Title: The Standard Salt and Burn.
Prompt: Written for the Live Journal community spnbreaksthelaw : #83 Kansas - "Persons may not "screech" their tires while driving"
Characters: Sam and Dean Winchester.
Disclaimer: All things Supernatural belong to Kripke, et al.
Summary: Sam and Dean investigate a series of bizarre suicide/murders of teens in Hays, Kansas. This takes place after AHBL.
The Standard Salt and Burn.
Tommy Wilson had finally saved up enough money to purchase the classic Camero. He headed to the west side of town toward Exide Road where the traffic was light and there was a good stretch of road to really open her up. The intersection at 210th and Exide held a big gravel lot where the kids hung out on Saturday night to watch others racing their cars up and down the dead end stretch of 210th street. He planned to be part of the show next Saturday.
He reached the deserted intersection, rolled down the window and cranked up his Linkin' Park CD. He revved the engine and peeled down 210th street with wheels squealing. Sweet , he thought. Suddenly, the dead end loomed in front of him. Tommy saw the wall and slammed on the brakes. He stopped with inches to spare, turned around and raced back. He delighted in the sound of the tires screeching against the blacktop as he took the turn into the lot without slowing down, spraying a cloud of gravel behind him. He did several more runs down the dead end street before ending with a few donuts in the gravel lot. Finally, he pulled the car to a stop, settled in to listen to the music and smoke a joint.
He had just started to relax and enjoy the moment when the radio began to cut out. In fact, the car's whole electrical system started flickering on and off. Great! Tommy shut the car off and got out to check under the hood
He had just circled to the front of the car when a voice behind him asked, "Did you really think you could get away with that?"
Tommy turned around and in a mock surrender answered, "Hey, it was just a little weed."
The figure moved closer, backing Tommy up against the car. It staticed once and disappeared. "What the fuck?" he muttered.
Underneath his hands, he felt the car spring to life. He turned to see that no one was driving and felt for the keys in his pocket. Still there. "Again, what the fuck?" he said aloud. At that moment running seemed like the best option. Too bad it wasn't.
Less than a minute later the car was silent and so was Tommy.
"Hays, Kansas." Sam handed Dean the folder he had compiled of the case data.
"Kansas, really?" Dean grimaced. Sam may as well have suggested hell. He hated going to Kansas. He grabbed the papers from Sam and settled down on the bed closest to the door and began to peruse them.
Dean flipped through the pages but he was really just waiting for Sam to explain them. He looked at his brother expectantly. Sam took that as his cue to begin, "Tommy Wilson, age 17, was run over by his own car 2 days ago. No witnesses and no evidence to suggest that anyone else was driving the car. It was ruled an accident."
"That hardly sounds supernatural. Kid's probably a lousy driver. He left the car in neutral and it rolled over him. Next," Dean said dismissively. He laid the papers aside and held out his hand for another case folder.
"Very funny," Sam plopped down on the bed next to Dean and put the file back in his hand. "There have been 3 other teen deaths in that gravel lot over the past two years. All ruled suicide."
"What, all these kids run themselves over?"
"No actually they were all different. One girl slit her wrist using shards of the broken windshield. One kid strangled himself on the seatbelt and the last was CO2 poisoning caused when he plugged himself into the exhaust." Sam could see Dean's demeanor change from apathetic to interested.
"So, it is our kind of gig," Dean said. "You're thinking angry spirit forcing them to commit suicide."
"Maybe," Sam continued, "there used to be a restaurant & bar, Murphy's, in the lot. It burned down about ten years ago, two casualties."
Dean sent his brother his best annoyed look. "You couldn't have told me this to begin with?"
"I was building toward a conclusion," Sam insisted.
"Okay Matlock, you made your case," Dean laughed and got up off the bed to start packing, "we're going to Kansas. It's still just the standard 'Salt and Burn', no need to be so dramatic."
Sam and Dean reached Hays by afternoon the next day.
"Dean, can't we do better the Bates Motel Junior?" Sam asked as they walked toward the check-in.
"Get over it Sammy, we're never gonna stay at the Hilton and besides that girl in the office doesn't look anything like Norman." Dean observed as he studied the pretty brunette behind the counter.
Sam just sighed and resigned himself to another night on a lumpy mattress. Dean, on the other hand, would most likely be sleeping elsewhere if they finished early.
Once in the room, they salted the doors and windows before they headed over to the gravel lot.
"Not much here. It's a pretty isolated spot," Sam observed as they stood in the empty lot. Years of abandonment had taken it's toll; there was no visible sign of the small bar & restaurant that had stood there ten years earlier.
Dean walked toward the center of the lot where something in the gravel had caught his eye. "Well, it definitely looks like someone was using this lot for donut practice. So, give me the rest of the details about our leading candidates."
Sam checked his notes and confirmed, "two men died when the place burned down. The cook, Dave Hendren and the dishwasher, Al Johnson, died at the scene. Both were cut off from the exit when the grease fire got out of control in the kitchen. A dozen others made it out with minor scrapes and burns."
"Anyone else die bloody in the bar? What about death by car crash at the intersection?"
Sam shook his head. "No fatal car crashes that I could find. There was one heart attack in the bar and that's it. So, it's got to be the fire victims upset with people hanging in their parking lot."
"I agree, "Dean nodded. "Like I said, a standard salt and burn." He continued his circuit around the lot looking for anything that might contradict his initial observations.
"There are a few houses across the street. Think they might have seen something?" Sam observed.
"Probably not," Dean looked across the street, mentally calculating the distance. "They're set too far back. There's no street lights, so in the dark it would be tough to see the lot from any of them."
"Then, I guess we're digging for Dave and Al." Sam said as he headed back to the Impala.
Dean clapped his hands together. "Great, I saw my kind of bar on the way here. I should be able to get a little action in after we dig and then I believe there's a certain brunette who's just dying to get to know me."
Sam just snorted and shook his head.
"Don't act so high and mighty there college boy. Someone's got to keep us flush." Dean countered as he climbed into the Impala.
Sam feigned surrender and got into the car.
The sun was setting and a cold beer was waiting. Dean spun the car around quickly, spraying gravel in his wake as he headed toward the cemetery.
They had salted and burned the corpses of both fire victims. Then, they'd hung around to make sure.
A few days later, Sam entered the motel room bearing donuts, coffee and bad news. Dean was still sleeping off the effects of his latest night of hedonism. He'd found a few easy marks at the pool table and a blonde waitress who showed him the inside of the supply closet. Seriously, Sam wondered, was there any place Dean hadn't done it.
Sam kicked the bottom of his brother's bed. "Wake up, Dean."
"Go 'way, Sammy," Dean tossed a bit trying to get comfortable again.
"Dean, there's been another death."
Dean stilled and then rolled over to cast a bleary eye in Sam's direction. "What happened?"
"A kid, Tyler Mills, was found thrown through the front windshield of his car." Sam handed Dean the newspaper. "Apparently the cops are saying he stopped suddenly and because he wasn't wearing a seatbelt, he went right through the window."
Dean snorted, "stopped suddenly enough in that lot to go through the windshield. Cops here are friggin' geniuses." Dean rubbed a hand across his face to clear his vision.
Sam could tell he wasn't too hung over. Good, they had work to do. "It also says that there was a witness. A kid named Mark Harris found Tyler. He got there after the accident but he swears he saw a woman shouting at the car and then she vanished."
"A woman? Was he sure?" Dean was already moving to scrounge his clothes from the floor of the motel. Sam grimaced as he watched Dean sniff-check a few items before deciding they were clean enough to wear.
Sam ignored his brother's poor hygiene habits to continued reading. "He seems sure in the interview but it isn't much of a newspaper. The phantom woman story was already making the rounds at the coffee shop."
"Gotta love small towns," Dean snickered as he entered the bathroom. "You've the kid's address?" he asked through the door.
"Yeah, of course."
"That's our first stop, then. We need to find out more about what those kids were doing out there."
"You thinking some kind of ritual, maybe?"
"Could be but I didn't see any candles or spell ingredients. Also, that kind of magic should have left energy traces." Exiting the bathroom, Dean grabbed his jacket as he headed out the door.
