Christmas Orphans (a short random tale)

Christmas Orphans (a short random tale)

“Why do I have eyes of different colors? The brown eye is my own. The blue eye is a different story. I plucked it from the freshly dead body of a young Irish nun. She’d killed herself because she had a vision that the child she was carrying, the child of the handsome young priest, was the Antichrist.”

“Why were you there Uncle Jeff?” A young voice in a hushed whisper asked.

“Because, my dear, I was the handsome young priest. That was before the life I live now. But I still see visions of angels and of a family in a warm embrace of love, then the fires of Hell with dancing devils and…”

“JEFF. STOP IT,” I yelled. “You’re going to give them nightmares.”

I know better than to ask my crazy brother to tell Christmas stories to my children and their young cousins.

“But, Simon, the stories are true,” my brother said as if he believed what he was saying.

“Kids, don’t listen to him. He’s blowing stories out of his…out of his ears.”

“Did I tell you about the time I met Santa Claus?”

“Jeff, no more storytelling.”

“It was the winter of 1969.”

“Jeff you were a toddler in 1969.”

“You have no idea how old I really am. Brother I have secrets that will make your head explode. Now children, the rest of the researchers on the Arctic research station had died of a mysterious illness. Then the giant polar two ton bears came. I’ll never forget the sound of them crunching on the bones of my friends.”

“Giant two ton polar bears?”

My brother and the children ignored me as he continued his tale. “I wouldn’t let them eat the dogs so we took off with the sled north, following the stars. Frozen and hungry, my body could take no more. Out of my blue eye I could see my angel Bernadette, the nun I’d loved. Her visions…”


“Then I heard bells. Not big bells like the Liberty Bell, but small happy bells. A lot of bells. I thought I was in a dream. My dogs huddled close. Then we saw them. The Zombies…”

I went to the kitchen for a beer. My wife and Jeff’s weird Goth girlfriend were talking about how to make the perfect prime rib.

Spotting my sister Libby out on the deck I went out to join her.

“It’s cold out.”

“Cold but not as weird as it is inside.”

“Do you think there is any truth to his stories.”

“I don’t know. He has memories of before we were found. All the records still say we were abandoned at the rest stop outside of Barstow. Nobody came forward to claim us. We’re related for sure, the DNA tests prove that, and we look like each other  but…”

My sister shrugged. “I did more research but didn’t find anything. Nothing. It is like we were dropped by aliens.”

“Or Santa Claus.” I said.

We were found on Christmas Day, three toddlers. Our dad was the highway patrolman who found us. Jeff was the oldest, then Libby and I was just a baby. The doctors figured Jeff was around three, Libby maybe two and I was a newborn. We were all wearing hand knitted Christmas sweaters and red Santa hats.

Our life was happy and normal with our new parents. They loved us unconditionally. They still do.

I never thought about who might have left us at the rest stop with typed notes saying “Merry Christmas. Please keep us together,” pinned on our sweaters.

Libby and I went back inside to catch the end of Jeff’s story.

“In the morning Santa and I sat on the beach listening to the crashing waves. I passed him the bottle of whiskey we were sharing and he put his hand on back and said “Good job son, good job.”

~ End


victorian christmas

Merry Christmas

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Vampire Diary: Game Day

Vlad’s Vampire Diary: Game Day

Dear Diary,

The cat stood at the door. She asked to go out, or I assumed she did from her meowing. I opened the door. She walked away. I’m not playing this game. The door is now open. She doesn’t realize that the cold doesn’t bother me. For a brief moment I reveled in the thought that the cat does not understand Vampires. Then she jumped on the table and bit my hand. She was purring. I do not understand her game. I hate cats.

~ Vlad




Dear Diary,

My neighbor took me to a Kings Game. It is what they call Basketball. The team is called the Sacramento Kings. I was not sure what sort of game this basketball was.

He told me that I was to dress casual and to wear purple if I had it. I wore a purple dress shirt with a black tie and black slacks. The ladies had to rub my arm and smile. Women are so forward now. They said I looked gorgeous.

We arrived at the stadium. The Kings were going to play the Celtics. I missed pageantry and was feeling excited about the spectical.  Every seat in the stadium was full. People wore purple and green. Some had cowbells. A new leader, someone they called the Coach was to be crowned…or at least I thought.

The Celtics were not the Celts I knew of. They were huge, tall men. Some were over seven feet tall. They did not look like Celts.

Then the Kings came out. They were the huge men as the Celtics. I wondered what sort of challenges they would partake in. I saw no weapons.

They played with a ball. They threw it into a basket. At first I didn’t understand why everyone was so excited, then I was swept into the pandemonium. Girls danced. Music played, The crowd cheered. People yelled. Everyone danced. My neighbor’s wife grabbed me and we were on the “hug cam.”

Nobody was killed during or after the game. The losers were not punished. Everyone was happy. I don’t understand. There must be consequences unless this is just a circus show masked as a royal tournament.

~ Vlad


Kings vs Celtics


Dear Diary,

The spectacle of last night made me think of a story my Baba used to tell. It was long centuries ago when I was a child. It was back when my blood still ran warm and my heart would beat strong in my chest.

