Nineteen: Last Call
Kittsbud & Thru Terry's Eyes
Stand – Four Corners Monument,
Dean rubbed his hands in anticipation of the deep and
meaningful relationship he was about to form with the
smoked sausage being prepared for him by the lunch cart
vendor in the park.
Watching as the steaming
link was caressed by a fluffy bun and then dressed with
everything Dean could think of including the prerequisite
extra onions was almost, but not quite, as absorbing
as a good pole dance. The resultant pleasure, while
different, was, however, just as satisfying.
he was starving.
Taking the luscious creation
in his hands he passed over his money and winked a thank
you at the vendor, cramming the hot dog in his mouth
for a huge bite.
through the bite he addressed Sam. "Dude, you sure
you don't want one of these? This is awesome!"
he gestured with the remaining hot dog.
Sam, standing a short
distance away with the phone to his ear, gave Dean a
look of abject disgust and shook his head.
shrugged, "Your loss, man." He reveled momentarily
in the glory of his hot dog, happy to be enjoying a
He drifted closer to hear
Sam's side of the conversation with Bobby. Bobby had
called, apparently with news about a new hunt and judging
from the look on Sam's face it must be a good one. Sam
wore a strange smile and kept nodding his head, looking
over at Dean from time to time. At one point he laughed.
Dean frowned and was about
to ask what the hell when he was distracted by the arrival
of a candy apple red Miata and it's driver, a tall young
woman with a mane of blonde hair and a chest of epic
stared, Sam and hot dog forgotten, as he watched her
teeter across the pavement on black stiletto sandals,
her body encased in a white tank shirt and turquoise
Capri's so tight they had to have been airbrushed on.
Bending forward slightly, revealing décolletage
that almost brought tears to Dean's eyes, she gave the
hot dog vendor an order. She glanced up and caught Dean's
unabashed stare, a tiny smile crooking her red lips.
Just as he began to move
toward her Sam's hand descended on his arm.
twisted back to look at his brother in irritation. "What?"
he actually whined, watching the girl accept her order
and move back toward her car, sending Dean a lingering
Sam spared the girl a
brief glance and rolled his eyes. “Focus, Dean,"
he said holding his phone out and waving it in front
of Dean to gain his attention.
Dean reluctantly tore
his eyes away as the girl jumped in her car and gunned
away from the curb.
"Bobby found us a
job, Dean. Remember? Our job? What we do? Hunting evil?
Any of this ringing a bell for you?"
"I know, Sam!"
Dean snapped. "I just wanted to smell the roses
along the way, is that so bad?"
Sam laughed. "Smell
'em? Two more minutes and you would have thrown yourself
right into the garden."
Dean couldn't help the
smirk. "She had a nice car," he justified
with a grin. "So what's this job? Ghouls in an
old septic tank factory? Black dogs in a dump?"
shook his head, just stood there grinning.
squinted at him. "What's so damned funny?"
"It's at a haunted
bar," Sam replied.
Dean shrugged, "Cool,
but I repeat, what's so funny?"
Sam replied, eyes twinkling suspiciously but Dean didn't
Dean repeated stupidly. Then his eyes popped open. "Las
Vegas? Seriously? A haunted bar in Las Vegas?"
Finally!!! He thought, beer, scantily clad
women, gambling AND kicking spook ass?!! It just
didn't get better than that!
grinned and clapped Sam on the shoulder, "Well,
hot damn then, let's get going!" He glanced at
his half-eaten hot dog and then tossed it in the trash.
What the hell was a hot dog compared to the strip in
He jerked the keys out
of his pocket and jumped back into the Impala.
shook his head, not even trying to hide his own smirk
regarding this new job. He couldn't wait to see the
look on Dean's face.
was so hyped about Vegas in general he never caught
the amusement in Sam's eyes.
honked the horn and yelled at Sam to get his ass in
gear, thumping the steering wheel happily.
Look out Las Vegas! Here
come the Winchesters!
1775 E. Tropicana
Dean pulled the Impala into the spacious parking lot
and looked around, acutely aware that he was not anywhere
near the parts of Vegas he’d hoped for. In fact,
the parking area seemed stuck between what looked like
an oversized, Mexican-styled coffee shop and a giant
piano-shaped structure that was apparently some kind
There were fancy neon
signs everywhere, but from the angle he’d parked
the Chevy, even if he squinted, Dean couldn’t
make out the lettering. “Dude, this so ain’t
the part of Vegas I was hoping for. C’mon, man,
let’s hit the strip. I always wanted to do Cesear’s.”
requires money, Dean. You know, that thing we rarely
get even though we work our asses off spook busting?”
Sam cocked his brow and tapped the laptop on his knee.
The reaction earned him a scowl of disapproval.
“Sheesh, one day
you’re gonna learn to lighten up a little and
roll with the punches. The first chance we get to have
a little fun before a gig and you go all serious on
me as usual.” Dean shook his head. “It’s
a haunted bar, can’t it wait one night?”
Sammy had lured him here
with the bright lights and promise of a plethora of
casinos and scantily clad women. He really should have
known this hunt was too good to be true.
“I don’t think
we should wait, Dean. And besides, this is a paying
gig. You get to gamble after, not before.” Sam
smiled a little, hoping the promise of blackjack, poker
and a whole sea of slot machines would tempt his brother
into having something resembling patience.
Of course, once Dean found
out the actual details, things would get more than tricky.
Sam continued, not giving his sibling time to argue.
“Carluccio’s has allegedly been haunted
for some time, but it’s always been more of a
crowd draw than anything - so the management haven’t
done anything about it. Until now, that is.”
Raymond, if this is a paying gig, why the hell aren’t
we talking to the guy with the dollars right about now?
I mean, shouldn’t we be asking our employer questions,
not skulking in some lot looking at the laptop?”
Dean’s frustration at being held back from the
lure of a lifetime was showing clearly from the sarcasm
in his voice.
Sam reddened, his face blushing without any apparent
reason. “I err…guess you’re right,”
he stammered, keeping the laptop under his arm as he
tugged his lanky form from the car. Pausing to make
sure his brother was following, he raised a brow questioningly.
“And - ugh - Raymond?”
winked, an ear to ear grin spreading across his features.
As he joined his brother, he slapped Sam squarely between
the shoulders. “Hell yeah, you’re the Winchester
savant, gonna take you down the strip and let you win
me some money when this gig is done. You did just kinda
promise…” With that, he winked and strode
towards the nearest flashing blue neon, leaving Sam
with his mouth open wondering just what that particular
"Deanism" was all about.
Dean was halfway across the lot and several cars' width
in front of Sam, he stopped dead, his own mouth mimicking
his brother’s – except this time the elder
hunter managed something akin to a horrified shriek.
“You gotta be friggin’ kidding me, Sammy!
Bobby been chugging back that homemade brew again, or
what? Man, I’m telling you, I’ll take a
shotgun to him for this, never mind Dad!”
mouth wanted to twist into out-and-out laughter so hard
it ticked at the corners, but to his credit he held
the straight face – at least for about two seconds.
“Dean, this is a serious gig. I’m not kidding…”
He placed a hand over his mouth, almost dropping the
precious laptop as Dean’s face contorted into
unimaginable mental agony the likes of which Sam had
Dean yelled. “We’re at the freakin’
Liberace Museum and you tell me it’s serious?
Damn straight it’s serious. You need mental friggin’
help!” He spun around, heading right back to the
raven black car they’d just departed. “Dude,
the guy was a piano playing wuss who wore sequined suits!
I am so outta here!”
