Vintage Halloween (with Wolfhounds and Ancient Vampires)

A large wreath on the front door was made of faded and cracked plastic flowers. You know, those plastic flowers that were sold in the Five and Dime stores in the 1960’s. Faded ribbons and bows hung in odd gray pastel tones.

Without even asking I knew Eleora had taken the flowers off of graves that nobody had visited for years. Long forgotten wives and mothers. I knew Eleora had replaced the faded flowers with real ones and taken time to sit and chat with the departed and sing them songs from their times.

Eleora opened the front door and greeted us wearing a bright yellow skirt with a well worn orange sweater with black cat head shaped buttons. Her feet were bare and her toenails painted a glossy red on one foot and black on the other.

“Do you like my Halloween wreath? I made it yesterday.” She took my hand and led me inside.

“Shabby chic.” I said. “Very nice.”

She gave me a hug and kissed my face all over then took the hands of my children and danced them into the house.

The old lab mix slid around the corner barking, followed by two HUGE wolfhounds.  I was surrounded by a sea of happy wiggling dogs. The sharp spikes in my leg was a tiny black kitten who had enthusiastically crawled up my jeans.

“Who are you?” I asked picking up the tiny purring monster. “Oh my goodness you’re cute.” It mewed back in one of those precious tiny kitten voices.

My brother Max had been there, because the wolfhounds were his. My daughter took the kitten who was named Jinx. A fitting name for a black kitten.

Eleora and Tellias are ancient Vampires. They’re seniors, despite the fact that they look like they are in their late teens or early twenties.  This dear old couple has been together for over 2,000 years – a long time for any romance.

Eleora had decorated the walls and windows with old paper Halloween cut-outs. Mostly cats with a few pumpkins and other creatures of the night. She’d also included decorations made by generations of both Vampire and Regular Human children who’d come in and out of her life over the past century.

Tellias came down the stairs, his white blonde hair pulled back into a ponytail and wearing old farmer overalls without a shirt. He had a Mr. Rodgers cardigan on over it.

He gave us all hugs and kisses, a smile on his lovely face. Ancient yet forever young.

“Let’s celebrate Halloween early. Max dropped off two cases of Poet’s Blood!” He led the procession of dogs and family to the formal dining room and took crystal goblets from a large ornate hutch.

I heard a car door close and knew my brother Max had arrived. He came in looking handsome as usual obviously straight from work all in black leather.  I noticed he still had a weapon on his belt. The dogs went crazy dancing and barking.

Halloween is a time to celebrate. More than that, it is an excuse to celebrate and have fun. But we need to celebrate good times and those we love more often without an excuse of a holiday or other special event. It is always time to love and share, especially if you have elders or anyone who is alone or needs a little extra help or company.

Have a wonderful weekend everyone,

xoxoxo,

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

halloween kittie

A Late Night Walk Along The Highway

I answered the phone.

“Juliette, come quick, come quick.”

“What is it?”

“Meet me at the hospital. The UC Med Center downtown. In the emer-gin-see.”

“Tellias, what…”

The phone went dead. That call would be disturbing for anyone, but if you’re a Vampire it brings on even more fear. Think about it.

At the time I was cleaning up dog poop. My ten month old German Shepard was spayed a week ago. Since then all potty training has been lost and she has been pooping and peeing in the house by the front door. That is just one of the many things that has been stressing me out this week. But then Tellias calls.

Tellias looks like he is nineteen but he is well over two thousand years old. Nobody knows how old he is. He and Eleora met while he was in Britain when the Roman’s were building Hadrian’s wall. They’ve been together ever since.

In the emergency check in area I saw Tellias trying to explain himself. He said he was there for his wife. He looks like a teenager. He was wearing tuxedo pants, flip flops, and a mechanics shirt with the name Steve embroidered on the front pocket. His pale hair hung around his shoulders.

After some explaining we were told where we needed to go.

