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The Carnival of Sleep

By shadowmaven

Adventure / Humor

Chapter 1

Welcome to the Supernatural-flavored installment of what I like to call my “Crossovers on Crack Collection,” fanfics featuring unusual ensembles and strange situations, peppered with parenthetical Pratchett-esque author commentary (because, footnotes? Hell, no).

Eric Kripke holds the creative reins to Supernatural and those devilishly handsome Winchester brothers. Now that the show’s in its eleventh season, I like to hark back to a much earlier time, when old “Yellow Eyes” and a one-way ticket to Hell was the worst of their worries. Other characters who’ll appear in this story belong to Cain Kuga, Stephen King, Joss Whedon and Rumiko Takahashi. I own nothing but a wicked, wicked mind.

This way to the carnival...

Seedy motels do not just appear out of thin air.

Except at certain conjugations of ley lines at certain times of the year and for a certain, unlucky few who’re lost, drunk, excessively inattentive—

Or whose last name just happens to be Winchester.

Close to midnight on a moonless, midsummer’s eve, somewhere in the Nevada desert near an area known for all sorts of unbelievable happenings (although government and military officials will categorically deny all knowledge of such a place’s existence), this was exactly what happened to Sam and Dean, neither of whom were lost or drunk at the time. They were bickering, however, as they sped towards Las Vegas on Route 93, so engrossed in the Great Dave Debate (whether Lee Roth or Matthews was the greater creative genius), neither of them noticed that their 1967 Chevy Impala had suddenly decided to turn right on Highway 375, otherwise known as the Extraterrestrial Highway.

A few miles later, having exhausted the topic of their debate—because according to Dean, there just wasn’t much worth saying about a guy who made the musical equivalent of cheerleader beer—the brothers’ good-natured dispute quickly degenerated into a cheap shot-throwing contest. Once again, neither noticed that the Impala had decided to do a little off-roading. Dean’s “Baby” was now barreling down an unmarked stretch of dirt road, hell bent on taking the brothers to the Middle of Freaking Nowhere.

One containing a great deal of tumbleweed and sand beneath a sky filled with stars.

Here, “Baby” stopped and idled, waiting for her occupants to wake up and smell the sagebrush.

If distracted driving has a poster child, his name is Dean Winchester.

There was also a great deal of wind in the Middle of Freaking Nowhere: great gusts driving and whipping the sand into great whorls, as if God or the Universe (or something like either one) had decided to amend His original creative enterprise: And on the Eighth Day, It played in Its sandbox.

Then, the wind passed, leaving in its wake a kind of silent emptiness that was neither entirely silent nor entirely empty: the kind of pause a god or universe (or something like one) needed, because after stirring up all that dust, it remembered that it was allergic to the non-cosmic variety and needed a hit from its asthma inhaler. (Theoretical physicists are still divided over whether this inhaler contains Proventil, Xopenex, or the interstellar equivalent of nebulized crack cocaine).

Then, a single light flickered in the great, wide, tumbleweed strewn nothingness that was the Middle of Freaking Nowhere.

More lights soon joined it, casting shadows, distinguishing form from formlessness and declaring this particular form the Lost Lode Motel.

At first glance, the motel looked like any other of a number of single star establishments the brothers had frequented as they inscribed a switchback pentagram across America with their demon stalking. Closer inspection, however, revealed the Lost Lode was something even less than the Winchesters’ usual hole in the wall: a half-star rating, if such a thing were even possible. Teetering on bullet-shredded tires and corroded rims, where rickety jacks and cinder blocks didn’t buttress it, the “motel” was little more than a tired train of silver Airstream trailers rusting in a semi-circle. A string of round yellow bulbs swaying on uneven swags of wire connected its “rooms” to a larger trailer, before stretching to a central post in a rock-ringed island flanked by two weathered gas pumps.

“It’s got kind of a carnival feel, doesn’t it,” said Dean.

“More like Carnivale. What a dump.”

