I will be with you even when we fall apart and our body parts trail behind us…and there is nothing left except our love.
~ From a Zombie Love Letter
~ From a Zombie Love Letter
How would I write a love letter?
As if I’d tell my teen that. Teens usually know but forget as they grow old and fearful.
I would write it by hand on a yellow legal pad with pencil. I would write it over and over until it was exactly right. Then I’d get a fine piece of stationary and write the perfect letter with perfect script.
There are different kinds of love letters. There are those that say: Hey, I really like you a lot, lets get together. There are love letters that are heart breaking and say: I’m lost without you. There are those that say: You are the one, the only one, the absolute only one. And there are those that say: After all these years together I love you still and always and forever.
It is simple really.
I’m not the kind of person who spies on my spouse or kids. I don’t go through drawers (but I will go through an attic) or personal papers. I won’t even read your email or go through your phone. It just isn’t good to pry.
BUT that said…there are situations where ALL BETS ARE OFF.
In a little over a week my romantically minded, smart, funny and handsome son Garrett will turn 17. His best buddy Randy is throwing him a bash and they are all going to dress up. Top hats, tails, ball gowns, the works. But it is all vintage. The girls are at the vintage and thrift stores or raiding their mother’s closets. The boys are looking at what their fathers and grandfathers have plus raiding the thrift stores and vintage shops.
Garrett came downstairs in a beautiful long black coat. It came almost to his knees, beautifully cut. He looked so handsome, so much like his father.
“Dad said I could wear this. What do you think?”
“Wow. Perfect.” I remember long ago when my husband Teddy wore that coat. It was long before we married, in another time and place.
“Look what I found in the pocket.” Garrett held out a pale cream-colored envelope.
Inside was a note written in a beautiful script.
March 20, 1889
The sun shines but brings nothing so warm or bright as my memory of your kiss. Last night under the stars of heaven I thought I’d been taken by an angel. Yet, when I opened my eyes it was you with your arms around me. Your kiss took me away from the common world into the world of Venus and Mars. My heart quickens at the thought of you. The sound of your voice, the touch of your hand, your lips on mine.
My love, my life, my always.
Meet me tomorrow at the gates of the cathedral.
Until then my love,
Always and forever.
The three of us looked at each other then for no reason we started to laugh.
“So if you have to respond what would you write?” I asked this of my kids knowing they are always up for a creative challenge.
Thirteen-year-old Clara went first.
I’m in love with someone else. She is totally clueless to how I feel. She is the only one I want to hunt with. She makes me laugh. She is beautiful. I want her to be the mother of my children. I won’t have the courage to tell her for another 100 years. Sorry. Go find yourself a nice guy. I might be good looking but I’m a real pain in the butt. Most exceptionally good-looking guys are like that. We all think we’re “all that”. You don’t want a guy who thinks he is “all that”. Give it a few months and you won’t like me anymore. I bet you’ll hate me. Besides, I hate to break this to you but if you haven’t figured it out already I’m a Vampire.
You ROCK Mary and I know you’ll find someone better than I can ever be.
Next Garrett read his letter aloud.
Your beauty lights up a room,
Both beauty of your body and soul,
Forgive me for being so forward,
To dare say,
You are dear, so dear to me.
But I must protect your heart,
And speak the truth,
I am a man of the shadows,
And would kill your sunshine,
And your glowing light and spirit.
I would never make you happy.
I will always treasure our time together.
You are beauty and light that I would never be able to hold.
Fly free Mary. Fly free and find love where you deserve it.
In the light,
In the sun,
With someone who can love you
The way you deserve to be loved.
Always in my heart,
By then both of my children were laughing so hard they had slid off the couch and were on the floor.
So I wrote my response.
I would run my hands down your bare shoulders then kiss your beautiful neck. I would slowly undress you and gaze upon your beauty in the moonlight knowing that you are mine alone. I will take what I desire, but leave you with more than you could ever imagine. When you gasp your little sighs of pleasure I will sink my fangs into you and drain your blood from your body. I will fill your soul with dark carnal thoughts that will drive you insane and ruin you for any other man. Then I will leave you begging for more, never to see you again. So Mary, forget me, unless you want a life of ruin and insanity.
