The Righteous Woman: 1.01 - Pilot (Part 3) [PDF]
Rating: R (Language and adult concepts)
Word Count: 12,000
Beta: Maz (poetrytofish)Tumblr / LiveJournal
The Sheriff entered the room, carrying a box, which he haphazardly slammed down onto the table in front of Deanna. It was a ploy to try and intimidate, and it wasn’t working. She had faced a lot worse than a guy with a beer gut and some 5 o’clock shadow.
“So you want to give us your real name?” he snapped.
She only smiled at his growing annoyance. “I told you, it’s Joan. Joan Larkin.”
“I’m not sure you realize just how much trouble you’re in here.”
“C’mon now, really? I mean, what kinda trouble are we talkin’ here? Like, misdemeanor kind of trouble or, uh, squeal like a pig trouble?”
“You got the faces of 10 missing persons taped to your wall,” Deanna looked away, licking her lips. “Along with a whole lot’a satanic mumbo-jumbo. Miss, you are officially a suspect.”
“That makes sense. Because when the first one went missing in ’82 I was three.” She snorted.
The sheriff wasn’t swayed, though.
“I know you’ve got partners. One of ’em’s an older guy. Maybe he started off the whole thing. So tell me. Deanna.”
He tossed her father’s journal on the table.
Deanna stared at it, ignoring the Sheriff as he seated himself on the edge of the table, flipping a few pages. It might as well have been a replica of John’s motel room.
All of those years, and no, she had never once risked even peeking.
“I thought that might be your name. See, I leafed through this real quick. What little I could make out—I mean, its nine kinds of crazy.”
She couldn’t help it; she leaned forward to get a closer look.
“But I found this, too.” He opened the page; on it were the circled words “Deanna 35-111”. “Now. You’re stayin’ right here ‘till you tell me exactly what the Hell that means.”
Deanna stared down at the page for a few seconds and then looked up. She wasn’t telling him squat.
Hours later, the Sheriff still hadn't given up.
“I don’t know how many times I gotta tell you. It’s my high school locker combo!” Deanna reiterated, her calm resolve still as firm as the Sheriff’s. Shit.
If he would’ve just gotten pissed, she could have wormed her way out of there.
“We gonna do this all night long?”
As soon as he said it, an officer poked his head in urgently. “We just got a 911 call, shots fired over at Whiteford Road.”
“You have to go to the bathroom?” the Sheriff asked as he waltzed over to Deanna
“Good,” he said, and handcuffed her wrist to the table.
Deanna tugged her wrist, groaning, and leaned back in her seat. She surveyed the room.
If only there were something, a nail, safety pin, bobby pin... Her eyes fell onto Dad’s journal. A big, silver paperclip holding together a clump of pages stood out like beacon.
She plucked it out and grinned.
The journal tucked into her jacket, she stayed in the shadows as the deputies rushed through the squad room, grabbing shotguns and filing out one by one.
“Sammy, you son of a bitch,” she laughed to herself.
It was child's play to pass the closed door and slip out of the fire escape into the night.
She tried to regroup. This was a mission, not just the hunt, the whole thing. As much as she’d tried to understand her father, he’d always been there, eventually, to try and decode at an arms length. But now, they were really on their own. He was trusting them on their own.
Nothing good could come of it.
A few alleys away from the station, when she was sure she heard the sirens speed off in the opposite direction, she spotted an abandon Ford, prime for the hot wiring.
And okay, it wasn‘t abandoned as much as it was parked alongside an apartment building with mostly blacked out windows, but come on. She was just borrowing it. They‘d find it...somewhere.
She‘s headed towards the address in John‘s journal when she spotted a payphone. Old habits die hard, and she stopped to check up on Sam and let him know she was thankful for his gift.
“Fake 911 phone call? Sammy, I don’t know, that’s pretty illegal.”
“You’re welcome,” Sam said, and she could practically see his self-congratulating smile.
She let him have it for a second, but quickly changed gears. “Listen, we gotta talk.”
“Tell me about it. So the husband was unfaithful. We are dealing with a woman in white. And she’s buried behind her old house, so that should have been Dad’s next stop.”
“Sammy, would you shut up for a second?” She sighed.
“I just can’t figure out why Dad hasn’t destroyed the corpse yet—“
“Well, that’s what I’m trying to tell you, for fuck sakes.” Deanna snapped, stopping to see if she was anywhere near the right street. “He’s gone. Dad left Jericho.”
“What? How do you know?”
“I’ve got his journal.”
There was a pause from Sam‘s end, and she shifted impatiently as he put the pieces together.
“He doesn’t go anywhere without that.”
Ding, ding, ding. Now that everyone‘s caught up...
“Yeah, well, he did this time.”
“What’s it say?” Sam asked, sounding more worried, which may have made Deanna feel better about her own unsettled stomach if she wasn‘t just so sure it was that burrito she’d had for breakfast.
Yeah. The burrito.
She eyed the journal in her hand. “Ah, the same old ex-Marine crap, when he wants to let us know where he’s going.”
“Coordinates. Where to?” He asked.
“Not sure yet.”
“I don’t understand. I mean, what could be so important that Dad would just skip out in the middle of a job? Dee, what the Hell is going on?”
Sam had barely finished his sentence when she heard the phone fall, a small thud onto the seat, followed only by a surprised noise from Sam’s throat and the screech of Baby‘s tires on asphalt. She knew something was wrong.
“Sam? Sammy?!” Deanna called into the receiver, but nothing.
Then, she heard it. “Take me home.” Eerie and hollow, but deep, voices layered, like echoing in a void. A voice not specifically the same, but one she’d heard before on a million different hunts.
She didn’t bother to hang up the phone.
A few miles on and going ninety down a fifty, she slammed her hand on the wheel, took a sharp turn as she cursed again. Because of course, of course she would get Sam hurt.
How many times, how many did John have to tell her to watch out for Sammy? Not since she was nine had she wavered. He always came first. But there she was, being trusted without some set return date, and she fucked it up. She told herself that keeping the heat off of him and keeping his ass alive were not mutually exclusive. They weren’t that hard.
Dad could’ve done it.
The sigh of relief that deflated from her lungs when she turned quickly into the front yard of the decrepit Welch house and saw the Impala good as gold a few feet away was short lived. It only took a second for Sam’s loud, painful scream to reach her ears, for her to see Constance straddling his lap, her face transitioning in an instant from something soft and beautiful to hard, torn flesh. Her teeth were bared by skin that had rotted away, and then she was back as a beautiful woman again in the blink of an eye. Her fingers were dug into Sam’s chest as he yelled helplessly, trying to burn their way through his flesh. Without thinking, Deanna pulled out her gun and fired through the window at the flickering spirit.
One. Two. Three. A fourth. A fifth.
Goddamn see-through bitch.
Constance sat looking at her, but her spirit seemed to flicker more out then in, and Deanna had just about lowered her gun, coming close to the car, when she blasted back into reality, determined this time in her ghoulish unchanging, state.
Normal fucking bullets! Deanna berated herself, but still fired again, time after time until Constance took the hint and disappeared completely.
Sam sat up immediately, taking advantage of the freedom, and threw the Impala into gear.
“I’m taking you home,” Deanna heard him growl, but couldn’t say a word before he floored the car towards the house.
Deanna couldn’t figure out whether to be pissed or worried—about Sam and Baby both—as the car smashed through wood and glass, taking out the porch and the front wall as it went, before it came to a halt in the middle of the living room.
She ran scared and hurriedly into the house, hands still tight around her gun until she dropped it, forgotten among the rubble.
Deanna yelled as she ran around the car. “Sammy! You okay?”
“I think…” Sam groaned.
Deanna sighed to herself. He was okay.
“Can you move?” She asked, wrenching open the door with a little force.
“Yeah. Little help?”
She knelt into the passenger seat and pulled him out, supporting him until they both leaned back against the side of the Impala. She glanced up momentarily and that was when she realized, no, neither of them were really okay.
Constance had been forced into the house, and now she glared at them from above the portrait she was holding, found amongst the rubble. And there was nothing worse than a pissed ghost. Except maybe a pissed ghost when you have no immediate weapons.
She tossed the frame aside and a second later the bureau along the wall smashed into them, pining them tightly even as they struggled to push it away. As she edged closer, Deanna gulped, well, would have gulped if her pelvis hadn’t been getting crushed. She kept pushing despite herself. Until the lights flickered, and Constance looked, of all things, confused.
Oh god, now what? An abominable snow...leak?
Deanna caught sight of it first, the water running down the staircase and between the railings All leading to something even Constance turned white upon seeing. Two small, dark figures—a boy just taller than the girl by his side—their hands clasped with one another. Their voices came high and airy.
“You’ve come home to us, Mommy.”
Deanna and Sam watched Constance’s spirit turn, trying to flee, only to run straight into her children, who clung to her like a life raft. Deanna saw flashes of white gowns and fire and warmth before anything actually happened and she wanted to look away, but even the blinding light couldn’t help avert her eyes.
Constance screamed, some otherworldly howl as her body morphed and twisted. Burnt flesh and the twisted faces of demons, a blue light that swirled and consumed the three of them until it oozed down to the floor in a puddle.
Sam and Deanna took the chance to breathe before pushing the bureau over with ease and approaching the wet spot in front of them.
“So this is where she drowned her kids.” Deanna said, pushing the lose strands of hair out of her face where they’d come untucked from her braid, and Sam nodded.
“That’s why she could never go home. Too afraid to face them.”
“You found her weak spot. Nice work, Sammy.” She grinned and made a deliberate point to give him a congratulatory smack on top of the wounds on his chest. Even so, Sam laughed and clutched a tender hand over them.
“Yeah, I wish I could say the same for you. What were you thinking, shooting Casper in the face, you freak?”
Alright, she deserved that one.
“Hey, saved your ass.” She gloated, bending over to get a good look at her car. “I’ll tell you another thing. If you screwed up my car,” She threw a pointed eye at him, “I’ll kill you.”
Deanna couldn’t complain. Sam’s little stunt, on top of saving both of their asses, would be ancient history with a good wash and a new headlight. She had her car; her brother in the passenger seat; the only thing missing was Dad.
Sam had the journal and a map lying in his lap and a flashlight wedged between his cheek and shoulder. He‘d spent the better part of an hour figuring out John‘s coordinates, which he‘d informed her directed them directly to Blackwater Ridge, Colorado.
She nodded. “Sounds charming, how far?”
“About 600 miles.”
“Hey, if we shag ass we could make it by morning,” Deanna offered, throwing her own glance.
She wasn‘t so nonchalant. She hoped, a lot, that ganking the bitch in white had sparked something in him and he’d forget about law and Stanford and all that junk and they’d roll onto Black Water, just like old times. But Sam hesitated before speaking.
“Dean, I, uhm…The interview, I still gotta make it. I’m sorry, Dee.”
Deanna nodded again. So, he wasn‘t coming back. If anything, he was father away. As long as he was...happy.
She locked her jaw, fucking defeated. “Yeah, yeah, whatever. I’ll take you home.”
She pulled up in front of his building, stopping unwillingly, and he got out a little too quick for her liking. He looked towards the door, then turned and leaned through the passenger window.
“Call me if you find him?” She only nodded. “And maybe I can meet up with you later, huh?”
“Yeah, all right,” Deanna replied.
It was easier to say little to nothing. No chick-flick moments, no big declarations. If hunting hadn’t made him want to hunt, nothing would.
She ignored the way her stomach churned.
Sam patted the door once or twice, and turned away. She did not know what it was—some last ditch effort to let him know she was there, would be there, if it finally clicked in his head that this isn’t where he belonged—but an impulse made Deanna lean over and call his name.
He turned back with an expectant look.
“We made a Hell of a team back there.” She smiled, because, fuck, it was true.
With that, Deanna drove away, and tried like hell not to notice the way Sam watched her until she turned the corner.
Colorado was only about a day’s drive. And that was the speed limit.
She debated on where to stop and rest, if it all. Really, she wasn’t tired, or hungry, or bored; the Led Zeppelin blaring from the radio soothed her as much as it could, but she only found herself uneasy. She’d deal with it.
It wasn’t the job. Whatever John was sending her to, if he thought he didn’t have to be there, if it was anything like New Orleans, it would be a piece of cake. No, it was something else.
She shook her head against the thought and checked her watch. If she drove straight through and avoided passing out at the wheel and the subsequent a fiery crash, she’d get to Blackwater at this ungodly hour in the morning and have to stop before she even—
The time. She checked it again, stopping the Impala in the middle of the street just to concentrate on it. It had been two in the morning for twenty minutes, ever since they got back to Stanford. The hands were frozen, the gears stopped, and she threw it out of the busted window as she peeled tires doing a U-turn.
Deanna ignored the flames already pouring out of the doorway to grip Sam anywhere she can, to put herself in front of him. She‘d pushed with all of her weight even as he struggled against her, screaming Jessica‘s name.
“Sam, c’mon! We gotta go!”
Ignore the fire.
“Take your brother outside as fast as you can—"
Ignore the smell.
Carrying him out of a burning building was oddly familiar. She could barely fit her arms around him then, too, and his cries were the only thing she could hear.
The whole neighborhood is out to see, hands over mouths and nightclothes bundled close in the chilly night, just to see the spectacle.
Firemen doused the flames and police officers kept the perimeter. The paramedics aided those with smoke inhalation. The coroner stood beside his van, arms crossed, looking bored.
Deanna turned to Sam. His face was torn where he stood over the open trunk, tears ran down his cheeks and he sniffed, snapping the shotgun in his hands closed.
The words caught in her throat. She couldn‘t speak. But Sam nodded, “We got work to do.” And slammed the trunk shut.