Short Story Sunday #2: Community

Alexis was fortunate to have the acceptance and support from her family and community.

She was much taller than most women. She’d had laser hair removal and surgery to soften her face. To soften her voice she’d taken voice lessons, including music lessons from a well known opera coach. She’d taken ballet lessons to help her become more graceful. Since her feet were exceptionally large she had custom made flip flops that she wore rain or shine.

Life was good for Alexa who’d become a best selling romance author, and outdoor wilderness guide.

Today she drove up I-5 towards her small home community in California’s remote Trinity Alps. The Escalade was packed with hard to obtain supplies: a solar generator, books, pens, paper, Simple Green, apples, silver polish, matches, half a dozen burner phones, and fifty tooth brushes among other things.

Her Uncle Dave had been the first to leave the community. A few others followed. It was never easy but the rewards were great for those who no longer wanted to live remotely in the mountains.

She’d be bringing her young cousin Trent back with her. He’d been accepted to Stanford University in the fall. Trent would live with her first for a few months and learn how to live among those who were so different from them. She’d transform him into a hip and modern young man.

After a thirty mile drive down a rough dirt road Alexa stopped and got out of her car. She stretched her legs and took a deep breath of the clean cold mountain air. Then she let out a long mournful howl.

First she could smell them then out into the clearing they came. It was good to see so many of her family and friends.

No matter where she went she knew she’d always be at home with her Bigfoot family.

~ End

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Vampire Diary: Modern Technology

Dear Diary,

The cat came home wet and covered with mud. I am not amused.

~ Vlad

 

Dear Diary,

I find that after one has been sealed in a crypt, against his will, for three hundred years, one has time to think. I thought many things during those three centuries sealed in a crypt with a knife through my heart.

That is literally a knife, not figuratively like the rejection of a lover. I was the Vampire King the rejection of a lover was not something that was possible.

After being rescued after three hundred years in captivity I find myself in a world full of wonders and confusion. I quickly took to automobiles. I have both electric and gas powered automobiles. Yet I have found that electricity makes it both easier and more difficult for the tasks involved in being a Vampire. Light at the touch of a switch can ruin any meal.

Last night I was in a dark corner, my fangs sinking into the neck of my dinner companion when suddenly there were lights. Someone yelled, “I found a Vaporeon, oh crap, shit, sorry. I didn’t know you two…”

I looked up, blood dripping from my chin. I never drip blood. Holding up my hand I whispered for them to turn and forget what they saw. The memories were erased from their minds.

Electricity. What is the saying they say about being damned if you do our you do not? Damned if you are a Vampire caught sucking blood from the necks of unsuspecting hipsters. I like that word hipster. It makes me smile with thoughts of humor.

~ Vlad

 

 

Dear Diary,

I have gone unnoticed in history. I am a Vampire so I should not be surprised. We keep our histories to ourselves, or hide our true selves.

When I was out tonight a group of young women caught my attention. They came to me like moths to flames, or more like small children to candy. Seduction is easy when one is a Vampire.

They told me that I am cute. I still do not understand this cute. Cats are cute. Babies are cute. I am not a cat or a baby. One said I was gorgeous. That I understand. That young woman, she is called Heather, speaks the truth.

One of the women asked if I was Russian and mentioned Vladimir Putin. They said he was not so cute. Of course he is not cute. Being called Vlad does not automatically make one cute. Then they giggled (I never understood the excessive giggling of young women) and mentioned Vlad the Impaler. I am not Russian or an impaler.

Oh the bane of my modern existence is this man Vlad the Impaler whom I consider an imposter. There is NOTHING cute about Vlad III, Prince of Wallachia, otherwise sometimes said to have inspired the fictional Dracula. The man sold his soul but was no Vampire.

“That Vlad was not cute,” I said to the women. They giggled. I did, what do they say…I scored big time.

I could have told the young women about the cruelties he inflicted on women and children, but cooking them alive and forcing their families to eat them. I could have told them the things he did to the wives of the men he hated, but I did not.

I would rather seduce a population than rule them in fear. Maybe that is what they mean by cute. No, maybe not. On the other hand, that is exactly what cats do. Cats are cute. Maybe.

I remember when I first heard word of Vlad the Impaler. My Baba told me about him and said I must be careful. I told her, “Baba, I’ve been Vampire King for over two hundred years, I know what I am doing. He will not bring fear upon the hearts of my people.”

Baba said, “Grandson, you must watch, not just in the shadows, but in the light. Watch for those who are not only powerful, but watch for those who rule with fear and malice. You rule with power and the seduction of a Vampire. Those outside of your rule fear you. Never let those who live under your protection live in fear of you.”

