Disclaimer: I do not own Dean, Sam, The Impala, or anything else affiliated with Supernatural. I do, however, own Fayth. So please, admire but don't touch.
A/N: This story is still in progress and may be subject to change. Please be patient. Hope you enjoy!
Linette spun on her heel and flung herself to the floor as her alarm clock sailed past her head. Goddamn poltergeists!, she thought angrily. They were such a nuisance!
She cautiously returned to her hasty packing, trying to pack away as many herbs from her supply drawer as she possibly could. She did this all the while listening and sensing for any possible disturbances in the room.
Okay I need Van Van oil, my warding stones, incense… lavender? Do I need lavender?
"Mom! Come on, let's go!" her daughter, Fayth, screamed from the bottom of the staircase. Her voice was barely audible over the scratching sounds coming from every wall and ceiling in their house. The lamp sitting innocently on the table near Linette flung itself at her, and she ducked instinctively only to hear it crash into the wall next to her.
"Goddammit! That was expensive, you bastard!" Linette cried. The light fixture above her head started to shake in a sinister way and she swallowed hard. Right, she thought, eyes glued to the cracking plaster overhead, best not to verbally bash the angry poltergeist.
"Mom? Tenley thinks you should stop talking to it! And hurry up!" Fayth shouted.
Leave it to Tenley to tattle on me, Linette thought with exasperation. She wished she could tell Tenley to mind her own business, but only Fayth had the ability to see, and communicate with the spirit. Her daughter was lucky to have her own personal guardian angel.
"I'm coming, I'm coming!" She snatched up her duffel bag and ducked through her doorway as her daughter's picture flew at her from its place on her bedside table. That just seemed wrong to her, somehow, having one of her most treasured pictures, one of her twenty-year-old daughter's smiling face, whipped at her viciously with the intent to harm her.
She wheeled around the corner and hurried down the stairs a little too quickly. She cried out in surprise as her foot caught a snag in the carpet, and she lurched forward. Her hands clambered for grip as she bumped down the stairs and she shrieked as her center of balance shifted again, sending her down the stairs head-first. A pair of deceptively strong arms caught her before she fell any further and she looked up into the fear-filled, rich brown eyes of her daughter. A part of her ached for the man those eyes had come from. He would know what to do about all of this, whereas she had next to no experience with battling these types of things. If only he were here, she thought dimly. But he was long gone and she couldn't call on him, though she desperately wanted to.
Fayth helped her regain her balance, all the while shooting uncomfortable glances toward the kitchen. The sounds of the ringing steel pots and pans sent shivers down Linette's spine. A panicked look passed over Fayth's eyes and her fingers tightened around Linette's arms. "Come on, Mom! We have to get out of here!"
Linette tried her hand at easing the situation. "Since when did you get to be so bossy?"
"What? You'd rather stay in here with the poltergeist?" Fayth asked. Linette pretended to consider the question and Fayth narrowed her eyes in a stern look. "Come on," her daughter said forcefully as she dragged Linette to the door.
Linette couldn't help but smile. Leave it to her daughter to take charge of the situation, like a real adult. She was certainly much more responsible than Linette. She had worked so hard to be a good role model for Fayth, but Fayth had inherited from the father more than she'd ever know. A sense of duty and maturity beyond what Linette could have given her.
The bright lights in the foyer flickered sporadically as they fled through the front door, and Linette closed it just in time to hear something fragile smash against its heavy oak surface.
"Damn. That sounded like Gramma's ceramic duck lamp," Fayth grumbled. "Fucking poltergeist."
"Fayth!" Linette groused, feigning parental skills. "Language, please. Just because our house has been taken over by a poltergeist does not mean that you should become a potty mouth. I raised you better than that."
Fayth rolled her eyes. "Hypocrite," she sighed and started down the walkway, Linette following close behind. "So, I'll go get the dirt and you go get the roots from Benny and I'll call you when I get back?"
"Yes, that's the plan. Make sure you hurry."
Fayth gave a sharp nod and hopped into the car while Linette started walking. She made it only to the end of the driveway when the car slowed next to her and the window rolled down. "No socializing, Mom," Fayth reminded her seriously. Linette waved her away with a smile. Her daughter knew her all too well.
Benny's house was a modest, single story about three blocks from home. It had a massive garden that grew all sorts of rare and useful things in it. He never asked her about what she did with some of the flowers, roots, and other odds and ends she requested from him. She never asked how he managed to get them. They had a good relationship worked around the "don't ask, don't tell" rule.
His wife wasn't nearly so understanding.
"So what do you need these for?" Brenda asked as her husband rinsed the roots of their dirt, darting a look at her over his meaty shoulder. Linette squirmed under Brenda's scrutinizing gaze and clambered for a plausible explanation. Her cell phone buzzed in her pocket and she suppressed a sigh of relief. Saved by the tinny rendition of Mozart's Requiem. Linette pasted on what she hoped passed for an apologetic smile and answered her phone after a quick check of her call display.
"Mom?" Fayth's voice asked over the static of a bad connection.
"Yeah, honey. I can barely hear you," Linette told her. There was a moment of silence and the static dimmed a half a decibel. "Better. You got it?"
"Yes, I do." The answer was curt and harsh, a tone Linette didn't particularly care for from her daughter, no matter how bad the circumstances. But given their current stress, she decided to allow it tonight.
"All right, hun, I'll be right there," she assured her daughter before she hung up.
Linette turned to find Benny standing behind her, roots thrust into her face, and she jolted. "Thanks, Benny, I owe you one," she promised as she accepted the roots and stuffed them into her duffel bag. Brenda gave her a reproachful look, but said nothing at Benny's cautionary look. Good ole Benny.
"You take care of that girl of yours," was his only response before he turned and ushered his wife from the room, leaving Linette to let herself out. That was something she loved about this town. Everyone was so trusting of everyone else - with the exception of Brenda. But she didn't blame Brenda for her misgivings, or hold it against the woman. Not everyone was accepting or open to Linette's line of work.
With a renewed sense of the mission at hand, Linette crossed the three blocks to her house and opened the door cautiously, scanning what she could see of the inside of her house. With a deep, calming breath, she entered her house and closed the door quietly behind her.
"Fayth?" she called softly, listening intently for any sounds that could alert her to danger.
"Up here," her daughter's voice responded from upstairs. Linette sighed with relief and started into the house, eyes scanning her surroundings. She was halfway up the stairs when she heard soft creaking behind her. She turned, saw nothing, and continued up the stairs at a quicker pace. She didn't like this. Not one bit. Hopefully this poltergeist wouldn't act up too badly before she and Fayth could get rid of it.
As she reached the top of the stairs she nervously avoided meeting the gaze of her reflection in the hanging mirror before her. The last time she'd dared to look she'd watched in horror as her fingers had dug into her own flesh and pulled it away from her face, like something out of the popular classic movie. This thing liked to play off of its stereotype and clichés, an attribute that had since become a point of amusement between her and Fayth. However, with the recent violent uprisings, it wasn't so funny anymore.
"Fayth?" she called again, but this time there was no answer. Fayth always answered her. Always. Even if it was with some smart ass wise crack. Silence was… unnatural. Fear welled inside her, anxiety wrapping around her throat and making it harder to breathe. Having one's heart in one's throat had that effect.
It was upon this realization that an invisible weight centered itself against her chest, pushing hard into her ribs. She didn't have time to react before she was suddenly flung backward. Her yelp was stifled as she hit the first stair and started tumbling down. Her limbs fumbled to grasp anything to stop her descent, clambering for purchase and finding none. Her foot caught between two posts and she heard a sickening snap as her leg broke just above the ankle. Her arms twisted and her tailbone cracked against the bottom stair before she landed in a heap at the base of the staircase, stunned.
Her leg was killing her. She couldn't think past her agony as it rushed her brain and overcame every other sense. It took her several moments of practiced breathing to reach a state in which she could concentrate and find a way out of her predicament. Get up! Get moving! She tried to lift herself and cried out in agony at the fire that flared in her leg.
A noise caught her attention, dragging it from her pain… a soft thumping. Something was banging against the wall at the top of the stair, the knocking overcoming the sound of her own heart in her ears. She looked up to the top of the stairs where the hanging mirror was shaking. She watched in horror as it slid up the wall, the frame scratching lines into the painted drywall. Then, without warning, it soared forward, headed straight for her. She turned to try to move out of its path but managed to scramble only a foot before it collided with the back of her head with a deafening crash. There was a wet thud, a sharp second of pain, and then darkness.
Fayth tapped her phone against her palm while checking up and down the street for the hundredth time since she'd returned about half an hour ago, but there was still no sign of her. Where was her mother? Probably visiting with Benny when she was supposed to be here preparing to rid their house of this stupid poltergeist. Trust her mother to waste valuable time socializing, even when she'd been asked not to.
She flipped open her phone and hit speed dial one, listening impatiently as the connection rang three times before going to voicemail. Is she ignoring her phone, as usual?, Fayth wondered. Annoyed, she snapped her phone shut. Fine. If her mother was going to ignore her cell, Fayth would try option B: Benny.
Benny answered on the first ring, good ole Benny, with a gruff, "Hello."
"Hey, Benny. My mom there?" Fayth asked, struggling to sound casual and unconcerned.
Benny grumbled something to his wife, Brenda, and the background noise of his television dimmed. "No. She left 'bout an hour ago," he told her.
Fayth suddenly felt ill, pausing to grip the phone to understand what he was saying.
"She not at home?" Benny continued.
"No, I…," she checked her watch as she struggled to piece together a convincing lie, "We were supposed to meet on the front lawn to head into Pasco for a movie, but she hasn't shown up yet."
"Well don't fret, girly," Benny told her sternly, "She's probably just waiting inside. Why don't you go check?"
"I will. Thanks Benny."
She hung up and turned back to the house, her heart racing. Her mother would have never entered the house completely alone. Not after the last time, when her kitchen knives had nearly impaled her. Surely even her mother had more common sense than that.
However, the cold, sickened feeling in her stomach thought otherwise.
She suddenly remembered something she'd read the other night when she'd been scouring the internet for information about poltergeists. 'There has been some speculation as to whether these pesky and dangerous spirits were capable of operating modern technology…
She stumbled over her own feet as she ran to the front porch and stopped herself just short of opening the door. The poltergeist was still in there. She couldn't go racing in to check for her mother! If only she hadn't closed all the blinds before leaving!
On a whim she flipped open her cell and hit speed dial yet again, listening for what she prayed she wouldn't hear. Mozart's Requiem caught her ear as its tune seeped through the closed from the other side.
She fumbled her key in the lock and had to try it a few times before she was able to open the door. As she flung it open she wanted run in, but she couldn't will her feet to move. Standing right before her was Tenley, her incandescent eyes sparkling with translucent tears.
"I'm sorry," Tenley's soft voice whispered in her ear, though the incorporeal lips didn't move.
"Leave," Tenley urged her anxiously.
She shook her head slowly as her gaze drifted to a thick, crimson puddle forming under the misplaced sofa, which had managed to snap the thick banister support. She began to tremble madly as she numbly walked the distance between the doorway and the sofa.
"Go back!" Tenley pleaded, but Fayth waved her off. She had to know. She had to see it for herself. She had to know whether the cold, sick feeling in her gut was right. She shut her eyes hard halfway through her walk, her courage faltering as reality started to sink in.
"No, Fayth!" Tenley cried.
Her eyes snapped open and she instantly gagged at the sight before her. Lying awkwardly at the base of the stairs was her mother. Her blue eyes were wide and lifeless. Her blond hair was matted with blood that was oozing from the back of her skull, where half of a mirror was lodged.
Fayth's mind reeled and she felt her stomach rejecting her lunch, the same way her mind was rejecting the site that was burning into her irises. She backed away, trying to scream, to cry, but her vocal chords were frozen.
While the rest of her seized up in a whirlwind of confusion and shock, her feet managed to understand her distress. She ran.