The Franklin Files — The Wake

November 16, 2010 by  

Sam Merlotte had seen enough of his biological family to last a lifetime. Their dog fighting ways had even, for a quick second, taken away his chief joy in life, that is the time he spent running in the woods as a dog, it reminded him too much of them. He never felt so free as when he could take on his favorite form as a dog and just run with his tongue hanging out and run wild on all fours and let the cares of the bar, the vampires, of Sookie, and lately of Tara pass by him just as fast as every tree and shrub hit his face as he darted here and there. He loved drinking from streams and laying in the sun and then coming back to his truck and driving around to find a cheap motel and bar to spend his evenings and pretending he was nobody. In fact, he loved being nobody, never hearing his name called, “Sam. Sam. Sam, we need this…” or “Sam, Sam, how come you…?” or “Sam, Sam, Sam, how could you…?” or …

“Sam, Sam, Sam, I need another case of Bud Light. Hello, Sam? Sam, are you listening to me? Sam, hello? Earth to Sam…Come in Sam.” Tara was actually waving her hand in front of his face.

“Sorry, Tara.” I was just thinking about how nice it was to be out of here for a few days.”

“Well, nice to see you, too, Sam.” Tara feigned a pout and crossed her arms in front of her as she stood behind the bar.

“Hey, don’t take it personally, Tara. You know I’m always glad to see you. It’s just been a rough couple of months and all. I really needed the time away.”

“Yeah. And I’m glad you could afford to take the time, Sam.” Tara meant it to sound sincere, but there was a bit of an edge to her words.

“C’mon Tara, don’t be like that. I was gone for four days. It’s not like I abandoned ship for weeks on end and you’ve taken plenty of time off lately and I been pretty damn good about it, don’t you think?”

“And you know that was my choice, right?” Now Tara started to get a little upset.

“Okay,” Sam moved behind the bar. “I’m sorry, that didn’t come out right.”

Thankfully, Merlotte’s was just opening up, and no one was there yet. “Let’s just keep things light today, okay? I’m happy to be back and see you all. Let’s not fight. I appreciate your taking care of things for me. You’ve really come a long way since you hired in here. You and your cousin have become real important to me and Merlotte’s. I know I couldn’t do it without you.” He put his arms around her and gave her a kiss on top of her head.

“Okay, Sam. You’re right. I’m glad you’re back, too, and I don’t want to fight today. Can I just grab some iced tea and go sit on your porch for a while before things really start hopping here? I’ve been running since I got up this morning.”

“No problem. Take yourself some time. I’ve got things covered.”

Actually, Tara had been so busy since she’d left the night before and she was desperate to see how Mr. Meagles was faring in Franklin’s journal. She basically ran out to the porch in front of Sam’s trailer and skimmed through the pages of Franklin’s journal until she found this entry:

Thursday, November 29, 1855

Tonight has been a mournful night indeed. Spent the entire evening at the Wake for poor Mr. Meagles. I can’t believe how fast he slipped away. As I look over my past journal entries, I recall the many times I rode out to the house in a desperate attempt to intercede to God on his behalf. But despite my prayers and the doctor’s best efforts, nothing could keep him from inexplicably slipping away. The snakebites he suffered never seemed to heal over. Strangely, each day they seemed just as fresh as the day before while he grew weaker and weaker until his soul just left his body.

The Wake, of course, was filled with many people from the parish, local townspeople and Mr. Meagles’ business associates. Charles Meagles, his eldest son returned home with his family in tow, and was very upset to find that Mr. Flintwich and Miss Waters had ensconced themselves so thoroughly into his mother’s home. But after talking with Mr. Flintwich, he had a surprising change of mind and all was soon well. I don’t think that Mrs. Meagles could have withstood any conflict, such was her state of mind. She tried to put on the bravest of faces, but a handkerchief was always at the ready and Mother stayed at her side at all times in the role of guardian to which she is so very well suited. I don’t think there was a one of us there whose heart was not breaking as we watched the way Mrs. Meagles’ lower lip trembled and eyes welled with tears at the very mention of her beloved husband’s name. We all felt profoundly the loss of such a great and giving man.

That was not true of all in attendance for there were two ousiders there tonight, friends of Mr. Flintwich, who did lend a strange cast to the proceedings, a Mr. Russell Edgington and his assistant, Mr. Talbot. They are unbelievably also staying with the Meagles as guests of Mr. Flintwich. Apparently, they are business associates of his in the shipping of textiles to and from America. Despite the inappropriateness of the setting, Mr. Talbot was very keen to share with me his opinion of the current state of affairs of his business.

“We only ship the very finest of fabrics. Besides the ones we use here in Britain, we have contracted with some of the most accomplished weavers in both Germany and Italy that produce the most detailed and luxurious fabrics for us. They are simply exquisite. And I am currently working with some local tailors to create some of my own patterns to make available for others to use. I simply abhor what some people want to do with the beautiful fabric we produce. And you should see what they do with it in America! Of course, they really are a silly people. Can you imagine, growing all that cotton and then sending it over here for us to make into fabric only for us to sell it back to them? Maybe some day they will be smart enough to join us in manufacturing, will they not? Maybe then they can stop all this slavery and become a civilized people?”

Despite the fact that he had me driven into a corner of the drawing room, his pontifications were being carried across the hushed murmurs of all those gathered who were pouring out their grief with the Meagles. Finally, Mr. Edgington put a stop to it all, “Please excuse my business associate, Reverend. As you can see, he finds our work to be every bit as much of a ‘calling’ as you do yours. Come, Talbot, we have some things to discuss with Miss Waters.” And with that, he took him away.

I gratefully went to join a group of parishioners who immediately began gossiping about the curious guests staying with Mrs. Meagles, some even laying at their feet Mr. Meagles untimely death.

“Snakes my arse! Excuse me, Vicar Mott,” said Mrs. Cummings, who is one of the leaders of the Altar Guild.“No snake I know leaves bites as big as that. And the men have beat the bushes from here to Liverpool looking for some such giant snake and they’ve not found a slither in sight! I’m telling you something is not right here. All I can say is mind yourselves.”

At that moment, a bloodcurdling howl could be heard from outside the house. A chill ran through the room and everyone went quiet. Mr. Edgington and Mr. Talbot made a hurried exit for the front door as if something were on fire, while Mr. Flintwich hurried to the side of Mrs. Meagles and whispered something in her ear, and then got up to speak.

“Mrs. Meagles would like to thank you all for coming this evening. She has found your presence a great comfort. Given the lateness of the hour I think it’s best we take our leave for this evening and return each one of us to our homes. We will gather again in the morning at St. Mary’s, isn’t that right Reverend Mott?” But before I could answer, he was leading us all towards the door.

It was a strange ride home, the horses at the carriage a number of times tried to rear themselves and though the night was windy, I swore I heard the call of the wolf again. I was never so happy to return to the vicarage and to be safely inside my parents’ home. It is not often that I find myself saying that. I hope tonight to have blessed rest before we send poor Mr. Meagles off to a blessed rest for all eternity.

“Well, be glad they let him die,” thought Tara. She felt terrible for Mrs. Meagles, but she would have felt worse if she thought a good man like Mr. Meagles was doomed to the life of a vampire forever. And to think Edgington and Talbot were there! And Talbot was as prissy back then as he was today. “And he’s got some kind of nerve calling us too dumb to become civilized.”

By then Tara had made her way back behind the bar and was getting ready for the lunchtime rush. Jason Stackhouse came in with a bag from Wal-Mart in his hand.

“Whatcha’ got there Jason?”

“Oh, I stepped in a water canal this morning working out by the highway, so I had to go pick me up some new socks. And I just saw a thing on the news recently. Did you know that one city in China makes most of the world’s socks? We grow the cotton, send it over there and then they sell the socks back to us? Ain’t that a kick in the pants?”

“Yeah, Jason. Ain’t that just something? I guess not much has changed in 150 years. Same damn vampires, same damn business, same damn cotton, same damn buying it from somebody else. 150 years later!”

“Tara. Am I missing something? What are we 150 years late for?”

“Oh, Jason, mainly we’re late for saving poor Mr. Meagles.”

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