Vlad the Impaler was killed by a rival and buried in an unmarked grave. He was no Vampire. The world has not changed in so many ways. Technology abounds yet humans still prove themselves to be stupid and cruel. Humans prove they are sheep who follow a lead, only to find themselves being eaten alive.

After I’d had my fill of blood, at the home of one of the women, I walked to my car, thinking about this strange world I woke up in.

I closed my eyes and thought of the warm skin of one of the girls on my lips, and her hot hands on my body, and I wondered if she could also be considered cute. She was beautiful, but empty in the way so many young girls are. One day she will find wisdom through experience, and that will be even a more delicious night.

~ Vlad

 

Dear Diary,

I imagine what my Baba would think of this new world I have found myself in. I remember her bringing me a cup of warm blood and singing me songs of night. Even when I was a grown man she was there with stories of great Vampire Kings of the past, and the time when she was almost a Vampire Queen. I told her that she would always be my Queen. Baba would pat me on the head and smile showing her magnificent fangs. Then she would call me good boy and tell me to drink my blood.

Tonight my lover Gillian came to my house. She is the stars in my sky. She is the key to the universe. Gillian understands technology, as I would have if I had not been locked up for so many years.

When she kissed me I could taste blood on her lips. “You have already eaten,” I said.

She smiled and kissed my neck. “Just a snack.”

I love that woman.

Driving an automobile came easy to me. That was never a problem. Gillian helped me master the television remote, all of those apple things which are not fruits, and power tools. I find power tools quite exciting, especially the chain saw and the belt sander.

I also like the blow dryer on my golden locks. I feel the power of the hot air going through my hair as if I have harnessed the great winds coming down from the sky at my beck and call. One must get thrills where he can if one is no longer King of the Vampires.

And there are closets in houses. Closets are the best thing of all.

After a night out with Gillian I found myself in her arms, not wanting her to ever leave. I find that love has changed over the centuries as well, even among Vampires.

“Move in with me,” I told her. “This house is large with a lot of closets.”

She pulled me closer. “Are closets all you have to offer?”

“I will show you what I have to offer,” I told her.

No need to write more.

~ Vlad

 

 

Kissed by a Vampire

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You too can join the ranks of the undead.

Oh my

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This one was too good to keep to myself.

And it is “do it yourself” no less.

Yes, I know this is a silly thing for kids who are monster fans (from the 70’s) but it ties into this blog.

I get a lot of people visiting my blog wanting to know how they can become a Vampire. Oh boy.

It isn’t a simple answer. You can be born into it (which is rare) or you can have someone, preferably a friend, turn you into a Vampire.

If anything goes wrong, and it usually does, you could either lose your life, or worse lose your soul.

Yes, close 90% of Vampire conversions are failures. Seriously. I kid you not.

If it works you don’t just wake up one night and say to yourself, “blood for breakfast sounds good.” No, it isn’t that easy. It is a slow, horrible, painful process, and that is if you get someone with natural talent and expertise (like me) to convert you.

Then once you get converted, with your soul more or less intact (but changed), and a shadow soul, the adjustment begins. No more donuts. Think of yourself on the strictest diabetic diet ever created. You’re cold to the touch. You can go out during the day but your light sensitivity is extreme. You’re clueless.

How are you going to get blood out of someone without making a mess?  How do you know how much to take without killing your donor? The clueless part is the worst. Other than that it isn’t a bad gig, but … there are so many moral and ethical issues involved. This isn’t weird guys in opera capes surrounded by beautiful women. This is regular life among the undead, in jeans and sweaters, and socks that don’t match (we too have to clean cat boxes.)

If you’re lucky, someone, a more experienced Vampire, will be assigned to help you out. Hope you’re lucky or you won’t last long.

And to be perfectly honest with you, I don’t want everyone becoming Vampires. It is something special. It is our world. The warm blooded folks have their own world and own insanity.

Anyway, that is it for today. I just thought the ad was funny and wanted to share.

 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Leadership in Horror

Halloween. I know I should be posting about Halloween but…anyway, it is October.

Last night I helped Clara create a trivia game for her high school Horror Club. She wanted to feature old movies. To here “old movies” are movies made from 1975 to 1995. I asked about Boris Karloff.

She said, “WHO?”

I said, “Exactly. He was Frankenstein and the Grinch.”

“Mom. Nobody will get that.”

“How about the Body Snatchers. That is one of my favorite movies.”

“What?”

