Read an Excerpt
John Winchester's Journal
I went to Missouri, and learned the truth. And from her, I met Fletcher Gable, who gave me this book and said: "Write everything down." That's what Fletcher told me, like this new life is a school and I'll flunk out if I don't have good notes. Only if I flunk out of this school, I'll be dead. And the boys will be orphans. So I'm going to go back to where this started.
Two weeks ago, my wife was murdered. I watched her die, pinned to the ceiling of Sammy's room, blood dripping onto his cradle until she burst into flames—looking at me as she died. The week before that, we were a normal family . . . eating dinner, going to Dean's T-ball game, buying toys for baby Sammy. But in an instant, it all changed . . . When I try to think back, get it straight in my head . . . I feel like I'm going crazy. Like someone ripped both my arms off, plucked my eyes out . . . I'm wandering around, alone and lost, and I can't do anything.
Mary used to write books like this one. She said it helped her remember all the little things, about the boys, me . . . I wish I could read her journals, but like everything else, they're gone. Burned into nothing. She always wanted me to try writing things down. Maybe she was right, maybe it will help me to remember, to understand. Fletcher seems to think so.
Nothing makes any sense anymore . . . My wife is gone, my sons are without their mother . . . the things I saw that night, I remember hearing Mary scream, and I ran, but then . . . everything was calm, just for a second—Sammy was fine—andI was sure I had been hearing things—too many horror movies too late at night. But then there was the blood, and when I looked up, my wife . . .
Half our house is gone, even though the fire burned for only a few hours. Most of our clothes and photos are ruined, even our safe—the safe with Mary's old diaries, the passbooks for the boys' college accounts, what little jewelry we had . . . all gone. How could my house, my whole life, go up like that, so fast, so hot? How could my wife just burn up and disappear?
I want my wife back. Oh God, I want her back.
I thought at first that we would stay. Mike and Kate helped me take care of the boys at first, and Julie's been great too, but I tried to tell them—tell Mike—what I think happened that night. He just looked at me, this look . . . like he's sure I'm crazy. He must have told Kate something too. Out of nowhere she said the next morning, I should think about seeing a shrink. How can I talk to a stranger about this? I never saw a shrink for everything I went through in the Marines, and I got through that. My friends think I'm going insane. Who knows, maybe I am . . .
The police quit on the case as soon as they couldn't pin it on me. They don't care that she was on the ceiling, they don't care about the blood on her stomach or about any of the things I've seen since then. They want a tidy answer. Doesn't matter to them whether it's the right one. The last time I talked to them, a week after she died, they asked me the same questions they asked me the night of the fire. Where was I? How was my relationship with Mary in the weeks prior to the fire? Any problems with the boys? I can tell where they're going.
Mary's uncle Jacob had a funeral for her in Illinois, where she was from. I didn't go. Why? There was nothing to bury, and I don't think I could have listened to what anyone there would have said. I've been drinking too much, trailing off in the middle of sentences. I hear things at night while I sit in Sam and Dean's room. Everything lately feels like those instances when you remember a dream a few days after you had it, but then you can't remember if it was a dream or if it actually happened. I keep going over that night in my head . . . why did I ever get out of bed? I left my wife by herself to go watch TV, and she died. I'm so sorry, Mary.
Dean still hardly talks. I try to make small talk, or ask him if he wants to throw the baseball around. Anything to make him feel like a normal kid again. He never budges from my side—or from his brother. Every morning when I wake up, Dean is inside the crib, arms wrapped around baby Sam. Like he's trying to protect him from whatever is out there in the night.
Sammy cries a lot, wanting his mom. I don't know how to stop it, and part of me doesn't want to. It breaks my heart to think that soon he won't remember her at all. I can't let her memory die.
Woke up yesterday morning with a nasty hangover . . . Wasn't in the mood to do much of anything, much less have a heart-to-heart with Mike, who jumped on me the second I walked into the kitchen. I guess that's his right, since it was his house. He was going on about how I have to get myself together, for the boys . . . but he seemed more concerned about the garage than anything else. Accusing me of phoning it in, you've barely been in to work . . . No kidding I've barely been in to work . . . My wife is dead, something horrible happened to her, maybe my boys are at risk too . . . how can I forget about all that and go to work, for God's sake? Supernatural
John Winchester's Journal. Copyright © by Alex Irvine. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.