I folded that one up because there is no way I’d read THAT to my children.
I started over.
My dearest Mary,
I have not been honest with you. I have a wife and three children in America. I respect you too much to make you my mistress or even be your close friend.
I am sorry.
We heard a loud engine and then the loud stereo. Teddy (Theodore) was home.
We didn’t tell him why we were all smiling but he liked way the jacket fit Garrett.
“Who is Mary?” Garrett asked his father. Clara started to giggle.
I put my arm around Teddy’s waist and handed him the letter.
“Mary? Oh right, she was a girl I met at a party in London. Pretty girl and insanely wealthy. She had a crush on your Uncle Maxwell. What, you didn’t think she wrote that letter to me did you? It was for Max.”
“What happened?” I asked in anticipation of a good story.
“Nothing. I never gave it to him. She didn’t know he was a Vampire or anything other than he was a charming man with an air of danger about him.”
“What happened to her?” 13-year-old Clara had to ask.
Teddy smiled. “Mary met the love of her life a few weeks later and lived a long and happy life.”
Which goes to show that sometimes the best love letters are those that are never sent.
And, proves once again that being kissed by a Vampire isn’t a bad thing. (Click here for a story about that)
~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman
First published March 2013 and still the most popular post on this blog.
“She was weird.”
That is what my brother Val told me when I asked him about a woman he’d met at a party at my brother Max’s house last month.
I have four brothers. Max is engaged, Andy is occupied and in love, Aaron is married, and Val is unattached. Like me, they’re all Vampires. We’ve always been that way. Anyway, back to my story about my single 161 year old brother.
This morning he came in from San Francisco. I figured he was still wearing a scarf around his neck because it was still cold outside, or he was just making a fashion statement.
“Why was she weird?” I asked.
“Lots of things.” Val told me. “She asked if I’d ever had baby blood. Then she went on and on about the old days and how Vampires dined on children. I told her it was bull shit and bad form. We were brought up better than that.” He ran his hand through his hair, something he did when he was flustered.
“Yuck,” I said. It was pretty yucky.
“She wasn’t born one of us. She was fascinated by the fact that I was. I hate it when other Vampires treat us like we’re magical or something.”
“She seemed pretty normal on your first date,” I said
“I know. I thought she was a bit forward and kind of quirky, but she was fun. Damn, she is gorgeous too. Not that looks are everything, but it helps.”
“We’d been out to a couple of jazz clubs, then went back to her place. She was acting pretty normal by then, you know, not saying weird things. We started making out. It was nice. Then she ripped my shirt open and bit my neck. Not just a little love bite. She sunk her fangs into me.”
“I pulled away and she ripped my flesh. She fucking ripped my neck open.”
“Val! Let me see.” I unwrapped the scarf from his neck. There was a gash where he’d put a butterfly over a two inch rip in his neck. Usually we heal faster than regular warmer blooded folks, but this was bad. Vampire on Vampire bites take longer to heal than most injuries. The area around the gash had started to turn purple and yellow.
“I swear I thought she was going to bleed me to death. I grabbed her and pulled her off of me. Then she had the audacity to tell me that I was hurting her.”
“What a bitch.”
“She was fucking crazy. After that you know what? She wanted me to go to bed with her. She laughed at me and told me how much she wanted me. No way in Hell was I going to spend another minute with her.”
“My blood was dripping down her chin.”
“Then she texts me this morning asking me if I want a third date.”
“What did you do?”
“I blocked her.”
Val’s dates usually don’t go like this. In fact he has less drama in his world than any Vampire or regular person I know.
A while back I wrote a post about dating advice Val had for other guys. Keep reading.
My brother Val is visiting for the weekend. My kids Garrett (age 16) and Clara (age 13) adore him.
That said, he decided Garrett needed some advice on women. Not that Garrett needs it – every girl in his high school has a crush on him. Sometime I think he has a crush on every girl as well. But he is level headed and smarter than most boys his age when it comes to girls. Yes, Garrett is a bit of romantic but that’s ok with me. I’d rather him be a smart romantic than a stupid player.
Val is a 156 year old Vampire who definitely does not still live in the 19th century. He is single and savvy. He is also sweet and exceptionally caring, especially about the elders and children of our family and friends.
So this is how the conversation went.
Clara: Boys are stupid.
Val: Yes, they are.
Garrett: What about me.
Val: You’re her brother. You don’t count.
Garrett: What about girls? They aren’t perfect.
Val: Women are crazy but the craziness depends on the level of psychosis. They’re also smarter than we are so just admit it and let them know that.
Me (Juliette): So I’m smarter than you.
Val: No, you aren’t.
Me: Why is that?
Val: You’re my baby sister.
Me: You said boys are stupid.
Val: They are.
Teddy (my husband): He’s right.
Val to Garrett: Vampire girls are independent these days. It used to be that you’d just bring them a few small children or a baby and they’d be happy.
Clara and Garrett together: That’s gross.
Val: We don’t do that anymore.
Teddy: WE never did that.
Me: Your grandparents never did THAT.
Val: My point being that most Vampire women like to hunt for their own food. They don’t need guys to bring it to them.
Teddy: Keep digging Val.
And then we talked about general behavior and a few funny and awful stories but in the end Val passed on his time honored rules about women. Here they are…
“OK Val, I said. I think that’s enough advice for the night.” I said.
~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman
I’m a little under the weather (even Vampires get under sometimes) so rather than trying to make up something fictional for today I’ll just tell you a story about my brother Val and me, then give you some high-minded moralistic opinion about the state of American culture.
It was October 1963 and we were driving Val’s black 1962 Corvette down Hwy 395, along the back side of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. We stopped in the small town of Lee Vining at dusk, wondering if we should stop for the night or keep going.
I got out of the car and looked up at the mountains. After I took off my scarf I held it up and let the breeze make it into a flag. Everything smelled so fresh. The mountains were so beautiful I couldn’t take my eyes off of the sight.
Val came up to me and took the scarf. He put it over my hair and wrapped it loosely around my neck. “You look like Marilyn Monroe tonight. She was buried in a dress almost like yours, with a scarf like yours.”
Removing the scarf again I looked down at my green dress, then brushed a bit of blonde hair out of my face. Yes, it was blonde at the time fixed in sort of an over teased should length flip. I’ve taken my false eye lashes off as soon as we left Las Angeles earlier that morning.
“How do you know what she was buried in?” I had to ask.
“A friend of a friend went to the viewing,” answered my brother. “She was murdered.”
“Does the friend of a friend know who murdered her?”
“No. What a shame. We’ll read about it later. Jewels, she was having sex with everyone named Kennedy and all of their friends.”
“Does it matter? Does it really matter Val? It isn’t like we knew the woman.”
He ignored my comments. “I feel like I’m in a movies set out here. The obvious choice would be a Western, but it seems more of a mystery tonight. Do you want to stay the night or move on?”
We agreed to stay. At first we got a skeptical look from the woman at the desk of the Motel when we told her we were brother and sister. Neither one of us wore rings on our left hands. What should she think when two fashionably dressed young people come into a hotel in a mountain town? Plus we came in a sports care. That would be a recipe for immoral behavior in anybody’s book. A man, the owner of the establishment, came in and gave us the key, saying it was obvious how much we looked alike. Some people always have their mind in the gutter.
We went to the cafe next door to get a feel for the place. The view of Mono Lake from our table was unreal as the sun settled down over the mountains. The waitress was friendly and took our orders of coffee and rare burgers. When she came back she told me that the cook thought I looked like Marilyn Monroe. I was polite. Val kicked me underneath the table.
