Author's Note: Hi there! I hope you all are doing well. Please enjoy this chapter!
Chapter 3: Fall to Pieces
The cemetery was small and though they had waited until nightfall, it was easy to find. The thought of leaving this town filled Sam with relief, though he wished there was something he could do for Lucy. She was terrified of this town and the townspeople seemed to hate her as well. The question was, why? Why were all these people turning on her when she had lived here for practically her whole life? It made no sense and the more the youngest Winchester thought about it, the more he felt like they were overlooking something. Yeah, all the signs pointed towards Maggie's spirit being involved, but what if she hadn't been the witch in the first place?
What if she had been framed?
"Penny for your thoughts?" Dean broke into his mind and Sam's head jerked over to his brother as the Impala rolled to a stop in front of the rusty iron gates of the cemetery. It was the definition of the stereotypical cemetery, with its non-existent lights and crumbling angel statues. It was the place where teenagers would come on a dare and the thought brought a frown to Sam's face. Maybe that was how all the victims had come here, the result of some stupid prank by their friends. "Sam?" His brother was gazing at him intently now and Sam waved off his concern.
"Sorry, just caught up in thought." Dean smirked.
"Yeah, I could see that," He turned the keys in the ignition before pulling them out. They flashed for the briefest of moments in the moonlight before his older brother pocketed them. "What about?"
"Are we sure Maggie is responsible?" Dean's face filled with confusion and he tilted his head to the side slightly.
"It's her M.O. Sam." His older brother explained patiently, his eyes drifting over the area, checking for any threats.
"What if she wasn't the witch though?" Now, his elder brother gazed at him like he had grown a second head.
"I mean, what if—"
"It doesn't matter," Dean retorted. "She still died violently, Sam. Either way, she needs to be salted and burned." Knowing it was pointless to fight against his brother's logic, Sam resigned himself to this and nodded. Together, they got out of the car and made their way to the grave. Maggie's tombstone had been vandalized, graffiti made her name barely recognizable. Still, there were daisies on her grave and he assumed they were from her dedicated mother. It was a shame really that they had to desecrate her grave further given all the trauma she had been through, but if Dean was right, if she was hurting people, she had to be put down.
It would be better for her in the long run.
Silently, they began to work, shovels hitting the muddy ground. The youngest Winchester focused his mind on the task at hand. In the distance, he saw a huge oak tree, its branches seemingly stretching up endlessly until you could no longer tell where the tree ended and where the nighttime sky began. It was a peaceful sight and it brought a tired grin to Sam's face.
That is, until he saw her.
The light was bad—the cemetery didn't have lights of its own, so he and Dean were working with flashlights—but in the distance, he swore he could make out the familiar ebony hair. He dropped his shovel and began to move, distantly hearing his brother call out behind him, but it was to no avail. He sprinted—sprinted harder than he had thought he was capable of—and soon hopped over the wooden fence that gated in the field.
She was tied to the tree, like all the other victims before her and for a few seconds, he had thought he was too late. Blood covered the front of her shirt and as he skidded to a halt before her, he almost fell because of how slippery it made the ground. Her face was ashen though in the moonlight, he could see the sheen of sweat on her forehead. Pressing two fingers to her neck, he held his breath as he waited for a pulse.
"Sam!" Dean was catching up to him now and from the tone of his voice, he sounded pissed that he had been left behind for no explanation. At the moment though, saving Lucy's life became Sam's main priority and he pulled out his pocketknife and cut the ropes that binded her. She fell into his arms and he could feel her shuddery breaths. He pressed her close to him, hoping she would take some his warmth, but he wasn't naïve.
She needed a hospital now.
"Sam, what the—?" Dean puffed out a breath and then his eyes scanned the girl in his brother's arms. "Shit. She alive?"
"Yeah." Sam breathed, pleased that he had managed to save someone; that he hadn't been too late. Dean glanced up at the sky and Sam knew what he was checking. It wasn't a full moon—close to it, but not quite.
Lucy had broken the pattern.
"She needs a hospital." Sam nodded.
"What about the grave—?"
"She'll still be there tomorrow," Dean dismissed calmly. "Lucy needs—"
"Oh, dear Lord!" A voice exclaimed and Mrs. McGuire appeared out of the darkness. She tugged at the shawl around her shoulders and regarded with Lucy with wide eyes. "What happened?"
"We don't know," Sam replied quickly. "But Lucy needs help—"
"Dr. Jenkins," She told them, motioning for them to follow her. "We'll bring her to his clinic. It's this way, quickly."
With that, they followed her into the dark night.
"Well, aside from the one major laceration on her stomach and the blood loss," Dr. Jenkins began. "It seems Lucy will be just fine." He was a man in 70's and was one of those doctors with the pristine white lab coat and the oversized glasses. His clinic was a petite one—two rooms really—but it was filled with countless monitors that one would find in a major hospitable. He nodded to himself as he looked over his chart before scribbling a few things down. "I'll be keeping her overnight of course, but if she does well in the morning, I think she should be fine to go." He smiled softly and Sam could feel warmth radiate from him. He seemed to be the only person in Creekside willing to care for anyone. Hysteria hadn't taken hold in him like the rest of the town, something that Sam was grateful for.
"Thank you, doctor," Mrs. McGuire told him softly and he nodded his head before retreating to the other room. Maggie's mother then turned to them, curiosity dancing in her eyes. "Thank heavens you saw her! What were you doing out there?"
"We could ask you the same thing." Dean replied defensively and Sam gently nudged his brother with his elbow.
"We were just doing some digging." Sam answered, pleased with his half-truth.
"I'd hate to think what would've happened if you two hadn't shown up . . ." Mrs. McGuire's voice trailed off and a flash of sheer grief filled her eyes. She was no doubt recalling her own daughter's death and Sam felt her pain. It seemed like every night he watched Jessica die. He couldn't imagine how much worse it felt to lose a child.
"It was lucky." Sam supplied and she nodded her head vigorously.
"Indeed," She said. "As for what I was doing," She glanced at Dean. "I was on my way to visit Maggie. I do so every night. It's the only time when there's no one to stare." In her pocket, he could make out some daises and he wondered what would've happened if she had found them digging up her daughter's grave.
"Well, I believe it's getting late," She smiled softly. "See you two soon." With that she exited the clinic.
"Come on," His brother motioned towards the door. "We need to figure out what's going on here."
The inn was strangely desolate without Lucy's presence. It was if the building knew she was gone for shadows seemed to darken the place more than was possible given the amount of light fixtures on the walls. It was odd, but Sam wasn't willing to look too much into it. They had bigger problems right now.
Who had put Lucy there and why?
Why tonight when it broke the pattern?
Dean calmly laid down salt lines on the main door and Sam placed some sigils on the walls and windows. If Lucy asked questions about it, they would explain it to her after they freed Creekside of whatever was controlling it.
"So, what are you thinking?" His older brother questioned as he placed the salt back on the counter. Sam shrugged and finished up his sigil.
"Honestly? A spirit wouldn't break a pattern, or at least, not one that has only been showing up for the past three months." It was a known fact that spirits became more powerful with the more time that passed. If it took 18 years for Maggie to finally begin her revenge killing spree, there was no way she would've gained the power to appear completely at will in just three short months. Something else had to be at play here.
"You think those guys that were threatening Lucy had something to do with it?"
"That's my guess." He put the cap on his sharpie and placed it in his pocket.
"But why her?" The question his older brother posed was valid and Sam honestly didn't have an answer. He couldn't figure it out either. They had left Lucy that night safe and secure in her room in the inn. They had locked the door behind them, with a key they had taken from the front desk. No one should've been able to get in.
Unless she let them in.
But why would she let in the same people that threatened her?
"I don't know." Sam shrugged and Dean sighed.
"We can ask her tomorrow," He glanced at the clocked that ticked above the desk. "Later today, I mean."
"And Maggie?" While Sam had remained with Mrs. McGuire and Lucy in the clinic, Dean had swung back and picked up their gear. He had fixed the grave a bit too, just in case they couldn't make it back before dawn.
"Only an hour left until sunrise," His older brother stated. "That's not enough time for the flames to go out completely."
So, they were stuck really.
"We talk to Lucy then? Ask her who did this?" Dean nodded and then carded a hand through his hair.
"If she'll speak to us," Sam nodded his head in agreement; she had been pretty distant the last time they had spoken to her. "Damn. I hate towns like this."
With that, they headed back to their room, ready to get a few hours of sleep before they continued their investigation.
Neither one noticed how the clock hands suddenly began to spin backwards until both hands rested on six.
Neither one noticed the soft wind that blew the salt line slightly askew.
And from the darkness, neither one heard the high heeled footsteps on the wooden floor.
Author's Note: I know, I know, it's a big cliffhanger, but please hang in there! I will hopefully have another chapter up before May, when I began my undertaking that is "31 days of Hurt!Sam". Some answers will be coming in the next chapter, so hang in there! Please review if you have a second! I'd love to hear what you thought.