Sam muttered something and dialed the phone. “Bobby,” he said after a few minutes. “It’s me. We’re okay. Back in the real world. It was . . .” He glanced at Dean. “I don’t know. Like falling into Brothers Grimm. Anyway, we’re back and we’ve got one clue about the next Grail castle.”
“Two clues,” Dean said.
Sam moved the phone away from his mouth. “What?”
“Two clues. That’s why we’re going west.”
“Right. Two clues. We’re going west, to the Rockies. And somewhere in the Rockies is a Wheel of Fortune kind of thing.” He listens a moment. “Yes. Wheel of Fortune. Like the Tarot card.” He listened for a longer moment, then got out his notebook and started writing things down. “Okay. Okay. We’ll research when we stop for the night. Thanks, Bobby.” He hung up the phone and said to Dean, “Medicine wheels.”
“Medicine wheels. They’re all over the intermountain west. Native American solar calendars.”
“More calendars,” Dean said. “Do you think that’s a theme?”
“I’m sure it is.” He tapped the phone against his mouth, thinking. “They date Easter as the first Sunday after the first full moon after spring equinox.”
“Okay . . .”
“And Easter took the place of a pagan holiday. And the climaxes of a lot of Grail stories take place on Good Friday.”
“A lot of little things and no answers,” Dean said. “When is Easter this year?”
“Soon. The twelfth.”
“Just over a week.” His leg was starting to protest — it was going to make a long drive longer, this ache. He might have to hand over the wheel to Sam before they got out of Illinois.
He gave the wheel to Sam before they got out of Illinois.
They got sidetracked to Eagle Lake, where a ghost needed to be salted and burned, and that added another day to their journey. They stopped by Bobby’s on the way, and he gave them pictures of various medicine wheels so they’d know what to look for and books of Native American mythology so they’d know the stories.
“The one they think is the first is in Wyoming, in the Big Horn Mountains near Yellowstone,” he told them, and while Sam was in the john and Dean was putting a few bills back into Bobby’s cookie jar, he said, “How is Sam doing?”
“He’s fine. We’re doing okay.” Which was close enough to the truth, he supposed.
“Good, ’cause . . . the bad dreams aren’t stopping, Dean.” He took off his trucker cap and scratched his head. “I’m worried about the boy.”
“So am I,” Dean confessed, and wished he could get Castiel to come by so they could talk.
But there was no Castiel, not in his dreams and not when he was awake. The malachite amulet kept the nightmares at bay, but he would rather have had Castiel — just to talk to, even if they never touched each other again.
But, he told himself as they drove west, first he had an Apocalypse to stop and a world to save. Then Castiel would go back to Heaven and Dean could go back to waitresses and bartenders and the occasional very grateful mother.
Life would go back to normal.
He didn’t want normal.
They arrived in Lovell, Wyoming, late the night of the fifth, and checked into a motel where the rooms were decorated with fake timber and silhouettes of cowboys. They bunked down for the night, and Sam studied the pamphlet from the front desk about the park where the medicine wheel was located.
“Dean,” he said, “problem.”
“The road will probably closed due to snow.” He tossed aside the pamphlet and rolled onto his back.
“Fuck,” Dean said sincerely. “We’ll just have to go around.”
“Dean,” Sam said, “it’s a national park. It’ll have rangers.”
“We can get around rangers.”
“In the Impala. And then on foot. We’ll be sent back, Dean.”
“If we tell them it’s important –”
“We’re not Native Americans,” Sam said patiently. “We can’t use the ceremonial excuse.”