Vampire Diary: Love Bites, Love Bleeds – A Victorian Christmas.

Dear Diary,

I missed the entire 18th, 19th and 20th centuries.

I missed the Industrial Revolution. I missed the American Revolution. I missed the advent of electricity, flight, recorded sound, the telegraph, moving pictures, smooth jazz, photography, the Wild West, Art Deco, and most of all I missed the Victorian era. Yes, it seems that there was a period in which a great small sour looking Queen named Victoria ruled the world, told people not to make love, and then had many children herself. I do not understand that logic, but rulers are not often driven by logic.

Before I came into this modern world I now call home, I was living in a period now which is now called Baroque. I thought we would never change. I could not have been better. I loved the clothing. I loved the music. Life was good, especially if one was a Vampire. My world was by candle light in the dark, under skies of millions of stars.

And that fated evening, my last evening in my own time, I went out for the night, my hair curled and flowing around my shoulders and down my back, a silk and wool coat hung perfectly, with wide sleeves, and lace, and … then, then it went black with a pointed stake that grazed my heart, and then… then I was locked away for three hundred years.

It was 1714 when I was stabbed in the heart and locked away. And when I was rescued centuries later by my dear friends I found myself in a strange horrifying science fiction landscape that I could have never imagined in my wildest Vampire nightmares.

All things had changed.

The night my love Gillian and friend Randolpho broke into the crypt and rescued me is still a dark cloud in my mind.

I remember Randolpho’s voice, “Oh my God his hair is full of bugs. Rats have eaten his clothes.”

I awoke on an airplane, flying high in the sky to a country which did not exist in my world before. I was wearing a black tee-shirt, a button down charcoal colored Oxford shirt, and blue jeans. My hair was now to my shirt collar. It is what everyone wears they told me. And so it was. I was also extremely clean. Everyone is clean now. That is one thing that makes life as a Vampire easier in this modern world.

Tonight I was driving in my car and turned on the radio. At the touch of a finger I can hear any music of any era, even Baroque music. A song came on. I listened in wonder.

Love bites, love bleeds
It’s bringin’ me to my knees
Love lives, love dies
It’s no surprise
Love begs, love pleads
It’s what I need

It was by a band called “Def Leppard.” Why they call themselves after cats who cannot hear I do not know. The song reminded me of when my wife left, and it made me think of those years alone in the crypt.  Yes, love bites. It bleeds. I wonder if that song was written by a Vampire. It must have been. I bite. I bleed. I am not yet at my knees.

It is Yule time. I must not be so melancholy.

My two cats who can hear all too well crawled into my lap and started to purr. There is even comfort in this world for a sad Vampire.

~ Vlad

 

Dear Diary,

I missed the 19th Century. I missed the waltz. I missed the waltz when it was new. I missed that first time when one could dance close in a ballroom, a hand on a woman’s waist, close and touching. So close I could put my lips on her neck and nobody would notice as I scraped my fangs across her neck.

Gillian has told me that we have been invited to three Victorian themed events.

“What do you mean?” I asked her.

“We dress up in Victorian clothing and go back in history,” she tells me.

“I was never there,” I tell her. “And how do you expect us to go back into history. If I want back it would be to the eighteenth century and I would…”

“Stop it Vlad,” she said almost growling at me. She almost growled like an angry animal. “We do it for the fun. It is all pretend. We do it because it is Christmas.”

“What does wearing those ridiculous top hats and huge skirted dresses, and following the prudish morals of a pinched nosed British queen have to do with Christmas? Tell me.”

She went to the shelf and grabbed a book and threw it at me. “Read this Vlad,” she demanded.

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I poured myself a goblet of mulled blood and read the damn book by a man called Charles Dickens.

The book reminded me of one night four hundred years ago.

It had been a night of violence and blood. Back in my castle, in my private chambers I stripped off my clothing and washed the blood off of my hands, and out of my hair. My hair which was down to the middle of my back at that time like a river of honey gold. I could still feel their fire in my eyes, and anger in my soul.

The window blew open, and in flew an apparition, a large ghostly man with no head. He carried what seemed to be a black velvet bag. He stood silent in front of me.

“Who are you and what are you doing here?” I asked the ghostly figure.

He slowly opened the bag and pulled out a head. Then he put the head in the crook of his arm turning the face towards me. It was Fabio, the former leader of the Vampires who lived to the south of my lands. We had gone into battle together. We had plotted against our enemies together. We had loved women together. We drank blood together, and bonded as an impenetrable force of Vampire power.

“Fabio, my brother, what brings you here on this Yule night?”

“Silence,” he cried in a voice like a banshee. “I was foolish and lost my head. I lusted after blood, and power, and never gave a thought to anything except my own desires.”

“I am sorry to hear that Fabio,” I said.

“Silence Vald, King of Vampires, Ruler of the People of the Night. You must listen to me,” he said, then he began to howl like the hounds of Hell.

“Stop,” I yelled at him.

“All of the Vampires in the world believe Vampire Hunters killed me, but YOU Vlad cut off my head and threw it in the moat of your castle.”

“You slept with my wife, and then you killed my dog. What was I supposed to do?” I said.

“It was her idea,” said Fabio.

“What about my dog Fabio? My wolfhound Princess?” I responded. “Was it her idea too?”

He waved his head in front of my face. “You, Vlad are a good Vampire, but you are a bad man.” he said, “Today you will be visited by your past, your present, and your future.”

“No, Fabio,” I told him. “As usual you make no sense at all. You are insane. The sun will be up in an hour and I will sleep. Be gone and stay away from my wife, and my dogs.”

He screamed at me and flew out the window. I slammed the window closed, drew the curtains, locked the door, then crawled into my bed and fell into a deep Vampire sleep.

I had a dream. It was a dream of Yule Time when I was a young Vampire. My sister and I were traveling home along the mountain roads. We stopped at a village. Village people danced around a fire while we listen to the screams of those who were tied to poles and burning in the center.

My sister grabbed my arm and asked, “Why Vlad, why do they do such horrible things to their own kind.”

“Why are you burning these people?” I asked a man standing next to us.

“The priest said they were evil so they must burn.”

“Were they evil?” I asked.

“I never really thought about it,” said the man. “They said women should be treated equally as men. They said that people should question what the priest says.”

My sister and I went to the Priest. We burned his hands off, then cut off his feet. We drained his body of blood.

My sister said, “I need to go home but father does not want to see you.”

Then my dream vanished like smoke in a dark moonless night.

I was awakened by the sweet voice of a woman, with her hand on my bare chest. It was Yule of present time.

“Vlad,” she whispered. “Wake up.”

It was my wife, the beautiful Aloisia. I put my arms around her and pulled her into a kiss. She looked into my eye and locked them on mine.

“Vlad, I am leaving you. I am done with you.”

“Aloisia, why?”

“I am sick of you,” she said. I can not even write down what else she said to me that night. Then she was gone. I never saw her again. She is out there somewhere but I know not where that somewhere is.

I fell back asleep after several hours. At around 2:30 p.m. a pale white man in a silver robe came into the room. He opened the curtains and nearly blinded me with the light.

“Who are you?” I said, sitting up and showing him my fangs.

He just pointed at me and laughed. I could not see his face due to a large hat and a mask like the beak of a ghostly white bird.

“Special Delivery,” he hissed as he dropped an envelope on my bed. Then he closed the curtains and vanished into thin air. Another ghost maybe or some sort of demon. I hate ghosts.

I cracked the unfamiliar seal on the envelope and found a book with blank pages. What did that mean? A blank book? Was it magic? Was it printed with invisible ink? Was it meant to be a threat.

It was a diary.

My life changed after that night. I did not send a turkey to any family or meet a small limping boy, but my life as a Vampire did change forever.

I was no Scrooge but I too have strange things happen to me when I sleep.

~ Vlad

 

Dear Diary,

My lover Gillian informed me AGAIN that we must dress up and pretend to be Victorians. I asked her if that is what they call Cosplay with much sarcasm in my voice. Gillian told me not to be stupid, whereas a heated argument ensued.

~ Vlad

 

Dear Diary,

This evening I was out for a walk and saw my neighbor Helen, a glorious woman of seventy.

I remember a time when most people did not live to be seventy, especially woman. Those who lived for a long time were either those with great luck, or vampires.

Helen, of the beautiful face, and flowing gray hair, was out with her dog, a large yellowish best. At one time she had been a dancer. She is still a dancer.

“Helen teach me how to dance the waltz,” I said to her.

And so in the street, under the light of the waning moon, and multicolored Christmas lights she trained me in the waltz.

What a joy it was.

She sang the music as I held her with one hand in her hand, and the other hand on her waist. I could smell her blood in her veins, along with the slight scent of roses and gardenia in her hair. I was exhilarated.

When we were done she laughed and said, “Vlad, you did great. You are so cute.”

This cute I do not understand, but I do now understand the waltz.

~ Vlad

 

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Dear Diary,

I am exhilarated. Tonight I waltzed with Gillian all night long at a “Dickens Party.” I will admit I enjoyed the clothing, though Gillian and Randolpho said I cannot wear it all of the time.

All of the women there called Randolpho “Randy.” I asked if he was randy and he just smiled and winked. What do they say about naughty or nice? Depending on who is asking I suppose Randolpho could be both.

After the party, alone in our room, I helped Gillian unlace her corset. That Dear Diary is my favorite part of Victorian clothing. Gillian calls it gift wrap. It is a wonderful gift indeed.

Unlike the cowboys in the Wild West (I have seen movies and read about that time in history which I missed) I did not leave my hat or my boots on.

And, what else do they say? Yes. And to all a good night.

~ Vlad

 

Kissed by a Vampire

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Christmas Necklace (a holiday tradition)

A few nights ago we had friends for dinner. Let me reword that. We dined with good friends of ours. It was two couples we’re friends with (they’re regular humans who don’t know we’re Vampires). It is a dress up affair. We have cocktails; take in the theater or a concert, then have dinner and more drinks. And my darling husband Teddy and I get a little blood donation and leave our hosts feeling warm and fuzzy and full of holiday cheer.

I wore a black dress with red heels. It was set off with a gold necklace of delicate flowers with red garnets, enameled holly leaves and seed pearls.

One of my friends commented “You wear that beautiful necklace every year. There must be a story behind it.”

“Teddy gave me this on our first Christmas together. It was his mother’s.” I told everyone the truth, but didn’t tell them the entire story behind it.

It was in the 1880’s. My brother Val and I were young Vampires in London, which was the place to be. It was a golden age for us.

Of course being the young American Vampires we were…we got into a lot of trouble and had way too many adventures of the wrong kind.

So to make a long story short, it was Christmas Eve when Val and I found ourselves trapped in a crypt. Yes, a crypt full of rotting human bodies, not a fit place for any self respecting Vampire of a certain social level. We were of a higher social level. We had class, culture, good looks and money. Most of all we had connections. What Val and I lacked was common sense and experience.

So we’re in this crypt, chased by Vampire Hunters, Rogue Vampires who were pissed off at us, AND the local police.

We were also trapped. Yes, being the super strong creatures that we are, we could have busted down the door, but that would have done three things. It would have shown a lack of respect for those who were interned in the crypt. It would have made a lot of noise and attracted too much attention. But most of all, we were wearing rather expensive clothing if that clothing were to be ripped it would have drawn too much attention.

So we waited to figure out a plan B or to be rescued. Plan B was our only real option.

Just as we were about to sit on the ground and wait until the next night to break our way out the door started to slide open. We waited, fangs barred, holding on to each other for dear life, yet ready to kill whatever came through to us.

We saw a lone figure shadowed in the doorway.

I could hear a slight hiss under Val’s breath as he readied himself for an attack. Then a voice with a definite American accent said “Valentine? Juliette? Oh my heavens! Is that really you?”

And out of the shadows came Teddy. I hadn’t seen him for 10 years, not since he’d become a Vampire.

We said quick greetings and I asked “What are you doing here?”

He lifted the lid from one of the stone caskets. “This woman couldn’t steal my father’s heart so she stole my mother’s jewelry. I’m here to get it back. I never expected in a hundred years to find you two here.” And with one swift movement he took the necklace from around the neck of a slightly un-fresh corpse and then removed her bracelet and ring.

Suddenly we heard footsteps and saw torches across the lawn. I recognized the voices. “Let’s go. They’re back.” And they were in full force, come to kill the Vampires, who just happened to be us.

We ran down the road as fast as we could. I help my skirt up around my knees and cursed the day I was born a girl. Damn it trousers would have been nice right then.

A cathedral lay ahead, lit up for the Christmas Eve service.

“We can’t go in there,” said Teddy in a panic.

“Why not?” Asked Val.

“Because,” said Teddy “We’re undead. We’re Vampires. We’ll die.”

“We’re not undead. Your heart beats. You have not one but two souls. You are a creature of the night, and this is a midnight service. We will be welcome and blessed for we do harm to no one.”

I grabbed Teddy by one hand and Val by the other and took them into the church. We sat in the back and quietly sang along with our angelic Vampire voices, savoring the candle light and peace of the moment.

After it was over we headed for home, a fashionable and safe house not far away.

“I thought it wasn’t safe for our kind in churches,” said Teddy.

“It usually isn’t.” Val said, brushing off his coat. “But they can’t hurt us in a church. Or at least they do not dare hurt us there. Besides, I like the music. It soothes me.”

“What did you mean about two souls? I thought my soul was gone.” Teddy looked at us in a very serious way.

“Do you think that anyone with so much love and passion could exist without a soul? Oh Teddy, don’t be such a child. We need two souls. One for our own existence and one for our shadow. Didn’t you know that?”

The first rays of dawn arrived as we arrived at the house. Teddy crashed in one of the spare bedrooms. But before he slept, he put the necklace he’d taken around my neck. “My mother always liked you. She would have wanted you to have this.”

I was honored and touched. Since then I’ve worn this necklace every Christmas season.

Vampire Heart

This story was first published here in 2012 but it is one of my favorite Christmas time memories. Hope you enjoyed it. And why yes, I’m going to a party this afternoon and wearing my Christmas necklace! Yes, this is a true story.

Happy Christmas to you and yours,

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Mom mom mom mom mom

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Even when your kids move out, when they’re adults, when they’re feeling independent, even when they know everything, and even when they think you’re old…they still need you. That’s a good thing. Be cool. Be in touch. Be a parent.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

My Own Vampire Maman

She walked into the crowded bar as if she owned the place. I waved. She flashed me a dazzling smile and walked my way.

Black jeans, a dusty plum-colored coat over a white dress shirt she borrowed from her man, buttons open to give a hint of a promise of something soft and lace covered, the most darling gray boots with buckles and heels, a gray and blue scarf, and a black messenger bag with a tiny gold bat pin attached to it. Her nails are covered in glossy gray varnish as perfect as perfect can be, set off  a perfect dark fire opal on her right hand. Loose dark brown chestnut colored ringlets cascading down her back. Perfect smoky eyes as gray as a winter sky shot with blue and a slight hint of pink lip-gloss on cupid kissed lips. She could be somewhere between 25 and 35 but it doesn’t matter. She is perfect. Every male head in the place turns. My mom just walked into the room.

She walked to the bar where I sat nursing a gin and tonic. She didn’t need to pull up a stool – four were immediately offered to her. She grabbed one a few places down and sat it next to me. Her arm went around my waist and squeezed. All was right in the world. Mom was here.

She still calls me her baby. I still call her my Maman.

She picks something off of my sweater. She liked my hair. My nail color made my hands look dirty. Was Teddy home. Was Clara at class tonight? I looked tired. Was I getting enough sleep? Was I spending all my time catering to my children? Was I working on my novels? Was I planning my winter and spring gardens?

My dad with at my brother Aaron’s house. It was a big girl night out.

She scanned the room and said, “we won’t go out hungry tonight.”

No we wouldn’t.

I put my hands in my lap, then decided to ignore her comment about my nail color. I liked the color even though I doubt if I’d wear it again.

We spoke quietly, our heads together. A man asked if we were sisters. My mom said we were.

He was in his early thirties. Blonde hair, green eyes, button down shirt. Cute bordering on handsome. My mom is 388 years old.

She whispered something in his ear and put her hand on his shoulder. He smiled. He was hers for the night if she wanted him. That isn’t what she said to him, but she can make anyone feel good. She said there was a girl in the bar who liked him, the pretty girl who is never the prettiest in the room and never the one who gets picked first. The girl was smart and funny and sexy and a little different. He’d pick her tonight and in a few months time he’d pick her forever. My maman has a talent for facilitating happily ever after events. How Vampires got the bad rap I’ll never know (actually I do but that’s another blog post) but we’re quite the romantics and lovers.

Her wedding ring was on a cord around her neck, hidden under her shirt. It was funny considering we spent most of the evening talking about my dad. She said she wanted to spend the week with my daughter.

She said she’d planted the pansies I’d given her.  Hers were doing great but mine were still smallish. I told her that was because she loved her plants more than mine. She laughed.  She had some bulbs in the car for me. I told her that I’d give them lots of love.

We were like any other mother and daughter meeting in the evening. Except we were out for blood. But that’s ok with us.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Clarification (or Hairification)

My husband Teddy has dark brown hair. His eyes are brown but he can change them to blue when he wants to.

Vlad the Vampire King, of Vlad’s Vampire Diary, is blonde with blue eyes. It is a honey blonde, not the pale blonde like the Ancient Vampire Tellias.

 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Mama

The Beach House

My brother Val and I had gone to the beach house for Thanksgiving. This was 1944, before my marriage or children, when it seemed it was always just my brother and me, plus assorted friends and lovers.

Our brother Andy (Andrew) was somewhere in Europe in a USO show. Our eldest brother Max and my future husband Teddy were in London doing something secret for the American Government. Our parents were in Washington DC.

Nobody knew where our brother Aaron or his wife Verity were. They were the traditional ones who always stayed on the safe predictable road to anywhere – now we had no idea where they were. The last time anyone heard they were in France, but they could have been anywhere. They could have been dead or worse captured but we stopped guessing.

Valentine and I had our fill the night before in San Francisco. The clubs were full of servicemen on leave and women who were tired of waiting for their men to come home and people who had nothing to do with the war or missing love ones. Val was also on leave from his position in the Army – watching and finding out secrets. Vampires are good for that. Almost too good. But we had to get involved. We had no other choice. This was the world we lived in and our country too. It was our home.

We watched the fog roll in as the sun went down over the Pacific Ocean.

A car drove up to the house. We weren’t expecting anyone.

It was Nathaniel Chase. Even back then he was over 400 years old but didn’t look a day over 35. A small black cat followed at his heels.

“What are you doing here? You’re supposed to be in San Francisco,” he growled without so much as a hello to us.

“We’re not supposed to be anywhere, at least not until after Christmas,” said Val.

“I thought you were in Canada, or Hawaii or someplace…,” I started in on him until he put his hand up for me to shut up. I knew the gesture well. He’d been cutting me off my entire life.

“Valentine, please get my bag out of the car for me. Juliette I need your help, come.” He headed down the hall to the far bedroom.

Under his coat his shirt was soaked with blood. I couldn’t tell if it was his or if it belonged to somebody else.

I helped him out of his coat and then the suit jacket and shirt underneath. He’d been stabbed several times. “My heart…was nicked. I’ve lost a lot of blood…a lot.”

I held out my wrist. “Take mine. It will seal your heart.”

“I don’t know…Juliette…”

“You’ll die.”

“No. You can bring someone in later.”

“You will die. Take mine. Regular blood won’t help. You know that.”

A regular human man would have died with his injury. He’d been stabbed in the heart, not just a “nick.”

He took my wrist and sank his fangs into it. Not much happened.

“Just take my neck,” I told him and started to unbutton my shirt. “Don’t say no. You’ve done more for me than I can count. I owe you.”

Asking another Vampire to bite your neck is extreme. It is also something that happens in risky sex. It is something you don’t do lightly or with just anyone. There can be consequences.

I put my hand on his chest where the knife entered. Then I leaned in close, cold skin to cold skin and put my other hand at the back of his neck. “Take my blood Nathaniel.”

He pushed my hair aside and put his mouth on my neck. He had my blood and my feelings, my memories, my heart and everything I kept close. I could feel him searching and wanting then blanking it all out. He wasn’t interested in sucking out my souls or knowing my secrets or being my lover.  I’d done this before but it wasn’t to save a life. It was to satisfy a lover, another Vampire in passion and …whatever. But this was intense and in that realm. I felt drained. I was drained literally.

Nathaniel pulled away and lay back on the pillows. His eyes were closed. He took my hand and entwined my finger in his. We sat for maybe an hour as still as death. I brushed my lips against his cheek. He opened his eyes and gave me a slight smile. “Thank you. I’m sorry.”

“Don’t be sorry.”

Over the years he’d always been the one to save Val and me. So many times we’d strayed and he was there to get us back on track. He was always there to scold us and keep us in line. So many times I resented his presence and wished he’d go away forever.

I went out to the deck where Val sat with a bottle of wine and a cigar. He looked at my neck. “I gave him blood. Nothing else.”

My brother gave me a hug. “Thank you dear. Listen, the couple down the road are having a party. We can head on over and get you settled again. If Nathaniel needs more tonight we’ll have it.”

So we walked half a mile down the road watching the stars and listening to the waves crashing against the beach. I told Val that I knew who injured Nathaniel but it was taken care of. We were not the ones to extract vengeance. Someone else would do that. It isn’t what Val and I usually do, unless forced of course.

Nathaniel stayed with us for the rest of the month. We spent Christmas having a fire on the beach, just the three of us and Nathaniel’s black cat. Val and I were 85 and 86 at the time but Nathaniel still saw us as silly teens, or at least he saw us as still needing guidance.

Eventually we were all reunited with family and friends.

Anyway, that was a long time ago. It was a time I rarely even think about anymore. Now that my own children enter adulthood I think of more things from my current life. I hope their lives are calm and without trauma. That won’t be the case, but I’d like to think it would be.

So that is it for right now. December is almost here. Today my daughter Clara and I will hang the Christmas wreath and once again wish for Peace on Earth. I doubt if it will ever happen but we can wish and we can each do our part to help.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

First published 2014 – new posts to come soon. Thank you for visiting and sharing my  memories.

 

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