Title: The White Screamer

Author: lawnmowerelf

Dean practically bounced into the diner, Sam a few steps behind him and shaking his head at Dean's enthusiasm. "Dean, it's just lunch. You've had lunch before, you know. In fact, you had lunch just yesterday."

Dean froze half-way into his chair and stared at Sam. "Bite your tongue, Sammy. This isn't just lunch. This is lunch in a small-town diner in Tennessee, which makes all the difference in the world." He pointed towards the nearby white board where the daily specials were listed in green marker. "Meat loaf, Sam. They have real meat loaf, with mashed potatoes and green beans and fresh corn that's absolutely smothered in butter."

Sam chuckled as Dean's eyes rolled back in his head in a blatant show of culinary ecstasy. "All right. I stand corrected. It's not just lunch." Any further comment he might have made was interrupted by the arrival of the waitress, a smiling middle-aged blonde with an ink pen stuck over her ear.

"So, what can I get for you boys?"

Dean grinned, face absolutely lighting up. "Well, darlin', I'll have the meat loaf special, with mashed potatoes, green beans and corn. And was that pie I saw when we walked in?"

She nodded, a knowing twinkle in her eye. "Sure was, honey. We've got apple, cherry, chocolate, pecan and lemon meringue, all made fresh this morning."

At that, Dean practically started drooling. "And I'm definitely gonna want pie. Not sure what kind yet, but I definitely want some."

The waitress chuckled. "Well, you can't go wrong with whichever you choose. Just let me know when you decide." She flashed Dean another smile, took Sam's order and headed off.

Once she was out of earshot, Dean turned his attention back to Sam. "So, what have you got for me, Sammy? I think you've kept me in suspense about this job for long enough."

Sam rolled his eyes, but pulled out his notebook anyway. "It's a few miles from town, a house down in one of the hollows. The man hears some strange noises outside; screams and shrieks. He goes to check it out, thinking that it's either an injured animal or someone's in trouble, and while he's outside something kills his wife and three children." Sam grimaced. "The deaths were...messy."

One of Dean's eyebrows went up. "Messy, Sam?"

Sam glanced around the diner to make sure that no one else could hear them. "Yes, messy. As in ripped apart with pieces thrown all around the room, and blood flung up on the walls and ceiling."

Dean whistled. "Yeah, that sounds messy to me. Anything like this happen around here before?"

"Actually, yes." Sam looked down at his notes, double checking the details. "In the early 1900s almost the exact same thing happened, only it was the man's wife and their seven children. Only he and the dog survived."

Dean blinked. "The dog?"

"Apparently he had taken the dog out with him when he went to investigate the noises, and the dog completely freaked out, whining with its tail between its legs and everything."

Any response Dean might have made was interrupted by the arrival of their waitress, a full plate of food in each hand. Dean grinned eagerly at her, practically licking his lips in anticipation. The moment the plate was on the table Dean reached for his fork and almost immediately inhaled a large bite of the meat loaf, making an obscene noise in the back of his throat.

Sam grimaced, slowly reaching for his own fork. "Dude, how can you eat like that after what I just told you?"

Dean barely took time to swallow before he answered. "Never let anything get in the way of your next meal, Sammy. Especially not the job. If I let every nasty thing I've seen or heard put me off my food, I'd never eat again."

"Wow, Dean. That was really deep. Did you hit your head or something and not tell me?"

Dean shook his head and swallowed a mouthful of corn. "Laugh it up, college boy. I can be deep when I want to. I just usually don't want to bother, that's all."

Sam briefly considered trying to continue the unusual conversation, but quickly decided to let it go for the time being. That Dean had said anything at all was enough for the time being. "So, do you have any ideas about the case?"

"Well, it might be something like a black dog, or it could be a pissed off spirit or some sort of lower level demon."

Sam nodded, taking a bite of his green beans. "Maybe. I was actually thinking that it might be the result of a curse on the land."

Dean cocked his head and pointed at Sam with his fork. "A what now, Sam?"

"It's generally accepted historically that the Native Americans considered the land in this area to be cursed. They wouldn't even live on it, and when some of them wanted to sell the land to the European settlers the others told them not to, that it was a dark and bloody ground and nothing good would come of it."

Dean chewed for a moment in silence before nodding. "That sounds like a real possibility, Sammy. Course, if it is a curse on the land and it's been in effect for that long, there's no guarantee we can do a whole lot about it."

"I know." Sam pushed his carrots around on his plate for a bit before finally stabbing one and eating it. "If it is a land curse, all we can do is try to cleanse the land as much as we can and hope for the best."

Dean flashed him a sympathetic look. "I know it sucks when there's nothing we can do, but maybe this time we'll be able to at least help a little. If nothing else, maybe we can put up some No Trespassing signs or something to keep people out."

Sam wasn't sure just how much good signs would do, but he had to admit it was better than nothing. And if they were really lucky then the cleansing would at least lessen the curse's effect on the land. It might not get rid of it completely, but if it kept anyone else from dying then it would be worth it.

"Do we have everything we need for a cleansing?"

Dean frowned, mouth full of meat loaf. "I think so. We can double check things before we head out there, though. But there's one other thing we have to take care of first."

"What's that, Dean?"

Dean grinned, waving their waitress over. "Pie."