Short Story Sunday: I’ll Take Care of You

The headache was real. He opened his eyes and squinted at the sun coming through the window and tried to remember what had happened the night before.

“Oh you’re up. Look at the sunlight. Tell me how you feel.”

“Like I’ve been hit by a truck.”

“Do you feel alive?”

He looked at her sitting in a navy blue wingback chair wearing nothing but a smile and black silk stockings held up by red garters. He thought of her as a girl, not from her age but by the way she acted. She had been cute for a while but the cuteness became annoying and practiced.

He got out of bed and looked for his robe. She watched him with a smile on her face that was part wonder and part greed. Memories started to come back. Against his better judgement he’d taken her home and to his bed. Then she’d poured something she said was wine, but it obviously wasn’t.

“What did we drink last night?”

“What did you drink Andrew darling. I gave you an elixir to life. I gave you a tonic of love. I gave you light and love?”

He didn’t even respond. The sooner he got her out of his house and made coffee the better. Finding his robe he headed to the kitchen.

“Do you feel different?” She got up and followed him down the stairs.

“Other than feeling like shit?”

“Today is your new birthday. You’re mortal again.”

It suddenly occurred that she’d given him some sort of potion. “Jen, I can’t be cured. There was nothing wrong with me.”

“You were a Vampire.”

“I’m still a Vampire.”

“You’re walking in the sunlight. See it comes through the windows and you aren’t burning.”

“I’ve always been able to walk in the sunlight. Whatever you gave me didn’t work. It never works anymore than me giving you something that would turn you into a dog.”

“Give me a chance and I’ll take care of you Andrew,” she said clutching at his arms.

He pried off her hands and whispered under his breath, “Yes, and I’ll make sure to take care of you.”

Escorting her to the door, the Vampire told her to not come back – but he knew she’d try. Jen never took no for an answer. He compared her to a bad rash, that is if he’d ever had a bad rash.

Nobody would believe her tall tales of dating a Vampire. She was a groupie, a fan, a follower who didn’t know how to be an adult or find real love. It wasn’t like he always knew how to find real love, but at least he wasn’t going to let anyone change him for it.

Picking up the phone he made a call. “You know, I really don’t have the stomach for killing her right now. Any suggestions?”

His friend paused on the other end of the line then said, “Don’t worry about it. I’ll take care of her.”

After getting off the phone Andrew made a blood and strawberry smoothie hoping it would clear out some of the toxic effects of whatever the Hell Jen had given him.

Jen told everyone her family had always been around Vampires, kind of sort of, but she’d just discovered her ability to pick them out about 10 years ago. She’d clamped onto Andrew about a year back after seeing him sing with one of her favorite bands at a local club. She’d spotted him and found out all of the details about his life through mutual friends. Her immaturity was charming at first and kind of cute but now it just grated on Andrew. He ran his hands through his hair and wondered why he’d brought her home last night. Oh right, blood and sex. That always does it.

Then again, Jen thought life should be a cross between a Doris Day/Rock Hudson movie and Twilight. Holy crap. The woman was delusional.

Jen sat alone in her San Francisco apartment and thought about her beautiful Vampire lover. Giggling at the thought of his cool skin and hot kisses and wonderful techniques as a lover. He knew all the tricks. She imagined living with him in his beautiful St. Francis Woods home.

Last night she’d offered him not just her body but her blood as well. Last of all she offered her heart. As far as she was concerned that was a sealed deal. She was part of him now. He’d never get rid of her.

A year passed and Andrew had all but forgotten about that night with Jen. Occasionally one of his friends would bring up the story of the toxic brew and laugh about it.

“Don’t laugh, it could have ruined my voice,” Andrew would tell them half serious and half joking.

“What ever happened to her?” They would always ask. Andrew would just shrug.

A hundred miles away, locked in a room with no sharp objects Jen sat rocking on the bed speaking of her Vampire lover and how he’d return for her. Andrew said something under his breath about taking care of her. So she waited not knowing that he already taken care of her, quite nicely.

 

~ End

 

Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Short Story Sunday: Tell Tail Heart (or A Literary Tale)

A Literary Tale

He woke with a start.

