Kittsbud & Tree
clouds slid over the full moon like heavenly blankets,
blotting out the only luminance in the tiny graveyard.
A cool unnatural breeze ruffled through the hedgerows
surrounding the tombs, whipping at the stone with its
This was not a night for the faint
hearted to walk the streets, let alone this lonely burial
ground, and yet, the night animals were not the only
creatures in Forest Lawn Cemetery.
Henry DuCroix was panting, the exertion
from his frenzied digging making him sweaty and breathless.
He didn’t notice the chilly zephyr biting at his
perspiring flesh. He was too tired, too weak, but he
couldn’t give in. The stakes were too high.
DuCroix’s corroded, time-worn
shovel hit something hard and he dropped it, focusing
on brushing away loose dirt from the casket below with
his grimy fingers. Soil crumbled from the earth walls
surrounding him, but he ignored the pattering sound,
desperate to open the coffin below.
ma chérie…” Henry’s eyes turned
to two almost pan-sized white orbs and he clenched both
fists, pounding on the casket lid until his muscles
burned. “Chantelle!” His accent grew thicker
as he began to babble in Creole – local words
and phrases intermingling with a disembodied version
of English until it seemed DuCroix had gone insane.
Above him, the clouds finally took
heed of the uncanny breeze, their sprawling white masses
moving just enough for a few stray shafts of moonlight
to lighten the scene.
DuCroix at last noticed the changes
around him – changes to the elements he had seen
growing of late. Changes he feared more than Damballa
Time was running out.
grabbed at the shovel he’d dropped, using its
sharp edge to hack at the brass hinges on the coffin.
He was strong, days of road work making the muscles
in his arms more powerful than most, but still, he wasn’t
The hope he had felt at the sight of
the white casket was waning again. It had been too long.
“Ah can’t be too late. Can’t be…”
raised the shovel above his head, slamming it down into
the casket lid time after time until finally the wood
began to splinter one side. Once he was sure he could
swing it open, he slowed, not wanting to damage what
“Poukisa? POUKISA?” Henry screamed
the word over and over in his native tongue, begging
to know why this had been allowed to happen. Why?
Bruised and bloodied fingers clambered
at the edge of the lid, feeling for a place to gain
a good hold. Henry had paid for the best for his Chantelle,
but now, that love may have been the thing to take her
should have known!
Henry pulled back on the lid, feeling
the hinges move as he put all of his weight into swinging
the casket open. The brass fittings groaned in protest,
the remaining stray soil tumbling from the coffin as
DuCroix finally managed to open it.
fell to his knees inside the casket, eyes streaming
with sudden, unchecked tears.
Beaneath him, the body of a young woman
lay in a grotesque posture, her eyes bulging, her nails
and flesh torn from her fingers where she had scraped
desperately on the inside of her tomb.
now, eyes bleary from sobbing, DuCroix could see the
grooves on the underside of the casket lid made by his
wife’s attempts to escape her underground hell.
She had clawed and clawed until the oxygen had run out,
leaving her to die alone, in darkness, gagging for air
that simply wasn’t there.
Henry’s tears dripped onto Chantelle’s
face, the moisture sliding down her graying flesh as
if she were the one sobbing. He wanted to hold her,
to pull her from this hell, but her normally nubile
body had already begun to stiffen, turning her into
some inhuman mannequin.
DuCroix’s agony began to change,
to morph into something more productive. He couldn’t
let this happen again. He couldn’t let Chantelle’s
death be in vain. After all, if his suspicions were
correct, he could well be next on the list.
Stumbling up from his knees, Henry
wiped his soil-caked hands on his jeans and began to
curse again in Creole under his breath. He couldn’t
look at Chantelle anymore – not when her pretty
face had been turned into something so horrific. Instead,
he looked away, sliding the coffin closed without any
leaned, stretching to retrieve his shovel. He would
need to refill the grave or risk prosecution. Before
his fingers could connect with the rough wooden handle,
something above him stirred. It wasn’t a noise
per se, and yet he sensed a presence – a presence
Henry forgot the shovel.
replaced by sheer fear, Henry DuCroix climbed from his
wife’s open grave, limbs floundering in soft,
recently dug loam. Here, in the cemetery he was most
at risk. This was his place.
can’t be!” Henry struggled to his feet,
trying to run from something no human could, and still
his mind screamed, why?
