In celebration of Supernatural's 100th episode, caerial and I made 1000 paper cranes (sledmoose and leftaligned also volunteered their efforts). The vast majority of these were made while watching SPN. Depending on how much attention you're paying to the screen, and not the paper in your hands, it takes about one episode to fold ten cranes. Hence the thousand!
CONGRATULATIONS, SHOW. ♥
Also honor of Supernatural's 100th episode, I present plot-unrelated celebratory fic. Takes place around AHBL (2x21-22), so it's completely unrelated to the current story arc. It is related to the cranes, though. Gen, horror. ~1400 words. Written somewhat hastily and carelessly, as it is TIME TO WATCH 5x18 YES IT IS!
See No Evil
見猿 聞か猿 言わ猿
The shower doesn't help. It's cold (did you remember the gas bill? cold), and his muscles writhe and tense under the battering stream. Striations hopelessly tangled and mismatched, like a knotted weave.
Budding rocks at his shoulder blades.
The slits start at the small of her back and run up through her shoulders. Perfect parallel.
The cuts themselves are less exact. It's like her skin just ripped; muscles and bone just ate themselves to the surface, split her skin and turned her shoulders inside out. Her throat is a peacock's red and blue, beading at the angel-hair lacerations looped all around.
Tangled silk and wreaked feathers everywhere. Floor streaked with blood and fat and flesh. It flakes underfoot, where the thinnest film has dried already.
The Winchesters don't linger. They can deliberate in the living room.
Sam closes his eyes, utters thin words. "We'll try again."
"Three girls," Dean reminds him. "Three."
Sam nods in recognition, but that is all. Reclines against the coffee table. "Okay, so what have we got."
"Well, the SFPD's got this file. Melissa Hang, nineteen. Lots of pictures, just in case you've got a mind for scrapbooking." But the comedic timing's off, and Dean knows it. He assumes a diagnostic, world-weary tone as he soundbytes the transcript. "One eyewitness, like the other two. Brother, this time. Bro comes home, hears screaming from the sister's bedroom. Time he gets there, she's strung and feathered."
"And... Not even San Francisco's that whacked. So I'm thinking it's one of our things," says Dean. Folds report and photographs back into the manila envelope. "Hey, you with me, Sam?"
Sam nods again. Looks down at his shoes. "Yeah--yeah. It's just... I don't feel that good right now."
Dean looks back at the slick, sinewed mess of nineteen-year old girl, just visible on the other side of the skewed door. "There's a bathroom down the hall. Left side," he offers. His voice is softer than before.
This time, Sam shakes his head. Shrugs. I'm fine.
His fingers are cracked and bleeding, white with dryness even after the shower. The wind, he thinks.
His fingers tingle.
The bay wind.
Everything tingles. He shudders, a white-hot ripple down his rock-shoulders down to his tailbone.
It's like he's walking through spider webs, invisible under the shade of trees. The silk is everywhere. He bats it away, but he can feel it, still.
Still, still, still. Just stand still--it can't touch you, then.
He can still feel it. The tips of his fingers pulse.
Dean snaps his fingers. "I know that Sammy look. What've you got--shoot."
Sam sniffs. "Might be kind of a long shot, but I pulled up a Japanese legend that fits."
A hunter saves an injured crane. Soon after, he meets his true love; she weaves him tapestries of quality unparalleled, but only by night, under the light of moon.
"Are you telling me that in Japan, birds turn into hot chicks instead of hot chicks turning into werewolves?"
Don't come in, is her one rule. While I work, don't come in.
Day by day, and piece by piece, she wanes. One day, when the moon is so dark, not even the reflective snow lights the night--
"I didn't write this, Dean."
--the hunter hears his true love weeping. Don't come in, he thinks. The words are thick and wet in his mouth, and stick in his throat. Don't come in.
He comes in.
He finds a crane, fragile white, streaked with thin ribbons of fluid red that pools beneath. In its beak are feathers, plucked from its own flesh. Placed in the loom to be weaved into fabric.
"She leaves, after that. She never comes back."
"So we've got three dead crane-girls, and three people who walked in on them doing...?"
They don't know. They don't know anything at all.
"Metropolitan area this size, I doubt a lot of people do a ton of exotic birdwatching." Dean curls down a finger on one hand, as he begins his long trek down a list of never-ending possibilities.
Sam sniffs, rolls his shoulders. Rolls them broodingly, as Dean says. "You can't rule that out; not without making sure. There's... seagulls, and pigeons and stuff. Parrots on Telegraph Hill?" Sam suggests uncertainly.
It's Dean's turn to roll something--his eyes.
Sam is about to offer some semblance of logic when his cell rings. Instead, he says, "Detective Sambora."
Three girls, Dean mouths.
Sam's phone clicks shut. "Four."
Cold tile. The contact sends a spasm through his back, and he arches backward with a flexibility he's never before exercised. He kicks out, knocks the wire wastebasket on its side. Hits the base of the toilet with his knee.
Everything starts coming down around him.
Shower curtain, like a pale shroud. Mess of water and--smell it; is that blood? and spiderwebs still, and wet down (I told you that needed to be dry-cleaned wet down).
"Hey!" Some hollow sound, from far away. He thinks he can hear it through the tile, cold syllable carved from stone.
There's a rush of air in his eyes, and it excites the silk and the down and the twitchy insect feeling all over
The door. It's coming from the other side of the door. Of course it is. Don't come in.
"You good in there?"
Don't come in.
The door knob turns.
"Three." Sam says, as he meets Dean on the steps. His expression of one of vague perplexity. "This one's a guy." There are more pictures. "Look--"
--And Sam is interrupted by an explosion of seagulls, snapping and flapping all about as they try to swallow the photographs whole. "Jesus! What the fuck!"
Once the gulls have dispersed under Sam's onslaught, Dean speaks. "You may be right about the birds, Sammy. Didn't some baby get its nose eaten off by one of these?"
"Why that's funny to you, I don't know. Okay, look. Three, and two." Two steaming piles of split, silk-choked meat. "Look at these guys."
He does not know which is more exquisite. The jagged, fibrous cut of silk at his neck (rubs his skin raw as the threads grow heavy with blood and pull taut and tight), or the shock of his bones shattering like glass.
Or perhaps his muscle, as it stretches, then snaps, then shreds.
"Well, that widens our victim pool to...everyone in the fucking city. Fantastic. How're we gonna know what it's after?"
It's rhetorical, but Sam answers anyway. "We don't. We have to look for something else. We try to save the next victim, we'll never catch this thing." We don't even know what 'this thing' is.
"Gold Star plan, Sam." Uncertainty laces Sam's name, interwoven with concern. Questioning. Sam doesn't respond immediately, and Dean waits. Probes.
"Yeah. That means people are going to keep dying." And that's the grim truth. People die. It happens. Get over it.
Don't come in.
"Stay with me--hey, hey. Stay with me. Come on."
He feels hands all over. They feel like the spiders that spun the silk.
Strong hands. They work at his shoulders in swift, urgent circles, trying to make putty of them. (Useless.)
He coughs when he inhales down. Sputters when the feathers catch in his constricted throat.
He can feel the wings. He can feel the weight, and then pain, and the terrible ripping of his shoulders as he falters under their bulk. They're caught up in the spider silk strings--everywhere, everywhere. Too heavy, still.
He sobs, it hurts that much. And he doesn't cry. Why did you open the door?
"Nonono. Hey, hey; you're gonna be okay. You're gonna be okay. We're gonna get you okay. Sam. SAM."
Don't come in.
Sam wakes up. He's laid like a crucifix on a table.
His back aches.
(And Dean rushes in.)
Written 15 April 2010.