Short Story Sunday: Captured Bride: A weird little story of romance (sort of), personal growth, and Vampires.

Captured Bride: A weird little story of romance (sort of), personal growth, and Vampires.

I was minding my own business, outside tending my herb garden, when someone throws a blanket over my head, hauls me up on a horse and takes me to God only knows where.

After what seemed like forever, combined with a lot of screaming and cursing on my part, we stopped.

When the blanked was taken off I found myself in a hilltop sort of mini castle. It was absolutely beautiful. Standing in front of me was a tall man with golden hair. He certainlly was handsome but I was not in the mood to ponder his good looks.

“What the Hell is going on?” I was in no mood for making all nice.

“You are to be my bride,” he said in a serious voice.

“I don’t think so. You don’t even know me.”

“I have chosen you.”

“Listen up Prince Charming. I might be full of nasty sexually transmitted diseases. I might snore. I might poison your food bit by bit until you can only sit in your chair and drool while I take control of your empire. I might sleep with your brother. I might have stinky feet and fart in bed like an old hound dog.”

“I was tasked as the second son of the Clan Chief to find a bride. I’ve been watching you for a while. You’re perfect.”

“You abducted me.”

“That is our way.”

“Then change your way. Holy cow, you can’t build a marriage on distrust and violence. Get out of your comfort zone and marry a woman who can be your best friend, not just a house keeper and sexual slave.”

“The man must rule the house.”

“Alright, you’re a smart guy or I’m going to assume you’re a smart guy. Listen up. I know some of the things I’m saying sound weird. You’ve been brought up to believe women are subservient and property of the males. It is difficult to let go of old beliefs. Changes is difficult. But so is a bad marriage. Before you speak let me tell you a few more things. In a society where women are equal to men everyone ends up more successful, happier and your children tend to thrive. It is a win-win situation for everyone.”

“Then be my bride and change things.” Then he took my hand and led me to the bed. It was a gorgeous bed and he was totally hot but I did not like where this was going.

He stood before me and started to unbuckle his belt.

“NO NO NO show a girl a little romance,” I yelled. “You can’t just take me like this.”

“Let’s get this over with. You will do as I say.”

“Come closer and I will rip your throat out.”

He grabbed my shoulders to push me down and I grabbed his wrists. He stopped, images of terror filled his brain. I filled him with fear as his eyes locked on mine.

“You’re a witch,” he gasped as he dropped his arms to his side and stepped back.

“No I’m not a witch.” I motioned for him to sit and opened a bottle of wine. “Let’s talk. Do you have a name?”

“Aleric.”

“Good start. I’m…”

“Olivia. I know your name.” Great. He was stalking me.

“Alright Aleric, you have to listen to me. You think you’re some manly man but I’ll end up ripping your throat out if you try to touch me again. Forget all the crap about men and women that you know. We are all equal in the eyes of whatever God you choose to worship or not worship.”

We talked through the night. At first I thought he was dumber than a rock but I believe I got through to him. He returned to the village and married a girl he’d known since childhood. She’d always been considered “forward” and considered trouble by the locals. Aleric had always been in love with her but she was too much like a man. Now he had the courage to take her as his bride.

Years later I visited him. He was the Chief by then. His clan and town was thriving. I found him in a large hall playing ball with his grandchildren. He looked up at me in shock.

“Olivia. No, you must be her daughter or grand daughter.”

“I don’t age Aleric. I wouldn’t have made a good wife because first of all I would have driven you nuts, second because I’m a Vampire. I could have killed you but I saw something good in you. I saw a willingness to change. I saw hope. I’ve watched you over the years. I’m proud of what you’ve done with your life and your clan.”

He looked at me with grim eyes. “So do you want a reward now or do I owe you a favor.”

I smiled. “Not at all. I was just passing through. Listen, I’m not one of those Vampire’s who lords over a population ruthlessly draining the population of blood and money. I don’t do that kind of shit. I just wanted to let you know that I’m proud of you. You could have spent the rest of your life being a brainless jerk like all the other men in your village but you married a woman you love and respected her. You built a life together and passed that respect on to your children. Good job Aleric.”