Once there was  a prince called Alexander who was betrothed to marry a woman he did not love. This woman was beautiful but she was also shrewish and it was rumored she took many lovers and would continue to do so after marriage. She planned to lock Alexander up and keep him to herself, as her toy. Young Alexander, only 16 years old, wished to be free like the squirrels and other woodland creatures. So on the eve of his wedding to the woman he did not love Alexander fled into the woods. 

Alexander became lost in the deep dark forest. The branches tore at his clothing and hair. He did not know what to do until he heard the sound of clicking and then laughing. Going towards the noise he found himself in a clearing. In the middle of patch of mowed grass was a table. At the table sat a squirrel, a possum, a cat and a snake. They sat around the table with bottles of wine and a cup of dice. 

They looked up at the startled young prince. The cat said in a voice rich with musical tones, “please, Alexander, come sit with us. Come play our game.”

“Tell me the rules,” said the prince.

The squirrel bushed up his tail and turned his head to the side. “First you must tell us your wish. Then we all throw the dice. Those with low scores must take a drink. The player with the high score gets to ask a question of one of the players.”

Alexander thought this was an odd game. “Who wins?” 

“You’ll see,” purred the cat, then she licked her paws and slicked back her whiskers. “What is your wish.”

“I wish to marry for love, eventually. I’m only sixteen,” said Alexander.

They all nodded, even the snake who stared with a flicking tongue and black eyes like polished obsidian. 

The cat motioned for the game to start. The squirrel rolled five, the cat rolled seven, the snake rolled two, the possum rolled eleven and Alexander rolled twelve. 

The snake hissed and rolled it’s eyes, “I win because I rolled my own eyes. I’m also tired of our wine.”

“And we’re tired of your whine,” said the squirrel. He then took the snake by the tail and threw it into the forest. Alexander could hear it cursing and slithering away through the brush.

The all drank big slugs of wine and told Alexander to ask a question of one of them. “I will ask you a question,” he said turning to the possum. “Why do you play dead?”

The possum grinned with sharp teeth and answered, “I play dead because there are Vampires in the woods. I wish to keep my blood so I play dead.”

The squirrel laughed. “Roll the dice.”

The squirrel had the high score of ten. He asked the cat, “Do you like living in the woods.”

The cat slowly closed then opened her bright green eyes. “I love my friends but I wish I had a forever home.” 

The possum started to cry because her answer made him so sad, so they all quickly took a drink and rolled the dice again and again. The game went on for hours until they were all too drunk to play anymore.

In the morning Alexander woke up on the table with the cat sleeping in the crook of his arm. The squirrel was sleeping on a branch above them. The possum was sleeping under the table. The snake had returned and was sleeping curled in a tight coil by the prince’s feet. 

The cat opened her eyes and started to purr. Alexander scratched under her chin. “Who won dear cat?” 

“You did,” said the cat, “but there is a catch. You must take me back to your home in the castle.”

Alexander and the cat said goodbye to their friends and promised to return. 

Upon his return Alexander was greeted with angry words from the woman he was to marry. She pulled him by the ear and slapped his face. When he could take no more he opened his jacket and out jumped the cat. The horrified woman backed away. Her eyes started to water and turn red. Then she sneezed so hard that her brains blew out of her nose and she fell dead upon the floor.

The cat said, “I had heard she was allergic. That is why all cats were banned from the castle as soon as the engagement was announced. Now you can become a man in peace and I will live with you as your cat. I’d like to tell you that I’m really an enchanted woman, but no such luck, I’m just a cat.”

Then the dogs came in and licked up the brains and they lived happily ever after together. And eventually, about ten years later the prince found his true love, and she loved his old cat as much as he did.

And that was the end of the story.

After writing down this story, my cat jumped in my lap. I wondered if she would kill for me. I doubted it.

~ Vlad


sunrise woods



Dear Diary,

Tonight I went out for dinner.

Meals used to involve cunning and seduction. Sometimes meals would involve force and stealth.

Now I go to a local gathering place and women approach me. They smile and tell me I’m cute or gorgeous or dreamy. Their goal is to seduce me. I don’t understand this change in culture but I am not going to complain. Finally there is something about the modern world that I find pleasing.

When I arrived home I put my hand in my coat pocket and to my surprise it contained a pair of dice. In the woods next to my house I could see the glow of eyes and the rustle of leaves in the trees above me.  My cat rubbed against my legs and mewed. The game is on.

~ Vlad

Kissed by a Vampire






A note about this post:

This is in response to a contest run by Evil Squirrel in 2013 (Contest of Whatever).

These were the rules (from 2013):

1. The theme is games. I want some form of a game to be involved in your creation. Anything that involves competition between two or more participants is allowed… board games, sports, multiplayer video games, children’s activities… etc.

2. Since we don’t want any solo gaming, your creation must include at least two characters… and they must be at least two different species of animals (and while your entry may contain humans, they do not count towards this two species requirement. Fictional animals, such as unicorns, do count towards this requirement). Note that your creation may have as many characters as you wish, just so long as there’s at least two different animal species represented.

There are a lot of other really great entries. Please check out the link below or CLICK HERE to see all of it.

And thanks ES for a fun contest.

By the way I won the 4th Annual Evil Squirrel’s Nest Contest of Whatever – another Vampire Diary post. CLICK here to view it. Woo Hoo.


