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Black Magic Winchester

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The shrill ringing of Sam’s phone woke the Winchesters from their very much needed sleep.

Dean woke up first, startled, his hand instantly going for the gun he kept under his pillow. After a moment, his senses came back to him. Groaning, he grabbed a pillow and threw it at his groggy brother. “Sammy,” he whined, “phone.” 

Sam rolled over, blindly reaching for his cellphone on the bedside table. Ignoring his grumbling brother, Sam peered at the small screen. “It’s Bobby,” Sam yawned as he accepted the call. “Hey, Bobby, what’s up?”

“Are you with your brother?” Bobby Singer asked. Sam frowned at the question. 

“Yeah, why wouldn’t I be?” he asked. 

“Just making sure,” Bobby said. “Can you two meet me at mine? Need your help on somethin’.”

“Is everything okay?” Sam asked, suddenly concerned. Dean, noting the tone in his brother’s voice, rolled over, his brows pulled together. 

“What’s wrong?” he asked Sam who held up his hand, telling Dean to wait. 

“Bobby?” Sam asked. 

“Everything is fine, just get your asses over here,” Bobby told him. The call ended and Sam looked at the phone in confusion. Dean raised his brows, waiting. Sam shrugged. 

“Said he needs us on something,” Sam explained. 

“Did he sound hurt? Or worried?” Dean asked. 

“Not really,” Sam told him, “he sounded a bit...mad?” Dean sighed, sitting up in his bed. 

“So, he sounded like Bobby?”

“Yeah, pretty much.” 

“Well, come on, let’s see what the grumpy old man wants.”

When the Impala rolled into the salvage yard, Sam and Dean kept their eyes open, looking for any signs of distress, but Bobby’s place looked exactly how they left it the last time they visited. 

“Do you think this has to do with The Demon?” Sam asked as he climbed out of the car. 

“If it was, he would have told you on the phone,” Dean pointed out. 

“Maybe he didn’t want to. You know, in case the demon was listening,” Sam offered. Dean rolled his eyes at his brother. 

“So, demons are wire-tapping now? Sometimes I wonder about you, Sam,” Dean said as he jogged up the steps to the main house. Dean knocked on the door, “Bobby?” There was no answer. Dean glanced at Sam who shrugged and together they pushed into the house. The disheveled Singer house was covered in books, scrolls, weapons, and anything else a wayward hunter would need. The boys loved it, both for different reasons, but still, it was the only home they had at the moment. 

“Bobby!” Sam called as they passed by the main room and into the kitchen, but there was still no sign of Singer. 

“What? Did he decide to take a vacation last minute?” Dean asked, staring at the empty room. 

“How am I supposed to take a vacation when I constantly have to look after you two?” Sam and Dean turned at the sound of Bobby’s voice. The older man stood in the doorway behind them, holding a journal in his hands, a scowl on his face. 

“Oh, hey Bobby,” Dean greeted with a smile. “You good?” Bobby narrowed his eyes at the older Winchester and that had Dean dropping his smile instantly and glancing at his brother who lightly shrugged. 

“Am I good?” Bobby asked slowly. Then, he took a few steps forward, raised the journal, and smacked Dean in the back of the head with it. 

“Hey!” Dean exclaimed as Bobby turned to Sam and did the same thing. 

“Prison!” Bobby yelled. “You decided to get yourselves incarcerated? I swear the two of you are going to send me to an early grave!” Rubbing the back of his head, Sam went to explain when Bobby raised his finger to him. “No, you’re going to listen for a minute. What the hell were you two thinking? You are the most wanted men in the country right now. Not to mention the fact that the feds still think Dean is some kind of psycho killer and as for Sam, well they just think Sam is straight-up crazy.”

“What?” Sam asked and Bobby glared at him. Sam shut up again.

“We take precautions, boys, so that this doesn’t happen, and then you two just willingly get yourselves thrown in jail? Are you stupid?” Sam and Dean were silent, glancing at each other. “You can speak now.” Sam nudged Dean. 

“It was a job, Bobby. We owed Deacon and he needed help. Crazy ghost nurse, dead inmates, and the chance to screw with the system? I liked our odds,” Dean explained. 

“I hated our odds,” Sam grumbled. 

“Prison life didn’t agree with Sammy,” said Dean. “I, however, didn’t do so bad.”

“That isn’t something to be proud of,” Bobby said, throwing down the journal on the counter. 

“Come on, Bobby,” Dean continued, “there was a job and people were being killed. What were we supposed to do?”

“You pass it along to someone else! You two, the most wanted hunters in the country, don’t go into a maximum-security prison just to take out one spirit!”

“Why are you jumping down our throats about this?” Dean asked. “This is the job!”

“Because you were reckless! So many things could have gone wrong, Dean! What if the escape plan didn’t work? What if Henriksen had figured a way out to transfer you sooner? This was your dumbest plan yet!”

“That’s what I said,” Sam put in. 

“Shut it,” Bobby shot back, “I’m angry with you too.”

“Bobby,” Dean said a bit softer, “everything worked out the way it was supposed to. We got the spook, saved some lives, and got the FBI off our tail for now. I would say that while it was risky, the risk was worth it.”

“It was still moronic and reckless,” Bobby lectured, “Your daddy raised you and taught you not to be stupid and I know that I taught you better too.” Realization lit up in Dean’s eyes.

“You’re not mad,” Dean said, “you were worried.”

“Of course I was worried,” Bobby said, “I’m a good hunter, boys, but if they took you away to some offshore black site… How was I supposed to be able to find you? You’re my responsibility now and your recklessness ain’t making it easy on my ticker.”

“Bobby,” Sam began, “you don’t need to look after us, we’re not kids anymore.”

“Like hell, I don’t, boy,” Bobby said. “You’re stuck with me, you and your dumbass brother.”

“Hey!” exclaimed Dean. 

“Don’t look at me like that,” said Bobby, “I know this was your plan.” Dean shrugged in defeat. “Just, promise me that if you’re going to do something utterly ridiculous and idiotic, you’ll call me first.” There was a beat of silence before Sam nodded. 

“We promise,” Sam said. 

“Yeah, promise,” Dean agreed. Bobby let out a breath, nodding.

“Okay, good. I’m going to hold that promise to you boys.” 

“Yes, Sir,” Sam said with a smile. 

“So, is that why you called us?” Dean asked, “To give us a lecture?”

“Partly,” Bobby said, “but I was serious when I said I needed your help on somethin’.” Bobby led them into the main room. Going over to the desk, he picked up a folder and handed it to Sam. It was a Sioux Falls police file. 

“Where did you get this?” Sam asked, opening it. 

“You’re not the only one who knows how to pick a lock, Sam,” Bobby deadpanned. 

“Fair enough.” 

“What is it?” Dean asked as Sam angled the file for Dean to read. 

“We’ve had hikers gone missing in the past couple of weeks. Hikers disappearing isn’t exactly odd around these parts except for the fact that all these people are seasoned. They know what paths to take in which season, where the rangers stations are, everything. They wouldn’t just get lost and not show up again,” Bobby explained. 

“When did the last one go missing?” Sam asked. 

“He was reported missing by his daughter yesterday morning. Cops have nothing as usual, but they don’t know what we know,” said Bobby. 

“Theories?” Dean asked. 

“A few, but they haven’t found any bodies yet so I can’t be sure of anything, but I would rule out demons,” Bobby said.

“No omens then?” asked Sam. 

“None, just four hikers gone and a whole lot of confused cops.” 

“Have they organized searches for the hikers?” Dean asked, looking over one of the missing person reports. 

“They had one for the first and planned for the second, but once the fourth one went missing, cops are keeping the trails clear of civilians,” Bobby explained. “Probably think it’s some rabid animal or a maniac taking people.”

“What’s the moon cycle like?” asked Sam.

“Not wolves, already checked,” said Bobby. “Besides, when wolves eat, they just take the heart and leave the rest. If this were werewolves, we would have found the bodies by now.”

“Yay for leftovers,” Dean muttered. “Okay, so not wolves, not demons, what else are you thinking?”

“Well,” began Bobby as he leaned against the desk, crossing his arms. “Another reason I called the two of you. You’ve taken on vamps before, right? Your daddy taught you how to kill them?”

“Yeah, we helped take out a nest with him when we went to find the colt the first time,” Sam said. 

“You think a vampire is doing this?” Dean asked.

“No bodies, no blood,” Bobby recounted, “either it’s taking them to eat later or it’s building a nest.” 

 “And if it’s not vampires?” Sam asked. 

“Then my other bet is witches or vengeful spirit,” Bobby finished. 

“Could this also just be a maniac?” Dean offered.

“Humans are sloppy as you should know,” Bobby said with a pointed look at Dean who frowned. “So, no, I do not think this is some serial killer trying to rid Sioux Falls from their regular rock climbers.” Dean and Bobby stared at each other, gauging the other’s expression. Sam looked between the two before clearing his throat. 

“Well, I say that we hit the research and see if anyone has died mysteriously on the trails in recent history,” Sam said, “That way we can rule out a spirit. If nothing comes of it, we will head out to the forest tomorrow and look for signs of vamps or witchcraft. Fair?” 

“Sounds good to me,” Dean said, picking up a random book and slouching into the couch across the room. Sam hiked his laptop bag higher on his shoulder. 

“He does realize that a book on the history of fertility sigils won’t help him with this, right?” Bobby whispered to Sam. 

“I’m just glad he picked up a book for once.” finished Sam.

The three hunters combed through the town’s archives all night. 

Bobby had acquired many articles and files since living in Sioux Falls and Sam was using every source he could find on his laptop, looking for any suspicious deaths in the area involving hikers. Dean was sipping coffee as he read through newspaper articles, marking the deaths he deemed important. 

Halfway through the night, Sam had drifted off, his laptop forgotten next to him on the floor. Dean got up and slung a blanket over his little brother’s snoozing form before going back to his work next to Bobby.

Any chance Dean caught Sam sleeping, he relished in it. The kid barely slept anymore. He was always worried about seeing a vision and stressing over it. The Demon had said he had plans for Sam and others like him and Dean had become so accustomed to protecting Sam from anything life had thrown at them, he hated seeing his brother in so much pain.

While he had been angry when Sam left him and their dad, he knew Sam was safer at school. However, even that proved to not be worth anything. Jess was gone and Sam was faced with evil every day. John’s words ran through Dean’s head all the time. How was he supposed to fight the evil that lived in his little brother? He wasn’t even sure if what dwelled inside Sam was as powerful as they originally thought. They fought darkness all the time and this was no different. They would fight this and Dean was determined to keep his brother safe. 

“If you keep staring at him, you’re never going to get any work done,” Bobby said next to Dean. 

“Right,” replied Dean, slowly refocusing back on the task at hand. 

“You are allowed to be worried for him, you know?” 

“I know, I just wish I didn’t have to worry about this,” Dean admitted. “Of all the things, Bobby… How am I supposed to protect him from this?” 

“I don’t know,” Bobby sighed. “Sam is strong, he’s resilient. The two of you have been through a lot in your lives. You will get through this. Besides, I’m right here with you.” Dean ran a hand over his face and turned to look at the man who was like family to him. 

“Thanks, Bobby,” Dean said. “I don’t know what I would do if…” he trailed off, trying to find his words. “After my dad, it’s been hard to imagine having anyone else but Sam, but now I know I can still count you in to help clean up our messes.” Bobby smiled, grabbing Dean’s shoulder. 

“Hell, you help me clean up mine from time to time. That’s what family does, boy,” Bobby said, dropping his hand. “Look at him,” he said, turning to the younger Winchester, “he’s okay. He’s safe right now. Nothing cataclysmic is happening. Just focus on one day at a time. Right now we have a job to do. Once we solve this mystery, we’ll work on Sam’s, okay?”

Dean took a deep breath and then let it out. He nodded to Bobby and picked up his work again as he listened to Sam’s even breaths.

The following day, Sam needed a break.

By the time he had woken up, Dean and Bobby were both in the kitchen, drinking coffee. Sam figured that the two of them maybe only had a few hours of sleep and even after the many hours he got himself, he still felt exhausted. 

Sam wandered the salvage yard, kicking at stray bolts and loose rocks that littered the gravel. So far, they hadn’t got much from the articles. Also, there was no indication that a nest had been in the area before. If it was vampires, it was a very new situation. One that they would need to handle quickly before it managed to create more of its kind and endanger more of the lives of Sioux Falls.

Leaning against a gutted Mustang, Sam let the sun warm his face, listening to the morning around him, trying to organize his thoughts. He had many theories on what was taking the hikers, but they all included ghosts. Perhaps he was just wishing it was spooks because they were easy. To the Winchesters, it was always a good day when a hunt was predictable.

“Thinking about getting a tan?” Sam turned to find Dean walking towards him. 

“Yeah, I was thinking I was looking a little pale,” Sam joked. 

“Yeah, you should get out more,” teased Dean as he joined his brother on the hood of the Mustang. “So, is that brain working overtime or are you out here to enjoy the sunshine?” 

“I was thinking spirits, but I don’t know. I could be wrong,” Sam admitted. “Did you find anything?” 

“Just, that a bunch of hikers did happen to disappear in a nearby town around thirty years ago. Similar to what’s happening here,” said Dean.

“Did they ever find them?” asked Sam. Dean shook his head. 

“Nope. They all just vanished. A couple of kids found one of the backpacks at the bottom of a ravine, but that’s it. No bodies, no suspects,” Dean explained. 

“So, not ghosts, then,” Sam realized, “Ghosts don’t move from town to town.”

“Not unless they’re attached to something,” Dean pointed out.

“What would they be attached to in a forest?” Sam asked. 

“Okay, fair point,” agreed Dean. “So then I guess we’re back to vamps. Great, just what we need. More fangs.”

“Well if it is vampires, we need to keep this quiet,” Sam warned, “The last thing we need is for Gordon to show up.” Dean made a face of disgust. 

“Yeah, that would not go over well at all…” said Dean remembering the last time they encountered the hunter with an obsession with the undead. “Do you think he’s still mad at me?” 

“You left him tied to a chair after letting a nest of vampires go,” Sam reminded him, “not to mention the punching and the threatening.”

“This is true,” said Dean. “Okay, you have a point. Keep it quiet, just between the three of us. Family hunt?” Sam nodded, “I like it.” They were quiet for a moment before Sam started to laugh. It wasn’t a laugh of joy but realization. One that usually happened at slightly inappropriate times. “What’s wrong with you?” Dean asked, staring at his brother from the corner of his eye. “Are you having a breakdown? Is this finally your psychic breakdown? Do I need to call a doctor?” Sam pushed Dean’s shoulder as he continued to chuckle.

“No, no,” Sam assured him, “I was just thinking about yesterday when Bobby was pissed at us for going into the jail.” 

“And that’s funny?” Dean asked, still confused. Sam nodded. “Dude he smacked us with a journal.”

“Okay, but imagine if Dad was here,” Sam said, “Can you imagine his reaction?”

“No, because he probably wouldn’t even be around to yell at us about it,” Dean said without a second thought. 

“Exactly,” Sam said and then began laughing again, “Or our asses would be in jail and he would probably end up turning it into some life lesson. I can hear his voice in my head. He would say, ‘Boys, this was stupid and do you know what else is stupid? Getting your asses handed to you by the FBI in the first place’,” Sam said in an excellent imitation of John Winchester. Dean joined in on the laughing. 

“And then he would lay out the way he would have done it. Step by step all while having that furrowed brow,” Dean said, his brows pulled together dramatically. “You know, sometimes, you remind me of him,” Dean admitted. 

“Yeah, I know,” Sam said, his laughter dying out. 

“What?” Dean asked, surprised, “ ‘I know’, that’s it? You’re not going to jump down my throat for comparing you to Dad?” Sam shook his head. 

“No, I’m not. I’ve accepted that he and I...we had more in common than I used to want to admit,” Sam said, staring down at his feet.

“Well then,” Dean said, clearly surprised at this revelation, “You know what that is, Sammy?” Sam glanced at Dean. “Growth, Sammy, you’ve grown.” Dean laughed again and Sam rolled his eyes. 

“And yet, you’re still a dick.” 

“Wouldn’t have it any other way, little brother.” Dean pushed off the car. “Come on, Bobby wants to head into the woods. Maybe we can find something the cops missed.” 

“Right, because the fake police always do better than the real ones?” 

“When monsters are involved, they do,” Dean said, throwing Sam a smile over his shoulder.

Sam, Dean, and Bobby were crouched at the edge of the main road.

The hiking trails were only a mile or two in, but they had encountered a slight problem. It seemed that the real police were interested in the large expanse of forests much to Dean’s surprise.

“So, the fine men and women of Sioux Falls do care about missing people? That’s...comforting,” he whispered. 

“The sheriff is one hell of a leader,” Bobby said and Dean swore he could hear some praise in his voice. “Though, I heard on the scanner that the presence here is more of a warning. To let people know the risks and all that,” Bobby explained. Dean frowned at the twin patrol cars that lined the entrance to the trails.

“Can’t they mark the trails off? Keep them closed until they figure out what happened to the hikers?” Sam asked. 

“They haven’t found any bodies, Sam,” Bobby reminded him. “Officially, they aren’t missing, dead, or in danger. Police won’t do anything until they have something they can work off of.” 

“Well,” interjected Dean, “we have gone off less and if it’s vampires,” he brandished his machete, “we got some work to do.” 

Keeping out of sight, the three men crept around the officers and entered the thick forest from the Southside. They stayed in the shadows until the sounds of the main road became muffled and indiscernible. They kept their blades ready in their hands and their eyes were constantly scanning their surroundings.

Sam made notes of where they were with his compass and the map he had grabbed from Bobby’s study just in case they got turned around. Occasionally, Sam would hear Dean swear behind him as his older brother tripped of a root or got spooked by a random flying insect and every time it gave Sam just a bit of joy. 

“Are you okay back there?” Sam asked after Dean nearly fell into a large fern. 

“Shut up,” Dean shot back.

“Not a fan of hiking, Dean?” Bobby asked, hiding his smile. 

“Last time we hiked through a forest we were with Ranger Rick and a crazed wendigo so I think I have good reasons,” Dean said, hacking at stray branches.

“Well, I would rather take another wendigo instead of mystery monsters,” Sam said. Dean grunted in response and they continued on. About twenty minutes later, Dean was leading the group while Bobby hung back to talk to Sam. 

“How are you doing, kid?” Bobby asked. 

“I’m fine,” Sam said, already knowing where this was going.

“Dean mentioned you haven’t been sleeping.”

“Dean should worry about his own sleep habits,” Sam grumbled. 

“Is it the visions?” Bobby asked, patient as ever.

“Partly,” Sam admitted. “I just don’t understand them. Sometimes they allow me to save the people I see in them and other times I get there and find out I was too late. What is the point of seeing the future if I can’t change it?”

“Maybe you aren’t supposed to change it,” Bobby offered, “or at least not always. Perhaps these visions of yours are to help you understand the future or even prepare you for it.” Sam looked at Bobby, his brows pulled together in confusion. 

“Prepare me for what? I know death, Bobby.” 

“Do you ever think that the evil you and I know isn’t the greatest out there? If ghosts and demons are as bad as it gets, Sam, then we would have been able to fix this world a long time ago. Whatever or whoever has given you these abilities, maybe they’re trying to let you know that these small deaths are just the beginning.”

“If that were true, it would be a very screwed up life lesson.”

“Things don’t happen without a reason,” Bobby said. 

“I’m not sure I believe that anymore…” Sam said under his breath. 

They hiked for another hour, but there was no sign of monster activity. Their EMF was negative and the only thing with teeth that they encountered was a very angry long-tailed weasel that wasn’t fond of the men stomping through its habitat.

“We’ve got nothing!” Dean exclaimed after they ascended another hill. “No tracks, no bodies, nothing. Are we sure these hikers didn’t just skip town to get away from their families? Maybe the won the lottery?”

“Never figured you for a quitter, Dean,” Bobby said, taking a swig from his water bottle. 

“It’s okay to quit when there is nothing here,” Dean pointed out. “Sam, anything going on in your head?” 

“If you’re asking if I had a miraculous vision of what happened to the missing people, then no Dean, no I haven’t,” Sam said with a roll of his eyes. Dean mirrored his brother’s expression. 

“You could answer the question without the sarcasm,” exasperated Dean.

“Boys…” Bobby warned, ready to play mediator between the Winchester siblings. 

“Not my fault he treats me like monster GPS,” Sam defended. 

“That’s not true!” Dean shot back, “It’s more like you’re one of those daytime fortune-tellers from the TV, but with more accuracy.” Dean smiled smugly. Sam narrowed his eyes.

“You know what your problem is, Dean?” he asked, taking a step towards his brother. 

“No, but I am sure you are about to tell me,” Dean taunted. Sam took another step, opening his mouth to yell when the ground gave way beneath his feet. Dean and Bobby lunged forward as Sam grabbed for anything to hold onto, but it was too late. 

Sam shut his eyes, waiting for the impact when he hit something solid only a couple of feet down. Slowly, he opened his eyes, brushing dirt from his face. “Sam!” he heard Dean yell from above. “You okay?” Sam got to his feet, having to crouch slightly under the low ceiling of what seemed to be a dug-out cave. “Sam!” Dean repeated. 

“I’m fine!” he yelled back. He would have a few bruises, but nothing worse than that. He was just happy he didn’t land on his machete.

“What’s down there?” Bobby called. 

“Some kind of cave!” Sam answered. He reached out to hold the wall for balance on the uneven ground and felt something wet. Sam drew his flashlight and illuminated the space around him. He jumped back from the wall as the light revealed his hand to be covered in blood. He hastily wiped his palm on his jeans, scrubbing the blood from his skin. Sam then noticed that up ahead, the cave opened up wider. He also saw a sliver of light. He drew his phone and dialed Dean’s number, placing the call on speaker. 

“What do you see?” Dean asked as soon as the call connected. 

“Hold on,” Sam said. “I think I see another entrance at the end of this small tunnel.” Sam paced himself as he maneuvered through the small cave. About ten feet in, the ceiling was much taller and the sun was able to shine through in areas. Sam came across another opening in the cave wall. “Okay, there’s a hole in the Eastside, covered in branches. You guys should get down here.” 

“Okay, Sam, wait for us,” Bobby said. 

“It’s okay, I’ll just see what I can find,” Sam said, ignoring them. 

“Sam!” Dean warned, but Sam was already ending the call. Holding his machete in one hand and his light in the other, he pushed further into the cave. Blood was splashed across the floors and while some of it looked fresh, most of it seemed as if it had been there for a while. As Sam moved closer, the air became warm and he had to pull up his shirt to cover his mouth and nose against the smell.

When he finally reached the center of the cave, the air left his lungs. He was frozen as he beheld the horrific sight before him. He didn’t know how long he stood there staring and only snapped out of his trance when he heard footsteps behind him.

“Sam?” Dean called as he approached, Bobby was at his side. At some point in his shock, Sam’s blade had fallen to the cave floor and only his flashlight remained in his tight grip. “Sam?” Dean asked again as he reached out for his brother’s shoulder that was still turned away from him. However, before Dean could make contact, Sam turned to face the other two men.

“This was not vampires,” was all that Sam said. Dean looked at Bobby who peered into the darkness, confused. Dean nudged Bobby and pointed to what looked like a small campfire near the center of the cave. Bobby drew his lighter, ignited it, and tossed into the rotting wood. As firelight filled the space, Dean and Bobby finally saw what had gotten Sam so shocked. Dean nearly gagged at the sight. 

From one end of the cave to the next were human remains in different stages of decomposition. All strung up with thick bloody rope from the ceiling. Symbols were painted in blood along the walls and a devil’s trap had been inked into the floor, also in blood. It was a scene out of a horror film and one they were not prepared for. 

“Dear God,” Dean said, his eyes locked on the carnage. 

“God hasn’t been in this place,” Bobby said. “But I know who has.” Dean and Sam turned to see that Bobby had found multiple backpacks that had been stuffed in a crevice. Bobby removed his hat, clutching it in his fist. They would have to do a more in-depth count, but Sam figured by the number of body parts, these were, in fact, the four missing hikers that Bobby had been looking for. 

“I think I’m going to be sick,” Dean muttered. 

“Well, do it outside,” Bobby said, rising from his crouch by a pack, “these poor souls have been through enough already.”

“What the hell did this?” Sam asked, “Demons?”

“Not with that in here,” Bobby said, pointing to the devil’s trap. “No, this dark, very dark. I’ve seen this symbol before,” he said gesturing to the bloody symbol next to Dean. “This is dark magic from before there was even light magic. I didn’t think things like this even existed anymore. Let alone witches who practiced.”

“So this was witches then? I thought they were all about animal sacrifices and funky herbs?” Dean said, trying to read more of the symbols while keeping his eyes off the severed limbs. 

“There are all kinds of witchcraft in the world, Dean. Some of it is garden spells and good fortune while others are… this is the definition of evil and interrupting the balance of nature. I’m surprised another witch hasn’t stepped in yet.”

“Would that usually happen?” Sam asked, getting his bearings back. Bobby nodded. 

“Most witches are about balance, this is the exact opposite of what many believe in. The witch community is very private. Hunters don’t need to get involved as much because they handle their rogues on their own. Which makes this that much more confusing.”

“So what do we do?” Dean asked. Bobby took another look at the body parts and then took off his pack and hauled out salt and lighter fluid. 

“You know the drill. Let’s put these poor souls to rest and then get the hell out of here. I imagine this witch isn’t going to be too happy that we’ve interrupted their ritual. Whatever ritual that is.” Sam and Dean got to work, salting every human remain as Bobby took the initiative and cut each one down. Once they were salted, they poured the accelerant and let the fire grow throughout the entire cavern.

The three hunters stood outside the cave’s entrance in complete silence as their makeshift funeral burned behind them. It was nearly dusk by the time the flames were just smoldering embers, leaving charred ashes in place of human bone. Bobby left the boys in the open air to make sure the fire was completely out and then they left the damned place behind them, trying to get the horrific images out of their heads.