Max was brooding. It is what my eldest brother does best.
I’d come home and found him sulking in my living room on the red couch brooding over a book on the symbolism of art.
“Why does everything have to be so complicated? Why can’t a dove just be a dove, or a sunset just a phenomenon based on the rotation of the earth?”
“You sound like Andy,” I told him. Andy is another brother of mine who likes to wax poetically 24/7 and imagines himself deep. Andy is deep and it works for him. It just sounds weird and uncomfortable when Max does it.
His two giant wolfhounds, along with my sled-dog-mongrel lay sprawled in carpet of dogs at Max’s feet.
I invited Max for Halloween. I thought a quiet night of little monsters and our usual gathering with friends and kids and non-Vampire folks would do him good. Or it would make him want to crawl out of his skin but I didn’t care. I went over to my big brother and rubbed his shoulders. “Relax. You’ve been under a lot of stress too. We all have. Watch the game with me.”
I knew Max was missing parties at home due to the fact that we KNEW the Giants would win the World Series (3rd time in five years) and Max lives in San Francisco. I knew he didn’t care about some stupid female in f-me shoes. So we watched the Giants win and wondered how many little baby boys would be named Madison and Hunter in 2015. Just a couple of Vampires hanging out on a Wednesday night before Halloween.
Oh come on, we’re really not that horrifying. Sure we have some amazing dental work that we use to suck blood out of living humans, but nobody is the worse for it, well, not usually. Our hearts don’t always beat, but they do love. We’re cold, but then again we don’t get all sweaty. We can give people nightmares and hide in shadows and make you forget whatever we want you to forget. I can even suck out your soul but that is usually more trouble than it is worth. Really, trust me on that one.
My husband Teddy was at Kings game (Basketball. Of course they didn’t win. They never win.) My 15-year-old Clara came down to join us after the game. She told Max about all of the stupid stuff going on at school.
I know, I should have some sort of awful HORROR story this time of year. But this is our time to just relax. The holidays are coming and the cold weather and THAT is when things really pick up for us.
I let Max go on about all of the Demons and Zombies and Vampire Hunters and Crazy Ass Rogue Vampires and assholes he had been dealing with at work. He is one of the ones who takes care of all of those things. Not “take care” as in nurture, but “take care” of as in “get rid of.”
On his arm is an ugly fading scar from a Demon scratch. In his heart, be it ever so still, is a will that can’t be broken by anything that might come his way in the shadows he protects.
You should thank him for that. Max and those like him are the reason Regular Humans only have to deal with their own evil and not that of our kind, or those who aren’t Regular Humans or any kind of human.
He and his teammates are the reason why Halloween is relatively safe and sane and fun… the ghosts and ghouls know there will be dire consequences if they show their real faces.
I’ve so many calls to make before tomorrow night and so much to do. Clara is driving me crazy with requests for EVERYTHING (as teenagers do.) As a mom, even as a Vampire mom I feel a need to keep everyone safe and happy. That is, easier knowing that those like Max have my back.
If you’re a Regular Human, on this Halloween thank those who have your back and will risk their lives for you.
Max and I talked through the night about everything under the moon and stars. We watched the ghosts dance later under the oak trees as the bats danced above in the air. As the dogs slept we laughed. I got Max to laugh, something that has seemed rare lately.
In the morning, this morning, to the sound of garbage trucks (yes it is garbage day) we went outside and watched sky show it’s lights just before the sun came up. Max put his arm around my shoulder and gave me a squeeze.
“So what’s next?” I asked him.
He smiled showing a bit of fang. “Halloween my dear Juliette, Halloween!”
~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman