Notes: Hi all! Guess who's posting more than one story this year! This verse has been hanging around for a few years now, but I've only just gotten enough of it tamed to post anything. Next few chapters are mostly done. I am still looking for a beta for this one!
Sam's back collided with the solid rock of the cave wall. The jagged stone jabbed into his shoulders, but he barely registered the discomfort. His attention was fixed on the looming form of the wendigo that was currently planning to make him the next item on the menu. The thing was at least twice Sam's height and it was bearing down on him from the tunnel that Sam had just cleared. In the few seconds he had he raised his flair gun, wincing as the motion pulled at his torn flesh where the creature's claws had gripped him and dragged him down into its lair. There was no time to think about that. He let the pain center him and took aim. Before he could let off the shot he was hurtling through the air.
He connected with the opposite wall. The crack to his head made his teeth crunch together and his already abused ribs flared in agony as the wind flew from his lungs. His grip tightened on the gun, but he couldn't do more than gasp in a lungful of air and wait for his triple vision to stop swimming.
In the end it didn't matter. There was a flash of movement to his right. Sam's muscle memory took over. He lifted the gun, aimed, and fired in a single, fluid motion. The resulting blaze of light as the creature combusted sent stabbing pain into his skull. He had to clench his eyes closed and turn away at the sudden brightness as his stomach churned uncomfortably.
After the initial flare as the creature burned itself out Sam was left collapsed on the cave floor not three feet from the entrance. He braced himself against the cool stone of the wall he'd just collided with and let the rock support him as he struggled to his feet and worked to get his breathing under control. He was immediately reminded of the gashes on his shoulder when he sagged against the wall. It was hard to tell in the dim light, but he was pretty sure it was still bleeding. The world around him kept tipping and rolling until he was more than a little seasick.
He stumbled his way out and into the fresh air of the surrounding woods. It was a relief to be out of the shadow of the cave, but now he realized a blurry film had settled over the world. He blinked and scrubbed at his eyes, trying to clear his vision. He only succeeded in making little black dots dance over everything.
He considered resting there for a moment but discarded the idea. His shoulder was definitely in need of attention and if he passed out in the middle of the woods there wouldn't be anyone to carry his ass back to civilization. He would just have to make it back to his motel room, and his first aid kit, then he could rest. With a huff, he stumbled forward towards the trail that he'd taken originally. He wasn't entirely sure how he was going to drive down the mountain but focused on solving one problem at a time. He had to find the car first.
Sam caught himself against the bark of a tree and tried to orient himself. He thought he had another three hours of sunlight, maybe. He couldn't afford to wander blindly through the woods. He could feel the sun warm on his cheek and he turned so that he was headed mostly southward. Navigation would be so much easier if his sight would clear and the forest floor would stop pitching like a boat in a hurricane. Distantly, he realized his concussion had to be pretty serious if he was having this much trouble. He couldn't do anything about it now so he pushed it to the back his mind and struggled onward.
Somehow he found the hiking trail and managed to make it back to the parking area with only a handful of new bruises. It was nearly sundown when he fumbled the keys into the Honda's lock and collapsed into the driver's seat. The light was fading unusually fast for this time of year, but he knew sometimes the mountains made the days feel shorter. It was going to be a bitch to drive in the dark. He forced his heavy fingers to open the glove compartment and pulled his phone out. He'd left it, afraid he might damage it in the fight and perfectly aware that he wouldn't get much signal as far in as he had to hike. He couldn't focus well enough to read the screen. In the end, he pawed in speed dial 2 hoping he might be able to get Cas on the phone, but the call never connected. He must have still been too far out for service.
He shouldn't be driving. Between the blood loss and the concussion he was a danger to himself and anyone else he might meet on the road, but he was fresh out of options. He just had to hope that he could keep the car on the road if he took it slow.
With a sigh Sam turned the key in the ignition and felt the car thrum to life under him. He flipped his lights on and carefully eased the car out of its spot. Squinting and cursing, he rolled out of the lot and onto the main road taking his time and trying to keep the car as steady as he could. It was like staring through a frosted window at night. He was starting to feel, if not confident, then at least like he might survive the whole incident when the car jolted, the tires thumping over something. Sam slammed on the brakes unsure what he'd hit, but he was thrown forward a second later as the car slammed to a stop.
The last thing that really registered for him was the sting as his face hit the airbag.