A nice woman named Judy identified herself as a Medical Social Worker. She explained that Eleora had been hit by a car and brought here. The injuries consisted of a deep cut to her arm, and possible brain injury. Tellias was asked if his wife had any history of mental illness.

Tellia looked at me with that “Do something Juliette,” look.

It seems that Eleora had gone for a drive. She’d run out of gas and left her car by the side of the road. Then she walked down the center line of the highway and was struck by a car.

Tellias and I were told that Eleora suffered from blood loss.

He told the doctors that there would be no MRIs or CT scans. There would be no X-rays of her head.

They asked for medical history. We said Eleora was healthy. We did not tell them that she was a Vampire, hence the lack of blood.

At that point I was upset at Tellias for not making sure Eleora was eating. I was more angry at the fact he’d let her go out with the car. That usually wasn’t a problem considering the keys seemed to always be lost. Tellias had come in his truck. God knows where the car was.

When we finally saw Eleora she was so happy to see us. The old Vampire, who looked to be about twenty, lay on a bed with an IV drip. Her ripped arm had been stitched and bandaged. I could see the scrapes on her forehead where quickly healing.

She told us her story.

“I was driving to the store to get bobby pins and maybe something to read, like a magazine or a book. Then the car stopped running, right along the river road, just like that, it stopped. So I stopped. I got out of the car and decided to walk. I’d been down the road for about a mile and thought I should go back to the car but then I remembered I’d left my keys at home on the table. You know, the table by the door. I thought I might as well go to the store then around the corner came a car and they hit me. They made such a fuss over me and brought me here. Everyone has been so nice. They even said they’d give me blood. The place is full of the stuff. They have refrigerators full of it here.”

Out of the door of her room I could see other patients and other family members with real problems. Elderly people were there with tired middle-aged children, some with teens they’d brought along for moral support. Young mothers and fathers were there with vomiting babies. Parents were there with injured teens. The police were escorting a young man who had been stabbed in a fight. A mentally ill man was yelling obscenities. A middle aged man sat alone in the hallway in obvious pain looking as if he would pass out any second. I wondered if someone had died, or was going to die soon, or why he looked so sad.

Then the social worker named Judy showed up again with another person with a title I don’t remember. He had on a doctor’s coat, and carried a clip board. They wanted to speak to Eleora alone.

Tellias and I waited outside and listened. Of course we could hear through the door. We’re Vampires.

Judy: Do you feel safe at home Eleora?

Eleora: Yes, I always feel safe, unless I think Vampire Hunters with flame throwers are coming around. It hasn’t happened yet but it could. You never know these days.

Judy: Has Tellias ever hit you or been cruel to you?

Eleora: No.

Judy: So you feel safe at home?

Eleora: Usually unless a shelf falls on me. The last time that happened I was trapped for a week in the basement. Tellias tried to get me out but he isn’t exactly a handyman. We have ghosts in the orchard too but they don’t bother me. They are annoying but I don’t feel unsafe around them. I don’t like them. I don’t have to like them.

Judy: Ghosts?

Eleora: Yes, ghosts. Like dead people ghosts. I saw one in here earlier. He was very sad. I told him to move on into the light and get out of the hospital. Oh, I was going to ask you…earlier a man, I think he was a doctor, he was tall and good looking with black glasses, he said something about me getting a cat scan. I didn’t bring my cat with me. I don’t know why he wants to scan it. The cat isn’t even mine, it belongs to my neighbor. Tellias thought I was having an affair with my neighbor once, or more than once, but I never did. That was upsetting. When we first got together I was ending an affair with a Warlock, and a Selkie. That was a long time ago. It seems like a million years, but I’m not that old.

Judy: How old are you Eleora.

Eleora: My license says I’m twenty one.

Judy: Are you twenty one.

Eleora: Twenty one. I can buy booze. To tell you the truth I don’t know my exact age because nobody was keeping track back then, and of course I was a baby so I didn’t know what was going on. Nobody can remember when they were a baby. Some people say they do, like Witches, but they are telling you big fat lies.

Judy: Do you drink a lot or take any drugs.

Eleora: No drugs. Drugs don’t do anything to me, or Tellias. Not even if someone we have for dinner has been taking them. Funny how that works out. But we drink…sometimes.

Judy: Why were you walking in the middle of the highway?

Eleora: I was on the line. I didn’t want to get lost.

Judy: I understand your car broke down.

Eleora: I ran out of gas. I was going to walk to a gas station when I realized I’d left my keys at home on the table. I have a little red dish I keep my keys in. I got it at Weinstock’s in 1892. It is a shame they closed down. I loved the elevators in the old store. They made so much noise.

Judy: How do you feel?

Eleora: With my fingers. The accident didn’t damage my sense of touch.

Judy: Overall, how are you? Are you in pain? Do you feel sick?

Eleora: I’m fine. I’d like to go home now. Nobody ever visits me anymore except Juliette and she is here right now so I need to go. I need to talk to her about things.  Tellias will worry too much. We’ll make love when I get home and he will feel better. So will I. Where is my dress?

Judy: We might have to keep you overnight. Are you hungry?

Eleora: I’m always hungry. Sometimes I forget to eat. It is usually because I sleep for days on end. Tellias forgets too. Juliette scolds us. She looks after us. I want to see Tellias and Juliette now. Sometimes we get take-out. They deliver it to the door and we always invite the delivery guy in. It is usually a young man. If you call 911 they’ll send good-looking strong young men to your door.

Judy: How much do you sleep?

Eleora: I don’t know because I sleep all the time and really can’t tell when I’m sleeping what I’m doing.

 

Judy came out of the room. I was pretending to look at something on my phone. Tellias just leaned against the wall with his eyes closed, then opened them to look at Judy.

Judy asked Tellias if Eleora had any history of mental illness.

Tellias just said, “She has always been a little bit different. She is a unique and creative soul.”

I closed the door to Eleora’s room and told Tellias to help me get her dressed. And we left. No, we didn’t wait for release papers or permission. We just left.

I have driven my Austin 3000 so Eleora insisted on going with me back to her house. She said riding in my car made her feel like a movie star or a Bond Girl. The entire way back she kept asking me why I didn’t visit more. Then she unwrapped the bandages on her arm and looked at the long line of stitches. There were twenty-seven of them.

“They wondered why I wasn’t bleeding. I told them I wasn’t able to get anything to eat because my car had broken down.”

“We’ll stop at Dave’s Bottle Shop. We can pick up a mixed case of blood and a few bottles of wine.”

Eleora dug around in her purse. “I know I have a coupon in here. I’m not mentally ill. They kept asking. I’m fine. I am fine. FINE. FINE. FINE.”

Once we were back at the home of the Elders I lectured both Eleora and Tellias on why Eleora should not be allowed to drive alone. I lectured him about not watching her and letting her wander off alone. I was so pissed off at my brother Val and Grandmama Lola who said they’d help. Where were they?

Eleora curled up on the couch with a blanket and a goblet of blood. “Why did they ask me so many questions? Why was that social worker there? I don’t have any small children. If I did have small children I’d take good care of them. I know how to take care of children. I took care of you and your brothers when you were small. I’ve taken care of children for centuries. Why’d she ask if Tellias hurt me? He would never hurt me. Never.”

“Darling,” I said, “it is their job to ask those questions. They just want to make sure you’re safe.”

About an hour later I was on my way home, along the dark highway, then through the city, and back out to my house by the lake in suburbia.

My husband Teddy and daughter Clara were watching Ink Master. The dog had crapped in the entry again. The cat dashed out the door. Tonight I was too tired to try to get the kitty back inside. I doubt if she’d become coyote food tonight.

I looked out the window at the almost full October moon. The Werewolves would be out in a day or two. I wonder what happened when they ended up in the emergency room. It wasn’t a pretty thought.

