|phantomas (phantomas) wrote,|
@ 2006-04-29 11:14 am UTC
|Entry tags:||fiction gen, myfiction, supernatural|
I'm still searching for his voice, I think. Also, funnily enough, it's the first time I write in the first person and don't even realize it.
Character: John Winchester
PERCEPTION: THOSE AROUND YOU
Mike thinks I'm crazy.
The police thinks I've lost it.
Everyone around me thinks grief is blinding me.
I'm the one that knows what to do.
The motel guy behind the counter looks at the boys, then at me. "Don't want no trouble, here, " he mumbles after spitting to his right.
"There won't be any," I say, and I see Dean squeezing Sammy's hand, Dean's eyes barely level with the counter, glaring at the motel guy with all the honesty of an eleven year old.
"Dad. Dad." I startle awake. Damn. I fell asleep at the table again. I remember getting up to switch the lights off when dawn came, but...my mouth is sour. The almost empty bottle reminds me why.
"Sammy needs pocket money for his lunch." Dean keeps his voice low. I rummage in my pockets, under the newspapers scattered on the table, the weird drawings of a Mayan sygil I'm trying to decipher.
A couple of rolled up bills exchange hands. "Here." It's way more than what little Sammy needs, all sleepy eyes and uncombed hair, waiting for his big brother near the door. But I know that Dean will see to it rightly and use the rest for groceries. "We need milk, too, I think."
"Yeah, I know. Have a shower. I'll wake you up when I'm back," my eldest tells me. And I just don't feel like looking up to his eyes.
At times I wish I had burned in that fire, too. When I see the look in Sammy's eyes and remember how soft his hair was, when the door slams after him after one of our rows. When Dean kicks the chair across the room, because this time is no like any other row before.
"Name's Winchester," I tell the voodoo man, and he lowers his head and steps aside to let me in. We're less and less, each year. Some old faces, some young ones. Fathers and sons and daughters. I clear my throat before starting to explain about how to trap a werewolf in his lair, and how to track the pack down in case it goes to ground.
He walked in, barely dawn outside. The coffee machine whirring and buzzing to life in the background, flickers of neon lights being switched on. There was dry mud on his heavy boots, and his jeans looked stained and stiff for too much wearing. Pans were banged in the back, the smell of grease being warmed up wafting around.
"Coffee, please." The voice was more of a raspy growl, as if he'd been screaming his throat dry. Or as if talking was a long lost habit, something he had to reach out for in his memories of another time, another life.
The cook, setting up the eggs near slices of bacon as the first pancakes were starting to bubble up, glanced at the man sideways, then nodded at the sleepy waitress.
"Here you go." The coffee was poured into a mug, steaming, and the mug pushed close to the man. The scent hit his nostrils, and his shoulders slumped down, a heavy burden being lifted off, winter cold being banished from his bones for a little while.
The cook, all 6' 4" of him, glanced at the bruised knuckles, the man's fingers tightly wrapped around the mug. There was days' worth of un-cared for beard on the man's cheeks, and dark bags under red-rimmed eyes.
"Rough night?" the question was casual enough. The waitress discreetly stepped back in the kitchen, one hand resting on the wall-phone.
Eyes that were too sharp in comparison with the rest lifted to meet the cook's. "Not looking for trouble." John rasped the words out, as best as he could. He knew the cook's hand was still placed over the rifle kept under the counter. He followed the line of arm to the countertop dark-peach plastic. It wasn't hard to guess, and John had been in countless identical little diners, at countless identical opening times. Vulnerable times, those between light and darkness.
"Damn truck broke down a few miles east. Walked all the way. Know a good garage with a tow-in service around here?" The lie was smooth, sweetly served, and it covered a multitude of sins. The gun snug in the small of his back, warm with his skin. The black blood drying on his jeans. Gasoline scent on his hhands. Tiny flecks of ashes on his coat. The lie was convincing. It didn't take much. People wanted to believe the safest truths. They didn't want to look in the dark. John's eyes were dry and itchy, because that was all he did, looking in the dark. All the time.
"There's Paulie, two blocks down the main road, across from the beauty parlour. He'll be open soon." The waitress came out from the back. The cook let go of the rifle under the counter.
John nodded. "Thanks. Can I have some of those eggs, too?"
"Coming." The cook nodded back. John moved to one of the small tables along the walls, sat in the red-plastic chair, his knees cracking when he bent them. Callused hands rubbed face and eyes, then it was back to work. John's journal was opened in front of him, pen in hand, the world forgotten, his coffee and eggs slowly getting cold, a lingering memory of a woman pulling her kid closer to her skirts a few days before, months ago maybe, her eyes full of suspicion.
WHAT JOHN MISSES MOST
It would be easy to say Mary.
John never allows himself the luxury of regret. Not when he's trying to bring up two boys on his own, not when he's away hunting, not when he's trying to survive with his mind still fucntioning in a world that has turned upside down on him (and burned).
He doesn't allow himself that luxury, because stopping and letting himself think and remember...it kills him. In ways he doesn't know how to come back from.
He has to close his eyes, though, eventually. As much as he fights it, as much as he hates it. In a circle of salt, under a blessed archway. He has to.
And then they come. The dreams, the nightmares, the flowery scent of Mary's underwear, the pitter-patter of Dean's baby boots in the living room, Sammy's tiny fingers wrapped around his.
And himself. The man he was. The man he left behind. The man buried in the ashes of a house he loved, a long time ago.