tell us why must we suffer
She could hear the faint echoes of a song.
My legs long tired, tell us where must we wander
How can we carry on with redemption beyond us
Sookie opened her eyes, and she took in all of her surroundings.
She was back, right where she had originally started.
The lighting in the temple was dim, there were markings all over the walls; and in the center of the temple there was a statue of a woman, and there were people dressed in white robes, they were all knelt down, hands clasped together. The people here were in prayer.
For as long as she could remember, prayers had been important to her people; but she didn’t know why. The world wasn’t in danger, they weren’t in danger either. Why so much prayer to a god that wouldn’t really help anyone when they needed it? It sure as hell didn’t help her. Then again, she was being very contradicting. She too was once like them, every day she would visit the temples, and she would pray for the safety of her kingdom and her people, she would pray for her family, and she would pray for her dead family too.
No, she never stopped praying . Her mother once taught her about the old religion, and how sacred it was. Her mother , although she was a queen; had also been a priestess of the old religion and now? It was up to her. She was no queen, but she still had a duty to fulfill to her people, the Druids. She owed it to her mother at least. She needed to be a leader to them and she needed to take back her Kingdom, and frankly she wasn’t prepared for it. Sookie felt like she had too much on her shoulders. She couldn’t be a leader right now, and besides she wasn’t powerful enough. She was barely strong enough to make it out alive from the attack on her and her family.
She needed to become strong and powerful.
But regardless of her insecurities she knew her people needed her, and she needed them. She needed to suck it up and accept her reality.
Which is why she was probably here again.
Sookie could hear that the singing had stopped, and the people that were once in prayer, had turned to her, and knelt before her. Sure, she was used to this in her home, and her Kingdom, but to have this kind of respect in this realm was so different. She wasn’t some kind of holy entity that would save them. She was a guardian. She had pledged herself , she had sworn an oath to help protect the world.
“My dearest , Susannah.” Now it was her turn to bend the knee. Sookie kept her head down low. “And what on earth are you doing? Please, rise child. There is no need to kneel before me.”
Sookie raised her head and slowly stood back up. She eyed the woman closely, and she frowned.
“I have prayed for guidance yet I am still lost, my lady.” The woman stepped closer to Sookie, and she gave her a warm smile. “Not completely lost, I did send help to you. You are safe with the Amun Kingdom, Susannah. But keep in mind, that help will not come every time you ask for it. You must harness the strength on your own. Trust in yourself, and all shall be well.”
No, Sookie knew that relying on other higher beings wasn’t going to work. Life wasn’t that easy.
“Why am I here again?” She said taking another look at her surroundings.
“You are only here because you have been through so many trials and you felt overwhelmed. You sought sanctuary again. You are not here completely. This is only a dream. I do not need you now, so when the time is right I will call upon you, and you will know what your duty will be. For now, just stay calm. Worrying over trivial matters will surely damper your spirit,” The woman smiled at her.
“Wake up dearest Susannah, the earthly realm needs you.”
Look to those who walked before to lead those who walk after
It was then that Sookie’s eyes snapped open. She sat up quickly, and looked around. She wasn’t in the holy temples, and she wasn’t in the palace either. She was in a nice comfortable bed, in a room that was smaller than her own closet back home.
No, she didn’t have a home any longer. Gone were the days when she would sneak away from her duties and dress up as one of the common folk. There would be no more sneaking around the palace kitchens, or hiding from the maids. Those were just memories now. She had no Kingdom to call home.
But then she rememebered, that she had found the remaining members of her family, still alive. She wanted to cry, she truly did. But she couldn’t allow herself to cry. She couldn’t be seen as weak. There were still people that were loyal to her, these people were her family and that was at least something.
Sookie got out of bed, and once she placed a foot on the hardwood floors, she heard someone say “Princess or not, you are still my patient, get your ass in bed girlie.”
Of course, she recognized that voice anywhere. She looked to the doorway, and there she was. The munchkin Doctor Ludwig, and a great ally to her family.
No, that woman was never easy on her even as a child.
“Doctor Ludwig.” Sookie sat up straight, and fixed her posture.
“And here I thought you were dead.”
Sookie’s face remained as emotionless as ever. “Well, Doctor. Princess Susannah Brigant is dead. She was killed the night before her coronation.” Sookie said calmly.
“Well, not like I cared for any formalities. You’re still the same stubborn girl I’ve always known.” Doctor Ludwig said rummaging through her bag of medical supplies.
“You need to rest. Your blood still contained iron poisoning, thankfully your Druidic blood managed to fight it off. It made you weak, thus, the reaction you had before. You were out for three days. The iron should be gone from your system soon, but you need to take it easy, stubborn girl.”
With nothing left to say, the tiny munchkin of a doctor popped away.
Then it sunk in, and Sookie frowned. “Three days?”
That wasn’t good.
“I was supposed to go back on the same day. Godric will be worried.” She said outloud to herself.
“And Godric should be arriving shortly, dearest cousin.”
“Claudine?” Sookie still couldn’t believe that she was alive.
“I’m so glad that you are well, and alive. Those of us that managed to leave unscathed, we mourned you. The Kingdom mourned you. We thought you dead.” Claudine approached Sookie, and gathered her up in her arms. Sookie welcomed it.
“I was a prisoner, six months I was bound in iron. I was treated like the lowest scum of the earth.”
“How did you make it out?”
“Preston sent me to my death, over to the vampires. So they could drain me and whatever they pleased with me. Little did they know, that Godric is an ally.” She said, omitting any facts and details about Eric and what was going on between them.
“And that your mate was there.” Sookie stiffened in Claudine’s arms. “Come now cousin. What did you expect? I heard the Viking had to be put under a maker’s command so that he wouldn’t go into a murderous rampage. You should have thought better than to come here.”
She honestly did not see that as a mistake. She wasn’t thinking either. All she thought was of the hope she had felt when she realized that her remaining family was still alive.
“There was no time to think. I needed to see everyone. I have been alone for months and I just needed this.”
There were no more words said between them after that. Sookie walked downstairs, to see the rest of them. All of her cousins, her brother and sister and law had given her many hugs and kissed, and Sookie could feel her eyes getting wet. But she only rubbed away the tears and gave them all a warm smile.
They all chatted away, and let her know what was going on, she let them know everything that had happened to her, and she was also informed that there were many others that had escaped, and there were still people that were suffering under a new ruler back in her Kingdom.
While everyone had gone on to do their own thing, like Claude who went to attend his nightclub, which was also a refuge place for those who left the Kingdom, Both him all of his sisters worked there for the benefit of their own countrymen and women.
As for Jason and her sister in law, they stayed in the Daemon realm, attending to their own matters.
“There is a place for prayer on these lands.” Claudine said. “It’s called the Faith of the living. It has been here for thousands of years, well according to the tomes back home. It was said to have been lost, but it seemed to have been here all along, guess no one had ever thought of looking here, in this part of the world.” Claudine chuckled. “You should go.”
Prayers, more and more prayers.
It hasn’t gotten her anywhere since the death of her grandfather, but then she thought back to the dream she had, and she sighed. Those higher ups were really fucking with her and she couldn’t do anything about it, but be their puppet for the time being.
“When you go outside, walk around, until you feel it. It is covered by a few trees, but I assure you; you will know. It won’t be hard to miss.”
She wasn’t going to go, but she realized that this is something Claudine had held onto, and probably something many others held onto. She listened to Claudine’s words and she stepped outside.
The sky was getting dark, which meant Godric would be here soon. This also meant that Eric might tag along. She was sure of it, and that thought comforted her, more than a prayer would.
Sookie walked around, with her eyes closed. She concentrated on the energy and the power of the earth. She took her shoes off, and walked around barefooted, relishing in the feel of the dirt and the grass.
She could feel it even more now. There was definitely something other around the area. Sookie stopped and opened her eyes, and then there it was, the stone that Claudine was talking about.
It most certainly did look different. The night sky gave this stone a certain kind of glow that made it look like it was other. The stone was large, and there was writing engraved on it. The land was fertile and it the things that grew on it, certainly looked beautiful. It reminded her of the gardens back home, although her gardens paled in comparison to this one.
“How many times do I pray until things become better.” Sookie wondered out loud, and she knelt down, clasping her hands together.
“Please watch over my family, they’re all I have left.” She whispered.
“I had not realized that such a sacred place existed within my Kingdom.” She thought he would have at least waited for her back at Claudine’s home.
“Two thousand years, in two thousand years I have not ever stepped foot onto such sacred places, I was no longer fit for it. By becoming this, I forsake my people. I am undeserving of this.”
“We are all on the road to redemption.” She said quietly, but she knew he could hear her.
“How did you find me?”
“Although I am vampire, there is some part of me that has still retained my Druidic gifts. I had not felt something so wonderful in two thousand years. When I arrived, I could feel the magic around here.”
Sookie looked up to Godric. “If you could do all that, then kneel and pray, Godric. Like you, I am undeserving of forgiveness , but here I am. I know you have probably yearned to feel the magic at your finger tips. The wonderful feeling of running your fingers through the ground, or hearing the voices in the wind, the magic is still there. You miss it, but don’t let that hold you back. “ She paused to take a deep sigh.
“When I first turned, I wanted to meet the sun. The loss of my magic devastated me. I thought I had lost the connection to the earth, but I can feel something now. I was so saddened by this loss, that I suppose that I blocked myself from ever trying. Perhaps these holy grounds have something to do with it.”
“Or maybe the gods have heard your wish.” Sookie said with a small smile.
“Perhaps, and I am truly grateful to them,” He said kneeling down beside her.
“Godric, I can’t go back with you.” Sookie said quietly. “I don’t know what to do. If I stay here, there’s a chance I can find my people again, there’s a chance for me to get my kingdom back. If I stay with Eric, I fear that I may lose my freedom to do so. I’m afraid of these strange feelings, that I feel for him. I barely know him, but deep within my soul and my heart, I feel like he’s all I need.”
“Sookie, you have found your family, and I am family as well, do not forget that. I promise and I swear to you, that as my kin I will help you avenge your family. I believe that Eric might be able to help you as well. He is your mate, and he will stand beside you. I will not stop you though, the decision is yours to make. But just so you know, that by staying with us, you can start small and slowly regain power. When the time is right, I will help you strike back.”
Sookie sighed, knowing that everything Godric was telling her, was right. He was right, and she wanted to deny his words, but he was right. She needed to think strategically, like she had been trained to do since she was a child. All these words that spilled from her mouth, were based on her own emotions, and she couldn’t allow that. Control is what she needed, but by letting herself accept her fate and be with Eric, she was letting go of that control, and Sookie felt like control was all she had left in order to stay grounded.
If she left, she knew Eric would follow her to the ends of the earth.
If she stayed, she’d feel trapped.
Sookie thought about Godric’s words of wisdom, quite carefully.
Until she finally came to her own conclusion, one that was best for her.
“Godric, I’ve made my decision.”
The guardian woman smiled, as she watched Susannah.
“Dearest Child, I can only hope that you do not meet the same fate you met twelve thousand years ago. I can only hope…”