Yoga, Hummingbirds, and Lizards – Staying At Home

I’ve started doing yoga.

Lately I’ve been as stiff as a corpse in full rigor. Inactivity even can have serious consequences for Vampires. Why do you think Vampires who fall asleep inside of walls or coffins stay that way for years and decades and even centuries. They don’t move. They get stiff. And if you don’t have a lot of blood flow you’ll have seriously problems, just like with more warm blooded people. It’s just like that. Just like it.

My daughter, who is finishing up the last quarter of her third year of college, is up for a couple of weeks. She and her roommates still have chosen to keep their apartment and some semblance of normal college life.

She is my yoga companion. I shall continue when she and her boyfriend go back home.

Outside the humming birds have come to my deck in full force. They are Anna’s Humming Birds. They have a song and the males are quite aggressive. They fly and flutter around. I’m ignored, as I pose no threat. This evening on almost landed on my hand. I figure by the end of next week I will have come into contact. It won’t be the first time and no doubt won’t be the last. But there is something about this year’s hummingbirds as well as the other birds and squirrels that is almost too familiar. They don’t care if I’m within inches of them. They know I won’t hurt them. The seem to like the fact that I’m there. I know them all by sight. There is the tiny green one with the red on it’s throat. There is the large one with the red head. Then there is the aggressive tiny guy with the purple throat.

As for the squirrels, they’re always ready to entertain and take anything they like, be it bird food, squirrel food, or the oranges off my tree. They’re welcome to it all.

The lizards have also been out in full force this spring. It is as if all of the animals are locking down and staying in place along with the people.

We’re doing fine.

But I watch the insanity and politicizing of a virus. We what happened when that happened with HIV but of course nobody listened because that was considered a gay thing. It was the elusive them. But this one is all of us. HIV was all of us too but you know where I’m going with this. Even if you don’t catch Covid-19 you’re still part of it. And if you aren’t part of the solution by being careful, wearing a mask, washing your hands, staying at home, being proud of your unkept Covid-19 hair, and respecting others then you are part of the problem. Yes, go to a crowded beach or a full church and YOU are the problem.

Vampires have the luxury of being disgusting and hiding away and drying up until someone comes along and gives them a vein to suck on. You don’t have that luxury. Plus you and most Vampires, and others don’t want to do that.

Don’t be disgusting. Be proactive. Care. That’s all I have tonight.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

 

 

 

 

Leave Your Demons At Home

My daughter Clara is up for a few weeks. College is online but she still has her apartment in Southern California. This is just a break. She and her boyfriend drove up without any contact from the outside world except to get gas.

My brother Max has decided to stay with us for a few weeks. I asked him why. He said his house is infested with Demons.

When he got here last night he was beyond distracted. His dogs didn’t seem to care and immediately started playing with our dog. I thought they were all going to knock down every piece of furniture in the house. Between the three of them there is almost four hundred pounds of frolicking dog.

My husband Teddy helped Max bring a few things in from his car and haul them upstairs. I went to the kitchen to fix my eldest brother a nice mug of warm blood with a little bit of ground nutmeg and a dash of Tobasco (don’t knock it till you’ve tried it.)

I heard a scratching at the front door. Thinking it was one of the cats I told Clara to let it in. No sooner had I heard the front deadlock click open I heard Clara yell, “MOM. MOM. MOM. Come here.”

Flopping around in the front entry was a small pale gray Demon trying to unfold a twisted wing. The cats, who are usually game for jumping on any small alien creature ran away. The demon put it’s nasty fang filled face up at us and hissed.

“Holy shit,” I said. “Clara get me a broom.”

The tiny Demon scuttled around hissing and then suddenly stopped and looked up at me. “I’ll give you three wishes if you help me out,” it said with a smile full of sharp pointed teeth.

“I’m a Vampire you moron. Your BS tricks aren’t going to work on me,” I said. “What the crap are you doing here?”

“I came with Max and his damn dogs,” it said in a voice that sounded like a hundred years of chain smoking and cheap whiskey.

“Did Max invite you?”

The Demon rolled it’s shoulders and tried to stand up straight. “No he didn’t invite me. Nobody ever invites me anywhere. I hid in the glove box. Why the hell do you think I’m so twisted up.”

By then Clara had come back with the broom. She looked at the Demon in disgust and started hitting it. I opened the door and it managed to fly out, but not without the cats running after it.

Clara and I heard a blood curdling scream then silence. Outside in the front yard the cats stood staring at a dark burned spot on the decorative bark in my front yard.

“Good kitties,” said. Clara ran into the kitchen for cat treats.

Out at Max’s car I said, loud enough for Demons to hear, but not loud enough for my neighbors to hear, “if there are any Demons in this car you’d better leave now or you’re as good as fucking dead.”

There was silence for a few seconds, the the smell of sulfur came through the air. The back passenger door opened and a blur of several more small Demons flew out and off into the sky.

Once I was back in the house I told my brother and husband about the encounter. They acted clueless as usual. Seriously, I wish they’d both take these things more seriously and not wait until there is an infestation.