“As soon as we get to Reno I’m finding a salon and switching back to brunette.”
“You’d better get rid of the eyeliner too,” said Val with a wink. “I think she was murdered for sleeping with the Kennedy brothers. Think about it.”
“I’d rather not Val.”
“Do you think Marilyn would have made a good Vampire?”
“The Beatles would make better Vampires. They don’t seem so needy. Honestly would you convert someone as needy as Marilyn Monroe into a Vampire? It would be a disaster then you’d be stuck with her.”
“That might not be such a bad thing.”
“Stop thinking with your…”
“Val, to be a Vampire one must be fairly independent and strong-willed. You have to be disciplined at all times. I mean, I didn’t know the woman but she wouldn’t have made a good Vampire.”
We picked our way through the food and finished our coffee, then went for a walk down the road. Stopping in a bar we picked up our real dinner for the night. After all, Val and I are Vampires.
The next day we took a leisurely drive with the top off of the car. Once we arrived to Reno I became a brunette again. A month later President Kennedy was assassinated.
I used to get angry at Val for his temporary fascination with celebrity. It started when we where children and he’d pick up bits of information in Harper’s Weekly. From there it snowballed. He couldn’t seem to get enough of gossip and sorted stories about people he’d never met. I’d tell him to read a book and he’d just get pissed off and close up to me. He has backed off but occasionally I’ll catch him catching up on celebrity gossip.
I don’t understand the current fascination with people who are famous for having an unnaturally large number of children (and their disgusting self-serving exploits), or for rich women who are unnaturally made up. If your only claim to fame is the fact that you have a big butt and a rich father why should you get so much time in the news. It isn’t news or even entertaining. It is just stupid and annoying. When I see a movie I don’t want to know about the actors, I want to know about the characters they are playing. That is all.
But it seems the spirit of P.T. Barnum live on in the worst way possible. Some people say there are no more freak shows but it isn’t true. There are plenty of people who are glad to put themselves in the spotlight as freaks.
Thank goodness that isn’t what Vampires do. We might read the gossip but we refuse to be the gossip.
Have a good week everyone. Stay classy.
This was first published in October 2015
~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman
Sometimes we leave lovers because they’re rude and stupid. Or we are with them in the first place because we’re stupid. Being lovers with someone with warm blood and a short life span is usually extremely stupid as far as I’m concerned.
A long time ago (a very long time ago) I was involved with one of them. I went out into the morning sun and closed my eyes, feeling the warmth on my sensitive bare skin.
He said, “You do that because you miss being human.”
I said, “I’ve never been human.”
“Pity,” he said, “you would have been good at it.” Then he thought for a moment about what I’d said, “Excuse me Jewels, what do you mean you’ve never been human?”
I left him but not before making sure he’d have nightly horrifying nightmares for the next three years. Lucky me. I’m a Vampire, I can do that. I would miss not being able to do that.
In our society those we transform into Vampires don’t call us mother, father, uncle, aunt or anything along those lines. Sure we share a bond, but life is complicate enough without a band of groupies following me. Plus everyone I’ve converted over is too smart for that. They can take care of themselves. We’re friends – not master and slave.
Like a lot of only children, Vampires quickly earn to make friends quickly, solve their own problems, be independent and to keep a sense of humor. Even my grouchy brother Max has a sense of humor.
Of course there are those of us who do have families, parents, siblings, and extended families. But we’re in the minority – of Vampires that is. But all Vampires, like all living creatures once had parents and siblings even if they are long gone. Some are even in touch with descendants but it is extremely rare.
Earlier this week I was with my brothers Aaron and Val. We’re the youngest three of the five siblings in my family. We’re a large family as far as our kind is concerned. The eldest two Max and Andy are more on the dark side, in the shadows than the three of us younger siblings. They’re both a bit unhinged in their own special ways. They drive us crazy too in their own special way. Aaron, who is the problem solver tends to ignore them and judges them harshly behind their backs. I try not to be swept along in any drama. Val, the second to the last, keeps neutral and keeps a sense of humor. Aren’t all families a bit like that? We all take our roles. Those who like high drama play it up. They stay in the spotlight demanding an audience. The rest of us keep it on the sidelines or behind the scenes.
The three of us younger Vampires (ages 158, 156 and 155) met one night last week for dinner and drinks. It was at a local bar full of casual trendy and artsy folks all mingling over micro brews and red wine. Aaron surprised us by coming in jeans and a sweater, not his usual $5,000 suit and Hermes tie. Val and I were causal as usual – not slobby just casual (we’re Vampires, we have to look good.)
Anyway I don’t even remember what I was supposed to be writing about… Valentine’s Day was uneventful for Val, the youngest male of my parent’s brood, so Aaron and I were giving our single brother Valentine a bit of a bad time (joking of course, sort of) about taking advantage of the day and meeting up with oh so many pissed off single women. He said he stayed home or maybe spend the day with our Great-great-great-Grandmama Lola. Then I had to remind him that Lola AWAYS had a young man (or two or three) for Valentine’s Day. Lola is just sort of like that. Val said this year she spent it with him because her special sweetheart Cody was out of town. She spoke of Cody, who is much much younger than her, though she looks younger than Cody. Funny how things work out that way.
“I haven’t felt this way about a man since Leonardus and our friend Roger were burned at the stake,” Lola told Val.
After the death of Leonardus, Lola went back into the shadows with two small children. Rather than sink into the of hate Lola came remained strong and forged forward into the future. She was only 25 at the time. Six hundred and twenty five years can’t completely erase the pain of such a heart breaking event.
It is funny how things work out because there was Cody walking towards us. He looked so handsome tonight. It was the first time I’d seen him in a suit. I wondered why for a second – why the suit – then saw the glow in Lola’s eyes.
Cody joined us and we all walked, no ran, down memory lane, through years of danger, insanity and insanely fun times.
It is just what we do. Just another night with the Vampire. Just another night with just another family.
Not much else right now.
~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman
My eldest brother Max (10 years my senior) had asked his best friend Teddy to escort me home from the theater one evening. It was 1874. I was 15 years old.
“Your hands are so cold,” he said as he helped me up off of the muddy street onto the boardwalk.
I gave him a coy smile. “I have a cold heart sir.”
He laughed. I never called him sir. He offered me his arm.
I gladly took his arm. “Your hands are positively burning. What sort of fire stirs your soul tonight?” That was pretty forward but I didn’t care. I was floating with the joy of being a flirt and having no brothers or parents around to stop me.
“You’re not like the other girls.”
“No I am not.”
“You’re an impish little thing. It will take a man with a quick wit and a good sense of humor to woo you Juliette.”
“Ahhhh, but you forget I have four older brothers. I pity any man who would have to deal with them.”
“They’ll love any man who is truly in love with you Juliette.”
“I doubt that Teddy.”
Then he stopped and faced me. “I have some news. A secret if you can keep one.”
“Your secrets are always safe with me.”
Teddy had a large smile on his handsome face. “I’m getting married.”
My young Vampire heart literally stopped dead. My head started to spin, but I managed to smile because like all Vampires, I was a natural liar. “Oh Teddy. I’m so happy for you. She really is lovely.”
I wished I could just turn to putrified slime and slip into the dirt like the dead in the cemetery but instead I found a dark place to curl up in for the rest of the night. Teddy would now be lost to me forever. No more laughing at silly jokes with him. No more having him give me sly smiles. No more watching him and my brother Max in awe as they turned from boys to real men.
Teddy would be moving on to the world of married men where there was no room for girls who laughed too loud and talked too much. There was no room for Vampires. Sure, once I was older and became an icy cold elegant woman like my Vampire mother I could entertain Teddy and his bride, but until then it was over. He might has well have died – at least that is what I was feeling in my cold quiet teenage heart.
