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…)

unicorn

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.”

“But…”

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 Cyprus tree 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

everybodylovesapossum

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

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:
http://evilsquirrelsnest.com/2014/02/03/you-may-already-be-a-winner/

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

THE DEADLINE FOR THE 2018 CONTEST OF WHATEVER is MARCH 1st 2018. CLICK HERE for details.

And don’t forget that I WON the 2017 Contest of Whatever with Shelf Critter Theater Starring Vlad and Randolpho from Vampire Diaries. Click HERE to read that amazing story (with pictures.)

Squirrels Rock the Goggles

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

Innocenzio Dantonio

Clarification (or Hairification)

My husband Teddy has dark brown hair. His eyes are brown but he can change them to blue when he wants to.

Vlad the Vampire King, of Vlad’s Vampire Diary, is blonde with blue eyes. It is a honey blonde, not the pale blonde like the Ancient Vampire Tellias.

 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Mama

Recurring Dreams and Nightmares

 

Recurring Dreams and Nightmares

The other night my kids and I were talking about recurring dreams. Clara has dreams about having another family. The other mother looks just like her. The bother looks like me. The dad isn’t around much. She still has us, her real parents, but she has that other family too and they want her to move in. Garrett dreams he can fly like a bird only he has to wear blue velvet like the painting Blue Boy. I’m not sure if Blue Boy wears velvet or not but it isn’t his dream.

I have a recurring dream where my house has a secret house attached to it. The secret house is about 1,800 square feet. It is almost as real in my mind as my real house. In another recurring dream I live in an old house with an attic full of ghosts.

We asked Teddy, my husband and father of my children, if he had any recurring dreams. As always, when we bring up things like dreams he acted a tad bit annoyed. Then he said, “I’m not a Vampire in my dreams. I’m warm.”

Oh.

Yes, this is a blog written by and for the most part for Vampires (in case you don’t already know.)

I married a reluctant Vampire. That is, he didn’t choose to be one of the “undead.” Actually only Regular Humans call us “undead.” Anyway the conversation ended and the kids wanted to know what was going on. They know a bit of the history.

I told them about the first time I saw their father asleep. He’d been a fixture in my young life as my brother’s Max’s best friend.

A girl, a teen, one of my friends, was in love with Teddy. She was 16, he was 26. She was a Vampire. He was not. So she plotted with some less than desirable types. These were Vampires we did not associate with. One night they kidnapped Theodore Todd in the middle of the night and did the deed.

The year was 1876. I was 16, almost 17. My brother Val had just turned 18. Our older brothers were all in their 20’s with Max, the eldest at 26. Max and Teddy were constant companions. They grew up together, were college roommates and as close as two creatures could be except Teddy never knew we were Vampires. Teddy didn’t know what a Vampire was. He’d never heard of such a creature. Why should have he? We hid it was – as we had been taught to since we were young.

I’ll skip past the initial shock and horror of the incident and skip straight to when Teddy was dead, or at least dead to the world he’d known for his first 26 years.

Teddy almost did die. Most who go through the process do die. It isn’t like the movies where a bite will make you an immortal fiend. It isn’t just a bite. It isn’t easy. It isn’t pretty. And there is always a chance that they’ll come back but their soul might not remain intact.

My brother Val and I went to the home of Teddy’s parents. They were like family to us so it broke our hearts to see them so sad. In the ball room Teddy was out to be viewed in a beautiful casket. He was as still as death and cold in the hot August air. Dressed in formal black and surrounded by flowers he was as beautiful as ever. I say beautiful because Teddy is one of those handsome masculine men who is also beautiful. He takes the breath away of all who see him. Fortunately his personality goes with his looks as a beautiful soul, kind and true.

I’ll never forget the smell of the roses that lay around him – huge wreaths of flowers unlike anything I’d ever seen. They were all white. Pure white for the young man with a pure heart.

He was a successful young business man, engaged to be married with a bright future ahead of him. He’d fallen ill and never woke up. He was mourned by his parents and five siblings. Teddy was universally loved by all who knew him and universally mourned. I knew the funeral would be huge.

