FREE SPIRIT

Chapter 7

Questions and answers. Then more questions.

xxxxx

Eventually all four figures had crowded around Bobby's kitchen table. Sam jealously guarded his fresh mug of coffee while Leylaani settled herself next to Dean, as close as it was possible to be without actually sitting on his lap.

Dean lost himself in the soft fragrance that surrounded her. It was fresh and clean, like pine forests or summer rain. It suited her perfectly.

"So, Bobby, what you got?" Sam asked.

"Well," Bobby began; "I been checking out anything I could find about the teachers at that school, the ones who might have been there when our vics were there, and the ones there today, nothing about any of them stand out."

A collective sigh rose from the table.

"Then I checked out some of the students who were there at that time; again, drew a blank," he shrugged; "nothing remotely interesting about any of the ones I looked at."

He paused for a moment, lifting his coffee mug to his mouth; "but then I saw something about the janitor," he mumbled as he swallowed half the mug's contents in one long gulp.

"Oh yeah?"

Leylaani and the brothers leaned over the table, their interest piqued.

"Yeah, interesting guy it seems," Bobby replied; "he went to the school too, and he's the same age of our vics so he would have been at the school the same time as them.

"Uh-huh?" Sam prompted, "and?"

"Well, he arranged a reunion about a year ago," Bobby revealed; "the four dead guys and the fifth victim all went, along with a load of the other students from his time.

"Yeah?"

"So we need to keep an eye on them then," Leylaani observed, glancing around the table.

"Well, yeah, maybe," Bobby replied with a nod.

"It seems our janitor friend took the job straight from his time in the school, first as an assistant then took over as the janitor when the last one retired fifteen years ago," Bobby continued; "guy's never had another job."

"Sounds like he can't keep away, obviously enjoyed school so much," Dean observed drily. "Weirdo," he added under his breath.

Sam grinned; he felt sorry for any unfortunate teacher charged with the task of educating Dean. Dean's undeniably sharp mind was matched only by his hatred of academia.

"I don't think it's quite as simple as that," Bobby replied; "you see …"

"Wait a minute," Dean interrupted; "so what's this all got to do with those windy faerie things?"

Bobby glared across the table at him as Sam stifled a snigger behind his hand; "boy, if you'd just shut ya idjit piehole and let me finish, I'm gettin' to that."

Dean bowed his head, and had the decency to look admonished. He glanced over his shoulder at Leylaani sitting beside him and frowned as she giggled and stuck her tongue out at him; "they're called sylphs, dumbass," she spluttered through stifled laughter.

Dean grinned. "Whatever," he grunted with a defiant shrug.

Bobby shook his head in impatient resignation; "it sounds like our friend had a very difficult time during his time at that school, and beyond. Lots of issues."

"Issues?" Sam repeated.

"Yeah," Bobby confirmed; "apparently the poor guy had a major breakdown when he was a kid."

"That sucks," Sam glanced at Dean and Leylaani.

Bobby continued; "I've pulled up his psyche reports. He was in therapy for years, most of the way through high school and for years beyond, and the general consensus of all his shrinks was that he wouldn't be up to taking a job outside his comfort zone, in a place he didn't know, with people he didn't know, so he took the job at the school."

Bobby shuffled the mess of papers in front of his; "it sounds like he wasn't too good at making new friends, and it was felt it would do him more good to stay somewhere he felt secure."

"Poor guy," Leylaani murmured; "that's horrible."

Dean's brow knotted in thought; "Yeah, sad an' all, but I still don't see what all this has got to do with the faeri … sylphs."

Leylaani glanced knowlingly at Dean and smiled.

"I haven't told you the best part of the psyche reports yet," Bobby replied; "d'y know what caused our friend to flip his marbles."

Three pairs of eyes regarded him expectantly.

"when he was twelve he woke up one night screaming bloody murder. His parents thought it was a nightmare, but what he'd been screaming about that night, he always maintained it was the truth, despite all the therapy, treatments and counselling they put the poor kid through," Bobby explained solemnly, "look."

He pushed a piece of paper toward Sam, Dean and Leylaani. It took only a few moments for them to absorb the report's words, and three gasps rose from the table.

Bobby nodded; "yep, our friend is adamant that he was abducted by faeries."

xxxxx

A stunned silence hovered over the table for the longest time before Sam eventually spoke up.

"I've been looking into these things – these sylphs, and everything Leylaani said is right. There's not a scrap of lore out there that I found that says they're anything other than harmless," he sighed; "the books say they're happy, loving, spontaneous, playful, carefree, you could go on for ever … their life sounds idyllic. Nowhere does it say they go around slaughtering people and pushing them over cliffs," he slumped back into his seat. "Are they just too good to be true?" He hesitated; "or d'you reckon our janitor friend's controlling them?"

"Kind of a coincidence, don't ya think?" Bobby mused.

"But what about the victims?" Leylaani chipped in; "what have they got to do with any of this? Why those guys? Why the reunion? If this guy was abducted by faeries, wouldn't you think he'd be punishing them, not his old school mates."

"Well, I don' know about the rest of you, but I'm up for going and takin' a look at this school," Dean snorted impatiently, pushing the psyche reports back to Bobby, "and seeing what else we can find on this guy," he added; "something about this stinks."

"Of roses and lavender?" Sam grinned, staring pointedly at Dean.

"You're not funny," Dean replied, po faced; "just thought I ought to tell you, bitch."

"Anyway," interrupted Bobby, rolling his eyes in exasperation; "so is that the plan then? We visit the school?"

Sam, Dean and Leylaani all nodded in silent agreement.

"I tol' you," Dean announced; "faeries are freakin' bad news – even the happy clappy, smiley friggin' goody-two-shoes ones."

He cracked his knuckles in satisfaction; " I'm so gonna kick their faerie asses."

xxxxx

tbc