Counting Emu

Now, I suspect if you’re new around here, you may be curious: where did this emu obsession come from?

The Winchesters are from Kansas, not New Zealand, and while it’s true there is an emu ranch in Lawrence, (a fact from which you may draw your own conclusions), it really all began with one young nephilim in Apocablanca.

This is Jack’s story, and Jack tells it best, so, dear readers, I bring you your favorite nephilim to tell his own tale of Emu and adventure…

Being a newborn teenager trapped in a post-apocalyptic world may sound like fun, but trust me when I say, it really wasn’t. But if there was anything good that came of being thrown into an alternate dimension, it was that I found Mary Winchester, the mother of my… well… sort of fathers, sort of crazy uncles. She’d gotten trapped over there when I was born, and I’d made it my mission to rescue her, to prove to them that even though technically I was the son of Satan, I could still be good.

Mary had been trapped by Michael, the douchebag archangel who had killed his version of my father, and then destroyed that world. So the first thing I did was free her, and explain who I was. Once she got over the shock of seeing the boy she thought was a six month old infant at the size of a teenage boy, we were able to escape the fortress where she’d been a prisoner. After that, our first priority was to figure out how to get home.

Except I couldn’t figure it out. I could picture home, and I could focus to try and open a portal, but I couldn’t get it to work at the same time. I was so frustrated; I knew Mary was depending on me. I knew Sam and Dean were depending on me to get her home.

But Mary said that we couldn’t worry about that yet, and that we needed to get someplace safe, away from Michael. Neither of us knew where to go, but I tried to concentrate, and then I used my wings to bring the two of us far away from the fortress.

Still, even once we were safely away from Michael, we were stuck in a very dangerous world. You couldn’t just go to the grocery store and buy grape soda… in fact, you couldn’t buy much of anything. The humans that were left lived in groups, and sometimes in really small towns, but for the most part, they had to find their own food, and let me tell you: nougat wasn’t exactly in large supply.

Some of the first people we came across weren’t very friendly, but then we met the Old Guy, and he said he’d known his world’s version of Mary a long time ago. He’d even met our Sam, Dean and Castiel when they’d been investigating the rift, before Mary got trapped. So he offered to let us stay with him. Well, he did until he found out who I was. Then he said I had to leave.

Now, you may be saying, “Hey, that happened later! I remember that from that show I watch!” But the truth is that it happened twice. It’s kind of complicated: life isn’t always easy when you’re the son of Satan.

And just like the second time, the Old Guy changed his mind after I protected him and his neighbors from an angel attack. So he let Mary and me move into his house – or what there was left of it – with him. I slept on a pile of blankets and stuff on the floor most of the time, so that Mary could sleep on the beat-up old sofa.

Some days things were really busy, and we had a lot of angel attacks to deal with, but especially once they started to realize I was there, sometimes things would get quiet for days at a time. And truthfully, it got boring. It’s hard to be a growing newborn teenager and have nothing to do. So one night, the Old Guy decided to show me a movie… except that he only had one movie, on this weird system he called a “VCR.” It was called Casablanca, and he said it was a classic.

I watched it. And then I watched it again. And again. I watched it a LOT over the next few months. Because there wasn’t anything else to do. I even started calling our new world “Apocablanca.” Mary always thought it was funny when I’d say to her, “Here’s looking at you, Kid.” (She didn’t so much think it was funny when I played “Float Mary to the Ceiling” but I learned that lesson quickly and didn’t do it again.)

But sometimes things didn’t go so smoothly. I never meant to cause trouble, but sometimes it just… happened. Mary said it was teenage hormones crossed with infant fussiness. One time the Old Guy was already in a bad mood because of a wave of angel attacks, even though we’d fought them off, and then when I accidentally knocked over a jug of his grown-up drink he got really mad at me.

I got scared, and sometimes when I got scared, things happened. #QuasiCelestialBeingProblems and all that.

And this time… well, I opened my eyes, and the Old Guy was gone, but there was an emu in the living room. Mary was all frantic, so I couldn’t understand at first what she was trying to tell me, but eventually I realized that the emu was really the Old Guy.

I don’t know why it was an emu; there were no emus in Casablanca, or in Apocablanca, for that matter. I think maybe I’d seen one in a book I’d been looking at earlier that day. There was some lore about a tribe on this tiny island in the Indian Ocean that worshipped them… or maybe it was marmosets… but I think it must have been emus.

Would life as an emu really be all that bad??

The thing was, I didn’t really know how I’d turned him into an emu, so I really didn’t know how to turn him back. Eventually, once I calmed down a bit I managed to “think” him back. He wasn’t very happy with me, but I couldn’t really blame him.

But it wasn’t the only time it happened. For no good reason, every time I got scared or upset after that, someone ended up turned into an emu. Eventually, Mary started to find it kind of funny, and she’d tease me about it, but I didn’t think it was funny at all. I knew people were getting upset with me, and I don’t like it when people get upset with me.

Still, over time, I just really started to like them. I mean, ostriches get all the publicity, but emus are just as cool, right? So sometimes I really wished I didn’t have to turn the emus back into people, but I always did anyway.

One night after we’d been in Apocablanca about two months, I was having a lot of trouble sleeping. I didn’t sleep much even on good nights, but this particular night I was a bit sick, after Michael and his goons had been sending wave after wave of spells directed at me. They couldn’t hurt me, not really, but it didn’t feel very good, either.

Mary told me that I really needed to rest, but I just couldn’t get to sleep! She had a suggestion, but I thought it was kind of weird.

“Why don’t you try counting sheep?” she asked.

“Sheep? Why would I do that?” I was skeptical of the efficacy of counting anything as a sleep aid, much less farm animals.

“It’s just something to occupy your mind with, so that it isn’t thinking about whatever it’s trying to think about, that’s keeping you from sleeping,” Mary explained… or something…

“What kind of sheep should they be?” I asked her. I figured I could at least humor her for a while.

I named the big one on the left Sam, the small one on the right Castiel, and the grumpy one in the middle was Dean. Obviously.

“Excuse me?” She looked as confused as I felt.

“Can they be nephilim sheep?” I liked nephilim sheep. One of my Twitter friends had shown me a picture of some Valais Blacknose sheep, and I liked them so much that she said they would forevermore be nephilim sheep. But that was kind of hard to explain to Mary; she still was suspicious of any technology created after she’d died. You know, before my great-aunt Amara (@DarkestAmara) brought her back to life.

“It doesn’t really matter…” she started to say.

“Of course it matters!” I told her. “How am I supposed to picture them in my head if I don’t know what kind of sheep they are?”

Mary sighed. “All right, fine… they can be nephilim sheep.”

I wasn’t so sure about this: “Are you just saying that? What if I try counting nephilim sheep and it doesn’t work because it’s not supposed to be nephilim sheep? What if it’s supposed to be Barbary sheep? Or Cotswold sheep? Or Lithuanian Black-Headed sheep?”

One of Mary’s eyebrows was raised so far up her forehead it was almost touching the hair on top of her head. At first she didn’t say anything at all, but then she suddenly blurted out, “Emus!”

“You want me to turn the sheep into emus?” I found this a little bit hard to believe, given past experience with life forms being transformed into emus.

Mary thought for a moment. “Well… yes,” she said. “Maybe it would help you if they were emus, instead of sheep. What do you think?”

I snuggled down into my pile of blankets and pillows, and tried to picture it. I started with the emu that I had turned the Old Guy into, and then the next emu chased it, and then the next one chased that one, and so on, and so on, and so…

And then it was morning, and I felt better. Thanks to counting the emus.

2 thoughts on “Counting Emu

  1. Jack! This is the most charming story. You, young Nephelim are a gifted teller of stories. Excellent and extremely entertaining. I hope you continue to use this talent. ❤

    Like

    1. jacklovesnougat March 14, 2019 — 12:50 pm

      Thank you so much, Doris!

      Like

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