SUMMARY: Objects of great supernatural existence and design can seem to have a mind of their own. The Colt is no different. It has a consciousness that extends no only to the gun itself but each individual bullet. Even into the shell casings left after a shot taken has some kind of existence. The Colt and final bullet is gone, but Dean clings almost desperately to the shell left over from his single shot that killed the Demon's son. John Winchester said that the Colt was made for a Hunter, like them but on horse back. Could the little life left in the shell casing send Dean and Sam into its place of origin to meet a throwback of those early days of Hunters, where the Moon and the Sun float in the sky side by side, all animals have a human voice and the first thing that Dean lays eyes on is a young woman with eyes the color of fresh blood and looks incredibly familiar.
DISCLAIMER: All characters and plot lines of "Supernatural" belong to their respective creators. Tuscaroara and other major land features are existing parts of Nevada and belong to themselves while all characters and lay outs of such places and so on are completely fabricated by yours truly. Several different "spirits" and "gods" are based on Native American legend and creational stories, though they are also completely fictional.
All spirits, gods, individual characters, horses, dogs, Celia Northwind (Red) are © to Mary C. Tripp (that's me). No stealies!
Like Us, But On Horse Back
"Not necessity, not desire - no, the love of power is the demon of men. Let them have everything - health, food, a place to live, entertainment - they are and remain unhappy and low-spirited: for the demon waits and waits and will be satisfied."
Chapter One: Fifty Miles Out
"Fifty miles to go and runnin' low on faith and gasoline, it's been a long hard year…"
- Carrie Underwood
Black Star Motel; Elko, Nevada
Dean Winchester ran a hand over his face, viciously scrubbing at his skin, as if trying to wipe away the world, drown it out. He sighed thickly and glanced again at his brother lying among thrashed sheets. Sam gave a few violent shivers but stayed asleep. He looked like hell, but Dean was sure he looked worse. He grit his teeth and glared back at the lab top screen. It blinked at him but did nothing to ease his anxiety or deeply buried anger. Sleep was still beyond him. He hadn't slept a full night since John had traded his life and the Colt away. Neither had Sam, though his were more driven by the premonitions and nightmares that racked the young brother.
But Dean's sleeping habits had been corrupted, he was slowing down, getting bleary eyed and sloppy. Sleep deprivation was a torture that Dean Winchester was submitting himself into willingly. He couldn't power through it like he normally did with any kind of problem, so in desperation to "control" his situation he resorted to forcing himself to stay awake. Coffee, cold showers, he'd even resorted to alcohol and drugs, using false credit cards and prescriptions to fill pill bottles with capsules of caffeine, cytamine and dulled methamphetamines. He'd even called Missouri in desperation for a few occult remedies. The physic had harassed him, snarling and spitting like a wildcat at him for his behavior. Hanging up Dean had done his own homework, started slipping small amounts of feverfew, yucca and boneset herbs into his coffee and continued to ignore most calls from Missouri to harass him into stopping his personal torture.
Dean was somewhat thankful that the woman had not told Sam about what he was doing and was slightly enraged that his brother was so blind as to not notice what Dean was doing to himself.
He'd also started taking antidepressants. Dean was actually waiting for the day that he accidentally over dosed. He looked almost balefully down at the hot black coffee, he could smell the boneset in it and the brandy poured in to mask that. Dean sighed and dug into his jeans pocket and slipped out a slightly dented slip of silver metal.
The casing from one of the Colt's bullets. The only bullet that Dean had fired from the Colt, to save Sam's life and take the life of the yellow eyed Demon's son. He'd picked it up, kept it for himself like a trophy. A souvenir. He turned it over in his fingers, tracing the etchings in the side of the silver. A minute pentagram and runic symbols and the clear number three. Dean carefully set the shell casing down on its end, balancing it on the metal of the table among the stacks of scattered papers and books and the laptop. He sat back and stared at it in the dim light for a few long minuets before sitting back up and reaching for it. The shell tipped over and lay on its side.
Dean froze, almost instinctively. He hadn't bumped the table and his fingers were still inches from the shell. The shell had tipped itself over for no reason. Dean swallowed, his eyes trained on the silver shell.
It gave a slight twitch then started to roll, Dean's eyes narrowed as the shell rolled across the table top, across the papers then off the table top. Dean traced it as it rolled to a stop in the center of a pile of newspapers. Dean watched it, waiting, hand resting on the hunting knife sheathed at his hip. He rose slowly and walked the short distance to the papers and knelt down. The shell twitched as he lifted it, examining the metal, then his eyes went to the paper that it had stopped on top of an article. Dean lifted the slip of paper into clearer light. He read the title then scanned the article.
"Animal Deaths Results of Predator and Prairie Fires"
The Bureau of Land Management of Nevada State is continuing their research and investigation results in several prairie and woodland fires as well as a sudden boom in bobcat, puma and wolf populations in the north east territory of the state. Though rain fall has actually increased in the last few months there have been nearly seven range blazes, all lasting at least five days and at least covering forty miles square before they are effected by any effort to stop the blaze.
'The loss of graze range is making it hard to keep the cattle fit and fed,' says rancher Molly Riener in the Elko region, 'But it's not the head that we're worried about, it's the mustangs.'
Nevada State is known for its wild ranges of the last great herds of mustangs and feral equines. The fires are centered and destroying the federal protective ranges of these herds and leaving blackened earth were it was once traditional graze for many of these protected herds, herds that are hundreds of years old. The lack of food and the fires themselves are killing off the weak and healthy animals.
'After a blaze we went out to count how many we lost, but for every cow of ours that was out there must have been three mustang ponies burned down to their bones, worse than any of the cattle,' Reiner continued, 'It's like something is targeting our herds.'
The worst damage recorded is near the small town of Tuscarora in Elko county, population two hundred and forty, the traditional territory of three BLM registered herds, one unregistered and the home base of the Nevada's Nokota Mustang effort.
'The fires and the predator boom are driving our herds into the canyons and scrub deserts, they're dying in the fires, and teeth of pumas and into the heat of the sun,' reported Elijah Greer, rancher and territory patrol of the Nokota and BLM registered herds. 'The mustangs, buffalo, pronghorn, elk and deer. All our hoofed animals are suffering, including our cattle. They can't find a place to rest, drink or eat. Those that are still loyal to the territory are practically robbing out domestics of their grain and pasture and drinking the water from our troughs while other herds have tried to move on, only to be trapped in unprotected lands and shot down by desperate ranches. Something has to be done to save these animals before we loose them, we've already lost nine Nokotas as is.'
The BLM members and volunteers in Tuscarora are doing everything they can to protect their mustangs and horses, including the mayor authorizing out of season hunting of mountain lion, bobcat, wolves and coyote and having a type of border patrol set up to track and trail mustang herds, keep an eye out for fires and scare off predators.
Greer assured us that the situation is not so desperate and drastic yet. 'Our dogs and local kids and their ponies have been our biggest assets on our little crusade. They get out of school saddle up and hit the trail like none other. They think its great getting permission to chase coyotes and bobcats and they're protecting a big part of their home town history, the dogs think the same thing, we've had less mutilations since the patrols have been authorized but the fires keep getting closer, we're real worried, hell we had a couple of bears come down from the mountains recently.'
Though he explained that there is a plan in progress of development if there is a need to relocate the herd for their own safety and preservation.
Celia Northwind, the main coordinator and organizer of the Tuscarora Nokota, feral horse and wildlife preservation efforts, as well as the captain of the herd patrol units and cattle rancher was unavailable for comment.
'She's out there right now, taking numbers on the ponies and buffalo that have started hanging around the river valley. If anyone was going to take control of this effort it was her, she spends more time with horses than she does people' Greer explained.
If you wish to donate time or funds to the BLM of Nevada, The Tuscarora Nokota Mustang Preservation Organization or The Blackbird Feral Horse and Burro Preservation Organization of Tuscarora you can contact their offices at:(775) 555. 3247 or (775) 555.3298; you can e-mail cnorthwind (a) nevadamustang . org for more information at the following websites:
www . blm . org
www . tuscaroaramustangs . org
www . tuscaroaranokotahorse . org
Dean reread the article twice, the third time he spent making a few short notes in the journal that he had started to record his own encounters with the paranormal and supernatural. He glanced at the screen where he'd pulled up all three websites, and opened his e-mail account with the typed address ready in the prompt, though it remained blank.
He only took interest in the story at first because of the behavior of the shell, then because of the content and finally because he had a slight nagging feeling, recalling stories from other Hunters about deceased poachers and hunters that continued to slaughter the same animals they'd hunted in life. Buffalo Bill Cody was legended to have single handedly put the American Bison on the endangered species list and a Hunter Dean met assured the boy that the reason the buffalo couldn't return to their numbers was because old Bill and his personal hunting party still crashed around the Midwestern plains slaughtering the animals at every chance. Dean glared at the shell from time to time as he immersed himself into a frenzy of research at every angle. Even researching almost viciously to understand exactly what a 'Nokota' was. He could imagine the bit of silver was smirking at him, teasing him.
The more and more that Dean researched into the fires, predator booms and the destruction of the wild horses the more and more he began to believe that this was their sort of thing. But no matter where he looked he couldn't seem to find a photograph of 'Celia Northwind', though there was one or two of Elijah Greer on the main websites.
The e-mail page continued to remain blank as Dean's over taxed mind started to spin theories and options of what could be behind it. He figured best a spirit, maybe a frontier's man or a hunter like Buffalo Bill Cody that saw the mustangs as pests and trying to continue it's personal attempt to rid the plains of it.
He almost jumped at the rasp in Sam's voice, he twisted away from the gallery of photos of the fire scorched territories.
"What's going on Dean, what are you doing?" Sam grumbled, pushing himself up and shivering slightly. For being a desert Nevada was cold in the nighttime hours.
"I think I found a job." Dean said shortly.
Sam perked up. "Have an idea what it is? Spirit, demon, poltergeist?"
"Horses." Dean muttered. Sam did a double take.
Dean handed the original article to his brother and continued to read a long amendment bill that had been passed in congress a few years before authorizing the BLM to sell mustangs into slaughter markets for food overseas.
"It does sound kind of odd, especially if rain has actually increased, do you think it's the Demon?" Sam asked, setting the article back onto the piles of research. Dean froze.
That hadn't eve crossed his mind as an option, hell he was getting slow. The fires were a sign of temperature flux and though the cattle mutilations had become horses, they were still animal disembowelments.
"That wasn't my first idea but it seems to fit." Dean snapped quietly, more at himself than Sam.
"Yeah except look, this is a week old." Sam pointed to the publish date. "If it was the demon it would have already acted."
Dean immediately pulled up the information that he'd been researching, including a follow up article and the local papers of Tuscarora, Nevada.
"No, nothing about a fire, either in the land or in a home, but three more Nokotas are dead." Dean found himself almost growling.
"Nokotas? Whats a Nokota?" Sam scoffed sitting down on top of a stack of newspapers in the only other chair.
"Nokota is a subspecies of feral horse, they were originally developed in North Dakota, they're a completely different genetic make up compared to the North American Mustang. They're pretty rare, barely five hundred individuals left and three hundred of those are in the Nokota Mustang Conservatory in North Dakota, another hundred and fifty are privately owned and the last fifty are a part of Northwind's preservation efforts. They've lost fifteen of those. She's got to be pissed as hell about that." Dean rattled off the facts almost unknowingly, pulling up a comparative photograph of a Nokota horse standing next to a North American mustang and twisted the laptop around to let Sam see it. The Nokota was significantly smaller than the mustang, it was darker in color, a flecked blue roan with black mane, tail and points, as well a dorsal stripe and stripe markings on the legs. The mustang had been a pale gold color and handsome too, but the Nokota had gotten his attention.
The particular Nokota and mustang were from Northwind's herds in Tuscarora and Dean had been flipping back to the photo every few minuets.
Sam looked that the photo, clearly unimpressed with the horse.
"You looked all this up?"
Dean only nodded and grunted in response.
"Why?...did you a find a picture of this Northwind chick? Is she hot enough to learn this stuff?" Sam teased.
"I couldn't find one of her." Dean muttered, both absently and annoyed at his little brother's response. Sam smirked, not believing him for a second.
"So you want to head up to Tuscarora and see what's going on?" Sam sniffed, flipping through several of the pages that Dean had printed out. "I mean it could still be the Demon, maybe it just didn't act yet."
"Then it's off it's cycle of timing. I think it might be something else. And if it's not we head west towards Las Vegas, plenty of bastards to hunt there." Dean looked at the blank e-mail message again, deciding to shut it off and just surprise Northwind, that at least would give him an edge.
He saved all the links and information to a file marked simply 'MUSTANG'.
"Fine by me, lets leave in the morning." Sam sighed, stretched, like an over large languid cat and collapsed back into his bed. He hugged his pillow into his chest and dozed or pretended to doze.
Dean shook his head. He turned back to the blank screen, tensed up, then pulled up another e-mail, logging in and typing out the e-mail address again. He took a deep breath and quickly typed out a simple message.
I read the article in the Elko Street Edition and I did a little research and I was hoping that you could send me a little more information on the situation in Tuscarora. The article said to contact you for more information. Thanks.
He stared at it, feeling stupid for a second before clicking the send. He sat back, looked around at the silver shell casing and snorted. The shell seemed to be laughing at him. He nearly lashed out to crush the shell when the computer hummed and beeped loudly. Dean jumped, looked around at Sam who had only flinched slightly but said and did nothing. Assuring Dean that his brother was asleep.
Startled Dean turned back to the computer screen.
The new message was blinking in blue, clearly marked with the sender Celia Northwind; cnorthwind (a) nevadamustang . org.
Slightly startled Dean opened the new message and read through it.
Hello Dean W.
Nice timing, I was just getting up to start the day. I'm always glad to send out more information to anyone who asks, just the fact that you're up this late and taking the time to try and learn more means that the cause is starting to get noticed.
I've attached two files, one for North American Mustangs and feral Burros and one for Nakota Mustangs.
I hope you find them helpful and have the information that you were looking for. If you wanted anything more feel free to contact me anytime and I will get back to you as soon as possible.
Thanks for your interest,
Dean reread the note a few times, and he actually found himself smiling. He liked the way she sounded through her writing. Light hearted but to business. He saved the two files to his 'MUSTANG' folder and found himself writing back.
Wow, that was quick. The article made you sound incredibly busy. I thought it would be a few days before I heard back. Thanks for the files, I haven't read them yet but I'm sure they'll be perfect. I am really interested in helping as much as I can to figure out what is going on in your town and territory. My brother, too.
Just getting up? It's four thirty in the morning, seems pretty early to me especially with the schedule that I imagine you have.
He hesitated, almost typing out 'Winchester' but refrained, the last thing he wanted was to blow the horn on his own name, being doubly the wanted convict now avoiding his real name was a good idea. Especially over the internet. He hit send and sat back, almost nervously waiting for a reply. He refused to look at the shell. Dean drummed his fingers. He was rewarded in a few minuets. Dean excitedly rushed to open the new e-mail. He felt foolish for getting excited but didn't try and stifle the feeling.
I am incredibly busy you just caught me at the right time. I have a lot to deal with and getting up early in the morning helps make sure that I can get it all done in one day. What about you? If you're a normal human being you should be asleep right about now yourself.
I appreciate your time and interest, as well as your brother's. The feral life need as much support and interest as possible. Especially after the Burn's Amendment a few years back.
Dean smiled at the signature, she'd matched hers to his. He hit reply and rushed to start typing.
I read about the Burn's Amendment in my research, I was a little upset that something like that was passed by our government.
My brother and I are college students, we are used to late and early hours. We're professional insomniacs. What keeps you up?
Do you have any idea what might be causing the fires or the predator boom? And what exactly are you and your organization trying to do to stop it? I read about the controlled hunting and patrols, but have they worked?
Dean sent the message and waited, sipping his coffee and nervously bouncing his knee up and down. He almost jumped when his reply came.
It is upsetting that a man who has no understanding or experience with the mustangs wants to use them for food, a cancellation amendment is in the works by Nevada's own senators and representatives.
Students, good to hear that you're continuing you education. I understand why you spend your nights awake now. And wish I had the same opportunity. What keeps me up? Hell the paperwork and fund balancing, organizing our volunteers and keeping numbers in check. Plus living and working a ranch it's hard trying to make ends meat around here. It can definitely keep a body up at night worrying about her littler sister and big brother and making sure the damn herds are safe getting up first thing in the morning. Much less thinking about what's out there posing a threat. It's the natural life of a rancher and hunter. I suppose being a student you're more from a city area, probably don't strain so much worrying about predators.
I do have a few theories as to what is causing the fires, each less sensible than the last. But the predator boom is harder to explain away, it's against nature for a depletion of prey to trigger a predator boom, when one struggles the other does.
Our patrols are consisted of groups of two or three men and women on horseback walking the range borders, taking notes and numbers on any mustangs and other wildlife they see and report in every hour. It's become easier to track the populations and take notes as where animals are struggling. The predators steered clear for a while, rifle shots over their heads made them think twice, but they've gotten bolder and we have been authorized to shoot to kill if necessary. Unfortunately the fires are a different matter and we can hardly control them only make sure that we have enough warning to drive our mustangs out of danger. They're slow working methods but still 'working'.
Again, I appreciate your interest Dean, but I do have to get to that busy schedule. If you would like to contact me feel free to call my cell later today or leave me an e-mail and I will return it as soon as possible.
775. 555. 7669
Dean felt his heart fall that she was not going to contact him again that morning, his well masked depression creeping up on him. But his nerves were peaked by what she had written. That she didn't have a chance to continue her education, she was barely making ends meat and was looking out for a younger sister and older brother.
And she'd written 'what's out there posing a threat', the natural life of a hunter.
Dean suddenly couldn't wait until later in the day to give the woman a call and find out if she knew more than she seemed. Dean grit his teeth, saved a contact with her name and the phone number into his cell and set an alarm to go off at ten to call her.
He hoped to make an appointment to go in and talk to her face to face. He saved a transcript of the conversation and shut the computer down, sluggishly shuffling over to his bed and slumping down into the comforter. But he stayed awake, running countless scenarios through his mind. Behind his eyes he swore he could hear the sounds of crackling fires and his heartbeat in his ears, the pulsing of his blood sounded like hoof beats and gun shots.
Shaking himself and sitting up slowly Dean realized he must have been dreaming, fallen asleep. His sheets and clothes were sweat soaked and rumpled in his unconscious thrashing. It must not have been so severe, he hadn't woken up for it and neither had Sam. Much less he didn't remember anything from the night before after he'd shut down the laptop. It was a strange feeling, when had sleep become so foreign. He growled and rummaged into the pile of clothes dumped on the end of the bed and slipped out a prescription bottle. Dean snarled at himself before throwing back two horse pills of methamphetamines. He quickly slipped the bottle back out of sight when Sam stirred. Dean felt the drugs rush into his veins but the reaction was duller than it had been only weeks ago.
He was becoming immune.
The older brother yanked on a pair of semi-clean jeans, ripped off the sweat soaked tee shirt and replaced it with a clean red one. He quickly threw the clothes into their packs, scrambling to assemble the stacks of newspapers, ripping the original article out and stuffing it into the opened page of his forgotten journal.
Sam groaned and rolled over, still oblivious to the world and the nearly frantic gathering of his brother. Dean slipped the lap top into Sam's case and dumped the unwanted newspapers into a recycling box near the trash can. He had to admit that Nevada was an eco-aware state. There were laws about recycling.
Dean made a quick once over of the room, making sure they had everything. He snatched the hunting knife from under his pillow and slid it home into his boot.
"Sam, up an at 'em sunshine." Dean ordered, gently shoving his brother a few times in the side. Sam groaned and dug deeper into the pillow.
"Alright, I'm up…what the hell for?" Sam muttered, cracking one eye into the sunlight, annoying pain bubbling in his mind before shutting his eye again.
"We got a fifty mile drive to Tuscarora." Dean grumbled, throwing clean clothes as his brother.
Sam snorted, "Fifty miles? Fifty, you're in a rush like this for fifty miles?"
"Just get up." Dean snapped and slipped out of the room towards the office to check out and pay off the motel. Fraud, charming smile and all.
He was walking back across the parking lot when his phone leaped to life, beeping loudly. Dean actually jumped sideways in surprise.
"Spooked horse." One of the office workers muttered as he walked by to start cleaning a room. Dean glared at the staff member and pulled out his phone. He was struck suddenly by excitement and nervousness.
It was the alarm, ten in the morning .
Time to call Celia Northwind.
Nervously he pulled up the programmed number and steadied himself. He always got fired up when he was going after a lead and practically interrogating someone, even if it was over the phone and it seemed more like a causal conversation to the unsuspecting.
He pushed send and held the phone to his ear.
Dean felt his heart starting to sink at the sixth and waited for the machine to pick up.
"Red's phone." A decisive answer said in his ear.
Dean's chest tightened and he almost choked on his rush to answer. Even if the voice was male and the name female.
"Yeah, this is Dean Wilson, I was hoping to find Celia Northwind. I wanted to talk about the mustangs." Dean made himself sound innocent, letting some of his nervousness seep into his confidence, women ate that sort of thing up, some men too, made them feel dominate.
"Wilson? Well Mr. Wilson y'all have to call back a little later. Ol' Red's in the middle of somethin' on the range right now and cain't talk just yet. All she's got is her radio." The male returned, he grunted between a few words as if he was busy working on something more important than talking to someone on the phone. Dean was now familiar with the south western accent of Nevada and didn't even bother to make fun of it in his head.
"May I ask who I'm speaking to?"
"Elijah Greer, Mr. Wilson…Imogene! Get movin'! Sorry 'bout that."
"You're daughter?" Dean asked playfully.
"My little sister, Mr, Wilson."
"Well, thanks, I will call back a little later." Dean suddenly felt the regret that he hadn't caught Northwind, or 'Red' as she was evidently called.
She must have red hair, Dean thought to himself.
"Sure thing, I'll leave her a note and radio her that ya called."
"You're not going to see her later?" Dean knew he was prying now, but Elijah Greer seemed more than willing to talk to him, his photos and entries on the websites and in the articles confirmed that much. He assumed that Greer and Northwind were involved with each other and the idea that he wasn't going to see her again that day, as early as it was gave him the idea that the romance was on the rocks.
"No sir, the family's headin' out of town for a bit and we're leavin' it to Red."
"You're related?" Dean asked, restraining his surprise.
"Red was adopted into my family 'bout twenty years ago, she's my sister sir." Dean had a feeling that the young man was distracted and not really paying attention to what he was saying.
"Oh, well I'm sorry to have bothered you." Dean tried to sound apologetic.
"No problem, I'll let her know ya called."
"My pleasure Mr. Wilson, have a good day." Before Dean could get further the other end of the line clicked off. Dean snapped his phone shut, looking at it for a while.
So Elijah was the older brother and Imogene the younger sister that Northwind had mentioned in the e-mails.
Middle child was hard enough without being adopted into it. At least from Dean understood from the lives of the few middle children he knew.
Dean's interest was perked and his mind buzzing, but he pushed it aside, very aware that it was possible that Sam was still asleep. He jogged back into the rented room and growled at the still sleeping Sam.
"Sam!" Dean barked, making the younger brother jump and grunt into his pillow in surprise.
Sam snorted and rolling his head back and slumping into the shotgun seat a little lower.
"Fifty miles, of all things." He muttered, watching the rolling landscape crawl by. He had to admit that fifty miles of flat Nevada stretch seemed long than just fifty miles. But it was still a fraction of what Sam and Dean were used to traversing in a day.
"Quit grumbling Sam." Dean snapped, overly irritable. He wasn't feeling well, like his skin was too tight or too loose. He glanced at a road marker. They were still on State Highway 226 diverging slowly onto State Highway 789. They'd already crossed between the Independence Mountain range and the Humboldt National Forest; and the Tuscarora Mountains were rising not far off in the south west.
"I'm just saying you sure are in a hurry to get to a town where there doesn't seem to be anything going on except some environmental issues." Sam snarked back.
Dean grit his teeth and glared across at his brother. "Sam we sure as hell are quick to follow your hunches, and I was a Hunter on my own for two years after you left." The sore spot that he was aiming for made Sam flinch but Dean couldn't have cared less. "So can you just handle sitting shotgun while I follow one of my instincts, alright?" His voice was clipped and snapped like a too tight rubber band.
Sam swallowed dryly but killed any grumbling or argument.
Dean only snorted and looked out of the driver's side window briefly at the short grassed desert prairie that was northern Nevada's main terrain, the red rock mountains growing slowly larger in the south. He noticed something out of the corner of his eye and looked harder. Not far off the edge of a road just ahead a large dog was walking towards the pavement.
It struck Dean as strange, they had probably passed a total of ten cars since hitting the highway, all of them either a truck or a jeep. And no animals at all, a dog just wandering around the side of the highway made him look.
That's not a dog, he thought suddenly, it looked like one of those jackals he saw on the nature shows about Africa savannas. But those things weren't native to North America. Come on, what was it…
"Coyote." He muttered low under his breath; Sam didn't catch it or the satisfaction that rang in his tone at having thought of the name without help.
He grinned, and then faltered.
The animal seemed to have heard him. It's head flew up and ears thrown forward, it stopped moving and glared around at him. Dean's brow furrowed as he locked eyes with the animal. It cocked its head to the side, the dark brown eyes flashing suddenly black, then iridescent white. The coyote's head turned so it could continue to stare at him as the Impala passed it on the highway, Dean found himself straining to keep eye contact. In the last second the coyote's eyes actually narrowed and it grinned, smiled at him like some kind of Cheshire cat, lips drawn back over black teeth instead of white.
"The hell?" Dean muttered startled, blinking and whipping around to try and look for the animal in the review. It wasn't reflecting back in the mirror.
"What?" Sam asked.
Dean shook himself, looking at his brother.
"Nothing." He muttered, it could have been one of the many little illusions that he was suffering from his continued lack of sleep.
Sam shrugged and sighed, "Whatever."
"How much further?" Dean asked.
"Four miles or so at this up coming crossroads." Sam muttered, checking the map.
"No problem. Smooth sailing." Dean sighed, cock sure attitude breaking through.
The Impala lurched, throwing Sam and Dean forward. Sam smashed stomach first into the dash and Dean into the wheel. They both snarled in surprise. Dean pressing down on the breaks and steering towards the shoulder. The engine wailed as if in mortal pain before all sound ceased from the Impala and the engine died all together. The Impala rolled, slowing until it stopped. Settling in the gravel and dirt shoulder of the northern corner of the crossroads.
Sam groaned, sitting back and rubbing his sore stomach.
Dean slammed a fist into the steering wheel, barking a few colorful curses as he threw the muscle car into park and practically kicking the door open. All thoughts of the black toothed coyote fleeing from his mind.
"Sammy, you okay?" He asked sharply.
"Yeah," he groaned, rubbing his head, "what happened?"
"I'm going to find the hell out!' Dean snarled popping the hood, climbing out, slammed the driver's door shut and yanking up the hood. He wasn't met with a wall of oily smoke or damp steam, only cold air. It was as if the engine hadn't even been running for the last few hours. He reached forward and carefully tapped his fingers across the manifold. Then he pressed his palm down into the metal.
Sam climbed out of the passenger seat and walked around, flinching slightly from the bruising and pain in his abdomen.
"Dean!" He barked in surprise at his hand on the long running engine.
"It's ice fucking cold Sam!" Dean snarled back, his temper flaring easily from his self inflicted insomnia and the idea that his Impala was acting up without obvious cause.
Sam cocked his head at him and reached out to touch the manifold. His shivered, the metal was so cold it bit at his hands, stinging. He quickly drew his hand back and rubbed it on his jeans, trying to get some of the warmth back. Dean braced his hands on the front end lip, handing his head forward.
"Weird…can you fix it?" Sam asked, raising his eyebrows.
Dean twisted around on his much taller brother with narrowed eyes and practically bared teeth.
Sam leaned back against the fender, he rubbed a hand across his fore head and shielded his eyes against the sun. He heard Dean grunt and snarl from around the front of the engine. Both Winchesters had abandoned their flannels and jackets in the Nevada heat, even if it was early fall it was still drastically hot under the sun and on the pavement. Sam stretched his legs out in front of him on the pavement, it had been nearly three and a half hours now and their nerves were wearing thin. Sam knew for a fact that Dean was starting to get to a point to gutting the entire engine out of frustration and it didn't help that the engine stayed ice cold.
"Coolant leak or something." Dean snapped, refusing any other explanation of what could be happening to his baby..
So Sam reserved himself to sitting by, helping when he was shouted at and looking out for any help that was obviously not coming down any of the four roads. It didn't help that neither of their cells had any signal on this stretch of highway.
"Hows it coming?" Sam asked glancing sideways and up at his brother.
Dean only snarled curses and s few 'shut up college boy's and a clanging of metal on metal.
Sam snorted a little under his breath, it was kind of funny in a way, would have been funnier if they both weren't dehydrated. And that situation was starting to get severe. Sam knew he was sweating too much, god knew how much Dean was.
Sam glanced around and down the road, sighing again. He started, squinting to make out a shape in the heat twisted air above the pavement.
He stood up suddenly.
"What!?" Dean barked.
"I think someone's coming."
Dean glanced up and stretched around to look passed his car, brother and down the pavement. He squinted, glancing down all four stretches.
"I don't see anything." Dean snapped and turned back to the engine. Sam glanced around at Dean and cocked and eyebrow before turning back to the road far out a head of him, the one traveling north. He was sure something was coming up the highway. He waited a few minuets before he was sure then stepped out in the middle of the highway and waved his arms over his head. The only thing he had seen since the Impala shuddered to a stop was a large crow drifting over them. The bird had looked down at Sam, seemed to cock it's head and croak loudly before suddenly turning on wing and flying swiftly back the way it came due north, Sam had only briefly wondered at it's sudden and drastic change in course, but he quickly forgot about it as no other form of life showed up to supplement the memory. Other than that they may have well been on Mars for the lack of life or traffic.
Dean glared at his brother's back for a minuet before snarling a few insults and curses.
Sam smiled as the shadow seemed to pick up speed. He braced his hands on his hips and sighed in the heat.
His smile faded into a frown.
"They're on horseback." He called to Dean. Dean only grunted.
"Two horses, they're leading one." Sam called again, shielding his eyes against the glare. He waved and the rider waved back. It looked like they were trotting, maybe galloping towards the stranded brothers. They weren't to far off and getting closer. Dean could hear the sound of hooves connecting with the pavement, getting louder in a hurry.
"Great Sam, what is some freaking native cowboy on a couple of stupid horses going to do for us?" Dean spat.
"Ya'd be surprised, son."
Hope ya'll like. It'll defiantely get better from here on.
The Planet Mary and All Her Woes...