"Now I know what a ghost is. Unfinished business, that's what." -Salman Rushdie, The Satanic Verses

Now that was interesting. Charmeine stood, gathering Nanba into her hands so he wouldn't wake. "You mean to say that…"

"Yes." Castiel clasped his hands. "The deaths of these women will follow the pattern of Jack the Ripper. The Seal mustn't break, we've already lost far too many."

Char nodded. "Then we need to stop him."

"Immediately." Cas agreed. He looked her over and frowned. "Why are you holding a snake?"

"I have adopted it." She felt it contract and warp in her hands, a defense mechanism, meaning it had woken up. It hissed softly and arched up, eyeing Cas defensively. Char scratched the top of its head with her fingernail.

He pressed his lips into a line. "Well, find what is keeping the Ripper tied to this town and banish him before he can kill the last three. If the spirit re-murders his canonical five victims the Seal will break."

"I remember when they were killed the first time." She mused. "Unpleasant."

"I'll leave you to it. If you should encounter him and find it too much a challenge…"

"I know." She gave a small, humourless smile. "But you know as well as I that I will be fine."

He watched her for a moment, with something along the lines of concern, but flew away a moment later. Charmeine debated with herself for a few moments, did a count of the days and looked at the time before deciding to wake the boys up.

"Ugh..." Sam groaned and sat up, fumbling for his phone. "Char?"

"This better be pretty friggin' important…" Dean muttered, rubbing his eyes.

"Dean, Sam, this situation has recently become much more serious."

Dean popped his neck and rolled his shoulders. "What do you mean?"

"I mean these murders are a Seal." At their looks, she held up a hand. "It hasn't broken, yet. The spirit of Jack the Ripper will kill three more. If they die, his rage will be set free and the Seal will break."

There was a pause. "Well, who's he gonna kill?" Dean finally asked.

"I have been looking into it. There are three remaining women in this town who have the same names as the remaining Ripper victims. I will pay a visit to the…"

She trailed off and looked out the window. A second or two later, ambulance sirens wailed down the street outside the motel, accompanied by blurs of red lights. "I'm guessing that's our third victim." Sam muttered.

"We're too late. Find what's keeping him here." Char warned. "I'm going to see Catherine Eddowes."

In a blink, she was in a small flat. It was a bit worse for the wear. A television was flickering cartoons in the faces of three small children with bowls of dry cereal in their laps. The flat was dirty, and dark. Char walked through the main room to the bedroom. Bottles of wine sat on the table next to the bed, lingerie was strewn across the floor. A woman sat on the bed, counting her money, and gasped when she saw Char.

"Who are you? How'd you get in here?" She demanded. Curly brown hair was strewn in dry strands across her painted face.

"Do not be afraid. I've come to help." She held out her hands, practised at such encounters.

"Why are you in my house?" Catherine asked shakily. "And who are you?"

"I am an angel of the Lord, and you are in terrible danger." Char beckoned. "Come, quickly, or your life will soon be in jeopardy."

"I'm not going anywhere with you! You're crazy! Get out, or I'm calling—"

One of the children in the living room screamed. Char whispered to Nanba, who hissed in acknowledgement and reared. A figure shadowed the door and moved closer. He was dressed like a well-to-do man of the 1800s, but his face was blurred, like a picture that had been scratched out. He walked silently toward her and the screaming Catherine, a scalpel in his hand.

Char lunged forward with an iron knife, but he had shifted past her. Nanba shot from her shoulders and wrapped around the spirit, constricting his ghostly throat for long enough that she could stab him. The snake fell to the floor when the Ripper vanished.

"Wh-what the hell was that thing?" The crying woman asked.

"An image of a thing long dead." Char sighed, observing her clean knife. "A spirit."

"That was a ghost?!" Catherine stood, shaking her head. "No, no, I'm outta here. Get away from me! I'm taking my kids and leaving!"

"You have to come with me, please." Char grabbed Nanba and appeared in front of the fleeing Elizabeth, who cried out in panic. "I don't mean to alarm you, but…"

"No! It's back!" She pointed over the angel's shoulder, and directly behind her was Jack the Ripper. He grabbed Char and tossed her to the side, and she smashed into the shelf of wine.

Glass cutting her hands as she stood, Char reached the Ripper at subsonic speeds. To her shock, he reached up and grabbed her hair, and threw her to the side again. A horrible, glass-shattering scream was cut off by a gurgle, and then silence. Charmeine stood and went at him again, feeling fire burning at her hands, and when she came out of her furious daze, the Ripper was gone, and Catherine was on the floor, her throat cut.

With a defeated sigh, Char knelt and murmured a prayer for her life. She closed Catherine's staring eyes, and strode into the living room. Nanba was tight around her throat in terror. The three children were crying loudly in the living room. Char knelt and picked them up, speaking quiet Enochian words to calm them, and appeared outside the town's orphanage.

When she was sure the children would be safe, she took out her cell phone and called Sam. "Yeah." He answered.

"Catherine Eddowes has been killed. Have you found what is binding the Ripper to this town?"

"Uh, I think we did. It's not gonna be easy, though. We're at the town hall, second room in the hall to the right…" He stopped and looked up at her, blinking. "Hi."

"Hello." She hung up. "What have you found?"

Sam gestured to a plaque. "Well, apparently there are some bricks in the road that are from England. Whitechapel. The town bought them for aesthetics about the time the first killings started."

"Then we destroy the bricks." She said simply.

"Yeah, except that means tearing up the roads, and I doubt the cops are gonna be thrilled about that. Plus, we have no way of knowing which ones are which." Dean crossed his arms. "There any other way of icing this creep? Where's his bones?"

"He was never identified." Sam sighed. "The Ripper was anonymous. He could have been anyone."

"Even I must admit that he eluded me." Char admitted. "There were many candidates."

"Great, freakin great. Now what?" Dean paced back and forth in front of the plaque.

Sam rubbed his chin, thinking. "We should find the last victim and keep her safe. What's her name?"

"Mary Jane Kelly." Char mumbled past her hand, pressed to her mouth in contemplation. "A very gruesome death. There were exceptions made to let her soul into our Gates just for the suffering she endured."

"Okay, Char, go to find her and make sure the Ripper doesn't kill her. Me and Sam'll try to find a way to get him before he gets to her. C'mon Sammy." Dean gestured to his brother and they walked out of the town hall.

-o-

-If you're wondering, the stray snake she's picked up is a black rat snake. It's a pretty common breed on the east coast US. Nanba is like six feet I think? Which is like average size. And rat snakes do actually contract and wiggle their bodies up as a defense mechanism; it's kinda funky looking.

-Review!