Update: Short Stories

2016-11-10-13-25-09

Short Stories from Vampire Maman aka Tangled Tales

A good portion of the posts on Vampiremaman.com read like short stories, but the list here is of stand alone stories that don’t necessarily follow the tales of my life with my husband, kids and other assorted adventures.

I’ve recently added over twenty-five  additional stories to the Short Story page. You’ll find over one hundred parenting, Gothic romance, humor, urban fantasy, literary fiction, and other of unexpected tangled tales. This isn’t the complete list but it will keep you busy and entertained for a while. Keep checking back for more.

Click here to see the entire 115 story list. Have fun reading old favorites, plus new stories you haven’t read yet. There are also several stories from my author friends. 

Note: This list is more or less stand-alone stories. It does not include Vlad’s Vampire Diary. He has his own page. A few of the Austin and Elizabeth Stories are included (their page will be updated soon.) I’ll also eventually have a Holiday Story page.

Have fun and happy reading. Thanks for dropping by.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Tangled Tales

Why moms swear more than anyone, stupid romance stories, what inspires my writing, and other unrelated thoughts.

If you want you can scroll down to the bottom to some links to something not so random. Or just go back to the All Hallows Eve post and read it again.

All Hollows Eve

All Hollows Eve

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why do mom’s swear so much?

I was driving down the road in the rain and I thought about moms and swearing. Moms swear a lot.

We don’t swear so much when our kids are small because they repeat everything we say. My daughter went to a lovely preschool we called “The Holy Roller Preschool.” It was at a large church that we did not attend. Only about half of the kids were members of the church. But it was the best preschool around. So one day when I picked up my little darling the school director said told me my daughter was saying “What the Hell.” and “God damn it,” all day long. I lied and said Grandma was in town and the kids picked up bad language from her. Of course I knew Grandma never swears and hasn’t said a swear word in 400 years.

SO why do we swear so much?

Any child will tell you “my mom swears in the car ALL THE TIME.” We all do it. We swear at our husbands too, especially when they aren’t around. The older our kids get the more we swear and the more F bombs we drop.

I don’t have an answer for you on this one. It is what it is. Every teenager will tell you “MY MOM SWEARS A LOT.”

All moms would like to yell SHUT THE FUCK UP a lot more. Oh well.

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Don’t show your kids pictures or video of hairless chimps or gorillas. They’ll freak out (your kids, not the apes). Trust me on this one.

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Now for random romance…you can pass this part over. In fact I don’t blame you if you pass the entire post over today… just skip to the next joy and cheer filled Vampire post… I’ll have it up later.

I don’t mean to beat a dead horse… but it is so much fun…

I overheard my brother Max a few months back talking to his “friend.” Or she was talking to him quietly and calmly, neither one of them knowing I was out on his deck enjoying the view, frozen still as I strained to listen to their very private conversation.

He asked her, “Why didn’t you tell me how you felt about me?”

Then she told him, “You said you’d never love me. You said we could never have anything emotional. So I got involved with a string of losers who didn’t deserve me pretending, fooling myself into believing they were good enough for me. It was embarrassing. I sold myself cheap because I didn’t think I was good enough for you, so I settled. I was too young and stupid to know the difference. Either way, it didn’t matter because after you told me you were in love with someone else I gave up. Then I just got angry because I realized…I realized you would never love me and you thought I was an idiot, no matter how strong our connection. We were meant to be… but we can’t be. We’re perfect for each other but… I won’t let you take the lead again.”

“I never knew.” The tone in his voice was half real and half bull shit (yes, moms swear.)

Her voice was calm and low. “You always knew. Don’t talk about it again. I lied so you’d leave. I lied to protect myself.”

“That was 90 years ago.”

“Don’t. Just pretend I never said anything. Just pretend that the nights are ours and when we’re together it is our time alone. But don’t expect anything else Max. I can’t…”

I heard nothing. Was she crying? I didn’t hear a sob. I didn’t hear anything. They’re Vampires so they wouldn’t make any noise when they move, or hardly anything. So I stood against the wall and watched the lights of the boats on the San Francisco Bay. After what seemed like forever I heard Teddy call up. Max and his friend Mehitabel said a few uncomfortable words and went downstairs.

From the rest of the evening one would never know what had gone on between the two. Not that night, not any night. Why the Hell didn’t they talk about this stuff decades ago? Why now all the sudden? I roll my eyes. I do it again.

I followed down a few minutes later. Nobody asked me where I was. I don’t think anyone missed me. There was a house full of Vampires. Unlike my brother Andrew’s parties, Max rarely had non-Vampires at his home.

I was feeling like I’d just dropped into a bad romance novel.

My son Garrett who is now living in the dorms in a college south of here is experiencing the same thing. He hears a lot of drama in the dorm rooms and at parties on and off campus. He takes it all in then slips bits of wisdom and advice innocently into his conversations. Or so he tells me.

He is a flirt but he keeps the girls from falling in love with him. It is an important skill for a Vampire to have. But heaven forbid he get tangled with a Vampire girl. I’m just saying that as a mom. You know, this is Vampire Maman, and those of us who are Vampire parents have complicated lessons to teach our young adult Vampire children.

None of us are perfect and heaven knows I made my share of mistakes. That said, I talk to my kids about these things so they’ll be smart. Drama isn’t always that great and it can last a long time. Be smart. Think twice before getting into bed with someone. Know where her heart is. Know where your heart is.

Our brother Aaron, who was also downstairs with his wife Verity has been married 134 years. I can’t ever remember them having any drama. They’re still darling together.

vm pair

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I’m revisiting some work of mine that needs to be finished – writing work. On my computer is a 250,000 + word epic adventure of romance, magic, technology and friendship. I’m 90% done but not quite sure what to do with it. It was one of the first pieces I started when I got back into writing after years of, well, not writing.

So Ms Kings what inspires your writing? You might ask this if you run into me in a dark alley sometime…

Real life, news stories, interesting random stuff that flies past my brain and reading what others write.

I find that authors who inspire me don’t write the way I do. I don’t want to copy anyone or emulate their style. But reading the stories of others get me thinking. It make my mind active. And active mind is a creative mind.

Speaking of creative minds, Matthew Pearl, one of my favorite authors is coming out with a new book in April.

I was fortunate to find his Facebook page a few years ago, when I started to get serious about writing again. His thoughts on research and writing inspired me to write more. I need to do a post on his work and that of other favorite authors of mine but tonight I’ll just post a clip from an email he sent (and his are infrequent because he is not a spammer):

From Author Matthew Pearl:

On to news of the next novel! It’s called THE LAST BOOKANEER. It will be
published in the US by Penguin Press on April 28, 2015, and around the
same time in the UK by Harvill Secker. It’s about literary thieves in
the 19th century (fuller tease at the end of this email). Because I like
to keep my emailing to an average of 1-2 emails a year for those who
prefer slim inboxes, please make sure to check back in on my site
(www.matthewpearl.com) for further news, the cover, and also stay up to
date by choosing to “like” my Facebook author page,
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Matthew-Pearl-author/29977879540 …and
follow me on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/#!/MatthewPearl

Want to be the first to get the book? Pre-order now! Here or your
favorite book selling site:
http://www.amazon.com/The-Last-Bookaneer-Matthew-Pearl/dp/1594204926

As always, I’m honored to have you as readers.

THE LAST BOOKANEER

Mystery, celebrity, theft – and a thrilling adventure set at the ends of
the earth…

On the island of Samoa, in a house perched on a cliff beneath a
smoldering volcano, a dying Robert Louis Stevenson labours over a new
novel. It is rumored that this may be the author of Treasure Island’s
greatest masterpiece.

On the other side of the world this news fires the imaginations of the
bookaneers, literary pirates who steal the latest manuscripts by famous
writers to smuggle them to a hungry public. But a changing world means
the bookaneers will soon become extinct.

Two adversaries set out for the south Pacific: Pen Davenport, a tortured
criminal genius haunted by his past and Belial, his nemesis. Both dream
of fortune and immortality with this last and most incredible heist.

THE LAST BOOKANEER thrillingly depicts the lost world of these doomed
outlaws, a tropical island with a violent destiny, a brewing colonial
war and a reclusive genius directing events from high in his mountain
compound.

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Thank you Matthew Pearl for the inspiration and research tips. Thank you for your wonderful well researched and well written books. Forgive me for my rambling on your behalf.

___________________________________

Other important news:

For the first time ever my dog and my cat slept together on the same bed. It is the dog’s bed but the cats took it over a while back. Cute stuff.

Jasmine is somewhat uneasy that Oscar the cat is sleeping on her bed.

Jasmine is somewhat uneasy that Oscar the cat is sleeping on her bed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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For something you might want to read click on the links below:

Ode to a Greek God

Vampire House Warming

Dancing on the Beach

A Night at the Crest

Mysterious Meeting on Cold Dark Nights

 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

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vm_rick

Short Story Sunday: Tell Tail Heart (or A Literary Tale)

A Literary Tale

He woke with a start.

THUMP THUMP THUMP

THUMP THUMP THUMP

Immediately he thought of The Tell Tale Heart, that story of horror written by Poe.

Bolting up in bed and now awake he realized it was just the thumping tails of his brother’s wolfhounds. Why had he agreed to take care of the beasts for the week?

These huge beasts were no Baskerville Hounds. They were sweet and goofy. Sure they could kill, he supposed they could kill, but they were just happy dogs. Large dogs with large hearts. Large dogs who needed to go out and leave large piles in his yard. And they needed to do that RIGHT NOW.

All week long he’d been obsessed with trying to find the story that matched his life. No Jane Austin. No Thomas Wolf. Maybe a touch of Charlotte Bronte or Donna Tartt. A little Dave Stone or Nathan Tackett. Maybe Mandy White? J. Harrison Kemp? Gabriel García Márquez? The poetry of Daniel Tanzo? Jade M. Phillips? David X. Hunter or Michael Haberfelner? Lucy Lastic? Stephen King? More like it the beautiful haunting romantic historic stories of Diana Garcia or Marie Frankson. What about John Sanford or John Steinbeck. He liked the idea of Steinbeck. He liked the idea of all of them… except maybe White or King. That pair of horror writers were brilliant but far too scary to base a life on their works. Rob Betz , Angie Parisi or Gina McKnight came to mind. He thought about it for a while longer while the dogs played and ran in the yard as the sun vanished and night took over the sky.

He returned inside and fed the large gray beasts. If dogs could write what would they write about? His mind was on finding a story. The dogs curled up on the floor next to a wall of bookshelves. He looked at the hundreds of titles. All had inspired him but none were his life.

Then he pulled a small volume out and fingered the pages. In pencil were sketches and stories a friend had written years ago. Since then he’d followed her tales. Stories of fantasy, then stories of real life.

He picked up his phone and called. She picked up. “Marla, this is Andrew. I just wanted to tell you… What have you been up to?”

They talked for hours about life and the past 18 years, since her wedding. She’d lived life not like one of her stories but almost as exciting.

“You were never afraid of me. I mean, because I’m a Vampire,” Andrew told her.

“You were never afraid of me because I’m a writer,” she told him.

He laughed. They made plans. She’d keep writing her stories. And as for Andrew, he’d keep living his own story.

 

 

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For more fiction from Juliette Kings, Marla Todd, Mandy White and others click here for a list of find fun and fantastic short fiction.

For more short stories from the authors listed above click here.

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For more about Andrew just put in his name (Andrew or Andy) in the search window of this blog. You’ll come up with a bunch of stuff. Or go to the Stand Alone story link (left sidebar) and see “Morning at the Vineyard” or “Dancing on the Beach.”

Happy Reading,

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

poe harry clarke

Short Story Sunday: My Vampire Lover

Tangled Tales

Tangled Tales

January brings football, more activities and shuffling around with teens and other family members, work and well, just life. But it is also Sunday, which means a short story and my brain has gone blank. So today I’ll just pass this one on as it was told to me by the parties involved.

Once upon a time, in a land far away (not really, it is in San Francisco), on a dark stormy night… But we’re having a drought so it is just dark and cold with out the stormy stuff. Anyway…

My Vampire Lover

Part 1: Andrew

Andrew stood in front of the open window, the wind in his hair, his eyes on the moon. A smile lingered on his lips with the memory of a kiss and the promise of more.

He turned dramatically, like he always did, when he heard the click of the door opening behind him.

A tall pale man as thin as a reed wearing a black suit came into the room. “Sir, there is someone here to see you.”

Andrew eyed his man servant. “Gerald, would you please stand up straight. You’re going to creep someone out.”

Gerald straightened out, growing another 4 inches and losing about 10 years.

“Much better. Who is that someone you said is here?”

“A young man who said, and I quote the monster who is dating my mother. He seemed a bit upset.”

“Well, that is somewhat unexpected. I suppose I should talk to him,” said Andrew with a shrug.

Part 2: Cameron

My mom is sleeping with a Vampire. I can’t believe I just said that.

A few years ago my dad left mom for another woman. I didn’t think she’d ever get over. He was such a douche about it too.

Fast forward five years, my sister and I are in college and mom is happier than I’d seen her in ages. She said she was involved with a man. He was an opera singer of all things.

I looked him up and found a portrait, a painting someone did last year. He looks about 28.

Then one day while I was home for the weekend I was my mom had her email up. I couldn’t help but look. It was my mom, what could have been on a 53 year old woman’s email that would have bothered me? I mean, she was already seeing a guy half her age (that bothered me.)

And there it was “Vampire.” What the Hell was going on.

So I went to his house. I couldn’t let my mom do this. I couldn’t let him have her.

Armed with a backpack full of crosses, garlic, holy water, a silver knife and a gun I knocked on the door.

A tall stooped skinny guy who looked like he was out of Central Casting for creepy butlers answered the door. I demanded to see Andrew, the Vampire. The butler let me in.

Andrew looked younger than I thought he’d be. I asked his age. He said 162 then smiled without his fangs. He said he loved my mom. He said he’d do anything to make her happy but he’d never come between my mom and her kids.

I could see how my mom was attracted to him. He was tall and well built looking like something off of the cover of a romance novel in his white shirt and black velvet vest, his chestnut brown hair to his shoulders and swept off his handsome face.

But why my mom? It didn’t matter. Today was the day I’d save her honor and her soul.

Part 3: Shawna

My son said in a text that he was going to save my honor and my soul? WTF? Then I realized, he’d found out about Andrew.

I love my kids, but they’ll always see me as the frumpy mom who was married to their dad. That would be the same dad who cheated on me and lied to me and broke my heart. No more. I’m a mom forever and that is my most important role. Needless to say I’m not frumpy anymore and I’m not going to feel sorry for myself anymore. I don’t even miss my ex husband. In fact I’m glad to be rid of him. But besides being a mom I’m also a woman. My kids are in college. I’m by myself most of the time. I deserve happiness.

I didn’t know Andrew was a Vampire when I met him. When I found out it was too late – my heart was already his. He accepts me for who I am and loves me. We are so good together.

I’d been visiting Andrew for the weekend and just run out to the store for a few minutes when I received the text from Cameron.

Racing back to the house I could hear yelling inside. My heart pounded. The front door was locked. I screamed for them to let me in.

I heard Gerald yelling “Get the bastard. Knock him off his ass.”

Andrew screamed “Get him.”

I heard Cameron yell but couldn’t make out the words. This was my worst nightmare.

The French doors off of the back deck were unlocked. Running inside I expected to see carnage. Who would be alive and who would be dead? My darling boy or my lover. It was more than I could handle. Tears streamed down my face.

As I ran into the room I stopped myself cold, breathing hard, not believing what I saw.

Gerald was sitting in a chair wearing a sweat shirt and jeans, his legs proper up on an ottoman, his long hair out of the usual trademark pony tail. Cameron sat on the couch, almost shoulder to shoulder with Andrew my Vampire lover.

All three of them looked around at me with a puzzled look.

“Mom, what’s wrong?” Cameron looked up at me with his big puppy dog eyes.

“Honey, what is it?” Andrew got up and approached me.

On the TV Screen the football game played. Playoffs. They were watching the playoffs. Nothing brings guys together like sports.

I took Andrew’s hand and said “Nothing is wrong. Damn allergies are making my eyes water. Glad to see you guys met.” Then we sat back on the couch and watched the rest of the game.

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Disclaimer: If you’re following this blog please don’t unfollow – 98% of the other posts here are much better than this (but this is a TRUE story) and all of the other short stories are really worth reading. 

More from Short Story Sunday

Short Story Sunday is a regular feature on Vampiremaman.com.
Expect the unexpected … and a lot of fun! Click on the title to go to the story.

Short Story Sunday: I’ll Return to You

I’ll Return to You

back to back

They’d numbered many – the qualities needed to do the job. Passions and desires for secrets and more. So was the life of a spy. You give and in return you receive and take and steal away like a ghost in the night, leaving an empty safe and a broken heart behind. It was a good gig if you could get it. It was her life and passion.

In the dark of night she left him drugged in a deep sleep of happy dreams. She’d made sure of that. Still feeling his touch on her skin she dressed in absolute silence. In her bag were the documents she needed, along with photographs and other mementos, including a packet of love letters that she would keep for herself.

She might never find a love like his again. It was one of those loves that was once in a lifetime. It was the kind of love that would last forever.

He was the most well ordered and controlled man she’d ever met. His soul as full of adventure. He valued perfection. Best of all, he could exquisitely heat up the night unlike any other man she’d ever met. He was someone who’d never settle or compromise.

When he awoke hours later he reached for her, but that side of the bed was empty and cold.

Later that morning he was told she was dead. It had been an accident. That day he thought his life would end. He wanted to die. It was almost unbearable, but he made it through.

Ten years later he married a lovely, kind woman with a wicked sense of humor. They had two children. It was a lot of work and crazy living with a family and kids. Life was good, as it should be. In fact it was more than good. It was amazing.

Still, every time his wife was late or one of the kids didn’t call on time he had that feeling of dread and panic come up in his soul. He never told them, but it was always there. He couldn’t lose them. He couldn’t go through that again.

One afternoon he reached into the pocket of an old coat and found a note. It was in the script of his long lost love.

I’ll return to you.

He was beyond that. He was beyond dreams of seeing her again. He was beyond hope she was alive. He was beyond stupid thoughts. He was beyond the anger he had towards her. He was beyond the grief and the love and the memories so sweet of their time together. But something triggered his heart and he could feel a tear falling down his cheek. It was alright to mourn. It was normal. It was natural to feel and love and remember. There was no crime in that. It took nothing away from his life now.

Yet how many times had he caught himself asking “What if?”

He took the dog for a walk by the river, like he did each day.

On the bank, near where the geese always rested, stood a stunning woman with flowing gold curls and sky blue eyes. It was her. It was a his past and his dreams and his sorrow.

She turned towards him. “Hello Rob.”

The dog ran up to her wagging it’s tail. He froze.

“I was told you were dead,” he said barely able to get the words out.

“You were told wrong. I had to go. I know, I know, I know you must be angry but let me explain…”

He stood listening as she told him about adventures in a world he couldn’t imagine anymore. It sounded like more of a movie script or a spy novel than anything in his current life. It sounded like his old life.

Then she said, “I know everything about you. I’ve been keeping track the past 20 years.”

“That’s sort of creepy. I’m sure it was plenty boring compared to the life we used to have.” He watched his dog run down the beach then looked back to her. “Why did you come back?”

“For you of course. We can continue our adventure. You can get your life back. I still love you.”

He stood there thinking of all the times he would have given anything for one last chance to talk to her. Just one last chance to hold her. One last chance to start over with her and change the past.

Then he stuck his hand in his pocket and found a sticky mess of an old candy cane. It was one of those little tiny ones that everyone gives to young children at Christmas time. His daughter would always lick the darned things a few times and end up with a mess over everything. Eventually he would try to refuse anything to do with candy canes but the damn red and white monsters still ended up sticking all over everything he owned.

“I’m not that guy anymore. I’m different.” he said.

“How?” She stood with her hands on her hips. He thought she was still the most beautiful woman he’d ever seen. “How are you different?”

“I have pockets full of sticky spit covered candy canes and it doesn’t bother me.” Then he smiled and gave her a kiss on the cheek and started up the trail back home.

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More from Short Story Sunday

Short Story Sunday is a regular feature on Vampiremaman.com.
Expect the unexpected … and a lot of fun! Click on the title to go to the story.

Short Story Sunday: Sunday School

Sunday School (an exceptionally short story)

Sunday morning. I was downstairs fixing coffee, listening to NPR and savoring the quiet time before the rest of the family got up.

Yes, quiet time. That is a rare commodity for a parent.

I’m wiping down the kitchen counter and thinking about the game schedule for today when I look up and a guy in a black suit with slicked back hair is standing about 4 feet from me with a smirk on his face.

Sure my skin prickled because I knew who this guy was.

“Whatever you want to sell I’m not buying,” I told him.

Suddenly visions of a beautiful wife, perfect kids in boarding school, money, freedom, maid service, more women…and fame. My dreams in youth of being an actor and being a politician and being the guy who starts the mega technology company and being a household word…they all come to mind. All the doors that were slammed in my face could be opened right now.

If only…

I looked at the man. He smiled. The cat started to scratch at the door to get out. I could hear the coffee dripping. A toilet flushed upstairs.

The man spoke “Why sleep with someone who has been trying to drop those 50 pounds for the past 10 years when you can have the most beautiful women in the world? Why be stuck fixing eggs for a bunch a loud kids when you can have meals fixed by the finest chefs? Why watch the game on TV when you can own the team?”

“Dude, I’m busy. Go away.”

“With your heart you should be in church,” he said that with one of those nasty sarcastic tones that I absolutely hate.

“Fuck you and get out of my house.”

He vanished in a cloud of sulphur smelling smoke. I don’t even know if he was The Guy or just one of his helpers.

Over the years I had a lot of opportunities and talent to go with it, but it was always the wrong time and wrong place. Or I was just too stupid or inexperienced to know what to do with the opportunity.

I’ve lived a life of regrets, but I landed here, right where I am now, in a house full of love. I have kids telling me about school and a wife showing me a painting she is working on. We go to work and we get tired and we do it all again. And it’s the best. And we learn something new every single day.

This is my Sunday School. This is my religion.

 

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coffee

More from Short Story Sunday

Short Story Sunday is a regular feature on Vampiremaman.com.
Expect the unexpected … and a lot of fun! Click on the title to go to the story.