Chapter 03: Sleep
From my rotting body, flowers shall grow and I am in them and that is eternity.”—Edvard Munch
Sookie’s eyes were lead weights, and she couldn’t feel her body, but she had been able to hear many of the words that Eric and Bill had spoken. She’d tried to nod in agreement when Eric had reminded Bill about her wish not to become a vampire. She’d tried to shake her head in denial when Bill insisted that they try to give her a chance to change her mind.
The truth was that life had already been hard enough for Sookie, and—though she’d never contemplated killing herself—she didn’t want to imagine living lifetime after lifetime after lifetime with her curse.
She was already thinking of heaven, already wondering if she’d been a good enough person to get in—wondering if God would give her the gift of silence.
She wondered if she’d be able to see Gran again, wondered if she would forgive her for Rene.
She wondered if her parents would be there. Would they be able to love her—finally?
Or maybe there was just a great big nothing after death—nothing but feeding the worms and fertilizing the ground. The greatest silence of all.
Maybe that would be her heaven. She wanted to reach out her arms to welcome it, but she couldn’t move.
Like most other humans, Sookie had given the possibility of immortality some thought after vampires had come out of the coffin, but she’d quickly dismissed the idea.
What would becoming a vampire do to her telepathy?
Would it make it stronger?
Once she’d met her first vampire, she’d reconsidered. What if being “dead” made it impossible for her to hear the thoughts of the living—just like being alive made it impossible for her to hear the thoughts of the “undead?” That possibility had tempted her to change her mind about the idea.
However, what if becoming a vampire allowed her to hear the only beings she couldn’t presently hear—in addition to everyone else?
That possibility had made the risk too great to take.
Plus, she just didn’t want to live forever. Maybe that made her odd, but that wasn’t her greatest oddity.
She felt Eric’s blood being soothed down her throat and recalled the last time she’d drunk it—in the cubby.
That moment stood out to her as one of her best. It had been the only vampire blood she’d taken when she wasn’t being coerced or when she wasn’t hurt.
She’d chosen it and Eric in that moment. She found it ironic that—as she lay dying—she was thinking clearly for the first time in a long time. She wished that she could go back an hour. She would tell Bill that they’d already had their chance. And then she would turn to Eric and tell him that it was time for their chance to begin.
Yes—that is what she would change if she could change anything in the life that was flashing before her eyes.
But time travel wasn’t possible—not even for a fairy-human hybrid who’d “missed” a year of her life.
Sookie groaned. She’d thought that she’d been past pain until she felt Debbie’s teeth being pried from her neck.
She whimpered as she heard Debbie’s body get thrown away from her.
“Sookie!” Bill said desperately. “Please let me save you!”
She might have nodded had she not already known what kind of “saving” he had in mind. He wanted to turn her.
“Please,” she managed. She’d intended to say, “Please—no!” but she’d simply run out of steam.
“See—she wants to be turned!” Bill cried out. “Wants me!”
Sookie tried to shake her head, but she couldn’t because Bill’s hand was holding her neck in one spot as he was applying his blood to her gushing wound.
Sookie tried to say more—no—to yell more! To stop Bill. But nothing came from her mouth but blood.
She opened her eyes to meet Eric’s concerned blue stare. She saw the track of a single tear on his cheek. He’d cried for her. If she’d had any strength, she would have brushed that tear away; she would have tried to comfort him.
But she couldn’t muster up any strength in that moment; instead, she tried to focus enough on Eric’s eyes to convey that they should just let her go.
Let her die.
“Do you not feel that?” Eric asked as another tear streaked down his face. “Do you not feel her asking us to let her die as a human?”
“She’s just scared!” Bill said insistently.
Sookie lost her focus on Eric and had to close her eyes again. She was too weak to do anything else. The pain had left again. And the cold was back. But her telepathy was still going strong.
In fact—like some kind of cruel joke—it was somehow stronger than ever. And she could make out thoughts within her range perfectly even as she felt herself dying.
She would have laughed bitterly at the irony of that if she’d been able.
Of course, her gift would strength in the moments right before she died! It was the ultimate kick to the gut, and—for the millionth time—Sookie wondered what wrongs she’d committed in a past life in order to deserve her curse in this one.
Hopefully, that question would soon become irrelevant as she became a fertilizer.
Meanwhile, however, with her “gift,” Sookie heard several minds converging on her location all at once. Alcide was one of them. He was coming from the service road at the back of the graveyard. His mind—though usually hard for her to read—was screaming out in horror. And his thoughts were as clear as a bell. He smelled her blood—and Debbie’s blood. Apparently, Debbie had left a rambling message on his answering machine—basically a suicide note and murder confession all in one.
Debbie’s mind was still alive too. She was scared and weak, and she couldn’t move. Eric had snapped her upper vertebrae in two, and she was helpless.
She felt her pain and knew she was dying. Served the bitch right in Sookie’s mind.
From her house were running Tara and Lafayette. They’d heard her scream and had called Jason before coming. Lafayette had Gran’s old shotgun. Both Tara and Lala were petrified.
And—from Bill’s home—several vampires were running their way.
Of course, Sookie couldn’t hear them, but their “voids” were clear as a bell, and she recognized one as belonging to Jessica and another as belonging to Nan Flanagan. The others were strangers to her.
She wondered about being able to recognize the vampires from their voids. It was a new skill which apparently accompanied copious amounts of vampire blood or major blood loss. Or both.
Sookie thought about the light in her—the fairy light that had somehow un-cursed Eric. She thought about the odd feeling—that odd ‘space’—she’d had inside of her ever since that evening in the cubby when she and Eric had exchanged blood. She thought about what she wanted the last moment of her life to be like.
And—by instinct—she flooded that ‘space’ with all of her remaining life. All of her remaining magic.
She opened her eyes.
Eric’s eyes were waiting to greet her. His ears were ready to hear you. And he was obviously holding off Bill from completing his turning of her.
She found her voice. It was weak, but it was there.
“Eric,” she managed, “I love you.”
“I love you,” he returned.
“I don’t want to be vampire.”
“Then sleep, my love. Just Sleep. I have you.”
“You’ll stay with me?” she gasped out.
“For as long as it takes,” he promised.
Her eyes conveyed her gratefulness. And then she closed them.
A/N: I know that this one is shorter than most of my chapters in other things, but—like I said—this story is gonna be a little different, and the chapter lengths are just gonna have to shake out like they shake out.
I hope you still “liked” it. I will admit that I cried a lot when writing this one. It’s literally a “life passing before her eyes chapter,” and Eric just breaks my heart every time!
Until the next one,