Passings in the Night

Passings in the Night

The plan tonight was to share some Vampire tales and adventures and truly funny things, but plans change.

Tonight I saw The Ghost, Nigel. He wore an impeccable black suit, his hair was a perfect glossy black and all in place. He motioned for me to sit with him out on my back deck under the cold night sky.

His eyes met mine and he told me a story.

“I died December 3, 1986. I normally wouldn’t have remembered the anniversary of my own death, but, it was the strangest thing, I was standing out in the woods, not doing much of anything. When you’re a ghost you don’t do much of anything. Anyway, I was out in the woods and a woman came towards me. She was smiling at me and I knew things about her. Her life had taken up where parts of mine had stopped. Then her life stopped December 3, 2013.

She looked at me for just a moment in passing. It was dark but I could see the light coming over the horizon. She asked me who I was and if we knew each other. I told her “I don’t know you, but we’ve loved some of the same people.” I turned her in the right direction.”

Nigel stood up and looked up at the stars, hovering in and out of a transparent state. Then he came close to me and made himself look as real as a live person.

“I couldn’t go with her. But I sent a little bit of my love along, I hope. Well, I know I did. Don’t look all sad. I’m a ghost. These things happen. Hey, nobody should die alone. She left surrounded by love.”

“Who was she?” I had to ask.

He shook his head slightly. “I don’t know. But we loved the same people, just not at the same time. I loved them first, then she loved them after I was gone. I have a feeling she was better at it than I was, or most people for that matter.”

There were so many questions I wanted to ask him but tonight was not the time to ask or to try to get answers.

Love is a force that we can’t explain or quantify. It goes beyond words, beyond sorrow and beyond grief.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

First posted December 2013 – In memory of Julian Elsworth and Lil Longshore.

 

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Love in the dark, and in the light that always shines

This weekend will my mother’s 490th birthday. Everyone will be in at my brother Aaron’s house to celebrate as only a Vampire family can celebrate. Tellias and Eleora, the Ancient Vampires, the elders of the family will be here. Unlike the powerful and cruel Ancient Vampires in so many fictional stories my dear Tellias and Eleora have gentle hearts. Oh sure, they’re still Vampires, but it isn’t anything you need to worry about.

This is something I posted a while back (October 2015). Enjoy. And remember to stay close to those you love.

Love in the dark, and in the light that always shines

Eleora couldn’t remember what she did yesterday, but she could tell stories of her childhood in excruciating detail. My daughter and niece sat next to her, holding her small hands in theirs. They looked like three young women about the same age. My Clara is 16, Lauren is 21 and Eleora is, well, nobody knows how old she is. We know Eleora is over 2,000 years old but no exact number has ever come out.

The girls heard stories their parents and grandparents had never heard. These were ancient lost tales that she’d hoarded until she found the right audience.

Tellias, her husband, told the girls to watch if they went outside. Eleora might wander off on her own and not find her way back.

He watched the woman he loved, his eyes filled with pain. Sometimes I’d see a rare bit of anger. Of course there is always love, but with that more often than not pain and frustration.

This was Sunday. We’d all gathered at my brother Aaron’s for our mother’s birthday. All four of my brothers were there (Max, Andy, Aaron and Val), as well as the elders Tellias and Eleora, Aaron’s grown children Logan and Lauren, Great-great-great-great Grandmama Lola and her friend Cody, and our friend Pierce. My husband Teddy and Aaron’s wife Verity were there playing host and hostess as they sometimes do. And of course our parents Jeremy and Samantha.

More friends were to come later at this gathering at Aaron and Verity’s home. Of course we’re all Vampires. It would seem weird to bring anyone else in.

This isn’t like the movies and horror stories where we bring in virgins and babies to feast on. Of course there is blood, but we have it in wine glasses (not big red cups.)

I stood outside under the stars with Tellias and my brother Max.

Max put his hand on the elder Vampire’s shoulder. “Eleora isn’t all there anymore is she?”

“I believe she is there. She just is a bit disorganized. You know, when you can’t find the mates to your shoes and you are walking on a bed of nails so you just hop on one foot and hope you don’t fall. But if you fall it will be into a burning pit of lava. Then you look down and notice your pants are gone and your socks don’t match,” said Tellias. “You need to come by and see us more often Max.”

“I know,” said my brother.

“Nobody knows how long Vampires live. Most of us don’t make it this far given the dangerous nature of our existence. Don’t take your chances. Your day could be tomorrow. Eleora’s could be tomorrow. We never know. But no need to get depressed, none of us are going anywhere for a while. We’ll be around for plenty of birthdays to come. But the more you and Juliette and the rest of you come around the easier it will be for Eleora to straighten out the mess in her mind.”

The three of us stood there for a few seconds. Then Max gave Tellias a hug and walked down into the yard under some trees. I watched him as he took out his phone and made a call.

“He is calling her, isn’t he? He should have made that call fifty years ago,” said Tellias. “The boy never seemed to understand love, even at his age he still can’t.”

I had to smile. Even at the age of one hundred and sixty-six Max still is just starting to understand that ships that pass in the night sometimes never pass each other again.

Tellias took my hand and gave it a squeeze. “I appreciate everything you do for us.”

“I know.” I said. I looked into his crystal blue eyes, in a face that looked no older than nineteen. To think that he had lived in ancient time didn’t seem all that strange most of the time. He’d kept up. They both had. That is what kept Tellias and Eleora young. Nobody would ever have expected them to dry up in a crypt or become ghouls living in shadows. Then again, they gave so much love that the cold dark places the put fear in men’s hearts didn’t touch them.

So stay young. It is easy if you love and let love in. Even if you’re a Vampire. And even if you’re not.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

 

Walking in the Dark

“Don’t walk in front of me — I may not follow; don’t walk behind — I may not lead; walk beside me and just be my friend.” ~ Camus

We’ve lost two friends this week, and one a few weeks ago. A young friend, one of my daughter’s best friends, has been in intensive care. Sometimes it is hard to wrap one’s heart and mind around it all. But I do. We all do. That is what we do. We love. We just love.

Tonight a coyote tried to eat my cat Oscar. I think he’ll be ok. The cat that is. I don’t know what happened to the coyote. I hope the cat bit and scratched the crap out of it. The other cat and the dog are giving him his space. He is sleeping in my daughter’s room.

She moved out two weeks ago for college. I miss her so much. She’s doing great. I’m so happy for her.

I’ll take Oscar the cat to the vet tomorrow if he is still in distress. His leg seems bruised. No blood.

I am grateful for my friendships online and off. Paranormal and not.

The air tonight is cool and comforting. I’m ready for fall. The leaves die, but for some reason I can’t explain fall always seems like a new beginning. Maybe it is because Halloween is near. Maybe it is because my birthday is in October. Maybe it is because I’m always super excited about planting fall bulbs which will bloom in the spring.

Bulbs are tiny packages of beauty and joy.

I’m trying to find more things that might be packages of joy. There are many.

So, I will get back to my book… finally. I met another writer this week and will be featuring his books in a few months on my Monday book post.

As for my books…there are ghosts, and reapers, and all kinds of demons and others who live in the shadows, corners, and even out in the open.

I’m also writing about parents, relationships, and adult kids. Cats and dogs too.

As always, I’ll leave you with thoughts of everything that is possible, things that go bump in the night (Halloween will be here soon) and love. Yes, it all comes together sooner or later.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

Marla Todd _ Oscar Gray

This is Oscar. I love this cat so much.

 

 

 

 

 

Tiny Babes, Good Dogs, and Birthdays

Little Willie Sleeps

I believe this is the grave of little Willie Adams who died October 23, 1877, age 4 months, 22 days, in Sacramento, California. This little stone touched me so when we visited the cemetery in 2012 –  and I had no idea when I first saw the stone that the dear child died on this day (which is also my birthday).

It sends a shudder down my spine but at the same time fills my heart that this dear baby was so loved, and after 141 years not forgotten. He was just at that age when babies start to laugh and really see the world around them.

Sweet slumber little Willie. You were loved and I believe the love never dies.

October is an odd month with the Day of the Dead, Halloween, and so many birthdays.

I used to have a tank full of big beautiful fancy gold fish and on my birthday four years ago ALL of the fish died. I imagine they’ll be swimming around over my head on Halloween night.

That same October my Jasmine, the best dog ever crossed over the Rainbow Bridge. I wrote a lot about her and posted a lot of photos of her here. She had my heart and soul. Yes, despite what you hear, which is not true, Vampires do have souls. We have one for our hearts and one for our shadow. Jasmine grabbed the one for my cold unbeating heart.

Jasmine

Jasmine – Best Dog Ever

By the way, today is also Weird Al’s birthday. He turns 59. Happy Birthday Al. The first time I heard him was I believe in 1978. I thought “This guy is nuts. I love it.” Little did I know.

My name is Juliette Kings. I’m married to Theodore Kings (Teddy.) I live near Sacramento. I was born on October 23, 1859. I am a Vampire, but most of all I’m a mom. And of course an artist, a writer, and I hope a good friend.

So I bid you all goodnight and good morning, depending on when you read this. Hugs. Kisses. Happy Birthdays. And remember to hug your dogs, hug your cats and give them lots of under chin rubs, and talk to your kids.

And in this month of October, do not forget those we have lost and loved. Love never dies, even if you’re a Vampire or a dog.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

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vlad v

I love you. Juliette drew this.

 

 

 

Vlad’s Vampire Diary: Whispering

Dear Diary,

Jane the coyote with a Werewolf soul has left me. She curled up, fell asleep, and did not wake.

I stroked her cold still head feeling sad when my phone rang. I usually do not answer but this time I was drawn to the call.

“Hey, Vlad, it’s me, Jane. I found a human body. Just wanted to call and thank you for taking care of me when I was in transition,” a female voice said to me.

“What about the coyote? My coyote.”

“Her soul is long gone. I was just borrowing her body. Awwww Vlad, you’re so cute. Don’t be sad. I’m in a better place. Seriously, this woman was beautiful. I mean she still is. I never looked this good with my first body.”

“Did you kill her?”

“No. No way. She died and her soul left, so you know, I swooped in and started the old heart up again.”

“I see. How…”

“Long story. I don’t have time right now to explain. You know, places to be, people to see. I have a lot of catching up to do. So I’ll see you around Vlad. Thanks again for everything. Love ya. Bye.”

I looked at the coyote body so cold and now seeming small. I could not help but feel sad. I do not know why. Nor do I know why Jane said I was cute.

Jane the coyote was buried in my back yard. I planted a red rose-bush over her grave and covered it with river rocks. My cats watched me with solemn cat eyes then went to sleep on a deck chair.

Jane is no longer mine.

~ Vlad

 

Dear Diary,

Tonight my love Gillian and I went out to find something entertaining to do. We cut through an alley where we heard someone laughing. Strange music came through an open door.

“I haven’t heard this forever. What’s up with the old music?”

“I do not know. Everything is new to me. ” Sometimes I still feel the urge to remind her that I was locked in a crypt for three hundred years and missed the Eighteenth through Twentith Centuries.

“I have a weird feeling about this,” she said and squeezed my arm.

This is the music if one could call it that. Gillian said they were playing a saw. I do not understand playing music with a tool. It sounded like something my cats would have written and played on bones and garden tools. If cats could write music and play bones and garden tools. I would not put it past them.

I later learned the song was called Whispering. It was popular in the 1920’s. I understand that was an extremely strange time when women stopped wearing so many clothes, cut their hair, and were allowed to vote. Vampires have always treated their women equally. I do not know what is wrong with people. Maybe it is the warm blood in their veins cooking their brains and making them stupid.

 

 

My love and I walked down narrow steps, ready to show our fangs and fight, or feast, depending on who or what we found at the bottom.

I thought of another time I walked into a tavern and experienced unexpected and dangerous consequences. This time I was determined not to let my guard down, after all I am the Vampire King.

