Okay, this is it. The final chapter. Thanks to all who have reviewed the story and all who continue to read the story. Your support is very much appreciated.
Illusions: Chapter 3
"Hey, how you doin'?"
Sam looked over with a smirk as his brother nodded to the latest drunk couple that had paused to stare at the two strange men drawing symbols on an empty crate with linked arms. It hadn't been long into their attempt at building a curse box that they had discovered it would work better if they both had two hands free, thus the hooking of their arms…much to Dean's dismay.
"I swear, one more person looks at us like that, and I'm gonna stick them in this curse box."
Sam rolled his eyes as he turned back to the crate. "I think we're done."
With an expression of disbelief, Dean looked over the box. "Seriously? I thought these things took days to make."
Sam shook his head. "We already had a lot of the stuff ready to go from the other box, and with two of us working on it, it went a lot faster."
"Okay, so now we've got a box…"
Sam joined his brother in looking at the crate. "Yep. We've got a box."
Dean pulled in his lips. "Right."
Both brothers turned to each other. "So, what's the plan?"
Sam scrunched his face, unable to think of anything good. Finally, he turned to his brother, hesitant. "You said she appeared while I was hallucinating…"
Dean immediately shook his head, already knowing by Sam's tone where he was going with that thought. "No, Sam."
Sam gave an exasperated sigh. "Dean, come on."
Dean's head spun toward his brother's. "What are you, five? Don't whine. You're not doing it."
Sam rolled his eyes. "Believe me, man, I'm not looking forward to it, but there's really no other choice."
Dean shook his head. "No."
Sam stared for a moment, but when Dean said nothing further, he became aggravated. "Do you have a better plan?"
Dean looked back at him. "No, but—"
"Then this is what we go with." He stood up, bringing Dean with him.
"This is suicide, dude."
Sam laughed. "Yeah, you're one to talk."
Dean's eyes grew dark. "Hey! I really didn't have a choice."
Sam splayed his arms wide in invitation. "You've got another plan, let's hear it."
For a moment, Dean appeared as though he was going to say something, but then the moment passed and he sagged in defeat. "All right, but don't expect me to be happy."
Sam let out a laugh. Happy was not the dwarf he would've picked as Dean's match. Grumpy fit him much better.
Picking up the box, Sam dragged it and his brother to the middle of the parking lot. He turned to Dean. "I'll stand here, no matter what. No running this time. As soon as you see her, shoot her with the shotgun and try to get her to fall in the box. Then cover it."
Dean stared at his brother in disbelief.
Intimidated by the long stare, Sam shrugged. "What?"
Dean blinked. "Dude…you've come up with some crappy plans before, but that one takes the cake. How do we even know these bullets will hurt her? Hell, I shot her in the head with the Colt and it only stunned her."
Sam sighed and rubbed his eyes. It was late and he was tired. He just wanted to end this and then go to sleep in a warm bed. "If the shotgun doesn't work, use the Colt again. Just try to get her into the box."
Dean raised his brows in surprise. "So now it's okay to waste the bullets?"
Sam shot his brother a sideways glare. "It was okay for you to help me build the box?"
Dean grumbled and moved to the trunk. Searching through the contents, he pulled out a pistol and two shotguns. He handed one of the guns to his brother. "We'll both shoot her. We'll have a better chance of knocking her down if we're both hitting her. When she appears in your hallucinations, she's real. You were talking to her before. We'll start you out facing the box, and then you just have to make sure you don't move. Hold the gun ready—if you can't feel it after you let go, just trust that it's there."
Sam accepted the shotgun and nodded. "You ready?"
Dean gave a humorless laugh. "You ready?"
Sam shook his head. "No." Then he let go.
Once again, he was plunged into darkness. Just like the last time, Sam lost his ability to see, hear, and feel. This time, he noticed his brother shine for an instant, but then the light was snuffed out, along with the feeling of the gun in his hands.
He repeated Dean's words to help calm himself. "Just trust that it's there…" Kind of like Dean. He couldn't see, hear, or feel Dean, but nevertheless, he trusted his brother was there, right by his side.
A low growl rang in his right ear, and Sam shivered as a cold strand of drool dripped down his neck. He knew it was the dogs, but if he turned around, there'd be no way he'd be able to reorient himself. The only thing he could do was stand still and hope the dogs weren't actually able to hurt him. So far, that had been true…
A bark rang out in his ear, and Sam jumped in fright. He closed his eyes, yearning for the dogs to just go away. Suddenly, he felt a sharp pain in the back of his leg. He looked down to see one of the horned dog biting into his calf. Sam grimaced and yelled in pain. His leg buckled and his body began to drop…but he didn't fall. His legs remained only partially bent. Something had stopped his fall.
"Dean." He couldn't feel him, but Sam knew his brother was holding him up. Suddenly, the pain in his leg vanished.
Sam looked down. The dog was gone and, along with it, the bite. Sam straightened his legs, presumably taking back his own weight, and stared at his calf in confusion. "What the hell?"
Then he realized, he hadn't been able to feel Dean, but he had known Dean was there nonetheless and just knowing he was right there made Sam feel safer, safe enough to knock out the hallucination. But given the fact he still couldn't feel, see, or hear anything, the mormo was probably pretty close…
And just as he thought of her, she appeared. She was about twelve feet away, which sucked because the box was only ten feet away. Sam couldn't see it anymore, but judging from where the mormo had materialized, she was on the wrong side of the box. If they shot her now, she'd just be pushed farther from the crate. Smart bitch.
The now-beautiful woman smirked. "What I showed you was real. A vision of my own, if you will…"
Sam narrowed his eyes. "You're lying. Dean's not going to Hell—I'll make sure of that."
She smiled sympathetically. "You know that's a bluff. You've been trying for eight months—it's not going to happen. Should I show you more of what's in store for your big brother?"
Sam's heart clenched. He didn't want to see any more. As it was, the image of Dean screaming in pain as he was sucked into the ground would be haunting his dreams; he couldn't bear to see anymore. If only the bitch would move up a few feet…
The mormo's sympathetic stare slowly became an icy glare. "I don't know why I phrased it as a question. It's not optional."
Dean's scream pierced the blackness, and Sam shut his eyes. It wasn't like he could see anyway…
"Sammy! Sammy, please!"
Sam willed his body not to respond to his brother's voice pleading for help. He couldn't feel anything, but he knew his hands were shaking.
"SAM! Help me! PLEASE!"
Tears formed behind his eyelids, and the mormo's voice rang in his ear. "Do you smell his flesh cooking? And you thought Mommy and Jessica had it bad when they burned for a few minutes. Poor big brother will be burning for eternity. And why? Just because he loves you so much, he gave everything to save you."
Sam opened his eyes with a glare. "Shut up, bitch!" Lifting his hands, he aimed the invisible shotgun and fired.
The mormo's face grew startled and, suddenly, her body jerked back. With a roar, she changed, shifting back into her horrific empusa form.
Just as the creature changed its shape, light began to make its way into the darkness. At first, Sam squinted against its intensity, but as his eyes adjusted, he realized he was once again seeing his brother. Then, along with Dean's light, feeling began to return as well. Sam suddenly could feel the shotgun in his hand and the wind against his face. Apparently, the mormo was less powerful when taking the form of the empusa and, therefore, unable to remove Sam's sense of feeling. Perhaps the energy she spent shifting her shape left less for the spell.
The light shifted behind the creature, and another shot rang out. The donkey-legged hag lurched forward and, before she could recover, a second shot had her flying forward again. The mormo was now in front of the box, and Sam ran forward. Aiming the invisible gun at a downward angle, he fired another shot through the creature, sending her spiraling to the floor. The light moved toward her and, within a blink, the darkness disappeared.
Thrown back into his surroundings, Sam stumbled, overwhelmed by the sudden reappearance of two senses. In front of him, Dean was closing the lid on the crate.
Dean slammed the lid shut and sat on it, using his weight to keep it closed. Sam looked over at his brother, and Dean met his tired stare. "Dude, did she just call us skanks?"
Sam made a face in reply, unwilling to explain where the creature had picked up that particular word.
Dean shook his head. "Who the hell calls someone a skank? That's gotta be the lamest insult ever." He nodded to Sam. "Sounds like something you would say."
Sam felt his face turn red, and he promptly turned away, moving to the trunk to get the hammer and nails. Returning quickly, he nailed down the top of the crate and followed it with a protection spell to seal it. When he was finished, he gave his brother a hand up off the box.
Looking down at the crate, Dean wiped his hands on his jeans. "Man, that was one ugly spirit."
Sam nodded, and Dean looked over at him. "You okay?"
Sam nodded again.
Dean took a step back as though studying him. "You sure? You seemed pretty pissed while you were hallucinating."
Sam narrowed his eyes at the bitch in her wooden cell. "Yeah, well. She said something she shouldn't have."
Dean raised his brows. "What?"
Unwilling to answer, Sam just shook his head. He bent down to lift the box. Together, the brothers moved the now-filled curse box into the backseat of the Impala.
Slamming the door, Dean gave his brother a disgusted look. Not understanding the reason for it, Sam shook his head. "What?"
"I don't like that thing in my car…"
Sam rolled his eyes. "We can't leave it out here, Dean. Someone'll open it."
Dean pouted. "Yeah…but it's in the car, Sam."
Sam sighed and moved to the passenger side. "We'll move it to Dad's storage place, put it with the other curse boxes. There's a better chance of it not being found there."
Dean whined again and slipped into the driver's seat. As soon as Sam was in, both doors slammed shut. Turning on the engine, Dean gave his brother a warning look. "Fine, but if she breaks out in here—"
Sam smiled and held up the Colt. "Don't worry, Dean. I've got it covered."
Rolling his eyes, Dean backed the car out of the parking lot. "That's great. I'm happy to know you'll save me."
As Dean began the long drive to New York, Sam turned his head toward the side window. The trees flew by in a blur, but Sam ignored them, instead staring at his own reflection. Looking into his own eyes, he promised himself as he whispered a reply to his brother. "I will save you."
Yeah...see...it's just less inspiring now that we know what happens. But, hopefully you'll still be able to enjoy the story just the same. Please give me some feedback and let me know what you thought. I love hearing from you guys!