Short Story Sunday: No Little Women, Only Great Ones.

Meg, Jo, Beth, Amy

Elise and her daughter Jilly both loathed the March sisters and their sissy friend Theodore Laurence.

Elise, with her beautiful voice, attempted to read Little Women to her daughter, but the child fell asleep. A few years later they attempted to listen to an audio version while driving from Northern California to Las Vegas.

Jilly announced the story was horrible. They both laughed and spent the next fifteen minutes mocking the story.

Elise shared the books with Jilly that touched her soul. She passed on “The Crystal Singer,” by Anne McCaffrey. She passed on “Jayne Eyre” by Charlotte Bronte. Jilly passed “Hunger Games” on to her mom.

They loved a different kind of woman. The Little Women were quaint and strong in their own way but they were too silly.  Elise and Jilly just couldn’t relate to them.

Elise often wondered about Marmee. In her opinion Marmee was weak and didn’t give her daughter’s the emotional support they needed. Her advice was trite and weak.

Elise and Jilly kept their opinions to themselves, as they did with a lot of other things. It was always best just to smile and say nothing, unless it was an opinion of injustice or something that was actually important.

Jilly loved the fact that her mother was funny and independent, even when all hell broke loose. She loved the fact that her mother had married a man who was strong and devoted to them.

So on this Mother’s Day they didn’t think of fictional characters because they had their own stories and adventures to star in.

Make your story with your child or mom, be it quiet or loud. Happy Mother’s Day.

 

~ end

 

Tangled Tales

 

 

 

 

Lunchtime conversations about books, being selfish and being human

The Law Offices of… a butterfly bush hid the names. I knew them well, along with the previous owners of the downtown Victorian. So many beautiful old homes are now law offices, but they’re the only ones who have money for the restoration work.

Since Friday is July 4th today was my usual Friday lunch date with Jack.

I walked up the back stairs in the heat and unfortunately ran into Laurence, Jack’s partner. Laurence is charming and good looking in a comfortable sort of way. I shouldn’t think twice about the guy but there is something about him that is all slime covered and rotten. He hides it well. I wanted to say “HI LARRY,” but I know he hates being called that. Laurence gives me a dirty look as my glance chills him to the bone. He never knows why he feels uneasy around me, but I do. I’m a Vampire, only that well dressed slime ball doesn’t know it.

Jack greets me with a kiss and a smile as always. I’ve known him for over 15 years. We’re friends outside of lunch. In fact I think he and my husband Teddy are going to go to a Giant’s game in San Francisco later this week.

I notice a book on his shelf that is somewhat out of place. Green cover with an illustration of a boy on a tree swing on the cover. A book I thought I’d read over and over to my own children until I changed my mind.

“The first time I read The Giving Tree I thought it was the most beautiful story. A tree gave all to a boy and it was happy. Now I think it is a horrible story about a horrible selfish boy who took everything from the tree and gave nothing back. He never loved the tree, he just used her until there was nobody and nothing else to use anymore,” I told Jack.

“I guess if you put it that way,” said Jack looking a little sad from my analysis.

“I’m not that negative. Really Jack, you know Little Women isn’t one of my favorite books, but the character of Jo, despite her crazy funny ways always puts her family first. She is impulsive but she is also smart and loving and would do anything for her family. But she isn’t like the tree. She seeks love but not in a stupid blind way. Now the character of Amy, she is one selfish little bitch.”

“So why don’t you like Little Women?”

“It’s putridly happy and fussy. The March sisters are way too annoying for me. Plus their adoring father is so irresponsible. I’d have to bitch slap the man if I ever met him. The mother Marmee is way too good and called Marmee. The romantic hero Laurie is a total whoosie lala pansy boy.”

Jack smiled and leaned back against the desk. I stepped closer to him and started to loosen his tie.

“How old were you when Little Women came out?” Jack asked me.

“I was eight or nine.”

“How old were you when Dracula was published?”

“Forty eight.”

“Lord of the Rings.”

“Ninety five.”

“Really? Ninety five. That just blows me away.”

“Lord of the Flies?”

“Very funny. It came out the same year as Lord of the Rings.”

“How old were you when Fifty Shades of Gray came out?”

“Stop it.”

“Twilight.”

“Stop.” I have to admit that we couldn’t stop laughing. It was a stupid game but that is what friends do. “

You aren’t waiting today. No foreplay? Not even a glass of wine? You’re just going to jump in and tear my neck open.” He gave me one of his million dollar smiles and brushed a lock of hair behind my ear with his hand.

I folded his silk tie and placed it on the table then started to unbutton his shirt. “I get what when I want it.”

“You’re such a predator Juliette.”

I tugged at his shirt. “You get what you want and need from me. Don’t tell me there hasn’t been a time when my visits didn’t make you feel good for weeks. You love the thrill. You love the rush I give you and the glow makes you higher than any man-made drugs. And don’t forget that I will never tear your neck open silly man. Just two nice neat punctures that you’ll never know were there.”

He took my jaw in his hand. “Let me see your fangs.”

I turned my head. I wasn’t going to play this game.

“Juliette, what if I said no?”

“It wouldn’t matter. I’d have you anyway, if I wanted. You know that Jack. We’ve gone over this before. Why even discuss it?”

After spending so much time with my teens these adult conversations with Jack seem sort of odd and strange… whatever. Besides, Jack and I have been friends for years. He thought we were having an affair before he found out, accidently about a year ago, that I’m a Vampire. No affair, not really, mostly just a few lovely planted memories. But despite being a little flipped out when he first found out I was a Vampire and that we even really existed, he said he didn’t want to stop.

But as I was talking I was thinking I sort of sounded like Hal in 2001 Space Odyssey. “Dave, this conversation can serve no purpose anymore. Goodbye.”

Then I just wanted to smile and tell Jack “You can run but you can’t hide.”

I didn’t tell him that. I got close and brushed my teeth over his lovely lips then unbuttoned his shirt so I could get to his neck. He didn’t say no. I ran my hands through his sandy brownish blonde hair and then showed him what my fangs could really do.

As always I brought him something. Today it was white chocolate dipped raspberry truffles with a center of dark bittersweet chocolate so rich that just one was almost overkill. I brought him a dozen. That is what I do for my friends, unlike the boy with the tree.

We rested for a while on the leather couch in his office. He rested his head on my lap and slept while I savored the feeling of his blood flowing through my veins. I picked up my Nook and read poetry a while then gently kissed his forehead and left him alone.

No court dates or appointments were on his schedule for the rest of the day. I looked at the post-it notes on his desk and noticed that he was doing some pro bono work for some foster kids later in the week. Good man my Jack is.

Sometimes people use the expression “I’m only human.” That isn’t such a bad thing. It isn’t a weak thing unless one wants it to be.

And we all know that by reading my least favorite book “Little Women” that one can be both gentle and strong. I mean, they’re no Vampires, but I wouldn’t want them to be. I like them the way they are – at least most of them.

 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

 

vm 3 sisters

Read THIS not THAT!

Read THIS – Not THAT
(A List of Well Loved Books that I LOATHE
and the Alternatives)

This might be the most controversial blog posting I’ve done so far because I’m going to tell you what books I DON’T LIKE. In fact I HATE these books (ok hate is a strong word, I only hate a few of them, the others are a strong dislike).

Disclaimer: These are my own personal preferences.  I’m not saying it has to be yours. You can like what you want and I won’t like you any less. In fact if we all like the same thing the book shelves out there would be pretty boring after a while.

Unfortunately most of these books, the very ones that make me cringe, are beloved by millions of readers across the planet. But that does not mean that I have to like them.

But don’t judge me because I’m giving you ALTERNATIVES (READ THIS) to these books. There are always options when it comes to books.