At the bottom of the stairs a man in a striped double breasted suit greeted us.

“Welcome to Easy Street,” he said.

“Oh my goodness, this is right out of the 20’s,” said Gillian.

I, of course had no idea what she was talking about because I have no point of reference when it comes to most cultural references. My English is better than it was four years ago but everything else is still as confusing as Hell.

He led us into a bar where people danced to music with men in high voices, and it looked rather clean and sleek. Gillian called it Art Deco.

I looked around. “What is Deco?”

Gillian took my arm, “It is short for Arts Décoratifs. Decorative art. It came about right after the Art Nouveau movement, and of course the Arts and Crafts movement. I believe it came out of one of the oh so many World’s Fairs or expositions everyone used to have back then.”

I still had no idea what Gillian was talking about and kissed her cool cheek.

“With your pretty face you fit right in here. You could pass for someone out of The Great Gatsby,” Gillian said.

“I thought I was cute.”

“You’re more than cute, silly.”

“Now I am silly?” I didn’t ask her what the Great Gatsby was. I know it does not involve Vampires or I would have heard of it already. I doubted if I would want to be in it. Gatsby. That sounds like the noise my cat makes when she vomits.

We sat at the large bar, drank Gin Rickeys and spoke with other patrons about upcoming art shows at the museum and football. I have come to frequent the art museum. I have yet to understand the obsession with football. Football has all of the earmarks of a magnificent pageant with large violent men, screaming fans, and the thing I least understand, the scantily clad women dancing on the edge of the field, and regional territorial rites. One clan even wears cheese on their heads and sits in the cold to prove their faithfulness to their gods of the game. Now that I write it out I now, oh how do they say, I get it. I understand. But it is not a past time for a Vampire. I prefer Baseball or Basketball, or just rolling heads of my enemies around in the forest while on a horse…

As we talked and I looked for someone with nice veins in their wrists, I noticed the place was filling up. Everyone seemed to know everyone, except for Gillian and me.

The man who greeted us at the door, his name was Mel, said, “You gotta go. In about fifteen minutes this is gonna be no place for Vampires.”

“You know we are Vampires?” I asked.

“Sure I know. And in fifteen minutes I’m locking up the doors and everyone in here except you and your beautiful lady are going to turn into wolves. Tonight is a full moon man, and we’re all Werewolves. You know how it is. We lock up in here and don’t get into trouble. You have to go now. And hey, don’t get into any trouble yourselves. I know how Vampires are.”

Gillian and I left with fond farewells. This was one of the strangest experiences I have ever experienced. As we left I wondered if Jane would ever go there now. Gillian and I laughed about as we walked down the street to another place. It was a place we knew. It was a place without surprises and lovely warm blooded people who only had dogs as pets.

~ Vlad

 

Dear Diary,

Tonight I drove to the mountains, to a cabin where I would seek out peace and reflect upon the night sky with an infinite number of stars.

Why did no one tell me that cats do not like to ride in cars? It makes no sense to me. I do not understand.

I put pillows and blankets the cats like in the back seat. Their favorite food was there. They had access to a view out of the windows. Boxes were on the floor for them to play in. There was even a littler box. They might have shown their appreciation to me.

Cats also do not like being harnessed or put attached to a leash.

Into the trunk of my car I put twelve bottles of blood to share, and twelve bottles of good red wine, plus my clothes. My two cats had the ENTIRE car, aside from the driver’s seat, to themselves. Did they thank me? No, they did not.

As soon as I backed out of my driveway onto the street my cats began to scream. It was not normal cat noises but the voices of demonic chanting. It was the voice of death. It was mournful yowling of the saddest kind.

Then one crawled upon my back and put her claws around my head, while the other ran around the car, jumping as if she had gone insane. Why did not a single person tell me that THIS is how cats behave in cars. I do not understand.

When I arrived to pick up my friend Randolpho, who would accompany me to the mountains, I was exhausted. Vampires are known for their endless energy but these cats, they had me worn out.

Randolpho just laughed at me. “Why didn’t you put them in cat carriers?”

“Cat carrier?”

“A box, a crate with a door, or even a soft sided bag made for transporting cats.”

“You jest,” I said.

“Vlad, did you really think the cats would like to ride in the car?”

“Yes, I did really think that Randolpho,” I said beginning to lose my patience with him, as well as the cats.

Randolpho put his gear in the trunk of the car and we drove to the mountains. The cats began to sing their demonic songs. I showed them my fangs. They yowled even more.

“Don’t show them your fangs,” said Randolpho. “Cats never forget or forgive.”

Then he grabbed a soft blanket from the back seat of the car and coaxed the cats onto his lap. I could not believe that after all I have done for them that my cats would sit quietly for Randolpho and yowl their heinous vile insulting songs at me.

“They’re just afraid Vlad. You can’t expect them to be like dogs and be happy with everything. They’re cats. You need to be gentle and whisper sweet things to them so that they’ll feel safe.”

I turned on the radio. It was not Whispering or any old music. As we drove higher in elevation, among the pine trees I looked for wolves. The moon was no longer full but I always look – just in case.

Trying to lighten up the mood I said, “In the old days we wold have brought up two or three people rather than bottles of blood. They would have been glad to come with us. Remember those times?”

Randolpho stroked a purring kitty and gave me a sideways glance. “Sure, back when we lived in your castle and you were the King. Not anymore. The kind of people who want to go to Vampire gatherings and get their blood sucked are weird.”

“What do you mean by weird?”

“Just weird. They’re Vampire wanna bees. And even if they don’t want to be Vampires they just creep me out. You know the whole subsurvant semi sexual servant master thing, but it’s more than that. They’re like groupies.”

“Groupies. What is groupies?”

“Followers. My point is that they’re strange. They get off on the idea of being our slaves and laying naked on a table for us to feast on and shit like that.”

“I see.”

“And they’re usually stupid and don’t live in the real world. It is all fantasy to them. They don’t get that we have to rake our leaves and clean out litter boxes just like everyone else.”

Sometimes Randolpho had an interesting ways to describe the world to me but I found myself more often than not agreeing with him.

Our friends greeted us at the cabin, which was not a cabin at all. A cabin is a hut like structure with a fire pit. This was a 4,000 square foot house with a dock on the lake. The cats gladly walked on their leashes into the house where they were met by adoring Vampires. After Randolpho and I unpacked our things I walked alone along the shore of the lake.

The air was cold. The sky with clear with an infinite number of stars. The moon was slightly deflated.

I thought about Jane and wondered where she was. I thought about my castle and my old life style which is now considered unacceptable. I thought about how I never imagined I would miss three centuries and end up in a world where I would be terrorizing cats in automobiles. I could not even imagined what an automobile was four years ago.

I thought about a song I’d heard on the radio.

There is much I do not understand. But now, I do understand that one should never take riding in cars with cats lightly.

~ Vlad

 

Kissed by a Vampire

Kissed by a Vampire

You’ve just finished reading the 41st installment of Vlad’s Vampire Diary. For the entire series, from the start CLICK HERE.

 

The Quiet Beauty of San Miniato al Monte

Last week, it seems like yesterday, and it seems like a hundred years ago, I was at San Miniato al Monte monastery and cemetery in Florence, Italy.

The church was built in the year 1018 with no power tools, and workers who no doubt couldn’t even write their own names. It is beauty from a dark time.

It was an unexpected, moving, and beautiful find.

We (my husband, children and I) expected to find an old monastery at the highest point in Florence. We did not expect to find the huge cemetery surrounding it.

There was not enough time to spend there. I could have spent a week looking at the hundreds of touching statues that spoke of memories, but there by those who loved and those who lost their hearts. So many dates were from the 1940’s. So many were children.

The ghosts lurked far from us, watching us walk through the rain. More than anything we could feel the love and the loss. It is a special place where those who are no longer remembered by anyone now living, are still touching our hearts and souls.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

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