Trained

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I won’t come when you call me but I still love you so much.

I came downstairs in the wee hours of this morning to find my brother Max making coffee. Being the eldest of my four brothers, and my husband’s best friend since childhood Max frequently crashes at my house when he’s in town.

“Watching Queer Eye?” I asked. Max usually wears all black being the brooding alpha male Vampire he is. Today he was wearing tan shorts with a button down multi-colored flowered shirt, a gray sweatshirt and red Vans without socks.

“Very funny Jewels. Yes, but no tha.” he said. “Coffee?”

Max poured two mugs full before I could answer. My German Shepard Alice nudged him with her squeaky dinosaur toy.

“Is she crate trained?” Max asked me.

“She isn’t anything trained,” I said. My dog has gone to dog class. She knows what all of the commands mean and then some. But she does what she wants. All I ask is that she doesn’t pee in the house.  “She goes to her bed when I tell her to,” I said.

Max is getting married sometime next year. I wonder how trainable he’ll be. I know crate training won’t be an option.

“Do you go to bed when you’re told to?” I asked.

He smiled. “Rarely. I’m housebroken too, if you’re asking.”

I looked at the long dark red scar on his arm. “Does it still bother you?”

“No. Not often. I’m not letting the demons get the best of me.”

I thought both mentally and physically but I didn’t voice it.

“Where are you and Mehitabel going to live after you get married? Your house is practically haunted.”

“Funny coming from my sister who has a ghosts in her house.”

“My ghosts are harmless.”

He shrugged.

I glanced out the window and could see Nigel The Ghost flipping me off from my back deck.

“Max, what if you have kids? You can’t have a baby in a house with demons?”

“I’ll get to that when the time comes.”

I can see why he doesn’t want to move to his home with a grand view of the Golden Gate. He has been there since the 1930’s. But no matter how much you like where you live you don’t need to share demons with your children.

We talked some more about marriage and my kids, and our niece and nephew (our bother Aaron’s grown children.) More coffee too.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

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Below is the original post about Max’s demons. As a side thought: Don’t let your demons get the best of you. You don’t need to be carrying that poison around inside of you.

Demons

I’ve had several posts mentioning Demons, especially concerning my brother Max. A few years ago I visited him at his house in San Francisco. Our parents and brother Andy, also live in the City by the Bay. I’m the one everyone calls when things get weird. Max is single and lives alone, and I’m also married to Teddy, his best friend since childhood.

Anyway, this is why we don’t like Demons around, at least one of the reasons.

strangereyes

My eldest brother Max, for those of you who don’t know, is one of those alpha Vampires who hunts Vampire Hunters, Rogue Vampires and all sorts of nasty evil and just plain annoying creatures and things that go bump in the night. He is a hunter and sometimes a killer – that said, he and his associates protect us all from things we shouldn’t need to deal with.

Max looked like Hell warmed over. He’d been out on a call and found himself up against a group of Demons. Yes, that kind of Demon – nasty and evil, no doubt straight from Hell and running rampant trying to cause problems anywhere it could.

Teddy still has the cold hard fear of Demons. That isn’t a bad thing. We don’t like them. They’re creatures that don’t derive from humanity but like goblins, have no problems pretending they derive from humans.

A long nasty deep pair of scratches ran across Max’s arm. There was no sign of healing on the ugly red marks. He’d been cornered and put up a fight before his back-up team arrived. The Demons were taken care of but not first without doing damage to Max and who knows who or what else.

Late into the night we talked over several bottles of wine and blood. Our brother Andy came by as well for a few hours to visit. Max was restless the entire night. Just before dawn we all retired to spend a rare day sleeping (Teddy and I live during the daylight due to school hours.)

I was awake before dusk. It was a beautiful clear day. From the back window I could see a panoramic view of the San Francisco Bay going out into the Pacific Ocean and the Golden Gate Bridge. No wonder Max loved living here so much.

In the kitchen making tea I discovered Max’s old friend Celeste. She was beautiful beyond compare, wearing nothing but a pair of black lace panties and a magnificent seal skin coat. That wasn’t unusual because Celeste is a Selkie. On the land she is a women and in the ocean a seal. I was and wasn’t surprised to find her there. Max says he won’t mingle with those who aren’t like him, but I know who his friends are. I have no problems with Celeste or her kind.

Celeste rolled her shoulders and told me about my brother. “He called me last night. Said he needed some distraction. You know how Max is. His brain just gets full or he gets bothered and doesn’t know what to do about it. You know, Juliette we’re just friends with benefits. I just fuck him and talk. Nothing else. You think I’d be crazy enough to fall in love with a Vampire? Not on your life. Just friends. Always just friends.

Celeste then put a wedge of lemon in her tea and continued, “There is someone else, a Vampire girl he has a strange sort of bond with, but he doesn’t want any emotional entanglements with her. He was afraid she’d be too much for him, for his heart. I’ve never seen a guy try to logic and think his way out of falling in love like Max has this time.”

I saw a long burn along Celeste’s arm. “Oh that. I brushed against Max’s arm where the demon scratched him. Damned if it didn’t burn me too. The salt water will heal it. But you need to check in on him. He’s in pretty bad shape. The Demons really got to him this time and not just physically. They really fucked with him big time,” she told me in her whiskey and silk voice.

I took her arm and looked at the burn. It was hot to the touch. I spit on my finger and rubbed it along the burn.

“It stopped hurting. Thanks,” she said with a smile full of sharp white teeth. It was a smile that she won’t show a Regular Human. I have to admit I was flattered.

After a bit more small talk she left and no doubt went back into the Pacific Ocean and turned back into a seal.

I went upstairs to Max’s room. He was asleep, curled in soft gray blankets wearing a black silk robe. I took his arm and looked at the deep scratches that had turned an angry blackish red.

He opened his eyes. The usual blue gray hazel had turned dark, almost a dull black. I could tell he wasn’t well.

“I saw Celeste. She is worried about you.”

He gave me a “join the club” look. He didn’t need to say it out loud.

Taking his arm, I put my hand over the poisoned gashes and saw the ugly face of the Demon who clawed him.

“Don’t little sister. You’ll get sick,” Max said.

Ignoring him pricked my finger with the tip of my fang and let a drop of blood fall on his wounds. I put my hand back on his arm and willed the poison away.

Yes, I did end up making it to the bathroom before I threw up and almost fell over from my head spinning, but I was fine after a few minutes (ok hours). The poison wasn’t meant for me so I was fine – bothered but fine. It could have stayed with Max for weeks or even months. It could have set him back into a spiral of depression and hopelessness that if not taken care of could have done permanent damage. Demons are like that. They’re horrible evil things.

I kissed his cold cheek and left my brother to sleep.

When someone you love is poisoned by Demons you need to help them get through it – no matter what kind of Demons. They do a lot of damage, but it can be fixed. Demons hate any kind of love or understanding and will poison us against it. So we fight them. And those like Max fight them so they can’t hurt anyone else.

Like I’ve said, when you’re a Modern Vampire every single day has the potential of being weird, but we do what we can do avoid it.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Short Story Sunday: Off To See The Wizard

Druce had just pulled his toasted seed and dried berry bread out of the oven when his friend Morcant came through the door carrying a basket.

“What do you got in there?”

“Smoked salmon, a bottle of squid ink, and dried salted kelp chips.”

“Nice.”

“I see you’ve made your famous berry bread. That will win over the hearts of the coldest stone.”

“We can only hope. I’m paring it with a jar of honeycomb, and a jug of my best mead.”

Druce wrapped up the bread and took a look at his friend. Morcant wore a soft seal skin over his shoulders. His tunic was sleeveless showing off his muscular arms. Today Morcant’s black hair was worn down around his shoulders framing his handsome face. Druce never wondered why all of the women in their village and the surrounding area sought Morcant out even if it was just to look.

The seal skin was that of Morcant’s sister who’d died in the past summer season. She and Morcant were Selkies. On land they were human, and in the sea they were seals. They guarded their seal skins with their lives, for if anyone stole their skin they would be trapped as humans, and in bondage forever.

Morcant’s brother-in-law never took his wife’s skin, but celebrated the fact that as a Selkie she had come to him of her own free will. Her love was free, and her husband was devoted to her. They had that rare true love that so many seek but never find.

One day while they were out fishing, his sister still in her human form, they were overcome by a great shark and dragged to the bottom of the sea as dinner. Morcant, as customary for Selkies now wore his sister’s skin to stay close to her spirit and to have her love with him always.

