EIGHT MONTHS EARLIER- February 2008
“So this is the suite you’ll be in,” said the RA.
He opened the door and I immediately started to giggle. There was a mass of condom wrappers taped to the wall in the shape of a heart for Valentine’s Day.
“Sorry,” I said, clearing my throat. He rolled his eyes at me like I was two. I shrugged when he’d turned around.
“Your room’s the first down the hall and the bathroom’s there too,” he said. “I’ll come back once you’re settled so we can go over some paperwork.” He backed out of the room.
The door closest to the window with the fridge underneath it read Katriel and Jamie. It was decorated with pictures of several attractive men, mostly actors, probably from their favorite shows. The door next said Lilith and Courtney. A boring, blank door with two name tags stared back at me.
Weird names, I thought.
My door came after. There were stickers from the local ski area and a plastic banner with this school’s name taped under it. My roommate’s name was Veronica, and on a bright lime paper beside it and in sharpie was the name RONNIE. Shaking my head, I swiped my keycard and opened the door.
No one was there.
Shrugging again, I set my small suitcase onto the green mattress next to me. To my left was a boxy, huge, empty wardrobe, facing the window across the room. In front of the wardrobe, facing the middle of the room, was a small desk. Ronnie’s stuff was situated in about the same fashion. There weren’t really any decorations up on the walls; the white concrete surrounding me made think of a luxury prison for the well-behaved insane patient. It made me shiver.
“Oh, she’s here!” a girl’s voice squealed from another room.
I heard doors opening and footsteps coming my way. I took a deep breath and met them in the hallway.
“Hi!” said a girl of about my height. Her almond eyes were bright and her smile made me cringe a little. No one should ever be that excited to see someone they didn’t know yet. It was unnerving.
“I’m Lilith but you can call me Lily,” she continued, bouncing on her toes.
“Wow, you’re excited,” I told her. It made her and the other girl laugh.
“I’m Kat. Katriel, actually. But no one calls me that. It’s too weird and long,” the other girl said.
She was taller than both me and Lily, and her dark, very long hair framed her round face nicely. She wore glasses. By the way Lily was squinting I guessed that she did too, but was either too lazy or too forgetful to wear them.
“Lindsay.” I shook Kat’s hand. It was tiny, almost fragile to hold.
The girls were gazing at me expectantly. I looked towards the back wall, through the middle of them. “Look, not to be rude or anything,” I said uncomfortably, “but I haven’t unpacked yet.”
“Oh, no problem!” said Lily. “We’ll get out of your way. See you later!”
Kat waved and followed Lily back down the hall. I shut my door again and sat on the bed, sighing with relief. This semester was going to be interesting if I didn’t put boundaries and rules down right away. Hopefully I wouldn’t have to deal with them a lot.
I closed my eyes. I needed to clear my head. Why I chose to come back to school, especially after that whole poltergeist issue, still made my mind go in circles. I still had no idea why I forced myself to focus on my education rather than just do what I loved to do. The whole idea of living in a dorm irked me. But I came back for another year after my year off. Probably to give myself a break. Yes, that was it.
I needed a break from hunting.
Not ten seconds later I felt something buzzing against my thigh. I tugged my cell out of my pocket.
“Hello?” I asked. My eyes were still closed.
“Where are you?” a male voice shouted.
I instantly jerked the phone away from my ear.“Dean? Jesus, what’s going on?”
He was definitely running, and I thought I heard, “Dean, behind you!” from somewhere in the distance. Then a gunshot.
“Dean!” I exclaimed.
“Sam, watch out!” Dean yelled and another shot was fired.
“Dean! Dean, c’mon!” I yelled back, standing from my bed. “Dean, where are you?”
There was a timid knock and then Kat asked, “Is everything okay?”
I wrenched open the door and she peered around my doorframe a moment later.
I barely glanced at her. “Yeah, yeah… Just family stuff,” I told her. “Dean,” I said more quietly, “what’s wrong?”
I’d turned my back on her now, but I could still feel Kat’s eyes on me.
“Are you sure?” she asked.
“Yes, I’m fine,” I snapped.
I heard Kat take a step away from me, still unsure of what to do. Stay with me, or walk away. Clenching my hands, I tried to ignore her probing, concerned stare. Dean was still running, and Sam was still occasionally shouting to him. They were running from something, somewhere, and I felt helpless for being so far away from them.
“Dean, where are you?” I asked him again, louder, because maybe he wasn’t holding the phone to his ear anymore. Maybe he had to concentrate on running so much that he forgot he was still connected to a call.
Someone else came to stand beside Kat, but I didn’t look at either of the girls. “Is she alright?” Lily asked Kat quietly.
Sam yelped like he’d fallen. “Damn it, Dean!” I grumbled through gritted teeth.
“Who’s Dean?” I heard Lily whisper.
I placed the phone onto my chest gently, sucked in a huge breath to calm myself, and turned around to face them. Then I said, “I’d really appreciate it if you didn’t listen to my conversation. This is between me and the person I’m talking to,” I pointed to the phone, “and not you. Please. I’m fine. Really.”
I waited for them to unglue their round, surprised eyes from mine before I turned towards the window again. I heard them leave and shut their separate doors behind them. The phone flew back to my ear. Now I just listened and waited. Sam and Dean would have to stop running eventually. They’d find a safe place to hide. They’d get away. They’d be okay.
The lights flickered on and my eyes blinked tiredly, opening. They burned from the sudden brightness. I pulled the covers over my face. It was still too early for me to be awake; I groaned. But—
My eyes opened as if they were glued that way. My lungs held the last breath they’d taken and waited. Something was inside Ronnie’s wardrobe. Something that shouldn’t be. I whipped the covers back.
It was knocking softly on the doors. Not loud enough so the others in their separate rooms could hear it too, but loud enough for me to be concerned.
I was the only one in the room, because Ronnie was off at a welcome-back-to-hell-aka-school party.
The doors were bumping against the frame. Not hard enough to be opened, but hard enough for the doors to move a little.
I started to blink again. I started to breathe again. I swung my legs over the side of the bed.
The wardrobe doors crashed open and I bolted to the door. The snarling, menacing, invisible Hell Hound lunged at me just as I slammed my bedroom door shut. It rammed into it again and again; it was a miracle that the door held up. I slid to the floor, my back against it.
“How the hell,” I gasped, “did that thing get in there?”
I screeched and covered my head with my hands. But it was only Lily. She was watching me from the couch.
“What’s wrong? Who screamed?” Kat rushed out of her bedroom.
I twitched when the hound hit the door behind me. “You can’t hear that?” I asked them both, pointing behind me.
The hound snarled on cue. My eyes shut tight. I only opened them when the girls hadn’t answered me.
They shook their heads. Looking at me like I was crazy.
I crawled towards them once the banging had stopped. The growling was still giving me goose bumps. My arms were shaking.
“What’s wrong?” asked Kat.
“You’re scaring us,” said Lily.
I reached up and they each gave me a hand, helping me stand. “Salt. We need salt.” I grabbed the person closest to me and shook her. “Do you have salt?”
“What? Uh, I don’t know,” Kat stammered. “I can check…”
“Yes, do that!” I turned to face my room. The hallway was silent now.
“Hurry!” I yelled to Lily, who was still standing next to me.
She jumped and scampered to her room.
I was wringing my hands by now. Every door, every window was a screaming death trap if we didn’t get salt soon. We were two floors up. Could the hounds climb stairs? I slapped my forehead. Of course they could. They’re dogs, for Christ’s sake! Could they scale walls, then?
The sound of pounding footsteps floated up from the stairwell and I screamed internally. We were all royally screwed.
“WHAT THE HELL WAS A HELL HOUND DOING HERE?!”
“Don’t yell at me! I didn’t send it!”
“WE COULD HAVE ALL DIED!”
“YOU DON’T GET IT, DO YOU? IT WAS A HELL HOUND, SAM!”
I waited for an answer. “WELL?” I asked when nothing was said. “Sam?”
He was still not answering me. Frustrated and annoyed, I snapped my phone shut.
He and his brother had come to the rescue only seconds before the hound would have shredded me and my suite mates to bits. How they knew it was here, I had no idea. But they saved our asses and then disappeared. Just…poof. Like a puff of smoke waved away by a gust of wind. No explanation. Nothing.
I only guessed that I’d find out the truth eventually, and it probably wouldn’t be pretty.