"I don't know what you're complaining about," she grumbled. "We took your car - "
"I'm not complaining. I'm angry. There's a difference, Karen." He felt as if the entire trip had been matched to a soundtrack of dropped plates in a kitchen, one fall after another, one spinning plate coming to a halt before a brief respite - and the next crash.
"Then I don't know why you're angry."
Dean ground his teeth. "You don't want to know." Just let it go, he thought.
Karen looked out the window at the damp street. Shops on both sides were closed, excepting the odd bottle shop or pizza place. She turned and stared at the side of his face, the slight tick of his jaw muscle working silently as he focussed on the tram in front of them.
Dean could almost sense her about to say something, like bread about to pop out of a toaster. traffic lights ahead, the tram slowing down; Dean shifted gears and slid sideways into the left-hand lane. If he was quick, he could pass before -
"I just - "
"DAMN IT!" Dean slapped the wheel as he automatically slowed at the sound of her voice. He could hear the bell of the tram sounding, saw the doors opening as he moved past, almost saw the face, eyes narrowed angrily, another, eyes wide in shock.
Karen yelped in surprise and shrank back into her seat.
"Can you not just let it go?" Dean growled. "I obviously don't want to talk about it, not while I'm - "
The engine abruptly died, windscreen wipers stopped in the middle of their paths across the glass.
"What the hell is this?" Dean wondered aloud. Karen turned in her seat to look through the rear windscreen, while Dean checked his mirrors. The car was losing momentum: he guided it gradually to the kerb, then braked to a halt. He put the gear into neutral and turned the ignition - silence.
"Shit." Karen was silent, eyes dumbly following the tram as it passed them. Dean unbuckled his belt and popped the bonnet. "I'll be right back." As if knowing he had no umbrella, the rain began to fall more heavily, drumming on the roof.
Dean opened the hood of the car and disappeared from view, then Karen felt a thud as if he'd fallen into the engine. Karen opened the door and raised her voice over the rain.
"Dean! What are you doing?"
She heard a grunt in reply and nothing else. Then the car seemed to shift, as if someone heavy had scooted across the back seat from one side to the other.
She opened the door, then leaned back and pulled the keys from the steering column, not wanting to accidentally get locked out. She stepped up and out into the rain. It felt like icy needles and she decided to leave the door open instead.
Cars passed and it was with a sudden sense of dread that she stepped past the edge of the car door.
"Dean - " Karen yelped as she saw him lying headfirst in the space under the bonnet. It looked darker, almost... oily -
- and then the darkness moved.
Karen shrieked but the sound was lost as a tram on the other side of the road braked as it approached the traffic lights. She felt herself smacked in the face as if by a slab of meat, but it stuck to her. She realised sickeningly that there were some kind of hooks in her flesh, then she began to shriek again as she was yanked into the darkness under the bonnet of Dean's Commodore and into the smell of salt and seaweed and then she felt nothing more.