An Austin and Elizabeth Story
Austin grew up knowing that Grammy didn’t have many filters. She’d say anything she wanted to anyone. Austin’s mother said Grammy had always been rude. Grammy said she was giving out good advice that might make people want to do something about their situations. Everyone was in a situation so everyone was told what they needed to do.
Grammy’s caretaker, a lovely woman named Kayla, had texted Austin the following:
“Just a warning, Grammy is in a mood today. Completely speaking with no filter. We talked to Tom across the street. Grammy asked how they were doing and before he could say anything she said, “well it looks like you and your wife have completely given up on loosing weight.” I nudged her in hopes she would stop but it didn’t work. She then went on to say, “I thought you guys were dieting. Looked like you’ve completely given up on losing weight. Tom was so red embarrassed. I said he is healthy and happy and always smiling, so I told him to have a nice day and closed the door before Grammy could say anything else. I then said “OMG Grammy u can’t ever tell people that they are overweight. Ever. Men or women. It is not to be discussed. Don’t tell women they look pregnant. None of it. She said “Well maybe if I say something that will make them want to lose weight.” I said, “NO. NO. NO. Nothing you say will change them. You’re just being terrible at that point. No more ever.” Grammy’s mind is in it’s own place sometimes. Tomorrow is a new day. I told her she is the cutest sweetest little Grammy in the world. She has to stop thinking and saying such negative things.”
Austin was mortified. Tom had been a good friend for years, and would do anything for Grammy. But sweet little Grammy had a dark suspicious side. She’d grown up in the Deep South where people generally have fewer filters than those from other regions of the country. She’d also grown up in a family of Vampire Hunters. It was in their blood, no pun intended.
When Austin arrived at Grammy’s house he wondered who the old motor home in the driveway belonged to.
Kayla, a rail thin brown haired, blue eyed woman in her forties came out to meet him. She and her college student son Colt live with Grammy and took care of her in her great big family home. At one time Austin had tried to get Grammy to sell her house and move into a smaller house in his neighborhood, just three houses down from him, but she’d have none of it. She’d rather complain about money and upkeep than move out of the house she’d lived in for sixty-two years.
“Is someone visiting?” Austin looked toward the motor home.
“I bought that last week. I’m going to take Grammy on a road trip.”
It was a small 1981 motor home complete with faded orange and red stripes on the outside.
“Wow, look at this thing,” said Austin.
“Come inside. Take a look,” said Kayla inviting him in through the back door.
Grammy was sitting on an orange couch that could fold out into a double bed. There was a table, a small kitchen, four captain’s chairs, and a tiny bathroom complete with a toilet, sink, and a shower.
“Hey, Grammy,” Austin said bending down to kiss her.
Grammy was small, and still quite pretty for an eighty eight year old lady. Her white hair had been done up the day before with pink foam curlers. She wore bright pink lipstick, a pink flowered shirt, and matching pink pants.
Grammy took his hands, “Austin. What do you think of our new castle on wheels?”
“Great,” said Austin. “The orange and red carpet is pretty ugly, but otherwise it’s great.”
“I don’t see any problems with the carpet. It looks almost new to me,” said Grammy. “Now, Austin, are you still seeing that Vampire girl?”
Austin was in love with a woman who just happened to be a Vampire. He knew it wasn’t exactly the right thing to do but…
“But,” he said, “Grammy, Elizabeth isn’t a shadow creeper, or one of those ghoulish undead types. She lives a pretty normal life. You know the kinds of Vampires I help get rid of, and Elizabeth isn’t one of them.”
“You know those Vampires aren’t right. They do nothing but cause problems. Austin you’re an idiot for getting involved with one.”
“Grammy, Elizabeth isn’t that different from us.”
“That’s what you say. But the next thing you know they’ll be coming out of the shadows. I bet you the first thing they’ll do is call the ACLU and get a bunch of lawsuits in place against us normal people asking for rights and then some. Then they call AARP because they’re all older than dirt. You can’t trust them Austin. Listen to me. You are going to have nothing but trouble ahead of you. Nothing but trouble.”
“OK Grammy, I get your point.”
“I hope so. I don’t want you marrying one of those things. You haven’t have sexual intercourse with that Vampire of yours yet have you?”
“Grammy, I’m not going to talk about this anymore.”
“Are you still killing Vampires?”
“Only the ones without souls.”
“Well, how do you know if they have souls? They’re all a bunch of fanged faced liars.”
“Grammy, I know. I’m a Vampire Hunter. I can tell. It’s in my blood.”
“Well, your blood will be their blood if you don’t watch out.”
Kayla, who’d gone inside to make iced tea, came back out with three tall cold glasses full of iced tea with fresh mint. This wasn’t the popular sweet tea, but strong freshly brewed black tea with just a hint of lemon and mint. Grammy wouldn’t allow anyone to ruin her good tea with the addition of sugar.
Grammy took a sip of her tea and said, “I don’t know why your mom and dad had to name you after a city.”
Kayla smiled. “Be nice Grammy. You know Austin was where they fell in love.”
“Well, maybe. But it sounds like a character out of a trashy cheap romance novel,” said Grammy.
And she wasn’t kidding.
Austin had dinner with Kayla, her son Colt, and Grammy. They’d dined on garlic coated shrimp in a pasta, along with mushrooms and more garlic. Grammy always made sure she had garlic in all of her food to keep the Vampires away now that she had retired. Austin knew for a fact that garlic didn’t keep Vampires away.
Conversation became pleasant and without any caustic remarks. Grammy was charming and full of joy. Kayla looked relieved.
As Austin left his Grammy gave him a hug and a kiss. Then she said, “I wish you’d find a normal girl.”
Austin smiled and said, “Normal girl? Grammy, you of all people should know there is no such thing.”
Grammy just said, “pasha,” and closed the door in her grandson’s face.
Juliette aka Vampire Maman