Title: Cry in the Night
Disclaimer: Don't own 'em. Only get pleasure, no money. Welcome to the world thru my eyes.
Summary: Dean and Sam hunt an Utburd. I'm bored and I just wanted to post something, even something bad. Slight Dean torment, of course, it is me after all. Little swearing, the usual… (actually I like this story but there's no accounting for taste).
A/N 2: Following is purely informational:
An utburd is the spirit of a child that was left to die of exposure by it's parents. It is part of Norse legend. If a child was born that was defective in some way or simply a child they could not afford to take care of it would be taken outside and left to die in the elements. Exposing children was a not uncommon practice throughout history for families living in harsh times and climates. It's still going on in a few places for various reasons. It was also used in some cultures to control the number of male to female babies that were born. An utburd would seek out it's mother, blind her by gouging her eyes out and kill her. Once created, an utburd, even after taking revenge on its mother, becomes more powerful with rage and will continue hunt down and kill innocent wayfarers. Only water and iron could stop it. I always found the image creepy as hell. (You should see the painting) This is just so you know, the rest of the story has nothing to do with it but knowledge is power.
Despite the cold evening air, sweat greased Dean's face as he raced to the edge of the clearing. Branches whipped his face and clothing as he ran through the brush. He staggered to a halt, chest heaving and waited for Sam to appear on the other side. The pack on his shoulder weighed heavily but he didn't dare put it down. The moonlight was so filtered by the trees he couldn't see a damned thing among the black and white shadows. He could feel the vibration in the ground as the utburd approached, feel the very air growing colder as it came closer, yet he could see nothing.
Come on come on come on! His mind screamed at Sam.
Dean's shotgun was loaded with blessed iron buckshot and he knew exactly how far away the stream was. He mopped the sweat off his face with an arm and bit his lip, eyes casting about for Sam's form in the darkness. Sam, God dammit, get in position!
The thunderous footfalls sounded as though they were all around him, going through him. He couldn't turn to look behind him, he knew what would happen to him if he did. The utburd had been responsible for a string of deaths over several years, plus the two victims it hadn't killed that now called Valley View Sanatorium home.
"Dean!" Sam's welcome voice cried out from across the clearing. "It's right behind you!"
Dean needed no second warning and took off hell-for-leather across the clearing toward the stream. He felt the sudden rush of air as he was swiped at by the unseen presence so close behind him, almost knocking him off his feet. The air filled with a roaring wind. He heard Sam's shotgun blast twice in rapid succession. A wailing screech filled the air as Dean splashed blindly into the cold stream, losing his footing on the slimy rocks. His body slammed into a smooth rock jutting out of the water, taking what little breath the shock of the water hadn't already knocked out of him. He managed to keep the shotgun out of the wet, rolling in the icy water to pump the gun repeatedly as a black shadow swooped low over him, wind screaming in its wake.
Sam suddenly sprinted out of the darkness, sailing over the stream like a gazelle. He hit the opposite bank, but turned back to Dean.
"Go! Sam, Go! I'm fine!" Dean croaked, coughing. Sam hesitated, then took off after the screeching sounds.
If they didn't track the damn thing back to it's grave they'd never be able to stop it. Dean writhed in the freezing water, trying to get his breath back. He dragged himself to the side of the stream and crawled out, grimacing, pushing to his feet and taking off after Sam, wet boots slipping in the grass.
Sam tore after the shadow, dodging the tree branches and undergrowth, following the wailing as it shot through the trees. He halted, gasping for breath, as the shrieking suddenly ceased. Moonlight shafted a small clearing before him and he hung back in the protective darkness of the trees, wiped the sweat out of his eyes and held the shotgun at ready.
The black shadow had stopped moving and was now hovering in a shifting mass above the silvery ground. As he watched, it slowly began to spiral downward, growing smaller with each passing second. Sam made a face as a choking whimper began to come from the swirling cloud. He watched, repelled, but fascinated as it gradually transformed in a small, twisted, gray form that dragged itself about with its arms, head rolling erratically, mouth and eyes gaping black holes. It whimpered and snorted as it felt its way across the ground, clawing in the dirt. Sam cautiously stepped closer, shouldering his gun. The creature was sobbing openly now, almost hysterically. The sound made Sam's skin crawl. He knew what an utburd was, but had never encountered one before. Only knew what little Dean had been able to tell him. Listening to it cry as it snuffled, searching frantically over the ground was almost….pathetic. Without realizing it, he slowly lowered his gun to his side, lost in morbid fascination.
The instant the gun dropped, the utburd's head snapped up and it launched itself at Sam faster than he could react, its mouth agape, taloned fingers clawing for his face. Sam threw his arms up to protect his eyes just as a shotgun blast tore through the clearing, hitting the utburd dead on. It vanished with a greasy pop. Bits of rock saIt pelted Sam's jacket and stung his face. Sam straightened unsteadily and twisted around to see behind him.
Dean stumbled up to him, clothing drenched, gun smoking. He grabbed Sam's arm. "Did it get you?" He grabbed Sam's chin examining his face in the weak light for injury. Dean was gasping for breath.
Sam tried to shake his head but Dean's hand gripped like iron, colder than ice. "No, I'm fine, I'm fine." He made a face as Dean released him, satisfied. "I'm sorry, I was watching it and-" he couldn't imagine anything stupider than what he had done by letting his guard down.
Dean dropped the soaked pack on the ground and bent over, bracing his hands on his thighs, trying to catch his breath, shivering in his soaked clothing. "I know, man, but you gotta be more careful," he wheezed. "It's hard to keep from getting caught up in it. Damned things would be pitiful if they weren't so friggin' dangerous." Grunting, he squatted down to dig through the carryall. He tossed Sam a foxhole shovel. "Start digging, Sam. Right where it was laying before it jumped you." Sam did as he was told while Dean dug out the bag of iron filings, the gasoline, salt and matches, hands shaking.
Sam knelt in the dirt, digging quickly but carefully as he knew the grave would be fairly shallow. They would never know who had left the child here to die, why or when but they could at least give it rest and keep it from hurting anyone else. A half a dozen turns of the shovel in the soft ground and small dirty bones started to turn up. He grimaced at the sight of them. He had to use his hands to pull away the rest of the dirt, trying to be gentle despite himself.
Dean came up beside him, waiting. Sam brushed the dirt off of the tiny skull, exposing the rest of the frail skeleton to the air. Dean was right, it was pitiful. He moved back a few steps as Dean poured salt over the bones and then gasoline. Sam felt the tiny heat as Dean flicked the match into life, hesitated, then dropped it into the unmarked grave. There was a small whoosh as the bones ignited.
They both jerked back as wind suddenly roared around them, the fire consuming the tiny frame, wailing filling the air again as it burned, slowly dropping to a baby's frightened choking cry. Dean knelt beside the dying fire and solemnly poured the iron filings over the ashes. The cries died away, as did the wind and then the night was still again. They both knelt there unmoving for a moment.
Dean sat back on his haunches with a deep sigh, hugging himself. "Sometimes, I really hate this shit." he murmured. He had hunted utburd's twice before, he found then disturbing on a level he rarely encountered. The sight of their twisted little bodies, whining and scratching in the dirt, totally creeped him out. Shifting uncomfortably on his knees, he wondered if he had cracked a rib or something against that rock. That'd be his luck.
Sam, staring at the smoking remains, couldn't help his eyes watering. How could someone just leave a child out to die, no matter what the circumstances, to create such evil from such innocence. He hoped to never come across another utburd as long as he lived. It was almost as if the concept that had created it was more horrendous than the creature itself. The whole thing was depressing. He sighed himself and rubbed his forehead, glancing over at Dean who was holding a hand against the right side of his ribcage, wincing.
"You all right?" Sam asked, frowning.
Dean started guiltily and dropped his hand. "Yeah," He growled. "When I fell back at the stream I landed on some rocks. Knocked the wind out of me." He was so cold his teeth were starting to chatter, a fact which Sam noticed. Sam also noticed something else.
"You're bleeding, Dean."
Dean glanced down at his shirt, surprised to see a small amount of red soaking into the grey shirtfront. Since his clothes were already wet he hadn't noticed. "Well, shit…" he groused, pulling up his t-shirt. There was a large, fairly deep scrape across his sternum and lower ribs on the right side, it wasn't bleeding much but it hurt like hell. You could already see the bruising.
"Let me take a look." Sam shifted closer to Dean, reaching out.
"It's ok, Sam, it's nothing." Dean protested, jerking his shirt down. He tried to push Sam's hands away. "We need to finish up here. I want some dry clothes. I'm freezing my ass off!""
Sam slapped Dean's hand down. "Well, I can't make it worse by looking, can I?" He crossed his arms and gave Dean that look, the one Dean hated. The I'll stand here until you do what I want look. Beat the hell out of the puppy eyes look every time because Dean had yet to discover an effective way to defeat it.
Finally, Dean held out his hands. "Can this at least wait until later? At least 'til we get back to the car? I promise you can feel me up all you want then, okay?"
Sam looked disgusted, then glanced at his watch. Grabbing the shovel he started filling in the grave. "You're right. You need some dry clothes. We got a long walk back to the car."
"You got that right," Dean growled, relieved, anything to avoid Sam's ministrations. He slowly started gathering up the rest of the equipment and stuffed it back in the carryall trying to keep his hands under control.
It was a long walk back to the car as far as Dean was concerned. The waterlogged pack weighed a freaking ton. His wet clothes were glued to him, making him even colder, the dragging wet weight making the effort of walking worse. It would be days before his boots dried out. Every movement accentuated the ache in his ribs and stomach muscles from the fall. He swallowed with an effort and hugged his arms across himself, shivering uncontrollably.
Sam followed along in silence, a few paces behind Dean. He couldn't get his mind off the tiny skeleton.
"Hey, Dean?" he finally ventured, hurrying his steps a little to catch up even though Dean was walking rather slowly.
A tired sounding, "Mmhhmm?" floated back over Dean's shoulder.
"Do you ever think about having kids?" Sam's voice was thoughtful.
Dean stopped dead and turned around, squinting at Sam, who almost blundered into him. "Do I what?" he demanded incredulously. Honestly, sometimes Sam absolutely floored him. Where in the holy hell left field had that come from?
Sam's hazel eyes regarded Dean seriously. "I mean it. Would you ever want to have kids? Jess and I-" his voice cut off suddenly and his eyes flicked to the ground. Sometimes he forgot. Anything that included Jess was not an option anymore.
Dean sighed, Jesus Christ… "I don't know, Sam." His voice betrayed his irritation. "Maybe…sometime. I dunno…" He shrugged helplessly. "To tell you the truth, I'm not sure I could handle it. Bunch of little smart ass brats running around." He made a face and pulled his arms tighter.
Sam glanced back up at him, cocking his head. "I've seen you around kids, Dean. I think you'd make a great dad." He gave Dean a shy smile. "You did."
Dean made a disgusted sound and threw the wet pack at him. Sam's arms closed on it automatically as it hit his chest. "You carry that for a while! And you have a dad!" He started walking again, his back radiating 'pissed off'. Of all the…
Sam broadened his stride to catch back up with his brother. "I'm serious, Dean! You and I both know who pretty much raised me. Dad was there but…not like that." Sam didn't want to fight with Dean but he really wanted to know the answer to his question. There were so many things about Dean he just didn't know. Sam's bad timing for this kind of stuff was legendary but when he wanted to know something he wanted to know right then.
"Dad loves you, Sam, whether you believe it or not!" Dean snarled at Sam. Nothing made him madder than Sam's constant inferences that their father wasn't all he could have been.
"I know that, Dean." Sam snapped back. "And that's not what I'm asking you." He halted as Dean spun around and glared at him again.
"Well, what the hell are you asking me?" Dean demanded impatiently. He was cold, tired, wet, sore, and just wanted to go back to the motel and sleep. He scratched through his short, rumpled hair. His breath shuddered in and out through his teeth.
"If you ever found the right girl, would you want to have kids?" Sam truly didn't know if he wanted children himself. He only knew he didn't not want them.
Dean clutched the bridge of his nose and took a deep breath. "Sam," he finally replied, as honestly as he could, "there isn't going to be any right girl for me." He went on, ignoring Sam's look of surprised disappointment. "Not with the kind of life I'm leading." He deliberately did not say 'we'. Sam was going his own way eventually, he had made that abundantly clear on numerous occasions. Dean jerked his hand outward. "So it kinda stands to reason there won't be any right kids either, doesn't it? At least, none that I might know of. So what the hell is this all about?" He crossed his arms again, visibly shaking in the cold.
Sam eyed Dean sadly, "I…I just keep thinking about the utburd. It was someone's baby and they just threw it out like it didn't matter…how could someone do that?" The look on Sam's face was so despondent it hurt Dean to look at him.
Sam had Dean there. Dean shook his head, the utburd was obviously bothering Sam a great deal. Dean couldn't speculate on something he didn't understand. "I don't know, Sam. Maybe they thought it was kinder than trying to hang on to it at all costs. Less suffering. The need of the many outweighs the one." He tossed his head in a shrug. "Crap, who knows what goes through people's minds when they're desperate." He paused, holding out his hand. "Can we please go now? I'm freezing, dude, my chest really hurts, and I just wanta go back to the motel and go to sleep." It was a low blow, but Dean knew Sam would freak if he actually admitted to being in pain. If manipulating Sam would get him back to the motel faster without a lot of asinine, pointless questions then he was gonna play it for all it was worth.
"God, Dean, I'm sorry!" Sam cried, right on cue. Jesus, he was so easy. "Why don't you ever say anything! I swear to God, you could have blood spraying out of your eyes and you wouldn't say a damn word!" He grabbed Dean's arm and pulled him forward. "C'mon, the car's not that much further. And I still want to check out where you fell!"
"Sam, I can walk on my own…."
What an odd story…absolutely pointless. This has been in my file for months and I didn't know what to do with it, obviously, so I posted it to get it away from me. It was originally the beginning of a multi chap but I couldn't figure out what to do with it. Anywho…..