5. The Color Of Time

He sat up and looked around.  It was still night, the moon had barely moved so he knew he had only been unconscious a short time.  His heart sped up.

Vampire!

Sookie said there was a vampire in the ruins who could help him.  He stood, a little too quickly, the world spinning forcing him to sit back down.  Staying down but looking around he saw her still as a statue off to his right perched on the ruins like some large bird of prey.

“How is it you are human, Viking?  If you are, surely I should be, too.  How comes it that you are no longer vampire?”

“I never was,” Eric answered softly, afraid any movement would provoke another attack.  His hand moved to his neck expecting to come back with a handful of blood but there was nothing no evidence she had attacked him.

“I healed you,” she answered before he could ask.

“Can you read my mind?” he was joking, hoping to put them both at ease but his words had the opposite effect.

“Ah…Is the telepath with you?” the vampire demanded moving closer to him, sniffing the air and looking around  as though she could see in some way other than with her blind eyes.

“Who?” Eric stood slowly.

“The telepath.  Stackhouse.  She said her name was Sookie Stackhouse.”

“My Sookie is no telepath.  She is an archaeologist.”

“An Archaeologist?  A human Viking?”

“Why do you call me that, ‘Viking’?”

“Because where I am from Eric Northman is a thousand year old Viking.”

“AND HE’S STILL ALIVE?”  The old vampire smiled.

“He is vampire.”  Eric sat back down again.

“What do you mean where you are from?”

“Apparently, this is not the world I am accustomed to.”

“If I am supposed to be a thousand year old Viking vampire and my Sookie is a telepath, then I suspect you are right.”  After a moment to process he looked at her sharply.  “How did you get here?”  Slowly, she sat down next to him.

“I was at a hotel in Rhodes, a city in the United States in the year 2005.  It was a vampire conference.  There was an explosion.  I remember the sounds, the screams and the heat.  Next thing I knew I was here in Rhodes, Greece in 1932. I take it that this is where you have always been, Northman?”

“Until now I didn’t know for sure that there was anywhere else to be.  Did you see my Sookie when you arrived here?”

“No.”

“I have been dreaming of her.  She told me that there was a vampire at the ruins in Rhodes that could help me get her back.”

“Back from where?”

“When I dream of her she is in Knossos in 1500BC.”  The old vampire cackled madly.

“What’s so funny?” Eric asked turning to look at her sharply.

“Life,” she said and continued to laugh for some time, then she turned to him. “The worlds are like a spiral unending.  Something has happened that should not have been allowed. “   The hair on Eric’s neck stood up again as it had when he was in the cabin with Lafayette when he had first heard those words.  Without thinking he replied to her with the rest of Lafayette’s message.

“An explosion that left the worlds unbalanced.  People who should not be here are here now.  People who should be here have been knocked from their rightful holds.  Balance must be restored!”  The old vampire looked like the hair might be standing on the back of her neck now.

“Clearly, other forces are helping you, human.”

“I was told that I would find my love and that together we would restore the balance.”  The vampire thought for a while before she spoke again.

“Human, the rift between worlds is still open.  I believe you can pass through it and find your lost love.” Eric jumped to his feet.

“Where?  Where is it? Please?”  She ignored his exuberance and continued to speak slowly and thoughtfully as she worked her way through whatever puzzle her mind was consumed with.

“I tried to enter it but was rejected. As part of the event that caused this change I am locked here until the change is corrected.  It is possible as well that if I am here in her world that she might be in mine.  Yes, yes, that is likely.  When you find her together you must find me.”

“You?” Eric asked, trying to look at her as she shoved him along the dig site toward something she could see but he could not.  “How old are you?” he asked, forgetting it’s never polite to ask a lady her age.

“You must find me and give me this message.  ‘The telepath must find the bomb before it goes off in Rhodes in 2005.  When she presents herself to you at the trial, set her on the right path.’  Say it back to me, now!” she commanded him as she continued to shove him toward something that only she could see.

“’The telepath must find the bomb before it goes off in Rhodes in 2005.  When she presents herself to you at the trial, set her on the right path.’”

“Very good.  Find me, human Northman.  Give me this message.  Worlds depend on it, on you and your love.”

“Who are you?” he asked looking back her when they came to an abrupt stop.

“I am the Pythia, but in 1500 BC I was more widely known by another name, the Oracle of Delphi.”  She shoved him before he could react to that and he fell into something he couldn’t see.  He fell into time.

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If time had a color it would be purple.

Neither blue nor red those are too pure.  No time is some version of them swirling together, light and dark.

The purple was tearing him apart.  So many voices filled the tunnel.  All the people who were, are and will ever be speaking at once.  He covered his ears but it wasn’t his ears that could perceive the sounds.

There was no relief from the echoes of time.

“Are you trying to make me mad so I’ll forget how scared I am?”  Sookie?  That was Sookie’s voice that rose above the din.  Before he could call out to her he heard himself answer.

“No, I’m just opportunistic.” Again, he heard himself and Sookie in some conversation they had never had.

“I’m hoping that the more you see me, the more I’ll grow on you.”

 “Like a fungus?”

On the purple spun around him, he saw them in the shadows Sookie and himself, sometimes his hair long, sometimes short.  In one he thought he caught a glimpse of fang and remembered Pythia’s words.  In her world he was vampire!

“I will protect us here in this strange world, Eric.  You and our son, I swear it! No matter what it takes.”

“I know you will, my beautiful, Sookie.  I believe you.”  Her hair long, face tan and in this world she had the fangs!  In some world Sookie was vampire, too!

Just when he thought his head would explode from the voices and the images that were rushing into him he was dumped unceremoniously out the other side of the purple.  Landing on his knees head and stomach churning, her name on his lips he tried to stand, to move.  He found only darkness rushing up to meet him.

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Rhodes, 1500BC

Eric’s eyes opened slowly.  It was bright, he could feel the warmth on his face telling him the sun had risen.  Sitting slowly he looked around and found himself on top of a grassy hill that reminded him of his first dream of Sookie.

If everything he had seen was right then he was in Rhodes.  Standing slowly he started down the hill.  He saw someone in the distance and stopped remembering he was still wearing his suit.  His bag what still on his shoulder.  Ducking behind a bush he quickly changed into the loose white toga and sandals that he had purchased at the costume shop when he arrived in Greece.

The clothing felt strange and freeing with the lack of undergarments.  He almost put those back on but decided at the last minute if he was in this thing then he needed to be in it all the way.  He would never find his sweet Sookie if he continued to hold back as he had his whole life.

  

 

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