She Taunts Me – Sleep, Ghosts, and Vampires


It is like the ghost that haunts me

Only worse.

The ghost will listen to me.

Sleep never does.

She taunts me

Like a woman who wants to seduce my husband.

She gives him slumbers so peaceful

So silent and lovely.

She taunts me and pulls my dreams to tattered bits

Then keeps me awake for days on end.

My slumbers end in a dark prison room

Always cold

Always alone

Always awake.

We’re not  friends Sleep and I.

I used to think it was my nocturnal nature,

But now I know it is because

Sleep hates me for something I did

In the past 

And fired up her jealous heart

To the point where she is only thinking of revenge.


I fixed a pot of coffee,

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

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

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman



Short Story Sunday: Mother’s Day

“Dad, tell us the story about mom and grandma again,” said Jeff’s eight year old daughter.

“No problem baby,” he said. “Here we go.”

“Sleep sweet baby,” Lily whispered then put her hand over the tiny eyelids, and kissed the little forehead and cheeks.

Tonight would be the last night in the city, sleeping in abandoned rooms, her baby in a box, alone and unwanted.

Down the roads she walked, silent and unseen. Going through the back door of the mansion, once her mansion, she walked silently to the bedroom of the woman who stole her family.

At the tender age of seventeen she’d married for love, or so she thought. It was an arranged marriage with the twenty-six year old son of a friend of the family, and business associate of her father. Soon she found out that she was only an asset with a wifely duty to share a bed twice a week, and to look good at social events. Her husband had a mistress who would never be part of their society. He also had a mistress named Florence, who was the wife of a much older and sickly man.

One day the mistress with the sickly husband became a widow.

Lily also became ill and sensitive to light. She would sleep walk into the night and dream of dancing under the moon with people who loved her. Then she realized it was not a dream, but she kept her night walks secret.

The beautiful young widow Florence came to visit Lily.

Florence said, “I am the woman he loves. He always loved me but was forced to marry you. I want you to know that. I want you to be a shadow or you will be put into an asylum and never see your son again.”

Lily listened. Inside of her the baby she carried stirred without the knowledge of her husband or Florence. Her son lay asleep in his bed. Her husband was at his club.

Florence smiled sweetly and said, “It will be my way from now on. If you were smart you would go away, you are unwell, go away and divorce your husband.”

Lily died a few night later, or so her husband thought. That night he celebrated with Florence. The boy cried for his mother. Florence slapped him across the face and told him to stay in his room. She said she was now his mother.

Lily woke with a baby ready to be born. She gave birth to a daughter alone in a crypt. Then she made her plan.

In the morning Florence was found dead in her bed with her throat ripped out, as if an animal had attacked her. Her husband was left with a ragged cut on his handsome face. His safe was empty of gold. His first wife’s jewels were gone. His son was gone.

At the age of twenty, in the year 1850, Lily booked passage on a ship bound for the California gold fields, with her children, and her wealth. She was happy with her new friends. In fact she is still happy today.

“And that my children is the story of my mother, and your grandmother.”

Happy Mother’s Day 2017.

~ end

Happy Mother’s Day everyone. Since this is Mother’s Day I was short on time. This was a blinding fifteen minute story sprint – but since this is a true story it wasn’t hard to write down.. Have fun. xoxo

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman



Short Story Sunday: Perfect in Almost Every Way

It wasn’t enough that she was perfect in almost every way. 

Marco read the first line of the mail he’d received from an old friend he’d gone to college with. “Son of a bitch,” he said aloud. “You finally did it.”

He called 911 and reported the confession.

This wasn’t the way Marco had planned on starting Sunday morning. It wasn’t the way anyone would plan any morning. Holy crap. The problem was that Marco had planned on killing the woman himself. She’d spent years glowing in her own perfection, taunting, teasing, and creating a world where no other woman existed.

On the sidelines was Marco’s wife Helena. Slightly overweight (more than slightly), forgetful, absent-minded, insecure and the object of scorn by her college roommate. She’d also become one of the top female CEO’s in the country. Yes, success is the best revenge. Well, almost the best revenge.

The last time Marco was at his friend’s house he was shown a packet of letters. Most started with the words she never loved you. Marco pocketed the letters. He still had them, locked away in the back of his gun safe.

Helena came into the room with their sleepy small daughter on her hip. “Morning dear husband,” she said.

“I have some bad news. Cassandra is dead. Dave killed her. He cut her face off.”

Helena called their son to come get his sister, then when the children were safely in the back bedroom she poured a cup of coffee and sat next to her husband. The talked about the murder and the horror of it all.

Marco put his hand on his wife’s. “I have the letters Helena. I took them when I recognized your handwriting.”

Helena pulled her hand away, then took a sip of coffee. “I wrote those letters 20 years ago. She didn’t love him. I did. But all the guys were wrapped around her little finger. She had all of you right in the palm of her hand. You know that. You all knew that. You were like a bunch of dogs. Why’d you keep the letters?”

“I don’t know.”

“I lost all respect for him. I moved on but the rest of you never did. Not even you.” She got up and went off to the find the children.

All those years… they all were in love with the wrong girl. Marco sat feeling numb. His wife wasn’t fat, she was curvy and sexy. She wasn’t stupid or shy, she was smart and thoughtful. He hadn’t taken second best. Marco tried to tell himself that but it was too soon to face reality. The fantasy had been too much fun. And in one moment his wife had killed it. A double murder of fantasy and reality. Huh. He’d have to write that thought down for his next book.

Later that day he put the letters through the paper shredder. Helena took the kids to the zoo without him. He wasn’t sure when she’d be back.

At the zoo Helena smiled at her two bundled up children as they marveled at the flamingos.  She smiled thinking of the last letter she’d sent only last week.

Dear Dave,

Casandra is still banging my husband. All of the guys are. It never stopped.


She wouldn’t leave Marco, not any more than he’d leave Sheila. Some people said success was the best revenge but that wasn’t true. Funny how things worked that way.








OK that was the story I wrote over my own cup of coffee this morning. I’ll work on it some more later.  If you’d like something lighter below is a story I first posted in 2013. It is one of my favorites. ~ Juliette



I just got done removing a stump from the back yard and I’m sitting down to a beer and the game when the doorbell rings,

My wife is out shopping and the kids are off with friends. I’m enjoying a little quiet time, just me and the TV.

I answer the door, and there is a guy about my age standing there. He looks like he just came out of GQ Magazine with a jacket, perfect jeans, a shirt that costs as much as my house payment. His features are like an Italian Model or a Movie star, that sort of pretty but manly look that women go nuts over. His hair is perfect, thick and silver. He’s wearing a Rolex Submariner. Nice.

He gave me a pretty serious look then said “I’m sleeping with your wife.”

Alright, I wasn’t expecting that one. He then looked me up and down like he was waiting for me to beat the shit out of him. I’m a big guy. Not big and fat, but 6″4′ with 50 inch shoulders and a lot of gym time. I used to play football. This guy wasn’t small but I had a good 5 inches on him and maybe 60 pounds. He looked like a runner or one of those freaking guys who rides a bike in neon colored spandex shorts.

Honestly I should have beat the shit out of him, but that isn’t my style. I just went numb. Heather and I had been together for 20 years, married 17 of those years. We have two kids and a house and friends and … we were one of those perfect couples. You know, we laugh a lot and say the same thing at the same time. That sort of perfect. We hold hands and … I thought things were fine.

Sure she’d put on some weight and had a hard time dealing with her body image. Sure she was over worked with her job and the kids and with me. Sure she was stressed, but who isn’t? But… this handsome, obviously wealthy guy was standing here telling me that MY WIFE was sleeping with him.

He started talking about passion… her passion. Sure we had passion. That morning I’d almost been late for work because of her passion, our passion. But he got into details of fetish stuff he’d do with her and how he made her scream the way I never could. I had no idea she ever wanted any of that stuff. I sure didn’t want it.

