The fever is terrible. It's always like that, when she tries to keep the Thing inside. It's just like drowning. You are under water, and the pressure on your chest becomes so strong that you literally need to swallow water. Here, the fever becomes so unbearable you need to release it. But you can't. You can't because it would make a monster of you. You can't because there's that pounding pain in your left shoulder that reminds you that this is evil. But there is that little voice inside your head who tells you that you are stronger than any scribble on your back. Don't listen to it. Focus on your heartbeat. Try to slow it down. They won't kill you, because if they wanted to, you would be already dead.
- Hey Dean look at that, it's amazing...I think...this blossom, right here, it's kinda the same tattoo than ours
- It doesn't look like it...
- Not the pattern, no, the writing.
- You're right!
The tattoo looks like a cherry tree branch, and from afar, it is just like any girly pink tattoo; but from upclose, one can see that something iswritten in a little darker shade of colour.
- That must have taken ages to tattoo, said Dean. And the rest? What does it say?
- I don't know...those are runes, i would need a book to translate. That, i don't know. This, on the left shoulder is hebrew i think...
- Yeah...it looks like every flower is a single spell, and the branch links them all.
- Why so many protections? And against what?
- I don't know, but Dean...she does have a hunter's tattoo. And she's sick...
Dean is puzzled. What she did to that ghost was definitely not human. She might be a witch, but witches, for what he knows, are usually opportunist bitches, murderers and liars. He doesn't want to put them in danger, especially with Sam's condition which is getting worse by the hour. But if she's a hunter, he can't let her die either.
- Hey do you hear me? Saskia do you hear me?
A voice. The hunter is talking but it's like he's mile away.
- I don't mean you any harm. I...we believe you, we saw your tattoo. How can I help you?
He's not threatening me anymore. Saskia feels the fever slowly going down, as her fear.
- Sammy hold her neck allright?
Saskia feels something cold on her forehead. Dean's just poured water on his scarf and had put it on her head. She's opening her eyes.
- Can you hear me?
The Thing is still close.
- Put...that...away, she whispers
- Your guns...put them away...
Dean looks at her eyes. She seems terrified, she's breathing with difficulty, and is very pale. She looks very young, all of a sudden. When he entered her shop this morning, he noticed she was pretty; thin, fit, long blond hair, bangs slightly hiding her eyes...Pretty but common. Now she looks different. There is something in her eyes, but he can't put a word on what it is.
- Don't worry, we won't hurt you.
- I know...But i'm not so sure about me, she says, planting her eyes in his.
Around her pupils, something seemed to glow.
- What was that?! said a male voice behind Saskia.
She had just saved Mama from the horrible woman, when she heard someone whistling, and clapping hands. A man was standing a few feet away. He was old, well, he had gray hair, and was holding an axe. Behind him was a younger man, holding a crossbow, and a tiny man holding a shotgun. Mama rose up, pressing her hand on her temple where she was bleeding. She walked and stood right in front of Saskia, as if to protect her, and Saskia held instinctively her mother's leg.
- I'm Leni, she said, and this is my daughter Saskia.
- I'm Rick, said the old man, and this is my son Logan, and my old friend Pivnik.
Logan, with the crossbow, was maybe 19 years old, the first day they met. Saskia was just a little girl, but she noticed how different he was from his father. Rick seemed nice, maybe a little butch, but nice. Logan on the other hand, was clinging to his weapon, looking at Saskia and her mother with a very black eye, the other being hidden with a long strand of black hair. Pivnik had nothing of a hunter, he was potbellied, pale, and looked like the typical cartoon coward.
- So, Saskia, is that it? You just killed a really bad monster you know that? said Rick, kneeling down, putting his axe on the ground.
Saskia was too shy to answer, and she tried to hide behind her mom's leg.
- She's special, said Ellen, very special.
- I think we all saw that! Who are you?
- I'm a witch.
- You're a what?
Rick quicky picked up his axe, and Logan aimed at Ellen with his crossbow.
- Put that down. I'm a white witch, and a hunter, i'm on you side.
- White witch? I thought you were all dead! Where the hell are you from?
Saskia didn't know what to do, since Mama said she couldn't even try to kill humans. She began to cry.
- Mama's from Europe! And she has lots of powers! She can see the future, heal people and clean haunted things! Please don't hurt her Mr Rick!
Ellen took her child in her arms, visibly touched. Rick put his axe down, and ordered Logan and Pivnik to do the same. Logan did it reluctantly.
- Mr Rick...how well raised of you, he said, with a gentle smile. I'm sorry Leni, if you're a hunter, you know how paranoid we can be sometimes.
- I do...said Ellen, relieved.
- So, is it true what she said? You can do all those things?
- Uh...yes, I can.
- Have you ever considered joining a group? We're 20 hunter, with our families, we'd be happy to have you with us.
Ellen couldn't repress a big smile. Rick thought she was really beautiful with her red hair, and big green eyes. She could have been the typical irish girl, though she had an accent that was definitely not irish. How old could she be? 25? She looked like she had been through a lot, but she still had some innocence in her eyes.
- Dad! said Logan, opening his mouth for the first time. We can't have another kid around!
- In case you didn't notice, son, she doesn't look like she's like any kid, right little devil?
Ellen caught his wrist, planting her angry eyes in his
- Don't call her that. Ever.
- What the hell is that supposed to mean? said Dean, visibly angry
- It means...I have...an ability...
- What kind of ability?
Saskia is pressing his scarf on her forehead, and the glow he thought he saw was maybe just the fever. How could someone on such a condition be any threat at all?
- I uh...
Why would i tell him that?
I need to tell someone.
Am I a monster?
- I can do pyrokinesis, she says, in a breath.
Saskia closes her eyes, waiting for him to tell her she's a freak of nature. He can't be different from everyone else. Fire has never been a witch power. It's a demonic one, every hunter would know that. She remembers the look her mother had on her face sometimes, when she saw her daughter using her "gift" on demons. That pain, that fear, that angst. She never had the courage to ask her if her father, whom her mother had never mentionned, was a demon, because she was too scared to hear that he may be. She let her mother tattoo her back for months, for almost a year, because she said it would protect her from evil, from the bad man, and from doing bad things. She also said that the tattoo was strong, but her mind was stronger, so she always had to remind she was a good girl, a good person, and never, ever try to hurt any human, or it would scar her soul, for life.
Maybe that's the moment where she dies. Maybe he's gonna shoot her. Maybe it's for the best, because what kind of wife could she be for someone like Michael, whom she lied to, whose heart is pure and mind is free?
She never could forget the pain of the tattoo, the life they had in those dirty places, the violence. Not going to school, going from places to places, only to witness slaughter and being used as a weapon. She began to hate her mother, and by the time she was 9 she wasn't calling her Mama anymore. She wasn't calling her Leni either, because it was the name her friends used, and she wasn't her friend. She called her Ellen, and she didn't believe her anymore. The last time she said Mama, she was crying on the burning ruins of the log cabin her mother was sleeping inside. And now...
- What the hell is pyrokinesis? said Dean, making an unintended funny face.