That Story, or Ten Reasons Why Priestly Doesn't Like Chicago
1. The Little Old Lady | 2. The Weather | 3. The Computer Genius | 4. The Bars | 5. The Crazed Psycho | 6. The Women | 7. The Tripper | 8. The Lost Boy | 9. The Skateboard | 10. The Little Old Lady (Again) | 11. Epilogue
"Dude," Boaz started before he'd even shut the door, "I just got attacked by a friggin' six year old, I shit you not!"
Though, in his excitement he forgot to check and see whether Ash was actually present to hear his outburst, which he wasn't. Boaz just assumed that since the door was unlocked the man would be lounging in his usual bean-bag chair.
Standing in the middle of the tiny apartment, he quickly ruled out the kitchenette and then contemplated the only two other doors in the room. "Yo, Ash?" He called, and waited for the response.
A muffled sound came from the left, which was either "Come in" or "Coming," he couldn't tell. A few seconds later a toilet flushed and Ash appeared buckling up his jeans. "You got beaten up by a six year-old?"
"No, I was attacked by a six year-old." He corrected, and didn't fail to miss the doubting glance Ash tossed his way.
"Ahuh. And how did that work out?"
He almost killed me. "Fine. Look, I just came by to give you the rest of the money I owe you." He shoved his hand into his pocket and retrieved all the crumpled bills he'd stuffed in earlier. "That should be it." Unless I lost some when that kid was throwing shit at me.
Ash grabbed the bundle with both hands and, after a quick calculating appraisal, he decided it was enough and nudged open the other door and tossed the money in. When he shut the door he paused. "Six years old, you said?"
"About, I'm not sure."
Ash nodded and headed over to the kitchen. "What did he look like?"
Boaz shrugged. "He looked like a kid, until he started tossing knives at me."
"Tossing knives? Like, real ones?"
"In the street?"
"What? No, I was at his house."
Ash pulled his head out of the fridge. "You followed him into his house?"
"No, he was lost. I was trying to help him get home. Geez, try to do something good and I just can't win."
"Relax man, just trying to get the facts." He finally decided on a beer, and handed one to Boaz. "So, you followed him down to the house on Weller Street...?"
"Yeah, I... Wait, how did you know?"
The bottle stopped just at Ash's lips. "Never mind, continue."
Since he was drinking Boaz couldn't really argue the point, and instead said, "Yeah, Weller Street. It's kinda a dodgy house, practically rundown. You think his parents would take care of it or something."
"You get all sorts," was all Ash said.
"Right. So I drop him off, and up on the porch I notice this skateboard that I've been seeing around.
"I ask him if it was his, and then he starts getting all angry, talking about how it's his and I can't have it and-" He took another swig. "-next thing I know, he starts screaming at me. So I take a couple of steps back and end up tripping over the front door." Ash frowned at that, so he explained that it was already detached from the frame.
"This is where it gets weird." Boaz finished the last of the bottle before he continued. "I'm in the house, trying not to get the kid anymore stirred up than he already is, and then he starts throwing shit at me. So I lead him around the house and back out to the front door, and this nut crashes in with a shotgun and starts firing."
Ash waited a few seconds after he finished, as though he was expecting more. "And that's the weird part?"
"Well, thing is, the guy... he thinks I'm..." His son? His lover? His grunt? "Look, I don't know who he thinks I am, but I'm not. It's just... seeing him there just has to be the icing on the cake, you know?"
"Hmm," Ash was staring off in thought. "Then what happened?"
"Well, he scared the kid off so I didn't really stick around to find out."
When Boaz couldn't find what was so interesting about the dirt and grime and salt by the front door, he waved a hand in his friend's face. "Ash?"
"What?" He blinked. "Oh. So let me get this straight: you got attacked by some kid and you tried to run away from him but someone else showed up and you ran away from them instead?"
"I didn't run away," Boaz defended. "I'm not going to start beating on a little kid just because he's got mental problems."
"Huh. Man, I need a drink." Ash turned and headed back to the kitchenette.
Boaz was about to ask his opinion on the days' events, but Ash beat him to it. "So, who was the guy?"
"The one with the shotgun, you said you know him - or he knows you, or whatever."
Boaz shrugged. "I don't know. I think he said his name was Jack or John or something. He keeps thinking I'm someone else."
"Man, that's..." Ash searched for a word. "Weird."
"I know, right?"
Ash nodded, and in the silence that followed Boaz realised that he didn't have much else to say, and that;
"I should probably go."
"Yeah, sure. Later."
With neither of them being much for goodbyes, Boaz started to head out.
At the doorway he paused. "Hey Ash? Why did you leave M.I.T.?"
"That's between me and Mary Jane," he replied, and then disappeared into the mysterious room that no one else was allowed in. Though Boaz was now beginning to suspect that all it held was a licence-making machine, and a shitload of money from people he'd forged documents for.
On his way home he passed by the shops to grab some lunch. Luck would have it that Tina happened to be walking down the very street he was at the same time. Murphy's Luck, of course.
Not wanting a confrontation or another slap, Boaz ducked into the first store he passed - a hairdresser.
"Hi, how can I help you today?" The cheery voice belonged to a slightly effeminate man with bleached blond hair styled in some way that Boaz was sure had a fancy name.
"Uhh, no thanks, just ahh..." His hopes plummeted when he saw her stop at the hot dog cart he was planning to. "You know what? I think I will have a haircut."
The man whose nametag said Pierre led him over to a chair, and twirled one of the black sheets around him with a flourish. "So, what are having today? Something nice to impress a certain lady, hmm?"
His knowing smile gave Boaz no doubts that Pierre had seen him looking out the window at Tina, only just for the wrong reason. "No I..." If you don't want them looking at your face, you should give them something else to look at. A spark lit up Boaz eyes as the epiphany stuck him. "I want something different."
"And what would that be?"
His mind ran through various hairstyles, trying to settle on one that would both satisfy him and fulfil its purpose. "Just give me a minute..."
When John Winchester heard a knock at the door of his motel room, one hand unconsciously reached down towards the gun hidden at the small of his back as he made his way over to the window.
Outside was a man he didn't recognise – couldn't be any older than twenty-five – in ratted clothes. He gave a half-wave. "Hey, Mister, uhh... Page..."
With one hand still resting on the gun, John opened the door with the other. "Can I help you, son?"
The man shifted a little, his hands in his front pockets. "I was wondering if you could help me find someone?"
"Sorry kid, I'm just passing through." He started to close the door.
"His name's John Winchester."
John froze, his blood running cold. With renewed grip, John started to slide the gun out of his waistband. "Why would you be looking for him?"
"I have some information I think he might like to know."
John quickly checked to see that no one else was in sight before he stood back to let the man in. He noticed how the stranger was careful not to disrupt the salt line in the doorway as he crossed.
When he was sitting at the table, John eased into the chair opposite, pulling the gun out and laying it flat on the table pointing at the man across from him. "Start talking."
"Right. So, you'd be John Winchester then?" When John said nothing, the man continued. "Nice choice on the name, Jimmy Page, it was kinda how I found you..."
John sighed. He had to stop letting Dean pick the names on the credit card applications.
"Anyway, so I heard that you're looking into the Davidson's boy, on Weller Street?"
"Where did you hear that?"
He waved a hand vaguely. "Oh, around. And I, uhh, stumbled across something I think might help."
John raised an eyebrow. "And what's that?"
"He's really attached to his skateboard. Like, really."
The skateboard? John had knew something else must have been tying the boy to this realm. He'd already burned the body, after all. But still, how did this guy know? "What's your name?"
"Ash." He replied. John wasn't sure if it was a first or last name, but in this business he knew not to bother asking.
"Ash, how exactly do you know this?"
Ash shrugged. "It's kinda what I do - find stuff out. I knew about the spirit when I moved here, but I ain't no hunter so..."
He let the implication speak for itself, and John had to admit he was a little surprised that the guy knew his own limits. It was a skill John had never particularly mastered.
After Ash told him everything he knew about the haunting, he also mentioned that he'd found another hunt just outside of town, and offered to give John the details. It was at this point John re-evaluated the resourceful man before him. It was clear he wasn't working in a business, or any kind of high-paying job befitting someone with his skills.
"What do you do, Ash?"
He ragged his eyes around the room in a bored fashion. "This and that - go wherever the wind takes me."
"Has it ever taken you to Nebraska?"
He chewed his bottom lip before spitting it back out. "Can't say that it has. Why do you ask?"
"There's some folks down there that could use your skills."
"And by folk you mean hunters, right?" He didn't seem too thrilled by the idea. "Nah man, I stay outta their business and the bumps-in-the-night stay outta mine. I don't want any trouble."
"From the looks of it, you don't get much of anything." It was a low blow, but John felt he needed to give the man a push, like he was just waiting for the excuse to hop on the wagon.
"I got plenty," was his reply, though there was a distinct lackadaisical quality in his eyes.
"What about purpose?" Before he could answer that, John reached over the table to the complimentary notepad the motel offered and pulled out a pen. "Look, if you ever feel like a change - maybe Chicago is a little too Big City for your liking - you should stop by this address-" He held out the slip of paper. "There's some people that would appreciate having you around. Good people. They may even pay."
Ash waved his hands as though he were trying to ward the note away. "Nah, I don't want to... it's not my thing."
"Okay." John let put the paper on the table and shrugged off the matter entirely. "Look, I'm going to get a bite to eat, and while I appreciate the help, I don't want to see you here when I get back."
He picked his gun up off the table and took it with him when he went out the door.
When he returned some hours later, he checked the wards to make sure nothing was disturbed. He also ran inventory his belongings: nothing was missing. It didn't escape his notice that the paper was no longer sitting on the table though.
A self-satisfied smile crept onto his face as his phone rang. It was Dean, asking when he was going to come and pick him up from what he had taken to calling the Eighth Circle of Hell. After clarifying that he wasn’t in any real danger, John opted to let his son stew in the repercussions of his own decisions while he checked out the hunt out of town that Ash had mentioned. But that was tomorrow’s job.
He had a skateboard to find, you see.
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