Winter sighed as she looked over the cab of the ancient
Dodge at her husband. Peter was in one of his moods,
and that was a bad thing.
The pair had been over
to see friends in a neighboring town, but even that
had gotten out of hand. Peter just had to start an argument;
but then, he did that all the time lately.
Charlotte suspected it
was age getting the better of him. They were both over
sixty- maybe he was getting Alzheimer’s? She crossed
her arms but didn’t speak. There would be no point
in trying to talk to the incensed farmer for hours.
Instead, she let her gaze fall outside the beat up pick-up,
to the winding back roads it traversed.
I should get a divorce…
Charlotte let her mind
wander, pretending she could escape the deep void of
a life she’d been trapped in for over forty years.
Living in the tiny town of Black Creek was suffocating,
and yet she had let the place suck the life out of her
Peter had been worth it
back then. Handsome. Strong. Loving.
A string of curse words
erupted from the red-faced farmer and Charlotte was
broken from her pitiful reverie. Peter was angry, and
this time not just at his wife or old friends.
As Charlotte broke from
her daydream she felt the pick-up swerve dangerously
and was compelled to squint as something blurred before
the truck like some nightmare illusion. She held a hand
up, expecting the suffering Dodge to slam into whatever
was in the road, but instead the thing vanished.
you see that jerk?” Peter rammed his foot down
on the truck’s brakes and brought the Dodge to
a swift halt. The lane they were on was nothing more
than a single-file dirt track. If anything else came
along there would be no room to pass. Peter didn’t
“I…I saw something…”
Charlotte shook her head, unsure of what exactly had
been outside on the road. At this time of night in the
country it was most likely some wild animal. “Peter,
should you really be getting out?”
The farmer ignored his
wife, tugging a twelve-gauge shotgun from a rack in
the back of the cab. Someone or something had irked
him, and in the frame of mind he was in, that someone
was going to feel buckshot before they went home.
he can ride in front of my truck like some dang cowboy
yahoo…” The insults came thick and fast
as the farmer jarred open his door and stepped out into
the chill of the night.
huffed and spat viciously into the nearby scrub. His
quarry had disappeared, no doubt because the little
butthead had heard of his fiery reputation. Nobody
messes with Peter Winter, not on his on his own land,
Charlotte remained in
the cab, still unsure of what had angered her husband
even more than he had been moments earlier. Peter had
intimated someone had been on horseback in the lane,
but she doubted anyone would be so careless as to be
riding at such an hour out here.
“Peter, maybe we
should just go home,” she beseeched.
shook his head, kneeling slowly to examine the hoof
prints on the ground in front of his truck. The horse
was unshod-something else he wouldn’t have expected.
Knew it was some damn yahoo with no respect for
man or beast. Young hoodlums aren’t satisfied
with stealing cars…
beats, thudding heavily as if the animal was racing
hard, reverberated along the previously silent lane,
and Winter stood from his crouched position, finger
poised on the shotgun’s trigger.
For painful seconds, only
darkness and the noise of the approaching steed filled
the country track.
Finally, horse and rider
appeared, but not from the direction Winter had been
expecting. It was like looking up into the sky after
hearing a sonic boom, only to find the actual aircraft
far away in the distance.
gulped hard, suddenly intimidated by the charging dappled
gray steed that tore towards him. The animal’s
glistening coat shone in the moonlight, and the farmer
could see small puffs of steam rising from its nostrils
as it snorted with exertion. On any other day, he would
have described the horse as being magnificent, but right
now, its very presence scared the hell out of him.
terrified voice cut through the night, her recent thoughts
of divorce forgotten now that her husband was in danger.
“Peter, get in the truck!”
Winter didn’t move.
The aging farmer suddenly
found that no matter how he tried he couldn’t
take his gaze from the rider and his perfectly bred
horse. Before, he had thought the person who had ridden
in front of his truck had been some punk from town playing
some stupid prank, but the rider was no teenager.
As the gleaming steed
finally slowed, its hoofs churning the ground as it
responded to its master’s commands, Winter at
last could see the man in full clarity.
The farmer guessed his
attacker was in his late twenties, his sandy hair and
handsome features almost hidden by a thick layer of
dust that suggested he had been riding for days.
The stranger’s attire
seemed eerily out of date, and was covered with the
same film of dust as his face and hair. Whoever he was,
he was no high school kid looking for a laughs.
Peter felt his heart rate
go up a notch. There had been rumors in town of late.
Rumors he apparently should have listened to. “What
do you want?” He heard the words leave his throat,
but they were thick and gravely, as fear contorted his
normally loud timbre.
The rider didn’t
answer, but with a tug of his reins brought the steed
up on its back legs, rearing in front of Peter until
he was sure the animal would come down on him, trampling
him to death under its massive hoofs.
the horse remained upright, defying what Peter knew
as logic. A horse can’t stay on its hind legs
that long, can it?
farmer’s head cocked and he realized his foe was
drawing a weapon. Strangely, he didn’t feel compelled
to use the shotgun anymore, letting it hang limp in
his fingers even though his life now depended on it.
In the truck, Charlotte
began to scream as she watched the young rider slide
a cavalry saber from a sheath tucked into his saddle.
As he swung his arm back for the kill, she couldn’t
help but notice the mirthful sparkle to his eyes, and
the strange gold object dangling from a cord around
Charlotte squinted, abruptly
drawn to the almost radiant effigy. Maybe if she lived
through the night its bizarre design would provide some
evidence against their attacker. “Peter, for God’s
sake, shoot!” The petrified wife’s pleas
did little to rouse her entranced husband.
Peter Winter simply let
the twelve gauge slip from his grasp and tumble to the
Within a second, he felt
the cool, hard slice of the saber as it ran through
his gut and exited the other side. He looked down, suddenly
shocked at what he had allowed to happen.
Above him, the rider smirked
cockily and then tugged back, pulling his weapon from
the farmer so swiftly that Winter’s body was forced
back with the move. His back hit the hood of his truck,
and he slumped down, clutching at his stomach with both
hands as blood oozed through his fingers.
A trail of blood smeared
the Dodge’s grille where he had slithered down
it, and the left headlight beam was almost obscured
with the thick, already coagulating liquid.
Charlotte screamed and
tried to scramble behind the wheel of the pick-up. She
slid a hand to the ignition and realized in horror that
the ignition keys were missing. Peter must have taken
them outside with him.
The sixty-four year-old
peered through the windscreen, but the rider had vanished.
Did she dare to venture outside to find the keys and
try to help her husband?
With a quivering hand,
Charlotte let her fingers slide behind the door handle.
She pulled back and heard the click as the latch gave
way, the door opening with a creak.
Bile rose in her throat,
but she swallowed, forcing it back down as she clambered
from the vehicle. She looked around frantically, scouring
the lane for the interloper, but all was still.
Using the hood for support
as her knees began to quake, Charlotte urged her wiry
frame forward, knowing she would probably find her husband
dead. Her hand slid across the metal as her fingers
slipped in Peter’s lifeblood, and she recoiled.
Behind her, hoof beats
resounded down the lane, their owner thundering ever
closer for the kill.
Charlotte dropped to her
knees, her hands flailing wildly across the ground in
search of her husband’s shotgun. As her fingers
finally curled around the barrel, she heard the snorting
of a horse dangerously close, and she couldn’t
ignore the urge to turn.
pallid grey steed’s hoofs pawed the ground impatiently,
its young rider watching her almost playfully.
could take the impish look on his face no more. This
man, this thing had killed Peter, and now he would pay.
She tugged back hard on the shotgun’s trigger,
its unexpected kick almost breaking her collarbone.
Die you bastard…
The rider didn’t
move, but continued to grin as the buckshot melted through
his form and dissipated into the night the other side.
those who needed to repent and had not would die here
* * * *
Cabin just outside Black Creek, Wisconsin
Three Weeks Later
Dean climbed from behind the Impala’s wheel and
stretched. He’d been driving for hours and it
was a welcome relief to finally be able to flex his
Chevy was like a home from home, but driving her non-stop
across the country did little for his body - not that
he’d let Sam take the wheel unless he had to.
Between Sam and Kyle the car had been through far too
much of late, but then they all had.
did you really have to find us a cabin?”
The elder Winchester squirmed as he eyed the small wooden
structure before him. This was the first time they’d
stayed in a cabin since Missouri, and Dean wasn’t
sure he liked the idea.
Sam shrugged, popping
the trunk to tug out their bags. “It’s not
like Black Creek has much accommodation to choose from,
Dean. The place is tiny.”
Dean huffed, but took
the holdall that was pushed his way. “Tell me
again why I’ve been forced to this nothing of
a town?” He didn’t let Sam answer. “Oh
yeah, Moses, our car wrecking priest friend, thought
it was a good idea.” He rolled his eyes, referring
to Kyle Williams.
Since their encounter
in Dakota with their nemesis, Haris, Kyle had been sending
them updates, information, and any supernatural case
he laid his hands on. Being forced from the vocation
he’d dreamed of all his life had led the would-be
priest to appoint himself the Winchesters’ “researcher”
and he actually fit the role quite well.
As long as he did the
research from Dakota and kept his hands well away from
the Impala, Dean was happy. The priest also kept an
eye on Sarah Blake-something both brothers were thankful
for after her near demise at the hands of the demon.
“I think Kyle actually
found something quite unique going on here,” Sam
countered as he unlocked the cabin door. “I mean
c’mon, Dean, all those people found dead out on
the highway, and in such a small town? We’re not
exactly talking accident.”
Dean shrugged and took
a glance around what would be serving as their new abode
for the next few days. It wasn’t unlike the cabin
in Missouri, and he felt a small chill run down the
back of his spine. This case needed solving and fast,
because he really didn’t want to be dragging up
old memories again.
The nightmares he’d
had at Bobby’s after the crash had been hard to
push away, and the elder hunter suspected sleeping in
this place wasn’t going to be easy if he didn’t
want a recurrence of those hellish dreams about their
dad while he’d been possessed by Haris.
“I don’t know,
Sammy, I mean, we could be looking at a regular “killer
in the backseat” gig here.” He raised a
brow questioningly. “What makes you think this
thing is unique?” Dean tossed his holdall on the
bed and quickly joined it. While Sam began unpacking
regular items like clothes and their laptop, Dean’s
priority lay with his weaponry. A shotgun and two handguns
appeared as if by magic and he began checking them over
“The local cops
found hoof prints around every victim’s car. Does
that sound like a “killer in the backseat”
gig to you?” The younger hunter powered up their
laptop and began opening files he’d downloaded.
The cabin had no internet, so he’d had the forethought
to visit the nearest local library on the way in. “Take
a look.” He spun the screen towards his brother.
“Eight people stabbed
to death by what the County Coroner describes as an
antique sword.” Dean whistled. “How do they
know what the murder weapon is if they don’t have
Sam tapped the screen
with his forefinger. “Read on. It says they found
a sliver of the thing embedded in the latest victim’s
ribcage. They dated the metal from that. The size and
shape of the wounds gave them the rest.”
Dean broke the barrel
of his shotgun and began to clean it as they talked.
It was his favorite ritual, and one he could complete
without even looking at the SKB. “Still doesn’t
make this anything supernatural, Sammy. We could just
be looking at some whacko serial killer. Definitely
not our kind of thing.”
Sam shook his head. It
was pretty obvious that Dean wanted out of the cabin
just about as quickly as he’d walked into it.
In fact, Sam suspected if he suggested they sleep in
the car, Dean would take that option rather than spend
a night in the tiny wooden rent-a-lodge.
Of course, Dean was putting
on the brave face he usually wore when something bothered
him, and Sam was going to play along with that, because
sooner or later, Dean had to come to terms with his
have you even read half of the newspaper reports on
there?” Sam sighed and stole a glance at the laptop.
“Some of the locals have allegedly seen a rider
on a pale grey horse. So far he’s only been seen
on the same stretch of road as the victims, and he only
appears at night.”
paused from reattaching the SKB’s barrel and frowned.
“You think we have some freaky Sleepy Hollow
kind of thing going down here? I mean c’mon, Sammy,
a real life ghost rider with attitude?”
some folks around here say…” A small, bearded
man wearing a grimy baseball cap slipped through the
cabin door and began chewing on something Dean suspected
was tobacco rather than gum. He reminded the hunter
of their old friend Bobby, and he took an instant liking
to the newcomer. “Hank Jessop, your landlord.”
The man offered his hand along with his introduction,
and Dean shook it.
about this “ghost rider” too?” Sam
shot his brother a look that screamed “cover the
guns!” as he spoke, but Jessop’s gaze had
already fallen on Dean’s little hardware collection.
The cabin owner’s
brow creased curiously, but he didn’t question
the brothers’ arsenal. “Hell yes, sonny.
My family’s been around these parts too long to
miss out on any local gossip.”
never seen the rider?” Dean joined in after finally
finishing up the SKB. “I mean, for all you know
it could be nothing more than a rumor. Let’s face
it, why would something like that just suddenly appear
in Black Creek, right?”
Hank rubbed a hand across
his beard and eyed Dean with a look of amusement. These
boys just didn’t get how such a small town worked.
“Nope, I’ve never seen it, and God help
me I don’t want to. As for the why, I’m
Sam moved closer to their host, unsure how to take the
man’s last statement. “You mean people think
the rider is out for some kind of salvation? He’s
killing to redeem himself?”
Hank laughed, his beard
quirking in sudden amusement. “Hell no, boy, “Redemption”
was a town around here back in the late eighteen hundreds.
You know, regular lil’ cowboy town. When the railroad
came through these parts and the bigger towns grew,
well, Redemption kind of vanished off the map. And of
course there were the rumors...” He coughed, unsure
if he’d gone too far. “There are still parts
of the old ghost town out there if ya go looking hard
“And you think the
thing that’s killing people has somehow been awakened
from there?” Dean was interested now. Maybe Sam’s
original idea wasn’t so off base after all. All
it would take was some unsuspecting tourist to dig up
some old bones and wham; the mystery ghost rider could
have been born.
Sam cut his brother off and looked at the older man
questioningly. Hank had slipped in the mention of “rumors”
so casually Dean had totally missed it, but in their
job, something so small could mean a great deal.
Hank swirled the tobacco
around in his mouth for a moment, savoring the flavor.
He chomped on a wad, and eventually nodded, pleased
that the kid before him had picked up on his choice
of words. “Some say Redemption vanished because
of something bad that happened there. I don’t
know the details, but it involved a hanging, so they
say. Town was never quite the same after that. Others
say the place was a den of iniquity anyway, but that
was even before my granddaddy’s time.”
“You said there
are still some remnants of the old place?” Dean
cocked a brow. If he had to spend a night in Black Creek,
he’d rather do it in an old ghost town than the
cabin. He knew avoiding his feelings wasn’t the
answer, but right now he had a pretty good excuse and
he was sticking with it. “Can you tell us how
to get there?”
Jessop jerked a thumb back towards the door. “There’s
only one road out that way. It’s Breach Lane,
where the killin’ always happens. Follow it right
along to the end, past Pete Winter’s old place,
then you’ll have to park your car and walk a ways.
Just follow the river and it will take you right on
into Redemption, or what’s left of it.”
“Can I ask you a
question, Mr. Jessop?” Sam’s expression
was neutral despite the sudden deep-seated dread that
had begun to burn at him for no apparent reason. “What
do you really think we’ll find out there?”
backed up just enough to open the door a touch and spit
out a swatch of his tobacco. When he looked back his
eyes returned to the weapons Dean had been cleaning.
“Death,” he admitted somberly as if it were
the sanest answer in the world. “But then, it
looks like you boys came prepared for that…”
* * * *
Black Creek, Wisconsin
Later that night
The track ahead finally petered out into nothing more
than a muddy glop, and Dean was forced to admit that
the Impala could no longer traverse what was left of
The elder hunter tugged
the Chevy’s wheel, making sure the classic was
as far over out of harm’s way as possible on the
one track road. After listening to the calming growl
of the engine for just a second, he shut off the ignition
and shot a glance to his brother.
Sam had been unusually
quiet on the drive out, and even now he sat with his
head down as if something was bothering him more than
he cared to say. The dimples on his cheeks had turned
into a deep frown, and as Dean reached for the Impala’s
door handle he sighed audibly.
was more than Dean could take. “Sam, wanna tell
me about it?”
Sam looked up, suddenly
realizing his moping had been all too obvious. Since
speaking with Jessop back at the cabin he couldn’t
shake the feeling that coming out to Redemption was
wrong. There was no vision involved, so there was no
real reason to be afraid, and yet, deep in his heart
Sam knew this was no ordinary apprehension.
Something was going to
go wrong out here, and the only real fact he sensed
about the whole situation was that whatever went down,
he’d be powerless to stop it.
nothing,” Sam climbed from the car and joined
his brother at the trunk. There was no point in telling
Dean when there was really nothing to tell. Just
like you didn’t tell Jess about the nightmares,
and…Sam stopped dead as the thought hit him.
Why would he think that?
“Look alive, little
brother.” Dean tossed over a flashlight followed
by a salt-filled Remington. He grabbed the recently
cleaned SKB for himself along with his favorite forty-five.
“Something is eating at you, dude. Now spill.
This gig got you spooked?”
Sam pulled a face. “It’s
not the gig. Just a feeling. I’m sure it’s
nothing.” He flicked on the flashlight, letting
the wide beam cut into the darkness ahead of the car.
huh?” Dean nodded knowingly. If Sam said he had
a “feeling” and it was nothing, it usually
meant it was something, but he just didn’t want
to share it yet. “Fine, just as long as your whole
lot of nothing doesn’t get our asses canned by
the Lone Ranger out here…”
smiled a little at the quip. “The Lone Ranger’s
horse was white, not grey, dork,” he corrected.
“Maybe it’s Zorro? He was more
into the swordplay thing.” He chuckled, attempting
to push away the nagging feeling in his mind, but it
Dean took point, using his thumb to flick on his own
light. “I don’t really care who he is as
long as we can his sorry ass and get back in time for
Sam nodded. The sooner
they got back to the cabin, the better he would feel.
* * * *
A mile down the muddy track, Dean paused and let his
flashlight play to their left. He could hear the sound
of burbling water, and remembered that Jessop had said
Redemption was near the local river, which meant they
were close to the old town. Or, at least, what was left
of the place.
“I think we’ve
found our ghost town. You wanna take right and I’ll
Sam licked his lips but
didn’t answer right away. For some reason he didn’t
like the idea of splitting up. It was insane considering
how many gigs they’d worked this way, and yet
all he could think of was Jessop’s last few words.
do you really think we’ll find out there?”
we should stick together on this one…”
raised a brow and his lopsided, cocky smirk appeared.
“Dude, you’re turning into a regular wuss
on this gig. Forget to eat your SpaghettiOs this morning?”
The elder hunter shook his head, playing the moment,
but he knew Sammy was spooked big time. That was bad.
“C’mon, I want to actually see this place
tonight,” he joked. “I always wanted
to be a cowboy…”
“I thought you always
wanted to be a fireman?” Sam countered as he reluctantly
began to move away from his brother.
Dean shrugged as he began
walking to the left. “What? A guy can’t
have more than one career choice?”
“Yeah, but you’re
definitely more of a Jesse James or Billy the Kid than
any fire fighter…” Sam’s humor-filled
voice became muffled as he vanished into the night towards
the remains of Redemption.
Dean watched him go and
then shook his head. Something was definitely eating
at the kid despite his quips. And with Sammy’s
sixth sense, that meant trouble.
* * * *
Sam hadn’t been walking long when the beam from
his light caught something jutting from the earth up
ahead. As he aimed the flashlight more directly, he
realized what he was looking at was the remnants of
a wooden structure.
Sam moved closer, keeping
the beam on the aging, mite-infested timbers. It was
hard to tell what the building had once been, but from
what he could tell he’d found the outskirts of
town. He kneeled, letting a hand caress the wooden laths
as if tactile touch could bring back memories from the
The lumber felt cold to
his fingers-unnaturally so, and Sam couldn’t help
but recoil and move on, some unknown sense of urgency
pushing him forward.
The moon appeared as if
on cue from behind a bank of high cumulous clouds, its
muted light illuminating the scene more clearly.
Jessop had been right
in his description. There really wasn’t much of
the old western town left. From what Sam could see,
only one building actually remained in its entirety,
and it was at the farthest edge of town. He would have
to quicken his pace to check out the place and be back
at the rendezvous point where he’d left Dean.
is keeping me busy…
The young hunter didn’t
know where the abrupt and unnerving thought had come
from, but he didn’t like it. He let a hand touch
the Remington under his jacket, but it did little to
quell his misgivings.
Balls of tumbleweed blew
in front of him, taunting him to move onward, to see
the last building in Redemption and find its long lost
Sam looked back over his
shoulder into the darkness. Somewhere in the black void
of night, Dean was alone, vulnerable. The thought struck
a chord, and no matter how much the lone structure at
the edge of town beckoned, Sam refused its ethereal
invitation. He knew now he had to go back. Back before
it was too late, like it had been for Jess.
* * * *
one hand on his flashlight while he cradled a home-made
EMF meter in the other. Ever since leaving Sam he’d
had the uncanny feeling of being watched, and on a night
like this, he trusted that his instincts weren’t
The hunter spun to his
right a little at the sound of cascading water, letting
the ray from his light play in the direction of the
rushing deluge, as he noted a broken wooden sign near
the steep embankment.
Dean edged forward, eyes
darting in anticipation of some ghostly ambush. When
he reached the decrepit marker, he kneeled, rubbing
a thick layer of dust away to reveal painted-on lettering
from another era.
Cemetery…” The elder brother read out the
words emblazoned in black, somehow knowing this was
the place the Winchesters were looking for. They had
been drawn here. He had been drawn here.
“No! We don’t
deserve this! We created you!” A girl’s
muted, terrified scream broke the silence of the night
and Dean abruptly sprang to his feet.
Redemption should have
been an empty town. A town full of nothing but age-old
memories, and yet, he was not alone.
quickly pulled the SKB from under his jacket, noting
with alarm that the EMF meter he had been forced to
stow away was now screaming as it redlined. Shit!
He pointed his flashlight
ahead towards the sound of the screaming, letting his
shotgun’s barrel align with the beam as he played
it across the open graveyard. Within a second, he found
what he was looking for.
Amidst a few tumbledown
stone monuments, intermingled with even more decrepit
wooden grave markers, was a young teenage girl. To Dean,
she looked no more than sixteen-and she had company.
Strewn at her feet like
rag dolls were at least three more young bodies.
Dean squinted in the dim
light, hoping he was wrong, but from the amount of blood
on the ground he couldn’t help but think all three
were already dead.
hunter quickened his pace, bringing the SKB up ready
for action. The ghostly killer was here, hiding somewhere
amongst a bone yard full of long-dead souls. Sam
sensed this. At least, some of it…
The girl screamed again,
this time her voice almost croaking as she forced her
vocal cords to work harder than they were able to cope
Dean stopped dead, digging
his boot heels into the ground as he realized what had
caused the latest batch of wailing. The rider was here,
and he intended finishing what he had started. Somehow,
the phantom horseman’s presence simply melted
from the darkness into full form, like the invisible
man returning to his earthly state.
dappled steed on which the phantom rode snorted as its
master pulled back on the reins, forcing the once proud
animal to circle the teenage girl.
She began to shake, her
whole body quivering as she mouthed the words, “We
made you,” over and over again.
The young rider didn’t
seem to care who had brought him back from some nether
region where he felt he didn’t belong. All that
mattered was why he was here. His purpose. His destiny
that had been stolen from him so long ago.
As Dean watched, the rider
drew a saber, just like the one the news reports had
described. It looked rusted with age, but on closer
inspection the hunter realized the blade was actually
coated with a dried layer of blood.
The horse reared, controlled
by its angry master’s wrath, and as its hind legs
carried it into the air, Dean spotted what Charlotte
Winter had seen almost three weeks previously.
from the rider’s neck on a thick piece of twine
was a shiny gold amulet - his amulet.
Dean’s eyes widened
as the realization hit home. Sam had been right all
along. This was no ordinary gig. It was personal on
a level he would never have thought possible.
The teenage girl’s
knees buckled as she awaited the inevitable, and she
let out one pitiful last cry that broke Dean from his
shocked daze. He was here to stop a ghostly killer,
no matter what it wore around its neck.
Using the darkness for
cover, and the girl as a distraction, Dean made a calculated
run towards the rear of the rider, hoping the spirit
wasn’t expecting his attack.
If the rider was aware,
he didn’t show it. Instead, he brought the cavalry
sword up above his head, his obvious intention being
to decapitate the girl.
wanna show me what you got, you bastard?” Dean
lined up the SKB on his target and let off a shot.
Just who the hell is this sonofa…
Dean didn’t get
time to finish the thought.
The rider abruptly tugged
at his steed’s reins, ignoring the rock salt as
if it didn’t even exist. He whirled the horse
around far faster than Dean had expected, and the young
hunter was caught off guard.
For a second, hunter and
hunted stared into one another’s souls. The rider
was young, his hair and features not unlike Dean’s-except
now, unlike before, parts of his face took on the appearance
of rotting, necrotic tissue.
Dean froze, captivated
by the thing he was looking at, and it was all the horse
and rider needed to take advantage of the situation.
The steed let out some
ungodly equine wail and kicked back, catching Dean high
in the thigh with its unshod hoof.
was the first time Dean had been so close to a horse,
let alone kicked by one, and the action sent him flailing
back, arms outstretched as he desperately tried to halt
his backwards tumble.
The shotgun fell from
his grasp, and in seconds he felt the icy chill of the
river as his body broke the water.
Dean sensed his head go
under, and he struggled, body thrashing to try and break
the surface of the river for much needed air. The harder
he pushed, the more he became aware that something was
holding him down.
For a moment, panic took
over and the hunter actually believed some demonic force
had grabbed him. He let out a breath, calming himself,
and sending a small bubble trail upwards towards the
moonlight as air escaped his lungs.
It was hard to swim, to
use his legs when his right thigh still felt numb from
the horse’s blow.
Dean looked down, but
through the up-churned silt of the river bed and dark
of night, there was little to see. He didn’t really
The hunter’s lungs
burned and he stifled the urge to breathe in, realizing
that somehow he was caught on some unseen object below
Dean kicked with his good
leg, but the motion alone wasn’t enough to free
him from his unknown captor. He blinked, the river water
smarting at his eyes, but that was the least of his
above, the rider still roamed, and Sammy and the girl
were still in danger. Can’t leave them…
thrashed again, but the strength, the life, was slowly
ebbing from his body until all that remained was a faint
glimmer of hope that he would be rescued. Sammy
A last fleeting image
of the amulet dangling from the rider’s neck made
him push one more time for freedom, but the river bed
held fast its grip, keeping him down until all that
remained was a tiny bubble trail ebbing from the corner
of his mouth as his arms floated lifelessly upwards
in the watery abyss.
the episode here!