“So, it’s not the Mirage!” Dean looked over at him. “You got any better ideas?”

“For starters, I’d like to know where we are and how we got here,” Sam said, twisting around to peer through the rear window. “I can’t see the highway. When did we leave the highway?”

“Beats me.” Dean shrugged.

“I have a bad feeling about this,” Sam said. He pulled his cell phone from his jacket pocket before he slid back into his seat. “Now there’s a surprise: no bars.”

“It’s called a charger, Sammy.” Dean pushed the phone away. “Look, it’s late, we’re bushed and it looks like they have plenty of vacancies. Next time, we’ll crash at the Verizon store.” Without waiting for a reply, he steered the Impala beneath the Christmas light porte not-so cochère and stopped in front of the largest trailer.

Besides theirs, the only other car in the lot was a boat-sized wreck whose windows had been spray-painted black from the inside. “Looks like that baby’s been to the demo derby one too many times. Pity. Could’ve been a real classic,” he said, shaking his head, but then, turned his attention to the main building. Taped to the lower corner of one window was a cardboard sign: Offise. Above it, Grub! suddenly winked on in red neon. “Hey, there’s food!” The car door groaned open. “C’mon, Sammy, just think of this as an adventure—one of those great memories you’ll have of me after I’m dead.” He headed inside.

“You would have to bring that up,” Sam muttered, following his brother. “And stop calling me Sammy.”

Later, after a dinner that sank like a cannon ball to the bottom of his stomach, Sam returned from the main building to find Dean perched on the edge of the bed with his eyes glued to the television. A Japanese cartoon series was struggling to play through its broken horizontal hold. He had a bottle of tequila wedged between his legs and an open bag of pork rinds lay scattered around him. “Where’ve you been?”

“Trying to find a dial-up connection,” Sam said with a sigh. He shrugged off his jacket. “They have a diner-slash-liquor store that’s open all night, cable but no internet, no public phones anywhere—not even a rack of postcards. It’s like someone or something doesn’t want us to know where we are.”

“Paranoid much,” Dean said, through a mouth of pork rinds. Then, the girl on the TV screamed something that sounded like “influenza.” Dean raised his bottle “For you, sweetheart.” He took a swallow of tequila. “Look around you, Sammy,” he said, indicating the dog-eared poster of Mulder and Scully glaring down from the curved ceiling over the unit’s one bed. A handful of glow-in-the-dark stars had been scattered on and around the poster, as well as a number of extraterrestrial-themed bumper stickers and decals. “Where we are’s a no-brainer.”

“I think Dad would’ve disagreed with you on that.” Pulling the dog-eared journal out of his hoodie’s kangaroo pocket, Sam opened it, plucked a handmade map from its middle, and spread this across Dean’s lap. “According to his notes, we’re in a place that doesn’t exist—not on a regular map, at any rate.” He pointed to a spot in the desert. “And if his coordinates are correct, we’re standing on—”

“—a mecca for UFO-watching, little-green-men-wannabelievers. Anal-probing-optional. It’s not on a map because it’s a private club and there are no postcards because the geeks who come here don’t have any friends. Lucky for us, we’ve hit it in the off season.” Dean pushed the map aside.

Stepping between his older brother and the television, Sam tried again. “No, you need to listen to me, Dean. Right now, we’re standing on one of the strongest—if not the strongest—”

Just then, the television decided to readjust its volume to maximum decibel damage and Sam’s desperate revelation was eclipsed by a cartoon schoolgirl’s ear-splitting scream.

“The truth’ll still be ‘out there’ in the morning! Now, sit down, take a load off.” As Dean pulled him down on the lumpy bed, the television dissolved into wriggling white noise, punctuated only by someone shouting Inuyasha!’ between burps of static. “Just in time,” Dean said, barely registering what his brother was saying about vortexes and ley lines. “You know the rules: every time she says Inuyasha, you have to take a drink.’

“It’s like a super connection—not just a crossing but a major hub—like the center of a wheel—or a spider’s web,” Sam said, struggling over the TV, which had now righted itself long enough for the dark-haired girl on its screen to throw her hands in the air and scream: ‘Inuyasha!’

Dean’s hand tightened around Sam’s neck and pulled him into a semi-reclining position. Then, he straddled Sam, pinning him to the bed. “Chug-a-lug, Sammy.”

“Dean—no! Dean! Uhhng,” Sam spluttered, when the knee found his groin and liquor sloshed down the wrong throat hole. Finally pushing Dean off, he rolled away, groaning, “Oh, God, I think I’m gonna—”

“C’mon, Sammy! Jeez! Didn’t they teach you anything at college?” The bedsprings squealed as one brother used his age, strength, and tolerance for rot-gut booze to his full advantage.

“Dean! Ahhrrrgllugg! Stop!” Hurried footsteps pounded towards the trailer’s closet-sized bathroom. There was the sound of a chain pull and just before a dim swinging light clicked on. Retching and then, splash-down ensued.

“Dude, I’ve never made you do that before!” Taking a final swig from the bottle, Dean flicked off the TV with his free hand and tossed the remote on the dresser. “Well, okay, there was that one time in high school—”

"Mmggrgg—aurgggh! UuurrrArrrrp!” Sam’s retort was followed by the sound of a small toilet (one with very little water pressure and very large stains in its bowl), flushing. A moment later, he staggered back into the bedroom, still wiping his face on a towel that might have been white in another lifetime.

“You never could hold your liquor.” Ignoring his brother’s glare, Dean patted the space ship-themed coverlet. “Well, guess we’ve had enough fun for one night. C’mon, Sammy, it’s time to see the Sandman and you know I can’t sleep without my knee in your back.” Not-so-ghosts of pork rinds past flew across the room as he threw back the covers. “What’ll it be: above or below sheets?”

“Would you just cut that crap, already!” Sam snapped his towel dangerously close to Dean’s head. “The owner already thinks we’re gay.”

“Guess he didn’t see the family resemblance. Must be something about the eyes…”

Ignoring this latest dig at his demonic lineage and all that that entailed, Sam crawled into bed next to Dean without bothering to undress and turned off the light. Clasping his hands behind his head, he stared at the window, watching the shadows cast by the motel walkway lights, and then, at the glow-in-the-dark stars on the ceiling. No constellations there, unless you wanted to count the one placed to look like a booger in Mulder’s nose as a meteorite...not even a good rendition of the Milky Way...Starlight, star stars I see tonight...

Outside, wind tore at the trailer’s canvas awning, flinging volleys of sand against its metal hull. A few sardine cans down the line, however, it sounded like the roof was being torn off the tin from the inside: she was shouting, ‘Hunnnh! Spike,’ with Californian flair, while his angst-ridden, ‘Aowrg, Buffy,’ was spiced with the kind of bad British accent one could only learn at one of New York City’s poncier art schools. Damn! That’s my favorite episode. Best soft porn in syndication, next to Asian cartoons, Dean mused, too tipsy to notice that the walls of his sardine can were also shaking with the happy couple’s exertions. Blondes weren’t usually his thing, especially a flat-chested one who could knock him out cold with a roundhouse kick, but hey, he decided, exceptions to every rule. Buffy was hot—that is, as long as you didn’t piss her off.

Speaking of pissed-off chicks...

Rolling over, Dean cocked himself on one elbow and whispered, “Sammy? Hey, I’m sorry about earlier. If you want to tell me—”

Sam’s snore was his reply.

“Guess I’ll never know.” Sighing Jose Cuervo-scented vapors, Dean flopped back down. Soon, he too was fast asleep.

Here’s another thing on the ever growing list of Things Dean Didn’t Know: Sam was right about the motel—not just about its being a dump, but about its rather selective appearance on most known road maps. The Lost Lode Motel sat smack atop a giant mystical centrifuge and this particular mystical centrifuge was THE point of convergence for a number of numinous energies. It was the place where unnatural powers fused and merged, forming a sparkling, swirling paranormal whirlpool that was stronger than a thousand monsoons and deeper than the deepest well in Tokyo.

A kind of magical convention center, if you will.

Of course, energy, once expended, needs replenishing. Manifesting a motel-that-didn’t-exist for its current clientele, to say nothing of drawing them into said charmed space, was thirsty work. While the mind of the obese mystical centrifuge wanted nothing more than a super eerie energy frappe to refuel its preternatural party animal, getting that party started would now require a catalyst—

The more unsuspecting, the better—

Which ruled out Slay-Gal and her Fang-Bang Boy-Toy.

The still point of the turning otherworld then turned its attentions to the Winchesters. Given Sam’s demonic DNA and Dean’s codependent tendencies, the giant, mystical otherwise-hole-in-the-sand knew a good catalyst when it saw one. Why look a gift horse in the mouth?

“Cat’s list,” Dean murmured in his ethanol fueled and soon-to-be-troubled slumber.

As luck would have it, this was also the precise vocal command required for activating the thing that looked like the television set, which now clicked on, flooding the room with blinding light.

Outside, the wind stilled, the moon rose and the stars winked on. Inside, like an enormous bellows, the walls began to sway with the rhythm of sleep and the room began to breathe...

Sam awoke to the thundering finale of the Star-Spangled Banner over a field of lurid color bars. “Turn it off, Dean,” he moaned, scrunching a pillow over his head. When Dean didn’t respond and a deafening monotone replaced the National Anthem, he tried punching his brother into action.

His jabs landed in empty air.

“Dean?” Sitting up, he looked towards the bathroom. No light. “Dean,” he called, louder this time.

Still nothing.

Groaning, he reached over, snatched the remote from Dean’s nightstand, aimed it at the TV and clicked.

A bullseye on a white background replaced the color bars, and in its center, a tiny head appeared: an Indian wearing war paint and a feather headdress. It looked at Sam and said: “Cwm fjord bank glyphs vext quiz.”

Sam, who was definitely not feeling the conversational vibe, punched the power button again. “Turn off, damn you!”

“It’s easy to tell the depth of a well...these days, a chicken leg is a rare dish,” the Indian said, his head growing larger and his voice more recognizable with each word.

Sam dropped the remote and bounded over to the TV. “Dean?” Grabbing it by its sides, he shook it and then, knocked on the screen. “Dean! Dean!”

“Glue the sheet to the—what the hell?” Dean tore off the headdress. Then, he looked up. “Sammy? How did I—”

“I was about to ask you the same thing,” said Sam. “Do you remember anything?”

“I had to pee.” He shrugged. “Then everything went blue and the next thing I know, I’m Chief Heap Big Signal Test—you know—that dude from Pleasantville.”

Sam sat back on his haunches. “That’s it?”

“What you want me to say?” Dean scowled. “How do I know this isn’t you—some demon powers you’ve been keeping under wraps?”

Sam sighed, “I tried to tell you before. We’re in a kind of mystical hot spot—a place of extreme power that’s sentient in itself.”

“So what’s it want—besides turning me into some late night freak show?”

“We can figure that out after I get you out of there.” Sam tossed the remote on the bed.

“Why’d you do that?” Dean hollered.

“It doesn’t work.” Sam’s gaze flicked to the television. “So one of these must trigger a portal,” he said, reaching for one of the old-fashioned channel controls.

Dean lunged at him. “Don’t touch that dial!”

An arm reached through the screen. Grabbing Sam by the front of his t-shirt, it yanked hard, pulling him in.

In the hotel room, the white screen shrank to a pinpoint on a limitless black ground.

When the cloud of darkness that had just surrounded them cleared, the brothers found themselves sitting in a deep hole, the mouth of which framed a circle of unbroken azure. Thick vines covered its sides.

“Hey, you okay?” Dean whispered, nudging his shoulder.

“Yeah...” Sam pulled at one of the vines. “Think they’ll hold?”

“Only one way to find out.” Fisting one of the larger vines, Dean began scrabbling his way up the long shaft.

Sam quickly followed on the opposite side.

The hole turned out to be an abandoned well and both were surprised when they crawled out of it into a sun-dappled clearing. Wildflowers grew in the long grass and hidden birds sang in the trees.

It’s too perfect, too peaceful, Sam thought, as he slung his leg over its scarred, wooden side. “Looks like no one’s used this is a while,” he said to Dean. “Any ideas yet on where we are? Whatever this is and whatever it wants, it’s using your mind and your memories to get it. You know that, right?”

“Yeah...well, Toto, I don’t see a T-Rex, so at least it’s not Jurassic Park.” But as he glanced around, Dean also thought the well, along with the tall tree that stood nearby, and even the clearing—something about the clearing—looked familiar. In a clump of bushes near the well, metal glinted. Dean dove in and rustled about. “Hey, Sammy, check this out,” he said, returning with his shotgun, a bag of rock salt and his favorite leather jacket.

“How did those get—”

As usual, Dean cut him off: “Dunno. We may be lost, but we sure won’t starve! Maybe we could stun a rabbit for dinner.”

Pain, white and sharp, suddenly ripped through Sam’s temple. Rubbing only made it worse. “I don’t know, Dean…” An icy fear prickled along the back of his neck. Sam eyed the deeper woods warily, “Maybe we should find out where we—”

“Hey, YOU!”

Both brothers turned. Sam’s eyes bulged, his mouth forming the silent international symbol for WTF. The person barreling towards them (if it was a person), reminded him of Santa Claus—the evil variety, where Santa loses a hundred pounds, takes up Kung-Fu, and ditches his bag of toys for a very long, very pointy sword.

Then, he saw the ears. So...part Evil Santa, part...malamute? Sam gulped. Whatever it was, it was mad as hell and headed straight for them. “Uh, Dean,” he began.

“Where’s Kagome? What have you done with her?”


Dean beamed. “Holy shit! I know where we—Whoa, good buddy! Watch the family jewels when you’re swinging that thing!” Dean said, narrowly dodging Inuyasha’s warning swipe.

“The Jewel? Naraku sent you here, didn’t he?” Inuyasha drew back, preparing for another strike.

“No—it’s not like that, dude! One minute we were sleeping in our beds; next thing I know, we’re in friggin’ Japan!” He primed his shotgun with rock salt.

Behind the brothers, a girl’s voice shrilled, “Inuyasha? What’s going on?”

“Unh?” Kung-Fu Santa nearly dropped his sword.

Sam crossed his arms and glared at Dean. “I’m not drinking this time.”

A girl in a green and white sailor suit now clambered out of the well—the same well that Sam and Dean had just used to get to the clearing.

“No friggin‘ way! You’re even cuter in person,” Dean said, admiring Kagome’s short skirt and long legs.

“Little young for you, isn’t she?” Sam rocked back on his heels.

“Oh, like your little blonde Devil’s daughter was old!”

“She was possessed—and I had nothing to do with that!” Sam hissed. His cheeks flushed crimson.

“She tried to kill us both. Dad, too, if I recall…” Dean arched one brow.

“Yeah? Well, she never sucked me into TV Land—or whatever the hell this is,” Sam countered. “I knew there was something fishy about that motel and I tried to tell you, but would you listen? As usual: nooo! Whatever happens now is on you, Dean!”

A speck appeared on the far horizon.

“Yeah, that’s always your fallback, Sammy: blame big brother.Your devoted, soon-to-be-dead-and-gone-to-Hell big brother!”

The speck seemed to be traveling at warp speed towards the group.

“Oh, would you just. Shut. Up. And stop calling me Sammy!”

You shut up!” Dean punched him. “In case you haven’t noticed, the Wizard of whatever Oz this is gave me the gun!”

When it saw strangers among its usual detractors, the speck, which had now assumed its true proportions, hunkered down inside its protective pink bubble. Unnoticed by the group, it hovered nearby watching, waiting…

Again, the brothers were poke-poked with the sword, the very long, hard, sharp sword. “Both of you shut up and answer me! Did Naraku send you?”

“Inuyasha, don’t!”

“Uh, Kagome… I don’t think that’s a very good—” Dean began, as she pushed between them and a furious Inuyasha. A single word from her (one that sounded exactly like a command one would give to a dog), sent him sprawling, face first in the dust.

“Kagome? Whaaa?” Sitting up, an embarrassed Inuyasha scratched his head. Something twitched as he did so.

“Okay, Dean, am I seeing things or are those really doggie ears?” Sam whispered.

“Well, technically, he is half-demon, so...”

Luckily for all of them, Kagome looked into the sky.

And screamed.

Sammy saw what Kagome was pointing at and gasped. “Dean! Now I know why we’re here. I think that’s the same demon who murdered our parents!”

“Naraku killed your parents? That’s awful,” Kagome wailed. “We’ve got to help them, Inuyasha!”

Sam snatched up the closest weapon he could find (a rock), while Dean trained his shotgun’s sight on the long-haired freak in the pink bubble. “You’re not even close, Sam-I-Am. That’s Naraku up there. Old ‘Yellow Eyes’ wouldn’t be caught undead riding around in something that gay. Wanna make yourself useful? Run!”

“I’m not goin’ anywhere ’til that bastard bites the dust,” Inuyasha scoffed. He raised his sword, took a deep breath, and then, shouted something that sounded like, ‘Mongoose of Omaha!’ The sword’s blade grew longer, thicker; pulsing with psychedelic hues, it made a noise like a synthesizer.

Kukukuku,” cackled Naraku. “Your father’s measly katana won’t save you now, Inuyasha!” Dropping his barrier, he swooped down upon the hapless group.

Then, something really weird happened.

“You’re a very bad man,” said Kagome, who now, suddenly sounded like Judy Garland.

“Ah, but I’m a very good demon!” countered Naraku, who suddenly sounded like the traveling magician from the same movie (if the Wizard had sprouted tentacles beneath a suit of armor, before stealing Glinda’s pink bubble).

“Yeah, yeah, and there’s no place like home,” Dean said, taking aim. “I’ve always hated that movie!”

Leaping into the air with sword raised, Inuyasha hollered, “Aaaaaaahhhhhh!”

He swung, just as Dean pulled the trigger. Naraku took a slice to the chest, which barely scratched his armor, but two barrells of grade-A rock salt to the throat blew him to smithereens. The resulting explosion, with its accompanying clouds of noxious shouki, blasted Sam and Dean clean out of the clearing.

When the brothers regained consciousness, they found themselves on the smooth sandy shores of a large lake. The sun was a blood orange caught in the sky’s green and gold fingers, and a warm breeze played in the tufts of long grass. Farther away, where the green seeped into indigo, the first stars of evening winked to life.

“Wow, that was something back there, don’t you think?”

“I think you need therapy,” Sam replied.

Stretching, Dean said, “All that fighting worked up an appetite. Too bad, I forgot to pack a fishing pole.”

Whoosh-whoosh, whispered the wind.

Splish-splosh, flop-slosh, said the waves.

“Did-a-chick?” Asked something from the shallows. Its voice had a flat, metallic sound.

“Dad-a-chum?” something answered it in the same, unnerving tone.

“Dean, did you say something?”

Dean sat up and looked at the water. Two of the biggest, green and brown-blotched lobsters he’d ever seen were scrabbling and scratching their way up the shore, directly for them! Nudging Sam, he said through gritted teeth, “Get. Up. Now.”

The bead black eyes of the larger one dipped and swiveled on meaty stalks. They seemed to be taking in Sam’s form with great interest.

Hungry interest.

“What the fuck!” Sam bolted up. “Is this more from your subconscious cartoon channel?”

Dean, now down on all fours, stopped digging through the sand and glanced up at them. “Uh, no...Those are...Lobstrosities—Dark Tower—Stephen King.” Then, resuming his digging, he said, “It’s okay, I got this.”

“You said that last time.” Hoping to slow their progress, Sam heaved handfuls of sand at them. “Stephen-fucking-King, seriously? His stuff out-creeps even our creepy shit.”

“I wanted pointers, okay? Now shut up and help me! Dude, where’s my gun!”

“Screw it!” Sam sprang to his feet, pulling Dean with him.

The larger Lobstrosity cocked its scaly head and rasped, “Did-a-chick-chick?”

Eyes gleaming like a malevolent ragdoll’s, the other clicked its monstrous claws. “Dead-a-chum-chum,” it intoned.

“Which way leads back to that well?” Sam began backing up, tugging Dean along with him.

“Do I look like a friggin’ tour guide, Sammy?”

Blasting Metallica at top volume, an enormous TV console with carved woodwork, brass control knobs and a screen glowing bitter green rose out of the sand beside the brothers. “I think it’s a time portal,” Dean shouted.

“I don’t care if it’s the fucking TARDIS!” Sammy hollered, side-stepping a cleverly executed right cross from one of the Lobstrosities.

“Think we can trust it?” Dean howled above the relentless bass and machine gun drum barrage in one of his favorite songs about nightmares.

“You’d rather have a boxing match with one of these things? Let’s go!” screamed Sam, pulling Dean through the green screen into the white room with the bullseye mural. Claws snapping, eyes bobbing, the monsters swarmed over the console. “If we get out of this alive, I swear, I’m never eating seafood again.”

The Lobstrosities disappeared, replaced by wriggling static on the screen, and the music stopped. Then, the console started to move, making a low thrum that the brothers could feel in their bowels. An uncomfortable, univited manifestation of sound and feeling that attempted to shuffle their innards like a deck of cards as they hurtled sideways through space and time. Finally, they stopped; static cleared, the screen dissolved, and invisible hands pushed them.


Sam fell out on the sand and vomited.

“This is getting to be a habit with you, Samantha,” Dean said, crawling away. “Want me to hold your hair?” He tried to pull himself up on the console, but it disappeared with a ‘Pop!’ and he fell back to his knees beside Sam with a grunt. “Well,” he panted. “Looks like we’re back. Hell Sweet—”

“Centrifugal Point of Mystical Convergence—and don’t give it any more brilliant ideas, Dean. I don’t think we’re there yet.” He pointed to the motel.

The Lost Lode was not as they’d left it. A large spaceship had planted itself, nose down, in one of the trailer units. A pair of high-heeled shoes jutted out from the bottom of it. A funky shade of shocking pink, the shoes were an exact match to the manicured toenails on the feet still inside them, although both were covered with what appeared to be fine, gray ash.

Sam was disappointed when they didn’t curl up and slide beneath the smashed trailer. Instead, a beautiful, black-haired woman crawled out of the wreckage. Her t-shirt and shorts were nothing but greasy tatters.

“You okay, Miss?” Dean asked. Tatters looked very good on her.

“Are you okay, Miss,” mimicked Sammy. “Uh, Dean,” he said, fingering the corner of his mouth. “You’ve got a little drool—”

A well-placed nudge from Dean’s boot silenced him.

“I’m okay, except for hitting a little too much turbulence in that last wormhole. Wouldn’t ya know, the stupid navigation system crapped out right after that, so I had to make an emergency landing here.”

“That’s rough,” Dean said to a point below the woman’s creamy shoulders.

Two points, actually.

“Dean...Earth to Dean: I think it’s time to change channels, now,” Sam hissed.

She shrugged. “I’ve had worse.” Turning back to take in the ship, the woman planted her hands on hips. “Aw, crap!”

Joining her, Dean said, “You know, I’m pretty good with my hands…”

Eyeing him coyly, she said, “Yeah? You know where I can find a pair of ten-inch Megathrusters with self-lubricating shafts for under a million woolongs?” Jabbing her thumb towards the crash site, she added, “Jet and Spike’d go for the six-inchers in a heartbeat, but I can’t seem to get off the ground with anything less than the big guns. No oomph, ya know what I mean?”

She had the biggest pair of guns that Dean had ever seen. “I hear you on that,” he said.

“Hey, princess,” barked a voice from somewhere inside the rubble. “While you’re at it, ask him if he knows where we can find that sneaky bastard, Inuyasha! And if he gives you any trouble, Faye, just tell him you’re on a mission from the Intergalactic Federation!”

Turning back to Sam, Dean said, “Looks like the convention’s finally come to town. Well, you know what they say, Sammy: if you can’t beat ’em…”

“Dean…don’t,” Sam hissed.

“Aw, c’mon. What’s the worst thing that could happen?” Steering Faye by one elbow towards his motel room, Dean flashed his best hundred-megaton smile and said, “Inuyasha, you say? I know just where to find him. Right this way, little lady! Right this way!”

“Not again,” Sam groaned.

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Alex Rushmer: I just want to say that the writing in this is amazing! I read the first couple chapters and was absolutely drawn in by it, The way you use first person in this story is extremely engaging and does wonders with your character development. I immediately had a picture of the characters and plotline...

Alex Rushmer: Although I don't know the story of the Phantom of the Opera, I really enjoyed this story. The writing was very evocative, and it really put a picture of time and setting in my mind. The voice of the story really added to the character development. The idea of the time travelling -- or whatever re...

dd1226: I love reading about other countries and I think this story about Cambodia after Polpot creates awareness of the tragedy that happened there and the actions of the U.N. to hold elections. The heroine of the story is easy to relate to, a modern, middleaged woman looking for an adventure, wanting t...

neil101: The best story I have read online in quite some time. The casual violence is tamed down with easy going wit. It reads like a Joe Abercrombie novel .Looking forward to more. Thanks.

Ben Gauger: Kudos go to wordworrywill, author of Kings and Things, an otherwise imaginative tale set against the trappings of the royal set, but then again I don't imagine there'd be many authors who invoked the names of Oprah Winfrey, Vladimir Putin, Jeff Bezos, Beyonce and Steven Spielberg, As for the plot...

internathunal: I was held captive by your sense of style. I would love to see more from you. I enjoyed this immensely.

ianwatson: The comedy is original and genuinely funny, I have laughed out loud many times reading this book. But the story and the plot are also really engaging. The opening two or three chapters seem quite character-dense but they all soon come to life and there is no padding, filling or wasted time readin...

CookieMonster911: The story overall was an adventure that is appealing to any age. The way the characters develop adds a more human characteristic to the novel. The writing style itself is amazing because you can learn every character's thoughts and emotions. The awkward love triangle and jerk moments adds to the ...

Julia Summers PA: Reading this now. It's fun, hilariously fabulous yet taste of what you desire in a unusual read. I will post an actual review when I am finished. But so far loving the flow and the story seems to keep me drawn

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Tiffany Thomson: This story is not something I would normally pick up and read but I'm so glad I did, I wasn't able to put it down and my husband was yelling at me at 3am to put it down and go to bed (just waited for him to doze back off before picking it back up) I really hope Natalie brings out another book eit...

Chris Rolfe: BOY!!! I sure love what Aer-Ki Jyr did with this series. IMHO he captured the essence of what stargate is all about. Thru out the Stargate stories Aer-Ki wrote Stevens and John Shepard some of the main characters in his stories are pursued by a corrupt I.O.A.. All the while Stevens is changing in...

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Ro-Ange Olson: "Loved it and couldn't put it down. I really hope there is a sequel. Well written and the plot really moves forward."