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The Book of Darcy

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Darcy Ann Lewis is never supposed to be a permanent member of the Winchester family.

She is a year old when John Winchester breaks her nursery door down. Her mother is dead in the hallway, one hand outstretched as though she were reaching for the doorknob. Her father had never even made it up the stairs. She screams and wails as John Winchester fires a blast of rock salt at the figure that hovers beside her crib, and continues her panicked cries as he scoops her up and sprints downstairs, taking them two at a time.

The front door slams just as he reaches it. The figure reappears only feet from John, the twisted likeness of a woman dressed in rags and covered in blood. John lifts the shotgun again, only to have it wrenched from his hand by seemingly nothing at all. That same invisible force slams him against the closed door, pinning him there.

The spirit advances on him, bony hand reaching not for him, but for the little girl in his arms. She screams even louder, this time crowding into John’s hold instead of trying to squirm away.

“Hush, child,” the spirit says, sibilant and chilling. Just as the hand touched the girl’s pink pajamas, the ghost screams, and vanishes as flames licked at her body.

The force releases John and he breathes, leaning heavily on the door. He shushes her, trying to soothe her. “See? It’s alright. Bobby came through, even if he cut it really fuckin’ close.”

He means to take her to the hospital, safety pin a note to her with her name and her nearest living relative, drop her off and never see her again. Except then the police are on his tail, and so he has to buy another baby seat, puts her in the back where Sam usually falls asleep in the car. And somehow, two months later, John Winchester has acquired a little girl.

“You can’t just drop her off now,” Bobby says over the phone. “You’re in Maine. People are gonna wonder how a little girl got all the way from Mississippi to Maine. And I don’t recommend you cross back into Mississippi for a while yet.”

John glances from the payphone to where Dean, eight years old, is coming out of the gas station bathroom with a diaper bag John had bought from a Goodwill store. He’s holding Sammy’s hand and carrying Darcy, a blanket protecting her from the wind.

“What the hell do I do with a girl?” John demands.

“The best you can, I guess,” Bobby says, and hangs up on him.