Bottom Feeders

I was driving along on of the main streets near where I live and saw homeless woman pushing a grocery cart down the street. I’d never seen this one before. She wore a pink shirt that wasn’t enough for the cold morning. Her face had that gaunt sunken, thin mouthed, meth head look. She looked old, like elderly old, but I bet she was around forty or maybe even younger.

This was a residential neighborhood in an area with a lot of horse property, friendly folks, rolling hills, and few businesses among the homes. There is one food closet but no other social services.

My brother Val was in the car with me. He looked at to woman too. “I bet she has a couple of kids in foster care or living with relatives.”

I didn’t respond. I didn’t want to think about it. Unlike me, Val walks a darker side of the street than I do.

“Jewels, there’s two or three bottom feeders in this area. Were you aware of that?”

“The historic proliforence of ignorant trash in certain neighborhoods near here has always brought them out.”

“Seriously, I know them. The bottom feeder Vampires. They feed on the homeless, addicts, mentally ill, but mostly the homeless. They suck them almost dry then dump them at shelters, or at emergency room doors. No worry about anyone finding bodies all over the streets, or behind buildings. Everyone assumes it was some sort of drug overdose or some other fucked up shit.”

“I couldn’t do that. First of all it is disgusting. Secondly it is sad and pathetic to take advantage of those people,” I said.

“They, the Vampires, get them to the hospital more than anyone else. They give them sweet dreams that they wouldn’t get otherwise. Do look at me all disgusted. I see what is going on, especially downtown. You know what is going on. They invite me to join them. Then the unfortunate souls they feed on beg them to transform them into the Undead. It’s pathetic but it is just the way things have always been forever and ever and ever. Don’t tell me you haven’t been tempted when you’re in a pinch and can’t find some nice squeaky clean donor.”

I didn’t say anything else and changed the radio station from a stupid Linkin Park song to the Jimmy Buffet station, then to a crappy obscure hair band song. Then I turned the radio off.

Val started to talk again. “Let’s have a party. We can have a going away party and invite everyone we want to go away. Who would you invite?”

I had to smile. I couldn’t help but show my fangs.

I wasn’t thinking of the lost souls or poor homeless people who are stared at by people driving by. I wasn’t thinking of the people who need help. I wasn’t thinking of those without hope.

I was thinking about other people. You know the ones.

Yes, I know, I know, I know, I write all about positive parenting, and love, and raising your kids to be good people…but sometimes…

Sometimes we just need to be awful. Even if you’re not a Vampire it is ok to ride in the car with your brother, or a friend, or even your older child and speculate on such things. It is even ok to laugh about it.

So dear reader, if you had a Going Away Party who would you invite? Kim Jong-un? Kim Kardashian? Kim Davis? Your ex-girlfriend who slept with your best friend and still calls you once a week with all of her problems? Or just invite politicians. Take your sample ballot from the last election and invite everyone on it. Who would you invite? Take your time. Think it out. Write it down.

I turned the car into my own neighborhood. Val turned the radio back on. I didn’t recognize the song.

“Remember Juliette, the first time we went to New York City? What year was it? 1880?”

“1879,” I said.

“It was on that trip I discovered that I have a sympathy for those who live in the shadow of the Vampire bottom feeders. I don’t feed on the bottom, or rarely do, but you know, somebody needs to look out for them. I don’t really, but I have. It makes me uncomfortable but I have.”

“I know you have Val. You do it all the time but you won’t admit it. Vampires talk Val. They tell me what you’re up to. You’re a better man and a better Vampire for it. Better than most,” I told him.

He put his hand on mine. “Thanks.”

We got to my house and changed the subject. A large happy dog greeted us and peed on Val’s feet. The cats chased up up the walk. The icy wind blew our hair until we were able to get into the house. My teenager asked us, “sup?”  And we laughed.

That’s all.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

 

 

 

 

Interview with a Vampire… the truth as we choose to tell it.

I was asked to be interviewed because I’m a Vampire. For the most part nobody knows I’m a Vampire… Anyway I was asked to be interviewed for some “paranormal” publication. Yes, I was talked into this one by someone who is going to owe me big time.

So what was I going to tell them?

I could tell them I like TV.  I might watch way too much TV but when you’re up all night… Zero Below just started… it is about people who live above the Arctic Circle. It isn’t done like some fake wacked out reality show. And…well, it is a little known fact that Vampires like to watch TV. We like movies a lot too. We also of course read a lot. If you find a Vampire you’ll find a book.

Of course blood will come up. Yes, that is the one big thing that differentiates us from them. My favorite types are poet’s blood and blood from lawyers. Now if I can find a lawyer who writes poetry I’ve found a little bit of heaven. My brother Val likes Vegan blood these days, then again it might just be that hot girl and her friends he… anyway…

The subject of being “human” always comes up. I can only imagine what I’ve missed out on, but then again don’t we ALL imagine what we might have missed out on had we been born as someone else, in another time or place, to different parents or a different gender? Or maybe we don’t wonder that at all. But they always ask.

They’ll ask more questions about my “Vampire powers.” Sure, if I try I can read your mind. I can make your forget. I can seduce you without you even knowing. I can make you long for me and not know why or who or what I am. I can make you feel good or I can send you to Hell.

Don’t ask how many people I’ve turned into Vampires. That is like asking someone how many people they’ve had sex with. You just don’t ask questions like that in polite society.

They’ll ask how old I am, then they’ll stare me. They’ll stare at me anyway. They’ll peer into my face looking for something. Then they’ll ask to see my fangs. They always want to see the fangs.

And how about those souls? Ugh. No no no. I’m not telling you about my souls or what I do or don’t do with them or if I have one or not.

I am not a rouge Vampire who rips flesh and has come back to life without a soul and the personality of a rabid wolverine. I don’t have fancy parties where I kill all my guests (I don’t want that kind of mess.) I don’t walk in league with dark lords or sleep in a crypt. I don’t mess with children. I can drain your body of every drop of blood you have but I choose not to do that.

Yes, I can eat regular food, or at least some of it. Processed sugar makes me violently ill, as do most baked goods.

I use a lot of sunscreen and have prescription sunglasses.

If I choose I can tell them my story about my life in three centuries. I can tell them about how I remember when the 120 year old building I’m meeting them in was new.

Should I tell them that we’re romantics and experts at writing love letters? Should I tell them that we can turn our hearts stone cold and uncaring at will?

When they look in the mirror will they see a shadow of a Vampire who hunts them? Maybe… maybe not.

I can tell them about things that would haunt them for the rest of their lives. I can tell them things that would make them never want to sleep again. I can put the fear in them so that they will never leave their homes after dark EVER again. I can make them go insane. Or not.

They ALWAYS ask the same questions.

Half of the time (more than half) they ask “would you turn me into a Vampire?” Of course the answer is a resounding NO. Please, you don’t know anything about it. You have no idea. And that is where I roll my eyes or maybe growl.

When I arrived Cody was waiting for me at the door, my dear Cody who has been a Vampire for only 2 years now.

“So what should I tell them?” Cody asked with one of his fun boyish smiles. At 34 he is cute and smart and has taken to the Vampire life like a champ.

“Tell them you’re the bastard child of Thomas Jefferson and Martha Washington. You were then raised by an old Indian Woman and her Werewolf companion.”

“Really?”

“Sure. They’ll believe anything.”

“I was thinking more along the lines of bastard son of Louis the 14th. You know, the Sun King.”

“Good thinking and a much better story.”

“Depending on what genre you want to be in today.” Cody smiled and put his arm around my shoulders.

I do love Cody. We met the journalists in the back booth of a downtown bar. It was dark and fitting for such an interview. They seemed surprised when they saw us. We were a stylish young couple who looked as normal and innocent as anyone else in the place. We were the last two people you’d pick out as Vampires.

Then again what does a Vampire look like? What does anyone look like?

In the end Cody and I told them that we’d talk to them but we wouldn’t tell them anything. We’d just let them know that they’d met a couple of Vampires and lived to tell about it. In the end we showed them our fangs – something they’d never forget.

And eventually they’d forget most of the details. It would be frustrating but, oh well.

All in all it was fun. I know my attitude sucked at first but that is not unusual for me. I don’t want to do something – go in complaining and end up glad I went. Cody was delightful and the journalists were nice people. They really were. Sincere and curious. I like that in people. I might have cocktails with them again. I might even have a little more than cocktails.

We all have our stories both public and private. Different versions for different situations.

This story will come out and Cody and I will be described as mysterious, elusive and charming. Which is always the truth, or at least the only truth we want to tell.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

(Thanks again Cody)

gothic

Friday the 13th – Cosmic Adventures in the Final Frontier!

I wake with a cool hand stroking my hair. He kisses my neck and then covers my mouth with his. I pull the handsome man beside me in my bed closer. “You’re naked.”

He smiles. “I know.” And we both know the kids won’t be up for at least another 30 minutes.

Friday the 13th isn’t all that unlucky after all.

I was thinking about our conversations last night with the kids.

Amazing Stories Vol.5, No.9Voyager 1  has left the solar system. About a year ago but the signal is slow getting back to us.

My dad got his first telescope in the late 1850’s and we’ve been watching the night skies with close-up wonder ever since. There is something about being a small dot in a large universe that brings on such a sense of awe and wonder that can’t be explained away by reason or logic. And it is great fun! FUN.

And the speculation continues on what is out there, if anything. I’ve always thought it would be very sad indeed if we were the only planet with intelligent life. I’d like to think there would be more advanced places where every single day didn’t seem like Friday the 13th and ignorance wasn’t King.

So now we just wait for someone from another planet to find the Voyager. I’m hoping it will be sooner or later. I can imagine one of them saying “Hey, they have Chuck Barry too!” How cool would that be. And don’t say it couldn’t be because we have so much to learn – there is so much we don’t know about our neighborhood and the universe we live in.

There was a long discussion about space with my husband and kids. That is one thing the Voyager has done – made people think and talk about stuff. Space, the universe, our roles in it, the idea that someone else is out there… good stuff.

I have to say there is nothing sexier than a man who spends a couple of hours talking with his kids about stuff like space and life and imagination and wonder – or anything.

Finding real life in Space, life we could communicate with would be literally earth shattering, or more human shattering.

I’ve imagined if they knew Vampires and Werewolves were real. Just imagine if someone from another planet dropped by for a visit. It is mind-boggling. It is exciting beyond belief.

Then one of the kids brought up the proposed Mars trip. Those who went would volunteer to never come back.

That would be difficult to leave our home forever. There is an attachment we have that tugs us and keeps us here, like an emotional gravity.

If you die in space will your body rot? Not unless there is bacteria. But I could be wrong.

We can’t breathe the little atmosphere on Mars. It is colder than cold. It is a harsh planet, but then again so is ours – thanks to humans.

But imagine going to live on Mars. How cool is that? It is the stuff of dreams – the ultimate dream. The dreams the cumulate in the reality of great science fiction books and films.

We talked about Vampires in space. That might be a logistical nightmare considering our unique dietary needs. It certainly would be a nightmare for our fellow space travelers.

We need to keep our dreams and work on making them a reality. Dreams of home and dreams of places far away in space.

After the kids went to bed my husband Teddy said “I sometimes feel as if I’m an alien on my own planet.”

“You’re completely normal, for a Vampire. That’s why I fell in love with you.”

“There is nothing normal about us my love.”

Well, I thought, nothing is normal except our kids, thank goodness, but they’re our kind of normal which isn’t a bad thing.

Some random thoughts on Friday the 13th:

  • It is Friday the 13th of September, 2013. 9-13-13 an odd string of numbers. This blog is an odd bit of postings. Something to think about.
  • Hold out your hand and the palm reader will tell you to kiss a black cat, fall in love with a mysterious Vampire and dream of your heart’s desire tonight with 13 wishes and 13 candles blazing on the mantle and 13 kisses.
  • There is no bad luck – only good luck missed.
  • Imagine a literary cat with 13 toes and 13 lives and 13 stories to tell.
  • Yesterday was the 12th, tomorrow is the 14th, today is an odd day indeed.
  • Let us ponder the unlucky. A Werewolf with fleas. A Vampire without passion. A Ghost in an empty house. A teenager without friends.
  • But it is Friday so the Werewolf takes a flea bath and goes on an art show. The Vampire tastes the warm blood of a passionate human.  A ghost gets a house full of children. A teen meets kids who think he is really cool.

Favorite movies (of mine) about meeting someone from another planet:

  • Another Earth (2011)
  • Star Trek – First Contact (1996)
  • The Man Who Fell to Earth (1996)
  • District 9  (2009)
  • And every Spielberg film ever made even if it isn’t about space.

And just read any Ann McCaffrey book. I recommend “The Ship Who Sang” and “The Crystal Singer”.

Then anything by H.G. Wells, Issac Asimov, Philip K. Dick and Robert Heinlein. And of course Edgar Allen Poe’s The Black Cat (because it is Friday the 13th) and Stardust by Neil Gaiman.

This is just a short list (since I have only spent about 20 minutes writing this post and haven’t thought it out too much). Feel free to share your favorites!

Happy Friday the 13th! Reach for the Stars! And don’t forget, even if you have to force them, talk with your kids! It’s fun – and FREE!

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Cat on Mars

Cat on Mars