Further mumblings intermingled
with several profanities Sam was glad he didn’t
quite catch followed in quick succession, and he had
trouble keeping up with his brother as Dean almost began
a panic run back to the Chevy.
we can’t just leave,” he begged, balancing
the laptop under one arm and stopping Dean entering
the Impala with the other. “There have been two
supernatural-style disappearances at Carluccio’s
Tivoli Gardens. It’s part of the complex.”
He ticked his head back towards the museum. “We
can’t just walk, these people need our kind of
help. And besides,” he added with a grin, “I
would have thought you’d want to play George Clooney
around here first.”
well, I’d rather haul ass than have some funkily-dressed
spook try grabbing at it with kinky intentions.”
Dean took down a breath, composure finally settling
on his features, even though the thought of Vegas was
no longer quite so appealing. “And dude, I’m
way better looking than Clooney…”
Sam smiled. “In
your dreams, man.” He slipped the laptop on the
Chevy’s rear seat. “So, now that you’ve
calmed down, are we gonna go inside and find out what’s
glanced across the lot, obviously squirming inside.
He’d heard all about the fact that Liberace was
supposed to haunt some restaurant or bar out here, but
that didn’t mean he wanted to tangle with that
particular spirit. Gimme a freakin’ Wendigo.
Hell, no, gimme a whole barn full of ‘em. Hungry
if this freak sings, I’m so gonna kill Sammy…
“I guess we can
check it out,” the hunter finally relented. “I
mean, this kinda entertainer is way more your style
than mine. More than likely it’ll be your ass
he’s grabbing. You do got a thing for chick music,
Fray is not chick music!” Sam retorted. “And
will you stop with the Raymond crap already?”
smirked. It wasn’t very often Sammy had no clue
what he was talking about, but this time the penny clearly
hadn’t dropped, even though it really should have.
For now, he was content to keep it that way. “Next
thing you know, you’ll be listening to Barry Manilow.
I’m telling you, Sasquatch, Dad really shoulda
named you Samantha…”
huffed, but knew he should have expected the joke to
be turned on him. Still, it had been fun while it lasted.
“Whatever.” He rolled his eyes and pointed
to the more sensibly-shaped building of the two that
bordered the lot. “C’mon, just remember,
no gambling, no hot women until we’ve solved this
and have a little cash in our pockets for our next motel.
’Cause really, Dean, I’d like not to have
to spend another night in the Impala-”
“Yeah, those long
girly legs don’t fit too well against the dash-”
Dean dived just in time to avoid a mock punch from his
slightly irked sibling. “Okay, okay.” He
held up his hands in surrender. “Let’s go
find your sequined spook and kick his ass.”
Dean admitted with a grimace. “Old piano fingers
might actually like that. But, hey, maybe they’ll
at least provide free food and beer if we’re lucky…”
looked around the establishment and almost – almost
wanted to agree with his brother. Even though Liberace
was very dead, Carluccio’s décor still
oozed the entertainer’s rather bizarre style.
One area consisted of
white wicker chairs and an elaborate, and very ornate
wooden service bar that definitely wasn’t on any
modern art list. Beyond that lay an even stranger room
rather aptly named the English Lounge Bar.
Dean whistled, looking at the huge crowds that seemed
to have congregated in the very unusual restaurant.
“Are these people nuts? I mean, this place is
Sam nodded, taking in
the flock wallpaper and huge crystal chandeliers that
adorned the ceilings. “Dean, he was a legend,
what do you expect?”
shrugged, his eyes locking on a brunette behind the
bar who apparently had noticed him too. “Yeah,
well, don’t all the women in here know the dude
didn’t swing their way?”
Sam sighed, following
his brother’s long gait up to the old world style
bar. “It’s not about that.” He hopped
on a stool. “And shouldn’t we be talking
about the case, not Liberace’s fan base?”
smiled roguishly at the brunette but satisfied himself
– for now, at least – by ordering a double
shot of tequila. As the girl sauntered off to pour his
drink, the hunter’s eyes never strayed from her
tight fitting tee. “Huh?” He finally turned
to his sibling. “Oh yeah, the gig. So, aren’t
we supposed to be meeting the owner or something?”
looked at his watch. “We’re meeting Mike
Bentkover, one of the managers. He agreed to meet us
here at ten. In the meantime I can fill you in on what
I’ve dug up.”
Dean scooped up his tequila,
chugged it back and then winked at the bar girl. Maybe
if Liberace’s spook kept his hands to himself
this wouldn’t be such a bad gig after all. “Fire
Sam considered ordering
a double for himself, but then thought better of it.
Dean was more likely to get carried away here than anywhere.
As a rule, his brother never drank much while they were
on a gig, but Las Vegas was definitely going to be an
exception. Not to mention, with the amount of beautiful
women sashaying around, Dean’s eyes would probably
pop out of his head before midnight.
No, Dean would definitely
not be thinking with his upstairs brain – and
that meant Sam was going to have to do the thinking
for both of them.
the new name he seemed to have acquired, he began to
recite what he’d discovered on the laptop or via
Bobby. “Apparently, Carluccio’s got a reputation
for being haunted in the early nineties when several
patrons reported seeing Liberace’s ghost in the
piano lounge. A waiter who had worked here fourteen
years saw and heard glasses and silverware moving too.
In fact, one night the same man even saw one of Liberace’s
capes in one of the piano lounge mirrors. When he looked
again there was nothing there.”
Dean huffed, knocking
back another shot glass full of tequila. “Maybe
the guy just had too much to drink? I’m telling
you, man, it’s just a publicity thing. Hell, half
the people in here probably came to see the damn ghost.
It’s all hype.”
don’t know, Dean,” Sam responded, uncertainty
filling his voice. “One time, a few years after
Liberace’s death, glasses toppled from the bar
and the power went out. Someone casually remarked that
it was, or would have been, Liberace’s birthday.
Everyone at the bar wished him a Happy Birthday and
the power came back on-”
his birthday? Yeah, I can see the dude getting pissed,
but why the hell would he suddenly start making people
vanish?” Dean finally paid the case more attention
than his now empty glass, or the brunette and her scant
attire. “Maybe his music was so damn bad he had
to kidnap people to the other side to get a friggin’
audience. Now that, I can believe!”
“Yeah, well paranormal
investigators already visited the bar once, but they
only found high EMF readings in the back hallway and
the women’s bathroom area. Not exactly the place
you’d expect to find our guy.” Sam raised
Dean mimicked his brother in a somewhat mocking voice.
“Dude, who’d they call before us, the freakin’
focused on the gaudy flock wallpaper. Anything rather
than look Dean in the eye. As much as he hated to admit
it, the whole case did sound like something off of a
kid’s cartoon – all except for the part
where people had gone missing – permanently.
readings they took match reports of toilets flushing
on their own and faucets turning on and off in the bathrooms.”
toyed with his glass with his thumb and forefinger.
“”Liberace and the Haunted John.”
What is this, freakin’ Scooby Doo Does Vegas?”
opened his mouth to retort, but snapped it shut again.
Dean had just vocalized his own earlier thought. This
was one weird gig. So where the heck were Shaggy
“I wish it were
that simple gentlemen, but I can assure you there are
no fake ghosts here, only mischievous ones.”
Dean pushed away from
the bar, spinning his stool around to face a rather
short looking man with beady eyes. He was more than
well dressed, and he obviously considered his position
to be one well above most of the staff or patrons of
the bar and restaurant.
Michael Bentkover, and from your attire and rather…”
he glanced at Dean,“…distasteful vocal manner,
I assume you’re the Winchesters?”
swiftly stepped between his brother and the little man,
smiling affably, even though deep down he was just as
offended as Dean. They may not have money, or have the
smartest garb in town, but they were here to do a job,
and Bentkover should have appreciated that fact.
this is my brother Dean.” Sam bobbed his head
towards his sibling, and heard a low growl in response.
Dean was pissed at Bentkover
slid back on his stool and sighed with relief when Dean
didn’t immediately jump from his perch and slug
their employer. “What makes you think the disappearances
are related to a haunting?”
straightened his tie in what looked like a nervous habit,
Dean’s seething gaze unsettling him. “Two
high class patrons simply vanished from the premises.
One was at the English Bar with friends when he disappeared.
All the security cameras show he never left any of the
establishment’s exits. The other businessman –
a friend of the first – vanished after telling
colleagues he was going to the toilet. Again, footage
showed the man entering the rest rooms but not leaving.”
like someone has a serious toilet fetish to me,”
Dean snarked. “You sure this is ghost-related?
I mean c’mon, this place’s previous owner
kinda had a rep …”
Bentkover ignored the
remark, focusing on Sam, who he considered at least
half-human. “On both nights bartenders and waiters
reported strange activity at the bars and in the bathrooms.”
He coughed, taking a moment to compose himself. “The
police can find no trace of either of the missing men
and are convinced there must be an error in our surveillance
camera system. I’m not so convinced. I can’t
afford any more disappearances – the establishment
can’t or we’ll lose customers.”
“So, a suit like
you really thinks ol’ Liberace’s spirit
has gone ape and has started causing more than a few
chinking glasses?” Dean raised a brow impishly.
“Maybe he’s pissed at the kinda service
you guys have given since he went to the big music hall
in the sky, huh? Sheesh, have you checked if the grand
piano is stuffed with any bodies recently?”
Sam groaned in embarrassment,
elbowing his brother until Dean winced at the bony appendage
being jabbed into his ribs. “We’ll need
to check out each room with our equipment,” he
addressed Bentkover. “The best time will probably
be after closing tonight when everywhere is empty and
want the run of the building? Alone?” The suit’s
nose twitched and he considered the plan. It was obvious
he didn’t like the brothers, let alone the idea
that they be given free rein in all the rooms. Still,
he’d already been told they were the best in the
business for his particular kind of problem. “Very
well,” he eventually caved. “But any damages
or shall we say, ‘missing’ items will be
noted and duly paid for out of your earnings.”
rolled his eyes. “Jeez, I guess that means no
free beer either, huh, Mr. Tightwad?” He looked
to Sam, slapping him on the back so hard he almost slipped
off his stool. “And no stealing the sequins, Raymond.”
fingered the small brass key looking up at the closed
but still garishly-lit building.
gazed longingly in the opposite direction where a multi-colored
glow filled the night sky, broken by spotlights that
swept the clouds, and he just knew if he listened closely
enough he would be able to hear the clink of coins spilling
out of slot machines, rapturous cries of joy and the
swish of stockings as long legged showgirls pranced
around a stage, beads rattling, spangles sparkling and
each one wearing a smile that was just for him.
Sam poked him, jerking
him roughly from his thoughts.
Sam gestured at the open
door. "You planning on joining me or just standing
out here slack jawed for the rest of the night?"
he demanded impatiently.
Dean glared at him. "Admit
it, Sam," he accused. "In your previous existence
you were a wet blanket weren't you?"
Sam shoved him through
the door. "For God's sake…."
locked the door behind them and stuffed the key in his
pocket, looking around. Even with just a few lights
on, the multiple reflective surfaces provided by the
endless mirrors, crystal, glassware and glossy finishes
bounced the small amount of light around until it was
almost hard to see.
said, squinting, "I haven't seen this much sparkle
so close up since that stripper in-"
where do you want to start?" Sam almost yelled
to drown out Dean's trip down memory lane. "I think
we need to split up and each take half of the restaurant.
Which half do you want?"
had definitely turned glaring into an art form. "Gee,
I don't know, Sam," he growled. "You pick
for me, I just can't decide."
"Look, Dean, I know
you're not thrilled about this job but it's a job, a
paying job, I might add. And I swear when we're done
you can do whatever the hell you want to after we get
paid, just, please, give this your attention for now."
Sam turned on the puppy eyes and Dean cursed and rolled
fine." Dean grumbled, giving in as gracefully as
he was capable. "Where in Barbie Princess Land
do you want to start?" He made a face and sighed
impatiently, crossing his arms and staring at Sam.
realized this was the best he was going to get and glanced
at his notes. "Why don't you take the half in the
English Bar, that's where the first victim supposedly
vanished." He glanced around, getting his bearings.
"I can take the area where the bathrooms are, where
victim number two disappeared. Does that meet with your
nodded. "Yeah, you go do the bathrooms 'cause as
far as I can see this whole job needs to go in the toilet."
Dean held up his hands.
"Sorry, Raymond. Didn't mean to upset you. Don't
start counting or anything."
Sam stared at him uncomprehendingly,
rolled his eyes again. "Never mind. Let's check
in in fifteen minutes. I figure I got at least that
long before all this…bling…makes
me go blind." He turned and headed back toward
the piano lounge, leaving Sam in the lobby, shaking
Looking up at the massive
chandeliers overhead, the red ceilings, red velvet seats
and the deep red and gold swirly carpet Dean curled
his lips in utter distaste. God, he'd seen better décor
in whorehouses, laughing to himself as he realized he
Filmy curtains hung everywhere
and there wasn't a foot of wall that wasn't covered
with huge gilt framed mirrors, like some carnival attraction,
each with the legend, "I'll Be Seeing You,"
written on them in scarlet edged in gold. He knew it
was Liberace's theme song from some brochures they had
taken from their earlier visit.
Not that he had actually
allowed his eyes to be contaminated by reading any of
Above him the crystals
tinkled as they bumped gently together in whatever air
currents were present, sounding a little like water
trickling over rocks. Or teasing laughter.
shuddered suddenly. The atmosphere in the place was
so bright it was downright creepy. Passing
another huge, spotless mirror as he walked up to the
large white grand piano, he reached out and deliberately
dragged his fingers over the surface, painting it with
finger and palm prints.
he said in an unconsciously hushed voice. "Sparkle
your ass off now." It was childish but it made
him feel better.
turned suddenly as he caught a glimpse of movement in
the mirror next to him, a flashing swirl, like flowing
Like a cape.
backed into the piano as he looked around at the other
mirrors, his hand hitting the exposed keyboard with
a discordant clash. Jerking back with a curse, one of
the ornate candelabras was knocked to the ground by
he snarled, grabbing the silver and gold candleholder
and slamming it back into position on the piano, his
heart racing. "Damn you, Sam!" he snapped.
"And damn you, your freaky restaurant, your freaky
music and your freaky…" he paused, at a loss
for words as he gestured at the large smiling portrait
of Liberace (Jesus, the guy must have had sixty
teeth) in full performance regalia that hung behind
the piano. "…freakiness!!!" he finished
lamely, stomping out of the room angrily and toward
the English Bar Lounge.
was pissed at the job, pissed at Sam and pissed at himself
that he was so jangled by being in this place. What
the hell was it about a guy who played pansy music and
liked to run around looking like he'd gone way the hell
over the rainbow…?
"Gotta be the music…"
he muttered, not even slightly amused.
stood inside the bar for a moment, eyeing the glittering
array of glasses and bottles.
around furtively, he walked around the baroque bar and
snagged a bottle of Pasion Azteca Tequila from behind
the bar. The name meant nothing to him but tequila was
tequila and he damn sure needed a drink.
Glancing around once more
to make sure he wasn't being watched by non-existent
patrons or worse, by Sam, he quickly opened the bottle
and poured a shot in a scarlet glass embellished with
a large scrolled "L".
He knocked back the drink
and hissed at the burn of it as it ran down his throat
and settled in his stomach with a warm glow. That was
more like it.
Lifting the bottle to
pour another he stopped in surprise to see the glass
was already full.
he lifted the glass and studied it. Had he refilled
it and forgotten that quickly?
he tossed that drink down as well, setting the glass
back down with his fingers still curled around it.
It was full again.
A smile suddenly crooked
the corner of his mouth. Damn. Maybe he'd been wrong
about this place. He lifted the glass again.
is my kind of haunted bar after all!
* * * *
Sam ambled slowly down
the corridor, a static EMF meter in his hand and a slight
grin still playing across his features. Pissed Dean
was one thing, but pissed childish Dean was just totally
was just so easy to see his big brother’s eyes
wandering to the outside world and to the glare from
the downtown neon. Once this gig was over, Sam was pretty
sure he’d need to pry Dean from the strip with
a crowbar and promises of untold wealth and girly flesh.
How the hell he could provide more of either than Vegas
could would be the test, but hell, his gifts ought to
help him out at least once, oughtn’t they?
Sam shook his head and
chuckled. If nothing else, this gig had allowed the
Winchesters to breathe again, to feel human, to laugh
A shrill whine
began to emanate from the device in his hand and the
hunter stopped. He was directly outside the men’s
bathroom – the very block of toilets where victim
number two had vanished.
probably got flushed away with the rest of the crap
that hangs around here, Sam could hear his brother’s
voice in his head, mocking what he didn’t really
understand. Typical Dean.
Edging sideways, Sam pushed
lightly at the door and it swung inwards to reveal a
totally normal men’s room.
place was lavish, yes, but not unduly over the top considering
Sam moved inside, noting
the wail from the EMF increased along with a rapid decrease
in room temperature. It wasn’t just cold in here,
it was icy.
didn’t know why, but he was compelled to yell
out. It wasn’t usual gig procedure, but heck,
could he be in a toilet with a legend? So better not
tell Dean that thought if I don’t want lewd comments
for a month…
was no answer to his call, but the cold tendrils seemed
to wrap around his body even more, enveloping him in
its strange blanket. There was a presence here, and
he didn’t know how, but Sam was sure it was malevolent.
It wanted pain.
wanted his pain.
let his huge frame spin on his heels, and forgetting
the screaming meter in his palm, he took two long strides
towards the doorway. Sensing his need to escape, the
invisible entity that was with him lashed out, using
its ethereal strength to slam the door closed just as
he reached it.
The entrapped hunter grabbed
at the brass fitted handle, desperately trying to turn
it, but it felt like the metal had somehow fused solid
into the jamb. Finally sliding the useless meter into
his pocket, he realized there was a new sound in the
A hissing sound…
turned back to face the sinks, knowing before his eyes
locked on them what he would see. All the hot water
faucets had miraculously turned to the “on”
position of their own volition. Steam oozed from the
sinks, rising to mask over the mirrors above them like
some mystery smog appearing from the ether.
As the hunter watched,
the water-veiled mirrors began to change. Someone, something
was scrawling in the condensation with their finger.
The text was spidery, like a child was writing it or
perhaps someone not in full control of their muscles
– not that spirits had muscles.
Sam squinted, reading the strange word out loud even
though it meant nothing to him. “Are you trying
lips moved to say the word again, but before his vocal
cords could form any sound, his legs were abruptly torn
from under him and he hit the tiled floor with a grunt.
take that as a no thanks, I’d rather kick your
ass than chat, he thought randomly as his lanky
frame was heaved boots first across the floor. Gee,
I hope this doesn’t mean I’m our guy’s
In the cubicles in front
of him, Sam heard the distinct sound of toilets being
haphazardly flushed and his heart began to pick up pace.
Maybe this wasn’t so funny after all.
Arms flailing on the slippery
floor, the hunter tried in vain to grab onto something
– anything – to stop his forward motion.
Long fingers latched for a moment on a cubicle door
and Sam took down a breath. Then, the force pulling
him seemed to gain momentum, yanking at his legs until
his tentative hold was quickly broken.
It’s dragging me in the crapper! Dean was right,
this thing does have a toilet fetish!
Before he could lament
on his brother’s jokes, or their unfortunate accuracy,
something slammed into Sam’s back like a pro-boxer
punching him in the kidneys. In a knee-jerk reaction
he tumbled forward, trying desperately to suck down
a lungful of air after being so viciously winded.
He blinked repeatedly,
eyes smarting as he fell, and only when he refocused
did he realize exactly where his face was heading. To
add to its impetus, the same force from before returned,
grabbing the hunter by the back of his skull and propelling
him into a quicker downward spiral – straight
into the toilet bowl and its un-alluring waters.
Shit! After all I’ve fought I’m gonna
get drowned in a toilet by the ghost of a pissed off
pianist with a hairdo that looks like he’s wearing
Sam couldn’t escape
the irony anymore than he could escape the bubbling
water as his head was held beneath its surface. He grabbed
at the floor, the tank, anything to use as leverage,
his long arms searching for a way out as he brain couldn’t
help but mock his predicament.
hope the last guy pulled the damn chain…
is so never gonna let me live this down…
But then, Dean probably
had problems of his own.
* * * *
tequila, two tequila, three tequila, floor…"
Dean recited to himself as he downed his fourth from
the never-ending-glass-of-joy, as he had named his new-found
scarlet friend. He twirled the shot glass in his fingers,
still fast but not quite as nimble as they had been
a short while before.
He wasn't drunk, his vast
experience in that area told him that, but he wanted
to avoid a major league ass-chewing from Sam. While
docile enough under normal circumstances, Sam was capable
of tearing mighty chunks indeed from Dean's butt if
he so desired. Dean decided, reluctantly replacing the
cap on the bottle, that he'd best quit while he was
Abruptly remembering Bentkover's
threat about recompense for missing items, Dean unscrewed
the cap and refilled the bottle back to it's original
level with water from the small sink behind the bar,
taking great care to place the bottle back exactly where
he'd found it.
He patted the bottle in
a comradely fashion, "Thanks, at least you know
how to show a guy a good time—"
His head jerked up, eyes
cutting to the left as the tinkling sound of a piano
came clearly to his ears. He listened intently, slowly
turning to look toward the direction of the piano lounge.
The music sounded empty and tinny, like the bass was
turned all the way off.
He moved from behind the
bar, reaching into his jacket for the sawed-off. He
stiffened as over the broad flourishes of the keyboard,
a voice began to sing, the words far away with a hollow
be seeing you, in all the old familiar places…
He'd seen and heard a
lot of creepy things in his life but damn if this one
wasn't about to take the cake.
this heart of mine embraces…
stumbled into one of the velvet-covered chairs as his
balance suddenly wavered, almost falling into the table,
causing him to regret at least two of the tequilas he
had imbibed, but it was too late now.
The voice became stronger
as Dean approached the entrance to the piano lounge.
Quavering, but definitely louder, he had no idea what
Liberace sounded sound like, but this song Dean knew.
that small café, the park across the way…
was suddenly very cold in the glitzy room and Dean felt
his skin prickling as he pushed aside one of the filmy
curtains with the barrel of the shotgun. His breath
formed clouds of vapor in front of his face. It suddenly
seemed very hard to keep his grip on the gun.
The children's carousel…the chestnut tree…
The chandeliers overhead
began to dance gently in a non-existent breeze, sending
flashes of light leaping about the room, making him
dizzy and disorienting him.
The singing voice filled
his head, he could feel the keys being struck on his
the hell was going on here? He thought, shaking
his head. He moved unsteadily to the large white piano
and raised his gun, grimacing as the voice began the
be seeing you…
"Not if I have anything
to say about it," Dean growled out loud, pulling
back on the trigger.
this freaking music is killin' me!"
the episode here