Chapter 5/Welcome Back
"First it's the spark and then it's the flame"
~Spark, Amber Run
Bright and inviting sunlight peaked in through the translucent, peach curtains of the small, white walled, motel room where the sleeping form of Alissa rested comfortably. It was the sound of flapping that mixed in with the tranquil scene as a new presence stood in the far off corner, watching, as if keeping guard of the woman resting in the scratchy bed sheets. Oceanic blue eyes glazed around the area until they found a plum seated, wooden chair pushed in underneath a small table on the opposite side of the room, closest to the bed. He walks over and sits down carefully, trying not to wake the sleeping woman as he leans forward with his elbows on his knees, hands folded underneath his chin and looks out in front of him as his mindstarts to wander. It drifts from one subject to the next about why this woman was so special to others and why mainly to him, if she would be safe is he continues down this road he's currently traveling down, if not, then how bad would the repercussions be and would there be a way to avoid them? Could he keep his entire family safe? His drifting mind was then pulled back into reality when he heard shuffling in front of him from the sleeping woman who was now starting to wake which was a cue to take his leave. He stood up quickly and quietly from the chair, and with the faint rustling of flapping wings, he was gone as if he was never there.
Alissa pulled the covers back as she swung her legs over the side. She stretched as hard as she possibly could to limber up her body; a large, satisfactory yawn escaped her mouth when she got up off the mattress. She was rubbing the rest of the crusty sleep out of her eyes when she glanced down to see her little phone on top of small bedside table. Picking it up, she clicked the arrow key to reveal that she had three text messages, four missed calls and three voicemails, all of them, excluding one, were from Dean; the other one was a text from Sam. "Really Dean?" the thought floated through her mind as she unlocked her phone and checked through each subject. They roughly all said the same, even the one from Sam; "Hey, can we talk?", "I didn't mean what I said," "Alissa pick up your damn phone or at least call me back," she listened to final voicemail before letting out a groan, "Ugh, I'll talk you when I can, okay?" She figured she would talk to him either when she finished the job or when she got back to Bobby's again; if she went back to Bobby's immediately after the case. She might hold out a little while longer. She pushed those thoughts out of her head and sat her phone back on the table, she had to get ready and take off for her grandma's place. She was ready in about a half hour; a quick shower, change of clothes, a duffle strung over her shoulder, and one check out later, she was cruising down the highway.
Some four hours, two cups of coffee, and three gas station stops later, Alissa makes to Lachine as she travels down M-65. It's been, or what felt like, years since she's made it up here and she's missed every single minute of it; the clean air from the surrounding trees from the woods alongside the roads, the wide open fields clearing the trees that would sometimes have a wandering Bambi with mom, the local country station playing in the background as the wind rushing in through the rolled down windows, letting in that beautiful sunshine. She turned down a road veering off the highway that seemingly sparked the nostalgia of the times way before she was jarringly shoved into hunting; riding on a quad runner out in the woods surroundingher grandparent's house, eating the wild berries that grew just on the edge, watching the deer and bears that walk in and through the trees, laying out on the grass just gazing up at the twinkling stars overhead when it was a clear, crisp night. Those were times she wanted to do again, she could do that now, but it's the same like it was way back when. Despite them being simplicities, the memories that went along with them were on a much grander scale. It was like heaven to her and maybe, just maybe it really was.
She slowed down her car as a winding gravel driveway came into view from the clearing of trees on the right side of the road. Everything that she could see looked about the same since the last time she saw it; the wooden sign with the words "The Dreamers" gently swinging on the post in the wind, the medium sized, front deck attached to the pale yellow house where a dark blue, two seated swing sat in the far left corner and a large, round, plastic table with an unopened umbrella stationed tightly in the center shoved in the opposite corner of the area by the steps, the old horse barn that's been falling apart, empty for twenty some years and sat like a lump by the driveway; the large wooden barns one hundred some feet diagonally to the left behind it, housing some old tractors and other farm equipment rusting into the ground; the two car garage sitting twenty feet diagonally to the right of the barn where a GMC Terrain sat on one side while an old, faded orange pickup truck sat behind closed doors, shut away like a distant memory. Yeah, things don't really change, do they?