“Did you find love?” His question caught me off guard.

“Kind of sort of. You know, I’m not like you. My heart is kind of a flighty thing. Vampires are like that.”

“I’m sure he is a man with a true heart and a brave soul.”

I smiled then left him to his happy life.

Later that week when I arrived home my tall cool Vampire man was waiting for me. “How was your walk down memory lane my dear?”

“Alright I suppose. Do you think people will always be so stupid?”

He took me in his arms and nuzzled my neck. “I don’t know. I guess we’ll find out in a couple hundred years. In the meantime, I have a propisition for you.” We spend the rest of the evening in each other’s arms. In fact, we still spend evenings in each other’s arms.

I think about that time now so long ago. Had I been a regular girl I might have ended up as the bride of a second son of a Chief. Or I might have ended up in the arms of a Vampire. I did end up in the arms of a Vampire but that is another story for another day.

~ end

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Tangled Tales

 

A few things kids should know

I haven’t done famous bulleted parenting lists lately so here we go…

On the beach

 

All families are different. We all have different parenting styles. That is ok with me. That is because I know all kids are different. And in the end if we love them and teach them to be smart and educate them they’ll turn out ok. If we talk to them and they know we’ll listen to them they’ll be ok. If they know they’re safe with us, their parents, they’ll be ok.

 

A few things kids should know:

  • Some people start out with charmed lives and make stupid mistakes.
  • Some people start out with charmed lives and make smart choices – but tragedy befalls them.
  • Some people are just stupid.
  • Some people claw and fight their way to the top and then have charmed lives.
  • Some people realize that they can change.
  • Some people don’t.
  • Sometimes it takes a long time to become someone you like and admire.
  • Some people never learn that.
  • Some people are stupid when they’re young and grow out of it.
  • Some people learn from their mistakes.
  • Some people never learn.
  • Some people always seem to be lost.
  • But most find their way.

 

  • Not all people or families are like yours.
  • That isn’t a good thing or a bad thing – it is just a thing. Maybe more of a good thing because it keeps us from getting bored and boring.

 

  • Don’t get involved with things that piss people off and will end up hurting you in the end (extreme politics, mommy wars, religious wars, cults, hero-worship, obsessive fandom, self mutilation, eating contests, dating slugs, etc etc etc.) Yes, there is a reason why things piss people off.

 

  • Mind your manners. Respect the right of others to express their opinions.

 

  • Don’t be a follower. You don’t have to be a leader, but never be a follower.

 

  • Don’t wait for him to make the first move.

 

Those are the things we need to discuss with our children and young adults. It is easy to be thrown into the world to flounder. Sure we need to make our mistakes and learn from it all, but wouldn’t it be easier if kids had the right tools and a little bit of help. By help I mean guidance. By help I mean someone to talk to.

Werewolves tell their children to “Howl at the Moon!” That is good advice for anyone. Sing your song loud and clear. Sing the song of who you are and what you are – even if you are singing alone.

 

 

Have a good summer everyone (even if you’re sticking around here with me.)

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

blu butterfly

The Devil You Know…Lucky Visits

Sometimes it is as if life becomes a morality play…

The week has started and the triple digit summer heat is still in full force. Against my better judgment I’d agreed on a breakfast meeting with a client, which turned out fine (it was a little early for fresh blood, but oh well.)

I went back to my office, alone, in the old Victorian house where the shutters were drawn against the light and lay down on the couch to sleep off the heat of the day.

I closed my eyes and fell into a dream. Strong masculine hands caressed my tired shoulders. I melted and the tensions of the past week vanished. Then lips were on my neck first as a sensuous kiss, then  fangs sank into my flesh and started to rip my throat. I bolted in pain, awake to find another Vampire on me. I pushed him away; my own fangs now out, ready to fight. A low hiss escaped my throat.

“You.” I spat out. I didn’t even want to say his name. It was a Vampire from my distant past. A onetime lover who’d…whatever had happened it had ended badly but I have to admit that for years he had crossed my mind in an unhealthy way. Everything about my association with him had been wrong. The words “bad” and “evil” also crossed my mind. But it had been years since I’d thought about him.

“Juliette, my love, still so sweet.”

I looked up to find we were not alone. Standing next to him was a strikingly handsome man dressed in black. My blood turned to ice.

The Vampire stepped away with a smile as the man stepped forward.

It was the man we call “Lucky”. It was a creature most humans call The Devil or Satan (among other names.)

Lucky smiled at me and said, “I offer you everything you have ever wanted. Every dream. Every “what if”. Every road not taken. Every crush turned into a passionate love affair. Every parenting issue resolved. Every problem solved. You’d have no more annoyances. No more stress. No more complications. Life would be perfect.”

As someone who is chronically annoyed, stressed –  and as someone with a boxcar full of emotional baggage I had to think. For about half a second.

OK the emotional baggage is for the most part long gone. I learned from my mistakes. And if I had not made those mistakes and taken the long, twisted and sometimes painful life I have had, I wouldn’t have my husband or my children or my wonderful friends.

I wouldn’t be the parent I am today, and THAT is what I am most proud of. That is what I live for. That is who I am.

But what if?

Lucky  pulled me up by my hands and stood close, too much for my personal space. But it was overwhelming in such a seductive way that I could hardly move away. He put a hand on my cheek and smiled. Then he put his face close to mine and whispered in my ear “I can give you anything you want. Anything you desire.”

Then his lips brushed mine and my head filled with images too enticing, too personal and dangerous to imagine.  Despite what my mind said my body ached with want for his. “Beautiful Juliette. You’re one of mine, a creature of the dark, a creature of carnal pleasures and power. You are a hunter. You’re an alpha. You are belong to me.” A hand went around my waist and pulled me close.

“No.” I growled and pushed back, clearing my brain and my very heart and soul of his filth and decay. “Leave me alone Lucky.”

He put out both his hands as if I would take them. “I offer you the world and you refuse?”

“Your price will always be too high. I refuse you and everything you represent.”

He gave me a grim all-knowing smile. “Then you refuse your own nature.”

The desire for him once more swept over me and once again I stepped back, a growl in my throat, fangs barred, feeling slightly out of control, but in more control than I’d ever been in my life.

“You can never have what I have and I will never let you take it from me,” I told him, clear and steady.

“I made your kind what you are. I made you. I own you Juliette.”

“Screw you asshole. You don’t own anything in my world. Not my family, not my friends, not me. Not now, not ever. So get the fuck out of my face and go back to your cesspool and rot.” Actually I didn’t say that to him. I just thought it. I always think things like that but I don’t say them.

This is what I did say. “You might have fooled yourself into thinking you had a hand in our evolution but you are wrong.  I am a creature of nature and of the earth. I am the light of the moon and a child of the night. All hours are the hours of the earth. All hours are the hours of love. You cannot tempt me, for you know not MY true nature. My heart and souls are my own.”

Lucky smirked at me in a nasty sort of snarky way. “What if I told you your husband made an agreement with me?”

I glared at him. “I’d say you were a liar. My husband is the most self-righteous morally superior Vampire that ever existed, not to mention he has the lowest tolerance for your kind of bullshit I’ve ever seen.”

He stepped closer to me again. I could feel him trying to draw me in again. He tried again to wrap my very being up in a knot of want and desire. “Juliette I could give your children charmed lives. They’d never have to fear. They’d never suffer from loss or broken hearts. You’d never had to deal with issues of teen depression or self-harm, be it through cuts or sex or drugs or hunting for the wrong types. They’d be safe and secure at the top of the food chain for eternity.”

“No. The answer will always be NO. Go back to Hell and leave me and all of those I love alone.”

He stepped back and ran a hand through his hair. “Well then. I believe we’re done for today, since you only want to throw insults at my offers of friendship.”

And he vanished with a blazing burst of hot air that almost singed my hair. The Vampire lover I had once known had vanished as well.

It took me a full 45 minutes to catch my breath and stop shaking.

