The True Death
Chapter 8: Alan
Thank you all for taking this insanely fun, murderous journey with us. We hope you enjoyed it more than this season of True Blood. It had its moments, but overall it left me very sad… At any rate, here's our very own season finale. We hope that it leaves you with a better taste in your mouth. *snort*
He was aware that he had a rather polarizing effect on people. In fact, he quite liked it. He enjoyed getting people upset, excited, frustrated and animated even. It meant he'd done his job. He'd brought their emotions out through the television. Not all writers or producers could say that. Then again, not all of them wanted to.
He looked around the set of the fictional Bon Temps and loved the little scene he'd created. Sure Charlaine Harris had come up with the initial idea; he was just, as they say, bringing it to life. He'd made Merlotte's and Fangtasia in his own vision, even creating that spooky dungeon of a basement out of his own imagination. And Sookie's home. He'd dreamed that up too. Finally, in this season, he'd been able to create a decent hiding place for a vampire in her basement. It had always disturbed him in the books that the vampires basically hid under the floorboards at Sookie's. There were too many vampires passing the daytime there for that to be acceptable. But since he'd basically stolen the stories out from the original author's nose, he could do what he wanted. And he did.
He made Tara a much stronger, more bitter character and brought Lafayette back from the dead. Bill Compton was given his much deserved role of king, and Eric, the murderous thug, was relegated his role of Sheriff. Harris had given him too much power.
He adapted the story to his views as well, layering Hitchcockian themes with subliminal and folkloric messages. He fancied himself a powerful storyteller and just knew the viewers would love the way he twisted their beloved characters to create his own version of the stories. It was his very own fanfiction. A dark and twisty, sexy and bloody homage to the original. He loved how it had all played out. Viewers were only given hints of what he wanted them to know. His use of different narrators kept everyone guessing and thanks to the ratings, he could just keep fucking with things as long as he wanted.
He had a plan for the final season. In the meantime, he was immensely enjoying the upheaval he created in the fandom. He loved to watch people squirm. In reality, the show was his own personal experiment in sociology, psychology and anthropology. He was loving the addition of social media into his interaction with viewers. It gave him one more layer to manipulate and interface with the media and the public viewership.
A loud sound brought him from the inner musings of his mind. He turned around to see little Coby Fowler, or the actor who played him whose name he'd never bothered to learn, standing behind him, holding a baseball glove.
"What are you doing here, kid? We're filming the scene where Sookie tells Bill that getting beat up by the Rats was the best thing that ever happened to her. You're not in that."
Coby shrugged. "Some of the other actors wanted me to see if you'd meet them over by the pond in the woods. Something about a problem with the pump in the pond."
"They should contact maintenance for that, and what are they doing over there, anyway? This isn't a swamp scene."
"I don't know. They just wanted me to get you. They said it was your problem."
"We're not paying you for today, kid. You know that, right?"
The kid that played Coby muttered something about payback under his breath and ran away. Alan stomped off towards the pond area, wondering what the hell they were doing over there and why they hadn't just called maintenance. Sometimes actors were a pain in the ass.
He stood and looked over the pond when the beautiful giant that played Eric came and stood beside him. Alan swore sometimes that he was really a vampire because of his ability to sneak up on him without making a sound. Or maybe it was his time in the Swedish Marines. That could have been it, too.
"What do you want?" the producer huffed.
"I don't think we should shoot this scene, Alan," Eric said quietly. "I think it's a mistake. It needs a rewrite."
"Listen, I'm not paying you for your creative input, asshole. I'm paying you to take your shirt off and drop panties all over the world with your swagger and your accent. That's it. If you want to get creative, work with von Trier again."
Just then, a woman that Alan knew all too well walked out of the darkness, arms crossed. "I think you should listen to him, Alan."
"Tara-one, you get back in my fucking trailer. I don't know who the hell helped you escape, but I'm going to fire their asses so fast they won't even know what hit them."
Good Tara simply cleared her throat. "You thought you could kill off all those mediocre characters and it would clean up the mess you made? That's bullshit."
"It's Billshit, even," Bill Compton remarked, joining Eric and Tara. "Getting beat up wasn't the best thing that ever happened to Sookie. It was a horrible mistake that I'll regret for the rest of my days."
"You three are ridiculous. You have no idea what my master plan is. You're all going to rule the vampire world together, with that blonde chick."
"Which one?" the actors asked all together.
Alan rolled his eyes. "Does it matter?"
Pam stalked out of the wilderness. "Of course it fucking matters. One of us has a fairy vagina which you seem to think is laced with crack cocaine, and the other is me, and I'm not doing anything with him," she said, spitting in Bill's direction. "That crown is a little tight for his head."
"Bill is a magnificent king," Alan said, wrapping an arm around Bill's shoulders. "See, look how regal he is." Alan rubbed his back a little, before moving his hand lower. "Has buttocks like a Roman gladiator, he does."
Bill looked at Alan uncomfortably. "That's all well and good, but I really have made some mistakes, and I'm not keen on the idea of the woman I love being okay with allowing me to treat her so disrespectfully."
"And truly," Eric started, "I'd like my balls back sometime soon."
"Yes," Tara agreed, nodding her head. "He needs some testosterone injections or something. I'm sure the studio can afford them with the money they saved doing those cheap ass special effects in-house."
"Women wanted Eric to be more in touch with his softer side."
Sookie stomped over and stood between Eric and Bill. "What women wanted that? Isn't the whole point of having a Viking to foster pillaging fantasies? It's like creating a sensitive pirate. It doesn't work."
"No one fantasizes about that," Pam deadpanned. "Even Jack Sparrow had balls."
"But he wore guyliner. That gave him an aura of sensitivity."
Bill cuffed Alan on the side of the head. "Enough. We've brought him here for a reason. Let's get on with it, so we can get back to our regularly scheduled fictional lives, where I go to Peru and fuck my way through the Andes, and Sookie and Eric make awkward eyes at each other for the next season without me in the way to cockblock them."
"What about me?" Tara asked, dreamily.
"Well, if you're really dead I'm sure they'll let you work in the costume department. If not, I'm sure you'll be a vampire or a demon or something once the writers get a hold of you." Sookie told her, "I don't know what they have planned for you since you should just be a background character by now."
Terry and Andy Bellefleur jumped out of the woods carrying prop rifles and took the scene in before them. "Is it time yet?" Terry asked, regarding Alan curiously. "Sorry, we had to feed the kids since Arlene isn't having any part of things anymore. She's off on vacation in Baton Rouge, lovin' life again."
Sookie and Tara smiled. "Oh, that's just great. I hope she has a nice time," Sookie said, looking awkwardly at Eric. "I could sure use a vacation."
"Soon, Lover. Soon," he said, affectionately tucking a strand of hair behind her ear, causing her to blush.
"His house in Öland is especially lovely this time of year," Pam said dryly.
Holly ran out of the woods, giant forehead sparkling with sweat and her magic first aid kit in hand. "I drew the salt circle, y'all. Stand back now. You don't want to be in it when the shit goes down."
"Oh!" Tara said excitedly. "I never got to help with the witches in the books. How fun! Sookie, do you know any spells?"
"No. I just read my lines. I think we said something about Alan taking over the world in Latin."
"It's okay, I've been reading the spell books they have in Moon Goddess," Holly said excitedly.
The group stood in the shade near the pond, Alan looking at them in disbelief. How could they be so ungrateful? How could they not see the beauty of his masterpiece? He was making something that people would remember for the ages. He was practically fucking Shakespeare. A modern day Tarantino. He clenched his fists and wished that he had the power to shoot microwave rays out of his hands. They deserved it.
Alan stared at his cast outside the salt circle, as Holly and Sookie chanted and Lafayette joined them, letting it all out in ebonics.
For a while, nothing happened, but the atmosphere was nearly vibrating with excitement from the actors. Now, perhaps, they'd be able to get their fictional lives back on track, and be a part of something that people enjoyed, rather than watched simply hoping for seconds of Eric's ass on screen and snarky lines that they could see on any show on television.
Then Alan's head began pounding and he fell to his knees, pulling at his hair, trying to make the pain stop. As he squinted in the moonlight, all but writhing in pain, he saw ripples in the water as his less popular creations began walking out of the pond. He'd thought of killing off the characters he wasn't crazy about, like Eric and Pam, to give them more screen time, but HBO had stepped in and slapped him on the wrist. Alan thought it was because their wives, and in some cases husbands, appreciated Northman's gratuitous swagger and Pam's flashy wardrobe. Little did he know that they were favorite characters from the books. He hadn't bothered to read past book two. He'd just had a staffer read him the Cliffs Notes while they fed him grapes and blood orange soda.
Debbie Pelt came out of the swamp first, water matting down her hair and making her look like a very dead drowned rat. She hissed at him, hating Ball for making her a V addict and a dumber whore than she'd been in Harris's books.
Lucky for Alan, he'd landed on the right side of the salt line when he dropped to his knees, and no matter how much she clawed, she was unable to reach him. Her insults stung though, as she went on and on about how could he possibly have had her even feign an interest in Marcus when she'd had Alcide's smooth, sculpted body all to herself.
Crystal, his beloved Tara Two, and Marnie were next out of the water. They looked equally as pissed as Debbie, but stared at him with vacant eyes and oddly bloated, rotting flesh.
"How can this be?" Alan whispered, looking to Holly for answers.
"Piss off the wrong people and anything's possible, boss," she said with a knowing grin.
Eric grinned. "Napoleon Complexes never work out in the end. You seem to be such a cinema buff, even you should know this."
Sookie snorted. "What goes around, comes around."
Bill just laughed and kind Tara shook her head. "You let your power go to your head. Now it's time for your come to Jesus."
"What? Jesus is here?" Lafayette asked, looking around hopefully.
"No, baby," Sookie said quietly, rubbing his back. "We didn't kill him off. He's not really dead. He's just going to need to look for a new job."
The cast was still murmuring reassurances to Lafayette when Marcus and Tommy came out of the water. Sadly, they looked much worse for the wear than the ladies, but then they'd looked worse when they went in the water.
Marcus sneered at Alan. "You promised me my dream job."
"I made you an alpha Were! What didn't you like about it?"
"You made me into a redneck biker!"
The rest of the cast nodded, making comments about Ball's tendency to make shifters poor, uneducated stereotypes. Alan hadn't seen it that way. He'd been trying to really explore southerners, and the realities of their existences.
This was all very Dickensian, Alan thought, and wondered if he should consider doing a reboot of A Tale of Two Cities next. He could absolutely improve on what Charles Dickens had been trying to do.
As if they read his mind regarding the insanely self-indulgent ideas rolling around in his head, the zombified minor characters began advancing towards him and the salt circle. Eric put an arm around Sookie and Bill stood behind Tara. Andy and Terry watched with excitement, rifles still slung over their shoulders. Pam looked bored and Lafayette was still sniffling over Jesus. Alan couldn't believe that they weren't afraid of the zombies. He didn't realize that they had nothing to fear.
The spell had nothing to do with them.
"Andy, I don't think you should watch this," Terry said quietly. "You're sensitive, and things like this can really affect a person."
Andy furrowed his brow and opened his mouth to argue, but he stopped himself. Terry was right. He'd probably never sleep if he watched what was about to happen.
"I could glamour you," Pam said, looking into his eyes.
"No you can't," Terry snorted.
She shrugged. "I was just being polite. Jason would have fallen for it."
Bill frowned at the scene before him. "As king, I think we should step this up."
"Shut up," Pam said. "But he's right. Let's get this show on the road."
Eric and Bill looked at one another and with a synchronicity that rivalled the most talented synchronized swimmers, they stepped forward, drawing two lines in the sand, breaking the salt circle.
In an instant, Tommy Merlotte's hands darted forward and grabbed for his maker. Alan struggled with all his might and tried to talk his characters into letting him live.
"Alan," Tommy groaned in zombie speak, "I'd like to help you out, but I really, really liked bein' a shifter, and Maxine was real good to me. I don't even know what natural fuckin' gas is."
And with that, Tommy leaned toward Alan's head and ripped his ear off. Alan screamed in pain, trying to get out of his grip, to no avail.
"I'll give you anything. I'll write you back in. Whatever you want."
"Too late," Zombie Debbie moaned. "All we want is brains."
"Brains," the zombies all said together.
Andy hid his face but heard a whoosh of air, a flopping sound and sickening crunch. Then suddenly Alan's feet were stretched out in front of him where they hadn't been before. He couldn't start singing the alphabet song fast enough before he heard zombie Tommy say with his mouthfull, "Mmmmm. Brains."
Holly smiled, and patted Andy's back. "It's okay baby. We'll get you home soon, away from all this."
"I told you not to watch," Terry grumbled at his cousin.
"I tried!" Andy whined back, fighting the nausea that was overtaking him.
"What a bitch," Eric grumbled, looking at Alan's dismembered corpse. "All he had to do was listen to the message boards once and a while instead of his huge ego."
"That coming from someone with an ego the size of your..." Sookie said, chuckling, still avoiding eye contact with the handsome Viking that she'd had every which way when he hadn't known who he was. She relaxed, knowing now, really and truly for the first time in four seasons, that they'd be all right. It would take them some time, but at least they had a fighting chance.
"You know that we're married, right?" Bill said to Sookie. "I mean, in real life."
She nodded and rolled her eyes. "Stay in character, honey."
"But I don't really want to go to Peru."
"You'll have a lot of sex there," Pam reminded him. "And there's llamas. You love llamas."
"Oh yeah. I guess I should go pack then," he nodded. "I'll be back for you, Sookie."
"I'm sure you will," she murmured, glancing back over at Eric.
The zombies had eaten Alan's skull clean of brains and Tommy had gone off to scavenge some raccoons that were clogging their arteries in the Craft Services garbage dumpsters. The other zombies limped off behind him with a wave to the surviving cast.
"What will happen to them?" Tara asked innocently.
"Oh, sweetie," Holly said, patting her arm. "They'll come back here later and drown themselves in the swamp for good and it'll all be over. I just wouldn't go swimin' in there or drink any tap water around here for, well, ever."
All of a sudden, the attention of the surviving characters was drawn back to the swamp, as the ghost of Mavis and her doll stood there, watching everything, a content smile on her face.
"I can finally move on from this nightmare. Thank you, all," she said peacefully, as she floated towards the heavens.
"Who the fuck was that?" Pam asked.
"Beats the hell out of me," Sookie said, her attention turned to an old, but still familiar friend. "Calvin? Is that you?"
The Hot Shot patriarch walked up to her and smiled. "It's me, darlin'. Thank you, all of you for help. It was a dark, cold place, the empty shell of Merlotte's exterior set. I've never been so glad to be out in the fresh air."
"Things can finally get back to normal," Eric said brightly, wrapping his arms around Sookie and Pam's shoulders. "You two can be friends again. Wouldn't that be nice?"
Pam smiled smugly. "It would be nice to have my telepathic friend back, the way our maker intended."
Sookie nodded. "I think she'd like that."
"Should we all go have a slumber party at Bill's house while he packs?" Tara asked, bouncing.
The cast looked at her like she was a little crazy.
"No," Pam replied, answering for the group. "Our work is done here. We need to get the fuck out of here before some of Bill's Babes come looking for Alan."
"Oh, I could wait for them," Bill said hopefully.
"No," Pam said again. "Did you just hear me? We can't be found near this...carcass."
"Oh, right. And I need to pack."
"Yes. You need to pack." Pam rolled her eyes at him and began to head towards her trailer. She looked over her shoulder. "The rest of you - scatter. I'll see you in a few months when we start to film Season 5. Let's hope we get some decent writers."
"Maybe I could do that," Tara said. "I'd do right by ya'll, and I've read the books."
Holly slapped her on the shoulder. "You're hired kid. Maybe give me some bangs while you're at it."
Tara nodded, thinking up all the great wardrobe changes she'd make and the ways she could salvage the show. "Right. I'll see ya'll in a few months."
They walked off in different directions, some in pairs and some alone, leaving the remains of their producer behind them to serve as a reminder not to fuck with Bon Temps. A wolf howled in the distance but no one seemed to notice. They walked off into the moonlight, for the first time in years, hopeful for the coming season.
Peace, love and vampires. See you in Season 5.
T and Sea