And that is my life today. I might get out into the garden, or visit more with Clara. We might all watch a movie. There is also the second As We Were blog post to finish up and cue up for tomorrow. Clara is studying. Max and Teddy are on the deck shooting the breeze.

Until then, keep fighting off those Demons. Stay inside, stay home, social distance, wear a mask, wash your hands, be smart, be safe, be friendly, be polite, be caring. Call, email, or FaceTime those who might need extra help or just need to hear a friendly voice.

xoxox

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

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Chernobyl Charlie

old dog

Chernobyl Charlie

Published in Dysfictional 3 by Mandy White

 

The old man placed another log on the campfire.

“You kids ready for a story?”

“Yes!” Kylie and Joel chorused together.

Every summer, his daughter-in-law Laura brought the grandchildren on weekends for a backyard campout. The kids got to sleep in a tent and enjoy fireside stories, just like they’d done with their father. Since loss of her husband, a Marine, Laura tried to maintain a connection with his side of the family. The old man appreciated the effort she made. The kids enjoyed his stories and he enjoyed telling them, and boy, he had a lot of stories.

“Get comfortable, ‘cause tonight I got a great story for ya. This one’s about Chernobyl Charlie.”

“Wait!” Kylie ran to the tent to grab her blanket. She returned and nestled in her lawn chair with the blanket wrapped around her shoulders. “Okay, I’m comfortable now.”

Her brother rolled his eyes. “Ok, are you ready now? I want to hear the story.”

The old man began,

“There once was a boy, we’ll call him Nathan. This boy only wanted one thing for his entire life: a dog. He didn’t want anything else, not ever.

Every year, his parents would ask him what he wanted for Christmas or his birthday, and his answer was always the same:

‘I want a dog!’ he’d say.

And every time, the answer would be the same: ‘No’.

It wasn’t that his parents were mean, or didn’t want him to have a dog. It was just that they lived in an apartment, and weren’t allowed pets in the building, other than fish or birds. Birds gave him the creeps and goldfish just weren’t the same. Fish were boring. They just sat in a bowl. You couldn’t take them for a walk or pet them or play ball with them.

But one year, the year he turned twelve, Nathan’s life changed forever.

His father had started a new job a year ago, and was making more money. Enough money that they could finally buy a house. A whole house! With its own yard and everything! Most importantly, there was a fenced area for a dog! This year, when Nathan’s parents asked what he wanted for his birthday, the answer was yes. He could have a dog.

His mother agreed to the dog on one condition: they would adopt, not shop. No pet stores or fancy breeds; they would find a shelter dog that needed a home. Nathan was fine with that. Any dog would be a great dog, and he would love it with all his heart.

They registered with the SPCA and a bunch of other rescue groups, looking for a dog that would be a good fit for their family. One day, Nathan’s mother called him to look at something.

She was sitting at the kitchen table with her laptop open to some website.

Nathan took a look over his Mom’s shoulder to see what she was looking at. The screen had a picture of a group of dogs on it.

‘What’s this?’ he asked.

‘There are puppies available for adoption, and you’ll never guess from where. Chernobyl!’ she told him.

‘Isn’t that place like, radioactive or something?’ he said.

His mother explained, ‘According to this, hundreds of dogs roam the woods in the exclusion zone near Chernobyl. They are the descendants of pets that were left behind in the evacuation. Some of the puppies are being brought to the U.S. for adoption. The adoptions will be done through the SPCA, and we’re already registered with them. We can ask to be put on a wait list for one of these puppies if you want.’

It sounded pretty cool, but Nathan had some concerns. He asked his mom, ‘Is that even safe? Like are they mutants or anything?’

‘No, not at all,’ she told him, ‘Many of the dogs are perfectly healthy. No radiation sickness, and they are carefully vetted before they are put up for adoption.’

Nathan was sold. ‘Cool! I want a radioactive puppy!’

‘And if we don’t get one, we will find another shelter pup that needs us, agreed?’ his mom said.

‘Okay!’ Nathan said.”

“What happened that they had to evacuate, Grandpa?” Kylie asked.

“It was a meltdown!” Joel said. “We learned about it in school. Some kind of power plant in Russia. It went nuclear. Like, psssh!” He made a sound that mimicked an explosion and motioned with his hands.

“Well, it didn’t actually blow up, but it was really bad. It happened back in the eighties. They used some pretty dangerous stuff to make electricity in the old days. The power plant at Chernobyl had a bad accident. All the land around it became poisoned from radiation, and the people had to evacuate. The place is still deserted today. You can see pictures on the internet of all the empty buildings. There’s even a deserted amusement park. And nobody can go there even now, because it’s still radioactive.”

“But what about all the animals?” Kylie asked.

“A lot of them got left behind to fend for themselves. Some died, and some just went wild. There was still a working power plant there, thirty years later. And the workers started feeding some of the wild dogs that were running around. And, as dogs do, some of them became friendly again. Eventually, some rescue organizations got wind of it and started to capture the dogs. The wilder ones got checked by vets, fixed so they couldn’t have any more puppies, and then set free again. And they started catching the puppies and finding homes for them.”

