I should have known my brother would come to see me.
Jason comes to visit Sookie the day after her hooking up with Eric. She checks him out with her mind to make sure that it’s the real Jason, not the freaky fairy uncle who looks exactly the same as him, and goes out to see him. He’s strangely serious for once, as we realise that he is now a widower, and a man who saw the dead body of his ex-wife and his baby. Well done Bon Temps police force, for not destroying lives and hope and dreams. Sookie still hasn’t forgiven him for his actions in the last book, but it’d take anyone a while to forgive being made to break a friend’s hand with a brick. They talk a little while about the funeral.
After he leaves, Sookie sees that she has a message on the answer machine.
“Sookie, this is Arlene. I’m sorry about everything, I wish you’d come by to talk. Give me a call.”
What, Arlene the irresponsible bigot is… not a bigot any more? Maybe she just wants her job back, or her bigot boyfriend dumped her for whatever reason. Even though she seemed to be unleashing a lot of hate when she screamed at Sookie earlier in the book. Sookie remains suspicious, but phones her up to arrange to meet. They arrange to meet in ten minutes or so, but Sookie picks up on something she doesn’t like in her tone and goes over to Arlene’s trailer right away. She parks out the back, and begins to pick her way through the overgrown back garden, hiding amongst the weeds.
A woman called Helen comes out the back with Arlene’s two children.
“She’s only getting what she deserves.”
Oh, well, that doesn’t sound good. At all.
And then a lot of guys from the Fellowship of the Sun show up.
They were thinking about doing awful things to me.
Arlene phoned up Sookie so that her boyfriend and his friends can murder her violently and crucify her in emulation to her sister-in-law’s death. I have no words to articulately say how disgusting, despicable, horrendous and random I find this turn of events. Sookie immediately does the sensible thing and PHONES THE POLICE. For the first time in these books, she’s decided that no, she can’t deal with this shit alone. Aside from the fact that Arlene has to stay on the scene, as she’s the weak link. So Sookie jumps from her clump of bushes to confront her.
“What are you doing, getting ready to go, Arlene?” I asked, keeping my voice very quiet. “You’re supposed to be inside, waiting for me to get here.”
They’d planned to crucify me in emulation of Crystal’s death because it seemed like such a great idea, such an open statement of their opinion of the shapeshifters’ announcement.
“You’re a poor excuse for a woman,” I said to Arlene. I couldn’t seem to stop, and I couldn’t seem to sound anything but matter of fact. “You’ve never told the truth to yourself in your whole life, have you? You still see yourself as a pretty, young thing of twenty-five, and you still think some man will come along and recognise that in you. Someone will take care of you, let you quit working, send your kids to private schools where they’ll never have to talk to anyone different from them. That’s not gonna happen, Arlene. This is your life.”
Arlene doesn’t react the same way I do. She screams at Sookie and then the police and the FBI turn up. And a shoot-out begins.
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