Dean doesn’t wake up because of his nightlight flickering. It’s something else. There’s a noise. A whistle. Maybe it’s a train? Or Sammy screaming even though he’s supposed to be asleep? No. It’s not different. It’s a ringing, shrill sound that increases even when Dean nestles further under his cowboy sheets.
The whistle gets louder. It sticks in him and shakes all the way to his teeth and Dean knows he should be scared. He knows it, but he doesn’t scream or run, even as the noise gets louder and the little figurine on his beside starts to shake and his nightlight flickers faster. He doesn’t move except to cover his ears. Maybe this is a dream and he’s going to wake up.
His eyes fly wide as his name cuts through the noise. It isn’t just a word, it’s a feeling; something warm and safe but urgent.
Dean. Sam needs you.
Dean shoots straight up from the covers, panting. The noise stops immediately. He tumbles out of bed and pads down the hall. The lights are still flickering as he peeks through the nursery door. Dean opens his mouth but his brother’s name doesn’t make it out because now he is afraid. It’s just a shadow, but he knows, as sure as anything, he knows whatever he’s seeing is bad. He runs now, quiet and as quick as his small legs will carry him, flying down to the den where his father sits bathed in blue light from the TV.
“Daddy! Daddy help!”
“Hey, kiddo, what is it?” his father asks, pulling Dean into his strong arms.
Dean tugs at him insistently. “Daddy there’s a monster in Sammy’s room! It’s gonna hurt him!” he cries. He squirms out of Daddy’s lap and tugs him towards the stairs.
“A monster?” his father asks with a smile.
“Daddy, come on! You have to stop it!” Dean begs, pulling at the soft, dark fabric of his father’s robe. Daddy scoops Dean into his arms and heads up the stairs, still smiling.
“It’s okay, kiddo, don’t worry. We’ll get it,” his father reassures him and the low rumble of his voice soothes Dean’s fear. “Why don’t you go check on Mommy and I’ll get the monster, ok?”
“Okay.” His father deposits Dean inside the doorway to his parents’ bedroom and walks towards the nursery. Sam is crying now, but Daddy will take care of him. He’s really brave. The only person who’s braver is Mommy. She’ll keep Dean safe while Daddy helps Sam. Dean scurries to the bed where his mother stirs, awoken by the cries. He throws himself into her arms as her eyes open.
“Dean, honey, what are you…”
“There’s a monster in Sammy’s room. Daddy is gonna make it go away but I’m scared.”
“A monster?” The way mommy’s voice gets serious makes Dean feel cold. She looks worried. And scared. More scared than she was the time Daddy took too long to come out of the water at the lake last summer.
“It was standing by his crib!” Dean explains, hugging his mother tighter.
“Dean, sweetie, I need to you stay right here,” Mommy pushes him away and cups his face in her hand. “Okay, sweetie? Right here.”
“Okay, Mommy.” His mother moves fast and suddenly Dean is alone. There’s a beat of silence as Dean listens for the any hint of his parents then the ringing, whistling, screaming noise is back, louder than ever. Dean slams his hands over his ears, curling into himself and shaking.
I’m sorry, Dean.
Dean doesn’t realize the ringing has turned into a scream until he sees orange light fill the hall.
“Mommy!” Dean yells, jumping out of the bed. She’s there the moment he’s out of the door, pushing his baby brother into his arms.
“Take your brother outside as fast as you can and don’t look back!” his mother yells as flames explode from the nursery. “Now, Dean! Go!”
He runs, smoke filling his lungs as he races down the stairs. Sam is screaming in his arms and Dean can’t see his mother or father behind him. He nearly trips at the front door as another explosion shakes the house.
“John!” Mommy screams somewhere in the heat and smoke and Dean wants to scream too. Neighbors are already pouring out of their houses when Dean makes it outside. He turns back to the house to see flames filling the upstairs windows.
“Mommy! Daddy!” Dean shrieks over Sam’s cries.
His mother bursts out of the front door, her arm over her face and races to Dean. Dean runs towards her and she grabs him by the arm, pulling him away.
“What about Daddy?!” Dean cries, tears streaming down his face. Smoke sears his lungs, even as his mother drags him back from the fire. “Mommy, he’s still in there!”
Flames explode from the windows in a burst that shakes the whole world.
“It’s too late, Dean,” his mother says, pulling him into a crushing embrace, Sam squeezed between them. She lets out a sob. “It’s too late, baby. He’s gone. Daddy’s gone.”
1. Male Name 2. Name of your favorite teacher 3. Exclamation 4. Number 5. Plural Objects 6. Store Name 7. Body Part 8. Silly Word 9. Name of Holiday 6. Celebrity Name 7. Movie Title 8. Verb Ending in -Ing 9. Amount of Distance 10. Country 11. Object 12. Occupation 13. Animal 14. Famous Movie Quote 15. Body Part 16. Children’s Song 17. Adjective
DETECTIVE: Hello. I’m Detective [Male Name]. And, you are… SUSPECT: [Name of your favorite teacher] DETECTIVE: You are here today under suspicion of second degree robbery. SUSPECT: [Exclamation]! DETECTIVE That’s right. [Number] [Plural Objects] were stolen from [Store Name] and the crime scene has your [Body Part] written ALL over it. SUSPECT: That is [Silly Word]. DETECTIVE: Where were you on the night of [Name of Holiday]? SUSPECT: I was with [Celebrity Name]. We were watching the movie [Movie Title]. DETECTIVE: Then why does security camera footage show you [Verb Ending in -Ing] just [Amount of Distance] away from the crime scene? SUSPECT: That’s a coincidence. DETECTIVE: Alright, I’m through playing games. Where are you from?SUSPECT: [Country]. DETECTIVE: What did your parents do for a living? SUSPECT: My father was a [Object] salesman and my mother was a [Occupation]. DETECTIVE: Did they teach you to steal? SUSPECT: No. I told you didn’t do it! DETECTIVE: That’s enough! One of the best parts about being a detective is that I get to lock up criminals like you, and go home to my children and my pet [Animal] and say, [Famous Movie Quote]. SUSPECT: Fine, I did it. I committed the robbery. But I only did it because I needed the money to buy myself [Body Part] implants. DETECTIVE: I knew it all along. And every time I solve a crime, I sing my favorite song, [Children’s Song] (sing song) SUSPECT: You have a [Adjective] voice. (BEAT)