Druce looked into his mirror and brushed his sun streaked brownish blonde waves with his fingers. He was smaller than Morcant, and not quite as handsome, but the ladies still liked him too. And of course he liked them more than they could imagine.

“So, Druce,” said Morcant, “when exactly did this Wizard guy come into town?”

“Last week, under the darkness of the night.”

“What’s he like?”

“Personally? I don’t know. I hear he was sleeping with his sister. Nymue told me that. She also said he used to stalk her, asking her about her magic and getting all sappy and trying to sound mystical about it. One day she showed him a sword she was going to give to the next king and he said I’ll show you my magic sword. She kicked him out and told him she’d put a bad enchantment on him if he ever hit on her again. And I mean bad, you know, guy bad, like his sword won’t work for a year or two. Like a blade of grass.”

“Sounds like a creeper.”

“A real mess if you ask me. Anyway, that was a while back so maybe he’s changed. Gotta give a guy some doubt that he has grown up since his misplaced youth chasing ladies in lakes and all of that shit.”

“OK so I don’t get it Druce. You’re the Worlock around here. What’s the difference between you and some Wizard dude, except that you’re better looking and are better with women.”

Druce laughed. “As a Warlock, I can, how can I put this so it won’t sound weird. As you know I can harness and control spirits, demons, and other’s who aren’t human. I can’t make them work for me. I also control their evil so that they can’t harm people. I take their energy and do good with it. I can also do other magic and tricks through my own will. I deal with both sides of the world, that of the dead and that of the living. That of the physical and that of the spirits.”

“And what about Wizards?”

“Wizards learn their craft. They are gifted in the ways of magic, but their magic comes mostly from the use of potions, and the channeling of their magic through a staff, or wand. They can scare spirits and demons but they can’t control them. And Wizards are giving Warlocks a bad rap. I hear that in other parts my kind are being hunted down and burned to death. They think we’re minions of Satan.”

“That’s bull shit. Then why the fuck are we going to greet this guy and bring him gifts. He sounds like a freak to me.”

“Because he is working for the King.”

“The Kings is an idiot. He is obsessed with some old cup, and everyone knows his wife is sleeping with his best friend.”

“Hey, I didn’t put him into office. Blame that on Nyume. The Lady of The Lake should have minded her own business and …”

There was a scream and in through the door came a whirl of gray, which stopped and materialized into a woman. She smiled showing lovely white teeth, but her eyes were black and crazy. No harm. Just their friend Milen, who was also a Banshee.

“Milen,” said Druce, as he blew her a kiss. “Thanks for coming. I have fresh venison stew in the pot there over the fire. I put the eyes in there for you.”

She grinned and put a long fingered hand into the boiling stew and plucked out an eye, the popped it into her mouth.

“Hey, Milen, we should be gone just a few hours,” said Druce. “I’m so glad you could watch the baby for me.”

“Ohhhhhh of course,” she said as she went over to a baby unicorn who was curled up asleep in its tiny bed made of soft sea grasses and dried fragrant flowers.

“Alright then, we’ve better get going, if we’re going to go,” said Druce, and they packed up their gifts and went to meet their new neighbor.

The new Wizard had chosen and old Roman camp on a hill as his new home. The buildings were already there and in fairly good shape. It was also about a five day journey from there to where the King lived. Or at least the king the Wizard worked for.

The two friends arrived at the home of the Wizard and were greeted by a tall man with a brown beard flecked with gray. His eyes shone blue like spring wildflowers, flecked with gold.

The Wizard welcomed them in and introduced himself as Merlin, the Wizard. There was something sort of sad about him, like someone who had a lot of friends, but nobody he was really close to. Druce wondered if Merlin could pick up on emotions and sadness like a Warlock could. Or like a woman could.

Merlin thanked them for the gifts and asked them to come sit. He led them to a room where the walls were covered with tapestries and the chairs with lush textiles and furs.

“The seal skin you wear is beautiful. The finest I’ve ever seen,” said Merlin to Morcant.

“This is my sister’s skin. She passed six moons back. I wear this skin in her honor.”

There was a pause in the conversation and a bit of weirdness.”

“Morcant is a Selkie,” said Druce.

Merlin looked surprised. He was surprised. He’d never met a Selkie before. It seemd, as they talked, that there were a lot of things Merlin had never done.