Pulling up in front of the old barn, Alissa put the car in park and shut off the engine and sat there for a minute. She looked around the immediate area but stopped when she saw the damage with her own two eyes that was done to the next door neighbor's house. It was exactly as the pictures looked in the article, maybe even worse. She then leaned over to the glove compartment and starting rummaging around for her handgun and her fake, local police badge that was stuck together with the rest of her badges in a binder clip. "I'll take the gun just in case," she spoke her thought aloud as she checked the magazine, making sure she had enough ammunition, loaded it back inside and stuck the gun in the back of her waistband. She turned to the back where a discarded, dark brown leather jacket laid haphazardly across the seat, grabbed it and put it on overthe gray blouse she wore, sticking the badge in one of the inside pockets as she quickly surveyed her appearance in the driver's side visor.
Once everything was made the way she wanted it, she grabbed her keys, stuck them in her jean's pocket as she got out of her vehicle and headed over next door to see more of the damage first hand, but didn't get very far for a police officer stopped her to ask what she was doing here. She quickly flashed her badge and told the officer that her name was Sydney O'Hara and that she had transferred from the Midland police station to Lachine a few months ago, this was her first case since her transfer and would like the chance to look around, to see what else she could discover and report back to the station. The deputy who was standing in front of her didn't look to keen on what she was saying until someone waved her through. "She's all clear, Johnson. You can let her in," Alissa then looked over to her left to see a man in a full black suit, hands in his pockets, standing roughly-if she had to guess-five foot eight, possibly five foot nine. He had dark hair and dark eyes with a graying stubble of a mustache and beard that surrounded a cheeky grin. Once Alissa had walked past Deputy Johnson, she came face to face with that man. "Hello love," the man spoke curtly in a British accent. When she said her greeting in return, he pulled out his hand from his pocket and offered a handshake to her. "My name's Crowley."
Alissa took his hand and returned the gesture in common curtesy, sending a genuine smile his way. "Nice to meet you, Crowley," she replied. "I'm Sydney O'Hara," in the back of her mind there was a little inkling of suspicion about this new man she had just met. There was something that didn't sit quite right with her.
"Pleasure's all mine," he nodded his head with a smile as he pulled back his hand and stuffed it back into his pocket again.
"So," she started, leading into the subject at hand. "It seems that we have sufficient damage on our hands. Just how much, that's uncertain. Mind if I take a look around, see if there might have been some spots that were missed along the way?" she asked him, motioned her hands towards the crime scene.
"No, no. Please do so. Go right ahead," he told her, gesturing towards the scene as well.
They both continued to walk to the house and once Alissa had stepped through the threshold of the front door, she was hit with the smell of Sulfur that was emanating from somewhere in the rooms; the stench wasn't too strong but it was definitely unmistakable. From what she seen from the photos in that online news article, everything was there; the blood pooling and splattering on the gray walls and tile-like floors, and the broken glass from the windows. She also noticed how destroyed the furniture from the chairs of the dining room, the coffee table, the couch and loveseat duo, the broken down doors from the front all the way to the back bedrooms was as well; some parts could be salvaged, but the rest could be used as burning wood or scrapped completely. She walked down the halls as other officers meander their own way around the rooms, taking pictures, gathering samples and conversing with each other. "Have you found anything that piqued your interest, officer?" Crowley asked, which made Alissa jump from being startled. She didn't realize that he was still following her.
"No, nothing yet," she replied shortly after gaining her composer back. "Were there any witnesses around the area that could give details as to what happened here?" Alissa asked Crowley, walking towards to one of the back bedrooms that was supposed to belong to the couple who lived here. For how small the house looked on the outside, the inside was quite deceiving and the rooms were exactly that; this space resembled that of a master suite with accompanying bathroom, pastel yellows and calming blues filled the space besides the obvious blood and ransacks sheets on the floor.
"There was a woman by the name of Bonnie Dreamer who lives right next door. Officers have interviewed her and based upon her answers, she seemed to be confused as to this event," Crowley replied, looking up and down the walls, corridors and in through the rooms as they both traveled down the hall.
"Everyone's saying it's a supposed bear attack but bears don't usually do this much damage to a house," Alissa commented. "I could see heavy claw marks on the door but nothing like this," she added.
"What do you believe happened here Officer O'Hara?" the question rolled off his British tongue, becoming suddenly intrigued of her.
"Me? I'd say some group of sick and twisted people broke in and started killing just for the thrill of it all," she told him with a hint of disgust laced in her tone of voice. An officer walked past Alissa just as she entered into the room and in that very instant the stench became potent. "Ugh, smells nasty in here," she complained as she brought her hand up to her nose to block out the smell. When she walked on the other side of the bed that sat against the ride side wall, she figured out where the odor was originating from; three bodies lying sprawled out on the white carpeted floor. Two of them were she assumed to be the couple while the third appeared to be their child in this gruesome site before her, but it wasn't the first time she'd seen bodies like this and it certainly wouldn't be the last. She then decided to take a small tour of the room to see what other clues she might end up coming across.
"Those poor souls," Crowley commented as he walked up behind Alissa and crouched down in front of them, looking closer. "Who in their right mind would do such a thing?" he asked aloud, not really expecting an answer in return.
"Monsters, people who could be considered Demons and most likely will be demonized," she answered him anyway as she walked towards the windows when she noticed the only one in the room was busted out completely and just like it showed in the article, a yellow, powder-like substance dusting the sill, but what it didn't show was the odd markings just below it that caused her interest to pique. The 'writing' were some sort of odd symbols. One was a shape of an upside down horseshoe,another was a seven crossed like a 'T', a weird looking 'E' and some others she couldn't really describe. "Huh," she said to herself. "I may have to send this Bobby," she dug out her cell phone and quickly took a picture of the symbols to save for later.
"Find something?" he asked as he got up from his haunches in front of the bodies and strode over to where Alissa kneeled down.
"Yeah, take a look at this," she said to him as she stuck her phone back in her pocket.
He bent down to take a closer look at the symbols. "Yes, that is quite strange," he answered attentively while Alissa looked carefully at the writings on the wall.
"Do you have any idea of what it is or what it could mean?" Alissa asked, looking up to him then back to the symbols. She then pushed of her haunches as well and looked back to him.
"I do not, I never seen this before. Could it be some sort of code for whoever broke in?" He inquired.
"That could be a possibility. All right then, I'm going to have to let the station know what's going on," she informed him, turning around, Alissa then walked out of the room before she stopped in her tracks after remembering something. She then dug out her badge where in the pocket on the inside were a couple business cards. She took one out and handed it to Crowley who was now standing by the broken window and yellow powder on the sill. "If there are any other symbols, writings, any new evidence, don't hesitate to call me; number's right on there."
Once he took it from her with a smile, she then turned back around. She didn't hear what he had said by the time she was heading out the bedroom door and out of the house. "Glad we had this chat, Alissa," he stuck the business card in his pocket and walked to the front door and watched as she strode over to the pale yellow house. "Seems to me like you have some friends in very high places," Crowley commented, swiveled around and vanished into thin air.
When she hit the gravel of her grandmother's drive way, it didn't take long before a woman walked out of the house from the mudroom. An older woman in her late seventies, standing five foot eight, with short brown hair that's starting to gray, almond shaped hazel eyes, rounded features, a white T-shirt, khaki shorts, and tan sandals. Alissa walked up to her and gave her a long hug for comfort. "I came as soon as I could." Alissa pulled back from the hug and looked at the woman with a sympathetic smile. The woman nodded and motioned Alissa into the house, shutting the door behind them.
"I saw that you went over there," her grandmother states as she grabs out another coffee mug out of the cabinet. "I know it must look worse on the inside than it does on the out, and the out is terrible as it is."
"Well you're right on that one," Alissa responded, drinking the hot cup she received a minute earlier. "I won't get into too much specific detail, let's just say that everything in there is either trashed completely or parts of it is salvageable."
"That bad?" Widened eyes appeared on her grandmother's face as she took a seat at the small, round, wooden dining room table with her own coffee cup in hand. "Wow."
"Oh yeah. It's that bad," Alissa took a drink from her beverage and sat it back down on the surface, wrapping her hands around it subconsciously.
A minute of silence passes between them, so Alissa decided to look around the room both of them were in. It didn't appear that anything changed, if it did it wasn't by much. The room itself wasn't overly large that connected to a hallway-like kitchen, an average bedroom-sized living room, and could barely fit seven people surrounding the table. Even it could, it was a tight squeeze anyways because of the small built-in cupboards and microwave (it was a lot older than she is and surprisingly it still manages to work perfectly fine) around the corner the left side of the room and there was always one person who ended up getting the folding chair (which was usually her at Thanksgiving dinners or just when everyone decided to drop by) when everyone got the normal rolling ones. There were only two windows in the little space; one was behind her grandmother, Bonnie, placed right by the door to the outside. It was a convenient spot to watch in case people walked in. The other window was on the right side, wheat colored, wall in line with the white baker's rack filled with mugs and other miscellaneous knick-knacks to the left and an old, wooden bench sitting on the violet, carpeted floor to the right.
"What do you think happened?" Alissa questioned, taking a giant gulp of her coffee while she watched the sun filter in through the windows of the door in the mudroom.
Bonnie then sighed and moved her mug to the small, white, rolling cupboard next to her where a police scanner and coffee botmaker sat. "Honestly? I have no idea. I'll tell you what I told the cops when they interviewed me. I told them that I was woken up by this crash, or a banging-it was some sort of noise-over at the neighbor's place, y'know?" Alissa nodded in return as her grandmother continued, "I went outside to investigate. I didn't really see anything since it's the middle of the night and everything, so I went back inside and went back to bed. I didn't notice what had happened until I woke up the next morning. Looked out the living room windows and found the house with the door busted down, porch destroyed, and windows broken; the whole works," Bonnie finished.
"You think that the noise could have been a gunshot?" Alissa inquired.
"No, a gunshot would have echoed. You heard a gun go off over here before haven't you?" Alissa nodded her head at the question. "Unless the gun had a silencer and the crash was furniture or something," Bonnie then pondered at the thought.
"That could be a definite possibility," Alissa agreed. She then leaned to the side to dig out her phone. She unlocked it and opened up the photo she took over at the crime scene. "Here, take a look at this," she said, sliding the phone across the table. "Found this underneath one of the window sills in the couples' room. No idea what it means."
"What the heck?" Bonnie commented, knitted eye brows signaled bewilderment on her face.
"I have no clue," Alissa replied. "I'm gonna send it over to Bobby, see what he has to say and if he could crack whatever this is using those books he has stashed all the place."
"Well I hope he can because whatever that this is, it doesn't look good," Bonnie voiced, concern embedded tightly.
"I sure hope he can too," Alissa added, finishing her drink and pushed the mug away from her. "I'll be sure to let you know if he has anything or not," she look at her grandmother. "So, aside from what happened next door how's everything else going for ya?"
Leaning back, she folded her hands on top of her stomach, "Well, it hasn't been too hectic here with trees surrounding you at basically all sides; nothing really new, I guess. What about you, anything new on your end? Haven't talked to you in forever, sothere's bound to be some news, right? What've you been up to?" Bonnie asked her.
Mirroring that same action, Alissa let out a long sigh "Yeah, it's been eventful all right. Going from case to case, helping other hunters out, researching on lore is getting pretty exhausting too. Some hunts have had Wendigos, Werewolves, Vamps and a bunch of other creatures," she told her grandmother. "I talked to Alyse about a week ago too, and she was saying that demons were popping up all over the place; even I've had some run-ins with them. It's getting annoying and I have no idea why they're all over the place."
"Really? Demons too?" Her reaction was something of surprise and expecting of said subject.
"Yeah. It's starting to become annoying after a while," Alissa complained.
"I don't think demons are all that bad," a familiar British accent suddenly joined in the conversation, "Yes they can be destructive sometimes, but, they can be loveable guys."
Alissa turned around and was greeted to the sight of a man standing in the living room by the red-purple colored EZ chairs. "Crowley? How the hell you get in here?" Alissa asked him suspiciously as she discreetly grabs the gun from her waistband sitting at the small of her back. Her grandmother looks past her to see the newest guest in her house.
"Just thought I'd pop in and say hello," he answers with a smirk on his face as he starts walking up to the dining room.
"Why're you here?" Alissa was trying to not jump from her seat and pull out her gun on the man in front of her grandma. She had a feeling that something was definitely off about him when they first met not more than a half hour ago.
The man's smile grew a little bit wider and put his hands up in surrender. "If you put that gun back where it belongs instead of turning it on me, I might just talk."
A surprising look came into view on her face wondering how in the hell he knew that she had a gun on her. "How?" Alissa asked herself as she put the gun back into her waistband and raised her hands away from her back to show the man that it's nowhere in sight.
"Thank you." He replies as he adjusts his suit jacket. "Now that that is over with, I have something here that's addressed to you," he digs through his jacket and pulls out a white envelope that had her name scrawled across the front in very fancy, cursive lettering. He offers it to her which she reluctantly took from him. "I would have given it to you earlier but there were too many people surrounding the scene," he send a quick smile but then fades as fast as it came. "Do whatever your little heart wants with that."
Alissa looked down at the envelope for a long second and was about to ask Crowley another question but when she looked up, he was nowhere to be seen. Bonnie ended up voicing the same exact same question that was running through Alissa's mind. "Where'd he go?"
"I have no idea," Alissa responded, turning around in her seat to face her grandmother again, looking down at the envelope held in her hands.
It was another full minute later before one of them spoke. "Are you going to open it or just stare at it?" Bonnie asked.
Alissa broke out of her trance and lifted her head. "I," she started. "I might just keep it closed for a little while longer. Since it's addressed to me and Crowley basically hand-delivered it, I feel like it should be read in private."
"Well he did say you could do what you want with it. It's up to you," Bonnie informed.
"I might end up doing that then," she confirmed with Bonnie as she got up out of the rolling chair across from her grandmother. She then looked away from the envelope and down to Bonnie. "I need to grab my duffle from the car, I'll be right back. Looks I might be staying for a couple days," and with that Alissa walked through the kitchen, out the door to the mud room, down the full length of the hallway like area, out the door to the fresh up north air to her car, grabbed what she needed and walked back in to the house again.
The next week was mainly on the lazy side with a few giggle fits here and there. Alissa was teaching Bonnie a few tips and tricks on how to keep the supernatural out of her house. She was going to teach her grandmother later on, but decided that now was a more perfect time ever since Crowley came to visit. Alissa got in touch with the local police station to see if there was anything new but they wouldn't release any new information, so technically the break-in murder was never solved. The police shutdown the case and didn't look like it would be reopened any time soon; that got her mad, but there really wasn't anything that she could do about it. She also let Bobby know what she found and sent the picture. He told her that he would have to get back with her in a couple days or so and see what he could come up with; she was thinking about calling Dean after she hung up the phone with Bobby, but decided against it since she would rather talk to him face-to-face instead of face-to-phone. It was unclear if she was ready to have that conversation regarding her parents again, but she would have it whether she absolutely wanted to or not. There's no running from one's past no matter how much effort it takes to avoid it; it always seems to find its way back.
A/N: So now she's at her grandma's place, Crowley makes an appearance and hand delivers an envelope to her. What's in it you ask? You'll have to stay tuned for that.