Short Story Sunday: The Hunter

The Hunter

A short story from Juliette Kings

“We pumped quite a bit of blood out of your stomach. We’re not sure where it came from.”

She heard the words but was the noise in her head was still loud…

“Your heart had stopped beating. You weren’t breathing. You were cold.”

A hospital bed. She was in a bed hooked up to equipment. Her throat hurt.

“We still can’t get your body temperature up to normal and your heart beat is extremely slow.”

She’d been found in a room of an abandoned house wearing nothing but a black silk cocktail dress and black high heeled sandals. The nails on her hands and feet were painted silver. Aside from that there was no jewelry, no purse, no identification. The man she’d been with had received minor injuries and would be in soon to see her. He said he was her boyfriend. Panic started to set in but she didn’t show it.

“Do you remember anything?”

“Not a lot.” She lied. She had remembered almost everything, despite the headache. The man called Austin had wanted to show her a house he was remodeling. He specialized in renovating Victorians and older historic homes. It was charming. It was haunted. “Is Austin alright?”

“He had a few stitches in his forehead, but yes, he is doing fine.”

“We left the club where we met. I mean, it wasn’t a hook up, we’d been seeing each other for a while. We’re friends. He told me about his work restoring old homes. I own some property I was thinking of having restored…He took me to a house he owns. It’s old, nobody lives there. A Queen Ann style Victorian. Beautiful. He showed me around and we ended up in an upstairs room.” She didn’t tell him of the phantoms and the screams that nearly burst her ear drums. She paused, and glanced at the needle in her arm. “Alright, we did fool around some. But we both started to feel really sick. He passed out first. I tried to wake him. I think we were drugged at the bar. Is he ok?”

“I’m fine sweetheart.” In the door stood a man with a bandage on his forehead. His brown eyes met her blue with almost a spark of both passion and hate. He smiled at the doctor.

“She’s a vampire and I’m a vampire hunter. I had no idea the house was haunted when I took her there. Sorry, it’s along running joke between us. Isn’t it Elizabeth?”

Her eyes met his again. A hunter hunting the huntress. “Is that all I am to you?”

He sat next on the edge of the bed and took her cold hand. “You need to warm up dear or they’ll never let you out of here. I know, it takes a lot of effort to keep your heart beating for those machines. You don’t want them thinking you’re dead.”

To think she was starting to fall in love with this man.

“I thought you were going to kill me last night but you saved my life. Why’d you do that Elizabeth?

Doctor Davis spoke up. “What is going on here?”

Austin smiled and spoke in a quiet calming voice. “I’m sorry for the confusion. We have our own language. We had a fight. She wasn’t going to kill me. Just an expression. She was angry. You know, I’m a typical guy. I did typical stupid guy stuff. We went to the house and like she said, we were both feeling sick. Then someone came in and mugged us. She saved me. I don’t know how, but she defended me. It was too dark to tell what was going on. We had a tumultuous relationship but we’re not violent, just a little dramatic.”

“He’d never touch me.” Elizabeth looked back at Austin. “The ones who attacked us… I had no idea. I’ve never experienced anything like that.”

“I thought you’d know.”

“I don’t.”

“Huh. Interesting.”

They both talked to the police about what had happened. Their story was the same. They’d gone to a house he owned, it was unoccupied, they were attacked. They both had traces of an airborne toxin in their systems.

Elizabeth was released into Austin’s care. She’d told him she’d call a taxi but he insisted on bringing her home.

On the way he talked. She sat still, feeling sick, trying to regain her energy. The morning sun burned her eyes even through the fog.

“So my building, the house we were in last night is haunted. Those were ghosts.”

Elizabeth glanced over at him, then looked away. “Yes, they were ghosts. I know someone who can get rid of them for you. He’s good and his prices are reasonable.”

“You know Elizabeth, I’ve found at least a dozen of your kind, vampires, in the basements of abandoned old buildings I’ve purchased for restoration. They weren’t like you. They were like rats.”

“I’m not like them. I don’t live in the shadows or in a crypt. I don’t sleep in a coffin. Most of us aren’t like your rats. We live normal lives.”

“When were you born?”

“1834. I’ve been a vampire since 1853. How did you know?”

He gave her a mean smile. “Call it a 6th sense. My grandfather hunted vampires. It’s in my blood, no pun intended.”

They arrived at her house. He was impressed. A beautiful craftsman style, maybe 2,500 square feet, nice old neighborhood. Inside the woodwork was beautiful. Her decorating was a combination of period and modern. Nice.

“You can go,” she told him.

“Show me around. This place is great.”

“I’m the original owner. 1905.”

As she showed him around Austin noticed a diploma in her office. “You didn’t tell me you were an attorney. Go figure.”

“I told you I consulted for the Justice Department. There is no shame in what I do.”

The house was impressive as was the vampire who lived in it. “Was that my blood they pumped out of your stomach?”

“Most of it. Don’t worry, you won’t turn into a Vampire. I just took maybe a pint.”

Austin noticed a mirror on the wall. He took Elizabeth by the shoulders and turned her around to face it. He could see his own reflection but hers was just a dim shadow.

“Look at my eyes, in the mirror. Look at my eyes,” she told him.

Their eyes locked in the glass. Her image became clear. He laughed. It wasn’t the sarcastic bitter laugh she’d heard all morning. This was joy.

“Elizabeth, will you be alright if I leave you?”

“You aren’t going to kill me?”

“Not today.”

“Then when? When will you be back to cut out my heart and cut off my head.”

“Do you want to go out sometime on a real date?”

“You’re scaring me Austin.”

“I know. I’ll pick you up tomorrow around 8:00. It should be dark by then. Wear something nice.”

She watched through the window as he drove away. Her heart had stopped beating. She wasn’t breathing. In the refrigerator was a bottle of blood. She was starving. Her head was light but that was because of him.

Austin drove away with a smile on his face. What a rush. He wasn’t sure what tomorrow would bring. Either he’d kill her or he’d marry her. That is, if she didn’t kill him first.

 

~ END

 

Tangled Tales

First published in 2014. This is the first story in the Austin and Elizabeth series.

Click here for the entire series (so far.)

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Ask Juliette: Dirty Talk, Romance, and Dump the Chump Edition

Ask Juliette (Ask a Vampire, Advice for Everyone) is a somewhat regular Thursday feature at Vampiremaman.com

This week brings an interesting variety of questions about dirty talk, love, romance, vampires, and rude people. Let’s get started.

Ask Juliette

My boyfriend always asks me to talk dirty to him when we’re having sex. I don’t know what to say. I feel stupid.

Um, well, I could give you some specifics but I’m sure you’d still feel uncomfortable. I’d feel uncomfortable.

Try starting out with compliments, and of course a few well placed adjectives. Or just giggle when he asks you to do the dirty talk. Giggles are cute. Guys like cute. This is so personal that giving advice is difficult.

One big sex rule for me (and all Vampires) is to never do anything in bed you aren’t comfortable with (that includes putting a step-stool on the bed to change an overhead light bulb, but that is a different post.) So my advice would be to tell him that you want to SHOW and not TELL.

Ask Juliette

My girlfriend and I have been together two-years and things are starting to look serious. We share interests, friends, and a lot of interests. Sex is great and we’re still romantic. My problem is that she doesn’t like what I do for a living. I make really good money but she hates what I do because to her it doesn’t sound impressive. She is all hung up on dating someone who is a doctor, attorney, CEO, or other stereotypical male power job. I told her that her attitude was shallow and sexist. She broke down in tears. By the way, I’m a nurse (RN) specializing in pediatrics. I’m proud of what I do.  This is getting to look like a deal breaker for me. 

Excuse me? You didn’t mention this woman was NUTS. Dump her. You rock!

By the way, nobody should ever make anyone feel guilty or ashamed of their chosen career/job. If you do honest work, be it blue or white collar, or no collar, there is no reason ever to be ashamed.

Ask Juliette

I wrote my boyfriend a love letter for our six month anniversary. He read it, then proceeded to correct my spelling and grammar. He thought what he did was funny, then when I didn’t laugh, he told me to stop being all butt hurt. The next thing you know I was getting a lecture on how I need to up my game, and maybe go back to school and learn how to write better. He is really sweet, and a good man but he is always giving me suggestions about everything I do. Should I ignore him? Go back to school? Or just stop writing love letters?

