Title: Rawhead And Bloody Bones
Sequel to: Letting Go
Characters: Chloe Sullivan, Charlie
Spoilers: Supernatural Season One Episode "Bloody Mary", Smallville Season 8.
Disclaimer: Do Not Own Either Show
Summary: Ever since meeting Sarah Chloe has begun to investigate the supernatural, and while on one of her own hunts she meets another person whose life was saved and changed by the Winchesters.
Note: Written for my Paranormal25 150 Prompt Table
Prompt #144: Writers Choice: Rawhead And Bloody Bones
From the motel room she was staying in, Chloe frowned as she looked over the information she’d pulled up on the computer.
For a couple of weeks now children around here were disappearing (from schools, pools, cinemas, home). In families with more than one child sometimes the other siblings were taken and sometimes they were left alone.
There was nothing to link the victims, to show a motive or at least give an idea of how this thing was choosing its victims.
One of the children had reappeared though, a young boy, and he’d been dead, drowned.
Gulping down the bile that rose in her throat as she forced herself to look at the crime scene pictures she’d gotten after hacking into the local police station’s online files, Chloe felt anger and disgust. These were innocent children being murdered, and she wanted to hit something just to let off some steam.
I’m spending too much time with those hotheaded boys.
The League hadn’t a clue about what Chloe did when she wasn’t working for them. She really didn’t have to do much during most of their missions (which usually took months with reconnaissance and such) and during that time she had the platinum credit card Oliver had given her, and a lot of time on her hands.
So she’d decided to start digging up on the paranormal, or supernatural.
It’d all started a couple of months back when she’d attended a séance and met Sarah Blake, who’d opened up the world of supernatural hunting and had mentioned the Winchesters and how they’d saved her life.
Chloe and Sarah stayed in touch, emailing each other mostly, and Sarah was probably the only person in this world who knew what she was up to on her little travels. The girl admitted that the thought of hunting did intrigue her, but she didn’t think shed have the stomach to face all those things without a Winchester (or Sam Winchester) by her side, and helped Chloe with research whenever the hunting was too stressful.
Well, Sarah was the reason why Chloe got intrigued with hunting the supernatural, and she’d been doing so for two months now, using the journal she’d nicked off of the dead body of a hunter she’d found while hunting vengeful spirit up in Wisconsin.
This hunt had brought her to Toledo, Ohio, and she’d been admittedly more dedicated to this hunt than to others. This one involved innocent children being kidnapped and obviously murdered, when she heard of the newest child to be abducted and she couldn’t even figure out what the thing taking them even was, she got more stressful, edgier.
That was one of the reasons why she was glad that she’d met Charlie.
It was Lily Shoemaker’s disappearance that’d brought them together. Chloe had gone over to the Shoemaker’s house to talk to Lily’s only relative, her sister and guardian Donna, masquerading as the elder sister of one of Lily’s schoolmates.
Donna had been there with a blonde friend, and Chloe had felt the penetrating, assessing gaze of the friend on her the whole while as she asked questions.
Every single eyewitness to the kidnappings (none whom the police were taking serious, believing them to be in shock or something) had a different descriptions for the thing that’d taken their child/sibling/friend/relative.
One had told Chloe that it was a crouching, rock-like hairy creature while another had said it was a gremlin with twisted flesh. Another had announced that it was a doglike old man covered in scabs while another whispered that it’d looked like a burn victim, but with sharp claws and teeth. The person before the Shoemaker disappearance had sworn that it was a giant razorback boar with missing pieces of flesh, while Donna Shoemaker cried about a hairy creature with long fangs, a bushy tail, and razor claws that’d taken her sister and disappeared.
There was nothing in the hunter’s journal that even resembled any of that, so Chloe was on her own…or so she’d thought.
Charlie had stalked after her outside, had announced that she knew Chloe was a hunter, and declared that she was helping Chloe in the investigation.
That was how Chloe met Charlie, and heard the story of Bloody Mary and how the Shoemaker’s father had been killed by the vengeful spirit who killed people with secrets in which people had died, after Lily had unknowingly summoned her by saying her name three times in the mirror while having a sleepover at her home.
And then the Winchester’s names came up again, and Chloe couldn’t help but shake her head in surprise.
Apparently it was Sam and Dean Winchester who’d come investigating it, and had ended up saving Charlie’s life when Bloody Mary had targeted her. Charlie’s boyfriend had killed himself after a fight with her, and that had been enough for the spirit to want vengeance on her.
Dean and Sam had confronted Mary in her own mirror and had killed the ghost, before leaving town.
Unlike Sarah, who still had a bit of a crush on Sam, Charlie didn’t seem able to decide which brother she liked the best. The blonde smiled mischievously and just a little lustfully whenever she’d speak about either brother, and it amused Chloe to no end.
“Another body was discovered this morning.” Charlie announced, entering the motel room and throwing the morning paper on Chloe’s bed. “It wasn’t Lily though, thank god. It was one of the children taken before her.”
