An Entry From The Private Journal Of Doctor Jack Tyler – September 2nd, 201-

 *Greetings one and all.  Today I take great pleasure in introducing you to yet another character from “The Vampyre Blogs – Coming Home”.  Meet Doctor Jonathan “Jack” Tyler, or Doctor Jack as everyone calls him.  He’s another member of Nathan’s extended family, as well as a dear friend to Brian and his family.  Jack of course knows Nathan’s secret and being the town surgeon, keeps a good supply of blood on hand for him.  But Jack didn’t always know about Nathan, and he’s here to tell you all how he found out.  I hope you enjoy meeting him and hearing his tale…

Things were busy at the clinic today, as they’ve been most of the week.  With the start of school there were a lot of last minute immunizations, check-ups, summer sniffles and whatnot to deal with.  Things should quiet down for a bit, but soon it’ll be cold and flu season again.  Then of course there’ll be the holidays, not that I mind.  I love helping decorate the clinic with my staff.  I’ll also get to help with the decorations at home as well, but that won’t be for a few weeks.

God I love this time of year, seeing all the leaves turning it’s as if mother nature whipped out her most vibrant paints and started dabbing at the trees.  Looking up I saw the sun was already setting and quickly got into my car.  From there I drove out of town and soon found myself driving down some the most beautiful country roads, bordered by forest on both sides.

Turning down a well-known side road, I headed deeper into the woods until I started seeing cars dotting both sides of the street.  But I could see people heading back to their cars.  Not many folks like to wander the trails after the sun started going down, but me and my wife love it out here.  I manage to find a good spot to park near where the street actually ends in a wide circle, designed so folks can turn around and head back the way they came.  There’s also a fence with an opening that puts your right on the walking path that leads into the woods.

Getting out, I recognized a number of my patients and neighbors.  This is a popular stretch of woods and in autumn, none of us can get enough of this area.  As I make my way down the picturesque path I’m transported back to another time, some thirty years ago, when my life had taken a much darker outlook. My mother had been diagnosed with cancer, and suddenly my world of popularity on and off the playing field had become so meaningless…

My ruminations are suddenly interrupted by the appearance of a red fox who is standing in the middle of the path a dozen yards ahead of me.  The animal is looking at me and cocks its head in a curious fashion.  There had been a fox back then too, I remember.

The animal starts to swish its tail excitedly and then proceeds to trot towards me, stopping occasionally as if to check me out.  Finally, when it’s just a few feet away, it gets excited and then races around my legs and then starts heading off to the path.  It pauses briefly to stare at me and I just know I’m supposed to follow him, which I do.

Soon, I find myself deeper in the woods, listening to the crunching of the leaves beneath my feet, as well as enjoying the canopy of gold, red, yellow and green  above me.  I also keep track of my guide who keeps stopping to make sure he hasn’t lost me.  As we venture deeper into the woods the sounds of a running water reach my ears and I know for sure where I am and who’s waiting for me.

We come to a clearing that overlooks a large stream with a waterfall just off to my left.  Ahead of me there’s a big blanket spread out with my wife Cheryl setting out plates.  My son and daughter, Joe and Darlene are with her.  While over by the edge of the stream stands my mother and the man who saved her, Nathan.  Although she’s still in her late sixties, I have to admit she’s still a fine looking woman.  The fact that she wouldn’t still be here if not for our family friend and guardian, has never been lost on me or my wife.  She and I had been high school sweethearts and I’d nearly pushed her away when my mother got the cancer diagnosis, but Nathan kept me from losing her as well.

He’d found me in this very spot all those years ago and given me hope when I thought there was none to be found anywhere.  That was the day he’d also shared his secret with me and showed me that even when life throws you what seems to be the ultimate curve ball, that hope can appear out of that darkness if you just keep your eyes open.

I look up and see the sun is fading.  Soon the stars will be out.  I wonder if tonight will be the night that Nathan shares his secret with my children?  A part of me hopes so.  The truth can be frightening, but it can also be wondrous as he showed me that lonely autumn night so long ago…

TO BE CONTINUED…

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Another Peak Into My Upcoming Novel “The Door”…

Note from the author:  Today is one of those days when I just can’t seem to get my creative side working right.  But I didn’t want to leave you all with nothing new to read this week.  So I decided to give you all another glimpse into “The Door”, which will be Nathan’s official introduction into my Para-Earth Series of books.  

For those who’ve been reading this blog for a while, the young woman named Julie is indeed the same girl he helped find that one winter’s night.  She’s all grown up now and her Uncle Jason has passed on, leaving the mantle of ‘Shaman’ on her shoulders.  

Here she’s running across our favorite vampyre, who she has seen a number of times over the years, but still has no idea of what he is.  But she’s about to get some serious hints that there’s more to her hero than she thinks…

Julie pulled her car into the lone driveway that led to the cottage.  Her heart was racing.  She was not sure what to expect and her flight or fight reaction had already kicked in.  So seeing White Wolf sitting on the porch of the cottage came as a great relief.

Parking her vehicle, she quickly jumped out and said, “So it was you all along.  Why didn’t you come for me like you did last night?”

White-Wolves

Instead of getting up, her spirit guide merely squeezed his eyes and then turned his head towards the woods off to his left.  Beyond the trees the sound of the running stream could be heard.

“Is something wrong?” she asked the white beast quietly.

Then as if in answer, the sound of a rock being thrown into the water could be heard.

“Someone’s here,” she murmured and began to make her way towards the stream.

Calling on all the training she’d received from her father and uncle, she was able to make her way through the wooded area as quietly as a deer.  Yet as hard as she concentrated on her movements, her other senses were very much alert.  She could hear birds and even the scurrying of small animals all around which was reassuring.  Otherwise whoever or whatever was making noise down by the stream would’ve probably meant danger.

So it was quite a surprise when she finally caught a glimpse of the figure down by the water.  At first she couldn’t get a good look at him and could only make out that he had fair hair that could be white, she couldn’t be sure in this light.  Furthermore, he was wearing a long black coat that stretched all the way to the ground.

figure by a stream

Immediately, the chatty part of her brain went into overdrive. ‘Okay, how many guys do we know of who wear black in the middle of the summer? How about that creep who was stalking Cassie the first day you met, and then later tried to take her from you at the bridge?’

The thought was an unpleasant one.  If it was that same guy, he could prove to be more than she could handle alone.  She glanced over her shoulder and considered heading back the way she came to get help, when a voice called out from the stream.

“Are you coming or going?” it said, “Or are you undecided.”

Turning back to the figure she could see he seemed to be staring straight at her, in spite of all the trees and brush between them.  For a moment she didn’t answer.  Her eyes and brain were trying to take in the slightly longish face, the short blonde hair and those fierce-looking eyebrows she knew only too well.  “Nathan?” she whispered in disbelief.

Suddenly the fellow burst into song while doing a very good imitation of the legendary comedian Jimmy Durante.   “Did you ever have the feeling that you wanted to go?  Did you ever have the feeling that you wanted to stay…?” he sang while moving back and forth as if trying to make up his mind.

jimmydurante

Immediately she began laughing and rushed over to greet him.

She’d just reached him as he brought the song to an end and finished it with Mr. Durante’s trademark, “Ha-cha-cha-cha!” laugh.

“Nathan!” she cried flinging her arms around him, “I can’t believe you’re here,”

“I would’ve come sooner, but I took wrong turn at Albuquerque and wound up in the Black Forest of Germany which lives up to its name because I couldn’t see thing,” he replied in a Groucho Marx voice.  “It was so dark it I had to feel my way around the whole time and got my face slapped by at least three different women.  I’m hoping to go back in another month; I’ve been a very naughty boy.”  This last comment was delivered with a very suggestive wiggle of those fierce eyebrows.

Smiling she held him close.  “It’s good to see you,” she told him wholeheartedly.  As long as she’d known him, Nathan always found a way to make her smile.  Like Alex, he had a very good sense of humor.  But unlike her friend, Nathan’s comedy harkened back to the style of old black and white movies.  His knowledge of comedy routines by the Marx Brothers, Buster Keaton, Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle, and others was unmatched.  He could take pratfalls that seemed so convincing you thought he must’ve hurt himself, only to bounce right back up as if nothing happened.  And his impressions of those long lost greats were so real you thought you were seeing the actual stars themselves.   This was especially true when he was doing Jimmy Durante or the Marx Brothers.  Like them, Nathan had mastered a number of musical instruments including the harp, which he in turn taught her how to play.  Although it had been a while since she touched a harp, her fingers knew exactly what to do.

But even if he wasn’t so entertaining, she would’ve adored him.  He had been her knight in shining armor fifteen years ago when he came to her rescue along with Ronnie, Uncle Jason, and another man called Otto.  She had run away from Uncle Jason’s place a few days before Christmas when she’d thought her parents and siblings had been lost at sea.  She had been staying with Uncle Jason and his family while getting over a bad case of chicken pox.  The news had thrown her so badly she’d run off into the woods during a snowstorm, where she became lost.  To this day, she still couldn’t remember everything, but there had been a boy named Michael and his dog Riff who led her into a cave for safety.  The three of them hid there to avoid a big black bear who was roaming the area at the time.  As it turned out the animal knew where they were and was actually trying to keep them safe or at least that’s what Uncle Jason had told her.  Not that she had any reason not to believe her uncle, but whenever she thought back to the bear it always seemed like the animal should have been white rather than black, and big.  Bigger than any bear she’d ever seen, including a grizzly.

Her trip down memory lane was interrupted by Nathan’s apology.  “Sorry I couldn’t get here sooner,” she heard him say as he hugged her.  “I was traveling all over Europe and only got word of what had happened a few of days ago.  I wrapped up my business there as quickly as possible and came straight here.”  Pulling away from her he turned his gaze towards the remains of the bridge and asked, “So what happened there?”

4742828-Sunken_Ruins_Kekova_Turkey

“It fell apart during a storm,” she lied.

“Is that where your uncle died?” Nathan asked gently.

Julie shook her head. “No, he was killed on the opposite shore the day before.”

“How do you know?”

“A friend of mine and I found him a few hours before the bridge collapsed,” she explained while her stomach slowly tied into knots.  She really didn’t want to think about her last image of her uncle, all crushed and flattened in the grass.  The creature had actually animated a section of the bridge and had brought it down on top of him.

“Oh Julianna, I had no idea.  I’m sorry,” Nathan replied and pulled her close again.

It felt good to be held in his arms.  She could remember the first time he’d scooped her up all those years ago and then handed her to Uncle Jason.  For a moment she felt like a little girl again, safe in his embrace.

“Forgive my asking, but do you know if anyone saw what happened when the bridge fell?”

The question startled her so much that she pulled away from him, just enough so she could look him in the eye.  “Why do you want to know?” she asked quietly.

“Because I need to know what happened to the White Lady.  Did she and the others finally get their babies back?” he answered.

Surprised, she blinked and said, “You know about her?  Of course you would, Uncle Jason probably told you the story.”  But then the rest of his words hit.  “Wait, how do you know about the other mothers?  You couldn’t know about them unless,” here she paused and stared at the man who had been her hero so long ago. “You knew about the creature inside the bridge,” she breathed.

“Yes,” Nathan nodded solemnly, “I also know where it came from.”

Nathaniel’s E-Journal October 2010: A Stroll Down The Hollywood Walk of Fame and Memory Lane…

 Today I signed my first contract with a movie studio.  Who’d have thought it.  After five years of writing, rejections, publishing my first short story and then several novels,  one of my works is going to be made into a movie.  It’s been a heady experience, even for a guy who’s been around for so long.

I didn’t have to come all the way out to here to Hollywood to do the signing, but I wanted to.  It had been a long time since my last trip out here and I wanted to see how much things had changed.

As usual I waited until evening to make my pilgrimage and began exploring the streets.  Eventually I found myself wandering down the Walk of Fame.  I hadn’t even realized it at first, which goes to show how much my head was still in the clouds from my movie deal.  But when I did notice I couldn’t believe whose name was on the star at my feet.

For a moment I couldn’t move and had to fight back the red-stained tears that wanted to come.  But I knew a man crying blood would really cause a commotion, or land me a movie role with my luck.  So I held them back and just kept staring at the star.

I remembered the first time I saw him on stage.  It was my job that night to man the ‘crook’ (the comedic giant hook) to pull acts that were bombing off the stage (which I sometimes hated).  I never liked seeing anyone fail, bu sometimes it was for the performers own good.  You never knew what might get thrown at you instead of a rotten tomato.  The crowds could get pretty ugly some nights.

But on this night I was told that the performer wanted it to be used.  So I did as I was told.  Next thing I knew this big, heavy fellow came out on stage and began singing and oh what a voice he had.  It was so lovely, but some people in the crowd started booing and tossing things onstage.  I didn’t know it at the time, but those people were put there by the stage manager, so Mr. Arbuckle could dodge and tease as he continued his song.  The man was so nimble I couldn’t believe my eyes.  It was like watching someone moving on air, especially when he danced.  I was so transfixed I almost forgot to do my job and try to use the oversized hook to get him.  But I remembered just in time and almost got him… almost.  The man somersaulted out of the way and wound up in the pit with the musicians, making the audience go wild.

Afterwards, I went to find the fellow to congratulate him on a fantastic performance.  As I searched for him, I asked one of the other performers where I could find the man.  I hadn’t caught Roscoe’s name and had to describe him to which the fellow I was asking said, “Oh you mean Fatty, that’s what we all call him.”

Instinctively, my back stiffened.  I’d known a number of soldiers who got unflattering nicknames, which they hated and I refused to repeat.  Straightening up I said evenly, “The man has a real name you know?”

As soon as those the words left my lips, a voice behind me said,  “Yes I do.  It’s Roscoe Arbuckle and I’m pleased to meet you.”

Turning I saw the man I’d been seeking who gave me a big warm smile and a hearty handshake.  It was the first of many encounters.  I found Roscoe to have a heart bigger than his frame.  He’d let me help him practice routines and songs, as well as teaching me how to take pratfalls and do comedy.  I had many mentors when it came to learning how to be funny, but Roscoe was the first.  I got so good, he wanted to use me out on stage, but I wasn’t ready.  Some of his performances took place in the daytime and of course I could only operate at night.  This puzzled him at first, but later on he learned my secret (a tale for another time) and quickly understood.

But our friendship continued to grow and blossom, as did I under his guidance.  By the time four brothers: Arthur, Julius, Leonard, Milton and Herbert (better known as The Marx Brothers) entered my life I was very well versed in comedy.  However, when Hollywood beckoned we had to say farewell for a time.  He had wanted me to come with him and I readily agreed.  However, the studios insisted on some test footage be shot.  Roscoe knew about my condition by this time and insisted on doing the shooting himself.  So he and I, along with his cousin Al St. John shot a few scenes only to discover that film could not capture my image.  The footage, which I still possess and have carefully had restored, is quite funny.  It looks as thought Roscoe and Al are dealing with an invisible ghost who’s handing or tossing things to them.  For a brief while Roscoe thought about using me anyway for such a film, but it would’ve meant others finding out about what I was so the idea was scrapped and I went back to Vaudeville.

However, Roscoe and I kept in touch regularly and visited each other frequently.  Every so often on a rainy day when he was shooting indoors, I got to visit the set and met his protege’ Buster Keaton.  As it turned out I already knew Buster from his early days as a child star when he’d performed with his parents.

I also got to meet Roscoe’s dog and fellow star Luke.  Luke was an English Pitbull who belonged to Roscoe’s wife Minta Durfee.  She’d gotten the dog as a bonus from one of her producers after she’d pulled off  rather dangerous stunt for a movie.  Luke was a sweetheart and took to me right away.  To this day I still consider Luke one of the most talented animals I’d ever met.  I often model my ‘Black Puppies’ after him, especially their behavior.  He was such a fun dog.

 

Looking down at the star I sighed quietly and said, “Well Roscoe, I’m finally making my mark here in Hollywood.  I hope I do you proud, old friend.”  With that I looked around to make sure no one was around or looking at me.  Then I did a few steps from Roscoe’s “Butcher Boy” film, remembering how he’d taught it to me, and then took a bow.

After that I moved on.  But as I did so I heard a faint clapping coming from behind me.  I turned but didn’t see anyone.  Not that they couldn’t have been hidden someplace, but a part of me liked to think Roscoe was giving me the applause he’d always felt I’d been denied so many years ago.