A Vampire Gives a Commencement Speech (times three)

Graduation and new beginnings! What an exciting time for kids and parents. The following is from 2014 but the words still work. ~ Juliette

A Vampire Gives a Commencement Speech (times three)

I graduated from a somewhat prestigious university but did not attend the graduation ceremony. Nobody seemed interested in attending. In fact nobody seemed that interested in the fact I’d graduated. I don’t even know who spoke at the ceremony.

Now I wish I’d gone, even if I’d been alone. I had dreams that quickly faded. I’m not sure if any commencement speaker could have said anything I wanted to hear, but I’ll never know.

But now, light years away from those days, thinking about college and the future for the next generation. All of these young people I’ve watched grow up and loved are now graduating from high school and going away to universities.

I would have given a different talk to my younger self than I would for my own children. My kids – they’re different than I was. I raised them differently from how I was raised, I believe they’re smarter and more aware at than I ever was at that age (or ever was when I was in my 20’s for that matter.) Mind you, my parents did a great job, but times were different – really different.

The other night while we (husband, teens and I) were out walking the dog under the moon my 14-year-old daughter mentioned she’d read the first few chapters of Fifty Shades of Gray. I should have been shocked but ALL the kids have read parts of it. They’re kids. That’s what they do. Anyway she said it read like bad fan fiction that girls write about their favorite band members. Then she and her older brother started to talk about stuff they’ve read on Tumblr mostly on their Smart Phones.

My phone is just like theirs but we call it the not-so-smart phone because like all electronic devices it doesn’t work for me.

Then they started to talk about birthmarks and body hair on their classmates. Excuse me? Then I remembered they see everyone in swimming (PE or on the swim team). Yes, it was swimming.

From there they talked about college. I dared not panic knowing that one would be leaving soon for a university on the coast – a new beginning for all of us.

But aside from technology, or maybe with the help of technology, society has changed. So many people say we (living creatures) never talk anymore. I was we talk a lot more. Nobody spoke of feeling or hopes or dreams or desires or ideas when I was young. Everything was shut inside in fear of being proper. Everyone was too afraid of what others would think. They were too afraid to speak up.

And in that fear chances of a lifetime were missed. Being proper worked to some extent but … nobody except artists and outsiders expressed their true feelings about anything. This wasn’t that long ago. Up until the last quarter of the 20th Century everyone was tight lipped and afraid.

Of course it was great for Vampires. It just allowed us to be freer among our food sources because nobody dared speculate on why they were feeling so different after a visit from one of us.

On the other hand I should just quote what one of the seniors put down for her quote in the high school year book. “This was nothing like High School Musical.”

And now a little advice and wisdom for my son who is graduating from high school and his friends:

To the Graduating Class of 2014

This is not the time to be naive or confused. It is not the time for drama. It is not the time to play innocent. It is not the time to put your head in the sand. It is not a time to wonder what you’re going to do with the rest of your life. Your children have graduated. Be proud of the job you’ve done as parents and never stop letting your children know how proud you are of them.

Dear graduates.

I don’t come to you with advice on what you should or should not do. I’m not going to tell you that you will change the world or be a success. I won’t tell you that you are the future of America. I won’t tell you that your generation will be the greatest – that is up to you. And I know you’re up to it.

Congratulations. Have fun. Watch the stars. Don’t forget to take time to play, time to read and time to love. And never forget to take time to learn. If you stop learning you might as well be dead.

 

Graduation Commencement Speech #2 – Think Like A Mom

You’ll be leaving home soon to make your way in the big wide world. One thing to remember is your mom. Never forget your mom. All of my advice to you comes from mom. So here we go…

Think like a mom. It could be your mom, or the mom you wished you had. Moms know everything, or at least the good ones do.

Love like a mom, because nobody can love like that.

Trouble shoot like a mom. With a butter knife and a roll of duct tape the average mom can fix anything. With a kiss she can fix everything.

Multitask like a mom. Your mom is the ultimate in management. Think about it – she has 1 or more children, a husband and maybe other relatives to deal with. Mix in work, feeding everyone, managing the house, pets (they take up a lot of time), volunteer work, driving everyone to hell and back… and add about 34,000 other things to this list. If you can multitask like your mom you can do anything.