What if? That is a loaded question. But what if you had “what iffed?”

We’re not time travelers so we can’t go back. Only forward, staying true to who we are and what we are. We don’t regret the lessons we learn from.

The lessons we can teach ourselves and are children are many, but the most important for now, at least for me are:

  • Stay true to yourself
  • Do no harm to yourself or others
  • Take the high road
  • Don’t let others drag you down
  • Believe in yourself
  • Protect those you love
  • If it sounds too good to be true walk away
  • Don’t make deals with the Devil
  • Learn from your mistakes
  • Have no regrets

Talk to your kids and listen to them, but also teach them well, that there are those who seem good and things that will seduce and harm. Life can be scary, be prepared and be smart.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

strangereyes

Make me over (she told the Vampire) – past lives, secrets and learning from it all

v_blonde

 

Kat was lovely in that fresh healthy sort of way that can be obtained with a personal trainer, good hair stylist and tanning booth. Her pale highlighted hair was just right. The perfectly applied minimal makeup was perfect even in the heat. She had that friendly gentle demeanor that made you just want to hug her. The glowing wife and mom and successful businesswoman with a tad too much skin showing for her age.

 

She’d also made 34 Vampire Slasher movies in the 1980’s. Not much of a story line in any of them but a lot of gore and T&A. And oh yes, she wasn’t the swooning silly girl. She was the Vampire Sex Princess.

Sure it bordered on soft-core porn (actually there were 5 hard core porn films too) but the pay was great and she was smart with her money.

By the way, like 99% of my regular human clients she had no idea I’m a Vampire. So this was a little weird taking on the Vampire Sex Princess as a client.

And why am I telling you about this? It was business. From time to time (not as much as I used to) I’m asked to makeover the image of someone (usually semi famous). It has been anyone from politicians to people in the film industry to CEO’s of high tech companies and so on. It is all discreet and seamless. I’m a pro and of course they don’t know they’re dealing with a Vampire.

We met for lunch at a trendy but private place with a view of a lovely garden and good service. I ate little (as usual) and we shared a bottle of red wine.

So now my client was a wife and mom (oh right, which makes her now a saint) and wanting a new image.

Kat (short for Kathleen) looked at me with one of those you’re-not-going-to-believe-this-looks and said, “I was called Vampire Mom. Ouch. Someone suggested I do a Vampire Mom blog but that would be so tacky and my kids would lose all respect for me.”

“Someone else is already doing the Vampire Mom blog thing.” I smiled, not showing my fangs.  Of course someone else is doing the Vampire Mom blog thing and if she tried to replicate it her blog would only be a weak lifeless shadow. It would fail. It would die within a month.  “I agree, you need to see the Vampire roles as that, fictional roles. You’ve moved on.”

She gave me a blinding white smile. “Exactly. I had so much fun and made some of the best friends I’ve ever had. It was a blast. But I don’t identify with being a Vampire.”

“The key is to make it clear that playing a Vampire was a role you played, not who you really were or who you are now.”

“If Weiner can try to make a come back I don’t know why I shouldn’t be able to.”

OK I thought, that was an interesting and not so flattering comparison. All those guys. What was it with them cheating and telling lies than expecting us to forgive them? And their wives. I’d have such a bonfire in my driveway if Teddy pulled anything like that. On the other hand I’m a Vampire so I shouldn’t really care – but I do. Just like I care if my dog and children behave (and they DO always behave – all three of them.)

Kat continued to talk. “I took my clothes off on camera. But I was being paid as a professional. That is why it is called acting.”

“I agree.” I smiled again.

“If I took my clothes off today I’d still look that good.”

I said nothing.

“So you don’t judge me?” She asked me this as if she was surprised I had not reacted to her comment about taking off her clothes.

“Of course not.” I smiled. I positively glowed with reassurance as only a seasoned Vampire can do.  

It would be other thing that I could judge her on, but that wasn’t my place and she was giving off a lot of good vibes and sort of a nervous anxious energy. I was getting bored by it all, but in my head thinking up a plan and a strategy so she could get her new life and career going. She’d be a success. She just needed a little common sense and someone to help her with that jump-start.

True confession time. Like all Vampires (and writers) I’m a natural born liar. Sure I judged her. Not for making tacky movies. That was an honest living. I judged her for making excuses for what she had done and NOW wanting to be held up as the moral and perfect female role model. I judged her like I judge the child molester who says “I’m a good person now because I found God.”

I don’t know what it was about her that bugged me so much. I’m pretty open minded, impartial and fair. Maybe it was the fact that she was so freaking shallow.

Note to self: Have THE TALK to the kids on being SHALLOW.

She talked for another hour while I took notes. Kat wanted a new image and I can understand that completely. We all go through changes – that is part of life. The average person changes several many times before they retire. The average person changes lifestyles many times.

We discussed the options. She had a list:

  • Parenting expert (questionable)
  • Fashion for moms of a certain age (good choice)
  • Fitness (good choice)
  • Cooking with a fresh attitude (good choice)
  • Vampires (bad choice)

She was naturally fun, likeable (despite being so shallow) and good in front of a camera. I’d do wonders for her. Under my expert hands she’d be a bright warm shining star!

After I was done with Kat (the interview, just an interview and notes), I walked down the street and for a fleeting moment thought about how my kids have told me that they think I’m funny and they’re proud of me. I’ve done a lot of weird things too but that is my story and secrets and not a public dialogue.

Then I pondered a bit, but not too much about how Vampires have learned to keep the secrets of who they are.

We all have secrets. But secrets aren’t that bad of a thing.

  • A secret crush
  • A secret joke
  • A secret song
  • A secret thought
  • A secret kiss
  • A secret that could hurt someone if told
  • A secret judgment
  • A secret that is just what it is – a secret.

 

Most of us live in several different worlds – work, school, parent, employee, friend, daughter, sister, lover, wife, artist, writer…

We had different past lives as well.

And then there is that world, that secret place where you are truly who you are, alone, with nobody else but you.

In the world of the typical busy mom that place, alone and secret, is a sanctuary at times. It is that lovely alone time in the car, but then it is such an easy transition to that wonderful time when you pick your kids up from school and they talk to you about what they learned, what their friends are up to, what they discussed with their teachers, what silly thing happened in the lunchroom.  The list goes on and then you realize that this is where you should be – a perfect world that is with a definition of perfection being love without having to think.

Last time I took one of the cats into the Vet she told me “Cats have rich and wonderful lives outside our ours.” Knowing my cats I can only imagine.  I don’t trust my dog either. But they’re keeping those lives secret from me. One day my cat came strolling down the street singing along without a care in the world. My neighbor (3 houses down) said, “Is that your cat? He comes over and has conversations with me almost every day.”  The other cat has a different circle of friends who populate her secret life.

You have a past that belongs to you alone. And even though it is in the past you are still accountable. You might not be proud of it. You might have made mistakes. Nonetheless it is yours and your responsibility. The best you can do is own up to it. The worst you can do is not to learn by your past or your past mistakes.

And the only way we can grow and be the Vampires (and people) we want to be is to LEARN from our mistakes and always go forward. We can only get better. I mean, sure we can get worse, but the goal is to always move forward.

In the meantime, I just got a message from Kat. She has more ideas. Oh joy.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman (who is feeling rather random and disjointed of late…)

Moth

Vampire Husband – Vampire Dad

Someone once told me that the best gift a vampire can give to his children is to “love their mother.” I believe that is true for regular humans as well.

When dating it is easy to get caught up in the passion and whatever, but the two hard questions to ask (ladies) are:

Does this vampire want children?

AND

If anything happens to me would I want him raising my children? Think about it.

More often than not the answer to the last question was a resounding NO.

I’d known Teddy for years. I knew him when he was human, before he became a vampire. I even had a crush on him when I was a girl.

He’d wanted children, when he was a regular human, before he became a vampire but I thought he’d never want vampire children. Becoming a vampire was difficult for him. He walked that path alone for so many years, thinking of what he’d lost and fearing the future. I know it makes my strong husband sound weak. He isn’t weak at all. He is one of the strongest vampires I know.

