

I looked at dis guy and thought he was nuts. “You shittin’ me?”

He straightened up and crinkled his nose.

“I’m afraid I’m not! You are an Elf, of the elfus smallicus genus. All my staff up at the North Pole is comprised of Elves. You see, you were given up for adoption by mistake.”

I looked up at the guy, and I could see he was tellin’ da truth. Others like me? Elves? For true?

Dat was the one and only time I cried – at least since that time I pooped my pants back at the Orphanage and the sister swatted me a good one.

“Come! You can help me give out presents tonight, then we can take you home,” he said. He wedged his large ass back into the sled, and I followed. There wasn’t much space between his girth and all them sacks’a toys for me to sit, but I managed.

He tole me about his toy making racket and all the right-offs he got for it. Pretty slick, I had to agree. We shot up inna sky and I was dubious about them moose things haulin’ us up into the stratosphere and all, but they maintained a good speed, except for the turbulence which I didn’t care for.

All night long we delivered them friggin toys, all over the damned world, Australia, England, and places I never hoid of, like ‘Canada’. I was so tired by the end, I thought I’d collapse. But this guy, Santa, he had a mini bar in his sled and I had a few shots of whiskey. We delivered our last toy to some kid in Montana – a train set. We went down the chimney (I still couldn’t get over goin’ down them tings!). I was placin’ it under the tree when I heard a noise. I look over and see the kid peeking around the corner at me.

“Ain’t polite to stare, kid,” I said. “Murry Christmas.”

Da kid scampered off.

Not even ten minutes into our journey north I was out like a light.

So, I went to the North Pole. I met my mom! Saw all the udder elves like me. It was a happy homecoming, I gotta say. Still, I miss New York sometimes, even though I visit occasionally. I miss the smell of the Hudson, the rude people, the street vendors selling junk, Coney Island hot dogs, the racetrack, all of it. But it ain’t so bad up here; got lotsa snow, plenty of fresh air, and the pay is good. Made foreman a few years ago; I’m in charge of making them iPad thingies. Big responsibility. The uniforms could use some revamping, but y’can’t have everything, am I right?

I guess I didn’t do so bad after all, y’know?

The End

________________

 

For more works from David check out the links below:

http://bloggodavid.blogspot.ca/…/chuck-elf-by-davidus…

http://davidhuntershaw.blogspot.ca/
. . . . . . . ~© The Writer’s Den ©~ . . . . . . .
davidhuntershaw.blogspot.com

David’s work is also featured in WPaD Anthologies including:

The wonderful Holiday Anthology: Tinsel Tales

http://www.amazon.com/Tinsel-Tales-Holiday-Treasury-WPaD-ebook/dp/B00GGYN31C/ref=sr_1_6?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1449845666&sr=1-6&keywords=WPaD

 

Best Christmas Anthology EVER

Tinsel Tales

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I love Chuck the Elf. Thank you David.

I love Chuck the Elf. Thank you David.