~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Yes it is complicated (almost as much as a unicorn, a squirrel and a possum going into a bar…)


Yes it is complicated (almost as much as a unicorn, a squirrel and a possum going into a bar…)

When you belong to a Vampire family the dynamics with other people, creatures, living things in general can get complicated.

My brother Andrew is staying at our house for a few days. He’ll be performing at one of the larger clubs with a semi-well known band (they get some radio play) later this week. Andy is an opera singer but he’ll sing anything in any style with just about anyone if asked.

Last night was a lovely clear evening so we (Andy, my husband Teddy and I) went out on the deck for a glass of wine. Aside from Andy being my brother he is also close friends with my husband. They grew up together back in the days before Teddy even knew what a Vampire was (but that is another story.)

I always had to smile at Andy and his personal sense of style. He was in a velvet vest, white shirt with french cuffs and jeans. His chestnut colored hair fell straight to his shoulders. Of all of us siblings (all 5 of us) Andy was the one who held on to the 19th century we all grew up in more. But that wasn’t always a bad thing.

To make a short story even longer… it is February so the conversation turned to romance. Well sort of.

I wondered how he was getting along with his new girlfriend Shawna.  He’d met her when he’d stumbled upon her camp in Patagonia (yes, THAT Patagonia.) She was digging for dinosaurs. I’m not exactly sure what he was doing there. Andy tends to just wander the world at times when he feels, well, like he needs to. By the way, Shawna isn’t a Vampire. Yes, it is complicated. And yes, she has met our mother which makes it even more complicated.

I asked about Shawna so Andy vented.

“Shawna knew why I’d gone out. It really wasn’t any of her concern. But when I got home she wouldn’t touch me. I assumed she’d understand that I can’t live off of kale and tofu. I need human blood to survive. She couldn’t get past the idea of me drinking blood then kissing her. For God’s sake by then I’d brushed my teeth and we’d had a couple of glasses of wine.”

He looked at us expecting a response but we let him continue to vent. “It isn’t as if I’d had blood dripping down my chin.”

“Give her time,” I gently told him then thought how stupid that sounded.

“I even had a baby unicorn but that ended badly as well,” said Andy.

“What were you doing with a unicorn? Oh my goodness Andy.” It has been years since I’ve seen a unicorn.

“Keeping it for James.” Andy said. James is a friend of Andrew’s. James is sort of nuts but he does lead an interesting life.

I have to admit that one of the cutest things in the universe is a baby unicorn. They’re like tiny iridescent donkeys or maybe a cross between a fawn and a pony, with all of that tiny baby sweetness. Their little hooves look like white mother of pearl. And there are few things as soft as a baby unicorn nose. Oh my goodness they’re precious. Best of all they smell good – like jasmine and roses.

Andrew continued his sad story. “As soon as Shawna walked in the room the unicorn started to cry. I’d forgotten that they’re afraid of humans. And forget the bull crap about being pure at heart. It doesn’t matter. There she was standing in the room with this baby screaming at the sight of her. It was a disaster.”

Yes, love is rare, but not as rare as a screaming baby unicorn. Sigh.

“I can understand Shawna’s fears,” said Teddy.  “I know how repulsive we seem to humans.”

Andy gave Teddy a glare. “Repulsed? How could she be repulsed? I’ve been nothing but wonderful to her. I’ve literally swept her off her feet. I’ve made her feel things she thought she’d never feel.”

Teddy patted Andy on the shoulder. “You’ve made her feel fear. Remember I used to be like her.  It took me weeks, actually years to accept the reality of Vampires and the fact that we’re not completely evil or completely dead. The very idea of a Vampire is more terrifying than, well, than she was to that baby unicorn. Maybe even more so because humans know we’re on the top of the food chain over them. It puts fear and disgust in them like cannibals or serial killers.”

“But if they tried to understand…” said Andy.

“What we do is morbid and disgusting,” said Teddy.

“They drink coffee that has been pooped out of a cat. What can be more disgusting than that?”

“Civets. The coffee is expelled by civets.”

“Whatever Theodore. Humans don’t know anything about us or what we do,” said Andy.

“And we need to keep it that way. I don’t know why you let her know you were a Vampire in the first place. It was a bad move on your part Andy.”


Teddy gave Andy one of those looks. The kind that teenagers dread. “Andy, you can’t expect someone to suddenly embrace something they’ve feared their entire life. I don’t care how many times you tell her that you love her. We’re the undead evil, just above zombies and ghosts.”

“Not to mention ticks and werewolves,” I added in.

The soft sound of moving branches distracted us. Climbing up the Italian Cypress to the deck rail came another nocturnal creature. It was Teddy’s possum. For the past year the possum had been making nightly visits and Teddy had decided to make friends with it. He spoke quietly to the soft gray creature and handed him a few raw peanuts he’d put in his pocket earlier. The Possum sat still while Teddy brushed its beautiful coat. She looked at us with her black possum eyes and showed a little bit of primitive sharp toothed possum grin.

Possums are gentle and often misunderstood creatures. Nobody ever hears of a possum attack but people still fear them. Sure sometimes they might have rabies or fleas but for the most part they’re harmless. I wouldn’t recommend you try to pet one or pick one up, but Teddy has a gift with animals and he is a Vampire. And like our possum friends we (Vampires) are also misunderstood.

“You can’t keep a possum as a pet Andy, just like you can’t keep a human as a pet,” I told my brother.

