A/N... Here we are, the end. And posting from my iPhone so I'm a little apprehensive...
Alison brought over another round of beers and shimmied into the booth next to Sam.
Dean raised a brow and she smiled at him, her feet touching his. "Any luck?"
"Ah, yeah. Tons. All of the bad variety" Sam answered.
Dean forked the last piece of steak into his mouth and pushed his plate away.
Sam grabbed a fry from it and popped it into his mouth. "See, Old Ma Deamonn did kill herself after her son drowned, but it says here that her body was never found" he told her, pointing to the article he'd been reading on his computer.
"She threw herself in the lake. Drowned, just like her boy" Dean added.
Alison sighed. "So, what do you do now? How do you put her spirit to rest?"
Sam frowned. "We have no idea"
All three fell silent.
Sam continued to scroll through the pages on the computer, hoping to find something that would help him.
"Alison? Do you know if there still is a shack up on the cliff over the lake?"
Alison looked up at Sam. "Yeah. It's still there. Well, what's left of it. It was lived in till about eighty years ago, and it's kinda been left to rundown since then"
"What're you thinking, Sam?" Dean asked.
Sam sat back in the booth. "Says here that there is a small grave at the back of the shack. All the members of the family were laid to rest at the local church, but there is one unmarked grave there"
Dean leaned forward, his beer in between his hands. "They never found her body, Sam. It can't be her."
Sam turned the computer around. "I found a thesis written by a local historian while he was at college. He thought that old Ma Deamonn hung herself from that rickety tree over the cliff, she never drowned herself at all, and her husband buried her behind the house. You see, they couldn't bury her at the church grave yard. Suicide victims cannot be buried on hallowed ground"
Dean drained his glass. "Let's go, dude. See if we can find that old cow's bones to torch"
The hire car climbed the steep road easily, but it nearly bogged as soon as Dean turned it off the main road.
"Guess we walk from here" he grumbled.
The Winchesters loaded up with shovels, salt, holy water, duffle bag and shot guns and trudged up the overgrown path.
As they neared the top Sam stopped. "It's the same. From the dream, see? The trees, the grass, the flowers"
Dean nodded. "Guess it means we're on the right track, then"
Before long the last remains of the shack came into view, and Dean realized Alison may not have been up there for a while.
There was almost nothing left of the shack and the rambling garden had grown wild, escaping the low wire fence and mingling with the local flora.
"This is about where the back used to be." Sam stood and tried to picture where the grave may lie. "I think it's over there"
Dean pulled a metal detector from the duffel he was carrying and extended the shaft. It screamed as he turned it on, then quieted.
It hummed and squealed as he waved it around the area, each time Sam bent and dug or brushed aside the dirt to find an old nail, or a rusted piece of wire.
Sam held the EMF up, but the whole area gave off enough electromagnetic waves to render it useless.
After a while the metal detector let out a low hum, indicating something larger, and deeper.
Dean turned it off and set it aside. "Good a place as any"
They dug and before very long they uncovered a shallow buried coffin, the large metal nails having set off the detector.
Dean jumped onto the lid of the roughly made box and hit it with his shovel until it broke.
The dry, dusty skull stared back at him though lifeless dark holes in the yellow bone, straggled locks of black hair twisted around and tumbled across her face.
"My boy" a whispered, sorrowful call drifted over the ground, so low that at first Dean thought he'd imagined it.
"They killed my boy" this time the voice was stronger, and both men looked around, expecting to find the ghost of Mrs Deamonn standing there.
"Um. Dude, maybe get a move on" Sam handed Dean the salt container.
"Yeah, I think you're right" Dean pulled the lid and started to pour salt over the bones.
The voice screamed this time, all her pain and agony triggered by the layer of salt now covering her last human remains.
"Hurry up" Dean prompted as Sam dug in the bag for the lighter fluid.
Dean climbed from the hole as Sam sprayed the corpse, but before he could light the matches the spectral form of Mrs Deamonn appeared before them.
"My boy. They drowned my boy" she cried, her hands wringing in anguish.
"Dean. Torch the bones" Hissed Sam.
Dean struck the matches and the bright flare caught the attention of the ghost. She raised her hands and sent the boys flying, crashing to earth in a tangled heap of limbs and weeds.
"They killed my boy" She ranted as Dean sat up.
He couldn't see his brother. "SAM?"
"Yeah. Dean. I'm here. I'm okay"
"We gotta get to those bones"
Sam sat up and Dean let out a breath of relief. "How do you propose we get close? If she flings us the wrong way we end up over the cliff"
Dean crawled closer to his brother. "Split up. I'll go this way, draw her attention. You go that way, torch her. Move . Now"
Dean stood and slowly walked towards the woman, his hands held out before him.
"Mrs Deamonn? Do you remember me?"
"My boy. Oh, my boy!"
"Mrs Deamonn? Can you hear me?"
"They drowned my boy, my only boy" She wept, wringing her hands, her face a desperate mask of pain.
"They killed your boy" Dean stepped closer, but to the side, trying to draw her attention to him.
"They killed my boy"
"They drowned your boy"
"My only boy"
"They took him and killed him"
"They killed my beautiful boy"
"They broke your heart"
"They took your boy and they broke your heart"
"They broke my heart" She looked up at Dean as he drew closer. "They broke my heart"
"They killed your beautiful boy"
"And they broke my heart"
"They broke your heart"
Suddenly she stiffened, her eyes wide, then she screamed as she dissolved in a bright flash of flame and smoke.
Dean looked over at Sam as he stood by the grave, his hair disheveled and a small trickle of blood winding its path between his eyes. His face was sad.
"She was just a grieving mother. All she wanted was her boy"
Dean looked down at himself. His clothes were in the same state as his brother's, so he brushed them down, trying to knock off as much grime as he could.
"Yeah. Just a grieving mother. Who became a crazy spirit killing kids every hundred years"
He straightened and picked up the duffel. "C'mon. Lets' get outta here"
"You don't wanna fill in her grave?"
"Nope. Next rain'll do that for us just fine. Come on."
Jason stood at the railing, looking out over the street below.
They were upstairs at Alison's bar, a family restaurant filled the top floor, the long, potted plant filled balcony providing a wonderful view over most of the town, and off in the distance, the lake and the woods beyond.
They were there for Sherry's wake, her family deciding on a celebration of the young girl's life rather than a somber ceremony in a church.
The family had filled the restaurant with bright flowers, the walls adorned with posters showing the girl at school, in her cheerleading outfit, running track, posing with her teachers.
There was a large screen TV showing the school production, Sherry and Penny had the leads, a stammering young Daniel off to the side as an extra.
Waiters moved about with trays of finger food and beverages, and the crowded room was filled with people trying to be happy, trying to respect the short life of a child that was well loved.
Dean walked out on to the balcony and stood next to the Jason as he squinted out into the bright sunlight, trying to pick the spot on the cliffs where the ramshackle ruins of the cabin lay.
"It's really over. We all slept last night, all three of us" Mark said as he joined them. "Three of us. That's all that's left. Out of eight"
Shell walked up beside Mark. "It could have been all of us, you know. She wouldn't have stopped until we all were dead"
"Well, there is that" Jason sighed and turned away from the view. "Is she ever going to come back? Is anyone else gonna go through what we did?"
"No" Dean turned to the three kids. "We took care of that. But even if she did, she only ever showed up every hundred years, so you guys don't have to worry about her"
"Thank god for that" Mark sighed. "And you guys. You saved our lives"
Dean nodded. "I'm sorry we couldn't save you all"
"Why do I get the feeling that happens more times than it should?" Shell asked, her soulful eyes trained on Dean. "You did your best. You tried your hardest. And there're survivors. That's a good day, in my book"
"And mine" Alison echoed as she joined the group on the balcony. "This could have gone a whole different way."
Sam ran his hands through his hair. "Yeah. You're right. I mean. Look. We tell ourselves every day, you can't save everybody. Still doesn't make it any easier"
"Does for me" Shell smiled at him and hooked her arm through Mark's. "And I'm sure it does for my mom. And Jason's mom. And Mark's. You should remember that" she turned, taking Mark with her, and Jason followed close behind.
"Smart kid" Alison remarked, swinging her hair over her shoulder.
"And sassy. I like her" Dean smiled.
"So, Dean. I think we were gonna grab dinner together, weren't we?"
Sam looked down at his feet, then back at his brother, his head still bowed as he peered out through his bangs.
"I could eat" Dean answered her, and Alison hooked her arm though his in the same fashion as the young girl.
She smiled at Sam and hooked his arm as well.
"This is sure to set tongues a wagging" she laughed.
"Is that a problem?" Sam asked her.
"Gosh, no. It'll make me the subject of gossip for the next six months, at least!"
Dean smiled and met Sam's eyes over Alison's head.
They smiled at each other.
Shell was right.
And that did make all the difference.
The evening was one of those soft, gentle evenings that could be either early summer, late spring, or early fall, when the leaves were green, the wild flowers bloomed brightly and the night birds sang their mournful cry.
The setting of the sun had dropped the temperature dramatically and the lights around the shoreline lit up the surface of the still lake, and tendrils of mist drifted slowly this way and that across the mirrored surface of the water.
Along the lakes edges, right where the soft green grass met the water line, a large doe bent her perfect head and sipped at the cold water, her twin fawns darting playfully around her feet.
She drank deep. The night was quiet and she felt secure, safe, no sounds broke the night air other than the odd bird call.
She lifted her head and her long pink tongue darted out to lick her nose and dry her mouth. Her ears flicked, they moved forward and back, listening for any sound, any warning, any cause for alarm.
There was none.
She turned and walked slowly off into the woods, her babies following close behind.
In the middle of the lake, almost out of the reach of the dull shore lights, a ripple broke the surface.
The ripples broke into perfect rings of dark water, the light catching and coating each one with a diamond gloss.
The rings spread out, causing the mist to shimmer and dance as they travelled towards the shore.
Another ripple, this time accompanied by a small splash.
A hand broke the surface, white, pale, long fingers reached up towards the sky before drifting back down under the water.
Once again, silence returned to the lake.
This time not even the night bird called …..
A/N well, that's it, done and dusted. Please don't forget I wrote this story in one day for a challenge on LJ while I was ill... I had to wait for the challenge to be up before I posted here. (one more challenge story to come in two or three weeks, but that is only a 7,000 word shortie)
Ande just coz it's over, don't mean you are off the hook with reviews! Please, take a moment to leave me a word...
Also, getting nagged to write another story or two.
I may just do another, if I get a few reviews here. It's all about the love, poeople! I love your reviews, and I write for you...
PM me if you have a particular story line you would like to see... and the season you would like to set it in. Alternatley write your suggestions on $100 bills and mail them to me...