Delivered To Your Door

Delivered to your door…

I looked at the muscular, almost beautiful, naked body on the bed and the folded up sheriffs’ uniform on the chair. The badge seemed to sparkle saying “look at me, look at me.” A white and pink orchid flower was behind his ear.

Holy crap, this wasn’t how I’d planned on starting out my week.

I was busy on my deck and getting nothing done, as usual, when I heard my son’s voice.

“Mom, Uncle Val is on the phone.” My son Garrett stood at the sliding glass door holding my phone out at arms length.

My brother Valentine, thirteen months my senior said I have to come right now. It was an emergency. Nobody else could come. None of our three older brothers could make it. Everyone else had suddenly vanished off the face of the earth.

I arrived at the farm house, my two teens in tow, slamming the door as hard as I could when I got out of the car.

I’m usually pretty calm but I lit into my brother when I saw him walking towards us. “Nobody ever consults with me. I’m the one with the kids and the husband and my own business. I’m on fucking call 24/7 for everyone in this family and nobody ever asks me what I want or need. Nobody.”

“Are you done?” Val asked this in an uncharacteristically sarcastic tone.

“No. What is going on?”

My brother scowled at me and shook his head. “Why are you yelling?”

I went into the house leaving him in the yard. I could hear my son saying “Bad day to mess with my mom.”

Dealing with the sick and elderly is something we do. We do it for love or obligation or family bonds or whatever the reason it is usually on autopilot fueled by guilt and frustration. I’m so saint but sometimes I want to play that saint card so much it hurts.

Eleora stood at the door in a yellow bikini top and a tie-dye skirt, her brown curls done up in red bows. She fluttered around then kissed me on each cheek. Tellias gave me a big hug. He was wearing a green shirt with yellow parrots embroidered on the back. A patch on the front said Dave in large script letters. His white blonde hair was pulled back with a green ribbon.

They look like they’re 19 or 20 years old but they’re ancient – two of the most ancient Vampires known. They were pioneers and founders of the Modern Vampire movement. It is hard to see them like this. It literally breaks my heart.

Steel guitars were hissing away on a scratched up old record playing on a wind up phonograph in the corner.

“We can’t find the car keys,” said Tellias.

“We’re being tropical tonight,” said Eleora as she danced around and put an orchid flower behind my ear.

I was ready to scream. “Again? Where did you last have them?” I asked slowly and calmly.

“If we knew that we’d be driving,” said Tellias, as he took the ribbon out of his hair and shook it out on his shoulders.

“We’d take a road trip to Montana and Maine and Michigan and Maui!” Eleora sang as she danced around again.

“How long have the keys been gone?” I asked.

“Two or three weeks. Val won’t let us use his car,” Tellias said.

“He says we drive too creatively,” Eleora giggled.

“Yes, he said we drive too creatively,” added Tellias.

“Creatively,” said Eleora, this time more seriously.

“Creatively. That was a nice way to put it,” I said more to myself than to the Elders. “What about food? Is Val bringing you food?”

Tellias patted my hand. “Val has been a darling but we like delivery. We call and they come to the house. Amazing. We should have done that a long time ago.”

Delivery? What in the world were they doing? I looked at the hanging chandelier in the entryway. “Nice fixture. Is it new?”

“A couple of nice men came and installed it,” Tellias told me. “It should last for years. The old one was fitted for gas and ugly. Remember?”

“We had them for lunch,” Eleora proudly told me.

“You shouldn’t do that. They’re help,” I told them.

Eleora just smiled. “We liked them Juliette. We wanted them to stay.”

“Are they still here?” I asked not knowing if I wanted to know the answer.

Tellias answered this time. “No, they left. Then we called the County Sheriffs and asked them to come out. We said someone tried to break in. Eleora sounded scared. They sent two good-looking strong young men right to our door.”

“Right to our door. Good looking healthy young men,” Eleora echoed.

I glanced out the window and saw the black and white car on the side of the house. Oh no.

“Where are they?” I asked trying not to panic.

They both looked to the ceiling. I ran up the stairs.

In a bedroom done in high Victorian style, I found a golden haired well-built man face down and naked on the bed. His uniform was neatly folded in a chair. He was alive but in a deep sleep. The name badge was Murphy, as in Officer Murphy.

Another handsome muscular young man was in the next bedroom over, shirtless on his back, asleep. I noticed a wedding ring on his finger. The name badge on his shirt had the name Garcia. His sleeping eyes moved a little under long dark eyelashes.

I called down the stairs. “How long have you had these guys here?”

“Since yesterday. We jammed the GPS on their car.”