Putting down the crime scene pictures, Chloe picked up the newspaper and read the article, wincing and shaking her head. Guilt bubbled up in her chest at the evidence that yet another innocent had died under her watch, and she felt so incompetent.
If a real hunter had been working this case not only would they know what was taking these kids, but they’d be able to stop it before any more lives were destroyed.
“It’s not your fault, Chloe.” Charlie seemed to be reading her mind, sitting down next to her. “You’re doing the best you can.”
“But it’s not enough, is it?” Chloe asked, unable to get rid of the picture of the smiling child in the newspaper, the child whose parents were now destroyed. “Every night another disappears. I’ve been here for three days already and I can’t figure out anything!”
“At least you’re trying to help us!” Charlie snapped, standing. “Stop feeling so sorry for yourself and just hate that thing!”
Chloe looked up at Charlie and snorted, a bit amused. “Well, it’s not exactly on my Christmas list at the moment.”
Charlie paused, looking at Chloe thoughtfully, and after deciding that she wasn’t self-pitying anymore, smiled. “Me neither.” Sitting back down she reached for the crime scene pictures and winced as she looked through them. “They were all so young, not a definite age group, though.”
“Well, the eldest was thirteen, and the youngest was five, so I’d say we could use that as an estimate.” Chloe pointed out. “All vivacious. The Matthews boy was always playing pranks, and the Henderson girl was always teasing others, and the Frank twins were known as trouble makers at school and home, but they’re hearts were all good. They were all kids going through phases.”
“Yeah, Lily was mischievous like that too, always getting in trouble, but no one could hold it against her. She was just so lovable.” Charlie nodded, smiling tenderly at the memory. But then it dimmed as she sighed and shook her head, putting away the crime scene pictures with a wince. “All such naughty little children with bright futures ahead. To think they might never be seen again. It’s heartbreaking.”
Chloe suddenly went still. “What did you say?”
Charlie turned to Chloe, frown on her face. “I said that it’s heartbreaking.”
“No, before that.” Chloe’s eyes were wide as she ran a hand through her messy hair. “I know what took them! I know what took the children!” She got up and hurried to her laptop, beginning to type furiously.
“What?” Charlie hurried up to her feet, shocked but excited. “How? What is it?”
“Rawhead and Bloody Bones.” Chloe announced, continuing to type.
“There are two of them?” Charlie gulped.
“No, it’s one thing, and its name has many different variants, but mostly it’s known as Rawhead and Bloody Bones.” Coming upon the website she was looking for, Chloe found the poem about the monster and read it out loud.
“Rawhead and Blood Blones,
Steals naughty children from their homes,
Takes them to its dirty den,
And they are never seen again.”
“The boy that reappeared dead and drowned on his mattress in his room, wasn’t he a model student in his school?” Chloe asked, before reaching for the paper and looking at the girl-child who’d been found dead, drowned, in her mother’s car---where she’d been abducted. “And this girl, didn’t everyone say she was an angel?”
“It made a mistake.” Charlie gasped in horror, hand over her mouth. “It took kids that weren’t naughty and after killing them realized its mistake and brought them back to their parents.”
It was refreshing how Charlie just accepted these things, because Chloe didn’t have the head to explain in detail to someone in denial.
“It’s total sense, like the way everyone had a different description of the thing that took the kids, Rawhead can change its appearance.” Chloe announced. “According to the stories is said to live near water, or, if you’re listening to the newer stories, under sink pipes.”
Charlie hugged herself, wincing.
“Rawhead punishes naughty children by dragging them down the drainpipes---don’t ask me how it does it---or into the water and drowns them.” Chloe couldn’t believe that she hadn’t thought of the creature sooner. “In addition to drowning naughty children, it is said to be able to turn them into objects like pieces of trash or spots of jam, which are inadvertently cleaned up and thrown out by the parents.”
“Oh my god.” Charlie whispered. “What do we do? Where do we look? How do we kill it?”
But Chloe was already on it, going to the table with the large map where she’d circled the homes affected, or the places where the kids had been taken. She quickly triangulated the locations and came up with the area the Rawhead could be in, and after going to her laptop and checking the city’s blue prints, she grinned as she found what she was looking for.
“It’s in the sewer system!” Sending the blueprints to print, Chloe got up and hurriedly put on her shoes, pulling on her jacket and putting her hair up in a messy ponytail. “Stay here.”
“No!” Charlie stomped her foot. “You’ll need backup, and Lily’s like a sister for me. I’m going.”
Chloe looked up from where she was waiting for the blueprints to finish printing. She saw the way Charlie’s face was tense with determination, and realized that she wasn’t going to get the woman to change her mind. “Okay, but do whatever I say, got it?”
Chloe grabbed the printed documents and motioned with her chin for Charlie to follow her as she left the room and went down to the parking lot. She went to the trunk, pulled up the false bottom and looked through the weapons before turning to Charlie. “Since there really isn’t a documented way to kill Rawhead, I’m giving you two options. Either you decide to stay---and I won’t think less of you if you did---or you choose your weapon.”
Charlie hesitated a mere second before pulling out a machete and heading to sit in the car, waiting for Chloe.
“Well, the girl’s got guts.” Chloe admired before looking around and making sure no one was watching before pulling out a sickle and sticking a pistol down the back of her pant’s waistline, her jacket covering it as she closed the trunk and they drove, both anxious, not sure what they were the expect.
All the while Chloe couldn’t get the poem out of her head.
“Get them out of here!” Chloe hissed at Charlie, who was hugging a crying, dirty Lily.
They’d found their way down into the sewers and after an intense search, had come upon the Rawhead’s lair, and the cage there in which six dirty, scared children were being kept. Chloe had used her lock picking skills to open the lock and now she needed Charlie to get the kids to safety.
She was almost sure that they weren’t alone down there, that the Rawhead was watching them, waiting, but she hadn’t wanted to say anything because both Charlie and the children were completely terrified.
“What about you?” Charlie whispered, holding Lily close, looking torn.
“I gotta do my job, you need to get them to safety.” Chloe responded, eyes on the shadows, pulling out her gun. “Go.”
Charlie nodded and turned to the children. “Everyone hold hands and stick close to me! Come on!”
Chloe felt both relieved and nervous now that she was alone with the creature, eyes narrowed and focused on the shadows around her.
There was shifting in the shadows and Chloe fired off a couple of rounds, dodging the thing that sprang at her. It was now in the light, tall and ugly, preferring to show itself to her like a man with its eyes torn out and claws for fingers.
“God, you’re fugly.” Chloe snorted, noticing that there were bullet holes in its body, she’d hit it, but they didn’t seem to affect it in anyway.
Firing off a couple of rounds into it again experimentally, it only seemed to infuriate it further as it charged her, and Chloe cursed as she hit it hard on the head with the pistol when it got too close to her.
The monster cried out, the voice inhuman, and reared back, rubbing his head.
Chloe took the opportunity to pull out the sickle from its clasp on her belt and twirled it somewhat showoffish in a moment of bravado. This was the creature that’d been killing those children, the thing that’d caused the last few miserable days, and while Chloe was terrified deep within her soul at having to face it by herself she knew she wasn’t going to let it get away to continue doing this to other innocent children.
The creature charged at her, claws outstretched, and Chloe ducked and twirled, slicing off the hand with a clean movement.
The Rawhead screamed, clutching at the stub that’d once been its arm, before turning furious eyes on her and attacking once more.
It was a deadly dance most awkward on both their parts, Chloe because of her relative newness to its steps, and the Rawhead due to its pain and the fact that it was bleeding profusely. In the end, the creature’s injury was a greater hindrance than Chloe’s inexperience, and it ended up on its knees before her, collapsing at her feet, head rolling away from its body.
And then it began to spontaneously combust.
Exhausted, Chloe collapsed next to it and panted, not even noticing that Charlie had returned until the girl called her name and hurried to her.
“Is that--?” The blonde made a face at the scent of burning flesh.
“Yeah.” Chloe nodded, head bowed. “It’s dead.”
Charlie shivered at the sight of the monster before helping Chloe to her feet. “Come on, I called the police. We need to get you out before they come. There’s no way you can explain all the weapons in your car or why you’re here.”
Chloe had left Charlie to deal with the police, saying that she’d seen something weird entering the sewer system with a child and had followed and stumbled upon where the children were being kept. The parents of the few survivors arrived and threw themselves at their children, holding them close and crying heartbrokenly.
Or so Charlie had told her when she’d come to the motel later on, catching Chloe packing her things in her car.
“So, you’re leaving.” Charlie announced, hands in her pocket.
“Yeah, I got a call from a couple friends while I was bathing.” Chloe admitted, putting her last bag in the backseat and closing the door, turning to Charlie as they stood in the parking lot. “I’m needed back home, so if I’m to get there in time I have to leave now.”
“Oh,” Charlie hesitated, looking down at her feet. “You know, ever since Sam and Dean left I was left wondering if maybe I shouldn’t be doing this kind of work----but I was just so relieved when you asked me to take the kids up to safety---I realized that the whole research is fine for me but I’m kind of a coward.”
“A coward wouldn’t have gone down to face a monster we didn’t know how to kill.” Chloe shook her head. “You’re a lot braver than you think, Charlie. Just---hunting isn’t for everyone, and it shouldn’t have to be.”
Charlie nodded, clearing her throat. “So, if you need any help research wise in the future, or just wanna talk, call me, okay?”
Chloe nodded, smiling. “Sure.”
Charlie then surged forwards and surprised the shorter girl by hugging her. “Thank you, Chloe.” And with that she pulled away and headed towards her car.
Chloe watched her in surprise before smiling, shaking her, and getting into her car.
There was a 33.1 facility in need of an invasion and it wasn’t going to happen without her at the helm keeping her boys in check.
Slipping in her mixed CD, Numa Numa blaring, Chloe smiled as she sped out of Toledo Ohio, never once looking back.