THE BEAST WITH NO NAME
A Supernatural Story by:Silvertayl
All recognizable characters remain the property of their respective creators and owners.
The brothers are in Oregon on the hunt for an unknown beast responsible for the disappearances of 37 people in the Ochoco State Forest. When both of them are wounded by The Beast With No Name the hunt becomes a battle for survival.
Ochoco National Park, Oregon
The beast was there in the small cleared campsite clearly visible in the moonlight, it stood on its hind legs head raised to the sky, sniffing at the cool night air.
Suddenly the head dropped turning in his direction; it had caught his scent on the breeze, its fluorescent lime-yellow close together eyes seeming to pierce the dense trees straight to him; it knew he was there, 40 feet into the trees that circled the campsite; leaning heavily against the thick base of a tree, keeping as much of his weight as possible off his mauled bleeding leg. His stomach was clenched in fear and anticipation, knowing the beast's highly tuned sense of smell had given his position away.
So far, so good. It was part of his plan to let the beast catch his scent so it would come after him.
The beast opened its mouth, revealing a row of long yellowed pointy teeth, an ear piercing bellow filled with anger and hatred was aimed in his direction.
The beast dropped onto all four of its muscular legs, and with unbelievable speed for a creature of its size and bulk bounded to the edge of the cleared camping area, and into the trees, right towards him, it would be upon him in a heartbeat.
He turned and ran as fast as his damaged, barely functioning leg would allow; the low hanging branches whipping against the exposed skin of his face and neck; leaving bloody gouges in their wake.
He might have been able to outrun it, but with the wounded leg he knew he had no hope of keeping ahead of it. There was no choice he had to draw it away from his brother who lay less than half mile away, unconscious and gravely wounded by the claws and teeth of the beast's mate. That was before he had killed it using the last of the silver bullets pumped into its hairy back.
If his plan worked and he survived he would then find some way to get help for his brother; even if it meant he had to carry him out. It wouldn't be until tomorrow morning when they failed to check in at the ranger's station that a search party would be dispatched to locate them; another twelve to eighteen hours before help reached them. He didn't think his brother had that long. When he'd left him on his quest to draw the beast away, his brother was going into shock from blood loss and almost unconscious.
So he would have to be the bait, to lure the beast hopefully to its death. There were many times he and his brother had done the same thing in the past; been bait to trap or kill something evil or supernatural or just a freak of nature, an abomination.
The beast was nearly upon him, he could hear the pounding of the things feet and the grunting noise it made as it ran getting louder with every agony filled step he took. But also with every step he was drawing it further away from the only person who mattered to him in the world.
The moonlight led the way showing him his goal; six feet was all that separated him from the trees that camouflaged the edge of a hundred and fifty foot drop.
No longer capable of running he staggered the final six feet to where he knew the edge of the drop was partially hidden by trees turning to face the beast; it was twelve feet away and closing fast. Without warning it pulled up and stopped three feet from him it was so close he could see saliva dripping from its snarling jaws and smell its hot rancid breath and the foul odor of its body.
He looked into its eyes, seeing a strange intelligence in the depths of the fleuro lime-green irises. "Come on what are you waitin' for? You got me, you fugly son of a bitch."
As if understanding his words the beast drew back and pounced, half ducking and taking a step to his right he felt the beast's powerful jaw glance off his left shoulder as it sailed past him and over the edge; it was still growling and snarling as it fell out of sight; then a series of thuds as the beast struck the side of the slope, the growling turned to grunts and then ceased.
The glancing blow to his shoulder was enough to unbalance him, forcing him to put weight on his injured leg which collapsed under the extra weight, his foot slipped over the edge the momentum of the movement forcing the rest of him to follow. His chin scraped along the ground as the lower half of his body slid over the edge. Desperately he reached his arms out and grasped at a low hanging spindly branch of pine tree beside him with his right hand clawing at the ground in front of him with the other; digging in his fingers in an attempt to anchor himself there and stop the downward motion of his body. He didn't want to follow the beast to his death impaled on a tree branch or smashed upon the rock strewn ground far below. He felt most of the fingers on his left hand dislocate and his fingernails snap off at the nail bed, pine needles burying deep into his right hand clutching onto the branch in a desperate grip. He tried to find some purchase against the side of the drop with his good leg, but couldn't find a foothold, the loose vertical section at the top of the drop making it virtually impossible. The toe of his boot slipped off the surface. Dislodged stones and earth falling away. His legs dangling free. And now the earth beneath his clawed fingers was crumbling away, he was slipping further over the edge, his fingers leaving furrows in the ground, his right hand slipped along the branch of the tree. It was then he knew he was going over he was not going to be able save himself to pull himself up weak as he was from the injury to his leg. The little strength and adrenaline he'd had to draw the beast away from his brother was exhausted; he was going to die and consequently so was his brother.
His fingers lost their grip as the edge gave way at the same time the end of the branch slipped through his fingers, and he felt himself falling; the cool night air rushing past him as he fell; then there was pain as his body hit then he tumbled and hit again more pain from the impact driving the breath from his lungs, this pattern of hit tumble hit, punctuated by pain repeated itself as he rolled, slid and bounced downwards like a human rubber ball, to certain death dashed on the boulders. Loose earth and rocks fell with him. His thoughts turned to his brother. 'I'm sorry I couldn'tsave you, I tried, please forgive me, I love you bro'.
Consciousness mercifully left him when the side of his head collided with a tree two thirds of the way down.
His battered, broken and bleeding body finally came to rest at the bottom, splayed out on his back like a human sacrifice atop a large boulder, a mere fifteen feet from the body of the dead beast, its neck broken.
He was unaware he had succeeded in killing the beast, but at a terrible cost. The cost of his life and more importantly that of his brother.
Three Days Earlier
Econo Lodge, Prineville Oregon
Dean looked at his brother across the table strewn with empty food containers. Sam was reading from an article he'd pulled on the laptop.
"The three campers failed to check in at the ranger's station on their return date, a search party was dispatched, failing to locate any trace of the missing campers."
"So with those 3 it makes a total of thirty seven disappearances in that area of the forest... in how long?" Dean looked askance at Sam.
"Sixteen years, since ninety two." Sam answered without looking up.
"Well someone or something's been busy, could just be a grizzly?"
"A werewolf maybe?"
"Nar the Luna cycle's not right."
"It's not a wendigo; they only feed every twenty two to twenty three years."
"Could be some redneck backwoods men, another lot of Benders?"
"That's the only thing that fits unless... it's a chupacabra or a black dog?"
"No there'd be some remains left and they never found any, well not human remains anyway."
"So it's not werewolves, wendigos, chupacabras or black dogs, then what is it?"
"I dunno Sam. I think we should go to the ranger's station. Maybe they can shed more light on the situation? After all they were the last ones to see the campers alive."
Rangers Station Ochoco State Forest, Oregon
"I'm Dean Harrison and this is my brother Sam, we're private investigators hired by the family of Graham Tyler, to investigate his disappearance." Dean said as he and Sam flashed their fake IDs at the rather attractive dark haired dark eyed female ranger.
She glanced at the IDs and then held out her hand, saying. "I didn't know the family had hired someone." Her voice was deep and rich.
"His family is anxious to find out what happened, so here we are." Dean explained.
"Yeah me too. I'm ranger Tarni Benton, so how can I help you?"
"You were the last one to see Mr. Tyler alive so any information you can provide about that day would help us in our inquiries." Sam was using his earnest caring voice.
"Please take a seat." She indicated the seats opposite her desk.
After they were seated, Sam flipped open his notebook and waited for her to continue.
"We have strict procedures for hikers or campers using the forest. They have to fill out a form on the day of departure with their return date and approximate return time and the area of the forest they will be hiking or camping in its policy, we provide them with maps with all the trails marked clearly to avoid this kind of thing happening and they must stay on the marked trail there's a lot of dangerous terrain in the Ochoco." Ranger Benton said.
"Can we see a copy of that form that Mr. Tyler and his companions filled out?" Dean asked with his lady killer smile, his green eyes flashing with anticipation.
"Sure of course." She returned Dean's smile getting up from her seat.
She opened the large file against the wall the 2 desks and flipped through the file.
"We keep a copy for our records and they keep a copy as well." She said as she pulled out a green form and returned to her seat behind the desk handing it to Dean.
Dean read the form as Sam asked. "How long was it after their return date and time was a search begun?"
"We give them a twelve hour leeway; if after that they haven't checked in we begin the search."
Sam scribbled in his notebook.
"And no trace was found?" Dean looked at the ranger.
"We found where they were camping it was all torn up like a bear attack and we found blood. We searched the whole area for twenty four hours and no trace of any of them."
"You've had quite a number of people disappear in the forest, haven't you ranger?" Sam asked.
"Please call me Tarni, yes we have and it's hard to understand why, we take every precaution possible. But it is a wilderness area and there are bears."
"Tell me Tarni," Dean said leaning towards her, "what do you think happened to all these people?"
"Well the other ranger's theory is its grizzly attacks, but with grizzly's you find some remains, with these there's nothing, no human remains, it's…" she paused and then continued, "strange you know unusual."
They left a couple of minutes later with a copy of the form and a map with the trail the missing campers were following and the location of their campsite.
After they got into the Impala Sam said. "What do you think?"
"I think Tarni is hot."
"Dean, seriously." Sam said with roll of his eyes
Dean grinned. "Seriously? Tarni's right it's not a grizzly."
"You know what we have to do don't you?"
"We're gonna have to go into the forest to find out, aren't we?"
"Ah man I hate camping."
The Next Day in the Ochoco State Forest, Oregon
They were up early the next morning. Dean grumbled that he didn't think it necessary to be up quite so early.
They paid a second visit to the ranger's station; Sam said there were a few things he wanted to clarify with Tarni.
Dean joked that Sam just wanted to see her again.
"Admit it Sam you're just clutching at straws looking for an excuse to see her again."
"Shut up." Sam answered without heat.
That was all Dean needed to think he was right.
Tarni had greeted them warmly her dark eyes lingering a tad too long on Sam.
From there they went back into Prineville scouring the two streets of shops for the supplies they would need.
At the dusty molding smelling camping and army surplus store they purchased two sleeping bags, two large backpacks and water bottles.
They next stop was the drug store to restock their depleted first aid kit.
Next door was the local grocery store Sam pulled a cart from the long line next to the entrance.
Dean trailed behind behind disinterestedly as Sam tossed pre energy and trail bars and pre-packaged food provisions into the cart.
Sam rolled his eyes when Dean dumped two large bags of peanut M&M's and 2 bags of potato chips into the cart.
"Don't give me that look Sammy; these are an important provision and I'm not going into the wilderness without em."
"Two bags of M&M's and 2 bags of chips Dean?" Sam asked.
"Yeah well the M&M"s are on special two bags for the price of one."
"Alright but you're gonna carry them." Sam said before he turned away and pushed the cart towards the checkout.
"I don't recall asking you to carry them, Francis."
Dean had consumed half a bag of the chips before they even got back to the car.
Later that day as Dean had sharpened their knives against the whet stone and cleaned all the guns. Sam poured over the map of the forest so they could follow the same trail as the missing campers.
That night over a large surprisingly good steak dinner at a local steak house and a cold beer, they discussed which weapons they might need to kill whatever this thing was?
They decided to take hand guns sawed off shot guns loaded with consecrated iron rounds and silver bullets along with knives; the salt rounds wouldn't be necessary as this most definitely was not a spirit.
