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By Tidia


Chapter 1

Millerton, Oklahoma; 11:40 p.m.

Sam held the sawed-off shotgun primed with rock salt close against his leg as he and Dean walked up the three steps to the abandoned Victorian-era home. The house sat on ten acres of land and wasn’t visible to any of the neighboring homes, yet Sam still wished to keep as low a profile as possible.

Dean turned on the EMF detector. The meter beeped immediately and he raised his eyebrows at his brother.

Sam just stared back. “Got something there, Bones?”

“So that makes you Spock? ‘cause you sure aren’t Captain Kirk.” Dean folded up the detector and tucked it in his jacket pocket before pulling at the boards covering the door. “Give me a hand.”

Within moments the boards were gone and they entered.

Sam cast the beam of his flashlight around the entryway. “Man, would you look at this. It’s completely furnished. It’s like no one ever left.”

“Didn’t you read the stories that brought us here,” Dean replied. “No one did. This town hasn’t wanted to have anything to do with this place for fifty years. I’m surprised it didn’t ‘mysteriously’ burn down.” He shined his own flashlight to the left. “I’ll go this way.”

Silently, Sam went to the right.

Dean completed a search pattern through the sitting room and kitchen, coming around to the front entryway again just as Sam exited the living room. Dean gestured for his brother to follow as he headed up the stairs.

They again split up with Dean taking the right and Sam the other side. Dean entered a bedroom and couldn’t help but notice the dramatic drop in temperature. “We tracked you this far,” he said in a quiet voice. “Don’t you be thinkin’ we’re gonna give up now.”

He circled the room slowly, shining his flashlight along the floor, walls and ceiling. The cold increased and his breath rolled out in visible puffs. “Come out, come out wherever you are…ya nasty son of a bitch.”

Dean’s light panned across a door on the far side of the room and hit a tarnished doorknob covered with ice crystals. Ignoring his increased pulse and heartbeat, he moved toward it. He reached for the closet’s knob and gently twisted the freezing metal handle, letting the door swing open.

He swept the flashlight beam downward and found what they were looking for – a pile of clothes and bones that, fifty years ago, was unconvicted child murderer, Lincoln Beets. Now, however, it was the source of malevolent spirit activity.

“Sammy…found him!” Dean yelled out. Crouching down, he fingered through a dust-covered flannel shirt. His eyes narrowed in on small holes in the fabric, surrounded by dark stains. He pushed the shirt away to expose the thoracic region of the skeleton. He wasn’t surprised to see four .45 caliber slugs scattered amongst the rib bones.

“Looks like a little vigilante justice caught up with you, Beets. No wonder you’re such a pissed off old ghost.”

Suddenly, a small pop echoed in the closet and the beam from Dean’s flashlight disappeared. The hairs on the back of his neck stood up and Dean had a strong feeling it was time to get down to business, before Beets had a chance to. Dropping the flashlight, he quickly dipped into his jacket pocket to retrieve his Zippo, while his other hand dug into a small drawstring pouch in an inside pocket and came out with a handful of salt. With a snap of his fingers he flicked open the lighter and sparked the flint.

He lowered the Zippo down close to the body to find his target, then unlocked his fist, urgently dusting the bones with salt. He was completely unaware of the closet door’s movement until it slammed hard against his back and heels, knocking him to his knees. The lighter dropped from his hands and he felt his palms come down hard amongst the skeletal bones.

The door bounced back violently as Dean scrambled up off of Beets’ remains. The Zippo remained true to its reputation and remained lit, even as it lay unattended on the flannel shirt. Dean yanked the entire pouch of salt from his pocket and rolled backwards just as the closet door swung inward again. It slammed loudly and the force exerted by the unseen hand cracked the door jam.

“Sonofabitch!” Dean spat. Pushing himself to his feet he poured half the salt in a line along the bottom of the door, shoved the bag in his pocket and reached for a small bottle of holy water peppered with flakes of iron and silver. “Think you know how to beat me!” he shouted at the door, charging the question with bravado.

At that instant, he heard a door slam shut down the hall, and a blast from the shotgun reverberated through the house. A sharp cry from behind the closed door extinguished any cockiness Dean felt and he turned instantly, sprinting through the darkness down the hall.

“Sam! Sammy!”

Without even slowing, Dean twisted the knob of the door at the same time he threw his body against the hard wood. The door flew open, banging hard against the wall behind it. The same icy temperatures that Dean experienced in the bedroom permeated this space. In the light of a half moon shining in through a dirty window, Dean froze at the image of Sam pinned, motionless, under an enormous oak bookcase.

“Sammy! Jesus.”

Dean dropped down next to his brother, frantically pushing aside a scattering of moldy-scented books. “Come on, Sam.” He shoved at the bookcase but his angle afforded him no leverage. Dean tried to ignore the gash across his brother’s forehead. Blood flowed freely from the wound, spreading like dark oil across Sam’s pale complexion.

“Sam! Open your eyes, damn it!” Dean pushed futilely on the antique wood piece, shouting in frustration as it moved only an inch. A familiar scent caused him to halt his efforts and he looked over his shoulder, praying he wouldn’t see what he expected.

Black smoke was already rolling down the hallway and flames licked up the sides of the closest door and danced wickedly up one wall of the bedroom. The unattended Zippo had done what Dean hadn’t had time to do – send Lincoln Beets’ remains to Hell.

Dean cursed sharply and turned back to Sam. He flung books out of his way and, on his hands and knees, wedged his shoulder under the edge of the bookcase. Sam’s body under the wood piece was the only reason why Dean was able to get any position of movement at all. With a fierce shout, Dean pushed up with all his strength, moving the bookcase over just enough to clear his brother’s body.

Dean coughed as the chemical-filled smoke spread towards them. He pulled Sam over his shoulders in a fireman’s carry, snatched up the shotgun and bolted for the staircase. Using the momentum of the stairs’ steep angle, he cleared the steps several at a time to move himself and his brother quickly out the door.

Outside, the cool night air rushed across Dean’s face as he laid his brother’s body on the gravel next to the Impala.

“Sammy? Come, man, time to wake up. You’re gonna be late for school.” Blood from the gash on Sam’s forehead was smeared down the side of his face. Dean swallowed hard as he realized he’d have to get his brother to a hospital if he didn’t regain consciousness in the next minute or two.

He patted down Sam’s body, checking for injuries. For a moment, he paused on his heart, relieved at the regularity of its beating. He remained, unmoving, in that position as he noticed a sensation of warmth emanating from his own palm. He stared at the back of his hand, mesmerized by the feeling that he could take away Sammy’s injuries and pain.

Dean’s breathing grew heavy and a hard shudder coursed through his body. A constricting pain pressed down on him and he gasped for breath. He crumpled to his knees and squeezed his eyes tightly shut as the pain increased.

He didn’t see the cut on Sam’s forehead close and the broken skin meld together. He only felt a burning slice on his own face. He fought desperately for a breath and felt his muscles shake violently. Unable to hold the connection with his brother, Dean broke the contact and crawled a few feet away, collapsing onto the gravel drive.

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