Still they visited and had polite small talk. Druce and Morcant of the village and the surrounding peoples, and those who were not people. There was also a lot they didn’t tell him. When the sun began to set Druce and Morcant bid their host goodbye.

They started the walk home in silence but then Morcant spoke.

“Merlin was nice. Not much of a bro, if you know what I mean, but nice. But dude, he has more demons than you’ll ever have.”

Druce gave a sad smile, “At least I can control my demons. Fuck, they aren’t even my demons. Merlin needs more sunshine, and he needs to divorce himself from his dysfunctional family and friends. I always tell everyone that it isn’t demons that are bugging them, it is their toxic friends and family members that are getting them down. He needs to let go.”

“True,” said Morcant. “Are you going to tell him about the unicorn?”

“Hell no,” said Druce. “I’m not telling him where the dragons are either.”

As they passed a cottage on the edge of a field of grain a woman stepped out and greeted them. “Morcant, will you stay the night with me? I could use your love, and I’ll have plenty to give back.”

“Go,” said Druce. He knew Morcant had been seeing the Widow Cath for few months. Her elderly husband had died leaving her a large farm to manage, a task she did better than most men. Morcant had always been fond of her, but now it was becoming a bit more than fond.

At home Druce found the Banshee Milen sleeping with the tiny unicorn baby in her lap. She’d taken on a physical form, that of a woman of a certain age who had a well earned beauty earned from a life well lived, at least before she had been betrayed and murdered by her husband. He put a blanket woven of the softest flax over them.

He poured a glass of beer and pulled a stool outside in his garden, out under the stars. He could hear the waves of the ocean. Maybe later he’d go down to the beach and see what spirits were among the sea shells and boats tonight.

But now he sat and thought of the sad Wizard. Then he thought of the women he knew and how it would be nice to have one of them in his bed that night, skin against skin, and a special kind of magic that came when two people came together in desire of both the body and the soul.

Then he thought about how dragons had become so endangered due to the trade of dragon bones by Wizards for their wealthy clients. Everyone with half a brain knew that dragon bones powder did nothing to make one’s manhood larger.

Then he thought of women again.

Milen the Banshee came out with a stool and sat next to him. He told her about his visit to Merlin. She said it was sad when one was so full of power and so lost. Then she said she was glad her husband had been hanged after she’d died. She always mentioned that. Druce didn’t blame her. She hadn’t planned on being a Banshee.

Then she put her hand on Druce’s. “Darlin, I’ll be in human for for another hour or two. Let’s go inside and take advantage of that.”

And like any good Warlock who knew what was good for him Druce kissed her and took her inside.

~ End

 

 

 

Short Story Sunday: Warlock Woods

Tangled Tales

August woke to an empty bed. Essie was already up and out. She’d taken the fur. He knew where she’d gone.

He put his hand over the tea kettle to boil the water then poured it into the French Press. Taking two cups of coffee, he took a short stroll to the lake behind the cabin. The woods were loud with the sounds of birds. It was the first day of October. The birds knew. He was also well aware of the day. The month of Halloween had started.

On the shore of the lake was a pair of pink and black flip flops, and a pink terry cloth robe. August hear the sound of a loud splash and saw the shape of a seal jumping in the water. Damn she was cute with her slick black fur and dark dog like eyes.

His own dogs, Belle the German Shepard, and Jack a dog of unknown parentage, tagged along, playing tug of war with a large stick. They gave friendly shout out barks to the seal. The seal flapped her tail on the water.

“I have coffee,” yelled August.

The seal went under. A few seconds later a naked woman, with plenty of curves, and a smile that warmed his soul on the cold fall morning, came walking out of the water with a dark wet seal pelt over her left arm.

“Thanks Gus,” she said as she pulled on the robe, slipped on the flip flops, then took one of the hot cups, and gave August a quick cold kiss on his lips.

“You’re welcome Essie darling. How was your swim?”

“Fantastic. Thanks for inviting me up for the weekend. I absolutely love it up here.”

August was glad his Selkie friend came with him. Actually she was more than a friend. She was his lover, his confidant, and a true kindred spirit.

Back at the cabin they made love, then moved it to the shower. After they got dressed they headed up the road to the small Gold Rush era town for breakfast, and then wine tasting at the local vineyards. It was a perfect weekend for an odd an imperfect couple.

To everyone else they looked like an attractive couple on the edge of middle age. Nobody knew they were a Warlock and a Selkie, centuries old, trying to keep things alright in a less than perfect world.

“Glad you had me up now,” said Essie. “Are you still loaning your cabin to the Werewolves when the moon is full.”

“They’ll be up on the 18th,” said August. “It’s just easier for them up here than in the city. You know how it is.”

“I know,” said Essie, taking his hand.

That night they sat under the stars by an outdoor fire pit sharing a bottle of Zinfandel. She was beautiful with her dark skin, black hair, and deep black eyes. He was pale, with his thick silver hair that almost reached his shoulders and dark blue eyes. They never mentioned their differences, but celebrated their uniqueness and their centuries long friendship.

The oak and pine woods of the Sierra foothills were quiet in the dark autumn night. October had come. It was a busy time. But for one more night he could be quiet with her, and lost in her, in every way.

~ end

Vampire romance Juliette banner

Short Story Sunday is a regular feature on Vampiremaman.com

Each Sunday morning I write a story (this week is a new one) or post a previously written story. Ocassionally I post stories from guest authors. Thank you for dropping by.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

 

 

 

Short Story Sunday: Stranger No More

“What are you? You never grow old or change. You made love to my great grandmother. She said to my mother that women took you as a lover because your seed would not give them children. It would be like a cat with a dog. Nothing would come of it. You were brought here to be our spiritual mascot, an oracle, a healer, but since we’ve arrived here you’ve been shy about your feelings and observations. You’ve turned within yourself, or maybe within a world mortals like my troops are not privy to. You’re tall, but as beautiful as a woman. You’re lithe, but stronger than the largest gladiator. You evoke joy into the hearts of those who know you, yet you can freeze the soul of a man and bring fear that makes a heart stop. What are you? ”

So I answered him. “I am a man, like you, only different. But we are all different my dear  Quintus. My friend, you treat me like a freak of nature or a vessel of evil. I am neither. Let me be. Let me do my job, or I will leave you here in a strange land with spirits you cannot understand or even fathom.”

He went on with his half drunken blathering. I know, I know, I should have just called him out but it wouldn’t have done any good. Anyway, I’d volunteered for the job.

Contrary to his opinions I had not been shy about observations, just cautious. Unlike many of the men I’d come with I studied and thought about my conclusions before I spouted off my mouth.

After leaving his lavish tent I walked through the camp, greeting the men I passed. They looked upon me with a cross of caution and awe. I wasn’t a god, but I wasn’t a man to them. I was the one who healed them, showed them the future, said wise things, and gave them courage.

Nobody else was like me. I tried to think of my family but the memories were vague, like watching the will-o-whisps in the distance. You aren’t sure if you are seeing anything or not. It is a trick of the mind, or a trick of the heart? You never know because when you reach that point nothing is there, and you’re alone.

The men I walked past and greeted smiled at me and bid me to sit with them. They were Romans. We were on an island far from home. One day it would be called England, and Great Britain, and the history would be rich and wonderful. Right now I wasn’t thinking of any of that because I didn’t belong.

I muttered a friendly blessing at them and kept walking into the night. The louder the sound of the waves on the shore were the closer I walked. I wanted to go to where the ocean met the land. I wanted to dive into the surf and wash away the annoyance and clean my mind of all of the chaos and bull shit.

As I made my way down the narrow path down the cliff to the beach I could see a fire in the distance. When I got closer I saw two men in animated conversation, drinking from goblets and eating roasted fish and root vegetables.

I could hear one of them laughing and saying, “I kid you not Morcaht, she said she wasn’t afraid of the Romans or anyone else. You know, if they saw her each and every one of them would die of a broken heart, or limp back to their own land half the men they are today.”

Then they both looked up, turning to me. Normally I can approach a situation with nobody knowing I’m there. I can be nearly invisible, but they knew I was there.

“Come friend, join us by our fire. We have plenty of drink and food,” said the smaller of the two men.

By smaller I don’t mean small. He was a man of average height with a narrow pleasant face and light brown hair streaked with blonde, coming down to his shoulders. A lavishly woven cape of green and brown was on his shoulders. Next to him sat a larger man with board shoulders and a narrow waist. He wore nothing on the top part of his body, showing off muscles that would make any man envious and every woman swoon with desire. Long black hair cascaded down his back in shining waves.

