Was human life as precious in the dark recesses of the past as it is now?
When we dwelt in rude huts and lacked the learning we have now was it less precious? When people were more or less owned by others…
Is it precious now? To some it is, to others depending on various factors it isn’t. Try explaining that to your kids. Try explaining anything the human race does to your kids… go ahead, I dare you. I do it all the time. No problem.
When you spend a century being a superstition personified you tend to see the world in both extremely harsh light and in the faint glow of hope.
My Great Great Great Grandmama Lola once said, “Stop thinking about everything so much Juliette.”
But my brain will not stop the way I can make my heart stop.
And speaking of hearts stopping… One of the most frequent questions I get about this blog (not to mention search terms) is: How do you convert someone into a Vampire? Or variations on that theme.
Lola has turned a great many people into Vampires over the centuries. Like everyone in our family she is quite skilled at it. I also have a natural talent for it. It is a matter of knowing who to turn and who not to turn. Unfortunately many Vampires aren’t as choosy or skilled as we are. That results in, well, bad results. Very bad results.
Anyway, Lola will turn 671 this year (or 1071 depending on who you talk to.) She is old even for a Vampire.
I never know if Lola is telling the truth or not. We’re beyond even caring or trying to figure it out. My children adore her.
At least she sticks with her stories unlike other life long liars who twist and turn the facts and fictitious facts to suit whatever situation they are in at any given moment.
I suspect that every boy I knew growing up, except my brothers (she is after all their Grandmamma), and including my husband, had a crush on her.
Last night it seemed like summer – the heat has already come our way and bats were fluttering around the porch of her cottage. The subject of strange people we’d met came up and we sat giggling like teenagers as we traded our stories.
Lola closed her eyes in the warm breeze then said to me, “Last year I was out walking in the woods one night a few years ago with a young man I’d seduced when we came upon some crazy people standing naked around a bonfire. They were celebrating Summer Solstice. My companion wanted to join them but I held him back chiding him for his stupidity. Honestly what is wrong with people?”
“What did you do?” I had to ask.
She shrugged. “I called the police. They were on private property without permission or a fire permit.”
Next she drained a couple of pints of blood out of her companion and dumped him at the doors of a fire station. He never remembered a thing. Lola is like that. She is unsentimental about her prey. She never harms them but unless it is someone she wishes to keep around she’ll never treat them as if they are special. You’re rarely special in Lola’s universe unless you’re a Vampire.
Of course there have been exceptions over the years but she tends to save her heart for those who aren’t looking to kill her for a second or third time.
“You’re a peculiar little creature,” she always says to me. Then she gives me a fanged smile and tells me to lighten up or to get more serious or to visit her more or something.
Over the years I’ve learned much from Lola. I hope that maybe, just maybe, that she might learn a few things from me, at least about the current century.
She sat across from me in a large lounge chair with elaborately carved griffins on the arms. Her wearing a short black dress and dark gray leggings, she tucked one leg underneath her and stretched the other one out with perfectly manicured silver toe nails shining in the dark. Her dark curls were piled on her head and held with a Sharpie. Her pet armadillo is curled up in a flannel lined box under her chair.
I heard a slight sound of someone moving inside.
“That would be Sean. I had him for dinner,” she said.
Right, Sean. He works for the Federal Government and visits her every so often. The both get something out of the deal. I’m waiting for him to fall in love with her, or for her to turn him into a Vampire. But realistically, I don’t think either of those things will happen. Sean is handsome in that sun kissed blonde highlighted California-boy-next-door way. I like Sean.
Lola looks at me and says, “Have either one of your children converted a regular person into a Vampire yet?”
I forgot about Sean and almost spit out my wine. “Excuse me? Of course not. They’re teenagers.”
“Have you trained them yet?”
“No. I haven’t turned anyone in at least thirty-five years.”
“It is time they learn…”
“I don’t even let them drink alcohol, blood from live people, or have sex in my house. I’m sure not going to be encouraging them to turn people into Vampires.”
“Juliette you are too protective…”
“Lola, this isn’t the 12th Century.”
“I was thinking of Sean. I’m quite fond of him and he’d be perfect. He’s an only child with deceased parents, 36 years old with no marriages or children. He has been engaged twice but it never worked out. Nobody would miss him, at least not like parents or a spouse would. Nobody would notice. Besides, he could keep his job until everyone started to notice he wasn’t aging.”
“He might not survive.”
“I’ve checked him out both mind and body. The odds are better than usual.”
We heard a click of a door. “Odds are better than what?” There stood Sean, brushing the blonde hair off of his forehead with his fingers, wearing nothing but a pair of jeans and six-pack abs. No wonder Lola liked to have him around.
“California Chrome,” I said. “Local horse does good.”
He pulled a tee-shirt over his head and joined us on the porch. Lola and I kept giving each other “looks” until we were both laughing. Sean was pretty relaxed about it all. Of course he didn’t know he was sitting between two Vampires.
And that was it. Nothing more to that story for right now. It isn’t like the movies where we go around biting people and tearing out throats and converting everyone we meet into Vampires. It just doesn’t happen that way. You’d hear about it. I’ve written about this before (click here for that.)
I know you’re all expecting me to wrap this up in a nice neat little package with some sort of moral ending. Hmmmm. It does have one. Your children don’t need to rush into anything – not alcohol or sex or relationships or converting people into Vampires. You DO need to teach them to be smart and live with their eyes open (put a rush on that one.) You need to teach them to love and respect others and to respect themselves.
And you need to teach them to watch out for ancient Vampires. They’re fun but don’t believe a word they say. Believe me on that one.
By the way, I did talk to Sean for a while before I left. He is smart and funny. Maybe he would make a good Vampire. That would be up to him, but considering he doesn’t even know Vampires really exist, time will tell.
Have a good weekend everyone. I’ll have more stuff for you later.
~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman