Sookie pulled up outside of the Moon Goddess Emporium and parked the BMW a few doors down from the store front. She made sure to lock the doors behind her with the remote attached to the key ring, and walked the short distance to the shop. If she didn’t know any better she would think it was closed. Sookie wondered how Marnie was able to make a living by running such a shop, but there were always people desperate enough to try anything when the chips were down.
A bell rang overhead when Sookie entered the store, and she barely had time to look around before a middle-aged woman appeared from the back of the shop. Sookie immediately recognized her as Marnie from Yvetta’s memories, and she was even wearing a dress that was oddly similar to the one Sookie had seen her wearing then. The interesting thing about Marnie was that she didn’t look at all threatening or intimidating. She actually seemed rather shy and introverted.
“You must be Sookie,” Marnie said as she approached, but her tone was rather lifeless.
“I am,” Sookie stepped forward with a bright smile on her face and extended her hand to Marnie. “Holly told me so much about you.”
Marnie didn’t take Sookie’s hand, but she did stare awkwardly at it for a moment. Slowly Sookie lowered her hand and decided to glaze over the awkwardness. She lowered her shields and listened for anything of import while she jabbered on and on about how fascinating she thought it would be to be a medium, or be able to practice magic. Sookie said nothing about her telepathy, but did mention the recent death in her family.
“Yes, Holly did mention the death of your grandmother. Why don’t we have a seat over there?” Marnie pointed to the table near the window with a crystal ball at the center.
“Sure,” Sookie flashed a sad smile, and then made her way to the table.
“Now, I can’t guarantee that I’ll be able to reach your grandmother, but I’ll give it my best shot. You wouldn’t, by any chance, have anything with you that belonged to her, would you?” Marnie asked after taking a seat.
“As a matter of fact,” Sookie reached into her purse and pulled out a handkerchief that had been Gran’s. “This was Gran’s. I like carrying it with me; it makes me feel close to her.”
Marnie nodded with understanding, and took the piece of cloth that Sookie handed over. She kept her palm turned up with the cloth resting on top of it and said, “I need your hand, dear.”
“Oh, right,” Sookie set her purse aside and held onto Marnie’s hand.
Just like with Lafayette there was a curtain in Marnie’s mind, and as soon as Sookie’s hand touched hers, the curtain fell away. Marnie closed her eyes and began to chant in another language that sounded an awful lot like Latin. Sookie, meanwhile, gently pushed her way into Marnie’s mind. There wasn’t a whole lot of note going on in there at the moment. She was concentrating too hard on trying to reach the spirits for Sookie to find out what sort of plans she had in store for the vampires.
But then, all of a sudden, Sookie heard Gran’s voice and she gasped. Marnie’s eyes opened and focused on Sookie. “Your Gran… her name is Adele?”
Sookie nodded and tears filled her eyes. “You found her?”
Marnie nodded and said, “Yes, she is with us.”
Sookie, Sookie, my sweet girl is that you?
“Yes, Gran, it’s me,” Sookie answered, and Marnie’s eyes went wide at the realization that she hadn’t had to translate for Sookie.
It was a careless mistake, on Sookie’s part, to jump the gun like that but just hearing Gran’s voice again was such a relief that she couldn’t help answering.
“How did you-” Marnie started, but was cut off by Gran.
Oh, I’ve missed you, honey. Don’t cry, Sookie.
It was too late. Sookie was weeping, but trying to pull herself together.
“I’ve just missed you so much Gran. There are so many things I want to tell you, and I have so many questions. Are you with Hadley?” Sookie started there.
Yes, I’m with her. She told me of the trouble you’re in, and she told me about her talk with Lafayette. I don’t know how she found him so fast. I know you must be angry with me for not telling you the truth about your grandfather—
“I’m disappointed, Gran, but not angry. I would have understood. I’m sure you had your reasons,” Sookie said, and much to her amazement Marnie remained quiet.
We just wanted children so badly. It was the only way. Fintan was good looking, intelligent and very sweet on me. He understood that he could never play the role of a father to Corbett and Linda. He knew I wasn’t in love with him, and that I would never leave Earl. Yet, he was willing to give me the one thing your grandfather couldn’t. I will forever be grateful to him for that, Sookie. After all, if it wasn’t for him, I would have had you, Jason and Hadley as well.
“I understand, Gran, really I do,” Sookie said, even though there was a part of her that had a difficult time wrapping her head around it. “Did Granddaddy know?”
Of course he knew. At first he had a hard time accepting it, but he wanted children as much as I did. In the end, it was the only solution we could come up with. Read the letters, Sookie. They will tell you so much more than I can right now. My time is limited.
“Gran, what do I do about Bill?” Sookie asked, since that was her second most important question.
You have always had a good head on your shoulders, Sookie. You have good instincts, a big heart and more insight to the world than you should for your age. Use those things to your advantage. Listen to your heart and follow your instincts, and you can never be led astray.
“That’s just it, Gran, I’m not sure about anything right now,” Sookie sighed.
Yes you are, child. You know the right path to take, but you are afraid to let true love into your life. I’m proof that nothing goes on forever, Sookie. If you have a chance for happiness, you reach out and grab it with both hands and don’t you dare let go. You deserve to have everything you want, and you can have it if you don’t run from it because you’re afraid. Open that heart of yours to the right one and it will always be safe.
Sookie sobbed quietly, her eyes squeezing tears from her eyes, her shoulders shaking as she cried. “I miss you so much, Gran.”
I know you do, honey. There’s something I need you to know. The night I was murdered… I don’t blame you for my death. What happened to me is not your fault, and I don’t like you carrying that around. This is important so I need you to listen to me. Are you listening, Sookie?
“Yes,” Sookie sniffled, feeling a bit lighter for having heard Gran absolve her of her guilt. “I’m listening, Gran.”
I felt cold hands on me, Sookie. I didn’t see the killer’s face, but I know it was a man, and I know he was wearing khaki slacks. I don’t think it was Rene that killed me. I only saw the man as he left, and he did so at a speed that was much too fast for a human. Sookie, I think the man who killed me was—
“Gran? Gran?” Sookie stood up, and tried to push deeper into Marnie’s mind, but Gran was gone.
The only good thing about it was that Sookie saw flashes of vampires with slit throats, drinking a concoction with silver flecks in it. The silver would burn the vampires from the inside, and Sookie watched as these anonymous vampires writhed in agony, too weak to fight back against the affects of the silver thanks to their slit throats. Eventually the pain became so great that they either staked themselves, or met the sun. It was a horrible, awful way to die and it seemed Marnie had worked out a plan to make this happen one vampire at a time, if necessary.
Sookie snapped out of it in time to see Marnie staring up at her suspiciously, and she took back Gran’s handkerchief before reaching into her purse to pay Marnie for her time.
“How did you do that?” Marnie asked in a mystified tone.
“It isn’t important. Thank you for your time, Marnie,” Sookie said, and dropped the cash on the small table before running out of the shop.
She didn’t look back.
Sookie stopped at the Grab-It-Kwik on her way home to pick up some extra TruBlood since both Eric and Bill would be there later. She grabbed a frozen pizza from the freezer section for good measure since she hadn’t taken anything out for supper, and she was starving. When Sookie arrived home a short time later she went to the kitchen to start the oven warming, and then went upstairs to take a quick shower and rinse the smell of the bar off of her.
By the time she came back downstairs the oven was ready for her pizza, and after popping it in Sookie sat down at the kitchen table with a glass of iced tea, a notepad and a pen. She sat there thinking about the things Gran had said, specifically the last part about the night she was murdered. Gran hadn’t had the chance to say it, but Sookie was pretty sure what Gran was going to say.
“Bill couldn’t have done that to Gran,” Sookie whispered, but her gut rejected that notion.
Bill had lied, concealed things and he had killed Uncle Bartlett after Sookie told him what the dirty old man had done to her when she was a child. Rather than coming to her, or asking her permission first, Bill had simply committed another murder in Sookie’s name and tried to hide the body. Sookie thought about how much blood was on her hands as a result of Bill’s actions. How many unnecessary deaths had there been because Bill murdered people who had hurt her?
The Rattrays, Long Shadow, Uncle Bartlett… now maybe Gran? The body count was mounting, and if it was true that Bill had killed Gran then it was safe to assume that Bill would do anything to get to Sookie. But why would he have killed Gran? Gran hadn’t tried to discourage Sookie from seeing Bill. If anything, Gran had been supportive of Sookie and Bill’s relationship. Just when Sookie thought she was getting somewhere, she found she had a whole new series of questions to consider.
With that in mind, she picked up her pen and started to make up a list of questions. She dedicated one page to each person she planned to address, and started with her questions for Eric, since she was counting on him arriving before Bill. She wanted to hear what he had to say so she could compare Bill’s answers against what Eric said. The realization that she trusted Eric hit her like a ton of bricks. It was floating on the periphery, but as she was writing she realized that Eric had been truthful with her so far. He was blunt a lot of the time, and she didn’t always understand why things had to be the way they were, but Eric didn’t make any attempts to hide who he was from her.
He laid everything out in the open for her to examine, like it or not. It was refreshing, but also terrifying.
From there Sookie moved on to Bill’s list, writing up many of the same questions a second time, but adding a few new ones that pertained to Bill’s position with the Queen. Hadley’s ‘testimony’ wouldn’t hold up in a court of law, but that didn’t matter. Sookie had no reason to believe that Lafayette was lying to her, and with her own mind she had heard Gran confirm the things that Hadley said. If Bill lied to her again, that would be the end of their relationship once and for all.
Finally, Sookie was writing up her questions for Lafayette and Jesus when the timer went off on the oven. Sookie set aside her pen and went to the oven to remove her pizza. The sun was starting to sink for the day, which meant it was only a matter of time before the vampires arrived. Sookie sat down at the kitchen table with a plate full of pizza, picked up her pen and resumed writing.
She had a lot of questions. More importantly, she needed the answers.