For those who don’t know it, the Horror Club is a real thing. They have shirts. They are in the year book. They have a teacher advisor. It is a club for kids who are fans of horror movies and books. Pretty cool. All of the kids are pretty “normal” too. About 2/3 of the club members are girls. The reason I was told is that “boys don’t join clubs.”

I was having too much fun coming up with weird and random wild card answers to the trivia questions.

For example:

Q: What 1991 movie features a character who likes to have his friends for dinner.

Answer choices.

  • The Hunger
  • Carrie
  • Silence of the Lambs
  • The Sound of Music

Oh come on, you have to admit that Sound of Music is funny.

The X files questions were fun too. One of the answers was Mike Wazowski. Yes, that was my idea. Hey the names sort of sound alike. You know what I’m talking about. HA HA HA.

Along with the questions were fun and gory video clips and theme music.

As a triumph of motherhood I talked her into adding a final question – Who was buried in Grant’s tomb? 

  • Dracula
  • U.S. Grant
  • Dr. Frankenstein
  • Jimi Hendrix

Naturally the kids are tech savvy. They’re all 15-17 years old. It is in their genetic makeup. I mention that because the trivia game is an app on their phone. They will show the game on a computer based projector and the kids play along on their phones. The first one to buzz the right answer wins. Kids can share phones too with friends who don’t have the free app. Pretty cool huh?

But what is old is new and cool. ALL of the teens know about and love the original Twilight Zone. It is one of the few things they’ll watch in black and white. Rod we still love you. The questions about Twilight Zone were paired with the iconic theme music.

The Horror Club has become one of the most fun and successful clubs at the High School. They meet every other week to play trivia games, eat lunch and talk about the genre they love.

But no Vampire movies or books. Of course not. And Garrett (who you all know is the college kid in this blog) is more likely to see movies like Blade Runner or Enchanted April than horror.

The one thing my child and the other founder of the Horror Club are saying is that Horror Club will look great on a college application. Leadership in Horror. Happy Halloween Baby!

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

Vampire Diary: Embroiled in a Dream (and still cute)

Dear Diary,

The cat asked to go out tonight. I told her no. She cursed my soul with a horrible wail. I told her I wasn’t sure I have a soul. She then hissed at me and ran away.

An hour later she crawled in my lap and purred.

I do not understand this creature.

~ Vlad

_____________________

Dear Diary,

Tonight I would hunt and take the night as the Vampire Lord.

As I walked down the street, past strands of twinkling white lights hanging in the windows and trees, I observed bars and other businesses are full of people who mingle and talk.

At one time people bowed down to me as I passed due to my power and fear. Now women smile and giggle and tell me I am cute. Cute?

As a former Vampire King I do not have to depend on “cute” to find my prey.

I set my eyes on a young woman. I lock eyes with her and she comes to me. She is mine.

A cold hand grabs my shoulder just enough for me to turn.

There stands a man, another Vampire. He has the audacity to stop and speak to me.

“She’s mine. I’m her Vampire,” he says to me.

“Yours?”

“I’m her Vampire. You know, man. I am her Vampire. There are plenty of women here. You’re scary attractive. Take your pick, but don’t take my ladies.”

“Scary attractive?” I didn’t see anyone running away or hear screaming.

“Dude. You’re perfect. You have that California blonde beach guy look. Women love that.”

I had no idea what he was talking about. “What do you know of being a Vampire?” I asked.

“I was born this way,” he said almost in a whisper. The look on his face changed almost to recognition. Then he whispered a swear word under his breath and took the woman (who did not hear us) by the arm. “Come on Lilly. I want to show you something.”

I stood with rage in my heart, but never showed emotion on my face.

In the back office I nearly drained an attractive bartender of blood. In the days of my past glory I would have just left her, but instead I called the pub manager to say the poor girl had fainted. Oh how things have changed. I would have killed her in the past but now Vampires see humans as renewable resources.

My completion was one of the rare offspring of our kind. They scare me in their urge to mingle with humankind. They have no respect for the traditions of old. I do not understand them.

~ Vlad

_______________________

Dear Diary,

I was embroiled in a dream of a living man. I was alive again. Warm blood surged through my veins. Warm flesh covered my bones. I raised my hands up to the sunlight and laughed. My hair was bleached almost white from the summer sun on the water. Suddenly something rough slid across my face…

I woke in a panic.

The cat was licking my face.

Gillian smiled at my expense. My own Vampire lover had come to my bed earlier in the night.

Putting my hand to her cheek I asked, “Do you remember when you turned into a Vampire?”

“Of course. Nobody ever forgets.”

“How old were you?”

“Seventeen. And you my love?”

“Twenty. It was the eve of my marriage to a princess.”

