Unfamiliar surroundings passed through your line of view as the pure black tires ran smoothly over the perfect pavement. Your head rested on the foggy window wild Dean’s jacket was wrapped around the front of you to help keep you warm. It seemed as though hours had passed since anybody had said anything about the discovery of the mysterious bright red hand mark imprinted beneath your freezing skin covered in goosebumps and specks of hardened dirt.
The storm that stirred violently above you all was slowing down. Raindrops began falling at uneven and slow patterns. As a kid, you’d practically grown up in the back seat. Going almost everywhere as you were “Daddy’s little angel” and he didn’t trust you in the hands of anybody else. Not even your own brothers. He must’ve gotten the nickname confused because you were more of a little monster rather than an angel of any sort.
Your right index finger trailed lightly along the path a raindrop had created on the outer window of the Impala. A bad habit of this was created whenever something was happening that you couldn’t handle. Being back from the dead…that was one thing. But this unwanted and possibly permanent tattoo of violation was another.
What the hell even was it? Did it belong to somebody who’d helped you out of Hell? Maybe this was a good thing. But how could it be.
“Hey.” The sound of Dean’s deep voice interrupted your train of anxiety filled thoughts. “You’re doing that thing.” He must’ve been talking about how your breathing sped up and your mind drifted into “la la land” as he called it.
A pained sigh escaped your chapped lips. Taking your hand away from the window, you closed it into a fist and hesitantly set it down on your still damp lap.
“I’m just-” your eyes glanced down to your covered hip. “What if this…” how were you supposed to word what you wanted to express?
A hand reached over from the back seat, being gently placed on your shoulder as fingers massaged easily.
“Relax. Take a deep breath. Don’t overthink what you want to say.” Sam always knew how to calm you down in moments like these. Not that you’d ever experienced anything like this.
“What in the actual hell are we going to do?” Turning your head, you looked over at Dean. “This isn’t our average everyday kind of problem. This is- we don’t even know what this is.” Your eyes squinted slightly as your eyebrows furrowed together.
“Problem? I don’t see this as a problem, Phebe. I mean…look at you.” The entire time Dean was speaking, his hands remained at ten and two on the wheel and his eyes focused on the wet and slippery road.
The scoff that came from you was one that couldn’t be controlled.
“Yeah Dean, let’s look at me. Oh, but don’t forget the giant ass handprint on my damn hip. That’s a new accessory to the fucked up shit that’s been going on in the Winchester collection.” A sharp breath of air was pushed past your lips, soothing your burning lungs. “How is this not a problem?” You finished after collections and calming yourself down.
“You’re alive. That’s what matters.” This time his eyes met yours. Only for a split second before returning to the road.
“Alive? Dean- I rose out of my grave today. Six feet under the damn ground and you want to say I’m alive?” Your right eyebrow was slightly higher than your left. “Whatever I am…I’m a whole new level of freak.” Turning your head you went back to starring out into the dark abyss passing you by.
“Don’t.” It was minutes before a voice filled the confined air around you. “Don’t say that. You can’t-” Dean meant well, he did.
“Can we please just drop it for now?” Looking over at him you revealed the barley held in tears. “My minds going to explode at this rate.” Nobody said another word.
Folding up the jacket you scooted downward on the seat so your legs were curled up just beneath you. The jacket was placed between the small empty space of the seatbelt and door handle for your head to rest on. Whatever was going to happen, whatever new fresh Hell faced you, it was going to have to wait. Sleep was the only thing you cared to think about. Before you knew it the world around you faded into darkness while your mind drifted off into another dimension.
Heat was all around you. There was no escaping it. Every path you turned down. Every way you looked. It led you back to the center. Back to the beginning of the horrid room.
Everything around you was blurred. All that could be seen was red heat rising like a snake against the walls. A dreadful banging sound came from a door. A door for some reason you were terrified to go look behind. Every second that passed, the banging grew louder. Until it sounded like a drum beating inside of your ear.
The door grew closer with each crashing bang. It was just an arms length away as you reached out to touch the handle…
“Hey, Phoebe.” The sound of a voice snapped you straight up from your seat and resting position.
A warm jacket was thrown from your body as it moved with a sudden jolt. Your feet rested on the floorboard now.
Looking outside the window you noticed the scenery had changed drastically. The warm and loving sun was once again filling the Earth with its friendly embrace. The heat brought a warm smile to your face. Regardless of the fact you were sweating.
“You okay?” It was Sam who’s voice caught your attention and grabbed you out of your dreaming mind.
Brushing the messy brown waves of hair out of your face you stretched over the backseat. Surprisingly enough, he wasn’t there. Instead he was outside of the car looking in at you.
“Just a bad dream, not the end of the world.” Your eyes began to wander around, searching for a hair tie. A clip. Something to tame the wild beast falling freely behind you.
“Do you want to talk about it?” His arms rested neatly in a folded manner on the rolled down window. Concerned Hazel eyes met your mixed ones.
With a chuckle you swung open the door and threw your head back while your hands went to work tying your hair into a messy ponytail.
“It’s just a dream, Sammy. I don’t need to be babied.” Feet swung out of their protected area inside of Baby to meet rough hot ground. “Bobby really needs to put some grass here.” Helplessly, you sat there with your feet hanging.
“Well, most of the time when we come here we’re all wearing shoes.” Sam walked around to you, giving a point to your feet which you’d completely forgotten were bare.
No verbal exchange was needed. Arms opened wide as Sam happily bent over and allowed you to wrap your arms around his neck to be carried. One thing Hell didn’t have that you couldn’t stand living without was your cheesy yet kind brother. And the other brother who liked to be an extra pain in the ass but made up with booze.
The moment your feet met the porches newly added wooden surface you rushed in the front door, looking for the old man you missed.
“Sleeping beauty finally rose from her slumber.” The voice came from behind you. Bobby.
Instantly you walked over to him, wrapping your arms around to his back. His own arms went around your shoulders and neck, holding you tighter. The hug consumed you. Another thing Hell didn’t have was the loving touch of the father figure you so desperately needed.
“Rising from my grave, or from the front seat?” You couldn’t help but add.
The laugh that came from him made you jump a little. You’d forgotten how it sounded. So much had seemed to fade away from you.
“Both.” Stepping back to get a better look at you, the old timer placed a rough yet gentle hand on your left cheek. Your fell into his touch. “I missed you, Squirt.”
“What happened to Idjit?” A little friendly smile played on your still dry lips.
“You’re Squirt first and foremost.” The reminder of your nickname caught you off guard. How much had you lost to your time in prison?
“Not to mention a dirty mudded up Squirt. Mind if I hop in the shower?” Your thumb pointed behind you to up the stairs where your sweet clean Heaven awaited.
You didn’t even need an answer. Bobby had made it clear that his house was yours. Except his beer. You’d been cut off for free help on that.
For awhile you stood in the bathroom. Allowing the water to warm to a soothing temperature. Not too hot. Not too cold. Steam rose to the ceiling, traveling until it reached the mirror where grab on and stuck.
Clothes dropped to the floor. But you didn’t recognize the person staring back at you in the mirror. This girl- this thing, it was different. Her eyes were cold and dead. Face was straight and stone. Skin was pale and fragile looking. Like one touch and she’d shatter into a million unfixable pieces. The sad thing was the reflection was you. But how could it be? You were so unrecognizable.
You inspected each aspect of your “new body”. Always stopping your eyes on the red unwanted marking on your hip. Turning to your right, you got a better look at it. The hand, it was too large to be a woman’s. The print was much bigger. Slowly you placed your left hand over it, thinking it would match up. But it didn’t. Trying your right you realized how you were grabbed.
Four long fingers wrapped around your front. Palm resting directly on the side of your hip. While the thumb still curled tightly around to the back just slightly. And you hated it. You hated the mark. The way it looked. Like it was a scar. A new constant reminder of the horrific things you’d been through. Things that were vague and barley able to be remembered but still lingered in the deepest parts of your mind.
You climbed in the shower, grabbing onto the soap and a fresh scrunchy to clean yourself properly. The soap sloshed around and splattered against the wall as you rubbed it harshly onto the area that was still puffed out red. Taking the scrunchy into your right hand you began to scrub. As hard as you could. But it wasn’t working.
The pace your hand moved went faster and faster. The pressure you were applying grew harder. Until you dropped it. Looking down to see how irritated your skin was. Small specks of blood rested just on the surface.
Your lungs were filled with so much air, they too were excited. Sitting down in the far corner of the shower you curled into a sitting ball. Allowing tears to fall invisibly, blending into the warm steaming water. For a split moment you closed your eyes. Trying to calm yourself better. But all you saw was the heated area from your dream with screaming people behind bars in the background. Faces disfigured and melting off of their skulls. The sound of horrific screams filled your ears, even as you placed your hands over them to cover the sound from coming in.
This wasn’t something you could just block out. This wasn’t something that could be washed away even with a hundred showers. It- all of it…was burned deep into your mind. Your body. Your soul. And nothing could change that.
Life before Hell: hardenough. Life after: even worse.
Day in and day out was consumed by terrifying daydreams, nightmares, and all the gruesome thoughts in between. Nobody understood it, no matter how many unique ways they tried wrapping their minds around what had happened. They weren’t in your position. They weren’t living with everything you were. As much as they tried to relate, to understand, they couldn’t. And they never would.
Dean kept a watchful eye on you. Like an eagle would it’s baby from a distance. Watching. Waiting for something to go wrong so they could swoop in and “save the day”. Oh but things had been wrong since you rose from the literal grave almost a week ago.
Sam tried his best to let you know he was there for you. Part of you, mainly all of you, thought (more like knew) he felt as though this was his fault. You’d died to save him. Gone to Hell for him. Now you were fucked up seven ways to Sunday, and you knew he carried the guilt on his masculine shoulders. But even a man of his strength couldn’t hold onto such a heavy weight. It weighed him down. Held him underneath a sea of regret and feeling of failure.
Bobby did all the research he could on a daily basis. Some nights the bags under his eyes grew so deep and distinct you dragged him away from the books and to his bed. His tired and old mind worked to it’s maximum power, trying to find out what the hell got you out of Hell. What the handprint was. What it meant. And most importantly, who it belonged to.
Everyday morning you cracked open the upstairs window, waltzing slowly into the sunlight. It’s warmth calmed you. Weird how you were afraid of heat but it calmed you at the same time. Maybe it was the thought of flames surrounding you that sent you into a panicked frenzy.
“Hello?” Bare feet walked carelessly on sharp and thick metal spikes.
You were in nothing but a beautiful short white skill dress, barley covering your shoulders with the spaghetti straps. The feeling of the material brushing against your bare skin hidden underneath was cool. Unlike the hot temperatures that lurked on the walls. Seeping into your pores and under your skin. Warming you to the core in an unpleasant way.
The endlessly tall stone walls had a red background glow to them. Though the color never faded into your sweating skin as tips of your fingers brushed its mysterious surface. Looking upward, a dark, lightening filled sky struck your attention. Every crash that filled the air was normal to your ears by now. No longer startling you. This time your dream felt…different.
Uncertainly, you rounded the corner into the main room. The room with a huge metal door and a giant lock on it. Glancing down into your small pale hands you noticed something being clenched in your right fist. A key. Metal and disfigured. Your eyes popped forward, looking directly at the lock.
Lifting your right foot to step forward, the familiar and dreadful loud banging rang through every aspect of the building again. Pounding deep into your chest and going into sync with the beat of your heart. Each time the pounding grew louder- and the door grew closer.
With every muscle in your body you pulled away from it. The tips of your fingernails tried gripping onto the walls but they just flew by as if they didn’t exist.
Finally, you were less than an inch away from the door. Reaching your right hand down for the door, your fingers brushed it’s cool metal surface…
“Hey, Phoebe.” A friendly call came from behind you. “You comin’ kid?” Bobby stood in the doorway of your temporary bedroom as you sat right outside the window on the roof.
“Yeah,” you tried your best to smile as if nothing was wrong. “I’ll meet you guys down there in a minute.” Standing up, you watched as he turned away and left you alone once again.
Naturally, your instinct was to climb back through the window and head down the stairs. But your mind- something in your damn troubled mind told you to walk to the edge of the three story house.
The lighting in your eyes faded into a fog as your pupils grew to a misty size, making everything look like a blur. You were practically a zombie. Walking in one direction as your mind tried pulling you in another. Just as you were about to reach the edge of the rooftop…
“Phoebe? What the hell are you doing!?” The sound of Dean yelling upward at you snapped you out of whatever haze you were in. Whatever trace took over.
The tip of your foot stopped just before you tipped over and plummeted to the dirt ground below. You’d just caught your bearings when an unpleasant snapping sound came from below you. Eyes looked downward at the sparkling black rooftop just before the gutter fell, causing you to loose your balance and fall with it.
“Son of a Bitch…!” Footsteps came running up beside you, but you were too busy looking up into the blue sky while laying on your back.
Surprisingly you felt good. Despite falling from the top of a three story house. Like nothing, your feet swept under your body and stood you up straight.
“I’m fine. Really.” Both of your hands began brushing off the areas of dirt on your shoulders.
“No,” Sam came up beside you, pressing his hand to an unexpectedly tender area. “You’re not.” His fingers came to your line of view, showing you cool blood on his fingertips. Yours.
“Sam, go get some bandaids. We’ve got to-” the deep voice coming from behind you stopped suddenly. “What the…”
The pounding in your chest grew to a loud painful thump. Something wasn’t right. Reaching behind you, your fingers felt the area Sam indicated was where you were injured.
“Where is it? I don’t feel the cut.” Your body turned, eyes scanned their own. Looking for a sign. Something.
“It’s gone.” Bobby’s face held the same smooth shocked expression your brother’s had.
“What do you mean it’s gone? It can’t just up and walk away.” Your hands reached back and repositioned your shirt to cover the ‘wound’.
Dean began to look irritated, possibly with a bit of panic flowing on the edges of his jaw.
“Gone. As in not there. It’s just gone, there’s not even a trace of an injury, Phebe’s.”
The pair of legs beneath you felt like jello walking over to Baby. Both of your hands steadied your body on her hood while you sat just on the edge of the shiny black exterior.
“What the hell am I?”
Day seven after rebirth- life was beginning to split apart at the seams.