with the setting of the sun:in memory of

With the Setting of the Sun Chapter 7 Epilogue

In memory of Nelsan Ellis  

November 30, 1977-July 8, 2017

 

The characters of the Southern Vampire Mysteries belong to Miss Charlaine Harris. No infringement on my part is intended. The characters on True Blood belong to Mr. Alan Ball. No infringement on my part is intended.

I have no BETA, editor, or other such charming person. All mistakes are my own. This Story is rated M.

Chapter 7    Epilogue

 

The sun was setting for the second time, today. Its light being extinguished as the earth continued to spin and the heavens drew back the curtains on the blazing, brilliant stars.

The family was all up in the air, watching part of Godric’s legacy turn to ash. O.I. and Lafayette had done a fine job on the controlled burn. There was nothing left to show what had once been Eric’s maker’s Louisiana residence.

“May I take a closer look?” Eric asked O.I.

“Of course. Will now be cool to the touch. Such is the way of dragon fire. When the moon finishes risen’, the ash will give way to the local floral. It will be as if it never existed.”

“That is pretty heady stuff,” Sookie said as she watched the ground.

“Yes,” O.I. nodded. “Not all is as it seems and as it seems it not the final word.”

“Ominous and yet profound.” In the dark, the purple of the dragon’s eyes filled the night with the light of a thousand candles. “How many times,” her attention was now on O.I., “has the world been at war with…with angels and demons or whatevers…?” and in her voice was awe and wonder.

“Too many to count,” the small dragon responded. “The flood did more that just destroy the evil that walked here.”

“Do I want to know?” her voice was low and serious.

“No,” the small dragon reached over and patted her on the check. “No, bless your believe’n heart. Yous do not.”

Floating gently down to the ground, Eric stood in the ash of his sister and all the others who thought to come against him. “I realize,” he began looking around as the others followed him down, “that my rescue is not of my doing. That perhaps this would have been the time that I was destroyed. I do not know for certain if this would have been my fate. I can acknowledge that. I have lived this long by being careful, smart, and lucky.” A slight breeze picked up the ash began to disappear as it swirled and danced in the breeze.

It was fascinating to watch the ash particles dance on the motes of light that was now the moon rising. “That being said,” he reached out his hand as a likeness of Godric formed. Touching his maker’s hand one last time, the image of the vampire that was once Godric, smiled and saluted him before it swirled away.

“That which does not kill me…” Eric grinned and flashed his fangs, “…had better run.

If you will pardon me, I believe I am off to Shreveport. I am going to end the worst cocksucker’s undead life that walks the dark of the night and fears the light of the day.”

“You be needin’ some help?” O.I. grinned. “Always up for a good hunt and smack down. Can morphs into whatever is needed. Maybe somes he has killed in his unrighteous life. Could be lookin’ spook-tac-u-lar! He gots a braggin’ list?”

“Indeed he does,” Eric paused for a minute and gave that some thought.   “Indeed…he…does. Sounds most delightful,” Eric bowed with a great and sweeping gesture. “By all means, I feel the rising of the dead coming Compton’s way. With the ending of this dark, he shall never rise again.”

 

Bill was walking the highways and byways of Shreveport. “Not a bad city,” he kept assuring himself. “Not a great city, either. I remember when it was the jewel of Louisiana, and for two fabulous years was the capitol of this fine state. Damn Yankees,” he let his memories get the best of him as he complained to the night. “Could they just keep their prideful ways at home and leave us to our own business? No,” he hissed. “They had to bring their war mongering ways to the glorious South and push brother against brother. I remember the Kempner twins. One fought for the North. Broke his momma’s heart. That fine woman of the South declared he was dead and wore black. Of course, she was not boohooin’ so much when the Yankees came through and spared their  house and the barn because Colonel Kempner was so well thought of and had helped to blow the hell out of Mississippi. Damn traitor to his roots,” Bill took an imaginary swing at a ghost that still haunted him. “That was one of my finest nights, draining that traitor!” he chuckled to himself.

