Bar, Neenah, Wisconsin
Sam Winchester watched as his brother scrutinized the
pool table as if his life, or at least the contents
of his wallet, depended on his next move. Dean eyed
every ball, calculating their positions in relation
to the pockets and then let his fingers slide along
the cue, resting its tip on the table as he made his
corner pocket,” he offered with a nod. “Ten
bucks says I nudge that baby right in.”
smiled. Dean had picked the hardest pocket on the table
to sink the ball into. He was in one of his competitive,
sarcastic moods, and Sam had already guessed why. Ever
since he’d convinced Dean to take a job with Frank
Taliean, a billionaire businessman and ex-hunter, Dean
had taken every opportunity to rub the ‘I’m
always right’ line in.
from the start of the gig, Dean had warned Sam that
Taliean was not to be trusted, but no, Sam had still
ploughed on blindly, and it had nearly cost them big
time. Now, Sam was paying for that every chance Dean
got, and Dean was very much enjoying it- almost as much
as he’d enjoyed ribbing Sam over trashing the
Impala back in Missouri.
know that’s an almost impossible shot, right?”
Sam took a swig of his beer and waited for the reply
he knew would come.
you know you should always trust your big brother’s
instincts, Sammy? But oh wait; you’d rather trust
some guy you don’t know if he has money…”
Dean smirked and took a quick drink from his own bottle.
He looked at it, realizing the Budweiser was now quite
empty, and then set it down on the edge of the nearby
bar. “Twenty bucks, then.”
leaned forward and let his gaze fall on the cue ball.
He let the cue slip back in his grasp, and then with
one fluid stroke brought it forward again, potting the
eight ball as if it were the easiest shot in the world.
groaned. He knew dang well Dean made half the money
they lived on either playing poker or pool, but he still
let his own brother ‘hustle’ him every time.
“I am so not paying up twenty. I didn’t
even agree to the ten bucks!”
just a sore loser, Geekboy.” Dean moved back to
the bar and pulled out his wallet, intending to order
a couple more beers. It was a warm night and with little
else to do but play pool with Sam, he sensed he might
need a whole keg of the stuff.
he tugged out a crumpled twenty, he spotted a group
of four young women settling into a small corner table.
The bar wasn’t exactly rough, but it was still
unusual to see a group of girls in such a place and
it piqued his interest. Heck, pretty girls always piqued
paid for the beers and tossed one over to Sam. “Want
another game? It’s not as if there’s anything
else to do around here. Maybe we should have headed
back to Cali and taken a look at that suspected poltergeist…”
All the time he spoke, Dean’s eyes remained on
think I’ve had enough of giving you an excuse
to empty my wallet.” Sam hunched forward, his
expression changing to one of mirth as he noted his
brother’s gaze. He’s not bothered about
playing pool. He just wants an excuse to get the other
side that table to flirt with those girls. “Maybe
we should head back to the motel and head out early
in the morning,” Sam teased, enjoying his brother’s
will you work with me here?” Dean half-begged
in a whispered tone. “Four hot chicks at ten o’clock.
Tell me even you’re not that big a geek you haven’t
noticed?” He jerked a thumb cautiously towards
the corner. “Two each.” He beamed impishly.
rolled his eyes, but caved to his brother’s wily
charms. He would play one more game of pool, and when
the women told Dean to go to hell, he’d be able
to tell his brother ‘I told you so’ for
a change. “One game,” he agreed. “Just
no telling them we’re TV execs from some reality
show again. That was stooping to a new low even for
nodded and grabbed the pool cue, making his way around
to the other side of the table to set the game up again.
“Ladies,” he nodded, flashing his ‘rogue
grin’ as he passed by.
attention caused only a cursory nod from the nearest
young woman, and the four continued their heated discussion.
a bunch of tough nuts. This should be fun. Dean
rolled the balls back onto the top out of the pockets,
making sure to turn and smile at the women who shouldn’t
have been able to escape his charisma- at least not
in his opinion. To his annoyance, all four seemed so
deep in their own conversation they didn’t even
appear to know he existed.
smile broadened until his cheeks dimpled. “Shot
down in flames,” he mouthed before chuckling at
Dean’s irked expression. “Crashed and burned
before take off…”
ignored the last comment. No way was he letting Sammy
go back to the motel to rib him about this all night.
All he had to do was grab the gals’ attention
and he’d show Sam a thing or two. First, he had
to know what had gotten them so all fired up into a
chatting frenzy, and why they’d chosen a downtown
bar for their group meeting. It wasn’t exactly
a girlie place to be.
looked back to the pool table, but kept his ears on
the women’s conversation. What he heard was far
from what he had expected. They weren’t drinking
buddies, but co-workers at a local children’s
made the first break, letting Sam take over the game
so that he could innocently stand back and watch from
a vantage point a little closer to the girls. If it
didn’t show them what a great Winchester catch
they were missing, scars and all, it at least gave him
the opportunity to eavesdrop more easily.
you just don’t get it. I was on the wing last
night and I saw him again. I’m telling you it
was the kid. Damn, he was beckoning to me. What if…what
you’re just getting worked up over nothing. I’m
sure there’s some kind of explanation. There are
no such things as ghosts. You’re a trained professional.
Hell, you were there the night the kid died. You should
know better than to think he could come back from the
Val, Susan’s right. I’ve seen it too. You
can’t expect us to believe we’re both seeing
things! If it happens again I’m quitting!”
raised a brow but let Sam continue to control the table.
The thought crossed his mind to introduce himself to
the women and for once admit his real profession. Hell,
it would be the first honest ‘chat up’ line
he’d ever used. Then again, the truth was rarely
as fun as what he could invent.
if you think this thing is real, just tell me one thing?
Why would the kid come back and haunt the wing? He has
no reason to…”
if he was murdered, Val? Or maybe someone made a mistake,
maybe a mistake that cost him his life. The doctors
hadn’t expected him to die the way he did and
you know it! The kid wants revenge, and I don’t
plan on sticking around for me to be the fall guy!”
Dean watched as the nurse on the far side hastily stood
up, grabbed her purse and scurried from the dimly lit
bar. She was obviously angry at not being taken seriously,
and so were her colleagues.
Only one of the young nurses, Val, seemed to have a
cool head about her. He liked that. From what brief
snippets of the tale he’d heard, he guessed she
was probably right, too. The nurses worked the night
shift and were undoubtedly letting their imaginations
run wild once they were alone in the stark white corridors.
It didn’t sound like there was any real reason
for the kid to come back, so it was probably all in
their overactive minds. Horror movies had a lot to answer
shrugged, but as an afterthought ambled back up to the
bar as Sam watched, intrigued.
the two ton, resident bartender nodded as Dean approached.
“Don’t tell me, two more beers?”
two beers and an address.” The young hunter turned
and pointed to where Val now sat alone. It appeared
her overwrought colleagues didn’t approve of her
stance and had departed with their friend. “You
wouldn’t happen to know where she works, would
you?” Dean let an extra twenty drop onto the polished
bar surface as an incentive.
nodded and placed two ice cold bottles on the counter,
quickly taking his customer’s cash and then wiping
the counter with a cloth. “I’ve not seen
her in here too often, not exactly her kind of place.
I guess this is your lucky day, though, because Val
over there happens to be a friend of my cousin. She
works over at the Children’s’ Hospital on
130 2nd Street.” The bartender’s eyes narrowed
as a sudden realization hit him. “You ain’t
some kind of pervert, are you? I’d hate for me
to have to deal with you…”
shook his head, eyeing Nick’s muscular, tattooed
arms with distaste. He had no doubt the man could grind
beef with his fists, and probably had the mental capacity
of a ten year old. Not someone he wanted to get on the
wrong side of or give the wrong impression. “No
need to worry, dude, I’m just after a story…”
Without further explanation he left the bar, wondering
why Nick had given up the information for so little
as twenty bucks if he was really bothered about the
Dean, are you getting so desperate you're trying your
pick up line on the bar staff now?” Sam put down
his pool cue and dodged a Bud bottle that was launched
swiftly at his head. He caught the flying projectile
easily with his right hand and noted it was full. “I
guess those girls must have been discussing something
earth-shattering to resist such a babe magnet as Dean
Winchester…or maybe they need new glasses…”
maybe I was thinking with my upstairs brain, and was
more interested in their conversation than getting laid.”
Dean raised a brow cryptically and settled down into
a seat across from his brother. He pulled a face that
suggested he still had every intention of winning the
little ‘snark competition’ they seemed to
have fallen into.
actually have an upstairs brain? When did this happen?”
Sam turned to look as Val finally stood and began walking
towards the door. She was unmistakably drop-dead gorgeous,
and for Dean not to have pursued her more, there had
to actually be a serious reason. Blondes like that didn’t
grow on trees, and Dean rarely let one escape his charms
without much more of a fight.
I guess your ‘Geekboy’ attitude is rubbing
off on me. Do you think I could have it surgically removed?”
Dean followed Sam’s gaze as Val finally exited
the little bar.
Sam asked more seriously. “Why did you really
let her walk out of here so easily? And what we’re
you doing with that bartender? I saw you slip him an
extra twenty, and you never flash cash around like that.”
thought about it. He actually didn’t know why
he was so intrigued by what he’d overheard. It
was just girlie fear talking. There was probably no
kid ghost or haunting, and yet somehow, the whole thing
bothered him on some unknown level. He knew if he even
mentioned it to Sam it would turn into their next gig,
and he wasn’t sure he wanted that to happen, either.
Ever since Missouri he’d had a huge aversion to
hospitals. Four weeks trapped in a room with nothing
to do but watch TV and be assaulted by the caustic aromas
of antiseptics, well, it had taken its toll. To Dean,
hospitals were right up there along with prisons. They
stifled his free will, his freedom, and even the suggestion
of being a visitor tended to freak him out, even if
it did mean he’d get to see the very lovely Val
four girls, they’re all nurses at a local hospital,”
Dean eventually admitted, swirling the dregs of beer
in the bottom of his bottle in thought. “They
weren’t interested in me because they’re
scared, Sammy. Seems like a couple of them think they’ve
seen a ghost.”
you think it’s the real deal?” Sam hunkered
forward and set his hands on the table, his hunter’s
sixth sense kicking in. “What kind of spirit do
you think we’re dealing with?”
slow down there.” Dean eased back, leaving the
bottle on the table to fix his gaze on his brother.
“I’m not saying this is anything more than
fear. It sounds like some kid died unexpectedly, and
it could just be that the nurses are letting their subconscious
play tricks on them…”
somehow you don’t think so, or you wouldn’t
be telling me any of this,” Sam countered. “And
you wouldn’t have slipped Nick over there a twenty.
What did you find out?”
sighed. The tables had just been turned and Sam had
‘hustled’ him into this gig. He might be
the best bluffer and the best ladies man, but Sam was
definitely the best at innocently manipulating a conversation
to go the way he wanted. “I got the hospital’s
address from Nick, but we don’t have to use it.”
had other ideas. “What happened to the whole,
‘helping people, hunting things’ line? I
think we should look into this. I mean, what if it is
for real and the kid needs putting to rest?” When
Dean didn’t try to argue he added, “How
far away is it? Maybe we can just call on our way out
of town, just to be sure…”
three blocks away. 130 2nd Street. It’s a kids’
hospital. I didn’t catch what wing, so we’re
gonna have to do a little investigative reporting to
find that one out, but…” Dean’s words
petered out as he realized his brother had just turned
a shade of chalky white.
eager expression had been instantly extinguished and
replaced by a look that said he was suddenly and inexplicably
scared and excited at the same time. He gulped hard
and his heart began to pound erratically in his chest.
closed his eyes and waited for the feeling to pass before
he pulled out his wallet and almost tore it open. He
rifled through its contents until he found a crumpled
and slightly torn piece of paper stuffed in the back.
Sam tugged it out, offering it to Dean with a trembling
this, little brother another IOU?” Dean quipped,
but took the note almost apprehensively. He didn’t
recall seeing it before, and yet instantly knew it was
important to Sam.
he had another beer or something stronger, Dean unfolded
the paper and instantly knew what he was looking at.
Sam had once told him about it back when he’d
been crawling St. Mary’s medical center’s
walls, but this was the first time he’d actually
set eyes upon it. In fact, he suspected Sam had long
ago forgotten it even existed until tonight.
wish we could have gotten to know one another better,
but now is neither the place nor time. All I can tell
you is that I believe our paths will cross again.
I left I needed to make sure you take this warning to
heart. Trust nothing that you see or hear. There is
a darkness rising among us, and those like you and I
are in great peril.
weeks ago I began having nightmares- visions if that's
what you like to call them- of a black car and its passengers.
The car was hit by a truck, and I could see no more.
I came here tonight to try and save your family from
the rig, but as you and I now know there never was a
truck to be saved from. It’s my belief that somehow
because of our unique abilities I was able to see what
you were seeing, even though it was not real. In essence,
I saw my vision through your eyes- and it was misleading.
I fear intentionally so.
care, Sam, for there are those who would and can manipulate
P.S. When you eventually leave this place, you may want
to look up this address. I think you will find some
of what you seek there.
I’ve been able to see is 130 2nd Street, Neenah,
Wisconsin. I always see a building. It appears to be
a hospital. Go there and see what answers are given
address the priest wrote on the note is the hospital’s
isn’t it?” Sam asked the question, even
though he knew the answer. “Dean, we’re
meant to be here. The priest was like me, he saw things.
We’re not here by accident, we’re bound
to this place somehow and we have to know why. What
if we’re meant to save someone like the priest
saved us? What if that’s what my gifts are ultimately
for, to foresee and change the future?”
right, you’re a regular Sam Beckett. You see something,
leap in and save the day and then leap out again. Sammy,
you know it’s not like that.” Dean hated
telling it like it was, but lately all Sam thought of
was killing the demon and using his gifts for the greater
good, because well, that’s what he was sure he’d
been given them for. But what if one day he found out
otherwise? What if..?
pushed the shadowy thought to one side and instead offered
up more logic. “Sam, the kid is dead. It’s
too late to save him. Even if you’re priest friend
really did foretell this, we’re too late to be
of any use.”
shook his head, his long hair almost dangling in his
eyes. “Not if it wasn’t the kid we’re
meant to save.” He looked almost pleadingly to
his brother. “Will you at least come with me to
the hospital tomorrow and check it out?”
inhaled but nodded. No matter what, he would always
do anything for Sammy, even if it meant confronting
his own fears.
* * * *
Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin
Dean pushed through the central glass doors of the hospital
and instantly wished he hadn’t. Being in the hospital,
heck, any hospital brought back more memories than he
cared to have.
sterile, perfect environment just bothered him on so
many levels, as did the odors that assaulted his nostrils
on every turn of the corridor. Part of him suspected
it wasn’t the hospitals he feared at all, but
more likely the possibility of death that they foreshadowed.
that Dean was scared of dying. He’d been close
often enough already. No, what Dean feared was leaving
the world of the living before his own mission was complete.
He had to make sure Sammy was safe. He had to finish
the Winchester crusade against darkness and make sure
his brother got some semblance of a life.
Sam shot a glance at the elder hunter as they headed
towards a small reception desk. “You okay?”
It was obvious from the lack of acerbic banter that
Dean was bothered by something. It hadn’t really
taken Sam long to guess what.
shrugged it off. “Yeah, just thinking about that
blonde.” He winked and flicked two plastic ID
tags from his pocket, offering one up to Sam.
quickly checked the text, making sure Dean hadn’t
given him a title even remotely embarrassing. To his
relief, they were apparently both reporters from the
local newspaper. That, at least made sense.
we’re with the Neenah Tribune. I was wondering
if you could help us out?” Dean leaned forward
on the counter, smiling at the nurse on duty so broadly
she couldn’t help but smile back. “We’re
looking for a young nurse named Val? Small, blonde,
no-nonsense kinda attitude?”
nurse nodded. Everybody knew Val. She tended to ‘tell
it like it was’ just a little too much for some
people's liking, and had gotten in trouble for it on
many occasions. “You mean Val Harper. She’s
on the neurology wing. In fact, you’re in luck,
she’s on duty this morning.” She passed
over a small, folded pamphlet detailing the hospital’s
work. On the back was a small map giving directions
to each department. “Neurology is here,”
she tapped an area to the right of where they were now
Dean stuffed the pamphlet into his jacket pocket and
was tempted to offer up his cell number. Heck, the nurse
on duty was kind of cute, but then, all nurses were
kind of cute to Dean. Only the mildly irritated look
from Sam stopped him.
they walked away he shot his brother a look of despair.
“Fun, Sammy, when are you going to understand
that girls equal fun?”
just shook his head and followed the directions they’d
been given, smiling all the way at his brother’s
* * * *
Valerie Harper sat at a small duty station on the west
wing flicking through her daily pile of charts and paperwork.
As she sifted through various patients’ files,
she paused, thinking of the previous evening’s
conversation with her friends.
was almost impossible for her to believe in ghosts or
spirits. They were things to watch in the movies or
on television, but they just didn’t exist in reality.
had to believe that and take some solace from it, because
it was the only form of comfort she could find after
her husband had died in a car accident. If there was
any way of coming back, Tony would have been there for
her wouldn’t he? On every cold and lonely night
she had spent since her loss, he’d have been there
watching over her, wouldn’t he? No, ghosts didn’t
exist, or Tony would have come back. He’d never
leave her if there was any chance, any form he could
return in, their bond had been that strong.
Harper? We’re with the Neenah Tribune. I was wondering
if we could ask you a few questions?”
looked up to see two young men peering down at her.
The shorter of the two flashed a press card and then
smiled broadly. She nodded, acknowledging her name,
and then frowned as she realized she recognized the
man doing the talking. “Weren’t you in Nick’s
bar last night?”
glanced at Dean and stifled the urge to wince. Apparently,
his brother’s flirting hadn’t gone totally
unnoticed after all. “We kind of overheard your
conversation about a ghost…” He hoped the
truth would win the nurse over.
you thought, hey, haunting at local hospital, great
way to make a front page story and a quick buck?”
Val wasn’t impressed. If it was one thing she
hated it was guys out to make money from others' misfortune.
She still recalled the reporters who had hounded her
for days after Tony’s death, begging her for the
not here for a front page story,” Sam soothed,
sensing the woman’s hostility. “We’re
here because we believed you.”
scoffed, her top lip puckering in disgust. “Kid,
you’re full of it. I know a gold digger when I
see one, and your partner here just oozes crap. Do you
want to get off my wing before I call security?”
ahead and call them if it makes you feel any better.”
Dean moved between Val and Sam, fully intent on going
head-to-head with the sassy nurse if he had to. “You
know you don’t want to. Hell, I bet you were gonna
go right back to Nick’s tonight in the hopes of
bumping into me again anyway…” He raised
a brow, expecting a retort.
grimaced. “Go to hell!”
eyes twinkled. “I’ve been close already,”
he admitted a little too truthfully. “How about
we come to a compromise and you tell us why your friends
are so upset, then we’ll be right back outta that
door.” He turned and pointed to the entrance they’d
just passed through.
eyed him warily. She didn’t want to cause any
kind of stir for the hospital, and she hated reporters.
On the other hand, they wouldn’t be interested
if they didn’t think there was a story. She was
sure there was no ghost, but that didn’t mean
there wasn’t a guilty conscience somewhere. The
kid had died in strange circumstances. Maybe she owed
it to him to let these men find the truth. For once,
maybe she could use a reporter for a good cause, even
if it meant playing along with the flirt before her.
tell you what I know, but if anything hits the front
page I’ll deny every word. I’m just in this
for the truth. You double cross me, I’ll make
sure you pay.”
tell me, you have mafia connections, and I’ll
wake up in a concrete coffin Godfather style if I squeal?”
Dean couldn’t help but taunt the nurse.
concrete,” she conceded. “But my brother
works traffic. You might just find that classic of yours
impounded and crushed before you even have chance to
pay your fine.”
color visibly drained. He had totally underestimated
Miss. Harper right from the get go; they both had, and
now it was biting them in the butt. In all likelihood,
Nick had blabbed about Dean questioning him, but still
this girl was smarter than the average fabric softener
Sam offered apologetically as he pulled Dean ungraciously
out of the way. “We just want to find the truth.
Will you help us? All we need to know is what happened
to the kid your friends think they saw.”
checked the corridor to make sure they were alone and
nodded. “The kid’s name was Matthew Ismay.
He was brought in about a week ago and was diagnosed
with a brain tumor. He had a fifty/fifty chance if he
got surgery right away; at least that’s what the
doctors said. It was a sad case, eleven years old and
no family to be with him at a time like that.”
he died during the surgery?” Dean pushed.
that’s what my friends can’t get over. He
died suddenly the night of his admission. He never even
made it to surgery. It was unexpected, but these things
happen. Medicine isn’t an exact science.”
Val shrugged, unsure what she believed about the case
you think there could be any kind of foul play?”
Sam asked the question carefully, not wanting to anger
the already irked nurse more. “I mean, could some
kind of hospital mistake have attributed to his death?”
laughed. She knew anything was possible, had even considered
the scenario herself, but when it all boiled down, the
kid had probably died of natural causes. It was most
likely her friends were just getting spooked by the
impossible. “Seriously,” she admitted, “I
think my friends imagined it. The corridors can get
lonely at night. I’ve got faith in the staff here.
They’re not killers, and I doubt there was any
kind of negligence.” Val shot a look pointedly
at Dean. “Let’s face it, there are no such
things as ghosts, right?”
flinched, his cocky exterior melting for just a second.
He glanced over to Sam and then nodded. “Right,”
he lied, quite convincingly.
* * * *
Outside the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin
quickened his stride at the sight of his midnight black
‘baby’ and let a hand caress the trunk as
he passed it by. The Impala was precious, and Val had
struck a nerve the moment she had threatened it. The
car was like an extension of his own personality, and
to threaten it, was to threaten Dean.
noted his brother’s silence and the loving, if
brief touch of the metalwork. “She really got
to you in there, didn’t she?” He laughed,
knowing it was rare for Dean to ever be left speechless
by a girl.
up, Sammy.” Dean didn’t look at his brother
but quickly clambered behind the Impala’s wheel.
Once settled, he felt instantly calmer. The car would
be fine, and so would he now he was out of the claustrophobic
confines of the hospital. She wouldn’t…
slid into the passenger seat and pulled his bag from
the rear seat. Without looking at Dean, he dragged out
their laptop and pulled the screen into the open position.
It was time for some real work instead of teasing his
already tormented brother.
I’ll start with a search on the kid’s name.
Maybe we can find out what happened to his parents.”
Sam began tapping at the keyboard, glad of the new wireless
network card he’d invested in a few weeks previously.
well, seeing is believing, little brother.” Dean
flicked out his home made E.M.F. meter from his pocket
and waved it under Sam’s nose. He’d apparently
scanned the wing while they’d been chatting with
the nurse and come up with nothing. “I’d
like to see this kid before we actually assume
he’s haunting the place. I think we should come
back tonight and scope out the west wing.”
because ghost’s prefer to manifest themselves
in the dark.” Sam nodded, continuing to keep his
head down as he scrutinized the laptop’s screen.
Accessing the local news wasn’t proving too difficult,
but finding anything related to the kid’s name
was apparently a lot harder. “There’s nothing
here with the name Ismay, at least not recently.”
Sam shook his head and scowled. “You know, the
name seems pretty familiar. I’m sure I should
stowed the E.M.F. in the glove box and shrugged. “Ismay
was one of the dudes on the Titanic; even I know that,
Geekboy. You’re confusing this kid with history
101.” He let his lips curl into a smile at finally
upstaging his normally intellectually gifted brother.
“You’re not the only one who watches Discovery
Channel.” He raised a brow and shot Sam his usual
you so didn’t find that on Discovery. I doubt
you even know how to find that channel.” Sam shook
his head accusingly, and hit the touchpad lightly with
his forefinger, widening his news search. “And
you so didn’t read it in a book…”
frowned. Sammy always caught him out when he tried to
be the smartass. “I saw the movie,” he admitted
time, Sam just had to look up to see his brother’s
aggrieved expression. “You watched a chick flick?
Man, that is a new low even for you.” A deep chuckle
escaped Sam’s throat and he couldn’t stifle
it no matter how hard he tried.
was not a chick flick,” Dean defended. “Besides,
it was strictly research.” He shrugged, knowing
he’d lost the battle. “Anyway, you’d
resort to it too if you were assaulted by freakin’
Snuggles the bear for four weeks in that hospital. Man,
whoever invented daytime TV ought to be forced to watch
nodded. He knew being around a hospital again had brought
back bad memories for Dean. Maybe it was time to stop
the ribbing, at least for an hour or two. He looked
back to the laptop instead and his brow furrowed. At
last they had a lead, even if it was a vague one. “Looks
like we’ve got something,” he pointed to
an article from the previous year. “Matthew Ismay
was involved in a fire at the local kids’ home.
It says here he’s been there since his parents
died when he was a baby. Doesn’t go into detail
on what happened to them.”
about the fire?” Dean leaned across, checking
out the story whilst rummaging through a box of CD’s
he’d downloaded from the net.
new player was great, and it had helped increase his
library of mullet rock considerably. That being said,
he sometimes still preferred the grainy quality of his
old cassette deck. He squinted at his own spidery writing
on the label and finally chose Metallica’s ‘Invisible
Kid,’ his face cracking into a huge grin.
cringed at his brother’s musical selection, but
continued narrating the rather concise article before
him. “It says Matthew saved all the other kids
in his dorm by alerting the staff to the fire. The weird
thing was he seemed to know about it before it actually
started. For awhile, he was even a suspect until one
of his tutors was able to give him an alibi.”
whistled. “Are you thinking this kid could be
like you? I mean, could have been?”
licked his lips. The possibility was becoming more and
more likely. Maybe that was why the priest had somehow
latched on to the orphan in the first place. He did
seem to have a knack of seeing others like himself.
“I don’t know, but we have to find out.”
He twisted his wrist to check on the time. “It’s
too late to make the library and newspaper archives
today. We’ll check out the west wing tonight and
I’ll hit the research in the morning.”
like a plan.” Dean cranked the Impala and turned
up the volume on the CD player. It was time to head
back to the motel to shower before their nighttime vigil,
and he had every intention of enjoying some kick-ass
music on the way.
* * * *
Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin
Sam poked his head around the corridor wall and sighed.
He hated skulking about as if he were a criminal, but
there was little else they could do because Dean had
refused point blank to wear the cleaners uniforms he’d
found for them. Now, they had to try to stealthily avoid
every security camera on the wing whilst they searched
for the spirit of Matthew Ismay.
told you we should have used those uniforms,”
Sam grouched, looking over Dean’s shoulder at
the E.M.F. meter's readings.
cleaners don’t hang around hospitals at this time
of night. Besides, you know I hate uniforms, especially
after Taliean…” Dean pulled a face and Sam
instantly felt guilty.
their last gig Frank Taliean had given Sam a pretty
cushy job while Dean had been stuck masquerading as
a security guard. He’d been pissed about it ever
since. “A cleaner’s uniform worked for Richard
Kimble,” he offered innocently.
well I’m not ‘The Fugitive’
and I don’t plan on being anytime soon. So, can
we get back to spook hunting?” Dean swung the
E.M.F. around in another sweep, but the needle still
remained static. It was picking up a big fat zilch no
matter where they looked. “I’m thinking
our ghost boy might be a wild goose chase here, Sammy.”
frowned. The priest had wanted them here. There had
to be something to the nurses story, they were just
missing the connection. He looked up at a small white-faced
clock hanging from the hallway wall and noted it was
just past midnight. Traditionally, the witching hour
we should find out which room Matthew was in and check
it out?” Sam gestured in the direction of the
nurse’s station and was about to suggest they
approach her and ask a few questions.
didn’t get chance to even finish his sentence.
shrill, high-pitched scream echoed down the white-walled
corridor like a banshee wail. The scream repeated as
both brothers spun around and realized it was the nurse
on duty doing the shrieking.
ass kickin’ time, little brother.” Dean
broke into a fast jog and quickened the pace further
when he saw the terrified nurse up ahead. She seemed
focused on an adjoining corridor, and at the sight of
Dean began to point frantically down the gloomy passageway.
slowed and sensed Sam at his side as they approached
the duty station. Neither brother spoke, but put their
attention where the ashen-faced nurse was still pointing.
saw it first. Just a few feet down the dimly lit corridor,
the apparition of a small boy hovered over the freshly
cleaned linoleum floor. His features looked like a masque
of pain and insecurity, and as he beckoned with his
outstretched hand it was obvious he was tormented by
some unknown predicament.
Dean tapped the E.M.F. with the flat of his hand, but
it still registered nothing. Either his meter was broken,
or the kid was a new kind of weird. “Sammy, I’m
getting a big fat nothing here…”
didn’t seem to hear his brother. Instead, he moved
forward as the white-faced specter called to him.
more Matthew beckoned, the more Sam felt bound to follow
his appeal for help. The sallow-faced kid was an enigma,
a spirit he had to face and help if he were to find
the truth about so many things.
heard Dean’s words, but they meant nothing. Matthew
needed him, and his mind, his body, every muscle and
sinew couldn’t refuse the request. He was mesmerized
just as if some mystical hypnotist had entranced him.
time, Dean’s words were spoken with such fear
that Sam turned, breaking the bizarre psychic connection
that had held him fast before. As he turned, he realized
why he had been allowed to break the link. Dean was
slipping a hand under his jacket to retrieve the rock
salt-filled SKB he’d brought along for good measure.
the shortened barrel emerged in his brother’s
grasp, Sam reached out a hand and tugged it down, stopping
Dean taking aim on the manifestation before them. “No,
Dean, he’s not here to hurt anyone.”
felt his grip tighten on the shotgun and he flashed
a skeptical look at his brother. Sometimes Sam had been
known to be a little too soft where spirits were concerned
and he wasn’t taking any risks. For now, he nodded
that he would hold back, but he still let the SKB line
up on the kid’s shimmering, incandescent form.
“Watch your ass, bro,” he offered, keeping
a wary eye on his target.
didn’t answer, but felt himself biting into his
lip as he moved closer to the kid.
beckoned again, his thin, bony hand willing the young
hunter to follow. The kid appeared almost desperate,
and his beseeching pleas were obviously now aimed singularly
the boy backed up, his frail form hit a wall and dissipated
into the nether region beyond it.
exhaled, relieved that the spirit had vanished. He may
not be the visionary of the family, but the thing had
obviously latched onto his brother, and he wasn’t
happy about it. Sam had enough to deal with facing the
demon without being a spirit magnet.
as Dean began to let his guard down, a hand re-emerged
from the wall, followed by the kid’s entire ethereal
form. “Guess I spoke too soon,” Dean mumbled
under his breath, taking aim once again with the SKB.
held out a hand. “How can we help you? What is
it you want here?”
cocked his head, his pallid façade visibly frowning
in disillusionment. Sam didn’t understand his
pleas. Sam didn’t grasp what he was trying to
show. In despair, Matthew dipped his head and appeared
to concentrate. He appeared to focus on the floor, and
as his brows furrowed, Sam began to clutch his head.
wasn’t pain exactly, it was far worse.
had had visions before, frightening, gory visions he’d
rather forget, but this was different. The agony came
first, like some huge ball in his skull pressing to
get out. As the pressure increased, so did the amount
of clarity to his revelation- like someone adjusting
a badly tuned TV set.
blinked, stumbling forward as the intensity of his vision
took a hold on his body. This was no ordinary foretelling,
and he had no control over his own muscles anymore.
reached out a hand, desperate to grab the wall for support,
but he was too far away, his judgment clouded by the
imagery filling his beleaguered brain.
Dean saw his brother try to steady himself and fail,
tumbling to the floor like a toddler trying to walk
for the first time.
sight was enough to spur the elder hunter into action
and he raced forward, tugging back the SKB’s trigger
as hard and fast as his reflexes allowed.
shotgun kicked back in his grasp, but he never even
noticed. Dean’s attention lay on both Sam, and
the still very apparent apparition before him.
the..?” Dean’s eyes widened in disbelief,
and he began to shakily reload the shotgun.
the rock salt had hit, Matthew’s form hadn’t
even been shaken. He was as visible now as he had been
ten seconds earlier. Only now, he appeared even more
are you, a freakin’ tulpa?” The only thing
Dean had ever fought that had been impervious to rock
salt had been Mordecai Murdock, and he hadn’t
exactly been a real spirit. Then again, if the nurses
believed it enough, had they summoned Matt back from
the grave too?
now, Dean didn’t care. All he was concerned with
was his brother, and at this point, Sammy wasn’t
looking too good.
he’d hit the linoleum, Sam had curled into a ball
and begun to almost convulse. He was in agony, both
mentally and physically, of that Dean was sure. As he
watched, terrified, Sam began to shake uncontrollably,
his eyes rolling back in his skull as if he were having
some kind of seizure.
image was too much for the elder hunter to take, and
he raced forward, unafraid of the ghost, but very afraid
for his brother. He yanked back on the trigger of his
shotgun for a second time, almost at point-blank range,
filling the corridor with a powdery white mist.
Matthew Ismay’s flickering form refused to falter.
His eyes filled with tears and he shook his head, not
comprehending why Dean would try to force him away until
he was ready to leave.
matter what, he refused to release his hold on his captive
until he was ready, little realizing he may be putting
Sam’s life at risk.
the episode here