First Published on fanfiction.net on 17th September 2009
Chapter 1 – Beginnings
They didn’t know how close an eye I was keeping on them. Not even my sweet Adele was aware of the visits I had paid over the years, watching as my son and daughter grew, found mates and produced their own offspring. So many times I was tempted to speak to them, alert them to my presence, even more so when Adele lost her husband – the man Corbett and Linda thought was their father – watching her grieve pained me, I wanted to comfort her but I knew it was not the right time for me to impose myself. Despite my seed being used to create the family, it was not truly mine.
I watched the house from the woods and smiled at the antics of the boy and girl running around in the garden while they were watched by My Adele and her daughter-in-law. The two women seemed to be having a very serious discussion and my curiosity got the better of me, noiselessly I crept closer to enable me to overhear their words while still keeping myself hidden from view.
“Adele, I just don’t know what to do, it’s like she knows what’s in my head” Michelle was crying as she expressed her fears to my former lover, I was intrigued by this comment and wondered who this ‘she’ was.
“Michelle, Sookie has always been a perceptive child, are you sure you ain’t seeing bad where there ain’t none?”
“No Adele, there is something not right about my little girl. So far only I and Corbett have noticed the things she mentions. Things that have not been said out loud Adele, you tell me – is that normal?”
Hearing things that have not been spoken out loud? Knowing what is inside other’s minds? I looked at the small blonde girl, she would only be 3 or 4 years old, could it be that she would suffer the same fate as my human Mother? As far back as I can remember my Mother was reclusive, with good reason too, it was true that she was shunned by her community, whispers of witchcraft were made in her direction but she did not avoid contact with other humans because of mere rumours.
The truth was she was plagued by the words and images broadcast from minds that were not her own, being around other humans was painful for her. Her hermit-like existence was not caused by witchcraft but the telepathy that she did not learn to control until it was too late. This innocent young girl, Sookie – my Granddaughter, must have a better chance at life, she may not be my family in the usual terms but she is my flesh and blood and I must do what I can to protect her.
I waited until My Adele’s guests had left, I can’t remember when I had last been so apprehensive, so unsure, so nervous, but I steeled myself and knocked on the front door. I took a step back, I didn’t want My Sweet Adele to feel intimidated by my figure right on her doorstep, when the door opened her image still took my breath away even after all these years.
“Fintan? What are you doing here? It’s been such a long time, won’t you please come inside?”
“Thank you Adele, I would love to come in and visit with you”
My Beloved was, as always, the epitome of southern hospitality. I followed her to the sitting room and accepted her offer of refreshments. I perused the knick-knacks placed around the room and seated myself on a well-worn sofa, surrounded by Adele’s scent; I briefly closed my eyes and let the feeling of contentment wash over me.
“Here we are Fintan, some nice sweet tea and a slice of my home made coffee cake. To what occasion to I owe the pleasure of your visit this evening?” Straight to the issue at hand, Adele had many good points and this was one of them.
“Adele, I have always kept an eye on you and the children I sired with you, I was here this afternoon and overheard part of a conversation you were having with your daughter-in-law”
Her expression changed from curiosity to mild displeasure “you’ve never been interested in us before, why all the fuss n’ bother now? I don’t think I need to point out that those who listen in on other peoples talking rarely hear anything that please them”
Her eyes were narrowed and I really couldn’t blame her for being suspicious. “You’re quite right to be wary, my absence from your lives was necessary as you know but after hearing what I did today I couldn’t help but intervene. As you know I am half Fae, so far none of our children or their children has displayed any Fae talents, but it seems the youngest grandchild – Sookie – has developed a trait from my human side, have you heard of telepathy before Adele?”
To say My Adele looked shocked would certainly be an understatement, I could not see any hint of anger in her features so I told her of my Mother’s curse and explained that I had witnessed and helped her in her endeavours to not only control the ability but to keep it hidden from those who would judge, even those who were close to her would struggle to understand that this was a natural phenomenon not the work of Satan. Realisation shone in her eyes as I finished the tales of my past.
“I always knew Sookie was different to her brother Jason and even her cousin Hadley, special you know? I don’t know if any of us wanted to admit to our gut instincts but Michelle, bless her soul, I don’t think she can take any more” I could feel the heaviness of her heart in that moment but it was followed by Adele taking both my hands in hers and looking me square in the eyes “What can we do Fintan? More importantly what can you do to make our Sookie’s life something resembling normalcy?”
“I could help train her, to control the flow of thoughts from others, to block the words and images perhaps. More importantly, she must learn exactly what this ability is and to keep it a secret from everyone”
We formulated a plan, My Son and his Wife had planned to seek the help of a psychiatrist, I would pose as the type of doctor they sought and Adele would accompany Sookie to her ‘sessions’ to oversee her training. We could only hope that Sookie would be amenable to my training and that in time anyone who had observed any of her strange behaviour would have the memories of it erode and fade over time.
For decades I thought he had forgotten about me and his children, the evening he knocked on my door I was immediately suspicious of his intentions. I knew Fintan was half Fae, and I knew how wily and deceptive the Fae could be. I thought he had perhaps come to claim a debt, the times we were together all those years ago; he talked of how his Father’s race rarely gave without expecting something in return. He gave me Corbett and Linda, what on earth could I have given him to repay such a sizable gift?
As it turned out he didn’t want anything from me, in fact he wanted my help to protect Sookie! My youngest granddaughter was the apple of my eye, I didn’t show it in front of my other grandchildren, or even their parents but I knew I held her above all the others. I reasoned that it was because she was the youngest, but perhaps I knew in my gut that she was different, special, something to be cherished and protected.
After Michelle confirming my own suspicions in the afternoon and Fintan’s visit in the evening, I went to bed that night emotionally wrung out and tried to imagine what future a young woman could have if she could hear the thoughts of all those around her. Before I drifted off to sleep I knew in my heart that Fintan and I were making the right decision about Sookie’s ‘treatment’ but she was still so young, so innocent and I couldn’t avoid it, I was going to have to force her to grow up that little bit faster.
When I told my Son Corbett and his wife that I had found a doctor who dealt with difficult children and that he seemed perfect to take Sookie’s case they were delighted, if a little unsure. After all, its one thing thinking your child functions differently to their siblings, but quite another to actually send them to a doctor to have them treated. Lord help me, I lied through my teeth to my own child, I told him that I knew Dr. Brigant from one of my hobby groups and that as I was already acquainted with him, it would be best if I took Sookie for her ‘counselling’.
The only condition I had was that Fintan could not tell Sookie who he really was; for all intents and purposes he really was a special kind of doctor that would help her sort the mental wheat from the chaff. On the day of our first visit with Fintan, I was nervous as a long tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs.
“Where are we going Grammy? Is it the play park? I love the play park!” I tried to let her down gently
“No sweet pea, we’re going to visit one of my friends Dr. Brigant. I’ve told him so much about you he wants to meet you and see how smart and cute you are for himself!” her face dropped
“Okay, but can we go to the play park after?” and then she looked at me with her big blue eyes full of hope
“If you still want to go to the play park after talking to my friend then of course we will!”
Fintan had tried to make his office as comfortable for Sookie as he could, and once she realised that I would be staying in the room with her on that big squashy couch she settled into answering some of Fintan’s questions.
“Hello Sookie, I’m a friend of your Gran’s. I’m known as Dr. Brigant but you can call me Finn if you’d like”
“Hello Mr. Finn”
“Sookie, your Gran tells me you’re a very special girl. Do people sometimes say things to you without opening their mouths?”
“Doesn’t everyone do that Mr. Finn?”
“No Sookie, only very special and gifted people can do it, but it’s such a gift and so special that I’m going to help you keep it secret so other people don’t get jealous of what you can do”
Just like that my little angel’s life was changed forever as Fintan explained the difference between what people say with their mouths and what they say in their head and why she shouldn’t let people know what she heard when they spoke without using their mouths.
My name is Sookie Stackhouse and I am a waitress. Okay, I’m a telepathic waitress and I’ve known how special I am since as far back as I can remember. One day my Gran took me to see a doctor friend of hers and the rest, as they say, is history. Dr. Brigant or Mr. Finn as I tended to call him was a very interesting man, who taught me many interesting things. For around 15 years I saw him every two weeks so he could explain about my gift and help me shield my mind by blocking the thoughts of others. He also explained to me the importance of keeping my gift secret; he always said there was no way of knowing what someone would do if they thought I knew what was in their heads.
He helped Gran and I when my Mom and Dad died, I was seven years old and my Brother Jason was nine, Mr. Finn always took some time to make sure Gran wasn’t under too much pressure from raising us, she always told him she was fine even if she was a little stressed but it was good to know that if something did crack her armour he would be there for her.
Keeping the fact you can read minds secret is no mean feat, I think Mom and Dad may have had an idea I was different, after all they did think they were sending me to a psychiatrist, Jason was so self-absorbed I doubt he would have noticed anything but I think my Aunt Linda and cousin Hadley might have suspected something. It was easy to hide at school, everyone just thought I was a quiet loner, I don’t know how I would have coped if I didn’t know how to shield myself, they would have probably thought I was crazy!
I spent so much of my time trying not to hear everyone’s teenage angst my grades weren’t great, a person only has so much concentration but my test results were always much better. I had a few friends despite the obvious difficulties, Tara was my best friend and still is, her mind is pretty quiet and easy to block, she’d had a really hard time growing up, her parents didn’t care about her at all so she spent a lot of time at my house.
I thought I might have found a boyfriend in Mel, he was from a small town called Hotshot and it was like his mind was surrounded by red mist, except when I touched him then I could get a better reading on his emotions. I found out he wasn’t into me ‘in that way’ when we got drunk on some cheap wine one night and I tried to kiss him he told me he was gay but he didn’t want anyone to know, so I kept his secret.
On the last day of school the two of us were just hanging out in the woods behind my Gran’s house when I decided to tell him my secret and that was when my world got so much bigger. He seemed angry at first but once I explained that he was difficult to read he seemed to calm down. I asked him if he knew why his mind was different from all the other kids at school, and why it seemed like all the kids from Hotshot had that red mist round their minds, that was something I’d been wondering for a long time but could never ask without giving away my gift.
Mel looked scared for a moment, then he got this look of determination on his face and said
“I’m a supernatural being, we all are in Hotshot, we call ourselves ‘Supes’ for short”. Wow, I thought I was special then I realised Mel wasn’t done yet. “When the moon is full, and sometimes when it isn’t I turn into an animal, a panther actually, but it’s not just me, there’s a lot of different Supes all just hiding away from Society, all the stories you were told when you were a kid – they’re probably true in one way or another”
Talk about blown away, I only had to look into Mel’s eyes to realise he wasn’t trying to get a rise out of me. It made me think that my mind reading wasn’t exactly natural, could it be supernatural? Could I be a Supe like Mel? I decided there was probably only one person who could confirm or deny that theory. Dr. Brigant was my mentor, if anyone had the answers to my questions it was him, and boy did I have a list of questions! I started writing them down so I didn’t forget any at our next meeting, I was a ball of nervous energy waiting for our next visit to his office, half scared, half excited, all curiosity, I dragged Gran into his room and pulled out my notepad ready for two hours of enlightenment.
“So, Sookie” Mr. Finn chuckled lightly “am I to take it that you’ve been doing some thinking?”
“Yes Mr. Finn, I was hoping you’d answer some questions about my ability and its origins”
“Origins? You would like to know where your telepathy comes from.” I could have sworn he looked afraid.
“Well, I’ve come into contact with a Supernatural Being, he turns into an animal at the full moon, he told me that there are lots of different kinds of Supes and I was wondering if my gift comes from me being a Supe or maybe part-Supe and you just seem to know so much about me and my ability it would make sense to ask you about all this stuff” I knew I was rambling but it seemed to calm him down “Is it true that others exist? Am I a Supe?”
“Well Sookie, let’s start with your friend, Supes that change into animals are known as Weres or Shifters and yes, there are many different kinds. Werewolves, Vampires, Demons, Pixies, Fairies and Angels all exist within this dimension” he paused while this bombshell sunk in, I remembered that my Gran was next to me on the sofa and turned to see what her reaction was to all this.
“Gran, you don’t seem shocked by this, why aren’t you shocked?”
“Sookie, I’ve known Dr. Brigant for a long time and I’ve known that this world was more than it seemed for longer than that” when you think it over there isn’t much you can say to that.
“So what about me Mr. Finn? Am I all human or what?” He and Gran looked at each other and I realised that all this time the answer wasn’t with Mr. Finn but with the woman who raised me, how could I have been so blind. “Well Gran, do you know what I am?”
“Sookie, I never wanted you to find out like this but the man you called Granddad wasn’t actually your Dad and Linda’s father, he couldn’t give me the children I wanted, but a man came to me who could. This doesn’t mean I didn’t love your Granddad, I did with all my heart, but I also loved the man that gave me the babies he couldn’t” My Gran had an affair? I think that information shocked me more than finding out Werewolves, Vampires and Fairies were real.
“So who is my real Granddad? I mean are you still in touch with him? Was he a man or a Supe?” I was distracted by Mr. Finn clearing his throat but then he started to speak
“I am your Grandfather Sookie and I am half-fairy, but your telepathy isn’t a fairy power, it’s from my human side” any other questions I had didn’t matter after that nugget of information.
We stayed in that office for hours and got take-out delivered, just eating and talking about the Supe World, the Fairy (or Fae as Mr. Finn called them) part of the family and what my Great Grandmother had gone through with her telepathy. By the time we were finished it was really late but when we walked out of the office and as we drove home I was still amazed by how the little town I lived looked the same but was so different from the Bon Temps I’d driven through earlier that day.