The Franklin Files — Happy New Year

January 7, 2011

The Franklin Files” – Happy New Year

“Here drink this.” Jesus handed Lafayette a Bloody Mary. “Trust me, you two will feel a whole lot better and I’m a nurse. And I added a little secret magic to it, too.” He handed one to Tara who was laying head to toe with Lafayette on the couch and looked like she could be a vampire. She was the absolute color of death.

“Please tell me I’m not going to see no visions. I swear if I see visions as soon as I can lift myself off this couch I’ll kick your sorry ass from here to Tijuana.”

“No worries, sweetheart, it’s all spices from your local grocery store. My, my, you two are wee bit touchy this morning.”

“Sorry, babe, as much as I love them, I don’t do Champagne and Courvoisier together real well. But I sure seemed to like it last night – a lot.” Lafayette lifted the damp cloth from his face and attempted to smile.

“You sure did. You liked a lot of other things, too…”

“Oh, really…honestly, I don’t remember a whole lot of what happened after I stopped cooking the last couple of specials Sam had going last night. I can’t believe people really ponied up $13.95 for some cocktail shrimp and 6 oz sizzler. Hard to believe that’s the fanciest “Turf and Surf” they’ve ever seen in Merlotte’s, let alone Bon Temps. But I guess with a complimentary glass of champagne, noise maker and a party hat, it was a pretty nice event at the bar.”

“Well, I can tell you, everyone had a really nice time, especially you,” Jesus started to laugh, looking at Tara, “and Sookie. When you two started doing the can-can on top of the bar, I gained a whole new respect for you. Doing ‘The Bump?’ I didn’t know anyone still knew that old dance existed anymore. And when you closed it all out with ‘The Macarena’! It was absolutely classic!”

Tara groaned, and somehow managed to hit him dead on in the face with pillow, “You can shut the hell up any old time now.”

“My, my, my, okay, I can see my attempts at a lighthearted banter is getting me nowhere with the two of you.  How about I read you a little story. Have you checked in with Franklin lately? Do you know how his New Year’s began? Lafayette told me that his mother is missing and you think she’s been turned to the ‘dark side’ but have you read anymore?”

Tara answered, rather peevishly, “I really was starting to feel sort of sorry for Franklin which really pissed me off so I didn’t want to read anymore but what the hell I already feel like crap. Let’s go ahead and see what’s happened to his mommy dearest. The book is in the back closet under some blankets.” She threw her elbow over her forehead as if she were a movie star having a fainting spell on a chaise lounge in some long ago Bette Davis black and white movie.

Soon, Jesus returned the old battered journal. “I swear I don’t know how this thing holds together. And how many more are there?”

“Enough to keep us reading for a very long time. So start reading already.”

“Obviously, you need to drink more of my special Bloody Mary, Tara.” She gave Jesus the evil eye. “Whoa, girl, I know you don’t want to go toe-to-toe, evil eye-to-evil eye with me, girl. You have no idea who I am. But for the sake of your cousin, I’ll shut up and start reading.”

“Pleeeeease. Y’all need to stop. I’m in pain, and I love you both, but if you don’t start reading in ten, you will find both your butts on the porch.” Lafayette was coming to life, but quickly laid his head back down with a hand to the forehead and an, “Ouch.”

“Alright, ‘ladies,’ settle down, I’m reading.”

Tuesday, January 1, 1856

I am defeated – and not just a little bit drunk. If I could I would drink every alcoholic spirit available in England and under the authority of the English Crown and on the Continent – and it would still not be enough to erase the terrors. Last night was the most glorious night of my life and this morning the most terrifying and terrible.

Gwendolyn’s family invited me to their home to celebrate the welcoming of the New Year. It was a beautiful dinner with many friends and family and altogether helped to take my mind off the tragedy of these last few days. Lost in the presence of Gwen’s beauty and grace, I have to admit that there were a few moments when I even forgot that mother was missing at all. Gwendolyn’s parents were most solicitous and her sweet mother took me aside in the salon and most kindly offered that even though she knew she were a poor substitute, when Gwendolyn and I were married she would do her best to be a mother to me if my own were not to be found. She begged my pardon if it were too soon to say such a thing, and I assured her that, indeed, it was not. I really do love her, she is kind and warmhearted and, is in so many ways, the sort of mother I’ve always dreamed that I might possess.

After some dessert, drinks, singing, and parlor games, Gwendolyn’s parents allowed that since the night was not so chilly, I might wrap Gwendolyn up and we might walk along the terrace for a moment of privacy. I was astounded! But we are engaged to be married and had over the evening discussed a wedding date in mid-June, after the Sunday of the Trinity, it seemed a walk alone was not inappropriate. My heart was soaring! I thought it the most glorious evening of my life. And then Gwendolyn made it even better. She grew quite affectionate with me, more than she ever had, reaching inside my heavy coat, daring to touch me in places I didn’t even know she knew existed. Her touch was tentative at first, but she grew ever more daring and I was shocked at her courage.

“Gwendolyn, I think you must stop. While I am delight to find you so enthusiastic, I am afraid I am overcome with passion for you right now and in my emotional state right now, I don’t know that I can stop myself if I should return your affection.”

“My sweet, sweet, dark haired boy. I don’t want you to stop. I’ve been talking to Mrs. General and I am sure you believe her a just an old prude, but you’d be surprised to find her otherwise. We’ve talked about the torture you must be under, and how I might alleviate your suffering, not to mention my own grief at feeling so helpless to see your deepening sadness. I want to help you, to comfort you, and we’ve agreed this is the best possible thing I could do for you right now.”

I opened my mouth to protest but she put her gloved hand to my mouth to silence me. “Meet Mrs. General in three-quarters of an hour at the kitchen entrance. She is going to bring you to me. And before you say that you won’t come, if you don’t then I am prepared to run away to the vicarage and say that you kidnapped me.”

“Well, what choice do I have then? I think this idea unwise, but I will come, if only to prevent you running away in the middle of the night. We will talk some more and then I will leave. But I promise you, I will do nothing to besmirch your honor, Gwendolyn. I would rather die first.”

“Franklin, I am to be your wife in just a few months. Just come to me.” And then she took me back inside and she bid goodnight to the group. I, too, said my farewells and went outside to ride my horse a ways off and then came round to the back of their stables where I tied him in the back of the stable yard. I made my way to the kitchen while guests were saying their goodbyes at the front door and the main lights of the kitchen had gone out. Mrs. General took me up a back stairway and I quickly found myself alone with the most ravishing creature I had ever seen in my life.

Gwendolyn was dressed in the most beautiful white linen nightgown and her golden hair was down. I could hardly speak or move for fear that I might break the  vision that stood before me. But I didn’t have to move for she came to me. And with a boldness that I hardly knew she had, she began to undress me. I would have spoken up to resist – if I could have remembered how to speak at all. She kissed my throat, my chest, and ran her hands along my spine, and when she started to reach for my trousers, I finally got a hold of myself.

“Gwendolyn, no! This is not needed. You must not. You cannot. Your honor is too important to me, my lady. I will not spoil you in this way, my dear, sweet, love of my life.”

“Franklin, darling, you know that I love you?”

“Yes, my love.”

“And we will spend eternity together as man and wife?”

“Yes, my love.”

“Then, my love, Mrs. General says this is all perfectly all right, and so I am going to help you forget your misery and you will put me out of mine.” And then she took me by the hand and led me to her bed. I dare say that Mrs. General did more than just convince her that this was a good idea, for she seemed quite knowledgeable about what to do. But how can I even think about that now? My God, what sort of monster am I?

After the sweetest few hours of my life, making love to her by the light of the sliver of the quarter moon, and taking sweet slumber in each other’s arms off and on I could see that the future could indeed be bright. Mother or not, I would be happy in my marriage to the wondrous, marvelous creature. I stole myself away while it was still dark, not wanting to risk being caught by anyone stirring in the house. As I was riding away I couldn’t resist going back to take one last look at that beloved window wherein my lay my beloved. When I drew close to the house I saw two dark figures climbing out that very same window. I let out a shout and I swear they took to the air!

I drove the horse to the house and mounted the back stairs to her bedroom to find Gwendolyn her beautiful night gown shredded to pieces and she was covered in blood with not only the deep fang marks of before but actual gashes as if she, herself, had been torn apart. I took her in my arms and tried to rouse her, but there was no life in her. I let out a yell that brought the whole house to her room. I told them that I could not sleep and so I went out for a ride and saw the two figures coming out of her window. I left out the part about them flying for fear they’d think I’d gone absolutely mad, but I know that is the truth of it and I will not rest until I discover who they are.

As the chaos ensued and we waited for the doctor’s arrival, I went to the window to see if I could learn anything about these horrible murderers. As I looked down at the exterior window casing, I saw something caught there between it and the roof. It was a gold bracelet with small rubies that belongs to Mother. I grabbed the bracelet and put it in my pocket. I’m not telling the constable, at least not yet.

Because I am the source of all this death and suffering. Obviously, the same people who did this to Gwendolyn are the same people that have taken Mother, and the only conclusion I can make is that it is someone out to hurt me. The only connection between the two of them is that I love them with my whole heart, so that must be why Gwendolyn was killed tonight. It is my fault.  I feel such terrible guilt that I’d gladly give my own life for hers. I’d gladly take my own life except for one thing – I will have my vengeance upon the killers…I have one clue to follow, there was the note upon my pillow when I returned home, “Never forget, I am always and forever watching you.” It must be linked to the killers.

“Well, I think we are beginning to know when psycho Franklin began to appear,” Lafayette took a long drink from his Bloody Mary. The room was silent for a while.

“How are you two feeling now? Any better? Can I get you a refill?” Jesus closed the book and got up to take their glasses. “By the way, I love these old Flintstone glasses, very classy.”

“You better step off my Betty and Wilma’s. I’ll have you know it took a lot flea market shopping to put that collection together.” Lafayette feigned being indignant.

“Well, yabba-dabba-doo. Hand me your glass so I can fill up good old Betty for you and Tara, let me catch your little old Pebbles.” Jesus reached for her class.

“After, that journal entry, you better make me a Pebbles and Bam-Bam.”

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

Graphics By: Sarahfina

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The Franklin Files — The Disappearance

December 2, 2010

“Hey, Sook, how’s it shakin?” Lafayette asked as he walked through the backdoor into the kitchen of Sookie Stackhouse.

“Lafayette, what are you doing all the way out here? If you’re looking for Tara, she drove into town”

“Well, can’t I come visit you?”

“Well, you can, but since it’s never happened before, except when Tara was in serious trouble and I don’t see her being in trouble in her life or in your mind…oh, you’re here because of Jesús! Of course, you can hide his present here!”

“Sook, I hate it when you do that. Can’t you just pretend you don’t know? Just play dumb and LET. ME. TELL. YOU. STUFF. OKAY?”

“Okay, I’m sorry, Lafayette, Honestly. You know I try but I’m just so happy for you. The two of you are just so cute together.”

“Cute? We’re cute? We may be gay, but don’t be calling us ‘cute’. Damn, girl, don’t you know nothing?” Lafayette was really getting uptight.

“A little touchy are we?”

“YES! This is the first time I ever had to buy a Christmas present that I didn’t just go and pick up from Wal-mart at the last minute.”

“I will really cherish the cardigan you gave me last year, Lafayette.” Sookie said in mocked pain. “You remember, the one you told me you spent hours to find so that it would set off the highlights in my hair? Remember that one?”

“C’mon Sook, you know what I mean. Buying a gift for someone you think you love, especially the first Christmas gift is a big deal.”

“I know,” Sookie sighed and her eyes started to well up.

“Now what?”

“I really thought I’d be celebrating Christmas with Bill this year. I had found pictures of all his family members who’d been born since he’d died, or didn’t die, you know what I mean, in the library and I was going to get them framed for his Christmas present. But now I can’t.” Sookie started crying harder.

Lafayette went and put his arm around her. “Sookie, I’m sure he’s probably seen all those people anyway.”

“I’m not crying because he won’t see the pictures! I’m crying because I won’t be spending Christmas with him!” She punched him in the arm. “Lafayette just go! Go hide your present in Tara’s room!”

“Sookie, I was JOKING! I knew what you meant. I’m just trying to get you to smile a little. But I’ll head up to Tara’s room with this. And to save you the trouble of reading my mind, I got him a bracelet with a little engraving on it, and I know that you know that I know that you know that I know that you know what it says, etc., etc., etc., etc, etc…” and he continued this all the way into Tara’s room.

“Okay, where am I going to put this, so my girl don’t get all up in my business?” He opened up the closet and saw the clothes and shoes piled in the corner and thought that this has got to be the spot. Lafayette started to dig through the mound of stuff until he came to something hard and substantial. He pulled it out and was surprised to find a very large, very old leather briefcase. He opened it up to find a similar looking journal, with the name Franklin Mott on the cover. There was a red ribbon attached to it, to be used as a place keeper. “What is Tara doing with this? Why is she hiding it?” He opened it where the ribbon held the place and began to read:

Tuesday, 10 December, 1855

She is still missing. The men of the parish have set the hounds upon the woods and have been riding all day looking for her to no avail. It’s been horrible. What is to be done? I don’t know if I can go on like this much longer. I haven’t slept now for what? Let’s see, I discovered her disappearance after Sunday evening services. And I was up most of Saturday eve preparing my sermon so it’s been three days now. I can’t focus, I can’t think. I keep going through the details in my head wondering if I may have seen a clue or overlooked a detail in my worry and haste when I discovered she was missing.

Sunday afternoon, I reluctantly left her bedside for evening services, she had looked so wan and pale. In the last week, just like in the case of Mr. Meagles, she seemed to get no better and the bite marks would not heal. In the beginning, both Mother and Gwendolyn, suffered these strange symptoms but she only she continued to decline. I rushed back to her bedside from services, asked after her from the nurse who said she’d been sleeping peacefully and she’d heard nothing from her in the last hour since the nurse had gone in to wipe her brow and clean her up a little in my absence. I went up to the door and knocked and getting no response I went downstairs and waited half an hour, dozing off myself. I felt a shiver run through me when I swore I was awakened by the howl of a wolf. I bolted upstairs and opened the door. And nothing! She was gone! I called for the nurse and the maid and everyone in the house and no one had seen her. It was horrible. We ran outside but there were no signs of anyone, no sounds of wolves, nothing. The nurse and the maid swear that they never were out of listening range and would have heard her try to leave by the front door and the cook was in the kitchen preparing for tomorrow so the back door was also an impossibility.

I must confess I don’t understand it. How does one vanish into thin air? I saw no obvious signs of anything out of place except for her. Oh, how can my heart go on? What about the life of happiness I planned? If she’s dead none of it will come to pass for it will mean nothing to me. Marital bliss, fatherhood, a lifetime of happiness will not be open to me if she does not live to see it. She has got to be found and found alive….


“Just what the hell do you think you’re doing?” Tara stood in the doorway of her bedroom.
“I think I should be asking you that question. Why are you reading this crazy ass vampire’s journal?” Lafayette was trying to come up with something to take the sting out of being caught.

“Kind of interesting, ain’t it?”

“Girl, yes. Who is she?”

“She who?”

“The ‘She’ that’s missing. Aren’t you reading this thing? Right here where the ribbon is.”

Tara took the journal, “Don’t say another word. I always put the ribbon where I’m going to read next. It just happened to go on a new page, so I don’t know what you’re talking about. Don’t wreck it for me.”

“Well, read it so you can tell me who it is.”

“Lafayette, I’m glad you found the journal, I’ve been dying to talk to someone about it. But I don’t think we should tell anyone else about it. I don’t know if word got out that I had this, let alone that I was reading it, that the vampires would be very happy about it.”

“Damn, girl, just what I needed. One more reason for vampires not to like me. I’m already their ‘favorite’ black, gay, short order cooking, drug dealing, fine-ass looking, now add vampire journal reading, man in Louisiana. Thanks a lot.”

“Are you finished?” Tara blew out an exasperated sigh. “Just keep it quiet. And keep your mind on something else when you’re with Sookie so she doesn’t know it’s here.” Tara started to put the book away.

“And I do that how?”

“Think good things about Jesús”

“Oh, yeah. That’ll work.”

The two of them started down the stairs when Tara asked, “Just what were you doing in my room?”

“Doesn’t’ matter.”

When they got to the kitchen Sookie was still cleaning in the kitchen. Tara told her they both needed to get off to work.

“Okay, my shift starts in two hours, so I’ll see you there.”

Lafayette gave her a big hug and handed her the box for Jesús, “Sookie will you keep this for me until Christmas?”

“What were you doing in Tara’s room all this time?”

“Oh, it doesn’t matter. See you on the flip side.” Lafayette practically ran out of the kitchen.

Sookie thought to herself, “Normally, when people tell me it doesn’t matter, it usually does…




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

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The Franklin Files — The Evergreens

November 23, 2010

“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

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The Franklin Files — The Wake

November 16, 2010

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

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The Franklin Files — The Dress Shop

November 8, 2010

Lafayette was cooking at the grill in Merlotte’s, singing:

“He blowing me kisses, he blowing me kisses

I’m staring…and reminiscing, thinking, dreaming,

He blowing me kisses, he blowing…”

“God, Lafayette, would you just shut up? You’re scaring away the customers with that shit.” Tara was happy for her cousin but he was seriously acting a fool with all this lovey-dovey stuff.

“Damn, Girl, you know I’m singing just like Florence Nightingale.”

Tara turned her attention to the source of the problem. “And you, Jesús, I’m holding personally responsible for all this,” lifting her hands in mock exasperation.

Both Jesús and Lafayette laughed but as soon as she saw her cousin went to the back, she sidled up to the end of the bar where Jesús  was sitting and put her arm around his shoulder. “I just want to make sure you’re nothing like your namesake. Getting a body all worked up and in love, then disappearing for three days at a time. My cousin’s heart has been stomped on enough. You hear me?”

“Tara, you’ve got nothing to worry about,” Jesús stared directly in her eyes. “I’m just as scared and in love as he is.”

“Well, alrighty then. Glad we had this little talk. Lafayette, I’m taking a break. Your boy here,” Tara winked at Jesús “seeing as he’s got nothing better to do than sit on this stool, he can let you know if some fool needs something until Holly gets here. She’s due in any minute now.”

“Okay, Baby, we got it, don’t we Sweet Jesús?” Lafayette returned with some drink garnishes he’d cut up for the bar and threw a cherry Jesús’ way.

“Oh, Gaaawwd!” Tara drew the word out for all it was worth. “Before I lose my mind, Sweet Jesús, I’m going to fix myself a big old cocktail, and I’m going sit in that big old empty booth in the back in the corner and upon pain of death, I want y’all to pretend I’m not here. Understand?”

“Yes, ma’am!” They both mumbled in mock humility.

And Tara did exactly that. She also grabbed an old briefcase from under the bar, and after sitting down, and taking a good long drink, she took out the journal and began to read.

Monday, November 5, 1855

Today was spent in intolerable torture at Miss Edith Murdle’s Dress Shop in London. I endure these monthly sojourns with my mother only by the ministrations of one Sallie Hutchins who works in the shop. She has made sure that an occasional spot of rum finds its way into my teacup as Mother tried on every dress in London. Today was a very bad day, indeed. And it was made worse as the rum found its way to my teacup once a little too often.

Mother was in a dour mood for we had met Miss Gwendolyn in the street (O Happy Day!) on the way to the shop. She looked the most exquisite of creatures and I could see that Mother burned with envy. She was wearing a blue velvet jacket over a lovely rose dress and it made her clear blue eyes shine from her beautiful porcelain countenance. Not to mention that her lovely figure had never been shown to greater effect. Mother was seething.

“Well, Miss Gwendolyn and Mrs. General, what a great delight! I’m surprised to see you out on such a cool, crisp morning.” Mother said through a tight smile as she addressed Gwendolyn’s chaperone. “I would think that your family would have a greater concern for your welfare, fearful that you would catch cold so unsuitably dressed for the season.”

“Good day, Mrs. Mott, and Vicar Mott, indeed, what a rare pleasure to see you!” Mrs. General responded, while Gwendolyn smiled up at us with eyes that left me utterly dumbfounded. “I can assure you that Miss Gwendolyn is quite comfortable, quite up to a daily constitutional and quite enjoys a visit to the city. And how are you today, Vicar Mott? I was pleased to hear that your first sermon was such a great success.”

“Franklin? …Franklin? …Franklin?” I was soon aware that Mother was calling me to attention. After a few embarrassing words of idiocy on my part we took our leave. It could not be soon enough. And mother began her denigration of Gwendolyn’s family and Mrs. General although she dared not speak ill of Gwen herself, because she knew that she was a very fortunate match for me, emphasis on fortune. A man of the cloth needs to marry a fortune if he has any hope of a happy life. I was just blessed enough to fall in love with mine. My father was not so fortunate. My mother’s inheritance paid for these excursions to the dressmaker’s and Father never forgot it. I prayed that I would never have to learn the same lesson from Gwendolyn.

Mother tried on dress after dress and was in rare form in her effort to extract compliments from me. It truly was an epic battle. “Do you think this burgundy shows off the raven quality of my hair?” “Does this décolletage show me to great effect?” “Do you think this bonnet is too old fashioned?” “Is my waistline still attractive Franklin?”  “Franklin pay attention, you’re falling asleep!” “I’m sure if Gwendolyn were here you’d be much more interested.”

Every month was humiliating but today we reached our nadir. Upon reflection, it all seems so stupid. Why can’t I just give her a few hours of my time? She’s my mother and I love her. Why can’t I do what she wants? She’s been the one who pushes me and wants what’s best for me. Where would I be without her?  My father wouldn’t look out for me, he’s too weak, too powerless. I need her and her money to get anywhere in life. I should be a more grateful son. I can’t even tell her the truth about a dress, a stupid yellow dress. It was a lovely creamy yellow dress, with ivory lace, beautiful for the holidays. And Mother’s figure looked lovely in it and I told her so. But then she rightly chastised me, for I had forgotten that she looks terrible in pale yellow. She was right, pale yellow doesn’t suit her. I know that. After all these years, the minute she tried it on, I should have reminded her. Thankfully, she remembered and didn’t waste her money. I begged her to purchase the lovely burgundy dress that showed her to such great effect, but she said she no longer wanted a dress, I’d ruined the day for her, and she’d just wear something she already had for Christmas. She feels her beauty has faded and although we tried to convince her otherwise, she’d have none of it. I must make it up to her somehow.

As we left the dress shop, we ran into a very fretful Mrs. Meagles. It seems that things have changed greatly in her home in the last week. She was in town to check on some business affairs of Mr. Meagles. It seems he has taken to bed after being bitten by some sort of snake. Twice, he’s been discovered in the morning out on the lawn, apparently bitten by snakes due to the bite marks found on his person. It is so very strange! I have never heard of such a thing. He is quite weak and pale and Mrs. Meagles is quite distraught and asked that we come out to administer prayers. She also said that not only did Miss Waters and Mr. Flintwich come to call, but after seeing Mr. Meagles take ill, they’ve volunteered to moved in to assist her. But she says they sleep all day and only get up in the evening, so they’ve not been helpful at all.

“And to be quite honest, while I appreciate their many kindnesses, I don’t quite see why they would like to spend time with someone like me,” questioned Mrs. Meagles.

“Well, I sure as hell do,” said Tara. “You need to get those vampires outta’ your house but quick. Snakes my ass, woman!” She slammed the journal shut and put it back in the briefcase. And headed towards the bar.
“Well, boys, I’m gone. It’s been real, y’hear?” And as she was leaving, Lafayette and Jesús heard her say, “All that for a yellow dress? Boy, you better grow you a pair!”

Jesús looked at Lafayette, “Is all your family like this?”


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

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The Franklin Files — The Dinner Party

October 31, 2010

“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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