This weekend I’ll spend more time with Tellias and Eleora. I’ll try to spend more time with Teddy and Clara. I’d planned on going out of town but I can’t. Not this weekend. It seems I’m on watch. So we cancelled plans to the coast for my birthday, but I don’t mind.

Sometimes you just have to stop minding. Sometimes you just have to be a better Vampire.

Don’t forget to check in on those who have a hard time taking care of themselves. We all know those who are confused for whatever reason. We all know those who need a little extra help, or just a hug and someone to talk to for a bit. I know it can be frustrating but don’t forget them.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

 

Don’t Forget

“I need to talk to you about some things. Come quick,” the soft whisper came over the phone this morning.

“What’s up?” I wasted my words as usual.

“Come now.”

When seniors call it could be anything. Someone could be dead, or a water pipe could have burst, or another male, Vampire or a regular guy, could have flirted with Eleora. I never knew what Tellias wanted, and he would never tell me until I arrived. Or he and Eleora might just be lonely.

When my sixteen year old daughter Clara and I arrived Tellias was waiting on the front porch. It was already almost 90 degrees outside. Hot weather is bad enough, but for those as old as Tellias and Eleora is can be absolutely miserable. He wore a Hawiian shirt that looked like it was from the 1950’s with red plaid Bermuda shorts, and yellow flip flops. He’d pulled his long blonde hair back into a braid tied with a purple bandana. Eleora came running out in a yellow halter style sun dress from the 1980’s with her reddish brown curls flying behind her. She grabbed me in a hug and practically lifted me off of the ground. She and Tellias started to sing a happy song in a language I didn’t know, and kiss Clara and me on our cheeks, and took our hands to lead us inside.

Eleora and Tellias look to be all of nineteen or twenty but they’re much older. They’re older than anyone I know. They’re senior citizens, and I love them dearly.

I asked them if they’d eaten lately. They had. I asked if they were feeling alright. They were, despite the heat.

After tall glasses of iced ginger blood with sprigs of mint, Tellias finally told me what he needed.

“I need help with my new car,” he said, taking me by the hand and leading me to the door. We talked as we walked out to the barn.

“But Tellias,” I said, “you know more about cars than I ever could.”

“My darling child, you forget that I was born in BC, and that doesn’t mean…”

“I know, British Columbia.” That is an old joke. Tellias was born sometime in the first century BC and lived through the heydays of the Roman Empire, until he met Eleora in what is now England, but I’m not exactly sure of an exact date or place of his birth. I know it wasn’t Canada.

“I can’t figure out how to get my car to work with my phone. I need you to help me sync it up so to speak.”

“Did you read the instructions?”

“Well, no, but I knew you have the same kind of automobile as I do. I know yours is a 2012 but it is the same basic principle.”

“Nobody at the dealer showed you?”

“I didn’t ask. By the time the damn thing was paid for and all the paperwork was done Eleora had nearly drained the poor young salesman of blood, along with half of the service staff… you know how it is.”

This is typical of our conversations. Like a good young Vampire of only 156 I didn’t flinch or argue the point. I asked him for his keys. He gave me a puzzled look.

“Juliette, just a moment dear, I’m not sure where I left them.”

We spent an hour looking for the keys. He eventually found them in his front pants pocket.

In the cool barn I synced his phone to the system. Tellias could now play his eclectic mix of music and podcasts, and of course make hands-free phone calls. Even as a Vampire I savored the new car smell. Then I realized something else.

“Tellias,” I said, “you didn’t tell me you have bought a hybrid.”

He smiled with his usual boyish charm, “I figured if I’m going to be here another 2,000 years I might as well try to keep the place clean.”

Next to the new car was a 1931 L-29 Convertible Coupé that looked brand new, along with a stunning 1936 Auburn 654 Cabriolet, a well used 1958 Ford truck, and the red 1964 Mustang Convertible. Eleora’s little white Miata was parked in front of the house. She’d left the top off and a family of possums had moved into the back seat (but that is a blog post for another day.)

We spent the next half hour talking about mostly nothing as the neighbor’s cat meowed and wound herself around our legs. We walked back to the house feeling the heat like only Vampires can feel the heat.

Once inside the questions and banter started.

“When are your parents coming to see us?” Eleora asked.

“They never see us anymore,” said Tellias.

“Never,” said Eleora.

“We used to see them all the time,” said Tellias.

“We’d do anything for them,” said Eleora.

“Anything,” said Tellias. “Now they don’t need us.”

“We’re just old,” said Eleora.

“We’re obsolete, like a couple of old cars,” said Tellias.

“A couple of old junkers,” said Eleora.

“Like so much trash to be forgotten,” said Tellias.

“Forgotten by everyone,” said Eleora.

“Do you know where I put my keys?” asked Tellias as he checked his empty pockets.

“I love the both of you more than you can ever imagine,” I said.

They both hugged me. Clara joined in. They said they knew we loved them. I can’t answer to the actions of others and what they do, or who they do it with.

Clara and I stayed another hour then we drove home in silence, just listening to the radio.

Summer is here. Check on those who are frail or alone. Make sure they are cool. Make sure they have food. Make sure they have hugs and a little conversation. Make sure they don’t feel obsolete.

The weekend is here. We’ll go out and partake in what Vampires partake in, but even we want to know that someone cares. We want to know that we’re not forgotten like old headstones in an abandoned graveyard. Warm blooded regular people need that too. So don’t forget. It is easy to put someone who isn’t shiny and new from your mind. You’re busy. But don’t forget. Don’t forget.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

 

Clipped Coupons and Clipped Hearts (Living With Elderly Vampires)

Last night it was pouring rain when I got the call.

A whispering voice, like silk against silk said, “come quick, come quick.”

I didn’t ask why because I wouldn’t have received an answer. I called my brother Val and Grandmama Lola. Neither one of them picked up.

The call could have been for anything. It could have been a death or it could have been missing car keys. Either way when Tellias calls me in that tone of voice I have to go, because that is what you do when the elderly folks in your life call in obvious distress. I’ve had too many of those calls to take anything lightly.

All three of us, husband Teddy, teenage Clara, and myself got into the car and prepared for a long night. As I got behind the wheel I told my husband and child that I did not want to hear political talk or any other “let us all annoy Mom as much as we can” subjects.

The farmhouse was dark.

Teddy got a care package out of the trunk. I’d quickly gathered a few things together before we left. I never know when the elderly Eleora or Tellias have eaten or if they’ve kept staples on hand. I also brought a water filter because I’ve wondered about the stability of their hundred year old plumbing.

The porch light came on. Eleora and Tellias came out smiling and singing Willcommon from Cabaret. They always sang a welcome song but we never knew what it would be.

“What’s wrong? Tell me why you called,” I said, taking their hands.

“I have a some articles and stories you need to read,” said Eleora, handing me a large envelope overflowing with bits of paper.

“She has coupons too,” said Ellias.

“Lots of coupons. I know you use a lot of these things,” said Eleora.

“You need to read her articles. She read every single one and picked it out for you. You might have missed something on the radio,” said Tellias.

“The radio. You only listen to the radio so you might have missed something important about college, or the elections, or the economy, or farming,” said Eleora. “And I have a lot of coupons I want you to look at.”

“She has a lot of coupons for you,” said Tellias. Then he squeezed my hand and gave me the look. It was that look he gives me when he wants to speak with me along.

“Clara,” I said to my sixteen year old daughter, “take Eleora into the kitchen so you can spread the stories out and take a look at them. OK honey, I think she’d like that.”

Clara took Eleora’s hand and led her away. I could hear Eleora chattering away as they went down the hall.

I turned to Tellias. “What is it Tellias? What is wrong?”

He threw his hands up. “Eleora is cheating on me. I know she is.”

“Sweet Jesus,” said Teddy under his breath.

“No, it isn’t him,” said Tellias. “It’s someone local. Someone here. I know it.”

“Tellias,” said Teddy, gently but firmly, “stop.”

“I’m concerned Theodore. You don’t know what it is like to have your heart ripped in two, at least not lately,” said Tellias. “For years and years, centuries, eons, their eyes all go to her. They can’t help it. They all want her. She is still beautiful. Look at her.”

“Darling Tellias,” I said. “Eleora only loves you.”

“Love yes. Lust is another thing,” he hissed.

“Who would she see? You two hardly ever go out,” said Teddy.

“We go out. Sometimes. In the night,” said Tellias.

“Does she go out alone?” I asked, knowing that she didn’t.

Tellias hesitated. “Well, no, but I go out alone.”

“She isn’t entertaining anyone when you’re away, I should know,” said a voice from the doorway. It was Great Great Great Great Grandmama Lola who was much younger than Eleora and Tellias but still ancient. Of course she could pass for a graduate student or young professional woman with her long brown curls and trendy clothes.

“Dear Juliette it is good to see you,” said Lola, as she put her cool hands on my face and kissed my cheeks. “I don’t know if you knew this but Henry the VIII was obsessed with Elora. Tellias was a nervous wreck. I kept reminding him that Henry was disgusting, and a warm blooded mortal, but Tellias wouldn’t hear any of it. Too bad because the court was pretty crazy and the perfect place for a clutch of Vampires to hang out in.”

“So what happened?” I had to ask. This was a new story to me.

“We all moved to Italy. It wasn’t a bad thing for any of us. Tellias always kept his Roman connections so it worked out well for the next fifty or so years.”

Tellias frowned. “Until Raphael… She was his Vampire.”

Lola shook her pretty head. “Oh come now Tellias she never made love to the man, just  bit his neck. There is nothing wrong with that.”

“No, he never painted her. She just posed naked,” said Tellias.

“That was me Tellias, not Elora. I also did Archbishop of Canterbury right before we left England, but there were oh so many handsome warm blooded men in Italy that I never missed England. Not for a second,” said Lola, flipping her hair away from her face.

There were always a lot of TMI moments when Lola was around. Oh the joy of being around ancient Vampires.

“Lola, I’ve been meaning to talk to you about your habits,” said Tellias.

Lola crossed her arms and scowled at him. “Please don’t. I’ve watched my first husband burned to the stake, and watched the second one get sealed up in a crypt. I can do as I please. I’ve deserved little fun. I’ve earned it Tellias.”

Tellias continued to scowl. “I raised you not to be so indulgent with your prey.”

“Darling, you’re like a father to me, and I appreciate the sentiment, but not all of us are lucky enough to have the same partner for almost 2,000 years.”

“I’m going to the kitchen,” said Teddy who’d once more been subjected to my clan.

“What’s in there?” Tellias asked.

“Clara, Eleora and hopefully whiskey. You can continue discussing playing with your food without me,” said Teddy as he made his way down the hall.

I turned back to Tellias. As ancient as he is the old Vampire looks all of nineteen years old. I brushed his white blonde hair behind his ear and said, “Eleora loves you and only you.”

He started to speak again and I put a finger on his lips. “No. This is all in your imagination. Of course everyone falls in love with her. Eleora is silly and beautiful, but she is yours. All yours Tellias.”

He looked defiant, then said, “You need to read those articles Eleora clipped for you. I think she printed a few off from the computer too. Just look over them. Amuse her.”

Lola had vanished into the kitchen with the rest of the family. I gave Tellias a hug. “We brought you a case of Astronomer’s Blood, the kind you like. Dave’s Bottle Shop is having a sale for the rest of the month so let me know if you need anything else.”

We joined the others who were now laughing at Clara’s high school stories.

I know I was sort of blowing off Tellias’s concerns. Sometimes he thinks Eleora is unfaithful. Sometimes he thinks he needs to contact the Roman general he used to work for as a soothsayer. Sometimes he is just fine. But I try to listen. Just like I’ve stopped telling Eleora to stop giving me articles and coupons. If it makes her happy then I’ll be happy to humor her.