“I am Druce. This is my friend Morcant. Welcome Tellias,” he said to me.

“You know my name,” I said, somewhat surprised. These men were not Romans. They spoke the native language. I understood their words. Of course I did.

“We’ve been wondering how long it would take for you to find us,” said the man called Morcant. “Come, sit with us. I’d tell you to warm yourself but in your case…”

They both laughed. They knew. They knew what I was.

“You’re not from here, but you don’t exactly belong with the invaders you’ve come with. You’re more like us,” said Druce, handing me a goblet of some sort of sweet alcoholic brew.

After an hour or two I’d learned that Druce was a Warlock – a man of magic. Morcant was a Selkie, a man who spent half his life on the land and half in the water in the form of a seal. They already know what I was, a Vampire in a strange land with no community of my own.

The odd thing, no, more of the wonderful thing, was that however comfortable and privileged I was with my Roman society, I was relaxed with these two odd creatures. They were not like me, but they understood me. They treated me as an equal, not as an oracle or something different. I was just a guy sitting around a fire, having a brew with friends on a Saturday night. It felt good.

Then they told me that there were others like me. I sat there almost numb at that news.

We talked until the sun came up over the hills. I went back to my Roman camp but promised to be back.

This morning, October 25, 2015, I received an email from Druce. Even if we go a hundred years without talking we always catch up as if we’d just talked the day before.

Morcant passed on many centuries ago but I still see his descendants who now live here in California. We stay close.

So that is my story. Druce is coming by for Halloween. We’ll carve pumpkins and turnips. We’ll laugh and be friends.

A friend doesn’t have to be your double. No, a friend has to be someone who understands you and appreciates your differences and what makes you unique. The best part about a friend is that there doesn’t have to be a reason you’re friends – you just are.

You just are, and that is a good thing.

 

 

Tangled Tales
For additional posts about Tellias and somewhat related things click on the links below.

Finding comfort in others who share your experiences. We live, learn and love that way...and survive.

Finding comfort in others who share your experiences. We live, learn and love that way…and survive.

Prelude of Demons

The following is a prelude for last Sunday’s A Change of Heart.

Demons

OCTOBER 15, 2014 BY JULIETTE KINGS

Last weekend I was at my brother Max’s home in the city, San Francisco. My husband Teddy and I were there. 15 year old Clara was at her grandparents who live within walking distance from Max.

Note: Halloween is almost here (along with my birthday) so I should be writing some laugh out loud posts. Thank you to everyone who IS writing funny things because I truly appreciate it. Thank goodness for those funny quilt blocks I posted earlier today. Anyway, it has been a long and busy and emotionally draining month… but we managed to take a break. Yes, even Modern Vampires like us need a break. We’re not disgusting blood sucking machines like in the movies. And please forgive any typographical errors or less than wonderful writing. I’m writing fast just to get this down before the idea escapes my head, like a ghost in the night.

Max, for those of you who don’t know, is one of those alpha Vampires who hunts Vampire Hunters, Rogue Vampires and all sorts of nasty evil and just plain annoying creatures and things that go bump in the night. He is a hunter and sometimes a killer – that said, he and his associates protect us all from things we shouldn’t need to deal with.

Max looked like Hell warmed over. He’d been out on a call and found himself up against a group of Demons. Yes, that kind of Demon – nasty and evil, no doubt straight from Hell and running rampant trying to cause problems anywhere it could.

Teddy still has the cold hard fear of Demons. That isn’t a bad thing. We don’t like them. They’re creatures that don’t derive from humanity but like goblins, have no problems pretending they derive from humans.

A long nasty deep pair of scratches ran across Max’s arm. There was no sign of healing on the ugly red marks. He’d been cornered and put up a fight before his back-up team arrived. The Demons were taken care of but not first without doing damage to Max and who knows who or what else.

Late into the night we talked over several bottles of wine and blood. Our brother Andy came by as well for a few hours to visit. Max was restless the entire night. Just before dawn we all retired to spend a rare day sleeping (Teddy and I live during the daylight due to school hours.)

I was awake before dusk. It was a beautiful clear day. From the back window I could see a panoramic view of the San Francisco Bay going out into the Pacific Ocean and the Golden Gate Bridge. No wonder Max loved living here so much.

In the kitchen making tea I discovered Max’s old friend Celeste. She was beautiful beyond compare, wearing nothing but a pair of black lace panties and a magnificent seal skin coat. That wasn’t unusual because Celeste is a Selkie. On the land she is a women and in the ocean a seal. I was and wasn’t surprised to find her there. Max says he won’t mingle with those who aren’t like him, but I know who his friends are. I have no problems with Celeste or her kind.

“He called me last night. Said he needed some distraction. You know how Max is. His brain just gets full or he gets bothered and doesn’t know what to do about it.”

You know, Juliette we’re just friends with benefits. I just fuck him and talk. Nothing else. You think I’d be crazy enough to fall in love with a Vampire? Not on your life. Just friends. Always just friends.

There is someone else, a Vampire girl he has a strange sort of bond with, but he doesn’t want any emotional entanglements with her. He was afraid she’d be too much for him, for his heart. I’ve never seen a guy try to logic and think his way out of falling in love like Max has this time.”

I saw a long burn along Celeste’s arm. “I brushed against Max’s arm where the demon scratched him. Damned if it didn’t burn me too. The salt water will heal it. But you need to check in on him. He’s in pretty bad shape. The Demons really got to him this time and not just physically. They really fucked with him big time,” she told me in her whiskey and silk voice.

I took her arm and looked at the burn. It was hot to the touch. I spit on my finger and rubbed it along the burn.

“It stopped hurting. Thanks,” she said with a smile full of sharp white teeth. It was a smile that she won’t show a Regular Human. I have to admit I was flattered.

After a bit more small talk she left and no doubt went back into the Pacific Ocean and turned back into a seal.

I went upstairs to Max’s room. He was asleep, curled in soft gray blankets wearing a black silk robe. I took his arm and looked at the deep scratches that had turned an angry blackish red.

He opened his eyes. The usual blue gray hazel had turned dark, almost a dull black. I could tell he wasn’t well.

“I saw Celeste. She is worried about you.”

He gave me a “join the club” look. He didn’t need to say it out loud.

Taking his arm, I put my hand over the poisoned gashes and saw the ugly face of the Demon who clawed him.

“Don’t little sister. You’ll get sick,” Max said.

Ignoring him pricked my finger with the tip of my fang and let a drop of blood fall on his wounds. I put my hand back on his arm and willed the poison away.

Yes, I did end up making it to the bathroom before I threw up and almost fell over from my head spinning, but I was fine after a few minutes (ok hours). The poison wasn’t meant for me so I was fine – bothered but fine. It could have stayed with Max for weeks or even months. It could have set him back into a spiral of depression and hopelessness that if not taken care of could have done permanent damage. Demons are like that. They’re horrible evil things.

I kissed his cold cheek and left my brother to sleep.

When someone you love is poisoned by Demons you need to help them get through it – no matter what kind of Demons. They do a lot of damage, but it can be fixed. Demons hate any kind of love or understanding and will poison us against it. So we fight them. And those like Max fight them so they can’t hurt anyone else.

Like I’ve said, when you’re a Modern Vampire everyday has the potential of being Halloween, but we do what we can do avoid it.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Special Delivery

crowletter

 

 

 

 

 

 

Scratch, scratch, scratch on my front door.

“Garrett, let the cat in before she destroys the front door,” I yelled at my son.

About a minute later I heard, “Mom, come to the door.”

My darling 19-year-old stood on the front porch looking at a glossy black crow holding a letter. “I tried to take it from him but he won’t let me have it.”

I approached the bird. “Is this for me?” I took the letter and the crow let go. “Thank you. Who is this from dear bird?”

The crow let out a loud rough rasping crow noise that sounded like “open it”,  and then he flew away.

The envelope was heavy, like an old calf skin vellum that had been through a long journey. The paper was discolored with stains from weather. No surprise coming from a crow. A heavy wax seal covered the back flap. There was no initial or mark on the smooth read seal. How odd.

“It smells like a cat box mixed with patchouli,” said Garrett.

“Who knows how long that crow had it.”

“Open it Mom.”

And so I popped the seal and opened the envelope and pulled out a letter on fine writing paper. A thin spidery hand, written with a fountain pen, formed the words of an old friend.

