Vampire House Warming

We all have those turning points in our life. Some we choose and some we don’t. Some we’re nudged in the right or more often wrong direction.

And there are those times when we try to read between the lines too much about the lives of others. It is usually far more complicated or else far less complicated than we think it is.

My brother Andrew (second of 5 siblings) recently moved back to California after several years in London and other parts of the globe and purchased a home in San Francisco. I hear he paid a million and a half for the place in St. Francis Woods, but he could afford it. I hold my breath to think what my brother Max’s home or my parent’s homes with views of the San Francisco Bay and the Golden Gate Bridge would go for. Anyway…this isn’t about real estate.

It is about a lovely housewarming party my brother Andrew hosted. The place was packed with both Vampires and Regular Humans. There were of course musicians (Andy is a singer) and dancers. There were artists and college professors and writers and high tech geeks and all sorts of interesting people with every profession and opinion imaginable. What made this remarkable, as parties and gatherings go, was that Andy’s Regular Human friends know about Vampire. They’re friends with us and don’t have a problem with it.

OK there was one exception. Andy invited his “girlfriend.” Shawna had come up from Southern California where she is a university professor. She is not a Vampire. She is still in that state of wonder and a little bit of disbelief about Vampires and our world (which isn’t all that different than hers, usually.)

Andy is head over heels in love with this divorced mother of two college kids. The story is that she came home from a research trip to find her husband had put her things in storage and moved a new trophy wife into their home. Their youngest child had just gone off to college so it was his opportunity to also make a change. Shocked, she found a small house on a quiet tree lined street and made a new life with her cats and dogs (she wouldn’t leave them behind.)

Shawna was strong and smart and I had no idea what she was doing with my scatter-brained brother. But it was ok. They were cute together and, well, you know all that sort of early romance cute stuff.

I looked out the window to the backyard to see my brother Max kissing his “friend.” This was more than just a friend. I’d heard rumors but this was proof that there was something more than he’d admit to. Funny that she backed out of his arms and went inside alone leaving him to pace a bit then follow her back inside.

In the kitchen I found Shawna. She was cutting up limes.

“I told Andy to have this catered.” I said this trying to be friendly. I could sense a tiny bit of discomfort behind her warm friendly fang-less smile.

“It’s ok, this will just take a second.” She cut into a lime then her hand slipped, of course, in a house full of Vampires, and cut a deep gash in her thumb.

I grabbed her hand and put it in my mouth to stop the bleeding and sealed the wound. I could have left it but it would have required stitches, not to mention drawn a lot of unwanted attention.

I let go and she pulled away with a little bit of horror and disbelief.

“It’s OK Shawna. I sealed the cut. It will heal now without stitches. You’re A positive.” I smiled. “Don’t worry.  I’m not going to drink your blood or bite you or anything. Just basic first aid. We don’t want anyone else smelling blood.”

I suddenly realized that Andy had never bitten her or exposed her to his natural Vampire ways. He was such a gentleman.  He was also a dick when it came to women. He was always falling for anything that wasn’t a Vampire and when it was a Vampire it was usually always someone who was totally wrong for him. He always had to have everything in life more complicated than it had to be.

“Isn’t this sweet,” I heard a smooth male voice say behind me. I turned to see James, one of Andy’s best friends. James who had always watched out for Andrew but who was also one of the most absolutely annoying Vampires in the known universe.

“You know, Juliette and her brother Valentine are two of the best when it comes to Human to Vampire conversions. Almost a 100% success rate, mot to mention a great follow up and support system.”

“Shut up James,” I snapped. Poor Shawna looked horrified. Why was it that everything James said sounded vulgar? Oh right, I know, because he is a flipping pig.

Shawna looked horrified. I was about say something else nasty to James when a very angry Vampire (showing her fangs no less) suddenly slammed him into the wall. “You’re making me sick James. Get out of here before I rip your throat out.”

He held up his hands and backed off. With a smile he said, “Later ladies, I’ll leave you to your tea party.”

Max’s friend Mehitabel  (the one he kissed in the backyard) stood there in a sleek black dress and some great sky high patent leather Mary Janes. She washed her hands saying something under her breath about getting the stink left by James off of them.

Mehitabel was the pretty woman who could either stand out in a crowd, or more likely not be noticed by anyone. That worked well in her professional life. She could stand unnoticed and watch and wait. As for her personal life, I have no idea. I don’t know her that well. I really don’t

I found her entertaining and funny. Sure she was a little distant as well, an odd combination.

Earlier I’d asked her what she was doing for Thanksgiving. She was going to spend it with close friends. They always spent holidays together.  Why did I assume she wouldn’t have anyplace to go? Gossip and rumors can build into false biographies that paint a harsh sad picture of someone who is anything but harsh or sad.

She didn’t ask questions about my brother Max, the object of her affections – not like most women do.  She wasn’t talking to anyone about Max. She’d come to the party because they had mutual friends – nothing more. She was staying at Max’s house but no details of fluttery “wink wink” was forthcoming.

She had known Max for a long long time.  Over the years they’d been in and out of dangerous situations together, even saved each other’s lives. They were considered Vampire elite, thought she didn’t act like it.

So, anyway, I’m standing in the kitchen with two women who for better or worse were involved with two of my brothers. At this point I doubted if anyone was going to come in and rescue me.

“Don’t bother with James,” I said to Shawna.  “I think he was snorting too much dragon dust or something.”

“More likely out feeding on meth heads and heroine junkies,” said Mehitabel in disgust. The she softened her look and approached Shawna.

“I’m sorry you had to see that.  We’re not like that. Andy isn’t like that. He is one of the most gentle souls I’ve ever met, Regular Human or Vampire, and he adores you. He’d never ever let anyone harm you. The same goes for Juliette and me, and everyone here. Even James, even thought he is an asshole.”

I knew there were those would harm Shawna, but then again, I suppose nobody could have hurt her more than her ex-husband, the one who traded her in for a younger model.

After a few minutes and a few cocktails, we forgot about the party and my brothers. We talked of other things, things we all could relate to. We talked about movies and books and shoes and our work.

I suppose there is no point or moral to this story. No usual twist. It is always just odd and I’m glad my kids were in another part of the house, I’m sure being exposed to all sorts of other weirdness.

Just random thoughts about last weekend…

But all in all, I like both of these women my brothers have brought around. Now if my brothers could just behave… And if they don’t behave, I might still just keep these two around.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

(this post first published here 11/13)

_____________________________

and before i could argue him

out of his philosophy

he went and immolated himself

on a patent cigar lighter

i do not agree with him

myself i would rather have

half the happiness and twice

the longevity

 

but at the same time i wish

there was something i wanted

as badly as he wanted to fry himself”

Don Marquis, archy and mehitabel

____________________________________

More on Shawna and Andy (click here.)

More on Max and Mehitabel (click here.)

wine by fire

Living With Vampires: New Series, #1 John

We live in a world of diversity. Diversity of culture, as well as diversity of biology. Some of the aspects of our differences is freely shared, but as we all know, others are not.

For the most part Vampires are pretty secretive about who and what they are. We try to act like everyone else by sending our children to public schools, writing obscure parenting blogs, having businesses, and keeping warm blooded friends.

Our warm blooded friends, at least those who know who and what we are, have their own set of challenges, or at least their own stories. They are part of an exclusive culture, yes a culture, of people who aren’t Vampires but know and live with Vampires. It is a challenge, let me tell you. If you’re one of the few who know you have Vampires, Werewolves, Selkies, or others in our world in your world, like can take some interesting twists. If you tell anyone they’ll think you’re nuts. If you tell anyone your “unusual friends” won’t take kindly to it. If you tell anyone there might be consequences you don’t want to deal with. On the other hand, the rewards can be great.

In the new, semi regular series I’ll ask some of my friends to share their experiences. I’m not talking about being bitten by a Vampire or horror story stuff – just everyday experiences. Let’s start with John’s story.

John

It was August 1977. I was twenty-four, in graduate school at University of California, Davis. I’d gone home for the weekend. It was the weekend the body was found. It wasn’t the first body, just the most famous.

Let me go back, my family has a farm, orchards, along the Sacramento River, in the Sacramento Delta region. We’ve had the land since the 1850’s.

Remember Raymond Balenciaga, the self-help guru? He was the one who’d break people down, then bring them back up in his own image, claiming they’d be rich and successful. I guess he was like all of the others, you know like the EST guy, and others. Balenciaga’s hook was that you have to denounce yourself and everything you held dear. There again, he was like the others.

My brother Bob and I were out for a walk Sunday night when we found Balenciaga’s body in an irrigation ditch on the edge of our property. He was naked. Pale. Then Bob recognized him. My brother’s girlfriend had been fascinated by the Balenciaga. Of course she had. The guy was movie star handsome. I suspected he had sex with most of his more attractive female followers. Now he was in a ditch.

The sheriffs officers came. As Bob and I stood nearby we saw our neighbors on the other side of the ditch.

I remember Tellias in a black suit with a vest, a white collar and a wide purple tie, over purple striped shit, and Eleora in a red Halston halter dress with her hair wild in the wind. Damn, she was beautiful. They looked like they’d just walked off the pages of a fashion magazine.

Tellias looked at me with his glacier blue eyes. Even in the dark those eyes glowed. Then he nodded his head at me. It was like he was telling me something. Eleora started to dance around him, then he grabbed her by the waist and held her close, and still. She smiled at me then made a kiss on her lips, to me.

Eleora had always been my first love. Even as a small boy she’d enchanted me. We’d go for walks in the orchards and she’d tell me crazy weird stories about Warlocks and magic, and teach me crazy songs. At night I’d sneak outside to watch her dance under the stars alone, or sometimes with Tellias. To me he was the luckiest man who ever lived.

Every time she saw me she’d kiss my cheek, or forehead, and whisper in my ear, “You are my special boy and I will always love you and protect you.”

It occurred to me, more like a brick hit me, that they’d never aged. They looked younger than I did. In the family albums the people from the farm next door never changed. It wasn’t just a family resemblance. It was them. Going back to the 1850’s it was the same people.

Later I asked my parents if they’d ever noticed that nobody next door ever aged. They sat me down and told me. Bob was surprised I never figured it out.

The official report stated that the body had been moved after death due to the lack of blood in the body, combined with the lack of blood on the ground. The cause of death was never determined.

Tellias eventually told me that they rarely drained a body of blood or even killed anyone, but Balenciaga was an exception. He was a con man who destroyed lives of the lost – those who were only looking for answers.

“Even the weak, and stupidly lost need protection. Sort of like protecting sheep from a rabid wolf,” he told me. Next he told me he was over two thousand years old. The guy looked like he was nineteen, but I believed him. I had to. I’d known him all my life. My grandparents had known him since they were children. He was in photos from the 1850’s.

My parents retired and moved to Carmel near my sister. I bought my siblings out of their share of the farm. Tellias and Eleora are still my neighbors. They’re still my friends.

We’re good. I can’t explain it but it all makes sense. It works.

~ End of interview

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Vampire Friend Diet: for My Regular Human Friends

My neighbor Kelly and I often hang out on the back deck of either her home or mine with a nice bottle of red wine. Our kids are close to the same age – middle school and high school.

Kelly has been through a lot in the past few years. Her husband was murdered. The sister of the man who killed Derrick gouged out Kelly’s left eye. She had to go through the trial and aftermath of finding the killer (someone was paid to kill her husband). But she has survived and thrived.

Talk about stress. My heart just breaks for her sometimes. Yes, my cold vampire heart – we feel and love just like everyone else. Don’t judge us because we’re not like you (if you’re reading this and NOT a vampire).

Oh yes, and Kelly has ghosts in her house. Ghosts give me the creeps unlike anything else, but I’ve come to term with Kelly’s ghosts. I haven’t mentioned them to her yet. I’m not sure how to even bring it up.

So back to stress. Over the past few years Kelly has been fighting with her weight. She has been frustrated to the point of tears. Once she told me she hated going out in public and never let anyone take her photo.

She often commented on my diet with almost no sugar or carbs of any kind. I told her it would make me sick. She said it was making her sick in a different sort of way.

By the way, Kelly doesn’t know we’re vampires but she knows something is up. I live on that sort of street where it seems “something is up” with every household. Anyway….

Recently she has lost a little over 50 pounds and is happy with her new perfect weight. Best of all she is keeping it off.

Kelly’s Vampire Inspired Way of Life (the vampire diet)

Simple rules

  • Write down what you eat
  • Track your weight on a chart
  • No sugar unless it is from hugs, kisses, or fruits (excluding fruit juice)
  • Drink your water. DO IT.
  • Keep portions small. Eat half of what you usually do.
  • Make sure all carbs are whole grain and have a high fiber and/or protein content.
  • Eat loads of veggies. Kelly steams them and eats them plain or with a touch of lemon. Sometimes she splurges with a tiny bit of reduced calorie Ranch dressing.
  • Keep meats lean and only have them at one meal per day.
  • Stay away from processed food. Yes you can have your bacon (what is it about regular humans and bacon?) but only once a week as a treat.
  • Find proteins in beans and tofu
  • And be like a vampire and eat loads of dark leafy things.
  • Cut back alcohol to the weekends.
  • MOVE  – go to the gym, take a walk, dance to the radio, stretch, don’t use your husband or kids as an excuse. Make them do it with you. Make them fix their own dinner.
  • Get your family on board with you. If not DO IT ALONE.

So there you go. I never thought I’d be doing a diet blog, but I love my friends and I want them to all be HAPPY, HEALTHY and LIVE LONG LIVES.

xoxoxoxo

~ Juliette

(Juliette and Kelly are based on fictional characters in an upcoming book in 2013-14 – More information and publication dates to come)