Short Story Sunday: Desert Sky

Martha put a lawn chair in front of the motor home and looked into the night sky. Sometimes the desert would get freezing at night, but tonight it was almost warm. A million stars showed in the sky above her. She’d heard stories of alien sightings in the desert. It was always the desert where they were sighted in the sky, or crashed. When they crashed nobody ever saw them again.

She wondered about the odd pale skinned creatures with long fingers, tiny mouths, and huge eyes. Maybe the huge eyes came from living on a dark planet, or living underground for eons.

It was weird how they never wore clothes. It was weird how they were shown as naked when in every science fiction movie and series, from Star Trek, to X-files, to Firefly, to Star Wars, to Gardians of the Galaxy, everyone always wore clothes.

The only time she remembered seeing a naked man in a movie in the desert was in The Hangover. It was in the desert, in Las Vegas. A naked guy jumped out of the trunk of a car. He wasn’t an alien.

Sam and Ian came out of the motor home with chairs and a small cooler. Sam handed Martha a beer. The thanked him, then they all sat and looked at the stars.

“Do you think there is anyone else out there? There has to be. We can’t be here all alone,” said Martha.

“I think we’re alone here. But I don’t think we’re alone in the universe or even this galaxy,” said Sam.

Martha glanced at her companions. Sam was tall, blonde and handsome as a man could be. Sam fit into any group with his tan skin, dark hair, and dazzling smile. Martha was typical of women in her hometown. She was pretty but not too pretty with plain brown hair that hung to her shoulders in a slight flip.

“I’m kind of homesick, but the people around here are nice. I think we should move back to the house in San Francisco in a few days, or maybe by that place we were looking at in Santa Cruze, you know by the beach. I could hang out there for a while.”

“We could start a family,” said Sam. Ian looked at Martha with a hopeful, and sort of sad smile.

“There is an Air Force base near Las Vegas. Maybe we should go over there and just give ourselves up.”

“Or maybe we should move to Santa Cruz,” said Ian.

“We’re never going home,” said Martha wiping a tear from her eyes.

“No love, we’re stuck on this planet. It’s not a bad place. We fit in. Let’s just make the best of it.”

Martha looked into the faces of her companions. I guess with their combined love they could pull through on this strange planet called Earth. She got another beer out of the cooler, popped the top, and too a long drink out of it.

“Sure guys, Santa Cruz sounds great,” she said. The she looked back to the sky and watched for something, anything familiar.

~ end




Driving in the Dark

I was sitting on my back porch tonight. Everyone was gone. I missed my kids. I missed my husband. They’d all be home in a few hours.

I didn’t see any meteorites or asteroids in the sky. No bats. No nocturnal eyes in the woods. The cats were sleeping in the laundry room on the clean clothes. The dog was inside on her bed. All I could hear was distant traffic and the deafening noise of frog songs.

The moon was a crescent, like a slice of honeydew melon. I love watching the moon but tonight it seemed cold and distant. A cold gust of air blew my way.

“Why the long face?” The ghost sat next to me and inspected my wine bottle.  He wore a WW1 Aviator helmet and a bomber jacket with a long white silk scarf. “Nice wine. Crappy label. What’s wrong oh Mistress of the Dark.”  I remember he’d been an artist before he died.

“I don’t know. And don’t ever call me that again.” I said to him with as much disgust as I could muster.

“Even Vampires get the blues.” He had the audacity to wink at me.

“I’m fine.”

“Are you sad because you’re a blood sucking creature of the night?”

“Does it bother you that you’re an asshole?”

“What crawled up your…”

“Stop it. Stop it right there.” I snarled at him almost showing my fangs.

“You know our relationship is never going to be like The Ghost and Mrs. Muir.”

“You can go now.”

“We need a sound track. I’ll pick a song, then you pick one.”

Suddenly a guitar appeared in his transparent hands and he started singing.

Where is the moment we needed the most
You kick up the leaves and the magic is lost
They tell me your blue skies fade to grey
They tell me your passion’s gone away
And I don’t need no carryin’ on

You stand in the line just to hit a new low
You’re faking a smile with the coffee to go
You tell me your life’s been way off line
You’re falling to pieces everytime
And I don’t need no carryin’ on

Cause you had a bad day
You’re taking one down
You sing a sad song just to turn it around
You say you don’t know
You tell me don’t lie
You work at a smile and you go for a ride
You had a bad day
The camera don’t lie
You’re coming back down and you really don’t mind
You had a bad day
You had a bad day

Well you need a black sky holiday
The point is they laugh at what you say
And I don’t need no carryin’ on

You had a bad day
You’re taking one down
You sing a sad song just to turn it around
You say you don’t know
You tell me don’t lie
You work at a smile and you go for a ride
You had a bad day
The camera don’t lie
You’re coming back down and you really don’t mind
You had a bad day

Sometimes the system goes on the blink
And the whole thing turns out wrong
You might not make it back and you know
That you could be well oh that strong
And I’m not wrong

So where is the passion when you need it the most
Oh you and I …………………………………………….


“Stop it Nigel.” I stood up and glared at the ghost sitting in front of me. I think it was the first time I’d ever used his real name.

“No, you stop it.” He growled back at me. Then he threw me a set of key. “You have a screaming fast yellow convertible in your driveway. Let’s go for a drive. Just you and me under the stars.”

“You’re a ghost.” I said.

He smiled and threw his scarf over his shoulder. “And you’re a fucking Vampire. Come on baby. Let’s go for a drive around the lake with the top down and the wind in our hair.”

And so we did.




Have a good weekend everyone. See you when I get back.

Juliette aka Vampire Maman.








Musical Notes:

I was thankful he didn’t sing “Drive” because it still makes me sad that Benjamin Orr is no longer with us.

Lyrics by Daniel Powter – Had a Bad Day. Thanks to Daniel Powter even if he won’t ever see this blog. See the video on YouTube.

Red Sky at Night – Fall is Coming

Red sky at night, sailors delight.

Red sky in morning, sailor’s warning.
A red sky at night, this means that the setting sun is sending its light through a thick concentration of dust particles. This usually indicates high pressure and stable air coming in from the west.  Translates to: good weather ahead.
A red sky in the morning means the dust particles galore are hanging in the sky. This indicates that a storm system may be moving in. If the morning sky is a deep fiery red, it means VAMPIRES are coming. HA HA HA just kidding. It means there is high water content in the atmosphere. Translates to: Get out your umbrellas!!!

But if you’re a Vampire sitting on your deck with a nice glass of wine or blood the evening is something full of wonders and magic. The colors deepen and change differently with night vision. All becomes intense with outlined shadows like a fine Japanese painting or for that matter like a lot of my own artwork or that of the artist at the turn of the 20th Century.

As the sun sets the occasional bird turns into a bat. The frog come out to sing their songs of love and life. The crickets madly rub their legs together like so many tiny violas. Coyotes try to hide in the shadows but linger with the smells of the night breezes.

And scents pick up as we smell the animals and the regular humans around us. We can smell their life and warmth. We can smell fear or love, sorrow, passion or happiness. More often or not it is positive.

It is still hot, hellishly so for a Vampire, in Northern California (inland at least) but the night cool off 20 or more degrees and the wind blows in promises of autumn and rain. Soon the hills will be green again and the leaves will turn the colors of a sunset.

So no matter what the phase of the moon or the color of the sky, take a moment to relax and think “Red Sky at Night, Sailor’s Delight. Red Sky in Morning, Sailor’s Warning”.

There is nothing to fear, but everything to gain by taking a moment to get to know the night.

~Juliette aka Vampire Maman

The Wonders of Dusk – Musings of the New Day

This morning, despite the full moon I could see Leo in the sky along with a brilliant Venus. It was as if she was saying “We’re the only ones out here. Within minutes birds started to wake and sing their morning songs. The squirrels  ran and jumped from tree to tree. I saw a deer picking through the dry summer grass on the way down to the creek.

Standing in his usual place was the Ghost. Next to him was his girlfriend with her fiery red curls flowing down her back like a living thing. They we not in their bloody death mode as they often are – looking like they did when their souls left their mangled bodies. They were beautiful and whole. In the dawn the stood forehead to forehead, holding hands, deep in conversation. He was from the 20th century, she from the 16th. I left them alone and sipped my coffee (yes Vampires drink coffee). I don’t care for Ghosts, but I can respect the lost soul aspects of their existence.

Like Vampires, Ghosts aren’t to concerned with age when it comes to falling in love, especially when it is two young people who have been taken out too young by violence and rage.

In the dawn hours I try not to think of that much. I’ve stopped listening to the news so much on the radio during the week. So much strife in the world and way too much politics at home. Too many job losses at home with politicians pointing finger saying “It was the other guy.” Nothing has changed over the centuries nor will it ever. Just when we think we’re entering an enlightened era of great art and science and humanity – it all changes and ignorance and hate once again take the reins.

So I think of fall bulbs, my kids latest school crisis, laughing with friends on a Friday Night. And speaking of Friday night Grimm is back on (of course we love that show).  I started a new book and I have a pile for Fall/Winter reading. I have a house full of people I love but my mornings at dusk, alone is something I savor, to ponder what it all means, or just maybe just savor my own thoughts and think, despite a lot of crap out there “Life is Good.”