Have a Horrific Halloween

I grew up watching B-rated horror flicks like Dracula, Frankenstein’s Monster, and the Werewolf, on Creature Feature,  which was shown Friday nights at 10:30. (Back then, we planned our entire weekends around TV, because, of course, we didn’t have cable or video games to occupy our time.)

These black and white films were played brilliantly by a host of talented men, including Lon Chaney, Bela Lugosi, and Boris Karloff. And they scared the you-know-what out of me.

I was about 10 when Alfred Hitchock’s thrillers Psycho and The Birds came out on TV. I begged my dad to let me watch, but he made sure my eyes were hidden at the scary parts. But being the rebel I am, I peeked once or twice, and had nightmares for a month.

As I grew older, it was Stephen King’s The Shining, Pet SemataryCarrie, Christine, and the Silver Bullet that made my heart race and pump adrenaline through my veins.

My appetite for horror films grew, and soon I was looking for new ways to get my thrills; Wes Craven’s Nightmare on Elm Street, John Carpenter’s Halloween, and the Friday the 13th series were just a few.

These days, I still love reading Stephen King novels, but as far as horror flicks go, I prefer a good mystery over blood, guts, and gore any day.

Here are a few clips from my favorite horror films throughout the years:

“IT” 1990 

“Poltergeist” 1982

“The Shining” 1980

“Halloween” 1978

“Child’s Play” 1988

“Salem’s Lot” 1979

And just for fun … “Dracula” 1931

 

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What’s in a word?

Someone asked me the other day if I had an easy way to remember when to use “then” and when to use “than” in a sentence.  The only suggestion I could give her was what I learned in elementary school; Than is used to compare, such as, “I like apples more than oranges.” Then indicates time, as in “I’m going to the store and then I’m going to the gym.”funny-picture-spelling-is-hard-555x428

Our conversation turned to other words, such as there, their, and they’re, and to, two, and too.

  • Use to as a preposition before a noun or as an infinitive before a verb; Use too as a synonym for also or a word describing excessiveness and Use two to spell out the number 2.
  • There refers to a place; They’re is a contraction of “they are”; Their is the possessive pronoun.

But these are common errors that occur every day. The words that I have the most problems with are further, farther, judgment, embarrassment, occurrence, accommodation, noticeable, harass, inoculate, dilemma, argument, calendar, unlovable, separate, and others.

  • When the base word ends in an e, the e is dropped before the -able ending is added (e.g. advise; advisable or inflate; inflatable). When it ends in a consonant,the consonant is doubled (e.g. forget; forgettable or regret; regrettable). BUT–
  • If the letter before the final e is a c or g, (such as in notice and outrage) we need to keep the e before a suffix that begins with a, o or u. Therefore, the correct spellings are noticeable and outrageous.
  • Use farther for physical distance and further when speaking figurative. For instance, “How much farther do we have to go?” vs “I would like to study this case further.”

Spell check is great, but because it’s not 100 percent accurate, we shouldn’t rely on it. I keep a list of misspelled words in a word document on my desktop, so I’ll always know how they are spelled. Every time I find a word that I have to look up, I add it to the list.

Spelling correctly is important for everyone; students, business professionals, and anyone who writes emails or posts on social media.  But for someone who has made writing their life, it’s imperative.

Everyone makes mistakes; but when every other word is misspelled, you lose the respect of your reader. And that is something I do my best to avoid.

I am still in the process of editing “Mya’s World,” and have caught a few typos, even though I use spell check religiously. These words aren’t actually misspelled; they are real words that are used incorrectly, a byproduct of thinking as I’m writing. Or writing what I’m thinking.

That’s why they call it a “rough” draft.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Challenge #13-Love, absolutley

Challenge #13 says I have to write about something I absolutely love. This is a hard one because I love a lot of things. I guess I’ll just have to pick one.writing challenge13

I love Stephen King. I don’t remember the first SK book I read, but I’ve read a lot of them. There were a few of his books I never read, but saw the movie.  (Christine comes to mind.) And I read Carrie after I watched the movie. (The book was better by far.)

There were a few books that I haven’t gotten too, yet. And there are books that I didn’t know were even written by Stephen. (He also writes under Richard Bachman, or did, anyway.)

I have my favorites of course; books that I could read over and over again. I loved It and The Stand (though it took me months to read) and The Talisman (my all-time favorite).

What I love most about Stephen King is the way he makes me feel as I read his stories. He is the most awesome storyteller I have ever known. The twists and turns and double-twist backflip at the end of each story leaves me wanting to read more. King writes in a way that makes me feel like I’m a part of the story. But I guess it helps to have a wild imagination, one where my dreams came become my reality at a flip of a switch,a lot like Jack in The Talisman. (For those who have never read the book, Jack is able to flip back and forth between two worlds.)

I saw an ad for Dr. Sleep, a sequel to The Shining, that I am dying to read (no pun intended)-if I can find the time, that is. King’s stories have terrified me and inspired me, and I hope someday I can write a story that makes my readers feel that way. The inspire part, not the terrify part.

 

Challenge #12-How lucky can you get?

You’re probably wondering why I have gone into writing-frenzy-mode. I started my writing challenge June 20 and gave myself a month to complete them. Today is July 20. Yikes.

I have three challenges to complete by midnight. The 12th challenge is to write a short story. Believe me, it will be short and sweet.writing challenge12

How lucky can you get?

Tucker ran down the sidewalk toward the pharmacy. He had to get there before it closed, and he only had a few minutes. He had to get his mother’s medicine. She had been sick for so long, and was in so much pain. The doctors couldn’t figure out what was wrong with her.

“She might as well be at home with family, rather than in the hospital,” they told Tucker and his dad.

The traffic signal turned yellow, and then red. But Tucker couldn’t wait. He looked right, left, and right again. Just as he was about ready to stepped off the curb, a big black limousine turned the corner right into a puddle, splashing Tucker from head to toe. But he didn’t care. He was on a mission.

Tucker looked around and didn’t see any cars coming so he made a run for it. When he reached the other side, he slipped and fell on the curb. He was about to jump up when something caught his eye. It was white and furry and he almost didn’t pick it up, but something compelled him to. When he held it up, he could see it was a rabbit’s foot.  He stuck it in his pocket and ran the rest of the way to the store.

Oh, I hope, I hope, I hope it’s still open, he sang in his head. He rounded the corner and saw the pharmacist just locking the door. Tucker ran up to him and out of breathe, blurted out that his mom was out of her medicine and needed it right away.

Tucker got tears in his tears as he thought of his mother. The pharmacist looked at his car in the parking lot, and then back at Tucker’s sad face. He nodded and opened the door back up.

Wow, Tucker thought, wiping his face. That was really lucky.

Tucker waited patiently while the pharmacist counted out each pill. He answered his questions politely, but wished he would hurry. With a quick swipe of his hand, the pharmacist emptied the pills into the brown bottle and slapped the label on. The pharmacist handed the bottle to Tucker, who handed him a 5.

“My drawer is already closed and you have a little change coming. Why don’t you just picked out anything you want from the candy aisle?”

Tucker shook his head. “I have to get home,” he said impatiently. But the pharmacist grabbed a paper sack and a handful of penny candy. “You don’t have to tell your father. It will be our secret,” he told Tucker with a wink.

Tucker nodded and thanked him and then ran all the way home. He panicked when he saw his Aunt Maggie in the doorway.

“What’s the matter?” he asked, pushing his way past her.

Maggie laughed with delight. “It’s okay, Tucker. Your mom’s fever broke! She’s going to be okay!”

She grabbed Tucker and hugged him tight. Tucker looked over at his mother, who that morning, couldn’t even lift her head off the pillow.

“Mom? Really? You’re better?”

“Yes, Honey. A little weak, but I feel really good.”

She smiled at him and opened her arms for him to come join her. He laid next to her for a moment, looking at the tattered blanket she used to wrap around herself. Then he looked down at his jeans, which had been darned so many times they were frayed.

“Mom, wouldn’t it be nice if we had a million dollars? Then we’d never have to worry about money again!”

His mom pulled him close and said,  “Oh, Tucker, I don’t need a lot of money. I have my health back and I have you and your dad. I don’t need anything more than that.”

She looked around room at the table, the two chairs, and the little bed where Tucker slept. “I guess it would be nice to have a little money,” she said. “Your dad’s been off work so long… But maybe someday we won’t have to worry about money.”

Tucker felt the rabbit’s foot in his pocket. He smiled and gave him mother a kiss. He sat on the stoop outside and took out the rabbit’s foot. There wasn’t anything special about it. It was just like the one he saw for sale at the 5 & 10 for 50 cents.

He rubbed it. It was soft, except for the claws at the end.