“Shawna isn’t a pet,” Andy said. He scratched the possum between it’s ears as it sat quietly.

“Maybe not, but she isn’t a Vampire. I know you lived with Aurora for almost 50 years, but that was the exception. That was something extraordinary. She never feared us. She never saw us as unnatural,” I said.

Andy looked out at the night sky as if he was looking for Aurora, a woman he’d lived with until her death from old age. She stayed with her until the end, never pressuring her to become a Vampire, never leaving her side. We all loved Aurora. Maybe too much. Despite the heartbreak she was a gift, like all of our dear human friends. We’re sad for her passing but we wouldn’t trade the sadness because of the love.

We all knew Shawna was warming up to the idea that she was living in a world populated by bizarre creatures and strangeness that she could never have imagined. Then again, she studied dinosaurs so she knew about strange creatures that defied imagination, logic and all reason. Time would tell.

I said good night (good morning to us) around 4:00 am to Teddy and Andy. The kids were sleeping due to school and their daytime schedules.

Around 7:00 am, just as the sun came up I was in my dining room, laptop open, glancing out through the windows at the trees. The Possum had gone to her bed, but on the deck rail was a squirrel. This particular squirrel is always out in the morning doing a little dance with jerky movements while his squirrel friends jump through the oak trees like circus acrobats. He stands in the sun and eats from the window box and from the bowl of nuts and seeds I leave for him. He’ll turn his head and look at me but he isn’t afraid – at least not unless I open the door for a closer look or try to take his photo. When I go outside sometimes he barks at me with his odd almost unearthly squirrel voice. I call him my friend, but he’ll never consider me to be in his inner circle. But that’s OK. He’s a squirrel. That is all I need him to be. And he never needs to know I’m a Vampire.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman


So what inspired you to write this odd little story Juliette?

This was my 2014 Entry to the Evil Squirrel’s Nest Contest of Whatever.

A unicorn, a squirrel and a possum go into a bar… to find out what inspired this post in which every single word is absolutely true:

And if you aren’t following the Sharp Witted, Brilliant and Talented Bill Brown and The Evil Squirrel’s Nest you ought to be. 

Squirrels Rock the Goggles

Squirrels Rock the Goggles

For the official back story on Andrew and Shawna go to the links below:

Innocenzio Dantonio

Innocenzio Dantonio

gothic design

The Very Sight of You

This morning I spoke with my son Garrett (age 20, in college, six-hour dive from here.) I’m always so proud at how confident he is. In fact I’m proud of all of his friends, and my nephew Logan, for being so confident, especially when it comes to interacting with women. Straight or Gay they all are so grounded.

Maybe it is the rain, and warnings about high water, but it made me think of a less fortunate man I once knew, when I was about Garrett’s age.

His name was Bernard. He was a family friend, and like us, he was a Vampire.

When he was a young man of astounding business success. At the age of twenty-five he was already wealthy. Despite the fact that he was a personable, and somewhat attractive man, Bernard was alone. This is because when he would have interactions with young women, or even older women, he would start to tremble. Many women found this trembling endearing, like they found trembling in small lap dogs endearing. To Bernard this was mortifying, so he stayed away from what he considered the fairer sex.

Eventually he went to a successful college friend, who was a bit more worldly than Bernard and asked for advice. What Bernard didn’t know what that his friend, whom we shall call William, was a Vampire.

William knew exactly how to cure Bernard. He turned Bernard into a Vampire.

Bernard would still tremble at the sight of a woman, but he learned if he put the woman into a trance, then drank about a half pint of her blood that he would stop shaking. Then he found that if he snapped her out of the trance, then made love to her, that he wouldn’t tremble for at least three days. All the women would remember was the most amazing experience they’d ever had with a man. Married or single, they all wanted to be with dear, sweet, trembling Bernard.

Soon Bernard grew tired of the friends-with-benefits and he found himself a wife. Estella was a lovely girl from a good family. She was quiet with very little personality, but Bernard loved her with all of his heart. She never knew he was a Vampire, and he never planned on telling her.

On the morning of their wedding day he went to visit all of his former female friends of good standing so that he would not tremble when he saw his bride. It was enough activity to keep him calm for a week. That night he was married and off to a glorious wedding night and honeymoon with his darling Estella.

Every other day he would take some blood from Estella and make love to her. She was happy and passionate in response, but soon her health began to fail. After a few years of constant blood taking Bernard realized that he was killing the woman he loved.

He purchased an elaborate crypt in the local cemetery for finer folks, then stopped his heart and turned cold (all Vampires can do this.) Estella thought he was dead. The doctors thought he was dead. Hundreds showed up at the funeral. Estella eventually regained her health, remarried another fine man, and had four lovely children and led a long and happy life.

Bernard escaped from the crypt (he had a key) and headed out West to seek his fortune.

Upon arriving in California he introduced himself to the Vampire community in Sacramento. It was February 1879. I’d turn twenty that October.

Bernard was successful in his new home, but he would still tremble when he was in the company of a woman. Swearing that he would never marry again, he quickly knew he’d have to find a network of women he could take blood from, and then seduce in order to keep himself calm.

