Status: Active

Judas Is the Demon I Cling To

Mama Told Me When I Was Young... To Be A Simple Kind Of Man

The grimy red vinyl seat squelched unpleasantly beneath me as I shifted my weight in the ancient booth. I fought back a grimace as I tried not to think about what the fabric of my jeans could potentially be meeting. I tried to focus on the rows of letters that marched across the screen of my laptop. My brain worked to form the parade of letters into words and coherent sentences. As if. Nothing about any of this can be classified as “coherent”. I squinted at the screen, furrowing my brow as more and more information flashed across my screen. Six murders. Two months. Some podunk town in Ohio. The victims of which, according to the local paper, had no connection to one another at all. And to top it all off, they’d been killed in six distinctly different ways. I leaned in closer, as if that would possibly help me establish a logical explanation as to what was killing these people. Well, logical for me. Ghosts, demons, and other things of the paranormal aren’t exactly “normal” for the average person.

Just as the letters on the screen started to blur and swim into each other, I heard someone clear their throat. I sat up and looked over the top of my laptop’s screen. My brother stared at me from across the red-checkered-tile covered table. His eyebrows were arched so high they almost met the hairline of his short, brown hair. His hazel eyes studied my face in a peeved way, as if he were waiting for something. As my eyes met his, he tilted his chin towards me in an annoyed matter.

“So?” He asked, his voice even gruffer than usual.

“So? What?” I asked, confused. Did he ask me something? I didn’t even hear him. I dropped my eyes back to the screen and began typing away furiously.

“I asked you about the Ohio case. About ten minutes ago. You never said anything. Didn’t even look up.” The sheer annoyance in his voice was enough to make lesser men cringe. I was used to it. He was usually annoyed with me or with something I did (or didn’t do) in some way, shape, or form. I started to get sucked back into the vortex of my research.

“Sam!” He barked out.

This time, I snapped my laptop shut and glared across the table at him. I folded my hands over my laptop and took a moment to calm myself before answering.

“Dean, I can’t find anything new on this case. I’ve been over every single newspaper article published on the incidents, every obit. Nothing new. So can you please just think about chilling out for a second?”

Dean studied me for a minute, his eyes hard and cold. Then, as if a switch had been flipped, he smiled broadly and his eyes brightened as he stared off somewhere behind me. Confused, I shifted in the booth to see what he was looking at, only to regret it a second later. I should’ve known.

Walking across the floor toward our booth was a young woman in her early to mid twenties. She was wearing the complete retro waitress uniform, from the white shirt and red scarf, to the poodle skirt and the saddle shoes. And that wasn’t the corniest part of her uniform, either. As she came close, I could see that the beauty mark under her eye was drawn on and her dusty blonde hair was swept up into a beehive. A little bit conflicting as far as period fashion goes, isn’t it? I mused as she came to stand by out table.

“Well hiya!” The young girl glanced briefly at me and then turned her full attention to Dean. “Name’s Flo, and I’ll be your waitress today.”

Easy there, little miss peppy. I shook my head and tried not to laugh as I watched Dean.

He casually moved his eyes up and down her body as he sized her up. I could practically hear him thinking about what she would measure on his scale.

“What can I get for ya?” Flo produced a pad of paper from her skirt’s giant side pocket and a pen from behind her ear. She stood over us, pen poised, snapping her gum in anticipation.

“I’ll just have the uh, bacon cheeseburger with a side of fries. Oh, and whatever beer you’d recommend. Just so long as it’s not that light stuff.” He winked up at her and Flo giggled lightly. Oh, this is just too predictably corny. I felt a laugh bubble up in my throat and stifled it a half-second too late. A choked snort escaped me, and Dean and Flo took their eyes off each other long enough to shoot daggers in my direction.

“And you?” Flo snapped at me, her blue eyes hard, and her voice tight and snippy.

I sighed, still trying not to smile.

“Just water. Thanks.”

Dean watched Flo intensely as she gathered our menus and sauntered back down the aisle and into the kitchen. I sat back in the booth and waited for him to return his attention to the situation at hand.

Dean waited until the door swung closed behind Flo, then turned back to me, shock and annoyance on his face.

“What was that all about?” He grumbled, crossing his arms. “I was in the zone.”

“You’re not serious.” I let out a full laugh this time. “You want to be ‘in the zone’ with some waitress in a hokey fifties-themed restaurant in some backwoods town in Kentucky?”

“Yes. And that’s funny because?” Dean squinted at me and cocked his head to the side. I stopped laughing.

“Never mind.”

Dean glared at me, letting a moment of silence fall between us. Flo breezed in with our drinks, flashed another too-big smile at Dean, and breezed back to the kitchen before either of us spoke again.

“So, this case,” Dean finally began just as I had lifted my glass to my lips to take a sip. “We know basically nothing but what Bobby already told us.”

It wasn’t a question.

“Yep. Everything Bobby told us came directly from the papers.” I ran a finger up and down my glass as I spoke, making a line in the condensate. “But it still doesn’t make any sense. According to what I’ve been reading, and to Bobby, these attacks would’ve had to have been committed by six different creatures.”

“So, we should go check it out then?”

I shrugged.

“Sam?” I could feel his eyes trying to meet mine as I stared down at the table-top. “Is there something you’re not telling me.”

Obviously. I squirmed in my seat for a minute, then reached out for my glass and took another swig of water.

“Sammy, seriously. Since when do we keep information about cases secret from each other?”

I’m not trying to, I’m just wondering how to word this so you won’t freak out. I cleared my throat and spoke slowly and deliberately, looking into my brother’s eyes as I spoke.

“When I got all that information about this case from Bobby, he said he just wanted to make us aware of what was going on.” Dean raised a single eyebrow in confusion. “He wanted to make us aware. And only aware.”

Understanding flashed across his face as the weight of my words sunk in. He opened his mouth to answer but quickly snapped it shut again, his jaw rigid.

I heard Flo’s shoes coming toward us and soon she was beside the table again. She set Dean’s plate down in front of him and asked him if there was anything else he needed, in a voice that I guessed was her attempt at being seductive. But her efforts went unnoticed and she quickly stalked away.

“What do you mean, only aware?” Dean leaned across the table and hissed at me. “He doesn’t want us on this case? Us?”

“Apparently not.” I muttered back.

“This thing has been feeding on innocent people for two months, and we’re just supposed to ignore it and do nothing.” Dean kept his voice low, his eyes sweeping the rest of the restaurant as we talked, lest any unwelcome, uninformed listeners over-hear.

“That’s what he said.” I took a deep breath, readying myself to drop the bomb on him. “He said there’s another hunter on it. Someone who’s supposed to be top notch. I guess.”

Dean turned bright red and the vein in his forehead started to stand out. His Adam’s apple bobbed as he swallowed. He opened his mouth, but nothing came out. He brought his right hand over his face as if his entire face hurt.

“And we’re not ‘top notch’?” His voice was hoarse with anger.

I sighed. “I don’t know, Dean. I’m just telling you what Bobby told me.”

“Oh yeah?” Dean dropped his hand from his face. From where I sat, it looked like his eyes were on fire from the rage inside him. “Well, let’s just go see how ‘top notch’ this nancy is!”

He stood up hurriedly, almost knocking the table over. Digging into his pockets, he pulled out his wallet and produced a credit card. He slammed it down onto the table with so much force his beer tipped over. He scrambled out of the booth toward the door.

I sat in the booth for a moment, overcome with astonishment. I’d seen him mad before, but never this mad. And never about something that seemed so trivial.

“Sam!” I heard him bellow as the bell above the restaurant door jingled. “You coming or what?”

I gathered up my laptop and slid out of the booth. As I passed the kitchen, I saw Flo’s round face peeking around the door. I smiled apologetically and gestured toward the door.

“Sorry about that. Something important came up. I’m sure he would’ve loved the burger.” I walked to the door and placed my hand on the handle. I stood for a moment and then turned around. “Oh, and enjoy that credit card. There’s no limit.”

A car horn blasted from the parking lot and I looked out to see Dean motioning impatiently from behind the wheel of his black Chevy Impala. I shook my head and pushed the door open. Stepping out into the parking lot and toward the Impala, I sighed.

Here we go.
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This chapter isn't super interesting, I know.
But it's early on, and the decision to write in two viewpoints is a new one for this story.
Basically, this introduces the boys and tells you what they were doing while Ros was getting that creepy phone call.
Title credit: "Simple Man" by Lynyrd Skynyrd