This is the last chapter guys! Hope you've enjoyed the story! :)
Apparently John Winchester had a journal.
That's what mom tells me anyway. Rumor has it that it's with former hunter Bobby Singer, AKA Grimm. If I'm lucky, when I head over to South Dakota to learn as much crap as I can from him, I'll be able to get my hands on it and memorize every word. Sam and Dean Winchester are names that reverberate through the hunting community, and growing up in the life like they did isn't possible without learning a lot. But I wasn't able to learn much from them personally.
I can count the number of times I hung out with Sam and Dean on one hand, and most of it was in the months after Mavet. It's not just cause hunting had them going through gas like water and they were rarely able to visit, but cause after what happened to me and mom, Sam could barely face her. He could barely face me. I could see it in his eyes; he felt a dagger of guilt every time he saw my scars. I've got the scars of what happened staring me in the mirror every day and even over eight years later, I still get nightmares. But then I wake up from those nightmares. And unlike when I'm asleep, when I'm awake I can fight them back. So that's what I do. Call it remedial therapy.
Actual therapy for a kid who's been attacked by something supernatural is hard to come by. The whole concept of mental health is that all that shit doesn't exist. So what happens when it does exist and a kid has to deal with it? I guess it can go one of two ways: the parents believe the kid, or they don't. I didn't have that problem though. So at least I didn't have my mother sending me to a psychologist to find out why I thought the man that had tortured me was a literal demon. Instead my mother told me the truth. And for that I owe her my life.
School was hard, especially at first. Teachers have one mode for a traumatized student: pity-mode. Other students had several modes: pity-mode, bully-mode, don't-make-eye-contact-she's-crazy-mode, and in some rare cases there was normal-mode. I was lucky enough to find another girl my age that kept a steady pace in normal-mode. My best friend through high school graduation, Jen was my rock at school. After I was discharged from the hospital and spent a month at home recovering and then went back to school, when Jen saw me sitting alone at a lunch table, she came over to sit with me. When she asked me questions and I didn't say anything in return, only stared at her, swallowing occasionally and blinking, the conversation went as follows:
"You get what I'm asking you?"
"You just don't like to talk?"
"That could work out, because my mom says I get so hyper and I talk so much sometimes she thinks there's two of me."
When I started talking again a few weeks later, answering a yes or no question out loud instead of shaking my head, Jen looked over to me, blinked, and then continued talking. Thinking back on it, I don't really know if she understood that what I'd gone through made me retreat into myself or if it was just something about me. If it was just, "That's Katie. She doesn't talk."
When I once asked her if I was ugly, with the true wisdom of a twelve-year-old, she told me that ugly is a stupid word, as is the word beautiful. That there is no such thing, and that liposuction and boob jobs prove that. 'Beauty is in the eye of the beholder' in the words of a 6th grader.
So yea, when Jen asked if it really was a demon that did it to me, I did her the best favor I could; I lied. I told her that no, it was just a regular guy and what she'd heard from the other kids were just ridiculous rumors. I lied for one reason: she would have believed me. And I didn't want to do that to her. That helped me get past a lot of it, the fact that even after something like that I could be strong enough to protect my friend. So I must be strong enough to do other things too.
So yea. Journal. Figured I could use an official one, since the binder I filled up with all the shit I've learned over the years will be hard to stick in a duffle, much less a jacket pocket. This isn't it though. This is the last journal I'll be writing in that sounds more like a fiction novel than a grimoire. For my actual journal, I'll shorthand the cliff notes of my binder in it. More crap about monsters I learn about. Signs I find of hunts that I should check out. What I learn. What I still need to learn.
But I do need to write about what made me who I am in these pieces of paper before I burn it like the others. So I'll write it. When I was thirteen years old a demon tortured me and my mother as an act of revenge against my father, who had sent that demon's ass back to Hell six years before. There. It's written.
Of course I've had other journals. Ones that I wrote all the way through, almost no space left to even doodle in the margins. Those are the ones that I'd write in 'til they were full of my terror and fear and anger and then watch as I burned it to ashes in the fireplace. Took me a while to go from flinching at the sight of a flame to appreciating the fact that it can fully destroy anything from a piece of paper to a wendigo. But my journals from now on are gonna be different. I'm twenty-one. I've learned plenty. I've spent the last ten years memorizing anything I could get my hands on to make myself feel safer.
Mom has too. She wasn't as young as I was though, so she started her remedial therapy by spending a year learning as much as she could and then venting her anger on anything evil she could find. Of course she was never the same. That part's obvious. I think she might have gone off the edge if Dean hadn't given her that speech I overheard in the hospital though. He knew what he was talking about when he told her fear like that feeds on itself. Feeds on you. Cause really it does. And it's hard work not to let it consume you.
If Sam and Dean hadn't helped us into this world, it would have been hard to get in. As it was, the fact that mom didn't even start with actual hunting for over a year annoyed a lot of the hunters. What the Hell good was Sarah Blake if she couldn't pull herself together enough to salt and burn a corpse, right? She sure showed them though. I have to say I'm proud to call her my mom at this point. Not that I was ever not. But I don't think I really understood what it meant to be proud of someone until I watched her pull herself back from that day in the basement.
Despite what Dean said, although she had to ask neighbors to come over to go with her down to the basement when she needed to reset the breaker or get something out of storage for a few months after what happened, mom didn't seal it off with cement. She didn't even move. She sure as Hell thought about it, as I did, I remember twice that I got to tears asking her to move, but she couldn't bring herself to do it. She said it felt like Mavet would win if she did. If she couldn't be strong enough to stay in the house where it happened, she wouldn't be able to move on.
I don't know if I would have been able to do the same thing in her position. Actually I'm pretty sure I would have up and moved pronto, leaving anything in the basement for the new owners. But she wasn't like that. At least she wasn't after. Like I said, she changed. But she's still my mom. Always has been, always will be. And she never locked me out, just like Dean said she shouldn't. And I haven't used my shining since, and I don't plan to. It hasn't developed further since and I hope it doesn't. I'll do exorcisms the old fashioned way.
Truthfully, one reason I always burn what I write about was because mom said it was a way for me to put all my bad feelings on a piece of paper and then get rid of it, but there's another reason. Sam explained to me that other hunters might not see the forest for the trees. They'd see psychic powers from demon blood and think evil. And that's it. So having anything about my powers written down for others to read is not a good idea.
Dean once assured me, when I asked him the question point-blank, that despite all the shit they'd been through and all the deals they'd made that everything had come out in the wash. That when he and Sam got taken out of the battle of good vs. evil neither of them would be going downstairs. So when they went down fighting last year, I was able to rest easy.
The world seems emptier without them though. The world of hunting. But I'm proud to call Sam Winchester my father. And though there isn't much I wouldn't do to change things, to let me and my mother go through life not knowing the evil that lurks out there, I don't hold it against Sam. What happened, I don't hold it against him. Not that I can't, not that it totally wasn't his fault, blah blah blah, but that I don't. Because the suffering that we went through, he would have taken it for us in an instant. Because he was the kind of father that people only dream about. Not the home for dinner every night, makes every soccer game, always kisses you goodnight dad. That's crap. That's easy.
He was brave. He was smart. He was kind. He was self-sacrificing. He knew good from evil and he'd rather die than turn to evil. He helped people. He made more of a difference in this world than anyone I know. And he didn't ask for anything in return. He hunted because he felt it was right. He felt that people deserved protection from the things out there that they couldn't handle, that they shouldn't have to handle.
Plus, how many dads do you know that would be okay with you spending the $19,200 college fund he saved over the course of your life on firearms, weapons made of pure silver, and grimoires? For some reason, when I finally got up the guts to ask him if I could put the money toward hunting equipment, he didn't get angry. He gave me this smile that seemed part sadness and regret, and yet part pride. And he told me that it was my decision and if I wanted to spend it on ammo, I should.
So although I will always have that wish that I could have kept my innocence, that wish is currently tucked away in the back of my mind, because this is my life and this is how I've chosen to live it. This is how I fought back. The truth is, what doesn't kill you makes you weak. You have to decide to take that weakness and turn it into strength.