Coda This! Chapter 4
A/N: Thank you to those to have shared this story on your blogs and on Amazon, and of course, to all who have followed, favorited, reviewed, and PM’d me, reminding me what a great addiction this is.
Sarah Newlin developed health problems while in jail. She contracted lupus, type two diabetes, sickle-cell anemia, alcoholism, fourteen kinds of cancer, a torn hamstring, bipolar disorder, and became allergic to peanuts just like her cellmate. When she was released, the only people she could get to pick her up were in their sixties—older than any person she could possibly imagine. When she died during a horrible gallstone outbreak, twenty-five people attended her funeral, all of whom had broken a record crowding into a phone booth—a practice that had gone out of style long before Sarah had been born and of which she’d never heard. In fact, she hadn’t even seen a phone booth since she was a child, and yet people still referenced them when discussing her death.
Calvin Norris and Tanya Grissom Norris remained married until they split up because she was dead. The panther responsible for killing her was shipped to a far away land where he would no longer be a danger to society—all the way to Montana. Later, Calvin became the inspiration for the HBO series, Hung, and died in a house full of people—mostly women waiting in line for a piece of that.
[Insert a picture of Eric here, and make his vampire cape really, really large even though he wears just normal clothes, but probably in very large sizes.]
Eric Northman threw himself into his role as Freyda’s consort. He was surprised to see that Quinn was planning the ceremony, shocked when the flowers were delivered by a florist, and flummoxed when a caterer showed up to serve the food. But then someone pointed out that these people were professionals in their fields and he settled down a bit. After a couple of years, Eric convinced everyone that he was genuinely attached to Freyda, his jailor and the person who had made him a sexual slave for the second time in his long undead existence.
Pam sent him a photo of Sookie in her wedding dress at Fangtasia (from which she had been banned–WTF?), and it hurt him deeply just as he imagined Sookie had hoped it would. He tore up the photo so Freyda wouldn’t punish him, but the image had been burned into his mind’s eye for eternity.
Freyda didn’t question his loyalty after he’d destroyed Sookie’s photo, which was the result he’d hoped for. She was strong but fair, not unlike his maker had been when he’d kept Eric as a slave. To the outside world, they were a loyal couple, but every night was torture for Eric as his free will was denied him.
After a number of years hearing Pam say that Sookie seemed to be resigned to stay with her husband, Eric lost any inclination to pine for the past, and began to show signs of Stockholm Syndrome. By this time, Pam had been released from a curse in which her personality had been removed, and she pointed out to Eric that he needed to fight to regain his liberty and to ensure his survival.
Pam and Eric planned to murder Freyda and release Eric from his confinement after twenty years in his prison, but the result was a bloodbath. Eric and Pam failed, and their co-conspirators were murdered. Freyda made it known far and wide that Eric was responsible for the deaths of her would-be assassins, and tightened her hold on him further, sending the message that he would double-cross anyone who dared to conspire with him against her. He pretended to be happier after that.
Sookie’s children had begun to come of age, and Eric died inside as he heard reports of Compton failing to protect them. Sookie’s eldest child, a telepath no less, died of a drug overdose while Compton was at a video game conference in New Orleans. Eric became inconsolable for years, only finding solace in the news that Pam had turned Sookie’s youngest child, a strong and beautiful young woman named Jillian Tara. Her sister, Adele had died at the hands of a useless human she’d had a relationship with and thankfully, Pam tore him limb from limb afterwards. Eric grieved her wasted life.
On the day Eric heard that Sookie had died of a stroke while in a nursing home, Freyda offered to free him from his second century of marriage, claiming it was their fiftieth anniversary (Eric had lost count of the years). He was too despondent to see the point and passed on her offer.
Shortly afterwards, Eric asked to have a child, and Freyda allowed him to turn Pam’s day man, a blue-eyed blond man with the loyalty of a basset hound.
Pam, Eric’s new child, and Jillian Tara helped Eric plan Freyda’s murder, but it was Eric who drove the stake into her chest, ending a half a century of oppression and an existence barely worth living. Eric realized he had been sending a dangerous message to both his children—that being a sexual slave was perfectly fine, and that eventually, you could learn to tolerate it—even seem to like it. He vowed he’d never be taken again, even if it meant fighting to the end.
Once he was free of his captor, he moved to North Carolina where his newest child was from, found a place in the vampire hierarchy, took control of his own destiny for the first time in decades, and became the King of the North Carolina.
Having re-established his life and finding a new purpose in running the state, he finally felt whole again, and fell in love with Pam’s child (originally Sookie’s child), Jillian Tara.
Together, they lived the life he’d only dreamed of with her mother, and found peace and happiness in her embrace.
A/N: Yes, I realize I’ve left out quite a few characters, but I hope I’ve hit on the important ones. I just didn’t have the heart to make you slog through the rest. Even though I give Charlaine Harris a hard time in my parodies, I feel the need to declare that I also owe her a huge debt of gratitude for creating the world of the Southern Vampire Mysteries and the characters that I love so much. Because of her work, I found fanfiction, made many new friends, and felt inspired to write my own original fiction. I hope to announce the release date of my first novel soon. Please watch for Drop Dead Gorgeous by Suki McMinn. And if you’re a writer as well, my publisher, Temptress Press, is open for submissions.
Another A/N: Days after posting this, I realized I’d mixed up Karin the Slaughterer and Judith Vardamon. In SVM circles, this phenomenon is known as “pulling a Clancy,” since CH mixed up Chow and Clancy in the books. I decided not to go back and fix my mistake, but to leave it as yet another homage to CH. Actually, I’ll just say here that any and all other mistakes you find in this are homages as well. That works for me.
Oh, and yes, I’m quite certain my trusty beta, Thyra10, would have caught this, but she was sick in bed with the flu when I wrote this and I didn’t have the heart to ask for her help. Lesson learned.