Chapter 1- The Dake House
The young woman crouched behind the table, cursing under her breath. They’ll definitely see me, she thought, her almond eyes narrowing. It was dark in the kitchen but not dark enough. Here and there were strips of light, shining in through the semi-closed shades in the window over the sink. Again her head ducked to avoid the flashlight beam held by the owners of the house.
This is not good.
James Munroe and his wife Bridget knew there was someone in the mansion. They’d bought it three months ago, fixed it up, added an addition for their son (who is now off at college), and knew every nook and cranny there was. James had inspected the building himself and Bridget was an avid architect. They knew all there was to know about the house they were currently searching.
Lindsay watched as the yellow beam of James’s flashlight swept the parlor. She crept slowly forward, crawling on her knees until she was concealed beneath the table, surrounded by the four chairs. Her breathing sped up when James stopped and stared in her direction.
Crap! Lindsay thought. Had she made a noise? Did the floor squeak?
“What?” Bridget asked, her voice high pitched and nasally. Her eyes followed her husband’s.
James’s face was concealed by the bright light pointed at Lindsay. “I don’t know,” he said, “I just thought I saw something.”
“Why aren’t you going to see what it is, then? It could be a robber or an animal. James?”
James had ignored her and was walking back towards the garage door, turning right and climbing down the stairs that led to their son’s room. “Let’s check down here,” he suggested.
Bridget cast a wary glance in Lindsay's direction once more and then followed James down the dark stairs.
Lindsay's sweaty palms unclenched themselves. She climbed out from underneath their dining room table, taking care not to step on the floorboards she knew that groaned. Tiptoeing through the doorway and onto the rug, she retrieved her green army-styled backpack (“Thank God they didn’t find this,” she muttered with relief) and slung it over her shoulder.
She looked up just as a soft, barely audible knock sounded ahead of her. Someone was trying to trip the lock on the front door. Lindsay's arms raised in defense though she knew the homeowners hadn’t heard it. Slowly she walked to the door. Her hand automatically reached behind her for her handgun, concealed by her jacket; it was strapped to her back. Peeking out the peephole, Lindsay's tight stomach did a flip. Two men were standing outside in the lightly falling snow. They were tall, definitely related, and both were carrying shotguns. Totally and shadily conspicuous.
Lindsay opened the door and slipped through it, wiggling in between the men. “Sam, Dean? What are you doing here?” she asked them after all three had backed up enough to see each other clearly.
Dean, the oldest Winchester brother, the one with the green eyes and short, light brown hair, raised an eyebrow. “We were coming to help,” he told Lindsay. “Bobby called a few hours ago and said these two might be a problem. Nosy sons-of-bitches,” he muttered.
The taller man with the darker, floppier hair and hazel eyes added, “He said the poltergeist would be tricky, too.”
“So Bobby thought I'd need help?"
Dean’s eyes flashed. “Hey, we—”
Lindsay held up her hands, palms forward. “I didn’t mean anything by it. But thanks, guys, really. I’m pretty sure I’ve got it covered.” She looked back into the parlor quickly. “We should probably go. I don’t know how long they’ll be down there.”
The Winchesters agreed and the company, looking completely suspicious with their shotguns, Lindsay's backpack, and the way their eyes were constantly shifting all over the place, made their way down the small snow-spotted hill and onto the sidewalk. Lindsay's red car stood out like a sore thumb in the dark neighborhood even without the benefit of a streetlamp near it. She walked over to it quickly and silently yanked open the door; she dropped her backpack onto the back seat and closed the door once more. She turned back to the brothers.
Dean was staring at her car. He leaned closer to Sam. “Do all hunters have bad-ass cars or is it just the ones we’ve met?” he asked him.
Sam laughed. “Just the one’s we’ve met, probably,” he replied.
Lindsay grinned. “Mine has nothing on yours, though,” she praised, and nodded in the ’67 Impala’s direction. “It’s a friggin’ legend,” she said.
“This is new, right? What is it?” Dean asked, leaning down and peering through the window.
“Dean, we should probably get going,” Sam suggested.
“1970 Chevy Chevelle SS.”
“Say that five times fast,” Dean laughed.
“Dean,” his brother pressed. “Let’s go.”
He looked up, almost like he was just remembering Sam. “Right. Well,” he turned to Lindsay and reached down for a hug, “you’ve got our numbers. If you need anything, give us a call.”
Lindsay smiled and hugged him, then Sam. “Definitely.”
The brothers waved and walked back to their car, started it, and rumbled away.
Lindsay arrived in South Dakota only a few hours later. She was gunning her car as fast as she could, just like she had been for the past hour. Absently she looked in the rear-view mirror though she knew there were no cars following her. But she had to make sure—
“Damn!” Lindsay cursed loudly.
A Statie had pulled out of a hidden driveway on the side of the narrow, one lane road and was flashing its red and blue lights. The siren hadn’t been turned on yet but Lindsay pulled over to the side of the road, watching as the speedometer’s needle ticked slowly below 100 miles per hour. She stomped on her breaks and put the car in park. But the officer raced past her, the siren on full and obnoxious now.
Lindsay's eyebrows rose. What the hell was that all about? She’d been lucky many times before, but this had been a blatant act of disobedience and she’d obviously gotten caught. How had she slipped by without a ticket or handcuff session, then?
Oddly enough, Dean’s face popped into the back of her mind. “Dude, you’re a ninja,” his whispered, rough voice said, laughing. Lindsay shook her head to clear it.
Pushing the unexpected interruption to the back of her racing mind, Lindsay began the sprint to her destination once more and once more pushed her car as fast as it could go. Her toes pushed against the inside of her new black Converse All Star Outsider boots, anxious. She couldn’t believe she’d stopped for a cop. Of all things. She shouldn’t have stopped.
Lindsay hissed tightly, thinking of those few minutes she’d lost. Well, now she’d just have to make them up.
There was a knock on the door. Sam looked up from his beer and stood, sliding back the small kitchen chair with a groan, and walked over to the door. But it opened moments before his hand reached for the handle. Lindsay stood in the doorway, her dark hair wild from the wind.
“Lindsay?” Sam took a step back to let her in. “What are you doing here?”
“Sam, what are you doing in there?” Dean’s voice came from another room. He strolled around the corner. “Bobby needs—Oh, hey Lindsay,” he said, surprised. “What are you doing here?”
“I just asked her the same thing, Dean,” Sam muttered, closing the door.
Lindsay looked from Sam to Dean, and then back again. “I didn’t know who else to go to,” she told them. “There aren’t any other hunters near my town and the ones I tried to call just hung up on me.”
“Hey, idjits! We have a case here, remember? Stop gabbing and get in here,” Bobby called from the room Dean had appeared from.
Sam tugged Lindsay along behind him and Dean, as she tried to wrestle her way out of her jacket, walking past the yellow cabinets back to where Bobby was seated behind a large writing desk. It was piled with at least ten very old, very dusty books in each corner. In the center, where Bobby’s gaze was fixed, was a map of Nevada. Bobby looked up when Sam cleared his throat.
“Ah,” he said to Lindsay, “figured you’d be here sooner or later.”
The hunter in his early fifties was scruffier than she remembered. His brown beard needed trimming. The hat atop his head was fraying around the edges. Bags under his eyes told her that he wasn't one for a full night's sleep. There was a smudge of axle grease on his dark jacket.
Sam frowned. “You knew she was coming?” he asked. He and Dean exchanged a glance.
“Yep.” Bobby stood and handed Lindsay the map. “She knew we’d be able to help her.”
“As usual,” Lindsay stated, tossing her jacket over a chair and gingerly holding the edges of the worn map. “I tried so many hunters and none of them wanted anything to do with me,” she told them.
“Why?” Sam asked Lindsay. She shook her head with a small shrug.
“So.” Dean leaned against the wall. “What’s with all these different cases?”
Bobby shrugged. “No idea. It is weird, though. Having almost a half dozen in one state at the same time.”
Sam agreed. “I don’t think I’ve ever heard of something like this happening.” He looked to his brother.
“I don’t have a clue,” Dean replied, shrugging also.
Lindsay continued to stare at the highlighted cities, her eyes unfocused. Sam beckoned to her. “Lindsay, where do you think we should start?” he asked her.
Lindsay looked up, shaking her head a bit. “Uh…well, maybe…” Her forehead creased. “Why are you asking me? I’m the one who came to you guys for help,” she muttered, flustered.
Her fingers played with the tattered hole in the thigh of her dark but faded jeans.
“Start at the beginning,” Dean suggested.
Lindsay looked back up at the three hunters around her, sighing. “I guess it started…two days ago? With the poltergeists in Washoe. Mrs. Bowers used to do séances after her husband died, and when she kicked it I guess she haunted the second floor of their mansion for a long time. Both of them are buried in the graveyard behind it.”
Lindsay paused for a moment. “People who’ve lived there say they could see glowing figures near the graves whenever it was a new moon. I took care of Mrs. Bowers’ and her husband’s ghosts, burning their remains and such, because the couple before the Munroes almost died of a heart attack.”
“So?” Dean asked. “What does that have to with the case?”
Lindsay glanced at him sideways. “They had seen the ghosts one too many times. That’s why they sold the mansion to the Munroes,” she explained. “And then the poltergeist moved in.”
Sam shrugged and made a face. “Makes sense,” he murmured. He looked to Bobby. “So, what’s the plan? Where do we go from here?”
“Looks like…” Bobby took the map from Lindsay and held it out. “Henderson, Nevada.”