Short Story Sunday: Mother’s Day

“Dad, tell us the story about mom and grandma again,” said Jeff’s eight year old daughter.

“No problem baby,” he said. “Here we go.”

“Sleep sweet baby,” Lily whispered then put her hand over the tiny eyelids, and kissed the little forehead and cheeks.

Tonight would be the last night in the city, sleeping in abandoned rooms, her baby in a box, alone and unwanted.

Down the roads she walked, silent and unseen. Going through the back door of the mansion, once her mansion, she walked silently to the bedroom of the woman who stole her family.

At the tender age of seventeen she’d married for love, or so she thought. It was an arranged marriage with the twenty-six year old son of a friend of the family, and business associate of her father. Soon she found out that she was only an asset with a wifely duty to share a bed twice a week, and to look good at social events. Her husband had a mistress who would never be part of their society. He also had a mistress named Florence, who was the wife of a much older and sickly man.

One day the mistress with the sickly husband became a widow.

Lily also became ill and sensitive to light. She would sleep walk into the night and dream of dancing under the moon with people who loved her. Then she realized it was not a dream, but she kept her night walks secret.

The beautiful young widow Florence came to visit Lily.

Florence said, “I am the woman he loves. He always loved me but was forced to marry you. I want you to know that. I want you to be a shadow or you will be put into an asylum and never see your son again.”

Lily listened. Inside of her the baby she carried stirred without the knowledge of her husband or Florence. Her son lay asleep in his bed. Her husband was at his club.

Florence smiled sweetly and said, “It will be my way from now on. If you were smart you would go away, you are unwell, go away and divorce your husband.”

Lily died a few night later, or so her husband thought. That night he celebrated with Florence. The boy cried for his mother. Florence slapped him across the face and told him to stay in his room. She said she was now his mother.

Lily woke with a baby ready to be born. She gave birth to a daughter alone in a crypt. Then she made her plan.

In the morning Florence was found dead in her bed with her throat ripped out, as if an animal had attacked her. Her husband was left with a ragged cut on his handsome face. His safe was empty of gold. His first wife’s jewels were gone. His son was gone.

At the age of twenty, in the year 1850, Lily booked passage on a ship bound for the California gold fields, with her children, and her wealth. She was happy with her new friends. In fact she is still happy today.

“And that my children is the story of my mother, and your grandmother.”

Happy Mother’s Day 2017.

~ end

Happy Mother’s Day everyone. Since this is Mother’s Day I was short on time. This was a blinding fifteen minute story sprint – but since this is a true story it wasn’t hard to write down.. Have fun. xoxo

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

 

Short Story Sunday: Up or Down?

 I like to keep Mother’s Day low key. No Sunday Brunch. No fancy dinners. Maybe some fresh strawberries and a nice bottle of wine, but that is about it.

This morning I let my husband sleep in (yes, on Mother’s Day) and my children and I took a walk in the woods that surround my neighborhood.

My eight year old son Jake, and six year old daughter Sophia ran along the trail with our large unruly mongrel dog.

They ran back to me, each one taking a hand.

Usually I tell them stories. Their favorite is the legend of the blind witch Emily DeLaforte who once lived in the woods all alone. Her eyes were white and sightless, but she saw everything and knew everything, including good and evil in the hearts of people she came into contact with. Emily was a witch but she always served the forces of evil.

Then my son looked up at me with big brown eyes and asked me a questions. “Did Grandma go up or down?”

“Up or down were?”

“I know Grandpa went down. Where did Grandma go when she died?”

Ohhhhhhhh. That was a hard one. I have to admit that part of me was laughing. I also have to admit that part of me was thinking what a precious child I had here. Oh my goodness.

I had an answer. Maybe it wasn’t the best answer but it worked for today. I said, “I don’t know. If Grandma is went down south to, you know, I bet she is hitting Grandpa over the head with a baseball bat and yelling at him for the next million years. If she went up then I hope the crazy old bat finally found the peace and calm that she never had in life.”

I could have told my children to keep this little conversation a secret but I didn’t. Had it been a secret they would have immediately told their dad. As just a conversation I knew they’d keep it to themselves.

My kids quickly forgot about the ups and downs of their grandparents, and ran down the trail with the dog. Tomorrow will bring more questions about who knows what. And as their mom I’ll always try to give them answers.

~ end

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This story is from a prompt from one of my favorite bloggers Jennifer at Secretkeeper.net

The Deep Woods #35

 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

 

Short Story Sunday: The Changeling

Goblins are known to steal sweet babies of Humans and replace them with Changelings.

Lovely happy babies will suddenly seem to change. Well they have. Your baby has been replaced by a crying, unhappy, grouchy, nasty, Goblin Changeling.

Sometimes the horrible Changelings are left to die on the doorsteps of churches or locked in attics. Usually the real babies are brought back. Fairies and others help out. More often or not ransoms are paid. A mother might pay with her beauty. A father might pay with his strength. It could be anything depending on the mood of the Goblins.

In my case the Goblins took the baby and dropped me into the crib of someone who seemed oblivious to my nastiness.

I spend my entire childhood treating my parents like crap and tormenting my little brother Trevor. My brother hated me but he should have loved me. Without me Trevor would have been one of those sensitive milk-sap boys who lets people walk all over him. I made him tough. I made him stand up for himself. He should have thanked me for it.

I have no idea why my parents put up with me. The only reason I wasn’t expelled from every school I attended is because I always made straight A’s. Sure I caused a lot of tears but I kept the school yard in line. My minions kept close while I doled out punishments fitting crimes of weakness. As for lies… I was the princess of lies, and adults never knew what was going on. They always believed me.

Sure there were more times I could count that my mom was in tears but hey, that is what you get for accepting a Goblin Changeling. She could have dumped me in foster care or sent me off to some farm of a distant relative. People suggested boarding schools and drugs and shock treatments. She just told them that they could never understand that I was different and unique in ways that nobody could ever understand.

At one time my parents sent me to counseling. I told Dr. Cray everything she wanted to hear. She said I was a well adjusted and brilliant child. She said I was mature for my age hence others not understanding me. Boy did I have it pulled over her eyes.

Anyway, Trevor and I grew up and went out on our own. I met a few other Changelings and even married one.

We were one of those successful power couples. He was the CEO of a billion dollar software company. I was an attorney and the biggest asshole out there and proud of it. Beauty and brains and no morals what-so-ever. Justice for all.

My husband Blake was an arrogant, self-centered, SOB and I loved him. He loved me to as only a Goblin Changeling can love another Goblin Changeling.

I remember a day when a woman approached me. This should have been one of those turning points where I changed my heart. I’d gone to school with her.

She said, “You were a bully. A mean horrible bully. You ruined lives.”

I just glared at her and said, “You’re so fucking weak. You should have learned from your bad experience. Instead you made the choice to be a loser.”

I’m like that. I don’t give a shit what anyone thinks. I don’t care if they said I mean to my parents and twice as horrible to my brother. Tell me something I don’t know.

So on Mother’s Day I showed up at my parents with my husband. The hubby joined my dad in the back at the grill. Trevor and his wife Emily were in the kitchen with my mom. I put the vase of yellow roses I’d brought for my mom down on breakfast nook table and gave my mother a rare kiss.

Trevor glared at me. Emily looked uncomfortable.

“I have good news Katie,” said my mom. “Trevor and Emily are going to have a baby.”

“How about that Trevor, you aren’t dickless. Well congratulations.”

“Why did you have to say that Katie. Why are you so horrible all the time,” said the lovely Emily.

“I’m just like that Em. Well, I have news too. I’m pregnant too,” I said.

Trevor got right into my face. “You always have to try to upstage me Katie. I don’t care if you are having a baby. Your child will NEVER be allowed to be with mine. NEVER.”

“You know baby brother, if it wasn’t for me you’d never be with Emily. Why do you think all of those other bitch girlfriends of yours dumped you before you ended up with her. I was looking out for you asshole. I was also the reason you have your dream job. So fuck you Trevor. I hope your kid is ugly and stupid.”

My mom should have looked shocked but she was used to me. I was pissed and went into the living room. Mom followed.

“Are you happy about your baby Katie?”

“Sure. It will be fun.” Then I looked into her blue eyes and suddenly I wanted to cry. I mean, my eyes started to sting and water up. “You’re amazing mom. Why did you put up with me all these years?”

“Because I knew nobody else would take you. My own baby had passed on. My little angel had never been right. The Goblins had scheduled a drop off not knowing there was no baby for them to take home. They just left you. Even Goblins don’t want their Changlings. What was your dad and I to do?”

“But mom, you knew?”

“Always.”

“So why’d you keep me?”

“Remember that horrible cat Billy we used to have.”

I remembered Billy. He was worse than I was. He’d hiss at everyone. He’d growl when you’d feed him. No act of kindness was rewarded. Billy was nuts. Damn, he was the Devil’s own cat.

My mom continued, “we kept Billy because if we’d given him up he would have died. Nobody else would have understood. He would have been put down. It was the same with you.”

“I loved that cat,” I told my mom.

“I know you did Katie,” said my mom.

She put her arm around me. “Let’s go back to the others Katie. And do me a favor. Try to be nice. Just for today.”

“Sure. I love you mom.”

“Love you too Katie. More than you’ll ever know.”

“When I’m a mom I want to be just like you.”

We joined the rest of the family around the grill, all smiles and making nice. All the while I was thinking of ways to torture my brother and get even on the rest of the universe.

Happy Mother’s Day Everyone!

There has to be an app for that… Teens, Communication and Modern Vampire Parenting

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It was a dark stormy night and five Vampires were on their way to the Apple Store at the Galleria (a huge mall.) I hope I can say “Apple” here without having to describe our adventure as “Going to the all white computer shoppe.” We went to look at Macs for Matthew.

Matthew said he would just stay at home and go online. I told him he HAD to go out. He HAD to go out with his teenage son and my teenage son and their friend Randy. If Matthew is to live in the modern world and have a well adjusted son he can’t continue to live in the shadows. That is exactly what he is, or was – a Shadow Creeper. He was one of those old-fashioned Vampires who thinks we’re all still living in a Victorian Costume drama (but not fun like the new Penny Dreadful show.)

Let me give you a little background (do a search and you’ll find more.) A few years back Matthew’s wife was killed by Vampire hunters – stay with me on this – so he was left with a son in a very modern world. He needed help. I help new and old Vampires become Modern Vampires. Plus Matthew’s son Josh is friends with my son Garrett. Josh is a completely Modern Vampire teen. Click here for more background. It is a really lovely and bitter sweet story.

After everyone was buckled in my car and the perfect music mix was found, I told Matthew that I have something in the slow cooker at home if he wanted to come over later. He gave me one of those WTF looks. I gave him a “you’re the creeper here not me,” look.

On occasion we (Modern Vampires) do cook. We eat “real” food. I mean, can you live on just one thing? sure you could but variety is the spice of life, and I’m not just talking different blood types or booze.

Matthew never says much. I can’t get my Modern Vampire men to shut up but Matthew is the silent type, all brooding like he is trying to make women call him Heathcliff and be swept away on some dark moor where he can bite their necks and make love to them and … just poke my eyes out with a stick right now. The guy is handsome enough but the attitude is archaic at best. And no, this time old-fashioned is not charming.

Just getting Matthew to go out wearing something that is more current than 1897 is almost impossible. At least he could move up to the 1950’s. And no I’m not talking really wonderful turned hip 1897. I’m taking ancestor clothing – right out of the crypt suits all faded black and gross despite the perfect cut and beautiful fabric. Tonight, thank goodness, he was wearing black pants with a striped button down shirt and a gray sports jacket. No tie tonight.

Earlier I’d asked my husband Teddy if he wanted to come along. Well, first I asked him if he wanted to work with Matthew. Teddy just laughed and said “This one is yours my dear.” Gee thanks honey.

I explained to dear Teddy that Matthew had spent far too many night looking into dead eyes and dead souls. Matthew lived in a world where the damned watched and waited for his every move. Teddy just gave me a sideways look and said, “he’s just socially awkward.”

“Matthew is a Vampire of an old order,” said I.

“The guy is weird,” said Teddy.

The boys were laughing nonstop from the time we got in the car until we got to the mall. You gotta love teenagers for breaking up a dark dank mood.

We walked through Pottery Barn on the way to the main mall. Matthew perked up a bit. The female clerks all eyed him – the couldn’t help it. No woman can resist a Vampire, even a quiet type like my friend. He asked if we could come back later for some goblets and a few throw pillows in gray and black that caught his eye. Yes, there was hope!

As usual the Apple store was packed. Nice young helpers were there with smiles and unlimited knowledge. The boys were in teenage heaven. Matthew was well, uncomfortable to say the least. The presence of so many regular hot blooded humans was more than the old Vampire could deal with. I took him by the arm and was ready to take him out of the store when an employee came by and asked us if we needed help.

The kid, a twenty something young man, was all happy to help us. I touched his arm and said, “My friend needs a laptop. Help him out.”

I watched as the young man (named Corey) helped Matthew, weaving a web of magic mixed with technology. It wasn’t a sales pitch, it was just sharing of information. I could sense Matthew’s discomfort but at the same time he was mesmerized by what he was seeing and hearing.

When we were ready to go Matthew told me that he had no idea how useful a computer could be for a Vampire. Then he gave me a rare smile and said, “I wish I could keep track and contact with all of the people who’ve taken interest in me tonight.” That was just about everyone in the store. Like I’ve said before, Vampires, especially Vampire men get a lot of attention when they go out in public. You don’t know why you’re so attracted to that guy but you are.

I mentioned there was an app for that. He didn’t get my joke. I wasn’t going to tell him twice. Not tonight at least.

On the way out he was more comfortable and absolutely charming in Pottery Barn. The Vampire was in his homebody element. He ended up coming home with a new laptop, four beautiful pillows, twelve goblets in two different patterns and I believe five phone numbers from women who couldn’t resist his quiet awkward sexy charm. Excuse me while I laugh after writing that last sentence.

I asked him if he’d talked to his son Josh much about modern life among the non-Vampire population.

Matthew said “He doesn’t say much to me.” I knew they had a close quiet home life with little talking. More than anything Josh had been teaching his father. There still was a lot Matthew could teach Josh. Heck, the guy is almost 300 years old – that is a lot of experience even if it is mostly in the dark. On the other hand, Matthew was in the dark about so many things. He was uncomfortable with so many things.

I keep stressing to Matthew that he has to talk with Josh about any subject that comes up. Since I got a jump start on subjects like sex, drugs, reputation, college, work, hard work, relationships, responsibilities of Modern Vampires, money, communication, courtesy and grace, getting along, friendship and fashion sense, I don’t have a lot of parenting items to discuss. Not today at least. Our little world here at Vampire Maman is quiet. With Mother’s Day coming up and all I can honestly say that I’ve done a good job. We don’t have screaming matches with teens in my house, well except for yelling GET UP NOW in the morning.

So right… if you have younger children get a jump start on those subjects. You should never be uncomfortable talking to your children – especially about sex, drugs, reputation and other social issues. Tell them the truth. Be blunt where you need to. Tell them about consequences – and I mean long term consequences to things they do now. It is ok to scare the shit out of them sometimes – if it is the truth.

They’re your kids and you are in charge. There is no reason to squirm.

If you have teens surprise them with your straight talk. They’ll be shocked but after that more than likely they’ll respect you for it as long as you’re open for discussion.

Even quiet types can find ways to express themselves. I mean it. They really can. There’s an app for that. HA.

As Matthew and Josh left my house later that evening I yelled out to the them, “Hey Matthew, Happy Mother’s Day.”

He turned back and smiled then put his arm around his son and laughed.

 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

 

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More news…

For Mother’s Day I’m taking a car load of teens to see Twenty One Pilots. Fun. I’ll sing along to House of Gold. More on that. Maybe I’ll LIVE post from my magic little white box (aka my kind of smart phone) to the blog here.

 

We all have our teaching moments… everyday should be like that or at least a learning moment: http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_writing_challenge/student-teacher/