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The Melting Man
, Evil has a name
Member No.: 15,935
Joined: 5-February 07
This a two part one shot. The boys are adults and are hunting with John. They take on a tough case with another hunter named Kate. This was supposed to be for Halloween but I got sick and couldn't finish on time. Hope you like it.
The Melting Man
Kate shook the chill from her body forcing herself to focus on what she had come for. The covered bridge had been of iconic status at one time. It was means to cross the creek a hundred and fifty years ago and more recently it was proof that the area did in fact care for things of historical nature. Mostly it was Mrs. Hyde who cared or cared that people believed that she cared if that made any sense. But with all that caring came baggage lots and lots of baggage.
The original bridge had been built around 1860 or so nobody is completely certain. It served its purpose delivering those on horseback a means to cross Caper creek; its walls acting as protection from cataclysmic doom that would happen if the horse caught a glimpse of something or other out of the corner of its eye causing a complete and total breakdown of its psyche therefore tossing its rider to kingdom come.
Kate had nothing against the bridge; in fact she rather liked it. The smell of wood the quaint picture it painted against the foliage, the sound of the water trickling underneath it. But the death and torture it also seemed to bring cast darkness over its idyllic nature. The bright red paint stood for more than an old country feel and Kate feared blood would be shed once more.
John sighed as he hung up the phone with his old friend. She had called him with a concern that was due to cash in its chips as it had notably done so for years, decades even until it was destroyed. But now it was back in full glory and she sensed it’s pent up aggression waiting to spill forth upon the appointed time. Kate didn’t cry wolf and so there was no doubt this was a case waiting for him and for the battle that would ensue.
Sam along with John pulled all the relevant research they could find. The old bridge had stood by for years a backdrop to beauty and the gate to hell all rolled up in one. It appeared that the original land had been smack dab in the middle of Native American territory until it was wrestled away with the typical use of strength and force that only an emerging nation could muster. But what they didn’t know could hurt them and hurt them it did.
Apparently the area next to the creek had been reserved for such rituals that included leaving those who weren’t quite right in the head a place to slowly succumb to the elements. Bottom line is was not a happy place and then add to it the violence that heaped on top of it in the takeover and the ground held horrific memories; memories it was eager to share.
John suspected the fire years ago was a fellow hunter unsure what else to do to bring the bridge and its reign of terror to an end. But the damn historical society couldn’t keep its white gloved hands off and with the many fundraising tea parties they managed to solicit the funds necessary to rebuild a grand replica. And it was time once again to the let the games begin.
A hiker went missing only streaks of his blood were found on the bridges walls. Then soft sobbing could be heard on nights with a full moon. And there was always the sense of being watched whether it was day or night, sunny or cloudy, warm or cold you were never alone in this place. While families fished, while kids made out, while photographers snapped their prized shot the horror wafted above deciding who to take. Some were lucky some were not.
The more Kate spoke out about it the more she was dismissed as a crackpot, crazier than those left to die by the tribes long ago. She was shunned and whispered about all at the same time. She never did fit neatly into any category and that suited her just fine but these stupid soon to be victims had no idea what they were in for. Even when Jacob Miner wandered home in a catatonic state they didn’t believe even when Miranda Cook slit her wrists saying she could no longer be near the hole to hell they didn’t believe, thought it odd yes, but dangerous no. Their work was cut out for them and burning it down meant absolutely nothing anymore.
“So do we have any sort of plan?” Dean asked after he had looked over Sam’s notes.
“Not yet, but when we do find one it better be damn good,” John sighed.
Kate was beyond uncomfortable. Her skin felt as if it was crawling, her stomach upset to the point where she felt if she moved too fast she would lose her dinner, lunch and breakfast and the eyes, the unseen eyes that seem to constantly be trained on her. She had taken all kinds of precautions to protect herself but she wished John was there watching her back or actually more like there instead of her. She knew she could find solace and safety in his big muscular arms. She shook her head and told herself to focus; John could come later as a reward if she lived through this. The thought of John and his smile and hazel eyes were enough to get her through her mission of scraping the area of the bridge for residue as well as EVP and tons of pictures that she busily snapped as she went. The moon was busy ducking in and out of the clouds mocking her from its safe perch high above. The new wood left a heavy scent behind enough to nearly gag her and making it even more difficult to keep her dietary pleasures down. She just wanted to finish and get back to the safety of her car. The new floors still creaked as if they were the originals and added a sensation of creepiness to the already dark and gloomy night. As it seemed that her heart could take no more she finished up and ran back to her car in a time that would put an Olympian to shame.
“So this is a big one?” Dean asked as the Winchesters vacated their latest one room homestead.