Something was wrong.
Something had changed the very forces
he believed in, harnessing them, making them work against
their true nature.
DuCroix faltered, his boot catching
on a toppled headstone. He was losing ground, losing
his very faith every time he looked back to his pursuer.
This thing should never be his enemy.
His eyes grew wider as he finally saw
what – who – was behind him in the full
light of the moon. “No…” DuCroix stumbled
again and this time he couldn’t regain his balance.
Arms flying wildly, he landed on his
back, his spine straining as it slammed into another
groaned as the air was knocked from his lungs and pain
spiked down his back. For an instant he felt paralyzed,
not from the fall, but from the thing now looking down
at him. His body began to shake, the fetid breath of
his pursuer bombarding him to the point he felt nauseous.
He could smell the rotting flesh tainted
with the odors of spiced rum and tobacco. He could see
the bony white skull and the almost opaline eyes that
burned into his very soul.
DuCroix wasn’t afraid anymore.
He looked up at his enemy with a resigned defiance born
of inherit knowledge of his own religion.
His enemy didn’t care.
As the clouds recovered the watching
moon, a guttural scream filled the cemetery and then
all was silent. Not even the night creatures dare to
make a sound, for this was his place, not theirs.
DuCroix’s lifeless body lay where
he had fallen, a thin white film forming over his pupils,
his body stiffening, even though it was far too soon
for the normal onset of rigor.
had fallen, and with each new death, with each worshipper’s
soul that was dragged back to the crossroads of the
afterlife, he grew stronger.
* * * *
LaBauve’s Bed & Breakfast
The Impala grumbled to a halt outside
the largest house on the entire street and Sam killed
the ignition. When he’d gotten the address from
Missouri for a place to stay in Louisiana he hadn’t
exactly expected this.
two-story building oozed local culture, its hanging
baskets, archways, and fashioned upper balcony easily
dating back to the 1800s. It was something he’d
expect to see in some civil war movie, certainly not
the kind of place he and Dean were used to staying in.
fact brought a smile to the young hunter’s face
for the first time since the brothers' last gig, and
he glanced over to Dean in the passenger seat.
Sam had almost lost his brother back
in Pennsylvania, and the fact that the Alp that had
fed on his brother’s mind was long gone did little
to make him feel any better. Dean had been driven almost
to destruction with the nightmares instigated by the
Even now, Sam could see his brother
twitching and squirming in his slumber, despite the
fact that this was the first occasion he’d actually
been able to doze in a long time.
going to kill me. Sam smiled at the thought.
Dean had finally curled up on the Impala’s huge
bench seat, Sam had taken to the wheel and just cruised
to the nearest place he could think of where his brother
might actually get some rest. They both needed a vacation.
Hell, no, they deserved one. And while neither
had a lot of money except for their fraudulent credit
cards, they did have friends.
That was where Missouri Moseley had
come in. Once Sam had hit Louisiana it had occurred
to him they’d need a place to stay on his little
impromptu holiday, so he had called up their old friend.
Missouri hadn’t lived in these parts for many
years, but she still had good contacts.
Sam had explained he wanted to get Dean to a warmer,
friendlier environment for awhile, Missouri had instantly
suggested they stay with Marie LaBauve. Of course, when
Dean woke he was going to be pissed. Dean hated being
watched over at the best of times, he hated vacations,
and most of all he hated how Missouri treated him like
he was still a kid. If Marie was anything like Missouri,
they were in for some fun – or serious Dean snark.
Either way, Sam didn’t care.
Dean had been his protector for so long and now it was
time to return the favor. The dark circles and pallid
complexion said it all as he stared at his brother’s
No, if Sam had to drag him kicking
and screaming to the local beach, Dean was going to
have a good time.
“Hey, sleepy head, I think I
have something you might need here…” Sam
pulled a thong from his jacket pocket and wafted it
across Dean’s nose until the elder hunter began
“Hmmn?” Dean fanned away
the piece of beachwear as if it were a fly buzzing annoyingly
around his face. When Sam floated it back again a second
time, he started, sitting bolt upright in his seat.
Dean’s eyes widened in frustration
as he saw what was dangling before his eyes. “Dude,
and I thought you liked girls…”
rolled his eyes and then grinned mischievously. “It’s
for you, dork. You’re going to need it now we're
at the beach-”
beach?” Dean’s face screwed up in miscomprehension.
When he’d fallen asleep, they hadn’t been
near any kind of water, let alone a beach. He looked
around through bleary eyes till he came to a street
sign. “You freakin’ drove us to Louisiana?
Dude, I’m never gonna sleep again…”
He shook his head. “Hello? Baywatch,
Sammy? Ya know, hot blonde chicks in skimpy bikinis?
That’s a beach, not bayou grandmas association…”
Sam’s dimples reached new depths
and he tossed the thong on his brother’s lap.
“You’re just scared to wear it in case I
get more chicks than you.”
huffed. “Dude, I don’t do shorts, so I sure
as hell ain’t wearing that!” He
flicked the thong back over his shoulder onto the back
seat, wincing slightly as the motion made his muscles
twinge from his recent injury.
noticed the slight facial tick, but said nothing. It
would be no use mentioning it anyway - Dean would shrug
and Sammy, I need to hunt, not rest. I don’t
do rest with that yellow-eyed bastard still
out there.” A look of hatred flashed across his
tired features and he turned away to look through the
Impala’s side window. He could never tell Sam
how close he’d come to breaking at the hands of
Volger, but he suspected his little brother knew anyway.
That, coupled with Haris’ return was almost more
than he could bear to think about.
“Dean, just a few days to catch
up on some sleep-”
“Or die of boredom,” the
hunter countered. “What am I supposed to do here,
sit in a rocking chair on the porch and friggin’
knit me a sweater?” He pointed to a woman across
the road that looked at least one hundred. She was dressed
like Ma Clampett and was furiously clattering her knitting
needles together to weave some unknown item.
“Just a couple of days, Dean?
I need it too.” Sam changed the dimpled grin for
something more pleading. It was an expression he’d
used on his sibling since being a kid, and if he couldn’t
get Dean to do something for himself, then this “look”
usual got him to do it for his little brother.
fall on his ass if he goes on like this much longer,
Sam fretted; biting into his lip until Dean finally
sighed and agreed.
“Two days,” Dean acquiesced.
“But I’m telling you, there better be a
damn good bar around here, ’cause no way am I
sitting on my ass listening to you whine how bad I look
Dean smirked as he exited the Impala,
knowing Sam would fuss anyway.
Sam opened his mouth to respond, but
realized Dean was probably right and clamped it shut
This was going to be one weird vacation.
* * * *
Dean walked up the brick porch steps
as if he were about to start dragging his feet any minute.
Sam wasn’t sure if his brother was just bone-tired
or he really was reluctant to stay in this period house.
Maybe it was a little of both.
me again where you got this address from? I swear I’ve
seen this place on the back lot at Universal.”
Dean shook his head, pushing back the wrought iron “screen”
to ring the doorbell.
“Dean, you’ve never been
to Universal, and two, this is nothing like the Bates
“Yeah, well, if there’s
a granny in a rocking chair and a suspicious looking
shower, you get to bathe first.” Dean scowled,
impatience getting the better of him when no one answered
after the first three rings. After a fourth push of
the button, he was getting ready to retreat back to
the Impala when the door finally swung open with a screech
that would have made Bela Lugosi cringe.
“Hi, I’m Sam, this is my
brother Dean.” Sam quickly pushed in front of
his brother with a smile as he made his introductions.
“I rang earlier?”
The woman opened the door to reveal
what Dean considered way too much a likeness of Missouri
Moseley. Marie was thinner and younger, sure, but she
still had that glint in her eyes that made her a threat
– at least on Dean’s snark meter.
Marie peered at the younger Winchester
first as if she already knew him. “Sam, honey,
it’s nice to finally meet ya.” She eyed
Dean somewhat more warily. “Dean…”
Dean took a deep breath and shot his
brother a look that said “you’re dead”
in no uncertain terms. “And you must be..?”
He queried, adding, “Old Mo’s twin”
under his breath.
wouldn’t appreciate ya’ll calling her that.”
Marie shot Dean a stare that made him almost want to
cringe and he half expected her to spout some line about
whacking him with a spoon. Instead, she raised a brow
as if he were a scolded child. “Ah’m Marie
LaBauve, but you can call me Marie. Just Marie,”
Dean feigned a smile. “I wouldn’t
dream of anything else.” Except, of course he
was already thinking up some snide nickname for his
host. If Marie wanted to play the snark game, he was
so ready for it. Taunting Sam was fun, but having an
opponent who appreciated the art was so much more interesting.
scrunched his face up the minute Dean faked being a
good boy. Dean just didn’t know how to behave,
and Sam suspected Marie was already onto that fact.
