The Franklin Files — The Evergreens

November 23, 2010 by  

“Come and trim my Christmas tree
With some decorations bought at Tiffany
I really do believe in you
Lets see if you believe in me

Santa Baby, forgot to mention one little thing
A ring
I don’t mean on the phone
Santa Baby, so hurry down the chimney tonight…”

Tara arrived at Merlotte’s just in time to see Arlene’s little song and dance on top of the bar as she strung lights over the mirror behind it. As she reached the end, she bent down into Terry’s arms and he met her with a big old hug and kiss.

“Oh, geez,” said Tara. “I didn’t know the Rockettes were performing nightly down here in Bon Temps. Sam better put someone at the door to collect a cover charge for the entertainment.”

“Tara Mae Thornton, just because you can’t get a man to stay around long enough to love you through the holidays, don’t mean you have to ruin it for the rest of us.” Arlene hated all the negativity that sometimes came from her co-workers. “I got me a good man who loves both me and my two kids plus this young ‘un on the way, so we are gonna’ have us a good Christmas and we just want to spread some of the Christmas Cheer we’re feeling if that’s alright with you.”

“Yeah, Tara, we just want to spread some of this Christmas love we’re feeling right now.” Terry went to put his arms around Arlene.

“Not right now, honey, can’t you see I’m all hot and bothered. And you know I hate to be cuddled when I’m all pissed like this. Just go in the back and cook something, would you?” Terry went to the back, his eyes welling up.

“So, Tara, why don’t you  just go sit in a booth and stick your nose in that stupid book your always reading lately, and when you’re done being naughty and ready to be nice you can get your butt behind the bar.” Arlene went to hang some colored bulbs around the order window. “Geez, Terry, are you crying in there? Lord, honey, I didn’t mean nothing, let’s hang that mistletoe. C’mon you big sweet old Sugarbear. You know that girl is gonna to be the death of me. Come on and get out here.”

“What the hell does she know about anything?” thought Tara. “I’d have a man here for the holidays if Eggs hadn’t been shot.” Tara knew this was going to be one hard Christmas and she hated to think about it. She’d stopped by the cemetery on the way here. Sookie thought it would help to have a place to go to visit Eggs and it did sometimes, but not this morning. The weather was as cold and damp outside as it was inside Tara’s heart. Maybe things would look brighter in 1855 so she turned to Franklin Mott’s journal and started to read.

Sunday, December 2, 1855

It is after midnight, and I can’t believe all that has happened. It has truly been the worst night of my life. I am worried beyond belief. It appears now that we were quite wrong about what caused the death of Mr. Meagles. It was not a snake that bit him but some strange sort of blood sucking wolf! I know this because the wolves attacked us this evening and they got a hold of Mother and Gwendolyn! I’m terrified that they will suffer the same deadly fate.  Although I am exhausted beyond belief, I want to write down what happened just in case within this pitiable record I may later find a clue that will hold a key to fix this dreadful situation.

For this evening’s service, we did the annual “Hanging of the Greens.” It is one of my most favorite nights of the church year, and I love the Story of the Evergreens at Christmas.

700 years after Christ’s birth, Winfred of England (later, St. Boniface), was sent to the pagan tribes of Germany. One day, while walking in the forest, he came upon a ceremony where a human sacrifice was about to take place to worship the spirit of the forest. The usual ceremony involved the sprinkling of an innocent child’s blood around an oak tree to please the god of the forest. Winifred begged for the ceremony to be stopped, but his pleadings were ignored. In desperation, he grabbed the ceremonial ax and cut down the oak tree. The anger of the people soon turned to amazement when they saw a small fir tree spring up in the center of the tree to replace the fallen oak. A shaft of light caused each twig to glisten brightly in the darkness and the people listened and believed when Winifred told them the tree was a symbol of the birth of life through Christ.

I always love telling this story, and having the children gather around me as we go from station to station and light the candles against the darkness that have been places in the boughs of evergreens. I’m so good with children and love when they greet me in the parish. How different my home shall be than the one I am raised in! Gwendolyn and I will be such different parents. But, oh! After tonight all that may be lost to me.

After services, Mother invited a few families to our home for a little celebration. She invited Mrs. Meagles, with Mr. Flintwich and Miss Waters in tow, along with Mr. Edgington and Mr. Talbot, who unawares to me, were still in town. Gwendolyn, her guardian Mrs. General, and a few other families from the parish were also invited. Our four carriages were all together in the night. Mother and I were leading the way with Gwendolyn’s party behind us, and the Meagles’ group, in two carriages, were taking up the rear. All was well until out of the woods we heard the strange howl of the wolves we had heard at Mr. Meagles’ wake. The horses immediately became restive, and then a pack of wolves showed themselves and all sorts of mayhem ensued. With horses rearing and our cabriolets going hither and yon, Mother and Gwendolyn both being such slight creatures, must have fell out of the carriages, for the next thing I saw were the wolves dragging them by the hems of their dresses  into the woods.

Forgive my cursing, Lord, but it was bloody awful! You could hear their screams as they were pulled away. I felt completely impotent as I sat motionless in shock. But the men in the Meagles’ carriage immediately sprang to action, and with unbelievable speed ran into the woods. Their screams continued briefly but then ended when, apparently, the men found them and shortly thereafter carried them out.

We rushed them to our home and put them to bed where our housekeeper and chambermaid, under the strong direction of Mrs. General, started their ministrations. Within a short time Mrs. General reported that they had suffered numerous bites, like those suffered by Mr. Meagles, were quite weak, and still did not seem to know themselves.

I am so worried, I barely know myself this night! Except that I am a coward. I let those men run into those woods while I stood in the road, feet firmly planted in a state of shock. Yet, I barely had a chance to move, it happened so fast. I hardly remember them falling from the carriage. In fact, if I look back upon the event, I’d swear those wolves circled only our two carriages and not the last two conveyances at all. I was so busy trying to hang onto the horses. It’s strange to me that the wolves showed not the slightest interest in attacking the horses. They simply took Mother and Gwen after they fell from the carriage. And did they truly fall? I don’t really recall seeing them fall. It was all such a blur. Once this emergency passes, I will have to question Mrs. General more closely. Somehow, I have the feeling I should not trust Mr. Flintwich and his friends.

“You got that right,” said Tara. “I can’t believe I’m actually starting to feel sorry for this guy. I guess he got screwed by the vamps too. But, that doesn’t give him a pass on being totally and completely messed up. Lord, I don’t know what to think! I hate this book!” Tara slammed it shut and walked back inside to find Arlene and Terry decorating the Christmas tree.

“Whaddya’ think Tara? The tree looks real pretty, don’t it?” asked Arlene, obviously hoping to make up.

“It sure beats the hell out of children being sacrificed.”

“What are you talking about? Just stop it. I was going to ask you to put the star on top but you can just forget it.”

“That’s exactly what I’d like to do. Forget it. Give me that star, Arlene.” Tara climbed that ladder and started to sing, “Oh, Christmas tree, O Christmas tree, how lovely are your branches…

To herself, Tara thought, “Maybe if I sing loud enough, I just might forget what happened in those woods.”

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 that 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