Laugh like a mom. I laugh so hard I cry and my sides hurt. That is what moms do.

Find joy in small things like a mom. Every wonder why your mom takes time to point out bats in the night sky or worms in the ground? And you thought it was for you…

Fight like a mom. No Army General can defend his fort like a mom will defend her children.

Your mom always tells you “Don’t give up.” Well she was right. She will always be right. Never give up. Don’t give up hope or trust or peace of mind. Don’t give up your will to survive. Don’t give up your desires or your dreams. Don’t give up when doors slam in your face. Don’t give up when everything around you caves in, because it will and you’ll have to deal with it. And you can deal with it. Your mom gave you the tools you need to survive and thrive.

So don’t forget mom. One day your own kids will thank you for it.

 

To the Graduating Vampire Teens of 2014

You’d be amazed at the things your mom finds in the laundry.

One day we’ll part,

In different worlds,

Not so different,

Not the same,

You’ll have change,

I will stay the same,

You’ll have wonder,

I will stay the same,

You’ll have wisdom,

I will see the wonders of the ages,

Except that I will miss you,

My heart a broken mess.

My son wrote that about a year ago. I found it in the dryer. I knew where it was going. Friends mean everything to a teen. Your friends are the center of your universe. You think through your heart. The bonds of friendship will last forever.

Even for us, even when they’re gone those bonds will always be there, keeping you strong.

It never seems fair that they will go before you. It isn’t fair that they can’t stay with you forever.

There are those rare few who might stay – those few you can change.

You will find that over the years there will be holes in your heart that can never be filled, even when you know that your heart doesn’t beat as theirs does. It stills as their hearts do.

I have loved and cherished my regular human friends over the years. I feel honored to have known them. Their path isn’t the same as ours. Their loves are full and rich and wonderful. They have options we can’t even imagine. Be happy for them and cherish your time with them.

I could tell you that it our time to rule the Earth but we’re not like that. We live in the comfort of the shadows, between worlds that they’ll never know.

But that doesn’t rule out anything for you. You’re a Vampire, which means you are human, but just a little bit more.

Dream your dreams of sunlight even when you seek comfort in the dark.

The world is yours. The future is yours. Your heart is yours to love with and heal with.

You are the guardians and the truth seekers.

Cherish your history and your uniqueness, but also know that you can be whoever you want to be.

Yes, you do live in the shadows but remember you are never alone and never need to be afraid.

Congratulations and may every night be a good night.

_____________________________________________________

 

I was half minded to not post this because I feel like anything a commencement speaker could say I’ve already told my kids. The key point is that they might say it with more wit and impact. Plus sometimes words from someone else will stick more than words from “good old mom and dad.” Oh well.

If I were asked to give a commencement speech it wouldn’t be any of the talks above. I don’t know what it would be, but it would be funny and the graduates would never forget it. Given the opportunity I’d shine because I’d want them, the graduates to shine. Anyway…

There should be commencement speeches for parents. That was a lot of work – raising kids and doing it right. So parents, toss up YOUR hats and cheer.

When they’re grown you don’t stop being a parent, you just stop driving them around all over the place.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

In the house of 26 windows

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Why yes, I’ve taken up house keeping in your walls and I’m quite comfortable. Thanks for asking.

 

 

I live in a house with twenty-six windows.

I am a Vampire.

My home is on a hill so that creates a nice cool space under the house where we keep wine, camping gear, yard tools, and boat stuff, among other things. There are no coffins under there. There are no coffins anywhere in my home.

Windows let in the light. Windows also let in the night. They let us watch rare lightning storms. They let in the moonlight. Windows let me view the fog without the dampness.

Wait…I was just going to muse on about living next to an oak forest, and the peaceful setting, and more windows, but I think I just heard gunfire. What the fuck is wrong with people? Sure shooting guns is fun but not in a residential area. Not near a public park. It doesn’t matter that there is a lot of undeveloped land around. Assholes.