I sat down on the top step, almost in tears. They couldn’t find their car keys but they could jam a GPS signal. I thought about the guy with the wedding ring. His wife must be sick wondering where he is.

In most popular novels ancient Vampires are powerful creatures of the night. In my life they are silly creatures that forget all rules about consequences or right and wrong. They act like senile teenagers, with occasional flashes to the wise, powerful leaders they once were.

Tellias sat down next to me. “We thought about keeping them for a while. Then you and Val wouldn’t have to worry about us.”

Eleora slid down on the other side and stroked my face with a cool hand. “Why are you so upset? Everything will be fine. It always is.”

We dressed the nice handsome patrol officers and positioned them in less provocative poses. An hour later another patrol car and an ambulance arrived. Two officers had become ill with an unexplained illness. Not knowing what to do a young couple took them in to their home. All was well. The officers recovered with no memory of what happened. Both mentioned an overwhelming calm and sense of well-being. Imagine that.

Tellias took my hand, like he did when I was a child. “Juliette, my dear child, we weren’t going to turn those young men into Vampires. You know we wouldn’t do that.”

“I just worry about you two,” I told him.

“You care too much for those Regular Humans,” said Eleora. “You have to distance yourself.”

“I’m married to a man who used to be a Regular Human,” I said quietly, but ready to scream.

Tellias squeezed my hand again. “And if it wasn’t for Eleora and me he would be dead.”

I went back to the bedroom where the married officer had been. Years ago my husband lay in that bed, a phantom between two worlds, that of the humans of the light and those of us who favor the dark. An unwanted conversion that had turned those warm hands cold forever, but given me…

“Mom?”

I looked over to kids standing next to me. A 14-year-old daughter and a 17-year-old son. They shouldn’t have to see all this, but I don’t believe in sheltering them. I never have.

I guess I should do my famous parenting blogger bullet points but there is no point in this story. It is just one of those things, on one of those nights.

 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

“Delivered To Your Door” was first posted here in March 2014. The kids are in college and the elderly Vampires are still sending out for delivery, much to my chagrin.

 

 

Bloom

Even Vampires get the blues, but nothing so bad that some flowers won’t fix it. I dare say I don’t live in a black house with dead plants in the yard. OK I’ll admit that everything in the yard used to be dead but not anymore. I’ve spent the past three years digging in the river rocks rolled in a light dusting of dirt and managed to make something of it. The key has been to plant so that something is always blooming.

These are my flowers. The gray one is Oscar the cat.

 

 

But one can never have too many flowers in their world.

A few weekends ago I took the old ones Eleora and Tellias out to see the world. I had to get them out of their old musty house and into a bright spot. We went to the Sacramento Orchid Show.

Eleora wore satin red shoes. These were old shoes that she’d used years ago for ballroom dancing. She’d tied silk orchid flowers to the straps. She matched it with a red skirt decorated with appliqué poinsettia and snowflakes. With that she wore a yellow lace blouse. I asked her about her choice of a Christmas skirt.

Eleora looked at me with almost an eye roll and said, “Flowers. We are going to a flower show. This is a flower skirt.”

I didn’t argue. Tellias wore his usual yellow flip-flops, black dress pants, and a white tuxedo shirt with rolled up sleeves. He’d trimmed his pale blonde hair from just below his shoulders to collar length. It had kind of a wave in it now that I hadn’t seen since the 1960’s.

Lola, my great great great great great grandmama also came along. She is quite a bit younger than Eleora and Tellias, but still ancient in her own right. She wasn’t wearing anything unusual, just jeans and a pretty shirt like just about everyone else at the orchid show.

But all in all we looked like a group of nice young people. Tellias and Eleora appear to be in their late teens or maybe twenty or twenty-one. Lola looks forever twenty-five, and I look just slightly older, even thought I’m the youngest of the group at a mere 158.

I watched as Eleora and Tellias went off by themselves, huddled over each orchid plant in awe of the beauty of the unusual blooms. They talked over each other, hummed, sang a few songs, held hands, and occasionally gave each other a quick kiss. I kept a sideways eye on them just to make sure they wouldn’t do anything too odd. They were indeed a beautiful and strange pair who positively glowed over the sight of the orchids. If anyone did look at the couple they’d usually smile. How could they help but smile at those two.

Lola and I walked behind them admiring the plants and catching up with each other. She mentioned her ex-husband, her first, was alive. She thought he was dead. Of course she hadn’t seen him in about five hundred years, give or take a few. She had no intention on seeing him ever again. I asked if he had an Internet presence and she told me no. That isn’t unusual for Vampires. A lot of them go on the Dark Web for obvious reasons, or they’re like me and don’t give a crap what people think. Nobody believes any of this shit anyway, but there is an element of truth in it all – more than an element. But back to Lola…

“You need to let go of him,” I told her.

She took my arm in hers and led me to a giant yellow orchid. “That is so beautiful. I need get one of those. I’ve been trying to keep up the greenhouse. It keeps Eleora and Tellias active. They can putter around and sing little ditties to the flowers to make them bloom.” She led me over to a grouping of pink orchids. “These too. Eleora loves pink. We’re growing herbs too. Back when I was married to him we grew oranges and lemons in a greenhouse. It was too cold to grow them outside.”

“Why’d you leave him?”

“Not why you’d think. He wasn’t cheating on me or cruel to me. He was just such an asshole. So full of himself. And he was violent even for a Vampire. I didn’t like his friends either. The passion was there but… always the passion, but I got tired of fighting and making up all the time. I got so tired of all of the drama. When I met Thomas, my next husband it was like a glowing ray of moonlight. He was so kind and gentle, and he was funny. He made me laugh. And there was also great passion like every Vampire woman dreams of. Then… I just don’t understand. Thomas was burned alive as a witch, and that asshole still lives on.”

She has told me this story over and over and over, for my entire existence. We all have friends and family members like that. And as they get older they tell the stories more often. I try to keep Lola, Eleora, and Tellias involved so that they have new stories to tell.

Than again Lola’s current boyfriend is thirty nine years old. You wouldn’t think it would work but it does. I wouldn’t want my son or daughter to get involved with a much older Vampire, but Lola and Cody went in without one taking advantage of the other. Plus Lola has always been diligent about keeping up with the modern world.

As a parent I’ve always kept up with current culture. There is nothing worse for a young adult to have a mom or dad who is still living in 1984.  Parents owe it to their kids to keep up with everything from music to fashion to movies and everything else that is going on. If your kid is politically involved you need to be too. Share your music – new and old. You’ll be surprised how many things you both like. Keep an open mind. It will keep you young.

Despite their age (well over 2,000 years) I’ve always believed keeping an open mind is one of the things that has kept Eleora and Tellias young. Nobody wants to be a musty dank old Shadow Creeper and sit around in rotting Victorian clothing drinking thick days old blood in chipped old china cups. That isn’t just good advice for Vampires. It is good advice for everyone.

Tellias and Eleora bought twelve new orchids for their greenhouse. Lola texted Cody and told him to meet us later for wine on the back deck. I called my husband Teddy to do the same.

No matter who you are, or what you are, make it a goal to keep growing and blooming. And have fun, no matter what your age.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

Clipped Coupons and Clipped Hearts (Living With Elderly Vampires)

Last night it was pouring rain when I got the call.

A whispering voice, like silk against silk said, “come quick, come quick.”

I didn’t ask why because I wouldn’t have received an answer. I called my brother Val and Grandmama Lola. Neither one of them picked up.

The call could have been for anything. It could have been a death or it could have been missing car keys. Either way when Tellias calls me in that tone of voice I have to go, because that is what you do when the elderly folks in your life call in obvious distress. I’ve had too many of those calls to take anything lightly.

All three of us, husband Teddy, teenage Clara, and myself got into the car and prepared for a long night. As I got behind the wheel I told my husband and child that I did not want to hear political talk or any other “let us all annoy Mom as much as we can” subjects.

The farmhouse was dark.

Teddy got a care package out of the trunk. I’d quickly gathered a few things together before we left. I never know when the elderly Eleora or Tellias have eaten or if they’ve kept staples on hand. I also brought a water filter because I’ve wondered about the stability of their hundred year old plumbing.

The porch light came on. Eleora and Tellias came out smiling and singing Willcommon from Cabaret. They always sang a welcome song but we never knew what it would be.

“What’s wrong? Tell me why you called,” I said, taking their hands.

“I have a some articles and stories you need to read,” said Eleora, handing me a large envelope overflowing with bits of paper.

“She has coupons too,” said Ellias.

“Lots of coupons. I know you use a lot of these things,” said Eleora.

“You need to read her articles. She read every single one and picked it out for you. You might have missed something on the radio,” said Tellias.

“The radio. You only listen to the radio so you might have missed something important about college, or the elections, or the economy, or farming,” said Eleora. “And I have a lot of coupons I want you to look at.”

“She has a lot of coupons for you,” said Tellias. Then he squeezed my hand and gave me the look. It was that look he gives me when he wants to speak with me along.

“Clara,” I said to my sixteen year old daughter, “take Eleora into the kitchen so you can spread the stories out and take a look at them. OK honey, I think she’d like that.”

Clara took Eleora’s hand and led her away. I could hear Eleora chattering away as they went down the hall.

I turned to Tellias. “What is it Tellias? What is wrong?”

He threw his hands up. “Eleora is cheating on me. I know she is.”

“Sweet Jesus,” said Teddy under his breath.

“No, it isn’t him,” said Tellias. “It’s someone local. Someone here. I know it.”

“Tellias,” said Teddy, gently but firmly, “stop.”

“I’m concerned Theodore. You don’t know what it is like to have your heart ripped in two, at least not lately,” said Tellias. “For years and years, centuries, eons, their eyes all go to her. They can’t help it. They all want her. She is still beautiful. Look at her.”

“Darling Tellias,” I said. “Eleora only loves you.”

“Love yes. Lust is another thing,” he hissed.

“Who would she see? You two hardly ever go out,” said Teddy.

“We go out. Sometimes. In the night,” said Tellias.

“Does she go out alone?” I asked, knowing that she didn’t.

Tellias hesitated. “Well, no, but I go out alone.”

“She isn’t entertaining anyone when you’re away, I should know,” said a voice from the doorway. It was Great Great Great Great Grandmama Lola who was much younger than Eleora and Tellias but still ancient. Of course she could pass for a graduate student or young professional woman with her long brown curls and trendy clothes.

“Dear Juliette it is good to see you,” said Lola, as she put her cool hands on my face and kissed my cheeks. “I don’t know if you knew this but Henry the VIII was obsessed with Elora. Tellias was a nervous wreck. I kept reminding him that Henry was disgusting, and a warm blooded mortal, but Tellias wouldn’t hear any of it. Too bad because the court was pretty crazy and the perfect place for a clutch of Vampires to hang out in.”

“So what happened?” I had to ask. This was a new story to me.

“We all moved to Italy. It wasn’t a bad thing for any of us. Tellias always kept his Roman connections so it worked out well for the next fifty or so years.”

Tellias frowned. “Until Raphael… She was his Vampire.”

Lola shook her pretty head. “Oh come now Tellias she never made love to the man, just  bit his neck. There is nothing wrong with that.”

“No, he never painted her. She just posed naked,” said Tellias.

“That was me Tellias, not Elora. I also did Archbishop of Canterbury right before we left England, but there were oh so many handsome warm blooded men in Italy that I never missed England. Not for a second,” said Lola, flipping her hair away from her face.

There were always a lot of TMI moments when Lola was around. Oh the joy of being around ancient Vampires.

“Lola, I’ve been meaning to talk to you about your habits,” said Tellias.

Lola crossed her arms and scowled at him. “Please don’t. I’ve watched my first husband burned to the stake, and watched the second one get sealed up in a crypt. I can do as I please. I’ve deserved little fun. I’ve earned it Tellias.”

Tellias continued to scowl. “I raised you not to be so indulgent with your prey.”

“Darling, you’re like a father to me, and I appreciate the sentiment, but not all of us are lucky enough to have the same partner for almost 2,000 years.”

“I’m going to the kitchen,” said Teddy who’d once more been subjected to my clan.

“What’s in there?” Tellias asked.

“Clara, Eleora and hopefully whiskey. You can continue discussing playing with your food without me,” said Teddy as he made his way down the hall.

I turned back to Tellias. As ancient as he is the old Vampire looks all of nineteen years old. I brushed his white blonde hair behind his ear and said, “Eleora loves you and only you.”

He started to speak again and I put a finger on his lips. “No. This is all in your imagination. Of course everyone falls in love with her. Eleora is silly and beautiful, but she is yours. All yours Tellias.”

He looked defiant, then said, “You need to read those articles Eleora clipped for you. I think she printed a few off from the computer too. Just look over them. Amuse her.”

Lola had vanished into the kitchen with the rest of the family. I gave Tellias a hug. “We brought you a case of Astronomer’s Blood, the kind you like. Dave’s Bottle Shop is having a sale for the rest of the month so let me know if you need anything else.”

We joined the others who were now laughing at Clara’s high school stories.

I know I was sort of blowing off Tellias’s concerns. Sometimes he thinks Eleora is unfaithful. Sometimes he thinks he needs to contact the Roman general he used to work for as a soothsayer. Sometimes he is just fine. But I try to listen. Just like I’ve stopped telling Eleora to stop giving me articles and coupons. If it makes her happy then I’ll be happy to humor her.

Outside I could see the lights of my brother Val’s car pull into the driveway.

I always tell everyone to listen to their kids. Listen to the ancient ones in your life as well. Their concerns are real, even if those concerns might not seem so real to you. If you don’t listen you might miss something important.

Take care, and call your mom, or someone who might be alone and need to talk.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

True love keeps you young forever!

True love keeps you young forever!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Random rambling thoughts with ancient vampires

Never walk with your keys and your phone in your pocket or you’ll end up accidentally calling everyone on your list. It called my kids and my mom and two of my friends. I blame it on the keys but those kinds of random things just happen to me. My life story is the story of random things.

moth

But one call came in that wasn’t on the list, at least not for today. The soft whispery voice on the phone said, “We need you to help us with a few things. Stop by when you’re out.”

There was no thought that they were 36 miles out of my way. I figured I could make it there and back and…I would have to do most everything I’d planned for today tomorrow.

The curtains were drawn closed, shielding the occupants of the elegant Victorian farm house/mansion from the rays of the daytime sun. An old dog and an even older looking cat (who’d come by from the next farm over) sat sunning themselves on the lawn. A silver truck I didn’t recognize was in the drive.

A slight tinge of guilt comes over me for not visiting since last week. My kids had stopped by for a few hours on Friday. They didn’t have anything to report except how sweet the ancient ones are.

I opened the front door, which was unlocked and called out greetings.

There was no answer. They keys to the car were on a marble table in the front entry. I was shocked considering the keys are usually lost.

I was relieved not to smell anything that could be rotting or dead. It didn’t smell like moth balls or talcum powder either. What I did smell was hops and a malt undertone.

brewing trouble

They were in the kitchen making beer. All sorts of equipment was on the counter, only a fraction of it needed to make the beer.

They are the Elders. Eleora with her brown curls piled on her head and tied with a large red bow. She wore some sort of yellow bag like dress with a fancy Christmas apron. Tellias wearing well worn farmer overalls with a wife beater tee shirt with his white blonde hair pulled back with a twist tie (the kind you get on produce.) They look all of 20 years old but they’re ancient. Over 2,000 years old, but who’s counting. And I’ve taken on the role of being the one who checks up on them and makes sure they’re safe and clean and doing ok.

Eleora looked up and ran to greet me. She threw her arms around my neck and started to whistle “Roll Out The Barrel.” Tellias came over and gave me a hug, then held my face in his cold hands and looked me in the eyes.

“I have a lot I need to talk to you about.” Then he stirred something in a large steaming pot, came back and took my arm. “Sit here.” He put a large grocery bag full of newspaper clippings and books in front of me. “Go through these papers. There are some things you might be interested in.”

The infamous newspaper clippings. They always have them. When I refuse they end up being smuggled out in my purse or mysteriously end up in the trunk of my car or in a coat pocket. There is no escape.

“Have you two been eating ok?” I always have to ask. They often forget or get confused and don’t manage to get what they need.

“We had a nice young professor in from UC Davis come over last night. He teaches Food Science. He had him for dinner. He doesn’t have any classes today so after we had dinner we tasted beer all night and asked him to stay.”

Yes, they had HIM for dinner, though I’m sure he thought he’d had an enchanting evening with a young, attractive and seductive young couple who had a passion for organic farming and home brewing.

I went upstairs to check on their guest. A man in his early 30’s was sleeping soundly in one of the lavish guest rooms. He had light brown hair with sunny highlights, broad shoulders and was sort of cute in a boy next door sort of way. There were some slight marks on his neck and wrist, but those would be gone in the next 24 hours.

“Do you know him? I mean, is he a friend of yours or someone you just called because you were hungry?” I asked because there have been problems before with their guests.

“He’s a friend,” said Eleora.

“His name is James. He started coming by when he was a graduate student,” chimed in Tellias.

“He was getting his PhD in something with a long name,” said Eleora.

“He’s a professor now,” added Tellias.

“He teaches and does research,” Eleora said.

“He is a full professor at such a young age. We are so proud of our James. We like him,” Tellias said. “He likes us. He is a friend.”

“A friend.” Eleora smiled and blew me a kiss.

“Does he know you’re Vampires?” I had to ask, so I’d know how to react if I met him while he was awake.

“We’d never tell him that,” said Eleora making a sign of zipped lips.

“He suspects we’re different. But we always have so much fun.” Tellias gave a sly smile.

“So much delicious fun,” said Eleora winking at us.

“He has a nice laugh.”

“Very nice.”

“Very nice.”

Their chatter could go on for hours. Sometime I didn’t even stop them if I was busy doing something else or needed a good laugh.

I wasn’t going to lecture them on bringing home guests for dinner. This guy seemed harmless. At least conversation with him would help keep their brains alert and give me a break. And to be perfectly honest, they’d been having guests over for the past 2,000 years. I couldn’t do anything to stop them. At least on that level they usually knew what they were doing.

The thing I do have a problem with is when they do things like call 911 or a plumber or somebody else, someone who isn’t a friend, and call it “Free Delivery.” There was a time when they’d pick transients up on the highway and bring them home. That wasn’t a fun time (click on this link for the entire story).

They rambled on about James for a while, then started to talk about beer and the olive trees and dogs and politics and what color to paint the front door and stories they heard on the radio this morning and a book they wanted me to read and something about college applications that I might want to read since my kids are going to college and the oven and basement lights were out and they needed a new front door mat and the dog had been scratching and Lola had been gone for a month and they didn’t know where Val was and they hadn’t seen as many bats this fall… and they twisted and turned their train of thought in all different directions, repeating and stopping mid sentence to change subject and soon they weren’t even listening to each other.

“Stop.” I yelled. “My head is going to explode. Just one thing at a time.”

“We have a lot on our minds.” Tellias gave me a serious look. “You haven’t been over for almost two weeks”

“I was over 5 days ago.” I told him. “I’m sorry I’ve been busy with the kids and work.”

“I know honey. I just needed some help.”

Tellias asked me if I could design some labels for his beer bottles. No problem.

Then from his pocket he pulled a fancy triple enveloped invitation. I knew exactly what it was. My eldest brother Maxwell was to receive an award, a great honor for a Vampire, one of the highest, and of course they’d been invited to attend, as ancient Vampires and as family.

It would be formal. Everyone would be there. They were excited. Plans needed to be made. He needed a new suit. She needed a dress. They needed my help. I knew I’d find nothing for them to wear in their dusty attic, so we’d need to get them the very best.

“It will be an honor for me to assist you and to sit with you at the event,” I told them. They both hugged me and covered me with light cold dry kisses.

I could hear footsteps coming down the stairs. “James is up. I’ll put on some coffee,” I told them.

Tellias watched me fill the coffee maker with water. “Did you know that the first time I ever drank coffee, I believe it was in mid 1600’s. It was vile. Juliette, I have a few things I want you to read, but first could you let the dog in. Let me know if you think the boards on the front porch look too worn?”

It was an easy visit today. A good visit. But then again, every visit is good when you’re with those you love. They took care of everyone I love, so it is now my time to take care of them, no matter how silly or excentric or forgetful they can by. They carry the wisdom of the ages but they’re young at heart and will continue to dance under the stars as long as they are able.

Now that we’re coming near the holiday season don’t forget to include those who are old or alone. It doesn’t take much to bring someone flowers or a hot dish. It doesn’t take much to add another chair to the table. It doesn’t take much to pick up the phone and call, or send a card, or let someone know that they’re loved.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

bite

Remembrances of School, Life and Love

Remembrances of School, Life and Love

We recently had a party at the farm owned by the Elders.  All four of my brothers were there, along with Cody our new Vampire, Matthew an old Vampire who is trying to become more modern for the sake of his son, along with a rare visit from my niece and nephew, my kids, plus several other friends and their teens.  It was one of those wonderful early fall evenings when the weather is just starting to change and the cool Delta breezes take away the last of the daytime heat.

I’d been tasked at helping Cody transition to the world of Vampires when he was changed into one of us, unknowingly about two years ago (he knows now and is a find young Vampire). Since then the 32 year old and I had become close friends and he’d settled quiet well into our lives.

He stood with my great great great grandmamma Lola on the steps of the cottage she lives in next to the much larger Victorian farm house the elders and my brother Val lived in. Cody’s arms were around Lola, as if he never wanted to let her go. He kissed her and ran his hand over her long curls. They were so sweet together. Lola might have been born the same year as Geoffrey Chaucer,  sometime around 1365, but she looks about 25 or 26. The age difference between Lola and Cody is an issue with some members of my family. Or maybe it is just the fact that she hasn’t hitched herself to some older and more traditional Vampire. They fail to remember that Lola has never been one to hold to tradition.

My brother Max snarled under his breath and looked across the lawn at them in disgust. “I can’t believe she attached herself to him.”

“Just shut up and give it a rest. They’re happy. Be happy for them.” I wanted to call my eldest brother an asshole but refrained. But he knew I was thinking it. Do you ever just want to smack someone but don’t because… well just because you’re the better person for it and you know the person you want to smack can beat the hell out of you. Anyway…

Since it is fall, the talk turned to school. High School for the younger members of the party. College and law school for my brother Aaron’s kids.

The kids always marvel that any of us know how to read and write at all considering we went to school back in the days before Wikipedia, electricity and smart phones. They are astounded that we even had colleges to attend. Oh the innocence and ignorance of youth.

Matthew and his son Josh are new to the group. Josh is a typical teen, engrossed in friends and music. Matthew is an old fashioned Vampire (we called them Shadow Creepers) who lived as if it was another century (past not future) but he wanted a better life for his son, as a Modern Vampire. He reached out to us about a year ago and moved to our area. Josh has thrived. Matthew is still a bit uneasy but is trying to embrace this new world he has found himself in.

A while back Matthew mentioned that we live like Regular Humans more than we live like Vampires. I told him that we all live in the same world so maybe Regular Humans live more like us.

That said, someone asked Matthew what school was like for him back at the end of the 18th Century.

He thought for a moment, a little apprehensive about telling his story. Then he began, in his almost seductive expressive voice (which he is totally unaware of.)

Matthew began. “My mother was the second wife of my wealthy father. His first wife had died after giving him six healthy sons and a daughter.  My mother, Anna, was a pretty toy and brood mare for his business empire. She bore him another seven children before succumbing to illness. I was the fifth of Anna’s children, the 10th son of my father. I hardly knew my mother and was raised by tutors and nursemaids.

I remember once going into my father’s library and upon finding him there I attempted to strike up a conversation. He looks at me with a puzzled smile and said “Matthew, isn’t it? You’re Matthew. Can you read young man?” I nodded my head and he told me to find a book and leave him to his business.

The following month my father remarried another pretty young fertile women. Upon the return from their honeymoon he sent all of Anna’s sons off to boarding school.  I was only eight years old.  My father’s third wife gave him six more children giving his a total of nineteen offspring. Fifteen sons and four daughters.

In boarding school our masters taught us mathematics, music, religion and business so that we’d be prosperous and upstanding businessmen and citizens when we grew into men.  They treated us well but there were little or no emotional ties beyond what we made with our dorm mates.  I was often lonely but accepted my lot in life. I knew nothing else.  I was just another commodity to my father. I had no mother. My brothers were indifferent to me.

Shortly after my 14th birthday I looked out the window over the fields near the school and saw a figure of a girl standing in the moonlight. We looked at each other for what seemed like forever, and then she waved and vanished. She returned every night for a month, then one evening I awoke and there she was sitting on the edge of my bed, a black cloak around her shoulders, her honey gold hair in curls around her face. She was so pale yet so lovely, a young girl of my own age. Her name was Sabina and she already knew mine was Matthew.

Sabina took my hand and we went outside. It was odd to me that nobody noticed our departure. For several months she would visit and soon I grew to love her. And one day I kissed her and…”

He faltered. “She told me that she loved me. That night I left my school and old life forever. Through her blood and her love I became a Vampire and was accepted into her world, a world I came to willingly, where my new family remembered my name.  We were together for over 200 years until…until our son was just four years old and she was taken from us. Thirteen years ago last month. It seems like the time with her was but a moment but the few years without her has been forever.”

Matthew’s son Josh put his arms around his father’s neck and gave him a hug.  Matthew closed his eyes for a brief moment, then gave a slight uncertain smile.

Later I thanked Matthew for his story and welcomed him again to the world of Modern Vampires.

Being “different” can bring a difficult set of challenges to parenting. On the other hand it can enhance life for your child because you’ve seen the world through unique eyes yet you can understand what others expect of you. And if you do it right you can bring your child the best of all possible worlds.

Have a good weekend everyone,

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

sabine

The very old and fragile…love, life and ashes

Around midnight I got a call and a bad feeling.

The whispery voice on the other end said “Come now. Come now. We need you now.”

It was the elders Vampires Tellias and Eleora . The very old and fragile ones who live alone on their old farm by the river. Their judgment is sometimes off in the modern world. Confusion and fear set in at times so I must be available to help. I gathered up my family (13 year old Clara, 16 year old Garrett and my husband Teddy) and we headed out not knowing what to expect.

Tellias met us at the door, his face looking gaunt, his pale hair hanging around his shoulders.  He wore a black smoking jacket and black tuxedo pants. Flip flops were on his feet. He could pass for 19 but he is much much older than any of us.

“I can’t get her out,” he said to us. He voice was a dry and raspy whisper.

Teddy put his arm around Tellias “Where is Eleora?”

Tellias led us to the basement. We went down the stairs and found her trapped behind a large fallen shelf.

“I couldn’t get her out. The shelf is metal. I couldn’t cut it.”

Her eyes were closed, her skin cold. A small whimper came out of her when I touched her hand and said her name. Then she was quiet.

Teddy, Garrett and I lifted the shelving off of the small form. Teddy lifted her, as if she weighed nothing, and brought her upstairs. He laid her limp body on the couch in the main parlor.

“When did this happen?” I looked at Tellias hoping for a straight answer.

“I don’t remember.”

“Try to remember.”

“ Is it Thursday?”

“Today is Sunday.”

“Tuesday.”

She’d been trapped for almost a week.

I took him by both hands, “how did it happen?”

“She was looking for rats. She thought she heard some. She hates rats. You know she hates rats. She went into the basement to kill them all, every one of them and climbed the shelf to get to the rafters where the rats live.  You need to kill the rats Juliette. You need to kill them for Eleora. Those rats…those rats are really bad rats.” He trailed off sounding frail, confused and ancient.

Tellias leaned against the wall and closed his eyes. A tear came down across this lovely face. “I’m sorry. I don’t know what has happened to us. You know we haven’t always been like this.”

I remembered when they were vibrant and strong. The house was new and the farm was thriving. They’d throw lavish parties and people would come for miles around. She’d wear silk dresses with huge bustles, her hair piled high on her head. They ruled the world with style and grace.  Now they were isolated, lonely but too proud to reach out or ask for help.

“You should have called someone.” I heard myself lecturing but I couldn’t help it.  “You should have called John next door.”

“I was afraid to tell John.”

“Why?”

“He would have been angry.”

“John has never had an angry day in his life. He loves you two like his own grandparents.” I just wanted to scream but kept it to myself.

Nobody said anything for a long time. Garrett and I tried to comfort Eleora. Teddy sat silently with Tellias.

It was an hour before sunrise when Clara came in with the neighbor, our old friend John.

“I saw Clara out crying by the car and asked her what happened,” said John.  “I don’t know why Tellias never asked for help. How bad is it?”

John, now 62, had grown up next to the elders. His family had a long history with his Vampire neighbors. He knew us and who we were. I knew his family going back to the 1860’s. There were photos of me as a child in his family albums.

After explaining and discussing the situation with John he went over to Eleora.

“I can help her. Just give us some time alone.” He looked grimm as death itself.

“ We can’t ask that of you,” I said. We’ve helped John’s family for generations and his family has been close to ours but I’d never ask for what he was willing to offer.

“Don’t argue with me. The bottled stuff won’t work.”

He showed us out of the room. An hour later he came to get us. I looked at the marks on his wrists and covered them with a towel filled with ice.

“I can’t thank you enough John.” I took his hand in mine. It was hot to the touch as people often are after they give blood.

John put his other hand over mine. “You know I’m always here for you Juliette. How long do your people live?”

“Vampires?”

“Yes, how long do Vampires live?”

“I don’t know.” Honestly, I don’t know, nobody knows.

“How old are Tellias and Eleora?”

“Over 2,000 years, at least they’ve been together that long.”

“Christ almighty,” John whispered under his breath.

“Before Christ.  Maybe a few hundred years before Christ, maybe more.”

“Considering you all live so long, why is it that I’m always feeling like I’m the adult when I’m around you?”

I shrugged, feeling like I was 12 years old.

“John, if you ever come over here and find clothes with a lot of dust or ashes…”

“I’ve seen dead Vampires Juliette. I know you just combust. That isn’t going to happen to these two.”

We talked some more and then John left us alone with the elders.

I found Tellias alone in the kitchen. Putting my arm around his slim waist I asked “You ok?”

“No, but I’ll be fine. I think John is in love with her. He always has been. Since he was a boy. They all fall in love with her.”

“I know sweetie, but you have her heart.”

A tear ran down his face and I held him tight.

Over the next few months John will check on the elders a few more times a week. We’re setting up a special signal light in case there are problems. My brother Val and G-G-Grandmother Lola will be staying with them on and off for the next few months to help out. Lola might even move back into the smaller house on the property for a while. She is old but not ancient or frail like they are.

My kids are pretty upset but I know they’ll be a big help. Our elders might not be around forever. We never know how long any of us will be around, so we’ll treasure each and every day with everyone we love, be they Vampire or regular folks.

mystery butterfly

Have a good week everyone and don’t forget to tell the people you love that YOU LOVE THEM, and don’t forget to check in on those who need a little extra help and care.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

flurish