The Franklin Files — The Gifts

December 23, 2010 by  


“You know our mamas would be ticked if they knew we were getting them the same thing.”

“Girlfriend, who the hell taught you to wrap a present? Don’t you know you line up the box along the top of the edge of the wrapping paper so you get a nice even line so it all wraps up nice and even?” Lafayette snatched the large box away from Tara. “Just let me wrap the damn presents. They’ll probably be pissed to know I wrapped them both, too, but damn, I can’t stand a bad wrapping job.”

“There is soooo much I could be saying right now, but since it’s Christmas Eve I think I’ll just leave it alone right now. I can’t wait to get up in the morning and visit our moms.”

“Correction. I’ll be visiting my mom and then we’ll be visiting Lettie Mae together. You know how Ruby Jean can get. And on a Messianic holiday?! Oh, Lordy! She oughtta’ be in fine form tomorrow!”

“Well, thanks for taking away my Christmas morning entertainment…”

“Well, that’s not how we used to remember Christmas.”

“Yeah, I remember.”

“Lafayette, do you remember when I got the beautiful Black Malibu Barbie and you got that set of Power Rangers? And I have to tell you, whatever you put in this eggnog is damn good.”

“Why thank you, Miss Merlotte’s Bartender. It’s a little nutmeg, rum, brandy and crème de cacao. Guess they should have me doing everything up in that place, huh? But, anyway, yes, I think the now famous Power Rangers/Malibu Barbie Christmas may be what sent our mothers over the edge.”

Tara threw a pillow at him. “Boy, trust me. Our mothers were far gone before that. I’m surprised they had their shit together enough to even get us those presents. I wouldn’t be surprised if Sookie’s grandmother bought them for us.”

“Yeah, she probably did. Which makes it even sadder that they threw them out.”

“Boy, don’t look so morose. Now it seems all kind of funny. The disco music was blaring from the radio, and you made that runway on my bed. And I hooked up that fly-line from my closet so that Malibu Barbie could come in and blow the whole thing up. It was awesome! But seeing it from their perspective, you can see why they freaked a little!”

“Yeah, they walked in just in time to see the red power ranger in a tutu get blown right off the bed!”

“It was awesome! But I did look like a psychopath!”

“And I looked like…me!”

“You’re crazy! And in spite of everything, I do love you. Here, open your present.” Tara handed him what was possibly the worst wrapped present in the history of Christmas.

“Well, I see you wrapped it yourself.”

“Bitch. Just open it.”

Lafayette opened the box and inside was a crystal etched frame containing a smiling picture of him and Tara in close-up, all the love and all the history coming through. Tara said, “Sookie took it at Merlotte’s sometime this past year.”

Lafayette started to tear up. “Tara I love it. And despite all the stuff I say, I love you more than anything, more than anyone on the face of this earth, baby girl.”

“I know.”

“Here’s your present.” He handed her a jewelry box with a bow on it. She opened it up to find a beautiful solid round gold bracelet. “It’s engraved on the inside, it says ‘Mi Corazón’ which means ‘My Heart’ in Spanish. With all the attention on ‘beating’ and ‘unbeating’ hearts going on around here, I wanted you to know that your heart means the world to me, always and forever.”

Tara was speechless. With tears in her eyes she gave her cousin a hug and then the two of them melted into the couch and for a long time sat watching the video of the yuletide log they had playing on the TV. Suddenly, Tara jumped up. “With everything being so busy, we never did find out who was missing in Franklin’s Journal!”

“Damn, you’re right! That will be our final Christmas gift to each other! To at least find that out!”

Sunday, December 23, 1855

So, I am bereft this Christmastide. I have Gwendolyn but my parents are gone. My father is nothing but a blithering idiot. I have a parish but no heart to lead it. I pray for help…

These last two weeks have been a blur and I can’t begin to recount what I haven’t written. Suffice it to say, Mother is still missing. It’s as if she as fallen off the face of the earth although she has visited me in my dreams, but I will write more of that in a moment.

Gwendolyn has recovered, most thankfully. But I do not know how I can move forward with marriage at this time without my dear mother here to witness it. What will my marital home mean without my darling mother there to give advice? What will grandchildren mean without mother there to play and dote upon them? What will my life as a clergyman mean without mother there to see my success? It seems my life has lost all meaning…

Father’s life most certainly has. I have had to take up all preaching, such as it is. I can barely put two words together, but it is more than Father can do. A terrible secret has been revealed to me. As soon as mother disappeared, Father relinquished all parish duties to me. I thought it was out of grief, but after a few days of it, I confronted him in his bed, and told him to get up and get to doing something that he’d be the better man for it, the parish needed him, and so on and so forth. He completely broke down and confessed that he has done none of the parish work for years except for the visiting and the “showy” things, that mother does all the administrative work, and even writes his sermons for him! She always has, he says! He’s completely incapable of it. So, I’ve been left to do it all. He’s become nothing but a driveling mess, and I’d be angry if he weren’t so utterly pathetic. And to be honest, I’m too exhausted.

I haven’t been able to sleep well, after a horrible nightmare about mother about a week ago. Each night I both fear it will recur and hope that it will happen again so I may see her and have a clue as to where she is. I dreamed that I was awakened to find her and Mr. Flintwich, Mr. Edgington and Mr. Tobin all standing around my bed. She was holding my hand with hands as cold as ice, and then began to sniff at me as if she were taking in my scent. At this point Mr. Edgington and Mr. Tobin pulled her away from me, whispering that it was unwise for her to get too close.

In case it was really her, I tried to draw her in, by telling her that I had purchased that beautiful burgundy dress from the dress shop to give her as a gift for Christmas. I knew it would be like catnip for her and it she were truly alive she couldn’t resist. “Oh, Franklin, you bought the dress for me? You’re such a loving son.” But again, Mr. Edgington yanked on her arms, and said, something about being a maker or something. I couldn’t quite understand it.

Again, I brought up the dress, and her beautiful hair, trying to draw her out. But then Edgington got really angry and said they had to leave. She began to cry but her tears were like the blood of our Savior as you see in some paintings. Tobin approached me directly and said some words about forgetting they were there, but I started praying for my mother and her soul, the image of her tears being so horrific.

Mother must be dead, if not, why would she not return to me? The dream was just a nightmare and it is all jumbled and foggy in my brain. But I went to Mrs. Meagles to try to talk to Flintwich, Edgington, and Tobin, but only Flintwich and Waters remain. Edgington and Tobin have sailed for the States, which seems odd given the time of year. I know it is not Christian, but I would not mind they meet a winter storm and perish. Forgive me! There is something not right about those men. As to Flintwich and Waters, Mrs. Meagles said they are never available during the day, and that she would ask that they stop by the rectory without delay.

“Damn! I hate how this boy continues to make me feel bad for him! No wonder I was drawn to him. We’re both from the F’d Up Mother’s Club!” Tara threw a pillow into the chair next to her.

“Girl, it’s time we head over to Merlotte’s to work. There’s going to be a big time Christmas partying going on. Then we got some serious bejeweled robes and slippers to deliver. They are going to love them. My mom is going to have the finest robe in the nursing home and she looks so fine in jewel tone purple. Maybe if the dollar store is open, we can stop and get her a crown, she’d love that.”

“Yeah, if Franklin thinks his mama is a princess, he hasn’t met Ruby Jean. Now that woman thinks she’s a queen!”

Lafayette sighed, “Girl, sometimes, I think she really is.”


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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