Then, as I stood stunned, he talked about her beauty and how smart she was and how I could never ever appreciate her. He said the kids didn’t need her as much anymore, he said she loved him.

I could feel my body start to shake. My world was imploding around me. My throat was tight. I thought I was going to vomit on his expensive shoes. Finally I said something. “Does she know you’re here?”

Mr. GQ glared at me and said “I’m taking her away to live the life she deserves.”

“Do you love Heather?” I asked. I had to know. I knew the answer but I wanted him to tell me.

His eyes opened as big as dinner plates. “Heather?”

“My wife,” I said.

“Your wife isn’t Allison?”

“Heather.” I grabbed the wedding photo off of the hutch in the front entry way and put it in his face. “Allison lives next door.”

“Uh, sorry. I’m so sorry.”

He didn’t go next door. He just got in his car and drove away.

About 20 minutes later the front door opened and I heard a familiar voice “Honey, I’m home. Did I miss anything.”

“No, just got the stump out and I’m watching the game. Hey, did I tell you that I think you’re beautiful?” Then I took her hand and took her upstairs. It would be another 3 hours before the kids came home.


Have a fun week everyone and don’t forget to enter the Vampire Maman Love Letter Contest (CLICK HERE for details and rules).

And if you’re missing your Vampire fix click here for a Vampire romance of a sorts: Perfection.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman




Short Story Sunday – Another nasty little vampire story (to thrill and delight)

A Man Should Have What He Wants

A Story from Juliette aka Vampire Maman (first posted April 2013)

A house full of books and the ghosts of what could have been.

What can be. Oliver Thomas thought as he sat on the edge of the bed.

He never let himself get close to those he visited over the years. It was easy to become detached just as one could be detached to an apple or a head of lettuce.

She slept quietly. On the nightstand were books, earrings, a clock set for 5:00 a.m., and her glasses. Her husband was snoring and slept in another room. Her children were tucked into their dreams. Oliver made sure of that. They’d all be asleep.

Oliver Thomas kept coming back to her. She was different, by her own accord. Laurel had always been different – the type who saw the world in visions and possibilities. Someone who overcame obstacles.  If she grew to be old she’d be a sweet eccentric with her window boxes full of exotic flowers and vast knowledge of the obscure and unusual.

She had a hard time making friends due to her shyness and reluctance to follow up. Her fear of rejection paralyzed her in some areas of her life. Most of life was paralyzing but she seemed to thrive and succeed.

Yet, the woman could light up a room with her wit and charm. She was a success despite her low opinion of herself.

But he’d fallen in love with her in a strange way that someone falls in love with an idea of perfection and the ideal person to share life’s adventures with.

Her teenage kids still hung all over her like toddlers, leaning on her even now. They were taller than she was, dressed in their black band shirts with trendy long hair and black painted nails.  Oliver had seen Laurel once, her son with his lanky arm around her shoulder, her daughter with an arm around her waist. How many women, he wondered, envied her for the closeness she had with her children.

If it wasn’t for her children she might have checked out and left the world a long time ago. Since childhood Laurel had been uncomfortable with life and the tremendous effort it took for her to live with herself and her failures.

Oliver saw that Laurel had failed to see her success, except with her children. He didn’t want to think of her marriage with Craig. It worked better than most. In fact, for the most part, her marriage to Craig was an uncommon success.

Craig, the handsome and successful husband, was the love of her life. Even in her dreams Laurel couldn’t cheat on Craig. They’d built a life together. For her that was enough. More than enough she told herself.

But Oliver knew it wasn’t enough. Laurel found her life in others but kept her secret soul and passions locked up, bound in shadows and secrets.

At one time, Oliver and Laurel had been lovers. The memory of her warm skin, her lips on his own, her hands in his hair and her passion haunted him. He’d come and gone from her life assuming she’d always be there.

Now he was only with her in the dream world of the night.  She’d remember him in another time and place in long lost memories of centuries past. She’d think she’d had a life in another time with him, a past life of possibilities and promise and passion.

An unlikely candidate this middle aged working mom, too tired and busy  to think of herself except when she let her imagination fly as she commuted to school and work in her car each morning, or when she dozed off at night in her own secret places.

The passions were still in her, as it had been when she was young. How could that be?  He kissed her then buried his face into her neck and when he’d had enough of her he silently left her with dreams of passion and desire.

The following evening Oliver looked up from his desk and there she was, standing in the doorway. Black dress, apple green sweater, black heels. The blue Coach bag, a 50th birthday present from her husband was slung over her shoulder. She looked she owned the world, but she still didn’t think she was beautiful.

How did she find me here? I never told her where I live?

“Laurel.” He said her name as if in a dream.

“Don’t Laurel me Oliver. I want you to leave me alone.”

He stood and approached her with his hands held out. “It was always the wrong time or place for us.”

She stepped back ignoring his open arms. “Don’t even start with me Oliver. It would have never worked. You always said I was too independent. Then you turned around and called me needy.”

“I never said any of those things.” He was shocked by her accusations.

“You didn’t have to say it. You made it obvious you were thinking it.”

He didn’t respond. This wasn’t the time for the witty dialog they’d shared in the past, the long talks through the night or the sweet lover’s words.

“Laurel, you can’t stand there before me and say that with a straight face.”

She looked at the floor then looked up straight into his eyes. “You never told me you loved me.”

“I didn’t have to.”

“Bull shit. You just expected me to hang around and wait for you to come in and out of my life. It got old Oliver. But it doesn’t matter. I’m married to a man who loves me the way I am.  I’m successful, happy and I love my life.”

“I doubt if Craig realizes what a fortunate man he is.”

“He knows.”

“Did you ever tell him about me?” Oliver took a step forward. Laurel folded her arms as if to shut him out.

“I haven’t told anyone about you. They’d all think I was nuts. Just like my Aunt Margaret when she talked about her Vampire.”

“You still love me Laurel.” Oliver said those words quietly with such passion that almost no woman would be able to resist. No woman except Laurel.

She turned and left, slamming the door behind her.

Oliver watched from the window as she got in her car and drove away. The slightest hint of regret surged through his dark thoughts. He’d never meet another who captured his heart and his passions like she had.  He’d never meet anyone who made him laugh or feel the joy of being like Laurel had.

Oliver heard the steps behind him but didn’t turn around. A warm hand caressed his shoulder.

“Is she gone?” The speaker was obviously annoyed.


“Does she have any idea I’m here?”


Craig looked out the window. “Good. Where do we go from here?”

“Are you absolutely sure you want to do this?”

“My son is an Emo freak who acts in plays and writes poetry for fun. My daughter won’t talk to anyone unless it’s a text. My wife is never going to lose the baby fat or stop telling stupid jokes or snoring or complaining how hard she works. It wasn’t what I signed up for.”

“I understand.”

“Just for once I want what I want. I don’t want to go home to a woman who is tired all the time and can’t even comprehend my needs.”

“What about your children? You must care about them on some level.”

“They’ll be fine without me. Laurel will have two million dollars in life insurance to get the kids through college. There’s another 10 million in assets she can sell off if she has to. She’ll make sure her children have wonderful memories of me.”

“The news of your death will break her heart.”

Craig scowled at Oliver. “Laurel is already so miserable she won’t even notice. She’ll be happy to be the unfortunate widow and bask in the glow of her own sorrow. I’m doing her a favor by dying rather than divorcing her.”

“And your girlfriends?” Asked Oliver.

“They’re whores who think they can get ahead by sleeping with the CEO. They’ll both get their pink slips next week. So now what?”

Oliver went back around to his desk and sat in the antique leather chair. “Your car will be found in the river and it will be assumed your body was washed away with the currents. Your wallet and a few clothing items will be found washed up on a beach. It will be assumed that you died.”

“So when do I change?”


“When do I become like you? A Vampire.” Craig asked this impatiently almost sounding like a spoilt teen.

Oliver took a deep breath and answered him. “Tonight if you want, but I’d rather wait until tomorrow.”

Craig leaned on the desk close to the Vampire. “I want this Oliver. I want my freedom.”

“You’ll get what you want Craig.”

“Oliver, I’m telling you…”

Craig started to speak but Oliver held up his hand. “We’ll take my jet to Rome in the morning. By the time we get there you’ll be a different man. The old Craig will be gone forever. In the meantime, you need to see your children one last time.”

Laurel sat in the high school auditorium waiting for the play to start. A Midsummer’s Night Dream. Her son played Lysander and her daughter was playing Puck.

Craig had called earlier to tell her he was working late. He’d been sorry to miss the play but said he’d see it on closing night next weekend. She thought she was going to throw up. She pulled out her phone and listened to the message she’d received right after she’d seen Oliver.

A sing song girlish voice said “Laurel this is Trinity, Craig’s assistant. I wanted to let you know that I’ve been sleeping with your husband for about two years. He said I did all those nasty fetish things you wouldn’t do and I believed him. I really really loved him and would have done anything but he dumped me for Tara Hall. She’s like the VP of Marketing.  They’ve been doing it since October so he was two timing on me too. Stupid puke. So when he says he is gone on business he’s really with her. I just thought you’d want to know because you seem like a nice lady.”

It was the fifth time she’d listened to it. Each time she’d hoped she’d heard it wrong but that wasn’t the case.

A text came in from Craig saying he had a change of plans and was on his way.

Concentrate. Don’t think about him. It isn’t true. He’ll be here any minute. Don’t cry.

The house lights went down and the play started.

Oliver Thomas stood on the side of the river and watched the emergency crews on the opposite shore drag out a sliver convertible, the headless body of the driver still strapped in the seat. Some unfortunate member of the police department would find sightless eyes attached to a severed head staring up at him from the floor of the passenger seat.

Witnesses said another car had forced him off the road. The convertible rolled and went into the water. It had been too dark to get any plate numbers or a good description of the other car.

Craig wanted to be free of his wife and children. A man should have what he wants after all.

Now Oliver would do it right. He’d wait a few months, he had time and he’d be there for Laurel and her children, like he should have been all along.

Tangled Tales

Tangled Tales


This story was first posted in April, 2013. Nathaniel Chase  was asking about Oliver and since I don’t have anything new, I’m reposting this one. Next week I’ll have some stories from a few of my talented friends. In the meantime, for those of you who are new here, this blog has over 400 posts of stories and words of wisdom, parenting, poetry, and plain foolishness and things that will make you laugh (or not) and a lot of Modern Vampire stuff (and the ghost) and I believe I already mentioned parenting. For a taste (click here)  Never Shout Never – Absolutely Never.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Until you are nothing

Tomorrow I shall start to kill



Hack away

Until you are nothing

Bare ground

Where you were

I have always hated you

Your drive for attention

Your needs

That could never be met

I will bring in dirt

To cover any last trace of you

And I will plant


Lilly of the Nile

Rosemary and Sage

Farewell hated lawn

My revenge on you will be swift

And final.

A Gilded Age Romance Horror – the rest of the story….

A Gilded Age Horror Story

Sylvia loved the soft sweetness of her young cousin Genevieve’s mouth, the feel of Genevieve’s smooth skin on her own. The gentle innocent, yet open passion of the young girl. They were Sappho’s own daughters of desire. Every inch of her body was explored and used for Sylvia’s desires.

But then, after a summer of heated love, Genevieve turned her eyes to a boy of 16, the wealthy son of the Gold Coast. Sylvia was a married woman of 26. Genevieve, aged 16 was fascinated by the young man, as handsome and masculinity beautiful as any artwork in Rome. But it was more than a beautiful body – the boy was kind and smart. He made her laugh. He was perfect.

Sylvia would have liked him for her own pleasure but knew the boy saw her as a matron of good standing – the same standing as his own mother.

Sylvia knew he’d be like all men, rough and vulgar and warned her young lover. Genevieve didn’t see the same and found herself lost in the arms and in the bed of the boy.

Soon Genevieve found she was pregnant. Sylvia took the girl away where she gave birth to the child and died in her sin.  The boy never knew. Sylvia raised the child as her own (as her own husband had been away in South America and the timing made it right that the child would be his).

Genevieve was thought to have drowned in the ocean after a morning swim. Her body was found battered by the surf with crabs and sea plants tangled in her waist length hair. Her parents grieved and put up a monument with an angel in mourning so that all would see for years to come the great loss of such a sweet innocent young woman.  For 10 years after the boy would visit the statue and leave sprays of white roses and fragrant gardenias and wet them with his own tears of sorrow.

Sylvia hated the baby girl for killing her sweet tender Genevieve, but even hated the boy who Genevieve had loved more. For years she planned revenge. Unable to love the child she sent her off to the finest boarding school where she grew to be the image of her unknown father.

In the meantime Sylvia had treasured children of her own, but she told the world that the first-born child was too willful and undisciplined to be brought home.

The girl, named Marietta grew to be an intelligent, sweet and beautiful young woman.  She made friends easily and rarely longed for her parents or siblings.

Upon her 19th birthday, being independent and having to make her own way in the world, her father (Sylvia’s husband), with the urging of Sylvia, found the girl a post as a research assistant with a wealthy explorer named Robin Hannover.

Marietta found the older Mr. Hannover to be the most attractive man she had ever met. Much to her father’s surprise and her mother’s delight she found herself falling in love with the man.

Robin Hannover, also found he was falling for his young assistant and after a year asked for her hand in marriage.  She was 20 years old and he was a young 36. The difference in age made no difference for their love was timeless and would last forever.

Their passion engulfed them in a flame of unquenchable happiness. Those who saw them said theirs was a perfect love – the kind that only happens a few times each century.

But alas, it was not to last.

Marietta came home to find Robin in his study, head in his hands, eyes red with tears. It shocked her to see her strong manly husband in such a state.

“My love what is it?” She cried.

“We’ve committed unspeakable crimes against nature and society.  My heart breaks. I love you with all my heart and soul but I can no longer bear to look upon you or think of the passion that has transpired between us. All of our hopes and dreams are crushed in base evil.”

“Tell me what has happened?” Marietta questioned her husband, ready to burst with anticipation of the bad news.

“I’m your father. “

“No, it cannot be. NO!” her hand went to her face as she looked into his eyes. His beautiful eyes were exactly the same as hers. The way his hair picked up bits of auburn in the sunlight was exactly the same as hers. The shape of his fingers, the way he laughed, the curve of his ears, the sharp lines of his nose – all the same.

That night they lay in bed, not as lovers, not as husband and wife, and not even as father and daughter, but as an unholy union of unspeakable acts. They lay side by side not touching except for the tips of their fingers, afraid to even hold each other’s hands.  They loved strong and deep, no longer a lover’s passion, but the love of two fated souls, the best of friends, like minds who had been delivered to Hell by a hateful woman they couldn’t defend themselves against.

That morning, while Marietta was out with her charity work, Sylvia had visited her son-in-law with a small packet of letters addressed to him but never sent. She said they were childish letters of love to the young Robin from Genevieve. Poor Genevieve wrote that she longed for her dear Robin and missed him. They would be married. They’d be together with their baby.

“Why Sylvia? Why?” he cried as she told him the truth about his daughter.

“Because she was mine and nobody takes away what is mine.” Sylvia told him.

When Robin threatened her she said “You can never tell anyone Marietta is your daughter. Considering she is now carrying your child of incest, society, which you hold so dear, will treat you as a fiend, no better than the lowest rapist. You will be shunned and your child will have the scorn of everyone he meets.  No man, aside from a dull simpleton or someone who both lusts and pities after Marietta will ever want to marry her once you divorce her. And what woman would want to be with a man who has relations with his own daughter.”

Robin knew she was right but tried to speak up but she cut him off. “How did it feel on your wedding night when you took her virginity? How did it feel when you touched and tasted every inch of her body as she offered it up to you like a sacrifice? How did it feel when she lusted after you and read exotic books filled with passion so that she would know to please you. I put the books where she would find them, knowing that she was just like her mother, prone to the pleasures of the flesh and the desire to know all of the carnal skills of the most gifted whore.”

Robin ordered Sylvia out of the house as she laughed and demanded a large sum of money to keep quiet. And as a last insult she described in detail her own carnal affair with the young Genevieve, complete with details of how Genevieve had always been possessed with pleasuring another woman.

So that night Robin lay in bed next to Marietta, his devoted wife, beautiful daughter and soon to be the mother of his second child. He wanted to scream in Hellish agony, but knew he had to keep a level head and protect this woman, his best friend, and the person who he loved most in the world.

The next morning the Robin and Marietta traveled to the cabin by the ocean where Marietta had been born. Robin knew it well as the place where Genevieve loved to spend her lazy summers. She loved the beach and the smell of the ocean. She adored to scramble on the tide pools and feed bread to the sea birds. It was there that Sylvia lured her and there her body had been found, swept on shore, eyes eaten out by crabs, long brown curls tangled with seaweed and sand.

They discovered a cabin long abandoned and in disrepair. A large lock remained hanging from a bedroom door, no doubt where Genevieve had been kept. A narrow bed sagged under rotted stained sheets.

Robin, being the explorer that he was, looked around the room trying to discover any hidden treasures his first love had left behind.

Marietta as if in a trance walked around the rest of the house, quietly as if she was afraid of waking the ghost of her mother.

Finding nothing, Robin was about the leave the bedroom when he was something sharp sticking out of the corner of the rotting mattress. He looked closer and discovered it was the edge of a book. He took his pocketknife and slashed open the bed and pulled out a yellow journal with the name “Genevieve” in script on the front.  Inside was the frantic writings of a desperate pregnant girl held prisoner by an older cousin.

Robin and Marietta sat on the back steps and read the sad pages. Genevieve had been taken there for a weekend of fun, but held captive against her will. Sylvia tortured and belittled her pregnant young cousin even as she begged for mercy.

Genevieve cried for Robin but he never came. She spoke of how they’d planned to marry and held out hope that he’d rescue her. She tried to escape but was always captured and sent back to her prison room.

Robin brushed away the tears, for he had indeed talked of marriage to Genevieve when they were older. But he never knew what had happened to her until her body was found on the beach 7 months after she vanished.

Everything in his world came crashing in around him. He looked at his daughter beside him, raised by strangers, then…the very idea of him being married to her and sharing her bed made him sick. He loved her more than all of the heavens above and more than anything on earth, but not as a wife, never again as a wife.

Finally Marietta took Robin’s hand.  “My love.” She whispered.

“Don’t call me that. You are my universe and my entire reason for living, but don’t…”

“Don’t torture yourself over something neither one of us could control. We must move forward now with our lives. We must avenge the death of Genevieve. We must also avenge our own lives and love.”

Present Day

I was finally restoring the old beach cottage. Nobody had used it for years. It was said that it was the love nest of many of my ancestors but I couldn’t imagine any passion in the stern faced old portraits I’d seen, except maybe Marietta and Robin. They were the ones who had adventure and passion in their lives.

When I was a kid everyone said the beach cottage was haunted – a great way to both keep kids away from something and at the same time dare them to explore it!

The big house was up the shore on the cliff overshadowing the once quaint structure. My wife Heather was more than happy to poke through the old boxes and furniture that was jammed into the structure. It was a true time capsule of the last half of the 19th century!

Heather had found a photo that morning. “It’s Great Great Grandfather Robin. You look so much like him.” She said showing me a photo of a man in an extremely formal setting. It could have been my own reflection, except that in this portrait his eyes looked sad, as if he’d lost someone he loved. I shrugged it off. I had other things to think about.

I’m also named Robin, like every first born male in my family since he first married Marietta.  Family ties were strong – that was one of the reasons I was so excited about fixing up my great great grandparent’s “love nest”.

“Did you hear that?” Heather said suddenly. I didn’t hear anything. She’d been telling me that there was a cat or something moaning. At first she said it sounded like crying but there weren’t any children around except my teenage son and daughter who rarely came down from the big house we lived in to the beach cottage.

I woke up that night in a cold sweat, thinking I was going to have a heart attack. I walked down the hall to my daughter Allison’s room. She was sleeping like a log (like most 15 year old girls).

In my dream I was in a church. 500 people must have been there. The air was thick with the smell of gardenias and lillys. I was so happy. I was getting married. When I lifted the veil to kiss my bride standing before me smiling was my daughter Allison.

I tried to work off the memory of that dream in the cabin. The next night I dreamed barbed wire had been tied around my neck. I was forced to watch my daughter leap into the ocean and drown. The dreams continued with increasing horror as I watched night after night as unimaginable acts happened to my darling Allison.

In the meantime Heather had become obsessed with her “cat”. A faint mewing sound continued to be heard in the cabin. I chalked it up to the wind or old boards. I was too tired from my nightmare filled nights to be concerned about the ghost of an old cat or sounds of rotting timbers.

I started to go through the papers of Robin and Marietta. They were happy, or so it seemed. But there were two others who appeared, another couple, Andrew and Ramona. It seemed they were always there, more and more as the years passed. Soon it seemed as if Robin spent most of his time with Ramona and Marietta spent most of her time with Andrew, or Andy as they called him.

In the box of papers were cards with love notes, scraps of paper with poems, theater tickets and postcards.

My darling Ramona love R

My darling Andy love M

It was odd

And there was always I love you from Robin addressed to Marietta. There was in turn I love you Marietta, you are my gift from an angel, from Robin.

The nightmares continued. The mysteries gave no answers.

We continued on the cabin. I wasn’t sure it was worth it. The joy had been sucked out of it with nightmares and Heather’s new obcessions about noises.

It was finally time to tear up the floor. I pulled up the first board and heard a scream. Fuck what was it, I kept thinking as I pulled up more and more boards. With every single board came a moan or a whimper. What was going on?

Heather was working in the front of the cabin and ran back to watch. She looked horrified as she watched me dismantle the screaming floor.

As I pulled the last board up and looked at the foundation we both saw it at the same time. There were stairs to a basement.

We took an electric work lantern and climbed down to find out what was there. I expected to find a lot of 100 year old canned goods, old broken lawn furniture and rotted beach umbrellas.

What we found horrified us. In the middle of the room was a bed. On it a woman was tied down with rope and barbed wire. Her naked body was covered with a rotting cover. Her hair was full of spider webs and mummified rats.

Her skin was a dusty shade of white and yellow. The word “Devil” had been carved into her forehead and was now dried and black with jagged unhealed flesh hardened into a frightening script.

“Who is she?” Heather gasped.

“Sylvia” the corpse-like woman gasped in a voice that was dry as the desert and directly from Hell. “Help me”.

Sylvia, who’d gone for a walk on the beach and never come back. That was 100 years ago.

I reached out to undo her from her bonds when she turned to dust, leaving nothing but bones and tangled hair.

Under her head was a journal. At night we read it, the story of Genevieve and Robin.

Forensic anthropologists came to the cabin to investigate and collect what was left of Sylvia. Heather and I didn’t tell a soul what we had seen or heard.

It didn’t matter for it was our story alone, and there was nothing more to tell.

The cabin was finished but we never stayed the night. Guests rave of perfect slumbers, unbridled passions and sweet dreams but we never go in there.  It’s a dream we don’t want to have again.


It was their story alone…not ours to judge or even wonder

Thanks for visiting…the countdown to Halloween continues…