Five: Between Two Fires
Kittsbud & Tree
The waning moonlight played across the harsh concrete
floor, making grotesque shadows around the plethora
of power tools discarded there.
silhouettes, like the tools, only told half the tale.
was late evening – the shift should have been
over for the night – and yet, a solitary inspection
lamp still dared to illuminate the workshop. The metal-encased
light hung from beneath a battered SUV that was held
skyward by a bright yellow vehicle ramp.
somewhere behind a wheeled tool cabinet, Iron Maiden’s
‘Fear of the Dark’ blurted from
the radio, the signal clarity impaired by its makeshift
aerial until the words were distorted into gibberish
by the hiss of static.
somehow, the inspection lamp seemed to swing in time
to the music, like the rocking pendulum of a carefully
some impending countdown to doomsday.
lamp continued to swing, but there was a new sound to
accompany its motion along with the rock music. Something
dark and thick was slowly dribbling from the light’s
metal casing onto the floor beneath.
scarlet was pooling under the Ford, pooling, in fact,
around several of the discarded tools until the garage
was almost awash with its sticky, coagulating presence.
was an odor too – the rank smell of death –
rodent skittered across the workshop, pausing at a power
drill to sniff inquisitively at the thing impaled on
the drill’s bit. The rat’s whiskers twitched,
its tiny brain processing the smell of fresh meat before
daring to begin to feast.
Cameron watched the macabre event but dared not move.
Her startled and unnaturally wide eyes were fixated
on the freshly plucked eyeball that had been skewered
by the drill bit.
eye seemed to look at her, even though most of the inner
vitreous fluid had escaped, leaving it somewhat deflated.
it really just watching or was it actually accusing?
shivered, her hands, her whole body shaking violently.
She belonged here – no – worked here, and
yet she had no memory of how the dismembered body part
had come to be speared on the drill she had been using
earlier. Nor had she any idea where the puddles of blood
around the garage had sprung from.
looked down, smudges of oil and grease on her hands
all but hidden by yet more of the heinous scarlet liquid.
Deep red blood that had begun to dry into a more rustic
hue – blood that she knew was not her own.
can’t I remember? Why don’t I know what
happened after I took off the damn muffler?
instinctively looked up at the underbelly of the Ford.
Its muffler had been peppered with holes, but the thing
was so old she’d had to take an angle grinder
to it to remove it. She closed her eyes, recalling the
smells, the noise, the whole scene from earlier in the
had been someone with her – they’d been
alone in the workshop – laughing, joking, flirting.
flinched and scrambled to her feet. She had needed to
remember, but now those fleeting recollections were
bringing more fear.
looked away from the drill as she crossed the room,
not wanting to see the rat now dragging the eyeball
away with the remnants of the optic nerve that were
still attached to it.
of the dark, fear of the dark
I have a constant fear that someone’s always near
Fear of the dark, fear of the dark
I have a phobia that someone’s always there
Maiden’s lyrics still screamed from the radio
and Mia focused on the sound. She needed something to
be able to latch onto – anything – rather
than look at the floor.
the floor held other items she really didn’t want
whirring of the angle grinder filled her head and she
quickly placed her hands over her ears, desperate to
shut off the sound. Her palms pushed over her lobes
until she thought the pressure would burst her eardrums,
but the grinding, cutting, grating, killing
noise couldn’t be shut out.
was no way to stop it, because it didn’t emanate
from the room, but from her own mind.
eyes flashed wide and she couldn’t resist the
urge to look in the corner – the place where she
recalled last using the cutting tool.
was working on the Ford, on the car dammit…not
she was still forced to look.
The grinder lay on the concrete, its cable strewn dangerously
close to the cutting blade as if the last user hadn’t
been thinking rationally. The stone disc had long since
stopped spinning, but like Mia’s hands, it too
was painted scarlet.
the grinder, there was something larger laying just
out of sight in the shadows. Perhaps if the Moon were
free from the clouds that held it captive, the thing
would have been visible, but for now it teased, urging
Mia to draw closer.
girl felt sick – but she couldn’t help herself
– she was mesmerized as well as sickened to the
point where she had to satiate her own morbid curiosity.
a trembling hand forward, she touched something soft,
something fleshy and warm. Her fingers traced its shape
until they began to sink into something sticky, something
suspiciously like the empty eye socket of a human skull.
screamed – not because she realized she was handling
the decapitated head of her co-worker – but because
she realized that maybe she had done this with
erupted in her throat and she made a dash across the
workshop, only getting halfway before retching up the
contents of her stomach next to a half-dismantled Indian.
acid, like her missing memories, burned in her chest
eating at her, clawing until she began to become breathless.
She was just an ordinary girl, things like this were
for TV shows, for documentaries. She wasn’t like
those crazies that appeared every few months on the
six o’clock news, was she?
tried to slow her breathing, tried to regain some semblance
of control – and it almost worked – until
she saw the blood smeared with grease on her palms again.
wasn’t me. I’d never hurt him. Why would
I hurt him? I loved him…” The muttering
seemed almost manic, but it was what she needed. She
needed to hear a voice of reason, even if it was only
her own strained tones.
towards the door as she continued her oratory, Mia headed
towards the garage’s meager reception area. Like
the workshop, it was small and outdated, but it served
long row of worn seats lined the shortest wall, and
across the other a wooden counter had been placed to
serve as both a desk and reception. Behind the counter,
a short row of grimy photographs showed the establishment's
don’t I remember? Why?” Mia shook
her head as she approached the images, realizing for
the first time that a good section of her mid-length
mop of hair had actually stuck to her face. She pushed
away the matted brown locks, knowing that another person’s
blood had gelled it to her skin.
the wall, her own image glared back at her along with
that of her dead lover.
touched the glass covering the photos, hoping the tactile
sensation would bring back more memories – helpful
memories – not bad ones. Greg…I loved
Greg…would never hurt…
more memories emerged, only a sickening pain in her
chest. She needed to leave this place, leave the badness
eyes darted to a sink in the corner. It was meant for
washing away the everyday oil and grime from the workshop,
but tonight it would serve another purpose.
two long strides she reached out and placed her hands
in the bowl, nudging the hot water faucet to “on”
with her elbow.
hissed out as the purifying liquid began to cascade
over her bloodied hands, but Mia didn’t feel the
intense heat. Instead, she rubbed in more and more hand
cleanser, hoping its abrasive properties would wash
away her sins.
up for the briefest moment, she rubbed away condensation
from a cracked and abused mirror to peer at her own
features. Her hair was matted, her face contorted with
fear and desperation – but her eyes – her
eyes were inhuman.
that had once glinted with a gentle brown tinge now
seemed to glass over with the most obsidian stain Mia
had ever seen. It had to be a trick of the light, a
panic-induced hallucination, maybe?
not real…not real…
pulled away from the sink and its “magic mirror,”
almost stumbling in her haste to escape the garage that
had suddenly become some circus of horrors.
need a priest…” The girl paused at the desk,
common sense making her realize she needed more than
a holy man – she needed transport.
up at the wall, she grabbed the second set of keys on
the rack, knowing the car was not only fast, but the
repairs it had been brought in for had already been
taken care of. There was no point in “borrowing”
a set of wheels that was likely to give out on you after
two miles, now was there?
smile cracked her mask of pain and her heart skipped
a beat. She wasn’t a religious person, but how
could she be smiling at her own cunning at a time like
this? Was she even in control anymore?
fingered the keys to the Camero she was about to steal
and made a choice. She couldn’t go to the police,
she couldn’t go to friends after what she had
did that leave?
can’t let this happen again…I’d rather
through the garage’s main door, she didn’t
even bother to reset the alarm. If any of the young
yahoos who’d be plaguing the place for months
decided to break into Morgan’s tonight, they would
be in for a big surprise.
Panama City Beach Motel
tell me again what we’re doing here?” Dean
lay back on the motel room bed, interlocking his fingers
behind his head as a scowl formed on his features. If
this was what fun was supposed to be like, then he’d
trade it for a good hunt any day. Not that Florida was
supposed to be boring – not according to all the
half-naked girls he’d seen advertizing it on the
TV – but that, he was quickly learning, was pretty
much hype this time of year.
face creased into a smile and he took the time to look
up from his laptop screen to shake his head at his brother.
“We’re here,” he explained
as if he was teaching kindergarten, “because you
thought it would be cool to play chick-magnet.”
scoffed and let his eyes stray out of the nearby window.
“Hey, we just kicked the ass of a serial killing
demon with a serious clown fetish! Man, I’m telling
you, we deserve a little 'fun time.'” He shrugged.
“How was I to know this time of year we’re
more likely to get Ma Clampett in a thong instead of
some full on semi-naked babe with big…”
Sam rolled his eyes skyward and tossed an empty paper
cup at his brother. The cup bounced harmlessly off the
edge of the bed and landed atop the elder sibling’s
can be so damn unimaginative, you know that?”
Dean pushed away from the headboard and swung his legs
over the edge of the bed. The ordinary bed
that didn’t even have the luxury of “magic
fingers” to keep him occupied. Next time,
I so book the rooms…
ignored the direct jibe, putting his attention, and
his fingers, back to work on the laptop. “You
know, after the whole deal in Leicester, don’t
you think we should find some way of tracking demons
instead of just taking random hunts? I mean, Ferinacci
released an army of freaks hellbent on taking over us
poor human schmucks?” Dean finished the sentence
for his brother and raised a brow questioningly. “What’s
eating at you, Sammy? You’ve been at that friggin’
computer for two days when you coulda been out getting
laid or something.” He pursed his lips, scratching
at his head in thought. “On second thoughts, with
the selection of female talent on offer around here,
maybe you should stick with the laptop…”
will you just listen?” Sam spun the laptop around
on the bed so that his brother could see the screen.
“I’ve been working on something that will
bring up all the possible demon related news items around
the country. Maybe we can’t beat Ferinacci, but
we can at least stay ahead of him this way –"
what have you got, Kolchak?” Dean bounced down
on the bed, unsure if he really wanted to look. Coming
to Florida might not have been the best plan he’d
ever had, but after freezing his butt off in the Arctic,
almost being consumed by the fiery pit itself and then
fighting a bunch of demonic serial killers, well, he
wasn’t sure he was ready for the next stage of
Lucifer’s little “game.”
a report from a small town in Oklahoma. Apparently,
a priest at the local church was killed by a woman during
Dean shrugged. “Maybe the padre wasn’t the
maybe,” Sam continued, “the woman was possessed.
Take a look.” He let a finger slide midway down
the laptop screen. “There are reports the same
woman was seen running from the church, and her eyes
were black – as in all black, Dean.”
would this demon chick kill some random priest? I mean
I know their kind got the whole Tweety and Sylvester
hatred thing going on, but c’mon, gotta be a motive.”
Dean let his eyes stray from the screen to his brother,
then grabbed a half-empty can of Pepsi from the bedside
table. Taking a swig, he waited for answers. Sammy was
better at this crap than Fox Mulder – not that
Dean would ever tell him that. That kind of thing was
reserved for unspoken acknowledgments only.
Sam closed the laptop and picked up his cell. Hitting
a number in the speed dial section, he slid the phone
to his ear, holding a hand over its base to continue
talking while he waited for the ring tone. “If
anybody has any more information about this, it’ll
be Kyle. He knows to watch out for signs of this kinda
thing in the church.”
Dean mouthed, his face scrunching into a pained expression.
“Dude, you know what happened with Laura. We don’t
want the world’s friendliest preacher trying to
deal with this black-eyed freak. His Holiness will get
his ass kicked, again.”
information…” Sam cut off his answer and
quickly removed his hand from the bottom of the cell.
“Kyle, it’s Sam Winchester…”
watched as his brother chatted with the priest for over
twenty minutes, taking in every strained expression
that crossed Sam’s face and every stroke of the
pen he’d grabbed to make notes. Apparently Kyle
had heard about the killing, but whether that was good
or bad news remained to be seen.
elder hunter liked Kyle Williams, but Kyle was a shy
little man who could often be overzealous and put himself
and others in danger. For the priest’s sake, Dean
hoped Kyle didn’t need to get too involved with
this new gig. He’d almost died once at the hands
of a soulless monster; he didn’t need to face
off any more demons just yet.
Sam finally spoke after flipping his cell closed. “Looks
like the girl is definitely possessed. Kyle says the
priest wasn’t killed during a confessional –
get this – he was doing an exorcism.”
nodded and took down a breath. It made much more sense
for the holy man to have died trying to banish a demon,
than for the demon to have just walked into a confession
box and whacked the priest for nothing. “He bought
the farm trying to out this thing from the girl. At
least he went out with a bang.”
literally, Dean.” Sam slid his phone into his
jeans pocket and then grabbed his tan jacket from a
peg on the back of the door. “Kyle says whoever
this demon is, it's pretty powerful. It brought half
the church roof down on Father Lane.”
winced, the bridge of his nose puckering slightly in
distaste. “So if we find this thing we gotta exorcize
it fast or get our asses squished worse than Wile. E
Coyote on a bad day huh?”
pulled on his jacket and then retook his seat on the
edge of the bed. He reopened the laptop and entered
several new key search phrases. Once the machine was
working, he looked back up to his brother. “It
gets worse, Dean. Way worse. Father Lane had finished
the exorcism when the girl took him out. It looks like
the Rituale Romanum doesn’t work on this thing
– at the very least – it doesn’t last.”
you’re telling me you can’t do your whole
'chant in Latin and can its ass' deal?” Dean tossed
his now empty Pepsi can in the small waste basket provided
and began to pace. Of all the hunts he’d been
on, both solo and with Sam, the Rituale Romanum had
always worked. The thing that scared him most now, even
though he wouldn’t admit it to his brother, was
that maybe this was all part and parcel of Lucifer’s
would the world cope with a demon infestation if the
Rituale Romanum no longer had any meaning?
don’t know,” Sam admitted, his eyes locking
on something on his screen. “But take a look at
this. Two more murders near the town of Warner, Oklahoma.
There’s security footage from the first. Looks
like some girl killed her own boyfriend at a garage
and then vanished. “ He paused, thinking hard.
“And, Dean? She fits the description of the woman
who killed the priest…”
nodded slowly. Whatever her reasons, the girl –
or rather the creature inside her – was going
on a killing spree. Maybe it was a random demon thing,
or maybe it was part of Ferinacci/Lucifer’s “End
of the World” plans. Either way, they had to stop
things before they escalated any further.
his scuffed leather jacket and slipping it on, Dean
pulled his duffel from the end of the bed and knocked
away the empty paper cup Sam had lobbed on it earlier.
There was little to pack, because he rarely had time
to unpack, but then, that was the Winchester way.
to go find the black-eyed bitch and send her on a one
way ticket back to Hell, little brother.” Sticking
a hand into a side compartment of his bag he retrieved
a small flask. With a quick flick of his wrist the flagon’s
cap was off and he was able to check the contents. “Just
make sure you got plenty of this stuff handy, because
it sounds like packing anything else ain’t gonna
cut it this time.”
swallowed and looked across to the journal that sat
innocently by his bed.
caught the direction of his brother’s gaze and
realized what he was thinking. For the first time, their
dad’s diary was useless to them – everything
they’d been taught – everything they’d
picked up on the road with other hunters. It was all
we catch her, Dean, just how do we save her?”
Sam’s innocent eyes skipped to the window rather
than to his brother. “How do we send the demon
inside back to hell without the exorcism rite?”
stuffed the canteen of holy water back in his bag and
slung the duffel on his shoulder. Like his father’s
journal, he didn’t have the answers, but he wasn’t
giving in, not now, not ever. Maybe this was a war they’d
never win, but that didn’t mean he’d ever
the innocent girl enslaved by the new mystery demon,
for Sam, for humankind.
don’t know,” he eventually answered. “But
we’ll make it happen, Sammy. I promise…”
St. Joseph’s Church
323 North Virginia, Muskogee, OK
carefully straightened his tie and shot a stray glance
over to his fidgeting brother. Dean hated wearing suits
almost as much as he hated chart music, but sometimes
it was just plain necessary to take one for the team.
meant that while Sam had attempted to look his best
for their little charade, Dean was trying his hardest
to escape the “death grip” of the thing
around his neck with little regard to how that made
younger Winchester was tempted to remind his sibling
that FBI agents didn’t usually go around looking
like scarecrows, but before he got the chance, a small,
gangly-looking priest appeared from behind the pulpit
and began to walk their way.
holy man nodded as he approached, offering an outstretched
hand in welcome. “I’m Father Malone. You
must be from the police,” he concluded with a
Sam corrected, pulling a freshly made ID from his breast
pocket. “I’m Agent Shears and this is my
partner Agent Marquis.” He stole another glance
to Dean, resisting the urge to smile as he saw the sudden
onset of pain in his brother’s eyes. Gotcha,
dude! “We spoke earlier,” Sam continued,
reaffirming his focus on the priest.
short man bobbed his head, his eyes abruptly falling
to the floor. “It was a sad business…Father
Lane was a good friend. A good priest…”
you have no idea why this girl would want to harm him?”
Dean tapped the small black pad in his palm as if he
actually had notes on it to refer to.
little priest shifted warily from foot to foot, his
dark green eyes remaining out of contact with the two
brothers as if it would help him hide some deep dark
secret. “I…I don’t think so…”
there was nothing strange about her?” Sam gently
probed. “Nothing different about her
eyes..?” He paused, noting the priest’s
hand trembling slightly. “Father…did you
or Father Lane think this girl was…possessed?”
last word seemed to bite into the priest so hard he
started. “You’re not FBI…”
took a step forward, wanting to both reassure Malone
and gain his trust. In their line of work, priests were
an asset, and alienating this one wasn’t on their
list of things to do. “We’re here to help,”
he cajoled. “If you’ll let us?”
finally took his eyes from the stone-slabbed floor and
looked at each brother in turn. His gaze lingered on
Dean for a moment before he stepped back, allowing his
knees to buckle as he slumped onto a pew.
waited, knowing the forty-something-year-old was struggling
with his faith and how to handle what had happened.
Most priests never had to face a possessed human, or
any kind of spirit or demon. When they did, like now,
it was an eye-opener.
been given information that Father Lane was trying to
perform an exorcism when he was killed. Is that right?”
Dean took a seat by the side of the priest, surprising
even Sam with the amount of understanding in his voice.
seemed to warm to the inflection. “Yes…yes
he was. I’d been called out that day, and by the
time I got back the exorcism was over.” The priest
began to nervously wring his hands as if he was reliving
prior events. “The girl should have been
saved…but her eyes. I’ll never forget those
eyes. So black…”
any ideas why the exorcism didn’t work, padre?
Do you think Father Lane could have screw…messed
Malone shook his head. “This wasn’t Father
Lane’s first exorcism. He knew the Rituale Romanum
better than anyone I know. And yet…” He
turned, gesturing with a quick nod towards a cordoned
off section of the church. “And yet that thing
brought half the roof down on him with one flick of
her hand – “
looked across the church at the yellow police tape that
still marked the spot where Lane had died. Pieces of
slate and stone still lay untouched on the floor, and
above, he could see the vivid blue hues of the sky through
a hole in the roof. “Thank you,” he finally
offered. “If we need anything else we’ll
be in touch.”
exhaled but didn’t move as they walked away.
Maybe Sam was wrong, but he suspected the little man
had been exhausted just by their conversation. I
hope the girl doesn’t come back. He’d never
Agent Shears.” Dean jerked a thumb towards
the arched stone exit. “That wasn’t real
helpful. Any more suggestions other than using dumbass
names on our ID’s?”
chuckled. He’d been waiting for this the whole
time in the church and was relatively surprised he’d
gotten away with it this long. “Oh you mean because
I didn’t use something like Hendrix or Paige?”
nose scrunched in distaste and he jumped down the church
steps two at a time to get back to the Impala –
something that Sam found highly amusing. Whenever Dean
got pissy, Sam could count on him wanting to get to
the Chevy as if it was some last refuge or sanctuary.
It was a habit he’d formed even as a kid, and
sometimes Sam suspected his brother associated the car
so much with their father that to Dean, it had become
an extension of the Winchester patriarch. A patriarch
that was still missing since he’d hastily left
Bobby’s awhile back.
Scissor Sisters! I thought you’d gotten
over that whole thing back in Big Bear…”
Dean’s muttering continued as he heaved open the
Chevy’s door and dropped in behind the wheel.
you were the one that started it messing with my cell…”
Sam settled onto the bench seat and shut the car door
somewhat more gently than his brother. The ancient metal
still gave out its usual grating moan before the latch
clicked into place. “Anyway, can we concentrate
on demon girl here for a second?”
nodded in submission, but Sam couldn’t help but
notice his brother slyly flick through the ring tones
on his cell as they began to talk. While Sam hadn’t
considered it before, he had to admit that perhaps a
little nighttime mission with some funky disco downloads
might not be such a bad idea. He was sure Dean would
so appreciate Irene Cara’s Fame, or maybe
even the Bee Gees You Should Be Dancing for
so, you’re ancient and very questionable musical
tastes aside, what have we got?” Sam finally loosened
his own tie and heaved down a deep breath in frustration.
“I mean, the girl comes here for help. Was she
maybe still in control a little? Otherwise we’re
back to why a demon would even come here…”
take a step back, Sammy.” Dean dropped the cell
into his pocket after finding no evidence of sibling
tampering. “This chick didn’t just kill
the priest. According to those news reports you found,
she offed two other poor schmucks too. Looks like the
boyfriend, a local doctor and then Father Lane. There
has to be some kind of pattern here we’re missing.”
hope,” Sam pointed out, watching curiously as
his brother leaned forward and popped the glove box.
“Dad’s journal?” He asked in surprise
as the small, leatherbound book appeared in Dean’s
reminds me of something.” Dean began to rifle
through the tattered pages, pausing every few seconds
only to move on again when the right date didn’t
present itself. “I’ve seen a case Dad worked
way back when – I dunno, Sammy, seeing the types
of people this demon takes out just brought back the
memory.” He eventually tapped a page and carefully
passed the book over. “Bingo! Look familiar?”
raised a brow but took the journal and began to read.
“Dad never solved this,” he pointed out,
wincing at some of the garish details his father had
made note of – including a doctor that had been
decapitated when a small section of his office roof
was an early gig,” Dean admitted. “But take
a look at the list of victims Dad put together. Sound
familiar?” He gazed over, looking at his father’s
thinking we can already scratch lover, believer and
healer off the list of hits?” Sam asked, turning
the page to read the last few notes.
shrugged. “I’m thinking it’s a pretty
thin lead, but yeah. Dad never mentioned the name of
this friggin’ demon or why it was doing this,
but maybe if we can find enough about the girl it's
possessing we can beat it to the next victim.”
His eyes seemed to glaze over and he quickly looked
out the side window. “Maybe we can even save the
didn’t miss the abrupt change in his brother,
but he didn’t comment on it. Just a short while
ago, Dean had been witness to the death of a friend
– Erika Gudrun – and despite his wise ass
attitude, Sam knew Dean was far from over it.
had never liked Erika – at least – not outwardly,
because he considered her a reaper. Even so, watching
her die and being helpless to prevent it had made him
even more angry at the powers of darkness.
more angry at himself.
was all too aware that right now his brother was inwardly
vowing to save this unknown girl, no matter what the
cost, because he was reliving Gudrun’s death over
and over in his mind, constantly taking the blame like
only Dean could.
events in Leicester hadn’t helped Dean, either.
It wasn’t every day, even for a Winchester, that
you got to feel the thoughts and memories of a soul
condemned to Hell.
Sam flipped John’s journal shut. “We know
from the reports that the girl worked at Morgan’s
Garage in Warner. She probably had friends there who
might be able to give us a few leads. “
like a plan, little brother.” Dean flicked the
ignition and the Impala growled into life. Slipping
the column change into drive, he used his free hand
to completely pull away his tie and toss it on the back
seat. Grinning at the instant relief the move gave,
he switched on the stereo.
The Doors’ People Are Strange began to
fill the Chevy’s interior with Morrison’s
haunting tones, he began to sing along until Sam was
convinced there was a pregnant werewolf in the driver’s
seat. That, or maybe the tie really had strangled his
brother’s vocal cords.
you're strange, no one remembers your nameeee…”
Sam shook his head, pulling out a piece of tissue from
his pocket and sticking it in his ears as a sign of
sibling protest. “You’re strange,
just jealous ’cause you can’t sing for squat.”
wound down the window, choking back a chortle. At least
while he was singing, Dean wasn’t having serious
self-doubt about Gudrun’s death or his chances
of saving the possessed girl they were tailing.
just don’t go expecting to be on American
Idol anytime soon. That Cowell freak would so
cream your ass!”
headed across the next intersection, tapping the steering
wheel in time to the music. “You know, I’ve
been thinking about him. Ya think maybe he’s
opened his mouth to respond, but for the life of him,
he couldn’t find one good argument to fight Cowell’s
case. Instead, he just crossed his arms and thanked
whoever was listening that his brother had at least
not broken out his latest Deep Purple CD.
you for seeing us, Mr. Morgan.” Sam perched his
huge frame on a “less than roomy” office
chair and waited for his brother to do the same before
continuing. “We’re doing a follow up on
the Greg Watson case, and any extra details you could
give us would be very helpful…”
Morgan rubbed a hand across his clean-shaven features
and shrugged. He was a short little man who looked almost
as round as he was tall. Maybe Sam’s own height
and muscular frame made him biased, but Morgan reminded
him of a human barrel – with bright red cheeks
and a small moustache finishing off the details.
don’t know what I can tell you two fellas that
I didn’t tell Cooper – I mean, Sheriff Cooper,
but I’ll try.” Morgan leaned forward and
interlocked his fingers on the desk, tapping his hands
on the surface in nervous frustration.
like to know anything you can tell us about…”
Dean looked at his notepad, reading the scribblings
he’d taken from Sam’s newspaper report.
“Mia Cameron? Can you tell us the names of any
friends, relatives, that kind of thing?”
sniffed as if the name brought back memories he didn’t
care to share, and after a second he looked out of the
side window before answering. “Mia was a great
girl. I still can’t believe what she did to Greg
– she loved him, why would she hurt him? And so
brutally? She kept carving and carving at him with that
damn angle grinder.”
were here?” Sam asked, his brow arching in surprise
as he looked to Dean and then back to the garage owner.
Morgan shook his head. “I wasn’t here, but
I saw it on the CCTV footage.” He tapped the monitor
screen on his desk. “My brother is in the business.
After some local yahoos broke in a coupla times he installed
me a state of the art system. Everything is recorded
onto a hard drive.”
Cooper took the drive, right?” Dean asked, a look
of disappointment already creasing his normally jovial
took it first thing after I found the body. ’Course,
I’d already seen it, not to mention sent a copy
over to my personal PC right here.” He dipped
a thumb to the desktop unit hiding under his desk, smiling
with just enough perverse pleasure that it actually
scared Sam. “I know it was wrong, but…”
tried not to wince. Morgan seemed like your everyday
Mr. Ordinary. He looked too squeaky clean to even work
in a garage much less own one – and yet –
he was sick enough to want to keep the recording of
a brutal murder.
need to see that,” Dean chipped in, closing the
pad in his hand and stuffing it in his pocket before
rising from his seat and standing over the “human
barrel” just enough to intimidate him. “Unless
you’d like your personal computer confiscated
right along with your security system hard drive?”
squirmed but began tapping at the keyboard on his desk.
Tiny beads of perspiration began to form on his brow
and trickle down his face as he worked furiously to
bring up the footage.
watched the garage owner and realized he was enjoying
seeing the man writhe and fidget as Dean stood over
him. Morgan was one of the small percentage of the population
that fit right on in with the demons and angry spirits
of the world. He was evil in human form.
here it is,” Morgan mumbled, turning the LCD screen
so that both brothers could get a view. “It’s
pretty dark and the noise level…maybe I should
turn off the volume before the screaming starts?”
wanted to shake his head, but he couldn’t.
though the recording was grainy due to light quality,
he had already spotted Mia in the corner of the screen,
angle grinder in hand. It looked like she was talking
to someone in the shadows – possibly the boyfriend.
a second, Mia began to cross over the workshop, but
she didn’t put the grinder down. The noise from
the tool began to grow louder – as if she had
it on maximum revs.
appeared, arms outstretched, begging, pleading for her
to stop, but Mia had no intention of stopping.
voices turned to screams, and the screams soon turned
to the grinding of bone as the girl began to coldly
cut into her partner until his head was severed from
his torso. Not satisfied with the bizarre decapitation,
she walked around the garage choosing other tools to
desecrate her ex-lover’s body. A drill to his
eyes, a nail gun to his hands and finally she had used
a screwdriver and brute force to gouge out his heart
and toss it at the Ford.
could she get such strength?” Morgan
was shaking his head, but the twinkle of raw pleasure
was still clear in his eyes as they fixated on the monitor.
shot a glance to his brother. “Sam, take a look
at her eyes…”
though the footage was monochrome, the total blackness
of Mia Cameron’s eyeballs was vividly apparent.
Morgan, have you any records on file for Mia? Next of
kin? Relatives? That kind of thing? Does she have any
friends in town she might go to?” Sam leaned forward
and hit the pause button on the computer’s video
player as he spoke. While Morgan might be getting a
cheap thrill out of a young kid’s death, Sam found
it deeply disturbing.
only were they witnessing a murder, but the possession
of the girl was pretty overwhelming too, even for him.
It reminded Sam of Meg, and how they had been unable
to save her as she’d choked her last breaths in
Dean’s arms. Would Mia be any different?
I’m starting to sound like Dean!
grunted with annoyance that the CCTV footage had been
paused, but pushed up from his chair, virtually “rolling”
over to a filing cabinet near the doorway. After rummaging
for less than a minute he shook his head. “I only
have one address on file for next of kin.” He
passed the sheet over to Dean. “’Course,
Mia had plenty of friends in town. Damn likable gal,
if you know what I mean…” He wiggled his
eyebrows just a little too suggestively.
nodded. “Yeah, we know exactly what you mean…”
He folded the paper, stuffing it in the same pocket
as his notepad. “You’re sure there’s
no one in particular she hung out with?”
maybe just Karen Aldridge. They used to go shooting
together. I guess you could say they were like sisters
before all this.”
can we find Karen?” Sam stood to his full height,
hoping it gave him the same intimidating air Dean had
used on Morgan earlier.
some reason, it didn’t seem to work. Morgan shrugged
and slumped back into his chair as if he lived in it
– which from his size – Sam guessed was
a pretty distinct possibility. “Karen is the Deputy
Sheriff around here. I think you FBI boys can find her
without my help, right?”
eyes narrowed. “I’m pretty sure we can,
Jabba. Maybe we’ll drag your ass down there with
us for withholding that footage. Whattya say, Morg?
In fact, maybe we should search that hard drive of yours
for anything else interesting.” He winked
roguishly. “I’m sure you’ve got some
sick stuff stashed on there, don’t ya?”
pupils narrowed and his skin paled, but he didn’t
answer. Sam suspected if they pushed him more he’d
probably start screaming for a lawyer – something
they really didn’t want – considering their
none FBI status.
dipped his brows, trying to achieve his best “stone
face” expression – the one he’d watched
so many Death Wish movies to try to perfect
– but had never quite mastered as well as Dean
or Charles Bronson. “Wipe your hard drive, or
I promise we’ll be back with a whole unit.”
garage owner simply sat in his chair, bobbing his head
like a cheap toy dog in the rear window of a car.
* * * *
that guy was one sick puppy. He actually enjoyed
watching that chick go Jason Voorhees or her partner.”
Dean squirmed as he placed his hands on the Impala’s
roof, looking across as Sam joined him.
sometimes I wonder which is worse,” Sam admitted,
opening the rear door and tossing his jacket on the
seat. “At least demons are inherently evil. But
humans can be just…”
Dean grinned back, remembering a conversation from a
recent gig in Leicester.
well, Jabba may be a nutjob and a pervert,
but he isn’t our problem right now.” Sam
craned his head and arm through the open side window
of the Chevy and pulled out a local area map. After
flipping it over, he tapped the page with his forefinger.
“The Sheriff’s office isn’t too far.
I think we should start there first. “
bobbed his head in agreement and ducked behind the wheel
of his black four-wheeled mistress. “You’re
thinking Mia the Mutilator’s cop buddy is the
'Protector' on the list, huh?”
joined him inside the car, his stomach already churning
at the possibility that they were right – and
maybe already too late. “Yeah,” he answered
quietly. “But either way, if we’re not fast
enough, there’s going to be a body count even
Michael Myers wouldn’t be able to match.”
Local Sheriff’s Office
gently tapped the brake pedal of the Impala, bringing
it to a stop just a short distance from the local Sheriff’s
office. The Chevy’s engine died as he switched
off the ignition and craned his head forward to take
a peek at the building they’d come to visit.
the fact that it was still only early evening, the offices
were mostly in darkness, including the front reception
desk. Somewhere to the rear, a fluorescent tube flickered
on and off, like some portent of impending doom.
so not liking what I’m seeing here…”
Dean slid a hand under his jacket and pulled out his
favorite silver Colt. The slugs it held would do little
damage to Mia while she was possessed, but it still
felt good to have it handy, its carefully worked metal
soothing the hunter like a child’s pacifier.
nodded and reached over onto the back seat to his duffel.
Rummaging in the bag, he quickly offered up two silver
flasks of holy water and two flashlights. Slipping his
own into his jacket, he let Dean take the other set
they had everything they could to fight the girl, Sam
pushed open the Chevy’s heavy door and stepped
out onto a narrow section of sidewalk.
Sheriff’s office was situated on an area of land
that was pretty much self-contained. There were no other
buildings near the stark grey-walled structure, and
no one appeared to be visiting.
cruisers sat idly by the main entrance, but there were
no deputies to be seen anywhere.
seriously getting an I Am Legend vibe here,
Sammy.” Dean finally exited the Impala, keeping
his hand wrapped around the Colt beneath his jacket
as he warily walked towards the building’s entrance.
didn’t answer, but as he reached the glass double
doors he pushed his back into the side frame and flicked
on his flashlight. Letting the light cut into the dark
lobby, he paused mid-sweep when the beam picked up on
something slumped on the floor.
joined his brother the other side the doors, using his
own light to give extra illumination.
body looked to be that of a young deputy. They’d
never know for sure, but he had probably been manning
the front desk when Mia had arrived. From the odd angle
of some of his limbs and the glistening patch of blood
on the far wall, it was an easy guess he’d been
tossed across the room “demon style” at
nodded his head, silently signaling that they should
go inside. Taking point, he kept his flashlight in one
hand, scanning it across the lobby along with the muzzle
of his weapon.
he could see the stark white flickering of the fluorescent
light they’d spotted from the Impala, and it made
his finger instinctively tick on the Colt’s trigger.
the nearby desk, a burst of static followed by garbled
radio chatter made both hunters whirl. The radio mike
clicked, but there was no one to answer the deputies
out in the field anymore.
we don’t have much time. When they realize they’re
not getting any reply from control they’re going
to come back here. I don’t know about you, but
I don’t think this would be a great place to get
found right about now.”
glanced at the speaker, listening intently as another
deputy tried to call in but received no response. While
it was true they couldn’t allow themselves to
get caught here, they couldn’t leave without searching
the whole building either. It was probably too much
to hope that Mia still lurked in some corner of the
offices, but it was a hope he held onto.
needed their help – the population of this little
community needed their help – before this rogue
demon took out half of Oklahoma just for kicks.
should check out back first.” Dean bobbed his
head towards the still flashing light tube and then
picked up the pace, keeping his weapon high as he entered
a short corridor. There was no time to argue, and he
wasn’t about to give Sam chance to try. He’d
seen enough on the video at Morgan’s garage, and
he was seeing enough here.
down the passageway, he stopped again, noting something
smeared along the walls to his left. Letting a finger
slide through the substance he realized he was touching
many had died here?
the thought that Mia could have wiped out almost the
entire Sheriff’s department, he continued forward
until he reached a door. According to the embellished
gold lettering, this was Deputy Sheriff Aldridge’s
the door open with the tip of his CAT boot, Dean swung
inside, Colt at the ready.
room was empty, but there had definitely been a scuffle
here. Splashes of blood painted an eerie pattern on
the cop’s desk, and on the floor, it looked like
someone had been dragged out from behind the desk and
back out into the corridor, leaving a sticky scarlet
trail to follow.
take a look up there…”
turned to see Sam’s gangly frame was standing
in the doorway, pointing with his Glock towards something
hanging on the wall along with Aldridge’s commendations.
the harsh light, it was hard to see at first, and the
elder hunter was forced to bring the beam of his light
across the object to get a full view.
man, that is just…friggin’ gross…”
Dean put a hand to his mouth and quickly turned away.
For whatever reason, the Mia thing had cut
off someone’s ear – probably Karen Aldridge’s
– and pinned it to the wall like a trophy.
wasn’t sure, but it looked like it was actually
dangling from the remnants of the owner’s gold
think it’s a pretty safe bet we’re too late,”
Sam suggested, eyes darting around the room and then
back to the corridor as if he expected a SWAT team to
burst in at any second.
Dean moved back into the corridor, squatting to quickly
appraise the blood trail. “But we owe it to the
cop chick to be sure.” He glanced up, his lips
ticking into an impish grin. “What’s the
matter, Sammy, scared of being turned into Mike Scofield?”
own expression twisted into annoyance. “Yeah,
actually. You are still kinda wanted, remember?”
straightened, cautiously moving forward again. “Dude,
you’re just scared you’ll end up being T-Bag’s
bitch. Told ya that girlie side of yours is gonna get
you in trouble one of these days…”
pouted, a move that brought another small smile to his
like we’re coming up on the cells,” Dean
muttered, abruptly killing the beam of his flashlight
in favor of the relative protection of the darkness.
I think I hear something…” Sam held up a
hand as he listened intently to the sound again.
that he wasn’t allowed to wisecrack back, Dean
scrunched his brow and concentrated on the noise.
was someone softly whimpering.
girl, softly whimpering.
any thoughts of caution, Dean kicked into a sprint,
holding the Colt waist-high and slightly to one side
as he charged into the holding area.
was more light here, and he didn’t need to switch
his flashlight back on to find the source of the sobbing.
The woman was in the corner cell, lying on one side
as blood oozed through her uniform.
entering the cell, Dean’s eyes darted to each
and every shadowy corner before he placed his attention
on the fallen cop.
was still alive, her eyes lightly glazed, blood matting
the blonde hair one side of her head where her ear had
been crudely hacked away. Without peeling away her jacket,
he couldn’t tell what had caused the stomach wound,
but from the amount of blood she had already lost it
wasn’t anything he or Sam could patch up in a
okay,” Dean cajoled, watching as Karen's panicked
eyes locked with his. “We’re gonna get you
some help.” He turned to Sam, anger at the thing
that had done this lacing his words. “Sammy, ambulance…”
stuffed his Glock into his waistband and quickly pulled
his cell from the back pocket of his jeans. Using his
thumb, he began to hit speed dial only to have the tiny
unit abruptly torn from his grip.
cell seemed to momentarily dance in midair before being
joined by Dean’s forty-five.
the..?” Dean pushed up from his crouched position,
any thoughts of Karen Aldridge forced from his mind
by a new and sudden danger. Before he could react further
to the loss of his weapon, the cell door they’d
so haplessly walked into slammed on them, the lock clicking
as if a key had turned its tumblers.
the cell, the Colt and Sam’s phone floated into
the hands of a young woman who watched them with bemusement.
you know it’s rude to snatch?” Dean walked
up to the bars that now held him, placing his hands
on the cold metal rods. “What’s the matter,
bitch. Don’t they teach manners in Hell?”
cocked her head, raven orbs reflecting back the moonlight
from the tiny cell window. “Hunters,” she
mouthed tossing both the cellphone and Dean’s
automatic onto the floor in disinterest. “And
small fry at that. Not at all what I’m looking
what are you looking for? Death, destruction, all for
a cheap kick?” Sam stole a glance at the dying
cop and then back at the demon.
flicked her brown locks, the slight southern drawl to
her voice the only indication of the real girl beneath
the demon’s hold. “Cheap trick? Oh no, I’m
looking for something very specific…and
let’s just say I haven’t found it yet…”
not gonna let you keep killing people like this. Hurting
the girl inside like this.” Dean’s voice
had turned to a low growl and he clutched at the bars
restraining him until his knuckles began to turn white.
Haris, he’d thought it was over, but then Erika
Gudrun had taught him a harsh lesson he wouldn’t
forget in a hurry. Maybe people did have a purpose –
a destiny to fulfill – and his would always be
to kill these evil sons of bitches.
or the demon in control, ran a hand through the front
of her hair, seemingly bored with the conversation already.
“I’d heard that your kind like to draw us
into long monologues while you try and come up with
some pathetic escape attempt. Too bad, big boy, I’m
just not the talking kind…”
girl smiled at the brothers then slowly sashayed over
to the nearest wall. Placing her palms on the open brickwork,
she closed her eyes and inhaled.
somewhere unseen, a macabre breeze seemed to fill the
holding area, tousling through their hair and making
their eyes smart with its icy intensity.
wind seemed to grow stronger, like a mini-whirlwind
was forming, and as it coalesced, forming a bizarre
epicenter, the Sheriff’s office began to shake.
looked to Sam as the realization hit that they were
about to be caught in a demonic version of an earthquake.
looked back questioningly and Dean had to mentally admit
that his brother’s hesitation was probably warranted.
Even if he picked up the girl, there was nowhere to
go and no way to stop Mia’s dirty work.
were trapped in the cell while the building literally
caved in around them.
task complete, Mia turned back to the cell enclosure
as the roof above started to groan and buck with the
malevolent pressure forced upon it. “Nice meeting
you two. Shame, but I really do have to dash –
people to kill, you know?”
pulled the small flagon of holy water from his pocket,
and straining through the bars managed to toss its contents
at the fleeing girl. Very little of the liquid seemed
to hit home, and Mia vanished into the shadows as the
first section of roof decided to crumble inwards.
you really have to piss her off?” Sam grabbed
at the cot in the corner as he groused, placing it over
Karen to try and shield her from the rubble, but it
was only a matter of time – not just for Karen
– but for all of them.
shrugged as a piece of falling concrete glanced off
his shoulder. “What? You want me to play nice
with that thing?”
looked up as the ceiling overhead began to twist and
bend, showering them with dust and tiny segments of
plaster. “Actually, right this second? Yeah, I’m
wishing you’d given her your best 'Let’s
go have wild sex' line.”
eyes narrowed. “Dude she’s not that
cute.” Then his gaze followed Sam’s and
he considered changing his mind. He was no architect,
but at a guess, they had a few seconds before the ceiling
decided to crash down on their skulls.
despite Sam insisting he was hard headed, Dean really
didn’t like the prospect of that scenario…
the episode here