A few nights ago, about a mile away, some white trash yahoo shot a gun into the air a bunch of times then shot up a car. Needless to say he is in jail right now. We’ve had two drug related drive by shootings in our quiet relatively crime free community in the past year so everyone is a bit on edge. One was a sixteen year old who had been involved in drug traffic. What a sad waste.

So back to my musings on windows but I’ve totally and completely lost my train of thought.

I’d like to say that I can take care of annoying people. Not as in bringing them chicken soup when they are sick, but as in making them live in fear, or have nightmares that drive them crazy, or other creative solutions. I can, but I don’t, as long as they stay away from me or those I love. As with most Vampires, I just take a deep breath and keep writing (or doing whatever I was doing.) We aren’t super heroes or keepers of the calm. We’re just Vampires. We pick our battles carefully. Then again, doesn’t everyone with half a brain.

Oh great. Now I hear squirrels running around in the wall, between the floor of the upstairs and the ceiling of the downstairs. I am not happy. Squirrel squatters are the worst kind of animal trash. And no, my cats are not earning their keep right now.

Ants are in my house too. I can usually manage them. Our neighbors haven’t been so lucky. They put their cat food dish in a bowl of water so the ants can’t get at the food.

Turkeys are in my yard. I can hear them in the back picking through the dry grass (we’re in a drought remember.) They have done their best to try to dig up the roses in my front yard. There are six of them. All females. They make their rounds digging in yards, looking for whatever turkeys eat. The small calico cat used to stalk the turkeys but now she just ignores them. Don’t suggest shooting them. Just don’t.

Last winter I came home to find a large dead male turkey right in the middle of my front yard. I have no idea what happened. No idea. But there was a broken branch in one of the trees above the dead bird. I just figure he was drinking and fell out of the tree.

So if you thought Vampires are solitary creatures you are wrong.

Speaking of which, I have to get the door. I’ll be back.

That was my charming young hipster friend Cody. I suppose I can’t call him a Vampire in training anymore, or even a new Vampire. He has been part of the community for four years now.

I told him he could take my squirrels and make a beard out of them. Or maybe a coat. Those were jokes of course. Bad jokes but jokes never the less.

My young friend (he is in his mid-thirties) stopped by for coffee and lively discussion. It is what Cody and I do. Today, in a rare burst of emotion, he was asking a lot of questions.

First he asked, “Why do I still need to wear contacts or glasses during the day, but I can see crystal clear in the dark?”

“Our eyes are sensitive to the light,” I told my young friend. “It is just part of being a Vampire. Our night vision, the ability to see in the dark, is a gift. One of many gifts.”

“Is it wrong to be in love with a woman who is six hundred years older than I am?”

“No.” I answered. Of course it that was one of my kids I’d flip and have to go beat the living moonlight out of that old Vampire. But Cody is an adult…long story for another blog post.

He talked, while I listened, about the fact that he could feel the emotions and even the thoughts of others. It was overwhelming to him sometimes.

He talked about how he could smell warm blood inside of live people and it reminded him of summer barbecues and that bothered him. I told him that it happened to all Vampires from time to time.

Then he asked the one question that got on my nerves. “What is that noise?”

“Squirrels.”

“What are you going to do about it?”

“I don’t know. Maybe I’ll blast roller skating music at them. You know, organ music played to popular songs in classic dance beats.”

“That would do it. Or you could hire someone with traps to come out.”

“I could do that too. I could also feed them peanut better cookies until they get so fat they explode.”

We had more coffee and spoke to the transitions in our lives. Even Vampires have transitions. Even 155 year old Vampires have transitions.

“Sometimes I miss things, like being warm. In the winter I can’t see my breath in the cold air,” said Cody.

I’ve always been like this, but I remember as a child wishing I could breath out fog like regular humans could. Growing up this way makes being this way normal.

“Cody,” I said, “your feelings are normal. Your new world is normal too. Take it from me, no matter where you are, make it your normal.”

I’m sure that made no sense at all to him, but he looked at me as if I was some self-help guru.

“Like a new normal,” he said.