They'd gone with newspaper reporters investigating the string of deaths as the identity of choice. Sitting in Mark Harris' living room, Sam took the lead.
"So Mark, can you tell us exactly why you were all out there? It's a pretty deserted area."
"The skinny 16 year-old looked at his hands and couldn't seem to stop fidgeting. "You think all those deaths are linked? That maybe someone killed Tyler and Tommy?"
"Why don't you let us get our facts together and we'll know for sure." Sam turned on his you-can-trust-me smile and the kid appeared to relax. "So, last night...," he prompted.
Mark cleared he throat and began slowly, "we go out there to race along the dead end street and mess around in the lot. Not a lot of traffic and the cops are glad we aren't hanging in the Walmart parking lot annoying the customers, so they leave us alone."
"Why was Tyler by himself?"
Mark laughed ruefully, "He had to take a leak. Everyone was already heading out to the diner when he decided to make for the bushes. We figured he'd follow soon enough so no one thought to wait for him." Mark dropped his head into his hands and just sighed, "Can you believe it? He was killed because he had to pee."
Sam put a comforting hand on the boys shoulder. Dean rolled his eyes and gave Sam the move it along sign. Sam waved Dean off and continued with his next question.
"Mark, I know this is hard but we need to know what you saw. Please, if Tyler was murdered, you may hold the clue."
Mark looked up at Sam and nodded, "I realized it had been too long and thought maybe he'd had car trouble so I headed back. When I got there, he had already crashed through the window. There was this crazy lady screaming at him."
"What was she saying?"
"I don't remember," Mark insisted
Dean joined the conversation. "Try to remember. I'm sure that's not something you'd forget."
Sam gave him a look to stay out of it. Dean shrugged and started wandering around the room. Sam sighed. Sometimes Dean was like a 6 yr-old with ADHD. "Come on Mark focus. You can do this. Close your eyes and just picture the scene."
Mark took a deep breath and concentrated. "She said something like: You won't get away with it and then something about breaking the rules or maybe the law?" Mark sighed, "I don't know it was crazy lady speak. She didn't seem to know Tyler was hurt."
Sam nodded his agreement in order to build trust with Mark. "Do you recall what see was wearing? Was it a white dress?"
"Yeah," he paused to collect his thoughts, "I do remember because I wondered where the old lady had come from. She had on librarian clothes."
"Librarian clothes," Dean snorted. "What does the fashionable librarian wear?"
Mark responded defensively, "you know what I mean. She had on these sensible shoes and a sweater. You know, dressed for winter in the middle of August and I thought, man, she's got to be burning up. Weird, what you remember."
"Anything else about her clothing or her behavior?" Sam asked.
Mark opened his mouth to speak and then closed it. "I know I couldn't have seen it," he stopped and looked to Sam who encouraged him to continue. "She vanished. I mean one minute she was there and the next she wasn't."
Sam gave Mark another understanding look, "Our minds do funny things when we're trying to cope."
"Is that why I thought she vanished?" Sam could tell that Mark needed to believe that.
"Absolutely," Dean chimed in. "She probably walked back to one of those houses on the other side of the road to phone the ambulance or something."
Mark looked calm for the first time. "Yeah, that's right. I remember now she did say something about her father."
They talked with Mark for a little while longer but he really didn't have any more useful information.
They headed back out to the crime scene. The lot looked pretty much the same as it had three days ago.
Dean and Sam found themselves standing in almost the same place. "Dean, if it's a woman, we've got nothing. Every death I found in the bar was a man," Sam reminded his brother.
"I know." Dean looked across the street. "You got any history on those four houses?"
"No, but I guess that's my next assignment. Let's hope somebody died violently and really hated the corner bar."
"Well, maybe our librarian lady was a teetotaler," Dean chuckled as he stepped into the Impala, "which will double my pleasure when we track the bitch down."
Sam slid into the passenger seat. "Any guesses as to why our mystery woman doesn't like teens and their cars?"
Dean smiled thinking about his days as a teen with a hot car. "I was never much welcome at the library, so I'm guessing she's just cranky like all repressed women."
"Yeah, I remember those days too. Seems obvious now," Sam agreed with a snicker. "Oh and Dean, just because a woman doesn't find you attractive does not mean she's repressed."
Dean huffed his disagreement and pealed the Impala out of the lot.
Dean met up with Sam outside the county records office. "Anything," he asked as they navigated the streets back to where the Impala was parked.
"Nope, nothing," Sam answered. "All four houses have clean histories. No mysterious deaths and no missing persons. Three are owned by young families and the last is owned by a retired state trooper. Unfortunately, there's nothing here to suggest any changes that might have started up a new haunting." Frustrated, Sam tossed his bag into the back seat. "What about you, any local legends come to life?"
Dean had a look of smug satisfaction, "I think I found out something." He'd spent the afternoon at the diner and other local hangouts trying to find any underground history of the area. "That retired State Trooper has got an 'old man Withers vibe' about him," Dean stopped talking when he realized Sam was giving him the 'are you crazy' look. "What? You really don't know your cultural heritage do you?"
"Dean your point." Sam had had a long annoying day and if Dean had found something he didn't have time for his cryptic clues. Dean really had spent too many hours in front of the TV growing up.
"It's from Scooby Doo. You know the creepy guy who secretly hates kids but no one suspects except Velma..." Dean tried to explain but Sam just continued to stare at him. "Never mind. Officer Davis never leaves the house. He's been retired on disability for over 15 years. He was involved in a car chase that ended with him having difficulty walking. In fact, he spends a lot of time in a wheelchair. Your computer didn't tell you that. I'm surprised."
Sam had to give Dean credit sometimes the old fashioned way worked. "That does sound promising. Law officer and he definitely wouldn't like cars. Only one problem," Sam reminded him, "he's still alive and his situation has been the same for a long time."
"True, but since he's practically wheelchair bound maybe he's doing some kind of astral projection."
"There's another problem. He's a 'he' and our mystery guest is a she."
"Well, maybe he's always felt like girl on the inside," Dean laughed.
"Dean, come on we've got nothing." Sam wasn't in the mood.
"Chill, Sammy, I've got more."
Sam sent Dean one of his patented impatient looks and Dean groused, "What, I'm not allowed to build to a dramatic reveal."
"Fine. Have your moment."
"He used to call the cops all the time to complain about the kids drag racing. He stopped calling over a year ago even though the situation hasn't changed. Some of the teens I talked to indicated that they played pranks on Trooper Davis. You know rang the door bell & ran away. Squealed their tires and blasted music as they drove down the street. Standard stuff."
"I admit it, Dean, I am impressed. So, he hates them but recently he's learned to live with them. Still, doesn't change the fact the he's incapable of getting to the lot and harming them."
"See, it's the 'old man Withers' thing," Dean insisted. "The disabilities are a fake."
"Dean are you actually suggesting that, in true Scooby Doo fashion, nothing supernatural is going on? Our killer is really a cross dressing State Trooper who has spent years alone in the house with a fake disability just to kill kids who squeal their tires and play their music too loud."
Dean rubbed the back of his neck and tried to think of a response. "But..."
"Yeah, I am sure it made sense in your mind," Sam sighed. Dean was really off his game and Sam was too. "Let's get some sleep and go talk to the trooper in the morning. If he was filing complaints, he may have seen something that the local cops dismissed, but we'll need to solve this."
They arrived at the trooper's house around mid-morning. They rang the bell. An elderly woman opened the door and spoke through the screen door.
"May I help you?"
"Sorry to disturb you, ma'am but we were hoping to speak with you and Mr. Davis about the incidents in the lot across the way," Sam explained.
"I'm sorry but who are you?"
"We're reporters." Both Winchesters flipped bogus credentials at the woman and introduced themselves.
"Well, Henry rarely talks to people but I know he is upset about what's been happening. So, I think it would be okay." She stepped aside to usher them into the hallway and led them into a living area.
"Thank you, Miss...?" Sam let the question hang as they seated themselves on the sofa.
"Adele Scarberry. I'm just a friend. A lot of us in the community help him out." In a whisper she added, "he doesn't get out and can't drive because of his condition. Wait here," she pointed to the coach. "I'll go get him."
"Well, she certainly looks the part of repressed librarian." Dean observed with a laugh.
"Not now, Dean," Sam was busy searching the room for clues. Family photos lined the walls. The room felt dank and dusty as if it could use a good airing out.
Adele returned pushing an older gentleman in a wheelchair. He was white haired and had obviously been a big man at one time but age and disability had withered him. His blue eyes were alert but he did not seem happy to see them. His face was screwed up like he'd just eaten a lemon, and his posture was slumped over crossed arms
"Henry, these reporters wanted to talk to you about the accidents in Murphy's lot."
He hurumfed and said, "bunch of crazy kids making noise and driving recklessly. They are breaking the law and the police don't do anything about it. It doesn't surprise me that those kids got hurt."
"So," Sam ventured, "did you do anything besides call the police?"
Henry looked at him like he was crazy and gestured to the wheel chair. "Sure, I flew over in my chair and shot out their tires."
Dean stifled a laugh, he liked the guy. "Yep, you've got a great police force in this town," Dean replied with equal sarcasm.
Dean and Henry shared a knowing smile about the problems with law enforcement today and Sam officially turned the interrogation over to Dean.
"In my day, you got fined for driving like that. Maybe if our illustrious police force did their job, some psycho wouldn't have felt the need to do it for them."
"Can you believe those geniuses ruled them accidents? I ask you, how can someone run themselves over?" Dean had leaned in with a conspiratorial grin.
"Exactly!" said Henry.
"Sure rules have to be upheld. If laws are broken, there are consequences," Dean confirmed.
"You understand," Henry agreed. He had really started to bond with Dean.
Sam had a hard time holding the smile off his face as he listened to his brother talk about upholding the law. Sometimes when Dean connected with the right person he was better at these interviews than Sam. Trouble was Dean rarely had the patience for them.
"So, it sounds like you might have an idea who is hurting these kids," and just like that, Dean could see he'd lost the tenuous connection he'd made with Henry.
"I wouldn't know," Henry spoke quietly and suddenly found his hands very interesting.
Dean tried to get Henry to focus back on him. He exchanged a look with Sam that said they both knew the old man was hiding something. "Did you see anything on the nights when the kids died?
"No, I didn't see anything."
"Maybe we can solve these murders together and you can help catch a killer. What is your cop instinct telling you?" Dean had hoped that appealing to his sense of duty would get the guy to open up again.
"You think you can flatter me and I will tell you what's happening." Henry stopped abruptly realizing he'd indicated that he did indeed know what was happening. "I don't know anything," he repeated.
"But Henry, come on, you must have a theory," Dean cajoled. "A good cop always has a theory."
Henry ignored Dean and turned to Adele. "I'm tired. Please show the gentleman out."
"Of course Henry," She flashed them an apologetic smile.
The Winchesters knew that they would get no more from Henry today, so they followed Adele to the door.
Dean pulled the Impala across the street and into Murphy's lot as they rehashed the interview. "He's protecting the killer," Dean theorized. "I'm not so sure this is our type of gig any more."
"So we're back to Scooby Doo? No, I don't think so. Remember, Mark still saw the librarian woman vanish."
"Right, I forgot." Dean shook his head to focus his thoughts. "So, it is a ghost. Maybe one Henry knows? Think he could be confusing a ghost for the living person?"
Sam thought about the way Henry's demeanor had changed. "I think that is the most likely scenario. He stopped calling the cops to prevent someone from getting caught. He could believe he is protecting a real person."
"I don't know, who could our mystery woman be. Wife? Daughter?" Dean was frustrated."
"I need to go back to the records office. I might even be able to break into his government files."
"I don't think any of those records will show us if he's a black magic user, Sammy. We need to search his house."
"Black magic, Dean? That's a stretch. I was thinking more along the lines of who could possibly haunt him that he might want to protect and wouldn't hurt him."
"Look dude, it's only a matter of time before some teen has another encounter with the librarian."
"Dean," Sam scoffed and shook his head, "Before we go breaking into the guy's house, let me do a little research."
"You know screw this. I have an idea." Dean started the car and began making a slow circle of the parking lot.
"Dean, I don't like what I think you're thinking," Sam said warily.
"We know the one thing all those kids had in common besides dying in this lot was that they all were drag racing and making donuts in Murphy's lot. So…." Dean flashed Sam a mischievous smile and gunned the engine.
He squealed the Impala out onto the road spaying gravel in its wake. At the dead end, Dean stopped the car. He smirked and reached for a Metallica tape. "Let's go for the whole package." He rolled the windows down and blasted the music.
"Dean, this is monumentally stupid. You're actually trying to summon the spirit." Sam was yelling over the music.
Dean laughed joyously as he opened the Impala up, "Come on, Sammy, you got a better idea?"
Sam just held on for dear life as Dean repeated the circuit to the dead end and back to a halt in the empty lot. "No, I don't," Sam finally admitted, "but I'm going to be prepared." He reached into the back seat for the spare shotgun.
They were both on high alert. "Ok, now we wait," Dean said but he kept the engine running.
Suddenly, she appeared out of thin air; shrieking about noise ordinances and squealing tires. Her tirade was interspersed with commands for them to leave her father alone. She reached into the car and tried to grab Dean by the throat. "Back," yelled Sam.
Dean leaned back as the shot gun blast whizzed by his head and dissipated the spirit. He turned the car around and tried to exit the lot. She had rematerialized in front of the Impala. Dean gunned the engine and ran right through her. Heading back towards town they could hear her screaming in the distance, but she seemed unable to follow.
Dean looked over at Sam, "Ok...So, maybe not the best idea."
"Actually, Dean, it was. We know who she is now."
Dean threw him a sideways glance, "Really, who?"
"It's Henry's daughter. I saw her picture in the house. Also, she was yelling about her dad."
"Yeah, yeah. I heard that, too. Any idea what happened to her and why she seems so obsessed with traffic laws?"
Sam grabbed his laptop and pulled up an article about the trooper. "It says here, his daughter died…Oh wow, Dean that's it!"
"Spill, what's up?" Dean had pulled the car into the motel lot and tried to read over Sam's shoulder.
Sam looked at him, "Dude, personal space." Dean shrugged and backed off waiting for Sam to share.
"She died in a car crash but not even in this town. She was in Kansas City. But here's the connection. She was killed by a couple of teens drag racing. They ran a red light and she was declared dead at the scene."
"She's on a vendetta against joy riders, especially ones that are annoying her dad. So," Dean smirked, "a standard salt and burn."
Sam groaned and ignored his brother. "Except, why is she here when she was killed hundreds of miles away?"
"Is she buried nearby? Her spirit could be tied to her body and not the place of her death."
"It doesn't say where she's buried." Sam didn't like the implications of this haunting. "Henry has to know it's his daughter that's why he shut down."
"Makes sense though. He's groused about the kids and the noise. He's a former state trooper who was crippled by a car crash and his daughter was killed in one. Regardless of where she's buried, that is a lot of negative energy directed toward these kids," Dean summarized. "He could be unaware of what he's doing."
"I doubt that," Sammy wasn't ready to give Trooper Davis a pass. "He's got to be protecting her or is somehow involved in her manifestation. He's not going to tell us where the body is buried."
"So, do your research magic, Sammy, and I'll see what the locals know." Dean put the car into reverse and headed into town.
"Turns out she is buried near town and in a cemetery not far from Murphy's lot." Sam said as he met up with Dean. He held up a hand and stopped Dean from speaking. "Don't say it."
"Since when have you become superstitious, Sammy."
"Since this 'standard salt and burn' has turned into 5 days of wild goose chase."
Dean just laughed.
At nightfall, they headed out to the cemetery. They took turns digging until Dean hit pay dirt. He cracked open the coffin to find...nothing.
Dean shook his head, "Seriously, dude, what the hell? Where is she?"
Sam huffed a sigh of resignation and gave Dean a hand out of the grave, "Why am I not surprised?"
"You're right, Sammy, dad is certainly involved. You don't think it's another zombie?"
"No, you drove through her. She's a ghost. But I have had enough of this misdirection. We need to confront Henry, now." Sam was done being nice to the crippled, old man.
Once at Henry's house, Dean grabbed the supplies duffle out of the trunk and they both grabbed shot guns. Sam knocked on the door and Mr. Davis answered. This time he was using a walker.
Henry scowled at them. "I don't have anything to say to you," he sneered as he tried to shut the door in their faces.
Dean stuck a foot out and carefully forced his way in, "I think you do. I think you know exactly what's happening across the street and I think you are directly responsible for it." Dean said angrily.
"Get out of my house you hooligans. I saw you today. Driving recklessly and blasting your music. You're no better than the rest of those delinquents."
Sam stepped between them and played peacemaker. He silently communicated for Dean to begin his search of the house. "Mr. Davis, we know that your daughter is involved. We saw her this afternoon. She tried to kill my brother."
Henry ignored Sam. "You come back here," he yelled after Dean and tried to follow but the walker was cumbersome.
Sam prevented him from going after Dean. "We need to know what you've done with her body." Sam was using his most sympathetic voice, "She's not your daughter anymore."
"No!" Henry was furious. "Stay away from her. She's not your killer. She's taking care of me." He was struggling to get around Sam. The pictures on the wall started to shake and fall.
"Henry, she has to be stopped." Sam was getting nervous and called out to Dean. "Anything?"
Dean reappeared after finishing the first floor and shook his head.
"Don't do this," Henry pleaded. "I will control her. She didn't mean to hurt anyone. She was just trying to protect me."
"I'm sorry but we can't allow her to hurt anyone else. You should know that."
Henry collapsed into the nearest chair. "I just wanted to keep her close. We only had each other." He began crying and Sam kneeled beside him, waiting. "She's in the basement," he finally admitted and handed Sam a key from the chain around his neck.
Sam tossed it at Dean who took off with duffle and shotgun in hand.
"I'm sorry. I never thought she'd turn my anger at those kids into action. I didn't want to believe it was her." He looked at Sam through tear filled eyes, "Are you sure it was Martha, my daughter?"
Sam sighed, "Yes, there is no doubt."
Dean's voice came from the basement. "Sam, you've got to see this. It's like friggin' Snow White."
"Henry, what did you do?" Sam headed to help Dean when he felt himself flung across the room.
Suddenly, the ghost appeared. Her face twisted in a mask of anger"You're upsetting my father! Leave him alone," she shrieked. In her fury, she sent objects in the room flying toward Sam.
"Martha, NO!" Henry tried to stop her.
"I'm helping you, father. I am punishing the criminals who bother you, who robbed us of a happy life." She sent another lamp headed toward Sam.
Sam leaped behind the couch to avoid the flying debris, shouting, "Dean, hurry up. She's not happy!"
Down in the basement, Dean turned back to the figure encased in the glass coffin. She was perfectly preserved. Dean only hesitated a moment before using his shot gun to shatter the enclosure.
There was a terrifying howl from upstairs as Dean lit the body on fire. He raced upstairs to see Sam picking himself up off the floor and shaking glass out of his hair. Dean rushed over to make sure he was unharmed. Sam shook him off, "Dean, I'm fine."
"She's gone then?" came a quiet voice from the corner.
"Yes, she is," Dean answered. "What were you thinking?"
"I couldn't lose her. She was all I had. I just couldn't face the future without her."
Dean nodded sympathetically, "eventually, you have to let go." He ignored the look that Sam threw him suggesting he should have taken his own advice.
"I don't understand. How was she able to do all those terrible things? I never meant for her to hurt anyone."
"We don't always know why these hauntings happen," Sam explained, "but I suspect that her spirit was angry about the way she died. By keeping her body here, she must have found an outlet in your anger to play out her revenge."
Henry nodded. He looked around the decimated living room. "Thank you for stopping her."
Dean and Sam took this as their cue to exit. Saying good bye they headed out to the Impala. Dean looked at Sam over the hood of the car, "Well, I was right about one thing."
Sam sighed and took the bait, "and what was that?"
Dean smirked, "I told you it was a standard salt and burn."