NOTE TO READER: This story concept can get a little weird, so please comment if you feel like this makes zero sense, or if I need to flesh it out more.


"Rosewood Cemetary's about a mile thataway," the kid said, flicking his eyes east, "You buying?"

"We don't need drugs," said Sam, eyeing the two street urchins. One was tall, pale, and had his black hair slicked back to reveal a pronounced widow's peak, while the other was shorter, sicklier, and kept sucking on his collar, so that they made a ghetto-fabulous Dracula and Renfield. "We're trying to get to the train that runs beneath it, the one that Dick Roman bought, and we heard that there's an entrance hidden in Rosewood."

Dracula laughed. "The Black Line? That's just an urban myth."

"No it ain't," said Renfield, his gaze wary and yellow around the eyes, "I was down there last week, I got a crawlspace for when it rains, and I swear," he said, looking at the other boy, "I saw Smiley get on that train with about fifty other guys and none of them have come back."

"Smiley's in jail," Dracula said, giving Sam an apologetic look, "This morning he SWORE that his dog was possessed by Nixon's ghost."

"I ain't making this one up!" Renfield insisted.

"Whatever, it's a bad place," Dracula advised Sam.

"Will you take us there?" asked Sam.

Dracula seemed about to decline, when Sam showed him a twenty, and then he was all smiling acquiescence.

"Give us a few minutes, and then we'll head out," said Sam, walking back to Dean, who was still pouting in front of a department store.

"I don't need new clothes." said Dean, eyeing the mannequins suspiciously.

"Dean, you're covered in blood stains."

"No one's gonna notice."

"You can't walk through downtown Chicago looking like a Mayan sacrifice."

"If you're so concerned than why don't you go shopping?"

"That's a great idea, I saw something in there that has WINK WINK stitched across the front in sequins."

Dean gave him an ugly look, raising a forefinger to his brother's face. "I'm still keeping the bloody shirt."

"You do that."

"I look beautiful in this thing." he said, as he disappeared thru the revolving door.

The store had devoted ninety percent of its space to women's apparel and one small corner to men's. A morning talk show played in the background next to the front desk, and Dean kept his eyes down, hoping to avoid the sales girl walking his way.

"Can I help you?" she asked.

"Just getting a spare shirt."

"What happened to the one you've got on?" she asked warily.

"Oh, hunting accident." he said breezily, realizing his poor choice of words when she laughed nervously.

"Well I'll just...be over there." she said, pointing to the register, where she kept her taser nestled between sweater vests.

He was about to turn away when he noticed the angle of her back. "Were you in an accident?" he asked.

She looked back. "Oh, um, had some surgery done last week, still getting used to it."

"What are you taking for it?"

She gave him a look of haughty superiority. "It's nothing." she insisted, as she limped back to her chair, gritting her teeth as she lowered herself.

Not sure whether to admire her balls or offer his hip flask, he plucked a shirt off the rack and walked up to pay for it, idly listening to the talk show guest in the background.

"Medicine was at its peak before they started using morphine. We got sick less and healed faster."

"Who's that"? Dean asked, pointing to the lovely blonde on the TV.

"Do you watch Dr. Sexy MD?"

"Are you kidding?" he said, and then cleared his throat, dropping his voice to a manlier vocal range, "That's a lady show."

"Well she plays one of the characters on it."

Dean squinted at the screen, replaced blonde hair with brunette, and suddenly recognized Dr. Piccolo. "I may have seen her...once, I think, probably a magazine or something."

"She's been all over TV lately," the sales girl said, "She'd been strung out on who knows what, pills and alcohol, and then she came out of Roman Rehab recently and she's been preaching their gospel ever since."

Dean smiled, pressing his thumb to his tongue to count out the money. "Rehab you say?"

Outside, Sam tried to strike up a conversation with Renfield while Dracula walked away to talk to some kids further down the block. "You really oughta get some new friends," he told him, "And you need to see a doctor, your skin shouldn't be that color."

Renfield flinched. "The hospitals are full of crazy people."

"Well, it's an inner-city hospital-" said Sam, as the kids began to argue with Dracula over something.

"No man, used to there was one or two really...DANGEROUS guys, but we all kept out of their way. Now, there's hundreds, more than the doctors know what to do with, and they're not allowed to hand out meds anymore, so they dump them back on the street..."

"Wait, people aren't getting prescriptions?" asked Sam. The argument became louder, and it appeared that Dracula was trying to convince the group from doing something stupid.

"The doctors got this new rule." whispered Renfield, eyes darting nervously as the other kids pull out baseball bats.

"Pain is power." said the TV actress.

"She's kidding, right?" Dean asked the cashier incredulously, "I mean, okay, some people are abusing the system, but outlawing all the painkillers?"

"Nowadays doctors are so dependant on them that they've turned into pushers. If we want to restore American integrity, we need to learn to suck it up."

Dean looked down at the register table, and noticed the magazine the cashier was reading. TEN SEXY WAYS TO RAISE YOUR PAIN THRESHOLD. SAFE WORDS ARE LAME WORDS. REESE WITHERSPOON: FASHION, FUN, AND ROUGH TRADE.

"And as a prize for our studio audience, everyone here is invited to spray our guest with Mace!"

Dean recoiled as he watched. "Holy crap, she's taking that in the eyes?"

"Isn't she amazing?" said the cashier adoringly.

Dean looked at her askance. Back in the day, John had used pepper spray on the boys to teach blind fighting, and Dean had had to wear sunglasses for the rest of the week. This chick acted like it was spray-tan.

Outside, Dracula ran away, grabbing Sam by the arm and saying, "Get your brother, I'll take you to Rosewood. We should be anywhere but here."

"What's going on?" asked Sam.

"A fight's gonna start, so get your brother and meet me at the end of the street."

Sam nodded, running to the department store. "Dean, we gotta go." he said once he was inside, "I talked to the kid, he'll take us to Dick Roman's train line, but we need to hurry before we run out of daylight."

"Dude, you have got to read this," said Dean, swiping the magazine along with his new shirt, "Is this a funky town or what?"

Sam looked out the window, at the people he didn't have time to help. "Oh it's just getting started."

The traffic light changed to red, and as the cars slowed to a halt, the older kids climbed on top of them. The women shoppers who filled the sidewalk paused to watch, though at a respectful distance.

"Now the legislation appears to include anti-psychotic drugs, what do you expect those patients to do?"

Raising their baseball bats in unison, they came down on the driver-side windows, pulling people out of their cars and taking the bats to them next. The onlookers stood by, waiting for the drivers to realize that the pain was all in their heads.

"I don't know."

When the drivers didn't stop screaming, the shoppers remembered that they were modern women, and walked away, disappointed.

"But I expect them to do it."


TBC