A Holiday and a Birthday (with Ancient Vampires)

I let the phone ring about twenty times before Eleora picked it up. She doesn’t like it when people leave messages, except in the evenings, after dark. She uses an old answering machine on her house phone. She only uses her cell phone when she goes out into the yard where she usually leaves it because she tells me that nobody calls her anymore anyway.

She looks like she is about twenty, but she is ancient. Nobody knows how ancient, but it was before there was an AD, and before Romans came to what is now known as England.

Anyway, I called Eleora and Tellias on their house phone about July 4th and my daughter’s 19th birthday on July 5th. I don’t know where Tellias puts his cell phone either.

Eleora answered, but as soon as she knew it was me she began to sing America the Beautiful in her angelic voice.

Me: Eleora sweetie. I called about tomorrow and Thursday.

Eleora: When are you going to pick us up.

Me: 1:00 p.m. tomorrow for the party.

Eleora: When are you picking me up today?

Me: Tomorrow.

Eleora: I thought you were coming over today? What about Clara’s birthday?

Me: I’ll ask Clara about it this afternoon.

Eleora: When are you going to be here?

Me: Tomorrow. Early afternoon.

Eleora: I thought you were coming last night.

Me: Wednesday. Last night was Monday.

Eleroa: Yesterday was Monday? Is it July already?

Me: Yes, tomorrow is July 4th.

Eleora: Wednesday is July 4th?

Me: Yes.

Eleora: When are you going to be here.

Me: At one on Wednesday. I don’t know about Thursday.

Eleora: Tellias is going to put you on the speaker.

Tellias: I have a necklace for Clara. I’ve had it for a while. I was going to give it to your mother when she was young but it wasn’t her style.

Eleora: He has a necklace for Clara.

Tellias: Yes, a necklace.

Eleora: A necklace for Clara.

Me: The blue and pearl one?

Tellias: The very one.

Eleora: When will you be here. Your brother Val will be over later in about an hour.

Me: Tomorrow.

Tellias: Juliette will be here tomorrow dear. Val will be here tonight. I see him coming up the drive right now.

Eleora: Is that Val? I don’t remember that car.

Me: I’ll see you tomorrow.

Tellias: We’re looking forward to it.

Eleora: Did you know Val has a new car?

Me: I’ll see you tomorrow. Love you both so much.

Tellias: Love you too.

Eleora: Love you to the stars and back. Are you coming over tonight?

 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

Taking Care of Elders – Vampire Style

I first posted this in 2012 – the first year of this blog. It is worth posting again.

 

Taking Care of Elders – Vampire Style

October 2012

We’re drove out to the old farmhouse where Tellias and Eleora live. About twice a month Teddy (my husband) and I pack the kids into the car and check up on them.

They’re ancients. Nobody really knows how old they are. They are fragile and need help. They don’t have a family. It is just the two of them.

When we drove up, just before dawn, they came to the door to greet me, thrilled to see a carload of their young Vampire friends.

Tellias was wearing an old workshirt that looked like something a guy working in a garage would wear. The name Greg was stitched on it. Eleora wore some horrible looking flowered dress with a stretched out brown sweater. She had on yellow flip flops that had seen better days.

They both looked pale and malnourished.

“Are you two eating anything at all?” I asked as Teddy took the large cooler to the kitchen.

They told me that their car wasn’t running but it was an excuse. The car was almost new but I was sure they’d forgotten to put gas in it or more likely lost the keys.

I unpacked provisions in the kitchen. They huddled around me touching my back and arms, then stroking my face.

“How long since anyone has been to see you?” I asked.

“Not since you were here. Nobody sees us anymore.” Eleora looked at me with sad round eyes.

“What happened to your clothes?” I asked, almost afraid for an answer.

“Someone stole them. We can’t get to our storage unit or the other houses.” Eleora shifting her feet, knowing I knew she was telling a lie.

“Who stole them? Did you let someone in the house?” I asked.

“We were out trying to hunt.” Tellias said putting his head down, trying to avoid my stare. I suspected they’d gone down to the river to find homeless people and transients to hunt and someone followed them home.

They were two of the oldest vampires I knew, over 2,000 years old. Treasures, but like the elderly of all kinds, they are often forgotten, especially those without children. Soon they fall apart like the past civilizations they lived in.

They both look, at first, like they are 19 or 20 years old. He has pale blonde hair and blue eyes. She is a golden eyed girl with reddish brown curls. They are slight with almost translucent skin.

They used to have a working farm with hired workers but now they leased out the farmland. The two acres around the house were kept up with a gardening service, but nobody was watching the residents. They’d been in and out of Vampire comas for years. They’d lost their confidence. I was afraid they’d lost their hunting skills.

These two were never the fierce Vampires of old tales and modern stories. They were always timid and always got by the best they could by hiding in the shadows and keeping out of sight. They were so sweet and good-hearted that it almost killed me to think of anything bad happening to them.

Teddy came into the room and gave Eleora a gentle hug. “We need to get the two of you better.”

They were slightly out of touch, unhealthy and frightened. It was obvious Tellias was depressed. They were prime targets for Vampire Hunters.

The ancients were glad the children were over. They always fussed over them and told them tales of long lost civilizations that no longer existed and were not yet discovered by historians and treasure hunters.

“We have to move them into town.” Teddy told me where the other’s couldn’t hear.

We dined on blood in beautiful crystal goblets the couple had purchased in the 1870’s when they first built the farmhouse. We talked of friends and relatives and the future.

I didn’t want to leave them. But I’d see them soon. I’m going to get them new clothes and find the keys to the car, and move them into the 21st Century where they belong.

Our elder folks are our treasures. We should all love and take care of those we have, both family and elderly friends who often have no family. You’re never too old for love, or friends or living life.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Musings on a Visit With Ancient Vampires and Longfellow

The night is come, but not too soon;
And sinking silently,
All silently, the little moon
Drops down behind the sky.
There is no light in earth or heaven
But the cold light of stars;
And the first watch of night is given
To the red planet Mars.
Is it the tender star of love?
The star of love and dreams?

~ Longfellow

 

Over the past few weeks I haven’t been visiting the Elders as much as I should. I’m busy. I’m not that busy, but the days get away from me. Everything happens. Nothing happens so I get held up. It is amazing how nothing can fill one’s day.

“Why don’t you ever come to visit anymore?”

“I was there last week.”

“It seems longer. We want to see you.”

I packed a bag with things I thought they might like; novels, odd bits of glass to form into mosaics, sketch pads, pencils, old 78 rpm records, a cute sweater for Eleora.

Eleora tends to wear clothing until it falls apart and makes her look like a lost waif without a home. The sweater is a deep burgundy color, soft and a little over sized, like a tunic. My teenage daughter wears sweaters like that with leggings. Eleora usually just wears dresses. I think legging would be cute on her so I include a pair.

I put everything in my car then I got distracted again. An hour later I finally left.

When I arrived at the Victorian farmhouse Tellias met me at the door. Despite the rain he peered at me with round rose colored glasses to protect his eyes from the sun. He wore black tuxedo pants with black suspenders over a white shirt and topped with a gray zipped up hoodie with the name James embroidered on the front pocket place.  I didn’t ask who James was. He didn’t tell me.

He kissed me and helped me with my bag, then gave me a hug and ushered me into the parlor. The Christmas tree was still up, covered with tiny black bats and silver webs of fancy Victorian embroidery thread. Tiny blown glass Santas with blacked out eyes stared into nowhere.

I looked around for Eleora. She is usually there when I arrive, dancing around me and singing, unless of course, something is wrong.

Tellias knew I noticed and said, “Eleora is asleep right now.”

“She sleeps a lot.”

“It is daytime my dear. You forget too often that we’re Vampires. You also forget that we’re old.”

I kissed his cheek and went upstairs to see Eleora.

She lay on the bed on top of the covers wearing an ugly plaid skirt and a misshaped orange sweater. Despite the horrible clothing she was beautiful, like Sleeping Beauty or Snow White waiting for a kiss. She looked absolutely dead but that was to be expected from a sleeping Vampire. For someone over two thousand years old she looks remarkably young. By that I mean she looks like she is about twenty.

I picked up a volume of poetry on the night stand. It was Longfellow. I thought of Rodney Dangerfield in back to school. You know the line where the girl says her favorite subject is poetry and he says, “Really? Well, maybe you can help me straighten out my Longfellow.” I laughed out loud.

As usual I lost track of time reading poems I’d read a hundred times when I heard running noises from a variety of feet coming up the stairs and into the bedroom. An old black cat jumped on the bed with a yowl mixed with excited purrs. A small girl, aged four, jumped into my arms.

“Juliette,” she yelled wrapping her cold little arms around my neck and giving me a kiss.

“And you brought Michael. Is your daddy downstairs?”

The child grabbed Michael the cat and threw him over her shoulder, then jumped on the bed. “I shall wake the dead,” she yelled.

Eleora opened her eyes wide and smiled, then held out her arms for the child.

I left Eleora and the small child named Miranda and went downstairs. The cat followed at my heels.

I could hear Eleora and Miranda laughing. Then the noise changed to the laughter of men from the large main room of the house.

Miranda’s father Nathaniel Chase was there of course. After two hundred years with his long time love they’d finally decided to settle down and have a family. Of course that wasn’t a good description because to me Nathaniel Chase has always been the most settled being I’ve ever known. He never went anywhere without one of his black cats (always named after archangels.)

And my dear old dad was there. The dear old Vampire himself had shown up. He gave me a big hug and a kiss. I had no idea why they’d shown up. Tellias was also obviously surprised to see his old friends. OK they are old to me, each going into their fifth century, but young to Tellias. Anyway…

We caught up on news. I’d turned someone into a Vampire over the holidays. No, I didn’t tell you about that one. Maybe later. My father and Nathaniel were by just to see how the Ancient Vampires were doing.

I was glad they were there, but part of me was sort of annoyed. I’m always the one who is there for them. I’m the first there is anything happens. Even with my brother Val and my Grandmama Lola there part of the time, if anything hits the fan with Tellias and Eleora I’m the one who is there.

But at the same time I was happy to see everyone, especially tiny, cute and delightful Miranda. A Vampire child, born to Vampire parents, is a rare and wonderful thing.

Miranda and Eleora came down to join us. I finally convinced Eleora to put on the leggings with the new sweater. She looked like a college student, all hip and trendy. It was good to see. One is never too old for style and flair.

On the way home I thought about how things have changed. I thought about how things haven’t changed. I thought about the rain, and what I needed to do when I got home, and the schedules of my busy children and husband.

Sometimes there is too much, but sometimes there isn’t enough. This morning ended up being just right.

That’s it. Just my morning.

Don’t forget that the wonderful horror anthology Creepies 2 is still free for downloading. Click here for information and horror and art from my undead heart. 

And if you have people in your life who are elderly or alone or lost go visit them. Do it today. Don’t feel uncomfortable or put out. Just do it.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Silent Nights – Don’t forgot those who are easily forgotten

Just a reminder to keep in touch with those who need it the most. With the holidays coming and the bad weather check in on your shut-in friends and others who need a little extra help and some extra love.

Vampire Maman

I made it out to the farmhouse, just outside of town. The lights were off but I knew they were at home. Sometimes they forget to turn the lights on. Sometimes the heat.

The place smells of moth balls, dust and garbage that should have been taken out a week ago. The smell is bad but at least the house looks clean. There aren’t any signs of hording. No signs of anything.

I brought my kids and my brother Max. Max hates going over there but I drag him anyway telling him that it is the right thing to do.

They sit in a small den off of the kitchen watching an old movie – The Bishops Wife. They’ve seen it 100 times and sometimes they’ll watch the same movie every night for a week. They’re on the couch wrapped in a blanket. She has on a red sweater, the…

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Vintage Halloween (with Wolfhounds and Old Vampires)

Halloween is almost here – celebrate the cool weather and silly joy with friends and family and those who need us the most.

Vampire Maman

halloween cat 1A large wreath on the front door was made of faded and cracked plastic flowers. You know, those plastic flowers that were sold in the Five and Dime stores in the 1960’s. Faded ribbons and bows hung in odd gray pastel tones.

Without even asking I knew Eleora had taken the flowers off of graves that nobody had visited for years. Long forgotten wives and mothers. I knew Eleora had replaced the faded flowers with real ones and taken time to sit and chat with the departed and sing them songs from their times.

Eleora opened the front door and greeted us wearing a bright yellow skirt with a well worn orange sweater with black cat head shaped buttons. Her feet were bare and her toenails painted a glossy red on one foot and black on the other.

“Do you like my Halloween wreath? I made it yesterday.” She took…

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