August 14, 2015

My Dearest Juliette,

As you know, your friends Michael and Melissa have come to stay with me for a while. I was glad to take them in after you’d told me about them. Life on the run was literally making them fall apart. Oh how my heart breaks for these two young people and their unfortunate bout with Zombieism. 

The cool coastal air has a positive effect on the Zombies. They spend each morning on the beach walking, and even swimming in the cold water. I think the saltwater soothes their bodies and spirits. I sometimes wonder if the fish help pick off dead bits. But that is a somewhat personal question to ask.

Melissa lost an eye. The poor girl had been covering her face with a patch. Actually it was quite lovely. She’d glued on Czech crystals in what is called an aurora borealis. But you know that my dear since your child is involved in roller skating. She’d also added some aquamarine colored stones that complimented her remaining eye.

After searching my collection of glass eyes I found two possible fits. One was blue like hers, the other was a lovely golden brown. She decided to used the brown eye, as the other, the blue one had a vertical slit pupil. I can understand her wanting to keep her humanity in tact. As the saying goes: the eyes are the mirror to the soul.

A friend of mine, a talented ceramic artist, created a glove out of buttery soft leather with three new fingers. Because of the glaze used Melissa can paint the nails of her new fingers the same color as her old fingers. You know, her real flesh fingers.

I was initially surprised, and somewhat delighted, to find that these two Zombies not only have their souls intact, but they have their wits.

Michael wasn’t hit by the virus as badly as Melissa. Unfortunately his yearning for brains and internal organs is a problem. He craves human liver and spleens. He dreams of sausages made of human intestines. It isn’t just the consumption but the act of rippling flesh that is almost sexual in nature to him. He asks us to lock him up when he feels the desire to cause damage to another creature.

Fortunately the tonic I’ve been making for the two Zombies has been keeping both their bodies and spirits intact. Upon threat of death (ironic isn’t it) I have told them to keep it a secret. I would hate to think the government and the officials and scientists at Area Z would start to come after us as well. The fewer people who know Vampires really exist the better.

But back to tonic, your recipe was most excellent, but I do believe I’ve improved on it. Along with the few drops of Vampire blood, and the herbs, I added some kale and nectarines. I just blend it up like a smoothie with a lot of ice. In fact, it works so well that Melissa’s hair is growing in thick, and Michael no longer has those holes in his shoulder and neck. The skin over his ribs has also grown back and is a normal color (no longer green.)

Since the rotting has stopped and the regeneration of flesh seems to be a success, the pair has been getting out more. Last night they went to see a movie at our local theater. There are only two screens in our small town but they were happy with any choice, rather than the lack of choice. In fact they appreciate the little things so much. What makes them most sad is the loss of their work, of their identity as professionals at the top of their fields. He has started blogging and she has written a few articles for journals. Unfortunately they live in fear of being found by the authorities. 

The Zombies often speak fondly of you and Cody. How is young Cody by the way. By golly, he was one of the most successful young Vampires I’ve ever known. The transition was without a hitch. Have him call me sometime.

On a good note, my Zombies are amused at the locals around here calling me Dorian, you know, after Dorian Gray from the Oscar Wilde story. I never age, so they joke that I must have a dreadful painting hidden away in my house. I just tell them that I’m lucky. I think they know that something is up – that I am different. But different is the norm up here along the coast. Even the Selkies just shrug it off and interact with the locals much more than their European cousins.

By the way, your brother Max stayed for a couple of nights last week. He was visiting his Selki friend. I find it odd but refreshing to find such deep and lasting friendships exist. I remember when they were both young. Ahhh it is sweet and thank goodness they never had the urge to become romantically involved. I don’t believe their hearts would have lasted entwined together. 

Wishing the best to you and your family.

Love always,

Your friend,

Aloysius

 

Garrett looked at me with one of those weird expressions young men get then they feel left out of the loop. “Mom, Zombies are real? Why didn’t you ever tell me.”

“It is a delicate subject. Zombies are so horrible and disgusting and oh so rare. Mike and Melissa were friends. I couldn’t not help them. We, as a community, as Vampires, sometimes must help those who live in secret, and in turn they help us. Do you understand what I’m trying to say?”

“Don’t judge?”

“Yes, kind of sort of. Don’t judge. Exactly. I knew I raised you right.”

“Love you Mom.”

“Love you too Garrett, more than anything.”

 

 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman