[DISCLAIMER: I do not own the plot, characters or title to True Blood or the Southern Vampire Mysteries. They belong to Charlaine Harris, Alan Ball & HBO.]
A/N: Sorry this took so incredibly long but finally, here is a new chapter for you guys, enjoy! Thanks for all of the support and encouragement to keep writing this.
With much love,
I opened my eyes to find a strange place I had never seen before. Where am I? What happened? Where's Eric? Where's Gran? I sat up and looked around. It was dark, but oddly serene; a faint ultraviolet glow. There were hundreds of pink and purple weeping willow trees scattered across the land before me, along with tiny glowing mushroom caps. A small gazebo stood to the right, nestled between two weeping willows. It was covered in vines, with a large banana leaf roof. To the left was a beautiful garden with flowers I had never seen before. I stood up slowly and walked across a stone path that lead to the garden. It reminded me of a book Gran used to read to me when I was a child called "The Secret Garden". I pushed open the gold scroll work gates. There was a pond in the center, adorned with huge lily pads that a small child could probably take a nap on. The pond was illuminated with blue and purple glowing lotus flowers. Surrounding the pond were strange flowers. The center of the flower held a tiny teal colored ball, the first row of petals a cone shape, fading from orange to green, the second row were your traditional looking flower petals that were orange and yellow, and the third row housed teal spikes. They smelled like a combination of orange blossom, amber and bergamot. I bent down to get a better look and inhale the dark scent.
"Don't get too close to that one.", a voice said behind me. I whipped my head around to find a man standing there. He was on the shorter side, dark brown hair with green eyes, and a set of forest green...wings?
"That is a Chameleon Itchweed, it's petals can camouflage to it's surroundings, and if you get too close, it shoots out those little teal spikes you see around the edges. Itchy little buggers." He held out his hand, "Alfrigg, I tend to this garden."
"Sookie. Sookie Stackhouse. It's very nice to mee.."
"THEE SOOKIE STACKHOUSE?"
How does he know me? "...Yes, it's very nice to meet you." I said, grabbing his hand.
He stiffened as I took hold, eyes widening to the size of dinner plates. "You're.. you're a.."
"You have no need to worry Alfrigg.", a familiar voice spoke out, "She won't hurt you."
I turned to find a young woman lounging next to a weeping willow. She had long, light brown hair with a slight wave that framed her thin face. Honey colored eyes and pouty, pale pink lips. She wore a sheer white off the shoulder dress, accentuating her collar bones. She sported a beautiful pair of pale yellow wings, and a crown made of twigs embedded with amethyst, and pale yellow flowers to match her wings. She was absolutely breath taking.
"Gran?" I stared, dumbfounded.
"Hello, my sweet Sookie", she said, coming to stand by my side.
"But.. how? You're so young!"
"It seems we have a lot to talk about, come my child." She put her arm around me, walking carefully along the stone pathway. "Goodbye Alfrigg.", she called over her shoulder.
We made a slight right and walked down a long mossy passage lined with willows. The passage opened up and in the middle stood the biggest tree I'd ever seen. It had little ultraviolet purple glowing orbs scattered around it, and a giant door carved into the center. "Let's get you something to eat, you must be starvin'.
"Is this where you live?!," I said staring up at the enormous tree in front of me.
Gran smiled and walked me through the doorway. "Welcome to Eseri", she said.
The inside was just as magical as the outside had been. Vines and flowers of various kinds were flecked all over the tree bark walls. We sat down at a large oak table, where an older gentleman put down a plate of fresh fruit and a hot cup of tea. I gave him a nod and a smile, which he returned before walking away to give us privacy.
"How are you so young Gran?"
"There is no concept of age in the Fae Realm. You come back to the peak of physical vitality in this new life."
I stared, not understandin' a lick of what my Gran was sayin'.
"Does Fintan live here too?", I asked, looking at her crown.
"Yes, this is our kingdom," she said, glancing around. "Yours too," she smiled at me.
"Am I dead?", realization hitting me like a ton of bricks.
"No, dear, you are not. After you passed out, I popped you into Eseri. Seemed like you needed some closure."
"How will I get back? Can you just pop me back to the Human Realm?", I said picking up a piece of melon and popping it into my mouth.
Gran nodded, "Anytime you wish."
I pictured my Gran, slumped over in her chair, blood splattered across her pristine, but old, living room. I could feel rage at the peak of boiling over. Everything was turning red and snarly.
"Gran, do you remember who killed you?", I seethed.
"Sookie, I'm not sure if it would be best to tell you that information."
"Gran. I need to know, whoever did this to you...", I cut myself off. My Gran raised me to be a proper young lady and I didn't want to disrespect her by cussin', let alone threatening someone's life around her.
"Sookie, if I tell you, you must promise me you won't go searchin'. I can't have you goin' round causin' mass destruction. What happened, happened and avenging my death won't do a thing to change it."
"I won't Gran. I just need to know what happened. Please.", I begged.
Gran leaned back in her chair. "I was doin' my usual Sunday afternoon cleanin'...", she started off. "I bleached the tubs and sinks, swept and mopped. The sun was goin' down and it was a beautiful evening, so I decided to open all the windows and let some fresh air into the house. Get out that strong bleach smell, y'know?" She smiled at me. "I sat on my chair and caught up on some of the soaps I missed. I got a little chilly so I got up to close the windows when I saw a pair of yellow eyes glowin' off in the woods. That's when I heard a knock on the door. When I walked over to the screen door, I saw Mr. Compton standin' there. Which I was quite happy about, considering I had just seen those beady yellow eyes in the woods.", she added.
"He told me that ya'll had gotten into an argument and he looked real down about it. Wanted me to hear his side of the story and get me to talk to you, so I invited him in. I told him to have a seat on the couch while I heated him up a True Blood. I gave him his True Blood and sat down on my chair. He said that Eric was tellin' you lies about him. Somethin' about him reporting you to his queen... I don't know. I told him that I had met Eric and he didn't seem like the kind of gentleman that would do such a thing. He started to get mad real fast and accusing me of takin' Eric's side. I said he was being ridiculous and I just say it how I see it. And that's when he lunged at me. I tried to use my light, and I put up a pretty good fight, but obviously," she said, looking down at herself, "he won. In all the commotion, I hadn't noticed the wolf prowling behind him until it was on top of him. There was blood everywhere and the wolf was really givin' him a run for his money. And then everything faded to black.", she glanced up at me, searching for a reaction.
Inside, I was a dragon, ready to level an entire town in one breath. But I couldn't let her see my emotions. I tucked them deep into my subconscious and looked up at her.
"Promise me you won't go lookin' for him Sookie.", Gran looked at me sternly.
"I promise Gran." Little did she know, I had turned off my emotions and didn't care whether or not I was lyin' straight to her face. "Can I come see you whenever I need to?"
"Of course, I'll always be watching over you, and I can pop you into the Eseri whenever you need me." Gran kissed my forehead. "I love you Sookie, don't ever forget that."
"I love you too, Gran.", I said, faking a smile and a tear.