The old man took a sip of his coffee, which had gotten cold, and continued the story.

“June twenty-fifth was a date Nathan never forgot, because it was the happiest day of his life. School was out for the summer, but most importantly, the time had come to bring home the new puppy. Surprisingly, their application for a Chernobyl pup had been accepted and they were minutes away from meeting their new family member. Nathan and his mother paced the waiting room of the SPCA, too excited to sit down.

They didn’t know much about the puppy, other than it was a male, approximately four months old, and would grow to be a medium to large-sized dog. The breed was anyone’s guess, but it was said that some of the wild dogs had been running in wolf packs, so the puppy might even have had some wolf in it.

A woman came from the back room, holding a wriggling bundle of black-and-white fur in her arms. When the puppy saw the new people, he squirmed away from the woman. He ran to Nathan, slipping and sliding on the floor on huge, clumsy feet. The puppy whined and wagged his tail so hard his whole body wagged. He licked Nathan’s face, covering it with dog slobber, but Nathan didn’t mind.

‘I’m going to call you Charlie, and we’re going to be best friends!’ he told the dog.”

“Oh!” Kylie squealed. “Just like –”

“Will you shut up and stop interrupting!” her brother said.

“That’s ok. She’s just excited. Right sweetie?” The old man gave Kylie a knowing wink.

“Anyway, where was I? Ah yes. Charlie. He named the dog Charlie, and they were the best of friends from that day forward. They were inseparable.

To most people, Charlie seemed like an average puppy; he liked to chew, had boundless energy and loved Nathan more than life itself. As far as Nathan was concerned, Charlie was exceptional. He was bright and obedient, and easy to train.

Charlie loved to fetch, and his favorite toy was the Frisbee. After he had shredded several regular Frisbees, Nathan bought him a special chew-proof one designed for dogs. Every day they walked to the dog park, rain or shine, to play fetch. Charlie didn’t really need a leash, but Nathan put one on him to and from the dog park to keep the neighbors happy.

One particularly blustery autumn day, Nathan threw the Frisbee and a gust of wind caught it, sending it sailing over the fence and onto the busy street next to the park. Charlie was in hot pursuit. Without missing a beat, he leaped over the fence – a six-foot-high chain link fence it was – and dashed into the traffic. Nathan didn’t have time to wow over the amazing feat of fence-jumping he’d just witnessed – he had to get his dog.

He dashed through the gate, shouting, ‘Charlie! Stop!’ but Charlie was on a mission.

Nathan was too late. The driver of the truck couldn’t possibly have stopped in time, even if he had seen Charlie.

It happened in slow motion, to Nathan’s eyes. The big eighteen-wheeler mowed Charlie down and ran over him, first with the front wheel, and then both sets of wheels on the trailer. He watched in horror as Charlie was flung like a rag doll from one set of dual wheels into the path of the second set.”

“No!” Kylie cried. “You didn’t tell us he was going to die! I don’t like this story.” She looked like she was going to cry.

“Shh! Don’t interrupt!” Joel hissed.

“Don’t worry, it gets better,” the old man assured her.

“Anyhow, there Charlie was, lying in the road, just a limp bundle of black-and-white fur. Nathan’s knees felt weak. He wanted to collapse, but he willed himself to stay standing. He wasn’t going to leave Charlie out there in the traffic, even though he knew it was too late to save him. Tears streaming down his face, Nathan ran toward the scene of the worst horror imaginable.

He reached the edge of the road, and then the unthinkable happened.

Charlie stood up, shook himself off, and walked over to pick up the Frisbee from the street. He trotted happily over to Nathan, holding his head high in the air all proud-like. All he cared about was that he’d gotten the Frisbee. He knew he was a good boy.

Nathan checked him over, and he looked fine. Not a scratch on him, just black marks on the white part of his fur from the rubber tires. He rushed home to tell his parents, but they didn’t believe him. They thought he was exaggerating, but they brought Charlie to the vet just in case.

Dr. Michaels found nothing wrong with him. No injuries of any kind. She explained to Nathan in a condescending way that the wheels of the truck had missed Charlie when the truck passed over him.

‘But what about those black marks in his fur?’ Nathan said. ‘That’s rubber from the tires. I saw the tires run over him.’

“That’s probably grease from the underside of the truck,’ Dr Michaels said. ‘See? That reinforces what I was telling you. The truck straddled him. The tires missed him. He’s one lucky dog.’

Nathan didn’t argue further, but he knew what he’d seen. The most important thing was, his best friend was okay.

Fall turned into winter. Charlie loved the snow as much as he loved everything else. He found fun in everything he did. He learned to ride a toboggan and tried to fetch snowballs. He discovered hockey, which Nathan and his friends played on the frozen pond. Charlie was an excellent goalie.

One day in the middle of a game, they heard screams. Nathan and his friends rushed to help, with Charlie racing alongside.

A crowd of kids were gathered around, and it turned out a small child had fallen into an ice fishing hole. Usually they’ll put some kind of barrier or safety cones to let skaters know there’s a hole, you know. But this jerk, whoever the fisherman was, had just left an open hole there.

The little boy had been skating with his mother. She had already called 911, but time was running out. The poor woman was in hysterics.

Nobody could reach the kid; the hole was too small and the kid had sunk too deep. By the time someone got there with something to cut the hole bigger, it would be too late. That little boy was a goner.

Charlie pushed through the crowd and slithered into the hole like an eel. Nathan wouldn’t have believed the dog would fit, but he did. But how was he going to get out? Now they had lost Charlie as well. Nathan peered into the depths of the hole, trying to get a glimpse of Charlie or the little boy, but saw only blackness. Minute after agonizing minute passed.

They heard sirens in the distance, but Nathan knew help wouldn’t get there in time.

There was still no sign of Charlie. More than five minutes had passed since he dove through the hole in the ice. Nathan started to think that this time Charlie wouldn’t be so lucky.

And then, he saw a glow under the water. The light grew brighter, and then Charlie surfaced, holding the collar of the little boy’s jacket in his teeth. The boys pulled the child out of the water and passed him to his mother.

Nathan helped Charlie climb out of the hole. The dog shook the water from his fur nonchalantly, as though he had just taken a fun little swim.

Nathan hugged him tight and told him what a good boy he was.

The paramedics arrived and performed CPR on the little boy and wrapped him in blankets, then carried him to the ambulance.

The boy survived, thanks to Chernobyl Charlie.

And then there was the time when Nathan was sixteen, and he took a camping trip with a few of his friends. And Charlie, of course. Charlie was a great camping buddy because he was also a night light. You see, he glowed with a soft greenish light when he was happy. All it took was a belly rub or a scratch behind the ears to turn the light on. Or telling him he was a good boy; that worked too.

So, on this camping trip, the boys hiked a ways into the wilderness, to a spot beside a nice little lake. They planned stay a couple of days and do some fishing. The first day, they caught a nice bunch of trout. They cooked a few over the fire for dinner, and packed the rest in ice in the cooler.

Well, it turned out, a bear had caught the scent of their fish. Late at night after the campfire had died down, the bear came into the camp to steal the fish. It was a big bear, too. A Grizzly. The boys had hung all their food in a tree, the way you’re supposed to when you’re camping, but this bear was determined. Mr. Grizzly smelled that food and wasn’t leaving until he found it.”

Kylie shivered and pulled the blanket more tightly around her. “This is scary.” She glanced over at the tent, where she and her brother would be sleeping that night.

“Don’t be a fraidy-cat. There aren’t any Grizzlies around here. Right Grandpa?” Joel said.

“Right. Don’t worry, you’re perfectly safe. I promise there are no Grizzlies here. Remember, the boys were high in the mountains, out in the wilderness.”

“What happened next?” Kylie asked.

“Well, the boys woke to the sound of the bear rampaging through the camp. And I’m not gonna lie, they were plenty scared. They had hung up the food, but not all of it. They had snack foods in the tent with them. A bear’s nose is sensitive enough to detect even a small amount of food. They didn’t have anything to use as a weapon. All they had was an axe, and it was beside the fire.

Charlie started growling. Nathan tried to shush him, but he wanted out of that tent something awful. He started tearing at the door of the tent until he found an opening in the zipper and forced his way through. He charged at the bear, barking and snarling like he’d lost his mind.

He chased the bear away from camp, and in the distance the boys could hear the sounds of a horrible fight – snarls, roars, branches breaking. Once again, Nathan thought his dog was done for.

A while later, Charlie returned. He was covered in blood but otherwise just fine. The boys were pretty shook up. They cut their trip short, packed up the camp and left as soon as it got light. On the hike back, they came across a gruesome sight on the trail. The remains of a large Grizzly bear. The bear had been ripped to shreds. Like it had gone through a meat grinder or something. One of the boys commented how lucky they were that the marauding bear had killed another bear instead of them.

Nathan knew that the bear hadn’t been killed by another bear.

Chernobyl Charlie just panted and smiled. He knew he was a good boy.”

“Time for bed, kids! Say goodnight to Grandpa!” Laura had joined them sometime during the part about the bear.

“But Mom! He’s not done the story yet!”

“I’m done for tonight. We’ll tell more stories about Chernobyl Charlie tomorrow.”

“Give Grandpa a hug.”

Kylie and Joel hugged their grandfather.

“Goodnight, Grandpa. Thanks for the story,” Joel said.

“What happened to Charlie? Like, did he live with Nathan forever?” Kylie asked.

“Well, you know, sweetie, dogs don’t live as long as we do, but I’m sure he had a good long life. Charlie was pretty special.”

After the children were tucked into their sleeping bags, Laura returned and sat next to the fire.

“You know, Nate, I wish you wouldn’t tell them scary stories before bed. Grizzly bears? Can’t you make up something a little, I don’t know… nicer?”

“What’s nicer than a dog that saves the day? Besides, it’s all true.”

“I mean, I know you believe it’s true, but seriously. It’s pretty far-fetched.”

“I promise I’ll tell them a ‘nice’ story next time, ok?”

“OK. Thank you.” She stood and gave him a hug. “You’re a good grandfather. I appreciate all you do for them.” With that she went into the house.

“Don’t mind her, Charlie,” Nate said to the old black-and-white dog that lay at his feet. “I know how special you are.”

Charlie thumped his tail on the ground and a soft greenish glow emanated from his body. He knew he was a good boy.

 

Copyright © 2018 Mandy White

 

 

Mandy White photo

Mandy White

Mandy White is a Canadian writer from Vancouver Island, British Columbia.

A recluse by nature and avid fan of the outdoors, Mandy can often be found lurking in the forest, daydreaming dark thoughts that inevitably come to life in print. Her work often features Canadian characters and locations; she delights in twisting her everyday surroundings into weird and disturbing tales.

Caution: if you happen to cross her path, you may find yourself in an upcoming story.

Author of several published books, Mandy is particularly fond of short stories. She is a founding member of WPaD (Writers, Poets and Deviants),a group of writers known for publishing multi-genre charity anthologies.

She has published a series of short story collections calledDysfictional(Dysfunctional Fiction)

You can read many of her short stories on her blog: Dysfictional (Dysfunctional Fiction)

To learn more about Mandy White’s books, visit her website: http://mandywrite.weebly.com/

 

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A note from Juliette

I wouldn’t be blogging today if I hadn’t had the much needed support from Mandy White. Mandy is my writing cohort and friend. We’ve worked on many projects over the years with WPaD (Writers, Poets, and Deviants) and worked together supporting and mentoring fellow writers.

Over the years I’ve featured quite a few of her stories on this blog.

  1. Heart Shaped Box by Mandy White
  2. We’re Not So Different by Mandy White
  3. Beneath the Bed by Mandy White
  4. Just One Kiss by Mandy White

This is how I feel when Mandy White sends me a story to share:

giphy

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just thinking about stuff, but not really, and a funny story about a Vampire Hunter.

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I was looking through my dusty archives to find something interesting to re-post, re-blog, re-purpose, or you know, not write today.

Given what is going on right now we should all have a lot more done than we have. Novels should be finished. Your entire yard should be re-landscaped. Dogs should be trained and dressed up like great works of arts. You should have painted at least three museum worthy masterpieces. To give him great amounts of credit my husband painted four rooms in our house including the kitchen.

Blogging about grown children is sort of like walking on a tight rope in the wind. That is all I’m going to say about that today.

I spoke to a friend today who sort of mentioned that one day just blends into the next and it is ok if nobody is getting anything done. It is ok. Additional stress is the last thing any of us need right now.

In the meantime I thought you’d like to read an amusing story that might make you smile.

 

Gerald Atkins, Vampire Hunter

“Now take that Gerald Atkins. He was the worst Vampire Hunter I’d ever seen. He could spot them but that was about it.”

“What was wrong with him?” Austin poured Grammy another cup of coffee.

“Oh he thought he was so suave showing up all dressed up like Sam Spade in his over coat and hat, smoking those smelly cigarettes of his.”

Grammy put some half and half in her coffee and continued. “Gerald would do stupid things like show up with holy water he’d gotten from a nun down at the Catholic church. I told him that he’d just as well throw Coca Cola at a Vampire for all the good it would do. I believe he was having sexual intercourse with that nun. Sister Ann was her name. I bet half the babies in that orphanage where hers.”

“They weren’t her children,” said Austin.

“You don’t know that Austin.”

“Oh Grammy.”

“Just let me finish my story. Gerald Atkins was an idiot. He showed up at a party with his detective get up, with his briefcase full of holy water, a cross, and some old spike he carved out of a 2×4 piece of lumber. Of course he had a knife too but I doubt if he ever sharpened it. The man was goddamn lazy if you ask me.

In a back room back away from all of the drug addicts doing their cocaine on the glass top tables Gerald Atkins finds a couple of Vampires hanging out. There’s a male and a female. Mr. Vampire looks like he belongs to one of those hair bands. It was the 80’s you know. Miss Vampire wore a royal blue silk dress with the back open almost down to her butt crack. So Gerald Atkins takes a look at then and throws his holy water at them. It splashes all over Miss Vampire’s expensive dress and does nothing but make a bunch of stains. The Vampires jump all over Gerald’s ass and suck enough blood out of him to almost kill him, but not quite. Then they dump him in a gutter.

He wakes up in the hospital blubbering on about Vampires. The doctors were convinced he had bats in his attic and was full goose bat shit loony, and locked him up in the mental ward for a few days.

Another time he decided he wanted to date a Vampire woman. Gerald Atkins was so stupid thinking he might get lucky before he killed her. He talked her up trying to tell her how beautiful she was in a cool sort of way. She listened to him and beat him to any game he might have been trying to play. He ends up telling her his life story and about all of his pathetic sorry romances except for his diddling Sister Ann. He never dared speak of Sister Ann but everybody knew about them. Everybody.

Then the fool thinks the Vampire woman is falling for him because she is smiling so sweetly and making her eyes go all twinkly and pretty the way Vampires do. That Vampire woman tied Gerald Atkins naked to a bed in a fancy hotel and left him with the bill. She never took a stitch of her clothing off. Just left him there naked as the day he was born with a couple of holes in his neck. Idiot.”

“Is he still hunting Vampires Grammy?”

“Gosh no. Those Vampires got tired of his shenanigans and cut his head off one night. They left him in the Old City Cemetery with his body laid out on a random grave and his head on top to the tombstone.”

“That’s awful,” said Austin.

Grammy shook her head. “Not really Austin. He wasn’t careful or smart like we are. He never did his research. He could tell if someone was a Vampire but he sure didn’t have any talent to hunt them down properly. He gave us all a bad name.”

Austin offered Grammy more coffee. She nodded yes.

“No thanks. I will have another one of those sugar cookies you made. I’ll take two.”

“Do you think you’ll ever hunt Vampire again?” Austin asked his Grammy half joking. Just half.

Grammy took a bite of cookie and thought a bit. Then she smiled at her grandson. “I don’t know. I can’t run like I used to but you never know. They wouldn’t expect an old lady like me now would they.”

Austin just smiled and took a cookie. No they wouldn’t expect anyone like his Grammy. Nobody ever expected Grammy.

~ end

 

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Have fun everyone. I have a new series starting up tomorrow so I’ll see you back here soon. Stay home. Social distance. Wash your hands. Be nice. Think good thoughts. Be creative.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

Vlad’s Vampire Diary: Social Distancing

Dear Diary,

Even Vampires are going out less these days.  We must, what does Gillian say, oh yes, she says we must stay the fuck home.

While at home during this quarantine for a virus called Covid-19 my friends feel compelled to keep me entertained from afar.

A quarantine is not an uncommon or foreign idea to me. I was born at the time of the great black death plagues in Europe. I have been through many many many pandemics. Unfortunately for me I was locked in a crypt for the past three hundred years only to be rescued in the year 2014. I had skipped the 18th – 20th Centuries and first years of the 21st. That included all of the technology that came to be, not to mention the popular culture that occurred. Everything changed. I have still yet to catch up.

My friends, who forget I did not read Dickens the first time around, and never drove an automobile, or even heard of or imagined an automobile until six years ago expect me to dive into the fun and frivolity caused by people staying the fuck home.

They, my dear friends, telling me WATCH THIS. They expect me to laugh. The songs are all about hand washing, bleach, and staying alive. While these are all good instructions I find myself at a loss. These songs are also supposed to be humorous. I am supposed to laugh. I understand that if I drink milk I am supposed to spit it out of my nose. I do not understand that reference either. Who shoots milk out of their nose? I do not understand.

Finally my good friend Randolpho asks me why I do not understand the musical quarantine parodies. I tell him that it is the same reason I do not understand the songs of Weird Al. I have no point of reference.

THEN Randolpho tells me that another thing those staying at home do is to make a playlist.

“What is a playlist? Are we going to put on a show and play different parts from afar wearing masks and gloves? If we do Othello I will not play Iago.” I tell my friend.

Then he says, “NOOOOOOOO,” like he always says when he thinks I am being stupid. “A playlist is a list of songs that you like. Usually it is a list of songs that define your being. It is music that makes you feel.”

“Feel what?”

“Anything.”

“Alright then, I will make a playlist,” I told him.

I freely admit I do not know all of the songs but I have learned quite a few pieces of music that make me feel. Not all of them make me feel but I do enjoy listening to them, especially loudly in my car when I drive at night with the windows rolled down.

Driving with the window rolled down and music playing loudly is a pleasure of modern life I could have never have predicted. It is invigorating unlike almost anything else.

I have made a playlist. This is what is called a short list meaning it is not all of the music I listen to.

  • Walkin After Midnight – Patsy Cline
  • One Fine Day, Madam Butterfly – Haylet Westenra
  • Rave On – Buddy Holly
  • Concerto in Da Minor, Bach – Bach Eternal
  • Riptide – Vance Joy
  • Ring of Fire – Johnny Cash
  • Friends in Low Places – Garth Brooks
  • Riptide – Robert Palmer
  • Fuge in G Minor, Bach – Virgil Fox
  • I Will Survive – Gloria Gaynor
  • Friends in Low Places – Garth Brooks
  • Everlasting – Survivor
  • You Shook Me All Night Long – AC/CD
  • Who’s Alright – Yeah… Um Huh. – The Rapture
  • Somethin’ Stupid – Frank & Nancy Sinatra
  • Short Skirt Long Jacket – Cake
  • Camel Walk – Southern Culture On The Skids
  • Dark Necessities – Red Hot Chili Peppers
  • Hall of the Mountain King – Apocalyptica
  • Day Dream – Lovin’ Spoonful
  • Cello Suite No. 1 in G Major Johan Sebastian Bach – Yo-Yo Ma
  • Hot Blooded – Foreigner
  • Night Call – Kavinsky
  • Night Walk – Gavin Luke
  • Tricky – Run DMC
  • The Way You Look Tonight – Fred Astaire
  • House of Wolves – My Chemical Romance
  • Sweet Caroline – Neil Diamond
  • Damn Right, I’ve Got the Blues – Buddy Guy
  • You Could Be Right – Jeremy Lister
  • Contagious – Night Riots
  • John Coltrane – everything

Randolpho told me my list is random. In fact, he said it was the most random playlist he has ever seen. I do not know what that means. I refuse to ask him or comment on his response.

His exact words were, “What the Hell is this Vlad? Were you trying for random?”

I told him once again that his hat was ridiculous.

~ Vlad

 

 

Dear Diary,

I have conversations with my neighbor over the fence. She told me that in order to entertain her children she is making paper dolls. I asked her what paper dolls are. She told me. She cuts out shapes of girls and boys, animals, princesses and snowflakes. She said her paper dolls are cute. I asked her how to make them.

I made my own paper dolls. As you can see I am fairy adept when it comes to arts and crafts. I believe these would be considered cute.

IMG_1766

IMG_1768

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~ Vlad

 

 

Dear Diary,

I still do not understand those who go to the streets and protest that their hair needs to be colored, or that they need to go to the beach or go out an fart in the public squares. They should try being locked in a crypt for three hundred years. They would not do well indeed.

As a 676 year old Vampire I know to well the finality and fragility of human life. I also find myself, as always, someone with a vested interest in what these warm blooded humans do with themselves.

I have come to respect those who have become quite ancient for the standard of warm blooded humans. They are called seniors. When I was locked in that crypt there were very few seniors. Now there are more but they still need to be protected and respected.

Others from babies to people who are not yet ancient are also becoming ill and perishing from this virus.

Humans can indeed be vile creatures.

~ Vlad

 

 

Dear Diary,

Today I went out to the hardware store to get a saw blade. I am building deck chairs. That would be chairs I will sit in when I sit on my deck at night. I am supposed to be improving my home since I am supposed to stay at home.

I put on a face mask. When I returned to my car I attempted to take off my mask but got a fang caught in it. Damn it all.

~ Vlad

 

 

Dear Diary,

I have finished my deck chairs. I am listening to my playlist. Now I will binge watch on Netflix.

I know what a virus is now. A virus is a small being that is not an animal or a plant. It creates illness for no other purpose than that. A virus is a vile thing. I came to learn that some believe that a virus is what first caused Vampires to become Vampires. I very much doubt that.

How can something so small that not a soul can see it can do so much damage?

As I sit under the stars listening to the frogs, with a glass of blood on the table beside me, my MacBook Pro on my lap, and my love Gillian in my other deck chair I count my blessings, that is if there are blessings for Vampires. There must be blessings or Gillian and I would not be here.

I look at her and sing quietly,

Heart and soul I come to you
Are we meeting here on cue
Just in time for a love affair?
Like a fool that walked through fire

Just to reach my heart’s desire
Baby would you be waiting there?
Can we afford to wonder
If this could be the one?

Woh-oh — lookin’ for a love that’s everlasting
Wonder if the feeling’s strong enough
Tell me are we merely lovers passing
Or an everlasting love?

She takes my hand and makes me stand. Then she holds me close, and then we went inside, leaving the night for others, and starting our own playlist for the night.

 

~ Vlad

 

 

Kissed by a Vampire

Kissed by a Vampire

Big Hat

Randolpho and his ridiculous tall hat which he rarely takes off.

Write that novel while you’re staying at home. Easy fool proof instructions.

Are you looking for something to do while you’re staying at home?

Look no more! Follow the simple guidelines below and write that best selling novel.

Plot: what happens

Pick up to two.

  • Boy meets girl. Girl calls boy an asshole. Girl changes her mind.
  • Girl is gets engaged. The guy she is engaged to is a dick. She meets someone else. Someone else is better than the dick.
  • Someone is murdered. Everyone tries to figure it out.
  • Someone goes missing. Everyone tries to find missing person. Missing person doesn’t want to be found.
  • Someone is in danger. They meet someone while in danger. They fall in love. The bad guy dies. They are soulmates.
  • Someone gets sick. Then they get better.
  • Someone lives on a farm and longs for another life.
  • Someone lives in the city and longs for another time.
  • Someone finds religion and doesn’t know what to do with it.
  • Someone goes on a treasure hunt but finds that bad guys are looking for the same treasure.
  • Man finds out his wife is cheating and moves out to the wilderness with his children.
  • Woman finds her grown children frustrating so she moves to Italy and falls in love with a dashing man her own age.
  • Rock star goes on a journey to find his long lost family.
  • Someone has something to hide but they aren’t doing it very well. Drama ensues.
  • Someone finds a lot of money but a bad person wants it too.
  • Someone finds a body under their house and decides to bring it back to life.
  • An invasion of frogs and the exciting conclusion
  • Crew goes into space and something goes wrong
  • A quest to find treasure or something. They pick up friends along the way and get into loads of trouble before they FINALLY find what they’re looking for.

 

Twists: unexpected and surprising events

Pick up to five

  • Treasure
  • Ghosts
  • Sasquatch
  • Illness
  • Sex
  • Puppies
  • Politics
  • A big fat lie
  • Poison oak
  • A tall handsome cowboy
  • An angel
  • An unexpected visitor
  • Rabies
  • They get back together
  • Magic
  • Death
  • Robots
  • Explosions
  • Illness
  • A love letter

Ending: what happens in the last few pages

Pick up to three 

  • They get married and happiness happens
  • They get rescued
  • The killer is caught
  • The killer isn’t caught
  • They all laugh about it
  • She loses all of her extra weight and shows them all how fabulous she is.
  • The dog comes home
  • The long lost child comes home.
  • They find the planet
  • They find happiness right where they are
  • Revenge is applied and it is sweet
  • They are ok just the way they are

 

Main character(s)

Pick up to three

  • The detective
  • The man
  • The woman
  • A person who uses they/them pronouns
  • A traveler
  • A person
  • An alien
  • An animal
  • A child
  • Brother Harold who solves mysteries in the Middle Ages

 

Supporting characters: people and other living creatures

Pick up to ten

  • The gay best friend
  • The sassy black woman
  • The Asian friend
  • The pale white friend
  • The other ethnic friend
  • The preacher
  • The talkative child
  • The shy beautiful woman
  • The slut
  • That guy
  • A tall handsome cowboy
  • A prince
  • A princess
  • The husband
  • The wife
  • The kid
  • The sullen teen
  • The mother-in-law
  • The bully from high school
  • The mean boss
  • A rich female business owner
  • The man in charge
  • The politician
  • The best friend from college
  • The mysterious stranger
  • The lady detective
  • The hard boiled detective
  • An alien from another planet
  • The pool boy
  • The ex-girlfriend
  • The ex-husband
  • The children
  • A wizard
  • A witch
  • A wise person
  • A super old granny or grandpa
  • The noisy neighbor
  • The maid
  • The cook
  • The poor guy who is really a rich guy in disguise
  • The female mechanic
  • A Vampire
  • A Werewolf
  • The General
  • The tennis pro
  • The hair dresser
  • The dog
  • The cat
  • The horse
  • The bird
  • The fawn
  • The HUGE moose
  • An elephant
  • An ape in a dinner jacket with an English accent
  • A ghost
  • A fairy
  • A dragon

 

Genre

Pick up to two. It would be easier to pick one but there might be some crossovers.

  • Romance
  • Fantasy
  • Science Fiction
  • Mainstream
  • Cozy mystery
  • Crime/Detective
  • Mystery
  • Urban Fantasy
  • Horror
  • Historic
  • Western
  • Erotica
  • Magical Realism
  • YA
  • Depressing introspective mush
  • Literary
  • An overly gripping family saga
  • Sports

 

Location: Where your story takes place

Pick up to six in case they want to move around

  • Big City
  • Small town
  • Medium City
  • Near the ocean
  • Far far away
  • Florida
  • New York
  • California
  • Texas
  • The West
  • Nebraska
  • Europe
  • Mountains
  • Space
  • On the moon
  • Alien Planet
  • Fairy land
  • I want to build my own world
  • In a well
  • Unspecified
  • Asia
  • Africa
  • New Orleans
  • A swamp
  • Lizard Town
  • The desert
  • Deep dark woods
  • An unspecified chocolate shop
  • A factory
  • A diner
  • A rabbit hole
  • A ship on the high sea
  • A ship on the low sea
  • A castle
  • A police station
  • A raft
  • A cave
  • Wild Canada
  • Tame Canada

 

When

Pick as many as you need but don’t jump around too much

  • Present time
  • Twenty years ago
  • 1960’s
  • 1980’s
  • 1880’s
  • American Civil War
  • English Civil War
  • Russian Revolution
  • California Gold Rush Era
  • Black Plague
  • Roaring 20’s
  • 1600’s
  • American Revolution
  • A few years into the future
  • Way into the future
  • Back to the future
  • Bronze age
  • Roman times
  • Ancient China
  • A long long time ago
  • Not Earth time
  • Caveman Time

 

Chapters: Pick a quantity and stick to it

  • No chapters. Let it freely flow
  • 1-10
  • 11-20
  • 20-248

Sex:

  • Explicite
  • Soft Porn
  • Implied
  • No
  • Hell no
  • What?

Violence:

  • Yes
  • Hell yes
  • No
  • Hell no
  • Implied
  • Maybe a little
  • Nothing but violence

 

Now what?

Look at your list. Put on your face mask. Go for a walk and think about it. Come home. Wash your hands. Leave your shoes by the door. Make some tea/coffee/cocktail/water then put your list in order and start writing.

WRITE WRITE WRITE WRITE WRITE.

You can do it!!!!

By using these easy lists, in two weeks at home YOU will have a best selling novel. Don’t forget to spell check and edit. Make sure your cover isn’t some crappy ass amateur thing. If you have a good cover who cares what is inside. Right?

Good luck. Have fun. Send links to your book when you’re finished.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

 Vampires write love letters too