Four: Devil Inside
Gaelicspirit & Sojourner
"Devil Inside" contains some scenes that may
not be suitable for younger readers and was written
with more mature audiences in mind.
reverence for life does not mean you have to respect
nature’s obvious mistakes.”
-- Robert Heinlein, Have Space Suit Will Travel
MA, Low-income housing, Night
minute she stepped through the door to her apartment,
a damp winter coat fell to the ground, and high-heels
were flung across the room and into the far corner between
the couch and the doorway to her bedroom, declaring
an end to a day of plastic smiles and yes ma’ams.
There were times that being the assistant to a ‘big
wig’ wasn’t worth the money it bequeathed.
She leaned against the door, letting it shut with more
force than necessary, but gaining satisfaction from
the loud crack potentially disturbing the neighbor who
had no qualms about playing his hippie music at four
in the morning.
swear, Rex,” she sighed, padding across the room
in her nylon stockings and addressing the large goldfish
circling the fat bowl. “Men invented women’s
clothes just to get back at us for being smarter.”
sprinkled a few flakes of food in Rex’s bowl,
then turned toward the kitchen, reaching back to unhook
her bra strap with a languid sigh of end-of-the-day
satisfaction. Shifting her shoulders and sliding the
straps free through her sleeves in a clever maneuver
that fascinated every boyfriend who’d witnessed
such a trick, she tossed the lacy, white garment over
a high-backed chair.
the fridge, she pulled out a bottle of Newcastle Brown
Ale, popped off the cap with the bottle opener fixed
to the underside of her countertop, catching the cap
in her palm, taking a long drink before closing the
door once more. A note, attached to the door with a
Red Sox magnet and written in the ink of the green sharpie
she saved for important things like grocery lists and
phone numbers, caught her eye.
fix the shower. Called plumber. He came, he saw, he
kicked its ass. You should have hot water now. You owe
me a beer.
the note from the fridge, Meggin grinned.
my brother or my mother?” she muttered affectionately
at the paper in the quiet of her small apartment, mind
already on the hot shower she’d been looking forward
to all day.
admonishment to lock her door went unheeded just as
it had the other seven million times he cautioned her.
She lived in an eclectic neighborhood where all were
welcome and there were no strangers. That preference
of freedom over safety never sat well with her big brother,
but Meggin enjoyed the Bohemian lifestyle.
at four in the morning… Completely missing
the swinging chain on the door she crossed from the
kitchen to her bedroom, dropping the note and the bottle
cap into the waste basket in the living room on her
way. She flicked on the stereo in the corner before
setting her beer bottle down on the dresser.
opening beats of bass guitar and drums thrummed through
the room and Meggin frowned. She picked up a CD case
from the top of the stack next to her stereo and wrinkled
her nose. Filter was definitely her brother’s
style of music. Setting the case back down on top of
her collection of George Strait, she shook her head.
she sighed, sliding the elastic of the cursed pantyhose
free from her waist and rolled them down her legs, relishing
the feel of air against her bare legs as Hey
Man, Nice Shot shook through the small room.
“Still can’t keep yer hands offa my stuff…”
think that your early ending was all wrong; for the
most part they’re right, but look how they all
hands caught her from behind, fingers curling over her
shoulder. She jumped, dropping the stockings to the
floor as confusion skittered free from her brain and
panic jabbed hard behind her eyes.
hands turned her around roughly, the backs of her thighs
bumping against the foot of her bed.
Meggin stuttered, fear slowing her tongue. Strange
man… in my room… touching… strange
man touching me… move… gotta move…
gotta… A scream of denial stalled in her
throat, choking her.
listened to him, Meggin.” The voice was soft,
almost sad. The eyes, though...the eyes were manic,
strange, cold. “Now you won’t get the chance.”
wide mouth grew into an exaggerated smile and Meggin
could smell mint—strong and harsh, like a cleaning
agent—on his skin. He slid his left hand from
her shoulder, caressing her neck, cheek, hair.
Meggin whimpered. His other hand splayed across her
chest, fingertips touching each of her collarbones,
palm between her breasts. “No, no, no.”
She shook her head roughly as the music built, lyrics
screaming in her head.
fight and you were right - but, they were just too strong.”
pushed her back on the bed, grabbing her wrist before
she could scramble away.
no no… this isn’t happening… this
isn’t happening… “This isn’t
happening!” Meggin closed her eyes, shaking her
head in a rough denial as her own voice choked her.
happening, honey,” the man’s soft voice
slid through the air, thick with anticipation, and caressed
her ear with sick dread. “I’m happening.
an instant, Meggin thought of fighting back. Thoughts
of shoving her knee into his groin, her palm into his
throat, her thumbs into his eyes flashed through her
head with the speed of a heartbeat and were just as
quickly dismissed. She was frozen; rendered helpless…
and he knew it. Oh God oh God…
fight and he’ll go away…don’t fight
and it will be over soon…don’t fight and
he won’t hurt you…he’s not taking
you…he’s not doing this to you…it’s
your body, but it’s not you…you aren’t
here…you’re not here…you’re
not here… Her internal chant kept her from
crying out as he climbed on top of her, tore her clothes
free, destroyed any vestige of innocence she’d
maintained throughout her twenty-five years.
voice whispered dark promises as he moved over her.
His breath hot with sin, and his hands…his hands
were everywhere. Then he went silent and Meggin disappeared
inside of herself. She closed her internal eyes against
the image she knew she’d see if she opened up
and saw what was happening to her.
minute it was over, Meggin rolled to her side, tears
choking her, burning her eyes, searing her face as they
fell unheeded. She couldn’t blink. Her eyes fixed
on Rex circling his water bowl on the credenza between
her bedroom and the living room as lazily as he had
when she’d first stepped into the apartment.
have gotten a dog…
she realized he wasn’t leaving. He stood at the
foot of her bed, pants still undone, shirt bunched at
his waist, hands caressing something…familiar.
Turning her head a fraction of an inch, Meggin saw he
was sliding her nylon stockings through his fingers,
fingertips inching along the length of them. With a
terrified thrust of air, Meggin began to crawl backwards
on her bed, thinking only to get away from his hands.
where do ya think yer goin’?”
eyes shot up to his face and her terror was complete.
