Honourable, protected Wife, Mother, Matron of the House, Keeper of Tradition, had been a ritual sacrificed—burning on the ceiling altar engulfed in fire, gutted to serve the Yellow Eyed Demon— a holocaust sacrifice.
Honourable Husband, Father, Defender, had dishonored his name, as well as his Mate turning his offspring into orphans, forever out cast into the wilderness. Without battle, he had let the Yellow Eyed Demon cross the boundaries of his house. Allowed his Mary, to be insulted, shamed and taken captive in her home, slaughtered as she vainly called to her husband, butchered in the chamber of her child. In all the areas that a man can be a man John Winchester had failed.
Stained with the blood of the Yellow Eyed Demon on his lips baby Sammy nestled warm, safe, and asleep in his brother’s arms unaware of his fate as a Demon Child. In true obedience to his Father’s solemn command Older Brother would protect his Little Brother. Growing to Squire, ever training he would mature to knighthood. Duty bound to defend, honor and protect his family. By his right as a son he would revenge his Father and strike down ever enemy he found ever hunting.
Huddled on the hood of the Impala the three drew closer, dazed, like birds clinging on a branch in a blowing snow blizzard.
The light from the house fire does not warm or be a hearth to the three, nor a flame of safety to the family. These flames were a curse.
Tribe Winchester was born:
Modern man does not think much about tribes, but tribes have been around longer than modern man.
A tribe exist for one purpose—survival in a hostile world. Fight. Win. Fight. Survive.
Always on the alert for the enemy ever stalking the Winchesters the ritual was to pour salt under the threshold time after time, every night, every day when the tribe halts their migration for a motel room, a rented apartment, a run down renter house. The salt must be thick and straight, no gaps must exist or prowling monster will find them, and like the Yellow Eyed Demon that slipped inside John’s home, will slaughter at will. Give Sammy a gun to kill the thing in his closet just as soon as the boy could aim a gun was the only sensible thing a good father could do.
Ever looking, ever watchful for Monsters lurked everywhere. Then one night, only one, child Dean left his post to play and a Strega seized his little brother. John had returned barely in time to save his little son as the Witch made her final strike. Terror stricken just as much as his child that clutched in his arms, John realized he had nearly failed again. There in the doorway, desperate to aim a shotgun too long and heavy for him, Dean stood accused of neglect so reflected in the glare of his father’s face. The eldest son accepted his failure, shamed. Driven into the wilderness to a miserable death Dean suffered it every time he remembered as a child or man.
Roles are set by age, rank and birth order.
Dean as oldest male is a miniature adult. Trained for his sole purpose of warrior he is a Spartan from the night he followed his father’s orders and ran saving his brother. Here lies his pride, his macho male, the stride in his step, his cocky manner, his rightful inheritance of Baby more a part of him than a mere machine, both home and battle horse cared for caressed as only a knight can his black beauty. Baby is waxed, engine tuned, dents beat out. Unleashed her growl so like a Beast so baritone, so deep that windows shake and men’s chest vibrated when his muscle car rolls by.
Only when Dean is broken by John going to Hell for him, ordered by his own father to kill Sammy, wrecked with rage, grief he lashes out at Baby, dashing, bashing, crashing metal and breaking glass. He lifts the crowbar and pounds down the hood in a sweaty fury insane with the uselessness of it all. Before his eyes his Baby turns into just an old car.
Tender, youngest son Sam is Joseph to Jacob, given the coat of many colors to be pampered, protected, and adored. The wearer of the Puppy Dog Eyes.
John, Patriarch. Chan leader. Alone rules, makes each decision, not challenged, not ask why. The Law. Dean understands, accepts, and follows without thought or question. It is the way of the tribe. When Sam demands to be a person he endangers the tribe, more than endangers, he invites Death through an open door. John shouts at his rebellious son that he is needed, of so much more than needed, Sammy is essential to survival, his youngest son has an absolute obligation to his father and his brother.
When Sammy and John fought, Dean in a panic, thrust himself between the boxers, prying them apart. Grappled with Sammy to stop heresy, grappled with his father to stop wrath. Of all the dreads and fears Dean suffered this was the worst, losing his family, being deserted, lonely and alone. When Sammy left for Stanford his desertion is more than a teen seeking adulthood, leaving to explore his own life. Not only has Sammy spilt open Dean’s nightmare, the youngest son is to this father a betrayer, ultra-selfish and John does what he must as Clan leader. Pointing, accusing, damning, John exiles his youngest son to become an Outsider. “If you leave do not come back.”
This is the way of it as it has always been. An ancient Roman father held absolute authority over his family. Once when a Roman son disobeyed his father and left to defend Rome at war, his father met him on the road and killed his son for disobedience.
Ever living on the edge of a country that produced individuals, the Winchesters remained a solitary group, hostile to outside influence, not subject to rules and obligation, yet yearning for that Apple Pie Life always just out of reach. ‘Joe College’ confessed to his brother he had known down deep he was a freak even during his best days at Stanford. Knowing the feeling, Dean confided he always felt out of step with the world. Trapped under the Djinn’s spell, Dean learned how right he was. Even in the most pristine middle class life Dean found the mirage was cracked. How could he deny The Family Business at the cost of innocent lives he had saved? Were all those people dead because he had settled for being a mechanic living out his private life at Lawrence, Kansas when TransNational Flight 2485 crashed, instead of fighting at his brother’s side? Raging at his father’s grave, pleading, crying out why Mary was not allowed to live her life, why Sam was denied his marriage with Jess, enjoying his family, becoming a lawyer? Why was it his job to save people? Who was to save him? His only answer is silence as he walked away.
Watching his father change from monster killer to The Man Holding Me Down was hard for Sammy and hard for Dean who never had the delusion of Flawless John. Sure it was hard changing schools, staying in crummy hotels. Always putting Sammy first, himself last, stuck with a GED while Sammy got to go off to college and have his own dreams. When Sammy ran off and was gone for two whole weeks Sammy had a dog, got to do fun things, but for Dean, facing his father’s rage, losing Sammy to no telling what, were so bad even years later Dean shuddered to think on it. Sometimes when Dad was gone too long food ran short life was bitter. It did not matter. Always there had to be the Tribe, their Tribe, because monsters out there, just outside their small circle of fire and family, always eager to lunge at them and drag them, first one and then the other, out of the Light unto the Dark and eat them alive.
Triumph of Tribe:
All of this turned brotherhood into a tangle of co-dependence, interlocking fraternal love of all sorts, twisting to find a way to be of the same blood yet be their own man, the struggle with sibling rivalries, being in one another’s pocket 24-7. How it was to mutilate and betray and forgive and die in each other’s arms. There were not many deaths but one death searing them apart. One reunion regardless of the cost or pain for the joy of it. One time with flipping through many pages of the same book. All else was a reflection of their guts and souls. As one brother said to the other, “If there ain’t no me, there ain’t no you.”
Ultimately, John was the protector that failed. His only recourse was revenge. Above patriarch he is compiled to seek vengeance. The Yellow Eyed Demon must die at his hands or the hand of his sons. On the day of reckoning it is Dean who fails as John had and Sammy steps forward welding a weapon like the weapon that killed his mother, threw his father and brother into Hell and made Sammy what he was, a Child of the Demon. Demon blood coursing full strength thought the veins of the youngest son, seized the Yellowed Eyed Demon and crushed the Thing to dust.
Did the Winchester Tribe have to exist?
How could it have been avoided?
What were its worst evils?
Was it the right thing to do or the only option open to them?
Had they brought good out of evil?
Written By: Southeast….