Max was there, dressed in deep black. He stood watch and motioned Val and I to come to his side. He would be  entered  in a crypt the following day after the funeral. After that Max and my father would get him and take him away to an undisclosed location to start his new life.

So there we were. Of course Val and I didn’t know how to feel. We’d never been in a situation like this. We were sort of excited about Teddy being one of us but the fact that he didn’t want to be one of us was totally out of our range of experience.

We lived in a world where our existence was secret. It had been secret since the day we were born. Sure my parents and even my two eldest brothers had turned people over the years, but nobody against their will. That was unacceptable and against all rules of our society.

Standing at the foot of the casket was Teddy’s betrothed Mary, still a stunning beauty in her black mourning dress. Next to her was Teddy’s friend Elliot. From time to time I noticed his hand touching Mary’s arm as if to protect her from fear and death itself.

Mary took a heart shaped locket from around her neck and placed it in Teddy’s cold hand. She wrapped his fingers around it. Her photo was in it as well as a tiny note that read “Be at peace.” Not “I love you” but “Be at peace.” I thought that was odd but I had no idea what she was thinking in her loss. My heart broke for her.

We all stood quietly as if we were all dead or in a trance, when Mary broke the silence and ran into Max’s arms, tears running down her lovely face. Max spoke gentle words of comfort. Elliot looked on with the deepest sympathy, but there was something else in his eyes. Maybe a bit of jealousy or contempt.

Our brother Aaron joined the group. He pulled Val and I aside and told me that he and Max had killed one of the Vampires who’d done this to Teddy. They would go after the others when they could. Before we could ask questions he smiled and said, “I’m in love. I’m going to ask her to marry after the funeral.”

“Is she one of us?” I had to ask.

“Yes, she is one of us.”

Even I knew this wasn’t the place to speak of romance, especially with Mary near. The room filled with guests paying their respect to the family. My parents stood by Teddy’s consoling them, for they knew that Teddy would now be dead to his family forever.

In the midst of all of this our brother Andrew made his appearance, just in from San Francisco. There was a woman on his arm, a point of contention with my parents. He’d fallen in love with a warm-blooded woman who had no intention of changing into a Vampire. They had lived together for the past year as man and wife. Oh the scandal it caused, especially since she knew about us. I grew to love her and forty years later I’d mourn her death and hold my brother’s hand as he wept by her grave.

Anyway, when I think back on that night it seems so long ago. It was so long ago. We were all so young.

Mary went on to become engaged to Elliot less than a year after Teddy’s “death.”

It was almost ten years before Val or I saw Teddy again, in a crypt in London on Christmas Eve. Funny how people reconnect.

I always make it out that Teddy is so brooding and dark, but he isn’t really. He just tends to be more serious than I am. He is the straight man in our marriage – sort of like George and Gracie, or Lucy and Ricky.

I suppose everyone was expecting Val and I to do something stupid like knock over the casket or come across something we weren’t supposed to see but none of that happened. We were shocked into good behavior and caused no reason for anyone to notice us.

Eventually the Vampires who did the deed to Teddy were all caught and they’re all dead now. I mean really dead, not just “vampire dead.” Who knows what happened to their souls, that is if they still had souls at all.

Sometimes it is a challenge living with someone who is tied to two worlds. I mean, most Vampires are OK but he didn’t become one of us on his own. But he knows that we love him. He has also become an exceptional Vampire – more than most.

Teddy is also an exceptional father and husband, but I could have told you that before he became one of us.

So that is the extent of my Vampire tales and stories for tonight. Just a bit of background – the usual boring family stuff.

Dream on and sweet dreams to all.

 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

crypt

My Christmas Necklace – A Vampire Romance

A few nights ago we had friends for dinner. Let me reword that. We dined with good friends of ours. It was two couples we’re friends with (they’re regular humans who don’t know we’re Vampires). It is a dress up affair. We have cocktails; take in the theater or a concert, then have dinner and more drinks. And my darling husband Teddy and I get a little blood donation and leave our hosts feeling warm and fuzzy and full of holiday cheer.

I wore a black dress with red heels. It was set off with a gold necklace of delicate flowers with red garnets, enameled holly leaves and seed pearls.

One of my friends commented “You wear that beautiful necklace every year. There must be a story behind it.”

“Teddy gave me this on our first Christmas together. It was his mother’s.” I told everyone the truth, but didn’t tell them the entire story behind it.

It was in the 1880’s. My brother Val and I were young Vampires in London, which was the place to be. It was a golden age for us.

Of course being the young American Vampires we were…we got into a lot of trouble and had way too many adventures of the wrong kind.

So to make a long story short, it was Christmas Eve when Val and I found ourselves trapped in a crypt. Yes, a crypt full of rotting human bodies, not a fit place for any self respecting Vampire of a certain social level. We were of a higher social level. We had class, culture, good looks and money. Most of all we had connections. What Val and I lacked was common sense and experience.

So we’re in this crypt, chased by Vampire Hunters, Rogue Vampires who were pissed off at us, AND the local police.

We were also trapped. Yes, being the super strong creatures that we are, we could have busted down the door, but that would have done three things. It would have shown a lack of respect for those who were interned in the crypt. It would have made a lot of noise and attracted too much attention. But most of all, we were wearing rather expensive clothing if that clothing were to be ripped it would have drawn too much attention.

So we waited to figure out a plan B or to be rescued. Plan B was our only real option.

Just as we were about to sit on the ground and wait until the next night to break our way out the door started to slide open. We waited, fangs barred, holding on to each other for dear life, yet ready to kill whatever came through to us.

We saw a lone figure shadowed in the doorway.

I could hear a slight hiss under Val’s breath as he readied himself for an attack. Then a voice with a definite American accent said “Valentine? Juliette? Oh my heavens! Is that really you?”

And out of the shadows came Teddy. I hadn’t seen him for 10 years, not since he’d become a Vampire.

We said quick greetings and I asked “What are you doing here?”

He lifted the lid from one of the stone caskets. “This woman couldn’t steal my father’s heart so she stole my mother’s jewelry. I’m here to get it back. I never expected in a hundred years to find you two here.” And with one swift movement he took the necklace from around the neck of a slightly un-fresh corpse and then removed her bracelet and ring.

Suddenly we heard footsteps and saw torches across the lawn. I recognized the voices. “Let’s go. They’re back.” And they were in full force, come to kill the Vampires, who just happened to be us.

We ran down the road as fast as we could. I help my skirt up around my knees and cursed the day I was born a girl. Damn it trousers would have been nice right then.

A cathedral lay ahead, lit up for the Christmas Eve service.

“We can’t go in there,” said Teddy in a panic.

“Why not?” Asked Val.

“Because,” said Teddy “We’re undead. We’re Vampires. We’ll die.”

“We’re not undead. Your heart beats. You have not one but two souls. You are a creature of the night, and this is a midnight service. We will be welcome and blessed for we do harm to no one.”

I grabbed Teddy by one hand and Val by the other and took them into the church. We sat in the back and quietly sang along with our angelic Vampire voices, savoring the candle light and peace of the moment.

After it was over we headed for home, a fashionable and safe house not far away.

“I thought it wasn’t safe for our kind in churches.”

“It usually isn’t.” Val said, brushing off his coat. “But they can’t hurt us in a church. Or at least they do not dare hurt us there. Besides, I like the music. It soothes me.”

“What did you mean about two souls? I thought my soul was gone.” Teddy looked at us in a very serious way.

“Do you think that anyone with so much love and passion could exist without a soul? Oh Teddy, don’t be such a child. We need two souls. One for our own existence and one for our shadow. Didn’t you know that?”

The first rays of dawn arrived as we arrived at the house. Teddy crashed in one of the spare bedrooms. But before he slept, he put the necklace he’d taken around my neck. “My mother always liked you. She would have wanted you to have this.”

I was honored and touched. Since then I’ve worn this necklace every Christmas season.

Vampire Heart

Happy Holidays,

Juliette aka Vampire Maman