Chapter 1

"Hey, Dean, I think I found one," Sam turned his laptop towards his brother who was sitting on the bed mindlessly flipping through the ten year old television.

"Yeah? What is it?" Dean asked looking up from the TV to look at his Sam.

Sam's computer showed news story from a town called Willow Grove, Pennsylvania. "So, three days ago there was an 'accidental death' at a small farmhouse where a woman fell over the third floor balcony and died on impact…"

"Yeah, no crap she died," Sam chose to ignore Dean's smart remark and continued describing the hunt.

Another tab was pulled up as Sam showed Dean more research. "About six months ago the previous owner hired a carpenter to fix the balcony after he apparently 'fell' and broke it."

"Fell? Sure, more like some crazy ghost pushed his ass…" Sam let out a sigh of frustration and again pulled up a new webpage.

" Five years before that, the seventeen year old son of the family residing in the house committed suicide by tying a noose around his neck and jumping off the same balcony. Joshua Smith's family was gone a weekend trip and he was left to look after the farm, so no one found his body for three days. There's a picture…it's pretty grisly."

Dean let out a low whistle and walked over to the table Sam was sitting at. "Let me see."

"No, Dean. You don't need to see the picture."

"C'mon man, it's for research."

"Research my ass, you're like a child. You do not need to see the picture."

"Well, I'm older. Now, show me the damn picture," Sam irritably enlarged the picture and showed it to Dean, who just stared at the black and white photo of the rotting corpse of the boy hanging from the wooden banister of the white farmhouse.

"That's just nasty. So, we're what…ninety percent positive this Joshua Smith is the angry spirit who's trying to off people by pushing them over the balcony?" Dean asked.

"Yeah, and even better, he's buried in the family cemetery located on the property."

"Nice; salt, burn, then hit the road. I want to hunt something badass like a vampire or something. When are we leaving?"

"Tomorrow morning? It'll take all day to get there. We can get a motel, grab some sleep, and get to the farmhouse by Thursday morning."

"Perfect, gives me time to head to the bar and find myself a pretty woman," Dean said with a wry smile. He went to his bag, grabbed a fresh pair of clothes, and began to make his way to the bathroom.

"Yeah, whatever just make sure you're ready to go by eight tomorrow morning. I want to get an early start."

"Sure you don't wanna come Sammy? Find a lady, get some loving? Huh? Huh?" Dean nodded in Sam's direction, his eyebrows raised in excitement.

"It's Sam, and no I'm fine Dean, really. Go have fun," Sam replied, shaking his head and turning back to his computer.

"Oh, I will," Dean remarked making his way into the bathroom and shutting the door with a loud chuckle.

***

The black Chevy Silverado raced down the dark back road, the high beams reflecting eerily off the trees that lined either side of the street. Nathan was gazing intently at the endless darkness of the woods as the truck moved steadily forward. Even though he had accompanied his father on a number of hunts the fifteen year old still felt chills course through his body as he imagined what horrors lurked in those woods on nights like these.

Nathan turned around to check on his younger brother. He sighed contently when he noticed that the boy was for once sleeping contently in the backseat, his small body curled protectively around the red sweatshirt Nathan let him use as a makeshift blanket. Nathan couldn't remember the last time Noah had slept contently, or even through the entire night for that matter. It just wasn't fair, Noah thought as he watched the nine year old's light brown, wavy hair fall over the closed eyelids as he repositioned himself, found a comfortable position, and regained the steady breathing of a peaceful sleep.

Turning back around in his seat, Nathan caught a glimpse of his father before training his eyes on the road in front of the truck. Matt Carmichael was a foreboding man to say the least. At 6'5" he towered over nearly everyone and his almost black eyes were completely cold as they stared out of the windshield of the vehicle. His huge hand had the steering wheel in a death grip proving that the man was never content, even while performing the most mediocre task of driving a truck down a relatively calm country road. Hard muscles covered every inch of his body and his dark hair helped spread a shadow of unease over anyone who came in his vicinity.

Nathan vaguely remembered his father as the caring, fun man he used to be before everything started. He vaguely remembered tossing a small football around the small backyard of their townhouse with the man he saw as his hero. He vaguely remembered hearing his father excitedly talk to his mother, Lyla, about the baby boy that was growing inside her belly. But most of those happy memories were overshadowed by the dark ones: Matt crying in his bedroom about how he could never love the bastard child who killed his loving wife in childbirth, Nathan sleeping with his baby brother to protect him from their angry father, Nathan taking the hits that were meant for the small toddler. Finally, Matt decided to return to hunting, which was what he did before he met Lyla. Nathan remembers Matt packing up their things and unceremoniously throwing the two boys into their car and driving away from their house forever. The father he once knew disappeared when their mother died and was replaced by a cold-hearted hunter. Nathan only knew that he had to protect Noah as best as he could from their abusive father because he was his brother and it wasn't his fault their mom had died.

Things weren't too bad at the beginning. Most of the time Matt would drop the boys off at friends' houses as he hunted; the boys grew up this way, without a mother and without a father. Until one terrible night when Noah was five and Nathan was eleven. Noah had a nightmare that the man they were staying with was stabbed on his way home from the store. A few days later it came true.

Matt tried to end it. Beating the boy didn't do anything to end the nightmares, but it helped take out the frustration Matt felt at the life he was living. Nathan sheltered the boy too much. He tried to tell his father that Noah was more sensitive to emotions and feelings and being surrounded by negative energy made him feel sick and weak, but Matt didn't care, he hit the boy anyways and Nathan was powerless to stop it. Matt began a ruthless training schedule for Nathan, but the older Carmichael didn't take to training well and was constantly aware of his father's hovering presence, ready to punish him for one wrong mood. Noah barely talked anymore.

Matt caught a glimpse of his oldest son fidgeting around in his seat, "What the hell do you want Nathan?" Matt growled.

Nathan quickly looked up and glanced over at his father, "Ummm…what are we hunting next?"

"That was your question? You had to muster up enough balls to ask that question, you pussy?" Matt shook his head in disgust, "For your information, we're going on a simple salt-and-burn since someone can't even kill a fucking werewolf yet."

Nathan looked down at his hands dejectedly. The werewolf they had hunted a few days before almost escaped after Nathan failed to shoot the wolf. Matt had shot the creature just before it ran into the woods, and because of Nathan's inability to react towards the wolf, Matt had laid into the boy when they had returned back to the motel that night.

"I'm sorry, sir. It won't happen again," Nathan muttered.

"You better believe it won't," Matt hissed.

"Where are we headed to?" Nathan quietly asked a few long minutes later.

"Willow Grove, Pennsylvania."