The Franklin Files — The Dinner Party

October 31, 2010 by  

“A minister? Franklin was a minister? What the hell is it about me that attracts sick religious people? I know you are a good God, at least that’s what Sookie says, and she still has me believing – but you got some messed up people that say they’re working for you.”

And with that “prayer” Tara stuffed the envelope full of money into her jeans, tucked the journal under her arm and headed back towards Sam’s trailer behind the bar. Luckily, Sam was away “playing Lassie” as Tara now thought of his absences since he’d shared with her the secret that he was a shape shifter. So, she knew she could look at the journal at his place without being bothered by anyone. She found the key where Sam kept it hidden, let herself in, grabbed a beer, then went and sat on the porch.

Tara still couldn’t believe the seemingly psychotic vampire who kidnapped her, wanting to turn her into his vampire bride, had been a man of the cloth in his human life. She took the journal in hand and finally got up the nerve to open it. The entry she’d been reading continued:

Wednesday, October 31, 1855

My text for the day was Revelations 7: 2-17, but I focused on verses 13-14,

And one of the elders answered, saying unto me,

What are these which are arrayed in white robes? And whence came they?

And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest.

And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation,

and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb

And I didst thou indeed preach my heart and soul unto the rafters of the great tribulation that awaits those who sin against God and man!

And surely I have borne my own tribulations and truly I have wanted nothing more than my own sweet death that would free me from my tormentor and I would find myself arrayed in white before the glorious throne for all eternity.

Tonight was another tribulation, a celebratory dinner held on my behalf by my oppressor. And even though it was held to mark my first sermon, my mother could not deign to seat me in a place of honor. She took her place at the head of the table while she placed me down near my father where he always sat, at the lower end. Mr. and Mrs. Meagles were there, of course, the greatest benefactors of the parish, and they did their best to keep the dinner conversation light and jovial in the face of my mother’s punishing parish gossip. God Bless the Meagles!

I do have to credit Mother with inviting my Dearest Gwendolyn. I know it pained Mother to invite her, but it would have seemed impolite not to invite the young vicar’s intended. My heart ached to look down the table to see her seated next to Mother. I wanted to jump up and remove Darling Gwen from her clutches. I was so distracted during the dinner I hardly touched the food what with watching the light reflecting off her golden curls and listening to the music of her voice in conversation.

Mother’s shrill voice pierced my reverie, “Gwendolyn, darling, what a lovely frock you’re wearing this All Hallow’s Eve. If the Spirits were not already inclined to leave their deathly repose, one look at your lovely figure and even the most deadly male would find reason to rise from his earthly grave. Don’t you think so, Mr. Flintwich?”

I was livid with fury, but dared not cross her, and turned to the strangest couple ever to grace my mother’s table at the Vicarage. It was a Miss Waters and a Mr. Henry Flintwich with whom Mother had recently become acquainted at a meeting of the Royal Society at Somerset House. What a strange pair they were, especially Mr. Flintwich who looked entirely unwell. He was the very color of death and his hand was cold as ice when I held it within my own. Upon my greeting his eyes met mine and I felt embarrassed and could not hold his gaze, feeling the greatest discomfiture. Truly, I do not see at all what Mother sees in them. Miss Waters appears to be the most unseemly sort of character. I’m surprised that Mother would allow them into the vicarage at all.

Both Miss Waters and Mr. Flintwich seemed to leer at Gwendolyn whose head was bowed in deep embarrassment, but Mr. Meagles interjected to save the conversation, “I do believe I hear quite a few revelers out this evening so I fear Mrs. Meagles and I really must be going. It has been quite a lovely dinner Father and Mrs. Mott. Young Vicar Mott, quite a success on your sermon this morning. You quite, quite made me long for that day when I, myself, will be dressed in white for all eternity.”

“Oh, yes, Mr. Meagles, you always look quite lovely in your nightshirt,” said Mrs. Meagles.

“I just imagine you do,” said Mr. Flintwich. “Do you two live near here in Twickenham?”

“Yes, we have the Portnoy Estate,” replied Mr. Meagles.

“Well, I must call on you some evening.”

“Oh, yes. You’d be quite, quite welcome, Mr. Flintwich, anytime.” Invited Mrs. Meagles as if she weren’t even aware the words were leaving her lips. “And you too, Miss Waters, of course.”

I wonder why an elegant young man like Mr. Flintwich would want to spend an evening with the boring old Meagles? Something is not quite right with him or Miss Waters. I didn’t like them one bit, but I was glad for their presence tonight. For after dinner, Father excused himself to bed, poor soul. Mother withdrew with Miss Waters and Mr. Flintwich to the drawing room, surprisingly leaving me alone with Gwendolyn. Mother has never left us alone before, being quite jealous of my feelings for her.

As we waited for her carriage to be brought round, for the second time in my life I was able to take her in my arms and attain one of the sweetest kisses on earth imaginable.

Tara slammed the journal shut. “Enough! That sick, sad, bastard! Sweetest kisses on earth??? I’m going to be sick. I wonder how Gwendolyn would have liked a kiss with a big old mouth full of fang? And tribulation? How about my tribulations, Franklin? What about my being clothed in white? Yeah, I was clothed in white, Franklin, with your sorry ass blood and guts all over me…”

Tara stared at the journal not sure whether she wanted to keep the journal or throw it in the trash. “Aw, hell, no, Franklin. I’m going to learn every dirty little detail of your sick little life.” Just as she’d been drawn to Franklin when he was “alive” she was drawn to him now. She knew she had to read more.


Disclaimer: The Franklin Files are provided for entertainment purposes only and is a parody of the fantasy series, True Blood, and as such, is presented here for your amusement. “Franklin Files” and the various writers who contribute to it, have no relationship/affiliation to HBO, True Blood, or any of the cast or crew of said program nor any relation to Charlaine Harris, or the Sookie Stackhouse novels.

Written By: Sarahfina

Photo & Graphics By: Sarahfina

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  • Roberta

    Love where you are taking this story / flashback of Franklin. Your talent and imagination have made me wish you would add a new chapter every week. I loved the time that James Frain was on the screen (with or without Tara). He was scary /funny/ terrifying. You are adding layers to this charachter that keeps him alive (even in death). Keep it up Sarahfina! You have my full interest.

    • Sarahfina

      Thanks Roberta!
      My goal is to post a new installment the first part of every week, and I’m currently working on next week’s. I really appreciate your comments, and I’ll look forward to continuing dialogue with you as more characters and plot lines develop!
      Sarahfina

  • ~ Caitlin

    Thanks for another another wonderful and creative story Sarafina! I can picture Franklin as a minister. After all, James Frain did play a religious figure in Tudors. I miss Franklin even though he was psychotic. I love Tara’s response to the journal. It makes me wish this was a part of the show. That would be interesting.

    • Sarahfina

      Hi Caitlyn,
      Thanks! I remember James Frain in The Tudors, too, although he’ll be an altogether “different” sort of minister here! I feel really fortunate to be doing this, so I’m glad you’re enjoying it. Keep letting me know what you think, I really appreciate it.
      Sarahfina