“I wish we were rich!” he said enthusiastically. He rubbed the foot until it felt warm in his hands, and then put the foot back in his pocket.

It wasn’t long before he saw his dad walking up the sidewalk.

He lifted Tucker up high above him, laughing with delight. “I’m so happy to see you!”

“Mom’s feeling better, Dad!”

“She is? That’s wonderful news! I have some good news, too. Let’s go in an see her!”

Tucker’s dad sat him down on the edge of the bed next to his mom. “Do you remember that invention I have been working on the past few years?”

Tucker and his mom both nodded.

“Well, the strangest thing just happened to me. I was standing in line at the patent office when a man in a suit came up to me and asked what kind of invention I was going to patent. I told him all about the Maxter2000, and he loved it! He signed me on with his company right on the spot. And guess what? They’re going to pay me $1,000,000 for it! Could we get any luckier?”

Tucker smiled at his mom and dad and gripped the rabbit’s foot tight. “I wouldn’t be surprised.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Challenge # 9-Not your typical love story

Challenge #9 has me writing a love story.  I’ve read countless love stories. I’ve listened to love songs until I’m ready to puke. I have watched movies about love and cried myself to sleep over love. I’ve even dreamed about love. And just when I was about ready to give up on finding true love, I found something better. Real love isn’t that feeling that we hear about or read about or dream about. It’s a natural kind of comfortable feeling that just seems to fit. When it happens, you just know, even if it takes a little while to realize that’s what it is. True love is something you can’t explain. It’s something you feel. writing challenge9

A Real Love Story

Ben was a boy who lived on the farm across the field from us. He was scrawny and always dirty and annoying. But we’d been friends since I was 4 years old. He was my only friend, really.  The next farm beyond the Gable’s was 10 miles away and we didn’t own a car. Many people didn’t have cars back then. It was 1938 and money was scarce.

But as annoying as Benji was, life would have been boring without him. He taught me how to catch rabbits, using only a wire, and how to light a fire without any smoke, just like the Indians did. We’d go swimming and fishing in the summer, and ice skating and sledding in the winter. His older brother teased him terribly and he’d run away from home at least once a week. I was lucky, I guess. Ma and Pop were told they couldn’t have kids and I was a miracle baby. But with no brothers and sisters, I was alone a lot.

When I was 13, I got sick with the flu really bad. Benji wouldn’t listen to his Ma when she told him not to come visit me. He did anyway and ended up almost dying from it. My mom got sick, too, but she didn’t make it. I had to go stay with my Aunt Millie and Uncle Roger for the summer. It was nice having a family, but I missed my Ma.

It was almost time to start school again when I got home. Everything was different. I didn’t feel like a little girl anymore. Pop changed, too. He didn’t smile as much and work more than he did before. Every time I tried talking to him about Ma, he got real quiet and sometimes, he just walked away, like he couldn’t bear to hear her name. I think he blamed me for her dying.

Benji and I drifted apart after that. He became bothersome and wanted to do boy things all the time. I started hiding every time he came over or made excuses to make him leave.

Pop finally bought an old truck and fixed it up. Sometimes he let me go to town with him. If he had extra money, he’d buy me a soda. Every once in a while my friends would be at the diner and pop let me go sit with them while I drank my soda.  My friends knew Benji lived next door to me and teased me a lot about him. It didn’t bother me until Patty asked me if I was going to marry him.

“Heck no!” I told her. “I don’t have time for farm boys. I’m gonna marry a rich man, with a good job, and he’s gonna take me far away from this stinkhole.” We laughed about it, but in my heart, I knew there was something terribly wrong.

Sometimes I would dream I was living in Chicago or New York, where I lived the life of a socialite. I was a famous designer, and wore the most beautiful clothes. My rich husband and I went to lots of parties and people stop and stared as we walked by.

Someday, that would be me, I thought. But not today.

I stood in the front yard and looked at the sun hanging low in the sky. It was getting late and I was wasting time. I grabbed the bucket of scraps and headed for the barn. Mitzy and Barney, the goats, met me half-way, their noses already in the bucket. “Shoo! ” I said, waving them away. “You’ll get yours soon enough.”

I ran to the barn, while the goats tried to keep up with me. I hurried and shut the door before they could get in. Champ, our horse, whinnied as I set the bucket down and got a scoop of oats from the bin. I poured the oats into the trough and threw some hay over the stall. He stuck his head over the top board so I could rub his forehead.

“Good boy,” I told him as he pulled away to start eating. I picked up the bucket as I clucked my tongue. I could hear the goats hitting the door with their tiny hooves.

I emptied some of the scraps into the trough as a little shadow came from under the tractor.

“It’s okay, Milo, you can come out.”

Milo was a pot-bellied pig we got from the Jensen’s up the road. They owed my dad money from a bad side of beef and couldn’t pay up.

“What’m I gonna do with that thing?” he told Al Jensen.

He shrugged and said, “Whatever you want.”

So Milo became my responsibility. He was scared to death of the goats and wouldn’t come out if they were around. I usually fed him before they got theirs.

I waited until Milo was done before I opened the door for the goats. He saw them coming and high-tailed it back to his spot under the tractor.

“What’s with the pig?” a voice came from behind me. I knew who it was even before I turned around.

I glanced around and saw Ben standing in the doorway in dirty overalls. He wasn’t wearing a shirt. His blond hair was messed up and he had a dirty face.

“What’s it to you?”

“Nothing, just never seen a scared pig before. Usually they’re chasin’ me.” He chuckled and hopped up on the top board of the stall. Champ ignored him and went on eating.

“I’m kind of busy, Benji,” I told him as I grabbed the bucket. “I still have chores to do.”

He became silent for a moment before saying something I’ll never forget.

“How come we’re not friends anymore, Luc?”

“What’dya mean? We’re friends…”

“No, we’re not. You don’t ever wanna do anything with me anymore. We never go fishin’ or huntin’ or pickin’ berries anymore.”

“I don’t do that stuff anymore, Benji. I’m 15 now. I got better things to do.”

He didn’t say another word, but hopped off the wall and left the barn, letting the door slam shut. I walked to the corral and watched him as he walked the dirt path that led back to his farm. I was kind of hoping he’d look back so I could wave, but he didn’t. I almost ran to apologize.

We were still friends, weren’t we?

But I didn’t see Ben the rest of the summer. When school started in the fall, he was in home room, three rows ahead of me. He had cut his hair and washed his face, and actually looked pretty handsome with his farmer’s tan. But he acted like I didn’t exist. I saw him during lunch and was going to go talk to him, but Amelia grabbed my arm and made me sit with her.

Once, he glanced my way, but he was too quick and I lost my chance to make eye contact. This is ridiculous, I thought, and made an effort to get on the bus early just so I could talk to him.

I plopped in the seat next to him, loudly announcing my arrival. “What’s your problem?” I demanded.

“I don’t have a problem,” he replied calmly. He stared straight ahead.

“Then why won’t you even look at me? I thought we were friends.”

He turned and glared at me. “You made it perfectly clear that we weren’t.”

“I never said that, Benji. All I said was that I didn’t do any of that tomboy stuff anymore.”

“I’m not stupid, Lucy. I know how you really feel about me. And my name is Ben.”

I looked over and saw Norma Jean staring at us. She whispered something to Krissie and they both giggled.

I got up and moved to the back of the bus, trying to hide my embarrassment. Norma Jean immediately jumped up and sat next to Ben. I could hear the excitement in her voice as she asked him to her Sweet 16 party that Saturday.

“And you can be my date,” she told him in her high and prissy voice. She was the kind of girl all the boys loved, and the rest of the girls secretly hated. Her perfect hair, expensive clothes, and sophisticated makeup made the rest of us look like rag-a-muffins.

“Don’t let her upset you,” Amelia whispered to me.

“I’m not,” I lied. “I just can’t believe she asked him to her party. And as her date! He’s a nobody. Why would she ask him?”

“I think someone’s jealous,” Kitty sang from behind us. I wheeled around her and glared at her. I was furious! How dare she insinuate I was jealous! I turned around and rode the rest of the way without a word.

But I had time to think as I walked the long road to the house. Why was I so upset? Who cared if he went to the party as Norma’s date? It was then that I realized it was because we weren’t friends. Yes, he was dirty and messy and a pest sometimes. Seeing him today looking so grown up kind of changed my views about him.

I didn’t feel like doing chores and it took me longer than normal. I knew Pop would be expecting dinner on time, too. Since Ma died last year, he expected a lot more from me; cooking, cleaning, and chores, too.  But it was getting old. I needed to get out of here. I’d already saved enough money for a bus ticket to Crawson’s Creek. I just needed to finish school first.

Dinner was more quiet than normal. Pop didn’t finish his dinner and I didn’t ask why. He started going out to the field and saw an opportunity to ask him about the party.

“A party, huh? What kind of party?” he asked suspiciously.

“A birthday party … for one of my friends.”

“Will there be boys at this party?” He folded his arms across his chest. Not a good sign.

“Pop, I’m 15 1/2. Yes, there will be boys. But Norma Jean’s folks will be chaperoning.”

He grabbed his hat and walked out the door. “I’ll think about it,” he called back to me.

I washed the dishes and went upstairs to do my homework. I looked out my window at the Gable’s farm across the field. Though the sun was setting, I could see Ben checking fences on horseback. His dad had been killed in the war, and Ben and his 3 brothers helped their mother with the farm. Come to think of it,I hadn’t seen much of her since spring.

Benji and I used to check fences together. He’d take one side and I’d take the other, and we’d meet in the middle. Then we’d take the horses to Monument and looked out over the fields. We’d sit and wait for the stars to come out and watch for the shooting stars to streak across the sky. Make a wish, he’d tell me, even if it was his star.

I heard Pop swearing at the goats as they got in his way back to the house. I went downstairs to get more kerosene and met him in the hallway.

“Be home by 10,” was all he said, as he started to climb the stairs to his room.  I wheeled around and ran to him, throwing my arms around his middle.

“Thanks, Pop!” I gushed.

“I know, you need to get out more … spend time with yer friends. Are you gonna need a dress or something?” He looked into my eyes with sincerity.

I smiled sweetly and shook my head. “I was gonna use of one Ma’s and make some alterations.” I was pretty good with a needle and thread.

“Aw’right. Don’t stay up too late,” he said, climbing the stairs.

To be continued ….

I have to stop here because I have a feeling it’s going to take longer than I have to finish my challenges. But stay tuned. I plan on finishing it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Challenge #2-Supernatural: The Early Years

My second writing challenge was to write a fanfiction and I chose to write a story about Dean and Sam, the writing challenge-2Winchester Brothers, from the television show, Supernatural. This story takes place when Sam is 9 and Dean is 13.

Sam and Dean’s father is a hunter. But not just any hunter. John Winchester hunts demons, vampires, ghosts, and other supernatural entities. Someday, his boys will become true hunters themselves. This is the beginning of a legacy.

Dean watched the black Impala pull away from the parking space, the engine demonstrating its power with a thunderous roar.

“When’s he comin’ back?”

Dean glanced and over and saw his little brother, Sam, coming up the sidewalk with two cans of soda in one hand and a bag of chips in the other.

They both stood and watched as the car turned onto the main drag.

“A few days, I suppose. Why?”

“Just wonderin’.”

Without another word, they went back into the motel room. Dean threw himself on the couch and slipped his hands behind his head.

Sam pushed his brother’s foot off the couch and sat down.

“Aren’t you getting tired of him leaving all the time?”

Dean gave Sam a blank look.  “What’s the big deal? We’ve been alone before.”

“I feel like an orphan,” Sam told him sadly. “Especially with mom gone.”

They were both silent.

Dean sat up abruptly. “What’s the matter, Sammy? You can tell me.”

Sam looked at him solemnly. After a moment, he finally answered.

“Okay, Dean. But don’t be mad.”

“Uh, oh. What’d you do, Sam? It must be really bad.”

“Never mind. You can’t help me. I don’t think anyone can. I’m in big trouble. The worst ever.”

“Quit being so dramatic. Nothing can be that bad.”

Sam sighed and moved closer to his brother.”I took something of Dad’s. And the worst part is,  I lost it.”

“What was it? Uh, oh. You didn’t take the rent money, did you?”

Sam took a deep breath. “No, but you know that chain he wears around his neck? The one with the little metal piece on it?”

“Yeah, the piece of shrapnel he got during the war… Oh, no …. Sammy, you didn’t …. Dad’s lucky charm? He told me that’s the reason he’s never been hurt when he’s hunting!  And he just left to investigate a family of vamps without it?  This is just great…. Sam, we gotta go help him!”

Dean stood up ready to run out the door.

“How are we supposed to do that, Dean? We don’t know where he is or even how to get there.”

Dean thought for a minute before he picked up the phone. “Maybe we don’t, but Bobby and Rufus might.”

The phone rang several times before someone answered. The man on the other end of the phone sounded mad. “What do ya want?”

“Bobby, we need your help.”

“Who is this?  Wait … Dean? Is that you?”