But it wasn’t until years later that I knew the attraction between us wasn’t just a physical attraction. He was someone who I knew would love my children, our children, no matter what, unconditionally, no exceptions.

Now I see him quietly explaining to his son how to hunt and bite a wrist or neck just right. I see him on the couch, our daughter curled by his side, as they watch some romantic comedy together. I hear him talking to both of them, long conversations about life, love and the world around them. And when I see this I feel nothing but love in the most wonderful and pure and strong form possible.

We’re a family, not because of blood, but because of love. We WANT to be together. I know our children will be gone out into the world oh too soon. They won’t come back out of guilt or the feeling of “the family”. They’ll come back out of love. They’ll come back because they want to be back.

I love my husband, but even more I love the dad he has become.

xoxoxoxo

~ Juliette

Excuse me? You want to convert your girlfriend into a vampire?

The weather is warming up and more than a hint of summer is in the air. I sat with my son on the back deck last Saturday night, basking in the knowledge that I had raised the most mature and smartest and level headed vampire teen in the entire universe.

Then he asks “Mom, if I fell in love with a human girl why couldn’t I just convert her. I mean, it isn’t like I’d really be hurting her, I mean if that is what she wanted.”

“Excuse me?” I said, mellow mom suddenly gone and vampire mom at full force. “Don’t even think about it.  I thought I’d raised you better than that.”

“What is wrong…” he started at me being a typical 16 year old that knows everything.

I had to get through to him. “Here are the facts. 80 percent of vampire conversions end in death. Of those 80 percent who die, about 20 percent are immediate deaths.  Those are the lucky ones. The remaining die insanely painful deaths within two weeks.

Of the remaining 20 percent who live, let’s say we started with a sample of 100. So 20 who are converted survive the first two weeks. They have survived Hell. It isn’t about sucking blood, it is about having your entire body chemistry and DNA structure change. It is a genetic engineering miracle and a nightmare.

Out of the 20 who survive, at least 10 will go mad. Some will commit suicide. Some will refuse to feed, go into a coma and die. Some will linger for years hurting themselves and everyone around them. I’ve told you about the damaged crazy ones. Do you want me to take you to see one? It’s worse than any strung out or insane human you’ll ever meet. Would you do that to a friend?”

“Jeez Mom. No. But…” he stammered.

I cut him off. “Let me finish. So now you have 10 remaining. At least half will try to go rogue and do it on their own. Some will turn to religion with little or no comfort. Some will become hermits. Eventually at least half of those vampires will have to be eliminated.

Of the 5 left they will go on to be successful members of the Vampire community. Five out of a hundred. Are you willing to take that chance with someone you love? Are you?”

“What about Dad. He was successful.”

Holy crap. I didn’t expect him to bring up his dad. Successful? The vampire I loved? I wish I could say he was a success. I wanted to tell my son about the guilt and doubt that plagued his father. There were some nights when I’d wonder if I’d done right by marrying him. He never wanted to be a vampire. He didn’t even know what one was.

I calmly answered my son. “Your father did not become a vampire of his own will.”

“But what if the woman I love does. “ Answered my son as only a 16-year-old boy who still sees love as only romance can.

“You might as well cut off her head and make it quick.” I told him.

“ But mom, what if she was ill and I could save her?”

I wanted to scream but stayed calm. “What have you been reading? Sick people don’t survive conversions. It’s a myth that you can save someone you love. It is a cruel heart breaking LIE. You would only give her a cruel painful death. Baby, are you in love with a sick human girl?”

He scowled at me. “No. I was just asking. Don’t be so uptight.”

“I’m not uptight. I just want you to understand the seriousness of this.” I took his hand.

He gave me his best I’m the cool guy look. “I know. I had the same talk with dad, but he more or less said the same thing.”

“Do you understand me?” I asked.

“Yes. Ok. I understand you. Stop looking at me like that.”

We sat out looking at the stars. A few small bats flew overhead. The cat jumped in my lap and my son, still held my hand in his.

~ Juliette