“You didn’t marry her did you?”

“No. years later I married a Vampire. It was 1623. But that was a long time ago.”

“I remember. I didn’t know you then but everyone was talking about it.”

Then I told Gillian about the Vampire I’d met the night before.

She sat up in bed and stared at me.

“What? Do you think I’m cute too?”

Gillain’s eyes narrowed. “You were married to his Grandmother. She is going to be so pissed when she finds out you’re in town.”

I should have stayed in Europe but the castle is only rubble and there is no place for a Vampire King.

~ Vlad

____________________

Dear Diary,

I have brooded for three nights. Gillian became angered and left. I can’t find my cat.

~ Vlad

______________________

Dear Diary,

The doorbell rang. I went to answer. Standing on my front porch was a small child holding my cat.

“This is your cat,” said the small child.

I could smell her blood. I put my hand on the edge of the door so I wouldn’t fall over. I realized I hadn’t eaten in days.

I took the purring cat from the child’s arms. “Thank you dear child.” Out of my pocket I pulled an ancient coin from my old country. I put it in her small hand and closed her fingers around it.”

The tiny girl looked at the coin with a face of a king on one side and a raven on the other. Then she looked up at me. “The man on the coin looks like you.”

At one time that coin, a simple copper  and silver disc, would bring fear into the heart of a living man. Now it brought delight to the eyes of a child.

I smiled and thanked for again for bringing back the cat. I watched her walk down my walkway then the child turned and grinned, then said, “my mom thinks you’re cute.”

More cute? I just don’t understand.

~ Vlad

blue cat

Short Story Sunday: Even Vampire Hunters Get The Blues (Part 11 of the Austin and Elizabeth Story)

A wave swept over Austin and took him down to a dark place he hadn’t been for a long time. Finding a body of a woman and a baby was bad enough but then finding the other body, the more recent one with the face fixed in horror would haunt him for a while.

He set a recap of the day in motion. He’d gone to work, two bodies from the 1850’s were found in the building he was restoring. He’d gone for coffee and was stalked by a weird guy, a Vampire no less. A Vampire who warned him, almost threatened him. Austin didn’t get that one. Not time to think about it though because they’d found another body. It wasn’t a Vampire thank God. Just a dried up husk of a man who’d obviously taken his own life 150 years ago. He’d left it there and told his crew to take the rest of the day off paid and break for the weekend.

Then he’d gone shopping. Ho ho ho. An hour of buying pretty gifts for friends and even a red shirt to wear to a party was fun. It got his mind off of things.

Then he’d gone to visit his mother. She knew who he was. Soon she wouldn’t. Things had not been right for years. She wasn’t his mother anymore. It wasn’t just the Alzheimer’s. She’d changed after his dad died. Dad was funny. Mom was not. He wondered how they’d made their marriage work. Between the drama with his siblings and… his mom was still alive but he felt like an orphan. The home he’d grown up in seemed like a crypt to him. He didn’t feel like it was his anymore. Every time he went over there he forgot more of his childhood. The happy memories were erased and replaced with nothing. Seeing his mom sent him in a spiral to his own special private hell.

Flipping on the TV he put left over pizza in the oven then forgot about it until he smelled it burning. After cleaning up the mess and fixing a cocktail and feeding his sister’s dog (yes, he was taking care of a dog who seemed to do nothing but chew her own ass) he flicked on the TV.

Tangled was on. The animated Disney film about Repunzel took his attention. Austin the restoration expert, master carpenter and Vampire Slayer was watching Tangles, mesmerized by the music and cute animation. The last girl he dated said he reminded her of Flynn, the hero of the movie, a cute charming and dashing thief. Hardly. He wasn’t Flynn or any other hero. Not tonight.

“Hey Daisy,” he called the dog and put a Santa hat on her head and took a few pictures and posted them on Facebook.

He answered the phone to a sultry female voice with a slight South African accent. It was Ava. Lovely lovely deadly Ava. They’d once been involved when he first got involved with Vampire Hunters, Vampires and the strangeness that was now his life.

Ava had heard about the bodies and wanted to talk. She wanted to talk about his friendships with Vampires. They (Vampire Hunters) all, at least ones who were smart, had a few Vampires on their side. That wasn’t many of them. He told her about the woman and child and the man who had obviously shot himself.

“Poor thing,” said Ava of the dead man Austin had found, “died heartbroken over the death of his wife. Didn’t you have a girlfriend who died once?”

“Yes. She only died once.”

“Sorry love. Bad choice of words. I’m so sorry.”

“I’m sorry she died, but I’m thankful she didn’t become a Vampire. It was 12 years ago. I didn’t even know Vampires existed back then.”

They talked more about old friends around the world. Austin used the word friends loosely in most cases. Ava and her husband Jacob were real friends, odd at times but real. She asked about his mother and he said everything was fine. She asked about his love life and he said he was seeing someone. He didn’t tell Ava the Vampire Hunter that he’d fallen in love with a Vampire. Then he asked about the strange Vampire Jason who had spoken to him earlier that day. Ava had never heard of him. Then she asked Austin if he’d like someone to come exterminate Jason. He declined the offer.

Ava sighed. “Vampires are our mission and our curse. They’re insufferable the way they get so self-righteous about their lifestyles and their souls. Oh God, the souls. Two, three, four souls or more. “

“I’ve heard from reliable sources it is two.”

“They’ll tell you anything. I try to only exterminate the soulless ones but some of the others, the ones gone rogue… they’re the worst. Vampires without souls are stupid. The ones who still have some sort of intact sense of self are dangerous and vain and… I don’t know why I even bother except the fact that someone needs to keep track of them.”

Ava told him about a situation she’d been in a few months back. It was horrific but Austin wasn’t in the mood for it. All he could think of was his headache and how he just wanted to zone out in front of the TV for a few hours then go to bed and sleep the entire day on Sunday.

Then Ava said, “You need to be careful Austin. You’ve become too close to them.”

He’d heard it all before.

“I’m not close to them. They’re fucking scary. “

They both laughed then he told her he had to go.

After he got off the phone Austin thought of Elizabeth, his Vampire lover, for the first time that night. She could heat him up unlike any human woman. He’d thought about calling Elizabeth but…it didn’t seem like the kind of night she’d understand.

He made another gin and tonic without the tonic water and watched the end of Tangled then turned on a show about unlikely animal friendships. He was in an unlikely animal friendship. Like an owl and a cat, or a lynx and a deer, he was in a relationship with a Vampire.

He was in more than a relationship with a lot of Vampires. His attorney was a Vampire. He knew the Vampire’s Vampire sister. Austin never told Ava that his attorney’s brother was the one who put the long thin scars across her neck and face. Vampires were all over the city he called home. Not thousands, but at least 100 of them were out there in their smug little local community.

He closed his eyes. The visions of the dead wouldn’t go away. The body that morning, the man with the gun in his dead hand… the woman with the baby.

Austin plugged in the Christmas tree lights and went to the kitchen for another gin and tonic without the tonic. Just as he was cutting another hunk off of a lime the doorbell rang. It was too late for missionaries or UPS.

There she stood in a red dress, pale skin, hair up with a diamond clip and looking absolutely beautiful and cold.

“Is this a bad time?’ She asked because he didn’t even smile at her.

“Uh, no, I just didn’t expect… come in. How’d you know where I live?”

It was her first time he and he hadn’t invited her. He’d been to her house, more than once. He’d driven by more times than he’d admit to himself. This was sick. It was more than sick. She was a Vampire.

“I was out for dinner with friends and…”

“Dinner with friends or did you have friends FOR dinner?”

Elizabeth laughed like sweet Christmas music. She could be shy and seductive in ways he never knew existed.

“Your house was featured in a home tour last year. You told me about it so I looked it up. I’m not stalking you Austin. I was in the area. I thought you’d be happy to see me.”

“I am. Want something to drink? I’m having gin without the tonic.”

She followed him into the kitchen. “What is going on? You seem, well, different.”

He leaned against the counter and looked her up and down. “If I kiss you will it taste like blood?”

“No. Of course not.”

“Did you have your lips on somebody else’s neck tonight?”

“On their wrist. Austin, maybe I should go.”

Suddenly Austin felt as cold and dried up as the bodies he’d seen that morning. “Stay. I’m sorry. I had a bad day. I need you to stay.” He stepped closer and kissed her. “Right now nothing makes sense except you.”

They sat on the couch and talked into the night while the program about mismatched animal friends played in the background.

Later as Austin led Elizabeth up to his bedroom he thought maybe it wasn’t bad to be mismatched, even if it was to a Vampire. Being soul mates with a girl with two souls could be a good thing. A very good thing.

 

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For the complete story of Austin and Elizabeth check the links below.

Part 1: The Hunter

Part 2: A Memory of Distant Love

Part 3: Dark Dreams of the Hunted

Part 4: About Those Pesky Undead Folks

Park 5: The Hunt Continues

Part 6: Cold and Warm

Part 7: Date with a Vampire

Part 8: Crawl Space

Part 9: Dust and Desire

Part 10: One of Those Days…