Chapter 10: The Winchesters
“Her name was Una Jefferson,” the historian recalled. He opened the large book in front of him and pointed to a photograph. “She was born in 1884. This picture was taken in 1937.”
“Does it say how she died?” Sam asked.
“Bad way to go,” Dean offered.
The historian nodded. “Her husband followed in 1962.”
“And what about where she’s buried?” Sam continued.
He expected a look of suspicion to creep into the historian’s eyes, but instead they gleamed with understanding.
“Lots of people visit their house,” he said. “Most around here think it’s haunted. It would make sense, if you believe in that sort of thing, because it’s said that they’re buried right in the yard somewhere.”
Sam’s eyebrows rose. “And do you believe in that sort of thing, Mr. Armand?” he asked.
The historian nodded vigorously. “Although I’ve never seen proof that there are any gravesites, I’m an amateur ghost hunter myself. I’ve seen Mrs. Jefferson in her tower. I just don’t like going there.”
“And why is that?” Dean wondered.
Mr. Armand seemed to lose himself for a moment. When his eyes flicked back to the boys, he said, “Well, first off, I don’t like to make assumptions. I like cold, hard facts. That's why I like to do the ghost hunting thing. I like finding proof, evidence of what's out there.
"But I think something worse than that ghost lives in that house. The family who owns it now,” he looked down at his feet, “well, they’re not the brightest.”
Sam and Dean waited for him to continue.
“I just can’t believe how long they’ve been there, with everything that goes on,” Mr. Armand explained. “They’re nice folk, believe me, but that house... It does things to a person. I shouldn’t feel bad for protecting myself, but that’s why people here don’t visit or interact much with the Jacobs.”
“We’ve heard,” Dean said.
Mr. Armand shrugged, almost as if he were defeated. “We're afraid of that house,” he said.
"Thank you for your time, Mr. Armand," Dean said, shaking his hand.
He and Sam backed away from the historian and the old book.
They drove back to the Jacobs' house to find it empty. It was a relief. Nothing hampers a case more than nosy owners. Especially if there were dangerous spirits involved. Or something worse.
Sam and Dean didn't know if Mrs. Jefferson was dangerous. She hadn't attacked them before, and Sam didn't think she'd attack them once they returned. But he could recall the sort of feeling Mr. Armand had described. He'd felt confused, unsure. It wasn't like him to feel such bewilderment when they had most of the facts in front of them from the get-go.
Something was definitely off with that house.
Two hours later, the Winchesters had found Una Jefferson's grave. She hadn't put up a fight. In fact, she'd actually floated down from her tower to watch as they dug her up. Unfortunately, she had been buried underneath a particularly beautiful part of the garden, right under the lilies. The boys would have to replant them before the Jacobs' family came back.
Una watched peacefully as her coffin was uncovered. She nodded when Dean took the lighter from his pocket. Had she wanted this all along? Was she running from the house as well? Though she couldn't speak to them, Una had told the boys enough. She wanted to be free. She wanted their help.
Una's smile drifted away like smoke as her bones began to burn and the salt took its affect.
"That was the easiest case we've ever been on," Dean commented, wiping the sweat from his forehead.
Sam was leaning on his shovel. "I don't think it's over though, Dean," he replied. "Don't forget what the historian said."
"Yeah, but I haven't felt anything."
"I have." Sam frowned. "You really didn't feel anything when we first got here?" he asked.
Dean shrugged. "Nope. But we can check it out. Everyone here seems pretty freaked out about this place," he said.
"Okay but first," Sam added, "we need to replant these lilies before the family gets home, and I need a shower."
Dean groaned. "And here I thought this was the easiest case we've ever been on," he mumbled.
It was a few hours later and Dean already had another case lined up. Sam wasn't surprised. They still hadn't figured out what was up with the Jacobs' house though; his brother was tired but since their mother had basically stopped talking to them, Dean had been on edge and looking for something to swing at every minute. The best thing for Sam to do to keep the peace was to roll with whatever Dean had in mind for now.
Sonny Springfield was an old contact of their father's. Actually, he was a contact of John's that Bobby had set him up with after Rufus had helped some rangers down in North Carolina and had Bobby tag along. He was a good hunter. Not one of the best, Sam wasn't shy to admit it, but Sonny wasn't too bad at what he did. He liked to hunt vampires, like most hunters did around the midwest.
Dean had gotten a good old fashioned call about a case from Sonny and he brought it up with Sam. The boys were recharged after their replanting business at the Jacobs' residence, so they felt this was just another opportunity to stretch their legs. It was good to get back in the game again. Of course, they never really got out of the game, but with what had been going down recently, especially with Mary's resurrection, things had turned tipsy to say the least.
Sam pulled the Impala up along the curb. Since he had drove, the trip had taken nine hours. Dean would have gotten there faster, but Sam required his passengers to have some safety when he was behind the wheel.
It was one of those shotgun houses. The siding was pale yellow and the backyard sloped up to meet with the woods. A chain-link fence separated the curb from the walkway up to the front steps. There was a young woman with long brown hair leaning against the railing surrounding the small deck. Her elbows rested against the wood and her chin rested in her palms.
Sam climbed out of the Impala, smiling. “Hey!” he called out to the woman. His brother looked up at the sound of his voice.
“Squirt!” Dean laughed.
She waved. “Hey, guys,” she replied.
Dean met her at the fence and practically lifted her over it with his hug. Sam shook his head and retrieved Dean's duffel bag from the ground where he'd dropped it; he unlatched the fence before stepping forward to give her a hug of his own.
Lindsay looked tired. She had dark circles under her puffy eyes. They were still as stunning as ever, those brown eyes, but there was sadness underneath the pleasure of seeing him and Dean. Her jeans were neat and her blouse was tucked in, but the air around her wasn’t as confident as her outfit choice.
Sam hadn’t seen her in four years. Well, he and Dean had technically met up with her for a few hunts since her sister’s disappearance, but they hadn’t really had a chance to just visit. He’d wondered how she’d been on multiple occasions. Of course, the brothers had been too busy with their own issues to do anything about it. He felt dejected and unworthy.
She was a beautiful soul, had always been a great friend to both him and Dean. Sam realized then, as he walked behind her and Dean into the house, that Lindsay had needed them. They’d been too wrapped up in their own problems to even think of reaching out to her, though she had reached out when she thought Kate the werewolf was back in the area; when she and Jenna tried to help their friend and fellow hunter Cameron find the memories he’d lost in his accident. She had reached out when Haven disappeared. She reached out when Jenna saw Abaddon attack Dean in a vision. She reached out when she ran into Claire Novak, Castiel’s vessel’s daughter, after one of Claire’s escape attempts from the Winchesters.
That went on for four years. When the Winchesters couldn’t come to her aid, she stopped calling. Sam knew she wouldn’t give up on them. But would she ever forgive them?
“So why are you here?” Dean asked warmly, pulling Sam out of his tormented thoughts.
Lindsay led them down the hall to the kitchen. She didn’t say anything. She only pointed.
“Mom?” Sam asked.
Mary Winchester was standing to the side of a small mahogany table, the yellow cabinets paling in comparison to her honey-colored locks. They had just taken her out to breakfast a month ago after the fiasco at Asa Fox’s wake, but he was still surprised to see her. Mary hadn’t contacted either him or Dean much since then.
“You know her?” Dean asked Lindsay. His green guarded eyes flicked between her and his mother.
"Where's Sonny?" Sam asked.
The sudden change in the room was unsettling.
“Mary’s been helping me with my case,” the younger woman replied curtly.
Sam could feel the mixture of Dean’s emotions swirling around him. His brother felt guilty for answering Lindsay’s texts but not going to her aid. He felt sad for letting her down. He felt embarrassed for not telling her about their mother’s resurrection. Lindsay was strong but when her big brothers couldn’t help her, Sam knew she’d been lost.
He had a feeling they’d both get a tongue lashing once this reunion was over.
Mary could feel it too. “We can talk about that later,” she said gently. “We have something that has to be dealt with now. Sonny's dead.”
The crackling in the air calmed somewhat.
Sam’s eyebrows pulled down. “What?”
“Why didn’t you call?” Dean asked Lindsay.
Sam knew Dean wasn’t going to give up so easily. He was used to getting sidetracked when his brother was concerned about something. This time, though, Sam wished he’d let it go for the time being.
Their little sister turned away from him, eyeing Mary. “You would’ve been busy,” Lindsay told him.
Sam flinched. Lindsay wasn’t one to step around her feelings. If she had something to say, she’d let you know. He just wished he and Dean hadn’t dug this hole for themselves.
“They’re not busy now,” Mary said. Her blue eyes were soft. She put a hand on Lindsay’s shoulder. “We can talk about this later, okay? Right now we have zombies we need to take care of.”
“Zombies?” Sam asked.
“Zombies,” Lindsay sighed. She turned and faced the brothers once more. “And there’s a whole lot of them.”
Ten hours ago
"This spell is so complicated," Dan muttered. He was kneeling on the floor of an abandoned aircraft hanger. It was out in the middle of nowhere and even though it was full of cameras, he wasn't worried. "I hate complicated spells."
All of his wards were holding up nicely.
He reached across the glass jars scattered around him. His hand floated above one with a sprinkle of ginger; his gaze found the page of his spell book again before he made a mistake and grabbed the wrong ingredient. But he was right. The ginger was what he needed. Dan nodded to himself and reached into the jar. The handful dropped into the bowl he had perched precariously on top of the small flame with a fizzle.
The spell was to distract some hunters. He'd only learned of hunters a short while ago, and so far they hadn't given him too much trouble. There was a relic, however, that he couldn't risk being discovered by anyone else but himself. It was the mother-load of all relics. He needed to add it to his collection like he never needed anything in his life.
It was right after he met that woman. The woman with the really cute brown hair that was spiked all over the place. He could remember her now. After he'd used his skill set---her words, not his---to assist in her hunt, she revealed her end of the bargain. And oh, what a reveal it was.
"So, now I need..." Dan scanned down the page. "The bone."
He dropped the small finger bone into the bowl.
"These guys won't stand a chance."
The Winchesters were going to be so busy with the hordes of zombies that their bunker would be the easiest raid ever.