THUMP THUMP THUMP

THUMP THUMP THUMP

Immediately he thought of The Tell Tale Heart, that story of horror written by Poe.

Bolting up in bed and now awake he realized it was just the thumping tails of his brother’s wolfhounds. Why had he agreed to take care of the beasts for the week?

These huge beasts were no Baskerville Hounds. They were sweet and goofy. Sure they could kill, he supposed they could kill, but they were just happy dogs. Large dogs with large hearts. Large dogs who needed to go out and leave large piles in his yard. And they needed to do that RIGHT NOW.

All week long he’d been obsessed with trying to find the story that matched his life. No Jane Austin. No Thomas Wolf. Maybe a touch of Charlotte Bronte or Donna Tartt. A little Dave Stone or Nathan Tackett. Maybe Mandy White? J. Harrison Kemp? Gabriel García Márquez? The poetry of Daniel Tanzo? Jade M. Phillips? David X. Hunter or Michael Haberfelner? Lucy Lastic? Stephen King? More like it the beautiful haunting romantic historic stories of Diana Garcia or Marie Frankson. What about John Sanford or John Steinbeck. He liked the idea of Steinbeck. He liked the idea of all of them… except maybe White or King. That pair of horror writers were brilliant but far too scary to base a life on their works. Rob Betz , Angie Parisi or Gina McKnight came to mind. He thought about it for a while longer while the dogs played and ran in the yard as the sun vanished and night took over the sky.

He returned inside and fed the large gray beasts. If dogs could write what would they write about? His mind was on finding a story. The dogs curled up on the floor next to a wall of bookshelves. He looked at the hundreds of titles. All had inspired him but none were his life.

Then he pulled a small volume out and fingered the pages. In pencil were sketches and stories a friend had written years ago. Since then he’d followed her tales. Stories of fantasy, then stories of real life.

He picked up his phone and called. She picked up. “Marla, this is Andrew. I just wanted to tell you… What have you been up to?”

They talked for hours about life and the past 18 years, since her wedding. She’d lived life not like one of her stories but almost as exciting.

“You were never afraid of me. I mean, because I’m a Vampire,” Andrew told her.

“You were never afraid of me because I’m a writer,” she told him.

He laughed. They made plans. She’d keep writing her stories. And as for Andrew, he’d keep living his own story.

 

 

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For more fiction from Juliette Kings, Marla Todd, Mandy White and others click here for a list of find fun and fantastic short fiction.

For more short stories from the authors listed above click here.

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For more about Andrew just put in his name (Andrew or Andy) in the search window of this blog. You’ll come up with a bunch of stuff. Or go to the Stand Alone story link (left sidebar) and see “Morning at the Vineyard” or “Dancing on the Beach.”

Happy Reading,

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

poe harry clarke

Short Story Sunday: The Shadow of Fire

156937831The evening is cool and dry. I smell oak trees and a hint of fire in the dry brush. No smoke or flames but there is always the shadow of fire.

I thought of what Nathaniel had said earlier, “Everyone likes you. You’re the only one who doesn’t like you. You have to start liking yourself.”

He’d lived a charmed life. He’d never known the power of fire or the fear of losing everything or everyone. But he was right. I don’t like who I am, not usually, not when I’m alone. Not when I’m with most people, or Vampires as the case might be. But I don’t care.

Only with the kids do I care, my grandchildren many times over. They don’t bring anything into the conversation except the here and now. No ashes of the past to ruin the moment.

Fire had taken Thomas, my husband and father of my children. He was burned to death, quickly turned to ash when they discovered he was different. It seems so long ago but I can still smell the stench of the wood, the skin of the others. I can still hear the screams. I close my eyes for a second and try not to let my knees fail me.

Fire took my house in the San Francisco earthquake then almost a century later in the Oakland hills. Not a good track record.

Then it almost took me. Two years ago, I was walking to my car, alone. Being alone had never bothered me. After all I’m the predator. I’m the strong one. I’m the one who has watched and protected everyone else for centuries. They were strong and prepared. They knew who I was.  They knew how to prevent me from protecting myself. I can smell the gasoline and hear the strike of the match. That was after they kicked me and cut me and tried to…anyway, they didn’t like me either.

