Author's Note: You have no idea how long I've wanted to share this with all of you! I have been working on this novel for a few months now and I finally feel confident enough with the first chapter to post it. This is definitely the biggest fanfic, I've ever written and probably one of the longest. The majority of this story will be set in season 1 with some occasional flashbacks. Anyways, please enjoy the prologue!
"There is so little to remember of anyone—an anecdote, a conversation at a table. But every memory is turned over and over again, every word, however chance, written in the heart in the hope that memory will fulfill itself, and become flesh, and that the wanderers will find a way home . . ."
―Marilynne Robinson, "Housekeeping"
Prologue: June 14th, 1987
Under a starless sky, he hopped over the wooden fence.
He landed with a slight thud as the dead grass crunched under his boots. It was midnight in Creekside, Mississippi, a small town just like any other. The few people that lived here had grown up here and remained while they raised their own families. It was a place where secrets abounded behind closed doors and everyone knew everyone else. It had Mom-and-Pop shops where tabs were still kept and teenagers worked under the watchful eye of the town elders. It was a place where you could walk down the street and know everyone who walked past you. It was a town where change was feared and strangers were looked upon with suspicion. It had been home to Linda Thomson and Jasmine Laurent until they were both found bloodied and tied up to the 100 year-old oak tree in the middle of this same field where he stood now.
They hadn't been the first victims either. There had been Marie Anderson a month before and Paige Matthews a month before that and who knew how many more victims before someone had begun to question the pattern of strange deaths. In the end, it hadn't been too hard to figure out that Creekside was home to a witch keen on sacrificing virgins in some misguided quest for power.
Crickets chirped softly as he neared the center of the field—the site where the bodies had been found. The moon struggled to be seen under the cover of the clouds. In the distance, a lone tree grew askew, bent over backwards as if it had tried in vain to reach the few silvers of light that graced the field. It was truly an eerie sight and had it been four years ago, he was sure that he wouldn't have been nearly as confident as he was now.
Then again, John Winchester hadn't been a hunter then.
Four years ago, he had been a simple mechanic who had been married to a beautiful wife. He had been a proud father to both a four year-old and a baby. He had smiled and his biggest worry was trying to figure out how he could cut down on his work to spend more time with his family and still have enough money left over to pay the bills. Four years ago, he had been happy.
Then, his wife was incinerated in a fire that had almost killed them. Mary was dead and John had found out quickly that her death was the work of a demon. That night, he had sworn that he wouldn't rest until he found the damn thing and killed it. John believed in the philosophy of an "eye for an eye" and frankly, he knew this was the only way that Mary would ever get any justice. It was for her that he had taken his family from the charred remains of their former life and had put them on the road. It was for her that he poured obsessively over any information he could gather on that demon. It was for her that he was going to raise their children as warriors because if they died—
John refused to lose anyone else.
And then suddenly, all was silent in the field.
He froze, eyes scanning the area for any signs of supernatural activity. He pulled out his gun, feeling slightly reassured by the familiar weight in his hands. Bobby had warned him not to go in alone—that he didn't know what he was truly dealing with—but while John respected the older hunter's opinion, he didn't work well with others. Mary had always said that was a fault of his, but now it was an asset. In his new line of work, you couldn't afford to trust anyone. He approached the tree with the stealth of a true hunter and as he carefully circled around it, he didn't see any signs of foul play. Confused, he stepped away and surveyed the larger area. He had been so sure that there would be a sacrifice tonight—
"Shh, it's okay." A feminine voice whispered and instantly John had his gun trained in the direction that it had come from. "It'll be over soon. I'm so sorry." He kept heading in the direction of the voice, boots crunching with each step he took. A few moments later, he stumbled upon a teenage girl holding the body of a slightly older woman. The girl was hard to make out in the moonlight, but John recognized her fiery red hair. It cascaded down her back, nearly kissing the grass. She was the librarian's daughter—Maggie? The woman who was bleeding out in her arms—stomach flayed open and thick blood sluggishly pouring out of the wound—was Celine Dawson, one of the teachers at the school. She was dying, if she wasn't already dead, and John cursed silently. He had just spoken to her this morning. She had been ecstatic, prattling on and on about her upcoming wedding. John had only half-listened, but now a wave of grief coursed through him. He hadn't been able to save her, but he could stop this. He could prevent this from happening ever again.
"Witch." He growled and Maggie looked up, clearly startled.
"What?" She echoed. "No, I'm not—" She placed the body on the ground and stood up, white t-shirt dyed crimson. She threw her hands up in a placating fashion and began to back away slowly. "Please, you have to believe me. I'm not the witch. I never wanted any of this to happen—!" Her vibrant green eyes filled with tears, but John kept advancing, gun directed at her heart, finger ready on the trigger should he need to pull it. Regardless of her excuses, it was clear to him that Maggie was the witch. What normal person would be out here cradling a dead body? He had to put an end to this. He had to give peace to the souls of all the women who had died because of this girl. "Please, I'm not the witch!" She was crying now, sobbing brokenly, but there was no pity in his heart. While she had a human form and had emotions, this girl had crossed the line. She had killed innocent lives.
She was one of them.
She had to die.
Without another thought, he pulled the trigger. The gunshot echoed through the empty field.
"Oh." Maggie glanced down at the wound and then met John's gaze, her mouth having fallen open in shock. She appeared to be unable to process what had happened to her. She shakily pressed one of her hands to the wound and then recoiled it quickly as it became streaked with blood. "Why?" She swayed as her eyes rolled back up into her head. She fell to the ground with the gracelessness of the dead, her body finally landing in a heap before him.
The first few hunts, the sight and the knowledge that he had ended another life had shaken John. He used to feel guilty and used to despair over what his life had been reduced too. Now, whenever those feelings struck him, he pictured Mary on the ceiling, blood dripping from her stomach as she screamed out for help. He buried the guilt under sheer fury. It wasn't healthy—it wasn't a proper way of dealing with his grief, as his former doctor had used to warn him about—but it was how he got by.
One day at a time, that was how he lived. One day, one case, one creature closer to getting the damn demon that had taken his wife away from him. Maggie—the witch was just another step in this plan. One day, John would get the lead that would lead him to the demon. Until then, he had to bide his time while simultaneously protecting others from the things that went bump in the night. This was his job in life.
Sirens wailed in the distance and John took one last glance at the former librarian's daughter. Blood pooled beneath her and her skin was now almost the color of the pale moonlight that was now illuminating the field. The police would, no doubt, try their best to make sense of this puzzling scene. Perhaps they'd label Maggie the murderer or perhaps, they would rule it as a weird suicide thing. Either way, Creekside was safe. Another supernatural creature would take Maggie's place no doubt, but for now—this one moment—John could rest easy that there would be no more deaths tonight.
It was over and it was time to return to what was now left of his perfect family.
Author's Note: Next chapter, the boys arrive at Creekside 18 years after this hunt. What awaits them there? Please review if you have a second!