A/N: Hello everyone! thanks for stopping by. This is a good old fashioned Winchester monster hunt story...with a twist. But you'll have to read to find it out...I'm simultaneously writing a draft of the sequel to Vessel of Blood, so hopefully, this will keep you guys sticking with me on that story entertained, and my muse flowing. Enjoy!
The road seemed to go on and on. No towns came up, and it didn't look like they were going to run into any for a long time. There's Northern Wisconsin for you. The boys had been driving for hours. Dean kept saying they should wait until the next town to layover. What they didn't know is that when you get to a certain area in the north woods, the towns with motels disappeared and stretches of wilderness with occasional shacks in the forest took their place.
Word had gone down the line that there was a job needed doing up there. How the heck anyone heard of something going down in these parts who knew, but hunters were an odd, select group that had connections in the strangest places. What's more, it seemed the Winchesters traveled to Wisconsin for jobs more than any other state. Seemed the supernatural had a strange fascination with the place. As Sam looked out the window at the passing desolate scenery, he understood why. It was secluded, with small pockets of human population and ample country to hide and live in undisturbed between bouts of whatever evil it was they did.
Dean would for once have agreed with his brother. It seemed that the isolated and empty backdrop of the state held ancient things spoken of only in the dark. He mentally caught himself. Why was he thinking such things? He wasn't the melodramatic poetic type. Besides, it wasn't like Wisconsin held as much history, and therefore potential for poltergeists, as New England for instance, but he couldn't help but notice it was wilder, and untouched, even untamed.
As they drove through a particularly wooded area, they saw a light amid the night on a hill to the west of them. There was a dirt driveway with a sign only visible because of the Impala's headlights. It read:
McCauslin Mountain Campground
"Looks like this may be our only option, Dean."
"What? NO! I hate camping, Sam." Dean grumbled, then stifled a yawn and rubbed his eyes, trying to focus. Sam looked at him intently.
"Dean, we've been on the road forever. You can't keep driving like this." Dean turned and scowled harmlessly at his brother. His response was a knee-jerk reaction, but he knew Sam was right. He was dog-tired. Wordlessly he turned into the driveway. As they drove up the mountain (it was more of a glorified hill) they passed not only campsites but also small cabins with wisps of smoke coming from their chimneys. It was not yet winter, but Wisconsin October nights could get very chilly.
At long last the car approached what was only recognizable as the main office by a sign that called it such. Dean parked the car and stepped out into the night. He took in a breath of fresh air, but feeling its coldness, exhaled quickly. He could see his breath. He pulled his jacket tighter around his frame and started walking.
From behind came a loud snort and something wet sprayed on the back of Dean's neck. He jumped with a yelp only to be met face to face with a horse's nose.
"What the…?" Dean stared at the huge draft horse as it regarded him curiously from behind its wooden fence. He wiped the slobber from the back of his neck with a bandanna he pulled from his pocket, and turned to go walk inside the office. A plump, middle-aged woman was seated at the makeshift desk, and as the boys entered she looked up grumpily. As they requested a cabin for the night, the lady introduced herself as Grier, and stood up to gather some paperwork. She wore men's work jeans and a red plaid coat. Dean sighed. Pickings were sparse in this area in more ways than one. Sam flashed a look of disapproval at his brother, knowing his thoughts. He attempted to be polite and show friendliness. It wasn't like there were a lot of people around here, and they may need this woman's help finding information in the coming days.
"Grier. That's an unusual name…."
"It's Scottish." She snapped back, interrupting the rest of his sentence. Sam winced, nodding in awkward assent. That was supposed to come out more flattering than it did. Dean gave Sam a face that said "don't look at me."
Once they got the fire started the cabin wasn't too cold. The cots were uncomfortable and the wool blankets provided were scratchy. However, they were both tired and happy to stretch out their tall forms after the long car ride. When they awoke they had had a long but poor quality rest.
Research was not going so well. There was no internet and a local paper didn't exist, at least in print, but Dean found the local tavern full of wagging tongues. Dean would show Sam how research was done the old fashioned way.
Most of the customers at the bar were hunters up for the weekend, not locals, but they were around frequently enough to be familiar with the goings-on. It seems the place had its fair share of local lore-though it dated back a century.
A 60 some year old man interrupted the lighthearted banter from across the room and said,
"They ain't just ghost stories." At first the group of men just smiled but their faces darkened when the old man looked over from his isolated seat in the far corner of the room.
"You ever wonder why the youngest man here is 50? Sure, some youngsters like you (he pointed to Dean) show up every now and agin'. But they don't last long. They jest disappear. The locals know what happens to 'em, but they don't let on when family comes to find 'em. Yessir, there's strange things goin' on, but the only ones who find out what it is, are the ones that disappear." His pale, watery eyes fixed on Dean as he pointed a finger at him:
"And mark my words, boy, you keep askin' questions like that, you'll be the next."