Early the next morning found them back at the ranger's station; filling out the appropriate paper work.
Tarni seemed happy to see them again; smiling as they entered. Her dark eyes lingered on Sam.
Tarni introduced them to the other ranger, Doug Jones a middle-aged balding man with a sour, closed expression.
He gave a derisive laugh before telling them he thought they were wasting their time and Tyler's family were wasting their money by employing them to find out what happened to him by going into the forest, as they'd already been over the area thoroughly and a grizzly was responsible for the disappearances of Graham Tyler and his two companions.
Tarni didn't seem to agree with him. Dean could tell by the look on her face.
On a map Tarni pointed out the danger spots and told them to be careful keeping to the marked trails.
She jokingly said. "I don't want to be sending out a search party for you two in a couple of days."
"We'll be fine." Sam said with a half smile.
"I sure hope so." Tarni replied.
- TBWNN -
They parked the car at the head of the trail and headed off along the trail Graham Tyler and his companions had taken.
Several hours later found the brothers trudging along a trail in single file Sam in the lead.
They each carried their backpacks full of supplies and weapons a water bottle attached at their waists and extra rounds for the sawn-off shot gun and a spare clip of silver bullets.
The trail meandered through the dense forest, climbing slightly as they got deeper into the forest.
Dean had time plenty of time to admire Mother Nature's work. The forest was a thing of beauty and majestic splendor. The only problem was all the fresh air made him hungry. As he walked he reached into his jacket pocket and pulled out a crumpled half full bag of peanut M&M's.
It was cool and dark in amongst the trees making it feel later than it actually was. Sam was surprised when he looked at his watch to see it was only mid afternoon, he continued walking for a few more minutes, hearing the noise behind him that had plagued him for the last half hour. The noise came again the rustling as Dean reached into the M&Ms bag to pull out yet another handful.
Sam walked in silence for a few minutes more then when he couldn't stand it he pulled up his brother bumped into him.
Without warning Sam stopped so suddenly that Dean ran into the back of him, exclaiming around a mouth full of the chocolate covered peanuts,
"Dude what's your problem?"
Sam turned to his older brother, the pissy face look Dean knew so well plastered on his face.
"You wanna know what my problem is?" Without waiting for a reply he continued, "you, you and you're M&Ms."
Dean swallowed the candy saying. "I didn't hear you complaining when me and my M&Ms led you to the wendigo at Blackwater Ridge."
"That was different."
"Oh, how was it different?"
"It just was," Sam changed the subject by saying, "I think we should make camp soon, before we lose too much light according to the map there's a camping area a little way ahead. I think it may be the one where they found the remains of the camping gear."
"Whatever you say ranger Sam."
Sam turned back to the trail and started walking again; Dean smiled at Sam's back. The set of Sam's shoulders radiating his annoyance.
So Dean continued digging into the packet, making extra loud rustling noises with the bag waiting for a reaction.
Neither of them was prepared for what happened a minute later.
Sam later laid the blame on Dean saying it was his entire fault that he had distracted him so he'd walked off the side of the track without realizing.
"Hey Sam, you want some?" Dean held out the half empty bag rattling it for effect in the direction of Sam's back, knowing it would annoy Sam even more.
Sam kept walking turning his head to look at Dean over his shoulder. "Dude you know what you can do with your M&…" Before he could finish, Sam let out a startled cry and dropped from view between two trees.
Dean still had his hand out offering the M&Ms to Sam when instantly his hunter's instincts kicked in.
"What the hell?" Dean growled dropping the bag of round multicolored candy sending them rolling in all directions at the same time diving forward onto the ground the same hand that had been moments before holding onto the M&M's grasping at the spot where Sam had been a second before.
Luckily for Sam Dean's grasping hand snagged one of the straps of Sam's backpack. Dean twisted the strap around his hand feeling himself slide forward along the ground until his head and shoulders were pulled over the edge of what he at first thought was a hole Sam had inadvertently stepped into.
This was no hole. Dean found himself staring down at the rock and tree covered slope about one hundred and fifty feet to the ground below. Sam had somehow managed to step over the edge; his back was to the cliff. He was frantically trying to dig his heels into the slope behind him. His only support and only thing stopping him from going over was Dean's grip on the strap of his backpack.
Fear clenched in Dean's stomach, fear for his little brother, his father's words echoing in his ears. "Take care of Sammy."
Dean would gladly give his own life to keep his promise to their father. A steely determination strengthened his will his voice was calm as he stretched his free hand down to Sam.
"Sammy, reach up and grab my hand."
"I'll try." Sam gasped as he looked up at Dean's outstretched hand.
Sam reached up and back over his head and grasped at Dean's hand a couple of times before he managed to take hold crushing Dean's fingers in as firm a grip as he could in his awkward position. The part of the drop he had his back against was more or less vertical at the top; he pushed his heels against it trying to help as much as he could; all he did was dislodge stones and earth that tumbled almost lazily downwards and out of sight.
"I can't hold on for long." Sam gasped out.
"Don't worry little brother I'm not gonna let you fall." Dean said determinedly between gritted teeth.
Dean started to wriggle his hips and body backwards ever so slowly along the ground sharp rocks digging into his thighs and stomach as he edged backwards, he could feel Sam's full weight plus the extra weight of the heavy backpack pulling on the muscles in his arms and shoulders. His left shoulder still weak from being dislocated a month or so back, burned unmercifully letting him know he was overtaxing the weakened joint. The fingers of his hand tangled in the strap had gone numb as the circulation was cut off.
Still hanging on to Dean's fingers Sam could feel himself start to rise as Dean began to pull him back, he tried to help by pushing his heels in to almost vertical surface behind him take some of his own weight. After what felt like an eternity but in fact was only no more than a minute, his backpack scraped against the edge catching momentarily. When his butt and his thighs were back on the ground he was able to bend his knees up and grind his heels into the ground pushing backward until he and Dean were lying panting on the edge of the drop. The trees that had hidden the drop waving above them.
"You… okay…little…brother?" Dean asked between intakes of breaths.
"Yeah… thanks …to …you." Sam couldn't understand why he was out of breath, because it was Dean that had done the work. The only explanation was fear.
Dean patted Sam's shoulder. "You're welcome."
When they had recovered their breath, Sam rolled over onto his stomach and he and Dean peered over the edge, looking down the to the ground a hundred and fifty or so feet below; it was obvious to both of them how lucky Sam was that he was not lying at the bottom dashed into a hundred pieces.
Apart from the almost vertical section for the first three or four yards at the top it sloped away at a forty five degree angle, with stunted looking trees and bushes growing haphazardly all along the side and some larger boulders lodged into the slope at various places. At the bottom to one side a stream meandered its way through the dense trees. Large boulders lay at the bottom that at some time had most likely dislodged from the side and now lay in a jumbled heap below.
Having recovered his breath Dean looked sideways at Sam saying. "Ranger Sam took a bad step."
Sam gave a snorting laugh and said. "Watch out for the first the first step it's a big one," then added, "Thanks bro."
"Again, you're welcome."
They both looked down again.
"Hey Sam?" Dean asked.
Dean pointed down the drop saying." That's one more reason to add to my growing list of why I hate camping."
Sam just chuckled.
After their experience with the cliff they were both happy to see the camp site, they set up camp after unrolling their sleeping bags they gathered some wood and set a fire; lighting it up before the dusk had given way to night.
They sat staring into the mesmerizing flames of the fire it was when Dean saw Sam yawn for the third time in as many minutes he came to a decision.
"Sammy I'll take the first watch; you get some sleep you look done in."
"Must be all that fresh air and exercise; wake me when it's my watch." Sam said yawning again.
Sam moved slowly away from the fire getting into his sleeping bag which they had placed a few feet from the small but roaring fire.
"Sleep well Samantha, God knows you need your beauty rest."
"Ha, Ha." Sam said curling his lip. He placed the loaded shotgun next to him and was asleep in minutes.
Dean put some more wood on the fire and settled down to wait for what had taken the campers to hopefully show itself.
After an hour of listening to Sam's light breathing mingled with the night birds calling to each other Dean was bored and he found himself drifting off. So he started to quietly hum some Metallica, Zeppelin, AC/DC, music from all of his favorite mullet rock, as Sam called it, to pass the time. He had been once through his repertoire and was half way through the second when the night birds went silent moments later there was rustle in trees off to his left. He picked up his gun loaded with silver bullets and glanced across the fire to where Sam still slept blissfully unaware.
Dean moved to Sam's side, without taking his eyes off the trees surrounding the camp site he knelt down and gently shook Sam's shoulder; Sam came awake instantly, Dean was above him with a finger to his lips in a gesture for quiet.
With a little noise as possible Sam extricated himself from the sleeping bag picking up the shotgun from next to him he said in a whisper. "Is it here?"
"There's something in the trees to the left." Dean whispered back.
From the same general direction came a low eerie moaning sound like someone or something in pain.
Sam and Dean were now both up on their feet their weapons raised trained at the trees.
The moaning came again; it sounded about fifty feet from where they were, in the trees to their left.
Dean motioned to Sam to go to one side and for himself to the other, and they would come up on it from each side and hopefully trap it in the middle.
Silently with guns raised and ready, they moved away into the trees gradually coming in on an angle.
Stealthily they worked their way towards each other, after a minute or two Dean caught a glimpse of something in front of him in trees a moment before he heard a rifle cock. Sam's pale face came into view shot gun raised and ready to fire.
"Don't shoot it's me." Dean said, pointing his weapon down away from his brother.
"Where'd it go?" Sam asked lowering his own weapon away from his brother.
"I could have sworn it was around here," he paused and then added, "son of a bitch."
And with that he took off through the tree back the way he had come back towards their camp, dodging between the trees and hurdling over the lower undergrowth as fast as safety allowed in the limited light from the moonlight filtering through the trees.
"Dean what is it, where you going?"
Sam said as he took off after him following Dean's path emerging moments later from the trees into the camp site.
Dean breathing slightly elevated after the brief run stood in the middle of the wreckage that had a minute before been their camp site.
"What the hell." Sam said picking up the remains of the sleeping bag he had been sleeping in minutes earlier.
"It tricked us into leaving the camp, so it could ransack it." Dean said pushing the toe of his boot through the debris.
"How could it be two places at once? Doesn't make sense…unless…"
"There's more than one." Dean finished.
"I wonder if?" Dean said cryptically as he searched for and finding the remains of his backpack, he looked through it then threw it down onto the ground in disgust exclaiming for the second time in five minutes.
"Son of a bitch."
"Sneaky bastard has taken all the ammo, and my knife, damn it." Dean said looking over at Sam.
Sam searched through the remains of his own backpack and found the same thing.
"Mine too and the shotgun rounds." He said dropping the ruined backpack onto the ground.
"Sam these things are smart, somehow they knew we were here to kill them, they knew that they had to disarm us, they were smart enough t to pull this off, one draws us away while the other one takes all the weapons and ammo, leaving us almost defenseless, what the hell are these things?"
"Dean, I've only got the rounds in the shotgun, what about you?"
Dean ejected the clip from his gun and looked at it in the moonlight. "Four silver bullets, that's it."
"Will it be enough?"
"It'll have to be."
"Do you think they'll come back tonight?"
"I dunno Sammy, but I don't think you'll be sleeping anymore tonight."
"Maybe we can track em in the daylight."
"And if we can't?"
They looked at each other and said in unison. "We're screwed."
To be continued…