The air tasted of blood. Sam had told him it was because of the rust in the remaining structures of the collapsed buildings, but Dean knew better.
It was them. It was their blood.
Dean wiped the sweat off his face one more time. The drops he’d missed stung when they hit his eyes, blurring his vision until he could see nothing but shapes and blobs of light.
They had the advantage over him; he had to get out, get away from them, from Sam.
Dean forced himself to get moving. His feet stumbled on the trash covered ground, walking like a sailor who spent too much time on the high seas and had forgotten how to walk the land.
There was something –someone- following him, bit no matter how hard Dean looked, he couldn’t see a thing. He knew they were there, waiting to catch him alone, waiting to catch him with his guard down. It was just a matter of time.
Dean pulled out the EMF reader. He needed a few more minutes to work undisturbed. It wasn’t ghosts, deep inside he had always known that, but demons... demons registered in the reader as loud and clear as any other Casper-freak.
Not even a flicker of light.
Dean banged it against the crumbling wall, watching plaster turn into dust and float away. And still the EMF display remained unlit.
It was broken. The water... it had to be water in the circuits. Electrical things behaved weirdly when they got wet. Everyone knew that.
But it had worked with the ghosts, just hours before... days, perhaps. Why not with demons?
It wasn’t doing what it was supposed to do. It was supposed to work. Why was the EMF reader acting crazy?
You’re acting crazy.
Dean could almost see them. He could feel them, brushing against him and burning him with their evil touch. He couldn’t let them distract him. He had to finish this.
What are you doing there, Dean? Drawing circles on the ground? Is that what you do now for kicks? You an artist, Dean? Alastair thought you were an artist. Only then, you'd used a knife, your canvas was flesh and the thrill was hearing those souls scream for mercy where none was to be had.
They called to him when Sam wasn’t around. Invisible demons, whispering things in his ears, things that no one was suppose to know.
You smiled when you pulled that prick’s guts out, one said.
You tasted that bitch’s liver and loved it, another hissed.
“No...” Dean answered through gritted teeth. His head ached abysmally and he grabbed at his skull, pressing into his temple trying to ease the pain. His fingers, covered in white chalk, left pale imprints on his skin.
You were Alastair’s favorite pet, a new voice growled, its breath sending a frisson of bone-chilling air down Dean’s spine. He doted on you with bloody gifts.
God, they wouldn’t shut up. They never shut up.
But it is true.
“No!” Dean shouted into the room. Dean had never asked to be special, didn’t want to be special. He hated it still. “Stop!” he shouted. “I didn’t want-- I tried to... just...”
Dean’s back connected with a tree--when had he walked outside? Had he finished? --and his legs gave out. Hands still clutching his head, his legs folded and he slide to the floor until his ass connected with the cold dirt. The voices only got louder and he covered his ears. They accused and shouted even as he drew his knees into his chest, desperate to block them out.
Sleep. God, he was so tired. Dean needed sleep, but he couldn’t. Not until he found them and made them shut up.