“Like the normal you’ll always had but just different. Even if you had never become a Vampire you’d still have major changes in your life.”

Then we talked about books, and had more coffee, and went for a walk down by the lake.

And now, I’m back here with my cats, the squirrels, and still no ideas about my twenty-six windows and how I’m going to tie those into a life lesson story. Oh well.

Have a good week everyone. And don’t feel stupid to ask questions. There are no stupid questions. OK there are stupid questions but I’m a mom and I’m not supposed to say that.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

The house with 26 windows

The house with 26 windows

 

 

 

 

 

Monday

Black tea

Splashed with fruit

A reminder to

Get up, Get up, Get UP NOW

To the sleeping teen

Even though it is dark outside.

Monday comes,

School day,

New beginnings

For everyone.

 

Be inspired!

Be inspired!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And so it is. That is new beginnings and new attitudes and making changes.

But school is school. It seems that mornings are easier now, more than ever. The high school aged child is getting up and actually looking forward to school. The college age one still drags but with a new sense of urgency (so he tells me.)

I’ve been working on new things as well and finishing up old projects. The past month has been difficult and filled with loss and stupidity. I try to write to inspire or give some humor. We’ve laughed a lot but I just haven’t written it down. Sometimes my mind and fingers don’t match up – or don’t want to match up. It is sort of like telling my dog to go outside and she either sits down or goes to her bed and won’t budge.

But today is Monday. I will watch the moon fade away and the sunrise over the trees. We’ll talk on the way to school about all sorts of things.

The thing that stays clear is that we find ourselves and know ourselves. Then we need to stay true to ourselves. That is difficult when doubt is alway lurking around like a gargoyle ready to dump sludge down it’s spout onto your head. I guess the moral there is to watch for downspouts or always carry an umbrella.

I don’t believe in sheltering children in a world that is filled with monkey’s covering their faces and embracing ignorance. To over protect is to open them wide to vulnerability and ignorance of a world that can hurt them, or keep them from a world that can enlighten them. I hope that each and every day will enlighten them. A new day and a new sunrise. Yes, the birds are singing. Friends will be at school. Teachers will like them. It will be a good thing – this first day of a new week.

So rise and shine. Even if you’ve already risen or live in the shadows or want to go back to bed – shine. Just try. I’m going to.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

 

vampire teens

Change, fear and new beginnings

The holidays gave me a break from the day-to-day nonsense and trouble shooting I’m frequently asked to do. I can’t tell you how nice it was to spend time with my children, husband, family and friends. Aside from a short Christmas letter from a couple of Zombie friends, all was calm and bright.

That came to an end today when I got one of those “Juliette you gotta help me out” calls.

Jeff is a man in love. He is also a Vampire. Regular people might not recognize him as a Vampire, but this sort of hipster young guy has been a successful Vampire for almost 7 years now. If I didn’t know it I’d think he’d been a Vampire for 70 years. He is comfortable in his slightly cold skin and living the life of the “undead.”

Unfortunately, like I said, Jeff is in love. He reconnected recently with Heather, a college girlfriend. She was quietly living a nice life as a successful graphic designer when she ran into Jeff one day and after four years of separation the sparks reignited. This is where the unfortunate part comes in. He fell in love this time and fell hard. Jeff also talked Heather into becoming a Vampire like him.

“She’s freaking out. I don’t know what to do. You gotta help me Juliette,” he said on the phone sounding like he was going to cry.

I told my husband Teddy to come with me. We drove up to a nice ranch style house with large yard and a lot of oak trees. Jeff greeted us at the door looking paler than usual.

Jeff led us into a fashionable living room. “Heather? I brought in some friends to to you. They can explain things better than I can honey.”

A young woman with short blonde hair sat curled in a black leather couch.

She looked up eyes the color blue of an evening sky. Heather had that kind of pretty face with big eyes and sharp features that could rock the pixie cut. Her eyes went right to Teddy.

For those of you who don’t know about Teddy, my darling husband, he might be one of the most handsome men who ever lived. Despite that fact the man is somewhat modest about his looks. That is even more astonishing for a Vampire.

