Genre: character studyish
Characters: Mary, (John) and the boys
Warnings/Spoilers: S12, 12 x 12, mentions of trauma
Summary: Mary Winchester, collector.
She’s a girl again. She’s got a box full of quartzes from the bed of the Kaw, riverrock shining like the eyes of the boy she’ll marry, bedroom coverletted in rainbows, salt-lined, with a panic-room of a closet, lore cached under Kerouac, gleamy, soft-scratched vinyl. Across the Universe. Blackbird. All she knows she can't be: sweet, pond-crossing harmony. It’s all Stones where she really lives, juked-up beggar’s banquet, devil and earth-salt and street fight; faraway, faraway eyes. Wrist-charms jangling and weres at the gate. Her father brings out a box on her 16th, sets it right next to a heaped-up sugar cloud; angel-cake and a box and the blade inside, velvet-nestled, casts bloody sundown on her woman’s face.
She’s a mother.
Her son is in love. Or that's what John says; this newborn. Look at him, first blade of suburban prairie sunrise. Looks up at her like he's all she'll ever need. Almost blooms. American bellflower. Those raccoon grapes she’d stuff her pockets with.
She’s a mother and she drifts, makes a basket of memory: his first thriftstore blanket, Army, cast-off pacifier; garage-sale seraph.
The trimmings of his hard little nails.
Mary you're in heaven.
That’s what the voice says, in the crisping plaster, in the ether, and she is for awhile, and then she’s at Robintree, or in the veil, or on the bank where her father died, yellow-eyed, breath chock with sulfur and Kansas sand.
She gathers grains, stashes them in the pockets of her nightgown, treads barefoot downstairs and into John’s arms, the John who died and lived and bought a car and drove her home.
Mary you’re on earth.
That’s what her elder told her, but her boys are gone six weeks now and she’s on the road; lights holy oil, crouches roadside in Nebraska, looks up at the stars and names them, one at a time, for the might-have-beens, for plants and rocks and songs and signs.
She picks up postcards; words, apps, maps; puts the past in her pack, with the rounds.
Mom, her younger says, Mom are you alright.
She doesn’t know this boy, so full of John's fire. Beautiful Sam, sharp as quartzes. Sammy, Dean says, sets on the table something like French toast. Side of meat. Dean crams. Sam picks. Brothers bicker. She fills her notebook with phrases that are them, if this were them for real: this spread, warm underground morning with no monsters. Plate full of burnt bread. 1940’s butter knife. Robes of long-dead men.
She’s always been a dreamer.
Dreams she's possessed and wakes, if she really is awake, to the bunker-dark, screams sigilled into walls. Her sons are dead to it, Dean flat on his front, Sam curled on his side, hair splayed on his plain pillow. (She didn't mean to but one day, storeroom, Dean roughhousing, Sam whistling in the ruins, she picked up a locket, uncursed, curled hairs from their two combs into it, snapped it tight and let it hang down past her fourth rib, brassy and clean; a prayer.)
She dreams there's another inside her, not a son but a sound, arch and laughing and loud, who puts fingers to ligaments and jiggles, giggles, calls her mother of vessels, MILF of MILF of MILF's. Laughs.
You, a demon whispers, are my best thing; Mother Mary vessel of vessels. Pray for us now.
She’s a thief.
She's broken into places. Picked, kicked in, walked right through an open door.
Stolen, too. Jean-pockets bulging with talisman. Gun jammed, waistband-tight.
Sam slips his hand in hers; Dean clicks the safety on. They’re here. That’s the thing: burnt, haunted, wrecked-and-returned, not whole.
They say they're fine, different ways--Dean laughs it off, says he's got an angel on his shoulder like his mama always wanted, less cheesy and more—well, just Cas. Sam won’t let her catch him walleyed, except when he does; they don't jump at shades, don't stock up for the end times. But for the end times: panics, ammo, bunkerful of canned things, too much beer. They could stay. Hoard up.
She’s a mother.
She finds bowls. Stirs up something hot, thinks on it.
Listens to voices from across the sea.
Find it, one of them says, the most important thing in the universe. Give it away.
Hey Jude. Hey little Annie. Get your gun and give it to another, to man with an accent, to anyone who can make it safe, clear the world of what makes your sons who they are, men who hunch and pace and scream and scar.
Anyone who can make you a girl again.
Prairie horizon and pocket full of stones.
Prairie horizon, Lawrence
Campanula americana, bellflower