Dump him. Suggesting you hone your writing skills is one thing. Doing it with a love letter is just wrong. What he did was insensitive and mean. For God’s sake it was a love letter, not an SAT essay. There is nothing sweet about what he did. What a jerk.

Ask Juliette

 

Do Vampires and Werewolves date? 

No, not really. Why’d you ask?

 

Ask Juliette

The man I’m in love with is a Vampire. I haven’t acted on my hot desire for him yet. I’m afraid he might kill me because that is what Vampires do to humans. The last time I saw him he called me an endearing name and kissed my cheek. I think he might have feelings for me too but if we fall in love I will die.

Are you for real? Give me his name and I’ll tell him to stay away from you.

Ask Juliette

Dear Juliette,

I am not a Vampire, but I was wondering if it is safe to date a Vampire Hunter.

Not really. Most of them are pretty stupid, and prone to mishandle dangerous weapons.

Ask Juliette

How do Vampires deal with having to drink blood from other people? Isn’t that the most egregious violation of personal space one can commit?

Egregious. I like that word. It is a big word. Good for you. Maybe you should run for President.

No, taking blood is not the most egregious violation of personal space one can commit. In fact some people like to have a Vampire in their life. We take blood, but we give back so much more. Now go away.

Ask Juliette

Now that I’m thoroughly exhausted from answering this odd lot of questions I think I’ll call it quits for today. I’ll have more love letters for February coming up this week. And thank you everyone for not asking about woodchucks.

If you have a pressing question, or are just curious about anything just ask. Put your questions in the comments here, or email me at juliettevampiremom @ gmail. com

 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

Love, Friendship, and Vampires

“I love it when I bite into someone’s neck and it pops, you know like when a really perfect hot dog pops when you bite it.”

My friend Cody sat across from me at our favorite neighborhood coffee place, and told me his thoughts on being a Vampire. He was so excited and enthusiastic. I’m so used to confused, angry, and sad new Vampires. Cody embraced the strange and wonderful world he accidentally joined five years ago.

He continued by telling me the latest about his new start-up business. He’d been some sort of marketing manager for a Silicone Valley high-tech company when his car plunged into the Pacific Ocean and he was rescued, and necessitated by a Vampire. Now he’d met two other young Silicone Valley Vampires (and engineer and a programmer,) and they went out on their own.

I’m known for mentoring and watching after new Vampires. Cody and I have become close friends. He can be a pain in the ass sometimes, but he is so refreshing. He is the new face of Vampires.

Lola soon joined us, flipping her chestnut colored hair up out of her jacket as she slid in the booth next to Cody. I noticed she wasn’t showing a hint of a limp anymore. About the time Cody joined the legions of Vampires, Lola was attacked by Vampire Hunters.

A night of insanity, including a flamethrower, and too many bullets to count had caused great damage on my lovely Great Great Great Great Grandmama. Her legs finally healed, but her heart will take longer. Luckily for her Cody came into our lives.

The age difference bothers some of my family. Cody was born in 1978. Lola was born in 1343. They’re both embracing the well-groomed hipster look, and they’re both championship bull shitters.  Love works in mysterious ways.

As Lola and Cody were up at the counter getting coffee I wondered about flamethrowers. Who the hell buys those things. Flamethrowers are legal in I believe 48 states. Then again, if anyone wants any kind of weapon they can get it.

They sat back down next to me, like any other young couple in their late 20’s – early 30’s.

Lola is never creepy or predatory like some old musty Vampire bitches (not the kind we associate with.) Cody is never overly sensitive or insensitive. They have that “just right” mix.

I thought about my own husband. I need to do something romantic tonight, even if it is just a small gesture of desire, or devotion.

No matter what kind of crap gets thrown at you over the centuries, there is always room for love in your cold unbeating Vampire heart. Even when it has been riddled with bullets, and halfway burned out of your chest. Somethings die but never the desire to love.

 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

 

Short Story Sunday: No Weapon At All

Locking in on the eyes of the Vampire Hunter she decided for a different strategy. Rather than sending them images of horror, pain, and endless nightmares, tonight would be different.

She slowly backed up and reached into the box behind her. Pulling out the contents, she could see a reaction from her would-be captors. At first it was shock, then delight, the resignation that they could not possibly hurt her.

There were four of them, all experienced Vampire Hunters. That night she’d been alone and taken off guard. Mehitabel was an experienced member of the Vampire Elite Forces, but she’d been off tonight. A short lace dress and heels wasn’t her usual fighting garb. She didn’t even have any serous weapons with her. Then again, she had the ultimate weapon.

As the Vampire Hunters approached all wide-eyed and in wonder, she spoke to them in a soft voice. “Don’t come closer. You need to turn back. Go home. Have dreams of what you’ve seen tonight. Realize that we are not so different. Not so different at all.”

“Please…” started one of the Vampire Hunters.

“No,” said Mehitabel, “do not come close. Go to the shelter tomorrow and get your own. They need you more than you need to capture or kill me.”

She watched them turn and go away, then kissed the tiny gray and white tabby kitten in her arms. Sometimes the best weapon is no weapon at all.

 

~ end

Tangled Tales

 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

Vampire Hunters, Parenting, and 2017

This December was a season of parties for us. While at one I ran into Austin Durant. Professor Doctor Durant to some. Austin Durant sometimes Asshole Vampire Hunter to me. OK, he is usually a good guy. He only goes after those nasty soulless types who lurk around like something out of a B horror movie. I’ve helped him out a few times. Sometimes it takes a Vampire to rid a building of Vampires.

He asked what I was up to. I mentioned that my kids talked me into taking a yoga class with them.

Austin looked surprised. “Vampires do yoga?”

I was a little insulted by his response. “I’m not one of those shadow creeping Vampires who crawls around in rafters and under floor boards waiting to drag home prey for their nasty dark lord and master. Think about that next time you want me to crawl under a house for you. Come on Austin, I need to stretch and relax just like everyone else. Everyone normal else. You need to stretch your imagination a little bit Austin.”

2016 brought all sorts of ugly things. I don’t even want to think of it anymore. Luckily I can usually get over stuff. I can put things behind me. When one is my age (157), one must learn to put things behind and let them go, or you might as well crawl under the floor boards.

So what will be above the floor boards in 2017? I don’t know. I started sharing my parenting thoughts, and stories about my kids when the youngest was in seventh grade, and the oldest was in high school. Now the youngest is a senior in high school, and the oldest is in his third year of college. That said, I will always be the mom. I will always be here for my kids. I’ll always be here for my readers seeking thoughts on parenting. I’ve done a pretty good job if I may say so myself.

The kids are getting older and so are the seniors in my life. The ancient Vampires still need help and love, and watching after… just in case, if you know what I mean.

I promise more short stories and tall tales. I’ll keep giving out advice – both solicited and unsolicited. I’ll keep you posted on all of the Vampire activities in my neck of the woods. That also includes Werewolves, Ghosts, and God knows what else (for example Zombies.)

So Austin fills up our wine glasses and asks, “Why do you help me? I’m a Vampire Hunter.”

I smiled, showing just a bit of fang in the room lit only by Christmas lights. “First of all you’re a piss poor Vampire Hunter. Secondly, you only go after nasty husks of Vampires who lack souls or purpose. You only go after those who can’t feel love, or empathy, or joy of any kind. That my friend is why. You do our dirty work for us. You know we don’t want those nasty creatures around anymore than you do.”

Then I downed my glass of wine and gave him a kiss on the cheek. Then just for fun I kissed his neck, with just a tiny nip. Austin laughed uncomfortably and said, “I love you too Juliette.”

Happy New Year everyone. My best advice would be to turn off the news, only read fiction, and fight for your right to be who you are.

xoxoxo

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

P.S. Click here for more about Austin Durant who is usually just around for Short Story Sunday. 

 

 

Short Story Sunday: The Box in Dave’s Basement

“I was just going out for coffee,” said Austin as he looked at the carnage surrounding him.

Coffee with the crossword puzzle, and a little bit of fresh air sounded good. Then Dave, who lived three houses down called to him as he waked by, “Hey, Austin, there’s something weird in my basement. Take a look.”

Austin was both a history professor and a general contractor specializing in historic restorations, so of course he’d check it out. Dave lived in the oldest house on that street, built in 1888. It was a fantastic small Queen Anne, painted shades of blue and cream.  Dave led the way to the back of the dark space to an oblong box.

