Short Story Sunday: Fallen

“Oh man, I wish we could turn into bats like in the movies. That would make things a lot easier.”

Max leaned against the kitchen counter listening to his friend Pierce. It had been a rough night for the hunters of shadows – the Vampires who were dedicated to keeping their world safe for both Vampires and those they lived among.

“Do you think she’ll be alright? I didn’t say anything in the car. You know how sensitive she is.”

Max poured himself another glass of wine. “She’ll be fine, eventually. I’ve seen her through worse. Mehitabel has seen herself through worse.”

Mehitabel won’t tell you if anything is wrong. Come on Max, she took on…” Peirce paused.

“A fallen angel. Sure, and some people call us fallen angels. They have no idea. We’re just physically different. The fallen angels are pure evil.”

“So is the poison that entered our friend, your lover.”

“We’re just friends.”

“Bullshit Max. That is total and complete bullshit.”

The sound of the shower upstairs turned off. Max put down his glass and went to check on his friend.

Mehitabel sat on his bed, her hair dark and wet around her shoulders. She wore one of his robes, a burgundy colored brushed silk.

“Hey, how do you feel,” he said stepping close putting his hand on her cool cheek.

“Not good. Sort of weird, like someone broke my heart, but I don’t know how or why or who. It wasn’t him.”

Max started to pull the robe open.

“Not tonight Max. Please I don’t want to have sex with you or anyone right now, alright.”

Mehitabel, I don’t want to… I… just let me look.” He pulled open the robe to see the large gash going from the top of her left shoulder down her arm almost to her elbow. The ugly wound had sealed but it was far from being healed. She winced as he touched it. An ugly blackness outlined the edges of the tear.

He put his hand over the wound. At first she tried to pull away but as he whispered words in an ancient language of their people the pain started to leave her arm. Then he bent over and kissed her shoulder. The blackness turned to a pale red. “I came to give, not to take.”

Tears filled her eyes as she lay back on the bed. Max lay next to her and put his arms around her. “Sleep. It is the best thing you can do. I’ll be up later. Nothing can hurt you here, not while Pierce and I are with you.”

Downstairs Pierce had turned on the TV. “Giants lost today but the Warriors are winning. How is she?”

“Not good. I’m going to sleep with her tonight. Just sleep and be there.”

Max and Pierce stayed up to watch the rest of the game to get their minds off of the past 48 hours.

Mehitabel lay in bed, her fangs ready as she looked out at the creature standing on the window ledge. “You cannot hurt me here. You cannot have me.”

It looked like a man, but she could see the flicker of the forked tail in the dark and the fold of leathery wings above his shoulders.

He smiled an angelic smile of pure bliss and beauty, then mouthed the words, “You’re mine. You. Are. Mine.”

At the sound of the door opening the dark being vanished. Max crawled under the covers bedside her. “Just because, just because we’re the way we are, and because I can’t… it doesn’t mean I don’t love you.”

She didn’t respond. She was too busy watching and waiting as she looked into the darkness outside the window.

 

~ End

 

Fallen Angel Dore

A story from ~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Finding a calm place

Max, my eldest brother and my husband Teddy’s best friend, has come for the weekend. I never know what to expect from Max. OK I do know what to expect, but it is always a little different. There is always some little surprise, or not. You know how it goes with family.

Max and Teddy grew up best friends. Our parents were all best friends. Our fathers were business partners. Yes, we were Vampires and Teddy’s parents didn’t know but the friendship worked. They’d come to California in 1849. Teddy was born in Panama on the way. Max came along a few month later in Sacramento.

It made sense that Max and Teddy would go off to college together. Once there Teddy would worry about Max being out all night or gone for days on end.

Teddy went into history and the classics. Max studied the same but was recruited by his own kind to serve and protect our community. Yes, Max is a hunter, he hunts Vampire Hunters among other things.

Years later Max has become what some fans of Vampire fiction would call “one bad ass Vampire.” But tonight he is my brother, not a cold calculating creature of the night.

So Max was coming for the weekend holiday. Yes, we DO have holidays in our own way. We ARE spiritual in our own way and appreciate the feelings of the days to come. We get it.

Max came in last night like an unwound demon all brooding and agitated. It was work, his work, that had him so agitated. I brought out decanters of Bourbon and blood along with shot glasses.

His team had been running into problems. They weren’t getting the support they need. Some of them were starting to become passive aggressive. There is nothing worse than passive aggressive Vampires. I was going to ask Max about someone he been involved with (or maybe not). Teddy caught my eye and gave me the “don’t ask” look. I guess he’d invited her but she had slightly different traditions/culture and Max had been an asshole to her (that would be the main reason.)

We just let Max talk it out and listened. Most of the time the best support you can give anyone is just listening.

I guess the point of all of this is that for me, any special day or holiday should make us reflect on our lives and be positive and support those we love. It is always about fellowship and caring.

I’ve been dealing with my own work issues and transitions so I can understand what my brother is going through. Sometimes, even if you do everything right, it just sucks. He deals with people who don’t like Vampires. I deal Vampires who don’t want to be Vampires. We both deal a lot of difficult and uncomfortable situations. We’re good at what we do but politics and personalities, bad timing and bad planning can take a toll. That is why times like this are good – to regroup and clear our brains even if only for a day or two.

So it is nice to chill and unwind and take a break both physically and mentally.

Anyway, Max likes to cook on such occasions. He is cooking tonight.

Vampires do not live by blood alone. We can’t eat everything (a real pisser) but can eat a lot of things in moderation. All things in moderation.  Max makes a dish with kale, walnuts and apples. No sugar. I’ve made a point to go out to the Certified Organic Farmer’s Market in the wee hours of Saturday morning and pick up large bunches of assorted types of kale and walnuts. He brought the apples. He’ll sauté them all in butter then squeeze fresh lemon juice over the top. Simple but hey, we like it. Kind of sort of.

He’ll pair that with duck eggs poached in white wine with fresh rosemary from my garden. Teddy will take care of the wine choices. I’m going to suggest a nice Carmel Valley Joullian Chardonnay.

On Sunday we’ll have a full house, but tonight it will be quiet.

As Teddy and Max talked quietly and the kids were out with friends I took a moment to go on the deck with a glass of wine. The Ghost appeared, this time in jeans and a white dress shirt.

“You’re a bit somber tonight Vampire,” he said to me.

“Not really. I just feel like being quiet. How are you Nigel?”

“You’re the only person I know who asks a ghost how he is doing. I’m ok. I was thinking about how my grandmother used to wear gloves and a hat on Easter. I loved going to church with her when I was a kid. Don’t ask me why. I guess because it was full of good people.”

“Good people?” I had to ask.

“My dad was in prison and I don’t know where my mom was for a while. It was nice to be around people I wasn’t scared of.”

I didn’t ask anymore. He didn’t say anymore. We watched a couple of deer walk down in the meadow behind my house. They didn’t seem concerned that we were there. It was calm. And that is what we all need on this weekend to reflect and appreciate those we love and new beginnings. Calm and peace.

Nigel drifted off into a wisp of light and I went back in to join Max and Teddy. They were laughing about something. It was good to hear.

Wishing you all a weekend of joy and love.

 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

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Teens First Jobs and Work Ethics – Rules for All Teens (Vampires or Not)

My 16 year old Garrett just got his first job. It isn’t much of a job, just helping out at a Vintage Clothing/Tea shop, but it is a start. He helps clean up a few hours a week, helps with inventory, and helps customers when he can. He likes it because he gets to wear some of the cool old vests and hats.

Be it a funky shop, fast food, undertaker or other business, your teen needs to know how important it is to be a good worker.  Do a good job and you’ll get something of value aside from a paycheck – a good reference for the future. In this economy nobody can afford to be the one who gets fired or in the next round of lay offs.

I own a business (with a regular person). Yes, while some Vampires do have enormous trust funds etc etc etc, we do have regular jobs. At one time our little public relations business was much larger and I was more involved.

I had one employee, I’ll call Doris, who was a hard worker and generally did a good job. But she had a sense of entitlement and needed constant praise. She thought she needed “rewards”. She was given high scores for her work and the highest raises we could give. She was allowed to come and go as she pleased, come in when she wanted, talk hour + long walks, take lunch whenever she wanted, go to appointments, take vacation days when she wanted, use the internet for whatever (including online dating) but she still complained that she wasn’t appreciated. My other employees never complained. It wore my Vampire nerves and nearly drove my partner crazy. Eventually, when business slowed we had to let this employee go. We gave her 3 months pay and a bonus plus medical and she almost seemed happy to go. But I was always puzzled by her total blindness to all of her perks and benefits she got from us. My partner tried to figure out what would make Dois happy. Doris  made the other employees unhappy with her complaining and they couldn’t figure it out either. We were all just happy to have the business.

Our business is now smaller and we get more done and have more business, and work less. We’re a good team and happy.

Of course then there was my friend Kelly who had an employee who tried to pay his coworkers to do his work for him. He was fired. Well for that and for a lot of other things. Kelly and I also traded stories of people who were compulsive liars, would fake injuries on the job and were just lazy.

We also talked about how many really GREAT workers we’ve known over the years. More good than not. Sure we’ve had a few bad bosses but most had been OK.

We see all kinds in business, and the point of this is that we don’t want our kids to be like Doris or like the lazy player boy.

Teaching any kid, Vampire, Werewolf or Regular Human a work ethic is something every parent should put at the top of their list.

First Job Rules for All Teens:

  • Get to work on time! Don’t be late.
  • Don’t complain.
  • Don’t feel entitled – nobody owes you anything.
  • Don’t expect perks at your first job.
  • Be happy for any perks you get and say THANK YOU.
  • You’re on the job to work – not socialize.
  • Don’t take advantage of your boss – even if the other kids are doing it.
  • Don’t complain (I know, this is the second time I’ve listed that).
  • Rather than complain – make friendly constructive suggestions.
  • Sometime, just for a change, tell your boss “THANK YOU”.
  • Smile.
  • Follow instructions.
  • Be a team player.
  • Don’t brown nose.
  • Be happy you have a job. Appreciate what you DO have.
  • And if you don’t like then look for another job. You’ll find one. It isn’t easy, but you’ll find something better.
  • Most of all STAY IN SCHOOL.

Of course for Vampire and Werewolves…don’t snack on your coworkers at lunch breaks.  NO! Absolutely do not do it! Work and food don’t mix.

Good luck to all!

~ Juliette