May 2, 1990, Detroit, Michigan
I woke up slowly, not wanting to wake up Dad. I didn't want to start a fight with him again this early in the morning.
Ever since Sammy went missing three years ago, we had grown more distant than ever. Dad barely says a word to me these days unless we are screaming at each other.
A pang of guilt and sadness went through me as I realized the date. Sammy's birthday. He would be seven today.
I never forgave myself for him going missing. I still, to this day, believed there was something I could have done to save him.
We never fully gave up looking, obviously, but we hadn't had a solid lead in over a year now. All of our free time is spent looking over any evidence.
They still send us photos. The sick bastards like to torture us with them. Pictures of Sam badly beaten and bloody, tied up. Or videos of horrible things being done to him.
My train of thought was suddenly interrupted when obnoxious knocking sounded from the door. I rushed over hoping to see who it was this time.
We're beginning to think they hire demons or something to leave the letters and disappear, because we never once saw who left the items.
Again, nobody was at the door when I finally reached it. I hesitantly carried the box inside, not wanting to know what was inside.
Dad finally started stirring in the bed and saw me with the box. He sat upright quickly, jumping out of bed to grab it from me.
"You see anyone?" He asks gruffly. I shake my head in defeat.
He opens the box and pulls out a pair of bloody boxers. Sammy's. Tears well up in my eyes and I pray to whatever gods there are that they didn't get bored and decide to kill him.
They didn't. A letter explained it. Dad read it out loud.
How have you been? Good? I hope so. Cause your son here hasn't been feeling too great. We think he caught pneumonia or something. Probably from waterboarding. Who knows. Anyway, I figured you should know. We came to the conclusion that even though we were hurting Sammy, and in turn, hurting you, it wasn't doing much because you knew we wouldn't kill him. So we sold him. Yup. You read that right. Sold him off to the highest bidder. This is your new torture. You'll never know where your son is. If he's okay, or even alive. And I think that's good enough for me. Now you'll know how I felt when my son was taken from me. That's all you're gonna get from me. But good luck John. Maybe I'll see you sometime.
Tears are falling freely down my face now. Dad's too. He turns around and knocks the table over screaming and cursing.
I sit down on my bed slowly, not wanting to believe the letter. As bad as it sounds, I wished that Sam was still with those men. Then we'd know he was okay.
But now? I started sobbing at the thought that I would probably never see Sammy ever again.
I lay down and curl in on myself as sobs rip through my body. I can feel Dad wrap his strong arms around me and hold me as I let out my emotions for the first time in years.
We both jump up as Dad's phone starts ringing. He answers sadly, barely holding back his own tears.
His low growl snaps me to attention. The call is less than ten seconds, but Dad is on his feet faster than ever and pulling on his jacket.
"I got an address. They told me where they kept him," Dad explains shortly.
I jump up too and help him pack up the car before we speed away, eager to make it back to Flagstaff, where it all started.
I scrambled away as the bad men approached me. The shackles on my wrists and ankles barely even bothered me anymore. I even forgot they were there at times.
At first I thought Dad and Dean would come. I was so sure of it. But after a year passed, I lost confidence. Not in them, but in getting out.
The pain was a daily occurrence now. I tried to shut it out and ignore it, even though it never actually worked.
But today was different. Instead of coming in and knocking the wind out of me with a punch to the gut, they unlocked my shackles and dragged me into the living room.
I winced as the bright lights burned into my eyes. I hadn't seen the sun in… how long have I been here?
I don't get a chance to finish that thought because the men hand me off quickly to another guy who looks just as menacing.
I go willingly, knowing that fighting will get me nowhere and make my injuries worse. And I definitely don't want to get punished.
The man throws me into a van and handcuffs my hands in front of me. Then he gets in the front and drives away, knocking me backwards.
The drive isn't long, maybe ten minutes tops, but then he moves me from the van to a truck. He pulls out a needle and sticks me in the neck. Whatever he injected me with knocks me out in seconds, and I welcome the darkness.
One glance at the house had me running outside to throw up. We found where they kept Sammy.
In a fucking closet under the stairs. There was blood on the walls and shackles hanging from the ceiling.
He wasn't there. That much was very clear. We didn't make it in time. Sammy was gone. Probably for good.
Dad joined me and threw up also. I left him outside and found some things on the table in the kitchen that I wish I could forget about.
Bloody rags and pieces of clothing. The pajamas I had put Sammy in three years ago, the last time I saw him. And horrifying pictures.
They were so much worse than the ones sent to us and I wonder if they were left here on purpose for us to find or if they were in a hurry.
I walked back outside and sat in the Impala, defeated. That was the moment I gave up. On everything.
Sammy was gone, and until I found him, my life was over.
I woke up still in the front seat of the truck. The man was next to me, eating a burger. He smiled at me and I sat up nervously.
"Morning. How you feeling? That sedative wasn't too strong was it?" He asks cheerfully.
I don't answer and that seems to infuriate him. "Answer me, boy."
"No, I'm okay," I whisper, now terrified.
He nods, satisfied, and climbs out of the truck. He walks over to the passenger side and pulls me out roughly, dragging me inside.
He carries me up the stairs and throws me onto a filthy cot in one of the bedrooms. I scramble backwards until my back is against the wall.
The man slams the door behind him and locks it from the outside. I slump back and feel my eyes begin to slide closed.
They snap back open, however, when the door opens again. The man storms in and grabs me roughly by the collar.
"There are going to be some rules boy," he growls at me.
"First, you need to pull your weight around here. Do the chores, don't get a beating. Second, you'll help me around my bar. Help clean up and shit. When you're older you'll be working the actual bar. Lastly, there will be severe punishments when you misbehave. Got it?" He yells.
I nod and whimper, fighting to get out of his hold. He doesn't budge, just pulls me back downstairs with him.
"Oh. And for the first month or so, those handcuffs will stay on. I don't want you trying anything."
I feel tears well up in my eyes but hold them back, not allowing them to fall. He shoves a list of what seems to be chores in my hand and walks away.
"Those better be done by the time I get home!" He yells before he slams the door shut behind him.
I read the list and sigh. I know I should be trying to get away, but the handcuffs on my wrists wouldn't budge and neither would the doors.
God, how I wished Dad had taught me to pick locks before…
Dad. Dean. I missed them. I didn't think about them too much anymore. It just made me sad.
I picked up the list again and started on the dishes, not really knowing how to start. Dean had never gotten a chance to show me that either.
I picked up a good rhythm, figuring it out pretty easily, but then the front door opened, and I flinched in panic, the memories of that small closet rushing back, and I accidentally dropped the plate I was holding, smashing it on the floor.
The man rushed over, grabbing me roughly by the wrist and throwing me onto the ground, kicking me several times before turning me onto my back and wrapping a hand around my throat, the other raised above his head, ready to hit me.
I hold my handcuffed wrists above my head in an attempt to shield myself from the blows, but he simply lands one punch to my face, hitting me squarely in the eye, before getting up and walking away.
"Remember the rules, Sam!" He yells over his shoulder.
Tears are running freely down my face as I pull myself up, the pain searing through me. I walk back over to the sink, finishing the dishes like I know I'm supposed to, and return to my 'room.'
I lay down on the cot hesitantly, finding the idea of an actual bed odd, after sleeping chained up in a closet for so long.
I sigh and fall asleep, forgetting about the rest of the chores I had to complete for the day.