Teddy sat on the couch next to her.

“Heather, how old are you?”

“Twenty six.”

“The same age I was when I became a Vampire. Only I’d never heard of such a thing, not even in myth. I didn’t even know what had happened until I came out of a long nightmare of the illness we all go through. At least we survived.”

The survival rate is about 10% for those attempting to become Vampires. More if one does their research beforehand. Some transition better than others. If they’re lucky they keep their souls and nobody tries to kill them right away.

Teddy took Heather’s hand. “I know how it feels to wake in this nightmare. You get used to it. You accept it. Then eventually you might even embrace it. I’m not going to tell pretend that you’ll never forget or wonder what your life might have been. You’ll never forget who and what you were. You’ll always be yourself.

You can never go back, but that doesn’t mean you have to leave it all behind. My family and friends, the entire world for that matter, thought I was dead of some sort of brain fever. That was 1876. Things are different now.”

Teddy could see Heather doing the math in her head. “I’m 165 years old. Born in 1849 while my parents were making the trip across Panama to the California Gold Fields.”

They talked into the night discussing things I’ll never know except from the stories of others. I’ve always been this way. This is my normal. It has never been normal for Teddy. That said, I couldn’t imagine a better Vampire than my husband.

Jeff and I sat on the back porch with a couple of beers (Blue Moon) and talked about the situation. He never had any problems with the whole Vampire deal so he never imagined Heather would be so freaked out. We spoke of change and fear. We spoke of leaving it all behind. By “it” I mean everything you know and love.

I know how I’ve mentioned before that certain aspects of space give me the Willies. Today I looked on the web site for the Mars expedition. I read the application form for potential Mars pioneers. It scared me. There was such an odd frigid fear at every corner of my already cold dark soul. I couldn’t imagine leaving Earth to go live on a rocky red planet with no trees or mountains or birds or life. Even worse was the fact that they could never go home.

I suppose one could say that about explorers on Earth. You could say that about those who came out California during the Gold Rush of 1849. But they could always go back home or at least know there was a possibility of going home.

I imagine Heather was feeling as if she’d volunteered to go to Mars and changed her mind the day after the space ship landed. She’d never be able to go home.

What a tragic thought. I started to wonder about anyone who was caught in a place they didn’t want to be in. How horrible to feel trapped and doomed forever.

Then again how bad could being a Vampire be? Honestly, I can’t imagine anyone being upset by it. Of course the sensitive side of me can imagine the sense of loss but on the flip side… you know, it isn’t a bad deal.

Teddy and Heather eventually came out to join us. We sat under the stars in the cold and talked for a while. It will take Heather a while to adjust to her new life, but with a huge support system and Jeff’s devotion to her she’ll be fine. Change can be good, if you do it right.

That’s it for tonight. I’ll report on Heather and Jeff in the future. In the meantime check on the links below for more thoughts on Mars, space and scientific discoveries.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

cateclipsemic event

 

 

 

 

By the way, there IS life on Mars. Check my links below for proof and other space related posts.

Astounding New Proof of Life On Mars

Astounding and Astonishing Photos From Mars

More Astonishing Proof of Life on Mars

Astonishing Images of Life on Mars – The Collection

Space, Time, Lucky Stars and Vampires

Musings on Gassy Planets, Vampires and Uncle Max

Cosmic Adventures and the Final Frontier

Vampires, Werewolves, Pluto and the Brilliant Logic of Youth

Cateclispsemic Event

What Really Scares a Vampire

Alien Girl Paper Dolls

A Ray of Hope

The Real Mars Web Site – Mars One (not mine)

 

 traditional vampire

Short Story Sunday: Captain Sandy and the Airship at the End of the World

Captain Sandy and the Airship at the End of the World

The end of the world had come and gone a long time ago. Of course I wouldn’t dare remind Captain Sandy of that extraordinary fact. He stood in the basket of the airship, hands on the control, the tails of his jacket blowing in the wind.

When the end of the world came the evil and the damned were gathered up and taken down to Hell. The pure and righteous were led up to Heaven in a golden white light.

That left the artists and writers, along with a lot of musicians, wine makers, computer programmers and antiques dealers. Of course there were others, but nobody that lacked a certain amount of creative or innovative spirit. One must have spirit and imagination to survive when the world ends without you.

It worked for me. Well, at least most of the time.

I honestly have to say, the world had become way too serious. I adjusted my goggles and scarf as I looked down on the tire fire that had been burning for the past 100 years. Adjusting the leather hood on my cat, I took him out of his basket to take a look. My five year old son Aaron stood on his toes to get a look as I held tight to the back of his jacket. I must have been a sight, boy in one hand, cat in the other.

Life was an adventure to be savored and enjoyed. It was a destroyed world being built up by those of us with visions of beauty and wonder. Captain Sandy always said this was Heaven. Of course I never told him otherwise. It was Heaven to be in the arms of my husband at night and feel the touch of his skin on mine, that is until I’d run my hand over the deep scars on his back. I called him my fallen angel. He would just laugh and kiss me as only an angel could kiss. Maybe it was Heaven for him since he was now dead, but I will never know unless I die too and find him there.

Once when I was younger my brother and I found some old movies in where everyone at the end of the world were driving big trucks and dune buggies as they shot anyone they came across. There were zombies and crazy fucks of all sorts fighting for the last clean water. It seemed they had unlimited amounts of fuel and bullets. No word of steam, solar and silent airships.

My brother and I laughed at the stupidity of it all. That was not our world. Ours was a world to create without hesitation or critical review. Our poets were considered as important as our politicians. Our sense of style always outweighed our sense of practicality. At least we kept telling ourselves that – all of us did as we banded together trying to give off an air of hope and strength. We created our own world going back to a time that didn’t really exist, where all things were possible and the modern world was still a beautiful dream.

Captain Sandy asked me what I was thinking that could have me looking so serious.

I told him and he just shook his head.

“Life isn’t a theater play like you make it out to be my dear. There are dangerous things out in dark areas of stench and smoke that would enslave us and make us into meals if they could. You’ve been protected in your leather and velvet bustle dresses and fanciful thoughts. It’s a good thing to be ignorant of the world but it is dangerous in ways you can’t imagine.”

“Captain,” I said, “you forget that the shadows took my husband. I take flights of fancy so I won’t fall out of the sky and die of sorrow.”

He turned and gave me a quick smile. Despite the dark pattern of scars on the left side of his face the Captain was still a handsome man with a dazzling smile. All the women were quick to notice him.

“Why are you alone Captain?”

“I’m not.”

“No wife or children?”

“I had a wife. She vanished when the world ended. I never knew if she went up or down or just vanished to dust. Who knows. The bitch could still be around somewhere.”

“So you’re alone,” I said.

“Just free of my wife.” He said nothing else then took off his hat and tied his long prematurely silver hair back with a ribbon he’d pulled from his coat pocket. “So, did you like movies back in the time before?”

I nodded. Of course I liked movies. Most of them were gone now. Rare stashes of films could be found and if we were lucky we’d find something to play them on.

Captain Sandy smiled a rare smile at me. “Sometimes I’m floating along above this all, all of this and I start thinking about Blade Runner and then my mind goes to Casablanca or off to Princess Bride then to In the Heat of the Night. I can run them all in my head, every line, every scene, every music score.”

I told him I did the same. We tend not to talk a lot about the time before the end of the world, but occasionally it comes out. We can’t deny our past. We just can’t help it.

“What did you do before, you know, the end of the world?” I asked the Captain point blank.

“I was a high school physics teacher. Physics and engineering to be exact. What did you do?”

“I produced reality TV shows. The last one was for MTV. Did you ever see Love Bytes?”

He laughed. “That was you? All of my students watched that show. Geeks and romance. A lot of them wanted to be on the show.”

The sky gradually started to turn dark. In the distance we could see lightning strike and the silhouettes of other airships.

I hugged my child and put a blanket around his shoulders. Aaron put his head on my lap and fell asleep. Captain Sandy sang softly a song that we both knew so long ago.

It seemed we’d been here for centuries, only the children aging and growing up.

As a rule we didn’t speak much of what we missed or how much. It was always there in the back of our minds. I missed skinny jeans and sweaters. I missed short tight dresses and yoga at the gym. I missed the music. I missed my friends and family. I missed my job. I even missed the orange trees in my back yard and the sound of the garbage truck at 6:45 am on Thursday mornings. I missed it all.

Captain Sandy turned suddenly and looked at me as if he could read my mind. “Don’t think of how things used to be. Don’t think of why we’re here.”

We both knew why we were here. Nobody wanted us. There was no place for us in Heaven but nobody in Hell wanted us either.

“You’ve got to admit,” the Captain continued, “we’re in a unique position. No matter how bad it looks, this is our world. I spent 18 years teaching kids to understand the building blocks of the universe. I thought I was contributing to the future of our young people so that they would make the world a better place.”

“Now it doesn’t matter,” I said in a rare show of depression over the events that brought us here.

“No. Now it matters more than ever. This is our world. Despite the shadows and ghouls, this is our world now, free and clear. We can still use the building blocks of science and art to make it the place we want it to be. Finally we can do it right.”

“You’re always such an optimist Captain Sandy but do you really believe that?”

“Of course I do. What other choice do I have?”

“You have a point,” I said, noticing the spark in his eyes.

He noticed that I’d noticed. “Look at this as the ultimate reality TV show.”

“If that is the case then who, Captain Sandy, gets the hot girl at the end?”

He smiled. “That depends on you.” Then he turned his face away from me to where I could only see the moon lit reflection of the scars that traced his jawline.

The crew of the airship came up on deck to view the stars and take in the night air. It was good to see them laugh and talk freely of the destination ahead. My son raised his sleepy head and laughed too. Maybe it wasn’t that bad after all. Maybe Captain Sandy would win the game and get the girl. I had a pretty good feeling he would.

 

~ Juliette Kings 2014

 

Ready to Fly

 

Coming Soon...

Coming Soon…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ghosts and new beginnings

 

linger

 

Spring is the time of year for new beginnings or Fall when school starts or even January 1st… so they say. I think it is the beginning of summer. That is when school is out and we all take a deep great and regroup.

It is also the time when kids graduate from high school. Then they aren’t kids anymore. They suddenly become adults.

Last night we gathered for my son Garrett’s graduation from High School. I was so proud and at the same time choked up. I’d known so many of these kids since they were teeny tiny little things. I knew them before they knew how to read or that the world was anything but a wonderful happy place. Now they were moving on to college and other adventures. I was so proud but at the same time uneasy knowing what is ahead for them. I know that sounds weird, but I love so many of those kids so much.

After the celebrations we (our entire family, uncles, grandparents and assorted others plus friends) went out to the farm belonging to the Elders. They’d agreed to host a party for the Vampire kids in their barn. The rest of us “adults” gathered in the house.

In the old days parties might have included some Regular Humans to provide refreshment (come on you know what I’m talking about) but tonight we provided blood from bottles. This was a celebration for our own kids, the 16 of them from the area who graduated this year plus a few friends who’d graduated last year or would graduate in the next few years.

I left my teenage son and his younger sister to their own friends and took my brother Val for a walk in the pear orchard.

We’d run through these orchards as teens, trying to get as far away from our older brothers and parents as possible. Our conversation centered on Garrett and his friends and college. We compared notes on summer plans and what the future would bring for the new graduates. Small bats fluttered around our heads and crickets chirped in the grass, just like when we were young so long ago. So much for musings, Then we started to talk about things we’d done when we were young.

That was in 1877. I was 18 and Val was 19. We were young Vampires ready to take on the world. Our parents found a college that would accept the both of us (not because we were Vampires but because I was female.) It would be a continuation of our childhood adventures. We spent a lot of our time and energy hiding what we did. We smiled at the fact that my kids and our brother Aaron’s kids (now in college and law school) tell us everything. How times have changed.

The girls in the barn at the party were all in shorts. Back then I was in a long dress with a corset and on special occasions a train on that dress. It was all ruffles and bows for me and I loved it. Val laughed at how I’d always be tripping when my heels would get caught in my skirts.

As we laughed and giggled, walking along like two drunks bumping into each other, a figure appeared in front of us. Transparent with a slight glow she stopped in front of us and held out her arms to us as if pleading.

“Holy crap. Damn ghosts,” whispered my brother in an almost harsh growl. His fangs came out.

“Hush,” I hissed. Then I realized this was not just any ghost. It was a childhood friend. Suddenly guilt grabbed me and I froze.

It was Ada, the first girl Val ever kissed. She was also the first girl he bit on the neck. He’d been in love with her as only a teenage boy can fall in love.

Ada was a lovely flirt and a beautiful silly girl. Her dance card was always filled and her future was bright. Later she was seduced by a charming man who married another woman. Then pregnant, she married another man. He was handsome and rich – it was all good on paper. The child died and her marriage turned abusive. Our brother Aaron offered to turn her into a Vampire. He thought it would help her escape. Valentine offered to take her away to start a new life. In the end she sewed rocks into the hem of her skirt and walked into the river.

My parents were livid about what my brothers had done. At the time I didn’t think they did anything wrong, but now I know they shouldn’t have interfered. They should have been a friend but not exposed themselves for what they really were.

Val also realized who this beautiful and sad apparition was. “Ada,” he said to her. “Why are you here?”

She just look at us and said nothing.

“Darling Ada, it is time to move on.”

Ada moved a little closer. We could feel the air get cold, like someone had opened a freezer. “I did everything wrong.”

“No,” I said, “you loved your child. You loved. Ada, please, it is time to move on. Stop torturing yourself.”

She shook her head. “I had the chance to become one of you, the undead. Now I’m in a ghostly Hell of my own making. I’m damned forever.”

We stood, not knowing what to say. Then behind us came a voice. A very familiar voice. It was another ghost – a ghost I know very well. A ghost, dear readers, you know well.

Val and I turned around to find The Ghost, Nigel standing behind us. He wore his black suit as usual but tonight he had a white rose in his lapel. He wasn’t taking to us. Nigel was here for Ada.

For those who don’t know, Nigel is a big pain in the neck. He lives at my house, or more so at my neighbor’s house but hangs out with me most of the time. Between insulting me, flipping me off and hiding my keys, we’ve sort of become friends. When I’ve had to deal with loss he has been there for me. In turn I’ve been there for him, as much as one can be there for a ghost. He died 100 years after Ada and was obviously dealing the ghost thing a lot better than she had been. Anyway…

Nigel spoke to Ada in a calm loving voice. “It is time to move on my love. You are innocent of all wrong. Your time here is done. You’re free to go and be with your child.”

He moved close to the other ghost and embraced her. In a flash of blue and pink light there was only one ghost left.

Nigel turned and looked at us. “Well, well, well, if it isn’t the two most irresponsible Vampires of the 19th Century.”

I could have been insulted but he sort of had a point.

“Is she gone?” My brother asked as he took my hand.

“Yes.” Nigel didn’t elaborate. He just stood there and glared at us.

“Thank you,” said Val.

Then Nigel came close and looked me in the eye. He blasted me with an ice cold wind. “Don’t even think of asking me why I can move poor Ada on and still be stuck here myself. You Vampires think you rule the world but you don’t know the half of it. You don’t know anything.”

We stood eyes locked. My mind went blank. I had no idea what to say.

Then he smiled a wicked smile and said, “I have to congratulate you on what a good job you’ve done raising your own children. Too bad they’re Vampires.” Then he vanished.

Valentine and I walked back to the house. We decided not to tell anyone else, except maybe Aaron, about Ada.

I suppose I could say we’re all haunted by the ghosts of our pasts, but come on, this was weird and sad even for Val and me.

Back at the party everyone was having a good time. I was greeted at the back door by my husband Teddy who had a kiss waiting and a glass of wine. I could hear the music blaring from the barn. Everyone was happy and getting along. Life is good, even if you’re undead. And I plan on keeping it that way.

 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

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