Short Story Sunday: House by the Ocean

220px-Sir_Galahad_(Watts)

“My parents were sluts, both of them. I’m the last person to throw stones but my dad was sleeping with the Queen, his best friend’s wife, and my mom lied about everything she ever did in her life.”

“Don’t be hard on them Galahad. Lancelot might not have been the best father but, well, he was a shitty father, and your mother Elenore, well, lied about everything. I think her lies were more of survival mode thing. You know, fight or flight, and by sleeping with your father it was her way of fighting for what she wanted. As for Guinevere, I have no good feelings for that woman or your father. They played the victim card far too often and at the expense of people who loved them. But that said, none of this reflects on you. Don’t ever let yourself think that you are your parents.”

Galahad, all of nineteen, Knight of the Round table had spent the past year traveling in search of the Holy Grail and all that was good. He was pure of heart and body, but there were questions that ate away at his soul. The very idea of his parents bugged him to no end. The contradictions of the Christian faith and his search, with magic, wizards, fairies, and the laws of nature confounded him.

Galahad had come to the estate on the hill that overlooked the ocean. He thought one day someone will write a song about this place. He wanted to wash away all of his critical mistakes.

He’d been drawn to the direction of the place when he’d come to a fork in the road, and even more so when he heard the crashing waves of the ocean.

A man with pale blonde hair, and a goblet of wine in his hand, who looked to be Galahad’s age answered the door. He invited him in, already knowing who he was. The man introduced himself as Tellias. His accent was different but yet slightly familiar. Maybe at one time Tellias had lived in Rome or somewhere South that Galahad could only dream of. Oh to live near the Holy Lands.

“Galahad. My friend Druce, who just happens to be sort of a wizard predicted you’d be here this week. As for me, I can’t predict shit. Come in and join us. We have a warm bed, and even a fire in your room. I take you can read. We have some books we thought you’d be interested. My God I can’t believe that nobody can read anymore. One day I’m sure someone will label this moment in history The Dark Ages. Oh how they embrace ignorance and fear.”

And from there Galahad was brought into a warm and inviting room unlike any he’d ever been to. The walls were covered with weavings, paintings, and shelves full of beautiful pottery the likes of which he had never seen.

There he met Morcant, and exceptionally handsome man who was built like an ancient God. He also met Druce, a Warlock that Merlin had told him about. Druce was an average man of average height, but he had a warm smile, unlike most men of magic. Galahad had been told that Druce could be trusted and was wise with matters of the heart and soul.

Standing by the window, with the summer breeze in her long curls was a beautiful girl with a smile that melted his heart unlike any other girl he had ever met. Her name was Eleora. It turned out that she was the beloved of Tellias and his mate for life.

During food and wine Galahad told his new friends of his quest for the Holy Grail and how there had been a prophesy about Joseph and so much more. He also told them of his travels and brave deeds that left him feeling good but sort of shallow.

Then Tellias asked Galahad, “But something is missing, isn’t it? Tell me about your family. It’s complicated isn’t it?”

Eleora sat next to Galahad and took his hand in hers. Her hand was cold like winter ice, but a warmth spread through his entire body.

And he told them things he had never told another living human being. He told them about his mothers, his father, and the complicated and twisted relationships they’d centered their lives around. He told them of a somewhat lonely childhood spend in reflective prayer and study.

They all listened. It was wonderful. Nobody had ever really listened to him before. He had just listened to others then done his duty.

After he and Tellias had talked of his family, Galahad said, “You and Eleora seem so young. You’re young like me, yet you seem so old, in a wise and wonderful way.”

Nobody said a thing for a while, then Morcant said, “Are you going to tell him Tellias? Eleora?”

“We’re Vampires,” said Eleora gently putting her hand on Galahad’s cheek, then she stood and walked over to where Tellias sat.

“What are Vampires?” Asked Galahad.

“We drink the blood of men. We live a long long time, longer than men. Some say forever. I was here before the Romans came.”

“I was one of the Romans,” said Tellias. “I was there when Christ was born. I was there when he died.”

Galahad looked at them in shock.

“Oh get over yourself. It isn’t that bad. We’re biologically different from you. Put it this way, if we were animals I’d be a horse, and men would be asses.”

“Most men are asses after all,” said Eleora.

“Like you Eleora is pure of heart. She just doesn’t have the physical hang ups,” said Tellias.

Galahad looked at Morcant. Maybe he was a normal man.

Morcant shrugged. “I’m a Selkie. You know what a Selkie is, I’m sure you do. I turn into a seal when I want to, you know, when I get tired of people.”

“Fear not,” said Druce the Warlock. “There is no evil here. Only good. In fact, you might not know it but that cup you’re drinking out of. THAT my son is the Holy Grail.”

Galahad blinked a few times and fainted.

2018

The Dark Ages didn’t always seem so dark when Galahad thought about them. He looked out of his back window over Monterey Bay. California hadn’t even been a dream back then. On the mantle over the fireplace was a simple silver cup. There was no power in it except it had been used in the name of love. How he wished the world had more love in it, but maybe one day.

Legend had it that he’d found the Grail and gone to heaven with Joseph. Instead he’d chosen to live, for a long long long time as a Vampire. Funny how things worked out.

Tellias and Eleora and Druce were coming for a visit and would be there soon. Morcant had passed on years before in the great San Francisco earthquake of 1906. It had broken his heart. He had become great friends with the Selkie.

But now he did have his house by the ocean. He didn’t worry about critical mistakes because he knew love, and had spent the centuries doing good. It was his way, even as a Vampire, for his heart, as always had stayed pure. And most of all, he realized that in their own weird and twisted way his parents had loved him.

~ End

For another tale of Druce and Morcant Click Here.

Tangled Tales

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Musings On Moving On

I’m not special. I’m busy. I’m different. I’m impatient and frazzled more than usual these days. I’m a mom.

So don’t sweet talk me or give me hollow compliments. You never had to prove anything to me. I’m a Vampire. You never have to prove yourself to a Vampire.

That is what I said to the creature who stood before me the other night. I was out with my 18-year-old son and we met some people for dinner. Our dinner. You know, we’re Vampires. It’s OK. When we were done with our tummies full and our “friends” empty of a few pints of blood and full of sweet dreams, we quietly headed for the car. Halfway down the alley we were stopped by a stranger, or someone I thought was a stranger.

His face was in the dark as he asked if we were having a nice evening. I took my son’s arm and gave a nod, ready to move on when the man stopped in front of us.

“You don’t know who I am.”

I looked at him in the face and I knew. It had been at least 80 years but I knew him. I can’t even start to tell you how annoying it is when someone from my past shows up when I’m with my kids.

“I know Vampires never forget. And I’d never forget you Juliette. You’re still just as beautiful as the last time I saw you.”

We made a little bit of small talk. He complimented me several more times. Then we went our ways like ships that pass in the night. Just signals of those who might or might not meet in port one day.

“Who was that mom?” Garrett was naturally curious about the person we’d just me.

“He’s a Warlock. We used to run in the same circles, kind of sort of. There was always something about him that made my skin crawl.”

“He seemed nice enough.”

“He is, but…”

“He’s a Warlock?”

“He was such an asshole. It has nothing to do with him being a Warlock. We had a lot of the same friends. That is all. It is what it is.”

We talked a bit more. Just another night of a week full of annoying things that fortunately are separated by really nice things, like evening with my son.

Garrett and I talked for the next hour about people we know and our plans for the summer and his graduation from high school. We talked of college and the people he’ll meet. There will be new friends. Some will last for a year. Some will last forever. Some will come and go from our lives like shadows.

We came home to find my husband Teddy and daughter Clara watching Lizard Lick Towing. I know, we’re Vampires who have sunk to the lowest of low, but at least it was good to see some daddy/daughter bonding. They watch Bar Rescue together too. So much for Gothic Vampire stereotypes.

I told Teddy about my old Warlock acquaintance. He used to be among my circle of friends a long time ago but we grew up and all moved on. It wasn’t the wrong time wrong place situation. It was just time to move on.

Just like with my children and the end of the school year, it is time to move on.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

17200976_10210276469127261_8684852857577660269_n

This is a Vampire Maman Friday Flash Back: This was first posted here in May 2014

Short Story Sunday: Warlock Woods

Tangled Tales

August woke to an empty bed. Essie was already up and out. She’d taken the fur. He knew where she’d gone.

He put his hand over the tea kettle to boil the water then poured it into the French Press. Taking two cups of coffee, he took a short stroll to the lake behind the cabin. The woods were loud with the sounds of birds. It was the first day of October. The birds knew. He was also well aware of the day. The month of Halloween had started.

On the shore of the lake was a pair of pink and black flip flops, and a pink terry cloth robe. August hear the sound of a loud splash and saw the shape of a seal jumping in the water. Damn she was cute with her slick black fur and dark dog like eyes.

His own dogs, Belle the German Shepard, and Jack a dog of unknown parentage, tagged along, playing tug of war with a large stick. They gave friendly shout out barks to the seal. The seal flapped her tail on the water.

“I have coffee,” yelled August.

The seal went under. A few seconds later a naked woman, with plenty of curves, and a smile that warmed his soul on the cold fall morning, came walking out of the water with a dark wet seal pelt over her left arm.

“Thanks Gus,” she said as she pulled on the robe, slipped on the flip flops, then took one of the hot cups, and gave August a quick cold kiss on his lips.

“You’re welcome Essie darling. How was your swim?”

“Fantastic. Thanks for inviting me up for the weekend. I absolutely love it up here.”

August was glad his Selkie friend came with him. Actually she was more than a friend. She was his lover, his confidant, and a true kindred spirit.

Back at the cabin they made love, then moved it to the shower. After they got dressed they headed up the road to the small Gold Rush era town for breakfast, and then wine tasting at the local vineyards. It was a perfect weekend for an odd an imperfect couple.

To everyone else they looked like an attractive couple on the edge of middle age. Nobody knew they were a Warlock and a Selkie, centuries old, trying to keep things alright in a less than perfect world.

“Glad you had me up now,” said Essie. “Are you still loaning your cabin to the Werewolves when the moon is full.”

“They’ll be up on the 18th,” said August. “It’s just easier for them up here than in the city. You know how it is.”

“I know,” said Essie, taking his hand.

That night they sat under the stars by an outdoor fire pit sharing a bottle of Zinfandel. She was beautiful with her dark skin, black hair, and deep black eyes. He was pale, with his thick silver hair that almost reached his shoulders and dark blue eyes. They never mentioned their differences, but celebrated their uniqueness and their centuries long friendship.

The oak and pine woods of the Sierra foothills were quiet in the dark autumn night. October had come. It was a busy time. But for one more night he could be quiet with her, and lost in her, in every way.

~ end

Vampire romance Juliette banner

Short Story Sunday is a regular feature on Vampiremaman.com

Each Sunday morning I write a story (this week is a new one) or post a previously written story. Ocassionally I post stories from guest authors. Thank you for dropping by.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

 

 

 

Musings on Moving On

I’m not special. I’m busy. I’m different. I’m impatient and frazzled more than usual these days. I’m a mom.

So don’t sweet talk me or give me hollow compliments. You never had to prove anything to me. I’m a Vampire. You never have to prove yourself to a Vampire.

That is what I said to the creature who stood before me the other night. I was out with my 18 year old son and we met some people for dinner. Our dinner. You know, we’re Vampires. It’s OK. When we were done with our tummies full and our “friends” empty of a few pints of blood and full of sweet dreams, we quietly headed for the car. Halfway down the alley we were stopped by a stranger, or someone I thought was a stranger.

His face was in the dark as he asked if we were having a nice evening. I took my son’s arm and gave a nod, ready to move on when the man stopped in front of us.

“You don’t know who I am.”

I looked at him in the face and I knew. It had been at least 80 years but I knew him. I can’t even start to tell you how annoying it is when someone from my past shows up when I’m with my kids.

“I know Vampires never forget. And I’d never forget you Juliette. You’re still just as beautiful as the last time I saw you.”

We made a little bit of small talk. He complimented me several more times. Then we went our ways like ships that pass in the night. Just signals of those who might or might not meet in port one day.

“Who was that mom?” Garrett was naturally curious about the person we’d just me.

“He’s a Warlock. We used to run in the same circles, kind of sort of. There was always something about him that made my skin crawl.”

“He seemed nice enough.”

“He is, but…”

“He’s a Warlock?”

“He was such an asshole. It has nothing to do with him being a Warlock. We had a lot of the same friends. That is all. It is what it is.”

We talked a bit more. Just another night of a week full of annoying things that fortunately are separated by really nice things, like evening with my son.

Garrett and I talked for the next hour about people we know and our plans for the summer and his graduation from high school. We talked of college and the people he’ll meet. There will be new friends. Some will last for a year. Some will last forever. Some will come and go from our lives like shadows.

We came home to find my husband Teddy and daughter Clara watching Lizard Lick Towing. I know, we’re Vampires who have sunk to the lowest of low, but at least it was good to see some daddy/daughter bonding. They watch Bar Rescue together too. So much for Gothic Vampire stereotypes.

I told Teddy about my old Warlock acquaintance. He used to be among my circle of friends a long time ago but we grew up and all moved on. It wasn’t the wrong time wrong place situation. It was just time to move on.

Just like with my children and the end of the school year, it is time to move on.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

This post was first published May 2014.

Short Story Sunday: Stranger No More

“What are you? You never grow old or change. You made love to my great grandmother. She said to my mother that women took you as a lover because your seed would not give them children. It would be like a cat with a dog. Nothing would come of it. You were brought here to be our spiritual mascot, an oracle, a healer, but since we’ve arrived here you’ve been shy about your feelings and observations. You’ve turned within yourself, or maybe within a world mortals like my troops are not privy to. You’re tall, but as beautiful as a woman. You’re lithe, but stronger than the largest gladiator. You evoke joy into the hearts of those who know you, yet you can freeze the soul of a man and bring fear that makes a heart stop. What are you? ”

So I answered him. “I am a man, like you, only different. But we are all different my dear  Quintus. My friend, you treat me like a freak of nature or a vessel of evil. I am neither. Let me be. Let me do my job, or I will leave you here in a strange land with spirits you cannot understand or even fathom.”

He went on with his half drunken blathering. I know, I know, I should have just called him out but it wouldn’t have done any good. Anyway, I’d volunteered for the job.

Contrary to his opinions I had not been shy about observations, just cautious. Unlike many of the men I’d come with I studied and thought about my conclusions before I spouted off my mouth.

After leaving his lavish tent I walked through the camp, greeting the men I passed. They looked upon me with a cross of caution and awe. I wasn’t a god, but I wasn’t a man to them. I was the one who healed them, showed them the future, said wise things, and gave them courage.

Nobody else was like me. I tried to think of my family but the memories were vague, like watching the will-o-whisps in the distance. You aren’t sure if you are seeing anything or not. It is a trick of the mind, or a trick of the heart? You never know because when you reach that point nothing is there, and you’re alone.

The men I walked past and greeted smiled at me and bid me to sit with them. They were Romans. We were on an island far from home. One day it would be called England, and Great Britain, and the history would be rich and wonderful. Right now I wasn’t thinking of any of that because I didn’t belong.

I muttered a friendly blessing at them and kept walking into the night. The louder the sound of the waves on the shore were the closer I walked. I wanted to go to where the ocean met the land. I wanted to dive into the surf and wash away the annoyance and clean my mind of all of the chaos and bull shit.

As I made my way down the narrow path down the cliff to the beach I could see a fire in the distance. When I got closer I saw two men in animated conversation, drinking from goblets and eating roasted fish and root vegetables.

I could hear one of them laughing and saying, “I kid you not Morcaht, she said she wasn’t afraid of the Romans or anyone else. You know, if they saw her each and every one of them would die of a broken heart, or limp back to their own land half the men they are today.”

Then they both looked up, turning to me. Normally I can approach a situation with nobody knowing I’m there. I can be nearly invisible, but they knew I was there.

“Come friend, join us by our fire. We have plenty of drink and food,” said the smaller of the two men.

By smaller I don’t mean small. He was a man of average height with a narrow pleasant face and light brown hair streaked with blonde, coming down to his shoulders. A lavishly woven cape of green and brown was on his shoulders. Next to him sat a larger man with board shoulders and a narrow waist. He wore nothing on the top part of his body, showing off muscles that would make any man envious and every woman swoon with desire. Long black hair cascaded down his back in shining waves.

“I am Druce. This is my friend Morcant. Welcome Tellias,” he said to me.

“You know my name,” I said, somewhat surprised. These men were not Romans. They spoke the native language. I understood their words. Of course I did.

“We’ve been wondering how long it would take for you to find us,” said the man called Morcant. “Come, sit with us. I’d tell you to warm yourself but in your case…”

They both laughed. They knew. They knew what I was.

“You’re not from here, but you don’t exactly belong with the invaders you’ve come with. You’re more like us,” said Druce, handing me a goblet of some sort of sweet alcoholic brew.

After an hour or two I’d learned that Druce was a Warlock – a man of magic. Morcant was a Selkie, a man who spent half his life on the land and half in the water in the form of a seal. They already know what I was, a Vampire in a strange land with no community of my own.

The odd thing, no, more of the wonderful thing, was that however comfortable and privileged I was with my Roman society, I was relaxed with these two odd creatures. They were not like me, but they understood me. They treated me as an equal, not as an oracle or something different. I was just a guy sitting around a fire, having a brew with friends on a Saturday night. It felt good.

Then they told me that there were others like me. I sat there almost numb at that news.

We talked until the sun came up over the hills. I went back to my Roman camp but promised to be back.

This morning, October 25, 2015, I received an email from Druce. Even if we go a hundred years without talking we always catch up as if we’d just talked the day before.

Morcant passed on many centuries ago but I still see his descendants who now live here in California. We stay close.

So that is my story. Druce is coming by for Halloween. We’ll carve pumpkins and turnips. We’ll laugh and be friends.

A friend doesn’t have to be your double. No, a friend has to be someone who understands you and appreciates your differences and what makes you unique. The best part about a friend is that there doesn’t have to be a reason you’re friends – you just are.

You just are, and that is a good thing.

 

 

Tangled Tales
For additional posts about Tellias and somewhat related things click on the links below.

Finding comfort in others who share your experiences. We live, learn and love that way...and survive.

Finding comfort in others who share your experiences. We live, learn and love that way…and survive.

Musings on Moving On

I’m not special. I’m busy. I’m different. I’m impatient and frazzled more than usual these days. I’m a mom.

So don’t sweet talk me or give me hollow compliments. You never had to prove anything to me. I’m a Vampire. You never have to prove yourself to a Vampire.

That is what I said to the creature who stood before me the other night. I was out with my 18 year old son and we met some people for dinner. Our dinner. You know, we’re Vampires. It’s OK. When we were done with our tummies full and our “friends” empty of a few pints of blood and full of sweet dreams, we quietly headed for the car. Halfway down the alley we were stopped by a stranger, or someone I thought was a stranger.

His face was in the dark as he asked if we were having a nice evening. I took my son’s arm and gave a nod, ready to move on when the man stopped in front of us.

“You don’t know who I am.”

I looked at him in the face and I knew. It had been at least 80 years but I knew him. I can’t even start to tell you how annoying it is when someone from my past shows up when I’m with my kids.

“I know Vampires never forget. And I’d never forget you Juliette. You’re still just as beautiful as the last time I saw you.”

We made a little bit of small talk. He complimented me several more times. Then we went our ways like ships that pass in the night. Just signals of those who might or might not meet in port one day.

“Who was that mom?” Garrett was naturally curious about the person we’d just me.

“He’s a Warlock. We used to run in the same circles, kind of sort of. There was always something about him that made my skin crawl.”

“He seemed nice enough.”

“He is, but…”

“He’s a Warlock?”

“He was such an asshole. It has nothing to do with him being a Warlock. We had a lot of the same friends. That is all. It is what it is.”

We talked a bit more. Just another night of a week full of annoying things that fortunately are separated by really nice things, like evening with my son.

Garrett and I talked for the next hour about people we know and our plans for the summer and his graduation from high school. We talked of college and the people he’ll meet. There will be new friends. Some will last for a year. Some will last forever. Some will come and go from our lives like shadows.

We came home to find my husband Teddy and daughter Clara watching Lizard Lick Towing. I know, we’re Vampires who have sunk to the lowest of low, but at least it was good to see some daddy/daughter bonding. They watch Bar Rescue together too. So much for Gothic Vampire stereotypes.

I told Teddy about my old Warlock acquaintance. He used to be among my circle of friends a long time ago but we grew up and all moved on. It wasn’t the wrong time wrong place situation. It was just time to move on.

Just like with my children and the end of the school year, it is time to move on.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman