November 20, 1888.
There are things in this world that should not exist. They hide behind flesh and bone that do not belong to them and decide the fates of human life more than we notice or are willing to admit. Countless lives, including my own, have been lost to them and I have hunted far too many for a lifetime. But it will never be enough.
I give up.
There is only one that I want. One that I want to kill. One person that I want to avenge. People can learn to save themselves. Mary, I’ll be seeing you soon.
Dean slammed back his first fifth of whiskey of the night. The slightly warm liquid settled in his empty stomach, creating a welcomed sensation born only out of repetition. In a practised motion, he pushed the now drained glass across the wooden bar top, raised his hand to signal for a refill and then finally allowed himself to relax as much as his intuition permitted.
The place he had wandered into was dimly lit. Patrons were scattered sparingly across an array of tables, nursing their own escapes from reality, their heads held low. Dean let his eyes wander over them all in turn. He scanned their faces as best he could but came up disappointed as usual.
He downed his re-filled glass, wincing at the sharp taste as he fiddled with the brim of his hat. His eyes continued to travel around the establishment until he spotted the familiar shape of a body half hidden in the shadows against the back wall. Hips shifted provocatively at the attention and the woman moved further into the room, revealing scantily clad flesh and a heavily made up face. Their eyes met across the room and Dean gulped, his throat strangely dry. He needed more alcohol.
Light spilled into the saloon as the swinging doors were pushed open. Drunks, all around, hissed and ducked their heads further into their chests while Dean used the distraction to tear his eyes away from the slowly approaching woman dressed in dirty reds and browns. A tall man had dragged himself into the room and was making his way towards Dean, his longish hair flopping against his forehead as his boots stomped on the worn wooden floor. When he dropped into the seat next to Dean at the bar, the woman in red stopped and frowned before turning back to her spot against the wall with a huff.
“No one’s seen him. I asked around and I even stopped by the sheriff’s office but apparently no one remembers seeing him around,” the man sighed. He fixes Dean’s empty glass with a calculated look but Dean quickly dismisses it with a roll of his eyes.
“Don’t look so discouraged, Sammy. The son of a bitch is here somewhere. I know it. We’ve tracked him this far; he can’t have just disappeared.” Sam nods in reluctant acceptance and sets about trying to brush the dirt and dust off his pants leg. Dean turns his attention to the still swaying saloon doors; their continued movement caused the room to flicker between sunlit and shady. “Besides, why would he go anywhere near the sheriff’s office?”
“I guess,” Sam sighed and ran a sweaty hand through his hair, attempting to sweep it out of his face. He let his hand drop back onto his leg when his hair refused to cooperate. “So what are we going to do?”
“We should probably stay here for tonight. If he is here, we’ll be more likely to find him after dark anyway,” said Dean as he eyed the bottle of whiskey resting at the other end of the bar.
“Alright. I’ll try and find us a room somewhere,” said Sam while he climbed off the stool. He towered over Dean. “You can just stay here and get drunk again.”
Dean just smiled at Sam when he pointedly caught his eye. Knowing that his thinly veiled dissatisfied comments would get him nowhere, Sam huffed and turned on his heel. He stalked towards the doors, roughly pushed them open once more and disappeared into the bright world outside. Pained groans met the sharp reintroduction of sunlight and Dean chuckled quietly to himself.
The woman in red was back to squirming against the wall in a way that Dean assumed was meant to be alluring. He chose to ignore her and instead asked for another re-fill.
August 13, 1883.
I didn’t think it would be this easy. The killing comes naturally to me; so much so that it leads me to worry if I could have carried out the same actions years earlier. Would I still have felt the same overwhelming sense of relief and satisfaction that I feel now when I watch the black drain out of their eyes, if I wasn’t so blinded by grief? I am no longer sure I can separate the two worlds.
Even though my mind seems to take solace in returning these souls back to hell, I am kept grounded by the fact that with each empty shell of a body littering my path, I am one step closer to the monster that I am desperately tracking.
I hope that son of a bitch is enjoying his last days above the crust of the earth because they are soon coming to an end.
“Dean, we have to stop!” Sam shouted over the constant noise of hooves colliding with the dry ground. “We can’t keep pushing the horses or they’re not going to get us anywhere!”