Maybe Missouri had warned her. Jeez, maybe Louisiana
wasn’t such a great plan after all.
Marie seemed not to notice her younger
guest’s pain and ushered both Winchesters through
the house via a long corridor. “You boys can bring
in yah bags later.” She offered in a somewhat
mild local accent.
we’ll be checking out by then,”
Dean breathed out.
what, honey chile?” Marie grinned at
the hunter, using the slightly girlie sounding term
to annoy him further.
Sam kicked his brother. “He said
we’ll be sure to after we check out the town-”
Marie nodded knowingly and continued
the boarding house was just as period as outside. The
ceilings were huge coved specimens complete with fleur-de-lis
designs and small glass chandeliers. On the wall, Dean
noted a carefully hung photograph of what appeared to
be Marie’s son. At a guess, Dean put the kid to
be about the same age as his brother. Maybe that’s
why she took to his ass way better than mine…
ya’ll like a bite to eat?” Marie already
appeared to be heading for the kitchen where the strains
James Infirmary Blues were blasting from some
unseen music system.
Dean visibly winced at both the music,
and the mention of food. Both items brought back memories
he didn’t want to share or even think about. St.
James had been the hospital Sammy had nearly died in
during the New Jersey fiasco. If he never heard the
name again it was too soon.
Then there was the food issue. Normally,
Dean could out-eat a Sumo wrestler, but since the Alp
had almost sent him insane it was hard to just sit down
and tuck in. Every meal was an effort.
Dean opened his mouth to refuse the
offer, but Sam wasn’t about to let him get away
that easily. “We’d love a sandwich, if it’s
not too much trouble, ma’am.”
Marie’s piercing stare went from
one brother to the next. Dean’s reluctance to
go anywhere near the kitchen, for whatever reasons,
hadn’t gone noticed with her either. There was
no way to know why, but she sensed the boy was hurting
– hurting something fierce. It wasn’t exactly
a gift, more like an intuitiveness she’d built
up over the years.
“Mah home is yah home. Anything
for John’s boys. Come sit.” Marie pulled
out two chairs and scurried into the corner to begin
cutting up a freshly baked loaf. She didn’t elaborate
on how she knew their father, but Sam guessed it was
As the elder woman worked, both brothers
sat in silence, taking in the cultural differences they
had never really gotten so close to before.
here was bright and colorful – even Marie’s
somewhat over the top clothes. Scattered about the kitchen,
Dean also noticed various voodoo charms, mojo bags,
an old railroad spike, and what appeared to be a set
of chicken’s feet.
So close to the heart of the southern
voodoo world the hunter wasn’t surprised to see
any of the items. There was nothing here he hadn’t
seen many times before, and yet, somehow it disturbed
Voodoo wasn’t normally the evil
religion most people envisioned it to be. It was very
spiritual, but not inherently evil like Hollywood usually
depicted it. Most voodoo practitioners only used their
art for good, and it was a sad fact the non-believers
didn’t always see it that way.
So why was Dean getting a full-on red
alert flashing in his brain right now?
The elder hunter shuddered and considered
that perhaps it was the large slimy creature Marie kept
in a corner vivarium that was currently staring at him
as if he were lunch.
The snake was more than large, it was
huge. What’s more, every few seconds its forked
tongue flicked out at Dean and its serpentine eyes flashed
to torment him.
hunter decided he suddenly totally agreed with
Indiana Jones. I hate friggin’ snakes…
honey pie, I see you’ve spotted Hooper. Ain’t
he the sweetest thing you ever did see?”
“Hooper?” Sam finally saw
the snake his brother had been scrutinizing and leaned
forward to get a better look.
Dean raised a brow. “ Tobe, the director of Poltergeist
and Texas Chainsaw,” he informed his
chuckled. “Nope, he’s named after the Burt
Reynolds movie. ’Cause, my favorite was Deliverance…”
Dean and Sam glanced at one another
knowingly. Neither would ever think of that particular
movie the same way again after a certain Bender family
back in Minnesota.
“Ugh,” Dean groaned. “I
think Reynolds made better…”
Marie shrugged and placed two plates
on the table, one in front of each Winchester. Somehow,
she’d managed to know that Dean had a thing for
a toasted B.L.T. the size of Everest.
Even so, the hunter just didn’t
have an appetite.
Trying to veer away from the topics
of food, and movies that imitated life just a little
too much, Dean focused on the guest house that apparently
had no guests. “So, how come a place this size
only has our two sorry asses for customers? Don’t
tell me Hooper scared ’em all away?”
Marie’s pleasant features darkened
and she moved away, turning her back to the brothers
to tidy up the breadcrumbs and other items that needed
“Ma’am..?” Sam pushed
from his seat to stand behind their host. Even from
the odd angle, he could see her hands trembling just
a touch as she wiped over the work surface. “Is
Marie’s head shook. “Tis
nothing. Just a local thing…”
“If there’s something wrong,
maybe we can help?” Sam pressed, using his best
“helpful Sam” timbre. “You know what
this ain’t like nothin’ you’ve ever
seen.” Marie whirled around, at last dropping
the façade enough to explain why her boarding
house was empty. “There are things happenin’
here in Slidell. Bizarre things. Bad things.
Some recent deaths, rumors of dark magic and murder
all filtering through to the tourists. Soon there won’t
be no holiday trade here. Hell, soon there won’t
“Dark magic?” Dean latched
onto his host’s comment, ignoring the look from
Sam that screamed “let it drop.”
“Dean, we’re not here to
“The hell we are! If there’s
something out here that needs its butt canning then
I’m sure as hell gonna can it.” Dean scowled
at his brother and then focused back on Marie. “Just
where did all these rumors start?”
rubbed her hands together and began to unconsciously
pace back and forth across the dark tiled floor. “There
have been four deaths in Slidell of late – the
last one was Henry DuCroix only yesterday – he
was a personal friend. Henry was found near his wife’s
open grave, seemingly frightened to death. The police
think he was so distraught after Chantelle died that
he couldn’t go on without her, and that he tried
to dig her up. Poor fools think the sight of her remains
gave him a heart attack.”
“But you don’t think that,
do you?” Sam prompted, finally taking a bite from
his behemoth of a sandwich.
Marie hunched her shoulders and peered
from the window, her face wrinkling as she observed
a high cloud bank that seemed to have settled over the
town. The sky was literally full of wispy cirrus swirls
that seemed to form a veil over Slidell and the surrounding
“There are people who have their
own theories,” she finally answered. “Especially
’cause the other three victims were all supposedly
scared to death too. Chantelle, Henry’s wife was
one of them, along with two other local men who were
found in their own homes, literally white with fear.”
just who are these 'other' people? Neighbors, what?”
Dean left his sandwich untouched and began thinking
up theories in his head. There was a gig here, he could
feel it, and a gig was better than moping on the porch
of a house that looked like it belonged to Rhet Butler
– not that Dean didn’t think he was a match
for Clark Gable when the chips were down – because
mostly he didn’t give a damn, either.
Marie folded her arms and shook her
head, her long dangling earrings bobbing with the motion.
“Tis not something I should speak of.”
Sam looked to his brother and then
to Marie. She was scared, and for a woman like her to
be afraid of something it had to be bad. Sam had known
her less than an hour and yet he knew she was strong
willed and feared very little.
“Can you at least tell us where
your friend Henry DuCroix was found?” Dean pushed
up from his seat and picked up the Impala’s keys
from the table, his snack left intact on the plate.
“It has to be close by, right?”
“Henry was found at Forest Lawn
Cemetery. Tis about a mile from here.” Marie put
a hand out, touching Dean’s forearm with the nearest
thing to maternal affection he’d felt since Mary’s
death. “You shouldn’t meddle in these things,
boys. Tis best if ya’ll stick to your vacation.
I fear this is outta your league even…”
Dean smiled playfully. “Trust
me, after the month I’ve had, anything is in my
league.” He looked over to his brother. “Coming,
Sammy? Or are you gonna stay behind and knit with the
Sam took a deep breath and followed
his brother out onto the back porch. What he had hoped
would be a vacation was quickly turning into yet another
Winchester hunt, and right now, that was something Dean’s
drained body could do without.
“Don’t you ever stop?”
Sam headed for the driver’s door of the Impala,
but soon found he’d been headed off at the pass.
“Nope.” Dean face creased
wider into a grin. “I’m the freakin’
Energizer Bunny, you should know that…”
he climbed behind the wheel to be joined by his brother’s
gangly frame seconds later.
all pink and very annoying?”
dude, I can go all night…” He wiggled
his eyebrows suggestively. “Just ask that brunette
from the Laundromat in Boise...”
slapped a hand to his forehead but chose not to reply.
When Dean was in one of these moods, it could easily
turn into a prank war that Sam really didn’t think
he could handle right now.
* * * *
Forest Lawn Cemetery
Dean parked the Impala around the corner
from the cemetery, deciding that it might not be such
a smart idea for two supposed “cops” to
turn up in a classic – not that he hadn’t
dared to make such a brash move before, because he had
– lately, though, with Ferinacci on their asses
it was the sensible thing to take precautions.
“Looks like the local boys are
still pretty much scouring the scene,” Sam observed
as two obvious C.S.I.s brushed past them.
“Yeah, local yokels with no idea
what the hell they’re dealing with. You know how
I feel about cops in situations like this, Sammy.”
Sam nodded. It was funny how the police
never believed in anything supernatural, and yet the
Winchesters often faked being law enforcement officials
to get the job done. Now was such an occasion. It had
taken Dean all of twenty-two minutes exactly to muster
up two technically perfect state police badges –
technically perfect apart from the ridiculously obvious
fake names on them.
Sam looked at the I.D. in his hand
and couldn’t help but wonder just how the hell
his brother continued to get away with such blatant
had no such reservations, and as they approached the
yellow police ticker tape he pulled out the phony badge
as if he’d watched far too many episodes of the
X-Files. Sam was pretty positive that someday soon
Dean would actually have the gall to name himself Agent
Mulder. It was only a matter of time, of that he was
sure, and knowing his brother he’d actually get
away with it.
the hell can’t I lie my ass off like that?
While Sam was good, Dean was always
better at that particular skill.
I’m Detective Sergeant Blaze and this is my partner
Carter Slade.” Dean let the I.D. sit under the
cop on duty’s nose for all of a second before
closing the small leather wallet and stuffing it back
into his jacket.
Sam followed suit, praying the uniformed
officer wasn’t a comic fan, let alone a movie
buff. Apparently he was neither.
With a wave of his hand, the bored
and rather stocky cop lifted the tape and ushered the
two brothers through. With all the extra commotion around
the crime scene – if there had indeed been a crime
– it wasn’t hard to spot what they’d
come here for.
The body of the late Henry DuCroix
had already been removed by the attending coroner, but
the area where he had fallen was clearly marked, along
with any other evidence that needed to yet be photographed
like we missed the stiff, already,” Dean observed.
“Guess we won’t be able to take a look at
this 'scared to death' expression everybody is talking
about just yet.”
Sam glanced around, hoping none of
the other attending detectives and lab guys had heard
his brother’s words. Dean could just be so unprofessional
sometimes; it was amazing they never got caught.
When no one seemed to pay them any
heed, the younger sibling turned and headed towards
Chantelle DuCroix’s still open grave. This area
had also been carefully marked, but had already been
“Dean, look at this.” Sam
hunkered down, running his fingertips over the ground
as if he’d found gold.
“It’s cornmeal. Look at
the pattern.” Sam traced the outline of the sprinkled
grain carefully, letting his brother see the shape.
“It’s a veve, or vever – a symbolic
design used in voodoo to invoke a loa – a spirit
or intermediary to the greater gods.”
“So someone’s been playing
summon the freakin’ voodoo prince out here?”
Dean kneeled at his brother’s side, suddenly taking
an interest in the shape on the ground. To a casual
observer, there wouldn’t be a shape at all.
shrugged. “We’re in a cemetery, so I’m
guessing is was probably a ghede loa they were summoning.
Those guys are the death loas. What doesn’t make
sense is that loas aren’t normally evil. All I
can think of is that Henry tried summoning this thing
to take his wife’s spirit to the afterlife.”
Dean huffed. Meddling with any kind
of “death” spirit was just plain dumb as
far as he was concerned. He’d seen that back in
Nebraska one time. “Yeah, well, I’m thinking
this loa is a greedy ass that decided to take two for
the price of one.”
know, I think ya’ll might have something there-”
A thin looking deputy that hadn’t appeared interested
in their presence before suddenly joined the brothers,
a sly smirk cutting across his features. He wasn’t
young, and his wily manner and looks instantly reminded
Dean of “Teabag” from Prison Break.
His accent seemed just as thick too, compared to Marie’s.
“And you are?” Sam straightened,
determined not to let the little man try to intimidate
them – after all, they were in charge here –
or would be, if their badges were real.
“Deputy Franklin C. Carlyle.”
The little man moved closer, his voice lowering as he
took on an almost conspiratorial air. “These here
murders? All down to some pretty nasty mojo goin’
on in these here quarters. Me an mah frens? We got us
to thinkin’ we got us a bokor.”
smiled, finding the odd cop amusing, even though the
situation really wasn’t funny. “You think
there’s a rogue voodoo priest here in Slidell
practicing dark magic?”
“Yessir,” Franklin seemed
in his element, totally out of character for any cop
Dean had ever met. But then, maybe things were different
here. “Ah is thinkin’ Chantelle DuCroix
had been turned.”
Dean’s brow creased. What is this, Freaksville?
We got friggin’ vampires again too?
“Zombies,” The deputy hissed,
his voice all but a whisper. “Bokors are known
for it.” He cast a sideways glance, watchful his
boss didn’t hear his theories. “And the
other two? One was killed by a damn voodoo doll, an
the second, a snake was found in his house. Damn tiny
coffin on his doorstep too…”
“Snake?” Dean quickly looked
to his brother, a vivid image of Hooper burning into
his mind. While it was true anyone could own a snake,
he’d spotted other voodoo items at their host’s
hadn’t missed the connection, either. “Thank
you, Franklin. You’ve given us some very interesting
you go forgettin’ where you heard ‘em when
you bust this case!” Franklin watched as the two
state cops headed back to the road. He could tell they
believed him. Maybe this would be his big break after
so many wasted years on the force.
“Dean, are you thinking what
I’m thinking?” Sam took long strides across
the velvet green carpet of the cemetery, his gait keeping
in perfect sync with his brother’s.
“I’m thinking we set up
house with a friggin’ poppet wielding momma bokor,
is what I’m thinking. Jeez, and you ate her damn
“Just because she has voodoo
charms and a snake doesn’t have to make her the
killer, Dean. Marie said DuCroix was her friend.”
Sam bobbed under the ticker tape and picked up the pace
towards the hidden Impala.
Dean huffed, pulling the car’s
keys from his pocket as he rounded the corner. “What,
you never heard of people killing their friends? Dude,
most victims know their killer. It’s a known fact!”
He slowed, finally seeing his black charge waiting by
the sidewalk. Placing his hands on the roof, he paused.
“Sammy, Hooper isn’t just a pet. Damballah-Wedo,
one of the most powerful voodoo gods, is a friggin’
There was hurt in the hunter’s
voice as he climbed into the Chevy and uncharacteristically
slammed the door far too hard. So hard, in fact, that
Sam thought the side mirror might loosen with the impact.
Dean had liked Marie – had taken
to her when he took to very few – now it was going
to be twice as hard to confront her with the murders.
Sam felt his brother’s pain.
Even though their father had never
exactly betrayed them, he’d often lied or hidden
things until it was hard to trust anyone anymore, even
family. To think they had allowed this woman to gain
that trust so easily and to have it let down was not
something to be proud of.
actually know about Damballah-Wedo?” Sam asked,
hoping to deflect the obvious discomfort Dean was feeling
as he pulled onto the highway. “Since when did
you actually research this stuff?”
ugh…” Dean spun the wheel in his hand, making
the huge car tilt as he made a quick u-turn. “Since
I saw The Serpent and the Rainbow, dude…”
* * * *
LaBauve’s Bed & Breakfast
Sam couldn’t remember the last
time his brother had been so careless as to mount the
sidewalk, not even when he’d been half-dead or
half-drunk. Today, though, the big Chevy’s front
tire bounced off the asphalt and landed the car half
in front of an ancient fire hydrant, half slewed across
didn’t stop to look where he’d parked, or
what a bad job he’d made of the maneuver. He was
hurting, and not even his precious car could bring him
had seemed so damn nice.
then, there was never any such thing as nice –
not in the Winchester world – not since the death
of their mom and Jess.
strode purposefully to the Impala’s trunk and
popped it with an audible hiss as he jarred his still-healing
shoulder. Tossing the fake lining out of the way, he
began to rifle through various weapons, unsure just
what to take into the bed and breakfast from hell.
“Dean, we can’t just go
in there guns blazing. This isn’t our kind of
gig,” Sam reasoned, alarm spreading across his
face as he saw the wounded look in his brother’s
eyes. “Dean, I know you liked Marie. I know she
reminded you of…”
“Sammy, she’s a murderer,”
Dean almost spat out the last word as he rammed a clip
into his recently cleaned Desert Eagle and glanced back
over to the house that looked more at home on a plantation.
don’t know that.” Sam held the trunk lid
open, forcing Dean to look at him instead of slamming
the aged metal closed. “If Marie killed those
people, then why? What’s her motive?”
people don’t need motives. You see whack
jobs gunning people down in MacDonald’s on the
news every damn day. People aren’t like spooks,
they don’t need a freakin’ reason for the
shit they do.”
Sam let go of the trunk and Dean paused,
finally giving in a little to his brother’s pleas.
Sam was always the voice of reason – especially
when Dean needed to hear it, and right now he was so
tired after the past two gigs he definitely needed to
“Look,” Sam continued now
he had the edge. “All I’m saying is maybe
we should just check out, drive down the road and make
a call to the cops. We need to keep a low profile after
New Jersey, not go into a house with a bunch of guns
like we’re on drugs or something-”
Dean shook his head. “I can’t
leave this one, Sammy. I can’t just walk away
and not know why. Ya know?”
And Sam did know.
seen so much in their lives, so many things that didn’t
seem to have a reason, but Marie was different. She
was like them, or had been, otherwise Missouri would
never have sent them here. Maybe this was like looking
at what they could become, given time.
“Okay,” Sam gave in. “We
go in, we confront Marie and then we call the police.
Shortest gig in our history.”
“Sounds like a plan.” Dean
nodded towards the front porch, keeping his .45 hidden
from view as he jogged across the sidewalk. “Just
remember, this chick is the bad mojo queen of the bayou.
Watch your ass in there. She might have that friggin’
snake waiting on us …”
Sam climbed the steps two at a time,
pressing his back against the house as Dean peered into
the darkness through the screen. “I kinda got
the impression it was your ass Hooper had taken a liking
to.” He smirked and blobbed out his tongue in
an impersonation of the snake’s forked appendage.
Dean brushed off the jibe with a huff
and yanked open the screen with his free hand. The door
beyond was strangely already open, the corridor it joined
enveloped in a blanket of darkness.
The hunter nodded to his sibling, letting
Sam know he was taking point and needed his little brother
to bring up the rear. Keeping the Desert Eagle stretched
out before him, Dean launched himself into the passageway,
ear tuned for any sound that may mean danger.
three steps forwards, he paused, pointing with his forefinger
to the first door on his left. From what the brothers
already knew about the house’s layout, it was
a small lounge area Marie kept for herself. It was usually
locked, which led to the allusion that something other
than relaxing and watching reruns of Dawson’s
Creek took place beyond its threshold.
As Dean took position to launch his
CAT boot at the wooden entrance, Sam strained to hear
what his brother had noted as they’d entered.
At first, it sounded like a low moaning or muttering
– like the sound of an upset child rocking itself
back and forth in distress.
The more he listened, though, the more
the words became discernable. They sounded muffled,
like someone was holding a cloth over the speaker’s
mouth, but it was definitely native Creole being spoken
– native Creole articulating some kind of voodoo
“Kote mo ale, li sivre mo…”
“Mo finn perdi mo simé…”
anmwe! Mo anmwe!”
chant suddenly stopped, leaving a deathly silence in
the gloomy hallway that made both brothers feel like
their old friend Laura was somehow back.
It was cold, so cold.
I think this is a voodoo Hounfor,” Sam whispered,
keeping his Glock low but ready. “It’s a
kind of sacred temple where they practice magic…”
Marie must be the Bokor!
Dean agreed. “And something tells me that ain’t
voodoo phone sex she’s talkin’.” he
grimaced, finally pulling back and letting his boot
impact with the door.
As the ancient wood yielded, both Winchesters
were greeted with a view of the inner sanctum where
Marie practiced her art.
Whatever they had once thought of her,
they now saw Marie LaBauve in her true form, and it
the episode here