“Yes son I believe it is. We will need to be prepared and have an ironclad plan before tackle this hunt.”
“Dad when have we ever had an ironclad plan?” Sam asked.
“Well it’s time to start.”
The drive took longer than John would have liked. Dean twisting the radio knob at every opportunity while Sam tried to read and maintain his concentration as they bumped over the back country roads swerving around potholes and wayward deer. The diners they stopped at along the way were typical, a daily special, a waitress named Maxine and short order cook that looked like he had been scraped off of somebody’s shoe. Sam was busy making a moat out of his mashed potatoes and gravy while Dean wolfed down the meatloaf that sat untouched on his brother’s plate. John whipped out a map and his notes and ran through it all again in his mind. There seemed to be no easy answer, no solution waiting to be tripped over. This place was a containment unit that trapped death and despair using it as momentum to trap yet more misery. There seemed to be no stopping it and that was a tall order by any standards.
Once again on the road Dean took over the driving while John slept his dreams laced with mythology of evil incarnate. His mind searched for answers but he seemed to come to a dead end as if he was a rat in a maze and failing miserably never able to get the cheese at the end. He was doomed to starve to death.
Back in Springville Kate wasn’t coming up with any plans either but what she was finding was stuff nightmares were made of. The EVP was rattled with voices past and present of trapped souls seeking escape. The scrapings yielded sulfur indicating demon activity but also held a mystery component showing something that perhaps even drove away the strays of hell. The pictures showed distortions even a John Carpenter or Wes Craven flick could never dream up. It was official she was beyond horrified.
Days after arriving none of the four of them were any closer to finding anything that allowed them enough courage to even attempt some kind of plan of attack. “The only thing I can see is sacrifice. Maybe that’s what the natives were on to,” Kate suggested.
“No those people weren’t sacrificed, they were simply unwanted appendages that were discarded, left to starve, dehydrate and give in to the elements. They fed this thing giving it its foundation to build and reach for the sky,” John said slamming his book closed.
“So I vote we sacrifice Sammy,” Dean joked.
“Obviously we can’t sacrifice anybody,” Sam said shooting his brother a dirty look.
“No we can’t,” John said dry washing his face. “But right now I have no idea what we can do.”
With that desperate declaration the group headed off to bed; Kate to her bed, John to the couch and the boys spread out on the living room floor.
“Dad we’ve been over this, there is no way to fight this. Nothing adds up and we don’t have the answers this time,” Sam said pleading his case.
But John couldn’t be deterred he only dug his heels in harder, knocking on more doors, calling more sources until he found somebody that could give him the answers he wanted the answers he needed.
John rapped on the door so hard his knuckles went white with the effort. He had been assured that the woman would be home but so far she hadn’t answered the door. He tried to peer in the window but couldn’t see around the large plant that took up every pane. He wasn’t sure whether he should be concerned or if it was just a matter of forgetfulness or scheduling conflict. As he pondered what he should do he spun around to greet the noise that had come up behind him.
“You Winchester?” the woman asked.
“Yes ma’am I am,” John stated taking in the figure before him. She had to be older than dirt, but there was still a spryness about her. Her hair had gone from gray to white eons ago and her eyes struggled to see beyond the cataracts. Her wrinkles had wrinkles and her stoop indicated many years of being hunched over. She reached up and took John’s hand surprising him with its strength.
“You are a good man, I can feel these things. There is no lying to me and I sense that you won’t because I will believe everything you will tell me. You’re after the Melting Man and you are the only one who can save this place from him.” With that she hobbled up the stairs past John and straight into the house.
John shook his head and gingerly followed as Torah made her way to the kitchen and put on a kettle for tea. “Sit down and get your pencil out you will want to hear what I have to say.”
“The Melting Man? Aww come on what the hell is that?” Dean asked.
Kate’s cheeks turned a shade paler. She had heard enough of the story to know that they were in over their heads.
John drew in a deep breath hoping it would quell his shattered nerves. His knees were still weak from the legend he had heard and he had yet to right them. He looked at his sons and wished that they were far from this – this ground zero of evil.
“It began long ago, before anyone could really put a date on it. There was man too powerful to be truly a man but his actual identity was never uncovered. It would seem that he simply ended people. Nobody knows how or when but they simply vanished falling deep into his vat of despair. Stories began, stories that went on for decades until the man should have been long dead but still people disappeared. Then one day a native tribe set up nearby and waited for the darkness, but it did not come. Then as their by-laws declared they placed those who were not of sound mind or health out of the encampment for death to take them at its choosing.”
“What wonderful folks,” Dean commented.
“They didn’t understand mental illness or things such as seizures they feared that the gods would strike them down as well if they didn’t cast out those that were obviously already touched by evil,” John explained.
“So this melting man guy took their souls as well?” Sam asked.
“That’s the theory, it kept him well fed and yearning more. Finally the tribe moved on and it appeared to be quiet for a while until the white men moved in. They buried their dead in the area and things got active again only this time the Melting Man began to reach out. He wasn’t happy with those that had already moved on; he desired those who had been waiting for the darkness to come not that already had their lights extinguished.”
“So he began to kill?” Kate asked.
“Something like that. People died on sight some afterwards there isn’t anything that shows a right or wrong. We have no idea how many victims this thing holds.”
“And it takes souls?” Dean asked.
“I think so which is why this is so important, if we can kill him then these souls can finally be released.”
“But we can’t sacrifice anyone, so what else will work?” Sam wanted to know.
“There are several powerful charms and the woman I met up with gave me some potent hex bags. If we hit the lunar cycle right when he is at his weakest and attack him all night, night after night we might be able to knock him down.”
“No offense but I’m not all giddy with excitement or confidence with this almost, maybe plan of yours,” Dean said. It was a rarity that Dean ever went against his father but he did have a point a point that was shared by everyone in the room including John.
Member No.: 15,935
Joined: 5-February 07
The night was chilly, clouds of breath hung heavy in the air as the group prepared themselves for what was ahead. There certainly wasn’t any confidence hanging anywhere around. John had given the boys an escape route and strict orders to use it if needed. They balked but in the end suspected that if push came to shove they would leave to fight another day even if it meant leaving John behind. They hated the thought, despised it to the core but John had always pushed this possibility since they were tots and fully expected them to allow his martyr for this or any just cause.
The wind blew just enough to cause branches to brush against each other in a cruel chorus as if they dared anyone to come closer. The leaves had made their hasty retreat of autumn leaving only bare branches behind; some gnarled and tattered their jagged ends pointing straight towards the heavens as if they were providing directions to a better place.
“Somehow the night just seems darker out here,” Kate said as she shifted her bag.
“Even the moon is too scared or too smart to be out here,” Dean stated as he looked around the area that seemed deadened to anything encouraging.
“Okay guys and gal when we get there I’m sure we won’t need any introductions. We should expect to be under attack immediately. Dean you and Sam place the hex bags where we talked about and in the order we decided, don’t forget,” John said looking at his sons. “Kate and I will be working our chants simultaneously as well making our marks on this place. If we all work together and all at the same time maybe we can be strong enough to weaken this thing and then kill it once and for all.”
“And how do we kill it once and for all Dad?” Sam asked.
“I’ll take care that when the time is right you just do your job son.”
“You’re not sacrificing yourself, Dad you promised,” Dean reminded.
“No, just some sprinkles on top, little bit of blood, more words, don’t worry boys I plan to drive you back into town tonight,” John said with an uneasy smile.
“Dad I’d rather be hurt by the truth than comforted by a lie,” Sam replied.
“I’m not lying,” John assured one more time.
As they finished their trek up the path the fear was heavier on their backs and shoulders than the equipment they carried.
As soon as they were at ground zero they broke off an eerie synchronicity. Kate set up candles lighting them as she went. Each had been blessed and were certain colors meant for certain protection. The flames were stubborn to cooperate but finally began their dance of defense. The boys began to place the hex bags, putting them around the bridge and even digging some holes just outside of it for placement. John unwrapped a cloth that held a very sacred symbol and placed his book down opening to the right pages. He also laid his knife down in easy reach. There was no turning back now.
The wind began to pick up and there was no doubt the resident had awoken. John had been told it would take on some kind of form but he had no idea what to expect. The other three made their way to John and sat down in the middle of the bridge, the candle light throwing shadows all around them. Respiration quickened and stomachs turned as John began to read. Heads turned as a darkness moved their way, it was soon followed by a cackle that could hardly be called anything but a horrific insult to their ears. The boys ducked and covered while Kate held the flashlight steady so John could continue. They realized rather quickly that whatever plan they thought would work was never going be enough as this darkness was far more evil that they ever thought possible.
It began before the darkness had even closed in on them. Drops of blood were shed from Kate’s eyes. Dean felt blood oozing from his ears and Sam had fallen to a fetal position grabbing his stomach. John appeared unharmed but his face was twisted into a tormented grimace. They were helpless, nothing they had brought none of their attempts were worth anything at all. They saw the faces of all those who had gone before them dance around in a mixture of torment and despair. Blood began to drip from above hitting them as a leaky pipe incessantly annoys never wavering in its delivery. Drip, drip, drip, it hit them in the head and wound its way down to their faces and necks; it was raining blood. The air seemed colder, thrusting its force within. The pain toyed with them at first, a throbbing becoming a stabbing and then a burning. Through it all the darkness had merely stood by lapping it up as easy entertainment.
They were beaten and doomed to spend eternity with all the lost souls around them; their faces twisted to nearly unrecognizable masses. John cried for his friend but mostly for his adult sons whom he had failed over and over and now because of him they were destined for the worst hell imaginable. As they prepared to succumb a voice floated above it all landing at their feet and daring to give them a ray of hope.
“Kate, Kate!” it rang out followed by footsteps banging across the wooden bridge.
Through the blood rushing in her ears Kate heard the voice of her brother. She hadn’t seen him for several years and hadn’t spoken to him in months. They had been close at one time but that had been years ago. Miles had always been stubborn and a loner and it was both of those things that got him into trouble and kept him there. He was hunter as well but tended to barrel right through each hunt without much care. It was this flaw that finally caught up with him and caused him much grief. He had seen things, realized things and been a part of things that he wished he hadn’t. All those experiences past and present had blackened his soul to point that his anguish brought him right where he needed to be.
John forced his eyes open enough to see this new player arrive. The black force that looked like a moving shadow seemed allow his passing happy that there was yet one more participant in his little game. Miles bent down and hugged his sister holding her tightly as he cried. Her bloody tears had left her face a smeared red but she made an attempt to wipe her face with shaky hands. Her respite was brief though as pain shot through her spine as if a razor had raced down her back.
Miles jumped up in anger pulling a large knife out he faced the darkness. “This is over, I know what you can’t stand and I am here to do it.”
“No,” Kate whispered as loudly as she could.
Dean grabbed for Sam who was rocking back and forth on the floor of the bridge. They made brief eye contact each showing they had no idea what was going on. Dean tried to tug Sam over towards John but was cut short as his arms suddenly felt as if they were on fire.
“Katie, remember our last phone call, the story I told you? It wasn’t something that happened to another hunter, it is what must happen tonight. To save yourself, to save this family it must be done!” With that he took the knife and sliced into a fresh tattoo on his upper arm.
Kate screamed and the darkness grew. “No you can’t,” John croaked.
“I’m not giving anyone a choice. Kate you have to do it and you only waste my death if you don’t,” Miles said as he held the knife to his wrist.
John understood exactly what was going on and why the sacrifice would work. Darkness hated light and love and sacrificing oneself for others was the most selfless and loving act one could do. Miles dug the knife into his vein putting his life on a short clock.
“Don’t let this be in vain. I have to do this, I can’t go on anymore, let me do something good to atone for all the bad I’ve done.”
As Miles’ blood began to flow faster the Melting Man began to be affected. No longer approaching he seemed to be thinning out a bit and loosening his grip on the hunters. John was able to crawl to Kate and help her to a sitting position. They then made their way the short distance to Miles who was now on his knees.
He looked at the two approaching him, his eyes drooping with his encroaching death. “You have to hurry.”
John picked up the knife, but Kate closed her hand around it. “No it is for me to do.”
And for that moment all sanity and good judgment was swept away like a kite caught in an updraft. They held tightly to the end of string that was their lifeline as Kate plunged the knife into her brother’s heart.
A strong wind blew and then it was silent. With a shaky hand John turned on his flashlight and fanned its beam around the inside of the covered bridge. The walls that were once red were now splotched with black as if the melting man had done just that; melted into the walls.
The boys got up and began to gather their items as Kate tried to reconcile what she had just done.
“He gave you no choice, he was going to die he just wanted to make a difference when he did,” John soothed.
“He called me months ago, he was suicidal. I thought I had helped him get past it, but now I realize he was just waiting for the right time.”
“How did he know you would be here?” Sam asked as he walked up on them.
“I let a few mutual friends know what my plans were. They tried to talk me out of it,” she said with a small laugh. “They probably called Miles and told him.”
With the Winchester’s help Kate said goodbye to her brother in true hunter fashion. The flames rose into the air paying tribute to the great deed he accomplished.
Coveting the safety of Kate’s apartment the entire crew slept the day away. They more than deserved the rest.
The newspaper had a story talking about vandals painting the bridge black and a new warning to residents to keep their visits friendly as cameras were going to be installed in the near future. But despite the new color adorning the bridge the area seemed to have gained a more pleasant atmosphere and invitations to local families went out to come enjoy the historic monument.
“Guess all the tortured souls escaping their prison kind of lightened the mood,” Dean said as he threw some clothes in his duffle bag.
“I’m glad they are at peace now,” Kate answered.
“Are you?” John asked her.
“As much as I can be, I won’t lie I hate Miles for putting me in that position but I love him for doing what he did.”
“Such is a hunters life,” John said with a sigh.
Member No.: 26,927
Joined: 10-October 07