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Dean spent a moment pacing in the ash covered street. He was partially waiting for Cas to appear, getting angry that the angel hadn’t shown up yet. He was also unsure what to do. Dean kept glancing at the crumpled body of the child thing he’d killed on the hood of the station wagon. He glanced again at the gas station. He took a deep breath, may as well do this like any other job. Step 1: Find out what you’re up against.

The inside of the gas station seemed to be as foggy as the world outside which seemed completely odd to Dean. The only things remaining on the shelves were non-edibles, quarts of motor oil, keychains, things like that. He looked around for a newspaper stand, most of the papers were old, yellowed, chewed by mice most likely, but he brushed dust and scraps away to read the date. He was slightly deja vu’d as doing something similar on his first day back from Hell. When in Hell, 4 months had passed on Earth, but it had been 40 years in Hell. Now he was staring at the date on the paper like he’d stared at his cell phone earlier. May 4, 1974. The paper was older than he was. This gas station has been abandoned since 1974?

Suddenly, in the distance, was the sound of a klaxon blaring. Dean was from Kansas, had grown up on the road, but he knew what that sound meant. In the midwest it meant there was tornado imminent. Dean, automatically sought cover away from the windows, trying to find a spot where objects wouldn’t fall on him. He hoped to Cas that Sam was also taking shelter somewhere.

“What the fuck?” Dean whispered as the light suddenly just ended. It was as if someone switched off the sun outside. He was completely in darkness. He had left the flashlight in the Impala. It had been day when he’d walked away from the car. Dean reached into his pocket. He pulled out his zippo, something he was constantly replacing. How many times had he tossed it onto a corpse to burn it? He struck it open on his thigh and held it up. “What the fuck?” He repeated. The light of the zippo didn’t reach far, but it reached far enough.

When Dean had been in Hell, he really hadn’t exactly gotten the full tour. He’d been chained to a rack, except the chains had actually been hooked into his flesh, stretching, pulling, then Alastair had been there, cutting, ripping, laughing. It had been Hell on his mind to see pieces of his body sliced off, removed, eaten, fed to him, only to wake up whole, repeatedly, every day for thirty years. 10,950 days. Every day Alastair had asked, “If you take up my blade, I’ll let you off the rack.” Dean wasn’t sure what was more hellish for him. The fact he was tortured for thirty years or the fact he had finally said, “Yes.” Not only had he said yes, he tortured other souls, and he had enjoyed it.

For a moment, Dean wondered if he was back in Hell, because this was surely what a corner of Hell would look like. Everything was rusted, sharp edged, the walls of the gas station were now partially metal and partial wire grating. Even the floor was now pieces of metal and what looked like chain link stretched over a frame. Dean leaned down, there was only darkness below him. He looked up, darkness was above him. No stars, no moon, just a blanket of black. Dean carefully crossed the chain link floor he’d been standing on to come around to the door of the gas station. It looked more like the door to Bobby’s panic room than a gas station exit.

Outside was more of the same. The road was still there, the car and the pumps were still there, but everything was rusted to the point holes had appeared, the stability of everything was questionable. It was raining now, the fog was gone. Dean walked like he was trying to make himself as light as possible for fear that he would fall through the ground… It was hard to think of it as ground, into the oblivion below. He needed a flashlight or a torch at least. He held his hand over the zippo’s flame, choosing to see over being able to use the shotgun that was tucked under his arm. The raindrops were large, but coming down slowly. They looked black in the darkness and Dean was wondering if that was really rain falling on him. He could smell the tinny scent of blood and tried to think about finding Sam, being angry at Cas for abandoning him. Not the fact is was raining… blood.

Ching! Ching! Ching! Dean described the sound as best could as someone running on the metal/chain ground. The sound was louder, getting closer.

“Sam?” Dean asked quietly. The footsteps suddenly stopped. Dean couldn’t see much farther than the flame. He’d have to take the chance. Dean slowly set down the shotgun and pulled the Colt 1911 from the inner pants holster in the small of his back. The salt rounds had not done dick to the child thing that had come after him. This time he was just going to open with the regular bullets. Dean slowly moved forwards, on the edge of the darkness was a shape or a person, only Dean couldn’t seem to figure it out. It was like someone had sewn together the bottom halves of two women at the waist. They were even still wearing lacy panties. It was upright or upside down. It was walking on two legs, with the second pair of legs up in the air. It was moving, as if trying to find him. The legs, were moving in unison, basically if you tipped it over, the top would still be walking just as the bottom was walking. Dean had no words to understand what he was looking at. He fired his pistol at it. He had no idea where to actually hit it to do damage. It wasn’t like it had a head or heart to aim for. Dean unloaded the clip into it. It gave a shriek and Dean didn’t want to know where the sound came from, and fell over. The legs spasmed much like a spider after you kill it and lay still.

Then it was like the sun was rising again. Light began to break across the world and the fog rolled in as… It looked like flesh began to creep back over the metal and chain, but restoring it to normalcy. The rust and sharp edges were gone, well unless it was supposed to be rusty from time, but he was once again standing on the road, ash falling from the sky, surrounded by white. The body of leggy woman had burned away when the light began to hit it.

Dean snapped the zippo closed, put it in his pocket, dropped the clip from the Colt, careful to catch it. He had two more clips in his coat pockets, but he was going to be up shit’s creek if it was going to take an entire clip to kill one monster. He reloaded the Colt, and then took the time to press the loose bullets he’d taken from his duffel bag into the spent clip. Then Dean ran.