Dean’s impending trip to Hell hung on him like the shroud that it was…and it didn’t help that Sam wasn’t letting him forget it. The deed was done - no going back now - and yet his brother insisted on looking for a way out. He was sick of it…sick of listening to Sam come up with yet another lame idea to save his soul. He needed a break…and it came to him in the form of an article in the local paper - several towns over there’d been a spate of odd deaths with not one, but two distinctly different killing signatures. Interesting. Usually the monsters knew better than to slice and dice in the same place at the same time. He opened his mouth to tell Sam what he’d found…and then abruptly closed it again. This was his chance. He could get away for awhile AND do some good.
Casually, so as not to raise suspicion, Dean said to his brother, “Hey Sammy? How much longer you think this research of yours is gonna take?”
Sam shrugged, and the older Hunter heard him suppress a sigh. “Bored already, Dean?” He shook his head, not waiting for a reply. “I’ve barely scratched the surface…it could still be awhile.”
Ignoring the jibe, mostly because it was true, Dean did his best to keep his voice neutral as he replied. “Great. So, uh…it looks like there might be something going on a couple of towns over. Nothing serious…just figured since you’re not going anywhere for awhile it would give me something to do…”
Sam looked up at his brother with one raised brow, as if trying to decide how much truth he was being given. “Yeah…yeah, okay - just keep me updated, and if you need a hand give me a call.”
“You got it, little brother,” Dean agreed with a boyish grin, grabbing his keys and heading straight for the Impala.
Arriving in town, it didn’t take Dean any time at all to uncover three things - the deaths were all connected to a single person…that person had been dead for almost three weeks…and the killings hadn’t started until they were stone cold. That info, and the knowledge of how people had been dying, told the Hunter his best bet was a ‘ghost’. Why it was killing in two different ways he couldn’t be sure…but did it matter? True - it almost seemed too easy, but something he’d learned was that it never hurt to be thorough - especially when all he had to do was go burn a set of bones and wait to see if anyone else kicked the bucket.
It didn’t take too much work to get someone to tell him where the corpse was buried. The hardest part was digging up the grave…and the smell that emanated from the coffin. Damn - he hated the fresh ones. Holding his breath, Dean popped the lid and hopped out of the grave to give himself some fresh air. Then he dumped a whole box of salt out over the remains, quickly followed by a full bottle of lighter fluid. The fresh ones took forever to burn, and he didn’t want to take any chances. Satisfied with his efforts, the Hunter flicked the lid open on his lighter and prepared to torch the sucker.