1. Little Women

A sappy Victorian story about a family of girls (all blatant stereotypes) who are trying to make ends meet with their Marmie (their saintly mother) while dad is away fighting the Civil War. Jo, the hero daughter, sells her hair and falls for a Woossie La La pansy assed boy with a girl’s name. The other three sisters consist of a sickly saint, the beautiful kind perfect sister, and a total stuck up self-centered bitch. They go to parties, put on bad plays and do silly stuff until the end of the world comes – or at least you’re hoping for that or at the very least zombies will come in and eat them all. Oh right. Dad, who is no great catch when it comes to men, comes home and they all do the happy dance. But they still won’t stop talking and acting like fools.

READ THIS: The Hunger Games or just watch a Quentin Tarantino movie.

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith

Ann of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery

The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon by Stephen King

2. Eat Pray Love

A self-indulgent, narcissistic narrative about a woman who hates her life and escapes to a world of more pity party spiritual self-aware crap. Who has time for this shit? Just suck it up and get on with your life. We all go through self-discovery but with a little bit more courtesy and grace. I didn’t even pass this book on. It went straight to the recycle bin and out to the Thursday morning garbage pick-up. I call it “Eat, Pray, Barf”.

READ THIS:

Two wonderful books that I could read over and over…

Under The Tuscan Sun by Frances Mayes

Tales from Margaritaville by Jimmy Buffett.

3. The Bridges of Madison County

This one is for you Nathan Tackett!

An antisocial hermit who claims to be a National Geographic photographer has an affair with a silly Italian war bride while her husband is off at the Fair with her kids. The kids later find letters and what not when she dies. What a bitch. Her husband would do anything for her and worships the ground she walks on. You got married lady – that does not mean sleeping with strangers every time your husband leaves town. The bath tub scene is enough to make anyone want to puke. I’m not prude and I like plenty of books with affairs and other bad behavior but this book is so full of itself that it makes me want to puke. There is nothing good or entertaining about this story. Bring on the zombies!

READ THIS:

Envy by Sandra Brown.

OMG. This is the book for people behaving badly, affairs, revenge with so much hot sizzling sex…excuse me while I take a breath. And it never pretends to be art. Just a fun hot wild story about what happens when you steal something that is not yours.

4. The Time Traveler’s Wife

This book just bored me. I could not get into the characters or relate to any of them. I thought it was more creepy than romantic. Ugh.

READ THIS:

Somewhere in Time by Richard Matheson

5. Dune

People are confounded as to why a hard-core Science Fiction and Fantasy fan like me doesn’t care for this book. It was boring.

READ THIS:

Venus on the Half Shell by Kilgore Trout

Let’s end with something fun. Read the spines of the books in the picture above to get a nice little free verse. Yes, those were right off of my shelf. Try writing a poem with your books. It’s fun.

(And no I’m not even going to mention the Twilight series because everyone else has already written enough “why I hate Twilight” stories. I don’t care for Twilight but I can see why others like it – especially teenage girls. So ENOUGH. You’ve already beaten that dead horse enough. Now it is time to talk about something else!!!!!!)

At the end feel free to add your least favorite books and alternatives in the comment section. That will be FUN. I’d love to see what is on your list. Give me your alternatives too.

PLEASE don’t scold me for not liking your beloved book. It won’t change my mind. If you’re offended then you should go to the “High Fructose Corn Syrup and Fuzzy Pink Unicorn Blog.”

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Vampire Girls are not Little Women…but some still dream….

My cousin Flora always imagined herself as Jo March (Little Women). Damn those March girls for hijacking so many young female brains of the era into a soup of silly. It was alright for human girls who were so inspired by Jo, but for vampire girls it was so wrong. First of all they wouldn’t have been broke or hungry. Their father wouldn’t have been injured. They would have known how NOT to burn their hair with a curling iron (much less sell it). We live a charmed life in our secret world. To dream of a human life seems so romantic, and it is, but young vampire girls need to enjoy fiction, but realize that to them most fiction might as well be science fiction – even Little Women.

Flora is still a romantic, but after years of blunders she finally found her calling as the owner of on of the most exclusive bed & breakfast inns in the Napa Valley. Her life is like something out of a Nora Roberts novel…that is with a little bite to it.

Happy Mother’s Day to ALL Vampire Mom’s!

Juliette