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Cold Walkers

Chapter 07: A Loss at Home

The Winchesters and the girls found themselves sitting in the Haitian woman’s living room, holding cups of an odd, strong-scented tea. The home smelled faintly of incense and other herbs, though aside from a few tribal wood carvings and tapestry art hanging on the wall, it didn’t look much different from any other home. Outside, on the front lawn, they had noticed a sign posted by the mailbox: Psychic Sauda: Future Predictions Here.

“So, psychic, huh?” Dean said, attempting conversation to break the awkward lull. “Do you use a crystal ball or do you just channel spirits?”

“No,” Sauda replied flatly. “It involves slaughtering a chicken and using its entrails and blood.” Dean appeared to swallow his tongue as she at last sat in a wicker chair near the window and sighed. “I have collected my thoughts. I think I can speak now. What would you like to know?”

Kimberly edged forward in her seat on the couch beside Sam. “How would a Haitian priest or priestess go about this? I read that you can bring the dead to life and control their corpse, or you can control others by taking their souls. But how? It’s different from other vodou we’ve dealt with.”

Sauda placed her cup of tea down and reached across her coffee table to a small wooden box. She opened it and pulled out a small wooden figure of a man, its mouth gaping wide open in an altogether dreadful expression. “This is a fetish,” she said.

“Woah now,” Dean said from his seat on the arm of the couch, holding a hand up. “We don’t need to go there.”

“Dean,” Sam said flatly, eyeing him. Quinn smacked his arm from her chair, making him frown.

Sauda patiently continued, “A fetish is a talisman of sorts imbued with magical properties. In peaceful vodou, they are for healing and for rejuvenating the spirit. But in the evil vodou being practiced here, it is being used to trap souls.” She replaced the wooden statue in the box and closed the lid, wiping her hands on her dress as if some of the very evil she’d spoken of had rubbed off on her skin. “A fetish may be used to contain the souls of other beings, turning them into their slaves. In the case of those already deceased, they summon their soul from beyond and then trap it, giving them power over their body here on Earth.”

“Okay,” Quinn said, rubbing her temples, “So how does that explain the ‘biting’ going on? Why would he take over all these bodies, and then have them attack other people by biting them?”

The Haitian priestess clasped her hands together. “There are many ways to spread vodou’s magic once a Houngan or Mambo—that is, a priestess or priest—has control. It would seem this vile person in particular is making his victims attack others and bite them, giving them access to their bodies through direct contact and working their way into the person’s soul. Eventually, they will touch upon it and overcome it, and draw it back to the fetish.”

Sam passed a hand through his hair, nodding. “Okay. Things are starting to make more sense.”

“Sense?” Dean scoffed. “The most important part doesn’t make sense: why. Why would a vodou master want to go over to the dark side of the force?”

“In Haitian vodou,” Sauda replied, “All Houngan and Mambo are raised in the arts from a young age. One of the most important practices is that they not be taught to use their skills for ‘good’ or ‘evil.’ It is left up to them to decide what path to take.”

“Oh, great,” Dean said, frowning. “You give Skywalker the choice between dominating dark power and peaceful, cookie-baking good and you tell him, ‘It’s up to you, man.’ Great plan.”

Kimberly gave the Winchester an exasperated look—along with the others in the room—before saying, “I have one more question. How would we…”

“Stop them?” she finished, and Kimberly nodded. “The power of a Bokor is enhanced through their talismans and practices. With every soul they capture in their fetish and take control of, they are growing stronger by the day. And with strength, their influence will quicken. Soon, a bite from one of their victims will give him access to their soul immediately.”

“That explains why Lindback and Hedman were changing so much faster,” Quinn mused, concern shadowing her features. “This isn’t good. Everyone just escaped—they’re going to be attacking others at such a quick pace. If we can’t figure out who’s doing this, we may have to resort to gunning them down just to prevent the spread.”

“If we can,” Sam said, shaking his head. “People are traveling in and out of the Tampa area so much. This is a tourist state. People have probably already gotten on planes to other states in the country, or to other countries.”

“Slow down there, Eeyore, don’t get so depressing yet,” Quinn replied, returning her attention to Sauda. “So keep going. If we find this Bokor, how do we take them down?”

“Defeat will be nearly impossible,” she replied, picking up her tea and sipping it. “I fear by the time you locate him, he will be strengthened by his swell of power and mere bullets and blades will not be enough to kill him.”

“Oh good, so an immortal puppet master,” Dean muttered.

“But,” Sauda continued, frowning deeply at Dean, “He will have a weakness: the fetish. It is a prison for all the souls he is controlling. If you can take it from him and destroy it, the souls will be released and his power will dwindle.”

“Released?” Kimberly piped up. “So, will everyone under his control… Will they go back to normal?”

“They will,” she replied slowly, “But keep in mind that if their injuries from the attack were deadly, then when their souls are released they may not return to bodies. With no living vessel to return to, they will simply move on. And all those bodies that were already dead will fall where they stand once their souls are allowed back into the afterlife. Only those with living bodies will come back as they once were.”

Sam frowned thoughtfully. “You keep saying him, but earlier you were explaining things in general. Why do you think this one in particular is a man?”

Sauda shifted uncomfortably in her chair. “Because I believe I know who it is you seek.”

The four of them sat up immediately in their seats, surprised and eager. “Who?” Quinn pressed.

The Mambo sighed. “Do you recall when I said I believed it was a brother in the arts? Well, beyond that, I believe it is actually my brother. We were trained in the arts together, and came to America together. His name is Philippe.”

At a suburban town home, St. Louis played outside with his three children. Though their off-season home was in Connecticut, they owned a modest home in Tampa for the game season. Right now, five-year-old Mason sat in the grass with a few monster truck toys, crashing them into each other and making loud sound effects in the process. In the driveway, Ryan and Lucas stood with hockey sticks in their hands and a puck on the ground, and St. Louis loomed in front of the goalie net. He grinned at his boys, putting the small youth-sized goalie stick to the ground.

“Come and get me,” he said. “You’ll never get anything past me!”

Ryan let out a battle cry and snatched the puck from his brother, shooting it at his father. St. Louis blocked it, laughing dramatically and giving Lucas just enough time to get to the puck and slapshot it past his father and into the net. Ryan cheered just as St. Louis lowered his head and sulked.

“Marty!” His wife Heather called from the door. “I’m trying to get to some sheets in the top of the closet and I can’t reach. Come help me, please.”

“I’m coming,” he replied, and handed the goalie stick to Ryan. “Protect the fort.” He gave his son a kingly expression. “I entrust it to you.”

“Yes sir!” Ryan replied, saluting his father before replacing him in front of the goal. “Gimme your best shot Lucas!”

St. Louis scooped Mason up into his arms on the way inside, grinning as the boy laughed gleefully and hugged his father. Inside, he passed the toddler off to Heather and reached into the top of the closet, pulling down the sheets she indicated. They traded once more—toddler for linens—before Heather kissed him on the cheek in thanks.

“What are you guys up to out there?” she asked as he followed her into the bedroom, where she began to make the bed with the fresh sheets.

“I was pretending to be Lindback,” he replied with a smile. “Ryan said he wanted to team up with Lucas against ‘big huge Lindback,’ so I did my best to be intimidating.”

Heather chuckled, tucking in the sheets and pulling the comforter over it. “Did you stand on your tiptoes to meet the height requirement?”

“Hey, now. That was a low blow,” he said, doing his best to look offended. Heather kissed the expression away, stealing Mason once more and walking past him just as Lucas ran inside.

“The big huge Lindback is here!” he exclaimed, jumping up and down in front of St. Louis.

St. Louis bent to his height and made a mean expression. “Oh yeah, the tough goalie is here to beat you!”

No,” Lucas replied, rolling his eyes rather dramatically for an eight-year-old. “Not pretend Lindback, the real one! And there are some other people outside, too.”

“The rea—” St. Louis’ expression quickly fell and a chill slipped down his spine. He stood and pulled Lucas toward Heather, in the kitchen, and said, “Heather, take Lucas and Mason and get in the van.”

“What?” she said, startled. “Marty, what’s wrong?”

“Go,” he said. “I’ll explain in a minute, I need to get some th—” He deadpanned. “Lucas, where’s Ryan?”

“Outside with Lindback!” his son replied, and the father immediately bolted outside just in time to pull Ryan away from the foggy-eyed, mindless Anders Lindback that was lumbering toward them. All around, other people stumbled slowly down the streets, groaning and lolling their heads back and forth, looking for someone new, some fresh flesh. At St. Louis’ arrival, several nearby along with Lindback turned in his and Ryan’s direction.

“Dad, what’s up with Lindy?” Ryan asked uncertainly, and St. Louis pushed his son behind him, looking back at the door to the house. He grimaced. A drooling, rather harried-looking woman stood in their way. They were trapped.

“Ryan,” he said, pushing them back toward the closed garage door, “Stay behind me. Anders isn’t well. None of these people are.”

“What’s wrong with them?” he asked, peering out from behind his father.

“They’re…” he hesitated, picking up an abandoned child’s hockey stick and holding it up in front of him. “They’re zombies, Ryan.”

“Zombies?!” his son exclaimed, confusion quickly replaced with horror. “Dad, I don’t wanna get eaten!”

“I know, I know,” he said, and banged against the garage door loudly. “Heather! If you’re in there, load the kids up and open the door! Leave the side door of the van open for Ryan and me to jump in!”

“Okay!” she replied, her voice echoing inside the garage. He heard her shuffling to get the children in the vehicle, and willed her to move faster. Lindback reached out toward St. Louis, opening his mouth wide and growling. St. Louis lashed out at him with the hockey stick, which the zombie hockey player promptly yanked away and threw out of reach.

“Ryan,” St. Louis said, “Whatever happens, stay behind me.”

“Dad?” the boy said uncertainly.

Lindback grabbed hold of St. Louis and shoved him against the wall beside the garage door. Ryan ducked down to avoid being hit and crouched behind his father’s legs, panicked tears forming in his eyes.

“Don’t—Agh!” He was cut off as Lindback jerked forward and bit down on his shoulder, tearing at flesh. St. Louis fought against him as he heard the garage door opening. “Go inside the garage as soon as you can fit under the door!”

“But dad—!”

“Don’t talk back to me, Ryan!” he snapped, yelling in pain again as Lindback attacked him, clawing at the flesh on his arms. “Go! Shut the car door once you get in and tell your mother to drive!”

Ryan, tears streaming down his face, ducked under the garage door as soon as it slide open far enough for his skinny body to slip through. He scrambled up into the van and slammed the sliding door shut. “Go, mom!” he exclaimed.

“We’re waiting for your father,” Heather replied, trying to remain calm. The garage door opened all the way, and her well-maintained calm expression crumbled when she saw the dozens of zombies crawling around outside. Most of all, however, she broke when she saw her husband pressed against the wall beside the garage, blood pouring from wounds in his shoulder, on his arms—

Marty!” she yelled hysterically.

He looked toward the van, his eyes already beginning to change and his self-control fading. With his last remaining senses, he waved his arm desperately forward. His expression and gesture told her what he wanted her to do: Go.

Sobs escaped Heather’s throat as she locked the doors on the van and sped out onto the street, wincing through her tears as she ran over a few of the mindless slaves with muffled thuds. She turned and took off down the street, glancing in her rearview mirror once more to see the zombies pull away from her husband, who stumbled forward and began to walk along with the others, blood dripping down his arm and torso.

He was gone.


@CanadaHockey Can't*

CatrinaMarie CatrinaMarie

I'm still so sad that this story is over, I was cleaning out my subscriptions and saw this and was like no I can unsubscribe I love it too much! :)

CatrinaMarie CatrinaMarie
haw kuul
drw25 drw25
Omg I am dying stop keeping me in suspense I'm literally crying and plus I leave for a trip tmrw so I can't read till like late friday, there are tears pouring from my eyes
CatrinaMarie CatrinaMarie
Just did! :D
Puck Butt Puck Butt