“I guess Shreveport is not so bad,” he was now walking through the waterfront district and sniffing for any lost coins on the ground. “I could probably tax the local vamps a bit more and see about glamouring the human business owners and make myself a nice nest egg. Of course, I would have to be watchin’ my back the entire time. I guess I could tell HRM that I need several deputies if a two front war is possible. Divide Area Five into sections and give each deputy an area to patrol. Have them report into me each evenin’ about any suspicious activities. That way I could report to her and ease her mind that her Northern border was still standin’ tall. Yes,” he nodded, “if I approach this like a military campaign, before I get dragged into one, this could be the answer. A show of force!

I am damn proud of myself for figurin’ that out before it got ugly. I should call HRM and tell what is goin’ to be needed to keep her kingdom in tact. I wonder if I should let her know Northman has met the true death?”

He was feeling very emboldened. From Sheriff to King…now that was doable. But he would need funding.   “I wonder if I should call Fangtasia and tell them they have a new owner?”

And soldiers… “I wonder if I should call the local packmaster and put him on high alert. That the new sheriff of Area Five demands his presence and loyalty.”

“Damn, that is a good plan. Eric had everythin’ he needed right here at his fingertips. He was not nearly as fucking smart as Sophie-Anne thought he was. I wonder if I played my cards right if I really could be king of Louisiana,” he said happily. When his phone rang, he jumped. “How does she know when I am plotting against her,” he hissed as the ring tone “Ding-dong the witch is dead…” was sung by a bunch of Munchkins.

“Your majesty…” he began.

“Yes I am so kiss my ass and listen up. I have been trying to reach Elisabeth. You just left there. Is all well?”

It was time to L.I.E.! “Your majesty, indeed I did. They were celebrating Northman’s burning when the sun reappeared this afternoon. It was very much a bacchanal. As I left, I believe I saw a vamp copulating with a Were such was the drunken revelry. No one is answering their phone. Thanks to my brilliant planning, Druid House’s medium was killed earlier and she will not be able to retaliate with ghosts.”

“But Elisabeth has her…” there was a heavy sigh from the Queen of Louisiana.

“Yes,” he nodded, believing this to be true.

“Take a message for me. I need to speak with Druid House. Elisabeth can bill me accordingly as the woman’s new manager. But I need a loan. Get back to me ASAP.”

The line went dead and Bill stood there staring at his phone. “Well, just fine, nothing about me being sheriff. That is good. I am still her procurer. That is even better. Back out to the country we shall go.”

Vamp speed, Bill followed the highway out of Shreveport. Turning onto Fox Lane he was still vamp speed to the river and then stopped and had a moment. “Where the fuck is the house?” he said as he did a slow three hundred and sixty degree turn. “I mean it,” he shook his fist and yelled up at the moon. “Where the fuck is the house? What type of treachery is this? You listen to me, you spell castin’ renegade lower than Were shit pieces of white trash magickers and cocksuckers to work you magic. You lift this!”

Bill thought he heard laughter and he was not amused!

Taking out his gris-gris bag, blessed by the voodoo priestess Mahai and guaranteed to break any spell that was encountered, he emptied it into his hand and threw it out onto the land. Nothing happened. “Odd,” he kicked at the ground and taking a step forward, all he could hear was the sounds of the river and the sleeping of the birds. “Am I in the wrong place?” Looking around there was nothing but old growth forests and quiet that refused to talk back to him. The kind of quiet that was a thousand of years in the making and unnerving. Like it new all your secrets and would blab to your momma!

It was time to L.I.E.! Taking out his phone, he called his queen.

“You Majesty,” he began. “They are not here. No one is here.”

“That fucking Elisabeth,” she was pacing, Bill could hear the click of her heals on the marble floor. He loved those black and white square marble floors. He hoped she was not damaging them!

“Took the money and ran did she? Figures!” Sophie-Anne hissed and hung up.

Putting his phone away, Bill took one last look around and shuddered. “Time to get my ass back to civilization. Shreveport…at least it has lights, runnin’ water and creature comforts. Because something here is not right.” And vamp speed he was gone.

The family was hovering up in the air out of Compton’s sight line. Sookie could not hear the conversation that Bill was having with himself, but the others could and Eric was keeping her filled in.

“Mo’ fo’n,” Lafayette shook his head. “Does he ever shut up?”

“No,” Eric responded. “He does not. But this is useful. One of the first he drained as vampire was a Union officer by the name of Kempner. Good to know.”

“Most excellent,” O.I. chuckled, “time to get our spook on!”

 

Bill was still rattled. “Things are not as they should be,” he kept repeating until he made the heart of Shreveport. “This city’s lights do bring a comfort to my soul,” he said as he ran his hand along a storefront. “The river is so peaceful and livin’ its own dream, I like that. Knowin’ that it has passed through here and will continue to do so,” as he walked past another restaurant and could see the people sitting out on the dock enjoying the night air and the view.

Turning away from the water front, he continued his amble down the sidewalk. Really? Was that a Yankee uniform? He saw someone…coming toward him in a Yankee uniform. And then he was not there.

“What?” he took a step back. “Was that someone in a Union blue officer’s uniform? And where did he go?”

“Colonel Kempner,” he heard someone call out. It was a woman’s voice. Probably Momma Kempner, now all gone to Heaven and feelin’ righteous! “That traitorous, murderin’, yellow bellied Compton is over here.”

“What?” Bill screeched. “No!” he whispered frantically looking around. “What horrible joke is this?”

He heard the soft Louisiana drawl in his ear. “You drained me, you yellow belly. I am now yours and you are my haunt!” he said gleefully. “Payback,” he chuckled and Bill felt himself being picked up by unseen hands and thrown into a wall. “Run,” he heard whispered in his ear as he was peeled off the bricks and then tossed up into the air where he was batted back down into the cement road, his entire body taking the full brunt of the impact!

“Run?” he wheezed out. “I…I can not…have mercy…” Bones were broken. He was pretty sure his neck had been damaged as well. He was doing well to pull himself up and hobble.

Staggering along, he made it to the end of the block and was resting in the shadows of a store front. “Hello Big Bill,” he heard her soft, accented voice and closed his eyes. Not wanting to look, but knowing who was standing there.

“Miss Monroe,” came the heavily Bostonian accent, “is this the cowardly scum that ended you life?”

“Why yes,” was her breathy reply. “William T. Compton. He was my agent for a while. Made me call him Big Bill, because he was not,” her laughter tinkled the shopkeeper’s bell hanging on the inside of the door. “Promised me the moon and gave me the grave, instead. I think you met him once. At your birthday party.”

“I did not like him then. His greasy smile and the way he pandered to you. Like you were a child not capable of making a decision. I like him even less, now.”

“No, no, no, no, no…” He found the strength to push away and he was vamp speed down the street but then slowed…at the corner…no…it could not be…there on the street corner playing a harmonica sat Janis!

“Big Billy,” she warbled through the mouth harp, “undead…still.” Tapping the instrument against her hand, she wrinkled her nose at him. “You smell. Like grave rot. Still not bathing, or changing your clothes, huh?”

“I always treated your right, Janis,” he simpered as he kneeled down beside her. “You know that. I was your biggest fan.”

“Well certainly you did,” was the gravelly reply and a low chuckle. “That is how I ended up dead in a rather inglorious manner. Found on the room of a motel floor. That is what happens when you trust someone else to get your drugs. Just what did you lace that with?”

“I did not…” he began.

“You know the thing about being dead Bill. You know when someone is lying to you. Sure could have used that when I was younger…and alive.”

“I…I…” he stared at her. “I miss your live music. Your voice was raw and powerful. The extra kick of heroin, I thought it would enhance your already charismatic aura.”

“Live music,” she hooted. “You miss my performing on stage. Wish you would have thought of that before you dosed my stuff. Poor Bill, still not your fault. I see your bullshit is still the same. I don’t miss that,” she grinned at him. “What I do miss is writing the poetry.”

“I used to write poetry,” he countered.

Snorting, she laughed and kept beat with the tapping of her foot. “I am sure you did. Sadly, there was no one to mess with your drugs and get you on the glory train. As in dead before you could be turned vampire.”

“You are not real,” Bill sobbed. “I have been put under a spell. Some powerful unnatural has done this to me!” With a stifled scream, he raced across the street and down the block. All he had to do was turn right onto St. James Street and there he saw it! His salvation. St. James Holy Evangelical Apostles Church. With a sigh of relief he sat down on the outside church steps, with his back against the door.

“I am safe here until sunrise,” he kept repeating as he watched approach the one who had started all of this. Here came Mr. Money Bags. In a sharp looking suit and smiling. Well hell yes, all the dead had a reason to smile, he could feel himself pulling back farther into the church’s door. They were all coming to see him!

“You planning on sitting here with what remains of the dark?” Lafayette asked as he walked up the steps. “You know daylight is coming on. Dangerous times for the likes of you.”

“You,” he pointed his finger at Lafayette, “this is all your fault! This is your doin’. I know it.”

“Well of course it is,” Lafayette chuckled. “You had me killed. You knew the curse. So own the curse and wear it until you meet the true death. Which is going to be shortly. I believe I heard this was going to be your last sunrise.”

“You cannot know that!” his hissed. “I have my own mysterious ways and powers. You don’t scare me!” he yelled at him shaking his fist.

“Really?” Lafayette laughed as he shifted to dragon. “Boo,” he said softly as his eyes held Bill’s and His La La Fineness turned on the glamour. “I claim and lay waste to your vampire speed and glamour. Live out the rest of your hours with your limited resources.”

Bill started screaming and started running.

Lafayette stood on the steps and watched Bill cry as he stumbled his way down the steps and out into the deserted city streets.

“He has sure ‘nuff gots himself the serious case of the boo hoo’s. Mr. Eric’s you’s is on.”

“Thank you Lafayette,” Eric grinned. “I have this.”

What was left of the dark, Eric followed Bill around. Whispering in his ear when he slowed down, throwing things at him when he stopped to wipe the tears from his eyes. Lafayette and O.I. were impersonating dead folks at street corners and yelling at Bill to get him to change the direction he was going. Slowly and carefully they were herding him toward Jasper Street and the building that he had owned and sat in and impersonated European royalty while he scammed the good people of Shreveport.

“Sun is up in fifteen minutes,” Eric grinned, “time to go one-on-one.”

“Sun is getting ready to come up,” Bill was openly weeping. “What am I…oh…” he let go of a sigh of relief. “My building…my great and good investment…oh fuck…” he took a step back as he watched the tall blond approach. “Northman! I did not kill Northman!” he said shaking his fist at the sky. “He was silvered and met the true death.”

“You are correct Bill,” Eric replied as he approached. “You did not. True death. Not likely. Here I stand.”

“Not possible, I saw you. You were at true death’s door when I left.”

“Left where?” Eric grinned.

“Why…the mansion out in the country…” Bill’s voice sounded scared and then his mind grasped what he had tried to forget and his body shivered in fright. Was he going crazy? Had his blood been tainted? Was someone mind fucking with him? If they were, they had better stop! He was, after all, William T. Compton! No one mind fucked him!

“There was,” he said with conviction, “a fine old mansion out in the country. And you were there. Dying. You were to be the sacrifice to the dragon god or maybe the sun god, not for sure…” he sighed, looking lost and confused. “I was never for sure about that. I think it was because Elisabeth was not for sure…” his voice trailed off. “Does not matter. I am sheriff now,” he pushed out his chest. “This town and Area Five is mine. So is Fangtasia. You are just a ghost. You need to go haunt someplace else.”

Eric picked Bill up by the neck and squeezed as his fangs dropped. “Billy Boy,” he smiled, “does this feel like a ghost?”

“No,” he managed to choke out, “that…” he coughed and sputtered, “that feels real enough.”

Eric let go and Bill dropped to the ground. “You are not crazy Bill. What you are experiencing is just some good old fashioned dragon magic.”

“Now you are fucking with me,” Bill grinned. “And you really are Eric Northman, fucking with me?”

“Yes,” Eric nodded.

“Good,” Bill grinned. “This is the first thing that has gone right in a while. If you are Eric, you know sunrise is comin’ on. A horizon event, I believe you are so found of sayin’.”

“Correct,” Eric nodded.

“Then you are a fool, Eric, and I am glad that I am leading you to your true death. You are goin’ burn in the glorious sunlight while I rise to a new dark.”

“No,” Eric smiled at him and straightened out the collar on his Polo shirt. “I am a day walker, Bill.”

“I have gone crazy,” Compton hooted. “But even in my insanity your ego is still so large that it encompasses the morning sky line. Oh Eric…” he sighed as he pushed against the tea room door and ran inside.

“What?” he screeched. “Where is my hidey hole?”

“Horizon event, Bill,” Eric grinned and walked in. “Let us go greet the sun, together.”

“No,” he sobbed. “No please. You cannot do this, I don’t want to die with you.”

“Believe me,” Eric chuckled. “That is not going to happen. But watch the sun rise, yes. So come along,” Eric was once more carrying him by the neck with his feet dangling off the ground. “We don’t want to dirty these nice ladies tea room. I had tea here and it was lovely. Now outside we go and listen, the birds are beginning to wake up. Here comes the sun, Bill, and it is glorious.”

“What?” there was horror in his voice. “You really are a day walker!”

“True,” Eric’s smile got bigger as he tossed Bill into a dumpster and with a great deal of satisfaction, listened to Bill scream in pain as his body blistered, oozed out and then caught fire.

Eric took out his phone and dialed 9-11. “I need to report a fire in a dumpster,” he said as he watched Bill and the trash that was in the container burn. “It is just about out,” he said and with a mighty breath blew out what was left of the flames. “But I thought it needed to be reported.” Giving the address he hung up.

“Breakfast anyone?” he asked the happy group.

“Sheeweeeeee stinks somethin’ powerful,” Lafayette said holding his nose.

“Let us be someplace else,” Eric nodded. “I can hear the sirens and around the corner is a busted door to the tea room. Vamp speed.” And poof! They were gone!

 

 

Breakfast was a jovial affair. The Paulette Mansion in New Orleans was serving a breakfast buffet and they all agreed it was very fine indeed.

“So just what did Mr. Hayes shoot you up with?” Lafayette asked as he buttered his French toast and then poured on the maple syrup. “If it was not silver.”

“Apparently, there are silver hard sugar balls that are used in confectionaries. He melted those down with some water. I was having something of a sugar reaction. Because he did not work for Elisabeth, he felt no need to abide by her wishes. But he wanted her to believe that he did.”

“Very believable,” Sookie was sipping her coffee and deciding what to have next. “You looked awful. I was worried for you.”

“Well thank you. But I am a very fine actor. That performance was good, but not nearly the award winning performance I gave before I ended Katrina, Queen Bitch of the Continent. Everyone that was in attendance tells me that they still cry at my heartfelt words and declared declarations of love. Damn, even I was impressed with the way I handled her. Those lessons with Stanislavski really paid off.”

Sookie may have rolled her eyes as they sat out on the rooftop admiring the view of the ocean.

“This is very fine indeed, but I could go home,” she sighed as she sipped her pumpkin spice latte. “I am just sorry Mr. Hayes would not join us and that he wanted to be dropped off at the house instead. We certainly are not at all grand and what he is used to working with. Despite that, I hope he does not see what all needs to be done and decides to look elsewhere for employment.”

“Been talking to Samuel,” Eric said as he put more strawberries on his plate. “He has the gold ready for Mr. Hayes. Whenever you are ready, we can be that way.”

“Finish breakfast,” Sookie patted his hand. “I like the idea of helping small businesses. Lafayette, what say you? I think we should make that happen.”

“Likin’ that, Miss Sooks,” he nodded. “Helpin’ those that need and can’t seem to make it happen.”

“We will talk with Samuel,” Eric added. “He has an excellent business model that he uses. It will certainly work for us.”

 

 

 

Sookie passed on seeing New Orleans. “Lafayette, if you want to stay, I can understand. Nice shops, you have money, you can feed your inner fashionesta.”

“Miss Sooks, this here shoe whore can wait a righteous day or so before I needs to shop. Let us heads for home.”

 

Sookie grinned when they sat down in front of the old farmhouse. “Adventuring is fine,” she ran her hand across the top of the handrail along the porch. “But it is good to be home.”

“Welcome,” Mr. Hayes said opening the front door. “Please Miss Sookie, I have prepared a slight repast. And made a list for the kitchen.”

“I can show you how to order those things that are more exotic on line,” Eric said walking up the steps.

“On line?” Sookie eyed him.

“Welcome to the 21st century Miss Stackhouse,” Eric bowed his head to her. “Our first calls today are to the wire heads who will put your home on the grid.”

 

After their light repast, Sookie went to the kitchen to show Mr. Hayes the ins and outs of her stove and how to coax the oven to light. He wanted to bake a cake and the oven would not stay lit.

“There is a trick to it,” she sighed. “The first thing you have to do is hold your mouth just right…”

The other three were in the living room, sipping on their favorite alcoholic beverage.

Eric had talked during lunch about his life as a Viking. He was still fielding questions.

Lafayette asked Eric, “Were you a king?”

“What?” he drew back. “No…I mean…no. I was clan chieftain after my father died. And I died about a year after that. Why?”

“Just wondering,” Lafayette replied. “You have a son while you were human? Someone to pass the chief’s linage or peerage or something like that on too?”

Eric let go of a small laugh. “My grandmother, she was the wise woman of our clan. She would tell me my future and sometimes my past and sometimes my present. But her favorite was:

When you sit upon the high seat

And look to the sky of blue

Reflected back upon the water

Is your wife and son standing next to you.

“Interesting,” Lafayette replied. “So she knew.”

“Knew what?”

“Your future.

Has I said too much?” he asked looking at O.I.

“Don’t think so,” the small dragon shook his head no. “He already knew that truth. You just actin’ as a reminder.”

“What truth? What reminder?” Eric asked standing up and going over to Lafayette.

“That men with heirs to a throne, there is someone always trying to kill them or their offspring so that their destiny cannot come to its fullness.”

“Nicely put, my big mans,” O.I. nodded.

“Thanks, Poppy,” Lafayette grinned.

“Poppy,” Sookie grinned coming back into the living room. “I like the sound of that. Lafayette, I especially like hearing you say it.”

The life long friends grinned at each other.

“What were you all talkin’ about?”

“Grandmothers,” Lafayette responded. “Sookie, did Gran ever talk about your future?

“Well,” she looked sheepish. “There was the little poem she would say to me:

When you sit upon the high seat

And look to the sky of blue

Reflected back upon the water

Is your husband and son standing next to you.

Eric looked over at her, with his mouth open. “My gran would say that to me!”

“Well yes, my grandchildren,” there stood the older woman, known to both as Gran, shimmering in the light. She had been a beacon of power and might to one young man a thousand years ago and a savior and guide to one young woman present day. “You two were my everything. And I gave to you the only thing that I had. My love.”

Blowing each of them a kiss, there were shimmering dust motes where the woman had stood.

“That’s my Gran,” Eric and Sookie both said together, looking at each other. “Mo’ fo’n!” was shouted out into the universe.

 

When the sun went down vampires came out to play. When HRM Sophie-Anne rose, there was one pissed off Viking standing over her with a stake stuck into her heart.

“I hear you thought my true death was a good idea and was going to replace me with Compton,” Eric smiled sweetly at her.

“No, oh no Eric,” she gasped, horrified. “Who would start such ugly rumors about me,” she sniffled, bloody tears seeping from her eyes.

“Elisabeth is dead. Along with all her other guests who spent the eclipse with her. She paid Compton to kill Mr. Money Bags. That did not end well for her. And Bill, ghosts took him to his true death. I understand even President Kennedy took a swing at him.”

“Really? Jack?” she hiccupped.

“M-m-m-m,” Eric nodded. “There was something about Compton mumbling that you paid him to get rid of the President because you had the hots for Miss Monroe.”

“I would never Eric,” she was shaking her head, tears flowing more heavily. “I am a trusted and true citizen of this country. I would never.”

Eric nodded and withdrew the stake. Taking her by the hand he helped her up out of her coffin.

“If you ever give me any reason to doubt your loyalty to me,” Eric backed her up against a wall, “I will keep you alive for centuries, doing unspeakable things to you. Do we understand each other?”

“Yes your majesty,” her voice shook as her courtesy took her deep to the floor. “Long live the King!” she shouted. When she looked up, he was gone.

 

 

 

Dear Readers,

Just a small something in memory of Nelsan Ellis. May his good works inspire us to do the same.

I thought this would be someplace nice to stop the story. Sookie and His La La Fineness shall be around to witness many more settings of the sun. Eric shall ponder the truth of the poem and O.I. shall from time-to-time stir the pot. Oh, O.I. just gave me a nudge and a wink and said and I quote “Consider the mo’ fo’n pot stirred!”

I will once more be on the editing-my-own trail. Damn, I hate that path…lolololol…hopefully I do not get distracted by ANYONE suggesting an Eric or Sookie one liner saying…???????   Lolololool….

As always, thanks for reading!

Be blessed and be the blessing,

CES