Chapter 1: Stay Back, Woman

Day 1

I don’t know who I am. I don’t know how I got here. It’s like one minute everything was black and then I was on the side of the road, running toward something but I don’t know what. And then she was there. She stopped on the side of the road, and I was torn. I wanted to fight and protect myself but she seemed to know me. She knew who I was. I had no idea. I have no idea. How does she know me when I don’t? It doesn’t make any sense.

It wasn’t until much later I learned her name is Sookie. I could feel her confusion, which I thought was strange. All I know about myself is that I am Vampire. Where I come from, how old I am, even my favorite color is a mystery to me. I don’t know how I got where I was. I don’t know what size jeans I was wearing. I don’t know why I was barefoot or shirtless. By the cold I can assume it’s winter. All I know in this world is what Sookie tells me.

She says my name is Eric. It took some time to convince her I was telling the truth when I said I didn’t remember who I am or how I ended up on the side of the road. I felt her confusion and concern. She was worried for me. I don’t even know her and she’s worried for me. I could hear her heartbeat as I approached her. She looked at me with such sympathy. Was that how she always looked at me? Was I always the weaker sort? I had so many questions. I have so many questions.

She told me that we’re ‘sort of friends,’ whatever that means. I promised not to hurt her. While she certainly smelled delicious, I wouldn’t harm the only person I’d come across who seemed to know who I am. But then she looked a bit skeptical, like maybe she wasn’t sure she could trust me. What had I done to this woman in the past to make her think I would harm her?

All the same, she invited me to get in her car. I think I could have lifted the whole thing and tossed it back to her house. It was not comfortable to bend that way, but it beat running down the road barefoot with no destination in mind. I really don’t know where I was going. She covered me with some hideous blanket she kept in the back of the car. It didn’t do much to warm me but it was a nice gesture on her part.

It amazed me how quickly her mood changed. She went from concerned, to frustrated, to impatient, to lusty (I have to do some asking about that later) to giddy, all in a matter of a few minutes. How exhausting it must be to be Sookie. She laughed a beautiful laugh, the sort I wanted to hear again soon. She asked about a vampire named Bill. Of course, I know nothing about this Bill person. When she explained he was her former lover and out of town, I wasn’t sure what to think.

A part of my brain wondered if that was an invitation, while the other part of me wanted to focus. I had more important things to figure out than how to get Sookie into bed, as much as I might want to. Why should I know this Bill? The way Sookie spoke of him, I must. She turned onto what turned out to be a rather smooth gravel driveway. We stopped around the backside of an old farmhouse that was severely in need of new paint and shudders. The house was surrounded by trees.

When I got out of the car I could smell the animals running in the woods and the clouds that would soon be covering the half moon. I tried to remember the house. I looked for anything that might trigger a memory or give me some sort of clue as to who I was, but I got nothing. I followed Sookie up to an enclosed porch where there was what appeared to be a washing machine and an electric dryer.

She opened the door and soft light spilled out. She invited me in which made me wonder how close we were in the past if she had to invite me inside. All the things about being a vampire didn’t escape me. I knew to stay out of the sun just like I knew I would need blood to survive. I wasn’t hungry, at the moment, but I would be eventually. I tried not to think too much about what Sookie’s blood might taste like, or if she would offer it to me.

Although, if she’d had my blood in the past, then certainly I would have had hers, wouldn’t I? Was I the sort of vampire who gave my blood away to just anyone? I knew it healed. Why would I have given Sookie my blood in the first place? I looked at her, trying to spot scars from an injury, but she looked perfectly healthy to me. I didn’t scent any illness coming from her. I could, however, smell my blood.

I’d cut my feet while running down the road. Sookie noticed this and got a pan of hot water to clean me up. The jeans I was wearing were filthy at the bottom. She asked me to take them off, which I did. I may not know much about who I am, but I knew I had no problem removing my clothes. I felt her lust rise again when she looked at me. She seemed uncomfortable with her feelings so I covered up with the afghan again.

Sookie put the pants out on the porch for washing later. I watched her move around the kitchen until she pointed to a chair at an old table. I sat down and seconds later she crouched down in front of me and began to wash the cuts on my feet. I barely registered the pain that came along with it, in spite of one gash being particularly nasty. Instead, I focused on her feelings, hoping to learn something from them.

It was oddly comforting to know she was every bit as confused as I was over what had happened. It’s strange to know I have a life somewhere but have no recollection of the events of it. The warm water felt good on my feet. She was gentle. Without having tested it, I know I’m strong- much stronger than a human man. My strength was heightened, much like my senses. I was willing to bet I could snap the leg off the table I am writing at without putting much effort into it.

I asked her why she was out so late at night. She was working. Why there is no one taking care of her, I don’t know. She explained that her brother- the only man in her family- is barely capable of taking care of himself, let alone her. Although, she was highly amused at the prospect of suggesting such a thing to him. Did I know her brother? Had I ever met him? Another piece of the puzzle.

I took in the sight of her face as she washed my feet. Sookie is a beautiful woman. She has pretty, shiny blonde hair very much like my own. Hers waves a bit more. She has beautiful blue eyes. There’s conflict in her eyes, like she’s tired. I could feel her weariness and just a hint of pain rubbing against her exhaustion. It was late.

While she was drying my feet all I wanted to do was lift her up and carry her to wherever she slept. She had done enough for me already, but she wasn’t finished just yet. I watched as she dumped the pan of dirty water into an old porcelain sink. She mentioned a woman named Pam. The name didn’t mean anything to me. I knew this Pam person even less than I knew Sookie, who explained that Pam was my second-in-command.

If I have a second, it must mean I have some sort of official rank. Sookie dialed a phone number and went to the refrigerator. There were a few bottles of what looked like blood inside, and she put one in the microwave while she waited for someone to take her call. When the timer went off, she shook the bottle before handing it over to me. It was metallic and not very tasty, but it would do what I needed it to. I could hear it when a man named Chow picked up on the other end of the line. I didn’t care for the snippy tone he took with Sookie, but she handled him just fine.

He changed his attitude when he realized Sookie had something that must have been valuable to him. Just how important am I? I heard the voice of the woman Pam I have chosen to be my second. It triggered no memories for me. She and Sookie spoke briefly, and in somewhat of a code, though I don’t know why. Would someone be listening in on the conversation? Why would it matter?

But then I heard Pam say something about troubles she’d been having. If she is my second, I take that to mean I have been having troubles as well. What sort of trouble am I in? Well, aside from not knowing who I am, where I came from or how I ended up where I am. I didn’t like that Sookie referred to me as being mentally damaged, even if she was right.

Pam said something about witches, which didn’t make Sookie happy. She agreed to keep me for the day since dawn was coming soon and there wasn’t enough time for Pam to get to me. How far away from home was I? Why did I feel like I was home sitting right there in the kitchen of a strange woman I couldn’t recall? It was all too much. I watched Sookie as she briskly handled Pam, then hung up. She went over the plan with me, either ignoring the fact that I’d heard both sides of the conversation just fine, or she was unaware of my superhuman hearing.

Sookie promised she would keep me safe until Pam and Chow were able to retrieve me. I know I can fight. I can feel it in my blood the same as I felt how tired Sookie was as she led me through her house. Still, I didn’t want to fight if it wasn’t necessary. I don’t like not knowing who the enemy is. I can feel that I am quite old, though I don’t know exactly how old. I feel a wealth of knowledge pressing on my brain but it’s like a drawbridge has been raised to keep the knowledge contained beyond my reach.

Sookie brought me to a spare bedroom and showed me where I could rest for the day. The hole is small, but it’ll do. Once I’m dead, I won’t feel it anyway. I knew she was tired, but I wasn’t quite ready to get in the hole yet. Truthfully, I don’t want to leave her side. I would watch her sleep if she would allow it. I don’t know why, but I don’t want to be anywhere she isn’t. I don’t know why, but my instincts scream at me to protect this woman as if her life is my own. I know, without a doubt, I would kill for this woman. I know this as easily as I know I’m a vampire.

I followed her across the hall and sat in a chair much too small for me to really get comfortable. She took off her shoes and went in search of something else to wear since she was still in her work uniform. She found what looked like a warm nightgown to wear. It was creamy white with little pale blue flowers and ribbons on it. She needed a new one desperately. Her room needed freshening up as well. She disappeared into the adjoining bathroom, leaving me to look around.

The walls were buttery yellow and white. The furniture had to be a few generations old and looked to be hand-built. Even in the dim light in the room, I could clearly see the brush strokes where stain had been applied by hand. I could see grooves, nicks and scratches most humans wouldn’t. I felt an appreciation for the antiquity. There’s a certain kinship between us. While the furniture can’t talk, it’s seen things in its life. I can relate to that. How strange to be able to relate to a highboy.

I listened while Sookie took care of her human needs, although I tried to focus on other things. I looked at the pictures on her walls and the nicknacks she chose as decoration. I breathed in the smell of her perfume and let it settle in my lungs. It was a sweet scent, but not sickeningly so. I spied a bottle on her dresser and tested my speed to see how quickly I could reach it. I’m fast. Superhuman fast.

I got back to the chair just before the door opened. I was immediately greeted with the smell of mint and soap. She reached up and took the elastic from her hair so it tumbled down her back. The smell of her shampoo wafted through the room, mingling with all the other smells. Cherry blossoms. So many different smells to take in with this woman, and yet, they all worked.

Sookie got into bed and without waiting for an invitation, I got in next to her. There was something compelling me to be close to her. As close as I could get. She was exhausted. I didn’t touch her, as much as I wanted to. I just laid there next to her, listening to the sound of her breathing and her heart beating. Everything was slowing down. She was shutting down. I couldn’t let her go to sleep without knowing her name, so I asked.

Sookie Stackhouse. An unusual name, I’m sure of that, but it suits her. As far as I can tell, she’s an unusual person. The fact that she stopped for a half naked man running down the road makes me nervous. Does she do that for everyone, or was it only because she knows me? She patted around under the blankets until she found my hand. She was so warm. When her skin met mine, I felt a little zap of something. My nerves dissipated when I realized how relaxed Sookie was.

Holding my hand didn’t make her panic. If anything, she seemed surprised. I wanted to ask, but she was already drifting off to sleep. She’d done enough for me for one night. I stayed there beside her for the longest time, watching her sleep and listening to her body. I didn’t let go of her hand until just before I forced myself out of her bed. Her warmth was hard to leave.

I shuffled around her house, wrapped in the afghan she’d given me in the car. Her scent clung to it as I walked from room to room. I looked at pictures of people I presumed to be her family. I detected the faintest trace of another vampire and something a bit more animal than human. Did she have a pet? I had yet to see anything besides her move in the house. I stared at a picture of Sookie with an older woman and a younger man that looked quite a bit like her. Her brother, I figured.

I tried not to be too nosy. It didn’t seem right to go poking through her personal things but I found this notebook sitting on top of the desk in one of the upstairs bedrooms. Since she keeps the upstairs rooms closed off I doubt she’ll even notice this is missing. I’m writing all of this down in hopes that it might make some sort of sense to me. Maybe it’ll trigger something for me.

I don’t know how long I’m going to be stuck this way, trapped in a body I don’t recall, or a life I don’t recognize. All I know in the world is Sookie. It should scare me, but it doesn’t. Not nearly as much as it should. I find it strange that I’m not so worried for myself as I am for her. If I’m in trouble, I don’t want her involved. She’s helped me. I feel… drawn to her, for reasons I can’t explain.

The sun approaches, so I must retire. If I didn’t know any better, I might think this is all a dream. Yet, instinct tells me I am very much trapped. Were it not for Sookie, I would run and keep running. What is it about her I find so alluring? Perhaps at sundown I will learn the answers.

 

4 thoughts on “Chapter 1: Stay Back, Woman

  1. I love seeing things through Eric’s eyes. There is enough overview if the things that were covered in DTTW to remind me of what was going on, without it feeling repetitive. Nice … Looking forward to more now 🙂

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