We had seen her wearing a veil to cover a bruised face. We could smell blood where her skin has split open from his blows. We had seen her wince from cracked ribs that hid underneath a tightly laced corset.
On a winter night when I was small, my brothers Aaron, Val and I walked down a dark muddy street for no reason other than to get out of the house. I was six, Val was seven, Aaron was a mature eleven (almost twelve.)
At the time the Civil War was over, Lincoln had died, and Andrew Johnson was president. That year the first Civil Rights bill would be passed, the ASPCA was founded, and the James Gang committed their first train robbery.
Closer to home, both Mark Twain and Bret Harte were writing for the Sacramento Union Newspaper. Construction was everywhere due to flood control efforts. Reuben Clark, designer of the state capitol, died in the Stockton Insane Asylum. And three Vampire children saved a life.
We didn’t go out thinking we’d rescue someone. Our parents had gone to a fancy party. Even in those days, in the winter of 1866, there were parties put on by those in society.
One night, for a few hours we were no longer under the watch of our parents or two elder brothers. We were free to roam the streets as we wished.
We came upon a new house built in the Italianate style. We knew who lived here. It was the woman with the veil, who smelled of tears and blood.
Aaron lifted me to the window so I could see in. On the floor a woman was crouched. I could see the moonlight reflecting off of the silk of her dress. Folds and ribbons swirled around her. She moved her head and cried out for help in a small weak voice.
The back door was open. It was after midnight so not a soul was awake except the woman on the floor. Silently we made our way to the front of the house and found the room she was in.
Aaron grabbed a candelabra on a table and the candles lit. My brother showed early talents for creating fire out of nowhere. Not all Vampires can do that but family caries that trait. It comes in handy.
On the floor in a dress of burgundy and gold crouched a woman. She looked to be in her mid twenties. Her brown hair was still up in complicated curls set with ruby and pearl clips. She looked up at us with fearful eyes, then realized we were just children. Bruises were forming around her eyes. Then we looked down to her hands.
Her hands were nailed to the floor.
“My feet,” she whispered.
Aaron pushed her large skirts aside to see that her feet had also been nailed to the floor.
“My husband did this to me. Help me.”
Aaron started to pry away the nails. He told Val and I told help hold her so she wouldn’t fall. I remember getting blood on my hand. I couldn’t help but taste it. I was only six so the temptation was too much.
Aaron held her face in his hands and sent healing cold through. Then he asked, “Where is he? Where is your husband?”
“You are Samantha’s children. Your parents were at the party. They suspected. I should have…” she said, then trailed off, looking at us with tears running down her face.
“Why did he do this to you?” That would be Val asking. He was only seven but I could feel the anger growing in him.
“I told him that I was going to leave him. He demanded to know if I had a lover. I told him no. Then…then he said he would never let me leave, and he nailed me to the floor.”
Aaron went upstairs to find the husband. Val stayed by the woman with his skinny little boy arm around her. I followed Aaron.
A man lay on the bed. His handsome face was calm without guilt or shame. Aaron blew a cold breath over him.
The man opened his eyes to find two children standing over him. We’d made our eyes go black and our fangs were out. He screamed and then we tasted blood.
No, of course we didn’t kill him. But he did go insane. Maybe because of us. Maybe not. His wife was able to get a divorce. She had the floor refinished and a few years later married a man who was filled with joy and happiness. He was a man who loved her rather than owned her.
Aaron watched her and looked out for her for the rest of her life. She lived until 1941. It was a long and happy life with her second husband and children. The scars on her hands and feet eventually faded, but her beauty and the joy she brought to the world did not.
Our parents never scolded us for our behavior. They were too appalled by what had been done to the young wife. They’d suspected something was wrong. A lot of people had suspected but had never reached out. It wasn’t polite. Plus we were Vampires so we were always cautious when dealing with people of the warm-blooded variety.
It is always easy to look the other way. That is the beauty of children is that they don’t. They look. Children LOOK and listen. They also learn from what they see – much more than any grown up can imagine. It is sad that so many people forget those feelings they had as children and the memories of an unexperienced mind.
I drove by that house yesterday. It had been beautifully restored. Looking through it in the rain made me think of cozy reading in a window seat. It also reminded me of that night and the young woman who’d been nailed to the floor.
There are all sorts of nails both physically and mentally that people use to hurt others.
I don’t know what else to say. She married my future husband’s younger uncle. We are still in touch with a few of their descendants. They’re cool about having Vampires in the family. We’re cool. No puns intended.
If you know someone who might be in an abusive relationship please reach out. Vampires are rare, so you can’t always count on us to be there to help.
I am a big fan of advice columns. I always have been. I’m sure there is some deep seated reason for that, or maybe not. Advice columns are nothing new. The first ones came out in the late 1600’s. I’m sure there were earlier versions etched in stone or drawn on hunks of prehistoric leather somewhere.
The biggest advice I can give to anyone is: LEARN FROM YOUR MISTAKES. That means learn, figure out what you did or did not do, figure out what when wrong, and do not do it again. Look at people who are doing it right and figure out why that works. Keep an open mind. Don’t listen to advice from people who have crappy kids, horrible marriages, and train wreck lives – unless it is so you can learn what NOT to do.
Alright, lets get this roller coaster started.
My partner/boyfriend/girlfriend does not want children and I do. I love them so much that I’m going to give up on my dreams of a family.
If you want children DO NOT marry someone who does NOT want children. Period. Don’t do it. I’ve seen too many people look longingly at other people’s kids, or worse, resent their friends or family members who do have children.
I’ve wanted to scream at people not to hate me because I’m a mom. I made sure I was with someone who also wanted children. You could have done the same. YOU COULD HAVE DONE THE SAME. It was your choice.
But I love them so much. Do you realize how stupid that sounds? That isn’t a reason to marry someone. That is not a good reason to hitch your star to the goat cart of someone who does not want the same things out of life that you do. Kids are a BIG DEAL. Don’t give up on any of your dreams because you’re feeling desperate or besotted with someone who doesn’t want the same thing. Why would you do that? Why? WHY?
In turn don’t feel forced to have children if you don’t want them. Please do not have kids if you don’t feel it is your choice. That is unfair to everyone – especially you.
Kids or no kids it is YOUR CHOICE. Don’t let someone else make the biggest decision in your life for you.
What Hogworts house do you belong to?
I don’t do Hogworts.
Who is your favorite superhero?
I don’t do superheroes. I don’t understand the obsession with them. I might mention them in a short story but I’m really not into the whole Marvel and DC thing. The artwork is cool. The stories are fun. It just isn’t my thing. If you like them then by all means enjoy and have fun. Just be careful that you don’t get runs in your tights. Good tights are expensive. My daughter was in skating. I know how much tights cost.
But seriously let us all think about the real superheroes – the first responders in the Covid-19 Crisis, the teachers, the parents helping with online schooling, the polices, the fire fighters, people who run food banks, online art docents, people who run animal shelters, and everyone who works to make this sad old world a better place.
I love comics and memes. I’m just not into the kind with tights and capes.
I’m tired of my boring life. Can you turn me into a Vampire?
Can I turn you into a Vampire? Yes. Will I turn you into a Vampire? No. Absolutely not.
Changing into a Vampire, or anything else that you’re not will not change your boring life. You need to ask yourself why your life is boring. Is it your situation? Is it your friends? Is it the pandemic? Are you depressed? Are you just a boring person?
Broaden your horizons. Try something new that isn’t drastic. Take an art class. Do an online dance class. Listen to some TED talks. Make a list of things you’d like to try – no matter how crazy that list is. Do not put being a Vampire, a Werewolf, or a Ghost on that list. Please do not put ZOMBIE on that list.
Vampires are driven by the forces of evil, without souls or love. Their blood lust drives them to do unspeakable acts. They live in the darkness…
Well, aren’t we feeling weird and rudely entitled today.
I am a cis man dating a cis woman. My girlfriend and I both have good jobs and support ourselves. My girlfriend thinks because I am the guy that I should pay for everything. What do you think?
Dump her. This is 2021. You aren’t living in a Rock Hudson / Doris Day movie. Healthy relationships are built on friendship and trust, not on money or outdated role models.
My boyfriend is extremely jealous. He questions everything I do. He checks my phone messages and my email. He doesn’t like it when I talk to other guys. He doesn’t like my friends. Other than that he is a great guy, and I really love him. What should I do.
He isn’t a great guy. Dump him. Get out – the sooner the better.
Jealousy is not a healthy or normal part of any relationship. A jealous partner isn’t doing out of love – he/she is doing it for control. I recommend “The Jealousy Game” by Mandy White, for all parents and teens and anyone (of any age) who might be at risk for staying in unhealthy relationships.
This book is always free for download on Amazon.com as well.
Is your boyfriend or husband unreasonably jealous? Women often mistake jealousy for an endearing display of affection without realizing that it can be a sign of something much more sinister. How can you tell when a man’s jealousy crosses the line from simple affection to unhealthy behavior? Can you fix it before it’s too late?
Some people think jealousy is just a natural part of being in love, and that jealous behavior is just a man’s way of showing that he cares. But when a man displays jealous, suspicious behavior to such an extreme that it becomes downright ridiculous it crosses the line from a simple expression of affection to unhealthy obsession and mental abuse. It may even escalate into physical abuse.
How can you tell if your relationship has reached the dangerous point? Knowing how to recognize the signs can save you from a great deal of mental anguish and possibly physical injury. In fact, it could even save your life. Learn how to recognize unhealthy patterns of jealousy early in a relationship and take steps to prevent it from becoming dangerous.
The Jealousy Game outlines a relationship with a jealous man from the beginning, when his jealousy is seen as cute and affectionate, through to the end of the relationship, where it has escalated into violence and even life-threatening behavior. It… (Read more)
Rating: This book contains content considered unsuitable for young readers 17 and under, and which may be offensive to some readers of all ages. Parents you know what your kids can handle. Honestly – I’d let my Middle School daughter read this with me. It is so important that all kids know the difference between a healthy and unhealthy relationship.
Thank you everyone for dropping by today. I’m trying to get Vlad to share some more of his thoughts this week, as well as catching you up on thought about my grown up kids, my cats, my dog, the pandemic, and other assorted blogable topics.
Stay safe. Wear a mask. Be kind. Don’t be a dick. Check in on those who might need extra help or who are alone. Talk to your kids. Check out online museum tours. Make a fun playlist. And kiss a Vampire.
I sat listening to my brothers, two of them, singing Ring of Fire in a low slow sort way that sounded like it belonged in a horror movie. Andy is a professional singer. Val is a numbers guy. Together they create weird and wonderful music.
When I was small I’d envy the way they’d sing together, anywhere and everywhere.
“Her ex-husband showed up.”
“Had you met him before?” I had to ask.
“No. Never. He came in the house with Cameron, Shawna’s son, and started to bark at her about me. I wasn’t even in the room, but I could hear it from the bedroom. I wasn’t even quite awake yet, but it woke me up for sure. He was telling her that she was making a fool out of herself by seeking someone so much younger than herself. I was ready to go out and tell him that I’m 168-years old but honestly I wanted to see his justification.”
“So what happened?” Val asked.
“Shawna ripped him a new one. She reminded him that he’d left her for FeeFee. He reminded her that FeeFee’s real name was Ashley. No matter what her name, the woman was almost twenty years younger than Eric. That is the husband. Eric. Anyway Eric said that it had been different with Ashley. Shawna called him all kinds of names including a fucking self centered misogynistic bastard who spent most of his life thinking with his dick. He didn’t take too kindly to that.”
Andy picked up a cup. “Does anyone want more coffee?”
“Sure, I’ll make a French Press. Tell us what happened,” I said. Andy often starts stories and doesn’t finish them.
I went into the kitchen to make coffee. Val hearded Andy after me and sat him down at the kitchen table.
“How old is Shawna?” Val asked.
Andy continued his story. “Almost sixty. She turns sixty in a few months. She looks a lot younger. She’s stunning.”
“I have to agree with you. She is lovely,” said Val. “But you look thirty five on a bad day, twenty something on a good day.”
“What does that have to do with the price of tea in China? I love her.”
“It shouldn’t matter,” I said, “especially since her ex is the same age as her and with a woman who is, what, in her early forties now?” Shawna had told me how her husband had left her years before for a much younger woman who needed him.
I glanced out my window. The usual Friday morning leaf blower assault had begun at my neighbor’s house. The neighbor on the other side has a five hour leaf blower marathon every Thursday. I hate leaf blowers. Seriously, everyone hates Vampires. They should put their energy into hating leaf blowers.
“There is always someone using a leaf blower in this neighborhood,” said Val.
“I hate leaf blowers. I HATE them,” I said. “So, Andy, then what happened? Did you tell Eric that you’re a lot older than he is. He obviously doesn’t know you’re a Vampire.”
Andy smiled and flipped his hair behind his shoulder. “No. Obviously not. It’s none of his business. He wouldn’t believe it anyway. Let him think I’m thirty-five or whatever. Let him steam in his own juices. Let him be angry about a younger man being attracted to the woman he dumped. Let him be jealous that I have a relationship not only with Shawna but with his son Cameron as well.”
I looked at my tall long haired brother and knew he turned heads. I could imagine Eric having fits in his mind about this guy who was in love with the woman he discarded.
Val poured a cup of coffee. “How did it end up Andy?”
“Eric left. The only reason he’d been there was to drop off Cameron. He said something about me only being a few years older than Cameron and about Shawna having no shame. We all had a fine laugh about that one later on. Val, pour me a cup too.”
By our second cup of coffee (Vampires drink a lot of coffee) we’d moved on to other subjects. Val was glad he was single. I was glad I was happily married. Andy was in love with a middle aged woman who was still somewhat confused that she’d fall in love with a Vampire. Her son thought Andy was exceptionally cool. Andy is exceptionally cool.
I put two cups of coffee out on the back deck. As my brothers and I talked inside I could see the Ghosts, Nigel and Mary sitting down at the outdoor table and putting their hands around the mugs. They inhaled the coffee they could not drink, savoring the beautiful aroma.
I guess the moral of this story is that we all make choices. We also make choices on how to react to the consequences. Don’t be like Eric.
I worry about Andy, but then again, I worry about everyone. At least it gets my mind off of worrying about my kids. More coffee please.
~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman
Sorry I haven’t have many new posts lately, and I haven’t been reading other blogs or commenting much either. This past year sort of put me in a tail spin, but I’m flying out of it as fast as I can. On maybe a good note I have a new computer. But today, even today, was one of those one step forward, two steps back sort of days. I need to listen to Ring of Fire again. Stay safe. Wear a mask. Talk to your kids. Pet your cat. Hug your dog. Check in on those who might be alone or need extra help. Don’t be a dick. Be kind. Don’t post political crap on FaceBook. Kiss a Vampire. And yes I can see Folsom Prison from the end of my street. Thank you Johnny Cash. xoxox Juliette Kings
My phone dinged with another text message. I really needed to mute the sound.
Jay: I am so sorry about Ryan.
Me: Thank you.
Jay: I saw your photo. Your still hot.
Me: You still can’t spell.
Another old boyfriend I’d have to block. They came out of the woodwork like rats, only they were middle aged men, all divorced, widowed, never married, and looking for any excuse to get laid.
The messages ranged from sappy memories of times that never meant much to me, dick pics, apologies, propositions, apologies for past bad behavior, and whiney threads of what could have been. I blocked them all.
Mike: If you need anything call me.
Me: Who is this?
Mike: Mike Johnson
Me: What are you doing now?
Mike: Thinking about you.
Me: I mean, are you working? Retired? Married? Single?
Mike: Semi retired. Semi single. Rich. Still have my hair. Still in the area. Still thinking of your hot body next to mine. I never forgot. Never.
Me: OK. Remember, you dumped me.
Mike: I was young and stupid. If you need anything, and I mean anything.
I blocked him. That made nine. There were more out there and I hoped they’d all keep their thoughts to themselves. I’d dated a lot before I met Ryan.
Them: I think about you all the time.
Ryan and I had thirty one years together, two wonderful children, and now I had to figure out what was next. Or maybe not.
It had been five months since Ryan passed. I wasn’t so numb anymore. The kids were grown and handling it ok. I couldn’t sit around feeling sorry for myself for breaking down. I had to be there for them and my grand kids. I didn’t have the luxury of feeling sorry for myself, and Ryan wouldn’t have wanted me to.
Then I received an email from someone I used to know.
Dear Colette, I was saddened to hear the news of Ryan’s passing. We had worked together on research projects for years and become friends. He spoke often of you and your children.
I didn’t get back to you because I also had Covid-19 and survived it.
It took a while for me to realize that Ryan’s Colette was you. I never told him I knew you.
I sat looking at the computer screen growing numb. The email was from Ian Locke, the one who got away. At least sort of got away. We parted ways because due to the old “wrong time, wrong place” type of situation.
Ian continued with sweet thoughts and good memories of my husband. It was exceptionally touching and weird. I never made the connection when Ryan spoke of Ian. They were never in the same city, and usually they were out in the field or in the lab, so we never met.
Then my phone vibrated and I answered the call. It was Ian.
His voice immediately brought me back to a time forty years ago when we were in college. We were just babies, or at least adults who didn’t know how to be adults yet. It was a time to experiment and flounder.
We talked a bit about Ryan and our children. We both had two. I had two girls. He had two boys. They were all doing great and in college. We spoke of our careers.
Then Ryan said, “I’m getting a divorce. I’ll sign the final papers next week.”
“I’m sorry,” I said.
“She had been cheating on me for years. When he passed away she wanted to patch things up but it was too late.”
Suddenly I wanted to throw up. I wasn’t so stupid that I didn’t know where this was going. I had no idea, but I wasn’t stupid.
“She gave Ryan Covid-19. She gave it to me. She and I survived it. I’m sorry. I am so angry. I lost my friend. I lost all sense of trust. I’m sorry. I shouldn’t even be telling you this.”
He shouldn’t have been telling me that.
I thought of the research trips. I thought of the times he had to stay a few extra days. I thought of him dying in our spare bedroom where he’d quarantined himself.
Ian continued. “Renee lost it when Ryan died. She was hysterical for weeks, then she finally told me about everything. I didn’t want to believe it but then I saw the texts, the emails, the photos. She said she was going to tell you. I told her no. She said she needed to tell you. What a cunt. I didn’t want you to hear it from her. I am so sorry Colette.”
“Ian,” I said. “I want to talk to you more. I want to see you, but I don’t know… could you call me back in a few weeks? Will you call me in a few weeks.”
“I’ll talk to you soon. It’s good to hear your voice. Call me later.”
I hung up.
I haven’t heard from Ian. It has only been a week. I did put my house up for sale. I’m looking for a beach house, closer to my kids.
Nobody knows about my conversation with Ian. I don’t plan on telling anyone.
2020 is almost done. Next year should be better. Maybe. Either way it will be a new beginning for me. I tell myself that. Maybe I’ll convince myself. Maybe.
For those who want something a little more cheerful read the following story. It is an oldie but a goodie. Have fun. Stay safe. WEAR YOUR MASK.
The Offer (a fairy tale with a wizard, a kitten and a mysterious stranger)
Miles was the official Royal Wizard to the Kingdom of the Moonbeam Mountains. What the fuck kind of name was that for a Kingdom?
“I will NEVER be as good as my dad.” he thought brooding in the dark under the night sky on the roof with a bottle of 80 proof Dragon Blood.
Sitting alone in his castle by the sea he thought of her, the princess who’d more or less left him for another man. Hell, he never had her. She’d always been in love with someone else. They’d been together for ten years. In ten years she’d told him a thousand times that she loved him but at the same time she was running a fantasy in her head about another guy.
For the past 6 years they’d lived with each other almost full-time. Their father’s were best friends. Hers was the King of the Northwestern Kingdom, his father was the Royal Wizard there and their mother’s were girlfriends. Everything was perfect, just like it was supposed to be. Every single year he’d proposed to her. Every single year she’d told him that she wanted to wait. Wait for what? Now he knew. She was waiting for another guy.
He called to have his horse ready and took off to the local pub. At least there he could keep his mind off of things.
Half way to the pub he stopped to pull his gloves out of his saddle bag. He heard a noise on the side of the road. A teeny tiny gray and white kitten ran towards him. It couldn’t have been more than six weeks old.
“Oh sweetie,” he whispered to the kitten, “I can’t leave you out here alone.” He tucked the tiny cat under his coat and continued on.
As he entered the village gate he could hear the band playing at the pub and already see friends lingering around the front door. “Deep breath Miles,” he thought to himself knowing everyone would ask about his princess. They knew he’d left her. They didn’t know why or for how long. He didn’t want to talk about it. Maybe he’d just put a spell on the place to make them all shut up about it, but ethics and his own code of decency stopped him from it. There is no crime in being curious.
After dropping his horse off in safe hands he greeted the people outside then went in. He could feel the small body purring inside of his coat. There was something about a cat that could make one forget everything. Cats were so pure and so decadent and so useless and so calming and so everything that made the universe worth living in. Cats represented all that was. Not good or bad just everything.
He caught his reflection in a window. Blonde hair, board shoulders, blue eyes, dimples on his boy-next-door cheeks and a scar across his neck that would tingle every time she kissed him, no matter what violent memories it brought him.
Everyone greeted him. Big points were scored with the ladies when he cradled the purring kitten in the crook of his arm. Damn that kitty was cute. She looked up at him and mewed a purr dripped sound that was absolutely toxic cute. He could never get enough of that feeling of pure joy and love.
After ordering a brew Miles did a few tricks for the patrons. They always asked and he was glad to give them some shows of blue sparks, wispy smoke dragons and fairies flying over their heads and levitating beer steins. It was all good fun. Fun was always good especially with the way he was feeling.
The fact that he’d been alone for a few months hadn’t gone unnoticed. He could hear the gossip behind his back. He could feel the single women watching him and wanting him. There was no reason for him to be alone at night but he wasn’t ready yet for company in his cold bed.
He heard a voice at his shoulder. “Missing your homeland Wizard?”
Miles turned around to see a tall exceptionally thin man standing at his shoulder. He wore a good suit and a sarcastic smile on his face.
The man continued to speak. “Do you miss a warm princess next to you in your cold bed? Do you wish your magic was more powerful? Do you wish you’d get the same respect and power as your father has? I can give you all of that.”
“It isn’t wise to attempt to provoke a wizard, even a piss poor attempt like yours. I don’t know you sir, but I’m here to enjoy an evening with friends. Now if you’ll excuse me and my cat we’ve got others to talk to,” Miles said to the tall thin man.
“Give me that kitten and I’ll grant you three wishes,” the stranger said in a voice so smooth it made Miles cringe.
“I don’t want your wishes and I’m sure as Hell not giving you my cat.”
At a large table he sat with friends, joking and listening to their stories, but his senses were wide open to any evil that lurked in the building. The tall thin stranger occupied himself with another group, but Miles could feel his presence.
The kitten purred and played with everyone at the table. There was nothing special or magic about her except that she was a cat. “Just a cat,” thought Miles, “nothing more.”
Hours later, after he’d had a successful evening with friends who’d done more than a good job of cheering him up and getting him out of his gloomy mood, Miles arrived home. His staff would be in bed so he put the horse to bed for the night, gathered the kitten back under his coat and headed for the front door. The moonlight made the dark pathway easy. He took a deep breath of the salt air and listened to the waves crashing on the beach below.
“Welcome to my castle by the sea dear kitten,” he told his small purring friend. “You look like a Lizzie to me. How about it? Do you like that name my dear?” The kitten meowed and purred.
Looking up he saw a figure on the cliff. It was the annoying thin stranger from the pub.
“Wizard, give me the cat and I will give you everything you desire. I can make your princess love you. I can make you famous. I can bring you riches.”
“Get off my property or I’ll…” he thought a moment for the bad things he could do then spoke. “What’s so special about the cat?”
“Your princess for the cat Miles. Say the word and you’ll have what your heart desires.”
“I don’t know who you are but I don’t want a woman who loves me because of a spell. I want her to love me for the right reason. I want her to fall for me in a nice long romantic way of her own accord. Love spells are bull shit. Every wizard with any talent knows that. And any man who knows what his heart desires and knows what true love feels like knows that.”
“Give me the cat.”
“Is she yours? Don’t lie to me man. I’ll know if you’re telling me a lie.”
The stranger halted a bit. “Well, no.”
“Then what is it? I don’t want any wishes and I don’t trust you with a helpless kitten. What do you really want? Is this some sort of test? Or are you just a creepy stalker? What is it? Tell me.”
“Do you love your princess?” The man asked him as if he was accusing Miles of cheating.
“Sure I do but, it’s none of your business.” None of anyone’s business that she was in love with someone else. “Get the Hell off of my property.” Miles blasted the ground in front of the man with a bolt of orange lightning. The man jumped back. “Go or the next one will hit you.”
The man was gone. Miles was alone in the kitchen with the kitten. “What was that about? Do you know?”
The kitten just purred.
Three wishes. He laughed out loud a bitter laugh. What would he need with three wishes. He’d worked hard for everything he had. He was proud of what he’d accomplished. Being a wizard, much less one in a foreign country, wasn’t always easy. People depended on him.
He thought of calling her, his princess, but he decided to let it go, at least for tonight. She had left him letters and messages but he couldn’t get past the pain of betrayal.
He wondered who the skinny guy was and why he wanted the cat. Three wishes. It wasn’t worth it. He’d never trade his soul or the tiny stray he’d found on the side of the road. After all, wasn’t it the same thing? He had shown compassion to a small beast. He’d shown his soul.
The kitten didn’t start to talk. He kissed the top of her tiny head but she didn’t turn into a princess.
Taking out a piece of paper and a pen he started to write.
Tonight a strange skinny man offered me three wishes in exchange for a small kitten I found on the side of the road. The man said he could make you love me. I wasn’t tempted by the offer. If you love me I want it to be honest and true for me. No magic. No games. No more lies.
He wadded up the letter and made it vanish with a flash of blue smoke. It was no use. Heading up the stairs with the kitten in his arms he stopped at the sound of someone knocking on the door. “Damn you, I do not want your wishes.”
Jerking open the door Miles yelled, “I’m not giving you my kitten.”
But standing at the door wasn’t the tall skinny man, it was his princess. He brought her in and told her the story of the strange skinny man and the kitten. She listened in wonder and then they both went upstairs.
And did they live happily ever after? Maybe. Only time, or maybe the cat will tell.
This week I’m in Southern California visiting my kids.
When your kids are grown shopping trips are different. Today we went out to get gardening supplies, ant bait, a cork screw, an air mattress someone can actually sleep on, sheets, drinking glasses, a lamp, and a front door mat.
Last night we, went for a long walk and saw tiny wild cottontail bunnies in the park near my daughter’s apartment complex. The wonder and cuteness overload was still there, maybe even more so.
Tuesday night my kids Clara, Garret and I, went to the beach. Only a few locals were out. The smoke in the air gave off a strange pink glow. Beach fires glowed in the distance.
We talked about how their father is handling the 21st Century. We spoke of the fires. We talked about the insane political situation of our country and the pandemic. We talked about our favorite beaches and trips we’ve made together in the past. We updated each other on friends and family. We laughed about a lot of things. That was the best part. We just let go and laughed at stories old and new.
It is amazing that when we are with those we love, and I mean real love, we just fall into a comfortable pattern no matter how long we are apart.
That can be with family or friends. We just take up from where we left off.
Forget romance and falling in love. That is fine and well, but it is those long term relationships with kids, dear friends, and hopefully family, that keep the soul alive. Those shared memories, and the ability to make new ones is something that we take for granted. Those positive relationships are precious and to be treasured and savored.
So dear reader, you know what to do:
Wear a mask
Don’t be a dick
Pet a dog or cat
Keep your bird feeders full
Kiss a Vampire
Check in on those who might be alone or need extra help
Damn. What a night. Fighting demons and their fucking friends. Max rarely even thought of using four letter words but tonight was a swear night. Even as an alpha Vampire to top all alpha Vampires he was exhausted, and away from home.
The only saving grace was that he’d been not far from his fiancé’s house by the beach. He looked forward to falling asleep in her arms to the sound of the waves.
She wasn’t home. Damn. He let himself in as the sun started to light up the morning sky. 5:00 a.m. Where was she?
Max stripped off his clothing and threw it into the washing machine. Then he fell onto her bed. Damn it felt good. She said she’d gotten new bedding but this was amazing. He never understood Vampires who slept in coffins and crypts.
Falling into a deep sleep the dreams came in waves…
“I’m smarter than everyone in this room. They’re all idiots,” said Archibald Fontaine.
What is that blow hard doing here? Thought Max. He couldn’t stand the pompous ass. Archi was the last Vampire he’d want in his dreams.
Then Archibald Fontaine leaned forward and kissed Max on the mouth.
Max backed off. “It is over Archi.”
Then he was jolted into a dark passageway. Sadness overwhelmed him. He had never felt so alone. A cat started to follow him, then two, then three, then five.
The dream jumped to another location. This time a house. His house. She lay on his bed in silk tap pants and a silk bra, both in pale pink. He kissed her neck and brushed it with his fangs. He wanted to tell her that he loved her but he didn’t. Or did she want to tell him?
He was at a party. It was the 1916. He heard her voice I haven’t thought about him in years.It was a lie. She thought about him all the time. A wolf howled in the distance. It was a Werewolf.
He sat on a chair pulling off the silk stockings he’d worn the night before. Red peep toe shoes were on the floor in front of him along with a flowered dress.
Max had never worn a dress. Not even on Halloween.
Max opened his eyes and looked into his own face next to him in bed. His eyes were brown, then the color turned to hazel, then back to brown. He smiled at himself and pulled himself close in an embrace.
Then he woke in a jolt. This was too weird. What had those demons done?
Mehitabel stood by the bed. “Hey baby.”
“Hey,” said Max.
He reached out his hand to her. She sat on the edge of the bed and gently kissed him.
“The new bedding is nice. Love the pillows. But oh man, I’m having weird dreams.”
She smiled and stroked his hair. “Memory foam,” she said.
“Memory foam. You’re sleeping on my pillow silly.”
Then she undressed and got into bed beside him, but not before she gave him his own pillow.