I did get away, but not without causing all sorts of damage to the Vampire Hunters. Don’t underestimate a woman in black boots and short leather skirt and a hounds-tooth check jacket, not to mention my favorite blue Coach bag that they didn’t get a scratch on.

That was almost two years ago, and since then I’ve almost completely recovered, yet I still get lectures from my friends and family. They consider me an ancient Vampire now. A fragile old fangster who needs to be watched like a child.

“Hey beautiful.” He stood in the doorway, just awake from a day of sleep, brushing his hair from his face, wearing nothing but a pair jeans.

My family disapproved. He was younger. He’d been a Vampire for less than two years. He was falling in love with me, a dangerous thing for any man or Vampire.

Cody kissed me in the light of the crescent moon. “Lola, I think I’m falling in love.”

“Me too.” I could feel the tears well up in my eyes. I didn’t tell him that it had been centuries since I’d felt this way. How does one say that, especially since it had been centuries since I’d even liked myself or trusted any of my own feelings. It was a true gift from Cody. I’d never take advantage of him or use him, no matter what anyone else said.

This wasn’t a gut reaction. It wasn’t survival or the survival of someone I loved. It was the survival of my heart. Was it too much to ask? Or had this have to burn out like everything else in my life?

“Serious thoughts Lola?” Cody kissed my forehead and pulled me close. “I will keep you safe, always and forever.”

I held him close and tight. Always and forever I thought. Then I started to wonder where the hose was, just in case.

tangled-tales

FREE HALLOWEEN HORROR – Twisted Tales from Beneath the Bed

FREE SCARY STUFF For Halloween

Free – October 30-31

The Internationally Acclaimed

Creepies – Twisted Tales from Beneath the Bed

Download your copy at: Amazon http://www.amazon.com/dp/B009JXJU8C

You’ll want to get under the covers with a flashlight for this one!

An Anthology from the WPAD Group (Writers, Poets and Deviants)

Get ready for Halloween! 

Creepies: Twisted Tales From Beneath the Bed [Kindle Edition]
Marla Todd (Author), J. Harrison Kemp (Author), Nathan Tackett (Author), Mandy White (Author), Zoltana (Author), A.K. Wallace (Author), David W. Stone (Author)

A desperate father, on the run with his daughter reveals a terrifying truth about his child… Who is the bogeyman, really? Hear the real story – directly from the monster himself… A tiny burger joint along a desert highway – it appears to be a refreshing oasis for a traveling family… or is it? A psychic investigates an apparition of a little girl and uncovers a shocking tale…
Enjoy these chilling stories and more in Creepies: Twisted Tales From Beneath the Bed.
This creepy collection of short stories by various authors is a fundraiser for Multiple Sclerosis, in support of one of our writers, who lives with MS. 50% of all royalties will be donated to MS research.
Download your copy at: Amazon http://www.amazon.com/dp/B009JXJU8C


This is the same talented group (of my favorite authors, including my regular human alter ego) who brought you Nocturnal Desires!

Creepies – Twisted Tales from Beneath the Bed

I am so proud to announce the publication of

Creepies – Twisted Tales from Beneath the Bed

An Anthology from the WPAD Group (Writers, Poets and Deviants)

Get ready for Halloween! 

Creepies: Twisted Tales From Beneath the Bed [Kindle Edition]
Marla Todd (Author), J. Harrison Kemp (Author), Nathan Tackett (Author), Mandy White (Author), Zoltana (Author), A.K. Wallace (Author), David W. Stone (Author)

A desperate father, on the run with his daughter reveals a terrifying truth about his child… Who is the bogeyman, really? Hear the real story – directly from the monster himself… A tiny burger joint along a desert highway – it appears to be a refreshing oasis for a traveling family… or is it? A psychic investigates an apparition of a little girl and uncovers a shocking tale…
Enjoy these chilling stories and more in Creepies: Twisted Tales From Beneath the Bed.
This creepy collection of short stories by various authors is a fundraiser for Multiple Sclerosis, in support of one of our writers, who lives with MS. 50% of all royalties will be donated to MS research.Download your copy at: Amazon http://www.amazon.com/dp/B009JXJU8C


This is the same talented group (of my favorite authors, including my regular human alter ego) who brought you Nocturnal Desires!