FIFTY YEARS LATER
After leaving Terra, it had taken Sookie many years to truly become comfortable with her happiness. She was so unused to kindness and safety that she continuously worried that her new life was just a dream.
I understood her need for time.
Of course, she was welcomed into the vampire realm and allowed to pursue the education she had never been offered before. Not surprisingly given her resilience, she had been clever enough to learn in all ways that she was able even in Terra. She had used her telepathy to learn mathematics from her father. She had also learned to read and write that way. She would linger in Corbett’s thoughts every time he was reading; thus, she would see the words as he thought them. And she would occupy his thoughts when he wrote too. She memorized what each letter looked like and practiced writing in the dirt of her garden. Needless to say, she was a quick study in all subjects she gained an interest in.
And, as was best, in the vampire world, women were held as equal to men. In fact, the humans that were given the choice to come to the vampire realm had to agree to this principle first and foremost. If they did not or if their sincerity was questioned, they were glamoured to forget all about vampires before they stepped foot inside of our realm.
Indeed, without the limitations of prejudice, Sookie quickly found her place. Her talent for constructing quilts, a skill that she still taught anyone who desired to learn, was only a hint at her mastery when it came to design and construction. Over the years, she had become the most sought after architect in the realm!
She and I completed our bond and pledged about six months after my Quest in the human realm was over. We waited at my request, for I wanted her to make her ultimate choice when she knew that she was safe and would stay safe no matter what she did. I wanted for her be sure of her choice—of me.
Luckily for me, she was.
Sookie had renamed her son Erik—since it was the name that she had preferred all along. It was coincidence that it was also my name—with the exception of the spelling—but it was not coincidence that the boy thought of me as his father, for I raised him as my son, instructing him in all I knew. He had a particular talent for agriculture and had also carried on his mother’s tradition of quilting. When he was nineteen years old, he had met and fallen in love with a vampiress named Thalia. They had bonded and pledged a month later. He had decided to be turned by his wife on the night of his twenty-fifth birthday. I was exceedingly proud of him in all ways—as was Sookie. But she was mostly thankful for his happiness and his life.
Of course, Erik knew the whole tale of how he came to be; we had told him on his fifteenth birthday. He had also been told that he had some claim to a human throne, and I vowed that—if he wanted the seat of power—I would make sure he got it. However, he wanted no legacy from his human father, and he was—thankfully—nothing like the bastard either!
Sookie’s second child, a daughter named Adele for Sookie’s Gran, was my daughter, too—in all the ways that mattered. Like Sookie and Erik, Adele was telepathic. And she, too, had been quick to learn. However, her subject of choice was politics. She also had a thirst for exploration and the ability to teleport, which came in quite handy for her.
She had become a woman of many realms, spending almost equal amounts of time in Terra and the Fae realm. She had chosen a half-Fae husband named Gabriel and had helped her Great-great grandfather, Niall, establish lasting peace in Faerie. She had also made Sookie and me grandparents seven times! And those children had made us great-grandparents twenty-two times! Since Gabriel could cover his scent and their children’s ratio of fairy to human blood was not too much for vampires to resist, Adele kept a home in the vampire realm and visited us several times a year.
Sookie and I still missed our girl, but she was amazingly independent by nature, and we would never stifle her. However, two of Adele’s children had chosen to pursue lives in the vampire realm fulltime, and Sookie and I could not have been happier about that. We also received an almost constant stream of visits from our grandchildren and great-grandchildren, who we knew would soon begin adding even more to our legacy.
Thanks to Adele’s savvy, travel between Terra and the vampire world was not restrictive at all for the part-Fae in our family, though we vampires were still limited on our visits to Terra. Most vampires saw the human realm only during their Quests. The exception was the members of the Supernatural Council, who went to Terra for about a month every year in order to keep relationships between our races congenial and settle any disputes.
According to my vampire father, who had been on the Council for years, the meetings were generally just an excuse to have a month-long celebration with friends of multiple species.
As for Sookie and me? Our love seemed to grow with each touch given and each memory made. With my blood and her spark, she had not aged. Thus, for the time being, she was happy to remain warm to my cool—my perfect partner and complement.
Oddly enough, my wife’s story had become the subject of what the humans called a fairy tale—an appropriate label in this case. Of course, the passage of the story through time and many narrators had altered it to a certain extent. But some details were eerily accurate, and Sookie had listened in awe as one of our grandchildren had recounted the story.
The miller’s boasting had been the reason why his daughter was noticed by the king.
A creature did appear out of thin air and changed the straw into gold.
The king had been a greedy bastard who took the young woman as his wife.
A year later, the creature had returned for the queen’s child.
And she had been able to guess the goblin’s name because the boastful song that he sang in the woods was overheard by a “messenger.”
However, the first two guesses of the young woman in the story were inaccurate, for Sookie did not guess “Conrad” or “Harry.” She named the two greatest monsters of her childhood—Steven and Bartlett. I smiled to myself every time I remembered punishing them.
Of course, the third guess in the story was accurate, and the name of the creature who so coveted his name would be forever known.
I could not help but to hope that he heard each time that name was spoken from whatever hell creatures like him inhabited. And I liked to imagine him tearing himself apart every single time.
“Rumpelstiltskin,” I said aloud—just in case.
I smiled to myself and went to find my wife. After all, I had a happily ever after to get back to.
A/N: I hope very much that you enjoyed this fairy tale re-telling! It was fun to write. Once again, thanks to Kittyinaz for the contest. Be sure to read the other entries if you liked this story! Just click HERE.
The Goblin .pdf Above is the complete .pdf of the story. Enjoy!