Outside I could see the lights of my brother Val’s car pull into the driveway.

I always tell everyone to listen to their kids. Listen to the ancient ones in your life as well. Their concerns are real, even if those concerns might not seem so real to you. If you don’t listen you might miss something important.

Take care, and call your mom, or someone who might be alone and need to talk.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

True love keeps you young forever!

True love keeps you young forever!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Flying High

Sometimes Vampires travel. Sometimes we have to fly. Sometimes we’re asked to take other Vampires to the airport to fly.

That was me yesterday.

Tellias and Eleora the ancient Vampires in my life took a trip to Washington DC to visit friends. They’d thought about driving but half the time they can’t even find their own way home from the mail box at the end of their driveway.

I arrived at their home to find them ready to go. I was glad I’d arrived early. Eleora was dressed in a robe with a belt around the waist and rubber boots.

“Were you going to let her go out in THAT?” I asked Tellias, feeling my blood pressure rise (OK, if I had blood pressure.)

He shrugged his shoulders. “I knew you’d take care of her wardrobe issues.”

Luckily Tellias had the sense enough to wear black trousers and a black button down dress shirt with a black printed tie. He’d put his white blonde hair up in a man-bun. At over 2,000 years he looks about 19-years-old.

As always I had to find something for Eleora to wear. After about ten minutes of digging through her closet I found a blue sheath dress and a light white sweater with lace trim. Like Tellias she wore flip flops. Eleora never wears pants of any kind. I pulled her long chestnut colored curls back into a thick braid set off with a white ribbon. Like Tellias, Eleora is well over 2,000 years old but could pass for twenty-one if she wanted to.

Together we went over the checklist of items they needed: Boarding passes, IDs, fully charged phones, emergency numbers, etc.

“Do you need snacks?”

The looked at me with blank stares.

“You can’t drink blood on the plane,” I reminded them.

“Don’t be daft,” said Tellias.

“Daft. That is a silly word to use. Daft,” said Eleora. Then she started to giggle until she had to sit down.

“You can have snacks. I put a paper bag in your carry-on with snacks. You can’t take blood from anyone on the plane. Do you understand why?”

“No,” said Tellias.

“No,” echoed Eleora.

“It is a long flight Juliette,” said Tellias.

“A long flight,” said Eleora.

We were going to be late. “You’ve gone a month without any blood and done fine,” I told them as I started to haul their bags to the car.

“We were younger,” said Tellias.

“Younger,” said Eleora.

“Much younger,” said Tellias.

“Much,” said Eleora.

“I packed snacks. Please, wait until you get to Washington,” I told them.

Once on the road I found myself driving through Hell. The never ending construction had never ended. What part of sanity and good engineering went out the window then this road project was planned? Middle School students would have done better.

The road signs were down so I missed the exit to the airport. Then I turned around and missed the exit from the other direction. I used a lot of bad language (and I don’t mean grammar.)

Eleora said, “you ought to write a letter to Caltrans about it.” I wanted to yell at her but I held back. Her answer for everything is to write a letter to unknown and uncaring bureaucrats.

FINALLY we got to the airport 20 minutes later than I’d planned, only to find all of the parking garages had been closed for some unknown reason. At this point I was about to scream because I’d planned on seeing my ancient loved ones through to security. No such luck.

I suddenly thought of their seating. Eleora would be by a window. Tellias would be in the middle. Some poor soul would end up sitting next to them. Tellias can be either extremely charming or extremely unnerving. I mean, I’m not kidding, he can be creepy when he gets annoyed.

“Be polite and don’t be creepy to anyone. Please promise me that,” I said as I helped Tellias unload the bags. “You’ll have a great time.” I kissed their cool cheeks and gave them hugs. They sang me a fifteen second song and gave me a big group hug. We said I love you to each other, then I watched them go into the terminal.

