A Holiday and a Birthday (with Ancient Vampires)

I let the phone ring about twenty times before Eleora picked it up. She doesn’t like it when people leave messages, except in the evenings, after dark. She uses an old answering machine on her house phone. She only uses her cell phone when she goes out into the yard where she usually leaves it because she tells me that nobody calls her anymore anyway.

She looks like she is about twenty, but she is ancient. Nobody knows how ancient, but it was before there was an AD, and before Romans came to what is now known as England.

Anyway, I called Eleora and Tellias on their house phone about July 4th and my daughter’s 19th birthday on July 5th. I don’t know where Tellias puts his cell phone either.

Eleora answered, but as soon as she knew it was me she began to sing America the Beautiful in her angelic voice.

Me: Eleora sweetie. I called about tomorrow and Thursday.

Eleora: When are you going to pick us up.

Me: 1:00 p.m. tomorrow for the party.

Eleora: When are you picking me up today?

Me: Tomorrow.

Eleora: I thought you were coming over today? What about Clara’s birthday?

Me: I’ll ask Clara about it this afternoon.

Eleora: When are you going to be here?

Me: Tomorrow. Early afternoon.

Eleora: I thought you were coming last night.

Me: Wednesday. Last night was Monday.

Eleroa: Yesterday was Monday? Is it July already?

Me: Yes, tomorrow is July 4th.

Eleora: Wednesday is July 4th?

Me: Yes.

Eleora: When are you going to be here.

Me: At one on Wednesday. I don’t know about Thursday.

Eleora: Tellias is going to put you on the speaker.

Tellias: I have a necklace for Clara. I’ve had it for a while. I was going to give it to your mother when she was young but it wasn’t her style.

Eleora: He has a necklace for Clara.

Tellias: Yes, a necklace.

Eleora: A necklace for Clara.

Me: The blue and pearl one?

Tellias: The very one.

Eleora: When will you be here. Your brother Val will be over later in about an hour.

Me: Tomorrow.

Tellias: Juliette will be here tomorrow dear. Val will be here tonight. I see him coming up the drive right now.

Eleora: Is that Val? I don’t remember that car.

Me: I’ll see you tomorrow.

Tellias: We’re looking forward to it.

Eleora: Did you know Val has a new car?

Me: I’ll see you tomorrow. Love you both so much.

Tellias: Love you too.

Eleora: Love you to the stars and back. Are you coming over tonight?

 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

Memories

As yet another graduation day approaches I thought about memories. So many memories are being made this week. So many will be made this summer.

Our memories of ourselves are rarely the same memories that others have about us. Others rarely remember us for what we think is important. They rarely remember us for anything that we’d ever think of. It isn’t that history isn’t unkind. Personal history is more a flash of emotion. It is a connection made. It is unexpected bits and pieces that are filed away.

I have memories of times that are like they happened today. I can run them in my head like movies. But if I share those with those who were there with me will they remember?

I run into those who knew me long ago. They don’t remember so many things and events, and even talents that I identify with my own self image of who I am.

What they do remember is my voice. My voice. They remember how I talked and how calm I was. They remember my sweet, calm, soothing voice. That is what everyone except my closest friends remember. I never knew that.

Even without our own families we remember things as if we weren’t related at all, and grew up miles apart.

As I write, a new tale based loosely on a brief time in my life, and those involved, I think of how we remember each other. My memories will be woven with fiction, but I seriously doubt if anyone would ever know they’re mine. Then again, isn’t a lot of what we write, feel, and how we react based on our own memories and experiences, even those locked away in secret places of our minds and hearts.

What I wish for the young adults in my life is that they have many wonderful shared memories that will continue to amaze and entertain, and bring joy for years to come. Even if that is just the memory of the sound of a voice, or the chance viewing of a falling star late at night. Your memories are yours and yours alone. To keep, or to share.

Wishing you good ones.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Phantom Thoughts and Rogue Memories.

My brother Max is having not dreams, but memories of places and events that aren’t his.

At the same time he can feel others thinking about him. He is a receiver. So am I.

It is one of those odd things that we don’t tell anyone else about.

The memories are a mystery. We’ve compared notes and we can’t figure it out. Who sends us memories from places we’ve never been or memories of things we’ve never done.

The other types of thoughts are straight from a known source.

Max and I stood out on the deck the other night looking into the fog. “She is thinking about me right now. I haven’t seen her in years but she has been thinking about me a lot lately.”

I didn’t tell him to call her or drop by her house. It wasn’t the right time. It wasn’t his call to make. But when she thinks of him he knows it. He never wonders if she loves him or really even cares. It just is what it is. He is flattered and charmed if nothing else. That is it.

I told him about the bridge again. It was a large bridge that fell during rush hour 50 years ago. I wasn’t there but I remember it from the eyes of a young man who was in a blue car. He was in the water. A woman helped him out. His wife was frantically calling on the phone to see if anyone knew where he was. That is all I remember. I thought it might have been from a book or a movie, but the memory was like my own.

Max dreams of maps and lying as still as death on the bottom of the ocean. I dream of cars falling off of narrow mountain roads and big ugly fish.

We don’t talk much to others about our dreams and phantom thoughts and rogue memories.

I’m sure you have things like that too – another life built on fog and emotion and strange things that fly by like ghost ships or long forgotten songs.

No matter what it is always good to have someone to talk to, who doesn’t think you’re nuts.

Max left this morning before the sun came up. I will miss him, but he’ll know when I’m thinking about him.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

Time travel makes me dizzy.

Out in the orchard

Out in the orchard she stood in the dark yelling at the ghosts to leave.

He stood on the veranda next to me shaking his head. “I don’t know. She is obsessed by them.”

Leaning against a wicker chair he closed his eyes.

“You ok?” I put my hand on his shoulder. It seemed a little skinny – more than normal. “When was the last time you ate?”

He shrugged his shoulder. “Sometimes I think Eleora is losing her mind. Do you see any ghosts out there?”

“Two in the pear tree. They’re just sitting, ignoring her.”

“I can’t get her to come in. I can’t get her to leave so we can eat. She doesn’t want anyone over or delivery.”

“You should have called me earlier.”

“I didn’t know it would be like this. I love her no matter what but I had no idea she’d change like this.”

I looked into the unlined face that looked all of nineteen but was over 2,000 years old. The pale blue eyes had seen ancient Rome when it was new,  American before it was the United States and had been in his house since the early days of the California Goldrush.

Tellias had met Eleora on a wind swept cliff overlooking the ocean as she danced in the moonlight with the wind in her hair and a laugh in her voice. London didn’t exist yet.  Paris didn’t exist. Nothing existed but the girl on the cliff – a girl like him – a girl who danced in the moon and captured his heart forever.

I walked out under the trees and took Eleora by the hand and led her back to the house. She kissed my cheek and sang a sweet ancient song softly in my ear, putting her arm around my waist and her head on my shoulder.

Tellias tried to smile but just closed is eyes for a moment then turned away.

I got my cooler out of my car and took out a few bottles of blood then poured us all a goblet. I’d bring more tomorrow and maybe some “friends” to visit. Being a Vampire isn’t just sleeping during the day. It is just as hard and difficult and beautiful and rewarding as it is for everyone else. Anyone who has ever known love knows that. It is the best and even though it can hurt so much the rewards are … the love is there, forever and always no matter how dead you feel.

 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

 

 

That was not my friend

Let me remember

My friend

In my own heart

With my own memories

And the love

I had.

Don’t tell me

What was said after

How other said he was

Stories of things

I don’t want to hear

Because that was not

My friend.

The long years make things softer and memories not so jagged, but sometime those dusty file drawers in one’s brain get lodged open and make a line directly for the heart. I can’t take more in those drawers or in my heart.

As my children grow older I know that their now sparkling and new file drawers in their brains are neat and ordered. Their hearts are light. Over the years the dust will fall. I think of the young people, or anyone who saw that burden on their hearts as too much and the sadness and pain seems so overwhelming. So in honor of your love, remember those who passed in darkness with light, and love and hope for those you will meet one day.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Moth