Liquid pleasure hung heavy in his eyes as he knelt on
the bed, scooting closer to her. Excitement missing
when he assaulted her danced across his features. He
raised the stockings and leaned close to her throat.
the nylon wrapped tightly around her throat, Meggin’s
brain sent signals scattering into her limbs that were
ignored. Her thoughts tripped over each other as she
tried to claw at the tightening noose. Life evacuated
on a desperate denial that this wasn’t happening
to her...this happened to other people, but not to her...
The nylon tightened as his strong hands tore her future
away. The last thing Meggin saw was the twisted, dark
smile of delight spreading across his generous lips,
and she died with the words, “It’s good
to be back,” echoing in her ears.
MA, early evening, Two Days Later
they passed the sidewalk musician nimbly plucking Zeppelin’s
The Wanton Song on an acoustic guitar, Dean was
compelled to dump the last of his change into the open
case at the player’s feet.
ya, brother,” the player nodded, continuing with
the complicated dance of fingers across strings stretched
taut against the sound.
tipped him a two fingered salute, continuing down the
sidewalk next to Sam. The Hoagie he’d purchased
at the deli two blocks away was just beginning to fill
the hole of hunger gnawing at him since they’d
left Leicester. Stopping Armageddon apparently had that
effect on him.
really don’t think we should call Dad?”
Sam asked him for the fiftieth time this hour alone,
staring into the bottom of his latte as if it were tea
leaves and would offer him all of the answers he was
a brief moment, Dean felt a pang of empathy toward the
kid. Since they’d taken out Haris, Sam had been
through a lot with little time to process. And Sam was
a processor. A thinker. A wonder what this means
rather than a this is what we have to do kind
of giving Sam the sympathy he sought and freaking him
the hell out, Dean wadded up the wax paper from his
Hoagie and tossed it into the trash can across from
him with an exaggerated sigh. “For the last time,
are you, eight?”
just think that he should know about Ferinacci…
about the whole thing in Leicester. I mean, that’s
a pretty big deal.”
rolled his neck, glancing askance at Sam’s worried
eyes, tightening his expression into one of disinterest.
He was an expert at hiding the truth beneath a thin
film of lies.
me, Sam,” he said, licking his wind-chapped lips
and shove his hands deep into his jacket pockets. “Dad
knows. Or will soon enough. He has his ways of finding
things out—or didn’t you get that when he
just showed up in the desert?”
nothing.” Dean cut him off eyeing the newspaper
stand he could see in the distance. “He left us,
right? We didn’t leave him. If there’s anything
I’ve learned it’s Dad can take care of himself.
Plus, we’re big boys. We can handle the little
devil on our own.” He paused, dropping his eyes
in thought. “Besides,” he said, the confession
slipping out despite his cocky swagger. “Last
time he came when I called, he almost got killed.”
Sam said softly, pulling Dean to a stop by the edge
of his jacket sleeve. “You couldn’t have
waved a hand at him, dismissing the forgiving eyes.
“Forget it,” he said. “That’s
done. We’re here in… Cigaretteville.”
raised an eyebrow at him, moving down the sidewalk.
“You see words in your head when you talk, don’t
shot him a surprised glance, folded his lips down, then
silently sipped his latte.
place, though,” Dean offered.
it’s not raining locusts or flooded with frogs
or something else…plagueish,” Sam commented.
continued to walk in companionable silence for a few
beats, enjoying the peace of the quaint downtown, the
cool of the night. The air was crisp, smelling of coffee
and bread and soap. Dean found himself explicably thinking
of neighborhood cookouts, pick-up basketball games,
sitting on the front stoop with a beer in hand and a
woman pressed close. Things that real people did. Things
that happened on nights like this. Things that weren’t
meant to be his.
and Sam traveled in a different orbit from normal. He
had to be okay with that. Especially now the Devil was
in the world.
and devils…it’s always something, Dean
thought with a touch of melancholy, watching a red-headed
woman approach, talking animatedly on her cell phone,
blue eyes bouncing to his, lighting up momentarily,
then drifting away as she walked past. Dean dropped
his chin, rotating to follow her with his eyes and admire
the rear view.
Sammy,” Dean turned, grinning good-naturedly at
his brother. “Always spoiling my fun.”
need your fun getting us into trouble.”
tapped Sam with his elbow. “So serious,”
he teased as they approached the newsstand. “Guess
I’ll have to find my fun elsewhere.”
sighed as Dean approached the magazine section, selecting
one covered with a brown wrapper. Only the eyes and
the wind-blow red hair of the cover model and the word
Penthouse were visible. Dean turned the magazine
to face Sam, bouncing his eyebrows lasciviously then
turned back to the racks when Sam simply rolled his
eyes and turned away, watching the cars pass on the
grabbed a Twix, two bags of Peanut M&Ms, and a Rollo
for Sam, turned to get in line to pay when his eyes
caught the large, bold letters of the Boston Times newspaper
stacked on the ground at the base of the magazine rack.
Strangler Copy Cat Killer Claims 5th Victim
creasing his forehead, Dean bent down and picked up
one of the thick papers, hefting it for balance, then
stepped up to the cashier. Handing over his money, he
tucked the candy into his pockets, rolled the Penthouse
and shoved it into his waistband, then flipped the paper
over to read the cover story.
dragged his eyes from a blank observation of the traffic
when he realized Dean started walking once more. Jogging
to catch up, he started to talk, compelled to fill in
the gaps left between them by his brother’s silence.
realize I’ve never been possessed, Dean? Not once.
The…spirit…thing in Leicester tried, but…and
I mean, you have—twice now. Dad has. But not me.
And it was my blood that took out Haris. That has to
mean something, right? That dog…he went after
me. And Gudrun... I mean—Dean, are you even listening
nodded. “Yeah, Sam. Possessed, blood, some deeper
meaning in all of this…”
such a jerk.” Sam tossed his empty coffee cup
Dean answered automatically, eyes still on the paper.
are you reading?” Sam looked over Dean’s
tilted the paper so Sam could see. “Boston Strangler’s
Sam’s voice was incredulous. “Didn’t
he die in the ‘60’s?”
actually,” Dean corrected, reading, “The
historically conscious will recognize the pattern of
these five murders as eerily similar to the murders
allegedly committed by Albert DeSalvo—”
stopped when Sam’s arm prevented him from stepping
into traffic as he read. The light changed and they
crossed, then Dean continued.
was sentenced to life in prison in 1967, subsequently
escaped, was recaptured, and then murdered in 1973 while
now there is a copy cat?” Sam asked.
like,” Dean flipped the paper over and pulled
the magazine from his waistband, ripping off the brown
paper and flipping open to the middle. “Nice,”
he grinned, nodding appreciatively.
God’s sake,” Sam shook his head, snagging
Dean’s sleeve and pulling him down the alley access
to their motel. “You’re impossible.”
up, Sammy.” Dean bounced his elbow against Sam.
“You’re too tense. Here.” He held
out the magazine.
don’t want your porn, Dean,” Sam grumbled,
pulling out the old-school motel key and unlocking their
could get your own,” Dean suggested, dropping
the magazine and paper onto the table, shrugging out
of his jacket. “I could…y’know, take
up,” Sam snapped, flopping on the bed and toeing
off his boots. “What’s with you, anyway?”
shrugged. “I don’t know. I’m just…
restless, or something.”
something,” Sam muttered, grabbing the remote
and flipping through stations with the speed of an expert
to get out of these little towns,” Dean dropped
onto the chair, fidgeting with the folded up corner
of the paper. “Too many freaky things happen in
small towns no one’s heard of.”
things happen in big cities, too,” Sam said.
go to Boston.”
looked over at him. “Huh?”
C’mon, Sam,” Dean leaned forward, resting
his forearms on his knees, his hands tented with a steeple
of fingers. “We could check out a game at Fenway,
buy some tea…”
lager,” Dean amended, sitting back and hooking
an arm over the back of the chair. “What do you
when are you a tourist?”
we killed that damn demon and turned the Devil loose.”
the more reason we shouldn’t be fooling around.”
pushed to his feet. “Oh, okay, Sam. You’re
right. We’ll go look for Lucifer and—oh,
wait… hmmm. We don’t know where to find
huffed, turning his attention back to the TV.
yet,” Dean continued, stepping forward until he
blocked Sam’s view of the TV. “If we did
find him, we got no idea how to take out friggin’
got it, okay?” Sam mumbled.
how’s about that ballgame at Fenway?”
Sam flicked off the TV, tossing the remote onto the
nightstand between the beds.
he agreed, standing up and grabbing some sweats and
a T-shirt from his bag before he headed to the bathroom.
“Not like we know where Dad is…or what he’s
doing. We’ve got no hunt to speak of. And…
I am,” Dean replied. Then frowned. “About
paused in the bathroom doorway. “We don’t
know how to kill the Devil.”
worry that slipped out with those words rode shotgun
on Dean’s thoughts the rest of the evening, dogging
him while they flipped stations, catching a rerun of
Simon & Simon and laughing about the 1980’s
styles. Sam commented Dean would be right at home with
the big pick-up and smelly dog while Dean returned Sam
was just the type to wear a friggin’ suit every
day while driving a Trans-Am.
though, Sam’s breathing slowed and Dean felt the
tension in the air dissipate as his brother relaxed
into oblivion. Unable to wind down, Dean continued to
flip stations, the sound turned low to not disturb Sam.
He ended up watching a special on the Discovery channel
about Jack the Ripper and shook his head at the eerie
timing of serial killer mania.
off the TV, Dean looked over at Sam. Sprawled across
his bed, one arm tucked above his head and under his
pillow, the other draped casually over his chest, Sam
looked about fifteen. One long leg was hanging off of
the bed and Dean knew the chill in the air would wake
him soon. Standing, Dean gently lifted Sam’s leg
onto the bed, tucking it carefully beneath the covers
and switched off the lamp on Sam’s side of the
glanced at his bed, contemplating sleep and dismissed
the idea. His body was humming like an idling engine.
He felt jazzed, high, like he did when he had a hunt,
a purpose, an order. Worrying his bottom lip between
his thumb and forefinger, he glanced around the room.
There were ways to dispel this kind of energy, he knew.
picked up the Penthouse, sat on his bed, and
began to flip through the pictures. His lips quirked
with appreciation, his eyebrows rose in surprise. At
one picture, he was forced to not only tilt his head,
but turn the magazine sideways to get the full effect
of the pose.
he muttered after awhile, tossing the magazine aside.
The normal ways to release the pent up feeling of energy
weren’t going to work, apparently.
stood again, wandering to the table where he’d
discarded his jacket, and dug out one of the Twix bars.
Sam mumbled unintelligibly in his sleep, rolling over
and burying his head in the soft confines of his pillow.
Unwrapping the Twix, Dean ate half of one before it
started tasting like dust.
he exclaimed softly, wadding up the rest and tossing
it in the trash can.
his hands along the sides of his face and lacing his
fingers behind his head, he twisted back and forth in
place, quietly so as not to disturb Sam, but desperate
to chill out, to come down from his amped up, on-the-hunt,
get out of here,” he whispered to himself, reaching
for his coat. As he did, his eyes hit the bold headlines
of the newspaper once more.
it up, Dean scanned the facts of the article, his eyes
picking out phrases and words. Eerily similar M.O.…
almost as if DeSalvo had whispered facts to the killer…waiting
for the next one…stockings…strangulation…rape…
an abbreviated snore from Sam, Dean glanced over, then
set the paper down. Something was nagging at him. Something
pushed him into suggesting Boston to Sam. Something
was there… Dean looked at Sam again, and then
at his laptop lying closed on the table, charged and
ready to go.
paced a few steps away from the computer, stealing surreptitious
glances at his sleeping brother. Stepping back toward
the computer, Dean traced a hesitant finger across the
top. The feather-light caress was pensive, filled with
curiosity and doubt. Sam would flip if he caught
me using his precious computer…but, what’s
the harm in just looking up a few things…as long
as I don’t get caught…
if shoplifting for the first time, Dean unplugged the
computer and tucked it under his arm, grabbed a notebook
and pen, then darted toward the bathroom. He glanced
once more at Sam, ducked inside quietly, shutting the
door after himself. Sitting on the cool, tile floor,
he opened the laptop screen and booted up the machine.
connection was verified, Dean typed Boston Strangler
in the search window and began writing down facts in
a scrawl only he had hope of reading. After about thirty
minutes, he’d filled two pages with notes on the
Strangler, and his boxer-shorts-clad legs were feeling
the heat of the computer. He grabbed a towel from the
rack above the toilet and slid it between his legs and
thing is like holding an oven,” he muttered to
himself, reaching back between his shoulders and pulling
his T-shirt off, his back against the tile. “That’s
Albert DeSalvo and Boston, Dean began to search facts
on copy cat killers. They were rarer than he’d
first thought, especially this many years later. Suspicions
ratcheting up, he started to search for other serial
killers. What he found surprised him. Patterns.
All killers followed patterns—supernatural or
otherwise. It just took being able to see with the right
eyes to find them. Only now, patterns previously played
out in years past were spreading into the here and now.
Chicago, New York…” Dean muttered, lips
pressed out in thought, eyes darting from screen to
paper, hand scurrying in quick notes. “Eat your
heart out, Sam Winchester,” he smirked. “You
aren’t the only one that can work Internet magic.”
disappeared as he continued to search and the gray light
of dawn was masked by the light from the computer monitor.
When the bathroom door suddenly opened, Dean jumped,
looking up hurriedly at Sam standing in the doorway,
hand paused mid-rub at his sleep-heavy eyes.
frowned, then understanding dawned quickly as he looked
at himself, T-shirt wadded next to him, towel across
his bare legs, computer on his lap.
not what you think!” Dean hastened to protest.
just sick,” Sam shook his head, backing away.
closed the computer, clamoring to his feet. “Seriously,”
he tried again, following Sam out into the bedroom.
“I was working.”
don’t need to know what you call it,” Sam
waved a hand in the air, not looking back at Dean as
he grabbed his jeans and long-sleeved shirt.
you say, man,” Sam said.
you’re the one that just barged in,” Dean
scratched the back of his head. “Well, I sure
as hell promise to knock from now on.”
his lips together in a frown, Dean set the laptop on
the table, unable to let Sam’s embarrassment go
without one jab. “Your favorites have been upgraded,
though, man. You can thank me later.”
spun around and looked at him, disbelief on his face.
laughed. “I’m just kidding.”
be such a wussy.”
find one sticky key and you’re buying me keyboard
cleaner,” Sam muttered, pushing past Dean toward
the bathroom and the shower.
not want to touch that towel on the floor in there,”
kidding!” Dean laughed. The bathroom door shut.
“Sammy, Sammy, Sammy,” Dean shook his head,
looking down at the pad of notes he’d taken. “Wait
until you see this.”
Morning, Marlborough, MA
noise of the morning crowd gradually rose and fell against
them, gathering speed and volume with every body that
packed into the small, popular diner. They were holed
up in a corner booth, blending into the familiar drone
of clinking dishes, and scattered conversation. The
only thing that would have set them apart like Technicolor
against black and white would be if anyone could hear
you stop whining about your stupid computer?”
Dean sighed. “I didn’t do anything but my
tapped the notebook in front of him with two fingers
to drive the point home. He still hadn’t revealed
the contents of his research as proof of his claims.
It was too much fun to watch Sam squirm. Or, rather,
had been fun. When every other subject change was back
to Sam bemoaning his freakin’ lap top, it was
starting to lose its humorous edge.
just…didn’t want to wake you up.”
was hunched over the table, looking down at his empty
place mat once again like he expected the solution to
appear in one of the coffee stains. “Maybe I can
get keyboard cleaner at Office Depot.”
Enough. Look, you don’t want to know? Fine.”
shoved the notebook to the side, and watched Sam’s
eyes follow it to its resting place alongside the ketchup
and hot sauce. He could see the curiosity pique and
knew his brother was hooked. Dean’s smile tipped
up at one corner before he set back in the booth with
a contented sigh, waiting to hear Sam relent. He didn’t
have to wait long.
not gonna tell me?” Sam asked.
gee, I don’t know, Sam. Hey, maybe Office Depot
has a two for one special running.”
grabbed up the notebook, flipping through it quickly,
his expression building from confusion to awe. “Did
Uh, yeah, that’s kind of the point I’ve
been driving home, genius.”
can you read this?” Sam asked, still flipping
through Dean’s scrawl. “Maybe Dad could
read this…” Sam said, turning the notebook
in his hand and canting his head to the right, then
the left. “No. He’d probably give up…What
the—is that the Impala?” He flipped through
again. “Did you make a flip book animation of
got bored around three a.m…Took a study break,”
Dean started, sounding defensive. His smile returned
however with a hint of pride. “Pretty good, huh?”
raised his eyebrow. “It looks like a box on wheels,
me that!” Dean said indignantly, reaching across
the table and ripping the notebook out of Sam’s
hands, grumbling. “Wouldn’t know brilliance
if it bit you in the ass.”
face lit up, a prelude to a sputtered laugh as he tried
to keep a straight face. Dean grumbled to himself as
he flipped open to the first page of notes he’d
it up, Sammy. This is quality research right here. I
designed it to be…unreadable. Cryptic. My eyes
only. Oh, would you cut it out already?”
Sam laughed, coughing and coming back with a more stoic
expression. “Sorry, Dean. So let’s hear
what you have.”
dove in, settling into a mode like he owned the research
scribbled out in his nobody-can-read, physician-like
scratch. He knew Sam was the one to look at the details,
but he was proud he’d been able to see the patterns,
look past what other, including Sam yesterday, only
saw as coincidental occurrences.
paper the other day, on the fifth murder in Boston,
got me thinkin’,” Dean started. “Led
me to look for similar events, copy-cat murders, and
found the Strangler isn’t the only one making
a comeback. I was able to find murder cases recently
which look a whole hell of a lot like John Wayne Gacy’s
work. He killed thirty-three people in Chicago in the
shifted, visibly uncomfortable, his mouth folding down.
“Wait, isn’t that the guy known as the Killer
gave Sam a don’t turn into a girl on me, Samantha
look, his mouth quirking. “I almost forgot how
you feel about clowns, Sammy.”
response was returned with a yeah, right look
from Sam, and Dean held up his hands in defense.
know you hate the happy bastards; run screaming like
a girl in the other direction every time one’s
standing outside the carwash, but don’t start
freaking out on me.”
huffed shaking his head. “Like I’m the only
one with an ‘irrational’ fear.”
gave him an innocent look. Sam rolled his eyes. Before
any talk of their recent adventures in flying could
be brought up, the waitress returned with breakfast
balanced on one arm, coffee for warm-ups in the other
hand. She slid the plates in front of them first. The
aroma of bacon and eggs, short stacks, and fresh coffee
curled up into their nostrils and forced a brief armistice
between the two.
more than two bites of scrambled eggs made passage down
Dean’s throat before Sam started back in again.
want to know why I never liked clowns, Dean?”
muffled a ‘this ought to be good’ into his
of that guy. Because of Gacy,” Sam continued.
“Because clowns are creepy as hell to begin with,
but to have someone like Gacy dressing up like them
at neighborhood block parties, claiming that apparently,
‘A clown can get away with murder,’ and
yeah, I hate the ‘happy bastards’.”
He violently jammed his fork into his pancakes, before
shoving a forkful into his mouth while his eyes darted
around the restaurant warily. “Was there a point
to all this?”
pointed listlessly at his notes. “Trying to get
Pogo,” Dean started, another smirk inevitable
as Sam’s eyes narrowed.
His clown name was Pogo.”
ran a hand down his face, distorting and hiding the
fratricide that would be written there. “Please.
Don’t call him…Pogo...”
Sorry. Pog-er-Gacy, as you know, went after
boys and young men, and in Chicago over this last month
there have been six disappearances of boys between the
ages of twelve and twenty-four. All were at neighborhood
parties before they went MIA, and all of those started
about the same time as the Boston killings. Two of the
bodies were found in the river…”
Gacy’s modus operandi?” Sam said, a hint
of skepticism plain in his voice. “How is this
our kind of gig again?” He bit into a piece of
bacon, ticking off points on his fingertips. “First
of all, Gacy was given something like twenty-one consecutive
life sentences and twelve death sentences. They made
sure he bit the big one in ‘94. Second, if these
are copy cat killers, that’s the cops’ jurisdiction,
not ours. You can’t—”
not finished,” Dean butted in, flipping through
more of the worn notebook. “You’re gonna
love this one.”
sighed and leaned back in the both, one arm hooked over
the back of the seat. “I don’t see how I
can love something about people being killed,
frowned a little, wishing Sam would just cut him a break.
He’d researched this—alone—and there
was a connection, a reason, a concluding point. But,
Dean was a showman. He liked to build to the climax
of the reveal, not just throw it out there. Then again,
it might have fared out less painful if he’d just
come right out and said what he was thinking. He could
have avoided a pissy Sam and his eggs wouldn’t
be getting cold and soggy.
his throat as he found what he was looking for, Dean
pointed to his chicken-scratch. “New York, the
.44 Caliber Killer.”
eyes rocked up before closing, disbelief exuding from
his expression before the words even left his lips.
“You gotta be kidding me… Son of Sam?”
pointed the pen he’d started tapping against the
table at his brother. “Bingo.”
“Greaaat. The ‘devil in my neighbor’s
dog made me do it’ killer. David Berkowitz.”
the last month, there have been five bodies found in
New York shot with a .44 caliber pistol in their cars
or on their front stoops. No apparent motive, not in
a gang-related area, just bam, dead.”
don’t know Dean…”
telling me this isn’t even remotely reeking of
our kind of job?” Dean asked in disbelief. “In
the last month, there have been sixteen deaths, all
exactly like said serial killers, all in big cities
where the killers used to live, and no one has seen
a pattern. Well, no one except me, Weekly World
News and various other tabloids, who are claiming
the spirits of serial killers have returned for revenge.”
credible sources there, Dean.”
faith in me is staggering,” Dean said flatly.
what do you think it is, then?” Sam asked, leaning
into the table.
shook his head. “I don’t know. But I don’t
believe in coincidences. Something is going on.”
maybe,” Sam started in, pushing his half eaten
breakfast aside. “You’re looking for a hunt
because Haris is dead, Gudrun is dead, Dad is gone,
and the Devil sure as hell didn’t go down to Georgia,
but decided to play a gig here in Massachusetts, right
in our backyard.”
your point is?” Dean asked, opening his hands.
scared Dean, and you don’t know what else to do
right now, but hunt.”
hardened his gaze and closed his notes. “You know,
Sam, the simple fact the Devil is in the world is enough
to believe this is a hunt.”
watched Sam regard him silently for a moment, could
sense him holding back in acquiesce. Sam eventually
We’ll check it out. Boston’s like what?
Less than an hour away? Maybe you could call in these
patterns anonymously…just in case this isn’t
threw down some cash, not waiting for the bill. Neither
one of them looked like they were interested in finishing
their food. “That wouldn’t be a bad idea,
as long as it doesn’t get our asses caught at
the next crime scene. And hey, if I’m wrong,”
Dean shrugged. “Fenway.”
brain moves on a looped tape or something,” Sam
groaned as he slid out of the booth.
yeah, wonder if there’s an Office Depot
on the way.”
Afternoon, Boston, MA
one out of five isn’t so bad,” Dean stated,
fiddling with the tie around his neck as they walked
away from their last interview. He eventually gave up
the fight, slipping his finger through the knot and
pulling the thing apart, letting it hang lazily about
his neck, finally able to breathe again.
looked out past the docks, across the water, and toward
downtown Boston. The low sun glinted off the almost
metallic surface, and reflected off the towers in the
distance. The view drew him in for a beat before the
invisible rope between him and Sam pulled taut and he
realized he was falling behind Sam’s enormous
stride. He jogged to catch up and skipped a little back
pissed at me or something?” He asked innocently.
The tone didn’t exactly fall in sync with the
only go Greta Garbo on me when you’re pissed,”
halted his almost exaggerated trudge and shrugged. “I
don’t know. Just talking with Jimmy, hearing about
his sister Meggin…I know we weren’t able
to get a hold of the families of the other victims,
but there was nothing supernatural about his story.
No traces of ectoplasm, sulfur, ether, et cetera at
his sister’s apartment. No violent family history…I
want to help him out, Dean. I do…”
more I hear, the more I don’t think this is our
thing. The world’s a pretty twisted place, Dean.
This stuff happens all the time. This was the kind of
stuff I wanted to fight back when I was at school, just
in a different way.”
mean through becoming a lawyer?” Dean asked. He
flipped Sam’s tie up. “A suit? So what if
this doesn’t look like our thing. We need to make
damn sure it isn’t.”
not vigilantes, Dean.”
on, I’m so Batman. You don’t have
to be Robin…you can be… Nightwing.”