“I was measuring the room and moved away some lumber that had been here since I moved in and found this,” said Dave. “It looks like a coffin. Do you think I should call someone?”

“Let me take a look. I’ve found these before,” said Austin, taking out his penknife. He slid the knife around the edges of the box to see if there was a latch or any loose spots.

Then all Hell broke loose. Two men, dressed in long black coats, carrying guns and large knives appeared at the door.

“Hey,” yelled Dave. “Get the fuck outta here. I told you guys to stay away from my house. I’m calling 911. I warned you.” Then he turned to Austin. “The bastards were out last week. I told them…”

The men moved closer. Dave continued, “Out NOW.” Dave was a medium sized silver haired average family guy his mid fifties, with some sort of upper management job with the Department of Water Resources. His wife was wife away on a girl’s weekend. His kids were away at college. He’d been working on making the basement into the ultimate man cave over the past few weekends. He wasn’t in the mood for Vampire Hunters.

“Damn it. I said GET OUT you crazies,” Dave yelled.

“Just let us have the box,” said one of the men, a tall shaggy haired guy with some sort of unidentifiable accent.

Austin took a step forward, getting between Dave and the vampire hunters. “No can do guys. You have to go.”

The other man, a bald guy with huge shoulders pointed a gun at Austin and Dave. “Move aside gentlemen.” He then shoved them out of the way and with a swift kick popped open the box.

Inside was the perfectly preserved body of a woman in an old fashioned lace dress. She looked as though she was made of fine leather. A bunch of dried roses were in her hand.

The shaggy haired man lifted a huge wooden stake. Dave and Austin both yelled, “NO.”

Dave jumped on the back of the bald man. Austin knocked the shaggy haired man out of the way.

Suddenly a blinding flash of light and a blast of cold air knocked them to the wall. Two more men appeared at the door, also in black but without the coats. One carried a knife, and the other a whip. The smiled, showing fangs.

“Holy shit,” whispered Dave.

The vampires grabbed the men in the black coats by the scruff of their necks, like small children, and threw them back out into the sunlight. One of the vampires uttered a string of long strange sounding words, and the vampire hunters ran down the street.

The woman in the coffin sat up, and moved her head around.

“Stiff neck?” Austin asked.

She looked at him, surprised. Then she smiled with a slight show of her own fangs. “Yes, thanks for the concern. How long did I sleep?”

“From the looks of your dress, maybe ninety years,” said Austin.

“I guess I missed that party then,” she said with a slight laugh.

“This is too weird,” said Dave as he got up, and crossed the room. He turned on the overhead shop lights and got a good look at his company. “You mean to tell me you’ve been in that box for ninety years?”

The woman just blinked against the light. The two Vampires stood out of the shadows.

“Hey, Austin,” said one of them. “I thought that was you.”

“Pierce,” said Austin. “I had no idea you were a vampire. Small world. Dave, this is Pierce, he guest lectures for me sometimes on nineteenth California government issues.”

“And this is Max, he…”

“Max,” said Austin as he held out his hand. “Good to see you. Thanks for helping out.”

“Austin,” said Max.

Dave looked at the Vampires then laughed. “Pierce. I know you. You were teaching American History at UC Berkley in the late 70’s. I took a couple of classes from you. You look like you haven’t aged a day. How old are you?”

Pierce smiled and shook Dave’s hand. “I’m 171, but who’s counting.”

“I was just going out for coffee,” said Austin as he looked at the carnage surrounding him. “You’re all welcome to come.”

The woman’s name is Lily. She had a lot of catching up to do so Dave gave her a pair of jeans and a shirt out of his wife’s closet, and they all headed out for coffee.

That’s all.

This is not my bed. I don't sleep in a box.

Alright folks, this is what happens when a writer keeps trying to write a story and every five minutes someone needs something and interrupts. This is what happens when you’re a mom, and a wife, and working a business, and have parents, and neighbors. You get a story but it is more real-life, and a little dull rather than sensational. Just a normal Sunday morning that ends up with everyone meeting for coffee. Coffee is good. Almost everybody likes coffee. Most people like Vampires too but they just won’t admit it.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman