Sookie’s trek through the village was unlike anything she had ever experienced. All the shop owners knew her name, wished her well on her journey, and offered her encouragement on how to defeat the Evil Queen. Sookie thanked every person that spoke to her, feeling bolstered by the hospitality of the village. This place, wherever it was, put Southern hospitality to shame! It wasn’t until Sookie was several miles outside of the village that she stopped in her tracks, turning back to the village in astonishment. Not a single person had spoken to her using their voice! All communication had been telepathic. Sookie took a few steps back in the direction she had come from, but to her amazement, the village was no where in sight. It isn’t possible! The yellow brick road guiding her path has thus far been a straight road, no hills or curves. The land surrounding her are lush fields of what look to be wheat turning gold in the bright sun. Nothing is present to obstruct her view of where the village should be. Sookie is further puzzled by the fact that her feet are walking on a dirt path, not the yellow brick road. Wheeling around, Sookie again sees the yellow brick road at her feet leading forward. Further ahead, she sees trees so tall they look to be poking holes in the sky. She spins back around taking a few steps in the direction she had come from, but again, her feet step on the soft earth.
Turning back around, she sees the yellow brick road. Sookie stares in amazement, baffled by the situation she finds herself in. “What the fuck is going on here?”
“Isn’t it obvious? The only path for you is that way,” a voice calls out from the fields. The voice is familiar and comforting to Sookie.
“Jason? Where are you? I can’t see you,” Sookie exclaims hurriedly. It’s nice to realize that she isn’t alone in this crazy world. Her brother, while not the most cerebral of individuals, does care for her and will help protect her.
“I’m over here, Sis,” Jason calls out.
Sookie huffs impatiently. “Jason Mitchell Stackhouse, I am not in the mood for games! This place is already freaking me out. You get over here right this instant!”
“Sook, I ain’t playin’ a game. I need help getting’ down. How da hell did I get up here anyway?”
“Fine, I’ll come to you,” Sookie utters in irritation. “Keep talkin’ so I can hear you.” Sookie moves away from the yellow brick road, crossing into the golden wheat field. She hadn’t realized it from the road, but the wheat is really high, more like corn stalks, but not nearly as unyielding. The wheat parts easily as she pushes her way through the field listening to the sound of her brother’s voice.
“Hurry up, Sook,” Jason demands. “I don’t like bein’ up here, and these damn birds won’t leave me alone.”
“Up where? I swear, Jason, you aren’t makin’ any sense,” Sookie exclaims as she pushes through the wheat to the opening where her brother is. She’s about to start yelling at her brother because he isn’t there; the only thing she sees is a large wooden pole with a scarecrow attached to it.
Funny, Sookie’s never seen a scarecrow move before, but it’s probably spelled by a witch or something to keep the birds away. This scarecrow’s legs are kicking futilely against the wooden post and his arms flail like windmills in the air. She’s also never seen a scarecrow dressed in Timberland boots. Why would someone waste the money to put shoes on a scarecrow? As her eyes move up the scarecrow’s body, she notices that she doesn’t see any straw that normally is used to stuff the body. This scarecrow looks more like a human body. Maybe the farmer that owns this field used a mannequin. A mannequin dressed in Wrangler jeans and a Bon Temps football t-shirt…
“HOLY SHIT!!!!!” Sookie’s eyes are wide as saucers as she stares at the scarecrow that looks exactly like her brother. Wait, the scarecrow doesn’t look like her brother; the scarecrow IS her brother.
“Damnit, Sook, don’t just stand there. Help me get down,” Jason demands as he wriggles uncomfortably against the wooden post. His arms are flailing around, trying to reach something behind his back.
“What the hell are you doin’ up there, Jason?” Sookie rushes forward to stand closer to her brother, flabbergasted by how he ended up here.
“I don’t know, but can you get me down? These damn birds keep trying to land on me and I don’t know why. Shoo, motherfucker!” Jason waves his arms around to frighten the large crows that circle overhead.
“Well how, am I supposed to get you down? It’s not like there’s a ladder lyin’ around,” Sookie states as she shifts around seeking something to help her.
“There’s sumthin’ back near the middle of my back. Maybe if you press it or move it, I can get down,” Jason tosses over his shoulder.
Sookie looks where directed, knowing there was nothing there a second ago, and ready to tell her brother that nothing is there. Magically, a lever appears with an arrow on it saying to push down.
“Of course, a lever magically appears,” Sookie mutters as she puts her hands on the lever. “Why shouldn’t I find it strange for a magic lever to appear on a post to let my brother down when he’s acting like a scarecrow,” Sookie murmurs sarcastically as she yanks the handle down. In the next instant, Jason Stackhouse is tumbling to the ground.
“Ouch! Ya coulda warned me first,” Jason exclaims as pushes himself up from the ground. He’s brushing the dirt from his hands as he looks at his sister. “Where in the hell are we? And who’s dog is that?”
Sookie rolls her eyes. “I have no idea where we are. What dog, Jason? There isn’t a dog here.”
Jason raises his hand and points behind Sookie. “If that ain’t a dog, then what is it?”
Sookie spins around to see a white and tan border collie behind her. The dog is panting but sitting patiently on its haunches as the siblings squabble. Now that Sookie is facing it, the dog rushes forward, rubbing its body against Sookie’s legs and pushing its head into her hand. Sookie absently scratches the head of the dog. Jason moves to scratch the dog too, but the dog growls in his direction and snaps its teeth at him.
Jason snatches his hand back. “What the fuck? Why’s it so possessive of you?”
Possessive? Sookie stops scratching the head of the dog and takes a step back from it. The dog whines and tries to move toward her, but Sookie raises her hand in a stop motion. The dog whimpers but complies with the silent command. Sookie stares silently at the dog, thinking she’s seen it before, but can’t place where.
Jason snaps his fingers and turns to Sookie in triumph. “I know where I’ve seen that dog before. He kinda looks like that dog that hangs around Merlotte’s at night,” Jason exclaims in triumph. “How’d he end up all the way out here? And again, where the fuck are we?”
Sookie groans in frustration as she too places where she’s seen the dog before. “Damnit, Sam! What are you doin’ here?”
The air shimmers around the border collie as the magic to transform the body from that of an animal to a human man is consumed. In place of the dog stands a sheepish Sam Merlotte, trying to cover his nudity as best he can in deference to Sookie’s modesty.
“Dude, what the hell are you doin’ followin’ my sister? How many times she gotta tell you she ain’t interested in ya?” Jason moves aggressively to stand between Sookie and Sam, so at least this way she can’t actively see the nude male body. In Jason’s mind, his baby sister is still innocent, knowing nothing of the male body or sex. Sookie rolls her eyes at her brother’s attempt to shield her eyes. She’s a telepath; she’s seen more sex in other people’s minds then Jason’s watched porn.
“If Sookie isn’t interested in me, then why’d she use the Cluviel Dor to save my life?” Sam smirks at Jason before staring intently at Sookie. “Chère, I’m here to protect you. You know I’ll do anything for you.”
Sookie rolls her eyes again and sighs tiredly. “Sam, I didn’t want you to die because you’re my friend, but I don’t love you like that. I love Eric,” she begins only for Sam to cut her off.
“Damnit, Sookie, he’s a vampire! He can’t love you the way I can! You need to stay away from vampires before you get yourself killed!” Sam tries to move around Jason to get to Sookie, hoping to shake some sense into her. Jason still maintains his stance between the naked man and his sister.
Sam moves to stand directly in front of Jason, staring at Sookie over her brother’s shoulder. His expression softens. “Chère, you known Eric’s leaving for Oklahoma. He’s marrying the queen. We can finally be together. You know I will be good to you. I can love you. We can have children,” Sam finishes softly.
Sookie shakes her head as tears flood her eyes. “Sam, you don’t love me. You love the idea of me. We aren’t compatible that way. I love Eric; I will always love Eric. He’s my husband and I’m on my way to save him,” she stubbornly insists.
Both men groan hearing her words, but for different reasons. Sam opens his mouth to start arguing with her, thinking she’s stupid for loving a vampire. She’s only going to get herself killed messing with vampires. Why won’t she admit she loves him? That’s why she used the Cluviel Dor to save him.
Sookie again shakes her head sadly. “I love you as a friend, Sam,” Sookie says softly. “I love you the same way I love Jason. I didn’t want to see someone else I love die because of me. I love Eric with my whole heart. Even if he and I are never together again, I will always love him. I have to try and save him; he’s done the same for me so many times. I can’t give up on him now, not when he needs me the most!”
Sam recoils hearing that Sookie loves him in a brotherly way. He’s always harbored hope that the two of them will end up together someday. The other women in Sam’s life have been a distraction to fill his time while Sookie’s been with the likes of Bill, Eric, Quinn, and then Eric again. Sam knew that none of them would stay with Sookie; they’d never put her first.
“And when have you put me first, Sam?” Sookie listens to Sam’s thoughts, furious for thinking that no one will ever be willing to stay with ‘Crazy Sookie’. “You only ever showed interest in me when someone else came along. If you really loved me like you say, Sam, you’d have made a move years ago before Bill ever walked through the door of Merlotte’s. Instead, you’ve been hangin’ around in the background, hopin’ to pick up the pieces of my broken heart, thinkin’ I’d be grateful to you for being there when no one else is. That’s not friendship, and it sure as hell ain’t love! That’s manipulation! I’m tried of everyone in my life thinking they can bully me or manipulate me into doing what they want!”
“Sook, I’m sorry,” Sam begins only for Sookie to cut him off.
“Bullshit, Sam! If you’re so sorry, then prove it,” she challenges. “Help me get Eric back. Help me save the man I love from that bitch Freyda!”
Sam roars in frustration, “Eric ain’t a man; he’s vampire!”
Sookie stares at Sam coldly. “Eric is more of a man then you’ll ever be, Sam Merlotte. He has more honor in his little pinky toe than you do in your whole body. Eric Northman loves me with all his heart and soul, and I love him the same way. Now, if you ain’t gonna help me, then just run off. I don’t need you hangin’ around hopin’ I fail.”
“You’re a damn fool, Sookie Stackhouse,” Sam snarls before the air around him shimmers again. The border collie growls at the Stackhouse siblings before turning and running through the wheat fields.
Sookie sighs in relief as Jason turns to face her. She looks at her brother tiredly. “Please don’t yell at me, Jason. I must try. I can’t let him go.”
Jason exhales loudly before pulling his sister to him in a hug. “I know you love him, Sis. I just don’t wanna see you hurt. Tell me what I can do to help.”
Sookie sniffles in the arms of her big brother, happy to know that someone at least is on her side. “I don’t know, Jase. All I know is that I’m supposed to follow the yellow brick road to find Eric.”
Jason pulls back in confusion. “Well where the hell is this yellow brick road? How are we gonna find it now that we’re surrounded by all this wheat.” As if the world is listening to their conversation, the yellow brick road cuts a path through the wheat field to stop directly in front of them.
Jason swings his head quickly back and forth between Sookie and the magical road. He looks around excitedly before closing his eyes tightly and clasping his hands together in prayer. “I want a beer, a Lafayette burger, and Jenna Jameson,” Jason declares firmly. He nods his head at the end of his wish and his eyes pop open awaiting the arrival of his gifts. Jason’s excitement gives way to impatience the longer it takes for his latest requests to appear. His expression turns to disappointment when none of his wishes magically appear after a few minutes.
Sookie can’t help but chuckle at her befuddled brother. “C’mon, Jase. I’ll explain everything while we walk.”
Sookie wraps both arms around her brother’s right arm, tugging him onto the yellow brick road. They walk quickly down the yellow path. Sookie begins her story by explaining about Eric’s Maker forcing him to marry the Queen of Oklahoma, how Eric is being forced to give up everything in his existence out of jealousy and spite. She moves on to explain that she doesn’t know how she arrived wherever they are, but she tells him that Gran set her on the right path. Jason, as expected, doesn’t understand more than half of what his sister explains to him, but he’s determined to go with her to help in any way he can. Sookie’s his baby sister, the only family he has left. Gran taught them never to turn your back on family.
The siblings journey onward, never knowing that others are watching them; others that do not wish to see Sookie succeed in her quest to save the vampire she loves.
Somewhere far away, others gaze into a crystal ball which allows them to spy on the Stackhouse siblings. Those gathered around the crystal ball are united in one desire: seeing Eric Northman out of Louisiana and married to the Queen of Oklahoma. Each being has their own reasons for wanting the Viking shackled to the vampire monarch, but the common goal has united them against Sookie Stackhouse.
“She thinks she can save the Viking,” a cold voice says with amusement. “Foolish human, thinking she can take what’s mine,” the voice continues coldly.
A shrill voice breaks the silence. “Eric is mine!”
“Of course, my dear,” another voice intones smoothly in a soothing, accented voice. “You shall have the Viking, and I shall have the telepath!”