Disclaimer: Most characters belong to Charlaine Harris. Jessica Hamby is Alan Ball's. I'm just stepping up because Bill needs to die.
WARNING: Sookehverse references. True Blood references. Dead Reckoning references. There is nothing I won't reference.
William Compton lay flat on his bed and yanked. He kept yanking but still he wasn't getting anywhere.
Ah don't understand why Ah can't get the zipper to come up. Surely Ah am slender enough to wear the same size even if they are skinny jeans?
As was his bi-weekly routine, Bill had ventured out to the JC Penney in Monroe that Saturday evening. Describing his needs to the sales staff in men's athletic wear, they'd promptly secured for him two pairs of his favorite stain-resistant Dockers.
"Looking good Vampire Bill," said Miriam.
"Yeah, VB! You don't look a day over 170!" This from Immanuel, who doubled as a hair stylist at the JC Penney's Salon in addition to being a salesman at the department store.
It was with a furrowed brow and tight smile, Bill responded to the man's unintentional slight.
"Ah'll have you know Ah am 165 years young."
"Really VB? Never would've guessed!" Immanuel also seemed disinterested as he flicked lint from his sleeve.
"Yeah," nodded Miriam. "Sorry. Your look just screams Crotchety Old Man."
Bill, disappointed, hung his head.
"Ah don't know what to do. Ah am only 165. Maybe vampires have no choice. Fate demands we show our true age somehow."
Miriam and Immanuel furiously shook their heads.
"Nope. That's not it," said Miriam. "My girlfriend's like 200 or so and you really can't tell."
His curiosity piqued, Bill started to wonder who Miriam's girlfriend was when Immanuel's next words solved the mystery.
"It must run in the vamp family. Her maker is H-O-T hot and he's a thousand. Man is fine. Sex-on-a-stick fine. He definitely spent at least 100 years just mastering fashion. He knows how to dress."
Bill made a face. He could think of only one maker-child duo in Louisiana's Area Five that met Miriam and Immanuel's description. Eric and Pam. He couldn't stand Eric and Pam. Always so full of themselves, self-satisfied and arrogant. If Bill hadn't been a cold-blooded vampire, he was positive his blood would've boiled just thinking of those two.
"Ah loathe Eric and Pam. Ah can't think of two vampires Ah'd want to emulate less than them."
"Well, if your goal is to not be like Eric and Pam, I'd say you're doing a fabulous job. They're awesome." Immanuel smirked.
Bill made a face. "Ah do believe you insulted me, Immanuel."
"Meow," said Miriam.
"What? Why are you making the sound a feline makes?"
"It's the universal sound indicating someone is being catty," Immanuel replied in a sing-song voice.
"Ah am not being catty," replied Bill, huffily. "Ah am just expressing mah feelings like Dr. Ludwig said Ah should."
"Rreeeaar." Miriam replied.
"What are you doing? Is that another cat sound?"
"Yes," laughed Miriam.
"Ah can easily see you and Pam together."
"Listen Bill." Glancing at her watch, Miriam was getting impatient. "Do you want to dress like the hot and sexy vampire I know you are—deep down, way, way down? Or do you just want to keep wearing your Dockers?"
Bill's face took on a pensive look as he attempted to vet through his feelings. Miriam and Immanuel exchanged an eye-roll. Immanuel looked at his watch before he too said something.
"Listen, store's only open until ten. You don't really have time to try on other clothes. Let's pick up some pieces for you and you can try them on at home. You know our return policy." Miriam and Immanuel exchanged a knowing glance. "Just don't think you can trick us with the tags. We can tell when something's been worn, VB."
This was how it came to be near midnight on a Saturday and Bill was desperately trying to squeeze himself into a pair of slimfit dungarees.
Ah cahn't believe Eric wears these kinds of jeans all the time. It's a good thing Ah don't need to breathe because Ah wouldn't be able to.
Finally getting the zipper zipped, Bill rolled to the edge of the bed and somehow got to his feet. He paired his black skinny jeans with a black biker tank top.
Ah don't know about this. Ah am afraid it doesn't hang right on me. Ah will ask Jessicah.
Bill left his bedroom to go downstairs and find his child and ask her opinion of his new outfit. Lurching down the hallway, he came a halt at the staircase until he remembered he could hover.
"Jessicah. Jessicah." Bill called out.
Jessica, meanwhile, was sitting on the sofa with her boyfriend Hoyt. At the sound of her maker's voice, Jessica jumped up and tried to pull Hoyt towards the front door. Too late in their attempt to leave, Bill quickly found them.
"Oh Hoyt. Good," nodded Bill. "Ah am glad you're both here. Ah need a second opinion. Only Ah guess Ah will get a third opinion, too," snickered Bill. "Ah would like both of you to tell me what you think of mah new outfit."
Jessica, glancing at her maker, felt her eyes go wide. Rendered speechless, the girl's mouth opened and closed several times. She flopped back down on the sofa next to Hoyt. Finally she was able to form words.
"Eric called," she said. "He wants his clothes back." She burst into laughter.
"What? What do you mean?" Bill, frowning, intoned seriously.
"What do I mean? Are you kidding? It's not enough that you stalk Sookie, you're gonna go Single White Vampire on Eric?" Jessica, now doubled over in laughter, buried her head in Hoyt's lap.
"Jess, Jess," laughed Hoyt. "That's not very nice."
Jessica lifted her head to reveal blood tears streaming down her face. When she finally had her giggles under control, she spit out another question.
"Did you finally just sneak up and steal Eric's clothes while watching them have sex?"
Horrified, Hoyt threw a look of disgust at Bill while Bill's face was fraught with embarrassment.
"Jessicah, you know Ah don't watch them having sex," Bill giggled nervously. "Hoyt doesn't know you're joking, Jessicah."
"That's good 'cos I'm not joking. You're a stalky creeper."
"Jessicah, tell Hoyt you're joking."
"You're gonna have to command me."
"Ah command you."
"Fine." Jessica turned to her boyfriend. "Hoyt, I'm joking," she said as she feverishly shook her head back and forth. "It's not true." She nodded her head as she said this.
"Jessicah, it doesn't seem right when your body language negates your words like that."
"Take it or leave it, Bill. I can't help that the maker 'I command you' voodoo thingy let's me do that."
Bill frowned. "Fine." He turned to check himself in the mirror that hung above the mantle. "How do Ah look anyway?"
Jessica rolled her eyes and made a face behind Bill's back. Hoyt gave her a look, urging her to be nice.
"Good, Vampire Bill," offered Hoyt. "You look real good."
"You look fine, Bill." Jessica decided to just say whatever seemed most likely to get him to leave.
"You don't think this shirt is too big on me?"
Jessica looked at Bill's tank top. It actually was probably at least two sizes too big. The large armholes revealed Bill's stark white manboobs while the shirt hung so low it covered Bill's butt like a sweater dress desperately in need of cinching.
"It looks good, Bill." Jessica reassured her maker. She practiced the vampire emotionless expression.
"Does it really look good? Or are you just saying that?"
Dear God, Jessica thought. Please let him just accept my lie. He'd better not command me into telling him the truth or Hoyt and I will never get the hell out of here.
"No, I really mean it." Crying babies in dirty diapers, crying babies in dirty diapers.
"Hoyt? What do you think?"
"Oh, Vampire Bill, I'm not into fashion. Just plain old jeans and flannel is usually good enough for me. But I can understand you-as someone who's gonna be around a long time-wanting to change up your look once in a while."
Bill nodded, satisfied with Hoyt's answer, even though it actually was no answer at all.
Desperate to change the subject from Bill's ridiculous outfit, Jessica decided to ask Bill where he was going.
"So Bill what're you doing tonight anyway?"
"Ah rented a wood chipper from Home Depot. Sookeh had a problem with a fallen tree. Ah was going to offer to make mulch for her."
Jessica and Hoyt exchanged a look before Jessica finally nodded.
"You're gonna go over to see Sookie dressed like that?"
Wide-eyed, Jessica just nodded. "Okay."
A half-hour later Bill was making his way slowly - very slowly- across the cemetery to Sookie Stackhouse's farm.
Ah so love mah Sookeh. Ah wonder if she'll be happy to see me? Ah am glad Judith is gone so Ah can continue to try to show Sookeh just how much Ah love her. Slow and steady wins the race. Ah will woo her with my southern gentleman charms, newly packaged in hot exciting vampire attire.
Arriving at Sookie's house, Bill climbed the porch steps. As his jeans were so tight, he found it difficult to bend his knees it took several tries before once more he remembered he could hover. Once on the porch, he paused to deeply sniff in the air around the porch. Finally he knocked. From behind the door, he could hear his Sookie speaking.
"Yeah. Thanks for the heads up. Say hi to Hoyt for me."
Suddenly the door swung open.
"Hi Bill." Sookie leaned against the doorjamb but made no move to invite him in.
"Sookeh," said Bill, smiling. "Hello, mah dear. How are you?"
"Good Bill," she nodded. "Real good. I like your outfit. Maybe you and Eric should try going shopping together. Might be able to get some good two-fer deals."
"Oh! An interesting idea. You know me so well," he laughed. "You know how Ah like to be thrifty. But Ah don't think so. Eric and Ah went shopping together once to Forever 21 to buy clothes for Jessicah. The saleswoman mistook us for a homosexual couple."
Sookie's eyes widened. "You don't say?" Geez, too bad the bloodbond doesn't have a vamp-cam option, she thought. I would've paid money to see that.
"Well, what can I do for you, Bill? It's nearly one in the morning. I was just going to head in to bed."
"Is Eric here?" Curiosity getting the better of him, Bill made an effort to peer around the door into the house. He hadn't smelled Northman. Well, fresh Northman.
"No, Bill. Eric's at Fangtasia. If you need to see him, that's where you're gonna have to go."
"No, no," Bill shook his head, lightly tittering. "Ah'm not interested in seeing Eric."
"Okay," mumbled Sookie. "Could've fooled me. Well, what're you doing here?"
"Sookeh, may Ah just say how lovely you look? Ah particularly love your breasts. If there was a Best Titty Competition at Vic's Redneck Roadhouse, I would vote many times for your lovely sun-kissed orbs."
Sookie made a face. "Thank you, Bill." Way to go with the inappropriate.
"Ah rented a wood chipper and am making mulch. Ah was going to ask if you'd like me to make mulch out of the tree limbs that Jason cut?"
"Oh, thanks! Eric was going to take care if it but of course there's much better ways I'd rather he and I spend our time together. He's so busy sometimes. I'm so grateful you have time to devote to being a good neighbor."
Wordlessly, Bill nodded.
"Bill," Sookie threw her arms around Bill's neck, hugging him. "That's just so sweet of you. Stop by for a blood tomorrow. Earlier in the evening."
"Yes, Sookeh," smiled Bill, happy that his plan was already working. "Ah'd be happy to."
An hour later, Bill had dragged the last tree limb over to the back of his house. After engaging in an hour of manual labor, his hopes for winning back his Buxom Barmaid had gradually eroded.
Ah hope mah Sookeh appreciates mah efforts and thinks of me, of what a good friend Ah am to her, when she's being defiled by that Nordic sex-aholic.
Yes, Bill's hopes and aspirations for a future with his honey were definitely on the wane.
Hmm, now Ah need to just get this wood chipper to work. If Ah can get this done quickly. How do Ah do this? Is it a lever? Or an on-switch?
After playing with the wood chipper for fifteen minutes, Bill finally managed to get the machine to roar to life.
Ah have a feeling this will go quickly. Ah should be able to return to mah house soon. Thank goodness. Ah need to change out of these skinny jeans. They are chaffing mah inner thahs.
Bill grabbed a branch and dropped it into the wood chipper. The whirling blades chopped the wood into chunks, then bits, then smithereens. Bill watched, mesmerized.
That is good. Ah will have to recommend this equipment in mah Facebook page.
Bill continued his activity for twenty more minutes. Eventually he was able to fall into a not unpleasant routine. The ancient agriculturist was able to ease his work anxiety by humming. Tapping deep into his core, Bill emulated the sounds of his favorite chanting monks. What began as a seemingly thankless task had somehow been transformed into a therapeutic pulsing of pleasure.
"Ohm, ohm, ohm…"
Finally, it was time to chop the tree trunk. The remnants of a very old tree, Bill had had quite the struggle in removing the trunk and bringing it to his property. He'd finally just decided to come back to the house and borrow Hoyt's truck to move it.
Straining his muscles—flaccid from more than a century of dormancy—Bill was able to get the trunk into the wood chipper only by pushing it against the outside of the chipper barrel and using the pressure of physics to push it up, up, and up until it finally fell over the rim into the chipper barrel.
There! Got it!
Turning on the switch once more, Bill was perplexed when the wood chipper's motor started only to immediately grind to a halt.
Ah wonder what's wrong?
Hovering onto a stepladder Bill peered down into the wood chipper to see what had caused the equipment to jam.
Ah! Ah see it! Jason must have used the tree for rifle practice. The blade has gotten stuck on a bullet embedded in the wood.
Bill shook his head. Sookie's brother seemed to grow more and more slow-witted with each passing season. Last time they'd spoken Jason had described spending an entire afternoon amusing himself with the contents of a desk—rubber bands, paper clips, pencil erasers. Bill found himself hard-pressed to think of anything that sounded less interesting than engaging in such activity unless it was perhaps watching someone else engage in such activity.
Bill leaned down to move the tree trunk away from the blades.
Ah guess if Ah removed the bullet, the motor will restart?
Bill hovered down and walked with a plodding gait back to the house to grab his sharp penknife from the recycling room. Once outside he hovered back up onto the stepladder and leaned down into the barrel of the wood chipper. Using his knife he was able to successfully chisel the bullet from the trunk. That done, he tossed the bullet onto the lawn.
With that the wood-chipper's motor roared back to life.
Startled, Bill immediately realized his mistake: He, like so many American Do-It-Yourselfers, forgot to switch the woodchipper off before clearing the jam.
The end was both quick and painful as Bill was ground up into mulch.
The magic left his body the second the steel GE blades severed his head from his neck.
Sliced and diced and pureed, in less than a minute it was over.
Bill Compton's screaming could be heard echoing in the distance.
Unfortunately, there was no one around to hear.
Jessica and Hoyt had left the second Bill had returned with Hoyt's truck.
Across the Sweet Home Cemetery, Sookie Stackhouse, still awake and engrossed in a romance novel, sat up in bed thinking she heard something in the distance.
Was that a scream? Or a cat screeching? she wondered.
"My lover, you're awake."
Smiling, Sookie turned to see a figure standing outside her bedroom window.
"Hey, what're you doing here? I thought you'd be at Fangtasia all night."
"No," Eric shook his head as he peered in the window. "Delegated some work and was able to leave for a bit. I thought I would remove that tree from your property. Where did it go?"
"Funny thing," Sookie jumped up and ran to the window. "Bill offered to take care of it."
Eric's eyebrow shot up in that way Sookie alternatively found hot or irritating depending on the conversation.
"Well, that is a pleasant surprise. Wonder why." He fell quiet, looking at Sookie. "Perhaps he is still carrying a torch for you."
Sookie smiled. "He can carry whatever he wants to carry. I'm only carrying a torch for you."
Eric smiled. "That's what a vampire likes to hear from his wife."
"You coming in?"
"I thought you'd never ask."
"Since when do you need an invitation?"
"Still nice to be asked."
Sookie lifted the window up and took a step back so Eric could climb inside.
Once inside, the vampire brought his head down to press his cool lips on the warmer ones of his human wife. Prodding her mouth for entry, Eric was much amused as Sookie played hard to get for all of five seconds. Eric enfolded Sookie in his arms while her arms likewise reached around his waist, tightening into a locked hold.
Finally they pulled apart to allow Sookie some breathing time.
"By the way, you went clothes shopping with Bill?"
Eric grimaced. "Why must you bring him up, now?"
"Sounds like a funny story. Tell me sometime."
"Yes, Sookie." He brought his lips down to her shoulder. "Sometime. Some other time."
Backing onto the bed, Sookie lay back down and pulled Eric down on top of her.
"More than fair, I think."
"Agreed." She pulled him down for another kiss.
AN: Okay, did you really think the fic was Complete? Ha ha. Nope…
CREDIT/PROPS: To the wonderful ladies of Tangler, especially lmb1309 and Ashmarie for pointing out Bill's new clothing preferences and Single White Eric fixation (See Dead Reckoning, Ch 11, Bill "slumming" it in jeans and a tank top). Thanks to Duckbutt and Jan-of-Arc who both suggested wood chipper.
I did a little revision thanks to hdgcat. Forgetting to turn off the jammed equipment causes many more injuries than loose-fitting clothes. It was a toss-up and I guessed wrong. Tidbit I discovered: According to the US Center for Disease Control the number of consumers seeking emergency treatment at hospitals for nail gun injuries rose 200% from 1991 to 2005. OOPS. Email me if you can think of a way Bill can die by nailgun.
Snarky Sidekick/That Pam Contest:
Surely you've heard of the Pam contest by now? We want MORE PAM! Why? Because you can never have too much Pam. Pam = Cowbell.
Don't know what to write? Just follow your snark. You can also check out the sample fics on the contest profile (a Fave Author on my profile). "Blood Goggles" by svmfan1 and "Be Your Own Viking" by yours truly.
What's in it for you? First prize is a Charlaine Harris-signed copy of "Dead Reckoning." #WINNING!