Teddy had no idea how different any of us were. He had no idea that his father’s business partner was a Vampire. Teddy had no idea what a Vampire was.
While they were away to college Teddy never really questioned why my brother Max would go out in the middle of the night. He imagined it was a woman or gambling or just a restless spirit. Like all of us, Max was brilliant at hiding his true nature.
The young woman of good breeding whom Teddy had become engaged to was sweet. That was her only attribute aside from being considered pretty. She wanted nothing more in life than to be the wife of a successful man. The fact that Teddy was the most handsome human I’d ever seen in my life, interesting, smart and funny was just an added bonus. Other than the fact that Teddy thought she’d be a good match there was nothing remarkable about her. Good breeding. Good reputation. Good girl. I didn’t even think about passion. Thinking about that would be almost as bad as thinking about my parents having any kind of passion (remember I was 15 years old.)
Teddy’s love wasn’t out sucking blood out of people in the middle of the night. She was in bed alone dreaming of angels and kittens. She was the kind of girl he dreamed of and I am sure he dreamed of her at night.
I wished I was like her. I wished I was sweet and warm like a her. I touched my icy hands against my cheeks and closed my eyes and then wiped away cold tears. No amount of wishing could make me warm. No amount of wishing could make me walk in the sunshine without dark glasses or a parasol. No amount of charm or wit could make him continue to be buddies with me, a girl who lived in the shadow of the night. He’d never love me.
I found my brother Val and told him the news. Val, who is only 16 at the time, thought I was being silly. He didn’t understand. He was a boy. Teddy could still be friends with a boy.
Max came up on the roof where I ended up that night. He sat next to me and put his arm around my shoulders. “Teddy is like family. He’ll still be here for a long long time. With any luck he’ll live a long life and we’ll always be able to watch over him and protect him.”
I closed my eyes knowing it was a battle I couldn’t win.
“Listen Jewels, part of growing up is letting go, that means letting go of everyone else who is growing up and moving on. It won’t just be Teddy. All of us will have to go out in the world and make our way. We’ll all find love. We’ll find it with people like ourselves, other Vampires. People move on, but the human heart, and our hearts have a great capacity for love. You have to treasure that love because as we move on, they, the regular humans grow old and they die. I’ve seen Mother and Father mourn the loss of their friends in the worst way. We’ve mourned the loss of friends in the worst way. But Teddy isn’t dead. Be happy for him. He’ll still be my best friend. He’ll still be your friend.”
We sat on the roof until the sun came up and talked of life and love and loss.
A year later Teddy died and didn’t die. He became a Vampire (not from anything we did and very much against his will.) The wedding never happened. After that we all went our separate ways and had our share of love and adventure and friendship.
After Teddy acclimated to being a Vampire we became great friends. Twenty years ago we got married. That isn’t typical of anyone, but then again, not much is typical in my life.
As my own children become older and closer to being adults they’ll have to deal with friends moving away, getting in relationships and changing in ways they can’t imagine. Some friendships will last those changes, but many won’t. The fact that we can’t always predict these things doesn’t make it any easier, but at least we can talk with our kids about these things. We can be there when they need someone to talk to. And that day will come.
I have been fortunate to have friends who’ve been in my life since those days when I used to sit on the roof of my parent’s house and ponder the meaning of life. Sometimes my friends would sit on the roof with me. Sometimes my brothers would join us. We’re not sitting on the roof anymore, but we’re still talking and laughing and having warm hearts to go with our cold hands.
January 31, 2015
The past few weeks have been crazy hectic busy and emotional. We (my family) lost two good friends and we’ve been dealing with the elders of our family. Add to that business and other well, work related things. Thank goodness there are no problems with kids. But anyway…
February brings ROMANCE so I will do my best to post plenty of Vampire and Gothic Valentine fun. And of course I’ll have to see what I can get out of my sweet brother Valentine. I haven’t posted much on him lately – seeing that he is so grounded and not good material for blog posts right now (he has been out and out boring – especially for a Vampire.)
~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman