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Dial 'M' For Monster

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There are certain idioms and sayings out there that have never made sense to Dean. Ones like: ‘the exception that proves the rule’ or ‘could care less’ (though Dean has since found out that the latter is supposed to be ‘couldn’t care less’ which makes a fuck-tonne more sense).

However, ‘a face only a mother could love’ is one that he’s always understood, but not wholly appreciated until right now, because this...whatever the fuck it is, is the actual embodiment of the sentiment. The lesions on its skin dot an expanse of haunting whiteness and there are blisters everywhere, pus dribbling, open sores. Festering and swollen, they seem to be the least of the creature’s skin issues - something that not even L’Oreal and an entire field of tortured bunnies could rectify - black and puke yellow, spectrum ends of a bruise. Rotten. Its breath comes in rattling wheezes, clinging like a heavy drag in wind.

Suffice it to say, it’s one ugly son of a bitch.

It moves surprisingly quickly for a thing that shouldn’t be and Dean manages to back up out of the way in just enough time to avoid pin-sharp fangs, but he’s not quite spared a hefty inhale of its sewer breath; putrid urine and swampy feces.

It’s hard not to drop to his knees and throw his guts up there and then; he nearly does, familiar acidic burn in the back of his throat, but he’s gotta see it through, ‘cause this thing, this fucking thing has killed and partially eaten a family across town that the cops are attributing to a bear attack.

Yeah. A freakin’ bear.

Dean is surrounded by morons, seriously.

Not that he blames people for not wanting to see what’s directly in front of them when it comes to this shit. Ignorance is bliss and all that. Sometimes (read: most times), he’d rather that he hadn’t fallen headfirst into the world (literally) after slipping on some shapeshifter skin in the alley around the back of his bakery.

There are just some things you don’t wanna ever see. The shed skin of what looks like the mayor is one of them.

However, it couldn’t be unseen, and so started Dean’s weird mission/calling. By day he loves making cupcakes and people come from all over state to try his delicious vegan red velvet. By night, he’s a fighter of supernatural evil. He’s in the phone book and everything.

(Who ya gonna call? Not the Ghostbusters because they were clearly pretty incompetent.)

Most people think he’s a conman, but that’s okay because there are enough people out there who believe in this monster shit and are willing to pay for his help, which allows Dean to keep up with the premiums on his health insurance. Premiums created by getting chewed up and spat out by the aforementioned monsters. Plus a little left over for some Jim Beam.

What?

He kills monsters, he’s not a fucking saint.

Tiny sparkle-spots dance in his vision as his head cracks off the filthy brick wall behind him; a result of his secondary reflexive recoil from the thing.

Noise is gurgling down a drain somewhere. In the distance he can hear traffic on the freeway. It’s humanity carrying on undisturbed, while Dean is here, in the ass crack of a small backwater town protecting and serving in the way that the police force here simply refuses to out of some long-held belief that these things don’t exist.

He swings his trusty machete which is held together with nothing more than duct tape and optimism. It connects with the thing’s fleshy, bulbous head. Dean holds his breath and not just because of the stink, but because this is really just trial and error. Over the years, Dean has learned that there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to killing monsters. Sure, some die from a bullet to the head, some by burning, and some by the original superstitions like stakes and silver bullets. But nowhere near all of them.

The key is to improvise.

So when the machete does nothing but make the thing shriek in a way that seems to split the sky as well as Dean’s head, having already exhausted all of the bullets in his gun as the first point of action, he reaches blindly for something -- anything . His foot kicks a can. He looks down; it’s a can of spray paint, the graffiti kind.

That’ll do. Fishing a Zippo out of his pocket, Dean reaches for the can. Flicking the lighter on he aims the can’s nozzle, praying there’s enough propane or butane left to light this fucker up.

There is.

Makeshift flamethrower, fuck yeah.

The flame licks upwards, a greenish-yellow, saturating every terrible welt and horrendous boil in a disgusting shade of puce. It seems appropriate somehow.

The creature howls again, backing up, but there’s nowhere for it to go. The can in Dean’s hand gets cooler.

There’s a few terrifying seconds where nothing seems to happen; time stands still and Dean wishes that this was anybody’s job but his.

There’s a horrifyingly loud crackle, like a bonfire in Dolby Digital surround sound, and that’s all the warning Dean gets.

The creatures explodes. For fuck’s sake it explodes. Covering Dean and the whole area in sticky, fetid monster guts. A wet glob of custardy-innards drips from his chin and makes a loud echoing splat on the ground between his boots.

Eh. He’s had worse days.

He sags against the crumbling brickwork, turns his head to face the night, inky black and passing puffs of gray cloud. He sighs.

Time to go home and get cleaned up, maybe sleep for a couple of hours before he opens up the bakery.

Tomorrow’s special is pecan pie.



***



Castiel has a problem.

Said problem involves either Castiel’s sanity or someone playing a practical joke on him. Which his brother Gabriel is rather fond of doing, but even he doesn’t possess the ability to teleport across states.

Well. Not as far as Castiel is aware. He wouldn’t put it past him though.

Essentially, he’s pretty sure that rooms six and eleven of his motel are haunted. There are some spots where that would be considered a chargeable extra, but Castiel’s humble little place isn’t one of them.

In fairness, whilst Castiel has been the owner here for about seven years now, the place itself has been here at least twenty times that. It’s bound to get a few extra guests. Castiel’s seen American Horror Story: Hotel, he knows the drill.

Still, it seems rather odd that he’s only now noticing.

Castiel sighs, stares blindly out of the foyer window. The carpet desperately needs replacing here; it’s threadbare and the pattern was always ugly, but he needs customers in order to pay for the upgrade. “How are we going to solve this Giblet?”

Giblet sits her tortie butt down next to him, looks out into the darkness, the two of them mirrored. She licks her paw dismissively, swishes her tail.

“Really? Are you sure that’s a thing? I don’t think that’s a thing.”

Giblet says nothing - as expected, (Castiel’s a little stressed, not insane) - but merely stares at Castiel via their reflections, green eyes unblinking.

“Fine!” With an impatient huff and gesture to match, he returns to his position behind the desk. It’s a cosy little nook, with a TV and comfy swivel chair, and most important of all, a proper coffee machine.

“...I hope you’re right about this.” He drops down on his haunches to search amongst the files and guestbooks. Somewhere around here, there’s a phone book at least four years old. He could search for a ghost hunter on the internet, but Castiel quite enjoys the old-fashioned way of doing things.

Ah. The phone book. It’s highly unlikely that any self-respecting ghost hunter would advertise themselves in such a manner, but luckily self-respect isn’t a prerequisite for murdering the dead, so here he is, elbows on knees, flicking through the pages in the vain hopes of finding some real-life ghostbuster--

Oh.  

He straightens up, phone book in hand, lays it open on the aged oak desk. Page eighty-seven.



Dean Winchester - Monster Hunter extraordinaire

Got ghosts? Ghouls? Goblins? Ganked!

Price negotiable dependant on nature of problem

A dozen cupcakes with each monster kill

For a free consultation, call: 202-555-0164



Well, this seems promising. Even though Castiel isn’t entirely sure exactly what ‘ganked’ means. Given the context, it’s most likely good for him and bad for the ghosts.

He dials the number using the old rotary phone at the front desk. It rings several times, before an answering machine kicks in. It’s not personalised, just the standard electronic message telling him that the recipient of his call is not available right now.

Giblet jumps up onto Castiel’s seat, quietly smug.

“Er, hello, I’m calling for Dean Winchester.” He pauses, tries not to smile so that it doesn’t eke into his tone, “‘Monster hunter extraordinaire’? Uhm. I believe I have a problem with some ghosts or poltergeists in a couple of my rooms. Oh, I should explain. I own a motel and...well actually, that doesn’t matter. I’d like to make an appointment for a consultation to discuss the issue. Please call me back on…”