Max pulled off his shirt and looked in the mirror.
“Damn,” he said to himself.
It wasn’t that he was incredibly good looking, which he was. It wasn’t the defined six pack and the perfect pecs, or even the amazing biceps, or the sexy forearms, or even the perfect broad shoulders.
It was the deep scratches, ugly bites, and large scrapes. There were also a couple of shallow stab wounds. All were either circled in red, or a putrid green.
He’d gone to what he thought was a typical call to help out some pretty clueless and helpless overly Gothic Vampires, and ended up in a nightmare.
The two Gothic Vampires were sitting in his living room watching “Long Shot” on Netflix, and drinking wine laced with Poet’s Blood.
Max looked in the mirror at his teeth. Thank goodness nobody had hit him in the mouth. He couldn’t risk losing a fang. Fangs took forever to grow back, not to mention the excruciating pain of it all.
What Max thought would be a routine call ended up being a three hour ordeal with not only Vampire Hunters but with a couple of random Demons who were lurking around for left overs.
After taking a shower and putting salve on his wounds, Max put on a soft sweatshirt and went to see his guests.
A small woman dressed in black lace, and a slim young looking man with long dark hair and a velvet jacket, sat close to each other on his couch.
They thanked Max for saving him. They were good kids, only about fifty years old. He was glad to have saved them from evil.
“I’ll send a security crew out to your home to make sure you have a good video system in and the right kind of locks and alarms. I also know a Witch who can do some spells to help. I know, you might not like Witches but the one I know does low level spells to give Vampire Hunters painful hives and blindness if they try to enter your home. It works like a charm.”
Max sat down and poured himself some wine, minus the blood.
Then they all watched Shitt$ Creek and laughed, knowing that tomorrow would be a new night, and that they were safe… at least for now.
Stay safe. Get your shots. Wear a mask. Be kind. Don’t be a dick. Check in on those who are alone or might need extra help. Talk to your kids. Hug a dog. And kiss a Vampire (you’ll thank me for it later.) ~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman
“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.
“You don’t have to wear that mask Charlie. I’m not sick.”
“Mom, there is a pandemic going on. I don’t want you to become sick. I can’t risk that.”
“Well, I don’t go anywhere.”
“I go places mom. I’m out in public.”
“What about Austin? He sees me without a mask.”
“I’m part of your bubble Grammy.” said Austin. “Most of my work is from home. Remember I told you about teaching my classes on Zoom.”
Grammy furrowed her brow. “Zoom? Is that fast classes so you won’t spread the Covid?”
“No Grammy, it is classes over the computer, on the Internet,” said Austin.
“Well, if you’re not teaching or messing around with old houses you’re working with dead people. Damn Vampires can’t get the Covid. At least my grandson decided to follow in the family footsteps and do something about the vermin,” said Grammy.
“So how are you mom,” said Charlie.
“Chicken died,” said Grammy.
Austin spoke first. “What? Chicken? Did raccoons get her?”
“When did this happen?” Charlie asked his mother.
“This morning,” said Grammy.
“Mom. Oh no. How?”
“I don’t know. I think Kayla killed her.”
“Grammy, why would Kayla kill Chicken?” Austin knew Grammy’s caretaker would never hurt any animal.
“I don’t know. Maybe she just got tired of her,” said Grammy.
“How did she kill Chicken?” Charlie asked.
“I don’t know. Maybe she chopped off Chicken’s head.”
“Mom, Kayla didn’t kill Chicken.”
“You don’t know that,” said Grammy
“Austin, have you been hunting any Vampires lately?”
“No, things have slowed down over the holidays and haven’t picked up, thank goodness,” said Austin.
“Maybe Vampires got Chicken,” said Charlie.
“Don’t be a smart ass Charles. You know they don’t eat chicken, much less suck out their blood,” said Grammy.
“I wouldn’t know mom. I never hunted Vampires.”
“You never had the talent for it. Austin on the other hand got that gene for sniffing out and killing those pesky damned undead creatures.”
Kayla, Grammy’s caretaker came in followed by a small pack of small dogs. “Good morning. Hey, his Charlie. It’s been a while.”
They made a few words of small talk as the dogs bounced all over Charlie and Austin.
Then Kayla said, “We lost Chicken.”
“I know, we heard,” said Austin.
“She was pecking at some wires so that might have killed her. I don’t know. She might have just died of natural causes. Poor Chicken.”
They talked more about Chicken and made more small talk. Then Grammy said, “Go out in the yard Austin and get some lemons. We’re going to make a lemon pie.”
“Good idea,” said Charlie.
“It will keep the Vampires away. They don’t much like pie,” said Grammy. Then she giggled like a little girl.
“She was one of the most fierce Vampire Hunters of the 20th Century,” Charlie told Kayla.
“I can believe that Charlie,” Kayla said with a smile. “She is still pretty fierce.”
“You’re right about that,” said Charlie. “You certainly are.”
This is my first new story for quite a few weeks. All of the Covid isolation, construction at my house, and other weirdness has sort of, well, not been conducive to creativity. As always, stay safe, wear a mask, turn off the news, go for walks, talk to and with your kids, listen to your kids, don’t be a dick, be kind, and kiss a Vampire.
Things that go bump…on Halloween Morning (or Life of a Modern Vampire Mom.)
In the wee hours of the morning, before the sun came up, before I’d finished my first cup of coffee my phone made that little annoying ping noise that indicates a text message.
It was my brother Aaron, the middle child, of my Vampire Family. I’m the youngest, but who’s counting. I just had my 158th birthday. Aaron is 164. Anyway, we’re young as far as Vampires go, but we’re established. We’re cool.
So I get this text.
Aaron is an attorney with a twenty person law office housed in a 4,000 square foot downtown home he purchased in 1898. He stood on the front porch in jeans and a flannel shirt. No suit yet. It is Halloween anyway so he could put on a beard and be a lumberjack for the rest of the day for all I knew.
He gave me a hug and a kiss on my cheek, then thanked me profusely for coming.
“Where is your Vampire Hunter?” I asked him. He has a guy named Austin he works with on occasion for removing unwanted soulless Vampires (who are not like us because as you know we have two souls and we’re not dead yet.)
“He has an early class this morning. I didn’t want to wake him. You know how they need their sleep,” said Aaron. Aside from hunting dried up Vampires, Austin teaches history at the local University. He isn’t a Vampire so I guess he needs his beauty sleep more than I do.
“You know you would have called me anyway,” I said.
“You’re so good with them Sis,” said my brother with a sparkle in his cold blue Vampire eyes.
I looked at my brother with squinty hazel eyes. “You’re afraid of them. Admit it.”
“You’re better with them than I am.”
“You’re an alpha male Vampire. I’ve seen what you can do.”
“You’re a mom.”
I give him the look. You know that look that all wives and mothers instinctively give the men in their lives. But he had a good point.
“Alright,” I said. “Show me where they are.”
As we walked inside I immediately heard the scratching and sounds of, I don’t know, snorting and just weird obnoxious noises, like when you have someone annoying in a cubicle next to you and they’re eating loudly, sucking snot, and tapping ALL DAY LONG (I have friends with that problem, not me thank goodness.”
“In my office,” said Aaron.
I walked up the stairs to his office. It was a beautiful space in a room with a round turret in the corner and original stained glass windows. Sitting at Aaron’s desk was a haggard looking Vampire with oatmeal colored skin stretched over a narrow skull, oily black hair, and red eyes. He wore a long black coat and a black baseball cap. A woman stood behind him. She was wearing some sort of weird red lace dress and a nasty looking old monkey fur coat. There was no beauty left in her sunken in face. Greenish blonde hair was piled in a sloppy bun on top of her head. Another man, with gray skin that looked like cracked leather leaned against the window sill. He wore red jeans and a tight black tee. His orange hair hung in dreadlocks down to his shoulders. Round black lensed glasses sat on his nose.
The all flashed their fangs at me and hissed. I could smell their breath. Rotted meat and cat pee. They were so nasty.
“Good morning to you too,” I said to them. “Looks like you’re all ready for Halloween.”
They hissed again.
“Get the Hell out of here or very bad things are going to happen to you.”
“Money first,” said the one sitting at Aaron’s desk.
“NOW,” I said in my strongest mom voice. “OUT.”
They all sat up with wide eyes.
Yes, they were terrifying, but hey, they are also disgusting and stupid and have no business asking for money or anything else. I knew who these three where.
“I know where you live. I know who you hang with. Come around here again and I’ll call the REAL Vampire Hunters. They’ll put stakes in your dead hearts and cut your heads off. So get the fuck out NOW.”
They stood up and slowly crept out hissing at me as they passed. I barred my own fangs, which were longer and whiter than theirs will ever be. They jumped aside. I could feel their fear.
I never understood the whole scary horror movie Vampire thing. Sure they can scare teenagers and children, but they can’t scare a mom. Nobody can scare a mom.
“And clean up,” I yelled at them. “You look like a bunch of meth heads. No self respecting Vampire would look like you. You’re a disgrace. All three of you. You should be ashamed of yourselves. It is Vampires like you that give us a bad name.”
Then I pulled the female aside. “Get yourself some nice clothes. See what I’m wearing. It was easy to put together and you’ll be more comfortable. I know today is Halloween, but just today. And get some moisturizer for that face. You don’t HAVE to look like crap. And you’ll eat better and feel better if you look better.”
Vampires don’t have to dress like ghouls. It is ok to dress like girls.
She looked at my clothes then reached out an touched my sweater. I pushed her bony hand away. “You need to go.”
I watched them file out past my brother, get on their bicycles and ride off.
“Wow. I tried for an hour to get them to leave,” said Aaron, obviously impressed. “They’re such assholes. I was afraid they’d trash the place. I don’t know how I’m going to get the stench out.”
“They’re so dead they don’t even think like adults anymore. It is like dealing with a bunch of middle school kids.”
“Wanna get coffee?”
“Sure,” I said. By then it was 5:30 a.m. and we both knew the little coffee shop around the corner would be open.
So now the only monsters I might see are the neighborhood children who are going to knock on my door tonight. I’ll pour a goblet of spiced blood, dress up the dog, and hand out candy. Oh, I have to carve my pumpkins too! I’ll post photos.
It had been a long night of love and blood and fun. So many Halloween parties. It was a good night to be a Vampire.
Jon pulled up to his house and sat in the driveway for a few minutes as he checked his messages. The sky grew lighter in the distance. Soon the sun would be up and he’d be in bed, shutters closed, dreaming sweet dreams of the night skies and warm women with long necks.
As he stepped out of the car something grabbed him and slammed him down in the driveway. Flat on his back he looked up into the face of a Vampire Hunter. Damn it.
“We’re going to hold you here until the sun comes up and you fry,” said a man dressed in black.
“Honestly Dude you’re going to have to cut out my heart or cut my head off to kill me. i guess you could burn me to a crisp but that takes forever. You might want to reconsider. Come on in and we’ll talk about this over a beer or something…” Jon was trying to stall them. The sun wasn’t going to hurt him much.
Turning his head Jon could see the thin ribbon of pink coming up over the hills. Dawn. It was his best hour. It was the time he’d write his best work. It was the time he’d relax and gather his thoughts. It is his time and they were not going to take it from him.
“Guys, I have a deadline on an article for Vampire Review. I have to get it done this morning. You’re making a mistake.”
The Vampire Hunters raised their knives.
A few hours later the sun was in the sky, the birds singing, squirrels ran through the trees. Jon took off his work gloves and put away his shovels. This wasn’t the way he’d planned on spending his morning, but when you’re a Vampire… sometimes you have to face the sun and do what you have to do.
From ghoulies and ghosties
And long-leggedy beasties And things that go bump in the night, Good Lord, deliver us!
“What do you plan on doing with them?” James leaned back in his chair and downed his wine.
“I’m not sure,” said Andrew. “I’ve never had an infestation this bad before.”
“You should just kill them. I’ll help you.”
“They’ve already ruined the rugs in the living room. Damn it James, you were with me when I purchased the Turkish Kilim. I’ve had it for eighty years. I loved that rug.”
“I know a guy who might be able to fix it. He can do wonders with blood stains.”
“It isn’t the stains. Look at the holes in it. Totally ruined.”
James stood up and walked around the rug. “I think we should kill them and dump their bodies in the bay. Or I know a guy who can do that for us.”
Andrew stood in front of the window looking out at rain coming down on his back garden. This was his home. It was his sanctuary. “I should have never opened the front door without looking first, but I thought it might be a neighbor or delivery.”
James came over and put his hand on his friend’s shoulder. “Damn Vampire Hunters.”
Andrew signed and said. “James, why don’t you call your guys. All of your guys. I don’t want to deal with this.”
“Good idea. No need to have to change our clothes. By the way I love your sweater. Cashmere?”
“It is. Soft as my cat. Shawna gave it to me.”
“Good to see you’re finally dating someone with good taste.”
They both looked up. The scratching and muffled screams started again.
Andrew picked his keys up off of the table. “Lets go to breakfast. Solid food sounds good this morning.”
“I know what you mean. I over did it on the blood last night. Holy crap did I ever over do it. I could use some coffee. Bacon too. We have to have bacon.”
“Bacon is always good. Call your guys on the way there. I’ll leave the back door open.”
No need to explain anything else except that friends are always there for each other. That is always a good thing. xoxoxo