Back to the Past: Chapter 5
I had been working on the idea of time travel ever since Sookie’s death. Actually, I’d considered it before, but never had the motivation to really put the theory into effect until I was alone without her and wanted her back. After a thousand years on the earth, you pick up a few things. The study of time travel was just one of my interests.
Pam knew what I was working on, but had little faith in it. She kept saying if I wanted Sookie back, I was looking in the wrong place. Fairy magic was more likely a way to retrieve her, but I hated fairies and wanted nothing to do with them, so I kept to myself down in my workshop under the house.
I realized that time travel was very tricky and that the fewer changes made when going back in time, the better. I simply wanted to find Sookie before her demise and get her turned, preferably by me. She couldn’t be turned at the were war because it occurred during daylight. Yes, I knew that turning her was against her wishes, but I had had enough time without her to turn my undead heart even colder in that regard. I decided to go on the assumption that she was wrong to dismiss the idea of being turned. Humans never really can comprehend their own deaths anyway. The worst that could happen is that she’d be mad at me, hate me, meet the sun. I was willing to risk those things and hope that once turned, she’d find happiness with her new existence, and forgive me at the very least. Honestly, I hoped she’d embrace a union with me. It’s what I was counting on.
I theorized that nothing from the future should be left behind and that nothing invented in the future should travel back in time (with the obvious exception of the car itself). I also had a theory that it would take roughly twenty-four hours (depending on the alignment of the planets) for past changes to take effect. Because of this window, mistakes could be rectified within twenty-four hours. Even if I couldn’t go back and turn Sookie, at the very least, I could bring her to me in twenty-four hour increments without changing anything permanently. But, of course, that would never satisfy me long-term.
I was just up and dressed one night, getting ready to go down to the workshop, when I heard a pounding on the door. Very few people have the nerve to pound on a vampire’s door and so I was curious to see who it was. I felt her just as I opened the door to find a frantic and beautiful Sookie standing on my doorstep. We had a celebratory reunion of hugging and kissing. It felt so amazing to have her in my arms again.
Pam suspected that fairy magic had brought Sookie to us, but I knew that it was more likely that my time machine was at work here. I listened to Sookie’s pleas to give up my pursuit of time travel, but I wouldn’t promise her that I would do such a thing. Apparently, some severe mistakes had been make which resulted in what Sookie called tragedies. She broke my heart all over again telling me that I should simply keep her love in my heart and not try to change her fate. It was a lovely sentiment, but I am used to getting my way and sincerely doubt if that is ever going to change.
Sookie mentioned that Pam had come to retrieve her at the beginning of the changes. I wanted to interview her in depth to find out more details, but she ran from the house before I could question her and took off in the car.
I immediately went down to the workshop and began to implement my plan. I figured I had twenty four hours to travel back and change things. I hadn’t planned on beginning my travels so soon, but suddenly time was of the essence. My first decision was to go back in time myself instead of sending Pam as I had originally planned. I was more likely to run into myself at Sookie’s house, but that just meant that I would have to be extra careful with my specifics to get the timing right and add a little luck in there for good measure. By the time dawn was approaching, I barely had time to fill a condom and stash it in the refrigerator before retiring upstairs for the day.
I always woke before Pam, and so she didn’t see me walking through the house naked, nor did she hear the car leave in a blinding white flash of light. I used the fresh semen from the previous night for the first part of my journey and the frozen sample for my return was already beginning to thaw sitting on the passenger seat by the time I arrived. I landed perfectly in Sookie’s backyard on the night before her death. I entered the house and found her asleep in her bed just as I had on many nights during that time. So far, everything had gone perfectly. The only variable that concerned me was that I was unsure of the exact time I would arrive from Fangtasia. I had to make an educated guess since I didn’t wear a watch at the time, and even if I had, it was unlikely that I would have made a mental note of the exact time of my arrival to remember in the future.
My first instinct was to wake Sookie and make love to her, but I knew better than to waste time fulfilling my own immediate needs. I knelt beside the bed and studied her neck to find the perfect spot for the most efficient deed. As my fangs pierced her flesh, she let out a tiny whimper and stirred. I held her in place and sucked as strongly as I could so that it would be fast and as pain-free as possible. The instant I felt her last heart beat, I also heard my Corvette turning from the road onto her driveway and cursed to myself. Using my vampire speed, I exited the house and was gone in a flash before I could be seen.
Pam gave me a double-take as I walked through the room naked on my way upstairs, but she didn’t say a word. I showered and dressed and then went outside and down by the lake to sit and contemplate my situation in solitude. I had done everything I possibly could under the circumstances, and now I simply had to wait to see what would happen.
During the time just before Sookie’s death, she had expressed her wishes never to be turned, of course. When I left her dead in her bead, my present self was about to enter her house and would be faced with the decision of whether to turn her or not.
I had two choices. I could return to the past tonight—before the twenty-fours was up–and try to time it so that I would arrive a little sooner, giving me more time to turn Sookie. This would guarantee that she be turned, but it would also mean taking more risks. More things could go wrong. I could be off in my arrival time. If I was any later, I would run into myself and cause a temporal paradox, which I knew should be avoided at all costs.
My other choice was to do nothing and hope that my former self would be selfish enough to turn Sookie in spite of knowing her wishes against it. I imagined over and over in my mind how I would respond to finding her dead in her bed, but of course, I couldn’t be certain of my former self’s response. My current self had had the time to suffer her loss to set my feelings in stone.
I spent the entire night sitting by the lake agonizing over my decision. Just before dawn, I went to the workshop and filled a condom, knowing that I would have to act immediately upon waking the following night in order to be within the twenty-four hour window, and wasn’t certain that I could even make it within that window. It was unusual for me to feel self-doubt, but that’s what I felt. If my past self had respected Sookie and not turned her, and I couldn’t get back to the past before I had killed her, then she was surely dead, but not from a fight with a bear. Her own lover had murdered her, and I would have to live with that mistake until my final demise. I fell into my daytime rest more uneasy than I could recall ever feeling.
I opened my eyes the following night and knew instantly that she was beside me. I felt her, I smelled her, and I felt complete happiness for the first time in a very long time. I turned to her and studied her face in the dark. I touched her lips and traced a line across her closed eyes with my finger. I gave her a soft kiss on her forehead before rising to shower and pull on some clothes.
I found a padlock in my office drawer and went outside and around the house to the garage doors. Just as I was pocketing the key, Sookie came around the house carrying two bottles of blood. She handed me a bottle and gave me a sweet kiss on the lips. “What’s in there that needs a padlock?”
She clinked her bottle to mine before taking a swallow. “Nothing much. Just storage.” I took a sip, trying not to stare at her. “I’ll get in there and clean it out one of these days.”
“I asked Pam if she wanted to go for a walk, but she’s watching a movie, so it looks like it’s just you and me.”
I took her hand in mine as we began to walk around the house. “Where would you like to go, lover?”
“Oh, I don’t know, how about around the lake?”
“Sounds perfect.” We tossed our empty bottles in the trash behind the house before heading down to the lake.
“You keep looking at me funny tonight. What’s going on?”
“Do I? I was just thinking how particularly beautiful you look in the moonlight. Have I told you tonight how much I love you?”
“Not yet.” She had a little twinkle in her eye.
I raised her hand to my lips and kissed it. “I love you more than the dimensions of time.”
“That’s probably a lot, huh?”
“Yes, lover, it’s a lot.”
“I guess you’d know.” She gave me a teasing smile as we headed down to the lake together, finally sharing a future side by side.