(What kind of stupid bitch would go and do something like that?) Royce thinks, and Sookie asks him what he means. "Fuck a vampire," he answers. I love how the simple fact of admitting her power has turned the tables. Nobody can tell her to stay out of their heads because she can't, but it's obvious now that she's not fucking around, so she's like this roving lie detector, a Diogenes with her lamp, looking for the truth. "Fuck a vampire? Hell, no. I like my meat alive!" The rednecks laugh, but their opposite numbers choose that moment to enter Merlotte's, scaring Arlene. Liam does the tongue thing, and Malcolm prisses around, and Diane climbs all over a kid in one of the booths.
At this very moment, several things are happening: vampires descend finally on Merlotte's, offering themselves up to anger and hatred. Death by fire, death by hubris: Amy is whisking Jason away from his death, and Bill is taking a body out of his trunk, like a possum in a cage. Death by water. And the possum in the bus whisks its tail about, smelling fear on Tara's skin, and the bitter, blunted, squatting smell of demon on Lettie Mae. If you ever admitted how many times in a day you put your life in strangers' hands, you would never leave the house again.
"Get us three TruBloods," Malcolm orders Sam, who tells him to vacate, it's a family place for locals only. "Well, we just closed on a place up the road, so that makes us official citizens of Renard Parish." Arlene and Terry stare at them; young leviathans, stretching new muscles, proud and stupid. "We're the new locals. Discrimination against vampires is punishable by law in the great State of Louisiana. Personally, I don't give a fuck. But I am thirsty." God, he's hard to take. The thing about the big stuff is that you can't even talk about it, because it's too big for words, which is why metaphors were invented. Except that also applies to TV shows, which is to say that you have to supply your own fear and menace and gravitas and glamour to the vampires, because mostly they're just kind of dorky.