Frogs, Love, and a Rain Swept Night

All night we’ve had thunder, lightning, rain, and hail. Hours later my back deck is still hail. In the creek and field behind my home the frogs are singing with loud clear voices, calling for romance. Pick me! Pick me! Oh let me prove that I am the amphibian of your dreams. Thousands of little frogs, so small that one could be comfortable sitting on a quarter, are belting out love songs as fierce as any Rock-n-Roll idol.

I love the frog music. I love the sound of the rain. I love the thunder and lightning.

In a land where drought is more of normal state of things, a week of storms is a wonderful and magical thing.

Frogs never worry about expressing their love. They aren’t shy like their human neighbors.

My husband sings in the shower. A happy feeling of love always fills my heart when I hear him doing that. He doesn’t know it. And we might be a bit cold blooded sometimes but we’re no frogs.

In 1868 my two older brothers (Max and Andy) were more or less out of the house. That left twelve year old Aaron, nine year old Val, and seven year old me.

We’d read the story of The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County by Mr. Mark Twain, and we’d decided to have our own frog jumping contest.

At the time the city of Sacramento was being torn up in order to raise the streets to protect us from future floods. The railroad was also tearing things up. We didn’t care. In the middle of the night we left our home in search of large frogs. I wore some of Val’s old pants so I wouldn’t have to bother with getting a skirt caught on anything.

Through the mud and dirt three vampire children headed towards the river as the sun set over the distant hills. We could see the light of boats as we took a dirt path down to the water. The passengers waved back at us as we jumped and shouted to get their attention.

Val found some pennies on the beach. I picked up a few clam shells and put them in my pocket. Aaron had forgotten about the frogs and was loudly reciting the battle speech from Richard III (yes, the one from William Shakespeare) as he stood on the edge of the water looking into the sky.

Then we heard the sound of applause and looked up to see a group of men at the top of the embankment cheering on Aaron.

My brother continued his grand speech after which he bowed, and the three of us ran off laughing into the night.

On the way home we looked into windows of businesses and homes, laughing the whole way. We saw cooks, and lovers, gamblers and quiet readers.

When our parents arrived home they found us clean and playing cards. We gave them angelic smiles.

Our mother smiled at us, showing a little bit of her lovely Vampire fangs. “Did you hear the frogs tonight?”

“Yes,” I said, “and tomorrow we’re going to catch our own frogs and have a race.”

“We’ll see about that,” said my mother with wink.

The three of us never did have a frog race, or a frog jumping contest, but we did catch plenty of frogs after that night.

A few years ago I took my own children out to the vernal pool near our house where the seasonal rains create a froggy paradise. It is a regular version of Frog Bachelorette. Or at least it amuses me to think so.

So once again the sun will come through the clouds, and the sounds of birds will replace that of frogs, and maybe even with our feathered friends love will also be in the air.

 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

 

 

 

Silent Noises

The only noise

Is the clock

Almost as old as I am

From 1876

Still running like new,

And the sounds of random

Traffic

In the distance,

A cat eating,

An owl outside,

The tap tap tapping

Of my keyboard,

No sounds from

Others in my house,

Slumbering quietly,

Still,

And cold

Upstairs,

With quiet dreams,

As only

Fellow

Vampires

Will have.

 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

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#NanoPoblano

sleeper

She Taunts Me – Sleep, Ghosts, and Vampires

Sleep

It is like the ghost that haunts me

Only worse.

The ghost will listen to me.

Sleep never does.

She taunts me

Like a woman who wants to seduce my husband.

She gives him slumbers so peaceful

So silent and lovely.

She taunts me and pulls my dreams to tattered bits

Then keeps me awake for days on end.

My slumbers end in a dark prison room

Always cold

Always alone

Always awake.

We’re not  friends Sleep and I.

I used to think it was my nocturnal nature,

But now I know it is because

Sleep hates me for something I did

In the past 

And fired up her jealous heart

To the point where she is only thinking of revenge.

_______________________________________________

I fixed a pot of coffee,

As Nigel the Ghost said, “Sleep doesn’t give a crap what you do Vampire. You’re too busy and you drink too much coffee.”

Maybe so but I’m not going to admit anything to a ghost.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

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Night Musings

It is almost 2:00 a.m. and as usual I am the only one awake on my street. The dog is growling under her breath at the sliding glass door after hearing the coyotes howl behind the house. Earlier there was a bat flying around inside. Yes, this is the second time it has happened in the past two weeks. Yes, we need to get a screen on my daughter’s bedroom window. No, Vampires do not turn into bats, so the wee flying mammal was NOT a Vampire.

The moon is in a perfect half. At the end of the week I’ll be driving up to Oregon with a friend to see the solar eclipse. There will be a gathering of old friends. It should be interesting. I hear my Werewolf friends are planning some pretty big solar eclipse events, but I won’t be anywhere near them.

It is quiet since the coyotes left, with no sounds outside at all. Not a bird, or a dog, or a car, or even the running of a fan. Nights are finally getting cool again. Even that didn’t bring out any lone birds or other late night creatures.

Just half a moon. Somebody must have shared the other half with a friend.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

 

Go Pee Pee

At 3:29 a.m. I took the dog out to go pee pee.

To make her go fast and get it all over with I have to say, “go pee pee” in a high shrill voice while trying not to wake my neighbors up.

It is as still and quiet as death out, but the dog and I both know we’re being watched by creatures of the night.

So I was outside in a robe and bare feet not really caring because A) I’m not cold, and B) Nobody can see me, and C) I don’t care if they see me.

Then I see a familiar figure standing in the middle of my street (which is really a private drive for seven houses.) He flips me off, which is his usual asshole move. I swear, nothing ruins a nice quiet evening faster than a Ghost.

The dog and I went inside to find Nigel (The Ghost) sitting on the couch in my living room.

“I have a question for your advice column Juliette. Do Vampires go pee pee,” he asked me.

“I’m not even going to answer that,” I told him.

He didn’t smile or laugh. That is almost as rare as seeing a ghost. To tell the truth seeing Ghosts isn’t rare for Vampires, but I usually don’t interact with them. They’re vile creatures for the most part.

“Don’t you have someone to haunt?” I asked.

“Only you,” he answered.

“I’m going to make coffee,” I told him. “Do you want some?”

“I can’t drink it. I’m a…”

“Ghost. I get it. You’re a bitter, obnoxious, annoying Ghost. I’ll give you a cup and you can smell it,” I said.

“Um, sure,” he said.

“Were you this annoying when you were alive?”

“Of course, only everyone thought I was charming,” he answered.

In the kitchen we sat over coffee and small talk, and the dogs and cats who also see what others cannot.

Wishing you all plenty of sleep, and coffee, and dogs who go pee pee outside rather than inside.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

Questions of a Cure for Being Yourself

Last night I stopped to see my brother Aaron. My husband Teddy and teenage daughter Clara were at the second game of the Sacramento Kings, in the new Golden 1 Arena. Exciting stuff.

My brother was also along without wife or kids last night too.

On the coffee table in Aaron’s living room was a large vase of orange marigolds.

“Día de Muertos,” he said. Day of the Dead.

He always goes out into the community to view the ofrendas (alters) families set up to remember the dead. An ofrenda might be a simple photograph with flowers and fruit, or it could be an elaborate space with items belonging to the dead, many photographs, and a mulitdude of objects that help us remember those who are gone.

Being the middle of five children, Aaron has always been the most level headed, and least emotional of my siblings.

“Any plans for Halloween?” I had to ask. We are Vampires after all.

“Not really. Just the usual pumpkin carving, and waiting for kids to show up. I was thinking about dressing the dogs up.”  His voice sort of tailed off as his usual control gave into a sigh.

“What is wrong Aaron?”

He looked at me with sad eyes. “Logan asked if I thought there would ever be a cure for us.” Logan is my 26 year old nephew, Aaron’s eldest child.

“A cure to being a Vampire? Like changing us into regular humans?”

“Yes. He said he is tried of being a freak. I raised him to know better. There is nothing wrong with him, with us, with being a Vampire.”

“Do you think this might just be a Halloween thing? Halloween is a depressing time for many Vampires.”

My brother gave me another sad look. “I told him that his mom and I love him unconditionally.”

We talked more into the night about our kids, and our lives that were so different than those of most of our neighbors and friends. I thought of my own twenty year old son who fears the time when his friends grow old.

Then my brother looked at me and asked, “If there was a cure, not that anything is wrong with us, would you do it?”

“No, absolutely not,” I said.

I’d questioned my existence for about three seconds a hundred and thirty years ago, but that was it.

“Would  you take it Aaron?”

“Of course not.”

We checked the score of the game. The Kings had won. We high fived each other. Then we went out to get a bite to eat.

As a parents we have to deal with difficult questions, as our children grow and question who they are. All we can do is listen, and share what is in our hearts.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman