This article was originally published on Vamped on August 24, 2014.
I met you all on September 7, 2008 in a little place called Merlotte’s or, as it’s now known, Bellefleur’s Bar and Grill. When I first discovered Bon Temps, Louisiana, I was greeted with southern hospitality, cold beer, warm smiles, and vampires were simply a novelty only heard of in big cities.
I know, I know, vampires had been out of the closet for 2 years already at this point, so I shouldn’t have been as stunned. The night when Bill Compton wandered into the bar and ordered a True Blood will be etched into my memory forever. After all, he was our first—vampire, that is.
In the beginning, everyone questioned what Sookie Stackhouse saw in Bill because, let’s face it, back then dating vampires and humans weren’t exactly the norm, especially to the good church-going folk of this town. As the years went on more vampires settled into your neighborhood and mine. People became more accepting—or was it just tolerant? Who knows, and does it really matter now?
Along with our new nocturnal residents came adaptations to our routine way of life. Tru Blood was sold in bars, shops and local gas stations. The gun shop up the street now stocked a silver misting spray like bear repellant, crossbows and wooden bullets, just in case these “vampires” got out of hand. I know I shouldn’t have to tell you all now as it’s too late, but ignorance breeds fear people. Maybe if everyone had kept this in mind back then, things would have turned out differently? In fact, I know they would have!
Sure, the American Vampire League kept shit under control, along with the Vampire Authority’s assistance of course. Hell, Shreveport even had a vampire bar called Fangtasia owned by one of my dear friends, Eric Northman, who yes is a vampire. So what if a vampire wanted the American Dream like the rest of us? Would you be objecting if it were a human? I’m sorry for the rant; this isn’t why we’re all here today.
As I stare across the room into your familiar faces, the ones I have grown to love over the last 6 years, I can feel my eyes welling with tears. Who would have thought it all would come to an end like this? So many of my friends are absent today. Some separated by choice, others by death. I admire the ones that had the sense to pick up and leave while they could.
Arlene Fowler Bellefleur put it so well when she asked Sam Merlotte if he was running “from” something or “to” something. I have to say Arlene, no matter how much shit you have to wade through, you always manage to come out the other side with that adorable smile on your face.
I’ll miss Sam, but it warms my heart knowing he will make it through this and be around for his new baby. Kind of makes you wonder, if there is any hope for salvation when our own mayor flies the coop. His swift departure also confirms our only authority figure left is sheriff Andy Bellefleur, which I tip my hat to for not abandoning us despite everything he has been through losing his daughters.
I always accepted vampires in our little town just like humans. It didn’t really hit me how you all affected our lives until the moment Russell Edginton made his television debut on TV, thrusting his fist through the chest of that poor news anchor. His chilling tirade about vampire rights instilled panic across the nation, and set in motion a turn of events, where there was no turning back. This was fear and everyone now had a taste of it.
In a way, his unpredictable behavior in our straight and narrow world amused me and I admit I was upset when he met the true death. Russell represented what everyone else was afraid to do and his impulsiveness was intoxicating. He was a little on the crazy side, kept everyone on their toes and went after what he wanted. Unfortunately, after his husband, Talbot Angelis died, he caught the last train to crazy town and had to be put down; which Eric was so advantageous in executing.
Sure, that witch Marie Stonebrook slaughtering a room full of humans with entranced vampires at the Festival of Tolerance was traumatizing, but the AVL did it’s best to sweep that under the rug. Bill killing her may have stopped one vigilante with a hate-on for vampires in Bon Temps, but she paled in comparison to Governor Burrell’s Camp. Hell, that is why we’re in this mess today.
Testing on anyone be it a vampire or human is wrong and we only have ourselves to blame for this mass extermination of our little piece of happiness we used to call home. I don’t blame vampires for being pissed off; you were caged against your will and then infected unknowingly with an incurable disease.
The night at Bellefleur’s bar when the Hep-V vamps attacked was a blood bath. Bill Compton, Willa Burrell, you did your best and saved whom you could, but so many were lost that night. I even have to give props to Violet Mazurski for her assistance despite the fact she turned out to be a psycho bitch with a dildo fetish.
Pam Swynford De Beaufort, I can’t begin to understand the heartache you experienced that night when Tara Thornton met the true death. I know under that hard exterior you showcase, is a broken heart and I am truly sorry for your loss.
The first time I saw a vampire meet the true death, was that night I left Merlotte’s. I heard a commotion and peered around the corner just in time to see officer Jason Stackhouse shoot Franklin Mott with wooden bullets. Jason, I’m not trying to rat you out at all, since none of that matters anymore.
My heart stopped when he exploded before my eyes and droplets of blood sprayed my face. That was the turning point for me, when all my years of watching gory horror films seemed like children’s cartoons in comparison. No one noticed me leave that night, but part of my soul went numb.
I have witnessed so much death in the last 6 years and wonder daily how do all of you keep going? How many tears can you cry and how many loves can you lose before packing it in? Parents, siblings, friends, and lovers were lost. Goddesses perished, organizations crumbled, and entire towns evaporated leaving vacant houses behind decorated with lives once past.
I know in my heart, I want to think everything will be okay, but right now it doesn’t feel like that. I can count the number of friends I have left on two hands and by this Sunday I have a heavy feeling in my heart this will change again. To be honest it’s not the death that gets me, it’s not saying goodbye.
I need to have closure in my life. It’s that last spoken word you share, the last touch you feel as you gaze into their eyes, caressing their soul one last time. As my good friend Anthony once said to me, “Funerals are more for the living than the dead, after all it’s the final goodbye.” And we all know goodbyes suck.
True Blood‘s final episode, “Thank You”, will screen on HBO, Sunday, August 24, at 9 p.m., Eastern Daylight Time. Screening times will vary depending on country and region. Check local listings.
The show’s passing also means we won’t be seeing any more of its brilliant marketing campaigns, something Erin also previously covered on this site. Be sure to check out her video tribute to the show’s demise, too.