Sam’s voice held a desperate edge that almost made Dean consider slowing down, but then the anger building in his chest made itself known again. This, along with the faint trace of embarrassment that burned in his throat, just spurred him on faster.
He tightened his hold on the reins of his exhausted horse and curled his legs closer to its body. The horse snorted, clearly agitated, but continued to sprint.
Sam was struggling to keep up. His horse was lagging so he allowed himself to slow down considerably. Dust billowed up at the disturbance while Sam squinted towards the setting sun under the brim of his hat. Through the cloud of dust, Dean was still moving forward.
With a sigh, Sam glanced back at the rapidly darkening small town they were leaving behind and then back to the orange-tinted barren land they were racing towards.
“Dean, just face it, he’s gone! We’re not going to catch up to him like this!” Sam shouted again.
He wasn’t sure if his voice had carried over the clamour of the horses and the distance between them, but then Dean pulled sharply back on the reins and turned back to face him. His expression was fierce.
“He was here, right under our noses and we let him get away. I let him get away,” Dean argued, his voice rough from a mixture of emotions and exposure to the harsh climate. When Sam met his eyes, he gulped and immediately regretted it when his throat burned and his tongue stuck to the roof of his mouth.
Sam dug his heels in gently and closed the gap between himself and his brother. Dean was breathing hard and fast, anger forcing him to breathe through a clenched jaw.
“Look, I know you think all this is your responsibility but, in reality, it’s as much my fault as it is yours, Dean.” Dean scoffed and rolled his eyes. “No, I mean it. I want to find that son of a bitch just as much as you do, but we can’t do it if we die from exhaustion in the middle of nowhere.”
“We were so close,” said Dean. Sam nodded his head empathetically.
“Yes. And like before, he got away. But that’s not going to happen every time. It gets narrower each time, Dean, and very soon, he’s going to slip up. We just have to make sure we’re ready for it when he does.”
Dean kept Sam’s gaze for a moment longer and then visibly deflated. His jaw loosened and his shoulders slumped; he looked every bit the defeated broken man he had been forced to become over the recent years.
Sam shifted uncomfortably on his saddle and started a slow trot against the direction of the setting sun.
“The next town is an hour ride from here. We can leave first thing in the morning,” said Sam as though it was the most simple, logical decision he had ever made.
He didn’t look back while he steadily made his way back towards the town, but when Dean eventually fell into step beside him, he did clap a reassuring hand onto his shoulder.
“I mean, I already paid for a room, we might as well get a decent night’s sleep for a change,” added Sam with a smile.
February 19, 1880.
The knife works.
At first, I wasn’t sure what to think. A man you’ve never met hands you a knife and tells you it can kill anything, you should probably be a little concerned.
But it works. Just as he said it would.
Bullets may tear right through them but the knife hits something. Sparks fly from its metal blade, just as sparks appear in the eyes of its victims right before they drop to the ground. My bullets could never manage that, but the knife can.
It has taken me years to get to this point. Years to work up the courage to even pick it up. The knife has been in my possession for all this time and it’s only now that I realise its power.
With this, I think I’m ready to find him. With this, I can kill him.
Up ahead, Dean spotted the boot heels of the man in front of him just as they disappeared around the corner of the building. He pumped his own legs faster, skidding slightly due to the burst of speed and rounded the corner as well. He would have barrelled straight into the man if his reactions hadn’t been as good as they were.
Dean sprayed dirt into the air as he forced himself to stop. He was reaching for his Colt .45 before the scene even registered.
Sam had the man trapped in the aim of his Cavalry Revolver and Dean raised his arms to get the man’s back in his sights.
“You know, running just made this easier, because now we don’t have to worry about witnesses.” Dean was slightly out of breath but the pride and satisfaction in his voice was clear as a bell.
Sam took his eyes off the man for a moment, and glanced around. Dean was right, the buildings they had chased him around had isolated the three of them surprisingly well and they were apparently free from judging eyes.
When Sam looked back at the man trapped like a rat between them, he sought out Dean’s gaze over his shoulder. There was mirth in Dean’s expression as well as a striking amount of determination. The message was clear. They couldn’t mess this up.
Holding his Colt steady, Dean approached the man’s back. Once he was close enough to touch him, he did. He grasped the man’s shoulder in his hand and pressed the barrel of the gun against his spine. At this range, a bullet would hurt them both, but something in Dean’s body language must have told the guy not to risk it.
The hand Dean had on his shoulder quickly snaked down until it found the pistol strapped to the man’s waist. He plucked the worn looking weapon out of its holster and gently placed it on the ground, all the while keeping his own weapon pressing uncomfortably into the man’s skin as a painful reminder not to move an inch.
The gun appeared to be old and well used; dropping it to the ground seemed like a bad idea. Weapons have been known to discharge unexpectedly; he couldn’t chance it happening now. Using the edge of his boot, he gingerly pushed it out of arms reach.
With their safety taken care of, Dean brought his face close to the man’s ear.
“Where is he?”
“Who?” The man’s voice showed no hint of fear. In fact, he smiled at Dean’s gruff voice in his ear. Sam frowned.
“We don’t have time for this. Your boss, ol’ yellow eyes, where is he?”
“You’ll never catch him.” The statement was simple, so simple it could have been the truth.
Dean dug his gun further into the man’s back, his patience running thin. “What makes you so sure?”
A lopsided grin spread itself across the man’s face. He was still facing Sam, and spoke while staring him in the eyes. Dean had stilled behind him.
“He told me,” the man finished after a prolonged pause, milking his words for all their worth.
Dean snorted loudly and, for the first time, an unsure expression flashed across the man’s face. The man started to turn his head in Dean’s direction, but Dean beat him to it, grabbing his shoulder once more and forcing his attention straight ahead.
“Cut the crap,” said Dean. “We’ve heard it before. You see, we have a different theory. We think he feeds this crap to his followers because we’re getting too close. Right, Sam?”
“Sort of like a defence mechanism,” supplied Sam.
Dean nodded. “Exactly.”
“That’s an interesting theory, boys,” said the man, mimicking the brother’s jovial tones.
The tension seemed to snap at this point and Dean’s gun wielding hand twitched. The man flinched at the increase in pressure against his back but kept quiet.
“I mean it. Where is he?” Dean tried again.
The man laughed, actually laughed at the repeated question. “Why would I tell you?”
Reason left Dean. Sam must have noticed the sudden change in his posture because he called out Dean’s name in warning, but Dean ignored him. He pushed the man forward and brought his leg up to kick him. The man fell to his hands and knees; Dean’s dusty boot print clearly defined on the back of his leg. He immediately tried to get back up but the Colt held him where he was, on the floor with his head tilted up, staring down the barrel of the gun.
“Because, eventually, you’ll have to tell us.”
June 2, 1873.
I’m not sure what to do with myself anymore.
For the years since it happened, I’ve tried to just carry on as normal. He told me to keep living, so I did.
But my life is no longer normal. I can’t keep doing this.
I’ve made a decision. I am going to find him. He’s a murderer and when he dies, I want it to be by my hand.
Dean sat by the window, looking out. The sun had yet to rise and the street below him was still empty. He had pulled the rickety table that the small room had provided up against the wall and from his seat, he was able to disassemble the Colt across its surface while still keeping one eye on the world outside.
With practised hands, he meticulously cleaned each piece before placing it back down. A row of six bullets sat to his left. They were polished to the point that they reflected the strip of moonlight that spanned across the room.
The door opened and Sam’s heavy gait entered the room. Dean spared him a brief glance before returning to his task. Sam sat down on one of the two beds that furnished the room.
“I found it,” he said, drawing Dean’s attention back over to him.
“How’d you manage that?”
“Luck, mostly.” Sam ran a hand though his hair, pushing it out of his face. His brow furrowed when he continued to talk. “It’s a graveyard.”
For a second, Dean looked thoughtful. He recalled what the man had eventually told them two towns ago, when they had trapped him between two crosshairs; supposedly, a bunch of cryptic bullshit. “Roberts 68.”
“A Mr Jackson Roberts, died 1868, buried just down the road,” said Sam, nodding his head at Dean’s look of realisation.
“So Yellow Eyes’ next meeting is going down in a graveyard? Classy,” mused Dean as he started to rebuild the weapon in front of him.
“Apparently,” said Sam.
Piece by piece, Dean’s Colt came back together. Once he had it completely reassembled, he picked up one of the shiny bullets closest to him and turned it over, checking its base one last time before he loaded it into the chamber. He repeated his actions until all six bullets were placed safely in their awaiting holes and then he calmly placed the gun back on the table. The weapon was waiting; all they needed now was their target.
“When will he be there?”
“The guy said sunrise,” answered Sam with a snort.
“Why is it always either sunrise or sunset? Why do they always have to be so damned dramatic?”
“That’s if he was telling the truth.”
Dean stood and gave the world outside one more fleeting glance before he picked up the Colt, secured it in its holster and made his way towards the door. Sam watched as Dean reached out for the handle, a strange look on his face.
“So this could be it then, Sammy? All these years and we’ve never been given a time and a place before. We’re finally going to end this.”
Even across the room, Sam could see the tightly wound springs underneath Dean’s skin. He was ready to fly. Sam sighed and scratched at the stubble on his cheek.
Dean had taken to their new lives with ease when compared to Sam, and it had never been more apparent until this very moment. Sam didn’t want to stand up; because once he did, they would make their way to the graveyard and towards their fight. If it was up to Sam, they would be going in the opposite direction, away from the vendettas and towards normalcy.
When Sam took in the barely contained adrenaline coursing through Dean, at this moment in time, he realised, for him, this had never been the case. He looked comfortable, almost excited, about the upcoming exchange and his hands were twitching on the handle in a way that told Sam that this was an inevitability.
Dean had waited for this moment and Sam was going to be here for it, no matter what.
May 6, 1865.
Mary is dead.
I can’t think straight. Everything is a blur. But that could just be because of the large amount of whiskey I have drunk in the past few days messing with my mind. I cannot be sure.
I thought that if I wrote everything down it might help, because every time I try to think about it, when I try to organise my thoughts, I find myself forgetting certain bits while I remember others.
What was the last thing I said to her? Why would someone do this? What actually happened to her?
Somehow, I get different answers every time I ask myself.
There are two things that stay constant throughout each memory. In every flash and every half-remembered thought, I see a man with yellow eyes. A man with yellow eyes killed my wife. A man with yellow eyes killed Mary. That, I am sure of.
The other constant is an explosion of the purest white I have ever seen. I am not sure what this means.
The only thing, from that night which I can remember with clarity, is that when things had settled down there was a knife lying on the ground beside me. Thinking about it now, I can’t recall ever seeing it before and there are strange markings over the blade that would make it pretty recognisable. I have locked it away for the time being.
I don’t know what to do now. But since that day, whenever I let my mind stray, a series of words appear in my head. They repeat over and over in a voice that I am not familiar with.
The knife can protect you against all and everything. Keep them safe.
The words always remind me that I am not the only one who was left behind following Mary’s death. My boys are still here. All I can do now is keep repeating this mantra and keep them safe.
To Dean, the story of the yellow eyed man had always been just that, a story. Even from a young age, the quick bedtime stories he would manage to wheedle out of his father every now and then often spoke of an evil ruthless killer that had inhumanly yellow eyes. This prolonged and repeated exposure to the man meant that he eventually became the childhood adversary Dean would pretend to find and fight during humid afternoons when he was expected to entertain Sam while his father worked.
As the years passed and Dean grew older, the tale grew with him. The yellow eyed man would be brought up more and more by his father, completely out of context; the story becoming more detailed, more visceral and more believable each time. No longer was it a simple bedtime story, but had involved into a serious issue that seemed to plague his father’s mind more often than not.
It wasn’t until many years after Dean had first been told the bedtime story that his father finally told him the definitive version. And ‘told’ would probably be the wrong word use as his father had eventually spilled the final version through slurred speech and an alcohol induced haze.
Dean could still remember the exact moment his father told him; could pinpoint exactly where they were sitting, could recall perfectly which words his father slurred over and could even smell the liquor on his breath as he spoke what he believed to be the absolute truth. At the time, Dean was still unsure what to believe. His father’s words had always hit Dean hard, but with this he was unsure about how to deal with them.
According to John Winchester, the yellow eyed man, that had become such an integral, albeit unwanted, presence in all their lives, was the being responsible for his wife’s death, responsible for the death of Dean and Sam’s mother. The yellowed eye man had always been an enemy to Dean. He and Sam had caught the man countless times during their childhood but to their father, he was so much more. Growing up, Dean had always been under the impression that his mother had died in an unfortunate fire when he was very young. To suddenly be told that she was murdered by a man that he had until recently believed to be nothing but a made up childhood villain was a difficult thing to process.
And it remained a difficult thing to process for many years. Dean flitted between rationalising the whole thing by convincing himself this was just his father’s way of dealing with everything, that he was made up an imaginary evil to help him accept that fact that his wife had been taken from him unjustly, to occasionally allowing himself to simply believe the story.
Dean’s father gradually got worse and worse. It was a rare sight to find him without a tumbler in his hand and a rapidly draining bottle by his side. While his health was being steadily depleted, along with his rational mind, the obsession with the yellow eyed man only increased. It was clear to everyone that knew him; he was beginning to lose it. The choice to believe his father’s story or to dismiss it as grief inspired ramblings was beginning to choose its own outcome in Dean’s mind.
That is, until the day his father finally pulled in his last breath. The day Dean finally witnessed the yellow eyed man was the day the decision was made for him. Unbeknownst to Dean, his father had been tracking down the yellow eyed man for years, and when he finally found him, Dean was there to witness it.
The unhealthy glow to the man’s eyes was something that still stuck in Dean’s mind to this day. His jaundiced gaze was cold and harsh, a murderer’s gaze, and Dean could finally allow himself to believe that this man was actually capable of killing an innocent woman and a mother.
His father had stared down the murderer from his firm stance on the porch of their rebuilt family home, while Dean had stared over his shoulder. The yellow eyed man stood a fair distance away, scanning over their house as though it was a strangely familiar sight to him. It was at that moment that Dean realised this was because the man had been here before. He had been the one to torch their home many years earlier only to return now and find it whole again. Looking at the yellow eyed man, Dean finally understood his father’s obsession.
After a long period of staring, his father had told Dean to run. Get Sam and run. So Dean did what he had done all his life, he followed his father’s orders. Without pausing, Dean pulled himself away from his father’s back and disappeared back into the house to grab his brother. He remembered dragging his confused brother out the back of the house, unhitching their horses and riding away, all in the space of a single minute.
When Dean had felt enough time had passed, he brought his brother back to find their father dead on the dusty ground a few metres from the porch. His body was free from signs of injury and his face was more peaceful in death than Dean had ever seen it in life.
The yellow eyed man was gone once more.
There was something very familiar about this whole situation.
Dean held the Colt up in front of him, his hands shaking very slightly as they gripped the metal tightly. His legs were spread in a shooting stance and his right leg was turned fractionally inward to keep traction on the loose dirt under his feet. Sam was standing by his side, his own gun raised in perfect symmetry.
Opposite them stood the yellow eyed man.
The sun was rising slowly, rays spreading like honey across the graveyard and the first rays of light caught the man’s face, causing the odd pigmentation in his eyes to stand out considerably. The spotlight also highlighted the man’s pasty skin in a way that made him look a lot younger than he had any right to be. Watching as a sly smile stretched across his face, Dean could have sworn the man had not aged since he had last seen him, but he chose to ignore that thought and instead wryly smiled back.
The yellow eyed man appeared to be unarmed and if he did had a weapon concealed on him somewhere he wasn’t reaching for it. Even stranger than that was the fact that he was alone. Dean had been expecting a small posse, a few extra guns at least. Or even the men that the yellow eyed man was supposed to be meeting in the middle of a graveyard at sunrise. Instead, the yellow eyed man stood alone, staring down the brothers opposite him.
Paranoia clawed at the back of Dean’s mind.
The man bared more teeth as his smile grew wider and his eyes narrowed into slits. Dean’s fingers clenched involuntarily when the man raised his empty palms into the air. The feigned innocence did not put Dean at ease.
“Don’t shoot,” whined the man through his smile, his manufactured fear toward the situation made Dean want to grind his teeth together. Seeing Sam’s unwavering hands out the corner of his eye reminded Dean to keep calm. This was finally it. They couldn’t afford to screw things up now.
“You’re a hard son of a bitch to track down,” Dean growled. “A couple of times it was like you just disappeared into thin air.”
The man lowered his hands slowly and fixed his gaze onto Dean.
“Years of practise,” he said with unabashed pride. Dean couldn’t help but scowl at him.
“Well you won’t be running from this,” he snarled as he took a step forward.
All around the three men, gravestones marked a large body count over the years. Some were more weathered than others; while a few could only be recognised by hastily tied together bits of wood. The wooden grave markers had the names and dates gouged deeply into their surfaces by people who obviously cared enough to bother.
Two rows back from where Dean and Sam had been hiding in wait for the yellow eyed man to appear stood an old gravestone. Many years of being subjected to the elements had caused the engraving to decay and although some of the words could still be deciphered with great effort the name ‘Roberts’ stood out clearly.
For what felt like a long stretch of time, Dean, Sam and the yellow eyed man stared each other down. The image of his father, the last time Dean had seen him alive, appeared in his mind. Except, this time, Dean wasn’t sheltered behind his father’s back, he was standing before the man his family had been hunting for a mass of decades.
Déjà vu swept through Dean so fiercely that he found himself holding his breath. A memory of his mother took over and he suddenly remembered a story she had told him when he was younger. She had always been an uncommonly superstitious woman, believing in the stranger sides to every story, and one of the things that had always remained in Dean’s mind was that whenever you passed a graveyard, you should hold your breath. Any restless spirits that might be close would not be able to sense you if you stifled your breathing and hid the fact that you were a part of the living world. Dean twisted his foot into the dirt, wondering how many, if any, spirits were watching this showdown happen over their resting place. He even entertained the idea that a deafening gunshot would probably bring most of them wailing to the surface.
Stark images of his father and bittersweet memories of his mother brought Dean back to the present. Sam was giving him a worried look out the corner of his eye, his brow furrowed more than usual, as he kept his gun trained on their enemy. While the yellow eyed man had lost interest in them both and was staring, what looked to be wistfully, up into the sky. Dean’s blood boiled under his skin. Revenge. He had never wanted something so much.
Dean lowered his gun to his side. He then followed the yellow eyed man’s lead and tipped his head back to gaze at the sky. The sun was almost up already and the view was mostly blue. Their parents were up there somewhere, Dean just hoped that they had a good view. He didn’t want them to miss this.
“I’ve been waiting to do this for years,” Dean started, trying to keep his voice measured and calm. It was difficult; emotion still bled through, but it didn’t make him weak it just made him feel vindicated. “This is for our parents, you yellow eyed son of a bitch.”
Dean took two swift steps forward, brought his arm up smoothly and squeezed the trigger, all in one fluid motion. He barely registered the sound of the gunfire but he felt the weapon snap back and the burning heat from the small collision of metal against metal.
The bullet struck the yellow eyed man just above one of his sickly eyes and for a second afterwards he just stood there, face blank and unresponsive. Then, as though a puppeteer had just cut his strings, his body crumpled and he fell to the ground with a thud.
Smoke drained out the end of the Colt in Dean’s hand and he took a shaky breath, the gravity of the situation suddenly hitting him, as he unsteadily placed the Colt back in its holster. His fingers were primed to repeat the action of firing over and over again until he was sure the monster was finished, but he held the urge back.
“So that’s it. We finally got him,” said Sam, his voice disbelieving.
Dean moved to face his brother fully, turning his back on the dead man in the process and then surprised himself by smiling at Sam’s genuine expression. He looked almost happy and that made Dean realise just how much that made him happy.
“I guess.” Dean felt tears prickling in his eyes and he brought up a powder burnt hand to rub them away. He felt like crying but his face was beginning to hurt from how hard he was smiling. At least Sam seemed to understand how he was feeling as they were both grinning goofily while standing over a corpse.
“He’s back where he belongs now, Dean,” Sam finally said, his tone turning sombre.
“I still think even Hell is too good for that bastard,” Dean added with his usual gruffness.
“I guess that’s why they didn’t want me.”
Both Dean and Sam spun around, weapons raised once again, when an unwelcome familiar voice joined them. They watched, frozen on the spot, as the yellow eyed man picked himself up off the ground and began to dust himself down. From the expression on his face, he seemed to be more annoyed at the dirt on his clothes than he did about the gaping bullet wound in his forehead that was still dribbling blood down his face.
“What the hell are you?” Sam growled at the man who had just cheated death right in front of them but, in answer, the yellow eyed man just sardonically smiled.
Dean was at a loss. When he shot people they usually didn’t get straight back up again. He didn’t know how to deal with someone, or better yet, something that just refused to die. In the back of Dean’s mind, in some small area that was still functioning at full capacity, he couldn’t help but think that a graveyard suddenly felt like a very fitting place for their showdown. He just wished he knew what to do now.
The yellow eyed man finished patting himself down and then turned his heavy gaze onto the brothers. As he stared, he absent-mindedly swiped an arm across his forehead, cleaning most of the blood away in one motion. Then, as the brothers watched, the skin rapidly began to stitch itself back together. In a blink of an eye and through the glare of the early morning sun, the man’s head was completely unblemished again, as though Dean had never fired a shot. Dean risked a glance down at his hand just in case but the powder burns were still there as evidence.
All Dean had wanted was revenge. Revenge for his parents. Even revenge for Sam. But he couldn’t even do that right. The yellow eyed man was still there and most likely pissed at the men who had chased him across countless towns and finally shot him in the face.
“You Winchesters are stubborn, that’s for sure. Your Dad, he was the same, although he had better aim.” Yellow eyes pointed lamely at the middle of his forehead and sent Dean a patronising look. “But just like him, you just can’t seem to get the basics right.”
Dean felt a bit silly pointing a gun at a man who was evidently impervious to its bullets, but he would feel even worse if he lowered it, he wasn’t an idiot. The itch to the pull the trigger was back again as well, listening to this man talk about his father was tugging at the last bits of his resolve. He may come back to life again but it definitely looked like he could feel pain as the bullet tore through his brain. That was almost enough encouragement for Dean.
“You can’t kill me,” the man continued. Any other time and Dean would have taken this as a challenge, but now it was just fact, clear and true. “God knows your family has tried enough, but I guess you two are just as bull-headed as your father. Though, I should remind you where that got him, believing he could beat me.”
Yellow eyes took a step forward; both Dean and Sam took an equal step back. Neither one lowered their guns.
“Well, if you’re all so dead set on killing me, I suppose I should return the favour. Let’s see, that’s two down already. You guys are falling behind,” teased the man.
He took another step closer and held his hands up in a placating gesture. Dean already knew he was going to hate whatever came out of his mouth.
“So, as I’m feeling in a generous mood today, I’m going to give you two a head start. Don’t worry; this is going to be fun.” It was clear that yellow eyed man was deadly serious despite his jovial tone and choice of words.
Dean’s heart plummeted as he knew it would.
Then the yellow eyed man suddenly slammed his head backwards as though a hand had just gripped a handful of hair and ripped. His mouth opened in a scream but instead of sound pouring out, a black stretch of smoke billowed out into the sky. To Dean, the sight was endless but in reality the smoke eventually disappeared and the body once again dropped to the ground.
The brothers watched for a moment, neither one daring to make the first move. The body was still and it had fallen in a way that left its deathly pale face staring in their direction. The eyes were no longer yellow but a dull lifeless brown, their gaze unfocused and glazed like a dead man.
Just when Dean had worked up enough motivation to step closer to the body, something else stopped him in his tracks. A red welt began to grow out of nothing on the man’s face, just above one of his eyes. Where the skin was clear the second before, a bullet wound materialised and blood dribbled out onto the graveyard floor. Watching the man die a second time, Dean wondered just how many times the man had been through this. Is this what his father saw just before he died?
“What the hell was that?” Sam spluttered while finally lowering his gun.
Dean risked a glance away from the body of the yellow eyed man to send a wild eyed look at his brother.
“I have no idea.”
“Is he…Do you think he’s actually dead?” Sam warily approached the heap on the ground.
Dean itched to throw out his arm, to stop Sam getting any closer, but it would have been hypocritical because he was also stepping closer, peering down suspiciously.
“I’m not sure.” Dean looked up in the direction the smoke had gone. “What the hell just happened?” He moaned loudly, more to himself than at Sam. There was a pause and then Sam spoke again.
“What do you think he meant by giving us a head start?” he asked.
Dean felt his shoulders slump in resignation. He couldn’t even be sure if he had finally gotten revenge. The feeling of relief he had felt earlier, finally dropping the man they had chased for what felt like a lifetime, was almost choking him now. The murderer had gotten away and Dean didn’t know how to fight a man that defied all conventional human logic.
His eyes were prickling again, this time for a completely different reason.
“He’s still out there somewhere, isn’t he?” Sam said, clearly reluctant to even propose the idea.
“I think so,” Dean answered.