Lies I Never Told
Disclaimers: The boys aren't mine, but I like to borrow them and poke 'em with a sharp stick, just to see how they react.
S s S s S
Sam wrenched his body violently to the left, while still trying to stay upright, but it seemed that his luck was busy elsewhere that morning and his feet slipped on the dew-laden grass and he fell heavily to his knees. Knarled and knotty fingers cut through the air behind him, splintered fingertips caught briefly on his belt, and then slipping free, raked across his backside, ripping through his jeans and flesh.
Sam screamed, but the sound was drowned out by the creaking shriek of triumph from the whirling mass of leaves, barks and assorted woodland detritus, that swirled in the misty air. So much for benign Earth spirits, thought Sam grimly, as he rolled over onto his back, his fingers scrabbling for his jacket pocket, while the ancient and decidedly aggravated tree guardian shrieked once more, stirring up a great cloud from the forest floor.
Sam's fingers closed around the small cylinder in his pocket, the thumb of his right hand already flicking on a disposable lighter, blinking through the dust he shakily brought the taper and flame together.
"Sorry." He offered, and tossed the firework. The result was immediate and to Sam sprawled damp and bloody in the dirt, pretty damn satisfying. A sudden bang preceded a great burst of red and green sparks that shot in all directions; bouncing of twisted limbs and illuminating a pair of dark empty eyes above a gaping black hole of a mouth, that howled its rage as the first flickers of flame lit the entity's center.
Thank fuck, thought Sam and slowly pulled himself to his feet, stepping back carefully over the rough ground to put a little distance between himself and the fire. He watched the fire flare up, spitting sparks high into the air. The flames crackled loudly and soon he could no longer distinguish any form within the fire.
Sam turned and limped over to his backpack, he dragged it back to dying fire and pulled out a small bag. He emptied the contents into the flames, sweet grass, sage, just a little sandalwood, a personal favourite, and because he had occasionally listened to his brother, a handful of rock salt.
Mrs Hawksworth was waiting for him by the gate that separated the long formal lawn from the woodland beyond. As he emerged from the undergrowth, she raised her hand, waving a small white handkerchief.
"Samuel, Samuel, my dear boy, are you still in one piece?" Mrs. Hawksworth was a rich, well-educated woman in her late fifties. She was also the aunt of one of Sam's college professors. Sam had heard him discussing his Aunt Millie's 'problem' at the end of class one day and before he realised what he was doing, he was discreetly offering his help.
Sam winced as the damaged muscles of his butt pulled and he could feel blood running down the back of his legs. Sam knew that he gotten a little lax in the past eight months, his last hunt, three weeks before leaving for Stanford, had certainly been more smoothly executed. Dean, Sam thought sadly, would laugh his ass off.
He sighed, his first solo hunt, and no one to cheer on, except Mrs. Hawksworth. As he approached the gate, she pushed it open and ushered him through.
"Is that dreadful thing vanquished, young man?" She took his arm, she was a rather tall and sturdy woman and Sam found himself leaning on her as they walked towards the house.
"Yes, M'am." Sam paused, he actually felt a little guilty about destroying something as old and usually peaceful as the wood spirit.
"Thank goodness. I doubt if poor Rudy will ever be the same again, and as for Agatha, I have never seen the old girl move so fast in my life". Rudy was Mr Hawksworth, a small unassuming man, who with his sister, Agatha, had encountered the spirit a few weeks before.
"They're not usually so aggressive, but sometimes.." Sam shrugged. They reached the French doors at the back of the house. Sam thought about the cream rugs and furnishings.
"Umm, Mrs Hawksworth, I don't think I should come in."
"Of course, you must. I'm sure a drink of some sort, would be in order." Mrs. Hawksworth patted his face and took his elbow.
"Come on, dear boy," she said and it was then she noticed the state of Sam's jeans. Sam was surprised such a high-pitched girlish shriek could come out of someone built along such solid lines.
"Oh, my dear child, you're injured!" Mrs. Hawksworth looked stricken and Sam suddenly wished his father could meet her, simply because everything about her, her life and her sensibilities were the complete antithesis of everything that Sam had been raised to accept and understand.
"Yeah, not quite quick enough, I'm afraid, should be okay, though." Sam twisted around trying to see just how bad the damage was. "If I could clean myself up, somewhere?"
"Don't be ridiculous, Samuel." Mrs. Hawksworth took his arm again and marched him into the house.
Half an hour later, Sam found himself face down on a genuine Italian leather couch and the house in a complete uproar. Mrs. Hawksworth had deposited him in the study and insisted on calling her own private physician. Rudy and Agatha hovered about looking shocked and repeatedly asking Sam if he was in any pain. The housekeeper had taken one look at him, made the sign of the cross, and disappeared into the kitchen muttering under her breath in Spanish.
Sam buried his face in the leather and tried desperately to pretend he was somewhere else.
S s S s S
By the time he got back to his room at Stanford, and handed back the keys to Jason's completely unreliable 1980 Toyota minivan, he had gained exactly $500 cash, fifteen stitches, and a bottle of ten-year-old whiskey, the last of which he was too young to drink.
Mrs. Hawksworth had gazed at him indulgently, thrust it into his hand, and rattled on about young men and college. As by this time, Sam's butt was almost entirely numb, courtesy of a generous shot of local anesthetic, he had nodded dumbly, and staggered out of the house, promising himself never to be so helpful again.
Two months later, he had a call from a friend of a friend. Thank you, Mrs. Hawksworth, and shortly thereafter had found himself charging around the basement of a very large house, four hours up the coast, in pursuit of a very tricky poltergeist.
Because, honestly, Sam had sworn off hunting for good.