Chasing Humanity 10

The visions started to come in steady after his first misadventure, the scenery ranged from an arid plain that he first encountered to a dark and grey forest teeming with fearsome creatures that left him screaming in his sleep. The mix between his powers, visions and general annoyance made the cozy cottage feel like a cage, with overstuffed pillows and great southern cooking.

He felt deep within his soul that he needed to leave, even if it meant leaving in middle of the night, regardless if Lassiter knew or not. This entity known as 'Abel', he believed, was the reasoning behind this 'flighty-ness'.

The emergence of Abel happened quietly like a whisper in the dead of night, starting two days after the visions started.

Abel would plant ideas and knowledge in his head, starting a fight with Lassiter for fighting sake or start speaking in Sumerian. He would find himself saying the strangest things, drawing an inquisitive frown from his friends. For the most part, however, he managed to ignore the growing presence in his skull.

That was until Tripp and Daisy started prepping for their Christmas traditions. Much to Shawn's surprise, they were C&E-ers, heading out to church only during the main holidays; they kept saying that they weren't the 'spiritual type,' so he figured there wasn't any harm in simple traditions. The festivities started out simple enough, raising a Christmas tree, lights, and the whole nine-yards. It was when they went to the nightly masses, they came back looking ethereal—their aura was ecstasy to his senses.

Whatever they were doing, all aches (namely the bullet wound and being over thirty—though he would never admit it out loud) and pains bled away to contentment, any angst he had about not spending it with his family bled away to contentment; he was tranquil, he was…scaring himself. He spent a week in a drugged like state, unable to garner whether the lack of ailment was a bad sign.

The euphoria allowed Abel to slip in for a moment, leading Daisy to find him in the middle of the snow-covered field screaming for his 'Father' on Christmas day. Eyes lit up brighter than a lighthouse, both Tripp and Carlton had to drag him back in kicking and screaming.

When he awoke, he didn't talk to anyone until after New Year's Day. He felt guilty that Daisy and Tripp took down any religious artifacts from the main room. Anxious that Lassiter started watching him like a hawk. But mostly angry that this place was turning into his personal prison and that Abel was slowly eating away at him.

If this was The Big Man's plan, he wanted to piss on its front lawn. Was he not important? Wasn't he a soul as well? He may be the body of Abel, but he certainly wasn't him.

As if his frustrations triggered it, Abel was growing restless within him, pounding at the walls in his head, wanting out; he would throw whatever he could at the barrier that Shawn so carefully constructed, leaving Shawn disoriented.

Visions and dreams came to him mainly in his sleep—and in his stubborn way; he just decided not to sleep. For the first time in weeks, he began to feel human once again. Now the only thing standing between him and sanity was the effects of sleep withdrawal.

Currently, Shawn's head felt like a he went a three-day bender with his uncle Jack down in Cancun. A pulsating throb bounced around in his skull, making him list at each jaunted step towards the overstuffed loveseat near the fireplace.

Tripp's look of concern was difficult to mask as he watched Shawn slumped forward in the couch, paler than a corpse. Concern turn to annoyance as Lassiter entered the room and sat in a recliner across from Shawn. He knew that that man was a friend to Shawn, but he did not act that way.

The moment Shawn started degradin', the host of Cain turned into Shawn's personal warden. And Tripp didn't give a damn if the man was, at one point, the chief of police; you don't treat friends like prisoners. He voiced his opinions countless times to the man and to Daisy, but both agreed it was for Shawn's own personal safety that he wasn't allowed to leave the house.

It felt like a ticking time-bomb, and he didn't know what to do.

As Tripp and Carlton's gazes met, he felt the malice emanating from the beast of a man. Lassiter stared intently back at Tripp, knowing what the man must be thinking; it was the same thoughts he was having himself.

Was he really that much a disgrace as a brother that he seemed so callous? He knew exactly what was going on with Shawn, and as much as he wanted to help, any search or attempts at helping would result in the danger of the only two humans in a three-mile radius.

He realized bemusedly. Out of all his friends, only a handful were not into the supernatural life, being an angel or demon. Lassiter's eyes unconsciously widened, 'what about Gus?' it never crossed his mind, it would make sense—he snickered at the absurdity of his own thoughts—that can't be possible, he would have sensed it.

Lassiter took stock of the room, while Shawn was on the couch, minutes from passing out. Daisy was, once again, in the kitchen making her famous baby back ribs, with a honey barbeque sauce that was more decadent than dessert. Lassiter always preferred the dry rub, because the honey tended to give him indigestion.

The winter had settled down some, Shawn's now more than rusty Ford was completely covered in snow, red began eating away at the baby blue, Lassiter figured he might as well fix it when the weather got a little warmer.

Tripp found something else better to do and started tending to the fire, still managing to find time to occasionally throw mistrustful glances in his direction.

He figured it might be time to leave, but Shawn was too weak as he was.

Shawn saw the looks of pity shot in his direction, he was dying, not blind. Was he actually dying? No, that wasn't the right word…oh yeah, being erased. That fit much better. He managed to grab as much will power he had and put it towards not stumbling as he stood up. Lassiter jumped up as well, looking ready to pin him to the fucking thing.

"I'm not going to break, dude. Give it a rest." He growled, Abel flaring like an angry rash in his brain. You know, for such an innocent character in the bible, he was being a downright dick right now. It was like he was feeding off the frustration and the mistrust.

To make matters worse, Lassie wasn't allowing him to do anything around the house. He was stuck at home when the three went grocery shopping in town. He wasn't even allowed to come with Daisy to St. Louis for her nephew's funeral. He was trapt in the hive house.

Lassiter's big blue puppy eyes went on full effect, only to find that Shawn had already sauntered to the kitchen table and stick out his tongue. It drew a laugh from Tripp who had seemed to have turned into a functional mute.

Everyone sat in contemplative silence for most the morning, unable to find the words that desperately needed spoken, to clean up the atmosphere. Tripp and Lassie sat on edge, throwing each other unwarranted glares, much to the chagrin of Shawn and Daisy.

Unable to handle the silence as much as the noise; Shawn abruptly stood up and walked to his cot in the guest room—it had not even been two hours after waking up. Daisy sighed and called over from the kitchen.

"Shawn, dear, if you are feelin' up to it, would ya' like to take a stroll with me to the zoo? These sticks in the mud are all sorts of bad for the baby." Daisy, now around five months along, was just barely showing, but her mother bear instincts were in full throttle.

In the past, she would have just charged in the middle of the war zone and whack each brooder upside the head if it meant keeping the peace. As things being left as they are, the atmosphere was becoming more poisoned, and the less controllable for Ms. Daisy to handle all by herself.

She figured Shawn could be of some assistance, seeing as he was a bit of a catalyst, but she didn't was to push too hard. Despite his strong front, she could still see through the cracks: he was terrified was what lurked in the night, in his dreams. Maybe she was wrong to keep him cooped up for so long, it was breaking him.

"Sure thing, Lassiefrass and Big Foot were starting to get on my nerves. Someone forget to tell them Timmy's not in the well." The joke was set with a cold edge that sent shivers down the men's spine, and drew a giggle from Daisy.

"Older brothers don't know when to fold 'em, ain't that right? Why, back when I lived in Louisiana with my mother's family, my older brother Jeffery once strung up my shoes by the telephone wires so I wouldn't meet Tripp. Couldn't have his little sister datin' a bee keeper, he'd say. 'That's not a livin', monchier' he would always tell me in that genteel way. Annoyed the ever living breeches off me, didn't stop me though!" Her honey coloured eyes glowed golden as she recalled that particular memory. Sweet and simple times, she muttered to herself. Shawn nodded in agreement.

"There was this one time, Gus and I decided to go skiing back when we were like nine. Living in Santa Barbra the only snow your gonna' get is about two hours north, and my dad wasn't going to drive. So we hitch hike for about half the journey, I didn't know when to stop, so Gus called my dad when we arrived at a gas station in Pasadena. My dad was so furious…it was awesome."

He smiled recalling that particular memory, back when his parents were still together, albeit on its last legs, but it was whole. He supposed he was always the older brother, being born before Gus…or was it after…? Either way, he made sure both had an adventure, though Shawn supposed his adventuring days were done after this one.

While Shawn and Daisy were reminiscing, Lassiter was looking at his phone, looking for the nearest zoo,

"Where is this zoo? I'm not too familiar with all parts 'middle of nowhere.' I haven't updated my Google Maps yet, either." Lassiter commented. Tripp gripped the bellows tightly, breathing slowly out through his nose. He composed himself and stood.

"Get with it, ya ninny! The zoo ain't in town, there's a nature reserve about an hour out." He turned to address his wife, pleased with her change in attitude, "The jeep has some gas in it, hunny, so if you want to grab that amazing cookin' of yours and some blankets, I'll get the car pulled around. Shawn…you are welcome to come with me, stretch you legs and the like."

The thought of fresh air was all too enticing to pass up, he practically bolted out of the house. Whatever migraine that was surfacing was smothered as he bolted outside. Three bloody weeks, and now he gets to feel the cold, the wind was soft however, swirling around him gently tossing his jacket back and forth like a bell. It invigorated him.

The snow crunched loudly under his feet, he's never seen so much snow—Vancouver with Jules was more of a spring vacation and he never really got to go up the twin peaks. So this, this was the Christmas he was supposed to get…only two weeks late.

He flopped backwards and started making snow angels, letting the cold snow melt into his jacket. He cackled happily as snow flicked onto his face…snow was great.

"Shawn, what in tarnation are you doin? You're gonna' get the car all wet!" Tripp was baffled by the sudden flop of his friend into the snow. At first concern that he passed out, but the cackling led him to believe otherwise.

"This is great! How could I have lived without this?" He sighed, facing towards the sky. Tripp crouched down on his haunches, gauging his sanity.

"You really never seen this much snow? Hell, this is a light winter. All that time you were traveling…" He scratched is wiry beard, unsure on what to say.

"…Do you want to go tubing then?" Shawn flash-backed to times he was in the ocean, his friend Danny driving a jet ski, pulling his (at the time) skinny ass across the Santa Barbra Bay. He recalled fondly that Gus had fainted before the ride even started—he had to grip on to his friend so he didn't pinwheel on the sharp turns; such fun times.

He bolted to a seated position; his face twisted funnily in a contemplative façade. "Something like that would make Lassie a pile of wet pancakes…." A wolfish grin broke out, "Let's do it!" Tripp grinned, happy to have his friend back, even it was for the time being.