They looked like two lovely young people in love, excited to travel and see the world. What could go wrong?

On the way home I avoided traffic and stopped downtown to visit my husband Teddy at his business. After a much needed hug and a kiss I headed back home.

Later in the day I was listening to the radio and heard that a plane flying to Washington DC had to make an emergency landing. Two of the flight attendants had passed out for unknown reasons.

I took a deep breath. So much for packing snacks.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

It all means something

Early this morning I stepped outside with bare feet. Something was underfoot, it grave a little as I stepped down, then for a second stuck to my foot. It had a dry feel of maybe a leaf or bunch of matter tied up with dust and cobwebs. It was a dead songbird.

The small creature that lay by the door was a gift from the cat. She brings me a bird at least once a week. The birds she catches in the front yard are hers to eat. When she catches birds in the back of the house she gifts them to me, because she doesn’t think I can catch birds. Plus I always give her food, so in turn, she brings me food.

I went back inside to find something to wrap the poor dead bird in. When I returned it was gone.

Later I drove down the winding river road to see the Elders, Eleroa and Tellias.

When teenage Clara and I arrived at the Victorian farmhouse we were met at the door by the neighbor’s orange cat. He purred and spoke a few words of his own language before he ran across the orchard to his own home.

Inside we found Tellias reading in his large red leather wingback chair. He looked up at us with glacier blue eyes in a face surrounded by long white blonde hair. He held out his hand and started to sing a song of greeting.

She’s only testin’ her wings and if you give in to her
You’ll be just another feather in her cap
She’ll drop you in a flash
She’s castin’ a spell
Well, if she’s castin’ a spell
I can cast one as well

Like most of the songs he’d sing to me, this one was pretty random. But it was always nice. He stood and gave me a kiss, then gave Clara a hug.

“It has been too long since you visited us last my dear. I’ll forget what you look like,” he said in a mock scolding tone.

“Never,” I said. “Where is Eleora?”

The smile left his face. “Upstairs asleep. She is always asleep.”

“Is she eating?”

“Not really. She won’t leave the house and I’m tired of bringing people in.”

I found Eleora upstairs laying on her bed, eyes closed, chestnut curls spread out over the pillows. The room was dark but stifling hot. I turned on the ceiling fan and watched the dust fly off of the blades. The woman on the bed didn’t look much older than my almost sixteen year old Clara, but she was much older. Eleora was over 2,000 years old but didn’t look a day over twenty-one.

I sat next to her and took her cold dry hand in mine. “Eleora darling. Wake up.”

She smiled showing a tiny bit of fang. Then she slowly opened her eyes. “You’ve finally come back.”

“I know, I’m sorry. But you’ll be over on Sunday for Father’s Day.”

“I wouldn’t miss it.”

Downstairs Clara had fixed a pitcher of iced blood flavored with rosemary and mint. Sounds horrible to most people, people not like us,  but it is really wonderful with a splash of soda water on a hot summer day.

I handed Eleora a glass and made sure she drank it all.

We sat and talked for a while about everything and nothing. While Clara told Eleora about school and impending college choices, Tellias and I went for a walk in the orchard.

I could smell the peaches and picked a few to take home with me. Tellias took my arm in his and told me that he wished I’d come by more. I promised, but made him promise me that he’d ask for help and keep the air conditioning and fans in working order. I made him promise that he’d try to get Eleora to eat more often.

Despite the fact a Vampire can dry up under a house and wake up fifty years later does not mean that it is the right thing to do. We like comforts and like those we love to live in a civilized state.

Now that is it summer and the heat will only get worse, please check in on your elderly friends and relatives and neighbors. Make sure they are comfortable, cool and fed. Also check on others who might need extra help. It is the right thing to do.

Now I write in a cool dark place of comfort. After visiting Tellias and Eleora I think of the small things that make things that make up my days. A song from Tellias or a small dead song bird – it all adds up into the mix. It all means something, even in just a tiny way.

Even if you’re a Vampire and even if you’re Human.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman