Chapter 24 – Vampire Punishment – OUTTAKE
This chapter is violent and has no plot points. It’s for my more bloodthirsty readers. If you don’t like reading about punishments, please just skip this chapter. I’ve had enough bad reviews this week and yet I need to post this – I’ve been promising – but I’m afraid of opening the door to hate comments. Heed the warning if you have a low tolerance for this type of stuff. I don’t think it’s that bad – but I know some of you are more sensitive.
The next few days passed slowly. Eric needed to be at the bar every night, all night. He did spend a good deal of time on the phone with Hunter and Sookie when he could and he always went to the hospital after Fangtasia closed. Sookie did enjoy getting to know Indira; the two women really got along well. Indira spoke of her life in India in the 1600’s. Indira shared stories about the British East Indies Company and their role in bringing the country under Britain’s rule. The vampire was impressed to have such an interested audience.
Finally the night of Pam’s punishment arrived and Sookie left her Were guard, Tony, Hoyt and Jessica with the kids. Tony was staying since Indira needed to be present as Eric’s second for the punishments. Thalia drove her to the back of Fangtasia in Eric’s Mercedes and using the key and code Eric had provided Sookie, they entered the office and simply sat to wait for him. Eric didn’t want her to arrive in her car and raise any suspicion as to the owner with so many vampires present.
It was only the second time she’d met the tiny but dangerous vampire; Thalia didn’t talk much but she wasn’t rude about it. She simply chose to stand at the door to the hospital room and silently protect her master’s family. Tonight, she spoke and informed Sookie about what would be happening.
“Thalia, you can call me Sookie, remember?”
“I will try to remember . . . Sookie.” She shifted to sit in one of Eric’s chairs that she’d turned to face Sookie while she was seated on the sofa. “My Master would like you to know what will be happening. First I will remind you that this office is soundproofed by a spell but only for noises coming from this room. What I mean is, you can still hear the bar.”
“Yes, I can hear some cleaning happening now. No voices though.”
“Eric is quiet as he’s waiting for the cleaning crew to finish. That set the tone for the rest of the vampires in the room. Everyone is just waiting.”
“Do the other vampires know what they are waiting for?”
“Only a public punishment was announced.”
“Why would they all want to see it?”
“It’s not an option. A portion of the area vampires were ordered here. Sometimes these things are made public either to provide additional punishment – the humiliation – or to provide a warning. Both are true here. Eric needs to assert himself as Sheriff and that not even his own child is above punishment. Pam needs the humiliation – to be taken down a few pegs – as you humans would say.”
Sookie noticed she gave a small smile at her ‘human phrase’ so she returned it. For Thalia that seemed huge. “I see. So you’re basically warning me, back to the hearing thing, I will be able to hear what goes on out there?”
“Technically yes, but Master wanted me to give you these.” She pulled open the closet and handed her a high end headset. “If you play your music, these cancel outside noises and you won’t hear anything.”
“That was nice of him.”
“Master is very concerned about your comfort while you’re waiting for him. I will stay with you to ensure no vampires accidentally come in.”
“No thanks are needed. I am over 2000 years old Mis . . . Sookie. I don’t need to see another whipping.”
Sookie cringed at the word. She knew what was going to happen but that didn’t mean she had to like it. She was here for Eric and Eric only: Not to judge his actions, not to aid Pam but to simply be here. She read for a few minutes and she heard some noise in the hallway. “That’s just the cleaning crew leaving. It will start soon.”
Taking that as her cue, Sookie pulled her phone from her pocket connected the wires, donned the headphones and turned her music up. She didn’t want to hear a thing.
Thalia was impressed with Sookie’s apparent calm. With her heightened vampire senses, she knew the woman was nervous: Her breathing was a bit shallow and her heartbeat was fast but her face was still. From the office she could hear Eric and Indira escorting Pam and Mickey to the main bar area. She knew posts were placed in the room on top of a tarp for blood collection and after the click of the chain locks, Eric made his announcement. “Tonight you will bear witness to the punishment of Mickey from Area 4 and my own child, Pamela Ravenscroft. We’ll start with Mickey.” Having Pam witness Mickey’s punishment would add to her own; she could be fully aware of his plans for her. “Mickey took possession of an unwilling Area 5 human and beat her into submission. In Area 5, we don’t permit this type of treatment of humans. With religious zealots and some human authorities looking for ways to strike out against us, we cannot afford to behave in such a way.” Punishing Mickey was easy for Eric compared to what was coming. He whipped from Mickey’s shoulders to his knees with a tool of his own design, a whip fashioned after a Qilinbian (a metal whip invented in China in the late 1900’s). Only for his whip, instead of steel rods and leather, it was made of silver and leather. Pam’s eyes were wide as she watched the punishment. She’d seen and even participated in punishments before but this time, knowing she was next? She thought if she could vomit she would. Making her see Mickey’s beating was something she knew her master had done to scare her. It worked. After the whipping, she watched as Indira handed Eric the spray and she had to turn away as even the stoic Mickey screamed in pain from the saline solution being sprayed down his back.
Thalia heard some footsteps in the hall and knew Mickey was being moved to the basement. Per Eric’s last comments to the crowd, he was being kept for a year. Next he would be punishing Pam and she knew he had carefully chosen his words to describe her crime. He wanted to send a warning without identifying Sookie or Hunter. Being the Sheriff, nobody would question him. “Pamela broke the rules of Area 5 by trying to glamour a human to commit a crime for the purpose of having her arrested simply because she didn’t like the woman. She was caught and now, she will be punished with you as witnesses. Let this serve as a reminder to you. We live openly in the human world. We must abide by the laws our council has handed down for interacting with humans. In Area 5, those laws are strictly enforced.”
Eric steeled himself and picked up his whip again. In his head, he reminded himself he could not be lenient; he had to show his strength both as the Sheriff and for Pam. He’d let her behavior go for too long. Pam was in position and he’d commanded her before lifting her from the coffin not to scream or cry until he released her from that command. While he wouldn’t be going easy on her now, he could at least save her and himself the embarrassment of a balling vampire. He could feel Sookie’s fear while she sat in the office and he was damn proud of her for coming – at the same time he was mad that she insisted. With his final thought on what he almost lost at Pam’s hands. He raised the whip and struck.
Pam felt the white hot pain of the first strike and she arched her back in reaction. Internally, she felt the need to scream but her maker’s command prevented it. Before she could steady herself, the whip came down again and again and again. He was relentless. At first, even as a vampire, she was humiliated to be on display and punished. She didn’t care about being naked; it was being chained in front of other vampires that got her. Now, she didn’t give a damn about who else was in the room; now she only wanted the pain to be over. Eric started at the top, near her shoulders and was slowly making his way down. She could feel the flesh tearing, the blood seeping down; she could hear the singes as the silver whip struck and burnt her skin. Her master wasn’t missing an inch. Through the bond she felt reluctance, he didn’t want to be doing this – well that made two of them – then it struck her. He had the bond open? He could feel the pain too; not that it slowed him down any. He finally reached her knees and stopped. Considering her back had been pretty much split open by the whipping, his stopping didn’t really provide any relief. Cringing at the thought, she knew what was coming; Eric was a master at punishment. “As you know, adding a spray of saline solution increases the pain and slows the healing process.” He nodded to Chow, one of the Area 5 vampires, and he walked forward with the spray bottle. Eric grabbed it and sprayed the wounds. Pam almost preferred the whipping to the burning pain she was feeling now. He sprayed the area quickly but the salt remained causing jolts of pain to her back. “Finally, Pam will be locked in a coffin for the remainder of this calendar year.” He removed Pam from the post and addressed the gathered vampires. “Any questions about the laws in our area?” Not a sound was heard from the room. “Very good. Dismissed.”
He watched them all file out quickly as he dragged Pam back to her coffin. He wanted to comfort her but resisted. After placing her in her home for the next year, he released her from the command of not crying or screaming and she let loose. She cried bloody tears, she screamed, she cursed at Eric. He only indulged her long enough to get her settled then he quieted her. It took her a moment but she calmed. Allowing himself a small gesture of his love for her, he caressed her face. “Pamela, I will see you at the end of this year. Please use this time to reflect on your actions. I will welcome you back to be with me if I feel you truly understand why your behavior was wrong. Until then.”
“ERIC!! NO!!! You can’t do this.”
He just couldn’t have her screaming for the year so he commanded her to be silent until she was removed from the coffin, slammed and locked the lid then left for his office.
He ascended to the main floor and since he’d heard everyone leave already he went directly to his office to Sookie’s waiting arms. The entire episode had been difficult. He needed to deliver an extremely harsh punishment to his own child, he couldn’t provide any comfort once it was over and he kept the bond open so he felt the pain that she did – it was self punishment for failing Pam as her maker. After only a moment in her arms, he raised his head and she spoke to him. “What do you need, Eric?”
“You have me until you die for the day Sweetie. Let’s go home.”