Dean’s grin caught at the edge, the humor a forced
attempt to capture Sam’s buy in.
could be humans attacking humans. That makes it the
job of the police.”
raised a brow. “Were you even there when a family
of sociopaths kidnapped you and tried to hunt you down
to eat you? Or was that just my imagination on a bad
fell into that one, Dean. We didn’t go looking
for it. Look, we get too deep into this and we’ll…”
smirked, a crazy, half-cocked look in his eye. “We’ll
have no choice but to get involved.”
gave a short nod to show he’d reached his concluding
statement and walked back toward the Impala again. Sliding
behind the wheel, he loosened his shirt some more by
popping down the top buttons, then reached for the glove
box and he grabbed their ID box. Sam sank into the car,
throwing his ID into the open box before leaning back
against the seat.
dropped his Officer Jeff Neal badge on top
of Sam’s Officer Doug Huffman and shook
believe Jimmy’s not a fan of Boston.”
had an older brother who made him listen to Boston
on the way to Boston,” Sam said with a quick
flash of a smile.
reached over and turned up the tape currently in the
Look Back rushed through the speakers, quickly
joined after the opening guitar by Dean’s voice
should have known better.
Fry, Boston, MA, Afternoon
afternoon cooled off quickly, the winds coming off the
water forcing Sam to reach for an extra hoodie from
the trunk to layer up. Dean insisted they find out what
Bean Town had to offer in the way of food, and their
quest led them to the thankfully warm, but regretfully
sea-side eclectic diner they were now inside. Nets,
wheels from old ships, and portholes littered the room
as décor. Sam had even had to duck a few low-hanging
plastic seagulls before careening into a flock of them.
It hadn’t taken long to discover what the attraction
to this place was for Dean. Deep-fat fried fish and
chips for starters. That, and it was like Captain Jack
was burying one of the greasy filets in a mound of tarter
sauce like a shovel before bringing it up to his mouth.
The waitress returned with their drink refills and Sam
watched his brother’s eyes take in every curve,
both hidden and not under her red and black striped
you guys anything else?” She asked, head tilted
in Dean’s direction, causing her long blond hair
to obstruct Sam’s view of her face.
she was really asking Dean, Sam didn’t even bother
a return response. Instead, he unfolded the map they’d
picked up at a news stand along the way and started
to mark off the locations of the murders, waiting for
her to leave. When she did, Sam found it hard to grab
the attention of his brother who was determined to memorize
exactly what her backside looked like.
Dean relaxed his lower lip, his eyes coming back to
rest on the map. “What did you find?”
shrugged and tossed the sharpie down onto the table.
“We have five points…not a whole lot to
go on. I thought, maybe a pentagram, but the points
are too far off and that seemed too easy. There’s
no clear center…but maybe there isn’t a
connection with the proximity. Which means we’ll
have to try a different approach…”
watched his brother frown and tilt his head to study
the map. He’d seen that look before. Chicago.
Meredith’s apartment. Dean somehow managed to
pull the Zoroastrian symbol from blood splotches, and
now maybe he was seeing something Sam couldn’t
got something?” Sam asked, leaning into the map.
Dean replied, taking up the black marker. He started
to connect the dots, making an A when he was
finished. He pursed his lips in thought, tilting his
head back in the other direction. “A?”
Sam said, scrunching up his brow. “And ‘A’
stands for what exactly?”
shook his head. “I can think of a lot of things,
none of which are really relevant. And I highly doubt
the killer is this big of a Steven Tyler fan.”
Sam watched Dean mull over it for a beat, eyes lighting
up before he dismissed the idea. “Nah.”
let that wash over him for a moment. He remembered their
conversation in Leicester about the chaos happening
around town, what would happen if that spread. Dean
had said it would be Anarchy, with a capital A. It made
sense, but other than speculation there was no way right
now to assign a meaning to the A or to tell
if there was even an A there on purpose.
the hell outta me.” He sighed and started to fold
up the map. “We should check out the area along
the letter at least. Get a feel for where the killer
is pulling his victims from.”
finished shoveling the last of his fries through some
ketchup and then threw down some cash. Sam followed
Dean toward the front of the restaurant, wary of the
seagulls this time, vowing never again to eat at a place
where he had to duck plastic birds to exit the building.
Apartment Complex, Boston, MA, Late Afternoon
to say this,” Dean grumbled, slowing the Impala
after he turned down the street acting as one leg of
the A, “but I think we may be onto something.”
shook his head ruefully. “Ya think?”
flashing lights of the ambulance, paramedic truck, and
police cars were bright in the misty gloom of the East
Coast afternoon. Dean narrowed is eyes against the glare,
pulling his bottom lip against his teeth as he searched
for an inconspicuous place to pull the distinctive Chevy
around,” Sam instructed.
a carpool lot about a block back.”
Dean nodded, pressing the heel of his right hand against
the wheel and rotating the steering wheel sharply, the
tires of the big black car squealing slightly as they
changed direction in the narrow street.
lifted a brow, shaking his head slightly. “Way
simply slid him a look. The lot was to the left and
Dean pulled in, shut the car off, and exited, flipping
the keys into the palm of his hand before burying his
fists deep into his coat.
as a witch’s ti—”
seriously,” Sam cut him off.
exactly did you become such a saint, there, Theresa?”
started walking toward the lights and gathering crowd.
“One of us has gotta have some class.”
stopped, watching Sam’s back as his brother moved
away from him. “I’ve got class.”
didn’t reply, simply shot Dean a look over his
got your class right here,” Dean grumbled, following
at a distance.
low drone of the crowd reached them as they drew closer
to the paramedic unit, exchanging a knowing glance.
Dean tipped two fingers one direction, then shifted
his thumb the other. Sam lifted his chin, signaling
his understanding, then ducked around the opposite side
of the truck from Dean.
as he worked to meld into the crowd, Dean found himself
aware of Sam, seeing his brother’s shaggy brown
head moving between the cluster of people, his shoulders
hunched against the cool, damp air, his eyes searching
out an easy mark. Dean followed suit, the scent of Chanel
No. 5 drifting to his nostrils.
aged woman, wearing powder blue, he guessed, turning
to find the wearer of the perfume. Bet she’s
holding a dog.
yip caught his attention and he stepped close to a blonde
woman in a black trench coat, her smooth face folded
into a grimace of horrified worry.
happened here?” He asked softly.
turned to him and he saw a light blue scarf knotted
at the base of her throat, a small terrier tucked under
another murder,” she whispered, manicured nails
flitting up to press gently at painted lips.
Dean asked, feigning incredulity.
there,” she nodded. “Look.”
stepped closer to her until her shoulder was tucked
against his chest, leaning around the wide body of a
man who smelled like sweet onions and was holding a
bag of groceries, and saw the sad, sprawled tangle of
bare female legs jutting out from an opened doorway.
about the position—dead just this side of freedom—caused
his chest to feel suddenly hollow, as if all of the
air had been vacuumed out.
saw it,” Ms. Chanel continued.
Dean didn’t look away from the legs. He could
see a small tattoo of a vine starting at the woman’s
toes and twisting up around her ankle.
Reese. 435? She was just coming home.”
she saw it?”
Chanel nodded and the terrier in her arms yipped again,
its growl a low, amusingly unthreatening sound. “She’s
talking to the police now.”
looked in the direction Chanel pointed, seeing Sam standing
close to Stella and the cops, appearing for all the
world like a shell-shocked observer. Dean bit the inside
of his cheek. He could practically see Sam taking notes
in his head.
gonna be okay?” He asked Chanel, touching her
bent elbow in a gesture of concern.
offered him a trembling smile. “Yes. Eventually.”
at her, Dean turned and melted into the crowd, working
his way toward Sam. They met on the other side of the
paramedic unit, away from the crowd.
Stella have to say?” Dean asked in a hushed whisper.
pulled his head back, surprised. “How’d
you know her name was Stella?”
drew his brows together. “What do you think I
shrugged. “Looked like your type from here.”
no cougar hound, Sammy. Spill it.”
were right,” Sam whispered, reluctantly. “It’s
our kind of gig.” He hurried on before Dean’s
self-satisfied grin became too wide. “Stella Reese
was coming home and about to put her code in the main
door when she heard a struggling sound.”
A man in a gray and yellow uniform started toward them.
“You two can’t be near here.”
right, officer, or, uh, Mr. Fireman, sir,” Dean
stuttered, grabbing Sam’s arm and turning him.
walked quickly away before they could get caught in
a net of questions, quiet until they reached the Impala.
Dean unlocked the door, climbed in, then reached across
to unlock Sam’s side. Sam slid in and they shut
their doors in unison, turning to face each other on
the bench seat.
Sam continued without missing a beat. “Stella
opens the door and Cat Stewart—”
dead chick,” Sam nodded. “Cat Stewart is
on the ground in the entrance and is fighting for her
Stella didn’t do anything about it?”
Sam tipped his hands up in a shrug. “She claims
she saw the guy who did it but was so scared by what
she saw, she couldn’t move.”
keep me in suspense,” Dean said, smacking the
back of his hand on Sam’s shoulder.
the man had crazy black eyes—like tar, no white
at all. She said it was like looking into Hell.”
twisted around to face the steering wheel, taking a
breath. “Well, at least we know what to do.”
He rolled his head slowly to the right, his eyebrows
making inverted V’s as he looked at his brother.
“A Devil’s Trap and some latinating and
Sam grabbed the folded map from his pocket. He dug the
Sharpie from his shoulder bag and pulled the cap off
with his teeth, marking where Cat Stewart breathed her
last. Dean watched as he ran a long finger to the one
empty cross hatch on the figure of the A.
Sam said around the pen cap. “We’ve got
a good idea where he’s going to be next. We just
don’t know when.”
ticked his head to the left. “Gimme my book.”
capped the Sharpie. “Your book?”
his eyes, Dean bounced his head in a nod. “Yeah,
dude, the notebook.”
Sam lifted his eyebrows and dug through the pack. “Your
flipbook for classic cars.”
at Sam, Dean grabbed the notebook offered, then turned
to the page that showed the Impala’s wheels spinning
impressively. “Look,” he said, pointing
to a bulleted list of facts he’d collected. “There
have been about two days between each murder.”
pressed his lips together. “So, we got a deadline.”
Inn, Boston, MA, early evening
going to wear a hole in the carpet.”
well, lemme at that thing and I’ll find some stuff
like it better than doing nothing,” Dean
snapped. “I’m not just the muscle, here,
Sam. I can research.”
sighed, sitting back in the creaking wooden chair, one
hand on his knee, the other resting on the keyboard
of his laptop. “I’m not saying you can’t,”
he soothed. “I’m just faster at it, is all.”
glared at him, continuing to pace, his fingers laced
behind his neck. “Fine, Nightwing. Let’s
hear what you have.”
the barb, Sam scrolled through his well-ordered, typed
out notes to find what he’d wanted to read off
to Dean. “Okay, so, DeSalvo—or whatever
we want to call this Strangler—was able to get
into the homes of his victims with no forced entry.”
they knew him,” Dean supposed.
they trusted him,” Sam nodded. “Or he’d
been in the house or apartment before.”
in his twentieth trek across the tiny motel room, Dean
dropped his hands from his neck, and rested them on
his hips. “So, who do you trust? Who do you just
let into your house? Who does a woman…a
single woman, living alone let into her house?”
she needed help from,” Sam leaned further back
in the chair, tipping it off its front legs and balancing
on the spindly rear legs. “Cable guy, phone guy…”
but,” Dean shook his head. “Cat was in the
entranceway of her building.”
pattern,” Sam frowned. “Unless…”
He lifted a shoulder, looking at Dean.
mean it’s possible. She got away from him, got
all the way to the entrance when he caught her and finished
sense,” Dean nodded.
leaned forward with a sigh. “Now we just need
to figure out if there’s anything common linking
Dean corrected, thinking of the tattooed ankle.
furrowed in concentration, Sam began to tap furious
on the keyboard. Dean watched for a full minute before
becoming aware his legs were growing numb and his fingers
were tingling from inactivity.
going for food,” he announced, grabbing his jacket.
me a salad.”
Dean returned, tossing the Impala keys on the table,
Sam could smell the French fries and cheeseburgers.
I asked you for one thing—”
your boxers already,” Dean snapped. He set a plastic
bag with a salad, fork, and dressing packet inside next
to the laptop.
Sam dropped his hands in his lap, chagrined. “Sorry,
watching out for your girlish figure, Sammy.”
Dean pulled a six pack of Pabst Blue Ribbon from under
his arm and clinked the cans on the table.
opened his salad, shaking his head at Dean’s often
inappropriate, but purely-big-brother humor. “Wanna
hear what I found?” Sam asked around a mouthful
Dean nodded as he stuffed fries into his mouth.
so,” Sam swallowed, reaching for a beer, then
paused, lifting a brow at his brother. “PBR, Dean?”
Dean shrugged, taking a swig. “They don’t
just hand out those blue ribbons, you know.”
Sam dug his fork back into his salad. “Turns out
each victim called a plumber from Pipe Cleaners the
day before they died.”
that’d be a crappy job,” Dean chuckled,
then paused, blinking up at Sam. “Oh!”
oh,” Sam nodded.
gotten that far, yet,” Sam said. “But I
did find out there’s an apartment building at
the last intersection of the A. Here at Providence
Dean wiped his mouth with a napkin, then drained his
beer, crumpling the can and tossing it into the wastebasket.
nodded. “Providence Apartments.”
ripped off a piece of paper and handed it to Dean. Clearing
his throat, Dean pulled out his cell phone, then settled
himself on his chair with a crack of his neck, a shift
of his shoulders, and a hitch of his hip.
can I speak to the apartment manager, please,”
Dean said into the phone, his voice smooth, deep, professional…seductive.
“Absolutely, this is… Howard Hunt from Pipe
Cleaners plumbing service. Hi, Susan.” Dean grinned
into the phone and gave Sam a thumbs up.
rolled his eyes mouthing Watergate, Dean?
lifted a shoulder lobbing back a what? before
returning his attention to Susan. “Yeah, I’m
so embarrassed to tell you this, but, it seems we had
an…information leak and I need to confirm some
appointments in your building coming up over the next
several days. Can you help me with that? Fantastic!”
watched Dean work, his charm slipping across the phone
lines through his smile and teasing up the necessary
information. As Dean closed the call with a thank
you, absolutely, you’ve saved my life, seriously,
Sam could practically see Susan melting on the other
end of the phone.
the phone shut, Dean tossed it on the table next to
his keys with a sigh. “Well, we’ve got two
possibilities. The day after tomorrow, same building,
different floors. Apparently they’re doing maintenance
checks or something.”
I don’t think we can sneak into both apartments
and paint Devil’s Traps on the ceiling,”
Sam said, rubbing his chin with the tips of his fingers.
gotta catch this bastard before he goes in.”
Apartments, Boston, MA, Evening
last light of the day was disappearing down the street
behind them, lengthening the shadows that served as
coverage for their stakeout. The Impala was tucked in
a small lot with a clear view of the front of Providence
Apartments. They’d spent the day there, waiting
for someone who fit the description the witness at the
last crime scene had given the police. Not one non-resident
had stepped up to the door.
want to change the channel,” Dean exhaled, wadding
up the empty bag of chips he’d just inhaled and
throwing it behind him. “You sure there was no
other way in?”
without forced entry, and if this demon likes to play
the roll of the Strangler, then he’ll just waltz
in there with the knowledge these women know him and
will just let him in.”
reached over the seat, rifling through the duffle in
the back to double check their supplies. With the last
hint of evening dying off and the street lamps crackling
to life, they’d have the dark they needed to set
up their trap in the alley.
idea with the Clearneon,” Dean said,
holding up an aerosol can before shoving it in the bag.
“Means no one will see my box-on-wheels artwork.”
shook his head. “You’re right. Sure you
don’t want me to draw the trap?”
grabbed the whole duffel and pulled it into the front
seat between the two of them, glaring. “I can
handle it. Thanks.”
Sad But True was playing and Dean listened
to the lyrics for a beat. Something about them was forming
a question in his mind.
You’re my mask
You’re the one who’s blamed
Do, Do my work
Do my dirty work, scapegoat
Do, Do my deeds
For you’re the one who’s shamed
would a demon even bother killing humans like this?”
Dean asked suddenly. He rubbed at the light scruff starting
to show around his mouth.
was just wondering that,” Sam replied, shifting
in his seat. “I mean, what’s up with playing
serial killer when we know they are capable of so much
more on their own power? And is it just me, or does
it seem like they are at every turn now?”
that way and yeah, you’ve got me…”
Dean trailed off. “Keep thinking about Ferenacci’s
operation in Leicester. He was letting all of those
tortured souls out, and who knows, maybe some demons
got out too. Then again, Bobby did say a long time ago
more and more of those freaks were out taking joy rides.”
Dean shrugged. “Devil in the world isn’t
exactly helping things out either.”
was a silence that rushed in at that moment, even though
Hetfield’s voice slid through their ears. They
both felt the gravity of Dean’s last statement,
but there was no solution in sight, nothing to grasp
at to relieve it in any way. There was no surface to
the water it felt like they’d been forced into.
I’m your eyes
I’m your pain
You know it’s sad but true, sad but true
turned off the tape deck and slipped his hand through
the straps of the duffel. “Let’s go ask
this freak ourselves.”
the coverage of the dark and the alley dumpster, Dean
set to work drawing the Devil’s Trap with the
invisible black-light spray paint. He kept his eyes
moving between the trap and the ends of the passage,
the muscles in his limbs twitching with anticipation
of the demon finding them too early.
would be just what we’d need…Dean finished
up the outer edge of the sigil quickly, shifting his
weight between feet in his couched position. He could
hear music coming from one of the apartments above,
and he knew it would take just one person looking down
to catch him ‘defacing’ city property. Now
that would be just what we’d
could feel Sam’s eyes urging him to move faster,
and when he looked back at his brother who was supposed
to be watching the front of the apartment, he could
see his nervous expression illuminated by the streetlamps
above. Dean shot him a little faith here look,
and Sam reluctantly went back to his vigil.
finished, clicking off the light he was using and capping
the paint. He stood up from behind the dumpster, lifting
the duffel he had with him to his shoulder and started
back toward Sam.
man seemed to materialize out of the darkness behind
his brother, and before Dean could get a warning past
his lips Sam was sent flying, limbs pin-wheeling, into
a row of garbage cans.
dropped the duffel and punched into a full sprint, pushing
to get to Sam before the demon did. He couldn’t
cross the space between them fast enough. A thin, nylon
rope dropped from the man’s black-gloved hand,
slipped into the other, and came back around Sam’s
throat, biting into the soft tissue of his neck.
seemed to slow down and speed up at a disorienting pace.
Dean’s feet were twisted out from under him, his
whole body slammed into the wall, where the air was
ejected from his lungs, taking him temporarily out of
the fight. He recovered as quickly as he could, his
shoulder throbbing, lungs aching as he stumbled back
to his feet.
fingers were tearing at the rope, digging at his own
neck, unable to get a hold because of how deeply it
was buried in his throat. The man lifted his obsidian
black eyes to Dean, his cruel smile growing as Sam’s
struggles lessened, challenging Dean to make a move.
the episode here