I love The Demon’s Lexicon series like candy and I’m also in the middle of a massive Supernatural complete rewatch so I appreciated this especially.
The Demon’s Lexicon by Sarah Rees Brennan
I’ve recently rediscovered how much I absolutely adore Supernatural. It fills a void left by Buffy in my genre loving heart. Part of that rediscovery means I’m really enjoying Team Free Will 2.0. A lot of the fun of being an rper (or fan fic writer, whatever) is getting to play in someone else’s sandbox; exploring the universe. Next gen lets you do that without having to worry about show canon.
Team Free Will 2.0 is Ben Braeden, a hunter; Claire Novak, a vessel; and Jesse Turner, the (an?) anti-christ. Me being me, I’ve become obsessed with someone slightly to the left. I always did like the side characters best. I’ve become fixated on Michael from the season one episode “Something Wicked.”
Michael Richardson knew exactly what day his childhood ended. He was 12-years-old and a couple of drifters told him that every scary thing he’d ever feared hid in the dark was real. They’d told him one of those monsters was the reason his brother, Asher, was in the hospital and it was coming after him next. Then they asked him to be bait.
When the strehga was dead and the Winchester brothers moved on, Michael tried to explain to his mother what had happened to him and the real reason behind Asher’s illness. His mother thought he was making up stories because he was jealous of the attention Asher got in the hospital. After he kept telling her, first she stopped him from watching monster movies then she made him go to therapy. He tried telling the therapist too but all she wanted to talk about was his feelings about his dad not being around. Eventually, Mike learned that what everybody wanted was for him to stop talking about it.
So he did. But that didn’t mean he stopped thinking about it. Michael started researching. There were a lot of things about ghosts on the internet and most of them weren’t true. He learned slow but he learned. Silver. Iron. Salt. After high school, Mike hit the road, determined to help people the way the Winchesters helped him.
But not everyone can be a hunter.
Took Mike most of the summer to find a job. For weeks he drove around, poking his noise into any unusual death that turned up in the newspaper. Nearly got arrested a couple of times. It was long and it was lonely. Asher was still in high school and he’d never been away from his brother for so long. Things didn’t improve when he did find a job. Mike had never been so frightened in his life. The spirit came too close to killing before he managed to salt and burn the bones. Left him was a nasty slash across the ribs for a souvenir.
Michael was bleeding and frightened; he missed his family and he wanted to go home. He’d spent so much of his time obsessing over helping people, it felt impossible to not do anything. Without a goal he didn’t know what to do with himself. He had to find one before he drank himself to death out of lack of anything better to do.
So he did what most kids his age did. He went home and went to college. After the first semester, Michael decided to be a doctor. Doctors had helped Asher and the rest of the kids when they were sick back when they were kids. He just didn’t count on the universe having a sense of irony.
Mike’s mother came down with cancer. Ovarian. The bad kind. Three weeks after Asher graduated from high school, their mother was dead. The brothers dealt with grief in their own way. Asher left his older brother behind and went to college out of state. Mike withdrew. He dropped out of college and nearly shut down.
It took a long time for him to start putting the pieces together. He started slowly, getting back into running the family motel. And when that proved too painful he used the money from his mother’s life insurance policy to buy a bar. He was drinking a lot so that made sense. At least it was some place to be that wasn’t tied up in family memories. Abandonment was a hard feeling to fight. His mother was dead and Asher left him.
One thing that helped was figuring out how to help people. Hunting hadn’t worked out for him but he needed to do something. What other option was there but to start a website? Mike chronicles everything he knows there. Signs of haunting, simple remedies, types of spirits. Anything that might help keep regular people alive. He also accepts messages and questions from people. Most of what they post about it isn’t anything real. Customary old house noises, people who just like the idea of ghost stories or those who imagine things because they’re grieving for their lost loved ones.
But some things do check out. Mike runs their stories threw newspaper reports, local history - anything he can research from home or in his office in the bar. He looks for patterns. It’s not easy but sometimes he finds them. When he does, he passes the job onto one of the handful of hunters who’ve passed through either his motel or bar. He’s not a hunter but Michael is determined to make sure that everyone who needs help gets it.