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.
The Curse of the Eclipsing Blood Moon
For two people to be so much unalike and yet so much in love was truly a gift from the gods!
They lived this truth everyday…the love that had fostered and grown between them since they were children.
Cathain was a Viking.
Hale was a Druid.
He was tall.
Hale was short.
He ruled within the law, but justice was always swift.
She did not care for politics, but knew it was crucial to the well-being of their village. The law, she did not always find favor with it and sometimes a dead villain was better than a live one clamoring for his rights. Perhaps she had helped more than one to the other side of the veil with some well placed poison in their last meal. It was better than slitting their throat on the altar stone.
Perhaps she should feel guilty about that but she did not. She did not cheat the altar stone, who would want that foul blood? And dead was blissfully dead.
This place by the coast was where she called home and found herself to be at peace, although, sometimes it was short lived. Because there was always something evil lurking about.
Her job was to be the Seid for her village and the stone circle that stood watch over their village. And she took it seriously. If you did not, evil would rain down on you.
And because she was the Seid, it was her job to deal with it. You had no time to be frightened of things that you could see. Her sword dealt with those things just fine. It was the things that you could not see in the dark of the moon. Those evils she knew as well and so she walked her path with power and reverence for those things around her.
Hale had never left her native land on the island that she called home. She had no need. Her magics walked here with her and she called down the rain from the sky and the mist from the ground to fortify the growing things that surrounded her. She talked to nature and those that lived in the woods responded in kind and also gave her warning!
Their fire was always bright and cheery and all was welcome to warm their hands, there. And when the fire roared its sparks, that gave her warning as well!
It had been a long month. She was glad it was over and her world back to rights.
The day was getting long in the tooth. She had accomplished much, but night was coming and she must still be outside. Opening their front door, the parent stones stood straight and tall; just as she was to stand straight and tall!
Her man was the clan chieftain and was hers to love with all that she was! He was bold and brave and fierce and loved her with all of his being. And he held to duty. Home not even on day…and…
he still sat at the council fire. Things had gone to shit while he was gone. They always did. His younger brother could not keep the Thompson brothers from wanting to burn down their home and build a new one. So they had started a fire and it had taken the entire village to put it out.
“Just what the fuck!” she muttered. “Let them die of exposure when winter howls. My husband sits with these fools, wanting the village to help them rebuild!”
Cathain did not always understand her and what flowed through her veins. His people were not native to this land, but had settled here long ago. He had been born here, not in the cold, windswept forests that backed down to the sea. Her man held to truth and justice. And when he had taken the oath to marry her, she had insisted that he pledged to fight evil where ever it wanted to find succor.
That is what had taken him from home this past month. He had been gone, to Eire.
Just yesterday, he and his men had returned. They had hunted a great evil named Abhartach. Her husband said they gave him chase and this monster called down stairs from the stars outside a henge and made his escape.
“That I should live to hear of such an outrage to nature,” she sighed.
Last night, she had hoped to find release with his body in hers. Instead, he was troubled and they had talked through the night. He told her that Abhartach might have started out as an evil man, that had been slain by his village folk, but now he was an evil being that called upon the dark magics and still walked among them and summoned the stars to escape!
“I put my sword, through him, Hale,” he said quietly, the night giving way to the birds’ song of morning. “Dead. He was dead. And the next night, I saw him kill a woman and began to eat her. I killed him, again. This time, I cut off his head.”
“Such crimes against nature,” she had held him and said softly.
So, upon rising, she had written poetry upon their door thanking the gods for his return to her.
The day had been long and she had thought about his words. As the sun walked through their forest, her mind had tarried on what was needed to safe guard their village and which dead to consult that would give guidance. She would welcome the passing of the sun and the darkness and her husband’s arms.
It was early in the evening. The birds were singing the last of their songs. She took comfort in her gardening rituals while she listened to the life around her ready for bed.
Tonight, they would feast on berries. Training the berry vines to grow outside their door had been a very small something but she was greatly rewarded with their fruit. With her basket at her side, she began to pick and tomorrow she would dry them in the sun so that they would have them when the snows returned. With the last rays of the sun, she would write the spell upon the henge to keep evil out and goodness walking in their village.
“Blessed greetings Hale,” she heard the untruth in his voice and felt for the knife at her side. He blessed no one but himself. And he certainly did not wish for her continue good prosperity.
“Birger,” she replied as she continued picking with one hand. She did not like him. Never had. Not since he was a child that fancied himself too good to work, his widowed mother allowing lazy ways because of his fatherless plight and how she needed him at her side to fetch her things and be her eyes. Two of a kind, she thought. Her always crying about how she needed and there was no one to supply.
There was something inherently faithless about him. An unpleasant odor that clung to him. He pledged duty to no one and yet wanted the wealth of the village when on Midsummer they shared what they had with each other.
“Your berry vines are the envy of the village,” he smiled as he approached.
“They are just berries, nothing to be envious of,” she replied as she continued to pick. “The woods are full of them.”
“But you have trained them next to your door. That is very handy. Your husband is a lucky man to have you for a wife. You run his farm very well and always profit from your sale of livestock and mead. Your bee hives are very prosperous, as well.”
There it was, that whine in his voice. He wanted bee hives but was too lazy to build a skep for them. “The reason that our,” she stressed, “farm is so prosperous is that I do not waste my time on idle chatter. What are you doing here, Birger? I am at task and have much to accomplish before my husband returns from settling disputes in the village. And with the calling of the dark, I have the Runes that must be placed upon the henge.”
She could see it on his face. Distrust of the stones and what lived there.
“O’ lady of the henge,” he began. “I have been having dreams. Great and powerful dreams! They reach to the stars and I speak with the dead in these dreams. And they warn me of terrible times to come. I, I wish to be a Seid so that I might understand these visions.”
“Visions? Men do not have visions!
So?” she chuckled. “You jest. No man seeks a woman’s spiritual domain. How feminine of you,” she shook her head in disbelief. “Does your mother know of this betrayal of your masculinity? That she has raised a daughter and not a son?”
He was fuming. She could see the light eek out of his aura. It was low and stingy and colored with something that smelled like and resembled shit.
“You are a powerful seeress. And I wish to know the joy of seeing the future.”
“Joy?” she stared at him. “There is no joy in knowing the outcome of a life. I hope to bring peace to a grieving soul. Perhaps understanding. But joy? I cannot give what does not live within.”
“That is foolishness,” he laughed at her. “In my dreams, Hale, I do bring joy. And long life. I can be so much more than I am now. I know it is within my power to call down the stars. And I am without question true to this quest.”
“Call down the stars?” she pulled her knife and stood staring at him. “True to this quest…” she took a step toward him. “Has this anything to do with your time in Eire? This demon that you hunted? The one that lives in the stars and left by them?”
“What?” he stuttered. “No, of course not.”
“You accompanied your chief and the war party of this village to slay this monster, Abhartach. The brute that dwells with evil and kills all those that he deems not worthy or for sport.
Did you meet him while you were there?” she asked, peering into his eyes.
“No,” he took a step back from her and looked down at the ground. “No, of course not! I stood by my liege. At all times…I am faithful to my land, my home and my village,” he yelled at her. “Do not curse me with your women’s ways,” he shook his fist at her. “I will seek council about what is to be done about you. I seek your council and you pull a knife on me!”
“By all means,” she set her basket on the steps. “Let us go now. Cathain is sitting in council. I am very much interested to hear just how much time you spent at his side and not seeking out your own reward.”
“You are the evil one here, you whoring bitch,” he yelled at her as picked up a fallen limb and approached her.
There was the low rumble of death behind him. He froze, terror now lurking in his heart! It was Cathain’s hounds! Which meant their master could not be far behind!
“Do you threaten my wife?” they both heard the voice that belonged to the clan chief. “Birger, what is this about? I see you holding a limb as if to club her with it and my wife has pulled her knife. My dogs are snarling and snapping and regarding you as if you are their evening meal. And If you think to hit my wife with that limb, you will most assuredly be their evening meal.
I would suggest that we go back to the council fire and we can discuss this.”
The sun was going down. Could he stall? He could not run, not with the dogs, but the moon was already up and fortune looked upon him!
“No husband,” Hale shook her head. “Kill him now. I must mark the henge! There is mischief afoot. I fear evil has followed him back to our village. He speaks of being a Seid and calling down the stars.”
“No,” Birger laughed. “I am a man. What foolishness is this? I suspect your wife has been drinking the mead she brews.”
“Before the sun sets,” her voice was intense. “Can you not feel it? It is coming…it is coming for him. Evil, he has brought back evil! Kill him outside the henge so that his blood is not upon the altar stone!”
“Wife,” he called after her as she ran into the house. “You know I cannot slay out of hand an equal of good standing…”
In a run she came out of their home.
“I will scatter the tin,” she said when she returned with a horn full of small tin pebbles the size of the tip of her smallest finger.
“No,” Birger yelled. “No,” as the sun set and the moon began an unearthly glow.
This was his time! His! Pledging his soul to Abhartach, he had been granted a boon. “Master please,” he cried out, “send the blood moon so that I might escape!”
The moon changed to red and from the henge came a horrible howling.
“No-o-o-o,” Hale yelled as she ran around the stones, dropping the precious metal onto the ground and the stones and scattering it out before her. Once the henge was safe, carrying her knife, she charged into the henge cursing the false lights that wallowed about in the sky!
Cathain was cursing this thing as well, her husband behind her!
A night sky that they did not recognize was hovering above a set of stairs! Down the steps charged the evil of her dreams! A man that resembled a beast that should not have been given life! And with him came things that did not resemble humans!
Cathain pulled his sword and together they slashed at anything that moved, those of the otherworld’s dying yowls filling the night with death and pestilence!
“You stupid bitch!” Birger laughed as he ran up the stairs and into the stars. “So you destroyed these pitiful nothings! Next time, we will be better prepared! You cannot guard every henge and my master and I, we shall be back. I curse you and your kin! May the sons and daughters to come be lost forever as they wander the stars and never find succor or rest! They shall fight us all of their days. And while our numbers grow mighty, yours will grow weaker until we rule the world! I will be Seid! The most powerful one of all. And you kin shall bless me with this power while I bathe in their blood!”
Cathin started up the stairs after him only to watch the strange night sky vanish, as he fell back to the earth, landing next to her.
Kneeling down beside him, she checked him for harm. As he righted himself, he managed to get out, “I am fine. Bruised but not broken.”
The smell of the unholy filled their nostrils, causing both of them to puke.
As their moon climbed in the sky, the rot that was around them dissipated.
When they were once more able to stand under their moon and sky, her husband took her hands and fell to his knees.
“I am sorry I doubted you. I should have slain Birger when I saw him threatening you. What have we given life, too?”
“Evil,” her reply was monotone. “His master is Abhartach.”
“What?” Cathain came up off his knees.
“Yes, the evil that you slew that will not remain dead. Birger has pledged himself to him. He wants to be a Seid and rule the world.
There is nothing I can do about that. But using the Triad, I can set limitations. Since he used nature to escape, I can bind him to an eclipsing blood moon, the henge it speaks, too, and that our family must be present. Male and female so that we might someday right this wrong.
It will be our family’s duty to protect the earth from the evil that wishes to slither out and rule. Woe to them,” her voice was broken. “Our children shall never find peace.”
Sookie was sitting outside on the porch swing enjoying sundown. The air temperature had cooled and there was a breeze keeping the bugs, away. Winter in the South was not like Winter in the North. There were no blazing reds or oranges on the leaves to announce Fall’s arrival or snow to celebrate on Christmas Day.
It was the first of the year and the roses were still looking good.
She had worked two shifts at Merlotte’s, today, and she was to the bone, tired. She had done nothing but work two shifts since the New Year. Folks calling in sick or hung over and Sam called her to come in and cover for them.
“I hate to sound like I am not grateful,” she said out into the universe, pushed her shoulders back, trying to stretch out some muscles in her shoulders, neck and back. “But just damn…”
Gran came out and sat down beside her. Popping open a beer, she handed one to Sookie and then opened one for herself.
“Thanks, Gran,” she eyed the woman who never drank beer, only whiskey when she had a mind to celebrate some big occasion.
They sat on the porch swing and the creaking of the chain kept them company while they pushed back and forth with their feet.
Sookie looked over at the woman who had raised her and her brother after their parents had died. Gran was not drinking her beer. Just slowly moving the tab back and forth in time to the rocking.
“Gran, somethin’ weighin’ on you?” she asked.
“Yes,” she nodded. “Not for real sure where to start.”
“Somethin’ bad?” Sookie was now watching her face closely.
“Yes,” she nodded.
“Do I want to know?”
“Probably not, but this has everything to do with you Sookie, and so it has fallen on me to explain it all to you. And I know you are tired and it is not fair but just damn…” she sobbed out. “I cannot put this off any longer.”
“Do we need something stronger than beer?” she asked, taking her hand.
“Yes,” Gran nodded with a heavy sigh. “Let’s move inside. I think maybe the kitchen table. That way, we can keep the bottle handy and if you want to gut me with a knife, it will be right there. Hell, I would even welcome it at this point, but that is just a coward’s way out.”
“What?” Sookie stared at the older woman. “Gran you are no coward!” she said with passion.
“Thank you dear, but it is in the telling, Sookie, and time is wasting. Let’s get inside and get started.”
When the whiskeys had been poured, they both sat down and picking up their glasses, said their toast. “To the Stackhouse women,” and downed their glass. Gran poured them another round and leaned back in her chair.
“Sookie, did you like the movie, The Guardians of the Galaxy?”
Shrugging, she replied, “Well, yes, it was funny and cute and taught a lot of moral lessons.”
“What about Jupiter Ascending?”
“Yes, I enjoyed watching that one as well. Both had strong women, and pretty good script writing. The story lines were not bad and were entertaining and the bad guys got theirs in the end. You know Gran, the only reason I go to a movie anymore is to be entertained. To sit in air-conditioned comfort and eat popcorn and drink my soda and laugh or maybe cry a bit.”
“Yes,” Gran nodded. “Myself as well. And maybe to learn something about, you know, things,” she hesitated on that thought, “I might need to know.”
“What things?” Sookie eyed her.
“We Hale women,” she began slowly, “we have a special calling.”
“Yes,” Sookie nodded in agreement. “I know our history. Our people came over from England. Cornwall. They were Druids. They had great skill at reading the night sky and also great skill as warriors.
That is why I am a telepath. In the past, it was considered a great power. I wish I could say that was still true, today.”
“Yes,” Gran nodded, taking her hand. “I know it has been a hindrance to you.
But, there was something else that was passed as well on the warrior side. And I honestly thought I could side-step this but I cannot.
So I will just begin at what I know to be the beginning…
The name Hale is not English. It is Viking. It means valley. Our female Druid ancestor married a Viking.
They were a powerful team. According to our legends, some mistakes were made along with promises. It involved a Blood Moon and a stone henge. Husband and wife fought as a team. Both with swords drawn and spewing curses. There was a male that called on the evil that lives between the two worlds and escaped up the stairs. When her Viking tried to follow him, the stairs disappeared but took with it the curse that they had flung at it before it disappeared and all that was left was the night sky.
Words were exchanged between husband and wife. Promises made. That when the Blood Moon should shine down on a henge, the veil between the worlds would shift and they could once more hunt the evil that would destroy our world.
And when a Viking gives his word, he believes that if that promise is not fulfilled, that it will carry with him into the grave and he will sit at the gates of Valhalla and be denied entrance until his family fulfills his promise.
That is why, Sookie, you are a telepath. This passes from one woman in our family to the next because we promised we would keep that gaes, this vow we had made that this bestowal of power would continue forward. So that the curse of the Blood Moon might be broken. And this monster that defies death would be brought to justice.”
“Gran, you know I love you. And I know you believe what you believe. And you know I do not look upon this as a super power from the past.”
“Yes, dear, I know. But the telepath links you back to Hale, the first lady of our family.”
Gran carefully folded and refolded the napkin that was on the table.”
“There is going to be an eclipse of a blood moon.”
“Yes,” Sookie nodded. “Been in the news. Even the folks at work are talkin’ about it. Tryin’ to figure out how to take the best pictures of it.
Why? You honestly think this got somethin’ to do with us?”
“I have been reading the first Sookie’s journal. She only dates back about four hundred years but it is at least something. And she spends time discussing this eclipse. It appears to crest in different henges all over the world. So, yes, this eclipse has everything to do with us.
According to the casters in New Orleans, it is going to reach its zenith over a small henge off the coast of New Orleans.
Now, according to the journal, when the moonlight hits that circle, an opening will form and all the bad things that have been locked behind a doorway, or portal, or another dimension, call it what you will, will come streaming out, looking to bring mischief, mayhem and murder. And also the evil one that escaped Hale and her husband that they vowed their family would bring to justice.”
“What? Gran no. That henge in N.O. was built on a lark. It is only about five years old. You know, all those folks in New Orleans got together and pitched in money and sent for those Druids out of Wales to come over here and build them a stone circle. You know, a real photo op for the magics in N.O.”
“No, Sookie,” she shook her head to emphasize her point. “They sacrificed mead, millet and a maidenhead on that altar stone. The henge is up and running. And the stone circle will be looking for its warriors to defend it from the evil that will try and push through. We are Hale’s descendants. Our first mother promised her Viking husband that we would defend our henge against evil and bring to justice the one that would betray us all. All the daughters that followed, she promised us to this task, also. Family,” Gran closed her eyes and shook her head. “I am sorry, Sookie, truly. I love you and one of us is required to be there to help defend the henge. I would not ask you to do this.”
“I know you would not,” Sookie’s voice was quiet. “But it has to be the one with the gift,” she shuddered. “Correct?”
Gran wiped the tears from her eyes and finally nodded yes.
“Gran,” Sookie was shaking her head. “Seriously…and…and…”
Pausing, she took a deep breath and let it out. “So this falls to me.” The Sookie that worked triple shifts and helped to harvest the pecans and clipped coupons sat up straighter.
“I know our Druid ancestors took an oath to protect the land. To protect the wildlife. To protect the people that dwelled here from evil.
But really, Gran…this doorway between worlds really does open?” her voice trailed off and Sookie picked up her glass and emptied it and poured herself another. “Are we talkin’ a hell mouth?”
Gran shrugged. “That is kinda what it sounds like. But I don’t know if they are escaping from hell or not. What Sookie the First says is that there will be a staircase that you will see overlooking a strange night sky with our eclipsing blood moon shining down on you. You will not be alone in this fight. There will be other champions there to help you, to help you defeat those that would end our world. And a male relative. This is part of the spell she spoke.
When you have vanquished the enemy, you will take the stairs down, back to our time and place and when the eclipse is over, the henge will once more be locked for another,” she shrugged, “perhaps thousand years. That is a guess on my part. This first Sookie did not know how to gauge the time of it.”
“Gran,” Sookie took a drink. “Really?”
“Yes,” she nodded. “As the eclipse draws closer, your powers will increase. And after the battle, you will go back to being yourself.”
“What kind of powers?” Sookie asked.
“Well, the legends get a little hinky about that. Everything from blue lightning being thrown from your hands to you having all the moves of those superheroes. You know, Kung Foo, karate, knife throwing…”
“So I what, show up in New Orleans at the henge? Wait for the stairs to appear and then go forth and conquer?”
“Something like that,” she nodded.
“And if the stairs do not appear?” Sookie asked.
“Then have a wonderful night in New Orleans, which I will pay for and motor on home the next day.”
“And if the stairway does appear?” she asked.
“Kick ass,” Gran replied with a heavy sigh. “Sookie, this is so unfair. Let me do this.”
“No,” Sookie shook her head vehemently. “You just had a heart attack. Doc said you are to rest and not worry or stress about anything.”
“Then I will go with you,” she pleaded taking Sookie’s hand.
“Gran, then I would be stressing about you and not the task at hand. And God knows I am going to be behind the learning curve. Besides, Doc said for you to stay off the stairs. So I will go and call you before and after.”
“Sookie,” tears welled up in her eyes.
“Gran, we know how fucked up our family is. So why not this? Actually, it kinda makes sense. Parents died young. Brother who is a whore. Cousin who is a whore and a druggie. Uncle who is a pedophilia,” she sadly shook her head. “Not many there that I would say I am proud to know.”
Her gran looked so sad. So downcast. Time to move on.
“And I am a telepath. And maybe a warrior,” she grinned at this woman that she dearly loved.
“Do we know what the sign is?” Sookie asked.
“Those that are to fight, they get their own personal invitation. In the dark of the moon before the eclipse, there will be a drakbåt, the legend says, a dragon boat that is waiting for the outcome of the battle. So If there is no longboat, all of this just might be a moot point,” Gran smiled ruefully. “The eclipse in not until the 20th. We just passed the New Year. The New Moon is tomorrow night. So between now and then, if we get no sign, then we are free and clear.”
“No foolin’,” Sookie looked perplexed. “Gran, this could just be a great big practical joke one of our ancestors thought would be funny. So ha ha in advance. Let’s just wait and see. I mean really, a dragon boat? I just don’t see a Viking sailing up in one of those and offering us a ride to N.O.”
Gran just shrugged. “I agree. But, odd happens. So I guess we will be outside tomorrow night looking for a dragon boat.”
“You think we need anything special?” Sookie asked. “I mean, is this like Santa? Do we need to have a bottle of mead? Or some type of European beer? What do you think?”
“Maybe we should go to a liquor store in Shreveport,” Gran was thoughtful. “And you know, purchase a small bit of this and that.”
“Sounds like a good plan. Do you want me to drive?”
“No, I can drive. You have been working some long hours. You just rest and I will get us there. And let’s eat dinner out someplace. I feel like being waited on.”
“I could do with some of that,” Sookie nodded in agreement. “Let’s grab our things and go. I hear folks talking about the Around the World Liquorstore. Let’s look up their address and we can call them and see if they have anything that would be deemed worthy by a Viking.”
Around the World Liquor’swas exactly what they were looking for! They had been told over the phone that they had fifty-seven foreign beers, hundreds of wines and yes, they had mead and other fine drinks from above the Arctic circle.
Pulling into the parking lot, it looked like many of the tired old buildings in town that could use a new paint job.
“In we go,” Gran eyed the sign that blinked OPEN, like it was winking at her!
“I have a good feeling about this,” she nodded and admired the old rock step that had served ladies who were getting into and out of their carriage.
“Buggy whips,” she grinned to herself and in they went. “They can take you to some odd places.”
“Look Gran,” Sookie called out. “Aquavit. You know, the stuff the Norwegians ship past the equator to Australia and back and it has in it all the herbs from the different countries the Vikings conquered. You should see all the stuff that is in this.”
“I think that would make a nice offering,” she said picking up a bottle. “Let’s get this and this bottle of mead. I think if the boat shows, we’ll be prepared.”
Sookie and Gran talked on the way home. Good days, better days, best days. As Sookie drifted in and out of sleep, they both avoided talking about the two bottles that were in the trunk. Neither one knew what to think or to expect. But both of them knew it paid to be prepared.
It was not until they took the turn-off for Bon Temps that the conversation once more came back around to their ancestor that had been name Hale.
“What do you think she was like?” Sookie asked.
“I think she had hopes and dreams, Sookie, just like any other woman. Her life was a lot harder, as far as food and protection goes, so her dreams had to be a lot bigger. Besides food and shelter, I am sure she wanted to watch her children grow up, her husband to return home to her and to die a good death. Her religion and politics would have been a part of her life as well. In a small community, there just never seems to be any getting away with that.”
“Do you think she was a priestess, or did magic?”
“Well, she was something with power and for sure, she was married to a Viking. Fought this evil thing that still haunts us today. So between the two of them, they made promises and here we are today. Still going to war against evil if this longboat shows up.”
“What time is moon rise?” Sookie asked.
“It rises on the 5th at 7:05 and sets at 4:59.”
“It will be dark, or pretty close to it, both times.”
“Sun is up at 7:17 and sitting on the horizon at 5:23.”
Sookie looked over at her grandmother. “You have known for a while this was comin’…”
“Yes,” the older woman sighed. “Yes I did. I just kept hoping…I don’t know for what. That maybe it was a joke. Or someone’s drug addled brain. Or maybe they fancied themselves to be a writer and just made shit up.
Then a part of me has been nagging me non-stop to tell you. After all, you carried the telepath, so that part was true. And the responsible part of me said it was time to come clean. I mean, what if it is all true?”
“And you think I am one of the defenders of the home world?” Sookie laughed.
“Well yes,” Gran looked over at her. “Why not?”
“Gran, I love the fact that you have that kind of faith in me. And I am a pretty good shot with Grandpa’s revolver and shot gun. But I don’t know about takin’ on a bunch of somethings that come up out of a hell-mouth. Or down the stairs, or whatever! That sounds more like Lafayette.”
“Sookie,” she began quietly. “You saved my home world, you know that right? I would be dead if you had not been sitting there with me on the couch when the attack meant to take my life. And then, taking care of me when I came home. It has been a long haul, but I am back to driving and doing for myself. You gave me back my home world, Sookie. So yes, you can save worlds.”
“I love you Gran,” she said in a whisper.
“I know dear. And I count on that love. And your goodness. And I know there will be champions there with you. God would not leave you alone to do this. Just maybe Lafayette is one of them?”
Sookie chuckled. “Lordy, I can see him now all pirated-up and looking like a million bucks! His eye make-up is just the best.”
Gran laughed right along with her. “Well, I would feel a lot better if he went with you.”
“Well, let’s get past tomorrow night. We can invite him over and if the boat is a no show, we can all have a good laugh and get drunk.”
Before Sookie went to bed that night, she called Lafayette and left him a message. “Come for afternoon tea, tomorrow at four. Gran and I have a most delightful story to tell you. Hats are required! And all the magic you can muster!”