"I don't see anything on this side, definitely nothing big enough to hide a huge clay man."
Sam backed out of the undergrowth, brushing leaves off himself. "Same here. It's gotta be around here somewhere though. The Golem would have to be fairly close by for Father Wilson to summon it at will."
Dean sighed and walked across to where Sam stood. "So I assume our weapons aren't going to work on this thing – there is a way to get rid of it though, right?"
Sam was about to answer when there was a loud thud and the ground shook. They both turned, looking wide-eyed at the huge grey figure advancing towards them.
"Damn, that's big." said Dean and Sam swallowed.
Big was understatement. As it got nearer it was clear that the creature stood at least a full foot taller than both of them and it was just as wide across its broad chest. The face was blank, devoid of any expression whatsoever, but the eyes glowed a dull red. As it walked the ground literally shook with each step.
"You have been judged in the eyes of our Lord and found to be sinners. You will now be punished by the hand of God."
At the sound of the voice Dean's head whipped round and he spotted Father Wilson standing to one side, almost hidden in the shadow of a large tree. "Oh great, look who's joined the party." he said and Sam followed his gaze.
The priest smiled humourlessly at both of them. "You will pay for your sins and you will repent before God or be cast out to the fires of hell."
"Yeah, well, think I'll skip that part if you don't mind." said Dean, starting to move slowly so that there was distance between him and Sam.
Sam wasn't all that keen on the manoeuvre, knowing that his brother was trying to draw the Golem to himself, but since it made sense to divide the thing's attention he grudgingly began to move in the opposite direction. "The bible preaches Thou Shalt Not Kill. Do you really think God wants you murdering people?" he said as he walked.
"They were not people, they were sinners. And God punishes the wicked. He instructed me to create this creature to do his work on Earth. We are cleansing mankind and ridding it of evil."
"Do you believe this crap?" said Dean and immediately the Golem began to move more in his direction. "Listen, pal, those little voices in your head? That's not God. That's just you being a regular psychopath."
"Dean!" hissed Sam, horribly aware that the priest seemed to be instructing the Golem to go for his brother first. "Would you shut up?"
Dean ignored the order, instead keeping his full attention on the nightmare creature that was getting nearer. While he was glad it was temporarily ignoring Sam, he had to admit he didn't really have a plan. There wasn't much you could do to something made entirely of mud and clay, and whatever Sam had discovered about killing it he hadn't had time to share before the priest and his pet showed up.
"Father, Dean's right. God wouldn't ask you to kill someone." said Sam, trying to logically argue their point and buy some time, as opposed to pissing the guy off.
"God deals with sinners in his own way, and his way is to use me as an instrument of his rule." said Wilson, the madness gleaming in his eyes even in the dusky light.
Sam realised logic wasn't going to work. The priest was clearly completely mad and honestly believed God was telling him to do this. Which left only one option.
They had to destroy the Golem.
There was now some distance between it and Sam, as it followed Dean further towards the building. Grateful for the encroaching darkness that was beginning to shroud them in shadows, Sam began to head towards the creature instead of away from it. Dean saw what he was doing and glared but he couldn't exactly tell Sam to stop without drawing attention to the move. Instead he tried to keep the Priest's attention on him. "So you really think that because you hear voices that tell you to kill that you're better than your average murderer? It hasn't occurred to you that maybe your boss might have a problem with all those poor suckers you had ripped to shreds?"
Father Wilson gave him a pitying look. "My Lord will reward me for the work I have done here. I will be given a place at his side in the kingdom of heaven."
Dean shook his head in disbelief. There was no doubt about it, this guy was completely over the edge. In fact, he was so far past it he probably couldn't even see the edge anymore. Even as the thought ran through his head Dean registered that he was running out of space. The tall imposing stone walls of the retreat reared up behind him, effectively cutting off his escape. To his right there was the eight foot fence and to his left was the psycho priest. "This is so not good." he muttered.
Now almost within touching distance the Golem reached out its huge hands, ready to grab Dean, when suddenly it staggered backwards. Dean saw two hands appear on its shoulders, from behind, and realised Sam must have literally thrown himself onto the creature. "I'm gonna kill him myself." he said, watching as the Golem tried to throw his brother off.
"What the hell are you doing?" he shouted aloud, even as he was moving forward to try and grab the Golem's hands and stop them reaching their intended target.
"I wanted a piggy back ride - what do you think I'm doing!" Sam shouted back, grunting as the Golem swung from side to side leaving him barely able to hang on.
Dean noted the sarcasm for later retribution and ducked one hand as it swung towards him, only to be blindsided by the other. Flying through the air he hit the ground hard and lay there winded for a second.
He managed to raise one hand and wave it in Sam's general direction. "M'okay." he mumbled, slurring slightly and grimacing when he tasted blood in his mouth. Getting back to his feet and shaking his head he staggered back towards the creature.
Sam was struggling to get a good grip on the smooth clay, not to mention dodging the hands that tried to dislodge him. His heart had been in his mouth when he'd seen Dean fly through the air but luckily he'd got to his feet again pretty quickly.
Not that that meant he was ok of course.
Another vigorous shake nearly had him sliding down the Golem's back and he switched his attention back to the job at hand.
If he could just reach the thing's forehead.
Dean was distracting it again now, dodging and weaving with only slightly less grace than usual in a bid to draw its focus away from Sam. "Tell me you know how to kill this thing!" he said, loud enough for Sam to hear but hopefully not for the words to reach Father Wilson. Glancing over his shoulder just for a second he saw the priest was in fact praying, his hands clasped in front of him and his mouth moving rapidly as he kept his piercing gaze fixed on the fight in front of him.
"Yes!" said Sam, a little breathlessly."
"Wonderful. Wanna share?"
"Its forehead, you need to rub out the 'E'."
Dean nearly stopped and stared but managed not to at the last second. Which was a good thing as the swipe he ducked seconds later would have taken his head off this time. "I need to rub what?"
"You need to rub out the 'E'! It's what controls it! Emet - the word carved into its forehead – we do that and it won't work anymore!"
"You have got to be kidding me." muttered Dean but he started to try and work out how he was supposed to get to the thing's forehead anyway. If Sam said this would 'kill' it then he wasn't about to argue.
Sam didn't bother wasting any breath on answering. He knew, despite the comment, that Dean trusted him to be right when it came to research so he concentrated on just hanging on.
Suddenly an idea occurred to Dean. "Sam when I say go, jump off its back ok?"
Backing up a couple of steps Dean took a deep breath. He really hoped this worked first time. He counted silently in his head. "Go!"
As soon as the word left Dean's lips Sam threw himself to one side. He landed awkwardly, wincing as he felt a flare of pain in his shoulder when his left arm hit the ground first. Ignoring it he watched with his mouth open as Dean tackled the Golem like a quarterback, hitting it around the middle and yelling as he put all his strength into the move. The momentum made the creature stagger backwards and Sam held his breath, then let it out as the thing eventually toppled backwards with Dean landing heavily on top of it.
Dean didn't take the time to gloat, or deal with the bruising impact, scrambling up the creature till he reached its chest. Sitting astride he whipped his knife out of his boot, leant over and scored out the 'E' at the beginning of the word on the thing's forehead. The hand that had been reaching for him stopped and stayed there as the red glow in the eyes died out. Breathing heavily Dean leant back on his haunches and rested his hands on his knees. Looking round he spotted Sam getting to his feet. "Hey, you ok?"
Sam nodded even as he rubbed at his shoulder. "Yeah. Although you might have wanted to tell me to jump sideways. If I'd just jumped off backwards I'd be a smear under that thing right now."
Dean winced as he realised his brother had a point. "I'll remember that next time."
Sam looked pained. "There better not be a next time."
Aware suddenly that the priest hadn't come at them now his creature was incapacitated, Dean looked over. "Uh, Sam?" he said and Sam followed his gaze, frowning.
"Yeah, I see him."
Walking over cautiously Sam approached the figure on the ground. Father Wilson was on his back, eyes open, staring sightlessly at the sky. Sam carefully reached out and felt his throat, looking up at Dean as his brother joined him. "He's dead."
Dean raised his eyebrows. "Anything in that lore you read mention killing the master when you kill the creature?"
Sam shook his head. "No. Maybe he just had a heart attack or something."
"Yeah, or maybe God finally got pissed at what he was doing."
Sam didn't really have an answer for that so he stood up, brushing clay dust off his hands. "We probably shouldn't be here when they find the body, even if it is natural causes."
Dean nodded, rubbing his chest absently where it had impacted with the Golem. "I'm with you but we got one small problem still."
"How the hell are we going to get rid of that thing?"
In the end Sam hit on the idea of using the garden hose to wet the creature and then shovels to break it down. What they ended up with was a wet mess of dirt and clay that they spread all over the grass.
"You sure that's gonna do the job?" said Dean, leaning on the shovel and wiping the sweat off his brow.
"Yeah. It'd need another extremely holy person to reconstruct the Golem and perform the ritual, and even then it might not work. The dirt he used is no longer completely pure so at the very least they'd have to go find a mountain and get some more. Trust me, when it rains later like they said it will the stuff will just wash into the ground."
Dean still looked at the mess warily but was too tired and achy to protest. It was fully dark now and he could barely make out Sam as they washed off the shovels and put them back against the wall, rewinding the hose neatly. Sam looked at his watch, realising they were only half an hour away from Vespers. Hurrying inside they grabbed their things and made it to the Impala without seeing any of the other monks. The parking lot and drive sloped downwards so Dean coasted the car before starting the engine halfway down.
They stopped an hour later, well past the Ohio state border and satisfied that no one was following them. Sam grabbed two coffees and a couple of cinnamon rolls from the diner nearby and brought them back to where Dean leant against the hood of the car. Nodding his thanks Dean took his and bit hungrily into it, sipping the coffee as he looked at the river he could just about make out flowing past the bridge they were next to.
"You ok?" said Sam, swallowing a bite of his own roll. Dean glanced at him. "I'm fine. Just thinking about Father Wilson."
Sam sighed. "You know you were right, he really was a complete psychopath."
Dean grunted but said nothing. Sam chewed another mouthful then continued. "It wasn't about the religion though. You get that, right? I mean this guy was clinically insane, he just used God as an excuse."
Dean sighed. He really wasn't in the mood for the usual post-hunt talk-through but he knew he'd get no peace if he didn't get it over with. "Of course I know that. Look, just because I don't believe doesn't mean I hate anyone who does. And yeah, it's not religion that kills people, it's people that kill people. In fact, I reckon it must be nice to have that much faith in something greater than you."
Sam frowned. "Ok, so then what's bothering you?"
Sam raised an eyebrow and Dean shifted against the car, stalling with a sip of coffee. "Fine, I was just thinking about the whole justification thing. I mean supposing there were a God, just supposing, then maybe the crazy old priest was right. The things I've done? I can't exactly see them getting me a nice comfy spot on the other side of the pearly gates."
"Are you kidding me? Dean, you're exactly the kind of person who'd end up there. You've spent your whole life saving people and doing the right thing."
Dean interrupted him. "Yeah and I've also spent my life killing, Sam."
"Evil things that were destroying innocent people. That doesn't count."
"No? Are you totally certain everything we've killed was completely evil? Look at Lenore, that whole thing with her and Gordon alone is enough to realise that not every hunter is good and not every 'creature' is evil. Besides, we've had to do a lot of things that are in the grey area to get the job done. You were the one who always complained about that stuff the most."
Sam sighed. "Maybe. But the point is everything we've done has been to protect others. And if we have made mistakes then that's just what they are – mistakes. We do our best and we save as many lives as we can. That's what's important, Dean. And you've saved a damn sight more than most."
Dean looked sideways at Sam and grinned, feeling some of the weight lifting just like it always did. "So you're gonna be my defence attorney with God?"
Sam grinned back. "What do you think?"
"Ok, but what about the drinking and the women?"
Sam held his hands up and started moving back round towards the passenger door. "Fraid you're on your own there."
Dean laughed out loud but as the smile faded, his expression became contemplative again. Maybe he'd never really know what it was like to have that complete faith, that something bigger than the universe was out there looking out for you. But when it came down to it he did have complete faith in something and, as luck would have it, that 'something' happened to have complete faith in him as well.
So perhaps that made him the lucky one after all.
A/N I really hope you enjoyed that (especially bhoney, of course!). This will be my last one for a while, as I really am struggling to write them at the moment. Hopefully I will be back, maybe after getting some inspiration from S4 when it starts here. Until then, all the very best and thanks a lot for reading...