“Yeah, Bobby, it’s me. Dad’s in trouble. We need your help.”

“In trouble? Where’s he at?”

“Out on a hunt is all I know. Sam lost Dad’s lucky charm.”

“What? You gotta be kiddin’ me? You boys know better than to touch his stuff. Are you and Sam still at the motel in Ridgemore?”

“Yeah, room 114.”

“Be there in 15 minutes.”

Dean hung up the phone and turned to Sam. “Where did you have it last, Sam? We gotta find it before Bobby gets here.”

“I had it this this morning before I went to school and when I got there, I checked my pocket and it was gone.”

Dean looked out and saw they only had an hour of daylight left. “Come on, we have to retrace your steps.”

He wrote a quick note to Bobby and taped it to the motel room door.

“He can come find us if we’re not back,” he told his brother.

Sam nodded and looked to the ground, trying to remember the path he took earlier that day. Dean followed behind him.

“Dean?” Sam asked solemnly.

“Yeah?”

“Why does Dad believe in lucky charms? They’re fake, you know.”

“How do you know? Maybe they really work. Look at all the other things we thought were fake.”

Sam stood up straight and looked at his brother. “You were the one who told me there’s no Santa Claus or Easter Bunny.”

Dean smiled sheepishly. “Yeah. Well, what can I tell ya. I don’t know why he carries it, Sam. Maybe he just feels better with it around. Like that stupid blanket you carried until you were 5. You heard the story …. Dad almost died when that shower of bullets hit him when he was confronted by the Viet Cong. When they dug it out, the docs said it was a miracle it didn’t shattered his liver into a hundred pieces. I guess it makes him feel lucky.” Dean paused and looked around at the empty parking lot. “I’m surprised he left the house without making sure he had it.”

“Well … I knew he’d check, so I made a fake one,” Sam said quietly and looked at the ground in shame.

Dean shook his head and chuckled. “Seriously, Sammy? You’re getting as bad as me. You are in so much trouble when Dad finds out. But don’t worry. I’ll probably be the one who gets blamed for this.” His eyes scoured the ground for the chain. “I always do,” he added softly.

It was getting darker by the minute. A passing car caught something in its headlight.

“There it is!” he yelled, pointing at the ground.

Dean scooped it up and held it up in the street light.

“Cool! Now all we have to do is get it to him,” he said.

“I’ll take that,” they heard someone say, as a hand with long, red fingernails snatched the chain from him.

They turned to see a pretty slender woman with long black hair and a man with pale skin and piercing dark eyes standing behind them.

“Hey! Give that back! That’s mine,” cried Dean, but the chain had already disappeared.

The woman smiled and said, “What a beautiful chain.”

She held it up for the man to see. He peered closely at the piece of metal.

“Yes, that’s it,” he confirmed and gave the boys an evil smile.

The woman took a deep breath. “You’re lucky we’re taking mercy on your pitiful lives and letting you go,” said  the woman, bending down to get closer to the boys. “If we wanted you dead, you’d be long gone by now.”

She straightened up and turned to leave. “Oh, and give your dad a message for us. Tell to keep his distance, or we’ll send him so far to hell no one will ever find his pathetic soul.”

“That’s my dad’s,” Sam told her boldly. “Give it back.”

“Oh? This one?” she said with a laugh and held the chain up.

Sam felt the anger rise up inside him. As the woman turned to leave, Sam  kicked her in the back of her knee, making her stumble and fall. Dean crouched down and used his leg to trip the man.

The woman cried out in pain and dropped the chain. Just then, a bright light lit up the parking lot.

Bobby jumped out of the car and cocked his rifle. “What’s going on here?”

The man and woman disappeared in a cloud of swirling dust.

“Where’d they go?” Sam and Dean looked around but they were gone.

“You boys okay?”  Bobby’s flashlight rested on their faces.

Dean and Sam nodded and shielded their eyes from the bright light. “Yeah, we’re fine. Can you please turn those lights off?”

“Oh, sorry. I got your note. I’m glad I found you.” He bent down and picked the chain up from the ground. “Is this it?”

“Yep, that’s it,” said Dean. “Why would they want it?”

“I don’t know, but I’ll hang on to it for safekeeping,” said Bobby.”

“What were they?” asked Sam.

“Vampires,” said Bobby. “I’m sure of it. I could tell when I shined the light in their eyes. But why didn’t they kill you why they had the chance?”

Sam and Dean looked at glanced at each other and shrugged their shoulders. “Maybe ’cause we had the lucky charm,” Sam said sarcastically.

“Come on,” Bobby told them. “We gotta go find your dad.”

——-

“Any idea where he went, Bobby?”

“Not exactly, but I talked to a few hunters who have been scoping out a large nest east of here in the wooded area off Highway 96. He might be headed there.”

They piled in Bobby’s old ’79 brown Pontiac, lovingly referred to as “The Beast.”

They drove down the Highway, looking for any signs of their dad or the black Impala. Bobby pulled over when he saw tracks leading into the woods.  Bobby looked closely at the grass and weeds that had been trampled down by something big.

“He might have gone that way. The tracks look more like they were made by wagon wheels, though.”

They each grabbed a flashlight and got out of the car.

“You think a wagon did this?” Dean asked him as he shined the light on the tracks. He got down to inspect it closer. “It must have been really heavy. Look how far it sank into the dirt.”

Bobby walked over and looked down at the ground. “Hmmm….you boys get back in the car. “I’m gonna go see what where it leads.”

He grabbed his rifle out of the trunk, and then grabbed extra ammo. He slammed the trunk closed.

“Sam and I are going, too,” Dean told him, feeling his back pocket for the knife he grabbed before leaving the motel room.

“No, sir, there’s no way, you’re comin’ with me. Your dad would have my behind if anything happened to you. Stay here and watch your brother.”

Dean felt the anger begin to rise inside of him. But instead of fighting, he simply said, “Okay, Bobby. We’ll stay here and watch for Dad.”

Bobby gave Dean a suspicious look. “That was way too easy. What are you up to, boy?”

Dean smiled coyly and glanced at Sam. “Nothing. I’ll stay here and take care of my little brother. Just go find my dad.”

Bobby looked into the dark woods and then back at Dean. He nodded and trotted off.

“What was that all about?” Sam asked, as he followed Dean back to the car.

“Know what I think?” Dean told Sam in his best know-it-all voice. When Sam didn’t answer, he continued.

“I think those tracks are a decoy meant to throw us off. And I bet the real trail is over there,” he said pointing to the creek bank on the other side of the bridge.

“How do you know that?” asked Sam. “Bobby and Dad could be in real danger. We can’t just go chasing some random trail.”

Despite Sam’s objections, Dean led him over to the bank where they found a man’s shirt, torn and bloody. Dean held it up smugly. “What do you call that?”

“That’s not Dad’s shirt, Dean.”

“I know, but it has to mean something. Come on. Let’s follow that trail and see where it leads.”

The woods seemed to get darker with every step, and soon they weren’t sure which way to go.

Suddenly, Dean stopped in his tracks. Not far ahead of them were two men, each holding Bobby up by his arms, dragging him toward a run-down shack.

On the porch was the woman they encountered earlier. Beside her was a little girl holding a ragged doll by a leg.

“Bobby Singer,” the woman said loudly. “You should know better than to be roaming around these woods alone. You don’t know what might be lurking in the shadows.”

She laughed deviously and grabbed the little girl’s hand. Bobby lifted his head, but then dropped it again. Blood ran from a gash in his forehead.

“They got Bobby,” Dean whispered to Sam.

“What are we gonna do?” asked Sam, his voice trembling.

Dean turned and held his forefinger to his lips. Then he motioned for Sam to follow him.

They  had only gone a few steps before someone grabbed Sam from behind. They carried him off kicking and screaming while Dean ducked behind a tree. He sat as still as he could until he was sure they were gone. His heart pounded in his chest as he thought of his helpless little brother captured by vampires.

He cautiously peeked around the tree, his head reeling as to what to do next. He took a deep breath and tried not to cry, but tears sprang to his eyes, anyway. With all the courage he could summon, he started out after his brother and the monsters that took him.

Just as his dad had taught him, he kept low and out of sight. He sat on the edge of the woods and watched as Sam was taken inside the shack, now guarded by two men. Dean went around to the other side of the shack to see if there was another entrance, but there was just a tiny window, too small for him to crawl through.

Someone grabbed him from behind and before he could utter a sound he turned around to face his dad. His dad took his arm and led him back to the woods.

When they found a safe spot, Dean told his dad the story about how they needed to find him, and how Bobby had volunteered to help them. “I’m so sorry, Dad. They got Sam.”

“I know…I saw. But I have something they don’t. My lucky charm.”

He reached in his pocket and took out a chain with a piece of metal on it.

“Dad,” Dean told him. “That’s not the real lucky charm. Sam took the real one to school and then lost it.”

“Where is it now?”

Dean was silent. “Bobby has it.” He looked toward the house. “Will it be lucky for him?”

“I doubt it Dean. It’s a special lucky charm.”

A look of defeat came over John’s face. John Winchester was a good hunter, but even he couldn’t take on a family of vampires. Not without his lucky charm.

“I got that charm from a Shaman a few years ago that has a powerful spell on it,” said John. “Without it, there’s no way I can kill those vampires.”

“So it really is lucky,” Dean said under his breath. “Does Bobby know about it?”

“I don’t think so,” said John. “I don’t think I told anyone how powerful it really is or what it’s used for. We need to get it back so we can take out the leader of the nest. If we can do that, we can take them all out.”

Dean and John sat down and devised a plan. Dean would distract them and flush them out while John found a way in and to get the charm from Bobby.

“It’s the only way,” said John. “I’m the only one who knows the incantation.”

Dean hugged his dad and ran to the clearing to get the vampire’s attention.

Standing in the clearing, Dean started making a ruckus to get the vampire’s attention.

“Hey! Come and get me, you dirt bags! ” he screamed. “Let my brother go!”

The door opened and the two men ran out after Dean. He saw them coming and started running through the woods, already thinking of the course to take. He would take them to the creek and then double-back to a cave he found earlier.

The woman, who had been standing on the porch, grabbed a shovel and ran after them.

John saw his chance and ran in the house, not sure which way to go or what he would find.

“Bobby! Sam!” he called frantically.

“In here!” a muffled voice called.

He opened the door and saw Bobby tied to a chair, and Sam tied to the bed post. A little girl was on top of Sam, ready to take a bite from his neck.

She saw John and hissed, her bloody fangs glistening in the moonlight. She jumped off the bed and crouched in a corner. John took a syringe full of dead man’s blood and injected her with it. She immediately fell unconscious.

John untied Sam, and then Bobby, and helped them outside.

“Where’s my charm, Bobby. I need it!”

Bobby reached into his shirt pocket and pulled out the charm.

“Get Sam out of here,” he told Bobby, nudging Sam.  “I’ll be right behind you!”

They jumped off the porch just as the tall pale man was coming around the corner. “We warned you, John. I guess you’re not very good at following directions.”

“Lucien, I thought I killed you years ago.” John smiled and made a fist with the chain, preparing for a battle.

Lucien’s face contorted into fury and he grabbed John by the throat, raising him off the ground. “You know that old saying … you can’t keep a good vampire down,” he said in a deep voice.

Sam and Booby jumped on the vampire, but he knocked them back with his flip of his hand.

John managed to put the charm on Lucien’s forehead and then pressed it into his skull as hard as he could, reciting the incantation: “Mura, Taci, Ki … Loka, Tei, Min.”

Lucien screamed in agony and let go of John’s throat. He grabbed at the chain, trying to pull it out. His skin began burn and he collapsed in a heap on the floor. They heard screams from the woods.

John and Bobby looked at each other. “Where’s Dean?”

They both started yelling for Dean as loud as they could. When he didn’t answer, John said, “I gotta go look for him. Stay here with Sam.”

Just then, they heard something rustle in the weeds and Dean ran out of the woods.

“I did it! I lured them to the cave and they fell in. I think they’re all dead.”

John cleared his throat. “Well, you know the only way to kill a vampire. Boys, you need to stay out here.”

John took a machete from Bobby and went inside. Soon, the boys heard a loud thwack! and a thud as their dad cut the vampires ‘s head off.

Dean looked at Sam. “Are you all right? I’m sorry they took you. I should have been watching out for you.”

“It’s okay, Dean. It’s not your fault.”

John walked out the house, the machete dripping with blood in one hand and the head of the vampire in the other. He threw the head to the ground and wiped the blood off the knife with a rag he found.

Sam walked up to his dad and stood looking at the ground. “I’m sorry I took your lucky charm,Dad. I won’t do anything like that again. I promise.”

John smiled and lifted Sams’s chin to look at his face. “No I don’t suppose you will. I’m just glad you’re okay.”

He hugged Sam tight. “And I got my charm back,” John said,holding it up for everyone to see.

Dean took the charm. “Wow, it really is lucky.”

“Well, to tell you the truth, I consider myself pretty lucky already,” John said with a smile.