My brother Aaron became good friends with Bernard. Whenever Bernard would be invited to visit Aaron and his wife Verity, he would ALWAYS make sure he would go to one of the local ladies of the night first so he wouldn’t kill himself in the presence of Verity. You see, Verity, who is like all of us, a Vampire, looks almost exactly like Botticelli’s Venus, in the Birth of Venus painting. The first time Bernard ever saw her he almost passed out from trembling. It was so bad that the floor shook and a vase of flowers fell over onto the table and spilled out on the floor.

One night before a party Bernard arrived early. He came upstairs looking for Aaron. Verity and I were upstairs getting ready, and not expecting anyone.

When Bernard entered the room he found me standing in just a petticoat and corset. His mouth opened and he started to shake. Then Verity stepped out from behind a screen completely naked, like Venus in the painting. Bernard trembled so violently that I thought he’d pass out, but then…THEN he trembled so hard that something amazing and quite disturbing happened as he turned gray starting at the top of his head and slowly went all the way down to his toes. He turned to dust and fell into a gray pile of powder on the floor. Verity grabbed her robe and got Aaron. The three of us stood and stared at the pile of what was once Bernard for at least five minutes. Then Aaron got the dust pan and swept poor Bernard into a Chinese vase and that was the last I ever saw of Bernard.

I called Aaron this morning and asked him what became of Bernard. My brother said he put the vase on the mantel in his office, but it would start to shake whenever Verity would walk into the room. After a few months it became too distracting so he took the vase to the river and shook the contents out into the current. When he told me the exact location I wasn’t surprised. The water constantly trembles at that spot, no matter what the level of the river is.

Now there are drugs, and other things like music, and therapy for those with social anxiety. For Bernard it was blood and sex, but unfortunately that isn’t always available when one accidentally runs into an extreme situation. Yes, poor Bernard, we knew him well.

By the way, this is a true story.

Have a good night everyone, and stay safe out in the winter weather.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman



More of a Good Thing – Short Story Update

Hey, I’ve just updated the Short Story page on

Click on the links on the sidebars or CLICK here to go to the page.

A good portion of the posts on 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 assorted Vampire Mom adventures. A lot of the stories have nothing to do with parenting, or Vampires.

You’ll find over eighty Gothic romance, horror, humor, urban fantasy, literary fiction, and other of unexpected tangled tales. Most stories are written by me, but I am also honored to have a few talented guest authors.

This isn’t the complete list but it will keep you busy for a while. Keep checking back for more, and don’t forget that every Sunday is Tangled Tales Short Story Sunday.

And as always, expect the unexpected.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman


My Editors: Food and a box is all they ask for (usually)

My Editors: Food and a box is all they ask for (usually)

A Trio of Beach Stories (plus one)

Forget the snow and gloom. Let’s go to the beach today with a trio of beach stories with Vampires and other assorted friends.

  • The Beach House
  • Baker Beach
  • Dancing on the Beach
  • When You Grow Old


The Beach House – A Christmas Story (with Vampires)

My brother Val and I had gone to the beach house for Thanksgiving. This was 1944, before my marriage or children, when it seemed it was always just my brother and me, plus assorted friends and lovers.

Our brother Andy (Andrew) was somewhere in Europe in a USO show. Our eldest brother Max and my future husband Teddy were in London doing something secret for the American Government. Our parents were in Washington DC.

Nobody knew where our brother Aaron or his wife Verity were. They were the traditional ones who always stayed on the safe predictable road to anywhere – now we had no idea where they were. The last time anyone heard they were in France, but they could have been anywhere. They could have been dead or worse captured but we stopped guessing.

Valentine and I had our fill the night before in San Francisco. The clubs were full of servicemen on leave and women who were tired of waiting for their men to come home and people who had nothing to do with the war or missing love ones. Val was also on leave from his position in the Army – watching and finding out secrets. Vampires are good for that. Almost too good. But we had to get involved. We had no other choice. This was the world we lived in and our country too. It was our home.

We watched the fog roll in as the sun went down over the Pacific Ocean.

A car drove up to the house. We weren’t expecting anyone.

It was Nathaniel Chase. Even back then he was over 400 years old but didn’t look a day over 35. A small black cat followed at his heels.

“What are you doing here? You’re supposed to be in San Francisco,” he growled without so much as a hello to us.

“We’re not supposed to be anywhere, at least not until after Christmas,” said Val.

“I thought you were in Canada, or Hawaii or someplace…,” I started in on him until he put his hand up for me to shut up. I knew the gesture well. He’d been cutting me off my entire life.

“Valentine, please get my bag out of the car for me. Juliette I need your help, come.” He headed down the hall to the far bedroom.

Under his coat his shirt was soaked with blood. I couldn’t tell if it was his or if it belonged to somebody else.

I helped him out of his coat and then the suit jacket and shirt underneath. He’d been stabbed several times. “My heart…was nicked. I’ve lost a lot of blood…a lot.”

I held out my wrist. “Take mine. It will seal your heart.”

“I don’t know…Juliette…”

“You’ll die.”

“No. You can bring someone in later.”

“You will die. Take mine. Regular blood won’t help. You know that.”

A regular human man would have died with his injury. He’d been stabbed in the heart, not just a “nick.”

He took my wrist and sank his fangs into it. Not much happened.

“Just take my neck,” I told him and started to unbutton my shirt. “Don’t say no. You’ve done more for me than I can count. I owe you.”

Asking another Vampire to bite your neck is extreme. It is also something that happens in risky sex. It is something you don’t do lightly or with just anyone. There can be consequences.

I put my hand on his chest where the knife entered. Then I leaned in close, cold skin to cold skin and put my other hand at the back of his neck. “Take my blood Nathaniel.”

He pushed my hair aside and put his mouth on my neck. He had my blood and my feelings, my memories, my heart and everything I kept close. I could feel him searching and wanting then blanking it all out. He wasn’t interested in sucking out my souls or knowing my secrets or being my lover.  I’d done this before but it wasn’t to save a life. It was to satisfy a lover, another Vampire in passion and …whatever. But this was intense and in that realm. I felt drained. I was drained literally.

Nathaniel pulled away and lay back on the pillows. His eyes were closed. He took my hand and entwined my finger in his. We sat for maybe an hour as still as death. I brushed my lips against his cheek. He opened his eyes and gave me a slight smile. “Thank you. I’m sorry.”

“Don’t be sorry.”

Over the years he’d always been the one to save Val and me. So many times we’d strayed and he was there to get us back on track. He was always there to scold us and keep us in line. So many times I resented his presence and wished he’d go away forever.

I went out to the deck where Val sat with a bottle of wine and a cigar. He looked at my neck. “I gave him blood. Nothing else.”

My brother gave me a hug. “Thank you dear. Listen, the couple down the road are having a party. We can head on over and get you settled again. If Nathaniel needs more tonight we’ll have it.”

So we walked half a mile down the road watching the stars and listening to the waves crashing against the beach. I told Val that I knew who injured Nathaniel but it was taken care of. We were not the ones to extract vengeance. Someone else would do that. It isn’t what Val and I usually do, unless forced of course.

Nathaniel stayed with us for the rest of the month. We spent Christmas having a fire on the beach, just the three of us and Nathaniel’s black cat. Val and I were 85 and 86 at the time but Nathaniel still saw us as silly teens, or at least he saw us as still needing guidance.

Eventually we were all reunited with family and friends.

Anyway, that was a long time ago. It was a time I rarely even think about anymore. Now that my own children enter adulthood I think of more things from my current life. I hope their lives are calm and without trauma. That won’t be the case, but I’d like to think it would be.

So that is it for right now. December is almost here. Today my daughter Clara and I will hang the Christmas wreath and once again wish for Peace on Earth. I doubt if it will ever happen but we can wish and we can each do our part to help.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman




Baker Beach

Max heard the Nessun dorma ringtone and groaned. It was his brother Andy. It was an emergency. He could sense it.

He picked up and listened.

“Max, thank God you’re there. I’m by Baker Beach. Some asshole redneck in a truck sideswiped me. The car is totaled. Can you get out here? Right now.”

Max untangled himself from the woman next to him and sat up. “Are you ok?”

“I’m fine. Like I said, the car is totaled.”

“Call AAA. I’ll call Uber and get you a ride home.”

“You don’t understand man. I have someone locked in the trunk and he is pissed off.”


Andy watched at the back end of his car became even more mangled by the violent pounding from the occupant he’d locked in the trunk. The noise was even worse.

“Stop it NOW,” he yelled, “or I’ll drain every drop of blood from your body, stuff your pathetic putrid smelling carcass and sell it to the highest bidder.”

Than banging and howling stopped right at the moment Max drove up.

He got out of the car. A woman got out of the passenger side. Like Max, she was dressed in black from head to toe.

“Mehitabel, you look beautiful. What are you doing with my brother?”

She smiled and kissed Andy on the cheek. “Glad you’re not hurt. Who do you have in the trunk?”

Max went over to Andy’s car and kicked the bumper. The mangled trunk lid popped open.

“Holy fuck,” Max swore under his breath.

Mehitabel put her hand over her nose and mouth to keep out the stench. “Andy, this isn’t good.”

“I know, this is bad,” said Andy. “But it isn’t every day you find a Sasquatch.”


After the car was towed and the sun started to come up, the three Vampires stopped at their favorite diner for breakfast. They’d all had their fill of blood the night before but coffee and eggs sounded good right then.

“Is this the fourth or fifth car you’ve totaled this year?” Max took a sip of coffee and shook his head at his brother.

“Second this year,” said Andy. “Hey, it wasn’t my fault.”

Mehitabel looked at the brothers. “So do you think he’ll be alright?”

“The Sasquatch? I don’t know. As long as he stays out of the city I think he’ll be fine,” said Max.

“This is San Francisco. Nobody would notice him,” said Andy.

Max smiled and put his hand on Mehitabel’s knee.

“You guys should get married. I’m serious,” said Andy.

Mehitabel almost spit out her coffee. Max took his hand off of her knee, then thought better of his action and put his hand back on her knee and gave a small squeeze. The waitress came by and poured more coffee.

I guess the moral of this story is that as long as you are always there for each other, don’t ask too many questions, and keep love in your hearts life will be good.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman


Dancing on the Beach

As told by Dr. Shawna Greene

For three days we watched the human like form sitting motionless near the beach. We decided if it was human it was probably dead because no human could sit for so long in the heat and the cold and the wind the way this one did. More than likely it was garbage someone had dumped. A few people had traveled through over the past few weeks, near the abandoned mining town near the isolated stretches of desert and beach where we’d set up our summer research station in Patagonia.

We’d come to look for dinosaurs (with success, finding eggs and giant bones).

Dave, Blane and I trekked an hour down the hill to the spot where the mysterious lump sat. It was indeed human, wrapped in a blanket, large brimmed hat, dark sunglasses and a scarf covering the face. It almost looked like a modern mummy. The, without notice it moved.

“¿Estás bien?” Dave asked the stranger.

The man unwrapped the scarf from his face and removed his sunglasses. “I’m fine. I speak English too. But thanks for asking.”

He was tall with long chestnut colored hair and sparkling hazel eyes. Of course I noticed. I couldn’t help it after being out in the wilds for a month with my fellow researchers. My two college aged kids were in summer internships, my ex-husband was off on a honeymoon with a woman 10 years younger than me and I was doing something I loved – discovering the past.

But today, we discovered something quite different and unexpected. His name was Andrew. He was tall (I figured 6’2″) with a quick smile and a musical voice that captured the attention of all when he spoke.

Andrew said he’d been researching folk music, writing songs, savoring the local flavor and hinted at getting over a broken heart. A kindred spirit I thought. Well, I have to admit, my heart had mostly healed after my husband left two years ago – the day after our youngest child graduated from high school.

Had it been anyone else, we would have let him stay, but Andrew was so delightful and charming, and helpful that we let him stay on. His knowledge of just about everything was astounding. In the evenings he would sing songs ranging from Argentinian folk songs to Italian Opera. Everyone on the team did better with Andrew around.

The younger women, especially the graduate students Courtney and Kaitlin were enchanted by Andrew. No surprise there. He’d dote on them without being a predator. Then again the men were enchanted by him to. We all were.

Sometimes Andrew and I would share a glass of wine under the stars and talk of everything under the stars. He didn’t give away much of his personal life. He’d been living in New York and London, but thought of moving back to California where his family was. His first love was Opera, but he was taking notes on a book about how music takes the mind and soul to new places. He was more interested in finding out about us than telling us about himself.

I felt a bond with this appealing and mysterious man. He was so mysterious but I was so comfortable with him, like I’d known him forever.

One evening we walked the beach after dinner, just the two of us. We talked about time and space and he opened up in an unexpected burst.

“Time travel,” Andrew began, “will be possible, a reality, but it will be squandered by idiots who don’t appreciate the past or the possibilities of the future. They will be selfish short-sighted buffoons only interested in entertaining their own shallow minded pursuits and never seeing the power of the invention of the time machine.

And think about this…we are here on Earth with no knowledge of ANY life on other planets, yet we spend time and brain power on theories of what is out there and life in the universe and how the universe started and… what if nobody else is out there.

Or what if someone else is out there and they’ve figured it all out and we’re wrong, or we’ve figured it out and they are wrong. But we don’t know, because while you look for your giant dinosaur bones which seem like they’re from another planet, we ponder if there is life on other planets. And why is it all so random. You might disagree because of your scientific mind and experience with creatures of the past and because of the sheer amount of wonder in your soul…but…oh Shawna, we’re so different you and I.”

I didn’t know what to say. Andrew held out his hands. “Dance with me Shawna. Dance with me under the stars.”

Taking his cool hands in my own I found myself suddenly transfixed, dancing in the dark, with a long haired stranger who indeed was so different from me.

“Close your eyes,” he whispered in my ear. And against all better judgment I closed my eyes only to find myself transported into a ball room, wearing a silk gown the color of roses and sunsets, dancing with a handsome hazel eyed man in tails and white tie. And then I opened my eyes to find myself in cargo shorts and a fleece jacket on a desolate beach on the bottom of the earth.

“What are you?” I asked him that surprised that I didn’t ask who but what.

He laughed and I caught something different in his smile. His teeth. He looked like he had fangs. “I am a genetic wonder and mystery. I am the Velociraptor of the human subspecies.” Then he looked serious. “Shawna, don’t be afraid of what I tell you for I would never harm you. I am a Vampire.”

“Like in the movies?” I stupidly asked.

“No, like the guy standing next to you. Like the guy who came down to the ends of the earth to heal a broken heart and soul, to give up, to write songs and wallow in my misery only to find you.”

“You have fangs.” I had to say it. I just had to.

Andrew gently brushed my face with the back of his hand. “Yes, and I use them. I drink the blood of Regular Humans. I live for a long long long time. I have relatives who are over 1,000 years old. I was born in the 19th century, before the Civil War, during the California Gold Rush. But, I am just part of the natural order of the world, of the universe, and I hope of our two souls.”

“I have to admit you’re scaring me Andrew.”

“And the thought of you being afraid scares me more than anything Shawna. I’ve trusted you enough to tell you what I am. Now let me trust that you will not be afraid or reject my offer of friendship.”

“Will you turn me into a Vampire?” It was fear in my voice now, not hope that he would.

“Only if you want me to. Maybe. It isn’t anything I take lightly. But, but, Shawna, that isn’t what is important here. It is evolution, the very thing you’ve spent years studying, the difference in species and life forms and life forces and life and…” He ran his hands through his hair and closed his eyes then opened them looking right into mine. “And love. It all comes down to love and of course passion. You have that passion. I can see it when you speak of your work, your life, your children. You have what so many can only dream of.”

“You’re a Vampire.” I couldn’t get that out of my head, despite his remarkable words and way of speaking.

“Yes, and I’m cool with it. Are you?”

“I don’t know.”

“I understand.”

“Do you want my blood?”

“I would never harm you Shawna.”

“Have you taken blood from any of the others here?” I thought of my fellow scientists and grad students.

“Yes, but…why do you think they’re so happy all the sudden? Sure I took something from them that I needed but I gave them what they needed. Do you understand? Can you attempt to understand. I mean, really, it isn’t any different than finding a new dinosaur. Isn’t it?”

Then we just looked at each other for the longest time. It was a time that ended up in his cabin on the hill, in the creaky iron bed with the colorful quilts, with his cold body wrapped around my hot human one.

It was still dark when I awoke, brushing my hair out of my eyes. Next to the bed, sitting on a wooden crate was a woman. Her chestnut hair the exact same rich color as Andrew’s.

“I didn’t know he had company but…there is something about you Shawna that makes me glad he bonded with you. He is charming but my son can be exhausting and so emotional at times.”

I had to say I was in shock seeing this beautiful woman who didn’t look more than twenty six years old. “I’ve come to take him home, not away from you, but…what I’m trying to say is that you touched Andrew’s heart and maybe…”

Andrew opened his eyes. “Mom. Have you met Shawna?”

Well, this was awkward. They packed up and left, but not before they both left me with their contact information. This was weird. Vampires leaving contact information. Then again, it would have been weird for Andrew to just leave without a word. Of course my ex-husband left without so much as a word, but that is another story.

But before he left, he kissed me one more time then whispered in my ear, “I love you.”

The summer and our time in the desert is almost over. I still savor my short time with Andrew and the memory of his voice and his touch.

Will I contact him when I return? I don’t know. We both live in California where there are plenty of beaches to dance on and where the stars shine bright on the night.

Then again…he is a Vampire, or maybe that shouldn’t matter.

~ Dr. Shawna Greene 2013


dancing in the dark

When You Grow Old

“Who will take care of you when you get old?” I asked my brother’s caretaker Josh.

My brother Bob is 90 years old. A former screenwriter and movie producer, he lives in a modern glass and polished wood mansion on the Central Coast of California.

I’d been at Bob’s for six months.

“Your grandmother would have been 101 this year,” Bob told me. I was going to turn 101 this year, at the end of October. What Bob doesn’t know is that I am his sister Valentina. He doesn’t know I’m a vampire either. He thinks I’m a great niece who is the spitting image of his older sister who passed away in 1935.

I walked the beach in the evenings with Bob. He leaned my arm and told me about the cycles of the tide and the migration of the whales.

Arriving home we found that my brother’s caretaker Josh had fixed dinner. A beautiful salad and fresh rockfish. Josh, a tall skinny but muscular blonde in his 30’s had been with Bob for about three years. He divided his time between helping Bob and two other elderly folks near by, and when he wasn’t with his old folks he was surfing.

I asked Josh why he worked with old people. “They’re exceptional creatures,” he told me, “with the knowledge of lost times. They have wisdom and humor that needs to be honored. You can’t always get that out of old people, but if you work them just so and LISTEN they’ll give you the secrets of the universe. And the weird thing is, no not weird, I the magic of it, is that they don’t even know they have that knowledge.”

The next morning we had a visitor. It was Stephen, one of my brother’s neighbors. “You’ve been good to your brother,” he whispered in my ear. He was also a Vampire, something I’d known for a while, but never talked to him about. Our paths crossed but this was the first time we had made a social call since I’d been there.

It seems Stephen and Bob have been friends for the past 10 years, since Stephen purchased the run down house next door and restored it to the former glory of its past. Until today, he only visited Bob when I was out. They spend the evenings talking, watching movies and playing cards with Josh. There was a bond of friendship that was so real and close, the kind that never ends, even with age and differences of opinion.

A few night later Stephen and I walked the beach.

“How long have you been a Vampire?” I asked him. It was a common question Vampires ask each other.

“Since the summer of 1802. Funny it seems like yesterday.”

“So hows it working out for you? I mean, the Vampire thing and all?” I had to ask.

“Good. It’s all good. You know it isn’t for everyone.”

“I wonder about Bob.” I had wondered about my brother and if I made him into a Vampire if I’d restore his youth and keep him in my life.

“Bob is happy where he is.”

“I think you’re right.”

We walked more and listened to the waves. Then he kissed me under that stars. That was a surprise. A nice surprise.

The next morning after Josh had helped Bob with his shower and getting dressed I visited with him over coffee. Josh was such a caring free spirit, loving his work with the elderly and his relationship with the waves.

“Who will take care of you when you get old?” I asked Josh.

He smiled. “I’ll ride out on the surf and become one with the sea.”

“Who will listen to your words of wisdom?”

“You and Stephen can pass it on. You’ll still be here. You’ll always be here. So will Bob, not in body but his spirit is strong. He’ll be around as long as the stars over the surf.” Then he winked at me. “Valentina, I know all about you. Your kind is all over the coast down here. I grew up with Vampires. It’s cool.”

And so it was.

~ end


Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Juliette aka Vampire Maman

I hope you had fun with these tall tales (all of them completely true by the way.)

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman