Vampire House Warming

Note: My brain is full so I’m re-running this today from 2013. A lot has changed since then – especially with Max and Andy. I’ll catch you up later or you can look for it yourself.  So have fun. I’ll have new thoughts on parenting young adults, Vampires, Ghosts, and all kinds of stuff soon.

Vampire House Warming

We all have those turning points in our life. Some we choose and some we don’t. Some we’re nudged in the right or more often wrong direction.

And there are those times when we try to read between the lines too much about the lives of others. It is usually far more complicated or else far less complicated than we think it is.

My brother Andrew (second of 5 siblings) recently moved back to California after several years in London and other parts of the globe and purchased a home in San Francisco. I hear he paid a million and a half for the place in St. Francis Woods, but he could afford it. I hold my breath to think what my brother Max’s home or my parent’s homes with views of the San Francisco Bay and the Golden Gate Bridge would go for. Anyway…this isn’t about real estate.

It is about a lovely housewarming party my brother Andrew hosted. The place was packed with both Vampires and Regular Humans. There were of course musicians (Andy is a singer) and dancers. There were artists and college professors and writers and high tech geeks and all sorts of interesting people with every profession and opinion imaginable. What made this remarkable, as parties and gatherings go, was that Andy’s Regular Human friends know about Vampire. They’re friends with us and don’t have a problem with it.

OK there was one exception. Andy invited his “girlfriend.” Shawna had come up from Southern California where she is a university professor. She is not a Vampire. She is still in that state of wonder and a little bit of disbelief about Vampires and our world (which isn’t all that different than hers, usually.)

Andy is head over heels in love with this divorced mother of two college kids. The story is that she came home from a research trip to find her husband had put her things in storage and moved a new trophy wife into their home. Their youngest child had just gone off to college so it was his opportunity to also make a change. Shocked, she found a small house on a quiet tree lined street and made a new life with her cats and dogs (she wouldn’t leave them behind.)

Shawna was strong and smart and I had no idea what she was doing with my scatter-brained brother. But it was ok. They were cute together and, well, you know all that sort of early romance cute stuff.

I looked out the window to the backyard to see my brother Max kissing his “friend.” This was more than just a friend. I’d heard rumors but this was proof that there was something more than he’d admit to. Funny that she backed out of his arms and went inside alone leaving him to pace a bit then follow her back inside.

In the kitchen I found Shawna. She was cutting up limes.

“I told Andy to have this catered.” I said this trying to be friendly. I could sense a tiny bit of discomfort behind her warm friendly fang-less smile.

“It’s ok, this will just take a second.” She cut into a lime then her hand slipped, of course, in a house full of Vampires, and cut a deep gash in her thumb.

I grabbed her hand and put it in my mouth to stop the bleeding and sealed the wound. I could have left it but it would have required stitches, not to mention drawn a lot of unwanted attention.

I let go and she pulled away with a little bit of horror and disbelief.

“It’s OK Shawna. I sealed the cut. It will heal now without stitches. You’re A positive.” I smiled. “Don’t worry.  I’m not going to drink your blood or bite you or anything. Just basic first aid. We don’t want anyone else smelling blood.”

I suddenly realized that Andy had never bitten her or exposed her to his natural Vampire ways. He was such a gentleman.  He was also a dick when it came to women. He was always falling for anything that wasn’t a Vampire and when it was a Vampire it was usually always someone who was totally wrong for him. He always had to have everything in life more complicated than it had to be.

“Isn’t this sweet,” I heard a smooth male voice say behind me. I turned to see James, one of Andy’s best friends. James who had always watched out for Andrew but who was also one of the most absolutely annoying Vampires in the known universe.

“You know, Juliette and her brother Valentine are two of the best when it comes to Human to Vampire conversions. Almost a 100% success rate, mot to mention a great follow up and support system.”

“Shut up James,” I snapped. Poor Shawna looked horrified. Why was it that everything James said sounded vulgar? Oh right, I know, because he is a flipping pig.

Shawna looked horrified. I was about say something else nasty to James when a very angry Vampire (showing her fangs no less) suddenly slammed him into the wall. “You’re making me sick James. Get out of here before I rip your throat out.”

He held up his hands and backed off. With a smile he said, “Later ladies, I’ll leave you to your tea party.”

Max’s friend Mehitabel  (the one he kissed in the backyard) stood there in a sleek black dress and some great sky high patent leather Mary Janes. She washed her hands saying something under her breath about getting the stink left by James off of them.

Mehitabel was the pretty woman who could either stand out in a crowd, or more likely not be noticed by anyone. That worked well in her professional life. She could stand unnoticed and watch and wait. As for her personal life, I have no idea. I don’t know her that well. I really don’t

I found her entertaining and funny. Sure she was a little distant as well, an odd combination.

Earlier I’d asked her what she was doing for Memorial Day. She was going to spend it with close friends. They always spent holidays together.  Why did I assume she wouldn’t have anyplace to go? Gossip and rumors can build into false biographies that paint a harsh sad picture of someone who is anything but harsh or sad.

She didn’t ask questions about my brother Max, the object of her affections – not like most women do.  She wasn’t talking to anyone about Max. She’d come to the party because they had mutual friends – nothing more. She was staying at Max’s house but no details of fluttery “wink wink” was forthcoming.

She had known Max for a long long time.  Over the years they’d been in and out of dangerous situations together, even saved each other’s lives. They were considered Vampire elite, thought she didn’t act like it.

So, anyway, I’m standing in the kitchen with two women who for better or worse were involved with two of my brothers. At this point I doubted if anyone was going to come in and rescue me.

“Don’t bother with James,” I said to Shawna.  “I think he was snorting too much dragon dust or something.”

“More likely out feeding on meth heads and heroine junkies,” said Mehitabel in disgust. The she softened her look and approached Shawna.

“I’m sorry you had to see that.  We’re not like that. Andy isn’t like that. He is one of the most gentle souls I’ve ever met, Regular Human or Vampire, and he adores you. He’d never ever let anyone harm you. The same goes for Juliette and me, and everyone here. Even James, even thought he is an asshole.”

I knew there were those would harm Shawna, but then again, I suppose nobody could have hurt her more than her ex-husband, the one who traded her in for a younger model.

After a few minutes and a few cocktails, we forgot about the party and my brothers. We talked of other things, things we all could relate to. We talked about movies and books and shoes and our work.

I suppose there is no point or moral to this story. No usual twist. It is always just odd and I’m glad my kids were in another part of the house, I’m sure being exposed to all sorts of other weirdness.

Just random thoughts about last weekend…

But all in all, I like both of these women my brothers have brought around. Now if my brothers could just behave… And if they don’t behave, I might still just keep these two around.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

(this post first published here 11/13)

_____________________________

and before i could argue him

out of his philosophy

he went and immolated himself

on a patent cigar lighter

i do not agree with him

myself i would rather have

half the happiness and twice

the longevity

 

but at the same time i wish

there was something i wanted

as badly as he wanted to fry himself”

Don Marquis, archy and mehitabel

____________________________________

More on Shawna and Andy (click here.)

More on Max and Mehitabel (click here.)

 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

You always remember your first time…

You always remember your first time…

 

“The first time I ever went out on my own?” Teddy smiled when I asked him the question. We were out on the deck having cocktails, watching the sunset turn to dark night. “I never told you did I? I was in the country at a huge estate. Max and I had an invitation from the son of the owner. Remember William Howard? We went to the university with him. Anyway, you know how your brother knows everyone and keeps connections with them all. There were over a dozen guests and what seemed like an endless party. I don’t remember sleeping for the first 48 hours. One rainy afternoon I went into the teahouse, out in the woods, just to read and get some time alone. But I wasn’t alone. There she was, Iona Howard, William’s charming sister, sound asleep – out cold. She looked so lovely. I couldn’t resist. Iona had no idea I was there until I’d finished. I posed by the door and then sweetly called her name.”

“You were so sweet Teddy.”

“I still am.” He leaned over and kissed me. “Iona was madly in love with Max but it was my teeth in her neck that afternoon. By the way, don’t mention this…I never told him about it about it.”

I laughed out loud. The secret, even such a minor one, would stay safe with me.

We’re like that, you know, Vampires. We never kiss and tell.

 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

sleeper

 

Things that go bump in the night…

I received a call this morning. A male voice was on the other end. “I’m sorry to call so late, your brother Aaron said to call.”

It was 3 am. I was up. Of course I was, I’m a Vampire. I realized I was speaking to Austin the restoration expert and sometimes Vampire Hunter.

My brother Aaron, the serious attorney and Vampire has crossed paths with Austin. My husband at times has dealings with Austin – both of them being in the business of old things.

“What can I do for you?” I asked wondering what he’d found tonight.

“There is something in the basement of one of my houses and… I don’t know what it is. It isn’t human. I don’t think it is a Vampire. It doesn’t feel like a Vampire.”

“I see.” I am in the business of unusual things. Well, not exactly in business, but when unusual things come up or anything really weird I’m the one everyone calls. Don’t ask me why. It just happens this way.

Teddy and I arrived at an old house and were met by Austin. He seemed a bit uncomfortable but I ignored that. Vampires usually make people uncomfortable, if they know what we are, but we were there to do a job. I was also just curious, you know, this kind of thing can be fun or at least interesting sometime.

Austin looked pretty serious. “Your brother Aaron said you know more about these things than most. Could you help me out?”

I noticed his hand was swelled up and a nasty red color. I took it in mine. He started to pull back, maybe at the shock of the cold touch of my skin, or the fact that I’m a Vampire, but then Austin relaxed, a little at least. “What happened here?”

“A wasp stung me. The bastards built a nest under my front porch.”

“You’re in a lot of pain.”

“It feels like an acetylene torch burning my hand.”

I brought his hand to my lips and kissed it. I knew he wanted to pull away in the worst way. I could feel his fear, but he knew, he sensed it would be ok. Smart guy.

“The pain is gone,” Austin said.

Oh if you could have seen the look on his face. Priceless!

I just smiled and asked him to show us the vermin in the building he needed to remove.

He took us down a narrow flight of concrete stairs into a damp space under the building. I could already smell the putrid sick smell that resembled a cross between a Middle School boys locker room on a hot day and a full cat box.

Teddy glanced at me. “Goblins.”

I hate Goblins. They’re nasty vile little creatures pretending to be kin to humans and all things like us. I don’t know what they are or their DNA make-up, if they have DNA. They’re putrid creatures made up of garbage and everything disgusting. Yuck.

Austin flicked on the single light bulb handing from a cord above the stairs. The creatures screamed like small girls. “Stop it,” I yelled. “Right now.”

I could see the green tint of their skin, the tacky clothes and the sharp pointy teeth and smooth dry skin like that of a frog. Austin saw something that looked human, over dressed like they were going for a Glam Goth Rock look worn by fairly unattractive people. He couldn’t see their real form. They made sure of that.

They ran up the stairs pushing us as they went. Out of the house and into the night they went. I heard a car start and speed off. In the basement we found drugs and what looked like a stash of stolen jewelry. Teddy called a police detective he knows who deals with these sorts of things.

There is nothing that scares or excites Goblins more than Vampires. We know what they’re up to. They can’t trick us. They can’t escape us if we really want to catch them. They’re like rats and they know it.

Austin stood speechless and ran his hand through his hair.

“Austin, did you see them in their true form?” Teddy asked.

“They were green.”

“Yes,” I said, “you can see them as you can see us for what we are. You have a gift. Can you see the two teenagers who have been watching us from the top of the stairs?”

Austin looked up at the two transparent forms who stood above us. He was obviously uncomfortable.

“They’re ghosts. Goodness Austin, this house is full of all kinds of things. Don’t worry about the two here. They seem harmless.”

The teens looked at us with sad eyes for a few more seconds then entwined their fingers and vanished.

Teddy and I took poor Austin upstairs and sat him down for a chat. Austin is one of those rare individuals who can see the world and those who inhabit it for what they really are. It is a frightening and sometimes wonderful reality for those who experience it. Then again, I had to remind him that normal humans are much more frightening and evil than anything he saw tonight.

“I shouldn’t have called you. I’m sorry to bother you. I could have taken care of it myself,” Austin said.

“The Goblins would have attacked you. Your body would have never been found,” I told him.

We walked back to our cars after he locked up the old building. I have no idea if he would continue on the restoration or not. That would depend on the Ghosts I suppose, or it could depend on Austin. He didn’t seem like the kind who would let fear stop him.

He put his hand on my arm (we’re not close enough for hugs) and said, “thanks for taking care of that wasp sting.”

I smiled and kissed him on the cheek. Teddy shook his hand.

The sun came over a smoky horizon as we pulled into our driveway. It had been a long night.

The worst fear is fear of the unknown. Then again, what we do know can be pretty scary too. In the meantime we help each other out, even when we’re not alike. It’s just the right thing to do.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Oh You’d Better Not Shout…

Oh you better not shout,

You better not cry,

You better not pout,

I’m telling you why…

ugly santa

Vampires are coming to town…

We (Vampires) try to be civilized creatures most of the time, especially during the holidays. There is nothing worse than someone at a black tie event being rude, crass or a bore. Refinement is the name of the game.

So good behavior is a number one priority. We know when you are sleeping, we know when you’re awake, we know when you’ve been bad or good…

ugly santa with tree

Things that go bump in the night are not limited to small children and Halloween. So watch your manners and your morals.

Your biggest fear shouldn’t be the Vampires who come and visit you at night.

With any luck THAT could be your biggest pleasure (believe me on that one.)

So get out the mistletoe and a kiss. And maybe a bite.

But only if you’re good.

For we all know Santa is a Vampire…

And maybe even a few other folks you might know.

santa spider

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Lost and Found

lipsI was almost shaking I was so hungry. You know how it gets when you’re just light headed and your heart is hardly beating, but if you’re not a Vampire it might beat faster, but anyway, you know the feeling.

Arriving at Jack’s law office downtown I could hardly contain myself. It had been a while since I’d seen my old friend for a “lunch date.” Way too long. When I saw Jack I got him out of his jacket and shirt so fast I hardly realized what I was doing. Vampire fingers can fly over buttons like you wouldn’t believe. He took care of his tie and then his undershirt. He fell on the couch, I was in his lap, my mouth on his neck, my fangs in his skin. His eyes closed and a smile was on his face. I’d put him in his happy spot on a beach far far away with warm breezes and the sound of the waves crashing.

Crashing. The door flew open and someone yelled. Jack tried to stand, I let go and there was blood everywhere.

His partner (in his law firm)  Owen had come into the room, thinking something was going on. There was something but it wasn’t what he thought it was.

Owen was yelling but I didn’t listen. Now Owen, is a big guy – a former football player, maybe a tad under six and a half feet. And he is loud.

“Quick,” I hissed putting my right hand on Jack’s bleeding neck and holding out my other hand. He came close. I grabbed his wrist and looked him in the eye. “Forget you saw anything. It was nothing. Sleep.” He slumped to the floor. I put my mouth back on Jack’s neck and stopped the bleeding.

Fortunately Jack keeps a spare shirt or two in his office closet and a spare suit (in case he has to go to court on a more casual day). I ended up leaving wearing one of his white dress shirts over my own navy blue slacks. My blouse was soaked with blood along with my hair. Jack and I cleaned up in the bathroom.

“I’m so sorry.” I was. This sort of thing is so rare and completely threw me off.

Jack held me close and kissed me on the top of the head. “Don’t be.”

“It has been a long time since I’ve almost bled out a donor.”

“A donor? Interesting term.”

“Don’t take it wrong. You’re first and foremost my friend. I mean that.”

“I can feel your heart beating. Now that is something different.”

I backed away. “I have to go.”

“Will I see you and Teddy at the Halloween party this weekend?”

“Of course. I wouldn’t miss it. We’re coming as Vampires. Fancy that.”

He took my hand and pulled me back and wrapped his arms around me. Stroking my face Jack whispered “You’re so cold. Sometimes I can’t believe you’re real.” He looked in my eyes. I wanted to break his gaze and turn away but I was trapped. His mouth met mine in a kiss, that was more than just friends.

I pushed away and gasped as if I’d been drowning. “I’m not like you. I never was. I never will be. I’m your worst nightmare.”

“Then go to bed with me.”

“I’ll kill you,” I gasped, hardly able to take in a breath. It wasn’t a threat, just a statement of a possibility.

We stood looking at each other. He has a small smile on his face. I was the horrified one.

Then he picked up a box off of his desk. “This is for you. Happy Birthday Juliette. 154 is it?”

I cautiously opened the package. Unwrapping the tissue paper I found a doll, about 8 inches long. She was made of China. Her black hair was painted on, contrasting to her white face. The pale blue dress was thin with age. I’d had a doll just like her when I was a child.

“Look on the back of her neck,” said Jack.

On the back were the initials in child like letters JAT. I’d written my initials on her so many years ago. She was my doll. I’d lost her so many many years ago.

Jack stepped closer again. “I found her in an antique store. I had a feeling she might have been yours.”

My heart stopped. Literally it stopped, as Vampire hearts sometimes do when we’re overwhelmed with emotion. Then it started up again.

“Thank you Jack. Oh my goodness, I can’t tell you how much this means to me.”

He took another step closer. “I love you Juliette.”

My heart stopped again and I kissed him again and left him, standing with a smile on his face and an icy chill in the air, even though it was 75 degrees outside.

“No you don’t.” I said as I hit the sunlight that burned my eyes and caused me to feel ill. I stepped back into the dark shadow of the building and took a deep breath. “Damn you Jack. You’re going to ruin everything.”

I pulled out my phone and called my husband Teddy. He was quiet on the line when I told him what happened.

Teddy gave a quiet laugh then said, “It isn’t like this is the first or the last time this has happened to you. I think every guy who ever found out you were a Vampire fell in love with you and then some. It happens to me at least once a week. They can’t resist us dear.”

“I know, but…”

“I was with Jack when he found the doll. I remembered you carrying her around when you were small.”

I almost started to cry at that point. “I love you Teddy.”

“I love you too. Don’t worry about Jack. He’ll be fine. He’s a good friend. Just give him time to get used to the whole Vampire thing. What has it been? Six months since he found out we were Vampires? His wife has always known, but I went through the same thing with her but in triplicate. It’s ok darling. Everything is ok.”

And Teddy is right. Everything is ok, but sometimes the shadows get in the way and we just have to trust ourselves.

Things were easier a long time ago when the world wasn’t going so fast and we didn’t have so much on our minds. I’m not saying it was any better, but it was different. It was easier to be a Vampire.

And sometimes things just get weird – and that isn’t exclusive to Vampires. It gets weird for everyone. But that’s ok too as long as we continue to love and learn and think with both our hearts and our heads.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

doll

A kiss so sweet or a kiss divine, all yours and all mine.

You can’t suck the soul from a ghost because a ghost is nothing but a soul. A nasty, annoying, tormented soul that will make you go insane. That is why I hate ghosts.

Sucking souls is nasty business anyway – something to be avoided except in extreme situations.

But kissing is always fun…especially if you’re a Vampire.

My brother Max is still visiting from lands far away, taking a break from the violence and stress of his occupation. He is also recovering from a broken heart. Dear, misguided, Max, the man with lips that any woman (except me, his sister) would be crazy not to want.

We stood on my deck watching the stars when he looked out into the woods. He squinted his eyes which was odd considering he has excellent night vision. “Juliette, there is a ghost behind your house.”

The ghost looked up from his book and gave us the finger.

“Hey ghost, want to meet my brother?” I yelled.

“Screw you Vampire.” He yelled back, then smiled a wicked mean and nasty smile.

My brother looked shocked. Vampires hate ghosts and have as little to do with them as possible. I still instinctively don’t like ghosts but have developed sort of a relationship with this ghost based on mutual disrespect and a bond formed by being a different being in a world where everyone else is “normal”.

The ghost was suddenly closer. “So this is the great hunter. Your heart is broken. You know there are only two cures for that one.”

Anger flashed in Max’s eyes but he said nothing. The ghost continued. “You could go out and let out your blood lust and kill something. But I don’t recommend that. The second and most effective cure is long hot passionate kisses with a woman with fire in her soul.” Then he started to laugh. “You Vampires are pathetic. Your entire culture is based on neck biting and kissing and physical attraction, yet when your heart is broken you seem so shocked. You can handle anything except your own hearts.”

But the ghost was right our culture is based on neck biting and wrist biting and the fine art of the kiss. Without the kiss we’d be lowly predators. We’ve taken our blood gathering to a higher level, to something both Vampire and donor find quite wonderful.

Forget the Vampire stuff, a kiss will cure a multitude of ills, from a mother comforting a child, to a broken-hearted Vampire warrior.

The ghost faded away and I looked at my brother. “Maybe the ghost is right, a kiss and a night of passion might be the cure or at least help you feel better.”

“Maybe.” He said that downing his glass of wine and staring off into the dark. “I remember the time Teddy told me he’d kissed you for the first time. I’d never seen him so happy. I’m glad you finally married him.”

“So am I, so am I. You know Max, your time will come. Your true Vampire love is out there somewhere.”

My brother smiled and gave my hand a gentle squeeze then kissed me on the cheek.

Sweet dreams to all –

Juliette aka Vampire Maman

kiss1 kiss princess bride kiss rodan kiss snow white