Short Story Sunday: Motorhome

Motorhome
An Austin and Elizabeth Story

Austin grew up knowing that Grammy didn’t have many filters. She’d say anything she wanted to anyone. Austin’s mother said Grammy had always been rude. Grammy said she was giving out good advice that might make people want to do something about their situations. Everyone was in a situation so everyone was told what they needed to do.

Grammy’s caretaker, a lovely woman named Kayla, had texted Austin the following:

“Just a warning, Grammy is in a mood today. Completely speaking with no filter. We talked to Tom across the street. Grammy asked how they were doing and before he could say anything she said, “well it looks like you and your wife have completely given up on loosing weight.” I nudged her in hopes she would stop but it didn’t work. She then went on to say, “I thought you guys were dieting. Looked like you’ve completely given up on losing weight. Tom was so red embarrassed. I said he is healthy and happy and always smiling, so I told him to have a nice day and closed the door before Grammy could say anything else. I then said “OMG Grammy u can’t ever tell people that they are overweight. Ever. Men or women. It is not to be discussed. Don’t tell women they look pregnant. None of it. She said “Well maybe if I say something that will make them want to lose weight.” I said, “NO. NO. NO. Nothing you say will change them. You’re just being terrible at that point. No more ever.” Grammy’s mind is in it’s own place sometimes. Tomorrow is a new day. I told her she is the cutest sweetest little Grammy in the world. She has to stop thinking and saying such negative things.”

Austin was mortified. Tom had been a good friend for years, and would do anything for Grammy. But sweet little Grammy had a dark suspicious side. She’d grown up in the Deep South where people generally have fewer filters than those from other regions of the country. She’d also grown up in a family of Vampire Hunters. It was in their blood, no pun intended.

When Austin arrived at Grammy’s house he wondered who the old motor home in the driveway belonged to.

Kayla, a rail thin brown haired, blue eyed woman in her forties came out to meet him. She and her college student son Colt live with Grammy and took care of her in her great big family home. At one time Austin had tried to get Grammy to sell her house and move into a smaller house in his neighborhood, just three houses down from him, but she’d have none of it. She’d rather complain about money and upkeep than move out of the house she’d lived in for sixty-two years.

“Is someone visiting?” Austin looked toward the motor home.

“I bought that last week. I’m going to take Grammy on a road trip.”

It was a small 1981 motor home complete with faded orange and red stripes on the outside.

“Wow, look at this thing,” said Austin.

“Come inside. Take a look,” said Kayla inviting him in through the back door.

Grammy was sitting on an orange couch that could fold out into a double bed. There was a table, a small kitchen, four captain’s chairs, and a tiny bathroom complete with a toilet, sink, and a shower.

“Hey, Grammy,” Austin said bending down to kiss her.

Grammy was small, and still quite pretty for an eighty eight year old lady. Her white hair had been done up the day before with pink foam curlers. She wore bright pink lipstick, a pink flowered shirt, and matching pink pants.

Grammy took his hands, “Austin. What do you think of our new castle on wheels?”

“Great,” said Austin. “The orange and red carpet is pretty ugly, but otherwise it’s great.”

“I don’t see any problems with the carpet. It looks almost new to me,” said Grammy. “Now, Austin, are you still seeing that Vampire girl?”

Austin was in love with a woman who just happened to be a Vampire. He knew it wasn’t exactly the right thing to do but…

“But,” he said, “Grammy, Elizabeth isn’t a shadow creeper, or one of those ghoulish undead types. She lives a pretty normal life. You know the kinds of Vampires I help get rid of, and Elizabeth isn’t one of them.”

“You know those Vampires aren’t right. They do nothing but cause problems. Austin you’re an idiot for getting involved with one.”

“Grammy, Elizabeth isn’t that different from us.”

“That’s what you say. But the next thing you know they’ll be coming out of the shadows. I bet you the first thing they’ll do is call the ACLU and get a bunch of lawsuits in place against us normal people asking for rights and then some. Then they call AARP because they’re all older than dirt. You can’t trust them Austin. Listen to me. You are going to have nothing but trouble ahead of you. Nothing but trouble.”

“OK Grammy, I get your point.”

“I hope so. I don’t want you marrying one of those things. You haven’t have sexual intercourse with that Vampire of yours yet have you?”

“Grammy, I’m not going to talk about this anymore.”

“Are you still killing Vampires?”

“Only the ones without souls.”

“Well, how do you know if they have souls? They’re all a bunch of fanged faced liars.”

“Grammy, I know. I’m a Vampire Hunter. I can tell. It’s in my blood.”

“Well, your blood will be their blood if you don’t watch out.”

Kayla, who’d gone inside to make iced tea, came back out with three tall cold glasses full of iced tea with fresh mint. This wasn’t the popular sweet tea, but strong freshly brewed black tea with just a hint of lemon and mint. Grammy wouldn’t allow anyone to ruin her good tea with the addition of sugar.

Grammy took a sip of her tea and said, “I don’t know why your mom and dad had to name you after a city.”

Kayla smiled. “Be nice Grammy. You know Austin was where they fell in love.”

“Well, maybe. But it sounds like a character out of a trashy cheap romance novel,” said Grammy.

And she wasn’t kidding.

Austin had dinner with Kayla, her son Colt, and Grammy. They’d dined on garlic coated shrimp in a pasta, along with mushrooms and more garlic. Grammy always made sure she had garlic in all of her food to keep the Vampires away now that she had retired. Austin knew for a fact that garlic didn’t keep Vampires away.

Conversation became pleasant and without any caustic remarks. Grammy was charming and full of joy. Kayla looked relieved.

As Austin left his Grammy gave him a hug and a kiss. Then she said, “I wish you’d find a normal girl.”

Austin smiled and said, “Normal girl? Grammy, you of all people should know there is no such thing.”

Grammy just said, “pasha,” and closed the door in her grandson’s face.

 

~ End

Read all of the Austin and Elizabeth Stories (The Hunter Series) from the start.  Click here for the full set.

Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

No time to be jealous

Do you ever have those days, like when your friend calls and says, “Pick me up. PLEASE.”

And it’s a full moon. So you pick him up.

And your friend is a Werewolf.

And you say, “What if you turn back into a man?”

And he says, “You’ve seen me naked.”

And I have, a long time ago.

And I know that because my husband is a Vampire he’ll understand. We all do. It was like the time, before I was married, that a couple of drunk girls called my husband at 2:00 a.m. and I said, “GO, make sure they’re safe. Take them home. I’ll see you in a bit.” And I did. And the girls were impressed.

This is something we have to teach our kids. You can’t be involved with someone who is so jealous and insecure that they can’t accept the fact that sometimes you just have to do the right thing and help out a friend in need. It isn’t like this sort of thing happens all the time. With young people it happens more often.

We always tell our kids and their friends that they can call us anytime of the day or night, no questions asked. We just want them to be safe.

That’s all. Just a something to think about.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Yes it is complicated (almost as much as a unicorn, a squirrel and a possum going into a bar…)

unicorn

Yes it is complicated (almost as much as a unicorn, a squirrel and a possum going into a bar…)

When you belong to a Vampire family the dynamics with other people, creatures, living things in general can get complicated.

My brother Andrew is staying at our house for a few days. He’ll be performing at one of the larger clubs with a semi-well known band (they get some radio play) later this week. Andy is an opera singer but he’ll sing anything in any style with just about anyone if asked.

Last night was a lovely clear evening so we (Andy, my husband Teddy and I) went out on the deck for a glass of wine. Aside from Andy being my brother he is also close friends with my husband. They grew up together back in the days before Teddy even knew what a Vampire was (but that is another story.)

I always had to smile at Andy and his personal sense of style. He was in a velvet vest, white shirt with french cuffs and jeans. His chestnut colored hair fell straight to his shoulders. Of all of us siblings (all 5 of us) Andy was the one who held on to the 19th century we all grew up in more. But that wasn’t always a bad thing.

To make a short story even longer… it is February so the conversation turned to romance. Well sort of.

I wondered how he was getting along with his new girlfriend Shawna.  He’d met her when he’d stumbled upon her camp in Patagonia (yes, THAT Patagonia.) She was digging for dinosaurs. I’m not exactly sure what he was doing there. Andy tends to just wander the world at times when he feels, well, like he needs to. By the way, Shawna isn’t a Vampire. Yes, it is complicated. And yes, she has met our mother which makes it even more complicated.

I asked about Shawna so Andy vented.

“Shawna knew why I’d gone out. It really wasn’t any of her concern. But when I got home she wouldn’t touch me. I assumed she’d understand that I can’t live off of kale and tofu. I need human blood to survive. She couldn’t get past the idea of me drinking blood then kissing her. For God’s sake by then I’d brushed my teeth and we’d had a couple of glasses of wine.”

He looked at us expecting a response but we let him continue to vent. “It isn’t as if I’d had blood dripping down my chin.”

“Give her time,” I gently told him then thought how stupid that sounded.

“I even had a baby unicorn but that ended badly as well,” said Andy.

“What were you doing with a unicorn? Oh my goodness Andy.” It has been years since I’ve seen a unicorn.

“Keeping it for James.” Andy said. James is a friend of Andrew’s. James is sort of nuts but he does lead an interesting life.

I have to admit that one of the cutest things in the universe is a baby unicorn. They’re like tiny iridescent donkeys or maybe a cross between a fawn and a pony, with all of that tiny baby sweetness. Their little hooves look like white mother of pearl. And there are few things as soft as a baby unicorn nose. Oh my goodness they’re precious. Best of all they smell good – like jasmine and roses.

Andrew continued his sad story. “As soon as Shawna walked in the room the unicorn started to cry. I’d forgotten that they’re afraid of humans. And forget the bull crap about being pure at heart. It doesn’t matter. There she was standing in the room with this baby screaming at the sight of her. It was a disaster.”

Yes, love is rare, but not as rare as a screaming baby unicorn. Sigh.

“I can understand Shawna’s fears,” said Teddy.  “I know how repulsive we seem to humans.”

Andy gave Teddy a glare. “Repulsed? How could she be repulsed? I’ve been nothing but wonderful to her. I’ve literally swept her off her feet. I’ve made her feel things she thought she’d never feel.”

Teddy patted Andy on the shoulder. “You’ve made her feel fear. Remember I used to be like her.  It took me weeks, actually years to accept the reality of Vampires and the fact that we’re not completely evil or completely dead. The very idea of a Vampire is more terrifying than, well, than she was to that baby unicorn. Maybe even more so because humans know we’re on the top of the food chain over them. It puts fear and disgust in them like cannibals or serial killers.”

“But if they tried to understand…” said Andy.

“What we do is morbid and disgusting,” said Teddy.

“They drink coffee that has been pooped out of a cat. What can be more disgusting than that?”

“Civets. The coffee is expelled by civets.”

“Whatever Theodore. Humans don’t know anything about us or what we do,” said Andy.

“And we need to keep it that way. I don’t know why you let her know you were a Vampire in the first place. It was a bad move on your part Andy.”

“But…”

Teddy gave Andy one of those looks. The kind that teenagers dread. “Andy, you can’t expect someone to suddenly embrace something they’ve feared their entire life. I don’t care how many times you tell her that you love her. We’re the undead evil, just above zombies and ghosts.”

“Not to mention ticks and werewolves,” I added in.

The soft sound of moving branches distracted us. Climbing up the Italian Cypress to the deck rail came another nocturnal creature. It was Teddy’s possum. For the past year the possum had been making nightly visits and Teddy had decided to make friends with it. He spoke quietly to the soft gray creature and handed him a few raw peanuts he’d put in his pocket earlier. The Possum sat still while Teddy brushed its beautiful coat. She looked at us with her black possum eyes and showed a little bit of primitive sharp toothed possum grin.

Possums are gentle and often misunderstood creatures. Nobody ever hears of a possum attack but people still fear them. Sure sometimes they might have rabies or fleas but for the most part they’re harmless. I wouldn’t recommend you try to pet one or pick one up, but Teddy has a gift with animals and he is a Vampire. And like our possum friends we (Vampires) are also misunderstood.

“You can’t keep a possum as a pet Andy, just like you can’t keep a human as a pet,” I told my brother.

“Shawna isn’t a pet,” Andy said. He scratched the possum between it’s ears as it sat quietly.

“Maybe not, but she isn’t a Vampire. I know you lived with Aurora for almost 50 years, but that was the exception. That was something extraordinary. She never feared us. She never saw us as unnatural,” I said.

Andy looked out at the night sky as if he was looking for Aurora, a woman he’d lived with until her death from old age. She stayed with her until the end, never pressuring her to become a Vampire, never leaving her side. We all loved Aurora. Maybe too much. Despite the heartbreak she was a gift, like all of our dear human friends. We’re sad for her passing but we wouldn’t trade the sadness because of the love.

We all knew Shawna was warming up to the idea that she was living in a world populated by bizarre creatures and strangeness that she could never have imagined. Then again, she studied dinosaurs so she knew about strange creatures that defied imagination, logic and all reason. Time would tell.

I said good night (good morning to us) around 4:00 am to Teddy and Andy. The kids were sleeping due to school and their daytime schedules.

Around 7:00 am, just as the sun came up I was in my dining room, laptop open, glancing out through the windows at the trees. The Possum had gone to her bed, but on the deck rail was a squirrel. This particular squirrel is always out in the morning doing a little dance with jerky movements while his squirrel friends jump through the oak trees like circus acrobats. He stands in the sun and eats from the window box and from the bowl of nuts and seeds I leave for him. He’ll turn his head and look at me but he isn’t afraid – at least not unless I open the door for a closer look or try to take his photo. When I go outside sometimes he barks at me with his odd almost unearthly squirrel voice. I call him my friend, but he’ll never consider me to be in his inner circle. But that’s OK. He’s a squirrel. That is all I need him to be. And he never needs to know I’m a Vampire.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

everybodylovesapossum

So what inspired you to write this odd little story Juliette?

This was my 2014 Entry to the Evil Squirrel’s Nest Contest of Whatever.

A unicorn, a squirrel and a possum go into a bar… to find out what inspired this post in which every single word is absolutely true:
http://evilsquirrelsnest.com/2014/02/03/you-may-already-be-a-winner/

And if you aren’t following the Sharp Witted, Brilliant and Talented Bill Brown and The Evil Squirrel’s Nest you ought to be. 

Squirrels Rock the Goggles

Squirrels Rock the Goggles

For the official back story on Andrew and Shawna go to the links below:

Innocenzio Dantonio

Innocenzio Dantonio

gothic design

http://evilsquirrelsnest.com/2014/02/03/you-may-already-be-a-winner/

The Art of Writing Love Letters is Alive and Well (even for Zombies and Ghosts)

In honor of Valentine’s Day I’m posting my most popular love and romance bits today. Enjoy. xoxoxox

Vampire Maman

letters

My brother Val always says “love isn’t a physical thing. It is a meeting of souls. Be it friendship or romantic lovers, it is something we can write about and dream about, but we can never truly explain or define it.”

The Art of Writing Love Letters is Alive and Well (even for Zombies & Ghosts)

The most popular post on this blog is “How to respond to a love letter.”  Really. Seriously, go on Google and look up how to respond to a love letter and it will bring you right back here. Out of the zillion or so things I’ve written on just about every subject everything always circles around back to LOVE.

That is proof that the art of letter writing is not completely dead (YES – real scientific proof)AND romance is still alive and well.

Everyone writes love letters. And that means YOU

View original post 453 more words

The Very Sight of You

This morning I spoke with my son Garrett (age 20, in college, six-hour dive from here.) I’m always so proud at how confident he is. In fact I’m proud of all of his friends, and my nephew Logan, for being so confident, especially when it comes to interacting with women. Straight or Gay they all are so grounded.

Maybe it is the rain, and warnings about high water, but it made me think of a less fortunate man I once knew, when I was about Garrett’s age.

His name was Bernard. He was a family friend, and like us, he was a Vampire.

When he was a young man of astounding business success. At the age of twenty-five he was already wealthy. Despite the fact that he was a personable, and somewhat attractive man, Bernard was alone. This is because when he would have interactions with young women, or even older women, he would start to tremble. Many women found this trembling endearing, like they found trembling in small lap dogs endearing. To Bernard this was mortifying, so he stayed away from what he considered the fairer sex.

Eventually he went to a successful college friend, who was a bit more worldly than Bernard and asked for advice. What Bernard didn’t know what that his friend, whom we shall call William, was a Vampire.

William knew exactly how to cure Bernard. He turned Bernard into a Vampire.

Bernard would still tremble at the sight of a woman, but he learned if he put the woman into a trance, then drank about a half pint of her blood that he would stop shaking. Then he found that if he snapped her out of the trance, then made love to her, that he wouldn’t tremble for at least three days. All the women would remember was the most amazing experience they’d ever had with a man. Married or single, they all wanted to be with dear, sweet, trembling Bernard.

Soon Bernard grew tired of the friends-with-benefits and he found himself a wife. Estella was a lovely girl from a good family. She was quiet with very little personality, but Bernard loved her with all of his heart. She never knew he was a Vampire, and he never planned on telling her.

On the morning of their wedding day he went to visit all of his former female friends of good standing so that he would not tremble when he saw his bride. It was enough activity to keep him calm for a week. That night he was married and off to a glorious wedding night and honeymoon with his darling Estella.

Every other day he would take some blood from Estella and make love to her. She was happy and passionate in response, but soon her health began to fail. After a few years of constant blood taking Bernard realized that he was killing the woman he loved.

He purchased an elaborate crypt in the local cemetery for finer folks, then stopped his heart and turned cold (all Vampires can do this.) Estella thought he was dead. The doctors thought he was dead. Hundreds showed up at the funeral. Estella eventually regained her health, remarried another fine man, and had four lovely children and led a long and happy life.

Bernard escaped from the crypt (he had a key) and headed out West to seek his fortune.

Upon arriving in California he introduced himself to the Vampire community in Sacramento. It was February 1879. I’d turn twenty that October.

Bernard was successful in his new home, but he would still tremble when he was in the company of a woman. Swearing that he would never marry again, he quickly knew he’d have to find a network of women he could take blood from, and then seduce in order to keep himself calm.

My brother Aaron became good friends with Bernard. Whenever Bernard would be invited to visit Aaron and his wife Verity, he would ALWAYS make sure he would go to one of the local ladies of the night first so he wouldn’t kill himself in the presence of Verity. You see, Verity, who is like all of us, a Vampire, looks almost exactly like Botticelli’s Venus, in the Birth of Venus painting. The first time Bernard ever saw her he almost passed out from trembling. It was so bad that the floor shook and a vase of flowers fell over onto the table and spilled out on the floor.

One night before a party Bernard arrived early. He came upstairs looking for Aaron. Verity and I were upstairs getting ready, and not expecting anyone.

When Bernard entered the room he found me standing in just a petticoat and corset. His mouth opened and he started to shake. Then Verity stepped out from behind a screen completely naked, like Venus in the painting. Bernard trembled so violently that I thought he’d pass out, but then…THEN he trembled so hard that something amazing and quite disturbing happened as he turned gray starting at the top of his head and slowly went all the way down to his toes. He turned to dust and fell into a gray pile of powder on the floor. Verity grabbed her robe and got Aaron. The three of us stood and stared at the pile of what was once Bernard for at least five minutes. Then Aaron got the dust pan and swept poor Bernard into a Chinese vase and that was the last I ever saw of Bernard.

I called Aaron this morning and asked him what became of Bernard. My brother said he put the vase on the mantel in his office, but it would start to shake whenever Verity would walk into the room. After a few months it became too distracting so he took the vase to the river and shook the contents out into the current. When he told me the exact location I wasn’t surprised. The water constantly trembles at that spot, no matter what the level of the river is.

Now there are drugs, and other things like music, and therapy for those with social anxiety. For Bernard it was blood and sex, but unfortunately that isn’t always available when one accidentally runs into an extreme situation. Yes, poor Bernard, we knew him well.

By the way, this is a true story.

Have a good night everyone, and stay safe out in the winter weather.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

venus-verity

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/tremble/

All About Tellias and Eleora (Senior Citizen Vampires): A New Page

I’m a mom so I take care of my children. Like many others (and I know more than one of my readers) I also have seniors in my life who need my help. Even Vampires can be among the “sandwich” generation.

Over the years I’ve been writing about the ancient Vampires Tellias and Eleora. They look young, but they’ve been around for centuries. Sometimes they need a little extra help.

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 near. You’re never too old for love, or friends or living life.

I’ve created a new page with links to posts about taking care of, and loving the elders in my life. Sometimes it is magical, sometimes it is rewarding, sometimes it is frustrating, sometimes it is funny, sometimes it is a learning experience, sometimes it just is what it is. Maybe you can relate.

We’re Vampires but we aren’t all that different from your family and friends.

To view the page with all of the links about Tellias and Eleora (and sometimes Great Great Great Grandmama Lola) CLICK HERE.

 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman