A/N: I don't own Supernatural or the characters of Sam and Dean, sigh. Please don't sue, I have a cat to support :)


"Sam, drop!"

Sam heard Dean call out to him and years of training kicked in. He immediately ducked to the ground as the rock salt bullets flew over his head to strike the creature he'd been battling square in the heart.

He felt it thud down next to him and he rolled away and into a standing position.

"Not bad, if I do say so myself." Dean smirked as he observed the perfect bullet placement.

"Yeah, but where were you five minutes ago when it attacked? I was supposed to read the incantation and you were supposed to have my back." Sam complained

"Uh, about that. See, this pretty girl needed directions just as I was coming into the park-"

"Never mind." Sam rolled his eyes at his brother.

They were in Cheesequake State Park after a number of mysterious disappearances of hikers had made headlines. Sam had found the story and read about the fact that after a week each hiker had strangely reappeared with no memory of where they had been or how they had gotten there. So far no one had died, but a couple of hikers were still missing, though it had been 5 days so far and their families were hoping they would return as well. After researching the Park and coming up with nothing, Dean and Sam had decided to try a general exorcism of the area. Sam had hiked along the path that the missing hikers had said they followed and brought out his Dad's journal. Dean had been parking the car and grabbing supplies from the trunk. Sam had expected his brother to be right behind him, and when he felt a presence assumed it was Dean. When he turned around to look, a large furry arm had swiped at him.

"You okay?" Dean asked, looking him over.

Sam dusted himself down.

"Fine. It didn't touch me."

He looked down at the still brown lump.

"You think it's dead?" he asked Dean.

The lump twitched, and the brothers could hear a low growl.

"I'd say that's a no." Dean replied.

They backed away carefully.

"Did you happen to bring regular bullets?" Sam asked his brother.

"If I say no, will you distract it till I get back?"

"No." Sam replied.

Dean grinned. "Good thing I brought a back-up, then," he said as he drew a pistol from behind his back, aiming it at the slowly rising creature.

It bared its teeth at them, then suddenly lunged up and disappeared into the trees surrounding them.

Dean had been able to only get off one shot, which missed.

"What was that thing, anyway?" he muttered.

"It looked like a bear, but it didn't behave like one. Do you think that's what took our missing hikers?" Sam asked as the brothers tried to follow the not-bear's path.

"Well, seeing as you were hiking and it tried to grab you, there's a good chance it is. I don't understand, though. Unless it somehow knocks the hikers out and they get amnesia and after a week wander back home-"

Dean shook his head. "It isn't like any animal attack I've ever heard of." A sudden thought brightened his outlook. "You think maybe a spook possessed a bear? Did it act possessed?"

Sam snorted. "No, it acted like it wanted to eat me."

"Maybe it isn't our hiker-snatcher, then. Might as well see for sure though."

The brothers followed a path of broken branches, their senses alert.

After a few minutes Dean wrinkled his nose.

"What's that smell?" he asked.