Title: From Yesterday
Characters: Dean, Sam, and OCs
Disclaimer/Summary: See Prologue
Author's Note: I can't thank you guys enough for sticking with me through this story and continuing to share your thoughts via reviews. I appreciate the gift of your time very much - and I apologize for not having replied personally (yet). I will, but it may take me a bit as right now my spare time is going toward finishing this story. This is the final chapter in Part One of our heroes journey. From here, things just get a tad more complicated...
Dean was running out of shells.
His right hand was visibly shaking and was shooting sparks of pain up his arm every time he even thought about using it, but he had no choice: he had to keep reloading. He'd been able to dispel Maggie's spirit three more times since Tommy had sprinted from the house, but each time she seemed to grow in strength, spreading shadows like tentacles from the tips of her fingers.
The stench of darkness – mold and rot and stagnant water – permeated everything in the house, forcing Dean to breathe shallow or gag. He hoped that Tommy was getting closer to digging up all of the bones.
Because Maggie was one pissed-off spirit.
He'd managed to avoid being tossed around like a rag-doll for the most part, primarily because she seemed to fear him looking directly at her. He could only surmise it had something to do with whatever the hell was up with his eyes.
He yearned to ask Castiel about it. Was it tied to the amulet? To his tapping into that power? And what the hell was he supposed to do about it now?
But the angel was gone – no vessel, no voice, and apparently no way of reaching out to Dean. He hadn't answered Sam's prayers when Dean was in the hospital, and he hadn't answered Dean's prayers in the weeks afterward.
Dean was on his own with this one.
Once dispelling the second re-manifestation after Tommy left, Dean felt himself weakening. His back was throbbing, his arm and hand aching, and he couldn't run without limping. There were only so many places to hide in the old farmhouse – that was slowly being destroyed by the minute. He couldn't open any of the exterior doors; he'd given his matches to Tommy, and there were apparently no candles or flashlights in the entire freakin' house.
And now he was running out of shells.
"Great idea, Dean," he muttered to himself. "Come out to the farm house. We'll get together, have a few laughs," he quipped, wiping the sweat from his already blurry vision. "Way to start this year different."
Dean whipped his head to the side; Bobby's voice so real he would have been willing to swear on a stack of Bibles that the old hunter was in the room with him.
The empty house mocked him as the shadows seemed to eat each other, growing in size and density, gathering at the erased corner of his vision and hanging there. Nothing. Nobody. Just a memory of a voice, a sensation of warmth and comfort, and a longing for safety.
What made you think this was going to be easy?
"And now I'm losing my mind," he muttered.
Dean cradled the shotgun against his chest and used his forearm to chamber the next round. Real or imagined, the memory of Bobby's voice was helping steady him, giving him a sense of solace and strength that had been slowly siphoning away as the night wore on.
You think you were going to smoke this spirit just because you're Dean Winchester? Because you're so damn bad ass?
"It had crossed my mind."
You stopped one little Apocalypse and now spirits everywhere will cower in fear.
"Would be nice," he muttered to the empty house, eyes searching the shadows for the tell-tale sign that Maggie was back.
Don't work that way, Son.
"Starting to get that picture."
You gotta fight, Dean. You fight every damn day; this day is just one more.
"I'm not quitting, Bobby."
You know what needs to be done. You just got find a way to make it happen.
"I'm trying," he whispered fiercely, wishing with everything in him that the man was actually with him, standing next to him, staring at him with fierce eyes, ready to pull him close for a hug. "I'm trying, Bobby."
He pressed his forehead to the crook of his elbow, body trembling slightly.
It don't gotta be you, though, Dean.
That brought his head up.
It's gotta be done…but it doesn't have to be done by you.
Before he could think of an appropriate reply to that profoundly confusing statement, he heard Maggie's screech once more, the bricks of the fireplace he'd tucked himself next to rattling from the force of it. He rolled away and pushed to his feet, stumbling violently when his hip seized up unexpectedly, the pain of it shooting across his lower back and echoing up his spine. He gasped and cried out, lurching forward in an awkward gait to what appeared to be Greta McMahon's pantry.
Turning in a tight circle, he ran his hands along the shelves, trying to identify packages by feel. Crackers, cereal boxes, spices, cans, cans, glass jars of something, more cans—there! Salt.
It wouldn't stop her, but it would keep her from tossing him around for awhile. He spread a thick line of it in the doorway of the pantry, then pushed himself back in the corner, shotgun at the ready.
Feeling around in his pockets, he pulled out the last four rounds of shotgun shells. After that, he had holy water and a small, bright hope that Tommy would be able to find all the bones. Fishing around in the pockets of his jacket on the off-chance he'd missed a shell, his fingers closed over his cell phone.
He pulled it out and turned it on.
Three missed calls, all from Sam.
Dropping his head back against one of the shelves he swore. "This just gets better and better."
Sam hadn't left any messages, but Dean couldn't not call him back. Taking a breath, he squared his shoulders and, with a wary eye on the doorway, dialed Sam's number.
"Hey, Sammy," he whispered.
"Where the hell are you?"
"Uh…a pantry, I think." Dean swallowed, his back choosing that moment to throb painfully, causing him to gasp.
"You okay?" Sam's tone immediately shifted.
"Been better." He could feel the tension and fear radiating off of his brother through the phone. "Been worst, too, though."
Sam was quiet on the other end of the phone and Dean swore he could hear him mentally counting to ten.
"I'm sorry, man."
"You said you were going to go through Bobby's books."
"I said I might."
"You said you needed a quiet night."
"What the hell, man?" The words you promised dangled from the phone line between them.
Before Dean could answer, Maggie spirit found him, the darkness outside the door groaning and stretching in loud protestation of his treatment. The inky tendrils of her hair reached for him, held back only by the invisible barrier of the salt, but Dean knew that wouldn't hold her off for long. He looked up at her face, and realized either whatever he held in his eyes that had kept her at bay was dimming, or she was growing that much stronger because she pushed forward.
Around him, the darkness breathed. And Sam heard it.
"How bad?" Sam asked, years of hunter's muscle memory kicking in.
"Think bad…then multiply by two," Dean managed, trying to balance the phone and the shotgun at the same time.
He heard Sam swallow. "Oh, good. For a minute there I thought we were in trouble."
Maggie rushed the barrier, pushed back by the salt line, but her movement startled Dean into dropping the phone. He pulled away, but realized that the shadows only made him more visible to her.
"Dammit, Tommy, what the hell is taking you so long?" he muttered.
Lifting the shotgun, he blasted Maggie's spirit with both barrels, wincing as she came apart once more. Fumbling in the dark, he found his phone, relieved to see Sam hadn't hung up.
"I'm on my way," Sam told him, then hung up.
Dean forced two more shells into the shotgun, and pulled himself painfully to his feet. He crept from the pantry to the kitchen door, trying it once more, to no avail. He made his way through the dining room to the parlor, trying the front door, the windows, even one of the larger air vents. He was still trapped inside the old stone farmhouse with a homicidal spirit, his only hope a nervous kid who probably hadn't even found the graveyard yet.
Except no…Sam was coming. Sam was on his way.
As much as he hadn't wanted his brother involved, as much as he wanted to do this one on his own, Dean had to admit the knowledge that Sam would be here soon to dig him out brought him immeasurable comfort.
There was no one alive he trusted more than his brother.
"Cas?" he whispered tentatively in the dark. "Sure could use some kinda sign you've got your ears on out there. Being all…guardian and stuff."
The house breathed quietly around him. Whatever Lucifer had done to his friend when he blew up Cas' vessel had sent the angel too far away to return, no matter how much need Dean infused into his prayer. He hung his head for a moment, once more accepting the truth, and with that acceptance feeling the loss as keenly as the first time.
This time, when Maggie's spirit returned, he never saw her coming.
It was as if she'd learned his weak points, his blind spot, and came at him from the left, grabbing him up and throwing him across the room before he even had a chance to gasp. He crashed through the partially demolished wall and landed, hard, on his back. He felt something give and feared he quite literally had a screw loose. He lay still, trying to get his breath, pieces of wood and construction dust all around him.
Something wet ran down into his eye and he realized one of his scars had opened –like a fault line on his forehead. Once he realized his head was bleeding, the pain blossomed, clean and clear and right through his eye down to his jaw.
Clumsily, he reached down to his side for his shotgun and froze in horror when the sling came up empty. The gun had been torn free of his grasp when he'd blasted through the wall, lost in the other room where Maggie awaited, skittering and crawling across the walls amid the groaning darkness.
Rolling to his side, Dean tried to push himself upright, but was caught by a sharp pain in his side. Looking down, he saw a three inch piece of wood sticking out from his skin, a giant splinter piercing his ribs. It hadn't gone deep enough to cause real damage, but that didn't mean that it didn't hurt like hell when he pulled it out.
"Ahhh! Oh, you bitch!" He shot furious eyes at her and she shrank back, pulling up into the shadowed corner of the room. "You are so gonna fuckin' burn."
He pressed his hand to his side, steeling himself against the sharp sting he felt there, and made it to his knees, his eyes still on Maggie. Crawling on his scarred hand and knees, his left hand still pressed to his side, he entered the room where she hovered, feeling around for his shotgun. When he hit it with his knuckles, he tried to pull it toward him with his claw-like right hand, but it was too awkward.
Releasing his wounded side, he grabbed the shotgun with a blood-smeared hand. He was forced to balance the gun between his knees as he used his left hand to reload, keeping his eyes on the spirit. Once the load was chambered, he wasted no time in blasting the salt pellets straight at Maggie, then turned and half-stumbled, half-ran towards the stairs. There was only one room he hadn't yet tried to take refuge in: Greta's bedroom.
He made it to the top of the stairs before he felt the house inhale once more.
"Dammit," he growled, throwing himself at the door at the end of the hall, directly across from Tommy's. He made it into the room, falling to his knees on the other side of the door, and slammed it behind him.
The room was pristine. Immaculate. None of the destruction or wreckage that had been visited upon the rest of the house had touched Greta's room. Yet.
Dean crawled to the far corner, between two large windows, and rested against the bend in the wall. His side burned, the blood warm as it soaked through his T-shirt. His head throbbed where the scar above his eyebrow had opened. His back, hip and hand were a jumbled mess of raw nerve, twinging with every ragged breath.
And he was down to his last two shells.
"C'mon, Sammy," he groaned, closing his eyes and dropping his head back, thankful for the interlude of calm.
Which ended just as the door to Greta's room blasted inward, bouncing violently off the wall, the top hinge sagging away from the frame. The fingers of dark slipped around the door frame and Dean chambered the last two rounds.
"Bring it, you bitch."
"Tell me again exactly what Tommy said when he called you."
Mason was pacing around the tight space of his office, rubbing the back of his head and pulling at his hair in hard, quick tugs. Sam had been trying to get the man to calm down since he walked into the garage and Dean's call did nothing to help him in that regard.
"Said he'd gone to his house to get some of his things – like we knew he was going to – and some woman attacked him." Mason stopped, leaned against the wall and covered his face with his hands. The rest of his words were muffled as he continued. "Said she locked him in his closet and wrapped him up with his clothes…whatever the hell that means. Said Dean got there and the woman attacked Dean, too."
"Did he say how Dean knew he was there?" Sam asked, narrowing his eyes at the big man.
Mason dropped his hands. "I don't think he did, kid. I think Dean just…he knew something was wrong with that place. Some kind of…Spidey sense or something."
Sam dragged a hand down his face. "Okay, so where is Tommy now?"
Mason took a breath. "He bailed. Dumb shit. He said Dean shot the woman – told him it was a spirit, first, then shot her – and she fuckin' disappeared – direct quote. Said Dean told him to dig up the bones and burn them and then got him out of the house." Mason looked at Sam, his blue eyes anguished. "Right before Dean was sucked back inside."
"How'd you know to call me?" Sam asked.
Mason lifted a shoulder. "Dean talks about you all the time. And…well, I figured if he was a hunter, you were, too."
"You know about hunters?"
Mason nodded. "Told Dean when I was helping him at the shooting range."
"Wait, shooting range?" Sam held up a hand. "Goddammit, Dean." He slammed the hand flat against Mason's desk.
"Son, don't get angry with him, now," Mason stepped forward. "He's just trying to find himself again. The boy is lost. He is broken and lost and he is just trying to figure out which path to take."
"He picked the wrong damn one," Sam muttered. Shoving a hand into his hair he turned toward the door. "Okay, you know where Tommy's house is?"
"We need to swing by my house before we head out there."
"Can't we just go?"
Sam shook his head. "We need supplies."
"Right. Supplies," Mason said, grabbing keys from a hook on a wall just inside the door. "Let's go."
Mason's truck was large and loud, but as long as it got them to where they needed to go, Sam didn't care. He couldn't get the sound out of his head – the sound of something groaning, something coming for his brother. He couldn't stop hearing the pain and breathlessness of Dean's voice.
And he couldn't stop replaying the image of seeing his own hands beating his brother to death.
When they reached the boys' house, Sam marched straight to Dean's room and tore open the lid of the trunk at the foot of his brother's bed. He'd known Dean kept all their weapons; he considered it a win that his brother had pulled them from the Impala. He couldn't expect Dean to get rid of them.
He should have realized it was simply Dean biding his time.
"There's a damn good reason I wanted us to quit hunting, you know," Sam said, sensing Mason standing in the doorway behind him.
He handed the man a sawed-off shotgun and a handful of rock salt shells. It was clear Dean had restocked at some point.
"Don't doubt you there," Mason said.
"You've seen his scars," Sam continued to defend himself. "You gotta know it was bad."
"I just wanted to keep him alive," Sam shoved several bullets into the repeater rifle, "but I don't think he cares about that."
He started toward the doorway and Mason grabbed his arm. "He cares, Sam."
Sam turned on him, his expression fierce, echoing the heated anger percolating just beneath the surface of his control. "And how the hell do you know that? You've spent all of, what? Six weeks with him? I've been with him my whole life."
Mason lifted his chin, but didn't release Sam's arm.
"He's all I've got," Sam continued, his voice crackling with impotent anger. "Don't think it's too much to want to keep him alive."
Mason shook his head. "But, Sam…there's alive…and there's living."
Sam yanked his arm away. "Lemme go or he's not gonna have a chance to figure out which one he wants."
The bag of rock salt, shovel, and kerosene was missing from the footlocker; Sam surmised Dean had taken it with him. His brother might be reckless, but he wasn't stupid.
As they headed from their small house back across the river, Mason told Sam what he knew of the events that had transpired with Tommy's grandma and how Dean had taken the news. Sam began to file back through his memories of the hours he'd seen Dean at the computer, the way he'd looked through specific books from Bobby's collection Christmas night, the odd drawings that had looked like floor plans Dean had managed to sketch out with his non-dominate hand.
Dean hadn't gone into this hunt half-cocked. He'd just gone in handicapped. And alone.
"When we get there," Sam told Mason, "you follow my lead. You do exactly what I say. Got that?"
"You're the boss, kid."
They pulled up in front of a seemingly innocuous stone house, parking behind the Impala. As Sam got out, he saw another car across the street with a man sitting inside. As he shut the door, he recognized Sergeant Jackson. He looked at Mason across the hood of the truck.
"You called the cops?"
"No." Mason's scowl was formidable. "I called my brother-in-law. Who, you might be surprised to learn, has been worried about you two since the moment he found you blood-soaked and practically dead at that damn cemetery."
Jackson climbed out of the car, looking much less malevolent in civilian attire.
"Wait, he was there?" Sam asked, surprised, his memory of that night filled with lost time and bottomless holes.
Mason nodded as Jackson approached. "He was with the first responders."
Sam looked over at Jackson, who'd clearly heard what his brother-in-law had revealed.
"I-I didn't know."
Jackson lifted a shoulder, the white hairs in his sandy beard catching the moonlight. He stood shoulder-to-shoulder with Mason and regarded Sam solemnly. "No way you could have."
Sam looked over his shoulder. "Okay, so…Dean's in the house," he said, clearing his throat, needing to focus on the task at hand and not the fact that there were people who worried about them – people neither he nor Dean had factored into their survival. "But he wouldn't have gone in without a plan. And we need to figure out how to get him outta there in one piece." He looked back at Mason. "You said Dean told Tommy it was a spirit of a woman?"
He waited for Jackson's look of disbelief or bark of denial. Both men were silent and somber.
"Okay, so," Sam shoved his fingers through his hair. "That means there must be a grave site around here somewhere."
"This house has been around since before the Civil War," Jackson told them. "One of the oldest in Lawrence."
"So…family plot?" Sam guessed. "Maybe around back?"
"They just started building that new apartment complex on the field just north of the house," Mason said as they began walking across the frozen ground toward the back of the house.
"Well, that would do it," Sam muttered. "Why didn't they move the gra—"
His question was cut off with the sound that had all three men jumping in alarm. An unearthly screech – like a night owl possessed – sounded just before the unmistakable retort of a shotgun blast followed by a man's enraged bellow. Sam instinctively started for the house, but stopped himself with a curse. If he ran blindly in after Dean before finding the graves, he wouldn't be doing his brother any good.
"What the fuck was that?" Mason exclaimed.
"A spirit," Sam told him, hurrying toward the back of the house.
"How is it no one is calling dispatch?" Jackson called out to them. "You're telling me no one around here heard that?"
"Welcome to my world," Sam muttered, skidding to a stop as he saw a discarded flashlight – the beam still illuminated – and the outline of a shovel about 50 yards north of him. "Look! There."
They ran three abreast to where Sam pointed and he saw that Tommy had apparently at least started to dig up the earth before bugging out. Kicking aside the shovel, Sam fell to his knees and brushed frost from the faded tombstone.
"Can't read this one. You see anymore?"
"Here!" Jackson called just a few feet away. "Somebody Flynn?"
"They're probably all Flynns," Sam surmised, "if this is a family plot. We just don't know which one—"
"Here's another!" Mason told him. "Can't read the name here either."
"All of 'em," Sam jumped to his feet, tossing the extra shovel toward Mason. "Dig 'em all up. Pour this," he grabbed the bag of salt, "over the bones and light 'em up."
"Burn them?" Jackson asked.
"You have to burn the bones to ash to end the spirit," Sam told him. Jackson frowned. "You asked about the grave desecration on our record, Jackson? Now you know."
He started to turn away and his foot kicked at something metal. Looking down he saw it was Dean's Desert Eagle. He grabbed it up and slipped it into his waistband, the cold metal against the small of his back making him gasp.
"Keep digging until you get all the bones," Sam told them. "If something – anything—tries to stop you, use the shotgun. It's filled with rock salt. Won't kill a human and will temporarily dispel the spirit."
"Wait! Where are you going?" Mason called.
"I'm gonna go get my brother outta that house," Sam muttered.
Without another word, he took off for the back porch at a run, dread building at the base of his skull and sending his pulse skyward. He felt his breath hammering against his lungs in a rush to escape and had to force himself to calm down just before he slammed his foot against the back door and rushed inside. Not more than a second after he plunged into the darkened kitchen, though, the door was sucked shut behind him, making him jump and duck instinctively.
He grabbed for the handle, turning and pulling, to no avail.
"Great," he muttered.
"I think the word you're looking for is fuck, Sam."
He flinched to the side, searching the darkness for Dean.
"I'm over here." His brother's voice was ragged, tired, but there was definitely still fight in him.
Sam followed the direction he'd heard and saw Dean had holed himself up inside a…closet? Or maybe a pantry?
"Watch the salt," Dean admonished as Sam made his way forward.
"Right," Sam muttered, stepping across the threshold and crouching down next to Dean. "So…fuck, huh?" he asked with forced casualness.
Dean nodded. "Shit, dammit…it all works, but after you've spent New Year's Eve getting your ass handed to you by a woman made out of shadows, fuck pretty much fits the bill."
"Why are you hiding in a closet?"
"It's a pantry," Dean corrected. "And it's pretty much the last safe place in this whole damn house – including all the bedrooms. Shoulda just stayed here in the first place," he sighed.
Sam skimmed Dean's face with the flashlight, noting the blood making a trail through his eyebrow and down the left side of his face.
"Though you said you weren't bleeding," he chastised.
"I wasn't. Then she threw me through a wall."
"My side. It's not bad."
Sam pulled Dean's jacket away and saw the dark stain on his brother's shirt. "Dammit, Dean."
"Hey, I had a plan."
"Would've worked if Tommy'd listened to me and stayed the hell away."
"So…got a new plan?" Sam sat back on his haunches, shining the flashlight beam above Dean's head and looking for more supplies they could use to their advantage.
"Was kinda hoping you'd brought one with you," Dean confessed on a groan as he tried to push himself upright. Sam could see his right hand shaking in the shadows cast by the flashlight.
"I got Mason and Jackson out back digging up graves."
Dean blinked at the names, but didn't react more than that. "Well, that's something. Now we just gotta get out of this damn house."
"Yeah." Sam nodded, gripping his brother's elbow and helping him to his feet. When Dean swayed on the spot, Sam held his arm tighter. "Easy, you're okay."
Dean was about fifty feet outside of okay, but as he'd said to Sam on the phone, he'd been worse.
"She's strong, Sam," Dean told him. "Won't take her long to regroup from that last hit – and it was my last hit, by the way. I'm outta ammo."
Sam dug into his pocket and stacked six shells on the shelf in front of Dean, mindful of what would happen if he placed them in his brother's hand.
"Ha-HA! That's m'boy," Dean said, a grin evident in his tone.
"How long you want to wait here?" Sam asked as he watched Dean transfer his shotgun from his left-handed grip to cradle in his right arm.
He ached to reach out and take the gun from his brother, load it for him, but that wasn't going to help. If Dean wanted to do this, then he was going to have to do this.
"Ready when you are," Dean said, once he'd pocketed the extra shells and had a loaded shotgun.
They crossed the salt line and started for the back door. Sam sensed movement a heartbeat before Dean barked Down! They dropped as one, the refrigerator torn from the wall slamming against the door, barely missing their heads in the process.
"Holy shit!" Sam breathed. He dropped his flashlight, pulling the spare gun free.
"Well, that's new," Dean remarked, pushing to his feet. "Let's try the front door."
They started forward once more, Dean taking point with Sam behind, covering their back. The moonlight that filtered through the large windows played with his vision, but it was enough for Sam to see the warzone the house had become. Even the stairs were impassible, Sam realized as they walked by the base of them, with three or four steps completely obliterated right in the middle of the flight.
"You do all this?" Sam whispered.
"I had some help," Dean shot back. "Maggie's not much for feng shui."
Maggie. So he even knew who the ghost was. Sam should have known that Dean would have gone in with all of his bases covered.
He just hadn't anticipated how strong the ghost would be – which wouldn't have been a problem if Dean had been up to his usual fighting strength. And Sam doubted his brother would ever be as strong as he was before, no matter how adept he became with using his left hand.
"Sam," Dean said suddenly, his tone putting Sam on alert.
Sam felt a tap on his shoulder signaling him in habits so ingrained he'd never forget them that he needed to shift right, adjust his focus. They rotated, facing the same direction and Sam saw Maggie's spirit for the first time.
"What the hell…."
"Sam, meet Maggie: Ghost of Shadows."
A sudden, overpowering stench of rot and putrid water permeated the air around them and Sam gagged, bringing up his elbow to cover his mouth and nose.
"Yeah, pretty, ain't it?" Dean remarked. "I call it Dark Number 5. Seemed fitting."
Sam's eyes were watering. The shadows stretched, groaning and creaking like wood bearing too much weight. He blinked back the tears and watching in horror as the spirit's hair seemed to spread across the walls and ceiling, reaching for them. He was afraid of what would happen if the shadows touched them.
And then he realized that as the tendrils crawled forward, Maggie crawled away. Slinking into the far corner of the front parlor, she crawled backwards up the wall to perch in the corner of the ceiling and stare down at them with the empty eyes of death.
"Why isn't she trying to kill us?" Sam whispered.
"She doesn't like it when I look at her," Dean replied, his voice mild, but his words rattling Sam more than the haunting image of Maggie Flynn's spirit.
Shooting a glance toward his brother, Sam saw what he hadn't noticed before in the pantry, his concentration more on the blood than anything else. Dean's eyes seemed to be reflecting light, as if capturing the moonlight that filtered into the room. It was the same strange glow he'd seen before, but had convinced himself that he'd just been a trick of light or memory.
It wasn't anything like the light he'd seen pour from his brother that night at Stull, but it had gooseflesh rippling across his arms just the same.
"I don't know what it is," Dean was saying with that same calm, curious tone, "but I saw it in my reflection up in a mirror upstairs. Before she blew it up."
Sam looked back at Maggie, trying to match Dean's casual attitude about the fact that he was able to hold a ghost at bay with a glance. "Yeah, I...um...I think I saw it before."
"Huh," Dean replied, not looking away from the ghost. "Too bad we don't know any angels we can ask."
Personally, Sam was happy to be rid of angels. And their alter-egos. But now wasn't the time to bring that up. "How long can you hold her off?"
"Not much longer. I blink and we're toast."
"'kay," Sam said, bringing up his rifle loaded with consecrated iron. "You ready?"
He saw Dean lift his shot gun from the corner of his eyes, using his right forearm to chamber a round. Dean's right hand was visibly shaking and the motion caused the barrel to shift.
"Now!" Dean yelled.
Sam pulled the trigger. He could hear Maggie's scream and closed his eyes, ducking away as the sensation of something utterly dark flooded him. Opening his eyes, he saw Dean sagging against one of the exposed support beams, but no Maggie.
"Let's go," he said, pushing at Dean's shoulder.
They turned toward the front door. Sam reached for the handle. The air around him sucked close and before he could shout a warning, a cry of protest, anything, he was yanked back, off his feet, into the darkness of the house.
Chapter 9 is continued here in Post 10-B.